MURRAY Bushrangers, Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays dominate the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 4 after all three sides had impressive victories. Each team has three representatives in the final 22, with other winners the Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers contributing two players each, as did the Northern Knights and Gippsland Power who drew on the weekend. The remaining five sides that lost have one representative in our Team of the Week.
Murray Bushrangers key forward Hudson Garoni booted eight goals and was named AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 4, so it was natural for him to line-up at centre-half forward. Along with Garoni, Kyle Clarke won plenty of the ball and provided rebound against the Sandringham Dragons, while Ely Smith was instrumental in the middle. For the Dandenong Stingrays who recorded a whopping 126-point win over the Western Jets, key forward/ruck Bailey Williams booted seven goals and was second behind Garoni for Player of the Week. The pair line up as the two key position forwards. Williams has two teammates in the Team of the Week, with fellow AFL Academy member Riley Bowman going in the ruck despite having just 13 hitouts – he also contributed three goals. Zac Foot provides speed along the wing and makes the team for the second consecutive week. Remarkably, both the Bushrangers and Stingrays came close to having another player in the side, with Jye Chalcraft and Lachlan McDonnell among the unlucky ones to miss out.
The Falcons had their first win on the weekend, and are also represented by three players. Brayden Ham locks down the half-forward flank spot, while Sam Walsh and Baxter Mensch have also made the side. It might be a bit cheeky to put gun midfielder Walsh on the half-back flank, but with the abundance of star midfield performances this week and Walsh’s ability to rebound out of defence when he drops back, meant he has the ability to put his foot skills to good use there. Next to Walsh is Calder Cannons’ Lucas Cavallaro who impressed in the back half, and is joined by captain Jack Bytel who racked up 37 disposals and earns a spot on the wing. Fellow hard nut and Northern Knights skipper Braedyn Gillard slots into the centre after a top performance, along with teammate Ryan Sturgess who fills out the other back pocket.
Straightening up the side at full-back is Gippsland Power defender Kyle Reid, who was ultra-consistent across four quarters for the Power in their draw with the Knights. Along with Reid, livewire forward Irving Mosquito makes the team for his match-winning four-goal performance. Oakleigh Chargers produced a huge team effort on Friday night to dispose of Bendigo, and made the job hard to just select a couple of players. Riley Collier-Dawkins played his best game for the year and slots into the rover position, while Lachlan Bugeja fills out the bench after retuning for his first game in 2018.
From the remaining sides, Bendigo Pioneers’ Noah Wheeler and Western Jets’ Xavier O’Halloran provide extra grunt coming off the bench, Kye Quirk was impressive for the Eastern Ranges and sits at half-back, while Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons) and Jed Hill (GWV Rebels) both booted three goals and were the best players for their respective teams. Among the others unlucky to miss out were Oakleigh Chargers midfielder James Rowbottom, Geelong Falcons’ switchman Connor Idun, and Northern Knights pair Harrison Grace and Sunny Brazier.