Category: TAC Cup

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 12a

THIS weekend saw the first half of Round 12 take place. The Oakleigh Chargers defeated Calder Cannons on Saturday, while Mars Stadium hosted a double header between the GWV Rebels and Northern Knights, and Geelong Falcons and Sandringham Dragons. Here are some of the notes from those three games.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Calder Cannons

Oakleigh Chargers:

By: Ed Pascoe

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins

After a solid run in the championships, Collier-Dawkins was quiet against Calder winning just the 11 disposals. He needed to find a way to get involved in the play on transition, his leading patterns up forward could have improved and he had to impose himself more at the stoppages. However, when he did go in for the ball he looked clean and rarely made a mistake, he made a few nice turns while being tackled giving off good handballs showing what he is capable of as a tall inside midfielder.

#3 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney played a solid game down back, winning 16 disposals and keeping his opponents honest with some good spoils and close checking. Despite a few missed kicks, his overall kicking efficiency was good and often looked for his teammates to set up the play from defence. Didn’t do a lot wrong throughout the day in a nice four quarter performance.

#4 Will Kelly

Kelly played down back, carrying on his good form in the championships, rebounding well and amassing 21 disposals while also taking eight marks. He did well in marking contests against the likes of Jake Riccardi but he really impressed with his rebound out of defence often picking good options and running hard to get on the end of some handballs. Despite one errant kick in the first quarter his skills were solid throughout the day as the Collingwood father-son prospect continues to impress.

#9 James Rowbottom

Another solid game from Rowbottom who won plenty of the ball winning 24 disposals. He applied plenty of physical pressure laying 11 tackles, which was the most of any player on the ground. His strength throughout the day was his work at stoppages winning plenty of clearances and winning plenty of contested ball. His kicking let him down a few times kicking a few out on the full and a few kicks inside 50 where he tried to kick it too hard to a leading player, if he cleans this part of his game up then he would have been the clear best on ground.

#32 Jack Ross

Ross was extremely unlucky not to make the Metro squad and he proved that again today with a great performance in the midfield. Ross barely made a mistake all game by hand and foot and he worked hard around the ground to win the ball. Speed and agility are his knocks but he makes the most of what he has got with good running and positioning around the ground. He was vocal in the huddles showing good football smarts and leadership. Ross finished the game with 28 disposals which was the highest of anyone for the game.


Calder Cannons:

By: Scott Dougan

#8 Lachlan Sholl

The classy half-back started terrifically, finding plenty of the pill early. Sholl read the play well and was able to rebound out of the defensive 50 effectively. He pushed up the ground at times where he was able to put his sublime kicking skills to good use, hitting multiple targets on both sides of the body. He was exceptionally clean at ground level and rarely fumbled. Sholl can be exposed defensively at times, which was evident in the second term when he hesitated and pulled out of a marking contest, resulting in a goal to the Chargers. His composure with ball in hand and ability to find the ball in multiple areas of the ground makes him an exciting prospect.

#16 Jack Bytel

The inside midfielder was prominent in the first quarter, especially in tight situations. His work around stoppages was evident, constantly releasing the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. He was involved in an important passage of play in the second term where he was able to break an opposition tackle and release the ball to teammate Will Jury, who kicked accurately through the big sticks. Bytel displayed inconsistency by foot, turning the ball over on multiple occasions, which is an area he will need to improve on as he develops. His game was cut short with injury and was unable to return to the field after half-time. Bytel had 23 disposals in the first half.

#27 Tye Browning

Browning played on the wing and up forward, winning the majority of his disposals on the outside. He made good decisions with the ball in hand and was able to create effective passages of play when moving forward. Browning received a free kick inside 50 in the fourth term, kicking a goal from directly in front after showing courage in a marking contest. While it was not Browning’s best game of the year, he still had a positive impact, gathering 21 possessions and booting one goal.

#35 Sam Graham

Graham had stints through the Cannons midfield but spent the majority of his time in the back half. He took a couple of strong intercept marks and used the ball well when rebounding out of the back 50. His defensive pressure was clear in the second term when he was rewarded a free kick after laying an important tackle on Charger midfielder, Jack Ross. Graham gave in-form forward Jake Gasper too much space at times, with the classy Charger taking full advantage of the situation. In a tough day for the Cannons, Graham put his leadership skills to good use and continued to work hard.


Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels vs. Northern Knights

By: Cameron Ross

GWV Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin

Carlin kicked a goal in the third term, which is rare for the hard working wingman. He amassed 17 disposals and while his ball use could have been a little better, he was able to impact with some crucial inside 50s.

#14 Jed Hill

Went onball in the second half and proved his dominant midfield display against Dandenong was not a fluke. Hill was instrumental in the third term, racking up a heap of possessions and was important around the clearances working hard to win the footy. Despite being quiet in the final term, Hill was once again one of his sides best performers with his strong tackling pressure.


Northern Knights:

#4 Tom McKenzie

Played the loose man in defence for most of the game and controlled the play well for the Knights. McKenzie made good decisions and hit his targets, tailoring his kick to suit the play. Mckenzie displayed his ability to win the contested ball at stoppages in defence which was really important for his side into the wind.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

The youngster was once again fantastic and looks to be a top prospect for the 2019 draft. His ability to win both the contested and uncontested possession was terrific for someone who is a bottom ager. He impressed with his overhead skills considering his size. D’Intinosante was a tackling machine and led the way for the Knights with his physical pressure.

#30 Justin McInerney

McInerney works hard and is quick which is a great combination in a footballer. He used the ball quite well throughout the day especially into the wind when it was difficult to do so, firing out quite a few crucial handballs to teammates at opportune times.


Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Cameron Ross

Geelong Falcons:

#8 Ned McHenry

Sam Walsh is the captain, but McHenry is clearly well respected by the playing group, and could be heard directing traffic and encouraging his team mates all game. Proved his leadership abilities with a huge goal with two minutes to go, and nearly dragged his team over the line getting tackled before getting the ball on the boot at the top of the square with 20 seconds to go.

#20 Brayden Ham

Kicked a big goal from 55m out after intercepting the kick-in. Granted, the kick was with the wind, but the penetration he got on the kick was really impressive. Proved his ability at ground level nailing his opponent in a tackle and winning a free kick. Ham also proved he has terrific skills by hand, cleanly hitting targets in tight releasing outside runners. He is also really quick, and seems to have an extra gear that he can hit when he is running with the ball. Really good game overall from Ham today.

#22 Sam Walsh

I watched Walsh at Kardinia Park earlier in the season (Round 4 vs GWV), and while I saw glimpses of the superstar quality, I was not blown away. Today I was. He is a genuine star and is the best player I have watched this year. He has the composure of Pendlebury, reads contests like Cunnington and plays like Selwood. He is a bust-proof no-risk pick that barring injury will play over 200 games of AFL football. The sort of player that Carlton, who has struggled at the draft table recently, should really look at with pick one.

#30 Oscar Brownless

The Cats father-son prospect played onball for the majority of the day and while he was very impressive up forward, failed to fully fire onball. I was excited to see how he would go in there, but he seemed to be 5-10 metres away from the clearance winner at each stoppage or under pressure. This was possibly due to the nature of playing on-ball, but he just lacked a bit of composure at times. The positives were, that when he went forward, he was very dangerous. He is a terrific kick, has a nice simple action, and kicked a key goal in the final term. He is clearly a better forward than midfielder, but due to his size (186cm) he may need to add that string to his bow in the modern game.

#39 Connor Idun

If Idun was a stock in the stock market, you would be buying shares in him. I went out and listened to the three quarter time speech and was blown away by his size. He is a big kid. If this boy is available in the later rounds of a draft, a club up the top end might be willing to take the risk on a player who still has a way to go developmentally, but could hold down a key defender post in 5-10 years time. Idun played in defence to begin with and was quiet statistically, but wore his opponent like a glove. He was moved forward in the final term, and was a big presence. Kicked a goal from the square after crumbing Schlenslog’s contest.

#48 Blake Schlensog

Schlensog not only rucked well, but was a big presence up forward. Despite not hitting the scoreboard, Schlensog’s ability to create a contest was really important for players such as Walsh and Idun who both scored after a Schlensog marking contest.


Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Alistair Richards

Richards was fantastic today. He has an abundance of pace, and had the best highlight of the day. Richards collected the ball on the back flank, took on two Falcons who were trying to tackle him and burned them off. He then handballed to a teammate and collected the “one-two” before kicking long into the forward line. Rendell finished Richards work with a goal. All of this was into the wind, and against the run of play. On a day where run and carry was pivotal, Richards lead his side well, tucking the ball under the arm like Jack Steven and sprinting away from the opposition at least three times. His disposal can be questionable, but this can be excused in what was very difficult conditions.

#7 Liam Stocker

Really good game today from Stocker who kicked a goal against the run of play in the final term, which proved to be a massive goal for the Dragons and the match. Stocker is a smooth mover and the sort of player that seems to never be under any pressure. Put his body on the line and got cleaned up in a contest, but the Dragons midfielder got straight back up and ran to the next contest.

#19 Samuel Forbes

Played well on the wing and did some nice things in the contest under pressure. Produced an amazing kick that could easily have been missed. He was put under severe pressure from a poor handball from a teammate, but he gathered the ball, danced around the tackler, and hit Charlie Dean with a 40-metre pinpoint kick in between at least four Falcons defenders. Dean capped this bit of play off with a goal.

#23 Angus Hanrahan

His work rate was supreme. An example was when he took possession of the ball on the outer wing, and switched the ball across the ground. He ran hard forward, and collected the next kick up in the forward line taking a strong mark backing back into the pack. Hanrahan got hit hard, but picked himself up and took his kick. Ended up kicking the match winning goal. Hanrahan sold the whole candy store to an opposition player, strolled into 50 and slotted the goal on the run. Arguably the best player for the Dragons on the day, after giving a consistent, hard working, and match winning performance.

#28 James Rendell

Played well up forward and took some nice marks. Was the Dragons key target on a day without King. Kicked two goals and proved that he can take over the reins as the key forward when King is absent.

#61 Fischer McAsey

The Dragons ruckman proved to be solid not only in the ruck, but played well as a “fourth rover” laying big tackles and being a physical presence at stoppages. He is a lovely kick for a big man, and drilled a 40-metre bullet, setting up a teammate for a shot on goal.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 12a

THREE games, three action packed matches of TAC Cup to watch this weekend. With one game at Warrawee Park tomorrow and a double-header at Mars Stadium, there are two venues to pick from as Round 12 gets underway.


Round 12 – Saturday, July 14, 11am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In the opening game of the split round, Oakleigh Chargers welcome back a ridiculous amount of talent into the line-up. Joe Ayton-Delaney, Will Kelly and Noah Answerth will strengthen the defence, while Riley Collier-Dawkins, Matt Rowell and James Rowbottom do the same in midfield, and Noah Anderson and Atu Bosenavulagi in attack. The quality across the board is really strong and if they will be a tough side to beat in this clash. However, Calder have some serious talent returning too, with potential top 30 duo Rhylee West and Jack Bytel to really strengthen the midfield and the battle between the Cannons pair, and Collier-Dawkins and Rowbottom on-ball will be one to watch. The in-form Daniel Mott and the ever-consistent Mitch Podhajski means the midfield is an area where Calder will hold its own against Oakleigh and create some genuine interest in seeing which team can win the contested ball and clearances. Daniel Hanna and Jake Riccardi are bookends that have also been in form for the Cannons, while Jack Ross and Trent Bianco are in strong form for the Chargers. Oakleigh will naturally head into this game as strong favourites given the ins, but Calder would back themselves in if they can nullify the midfield and get first opportunity to their forwards.



Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the early game on Sunday, the GWV Rebels host the Northern Knights at Mars Stadium. The Rebels have lost Tom Berry who will be missed through the midfield, while Tylar Watts will miss his first game of the year. It means Patrick Glanford will do the rucking against Vic Metro ruck Tom Hallebone – who returns to the side – and bottom-age talent Nathan Howard. The Knights have also welcomed back clearance gun Tom McKenzie who is a much-needed inclusion to the side, named at half-back where he has been playing for Metro. In the middle, Josh D’Intinosante, Brody Bell and Kye Yodgee have the on-ball spots, while Justin McInerney and Oscar White are those named on the wings. McKenzie, Stefan Uzelac and bottom-ager Lachlan Potter form an imposing half-back line, while James Lucente and Sunny Brazier add different elements to the forward line. For the Rebels, Charlie Wilson, Elliott Lamb and Scott Carlin form a strong midfield that will match it with Northern’s on-ball brigade, while Jed Hill and Izaac Grant know how to find the goals. Ben Dodd has been impressive since coming into the side, and he and Harris Jennings add good depth to the Rebels’ midfield. Northern head in as favourites for this clash, but being at home in freezing Ballarat, expect the Rebels to be in with a real shot, especially after last time where they looked to have the game won, but faded away late.



Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the third and final game of the round, Geelong Falcons host Sandringham Dragons in what should be a fantastic match to watch. Geelong’s triple threat midfield of Sam Walsh, Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless return to the fold, against a midfield of Liam Stocker, Harry Houlahan and Alastair Richards. The Falcons will also welcome Brayden Ham back to his new-found role at half-back, joining Connor Idun, Dane Hollenkamp and Cooper Cartledge as rocks in the back half. They will compete against the likes of James Rendell, Jack Denborough, Jack Mahony and Angus Hanrahan who provide many elements to the forward 50 for the Dragons. Kai Owens has been named at centre half-back replacing Corey Watts there, and will team up with the in-form Will Kennedy. Anthony Seaton and Nicholas Stamatis are also in defence, and will match up against the likes of McHenry, Jay Dahlhaus and Blake Schlensog, while Cooper Stephens and Baxter Mensch hold up the midfield with Walsh rotating forward. The match is a really hard one to pick, with both teams strengthened by the inclusions. Sandringham have shown this season they have more depth than Geelong, but the top-end talent for the Falcons returning is very impressive. A real 50/50 game here.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 12a

ROUND 12 of the TAC Cup is split over two weekends, with just the one Saturday and two Sunday games this weekend, but teams will be near full strength given the bye in school football and the end of the National Under 18 Championships.


Round 12 – Saturday, July 14, 11am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

Oakleigh have some massive inclusions after the National Under 18 Championships, naming an extended bench in a team that sees Vic Metro representatives; James Rowbottom, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Noah Answerth, Will Kelly, Matt Rowell and Joe Ayton-Delaney all return to strengthen the team. Among those to miss the game against Calder are Lucas Westwood, Bailey Wraith and Daniel Romero. The Cannons have made just the two confirmed changes, with Shane Skidmore and Anthony Righele out of the side, while Jack Bytel and Rhylee West return from Vic Metro duty to line up through the middle.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 3. J. Ayton-Delaney, 36. C. Beasley, 17. T. Bianco
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 4. W. Kelly, 35. X. Fry
C: 31. W.  Golds, 9. J.  Rowbottom, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 33. M. Warren, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 8. N. Anderson, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
R: 49. N. Bryan, 32. J. Ross, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins
Int: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 2. L. Bugeja, 14. K. Dunkley, 65. L. Harry, 5. X. O’Neill, 15. K. Schreiber, 28. O. Simpson
23P: 74. H. Mastras

In: J. Rowbottom, N. Anderson, L. Harry, K. Dunkley, R. Collier-Dawkins, N. Answerth, W. Kelly, M. Rowell, J. Ayton-Delaney, A. Bosenavulagi
Out: L. Westwood,  B. Wraith,  D. Romero,  S. Fernandez,  M. Bowman,  J. May,  J. Jordon,  F. Elliot

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 35. S. Graham, 23. D. Hanna, 48. S. Ramsay
C: 27. T.  Browning, 1. D.  Mott, 3. I.  Moussa
HF: 10. H. Minton-Connell, 36. P. Mahoney, 14. J. Taylor
F: 51. W. Jury, 29. J. Riccardi, 57. J. Kemp
R: 12. J. O’Sullivan, 30. M. Podhajski, 16. J. Bytel
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 42. N. Croft, 44. N. Gentile, 40. L. Johnson, 25. J. Martin, 8. L. Sholl, 20. R. West
23P: 21. H. Jones

