NEW SQUADS, new fixtures and a new team. That is how the U18 Championships will kick off this weekend.
A new concept will begin over the weekend, with the newly formed ‘Allies’ U18 squad beginning their division one title pursuit.
The Allies brings together the best players from the Division Two states (NSW/ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and Northern Territory) to play against the division one teams in a move that has been perceived as a positive by many.
This allows names such as Jack Bowes, Harry Perryman and Todd Marshall to face the Division One sides in the main carnival.
Matt Balmer takes you through the 34 man squad, who some believe have a chance of taking out the Divison One Title.
Outside Midfielder (Aspley/Queensland)
16/04/1998 | 194cm | 79kg
Jacob Allison had a mixed bag of a Division Two carnival, only reaching over 20 disposals on one occasion against the Northern Territory. Allison booted five goals in the carnival and will likely line up off the Half Forward flank on the weekend where he can use his long kick to his benefit.
Outside Midfielder (South Alice/Northern Territory)
18/05/1998 | 175cm | 65kg
Rohan Armstrong was Northern Territory’s MVP from the Division Two championship. Armstrong has a strong left foot kick and rebounded well out of defensive 50 for NT.
Medium Defender (North Shore/NSW-ACT)
03/08/1998 | 184cm | 79kg
Medium defender Angus Baker averaged 20 disposals in the Division Two carnival.
Key Position Forward (Uni of Queensland/Queensland)
29/03/1999 | 198cm | 95kg
Brisbane Lions academy member Connor Ballenden is a name to watch out for in 2017. The Key Position Forward was dominant in April’s trial game against Vic Country and kicked five goals in the final Division Two game against Tasmania.
Balanced Midfielder (Cains/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg
Silky smooth midfielder Jack Bowes is the consensus best player in the draft after a superb Division Two championships. Bowes averaged 25 disposals and deservingly was named the Queensland MVP.
Outside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
29/04/1998 | 175cm | 72kg
Outside Midfielder Fletcher Carroll had a good carnival averaging 25 disposals and seven marks. Carroll will likely play a role off half forward or on the wing for the Allies.
Balanced Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
04/08/1998 | 189cm | 84kg
Daniel Charlesworth spent most of 2015 playing as a third tall but has moved up the ground into the midfield in 2016. At his size it will be interesting to see where he lines up in the Allies.
Outside Midfielder (North Broken Hill/NSW-ACT)
11/08/1998 | 183cm | 72kg
Although not a prolific ball winner across the Division Two carnival, Isaac Cumming has made the squad and will likely play off half back against the Division One sides using his good kick to effect.
Medium Forward (UNSW/NSW-ACT)
19/05/1997 | 187cm | 84kg
A superb carnival from 19-year-old Ben Davis for NSW/ACT. Davis kicked 10 goals for the carnival with some eye catching moments. Davis originally was tied to the Sydney Swans academy, but has been deemed ineligible after not nominating for the draft in 2015.
Small Forward (Canberra Demons/NSW-ACT)
23/02/1998 | 180cm | 76kg
Left footer Sam Fisher provided plenty of energy inside 50 for NSW/ACT in the Division Two championships. Fisher kicked five goals and will be one of the main goal sneaks in the forward line for the Allies.
Tall Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
30/06/1998 | 192cm | 84kg
Tall Defender Ryan Garthwaite missed the Division Two championships, but his strong run of form in the TAC Cup (with 30 marks in four games) was enough to see him picked for the Allies.
Outside Midfielder (North Adelaide/Northern Territory)
16/10/1998 | 186cm | 76kg
Athletic Half Back flank Jamie Hampton found plenty of the ball for NT in the Division Two championships. His pace and agility makes him a tough opponent to match up on.
Key Position Utility (Redlands/Queensland)
04/06/1998 | 196cm | 92kg
The younger brother of GWS’ Harry, Elliot Himmelberg is a useful utility that can play at either end of the ground. With the Allies boasting a strong forward line of Marshall, Sproule and Davis- It is likely that Himmelberg will play in defence.
Outside Midfielder (Morningside/Queensland)
24/02/199 | 179cm | 68kg
Nick Kempe showed some good signs on the outside for Queensland. Kempe’s marking overhead is one of his strengths and can also push forward and hit the scoreboard.
Small Defender (St Mary’s/Norther n Territory)
21/08/1997 | 176cm | 60kg
Ben Long showed good signs throughout the carnival, averaging 20 disposals in his return as a 19-year-old.
Ruck (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/09/1998 | 200cm | 96kg
Raw Ruckman Max Lynch showed some really positive signs throughout the championship. His work in the ruck was good and looking forward to seeing how he goes up against his Division One opponents.
