Tag: dayne zorko

Queensland weekly wrap: State Inclusion squad announced; Suns’ Shanghai stint hangs in balance

THERE were many talking points to come out of this week for Queensland AFL fans. At the highest level, Brisbane clocked up their first win of the year, while the Suns faltered again in Shanghai to put their Chinese venture under threat. Meanwhile more locally, the State Inclusion squad was announced ahead of June’s national carnival. 

Lions get first win, Suns lose in China:

BRISBANE Lions managed to scratch the huge monkey off their backs by winning their first AFL game of 2018 last Sunday afternoon. In front of around 20,000 fans at the Gabba, they claimed a nice scalp smashing Hawthorn by 56 points in a milestone victory for the club. It was as if it was scripted for Lions coach Chris Fagan and legendary recruit Luke Hodge to beat their old side and to get off the mark for the Lions. Hodge was excellent against the team he played 305 games and won four premierships with, but it was a mix of old and new that helped the Lions get off the mark in 2018.

The stars of the day for the Lions included Eric Hipwood who had glue on his hands, marking every ball the came his way en route to kicking four goals. Second-year midfielder Hugh McCluggage finished with a career-high 27 disposals (16 contested) and had a major influence while the match was up for grabs. Captain Dayne Beams was back near his best with 28 disposals and two goals, Dayne Zorko continued his form resurgence with 30 touches, 11 tackles and a goal, while Charlie Cameron produced a Mark of the Year contender to go with two goals. The game was capped off with last series winner of The Recruit, 28-year-old Matt Eagles kicking his first goal in AFL footy in the last term. The Lions face Sydney next round.

Meanwhile, the trip to Shanghai wasn’t pleasant for the Gold Coast Suns players who suffered a 40-point loss to Port Adelaide in wet conditions at Jiangwan Stadium. The Suns fought hard to deliver an improved performance from their drubbing in last year’s inaugural China game, but were no match for the resurgent Power. Port’s 11.16 (82) to 6.6 (42) victory on Saturday lifts them to fourth on the ladder.

Gold Coast teenager Jacob Heron joined the exclusive group of players to make his AFL debut outside of Australia and slot a goal with his first kick. Both sides have the bye next week to recover from the long trek to Shanghai, but after a week off, the Suns finally return to Metricon Stadium where they will face Geelong.

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Suns Shanghai experiment in the air:

Reports have been flowing in the last few days around the AFL that the Gold Coast Suns could lose their right to AFL in Shanghai to a Victorian club. AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has declared he will open discussions over next year’s Shanghai match to Victorian teams. Also, Victorian Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis has been in Shanghai this week lobbying hard for a Melbourne team to take over next year. St Kilda have been rumoured as the most eager club to take over the Shangai expeditions, perhaps with plans to help erase their millions in debts.

This story is sure to develop over the coming weeks.

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2018 Queensland State Inclusion team announced:

Last Friday AFL Queensland announced the 2018 State Inclusion team after trials were held in May. The squad includes 16 players and three emergencies. The Queensland side will take part in the AFL National Inclusion Carnival starting June 18 in Launceston. The AFL National Inclusion Carnival is round robin tournament for talented footballers with an intellectual disability.

2018 Queensland State Inclusion Team:

Luke O’Neal
Damien Harvey
Joshua Correa
Nathanial Gill
Joshua McGrath
Brad Lawrence
Brent Morris
Shaun McKee
Dylan Evans
Robbie Van Allen
Connor Dixon
Matt Bedford
Joseph Ryan
Johnny Lawrence
Reagan Taylor
Zachary Kimber

Emergencies:

Ben Haack
Phil King
Andrew King

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Celebrating National Volunteer Week in Queensland AFL:

National Volunteer Week takes place from May 21-27, celebrating and commending AFL volunteers from the around the state. Every day this week, AFL Queensland honours special volunteers that have had a profound impact on developing and nurturing footy across the state. To see the tributes and for more information follow the #AFLQvolunteerweek and #THANKYOU hashtags across social media.

Queensland weekly wrap: Q-Clash weekend provides thrillers

THE Q-Clash was the centre of focus in Queensland football this week at both the AFL and Under 18 levels. While the senior Suns clung on to victory at the Gabba, the Lions academy claimed bragging rights to even the ledger. The other big story of the week was the landmark occasion of the first ever QAFL games being live-streamed.

