Tag: Ethan Penrith

Northern Knights 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Northern Knights

Finished: 8th
Wins: 7
Losses: 11
Draws: 1
Percentage:
 81
Points: 30 (eliminated in elimination final)

Players Drafted: (3)

  • Nick Coffield (St Kilda)
  • Patrick Naish (Richmond)
  • Jack Petruccelle (West Coast)

2017 Review:

Northern Knights managed to secure a finals berth after a few years out of post-season action. Led by their reliable skipper Nick Coffield, the Knights showed they were capable of great things, but just did not have the depth to compete with the top four sides come finals time. The Knights had three draftees in Coffield who went to St Kilda, Patrick Naish landed at Richmond as a father-son and speedster Jack Petruccelle headed west to play with the Eagles.

Ethan Penrith was arguably the most unlucky not to be drafted, while Northern had a number of other impressive prospects who unfortunately missed out. Among them were Alex Federico and Max Dreher, as well as talls Joel Naylor, Matthew Harman and Joel Grace.

Next year the Knights have a strong core of midfielders which they often do, and there are a number of players who helped assist the strong midfield group from 2017. Expect them to be thereabouts on the fringe again and it will be interesting to see which players emerge as the 2018 season goes on.

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2018 Preview:

Northern Knights have a few top prospects who stood out in their bottom-age year, predominantly through the midfield. Four of the top five prospects identified after performances this year form a strong core through the middle and expect the Knights to be very capable in the area. Braedyn Gillard and Kye Yodgee lead the inside brigade, while Tom McKenzie and Joseph Ciranna will provide the outside skill. Harrison Grace is a skinny, developing tall who is one to watch as well.

Braedyn Gillard (Northern Knights) 182cm | 75kg | Inside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (19) 18.4 disposals | 3.9 marks | 4.4 tackles | 2.6 clearances, 2.9 inside 50s | 49% KE | 58% DE | 44% CP

Braedyn Gillard is a ball hunting midfielder who has both offensive and defensive capabilities. He won his fair share of clearances and inside 50s in 2017 and laid plenty of tackles working hard on the inside. He did kick at just 49 per cent, which is an area that could improve, but he has no issues finding the ball and working in close.

Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights)  182cm | 73kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 15 disposals | 4.6 marks | 1.9 tackles | 2.3 inside 50s | 67% KE | 70% DE | 30% CP

Tom McKenzie is a player who was able to play across multiple positions on the field. He is one of the better kicks in the draft crop, but is still skinny and very outside orientated. He spreads well and one can expect he will gain more midfield minutes in 2018 so could be a big improver.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joseph Ciranna (Northern Knights) 180cm | 74kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 14.5 disposals | 1.6 marks | 3.6 tackles | 2.1 inside 50s | 65% KE | 71% DE | 34% CP

Harrison Grace (Northern Knights) 190cm | 73kg | Tall Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (12) 9.8 disposals | 2.4 marks | 2.1 tackles | 1.3 inside 50s | 0.4 goals | 62% KE | 62% DE | 40% CP

Kye Yodgee (Northern Knights) 180cm | 80kg | Inside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 14 disposals | 2.3 marks | 3 tackles | 2.3 clearances | 54% KE | 66% DE | 49% CP

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Summary:

Northern Knights will look to build on their 2017 finals appearance and be back in September action in 2018. While the elimination final was disappointing, ultimately they just lacked that extra depth which the likes of Oakleigh had on the day. In 2018 the midfield looks good and the talls are developing, so it is likely Northern will be one to watch as the season goes on depending on how the key position players fill-out and work in tandem with the smaller ones.

TAC Cup finals preview: Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights

IT is that time of year again where the best sides take to the field and determine which TAC Cup clubs are contenders and which are pretenders. In the past years, the junior competition has seen the finals series take on the identical look to that of the AFL, but in 2017, the finals will be three weeks of pure knockout. The first two games to kick off the round are first taking on eighth and third taking on sixth. So without further adue, we take a look at the first match of the finals series.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights

Oakleigh: 1st, 15-3, 1653 points for, 993 points against, 166%
Northern: 8th, 7-10-1, 1164 points for, 1383 points against, 84%

On face value alone it is clear to see why the Chargers will head into this clash as strong favourites. They have amassed double the amount of points compared to Northern in the home and away season over 18 rounds and come in with a three-game winning streak, including two beltings over Bendigo Pioneers and Eastern Ranges. The Chargers’ three losses came against Western Jets, Geelong Falcons and Sandringham Dragons, with the Jets’ loss the only one since the end of April for the Chargers.

On the other hand, the Knights did not have the run home they would have liked. A huge 39-point win over finalists Murray Bushrangers in round 17 disguised a formline that would worry the Knights coaching staff, with five losses from their last six games. The last time these two sides met, Oakleigh triumphed 16.14 (110) to Northern’s 4.2 (26) in a pretty comprensive victory, holding the Knights to just two goals in each half, while running away with it in the second half.

What was most impressive about that win was the fact the Chargers were missing star and Morrish Medallist Jack Higgins – who has been withdrawn from today’s match with a shoulder injury – as well as Toby Wooller, the clubs’ two leading goal kickers. But the likes of Matthew Day (24 disposals, eight tackles, two goals), Lachlan Bugeja (24 disposals – 18 contested, seven clearances, five inside 50s) and Daniel Stanford (16 disposals, nine marks and four goals) all stood up, while Matthew King was a rock in defence with seven rebounds, and Jordan Troani played further up the field with 12 marks and four inside 50s from 21 disposals.

For the Knights, they too were missing a host of stars including top 10 draft pick Nick Coffield, speedsters Jack Petruccelle and Ethan Penrith, and the exciting Patrick Naish to name a few. Marcus Lentini had 34 disposals and six marks to lead the way, while Mitchell Andrews racked up 30 disposals, seven marks and six rebounds in the game. Oliver Stapleton (26 disposals, seven rebounds) and Jamison Shea (23 disposals and eight marks were others that stood up in the heavy defeat to the Knights.

Key Players today:

Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers) – 17.7 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2.1 hitouts, 4.6 tackles, 2.7 goals per game

Without Higgins, Wooller will be the man the Chargers turn to for their goals and he will also play an important role leading up onto the wing. He has been in fantastic form all season, booting 40 goals, and still winning plenty of the football and most importantly laying some strong tackles.

Patrick Naish (Northern Knights) 18.7 disposals, 4.1 marks, 2.7 tackles, 1.7 goals per game

There were a number of players I could have highlighted here, but Naish is the one I feel could hold the key for the Knights. He has started in defence recently, but has the capability of going forward and kicking goals, which I think he will need to if they are to kick a winning score.

Last word:

For Northern to win, they need to play smart football and get goals out of their midfielders because that is how Oakleigh has been so successful this season. For the Chargers, Higgins will be a big loss, but the structures and ability of others to stand up has been on show all season, and that is why Oakleigh is my tip in today’s game.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 18

THE final round of the TAC Cup season was completed on the weekend – with the all important finals series kicking off at Victoria Park this Saturday. We had our scouts watching all six games in Round 18, read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Arguably the best game I have seen him play live. Took a couple of fantastic grabs one-on-one and kicked two goals, one from a snap and a second from a set shot. He continued to look dangerous throughout the contest, applying good pressure inside forward 50, and a touch of class when on the outside. While he did not receive a state combine invite, he could be one that falls under the Western Bulldogs Category B rookie if they choose to nominate him.

#2 Callan Wellings – The Rebels’ captain put in another strong performance on the weekend. Wellings is one of the most consistent performers in the TAC Cup and he just has a no-fuss approach to his football. He showed a high work rate and great vision in close while also finding space around the ground. He was rewarded with a goal when he snuck into space inside 50. He took a few intercept marks across half-back in the final term to snuff out any hope of a Bendigo comeback and was involved in a possession chain where he won the ball in the defensive half and then ran forward to take a mark at half-forward in the same possession chain.

#4 Aiden Domic – Domic has been a big improver in the second half of the season and was best on ground against the Pioneers on the weekend. He is a really smart footballer who does not waste time with his disposal. While his inside numbers have improved in the second half of the season, he played predominantly on the wing as Jordan Johnston took an inside role. He snapped a terrific goal in the third term with five minutes remaining to put the Rebels 39 points up. Domic has an impact up forward and great goal sense and is one of the best endurance runners in the competition.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Appleby’s draft stocks would have to be rising after yet another big performance down back, this time on top 10 hope Jarrod Brander. Appleby gave up nine centimetres and six kilograms to the big forward but held his own. He was really composed with the football and apart from a couple of minutes in the second term when Brander got hold of him, he stood up well, positioning himself well in the one-on-ones, protecting the ball drop and also peeling off Brander to assist teammates. Appleby was unlucky not to receive a state combine invitation, but his last month has been nothing short of sensational.

#10 Jordan Johnston – The exciting forward has put together a good month of football as an uncomprimising inside midfielder. He holds his own in close and played on fellow forward-cum-midfielder Brent Daniels at the stoppages. Johnston won more of the football but was exposed for leg speed against Daniels crusing out of a pack. Johnston as a whole had more of an influence, turning it on in the third term setting up a goal assist after a free kick in the middle, and then had a second clearance from the next centre bounce, finishing with a goal moments later. A highlight was in the second quarter when Johnston smothered the ball and managed to grab the footy in one motion.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The over-age ruckman continued his good form in season 2017 with another influential display across the ruck and up forward. He has developed his body this year to really use his strength and frame to outmuscle opponents and was too strong for the in-form Jobee Warde. While Warde had the athleticism, Meek was really impressive in holding his ground and ensuring Warde could not get an easy jump at the ruck stoppages. Up forward, Meek presented well, crashing packs and taking a few good marks, although his goal kicking still needs some work, missing the lot from the forward pocket, albeit on a very tight angle.

#40 Tylar Watts – I was really only focusing on top-agers, but Watts caught my eye with a pretty good performance working in tandem with Meek. While his possession numbers are not high, Watts produced arguably the biggest highlight of the game with a towering mark in the final term when the Pioneers were threatening to chase down the deficit. He stood tall, kicked the goal and iced the game, giving Rebels fans a bit of excitement about what he could be capable of in 2018.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – I really liked Farrell’s game on the weekend. He is not a huge accumulator of the football but he looks balanced and has good vision through traffic and great hands in close. There were a couple of times where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered it well inside 50 to a leading target. He also showed his versatility to have an impact up forward, kicking a crucial goal late in the third term. The one knock from the weekend was there was an instance or two where he tried to do too much and was caught before he could effectively dispose of it or finish cleanly.

#6 Cooper Jones – Like his side, Jones was fairly influential early on, rebounding what he could for the Pioneers playing across half-back. He went in hard along the wing and laid a bone-crunching tackle winning a free kick. Last year he played up forward but I like him as a defender, was quieter in the second half, but still had a few nice touches across half-back and on the wing. He could potentially develop into a taller midfielder.

#8 Lochie O’Brien – It was not one of O’Brien’s better games despite picking up a vote in the Morrish Medal. He won more of the football than usual, but his kicking efficiency was well down on his usual standards, which was later reflected with just 50 per cent by foot. I regard O’Brien as a deadly left foot kick, but the Rebels captain Cal Wellings and his teammates gave O’Brien little time and space to use his strong attributes. Despite not having the influence he has had in other games, O’Brien still kicked a goal thanks to an old fashioned sausage roll from 50m in the last term.

#10 Brent Daniels – The nuggety forward played more inside midfield against the Rebels and flashed in and out with some brilliant patches. He almost created the highlight of the day, streaming down the middle of the ground taking a couple of bounces and got to about 60m from goal before taking a third bounce and fluffing it and getting caught by his chasing opponent. As a whole I felt he was composed with the football when under pressure and was good in tight by hand.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The possible top 10 draft pick continued to work throughout the four quarters but became Flynn Appleby’s latest victim. Brander was good on the lead and kicked a fantastic goal outside 50 in the second term and took a couple of marks in a two minute purple patch when he looked to break the game open, but otherwise was well held by his opponent. A combination of the swirly conditions and teammate’s inefficiency going inside 50 did not help his cause. Cannot fault his endeavour however and he continued to present up at the football, and when marking was a clean grab.

