Tag: Lachlan Murphy

South Australian weekly wrap: SA talent on show at AFL level

IT has been an exciting few weeks for South Australian football, with former-SANFL prospects across the AFL grasping their opportunities throughout the preseason.

With a host of players scattered throughout all AFL clubs as both rookies and senior listed players, we will undoubtedly get to catch a glimpse of more local talent at the highest level this year.

AFLX Series:

Most AFL teams selected a mixture of youth and experience in this format, and it was exciting to see some quick, high scoring footy. SA players to catch the eye over the spread of games were Adelaide Crows duo Lachlan Murphy and Patrick Wilson, who both cut their teeth at SANFL level and stepped up in the AFL environment.  

2017 Fremantle draftees Stefan Giro and Mitch Crowden had their opportunity and showed they were ready. Giro was a standout and rewarded with a position in Fremantle’s JLT season opener.

Ex-Glenelg boys Dom Barry and Willie Rioli showed they will be dangerous around goal for their teams. Brisbane also blooded some youngsters with highly rated 2017 Prince Alfred College student Zac Bailey impressing, along with Brisbane rookie Mitchell Hinge being up to the task. Former Sturt and Mitcham Hawk Lewis Young was among the best for the Bulldogs, and Nick Holman slotted in well for Gold Coast.

JLT Series:

The first set of JLT Community Series games saw more SA talent on show. Former Glenelg and Sacred Heart College Alex Neal-Bullen looks set to take his game to a new level with a great hit-out for Melbourne.

Pick 12 from the 2017 National Draft, Darcy Fogarty, got a taste of AFL with the Crows and was rewarded with a goal. Stefan Giro continued to stake his claim for round one selection with alongside SA boy Brennan Cox at the Dockers. Ex-North Adelaide junior ruckman Peter Ladhams managed to get some minutes in for Port Adelaide.

With the remainder of JLT games this weekend we hope to see more young SA talent on show.

SANFL Trial Games:

All players returned to their SANFL clubs with some U16 and U18 internal trial games held over the week. Formal trial games for U18, Reserves and League sides are coming up and that will give more opportunity to see this year’s crop of potential SA draft picks on show.

Full schedule of trial games can be found here.

SANFL Clubs Voice Concern:

SANFL clubs have today bound together to issue a statement regarding gaming machine revenue amidst the upcoming State election.

In response to talk of introducing maximum one dollar bets and seven-year gaming machine licences, the clubs stated that such laws would “effectively be killing SANFL clubs”, placing extreme demand on club volunteers.

While the statement avoided directly naming which parties or politicians would enforced the new rules, it implored supporters to “vote wisely” when at polling booths. 

With waning membership figures and sponsorship money, as much as 50 per cent of annual revenue comes from gaming machines, making them crucial to each club’s viability.

A major concern voiced through the statement was that reduced revenue would bring an end to many SA football programs; including junior programs in local and regional areas, elite pathway programs, and the expansion of the female game.

The clubs sought to stress that they provide a “highly regulated gaming environment” and that they hold Club Safe accreditation, which they say allows them to minimise harm from public gaming.

The State election is set to be held on Saturday, March 17, two weeks before the start of the SANFL season.

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

Crowden, Murphy lead top performers in SANFL

With round one of the SANFL Competition beginning last weekend, 2017 draft talent was on show at League, Reserves and U18 Level. We take a look at who the top performers were across the grades:

LEAGUE

Mitch Crowden (Sturt) and Alex Martini (Glenelg) debuted against AFL reserves sides. In Sturt’s two-point loss to the Crows, Crowden played midfield minutes, worked himself into the game in the second half and showed some class passages of play in winning the ball and hitting targets resulting in goals. Crowden also laid 12 tackles in a great defensive performance. Martini’s Glenelg defeated Port Adelaide by 17 points with a solid 16 disposals and one goal. Both teams play each other next round and the Good Friday game will be another talent showcase. Former TAC Cup & Northern Knights player Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide) also fitted in well in his first taste of senior football. Murphy racked up 18 disposals and six rebound-50s in a promising effort using his classy left foot, including an outstanding mark captured below. Murphy has also been nominated for the Round One SANFL Breakthrough Player award.