AFL Round 5 | Q-Clash 15 – Gold Coast Suns vs. Brisbane Lions

Gold Coast were able to edge out Brisbane on Sunday afternoon to win the fifteenth Q-Clash by just five points. It gave the Suns their third win of the season, whilst the Lions remain winless after five rounds.  The Suns led by as much as 27 points in the third term and had to withstand a final quarter Lions comeback, but hung on to win 11.10 (76) to 10.11 (71) after successive losses in Perth. Brisbane’s number one draft pick Cam Rayner had a flying shot at goal from 50m in the final seconds to draw the contest but pulled it wide for a behind.

Touk Miller of the Gold Coast Suns showed how to play a team role to perfection at the Gabba. Miller went to Dayne Zorko and made the Lions star’s night a miserable one. At every opportunity, Miller got stuck into the All Australian, pushing, shoving and giving him no breathing space.  Zorko finished with a paltry 10 disposals and had minimal influence, while Miller became more and more involved as the night wore on, racking up 21 touches, including seven clearances. Co-captain Steven May played easily his best game of the season, while David Swallow, Brayden Fiorini and Jarrod Harbrow also excelled.  The goal of the night was a toss-up between Fiorini’s one step bomb from a stoppage just outside forward 50, and Charlie Cameron’s snap goal in the final term.

The loss will sting the Lions. It is the fourth time in five rounds they have had a chance to win in the final term, yet they remain winless.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE          2.3     4.7      7.9      10.11     (71)                 
GOLD COAST     4.2     7.3     10.6     11.10     (76)         

Goals:

Brisbane:  Hipwood 3, Cameron 2, Taylor, Bailey, Rayner, Zorko, McStay.
Gold Coast: MacPherson 2, Lynch 2, Fiorini 2, Lyons, Young, Day, Holman, May.

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Under-18 Academy Series – Brisbane Academy vs. Gold Coast Academy

The Q-Clash rivalry was in full effect in the second round of the Under 18 Academy Series as the Lions and Suns faced off. A brilliant seven goals to zero first term by the Lions helped set up their 12-point victory. The Suns would claw their way back throughout the match kicking 11 goals to four over the final three terms in a display of guts and determination.  

Standout performers for the Lions included small midfielder Jesse Quint, racking up 20 touches and a goal. Caleb Franks totalled a massive 37 disposals to lead all the ground in that category, while snagging two goals himself. Thomas Griffiths was also impressive gathering 25 touches and rebounding well across half-back.

For the Suns, Bailey Scott again was in the best players, collecting 19 disposals and two goals. Labrador midfielder Cooper Portelli had 25 disposals and eight marks, while Matthew Smith kicked three goals up forward.

Final Scores:

BRISBANE LIONS           7.1       9.5       10.10   12.11 (83)
GOLD COAST SUNS        0.0       5.3       7.4       11.5 (71)

Goals:

Brisbane: Franks, McFadyen, Tomkinson 2, Pettigrove, Quint, Matthews, Jeffrey, Smith, Ansell
Gold Coast: Smith 3, Scott 2, Portelli, Katsiris, Haua, Wingrove, Burke, Miles

BEST

Brisbane: Quint, Tomkinson, Franks, Stackelberg, Matthews, Pettigrove
Gold Coast: Portelli, Smith, Scott, Gore, Stone

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First ever QAFL games live streamed

AFL Queensland provided their first complete live streams of QAFL matches over the weekend.  On Saturday, QAFL viewers were treated to an absolute thriller between senior sides Mt Gravatt and the Western Magpies. In a game that was neck and neck throughout, the Mt Gravatt Vultures escaped six-point winners at home.

On Sunday, the second live streamed match was between Surfers Paradise and last year’s runners up Labrador. After a three goals to zero opening stand by Labrador, Surfers responded in the second term, kicking five goals to two to lead by four points at the half. The sides would go back and forth in the second half with Surfers helping themselves to a big opening round upset thanks to having 28 scoring shots to Labrador’s 17.  

At a minimum, one QAFL game each week will be streamed at www.aflq.com.au/qafl-live throughout the season. An additional six games will also be broadcast to showcase the bigger matchups of the year.

Queensland weekly wrap: Lions win Youth Girls Academy Series

BRISBANE Lions Youth Girls Academy were the top performers at the weekend’s Northern Academy Series, while their AFL counterparts pushed Port Adelaide all the way in Adelaide, but the Gold Coast Suns went down to Fremantle in a “home” game at Optus Stadium.

