Tag: Lachlan Fogarty

Draftees named for AFLX

TWENTY-one draftees from the 2017 National Draft will get an early taste of senior football in the AFL’s newest competition – AFLX. Among them are three former Sandringham Dragons, two Bendigo Pioneers and two Eastern Ranges, while Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons) and Jack Petruccelle (Northeren Knights) are the sole players named from their TAC Cup sides.

The tournament begins on Thursday night with six sides – Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide and West Coast – playing shortened 20-minute matches in a round robin format in two pools from which the winner of each pool advances to the grand final at the end of the night. Two further AFLX round robins will be played on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Played at Hindmarsh Stadium in South Australia, former Sturt players Patrick Wilson (Adelaide) and Mitchell Crowden (Fremantle) have been named, as have Jackson Edwards (Glenelg now Adelaide), Stefan Giro (Norwood now Fremantle), Dom Barry (Glenelg now Port Adelaide) and Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL now Adelaide). Mature-ager Tim Kelly (South Fremantle now Geelong), Bailey Banfield (Claremont now Fremantle), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco now West Coast), Jake Patmore (Claremont now Port Adelaide) and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle now West Coast) are the West Australians involved.

Along with the thrill that comes with representing an AFL club, there is the potential for a number of former teammates to face off on the elite stage. Former Sandringham Dragons Nathan Murphy and Hamish Brayshaw could go head to head when the Magpies face the Eagles, while Brayshaw could also face off against his brother Andrew if both West Coast and Fremantle make the grand final. Glenelg pair Jackson Edwards and Dom Barry could go head-to-head if the South Australian sides make the grand final, as could Eastern Ranges’ exports Jaidyn Stephenson and his former captain Joel Garner if the Magpies meet the Power in the decider. Other former teammates that could face off include Patrick Wilson and Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Tim Kelly and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle), and Kane Farrell and Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers).

The AFLX competition is played on a ground with dimensions of between 100-120m in length and 60-70m in width, with four posts at each end and two 40m arcs. Each team will consist of 10 players per game – seven on the field and three on the bench – and there are no restrictions on rotations. No marks will be paid on backwards kicks (except in the forward 40m area) and the last touch out of bounds is a free kick. Kick-ins will occur after each score – even goals – while at least two players from each team must start each quarter inside each 40m arc and any deliberate rushed behinds will result in a free shot to the opposition team from the forward 40m arc resulting in a potential 10-point goal.

The full list of draftees named for the first night for the AFLX competition is:

Adelaide: Patrick Wilson (Sturt), Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL), Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)

Collingwood: Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges), Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)

Fremantle: Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Bailey Banfield (Claremont), Stefan Giro (Norwood)

Geelong: Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)

Port Adelaide: Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers), Jake Patmore (Claremont), Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges), Dom Barry (Glenelg)

West Coast: Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco), Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights), Hamish Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle)

FIXTURES:

6.10pm – Port Adelaide v Geelong
6.38pm – Adelaide v Collingwood
7.06pm – Geelong v Fremantle
7.34pm – West Coast v Adelaide
8.02pm – Fremantle v Port Adelaide
8.30pm – Collingwood v West Coast
9.03pm – Grand Final

Western Jets 2017 review

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

Western Jets

Finished: 10th
Wins: 6
Losses: 12
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 78
Points: 24

Players Drafted: (3)

  • Cameron Rayner (Brisbane)
  • Lachlan Fogarty (Geelong)
  • Tristan Xerri (North Melbourne)

2017 Review:

The Western Jets achieved their own piece of history this year with Cameron Rayner becoming the first Jets player to be a number on pick since the competition began. Rayner was picked up by Brisbane and despite some rumours that best mate Lachlan Fogarty would join him, Fogarty slid to the Cats in the second round, while developing tall Tristan Xerri was picked up by North Melbourne late.

On the field, the Jets did not have a great season, finishing tenth overall and despite some promising signs at times, they did struggle without Rayner and Fogarty for most of the season. The season did see a number of bottom-age Jets players stand up and push for permanent midfield time in 2018, which should see the Jets bounce back and potentially play finals next season.

The Jets seem to have some good quality depth, particularly through the midfield and if they can kick large enough scores each week, they could be a dangerous proposition for most sides next year.

###

2018 Preview:

Western Jets have a number of really strong prospects heading into the 2018 season, backing up their 2017 year which saw their first ever number one draft pick. They have the midfield and defence covered, and will just look for their forwards to develop, including bottom-age Emerson Jeka who is shaping as a top 10 pick in 2019. Of those eligible this year the Jets have four stand outs including Zac Butters, Buku Khamis, Xavier O’Halloran and Connor Thar.

Zac Butters (Western Jets) 177cm | 66kg | Balanced Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 17.8 disposals| 3.9 marks | 2.4 tackles | 3.2 inside 50s | 53% KE | 62% DE | 41% CP

Butters managed 17 games in his bottom-age year and took almost four marks per game, spreading well across the field. His kicking needs a bit of work, but his ability to move well in transition was impressive. He had no trouble finding the ball and will be one to watch in 2018.

Buku Khamis (Western Jets) 188cm | 81kg | General Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (16) 11.6 disposals | 5.6 marks | 2.4 tackles | 0.4 rebounds | 64% KE | 71% DE | 47% CP

Playing primarily as a lock-down defender, Khamis was good one-on-one, taking 5.6 marks per game and still winning his fair share of the football. He has the size to play key position and could play on tall or small opponents. His kicking was impressive in his bottom-age year and perhaps the next step is a focus on his attacking game, such as rebounding, because his defensive game was very impressive.

Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets) 185cm | 81kg | Inside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (18) 17.3 disposals | 2.3 marks | 2.8 tackles | 3.4 clearances | 3.9 inside 50s | 53% KE | 56% DE | 54% CP

O’Halloran is a big ball winner who loves the contested work. He buries himself under packs and is really strong in close, often having to step up in the absence of the Jets’ ball winners. He did a good job as a bottom-age player and could be one of those ready-made inside midfielders in 12 months time.

Connor Thar (Western Jets) 174cm | 65kg | Balanced Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 18.9 disposals | 3.8 marks | 3.6 tackles | 2.8 clearances | 51% KE | 60% DE | 42% CP

A classy player who just needs a bit more consistency in his kicking, Thar has the sidestep and awareness to be a valuable midfielder in 2018, once he can put everything together for four quarters. He wins the ball, lays tackles and gets it clear from the stoppages, and can play inside or out. If he can iron out his kicking then he could be one of the first Jets picked.

Others to keep an eye on:

Oskar Manton (Western Jets) 181cm | 68kg | Small Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (4) 8.8 disposals | 2 marks | 1.2 tackles | 2 rebounds | 70% KE | 74% DE | 39% CP

Jaden Rice (Western Jets) 186cm | 82kg | Inside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (16) 16.4 disposals | 1.4 marks | 5.1 tackles | 4.4 clearances | 51% KE | 69% DE | 70% CP

###

Summary:

Western Jets have a really strong foundation for propelling themselves back into the top eight next season. Their midfield is strong on paper and has good depth, while their defence has a number of talented players. With some emerging talls in the team, the Jets are a team on the rise and one to watch in 2018.

Matt Balmer’s 2017 Final AFL Draft Power Rankings Part 2

EVERY month since May, Matt Balmer has ranked his players from the 2017 AFL Draft pool. With the November 24 National AFL Draft on this Friday, he counts down the players in his top 25, after revealing his 50-26 players last week..

You can find his 50-26 rankings here.

Having seen just under 90 games throughout the season, it is always hard to come to a final order and I have ranked the players how I would if I was an AFL club going into the draft come November, ticking names off the list as they are called out.

Please note this is NOT a Phantom Draft – purely just how I rate the players. For this exercise, no mature agers have been considered.

#25 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who is linked to the Brisbane Lions academy. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well. Likely to receive a bid 25 plus on draft night.

