Tag: Ben Davis

2016 Division One championships preview

The AFL Academy against Werribee. Friday 1st April Photo Credit: AFL Photos (Scott Barbour)
The AFL Academy against Werribee. Friday 1st April Photo Credit: AFL Photos (Scott Barbour)

The Division One Under 18 Championships kick off tomorrow in Western Australia. In a different format to the previous editions, there is one less round whilst the ‘Allies’ will join the competition in the pursuit of the converted title. You can find out more about the Allies here. Vic Country are once again strong and are favourites to take out the title, but a strong Allies combined team will likely give them a shake setting up a big final clash down at Simonds Stadium, with the winner likely to take out the title. Vic Metro too are stronger than last year and will be looking for an improved effort. Western Australia’s 2015 pool was poor filled with many bottom age talents, who will be on show this year in an attempt to be drafted, whilst South Australia will likely be down on their output from previous seasons.

South Australia kick things off against the Allies on Saturday, before Vic Country take on Western Australia in Perth. Vic Metro begin the carnival with the bye before taking on Vic Country in the ‘local derby’ on Queens Birthday.

The fixture for all the games can be found here.

AFL Draft Central division one prediction:

  1. Allies (4-0)
  2. Vic Country (3-1)
  3. Vic Metro (2-2)
  4. Western Australia (1-3)
  5. South Australia (0-4)

Tips & Larke Medalist
Matt Balmer- Allies & Todd Marshall

Peter Williams- Vic Country & Will Brodie


Allies –

For the ALLIES it looks likely that their final match of the Division One championships down at Simonds Stadium will decide the winner. Vic Country meet the Allies and if all goes as expected both sides will be undefeated going into the game.

The Allies have a very strong squad and could nearly have half of the top 20 on draft night.

Jack Bowes tops the list of prospects, a smooth moving midfielder who averaged 25 disposals and won Queensland’s MVP in the Division Two championships.

Come November, Bowes may be one of the first names called out and is linked to the Gold Coast Suns as an academy selection.

NSW/ACT midfielders Will Setterfield, Kobe Mutch and Harry Perryman all showed good signs throughout the Division Two championships and will be important figures in the Allies side.

Inside 50, the NSW/ACT forwards Todd Marshall, Zach Sproule and Ben Davis are key to the Allies putting a score on the board to defeat their opposition.

At the opposite end- Declan Watson, Elliot Himmelberg and Harrison Macreadie will have the crucial role to shut down on their opponents. All three rebound the ball well out of defence complementing the side well.

Allies Round 1 teams
Allies Round 1 team

Vic Country –

VIC COUNTRY will be gunning to go back-to-back after an undefeated championship in 2015.

Midfielders Will Brodie and Hugh McCluggage have been touted as Top 10 picks and both members are apart of the AFL Academy. Brodie was the best academy player against VFL opposition earlier in the year, whilst McCluggage is averaging 27 disposals in the TAC Cup.

Vic Country have a strong forward line up, with three of the top four TAC Cup goal kickers.

Tall Forwards Josh Battle (12 goals in three games) and Brett Blair (27 goals in eight games) will be the tall targets inside 50.

169cm small forward Sam “Rat” Fowler will be at their feet and expect him to hit the scoreboard.

Young defender Oscar Clavarino will have a tough job on the best opposition forward. Clavarino has played solid football for his school and is apart of the Level One academy making him not eligible until the 2017 draft.

Vic Country Round One team
Vic Country Round One team

Vic Metro –

VIC METRO appear to have a stronger line-up than last year and will be one of the best chances at pulling off an upset against either Vic Country or the Allies.

Jack Scrimshaw is a name to keep an eye on throughout the carnival. The 193cm tall has the ability to play both tall and small whilst has run through the midfield at school football level for Haileybury. Scrimshaw has missed a lot of football over the past year and a half, with a strong run of form in the championships possibly throwing his name up as the first Vic Metro player picked.

Midfielders Daniel Venables and Tim Taranto are two who will play an important part in their pursuit at an improved year on their 2015 haul. Both have pushed forward and hit the scoreboard at school and TAC Cup level.

Running Half Back Andrew McGrath is another who will provide plenty of dash with the ball in hand. McGrath has been one of the best performers in the TAC Cup, averaging 32.5 disposals. McGrath’s best game included 44 disposals, 14 clearances and 19 tackles against Gippsland Power in May.

Collingwood fans will be keeping their eye on the championships, with Callum Brown (son of Gavin) and Josh Daicos (son of Peter) both making the squad.

Brown is averaging 24 disposals in the TAC Cup, whilst Daicos has showed plenty of speed and dash on the outside for Oakleigh Chargers. Both will also spend time inside 50 and know where the goals are with Brown booting three in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final and Daicos kicked three goals against Bendigo Pioneers a month ago.


Western Australia

WESTERN AUSTRALIA will be looking for a much improved 2015 carnival where they won just the sole game in Round One against South Australia.

Their 2015 squad had plenty of younger players who are now eligible for the draft.

Hyphenated midfielders Sam Petrevski-Seton and Sam Powell-Pepper are two to watch throughout the next month.

Petrevski-Seton kicks well on both of his feet and was an All-Australian in 2015. Petrevski-Seton has had a few injuries in recent times and will miss at least the first game of the carnival.

Powell-Pepper is a hard nosed midfielder that is a strong contested ball winner. Powell-Pepper is averaging just a touch under 24 disposals in the WAFL Colts this season.

Ruckman Tim English is another who has jumped out of the blocks. The over-ager concentrated on his schooling in 2015 and wasn’t apart of their championships last year. According to those who have seen him, English is a strong ruckman (averaging 23 disposals) around the stoppages with the smarts to tap it to different directions as well as having a good kick on him.

Defender Josh Rotham was also promising for the AFL Academy with his pace and athleticism in defence. At 192cm, Rotham probably doesn’t play as a true tall defender and looms as a likely rebounding defender off half back throughout the Division One championships.

Western Australia Round One team
Western Australia Round One team

South Australia –

SOUTH AUSTRALIA will likely have one of their weaker squads in a few seasons.

Jonty Scharenberg has been named Vice-Captain of the squad and will be a crucial player in their midfielder. Scharenberg is averaging just under 20 disposals in the SANFL reserves working hard at the stoppages. Scharenberg is the younger brother of injured Collingwood defender Matt Scharenberg. Expect Scharenberg to bash his way around the centre throughout the carnival.

North Adelaide midfielder Jack Graham has been made captain of the squad and too will find a place in the think of the contest.

Both members of the leadership group will be looking to get first hands on the ball from the Ruckmen. Both Peter Ladhams and Jordan Sweet were apart of the AFL Academy and tower over 200cm.

Ladhams had the second best hitout rate in the 2015 championships and will once again be looking to dominate while Sweet is averaging 23 hitouts in the SANFL Reserves competition. It will be interesting to see whether South Australia will fit both into their squad or whether they can find a role for either of them forward.

Ben Jarman, the son of three time premiership player Darren will represent SA in the carnival and is eligible for both Hawthorn and Adelaide as a Father/Son selection at the end of the season.

Kym Lebois will also provide plenty of spark in the forward line, as one of the quicker players in the draft pool.

South Australia Round One team
South Australia Round One team

Who are the Allies?

zachary sproule
Zach Sproule is one of the 34 players in the Allies squad.

NEW SQUADS, new fixtures and a new team. That is how the U18 Championships will kick off this weekend.

A new concept will begin over the weekend, with the newly formed ‘Allies’ U18 squad beginning their division one title pursuit.

The Allies brings together the best players from the Division Two states (NSW/ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and Northern Territory) to play against the division one teams in a move that has been perceived as a positive by many.

This allows names such as Jack Bowes, Harry Perryman and Todd Marshall to face the Division One sides in the main carnival.

Matt Balmer takes you through the 34 man squad, who some believe have a chance of taking out the Divison One Title.

Jacob Allison
Outside Midfielder (Aspley/Queensland)
16/04/1998 | 194cm | 79kg

Jacob Allison had a mixed bag of a Division Two carnival, only reaching over 20 disposals on one occasion against the Northern Territory. Allison booted five goals in the carnival and will likely line up off the Half Forward flank on the weekend where he can use his long kick to his benefit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiJP4oHdk8A

Rohan Armstrong
Outside Midfielder (South Alice/Northern Territory)
18/05/1998 | 175cm | 65kg

Rohan Armstrong was Northern Territory’s MVP from the Division Two championship. Armstrong has a strong left foot kick and rebounded well out of defensive 50 for NT.

Angus Baker
Medium Defender (North Shore/NSW-ACT)
03/08/1998 | 184cm | 79kg

Medium defender Angus Baker averaged 20 disposals in the Division Two carnival.

Connor Ballenden
Key Position Forward (Uni of Queensland/Queensland)
29/03/1999 | 198cm | 95kg

Brisbane Lions academy member Connor Ballenden is a name to watch out for in 2017. The Key Position Forward was dominant in April’s trial game against Vic Country and kicked five goals in the final Division Two game against Tasmania.

Connor Ballenden- AFL Media
Connor Ballenden- AFL Media

Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cains/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg

Silky smooth midfielder Jack Bowes is the consensus best player in the draft after a superb Division Two championships. Bowes averaged 25 disposals and deservingly was named the Queensland MVP.

Fletcher Carroll
Outside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
29/04/1998 | 175cm | 72kg

Outside Midfielder Fletcher Carroll had a good carnival averaging 25 disposals and seven marks. Carroll will likely play a role off half forward or on the wing for the Allies.

Daniel Charlesworth
Balanced Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
04/08/1998 |  189cm | 84kg

Daniel Charlesworth spent most of 2015 playing as a third tall but has moved up the ground into the midfield in 2016. At his size it will be interesting to see where he lines up in the Allies.

Isaac Cumming
Outside Midfielder (North Broken Hill/NSW-ACT)
11/08/1998 | 183cm | 72kg

Although not a prolific ball winner across the Division Two carnival, Isaac Cumming has made the squad and will likely play off half back against the Division One sides using his good kick to effect.

Ben Davis
Medium Forward (UNSW/NSW-ACT)
19/05/1997 | 187cm | 84kg

A superb carnival from 19-year-old Ben Davis for NSW/ACT. Davis kicked 10 goals for the carnival with some eye catching moments. Davis originally was tied to the Sydney Swans academy, but has been deemed ineligible after not nominating for the draft in 2015.

Sam Fisher
Small Forward (Canberra Demons/NSW-ACT)
23/02/1998 | 180cm | 76kg

Left footer Sam Fisher provided plenty of energy inside 50 for NSW/ACT in the Division Two championships. Fisher kicked five goals and will be one of the main goal sneaks in the forward line for the Allies.

Ryan Garthwaite
Tall Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
30/06/1998 | 192cm | 84kg

Tall Defender Ryan Garthwaite missed the Division Two championships, but his strong run of form in the TAC Cup (with 30 marks in four games) was enough to see him picked for the Allies.

Ryan Garthwaite Photo: AFL Media/Getty Images
Ryan Garthwaite Photo: AFL Media/Getty Images

Jamie Hampton
Outside Midfielder (North Adelaide/Northern Territory)
16/10/1998 | 186cm | 76kg

Athletic Half Back flank Jamie Hampton found plenty of the ball for NT in the Division Two championships. His pace and agility makes him a tough opponent to match up on.

Elliot Himmelberg
Key Position Utility (Redlands/Queensland)
04/06/1998 | 196cm | 92kg

The younger brother of GWS’ Harry, Elliot Himmelberg is a useful utility that can play at either end of the ground. With the Allies boasting a strong forward line of Marshall, Sproule and Davis- It is likely that Himmelberg will play in defence.

Nick Kempe
Outside Midfielder (Morningside/Queensland)
24/02/199 | 179cm | 68kg

Nick Kempe showed some good signs on the outside for Queensland. Kempe’s marking overhead is one of his strengths and can also push forward and hit the scoreboard.

Ben Long
Small Defender (St Mary’s/Norther n Territory)
21/08/1997 | 176cm | 60kg

Ben Long showed good signs throughout the carnival, averaging 20 disposals in his return as a 19-year-old.

Ben Long Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media
Ben Long Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media

Max Lynch
Ruck (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/09/1998 | 200cm | 96kg

Raw Ruckman Max Lynch showed some really positive signs throughout the championship. His work in the ruck was good and looking forward to seeing how he goes up against his Division One opponents.

Harrison Macreadie
Tall utility (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg

Tall Defender Harrison Macreadie has had a quiet start to the year but expect him to flourish against stronger opponents in the Division One carnival.

Mitch Maguire
Outside Midfielder (Northern Jets/NSW-ACT)
06/05/1998 | 175cm | 72kg

With NSW/ACT having a strong midfield, Mitch Maguire spent a lot of time inside forward 50 throughout the Division Two carnival. Maguire hit the scoreboard well, booting eight goals and will line up in the forward pocket this weekend for the Allies.

Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg

The former cricketer has jumped into Top 10 calculations with seven goals in the carnival, including four in the opening match against Queensland. Marshall could very well be the first tall forward taken come November.

Lachlan McKenzie
Medium Defender (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
04/04/1997 | 187cm | 86kg

Lachlan McKenzie’s flashy green boots weren’t the only thing that made him standout through the Division Two carnival. McKenzie averaged 23 disposals and showed good poise for NT coming out of the backline.

Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 75kg

Kobe Mutch was one of the players of the Division Two carnival and was very unlucky not to take home the NSW/ACT MVP. Mutch kicks well on both feet and has really improved his inside game in 2016.

Tony Olango
Ruck (St Marys/Northern Territory)
02/09/1998 | 201cm | 80kg

Talented junior soccer player Tony Olango had a strong carnival for Northern Territory. Olango also pushed forward at times hitting the scoreboard, but is still very raw and doesn’t win a large chunk of football.

Brandan Parfitt
Inside Midfielder (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
27/04/1998 | 177cm | 72kg

Brandan Parfitt racked up the disposals in his two Division Two games with 25 & 26 disposals. Parfitt was apart of the AFL Academy earlier in the year and was solid in the two hit outs against VFL opposition.

Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg

Harry Perryman could well be the first GWS academy member picked on draft night. The midfielder kicks well on both feet, but does lack that fast pace bursting from the stoppages. Won the NSW/ACT MVP for his superb carnival.

Jack Powell
Outside Midfielder (Ainslie/NSW-ACT)
15/07/1999 | 179cm | 73kg

The Canberra midfielder Jack Powell is one to look out for in the 2017 draft. Powell was also one of the better players in the Level One academy match in New Zealand.

Nathan Richards
Ruck (Griffith/NSW-ACT)
01/02/1999 | 198cm | 99kg

Another name to watch for the 2017 draft is Tall Forward/Ruckman Nathan Richards. Richards showed some good signs in the ruck in the two final matches of the carnival.

Jack Rolls
Outside Midfielder (Morningside/Queensland)
01/07/1998 | 181cm | 71kg

Jack Rolls is apart of the Brisbane Lions academy and will likely entertain a bid in the second or third round. Rolls is a very outside player and will be looking to improve on his quiet Division Two carnival.

Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg

Inside midfielder Brad Scheer is tied to the Gold Coast Suns academy and averaged just under 16 contested possessions throughout the Division Two carnival.

Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg

Inside midfielder Will Setterfield finished the Division Two carnival exceptionally well against the Northern Territory with a 28-disposal haul. Unfortunately Setterfield won’t be lining up for the Allies this weekend, instead taking part in Caulfield Grammar’s big match against Brighton Grammar.

Charlie Spargo
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 75kg

Lively small forward Charlie Spargo is another member of the Allies squad who isn’t eligible until the 2017 draft. The small forward won the NSW/ACT MVP in the Under 16 championships back in 2015 and is a name likely to end up in the top handful in the 2017 draft.

Charlie Spargo Photo: Murray Bushrangers
Charlie Spargo Photo: Murray Bushrangers

Max Spencer
Medium Defender (Palm Beach/Queensland)
04/10/1997 | 190cm | 82kg

Max Spencer’s finish to the carnival against Northern Territory was a big reason why he made the Allies squad. Spencer had 15 disposals and five marks in a good outing for Queensland.

Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 87kg

Seven goals for the Division Two carnival was a strong return from Zachary Sproule, who will line up at Centre Half Forward for the Allies this weekend.

Declan Watson
Key Position Defender (Aspley/Queensland)
17/09/1998 | 194cm | 80kg

Key Position Defender Declan Watson is a name to keep an eye out in the Division One championships. He has probably flown under the radar with the other academy kids shining, but his rebound and ball use in the back half was really good for Queensland.

Josh Williams
Outside Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
12/06/1998 | 189cm | 89kg

Speedy outside midfielder Josh Williams continues to turn heads. His dash on the wing throughout the carnival was a clear standout and expect a few eye catching runs throughout the Division One championships.

Keep an eye out tomorrow for the preview of the Division One championships beginning this weekend.

NSW/ACT seal the deal claiming the Division Two title

NSW/ACT claim the title with a win over NT. Source: NSW/ACT Rams Twitter
NSW/ACT claim the title with a win over NT. Source: NSW/ACT Rams Twitter

NSW/ACT claimed their first Division Two Championship since Isaac Heeney led them to the title in 2014 with a convincing performance over Northern Territory on Sunday.

The RAMS made it three wins from three games, with an average winning margin of 89-points throughout the carnival.

Possible first round selections Will Setterfield and Zach Sproule were in the best, with both being eligible for the GWS Giants to be selected as academy players at the end of the year.

190cm tall midfielder Setterfield had 28 disposals, while forward Sproule kicked four goals in the first half before going off with an injury.

Forward Ben Davis once again kicked a bag of four, taking his tally to 10 goals for the carnival.

Fletcher Carroll was good in the midfield collecting 26 disposals, whilst Kobe Mutch was down on his usual high disposal outfit hindered by a cork he suffered early in the contest. Mutch spent a long period inside 50, booting three goals.

The NSW/ACT MVP went to midfield Harry Perryman who has been a consistent performer for the Rams throughout the carnival and will be likely to see plenty of action in the Division One championships for the Allies.

Despite the heavy loss, there were some positive signs for Northern Territory. Without Brandon Parfitt and Michael Hagan they gave a continuous effort all day.

Left footed midfielder Rohan Armstrong had another good game with 21 disposals and was named as the Northern Territory MVP for the carnival.

Defender Lachie McKenzie made it three games in a row over 20 disposals, as the leading NT player for the match with 27 disposals and may have propelled himself into Allies squad contention.

In the earlier game, Queensland easily account for a young Tasmanian side by 88-points.

Once again Gold Coast academy member Jack Bowes performed exceptionally well with 20 disposals and five goals, whilst key position forward Connor Ballenden booted five goals.

Bowes’ steller carnival saw him average 24 disposals making him a worthy winner of the Queensland MVP.

Lions fans however will have to wait until next season to get their hands on Ballenden, who has shown exceptionally signs thanks to a strong mark and an excellent shot on goal already in 2016.

Defender Declan Watson was one of the best on Sunday, with 26 disposals and six marks.

Watson often dropped off his opponent, taking multiple intercept marks and using his strong boot to get the ball forward.

Josh Williams provided a moment of brilliance on the wing before half time, using his elite pace to run past multiple Mariners players and slot the goal on the run.

Brad Scheer too found plenty of the ball with 29 disposals (17 contested possessions) in the centre of the ground and is another eligible for the Suns come the end of the season.

For Tasmania, Thomas Mundy was one of their better players with 16 disposals but it was 16-year-old Tarryn Thomas who went home with the Tasmanian MVP.

Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas was one of the best players in the Schoolboy U15 carnival in 2015. Source: AFL Tasmania
Tasmanian Tarryn Thomas was one of the best players in the Schoolboy U15 carnival in 2015. Source: AFL Tasmania

Thomas will be a name to watch in the future and will feature in the Under 16 championships later in a few months time.

Division Two Round Two Wrap

NSW - Lucas Meline

QUEENSLAND academy members star, as one-sided matches once again continue in the second round of the Division Two Under 18 championship.

With the four sides converging in Tasmania, the sun shone through as Northern Territory and Queensland kicked off the day.

A superior Queensland side kept Northern Territory goalless in the first quarter, before running out 87-point winners.

Despite a sorry weekend for the Queensland AFL teams, their future is bright with both Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns academy members in the best.

Gold Coast member Jack Bowes was best-on-ground with 31 disposals and two goals, performing exceptionally well in the midfield. Queensland’s captain also propelled the ball inside 50 on six occasions, giving their forwards a chance at gaining shots on goal.

Bowes continues to standout with few believing he will warrant a Top 10 pick in November and will be one of the handful of chances for the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best player in Division Two.

Brad Scheer is also tied to the Suns and was impressive with 27 disposals and eight clearances in the centre.

The Lions duo of Jacob Allison and Jack Rolls also stood out for Queensland.

Allison had 22 disposals and kicked two goals playing off the Half Forward Flank. The utility has been solid this year, although yet to perform as some would have expected but will likely be selected in the Allies team to take on the Divison One sides in June.

Fellow midfielder Jack Rolls slotted three majors and collected 25 disposals.

Despite the heavy loss, Brandon Parfitt and Jamie Hampton once again were NT’s best.

Parfitt collected 25 disposals while Hampton played off half back with 23 disposals and seven rebound 50s.

NT meet the undefeated NSW/ACT team and will need to improve significantly if they are to upset the Rams.

Re-watch the QLD v NT game below.

In the second game, NSW/ACT overcame a slow start to thrash Tasmania by 101-points.

The Rams kicked 17 goals to two after quarter time all but assuring their claim as the best Division Two side.

Up forward Todd Marshall (two goals) and Ben Davis (four goals) were the dominant players on the day.

Both players were expected to be linked with an academy club earlier in the year, but have since been deemed ineligible.

Marshall was tied with the GWS academy after spending two winters playing cricket in the UK before being deemed ineligible due to a registration error.

Davis himself is a 19-year old and was linked to the Sydney Swans, but due to him not nominating for the 2015 AFL Draft he cannot be selected by the Swans as an academy selection. Davis’ older brother (Abe) was Pick 70 in the 2014 draft to the Swans.

In the midfield Connor Byrne stood out with 28 disposals and eight clearances, while fellow GWS academy member Kobe Mutch made it two dominating games with 26 disposals and seven clearances.

Rams’ Mutch and Queensland’s Bowes will likely be battling it out this weekend to be the Hunter Harrison Medalist, joining names such as Ben Keays and Isaac Heeney.

Ruckman Max Lynch too was strong with 24 hit outs, giving the Rams midfield first use of the ball.

For Tasmania, Nick Dodge bounced back from a quiet game against NT to collect 25 disposals, ten tackles and five inside 50s & rebound 50s.

Ben McGuinness came off the ground in the second half with a hip complaint and may not play the final match this weekend on the Gold Coast.

Re-watch the TAS v NSW/ACT game below.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes and more vision will be available on the event pages soon.