Lions and Suns compete in Youth Girls Northern Academy Series

Brisbane Lions have triumphed in the Youth Girls Northern Academy Series with three victories over the GIANTS, Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans. The Lions defeated the GIANTS by one point in the opening game, before a 46-point victory over the Suns and 20-point victory over the Sydney Swans followed. The Suns won their two other matches with a 23-point victory over Sydney and a 42-point victory over the GIANTS, restricting both sides to a combined two behinds in their matches. A total of 60 players took part in the series from Queensland, with 28 representing Brisbane Lions and 32 representing the Gold Coast SUNS.

For more information on how the series went down, head to the AFL Queensland website.

AFL Round 3 

Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide Power

Port Adelaide survived a goalless last quarter to beat the incredibly brave and luckless Brisbane Lions by five points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Inspired by Stefan Martin, who had an amazing 30 disposals and 48 hit-outs, the Lions came back from 18 points down at three-quarter time and battled hard. The Power looked completely drained after a six-day break from a tough away encounter against the Sydney Swans. Port was expected to win – they have been touted by many to finish in the top four – but the Lions seemed to believe they were always a chance.

The Lions turned up in hot conditions ready to produce a highly respectful performance, going down fighting to the bitter end. Charlie Cameron started at full-forward and kicked three telling early goals on his old hunting ground, and for Brisbane to lead by 11 points at half-time was a huge wake-up call for the Power. When they did, they were back to their controlling best, but again not without needing to work hard for each possession. Port regrouped after half-time and found their cleaner flow, definitely with more vigour. They tested the resilience of the Lions, switching the play and forcing them into growing errors amidst the extended pressure.

For 43 of the first 75 minutes of match play the Lions led and looked like deserving winners. Of course, ultimately Port clawed their way back through tenacity and a rise in intensity, but for the Lions to hang in there for so long speaks volumes for the path coach Chris Fagan is taking them on. There were Brisbane’s hardy perennials like Luke Hodge who masterminded the defence, Dayne Zorko who was brilliant in the midfield, and Mitch Robinson who was inspirational with his attack on the ball, but it was Stefan Martin with some magnificent ruck work that really gave the Lions a big chance. Port kicked seven goals to the Lions’ five in the second half to escape with the game which went right down to the wire. Next Saturday afternoon the Lions face reigning premiers Richmond at the MCG.

Final Scores: Port Adelaide 14.13 (97) defeated Brisbane 14.8 (92)  

Gold Coast Suns vs. Fremantle Dockers

Gold Coast Suns’ undefeated run came to an end on the weekend at the hands of a Nat Fyfe-inspired Fremantle Dockers outfit at Optus Stadium. With the Commonwealth Games in full swing on the coast, the Suns sold their home game to the Dockers and it proved to be a winning factor in the game. While the crowd wasn’t nearly as strong as the previous numbers Perth’s new stadium has yielded, the Freo fans surely helped to will their side over the line. It took special performances from Michael Walters (23 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and Ed Langdon (27 disposals, five marks, five tackles), alongside their skipper, for Fremantle to break the half-time deadlock and come away with the four points.

While it was a fairly even contest for most of the game, the Dockers ended up dominating the key stats – winning the disposal count 387-324, clearances 37-29 and contested possessions 154-135 – and the margin could have been more had they kicked more accurately in front of goal with 31 scoring shots to 18. For the Suns, Jarryd Lyons continued his admirable early season form with a complete performance of 30 disposals, ten tackles, seven clearances and two goals. Jack Martin pitched in with 21 disposals, six marks and a goal alongside Kade Kolodjashnij (22 disposals, seven marks) and Touk Miller (19 disposals, six tackles, five clearances).

One of the more pleasing performances came from the injury riddled Sam Day, who booted three goals from his ten disposals and five marks with Tom Lynch kept quiet. Besides the loss, coach Stewart Dew will also face the concern of potentially losing star wingman Pearce Hanley to another shoulder injury after he suffered a dislocation in the first half. Overall, the result came from a mix of Fremantle’s brilliance and a somewhat disappointing Gold Coast effort. The Suns will again head to Optus Stadium to face West Coast in round four. Final Scores: Fremantle 13.18 (96) defeated Gold Coast 10.8 (68)

2014 Draft Profile: Caleb Daniel

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Caleb Daniel (South Adelaide)

Height: 168 cm
Weight: 68 kg
Position: Midfielder/forward
Strengths: Pace, agility, endurance, core strength, disposal, inside ability
Areas of improvement: Nothing within his control
Player comparison: Dayne Zorko (more skilled version)

Caleb Daniel is a special player. On ability he’s the best player in the draft crop, no player possesses close to the same natural talent. However, Daniel is one of the smallest players to play the game. It’s about the one thing that can make even the best drop down the draft boards. If drafted, Daniel will be the smallest player in the AFL.

