In a new feature article for Bound For Glory News, we review the junior footballers playing across the county outside the TAC Cup competition. While much of the talent could be found in the SANFL, there have also been a few impressing in the WAFL and NEAFL who could get a look-in at the AFL National Draft in November.
Kyle Presbury continued his impressive start to his SANFL league career with 10 touches in a well rounded performance. West Adelaide played four juniors in their side, with Jack Agostino having 14 touches, Hugh Haysman 16 and Will Snelling 14 handballs among 20 touches. Aaron Francis also impressed from defence with 16 disposals and five marks. For Norwood, Harry Cross was quiet with seven disposals while Luke Partington was solid on debut with 16 disposals and five clearances.
In the reserves, Matthew Nunn continued his good form for Norwood with 20 disposals and eight tackles playing on the outside, while Will Combe racked up 22 touches for North Adelaide along with eight clearances in a strong inside performance. In the same game, Stephen Tahana laid nine tackles further confirming his defensive prowess. Talented Northern Territory junior Brandon Parfitt had 16 touches, nine tackles, five marks, five inside 50s and two goals in a stellar performance, unfortunately we will have to wait until 2016 for him.
Over at Sturt, Andre Parella won his ruck duel with 54 hitouts, while Jordan Dawson continued his solid reserves form with 15 touches, six marks and 1.2. Woodville-West Torrens talent Jake Comitogianni impressed again after jumping up to reserves level with 18 disposals and six clearances in a well rounded display – and is another we have to wait until next year for.
For Glenelg, another 2016 prospect in Jonty Scharenberg had an excellent game with 27 disposals and two goals. His ball winning ability, spread, work rate and clean hands stood out in a wet and windy game. Matthew Allen kicked four goals after moving up into the reserves. The classy Mason Redman also impressed with 16 disposals and eight tackles. For West Adelaide, Riley Bonner was a class above with his superior skill evident despite the adverse conditions. He finished up with 18 disposals at 94 per cent efficiency.
Central Districts didn’t have a reserves game so their returning players played in the 18s. Wayne Milera proved he was well above that level, with 34 disposals at 79 per cent, nine marks, thirteen inside 50s and two goals to put the cherries on top. Brendan Dew was’t far behind with 30 hard won disposals at 80 per cent, with nine clearances and two goals rounding off a complete performance.
Crows and Hawthorn fans will be glad to hear that Ben Jarman responded to his demotion to the 18s well, racking up 21 disposals, seven tackles, nine clearances and a goal. Jordan Sweet also had a good game with 15 disposals, 43 hitouts and a goal. Both Sweet and Jarman are eligible for next year’s draft. The disappointment of the day was AFL academy member Kieran Agius being held to six disposals following his demotion from the reserves.
Callum Ah Chee had a solid game in the reserves to be named South Fremantle’s third best with 23 disposals and two goals. Kade Stewart was a little quieter with only ten touches, however laid seven tackles in a strong defensive performance. Clint Hinchcliffe had 20 touches and six inside 50s for West Perth – but will need to do more to make the league side and impress recruiters.
In the colts, Declan Mountford impressed with 24 disposals and eight tackles for Claremont, while Jake Florenca had 20 touches and kicked three goals for South Fremantle. For Subiaco, Greg Clark worked hard for 24 kicks among 29 disposals while Josh Schoenfeld accumulated 29 touches for Peel. 2016 prospect Josh Rotham impressed for West Perth with 26 disposals.
Giants academy member Matthew Flynn kicked two goals up forward while Jock Cornell was quiet with six disposals only. For Brisbane, academy prospect Eric Hipwood kicked three goals from eight touches, while fellow academy members Corey Wagner, Ben Keays and Reuben William impressed with 14, 21 and 22 touches respectively. Harrison Himmelberg racked up 23 touches and ten marks in a losing Eastlake side while Michael Hagan impressed after a quiet championships with 22 touches and two goals for the NT Thunder. For the Gold Coast reserves Dylan Budarick impressed with 18 disposals and 11 marks.