Tag: AFL Academy

South Australia weekly wrap: Academy members return to action

WITH Round 3 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) completed, we review the performances of the potential draft prospects for 2018.

League:

Tall Central Districts midfielder Jackson Hately returned after AFL Academy duties in his team’s nine-point loss to West Adelaide and had 11 disposals, along with five tackles. Jack Lukosius, also returning from the AFL Academy squad, was part of a low-scoring affair with Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) drawing with Port Adelaide Magpies at 28 points each. Lukosius was relatively quiet kicking two behinds from his six disposals, but did manage a cracking Mark of the Year contender over Port Adelaide’s Jimmy Toumpas.

Reserves:

In a thriller, Conor Rozee’s North Adelaide got over Sturt by two points in wet and slippery conditions. Rozee was amongst the best with 21 disposals including seven tackles sweeping across half-back, with teammate Frankie Szekely proving dangerous with a sole goal. For Sturt, Tom Lewis was strong in the contest with 22 disposals (18 contested) including an incredible 13 tackles to be in Sturt’s bests. Power forward Hugo Munn kicked a goal from his 11 disposals playing up forward with some cameos in defence. Mihail Lochowiak showed real class running off the contest with seven clearances from his 14 disposals. In WWT’s 41-point win over Port Adelaide, Kai Pudney was in the best with 27 disposals including six clearances. Jez McLennan contributed to Central’s 10-point win over West Adelaide with 12 disposals from the back half.

Under 18s:

South defeated WWT by 18 points with Luke Bogle dominating with 42 disposals (32 contested), 12 clearances and eight tackles for best on ground honours. Hayden Sampson was also in the best with 32 disposals including 11 clearances and Darnell Tucker kicked three goals, to go with his 23 disposals and seven tackles. The Eagles’ Jarrod Miller was in his team’s best, with 26 disposals and kicking four goals. Isaac Brill was also outstanding in defence with 22 disposals including 14 rebound 50s.

Sturt defeated North Adelaide by 37 points with Sturt’s Oliver Cheesman best with 24 disposals including two goals, with underager Jed McEntee also getting two goals to go with his seven clearances, seven tackles and 25 disposals. Sturt ruckman James Braidwood continued to impress again. Weekly MVP winner and midfielder Boyd Woodcock was best on ground for the Roosters with 43 disposals, including an incredible 18 clearances, even more special considering Sturt had a team total of 33 clearances. Father-son prospect Jackson Antrobus got himself into the best for North with a goal and 18 possessions.

Aaron Nietschke was best in Central’s 27-point over West Adelaide, with 29 disposals, nine marks and seven inside 50s. West’s Ethan Moore was their best with 32 disposals, including a goal and 11 marks. In a thriller, Norwood defeated Glenelg by one point after scores were tied in the dying seconds of the game. AFL Academy player Luke Valente was in Norwood’s best with 26 disposals including a goal, nine clearances and an outstanding 12 tackles. Jed Spence was also strong with 31 disposals and nine tackles. For Glenelg, Seb Schrieber was best with 22 disposals including seven tackles and Finn Betterman added another strong game including eight inside 50 entries

In other news around the state, 2017 SA State Champions Prince Alfred College (PAC) played Haileybury (2017 APS Victorian Premiers) in Melbourne on Friday as part of their preseason. The SA champs won comfortably 88 to 37, led by captain Tom Sparrow. 

Zac Bailey – who played for Norwood and PAC last year – debuted for the Brisbane Lions on Saturday in their loss to Richmond. Zac now joins Fremantle’s Mitch Crowden, Adelaide’s Darcy Fogarty and Port’s Dom Barry as SA 2017 draftees to have debuted this season so far.

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

A DEVELOPMENT weekend saw the regular football viewing for Under 18s divided, with the Victorian Under 18 trials, AFLW Academy practice matches, and the Northern Academy Series taking place.

Victorian Under 18 Trials

Spectators who dared to venture to Ikon Park on Sunday in wet and blustery conditions were able to catch an early glimpse of the Victorian Under 18 sides in action ahead of the National Under 18 Championships in June. Vic Country and Vic Metro clashed in two shortened practice matches, with plenty to take out of the contest despite the conditions. Both squads left out their Level Two Academy members from the matches, as the depth in each side was put to the test. Country won both games, although it matters little with the sides cutting down their lists between now and their opening round clashes.

AFLW Academy practice matches

Under lights in an AFL-standard venue, the brightest AFLW prospects got to take on Geelong’s VFLW side in front of plenty of family and friends. They easily accounted for the Cats by eight goals, with the likes of Madison Prespakis and Tyla Hanks leading the way through the midfield. They AFLW Academy had other warm ups including against Darebin Falcons, where the Level One Academy players got to taste the action against senior bodies. With the weekend off TAC Cup Girls, they no doubt learnt a lot and will be excited to bring that back to their clubs when the action returns next weekend.

Hi-five for Stephenson

Eastern Ranges had a massive draft haul last season and one of the most talked about players was Jaidyn Stephenson. He excited crowds and had natural football ability, with some people believing he was the brightest talent in the 2017 AFL National Draft. Stephenson slipped to number six on the draft board where the Pies snaffled him up and have not regretted it since. After a couple of solid showings in the opening few rounds, Stephenson had a breakout performance in just his fourth game, booting five goals and proving an excitement machine up forward. Having sliced the Crows defence up, he was a key reason the Pies won at Adelaide Oval for the first time.

Northern Academies clash in Blacktown

Prior to the National Under 18 Championships, the Division 2 series takes place with the four Northern Academies – GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns – and Northern Territory and Tasmania clashing in a series to help selectors decide on an Allies squad to take to the Division 1 championships. In the opening round it was the NSW/ACT sides that got the job done, with the GIANTS and Swans getting home, as did Tasmania.

Port Melbourne coach wins in milestone game

Gary Ayres has been a mainstay in Australian Rules football for as long as many fans can remember. His most recent accolade was the 2017 Victorian Football League (VFL) premiership, when the Boroughs knocked off Richmond in the grand final. This week marked his 700th game as player or coach, in a career spanning four decades. Remarkably he does not look like slowing down anytime soon, winning in his milestone game as the Borough bounced back from a round one loss to knock off Collingwood in a tight thriller in trying conditions at Olympic Park.

