Tag: Joel Crocker

The run home: Sandringham Dragons

ANYTHING to do with statistical analysis on the Sandringham Dragons this season – or most seasons to this point of the year – is largely irrelevant. The majority of the Dragons list plays school football, making at times as many as 17 changes when it starts or stops, and up to nine or 10 changes each week depending on which school has the bye, and other injuries or omissions. To sit third after 14 rounds ahead of getting their top-end talent back is remarkable. After storming to three wins with a full-strength side, the Dragons dropped the next few games as they tinkered with their line-up. But since then, their form has been as good as any side in the competition, and now they face two genuine premiership contenders in the final two rounds. The Round 16 showdown between the Dragons and Dandenong Stingrays could well be a Grand Final preview, in what will be a fantastic spectacle to watch.

Wins: 10
Losses: 4
Draws: 0
Position: 3rd
Points For: 874 (8th)
Points Against: 976 (8th)
Percentage: 90
Points: 40

Fixtures:

R15: vs. Oakleigh Chargers – Avalon Airport Oval
R16: vs. Dandenong Stingrays – Trevor Barker Beach Oval

National Combine Invitations: [7] Joel Crocker, Angus Hanrahan, Will Kennedy, Ben King, Max King, Bailey Smith, Liam Stocker

State Combine Invitations: [4] Harry Houlahan, James Rendell, Harry Reynolds, Alastair Richards

Sandringham had the second most invitees of any side to the National Combine, receiving an impressive seven invitations. Given two of them have been injured practically the entire year – Joel Crocker (since last year’s finals) and Max King (first round of school football) – it shows the quality that could have been in this finals series coming up. With Ben King and Bailey Smith linking up, and the likes of Liam Stocker on the inside and Angus Hanrahan on the outside, the Dragons pose a huge threat to any side hoping to claim the flag this year. Will Kennedy and James Rendell are strong bookends, while Harry Houlahan and Alastair Richards have proven to be handy this season. We will get a much better idea of where the Dragons sit in the next two weeks with wholesale changes returning to the line-up for Sunday’s game.

Top Fives:

Disposals:

1 – Liam Stocker – 216 (43rd overall)
2 – Nicholas Stamatis – 189
3 – Ryan Byrnes – 176
4 – Corey Watts – 168
5 – Kai Owens – 162

Marks:

1 – Corey Watts – 55 (21st overall)
2 – Nicholas Stamatis – 35
2 – James Rendell – 35
4 – Kai Owens – 33
5 – Liam Stocker – 32
5 – Will Kennedy – 32

Contested Possessions:

1 – Liam Stocker – 115 (18th overall)
2 – Ryan Byrnes – 95
3 – Kai Owens – 68
4 – James Rendell – 67
5 – Nicholas Stamatis – 58

Tackles:

1 – Kai Owens – 51 (eq. 31st overall)
2 – Dawit McNeish – 50
3 – Liam Stocker – 49
4 – Ryan Byrnes – 44
5 – James Rendell – 41

Hitouts:

1 – Andrew Courtney – 183 (6th overall)
2 – James Rendell – 104
3 – Joe Griffiths – 99
4 – Ethan Casey – 69
5 – Fischer McAsey – 28

Clearances:

1 – Liam Stocker – 52 (eq. 12th overall)
2 – Ryan Byrnes – 33
3 – Kai Owens – 30
4 – Bailey Smith – 23
5 – Dawit McNeish – 22

Inside 50s:

1 – Liam Stocker – 53 (7th overall)
2 – Alastair Richards – 38
3 – James Rendell – 30
3 – Nicholas Stamatis – 30
5 – Ryan Byrnes – 27

Rebounds:

1 – Corey Watts – 36 (eq. 15th overall)
2 – Liam Stocker – 21
2 – Jackson Voss – 21
4 – Nicholas Stamatis – 19
4 – Miles Bergman – 19

Goals:

1 – James Rendell – 12 (eq. 25th overall)
2 – Nicholas Stamatis – 8
2 – Harry Bede – 8
2 – Max King – 8
5 – Jack Denborough – 7

Eighty invited to National AFL Draft Combine

VIC Metro has dominated the nominations for the National AFL Draft Combine with more than one third of the invitees coming from Metro, and more than half from Victoria. South Australia’s title-winning side has the next most with 13, including mature-ager Shane McAdam. Sturt’s McAdam is one of two mature agers to be invited to the combine, with Werribee’s Josh Corbett also gaining an invite. Western Australia has 11 invitees, while Tasmania and Queensland (four each) and NSW-ACT (three) round out the total nominees with no Northern Territory player invited.

There are six Northern Academy-tied players invited – Nick Blakey (Sydney), Kieren Briggs (GWS GIANTS), Keidean Coleman and Connor McFadyen (Brisbane), and Dirk Koenen and Bailey Scott (Gold Coast). Additionally there are a raft of father-sons, such as Oscar BrownlessRhylee WestWill KellyBen Silvagni and Joel Crocker, whilst Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne), Jarrod Cameron (West Coast), Irving Mosquito (Hawthorn) and Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) are others tied to Next Generation Academies.

In terms of individual clubs, Oakleigh Chargers (eight), Sandringham Dragons (seven), Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays (both five), Murray Bushrangers, Western Jets, Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power (all four) lead the way, with the remaining four TAC Cup clubs having a nominee each. For interstate clubs, Sturt and Perth both have three players invited.

The 80 players will test in front of clubs from October 2-5.

National AFL Draft Combine invitees:

NSW-ACT [3]
Nick Blakey (Sydney Academy)
Kieren Briggs (GWS Academy)
Jacob Koschitzke (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland [4]
Keidean Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Dirk Koenen (Gold Coast Academy)
Connor McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Bailey Scott (Gold Coast Academy)

South Australia [13]
Jez McLennan (Central District)
Ben Jarvis (Norwood)
Izak Rankine (West Adelaide)
Tom Sparrow (South Adelaide)
Jackson Hately (Central District)
Jacob Kennerley (Norwood)
Connor Rozee (North Adelaide)
Luke Valente (Norwood)
Shane McAdam (Sturt)
Hayden Sampson (South Adelaide)
Riley Grundy (Sturt)
Jack Lukosius (Woodville West Torrens)
Hugo Munn (Sturt)

Tasmania [4]
Nicholas Baker (Lauderdale)
Chayce Jones (Launceston)
Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston)
Fraser Turner (Clarence)

VFL [1]
Josh Corbett (Werribee)

Vic Country [19]
Zane Barzen (Murray Bushrangers)
Toby Bedford (Dandenong Stingrays)
Thomas Berry (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Riley Bowman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons)
Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power)
Zac Foot (Dandenong Stingrays)
Will Hamill (Dandenong Stingrays)
Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons)
Matt McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Ned McHenry (Geelong Falcons)
Irving Mosquito (Gippsland Power)
Kyle Reid (Gippsland Power)
Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers)
Charlie Sprague (Geelong Falcons)
Laitham Vandermeer (Murray Bushrangers)
Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Metro [25]
Daly Andrews (Western Jets)
Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Blanck (Eastern Ranges)
Zak Butters (Western Jets)
Jack Bytel (Calder Cannons)
Riley Collier-Dawkins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Golds (Oakleigh Chargers)
Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers)
William Kennedy (Sandringham Dragons)
Buku Khamis (Western Jets)
Ben King (Sandringham Dragons)
Max King (Sandringham Dragons)
Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights)
Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets)
Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers)
Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Sholl (Calder Cannons)
Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh Chargers)
Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)
Liam Stocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons)
Rhylee West (Calder Cannons)

Western Australia [11]
Jarrod Cameron (Swan Districts)
Jordan Clark (Claremont)
Luke English (Perth)
Damon Greaves (East Perth)
Luke Foley (Subiaco)
Ian Hill (Perth)
Tom Joyce (East Fremantle)
Dillon O’Reilly (East Fremantle)
Tyron Smallwood (Claremont)
Sydney Stack (Perth)
Durak Tucker (Peel Thunder)

Mid-Season Review: 2018 APS season

AT the mid-point in the Associated Public Schools (APS) Australian Rules competition, we take a look at how each of the schools are going and some of the names who have stood out, both TAC Cup-listed players and non TAC Cup-listed players. For those schools in the Associated Grammar Schools (AGS), we will review them next week.