Strengths: Contested marking, set shot goalkicking, kicking
Improvements:  Agility, endurance, conditioning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.75 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CONNOR BALLENDEN

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Brisbane00000000000000000000
Total-00000000000000000000

NEAFL

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Brisbane351954240055262665.83.29.04.00.30.31.0
Total-351954240055262665.83.2940.30.31

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016QLD00000000000000000000
Total-00000000000000000000

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Allies43730010000114.03.07.03.00.01.01.0
2017Allies351550231933423138048.83.812.55.85.81.00.0
Total-3918572619335231381512.86.819.58.85.821

#24 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond and possibly may get bid on after the Tigers’ third selection (Pick 25) on draft night.

Strengths: Agility, leap, overhead marking
Improvements:  Decision making, inside game

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: PATRICK NAISH

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Northern956215734001800002910.66.917.43.80.02.00.2
2017Northern82701523158952101525513810.38.819.03.90.02.61.6
Total-17713230965589539015255151720.915.736.47.704.61.8

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro52338520176413021763413.08.321.35.00.03.30.8
Total-523385201764130217634138.321.3503.30.8

#23 Charlie Ballard
Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

Strengths: Intercept marking, competitiveness, kicking
Improvements:  Breakaway speed, inside tackling

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.46 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CHARLIE BALLARD

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Sturt35205519134260091348.85.013.84.80.01.50.8
Total-35205519134260091348.8513.84.801.50.8

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Sturt6141103304361120111551512.28.420.66.00.02.40.2
Total-6141103304361120111551512.28.420.6602.40.2

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017South Australia4428721726467041441411.07.018.04.30.01.80.3
Total-44287217264670414414117184.301.80.3

#22 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179.0cm | 75.0kg

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Unfairly flies under the radar and is right in the mix as a late first round pick.

Strengths: Agility, accumulation, speed, class, tackling
Improvements:  Consistency in disposal, one-on-one marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LACHLAN FOGARTY

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western596412313003910000511.812.824.62.60.27.80.0
2017Western11264176257896680324899716.09.125.13.60.09.71.3
Total-17112829938789610713248991227.821.949.76.20.217.51.3

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro3225578233628010953310.78.319.02.70.09.31.0
Total-3225578233628010953310.78.3192.709.31

#21 Ed Richards
Medium Defender/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick and clean hands to effectiveness.

Strengths: Speed, kicking, leap, contested work, clean hands
Improvements:  Endurance, contested ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.01 | Agility (secs) 8.59 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.6

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ED RICHARDS

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Oakleigh00000000000000000000
2017Oakleigh72781502852922901513153107.27.815.02.80.02.90.3
Total-72781502852922901513153107.27.8152.802.90.3

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo and Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Strengths: Kicking, Footy IQ, spread
Improvements:  Disposal under pressure, contested ball

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.03 | Agility (secs) 8.35 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.7

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LOCHIE O’BRIEN

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Bendigo715012134001400002514.210.024.26.80.02.80.4
2017Bendigo3339721028437041353311.013.024.03.30.02.31.0
Total-1048919344284321041355825.22348.210.105.11.4

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country12172940010000026.08.514.52.00.00.50.0
2017Vic Country3984718739703951313.02.715.76.00.02.30.3
Total-5125762273980395151911.230.2802.80.3

#19 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

Strengths: Leap, marking, mobility
Improvements:  Set shot goalkicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.07 | Agility (secs) 8.27 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: OSCAR ALLEN

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western Australia00000000000000000000
2017Western Australia382462243127822901149.56.015.56.00.52.02.8
Total-382462243127822901149.5615.560.522.8

WAFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016West Perth00000000000000000000
2017West Perth12517100020000026.02.58.55.00.01.00.0
Total-125171000200000262.58.55010

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016West Perth1326820060005022400014177.84.011.83.513.22.90.8
2017West Perth11143154610030470007813.95.419.37.65.93.80.9
Total-2431113541210080271000212521.79.431.111.119.16.71.7

WAFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016West Perth00000000000000000000
2017West Perth1982712001020000129.54.013.52.010.05.00.5
Total-1982712001020000129.5413.521050.5

#18 Matthew Ling
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Strengths: Speed, kicking, cleanness, agility
Improvements:  Consistency, opposite foot

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.03 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: MATTHEW LING

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Geelong17143180070000135.74.710.32.70.02.30.3
2017Geelong11813225042881613801235210148.49.417.93.00.02.70.0
Total-135146281508816145012352111714.114.128.25.7050.3

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country00000000000000000000
2017Vic Country272956151442110542146.87.314.03.80.02.80.3
Total-272956151442110542146.87.3143.802.80.3

#17 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the National Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick, but there is some suggestion that he could last into the 40s on draft night.

Strengths: Leap, long right foot kick, versatility
Improvements:  Decision making, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.38 | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NOAH BALTA

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Calder642084240021660001679.12.912.03.49.43.02.3
2017Calder15045195561049450152266220121311.53.515.04.311.73.80.9
Total-21465279801049471218266220282020.66.4277.721.16.83.2

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro234279151246267037.71.39.03.02.01.30.0
Total-234279151246267037.71.39321.30

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

Strengths: Intercept marking, reading the play, mature body, agile
Improvements:  Kicking technique

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.09 | Agility (secs) 8.22 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: AARON NAUGHTON

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western Australia871540050000024.03.57.52.00.02.50.0
2017Western Australia342559211937711211048.56.314.85.30.31.80.0
Total-42327425193712112110612.59.822.37.30.34.30

WAFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Peel Thunder00000000000000000000
2017Peel Thunder722597480092000270000000
Total-722597480092000270000000

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Peel Thunder12657183570024150006130000000
2017Peel Thunder80331135100184000570000000
Total-2069029610800421900011200000000

#15 Sam Hayes
Ruckman/Key Position Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. The ruck/forward needs to improve his running and it will likely see him fall outside the first round.

Strengths: Overhead marking, ruckwork, forward craft
Improvements:  Endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.13 | Agility (secs) 8.77 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 19.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: SAM HAYES

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern97831804700203380005156.55.512.03.122.51.30.3
2017Eastern12110422565133962833645291517148.67.416.14.624.02.01.2
Total-2181874051121339648674452915222915.112.928.17.746.53.31.5

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro161329120030000535.34.39.74.00.01.01.7
2017Vic Metro2632581435272671171446.58.014.53.516.80.51.0
Total-42458726352756711719711.812.324.27.516.81.52.7

#14 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Was ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Strengths: Clean hands, decision making, strength, kicking
Improvements:  Endurance, clear position at next level, ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: DARCY FOGARTY

SANFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Glenelg19264542424110860044.86.511.31.00.02.80.0
Total-19264542424110860044.86.511.3102.80

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Glenelg62845320240016.02.08.04.00.02.00.0
Total-62845320240016284020

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016South Australia20929130060000736.73.09.74.30.02.02.3
2017South Australia31154614193090468447.83.811.53.50.02.31.0
Total-51247527193015046811714.56.821.27.804.33.3

#13 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy kicked over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan. Lots for upside and could well wind up as a midfielder in years to come.