South Australia weekly wrap: Prospects stand up in absence of Academy members

DESPITE some of South Australia’s top talent missing this week for the AFL Academy game in Melbourne, there were several standout performances across all competitions on the weekend.

SANFL League:

There was a real spread of highlights across the league, one of which being a huge goal haul from Glenelg’s Terry Milera, who booted seven goals in their narrow loss to Port Adelaide Magpies. Last year’s Under 18 state representative players Brad McCarthy and Alex Martini impressed also for Glenelg. For North Adelaide, former Crow Keenan Ramsey dominated their match kicking six goals in a massive win for the Roosters, and former Prince Alfred College student Mackenzie Slee made his League debut for the Roosters as well.

Reserves:

Glenelg dominated Port Magpies and Lachie Hosie booted eight goals for the Bays, with last year’s South Australian state member Sam Davis was also amongst the best collecting 16 disposals and two goals. North recorded another win, and once again Frankie Szekely found the scoreboard. Norwood’s Cole Gerloff has impressed over the first two rounds along with South Adelaide’s Nathan Kreuger, who was again prominent in the Panthers’ narrow loss. Central dominated the Eagles in their match, and youngster Jez McLennan was not out of place. Ball magnet and 2017 South Australian state member James Rowe collected 29 possessions and two goals in a losing side.

Under 18s:

Glenelg kicked away against Sturt, and country lad Seb Schreiber was a standout through the whole game with 26 possession and seven rebounds. Finn Betterman was also strong throughout the match in a range of positions.  Mihail Lochowiak was solid again with two goals from 24 possessions, but Sturt ruckman James Braidwood caught the eye with 14 contested possessions and 26 hitouts. Father-son Casey Voss was again in the best with six rebounds over the game.

North accounted for West Adelaide by 23 points with James Langley’s three goals and seven marks making him an easy best afield candidate. Boyd Woodcock’s game high seven tackles and five clearances were impressive. The Bloods’ Beau Nunan hit the scoreboard with four goals, while Ethan Moore and underager Jye Sinderberry were both contributors.

South Adelaide had a 15-point win over Norwood, and Tom Sparrow’s 14-possession, seven-tackle game was exciting alongside father-son prospect Hayden Sampson who collected 25 disposals. Dylan Stephens and Cameron Taheny were both best for the Redlegs and both are underage 2019 prospects.

It was the Centrals and Eagles game that produced the standout performance with Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett booting se seven goals, earning him the Round 2 Under 18 Most Valuable Player award. Aaron Nietschke also collected a game high 26 possessions in their side’s 22-point win. Kysaiah Pickett was named in the best for Eagles as an underager along with 2018 South Australian Academy member Jarrod Miller who collected eight marks and five clearances.

SANFL Womens:

The last minor round of SANFL Womens competition was completed at the weekend with dominant side South Adelaide finishing as minor premiers. South will be hard to stop for the Premiership but North Adelaide will be reeling after losing their last minor round game. Some standout performers over the second half of the year have come from North Adelaide’s Britt Perry, West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin in all games, Panthers’ Kristi Harvey has been impressive all season and Norwood’s Bek McMahon shows real leadership. Sturt’s Shae Gundlach has shown her class all year, and Glenelg’s youngster Ellie Kellock has had an impressive finish to the year.

It is on a sad note that we end this weeks wrap with the tragic passing of Sturt Women’s footballer Ellen Maple. Ellen tragically passed away on Sunday evening. Ellen was a standout performer in the SANFLW League all season for Sturt, having previously played for Norwood.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 3

IT was another big weekend of TAC Cup football, with the Dandenong Stingrays and Sandringham Dragons continuing their undefeated streaks. 

With some teams missing their best players due to the AFL Academy’s clash against North Melbourne VFL, it allowed for others to step up and make an impact in their absence.

MATCH REPORT: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL
SCOUTING NOTES: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL

Read our scouting notes from ALL six games.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Bendigo Pioneers:

#3 Liam Marciano – One of the Bendigo players who covered a lot of ground during the day, winning the ball in each of the thirds – defence, midfield and attack. He showed good vision and applied plenty of pressure on the ball carrier, forcing a number of stoppages or throw ins from his pressure. He kicked a great running goal after getting on the end of a series of passes, and then almost made it two, but hit the post in the third term.

#5 Noah Wheeler – Tended to be most damaging up forward, providing good pressure on the opposition defence and then roaming out of the attacking 50 to win his fair share of ball up the ground. He kicked a great inside-out snap goal from 20m while on the run and then kicked a goal after pouncing on a long Bailey Henderson bomb in the third term. Has a good share of contested and uncontested possessions.

#8 Brodie Kemp – Provided good pressure in defence, and then had an impact up forward when he kicked a set shot foal from 40m out following a 50m penalty. Later on he assisted a Will Holt goal with a powerful kick from the middle of the ground hitting up Holt perfectly. He backed himself in defence, taking a couple of good strong marks, including a good intercept grab in the final term, having really become more noticeable in the second half.

#9 Zane Keighran – I thought he was probably the Pioneers best player across four quarters because he consistently did everything right. Early on he dropped into a hole up forward and took a good grab, before moving up the ground and working hard in transition to run and carry the football forward. In the third term he really stepped it up, winning a heap of football across half-back and through the midfield. A highlight was a one-on-one marking contest where he was out of position, but he forced his way to the front and marked strongly. His win helped start a chain of possessions forward that led to a goal.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Played an important role down back before moving into the inside midfield in the second half. He mopped up everything in defence early, and used his powerful, long kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence going forward. He spent some time behind the ball, playing loose, before the opposition managed to ensure a man was beside him at all times. He took a couple of great intercept marks, and showed off his speed on the lead for good spoils. In the third term he moved inside and won a solid amount of contested possessions, then drifted back again, producing a highlight reel worthy run, to stream off half-back, fend off an opponent and kick long in front of Noah Wheeler, who capitalised.

#45 Will Holt – He was a leading target for the Pioneers up forward. He is so quick on the lead, and just leads to the right positions. He might have that old-school forward feel about him in the way that he starts in the square, leads, marks, goals, but he does have that athletic ability to also roam further up the field and showed that as the game went on which is important. Finished with three goals and probably could have had five with a couple of behinds in there too. Overall a promising performance.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Caleb Serong – A very classy performance from the talented bottom-ager. Among the Power’s better players again, he works hard on the inside with some clever handballs through traffic to outside runners. He kicked a good goal, seizing on a free kick to Sam Flanders to put it through. He is composed with the football and is a deadly kick. In the last term he put a dagger of a pass into the forward 50, slicing through a few Pioneers to hit-up Mason McGannon.

