Tag: Michael Alvaro

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.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 12

ROUND Twelve of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend, with TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ continuing. We had scouts watching two of the games – read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Eastern Ranges (Jack Carter)

GWV Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin – Played a solid game on the wing for the Rebels. He wasn’t afraid to go in hard and win the contested ball.

#4 Aiden Domic – Was one of the Rebels players who held his own throughout the contest. He laid multiple strong tackles and tried hard all day to get his team going.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Was yet again solid in defence for the Rebels. With multiple entries from the Ranges midfielders, he was able to apply himself well using it efficiently by foot.

Eastern Ranges:

#4 Riley Clausen – Provided very good run and kicked it well. He tackled hard right throughout the day and had a strong presence in the midfield. His running patterns were very good and he knew where to move

#22 Jackson Ross – Has a great set shot kick and booted five goals straight. Once he adds some size he will have the perfect body size for an AFL football. Spent time in the midfield as well as up forward, knowing where to go at the stoppages and was hard at the ball. Was one of the best players on the ground.

#34 Adrian Kalcovski – Took advantage of some poor kicks in the entries inside 50 from the GWV Rebels midfielders allowing him to drop off and win the ball. Was able to create run for the Ranges and possesses a strong mark.

#61 Mackenzie Dorelan – Ran hard all day and his decision making & kicking at full tilt was outstanding. Is a strong player for a player of his size and he controlled the play from half back for the Ranges.

Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

#2 Mitchell Andrews – Found the ball in all parts of the ground, playing mainly out of defence. Has worked on his kicking and defensive work rate, lending a good hand to the likes of Dreher and Lentini in bringing moving Knights forward.

#4 Max Dreher – Fresh from a couple of weeks off after his Vic Metro stint, Dreher looked to be getting back to the form that had him held in high esteem early in the year. Was important for the Knights in the second half as the game came down to the wire, and shouldered most of the kick-in duties. Looks to have improved his contested ball-winning ability, and threw himself at the ball on numerous occasions.

#5 Marcus Lentini – Was utilised through the midfield with Dreher back in defence to sure things up. Played on the wing when he didn’t attend centre bounces, but wasn’t able to have his usual impact. He looked to be conscious of not blazing away, opting for a lot of short, sideways, and backwards kicks which took away the forward penetration he usually brings. Still delivered in terms of effort and accumulating possessions.

#19 Christian Farchione – Was punishing in bursts throughout the game, but was just short of really taking the game by the scruff of its neck. Gave a timely reminder of his devastating left foot with some great passes going forward and inside-50 entries, and has matched that up now with better decision making. He’s a natural footballer, but still very raw and slight in frame. Booted an incredible goal from the pocket.

#30 Oliver Wilson – By no means is a high-possession getter but stands out with his defensive pressure and effort. Does all the hard stuff and dug in well for the Knights after half time, setting a good example with his physicality. Hit Laine Fitzgerald with a huge bump at the start of the third term to set the tone.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#7 Matt Harvey – The 19-year old was effective all day, streaming seamlessly between the midfield & forward line and putting in a few noticeable efforts in the third term with the game on the line. Racked up the possessions and was a key contributor.

#9 Laine Fitzgerald – He didn’t have his best game, but the GWS Academy product showed his class today and sent repeatedly sent his side into attack. Looked to be frustrated after being cleaned up early in the third term and gave away an unnecessary free kick for his troubles. Has a hard edge to him and it shows in his contested ball winning, but he also spreads well and found himself involved in some good handball chains.

#15 Darby Henderson – Sets up really well of half back and has a knack for finding space, which is odd since his yellow boots stand out so much. Lifted his side in the second and third quarters, breaking the lines and looking dangerous with ball in hand. He doesn’t tend to kick the ball as much as he could, though, which would make him even more threatening going forward. Has a good mix of outside and inside traits, which he showed with his combined pace, pressure, and a clever snap goal.

#16 Jacob Atley – A really rangy outside player, Atley didn’t find much of the ball but made an impact when he did. His highlight for the day was a two-bounce dash down the Mary St wing which eventually sent the ball deep inside the Pioneers 50. One to watch for 2018 purely for his pace and the x-factor it brings.

