Tag: Hayden McLean

Draft dream not over for 2018 state combine nominees

MORE than one hundred draft hopefuls will test themselves under the watchful eye of AFL club recruiters at the various State Combine’s around the country. After the list of National Combine invitations was released last week – indicating those players with the most draft interest – last night the full list of State Combine, and Rookie Me Combine lists were released.

EIGHTY INVITED TO NATIONAL DRAFT COMBINE

A total of 126 players were nominated for the combines, with Vic Country having 26 players nominated, ahead of South Australia with 24, and Western Australia and Vic Metro with 21 each. It has also proved a bumper year for the Victorian Football League (VFL) with 13 players nominated to test, behind the four Division One states. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) has eight players nominated, the highest of the Division Two states, while Queensland has seven, and Northern Territory three and Tasmania three.

In terms of individual clubs, Dandenong Stingrays trumps all others, having 12 nominees, making it 17 players heading to testing in 2018. Murray Bushrangers is next with seven, followed by Calder Cannons and Oakleigh Chargers (six), as well as South Australian club Norwood. Fellow South Australian club South Adelaide, West Australian clubs Peel Thunder and Swan Districts, and Sandringham Dragons, all have four nominees. Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Sturt, South Fremantle and Claremont have three apiece. In terms of Academies, the GWS Academy had six players nominated, Gold Coast and Brisbane Lions Academies both had three, and Sydney Swans Academy had one.

 

Full list of State Combine nominations:

NSW/ACT: [6]

Riley Bice (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)
Jeromy Lucas (GWS Giants Academy)
Nick Murray (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)
James Peatling (GWS Giants Academy)
Guy Richardson (GWS Giants Academy)
Mathew Walker (Murray Bushrangers/GWS Academy)

Northern Territory: [2]

Michael Mummery (NT Thunder)
Izaak Wyatt (Southern Districts)

Queensland: [4]

Caleb Graham (GC Suns Academy) 
Darcy Marsh (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Tom Matthews (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Lachlan McDonald (GC Suns Academy)

South Australia: [24]

Finn Betterman (Glenelg)
Connor Bristow (Norwood)
Chris Burgess (West Adelaide)
Declan Carmody (Glenelg)
Kade Chandler (Norwood)
Oscar Chapman (North Adelaide)
Tate Coleman (South Adelaide)
Jacob Collins (Norwood)
Job Colwell (South Adelaide)
Tobin Cox (Glenelg)
Darcy Fort (Central District)
Martin Frederick (Woodville-West Torrens)
Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide)
Tom Lewis (Sturt)
Mihail Lochowiak (Sturt)
Tyler Martin (Norwood)
Aaron Nietschke (Central District)
Matthew Nunn (Norwood)
Kai Pudney (Woodville West Torrens)
Isaac Saywell (Norwood)
Jake Tarca (South Adelaide)
Casey Voss (Sturt)
Callum Wilkie (North Adelaide)
Boyd Woodcock (North Adelaide)

Tasmania: [1]

Rhyan Mansell (North Launceston)

VFL: [8]

Jake Aarts (Richmond VFL)
Brett Bewley (Williamstown)
Sam Collins (Werribee)
Will Hayes (Footscray VFL)
Nick Hind (Essendon VFL)
Marty Hore (Collingwood VFL)
Ethan Phillips (Port Melbourne)
Corey Rich (Frankston)

Vic Country: [21]

Jacob Atley (Bendigo Pioneers)
Stephen Cumming (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Fletcher (Dandenong Stingrays)
Matthew Gahan (Dandenong Stingrays)
Hudson Garoni (Murray Bushrangers)
Noah Gown (Gippsland Power)
Brayden Ham (Geelong Falcons)
Jed Hill (GWV Rebels)
Austin Hodge (Gippsland Power)
Zane Keighran (Bendigo Pioneers)
Matty Lloyd (GWV Rebels)
Lachlan McDonnell (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jai Nanscawen (Dandenong Stingrays)
Finbar O’Dwyer (Murray Bushrangers)
Jamie Plumridge (Dandenong Stingrays)
Mitch Riordan (Dandenong Stingrays)
Bailey Schmidt (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Sturt (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jai Taylor (Dandenong Stingrays)
Charlie Wilson (GWV Rebels)
Lachlan Young (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Metro: [18]

