Tag: dylan clarke

Player Focus: Ely Smith

MURRAY Bushrangers have secured their spot in the finals race after outclassing the Bendigo Pioneers at Ikon Park over the weekend, defeating them by 27 points.

Ely Smith continues to make a case for a possible late second round pick with another strong showing in the Wild Card round against the Bendigo Pioneers. While originally missing selection in Vic Country’s original side, Smith later received a call up after Country lost their inside midfielders in Jye Caldwell and Mitch Riordan, and Smith’s continued showing of good form.

In the TAC Cup, Smith leads in clearances, sits third in disposals, third in contested possessions, third in handballs, tenth in inside 50s and twelfth in tackles. This strong bodied midfielder knows how to take a tackle and use his size and strength to gain prominent position. While his inside game is easily his most impressive quality, he by no means lacks an ability on the outside.

With stakes increasing heading deeper into finals, we could see a big lift from the Bushrangers’ contested possession winner and a big add to his stocks heading into the 2018 National Draft.

Quarter by quarter:

Ely Smith’s usual impact was nowhere to be seen in the first, tallying only the two possessions for the quarter, and being quickly dealt with on his first touch.

After some time to reflect at the break, and probably some choice words from his coach, Smith entered the second term with a huge lift in form. Off the tap down he read the drop best and manoeuvred well in tight space to burst into the Bushrangers’ attacking half. He shot off a lot of clean passes from the middle, aiding the Bushrangers’ aggressive run forward and picked his man well despite having Pioneers hanging off his back. He continued to boast a perfect read on the ball, spoiling a mark along the wing and collecting it off a bounce. He copped a tackle soon after but got a short pass away, quickly regained possession and chipped it up to the square and affected a Bushranger goal.

He kept lifting in the third, earning a clearance from the first stoppage and locking down a getaway in the second. In the next centre bounce, Smith earned himself a clearance and an inside 50, bursting away with the pill and setting up a shot on goal. He trapped the ball carrier out of the next centre bounce, causing a stoppage, and laid a second tackle to dispossess and hand Dylan Clarke a clearance. Some strong kicking and a burst away from congestion frequently broke Pioneer lines. Breaking one tackle and withstanding a second, Smith kicked clean down the passage which resulted in another Bushrangers goal. He repeated the same action soon after, booting the ball over the centre square out of their defensive half, shattering Pioneer lines. If he was not first to the footy, he was usually a close second, wrapping up his man before they could take a step.

The hitouts stopped going his way at the beginning of the final term, with one thumped long and another hit high. Though unlike the first, Smith turned it around and gained his first disposal with a chip kick inside 50 from a lead through the passage. He went onto to clean up his team’s messy clearance work from the stoppage, extracting it from the congestion and again creating movement. He broke lines with excellent work out of the back, including a strong kick in the defensive 50 which created some easy movement. Not long after, he received the ball at the end of the chain that he started inside 50 but missed to the left with his set shot. He got a second chance at it off the kick in, causing a turnover, but was unsuccessful in converting. Smith is an easy pick for best on ground, for his massive second and third quarter impact, dominating both the inside and outside game for the day.

 

Final Stats:

29 disposals (16 contested)

12 kicks

17 handballs

12 handball receives

6 tackles

6 clearances

6 inside 50s

2 rebounds

 

It cannot be said definitively but it is likely Smith will be taken somewhere in the middle of the Draft. Producing a strong showing in the finals has the potential to catch recruiters’ eyes, so if he is able to keep his form up and goes deeper into finals, that’s more time to affect a positive opinion.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 14

IN the last school football affected round of TAC Cup action, some top sides managed to overcome challenges from their opponents to get the four points, while others combated the challenges of high winds.

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Eastern Ranges 8.8 (56)

By: Scott Dougan

On a cold, blustery day in Box Hill, the second-placed Dragons were first to strike against the Eastern Ranges, with Kyle Yorke converting successfully through the big sticks after taking a strong mark inside 50. Chayce Black responded for the Ranges 10 minutes later after the two teams found it hard to score. James Rendell and Ryan Byrnes impressed early, gathering plenty of possessions around the ground. The tight contest continued throughout the first quarter before Rendell was able to put the Dragons nine points clear at the first break.

The Dragons continued their dominance with the first two goals of the second quarter and increased their lead to 23 points only 15 minutes in. The Ranges weren’t going down without a fight, with Adrian Kalcovski steering through his team’s first of the quarter. Jack Kritopoulos was exciting inside the forward half for the Ranges, bagging two very important goals late in the term, cutting the margin to just three points at the main break. 

The third quarter turned out to be a slugfest, with both teams finding it incredibly difficult to score. Corey Watts was rock-solid down back for the Dragons, taking several intercept marks throughout the quarter. Bottom-ager Mitch Mellis continued to find plenty of the pill around the ground for the Ranges.

The Ranges started the final term in terrific fashion, hitting the front within the first five minutes with goals to James Blanck, Kritopoulos and Devlin Brereton. The Ranges were 13 points up before Oscar McMaster goaled and kept the Dragons within striking range. Nicholas Stamatis put the Dragons ahead in the twentieth minute after a blistering five-minute patch that included two goals. Rendell finished his spectacular day off with a brilliant goal that sealed the match for the Dragons in the final minutes of the game.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 8.19 (67) defeated Northern Knights 8.2 (50)

By: Michael Alvaro

A rioting third quarter effort helped ensure Dandenong Stingrays maintained its two-game buffer atop the TAC Cup ladder with a hard-earned win over a gallant Northern Knights outfit at Preston City Oval.

The home side shot out of the blocks kicking against the wind with three straight goals in the opening term, including one to 16 year old prospect Jaden Collins. But the Stingrays kept within reach with a wasteful, but much needed 1.5 to find themselves only seven points down at the first break. Northern managed to get the better of their opponents on the scoreboard once again in the second quarter, albeit against the run of play. Another two majors saw them hold five of the first half’s seven goals, as a late Corey Ellison six-pointer doubled Dandenong’s total of six behinds for the term.

The Stingrays have seldom found themselves behind this season, and the ladder leaders flexed their muscles to pile on six goals in the ever important ‘premiership quarter’, while keeping the Knights scoreless. Forwards Bailey Williams and Finlay Bayne each bagged two goals in the term as the ‘Rays pulled away to a 34-point lead at the final change. With the wind at their backs, Northern kept their opponents goalless and did their best to bridge the gap with two goals from overager Joel Naylor, but it was too little, too late as Dandenong held on for a 17 point victory.

Astonishingly, the Knights won three of the four quarters but were let down by a third term lapse. Bottom-agers Ryan Gardner and Sam Philp were major ball winners for the home side with 27 and 29 respectively, while key defenders Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, eight marks) and Joel Randall (25 disposals, five marks) were rocks while under enormous pressure.

For the winners, Bayne was prolific forward of centre with 31 disposals, nine marks, eight tackles and 2.2, while Williams chimed in with two majors of his own from 14 disposals and four marks. Midfielders Campbell Hustwaite (26 disposals, 10 tackles) and Sam Fletcher (24 disposals, 14 tackles) were industrious in the clinches, while Lachlan Young was named best afield with his stirring 17 disposals and five contested marks.

 

Gippsland Power 9.6 (60) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55)

By: Peter Williams

Gippsland Power has locked up a top four spot in this year’s TAC Cup competition with two rounds remaining after defeating Oakleigh Chargers by five points in a thrilling contest at Warrawee Park. The Power jumped the Chargers in blustery conditions early on, booting 3.3 to 1.1 to lead by 14 points in weather that looked like goals would be at a premium. Over the next two quarters, Oakleigh reversed the momentum and seemed to have all the control, with nine scoring shots to one, resulting in five goals on the board for the home team. In fact, Gippsland’s Luke Williams booted the final goal of the third term in the twentieth minute – the first Power score since the opening quarter. The Power came out firing in the final term, booting five goals to two, with the final of those – a Noah Gown set shot from 15m out – handing Gippsland the lead. With the ball down Oakleigh’s end in the dying seconds, Noah Answerth thumped the ball onto the boot and it bounced through from almost 60m out. The only problem? The siren had gone before he had disposed of it, giving Gippsland a vital four points.

Captain Xavier Duursma lead from the front with 29 disposals, seven marks, two clearances, eight inside 50s and four rebounds, while Matthew McGannon collected 21 touches and four marks in a solid contested effort from the overager. Forwards, Noah Gown and Sam Flanders were busy once again, booting two goals each and providing a threat in the air with a combined three contested marks, and 11 all up. Fraser Phillips was one that caught the eye up forward, dominant early and booted a fantastic goal in the opening term, he also had five marks and four inside 50s.

For Oakleigh, bottom-ager Trent Bianco brought his own ball to the footy, racking up 40 disposals, eight marks, four clearances, three inside 50s and seven rebounds, while Matthew Fewings (26 disposals and five marks) and Lucas Westwood (22 disposals, five marks and seven rebounds) were also prominent. Up forward, Daniel Scala booted four goals, while Jake Gasper kicked his regulation two goals while pushing up to the wing throughout the match. Top picks, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Isaac Quaynor had some eye-catching moments, while Sam Harte was also busy.