Strengths: Intercept marking, versatile, cleanness at ground level
Improvements:  Set shot goalkicking, midfield craft, double-grab marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.16 | Agility (secs) 8.85 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NATHAN MURPHY

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Sandringham00000000000000000000
2017Sandringham8247129384582160417213810.35.916.14.80.02.00.4
Total-8247129384582160417213810.35.916.14.8020.4

#12 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Strengths: Goal sense, Footy IQ, quick hands, contested marking
Improvements:  Speed, hurt factor with disposal

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.10 | Agility (secs) 8.45 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JACK HIGGINS

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Oakleigh8369152350021000014711.99.921.75.00.03.02.0
2017Oakleigh19912332275147170710412616311414.28.823.05.40.05.12.2
Total-282192474110147170920412616452126.118.744.710.408.14.2

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro251641800100001212.58.020.54.00.00.50.5
2017Vic Metro5356109245354250201366413.314.027.36.00.06.31.5
Total-7872150325354260201367625.82247.81006.82

#11 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Strengths: Composure, clean hands, acceleration
Improvements:  Kicking consistency, outside game

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: HUNTER CLARK

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Dandenong985515332001900005109.85.515.33.20.01.90.5
2017Dandenong19415334742175180860808533111314.911.826.73.20.06.60.8
Total-292208500741751801050808533162324.717.3426.408.51.3

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country1231500050000026.01.57.50.00.02.50.0
2017Vic Country40216112223918001072410.05.315.33.00.04.50.5
Total-522476122239230010726166.822.83070.5

#10 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Strengths: Kicking, acceleration, X-Factor, versatility
Improvements:  Endurance, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.90 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: AIDEN BONAR

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Dandenong10110000000020.50.00.50.50.00.00.0
2017Dandenong42418321463826014210567.06.813.83.50.04.30.8
Total-43418422463826014210587.56.814.3404.30.8

#9 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Strengths: Mobility, set shot goalkicking, versatile
Improvements:  Consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.11 | Agility (secs) 8.40 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JARROD BRANDER

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017GWS Giants00000000000000000000
Total-00000000000000000000

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Bendigo41135426006100010410.33.313.56.50.31.52.5
2017Bendigo18133114171511050336.04.310.34.70.30.31.0
Total-5926854017157205013716.37.623.811.20.61.83.5

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Allies00000000000000000000
2017Allies42206220213430010144410.55.015.55.00.00.81.0
Total-42206220213430010144410.5515.5500.81

#8 Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground. A potential heart issue was picked up at the Combine and it remains to be seen how the club medical staff will judge the top 10 prospect.

Strengths: X-Factor, speed, agility, endurance, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Kicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.97 | Agility (secs) 8.64 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JAIDYN STEPHENSON

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern113391526000270000181011.33.915.26.00.02.71.8
2017Eastern22711234870158178826486925141515.17.523.24.70.45.50.9
Total-3401515001301581781096486925322526.411.438.410.70.48.22.7

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro50530000000015.00.05.03.00.00.00.0
2017Vic Metro333164101749100347648.37.816.02.50.02.51.5
Total-3831691317491003476513.37.8215.502.51.5

#7 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

Strengths: Contested ball winning, impact in the midfield, kicking, endurance, leadership
Improvements:  Scoreboard impact

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.00 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 22.4

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ANDREW BRAYSHAW

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Sandringham161430100060000235.34.710.03.30.02.00.7
2017Sandringham1221262484011713766049401681012.212.624.84.00.06.60.8
Total-13814027850117137720494016101317.517.334.87.308.61.5

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro14284251826802102127.014.021.02.50.04.00.5
Total-1428425182680210212714212.5040.5

#6 Charlie Constable
Inside Midfielder/General Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

Strengths: Footy IQ, contested ball winning, versatile, clearance work, marking inside 50
Improvements:  Speed, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CHARLIE CONSTABLE

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Sandringham5131830060000022.56.59.01.50.03.00.0
2017Sandringham981112095310110124142161410109.811.120.95.30.12.41.0
Total-10312422756101101301421614101212.317.629.96.80.15.41

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro2456801629521307112138.018.726.75.30.04.30.3
Total-245680162952130711213818.726.75.304.30.3

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

Strengths: Athleticism, work in tight, efficiency, versatility, leadership
Improvements:  Tackling, contested ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.91 | Agility (secs) 8.53 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NICHOLAS COFFIELD

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Northern14612927557003400000188.17.215.33.20.01.90.0
2017Northern21911633575113213320474550131613.77.320.94.70.02.00.8
Total-365245610132113213660474550133421.814.536.27.903.90.8

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro52378917305790714111413.09.322.34.30.02.30.3
Total-523789173057907141114139.322.34.302.30.3

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages. Missed the latter parts of the season due to a shoulder injury.

Strengths: Powerful, classy, contested work, vision, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Kicking under pressure

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: PADDY DOW

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Bendigo819517627002000003810.111.922.03.40.02.50.4
2017Bendigo384179134039100161842312.713.726.34.30.03.30.7
Total-1191362554040393001618451122.825.648.37.705.81.1

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country00000000000000000000
2017Vic Country38387610493110021114349.59.519.02.50.02.50.8
Total-38387610493110021114349.59.5192.502.50.8

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Missed the second half of the year with a shoulder injury.

Strengths: Kicking, contested ball, agility, upside
Improvements:  Speed, injury durability

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ADAM CERRA

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern561130040000015.06.011.03.00.04.00.0
2017Eastern7629105275851150232195419.07.326.36.80.03.81.3
Total-813511630585119023219552413.337.39.807.81.3

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro423173123442220171662410.57.818.33.00.05.50.5
Total-423173123442220171662410.57.818.3305.50.5

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September’s TAC Cup Finals.

Strengths: Powerful, penetrating kick, contested marking, big game player, acceleration, kicking
Improvements:  Endurance, speed

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Dandenong19102950070000029.55.014.52.50.03.50.0
2017Dandenong78671452670762102827126613.011.224.24.30.03.51.0
Total-97771743170762802827126822.516.238.76.8071

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country10616479202400110.06.016.04.00.02.00.0
2017Vic Country493887243160130121443412.39.521.86.00.03.30.8
Total-5944103283869150141843522.315.537.81005.30.8

#1 Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot. Battled a knee injury in the second half of the season.

Strengths: Strength, contested marking, X-Factor, penetrating kick, big game player
Improvements:  Endurance, consistency within games

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CAMERON RAYNER

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western91551463500361900017811.46.918.34.42.44.52.1
2017Western83611442384603112832810711.98.720.63.30.14.41.4
Total-174116290588460672028328271523.315.638.97.72.58.93.5

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro353873124531110151021248.89.518.33.00.02.83.0
Total-353873124531110151021248.89.518.3302.83

With just four sleeps until draft night, the 2017 NAB AFL Draft looms as one of the most open and unpredictable in recent memory. My final Phantom Draft will be released Thursday night at 7pm – if you want to know more: send me a Tweet @MattBalmer

Matt Balmer’s 2017 early Phantom Draft

IT IS just over a month until AFL clubs will meet at Sydney Showgrounds for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

At the conclusion of trade week, Matt Balmer predicts who will go where inside the first round, in his 2017 early Phantom Draft.

Pick 1: Brisbane – Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

In the mix: While some may see Cameron Rayner as the best player in the 2017 draft pool, I think the Lions will look for a full-time inside midfielder. Paddy Dow’s name is another who the Lions will consider – but at the moment the gut feel is ‘LDU’ is ahead of Dow.

Pick 2: Fremantle – Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

In the mix: Fremantle only acquired Pick 2 today, in a trade from the Gold Coast giving up Lachie Weller. They’ll need to take a Victorian midfielder at Pick 2 – with Cerra, Rayner, Davies-Uniacke others who could also feature. Fremantle have a lot of players similar to Rayner – but it’d be hard to let him go – as a player who can do things that many others can’t in this draft pool.

Pick 3: Carlton – Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

In the mix: Fremantle are the great unknown and it’d be very hard to see the Blues let Rayner slip past them if he gets through to Pick 3. Haileybury College midfielders Andrew Brayshaw, Charlie Constable and Davies-Uniacke will be in the mix. Paddy Dow might land in their lap if things fall another way.

Pick 4: North Melbourne – Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

In the mix: Most of the talk is that the top three selections will be Rayner, Davies-Uniacke & Dow – with the order unknown. Stephenson had a great second half of the year and adds some X-Factor for the Roos. Adam Cerra, Nick Coffield and Andrew Brayshaw are three other names that no doubt they’ll be monitoring.

Pick 5: Fremantle – Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

In the mix: Take a midfielder at Pick 2 and at Pick 5? Another big question – but Fremantle hold the keys to shaping the top 10 of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. They’ve watched a fair bit of the Sandringham Dragons and Andrew Brayshaw could be a player selected here. Adam Cerra and Nick Coffield are two other Vic Metro players who they’ll have on the list – but it might be hard to turn down the best West Australian and tall in the draft pool.

Pick 6: Collingwood – Nick Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

In the mix: Few whispers of the Pies meeting with Aaron Naughton on the weekend and they may pick him if he is available here. Coffield is the best player available and should be able to transition into an inside midfielder in the future.

Pick 7: St Kilda – Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

In the mix: I’m told St Kilda have been big fans of Brayshaw throughout 2017 – meeting with him on multiple occasions and it would be hard to see them turn him down if he’s available. Alan Richardson watched the TAC Cup elimination final where Nick Coffield dominated and he is another option if still on the board. It would be a tough call to let Adam Cerra go too.

Pick 8: St Kilda – Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

In the mix: The biggest unknown in the 2017 draft pool is Aiden Bonar and he is a name that St Kilda could take – to address bringing in a big bodied midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was outstanding and there’s no doubt with the security of having two picks inside top 10 – the Saints could make the move on the Dandenong Stingray.

Pick 9: Western Bulldogs – Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

In the mix: If the Saints don’t take Bonar, he’s a player I’d expect the Bulldogs to snap up. With Stringer leaving the kennel, South Australia’s best draft prospect Darcy Fogarty could fill a similar role as a forward. They have also shown some interest in Nathan Murphy – but they may hope that he gets to their next selection.

Pick 10: Carlton – Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

In the mix: SOS has some good relationships among the APS school boy football competition and if one of Bonar or Constable reach their Pick 10 – It would be seriously hard to see him let them go past. Either can play as an inside midfielder and support Patrick Cripps.

Pick 11: GWS – Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

In the mix: The Giants have long wanted a small forward and the retirement of Stevie J might see them select Jack Higgins, who would fit in well playing a role alongside Tim Taranto and Toby Greene. They have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid to grab players with dual sport abilities (Pat McKenna), so Nathan Murphy could be another considered.

Pick 12: Adelaide – Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

In the mix: The obvious option is for the Crows to take home grown talent in Darcy Fogarty, but if he’s off the board – they may look to Vic Country inside midfielder Hunter Clark who has had a superb finish to the season.

Pick 13: West Coast – Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

In the mix: Another club that will look to bolster their inside midfielders stock. If Hunter Clark is on the board it is a no-brainer, while if they feel they want to take the best homegrown player – it is not too far out of Under 18 Larke Medalist Oscar Allen’s range.

Pick 14: Sydney – Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

In the mix: In what was a quiet trade week for Kinnear Beatson and the Swans, they will hit the draft with their first round pick. Nathan Murphy is a player they could consider, with a chance he moves into the midfield. If they are looking for some outside class – players such as Lochie O’Brien, Matt Ling, Ed Richards and Ryley Stoddart could be considered, but all are probably likely to fall into the second round.

Pick 15: Brisbane – Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

In the mix: Pick 15 places the Lions a bit in no-man’s land – if the draft falls as I have it, they may miss out on probably the best crop of midfielders. No doubt they’d be keen to link up Dandenong Stingrays pair Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark with Davies-Uniacke if they were available. Despite having Oscar McInerney developing well, they might look at Sam Hayes to boost their ruck stocks or develop as a key forward – but they do have Connor Ballenden who should get a bid after their next pick somewhere in the 20s. Could they bid on Patrick Naish?

Pick 16: Western Bulldogs – Ed Richards
Medium Defender/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

In the mix: The Tigers will be hoping that father-son prospect Patrick Naish doesn’t get a bid here – with the Bulldogs showing plenty of interest this season. If they’re looking to add some speed on the outside, Ed Richards has had a great season and might be one they look to recruit. Norwood small midfielder Zac Bailey was superb throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for the Allies and could be another they consider.

Pick 17: Richmond – Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

In the mix: The Tigers went into finals with a small side – but may look to bring in some more talls to help with their depth. Most people in the know feel Jarrod Brander will get outside the top 10 and the Tigers would have to snatch him up at Pick 17. Sam Hayes is another tall they will consider – but the Tigers will be hoping he gets through to Pick 20. If the Bulldogs or Lions bid on Naish – this pick will be removed from the order.

What about the rest?

Pick 19: Gold Coast – Nathan Murphy would be a likely suitor should he get through to Pick 19. Medium forward Jordan Houlahan from Sturt would be another name that fits the bill as a similar player to Murphy. Larke Medalist Oscar Allen and Vic Metro tall Noah Balta are still on the board and might fit the best available selection, while the loss of Adam Saad might allow them to look for a similar prospect in Matt Ling.

Pick 22: Geelong – Similar to the Suns – medium forwards Murphy and Houlahan would appeal to add to the Cats’ forward line. Lachlan Fogarty might be another good fit, with high pressure and tackling numbers sure to fit the bill of AFL teams after a success with Richmond this season. Could the Wooller name return to Simonds Stadium?

Pick 29: Melbourne – A small forward or classy outside ball user would likely appear to the Dees. Ryley Stoddart, Matt Ling and Lochie O’Brien are three such classy outside midfielders/half back flanks. If they’re looking for a small forward, Dylan Moore and Charlie Spargo are two second round prospects that they could consider. The Demons also have Pick 31 and 36.

Pick 43: Hawthorn – Once again the Hawks will enter the draft without a first round pick – but it is at least closer than their 2016 first selection. Next Generation Academy member Changkuoth Jiath is tied to the Hawks – but will likely be a late selection or rookie pick. While it’s probably unlikely Andrew McPherson would be a good fit across half back and through the midfield, after an injury interrupted 2017. Two other midfielders that might be considered from the Hawks are Brayden Ainsworth and Matthew Day. Could James Worpel still be there at Pick 43?

Pick 46: Port Adelaide – The Power are one of a number of clubs to show interest in Eastern Ranges & Haileybury College outside midfielder/general forward Jackson Ross. Ross is very athletic and has plenty of scope for development. If the two West Australian teams haven’t grabbed Liam Ryan – the Power might consider it here.

Pick 48: Essendon – If the Bombers can find an inside midfielder at Pick 48 – it would cap off a very impressive draft & trade period. The Bombers would’ve taken Constable with Pick 11 had they held onto it, but if James Worpel gets to Pick 48 – It’d be hard to see them let him go. There’s been a lot of talk about them being keen on Dylan Moore – but he’s likely to end up inside the top 30.

GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

 

Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft October Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings every month throughout 2017. 

You can read Matt Balmer‘s September edition of his Power Rankings here:

The season is just about over for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft prospects after a long year, with some players pushing themselves through just under 30 games for the season.

Last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine saw clubs get a final chance to interview and see 85 players tested, before they finalise their draft boards with under 50 days until the draft on November 24th.

With trade week beginning today, plenty of deals will affect the draft order & at the conclusion of the trade week – the staff at AFL Draft Central will release our first Phantom Draft for 2017.

This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

Last month: Rayner has battled thumb and knee issues through 2017 and he missed the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day. Rayner faced the media and was put through various club interviews at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was unable to test.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

Last month: It was “LDU’s” performance in the Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup Elimination Final that kept his name in the contention for the Brisbane Lions’ number one pick. Davies-Uniacke had a game-high 33 disposals (21 contested), six clearances and five inside 50s – as he hunted the ball in the midfield and showed off his power getting the ball forward. In their preliminary final loss, LDU had 22 disposals (12 contested), six tackles and five clearances, often spending time up forward playing as a marking target. He finished the year with 23 disposals and four inside 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match as one of Team Harvey’s best. A toe/calf issue kept him out of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: A shoulder injury has kept Cerra out of action for most of the second half of the season and he missed the Eastern Ranges finals campaign – but it was good to see Cerra sitting in the coaches box on elimination final day, assisting the coaches throughout the afternoon. Was another player who didn’t test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Since the last update, Dow had surgery on his shoulder and was unable to play the final few games for the Bendigo Pioneers. Dow did not test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine but was involved in multiple interviews with AFL club recruiters.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

Last month: Coffield was by far the best Northern Knights player in their elimination final loss to the Oakleigh Chargers. His midfield work was super and he used his quick and clean hands to effectiveness. Coffield had 25 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s in a performance that pushed his top 10 credentials. On Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, Coffield rebounded the ball well on five occasions finishing with 15 disposals and five marks. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, he showed off his elite speed with a 2.91s 20m sprint. He was also impressive in the kicking test scoring 27.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

Last month: Constable’s centre clearance work in the TAC Cup elimination final was impressive, with four out of his six clearances coming in this fashion. Finishing the day with 23 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and a goal – Constable showed off his top 10 traits. A back/groin issue sidelined him in the preliminary final and there was plenty of doubt whether he’d run out on Grand Final day, but the Dragons midfielder was able to push through pain and record 23 disposals & four clearances. A burst in the second quarter saw him boot two goals and he was one of the Dragons’ better players for the night. Injury kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars and NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#7Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

Last month: Has there been a better player in the second half of the year? I doubt it. Stephenson started TAC Cup finals with 30 disposals, 11 tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and a goal. While his kicking wasn’t the cleanest, after playing some time forward early he was able to win the ball on the outside and get it inside 50. He was best-on-ground in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day with 22 disposals, five tackles, four inside 50s and three goals. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, his speed of 2.97s in the 20m sprint and 6min 21s in the 2km time trial were strong. Stephenson also performed well in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and had some of the best skinfolds of the combine.

#8 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

Last month: The Sandy Dragons midfielder just rolls up his sleeve and gets the job done and is always one of the better performers on the stats sheet. The TAC Cup elimination final saw him collect 20 disposals (10 contested), six tackles, five inside 50s and two goals. He was able to impact the contest using it efficiently going inside 50 and was able to hit the scoreboard. In the preliminary final, Brayshaw was best-on-ground with 25 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s, pushing his top five chances. In the TAC Cup Grand Final, Brayshaw had 21 disposals and four inside 50s and had a good showing. His midfield work in the NAB AFL Draft Combine was impressive with 16 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Brayshaw was the endurance king – coming in first place in the Yo-Yo test with 22.4, four place with six minutes 14 seconds in the 2km time trial and was also placed top 10 in the agility test.

#9 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed finals, but Brander did take part in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game playing as a key defender. Brander was able to intercept at times, finishing with 12 disposals and three rebounds. Brander tested well in the kicking test with a score of 27 at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. A score of 8.40 seconds was pretty good in the agility test.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool. Running needs to be improved.

Last month: Was the premier ruckman in the TAC Cup competition and finished the season with 24 hitouts and 24 disposals for the Eastern Ranges in their elimination final loss. Hayes played predominantly forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match, where he booted 1.2 from his four marks and 14 disposals. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, results showed that Hayes does need to improve his running – but a score of 24 in the kicking test was decent.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Higgins missed the Oakleigh Chargers first TAC Cup final with an injury, but surprised some by coming back into the side for the second final. He picked up a groin injury that restricted him but up forward he was able to boot two goals from his 10 touches. Higgins didn’t play in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and would’ve been disappointed with his results at the NAB AFL Draft Combine – but there’s no doubt soreness played some part on what has been a big year for Higgins.

#12 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: The inside midfielder was enormous in getting the Stingrays back into the TAC Cup elimination final and they were able to get the win after trailing by 55 points at one stage. Clark finished with a round-high 16 tackles and also had 24 disposals (15 contested), nine clearances and five inside 50s in one of the best individual performances for the season. He impacted the second final, with 25 disposals (13 contested) and a whopping 10 inside 50s – finding an effective target on most occasions. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game he was also reasonable, with 19 disposals (10 contested), four inside 50s and three tackles. A knee problem kept him out of most of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was able to score 28 in the kicking test which was very good.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick.

Last month: The Calder Cannons missed out on TAC Cup Finals, but Balta did have an impact – especially early, in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. Balta finished with 12 disposals and two marks and often took the kick outs for Team Enright. Showed off his leap at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and was a very good tester in the agility with 8.38 seconds. He sat out the yo-yo test with knee soreness, but was able to complete the 2km time trial the next day.

#14 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Last month: Bonar had a superb month to finish 2017, and whilst his eight disposals, seven tackles and a goal performance does not scream outstanding – it was his presence up forward and through the midfield that was important, pressuring his opponents. He followed his tackling performance up the following week, with eight tackles from 14 disposals. While he played more up forward than in the midfield, some glimpses were mighty impressive. The Grand Final day performance was elite for the  NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars, where he had 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances – showing off his potential as an inside midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was super, equalling the all-time standing vertical jump record and was second place in the 20m sprint with a time of 2.9 seconds.

#15 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Fogarty once again didn’t play this month, recovering from surgery on a small meniscus tear which meant that he was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Missed out on playing in the WAFL Grand Final with a knock and was not helped by Fremantle players coming back into the team to strengthen it. The knock kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but he was able to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, where he placed in equal third in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and was also in the top 10 for the agility test with a time of 8.22s.

#17 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: The Sandringham Dragons medium tall went down with a sprained ankle in the TAC Cup elimination final & missed the preliminary final – but returned for the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals, five marks and four tackles, but looked like he needed the run. Had some good glimpses in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but was concussed and his day ended early. The former cricketer hadn’t done a lot of testing and it will be the first time clubs got a chance to look at Murphy’s athletic results. There’s no doubt they would’ve been impressed by his athletic capabilities in his 2km time trial (6min 31sec) and Yo-Yo score of 21.3.

#18 Matthew Ling
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Ling played one of his better games for the season, with 23 disposals and six tackles in the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup elimination final win. Ling showed off his good agility and rebounded the ball with speed, hardly missing a target on his left foot. Had 15 disposals and three inside 50s in the preliminary final, but was largely restricted in the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals and six marks. Ling’s 10 disposals were largely effective in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. His sprint time of 3.03s and 8.30s in the agility was very good & he looms as a top 25 prospect come draft night.

#19 Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Started up forward in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup final loss, finishing the day with 17 disposals (12 contested), eight inside 50s, five clearances and five tackles in one of his better games in a while. He didn’t have a lot of impact in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with just 10 disposals and two clearances to his name. Garner’s NAB AFL Draft Combine last week was underwhelming, but there’s no doubting his leadership and his character will have shone through in the interviews.

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed out on finals, but the classy outside midfielder was at his best in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game with a team-high 24 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal, in a game that saw him spend more time in the attacking half of the ground. His 2km time trial result of six minute 12 seconds was second best overall and he was just short of breaking the three-second barrier in the 20m sprint. Scored well in the kicking test with a score of 27.

#21 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 178.8cm | 75.0kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer and unfairly flies under the radar.

Last month: The Western Jets missed out on finals, but Fogarty managed an appearance in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, where he had 14 disposals, seven inside 50s and five tackles. In a game that lacked some defensive intensity, Fogarty showed his willingness to hunt the ball carrier and win the ball. Unfortunately for Fogarty, he was unable to show his testing capabilities at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine due to sickness.

#22 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Naish looked his best in the TAC Cup elimination final for the Northern Knights when he was in the attacking half of the ground, finishing the day with 21 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Not only did Naish get to see his Tigers win on Grand Final day, but he was the leading disposal winner for Team Enright with 21 disposals and three rebound 50s – using the ball well on his right foot. Back spasms saw Naish only complete the goal kicking and kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#23 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

Last month: Allen didn’t feature in finals for West Perth and despite hardly training on the Thursday before the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, he was one of the better players in the opening half of the game – marking with ease overhead and hitting the scoreboard. Allen finished with 18 disposals, seven marks (four contested) and booted 2.3. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Allen showed off his running vertical jump on his left hand, with a score off 88 placing him in the top five.

#24 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 184.6cm | 73.7kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: Stoddart busted his backside off in the Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final, finishing with 18 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s, but was under enormous pretty with the ball coming quickly inside 50 late in the game. Was often matched up on the most dangerous Stingrays midfielder Davies-Uniacke or Clark when they went forward. Had 13 disposals and four inside 50s in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, and was able to get more up the ground in the third quarter. He completed the kicking tests at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but hamstring soreness kept him out of the rest of the testing other than the jumping tests which showed his outstanding leap.

#25 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: With Josh Schache returning home, Ballenden was called up for the NEAFL Grand Final and was part of the Lions NEAFL premiership team. Ballenden finished the game with 12 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and booted two goals. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, Ballenden begun as a tall defender – but struggled at times opposed to possible top 10 pick Sam Hayes. He moved forward in the second half and finished with eight disposals and two marks. In the kicking test, Ballenden scored a perfect 30/30 and ran a 3.05s 20m sprint at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Areas that Ballenden no doubt can improve on will be his endurance and bringing his skinfolds down.

Connor Ballenden in action for the Allies in their practice match against Vic Metro.

#26 Ed Richards
Medium Defender/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean & effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

Last month: Started with 11 disposals in the TAC Cup elimination final, but some of his moments were impressive and he was vital is finding targets from the kick out to get the Chargers moving forward. Had 16 disposals and three inside 50s against the Sandringham Dragons in the Chargers’ preliminary final loss, switching between half back and as an inside midfielder. Richards hardly missed a target in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and showed his willingness to tackle hard. Had a reasonable NAB AFL Draft Combine, testing in at 3.01s in the 20m sprint.

#27 Charlie Ballard
Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

Last month: Ballard was lucky enough to win two premierships for the ‘Double Blues’ in two weeks, part of Sturt’s winning Under 18 and Reserves teams in the SANFL. In the Under 18 Grand Final, Ballard collected 21 disposals, three clearances and three inside 50s playing on the wing and was very efficient by foot. In the Reserves Grand Final, Ballard played up forward and finished the game with a goal from seven disposals. Had eight disposals and four rebound 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash. Ballard also tested well reasonably well at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and has plenty of development for whatever club drafts him.

#28 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 181.0cm | 81.1kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Bailey showed his ability to run both ways in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with 18 disposals, four marks, three rebound 50s, two inside 50s and two clearances. Bailey used his burst in the midfield and spread well from the contests. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Bailey’s elite speed was obvious, scoring 2.98s in the 20m sprint event.

#29 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185.7cm | 75.9kg
Previous ranking: #31

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Similar to Charlie Ballard, Houlahan also won two SANFL Premierships within a week. In the SANFL Under 18 Grand Final for Sturt, Houlahan played close to goal as a marking target – pealing off three contested marks and booted 4.2 from his 10 disposals. In the SANFL Reserves Grand Final, he played a bit further up the ground and had five inside 50s from his 10 disposals, also kicking a goal. Houlahan played a different role in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, as a rebounding defender where he had five disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, he was a dead-eye in front of goals with 30/30 in the goal kicking test and had a running vertical jump in the top three (95cm) – but he would’ve been disappointed with his endurance results and that will be an area for improvement at the next level.

#30 Jack Petruccelle
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 185.1cm | 77.7kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Had a quiet performance in the TAC Cup elimination final with eight disposals and four tackles. Was used across half back at times, finishing with 11 disposals in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game. Was the fastest player at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, running 2.87s in the 20m sprint. His endurance work has room for improvement, but was well above average in the jumps category.

#31 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175.8cm | 65.9kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Moore collected 24 disposals and laid eight tackles in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final loss. Moore was impressive after half-time and was able to get the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions. His midfield work was good in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, finishing the contest with 17 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Despite his size, his running vertical jump was above average at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and he starred in the endurance events. Moore finished in first place with a time of six minutes nine seconds in the 2km time trial and was second behind Andrew Brayshaw with 22.3 on the yo-yo test.

#32 Charlie Spargo
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 171.6cm | 70.2kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Spargo is still recovering from shoulder surgery early in the year and was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#33 Jackson Ross
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192.5cm | 74.5kg
Previous ranking: #32

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and is a player with plenty of development left.

Last month: Ross did some good things in the Eastern Ranges TAC Cup elimination final loss, with 18 disposals and five clearances. Started slowly in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day, but worked into the contest in the attacking half of the ground to finish with 12 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Ross won the goal kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and scored 29/30 in the kicking test.

#34 Andrew McPherson
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 79.4kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last year. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member has dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Last month: McPherson returned from injury and made an appearance in the Eagles’ SANFL Under 18 Grand Final loss to Sturt. McPherson was impressive in the opening quarter of the game, rebounding the ball well and was clean with his disposals – but he suffered an injury and went off the ground in the second quarter. The injury kept him from testing at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#35 Harrison Petty
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 195.3cm | 81.9kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead.

Last month: Petty played as a key defender in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, finishing the game with 12 disposals and three marks. The talented South Australian scored 27 in the kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but sprained his ankle and was ruled out for the remainder of the testing.

 


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Scouting notes: 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

JAIDYN Stephenson pushed his claims as a possible top five pick with a best-on-ground display at the MCG on Saturday.

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

MATCH REPORT: Stephenson stars in 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game

Scouting notes: 

Team Enright:

#2 Lachlan Fogarty – Just gets to the right spots in the attacking half of the ground and is effective in getting the ball inside 50. Had a game-high seven inside 50s and again showed off his attacking flair. Is willing to tackle his opponents and pressure them at every moment.

#7 Brayden Ainsworth – Was effective in getting the ball out of the stoppages by hand and finished with seven clearances for the day. His pronounce influence was around the ground, compared with in at the centre bounces, but he was able to win the contested ball and was willing to work hard defensively.

#23 Nicholas Shipley – Linked up well on the outside and was often at the bottom of the packs attempting to win the ball. Had a few clearances and was able to have a few runs with ball in hand. More of a handball first, kick second player out of traffic.

#24 James Worpel – Was a beast at the centre bounces and didn’t show any signs of soreness after playing some six days before. By hand, he hardly missed a target – whipping the ball out from the centre bounces and clearing it to a teammate. He had a game-high five centre clearances and his contested ball winning was on show. Will be interesting to see where he ends up come November.

#26 Nick Coffield – Coffield is one of the best users of the football, by hand or foot. His burst of speed and efficiency makes him a highly touted top 10 prospect. His work rebounding the ball and kicking it long from either the kick outs or in defensive 50 were very good and he has been a big riser throughout season 2017.

#27 Oscar Allen – Despite hardly taking part in training on the Thursday before the game, the 2017 Larke medalist was a marking machine, pulling off seven for the game. Allen finished with 2.3 in front of goal – including the first goal for the day, but he was impressive overhead and was able to kick effectively for goal in set shot situations.

#32 Sam Hayes – Inside 50 Hayes was far too good for Connor Ballenden early in the contest and could’ve finished with three goals for the day had he kicked straight. He played majority of the game up forward with Lloyd Meek and Ned Reeves rucking – and it allowed him to show his strengths up forward clunking four marks for the day. Probably one of the few games where he has predominantly played up forward rather than sharing the ruck load.

Team Harvey:

#1 Brent Daniels – The zippy midfielder was able to win the football on the outside as one of the bigger ball winners (23 disposals) for Team Harvey. Daniels stoppage work was good around the ground and he was able to get to the hit-zone on multiple occasions. Bobbed up and booted a goal in the final quarter.

#5 Zac Bailey – Started well with five disposals in the opening term and was able to spread effectively from the stoppages. He used his agility well and was willing to work hard up and down the ground. He did have a few clangers by foot throughout the day, but it was a reasonable showing from the inside midfielder.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – While his return of 13 disposals doesn’t look large from the stats sheet, his effectiveness in the third term was huge when Team Harvey put the foot down. Stoddart used it very well going inside 50 and wasn’t afraid to throw out a fend off and back himself to use his agility to get around players.

#9 Lochie O’Brien – O’Brien finished the year with a bang – with one of his best games of the season with 24 disposals and seven marks. O’Brien was able to link up more in the attacking half of the ground and get the ball moving forward. Whilst he had a few ineffective kicks by foot – he was mostly clean and able to hit targets on his left foot. Possess a great burst of speed.

#22 Brandon Starcevich – One of the more impressive non-Victorian players in Saturday’s game, working through the midfield and getting it inside 50. Kicked a nice goal in the opening quarter, running around and snapping from a mark. An inside 50 kick in the second quarter was elite and he also possesses a long right foot kick. A player worth to go back and re-watch again throughout the Under 18 Championships.

#23 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson’s second half of the season has been very good, transitioning from a third tall to an outside midfielder. Stephenson was adjudged best player on the ground, with 22 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and four goals. Unlike some of his other games this year, Stephenson was largely effective by foot and there’s no doubt he’ll come into the thoughts of clubs such as North Melbourne and St Kilda.

#27 Aiden Bonar – Bonar was another exciting player who would’ve caught the eye of those watching. Bonar finished the year with his best performance, winning 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances. He was willing to throw his body around at the contest and was largely effective by hand – when he was tackled, often staying strong and was hard to be brought to ground.

STATS:

TEAM ENRIGHTKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
4P.Naish714214417123
24J.Worpel1011214139473
7B.Ainsworth51520310115721
22H.Clark12719310932421
23N.Shipley811194513322
27O.Allen1171871092223
1D.Moore9817581032311
8A.Brayshaw5111634135131
26N.Coffield123155313115
2L.Fogarty951433115711
6M.McGannon681444102221
32S.Hayes8614477131112
28M.Podhajski6713331011
30N.Balta66122392121
31H.Petty48123481
9J.Petruccelle74114473211
34L.Meek4711183814311
5M.Ling551021022
10J.Garner7310145221
35N.Reeves1673346171
29J.Butts3361241
33S.Taylor3361322
21J.Houlahan415314113
–    Enright1815215931173116198643430392687
–    Harvey18163169332661102223929244330178
TEAM HARVEYKHDMCPUPTHOCI50R50GB
9L.O’Brien168247717123211
10L.Davies-Uniacke149236716224112
1B.Daniels10132381523211
23J.Stephenson13922841852434
3B.Paton10112126131114
27A.Bonar5152021193521
22B.Starcevich1171817112241
5Z.Bailey81018471112231
4A.Martini511161412312
11B.Henderson861453112141
34B.Crossley681446851513111
21M.Day31013231011
6R.Stoddart85133211114
30H.McLean931263915214
24J.Ross751253911311
29J.Brander57122483
8E.Richards28104641
32H.Dixon6410146111
31C.Ballard44833524
35C.Ballenden44823521
26N.Murphy662411111
28O.Clavarino2461431
33B.Miller156134611

2017 NAB AFL All-Star squads revealed

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

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

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

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

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

Full Squads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 18

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

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bendigo Pioneers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Calder Cannons:

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

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

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

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

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

Western Jets:

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

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

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

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

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

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakleigh Chargers:

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

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

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

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

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Peter Williams)

Northern Knights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sandringham Dragons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Dandenong Stingrays:

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

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

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

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

Geelong Falcons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Michael Alvaro)

Murray Bushrangers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gippsland Power:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft September Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s August edition of his Power Rankings here:

It’s finals time – one of the most crucial times in the recruiters diaries. Last night, Oakleigh Chargers’ Jack Higgins was crowned the Morrish Medalist for the best player in the 2017 TAC Cup season, while plenty of other players right across the country are hitting form at the right time.

This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents.

Last month: Despite battling a thumb injury, he had one of his better games of the TAC Cup season with 28 disposals (14 contested), seven inside 50s and six clearances against Northern Knights. With the game on the line in the final quarter, Rayner put the foot down ensuring the Jets would get the win. Continued his good form with 18 disposals (12 contested), five tackles and five inside 50s against Gippsland Power. Trained well during the week, but was not risked on the weekend with some knee soreness.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag.

Last month: In the cold at Mars Stadium he took some time to get going, but showed off his long right boot to finish with 18 disposals and four inside 50s (including a spear pass to Riley D’Arcy). Spent a lot of time up forward against the Sandringham Dragons in Round 17 – but showed some burst of speed from the stoppages, collecting 21 disposals and laying six tackles.

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on Pick 1 and Pick 2 in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside, with a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last month.

Last month: Shoulder surgery has seen Cerra ruled out for the remainder of the season. Was sporting a sling at the TAC Cup best and fairest last night.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Returned to the TAC Cup with a best-on-ground display against Gippsland Power, with 35 disposals (21 contested), seven inside 50s and six clearances. His highlights were very impressive and is hotly tipped by many to be the number one selection. Suffered a shoulder injury in the game and hasn’t played since, but believe he has avoided surgery for the time being.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender.

Last month: Had a good head-to-head battle with Cam Rayner at times, finishing with 20 disposals and seven rebound 50s rotating from defence to the midfield. His good ball use was on display against the Murray Bushrangers, where he had 26 disposals and six clearances. The Knights were well out played by the Sandringham Dragons on the weekend, with Coffield recording 15 disposals as one of their better accumulators in the contest.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Found the ball at ease out at RAMS Arena against Oakleigh, where he was able to win the ball and get into dangerous positions. Had 29 disposals, before a quieter game against Dandenong with 15 disposals and eight marks. Came back on the weekend and his work in the contest was very good, winning 22 disposals, six clearances and laying six tackles. Has shown his smarts on the inside and is a dangerous match up inside 50 as he can mark the ball at ground level or above his head.

#7Jaidyn Stephenson
Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 189cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Plays as a tall forward marking target inside 50 despite being medium size. Has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, but plays his best up forward or play as a high half forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. Midfield craft is improving.

Last month: Has continued to show his midfield craft throughout the last month, with 25 disposals, six inside 50s and five clearances against Calder Cannons. In the cold conditions at Deakin University, Stephenson was his teams best ball winner – collecting seven more disposals than the next best Ranger, finishing the day with 25 disposals, seven inside 50s, seven tackles and five clearances. On Saturday he had a game-high 34 disposals, seven inside 50s and six clearances, able to win the ball on the outside.

#8 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: Marked well up forward for the Pioneers against Gippsland, finishing with two goals from his 21 disposals and nine mark outing. Was starved of opportunity against the Oakleigh Chargers, with the Pioneers only registering 42 inside 50s. Finished the season with three marks against GWV Rebels.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts.

Last month: Was the Dragons’ best against Oakleigh, winning the ball at the stoppages and was damaging going forward, finishing with 28 disposals and seven clearances. Once again was good in close, continuing to register good contested possession numbers with 27 disposals and six clearances in their loss to the Dandenong Stingrays. Once again was brilliant alongside brother Hamish on Saturday, with the pair combing for 54 disposals (30 contested), 14 tackles, 11 clearances and eight inside 50s.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool.

Last month: 30,26, 27 hitouts in the last three weeks for the best ruckman in the draft pool. Hayes has shown that he can cover the ground when needed to, providing a target around the ground or inside 50. Had a good battle with a more athletic ruck in Noah Balta, but was able to use his strength to win the hitouts in Round 16.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Speedy midfielder who plays well on both the outside and inside. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Was uncharacteristically sent off on Saturday after a minor incident, but is a player that can really push himself higher with some big finals performances for the Ranges. Had 17 disposals (10 contested), eight tackles and six rebounds as one of his teams best in the cold against the Geelong Falcons, while he rebounded the ball well across half back in their Round 16 clash against Calder Cannons.

#12 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Capped off a very strong month winning the TAC Cup Best and Fairest (Morrish Medal) last night. Had a best-on-ground performance with seven goals against Bendigo Pioneers and also booted three goals from 21 disposals against Sandringham Dragons, showing his smarts in a very good last quarter when the game was on the line. Was again in the bests with 26 disposals, eight marks and 2.4 on Saturday.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 194cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick.

Last month: Has spent most of the last month in the ruck, using his athletic traits and big leap to his advantage. Was the dominant ruck in St Bernard’s school Herald Sun Shield Grand Final, whilst days later he had 13 disposals, 13 hitouts and eight inside 50s against Eastern Ranges, where he used his long right foot kick on multiple occasions. Booted three goals against GWV Rebels, before finding plenty of the ball against the Western Jets playing as a centre half forward and in the ruck – with 19 disposals (12 contested), 14 hitouts and eight inside 50s. Could he end up a midfielder?

#14 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 192cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Fogarty has not played over the last month, after surgery on a small meniscus tear ruled him out for the season.

#15 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: The move to an inside midfielder is paying off with Clark playing two very good games in the last month. Begun as his sides biggest ball winner against GWV Rebels, with 22 disposals (14 contested), nine tackles and six clearances. Was best-on-ground by a country mile against Sandringham Dragons, finishing the day with 29 disposals, seven inside 50s and pushed forward to boot two goals. Didn’t play for Dandenong yesterday, but was running around pre-game and should slot back in for finals this weekend.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and hasn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Has continued to hold his spot in the WAFL League, and it’s seen many club recruiters from Victoria making the trip over to ‘see what the fuss is about’. Naughton collected six marks in both Round 21 and 22 for Peel Thunder, and showed he can intercept the ball in the air. Had just seven disposals and five marks in their Round 23 loss to South Fremantle, but held his spot in the return contest in the Qualifying Final on the weekend – recording 10 disposals.

#17 Matthew Ling

Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 182cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Used his agility and his pinpoint left foot kick well in the opening term against the Dandenong Stingrays yesterday. He hasn’t found overly a large amount of the ball over the last month, but he can make his 10-15 disposals really hurt the opposition if he can get a chance on the outside. Hopefully lifts his tackling output come finals.

#18 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: Didn’t play in Round 16, missing the game with knee soreness – but came back to record 20 disposals and three inside 50s in their big win to the Oakleigh Chargers. Polled Morrish Medal votes on the weekend, with 26 disposals and six inside 50s. Has plenty of appealing traits and has carried a few niggles right throughout the season.

#19 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer and unfairly flies under the radar.

Last month: Was very very stiff to miss out on the three votes on Saturday, after being one of the clear standouts with 24 disposals, 15 tackles, seven inside 50s and six clearances. Also laid double figure tackle numbers in Rounds 16 and 17 and had over 20 disposals. Has worked his backside off since returning from school footy.

#20 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Had a fantastic game against Murray Bushrangers in Round 17, with 25 disposals, six inside 50s and three goals playing in the attacking half of the ground. Continued to link up and find the ball on the outside and had 17 disposals against Sandringham Dragons on Saturday.

#21 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Very good endurance base.

Last month: Played his second WAFL Seniors game for West Perth with a similar output to his first, with nine disposals and five marks. He then returned to the WAFL Colts, but showed he was far too good for that level – recording 28 disposals, 10 tackles and seven marks.

#22 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 183cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: Moved more up the ground at the start of the month and had 19 disposals, five inside 50s and booted two goals at RAMS Arena against the Calder Cannons. Had a quiet day in the cold at Deakin University against the Geelong Falcons, but switched back into his defensive role against Oakleigh Chargers on the weekend – recording 19 disposals and six rebound 50s, using the ball well and working hard when being matched up on the dangerous Jack Higgins.

#23 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: Has spent some time at either end of the ground when playing in the Brisbane Lions NEAFL side. Had the second most marks (seven) for the Lions against Gold Coast, finishing with 16 disposals, three rebound 50s and three inside 50s. Had seven disposals and three marks in their tight win over GWS Giants.

#24 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: Has been swung around the ground more times than James Anderson swings a new dukes ball. Started forward against Oakleigh Chargers, but was moved back to strengthen their defence. Got to good positions playing mostly in defence against Dandenong Stingrays, but played his best game for the month able to use his long right foot against Northern Knights on Saturday. Murphy had 25 disposals, nine marks, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s in a strong performance that may help him push his name into the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars squad (if he isn’t already).

#25 Jack Petruccelle
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 184cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Returned from a week off with 27 disposals (15 contested), eight inside 50s and seven clearances against Murray Bushrangers in a strong performance from the midfielder. Showed his good contested ball winning abilities and showed his ability to get the ball moving inside 50.

Jack Petruccelle in action for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

#26 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 190cm | 89kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two ACL surgeries on his knee, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Last month: Was outstanding in the triple header at MARS Stadium, showing off his contested marking up forward. Bonar finished with 18 disposals, seven marks (four contested), five inside 50s and booted two goals. Laid five tackles against the Sandringham Dragons, setting up and early goal – while he spent a lot of time through the midfield against Geelong Falcons on Sunday with 20 disposals (12 contested), five inside 50s and four tackles.

#27 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Was one of PACs best through the midfield against Scotch in South Australian school boy football. In the 2017 South Australian State Championship game against Henley High, Bailey was able to break free at the stoppages and was damaging getting the ball forward. He won best-on-ground honours for his performance on the night.

#28 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Continues to find the footy with 30 disposals, eight inside 50s, six clearances and six tackles in a superb game against the Calder Cannons, showing off his good hands in close. Had 10 contested possessions from his 16 against Geelong Falcons, while he had 31 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s against Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday just getting to the right places to win the ball.

#29 Charlie Spargo
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #30

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Missed the entire month recovering from shoulder surgery. Was invited to the National Combine and will still interview with clubs there.

#30 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 196cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield but showed his strength up forward for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Had 11 disposals and booted a goal in South Adelaide’s draw with Woodville-West Torrens. Suffered a knee injury in their game the following round, but returned on the weekend in the South Adelaide Under 18s in their first final recording nine disposals, three marks (two contested) and laid three tackles.

#31 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Houlahan has booted 14 goals over the last four weeks in the SANFL Reserves, including a bag of four goals in Sturt’s final against North Adelaide to go with his 16 disposals and seven marks. His 16 disposal, five inside 50s and five goal game against Glenelg was very impressive in Round 16.

#32 Jackson Ross
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and has a National Combine invite.

Last month: Booted five goals against Calder Cannons in Round 16 in a very strong performance, and whilst was quiet in the game against Geelong Falcons the following week – he did some good things on Saturday with nine disposals and three tackles. There’s plenty to like about Ross and a big finals series could push him up clubs boards.

#33 James Worpel
Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks are on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs but he did show in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships that he was able to stop and find a target without rushing. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a first round selection.

Last month: Was good at the contest with 23 disposals and nine tackles against Murray Bushrangers in the triple header at MARS Stadium. In the wet, he opted to bang the ball long against Eastern Ranges to get territory completing the day with 24 disposals, eight inside 50s and seven clearances. His hands in close were very good on Sunday against Dandenong stingrays, finishing with 10 contested possessions, seven tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s.

#34 Ed Newman
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Mentone Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
12/03/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Was one of the best player in the AGSV school boy competition for Mentone Grammar and was Australia’s 13th man on Boxing Day and Newman is a high level underage cricketer. Possesses a very clean left foot kick and is smart at the contest. Can play across half back and rebound the ball if required.

Last month: Made his TAC Cup debut with 10 disposals and three clearances against Oakleigh Chargers. Against the Dandenong Stingrays, he won the first centre clearance and propelled it long inside 50. He finished the day with four centre clearances to go with his 21 disposals and six marks. Didn’t play on the weekend due to sickness, but should be a certain starter in TAC Cup Finals.

#35 Oscar Clavarino
Key Position Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 195cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key Position defender who should fill out in an AFL environment. His best can be very good and has held down the key post for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships over the last two years.  His intercept work is getting better and has become more sure of himself when dropping off his man. Kicking can be shaky under pressure – but is another element to his game that has improved throughout the season.

Last month: Played the best game I’ve seen him play with nine marks (three contested) and 17 disposals against Geelong Falcons on Sunday. Also moved up forward late. Also showed his intercept work against the Sandringham Dragons the week before.


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TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 16

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


Northern Knights vs. Western Jets (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Western Jets:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons (Matt Balmer)

Oakleigh Chargers:

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

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

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

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

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

Sandringham Dragons:

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

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

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

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

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

Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons 

Eastern Ranges:

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

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

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

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

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

Calder Cannons:

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

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

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murray Bushrangers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gippsland Power vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

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

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

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

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

Bendigo Pioneers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

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

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

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

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

Dandenong Stingrays:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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