Tag: Judah Dundon

Sharp kickers shape up early

AS the saying goes, good kicking is good football. But exactly what is a good kick? Generally it is one that hits the target, but that can just be an effective kick. A damaging kick will influence a contest. As a general rule of thumb, the better kicks in the competition are usually outside players or defenders and the more contests they attack, generally the lower the kicking efficiency. To put it in a nutshell, the more pressure placed upon the kicker, the more difficult it is to hit a target.

While contested possessions are not divided up into kicks and handballs, today we look at which TAC Cup players excel with the ball, while also winning their fair share of contested possessions. For this analysis, we have placed the parameter as AT LEAST 40 effective kicks in the TAC Cup. We considered adding SANFL and WAFL players; however it is much fairer to compare players against others within the same competition. So for this we look at purely TAC Cup players and reveal the 32 players that have had at least 45 effective kicks this season.

Of the 32 players, nine of them have recorded a kicking efficiency of above 70 per cent. Then of those nine, five have also won more than 30 per cent of their possessions in a contest. These five players are: Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers), Nicholas Coffield (Northern Knights), Callum Searle (Oakleigh Chargers), Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers) and Ari Sakeson (Sandringham Dragons). We have also included the percentage at which they have chosen to kick long effectively, which is deemed as a kick 40m or longer to a 50/50 contest or greater odds of winning the contest.

Of these five players we then compare the raw numbers to rank them on their performance by foot statistically. Please note: It is purely based on the statistics rather than opinion.

Nicholas Coffield (Northern Knights)

Games: 6
Effective kicks: 70
Kicking efficiency: 82.69%
Contested rate: 33.7%
Long kick rate: 50.8%

Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers)

Games: 6
Effective kicks: 70
Kicking efficiency: 77.9%
Contested rate: 30.7%
Long kick rate: 54.3%

Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers)

Games: 6
Effective kicks: 51
Kicking efficiency: 78.3%
Contested rate: 44.7%
Long kick rate: 52.4%

Callum Searle (Oakleigh Chargers)

Games: 6
Effective kicks: 57
Kicking efficiency: 76.2%
Contested rate: 37.4%
Long kick rate: 51.3%

Ari Sakeson (Sandringham Dragons)

Games: 6
Effective kicks: 42
Kicking efficiency: 73.2%
Contested rate: 29%
Long kick rate: 22.2%

Top five players per stat:

Effective kicks:
1. Nicholas Coffield (Northern Knights) 70
1. Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers) 70
3. Matty Lloyd (GWV Rebels) 68
4. Judah Dundon (Western Jets) 63
5. Jamison Shea (Northern Knights) 59

Kicking efficiency:
1. Nicholas Coffield (Northern Knights) 82.69%
2. Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers) 78.3%
3. Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers) 77.9%
4. Callum Searle (Oakleigh Chargers) 76.2%
5. Jamison Shea (Northern Knights) 74.7%

Contested possession rate:
1. Callan Wellings (GWV Rebels) 55.2%
2. Cassidy Parish (Geelong Falcons) 50.2%
3. Callum Porter (Gippsland Power) 48.8%
4. Louis Cunningham (Oakleigh Chargers) 45.4%
5. Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers) 44.7%

Long kick rate:
1. Ethan Floyd (Geelong Falcons) 66.7%
2. Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers) 62.3%
3. Callan Wellings (GWV Rebels) 59%
4. Will Stephenson (Gippsland Power) 55.8%
4. Nicholas Stuhldreier (Western Jets) 55.8%

The other players which were not listed in any of the top five statistics but still recorded 45 effective long kicks to this point in the TAC Cup season are as follows: Matt Harvey and Darby Henderson (Bendigo Pioneers), Jean-Luc Velissaris, Ben Caluzzi and Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons), Josh Bateman, Mason De Wit and Ali Zijai (Dandenong Stingrays), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons), Aiden Domic (GWV Rebels), Angus Hicks (Murray Bushrangers), Toby Wooller and Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers), and Quintin Montanaro and Max Lohan (Sandringham Dragons).

