Tag: afl draft central team of the week

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Northern Knights

THE Northern Knights were one of the most impressive TAC Cup Girls teams this season, executing a near-perfect win-loss record in 2018. The Knights defeated every team except for the Geelong Falcons, who beat them in their home-and-away encounter as well as the Grand Final. But the Knights certainly did not waste their season, showcasing their young talent and fierce scoring power not just against the Falcons, but against every team.

Position: 2nd
Win-loss: 8-1
Percentage: 243%

Results:

R1: defeated Dandenong Stingrays by 35 points
R2: defeated Calder Cannons by 48 points
R3: defeated Sandringham Dragon by 30 points
R4: defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 16 points
R5: defeated Oakleigh Chargers by 51 points
R6: defeated Gippsland Power by 15 points
R7: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 71 points
R8: lost to Geelong Falcons by 8 points
R9: defeated Murray Bushrangers by 30 points

Key players:

Maddy Brancatisano: The captain led from the front this season, playing a team role whenever she was needed to do so. Brancatisano played her midfield role in a defensive style, laying plenty of strong tackles and nullifying her direct opponent’s influence. The top-ager was included in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week in round six, when she nullified the influence of Gippsland Power co-captain, Tyla Hanks. Brancatisano now has the opportunity to represent Vic Metro at the AFL Women’s National Under 18 Championships, thanks to a stellar season in Knights colours. The basketballer has also been training with Carlton’s VFL Women’s side in a bid to further boost her credentials as a fantastic player.

Ellie McKenzie: The 15 year-old took the competition by storm, being named amongst the best in each of the six games that she featured in during the season. McKenzie was particularly dangerous in the forward line as her height, good body-work and strong hands combined for 10 goals from seven games (including the Grand Final). McKenzie was also able to float into the back line or in the midfield, where she would use those same strengths as well as her incredible running power to trouble opposition sides. Her versatility earned her a spot in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year on a half-forward flank. She is also representing Vic Metro in the Under 16 squad in the AFL Women’s National Championships.

Marnie Jarvis: One of the most impressive wingers in the competition, Jarvis provided X-Factor every time she got the ball in hand. She was able to move the ball swiftly by hand and by foot, and always tried to impact the contest. For a small player, she had a big kick and used it to effect to boot the ball forward for the Knights. She is currently representing Vic Metro in the National Under 18 Championships and will play VFL Women’s for the Darebin Falcons.

Gabby Newton: Newton was one of the most influential players in the competition, impressing in every position she played in. She made the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week four times in a different position on each occasion. Arguably her best work was done in the ruck and at half-forward, as she was named as the centre-half forward in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year. Newton used the ball well both by hand and by foot, often being the catalyst behind the onslaught of the Knights’ scoring that became so common throughout the season.

Neve O’Connor: Carried most of the ruck duties for the Knights throughout the season and could impact a contest with a simple tap. Displayed good body-work on her opponents and had strong hands. She has been selected to play for Vic Metro in the National Under 18 Championships.

Alyssa Bannan: Bannan was a goal kicking machine during the season, finishing second in the TAC Cup Girls goal kicking tally. The 16 year-old booted 14 goals from nine matches and did so with poise, booting majors from all angles. A highlight was when she booted a few goals in a matter of minutes to turn the game in Northern’s favour in round one, which was a pivotal kickstart to the Knights’ season.

Britney Gutknecht: Gutknecht was a great swing player for the Knights, utilising her strength and high footy IQ to make an impact both across half-forward and half-back. However, her main strengths were on show in the forward line, as she booted 12 goals from 10 games, including a bag of seven to be named the AFL Draft Central Player of the Week for that effort. She was also nominated for the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year in the forward line after being nominated three times throughout the year.

Season summary:

The Northern Knights season is one that coach, Marcus Abney-Hastings should be proud of, as the players not only developed but also got plenty of confidence-boosting wins along the way. The Knights bravely took it right up to the Falcons in the grand final, imposing their attacking game on their top-of-the-table opponent. With an average winning margin of 34 points, the Knights were a scary prospect in the competition and with a young side at the helm, they could be in for lots of success in the upcoming years of the TAC Cup Girls competition.