#4 Sam Flanders – Flanders booted four goals for the game, but realistically could have finished with a much larger bag. He was just everywhere in the first half, kicking 3.3 and a couple out on the fulls from his shots, just dominating his opponent in the air and at ground level. He was strong and powerful, moving well to have a real impact early in the game. He gave off a few passes to assist in scores, and his highlight was a dribble goal from the boundary 30m out. He took a huge contested mark in the third term to kick his fourth. Overall Flanders was a star on the day.

#6 Riley Baldi – Was one of the better players around the stoppages, and particularly damaging up forward. The exciting player booted two goals, and many of his disposals were impactful on the game. His ability to clear the ball out of the area and hurt the opposition in attack was a highlight. He also laid a number of good tackles to show he also applies plenty of defensive pressure as well.

#5 Xavier Duursma – The Gippsland Power captain played another consistent four quarter game and never stopped running. He played off a wing, but won his fair share of contested ball, and covers the ground so well. At times it looked like there was multiple Xavier Duursma’s out there because he seemed to win the ball at half-back and then would be on the end of a pass on a wing shortly after. He had a couple of top highlights, including a fantastic clearance to start the second term where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered a perfect pass to the 50m arc to Irving Mosquito leading out; and was on the end of a chain of passes, receiving the handball from Sam Flanders at top speed and kicking a great running goal.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Liked his enthusiasm throughout, particularly early. He was dangerous up forward and just looked damaging each time he went near the footy. Mozzie has that high vertical leap and strong hands for a smaller player, as well as a clean first touch to rarely waste a possession. He kicked a great goal on the run in the second term, scooping it off the ground cleanly and kicking truly. He was quite good around the forward stoppages and also won a bit of ball up the wing, sending it long inside 50.

#11 Austin Hodge – A fierce competitor who was dominant on the inside. He just bullied his way around the stoppages and won a truckload of contested possessions and clearances. He has a penetrating kick and can do some serious damage when in form, and he certainly played a well balanced game with more midfield time than I saw from him last season. An overager with a few nice tricks.

#12 Brock Smith – Provided some good speed out of defence and was a solid user of the football. Did not win as much of it as past weeks, but won a few one-on-ones and most importantly kept the ball moving forward. Continues to hold down that half-back to back pocket role well, and expect him to eventually move towards the midfield with more minutes in time.

#18 Matthew McGannon – A typical Matt McGannon performance off half-back, being a general in the back half. Just led his team superbly and took the game on when required. He was clean in defence, made spoils when called upon to do so and took a few really good intercept marks. Predominantly outside, this week he won a few more contested possessions, and opted for more lateral kicks to open the game up on the other side of the ground rather than blazing away. He was one of the better Power players on the day.

#22 Rylan Henkel – Played his best game for the season in the ruck and won a number of clearances as well as hitouts, rucking against Daine Grace for most of the game after Daniel Keating went down. Henkel was able to release midfielders with quick hands and cleared a number of stoppages with smart play.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. GWV Rebels (Peter Williams)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hayden Young – He was busy at the start (when the game was hot) and the end (when he went forward). He kicked a couple of goals and created some good drive out of defence when required early. Most of his touches were further up the field because that is where the game was being played. Kicked a goal in the final term to bring up the 100-point margin.

#5 Angus Paterson – Aside from a short stint in the forward line, Paterson played in defence and was really steady back there. He took a few important intercept marks and was smart with his ball use, making good decisions by hand or foot. He won a few hitouts when in defence, and took a couple of contested grabs as well.

#9 Zac Foot – Felt he was the best Stingray on the day, kicking four goals and looking dangerous every time he went near it. A clear strength of Foot’s is his forward pressure he is able to apply on the ball carrier when the opponent is trying to move out of defence. Foot has that unique goal sense where he kicked goals on the run, from a quick snap, and from a mark on a lead. He also found the ball further up the ground late in the match when he moved back.

#15 Toby Bedford – Had a sensational opening quarter where he really looked like turning the game on its head. Still did a few nice things throughout the game, providing pressure on opponents, and creating good run through the middle of the ground. He executed a nice pass into the pocket later in the game hitting up a teammate well.

#18 Mitch Riordan – Huge opening half of football when the game was hot, he was the clear standout through the middle. He racked up the clearances, won the footy on the inside and then progressed to the outside where he used his powerful kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence. Only had a handful of touches after the main break, but it was his effort in the first half that helped Dandenong race away to the huge half-time lead. Gave Foot a nice goal assist in the second term.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite – Along with Riordan, Hustwaite was a prime mover in the second quarter onslaught which saw the Stingrays boot seven goals to zero. He went a little quiet after half-time before having a huge last term where he seemed to have the ball on a string. Won a number of important clearances in the final term and laid some tough tackles. A hard worker on the inside.

#28 Bailey Schmidt – Played up forward and provided a contest. He took some really good marks and executed a neat pass in the third term to Jake Carosella. Schmidt could have had a handful of goals but finished with the two. His marking presence and work at the stoppages up forward was important, rotating through the ruck with the Cumming twins.

GWV Rebels:

#2 Matt Schnerring – Tried hard all match and had some impact early. Went quiet in patches, but applied some good defensive pressure throughout the game and laid some important tackles. Showed off some hard running through the first term in particular to receive the ball on the wing and on the half-back flank.

#3 Scott Carlin – One of the Rebels’ best on the day, Carlin was a consistent performer in the opening few quarters. Made a couple of errors late in the game, but could hold his head high as one of the Rebels who kept a cool head under the swam of Stingrays going forward. Won some crucial one-on-ones in the midfield and drifted into defence at times to help the defenders back there, collecting a number of rebounds.

#6 Charlie Wilson – Had an impressive first quarter and provided some serious dash. He looks to provide the run through using teammates for one-two movements and open up the game from the back half. He was hurt in the second term and had to come off, which impacted the Rebels with his loss of speed. When he returned he showed some good signs, sending a penetrating kick long into the forward 50, and laid an strong tackle to win a free late in the game.

#9 Lochie Dawson – Really important player and the Rebels’ best in my opinion. Just worked hard for four quarters and often sat back at half-back and repelled whatever he could as the ball continued to fly into defence. Of the midfielders he was the standout on the inside, notching up a number of important clearances, and working within his means through smart short kicks and settling down the team in defence. Won his own ball too which was important.