 

Calder Cannons 14.8 (92) defeated Murray Bushrangers 10.12 (72)

Calder Cannons upset the Murray Bushrangers in Albury, storming home in the final term to record an impressive 20-point victory. In a see-sawing contest, Murray had early chances in the first term but booted six behinds to the Cannons’ one. Calder took control in the second term, piling on 5.5 to 3.1 to head into the main break with an 11-point lead. By the final quarter, the Bushrangers regained the ascendancy and a narrow lead at the break, heading into three quarter time with a three-point advantage. But Calder put the foot down in the final quarter to blitz the home side, with eight goals to four, including three majors to co-captain Mitch Podhajski changing the course of the game.

Podhajski was a clear best on ground with 35 disposals, 10 marks (three contested), seven inside 50s, two rebounds and four goals, leading the Cannons to one of their most impressive victories of the season. Lachlan Sholl (31 disposals, 11 marks and five rebounds) and Brodie Newman (25 disposals, eight marks and six rebounds) were crucial in defence, while Curtis Taylor bounced back from a quiet week last week to post 21 disposals, four marks, five clearances, three rebounds and a goal. Patrick Mahoney (three goals), Daniel Mott (24 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Ismail Moussa (24 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and four inside 50s) were others who stood out.

For the Bushrangers, midfield dynamo Ely Smith was again among the big ball winners, amassing 32 disposals (17 contested), five clearances and eight inside 50s, while Dylan Clarke had 23 disposals, six clearances and four inside 50s. Monster forward Hudson Garoni worked hard for 23 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and two goals, while Jye Chalcraft was again impressive with 21 touches, three marks, six clearances and four inside 50s. Lachlan Ash (20 disposals, six marks and five rebounds) was good in transition, while Will Chandler was electrifying with 14 disposals (100 per cent efficiency), five marks, four inside 50s and four goals.

 

Geelong Falcons 13.16 (94) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 2.1 (13)

Geelong Falcons might not have had the season they were after, but their demolition of the competitive Bendigo Pioneers showed just what they are capable of at full strength. The Falcons put in one of their finest performances of the year, to boot four goals to zero in the first term, and by the main break, had eight majors on the board to Bendigo’s one. Geelong continued their advantage after half-time, booting three goals from eight scoring shots, then holding the Pioneers scoreless for the second quarter in the match, booting 2.3 themselves to win by 81 points.

Co-captains Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless lead from the front, recording the most disposals in the match. Walsh was terrific with 33 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds, missing two chances on goal. Brownless had 27 disposals, four marks, seven clearances, five inside 50s and five rebounds, while up forward, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up with another 20 disposals, 12 marks and five goals to be the dominant force up forward. Ben Morton was important around the clearances, racking up five, while Sam Torpy had five inside 50s and booted a goal.

For the Pioneers, Noah Wheeler was the top disposal winner with 20 touches, as well as six marks and six rebounds playing off half-back, while Jacob Atley was also impressive with three rebounds from 15 disposals and three marks. Daniel Clohesy had a team-high four clearances, while Liam Marciano was one of the more prominent Pioneers with 18 disposals, three marks, two clearances and two inside 50s.

 

Western Jets 11.14 (80) defeated Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels 3.6 (24)

By: Ed Pascoe

The Jets and Rebels were unfortunate to get horrid windy conditions for their game at Williamstown where it was not just the players, but the umpires that copped it too. The boundary umpires had the worst of it, often throwing the ball in to have it almost coming back to them which resulted in numerous back-to-back throw ins which frustrated just about everyone and made the contest a real slog for both teams. It all came down to execution going forward and it was the Jets who took the most of their opportunities. Handballs and kicks rarely hit the target throughout the game but some players still stood out with their intent despite the conditions.

The Rebels did not have many winners throughout the day. Goal sneak Charlie Wilson (11 disposals) was not helped with the conditions and tried his absolute best when it did come inside 50. Down back Scott Carlin (21), Jacob Lohmann (19) and James Cleaver (17) all provided good rebound and bottom age midfielders Cooper Craig-Peters (24) and Ethan Harvey (20) worked hard through the midfield.

The Jets captain Xavier O’Halloran (11 disposals) had a quieter game by his standards but he was helped through the midfield with the likes of Daly Andrews (27) running amuck on the wing and the grunt of Stefan Radovanovic (16), Connor Thar (23), Jack Watkins (23) and bottom ager Darcy Cassar (20). AFL Academy member and Under-18 All Australian Buku Khamis (16) was classy at half-back with his ball use while it was forward Daniel Pantalleresco who was all the rage with his 5 goals with most of them kicked extremely well considering the conditions, he did it all at ground level and in the air and he certainly would have gained the attention of recruiters.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 10

MURRAY Bushrangers’ 97-point thumping of Geelong Falcons has seen them rewarded with another four players in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 10. The Bushrangers have two more players than any other side, with the rest of the 18 players divided up evenly amongst the 11 other TAC Cup teams.

The other five winners – Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Dandenong Stingrays, Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons – have two nominees each, as do Round 10 losers Oakleigh Chargers and Western Jets. The remaining four clubs – Eastern Ranges, Geelong Falcons, Gippsland Power and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels have the one nominee each.

Murray key forward Hudson Garoni booted six goals to be named in his regular spot at centre half-forward, but it was midfielder Ely Smith who stole the show, amassing 37 disposals and laying 11 tackles to also earn the AFL Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 10. Bottom-age forward Jye Chalcraft was impressive backing up his strong game the week before, making the half-forward flank in the Round 10 team, while Dylan Clarke made it onto the interchange bench. The other player close to earning the Player of the Week honours – Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Noah Wheeler – joins Smith onball, and is in the side with teammate Flynn Perez after the Pioneers’ win over Gippsland Power.

Calder Cannons’ great win saw Daniel Mott make the team in the middle after an eye-catching performance, while forward Josh Kemp achieved the remarkable feat of making the team on debut – booting four goals and earns a place in the starting side. Dandenong Stingrays have plenty of talented talls and on the weekend it was Bailey Schmidt and Stephen Cumming who created plenty of havoc against the GWV Rebels, both booting four goals. Schmidt is named at full-forward, while Cumming – who also spent some time in defence – has been named at centre half-back, but would rotate forward in this team.

Alongside Cumming holding down the fort is Sandringham Dragons’ switchman Will Kennedy, who earns a place at full-back, and is joined in the team by midfielder Liam Stocker, who made a successful return from injury. The other winning side – Western Jets – saw midfielders Connor Thar and Jack Watkins make the team for their big ball-winning performances on the weekend.

Northern Knights’ bottom-ager Nathan Howard earns his place as starting ruck for his strong performance in the absence of Tom Hallebone, joined in the team by returning midfielder Justin McInerney. Oakleigh is the final team with two nominees, as Trent Bianco (half-back flank) and Jack Ross (interchange) slotted into the team. Three of the four single club nominees suited up in the backline with Eastern Ranges’ Ben Cardamone, Geelong Falcons’ Brayden Ham and Gippsland Power’s Tyrone Hayes all making the side. Up forward, Charlie Wilson impressed again with four goals to make the team. Eastern’s Joel Burleigh, Gippsland’s Boadie Motton and GWV’s Jed Hill are the three hypothetical emergencies for the Round 10 team.

Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 10

ROUND 10 saw a couple of upsets, a record low, and some tight contests, making for an entertaining round of TAC Cup football.

 

Oakleigh Chargers 8.10 (58) defeated by Sandringham Dragons 8.13 (61)

Sandringham Dragons have recorded a vital win over Oakleigh with a Finn Maginness goal in the last term sealing the deal for the visitors at Warrawee Park on Saturday morning. Trailing by three points at half-time and five points at the final break, the Dragons booted three of the first four goals of the final term to open up a 10-point lead. A late goal to Matt Rowell saw the Chargers draw within three, but it was not enough.

Harry Houlahan had 21 disposals (13 contested), six clearances and three inside 50s, while key defenders Will Kennedy and Corey Watts were named among the Dragons’ best for their efforts in the defensive half. They combined for 36 disposals and nine marks, while working in tandem with Jackson Voss (18 disposals and four rebounds). Liam Stocker was judged the Dragons best, racking up six clearances and five inside 50s from 20 disposals, while also slotting a goal.

For the Chargers, Jack Ross was the highest disposal winner with 22 touches, as well as four marks, seven clearances and three inside 50s. Trent Bianco was impressive with 19 disposals, three marks and four rebounds, while Rowell finished with 18 touches, seven clearances, three inside 50s and that late goal in the dying minutes. Oliver Simpson returned to the team for 15 disposals and two clearances, while Jake Gasper booted four goals.

 

Western Jets 10.13 (73) defeated Northern Knights 6.8 (44)

By: Brandon Hutchinson

It was a beautiful day for football down at Williamstown as the Western Jets took on the Northern Knights in their return home. From the first bounce both teams went hard, applying intense pressure on either end of the ground. Though the Jets were up by a significant margin in the first, the Knights brought it back to five points by the main break. Though it wasn’t enough to stop the Jets after they took off in the third to hold a comfortable win over the Knights.

The forward pressure from Steven Kyriazis and Josh Klaromenos was immense, kicking three goals apiece. Going hard at the ball, and impacting the contest, Jaden Rice, Jack Watkins and Josh Jenkins forced many turnovers and created repeat inside 50s. Daniel Pantalleresco, Spencer Johnson and Aaron Britten stood out for their team, having a significant impact on the play, with Connor Thar stepping up to captain his side to a victory.