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Murray Bushrangers

AFTER a positive start to their TAC Cup Girls campaign, the Murray Bushrangers fell away late, losing their last five games of the season. They came out firing, claiming some big wins against the Pioneers and Cannons but struggled to keep that momentum going for the rest of the season.

Position: 7th
Win-loss: 3-5-1
Percentage: 101.72%

Results:

R1: defeated Calder Cannons by 46 points
R2: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 40 points
R3: drew with Gippsland Power
R4: defeated Western Jets by 25 points
R5: lost to Geelong Falcons by 9 points
R6: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 15 points
R7: lost to Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 6 points
R8: lost to Eastern Rangers by 46 points
R9: lost to Northern Knights by 30 points

Key players:

Rebecca Webster: Webster was a key player for the Bushrangers, providing good leadership and demonstrating her silky skills. The AFLW Academy player was a real standout with her ability to create space and shrug tackles. She was not afraid to go in hard and win the footy and was influential around the stoppages. Webster provided good run and carry across the ground and was a real play maker, creating plenty of thrusts forward to help create scoring opportunities for her teammates. She also worked hard down back providing good run out of defence and applying plenty of physical pressure through laying strong tackles on her opponents. Due to her skill and footy smarts, Webster was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year after receiving four nominations throughout the season for the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week. The talented midfielder continued to impress with her clean hands in congestion and ability to hit players on the lead.

Eloise Ashley-Cooper: Ashley-Cooper was a real workhorse down in defence for Murray with her ability to take impressive intercept marks and impose herself on the contest. She tackled hard throughout the season and was a real general down back, controlling the flow down in defence. Her slick hands were invaluable for the Bushrangers as she helped to get them out of trouble in defence and wasn’t afraid to take on the opposition. Ashley-Cooper’s run and carry was also a great asset for the Bushrangers as she helped to open up the play for her teammates. Her impressive footy smarts won her two nominations in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week and just narrowly missed the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year, instead named in the second team for hard work and class down back.

Olivia Barber: Barber was Murray’s leading goal kicker for the season, slotting seven goals. She was a key player for the Bushrangers with her ability to lead up at the footy and create good forward pressure by laying strong tackles and trapping the ball inside 50. The youngster has been a real revelation, displaying her footy smarts and composure under pressure, and booted two goals for Vic Country in the Under 16s win over NSW/ACT on the weekend.

Tamara Smith: She was a clear standout throughout the season, showcasing her ability to hit the packs hard and use her skills to extract the footy out of stoppages. Smith was creative with ball in hand and more importantly showed great composure when under pressure. The talented midfielder competed hard throughout the season and starred with her dash across the ground. Her ability to create forward bursts was important for the Bushrangers as her kicks into the 50 and tackling pressure added even more forward momentum for her side.  Smith was included in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year after being named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week three times, credit to her classy use of the footy.

Grace Egan: Egan was another star down back for Murray, showcasing her marking talent and hunger to win the footy. She never backed away from a contest and used her quick hands to work the ball out of defence and move the footy forward. Egan imposed herself on the contest, laying strong bone-crunching tackles and being a real workhorse. Throughout the season, she displayed her running power with her ability to rebound off the defensive 50 and create play up ahead for her teammates. Credit to her good year she was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week three times.

Julia Harvey: The small midfielder/forward always caused headaches for opposition sides, buzzing around the field and winning plenty of the football when at the coal face. She would go forward and hurt opponents on the scoreboard, having good goal sense, and a knack for getting into the right positions to score. One of a number of players who was named in the Vic Country squad, she will look to provide good speed and a hard edge to the team up forward. Booted six goals in the 2018 TAC Cup season.

Millie Brown: The bottom-age AFLW Academy member managed eight games and got better as the season went on, named among the best in her final three matches. In the absence of a number of others including Webster and Egan at various times in the final few rounds, Brown provided the Bushrangers forwards with a penetrating kick from midfield, and good strength when in defence. With a year still remaining at TAC Cup level, she is a player who will be looked upon to step up in 2019.