#11 Josh Chatfield – He is not a huge accumulator but has those “special” moments. He adds a touch of class to the side, and whenever the ball is in his area, he looks dangerous. Continued to present throughout the game and when he was not involved up forward, he moved down back and won a few possessions that way. Looked at home at half-back and along the wing in the final term.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – He got my vote as best on ground for his ability to move the ball in transition. He won a heap of it in the first term, would have been close to double figure possessions, while also covering the ground well. He is always on the move and tucks the ball under his arm, powering forward through opposition forwards. Played off half-back but did move up the field at times, always looking forward.

#5 Ely Smith – Hard working inside effort from Smith who popped up regularly with a strong mark, bump or tackle to either open up the game for his teammates, or lock down a ball at a stoppage. In one instant in the second term, Smith went in hard, won the ball off an opponent, fended off another opponent and then managed to stay balanced to handball out to a teammate in space. A couple of overhead marks and some powerful kicking, Smith was a solid contributor.

#12 Lachlan Ash – Another player along with Vandermeer who I liked. Really calm and composed in defence, he rarely makes mistakes with ball in hand. Not only does he look to think his way through situations, but he creates run off half-back and side steps opponents using his good agility. Ash also has quick hands and is able to dish off quickly to teammates. A promising performance from the bottom-ager who has been consistent thus far this season.

#13 Bailey Frauenfelder – The forward booted three goals and was constantly a headache for the opposition. He snapped a goal from the boundary line in the second term after missing one from a standing start. Kicked his second not long after following a free kick for holding, nailing the set shot from 35m out on a 45 degree angle. His third goal was arguably the most important, winning a free kick for holding in the goal square, he kicked truly to put them 13 points up and snuff out a Falcons comeback.

#22 Ajak Dang – Ultra-impressed with his performance down back and I had him third best behind Vandermeer and Ash. He had so many intercept possessions throughout the game and is quite athletic when he leaps at the ball. Along with this offensive drive out of defence, Dang also provided good pressure on the Falcons forwards and laid a few fierce tackles. He stood up in defence in the final term taking some crucial marks, although did kick one out on the full when trying to switch play.

#54 Finbar O’Dwyer – One of those lively forwards who just continued to present and cause some headaches for opposition defenders. Won a couple of free kicks, but just kicked the one goal, in the second term. He missed a couple of shots to give him a few majors, but still put in a solid performance. I thought he was promising in attack and also showed quick hands under pressure to hand off the ball to teammates to create scoring opportunities.

Geelong Falcons:

#2 Sam Torpy – Lively in the first half and just zipped around the wing picking up quite a few important touches. Looked to break the game open with a few quick-fire handballs or short dagger kicks going forward, also intercepting at half-back. Had a precise pass inside 50 to Brayden Ham to set up a goal.

#10 Baxter Mensch – Performed at his best in the first half, just winning a fair chunk of the footy along the wing and through the middle. He won a free going in hard with a huge tackle in the first term, and had a shot on goal a bit later off a standing start but missed. Really started to get busy in the second term and stood up when Murray was attacking.

#16 Bailey Scott – Absolute huge final term. He was good in patches throughout the game, but his final term was sensational. Kicked two crucial goals, assisted Ham on a third, and almost had a second goal assist to Ham except the latter missed his snap. Just ran his opponents off their feet and seemed to be treating the last quarter like it was the first term the way he kept running.

#20 Brayden Ham – Best on ground in my eyes despite being in a losing side. He was so effective on the outside, using his run in transition to hurt Murray going forward. Got forward and finished the game with three goals, missed a couple more but was always involved in the play. He almost put the Falcons within a goal late in the final term for the second time – he had done just that a little earlier – but his snap just missed. Overall he was huge in the first term and last term, and just consistent across all quarters. The best performance I have seen him play.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Without his partners in crime in Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry I hoped for a big game for Brownless. He was okay in the first half, before really turning it on in the second half. In particular the last quarter he turned on a clinic, and despite not having a heap of touches, gained metres and impacted with each touch, causing serious problems for the opposition with his long kicking and ability to set up his teammates. Gave Bailey Scott a handball to run onto and kick a goal in the last term. He had a great running shot on goal late but just missed. He went from an okay game to a very good game with that second half when the heat was turned up.

#41 Cooper Stephens – He might have the same name and same junior club as last year’s captain, but he plays a different role and stood out early. On the field he was quite impressive early, running on the outside in the opening term, just keeping the ball moving. He has a powerful kick and was a bit fortuitous in the first quarter, snapping in the area and somehow found Sprague inside 50. He leads up the ground and took some marks on the wing, and always looks to play on.

#48 Blake Schlensog – Not a bad game from the tall forward who covers some serious ground. He took a few nice marks, including one in the first term where he did not even break stride before slotting it home. He roamed up the ground a bit and took a mark at half-back late in the game, the drifted forward again, had a snap in the third term but just missed. His field kicking had its ups and downs, but he certainly looked lively inside 50.

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges (Brandon Hutchinson) 

Western Jets:

#2 Tristan Rudic – Demonstrated some good footy out of congestion, with great pace and agility. Rudic was slick throughout the ground and had no problem getting his own football. He displayed a great take off speed and some clever decisions getting the ball forward. He fought hard around the stoppages and lifted his form for his team in the second half. Rudic is sharp, quick and precise as a midfielder and played quite unique football. He picked his man well, and passed well to get the ball running down field.

#10 Steven Kyriazis – In a sloppy affair from both sides, Kyriazis stood his ground. Kyriazis showed great form in the Jets’ forward line, and was the man to hit in the air. He picked his spots well and did not shy away from crashing the packs. He took some strong grabs and was a dangerous utility for his team going into attack. In the end, Kyriazis booted two goals, finessing them through with some smooth, classy football. The first term seemed off for most of the Western players, with consistency across four quarters the next step for the talented forward.

#11 Zak Butters – Butters showed some impressive work throughout ground on Saturday. He kicked sharp, attacked the ball well and made good decisions getting the ball forward. He picked his spots well and was unselfish in his passes, also going hard at his opponent, laying some important tackles, and moving well out of a congested midfield. He got his own ball and showed great poise in drawing in his man, at one stage taking on two players and still getting off an important pass. He is composed but aggressive, and the mix proved well throughout the game.