Looking Ahead TAC Cup Round 4

Bendigo Pioneers (10th, 1-2) vs. Oakleigh Chargers (4th, 2-1)

Both Bendigo and Oakleigh contain some of their top-end talent despite the likes of Lochie O’Brien, Paddy Dow and Jarrod Brander missing due to school football for the Pioneers. The Pioneers’ strength in my opinion lies across the half-back line with all those players – Kane Farrell, Keelin Betson and Darby Henderson pushing up into the midfield as well. Their midfield holds up well, but their medium talls often have to play key position roles, with the likes of Bailey Henderson and Daine Grace both showing signs despite some inconsistencies at times this season.

I think the Pioneers might struggle with height as they have so far this season with Toby Wooller the one to watch up forward for the Chargers. Jack Higgins and Louis Cunningham will provide run through the middle and the likes of Callum Searle and Riley Jones holding up the defensive end. Oakleigh rebounded from a loss to Sandringham in the first round to post two victories and I think they will record one here.

The Chargers win more of the football, dominate the contested possession and lead the Pioneers across most statistical categories. Bendigo’s rebounding has been fairly good this season, as has their disposal by hand, not so much by foot. Bendigo is not the Bendigo of past years and will put up a real fight and at full strength I think the Pioneers would have them. But looking at the teams on paper, Oakleigh is my tip for this game.

Players to watch:

Bendigo: Darby Henderson: 27 disposals (11 contested), four marks, five clearances, three inside 50s, 91 DT points

Oakleigh: Jack Higgins: 30 disposals (14 contested), eight marks, five tackles, three clearances 127 DT points


Dandenong Stingrays (6th, 2-1) vs. Sandringham Dragons (2nd, 3-0)

Since the start of the season I have tipped Dandenong Stingrays for the flag and am not one to jump off the bandwagon. The return of Hunter Clark and Tom De Koning will aid the Stingrays at Frankston Oval, with Sandringham literally unrecognisable from the previous week with a whopping 15 changes – welcome back school football.

Dandenong’s top-end talent and ability to rebound will be too much for Sandringham and hand the Dragons their first loss. Mason De Wit and Bailey Morrish are two of the unlucky ones not to be drafted this season and both Clark and De Koning will be important in the Stingrays’ push going forward. I think they will miss Ali Zijai who has been one of the Stingrays’ best this season, however I’ll look forward to seeing bottom-ager Tom Hogan strut his stuff again after impressing in glimpses. Whether he will fit in the forward line with De Koning and Riley D’Arcy is yet to be seen, but he may end up sharing the ruck duties with Bailey Williams and Tom Roberts.

For the Dragons, Hamish Brayshaw and Quintin Montanaro are a couple of midfielders that will try and maintain continuity in the side, while Hayden McLean will be a tough ask to shut down for the opposition defence, with Will Walker and Max Lohan another couple to keep an eye on in this match.

The Dragons have used the ball well on the outside and have subsequently had low contested ball numbers. They play a high-skilled outside brand of football and the Stingrays would be aiming to try and force them to play more inside in order to counteract their possession play. I think the Stingrays will be too strong and the Dragons will need a few weeks to get used to their mass changes.

Players to watch:

Dandenong: Mason De Wit: 18 disposals, five marks, six rebounds, 77 per cent kicking efficiency, 63 DT points

Sandringham: Quintin Montanaro: 19 disposals, seven marks, six handball receives, 73 per cent kicking efficiency, 71 DT points


Eastern Ranges (7th, 1-2) vs. Geelong Falcons (1st, 3-0)

This match will be the match of the round in my opinion with a number of top-end talents returning to the teams. It will be the spectators’ loss that Adam Cerra will not take the field, but with Sam Hayes and Jaidyn Stephenson running around, there will still be plenty of excitement for the Ranges. Harrison Nolan is a key defender who will no doubt be on AFL clubs radars, while Eastern’s midfield is as good as anyone’s, but I think Geelong have them covered in this game.

James Worpel returns, he joins Cassidy Parish on the inside and that is the best 1-2 inside combination in the league, while Harry Benson, Oscar Brownless and Matthew Ling provide the Falcons with an embarrassment of riches. David Handley will be looking to continue his strong early season form while Tom McCartin is moving forward to follow in brother Paddy’s footsteps. Throw in Ethan Floyd, Gryan Miers and Hayden Elliot and it’s no wonder why this side is undefeated at the top of the table.