#15 Darby Henderson – The Pioneers ball magnet continued to win the pill throughout the game showing pretty good hands in close and doing everything right defensively. His kicking is still iffy at times and that’s the main knock on him, but he laid eight tackles and won the football all over the ground, clearing the ball out of the defensive 50 on a number of occasions.

#18 Bailey Henderson – The wingman continued a really solid season with a pretty solid game. He has great vision looking forward, but I questioned his peripheral vision when he had plenty of time but was run down from the side by an opponent. When in space he used a piercing kick and was able to win the ball at half-back and move forward in transition. He tends to have a slower kicking action which also saw opponents bump or tackle him when he was in possession, forcing him to make a few errors.

#20 Angus Schumacher – Like many of his teammates, Schumacher has had better games but he worked into the match in the second half. He took a good intercept mark early in the third but immediately coughed up the football with a short 20m pass. Schumacher sometimes does not kick through the ball over short distances and therefore makes errors by foot, but when kicking long he has a nice action and more often than not can hit-up a teammate 40-50m down the ground. Schumacher also showed good agility and closing speed on the lead.

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Continued his good ball winning abilities in the midfield and was a deserving runner-up in the Morrish Medal. Was able to spread well from the contest and you couldn’t fault his endeavours in wanting to win the ball back when the Jets were in possession.

#5 Curtis Taylor – The standout Cannon for the day for me. Playing in the attacking half of the ground, he showed off his X-Factor and agility in the stoppages. Taylor provided a dangerous option when he was up forward and he was able to get the ball inside 50 effectively when he was playing through the midfield. Also marks well overhead.

#12 Noah Balta – Begun the game up forward and mixed his time between ruck/forward. Was the clear best tall in at the centre bounces, using his elite leap to effectiveness. Up forward with the wind, Balta showed on multiple occasions he could bang the ball long 60 metres at goal – and he kicked a fine set shot goal in the opening quarter from outside 50. Contested marking was impressive right around the ground.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played as a centre half back for the majority of the game and was able to drop off his opponent and win the ball in the defensive half of the ground. Is one I think that is better suited up forward, but has shown he is more than capable at either end in recent weeks. Was also very efficient by hand and foot, hardly missing a target all day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Battled hard playing as a key position player and was able to win the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50. Is a handy mark and can take them in contested situations. Gave away a few unnecessary free kicks during the game, but worked hard all day.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – Kicked a great banana goal in the opening quarter and his ball use was very good right throughout the game. He was able to win the ball in the contest and was also willing to tackle back to win the ball. Looking forward to tracking him closely next season.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty – One of the stiffest players to even not collect a vote in the Morrish Medal after his best-on-ground display. Fogarty hunted the ball back with immense pressure and his tackling was phenomenal. His clearance work was good and it lead to multiple inside 50s coming from his boot. Is agile enough to get around his opponents at the stoppages and he pushed forward to boot three goals.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Once again showed his contested ball winning abilities, working hard at every stoppage he attended. Also pushed forward and took a good mark inside 50 in the third quarter. Spent a bit more time forward than usual and didn’t win too many clearances – but was another important player in the midfield for the Jets.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played as a key defender and showed some smarts when teammates had the ball inside defensive 50, where he was often able to spread and get to the right position for the switch. Took some strong contested grabs and with the ball in hand his decision making was good.

#44 Tristan Xerri – Easily the best game I’ve seen Xerri play where he was not only able to dominate in the ruck, but win the ball around the ground. He linked up well by hand and his follow up work was very good. Booted two goals up forward, but it was his work in the contest that was super impressive for the tall.

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Tom North – The inside midfielder was best on ground in the first quarter, seemingly bringing his own football with him. He was noticeaby missing after quarter time given Oakleigh took more control of the midfield. North hurt his ankle and did not play a further part after a nine disposal, two clearance start to the game. He is one who has shown enough this season to be considerd around the middle of the draft.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – One of the best Ranges on the weekend, Stoddart showed off some impressive, penetrating kicks coming out of defensive 50. He was assigned to Higgins at times and while he was beaten in the air by the Morrish Medallist, he was smart in peeling off and assisting teammates in other contests. Stoddart reads the play well and times his spoils to perfection, while he also has good vision to spot up teammates in space. A player who really applies good pressure when he is around the football I noticed he tends to rush his kick under pressure at times and can lean back to get more distance but sometimes it puts him off balance.

#10 Dylan Moore – Played his part for the Ranges on the weekend as one of the best and has an equal balance of offensive and defensive pressure. He leads at the football when it is his time to go, and he pressures opponents when he does not have the football to try and keep the ball locked into the forward 50. Kicked a good goal from a set shot and when he went into the midfield he really began accumulating the football. While he has been likened to that smaller forward role, Moore showed he can more than hold his own in the midfield with a number of clearances and winning it on the inside or out.

#14 Trent Mynott – The midfielder was quiet early but pressured his opponents and got to the right positions. He won a bit more of the football in the second half, and laid a huge bone-crunching tackle that even had the crowd going “oooh”. Mynott has a fierce attack on the football and while he was not a huge accumulator on the weekend, he always does the defensive aspects right.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – The midfielder/forward is just an excitement machine. At times his kicking can be iffy, but he wins the ball all over the ground, is good in the air or at ground level and just oozes excitement. As a spectator you cannot help but be drawn to see what he will do with the ball and what move he will pull next. He snapped a great goal under pressure in the second term and streamed through the middle of the ground showing off some great acceleration to kick inside 50. He had a couple of snaps early in the final term but could not find the radar, but was one of the few Ranges who could hold their head high for four quarters. It was one of his more consistent performances and caps off a great month.

#18 Sam Hayes – The most impressive thing about Hayes as a ruck is, despite not being overly mobile compared to other rucks, he does win a fair few clearances to go with his hitouts. A combination of grabbing it out of the ruck and putting it on the boot as well as picking it off the deck and booting it forward, Hayes put in another solid performance. He also wins a fair few free kicks because his opponents are wary of what he is capable of. He can take some good contested grabs and is a clear first round prospect and the first ruckman taken this year.

#21 Joel Garner – Had a good first quarter intercepting a number of possessions going inside 50, timing his leads and reading the ball well playing opposed to Higgins at times. But a late hit on an opponent after he kicked – nothing malicious just very late – saw him reported and set off late in the second term. Oakleigh took advantage of Garner being off the ground to boot a few late goals. Garner was not as influential after he returned in the second half, understandably.

#22 Jackson Ross – Not a big ball winner but produced a few highlights on the weekend. He had a fantastic intercept mark reading the play well on the wing, not breaking stride, but then was tackled and coughed up possession after he did not see a tackler coming hard from the side. He booted a nice goal from outside 50 in the opening minute of the final term, but otherwise was quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – The key position defender always applies pressure inside defensive 50 and the game against Oakleigh was no different. He lays some strong tackles and assists his teammates, also providing some rebound out of defence. Not a big ball winner, but he wins a fair chunk of his one-on-ones and therefore is good in contested situations.

#33 Tyler Brown – The son of Gavin and brother of Callum on the weekend was okay, but realtively quiet. He played at half-forward predominantly and lead up at the football on a number of occasions. He had a handball predominant game, winning most of his possessions in close, but was effective in getting it to a teammate.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Played inside forward 50 and had a quiet game. He took a fanastic sliding mark in the third term and kicked the goal from the set shot, while also spending stints in the midfield, but did not accumulate big numbers.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played more of a forward role compared to his huge game the week before and was good in the way he continued to dig in and offer an option for his midfielders. He hits the contest hard and was rarely beaten overhead. He has great skills for a predominantly contested player and is a reliable set shot so I would not be surprised to see him rocket up the draft boards if he continues his good form.

#8 Toby Wooller – One of the best Oakleigh players in the win despite his kicking letting him down at times. He has developed into a hard running midfielder who is good overhead and can clear the area with some long kicks. He took a huge contested mark on the wing and while his kicking efficiency would have been average, his ability to win plenty of the football in midfield then go forward and kick three goals shows he has what it takes to make it at the next level, arguably as an athletic midfielder.

#35 Jack Higgins – The deserving Morrish Medallist again worked hard through four quarters but it probably was not his best game due to missed opportunities. His disposal by foot at times was rushed and he finished the game with 2.4 including a poster from a set shot. The wind caused much havoc and the pressure was high at times, but Higgins was a fanastic contested mark and can set up the play really well. His leading patterns are top notch and his work rate is huge. His kicking efficiency of 38 per cent and inaccuracy in front of goal stopped it from being a dominant performance once again.

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Peter Williams)

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Worked hard in close and while he did not win a heap of the football, produced a lot of one percenters to help his teammates. He fought throughout the four quarters and was rewarded for his hard running with a great goal from outside 50.

#6 Patrick Naish – The Richmond father/son nominee was effective across half-back early, looking calm and composed. He was more influential in the first half than in the second, like many of his teammates. He had a flying shot at goal from outside 50 but it went well out on the full, before adding a major to his name late in the last quarter with a good goal inside 50. Not one of his better games, but was serviceable considering his team as a whole did not perform the way they would have liked.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Did not accumulate a heap of it, but I felt he was one of the best Knights. He won the ball in close and on the outside and while he could rush his kick on occasions when disposing of it over short distances, he had an impressive purple patch in the quarter. He won the ball at half-back and spurred a dart inside 50 to a teammate and then moments later had a running shot at goal and it sailed home. Petruccelle had a good clearance out of the centre to open the final term..

#9 Alex Federico – Known for his ball winning ability and he was one of the bigger accumulators on the weekend. His work rate is really high and he is important in the Knights’ transition from half back to half-forward. Federico was really cleaver around the stoppages in extracting the ball and getting it forward, winning the bulk of his disposals in tight.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The usual defender played up forward and had a good pressuring role. Unfortunately his stats will not reflect the game he had without the football, just a couple of touches and a goal, but he laid a few tackles and did add an extra element inside 50 when the ball went down there. Didn’t see him have a touch in the second half though.

#12 Joel Naylor – The tall forward was indicative of the Knights’ performance in the sense he was super impressive when handed opportunties in the first half, but faded away in the second half. Took a few good marks and slotted a goal in the first term, but was barely sighted after half-time such was the lack of entries inside the Knights’ forward 50.

#34 Matthew Harman – Harman did his bit in the ruck, sharing the duties with Joel Grace and being serviceable across the ground. He had an ingenious moment in the second term when he kicked the ball along the ground to the advantage of his teammates when he knew he did not have time to take possesion. Did not accumulate much of the pill, but held his own in the ruck contests. 

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachie Harris – Due to injury and school football I have not had the chance to see Harris live since the Dragons’ round one match and while he is not a huge accumulator, he is that small forward who adds pressure to the forward 50. He probably needs to do a bit more offensively, but defensively he was solid and kicked an important goal in the third term to put his side 24 points up with 10 minutes remaining.

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle is another “handball-first” player, but he is ultra-quick with his thought process and disposal. He has clean hands and won plenty of the ball in the middle of the ground, always on the move and shovelling it out to a teammate in space. Nagle earned a lot of his disposals running on the outside and also mopped up in defence on a number of occasions.

#5 Seb Williams – The Brighton Grammar midfielder was strong in the contest but his disposal let him down. His decision making at times was also questionable, such as handballing to a stationary target under pressure. However, his pros from the weekend really impressed me with his overhead strength and neat sidestep. He finds space inside 50 and kicked a great goal. He spread from the contest well and continued to present as an option coming off half-back and along the win. If he can tinker with his kicking and improve his decision making, he could be a late pick-up this year.

#6 Charlie Constable – The inside beast has had bigger games disposal wise, but when he wins the football he is really noticeable. His strength and balance in the contest is huge and in one instant he swivelled his hips to shake off a tackler and pump it long to Isaac Morrisby on the lead. Took a contested mark on the wing despite pressure coming from both sides of his body and he also defended well, adding composure to the back six. He finds space really well and looks to execute a pass inside to the corridor at every opportunity.

