Tag: Brayden Ainsworth

Draftees named for AFLX

TWENTY-one draftees from the 2017 National Draft will get an early taste of senior football in the AFL’s newest competition – AFLX. Among them are three former Sandringham Dragons, two Bendigo Pioneers and two Eastern Ranges, while Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons) and Jack Petruccelle (Northeren Knights) are the sole players named from their TAC Cup sides.

The tournament begins on Thursday night with six sides – Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide and West Coast – playing shortened 20-minute matches in a round robin format in two pools from which the winner of each pool advances to the grand final at the end of the night. Two further AFLX round robins will be played on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Played at Hindmarsh Stadium in South Australia, former Sturt players Patrick Wilson (Adelaide) and Mitchell Crowden (Fremantle) have been named, as have Jackson Edwards (Glenelg now Adelaide), Stefan Giro (Norwood now Fremantle), Dom Barry (Glenelg now Port Adelaide) and Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL now Adelaide). Mature-ager Tim Kelly (South Fremantle now Geelong), Bailey Banfield (Claremont now Fremantle), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco now West Coast), Jake Patmore (Claremont now Port Adelaide) and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle now West Coast) are the West Australians involved.

Along with the thrill that comes with representing an AFL club, there is the potential for a number of former teammates to face off on the elite stage. Former Sandringham Dragons Nathan Murphy and Hamish Brayshaw could go head to head when the Magpies face the Eagles, while Brayshaw could also face off against his brother Andrew if both West Coast and Fremantle make the grand final. Glenelg pair Jackson Edwards and Dom Barry could go head-to-head if the South Australian sides make the grand final, as could Eastern Ranges’ exports Jaidyn Stephenson and his former captain Joel Garner if the Magpies meet the Power in the decider. Other former teammates that could face off include Patrick Wilson and Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Tim Kelly and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle), and Kane Farrell and Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers).

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 draftees named for the first night for the AFLX competition is:

Adelaide: Patrick Wilson (Sturt), Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL), Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)

Collingwood: Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges), Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)

Fremantle: Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Bailey Banfield (Claremont), Stefan Giro (Norwood)

Geelong: Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)

Port Adelaide: Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers), Jake Patmore (Claremont), Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges), Dom Barry (Glenelg)

West Coast: Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco), Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights), Hamish Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle)


6.10pm – Port Adelaide v Geelong
6.38pm – Adelaide v Collingwood
7.06pm – Geelong v Fremantle
7.34pm – West Coast v Adelaide
8.02pm – Fremantle v Port Adelaide
8.30pm – Collingwood v West Coast
9.03pm – Grand Final

Matt Balmer’s 2017 early Phantom Draft

IT IS just over a month until AFL clubs will meet at Sydney Showgrounds for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

At the conclusion of trade week, Matt Balmer predicts who will go where inside the first round, in his 2017 early Phantom Draft.

Pick 1: Brisbane – Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

In the mix: While some may see Cameron Rayner as the best player in the 2017 draft pool, I think the Lions will look for a full-time inside midfielder. Paddy Dow’s name is another who the Lions will consider – but at the moment the gut feel is ‘LDU’ is ahead of Dow.

Pick 2: Fremantle – Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

In the mix: Fremantle only acquired Pick 2 today, in a trade from the Gold Coast giving up Lachie Weller. They’ll need to take a Victorian midfielder at Pick 2 – with Cerra, Rayner, Davies-Uniacke others who could also feature. Fremantle have a lot of players similar to Rayner – but it’d be hard to let him go – as a player who can do things that many others can’t in this draft pool.

Pick 3: Carlton – Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

In the mix: Fremantle are the great unknown and it’d be very hard to see the Blues let Rayner slip past them if he gets through to Pick 3. Haileybury College midfielders Andrew Brayshaw, Charlie Constable and Davies-Uniacke will be in the mix. Paddy Dow might land in their lap if things fall another way.

Pick 4: North Melbourne – Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

In the mix: Most of the talk is that the top three selections will be Rayner, Davies-Uniacke & Dow – with the order unknown. Stephenson had a great second half of the year and adds some X-Factor for the Roos. Adam Cerra, Nick Coffield and Andrew Brayshaw are three other names that no doubt they’ll be monitoring.

Pick 5: Fremantle – Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

In the mix: Take a midfielder at Pick 2 and at Pick 5? Another big question – but Fremantle hold the keys to shaping the top 10 of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. They’ve watched a fair bit of the Sandringham Dragons and Andrew Brayshaw could be a player selected here. Adam Cerra and Nick Coffield are two other Vic Metro players who they’ll have on the list – but it might be hard to turn down the best West Australian and tall in the draft pool.

Pick 6: Collingwood – Nick Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

In the mix: Few whispers of the Pies meeting with Aaron Naughton on the weekend and they may pick him if he is available here. Coffield is the best player available and should be able to transition into an inside midfielder in the future.

Pick 7: St Kilda – Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

In the mix: I’m told St Kilda have been big fans of Brayshaw throughout 2017 – meeting with him on multiple occasions and it would be hard to see them turn him down if he’s available. Alan Richardson watched the TAC Cup elimination final where Nick Coffield dominated and he is another option if still on the board. It would be a tough call to let Adam Cerra go too.

Pick 8: St Kilda – Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

In the mix: The biggest unknown in the 2017 draft pool is Aiden Bonar and he is a name that St Kilda could take – to address bringing in a big bodied midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was outstanding and there’s no doubt with the security of having two picks inside top 10 – the Saints could make the move on the Dandenong Stingray.

Pick 9: Western Bulldogs – Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

In the mix: If the Saints don’t take Bonar, he’s a player I’d expect the Bulldogs to snap up. With Stringer leaving the kennel, South Australia’s best draft prospect Darcy Fogarty could fill a similar role as a forward. They have also shown some interest in Nathan Murphy – but they may hope that he gets to their next selection.

Pick 10: Carlton – Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

In the mix: SOS has some good relationships among the APS school boy football competition and if one of Bonar or Constable reach their Pick 10 – It would be seriously hard to see him let them go past. Either can play as an inside midfielder and support Patrick Cripps.

Pick 11: GWS – Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

In the mix: The Giants have long wanted a small forward and the retirement of Stevie J might see them select Jack Higgins, who would fit in well playing a role alongside Tim Taranto and Toby Greene. They have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid to grab players with dual sport abilities (Pat McKenna), so Nathan Murphy could be another considered.

Pick 12: Adelaide – Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

In the mix: The obvious option is for the Crows to take home grown talent in Darcy Fogarty, but if he’s off the board – they may look to Vic Country inside midfielder Hunter Clark who has had a superb finish to the season.

Pick 13: West Coast – Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

In the mix: Another club that will look to bolster their inside midfielders stock. If Hunter Clark is on the board it is a no-brainer, while if they feel they want to take the best homegrown player – it is not too far out of Under 18 Larke Medalist Oscar Allen’s range.

Pick 14: Sydney – Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

In the mix: In what was a quiet trade week for Kinnear Beatson and the Swans, they will hit the draft with their first round pick. Nathan Murphy is a player they could consider, with a chance he moves into the midfield. If they are looking for some outside class – players such as Lochie O’Brien, Matt Ling, Ed Richards and Ryley Stoddart could be considered, but all are probably likely to fall into the second round.

Pick 15: Brisbane – Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

In the mix: Pick 15 places the Lions a bit in no-man’s land – if the draft falls as I have it, they may miss out on probably the best crop of midfielders. No doubt they’d be keen to link up Dandenong Stingrays pair Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark with Davies-Uniacke if they were available. Despite having Oscar McInerney developing well, they might look at Sam Hayes to boost their ruck stocks or develop as a key forward – but they do have Connor Ballenden who should get a bid after their next pick somewhere in the 20s. Could they bid on Patrick Naish?

Pick 16: Western Bulldogs – Ed Richards
Medium Defender/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

In the mix: The Tigers will be hoping that father-son prospect Patrick Naish doesn’t get a bid here – with the Bulldogs showing plenty of interest this season. If they’re looking to add some speed on the outside, Ed Richards has had a great season and might be one they look to recruit. Norwood small midfielder Zac Bailey was superb throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for the Allies and could be another they consider.

Pick 17: Richmond – Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

In the mix: The Tigers went into finals with a small side – but may look to bring in some more talls to help with their depth. Most people in the know feel Jarrod Brander will get outside the top 10 and the Tigers would have to snatch him up at Pick 17. Sam Hayes is another tall they will consider – but the Tigers will be hoping he gets through to Pick 20. If the Bulldogs or Lions bid on Naish – this pick will be removed from the order.

What about the rest?

Pick 19: Gold Coast – Nathan Murphy would be a likely suitor should he get through to Pick 19. Medium forward Jordan Houlahan from Sturt would be another name that fits the bill as a similar player to Murphy. Larke Medalist Oscar Allen and Vic Metro tall Noah Balta are still on the board and might fit the best available selection, while the loss of Adam Saad might allow them to look for a similar prospect in Matt Ling.

Pick 22: Geelong – Similar to the Suns – medium forwards Murphy and Houlahan would appeal to add to the Cats’ forward line. Lachlan Fogarty might be another good fit, with high pressure and tackling numbers sure to fit the bill of AFL teams after a success with Richmond this season. Could the Wooller name return to Simonds Stadium?

Pick 29: Melbourne – A small forward or classy outside ball user would likely appear to the Dees. Ryley Stoddart, Matt Ling and Lochie O’Brien are three such classy outside midfielders/half back flanks. If they’re looking for a small forward, Dylan Moore and Charlie Spargo are two second round prospects that they could consider. The Demons also have Pick 31 and 36.

Pick 43: Hawthorn – Once again the Hawks will enter the draft without a first round pick – but it is at least closer than their 2016 first selection. Next Generation Academy member Changkuoth Jiath is tied to the Hawks – but will likely be a late selection or rookie pick. While it’s probably unlikely Andrew McPherson would be a good fit across half back and through the midfield, after an injury interrupted 2017. Two other midfielders that might be considered from the Hawks are Brayden Ainsworth and Matthew Day. Could James Worpel still be there at Pick 43?

Pick 46: Port Adelaide – The Power are one of a number of clubs to show interest in Eastern Ranges & Haileybury College outside midfielder/general forward Jackson Ross. Ross is very athletic and has plenty of scope for development. If the two West Australian teams haven’t grabbed Liam Ryan – the Power might consider it here.

Pick 48: Essendon – If the Bombers can find an inside midfielder at Pick 48 – it would cap off a very impressive draft & trade period. The Bombers would’ve taken Constable with Pick 11 had they held onto it, but if James Worpel gets to Pick 48 – It’d be hard to see them let him go. There’s been a lot of talk about them being keen on Dylan Moore – but he’s likely to end up inside the top 30.

GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


Scouting notes: 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

JAIDYN Stephenson pushed his claims as a possible top five pick with a best-on-ground display at the MCG on Saturday.

In the second year of the AFLs annual showcase, the contest pitted the best 50 2017 draft eligible prospects against each other, split into two sides named after former Geelong great Corey Enright (Team Enright) and North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey (Team Harvey).

MATCH REPORT: Stephenson stars in 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

Scouting notes: 

Team Enright:

#2 Lachlan Fogarty – Just gets to the right spots in the attacking half of the ground and is effective in getting the ball inside 50. Had a game-high seven inside 50s and again showed off his attacking flair. Is willing to tackle his opponents and pressure them at every moment.

#7 Brayden Ainsworth – Was effective in getting the ball out of the stoppages by hand and finished with seven clearances for the day. His pronounce influence was around the ground, compared with in at the centre bounces, but he was able to win the contested ball and was willing to work hard defensively.

#23 Nicholas Shipley – Linked up well on the outside and was often at the bottom of the packs attempting to win the ball. Had a few clearances and was able to have a few runs with ball in hand. More of a handball first, kick second player out of traffic.

#24 James Worpel – Was a beast at the centre bounces and didn’t show any signs of soreness after playing some six days before. By hand, he hardly missed a target – whipping the ball out from the centre bounces and clearing it to a teammate. He had a game-high five centre clearances and his contested ball winning was on show. Will be interesting to see where he ends up come November.

#26 Nick Coffield – Coffield is one of the best users of the football, by hand or foot. His burst of speed and efficiency makes him a highly touted top 10 prospect. His work rebounding the ball and kicking it long from either the kick outs or in defensive 50 were very good and he has been a big riser throughout season 2017.

#27 Oscar Allen – Despite hardly taking part in training on the Thursday before the game, the 2017 Larke medalist was a marking machine, pulling off seven for the game. Allen finished with 2.3 in front of goal – including the first goal for the day, but he was impressive overhead and was able to kick effectively for goal in set shot situations.

#32 Sam Hayes – Inside 50 Hayes was far too good for Connor Ballenden early in the contest and could’ve finished with three goals for the day had he kicked straight. He played majority of the game up forward with Lloyd Meek and Ned Reeves rucking – and it allowed him to show his strengths up forward clunking four marks for the day. Probably one of the few games where he has predominantly played up forward rather than sharing the ruck load.

Team Harvey:

#1 Brent Daniels – The zippy midfielder was able to win the football on the outside as one of the bigger ball winners (23 disposals) for Team Harvey. Daniels stoppage work was good around the ground and he was able to get to the hit-zone on multiple occasions. Bobbed up and booted a goal in the final quarter.

#5 Zac Bailey – Started well with five disposals in the opening term and was able to spread effectively from the stoppages. He used his agility well and was willing to work hard up and down the ground. He did have a few clangers by foot throughout the day, but it was a reasonable showing from the inside midfielder.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – While his return of 13 disposals doesn’t look large from the stats sheet, his effectiveness in the third term was huge when Team Harvey put the foot down. Stoddart used it very well going inside 50 and wasn’t afraid to throw out a fend off and back himself to use his agility to get around players.

#9 Lochie O’Brien – O’Brien finished the year with a bang – with one of his best games of the season with 24 disposals and seven marks. O’Brien was able to link up more in the attacking half of the ground and get the ball moving forward. Whilst he had a few ineffective kicks by foot – he was mostly clean and able to hit targets on his left foot. Possess a great burst of speed.

#22 Brandon Starcevich – One of the more impressive non-Victorian players in Saturday’s game, working through the midfield and getting it inside 50. Kicked a nice goal in the opening quarter, running around and snapping from a mark. An inside 50 kick in the second quarter was elite and he also possesses a long right foot kick. A player worth to go back and re-watch again throughout the Under 18 Championships.

#23 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson’s second half of the season has been very good, transitioning from a third tall to an outside midfielder. Stephenson was adjudged best player on the ground, with 22 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and four goals. Unlike some of his other games this year, Stephenson was largely effective by foot and there’s no doubt he’ll come into the thoughts of clubs such as North Melbourne and St Kilda.

#27 Aiden Bonar – Bonar was another exciting player who would’ve caught the eye of those watching. Bonar finished the year with his best performance, winning 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances. He was willing to throw his body around at the contest and was largely effective by hand – when he was tackled, often staying strong and was hard to be brought to ground.


–    Enright1815215931173116198643430392687
–    Harvey18163169332661102223929244330178

Stephenson stars in 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

JAIDYN Stephenson has pushed his claims as a possible top five pick in November’s NAB AFL Draft by having a best-on-ground display in the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game at the MCG on Saturday.

In the curtain-raiser to the Grand Final, the Vic Metro wingman booted four goals from his 22 disposals, helping Team Harvey to a 55-point win over Team Enright.

Stephenson capped off his strong second half of the season, which has seen the Eastern Ranges product push up into the midfield. Stephenson also clunked eight marks, laid five tackles and had four inside 50s.

In the second year of the AFLs annual showcase, the contest pitted the best 50 2017 draft eligible prospects against each other, split into two sides named after former Geelong great Corey Enright (Team Enright) and North Melbourne champion Brent Harvey (Team Harvey).

Team Harvey midfielder Lochie O’Brien (24 disposals and a goal) had his best game for the season on the wing, while possible No.1 pick Luke Davies-Uniacke (23 disposals, six marks and four inside 50s) also put in a solid effort in the midfield.

Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Aiden Bonar was another to push his claims and used his strong frame in the contest to win the football.

Bonar impressed with 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances, and may be a contender as a top-10 selection after having had two surgeries on his ACL over the last two years.

Vic Metro forward Hayden McLean booted three last quarter goals, to finish with four goals from his 12 disposals and six marks.

Fresh from the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup premiership, Team Enright’s James Worpel was their best with 21 disposals (13 contested) and seven clearances.

Midfielders Patrick Naish (21 disposals) and Brayden Ainsworth (20 disposals, seven clearances and five tackles) were two others who performed well for the losing side.

Northern Knights pair Nick Coffield (15 disposals at 86 per cent and five rebound 50s) and Jack Petruccelle (11 disposals) both rebounded the ball with speed.

West Australian 2017 Larke Medalist Oscar Allen clunked seven marks (four contested), finishing with 2.3 from his 18 disposals.

The National Combine kicks off tomorrow at Etihad Stadium and will run until the 6th of October.


TEAM ENRIGHT      3.2      4.5      5.7          8.7 (55)
TEAM HARVEY        2.3      7.3      11.6    17.8 (110)

TEAM ENRIGHT: Allen 2, Moore, Brayshaw, Fogarty, Hayes, Balta, Petruccelle
TEAM HARVEY: McLean 4, Stephenson 4, Starcevich, O’Brien, Bonar, Davies-Uniacke, Daniels, Crossley, Ross, Richards, Miller

2017 NAB AFL All-Star squads revealed

THE COUNTRY’S top teenage talent will again be on display in the two NAB AFL All Stars games in AFL Grand Final weeks.

Over 50 of the brightest prospects have been split into two evenly matched teams, with the AFL today releasing the squads for the Under 18 and Under 17 All Stars games.

Unlike last year, there has been a change with the Under 18 clash set to be played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the 2017 Grand Final on September 30. It will start at 10am, while the Under 17 clash will be played on Grand Final Eve at Simonds Stadium from 1.30pm.

The teams will be played under the banner of ‘Team Enright’ (after former Geelong defender Corey) and ‘Team Harvey’ (after North Melbourne great Brent), with AFL Academy assistant coach Brad Johnson to coach the Corey Enright teams and West Australian under 18 coach Peter Sumich to lead the Brent Harvey sides.

Possible No.1 draft contenders Paddy Dow and Adam Cerra will miss the NAB AFL Under 18 All-Stars game with shoulder injuries.

Full Squads:

NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars:
Grand Final Day, Saturday 30th September
MCG 10am

Team Enright 
1 Dylan Moore – Eastern Ranges
2 Lachlan Fogarty – Western Jets
3 Gryan Miers – Geelong Falcons (emergency)
4 Patrick Naish – Northern Knights
5 Matthew Ling – Geelong Falcons
6 Matthew McGannon – Gippsland Power
7 Brayden Ainsworth – Subiaco
8 Andrew Brayshaw – Sandringham Dragons
9 Jack Petruccelle – Northern Knights
10 Joel Garner – Eastern Ranges
21 Jordan Houlahan – Sturt
22 Hunter Clark – Dandenong Stingrays
23 Nicholas Shipley – St George
24 James Worpel – Geelong Falcons
26 Nicholas Coffield – Northern Knights
27 Oscar Allen – West Perth
28 Mitchell Podhajski – Calder Cannons
29 Jordon Butts – Murray Bushrangers
30 Noah Balta – Calder Cannons
31 Harrison Petty – Norwood
32 Sam Hayes – Eastern Ranges
33 Sam Taylor – Swan District
34 Lloyd Meek – GWV Rebels
35 Ned Reeves – Oakleigh Chargers

Team Harvey 
1 Brent Daniels – Bendigo Pioneers
3 Ben Paton – Murray Bushrangers
4 Alex Martini – Glenelg
5 Zac Bailey – Southern District
6 Ryley Stoddart – Eastern Ranges
7 David Handley – Geelong Falcons
8 Ed Richards – Oakleigh Chargers (emergency)
9 Lochie O’Brien – Bendigo Pioneers
10 Luke Davis-Uniacke – Dandenong Stingrays
11 Bailey Hendersnon – Bendigo Pioneers
21 Matthew Day – Oakleigh Chargers
22 Brandon Starcevich – East Perth
23 Jaidyn Stephenson – Eastern Ranges
24 Jackson Ross – Eastern Ranges
25 Jack Payne – Noosa (Emergency)
26 Nathan Murphy – Sandringham Dragons
27 Aiden Bonar – Dandenong Stingrays
28 Oscar Clavarino – Sandenong Stingrays
29 Jarrod Brander – Bendigo Pioneers
30 Hayden McLean – Sandringham Dragons
31 Charlie Ballard – Sturt
32 Hugh Dixon – Kingborough Tigers
33 Ben Miller – Subiaco
34 Brayden Crossley – Labrador Tigers
35 Connor Ballenden – Wests Juniors

NAB AFL Under 17 All Stars:
Grand Final Eve, Friday 29th September
Simonds Stadium 1.30pm

Team Enright 
1 Zac Butters – Western Jets
2 Tom Lewis – Sturt
3 Izak Rankine – West Adelaide
4 Will Hamill – Dandenong Stingrays
5 James Peatling – Pennant Hills
6 Isaac Quaynor – Oakleigh Chargers
7 Tom McKenzie – Northern Knights
8 Connor Rozee – North Adelaide
9 Bailey Smith – Sandringham Dragons
10 Luke Valente – Norwood
11 Joseph Ayrton-Delaney – Oakleigh Chargers
21 Michael Mummery – Southern Districts
22 Lachlan Gadomski – Kingborough Tigers
24 Stefan Radovanovic – Western Jets
25 Jackson Hately – Cantral Districts
26 Riley Bowman – Dandenong Stingrays
27 Bailey Schmidt – Dandenong Stingrays
28 Mark Marriott – Murray Bushrangers
29 Ben King – Sandringham Dragons
30 Max King – Sandringham Dragons
31 Zane Barzen – Murray Bushrangers
32 Matthew Green – Sporties Spitfires
33 Caleb Graham – Cairns Saints
34 Hugo Munn – Sturt

Team Harvey 
1 Ed McHenry – Geelong Falcons
2 Mitch Anderton – Lauderdale
3 Irving Mosquito – Gippsland Power
4 Tom Matthews – Coorparoo
5 Joseph Hiner – Swan Districts
6 Jye Caldwell – Bendigo Pioneers
7 Jarrod Cameron – Swan Districts
8 Bailey Scott – Broadbeach
9 Xavier Duursma – Gippsland Power
10 Xavier O’Neill – Oakleigh Chargers
11 Curtis Taylor – Calder Cannons
12 Mitch Riordan – Dandenong Stingrays
21 Oscar Brownless – Geelong Falcons
22 Matt Walker – Murray Bushrangers
23 Jack Bytel – Calder Cannons
24 Buku Khamis – Western Jets
25 Tarryn Thomas – North Launceston
26 Mason Fletcher – Calder Cannons
27 Jack Lukosius – Woodville West-Torrens
28 Xavier Peacock – Subiaco
29 Ben Kelly – Murray Bushrangers
30 Bailey Williams – Dandenong Stingrays
31 Jacob Atley – Bendigo Pioneers
32 Hudson Garoni – Murray Bushrangers
33 Dillon O’Reilly – East Fremantle

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.


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)


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)


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)


Hugh Dixon (Kingborough Tigers)

2017 Under 18 All-Australia team announced

THE Under 18 Championships have come and gone, with Vic Metro claiming back-to-back titles after winning three of their four games.

In no surprise, Metro dominate the 23-man squad, headlined by possible no.1 pick Cameron Rayner who is one of nine Metro players included.

West Australia key forward Oscar Allen, the winner of the Larke Medal for the best player in Division 1, was named up forward.

Sydney Swans academy member Nick Blakey won the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best player in the Under 18 Academy Series (Formerly Division 2), but didn’t feature in the 23-man squad.

Vic Metro coach Martin Allison was named as the All-Australia coach, with Western Australia coach Peter Sumich named as his assistant.


Ben Paton
Back pocket (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
19/10/1998 | 185cm | 78kg

Averaged 18 disposals, four marks and four rebound 50s per game playing as a small defender. Uses the ball well by foot and was often tasked with the kick out duties.

Oscar Clavarino
Full back (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Has a solid carnival in defence for Vic Country averaging 11 disposals and six marks. Clavarino took the opposition best forward in most games and has had two good seasons in the Under 18 Championships.

Sam Taylor
Back pocket (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
05/05/1999 | 196cm | 85kg

The AFL Academy member played as a lock-down defender who was an unsung hero for WA. Averaged just 11 disposals, but had three rebounds per game pushing his name into draft contention.

Charlie Constable
Half back flank (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Constable was one of Vic Metro’s best in the carnival and despite missing out on selection in their first game, managed to average 26 disposals, five marks and three tackles. He announced himself as a genuine top 10 with 31 disposals, six marks and six inside 50s in the ‘Vic derby’ playing in the midfield and across half forward.

Aaron Naughton
Centre half back (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
30/11/1999 | 194cm | 84kg

Rebounding tall defender who was a good user on his left foot. Naughton took 21 marks for the carnival and was the rock in defence alongside Sam Taylor. Was WAs co-captain alongside Oscar Allen.

Nicholas Coffield
Half back flank (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

A player who has pushed into top 10 calculations after a strong carnival. Coffield averaged 22 disposals and four marks, rarely looking rushed with ball in hand in the defensive half. One of the better users in the draft by hand and foot.


Brayden Crossley
Ruckman (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Allies)
16/08/1999 | 198cm | 105kg

The big Gold Coast Suns Academy ruckman was the MVP for the Allies, averaging 16 disposals and 27 hitouts from his three games. Crossley’s strength in the ruck is obvious and he hasn’t looked out of place in the NEAFL team for the Suns.

Cameron Rayner
Ruck rover (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg

One of the players who were stiff not to win the Larke Medal. Rayner averaged 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances and booted 12 goals in an impressive carnival. Rayner wasn’t afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents and had some impressive moments during the carnival.

Paddy Dow
Rover (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg

Showed off his elite speed bursting from the stoppages on multiple occasions, averaging 19 disposals (12 contested) and five clearances in an impressive showing in the midfield. Did his top 10 chances no harm.

Patrick Naish
Wing (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg

The Richmond father-son averaged 21 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s for the carnival and provided run & dash out of defence on multiple occasions for Metro. One of the better players in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and two goals at Punt Road.

Brayden Ainsworth
Centre (Subiaco/Western Australia)
27/11/1998 | 183cm | 75kg

The inside midfielder won 49% of his possessions in contested situations, averaging 24 disposals and six clearances throughout the carnival. Started the carnival off with a bang, collecting 26 disposals and eight clearances against South Australia in their golden-point victory.

Izak Rankine
Wing (West Adelaide/South Australia)
23/04/2000 | 178cm | 74kg

The small forward caught the eye of the recruiters using his speed and elite side-step to good use. Rankine averaged 19 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s – kicking six goals for the carnival. The bottom-ager is one to watch for the 2018 draft.


Zac Bailey
Half forward flank (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg

Bailey has a great burst of speed and the Northern Territory midfielder averaged 17 disposals, four tackles and three clearances per game. Bailey’s burst from the centre bounce to win the final clearance in the last few minutes against Vic Metro was a key reason for their unexpected victory.

Jarrod Brander
Centre half forward (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg

Spent time at either end throughout the carnival but finished with a breakout 16 disposal, nine marks and three goals game up forward against title winning Vic Metro.

Jack Higgins
Half forward flank (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg

Higgins was the only player to break the 100 disposal barrier, finishing with 109 disposals (53 contested) in the carnival. Higgins was a deserving MVP for Vic Metro, going close to the Larke Medal. Higgins also averaged six tackles, five clearances and booted six goals for the tournament showing his skill as a player likely to be taken in the backend of the first round.

Callum Coleman-Jones
Forward pocket (Sturt/South Australia)
13/06/1999 | 201cm | 98kg

Coleman-Jones averaged 19 hitouts per game, with a breakout 28 disposal, 15 hitouts and five marks game against the Allies in Round 2. Coleman-Jones is one of the stronger marks in the draft pool.

Oscar Allen
Full forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg

The key forward looms as the likely first West Australian prospect drafted. Allen won the Larke Medal as the best player in Division One, booting 11 goals for the carnival. Allen also averaged 15 disposals and six marks, as an overall deserving Larke Medalist.

Dylan Moore
Forward pocket (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg

The small midfielder cracked in hard, winning plenty of contested ball, rolling through the Vic Metro centre bounces. Moore had 92 disposals (45 contested) for the carnival and booted three goals.


Sam Hayes
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg

The Vic Metro ruckman becomes a dual U18 All-Australian. Hayes averaged 17 hitouts per game and booted four goals up forward. Also took 14 marks for the carnival and showed his versatility up forward.

Lachlan Fogarty
Interchange (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg

The half forward/midfielder missed the opening game of the carnival recovering from a groin injury. Fogarty averaged 19 disposals and a goal throughout the championships, using his smarts around the ground.

Harrison Petty
Interchange (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 194cm | 81kg

One of the more impressive players in the carnival, winning the South Australian MVP. Petty averaged 12 disposals and four marks, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro lining up on Will Sutherland with Petty having 18 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s.

James Worpel
Interchange (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg

Was the Vic Country MVP averaging 20 disposals (10 contested), four clearances and four inside 50s for the carnival. Was the leading tackler for the carnival with 33 tackles in his four games.

Joel Garner
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg

The Vic Metro captain had a superb carnival despite battling an ankle injury in their third game. Garner averaged 16 disposals with 48 per cent of these in contested situations. Garner controlled the play in the defensive half, with a standout performance in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s.

Bottom-age star Ian Hill leads WA to third win

BOTTOM-AGER Ian Hill has led Western Australia to their third win of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships with a strong performance up forward at Etihad Stadium on Friday.

The 17 year-old showed off his speed in the attacking half, collecting 24 disposals helping Western Australia to a 29-point win over Vic Country in their final outing of the carnival.

Hill is eligible for the 2018 draft and is one of the top talents spoken about for next year’s draft crop touted as a ‘super draft’ by some.

Small forward Jarrad Fazioli was another bottom-ager to star, booting three first half goals – finishing with four goals as the away team were damaging with their extra leg speed.

The match begun with an error-riddled opening term, but it was Western Australia who kicked away with three goals-to-one. Tall forward Oscar Allen proved a challenge for the Country talls, providing a target down the line with two goals in the opening half.

AFL Academy member Jake Patmore found plenty of the ball through the midfield, getting to the right positions, leading the disposal count at half time with 17 disposals, eventually running out with a game-high 32 disposals showing his class in the midfield.

Midfielders Callan England and Brayden Ainsworth (26 disposals) again were prominent in WAs victory, finishing off their Under 18 Championships campaign with three wins and a loss.

Vic Country’s possible no.1 pick Luke Davies-Uniacke worked into the contest in the second half, using his strength at the contest finding 23 disposals, clunking a few marks and booted a goal after the siren in the third term to give the home side a sniff.

Ruckman Bailey Williams brought the margin to under 10 points in the final term, but WA co-captain Oscar Allen was able to clunk a excellent pack mark and slot his third goal for the day from a tight angle, making the margin far too great to Vic Country to overcome.

Geelong Grammar midfielders Paddy Dow (23 disposals) and Lochie O’Brien (18 disposals) were among Country’s best in the loss.

Dow showed his burst of speed that he has from the stoppages, booting a nce goals in the third term. O’Brien distributed the ball well off his classy left foot and used his voice well around the ground.

Geelong Falcon Matt Ling was another who impressive in glimpses, including a run down tackle in the opening term. His agility and speed were on show across either wing, where he was willing to take on his WA opponent.

Geelong Falcons duo James Worpel and Cassidy Parish worked hard on the inside for Country, battling against the quick WA midfielders, while Ethan Floyd used his left foot well on the outside, finding 19 disposals.

Western Australia remain in contention to win the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, relying on Vic Metro to loose their remaining games. Vic Country will have a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday against South Australia at Simonds Stadium.

VIC COUNTRY                            1.1      2.2      6.5           7.11 (53)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA              3.4     6.7      8.8           12.10 (82)

VIC COUNTRY: Daniels 2, Quigley, O’Brien, Davies-Uniacke, Dow, Williams,
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Fazioli 4, Allen 3, Ainsworth, Stack, West, Cramer, Young

Dow, Walsh, Davies-Uniacke, O’Brien, Parish, Floyd
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Hill, Patmore, Ainsworth, Fazioli, Allen

Western Australia continue Allies’ winless U18 campaign

WESTERN AUSTRALIA have bounced back from last weekend’s loss to Vic Metro with a 40-point victory over the Allies at Leederville Oval on Sunday.

WA led at all the main breaks, giving them their second win of the Under 18 Championships carnival to propel them to second on the ladder.

Midfielder Callan England was impressive on the outside with a game-high 26 disposals, showing off his good run & carry skills.

East Perth’s Jaxon Cahill had one of his best games in state colours, finding 23 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s, providing good rebound across half back.

Oscar Allen again showed glimpses as to why he is rated as Western Australia’s best draft prospect, booting two goals from his 19 disposals.

The 191cm tall forward is athletic and covered the ground well clunking eight marks and was able to push through an ankle issue in the opening term. The WA Co-Captain is likely leading their MVP for the carnival.

Midfielders Brayden Ainsworth (23 disposals) and Jake Patmore (20 disposals) were others to standout in front of clubs in the pristine conditions.

For the Allies, Brisbane Lions academy member Connor Ballenden showed signs of a breakout performance playing in defence, leading the disposal count for the Allies at quarter time with 11.

Ballenden finished with 20 disposals and clunked eight marks, spending more time in defence than he has so far in his draft year.

Ruckman Brayden Crossley was dominating in the ruck with 29 hit-outs, 15 disposals and was able to push forward and boot two goals, named as the Allies’ best player.

NT Thunder 20-year-old Adam Sambono was lively with 15 disposals, booting 1.3 showing flashes of his speed in the contest.

Late addition to the Allies squad Connor Nutting had some good touches and will be hoping to have put his hand up for selection in their final game against Vic Metro.

GWS Academy midfielder Jack Powell was also prominent with 21 disposals and six clearances through the midfield.

Both sides will travel to Victoria for the final two rounds, with the Allies having the bye on Friday, before facing Vic Metro on Wednesday week at Simonds Stadium. Western Australia will face off against Vic Country on Friday at Etihad Stadium before finishing the carnival with a bye.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA                  2.2      6.5      8.6           12.12 (84)
ALLIES                                               1.1     2.4      5.8           6.8 (44)                   

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Hill 2, Eastland 2, Allen 2, Starcevich 2, Mitchell, Cahill, Cramer, Ameduri
ALLIES: Crossley 2, Simington, Sambono, Dixon, Scott

England, Allen, Patmore, Cahill, Ainsworth
ALLIES: Crossley, Ballenden, Powell, Carr, Nutting

Western Australia defeat South Australia in extra time in opening Under 18 Championships game

A MATT YOUNG golden point has given Western Australia a remarkable win in the first game of the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

In what was largely a one-sided contest for most of the day with WA leading by 30-points at three quarter time, South Australia fought hard with five scoring shots in the opening six minutes of the final quarter, before Izak Rankine goaled to level the scores at Domain Stadium with a few minutes remaining.

Both sides fought hard, before Western Australia took the ball inside 50 and Matt Young marked, with his kick at goal missing – but securing the golden point to give WA a win by the narrowist of margins.

The home sides attack on the ball carrier was obvious from the get go, laying 19 more tackles than SA throughout the contest, with Callan England laying a team-high seven tackles.

Brayden Ainsworth was West Australia’s best in the final term, fighting hard despite the one way traffic, finishing the game with a game-high 26 disposals and eight clearances.

Bottom age midfielders Tom Joyce (21 disposals, four tackles) and Ian Hill (14 disposals, four tackles) were impressive and will be two likely draftees from the home state in 2018.

Gordon Narrier was important in the opening quarter with seven disposals, working hard on the outside finishing with 15 disposals and seven inside 50s.

AFL Academy member Jake Patmore impacted the game in the third quarter, finishing with 19 disposals and five marks for the day.

Western Australia co-captain Oscar Allen showed some good signs in the opening half, collecting 10 disposals and booting three goals playing at centre half forward, while his other co-captain Aaron Naughton used the ball well coming out of defence on his left foot with 15 disposals and four rebound 50s.

For South Australia, Mitch Crowden was their standout using his bigger body to impose the contest. Crowden collected an equal team-high 23 disposals (10 contested) and the 179cm midfielder impressed all day.

Possible Adelaide father-son prospect Jackson Edwards also had 23 disposals (11 contested) playing through the midfield. Edwards started slowly, but built into the game with a superb last quarter with his seven disposals important in getting the ball forward for South Australia.

Isaac Hewson (22 disposals) and Charlie Ballard (20 disposals) performed well in the midfield, winning the contested ball.

Possible number one draft pick Darcy Fogarty had a quiet game with just 12 disposals, four marks and two first quarter goals for the afternoon.

Bottom ager Izak Rankine kicked two goals for the contest from his 20 disposals, which included seven inside 50s playing in the midfield. Fellow 2018 draft prospect Connor Rozee laid 10 tackles and found the ball on 16 occassions on the outside.

SA tall Callum Coleman-Jones clunked six marks (four contested) and ammassed 22 hit outs in a strong performance mixing between ruck and deep up forward.

Western Australia take on Vic Metro next Sunday at Domain Stadium, while South Australia will host the Allies at Adelaide Oval in a televised Fox Footy game on Saturday.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA     2.4      6.7      10.12      10.14 (74)  
SOUTH AUSTRALIA           2.2      5.3         6.6      10.13 (73)                  

WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Allen 3, Stewart 2, Stack, Starcevich, Hill, Young, Ainsworth
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Fogarty 2, Rankine 2, Houlahan 2, Rozee, Lukosius, Giro, Rowe

Ainsworth, Joyce, England, Allen, Narrier, Patmore
 Crowden, Edwards, Rankine, Ballard, Hewson, Coleman-Jones