Brighton Grammar (BGS)

R1: lost to Scotch by 11 points
R2: defeated Caulfield by 16 points
R3: defeated Geelong College by 10 points
R4: lost to Carey by nine points
R5: lost to Haileybury by 23 points
R6: lost to St Kevin’s by 55 points

Summary:

Brighton have won two games this season and will be hoping to turn their form around in the second half of the season. A narrow defeat to Scotch College in the opening round was followed by two wins over Caulfield Grammar and Geelong College, but Brighton has since lost its past three games, albeit two by narrow margins, including the undefeated Haileybury by under four goals. Brighton Grammar lost their key defender Oscar Lewis, in the opening quarter in their hard fought win against Caulfield Grammar. North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker is also out for the season, after an ankle injury at school training required surgery. Captain Harry Reynolds could be a name to pencil in, with a few clubs tracking the utility. Sandringham Dragons bottom-ager Louis Butler has been their standout, with multiple BOG performances. 

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Carey Grammar (CY)

R1: lost to Melbourne Grammar by 32 points
R2: defeated Geelong Grammar by 38 points
R3: lost to St Kevin’s by 48 points
R4: defeated Brighton by nine points
R5: defeated Wesley by six points
R6: defeated Xavier by one point

Summary:

A strong Carey team is sitting third on the APS ladder and this is largely due to its midfield strength. Bottom-agers Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson already project as top 10 prospects for next year’s AFL National Draft, with the duo combining as Carey’s best on ground on multiple occasions this year. Despite his size, Rowell competes with the stronger inside midfielders in the draft pool with his quick hands on the inside a key trait – while Anderson is a big ball winner and can hurt you with his disposal. Young Nick Daicos is a while away from his draft year, but has booted some goals throughout the year. Midfielder Oliver Simpson and school captain Bailey Wraith have also had some good moments throughout the season. A one-point win over the previously undefeated Xavier was a massive result, with losses to Melbourne Grammar and St Kevin’s earlier in the season the only two defeats.

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Caulfield Grammar (CAUL)

R1: defeated Wesley by 48 points
R2: lost to Brighton by 16 points
R3: lost to Melbourne by 43 points
R4: lost to Xavier by 81 points
R5: defeated Geelong College by seven points
R6: Bye

Summary:

Caulfield Grammar has managed to have two wins this season, either side of three losses. An ugly 81-point loss to Xavier College was the worst of the bunch, but Caulfield has shown it is more than capable of performing when required, defeating Wesley by eight goals, and getting past Geelong College in a thriller. Sandringham Dragons’ 198cm prospect Will Kennedy is an interesting one – he has been playing all around the ground this season up forward and through the midfield. Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Jack Ross has provided a hard edge to the Caulfield on-ball brigade showcasing his clean his hands in congestion. He is a player that puts on a lot of tackling pressure through out games. Ryan Pietsch is a defender who got the better of Ben Silvagni when the Carlton father-son prospect had plenty of opportunities in Xavier’s 81-point win. Pietsch is strong one-on-one and also has the ability to play forward.

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Geelong College (GC)

R1: lost to Xavier by 64 points
R2: defeated Wesley by 12 points
R3: lost to Brighton by 10 points
R4: Bye 
R5: lost to Caulfield by seven points
R6: defeated Scotch by 18

Summary:

Geelong College has won two games from its five games thus far this season which is a good result. Aside from a forgettable 10-goal loss to Xavier in Round 1, Geelong College has been competitive in every match, losing its other two games by a combined 17 points, while winning its two games by a combined 30 points. Geelong College’s best player is first round prospect Ned McHenry. The inside midfielder won the contested ball and knows where the goals are, and almost single handedly got Geelong College over the line against Brighton Grammar back in Round 3. Forward Charlie Sprague is another who has been named among the best and looms as an underrated prospect in the 2018 draft crop after a good year as a bottom-ager last season. Looking to the future, 16 year-old Charlie Lazarro has been named among the best on several occasions including in the victory against Wesley and the loss to Xavier.

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Geelong Grammar (GGS)

R1: lost to Haileybury by 156 points
R2: lost to Carey by 38 points
R3: lost to Scotch by 45 points
R4: lost to St Kevin’s by 53 points
R5: Bye
R6: defeated Melbourne by 18 points

Summary:

Geelong Grammar started their season with four straight losses, including the horrific 156-point demolition at the hands of Hailebury. But after a tough month which saw them face a number of the top sides, they broke through for their first win, defeating Melbourne Grammar by three goals. The school has remarkable top-end talent with three AFL Academy members including Bendigo Pioneers’ Jye Caldwell and Brodie Kemp. Caldwell has played mostly on the outside, but has shown he can win the football at school football level when required. Kemp has been solid as a tall, working hard in the Grammar side despite the losses mounting. Gippsland Power’s Caleb Serong is a lively prospect for next year’s draft and will be doing plenty of travelling – to go from Geelong Grammar back home to Gippsland throughout the year. Serong has smarts around goal and is also a useful inside midfielder and has been named in the best on multiple occasions. Another name to keep an eye on is Thomson Dow who is the bottom-aged brother of Carlton’s Paddy and has been okay throughout the season. Tanner Bruhn turned 16 last weekend and has been another youngster who has put in some promising performances.

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Haileybury (HY)

R1: defeated Geelong Grammar by 156 points
R2: defeated St Kevin’s by 33 points
R3: Bye
R4: defeated Melbourne by 24 points
R5: defeated Brighton by 23 points
R6: defeated Wesley by 68 points

Summary:

Haileybury are sitting on top of the ladder undefeated and are looking good for the premiership. With a number of AFL Academy members it is no surprise that Hailebury are the benchmark in the competition to date. They destroyed Geelong Grammar in the opening round when Ben King piled on 10 goals, and has since taken his tally to 29 in five games. His ability to play at either end is remarkable and it would be hard not to see him amongst the top few picks in the 2018 AFL National Draft. His brother Max is unfortunately out for the season after injuring his knee in the opening round. Heath Briggs has also been one of Haileybury’s best, while Cody Weightman impresses every week as a small forward. Mitch Riordan is another top talent who could be a first round prospect.

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Melbourne Grammar (MGS)

R1: defeated Carey by 32 points
R2: defeated Scotch by 26 points
R3: defeated Caulfield by 43 points
R4: lost to Haileybury by 24 points
R5: lost to St Kevin’s by 72 points
R6: lost to Geelong Grammar by 18 points

Summary:

Melbourne Grammar is sitting three and three this season, starting the year on fire with three victories, before losing its next three games, including a 12-goal defeat at the hands of St Kevin’s and a three-goal loss to the previously winless Geelong Grammar. Melbourne Grammar vice-captain Toby Bedford has been exciting, with the Dandenong Stingrays mid/forward using his game-breaking speed to disrupt the opposition and he shows clean hands in congestion, putting a lot of tackle pressure on his opponents. Darcy Chirgwin has also been impressive, with his solid work rate throughout games and hitting contest after contest with 110 percent. Sam Connock has been playing forward and competes and reads the play well, taking a number of good marks this season. Oakleigh Chargers’ Sydney Swans father-son prospect Kyle Dunkley has been named among the best, with the Sale product one to watch.

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Scotch College (SC)

R1: defeated Brighton by 11 points
R2: lost to Carey by 38 points
R3: defeated Geelong Grammar by 45 points
R4: lost to Wesley by one point
R5: lost to Xavier by 13 points
R6: lost to Geelong College by 18 points

Summary:

Scotch College started the year well with a win over Brighton Grammar, but have won just one game in the past four outings, albeit with some unlucky losses along the way. New recruit – Maurice Rioli Jnr will turn some heads throughout the year. While the Northern Territory Under 16 prospect is still very raw, he has shown a tenacious tackling ability and booted a freak goal against Xavier a few weeks ago. Finn Maginness has played well in the midfield, while Collingwood father-son prospect Will Kelly had been utilised up forward and is a very strong mark. Defenders Reef McInness and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan mark outstandingly well in the defensive 50 – with Ugle-Hagan definitely a name to keep an eye on for years to come.