I think Geelong will remain at the top of the table after overcoming Eastern in this game. They lead them in most categories except hitouts – which they know they will lose due to height – and then clearances and contested possessions – both of which will change given Worpel is back in and Cerra is out for the Ranges. With the Falcons having a superior kicking efficiency as well, I think the will get the job done here.

Players to watch:

Eastern: Jaidyn Stephenson: 15 disposals (10 contested), six marks (two contested), four inside 50s, eight goals, 96 DT points

Geelong: James Worpel: 19 disposals (nine contested), six tackles, six clearances, seven inside 50s, 72 DT points


Western Jets (9th, 1-2) vs. Gippsland Power (8th, 1-2)

It is fair to say these sides have not had the start they would have liked, but after seeing Gippsland live last week, I feel they are better than their results are showing. Aidan Quigley returns this week which is a boost, and the Power has a good balance of talls and smalls around the ground. Will Stephenson just steps up when needed, while Nick Hogan, Callum Porter and Austin Hodge always provide effort over four quarters. Sean Masterson was good at full-forward last week but has been named at full-back to tackle Tristan Xerri this week. I do like him more as a forward, but we will see how that pans out.

For the Jets, they seemed lost without their two stars in Cam Rayner and Lachlan Fogarty. Those two jets – pardon the pun – are the lynchpin of the side and allow others to run on the outside. Xerri is raw but marks the ball at the highest point, while Judah Dundon and Nicholas Stuhldreier will always work hard. Both sides are pretty even across the board, but with Gippsland ahead on both the inside and outside they will have the slight advantage. However their footskills let them down while the Jets have been comparatively good by hand or foot and with good clearance ability, the Jets will always give their forwards first use.

The ability to put out a consistent team each week works in Gippsland’s favour and based on seeing these teams last week, I will be putting my tip the way of the Power who surprised me and I think they will continue this week.

Players to watch:

Western: Nicholas Stuhldreier: 19 disposals (seven contested), four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, 79 DT points

Gippsland: Nick Hogan: 21 disposals (12 contested), five clearances, five inside 50s, three tackles, 75 DT points


Northern Knights (5th, 2-1) vs. Murray Bushrangers (3rd, 2-1)

In the first of the Sunday games at RAMS Arena, Northern Knights and Murray Bushrangers will be fighting for a top four spot. The Knights have a really strong midfield led by Nick Coffield, Patrick Naish, Marcus Lentini and Jack Petruccelle. The emergence of Max Dreher further this season has allowed Naish to play further up the ground, with Dreher and Ethan Penrith also able to drift through that midfield. Joel Grace booted six goals in their last match so no doubt he will be tightly watched by the Bushrangers defence.

For Murray, they always put out a really competitive team and with a half-back line of Doulton Langlands, Alex Paech and Ben Paton, expect there to be no shortage of drive and rebounding out of the Bushrangers defence. Both teams’ half-back lines are strong and Murray have a number of players that have shown signs including Isaac Wallace, Will Donaghey and Angus Hicks, while Nick Richards will be keen to bounce back from a quieter round three match following two strong performances in the first fortnight.

The Bushrangers’ strengths lie in their foot skills compared to the Knights and their ability to control possession. They do struggle a little on the inside compared to past years, but provide plenty of pressure to the opposition. The Knights have been good around the stoppages and equally frenetic without the ball and I think they will get the job done here. Northern is my tip.

Players to watch:

Northern: Max Dreher: 24 disposals (12 contested), five marks, five tackles, five clearances, three rebounds, 91 DT points

Murray: Ben Paton: 25 disposals, six marks, six rebounds, three tackles, 98 DT points


Calder Cannons (12th 0-3) vs. GWV Rebels (11th, 0-3)

Two of the smallest teams in the TAC Cup will do battle in the final game of the round with avoiding going winless after four rounds the carrot dangled in front of them. What makes this game more interesting than an 11th versus 12th clash is the fact that both have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both midfields are really solid, with Calder’s Jean-Luc Velissaris, Brad Bernacki and Ben Caluzzi facing Aiden Domic, Cal Wellings and Thomas Berry. I think the Rebels’ midfield bats a little deeper, but Calder does have the better talls. Keep an eye out for Scott Carlin who is skilful by foot and will be one to watch for next season, while Cannons excitement machine Jesse Firebrace is small but packs a punch.

