Allies vs. NAB AFL Academy: Game notes

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The Allies came home with the win over the AFL Australia side, 11.7 (73) to 4.10 (34). Despite the lopsided score, there were plenty of names from both teams who provided wonderful highlights. The Allies were comprised of draft eligible players from division two sides, whilst the AFL Australia team was made up of NAB Academy players in the 2015 draft class.

Allies

Nakia Cockatoo: Cockatoo was a highly rated academy member from the Northern Territory, but his injury struggles this year put a question mark over his head. Despite recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, Cockatoo was named best on ground today and all questions have now been erased. Cockatoo ended up with 19 disposals and a terrific goal. His speed and class left a mark on the game, as almost all of his touches were effective in creating opportunities for the Allies. His draft stocks have risen dramatically.

Lachie Weller: Weller showed he is the complete package today. We knew he one of the silkiest ball users in this draft and that he could take a hanger. Weller showed that he is quick and willing to take on absolute anybody today, with his 20-metre burst and run and carry one of the main highlights. His two goals were astonishing. Weller finished with 16 disposals, four clearances and four inside 50s .

Caleb Hislop: Hislop had a really solid game, finding plenty of the footy and showing he could use it well. He was a bit exposed for speed, nearly getting run down a few times, but it was one of his better games on the big stage. He finished with 24 disposals and seven marks.

Jordan Foote: Foote is a Swans academy player, and before today most thought he might get passed up by Sydney, as they were likely to take Isaac Heeney and Abe Davis. Foote worked really hard, and showed that he has a whole bag of tricks. In one play, he gathered the ball, fended off one man and did a blind turn away from another opponent. Foote has some real strength and his body is mature. His draft stock definitely rose today.

Dougal Howard:  A bit of an unknown before today, Howard was dominant up forward. His leading was excellent, as he found space on several occasions in the forward 50, ending up with three goals today from four marks. Howard didn’t get a lot of the ball, but when he had the ball in his hands, he converted at every opportunity.

AFL Australia

Nick O’Kearney: We all knew what O’Kearney is capable of, as he regularly found himself getting more than 30 disposals at TAC Cup level for the Cannons. His 26 disposals today were great, as his kicks rarely missed targets. He looks to be a certain first round pick in next year’s draft.

Callum Mills: The Swans will take Mills with their first pick next year, and his performance today was like all his others. Mills found enough of the football, and showed a bit of class. He made the All-Australian squad as an underage player this year. With four inside 50s and four clearances from 21 disposals, Mills showed he can use the ball dangerously.

Harley Balic: The Sandringham Dragons forward has a whole bag of tricks, with comparisons being drawn to Troy Menzel and Christian Petracca. Balic, the former basketballer, showed great poise today and kicked two nice goals. He was busy early, but faded towards the end. Balic is a real highlight machine, but he’ll need to build his tank to find more of the football next year.

Jacob Weitering: Many people were impressed with Weitering’s efforts today. He was rarely beaten down back and took a few saving marks on the last line of defense. He’s not one of the big names of next year’s draft crop, but he showed today that he cannot be discounted. Admittedly, Weitering did not do a whole lot on the stats sheet, but his body positioning and work in contested marking situations was excellent.

Sam Weiderman: It was well documented that Weiderman, the grandson of Murray, has not played state level football. His debut on the big stage today was excellent in glimpses. He took a couple of nice marks further up the field and he showed that he is no slouch when the ball hits the deck. Weiderman is a real prototype forward who has that Kyle Langford type of versatile game.

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