Category: News

From boys footy to Bushrangers: Webster makes perfect transition

MURRAY Bushrangers midfielder, Rebecca Webster grew up with footy in her veins.

As a youngster, Webster would run out in an oversized Auskick jumper and have a kick around with her brother’s team. She admits that her brother, a year her senior, fuelled the competitive fire from within, to play Aussie Rules football.

“I always wanted to be better than him (her brother) and I’ve just gone through the ranks of the boys to 14s, and then all through Youth Girls footy and got here now, end of the journey for the TAC (Cup Girls),” Webster said.

Although Webster’s TAC Cup Girls journey was daunting at first, she is impressed with the program’s progression.

“I remember rocking up to training in Kialla for the first time and I was so scared because I never played footy with the girls before,” Webster said. “I was absolutely petrified. “But I don’t think we had many people to get not selected. “We were combined with Bendigo but you can see how much it’s grown. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Like many TAC Cup Girls players, Webster tried her hand at many different sports when she was younger, but felt her passion for footy shone through.

“I just felt like I gelled a lot more with footy,” Webster said. “I was athletic and stuff but I wasn’t really passionate for the other games. “When I was out on the field I just loved it and because I gelled with the boys and everyone there and just felt like home playing footy.”

Playing with the boys was something Webster had become accustomed to at that point, having roughed it up with them on the field from Auskick to under 14s. But when she was selected for the Murray Bushrangers, she discovered a whole new world of football.

“I grew up all my life playing with boys until I was about 14 where I had to play with the girls so it was very, very different,” Webster said. “I never knew what to expect but I’ve definitely adapted over the years and it’s been a great journey. “To be able to connect with the other girls and see how they’ve come about has been really cool.”

Although her TAC Cup Girls journey has ended, Webster still has a busy schedule of football ahead of her, featuring in the upcoming AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships on the Gold Coast.

“It’s going to be a ripper,” Webster said. “We played up there last year so [I have] got pretty high expectations again but should be good though.”

Webster has also been selected to play in Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s for Melbourne Uni, in what is shaping to be an incredibly bright future for the talented midfielder.

South Australia weekly wrap: Under 18 squad trimmed

IT WAS a busy weekend for all of South Australia’s young talent with selection in the final squad up for grabs and those vying for their spot being put through their paces. The SA squad took on Glenelg Reserves, with some of the SA squad members lining up for the Tigers.

SA Under 18 Trial Game

With 28 Players (26 for SA and two playing for Glenelg Reserves) in the match at Glenelg on Saturday, it meant that another 14 returned to their SANFL Clubs to play either League, Reserves, U18s with a few also returning to College football. 

South Australia U18 15.7 (97) defeated Glenelg Reserves 13.13 (91)

Best:
South Australia U18: W. Gould. J. McLennan. L. Valente. T. Lewis.
Glenelg Reserves: T. Cox. F Betterman

Goals:
South Australia U18: B. Jarvis 3. J. Tarca 2. J. Colwell 2. D. Carmody 2. J. Mead, B. Woodcock, J. Collins, K. Chandler, L. Valente, C. Taheny.

The better players for SA included underager Will Gould, Jez McLennan, Luke Valente, and Tom LewisTobin Cox and Finn Betterman were both good for Glenelg.

Scouting Notes from the game:

Jez McLennan – playing across half-back, McLennan was fantastic with his aerial contests and when not smashing the contests, was taking marks including some contested gems. A strong body, McLennan also used the ball well by foot to generate the rebound for SA.

Luke Valente – playing on the ball, Valente had his hands on a lot of footy in close and rode many a tackle to give a better team disposal for SA. His smooth skills on either side also impressed. 

Tom Lewis – another strong midfield bull , Lewis was hard at it through the clearances and also provided a lot of attack through handballs, especially in the third quarter with a creative over the shoulder handball that led to a goal.  He is always in the thick of the contest at the feet of the ruckman.

Tobin Cox – the overager returning from a run of injuries last year was effective in a number of roles for Glenelg. His hard running work and by foot allowed him to break the lines really well and sparked his teams revival when it looked like SA was about to run away with the game.

Jacob Collins – playing as a rebounding defender/winger, Collins was really noticeable with his dash off half back and on the wing and led the game with running bounces. At 189cm, Collins backs himself to take on the opposition with his pace and just needs to tidy up that final disposal to progress to the next level.

