WE headed down to Ikon Park for the trial matches between the Allies and the two Victorian sides. In the first game, Vic Country took to the field and led most of the game until an inspired-Allies outfit overran them in the final term to claim the victory. Here are the notes taken by Peter Williams and Ed Pascoe from that game with the Vic Metro/Allies notes to come tomorrow.
#2 Sam Walsh
Gun. Just looked a class above out there and you can see why clubs will be lining up for his services come years-end. He has good speed, acceleration and is composed under pressure and has an ability to kicks goals as well. He had two in the first half and won the footy at will. Walsh was strong overhead and a quick thinker. Danced around the opposition on the wing, had a few ‘Pendlebury’ moments. Was rested midway through the third quarter and earned it too after a superb performance.
#5 Xavier Duursma
Strong overhead for a lighter bodied player and took a good intercept mark on the wing in the second quarter. Playing more in the defensive half of the ground, Duursma used his slick skills to effect off half-back. He is able to weigh his kicks and take power off them when required. Took a couple of good defensive intercept marks including an absolute hanger in the dying seconds of the third quarter. In the final term Duursma laid a fantastic tackle, showing great technique to turn the body at full speed rather than land in his opponents’ back. Set up a Riley Bowman goal with a great kick inside 50. Stocks are rising, a potential first round pick.
#6 Laitham Vandermeer
Was good in the first half, often involved in a chain of handballs off half-back. Kicked a great goal from 50m after he looked to pass it off but knew he was the best option to have a shot. Then playing in defence in the second term, laid a great spoil on an opponent down low without giving away a free. Just buzzed around through the match creating run off half-back.
#7 Jai Taylor
After an early miskick out of defence saw Chayce Jones capitalise with a goal, Taylor had a better second quarter, winning a bit of the ball in midfield and in defence. Kicked out of defence but did throw it on the boot a little. Continued to work hard and still had some good moments winning contested possessions.
#10 Zac Foot
Really good early stages, had a shot on goal in the opening minute after a handball from Sam Walsh but his shot just missed. Had a couple of blistering runs to break up the contested play. Took a good mark leading up on the wing and delivered a piercing kick in-board. Could be a real X-Factor at the National Under 18 Championships.
#11 Zane Keighran
Copped a knock late in the first quarter and looked sore, but came back on and showed good hands through traffic. Not afraid to get involved.
#14 Sam Flanders
Played further up the ground than his usual forward pocket. Won a bit at half-back and was involved in some handball chains then went deep forward and took a good mark late in the second term. His shot from 30m out went out on the full, then pounced on an Allies error out of full-back moments later to dribble home a goal. Good mark on defensive 50 and strong one-on-one but kicking was a bit off in the third term. Long inside 50 in the final term was thrown on the boot but next entry was a great pass to Hudson Garoni who goaled.
#15 Lachlan Ash
Sensational start to the game, played in an unfamiliar position up forward and kicked the opening goal of the game from a snap. He rushed a couple of possessions along the wing, but seemed to settle as the game went on and showed good composure at both ends. He won the ball on the forward side of the wing and took a few bounces but then elected to handball to a teammate under pressure 25m out rather than take the snap. Good composure when going back to half-back.
#16 Jake Frawley
Good pressure at ground level, laid a few good tackles and showed quick hands under pressure and through traffic. Took a good mark inside 50 but his set shot from 35m just missed. Good diving mark in the final term to intercept the ball on the wing.
#19 Sam Fletcher
Fletcher played mostly through the midfield showing his clean hands on multiple occasions, there where countless times he would spin into a tackle and fire out a nice handball. A busy day through the middle.
#20 Cooper Stephens
Good hands under pressure at half-back and along the wing in the first term. Strong hands leading out to half-back in the second term, but kick went straight to the opposition who was in front of his Vic Country opponent.
#24 Matty Lloyd
Played on the wing where he showed his clean hands. Lloyd was solid with ball in hand and kicked well on both sides with one kick inside 50 in the second quarter showing off his foot skills.
#25 Kyle Reid
Good defensive pressure in the back-half, kicked long out of defence and looks for that piercing kick for a leading target. Had a few fumbles in the second term but mopped up his own mistakes and showed good second efforts.