Frank Anderson (South Croydon)
Joseph Ayton-Delaney (Oakleigh Chargers)
Atu Bosenavulagi (Oakleigh Chargers)
Kyle Dunkley (Oakleigh Chargers)
Mason Fletcher (Calder Cannons)
Xavier Fry (Eastern Ranges)
Jake Gaspar (Oakleigh Chargers)
Sam Graham (Calder Cannons)
Harry Houlahan (Sandringham Dragons)
James Jordan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Josh Kemp (Calder Cannons)
Justin McInerney (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Stefan Radovanovic (Western Jets)
James Rendell (Sandringham Dragons)
Harry Reynolds (Sandringham Dragons)
Alistair Richards (Sandringham Dragons)
Jack Ross (Oakleigh Chargers)

Western Australia: [21]

Jason Carter (Peel Thunder)
Dylan Curley (East Fremantle)
Oliver Eastland (Claremont)
Kody Eaton (East Fremantle) 
Harry Edwards (Swan Districts) 
Patrick Farrant (Swan Districts) 
Ethan Hansen (Perth) 
Wil Hickmott (Subiaco) 
Corey Hitchcock (Claremont)
Jack Mayo (Subiaco) 
Tom Medhat (West Perth)
Louis Miller (East Perth) 
Luke Moore (South Fremantle) 
Rylie Morgan (Claremont)
Matthew Parker (South Fremantle) 
Jarvis Pina (Peel Thunder)
Tyson Powell (Peel Thunder)
Regan Spooner (South Fremantle)
James Sturrock (Peel Thunder)
Tobe Watson (Swan Districts)
Graydon Wilson (Swan Districts)

Rookie Me Combine: [21]

Ryan Hebron (Sydney University)
Joey Reinhard (Sydney Swans Academy)
Adam Tipungwuti (Western Magpies)
Matthew Green (NT Thunder)
Ryan Gilmore (GC Suns Academy)
Jack Tomkinson (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Lachlan Gadomski (Kingborough Tigers) 
Matthew McGuinness (Lauderdale)
Ben Cavarra (Williamstown) 
Jay Lockhart (Casey Scorpions) 
Hayden McLean (Sandringham VFL) 
Kieran Strachan (Port Melbourne) 
Charlie Thompson (Richmond VFL)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Kyle Clarke (Murray Bushrangers)
Sam Conway (Geelong Falcons)
Jake Frawley (Dandenong Stingrays)
Matt Neagle (Wodonga Raiders)
Tye Browning (Calder Cannons)
Daniel Hanna (Calder Cannons)
Cody Hirst (Eastern Ranges)

2017 AFL Draft Combine: Day 3 results

AGILE tall Aiden Bonar and exciting West Australian Kyron Hayden were among the top performers on day three of the 2017 National AFL Draft Combine.

Players were subjected to a busy day of testing, with the jumps, sprints and agility events held in the morning. The inaugural Yo-Yo test was run in the afternoon, before players meet with AFL club recruiters after dinner.

Bonar equalled the record for standing vertical jump with a leap of 89cm, matching that of Adelaide’s Jordan Gallucci 12 months earlier, while Hayden leaped into the record books with a massive 105cm jump in the running vertical leap. Hayden finished seven centimetres behind Bonar in the standing vertical jump.

In the 20m sprint, raging favourite Jack Petruccelle raced home in 2.87 seconds, marginally ahead of Bonar and Bendigo Pioneer Kane Farrell who both recorded times of 2.90 seconds. Ruck/forward Ben Miller raised eyebrows with a huge 2.91 seconds, equal with Northern Knights captain Nick Coffield.

Miller went even better in the agility test, equalling Farrell with a time of 8.10 seconds. Farrell’s teammate Brent Daniels finished just one hundredth of a second behind, while Eastern Ranges’ Trent Mynott finished in 8.20 seconds. Irish star Stefan Okunbar also recorded a few highlights with a top 10 finish in the 20m sprint and agility test.

