CALDER Cannons’ big win over Bendigo Pioneers has seen them top the list for the most nominees in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 6. The Cannons had three nominees in what was an even spread across the board with every other winning (and drawing) side, as well as Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons having two nominees apiece. Bendigo Pioneers, Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons had the one nominee each after losses on the weekend.
Calder co-captain Mitch Podhajski led the way to be named the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 6 and he leads the midfield, while Lachlan Sholl sits at half-back and Curtis Taylor slides onto the interchange. Also in the midfield is Murray Bushrangers’ Ely Smith who is joined in the team by forward Riley Bice, while Stefan Radovanovic played his best game of the year and dislodges captain Xavier O’Halloran from the centre position, with the latter considered unlucky to miss, as Darcy Cassar made the forward line.
A regular in the Team of the Week is Geelong star Sam Walsh who slots onto a wing, joined in the team by first-time nominee Dane Hollenkamp at full-back. Ed McHenry was the next player in line for a spot, just missing out after 11 tackles and seven rebounds to slot into what was a competitive defensive back six this week. On the other wing is Gippsland Power’s Austin Hodge who returned to boot four goals for the Power in their big win over the Dragons, as did Sam Flanders who made the forward line.
Speaking of the defence, Dandenong Stingrays top bottom-age prospect Hayden Young was impressive making the team, along with ruck/forward Bailey Schmidt who will rotate through the middle. Bendigo Pioneers’ sole nominee, ruck Daniel Keating also makes his third appearance in the Team of the Week. In the other back pocket, Isaac Quaynor makes the team again for Oakleigh Chargers, and Collingwood fans will be licking their lips seeing both Quaynor and fellow Next Generation Academy member Atu Bosenavualagi making the team after impressive performances.
At half-back is Ben Annett who was impressive across the ground, he and Charlie Wilson (half-forward) make the side following Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ draw with Oakleigh. The final spot in the defence belongs to Jarrod Gilbee who has been strong down back this season for the Ranges, joined in the team by Tyler Edwards who made the interchange bench. The remaining two spots are taken up by the sole nominees for their respective teams, Harry Bede (Sandringham Dragons) and Ryan Bowkett (Northern Knights). The Knights had a couple of unlucky players with Braedyn Gillard and Thomas Hallebone going close to making the side but having stiff competition, while exciting half-GWV Rebels forward Jed Hill also just missed out.