Tag: Angus Styles

Draftees named for AFLX

RICHMOND and Western Bulldogs have loaded up on youth in the AFL’s newest pre-season competition, AFLX. In the final night of the three-night competition, a total of 16 draftees from the 2017 National and Rookie drafts have been named, of which the Tigers and Bulldogs have supplied nine. At the other end of the scale, Zac Bailey (Norwood now Brisbane) and mature-ager Nick Holman (Central District now Gold Coast) were the only two from the northern states.

The top-end talent on show will certainly bring plenty of fans through the gates, with Richmond’s top pick Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers), excitement machine Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays now GWS Giants) and top 10 pick Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder now Western Bulldogs) are all named to play throughout the round robin format. Higgins could face ex-teammate Ed Richards if the Tigers meet the Dogs, while talented talls Noah Balta (Calder Cannons now Richmond), Ben Miller (Subiaco now Richmond) and Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons now Sydney) were also named in their respective teams.

Gippsland Power’s sole draftee Callum Porter will also don the red, blue and white, as will a mature-ager who is very  familiar with the colours, having played with Footscray VFL last year after a stint at Carlton. Another former blue, Dylan Buckley will be out to impress for his new  side GWS, while Liam Baker will reunite with former Subiaco teammate Miller at the Tigers. Others that have been named in the sides are Nick Shipley (GWS Academy now GWS Giants) and Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons now Sydney). Derek Eggmolesse-Smith played with Bendigo Pioneers last year and spent time with Richmond’s VFL side and now will front up for the senior team.

The AFLX competition is played on a ground with dimensions of between 100-120m in length and 60-70m in width, with four posts at each end and two 40m arcs. Each team will consist of 10 players per game – seven on the field and three on the bench – and there are no restrictions on rotations. No marks will be paid on backwards kicks (except in the forward 40m area) and the last touch out of bounds is a free kick. Kick-ins will occur after each score – even goals – while at least two players from each team must start each quarter inside each 40m arc and any deliberate rushed behinds will result in a free shot to the opposition team from the forward 40m arc resulting in a potential 10-point goal.

The full list of 2017 draftees named in the AFLX squads for Saturday evening are:

Brisbane: Zac Bailey (Norwood),

Gold Coast: Nick Holman (Central District)

GWS Giants: Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays), Nick Shipley (GWS Academy), Dylan Buckley (Carlton)

Richmond: Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers), Noah Balta (Calder Cannons), Ben Miller (Subiaco), Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Bendigo Pioneers), Liam Baker (Subiaco)

Sydney: Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons), Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)

Western Bulldogs: Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder), Ed Richards (Oakleigh Chargers), Callum Porter (Gippsland Power), Billy Gowers (Footscray VFL)

FIXTURE:

4.10pm – GWS Giants v Richmond
4.38pm – Sydney v Western Bulldogs
5.06pm – Richmond v Brisbane
5.34pm – Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast
6.02pm – Brisbane v GWS Giants
6.30pm – Gold Coast v Sydney
7.03pm – Grand Final

Sandringham Dragons 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Sandringham Dragons

Finished: 2nd
Wins: 13
Losses: 8
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 123
Points: 44 (eliminated in grand final)

Players Drafted: (7)

  • Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)
  • Will Walker (North Melbourne)
  • Charlie Constable (Geelong)
  • Nathan Murphy (Collingwood)
  • Hamish Brayshaw (West Coast)
  • Angus Styles (Sydney)
  • Joel Amartey (Sydney)

2017 Review:

In 2016, Sandringham Dragons were the talk of the AFL Draft world with an abundance of draftees in the first round to complement their premiership. In 2017, they had an impressive seven players drafted, including the Brayshaw brothers – Andrew and Hamish – heading to Perth, Will Walker picked by North Melbourne, Charlie Constable heading down the highway to the Cattery and Nathan Murphy donning the black and white stripes for season 2018. Meanwhile in the rookie draft, Angus Styles and Joel Amartey were reunited within a round of each other as the pair was selected by Sydney.

On the field in 2017, Sandringham had another impressive season, finishing top four and then making its way to the grand final after defeating Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. At half-time in the grand final against the Geelong Falcons it looked like the Dragons would win back-to-back flags, but a dismal third quarter turned the game on its head. In a remarkable turnaround, the Dragons stormed home and almost stole the flag back with Amartey marking just before the siren, but his kick missed and the Falcons breathed a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, the Dragons had yet another strong season.

In 2018, the Dragons are the envy of the competition with the best 1-2 tall combo in twins Max and Ben King. Along with them, there are quite a few talented players who will divide their TAC Cup time with their school football. Another big year is predicted for Sandringham.

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2018 Preview:

Sandringham Dragons have the much talked about twin-towers in Max and Ben King who can play either end or through the ruck. In 2017, Max played up forward and pinch hit in the ruck, while Ben primarily stayed down back, occasionally reliving the ruckman when in the defensive 50. Bailey Smith is another player who could push into the top 10 come draft night, with the outside midfielder spending the majority of his time in defence this season and showing he has no issues finding the ball.

Max King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 81kg | Key Position Forward/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 7.7 disposals | 3.4 marks | 7.7 hitouts | 1.4 goals | 57% KE | 65% DE | 63% CP

Max primarily played the ruck/forward role at TAC Cup level and was impressive in the air and in front of goal. He covered the ground well and showed off his versatility having had an ultra-impressive year for Haileybury in the APS competition. He is one of a number of players likely to command a top five pick in next year’s draft.

Ben King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 79kg | Key Position Defender/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (9) 13.7 disposals | 4.8 marks | 0.8 tackles | 2.2 rebounds | 69% KE | 77% DE | 42% CP

Ben played down back for the Dragons and was strong overhead and used also as a rebounding defender. He has a long effective kick and also played forward during the school season with Haileybury teammate Oscar Clavarino holding down the fort in defence. He reads the play well and could well go top five with his brother.

Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons) 183cm | 74kg | Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (12) 24.3 disposals | 4.1 marks | 2.3 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 3.9 rebounds | 73% KE | 77% DE | 38% CP

A huge ball winner in the TAC Cup last season, Smith showed he was capable of playing midfield mid-season when his teammates were unavailable during the National Under 18s Championships, then was dominant in defence often tasked with the kick-out duties. He is a deadly kick of the football and averaged almost four rebounds per game, so expect him to settle into the midfield and see what he is capable of with a full-time role in there.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons) 188cm | 69kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (5) 16.4 disposals | 4.4 marks | 1.4 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 56% KE | 65% DE | 28% CP

Nicholas Stamatis (Sandringham Dragons) 175cm | 70kg | Small Utility
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 13.5 disposals | 2.2 marks | 4.4 tackles | 2.1 inside 50s | 65% KE | 76% DE | 32% CP

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Summary:

Sandringham Dragons have been the most successful team of the past two years and with their twin towers and multiple other talents already emerging, it is clear 2018 is another year likely to keep smiles on the faces of the Dragons faithful. They had the seven players drafted in 2017, following on from a remarkable 2016 draft period. They will be up there with the best at the end of the 2018 season so do not be surprised to see them playing deep into September.

TAC Cup Grand Final preview: Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER 18 rounds and two weeks of finals, the two top TAC Cup sides have emerged with reigning premier Sandringham Dragons taking on top four regular Geelong Falcons. The Dragons finished fourth overall and defeated Murray Bushrangers in the elimination final before toppling Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. Geelong defeated Gippsland Power in the elimination final before an impressive victory over Dandenong Stingrays last week.

The Falcons head into the grand final with few injuries, at close to full-strength as possible. The Dragons on the other hand, have a number of question marks, with Ed Newman (suspended) out, and both Nathan Murphy (ankle) and Charlie Constable (tightness) under injury clouds.

This game sees the best outside midfield taking on the best inside midfield, with the Dragons content on using their slick skills and short passing to frustrate opponents, while the Falcons often win the contest through sheer strength, winning the ball at the coal face and booting it inside 50. The winner will be the one that can play the game on their own terms.

Check out the player stat comparisons for the starting 18 here.

KEY PLAYERS:

Andrew Brayshaw – The Geelong Falcons strong inside midfield will have an advantage at the stoppages and it will be up to the Brayshaw brothers, Andrew and Hamish, to turn the game in the Dragons’ favour. The potential first round draftee wins the ball inside and out, as well as 5.4 clearances per game.

Gryan Miers – The dangerous small forward has booted 37 goals in the TAC Cup this season and looms as the key to a Falcons’ victory. He rarely lacks opportunities and if he can have his kicking boots on, he has been prone to booting bags, including a six-goal haul earlier this season.

FIVE KEY FACTORS:

1 Coal face battle – The midfield of James Worpel, Cassidy Parish and Sam Walsh average 16.5 clearances between them, while Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw and Will Walker average 15.5, not too far behind. Add in the fact Walker spends time down forward and it is evenly balanced. Parish and Hamish Brayshaw are the two best extractors in the TAC Cup so going head-to-head will be enthralling.

2 Oh Miers – I briefly mentioned above, but Gryan Miers is one of a number of talented goal sneaks who can really hurt the opposition given the chance. I expect Nathan Murphy – if fit – to take Miers as he is equally strong in the air, or perhaps Bailey Smith or Howie Persson are others potentially seen as match-ups for Miers.

3 Goal sneak battleLachie Noble and Aaron Trusler love to pounce on opportunistic goals and whilst they will be up opposite ends of the ground, the one who impacts the match more could be the difference in what is expected to be a tight game.

4 Key KingsMax King and Ben King are top 10 prospects next year and have already shown impressive glimpses in their bottom-age year. Max has been playing forward, while Ben has taken up a key position post in defence and they will be expected to play a big role in the Dragons’ success this year and next. Ben will likely line-up on Falcons’ key forward Adam Garner, while Max will likely see Josh Jaska stand beside him at the first bounce.