Endurance beast Andrew Brayshaw took out the new yo-yo test with a score of 22.4 ahead of Vic Metro teammate Dylan Moore and speedster Matthew Ling. South Australian Alex Martini, tall defender Aaron Naughton and the exciting Jaidyn Stephenson were the next highest scorers. Geelong Falcons’ Ethan Floyd, Tom McCartin and Gryan Miers joined Ling in the high scorers showing off the top endurance at the club.

Friday is the final day of the 2017 National Combine, with the 2km time trial to take place in the morning.

RESULTS:

20-metre sprint
Jack Petruccelle (Vic Metro) 2.87 seconds
Kane Farrell (Vic Country) 2.90
Aiden Bonar (Vic Country) 2.90
Ben Miller (Western Australia) 2.91
Nick Coffield (Vic Metro) 2.91
Ben Paton (Vic Country) 2.95
Brent Daniels (Vic Country) 2.95
Stefan Okunbar (Ireland) 2.95
Jaidyn Stephenson (Vic Metro) 2.95
Nicholas Shipley (Allies) 2.95

Agility test
Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers) 8.10 seconds
Ben Miller (Western Australia) 8.10
Brent Daniels (Vic Country) 8.11
Trent Mynott (Vic Metro) 8.20
Nathan Kreuger (South Australia) 8.21
Aaron Naughton (Western Australia) 8.22
Mitchell Podhajski (Vic Metro) 8.26
Oscar Allen (Western Australia) 8.27
Stefan Okunbar (Ireland) 8.29
Matthew Ling (Vic Country) 8.30
Callan England (Western Australia) 8.30
Aiden Bonar (Vic Country) 8.30
Andrew Brayshaw (Vic Metro) 8.30

Standing vertical jump
Aiden Bonar (Vic Country) 89cm
Kyron Hayden (Western Australia) 82cm
Ben Paton (Vic Country) 80cm
Harrison Jones (Vic Country) 79cm
Jordan Houlahan (South Australia) 77cm
Jordan Johnston (Vic Country) 75cm
Jack Petruccelle (Vic Metro) 74cm
Noah Balta (Vic Metro) 74cm
Adam Sambono (Allies) 73cm
Hayden McLean (Vic Metro) 73cm

Running vertical jump
Kyron Hayden (Western Australia) 103cm – NEW RECORD
Kane Farrell (Vic Country) 95cm
Jordan Houlahan (South Australia) 95cm
Hayden McLean (Vic Metro) 92cm
Noah Balta (Vic Metro) 89cm
Harrison Jones (Vic Country) 88cm
Oscar Allen (Western Ausralia) 88cm
Tom McCartin (Vic Country) 88cm
Matthew Day (Vic Metro) 87cm
Nathan Kreuger (South Australia) 87cm

Yo-Yo test:
Andrew Brayshaw (Vic Metro) 22.4 level
Dylan Moore (Vic Metro) 22.3
Matthew Ling (Vic Country) 21.8
Alex Martini (South Australia) 21.8
Aaron Naughton (Western Australia) 21.8
Jaidyn Stephenson (Vic Metro) 21.8
Callan England (Western Australia) 21.6
Nick Shipley (Allies) 21.6
Brent Daniels (Vic Country) 21.5
Ethan Floyd (Vic Country) 21.5
Tom McCartin (Vic Country) 21.5
Cillian McDaid (Ireland) 21.5
Gryan Miers (Vic Country) 21.5

2017 AFL Draft Combine: Day 2 results

DAY TWO of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft Combine saw players put under the spotlight with medical screenings in front of all 18 AFL club medical staff, as well as interviews with media and AFL clubs.

Wednesday night saw players undertake the kicking and goal kicking tests with the following players scoring well.

Vision of SA Under 18 players can be found on the SANFL Twitter account.