#8 Will Walker – Walker strikes me as a really hard runner. He is very outside in the way he goes about it, but he just gets to contest after contest. He often wins a lot of possessions through handball receives, but what impressed me on the weekend was his ability to work hard defensively and lay a number of good tackles. The knock was his influence around the ground because he won a bit through the middle of the ground, but was not as influential as others elsewhere.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Along with his brother, Brayshaw continued to win plenty of the football. He was more prominent in the first half, winning the ball in close and then spreading to the outside, delivering some nicely waited passes inside 50. He also set up a number of scoring opportunities when going forward and while there were a few rushed kicks, Brayshaw kicked an important goal early in the final term to snuff out Northern’s chances of a comeback.

#10 Angus Styles – One of the smarter players in terms of vision and footy nous in close. One example I saw which I liked was his ability to not rush his handball into space, but instead hold onto the footy for an extra second to enable his teammate Will Walker to run into the space required to receive the handball. He took a good intercept mark inside 50 for the Dragons by standing his ground, but missed the set shot and finished the day with two behinds. Styles was a really balanced player in the marking contest and he protects the ball drop. Not a huge accumulator, I thought Styles contributed to the Dragons’ win well.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – The star of the show with five goals and was just influential throughout the contest. He was known for his ability to accumulate on the inside last season and on the weekend he played forward and just dominated. Then he went into the midfield and dominated there, laying some great tackles and influencing the contest in tight. Most importantly it was one of the best games I have seen him play in terms of disposal and hurt factor with some really impressive, penetrating kicks inside 50, setting up a couple of goals for teammates. An over-age player, Brayshaw would have to be in consideration at some clubs for his pure ball winning ability and his strength to make an impact when forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – An impressive game rotating through the ruck and up forward, needing to play more minutes in the midfield after Hayden McLean was concussed and taken from the ground. He started forward and took a great diving mark with his set shot from 35m out going straight through the middle. He then influenced the contest around the ground, showing off his athleticism to win a heap of hitouts and became the link-up man in transition from the midfield to the forwards. One of the best games I have seen him play.

#30 Hayden McLean – He took a huge contested grab and hurt himself doing so, with his kick on goal powerful, but missing. He presented up forward, but was not as influential as in other games, then came off concussed in the third term and did not play any further part.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The weekend’s game was the first time I have seen Murphy play live and I am sold. He was really strong in the opening moments with some deadly darts inside 50 and looked really slick along the wing. He went back later in the game and was good one-on-one and took some great marks. I thought his ground coverage was great, and he is not afraid to back himself in the contest. The one knock I would have is that he is still raw and learning aspects of the game having come from a cricketing background. With the ball he is fine, but without it there were a couple of moments where he looked uncertain of whether to shepherd a teammate or go for the ball himself. But I expect that will come with time and certainly with ball in hand, Murphy was ultra impressive.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#6 Aiden Bonar – Was impressive throughout the contest and spent more time in the midfield as the game went on. His pressure was very high and he laid some very strong tackles. Has presence around the contest and showed that he has a decent burst when he needs to use it. Took a strong contested mark in the third quarter and was able to find the ball around the ground. Bonar was willing to provide multiple efforts, including a great passage of play in front of recruiters on the wing – where he was able to make multiple efforts and attempt to win back the ball by applying pressure on the Geelong defenders.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Played one of the best games I’ve seen him play, marking with ease in the defensive 50. Was also pushed forward late, but his intercept work was one of the reason that the Falcons struggled to kick goals. His usage was good on his right foot and provided a few rebound 50s.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued his strong form showing his ball winning abilities through the midfield. Covered the ground well and his defensive efforts were good – not only dropping back to help out in defensive 50, but tackling hard through the midfield. Hitting form at a good time.

#35 Tom Freeman – Played as a third tall rebounding defender for the Stingrays and whilst most of his possessions were in uncontested situations – he reads the play well and his positioning was good. Has some burst of speed too.

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Had a quieter game than usual, not winning as much ball as he has done in some games this season. Spent most the day inside 50, and his follow up and pressure work was good. Laid some strong tackles in the wet and his hands in close were effective.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Had a superb run down tackle in the first quarter and was able to get off the chain on the outside as one of the Falcons’ best. Showed off his agility on the wing and was willing to take on opponents with his speed. Booted a great left foot goal from outside 50 and pumped the ball long on multiple occasions.

#16 David Handley – Had five scoring shots on goal – but unfortunately only managed to convert one – which was an absolute beauty booted from mid air 10 metres out. Showed off his long right foot kick at times and his leading was good – able to get space between himself and his opponent to mark the ball unopposed.

#19 Matt Ling – Started the game exceptionally well, but was quieter after quarter time. Used his good agility to effectiveness, as well as his pinpoint left foot pass. Took multiple kick outs for the Falcons and had a few good spoils when he needed to defend in one-on-one situations.

#38 James Worpel – Didn’t have as much impact than he has in other games – but his contested game was again on show. His tackling and pressure in the contest was very good and he was often found at the bottom of the packs throughout the game. In the wet, he was able to clear the ball and bang it long inside 50 to one of the Falcons’ tall targets.

#41 Tom McCartin – Leapt at a few balls throughout the day and you can tell he’s the brother of St Kilda’s Patrick. Had some good defensive efforts and was involved in a few score assists, getting the ball to teammates. Unfortunately, his day ended early suffering concussion.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Was strong on the inside and had plenty of early possessions in the opening half. Had good vision at times to find a target by hand in close and was another player that was willing to boot the ball out of the pack and get it going inside 50.

#46 Adam Garner – Pulled off a great contested mark in the opening quarter, as well as winning a free kick after being held – which he converted the shot on goal. However, once the rain came after half time, it was hard going for the Falcons tall.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Michael Alvaro)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Amassed 25 disposals and seven clearances as one of Murray’s more consistent performers. Had a good mix of inside and outside possession, but his run and carry was what made him stand out on the day. Would like to see him finish off his bursts of speed with more kicks though, he opted to hand the ball off on the back of his runs and broke down the momentum of his move.

#7 Zane Barzen – Was a key link in the chain forward of centre for Murray with eight marks, one of which was a decent hanger on the wing in the third term. He chimed in with a couple of clever goals to cap off what was a solid shift overall. Needs to work on his defensive efforts though, as he didn’t clock a tackle despite having a strong presence up forward.

#11 Jy Lane – Lane was consistently the man moving the ball in and out of either 50 as he worked hard to take the game on and break the lines constantly. He worked well in that aspect alongside Langlands, while also quelling the influence of Jiath after quarter time on the wing.

#19 Will Donaghey – Lead all-comers in terms of disposals with 31 and was a key part in Murray’s moves out of defence. He collected a wealth of those possessions on the outside and often used his teammates to gather quick 1-2’s breaking away from stoppages. With 24 of his disposals counting as uncontested, it’s fair to say Donaghey’s strength lies on the outside, and he showed off his high footy IQ with some clever and opportunistic plays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands doesn’t often stand out in any particular areas, but this was one of his better games as he made his mark with some great run and carry. He’s a regular across half-back for Murray and he played that quarterback-type role perfectly as he gathered a wealth of uncontested ball and running bounces. He also impacted the scoreboard with his sole major and three score assists from some sharp inside 50 entries.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech was constantly a solid option up forward for the Bushies, but he struggled to reel in anything that came his way. While his hands aren’t the strongest, he does some good work at ground level and moves well for a key position player. He bagged two majors and was extremely vocal throughout the day, screaming ‘get around him’ from the bench whenever he could. Unfortunately copped a knock and limped off later on.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Part of the talented Gippsland midfield mosquito fleet, Hogan excited with some strong bursts from the stoppages and showed good clearance nous. Attended most of the centre bounces and helped his side to get on top with 8 clearances in a game-high 30 disposals. Played his part moving up the ground with 11 inside 50’s and some nice handball chains through the midfield.

#4 Changkouth Jiath – Was instrumental in the first quarter with 10 disposals, it seemed like Jiath was everywhere. Used his athleticism well to mark overhead and then break away along the wing, but just lacked a finish product. Needs to improve on his kicking if he wants to take full advantage of his damaging traits, which are outstanding. Also had a good battle with Jy Lane on the wing, rotating with Irving Mosquito throughout the game.

#5 Xavier Duursma – Duursma is as unfazed in combat as you’ll see any bottom-ager. Played his typical role in defensive-50, snuffing out opposition attacks both aerially and on the ground, while also providing plenty of rebound. He’s usually a composed kick but lost his head a couple of times today, turning it over in dangerous areas. Was still trusted with kick-in duties and put in a good shift overall down back.

#7 Will Stephenson – Was reasonably quiet in his loud green boots early on, but came to life after half time with more minutes in the midfield. He worked well at the centre bounces with Hogan, Porter and Quigley to get Gippsland on the front foot with a barrage of long inside-50 entries. Chimed in with three important goals and showed how clever he is around the big sticks, finding opportunities where not many would.

#19 Callum Porter – Arguably the best afield across the whole game, Porter capped off his consistent home and away season with a big performance. He was able to show off his inside and outside traits as a midfielder with some hard work in-tight followed up by streaming runs through the corridor. Continually popped up at the back of the centre bounces, either pumping the ball long or trying to break free of his opponents. Was an overall complete midfielder’s game today from the Gippsland star.

#41 Sam Flanders – Flanders was an absolute menace up forward and didn’t allow his opponents a moment of rest. Combined with fellow AFL Academy member Caleb Serong to amass four third-quarter goals which played a vital part in Gippsland’s second half breakaway. He lead the way in the defensive pressure stakes with some bruising tackles, but also showed some good finesse around goals despite kicking five behinds. Looks like a very promising type, and reminds me a bit of former Gippsland forward Tom Papley – who also wears the #41.

#42 Caleb Serong – The 16 year old hasn’t looked out of place at TAC Cup level and this game was no exception. Worked well in tandem with Sam Flanders inside forward 50 and chimed in with two crucial goals during the third term after moving from the wing early on. Can take a good overhead grab and does some smart work around goals, he’s another to watch in the coming years.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 16

ROUND 16 of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend – with all teams at full strength following the conclusion of school football. We had scouts watching all six games, read their notes below.


Northern Knights vs. Western Jets (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

#2 Mitchell Andrews – Put on the long sleeves in the second half and didn’t look back, racking up the ball with ease from half back to the wing. Played a settling role for the Knights throughout the game and did well to break the lines in bringing his side forward. Showed good poise and even chimed in with a goal on the back of a 50-meter penalty

#5 Marcus Lentini – Played the role he’s been so consistent at all year for the Knights – mopping up between midfield and half back and setting up attacks with penetrating kicks. Showed good improvement in his decision making and short kicking accuracy too, while doing all the hard stuff that coaches love. Has the valuable quality of being able to play well in both wet and dry conditions

#8 Nick Coffield – The skipper produced another decent outing, acting as sergeant of the Knight’s back half. He was able to again show off his poise and class in-close, while also displaying his quick step and good turn of pace on the outside. Was prolific by foot as usual and tried his best to use his skill to settle the fast-paced game. Unfortunately, he gave away two uncharacteristic and costly free kicks in the final quarter that ended up handing Western the game – one was a very stiff deliberate rushed behind call, and the other a holding the ball decision. That shouldn’t take anything away from his solid game and overall credentials and is firmly in the top 10 mix.

#9 Alex Federico – Started off like a house on fire with 10 disposals and a handful of tackles in the first quarter. He continued that form and was probably the best for the Knights throughout the day, cracking in and winning the ball relentlessly. Attended most of the centre bounces and willed himself at the ball at each one, while making sure to follow up and not give his opponents an inch. Showed signs of the good outside traits he’s always had, too, and found targets with ease.

#11 Ethan Penrith – Was another who started the game well with half-a-dozen touches and a set shot goal in the first term. While he often drifts in and out of games, his pressure allows him to make his presence be felt on the field. You’d think opposition coaches would tell their players to take on anyone but Penrith, but he continues to wrap up players in great tackles to win the ball back. While he excels in that area, he just lacks a bit of polish in his disposal and decision making.

#18 Jamo Shea – Was very quiet for most of the game playing as a key forward, but dragged the Knights back into the game with his three second-half goals. Took his opportunities when they came but otherwise struggled to get going, along with the likes of Patrick Naish and Matt Harman.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – A member of the strong Western bottom-age contingent, Butters was reliable in the moments that counted. Most notably, he brought down Knights skipper Nick Coffiled late in the last quarter, allowing Cam Rayner to take the advantage and kick the sealing goal. Provided a wealth of drive for the Jets between the wing and half forward with his speed on the outside and grunt on the inside – despite his size. And while his name suggests otherwise, he showed a clean pair of hands in trying conditions.