Season summary: 

The Murray Bushrangers would not have expected to finish seventh in the ladder in 2018, but the main focus of development has been fulfilled. Many Bushrangers players have developed in leaps and bounds, and the team has strong players across every position on the ground. From Julia Harvey in the midfield to Grace Egan in defence to Olivia Barber in the forward line, Murray had options all over the ground. With many top-age players moving on from the program, it allows younger players such as Chelsea Hargreaves, Millie Brown, Kate Adams and Claudia McKimmie to step up in 2019.

Season reviews: TAC Cup Girls – Gippsland Power

AFTER a round one loss, the Gippsland Power came out firing, winning its next game and drawing in round three. The Power endured an up and down season but showed some really good patches of play. The side was in most of their games but could not quite get across the line in their last four games of the season.

Position: 8th
Win-loss: 3-5-1
Percentage: 69%

Results:

R1: lost to Oakleigh Chargers by 67 points
R2: defeated Western Jets by 15 points
R3: drew with Murray Bushrangers
R4: defeated Calder Cannons by 3 points
R5: defeated Bendigo Pioneers by 12 points
R6: lost to Northern Knights by 15 points
R7: lost to Eastern Ranges by 9 points
R8: lost to Greater Western Victoria Rebels by 14 points
R9: lost to Sandringham Dragons by 24 points

Key players:

Tyla Hanks: She reached new levels for the Gippsland Power this season with her silky skills on display each game. Hanks led from the front and dominated throughout the season with her clean hands at the stoppages and impressive evasive skills to break away from opponents and propel her team forward. Her ability to turn her opponents inside out was impressive as it helped to create more opportunities across the field for her teammates. Hanks’ work rate was phenomenal and her ability to hit targets proved to be essential for the Power. Hanks was never phased by the pressure, showing great composure and footy smarts with ball in hand. Hanks was named as vice-captain in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Year and made an appearance in the Team of the Week line-ups every time she played, which was credit to her ability to impact on the ground. Hanks also impressed in the AFLW Academy side, starring with her impressive skill set.

Emily Haeusler: Haeusler consistently imposed herself on the contest, laying strong tackles and using her body to win the footy both in the air and at ground level. She impressed so much that she was named in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week four times and cemented a spot in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year, credit to her hard work and determination. Haeusler was a key player down back for the Power and really helped to set up behind the ball. Her run off half back was instrumental for Gippsland and her safe hands provided great confidence for her teammates. Haeusler showed great composure throughout the season and was a good on-field leader.

Jazz Ferguson: Ferguson was instrumental for the Gippsland Power with her ability to tackle hard and use the footy efficiently and effectively. She flew under the radar for most of the season but was a real stand out when the going got hard, as she was not afraid to go in and win the footy at ground level. Her hands under pressure were invaluable, being able to dish out clever handballs to teammates streaming forward and taking big intercept marks to help out in defence.

Nikia Webber: She was another key player for Gippsland, posing as a scoring machine who was dynamic up forward and providing a good option inside the forward 50. Webber ended the season with 12 goals, credit to her accuracy in front of goal and work rate to lead up at the footy. She was strong to the ball and worked hard throughout the season to win the footy and create some good forward pressure by laying tackles and imposing herself on the contest. The youngster proved that she will be a serious force to be reckoned with in years to come.

Amy Dunn: The co-captain stood tall in the ruck all season and was rewarded with selection in the extended Vic Country squad. She went forward and provided target as well, and worked in tandem with Jazz Ferguson.

Chandra Abrahams: A talented utility who was named in the Under 16s Vic Country squad. Still working on consistency throughout four quarters, but she has quite a few tricks up her sleeve and her goal against Bendigo Pioneers off a couple of steps from 50m was an indication of what she is capable of. Still a couple of years off, so one to watch to see how she develops.

Season summary: 

Gippsland Power were the feel-good story of the year. After finishing at the bottom of the ladder last year without a win, the Power triumphed to three wins this season, including one against the reigning premiers, Calder Cannons. The Power was also able to keep the Murray Bushrangers at bay, drawing with them in round three. The side was led magnificently by co-captains, Tyla Hanks and Amy Dunn, who played selfless football throughout the year. There is plenty to like about this Gippsland side after playing a season of confidence-boosting football.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 9

IT was quite a bizarre day at RAMS Arena, with all 12 teams coming together to face off in a fantastic ‘Super Saturday’ of matches. For the final AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Girls’ Team of the Week, we find the highest ever number of players from a losing side making the team. The Western Jets were well beaten by the Geelong Falcons, but their top three players stood out so much in the wet that they earned places in the Round 9 Team of the Week. Remarkably, their opponents, the Geelong Falcons also had three players in the team. Conversely, despite winning their match well, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels had just the one player in the team – mainly due to the fact it was hard to split such an even contribution.

