Scouting notes: Vic Country v Vic Metro Futures U17

Patrick Naish in action for the Northern Knights. (Photo: Northern Knights website/Gallery)
Patrick Naish in action for the Northern Knights. (Photo: Northern Knights website/Gallery)

THE second allotment of futures U17 games were played over the weekend with Vic Metro defeating Vic Country out at Windy Hill on Sunday.

Josh Poulter and Matthew Grundy were at watching at the game and their scouting notes are below.

Note: Matthew Grundy’s notes are bolded, while Josh Poulter’s notes are italicised.

Scouting notes:

Vic Country:

#3 Callum McKeon-The pint sized midfielder was Vic Country’s best player. He was in and under, on the outside and even took some marks despite his 163 cm stature. He runs really well and makes every possession count with his skill being up there with the best for the day. He put on plenty of pressure to his opponent and made them earn it. Would love to see him play more forward as he likely won’t be a midfielder at AFL level.

#3 – Callum McKeon DOB: 27/7/99, Height: 163cm, Weight: 66kg Club: Gippsland Power/Bairnsdale The smallest man for Vic Country was easily their best player on the day. McKeon showed great hands above his head and his work rate was something to behold as he laid tackles and gathered chains of 2-3 possessions in a row. Was their most consistent performer for the day and was a frequent attendee at the centre bounces. Reminded watchers of Ben Ainsworth as his playing jumper almost fully overtook his shorts, but showed zip in the same form as his Gippsland Power team-mate.

#4 Aiden Domic-A good game for the North Ballarat Rebels wingman. He provided lots of run and carry, as well as setting up play forward. He was massive for Vic Country early and but faded out later in the game. His decision making was average and that’s something I think he needs to work on.

#5 – Angus Paterson DOB: 3/9/99, Height: 197cm, Weight: 80kg Club: Dandenong Stingrays/Mt Martha Was probably the only key defender from Country to have a good game, Paterson showed a great sense of being able to read the ball in the air. He rotated between the number of Metro talls but his traits of strong hands, great body positioning work and game sense all stood strong and he also showed great athleticism in this sense as well.

#10 Mitch Chafer-This was the first time I’ve seen Chafer and he was impressive. In the first half he was close to Vic Country’s best player. His kicking was great and his evasiveness was a highlight. He made something out of nothing as a small forward and had lots of zip in the midfield.

#10 – Mitch Chafer DOB: 25/4/99, Height: 179cm, Weight: 73kg Club: Geelong Falcons/St Marys Was Country’s best player in the first half of the game, the inside midfielder along with Falcons team-mate Cassidy Parish showed great grunt in the midfield and ensued an arm-wrestle early. Won a number of Country’s clearances and was able to take hard running marks into space. Fizzled out in the last-half but still popped up and showed great hand skills as well.

#13 Changkuoth Jiath-Jiath was a very solid player today on a wing and at half forward. He gave glimpses of what he can do but is still very raw. His running ability and overall athleticism was great to see. His kicking is quite good but his decision making let him down as he often ran into trouble. Looks a great prospect and will be one to keep an eye on for Gippsland Power in the remaining three games of 2016.

#34 Jordan Johnston-Medium forward Johnston played a really strong game. He was slow early for the Vic Country side but really took the game by the throat in the last. He took several contested marks and was fearless in the air. This was evident when he took a mark on the lead, colliding with a player leaving him shocked. He has given me now a glimpse of some real high quality talent and should slot in for the North Ballarat Rebels come finals.

#34 – Jordan Johnston DOB: 9/9/99, Height: 182cm, Weight: 72kg Club: North Ballarat Rebels/North Ballarat Juniors Made his mark felt in the second half of the game, Johnston showed off serious athleticism and a great pair of hands. He seemed taller than he was, especially considering he looked like was the player playing Centre Half-Forward for Vic Country. Took some great marks over the back of his opponents and other defenders in his vicinity as well. Also showed great courage, diving for a mark while copping a stray shin from team-mate Will Donaghey.

#50 Riley D’Arcy-One of the real surprises too come out of this game. D’Arcy is a medium forward who takes marks above his head and provided some spark in an often lifeless forward line. He hasn’t had much exposure this year and to watch him dominate like he has was great. He’s a nice size and is in the mould of the modern targets of the game mixing athleticism and skill.

#50 – Riley D’Arcy DOB: 28/12/99, Height: 188cm, Weight: 73kg Club: Dandenong Stingrays/Rowville Country’s Full-Forward for the day, was there in patches and for most of the game was their main target when entering Forward-50. Worked his opponent under the ball well at times, and his hands above his head showed as well. Touched for finishing lacked though as he had a tough time in front of goal, which also came through his decision making as he decided to have a shot on goal from a drop punt from deep in the boundary line in the pocket.

Vic Metro:

#1 Nathan Boucher-The small Oakleigh Chargers midfielder gave the Vic Metro team lots of run and skill for four quarters. He was everywhere and made lots of plays for his team. He was one of the few players who I felt put in a four quarter effort and was close to the best midfielder for the game. His work rate was great as he showed in one instance by rebounding and thirty seconds later, being on the receiving end of a pass inside 50 leading to a goal after the final siren. A talented cricketer too, Boucher has shown good signs already at both school and TAC Cup level.

#1 – Nathan Boucher DOB: 30/4/99, Height: 170cm, Weight: 64kg Club: Oakleigh Chargers/Welsey College Boucher showed some real zip around half-forward and the wing, using his dash to send Metro inside 50 on multiple occasions. Also continued on from his TAC Cup predicant, coupling his speed with handball receives. Hit his short targets well on his preferred left foot, but looked to bomb away inside 50 a few times.

#2 Brad Bernacki-Hard to go past the Calder Cannons speed machine Bernacki. The Sunbury Junior played a great game by playing as that live wire midfielder. He was superb early in the piece when the game was up for grabs. He used the ball extremely well going forward and has zip that most players only great of. He looks a likely type and with more physical development to come, he could become a key player for Vic Metro next year.

#5 Ethan Penrith-One of the best players on the ground was Penrith, with his electric pace around the ground. He provided run & carry all day and created magic for the team. His speed in a straight line and laterally is elite and it was on full display. He made opponents look like they had concrete in their shoes. He has been playing mainly in defence for the Northern Knights, but has shown enough to make me think that as a forward he could at his best. This game was probably Penrith’s best as he provided lots of run and spark going inside 50.

#5 – Ethan Penrith DOB: 24/10/99, Height: 179cm, Weight: 74kg Club: Northern Knights/West Preston JFC Was 1B for best on the day, had close to 10 running bounces for the game and ran havoc on the wings of Windy Hill. Showed Shai Bolton-esque lateral quickness and movement and his straight line speed broke the lines time after time. Was good by foot and his handballs also set players into space. Showed great work rate as well to gather the ball on the opposite wing at times as well.

#15 Nicholas Coffield-A great game from the Northern Knights third tall. Coffield is one who has really come on this year and has the ability to read the play and zone off really well. He was a standout early in the piece as he read the play and zoned off stopping many offensive plays. He also played forward for a bit and impressed up there. He’s one I feel can have a massive impact next year if he keeps improving at the same rate he has been.

#15 – Nicholas Coffield DOB: 23/10/99, Height: 189cm, Weight: 75kg Club: Northern Knights/Whitefriars College Showed a great mix of inside and outside ball winning ability for Metro and put his foot forward to being one of their first pick midfielders at next year’s National Carnival. Was influential in extracting the ball from the contest when needed and also cleared the contest with his kicking also. His work rate showed both ways and worked into the space that was provided well when the ball was in play.

#19 Patrick Naish-A strong game for the son of Chris. The Richmond father-son prospect was a standout as he provided tons of run for the Vic Metro side. His run and carry was great to see as well as his kicking which was great. His burst running was a highlight as he kept on running all day. He was Mr Consistent as others came in and out of games. This was a game which that if you worked hard like Naish did, you would be rewarded and he was by being close to the best player on the ground. Had 26 disposals and seven marks for the game.

#19 – Patrick Naish – Richmond Father/Son DOB: 15/1/99, Height: 180cm, Weight: 67kg Club: Northern Knights/Ivanhoe Grammar The son of Richmond 143-gamer Chris Naish, the Northern Knights product showed off his impressive work rate throughout the day. Naish impressed by both hand and foot, hitting many switches and setting up play for Metro going into attack. Had many handball receives as well to add for the day, and also played off the half-back line in the last quarter showing his versatility. Had 26 disposals and seven marks for the game.

#24 Noah Balta-The consensus best on ground, as he dominated in the air and on the ground. In the first half he played as a quarter back and controlled the air. He took many intercept marks and set up the play with his racking kick. His run for a key position player was also a highlight throughout the game but it’s when he went forward he really made his mark. He was great on the lead and showed off his mobility by getting up the ground extremely well. His kicking was surprisingly good for a tall and can be expected to feature next year for Vic Metro as a swingman. Balta is a big time player and could become a massive factor for the Cannons as they finish their season up. Finished with 20 disposals, nine marks and 2.2.

#24 – Noah Balta DOB: 23/10/99, Height: 193cm, Weight: 88kg Club: Calder Cannons/Doutta Stars Best on the ground for the day and don’t think there could be any arguments. Played in the backline in the first half, peeled off when needed and showed class with his kicking setting up play in the quarter back role. Switched to Full-Forward in the 2nd half and continued strongly by leaping high at the ball and showing his vertical leap. Finished with 20 disposals, nine marks and 2.2.

Josh Poulter’s votes:

5- Noah Balta (Vic Metro)

4- Ethan Penrith (Vic Metro)

3- Patrick Naish (Vic Metro)

2- Nicholas Cottfield (Vic Metro)

1- Callum McKeon (Vic Country)

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