Tag: Joshua Begley

Stars to shine bright at the National AFL Draft Combine

ben-jarman

FOR the draft crop of 2016, the National AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least five AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL. A total of 81 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.

Matt Balmer takes a look at who might be the standouts in the testing which runs from Friday to Sunday.


Thursday:

Players will begin to arrive at Etihad Stadium before a welcome will be held for all 81 players in attendence. Not all players will be able to test due to injuries, but they will sit in on interviews and medicals with clubs early in the combine.

Thursday also sees heights and weight taken, along with all the body sizing and measurements such as skin folds and tricept sizes. My spies have told me Ollie Florent will be a likely winner for the biggest hands at the combine.

The media will also be in attendance on Thursday afternoon with Kevin Sheehan speaking alongside Jonty Scharenberg, Jy Simpkin and Sam Powell-Pepper.

Friday:

More medicals and interviews for players when they arrive for another day. Friday night from 7pm-9.30pm will be the hand balling, kicking and goal kicking tests.

The Matthew Lloyd clean hands/handpassing test measures how well a player collects the football and is able to dispose of it using a handball. There are three targets set up on both the left and right side at distances of 6m, 8m and 10m. An official will roll out or throw a ball at the player and instruct them where to handball the ball to. This is done six times and a score from 1-5 is allocated to each handball depending on how good it is.

Who could win? Hugh McCluggage‘s hands in stoppages are outstanding, whilst Andrew McGrath has the highest TAC Cup handball efficiency with 93 per cent of his handballs hitting the target.

The Brad Johnson goal kicking test will measure a players accuracy kicking for goal. Four kicking points are designated with players taking five kicks in total; two set shots (35m out in either pocket), two snaps (20m out, one left foot and one right foot) and one kick on the run (40m out directly in front). The player has 70 seconds to complete the test. A score is then worked out from the amount of goals and behinds a player kicks.

Who could win? Vic Country forward Josh Battle has a superb kick on him from short or long range distances in front of goal. Again, Hugh McCluggage has shown he can push forward and hit the scoreboard throughout 2016.

The Nathan Buckley kicking test measures players kicking efficiency over six kicks. Six targets (three on each side) are set out at distances of 20m, 30m and 40m. An official will call out a target at random to the kick, who will then to proceed to hit the target. Each kick is given a score from one to five, with five being a perfect kick.

Who could win? West Australian Josh Rotham is one of the best kicks in the draft pool, his teammate tall ruckman Tim English is another who uses the ball well. Harry Morrison, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Alex Villis and Harry Perryman are others that should perform well in this test.

Saturday:

The biggest day of the carnival will see sprints, agility, jumps and the beep test held on the purpose built floor on Etihad.

Sprints will be held in the morning , whilst the afternoon will conclude with the beep test.

Who could win in the sprints? Exciting WA midfielder Shai Bolton will test extremely well in both the 20m sprint and the agility test. Back in 2014, Bolton ran a sub 3s 20m sprint and under 8s for the agility test, considered elite.

Brandan Parfitt and Cedric Cox are among others who has shown off their speed at times this season while Jordan Gallucci should perform well in the agility test. Vic Country teammates Ben Ainsworth (8.00 seconds) and Jarrod Berry (7.80 seconds) were superb in TAC Cup preseason testing, while Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish was just behind Berry running 7.81 seconds. Queenslander Josh Williams showed a remarkable dash of speed in a division two National Under 18s Championships game earlier in the season.

Murray Bushrangers tall Esava Ratugolea is another who tested well in the past (2.92s) as has South Australian excitement machine Kym Lebois.

The vertical leap test is always an interesting test with vertical jump and running vertical jump (left and right foot) measured.

Who could win in the jumps? South Australian tall utility Brennan Cox was superb in the preseason testing in the SANFL, recording over 90cm off either foot in the running vertical jump. Ruckman Tim English, Esava Ratugolea and Tony Olango could test well above their counterparts, but it was Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish who beat all comers in the TAC Cup preseason testing with a vertical leap of 81cm.

The shuttle run/beep test or multistage fitness test depending on where you’re from is another that is closely watched by clubs. Most are looking for kids to push out one last level on the test, rather than take the easy option and drop out early. Sometimes the dedication and commitment from players can lead to them ‘spewing’ up their lunch- but an effect that some clubs might put down as a big tick in their notebook.

Who could win in the beep test? Tim Taranto will be an early front runner, having run a 15.9 in the preseason. His Sandringham Dragons team mate Ollie Florent is another who might perform well. If Jack Graham tests, he could be South Australia’s best.

Sunday:

The final day of the combine will see the 3km time trial run in groups of 10-15. The 3km time trial is one of the most strutinised tests, players pushing themselves to the limit deserve a pat on the back- while those that cruse through without little effect might come under the eyes of recruiters when they pour over all their data.

The 3km time trial has gotten faster every season, with the record being broken for three years running.

Who could win the 3km time trial? Possible number one draft pick Andrew McGrath should run well, but will his heavy work load over the last few months affect him? Again Tim Taranto will be another who could perform well.


Invites:

Small Defenders/Midfielders/Forwards

Ben Ainsworth- Vic Country
Liam Baker- Western Australia
Shai Bolton- Western Australia
Callum Brown- Vic Metro
Cedric Cox- Vic Country
Joshua Daicos- Vic Metro
Zac Fisher- Western Australia
Ben Jarman- South Australia
Kym Lebois- South Australia
Andrew McGrath- Vic Metro
Brandan Parfitt- Northern Territory
Tyson Stengle- South Australia

Medium Defenders 

Jarrod Berry- Vic Country
Isaac Cumming- NSW/ACT
Taylin Duman- Vic Metro
Ben Long- NT
Bailey Morrish- Vic Country
Harry Morrison- Vic Country
Harry Perryman- NSW/ACT
Sam Walker- South Australia
Tom Williamson- Vic Country
Alex Witherden- Vic Country
Alex Villis- South Australia

Tall Defenders

Brennan Cox- South Australia
Ryan Garthwaite- NSW/ACT
Elliot Himmelberg- Queensland
Griffin Logue- Western Australia
Harrison Macreadie- NSW/ACT
Jack Maibaum- Vic Metro
Sam McLarty- Vic Metro
Jordan Ridley- Vic Metro
Joshua Rotham- Western Australia
Jack Scrimshaw- Vic Metro
Declan Watson- Queensland

Medium Midfielders

Jacob Allison- Queensland
Joseph Atley- Vic Country
Hamish Brayshaw- Vic Metro
Will Brodie- Vic Country
Jack Bowes- Queensland
Dylan Clarke- Vic Metro
Willem Drew- Vic Country
Judah Dundon- Vic Metro
Jordan Gallucci- Vic Metro
Jack Graham- South Australia
Matt Guelfi- Western Australia
Oscar Junker- Vic Metro
Hugh McCluggage- Vic Country
Kobe Mutch- NSW/ACT
Sam Petrevski-Seton- Western Australia
Myles Poholke- Vic Country
Sam Powell-Pepper- Western Australia
Luke Ryan- VFL
Jonty Scharenberg- South Australia
Will Setterfield- NSW/ACT
Daniel Venables- Vic Metro
Josh Williams- Queensland

Medium Forwards

Joshua Begley- Vic Metro
Benjamin Davis- NSW/ACT
Sam Fisher- NSW/ACT
Oliver Florent- Vic Metro
Will Hayward- South Australia
Mitchell Hinge- South Australia
Patrick Lipinski- Vic Metro
Quinton Narkle- Western Australia
Mark O’Connor- International
Brad Scheer- Queensland
Jy Simpkin- Vic Country
Tim Taranto- Vic Metro
Cameron Zurhaar- Western Australia

Tall Forwards/Rucks

Josh Battle- Vic Country
Sean Darcy- Vic Country
Timothy English- Western Australia
Jack Henry- Vic Country
Patrick Kerr- Vic Metro
Max Lynch- NSW/ACT
Todd Marshall- NSW/ACT
Mitchell McCarthy- Vic Country
Tony Olango- NT
Esava Ratugolea- Vic Country
Zachary Sproule- NSW/ACT
Jake Waterman- Western Australia

By the states:

International (1):
NSW/ACT (11):
Northern Territory (3):
Queensland (6):
South Australia (10):
Vic Country (18):
VFL (1):
Vic Metro (19):
Western Australia (12):

All-Stars picked for AFL Draft Central mock match

Allies - Todd Marshall

EVERY year as the AFL season comes to a close, potential future stars names are raised as to which players can help put clubs on the path to a premiership. But where do these players fit in a 22?

Yesterday, the AFL announced that the very best Under 18s talent will play off against each other at Punt Rd End on Grand Final Eve.

The two teams will be picked by the AFL and will be named after AFL legends Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin.

TOP TEENAGE TALENT ON SHOW FOR AFL’S BIGGEST WEEKEND

AFL Draft Central’s Matt Balmer & Peter Williams have taken the role as selectors and picked their very own teams.

Note: Only Under 18 players were considered, meaning that no 19-year-olds or mature agers feature in the pairs squad of 25 players.

Players such as Jy Simpkin & Alex Witherden were also not considered due to injury.

Selection order:

Pick 1: Peter Williams (PW)
Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg

While I do not think Marshall will go pick one in the National AFL Draft, when starting from scratch you always pick a big man over a small man, and Marshall is the best big man in the draft. A key forward who leaps at the ball taking big marks and kicking clutch goals, he is the man you want standing at full-forward in a best 22 competition.

Pick 2: Matt Balmer (MB)
Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185cm | 75kg

It’s hard to turn down arguably the best player in the draft pool with my first pick. McCluggage applies like Scott Pendlebury in traffic, making everything appear in slow motion. Also uses his quick hands or his right boot to clear the ball from contest ball situations. He’s a man I couldn’t turn down with my first pick and is right in the mix for pick one overall in the National AFL Draft.

Pick 3: MB
Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg

Jack Bowes is only narrowly behind McCluggage in my view as the best player in the draft pool. A silky smooth midfielder by trade, he moves well through traffic and doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. Also hitting the scoreboard recently for Gold Coast in the NEAFL.

Pick 4: PW
Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 75kg

I pride my team on two things: speed and footskills and Andrew McGrath has both. A talented midfielder who has primarily played as a half-back rebounding defender, McGrath is an excitement machine who just makes things happen. While he is sub-180cm, he makes up for it with his disposal and ability to burn opponents.

Pick 5; PW
Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg

If foot skills are a premium, Perryman is a player that delivers in spades. Not a huge ball winner compared to other top 10 picks, Perryman rarely wastes a disposal and just glides around, making the right decisions more often than not.

Pick 6: MB
Jack Scrimshaw
General Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm | 80kg

A hybrid defender who will fit in well across the half back flank. Nice long left boot and has the ability to push further up the ground on the wing. His disposal efficiency is great and makes good decisions, so far he appears to be over his injury issues which plagued him earlier in the season.

Pick 7: MB
Patrick Kerr
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
31/07/1998 | 194cm | 93kg

In my eyes, the second best key forward behind Todd Marshall. I’m a big fan of Kerr and when he’s on, he’s hard to stop. Kerr speaks extremely well and he’ll be leading the forward line for my side. His strong overhead mark and speed over 10 metres makes him hard to stop one-on-one.

Pick 8: PW
Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 189cm | 82kg

To pick up Will Brodie at pick eight is daylight robbery. Brodie is in contention for the number one pick and is the clear standout inside midfielder. At 189cm and 82kg, he is ready made to play round one if needed. An absolute bull, he is a steal here and is very welcome to be the leader in the midfield.

Pick 9: PW
Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg

Harrison Macreadie has had a quieter back-half of the year and certainly in the National Championships, but he is all class. At 196cm, he is athletic, a strong mark and versatile around the ground. He could play on a wing if required, but he will line-up for my team at centre half-back making it a “delicious” half-back line filled with precise kickers.

Pick 10: MB
Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg

Touted as a possible number one draft pick earlier in the season, I’m extremely pleased to pick Petrevski-Seton here. He’s comfortable to turn on either sides of his body to dispose of the ball and has a touch of x-factor about him. Ball winning numbers have been strong since returning to the WAFL.

Pick 11: MB
Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 186cm | 82kg

The second St Kevin’s College lad in my side. Taranto hasn’t put a foot wrong in the last two months and continues to improve as the year goes on. He’s very good in traffic, aided from a basketball background and can hit the scoreboard when needed. A great overhead mark also helps him win one-on-one and he’s one player that I’m happy is in my side.

Pick 12: PW
Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 193cm | 92kg

There are not too many prime key defenders in this draft, and I have snared the top two. Logue is smaller than Macreadie, but good one-on-one and is more of that intercept mark, lockdown KPD rather than the creative Macreadie type. In saying that, he impressed at the National Championships and could be moulded into a number of different defensive roles at AFL level.

Pick 13: PW
Josh Battle
Key Position Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg

There’s no secret I’m a Josh Battle fan and he just adds a point of difference to any forward line. While he will not become a number one forward at AFL level, he is strong overhead, a super high footy IQ and a reliable set shot. In my opinion the second best tall forward behind Marshall, handing my team the two best KPF and two best KPD.

Pick 14: MB
Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 179cm | 74kg

Every side needs a crafty small forward and that’s exactly what Ben Ainsworth can be. A great overhead mark for his size and can change the game in a blink of an eye. Also has the ability to push into the midfield, but will prove his most valuable inside 50 where he’s a tough match up for any opponent.

Pick 15: MB
Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 192cm | 79kg

Having missed out on arguably the two best tall defenders (Logue & Macreadie) we’ll take Josh Rotham in the back pocket. Rotham can play both tall and small, but looks most at home rebounding the ball out of defence. Did play as a tall in defence against VFL sides earlier in the year but will fit in well in defence.

Pick 16: PW
Alex Villis
Outside Midfielder (Norwood/South Australia)
20/08/1998 | 182cm | 70kg

Footskills and speed. I’ve said it earlier and I’ll say it again. Villis has both and is the best South Australian in the draft crop. With most of the other South Australian midfielders working on the inside, Villis finds space and chops teams up when going forward. Fantastic user of the ball and will be deadly on my wing.

Pick 17: PW
Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg

With so many talented inside midfielders in this draft, I deliberately left my second inside mid until now. Having committed daylight robbery with Brodie at pick eight, Setterfield is a very good pick up at 17. A big lad, Setterfield will win the hard ball and is a solid user of the footy too.

Pick 18: MB
Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 84kg

Happy to partner Pat Kerr with Zach Sproule inside 50. Sproule plays in the Nick Riewoldt mould getting up the ground on long leads and will test his opposite number as to whether they can go the distance around the ground. A large chunk of his marks are up the ground, but has enough tricks inside 50 to hit the scoreboard when he hasn’t worked up the ground.

Pick 19: MB
Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg

Strong hardnosed inside midfielder will slot into a midfield well that already boasts names such as McCluggage and Bowes. Scheer is a good clearance winner and shoud be able to help the ball move forward. His numbers of late in the NEAFL have been outstanding.

Pick 20: PW
Oliver Florent
Balanced Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 183cm | 74kg

Arguably the last of the top 25 outside midfielders, Florent is another classy ball user who can win his own ball too. A medium midfielder, Florent does not win a ton of the ball like his teammates, but uses it well and makes the right decisions by hand or foot.

Pick 21: PW
Jordan Gallucci
Medium Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/05/1998 | 183cm | 75kg

Jordan Gallucci was probably my favourite player coming into this year to watch, but he has been below his standards albeit for a game or two. I’m tipping he will bounce back for the finals and hopefully find his deadly kicking game again, something that has unfortunately disappeared in his top-age year. A back pocket for my side.

Pick 22: MB
Sam Walker
Medium Defender (Glenelg/South Australia)
16/03/1998 | 187cm | 80kg

Rebounding defender who will join Scrimshaw as the second left footer off half back for my team. A good ball user, Walker hits targets at will. Could be the game where he really pushes his name up rankings.

Pick 23: MB
Jack Maibaum
Key Position Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
27/03/1998 | 193cm | 90kg

All-Australian defender slots in at Centre Half Back for my side. A true shut down defender who was a strong performer for Vic Metro in the Under 18 Championships. Solid in one-on-one contests and one that probably hasn’t got enough credits for his season.

Pick 24: PW
Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 186cm | 81kg

Daniel Venables is a tough inside midfielder who spends more time forward than most others in this crop. He hits the scoreboard consistently and is strong overhead. Had a few niggling injuries earlier in the year, but will rotate through the midfield in my team.

Pick 25: PW
Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 79kg

Kobe Mutch is a huge ball winner who has tasted a fair bit of NEAFL action lately and therefore missed out on games in the TAC Cup. A midfielder who can play inside or out, he will work well with the other midfielders on my team, primarily playing an inside role, shoveling it out to the silky outside players.

Pick 26: MB
Declan Watson
Key Position Defender (Aspley/Queensland)
17/09/1998 | 194cm | 80kg

Two Key Defenders in two picks. I’m looking for Watson to match up on Todd Marshall. A good kick for a player his size and was entrusted with the kick out duties for Queensland in the Division Two championships earlier in the season. My highest rated Brisbane Lions academy member, one to watch.

Pick 27: MB
Jonty Scharenberg
Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
28/08/1998 | 186cm | 80kg

Elite clearance player and an elite tackler according to Champion Data statistics. His clean hands is a real strength at the stoppages and can clear the ball well through those means. Not blessed with elite pace but will find the ball at Under 18 level.

Pick 28: PW
Jacob Allison
Utility (Aspley/Queensland)
16/04/1998 | 194cm | 79kg

It is hard to believe this bloke is a midfielder. At 194cm, he is taller than two of my key position players, but Jacob Allison is the new prototype midfielder. A big bodied mid who primarily plays outside similar to Marcus Bontempelli. Once he develops an inside game further he will be a beast.

Pick 29: PW
Jarrod Berry
Medium Defender (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
05/02/1998 | 191cm | 80kg

We are getting to the stage of the draft where it comes down to preferences and I do not mind Jarrod Berry. He could tighten up his foot skills a little, but he has strong leadership, good in the air and pretty mobile, there is plenty to work with in the 191cm medium defender. Can also play midfield or forward too which helps.

Pick 30: MB
Shai Bolton
Outside Midfielder (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
08/12/1998 | 177cm | 67kg

If you’re looking for some spark in your side, Shai Bolton is your man. Elite speed and agility means he can get around his opponents at will. Needs to work on his consistency, but he can flash in a game and change it with a snap of the fingers.

Pick 31: MB
Ryan Garthwaite
Key Position Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
30/06/1998 | 192cm | 84kg

Another tall we’ve managed to slot into the backline. A few injuries have kept him sidelined at stages this year but his work one-on-one has been very good. Fits in as a back pocket, but might be best suited to play on the last line of defence.

Pick 32: PW
Sam Fowler
Small Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
02/11/1998 | 169cm | 66kg

As the only prospect in the draft that is smaller than me (quite a feat), it is hard not to pick him. A genuine crumber nicknamed “the Rat”, Fowler has been winning plenty of ball lately and developing his game further. Do not be put off by his height, he is a talented prospect.

Pick 33: PW
Josh Daicos
Small Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
26/11/1998 | 178cm | 69kg

While this pick is a little high to take Daicos, with the midfield filled and defence looking good, we are now drafting for holes required and Daicos fits the bill as a small forward. Classy and knows where the goals are, the son of the Macedonian Marvel has plenty of improvement for when he arrives at the Holden Centre.

Pick 34: MB
Max Lynch
Ruckman (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/09/1998 | 200cm | 96kg

The first ruckman taken and it’s NSW/ACT tall Max Lynch. I wasn’t a huge fan earlier in the season, but the ‘raw’ Lynch looks better with each game I see him. Lynch grew up playing soccer as a goalkeeper, but has slotted into the ruck for the Bushrangers throughout most of the season.

Pick 35: MB
Myles Poholke
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
10/07/1998 | 184cm | 84kg

Was very happy to nab Poholke here. A strong body around the contest who certainly knows where the goals are. Continues to play well for the Stingrays and someone I’d expect to grab 20 disposals and kick two goals in my side.

Pick 36: PW
Sean Darcy
Ruckman (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
12/06/1998 | 201cm | 113kg

Who needs to move when you have others that do it for you? That is my motto with this pick as quite simply I had to pick the best ruck available. A monster at 113kg, Darcy will smash any other player his age in the hitouts, but given his frame it is no surprise mobility is his biggest deficiency. A strong contested grab and solid kick for a big bloke, he is the best ruck available at this pick.

Pick 37: PW
Reece Piper
Small Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
30/12/1998 | 177cm | 75kg

I have only seen Reece a few times, but like his style and is a unique pick for my first bench place. I enjoy versatility in my team and he would relieve Jordan Gallucci or Andy McGrath, enabling them to play forward of the ball or through the middle. Has a few tricks for a smaller player and you can rely on him kicking out of the defensive 50.

Pick 38: MB
Lachlan Murphy
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Country)
04/12/1998 | 173cm | 74kg

One of the few selected for our “All Stars” match who didn’t score a national combine invite. Alas- I’ve been a big fan of Murphy’s work in the last month and a bit, whether it be at school or TAC Cup level. A nice left foot, who makes the ball spin perfectly off his boot each time he kicks it. Despite his size, he has rolled through the inside midfield- But looks best at home across half back. Begins on the bench, but can play anywhere.

Lachlan Murphy representing the Northern Knights in 2016. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)
Lachlan Murphy representing the Northern Knights in 2016. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)

Pick 39: MB
Jack Graham
Inside Midfielder (North Adelaide/South Australia)
25/02/1998 | 183cm | 83kg

The Larke Medalist for the best player in the Under 18 champs, finds a spot in my team. You could question why he isn’t in the starting 22, but his kicking needs some work to avoid bombing it out of a contest. Graham is one of multiple inside midfielders in the draft and should rotate on the ball in our match.

Pick 40: PW
Josh Williams
Outside Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
12/06/1998 | 189cm | 69kg

Skill and speed. Always circling back to those two factors and Williams has both. While he might not be put in the same boat as McGrath or Perryman, he is lightning quick and disposes of the ball cleanly. A future Gold Coast midfielder with a top surname.

Pick 41: PW
Dylan Clarke
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
06/09/1998 | 187cm | 85kg

Brother of Ryan, Dylan Clarke is another bull who just attacks contests fearlessly. We have enough elite kicks of the footy, and Clarke will help us get it out to them. Buries himself under packs and will be an asset coming off the bench.

Pick 42: MB
Zac Fisher
Inside Midfielder (Perth/Western Australia)
15/06/1998 | 175cm | 61kg

Inside midfielder who had a huge game against the Allies (In the video below). Performing well since the champs over in Western Australia, using his left boot well. If he had an extra 5-10cms, you could make a real case that he’d be talked about much more than he is currently.

Pick 43: MB
Peter Ladhams
Ruckman (Norwood/South Australia)
14/01/1998 | 202cm | 95kg

Could he be the second ‘two metre Peter’ in the AFL? Ladhams work is solid and his ability to find the football around the ground gives him the nod over other suitors. Should complement Max Lynch well.

Pick 44: PW
Callum Brown
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
27/04/1998 | 177cm | 69kg

Nuggety little midfielder who has developed his game massively since moving into the midfield from the forward pocket. Not the cleanest of skills, but you cannot fault his effort or intensity and when forward 50 tackles are ever so important, Brown provides them and four quarter intensity.

Pick 45: PW
Harry Morrison
Medium Defender (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
12/11/1998 | 182cm | 73kg

Harry Morrison is the forgotten man. After missing the bulk of the season through injury, he is likely to pick up and be a factor in the finals series for the Murray Bushrangers. A strong grab and rebounding defender, Morrison can play on a wing, adding to his versatility.

Harry Morrison in action for the Murray Bushrangers in the 2015 TAC Cup Finals. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/AFL Media/Getty Images).
Harry Morrison in action for the Murray Bushrangers in the 2015 TAC Cup Finals. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/AFL Media/Getty Images).

Pick 46: MB
Jordan Ridley
Tall Utility (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 192cm | 79kg

A tall utility who has caught my eye last year playing forward for Oakleigh. This season he’s more filled in wherever the Chargers have required him and I think he could become a really good swingman. Usually a reliable kick on his right foot, he isn’t afraid to get up the ground further when needed.

Pick 47: MB
Esava Ratugolea
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
24/07/1998 | 194cm | 95kg

Exciting tall Ratugolea jumped into consideration after an eight-goal haul against Bendigo. Ratugolea will be off to the National Combine and it will be intriguing to see how he tests. Will play as a third tall forward and may pinch hit in the ruck when needed for my side.

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL

Pick 48: PW
Luke Bunker
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/06/1998 | 185cm | 78kg

Another inside midfielder of good size who is often underrated in this draft crop. Will work well with Clarke, Brodie and Setterfield through the midfield and is another versatile player to round out the team.

Pick 49: PW
Joshua Begley
Medium Forward/Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
03/07/1998 | 187cm | 87kg

Every team needs a bit of X-factor and the unknown and this kid certainly is that. From kicking bags to racking up the ball in the middle, Begley has gone from strength to strength this year. A very good size at 187cm and 87kg, and will take the last spot on my team.

Josh Begley in action for the Ranges v Knights. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media).
Josh Begley in action for the Ranges v Knights. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media).

Pick 50: MB
Brandan Parfitt
Inside Midfielder (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
27/04/1998 | 179cm | 78kg

With the final pick in the draft, I’ll take Brandan Parfitt. He’s been reasonably quiet this year, but I thought he begun the season well against VFL opposition for the AFL Academy. Can play multiple roles which makes him appealing for the final player on the list of 25.

Full teams:

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Last word: I am really pleased with my team as I feel I have the two best key position defenders, two best key position forwards, and a tantalising half-back line. With foot skills and speed a premium in my team, we would be able to move it at a frantic pace, get it forward and if our strong contested marking forwards don’t snare it, our crumbers will. A good mix of versatile players, many of whom will forge solid AFL careers.

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Last word: I’m really pleased with the quality midfielders we’ve been able to score. I feel we’ve got enough depth with talls at both ends and two quality ruck combinations. A few left footed defenders coming out of defence might see us play a game plan similar to Hawthorn has in the past- Hopefully that is a sign of sure success for my side.


It should be noted too that there are many quality players not selected. For teams to remain balanced, we wanted to ensure that our sides were realistic and we weren’t left with 15 inside midfielders each. With a large contingent of inside midfielders in the 2016 draft pool, some unfortunately missed out on gaining selection.

Let us know you’re thoughts on who would win on Twitter, @AFLDraftCentral

Vics bolt out of the blue and into the combine

2106 Cedric Cox Rebels debut
Cedric Cox, one of 10 Victorian bolters nominated for the AFL National Combine.

The AFL Draft National Combine list was announced on Monday, with 80 prospects nominated to strut their stuff at Etihad Stadium in October.

From the list of 80, you wouldn’t be blamed for asking- who is that guy?

80 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2016 AFL DRAFT COMBINE

Our AFL Draft Central scouts have put their heads together to give you 10 Victorian prospects who have bolted into AFL Draft calculations.

Want to know more about the draft pool? Hit us up on Twitter @AFLDraftCentral


Joshua Begley (Duncan Robertson)
Medium Forward/Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
03/07/1998 | 187cm | 87kg

After not even making the initial cut of the Eastern Ranges squad, Joshua Begley went back to Upper Ferntree Gully in the third division EFL and forced his way into the TAC Cup frame, kicking 13 goals in the first two games.

On debut against Tasmania the goals kept flowing, a bag of six majors has cemented Begley in the team ever since. In the 10 games that have followed since explosive debut, the 187cm powerhouse has kicked a further 17 goals – only going goalless three times – despite his role alternating between undersized key forward and powerful midfielder.

As a forward, Begley’s powerful frame, strong kick and sure hands mitigate his relative lack of height, and his surprising pace makes him a handful for his key defensive opponents. When he moves into the middle, his agility and strength allow him to burst into and out of packs and his bustling work around the stoppages is drawing the eye.

At AFL level, I think he will likely start at half forward, where he will present a matchup nightmare for small and medium defenders in the Martin/Stringer vein, but it is in the middle that his future beckons, once he builds a greater aerobic capacity, something his desire to work at has drawn great praise from his coaches at the Ranges.


Cedric Cox (Peter Williams)
Medium Defender (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
19/08/1997 | 184cm | 70kg

Cedric Cox is the epitome of draft bolter. The silky speedster from Western Australia only arrived in Victoria in March, signing up with local Hampden league club Camperdown.

The dashing defender who has pinch hit in the middle and up forward, has caught the eye of recruiters with his movement through traffic and high-level skill.

Rarely missing a target, Cox has great vision and glides around the ground, backing himself with plenty of run and carry.

While he does not find a heap of the ball, he is one of those players that only needs a dozen disposals to impact a contest.


Judah Dundon (Peter Williams)
Outside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/04/1998 | 186cm | 77kg

Judah Dundon is a player who has flown under the radar at the Western Jets. An outside midfielder, Dundon does not find as much of the ball as other midfielders, averaging 19 disposals, but he works hard defensively and is a good medium size. Dundon is versatile in the sense he has played both behind and forward of the ball.

Dundon is one of the better users in the draft and can be damaging on his day. His ability to move the ball in transition and get it forward is telling, which is why clubs are considering him in this year’s draft despite not making the Vic Metro cut.

The outside midfielder has recovered well from a delayed start to the season – where he had stress fractures – and has been able to string matches together for the Jets. Unfortunately for Dundon, he has a stress fracture in his leg and it will be a race against time to get him fit for testing at the National Combine.


Jack Henry (Peter Williams)
Utility (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
28/08/1997 | 191cm | 83kg

Jack Henry is a tall midfielder who can play around the ground, Henry is strong and able to stand up in a tackle.

He wins ball on the inside and outside with a big frame that he uses to win the ball at ground level or in the air.

Despite being a long kick, Henry could sharpen up his disposal a little, but overall he possesses plenty of attributes that would attract clubs.

Most importantly, he is not afraid to take the game on and backs himself when clear in space.

A high leap and reliable set shot, Henry is a point of difference in this draft crop.


Patrick Lipinski (Michael Alvaro)
Medium Forward (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
17/07/1998 | 188cm | 79kg

Patrick Lipinski is a bolter in every sense of the word. The Knights took a chance on the athletically gifted youngster, knowing well of his prowess in the game of basketball. As expected, Lipinski has great hands as a result of his sporting background.

The Eltham Panthers product works most effectively as a half forward who, at 188cm, can not only clunk a decent grab, but also pose a threat in front of goal, with just under two goals per TAC Cup match this year. He has also added a ball-winning dimension to his game, averaging 27 disposals in his last three TAC Cup games, with two best on ground performances. Expect him to excel at the combine with his eye-catching spring.


Mitchell McCarthy (Sam Mills & Peter Williams)
Ruckman (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
10/10/1997 | 196cm | 87kg

Mitchell McCarthy is one of those modern ruckman who moves well around the ground, and what he lacks in height, he makes up for in athleticism.

McCarthy didn’t play a game as an underage player on the Stingrays list in 2014 before taking up a high school basketball scholarship offer in the USA for 2015 only returning to Australia in December. At 196cm, he has been playing predominantly in the ruck this season, using his elite leap to combat taller opponents.

McCarthy has strong hands, which combined with his jump makes him a valuable aerial presence around the ground. He covers the ground well for a player his size and given his basketball success and athletics traits, there is no surprise he was nominated.

Injury cruelled his year as the mobile ruck began to impress in a number of games, working his opponent over around the ground and it is hopeful that McCarthy can take some part in the testing.

While he has not been exposed to much time up forward or back, it could be something clubs may explore if he is drafted.


Bailey Morrish (Matt Balmer)
Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
18/05/1998 | 186cm | 76kg

There is a real possibility that Bailey Morrish wins a few of the tests at the Draft Combine in October. At the TAC Cup testing at the beginning of the season, Morrish placed first in the vertical jump, second in the agility and ran a sub three second 20m sprint.

Morrish carries these traits over onto the field, where he has had some eye catching moments coming from the defensive half of the ground. However, he isn’t a big disposal winner, averaging 14 disposals in the TAC Cup this year.

Morrish does have the ability to push up the ground onto a wing, but his good rebound ability means he’s best suited to play across half back.


Harry Morrison (Matt Balmer)
Medium Defender (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
12/11/1998 | 182cm | 73kg

Injuries have plagued Harry Morrison over the last two seasons, but he looks to be over those concerns with a solid patch of football over the past month.

Morrison recovered from an ACL injury late last season, playing the final seven matches for the Bushrangers before an ankle issue kept him out for a month at the beginning of the season. Morrison returned, but suffered a back issue which kept him out for two months.

Despite missing the Under 18 Championships for Vic Country, Morrison has showed good signs in 2016 playing mostly across half back. In the last few weeks, Morrison has pushed further up the ground onto a wing where he’ll likely spend most of his time at the Bushrangers for the remaining half of the season.

Morrison is one of the most agile players at the Bushrangers and his work in traffic is great. Morrison makes good decisions with his strong skill set but clubs will question the injuries he has suffered over the last 24 months.


Esava Ratugolea (Matt Balmer)
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
24/07/1998 | 194cm | 95kg

A injury related start to the season saw Esava Ratugolea miss preseason and the opening seven rounds of the year for the Bushrangers. That didn’t hold Ratugolea back however, when a bag of eight goals against Bendigo saw him rushed into the Vic Country squad for the final two games of the carnival.

The Fijian tall has kicked 15 goals in five TAC Cup games and has been the Bushrangers back up ruckman averaging 11 hitouts a game.

Ratugolea is very raw, but his athletic ability which saw him run an elite 2.92 second 20m sprint at the testing earlier in the season is superb.

Ratugolea showed promise in his two games for Vic Country, crashing packs and showing off his great vertical jump. Expect Ratugolea to be one of the better testing talls at the National Combine.

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL


Luke Ryan (Josh Poulter)
Medium Defender (Coburg/VFL)
06/02/1998 | 185cm | 87kg

Luke Ryan is a rebounding defender who reads the play exceptionally well. Ryan is the only state league player who made the National Combine and has been touted as high as a Top 20 selection come November.

Ryan signed on late for Coburg in 2016 after missing the Essendon VFL cut. He spent time last season as a 19-year old at the Calder Cannons playing four games and averaging seven marks per game, but was undrafted.

Ryan made his debut in Round 3 for Coburg in the VFL against Box Hill, where he was adjudged best-on-ground, winning the Gibbs-Lines medal with a 30 disposals, 12 marks and 10 rebound-50 performance. Ryan us clean with possession around the ground and has great decision making skills. In one-on-one contests, Ryan is rarely beaten even when out of position.

So far this season, Ryan is averaging 21 disposals and seven marks at VFL level.

Ryan’s ability to read the play will excite clubs where he’s expected to be the first mature-aged recruit called out in 2016.

 

80 players invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine

Oliver Florent- scored one of 19 Vic Metro national combine invites.
Oliver Florent- scored one of 19 Vic Metro national combine invites.

FOR the draft crop of 2016, the AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least five AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL. A total of 80 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 19 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro went through the Division One carnival as the only side to go undefeated, winning their first title since 2012.

Their rivals Vic Country themselves weren’t far behind with 18 nominations despite a winless carnival, down on their 22 nominations from 2015.

Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues across Australia, with strong performances at VFL level averaging 21 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound 50s (to Round 15 of the VFL).

Father Son prospects Ben Jarman (Adelaide/Hawthorn), Callum Brown (Collingwood), Joshua Daicos (Collingwood) and Jake Waterman (West Coast) have all made the list and have caught recruiters eyes throughout the season.

Murray Bushranger tall Esava Ratugolea has made the cut and will be a name to keep an eye on throughout the Bushrangers final series.

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL

Vic Country injured trio Alex Witherden, Jy Simpkin and Mitchell McCarthy have made the cut and will be hoping to take part in some form of testing at the combine.

North Ballarat Rebels excitement machine Cedric Cox has been nominated and will be one to keep an eye on in the second half of the season. Cox is the cousin of possible top five draft selection Sam Petrevski-Seton, while his older brother Daniel is currently on the Fox 8 TV Show ‘The Recruit.’

Eastern Ranges forward Joshua Begley continues to rise in season 2016. After missing the original cut for the Ranges squad, 187cm Begley forced his way into the side and has kicked 23 goals in 11 games this season.

NSW-ACT led the way for the division two teams with 11 player picked, with only Todd Marshall and Benjamin Davis not eligible for academy selection. Queensland have six players nominated, while Northern Territory have three prospects nominated. Tasmania had no players nominated for the national combine.

Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues.

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

The National Combine will begin on Thursday, October 6 and go through to Sunday, October 9 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

NSW/ACT (11):
Isaac Cumming
Benjamin Davis
Sam Fisher
Ryan Garthwaite
Max Lynch
Harrison Macreadie
Todd Marshall
Kobe Mutch
Harry Perryman
Will Setterfield
Zachary Sproule

Northern Territory (3):
Ben Long
Tony Olango
Brandan Parfitt

Queensland (6):
Jacob Allison
Jack Bowes
Elliot Himmelberg
Brad Scheer
Declan Watson
Josh Williams

South Australia (10):
Brennan Cox
Jack Graham
Will Hayward
Mitchell Hinge
Ben Jarman
Kym Lebois
Jonty Scharenberg
Tyson Stengle
Alex Villis
Sam Walker

Vic Country (18):
Ben Ainsworth
Joseph Atley
Josh Battle
Jarrod Berry
Will Brodie
Cedric Cox
Sean Darcy
Willem Drew
Jack Henry
Bailey Morrish
Harry Morrison
Hugh McCluggage
Mitchell McCarthy
Myles Poholke
Esava Ratugolea
Jy Simpkin
Tom Williamson
Alex Witherden

VFL (1):
Luke Ryan

Vic Metro (19):
Joshua Begley
Hamish Brayshaw
Callum Brown
Dylan Clarke
Joshua Daicos
Taylin Duman
Judah Dundon
Oliver Florent
Jordan Gallucci
Oscar Junker
Patrick Kerr
Patrick Lipinski
Andrew McGrath
Jack Maibaum
Sam McLarty
Jordan Ridley
Jack Scrimshaw
Tim Taranto
Daniel Venables

Western Australia (12):
Liam Baker
Shai Bolton
Timothy English
Zac Fisher
Matt Guelfi
Griffin Logue
Quinton Narkle
Sam Petrevski-Seton
Sam Powell-Pepper
Joshua Rotham
Jake Waterman
Cameron Zurhaar

Weekend That Was – Round 9

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WET, COLD and MUDDY were three words that summed up Round 9 of the TAC Cup.

With the weather struggling to hit the teens and constant rain, it made it the first weekend where no team hit 100 points.

In the opening game of the ground, an undermanned Sandringham Dragons accounted for the Eastern Ranges by 43-points.

The Dragons put the foot down in the second quarter with seven goals to two, ensuring they’d collect their sixth win of the season.

Corey Lyons was one of the Dragons’ best players, with 18 disposals and three goals in one of his best performances to date. In the wet, Thomas North threw his body around for the Ranges laying 11 tackles and collecting 27 disposals. Josh Begley too continued his good form with 24 disposals spending more time in the midfield for the second week in a row.

In what turned out to be the match of the round, Calder Cannons came from behind to knock over the Oakleigh Chargers, thanks to a superb individual effort from Muhammad Saad.

After quarter time, Calder’s intensity and pressure lifted and was better than their opponents in the wet with the Cannons outscoring Chargers by four goals to one after half time.

Saad’s incredible afternoon finished with seven goals, taking some nice marks overhead despite the weather. Zach Guthrie continued his strong month of football with 28 disposals, using the ball well off half back.

At North Port Oval, North Ballarat Rebels took the four points with a 37-point victory over the Gippsland Power. 

Left out of the Vic Country side, Willem Drew proved the selectors wrong with a 21 disposal display but it was Rebel James Gow who claimed best-on-ground claims with 29 disposals and three goals.

The 174cm midfielder is one of the better kicks in the draft pool and performances like Saturday’s will continue to push his name come November.

Jacob Wheelahan was the other multiple goal kicker for the Rebels, kicking three goals from his 21 disposals.

Despite the loss, Power small Will Stephenson had 37 disposals and laid an incredible 17 tackles in his best game for Gippsland.

At Burbank Oval, Northern Knights pulled off an upset against the Western Jets by 33-points.

A low scoring first quarter saw just two goals kicked- but an eight goal to three second half by the Knights gave them their second win of the year lifting them off the bottom.

Knights player Patrick Lipinski had his best game for the season with 30 disposals and seven tackles, while James Hewson kicked a bag of five goals.

Connor Griffiths (27 disposals) and Brodie Romensky (25 disposals) were two of the Jets who dug deep all day.

In Saturday’s other game, Geelong Falcons and Murray Bushrangers had plenty to play for with the winner claiming top spot on the ladder.

The Bushies led all the way up to three quarter time, leading by a point, before Geelong kicked three goals to one, to finish victorious by 14-points. 

Doulton Langlands had 28 disposals in the midfield for the Bushies, while forward Esava Ratugolea kicked four goals in the absence of Zach Sproule & Todd Marshall who were representing the Allies.

With Xavier College having the bye, Falcons ruckman Sean Darcy was dominent all day in the ruck with 40 hit-outs, allowing for Geelong to have first hands on the ball.

Cassidy Parish (younger brother of Essendon’s Darcy) had 21 disposals and kicked two goals.

In the final game of the round, Dandenong Stingrays collected a win, with an unconvincing performance over the Bendigo Pioneers. 

The Stingrays kicked 9.23 and rest assured they’ll be working on their goal kicking practice at training over the next two weeks!

 

 

Charlie Martello and Dan Allsop kicked three goals for the visitors who sit in second place, trailing the Falcons by four points.

Two of Bendigo’s 19-year-olds Jack Exell (34 disposals) and Jamieson Sheahan (29 disposals) fought hard for the Pioneers, but they were unable to notch their fourth win of the year.

This weekend, the TAC Cup have a development weekend meaning no games will be played. However, the best Victorians will be battling it out on Queens Birthday Monday at Simonds Stadium, with Vic Country U18s playing Vic Metro U18s