#12 Connor Thar – Another bottom-ager, Thar backed up his performance for the Under 17 Vic Metro side with a solid outing here. Switching characteristically between defence and attack, the classy small provided plenty of run for the Jets on the outside. He isn’t afraid to take on an opponent (or three) and he regularly put his step to good use, buying himself time and space with ease.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty  Was arguably best afield in the first half as he won plenty of the ball and hit the scoreboard with two majors. Demonstrated a good work rate to find space in the forward 50 where not many can, and then put on a show of overhead marking to get full reward for his efforts. He’s another one who showed good desire in the contest while it was up for grabs, but sometimes got ahead of himself and gave away an undisciplined 50-meter penalty in the second half.

#19 Cameron Rayner – Rayner did his chances of snaring top spot in this year’s draft no harm with an impressive best-on-ground performance. He was slow to get going and the second quarter rain halted his ability to mark overhead momentarily, but he came to life after that. Chimed in with a couple of clutch goals to will his side over the line and continued to show signs of an improved work rate with some big efforts around the ground. He managed to do all of that and even throw in a typical fend off with a fractured thumb – freakish.

#26 Darcy Cassar – One who came from left-field, Cassar was as composed and assured as you’ll ever see a 16-year old be. With four first-half goals and an eye-catching set of locks, Cassar proved a real handful for the Knights defence all day and really took control of the half-forward line. He’s very clean with ball in hand and quite smart in the way he moves – certainly one to keep an eye on.

#38 Buku Khamis – Khamis is a late-comer to footy, but he looked like a natural out there today. Took some impressive grabs in defence, intercepting a lot of the long balls that went in and then setting up his side on the rebound. Uses the ball well by foot and is a promising, versatile talent for 2018’s draft.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons (Matt Balmer)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Had a very quiet first quarter, but impacted in the second quarter with multiple clearances on the inside. Has a burst of speed that can help him to burst away when he collects the ball. Took a nice mark in the fourth quarter, judging it better than his opponents.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played as a strong bodied inside midfielder. Is willing to use it off either foot when going forward and is follow up is superb. Has good clean hands in close and kicked a good goal in the second quarter after his 2nd efforts saw him able to intercept the ball.

#8 Toby Wooller – Made a very good tackle on Andrew Brayshaw and should’ve been rewarded with a holding the ball call in the opening quarter. Took some marks throughout the contest – including a very nice sliding mark in four quarter with his shot missing on goal. Also intercepted a kick from Charlie Constable close to full time deep inside 50.

#14 Ed Richards – Took majority of the kickouts for the Chargers and used his pinpoint left foot to find a target short. On some occasions he played on and used his zip to gain 25 metres and bang it long. Had a nice early run down the broadcast wing in the first quarter and used his clean hands to find targets in the contest. Had a good contested knock-on to Jack Higgins that set up a goal in the last quarter. Also spent time playing as an inside midfielder, mostly in the final term.

#35 Jack Higgins – Spent a lot of time as a small forward and finished with three goals for the match. Laid some strong tackles and his defensive smothers were very good – including two in quick succession showing his desperation. Showed off his contested marking ability inside 50 as the game progressed. Won a free for ‘ducking’ close to goal and did his trademark ‘Stevie J’ run around snap to slot the goal with ease.

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachlan Harris – Has played as an inside midfielder for Caulfield Grammar but returned playing as a small forward for the Dragons. Marked early in the game from 20 metres out and slotted the goal. He was willing to block to help his teammates and showed off some speed at times. Roved a nice tap in the third quarter but didn’t have time to get a shot on target. Finished with two goals for the day.

#6 Charlie Constable – Won a stack of the ball and used it well by hand and foot. Had a few chances on goal from 55 metres but just fell a few metres short into the wind. Had a nice rebound 50 in the second term that got the Dragons running down the far wing at RAMS Arena. His contested mark right on half time allowed him to go back and slot the chance giving them some momentum into the main break. Had another very good centre clearance in the last quarter and did his top 10 chances no harm.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Like Constable, would’ve won a lot of the football. What is noticeable is his contested ball winning and he weaves very well in tight spaces. His vision is good and he hits targets with ease. He worked hard defensively and was able to win the ball in multiple positions around the ground. Has a bit of zip in the midfield and could well push into the Top 10 come draft night.

#12 Jackson Hille – Played as a defender for the Dragons and possesses good hands in close. Was able to break free and rundown the wing in the opening quarter and his offensive work is good. At times he can get caught out with his defensive positioning and that is one area that he will improve as he spends more time in defence. Has a long right foot kick.

#24 Sam Cameron – Showed some speed across half back and has very good agility. Switched the ball well early in the contest and was composed with ball in hand. Is willing to use it off either foot.

Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons 

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – Played through the midfield and was able to find the ball at ease. He used it well on his left foot and had hurt factor with his disposals.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – The Vic Metro defender is in stellar form at the moment, after being one of the Ranges’ best against Sandringham Dragons. He started back against Calder, but worked himself up the ground – finishing up forward with two goals. He impacted the play throughout the day and was again in the best players.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Again spent time in the midfield after being the best player on the ground against Sandringham Dragons. Won the footy in contested situations and was able to find targets ahead of him.

#18 Sam Hayes – Was the clear best ruckman throughout the day winning a lot of taps. For the second game in a row had a more of an athletic ruckman (Balta) that attempted to jump over him at times, but he was able to compete strongly using his strength around the ground. Also pushed forward to boot two goals.

#22 Jackson Ross – Ross booted 29 goals for Haileybury in the APS competition and left no doubts to recruiters on Saturday, that he has the ability to dominate at not just school level. Ross booted five goals in a best-on-ground display, covering the ground well and finding the football. A very athletic type, he is a player to keep an eye on.

Calder Cannons:

#12 Noah Balta – Has been trialled in different positions for the Cannons this season, but played in the attacking half of the ground. Balta booted two goals up forward and completed well in the ruck against Sam Hayes, in what was a good battle when they went against each other. Showed his athletic traits off throughout the contest.

#20 Rhylee West – Found the ball easily through the midfield and was able to get the ball moving forward. Has a strong build below his waist and is able to stay standing when he is tackles.

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Miers played predominantly forward in the game, pushing up the ground and then creating space for himself in the forward 50 when his team had possession. Took a couple of strong diving marks, although the second of which looked like it hit the ground. Had a couple of set shots but missed opportunities to have a big impact on the scoreboard. Miers kicked a goal on the siren at the end of the third term to give the Falcons a two-goal lead when the Bushrangers had the momentum.

#7 Harry Benson – Benson was strong defensively but did not spend as much time in the midfield as he had in past games. Played a bit off half-back, Benson laid a few desperate tackles and showed good vision when moving the ball from half-back. Had a clanger in the second term when he hooked a kick inside 50 to a defender, but showed some super clean hands at ground level under pressure to dish off to a teammate earlier in the game.

#16 David Handley – Handley was impressive in the first term and got his fair share of the football throughout. He provided some good link-up through the middle and when one-on-one, protected the ball drop well. Handley kicked a couple of goals, both of which game in the first half, but he spread his ground cover to include the defensive half, having a rebound outside defensive 50. His kick was a bit rushed and went to an opponent, but overall his decision making was reasonable. He showed a good sidestep when taking on Daniel Johnston in the second term.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Stephens continues to have his moments of brilliance. He is a nice, penetrating kick of the football coming out of defence, it is just a case of working on his shorter kicks where he tends to not kick through the football and therefore drops short of loops his kicks. Stephens was a presence in the air and took a good contested grab in the third quarter.

#19 Matt Ling – Ling was another who showed a few highlights, but ultimately was well held through the game. Had a couple of eye-catching dashes on the wing, but was constantly under pressure. He has good vision when coming off half-back. Ling’s best quarter was his last as he managed to win a bit more of the football and used his delicate kicking skills to influence the contest coming out of defence and into attack.

#38 James Worpel – Worpel played his typically consistent game, winning the ball and just grinding out a strong effort. His kicking still leaves a bit to be desired, but his quick hands under pressure is really good. When in close, his decision making also appears to be good and kicked a goal in the opening minute of the third term which gave his side a boost.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Parish was busy around the ground, winning plenty of the football and spreading well. He is good at getting his arms free in a tackle and handballing to a teammate running into space. Had a nice moment where he arched his back and kicked inside 50 to hit up David Handley, but his kicking still needs much work. Overall one of the better Falcons and tried his heart out for four quarters.

#43 Josh Jaska – Jaska is a developing key position defender who has a nice mix of speed and strength. He took a few strong grabs and provided some rebound off half-back. Jaska laid a strong tackle against a midfielder on the wing to kill a contest and help his side reset.

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Daniel Johnston – Johnston had a quieter game against the Falcons after big bags in recent weeks. He leads at the football strongly, but needs to work on his second and third efforts. He noticeably lifted his intensity after quarter time, but has some areas to work on in regards to athleticism. Johnston found a bit more of it in the ruck but gave away a free kick which looked to be in frustration. Kept trying, but just wasn’t his day.

#2 Jordon Butts – Butts played in defence and was impressively offensively. He took a chest mark going back with the flight when he should have stuck the mitts up, but he protected the ball drop which was important. Butts is a reliable kick over any distance and showed good athleticism to be involved in a chain of handballs on the wing. He also did well to corral the speedster Matt Ling, and has a good tackling technique.

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Vandermeer battled hard for four quarters and won a bit of inside ball but is not the big ball winner compared to some of his teammates and opposition on the day. He has quick hands under pressure and often looks to clear the area quickly by hand. He can tend to loop his handballs a bit which can put teammates under pressure at times.

#5 Ben Paton – Lined up on Miers early on and throughout the game at times and did a fairly good job. He has a penetrating kick coming out of defence and a good sidestep which he showed on multiple occasions. Paton took a fantastic contested mark sliding in from the side of a pack and then took an intercept grab in a rare stint pushing forward, cutting the deficit to just six points late in the third term.

#11 Jy Lane – Quiet game offensively for Lane who was tasked to oppose Ling early on. Kept his opponent quiet and did his job, but did not win a heap of the football himself. Provided a great run down tackle on Ling in the opening term, but was not sighted as much since.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands was definitely one of the better Bushrangers, starting off half-back then moving through the midfield and finishing up forward. He created some line-breaking speed in the opening half, and while his decision making at times was questionable, he starred up forward late. Langlands finished the game with three majors and along with Joe Richards (four goals), was the major goal kicker for the Bushrangers.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech showed off his athleticism against the Falcons with some good closing speed and defensive pressure. He smothered Gryan Miers who has having a shot on goal, but then caught him high in frustration after Miers was paid what seemed to be a questionable mark. He was moved onto Garner who had two majors in the first term and kept the big forward quiet. He applied plenty of team pressure across the ground with shepherds and bumps.

#34 Tom Boyd – Boyd played forward and was quiet early, but worked into the game as he moved further up the ground. Laid a great tackle in the third term at half-forward and was more involved in the play through the middle of the ground. Boyd kicked inside 50 for a goal assist in the third quarter and took a good lead-up mark through the middle of Mars Stadium.

Gippsland Power vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Hogan was one of the Power’s top performers across four quarters, winning plenty of the football and buzzing around the stoppages. He had a number of inside 50s pushing forward hard, and showed great vision throughout the game. Hogan’s hard running was rewarded when he got on the end of a handball chain in the third term and booted a goal. One of his better kicks came when going inside 50 to hit-up Irving Mosquito who took a great grab.

#6 Aidan Quigley – Quigley has an imposing figure around the stoppages and has an influence on the contest when he’s “on”. Made a statement early with a goal from just inside 50 after receiving the handball from Cal Porter, then had a goal assist with a lovely clearance to Kyle Reid. At times he can rush his kick when under pressure, but has a booming rake when he gets onto it.

#11 Austin Hodge – Hodge’s trademark is his penetrating kick which he used to effect early. He would win the ball in the midfield and then pump the footy long to a contest which advantaged his forwards. A couple of times his kick would be a little predictable and was chopped off, but he showed his versatility, sneaking inside 50 to grab a mark.