For Western, it was their highest number of representatives for the year, with regular nominees Elisabeth Georgostathis and Isabelle Pritchard and making the team for the fifth and fourth time respectively. But a fresh face to the team was ruck Taylah Kolevski who was ultra-impressive around the ground and at the stoppages in wet conditions. On the opposition side, Olivia Purcell collected her fifth Team of the Week nomination, joined in the side by Nina Morrison and Sachi DeGiacomi who are both no stranger to making the Team of the Week – both named four times.

Six of the remaining 10 teams had two nominees in the side, with Northern Knights’ Ellie McKenzie making a remarkable sixth Team of the Week – sitting third overall on most nominees. She is joined in the team by debutant in the side, Ashleigh Snow in the back pocket. Of the two with more nominations than McKenzie, they are fairly handy players in Madison Prespakis and Tyla Hanks – both making it eight out of eight games played. Their respective teammates at Calder Cannons, forward Georgia Patrikios and Power half-back Emily Haeusler have made it for the third and fourth time respectively.

In the back pocket is Sandringham Dragons’ Alice Burke who makes it for the third time, along with now two-time nominee forward Isabella Eddey. Rounding out the defence on the flank is GWV Rebels’ captain Lauren Butler who is the sole Rebel in a rather unlucky round given Rene Caris was one of many ruck choices in a week where plenty of key position players stood tall. But she was not the only one, with Sophie Molan also deemed impressive in the wet and would be an emergency in the round’s Team of the Week.

The remaining starting midfielder in the Team of the Week is Kodi Jacques, who for the first time is joined by fellow Bendigo Pioneers hard nut Megan Williamson. The pair have almost exclusively held a spot in the best 22 throughout the season, with Jacques (now five nominations) and Williamson (four) both impressing despite Bendigo’s loss to Dandenong Stingrays. Speaking of the Stingrays, Isabella Shannon returns to the Team of the Week, joining Courtney Jones, who is situated at half-forward, for their second and third times respectively.

Earning places on the bench in losing sides were talented trio, Eastern Ranges’ Mikala Cann (for the second consecutive week), Murray Bushrangers’ Tamara Smith (third time) and Chloe O’Malley (first time). Gippsland Power’s Jasmine Ferguson was the other unlucky emergency with Caris and Molan who just missed out on making the side.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 3

GIPPSLAND Power’s fantastic win over Bendigo Pioneers has seen them top the table for AFL Draft Central Team of the Week nominees, with three players named in our Round 3 side. They were the only side with three nominees, with seven other sides contributed two players, while Calder Cannons, GWV Rebels and Northern Knights all had one nominee.

Sam Flanders was the AFL Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 3 and it was no surprise to see him slot into the forward pocket for his strong effort up front in the Power’s big win. Teammates Matthew McGannon (back pocket) and Rylan Henkel (ruck) were also named in the Team of the Week. Alongside Flanders up front is Bendigo Pioneers goalkicker Will Holt who makes it for the second time this season, he is joined in the 22 by half-back Bailey Henderson.

The Eastern Ranges might not have won against the Western Jets, but they had a couple of good defensive efforts in the clash, with Xavier Fry and Jacob Gilbee making the cut for the Round 3 team. Filling out the running backs, Murray Bushrangers’ defender Lachlan Ash made the team for the second time this season, as did teammate Laitham Vandermeer for his efforts on the weekend. Geelong key defender Cooper Cartledge holds down the fort at full-back, with mid/forward Brayden Ham‘s superb effort on Saturday earning him a place in the team on the half-forward flank.

There is a distinct Oakleigh feel in the midfield with Noah Anderson and James Rowbottom filling two of the midfield positions, along with Mitch Podhajski (Calder Cannons) and Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights) who were their club’s respective sole nominees in the team. The final midfield place went to Dandenong captain Campbell Hustwaite, who is joined in the team by Zac Foot, fresh off a four-goal performance against the GWV Rebels. Speaking of the Rebels, Lochie Dawson‘s tireless work in the heavy defeat saw him earn a place in the side.