#12 Connor Thar – Thar had a good eye for taking the ball up forward and moved well with it in hand. He showed sharp skills around the middle, and made great choices in moving the ball up field. He lifted his game in the fourth and bagged himself a goal. His presence was obvious in the Jets’ win over the Ranges, and he showed it with some smooth and thoughtful football.

#36 Jaden Rice – Rice dominated players in the contest with his supreme size. He shrugged players off comfortably and showed great poise with the ball in hand. Rice applied great pressure around the contested ball, and laid a few crucial tackles – looking right at home with the ball in hand, taking clean kicks without worry. He is strong and played some impressive football. Rice was difficult to beat and even harder to bring down. Plenty of positives from his performance. 

Eastern Ranges:

#12 Jarrod Gilbee – A tough defender who doesn’t shy away from a knock. Gilbee’s work rate around the backline was astounding over the weekend, and he showed it with some earnest efforts. He demonstrated a strong attack on the ground and had no problem earning his own ball. He had a few good runs out of the backline which helped propel the ball forward into attack. Like a bull, Gilbee demonstrated plenty of acceleration and pace around plays, as well a few good choices to get the ball moving. He may not be as smooth as some of the others on this list, but his fight for the ball and work rate earn him his spot.

#17 Cody Hirst – Hirst’s game was unfortunately cut short following a heavy collision with an opposing player during the second. He was seen back on the oval for a bit as half-time closed in, but did not appear again for the rest of the game. Despite this, Hirst played some classy football. He goes hard at that the ball and does not struggle breaking free from congestion. He had a few great runs across the wing, helping launch the ball forward into attack. His contribution through the midfield had Eastern looking like the more composed team in the first half and his clean ball work most always found his man. Hirst had a couple good tackles in the first and assisted an important goal. He’s got good pace and a clean read of the ball, and if he played the second half, we could have seen a much tighter match.

#20 Ben Cardamone – Cardamone laid some crucial tackles in his backline as the Jets approached goal. He worked well around the contest and did well to keep the persistent attack at bay. He was a strong presence throughout the backline and helped to keep many players scoreless. His tackles were perfect and his pressure consistent. Cardamone demonstrated some good footy smarts and could see himself develop well as a fullback in his future.

#23 Xavier Fry – Fry was a crucial factor in keeping the Jets at bay when they went forward. He demonstrated great acceleration out of the backline and his second efforts over the ball often kept the Jets from taking off. Fry picked his spots well, appearing to play as a loose man throughout congestion. His skills were sharp and he showed great composure when possession was critical. His positioning often saw him intercept possessions throughout the mid, and he did well to move the ball out of danger. What he does, he does well, but he may also need to look at getting his own ball if he is to improve his work around the ground.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons (Billy Friend & Owen Leonard) 

Sandringham Dragons:

#7 Liam Stocker – A Dustin Martin style game from Stocker against the Cannons, who led the Dragons to a strong 23-point triumph at Trevor Barker Oval. While he was dominant through the midfield, Stocker was extremely dangerous while resting forward, particularly shown in the second term with a strong mark at the top of the goal square, resulting in his second goal. Stocker’s on-ground leadership was also notable, his calls for teammates to “find a man” clearly heard from the grandstand. A complete performance with Stocker finding over 20 disposals and booting two goals.

#19 Samuel Forbes – While he wasn’t a major ball-winner, Forbes impressed with precision left-foot kicking out of defence. He hit seven out of his eight targets and could be a playmaker to watch throughout the Dragons’ campaign, when he returns from school football later in the season.

#21 Dawit McNeish – Playing as an inside midfielder for the majority of the game, McNeish had a strong first half, displaying insistent grunt at stoppages. An impressive set-shot conversion from 45m out on a 45 degree angle after a free kick in the second quarter was super. Rested deep in the forward line late in the game, with a goal assist putting the Dragons 14-points clear.

#27 Jack Mahony – Backing up a strong performance last week, Mahony applied relentless forward pressure and was a constant ground level option. Playing a small forward role for most of the day, Mahony also worked hard with short stints in the midfield, kicking the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions.

#28 James Rendell – After a quiet first half, the key forward came to life in the third quarter, kicking the first two goals of the term. Played a big role in the Dragons’ victory, with a monumental second half, in which all four of his goals came. Took a strong mark at the start of the fourth quarter, and showcased his pinch-hitting ability with forward 50 ruck work. The Dragons’ tall was everywhere in the second half, and will be one to watch closely in season 2018.

#30 Ethan Casey – The big man seemed to move well in his first game back from an ACL injury, often providing his teammates first use through his power at ruck contests. He won majority of the hitouts for the contest and it was good to see him get through the contest unscathed. 

#69 Corey Watts – Played a traditional full-back role with the socks up. Provided strong drive from defence, and seems to have a rare balance between defending and attacking. Knew when to run off his man, and regularly setup play with his booming right foot.

Calder Cannons:

#11 Jake Firebrace – Firebrace had a quiet first half in the windy conditions but showed his quality in a brilliant third quarter. He is extremely clean below his knees and provided great run and carry out of defence. His agility & speed are elite and he showed flashes of his talent today.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Fletcher once again showed an ability to spoil at the last minute with his long levers, but was beaten by Rendell who kicked four goals on him in the second half. Like his old man (Dustin), Fletcher is very lightly built so can be overpowered at this stage of his career. He has plenty of filling out to do, so is far from the finished project. 

#29 Jake Riccardi – Riccardi struggled to impact the scoreboard today as much as we know he can, but he made up for that with hard work. Playing in the ruck for long stints of the game he acted as an extra midfielder for the Cannons. He showed good running ability for a tall forward getting to many contests.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski’s big body in the midfield really stood out today thanks to his clearance work in the trenches. He was able to break tackles, fire out quick handballs and lay tackles himself. He also impressed resting forward, taking two strong contested marks and providing a dangerous target for the Cannons in the mid-fwd role.

#33 Jack Evans – Was one of Calder’s best players today rebounding out of defence. His penetrating kicking was the highlight of his game, which included a running goal from 55m out in the third quarter. Evans has the ability to defend one-on-one as well as being an offensive weapon for the Cannons.