#19 Callum Porter – Porter continues to stand out for the Power, working hard around the stoppages and having that unique combination of strength and acceleration. He can burst away from a stoppage, but also get his hands dirty and fire out a handball to a teammate on the outside. Porter is a really strong contested mark, especially for his size and he has a decent vertical leap as well. He rarely loses a one-on-one.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#1 Paddy Dow – Dow is an A grade player and it is clear to see why he would come into consideration for the first pick in the National AFL Draft. He can win the ball inside or out, but does most of his damage when in space. He has super quick hands, a great kick when he has time and space, and he is a goal kicker as well. Dow booted a goal from outside 50 and then set up another later on in the game when he won the ball, kicked short, got to the contest to win the ball again and then weaved through three players to hit Angus Byrne lace out inside 50. Dow had another chance later in the third term but his shot drifted to the right. A last quarter goal after a contested grab again saw the Pioneers claw to within six points midway through the term.

#2 Kane Farrell – Farrell played a tough, inside role throughout the match and had clean hands in tight. He won a number of crucial one-on-ones and showed a good penetrating kick when going inside 50. Farrell booted a goal in the final term when the momentum was against the Pioneers and continued to battle hard. He just does all the defensive things right.

#10 Brent Daniels – A nuggety midfielder/forward, Daniels is the prototype defensive forward who can also punish opponents on the scoreboard. Daniels works hard to push forward and looks to play on at all costs. He is solid by foot and is able to kick laterally at full speed while fending off an opponent. Daniels booted a goal after being on the end of a chain of handballs, rewarding him for his hard work.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The likely top 10 pick looked a dominant force all game and began to influence the game on the scoreboard with a couple of goals and a narrow miss in the third term. Brander took a ton of contested marks, and was impressive at ground level for a bigger player. He has a penetrating kick for goal and looked every bit a marquee tall forward. He earned a few free kicks as well with his opponents wary of his ability.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Henderson started at half-back and moved through the midfield, particularly spending time on a wing. He knows how to find the football and is a good size with good accelerations. A couple of times he stood up in a tackle and used his body to win the ball and move it on to a teammate’s advantage.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Peter Williams)

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#2 Callan Wellings – The GWV Rebels’ captain continued to try throughout the four quarters, constantly pushing to contest after contest. Wellings used his quick hands to get it to teammates to run down the ground and worked hard with Aiden Domic in the third term when everyone else seemed to be down. He really started to rack up the ball, particularly off half-back and could hold his head high for his efforts. Narrowly missed a shot on goal from outside 50 after taking a grab on a long lead.

#4 Aiden Domic – After a quiet start, Domic began to exert his influence on the game in the second term. While he had a couple of forgettable kicks, more often than not he managed to kick it to his teammates’ advantage and showed clean hands throughout the match. A highlight was his clean pick up at ground level, spin out of traffic and snap on goal, but it was unfortunately punched through by Oscar Clavarino after the ball bounced the wrong way on the goal line. Domic continued to win the ball throughout the third term, being used well in transition from half-back to half-forward.

#10 Jordan Johnston – A quieter game for the exciting talent. Johnston started in the midfield to show what he could do on the inside and he did not disappoint, earning a few free kicks after burying himself under packs and winning the ball first. He showed good vision across half-back under pressure, hitting up a teammate with a lateral pass while under pressure. Johnston also continued to apply defensive pressure despite not winning much of the ball, laying a few tackles and providing shepherds for his teammates. Johnston had a highlight earlier in the last term with a clever spin but then ruined it with a kick that landed in an opposition player’s lap. Johnston had a rare shot at goal late in the final term but his shot drifted away for a behind.

#23 Lloyd Meek – One of GWV Rebels’ best with the way he presented himself across the ground. He went when he had to go and provided a target up forward when he was not rucking. He took a few good contested marks and was equally as impressive at ground level. Meek knows how to use his body, shows good positioning and his tap work was also impressive. For a taller player, he is surprisingly good at ground level, and he is able to stand his ground well when one-on-one. Meek continued presenting throughout the four quarters.

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – Clark put in another impressive performance with a good mixture of speed and strength. His kicking was once again questionable with a few rushed kicks off the boot, including one that was smothered. Nonetheless, Clark was one of the better Stingrays, bursting out of a stoppage and kicking long to the forwards. His repeat efforts during the game were also impressive, while his one-on-one work was really good. Clark has good vision coming out of a stoppage and has a greater influence when he handballs to the advantage of a teammate rather than throwing it on the boot. Clark won a 50m penalty in the last quarter and kicked truly to put a goal on the board for his team.

#6 Aiden Bonar – After a quiet first quarter at half-back, Bonar was moved to half-forward with instant results. He took a great grab and missed a chance at capitalising, but then snagged a great goal off a forward 50 stoppage when he read the tap to perfection. Despite having a few errors by foot, Bonar on the whole was reasonably effective by foot and his class without the ball shone through. He took a huge grab in the third term and kicked truly from the set shot to put the Stingrays 39-points up. Bonar won a bit of the football early in the last term and continued to push hard.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – The potential number one draft pick actually had an anti-climactic start without impacting the contest a great deal. Once he got going however, he really got going and began to collect the ball across the ground. While he would not have won as much of the football as Hunter Clark, most of his kicks were long, penetrating kicks deep inside 50 to his teammates’ advantage. Davies-Uniacke had a snap in the final term but just missed. His work in close was good as was his ability to cover the ground, from mopping up in to defence to having score assists inside 50. A highlight was a pinpoint penetrating kick to Riley D’Arcy on the lead inside 50 in the third quarter.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Clavarino is Mr Consistency and a complete rock in defence. He won a truckload of intercept possessions, going back, taking good contested grabs and rebounding off half-back. The most noticeable aspect about his game is his ability to seem composed at all times and is a good decision maker by hand or foot. Clavarino propelled a number of Rebels’ attacks throughout the match.

#26 Tom Murphy – Murphy had a few fleeting moments, but overall was quieter than other games. He had a booming shot at goal early from outside 50, but kicked it out on the full. Later on in the third term he did a good job clearing the ball out of defence with his penetrating boot to clear the defensive arc.

#35 Tom Freeman – Freeman did not have a huge game, but he was good in the contest. He continually put his body on the line and battled hard and lightened the load of Luke Davies-Uniacke and Hunter Clark on the inside. In one instance he got his hands free in a tackle when he looked well and truly wrapped up.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – D’Arcy had a huge first quarter but was relatively quiet after that. While he did not put a goal on the board, he took a number of contested grabs, and shepherded through a goal on the siren to allow Bailey Williams to goal. His kick to the top of the goal square moments earlier allowed Jai Nanscawen to pounce and snap a goal. D’Arcy showed good aggressiveness when tackling and had clean hands around the ground. Flynn Appleby locked down on him well after quarter time, with a rare mark in the third term and shot on goal just missing to the left.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 15

ROUND 15 of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend and there were a number of close contests. We had scouts watching three of the games – read their notes below.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – It should not be a surprise to anyone to again see Clark on this list. The running midfielder played an excellent four quarters, proving dangerous on the inside and outside. His trademark composure was demonstrated brilliantly through his movement around the Bendigo boys, and their difficulties in landing a tackle was due to his sharp and agile style of football. Clark’s clever positioning and ball placement was key in breaking congestion in the midfield during a wild second half. The youngster opted for more of a stationery role on the weekend, displaying a keen awareness of how to create a play through his passes. With plenty of free men scattered about the ground this proved an effective approach. Clark hit-up his forwards a few times for goal, kicking low and hard to their leads. He also left the game with two of his own; one through careful running and the other a beautiful snap along the ground. Whether aggressive or conservative, Clark knows how to play his opponents, adapting his style and role to help carry his team to victory.

#3 Jamie Plumridge – The goals were shared all amongst the Dandenong boys on Saturday with Plumridge booting two of his own. In the first, a big snap from about 50 metres gave him one, and another clean kick around the body in the third gave him his second. Plumridge was present throughout the ground, showing some smart and resolute running. He ran from the back to the forward, directing traffic and guiding the ball forward through careful passing and pace. Though he was closed down in the forward, the ball still covered huge ground which he was responsible for. As the game picked up in intensity in the second half, Plumridge kept up a consistent bravery and work rate. He pushed through incoming traffic to move the ball up through a bit of congestion.

#7 Jai Taylor – Taylor made it his business in the second half to snatch up any stray ball that found its way in his zone. Smart placement set him apart from the other players on ground, plucking the ball out of the air from failed Bendigo ejections. Taylor’s strong midfield presence always kept him as an option and was dangerous in moving the ball through traffic. Talented, Taylor needs to prove that he’s able to perform at the level earlier on in the game. However, his strong presence late in the game could be indicative of his ability to rise with game’s intensity. Overall, smart placement and hard running helped this set man apart from the rest of the game.

#17 Finlay Bayne – Finlay Bayne kicked three goals in a strong performance. His presence remained consistent, assisting in more ways than one in getting the ball between the sticks. A creative player, Bayne dominated the forward line with his quick and clever thinking. Coming seemingly out of nowhere to steal the ball, Bayne snatched the ball on the chest in the third to put away his second. He went on to kick another in the fourth with a beautiful boot around the body. Bayne also gave D’Arcy his fourth with a nice pass, showing onlookers what a well-oiled machine the Dandenong forward line has become.

#19 Josh Bateman – Bateman was one of the best performers on the day. A strong burst along the pocket and up the wing in the first term saw Bateman help his team to breathing space after an early, close scrape. The skipper played some firm football. His quick decision-making was pivotal as he and his boys proved a bit too sharp at times for the Bendigo boys.

#29 Bailey Williams – Williams came out with the opening goal, setting up Dandenong’s first quarter stampede over Bendigo. He was a consistent winner in the ruck, keeping all his rovers well fed. The big man was pivotal in moving the midfield and getting the play moving off that centre bounce. When he was not rucking, he also proved important in the forward, soaring high over the pack in the fourth. Williams booted just the one goal however. He played some good footy, but he is capable of more as he displayed throughout certain parts of the game. To step up his performance Williams needs to make himself more of an option because he is more than tall enough to snatch away a few marks.

#50 Riley D’Arcy –  If you count all of D’Arcy’s clever goal assists, he would have walked away with a lot more than four majors on Saturday. The big man showed his audience that he understands how to play forward line, even if he’s not the one punting through the goals. With two clever handpasses to Frankie Mitropoulos, both of which ended in goals, D’Arcy proved being tightly watched by the Bendigo boys is not stopping him from putting scores on the board. He was on the same wave length with his entire team, leading strong to his midfield and returning the favour through his quick improvisation in the forward line. He had no problem marking the ball with the extra eyes on him, taking a firm grab alone against two Bendigo boys, and a beautiful diving mark in the fourth. However, given Dandenong’s score it was expected that D’Arcy went home with a few more than four, but the Stingrays would not be disappointed with his output. He remained present throughout most forward plays during the game, keeping his forwards on the ball when he couldn’t be.

#46 Mason De Wit – De Wit’s high pressure defensive play kept a wild Bendigo forward line from snatching up more goals than they worked for. Laying plenty of tackles and taking important marks down back, the young man made small work of the loose kicks coming into his backline. Brilliantly closing down a runner early in the second, de Wit kept his opposition back when they began to fight harder in the second and third. He trailed off a bit in the fourth as the ball spent more time in Dandenong’s forward line, but his pressure in defence was too much for the Bendigo boys.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – Farrell played some resilient football given his team’s performance. He did not let that stop him from playing to his fullest, being one of the few players able to make moving through the Dandenong midfield like child’s play. He laid a tough tackle toward the second quarter and earned a free. He later copped a big knock and lost the ball, but quickly recovered, regained the ball and kicked a monster of a goal. Farrell often ran the ball along the wing, covering the same great ground. He displayed excellent technical ability and composure during some football. When he could assist the play, he did so with focused running and kicking downfield. Farrell stepped up for his team when it seemed like nobody would. Farrell finished the game with six majors, and best on ground for his team.

#20 Angus Schumacher –  After a poor first quarter for the Pioneers, Schumacher put through the first goal for his team in the second. He later saved his team from another goal with a defensive rebound down the field. The versatile mover was one of the better performers for his team, getting his fair share of the ball. Though after the second quarter, Schumacher was not seen having much of the ball. If he’s going to take his football career any further, he will need to find some consistency or at least make himself more of an option.