Moving to the half-forward line, Zak Butters made the team once again for the Western Jets, this time joined in the 22 by midfield dynamo Connor Thar. Alongside Butters is Sandringham Dragons tall James Rendell, who booted four goals to spur his side on to a big second half against the Calder Cannons. Fellow Dragon, Liam Stocker, rounds out the 22 with a place on the interchange.

As with any side there always bound to be unlucky omissions and in this case, Oakleigh Chargers forward Daniel Scala was the next cab off the rank for a spot in the 22, while taller forward Ben Silvagni was also unlucky. In defence, Ajak Dang and Lachlan Potter both came close for their respective sides in the Murray Bushrangers and Northern Knights, while Dandenong Stingrays ruck/forward Bailey Schmidt was very unlucky to be just beaten to the ruck position by Henkel.

 

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 4

THE first and second-placed teams on the TAC Cup Girls ladder had the most representatives in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week. After big wins on Tuesday, the Geelong Falcons and Northern Knights each have three players in the side. 

Olivia Purcell’s performance paid dividends as she has backed up her AFL Draft Central Player of the Week Award with a place in the Team of the Week. Fellow midfielder Nina Morrison also earned a spot in the team, continuing her consistent season for the Falcons.

For the second-placed Knights, Abigail Bennett and Alex Pronesti continued their fantastic season on Tuesday in their 16-point win over the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. Ellie McKenzie has made the Team of the Week as many times as games she has played, with her second consecutive nomination.

GWV’s Georgia Clarke backed up her best-on-ground performance last week with another solid outing in round four. Teammate Sophie Van De Heuvel was lively at Mill Park Lakes Recreation Reserve with two goals, but unfortunately just missed out on Team of the Week selection. It is the case mainly because of wonderful performances from Western’s Caitlin Greiser and Geelong’s Renee Tierney. Grieser kicked all three of the Jets’ goals at Euroa while Tierney kicked four goals in the Falcons’ 70-point win over the Chargers. 

But it was not all doom and gloom for Oakleigh, with a top performance earning Nicola Xenos a spot on the half-back flank. Western’s Sharnie Whiting joins her in defence and makes her first appearance in the AFL Draft Central Team of the Week. Eastern’s Lauren Szigeti also made the team for the first time after a great performance against Bendigo. 

For the Pioneers, it was hard to look past captain Megan Williamson, who keeps producing wonderful performances for her side. Although teammate Kate Douglass did not make the Team of the Week, be sure to keep an eye out for her during the season as she continues to be one of the standouts for Bendigo. 

Williamson was not the only captain who made this week’s best 22, with Calder captain Madison Prespakis, Eastern co-captain Emerson Woods, Dandenong captain Jordyn Allen, Sandringham captain Jemma Owen and Gippsland co-captain Tyla Hanks all earning spots in the side. 

Prespakis and Hanks in particular have made the side every round and so has Murray captain Rebecca Webster, who continues to shine for the Bushrangers in the midfield. Fellow star midfielder Tamara Smith just missed out on making it two consecutive weeks in the Team of the Week.

There was no shortage of Dandenong Stingrays in the midfield though with both Jordyn Allen and Isabella Shannon both lining up in the middle of the ground. But arguably the most unlucky to miss out in the entire competition was Courtney Jones, in what was a tough decision to leave her out this week after an excellent outing on Tuesday. 

Team of the Week: TAC Cup Girls – Round 3

AN AFL Draft Central Team of the Week first occurred in round three with four players from one side making the best 22 for the competition on the weekend. The Northern Knights had a season-high four nominees in our Team of the Week, with forward Alyssa Bannan and ruck Gabby Newton making the team for the second time this season, while the versatile Britney Gutknecht and debutant Ellie McKenzie also making the team.

Geelong Falcons and Murray Bushrangers also had three players named in the Team of the Week, with Falcons captain Lucy McEvoy, fellow defender Denby Taylor, and consistent midfield performer Olivia Purcell all having standout performances on the weekend. Rebecca Webster starred in the midfield for the Bushrangers and remains only one of three players to be named in our Team of the Week in each of the three rounds so far this season. Other Bushrangers that made the team were small midfielder Tamara Smith and rebounding defender Grace Egan.