The efforts in the first from Josh D’Intinosante and Justin McInerney out of the backline were immense, later moving up the ground to assist in link up play and earning the hard ball. Patrik Della Rocca worked hard alongside Harrison Grace to apply necessary pressure, and Nathan Howard stepped up to dominate the ruck with his superior leaping ability. Jack Boyd kicked two important goals to keep his team in grasp, but in the end, the whole line-up was unlucky.

 

Eastern Ranges 8.7 (55) defeated by Calder Cannons 11.8 (74)

Calder Cannons have run away with the win against the Eastern Ranges, courtesy of a seven goals to five second half at Box Hill on Saturday. Calder led by seven points at the main break and 13 points at the final change before booting four goals to three in a high-scoring final term to win by 19 points. It gave the Cannons some breathing space inside the top eight.

Daniel Mott was the Cannons’ best, racking up 25 disposals, 11 clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds, while Will Jury had eight clearances to go with his 23 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Tye Browning was busy again with 22 disposals, 12 marks and five inside 50s, while Sam Graham also had 20 touches, two marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds. On debut, Josh Kemp was sensational up forward, clunking eight marks – three of which were contested – as well as four goals from 10 kicks.

Mitch Mellis was the top disposal winner for Eastern, collecting 27 touches, six marks, three inside 50s and two rebounds, while Adrian Kalcovski (26 disposals, three clearances and four inside 50s) and Joel Burleigh (25 disposals, five marks, six clearances and six inside 50s) were also strong through the middle. Ben Cardamone was judged Eastern’s best for his work in defence with 21 disposals, four rebounds and a goal. Kye Quirk (21 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s) and Chayce Black (20 disposals four marks and three inside 50s) were others who stood out.

 

Dandenong Stingrays 15.16 (106) defeated GWV Rebels 7.5 (47)

Dandenong Stingrays dominant start to the season continued on the weekend with another big win, this time over GWV Rebels by 59 points. The game was over at half-time when the Stingrays had piled on 12 goals to three to lead by 59 points. The Rebels made a better fist of it in the second half, booting four goals to three, including the only two goals of the final term to break even in the second half.

Bailey Schmidt and Stephen Cumming did all the damage in the first half, booting four goals apiece and looking like they were going to tear the game to shreds. In typical Stingrays fashion, Ned Cahill was the only player to notch up more than 20 touches, with 22 disposals, three marks, six clearances and five inside 50s. Matthew Cottrell (19 disposals, five clearances and six inside 50s) and Finlay Bayne (18 disposals, two clearances and four inside 50s) were other midfielders who stood out on the day for the winners. Schmidt finished with 32 hitouts and five marks (three contested), while Cumming took six marks (two contested) from 10 disposals and 16 hitouts.

For the Rebels, Charlie Wilson was sensational up forward, slotting four goals from 16 disposals and eight marks (three contested), while Jed Hill looked impressive playing as an inside midfielder for three quarters, racking up 24 disposals (19 contested), nine clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds. Elliot Lamb was good again with 21 disposals, five inside 50s and five clearances, while Ben Dodd was impressive on debut with 16 disposals, two marks, four clearances and five inside 50s.

 

Gippsland Power 7.8 (50) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 10.10 (70)

Bendigo Pioneers have caused one of the upsets of the season, with the cellar dwellers toppling top four side Gippsland Power at Windy Hill. The Power looked good early, booting five of the first six goals of the game and looking in control. But the Pioneers fought back, booting seven of the next eight goals to storm to a 15-point lead in the final term, Josh Smith kicked truly to cut the deficit to nine points midway through the final term, but AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp put the game to bed with two goals in as many minutes to help Bendigo to a 20-point win.

Noah Wheeler was sensational for the winners, racking up 29 disposals, four marks, nine clearances, two rebounds and booting a goal, while Flynn Perez was impressive on the outside with 21 disposals, eight marks, eight inside 50s and three rebounds. Jeremy Rodi had 23 touches, three marks and two clearances, while Jackson Williams was solid with 19 disposals and five rebounds. Kemp returned to the side with good effect, racking up 17 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s as well as the two crucial goals, while Jacob Atley had 17 touches, two marks and four inside 50s.

For Gippsland, Tyrone Hayes had his best game of his TAC Cup career, with the overager racking up a team-high 28 disposals, six marks, two clearances, four inside 50s and six rebounds. Bailey Beck (24 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s) and Bailey Patterson (24 disposals, three marks and five inside 50s) were good in transition, while Boadie Motton (23 disposals, five marks, four clearances and four rebounds) was good in defence. Riley Baldi and Noah Gown were also strong around the ground.

 

Geelong Falcons 0.10 (10) defeated by Murray Bushrangers 15.17 (107)

Murray Bushrangers have defensively cut the Geelong Falcons to shreds during a 97-point demolition job at Avalon Airport Oval. The Bushrangers remarkably held the Falcons goalless in the game, with the home side booting 10 behinds to the Bushrangers’ 32 scoring shots, which included 15 goals. A six-goal second term was the most prolific for the visitors, but they also finished strongly, capping off the performance with a four-goal final term.

Ely Smith was huge for the Bushrangers in a clear best on ground performance. Smith collected 37 disposals (75 per cent efficiency), seven marks, seven clearances, four inside 50s and booted a goal, being one of the key midfielders on the ground. Down forward, Hudson Garoni was a man mountain once again, slotting six goals from 12 marks and a remarkable five contested grabs and 19 disposals. Jye Chalcraft (19 disposals and five clearances) and Dylan Clarke (25 disposals and five inside 50s), Jimmy Boyer (29 disposals and four marks) and Riley Bice (26 disposals and 10 marks) were others who stood out.

For Geelong, Brayden Ham was the best on a disappointing day for the Falcons. Ham collected 25 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and seven rebounds. Baxter Mensch had another high-disposal game with 26 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and four rebounds, while Finlay Parish took seven marks (three contested) from 15 disposals.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 10

AFTER a five-game round last week, the full set is back for Round 10 with all 12 teams taking part in the first of two Futures Rounds. In Futures Rounds, squads are extended to 24, and at least 11 bottom-age players must be in the side. This gives recruiters a chance to get a glimpse of the bottom-age talent coming through the ranks and get an idea about where players sit for 2019.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. CALDER CANNONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

It would have been hard to believe a few rounds ago, but Eastern Ranges head into the home clash with Calder Cannons on a hot streak, having picked up two consecutive wins and looking strong. They play yet another game there and come up against a Calder Cannons side that took it right up to the Gippsland Power despite the Cannons missing the majority of their best 22. Calder’s two key forwards are in good form, with Jake Riccardi booting four goals in the final term last round to single-handedly ensure the Cannons snatched two points, while John Roumeliotis is building up some consistency after missing three years through knee injuries. Daniel Hanna is rock solid in defence, while Lucas Cavallaro had another consistent performance out of the back half last week and looks to be a danger man in this clash. For Eastern, the loss of Xavier Fry and James Blanck will hurt, but the midfield that got the job done against Bendigo Pioneers is still intact with Lachlan Stapleton, Joel Burleigh, Kye Quirk and Mitch Mellis forming a good quartet in the centre. Ben Cardamone has been consistent in defence. This is set to be a close contest.  

 

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

The Western Jets will be disappointed their winning streak was broken last week, with their depth tested against an impressive Geelong Falcons outfit. The Northern Knights on the other hand will be pleased they got over the line against GWV Rebels in tough conditions at MARS Stadium following a good final term. Oscar White and Justin McInerney both return to the visitors team in what will be a boost for the Knights in the clash, while a couple of potential father-son prospects are in for the Jets in Oskar Manton and Tyler Kolyniuk. Western’s strength is in its midfield, similar to Northern, and it will be a great contest to watch Connor Thar, Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice go head-to-head with McInerney, White and Ryan Sturgess among others in a deep midfield group. Aaron Clarke and Steven Kyriazis can cause headaches up forward for the Jets, while talented bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante has been named at half-back after an impressive game on-ball last week. Patrik Della Rocca, Sunny Brazier and Harrison Grace provide three different elements to the Knights’ forward line, while Hamish Murphy and Darcy Cassar are others who have been important players for the home side this season.  

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 10.30am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

A mid-season clash between Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons does not always bring about too many top-age talents given the National Championships and school football commitments, but there is plenty to like about both sides when they go head-to-head at Warrawee Park tomorrow. The Dragons will look to address a form slump due to the amount of upheaval to their side, losing four of the past five games. Meanwhile the Chargers have also slipped, albeit defeating the Murray Bushrangers a couple of weeks ago. A win to Oakleigh could see the Chargers back in the top four, while it could also mean the Dragons drop outside the top eight. On the other side of the coin, the Dragons could move to sixth, and sit just four points behind the Chargers in fifth, with a victory. In line with Futures Round, Oakleigh has gone in with a young, but talented side, with Matt Rowell headlining the bottom-agers after returning from Vic Metro duties. He, Trent Bianco and Bailey Wraith will be important inclusions, in a side that looks to have plenty of grunt, speed and class. After a big day out last week, Matt Day will be a loss up forward, while Sam Harte and Lachlan Bugeja have been consistent, however Atu Bosenavulagi is finding some good form, and Jack Ross is a crucial inclusion as well. For the Dragons, their side might look even stronger on paper, with the return of many players from school football. Key position players Fischer McAsey and Will Kennedy return to the fold to provide some quality height, while Kai Owens, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan will provide a good core midfield that will challenge the Chargers.  