In: J. Taylor, J. Bytel, R. West, S. Graham
Out: S. Skidmore, A. Righele



Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The Rebels have made three confirmed changes following their win over Bendigo Pioneers last weekend and will hope to have a similar result against the Northern Knights at home on Sunday. Isaac Wareham, Connor Giddings and Joel O’Connell all return to the side among five inclusions, while Vic Country midfielder Tom Berry is out, along with ruck Tylar Watts and Connor Hinkley. For the Knights, they have talent going in and out of the side with Tom McKenzie, Lachlan Potter, Cam Wild and Tom Hallebone all returning, while Ryan Gardner, Ryan Sturgess and Joel Naylor are among the outs from the Knights team for the clash.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 18. B. Helyar, 10. J. Lohmann
HB: 24. M. Lloyd, 48. J. Cleaver, 44. R. Polkinghorne
C: 41. B.  Dodd, 27. E.  Lamb, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas, 14. J. Hill
F: 16. E. Harvey, 47. T. Mahony, 7. M. Martin
R: 29. P. Glanford, 6. C. Wilson, 3. S. Carlin
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 9. L. Dawson, 28. C. Giddings, 34. J. O’Connell, 31. C. Perks, 2. M. Schnerring, 30. I. Wareham
23P: 42. E. Ajang

In: C. Giddings, C. Perks, J. O’Connell, I. Wareham, E. Ajang
Out: T. Watts,  C. Hinkley,  T. Berry

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 4. T. McKenzie, 28. S. Uzelac, 5. L. Potter
C: 30. J.  McInerney, 10. B.  Bell, 15. O.  White
HF: 8. A. Carafa, 9. C. Simonsen, 40. N. Mayne
F: 18. S. Brazier, 16. T. Hallebone, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 36. K. Yodgee, 17. J. D’Intinosante
Int: 24. R. Bowkett, 55. J. Boyd, 20. P. Della Rocca, 7. H. Grace, 13. S. Philp, 32. I. Rossi, 44. C. Wild
23P: 52. J. Trudgeon

In: L. Potter, C. Wild, T. McKenzie, N. Mayne, J. Boyd, B. Bell, T. Hallebone, C. Simonsen, J. Davies
Out: R. Sturgess, N. Barro, R. Seakins, R. Gardner, X. Naish, J. Naylor, B. Nikolovski



Round 12 – Sunday, July 15, 2pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

In the final game of the round, Geelong Falcons have loaded up with their Vic Country representatives as Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry return to the side, as does Oscar Brownless and Cooper Stephens, while Brayden Ham is set to return to defence. Tom Richardson, Titit Nyak and Will Batson are among those out of the team. For the Dragons, Kai Owens joins Metro representatives James Rendell, Jack Mahony and Angus Hanrahan back in the team, but have no included Bailey Smith and Ben King. Darcy Chirgwin, Corey Watts and Dawit McNeish are among six changes to leave the side.

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 21. L. Smith
HB: 40. J. Clark, 39. C. Idun, 20. B. Ham
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 10. B.  Mensch, 2. S. Torpy
HF: 8. E. McHenry, 42. H. Spiller, 22. S. Walsh
F: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 13. H. Whyte
R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens
Int: 7. C. Harris, 9. B. Morton, 32. F. Parish, 25. L. Taylor
Emg: 51. N. Conway, 50. J. Grigsby, 17. S. Ham
23P: 29. B. Miller

In: B. Ham, L. Taylor, C. Stephens, S. Walsh, O. Brownless, N. Conway, C. Harris, J. Grigsby, E. McHenry, H. Whyte
Out: J. Jewell,  T. Richardson,  W. Batson,  T. Nyak,  C. Karpala,  P. Smith,  K. Rayner,  B. Ritchie

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 33. W. Kennedy, 46. L. Witts
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 8. K. Owens, 48. J. Worrell
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 2. A.  Richards, 10. S.  Sofronidis
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 28. J. Rendell, 23. A. Hanrahan
F: 52. C. Dean, 70. J. Bell, 27. J. Mahony
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 6. H. Houlahan, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 13. T. Brimble, 51. N. Burke, 64. L. Butler, 66. R. Byrnes, 61. F. McAsey, 53. H. Ralphsmith
23P: 38. J. Le Grice

In: K. Owens, J. Griffiths, J. Mahony, N. Burke, L. Butler, J. Rendell, S. Sofronidis, A. Hanrahan
Out: D. Chirgwin, J. Voss, C. Watts, G. Grey, A. Courtney, D. McNeish

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 11

DANDENONG Stingrays’ big win over Geelong Falcons has seen them record a massive four players in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 11. The Stingrays were the only side to record more than two players, with the other winners, as well as Murray Bushrangers and Northern Knights recording two nominees, while the four remaining losers had the sole nomination each.

Dandenong’s key position players Riley Bowman and Matthew Cumming have made the team with Bowman named in the ruck and Cumming named at centre half-back. Sam Fletcher and Toby Bedford also made the team after some strong performances in the impressive victory. Geelong’s only nomination was Dane Hollenkamp who returned to the team and was named the Falcons best, and slots into the full-back position.

Also named in defence is bottom-ager from Murray Bushrangers, Lachlan Ash, named in the team once again along with onballer, Ely SmithElliot Lamb is at half-back and makes the team once again, as does regular forward, Charlie Wilson. Also in attack are a couple of Northern Knights in Sunny Brazier and Josh D’Intinosante who both hit the scoreboard again.

Harry Houlahan slots into our Team of the Week at half-forward, with the Sandringham Dragons midfielder joined in the side by Jack Denborough who was classy around the goals. On the other flank is Jack Ross who was named Oakleigh’s best, in the side along with fellow Chargers midfielder, and bottom-ager Trent Bianco. Calder Cannons’ Daniel Mott makes the team in consecutive weeks, joined in the 22 by forward Jack Riccardi.

The other team with two nominees is the Gippsland Power, with bottom-age midfielder Caleb Serong starring in the Power’s win, while debutant Harold Hood was so impressive he also squeezes into our Team of the Week. The remaining players of sole nominees are Hunter Lawrence (Bendigo Pioneers), Xavier Fry (Eastern Ranges) and Jack Watkins(Western Jets) who all slotted in the side.

Player of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 11

HE has become known for kicking multiple goals, and in Round 12, Charlie Wilson piled on half a dozen in the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ victory over Bendigo Pioneers. Wilson’s bag was enough to see him awarded the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week, in what was the closest poll yet between the half-forward and bottom-age midfielder Caleb Serong.

Wilson polled 52 per cent of the vote from 861 votes to just take out the nomination ahead of the Power midfielder. In his game, Wilson notched up 17 disposals, clunked five marks, had three inside 50s and booted six goals in a clear best on ground performance. He becomes the first Rebels player to earn a nomination this season, and the fourth Country player to do so.

AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Player of the Week:

Round One: Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Two: Max King (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Five: Joel Burleigh (Eastern Ranges)
Round Six: Mitch Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Round Seven: Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges)
Round Eight: Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Round Nine: Jake Riccardi (Calder Cannons)
Round 10: Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers)
Round 11: Charlie Wilson (GWV Rebels)

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 12

THERE were some low-scoring contests in Round 12, as well as some big final scores for some teams in a weekend littered with heavy rain, and we took down notes at the four Saturday games. The Gippsland Power/Murray Bushrangers notes will come tomorrow.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights

By Owen Leonard and Scott Dougan

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Alastair Richards 

In cold, windy conditions at the Trevor Barker Oval by Port Phillip Bay, Richards’ skills stood out early. The outside midfielder was always looking to take the game on and has serious speed. Used his pace to link up on numerous occasions, dishing off and receiving handballs. Richards did not stop running all day and applied strong pressure when the opposition were in possession. The type of player whose presence makes the opposition nervous.

#6 Harry Houlahan

With the Dragons’ Vic Metro representatives out of the side, Houlahan was able to play as a pure midfielder, a promotion from his usual defensive role – and he relished the opportunity. The Mentone Grammar school football captain had no issues finding the leather, while his gut-running was on display, gaining possession all over the ground. Put the icing on an impressive performance by kicking truly after a 50-metre penalty in the third quarter, which effectively brought the margin to an unassailable 25 points in horrible conditions. It was the type of game that could have Houlahan firmly placed into draft calculations.

#7 Liam Stocker

After missing the Vic Metro campaign at the Under 18 National Championships with a broken jaw, Stocker’s Dragons return was nothing short of sensational. The clearance king dominated around stoppages and displayed the scarce ability to not only win the ball on the inside, but find the Sherrin on the outside, too. A genuine midfield bull, Stocker’s road to the draft could be similar to that of Clayton Oliver’s, who also missed the national championships, but dominated the back end of the TAC Cup season to eventually be drafted with pick four. Stocker shrugged off tackles with ease and consistently sent the ball to the hotspot. Menacing when resting up forward, when the ball is in Stocker’s territory, something is going to happen. Plays similarly to Dustin Martin – one to watch closely as the season starts to enter its twilight.