#25 Lewin Davis – Davis had a few decent runs along the wing and put away a goal late in the second quarter. He knows how to remain poised and throw his head over the ball when it calls for it. He took a great mark late in the third which always saw him lost his head. Davis was willing to put himself on the line for the ball more than once for his team. He laid a tough tackle in the fourth and dived on the ball when it went loose which saw it moved up the wing. In the future, Davis may need to work more on his placement and map out his passes a bit more if he is to keep up with an intense game like the one on Saturday.

#65 Evan Dorrington – The Dandenong forward line proved more than a little difficult for much of the Bendigo defenders, but Dorrington stepped up more than a few times against the adversity. He saved a potential goal in the first quarter and out wrestled his way to the ball on a number of occasions. He took a spectacular mark in the third and was later moved into the forward line where he put one away from himself. Often the Dandenong players proved a bit much for him, so in the future he will need to continue his good work across four quarters.

Northern Knights vs. Calder Cannons (Peter Bonadio)

Northern Knights:

#8 Nicholas Coffield – Coffield showed good composure around the footy. A natural born leader who makes smart decisions out of the backline, he showed some excellent kicking ability moving the ball forward.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The talented mover played well in patches across the match. Penrith is a great tackler and put a lot of pressure on his opponent causing them to make mistakes. He showed a great turn of pace with and without ball in hand and is a smart user with the footy showing good vision to hit-up his teammates.

#18 Jamison Shea – VFL Experience has helped Shea who looked more comfortable on the field. Shea is a great mover inside forward 50 as he leads to the right spots. He is a good set shot for goal and consistent a goal scorer, finishing the day with three majors.

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – The Cannons captain continues to find the footy and is impressive around the contest. One area for improvement is his kicking efficiency but has shown a deep desire to improve and has already come on in leaps and bounds since the start of the season. One to watch in the final month of the TAC Cup season.

#12 Noah Balta – Very Soild player. Natural talent who is very athletic and quick. Great by foot and finding teammate even over longer distances. Great tackler. Versatile player who look comfortable anywhere he plays. Side note, for 194cm player can play well in the ruck. Booted a superb 70+ metre goal out of the centre bounce.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – He showed some great work ethic and has great closing speed. Defensively, Firebrace is a very solid tackler and with the ball in hand showed good vision to spot his teammates. The classy user was very effective by foot in the Cannons’ win, sealing the win with a goal in the last play..

Eastern Ranges vs. Sandringham Dragons (Billy Friend)

Eastern Ranges:

#6 Ryley Stoddart – The agile and smooth moving defender was extremely impressive for all four quarters in his side’s victory. Stoddart burts past players and linked up for one-twos regularly and seemed to love having the ball in his hands. His left leg is penetrating and efficient and he even snuck forward to kick a goal in the third term to round off a complete game.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Lynch was extremely dangerous up forward and impactful when he was playing around the stoppages. His pressure around the ball was relentless and he made the most of his touches.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson gathered the most disposals and was the clear best on ground. The number 16 bought his own football in the first half and after a more subdued third term the midfielder played a terrific last quarter to help seal the game. His hard running allowed him to find space and he linked up with teammates in scoring chains more than anyone else. His performance was sealed by a terrific overhead mark and goal.

#18 Sam Hayes – Hayes looms as one of the best monster power forwards/ruckman in the TAC Cup and showed why today. He dominated the hit-outs and the Dragons had no match for him when he went forward. Hayes kicked two goals to set the tone in the first term and played out the rest of the match strongly.

#26 Harrison Nolan – Nolan was the rock in defence for the Ranges and displayed a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude all game. His spoiling and intercept marking was a highlight and he generally looked bigger and stronger than his opposition.

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle played the role of delivery man extremely well all day and was important exiting the back half for the Dragons. He makes up for his lack of size with swift movement and football smarts and is one to watch.

#7 Aaron Trusler – The small forward was instrumental in Sandy’s last quarter comeback and was in the best couple for his team today. He kicked two goals and applied strong tackling pressure in the Sandy forward line.

#8 Will Walker – Walker has footy nous and always seems to find a lot of the ball around stoppages as well as on the spread. His clearance work is the strength of his game and he impressed again today with his in and under approach.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Despite not accumulating heaps of possessions, Montanaro showed some Pendlebury qualities through his ability to hold onto the ball with poise and find the best option possible. He was difficult to tackle and rarely wasted the ball.

#27 Jak Nardino – The defender was extremely influential in the first half via his run and carry and precision kicking. He could not mirror his output in the second half however when the game was on the line.

#29 Joel Amartey – The big man is an unbelievable athlete and took mark of the day thanks to his big leap. He is rough around the edges at times but went forward today and took strong contested marks and kicked a goal. Amartey fought hard against a dominant Sam Hayes in the ruck.

#50 Callum Jones – Jones demonstrated tremendous defensive qualities through spoils and smothers but his kicking let him down.

#73 Ed Newman – Newman showed flashes of brilliance today but struggled to get his hands on the ball outside of the contest. The Victorian Under 19 cricketer was brilliant at times with his head over the ball but had a quiet outing today on Dragons debut. One to keep an eye on for the remainder of the year.

Victorian cricketer headlines 2017 AFL Draft Combine invites

VICTORIAN Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy headlines the 83 players invited to take part in the 2017 AFL Draft Combine.

Murphy has recently turned his focus to football, with the Brighton Grammar student booting 19 goals in the Victorian APS school boy competition as one of the more impressive medium talls in the competition. Murphy was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad, averaging over 22 disposals in his three games, including a three-goal haul against Bendigo Pioneers and the invite to the testing will give clubs an idea regarding his athletic ability after cricket has largely been the focus of the talented teenager.

The AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least four AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 29 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro won back-to-back titles in the Under 18 Championships, as the clear standout across the carnival.

At the Combine, draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL.

Possible number one candidates Adam Cerra, Nicholas Coffield, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Rayner will be keen to show off their athletic traits and will be a few players expected to have an important batch of interviews at the Combine.

Larke Medalist Oscar Allen is one of a number of Western Australia players invited.

In sweeping changes to the 2017 format, the Beep test and 3km time trial have been scrapped. The Beep Test has been replaced by the Yo-Yo run, with the AFL and combine sub-committee believing the beep test wasn’t the most accurate measure to predict fitness levels for team sports. The 3km time trial has been cut back to 2km, falling in line with the majority of AFL clubs who use the 2km run in their programs.

The clean hands test and the 30m repeat sprints test have been removed, with more time allocated to club interviews and medical screenings this year.

Possible Collingwood father-son Tyler Brown is one of 10 Eastern Ranges players selected. Brown was overlooked for Vic Metro selection, but has impressed for Marcellin College in AGSV School Football and for the Ranges in the TAC Cup.

Ed Richards is another with Collingwood links, as the son of Kane Richards, whose late father Ron played 143 games for the Pies. Ron Richards’ brother was Collingwood legend Lou.

Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish has also been invited, with Naish averaging 21 disposals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Hugh Dixon is the sole representative from Tasmania, with 11 players selected from the Allies squad.

Adam Sambono (Northern Territory) and Tim Kelly (Western Australia) are the only two mature-agers selected for the combine, with the pair both impressing at NEAFL and WAFL level respectively.

Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.

The National Combine will begin on Tuesday, October 3 and go through to Friday, October 6 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

Vic Metro

Noah Balta (Calder Cannons)
Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Tyler Brown (Eastern Ranges)
Adam Cerra (Eastern Ranges)
Nick Coffield (Northern Knights)
Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons)
Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets)
Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges)
Sam Hayes (Eastern Ranges)
Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Hayden McLean (Sandringham Dragons)
Dylan Moore (Eastern Ranges)
Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Mynott (Eastern Ranges)
Patrick Naish (Northern Knights)
Tom North (Eastern Ranges)
Ethan Penrith (Northern Knights)
Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Cameron Rayner (Western Jets)
Ned Reeves (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ed Richards (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jackson Ross (Eastern Ranges)
Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges)
Ryley Stoddart (Eastern Ranges)
Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Walker (Sandringham Dragons)
Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers)

Vic Country

Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Hunter Clark (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Clavarino (Dandenong Stingrays)
Brent Daniels (Benigo Pioneers)
Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays)
Tom De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aiden Domic (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ethan Floyd (Geelong Falcons)
David Handley (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Henderson (Bendigo Pioneers)
Changkouth Jiath (Gippsland Power)
Jordan Johnston (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Harrison Jones (Murray Bushrangers)
Matthew Ling (Geelong Falcons)
Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons)
Matthew McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Lloyd Meek (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)
Lochie O’Brien (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers)
Angus Schumacher (Bendigo Pioneers)
James Worpel (Geelong Falcons)

Western Australia

Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco)
Oscar Allen (West Perth)
Callan England (Claremont)
Kyron Hayden (Subiaco)
Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Ben Miller (Subiaco)
Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder)
Jake Patmore (Claremont)
Brandon Starcevich (East Perth)
Sam Taylor (Swan Districts)

South Australia

Charlie Ballard (Sturt)
Callum Coleman-Jones (Sturt)
Darcy Fogarty (Glenelg)
Jordan Houlahan (Sturt)
Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide)
Alex Martini (Glenelg)
Andrew McPherson (Woodville-West Torrens)
Harrison Petty (Norwood)

NSW-ACT

Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers)
Brendan Myers (Wagga Tigers/GWS academy)
Jack Powell (Ainsli/GWS academy)
Nicholas Shipley (St George/GWS academy)
Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland

Connor Ballenden (Wests Juniors/Brisbane Lions academy)
Brayden Crossley (Labrador/Gold Coast Suns academy)
Jack Payne (Noosa/Brisbane Lions academy)

Northern Territory

Zac Bailey (Southern Districts/Norwood)
Adam Sambono (NT Thunder)

Tasmania

Hugh Dixon (Kingborough Tigers)

Scouting notes: Vic Metro vs. South Australia

VIC METRO’s star talent was far too good for South Australia, running out comfortable winners with a handful of players putting their hand up for no.1 honours.

VIC METRO VS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA MATCH REPORT

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Vic Metro:

#3 Ethan Penrith – Was a tackling machine in the defensive 50 laying a game-high nine tackles. He was cleaner than the game at Punt Road, not fumbling as often. Has played mostly as a small defender, but his one appearance up forward for Northern might be worth continuing after the carnival as he can turn the ball over at stages rebounding out of defence. His tackling and pressure would make him appealing as a small forward in the mould of the Richmond AFL forwards at the moment.

#19 Cameron Rayner – Again got the job done up forward and through the midfield. Has been isolated at times by the Metro coaches as the deepest forward where he can clunk marks with ease. There were a few occassions when the ball went up in the air and he was the only player who just wanted to get the ball. 16 disposals, seven marks and five goals – A stellar day that enhanced his no.1 pick chances.

#23 Jaidyn Stephenson – Played his best game of the season and bounced back after a disappointing carnival to date. Collected 28 disposals playing on the wing and across half forward. His field kicking can be a off at stages and he did miss a few targets throughout the game. Overall though, he managed to boot five goals and his game showed that he is more than just a forward. Possesses a good burst of speed which he applied well at certain stages.

#24 Charlie Constable – Another super performance that has stamped his paper as a first round selection – if not a top ten. Constable was again clean around the ground and super at the stoppages, where he was able to use his good hands to clear the ball to teammates. Another strength was his tackling and very rarely when he tackles does the ball come loose, resulting in a few free kicks for holding the ball. Laid seven tackles to go with his 23 disposals.

#25 Nicholas Coffield – Again was the general in defence and dominated his match-up with Darcy Fogarty. In traffic he doesn’t seem rushed and finds targets by hand and foot with ease. His efficiency numbers are some of the best in this draft pool and like Constable shapes as another 190cm player who can play through the midfield. Should feature in a similar draft range to Constable.

#31 Will Sutherland – Took another step forward after last week and was superb in the opening quarter. Picks the ball up from ground level better than anyone and shovels out quick handballs to teammates. Booted two goals from his 13 disposals and did have a run around in the midfield as the game went on. For a bloke coming off a limited football preseason and being his first year in the ‘rep footy’ pathway, there has been plenty of promising signs.