 

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong has been the benchmark in the competition this season, and can move eight points clear on top with a victory here and an unlikely loss to Gippsland. For the Rebels, they can leapfrog Geelong into ninth and be just percentage away from Calder in eighth with a win. GWV will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing final term against Northern Knights last weekend. Stephen Cumming is an important inclusion into the team, allowing Bailey Schmidt to go forward more often for the Stingrays, while Finlay Bayne returns to the team due to a bye in school football. Jai Taylor also slots back into the team after representing Vic Country last week, and a midfield of Campbell Hustwaite, Jamie Plumridge and Lachlan McDonnell is always going to be challenging, while Reid Nanscawen was another who stepped up for the Stingrays in Round 9. For the Rebels, they lose Scott Carlin who has been a slick ball user off half-back, but regain Matty Lloyd in the same position, while retaining what on paper could be the most underrated forward line. With Josh Chatfield, Jed Hill, Izaac Grant and Charlie Wilson all rotating through there, the speed and goal sense is high, it will just be putting it all together for four quarters. The Stingrays will head in as strong favourites for the clash, but the Rebels could trouble them with their speed up forward.

 

GIPPSLAND POWER v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2pm
Windy Hill, Essendon

In an afternoon game, Gippsland Power hosts Bendigo Pioneers at Windy Hill in a venue about halfway between both locations. The Power will be disappointed they only took two points away from their clash against Calder Cannons at home, their second draw of the season at the venue. While the Pioneers notched up another defeat, this time to Eastern Ranges leaving them outright bottom of the table with nine straight losses. They will hope to turn it around with a good win here, but will have to do so without a series of important players. Zane Keighran, Liam Marciano, Josh Grace, Phill Moi Moi and Lucas Caccaviello have all been consistent players of late and will be sorely missed, but the return of AFL Academy member Brodie Kemp will be important for the Pioneers. Along with in-form ruck Daniel Keating and the Perez brothers – Oscar and Flynn – tearing it up on the wings, the Pioneers still have plenty of speed around the ground and capable of getting it inside 50. For the Power, they bring back live-wire Irving Mosquito who did not quite come up last week from a hamstring injury, but seems right to go now, and will be keen to play well in the hope of a Vic Country call-up in the final game against South Australia at GMHBA Stadium. The Power midfield is very strong with Brock Smith, Riley Baldi, Bailey Beck, Boadie Motton and Mosquito forming a really consistent base at the feet of Rylan Henkel. Austin Hodge can play forward or through the midfield, and Tyrone Hayes, Ryan Sparkes and Jake Van Der Pligt provide plenty of speed and rebound out of defence. Gippsland head in as very strong favourites, but they were last week, so they will be hoping to learn from the lessons and grab the four points here.

 

GEELONG FALCONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Round 10 – Saturday, June 23, 2.15pm
Avalon Airport Oval (Chirnside Park), Werribee

In the final game of the round, an understrength young Geelong Falcons side meets an almost full-strength Murray Bushrangers outfit in what will be a great challenge for the Falcons. Vic Country selection has not done the Falcons much favours, losing Dane Hollenkamp and Blake Schlensog in what will be exciting for Geelong to see them on the MCG, but more so for the opposition with key position forward and TAC Cup leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, X-factor Zane Barzen, and talented bottom-ager Lachlan Ash, all returning to the Bushrangers side. Couple that with the fact a virtually untouched midfield of Ely Smith, Dylan Clarke and Kyle Clarke has been performing, and Geelong will need to be at its best to topple the Bushrangers. For Geelong, Brayden Ham continues to put his hand up to recruiters with another four goals last week, named at half-back this week. Baxter Mensch has not slowed down pulling in big numbers and clearances week-in, week-out, while acting captain Cooper Cartledge will be tasked with leading a young defence – while potentially given the job on the in-form Garoni. The match is likely to see what the bottom-agers can do for the Falcons, while the Bushrangers will be supremely confident they can take the four points in this clash.

Team Selection: Murray Bushrangers vs. Oakleigh Chargers

WHILE many eyes will be on the National Under 18s Championships this weekend, anyone keen to head to the country for some TAC Cup action can witness a standalone game between the Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers. With no school football on, Oakleigh receives the bulk of its non-Vic Metro representatives back into the side, meaning they will give the Bushrangers a real challenge on the weekend.

In terms of team selection, Murray have lost five of their most consistent players to National Championships duties, with Hudson Garoni, Laitham Vandermeer and Zane Barzen all out to play for Vic Country, while Jacob Koschitzke will represent the Allies against his Bushrangers teammates. Kai Davies is the other omission to the team, while Mark Marriott and Will Chandler are among six inclusions to the team.

Oakleigh have made wholesale changes with 13 players coming into the side for an extended interchange, but they lose a number of players to Vic Metro duties. Isaac Quaynor, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Noah Answerth all depart the Chargers outfit, but with Matt Rowell, Zac Hart, Jack Ross and Bailey Wraith among the inclusions, there are some positives at the selection table with quality heading out of the team.

The result of this game is simple in terms of ladder position – if Murray wins, they move into third ahead of the Western Jets, whereas if Oakleigh triumphs, they take Murray’s place inside the top four. As the only game on this weekend for the TAC Cup, expect there to be plenty of interested onlookers keeping an eye on the match.

Murray still has its starting midfield in this game , with Ely Smith, Dylan Clarke and Kyle Clarke in the centre, while Bailey Frauenfelder, Jye Chalcraft and Mathew Walker provide good support up forward. Jordon Butts has been thrown forward in the absence of Garoni, while Ajak Dang will be asked to take a key position down back to cover Butts. Jake Bradshaw and Jimmy Boyer will provide run off half-back, while Ben Kelly and Marriott are the tall timber for the Bushrangers.

For the Chargers, Matt Rowell and Dylan Williams lead a number of talented players for next year’s draft, while Xavier O’Neill, Jack Ross and Lachlan Bugeja will be key ball winners in the midfield. Atu Bosenavulagi and Daniel Scala provide the crumbs up forward, while Wraith and Matt Warren will hold down the key position posts in defence. Bailey Griffiths, Trent Bianco and Hart are among others who could influence the game with strong performances.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS

Round 8 – Saturday, June 9, 1pm Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

Murray Bushrangers

B: 34. T. Boyd, 22. A. Dang, 15. R. Quinn
HB: 19. J. Boyer, 16. N. Murray, 20. J. Bradshaw
C: 13. B.  Frauenfelder, 28. K.  Clarke, 55. R.  Paradzayi
HF: 6. W. Chandler, 2. J. Butts, 9. M. Walker
F: 14. J. Chalcraft, 3. B. Kelly, 10. P. Warner
R: 23. M. Marriott, 38. D. Clarke, 5. E. Smith
Int: 11. E. Adams, 17. N. Amery, 26. R. Bice, 48. R. Goodley 23P: 52. J. Sanford

In: R. Quinn, R. Goodley, J. Sanford, W. Chandler, R. Paradzayi, M. Marriott
Out: H. Garoni,  L. Ash,  K. Davies,  L. Vandermeer,  Z. Barzen,  J. Koschitzke

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 36. C. Beasley, 33. M. Warren, 35. X. Fry
HB: 15. K. Schreiber, 30. B. Wraith, 16. L. Westwood
C: 31. W.  Golds, 2. L.  Bugeja, 11. M.  Rowell
HF: 26. J. Gasper, 7. J. Robertson, 22. D. Williams
F: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 6. M. Day, 25. D. Scala
R: 79. B. Griffiths31, 5. X. O’Neill, 32. J. Ross
Int: 17. T. Bianco, 43. P. Bohan, 38. Z. Hart, 24. S. Harte, 34. C. Leon, 19. D. Romero, 21. H. Shugg
23P: 29. F. Elliot

In: L. Westwood, P. Bohan, B. Wraith, H. Shugg, D. Romero, W. Golds, C. Leon, M. Warren, J. Ross, C. Beasley, K. Schreiber, M. Rowell, Z. Hart
Out: I. Quaynor, U. Chol, M. Fewings, S. Elliott, S. Fernandez, R. Collier-Dawkins, N. Answerth , H. Leonard, J. May, K. Viccars

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 7

IN Round 7 of the TAC Cup, spectators can witness a Triple Header at RAMS Arena on Saturday, before a number of neck-and-neck contests on the Sunday at various metropolitan grounds.

CALDER CANNONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 10am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the first game of the round, the sixth placed Calder Cannons take on the eighth placed Northern Knights from 10am at RAMS Arena. The Cannons have had a yo-yo start to the season, not able to string two consecutive wins together thus far, but with a home ground advantage against the Knights, Calder will be keen to build on their strong performance against the Bendigo Pioneers last week. The big question is where the Cannons are rated in the scheme of things because they clearly have talent in the team, but so far have just beaten the bottom three sides and will be keen to add a top eight scalp to the mix. The Knights started the season pretty rocky in wet conditions at Frankston, but have since performed fairly well, notching up two wins and a draw – which was unlucky not to be a win – from five games.

Dylan Landt is a key inclusion for the Cannons and will provide another strong body for co-captain Mitch Podhajski after his best on ground performance last week. With Jack Bytel still out injured and Rhylee West suiting up for St Kevin’s, the pair will look to lead the side through the midfield, with help from Curtis Taylor, Tye Browning and Jack Evans. Lachlan Sholl played more of a defensive role for his 35 disposals last week, and will be looking to combine with Lucas Cavallaro to keep the ball rebounding out of the defensive 50. For the Knights, Josh D’Intinosante might be the danger man up forward, while Patrik Della Rocca and Braedyn Gillard join him on the half-forward line in which is a dangerous trio in the makings. Thomas Hallebone will look to take full advantage in the ruck, and with Justin McInerney and Joel Naylor among a host of inclusions, the Knights have beefed up their best 22 for this weekend’s clash.

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 12.30pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

Spectators making the trip to RAMS Arena could be in for an absolute treat in the second game, with a top-of-the-table clash between Murray Bushrangers and Dandenong Stingrays. The Bushrangers have not missed a beat since they were outclassed by Gippsland Power in round one, while the Stingrays have almost had the perfect start to the season – with two 15 goal plus wins and aside from a last quarter fadeout against Oakleigh, have been fairly dominant. It also makes for a simple reward for the winner – whoever takes home the four points secures top spot, while for the loser, it could mean dropping as low as fourth if both Gippsland and Oakleigh can win their respective games.

For Murray, welcoming back Mathew Walker will be a huge bonus, while the loss of Mark Marriott is countered by the inclusion of Ben Kelly. After a best on ground performance in the middle last week, Ely Smith will look to continue his strong form and combine well with the Clarke’s in Dylan and Kyle through the midfield. Hudson Garoni always looms as a danger up forward, while both sides head into the game with a number of quality talls. Overager Angus Paterson is likely to be given the job on Garoni, while Sam De Koning could line-up against Jacob Koschitzke when he roams up the ground. Jordon Butts and Nick Murray are likely to have their hands full with Bailey Schmidt and Bailey Williams, while Lachlan Ash and Zac Foot will provide great dash through their respective midfields.

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 3pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the final game of the RAMS Arena Triple Header, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will look to build on their first positive final quarter from last week to head into this game full of running. They stole two points off the second placed Oakleigh Chargers, and can sneak into the eight with a good win here, and a Knights loss. However the Gippsland Power will be a formidable opponent, as one of the most in-form sides this season. Only a loss to the Dandenong Stingrays and a draw to the Northern Knights has stopped them being at the top of the table. Heading into the season it was clear the Power had an enormous amount of raw talent, particularly at the bottom-age level, but 2019 was expected to be their year. However thus far they have really taken it up to more experienced sides and have been incredibly enjoyable to watch.

The Rebels will no doubt need to be at their absolute best to knock off the Power – and we have seen in patches what they are capable of both offensively and defensively. They held Geelong Falcons goalless in the first half of their clash, and hit the front early in the final quarter against Murray Bushrangers a few weeks ago. The likes of Thomas Berry, Scott Carlin and Lochie Dawson form a good core midfield with Matt Schnerring and Harrison Jennings also playing good footy. Ben Annett had his best game of the year last week, while Charlie Wilson and Jed Hill are two of the most damaging small forwards in the competition. Tylar Watts has been named at centre half-back, potentially matching up on the in-form Noah Gown. Sam Flanders and Austin Hodge both booted four goals last week and are just some of the key players for the Power heading into this game. Captain Xavier Duursma, Matthew McGannon and Riley Baldi form a strong midfield that can match it with anyone, while Brock Smith and Jake Van Der Pligt are bottom-agers who have been in great form this season.

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 10.45am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In the early Sunday game, Oakleigh Chargers host Western Jets at Warrawee Park with a top four spot on the line. The Jets have come a long way in the past fortnight and are playing some good football with wins over Sandringham Dragons and Geelong Falcons. The Chargers will be ruing they dropped two points against the GWV Rebels last week and will be keen to make a statement back at home in round seven. A win would see them retain a top four spot, however a loss would certainly see them forfeit their fourth place to the Jets.

Oakleigh has a strong defence that is ruthless, but also skilful, with the likes of Dylan Williams, Noah Answerth and Isaac Quaynor providing good rebound out of the back half. The midfield is somewhat stretched with the APS season running, however Riley Collier-Dawkins and Xavier O’Neill can have the ball on a string when at their best. Atu Bosenavulagi played his best game of the season last week in that dangerous small forward role, while Trent Bianco and Bailey Griffiths return to the onball brigade. For the Jets, they will go in the same as last week and keen to continue their good form. Stefan Radovanovic was sensational through the midfield last week, with he and captain Xavier O’Halloran taking control while Zak Butters, Daly Andrews and Connor Thar provide strong support around the ground. Up forward, Emerson Jeka, Aaron Clarke and Josh Honey provide good targets, while Steven Kyriazis and Darcy Cassar have shown they can hit the scoreboard with multiple goals.

 

EASTERN RANGES v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

Over at Box Hill, the Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers face off in a bottom two battle. The Ranges are yet to get a win on the board, while the Pioneers have just the one victory – a one-point win in round one against the GWV Rebels. The Ranges are back at home with Cody Hirst returning from injury and a number of other fresh faces to hopefully turn their form around. The Pioneers have also had a rough start to the season, and will be keen to take home the four points here in what would be considered a must-win by both sides to kick-start their 2018 campaigns.

The return of James Blanck will be welcomed after he started the season strongly and will work well with Jarrod Gilbee in defence. Kye Quirk and Ben Cardamone will hope to provide some good rebound out of the back half, while Joel Burleigh and Tyler Edwards have been in good form of late. Lachlan Stapleton brings the tackling pressure, while Mitch Mellis adds a touch of class to the outside with Eastern’s midfield looking as strong as it has been all year. For the Pioneers, they lose Jacob Atley, but regain Zane Keighran and Thomson Dow, while Riley Ironside and Bailey Waasdorp add depth and strength through the midfield. Bailey Henderson looks to be set to fill Will Holt’s shoes lining up at full-forward, while Daniel Keating is one of the most in-form rucks and will look to feed the ball to Noah Wheeler and James Schischka in the midfield.

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

In the final game of the round, Sandringham Dragons will look to reverse their recent form and get back to their winning form early in the season. The Dragons have lost their past three games after winning their first three matches, while their opponents Geelong Falcons will look for their third win of the season after winning two of their past three games. A win for the Falcons will see the reigning premiers jump back into the top eight at the expense of either the Dragons or Northern Knights.

Sandringham always have it tough with continuity in their team due to the comings and goings of school football, and this week is no different. Liam Stocker is a key out for the home side, but the Dragons will be hoping the experience of overager Kai Owens returning will help cover Stocker’s loss on the inside. Harry Bede and Corey Watts have been a couple of shining lights for the Dragons at either end of late, while James Rendell will be a welcome return to the forward line, providing a target deep inside 50. For the Falcons, possible top 20 draft prospects Ed McHenry and Brayden Ham are set to miss the match which will be a big loss for Geelong. Bailey Scott was good in Geelong’s narrow loss to Murray Bushrangers a month ago and could add some X-factor in the forward half, while a midfield with Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless is always going to be tough to beat. The defensive pairing of Dane Hollenkamp and Cooper Cartledge is proving a good combination, while Blake Schlensog, Baxter Mensch and Connor Idun have also looked good throughout 2018.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 7

A NUMBER of key inclusions to TAC Cup sides this round could help teams in their quest to get a win ahead of the Development Weekend next weekend. GWV Rebels have welcomed back Matty Lloyd, a defender who made a habit of running and carrying the footy out of defence last year, while AFL Academy member Mathew Walker and key position player Stephen Cumming return for their respective teams after strong Under 18 Academy Series performances. In Round 7 there is a top-of-the-table clash, a bottom two clash, and a number of contests which could see teams leapfrog the other with victories.

CALDER CANNONS v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 10am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the first game of a Triple Header at RAMS Arena, the Calder Cannons will be hoping to win its second consecutive match for the first time this season. At 3-3, the Cannons are sixth on the table hosting the eighth placed Knights. However a win to the visitors will see Northern leapfrog Calder on the ladder, with the Knights just two points behind the Cannons. Calder have made at least three changes to their line-up, with Jonah Horo, Dylan Landt and Ben Reddick coming into the starting line-up, while Mohammed Abou-Eid has been named as the 23rd man. The likes of Kyle Baker, Oscar Sasalu and Luke Sultana make way for these changes. For the Knights, they have thrown the magnets around with six changes, including some big inclusions. Patrik Della Rocca, Kye Yodgee, Justin McInerney, Joel Naylor and Mark Baker are among the names to return to the side with an extended bench, with Aaron Castagna – the brother of Tiger Jason Castagna – named as 23rd man.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 3. I. Moussa
HB: 43. L. Cavallaro, 23. D. Hanna, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 33. J.  Evans, 48. S.  Ramsay
HF: 44. N. Gentile, 46. S. Callander, 2. D. Landt
F: 11. J. Firebrace, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 5. C. Taylor
R: 54. C. Lamb, 30. M. Podhajski, 42. N. Croft
Int: 17. N. Doyle, 6. J. Horo, 52. B. Reddick, 55. A. Righele
Emg: 51. W. Jury, 1. D. Mott, 29. J. Riccardi
23P: 53. M. Abou-Eid

In: W. Jury, M. Abou-Eid, D. Mott, J. Horo, B. Reddick, D. Landt
Out: K. Baker,  O. Sasalu,  L. Sultana

Northern Knights

B: 33. J. Randall, 28. S. Uzelac, 11. R. Sturgess
HB: 25. J. Davies, 12. J. Naylor, 5. L. Potter
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 10. B.  Bell, 30. J.  McInerney
HF: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 20. P. Della Rocca, 3. B. Gillard
F: 8. A. Carafa, 31. N. Barro, 27. J. Lucente
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 36. K. Yodgee, 18. S. Brazier
Int: 21. M. Baker, 24. R. Bowkett, 37. K. Brandt, 45. J. Furphy, 7. H. Grace, 40. N. Mayne, 22. M. Wild
23P: 42. A. Castagna

In: K. Yodgee, P. Della Rocca, A. Carafa, A. Castagna, J. Furphy, M. Baker, J. Davies, J. McInerney, J. Naylor
Out: E. Tsitsis, C. Wild, N. Kitchell, J. Hart, K. Agosta, K. Nasser

 

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. DANDENONG STINGRAYS

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 12.30pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

The second game at RAMS Arena sees an mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between Murray Bushrangers and Dandenong Stingrays. The winner will go outright top with a 6-1 win-loss ratio and earn some early bragging rights. Murray has loaded up with AFL Academy member Mathew Walker, Dylan Clarke and ruck Ben Kelly among the ins, however Mark Marriott, Edward Dayman and Will Chandler are listed among the outs. For the Stingrays, they have named an extended bench with William Geurts the only confirmed out. Key position tall Stephen Cumming and speedster Zac Foot are among four inclusions with the 25-man squad to be cut back to 22.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 34. T. Boyd, 2. J. Butts, 19. J. Boyer
HB: 12. L. Ash, 16. N. Murray, 22. A. Dang
C: 4. L.  Vandermeer, 5. E.  Smith, 10. P.  Warner
HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 8. J. Koschitzke, 26. R. Bice
F: 13. B. Frauenfelder, 18. H. Garoni, 9. M. Walker
R: 3. B. Kelly, 38. D. Clarke, 28. K. Clarke
Int: 11. E. Adams, 17. N. Amery, 20. J. Bradshaw, 14. J. Chalcraft
Emg: 48. R. Goodley, 15. R. Quinn, 44. L. Whyte
23P: 50. K. Davies

In: B. Kelly, R. Quinn, M. Walker, L. Whyte, R. Goodley, D. Clarke
Out: E. Dayman,  M. Marriott,  W. Chandler

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 20. S. De Koning, 10. L. Young
HB: 7. J. Taylor, 5. A. Paterson, 2. H. Young
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 27. L.  McDonnell
HF: 49. M. Cottrell, 29. B. Williams, 3. J. Plumridge
F: 52. C. Ellison, 28. B. Schmidt, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 13. R. Bowman, 1. S. Fletcher, 33. J. Carosella
Int: 37. B. Angwin, 11. E. Cahill, 36. S. Cumming, 16. J. Frawley, 45. L. Goonan, 47. J. Hickey, 41. L. Stenning
23P: 50. L. Williams

In: L. Goonan, E. Cahill, S. Cumming, Z. Foot
Out: W. Geurts

 

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. GIPPSLAND POWER

Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 3pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the final game of the RAMS Arena Triple Header, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels take on the Gippsland Power. The Rebels drew with Oakleigh last week and have moved to within four points of the top eight, however Gippsland is flying, thumping Sandringham Dragons last week and moving into third spot on the table. A win to the Power will see them move into second with the top two teams facing off in the earlier day. Matty Lloyd is a vital inclusion for the Rebels, playing his first game of the season, brought in with Izaac Grant and Darcy McEldrew, while Harrison Butler and Jacob Lohmann are the confirmed outs. For the Power, Nick Lowden and Fraser Phillips are the two confirmed outs, while the five ins include Mason McGannon, Grady Cocksedge and Will Broadbent.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 32. M. Burgess, 20. T. Watts, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 3. S.  Carlin, 9. L.  Dawson, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 14. J. Hill, 27. E. Lamb, 6. C. Wilson
F: 15. K. Councillor, 28. C. Giddings, 21. I. Grant
R: 29. P. Glanford, 4. B. Annett, 2. M. Schnerring
Int: 17. T. Clark, 35. C. Hinkley, 7. M. Martin, 45. D. McEldrew
Emg: 12. A. Gove, 33. J. Ross
23P: 16. E. Harvey

In: J. Ross, D. McEldrew, I. Grant, M. Lloyd
Out: H. Butler,  J. Lohmann

Gippsland Power

B: 15. R. Sparkes, 25. K. Reid, 35. J. van der Pligt
HB: 7. B. Patterson, 14. T. Hourigan, 12. B. Smith
C: 8. B.  Beck, 6. R.  Baldi, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 23. N. Gown, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 4. S. Flanders, 16. J. Smith, 11. A. Hodge
R: 22. R. Henkel, 5. X. Duursma, 18. M. McGannon
Int: 26. W. Broadbent, 17. G. Cocksedge, 10. L. Connolly, 1. T. Hayes, 3. M. McGannon, 21. M. McGarrity, 37. H. Pepper
23P: 43. Z. Skinner

In: H. Pepper, G. Cocksedge, M. McGarrity, W. Broadbent, M. McGannon
Out: N. Lowden, F. Phillips

 

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. WESTERN JETS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 10.45am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In the first Sunday game, the Oakleigh Chargers host the Western Jets at Warrawee Park. The Chargers were forced to split the points last week after a GWV Rebels comeback, while the Jets have now strung a couple of wins together after the disaster at Shepley Oval. Given the swings and roundabouts of school football, the Chargers have brought in six players for an extended bench including Trent Bianco and Bailey Griffiths, while the three confirmed outs are Lachlan Harry, Riley Thompson and Tyson Calder. A win to the Jets will see will see Western leapfrog the Chargers into fourth on the back of great form. The Jets have named an unchanged line-up so far, with Tom Warner, Jack Crawford and Lachlan Rzanovski all named in the 25.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 56. M. Fewings, 43. P. Bohan, 22. D. Williams
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 23. I. Quaynor, 76. H. Leonard
C: 17. T.  Bianco, 2. L.  Bugeja, 35. X.  Fry
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 27. J. May, 26. J. Gasper
F: 6. M. Day, 7. J. Robertson, 25. D. Scala
R: 79. B. Griffiths31, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins, 5. X. O’Neill
Int: 47. U. Chol, 63. S. Elliott, 39. S. Fernandez, 24. S. Harte, 77. M. Tighello, 42. K. Viccars, 50. V. Zagari
23P: 20. F. Elliot

In: T. Bianco, B. Griffiths, M. Tighello, F. Elliot, U. Chol, S. Fernandez
Out: L. Harry,  R. Thompson,  T. Calder

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 41. L. Rzanovski, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 17. D. Andrews , 38. B. Khamis, 37. H. Murphy
C: 11. Z.  Butters, 33. X.  O’Halloran, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 24. J. Honey, 7. J. Watkins
F: 45. A. Clarke, 31. E. Jeka, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 39. S. Radovanovic
Int: 21. J. Crawford, 32. N. Ellis, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 36. J. Rice, 2. T. Rudic, 26. W. Smyth, 35. T. Warner
23P: 5. M. Chak

In: T. Warner, J. Crawford, L. Rzanovski

 

EASTERN RANGES v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

Over at Box Hill on Sunday, the Eastern Ranges host the Bendigo Pioneers in what is a clash of the cellar dwellers. Eastern have been competitive throughout the season, and will be keen to have a win on their home soil. For the Pioneers, they only have a narrow win over GWV Rebels in round one to show for their season thus far and will be keen to potentially leapfrog the Rebels with a victory in this game. The Ranges have made at least four changes to their side, with key defender James Blanck, tackling small forward Cody Hirst and the likes of Brent Bredin and Jonte Duffy returning, while Thomas Lockman is one of four players named out of the side. Bendigo has lost Jacob Atley and full-forward Will Holt from its line-up, but with Geelong Grammar having the school football bye, can welcome a number of players back into the line-up. Thomson Dow is a name likely to be tracked over the next 18 months, while Zane Keighran, Riley Ironside and Bailey Waasdorp are a number of key ins.