HUGE leap from debutant Lachie Murphy in yesterday’s @SANFL win! ?

More SANFL highlights: https://t.co/EijSvlOLcq #weflyasone pic.twitter.com/vsVm56vn2N

— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) April 10, 2017

 

RESERVES

Classy Brad McCarthy (Glenelg) had 15 disposals and one goal and was named in best players. Stefan Giro (Norwood) continues his form with a dominant 27 disposals and two goals to be named second best in his teams 91-point victory over North Adelaide. Lachlan Pascoe also named in Norwood’s best players with his 20 disposals showed some return to from after three early league games in 2016. Isaac Hewson and Brodie Carroll also got plenty of the ball for Norwood with 16 disposals each.

U18s

Notable performances for the round included Adam Trenorden leading Sturt to victory over Glenelg with a dominating performance 31 disposals, 13 marks and 10 tackles, which saw him earn the Round One Under 18 MVP. Also to note the 19 tackles by Sturt underager Tom Lewis to go with his 20 disposals and 1 goal. Norwood’s Zac Bailey was named best with 29 disposals, backing up his form for Northern Territory in the Div 2 Academy Series (in Adelaide at boarding school at Prince Alfred College). North forward Hugo Barry (a late to football – soccer convert), returning from injury was lively kicking 3.2. South Adelaide underager and son of Clay – Hayden Sampson was named best for South in their win over West Adelaide with his 22 disposals. And son of former Crow Stephen – Jimmy Rowe impacted with 30 disposals and a goal, and Jake Weideman with 24 disposals and a goal played their part in the Eagles victory over Centrals.

 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup bottom four round

IMG_7436

Northern Knights 11.12 (78) def Western Jets 10.4 (64)

Josh Poulter’s scouting notes:

Northern Knights

#4 – Chas Roberts

Spent the majority of the game in the ruck for the Knights with a strong work-rate and second efforts being notable. Roberts looked like he easily outmuscled both Walters and McGregor at the ruck contest, and followed up well on the ground by getting on hands and knees finishing the game with 19 disposals and 28 hitouts. Took a few marks along the line to bail out the Knights as well on occasion. It is a shame we won’t see him in the finals to see if he can boost his draft stocks even more.

#6 – Patrick Naish

Naish was by far and away the best player on the ground in the first half of the game. The potential Richmond father-son was the go to player for the Knights in all areas of the ground. Ball use was good overall but at times it cost the Knights on the rebound, especially by foot. Faded out in the second half but did bob up at times, but mainly put his stamp on the game in the first two quarters.

#9 – Lachlan Murphy

At all clearance opportunities, Murphy was the go-to player for Knights, sharking from the ruck contests multiple times. Set the Knights up going out of the contest, showing he can win a great mix of inside and outside football and using his already developed frame collecting 30 disposals.

#12 – Patrick Lipinski

Going into the game, there was hope Lipinski would continue his rich vein of form in the midfield, but mainly played the key pillar up forward alongside Clancy Bland. Showed his athleticism and leap many times, and finished off the game with 3 goals. With every game his stock his rising and this one was no different.

#47 – Joel Naylor

Impressed in the first-half with his dash and ball-use out the backline, being able to run off-his opponent deep in defence and set of Knights into attack. He copped a heavy knock in the 3rd quarter which forced him off the ground, but came back on for the 4th quarter and was put up forward where he kicked 3 goals.

Western Jets

#5 – Luke Hitch

Consistent as ever in defence, continued on his great year by being the hard-nosed shut-down defender that he is. Was able to beat his direct opponent on many occasions and also then go to win the ball with his second efforts and clear the 50 for Jets. His tackling again was also his highlight with many strong tackles.