South Australia: 

#2 Izak Rankine – Arguably leading the race for the South Australian MVP. Is lively on the outside and his work forward of centre is very good. Was SAs leading disposal winner with 22 and booted a goal. His flashy moments are very good and certainly catches the eye. The bottom-ager has been super and would be a high selection if he was eligible for this year’s draft.

#13 Jackson Edwards – The Adelaide father-son selection again was solid without starring. Found 21 disposals and laid five tackles. Used it well on his left foot and looks most comfortable on the outside.

#16 Mitch Crowden – Strong lad who cracks in hard at every opportunity. Laid seven tackles and was superb in the midfield for SA. Mostly chose to dispose of it by hand coming out of heavy traffic, but was able to weave his way through the stoppages.

#38 Harrison Petty – One of South Australia’s best – playing as a tall defender, before switching forward late in the contest. Intercepted the ball well and defended well when he needed to. Rebounded it well off his right foot and is a player who no doubt would’ve caught the eye of those watching at home.

#40 Darcy Fogarty – A disappointing day with just four disposals and three tackles. At times he picked and choosed when he wanted to defend, mostly spending the game forward. It would’ve been nice to see him thrown back as he has played some good games there at stages. Will be interesting to see how he bounces back on Wednesday.

#41 Nathan Kreuger – Was one of the shining lights up forward and does lead to the question as to why he hadn’t played a game earlier for South Australia. Took eight marks and had five inside 50s, often turning onto his left foot and finding a target with ease. Very athletic player who can do some things that other forwards can’t. One I hope who can do it again on Wednesday, justifying his place inside my top 30 all season.

Under 18 Championships Preview: Vic Metro

VIC METRO enters the National Under 18 Championships as the short priced favourite to take out the title – but don’t be putting your house on it, with one unexpected result already taking place in the opening game of the carnival. After winning against the odds in 2016 – Metro will be fighting hard to go back-to-back but will need to be on their game to avoid a slip up in their opening fixture.

A deep midfield will allow them to float multiple players through the centre to find the best combination, with Eastern Ranges pair Adam Cerra and Joel Garner two such players who will likely have time in the guts, while Jack Petruccelle’s elite speed will provide a point of difference as he bursts from the packs getting the ball forward.

Medium forwards Cameron Rayner and Jaidyn Stephenson are elite marks overhead and as a bonus they can push into the midfield and win their own ball. Sandringham Dragons captain Hayden McLean will be one of the key targets infront of goal, while Will Sutherland and the tall King twins (Max and Ben) will have their opportunities through the latter stages of the carnival.

Noah Balta has seamlessly transitioned into a key defender and is looking the goods. His role will likely see him take the most dangerous opposition forward, where he can use his outstanding agility and big leap to his advantage.

Overall Metro will likely boast more of the top 20 than any other teams at this point in time – but as we have seen time and time again, the next four weeks are the make and break for players pushing their case in front of club recruiters.

Players to watch:

Jack Higgins – The midfielder/small forward averaged 20 disposals in his appearances for Vic Metro in last year’s carnival. Higgins is a very good goal sneak and is agile enough to get around opposition defenders. As a prolific ball winner, expect him to be one of Metro’s best performers in the championships.

Joel Garner – The captain of the Vic Metro team has had a solid start to the year at school and TAC Cup level. Has a long left foot and can play at all ends of the ground. Will mostly play as an outside midfielder, but his hands in close mean that he can be as damaging in the contest.

Cameron Rayner – The exciting midfielder can push forward and take excellent marks overhead. He has the ability to make things happen in a quick burst thanks to his power, and his X-Factor will appeal to clubs as a player who could content for the No.1 pick.

Jaidyn Stephenson – One of the better marks in the draft pool for a player sub 190cm. Stephenson will play as a target up forward and has a good burst of speed that adds another dimension to the marking forward. Played in Vic Metro’s game against Vic Country last year and looks set for a big carnival after showing midfield craft for the Eastern Ranges.

Will Sutherland – Sutherland won’t be running out for Vic Metro this weekend against Western Australia, but will likely line up when Metro play their games in Victoria. Sutherland is a good mark overhead and has pushed into the midfield for Scotch College using his great agility for a tall, attending multiple centre bounces. Clubs believe he could be worth an early selection should the talented cricketer choose the football pathway.

2018 names to keep an eye on:

Ben King – One of the top talls alongside brother Max for the 2018 draft. Ben is a natural key defender with an athletic leap, who reads the play superbly in defence. He will miss the opening game of the championships, but expect him to make an impact at some point in the Under 18 Championships.

Max King – One of the top talls alongside brother Ben for the 2018 draft and is a contender for the number one pick in 2018. The key forward has an athletic leap and can clunk some super marks inside 50. He will play school footy & miss Metro’s first game against WA this weekend, but expect him impact up forward when given the chance.

Curtis Taylor – One of the 2018 eligible draftees who were stiff to miss out on AFL Academy recognition after putting on some superb displays at school football for PEGS last year. Has recently returned for PEGS and Calder Cannons after an injury, and is currently little known by some – but is a player I’d expect to leave a lasting impression should he play in the Under 18 Championships.

FIXTURES

Round 1: BYE
Round 2: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 18th 11.00am Domain Stadium
Round 3: v VIC COUNTRY – June 24th 2.30pm Punt Road Oval
Round 4: v SOUTH AUSTRALIA – June 30th 4.40pm Etihad Stadium (FOX FOOTY)
Round 5: v ALLIES – July 5th 2.10pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Possible Round Two team:**

B: Ethan Penrith, Harrison Nolan, Mitchell Podhajski
HB: Ryley Stoddart, Noah Balta, Nicholas Coffield
C: Joel Garner, Adam Cerra, Lachlan Fogarty
HF: Patrick Naish, Hayden McLean, Cameron Rayner
F: Jack Higgins, Tristan Xerri, Jaidyn Stephenson

FOLL: Sam Hayes, Jack Petruccelle, Thomas North
INT: Toby Wooller, Trent Mynott, Curtis Taylor, Dylan Moore, Angus Styles

** – The Round two teams will be publicly announced tomorrow afternoon.

Predictions:

Finishing prediction: 1st – Metro have all the class around the ground and are short favourites to go through the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships undefeated. However – as we’ve already seen in the opening weekend upsets do happen and Western Australia should be able to push them at least for the first half this weekend. Anything is possible in the Under 18 Championships results wise, but it is Vic Metro’s title to lose.

MVP prediction: Jack Higgins – Higgins was a good contributor in the 2016 Under 18 Championships as a bottom ager and will likely play a key role through the midfield & as a small forward inside 50. Expect him to push forward and hit the scoreboard using his smarts around goal. Should be a key player in Vic Metro’s attempt of winning back-to-back titles.

2017 VIC METRO SQUAD

No.Name
DOB
HT(cm)
WT (kg)
Club
1Dylan Moore4/08/199917566Eastern Ranges/Rowville/Caulfield Grammar
2Jack Higgins19/03/199917876Oakleigh Chargers/ East Malvern
3Ethan Penrith24/10/199917976Northern Knights/West Preston
4Lachlan Fogarty1/04/199917975Western Jets/Spotswood/St Kevins
5Patrick Naish15/01/199918069Northern Knights/ Ivanhoe Grammar
6Dylan Landt18/11/199918074Calder Cannons/Sunbury
7Rhylee West12/07/200018080Calder Cannons/Strathmore/St Kevins
8Joel Garner21/05/199918381EasternRanges/Wandin/ Scotch College
9Andrew Brayshaw8/11/199918380Sandringham Dragons/Hailebury College
10Max Dreher12/04/199918375Northern Knights/Ivanhoe Grammar
11Ryley Stoddart15/10/199918373Eastern Ranges/Blackburn/Yarra Valley
12Callum Searle12/10/199818581Oakleigh Chargers/Waverley Blues
13Trent Mynott4/10/199918573Eastern Ranges/Caulfield Grammar
14Jack Petruccelle12/04/199918473Northern Knights/Epping
15Angus Styles3/05/199918576Sandringham Dragons/Caulfield Grammar
16Thomas North14/02/199918687Eastern Ranges/Heathmont FC
17Adam Cerra7/10/199918685Eastern Ranges/Wesley Grammar
18Curtis Taylor6/04/200018674Calder Cannons/Keilor FC/ PEGS
19Cameron Rayner21/10/199918788Western Jets/Essendon Doutta Stars/ PEGS
20Jack Bytel14/03/200018879Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie FC
21Buku Khamis24/03/200018881Western Jets/St Albans
22Riley Jones5/04/199919179Oakleigh Chargers/Beverley Hills FC
23Jaidyn Stephenson15/01/199918976Eastern Ranges/Ferntree Gully FC
24Charlie Constable18/05/199919083Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
25Nicholas Coffield23/10/199919083Northern Knights/Eltham FC
26Mitchell Podhajski4/01/199919082Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie FC
27Toby Wooller16/03/199919390Oakleigh Chargers/Old Scotch
28Noah Balta23/10/199919492Calder Cannons/Essendon/Doutta Stars/ St Bernards
29Harrison Nolan11/06/199919593Eastern Ranges/Mt Evelyn FC
30Hayden McLean20/01/199919793Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris/St Bedes
31Will Sutherland27/10/199919590Scotch College
32Joel Grace23/06/199919990Northern Knighs/Sth Morang
33Ben King7/07/200020179Sandringham Dragons/ Haileybury College
34Max King7/07/200020182Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
35Matthew Harman2/06/199820087Northern Knights/Marcellin O.C.
36Tristan Xerri15/03/199920193Western Jets/ Caroline Springs FC
37Sam Hayes9/06/199920393Eastern Ranges/Ferntree Gully FC
38Alex Federico**26/09/199918477Northern Knights/Marcellin College
39Marcus Lentini**5/06/199918374Northern Knights

** – Emergencies

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 9

ROUND Nine of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching five of the games. Read their scouting notes below:


Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Arguably the Dragons’ best in the hard fought loss. Nagle played a good role in the back pocket and used the ball well. Is trusted with the kick outs and has been one of the Dragons’ best when they’ve been understrength with players at school football.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Bounced back after a few disappointing games in a row carrying a toe injury. Clean ball user on either foot and can run hard all day. Handballing in close was better than previous weeks.

Eastern Ranges:

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Took a while to get into the game mixing between forward and playing through the midfield. Finished strongly and was one of the Ranges best booting a vital goal early into the last quarter.

#18 Sam Hayes – Was a class above in the ruck. Won multiple hit outs and looked dangerous throughout the day. Had stints up forward and booted what turned out to be the match-winning goal with not long remaining in the contest.


Geelong Falcons vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Harry Benson – I was most impressed with his performance. Each time I’ve seen him live he seems to get a little bit more damaging. He’s worked on his inside game further as well as his defensive pressure which will undoubtedly show in his tackle statistics and key performance indicators at club level. Benson got his hands dirty on the weekend and played more inside shovelling out handballs, while still providing the run on the outside. The next key for him is working on his kicking under pressure because when having time and space, he is a damaging kick, but under pressure he tends to rush his disposal more than he needs to. One of, if not the best in my eyes for the Falcons.

#12 Bayley Cockerill – Seemed to get better as the game wore on. Played mostly behind the ball, he showed courage going back with the flight, and provided a running option at half-back. Was not afraid to keep the ball moving and kick long to contests. After a quieter start, he provided a real highlight later in the game with a snap from the pocket under pressure. His work rate and ability to just keep pushing throughout four quarters was good.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Played on Irving Mosquito at half-back and had his work cut out for him defensively. But despite Mosquito providing a few highlights, Stephens provided good run and drive out of the back half. He was often used as the designated kick out of defence, or the link-up handball between the back 50 and the midfield. Often combined with Harry Benson or Bayley Cockerill to get the ball moving.

#22 Sam Walsh – A player who just does not panic. Walsh showed plenty of composure in another impressive performance returning to the the Falcons’ line-up from injury. At times he does have that ability to make time stop and assess his options, almost doing a 360 degree spin to work out what to do next. He was often the player that would mark in the middle of the ground and switch play to either wing. Used in a chain of handballs or to penetrate inside forward 50, he got a tick from me for his game. Walsh is still a bottom-ager so I look forward to seeing him over the next 18 months.