In 2013 as an underaged player he averaged 17 disposals across 10 games. An ankle injury prevented him from playing early this year but he made his way back for the second half of the championships. Despite having no match practice and very little conditioning, Daniel managed to average 20 disposals at 90 per cent efficiency, four marks, four inside 50s, five tackles, two clearances and two goals in his three games. Particularly impressive was a 27-disposal, three-goal game in round five and a 21 disposal, three-goal and 217 champion data ranking point game in round six. In three SANFL games since the championships he’s averaged 16 disposals a game at 84 per cent efficiency.

Athletically Daniel excels. Last year he ran a 15.7 beep test, this year he reportedly ran a 16.1. There’s every chance he’ll break Billy Hartung’s record of 16.6 at the combine this year and at worst he’ll be in the all time top three. He also ran a 2.99 second 20-metre sprint last year and a 10.09 minute three-kilometre time trial, both likely to have improved throughout this year. Daniel is a very good chance of ranking in the top 10 for the 20-metre sprint, three-kilometre time trial, beep test, agility run and repeat sprints at the combine. It’s rare that a player is elite in both sprint speed and endurance, but Daniel is.

Daniel isn’t just an athlete though, he’s a footballer too. Below the knees his hands are excellent and he doesn’t ever fumble with his pickups always clean. When receiving a handball irrelevant of how poor the handball is, whether it’s behind him, on the ground or too far in front of him he collects it cleanly without breaking stride. By hand and foot he is excellent. Not only is he technically a good kick but his vision and decision making are elite. No matter the pressure he’s under, Daniel is able to effectively execute high degree of difficulty kicks with ease.

He spots targets in space others aren’t able to and whether it be across his body or on the outside of his foot, he’s able to execute the kick to perfection. By hand he’s able to hit targets to advantage and release runners with ease. While Daniel is an excellent user of the ball in space, under pressure he’s even better being able to always find targets even in heavy traffic. Daniel’s ability to evade the tackle is excellent and on the rare occasion he is tackled he’s able to get his hands free and fire off an effective handball. While Daniel’s disposal efficiency at both SANFL and under 18 level is excellent, not only are his disposals effective but they’re damaging; they’re not just cheap handballs out the back or long bombs to contests, nearly every time Daniel gets the ball you can be sure his disposal is going to lead to the team being closer to a goal.

Daniel has the ability to turn hard ball gets into uncontested possessions with ease, while also regularly winning 50/50 contests leading to an inside 50 mark. He breaks games. While in the championships Daniel played more of a forward flank/outside midfielder role, at SANFL level he’s played more of an inside role at times. He truly is a balanced midfielder and a volume accumulator. If he’s around the play he finds a way to win the ball whether it be gut running to provide an outside link up option or burrowing in hard and winning the contested ball.

Defensively Daniel works hard. With his pace and agility he’s able to corral and apply pressure with real intensity. He keeps track of his man and runs both ways. He’s always looking to tackle when not in possession and despite his small stature, at under 18 and SANFL level he’s been able to tackle with some real force and efficacy. At his size his tackling proficiency is no guarantee to translate to AFL level, but at worst with his work rate he’ll still be able to apply pressure. There isn’t much wrong with Daniel’s game.

In the championships he managed six goals from three games however of those three were handball receives into on the run shots from outside 50 and one was from an uncontested mark 45 metres out that he’d never have been allowed to get at AFL level. Before the championships he hadn’t shown much to indicate he had a forward game and while his performances in the championships were a real step forward, two games of three goals is a small sample to be making judgments on his ability in the forward 50. The other knock on his game is that when kicking long he is prone to swinging out onto his right foot and kicking across his body instead of through the ball, something that is easily fixed.

The knock on Daniel is his height. And it’s a big one – players of his height are traditionally looked over. While there aren’t any players of Daniel’s size in the AFL right now, that’s not to say there’s not a place for one – he is simply better than all the sub 170 players that have been rejected in the past. While at AFL level he won’t be afforded the same freedom he is at lower levels, with his skills, athleticism and football smarts there will always be a place for him regardless of size.

Jake Neade was given a chance at 170 centimetres and Daniel, being only two centimetres smaller, would be able to perform and impact like Neade did at the absolute worst. Dayne Zorko too is a small half forward/midfielder who found a place in the league through hard work and size hasn’t held him back. With Caleb Daniel’s work ethic and character there’s no reason why he can’t defy the odds and make the grade.