#19 Mitchell Kemp – There’s not much of him, but Kemp isn’t afraid to throw himself at the ball in the air. He’s not particularly quick, but has a decent leap and finds himself in the right places to intercept opposition balls into the 50. Controlled the back half today and provided some good rebound

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 10

ROUND Ten of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend and we had scouts watching four of the games. Round 10 is the start of the three week TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ which will see teams play a minimum of 11 bottom-aged players. Read their scouting notes below:

Eastern Ranges vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – One of the unlucky players to miss out on Vic Metro selection for the opening game, but North did all he could do to bang down the door for a spot in their round three team. North’s hands in close were super and he worked the ball out of the stoppage with ease. His usage on his left foot was good and he hit most of his targets. Would’ve been one of the leading disposal winners on the ground, often looking to play on at all costs.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Stop the game at quarter time and the over-ager would’ve been clear best on ground. Lynch controlled the centre of the ground for most of the day and while he faded out a bit as the game went on with some extra attention from the Jets – he was a great player for them. His strong body at the stoppages helped him win the clearances and he used his agility and burst to move the ball forward at speed. Has presence.

#17 Cody Hirst – Laid an outstanding rundown tackle on O’Halloran in the opening quarter on the 50m arch. Took a nice mark on the lead in the second quarter and used the ball well on his left foot throughout the game. Had a kickable shot on goal in the third quarter 20m out on the run, but was impressive on the outside.

#20 Ben Cardamone – First time I’d noticed Cardamone and he wasn’t a player I had jotted down to watch coming into the clash – but I was impressed by the bottom-ager. Spent time at either end and was lively around the ball – willing to crack in hard and lay tackles. Reckon he’s a player to track over the next 18 months.

#24 Kye Quirk – Played in defensive 50 and the bottom ager was solid without starring. Has a long kick and has good vision with ball in hand. Took a nice mark at ground level in the opening quarter. Was winded in a Buku Khamis tackle in the third quarter nursing a sore head, but played out the game without too much discomfort.

Western Jets:

#1 Jake Hazik – Has an enormous supply of energy and the bottom-ager is as lively as they come. Possess great speed & agility and is fast footed. Booted a nice goal on his left foot close to goal in the opening quarter but his best goal was around the corner in the second quarter of the game over his shoulder. Did miss a kickable shot on the run in the first quarter but he’s someone who certainly will catch the eye.

#11 Zak Butters – Was a big ball winner in the U17 Futures game for Vic Metro last week and provides plenty of run and carry for the Jets team. Is a zippy midfield and while his kicking can be hot and cold, he was pretty good on Saturday. Picks the ball up cleanly from ground level and loves to tackle.

#12 Connor Thar – Roved his first goal from the ruck contest 15m out and was solid right throughout the game. Ball use was good on his right foot and took a nice mark in the last quarter.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Was a slow starter but his work in the centre of the ground was outstanding. Is a clearance machine and possesses a long kick. When tackled he lifts his arms up and is able to get them free to dish off a handball. Laid some crunching tackles and was superb in the second quarter.

#38 Buku Khamis – Haven’t seen a lot of Khamis up forward but he bagged two goals on his long left foot from outside 50 which were outstanding. He keeps his feet at the contest and has a very good leap. At times he misjudged the flight of the ball and didn’t take as many marks as he could’ve – but I thought it was one of the better games I’ve seen him play. Not a huge ball winner, but his last quarter was special despite missing an easy shot on goal from 15m out.

Gippsland Power vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

#5 Xavier Duursma – Played a solid role on the outside, moving the ball really well in transition and his ability to get his hands free when tackled is a big plus. Did not win as much of it as others, but seemed to get better as the game went on and kicked a really good goal from a standing start. Almost had a second courtesy of a high leap but just missed.

#7 Will Stephenson – The acting captain for the Power just relishes the big moments. With the game on the line and the Rebels starting to get hold of the match, Stephenson booted three second half goals to turn the game back in Gippsland’s favour. He was in the votes for mine, just behind teammate Cal Porter with the pair booting six majors between them and proving a handful for the opposition.

#15 Cody Henness – A steady hand in defence. He would chop off opposition passes and just hold up the play to regain momentum for Gippsland. He would then size up his options and pass laterally or go long, playing percentage football. A rock back there for Gippsland.

#18 Matthew McGannon – The Power player switched between midfield and defence at times and seemed to judge his kick really well. He had a good pass in the second term where he used his peripheral vision to kick laterally, hit-up a target and allow the Power to run clear of the defensive 50. One of the better Power players on the day and was solid throughout the four quarters.