#40 Lachlan Johnson – Kicked the first two goals of the game and looked lively up forward. As a small forward, Johnson showed terrific forward pressure and impact for the amount of disposals he gathered.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Bonadio) 

Northern Knights:

#4 Tom McKenzie – One of those players who influences a team. When he had the ball things seemed to happen a lot smoother for the Knights. Excellent vision to find teammates by foot. Contestant ball winner who works well inside the centre square.

#5 Lachlan Potter -The defender was best on ground for the Knights today. A very consistent player, who read the play off half back very well, being in the right spot at the right time. An agile player who has a great turn off feet. Potter isn’t afraid to back himself and use his pace to break away from congestion and find targets further forward.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante – Improved as the game went on. Played better when he moved up forward. Applies good forward pressure and can take a strong mark overhead. He has a natural goal sense finding the goals on two occasions.

#20 Patrik Della Rocca – Consistent all day and finished with four goals. Works well up the ground and can lay a strong tackle. Leads well towards the ball and can take a strong contestant mark.

#21 Mark Baker – Good key forward who can move into the ruck. His ruck work was very good as to was his follow up work. He can also move around the ground well and is quite efficient by foot and has the ability to hit targets inside the forward 50. 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#3 Joseph Ayton-Delaney – Good in patches. Has a very efficient kick and spots teammates across the ground very well. Quick turn of foot and his extra bit of pace helps him burn off opponents and break through packs.

#8 Noah Anderson – Best-on-ground for the Chargers today, had plenty of the footy and used it well. Has the ability to go up forward and kick a few goals. Anderson was explosive running through the middle allows him to rack up the inside 50’s. 

#10 Charlie Whitehead – Uses his pace well around the ground and can take a contestant grab every now and then. Has good footy knowledge and reads the play well. 

#18 Ben Silvagni – Needs to work on his set shot conversions but managed to slot home three goals including a skilful dribble goal from the boundary. Helped in assisting in a few goals also with his quick hands inside the Chargers forward 50.

2018 AFL Academy stunning win over North Melbourne VFL

THE NAB AFL Academy have pulled off a stunning 43-point victory over North Melbourne’s VFL team on Saturday.

In the curtain raiser to the AFL clash between Melbourne and North Melbourne, the best players from the draft eligible group defeated their VFL opponents, in only the second time ever in the years of facing off against VFL sides.

The AFL Academy’s captain Sam Walsh put a stamp on his credentials as the best midfielder in the 2018 draft pool, booting through the opening goal of the game in the first few minutes.

Walsh worked hard through the midfield, finding targets by ease off his right foot, finishing the day with 22 disposals, nine marks and four clearances.

Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West relished the competitive game, that was full of plenty of push and shove throughout the afternoon, with the Vic Metro midfielder throwing himself in the contest.

The 180cm/81kg West found plenty of the football, with nine disposals in the opening quarter – eventually finishing the contest with 16 disposals, nine marks and five inside 50s.

Fellow Calder Cannons teammate, Jack Bytel was also among it early, winning the football in the centre of the ground.

After coming off a bag of eight goals last weekend, Max King begun the match with two marks in the first quarter – but similar to last Saturday, his three early shots on goal only resulted in a sole goal. King finished the day with 2.2 in a solid showing inside forward 50.

Twin brother Ben held down a key-post in defence, marking well overhead and spoiling when required. His consistent performance throughout the day saw him earn the MCC President’s Medal as the best player from the AFL Academy side.

Jack Lukosius, the player considered by many to be the front runner for the 2018 number one pick, started the game in defensive 50, before moving forward after half time, where he looked far more comfortable.

Lukosius finished the game with 12 disposals and two goals, while fellow South Australian Jackson Hately booted two goals and was in the best handful of players.  

West Australia’s best draft prospect Ian Hill, livened up the second quarter, booting two goals as the small forward started to work into the contest. Tasmanian draft prospect Chayce Jones (15 disposals) also looked impressive in the AFL Academy’s big win.  

For North Melbourne, Braydon Preuss’ physicality was on show – where he won majority of the hitouts against his smaller and less experienced under 18 opponents. Running defender Sam Wright was the Roos’ best, while Mason Wood booted two goals from his 15 disposals.

NAB AFL ACADEMY               5.3   9.6   12.10   17.12 (114)
NORTH MELBOURNE VFL      3.3   7.3     9.6    10.11 (71)

GOALS 
NAB AFL Academy: 
Taylor 2, Hately 2, Thomas 2, Hill 2, Lukosius 2, Mummery 2, M.King 2, Walsh, Blakey, Rozee
North Melbourne VFL: Wood 2, Holmes 2, Larkey 2, Narrier, Zurhaar, Xerri, Baker

BEST 
NAB AFL Academy: 
Walsh, Hately, B.King, West, Jones
North Melbourne VFL: Wright, Preuss, Hibberd, Holmes, Wood

South Australia weekly wrap: Draft prospects shine in SANFL openers

WITH the opening round of the South Australian Football League (SANFL) starting, we review the performances of the potential draft prospects for 2018.

League:

Central Districts tall mid Jackson Hately turned in a great debut for the League team with 22 disposals, including six inside 50s and one goal in his teams’ 61-point victory over North Adelaide. AFL Academy member, Hately was composed and looked completely at home exerting his influence around the ground, particularly up forward. Key forward Hugo Munn played in Sturt’s 12-point win over Norwood and impacted with inside 50s and forward pressure tackles. Top prospect Jack Lukosius was again dominant up forward for the Eagles, taking six marks booting three goals, as well as giving off another two. Izak Rankine from Westies did not play due to suspension from the last trial game.

Reserves:

In Sturt’s four point win over Norwood, strongly built mid Tom Lewis had 16 possessions, 11 of which were contested, along with six tackles. Smooth mover Mihail Lochowiak ended up with 11 possessions. For North Adelaide, Frankie Szekely impacted the game with some speed and a four-bounce run through the midfield to obtain 12 possessions including four inside 50’s and two rebound 50’s on top of a nice goal in his teams four point victory over Centrals. Centrals’ Jez McLennan had 15 possessions including four tackles to show some real poise across half-back. Glenelg defeated South Adelaide by 35 points with 2017 National combine attendee Alex Martini collecting 23 disposals working both ways through the midfield as well as eight tackles. Souths’ Nathan Kreuger, also a Combine invitee in 2017, had 12 possessions and kicked two goals.