#26 Matthew McGannon
Stood up well in a marking contest and kicked well to the wing in front of a teammate’s running path. Had a courageous moment in the third term, going back with the flight and copped a knee in his back for his troubles, but impacted the marking contest.
#27 Zane Barzen
He was used on the wing despite his goal kicking form at TAC Cup level. Barzen took plenty of lead up marks on the wing and his kicking inside 50 was a good feature of his game.
#28 Bailey Schmidt
Played a solid game playing in the ruck and up forward. He took a fantastic mark on the lead in 2nd quarter and showed some good composure in the last quarter with a quality handball under pressure.
#29 Bailey Williams
Got involved at ground level on the wing and laid a fantastic tackle on Mitchell O’Neill when he was trying to run off half-back. Not bad straight-line running from the tall. Absolutely HUGE third term where he showed off twice the kind of agility he has, grabbing it cleanly with one hand then burning off his opponent to run towards goal. Kicked a goal running goal side of the stoppage, kicking it off the ground straight through the middle. Also took a huge intercept grab on the wing with a big vertical leap. Spent some time in the ruck too. Kicked a goal from a set shot after a chest mark leading out, 15m out.
#30 Oscar Brownless
Brownless started the game well with his clean hands on show around the stoppages, he kicked a nice set shot goal in the first quarter. The Geelong Falcons co-captain was clean on transition throughout the day and rarely made a mistake.
#31 Brock Smith
The Gippsland bottom-ager started the game well down back, he took a nice mark back with the flight in the first quarter and quickly played on with a long switch kick, Smith was moved forward after the first quarter showing good attack on the ball.
#34 Scott Carlin
Carlin was rock solid down back with his ball use by foot really impressing. The slick half-back did not do a lot wrong he often made good decisions and was a consistent four-quarter player. He also took a nice intercept mark in the last quarter. Overall a really impressive performance with the opportunities he had.
#35 Hudson Garoni
The key forward took a while to get into the game he was playing forward for most of the day and was moved into the midfield late in the game where he got more of the ball. He had a nice shot for goal in the last quarter where he worked hard to lead into space and finished off with a good goal from a set shot.
#36 Riley Bowman
Bowman did a lot of work around the ground often rucking, resting forward and even pushing down to help the defenders at times, one instance in the second quarter he did some nice defensive work. Kicked an easy goal late in the game to reward his efforts for the day.
#37 Dane Hollenkamp
The key defender was solid down back with some nice defensive efforts with some timely spoils. Hollenkamp was often composed an efficient whenever he got the ball.
#38 Blake Schlensog
The forward had a quiet game, with his best bit of play coming in the second quarter where he spun out of trouble and kicked a nice snap goal. He got more involved in the ruck later in the game.
#39 Connor Idun
Idun had a solid game down back and he was often undersized but still competed well. His defensive efforts continued for all FOUR quarters. Did well to compete with the taller Caleb Graham in the third quarter, nullifying him on many occasions.
#1 Connor Budarick
One of the Allies’ best in the first half, showed quick hands under pressure and buzzed around the stoppages. He showed good vision and was able to execute into space and change direction with his kick to hit a dart inside 50 to a leading teammate. Played in defence in the third term, once he threw it on the boot, the other time was a good long kick out of the back half.
#3 Josh Stern
Opposed to Sam Walsh at the stoppages and laid some important tackles and showed good defensive pressure. Ran hard in the final term and earned a goal for his hard work, kicking a goal from the goal square without breaking stride.
#4 Mitchell Anderton
Won a free kick for in the back in defence and kicked long to the wing. Unfortunately was injured late in the first quarter and was on crutches after that.
#9 Blair Rubock
Showed good disposal in all thirds of the ground, and had a powerful handball in the second term to a teammate. A running shot on goal from 40m just missed.
#10 Chayce Jones
Quieter first half, but laid a fierce tackle at half-back to lock up the ball. Kicked a goal off a step from about 35m out which bounced through for a goal and got more involved as the game went on. Had a good kick inside 50 after winning a free for holding – certainly put some extra mayo on it to alert the umpires. Stepped up in the final term with a quick snap just missing before snapping a great goal. Kicked long to space inside 50 out of traffic.