#7 – Nicholas Buykx

Was by far and away the best Jets midfielder for the day, leading by example in tight and also on the outside. Tackling was a highlight and his leadership around the ground was also evident as well. Ball use was average, but also showed dash at times along the wing.

#39 – Harrison Bult

Showed his versatility throughout the day, playing everywhere and even had a short stint in the ruck. His exquisite kicking skills were also a highlight, both from kicking out of full-back and in general play. Also went into the forward line in the last quarter and kicked a goal from nearly 50m out.

#44 – Oscar Junker

Easily the best player on the ground, and his performance was nearly a match-winning one for the Jets. Kicked 3 goals in the 2nd quarter and also pinch-hit in the midfield at times. Played both at Full-Forward and at Centre-Half Forward but didn’t look lost in either and was the target going inside 50 most of the time whilst being the X-Factor in the game.

#48 – Brock McGregor

Battled hard and had handled most of the ruck duties alongside Darren Walters. Much like opponent Chas Roberts, showed great work rate around the ground and was a strong target. Showed great hands on the ground and also great evasiveness able to get his hands free and get past a few tacklers. Though he at times did try to do much with the ball, he was generally very good. Won the Jets’ match ball for their best player on the ground on the day.


Gippsland Power 17.16 (118) def Bendigo Pioneers 12.5 (77)

Peter Williams’ scouting notes:

Bendigo Pioneers

#1 – Joe Atley

Typical working class effort from Atley. Won a bit more outside ball than usual and kicked a great running goal bouncing off an opponent to steady and snap. Just a consistent performer who is a no-fuss footballer. Doesn’t have the X-factor of other players, but just goes everything right and is a good team player who never panics.

#2 – Kane Farrell

Was good early, but like many Pioneers went quiet after half-time. Kicked an impressive running goal in the first term and has a bit of pace about him. Small midfielder who can move forward and snag a couple.

#6 – Lochie O’Brien

Stood out with his clever ball use on his left foot and moving in transition from half-back to half-forward. Kicked a couple of goals early and helped the Pioneers get off to a great start.

#8 – Paddy Dow

Good overhead for his size and can roost it from 50 if required. Another good bottom-ager who is coming along nicely for the Pioneers. Is a player to watch next season.

#9 – Laine Fitzgerald

Has no problem finding the footy and getting out of tight situations. Can find a small gap and work with it to clear it from congestion. Undersized, but works hard in the midfield.

#13 – Jarrod Brander

Good contested mark and nice mover for a big bloke. Reads the play well and kicked a couple of goals. Still a bottom-ager and I imagine he will want to bulk up a bit, but a good athletic forward who can clunk marks.

Gippsland Power

#2 – Nick Hogan

Tenacious small forward who can play up the ground and is dangerous around goals. Really quick and evasive, kicked a couple of impressive goals, including one from long range. Doesn’t find a heap of it compared to others, but is a very reliable kick for goal.

#5 – Ben Ainsworth

A class above. While everyone else was missing targets both in play and for goal, Ainsworth was a dead-eye, never looking like missing, kicking both on the run and from set shots. Plenty of X-factor and strong in the contest, the forward cum-inside midfielder just wins the footy and fires out quick handballs. Isn’t afraid to demand the ball if he feels he can deliver for his team. Collected plenty of the ball in the final term when the game was done and dusted. Finished the match with 33 disposals and 10 marks.

#15 – Cody Henness

Really like his closing speed. Twice he caught a Pioneers defender cold with a brilliant run down tackle. He hit the post with his first set shot, but nailed his second opportunity. Strikes me as that defensive forward who kicks a couple of goals a game in the Tyson Goldsack style.

#20 – Nathan Voss

Played forward and his biggest highlight was goal of the year. Tight up against the pocket under pressure, he somehow snapped an inside out banana goal and could hardly believe it himself. Did his chances no harm with a few majors and provided pressure inside 50.

#22 – Josh Patullo

Big bodied ruck/forward who shared the ruck duties throughout the game. Took an impressive mark and really imposes himself on the contest. Not overly mobile like other rucks, Patullo still covers ground well, and can influence up forward. Really influenced at the forward stoppages with his hitouts to advantage.

#30 – Jai Rout

Don’t mind Rout as a prospect, he has a long kick and played that high half forward role. Was among the Power players who stood up in the third term, kicking a couple of goals and assisting in a few more. Didn’t find a heap of it and went in and out of the contest like others, but looked good in that purple patch.

#32 – Kade Renooy

Seems to find a lot of the ball without being noticed, but today he was instrumental in turning the game in the Power’s favour. When they needed a goal, he bobbed up with two in the third term, kicking two in a row to push the margin from three points to 15 and the Pioneers never came back from that.

Top talent on offer in bottom four final show

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northern Knights vs. Western Jets

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

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

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

NK - Matthew Signorello 2
Northern Knights midfielder Matthew Signorello

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

FATHER/SON PROSPECTS

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

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


Gippsland Power vs. Bendigo Pioneers

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shaking and Spearing the Competition

NK - Mason Blakey

IT has been a tough couple of years for the Northern Knights in the TAC Cup. Yet despite only amassing seven wins in the past 24 months, coach Andrew Shakespeare has lead the development of some top-end talent, with five draftees last year and the possibility of another three or four this year.

Sitting down for a chat with ‘Shakes’ after a tough 47-point home loss at the hands of Gippsland, it is not hard to become engrossed in his coaching philosophy and just why talent keeps pouring out of the Knights’ system.
Boasting the likes of top-10 hopeful Ben Ainsworth, the Power outclassed Northern all day, but not all was lost.

When asked if he gave the players a spray after the match, Shakespeare said there was more to TAC Cup football than wins and losses.
“No, no,” he said. “They know, it’s more about letting them learn. They know.”

Andrew Shakespeare speaks to his players during round 7 of the TAC Cup. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)
Andrew Shakespeare speaks to his players during round 7 of the TAC Cup. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)

Shakespeare’s methods are carefully guided by the fine line between highlighting the importance of winning in junior competition, and the importance of player development. Above all, a “need to compete” drives the Knights philosophy.

“Regardless of game situation… we want to make sure we’re competing,” Shakespeare said. “The two can go hand-in-hand; development and success aren’t necessarily separated.”
“We really try and push success but we also try to push the little wins. “So, when we see players change their actions, develop a new skill, show that their kicking’s improved, their ability to think… the little wins along the way are things we can show them, ways they’re getting better.”

The little wins have come against the tide of many challenges the side has faced throughout the year – from an undersized squad, to the disruption of school footy. The gap in elite talent from last year to now is also a factor, with the side struggling to match-up without the class of Jade Gresham, Brayden Fiorini, Tyrone Leonardis, and Darcy MacPherson in 2015’s pool.

“In terms of top-end talent, we haven’t had as much so it’s been a challenging year in terms of getting players to play against what is the best underage competition in Australia,” Shakespeare said.
“We’ve constantly been challenged in terms of height, we haven’t had key-position players so we’ve played players undersized at both ends of the ground.”

Northern Knights midfielder Matthew Signorello has found plenty of the ball at TAC Cup level in 2016.

A limited talent pool also affects the squad on match-day. With stars like Luke Bunker and Lachlan Murphy often tied-up in school footy duties with Ivanhoe Grammar, the team often lacked flexibility. Last quarter blow-outs have plagued the team all season as a result.

“It’s disappointing for the players that they’re not getting reward for effort,” Shakespeare said. “One of the things we’ve found this year is that when it does come down to that last quarter, we’ve found it really difficult to change our side.
“We’re very limited in how we can create a different structure on the field and I think eventually, the better sides get you when you’re putting the same thing out there.”

Results aside, Shakespeare has a very clear focus on getting the best out of his players, and seeing them flourish in higher systems is rewarding. From stars like Marcus Bontempelli, to rookie choices like Jayden Short and father/sons like Dylan Buckley, all kinds of talent has been nurtured and recognised with Shakespeare at the club.

“You have great pleasure in seeing that happen,” the Knights coach said. “I think when you look across the league, the Northern Knights have had a really proud history in contributing players at that level.
“If these boys have the passion and love of the game, that’s the real point of the TAC Cup – develop players and see them grow to be the best they can be.”

The Knights will round off their season against the Western Jets at Ikon Park, but Shakespeare says he will keep his eye on the action come finals, and obviously draft time.

“Over the next few weeks for me, I see this as an opportunity to continue to learn so hopefully I’ll get down and go into some of the coaching rooms with the other teams and watch what they do.”

To conclude, Shakespeare provided a his thoughts on a number of Knights players that could find AFL clubs at the end of the year:

Luke Bunker – “Luke has had a stellar year really in terms of his TAC Cup and his national input. He won the coach’s award, which is really prestigious… he continues to find ways to get better. We’re keen on him starting to work the outside and put scoreboard pressure on by kicking goals. I really think he could slip into an AFL system and provide long-term service because of his durability.”

Patrick Lipinski – “Clearly has some outstanding talents in his ball-winning ability and his ability to distribute the ball to space… he has really good hands, very good decision maker and he’ll be one I think to really continue to develop and play a role at AFL.”

Lachlan Murphy – “Rejected time and time again at the next level, but continues to shine. His football speaks for itself – if you want a player to give you effort, Lachie is just that one to continue to stand up.”

Matthew Signorello – “Matthew, again, had opportunity at the nationals but didn’t make the final team but didn’t want to let that stand in his way, came back here and has just played stellar football. He’s starting to mark the ball inside forward-50 and kick goals. We know he can win the football, unfortunately his season’s over with a shoulder injury but hopefully he’s done enough to get the opportunity at the next level.”

Mason Blakey – “Terrific player. Really creative, good hands, good kick, good decision maker. Played at nationals, came back to us as captain and has just continued to play really good football. I hear already he’s made an impact, kicked a goal in his first VFL game so he’s another one that given the opportunity, can play at that next level for sure.”

Weekend That Was – Round 16

GF - James Worpel
Geelong Falcons bottom ager James Worpel

NAILBITERS, fast starts and big individual performances featured in round 16 of the TAC Cup.

In the first game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers pulled off a stunning upset over Sandringham Dragons.

The Chargers booted the first eight goals, eventually running out winners by 55-points.

The loss sees the Dragons slip outside the top four, with the Dragons needing results to go their way to gain a double chance.

Chargers 19-year-old Lachlan Walker helped himself to 29 disposals and 10 inside-50s, while bottom-ager Jack Higgins (25 disposals) chipped the ball around and found targets at close range. Small forward Dion Johnstone also booted five goals.

For the Dragons, Andrew McGrath collected 27 disposals, finishing with a strong last quarter while Tim Taranto had 25 disposals and 10 tackles willing his side to turn around the dismal performance after quarter time.

Hybrid defender Jack Scrimshaw found the ball 25 times, but had a handful of clangers by foot in what was a disappointing day for the Dragons.

Up at Eureka Stadium, the North Ballarat Rebels recovered from a slow start to defeat the Northern Knights.

The Rebels led by four-points going into the final term, but kicked away with nine goals to two, running out winners by 50-points.

Hugh McCluggage did his No.1 draft pick chances no harm, with 25 disposals and four goals. Cedric Cox spent more time through the midfield, resulting in his highest disposal number for the season with 24 disposals and six inside-50s.

Jarrod Berry is starting to return to the form that everyone had hoped earlier in the season, with 18 disposals and three goals (including two in the final term), whilst Rebels small Jermaine Jones kicked a bag of five goals.

Matthew Signorello (30 disposals) was one of the few strong performers for the Knights, while midfielders Luke Bunker and Lachlan Murphy both found the football with 25 disposals each.

Out at Morwell, Ben Ainsworth nearly pulled Gippsland Power over the line against Eastern Ranges.

Although the Ranges took home the chocolates by 16-points, the Power came home with a bang outscoring the Ranges but it wasn’t enough.

Ainsworth was best afield for Power, with 34 disposals and three goals in his best performances for the season. Defender Sean Masterson put together one of his better games for the season, with 16 disposals and seven marks.

Collingwood Father/Son hopeful Callum Brown had 32 disposals in the midfield for Eastern, with fellow Vic Metro teammates Dylan Clarke (30 disposals, eight marks and nine tackles) and Jordan Gallucci (21 disposals and seven tackles) also playing their part in the victory.

At RAMS Arena, Geelong Falcons retained top spot with an easy 90-point victory against Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup Radio match of the week.

Bottom-aged midfielders James Worpel (27 disposals and two goals) and Cassidy Parish (26 disposals and nine clearances) were the stars for the Falcons, while Jackson McLachlan booted four first half goals.

Only Ben Ronke (22 disposals and three goals) could break the 20 disposal barrier for the Cannons in what was a disappointing day for them. Noah Balta continued his good form from the Vic Metro trial a week ago, with four goals from four kicks.

The final match on Saturday saw a large contingent of recruiters flock to Shepley Oval to see a thriller, which saw Dandenong Stingrays defeat Murray Bushrangers by a solitary point.

The scores seesawed all the way through the final term, but it was Hunter Clark‘s goal that saw them take the lead with a minute remaining.

Stingrays small Dan Allsop was lively around goal, booting two goals while fellow small Sam Fowler had 26 disposals in one of his better games of the season playing across half forward.

Bushranger tall utility Zach Sproule held Josh Battle to a single goal, but Battle appeared to be plagued from a calf injury which he sustained in the opening quarter.

Will Brodie was Murray’s best with 26 disposals and eight tackles, winning a multitude of clearances throughout the day.

Bottom-ager Charlie Spargo collected 20 disposals and kicked two goals in an impressive display for the GWS academy member. Todd Marshall also booted three goals, all of which came from under 20 metres out.

The final match saw Western Jets lead from start to finish defeating Bendigo Pioneers by 32-points.

Isaac Miller was the Pioneers best with 29 disposals, nine marks and six tackles while Kayle Kirby kicked four goals for the home side.

Jets Bottom-ager Lachlan Fogarty collected 29 disposals, but it was Cameron Rayner who stole the show with a seven goal haul.

Rayner dominated inside 50 and looked set to hit double figures with seven goals at three-quarter time, but he could only muster a solitary point in the final term.

All-Stars picked for AFL Draft Central mock match

Allies - Todd Marshall

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

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

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

TOP TEENAGE TALENT ON SHOW FOR AFL’S BIGGEST WEEKEND

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

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

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

Selection order:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full teams:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.50.02 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.50.15 PM

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


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

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

Scouting notes: AGSV v APS schoolboy match

The two teams shake hands at the conclusion of the match. (Photo: APS Sport Twitter)
The two teams shake hands at the conclusion of the match. (Photo: APS Sport Twitter)

The APS made it six-in-a-row with a come from behind victory over the AGSV out at Marcellin College on Saturday.

Both sides were missing a raft of players, where you could almost put together a 22 between the two schools of the notable absentees.

The APS themselves even had a very late out, with Haileybury’s Jack Scrimshaw pulling out just 24 hours before the clash.

Whilst the skill level wasn’t superb between the two schools, a few players put their hand up in front of the scouts and recruiters from multiple clubs.

AGSV v APS teamd
AGSV v APS teams

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

AGSV

#2 Lachlan Murphy– I really like Murphy. Uses the ball effectively off his left foot, where the ball spins perfectly off the boot. Kicked two goals in the first quarter, but did his best work around the contest. Looks most at home off half back, but has the ability to play wherever he is needed. Also took a few strong overhead marks, which isn’t associated with players standing at 173cm.

#11 Luke Bunker– A quiet game for the AGSV captain. Played mostly inside midfielder, but looked a touch off pace. Wonder whether he carried over a niggle from the Knights game the week before. His clearance work in the contest is good, but can be a bit one paced at stages. Has the ability to lay strong crunching tackles.

#12 Matthew Signorello– There is just something about Signorello. At his best, he can look outstanding with a flash of speed and agility to get past his opponent. At his worst, he’ll butcher the ball and miss the simplest of handballs. Needs to work on his consistency, but he has the ability to create a very good highlights reel. Did both against APS, but would’ve been one of the bigger disposal winners.

#23 Max Williams– Williams’ form at TAC Cup level has been ok for Sandringham. Playing as a key defender, he was solid one-on-one, but butchered the ball at stages coming from defence with a few clangers.

#43 Nick Larkey– Kicked two of the first three goals of the contest and looked like he could really break the game open up forward. APS moved Brander onto him and Larkey was kept quiet for majority of the contest. Larkey did bob up again in the last quarter, but was well held by Brander. Had a few opportunities to clunk on balls which he really should’ve marked.

Honourable mentions to Mitchell Lewis who showed some promise up forward, while Christian Farchione used his left foot well around the ground.

APS

#5 Callum Searle– One of the few Vic Metro representatives playing for either side. Searle played mostly deep in defence in the back pocket and was reasonably quiet. An honest kick off his right boot, but he has the ability to drive the ball out of the backline with some run and carry.

#14 Oliver Hanrahan– One to watch. Was impressive for St Kevin’s College the previous weekend against Brighton Grammar, before booting four goals against the AGSV. Plays across half forward and pushes into the midfield and can run & carry the ball well going forward. Also has a reasonable set of speed off the mark.

#18 Jarrod Brander– Coming into the game, I’d been expecting Brander to line up at full forward. The GWS Giants academy member booted a large number of goals as Year 10 for GGS, but was thrust back to play on Nick Larkey five minutes into the contest. Brander won the battle superbly, keeping him well out of the game finishing with 27 disposals and seven marks. Off his right foot, Brander hit targets out of the backline and was prepared to back himself in one-on-one. Was pleased to see him play a different role as a defender and was one of the only standouts from the contest for either side. Likely to be an early selection in 2017.

#22 Sean Darcy– Spent more time forward than he did in the ruck and AGSV had no suitable match up for him. Darcy kicked four goals but I still question whether he’ll make it at AFL level. He copped a National Combine invite, so clubs will be looking to see how he tests. At one stage, he was 35m from goal and took an eternaty to turn onto his left foot- a kick which was eventually smothered. On a few occasions, he struggled on his set shot making the distance from 40m. Keep an eye on him over the next few months.

#25 Toby Wooller– A handful of goals for Wooller up forward and was the most dangerous forward from either side. At the moment, he’s 192cm- But I’d expect him to grow a few centimetres and add some weight on him for next year. Kicked bags for Scotch College most weeks, so he knows where the goals are. Also takes the ball at its highest point.

Honourable mentions to Blake Hayes (four goals), Ned Reeves in the ruck and Lachlan Fogarty in the midfield. Western Bulldogs Father/Son prospect Michael Romero had 22 disposals and nine clearances.

Scores:

QT: AGSV 6.3 (39) to APS 2.2 (14)

HT: APS 7.3 (45) to AGSV 6.5 (41)

3QT: APS 13.4 (82) to AGSV 10.8 (68)

FT: APS 18.9 (117) defeated AGSV 12.12 (84) by 33-points.

Draft dream not over for state combine nominees

Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker headlines the 2016 state combine invites.
Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker headlines the 2016 state combine invites.

Following from last Monday’s announcement of the 80 players invited to the National Combine, 100 players from around the country have been nominated by clubs to attend the State Combine.

80 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2016 AFL DRAFT COMBINE

Each state will run individual tests, with clubs sent the data to analyse before November’s draft. Similar to the process for the national combine, each club nominated a list of players that they wanted to see test. To receive an invite to the AFL State Combine, players must receive at least two expressions of interest from AFL clubs.

Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker averaged 22 disposals in the Under 18 championships and headlines the list of names that was released by the AFL today.

One of the big surprises invited to the combine is Alex Mastromanno. Mastromanno missed the Sandringham Dragons Under 18 cut earlier in the year and has dominated the APS school boy competition kicking just under 35 goals for Brighton Grammar.

Mastromanno also booted four goals at U19 Level for the VAFA representative team and has kicked seven goals in two senior VAFA games for Old Brighton.

Tasmania have a sole invite to the combine with Harrison Pearce making the list of a 100. The Glenorchy midfielder has a superb dash of speed but has missed a large chunk of football this season with an injury.

Former Gold Coast Sun, Andrew Boston, who played 16 games from 2013-15 has been named after a dominant season for Southport in the NEAFL.

Dandenong Stingray exciting small forward Sam Fowler will also test and provides a real point of difference in the draft pool. The 169cm player nicknamed “Rat” is the third leading goal kicker in the TAC Cup, with 33 goals this season.

After a strong last quarter performance on Sunday, Oakleigh Charger tall Nick Larkey has made the cut. The utility has played at both ends of the ground throughout the year and will likely be seen as a project for clubs looking for a tall.

Western Bulldogs father-son hopeful Michael Romero will also be there and the Dogs will be keeping a close eye on him. Romero has spent his time at Calder and in the Footscray VFL side, along with playing his school football at St Kevin’s College throughout the season. Romero is the son of Jose, who played 211 AFL games.

Numerous brothers of current AFL footballers have also been nominated with Corey Lyons (brother of Jarryd), Zach Guthrie (brother of Cam), Will Leslie (brother of Jack) and Jamie Hampton (brother of Curtly) making the list.


NSW-ACT (6)
Jake Brown
Jordan Harper
Ryan Hebron
Lucas Meline
Matt Wilson
Lachlan Tiziani

Northern Territory (3)
Jamie Hampton
Willie Rioli
Rohan Armstrong 

Queensland (5)
Andrew Boston
Daniel Charlesworth
Blake Grewar
Jack Rolls
Max Spencer

South Australia (17)
Tye Bedford
Lachlan Cameron
Mitch Carter
Tom Charlton
Sam Draper
Brayden Kirk
Peter Ladhams
Jackson Lee
Liam Mackie
Connor Noonan
Andre Parella
Toby Pink
Jake Pitman
Steven Slimming
Jordan Sweet
Dylan Whimpress
Lewis Young

Tasmania (1)
Harrison Pearce

VFL (6)
Robbie Fox
Declan Keilty
Rowan Marshall
Oscar McInerney
Sam McLachlan
Tom Stewart

Vic Country (18)
Dan Allsop
James Cousins
Mason De Witt
Pat Dowling
Sam Fowler
Cooper Jones
Jermaine Jones
Kayle Kirby
Jarrod Korewha
Will Leslie
Sean Masterson
Liam McKay
Lloyd Meek
Louis Pinnuck
Reece Piper
Sam Simpson
Isaac Wallace
Callan Wellings

Vic Metro (28)
Jono Aujard
Hayden Blythe
Harrison Bult
Luke Bunker
Harrison Burt
Louis Cunningham
Lachlan Filopovic
Zach Guthrie
Kane Keppel
Nelson Lane
Nick Larkey
Mitch Lewis
Jordan Lynch
Corey Lyons
Alex Mastromanno
Jackson McDonald
Brock McGregor
Lachlan Murphy
Ed Phillips
Cam Polson
Brodie Romensky
Michael Romero
Ben Ronke
Jack Roughesedge
Ari Sakeson
Callum Searle
Matthew Signorello
Lachlan Walker

Western Australia (16)
Bailey Banfield
Tarir Bayok
Darcy Cameron
Brad Fullgrabe
Jeremy Goddard
Noah Hura
Luke Meadows
Jimmy Miller
Chad Pearson
Tyson Pickett
Liam Ryan
Keanu Shandley
Luke Strnadica
Matt Taylor
Calvin Thorne
Stan Wright