Noah Balta is the star of the show and will be a high draft pick, but he has his work cut out for him against Lloyd Meek who has been one of the in-form ruckmen of the competition. Mitch Podhajski will look to use his “height” of 190cm to lead the Calder defence, while the Rebels will hope that their speed will counteract the Cannons’ height up the other end. It is almost scary to think 200cm Daniel Hanna could line-up on 188cm Jackson Taurau.

I think this match will come down to match conditions. I think in patches the Rebels have shown some signs, but so has Calder. The problem with both these teams is they tend to drift off for a quarter and the opposition boots a bag of goals and it hurts. Given I am very much on the fence I will turn to the stats where the Rebels have been superior by foot, in the hit-outs, clearances and inside 50s. Calder has been much better rebounding, but with the Rebels ahead in more areas, I will select them without a great deal of confidence either way.

Players to watch:

Calder: Jean-Luc Velissaris: 17 disposals (eight contested), four marks, six inside 50s, five tackles, 84 DT points

GWV: Callan Wellings: 28 disposals (15 contested), seven marks, eight clearances, eight tackles, five rebounds, 123 DT points

Weekend That Was: Round 2

GEELONG Falcons put an exclamation mark on their premiership chances with a thumping 77-point win over fellow flag hope Dandenong Stingrays at Simonds Stadium on Saturday. The Falcons dominated after quarter time, booting 16 goals to five to run away with the 19.16 (130) to 8.5 (53) victory.

James Worpel did his draft chances no harm early in the season with a damaging 22 disposal game with his penetration and ability to work hard around the ground on show. The potential top five pick had seven clearances, laid six tackles and had nine inside 50s and two rebounds in a strong all-round game. Other Falcons to impress in the rout was Cassidy Parish (33 disposals, seven clearances) and Gryan Miers (23 disposals, five goals). For the Stingrays, Ali Zijai had 20 disposals, 10 tackles, five inside 50s and a goal, while Bailey Morrish was steadfast in defence with nine rebounds.

Western Jets bounced back from an opening round loss to Northern with a 31-point win over Calder on the weekend. The Jets raced out of the blocks with an inaccurate 3.7 to 0.1 in the first term, and while inaccuracy plagued them throughout the game, were too good for the Cannons to win 11.19 (85) to 8.6 (54).

Lachlan Fogarty starred again with 30 disposals, seven tackles, nine inside 50s and four clearances, while Judah Dundon finished with 30 disposals, four inside 50s and a goal. For Calder, Mitch Podhajski was the key ball winner, collecting 26 disposals and 10 marks, while Ben Caluzzi and captain Brad Bernacki worked hard around the ground.

Murray Bushrangers made it two wins from two games after prevailing by 24 points over Gippsland Power in a dour affair. In a game which saw just 11 goals kicked – including just four in the first half – Murray proved the better of the sides in the 7.13 (55) to 4.7 (31) win. Ben Paton had 24 disposals, six marks and two tackles in the win, while Floyd Bollinghaus was prominent in the ruck, collecting 24 hitouts from 14 disposals. For Gippsland, Will Stephenson notched up 20 disposals, five marks and six tackles, while Grady Cocksedge was strong in defence with a 77 per cent disposal efficiency from 13 touches, six rebounds and nine tackles.

SCOUTING NOTES: TAC Cup Round 2

Bendigo Pioneers recorded their first win in a see-sawing wind-affected contest at Alfredton Recreation Reserve on Sunday. Greater Western Victoria Rebels had control of the contest in the second term, but to the Pioneers credit, they booted nine of the next 13 goals to run away and record a 16.12 (108) to 14.12 (96) win. Lochie O’Brien showed why he is a contender for pick one with 26 disposals (81 per cent efficiency), seven marks, four inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals.