U18s:

The Eagles demolished Westies by 77 points, with Kai Pudney racking up 35 disposals, 11 marks and eight inside/rebound 50s. Elusive underager Kysaiah Picket had 29 possessions to be in the bests as well. For West, ruckman Angus Rana was best with 27 hit outs and four inside 50’s. South defeated Glenelg by 22 points with Tate Coleman best with 28 possessions, eight marks and a goal. Bottom-ager Daniel Sladojevic clunked nine marks and kicked six goals. For Glenelg underager Will Gould was best with 22 disposals including seven marks and an incredible 12 rebound 50s playing in the back half and South Australian Academy member Finn Betterman was strong and effective all game.

Centrals defeated North by 10 points led by mid Aaron Nietschke with 38 disposals (20 of which were contested), six tackles and nine clearances. Underager Jordan O’Brien was also in the bests with 22 disposals and nine clearances, and was good on both sides. For the Roosters, Boyd Woodcock had 30 disposals, six clearances and six inside/rebound 50s to be his side’s best. Underage ruck/forward Dyson Hilder was also effective with 16 hitouts, 11 possessions and one goal. Norwood defeated last years premiers Sturt by 46 points with AFL Academy member Luke Valente dominant with 39 possessions including eight marks, 11 clearances and five inside 50s to go with his one goal. Hard running Kade Chandler was also good with 25 disposals, 10 marks, eight clearances and a goal. Sturt’s Hamish Wallace was named his teams best leading with seven tackles.

AFL Academy talent pool out to impress AFL recruiters in VFL hitout

THE COUNTRY’S brightest draft eligible players will run out on the MCG on Saturday in the AFL Academy’s VFL hitout.

The curtain raiser to the Melbourne and North Melbourne clash, will see the 2018 Level Two AFL Academy squad, for players eligible for the 2018 National AFL Draft take on the North Melbourne VFL side.

The annual match for the AFL Academy against VFL opposition has seen players in the past put their hand up for higher honours against the often bigger and more experienced VFL opponents. 

Past strong performances from Will Brodie (2016) and Luke Davies-Uniacke (2017) helped push their top-10 draft credentials. Against Werribee two years ago, Brodie recorded 20 disposals and seven inside 50s, while last year against the Northern Blues, Davies-Uniacke had 22 disposals and six clearances. 

Over the summer, the members of the AFL Academy headed to America for a high performance camp at the IMG Academy in Florida, while also training at AFL clubs to gain an insight into what it is like in the AFL environment.  There is a good mix of talls and smalls in the AFL Academy squad and they will be hoping to put in a good showing in front of every clubs recruiting team, who will be following their every move right up until the draft, which will be held later in the year. 

South Australians Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine are likely to feature in the top handful or so of players for the draft, while twins Max and Ben King put together an outstanding performance in Round 2 of the TAC Cup, where Max booted eight goals, while Ben collected 20 disposals as both brothers pulled down nine marks each for the contest. 

Vic Country midfielder Sam Walsh also looms as an early pick and is one who will likely relish the contest against the bigger opposition, coming off a 36 disposal game for the Geelong Falcons against GWV Rebels in the TAC Cup on the weekend. Nick Blakey (NSW-ACT) and Tarryn Thomas (TAS) are two of the best prospects out of the pool of players who will take part in the Under 18 Academy Series, which kicks off Saturday week at Blacktown. 

The number one pick in the 2017 AFL National Draft Cameron Rayner had 11 disposals and booted an outstanding goal on the run in last year’s AFL Academy clash against VFL opposition and there’s no doubt the Lions would’ve been watching that game closely last year. If there is a game for the 2018 draft prospects to announce themselves on the big stage, then this game is for them.

This weekend will also see the inaugural “tall camp” take place in Melbourne from April 9-11, with players 195cm or taller taking place. The players aged between 17 and 20 in this calendar year will be invited for training sessions over the weekend. 

A full list of players invited to both the ‘tall camp’ and the final AFL Academy squads will be released later in the week.

Saturday 7th April 2018
AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL
11.05am, MCG 

South Australia weekly wrap: Lukosius and Rankine to be unleashed in League trials

THIS week has seen preparation for the 2018 season ramp up at both the AFL and SANFL levels, with a bunch of South Australian talent on show. 2018 draft hopefuls will be looking to make an early statement on their season in trial games, while the AFL boys will be playing for bragging rights in the upcoming preseason Showdown. Meanwhile, the SANFLW competition hits the halfway mark.

SANFL News – Draft hopefuls set to light up trial games

THIS weekend, SANFL clubs will be put through their paces with all levels participating in trial games. In last week’s shortened SANFL trial games (15 min quarters) between North Adelaide and reigning premiers Sturt, some of this year’s draft potential were on show.

In the reserves, North got up by eight points, Boyd Woodcock was lively around the ball whilst James Langley presented well as a tall forward with limited opportunities, while also pinch-hitting in the ruck. It’s also worth noting that 2017 under 16 state ruckman Dyson Hilder, who is a 2019 prospect, also played at full-back for the first time in his career and had some rebounding plays. For Sturt, powerhouse midfielder Tom Lewis was amongst the possessions with many clearance handballs and was strong in and on the tackle. In the league game Sturt comfortably beat North, with AFL Academy prospect Hugo Munn playing up forward and crashing the contest a number of times. Coming off a BOG for the State U18 trial game, Mihail Lochwiak looked extremely comfortable at this level and showed poise and dash off half back.

From this weekend’s round of trial games there’s no doubt that most eyes will be on Eagles youngster Jack Lukosius, who has been selected in the Eagles’ League squad to take on Port Adelaide Magpies. The potential top 10 draft pick will draw attention in a strong Eagles side, as will West Adelaide’s Izak Rankine in the Bloods clash with the Crows. The full schedule of trial games can be found here

SANFL Womens – Halfway mark of the season The SANFLW season is now at the half way point, with South Adelaide and North Adelaide’s womens teams setting the pace. North Adelaide look to be the favourite at this stage and have some stand out performers in Katelyn Rozenweig – leading all comers with 10 goals for the season – and Jess Edwards and Becchera Palmer having impressive seasons. South Adelaide will be looking to hold onto top spot with Nikki Gore and Jaslynne Smith both showing their class to date.  For Norwood, Ebony O’Dea and Leah Cutting have impressed in all games. West Adelaide’s Rachelle Martin has been in a class of her own for the Bloods, and Abbey Holmes continues to push for Crows selection. Sturt have a very young side full of local talent, and Shae Gundlach has clearly been their best so far. Glenelg have recently removed their SANFLW coach and hope for improved results with a young squad, and youngster Ellie Kellock looks a future AFLW talent.

AFL News – JLT Community Series

The recent round of JLT games continued to showcase a batch of South Australian talent looking to stake their claims for round one selection for their respective AFL teams. Ex-Glenelg youngster Bailey Williams looks ready for a berth in the the Western Bulldogs’ 22 after impressing in their win over Hawthorn, and Ryan Burton from Hawthorn no doubt will be one of their keys this year.  Former Centrals player Nick Holman was amongst the best for Gold Coast and has slotted back into the AFL environment well. It was fantastic to see Gold Coast Sun Sam Day and Geelong Cat Cory Gregson, both getting through their first games unscathed after hideous runs with injury in the past year. Both SA lads are prodigious talents and it will be exciting to see what they bring this season.

For the Adelaide based teams, the clash between Power and Crows at Alberton will no doubt be a fierce contest and it will be interesting to see team selections, especially whether youngster Darcy Fogarty can force his way into the Crows line-up, while Power recruit Tom Rockliff will have to wait for round one due to injury.

South Australia weekly wrap: Lukosius stars in top draftee showdown

SOUTH Australia’s top under 18 Academy players had their first proper hit-out for the year with an internal trial game on the weekend, with potential number one pick Jack Lukosius having a day out.

The top South Australian National Football League (SANFL) aspiring draftees were divided up in Saturday’s trial which was held at Richmond.

SA Under 18 Internal Trial:

YELLOW:  3.1  8.4  12.7  13.8 (86)
BLUE:  3.3  4.3  7.3  11.4 (70)

Best:

YELLOW: Lukosius, Lochowiak, Lewis, Tucker, Chandler, Coleman.
BLUE: Hately, Sparrow, Nietschke, Ahmatt-Lovett, Hone.

Goals: 

YELLOW: Tucker 4, Lovelock, Munn, Langley 2, Chandler, Pudney, Jones.
BLUE: Hately 3, Ahmatt-Lovett 3, Saywell, Rankine, Gutsche, Wilkinson, Hone

A host of AFL talent scouts were in attendance to watch this year’s crop of potential SA draftees show their skills. Talent identification is a patient business, with three of South Australia’s 2017 AFL drafted players not even selected to participate in the equivalent game last year, instead making their mark throughout the season.

Players were split between Yellow and Blue sides, with all players rotating through several positions over the game. The Yellow team was victorious by six points.

The game produced some stand out performances, none more so than Woodville-West Torrens player Jack Lukosius, who was flawless and controlled the game from both centre half back and the wing. His class was at an AFL-ready level with 25 possessions and 14 marks, and his ability to adapt to new roles was highly impressive.

St Peter’s College and Sturt Yellow team player Tom Lewis raised his draft stakes, clocking up a game high 17 tackles – all of which were felt by the opposition – matched with a balanced inside/outside game of 19 possessions. Fellow Yellow and Sturt player Mihail Lochowaik was amongst the best in a powerful rebounding effort which included 23 possessions.

Others from the Yellow team to show promise were Donnell Tucker with his classy four goals, and AFL Level 2 Academy member Hugo Munn, who finished with two goals along with Glenelg’s Oscar Lovelock and North Adelaide tall James Langley.

The Blue team had a more even spread of contributors with classy Central Districts forwards Jackson Hately and Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett booting three goals and looking dangerous whenever the ball was in their area.  The work ethic of South Adelaide midfielder Tom Sparrow was highly impressive, while North Adelaide’s Boyd Woodcock and Central’s Aaron Nietschke were consistent all game.  

It was a promising start for South Australia’s 2018 path to the AFL National Championships, with plenty of depth in the squad making for an exciting campaign. All players now return to their SANFL clubs, and in addition to those who played in the game, another eight to 10 are on the radar for selection alongside a handful of over-age players.

Full stats can be found on the SANFL website.

South Australia weekly wrap: Prospects shine and Panthers prevail in SANFL Fast Footy

LAST weekend saw the inaugural SANFL Fast Footy competition played at Norwood Oval. Fast Footy is a modified version of the game, played with 12 per-side across 3 zones and Supergoals able to be scored from outside 50m. Introduced a week before AFLX, this footy format is geared towards fast paced high scoring games.

It was a new concept for players and coaches and most clubs opted for a focus on youth in selecting their sides, giving young players opportunities at a high level with unlimited player rotations. All SANFL clubs, apart from Central Districts, participated in the competition which was held over 2 days with each team playing 2 games, and the top 4 teams playing finals games.

Only two top-age players eligible for the 2018 National AFL Draft took the field over the tournament – those being potential top 10 pick Izak Rankine and his fellow Level 2 AFL Academy member Luke Valente.

Rankine continued to add to his highlight reel, bagging two goals and celebrating one of the with a backflip. Players from all teams were encouraged to celebrate their goals in style. It finishes off a big few weeks for Rankine who recently took first place in the local 100m sprint meet, Camden Classic. 

South Adelaide prevailed as the winner of the 10-game tournament with a victory over Woodville-West Torrens by five points in the final and taking the $10,000 prize-money. For the Panthers, former AFL listed player Keegan Brooksby lead the way with solid performances in all games. Other players from Panthers to shine were Matt Raitt, booting 10 goals across the games and youngster Liam Fitt impressing.

Eagles youngsters Cooper Gaffney and James Rowe showed class and a nose for goal respectively in all games, along with former-Magpie Tom Gray, who was their most consistent player.

Port Magpies fielded a young side, seeing Chinese Recruit Chen Shaoliang take to the field for the first time.  

Glenelg, under new coach former AFL assistant Mark Stone, showed promising signs for 2018 with Ian Milera and Darcy Bailey being most dangerous around goal.

Sturt lost both their matches, but continued blooding youngsters across their games, with Blake Kennedy hitting the score board.

West Adelaide players Tom Keough (ex-Gold Coast) was a standout, and new recruit Nick Jaensch impressed around goal.

At North, players of interest Keenan Ramsay along with Matt McDonough were solid.

Adelaide fielded a mixture of players currently training with their Academy squad, and Josh Vandermeer was the most consistent.

From Norwood, youngsters like Luke Valente got opportunities, with the under-18 prospect looking like he is in for a good year. Others to contribute were ex-AFL listed players Luke Surman and Declan Hamilton.