#11 Keidean Coleman
Played a mixture of defence and midfield and looked a bit surer in the midfield. When kicking out of full-back he made a few errors by foot, but was better on the run with time and space. He looked more composed when through the middle and was good one-on-one in marking contests. Put in a piercing kick going inside 50 lowering the eyes to McFayden for the latter’s fourth goal. His best was good, just needed more consistency in his disposal.
#12 Mitchell O’Neill
Good hands in close and composed under pressure. Quick hands to release Fraser Turner in the opening term who kicked to Michael Mummery for the first goal. O’Neill is strong one-on-one in the marking contest, took a good mark and showed strength in the air. Produced a kick under pressure off half-back in the second term. One of the better players across the game for the Allies.
#13 Ethan Jackson
Tried hard throughout the four quarters and won some good ball on the inside. Spun out of traffic and showed good agility throughout, finishing his game off with a goal in the final term off a step. Had a second shot but it went wide before McFayden marked in a pack and finished the job off.
#14 Jeromy Lucas
Laid a strong tackle on Sam Walsh in the second term, but came alive in the second half making the most of his chances with three goals from three kicks when inside 50. Kicked one from a set shot and two for snaps off a step.
#16 James Peatling
Won a free kick 20m out from goal in the third term but just missed.
#17 Thomas Matthews
Powerful kick inside 50 found Michael Mummery in the goal square for the first goal of the game, then kicked out of full-back in the second term, putting a teammate under pressure but mopped up with a good second effort.
#20 Fraser Turner
Won a couple of possessions in a chain and had a shot from inside 50 but it bounced wide for a behind. Long kick inside 50 in the third term was effective, and kicked deep moments later after a clean pick-up.
#23 Michael Mummery
Mummery had a solid game for the Allies, he took a nice contested mark against two opponents in the first quarter which was his only goal for the game but he set up others with some lovely kicks inside 50. His best pass came in the third quarter after a classy side step and then a great kick inside 50.
#30 Ben Sloan
Sloan got better as the game went on, he took a nice contested mark in the third quarter and finished it off with a goal. He did some good work in the midfield in the last quarter with some good clearances.
#31 Connor McFayden
McFayden was the standout player for the Allies kicking four goals which could have been more. His first goal was a nice long goal on the run in the second quarter, his second was when he showed great attack and snapped truly. His final two goals came in the last quarter, one after a nice one-handed mark and the other was a set shot goal from 50 metres. McFayden also played through the midfield winning some handy clearances, his attack on the ball a feature of his game all day.
#32 Toara Marango
Marango toiled hard down back often playing on much taller opponents and handled himself well. He took a nice intercept mark in the last quarter.
#37 Jacob Koschitzke
Playing at both ends, Koschitzke was one of the Allies better players on the day, he started down back taking a nice contested mark in the in the first quarter and then quickly switched the ball with a nice kick. Koschitzke was moved forward in the second half and he looked good on the lead and he competed well. He laid a nice chase down tackle in the last quarter showing another element to his game for a taller player.
#42 Rodney Baird
The over-ager was clean with his ball use down back and often used the ball quickly. Baird was a solid defender throughout the day.
#43 Nick Murray
The key defender was strong in defence one-on-one, but went into the umpire’s book after he landed a massive shirtfront on Brock Smith in the second quarter.
#44 Caleb Graham
Playing down key forward early, he showed some promising signs as a taller player. In the first quarter he showed a nice passage of play attacking the ball cleanly then spinning out of trouble finishing with a nice handball. He moved well throughout the day often using the ball well and being a good target up forward, he was later moved down back.
#45 Jack Tomkinson
Tomkinson battled hard in the ruck using his solid frame to win hit outs and impose himself at the contest. He took a nice intercept mark in the third quarter.
#47 Nicholas Baker
Baker had a nice passage of play early in the game showing good balance then a clean handball and solid block straight afterwards.
#50 Ben Kelly
Kelly did well to follow up his ruck work throughout the day. He kicked a nice set shot goal in the last quarter and attacked the ball hard and with a nice handball set up another goal.