Draft watchers should note that a number of squad members did not play in this trial including Jack Lukosius, Jackson Hately, Izak Rankine, Hugo Munn, Conor Rozee, Mihail Lochowiak, Hayden Sampson and Tom Sparrow.

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SANFL League

SA squad talent Jackson Hately suited up for Centrals against Sturt and although he was down on possessions, he applied plenty of defensive pressure finishing with five tackles after playing up forward and in the midfield. Sturt talent Hugo Munn was again strong overhead and slotted a goal. Eagle Jack Lukosius had a goal in his teams loss to Norwood, while Conor Rozee was solid in a North’s loss to the Panthers. Izak Rankine was prominent in the Bloods’ victory over Port Magpies finishing with two goals,

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SANFL Reserves

Only a handful of U18 players filled spots in their SANFL clubs Reserves sides with Mihail Lochowiak one of Sturt’s best with 19 possessions, two goals and seven tackles in a good all round performance. Hayden Sampson showed signs of quality again in a 14-disposal, five-tackle effort for the Panthers in their win over North.

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SANFL Under 18s

The U18s competition kicked back in this weekend, and although a host of players were trialling with SA squad, there was a host of other solid performances across the games with some players continuing to show their abilities.

In West Adelaide’s first win of the season ball magnet William Gutsche was best with 19 contested possessions from his 29 disposals and eight inside 50s for one goal. Glenelg would have been disappointed to lose this game, but youngster and 2019 prospect Brady Searle was best for the Tigers with a monster 34-possession game.

The Eagles dismantled an undermanned Norwood by 67 points, and Jarrod Miller continued his good form for the Eagles  finishing with four goals from the midfield. Jed Spence was Norwood’s best with a good inside/outside game of 24 disposals, seven tackles and seven clearances.

Standout player of the round and Most Valuable Player (MVP) round nominee Bailey Coleman-Oakes was dominant with a huge 43-possession and 12-clearance game in the Roosters win over South. Panthers prospect Reece Milsom was best in the losing side

Centrals just got over the line by 10 points against Sturt, and it was consistent Bulldog performances by Aaron Nietschke in the middle, and Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett up forward with three goals along with Llwellyn Milera who booted three as well. The stocks for father son prospect Casey Voss continue to rise as he again was Sturt’s best with eight tackles and six clearances.

College Football

Sacred Heart (SHC) recorded their first win of the season with a 22-goal win over St Michaels. SHC had let their first two games slip but Glenelg key forward Darcy LeCornu continues to shine, booting seven goals in the victory and also having 17 goals to date. Hearts face an important game this week against Immanuel College and no doubt the prospect of relegation under the new College system will bring out their best.

Rostrevor continued their winning ways and accounted for Immanuel by 82 points, and ex-SANFL League coach Ron Fuller has the Red and Blacks playing some good footy.

Although Prince Alfred College (PAC) accounted for St Peters by 68 points it was still a tough competitive game. PAC lead by Jack Heard at CHB and Captain Tom ‘Jack’ Sparrow defeated Saints at PAC. With hard running and some silky skill execution PAC were too good. The Saints, through youngsters Henry Nelligan and Jack Higgins, showed some impressive clearance work in the first half in particular and will be a real threat in the Premier League this year.

This weeks rounds of matches will pit the two undefeated sides of PAC and Rostervor against each other at PAC in a huge clash and the SHC and Immanuel game will be an important one too.

West Australian weekly wrap: Thrillers all round in WAFL Colts

THIS weekend produced the most exciting round of West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts football so far, with every game decided by two goals or less, including three games by a combined nine points.

Peel Thunder 11.4 (70) defeated Subiaco 9.12 (66)

Peel Thunder has upset Subiaco to hand the Lions their second consecutive loss with a narrow four-point win at home. Subiaco looked on top early, booting eight goals to four in the first half, but could only manage one after the main break as the home team piled on seven, to run away with the contest and claim a vital four points and move back into the top five.

Peel’s Lachlan Riley had 23 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50s and three tackles, while Andrew Butler also managed 23 disposals, three marks, four inside 50s and five tackles. Lachlan Cullen played an important role down forward, booting 3.3 from eight disposals, while Jaxon Egan finished with two majors. Jake Howes was the other player over 20 disposals, with 21 touches, three inside 50s and seven tackles.

For the losers, Tristan Hobley topped the disposal count with 26 touches, nine marks, three inside 50s and three tackles, while Zane Shellabear Healey had 23 disposals (all kicks), four marks, seven tackles and four inside 50s, but was inaccurate up forward with three behinds. Jack Mayo was the lone hand up front with four goals from eight scoring shots, 12 disposals, seven marks and 11 hitouts, while Liam Hickmott laid 10 tackles and booted a goal from 17 touches.

 

Claremont 9.8 (62) defeated Perth 8.12 (60)

Claremont has held on for the upset of the round, taking down top-of-the-table Perth in a two-point thriller. The Tigers stormed out of the blocks, booting four goals to one in the first term and led by 17 points at the main break, before the Demons hit back. Perth booted three goals to one in the third term to draw within two points, but the Tigers managed to hang tough in the last term with both sides adding a goal and Claremont celebrating a memorable victory. In fairness to Perth, they were missing their top prospects who had made the Under 18 state squad.

Max Grant won plenty of the footy for the winners, racking up 25 disposals, six marks, four tackles and booted a goal. Jack Monaghan had 22 disposals, five marks and three tackles, while Angus Longmire was strong in the ruck with 34 hitouts and 14 disposals. Lewis Henry and Benjamin Clohessy both booted three majors.

For Perth, Zac Casey had the ball on a string with 31 disposals, six marks, eight tackles, five inside 50s and a goal. Maverick Hamilton (24 disposals, seven marks and four inside 50s) and Bailey Smith (21 disposals, five inside 50s) were the other big ball winners. Alan Narkle was a lone hand up forward with four goals from eight disposals, while Jarrod Schofield laid seven tackles and had four inside 50s from 12 disposals.

 

East Perth 9.4 (58) defeated by South Fremantle 10.10 (70)

In the battle between the bottom two sides, South Fremantle picked up an away win over East Perth – the second for the season. It was a close game for most of the contest before the Bulldogs broke away with a three goals to one third term to lead by 23 points at the final break. A two goals to zero last quarter saw the Royals edge closer, but it was not enough to get the four points.

Tom Blechynden notched up 23 disposals, two marks and four inside 50s, while Manfred Kelly was one of the Bulldogs’ best with 23 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and three inside 50s. Matthew Ward was crucial in transition with eight inside 50s and four marks from 21 disposals, while James Russell laid nine tackles to go with 18 disposals. Thomas Weston did the most damage up forward with three goals.

For the Royals, Jarrod Hamer-Mathew and Eric Bashemule both had 17 disposals, four tackles and booted goals, while Jordan Hayden also had 17 disposals and took four marks. Thomas Baulch and Rory Sparks combined for 13 tackles, while Kyle Robinson was the home side’s only multiple goal kicker with two majors from 10 disposals, four marks and five tackles.

 

West Perth 12.6 (78) defeated by East Fremantle 12.9 (81)

Another thrilling contest saw the game between the Falcons and Sharks decided by less than a goal. After trailing throughout the first half, the home side booted four goals to two in the third term to open up a nine-point lead with a quarter to play. East Fremantle had other ideas than to just shy away from the contest, and booted four goals of their own to the Falcons’ two in the final term, to run over the top of the home side and claim a three-point victory.

Corey Robinson was enormous throughout the game for the Sharks, notching up 29 disposals and 11 marks, while Joshua Ritchie was also impressive with 25 touches, seven marks, five inside 50s and a goal. Nicholas Watson was good in the ruck and worked hard around the ground for 21 hitouts, 17 disposals and seven marks, while his partner in crime, Dylan Curley, also had 13 disposals, 16 hitouts and booted a goal. Mitchell Anderson booted three goals to be one of three multiple goal kickers for the winners, while Jai Jackson booted two from 16 disposals and nine marks.

Nathan Murray was the round’s highest ball winner, leading the Falcons with 34 disposals, three marks, three tackles and five inside 50s. Tyron Hindmarsh was also busy with 23 disposals, three marks, six tackles and four inside 50s, while Alec Johnson (22 disposals, seven marks) and Daniel Rowe (22 disposals, six tackles) were among the best. Jack Burke made an impact up forward with two goals from 19 disposals, six marks and four tackles, while Ben Johnson had a team-high seven inside 50s from 20 disposals and a goal.

Second placed Swan Districts had the bye.

AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year

PREMIERS Geelong Falcons lead all-comers when it comes to the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Year. The Falcons have four nominations in the best 24 (extending the bench to six), including one in the midfield, one in defence and two up forward. The Team of the Year has been constructed based on nominations across the nine TAC Cup Girls’ rounds. From the nine TAC Cup Girls’ Teams of the Week, we have picked 24 of the 26 players who received three or more nominations, with the next 24 players (named in the 2nds team) receiving two nominations.

Geelong captain Lucy McEvoy has made the starting defence, with Olivia Purcell named on the wing, Nina Morrison on a half-forward flank, and Sachi DeGiacomi lining up at full-forward. The Falcons’ grand final opponents the Northern Knights had the next most with three nominees. It is no surprise that with all the firepower the Knights have, their three nominations are in the forward 50. Ellie McKenzie and Britney Gutknecht have proved to be dangerous around goals, while Gabby Newton can play anywhere and was named at centre half-forward. It is worth noting that McKenzie had the third most nominations of any player with six, just behind our teams’ co-captains Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons) and Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power) with eight nominations apiece.

Prespakis’ bottom-age teammate Georgia Patrikios has made it into a forward pocket, while Hanks’ teammate Emily Haeusler slots onto the half-back flank. Also in defence is Alice Burke, the daughter of St Kilda champion Nathan, making the back pocket with teammate Eleanor Brown who slotted into the best 22. On the other half-back flank is Dandenong Stingrays’ captain Jordyn Allen who made the team, while teammate and fellow AFLW Academy member Courtney Jones was named as an emergency. Murray Bushrangers’ pair Tamara Smith and Rebecca Webster were no surprises into the Team of the Year after consistent form this season.

Holding down the fort at full-back is Isabelle Pritchard, with the Western Jets’ key position defender having a fantastic season, as has her teammate and midfielder Elisabeth Georgostathis who made it onto a wing. The other team with two nominees is the Bendigo Pioneers with midfield duo Kodi Jacques and Megan Williamson both making it onto the bench. Eastern Ranges had two nominee in our Team of the Year, Sarah Kendall and Emerson Woods who slot into the ruck and interchange respectively. The other clubs with just the one nomination are GWV Rebels’ Georgia Clarke at centre half-back and Bridie Winbanks (Oakleigh Chargers) on the bench. Both the clubs had three players with two nominations who just missed out on squeezing into the Team of the Year.

The only two players to receive three nominations and miss out are Dandenong Stingrays’ Courtney Jones, and Murray Bushrangers’ Grace Egan who both had wonderful seasons.

At AFL Draft Central we also wanted to recognise those players who received at least two nominations in our Team of the Weeks this season, including the two players missing out on the starting 24 (Courtney Jones and Grace Egan) slotting into the team. Jones has been selected as the captain for the side, with a number of unbelievable talents unlucky not to make the first team. TAC Cup Girls Grand Final Best on Ground Denby Taylor is one of many top players making it into the next 22, alongside fellow AFLW Academy members Georgia Macpherson, Sophie Van De Heuvel and of course, Jones.

There are seven teams with an amazing three players nominated in the Second Team of the Year, with just Bendigo Pioneers and Calder Cannons the only sides without a nominee. The premiers have Taylor, ruck Zoe Inei and tackling machine Samantha Atkins in the side, while the runners-up Knights have Alex Pronesti, as well as two 2020-draft eligible players in Alyssa Bannan and Abigail Bennett in the team. Eastern’s depth has been critical to their success throughout the season, and along with Macpherson, they also have Mikala Cann and Gabriella De Angelis making the team. Dandenong Stingrays have Shelley Heath running off a half-back flank, joining Jones and Isabella Shannon in the side.

The GWV Rebels have Van De Heuvel up forward, talented bottom-ager Sophie Molan in the midfield, and captain Lauren Butler also in the side. The Oakleigh Chargers midfield duo of Katie Lynch and Gemma Lagioia provide the team with some class, while the dangerous Daisy Bateman slots into the forward pocket. Leading competition goal kicker Holly Bate makes it into full-forward after nominations in round eight and nine for a combined 12 goals, joined in the team by fellow forward Isabella Eddey and 16 year-old midfielder Eliza McNamara.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper made the side after a good season, named in the back pocket with fellow Murray Bushrangers defender Egan. Right next to them is Western Jets’ defender Sharnie Whiting who made the team with two nominations, as did Caitlin Greiser who proved a handful up forward and slots into the forward pocket. The final spot in the team belongs to bottom-age forward Nikia Webber who showed some great signs of what is to come from the versatile tall.

SECOND TEAM OF THE YEAR:

B: Eloise Ashley-Cooper (MB) – Sharnie Whiting (WJ) – Denby Taylor (GF)
HB: Shelley Heath (DS) – Georgia Macpherson (ER) – Grace Egan (MB)
C: Gemma Lagioia (OC) – Mikala Cann (ER) – Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV)
HF: Courtney Jones (DS) (c)  – Nikia Webber (GP) – Alyssa Bannan (NK)
F: Daisy Bateman (OC) – Holly Bate (SD) – Caitlin Greiser (WJ)
R: Zoe Inei (GF) – Katie Lynch (OC) – Sophie Molan (GWV)
INT: Abigail Bennett (NK) – Samantha Atkins (GF) – Isabella Shannon (DS) – Lauren Butler (GWV) – Isabella Eddey (SD) – Gabriella De Angelis (ER) – Eliza McNamara (SD) – Alex Pronesti (NK)

NSW/ACT weekly wrap: First Nations Cup; two selected for Diversity All Stars

IT was a big week for youth footballers in NSW/ACT, with the inaugural First Nations Cup held, as well as plenty of representative football.

First Nations Cup

Sydney played host to the inaugural AFL First Nations Cup on Wednesday, with 120 high school students from Sydney, Western Sydney and as far as Dubbo taking part in the eight-team AFL 9s tournament.

The overall aim of the First Nations Cup is to bring the young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities together, while learning the origins of Australian Rules football. AFL NSW/ACT and the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) coordinated the event, with support from the Sydney Swans and GWS GIANTS.

AFL NSW/ACT Indigenous Programs Manager, Charlee-Sue Frail told the AFL NSW/ACT website that she was thrilled by the success of the inaugural competition.

“We wanted to have a flagship gala day event in Sydney ahead of Sir Doug Nicholls Round, and we’re excited to see it succeed,” Frail said. “We’re proud to partner with an Aboriginal organisation such as NASCA, who is doing great work within our communities and with the younger generations. “It was so great to see young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students meeting each other, having fun, and celebrating their cultural strengths.”

For more information, head to the AFL NSW/ACT website or Facebook page.

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Two named for Diversity All Stars

Southern Power’s Sarah Heptinstall and Belconnen Magpies’ Emily Pease have been selected to represent the Diversity All Stars team for 2018 after terrific performances for the AFL NSW/ACT national Medleys and All Nations sides. Pease was also recently named in the NSW/ACT Under 16 Youth Girls’ squad.

As a part of their selection, Heptinstall and Pease will take part in a national Diversity All Stars program, focusing on leadership and football skill development. Participants will also visit AFL club facilities and gain exposure to an elite training environment, before concluding the week by playing a match.

AFL NSW/ACT Multicultural Programs Manager, Nickie Flambouras told the AFL NSW/ACT website it was exciting to see Heptinstall and Pease progress through the Diversity Pathway.

“This is a very proud moment to have two girls from New South Wales and the ACT represented in the Diversity All Stars squad,” said Flambouras. “It goes to show how our Diversity programs are getting everyone involved in our game, and we are particularly pleased to see two girls enjoying their footy so much. “We are dedicated to the development of females from Multicultural backgrounds, and integrating athletes into our female talent pathways. “We wish the girls every success and will continue supporting them through their development.”

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Swans Academies soar

Sydney Swans Under 16 and Futures Academies have claimed bragging rights over their regional rival, with victories over GWS GIANTS on the weekend. The Under 16s claimed an overall series win after taking out two of the three matches against the GIANTS, while the Under 17s Futures were victorious in the one-off match.

Oscar Davis inflicted the most pain on the GIANTS in the Under 16s decider, booting three goals, while Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden were named in the Swans’ best. Godfrey Okerenyang and Jack Cullen were named among the GIANTS’ best, contributing four goals in the loss. The NSW/ACT Under 16s squad will be released soon ahead of the National Under 16 Championships.

Sydney Swans Academy – 11.8 (74)
GIANTS Academy – 7.8 (50)

GOALS
Sydney Swans Academy – Davis 3, Sheather, Westcott, Dignam, Walsh-Hall, Wright, Campbell, Gulden, Olsen
GIANTS Academy – Okerenyang 2, Cullen 2, Browning, Melksham, Ashley-Cooper

In the Under 17s Futures, Sydney was too good for the GIANTS, running away with a 75-point win. Tommy Baxter was the key goal kicker, booting four goals for the Swans, who ran riot in the second half, outscoring their opposition by eight goals. The AFL NSW/ACT squad for the 2018 Under 17s Futures Series will be announced next month.

Sydney Swans Academy – 15.13 (103)
GIANTS Academy – 4.4 (28)

GOALS
Sydney Swans Academy – Baxter 4, D’Agostino 3, Ellem 3, Bird 2, Watling, Maguire, Gallen
GIANTS Academy – Hicks, Bridgland, Kendall, Grant

For more information on the Academy clashes, head to the AFL NSW/ACT website.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 7

THREE wins on the trot and flying high, the Western Jets are the big winners in this week’s AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 7. The Jets and the Gippsland Power are the only sides with three nominees, as the best 22 is split evenly across the competition. Every other winning side, as well as Calder Cannons and Murray Bushrangers have two nominees, while the Bendigo Pioneers, Geelong Falcons, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Oakleigh Chargers have a sole nominee in the team.

It is undoubtedly the tallest Team of the Week so far, and one we would probably not take into a wet weather game, but such was the results on the weekend with a number of key position players earning their spots with impressive performances. Up forward, the front six have combined for a massive 30 goals to show some serious firepower, with just the one genuine crumbing player, as well as a mix of key position and lead-up players.

The Jets’ three nominees are defender Buku Khamis – who was best on ground in the Jets’ win over Oakleigh Chargers – as well as midfielders Xavier O’Halloran and Zak Butters. O’Halloran has been a regular in the Team of the Week this season, with fellow captain Xavier Duursma another who has had his fair share of nominations. The Gippsland leaders makes the team on the wing, along with Sam Flanders who booted another four goals on the weekend, and Kyle Reid who was monumental in defence. In the centre, Braedyn Gillard slots in once again, joined by teammate Adam Carafa for the first time. The other midfield spot is taken by overager Kai Owens who stood up in Sandringham’s victory over Geelong Falcons on Sunday. Owens is joined in the Team of the Week by forward Harry Bede who also booted four goals.

The three-pronged tall attack of Murray Bushrangers’ Hudson Garoni, Dandenong Stingrays’ Corey Ellison and Eastern Ranges’ Jamieson Rossiter piled on a massive 19 goals between them and were walk-up starts in this week’s team. They are not the only talls from their teams with Bailey Williams (Dandenong) and Jordon Butts (Murray) making the side, while Ben Cardamone‘s work from defence earned him another place in the back pocket after a good start in the opening few rounds. Alongside him at centre half-back is Calder Cannons switchman Daniel Hanna, who is one of two Cannons in the team – Curtis Taylor makes the side as well.

Up forward, GWV half-forward Charlie Wilson – who finished with three majors in the Rebels’ loss to Gippsland Power – also made the team once again. The final spots in the team were taken up by the three sole members for their respective teams, half-back Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers), full-back Dane Hollenkamp (Geelong Falcons) and ruck Daniel Keating (Bendigo Pioneers). Others considered for the team but just missed out due to the strength in their relative positions were Eastern’s Mitch Mellis, Murray’s Ben Kelly, GWV’s Matt Schnerring, Gippsland’s Bailey Beck and Geelong’s Oscar Brownless.

Podcast: TAC Cup Girls – Episode 11

A NEW year marks all-new content and in 2018, AFL Draft Central will be producing a weekly podcast through the TAC Cup Girls season. Hosted by women’s football editor, Julia Montesano, the podcast will be posted each Wednesday night and will review the previous round’s games and look ahead to the following weekend. For the eleventh episode, Julia is joined by AFL Draft Central chief editor Peter Williams to review the 2018 TAC Cup Girls Grand Final!

Episode 11 now embedded here:

  Episode run down:

  • Grand Final recap
  • Review each teams’ season
  • Nominate chances for club Best and Fairests

Team of the Week: VFLW- Round 3

ROUND three of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s turned out to be a round of very one-sided matches.The Saints taking on the Demons turned out to be the best game of the round, with the Saints running out winners by eight points in a tough contest.

The winners are evident looking at this week’s best 22. Hawthorn, NT Thunder and Geelong are the best represented with four players each, while the Southern Saints and Collingwood have three players each.

Carlton and Williamstown are the worst represented teams of the round with no players making the cut, as both teams only managed two goals between them.

Thunder captain, Angela Foley was clearly the best performing player of the week. She gathered 28 disposals and kicked two goals in a huge performance, which played a big part in the big win over Essendon. She was a clear lock in the team this week. Richelle Cranston was also one of the best performers of the round, with 17 disposals.

NT Thunder’s Renee Forth was very unlucky to miss out on the Team of the Week with her one goal and 18 disposals against Essendon.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 9

We are approaching the bye rounds now as a number of first-year draftees continue to impress on the big stage. Both top-age and mature age recruits are fitting in seamlessly to AFL life and are becoming mainstays in their respective club’s 22s.

Jaidyn Stephenson

Collingwood supporters should revel in the news that they have snagged Jaidyn Stephenson for another two years, after securing the Club’s number six pick. The fan favourite continues to exceed expectations in yet another classy performance against St. Kilda. Booting two goals after half-time, Stephenson assisted greatly in Collingwood’s 28-point victory over St Kilda, and continues to demonstrate a fluency in the forward line. The young Magpie finished with 18 disposals, four contested, 72 per cent disposal efficiency and eight score involvements. Stephenson’s uncanny footy sense has served him well, exhibited both through his careful decisions and ideal timing with ball-in-hand.

Hunter Clark

For the first time in his AFL career, St. Kilda’s number seven pick was made to start on the ground, earning a spot in the Club’s starting 18 against the Pies. Clark rose to the challenge off half-back, showing off some of the less observed aspects of his game. With a strong 21 disposals, seven contested and a 71 per cent disposal efficiency, Clark took on his role well, involving himself in linkups and going hard in the contest. His chase down in front of goals almost prevented a score, but the ball spilled out and the rest was out of his hands. Furthermore, going back with the flight of the ball, Clark copped a heavy hit in a pack mark and reeled in pain. Clark’s commitment to the contest is becoming more obvious and we hope to see this attitude continue in the coming rounds.

Bailey Fritsch

The quality of this year’s debutantes has shone through fittingly in Bayley Fritsch. With yet another impressive performance, the young Demon continues to exceed expectations with his dominance in the forward line. Fritsch finished up with 17 disposals, five contested, two goals, six score involvements, four intercept possessions, four tackles and three inside 50s.  The young Dee displayed great footy sense going forward, picked his spots well and hits his man with great precision. He is developing well under Melbourne’s guide and could bag a neat stack of goals by the end of the season.

Cam Rayner

With his first win in his AFL career, Rayner should be satisfied with the performance he contributed. A powerhouse for his age, the number one draft pick finished the match with 11 disposals, seven contested and an 82 per cent disposal efficiency. The young forward also kicked two goals, had four score involvements, three tackles and three clearances. He has adjusted well to the pace and has polished his work, beating his average disposal efficiency by 10 per cent.

Paddy Dow

On the wrong end of a huge margin, Dow stayed resilient against punishment and fought hard against a dominating Melbourne. Dow’s work on the hard ball was evident in his 10 contested possessions, and while low on his efficiency, still managed to make an impact. In all, Dow closed up with five intercept possessions, four tackles, 25 pressure acts and three score involvements. An impressive stat sheet for a player on a losing side, the young Blue refused to quit despite the odds.

Adam Cerra

With another demonstration of poise and class from Fremantle’s stellar first-year line-up, Cerra led with more trademark efficiency and impact. The No. 5 pick from the Dockers finished with 15 disposals, nine contested, an a 80 per cent disposal efficiency, 19 pressure acts and three clearances in their 69-point loss against the Swans. Cerra left his mark on the game despite a shutout victory by the home side. He’s an adaptable player who thrives in the contest and remains consistent in varying conditions.  

Nick Coffield

Coffield’s football is characterised best through his disposal efficiency. In St Kilda’s hard fought battle against Collingwood, Coffield kept his kicking clean and ball movement effective. He kept his work rate up despite a barrage of goals from his opposition and plenty of forward pressure. At an 88 per cent disposal efficiency for the season, Coffield continued prime form with  a 92 per cent disposal efficiency. The youngster finished the game against the Pies with 12 disposals, three one percenters and two rebound 50s. 

Charlie Spargo

The ferocity of this small forward is immense, complimented well by Melbourne’s fierce attack on Carlton. Spargo played high pressure football, working Carlton’s backman well as they tried to rebound. He laid three big tackles, 19 pressure acts, had four inside 50s and four score involvements. He wasn’t good enough in front of goal, missing two of his shots. However, his contribution to Melbourne’s win is evident in the range of offensive and defensive acts. In total, he racked up 12 disposals, six contested with a 75 per cent disposal efficiency.

Queensland weekly wrap: State Inclusion squad announced; Suns’ Shanghai stint hangs in balance

THERE were many talking points to come out of this week for Queensland AFL fans. At the highest level, Brisbane clocked up their first win of the year, while the Suns faltered again in Shanghai to put their Chinese venture under threat. Meanwhile more locally, the State Inclusion squad was announced ahead of June’s national carnival. 

Lions get first win, Suns lose in China:

BRISBANE Lions managed to scratch the huge monkey off their backs by winning their first AFL game of 2018 last Sunday afternoon. In front of around 20,000 fans at the Gabba, they claimed a nice scalp smashing Hawthorn by 56 points in a milestone victory for the club. It was as if it was scripted for Lions coach Chris Fagan and legendary recruit Luke Hodge to beat their old side and to get off the mark for the Lions. Hodge was excellent against the team he played 305 games and won four premierships with, but it was a mix of old and new that helped the Lions get off the mark in 2018.

The stars of the day for the Lions included Eric Hipwood who had glue on his hands, marking every ball the came his way en route to kicking four goals. Second-year midfielder Hugh McCluggage finished with a career-high 27 disposals (16 contested) and had a major influence while the match was up for grabs. Captain Dayne Beams was back near his best with 28 disposals and two goals, Dayne Zorko continued his form resurgence with 30 touches, 11 tackles and a goal, while Charlie Cameron produced a Mark of the Year contender to go with two goals. The game was capped off with last series winner of The Recruit, 28-year-old Matt Eagles kicking his first goal in AFL footy in the last term. The Lions face Sydney next round.

Meanwhile, the trip to Shanghai wasn’t pleasant for the Gold Coast Suns players who suffered a 40-point loss to Port Adelaide in wet conditions at Jiangwan Stadium. The Suns fought hard to deliver an improved performance from their drubbing in last year’s inaugural China game, but were no match for the resurgent Power. Port’s 11.16 (82) to 6.6 (42) victory on Saturday lifts them to fourth on the ladder.

Gold Coast teenager Jacob Heron joined the exclusive group of players to make his AFL debut outside of Australia and slot a goal with his first kick. Both sides have the bye next week to recover from the long trek to Shanghai, but after a week off, the Suns finally return to Metricon Stadium where they will face Geelong.

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Suns Shanghai experiment in the air:

Reports have been flowing in the last few days around the AFL that the Gold Coast Suns could lose their right to AFL in Shanghai to a Victorian club. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has declared he will open discussions over next year’s Shanghai match to Victorian teams. Also, Victorian Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis has been in Shanghai this week lobbying hard for a Melbourne team to take over next year. St Kilda have been rumoured as the most eager club to take over the Shangai expeditions, perhaps with plans to help erase their millions in debts.

This story is sure to develop over the coming weeks.

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2018 Queensland State Inclusion team announced:

Last Friday AFL Queensland announced the 2018 State Inclusion team after trials were held in May. The squad includes 16 players and three emergencies. The Queensland side will take part in the AFL National Inclusion Carnival starting June 18 in Launceston. The AFL National Inclusion Carnival is round robin tournament for talented footballers with an intellectual disability.

2018 Queensland State Inclusion Team:

Luke O’Neal
Damien Harvey
Joshua Correa
Nathanial Gill
Joshua McGrath
Brad Lawrence
Brent Morris
Shaun McKee
Dylan Evans
Robbie Van Allen
Connor Dixon
Matt Bedford
Joseph Ryan
Johnny Lawrence
Reagan Taylor
Zachary Kimber

Emergencies:

Ben Haack
Phil King
Andrew King

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Celebrating National Volunteer Week in Queensland AFL:

National Volunteer Week takes place from May 21-27, celebrating and commending AFL volunteers from the around the state. Every day this week, AFL Queensland honours special volunteers that have had a profound impact on developing and nurturing footy across the state. To see the tributes and for more information follow the #AFLQvolunteerweek and #THANKYOU hashtags across social media.