Tall utility (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg
Tall Defender Harrison Macreadie has had a quiet start to the year but expect him to flourish against stronger opponents in the Division One carnival.
Outside Midfielder (Northern Jets/NSW-ACT)
06/05/1998 | 175cm | 72kg
With NSW/ACT having a strong midfield, Mitch Maguire spent a lot of time inside forward 50 throughout the Division Two carnival. Maguire hit the scoreboard well, booting eight goals and will line up in the forward pocket this weekend for the Allies.
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg
The former cricketer has jumped into Top 10 calculations with seven goals in the carnival, including four in the opening match against Queensland. Marshall could very well be the first tall forward taken come November.
Medium Defender (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
04/04/1997 | 187cm | 86kg
Lachlan McKenzie’s flashy green boots weren’t the only thing that made him standout through the Division Two carnival. McKenzie averaged 23 disposals and showed good poise for NT coming out of the backline.
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Kobe Mutch was one of the players of the Division Two carnival and was very unlucky not to take home the NSW/ACT MVP. Mutch kicks well on both feet and has really improved his inside game in 2016.
Ruck (St Marys/Northern Territory)
02/09/1998 | 201cm | 80kg
Talented junior soccer player Tony Olango had a strong carnival for Northern Territory. Olango also pushed forward at times hitting the scoreboard, but is still very raw and doesn’t win a large chunk of football.
Inside Midfielder (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
27/04/1998 | 177cm | 72kg
Brandan Parfitt racked up the disposals in his two Division Two games with 25 & 26 disposals. Parfitt was apart of the AFL Academy earlier in the year and was solid in the two hit outs against VFL opposition.
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Harry Perryman could well be the first GWS academy member picked on draft night. The midfielder kicks well on both feet, but does lack that fast pace bursting from the stoppages. Won the NSW/ACT MVP for his superb carnival.
Outside Midfielder (Ainslie/NSW-ACT)
15/07/1999 | 179cm | 73kg
The Canberra midfielder Jack Powell is one to look out for in the 2017 draft. Powell was also one of the better players in the Level One academy match in New Zealand.
01/02/1999 | 198cm | 99kg
Another name to watch for the 2017 draft is Tall Forward/Ruckman Nathan Richards. Richards showed some good signs in the ruck in the two final matches of the carnival.
Outside Midfielder (Morningside/Queensland)
01/07/1998 | 181cm | 71kg
Jack Rolls is apart of the Brisbane Lions academy and will likely entertain a bid in the second or third round. Rolls is a very outside player and will be looking to improve on his quiet Division Two carnival.
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg
Inside midfielder Brad Scheer is tied to the Gold Coast Suns academy and averaged just under 16 contested possessions throughout the Division Two carnival.
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg
Inside midfielder Will Setterfield finished the Division Two carnival exceptionally well against the Northern Territory with a 28-disposal haul. Unfortunately Setterfield won’t be lining up for the Allies this weekend, instead taking part in Caulfield Grammar’s big match against Brighton Grammar.
Bit of talk Caulfield Grammar won't release Will Setterfield to play for Allies vs SA on Sat. Want him for clash vs Brighton Grammar instead
— Brett Anderson (@BAndersonSEN) May 31, 2016
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 75kg
Lively small forward Charlie Spargo is another member of the Allies squad who isn’t eligible until the 2017 draft. The small forward won the NSW/ACT MVP in the Under 16 championships back in 2015 and is a name likely to end up in the top handful in the 2017 draft.
Medium Defender (Palm Beach/Queensland)
04/10/1997 | 190cm | 82kg
Max Spencer’s finish to the carnival against Northern Territory was a big reason why he made the Allies squad. Spencer had 15 disposals and five marks in a good outing for Queensland.
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 87kg
Seven goals for the Division Two carnival was a strong return from Zachary Sproule, who will line up at Centre Half Forward for the Allies this weekend.
Key Position Defender (Aspley/Queensland)
17/09/1998 | 194cm | 80kg
Key Position Defender Declan Watson is a name to keep an eye out in the Division One championships. He has probably flown under the radar with the other academy kids shining, but his rebound and ball use in the back half was really good for Queensland.
Outside Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
12/06/1998 | 189cm | 89kg
Speedy outside midfielder Josh Williams continues to turn heads. His dash on the wing throughout the carnival was a clear standout and expect a few eye catching runs throughout the Division One championships.
Keep an eye out tomorrow for the preview of the Division One championships beginning this weekend.