Gippsland Power star Tyla Hanks made the team yet again for another impressive performance in her side’s draw with Murray, while Madison Prespakis represented Calder again, this time joined by the agile forward, Georgia Patrikios. Sandringham Dragons had two representatives in the team despite their loss, with midfielder Eleanor Brown a clear standout, while Eliza McNamara snuck onto the bench. Eastern Ranges forward Laura McClelland made the Team of the Week for the second consecutive round, this time alongside the exciting Olivia Meagher.

All other sides managed one representative, with Dandenong Stingrays’ Eloise Allen-Burns, Western Jets’ Elizabeth Georgiostathis and Bendigo Pioneers’ Megan Williamson making their debut in the Team of the Week. GWV star Georgia Clarke was instrumental at centre-half back against the Pioneers, while Katie Lynch did not miss a beat coming back for Oakleigh Chargers after a week off.

Like every week there are always some unlucky ones and at the top of the list were Dandenong Stingrays captain Jordyn Allen, her GWV Rebels counterpart Lauren Butler, and key defender Isabella Pritchard – who narrowly missed out on being in the team for three consecutive weeks. Others in the mix were Gippsland Power midfielder Alana Rippon and Bushrangers small forward Julia Harvey, as well as Dandenong’s Courtney Jones, Northern captain Maddy Bracantisano and her Eastern counterpart Emerson Woods.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 1

AFTER the action-packed first round of TAC Cup action, it is hard to reduce the best players from the round down into a single best 22. But that is what we will be doing each week to create the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week.

Every team earned a representative in the best 22, with a remarkable spread of players. Of the 12 teams, 10 had two representatives each, while Murray Bushrangers’ Lachlan Ash and Northern Knights’ Tom McKenzie were the sole inclusions for their respective sides.

Eastern Ranges were under siege at times from a ruthless Oakleigh Chargers outfit, so it is no surprise that their two representatives hail in defence. The Ranges best on the day was Ben Cardamone, while James Blanck stood out as a key position defender. Up the other end of the field that day, Isaac Quaynor was having an impact off half-back, joined in the Team of the Week by Jack Ross.

Calder Cannons’ Jack Evans will come off the bench, while the versatile Mitch Podhajski was named at half-forward. Podhajski played predominantly midfield on the weekend, but did sneak forward and kick a goal, and is more than capable of performing inside the forward 50.

Also in defence is potential top 10 pick Ben King holding down the other key position post. He will join star midfielder and Sandringham Dragons teammate Bailey Smith who was unstoppable of the weekend. The midfield is beefed up with clearance guns Ed McHenry (Geelong Falcons) and Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets) joining Smith in the middle. McHenry’s teammate Charlie Sprague was the Falcons only multiple goal kicker so he earns a spot in the side, while Aaron Clarke also booted three goals for the Jets and showed some great athleticism for a taller player on Friday night.

The last spot in defence went to over-ager Matthew McGannon who had the ball on a string against the Murray Bushrangers. McGannon joins teammate and captain Xavier Duursma who made it onto the interchange bench. A midfielder who made it onto the field was Scott Carlin (GWV Rebels) after a sensational game covering all areas of the ground. He and exciting forward Charlie Wilson represent the Rebels in the Team of the Week.

Moving up forward, key position forward/ruck Riley Bowman will straighten up the team, representing the Dandenong Stingrays with Campbell Hustwaite who squeezed onto the bench. Bendigo Pioneers have had a trouble finding key position players in the past, but undersized KPP Will Holt (full-forward) and Daniel Keating (ruck) were outstanding on the weekend.

Naturally there were plenty of unlucky players to miss out. Among them were the likes of Lachlan Sholl (Calder Cannons), Stefan Radovanovic (Western Jets), Oakleigh trio Noah Anderson, Xavier O’Neill and Riley Collier-Dawkins, Northern Knights captain Braedyn Gillard and defender Lachlan Potter, Murray Bushrangers Ely Smith, Bendigo Pioneers’ Noah Wheeler and Geelong Falcons’ Sam Walsh.