#19 Callum Porter – Another best on ground performance for mine. Just so strong in the air, wins clearances and kicks goals. His reading of the tap in the last quarter, bursting away, taking a couple of bounces and slotted it from outside 50. Finished with two goals, a large number of contested possessions, contested marks and clearances, he just continues to get the job done and another all-round performance for the inside midfielder.

#20 Kim Drew – Another underrated midfielder at the Power who caught my eye a number of times. He sometimes was let down by his execution, but his decision making was very good. In otherwords, he would kick it to the right areas, and he has that penetrating kick, but it wouldn’t always hit the target lace out. He also had good vision on the outside and was a key mover on the wing.

#24 Sean Masterson – Can play at either end but settled in defence. Started on Jordan Johnston but moved around a fair bit. Took a couple of really neat hangers to show off his aerial ability. Got a bit of the ball and is athletic for his size, so another promising performance for the over-ager.

#25 Kyle Reid – Finished the match with four goals and for mine that’s a good day in any key forward’s book. Proved too strong for his opponents at times, he leads at the football and makes the most of his opportunities. Might have had one or two more but he had a few shots from tight angles. One goal he kicked tight up on the boundary line was his best. A prominent target inside 50.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin – The player to go to in the defensive half, Carlin isn’t rushed with his disposal and will hit up targets over short and medium ranges. Tasked with the kick-in duties, he did not let his side down and often would look for the 1-2 pass coming out of defence. Definetely a defensive playmarker and will be good to watch him develop into a midfielder over the next 18 months given his accurate passing.

#4 Aiden Domic – A very impressive performance from the Rebels midfielder. I’ve always thought he had the talent, but on the weekend he added the hard running to the max and got a tick from me. In one instant he had the ball at half-back, kicked long to a teammate and ran hard enough to receive the pass from that teammate inside 50. Kicked a goal against the flow late and used his pinpoint passing to effect throughout the game. Was very pleased with what he produced.

#9 Flynn Appleby – I took notice of both his offensive and defensive traits from the game. He laid a really good smother early in the third term, and also has that ability to break zones with his long kicking. He showed good hands under pressure and just kept bobbing up throughout the game and could hold his head high from that performance.

#10 Jordan Johnston – Looked to be going for the marks record early on, was hauling them in from everywhere including a high flying grab in the goal square for the first goal of the game. Finished with just the two majors, but played further up the ground as the game went on and hit up targets inside 50 on numerous occassions. A fine performance from the Vic Country squad member.

#15 Trent Reed – Had a truck load of the ball, but his kicking let him down at times. Seemed to rush his disposal a little bit but continually worked hard throughout the match. Copped a knock early and played it out and despite some of the missed kicks would have been one of the Rebels’ best. He covers the ground really well and just continually puts his body on the line and does the team thing with no regard for his own safety.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The standout ruck in the game, he’s just so strong and manhandled his opponents. In the past he’s had the ruckwork ability but this season he’s come in leaps and bounds in terms of using his body to ragdoll opponents. Took several contested marks including a few in defence and just played everywhere on the ground. A presence in the air and so clever around the stoppages.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Michael Alvaro) 

Northern Knights:

#5 Marcus Lentini – Has returned from a wrist injury well over the last few weeks, settling the Knights across half-back and earning high numbers in disposals. Uncharacteristically shirked a contest in the third term, but worked hard afterwards to rectify it and really dug in for his side going forward. While he was great at setting his side up, his efforts going the other way weren’t as prominent, and he’ll need to work on that as he gains more time in the midfield. That, and blazing away under pressure are probably the things keeping him out of the final Vic Metro squad.

#10 Brody Bell –Utilised on the wing for most of the game, the bottom-ager stood out with his one-on-one prowess and hunger for the contest. Isn’t a high accumulator, but tackles well and already has a decent build, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him thrown into the centre bounces in the future. The Knights have a good history of doing that and it certainly wouldn’t hurt his development.

#13 Ollie Stapleton – Looks much-improved this year and provided some needed dash for the Knights with starts Jack Petruccelle and Patrick Naish on Vic Metro representative duty this weekend. Prone to a clanger or two, but has a lot of upside with his gut-running and knack around goals.

#18 Jamison Shea – The Old-Paradian has enjoyed a decent few weeks as 23rd man for Footscray in the VFL and as a star-man for the Knights. Was played through the middle to capitalise on his improved ball-winning ability, and floated around the ground nicely to win the ball in important areas at both ends. Has really excelled this year with the Knights having more key position outlets, allowing him to play a role more suited to his slight 190cm frame.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#4 Ned Reeves – The Knights tried three different rucks but couldn’t get the better of Oakleigh’s man mountain. Dominated the centre bounces, giving his classy midfielders first use and even chimed in with a goal late in the game.

#6 Matthew Day – Big bodied midfielder with a ton of class. Has terrific hands which he often uses to release teammates on the run, and compliments it well with a booming left foot. Provided a couple of decent highlights throughout the day with a huge run-down tackle and a neat side-step which lead to his first of two goals. Was also rested forward in the second half after hurting his ankle in that tackle and looked dangerous.

#10 Riley Jones – Has an exciting mix of athleticism and courage – showcasing his outstanding leap and strong hands with either a ridiculous mark or attempt in each term. Backed it up with three goals and was menacing throughout the game, latching onto high balls into the 50 that would often go to ground.

#13 Daniel Stanford – The 19-year-old excelled up forward, dominating his side’s 50 for the whole contest. Proved a handful with his work rate and ability to find space, teaming up well with Riley Jones to provide reliable targets. Finished with deserved return of four goals.

#16 Lachlan Bugeja – There isn’t much of this bottom-ager, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the way he wins his contested ball. Provided a combination of grunt and class in the second and third terms which set the sides apart and saw Oakleigh gain an unassailable lead. Attended most of the centre bounces and used the ball well out of them.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Murray Bushrangers (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays: 

#29 Bailey Williams – Showed consistent success in his centre hitouts throughout this weekend’s match. The leap and timing of him was not easy to match from the Bushrangers. While not every hitout was correctly capitalised on, his midfield presence in the centre made him a strong target for his team. With an excellence composure, this young man remained a pillar for his team throughout a tough four quarters of football.

#38 Mitch Cotter – The ferocity shown by Cotter is powerful and unmatched. Has no problem throwing his head over the ball. Always in the right place at the right time, and he works hard to eject the football toward his 50 and has no issue playing both offensively and defensively. He is excellent along the ground, snatching up the football whenever he’s near it. This kid is someone to keep an eye on.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – His physical presence did not go unnoticed in the Stingray’s forward 50. In the air he is unparalleled, with firm marking and sharp kicking that launched his team out of the gate in the second quarter. D’Arcy had a strong first half, kicking four assuming an assisting role in the later half of the game. His movement of the ball helped cease midfield scramble, creating smooth movement through the passage toward goal. When he is hit up in front of goal, more often than not is he going to mark and put a score on the board. D’Arcy ended the game with five goals.

#55 Ali Zijai – Has excellent midfield presence and hits the scoreboard. Zijai’s slick running along the wing is a sight to behold. In a game with plenty of stoppages and fumbling, this young fella held the ball tight and put it where it needed to be. On the ground and in the air, Zijai holds his composure under insurmountable opposition pressure. Sharp kicking and excellent run & carry saw this young man set up plenty of goals out of the midfield, as well as kicking three of his own.

Murray Bushrangers: 

#1 Daniel Johnston – Had a realatively quiet game but launched out of the gate as soon as the Bushies got a whiff of victory. He kicked Murray’s first goal for the game and their final goal to put them within two points. His fight came through hard in the final quarter, kicking two to give the Bushrangers a chance. His willingness to attack the ball was quite prevalent in the nail biter, and the hanger he took in the closing minutes was nothing short of incredible.

#18 Hudson Garoni – Was a man on a mission. He opened up Murray’s game launching through two important goals in the first quarter. Was their leading goal kicker for the day, showing no issue dropping them in from any angle. As a smaller forward, this kid has a future and showed it without doubt against the Stingrays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – This man’s work in the backline was a huge reason behind the close finish. His decision-making and running was a key factor behind his teams movement along the wing. When this kid grabbed the ball he was off. It could be easily argued that he was the biggest problem for Stingray’s forward line, being way too quick for any of their players. Langlands has a lot of potential, showing he can do at all if he’s needed to. If you ask me, he definitely has a future in this game.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 6

ROUND Six of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching two of the games over the weekend. Read their scouting notes below:

Northern Knights vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

#3 Braedyn Gillard – The bottom-ager was a real force for the Knights with his aggressive style and ball-winning abilities. Complimented his toughness well with some finesse and mature distribution. Also has a good knack of sneaking forward and finding a goal, and will really make his presence felt once he adds a bit of size over the next couple of years.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Was industrious all day and really made an impact with his strong bursts forward, using his pace to send the Knights into attack. Took some impressive marks overhead and showed promising improvement in that area as he often rested forward. Keeps rising in stature with each passing game, finishing with 20 disposals (17 contested).

#8 Nick Coffield – Stood up again when his side needed it and was very slick in areas all around the ground. Used his deft side-step and clean hands well in traffic, while also proving he can use his big frame to provide a bit of grunt at ground level. Capped off a decent shift with the winning goal in the dying minutes.

#14 Adam Tomaro – By no means the most consistent or overall influential player, but the 19 year old comes and goes in exciting passages of play. He played a key role in the third quarter up forward with his great defensive pressure and nous around goal. Always shows something, but needs to produce it more often

#18 Jamison Shea – Another 19 year old, Shea continued his impressive form with a dominant best-on-display. He moved forward throughout the game to bag four important goals, but also roamed around the ground and racked up plenty of the ball. His versatility and ability to play either small or tall is a great asset, but he lacks an x-factor at the moment. Always plays his role nonetheless, which would please coach Justin Wenke.

#30 Oliver Wilson – Made his prensence known with 11 tackles for the day. There’s not much of him, but his desparation and effort was great to watch – most notably his game-saving tackle in the last quarter as his opponent ran into an open goal.

Dandenong Stingrays

#2 Hunter Clark – Came in and out of the game but showed off his best attributes whenever he got the ball. He has brilliant hands and often flicked the ball out at ridiculous angles to find teammates. Is also quite strong despite his slight frame, and finds his way out of danger a lot of the time because he is so good on both sides of his body. Played a bit more through the middle, which might help improve his consistency.

#5 Angus Paterson – Was an absolute rock down back for the Stingrays, and his performance probably deserved a win to go with it. He held down the defensive 50 well and intercepted a lot of the Knights’ forward fuores with his notable reading of the game.

#20 Tom De Koning – Was another who shifted in and out of the game, but came out of it with a respectable haul of three goals. Showed the class we would like to see more of with a slick pick-up and finish on his left foot deep in the pocket – he makes it look easy at times.

#29 Bailey Williams – The bottom-ager has a ridiculous leap, and probably bettered decent opposition in Joel Grace on the day. Moves around the ground well and made his presence felt with a massive grab early in the day. Dandenong’s prime movers in the middle will appreciate his ruckwork in games to come, his hands were impressively deft.

#42 Jai Nanscawen – Another 17 year old who made his mark on the game. An impressive basketballer by all reports, Nanscawen showed great poise and decision making throughout the game. He snuck forward to snag three goals which put his side in a good position, and found targets well going forward.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Sandringham Dragons 

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – More midfield time for Farrell this week and the Pioneers used him more in the attacking half than the defending half. Normally a good kick – had a few kicks that he missed that he normally makes on Sunday. Like him more as a half back.

#15 Darby Henderson – Racked up the football with 35 disposals, but wasn’t a huge influence. Is a player that you know can find the football but I question how damaging he can be. If he can make some more of his disposals really hurt the opposition he could lift himself into consideration to be drafted.

#18 Angus Schumacher – Killed the Dragons in the first half across half back but also went through the midfield. A nice left foot kick and he found the ball on 28 occasions. One of keep an eye on.

Sandringham Dragons:

#7 Aaron Trusler – Again used his speed and goal smarts up forward. Kicked a big goal from 50m out in the third quarter and has everything you want in a small forward. Finished the day with two goals.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – Another solid performance as the Dragons’ best player for what was ultimately a disappointing day. Won plenty of the ball inside using his strong frame. His leadership and voice was impressive throughout the day, willing his teammates to fight back into the contest.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Continuing to play good football – but the last two weeks there have been some minor hiccups. At times under immense pressure he has gave the ball up to the opposition, in particular with a few clangers by hand. Looks much more comfortable in uncontested situations and if he can clean up his work when under pressure it will help him lift his draft stocks.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Grand Final

corey-lyons

Sandringham Dragons 12.13 (85) defeated Murray Bushrangers 9.14 (68)

Michael Alvaro’s scouting notes:

Sandringham Dragons:

#5 Andrew McGrath – Was quiet early but came to life in the third term with a move to half back, racking up the disposals to finish with 38 – including 8 clearances. Has done his No.1 draft pick chances no harm with his best afield performance, showing he can lead from the front when he is needed. Well and truly bossed the game after half time, not much more to say – the kid is simply brilliant.

#7 Corey Lyons – Was patchy today but stood up when his side needed him. Proved to be dangerous going forward and showed some class when he was thrust into the middle. Models his game on Nat Fyfe’s ability to impact games in both positions – that showed today.

#8 Tim Taranto – The second Dragon to hit the 30 disposal mark, Taranto was everywhere. His impact on the contest was outstanding, with 11 tackles and 7 marks in all areas of the ground. With such a solid build, Taranto stood out in the clinches, which is so important in finals games.

#10 Jack Scrimshaw – By no means had his best game but showed glimpses of his class. Got a bit carried away with his decision making by foot, opting for low percentage targets with darting left-foot passes regularly. He hit a few, but also turned it over. His weaves through traffic are elite and the move up forward in the second half was good. Overall solid with 24 disposals, played his role and will come under consideration due to his unique style and shape.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – The skipper really took charge today and bobbed up when his side was looking to wrestle back momentum. Ever the workhorse, he even did well to hit the scoreboard going forward, putting through a crucial captain’s goal. Doing well to break the tag of just being ‘Angus’ brother’ collecting 12 disposal, six marks and four inside 50s.

#13 Oliver Florent – This kid oozes class. In a stacked Sandy midfield, he still managed to contribute with some deft touches and classy plays. Did well to combat Brodie’s influence in the midfield alongside Taranto in the second half as McGrath went down back. Kicked a nice goal too, very could be one of five Sandringham first rounders.

#61 Hayden McLean – This kid may well be one to watch next year. A bottom ager with a mature frame, McLean’s marking and work rate stood out as he charged around the ground and drifted forward to provide a solid target. Has nice hands and looks reasonably athletic for a big man booting a goal and clunking six marks.


 

Murray Bushrangers:

#5 Fletcher Carroll – This kid can play. Was close to Murray’s best today with 18 disposals and fought hard throughout the contest. Obvious knock on him is his size at just 175cm, but he makes up for it with heart and class. Moves well, and was one of the few Bushrangers able to combat Sandringham’s pace on the outside.

#6 Charlie Spargo – Another member of the mosquito fleet, Spargo provided some much-needed spark and energy for his side. His pace is noticeable, and he also did well to keep up with the pace of his opponents, especially in the first half where he had 15 of his 24 disposals.

#7 Will Brodie – Was so important for the Bushrangers in the first half, not only busting his way through clearances, but also moving well laterally to burn opponents. Will be a clearance machine at the next level, but that added agility and smoothness gave him an edge in the first half. Was slowed down after that and missed a couple of good set shot chances, but will be nothing but an asset to any club with a top 10 pick. Biggest lowlight for him was being cleaned up by the umpire. Finished the day with 22 disposals and seven clearances.

#13 Lachlan Tiziani – Livewire Tiziani came into the game in red hot form, proving to be a menace up forward. Sandy clearly noted his potential, and did well to thwart him in the first half, which allowed Nicholas Richards to become the main danger at ground level. Still got plenty of it inside-50 during a third quarter charge where he had five disposals, but a few crucial misses meant that Murray couldn’t get further ahead. A quiet day with just nine disposals.

#25 Ryan Garthwaite – Somewhere between a Dustin Fletcher and Jack Frost in stature and appearance, Garthwaite is a real goer. Reading of the play in the back half is second to none, and was sparingly beaten in the contest. Has an interesting kicking action, but with some work and improvement can become a valuable key defender. 14 of his 17 kicks still hit the target despite his awkward kicking style.

#33 James Cousins – Had a really consistent TAC Cup season, so I was expecting a little more from him. Was still solid throughout the game with 20 disposals & eight inside 50s and gave a helping hand to Will Brodie in the midfield, working well to keep his side in the game. Seems to be a more quiet accumulator

#40 Todd Marshall – Was really disappointing in the first half, but slotted a goal with his first kick of the game. Went on to kick another but his influence was sparse, an he hardly looked like impacting the game with an outstanding job from Ari Sakeson on him. While he looked to be trying, he just couldn’t get himself into the game and was void of confidence at ground level. Was helped a little when Ratugolea moved forward.

Vics bolt out of the blue and into the combine

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

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

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

80 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2016 AFL DRAFT COMBINE

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL


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

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

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

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

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

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