But it was Paddy Dow (21 disposals and seven clearances) and Brent Daniels (five goals) that stole the show for the Pioneers. Meanwhile for the Rebels, overage captain Callan Wellings starred with 35 disposals, 10 marks, nine clearances, nine tackles, three inside 50s and six rebounds in a strong performance. The only knock was he had 10 of his team’s 29 clangers, but with 16 contested possessions he worked hard both inside and out.

Ikon Park hosted a double header on Sunday, with Oakleigh recording a 21-point win over Eastern in what many would consider an upset. The Chargers were outplayed by the Dragons in a poor performance a week earlier, while the Ranges put in a dominant display against Calder under lights. But it was roles reversed when the sides clashed with Oakleigh enjoying a 13.14 (92) to 10.11 (71) victory.

Jack Higgins was again busy, racking up 30 disposals, but with 17 contested, he found himself winning plenty of them on the inside and still ran at 87 per cent efficiency. He also took seven marks, laid six tackles and booted two goals. Others to impress from the winners included Nathan Boucher with 22 touches, six marks and three tackles, while overager Louis Cunningham had seven rebound 50s from his 20 disposals. Adam Cerra again was sensational for Eastern, racking up 26 disposals, seven marks, five clearances and five inside 50s, while Jaidyn Stephenson booted three goals and had five inside 50s for the winners.

In the final game of the round, the two winners from last week, Sandringham Dragons and Northern Knights went head-to-head with the Dragons prevailing 10.15 (75) to 7.7 (49). Northern led by a point at the final break, but a 5.6 to 1.3 final term saw Sandringham run away with the contest. Andrew Brayshaw was strong inside with 11 contested possessions and nine tackles from his 27 disposals, while Charlie Constable buzzed around the outside, collecting 31 disposals, taking 10 marks and recording five rebounds. Max Dreher continued his early form with a 26 disposal game which saw the defender take eight marks, while Marcus Lentini had 26 disposals, three clearances and a goal and Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish was busy once again, playing further up the ground.

After two rounds, just three teams remain undefeated with Geelong and Murray leading the way ahead of Sandringham in third. Eastern Ranges leads a log-jam of teams with one win from two matches, ahead of Western, Northern, Oakleigh, Bendigo and Dandenong. Gippsland, GWV Rebels and Calder are looking for their first wins of the season this week.

This weekend will see a number of teams weakened with AFL Academy games running over the next two weeks  and teams’ depth will be questioned.

2017 TAC Cup season preview: Metro teams

AS the start of the 2017 TAC Cup season draws near, AFL Draft Central’s Matt Balmer will look at the six metro sides and investigate which ones are contenders, and which ones are pretenders this year. To check out Peter Williams‘ country previews, click here.

Calder Cannons

Calder Cannons only had a single player drafted in the AFL National Draft last season, but showed off their ability to win games when they needed to and finished in eighth place in the TAC Cup.

Their 2017 season will be relient on Noah Balta, who some predict the tall could easily find himself as a top 10 pick by November. The tall has played through the ruck and up forward and covers the ground well for a player at 194cm.

Their bottom age group is full of future stars including Rhylee West (son of Western Bulldogs great Scott), Curtis Taylor and Jack Bytel and they will be hoping to get plenty of opportunity in 2017.

Brad Bernacki showed some good form last season and has been named captain of the Cannons group. Bernacki finished third in the Cannons’ best and fairest last year and will be looking to take another step forward to lead his team.

I think overall it will be a similar season to 2016 for the Cannons, but if their top talent can gel together they will be able to take some scalps across the season and fight their way into the top eight.

Finishing position: 8th-10th

Eastern Ranges

2016 saw the Sandringham Dragons have five players drafted in the top 20 – well Eastern may equal that with some top talent that is sure to mark them as premierships favourite before the ball is even bounced on the season.

AFL Academy members Joel Garner, Sam Hayes and Jaidyn Stephenson were strong performers in 2016, with Hayes named as an All-Australian after a steller Under 18 championships with Vic Metro.

Hayes was good in the ruck, as well as showing off his skills inside 50 taking marks and kicking goals.