Goalkicking test (score out of 30)
Jordan Houlahan 30
Angus Schumacher 30
Jackson Ross 30
Ben Miller 30
Jake Patmore 25
Ryley Stoddart 25
Changkuoth Jiath 25
Andrew Brayshaw 25
Connor Ballenden 25
Aaron Naughton 25
Aiden Bonar 25

Kicking test (score out of 30)
Connor Ballenden 30
Jack Higgins 29
Angus Schumacher 29
Jack Payne 29
Hayden McLean 29
Jackson Ross 29
Ned Reeves 29
Jordan Houlahan 28
Hunter Clark 28
Lloyd Meek 28

Stephenson stars in 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Scouting notes: 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final

GRYAN Miers starred in the Geelong Falcons’ 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final win, after the Sandringham Dragons had a chance to kick a goal after the siren for the win. Read the full match report here.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Seven goals – ’nuff said. I tweeted after he’d kicked his first two goals that he was a second rounder and I think he consolidated that thought, finishing with 7.2 from 16 disposals. While his kicking technique does need some work, it is effective. His first goal of the game was mighty impressive on his left foot and one that may find himself drafted in the early second round.

#8 Ed McHenry – The bottom-ager was again impressive and put his hand up for AFL Academy honours. His hands in close are very good and he was able to fire the ball out to the link players effectively. He is an effective kick going forward and found 21 disposals for the game.

#11 Mitch Chafer – When the Falcons were up and firing in the third term, Chafer really got going after a quiet start. He is willing to work hard both ways and tackle his opponents. Had eight of his 14 disposals in the “premiership quarter.”

#22 Sam Walsh – The bottom-ager is arguably the best midfielder in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. Walsh led the stats sheet with 30 disposals, seven inside 50s and won five clearances. Walsh linked up well on the outside and worked very hard at the stoppages. Whilst not all his kicks inside 50 were effective, his ball winning ability is outstanding.

#44 Sam Conway – The Geelong College student has a few suitors at AFL level and may wind up a draft selection – as a real riser in the second half of the year. Conway is a very raw ruckman who is often made to handball the ball to his midfielders, but he can mark well around the ground and has plenty of traits that’ll appeal to a club looking for a ruckman.

#49 Dane Hollenkamp – Like Conway, Hollenkamp’s improvement this year has been exceptional. In the ruck, he has shown improvement and at times backs himself to take it out of the ruck and handball it out to a teammate. At ground level, he is clean and can win the ground balls and get it out to a teammate. Hollenkamp finished with 10 disposals and 12 hitouts and like Conway – may find himself in draft calculations.

Sandringham Dragons

#6 Charlie Constable – There was plenty of doubt on Constable coming into the game with a groin injury, but Constable showed his class in the opening half of the match – turning the game in the second quarter with the first two goals of the quarter. Constable is able to play up forward and mark the football. His clearance work was good, and off limited game time he was able to get 23 disposals and four clearances.

#8 Will Walker – Walker’s clearance work around the ground was impressive and he was able to get the ball on his boot and bang it forward. While at times his kicking can be hit and miss, most of his kicks went long and were effective. He wins the contested ball and Walker was able to push forward and boot two goals – and may himself drafted inside the top 30.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Brayshaw just gets to the right positions and is a clean ball user by hand and foot. The Falcons sat Harry Benson on him and at times he was under enormous pressure and resulted in him handballing out of the stoppages in more occasions than not. His contested numbers were slightly down, but he was able to bring the ball inside 50 throughout the game. Laid a match-high 11 tackles and pushed hard in the final term.

#20 Kai Owens – In the first 15 minutes of the final quarter, Owens had five disposals, four marks and booted three goals. When the game was looking for a player to stand up, Owens was the man who got the Dragons back into the game – using his leap and his agility up forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – A lot has been said about his after the siren miss, but the Dragons ruckman has been a big improver since Round 1. Was the clear best ruckman on the day with 27 hitouts, but his pressure and tackling around the ground was an important facet of the game. I think he might find a home in the back half of the draft.

#30 Hayden McLean – Thought it was Hayden McLean’s best game for the season. His first half in particular saw McLean show some signs of what had been hoped from the AFL Academy member this year. McLean took four marks in the opening quarter, as well as booting a goal. Finished the day with 12 disposals and seven marks. Boosted himself up a touch with a good Grand Final game.

TAC Cup Grand Final preview: Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER 18 rounds and two weeks of finals, the two top TAC Cup sides have emerged with reigning premier Sandringham Dragons taking on top four regular Geelong Falcons. The Dragons finished fourth overall and defeated Murray Bushrangers in the elimination final before toppling Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. Geelong defeated Gippsland Power in the elimination final before an impressive victory over Dandenong Stingrays last week.

The Falcons head into the grand final with few injuries, at close to full-strength as possible. The Dragons on the other hand, have a number of question marks, with Ed Newman (suspended) out, and both Nathan Murphy (ankle) and Charlie Constable (tightness) under injury clouds.

This game sees the best outside midfield taking on the best inside midfield, with the Dragons content on using their slick skills and short passing to frustrate opponents, while the Falcons often win the contest through sheer strength, winning the ball at the coal face and booting it inside 50. The winner will be the one that can play the game on their own terms.

Check out the player stat comparisons for the starting 18 here.

KEY PLAYERS:

Andrew Brayshaw – The Geelong Falcons strong inside midfield will have an advantage at the stoppages and it will be up to the Brayshaw brothers, Andrew and Hamish, to turn the game in the Dragons’ favour. The potential first round draftee wins the ball inside and out, as well as 5.4 clearances per game.

Gryan Miers – The dangerous small forward has booted 37 goals in the TAC Cup this season and looms as the key to a Falcons’ victory. He rarely lacks opportunities and if he can have his kicking boots on, he has been prone to booting bags, including a six-goal haul earlier this season.

FIVE KEY FACTORS:

1 Coal face battle – The midfield of James Worpel, Cassidy Parish and Sam Walsh average 16.5 clearances between them, while Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw and Will Walker average 15.5, not too far behind. Add in the fact Walker spends time down forward and it is evenly balanced. Parish and Hamish Brayshaw are the two best extractors in the TAC Cup so going head-to-head will be enthralling.

2 Oh Miers – I briefly mentioned above, but Gryan Miers is one of a number of talented goal sneaks who can really hurt the opposition given the chance. I expect Nathan Murphy – if fit – to take Miers as he is equally strong in the air, or perhaps Bailey Smith or Howie Persson are others potentially seen as match-ups for Miers.

3 Goal sneak battleLachie Noble and Aaron Trusler love to pounce on opportunistic goals and whilst they will be up opposite ends of the ground, the one who impacts the match more could be the difference in what is expected to be a tight game.

4 Key KingsMax King and Ben King are top 10 prospects next year and have already shown impressive glimpses in their bottom-age year. Max has been playing forward, while Ben has taken up a key position post in defence and they will be expected to play a big role in the Dragons’ success this year and next. Ben will likely line-up on Falcons’ key forward Adam Garner, while Max will likely see Josh Jaska stand beside him at the first bounce.

5 Top-end talent – Sandringham had a host of first round draft picks last year and they look set to have a new bunch this year including Charlie Constable, Andrew Brayshaw and Nathan Murphy, leading a huge 19 National and State Combine invitations. For the Falcons, Matt Ling looks set to be the first Falcon taken this year, with James Worpel, Ethan Floyd, Cassidy Parish, David Handley and Gryan Miers among the others that will no doubt be on a number of recruiters lists.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17)

Sandringham goals: Lachlan Harris (2), Isaac Morrisby (2), Will Walker, Kai Owens, Anthony Seaton, William Kennedy.
Geelong goals: Hayden Elliot, Bayley Cockerill.
Sandringham disposals: Geordie Nagle (38), Bailey Smith (34), Angus Styles (33), Seb Williams (32), Will Walker (28), Nathan Murphy (28)
Geelong disposals: Harry Benson (25), Jack Henderson (22), Brayden Ham (20), Cooper Stephens (19), Bayley Cockerill (17), Ethan Floyd (17)

CHANGES FOR GRAND FINAL:

Geelong ins: Josh Jaska, Jarrod Walters, Oscar Brownless, Matt Ling, James Worpel, Sam Walsh, Ed McHenry, Gryan Miers, Tom McCartin, Dane Hollenkamp, Cassidy Parish, David Handley, Mitch Chafer, Sam Conway
Sandringham ins: Charlie Constable, Ben King, Alfie Jarnestrom, Hayden McLean, Max King, Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw, Lucas Barrett*, Sam Cameron*, Josh Gorman*, Aaron Trusler*, Alastair Richards

TEAMS:

Geelong Falcons:
B: 17. Cooper Stephens – 43. Josh Jaska – 26. Jarrod Walters
HB: 30. Oscar Brownless – 39. Connor Idun – 19. Matt Ling
C: 13. Ethan Floyd – 38. James Worpel – 22. Sam Walsh
HF: 7. Harry Benson – 46. Adam Garner – 8. Ed McHenry
F: 4. Gryan Miers – 41. Tom McCartin – 1. Lachie Noble
R: 49. Dane Hollenkamp – 42. Cassidy Parish – 16. David Handley
INT: 11. Mitch Chafer – 44. Sam Conway – 40. Hayden Elliot – 5. Jack Henderson
23rd: 36. Charlie Sprague

Sandringham Dragons:
B: 2. Geordie Nagle – 33. Howie Persson – 37. Bailey Smith
HB: 6. Charlie Constable – 70. Ben King – 74. Nathan Murphy
C: 22. Quintin Montanaro – 8. Will Walker – 10. Angus Styles
HF: 15. Alfie Jarnestrom – 30. Hayden McLean – 5. Seb Williams
F: 1. Lachie Harris – 61. Max King – 20. Kai Owens
R: 29. Joel Amartey – 9. Andrew Brayshaw – 11. Hamish Brayshaw
INT: 3. Lucas Barrett – 24. Sam Cameron – 13. Josh Gorman – 12. Jackson Hille – 25. Max Lohan – 28. Isaac Morrisby – 7. Aaron Trusler (Three to be omitted)
23rd: 58. Alastair Richards

TIP:

On form, fitness and consistency throughout the year, it is hard to look past the Geelong Falcons. Sandringham Dragons leave their best until last and it would not surprise me whatsoever if they got up in this game, but with the Falcons in top-form, cruising along nicely and no injury question marks, I will tip the Falcons by 25 points. I tip Gryan Miers to be named best on ground.

2017 NAB AFL All-Star squads revealed

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

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

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

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

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

Full Squads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAC Cup finals preview: Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER a round of less than underwhelming finals – with the Eastern/Dandenong clash the exception – the top four teams remain in contention for the 2017 TAC Cup premiership. There is one thing for certain – a metropolitan team will face a country team in the grand final for the second consecutive year. In the second match of the day, Oakleigh Chargers take on Sandringham Dragons in the preliminary final at Simonds Stadium with the winner to run out on Etihad in a week’s time.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

Oakleigh: 1st, 15-3, 1653 points for, 993 points against
Sandringham: 4th,11-7, 1360 points for, 1104 points against

Last week Oakleigh produced a blow-out win over Northern Knights, defeating their opponents 15.14 (104) to 4.10 (34) in a game not likely to be remembered fondly by anyone out at Preston. Chargers’ spiritual leader and 2016 captain Jack Roughsedge was instrumental through the middle with 28 disposals (16 contested), 10 clearances, three inside 50s and a goal. Toby Wooller was unstoppable leading out of the forward 50 with 22 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and 3.3 as well as two score assists. Others that impressed included Luke Stacker (26 disposals, six marks and foru clearances), Matthew King (24 disposals, six rebounds) and Charlie Thompson (22 disposals, five inside 50s, 2.2 and an impressive five score assists.

Sandringham on the other hand did not have the most ideal start, trailing Murray Bushrangers at quarter time and then conceding three of the next four goals before putting the foot down with a performance everyone expected of them. They piled on 16 of the next 21 goals to run away with the game in a huge 19.11 (125) to 11.8 (74) victory. There were plenty of standouts in that match including Will Walker who played a large portion forward, booting four goals to go with his 25 disposals, four marks and five clearances, while Hamish Brayshaw was huge again with 25 disposals, six marks, five clearances, eight inside 50s, six tackles and three goals. Others that impressed included Seb Williams (23 disposals, four inside 50s), Charlie Constable (23 disposals, six clearances and four score assists) and Alfie Jarnestrom (21 disposals, five marks, three clearances and three score assists).

The changes:

Unfortunately for Oakleigh, there is a huge out in the form of Toby Wooller. His omission will be felt quite considerably as he was one of the best last week and just leads by example with huge marks and telling goals. The inclusion of Jack Higgins after he missed with a shoulder injury will bring a sigh of relief from the coaches, but it is hard to replace Wooller. Given they lined up without a ruckman last week and Hugh Longbottom shouldered the bulk of the load, the 191cm versatile player will line-up at half-forward with giant Ned Reeves returning, along with Ed Michelmore and Bailey Griffiths.

For Sandringham, Joel Crocker is out after an injury late in the game, as is defender Nathan Murphy with the cricketer-turned-footballer named in the side to face the Chargers but was a late withdrawal. Tall forward/ruck Hayden McLean returns to the gold, as does Sam Cameron and Alastair Richards with three to be omitted from their team named on Thursday night.

The tip:

This game is incredibly hard to tip (like it should be) given Oakleigh has done nothing wrong all year, but Sandringham just know how to peak at the right time. The Chargers are one of only a handful of teams that produce four quarter performances game in, game out, but without Toby Wooller it leaves a massive hole up forward. The Dragons have gone very tall in their line-up, hoping to control the airways over the smaller Chargers, while Oakleigh will hope they use their speed to advantage. In saying that, Sandringham has some serious pace in its line-up and given it is closer to full-strength and coming off a dominant second half, I will pick the Dragons to head into the grand final. However, start like they did against Murray last week and the Dragons could be in serious trouble as the Chargers do not muck around or waste opportunities. It is set to be a cracker.

TAC Cup finals preview: Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers

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 last two games to kick off the round are second taking on seventh and fourth playing fifth. So without further adue, we take a look at the fourth match of the finals series.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers

Sandringham: 4th, 11-7, 1360 points for, 1104 points against, 123%
Murray: 5th, 10-8, 1574 points for, 1380 points against, 114%

Not much has separated Sandringham and Murray all season, but based off the scores alone it is clear Sandringham play a patient, possession game and restrict their opponents defensively and are not afraid of a dog fight. Murray on the other hand have the most points for of any TAC Cup side, but have also conceded 176 points more than any of the top four sides.

Sandringham come into the match with some indifferent form, having won just one match of their past four – a 45-point win over Northern last week after losses to fellow finalists Dandenong, Oakleigh and Eastern, albeit all by a combined 24 points. But Murray’s formline heading into the finals series is one of the worst of all teams, with just an 82-point thrashing of Bendigo Pioneers amongst five losses, including defeats to bottom four sides Calder Cannons and GWV Rebels, as well as seventh and eighth placed sides Gippsland Power and Northern Knights.

Back on May 13, Murray got the better of Sandringham in a 23-point win at Norm Minns Oval. On that day, Ben Paton had 26 disposals and four inside 50s, while Will Donaghey and Angus Hicks had a combined 40 disposals and 10 inside 50s. Meanwhile Hamish Brayshaw had a typical performance with a lazy 32 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances, eight tackles, five inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals, while Max Lohan (20 disposals, 10 rebounds), Quintin Montanaro (22 disposals, four clearances) and Aaron Trusler (18 disposals, two goals) were also solid in defeat.

Key players:

Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons) 23.1 disposals, 6.1 marks, 2.7 tackles, 1.0 goals

The potential top 10 pick has been ultra-consistent this season, but I am looking forward to seeing if he can really take control in the finals series and being this year’s Tim Taranto. He has a big frame and is so well balanced and he is a player that can do some serious damage to opposition teams. I called for a lift from Luke Davies-Uniacke in yesterday’s game and he duly delivered, so now Charlie it is over to you for a best on ground performance.

Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers) 23.5 disposals, 5.0 marks, 3.5 tackles, 0.2 goals

The rebounding over-age defender will be crucial in Murray’s quest for a win here given Jordon Butts is out with injury. While Butts’ loss is offset by the injury to Hayden McLean, top 10 pick next year Max King returns and slots straight into a key forward post. Despite being ill in recent weeks, Paton will need to provide plenty of intercept marks and rebound if his side is to win.

The Final Word:

Looking at pure form and potential it is hard to go past Sandringham in this match. The reigning premiers have a ridiculous amount of players who have been nominated for the national and state draft combines and their depth is crazy good. The Bushrangers produced their best earlier in the season, but will need to rekindle that form if they are to be a chance in this game as the return of the star players from the National Under 18s Championships have dropped Murray down a peg or two.

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.