5 Top-end talent – Sandringham had a host of first round draft picks last year and they look set to have a new bunch this year including Charlie Constable, Andrew Brayshaw and Nathan Murphy, leading a huge 19 National and State Combine invitations. For the Falcons, Matt Ling looks set to be the first Falcon taken this year, with James Worpel, Ethan Floyd, Cassidy Parish, David Handley and Gryan Miers among the others that will no doubt be on a number of recruiters lists.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17)

Sandringham goals: Lachlan Harris (2), Isaac Morrisby (2), Will Walker, Kai Owens, Anthony Seaton, William Kennedy.
Geelong goals: Hayden Elliot, Bayley Cockerill.
Sandringham disposals: Geordie Nagle (38), Bailey Smith (34), Angus Styles (33), Seb Williams (32), Will Walker (28), Nathan Murphy (28)
Geelong disposals: Harry Benson (25), Jack Henderson (22), Brayden Ham (20), Cooper Stephens (19), Bayley Cockerill (17), Ethan Floyd (17)

CHANGES FOR GRAND FINAL:

Geelong ins: Josh Jaska, Jarrod Walters, Oscar Brownless, Matt Ling, James Worpel, Sam Walsh, Ed McHenry, Gryan Miers, Tom McCartin, Dane Hollenkamp, Cassidy Parish, David Handley, Mitch Chafer, Sam Conway
Sandringham ins: Charlie Constable, Ben King, Alfie Jarnestrom, Hayden McLean, Max King, Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw, Lucas Barrett*, Sam Cameron*, Josh Gorman*, Aaron Trusler*, Alastair Richards

TEAMS:

Geelong Falcons:
B: 17. Cooper Stephens – 43. Josh Jaska – 26. Jarrod Walters
HB: 30. Oscar Brownless – 39. Connor Idun – 19. Matt Ling
C: 13. Ethan Floyd – 38. James Worpel – 22. Sam Walsh
HF: 7. Harry Benson – 46. Adam Garner – 8. Ed McHenry
F: 4. Gryan Miers – 41. Tom McCartin – 1. Lachie Noble
R: 49. Dane Hollenkamp – 42. Cassidy Parish – 16. David Handley
INT: 11. Mitch Chafer – 44. Sam Conway – 40. Hayden Elliot – 5. Jack Henderson
23rd: 36. Charlie Sprague

Sandringham Dragons:
B: 2. Geordie Nagle – 33. Howie Persson – 37. Bailey Smith
HB: 6. Charlie Constable – 70. Ben King – 74. Nathan Murphy
C: 22. Quintin Montanaro – 8. Will Walker – 10. Angus Styles
HF: 15. Alfie Jarnestrom – 30. Hayden McLean – 5. Seb Williams
F: 1. Lachie Harris – 61. Max King – 20. Kai Owens
R: 29. Joel Amartey – 9. Andrew Brayshaw – 11. Hamish Brayshaw
INT: 3. Lucas Barrett – 24. Sam Cameron – 13. Josh Gorman – 12. Jackson Hille – 25. Max Lohan – 28. Isaac Morrisby – 7. Aaron Trusler (Three to be omitted)
23rd: 58. Alastair Richards

TIP:

On form, fitness and consistency throughout the year, it is hard to look past the Geelong Falcons. Sandringham Dragons leave their best until last and it would not surprise me whatsoever if they got up in this game, but with the Falcons in top-form, cruising along nicely and no injury question marks, I will tip the Falcons by 25 points. I tip Gryan Miers to be named best on ground.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 18

THE final round of the TAC Cup season was completed on the weekend – with the all important finals series kicking off at Victoria Park this Saturday. We had our scouts watching all six games in Round 18, read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Arguably the best game I have seen him play live. Took a couple of fantastic grabs one-on-one and kicked two goals, one from a snap and a second from a set shot. He continued to look dangerous throughout the contest, applying good pressure inside forward 50, and a touch of class when on the outside. While he did not receive a state combine invite, he could be one that falls under the Western Bulldogs Category B rookie if they choose to nominate him.

#2 Callan Wellings – The Rebels’ captain put in another strong performance on the weekend. Wellings is one of the most consistent performers in the TAC Cup and he just has a no-fuss approach to his football. He showed a high work rate and great vision in close while also finding space around the ground. He was rewarded with a goal when he snuck into space inside 50. He took a few intercept marks across half-back in the final term to snuff out any hope of a Bendigo comeback and was involved in a possession chain where he won the ball in the defensive half and then ran forward to take a mark at half-forward in the same possession chain.

#4 Aiden Domic – Domic has been a big improver in the second half of the season and was best on ground against the Pioneers on the weekend. He is a really smart footballer who does not waste time with his disposal. While his inside numbers have improved in the second half of the season, he played predominantly on the wing as Jordan Johnston took an inside role. He snapped a terrific goal in the third term with five minutes remaining to put the Rebels 39 points up. Domic has an impact up forward and great goal sense and is one of the best endurance runners in the competition.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Appleby’s draft stocks would have to be rising after yet another big performance down back, this time on top 10 hope Jarrod Brander. Appleby gave up nine centimetres and six kilograms to the big forward but held his own. He was really composed with the football and apart from a couple of minutes in the second term when Brander got hold of him, he stood up well, positioning himself well in the one-on-ones, protecting the ball drop and also peeling off Brander to assist teammates. Appleby was unlucky not to receive a state combine invitation, but his last month has been nothing short of sensational.

#10 Jordan Johnston – The exciting forward has put together a good month of football as an uncomprimising inside midfielder. He holds his own in close and played on fellow forward-cum-midfielder Brent Daniels at the stoppages. Johnston won more of the football but was exposed for leg speed against Daniels crusing out of a pack. Johnston as a whole had more of an influence, turning it on in the third term setting up a goal assist after a free kick in the middle, and then had a second clearance from the next centre bounce, finishing with a goal moments later. A highlight was in the second quarter when Johnston smothered the ball and managed to grab the footy in one motion.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The over-age ruckman continued his good form in season 2017 with another influential display across the ruck and up forward. He has developed his body this year to really use his strength and frame to outmuscle opponents and was too strong for the in-form Jobee Warde. While Warde had the athleticism, Meek was really impressive in holding his ground and ensuring Warde could not get an easy jump at the ruck stoppages. Up forward, Meek presented well, crashing packs and taking a few good marks, although his goal kicking still needs some work, missing the lot from the forward pocket, albeit on a very tight angle.

#40 Tylar Watts – I was really only focusing on top-agers, but Watts caught my eye with a pretty good performance working in tandem with Meek. While his possession numbers are not high, Watts produced arguably the biggest highlight of the game with a towering mark in the final term when the Pioneers were threatening to chase down the deficit. He stood tall, kicked the goal and iced the game, giving Rebels fans a bit of excitement about what he could be capable of in 2018.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – I really liked Farrell’s game on the weekend. He is not a huge accumulator of the football but he looks balanced and has good vision through traffic and great hands in close. There were a couple of times where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered it well inside 50 to a leading target. He also showed his versatility to have an impact up forward, kicking a crucial goal late in the third term. The one knock from the weekend was there was an instance or two where he tried to do too much and was caught before he could effectively dispose of it or finish cleanly.

#6 Cooper Jones – Like his side, Jones was fairly influential early on, rebounding what he could for the Pioneers playing across half-back. He went in hard along the wing and laid a bone-crunching tackle winning a free kick. Last year he played up forward but I like him as a defender, was quieter in the second half, but still had a few nice touches across half-back and on the wing. He could potentially develop into a taller midfielder.

#8 Lochie O’Brien – It was not one of O’Brien’s better games despite picking up a vote in the Morrish Medal. He won more of the football than usual, but his kicking efficiency was well down on his usual standards, which was later reflected with just 50 per cent by foot. I regard O’Brien as a deadly left foot kick, but the Rebels captain Cal Wellings and his teammates gave O’Brien little time and space to use his strong attributes. Despite not having the influence he has had in other games, O’Brien still kicked a goal thanks to an old fashioned sausage roll from 50m in the last term.

#10 Brent Daniels – The nuggety forward played more inside midfield against the Rebels and flashed in and out with some brilliant patches. He almost created the highlight of the day, streaming down the middle of the ground taking a couple of bounces and got to about 60m from goal before taking a third bounce and fluffing it and getting caught by his chasing opponent. As a whole I felt he was composed with the football when under pressure and was good in tight by hand.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The possible top 10 draft pick continued to work throughout the four quarters but became Flynn Appleby’s latest victim. Brander was good on the lead and kicked a fantastic goal outside 50 in the second term and took a couple of marks in a two minute purple patch when he looked to break the game open, but otherwise was well held by his opponent. A combination of the swirly conditions and teammate’s inefficiency going inside 50 did not help his cause. Cannot fault his endeavour however and he continued to present up at the football, and when marking was a clean grab.

#15 Darby Henderson – The Pioneers ball magnet continued to win the pill throughout the game showing pretty good hands in close and doing everything right defensively. His kicking is still iffy at times and that’s the main knock on him, but he laid eight tackles and won the football all over the ground, clearing the ball out of the defensive 50 on a number of occasions.

#18 Bailey Henderson – The wingman continued a really solid season with a pretty solid game. He has great vision looking forward, but I questioned his peripheral vision when he had plenty of time but was run down from the side by an opponent. When in space he used a piercing kick and was able to win the ball at half-back and move forward in transition. He tends to have a slower kicking action which also saw opponents bump or tackle him when he was in possession, forcing him to make a few errors.

#20 Angus Schumacher – Like many of his teammates, Schumacher has had better games but he worked into the match in the second half. He took a good intercept mark early in the third but immediately coughed up the football with a short 20m pass. Schumacher sometimes does not kick through the ball over short distances and therefore makes errors by foot, but when kicking long he has a nice action and more often than not can hit-up a teammate 40-50m down the ground. Schumacher also showed good agility and closing speed on the lead.

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Continued his good ball winning abilities in the midfield and was a deserving runner-up in the Morrish Medal. Was able to spread well from the contest and you couldn’t fault his endeavours in wanting to win the ball back when the Jets were in possession.

#5 Curtis Taylor – The standout Cannon for the day for me. Playing in the attacking half of the ground, he showed off his X-Factor and agility in the stoppages. Taylor provided a dangerous option when he was up forward and he was able to get the ball inside 50 effectively when he was playing through the midfield. Also marks well overhead.

#12 Noah Balta – Begun the game up forward and mixed his time between ruck/forward. Was the clear best tall in at the centre bounces, using his elite leap to effectiveness. Up forward with the wind, Balta showed on multiple occasions he could bang the ball long 60 metres at goal – and he kicked a fine set shot goal in the opening quarter from outside 50. Contested marking was impressive right around the ground.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played as a centre half back for the majority of the game and was able to drop off his opponent and win the ball in the defensive half of the ground. Is one I think that is better suited up forward, but has shown he is more than capable at either end in recent weeks. Was also very efficient by hand and foot, hardly missing a target all day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Battled hard playing as a key position player and was able to win the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50. Is a handy mark and can take them in contested situations. Gave away a few unnecessary free kicks during the game, but worked hard all day.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – Kicked a great banana goal in the opening quarter and his ball use was very good right throughout the game. He was able to win the ball in the contest and was also willing to tackle back to win the ball. Looking forward to tracking him closely next season.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty – One of the stiffest players to even not collect a vote in the Morrish Medal after his best-on-ground display. Fogarty hunted the ball back with immense pressure and his tackling was phenomenal. His clearance work was good and it lead to multiple inside 50s coming from his boot. Is agile enough to get around his opponents at the stoppages and he pushed forward to boot three goals.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Once again showed his contested ball winning abilities, working hard at every stoppage he attended. Also pushed forward and took a good mark inside 50 in the third quarter. Spent a bit more time forward than usual and didn’t win too many clearances – but was another important player in the midfield for the Jets.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played as a key defender and showed some smarts when teammates had the ball inside defensive 50, where he was often able to spread and get to the right position for the switch. Took some strong contested grabs and with the ball in hand his decision making was good.

#44 Tristan Xerri – Easily the best game I’ve seen Xerri play where he was not only able to dominate in the ruck, but win the ball around the ground. He linked up well by hand and his follow up work was very good. Booted two goals up forward, but it was his work in the contest that was super impressive for the tall.

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Tom North – The inside midfielder was best on ground in the first quarter, seemingly bringing his own football with him. He was noticeaby missing after quarter time given Oakleigh took more control of the midfield. North hurt his ankle and did not play a further part after a nine disposal, two clearance start to the game. He is one who has shown enough this season to be considerd around the middle of the draft.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – One of the best Ranges on the weekend, Stoddart showed off some impressive, penetrating kicks coming out of defensive 50. He was assigned to Higgins at times and while he was beaten in the air by the Morrish Medallist, he was smart in peeling off and assisting teammates in other contests. Stoddart reads the play well and times his spoils to perfection, while he also has good vision to spot up teammates in space. A player who really applies good pressure when he is around the football I noticed he tends to rush his kick under pressure at times and can lean back to get more distance but sometimes it puts him off balance.

#10 Dylan Moore – Played his part for the Ranges on the weekend as one of the best and has an equal balance of offensive and defensive pressure. He leads at the football when it is his time to go, and he pressures opponents when he does not have the football to try and keep the ball locked into the forward 50. Kicked a good goal from a set shot and when he went into the midfield he really began accumulating the football. While he has been likened to that smaller forward role, Moore showed he can more than hold his own in the midfield with a number of clearances and winning it on the inside or out.

#14 Trent Mynott – The midfielder was quiet early but pressured his opponents and got to the right positions. He won a bit more of the football in the second half, and laid a huge bone-crunching tackle that even had the crowd going “oooh”. Mynott has a fierce attack on the football and while he was not a huge accumulator on the weekend, he always does the defensive aspects right.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – The midfielder/forward is just an excitement machine. At times his kicking can be iffy, but he wins the ball all over the ground, is good in the air or at ground level and just oozes excitement. As a spectator you cannot help but be drawn to see what he will do with the ball and what move he will pull next. He snapped a great goal under pressure in the second term and streamed through the middle of the ground showing off some great acceleration to kick inside 50. He had a couple of snaps early in the final term but could not find the radar, but was one of the few Ranges who could hold their head high for four quarters. It was one of his more consistent performances and caps off a great month.

#18 Sam Hayes – The most impressive thing about Hayes as a ruck is, despite not being overly mobile compared to other rucks, he does win a fair few clearances to go with his hitouts. A combination of grabbing it out of the ruck and putting it on the boot as well as picking it off the deck and booting it forward, Hayes put in another solid performance. He also wins a fair few free kicks because his opponents are wary of what he is capable of. He can take some good contested grabs and is a clear first round prospect and the first ruckman taken this year.

#21 Joel Garner – Had a good first quarter intercepting a number of possessions going inside 50, timing his leads and reading the ball well playing opposed to Higgins at times. But a late hit on an opponent after he kicked – nothing malicious just very late – saw him reported and set off late in the second term. Oakleigh took advantage of Garner being off the ground to boot a few late goals. Garner was not as influential after he returned in the second half, understandably.

#22 Jackson Ross – Not a big ball winner but produced a few highlights on the weekend. He had a fantastic intercept mark reading the play well on the wing, not breaking stride, but then was tackled and coughed up possession after he did not see a tackler coming hard from the side. He booted a nice goal from outside 50 in the opening minute of the final term, but otherwise was quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – The key position defender always applies pressure inside defensive 50 and the game against Oakleigh was no different. He lays some strong tackles and assists his teammates, also providing some rebound out of defence. Not a big ball winner, but he wins a fair chunk of his one-on-ones and therefore is good in contested situations.

#33 Tyler Brown – The son of Gavin and brother of Callum on the weekend was okay, but realtively quiet. He played at half-forward predominantly and lead up at the football on a number of occasions. He had a handball predominant game, winning most of his possessions in close, but was effective in getting it to a teammate.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Played inside forward 50 and had a quiet game. He took a fanastic sliding mark in the third term and kicked the goal from the set shot, while also spending stints in the midfield, but did not accumulate big numbers.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played more of a forward role compared to his huge game the week before and was good in the way he continued to dig in and offer an option for his midfielders. He hits the contest hard and was rarely beaten overhead. He has great skills for a predominantly contested player and is a reliable set shot so I would not be surprised to see him rocket up the draft boards if he continues his good form.

#8 Toby Wooller – One of the best Oakleigh players in the win despite his kicking letting him down at times. He has developed into a hard running midfielder who is good overhead and can clear the area with some long kicks. He took a huge contested mark on the wing and while his kicking efficiency would have been average, his ability to win plenty of the football in midfield then go forward and kick three goals shows he has what it takes to make it at the next level, arguably as an athletic midfielder.

#35 Jack Higgins – The deserving Morrish Medallist again worked hard through four quarters but it probably was not his best game due to missed opportunities. His disposal by foot at times was rushed and he finished the game with 2.4 including a poster from a set shot. The wind caused much havoc and the pressure was high at times, but Higgins was a fanastic contested mark and can set up the play really well. His leading patterns are top notch and his work rate is huge. His kicking efficiency of 38 per cent and inaccuracy in front of goal stopped it from being a dominant performance once again.

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Peter Williams)

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Worked hard in close and while he did not win a heap of the football, produced a lot of one percenters to help his teammates. He fought throughout the four quarters and was rewarded for his hard running with a great goal from outside 50.

#6 Patrick Naish – The Richmond father/son nominee was effective across half-back early, looking calm and composed. He was more influential in the first half than in the second, like many of his teammates. He had a flying shot at goal from outside 50 but it went well out on the full, before adding a major to his name late in the last quarter with a good goal inside 50. Not one of his better games, but was serviceable considering his team as a whole did not perform the way they would have liked.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Did not accumulate a heap of it, but I felt he was one of the best Knights. He won the ball in close and on the outside and while he could rush his kick on occasions when disposing of it over short distances, he had an impressive purple patch in the quarter. He won the ball at half-back and spurred a dart inside 50 to a teammate and then moments later had a running shot at goal and it sailed home. Petruccelle had a good clearance out of the centre to open the final term..

#9 Alex Federico – Known for his ball winning ability and he was one of the bigger accumulators on the weekend. His work rate is really high and he is important in the Knights’ transition from half back to half-forward. Federico was really cleaver around the stoppages in extracting the ball and getting it forward, winning the bulk of his disposals in tight.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The usual defender played up forward and had a good pressuring role. Unfortunately his stats will not reflect the game he had without the football, just a couple of touches and a goal, but he laid a few tackles and did add an extra element inside 50 when the ball went down there. Didn’t see him have a touch in the second half though.

#12 Joel Naylor – The tall forward was indicative of the Knights’ performance in the sense he was super impressive when handed opportunties in the first half, but faded away in the second half. Took a few good marks and slotted a goal in the first term, but was barely sighted after half-time such was the lack of entries inside the Knights’ forward 50.

#34 Matthew Harman – Harman did his bit in the ruck, sharing the duties with Joel Grace and being serviceable across the ground. He had an ingenious moment in the second term when he kicked the ball along the ground to the advantage of his teammates when he knew he did not have time to take possesion. Did not accumulate much of the pill, but held his own in the ruck contests. 

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachie Harris – Due to injury and school football I have not had the chance to see Harris live since the Dragons’ round one match and while he is not a huge accumulator, he is that small forward who adds pressure to the forward 50. He probably needs to do a bit more offensively, but defensively he was solid and kicked an important goal in the third term to put his side 24 points up with 10 minutes remaining.

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle is another “handball-first” player, but he is ultra-quick with his thought process and disposal. He has clean hands and won plenty of the ball in the middle of the ground, always on the move and shovelling it out to a teammate in space. Nagle earned a lot of his disposals running on the outside and also mopped up in defence on a number of occasions.

#5 Seb Williams – The Brighton Grammar midfielder was strong in the contest but his disposal let him down. His decision making at times was also questionable, such as handballing to a stationary target under pressure. However, his pros from the weekend really impressed me with his overhead strength and neat sidestep. He finds space inside 50 and kicked a great goal. He spread from the contest well and continued to present as an option coming off half-back and along the win. If he can tinker with his kicking and improve his decision making, he could be a late pick-up this year.

#6 Charlie Constable – The inside beast has had bigger games disposal wise, but when he wins the football he is really noticeable. His strength and balance in the contest is huge and in one instant he swivelled his hips to shake off a tackler and pump it long to Isaac Morrisby on the lead. Took a contested mark on the wing despite pressure coming from both sides of his body and he also defended well, adding composure to the back six. He finds space really well and looks to execute a pass inside to the corridor at every opportunity.

#8 Will Walker – Walker strikes me as a really hard runner. He is very outside in the way he goes about it, but he just gets to contest after contest. He often wins a lot of possessions through handball receives, but what impressed me on the weekend was his ability to work hard defensively and lay a number of good tackles. The knock was his influence around the ground because he won a bit through the middle of the ground, but was not as influential as others elsewhere.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Along with his brother, Brayshaw continued to win plenty of the football. He was more prominent in the first half, winning the ball in close and then spreading to the outside, delivering some nicely waited passes inside 50. He also set up a number of scoring opportunities when going forward and while there were a few rushed kicks, Brayshaw kicked an important goal early in the final term to snuff out Northern’s chances of a comeback.

#10 Angus Styles – One of the smarter players in terms of vision and footy nous in close. One example I saw which I liked was his ability to not rush his handball into space, but instead hold onto the footy for an extra second to enable his teammate Will Walker to run into the space required to receive the handball. He took a good intercept mark inside 50 for the Dragons by standing his ground, but missed the set shot and finished the day with two behinds. Styles was a really balanced player in the marking contest and he protects the ball drop. Not a huge accumulator, I thought Styles contributed to the Dragons’ win well.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – The star of the show with five goals and was just influential throughout the contest. He was known for his ability to accumulate on the inside last season and on the weekend he played forward and just dominated. Then he went into the midfield and dominated there, laying some great tackles and influencing the contest in tight. Most importantly it was one of the best games I have seen him play in terms of disposal and hurt factor with some really impressive, penetrating kicks inside 50, setting up a couple of goals for teammates. An over-age player, Brayshaw would have to be in consideration at some clubs for his pure ball winning ability and his strength to make an impact when forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – An impressive game rotating through the ruck and up forward, needing to play more minutes in the midfield after Hayden McLean was concussed and taken from the ground. He started forward and took a great diving mark with his set shot from 35m out going straight through the middle. He then influenced the contest around the ground, showing off his athleticism to win a heap of hitouts and became the link-up man in transition from the midfield to the forwards. One of the best games I have seen him play.

#30 Hayden McLean – He took a huge contested grab and hurt himself doing so, with his kick on goal powerful, but missing. He presented up forward, but was not as influential as in other games, then came off concussed in the third term and did not play any further part.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The weekend’s game was the first time I have seen Murphy play live and I am sold. He was really strong in the opening moments with some deadly darts inside 50 and looked really slick along the wing. He went back later in the game and was good one-on-one and took some great marks. I thought his ground coverage was great, and he is not afraid to back himself in the contest. The one knock I would have is that he is still raw and learning aspects of the game having come from a cricketing background. With the ball he is fine, but without it there were a couple of moments where he looked uncertain of whether to shepherd a teammate or go for the ball himself. But I expect that will come with time and certainly with ball in hand, Murphy was ultra impressive.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#6 Aiden Bonar – Was impressive throughout the contest and spent more time in the midfield as the game went on. His pressure was very high and he laid some very strong tackles. Has presence around the contest and showed that he has a decent burst when he needs to use it. Took a strong contested mark in the third quarter and was able to find the ball around the ground. Bonar was willing to provide multiple efforts, including a great passage of play in front of recruiters on the wing – where he was able to make multiple efforts and attempt to win back the ball by applying pressure on the Geelong defenders.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Played one of the best games I’ve seen him play, marking with ease in the defensive 50. Was also pushed forward late, but his intercept work was one of the reason that the Falcons struggled to kick goals. His usage was good on his right foot and provided a few rebound 50s.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued his strong form showing his ball winning abilities through the midfield. Covered the ground well and his defensive efforts were good – not only dropping back to help out in defensive 50, but tackling hard through the midfield. Hitting form at a good time.

#35 Tom Freeman – Played as a third tall rebounding defender for the Stingrays and whilst most of his possessions were in uncontested situations – he reads the play well and his positioning was good. Has some burst of speed too.

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Had a quieter game than usual, not winning as much ball as he has done in some games this season. Spent most the day inside 50, and his follow up and pressure work was good. Laid some strong tackles in the wet and his hands in close were effective.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Had a superb run down tackle in the first quarter and was able to get off the chain on the outside as one of the Falcons’ best. Showed off his agility on the wing and was willing to take on opponents with his speed. Booted a great left foot goal from outside 50 and pumped the ball long on multiple occasions.

#16 David Handley – Had five scoring shots on goal – but unfortunately only managed to convert one – which was an absolute beauty booted from mid air 10 metres out. Showed off his long right foot kick at times and his leading was good – able to get space between himself and his opponent to mark the ball unopposed.

#19 Matt Ling – Started the game exceptionally well, but was quieter after quarter time. Used his good agility to effectiveness, as well as his pinpoint left foot pass. Took multiple kick outs for the Falcons and had a few good spoils when he needed to defend in one-on-one situations.

#38 James Worpel – Didn’t have as much impact than he has in other games – but his contested game was again on show. His tackling and pressure in the contest was very good and he was often found at the bottom of the packs throughout the game. In the wet, he was able to clear the ball and bang it long inside 50 to one of the Falcons’ tall targets.

#41 Tom McCartin – Leapt at a few balls throughout the day and you can tell he’s the brother of St Kilda’s Patrick. Had some good defensive efforts and was involved in a few score assists, getting the ball to teammates. Unfortunately, his day ended early suffering concussion.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Was strong on the inside and had plenty of early possessions in the opening half. Had good vision at times to find a target by hand in close and was another player that was willing to boot the ball out of the pack and get it going inside 50.

#46 Adam Garner – Pulled off a great contested mark in the opening quarter, as well as winning a free kick after being held – which he converted the shot on goal. However, once the rain came after half time, it was hard going for the Falcons tall.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Michael Alvaro)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Amassed 25 disposals and seven clearances as one of Murray’s more consistent performers. Had a good mix of inside and outside possession, but his run and carry was what made him stand out on the day. Would like to see him finish off his bursts of speed with more kicks though, he opted to hand the ball off on the back of his runs and broke down the momentum of his move.

#7 Zane Barzen – Was a key link in the chain forward of centre for Murray with eight marks, one of which was a decent hanger on the wing in the third term. He chimed in with a couple of clever goals to cap off what was a solid shift overall. Needs to work on his defensive efforts though, as he didn’t clock a tackle despite having a strong presence up forward.

#11 Jy Lane – Lane was consistently the man moving the ball in and out of either 50 as he worked hard to take the game on and break the lines constantly. He worked well in that aspect alongside Langlands, while also quelling the influence of Jiath after quarter time on the wing.

#19 Will Donaghey – Lead all-comers in terms of disposals with 31 and was a key part in Murray’s moves out of defence. He collected a wealth of those possessions on the outside and often used his teammates to gather quick 1-2’s breaking away from stoppages. With 24 of his disposals counting as uncontested, it’s fair to say Donaghey’s strength lies on the outside, and he showed off his high footy IQ with some clever and opportunistic plays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands doesn’t often stand out in any particular areas, but this was one of his better games as he made his mark with some great run and carry. He’s a regular across half-back for Murray and he played that quarterback-type role perfectly as he gathered a wealth of uncontested ball and running bounces. He also impacted the scoreboard with his sole major and three score assists from some sharp inside 50 entries.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech was constantly a solid option up forward for the Bushies, but he struggled to reel in anything that came his way. While his hands aren’t the strongest, he does some good work at ground level and moves well for a key position player. He bagged two majors and was extremely vocal throughout the day, screaming ‘get around him’ from the bench whenever he could. Unfortunately copped a knock and limped off later on.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Part of the talented Gippsland midfield mosquito fleet, Hogan excited with some strong bursts from the stoppages and showed good clearance nous. Attended most of the centre bounces and helped his side to get on top with 8 clearances in a game-high 30 disposals. Played his part moving up the ground with 11 inside 50’s and some nice handball chains through the midfield.

#4 Changkouth Jiath – Was instrumental in the first quarter with 10 disposals, it seemed like Jiath was everywhere. Used his athleticism well to mark overhead and then break away along the wing, but just lacked a finish product. Needs to improve on his kicking if he wants to take full advantage of his damaging traits, which are outstanding. Also had a good battle with Jy Lane on the wing, rotating with Irving Mosquito throughout the game.

#5 Xavier Duursma – Duursma is as unfazed in combat as you’ll see any bottom-ager. Played his typical role in defensive-50, snuffing out opposition attacks both aerially and on the ground, while also providing plenty of rebound. He’s usually a composed kick but lost his head a couple of times today, turning it over in dangerous areas. Was still trusted with kick-in duties and put in a good shift overall down back.

#7 Will Stephenson – Was reasonably quiet in his loud green boots early on, but came to life after half time with more minutes in the midfield. He worked well at the centre bounces with Hogan, Porter and Quigley to get Gippsland on the front foot with a barrage of long inside-50 entries. Chimed in with three important goals and showed how clever he is around the big sticks, finding opportunities where not many would.

#19 Callum Porter – Arguably the best afield across the whole game, Porter capped off his consistent home and away season with a big performance. He was able to show off his inside and outside traits as a midfielder with some hard work in-tight followed up by streaming runs through the corridor. Continually popped up at the back of the centre bounces, either pumping the ball long or trying to break free of his opponents. Was an overall complete midfielder’s game today from the Gippsland star.

#41 Sam Flanders – Flanders was an absolute menace up forward and didn’t allow his opponents a moment of rest. Combined with fellow AFL Academy member Caleb Serong to amass four third-quarter goals which played a vital part in Gippsland’s second half breakaway. He lead the way in the defensive pressure stakes with some bruising tackles, but also showed some good finesse around goals despite kicking five behinds. Looks like a very promising type, and reminds me a bit of former Gippsland forward Tom Papley – who also wears the #41.

#42 Caleb Serong – The 16 year old hasn’t looked out of place at TAC Cup level and this game was no exception. Worked well in tandem with Sam Flanders inside forward 50 and chimed in with two crucial goals during the third term after moving from the wing early on. Can take a good overhead grab and does some smart work around goals, he’s another to watch in the coming years.

Victorian school football update August edition

WE ARE at the end of the season in the APS and AGSV Victorian school boy football competition and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have stood out in the last few rounds after the school holidays.

The annual APS v AGSV game was held on Saturday, with the APS running out 38-point winners. You can find the stats from the game at the bottom of this page.

SCOUTING NOTES: APS v AGSV rep game

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 39-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE JUNE EDITION

APS:

Haileybury College completed a perfect season as the clear best team in the APS, with a record of 10-0. Coming back from two ACL injuries, Aiden Bonar returned through the seconds at Haileybury but made an impact in his first game back against St Kevin’s. In their final clash at Geelong Grammar, Charlie Constable (46 disposals) and Andrew Brayshaw (42 disposals) were the two stars dominating through the midfield, using the ball well. Unfortunately after representing Dandenong Stingrays through the holidays, Jack McHale suffered a serious knee injury against St Kevin’s. Jackson Ross continued his fine form throughout the season booting six goals in their big win over Geelong Grammar, taking his tally to 29 goals for the season. Both bottom age twins Max and Ben King were far too good for the opposition defenders up forward.

Carey Grammar finished as runners-up, winning nine games for the season. Ed Richards was yet again impressive against St Kevin’s at the Snakepit, rebounding the ball well and using his clean quick hands in close. Richards was also a dominant player in the APS v AGS game on Saturday, finding 33 disposals. Under 16 Vic Metro guns Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson used their smarts in the midfield and despite being younger than many of their opponents, continued to crack in and win the contested ball. Charlie Thompson won plenty of the ball and showed his skills going forward and booting six goals against Geelong Grammar. Carey bottom-ager Sam Elliott (son of Australian cricketer Matthew) has a good leap on him, playing in the ruck and up forward and will be a name to keep an eye on for next year.

Caulfield Grammar were well led by Vic Metro midfielder Dylan Moore who has been one of the premium midfielders in the APS competition. Moore booted six goals (five in the second half) against Melbourne Grammar in shocking conditions at Todd Rd. Moore found the ball at ease and was damaging going forward. Against Brighton, Moore was well held for most of the game but a damaging patch in the third quarter saw him collect a dozen possessions and boot three goals. His last quarter was pivotal in their come from behind win over Wesley in Round 11. Trent Mynott was another strong player against Melbourne, but suffered an ankle injury against Brighton in Round 10. Jackson Hille’s pinch hitting in the ruck was important and he showed some good signs in the second half of the season and was able to push himself onto the State Combine list. On the inside, Brisbane Lions father-son prospect and Caulfield captain Lachlan Harris continued to find plenty of the ball in the contest. Angus Styles’ ball winning was important against Wesley in the final game of the season.

One of Xavier College’s possible draft prospects CJ (Changkuoth Jiath) missed the last few games through injury, but there was plenty of other Xavier players to step up. Zak “Cherry” Evans has shown his strength up forward, booting four goals against Geelong College. Laitham Vandermeer however, might be their best draft hopeful with the rebounding defender using his pinpoint kick to effectiveness throughout the season. Jack Hewitt was their clear best against Wesley College, booting three goals and finding the ball through the midfield.

Brighton Grammar finished the year with a 6-4 record and have been able to unearth another AFL draft prospect in Nathan Murphy. The medium forward has been their prime target up forward and brought his goal kicking boots to Caulfield Grammar, where he kicked 6.0 setting up their win. The talented cricketer has plenty of suitors and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him move up into the first round, after showing his clean skills at ground level. Alfie Jarnestrom made it back-to-back best and fairest wins, after tieing with Andrew McGrath last year. Jarnestrom has moved to more of a role across half back and has used his tidy left foot to effectiveness, still finding the ball when playing through the midfield. Seb Williams was consistent throughout the year, finding 40 disposals as Brighton’s best against Geelong College in Round nine. Williams has speed and a good endurance base, and the midfielder has been invited to test at the State Combine. Year 11 Ruckman Nick Phillips has improved dramatically and his selection in the APS rep team showed how far he has come after a quiet 1st XVIII season as a Yr 10 last season. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker was Brighton’s most improved, looking at home as a hybrid defender, rebounding the ball well, showing good signs for next season.

St Kevin’s College had a solid year, with Lachlan Fogarty performing well in the midfield. Down in defence Ethan Phillips held his own as one of the better key backs in the competition. Cam Hodges was impressive throughout the season, thoroughly deserving his APS rep team spot collecting 17 disposals vs the AGSV. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Oliver) was another that put together a good string of form throughout the season. Rhylee West booted three goals in their loss to Haileybury, while Year 10 Jack Mahony continues to find the football and impress.

Melbourne Grammar had their best draft hope Charlie Spargo ruled out with a shoulder injury, but players such as Sam Cameron and Oscar Dowd were able to step up and impress. Cameron moves well around the ground and has some speed that has interested clubs enough to see him collect a State Combine invite. Dowd won Melbourne’s best and fairest where he was able to hit the scoreboard and find plenty of the ball. Another name to watch is bottom-ager Toby Bedford who had some eye catching performances in the second half of the year, impressing in their Cordner-Egglestone Cup loss to Scotch.

Scotch College finished with three wins for the season, but it was displays up forward by Will Sutherland that was important. Scotch isolated Sutherland at times and against Melbourne Grammar he was far too big and strong for his opponent, booting four goals. His game against Geelong Grammar where he kicked five goals was also impressive. Bottom-age ruckman Will Clark’s work in the ruck hasn’t been missed, showing signs that he could push himself into draft calculations for 2018. Clark’s battle with Brighton’s Nick Phillips was impressive in the final game for the season, and Clark’s main strengths are that he can use the ball well and find it around the ground unlike other ruckman in the competition. Vic Metro captain Joel Garner controlled the play across half back and was able to use his long left foot to effectiveness. Noah Croes was another who caught the eye, finding the ball and using it well on his right foot breaking lines. Sam Townsend marked well overhead and provided to be another good tall in defence.

Geelong Grammar had a disappointing season results wise, despite boasting a handful of draftable prospects. AFL clubs uncovered Joe Griffiths, who has since received a State Combine invite. The 204cm ruckman is boarding at Grammar and has a good leap. Griffiths’ marking was impressive in the APS v SATIS game on the weekend, clunking three contested marks in the opening quarter. It’s no surprise that midfielder Paddy Dow is in contention for the number one selection, with his clean hands and clearance work impressive. Dow was Geelong’s best against the star-studded Haileybury College team in the final round and has shown speed coming out of the stoppages. Jarrod Brander played as a true swingman in the last few games, playing at the end where the wind was going. Brander controlled the play in defence against Carey, intercepting well. Against Haileybury he was able to push forward and clunked a nice mark over Vic Country tall defender Oscar Clavarino. The classy outside midfielder Lochie O’Brien’s ball usage has been outstanding and his breakaway speed is a trademark and he is someone who should have a fine AFL career. O’Brien has been the large focal point for opposition school taggers – and it’s no surprise such his class – but he has been able to break away from the extra attention and was in Geelong’s best players in all of the last three games. Brent Daniels showed his speed and smarts around goal, booting four against Scotch and pushed into Geelong’s VFL team on the weekend.

Geelong College compiled a very nice win against Wesley College in Round 10, with bottom-age Geelong Falcons players Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless impressing. McHenry continued his strong Vic Country form into the APS, displaying his tricks and talent in the midfield as he gathered 30 disposals against Brighton, and 31 disposals, seven tackles and three goals against Wesley. Geelong 2018 father-son prospect Oscar Brownless has got better as the season went on, with an impressive 33 disposal game against Brighton. He laid 10 tackles in their loss against Xavier, while his ball winning was on show with 28 disposals in their win against Wesley. In the midfielder Jack Henderson was College’s best, winning their best and fairest. Henderson was well held against Brighton, but was unable to be stopped by Wesley, collecting 32 disposals and five tackles in a best-on-ground performance. He was similarly impressive against Xavier, with 32 disposals, nine tackles and eight marks. Charlie Sprague has been a revelation, finding himself as a late addition to the Vic Country U17 team. His work rate around the ground has been good and has been a reliable target up forward. In the final two games he had six contested marks and is one to keep an eye on for next year.  Sam Conway’s tall presence around the ground and in the ruck has allowed the first use to the midfielders at stoppages. Tom Page has also been a pivotal part of the College’s midfield settling into tagging roles during the year whilst also finding plenty of the ball when in attack. James Edmonds continued to be lively around the forward line booting (5 goals) against Wesley.

Wesley College lost their best player Adam Cerra to shoulder surgery late in the season, but their off-field efforts with the ‘spit’ going in the final round was a recruiters delight. They led for majority of the game against Caulfield, but were overrun in the final quarter. Vic Metro Under 16 tall Charlie Dean was good up forward, booting two goals and providing a good target inside 50 against the ‘Fields. Oscar Bennett was a consistent performer, while Adam Collinson had some eye catching runs in his bright red boots through the midfield.

AGSV: 

Marcellin College completed an undefeated season, making it three premierships in a row – defeating Ivanhoe in the Grand Final. Up forward, Matthew Cecchin was a dead eye not missing many shots and creating chances inside 50. Alex Federico controlled the play through the midfield and was able to set up multiple chances. In the ruck, high level Basketballer Bailey Griffiths has thrown himself into AFL Draft calcuations with strong form throughout the finals. Griffiths has great pedigree with mum Michelle having played for the Opals, as well as being the nephew of 193-gamer Dean Brogan. Possible Collingwood father-son player Tyler Brown showed his smarts across half forward and has been a big improver in 2017. Ben Wiggins was the eye-catcher in finals, intercepting exceptionally well in defensive 50. He has a good leap and was comfortable kicking the ball on either foot.

SCOUTING NOTES: AGSV Grand Final 

Ivanhoe Grammar played some strong football under the guidance of the ever passionate Roger Gill throughout the season. Richmond father-son Patrick Naish booted three goals in the Grand Final and despite copping plenty of the huge Marcellin crowd, was able to push his team throughout the contest. Bottom-ager Tom McKenzie was impressive, showing good signs for next year with some good intercept marks. Max Dreher started on fire against Marcellin in the Grand Final, playing through the midfield and across half back, using his strong hands to his advantage.

Mentone Grammar had a good season, with midfielder Ed Newman finding plenty of the ball and using it effectively on his pinpoint left foot in his long white and blue sleeves. Lewis Diggins used his big frame to play a role winning the contested ball, but they were helped with one of the best ruckman in the state Joel Amartey, feeding the ball down to the midfielders, with his eye catching leap on display. On the outside, Kai Owens found the ball and has been another who has improved throughout the year despite battling a few injury niggles in the post holiday’s period. Tom Yorgey’s aggression across half back was notable, while Dev Brereton showed his smarts inside 50 at times.

PEGS were outclassed by Marcellin in the final, but boast one of the best players in the country in Cameron Rayner. Rayner flew for some eye catching marks in the opening quarter in the semi final at Marcellin – clunking a very good one close to goal. While he didn’t have as big of an impact as he has in some games, he has carried a few injury niggles – now including a thumb injury, but he will play out the remainder of the season at this stage with a cast. Son of Dustin, Mason Fletcher played in multiple positions, lining up in the ruck in the Semi-Final at times. Curtis Taylor has also been important, marking well inside 50 and showing his agility & X-Factor through the midfield. Taylor was one of PEGS’ best in their semi-final loss to Marcellin.

Peninsula finished in fifth position, narrowly missing out on finals. Medium tall Tom Freeman has earned a spot at the State Combine and marks well overhead. His tackling and defensive efforts were noticeable for the AGSV on the weekend. Dandenong Stingrays bottom-ager Jai Taylor performed well all season and was in the best for Vic Country Under 17s on Saturday. Taylor collected 18 disposals, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s in a strong performance on the outside and the 186cm midfielder can play in multiple roles and is one to watch.

Ryley Stoddart has been a classy performer for Yarra Valley Grammar and had a role moving the magnets for the AGSV on Saturday. Stoddart missed their final game against Mentone with an injury niggle, but his form against Eastern Ranges against Sandringham Dragons a fortnight ago was super impressive. Mackenzie Doreian showed some craft as a small forward and isn’t a bad little player. Doreian collected 18 disposals and laid seven tackles in the APS v AGSV game on Saturday.

Trinity Grammar were represented by Charlie Beasley and Bailey Evans in the APS v AGSV rep game. Evans’ ball winning skills through the midfield was very good, while Beasley was able to mark the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50.

Liam Middleton was a good performer for Assumption College Kilmore and he did some good things in the APS v AGSV rep game on Saturday, finding 16 disposals and three inside 50s. Outside midfielder Ned Lanyon was another who performed well for Assumption.

David McColl is a name to keep an eye on out of Camberwell Grammar, with the Year 11 boy finishing second in their best and fairest last year as a Year 10. In their clash against PEGS earlier in the season, McColl had a very good one-on-one battle with Cameron Rayner throughout the game. McColl has some speed and was named as an emergency in the AGSV team.

APS v AGSV Stats: 

KHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
AGSV2021633659213623360263037351210
APS21321542810714529151403453251812
APSKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
14Ed RICHARDS171633482356
18Andrew BRAYSHAW14173151219864111
12Charlie THOMPSON1119308141812511
2Lachlan HARRIS121729682232111
4Jack HENDERSON1414282141465411
6Alfie JARNESTROM15122781019232
11Laitham VANDERMEER12152767201132
7Angus STYLES1312256619132
5Seb WILLIAMS168244619128141
1Jack ALEXANDER6131948121341
10Cameron HODGES9817589235
15Oscar BROWNLESS89177413411
26Max KING1151610881552
3Noah CROES1051564131221
9Oliver DICKSON8715321311111
24Nick PHILLIPS6915561012412
27Nathan MURPHY7613376282221
28Ben KING103134851131
23Ethan PHILLIPS21012411141
8Tom JEPSON8311529211
25Hugh LONGBOTTOM471122935121
20Bailey WRAITH13
AGSKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
1Matthew CECCHIN151429791932422
13Bailey EVANS1412267818121
12Ed NEWMAN151025662041271
4Lachlan WILSON1592431114626121
30Lewis DIGGINS14102466172211
24Alex FEDERICO1762351212352411
9Curtis TAYLOR14923510122121
2Mackenzie DOREIAN10818610973312
7Liam MIDDLETON8816479331
32Luke MINAHAN3131619711
28Tom YORGEY12315431211
15Christian FARCHIONE78154213221
8Max DREHER6915469121
37Tom FREEMAN781551057221
23Ned LANYON59143135121
10Charlie BEASLEY6713631013
27Stefan NADALIN651163824
3Harrison FRY73104282121
31Mason FLETCHER731032813
42Oscar McINTYRE358145311211
14Joel AMARTEY617243213211
34Patrik DELLA ROCCA52726122122

Scouting notes: APS v AGSV schoolboy match

The APS made it seven-in-a-row with 38-point victory over the AGSV out at Carey Grammar on Saturday.

The annual Victorian school boys representative game has seen players such as Jayden Hunt (2013), Brayden Sier (2015) and Oliver Hanrahan (2016) push their names into consideration to be drafted – with Hunt and Hanrahan bypassing the Under 18 TAC Cup competition in their draft year.

The APS’ second team also took on Sports Association of Tasmanian Independent Schools (SATIS) rep football team, winning 106 to 50.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

APS:

#3 Noah Croes – The rebounding half back flanker has been a solid performer for Scotch over the last few years in the APS competition. Whilst he didn’t find a lot of the ball, his usage on his right foot was reasonable and he did provide some dash & booted a long goal in the opening quarter.

#5 Seb Williams – Was arguably the best player on the ground. The Brighton Grammar & Sandringham Dragons midfielder played well on the outside booting four goals for the game. While he missed a few of his kicks early, he did get better as the game went on and found plenty of the ball going forward. One of his better performances.

#7 Angus Styles – Was a strong performer in Caulfield’s come from behind victory last week against Wesley and he continued his ball winning ability at Carey, finding plenty of the ball. He played mostly on the wing, but was able to win the ball in the contest. When he possess the ball, he was willing to stop and look for the best target.

#14 Ed Richards – Rebounded the ball out of defence with speed and his usage on his left foot was very good. Took most of the kick outs throughout the contest and his quick hands are elite.

#26 Max King – Was a class above in the forward half with four first-half goals. He was able to get space between him and his opponent, leaping high and plucking the ball out from the clouds. Finished the day with five goals as the most dominating tall for the day, alongside twin brother Ben who played in defence. Would be Pick 1 in this year’s draft if he was eligible.

#27 Nathan Murphy – Booted two goals up forward – but most of the APS inside 50s were targeted towards the taller Max King. Murphy kept his feet and was very clean from ground level. Was challenged in the final quarter with the APS coach throwing him into the ruck, competing reasonably well and showing a decent leap.

AGSV:

#4 Lachlan Wilson – The Marcellin midfielder is a very good school footballer and booted two goals from the midfield. Has smarts at the stoppages and wins the ball around the ground.

#9 Curtis Taylor – Showed enough to suggest he’ll be a high pick in 2018 after playing a decent game for the AGSV. Took a superb mark in the final quarter and booted the goal. Has smarts around goal and is a smooth mover.

#12 Ed Newman – The AGSV captain hardly missed a target on his left foot throughout the day. Starting at the centre bounce and winning the opening clearance, Newman also played across half back and found the football with ease. Was agile enough to move past his opponents and was one of the AGSV’s best players.

#14 Joel Amartey – Leaped well in the ruck winning plenty of hitouts throughout the day. Had a very good battle with Nick Phillips – another player who has grown up playing basketball. Up forward, his positioning could’ve been better but he shows promise with each game he plays.

#15 Christian Farchione – Another nice left footer in the AGSV team and despite his size, he is willing to crack in at the contest. Very rarely misses a short target by foot.

#37 Tom Freeman – The Dandenong Stingrays medium tall is off to the State Combine and he did show a few glimpses during the day. In bright yellow boots, Freeman moved well around the ground and had a few nice passages using the ball on his right foot. Had a very good effective switch where he used his vision to find a long target.

APS v SATIS (Tasmania) 

APS:

#7 Rhylee West – The son of Scott (and 2018 Western Bulldogs father-son prospect) was one of the leading disposal winners throughout the game. He covered the ground well and had a very good pinpoint pass off his right foot in the opening few minutes of the game.

#13 Jackson Hille – Was willing to mark the ball and look to get the ball moving as quickly as possible. On one occasion he marked 80m from goal, turned and immediately found an easy target alone inside 50 without hesitating. Possesses a good leap and has some nice athletic traits.

#14 Sam Cameron – The Sandringham Dragons squad member possesses good hands in close and his recent form has seen him score a State Combine invite. Played in a few positions throughout the contest and did some nice things.

#26 Joe Griffiths – Was one of the more exciting players on the ground clunking three contested marks in the opening quarter alone. His leap in the ruck was good and despite being ‘under the weather’ he was the shining light in the game. His agility & step was very good, including one step 25m out from goal which saw him bang home his second goal. Finished with six marks for the day. One to keep an eye on as the Geelong Grammar boarder has a State Combine invite.

#28 Will Clark – Has been an impressive player in every game I’ve seen Scotch play this season. Clark’s ruck work was good yet again, but he separates himself from others with his work around the ground and his decent kick off his right foot. Kicked a goal in the first quarter and it was a good battle in the ruck against Tim Auckland.

SATIS:

#4 Elijah Reardon – Agile half forward flanker who had a few flashes. Used it reasonably well on his right foot going inside 50.

#11 Connor Dixon – The Tasmanian Under 20 Mens basketballer is a nice medium size and has a frame that could translate to AFL if he adds some size. Possessed great agility and had a clean right foot kick. Also went in as an inside midfielder and had a nice clearance in the final quarter.

#12 Oliver Burrows-Cheng – The half forward flanker has blistering speed & agility and had some smarts inside 50. Kicked a nice goal from outside 40m in the opening quarter.

#15 Declan Waddington – SATIS were well drilled in defensive 50 and Waddington controlled the play nicely, rebounding the ball well off his right foot.

#22 Tim Auckland – The Tasmanian Under 18 ruckman had a very good battle in the ruck against Clark and Griffiths. Clunked a very good contested mark in the second term. Didn’t find a whole lot of the ball around the ground, but his strength at the ruck contests was notable.

Victorian cricketer headlines 2017 AFL Draft Combine invites

VICTORIAN Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy headlines the 83 players invited to take part in the 2017 AFL Draft Combine.

Murphy has recently turned his focus to football, with the Brighton Grammar student booting 19 goals in the Victorian APS school boy competition as one of the more impressive medium talls in the competition. Murphy was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad, averaging over 22 disposals in his three games, including a three-goal haul against Bendigo Pioneers and the invite to the testing will give clubs an idea regarding his athletic ability after cricket has largely been the focus of the talented teenager.

The AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least four AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 29 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro won back-to-back titles in the Under 18 Championships, as the clear standout across the carnival.

At the Combine, draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL.

Possible number one candidates Adam Cerra, Nicholas Coffield, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Rayner will be keen to show off their athletic traits and will be a few players expected to have an important batch of interviews at the Combine.

Larke Medalist Oscar Allen is one of a number of Western Australia players invited.

In sweeping changes to the 2017 format, the Beep test and 3km time trial have been scrapped. The Beep Test has been replaced by the Yo-Yo run, with the AFL and combine sub-committee believing the beep test wasn’t the most accurate measure to predict fitness levels for team sports. The 3km time trial has been cut back to 2km, falling in line with the majority of AFL clubs who use the 2km run in their programs.

The clean hands test and the 30m repeat sprints test have been removed, with more time allocated to club interviews and medical screenings this year.

Possible Collingwood father-son Tyler Brown is one of 10 Eastern Ranges players selected. Brown was overlooked for Vic Metro selection, but has impressed for Marcellin College in AGSV School Football and for the Ranges in the TAC Cup.

Ed Richards is another with Collingwood links, as the son of Kane Richards, whose late father Ron played 143 games for the Pies. Ron Richards’ brother was Collingwood legend Lou.

Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish has also been invited, with Naish averaging 21 disposals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Hugh Dixon is the sole representative from Tasmania, with 11 players selected from the Allies squad.

Adam Sambono (Northern Territory) and Tim Kelly (Western Australia) are the only two mature-agers selected for the combine, with the pair both impressing at NEAFL and WAFL level respectively.

Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.

The National Combine will begin on Tuesday, October 3 and go through to Friday, October 6 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

Vic Metro

Noah Balta (Calder Cannons)
Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Tyler Brown (Eastern Ranges)
Adam Cerra (Eastern Ranges)
Nick Coffield (Northern Knights)
Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons)
Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets)
Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges)
Sam Hayes (Eastern Ranges)
Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Hayden McLean (Sandringham Dragons)
Dylan Moore (Eastern Ranges)
Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Mynott (Eastern Ranges)
Patrick Naish (Northern Knights)
Tom North (Eastern Ranges)
Ethan Penrith (Northern Knights)
Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Cameron Rayner (Western Jets)
Ned Reeves (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ed Richards (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jackson Ross (Eastern Ranges)
Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges)
Ryley Stoddart (Eastern Ranges)
Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Walker (Sandringham Dragons)
Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers)

Vic Country

Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Hunter Clark (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Clavarino (Dandenong Stingrays)
Brent Daniels (Benigo Pioneers)
Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays)
Tom De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aiden Domic (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ethan Floyd (Geelong Falcons)
David Handley (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Henderson (Bendigo Pioneers)
Changkouth Jiath (Gippsland Power)
Jordan Johnston (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Harrison Jones (Murray Bushrangers)
Matthew Ling (Geelong Falcons)
Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons)
Matthew McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Lloyd Meek (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)
Lochie O’Brien (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers)
Angus Schumacher (Bendigo Pioneers)
James Worpel (Geelong Falcons)

Western Australia

Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco)
Oscar Allen (West Perth)
Callan England (Claremont)
Kyron Hayden (Subiaco)
Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Ben Miller (Subiaco)
Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder)
Jake Patmore (Claremont)
Brandon Starcevich (East Perth)
Sam Taylor (Swan Districts)

South Australia

Charlie Ballard (Sturt)
Callum Coleman-Jones (Sturt)
Darcy Fogarty (Glenelg)
Jordan Houlahan (Sturt)
Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide)
Alex Martini (Glenelg)
Andrew McPherson (Woodville-West Torrens)
Harrison Petty (Norwood)

NSW-ACT

Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers)
Brendan Myers (Wagga Tigers/GWS academy)
Jack Powell (Ainsli/GWS academy)
Nicholas Shipley (St George/GWS academy)
Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland

Connor Ballenden (Wests Juniors/Brisbane Lions academy)
Brayden Crossley (Labrador/Gold Coast Suns academy)
Jack Payne (Noosa/Brisbane Lions academy)

Northern Territory

Zac Bailey (Southern Districts/Norwood)
Adam Sambono (NT Thunder)

Tasmania

Hugh Dixon (Kingborough Tigers)

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 11

ROUND Eleven of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend, with TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ continuing. We had scouts watching three of the games – read their notes below.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Won plenty of football in the defensive half of the ground, playing more up the ground at stages in the contest than rather as a pure back pocket. Did make a few errors by foot, but was able to mark and get to the right spots when having to defend.

#5 Seb Williams – Had the ball on a string early across half forward and through the midfield. Often opted for shorter passes by foot – but was smart at times by hand, drawing a player before whipping the ball into the corridor by hand and get the Dragons moving.

#8 Will Walker – Another who found plenty of the ball in the first half. At times was sloppy by foot skewing a few targets up the ground. Quieter after half time but still found a good amount of the footy.

#10 Angus Styles – The Dragons’ best in their strong win. Rebounded the ball well across half back and was good through the contest. Kicking can be hot and cold – but was solid in what was a windy day at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

#37 Bailey Smith – One that has impressed at school footy for Xavier and shown glimpses in his appearances for the Dragons and Vic Metro U17 Futures. Provides good run & carry getting the ball going forward, with a dash of speed. One to keep an eye on for next year’s draft.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The Victorian cricketer was a late addition to the Dragons squad and had a solid debut in defense after turning heads in the APS school boy competition up forward for Brighton Grammar. Possesses a long kick but at times did overuse the ball by hand coming out of defence. Voice was good in the defensive 50 barking instructions to his teammates despite being a new learner to the Dragons structures.

Geelong Falcons: 

#7 Harry Benson – Played through the midfield and was solid for the Falcons, often acting as a sweeper at the contest. Found the ball and was able to dispose of it well on his right foot – bar one clanger right near their Falcons’ defensive 50.

#9 Frazer O’Gorman – The left footer played through the midfield and despite his small frame competed well at the contest. He did however have multiple ineffective kicks off his left foot – but was one of the Falcons’ best.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Arguably the Falcons’ best – not wearing his usual red boots but was sporting a fresh lime green pair. Uses it well off his left foot on the outside and a strong player on the wing for the Falcons. Hoping he comes back in for Vic Country this week.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Another who impressive in what was a poor game for the Falcons. Kicked the ball well around the ground, hitting plenty of targets. Thought he was the Falcons’ best behind Floyd.


Oakleigh Chargers vs. Gippsland Power (Brandon Hutchinson)

Oakleigh Chargers: 

#4 Ned Reeves – Although the Power tried – the ruck work from Reeves proved hard to match with the Power rotating their ruckman to no avail. He was a tough one to beat in the air, being a popular target through the midfield and demonstrated a keen eye for passing & smothering.

#6 Matthew Day – Day was a nightmare for the Gippsland midfield this weekend, booming through any chance he got. He racked up three goals for himself and was pivotal in setting up a few more for his team. His sharp kicking was key to the Charger’s efficient four quarters and his movement with the footy makes for some exciting plays.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Launching through the first goal of the game, Thompson set a pace for the game his opposition would struggle to keep up with. His movement through the midfield aided many of his teammates’ scoring. He has a keen awareness of his surrounding shown through his ability to run and carry, shrug off his opponents and lay heavy tackles. The work rate of this youngster would not be easy to match.

#8 Toby Wooller – Wooller came out hot in the second half, ending his game with five goals under his belt. The ball always managed to find his strong hands, and whenever it was thrown to his boot, it hit the best option he could find. A powerhouse for the Chargers, Wooller destroyed the Power defence, slotting through plenty of goals and assisting in many others. The youngster also had no issue stepping up as ruck and showed off a beautiful smother in the final minutes off the game.

#37 Ed Michelmore – The work ethic from this young man helped keep Power goalless in the second half. A smart footballer, this young man excelled in the midfield. His movement was quick, sharp and calculated, displaying an outstanding sense for delivering that footy. He shrugged off two tackles running through the midfield, tossing his opponents into the pitch. Michelmore was exciting and dangerous for the Chargers.

#57 Riley Collier-Dawkins – Dawkins’ two goals were an impressive feat, but the work to be noted is his presence in the midfield. Having no problem getting his own ball, he was present during most of the major transitions through the Charger’s midfield. Athletic and intelligent, Dawkins showed us this weekend why he is the perfect football. His run and carry through the midfield is powerful, and his passing sharp and clever. This man deserves some attention for his efforts shown today and is one to keep an eye on for the 2018 AFL Draft.

Gippsland Power: 

#4 Changkuoth Jiath – Jiath has an athletic and adaptable future with his efforts today helping to reinforce these beliefs. CJ stepped up to the ruck at the beginning of the third, and despite being much shorter than his opponent, leapt to a height that made him Reeves best opponent for the day. A quick and agile footballer, Jiath was often the first to the ball and was up higher than the rest when it came to pack marks. His smart passing saw the footy reach his forward half, and his intercept in the second half was a sight to behold.

#19 Callum Porter – Despite being on the losing team, Porter was without a doubt one of the best on ground. Even with victory seeming more and more impossible, the young gun refused to give up the fight. His defensive pressure kept the Chargers out of his neck of the woods early on, and his work through the midfield comes with plenty of class and finish. Making the most of what he has, this youngster made the game appear a lot better than the end result may suggest.

#29 Boadie Motton – Working to the bone for his team, Boadie’s defensive pressure and placement of the ball made galloping off a bit harder for the Chargers in the opening half. His first quarter really showed off his talents with his clever movement in the midfield. He hits up his target, runs with excellent carry and refused to break under the pressure of a more adept side.


Calder Cannons vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Billy Friend)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Like salt and pepper, Brad Bernacki was everywhere for the Cannons today. The tough inside midfielder led his team from the front and continues to prove himself despite not being selected by Vic Metro. Today was a classic Bernacki performance; contested possessions, strong tackling and two crucial goals from midfield.

#5 Curtis Taylor – Demonstrated plenty of X-Factor today in the forward half by kicking three goals and setting up a couple more. His craft and agility allowed him to bring his teammates into the game and the forward won several one-on-one contests.

#19 Ben Caluzzi – Caluzzi really impressed today via his run and carry off half back. The defender accumulated disposals as the Cannons’ main delivery man and was prominent throughout the whole match. He kicked an incredibly skilful goal from the boundary line from outside fifty which also caught the eye. If there was one criticism of his performances, he did occasionally turn the ball over, but more than made up for this with a terrific performance.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Fletcher acted as the rock in defence again today. The bottom-ager reads the flight of the ball better than his opponents and even snuck forward to kick a cheeky goal in the last quarter. Somehow I don’t think we will be seeing him kicking too many more goals in the competition because of his value in the defensive half.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski mimicked Noah Balta’s role (against the Knights) for the Cannons today and was one of the best players on the ground today. The swingman kicked a terrific goal and took several strong contested marks, including multiple intercept possessions in defence. He displayed a long penetrating kick and composure when he had the ball.

#48 Liam Middleton – Middleton showed himself to be a tidy footballer in today’s performance. He didn’t amass a huge amount of ball but was clean and impactful when he got it.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#7 Matt Harvey – Harvey was one of the Pioneers best today in what was a commanding four quarter performance. He was the first player for his team at the bottom of the pack and showed an outstanding thirst for contested ball. His kicking was effective and fought bravely in the midfield all day.

#15 Darby Henderson – Henderson was also in the best few for his team as he collected lots of possessions by pushing up the ground. His performance was highlighted by his kicking inside fifty as he was able to hit targets and didn’t waste any of his possessions.

#16 Jacob Atley – Atley’s first five metres off the mark is explosive and he provided run & dash out of the backline.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Started the match off slowly but eased into the contest and found a lot of ball on a wing. His uncontested game set up the Pioneers forays forward and like his namesake delivered the well inside fifty.

#19 Mitchell Kemp – Kemp fought bravely in a tough day for the Bendigo defenders and was probably the pick of his back six. He displayed an ability to read the ball and take intercept marks and spoiled well in one on one duels.

#31 Caleb Sheahan – Made the most of his return to the team by demonstrating aerial prowess for a midfielder and physicality around the ball. He didn’t collect the numbers of Bernacki or Harvey but impressed none the less.

#35 Jobee Warde – Won the majority of hitouts today and allowed his midfielders to get first use via many hit outs to advantage.

#69 Austin Mertz – His speed on the lead was impressive and worked hard to present as the Pioneers’ main tall forward. Mertz displayed athleticism and strong hands and was the only multiple goal kicker for his team.

#70 Angus Byrne – Byrne was the surprise packet of the day. His intensity and tackling around the ball for a tall player was outstanding and he coupled this with strong overhead marking. The big man possesses a piercing left foot kick and always presented for his teammates. He kicked one goal but imposed himself with his big frame around the ground.

Under 18 Championships Preview: Vic Metro

VIC METRO enters the National Under 18 Championships as the short priced favourite to take out the title – but don’t be putting your house on it, with one unexpected result already taking place in the opening game of the carnival. After winning against the odds in 2016 – Metro will be fighting hard to go back-to-back but will need to be on their game to avoid a slip up in their opening fixture.

A deep midfield will allow them to float multiple players through the centre to find the best combination, with Eastern Ranges pair Adam Cerra and Joel Garner two such players who will likely have time in the guts, while Jack Petruccelle’s elite speed will provide a point of difference as he bursts from the packs getting the ball forward.

Medium forwards Cameron Rayner and Jaidyn Stephenson are elite marks overhead and as a bonus they can push into the midfield and win their own ball. Sandringham Dragons captain Hayden McLean will be one of the key targets infront of goal, while Will Sutherland and the tall King twins (Max and Ben) will have their opportunities through the latter stages of the carnival.

Noah Balta has seamlessly transitioned into a key defender and is looking the goods. His role will likely see him take the most dangerous opposition forward, where he can use his outstanding agility and big leap to his advantage.

Overall Metro will likely boast more of the top 20 than any other teams at this point in time – but as we have seen time and time again, the next four weeks are the make and break for players pushing their case in front of club recruiters.

Players to watch:

Jack Higgins – The midfielder/small forward averaged 20 disposals in his appearances for Vic Metro in last year’s carnival. Higgins is a very good goal sneak and is agile enough to get around opposition defenders. As a prolific ball winner, expect him to be one of Metro’s best performers in the championships.

Joel Garner – The captain of the Vic Metro team has had a solid start to the year at school and TAC Cup level. Has a long left foot and can play at all ends of the ground. Will mostly play as an outside midfielder, but his hands in close mean that he can be as damaging in the contest.

Cameron Rayner – The exciting midfielder can push forward and take excellent marks overhead. He has the ability to make things happen in a quick burst thanks to his power, and his X-Factor will appeal to clubs as a player who could content for the No.1 pick.

Jaidyn Stephenson – One of the better marks in the draft pool for a player sub 190cm. Stephenson will play as a target up forward and has a good burst of speed that adds another dimension to the marking forward. Played in Vic Metro’s game against Vic Country last year and looks set for a big carnival after showing midfield craft for the Eastern Ranges.

Will Sutherland – Sutherland won’t be running out for Vic Metro this weekend against Western Australia, but will likely line up when Metro play their games in Victoria. Sutherland is a good mark overhead and has pushed into the midfield for Scotch College using his great agility for a tall, attending multiple centre bounces. Clubs believe he could be worth an early selection should the talented cricketer choose the football pathway.

2018 names to keep an eye on:

Ben King – One of the top talls alongside brother Max for the 2018 draft. Ben is a natural key defender with an athletic leap, who reads the play superbly in defence. He will miss the opening game of the championships, but expect him to make an impact at some point in the Under 18 Championships.

Max King – One of the top talls alongside brother Ben for the 2018 draft and is a contender for the number one pick in 2018. The key forward has an athletic leap and can clunk some super marks inside 50. He will play school footy & miss Metro’s first game against WA this weekend, but expect him impact up forward when given the chance.

Curtis Taylor – One of the 2018 eligible draftees who were stiff to miss out on AFL Academy recognition after putting on some superb displays at school football for PEGS last year. Has recently returned for PEGS and Calder Cannons after an injury, and is currently little known by some – but is a player I’d expect to leave a lasting impression should he play in the Under 18 Championships.

FIXTURES

Round 1: BYE
Round 2: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 18th 11.00am Domain Stadium
Round 3: v VIC COUNTRY – June 24th 2.30pm Punt Road Oval
Round 4: v SOUTH AUSTRALIA – June 30th 4.40pm Etihad Stadium (FOX FOOTY)
Round 5: v ALLIES – July 5th 2.10pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Possible Round Two team:**

B: Ethan Penrith, Harrison Nolan, Mitchell Podhajski
HB: Ryley Stoddart, Noah Balta, Nicholas Coffield
C: Joel Garner, Adam Cerra, Lachlan Fogarty
HF: Patrick Naish, Hayden McLean, Cameron Rayner
F: Jack Higgins, Tristan Xerri, Jaidyn Stephenson

FOLL: Sam Hayes, Jack Petruccelle, Thomas North
INT: Toby Wooller, Trent Mynott, Curtis Taylor, Dylan Moore, Angus Styles

** – The Round two teams will be publicly announced tomorrow afternoon.

Predictions:

Finishing prediction: 1st – Metro have all the class around the ground and are short favourites to go through the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships undefeated. However – as we’ve already seen in the opening weekend upsets do happen and Western Australia should be able to push them at least for the first half this weekend. Anything is possible in the Under 18 Championships results wise, but it is Vic Metro’s title to lose.

MVP prediction: Jack Higgins – Higgins was a good contributor in the 2016 Under 18 Championships as a bottom ager and will likely play a key role through the midfield & as a small forward inside 50. Expect him to push forward and hit the scoreboard using his smarts around goal. Should be a key player in Vic Metro’s attempt of winning back-to-back titles.

2017 VIC METRO SQUAD

No.Name
DOB
HT(cm)
WT (kg)
Club
1Dylan Moore4/08/199917566Eastern Ranges/Rowville/Caulfield Grammar
2Jack Higgins19/03/199917876Oakleigh Chargers/ East Malvern
3Ethan Penrith24/10/199917976Northern Knights/West Preston
4Lachlan Fogarty1/04/199917975Western Jets/Spotswood/St Kevins
5Patrick Naish15/01/199918069Northern Knights/ Ivanhoe Grammar
6Dylan Landt18/11/199918074Calder Cannons/Sunbury
7Rhylee West12/07/200018080Calder Cannons/Strathmore/St Kevins
8Joel Garner21/05/199918381EasternRanges/Wandin/ Scotch College
9Andrew Brayshaw8/11/199918380Sandringham Dragons/Hailebury College
10Max Dreher12/04/199918375Northern Knights/Ivanhoe Grammar
11Ryley Stoddart15/10/199918373Eastern Ranges/Blackburn/Yarra Valley
12Callum Searle12/10/199818581Oakleigh Chargers/Waverley Blues
13Trent Mynott4/10/199918573Eastern Ranges/Caulfield Grammar
14Jack Petruccelle12/04/199918473Northern Knights/Epping
15Angus Styles3/05/199918576Sandringham Dragons/Caulfield Grammar
16Thomas North14/02/199918687Eastern Ranges/Heathmont FC
17Adam Cerra7/10/199918685Eastern Ranges/Wesley Grammar
18Curtis Taylor6/04/200018674Calder Cannons/Keilor FC/ PEGS
19Cameron Rayner21/10/199918788Western Jets/Essendon Doutta Stars/ PEGS
20Jack Bytel14/03/200018879Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie FC
21Buku Khamis24/03/200018881Western Jets/St Albans
22Riley Jones5/04/199919179Oakleigh Chargers/Beverley Hills FC
23Jaidyn Stephenson15/01/199918976Eastern Ranges/Ferntree Gully FC
24Charlie Constable18/05/199919083Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
25Nicholas Coffield23/10/199919083Northern Knights/Eltham FC
26Mitchell Podhajski4/01/199919082Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie FC
27Toby Wooller16/03/199919390Oakleigh Chargers/Old Scotch
28Noah Balta23/10/199919492Calder Cannons/Essendon/Doutta Stars/ St Bernards
29Harrison Nolan11/06/199919593Eastern Ranges/Mt Evelyn FC
30Hayden McLean20/01/199919793Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris/St Bedes
31Will Sutherland27/10/199919590Scotch College
32Joel Grace23/06/199919990Northern Knighs/Sth Morang
33Ben King7/07/200020179Sandringham Dragons/ Haileybury College
34Max King7/07/200020182Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
35Matthew Harman2/06/199820087Northern Knights/Marcellin O.C.
36Tristan Xerri15/03/199920193Western Jets/ Caroline Springs FC
37Sam Hayes9/06/199920393Eastern Ranges/Ferntree Gully FC
38Alex Federico**26/09/199918477Northern Knights/Marcellin College
39Marcus Lentini**5/06/199918374Northern Knights

** – Emergencies

Victorian school football update May edition

WE ARE a month into the APS and AGSV school boy Victorian football competitions and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have started well in the school season.

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 27-game career has shown, it is not the be all & end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

Down at Brighton, their APS ‘four-peat’ premiership tilt appears over after a few losses to start the season with coach Robert Shaw fielding a much younger squad than previous years. They do have one for the future – with state Under 15 and Year 9 boy Darby Hipwell a standout early in the season. Sandringham Dragons midfielder Alfie Jarnestrom tied for their best and fairest alongside Andrew McGrath in 2016 and has again taken it up another notch, with 36 disposals in their loss against Haileybury using the ball well on his left foot. 2018 North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker has been utilised at both ends, showing glimpses in his bottom-age year. On the weekend against Geelong Grammar, the grandson of Don Williams (Melbourne Hall of Famer), Seb Williams returned from concussion with 40 plus disposals in one of the better performances from a Brighton Grammar School captain, against a midfield with likely first round selections Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy had recruiters working the phones over the weekend, leaving them stunned with a seven-goal haul at centre half forward and he may be another with a tough decision on his hands.

Scotch’s Will Sutherland has been the leading ‘icon’ of the multi-talented sportsplayers this season, with the tall starring up forward throughout the start of the APS season. It does look more and more likely that football may be the destination for the Australian Under 19 cricketer at the end of the season, with AFL Victoria keen to push him into the Vic Metro squad for the Under 18 Championships. Noah Croes is another good cricketer who won Scotch’s best and fairest as a Year 11 and has caught the eye with his good ball use and run & carry. Joel Garner has used his clean hands well at the contest and continues to put his hand up as a possible first round selection. Hawthorn fans have a name to keep an eye on with Under 16 Vic Metro’s Finn Maginness in the number 33 as one of their best to start the season as a Year 10 – hitting the scoreboard up forward.

Carey Grammar have been the surprise packet starting the season without a loss. They are playing their big ground well out at Bulleen, with Ed Richards the leader of their run from defence. Richards has often taken the kick outs, speeding off past his opponents and working down one of the wings. Charlie Thompson‘s ball winning has been important, ensuring that Carey are getting first hands on the ball despite coming up against stronger midfielders. Recruiters took note of Tom Jepson‘s tagging job of Wesley’s Adam Cerra in Round two, rendering him largely influential for the entire day.

Despite his quiet game against Carey, Cerra has been one of Wesley’s best and shown why he is capable of contending for the number one selection with his good ball use on his right foot ringing true. He wins the ball at the centre bounces and is smart at the stoppages – making him a tough tagging candidate as he was able to get off the chain against Haileybury as Wesley’s clear best. Adam Collinson impressed for the Oakleigh Chargers and has carried that into the APS season through the midfield. 188cm medium tall Charlie Dean is a name for the future, selected in the Vic Metro Under 16 preliminary squad.

At the ‘Snakepit,’ St Kevin’s continue to show consistency in their teams from year to year. Lachlan Fogarty goes about his job in the midfield, despite missing the game against Melbourne Grammar with concussion. Fogarty was one of their best in the win against Brighton, winning the ball in the contest. Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West continues to crack in hard, while Year 10 boy Jack Mahony has been the surprise packet with the Vic Metro Under 16 player a star in their Round one win over Geelong Grammar. Ethan Phillips has been defending well, using his athletic ability to shut down the oppositions best tall.

Out at Keysborough, Haileybury on paper has one of the strongest APS teams in a long time, with names such as Luke Davies-Uniacke, Oscar Clavarino and the King twins – they are the clear favourites for the premiership. Andrew Brayshaw continues to play a strong role in the midfield, winning plenty of the football while Charlie Constable uses his smarts rotating through the midfield from across half back.

Davies-Uniacke has only dropped below 30 disposals once for the ‘Bloods’, with his 32 disposal and six-goal performance against Brighton simply amazing. Clavarino has been able to intercept mark the ball with ease in the defensive 50, dropping off his man and his ball use by foot has been solid. Despite brother Max being out with a knee injury – Ben King looks better with each game he plays up forward, booting seven goals against Xavier on Saturday. His contested marking was on show and his move forward has shown his versatility for the natural defender. Liam Stocker has looked good across half back, while athletic Jackson Ross continues to put his hand up as a draft smokey with glimpses of outstanding play as a centre half forward and on the wing.

Despite Clavarino’s strong start to the season, Carlton 2018 father-son prospect Ben Silvagni was able to get on top of him booting three goals for Xavier in their clash Saturday. Charlie Whitehead has started the season well and put in a gutsy tagging effort on Davies-Uniacke, while Anthony Zimmerman is using his goal smarts and speed up forward. Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) has been exciting through the midfield and up forward and is playing some great football.

Caulfield are another school undefeated, with Vic Metro midfielders Dylan Moore (30 disposals, three goals against Scotch) and Trent Mynott dominating at the start of the season putting their hand up for possible draft calculations. The pair tackle hard and win the ball in at the clearances. Angus Styles is showing his poise, with 30 disposals in their big win against Scotch – while captain Lachlan Harris had a huge third quarter effort for the ‘Fields’. Will Kennedy is giving their midfielders first use of the ball winning the ruck, with Isaac Morrisby providing a big target up forward.

Out at Flack Park, Charlie Spargo has got the ball on a string for Melbourne. His performance against St Kevin’s College will go down as one of the best individual games many have seen – kicking three goals and having a big amount of the ball. Hybrid defender Harry Bede is marking well overhead and is another name to keep an eye on, with a similar pedigree to Hawthorn 2016 draftee Oliver Hanrahan from a cricket background. Sam Cameron has also played some impressive football as one of their better starters to the season. MGS also possess a younger Dunkley and Goddard amongst their ranks.

Down the highway, Geelong College have had a quiet start to the season. Ed McHenry impressed in the Vic Country trials and has been one of their best, showing his elite endurance running hard all game. Jack Henderson has won plenty of football in the midfield and was best on ground in their loss to Caulfield.

Arch-rivals Geelong Grammar are the surprise packet – with few tipping them to contend for the premiership. Their lack of depth has affected them, but they boast likely draftees Jarrod Brander, Brent Daniels, Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien. Brander returned from a knee injury on Saturday – that he suffered in round one to boot a bag of goals up forward. Daniels goes in hard for a small, while Dow has used his burst from the midfield to hit the scoreboard with five goals against St Kevin’s. O’Brien was tagged out of the game on Saturday, but is a classy ball user on the wing.

Over the in AGSV competition, Marcellin and Mentone sit undefeated on top. While neither school boasts a likely high draftee – their depth is very good.

Alex Federico is Marcellin’s best draft prospect and was very good against PEGS. Federico is composed with ball in hand and plays his best football across half back. Patrik Della Rocca is a bottom-age forward who impressed last year for Marcellin and has continued that into this year – including booting three goals on Saturday for the Northern Knights.

Mentone ruckman Joel Amartey is continuing to get better with each game he plays and was good in the first half against Assumption. Tom Yorgey and Ed Newman are using the ball well across half back, setting up the play. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Newman may be another to forge to the football pathway, should clubs come calling. Kai Owens is finding the ball through the midfield, while Hawthorn father-son prospect Devlin Brereton is showing good signs.

Mitch Lewis was drafted out of Assumption last year to the Hawks and they boast eight players on TAC Cup lists this year. Their most talented tall Joel Naylor can play at either end, while Shane Skidmore was super impressive at last year’s Under 16 Championships for Vic Metro.

Anthony Larkey is one of Trinity’s best – but they have struggled so far this season, as have Camberwell – while Peninsula have a good crop of Dandenong Stingrays players on their list with Jai Taylor and Will Antonie two names to keep an eye on.

Ryley Stoddart fought hard for Yarra Valley in their big loss to Ivanhoe. Stoddart is a classy ball user across the wing or half back and took an outstanding contested mark in the opening quarter before slotting the goal. He was moved onto the damaging Patrick Naish in the second half, keeping him to just two goals in a vallient effort as one of their clear best players. Stoddart did come off late with cramp in his calf, but should be commended for his strong efforts on Naish.

Patrick Naish’s seven-goal haul was simply outstanding for Ivanhoe and had Richmond recruiters watching on with a grin on their face. He booted three in the opening quarter, turning the game on it’s head. He attended a good chunk of centre bounces, before resting deep out of the goal square and was a marking target with his great leap on show – keeping the big crowd entertained despite “Roo” being another target up forward. Max Dreher was another who played a strong game for Ivanhoe in the midfield and through defence, winning the contests and disposing of the ball well. Xavier Naish is another father-son prospect for Richmond in 2019 – playing on the wing and kicking two goals on Friday.

PEGS have the top prospect from the AGSV with Cameron Rayner showing off his contested marking and power in the midfield. Whilst he was quieter against Marcellin, winning a lot more unconstesed possessions than normal – he makes a meal of the poor teams in the competition. He doesn’t have a huge tank, but he can do some special things in short bursts that can change the game. Curtis Taylor has been injured, but was a star last season as Year 11 boy up forward.