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St Kevin’s College (SKC)

R1: Bye
R2: lost to Haileybury by 33 points
R3: defeated Carey by 48 points
R4: defeated Geelong Grammar by 53 points
R5: defeated Melbourne by 72 points
R6: defeated Brighton by 55 points

Summary

This season St Kevin’s have a strong team with four boys making the Vic Metro squad. Having lost their first game to Haileybury, the team has been able to bounce back, not losing a game since and winning every game in excess of eight goals. Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West is an inside beast who has been playing up forward a lot more and has been hitting the scoreboard every week. It has given his game another layer. Alastair Richards is having a terrific start to the season, often arching his back and taking the game on, as well as hitting the scoreboard for St Kevin’s. James Rowbottom is a big ball winning midfielder who adds plenty of defensive pressure and importantly hits the scoreboard. His hands in close have been great and he also has some breakaway speed from the stoppages. Angus Hanrahan is an interesting prospect who has shown he can play up forward. He is a natural footballer with elite use of the footy on his left and right foot and plenty of X-factor. Others that have impressed include bottom-age prospect Jack Mahony, as well as non TAC Cup-listed players defender Matthew Presutto and forward Will James.

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Wesley College (WC)

R1: lost to Caulfield by 48 points
R2: lost to Geelong College by 12 points
R3: lost to Xavier by 59 points
R4: defeated Scotch by one point
R5: lost to Carey by six points
R6: lost to Haileybury by 68 points

Summary:

Wesley College has managed one win this season, defeating Scotch by the narrowest of margins. Aside from close defeats to Carey Grammar (six points) and Geelong College (12 points), Wesley has suffered three defeats by more than eight goals, granted two of them came against the premiership favourites. Wesley College do not have a standout draft prospect, but have shown they can match is with some of the stronger schools, with a consistent spread of players across the board. Oscar Jackson and Charlie Dean have been prominent players for the Lions, booting goals on multiple occasions including combining for seven majors in Wesley’s only victory of the season. Nick Sund is another player who has been named among the best on a number of occasions.

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Xavier College (XC)

R1: defeated Geelong College by 64 points
R2: Bye
R3: defeated Wesley by 69 points
R4: defeated Caulfield by 81 points
R5: defeated Scotch by 13 points
R6: lost to Carey by one point

Summary:

One of the strongest Xavier College teams in recent memory, the side lost its first game of the season in round six to Carey by one point. The team is a really well coached and structured and is led by potential top 10 draft pick and captain Bailey Smith who has been playing predominantly in the midfield. Smith leads from the front using the ball exceptionally well. He has the ability to win the footy on the inside and outside and uses his pace to break away from stoppages and take the game on. Potential Carlton father-son Ben Silvagni is yet to tear a game apart, but does have impact within games. He uses his body well in marking contests and also reads the play well. Joe Ayton-Delaney has been impressive, using his foot-skills to great effect, while Oakleigh teammate Charlie Whitehead has been good in congestion and shows great decision making skills and composure. What is really impressive is his endeavour to put pressure on his opponents. Teammate and small forward Zac Hart is quick and able to use the ball well and kicks goals. Others who have also impressed include Zak Evans, Charles Holmes, Harrison Bell and Sam Stynes.

Editors predict tight year for TAC Cup teams

AFTER a long off-season, the TAC Cup boys are ready to follow their female counterparts in kicking off their 2018 campaigns this weekend. In what is predicted to be a super year for draft talent, there is no shortage of future AFL stars across the 12 TAC Cup clubs and we are excited to bring you plenty of content throughout the year.

Rewind to last year and the Geelong Falcons took out the premiership, defeating Sandringham Dragons in a thrilling grand final for the ages, coming down to a last-second miss by the Dragons to hand the Falcons a drought-breaking win. It was a lot closer by the final siren than many predicted after Geelong hero Gryan Miers booted seven goals as the country side looked set to run away with the contest in the final term. But to the Dragons credit, they fought back and took it up to the Falcons, narrowly missing out on back-to-back flags.

Both sides are expected to be around the mark once again, as both teams have no shortage of AFL AIS Academy stars and some envious depth. Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry lead the Falcons’ midfield brigade, while Oscar Brownless is a developing utility with strong bloodlines. Connor Idun, Blake Schlensog and Charlie Sprague are potential X-factors this season for the reigning premiers. For Sandringham, it is hard to look past the much talked about King twins, with Max and Ben both expected to be top 10 picks – if not both top five. Captain Bailey Smith will not be far behind them after an outstanding bottom-age season, while Joel Crocker is another to keep in mind for this year.

Other country teams expected to be around the mark are Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers, with Dandenong having a wealth of AIS AFL Academy talls and smalls, while Murray has an experienced list for the season ahead. Reeling off some names for the Stingrays, Bailey Williams, Riley Bowman, Stephen Cumming and Matthew Cumming are four top-end talent talls who are likely to fill holes across the key position posts, while Sam Fletcher and Mitch Riordan will impact through the midfield along with the dangerous Jai Nanscawen up forward. For Murray, Zane Barzen is the top prospect with all the class in the world, while talls Hudson Garoni, Mark Marriott, Ben Kelly and the pint sized Kyle Clarke are others to watch.

Looking across to the metropolitan regions, Oakleigh Chargers and Calder Cannons are other sides likely to challenge at the business end of the season. Oakleigh are perennial achievers, and it will be no surprise to see them near the top of the ladder again. The Chargers have midfielders Xavier O’Neill and Charlie Whitehead leading the attack, while Isaac Quaynor will be a key in defence. Joseph Ayton-Delaney and Riley Collier-Dawkins are other players to keep an eye on, with a mosquito fleet likely to cause headaches for opposition clubs. For the Cannons, their AFL AIS Academy members in Curtis Taylor, Jack Bytel and Rhylee West are names that jump off the page, while the likes of father-son prospect Mason Fletcher, Jack Evans and Lachlan Sholl are others that could impress throughout the season.

Gippsland Power’s top prospect in 2018 is Xavier Duursma, while the Power also have a couple of electrifying smalls in Irving Mosquito and the returning Tyrone Hayes. For Bendigo Pioneers, Jacob Atley and Jye Caldwell are two midfielders to watch this season, while tall forward Daine Grace could provide some X-factor inside the forward 50. GWV Rebels also have a talented midfield with Thomas Berry, Scott Carlin and Matty Lloyd, all of whom will be well supported by tall target Tylar Watts.

Western Jets have a strong core of midfielders leading the way in 2018, with 2017 best and fairest winner Stefan Radovanovic, Zac Butters, Connor Thar and Xavier O’Halloran among the top prospects, while Buku Khamis and Oskar Manton are likely to sure up the defensive end. Eastern Ranges might not have the huge roll-call of AFL AIS Academy members they had last year, but Ben Cardamone, Kye Quirk and Cody Hirst are just some of the names that might catch draft watchers eyes. Finally, Northern Knights midfielders Braedyn Gillard and Tom McKenzie will compliment each other well, while Joseph Ciranna, Harrison Grace, Kye Yodgee and Patrik Della Rocca are other names that will be closely watched in 2018.

AFL Draft Central Editor predictions:

Peter Williams
Chief Editor

Premier: Dandenong Stingrays
Runner-Up: Geelong Falcons
Top 4: Dandenong, Geelong, Oakleigh, Murray
Wildcard Weekend: Sandringham, Calder, Western, GWV, Eastern, Gippsland, Northern, Bendigo
Morrish Medallist: Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons)

Matt Balmer
Draft Editor

Premier: Sandringham Dragons
Runner-Up: Oakleigh Chargers
Top 4: Sandringham, Oakleigh, Dandenong, Geelong
Wildcard Weekend: Eastern, Murray, Calder, Western, Northern, Bendigo, GWV, Gippsland
Morrish Medallist: Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons)

Michael Alvaro
News Editor

Premier: Geelong Falcons
Runner-Up: Dandenong Stingrays
Top 4: Geelong, Sandringham, Dandenong, Oakleigh
Wildcard Weekend: Murray, Calder, Western, Gippsland, Northern, GWV, Eastern, Bendigo
Morrish Medallist: Zane Barzen (Murray Bushrangers)

Peter Bonadio
Features Editor

Premier: Geelong Falcons
Runner-Up: GWV Rebels
Top 4: Geelong, Sandringham, Oakleigh, Dandenong
Wildcard Weekend: Western, Eastern, GWV, Northern, Gippsland, Calder, Murray, Bendigo
Morrish Medallist: Tom Berry (GWV Rebels)

TAC Cup preview: Sandringham Dragons

SANDRINGHAM Dragons were only a kick away from winning back-to-back TAC Cup titles last year, and with plenty of top talent in 2018 – they will be looking to make it three consecutive Grand Final berths. The Dragons produced seven draftees last year, headlined by Andrew Brayshaw – who was drafted by Fremantle with the second pick overall. 2018 will see the Dragons put out a taller team than previous seasons and hold two of the best key position players in the entire 2018 draft pool in the King twins.

The Haileybury College students Max & Ben both tower over 200cm and the AFL Academy members will be right in the mix as top five selections for the 2018 draft. Bailey Smith’s superb season across half-back and in the midfield, pushed him into the AFL Academy squad and the Dragons’ 2018 captain will be looking to progress into a full-time midfielder during the season. Smith’s bottom-age year was headlined by his 44 disposal, 13 inside 50s and 10 clearances game against Western Jets in Round 14 of the 2017 TAC Cup.

Another player that will feature heavily in the Dragons’ pursuit for success will be North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker (son of Darren). The rangy hybrid midfielder impressed last year at school football for Brighton Grammar playing in defence and is a good ball user by foot. The agile Crocker missed the latter parts of the Dragons 2017 campaign due to an ankle injury, but expect him to feature prominently this season.

Nineteen year-old 200cm tall Joe Griffiths might be one to keep an eye on, coming to the TAC Cup club for the first time after the boarder performed well in the ruck for Geelong Grammar at school football, earning him a State Combine invite. Ethan Casey will also return from an ACL injury and will battle it out in the ruck alongside vice-captain James Rendell (son of Fitzroy and Brisbane ruckman Matt). There’s no doubting opposition teams will need to have plenty of tall timber to combat the Dragons team.

Tom Long, Alastair Richards, Liam Stocker, Harry Houlahan and Ryan Macdermid are a handful of players who had experience as bottom-agers and they will be looking to progress their football in 2018. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Ollie) is another player who performed well at school football for St Kevin’s College in 2017, and might be a player to track during the year. Alongside Hanrahan, Rendell and Crocker – there are some other familiar last names down at the Dragons with Finn Maginness (son of Hawthorn premiership player Scott), Jai Florent (brother of Sydney’s Ollie), Jeremy Goddard (brother of St Kilda’s Hugh), Jackson Voss (son of former Saint Brett) and Tyson Milne (son of former St Kilda goalsneak Steven).

2017 Stats:

2017 Summary:

The Dragons were not far off back-to-back premierships in a see-sawing TAC Cup Grand Final that saw them come from 20 points down at three-quarter time to nearly storm home and get the win, after Geelong Falcons small forward Gryan Miers booted seven goals. They begun the season with a bang at Ikon Park, with bottom-age forward Max King bagging six marks and booting four goals. Hamish Brayshaw returned in the second half of the season after VFL commitments for Sandringham Zebras and used his power in the middle of the ground to push the Dragons side deep into the finals, eventually helping the 19 year-old find himself on an AFL list by the end of the year. Although they lost some games throughout the season that they ultimately should’ve won, the ‘next man up’ attitude at the Dragons saw them able to cover their losses during the season when the APS and AGSV school football commitments popped up.

2018 Snapshot:

The Dragons begin the season at Skybus Stadium in Frankston against Northern Knights, before playing the Oakleigh Chargers and Calder Cannons before school football season kicks-off. If the Dragons can win all three winnable games, it should set them up for the season that will see them juggle plenty of squad members as best as they can. With the Dragons’ strong squad, if they can avoid having to play off during the ‘Wildcard’ round in the lead up to finals, they should be able to progress deep into September for yet another year.

2018 Fixture:

Sandringham Dragons 2018

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticle
Frankston Oval
Rams Arena
Trevor Barker Oval
Norm Minns Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Morwell Recreational Reserve
Trevor Barker Oval
Shepley Oval
Warrawee Park
Trevor Barker Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
MARS Stadium
Trevor Barker Oval
Box Hill City Oval
Avalon Airport Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Ikon Park

Sandringham Dragons 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.

Sandringham Dragons

Finished: 2nd
Wins: 13
Losses: 8
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 123
Points: 44 (eliminated in grand final)

Players Drafted: (7)

  • Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)
  • Will Walker (North Melbourne)
  • Charlie Constable (Geelong)
  • Nathan Murphy (Collingwood)
  • Hamish Brayshaw (West Coast)
  • Angus Styles (Sydney)
  • Joel Amartey (Sydney)

2017 Review:

In 2016, Sandringham Dragons were the talk of the AFL Draft world with an abundance of draftees in the first round to complement their premiership. In 2017, they had an impressive seven players drafted, including the Brayshaw brothers – Andrew and Hamish – heading to Perth, Will Walker picked by North Melbourne, Charlie Constable heading down the highway to the Cattery and Nathan Murphy donning the black and white stripes for season 2018. Meanwhile in the rookie draft, Angus Styles and Joel Amartey were reunited within a round of each other as the pair was selected by Sydney.

On the field in 2017, Sandringham had another impressive season, finishing top four and then making its way to the grand final after defeating Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. At half-time in the grand final against the Geelong Falcons it looked like the Dragons would win back-to-back flags, but a dismal third quarter turned the game on its head. In a remarkable turnaround, the Dragons stormed home and almost stole the flag back with Amartey marking just before the siren, but his kick missed and the Falcons breathed a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, the Dragons had yet another strong season.

In 2018, the Dragons are the envy of the competition with the best 1-2 tall combo in twins Max and Ben King. Along with them, there are quite a few talented players who will divide their TAC Cup time with their school football. Another big year is predicted for Sandringham.

###

2018 Preview:

Sandringham Dragons have the much talked about twin-towers in Max and Ben King who can play either end or through the ruck. In 2017, Max played up forward and pinch hit in the ruck, while Ben primarily stayed down back, occasionally reliving the ruckman when in the defensive 50. Bailey Smith is another player who could push into the top 10 come draft night, with the outside midfielder spending the majority of his time in defence this season and showing he has no issues finding the ball.

Max King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 81kg | Key Position Forward/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 7.7 disposals | 3.4 marks | 7.7 hitouts | 1.4 goals | 57% KE | 65% DE | 63% CP

Max primarily played the ruck/forward role at TAC Cup level and was impressive in the air and in front of goal. He covered the ground well and showed off his versatility having had an ultra-impressive year for Haileybury in the APS competition. He is one of a number of players likely to command a top five pick in next year’s draft.

Ben King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 79kg | Key Position Defender/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (9) 13.7 disposals | 4.8 marks | 0.8 tackles | 2.2 rebounds | 69% KE | 77% DE | 42% CP

Ben played down back for the Dragons and was strong overhead and used also as a rebounding defender. He has a long effective kick and also played forward during the school season with Haileybury teammate Oscar Clavarino holding down the fort in defence. He reads the play well and could well go top five with his brother.

Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons) 183cm | 74kg | Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (12) 24.3 disposals | 4.1 marks | 2.3 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 3.9 rebounds | 73% KE | 77% DE | 38% CP

A huge ball winner in the TAC Cup last season, Smith showed he was capable of playing midfield mid-season when his teammates were unavailable during the National Under 18s Championships, then was dominant in defence often tasked with the kick-out duties. He is a deadly kick of the football and averaged almost four rebounds per game, so expect him to settle into the midfield and see what he is capable of with a full-time role in there.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons) 188cm | 69kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (5) 16.4 disposals | 4.4 marks | 1.4 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 56% KE | 65% DE | 28% CP

Nicholas Stamatis (Sandringham Dragons) 175cm | 70kg | Small Utility
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 13.5 disposals | 2.2 marks | 4.4 tackles | 2.1 inside 50s | 65% KE | 76% DE | 32% CP

###

Summary:

Sandringham Dragons have been the most successful team of the past two years and with their twin towers and multiple other talents already emerging, it is clear 2018 is another year likely to keep smiles on the faces of the Dragons faithful. They had the seven players drafted in 2017, following on from a remarkable 2016 draft period. They will be up there with the best at the end of the 2018 season so do not be surprised to see them playing deep into September.

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.

Victorian school football update August edition

WE ARE at the end of the season in the APS and AGSV Victorian school boy football competition and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have stood out in the last few rounds after the school holidays.

The annual APS v AGSV game was held on Saturday, with the APS running out 38-point winners. You can find the stats from the game at the bottom of this page.

SCOUTING NOTES: APS v AGSV rep game

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 39-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE JUNE EDITION

APS:

Haileybury College completed a perfect season as the clear best team in the APS, with a record of 10-0. Coming back from two ACL injuries, Aiden Bonar returned through the seconds at Haileybury but made an impact in his first game back against St Kevin’s. In their final clash at Geelong Grammar, Charlie Constable (46 disposals) and Andrew Brayshaw (42 disposals) were the two stars dominating through the midfield, using the ball well. Unfortunately after representing Dandenong Stingrays through the holidays, Jack McHale suffered a serious knee injury against St Kevin’s. Jackson Ross continued his fine form throughout the season booting six goals in their big win over Geelong Grammar, taking his tally to 29 goals for the season. Both bottom age twins Max and Ben King were far too good for the opposition defenders up forward.

Carey Grammar finished as runners-up, winning nine games for the season. Ed Richards was yet again impressive against St Kevin’s at the Snakepit, rebounding the ball well and using his clean quick hands in close. Richards was also a dominant player in the APS v AGS game on Saturday, finding 33 disposals. Under 16 Vic Metro guns Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson used their smarts in the midfield and despite being younger than many of their opponents, continued to crack in and win the contested ball. Charlie Thompson won plenty of the ball and showed his skills going forward and booting six goals against Geelong Grammar. Carey bottom-ager Sam Elliott (son of Australian cricketer Matthew) has a good leap on him, playing in the ruck and up forward and will be a name to keep an eye on for next year.

Caulfield Grammar were well led by Vic Metro midfielder Dylan Moore who has been one of the premium midfielders in the APS competition. Moore booted six goals (five in the second half) against Melbourne Grammar in shocking conditions at Todd Rd. Moore found the ball at ease and was damaging going forward. Against Brighton, Moore was well held for most of the game but a damaging patch in the third quarter saw him collect a dozen possessions and boot three goals. His last quarter was pivotal in their come from behind win over Wesley in Round 11. Trent Mynott was another strong player against Melbourne, but suffered an ankle injury against Brighton in Round 10. Jackson Hille’s pinch hitting in the ruck was important and he showed some good signs in the second half of the season and was able to push himself onto the State Combine list. On the inside, Brisbane Lions father-son prospect and Caulfield captain Lachlan Harris continued to find plenty of the ball in the contest. Angus Styles’ ball winning was important against Wesley in the final game of the season.

One of Xavier College’s possible draft prospects CJ (Changkuoth Jiath) missed the last few games through injury, but there was plenty of other Xavier players to step up. Zak “Cherry” Evans has shown his strength up forward, booting four goals against Geelong College. Laitham Vandermeer however, might be their best draft hopeful with the rebounding defender using his pinpoint kick to effectiveness throughout the season. Jack Hewitt was their clear best against Wesley College, booting three goals and finding the ball through the midfield.

Brighton Grammar finished the year with a 6-4 record and have been able to unearth another AFL draft prospect in Nathan Murphy. The medium forward has been their prime target up forward and brought his goal kicking boots to Caulfield Grammar, where he kicked 6.0 setting up their win. The talented cricketer has plenty of suitors and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him move up into the first round, after showing his clean skills at ground level. Alfie Jarnestrom made it back-to-back best and fairest wins, after tieing with Andrew McGrath last year. Jarnestrom has moved to more of a role across half back and has used his tidy left foot to effectiveness, still finding the ball when playing through the midfield. Seb Williams was consistent throughout the year, finding 40 disposals as Brighton’s best against Geelong College in Round nine. Williams has speed and a good endurance base, and the midfielder has been invited to test at the State Combine. Year 11 Ruckman Nick Phillips has improved dramatically and his selection in the APS rep team showed how far he has come after a quiet 1st XVIII season as a Yr 10 last season. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker was Brighton’s most improved, looking at home as a hybrid defender, rebounding the ball well, showing good signs for next season.

St Kevin’s College had a solid year, with Lachlan Fogarty performing well in the midfield. Down in defence Ethan Phillips held his own as one of the better key backs in the competition. Cam Hodges was impressive throughout the season, thoroughly deserving his APS rep team spot collecting 17 disposals vs the AGSV. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Oliver) was another that put together a good string of form throughout the season. Rhylee West booted three goals in their loss to Haileybury, while Year 10 Jack Mahony continues to find the football and impress.

Melbourne Grammar had their best draft hope Charlie Spargo ruled out with a shoulder injury, but players such as Sam Cameron and Oscar Dowd were able to step up and impress. Cameron moves well around the ground and has some speed that has interested clubs enough to see him collect a State Combine invite. Dowd won Melbourne’s best and fairest where he was able to hit the scoreboard and find plenty of the ball. Another name to watch is bottom-ager Toby Bedford who had some eye catching performances in the second half of the year, impressing in their Cordner-Egglestone Cup loss to Scotch.

Scotch College finished with three wins for the season, but it was displays up forward by Will Sutherland that was important. Scotch isolated Sutherland at times and against Melbourne Grammar he was far too big and strong for his opponent, booting four goals. His game against Geelong Grammar where he kicked five goals was also impressive. Bottom-age ruckman Will Clark’s work in the ruck hasn’t been missed, showing signs that he could push himself into draft calculations for 2018. Clark’s battle with Brighton’s Nick Phillips was impressive in the final game for the season, and Clark’s main strengths are that he can use the ball well and find it around the ground unlike other ruckman in the competition. Vic Metro captain Joel Garner controlled the play across half back and was able to use his long left foot to effectiveness. Noah Croes was another who caught the eye, finding the ball and using it well on his right foot breaking lines. Sam Townsend marked well overhead and provided to be another good tall in defence.

Geelong Grammar had a disappointing season results wise, despite boasting a handful of draftable prospects. AFL clubs uncovered Joe Griffiths, who has since received a State Combine invite. The 204cm ruckman is boarding at Grammar and has a good leap. Griffiths’ marking was impressive in the APS v SATIS game on the weekend, clunking three contested marks in the opening quarter. It’s no surprise that midfielder Paddy Dow is in contention for the number one selection, with his clean hands and clearance work impressive. Dow was Geelong’s best against the star-studded Haileybury College team in the final round and has shown speed coming out of the stoppages. Jarrod Brander played as a true swingman in the last few games, playing at the end where the wind was going. Brander controlled the play in defence against Carey, intercepting well. Against Haileybury he was able to push forward and clunked a nice mark over Vic Country tall defender Oscar Clavarino. The classy outside midfielder Lochie O’Brien’s ball usage has been outstanding and his breakaway speed is a trademark and he is someone who should have a fine AFL career. O’Brien has been the large focal point for opposition school taggers – and it’s no surprise such his class – but he has been able to break away from the extra attention and was in Geelong’s best players in all of the last three games. Brent Daniels showed his speed and smarts around goal, booting four against Scotch and pushed into Geelong’s VFL team on the weekend.

Geelong College compiled a very nice win against Wesley College in Round 10, with bottom-age Geelong Falcons players Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless impressing. McHenry continued his strong Vic Country form into the APS, displaying his tricks and talent in the midfield as he gathered 30 disposals against Brighton, and 31 disposals, seven tackles and three goals against Wesley. Geelong 2018 father-son prospect Oscar Brownless has got better as the season went on, with an impressive 33 disposal game against Brighton. He laid 10 tackles in their loss against Xavier, while his ball winning was on show with 28 disposals in their win against Wesley. In the midfielder Jack Henderson was College’s best, winning their best and fairest. Henderson was well held against Brighton, but was unable to be stopped by Wesley, collecting 32 disposals and five tackles in a best-on-ground performance. He was similarly impressive against Xavier, with 32 disposals, nine tackles and eight marks. Charlie Sprague has been a revelation, finding himself as a late addition to the Vic Country U17 team. His work rate around the ground has been good and has been a reliable target up forward. In the final two games he had six contested marks and is one to keep an eye on for next year.  Sam Conway’s tall presence around the ground and in the ruck has allowed the first use to the midfielders at stoppages. Tom Page has also been a pivotal part of the College’s midfield settling into tagging roles during the year whilst also finding plenty of the ball when in attack. James Edmonds continued to be lively around the forward line booting (5 goals) against Wesley.

Wesley College lost their best player Adam Cerra to shoulder surgery late in the season, but their off-field efforts with the ‘spit’ going in the final round was a recruiters delight. They led for majority of the game against Caulfield, but were overrun in the final quarter. Vic Metro Under 16 tall Charlie Dean was good up forward, booting two goals and providing a good target inside 50 against the ‘Fields. Oscar Bennett was a consistent performer, while Adam Collinson had some eye catching runs in his bright red boots through the midfield.

AGSV: 

Marcellin College completed an undefeated season, making it three premierships in a row – defeating Ivanhoe in the Grand Final. Up forward, Matthew Cecchin was a dead eye not missing many shots and creating chances inside 50. Alex Federico controlled the play through the midfield and was able to set up multiple chances. In the ruck, high level Basketballer Bailey Griffiths has thrown himself into AFL Draft calcuations with strong form throughout the finals. Griffiths has great pedigree with mum Michelle having played for the Opals, as well as being the nephew of 193-gamer Dean Brogan. Possible Collingwood father-son player Tyler Brown showed his smarts across half forward and has been a big improver in 2017. Ben Wiggins was the eye-catcher in finals, intercepting exceptionally well in defensive 50. He has a good leap and was comfortable kicking the ball on either foot.

SCOUTING NOTES: AGSV Grand Final 

Ivanhoe Grammar played some strong football under the guidance of the ever passionate Roger Gill throughout the season. Richmond father-son Patrick Naish booted three goals in the Grand Final and despite copping plenty of the huge Marcellin crowd, was able to push his team throughout the contest. Bottom-ager Tom McKenzie was impressive, showing good signs for next year with some good intercept marks. Max Dreher started on fire against Marcellin in the Grand Final, playing through the midfield and across half back, using his strong hands to his advantage.

Mentone Grammar had a good season, with midfielder Ed Newman finding plenty of the ball and using it effectively on his pinpoint left foot in his long white and blue sleeves. Lewis Diggins used his big frame to play a role winning the contested ball, but they were helped with one of the best ruckman in the state Joel Amartey, feeding the ball down to the midfielders, with his eye catching leap on display. On the outside, Kai Owens found the ball and has been another who has improved throughout the year despite battling a few injury niggles in the post holiday’s period. Tom Yorgey’s aggression across half back was notable, while Dev Brereton showed his smarts inside 50 at times.

PEGS were outclassed by Marcellin in the final, but boast one of the best players in the country in Cameron Rayner. Rayner flew for some eye catching marks in the opening quarter in the semi final at Marcellin – clunking a very good one close to goal. While he didn’t have as big of an impact as he has in some games, he has carried a few injury niggles – now including a thumb injury, but he will play out the remainder of the season at this stage with a cast. Son of Dustin, Mason Fletcher played in multiple positions, lining up in the ruck in the Semi-Final at times. Curtis Taylor has also been important, marking well inside 50 and showing his agility & X-Factor through the midfield. Taylor was one of PEGS’ best in their semi-final loss to Marcellin.

Peninsula finished in fifth position, narrowly missing out on finals. Medium tall Tom Freeman has earned a spot at the State Combine and marks well overhead. His tackling and defensive efforts were noticeable for the AGSV on the weekend. Dandenong Stingrays bottom-ager Jai Taylor performed well all season and was in the best for Vic Country Under 17s on Saturday. Taylor collected 18 disposals, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s in a strong performance on the outside and the 186cm midfielder can play in multiple roles and is one to watch.

Ryley Stoddart has been a classy performer for Yarra Valley Grammar and had a role moving the magnets for the AGSV on Saturday. Stoddart missed their final game against Mentone with an injury niggle, but his form against Eastern Ranges against Sandringham Dragons a fortnight ago was super impressive. Mackenzie Doreian showed some craft as a small forward and isn’t a bad little player. Doreian collected 18 disposals and laid seven tackles in the APS v AGSV game on Saturday.

Trinity Grammar were represented by Charlie Beasley and Bailey Evans in the APS v AGSV rep game. Evans’ ball winning skills through the midfield was very good, while Beasley was able to mark the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50.

Liam Middleton was a good performer for Assumption College Kilmore and he did some good things in the APS v AGSV rep game on Saturday, finding 16 disposals and three inside 50s. Outside midfielder Ned Lanyon was another who performed well for Assumption.

David McColl is a name to keep an eye on out of Camberwell Grammar, with the Year 11 boy finishing second in their best and fairest last year as a Year 10. In their clash against PEGS earlier in the season, McColl had a very good one-on-one battle with Cameron Rayner throughout the game. McColl has some speed and was named as an emergency in the AGSV team.

APS v AGSV Stats: 

KHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
AGSV2021633659213623360263037351210
APS21321542810714529151403453251812
APSKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
14Ed RICHARDS171633482356
18Andrew BRAYSHAW14173151219864111
12Charlie THOMPSON1119308141812511
2Lachlan HARRIS121729682232111
4Jack HENDERSON1414282141465411
6Alfie JARNESTROM15122781019232
11Laitham VANDERMEER12152767201132
7Angus STYLES1312256619132
5Seb WILLIAMS168244619128141
1Jack ALEXANDER6131948121341
10Cameron HODGES9817589235
15Oscar BROWNLESS89177413411
26Max KING1151610881552
3Noah CROES1051564131221
9Oliver DICKSON8715321311111
24Nick PHILLIPS6915561012412
27Nathan MURPHY7613376282221
28Ben KING103134851131
23Ethan PHILLIPS21012411141
8Tom JEPSON8311529211
25Hugh LONGBOTTOM471122935121
20Bailey WRAITH13
AGSKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
1Matthew CECCHIN151429791932422
13Bailey EVANS1412267818121
12Ed NEWMAN151025662041271
4Lachlan WILSON1592431114626121
30Lewis DIGGINS14102466172211
24Alex FEDERICO1762351212352411
9Curtis TAYLOR14923510122121
2Mackenzie DOREIAN10818610973312
7Liam MIDDLETON8816479331
32Luke MINAHAN3131619711
28Tom YORGEY12315431211
15Christian FARCHIONE78154213221
8Max DREHER6915469121
37Tom FREEMAN781551057221
23Ned LANYON59143135121
10Charlie BEASLEY6713631013
27Stefan NADALIN651163824
3Harrison FRY73104282121
31Mason FLETCHER731032813
42Oscar McINTYRE358145311211
14Joel AMARTEY617243213211
34Patrik DELLA ROCCA52726122122

Scouting notes: Vic Metro v Vic Country U17 Futures

VIC Country Under 17s defeated Vic Metro Under 17s by 59-points at Ikon Park on Sunday.

Michael Alvaro was there watching the TAC Cup Futures teams, with players eligible for the 2018 draft playing. Vic Metro’s Bailey Griffiths was the sole overager in the game and has been invited to the State Combine to be held in October.

Michael Alvaro’s scouting notes: 

Vic Metro:

#6 Ben Cardamone – It’s no wonder this kid wears a helmet, he cracked in with some outrageous courage throughout the game and didn’t look discouraged when he came off second best. Is capable of taking good overhead marks and always provides a contest in the back half. Only knock on him at this stage is his kicking – he often chose to go short but didn’t always find his target, leading to some turnovers in dangerous areas.

#12 Connor Thar – There’s not much of him but it seemed like he was everywhere at times. Did his best work when he was thrown down back during the second half in combination with Joel Crocker, and seemed to have the ball on a string in the last quarter. Moves really well and has a good bit of pace about him, but has some good inside traits too. Only blight on his game today was his rebound kicking – Metro struggled to get the ball out of their own 50 and Thar tended to blaze away on occasion, allowing Country to pump the ball straight back in.

#21 Joel Crocker – Was Metro’s most consistent performer alongside Thar and started the game off in particularly good form. His marking on the lead was terrific, and he used his breakaway speed well to find space around the 50-meter arc. Spent the final quarter or so around half back, linking up with Thar in trying to break through Country’s zone. Like many of the players today he just fell short with his kicking, putting a few suspect balls inside 50 and a dampener on his marking efforts.

#37 Thomas Hallebone – A typical ruckman, Hallebone is an absolute rake at over 200cm. Rotated between ruck and full forward with Bailey Griffiths and showed his best form with some impressive overhead grabs in the forward half. Kicked a goal early on and didn’t do much wrong, but is still prone to an errand kick as most young ruckmen are. Is still very raw, but is working on his frame and that’ll only help to improve his bodywork.

#38 Bailey Griffiths – Griffiths is an interesting prospect who has been attracting some high-end attention as he is eligible for this year’s draft. One of the stars in Marcellin’s AGSV Grand Final victory, the young ruckman comes from elite basketball and footballing pedigree as the son of Olympian Michelle Brogan and nephew of Dean Brogan. He has had little exposure to footy and it tells at times, but he has the potential to hit the grow into an exciting player. Worked in tandem with Hallebone, but certainly looked keen to swap into the ruck at times as Metro’s forward delivery was quite poor all day. Showed some clever ruckwork, hitting well to advantage or into space and is one to keep an eye on.

Vic Country:

#2 Jai Nanscawen – The thing Nanscawen does best is score goals. While conditions didn’t always oblige for that kind of game, he still managed to find plenty of the ball and so much space in the forward 50. Was moved from half-forward to the wing later on and showed the impressive poise he no doubt gets from his basketball pedigree.

#4 Scott Carlin – Went about his business without fuss through the midfield and looked quite comfortable there. Has the ability to play off half back, but his contested ball winning skills and lack of real pace makes him a good fit for an inside midfielder. He attended most centre bounces for Country using the all well by hand, and also showing he is more than capable of good decision making by foot.

#7 Jai Taylor – Had a slow start but got stuck in during the second half with some solid tackling and eventually a few glimpses of his pace. Cemented his spot on the wing and did well to push his side forward, often breaking the lines and sending Country inside 50. Sprayed a couple of shots on goal though and lacked a bit of polish at times with his kicking, but that can be fixed with time.

#9 Irving Mosquito – It’s anyone’s guess as to why the Gippsland pocket rocket didn’t start the game, but he made his mark nonetheless in his bright yellow boots. The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy member came on in the second half and racked up a handful of touches early on, with his pace and nose for goal on show. Is still pretty raw in terms of his decision making and disposal, but if he can turn his highlight reel into a four quarter performance, he’ll be a star.

#12 Charlie Sprague – Sprague is one who popped up and had some good moments throughout the game, but not quite for its entirety. He was a bit of an unknown quantity coming into the game having only played two games for Geelong Falcons at TAC Cup level playing his school football at Geelong College, but showed he belonged with good presence in the forward half.

#24 Matty Lloyd – Was far from his best outing but he was still able to show off his best assets. His decision making was exceptional, and Country made sure that his efficiency by foot did not go to waste, utilising him off the half back flank – much like his brother Jake, from Sydney.

#32 Hudson Garoni – Has such a solid build but plays much like a bullocking midfielder with ball in hand coming out of defence. Played his best footy in the first half, displaying clean hands and breaking tackles easily to help Country get on the attack.

Victorian school football update June edition

WE ARE at the midterm break into the APS and AGSV school boy Victorian football competitions and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have performed well in the school season.

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 31-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

Haileybury College has all but wrapped up the APS premiership – barring losses to both St Kevins and Geelong Grammar in their final two games. Possible number one pick Luke Davies-Uniacke has been the star through the midfield. His ability to clear the ball by hand and foot when being tackled is phenomenal and he has been able to beat any tagger sent to him. Against Scotch, he showed he could use the ball off either feet with a pinpoint left foot kick into the corridor, while against Geelong College he had 44 disposals. Davies-Uniacke had a tough day in the ‘Grand Final’ against Carey, tagged and getting bumped around the ground by the Carey players who did all they could to stop him. It did result in some shaky footwork but he was still able to find more than 25 disposals. Max King has returned from injury with 10 goals in the last three games, as one of their standouts in Saturday’s game doing his 2018 no.1 pick chances no harm. Twin brother Ben too has remained up forward slotting a bag of six against Caulfield Grammar and whilst he gets better each game up forward – he should hold down a key position defender slot in his draft year.

Charlie Constable had more than 30 disposals against Carey and played his best football as a general defender with stints in the midfield, while captain Andrew Brayshaw has nursed a quad injury but should put his hand up for Vic Metro selection soon. Jackson Ross continues to play a nice role on the wing and across half forward, while it has been Jack McHale who has caught the eye of a few clubs in defence. Oscar Clavarino has been solid often intercepting off half-back, but Scotch’s Will Sutherland clunked a beautiful mark over him in their clash. One name that bobbed up from the weekend was Adam Schache who did some nice things – but Aiden Bonar might just be one of the best of the lot and should excite when he returns from a long term injury soon.

(We’ll have a full report on the Carey vs. Haileybury game online later this week) 

Carey Grammar’s undefeated run came to an end on Saturday – but they put up a fight against Haileybury College. Year 10 Matthew Rowell is a star and is highly touted for the 2019 draft. Rowell wins the ball through the midfield and has been named as Vic Metro U16 captain. Cooper Leon was one of Carey’s best against Scotch and Caulfield, finding the football right around the ground and using it well on his right foot. Captain Charlie Thompson wins the football in the midfield and was a big reason Carey got back into the game against Scotch, while Ed Richards has been impressive with his run and carry a highlight before using it on his long left foot. Oliver Simpson impressed in the game on Saturday and is a playing to watch for next year.

At the ‘Snakepit,’ St Kevin’s have had to fight hard with star midfielders Lachlan Fogarty and Rhylee West nursing injuries. It has meant that youngsters James Rowbottom and Jack Mahony have had to step up in the midfield, with under 16 Mahony tipped to be a star of the future. Kane O’Halloran has been their most important forward kicking some strong goals, while Cam Hodges is putting together some solid form this season and would be in consideration for the APS team of the season.

Scotch’s Will Sutherland continues to get the plaudits playing superb football as a key target up forward and spending time in the midfield, with one recruiter drawring comparisons to Marcus Bontempelli. He has been named in the Vic Metro squad and expect him to line up this weekend in their clash against Vic Country. Against Carey, he clunked nine marks (five contested) and booted three goals as the clear best on ground in the first half. Against Haileybury, some of his marks were outstanding and spent more time in the midfield than he did against Carey. Noah Croes made a few recruiters jot some notes down, with a nice mark in defensive 50 catching the eye against Haileybury. Croes is another good cricketer who won their best and fairest as a Year 11 and is playing good football across half back using his smarts. Vic Metro Under 16 Finn Maginness has missed games through injury, while Joel Garner has predominantly played across half forward – not attending a single centre bounce against Carey and Haileybury. Garner has a defining moment against Scotch, winning a two-on-one inside 50 and banging home the goal on his left foot. Ruckman Will Clark was one of their best in a close loss to Carey, clunking marks around the ground.

Brighton Grammar and Melbourne Grammar took part in the first ‘Pride match’ at Todd Road in May. Brighton midfielders Seb Williams and Alfie Jarnestrom played strong games in the midfield. Williams has been a big ball winner in the APS competition using his speed and agility to get around opponents with ease – racking up more than 40 disposals in two of his games. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy has caught the eye and there has been plenty of interest at club land. The 188cm medium utility has looked at home in his new role up forward, clunking marks finishing with five goals against Wesley, with nearly all clubs having a scout in attendance. Murphy has a long kick and has been a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker has been outstanding coming out of defensive 50 possessing great agility.

Out at Flack Park, Melbourne Grammar led the ‘Pride match’ in front of a strong crowd with guest speaker Jason Ball speaking to the crowd before the contest. On the results front, it was not a great day for Melbourne going down to Brighton by 14 points. Charlie Spargo was well held with a quiet day – but did fight hard in the last quarter with some good lateral movement willing his teammates to try and turn around their three-quarter time margin. Up forward, Oscar Dowd has been one of their best – while Kyle Dunkley and Harry Bede are two others who have put together a strong month.

Caulfield Grammar has some draftable players with Vic Metro midfielders Dylan Moore and Trent Mynott, pushing themselves into draftable conversations after superb seasons at all levels. Captain Lachlan Harris played his best game of the season with 41 disposals against Geelong Grammar, tall forward Isaac Morrisby has fired into form with bags of five and four against St Kevin’s and Geelong Grammar respectively. Jackson Hille returned from an early season injury at the Dragons and has worked his way into the year with a good game finding 25 disposals on Saturday. Year 9 boy Will Phillips starred with 31 disposals and a goal vs. Geelong Grammar & will be a name to keep an eye on.

Geelong Grammar has disappointed results wise, but have some elite talent in Year 11 and Year 12. Jarrod Brander missed their clash with Caulfield due to Allies commitments, but up forward he was the difference in their victory over arch-rivals Geelong College. Brander turned the game on its head with a superb third quarter, with his marking and kicking under pressure a class above kicking five goals for the game. Bottom-ager Jye Caldwell has been impressive, with one draft watcher on declaring the star could contend for a top five pick in 2018. Paddy Dow has shown off his speed from the stoppages pushing himself into top ten calculations, giving his heart and soul through the midfield crashing in, getting it forward and hitting the scoreboard. The 184cm midfielder booted a bag of seven against Wesley College in Round 5. Lochie O’Brien has been tagged out of a few games with a rough start to the year – but expect him to show his class at the Under 18 Championships and the Bendigo Pioneers when he returns from injury. Jarrod Walters has also been another players well lately.

Geelong College went down in the local derby, but fought hard in a close loss to Melbourne Grammar on the weekend. Ed McHenry was outstanding for Vic Country and has been one of their best, with the lively player showing his tricks in the midfield. Jack Henderson has won plenty of football in the midfield and no doubt is leading their best and fairest. Henderson also clunked ‘APS Mark of the Year’ in the derby (See tweet below). Geelong 2018 father-son Oscar Brownless has worked his way into the season putting together some solid form.

Xavier’s Anthony Zimmerman is using his elite speed and goal smarts to good use, hitting the scoreboard. Bailey Smith was solid in the Vic Metro U17 Futures game and has been a strong performer in the midfield and rebounding across half back. Laitham Vandermeer is another who has been great for Xavier and would be a contender for their best player of the season. Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) has been exciting and his moments of flashes are simply eyecatching, often using his good athletic leap to clunk marks.  Australia Under 19 cricket speed demon Zak “Cherry” Evans has been a standout for Xavier – and could easily follow the football pathway should he wish. Evans booted two goals in the opening quarter on Saturday and is playing well. Charlie Whitehead, Jack Hewitt and Jeremy Lucas have been other good contributors for the Xavs.

Adam Cerra has nursed a shoulder injury at times for Wesley – but was a star in Vic Metro’s opening win of the National Under 18 Championships. Cerra spent most of the game against Brighton playing forward with his shoulder heavily strapped, and could’ve easily booted three goals in the opening quarter had he taken his chances. He used his speed to get distance between himself and opponents, taking a few good marks overhead. Charlie Dean impressed as a tall for Vic Metro Under 16 and has been good for Wesley. Oscar Bennett has been a strong APS player over recent years and has been solid playing mostly in defence. Adam Collinson has been another who has shown draftable traits through the midfield competiting well in the stoppages. While Bo James‘ impressive games left a one veteran recruiter scrambling to find out his date of birth for draft eligibility.

Over the in AGSV competition, Marcellin sit undefeated on top and have locked down the minor premiership spot.

Alex Federico is Marcellin’s best draft prospect and has been great through the midfield and dropping back to help the defence. His composure with ball in hand is good. Patrick Della Rocca is too powerful and strong for most opponents, with broad shoulder and a strong build helping the bottom-ager inside 50. Josh Posar impressed around the ground, finding plenty of the ball and marking uncontested on multiple occassions. It was however Riley Loton’s first half that would’ve had his name circled, using his nice left foot on the wing to power the ball forward. Christian Farchione used it well at times on his left foot, while Ben Wiggins provided a contest inside 50 as a marking target.

Mentone fought hard in their loss to Marcellin, unable to stay with them for long enough. Ed Newman looms as the most draftable player, playing across half back and through the midfield. The Victorian Under 19 cricketer will have a tough decision on his hands – recently added to the Sandringham Dragons squad, but if he picks the football path I have no doubt a club would strongly consider him. Newman booted a good running goal in the third quarter on his left foot. Kai Owens impressed on the wing, finding plenty of the ball and is okay on his right foot. Joel Amartey was played out of position, with most of the game inside 50 as their tall target rather than in the ruck. The first bounce saw the ex-basketballer leap over his Marcellin opponent and win the tap, but up forward didn’t read the flight of the ball great. Devlin Brereton is fast on his feet, with good agility and caused trouble at times for Marcellin defenders. Year 10 Jai Florent bagged a good goal in the third quarter, while Tom Yorgey and Lewis Diggins are willing to crack in hard and fly the flag for their teammates.

PEGS have the top prospect from the AGSV with Cameron Rayner a strong performer in Vic Metro’s win on Sunday. Rayner has been solid without starring for PEGS, but returned to form with an outstanding game against Mentone with over 30 disposals and multiple strong contested marks showing off what many saw him do as Year 11 for school. Curtis Taylor has come back from injury and been another great performer, seeing him earn selection in the Vic Metro side. PEGS did miss the ‘dynamic duo’ on Saturday, with Peninsula pulling off a great win at home.

Patrick Naish is playing good football for Ivanhoe, booting a few goals against a weak Trinity team and a strong Mentone team. Naish had some extra attention from the Mentone midfielders, but still was okay. Seems to relish playing out at Chelmsworth Park (Ivanhoe’s home ground) where he has played some brilliant games over the last few years. Max Dreher missed the game against Mentone – but has been another solid performer on the inside and across defence.

Peninsula pulled off an unexpected win against PEGS, but won’t qualify for AGSV finals. They have got a good crop of young Dandenong Stingrays and as I eluded to in the previous update, Jai Taylor and Will Antonie are the two worth keeping an eye on.

Ryley Stoddart is Yarra Valley’s best player and starred with a big bag of goals against the winless Camberwell. Stoddart is a clean ball user on his left foot and was good for Vic Metro on the weekend. For Assumption, Shane Skidmore has been impressive and put in a solid performance for Vic Metro in the Under 17 Futures clash. Trinity and Camberwell have struggled so far this season and both hold the clear bottom two positions – despite Trinity pushing Ivanhoe for a draw earlier in the season.