The smooth moving Garner might just be the best Metro player, with the Scotch College student using his speed and agility to take the ball inside 50 on his left boot.

Adam Cerra and Jackson Ross are two others who have not got the plaudits of the other three and may be two others who could be first round talents come November.

With Eastern the best team from Metro, it should be enough to see them reach the TAC Cup Grand Final – but with a different finals system in 2017 anything can happen.

Finishing position: 1st-2nd

Northern Knights

The Northern Knights had a coaching change over the summer with Justin Wenke appointed to take over from Andrew Shakespeare.

The Knights had some strong bottom agers last season who will progress into their top-age year nicely and should hopefully push them into finals.

Patrick Naish (son of former Richmond player Chris) headlines their draft prospects and will likely play more of a role in attack, after spending 2016 playing off the half back flank.

Jack Petruccelle will provide much needed speed through their midfield and is a player that should be noted down to keep an eye on this season. Ethan Penrith is another who showed speed from defensive 50 in 2016 and will look to take a bigger role this season.

Christian Farchione and Max Dreher are two who impressive in school football last year and when available the Knights have some strong talent from the AGSV schools.

After missing out on finals in 2016, they have a list that is capable of contending for the top eight and they have some real talent that could find themselves on AFL lists in 2018.

Finishing position: 6th-10th

Oakleigh Chargers

It’s hard to tell how the Chargers will go in 2017. With a large contingent of APS and AGSV school boys they are always going to be strong when they aren’t playing – but what type of performances will they dish up when they lose half of their best players?

Having Jack Higgins available all year will be a big plus for their midfielder, as Higgins can win the football on the inside and then push forward and hit the scoreboard.

Toby Wooller impressed up forward for Scotch and the Chargers last year and having finished school will head up their forward line looking for a 30+ goals season.

Louis Cunningham was one of the closest players to being drafted last year using his steller left boot coming out of defence, but the Chargers will look to push him up the ground this season which hopefully should help his draft chances.

Charlie Thompson has had injuries in the past but some of his performances in 2016 showed that he could be the surprise packet in the Chargers list.

2016 captain Jack Roughsedge continues on the road to recover after an injury riddled season and it will be good to see him back out on the field later in the season.

Overall you know what you’re going to get with Oakleigh, they have a strong enough team to make the finals and if it all clicks come September anything is possible.

Finishing position: 3rd-7th

Sandringham Dragons

After a record breaking 2016 draftee numbers and a TAC Cup premiership, Sandringham will look to continue their superb work in 2017.

Andrew Brayshaw, Hayden McLean and Isaac Morrisby were all a part of the Grand Final and their experience will hopefully drive the 2017 Dragons to another finals appearance.

Like Oakleigh, they have a truckload of talent when school football isn’t on – but they will look towards others to step up in their absence.

McLean has been named captain of the Dragons and his strong form inside 50 saw him gain a stop in the AFL Academy for 2017. He marks well overhead and hit the scoreboard at will last season.

Charlie Constable has been a strong performer in the preseason after missing most of 2016 with injury, whilst twins Max and Ben King will be two talls at either ends who will standout as likely top 10 players for the 2018 draft.

Father-Sons Devlin Brereton (son of Dermott) and Joel Crocker (son of Darren) are two that may get opportunity throughout the season.

While winning back-to-back premierships will be tough, they will be at team that will make finals and have the depth in their squad to know they have what it takes to get to the Grand Final.

Finishing position: 3rd-6th

Western Jets

The Jets have some high top age talent that should be able to help them jump into finals in 2017.

Midfielders Lachlan Fogarty and Cameron Rayner are the pair that will make the Jets hard to beat in the centre contest. Fogarty is a smart player around the contest, while Rayner bashes in hard and can push forward to take a contested mark overhead.

Tall Tristan Xerri impressed last season as 23rd man and is one that may bolt if he can help the Jets to a finals berth.

Smart defender Thomas Yorgey joins the Jets in 2017 and his mature football brain will help them remain composed coming from defence.

Judah Dundon was very close to being selected in the 2016 draft and will be out to impress clubs in what is hopefully an injury free season.

The Jets have a balanced squad and they are expected to win a lot of the contested ball which should hold them in good stead to hit the scoreboard.

Finishing position: 7th-11th

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):

Top talent on offer in bottom four final show

Northern Knights midfielder Lachlan Murphy has flown under the radar in 2016.
Northern Knights midfielder Lachlan Murphy has flown under the radar in 2016.

WHILE they might not have made finals, the unique last round will give players of bottom four sides a chance to impress in front of recruiters at Ikon Park.

It is a first for 2016, allowing TAC Cup finalists to have a week’s bye in between the final round of the regular season and the first week of finals.

The top eight was decided a fortnight ago and with that, came the two matches to be played out this weekend.

Given the Pioneers and Jets clashed in round 16 and the Knights and Power just last week, it made sense to switch the match-ups around so the Knights played the Jets and the Power faced the Pioneers.

Despite four points not being on the line, it is one last match for these young men who may never play with any of their teammates again and move on to AFL, state leagues or local leagues to continue their football.

Northern Knights vs. Western Jets

Northern Knights are a hard working team that is well disciplined and seemingly in the contest more often than not, fading away in the last quarter to lose by more than they should. Western Jets have some sensational games and some poor games, and it has become quite obvious that the difficulties of trying to pick when they will win or lose is similar to that of Richmond or Collingwood.

SHAKING AND SPEARING THE COMPETITION: An insight into the Northern Knights

In this match there are plenty of versatile midfielders to watch out for that could stake their claim in the National AFL Draft later this year. For the Knights, Mason Blakey and Luke Bunker are the inside grunt workers, often pushing back behind the ball to try to keep the team in possession. The two most damaging players for Northern are Matthew Signorello and Lachlan Murphy, both for different reasons.

NK - Matthew Signorello 2
Northern Knights midfielder Matthew Signorello

Signorello has the acceleration that just burns an opponent off racing out of a contest, and he can impact the scoreboard as well. Signorello though will miss the class with a shoulder injury but has showed enough signs at school and TAC Cup level that he may be drafted. Murphy is more of a half-back that can play on the inside, who has a penetrating left boot that really stands out at this level. Jake Bradley is an over-ager that Carlton fans will be keen to watch, with the son of Craig doing some nice things, however is more of a rookie prospect than anything else.

FATHER/SON PROSPECTS

Western’s highest draft hope is Daniel Venables, a potential first rounder and likely top 30 pick. The inside midfielder/forward is a tireless worker who is strong one-on-one and can be a dominant force up forward. Venables will miss the clash through injury and is unlikely to play in the All Star match later in the season. Inconsistency can plague Venables at times, but he’s still a very valuable player who will no doubt find an AFL home in November.

Otherwise, the Jets have Brodie Romensky, Oscar Junker and Judah Dundon that will be on recruiters’ watch lists. Romensky finds the ball at will, often from a half-back flank and can be a link-up player in Western’s chain of possession. Junker and Dundon do not find as much of the football, but generally use it well and can break a game open with quick handballs or forward thrusts. Dundon misses the clash with a leg issue, but the Jets are hopeful he’ll be back for testing in October. One name quietly going about his business is Brock McGregor. The Jets ruckman is one of a handful of rucks that could be drafted later in the year, and will be keen to impress this weekend.


Gippsland Power vs. Bendigo Pioneers

Gippsland versus Bendigo is less likely to produce as many draftees as the other match. The Power have one genuine star first round pick in Ben Ainsworth, while the Pioneers have top 40 prospects Kobe Mutch and Joe Atley.

Mutch hasn’t played much TAC Cup football of late with injury and once again has been ruled out of this weekend’s game. Atley last month tried his hand in the VFL for Geelong, booting two goals and collecting 16 disposals on debut. Kayle Kirby is another who got a taste of VFL football last week, but the goal sneak Pioneer did not just taste it, he lapped it up. Kirby booted five goals in Richmond’s upset win over Sandringham and really threw his name out there to be considered in November. Kirby once again will be with the Tigers on the weekend, missing the final clash of the season for the Pioneers.

 

For those who do not know much about Mutch or Atley, Mutch is a balanced midfielder who finds a truck load of possessions and is a solid all-round prospect. While he could kick a few more goals, Mutch works hard defensively and is a very solid kick of the football. Atley is an inside midfield beast who can win the footy on the outside too, and is the brother of North Melbourne’s Shaun.

Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Joe Atley in action for Vic Country in the 2016 Under 18 Championships.
Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Joe Atley in action for Vic Country in the 2016 Under 18 Championships.

The other Bendigo Pioneer who has some clubs interested is Cooper Jones, a developing tall forward who is a late to rookie prospect. The Pioneers have largely played a young side throughout 2016 and the signs that players such as Lochie O’Brien and Jarrod Brander have shown throughout the year, will give them hope for a better 2017.

For the Power, Ainsworth is clearly the standout player, with a possible top 10 selection to be used on the half forward. He has the potential to kick plenty of goals and has a strong body to win the ball at the coal face. A booming kick and plenty of confident, he is a likely type that most clubs will consider.

Other than Ainsworth, Sean Masterson and Will Leslie have a few clubs poking around. Masterson is a versatile player who has played mainly in defence but can play forward if required. Leslie is a midfielder who does not win a lot of the football, but has stood up while Ainsworth missed due to representative duties and suspension.

Lively forward Nathan Voss is another who may catch the eye of clubs. Voss booted 3.3 last weekend against Northern and had three score assists bringing plenty of energy inside 50 for the Power.

Overall, this game is likely to be about the potential top end talent and if any diamonds in the rough emerge from the match.

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 10

2106 Cedric Cox Rebels debut

LAST weekend was a challenging one for TAC Cup clubs as they relied on the next tier of players to stand up with many omissions due to Under 18s Championships.

On a wild and windy day, Geelong Falcons reasserted themselves against a reborn North Ballarat Rebels.

The Falcons were top-of-the-table taking on a Rebels side fresh off six straight wins in what was clearly match of the round.

From the start the Falcons always looked to be a class better and while they butchered opportunities in front of goal when the game was on the line, North Ballarat was not much better.

A host of lesser known players stood up for both sides as Mitch Diamond (Falcons) and Callan Wellings (Rebels) were among those to impress.

In the end it was the Falcons getting up by 23 points despite the Rebels booting two late goals to give themselves half a chance.

Across at Warrawee Park, Western Jets made the most of an under strength Oakleigh to record a vital 33-point victory.

It was the second win against the Chargers for the Jets, who knocked them off at full-strength in round one.

Judah Dundon starred with 24 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and two goals, while for the Chargers, Lachlan Walker and Campbell Lane again found plenty of the ball.

A full-strength Gippsland Power showed what lower teams are capable of if they meet a severely under strength premiership contender, when they matched it with Dandenong Stingrays.

The Stingrays were missing up to 14 of its best 22 according to number one ticketholder Jarrod Potter and the Power took advantage, leading for stints in the match and were level at the last break.

They ultimately fell short with the Stingrays gritting out an eight-point victory, but Gippsland lost no respect with the performance.

Calder Cannons caused a boil over in their match with Eastern Ranges, running away 32-point winners.

Leading for the entire day, Jackson McDonald was phenomenal for the Cannons, collecting 34 disposals to go with his five marks, 10 tackles and a goal.

For the Ranges, Thomas North and Josh Begley were impressive once again.

The Sandringham Dragons also continued their strong form in the top four this season, recording a four-goal win over Northern Knights.

A low scoring contest for three quarters, the Dragons trailed by two points at three quarter time, before piling on seven goals to three in the final term to run away with the contest.

Over-ager Goy Lok found plenty of the football with 28 disposals, four marks and four tackles to his name.

In the final match of the round, Murray Bushrangers were far too strong for Bendigo Pioneers, as Esava Ratugolea booted eight and Lachlan Tiziani finished with five in a complete performance.

Read more on Esava Ratugolea here:

The Bushrangers won by 72 points despite the best efforts of Joe Atley (26 disposals, 10 tackles, one goal) and Darby Henderson (38 disposals, eight marks, four tackles).

It was a tough pill to swallow for the Pioneers as they watched Western and Calder both win their respective matches – teams that ill afford to win for the Pioneers to book a finals berth.