#19 Sam Forbes

Playing a traditional winger role, Forbes was an important outside player in trying conditions. While the St Kevin’s College student isn’t a mass accumulator, he often made possessions count, and on a day where disposal efficiency was understandably down, Forbes’ above-average skills stood out. In addition, he was a consistent outside option, constantly hovering around stoppages.

#33 Will Kennedy

Coming off a strong game against Oakleigh, Kennedy played a centre half-back role against the Knights. An important piece of the Dragons defensive puzzle which were able to rebound any Northern Knights threat on multiple occasions and kept the opposition to a paltry five goals.

#61 Fischer McAsey

The bottom-age ruckman was a strong presence for the majority of the day. More than competitive in ruck contests, McAsey gave the Dragons midfielders regular opportunity. Notably, McAsey’s big frame was well-used to block the defensive 50 exits of the opposition, even despite not intercept marking, creating a strong contest where Dragons ‘crumbers were often beneficiaries.

Northern Knights:

#1 Ryan Gardner

Gardner won plenty of the ball early in the first quarter, on the inside and outside of the contest. He provided plenty of run for the Knights going forward and his ball use was clean, especially on an extremely windy day. Gardner was involved in a crunching tackle from an opposition player half-way through the first term and was unable to take any further part in the game.

#7 Harrison Grace

Grace was involved in the Knights first scoring play of the day, delivering the ball inside 50 to the leading Ryan Bowkett. During the second quarter, Grace spent plenty of time on the bench with what appeared to be a sore back. He was unable to return to the field, leaving the Knights two men short for the remainder of the game.

#15 Oscar White

In only his fifth match of the season, White impressed playing predominately on the wing. He was efficient around stoppages, demonstrating his clean hands in tight situations. During the first quarter, White took a diving mark in the middle of the ground and was able to kick the ball forward, resulting in an important goal for the Knights.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante

The classy forward was instrumental up forward, booting two goals. D’Intinosante has impressive goal sense and always finds a way to hit the scoreboard. His ball use was exceptionally clean in blustery conditions and his decision making was evident. He showcased his defensive pressure with some impressive chase down tackles, proving that he can influence the contest both offensively and defensively.

#30 Justin McInerney

McInerney was significant for the Knights, playing across half-back and on the wing. His speed on the outside was clear and he worked hard to present himself as a strong option for his teammates around the ground. His ball use was good for the majority of the day and he even took some of his teams’ defensive kick-outs.


Oakleigh Chargers vs Eastern Ranges

By James Goller and Scott Dougan

Oakleigh Chargers:

#31 Will Golds
I’ve watched him play a couple of times by today he really stood out. Playing on the wing. Golds had 26 possessions for the day. Golds showed he has really good foot skills on both his left and right. He was the best kick out there. He showed also some speed breaking away from stoppages. What was impressive was the defensive part to his game. Laying four tackles. He was also running hard defensively. Not only that he works himself out of traffic fairly well. Definitely one to keep a eye on.
#5 Xavier O’ Neill
He had really good hands in close. He had a little bit of class about him took the game on at times that paid off. His kicking was solid.
#32 Jack Ross
Ross is a inside mid. He kicked the ball ok and I thought he was composed and made some good decisions with It. Kicked a great clearance goal from about 50 out. With a little bit of wind helping. The big thing for Ross is his defensive pressure. You know what your going to get. He laid seven tackles.
#17 Trent Bianco
The bottom-ager had a really strong game for the chargers collecting 25 possessions for the day. He is a good kick and used that asset of his game well. Bianco is real class and definitely one to keep a eye on for the 2019 draft. His defensive parts to his game were on show having six tackles.

Eastern Ranges:

#11 Mitch Mellis

Mellis started the match on the wing, having a positive effect around stoppages and as an outside runner. He won some early contested possessions and was able to put his speed to good use, bursting away from congestion in tight situations. He found plenty of space on the outside and worked hard to have an influence on the match, but due to the Chargers dominance on the day, his impact was limited.

#23 Xavier Fry

In difficult conditions, Fry’s skills were important for the Ranges when rebounding out of the defensive 50. He spent most of the game across the half-back line but also drifted through the midfield at times. Fry accumulated plenty of possessions and made smart decisions with the ball in hand, rarely turning the ball over. He spreads well from the contest and his work-rate gives him the ability to get involved in many passages of play. Fry was one of the Ranges most dominant players on the day.

#24 Kye Quirk

After amassing 30 disposals for the Ranges last week, Quirk found it difficult to have the same impact against the Chargers. He started the match across half-forward but saw little of the ball, with the Charges booting six goals to the zero in the first quarter. Quirk was at his best in tight, gathering the majority of his possessions in contested situations. He showcased his clean skills throughout the match, especially at ground level. He drifted forward in the fourth quarter and was able to hit the scoreboard, kicking an impressive goal from 40 metres out.


Dandenong Stingrays vs Geelong Falcons

By Brandon Hutchinson

Dandenong Stingrays

#13 Riley Bowman

Bowman put a lot of space between his best efforts this Saturday, kicking one goal in the first term and an additional three in the fourth. It was evident in the final quarter that he knew how to work the forward line. Bowman created space leading up the guts and read the ball best in the marking contest, all while positioning himself for the best kick at goal. He was one of Dandenong’s best for the day with his final efforts reminding the competition why the Stingrays are placed at the top. Though in the future, we would prefer to see more consistency across the game. It seems Bowman punished a withering Falcons, sensing weakness in the game’s last moments.

#15 Toby Bedford

When Bedford grips the football, it is not likely a player will bring him to ground. His countless efforts on the contested ball had him take it with ease, showing great agility and control as he passed the ball off to the best option. Despite players hanging off him, he stood his ground and cleaned up the congestion. His ball work was clean, deliberate and effective, often centring the ball and assisting successful link ups through the passage. An instinctive footballer, Bedford showed no trouble beating his opponent on the loose ball and seemed oblivious to pressure. He brought quick hands to everything and remained agile and evasive when it meant feeding off the football. With repeat inside 50s, Bedford had a hand in most goals, directly assisting a couple as well. It’s obvious Dandenong’s midfield would be very different without him gaining the hard ball.

#17 Finlay Bayne

Consistent and effective, Bayne kept himself in form and involved for all four terms. He was great off hands, with line breaking passes and his involvement in a good deal of link ups. He worked his man well around the stoppages and picking up a handful of clearances. He lost the ball on the wing in the Dandenong’s forward half but with a tackle and follow up pressure, he managed to force a turn over. A composed footballer with great vision.

#20 Sam De Koning

De Koning’s regard for his own safety is quite minimal as evident on the pitch. Charging head on into the contest, De Koning will put his body over the everything. If he was late to the hard ball, he made his opponent earn that possession. He laid strong tackles to help switch momentum and promoted a counter attack which aided in their victory. The aggressive backman provided an offensive brand of defence to the Stingrays backline, keeping his opponents off balance and under pressure as they approach goals. Though wild off the football, De Koning shows great focus with it in hand, switching well and picking the right pass to clear the backline.

#58 William Hamill

Hamill’s efforts off the ball proved just as effective as his ability with it in hands. His defensive work was on display throughout the midfield, as he forced the turnovers and stopped ball carriers in their tracks. Possessions were made to be worked for when Hamill was close by, keeping his man under pressure until the ball released. He opened the game up with his smothering, tackling and general presence around a contest.  In the first quarter, he prevented a definite goal by bringing his opponent to ground. He showed good composure and focus when he set his sights downfield, picking up repeat inside 50s and a beautiful goal on the run from the pocket. It was his presence through midfield that helped trap the ball forward and crushed rising momentum as the Falcon’s propelled forward.


Geelong Falcons

#39 Connor Idun

Showed off his power around stoppages, and lengthy kicks when clearing danger. Idun knows how to use his body to dominate his opponents, powering through congestion and holding his form despite being tackled. He was strong overhead, gaining a few intercepts and winning the contested mark. Idun made no mistake in desperate times, bringing clean hands to the low ball and clearing kicks out from their defensive half. A built unit who offers a lot in the midfield and possibly one of the safest options to hit up in a link.

#44 Sam Conway

Conway dominated the ruck contest despite having his opponent switched on him quite regularly. He proved very adaptable in switching up his approach to different opponents, using a superior leap to get first hands to the ball. He was pivotal to the Falcon’s clearance work out of the midfield, but did not utilise himself well enough out of the ruck work. It would be good to see him collect a few disposals and make an impact in ways outside the bounce.

#48 Blake Schlensog

Though quiet for much of the game, Schlensog had a decent final quarter. The big man led up the ground well and ran hard at the loose ball. He showed no problems getting low to the ground, laying strong tackles and scooping up the football. He is clean off hands and quick for his size. He showed great strength in bringing down Matthew Cumming in front of goal, but was unlucky not to be awarded a free. It was unfortunate that we only saw glimpses of Schlensog’s greatness on Saturday, but the young man was pivotal nonetheless.

#49 Dane Hollenkamp

Hollenkamp marked more of Dandenong’s ball than their forwards, racking up a tonne of intercept marks for the day. Playing out of full back, Hollenkamp often found himself in one on one contests in the square, winning a lot more than he lost. His ability to read the ball and his strong hands overhead, made him near impossible to beat even with added pressure. He positioned himself well and lunged at the footy at the best moment. On the loose ball, he used his body better against his man, taking him out of the contest and rushing it to safety. He was unfortunate a couple times when outnumbered in crucial moments, so had a couple goals kicked on him. Though given that’s the life of a backman, a couple isn’t so bad. Hollenkamp played some elite level defence this weekend and despite being the smaller man, worked his opponent to perfection, rebounding the football countless times.


Calder Cannons vs Western Jets

By Michael Alvaro

Calder Cannons:

#8 Lachlan Sholl

In his first TAC Cup outing since returning from Vic Metro duties, Sholl looked a class above. Typically effective by foot, the clever half-back often played a kick behind the ball and intercepted a number of Western’s rushed forays forward with some strong overhead marks. When the ball hit the deck, Sholl showed both a clean pair of hands and heels to set Calder on the attack in a very direct manner. His trap gather at speed in the third quarter was a particular highlight, and had the TAC Cup Radio team fawning over him.

#27 Tye Browning

Browning was another Cannon who looked a step above, despite requiring some time to warm into the contest. His first of two goals came in the opening term with the Cannons only managing to snare five behinds to that stage – it was a tidy snap from about 35 out in blustery RAMS conditions. His hands were strong as we’ve come to expect, with some trademark one-hand gathers catching the eye. Mixing time between the wing and half-forward, Browning made most of his impact during the second half as he found more of the ball in forward positions and ended up with another goal and assist to round out his day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski

Fresh off a successful stint with Coburg in the VFL, Podhajski was near best-on in a hard-working display. Starting in the midfield, the overager worked Jets star Stefan Radovanovic over at the stoppages with some solid contested ball gets as he willed the pill forward. As if he were his side’s barometer, Podhajski came to life in the third quarter with a blistering run from centre half back to assist Will Jury’s goal, while also setting one up for Mohammed Abou-Eid later in the term. Having spent more time forward in the second half, Calder’s co-captain also managed to hit the scoreboard with what was one of two highlight reel moments. His goal came after a desperate run down tackle on Daly Andrews, running on to slot the six-pointer from 50 and displaying his enormous work rate. The second highlight was a contested mark floating in from the side of a pack, but he failed to convert the set shot.


Western Jets:

#17 Daly Andrews

Andrews took guard on the wing and did not stray far from it throughout the match. While the way the game was played didn’t exactly suit his brand of football, Andrews was still able to show off his agility and speed in short bursts. The wingman has a good tendency of keeping his hands free while being tackled, and it proved valuable as it allowed the Jets to keep the ball rolling. Andrews found himself on the outer at most of the stoppages, dipping in at the right moments and dishing out when he managed to snare the ball. He likes to take the game on and went on a big run through the middle of the ground in the third quarter to remind spectators of his presence.

#20 Darcy Cassar

The bottom-ager was hard to miss with his dreadlocks and long sleever, calmly going about his business throughout the day. While he started forward, Cassar pushed hard up the ground and made it to a wealth of contests, often accompanying Lachie Sholl at the stoppages early on. A clever user of the ball by hand, Cassar looked unfazed under pressure and is a natural footballer. He copped a heavy knock in the second half from a marking contest which looked to have taken him out of the game.

#37 Hamish Murphy

Murphy had the tough job of accompanying an in-form Jake Riccardi in the early stages of the game, and did relatively well to keep the mobile forward goaless despite his dominance. Riccardi almost caught him out with a fumbled mark, while also catching him holding the ball, but Murphy kept at it and was more composed leading into the main break. The key back looked at his best when the ball hit the deck where he gathered well, ran his measure and delivered the ball effectively. Unfortunately, there was not much he could do in the face of the Cannons second half onslaught.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Another star returning from Vic Metro duties, Radovanovic put in a solid shift for his side. Plying his trade further up the ground in the midfield, Radovanovic was a presence at the stoppages and tried hard to get his trademark run going. While he was caught holding the ball early, the Jet was confident enough to stand in tackles and take them on with good aggression. The highlight of his game was a lunging tackle on Tye Browning in the second quarter which prevented a near-certain major. He was solid defensively, but turned the ball over a few times with rushed kicks out of congestion as Western struggled to find their way forward in the second half.


Gippsland Power vs. Murray Bushrangers

By Craig Byrnes

Gippsland Power:

#2 Caleb Serong

Coming off an impressive Vic Country campaign across half forward, the talented bottom ager was given the opportunity to spend long minutes through the midfield and was arguably the most influential player on the ground. He started Gippsland’s dominance with an intercept and two class inside 50s before producing the highlight of the day, an instinctive torpedo from the arc that sailed through the goals with minimal effort. He was brilliantly clean in the slippery conditions and just as effectively defensively, laying eight tackles and doing so with physical intent. A second goal came in the third with a brilliant left foot snap, before eventually ending a quality outing with 23 disposals and five clearances.

#9 Irving Mosquito

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy prospect provided the spark for Gippsland’s fast start, kicking two vital first quarter goals that were worth much more in the horrendous conditions. The first came from a clever crumb, before finding space inside 50 and rolling onto his trusty left boot in characteristic fashion. He was in and out of the game from there on, but the damage was already done in a low scoring contest. He went to the midfield and won some vital clearances, finishing the day with nine disposals and four tackles.

#12 Brock Smith

The reliable bottom age defender didn’t have a whole lot to do as Gippsland dominated possession in the forward half, but did his job well when called upon. He reads the play well and is often found in the prime position against his opponent when the ball arrives. He is a fighter and would have been frustrated to have given away an unlucky free kick inside 50 to Barzen in the final term.

#16 Josh Smith

With Rylan Henkel a late withdrawal due to illness, Smith was forced to take on the ruck load with fellow 17 year-old Marcus Toussaint against Vic Country ruckman Mark Marriott. Giving seven centimetres to his opponent and having to attend many stoppages due to the heavy conditions, Smith exceeded expectations to be one of Gippsland’s best. He competed all day to win 16 hitouts, but made his physical presence known at ground level to lay seven tackles and even cleanly gain possession on occasions. Consecutive intercept marks on the far wing topped off an admirable performance.

#23 Noah Gown

The talented basketballer has been making plenty of noise up forward in recent weeks, but was required to start in defence on Hudson Garoni in the absence of Kyle Reid. While the ball hardly entered Murray’s forward arc, Gown’s close checking literally restricted his highly regarded opponent to zero impact. Garoni did not look himself and came off at half-time, which freed Gown up to go forward. He once again looked dangerous, creating anxiety for his opponent with smart leads and presence. A brilliant one-on-one strength win against Nick Murray in the third term saw him gather possession, turn and calmly kick a goal. Potential bolter.

#29 Boadie Motton

I have been a bit of Boadie Motton advocate for some time now and he continues to provide those AFL attributes that can be easily missed on first glance. He is such a clean and efficient, one touch footballer. After getting an awkwardly spinning wet ball to ground in the first term, he followed up brilliantly to gather and deliver inside 50 to Mosquito for a goal assist. His sharp releases often get teammates into offensive positions that are difficult to defend once executed. He is defensively relevant too, laying nine tackles including a vital holding the ball in the corridor early in the game. If there is one area of improvement, it is turning more of those 15-20 disposal games into 25-30 versions.

Murray Bushrangers:

#5 Ely Smith

Coming off a typically prolific Vic Country debut the week before, the big bodied Smith continued his outstanding form in weather made for his style of play. He is a true stoppage specialist, using his strength to protect his position and powerfully breakaway or push through congestion. His use of the ball was good considering the heavy ball and the contested nature of his possessions, even though an occasional handball missed the intended target. He finished brilliantly on the run with a banana goal in the fourth term to end a solid outing with 30 disposals, eight clearances and six tackles.

#7 Zane Barzen

The extremely talented Barzen started in defence and provided moments throughout the day, as he has done all year without reaching his full potential. He provided a couple of strong defensive one on one efforts deep in the back half, read the play well and rebounded attractively with ball in hand. He moved forward in the second half and looked dangerous on occasions despite the lack of supply, highlighted by a diving lead and nice set shot late. But he has so much more to give and hopefully the talented Shepparton product can get close to his high ceiling by the end of the season.

#12 Lachlan Ash

Another bottom-aged player who was a clear standout for their team, Ash singlehandedly ended numerous potentially dangerous Gippsland chains throughout the day. He was one of the few Bushrangers who found time under pressure, calmly moving through traffic with elite lateral movement on occasions and getting the ball forward. He read the play superbly and put his body on the line, courageously running back with the flight to intercept or acrobatically spoiling to advantage as he did in the second and third terms. A prolific third quarter in particular saved Murray more scoreboard misery and he would end the day with 26 disposals to rival Serong for best on ground honours.

#14 Jye Chalcraft

Playing mostly as a small forward option, Chalcraft made the most of the limited opportunities inside 50 to have an impact. He took a brilliantly clean mark on the lead in the second term which unfortunately wouldn’t be paid due to a free further up the ground, but it showcased his elite hands in the slop. He provided another clean moment later in the quarter to gather a ground ball and smartly draw the high free kick inside 50. He missed the set shot, but didn’t waste his next chance in the third term when finding space in the pocket and snapping the set shot to finally bring up the Bushrangers first goal.

#16 Nick Murray

The Bushranger’s number one key defender had plenty to do as Gippsland bombarded its forward arc with entrances throughout the day. He rotated through many opponents including Gown in the second half, throwing his fist at any aerial ball to ensure the contest was killed. He looked hell bent on breaking spoil records Harris Andrews style at times and was rarely, if at all beaten in the air. His only blemish was losing a battle of strength against Gown in the third term that resulted in a goal. You could not question his effort though.

#23 Mark Marriott

The 201cm ruckman was dominant at the stoppages in the absence of Henkel with 31 hitouts, but couldn’t replicate the impact of his opponents at ground level, especially defensively. He gave Ely Smith some silver service at times and possesses good peripheral vision, but it would have been nice to see some greater physical intent and to see him take control as the most experienced ruckman on the ground.

#28 Kyle Clarke

The small midfielder come forward was one of Murray’s better contributors for the day, fighting offensively and defensively to collect 21 disposals, four clearances and eight tackles. He arguably provided the greatest intent on a poor day for his side, highlighted by a multiple effort play defensively in the second term that set up a rare score. While his kicking was a bit messy overall, he hit a diving Chalcraft lace out with a bullet in the centre of the ground during the third term, after taking an impressive mark from the kick out.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 11

WITH the Under 18 National Championships done and dusted, some important fixtures in the back end of the TAC Cup season will come to the fore as the race to the finals heats up. Over the coming weeks, a number of Vic Country, Vic Metro and Allies representatives will slot back into their respective sides as they near full strength once again.


Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 10:45am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The first game of the round pits Calder, looking to hold on to its spot in the top eight, against Western Jets, hoping to maintain its position in the top four. Both sides came into the year with a good raft of top end talent to propel their respective teams into finals contention. Having done so, they will each welcome back a Vic Metro representative in the form of Calder’s Lachlan Sholl, and Western’s skipper Stefan Radovanovic with the National Championships wrapped up. There’s an interesting quirk that will play a deciding part in the fixture, as both sides having the exactly same tally in points for (676) and against (674) – with both defences sured up at the selection table, it will be worth seeing which team can kick a winning score in blustery RAMS conditions. The Cannons will be looking to co-captain Mitch Podhajski to add some goal threat from midfield after a stint with Coburg in the VFL, while the Jets should get a good amount of potency from 2019 prospect Darcy Cassar.



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 11:30am

Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham

Despite sitting pretty in fifth, the depth of the Sandrignham Dragons squad has been tested at times this season, and the eighth placed Knights will be looking to have that same effect when they meet on Saturday. While the Dragons scraped home against Oakleigh in an important win last time out, Northern suffered a loss that sees them clinging on to their finals spot, and another defeat could see the teams below cut the gap to within four points. To help allay those threats, bottom-aged Vic Metro rep Ryan Gardner comes back into the team alongside mobile over-age tall Joel Naylor, who could pose a goal threat alongside fellow inclusion James Lucente should he be thrown up the ground. Sandringham will look to gain an edge in the midfield, with guns Liam Stocker, Alistair Richards and Harry Houlahan making up a dangerous centre bounce line-up. The likes of Patrik Della Rocca and Josh D’Intinosante have both mixed midfield time with their forward duties, and may have to put their hands up if the Knights are to stand a chance.



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2:00pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

With both sides coming off tight losses to top eight competition, the Chargers and Ranges will be looking to get back on the winners list. Oakleigh are poised a game clear within the finals spots in sixth, while Eastern have notched just the two wins in 2018 to sit in eleventh place. The Ranges possess a consistent group of midfield performers, and will welcome the likes of Lachlan Stapleton back into that mix to go with skipper Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk and Mitch Mellis. Half-backs Xavier Fry and Ben Cardamone will have their work cut out for them with the inclusion of bottom-aged Vic Metro star Dylan Williams for Oakleigh, who may even spend some time through the middle alongside fellow ins Lachlan Bugeja and Xavier O’Neill. Oakleigh are one of the more free-scoring teams, while Eastern have struggled in that department this year, so the onus will be on that midfield group to win the ball early and put pressure on the Chargers defence while protecting their own.



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2:00pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Ladder leaders Dandenong will be looking to continue their winning ways when they host Geelong in Saturday’s second afternoon game. The Stingrays have some vital breathing space on top of the table, and more importantly, add some serious talent back into the line-up. The team that is rolling on throughout the season adds Riley Bowman, Will Hamill and Toby Bedford after their Vic Country stints, and team that with the Cumming twins – Stephen and Matthew – and Sam De Koning and there’s some impressive talls and great crumbers. Jai Taylor provides the speed, while Campbell Hustwaite and Jamie Plumridge can find the football on the inside. For the Falcons, they also welcome back a few key players after a disastrous game last round where they failed to kick a goal. Connor Idun and Dane Hollenkamp add important strength to the back 50, while Blake Schlensog will be a target up front. With no Sam Walsh or Ned McHenry in this game, the Falcons will need it’s next tier to stand up against a star-studded Stingrays midfield.



Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 12:00pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

On the early game on Sunday, we have the match of the round with two top four sides going head-to-head. The Power are coming off a draw to Calder Cannons and a shock loss to the Bendigo Pioneers, while the Bushrangers have regained form after a rare loss to Oakleigh Chargers, to smash Geelong Falcons last week. The winner will take second spot on the table, while the loser might slip to fourth if the Western Jets get up. Murray’s forward line is arguably the best in the comp with the leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, crashing packs and causing all sorts headaches for opposition defenders. Jye Chalcraft and Bailey Frauenfelder have been impressive in attack, while Jordon Butts has also kicked a bag of goals in the past month. The most in-form TAC Cup player in Ely Smith returns after a huge game for Vic Country, and he will face off against Caleb Serong, Riley Baldi and Austin Hodge in the midfield. Both sides have promising bottom-agers including Lachlan Ash and Brock Smith who have been in strong form throughout the season, and it is billed as an exciting clash for those who can make it to the game.



Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 1:00pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

In the final game of the round, two sides pretty keen for a win face-off with both sides managing the two so far this season. For Bendigo Pioneers, they had a fantastic win over Gippsland Power last week and will want to go back-to-back with victory over the GWV Rebels here. The Rebels will remember the round one loss against the Pioneers where they had control of the game until Tom Berry came off with concussion and the Pioneers swarmed home to win by a point. With Berry and Scott Carlin returning to the side, joining Matty Lloyd as some crucial players in that team, the Rebels will fancy their chances. But Brodie Kemp was impressive for Vic Country, while Bailey Henderson returns, and Noah Wheeler is coming off a season-best game. It spells an even contest and one which will result in a well-deserved victor.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 11

WITH the National Under 18 Championships done, a number of Victorian players return to their TAC Cup clubs as teams enter the last two months of competition.


Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 10:45am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the first game of the round, Calder Cannons host Western Jets at RAMS Arena. The Cannons welcome back co-captain Mitch Podhajski and skilful defender Lachlan Sholl among five inclusions, while the horribly unlucky John Roumeliotis is out after sustaining a fourth ACL injury in as many years – best wishes with recovery – as well as Cooper Lamb, Ben Rigoni and Sam Graham. For the Jets, they have two huge inclusions to add serious speed to their line-up with Stefan Radovanovic and Daly Andrews added to the side with an extended bench, as Jack Papachatzakis is the only confirmed out at this stage.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 43. L. Cavallaro
HB: 48. S. Ramsay, 23. D. Hanna, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 51. W.  Jury, 55. A.  Righele
HF: 40. L. Johnson, 29. J. Riccardi, 7. S. Skidmore
F: 57. J. Kemp, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 10. H. Minton-Connell
R: 21. H. Jones, 30. M. Podhajski, 1. D. Mott
Int: 53. M. Abou-Eid, 42. N. Croft, 44. N. Gentile, 36. P. Mahoney, 25. J. Martin, 3. I. Moussa
Emg: 4. K. Baker, 59. J. Middleton, 14. J. Taylor

In: P. Mahoney, N. Gentile, M. Podhajski, L. Sholl, N. Croft
Out: C. Lamb, B. Rigoni, J. Roumeliotis, S. Graham

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 37. H. Murphy, 22. O. Manton
HB: 48. A. Britten, 36. J. Rice, 25. S. Johnson
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 39. S.  Radovanovic, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 45. A. Clarke, 27. J. Klaromenos
F: 8. J. Kellett, 49. D. Pantalleresco, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 7. J. Watkins, 12. C. Thar
Int: 3. K. Bharathi, 13. D. Bolkas, 1. J. Hazik, 24. J. Honey, 4. J. Jenkins, 19. T. Kolyniuk, 30. L. Pettigrove, 46. A. Tanner, 16. C. White

In: J. Hazik, T. Kolyniuk, S. Radovanovic, D. Andrews
Out: J. Papachatzakis



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 11:30am
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

Both Sandringham and Northern have brought in a host of players to name extended benches ahead of their clash on Saturday morning. The only confirmed out for the Dragons is Finn Maginness, while Ryan Byrnes, Nicholas Burke and Joshua Le Grice are among five inclusions. The Knights have swung the axe with seven confirmed outs, including Cameron Wild, Nicholas Mayne and Brody Bell, but they welcome back some big ins. Ryan Gardner, James Lucente, Joel Naylor and Nicholas Barrow are among those who return to the Northern team.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 46. L. Witts
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 33. W. Kennedy, 45. J. Voss
C: 19. S.  Forbes, 6. H.  Houlahan, 53. H.  Ralphsmith
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 48. J. Worrell, 35. G. Grey
F: 13. T. Brimble, 70. J. Bell, 52. C. Dean
R: 59. A. Courtney, 7. L. Stocker, 2. A. Richards
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 51. N. Burke, 66. R. Byrnes, 72. D. Chirgwin, 39. J. Florent, 38. J. Le Grice , 61. F. McAsey, 21. D. McNeish, 14. R. O’Meara

In: R. Byrnes, N. Burke, J. Bell, M. Bergman, J. Le Grice
Out: F. Maginness

Northern Knights

B: 6. X. Naish, 33. J. Randall, 22. M. Wild
HB: 11. R. Sturgess, 28. S. Uzelac, 15. O. White
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 8. A.  Carafa, 30. J.  McInerney
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 12. J. Naylor, 7. H. Grace
F: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 18. S. Brazier, 27. J. Lucente
R: 19. N. Howard, 36. K. Yodgee, 13. S. Philp
Int: 31. N. Barro, 37. K. Brandt, 42. A. Castagna, 51. J. Collins, 20. P. Della Rocca, 38. B. Nikolovski, 32. I. Rossi, 57. R. Seakins, 52. J. Trudgeon

In: K. Yodgee, N. Barro, R. Seakins, R. Gardner, J. Lucente, A. Castagna, J. Collins, J. Trudgeon, I. Rossi, J. Naylor
Out: C. Wild, C. Simonsen, N. Mayne, J. Watson, J. Davies, J. Boyd, B. Bell



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2pm
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In an afternoon game at Warrawee Park, the Oakleigh Chargers face the Eastern Ranges with a number of changes for both sides. Oakleigh have lost Matt Rowell who played for Vic Metro yesterday, as well as Zac Hart and Daniel Scala, but welcome back a host of important players including Dylan Williams, Lachlan Bugeja and Xavier O’Neill. Eastern has made at least five changes with Brent Bredin, Riley Clausen and Steven Kapahnke among the outs, while tackling machine Lachlan Stapleton, Callum Norris and Cooper Leon are among the inclusions.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 74. H. Mastras, 36. C. Beasley, 15. K. Schreiber
HB: 81. M. Emmett, 30. B. Wraith, 16. L. Westwood
C: 35. X.  Fry, 32. J.  Ross, 31. W.  Golds
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 33. M. Warren, 10. C. Whitehead
F: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
R: 49. N. Bryan, 2. L. Bugeja, 5. X. O’Neill
Int: 17. T. Bianco, 48. M. Bowman, 20. F. Elliot, 39. S. Fernandez, 62. T. Graham, 64. J. Jordon, 19. D. Romero, 28. O. Simpson, 50. V. Zagari

In: L. Bugeja, T. Graham, D. Williams, S. Fernandez, V. Zagari, M. Bowman, H. Mastras, X. Fry, X. O’Neill
Out: C. Oglethorpe,  W. James,  M. Rowell,  H. Shugg,  Z. Hart,  D. Scala

Eastern Ranges

B: 10. C. Black, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 16. T. Garner
HB: 23. X. Fry, 45. M. Zalac, 19. J. Kritopoulos
C: 57. C.  Leon, 20. B.  Cardamone, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 24. K. Quirk, 51. D. Reynolds, 46. B. White
F: 14. L. Gawel, 18. B. McCormack, 32. F. Smith
R: 58. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 7. L. Stapleton
Int: 15. T. Amarant, 30. T. Edwards, 5. R. Einsporn, 27. J. Jaworski, 2. A. Kalcovski, 28. L. Kruger, 42. T. Lockman, 26. C. Norris, 22. C. Quirk

In: M. Zalac, F. Smith, T. Amarant, C. Leon, L. Stapleton, T. Edwards, L. Gawel, C. Norris, B. White
Out: L. Vassis, S. Kapahnke, R. Clausen, K. Crosby, B. Bredin



Round 11 – Saturday, July 7, 2pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Down the highway, Dandenong Stingrays will look to increase their lead at the top-of-the-table against Geelong Falcons. Four massive inclusions outline an impressive looking Dandenong side. AFL Academy ruck Riley Bowman headlines the ins, with Toby Bedford and Will Hamill returning from Vic Country duty as well, while key defender Sam De Koning also returns. Bailey Schmidt is out of the side, as is Heath Briggs. For the Falcons, they have made some massive changes to the side that failed to kick a goal a fortnight ago. Brayden Ham, Zac Knights, Nicholas Conway and Charlie Harris are among seven confirmed outs, while some important inclusions are key defenders Dane Hollenkamp and Connor Idun, as well as Blake Schlensog who will straighten the Falcons up in attack.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 25. J. Triep
HB: 58. W. Hamill, 20. S. De Koning, 48. J. Stuart
C: 27. L.  McDonnell, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 7. J.  Taylor
HF: 6. J. Barker, 21. J. Johnson, 49. M. Cottrell
F: 11. E. Cahill, 36. S. Cumming, 8. J. Smith
R: 13. R. Bowman, 17. F. Bayne, 15. T. Bedford
Int: 46. L. Bellinvia, 19. J. Burton, 32. D. Frampton, 45. L. Goonan, 3. J. Plumridge, 35. F. Stellato, 39. J. Toner, 44. C. Weightman