#41 Tom McCartin – Aside from his strong marking, the one thing that stood out for me was his ground level work. His clean hands and ability to pick up a ball off the deck, particularly at full speed like he was in one instance in the first quarter was impressive. Despite playing key forward and not kicking a goal, I thought McCartin was one of the Falcons’ best using his work rate and ability to provide a contest to help his side. I think his work at ground level and ability to pick the ball off the deck with clean hands adds a point of difference to other key forwards in the draft.

#46 Adam Garner – Simply too big and too strong for his opponents. Played on a few different Power players, but the result was the same, his contested marking is a treat, sticking up the big gloves and if he didn’t mark it, he always brought it to ground. A straight line forward, for me the next step is his ground level work and decision making as at times he seemed to be a tad slow with disposing of the ball in play. With six goals and a plethora of big marks, Garner could be pleased with his performance in almost hauling the Falcons over the line.

Gippsland Power:

#5 Xavier Duursma – The Power midfielder certainly caught the attention of opposition players with his booming kick and fierce tackling. Moved well across the ground and was one of Gippsland’s better players through the middle. Had a couple of shots on goal, kicking one and narrowly missing another. Has a forward presence with good marking ability and reading of the play. There was an instance in the first term where it looked like he might have panicked a little under pressure and rushed his disposal, but I did not see it again so it could have been a once-off. A solid overall game from Duursma.

#6 Aiden Quigley – The AFL Academy member has a presence around the ground with his tackling and repeat efforts. He showed good decision making throughout the four quarters, but his execution let him down at times. His tackling technique is one that many players could learn as he pins the arm away and forces the umpire to award him a free kick. Seemed to drift out of the game late, but he was far from alone as Geelong took control in the last quarter. Overall he showed good signs defensively, just needs to work on his kicking.

#7 Will Stephenson – This kid just lives for the big moments. Seemed to be quiet in the first half, but in the second half when Geelong was hitting back, he won a couple of cruical one-on-one contests, including one of the last centre clearances. Matched on Cassidy Parish who is arguably the best or one of the best TAC Cup clearance players in the game, Stephenson read the flight of the tap perfectly and kicked inside 50 to hit-up a target with the Falcons pushing hard. They were able to chew vital seconds off the clock and his influence late was a key reason why they held on. Stephenson has plenty of courage and is not afraid to match it with bigger players and go back with the flight.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Everyone has told me how exciting this kid is and after an indifferent start seeing him live at QEO earlier in the season, I was sold by his highlights against the Falcons. A huge vertical leap dangerous around goals, Mosquito kicked a fantastic goal off a step from a tight angle and almost had two with a dribble shot from the boundary just missing. Just oozes X-factor and has great decision making. My knock on him earlier in the season was his ability to rush his disposal at times not realising how much time and space he has, but he did not have that problem on the weekend. Was injured in the last quarter after a late knock following a kick, so hopefully his injury is not too serious.

#19 Callum Porter – A perfect game in terms of offensive and defensive impact from the tough, inside midfielder. Had four tackles within the first minute of play and would drift back to half-back and take the intercept mark, then somehow drift forward and kick four goals. He would have racked up 20 plus disposals, 10 plus tackles, eight to 10 marks and of course four goals, to really put a stap on the game. His ability to mark in a contest against bigger bodies was really telling and he just never took a backwards step. Stood up when Gippsland needed a hero and he provided the forward presence when the Power’s forwards were being well held. Clearly best on ground and a game he is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

#24 Sean Masterson – A quiet game, but stood up at crucial times similar to Stephenson. Nearly every involvement he had was important, whether it was a towering mark at centre half forward or a spoil and intercept at centre half back, Masterson really showed his versatility on the weekend. Played up both ends and while he might not have the strength of his opponents, he has a good leap and is a solid field kicker. He also took a huge mark late in the game and iced the clock, showing his maturity.


Oakleigh Chargers vs. Western Jets (Duncan Robertson)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#8 Toby Wooller – Far too strong and mobile for his Jets opponent. Played a solid game booting two goals in a game where he mostly played inside 50.

#24 Sam Harte – The bottom ager is a classy small midfielder who used his speed on multiple occasions to burst away from the stoppages.

#35 Jack Higgins – Was wasteful in front of goal and could’ve well kicked seven if he had’ve kicked straight. His quality is obvious and the Jets had no answer to his crafty ability through the midfield and up forward as a small forward. Finished with four goals.

Western Jets:

#19 Cameron Rayner – One of the standouts for the Jets, in a solid game by his high standards. Powerful, classy and quick. His ‘speccy’ was play of the day and he booted three goals. The Jets suffered wherever he was moved from, winning the contested ball when he played in the midfield and looking dangerous inside 50 with his contested marking when he went forward. Was unable to settle into one particular role as was switching between forward and midfield constantly throughout the day.

#35 Blake Graham – Worked hard as a lead up target inside 50, making multiple leads but didn’t get much supply.

#37 Hamish Murphy -Tried hard all day in defence with multiple inside 50s for Oakleigh. His intercept work was good and he possesses a very strong left foot which helps him rebound the ball effectively.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played an excellent game as a midsized forward. Was classy and elusive when he had ball in hand. Is a strong body at the contests and has good hands to dispose of the ball.


Calder Cannons vs. Northern Knights (Billy Friend)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – An inspiring best on ground performance from the Calder captain today, as he willed his team to their first home victory this season. Bernacki collected 39 touches in the midfield whilst applying constant pressure around the ball. The tough inside midfielder found pockets of space around the ground but his most influential work was done at the clearances.

#2 Dylan Landt – Accumulated in the midfield with expertise and kicked the game sealing goal with a left foot snap. He displayed his endurance and work rate throughout the contest. His football smarts are very good and he was often able to get to the right place at the right time.

#4 Mohammed Moustafa – Didn’t collect a lot of the ball, but his strength in the contest really stood out. Moustafa shook off tackles and was clean when the ball was in dispute.

#8 Lachlan Sholl – Played an outside role to perfection as he pushed back to take marks in the hole and found space to accumulate possessions all around the ground. Was efficient by foot.

#11 Jake Firebrace – Made up for a number of first half errors and fumbles with a solid second half performance. His sidestep and ferocious pressure was important for Calder heading inside forward fifty

#12 Noah Balta – Appeared to be a level above his opponents for most of the day. His athletic leap was a standout as he took three spectacular overhead marks both in defence and in the forward line. He kicked two crucial goals in the last quarter to ice the game after playing the first half at centre half back and was second best to Bernacki on the day.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Was commanding in defence and held the Northern key forwards at bay. Took some strong intercept marks and made critical spoils. Disposed of the ball well coming out of defensive 50.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played well as the focal point of the Cannons’ attack for most of the day and finished with three goals. His hands were strong as he took contested marks, but also lead hard to present an option for teammates.

#33 Jack Evans – Played an almost identical role to Mason Fletcher. Evans was commanding in defence and held the Northern key forwards at bay. Took some strong intercept marks and made critical spoils. Disposed of the ball well coming out of defensive 50.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – Excited in the first quarter as Calder’s live wire in the forward half, kicking two early goals. His small frame didn’t stop him from imposing himself around contests and his speed & agility was a real weapon for the Cannons.

Northern Knights:

#5 Marcus Lentini – Was the delivery man in the back half and his run & dash was important. He rebounded the ball well and took a couple of intercept marks.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – A fairly quiet performance by his lofty standards, but he did show glimpses where he went forward and took two strong contested marks and kicked a goal. His impact in the midfield was subdued.

#10 Brody Bell – Played well as a loose player behind the stoppage and was clean with his disposal. Didn’t have a huge impact but had his moments.

#11 Ethan Penrith – His speed and agility was lethal deep forward and he kicked an outstanding goal beating three opponents in the third quarter. He tried hard all day and was one of Northern’s best with his tackling pressure and pinpoint field kicking.

#15 Anthony Fable – Probably kicked the goal of the day as he showed off his lightning speed and long kick. His tackling pressure was a level above most of his teammates and his service into the forward line was lethal.

#32 Patrick Howe – Kicked two goals in the first quarter and continued to be dangerous as a third tall as the game went on.

#34 Matthew Harman – Fought hard in the ruck without much help and won most of the hitouts today. His hitout to advantage rate was not high as the Cannons midfield got on top especially in the second half.


Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Murray Bushrangers (Billy Friend)

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Showed agility across half back and pressurised the Murray forwards constantly. He needs to improve his kicking but showed impressive signs.

#4 Aiden Domic – His hard running was a highlight and he kicked a superb midfield goal where he impacted the contest on the wing and ended up with the ball in the forward line seconds later. Was one of the leading ball winners on the ground.

#6 Keegan Gray – Found plenty of space on the wing and probably gained the most metres of all his teammates. Showed impressive endurance to cover the ground and collect possessions at ease.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Displayed overhead marking prowess. He was swung forward and took strong marks, kicking two goals.

#16 Joe Dodd – Kicked a goal and did a lot of good work up the ground.

#19 Jackson Taurau – Was outmuscled by Johnston on several occasions but fought back with impressive spoils in the second half. At 188cm was undersized against the Murray key forwards.

#22 Naish McRoberts – Stood out in the Rebels midfield as his clean hands resulted in many clearances. He kicked a booming goal from fifty metres out and was a shining light.

#24 Matty Lloyd – His disposals were classy and impactful as Lloyd once again caught the eye. He was best on ground in the first half but his impact was limited as the Rebels were overwhelmed in the second half. Kicked a nice goal too.

#40 Tylar Watts – Busted his guts all day and presented as a strong option up forward. He kicked three goals and won most of his one-on-one duals with the Bushranger defenders. When asked to pinch hit in the ruck he made some nice contributions shovelling the ball out by hand to outside runners.

Murray Bushrangers: 

#1 Daniel Johnston – Was a man mountain at full forward and got the better of Taurau and co. He kicked three goals in the second quarter and was too big and too strong. Johnston also provided an imposing physical presence when he pinch hit in the ruck through laying tackles and even clearing the ball on a couple of occasions.

#3 Benjamin Kelly – Monstered his direct opponent in the ruck and easily won the share of the hitouts. He showed off quick hands to dish the ball off to his midfielders but mainly impressed with his physicality.

#7 Zane Barzen – Showed off his impressive vertical leap by taking mark of the day in the first half. Brazen kicked three goals in a minute, (yes, you read that correctly) and shined today as one of Murray’s most dangerous forwards.

#8 Jacob Koschitzke – Read the fight of the ball excellently in defence, saving the day on a few occasions by repelling the Rebels’ entries forward.

#18 Hudson Garoni – Did not find much of the ball but did show potential taking two strong overhead marks.

#19 Will Donaghey – Showed off his flexibility today rotating between defence and midfield, and he accumulated the ball with ease.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Showed poise coming off half back and was one of Murray’s best. He took a number of intercept marks in the defensive 50 and was a partner in crime with Samuel Beasley.

#27 Harrison Jones – Started off slow in the first half but was monumental in the third and fourth quarters to orchestrate the second half smashing. Jones showed a combination of toughness and class around stoppages, and appeared to be a real leader for Murray. Kicked a great goal from 40m out too.

#42 Samuel Beasley – Was terrific rebounding the ball out of defence. Demanded the ball and didn’t let anyone down as he showed his proficiency by foot. Beasley also showed a gritty determination with one percenters and spoils in the backline.

Vic Metro 46-man U18 training squad announced

VIC Metro will be aiming to win back-to-back titles after naming a strong Under 18 training squad for the upcoming NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

The squad will be coached by Martin Allison, who is taking over the reigns from David Flood. Allison is the new AFL Victoria Metro Talent Pathways Manager and previously coached the Vic Metro Academy back in 2013.

He will be joined by former Western Bulldogs player Steve Wallis and current Director of Coaching at Eastern Michael Rizio – who were part of last year’s assistant coaching set up, while Carlton AFL Women’s and Sandringham Dragons forward coach Jackson Kornberg and Uni Blues (VAFA) senior coach Quinton Gleeson will join as Metro assistants.

Vic Metro’s midfield will be led by talented Eastern Ranges duo Adam Cerra and Joel Garner, while Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights) and Cameron Rayner (Western Jets) will provide some much needed X-Factor in the side.

SQUAD: