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.
Players Drafted: (2)
- Lloyd Meek (Fremantle)
- Flynn Appleby (Collingwood)
After a huge 2016 National Draft which saw four draftees heading to the AFL in the top 35 picks (Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry, Cedric Cox and Willem Drew), the GWV Rebels had a relatively quiet year. Over-age ruckman Lloyd Meek was rewarded for his hard work this season when he was selected by Fremantle, while Collingwood read out defender Flynn Appleby‘s name in the rookie draft.
It was quite surprising not to hear exciting forward Jordan Johnston‘s and tireless classy midfielder Aiden Domic‘s names called out and the could consider themselves to be unlucky given their seasons, while Callan Wellings missed out as an overager despite a consistent season and making improvements to many areas of his game. Luckily Wellings will continue his AFL Victoria journey playing alongside Appleby with Collingwood’s VFL side.
On the field, the Rebels missed out on finals and were inconsistent within games. They produced a huge comeback against Murray Bushrangers to win after being seven goals down at the final break, but at times were blown away in the third quarter after promising starts against the better sides. Their under-age brigade were often among the best players so an exciting 2018 is upon them.
GWV Rebels have a few prospects to once again keep an eye on for the upcoming season. A couple are potentially top-end prospects in Thomas Berry (brother of Brisbane Lions’ Jarrod) and Scott Carlin, a midfielder who played primarily as a half-back in season 2017. A couple of others worth keeping an eye on are specialist defender Matty Lloyd who took the kick-outs for the Rebels this year, while ruckman Tylar Watts continued to build throughout the season and with another pre-season under his belt is another to watch.
Thomas Berry (GWV Rebels) 184cm | 74cm | Inside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 17.1 disposals | 2.1 marks | 4.3 tackles | 3.8 clearances | 43% KE | 53% DE | 49% CP
The top GWV Rebels prospect for 2018, Berry is earmarked by some as having even more strings than his brother – with both clearly talented across the board in many areas. Berry’s kicking is something he will need to work on, but his attack on the football, clearance work and tackling is top notch and he moves well when spreading. If he can stay injury free which he was unable to do this year, he will be one to really watch in 2018.
Scott Carlin (GWV Rebels) 184cm | 76kg | General Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (16) 18.3 disposals | 4.1 marks | 2.1 tackles | 2.6 rebounds | 60% KE | 68% DE | 27% CP
Carlin performed well at the National Under 16 Championships in 2016 and while he is naturally a midfielder, played off half-back for the GWV Rebels in 2017. He is one of the better kicks in the draft crop, and is composed with the football. He will no doubt get more midfield minutes in 2018 and adding more time on the inside would also be beneficial for him.
Others to keep an eye on:
Matty Lloyd (GWV Rebels) 185cm | 75kg | General Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 20.2 disposals | 4.8 marks | 2.1 tackles | 2.2 inside 50s | 5.1 rebounds | 65% KE | 65% DE | 30% CP
Tylar Watts (GWV Rebels) 197cm | 82kg | Ruckman
2017 TAC Cup: (15) 6.6 disposals | 1 mark | 4.1 tackles | 15.2 hitouts | 1.9 clearances | 55% KE | 59% DE | 68% CP
GWV Rebels might not have had many players drafted this year, but it shows the ebbs and flows of the draft after a huge 2016 draft crop. Next year shapes as promising with a couple of top-end prospects as well as a few developing types. Many of them will play bigger roles through the midfield, so the Rebels onball brigade is likely to be strong. It is just a case of finding players in other areas and seeing which players stand up throughout the season as to whether they bounce back into finals in 2018.