Eastern Ranges

B: 12. J. Gilbee, 31. J. Blanck, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i
HB: 20. B. Cardamone, 21. J. Ross, 4. R. Clausen
C: 30. T.  Edwards, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 17. C. Hirst, 18. B. McCormack, 46. B. White
F: 9. J. Duffy, 13. J. Rossiter, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 24. K. Quirk
Int: 1. B. Bredin, 3. H. Chinn, 53. J. Drake, 2. A. Kalcovski, 22. C. Quirk, 54. J. Sullivan, 25. L. Vassis
23P: 43. K. Crosby

In: J. Duffy, H. Chinn, J. Drake, J. Blanck, L. Kruger, C. Hirst, B. Bredin
Out: T. Lockman,  J. Weichard,  M. Taylor,  C. Daraio

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. L. Marciano, 11. J. Grace, 2. J. Williams
HB: 14. T. Dow, 24. N. McHugh, 25. F. Perez
C: 33. J.  McHale, 5. N.  Wheeler, 48. P.  Moi Moi
HF: 27. M. Lias, 35. Z. Denahy, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 9. Z. Keighran, 18. B. Henderson, 29. E. Roberts
R: 23. D. Keating, 20. J. Schischka, 43. H. Lawrence
Int: 15. L. Caccaviello, 54. M. Christensen, 17. R. Ironside, 21. D. Loveridge, 37. C. McCarty, 38. K. Stevens, 28. C. Vick, 19. T. Walters
23P: 32. W. Wallace

In: R. Ironside, Z. Keighran, D. Loveridge, W. Wallace, T. Dow, C. Vick, B. Waasdorp
Out: J. Atley, W. Holt, L. Chisholm

 

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

In the final game of the round, the Sandringham Dragons will be hoping a home ground advantage can turn their recent form around. The Dragons have dropped the three games since APS football started and will hoping that they can bounce back against the Geelong Falcons who lost against Western Jets last week following two good wins. A win to the Falcons would see Geelong move past Sandringham on the TAC Cup ladder. Among the large amount of ins for the Dragons is Kai Owens and key forward James Rendell, but the home side loses key midfielder Liam Stocker, as well as Ethan Casey among at least five changes. For the Falcons, Ed McHenry returns to school football after his one week back in the side, while Brayden Ham is among another three outs for the Falcons. Riley Hayden, Bailey Scott and Campbell Tanis are returning to the side for the round seven clash.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 14. R. O’Meara, 59. A. Courtney, 16. J. Paul
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 69. C. Watts, 45. J. Voss
C: 37. N.  Bufalo, 66. R.  Byrnes, 25. O.  McMaster
HF: 3. T. Fogarty, 58. K. Yorke, 56. J. Hannah
F: 20. H. Bede, 28. J. Rendell, 21. D. McNeish
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 50. T. Deane-Johns, 8. K. Owens
Int: 34. C. Birmingham, 63. M. Butera, 24. H. Ferdinand, 71. B. Krongold, 15. R. Ladds, 65. L. Lamble, 76. X. Verdnik
23P: 47. T. Milne

In: L. Lamble, X. Verdnik, T. Milne, K. Owens, J. Rendell, O. McMaster, M. Butera, B. Krongold
Out: M. Scott,  T. Long,  T. Murray,  L. Stocker,  E. Casey

Geelong Falcons

B: 15. L. Handley, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 31. C. Cartledge, 41. C. Stephens
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 9. B.  Morton, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 10. B. Mensch, 39. C. Idun, 32. F. Parish
F: 14. R. Hayden, 48. B. Schlensog, 26. F. Wilson
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 30. O. Brownless, 22. S. Walsh
Int: 16. B. Scott, 21. L. Smith, 35. C. Tanis, 25. L. Taylor
Emg: 33. Z. Knights, 28. C. O’Connor, 53. S. Stokes
23P: 11. C. Karpala

In: C. O’Connor, Z. Knights, C. Tanis, L. Smith, R. Hayden, B. Scott
Out: E. McHenry, B. Ham, B. Campi, J. Clark

TAC Cup previews: Round 4

SO many changes at the selection table and ahead of round four we investigate which players will need to stand out, and those who will need to continue their form in order to get their team across the line in round four of the TAC Cup competition.

BENDIGO PIONEERS v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 

Round 4 – Friday, April 20, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

Bendigo Pioneers host Oakleigh Chargers under lights tonight at Queen Elizabeth Oval and it becomes a game which is almost impossible to predict how it is going to go. Bendigo has made at least six changes, something that pales in comparison with Oakleigh’s team selection as 13 players return to school football or other commitments. Noah Anderson will be a key out, second overall in clearances for the Chargers, but Bendigo will still need to watch James Rowbottom, who has notched up 17 clearances (eight centre clearances) and is influential at the stoppages.

Bendigo’s 1-2 counter punch at the stoppages are Noah Wheeler and Zane Keighran with the latter named at half-back for the match. They have 21 clearances between them in season 2018, but Wheeler has also been crucial for 12 inside 50s. Bailey Henderson has been named up forward after being Mr Consistent at half-back, and he will line-up alongside Will Holt who is leading the goal kicking in the competition with Max King. The injury to Daniel Keating will be felt, with the in-form ruck having played some great football to date, and the Pioneers will look to Matt Hird in his first game this year to provide the midfielders with the first possession.

For Oakleigh, they will need their depth to step up in the absence of Anderson, Trent Bianco, Matt Rowell, Jack Ross and Charlie Whitehead in the middle, while Ben Silvagni has been the most influential forward in terms of scoreboard influence this year. In his place comes Sam Elliott who moves to full-forward with Daniel Scala the key small down there. With Anderson, Silvagni, Whitehead and Zac Hart gone, the Chargers lose four of their top five players involved in scoring chains this year. Instead of having eight of the top 10 in this match-up, it is more even 6-4 split. Oakleigh still has the depth to win the game, but Bendigo will be hoping to take advantage of the mass changes and its strong inside brigade make the most of its experience at the stoppages.

GEELONG FALCONS v. EASTERN RANGES 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.15am
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In a game where both sides are still looking for their first win, last year’s reigning premiers and the team with the most players drafted in 2017, find themselves in a vastly different situation six months on. Geelong will welcome back Sam Walsh who is a crucial cog in the Falcons midfield, especially against an Eastern Ranges outfit which will be without the likes of Xavier Fry and Cody Hirst who both rotate through there.

Geelong will miss Charlie Sprague who has been arguably the most consistent Falcons player who has played all three games, as Sprague heads back to play school football, as will Cooper Stephens and a host of others among seven changes for Geelong. Eastern have also made six changes, with Hirst’s a forced one through injury. One area in which Eastern can try and take control is in the midfield with a strong inside brigade. With no Ed McHenry, the Ranges have four of the top five clearance players in the game, with Joel Burleigh, Jonte Duffy, Adrian Kalcovski and Lachlan Stapleton all providing good extraction from the stoppages. Oscar Brownless, Baxter Mensch, Brayden Ham and of course Walsh will look to go head-to-head with the Eastern onballers in what could decide the match.

The big question for these teams is scoring, with the Falcons missing Sprague (who would have the highest scoreboard impact in this match-up) and relying on Blake Schlensog who has had nine score involvements, three more than any other player on the field this season. Based on the season so far, both teams will look to share the load in terms of scoring, with Billy McCormack and Thomas Lockman named as the key position posts for Eastern, while Finlay Parish comes in for his first game and will line-up at centre-half forward in between Ham and Walsh. Throwing Connor Idun forward continues to offer a different look for the Falcons, and with a marked improvement in round three compared to the prior two rounds, the Falcons will be confident going into this one.

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.30am
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

In the other early game on Saturday, Murray Bushrangers will look to win their third consecutive match, while Sandringham Dragons head into the game unbeaten. With the start of the APS and AGVS seasons, the Dragons are hit harder than any other team and lose almost all of their best 22 – they made 16 changes. It will be a great test to see if they can overcome the Bushrangers with their next tier of players, and see some stand up in the absence of others.

Players who have been in form for the Dragons include Alastair Richards, Liam Stocker and Kai Owen, the three highest extractors for the Dragons this season who have been named in the line-up. Without Dawit McNeish and Bailey Smith, the Dragons will need to win the clearances against a Bushrangers midfield which includes Ely Smith and Dylan Clarke, with Mark Marriott dominant in the ruck more often than not. Losing the King twins always hurts, but the Dragons got the job done against Calder without them, and they will look to James Rendell to continue his good form – booting four goals in the second half against the Cannons – to have an impact on the contest. Up the other end, the Bushrangers have no shortage of contributors, with Patrick Warner (six goals), Bailey Frauenfelder (five), Riley Bice (four) and Jacob Koschitkze (three) all having an impact. Sandringham will be vastly unknown quantity up forward, with Liam Stocker (two) the highest season goal kicker behind Rendell, with Angus Hanrahan thrown forward for this match.

Last year the Dragons knocked off Dandenong Stingrays at Frankston Oval after making 17 changes to its side at the start of the APS season. It was a remarkable win, and they will be looking to do the same here. The trick will be trying to limit the influence of Murray’s midfield and working as a team to ensure they don’t concede too many early goals as they try and gel which is always difficult with wholesale changes. Murray does not rely on one goal kicker to kick a high score, something Sandringham will look for this round as the teams aim to share the goals around and provide a great contest in Wangaratta.

GIPPSLAND POWER v. NORTHERN KNIGHTS 

Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 12.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

In what is shaping to be a great contest, Gippsland Power takes on Northern Knights at Morwell, a ground where the Power pushed Dandenong Stingrays all the way a few weeks back. The Knights have also improved since a round one capitulation against the Sandringham Dragons, and are starting to find their groove – so naturally both sides have been scattered with the start of the school football system with Gippsland’s four omissions among their four most important players – Xavier Duursma, Sam Flanders, Austin Hodge and Caleb Serong. Northern has also lost their most consistent ball winner in Tom McKenzie, as well as the likes of Justin McInerney, Oscar White and Joel Naylor among at least seven changes.

Gippsland will look to rely on Matthew McGannon for plenty of drive out of the back half, with the overager leading the competition in disposals (84) and marks (30). Through the midfield, Riley Baldi’s role as a clearance gem will become more important given the loss of partner in crime Hodge, and the fact the Knights will be without the only player with more clearances than Baldi this season in McKenzie. Gippsland will look to the likes of Nick Lowden, Brett Thorson and Boadie Motton to stand up through the middle and around the ground who have been that next tier of players behind the four omissions. Brock Smith is a talented bottom-ager who provides great drive, while Ryan Sparkes is another one who has impressed so far this season. Gippsland’s forward line is vastly untouched outside of Flanders, with Irving Mosquito and Josh Smith – two of the three highest Power goal kickers – both in the side.

For Northern, Josh D’Intinosante and Braedyn Gillard shape as the two most important players. D’Intinosante is a bottom-ager who has a good all-round game providing forward pressure and scoreboard impact. He also gets up the ground and sets up his teammates, as does Gillard through the middle with his work at stoppages. Without McKenzie, Gillard will look to Harrison Grace and Ryan Gardner among others to try and win the midfield battle – an area which is weakened for the Power by their omissions. Lachlan Potter provides a good link down back, while Patrik Della Rocca and Mark Baker will be a couple of targets who can hit the scoreboard if given the opportunity. The battle between Rylan Henkel and Thomas Hallebone in the ruck will be fascinating with both players selected in the extended Vic Country and Vic Metro squads respectively.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. WESTERN JETS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 12.30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong Stingrays face Western Jets in the first game on Sunday, with the Stingrays losing a number of key players to school football and Under 18 Academy Series commitments. The Stingrays are yet to lose in season 2018, but their depth will be put to the test with the likes of Stephen and Matthew Cumming, Hayden Young, Mitch Riordan, Toby Bedford, Jai Nanscawen and Heath Briggs out of the side. Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams return from the AFL Academy game among a host of fresh faces including familiar Stingrays name Sam De Koning who lines up at centre-half back. For the Jets, Emerson Jeka is a big loss down forward, while Lucas Rocci is another out; but the return of AFL Academy member Buku Khamis will buoy the Jets coaching staff.

Western might have the upper hand if they can control Williams and Bowman in their defensive 50, with Aaron Clarke, Steven Kyriazis and Zak Butters three of the most damaging forwards in the game, all adding a different element inside 50 for the Jets. Bailey Schmidt, captain Campbell Hustwaite, and Finlay Bayne have the three highest score involvements of the remaining Dragons, although expect both Williams and Bowman to have a say in the team’s fortune down forward. Zac Foot booted four goals in the last outing against the GWV Rebels, so is another who could be damaging, but the Jets also have a strong defence to rely upon.

The likes of Khamis and Hamish Murphy hold down the key defensive posts, while Stefan Radovanovic and Jack Papachatzakis provide good run and defensive pressure. Xavier O’Halloran has been Mr Consistent through midfield, while Connor Thar provides a strong presence at the stoppages and is a known ball winner. Daly Andrews and Darcy Cassar are others who have shown some good signs throughout the season. For Dandenong, Jamie Plumridge and Will Hamill provide a good trio with Hustwaite, while Angus Paterson has been a rock in defence.

GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS v. CALDER CANNONS 

Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 1.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The final game of the round sees GWV Rebels return to MARS Stadium where they take on the Calder Cannons with both sides at a crucial junction in the early part of the season, sitting 1-2 after three rounds. The Rebels will look to turnaround from the heavy defeat at the hands of Dandenong Stingrays up in Bendigo, while Calder will look to build on the performance against Sandringham Dragons without their AFL Academy members, and bring the same level of intensity into this clash. Unlike many other teams, both sides have got stronger at the top end, with the Rebels welcoming back midfielder Tom Berry, while the Cannons have their AFL Academy trio in, of Jack Bytel, Curtis Taylor and Rhylee West. They do lose Mitch Podhajski and Mason Fletcher who have been consistent all season, but will be bolstered by the important returns.

Without a second thought, the clearances are going to be an entertaining battle with Lochie Dawson and Scott Carlin leading the way in this game, while Taylor, Bytel and Curtis will add some serious grunt in the middle. Neither side has a dominant key forward, and instead looks to share the goals around between talls and smalls, with Jed Hill (five), Mitch Martin (four) and Josh Chatfield (three) the top Rebels goal kickers; and Taylor (four) and Jack O’Sullivan (three) the top Cannons in the absence of Podhajski. Tylar Watts returns to the ruck against Devereux Pretty who is back into the side this week, with the ruck battle a crucial one-on-one in the overall scheme of things.

Calder has a consistent defence with Jack Evans, Lucas Cavallaro and Lachlan Sholl back there, while Kyle Baker adds composure and speed. Dylan Landt and Tye Browning are other consistent mid/forwards, while the Rebels have a mosquito fleet in attack. Matt Schnerring and Toby Mahony joining Hill, Chatfield and Martin as dangerous forwards, while Jed Henderson will look to provide a target as well. Harris Jennings and Charlie Wilson are other players to watch, while Angus Gove links well between midfield and attack.

Silvagni leads the way in score involvements

WITH all the tactics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in today’s football, the golden principle to winning is the same as it was when the game was founded – score more than your opposition. So as the TAC Cup had a bye over the weekend, it was an opportune time – ahead of the multiple schools competitions starting – to look at which players led the way in score involvements in the opening three rounds. Score involvements of course include goals, behinds and score assists, with a number of midfielders setting up teammates down the field, which is still important in kicking a winning score.

Oakleigh Chargers and possible Carlton father-son Ben Silvagni leads the way with a total of 15 score involvements in season 2018. The mobile forward has booted four goals, six behinds and had five score assists to cover each key category. Just behind him is Sandringham Dragons’ key forward Max King, who has had 14 score involvements – eight goals, five behinds and a score assist – in just one game.

A host of country players follow next on 13 score involvements thus far this season, with Gippsland Power’s Josh Smith (six goals, two behinds, five score assists), Geelong Falcons’ Charlie Sprague (four goals, five behinds, four score assists) and Murray Bushrangers’ Bailey Frauenfelder (five goals, six behinds, two score assists) all coming next on the list.

Looking to the top three from each team, Oakleigh Chargers has the most potent top-end attack, with their top three players – Silvagni, Daniel Scala and Noah Anderson – combining for a total of 37 score assists. Next on the list is Gippsland Power with Smith, Sam Flanders and a tie for third with Austin Hodge and Fraser Phillips, totalling up to 36. Sandringham Dragons are next with Will Kennedy (11) and Jack Mahony (10) following on from King to make a total of 35 so far from the top three. Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets round out the top five with 32 score assists a piece. The Bushrangers have Frauenfelder, Patrick Warner (12), and Riley Bice and Finbar O’Dwyer (seven each); while Western has Aaron Clarke (12), Steven Kyriazis (11) and Zac Butters (nine) sharing the load.

A special mention should go to Sandringham Dragons’ midfielder Alastair Richards, who has had an impressive eight score assists – leading the competition – two ahead of Hodge and Butters. Dandenong’s Bailey Schmidt, Oakleigh’s Zac Hart and Murray’s Dylan Clarke are others who have had five score assists but did not quite make it into their club’s top three for score involvements.

Top 15:

Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh) 15
Max King (Sandringham) 14
Josh Smith (Gippsland) 13
Charlie Sprague (Geelong) 13
Bailey Frauenfelder (Murray) 13
Patrick Warner (Murray) 12
Mitch Podhajski (Calder) 12
Sam Flanders (Gippsland) 12
Daniel Scala (Oakleigh) 12
Aaron Clarke (Western) 12
Austin Hodge (Gippsland) 11
Fraser Phillips (Gippsland) 11
Josh D’Intinosante (Northern) 11
Will Kennedy (Sandringham) 11
Steven Kyriazis (Western) 11

Club by Club: Top 3

Bendigo: Will Holt (10) | Noah Wheeler (8) | Liam Marciano (6)
Calder: Mitch Podhajski (12) | Rhylee West/Jack O’Sullivan/Curtis Taylor (7)
Dandenong: Bailey Schmidt/Jai Nanscawen (10) | Campbell Hustwaite (8)
Eastern: Jonte Duffy (6) | Mihaele Zalac (5) | Joel Burleigh/Adrian Kalcovski/Mitch Mellis/Jordan Jaworski (3)
Geelong: Charlie Sprague (13) | Blake Schlensog (9) | Oscar Brownless/Bailey Scott/Brayden Ham (6)
Gippsland: Josh Smith (13) | Sam Flanders (12) | Austin Hodge/Fraser Phillips (11)
GWV: Mitch Martin (10) | Izaac Grant (9) | Jed Hill (8)
Murray: Bailey Frauenfelder (13) | Patrick Warner (12) | Riley Bice/Finbar O’Dwyer (7)
Northern: Josh D’Intinosante (11) | Patrik Della Roca (9) | Harrison Grace (7)
Oakleigh: Ben Silvagni (15) | Daniel Scala (12) | Noah Anderson (10)
Sandringham: Max King (14) | Will Kennedy (11) | Jack Mahony (10)
Western: Aaron Clarke (12) | Steven Kyriazis (11) | Zak Butters (9)