In: T. Bedford, W. Hamill, R. Bowman, S. De Koning
Out: H. Briggs,  B. Schmidt

Geelong Falcons

B: 31. C. Cartledge, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 40. J. Clark
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 39. C. Idun, 21. L. Smith
C: 5. W.  Batson, 9. B.  Morton, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 48. B. Schlensog, 19. B. Ritchie
F: 17. S. Ham, 45. T. Richardson, 42. H. Spiller
R: 44. S. Conway, 10. B. Mensch, 6. D. Madigan
Int: 43. J. Jewell, 11. C. Karpala, 29. B. Miller, 23. T. Nyak, 32. F. Parish, 14. P. Smith

In: D. Hollenkamp, T. Richardson, C. Idun, C. Karpala, P. Smith, B. Schlensog, B. Miller, S. Conway
Out: C. Harris, J. Grigsby, Z. Knights, C. Tanis, B. Ham, J. Muhor, N. Conway



Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 12pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

In the first Sunday game, Gippsland and Murray have made minimal changes, opting to keep their line-ups relatively settled. Caleb Serong is a huge inclusion for the home side, joining Harvey Neocleous and Mason McGarrity among the ins, while Harrison Pepper and Trent Baldi are the confirmed outs for the game. For the Bushrangers, Ben Kelly and Wilson Mack are the two confirmed outs, while Jake Bradshaw and Nick Murray are back into the Murray team to assist the defence.

Gippsland Power

B: 14. T. Hourigan, 23. N. Gown, 12. B. Smith
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 40. Z. Hurley, 7. B. Patterson
C: 8. B.  Beck, 2. C.  Serong, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 34. J. Hume, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 9. I. Mosquito, 16. J. Smith, 33. B. Thorson
R: 22. R. Henkel, 11. A. Hodge, 6. R. Baldi
Int: 28. H. Hood, 42. T. Howard, 21. M. McGarrity, 19. F. Phillips, 43. Z. Skinner, 15. R. Sparkes, 44. M. Toussaint, 35. J. van der Pligt, 45. A. Young

In: C. Serong, H. Hood, H. Neocleous, F. Phillips, M. McGarrity
Out: H. Pepper,  T. Baldi

Murray Bushrangers

B: 7. Z. Barzen, 16. N. Murray, 20. J. Bradshaw
HB: 19. J. Boyer, 34. T. Boyd, 28. K. Clarke
C: 52. J.  Sanford, 5. E.  Smith, 53. C.  Wilson
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 2. J. Butts, 13. B. Frauenfelder
F: 26. R. Bice, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 23. M. Marriott, 38. D. Clarke, 12. L. Ash
Int: 30. L. Andrews, 35. F. Bollinghaus, 41. J. Crawford, 39. M. Holt, 10. P. Warner, 44. L. Whyte

In: F. Bollinghaus, J. Bradshaw, M. Holt, N. Murray, J. Crawford
Out: B. Kelly, W. Mack



Round 11 – Sunday, July 8, 1pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

In the final game of the round, Bendigo Pioneers host the GWV Rebels in a clash of bottom four sides. The Grace brothers are back in with Daine and Josh Grace returning for the Pioneers on an extended bench, along with overager Bailey Henderson, Hunter Lawrence and Liam Marciano, while Daniel Keating is among three outs for the team. For the Rebels, Tom Berry and Scott Carlin are two huge inclusions, while Isaac Wareham and Josh Chatfield are among four outs for the visitors.

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 21. D. Loveridge, 31. B. Worme, 2. J. Williams
HB: 59. B. Rowles, 32. W. Wallace, 20. J. Schischka
C: 25. F.  Perez, 5. N.  Wheeler, 26. O.  Perez
HF: 16. J. Atley, 41. B. Vaz, 17. R. Ironside
F: 14. T. Dow, 8. B. Kemp, 29. E. Roberts
R: 54. M. Christensen, 6. J. Rodi, 33. J. McHale
Int: 13. K. Brown, 34. R. Clarke, 60. L. Fitzgerald, 11. J. Grace, 10. D. Grace, 18. B. Henderson, 43. H. Lawrence, 3. L. Marciano, 58. J. Tillig, 28. C. Vick

In: D. Grace, R. Clarke, H. Lawrence, J. Grace, B. Henderson, M. Christensen, L. Marciano
Out: D. Keating,  Z. Shelton,  M. Johnson

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 18. B. Helyar, 35. C. Hinkley
HB: 24. M. Lloyd, 8. H. Butler, 44. R. Polkinghorne
C: 41. B.  Dodd, 13. T.  Berry, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas, 14. J. Hill
F: 7. M. Martin, 6. C. Wilson, 2. M. Schnerring
R: 29. P. Glanford, 3. S. Carlin, 27. E. Lamb
Int: 32. M. Burgess, 48. J. Cleaver, 9. L. Dawson, 28. C. Giddings, 16. E. Harvey, 10. J. Lohmann, 47. T. Mahony, 20. T. Watts

In: C. Giddings, R. Polkinghorne, E. Harvey, S. Carlin, J. Lohmann, T. Berry
Out: J. Mawson, I. Wareham, D. McEldrew, J. Chatfield

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 9

THREE clubs have dominated the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 9. Almost half of the best 22 from the round have come from the Murray Bushrangers (four), Geelong Falcons (three) and Northern Knights (three). Dandenong Stingrays, Sandringham Dragons and Western Jets all have two nominees in the team, while a record six clubs – Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges, Gippsland Power, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Oakleigh Chargers – all having the one nominee in the side.

The forward line firepower is unbelievable for Round 9, with 29 goals kicked between the six starting forwards. Clubhouse leader Izaac Grant booted seven in a losing side for the GWV Rebels, while Jordon Butts booted six in Murray’s big win over Bendigo Pioneers. Fellow Bushrangers tall, Tom Boyd, has made the team at centre half-back, while Ely Smith (rover) and Jye Chalcraft (interchange) have also squeezed into the team.

Northern Knights’ forwards James Lucente and Patrik Della Rocca booted seven majors between them and will work in tandem in our Team of the Week, while defender Stefan Uzelac continues his good form of late with a nomination in the back pocket. Geelong key defender and acting captain Cooper Cartledge has made the side, joined in the team by ball-winning midfielder Baxter Mensch and regular half-forward nominee, Brayden Ham.

Sandringham Dragons’ potential first rounder Liam Stocker made the team after a best on ground against Eastern Ranges on the weekend, he is joined in the side by the classy Alastair Richards. Eastern’s Mitch Mellis was the other player from the standalone game to make the 22, joining fellow sole nominee Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers) on the bench. Dandenong Stingrays also had two nominees, with Reid Nanscawen making his debut in the Team of the Week, along with captain Campbell Hustwaite.

To complete the forward set-up, Calder Cannons’ Jake Riccardi was the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 9 after his five goals, with Gippsland bottom-age defender Jake Van Der Pligt the only other player from the drawn game in Morwell. Overage Western Jets ruck Darren Walters makes his debut in Team of the Week, joined in the side by midfielder Connor Thar. Bendigo Pioneers’ Liam Marciano is the other member of the Team of the Week, named on the half-back flank. Teammate and ruckman Daniel Keating, as well as GWV Rebels’ midfielder Elliot Lamb and bottom-age mid/defender Brock Smith were the most unlucky to miss out.

Player of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 9

CALDER Cannons’ overager Jake Riccardi has been voted in as the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 9. The key forward booted five goals from 10 disposals, taking six marks as the target up forward during the Cannons’ draw with the Gippsland Power a few weeks ago. Most importantly, four of Riccardi’s five goals came at the death – in the final term – to ensure the game did not slip away from the visitors at Morwell Recreation Reserve.

In doing so, the Cannons were able to snatch the draw thanks to Riccardi’s efforts. Riccardi became the second Calder Cannons’ player to receive a Player of the Week nomination, following on from co-captain Mitch Podhajski – also an overager. In the Facebook poll Riccardi recorded 66 per cent of the vote ahead of other nominee, Sandringham Dragons’ Liam Stocker.

AFL Draft Central’s TAC Cup Player of the Week:

Round One: Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Two: Max King (Sandringham Dragons)

Round Five: Joel Burleigh (Eastern Ranges)
Round Six: Mitch Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Round Seven: Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern Ranges)
Round Eight: Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Round Nine: Jake Riccardi (Calder Cannons)
Round 10: Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers)