IN the final round of the Under 18 Academy Series, we checked out the Sydney Swans Academy taking on the Gold Coast Academy in what was a thrilling finish to a somewhat dour affair in windy conditions. Here are notes of the better players on the day.
#3 Nick Blakey
Blakey played through the midfield and as a deep forward where he contributed another 3 goals. Blakey showed good awareness around the stoppages and used the ball well by hand and foot. His defensive effort was strong laying 5 tackles which resulted in turnovers to the favour of the Swans. Blakey continued to show his versatility throughout the carnival and this was another great example of that.
#23 Cooper Kilpatrick
Kilpatrick was a lively small forward using his speed and footy smarts to impact the score board finishing with 4 goal assists. Kilpatrick’s use of the footy was a standout by hand and foot despite the challenging wet and windy conditions. The Suns paid more attention to Kilpatrick in the second half though he was still able to have an impact again finishing as one of the Swans top possession winners.
#16 Josh Stern
Stern played a different role, playing across forward flank and the midfield. While Stern was down on possessions this week, he showed his class with ball in hand. Around the stoppages Stern showed his speed breaking away from the packs and clearing for the Swans. Stern showed his versatility when playing on a tall defender and was able to bring the ball to ground.
#24 Samuel Wicks
Wicks had his best game of the series, he was good around the clearances winning a lot of contested footy throughout the match. At times Wicks rushed his disposal when he had more time available to weigh up his options. Wicks defensive pressure was good finishing with 7 tackles.
#10 Bailey Scott
Scott was best afield, his use of the footy by hand and foot was exceptional in wet, windy conditions. Scott’s work rate was a highlight as he pushed himself to get to contests all around the field. Scott’s ability to know where his teammates were and his ability to clear the ball to them from stoppages was outstanding. Scott’s leadership around the field was evident.
#1 Fitzroy Greenwool
Greenwool’s speed and ability to run and carry and break the game open was a highlight throughout the game. Greenwool and Scott linked up well around stoppages with Greenwool able to clear the ball to Gold Coasts advantage throughout the game. Greenwool contributed on the score board as well kicking a great goal on the run.
#9 Cooper Portelli
Portelli played through the midfield, he was clean by hand and foot and was not afraid to take the game on through the middle. Portelli has a long penetrating kick which the Suns forwards took advantage of, the highlight being a kick deep into the forwards which was marked by Greenwool who ran into an open goal for what was goal of the day.
#13 Timakoi Bowie
Bowie had a fantastic first half getting a heap of the ball and generally used the footy well. Bowie is a big bodied midfielder who was strong at the stoppages and used his size to effect some strong tackles. In the second half, the Swans showed closer attention to Bowie which impacted on his ability to win the footy.