Tag: riley grundy

South Australia weekly wrap: School footy heats up with Under 18s bye

WITH a split round in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and no Under 18s, there were still some good performances from South Australia’s draftable talent across the grades. School footy takes the focus this week and next as the season culminates. 

League:

Centrals lost by 44 points at home to top side Norwood. However, Aaron Nietschke on debut for the Dogs was in the best with 23 possessions showing a lot of class to also slot one goal. Starting up forward, Jackson Hately was also in the bests with his 22 possessions, nine marks and two goals. Defender Jez McLennan had the nine disposals and four tackles and mature age ruckman Darcy Fort had 13 possessions, including 18 hitouts. For Norwood, Matt Nunn (mature ager invited to South Australian draft combine) had 31 possessions including 14 marks and one goal to be in the best for the winners.

Sturt defeated South by 13 points, with Hugo Munn kicking a crucial goal in the close game. Shane McAdam (mature ager invited to the National Combine) on return from injury had 10 possessions and also kicked a goal. For South, Nathan Kreuger had nine disposals and kicked two goals, while Hayden Sampson was quieter with the seven disposals.

Reserves:

North Adelaide demolished Port by over 100 points, with Oscar Chapman in the best with his 21 possessions, 12 marks and 3.4.

In Sturt’s loss to South, midfielder Tom Lewis was in the best with 18 disposals (14 contested), 12 tackles and also kicked 1.1. Casey Voss had 12 disposals including five tackles and defender Riley Grundy had five disposals and four tackles. For South, Robert Irra was in the best with his 19 disposals and run off half-back.

In Glenelg’s 38 point loss to Westies, Finn Betterman had 14 disposals. Oscar Lovelock was best for the losing Tigers who only managed one goal in appalling conditions, while the Blood’s Elliot Dunkin was best afield.

School and College Footy:

College and School football is now getting to the pointy end of the season with some key games and finals now approaching.

In College games this week, Prince Alfred College (PAC) won the Premier League Championship when they defeated Rostrevor 66-28 to go through undefeated. For PAC, captain Tom Sparrow was best on ground with his explosiveness from the packs and hardness at the football. Will Gould was also outstanding at half-back, with intercept marking and powerful spoiling. Kossie Pickett was dangerous as always up forward and on-baller Harry Schoneberg was also key with his run and drive through the middle. For Rostrevor, Cam Taheny was in the best along with Jacob Kennerley rebounding from the back half and wing. 

In other College games, Sacred Heart (SHC) accounted for Westminster easily by 16 goals and St Peters secured a win over Scotch College by 41 points.

With the first year of the new Premier League format completed, it has breathed some new life into the College competition. The familiar schools continue to dominate at the top of the table but opportunities for other Colleges to improve has been exciting.

 

State Knockout School/College Championships

During the week, Henley High (resting Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine) won the Open competition to go into the preliminary final versus Rostrevor with the winner set to play PAC for the State Championship.

In a match that sees the winner face off against PAC in the final, both teams had key players out – Lukosius for Henley and Jacob Kennerley for Rostrevor.

Henley started off well kicking three goals with the breeze at Woodville Oval. Threatening to take the game away after some early goals, Rostrevor steadied, led by captain Luke Valente, and slowed Henley’s attack and scored into the breeze to be only 2 goals down at quarter time.  For Henley, Izak Rankine was collecting the ball at will and almost in danger of overdoing it, tried to show off all his magical talent in the first quarter, but the Rostrevor team did well to keep the pressure on him.

The second quarter became the crucial period with both teams kicking two goals, and so by Rostrevor taking advantage of the breeze, meant Henley had the ascendency. And Henley’s poise and precision out of defence was a real highlight – especially the work of Luke Edwards and Zane Williams.

In the third quarter Henley took the game away with four goals to one, including a high flying mark from Jackson Mead. Hard running and quick ball movement opened up the Rossie defence, and a number of skill and discipline errors cost Rostrevor numerous opportunities to attack.  At three-quarter time Henley led by 29 points. 

In the last quarter Rostrevor needed their own magic and Cam Taheny positioned in his own 50m paddock scored within 30 seconds. Another goal from Taheny came shortly after and Rostrevor were up and about. In these 20 minute quarters there is no time to spare and chasing five goals was always going to be a challenge.  Taheny continued to present up forward, but Henley managed to get players back into the space to choke things up and slow down the ball. Rostrevor had a number of missed shots on goal and then slotted a third for the quarter. Keeping Henley goalless in the last quarter was a good effort, but Henley’s poise lead by captain Beau Nunan meant they were the victors by eight points – 9.4 58 to 7.8 50.

The final is to be played at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 August at Norwood Oval, and will be a re-match of last year’s thrilling final in which PAC came from behind to claim victory.  The Henley team is packed full of talent with State representatives, and takes on a PAC team, with a number of changes from last year’s squad but itself has some elite talent.  Another classic awaits.

Eighty invited to National AFL Draft Combine

VIC Metro has dominated the nominations for the National AFL Draft Combine with more than one third of the invitees coming from Metro, and more than half from Victoria. South Australia’s title-winning side has the next most with 13, including mature-ager Shane McAdam. Sturt’s McAdam is one of two mature agers to be invited to the combine, with Werribee’s Josh Corbett also gaining an invite. Western Australia has 11 invitees, while Tasmania and Queensland (four each) and NSW-ACT (three) round out the total nominees with no Northern Territory player invited.

There are six Northern Academy-tied players invited – Nick Blakey (Sydney), Kieren Briggs (GWS GIANTS), Keidean Coleman and Connor McFadyen (Brisbane), and Dirk Koenen and Bailey Scott (Gold Coast). Additionally there are a raft of father-sons, such as Oscar BrownlessRhylee WestWill KellyBen Silvagni and Joel Crocker, whilst Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne), Jarrod Cameron (West Coast), Irving Mosquito (Hawthorn) and Isaac Quaynor (Collingwood) are others tied to Next Generation Academies.

In terms of individual clubs, Oakleigh Chargers (eight), Sandringham Dragons (seven), Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays (both five), Murray Bushrangers, Western Jets, Calder Cannons and Gippsland Power (all four) lead the way, with the remaining four TAC Cup clubs having a nominee each. For interstate clubs, Sturt and Perth both have three players invited.

The 80 players will test in front of clubs from October 2-5.

National AFL Draft Combine invitees:

NSW-ACT [3]
Nick Blakey (Sydney Academy)
Kieren Briggs (GWS Academy)
Jacob Koschitzke (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland [4]
Keidean Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Dirk Koenen (Gold Coast Academy)
Connor McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Bailey Scott (Gold Coast Academy)

South Australia [13]
Jez McLennan (Central District)
Ben Jarvis (Norwood)
Izak Rankine (West Adelaide)
Tom Sparrow (South Adelaide)
Jackson Hately (Central District)
Jacob Kennerley (Norwood)
Connor Rozee (North Adelaide)
Luke Valente (Norwood)
Shane McAdam (Sturt)
Hayden Sampson (South Adelaide)
Riley Grundy (Sturt)
Jack Lukosius (Woodville West Torrens)
Hugo Munn (Sturt)

Tasmania [4]
Nicholas Baker (Lauderdale)
Chayce Jones (Launceston)
Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston)
Fraser Turner (Clarence)

VFL [1]
Josh Corbett (Werribee)

Vic Country [19]
Zane Barzen (Murray Bushrangers)
Toby Bedford (Dandenong Stingrays)
Thomas Berry (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Riley Bowman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons)
Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power)
Zac Foot (Dandenong Stingrays)
Will Hamill (Dandenong Stingrays)
Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons)
Matt McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Ned McHenry (Geelong Falcons)
Irving Mosquito (Gippsland Power)
Kyle Reid (Gippsland Power)
Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers)
Charlie Sprague (Geelong Falcons)
Laitham Vandermeer (Murray Bushrangers)
Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)

Vic Metro [25]
Daly Andrews (Western Jets)
Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Blanck (Eastern Ranges)
Zak Butters (Western Jets)
Jack Bytel (Calder Cannons)
Riley Collier-Dawkins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Golds (Oakleigh Chargers)
Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers)
William Kennedy (Sandringham Dragons)
Buku Khamis (Western Jets)
Ben King (Sandringham Dragons)
Max King (Sandringham Dragons)
Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights)
Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets)
Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers)
Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers)
James Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Sholl (Calder Cannons)
Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh Chargers)
Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons)
Liam Stocker (Sandringham Dragons)
Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons)
Rhylee West (Calder Cannons)

Western Australia [11]
Jarrod Cameron (Swan Districts)
Jordan Clark (Claremont)
Luke English (Perth)
Damon Greaves (East Perth)
Luke Foley (Subiaco)
Ian Hill (Perth)
Tom Joyce (East Fremantle)
Dillon O’Reilly (East Fremantle)
Tyron Smallwood (Claremont)
Sydney Stack (Perth)
Durak Tucker (Peel Thunder)

South Australia weekly wrap: Under 16s bring home the double

COMING off the high of the South Australian (SA) Under 18 win and with all players returning to their local SANFL clubs, it was the SA Under 16 squad’s turn to take stage in their National Championships.

SA Under 16s:

Inspired by the victory of the SA Under 18 team, the Under 16 lads followed suit and secured a title victory in the National U16 Championships over Vic Metro.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA  3.6  9.7  12.10  13.12 (90)
VICTORIA METRO  2.3  3.6  6.9  11.12 (78)

BEST – Durdin, Jones, Nelligan, Thilthorpe, Horsnell, Kraemer.
LEADING DISPOSALS – Nelligan 21, Durdin 20, Edwards 19, Schwerdt, Dean 16, Baldwin 14, Dumesny, Thilthorpe, Higgins 13.
GOALS – Dudley, Horsnell 3, Dumesny 2, Dean, Baldwin, Durdin, Higgins, Pedlar.
KEVIN SHEEHAN MEDAL – Corey Durdin (Central District)
SA MVP OF THE CARNIVAL – Corey Durdin (Central Distict)
ALL-AUSTRALIANS – Corey Durdin, Riley Thilthorpe, Kaine Baldwin, Luke Edwards, Jye Sinderberry & Julian Farkas (Coach).

The SA side had some impressive talent over the tournament with Central District’s Corey Durdin the standout across all games and all sides. The SA vice-captain was electric across the midfield and looks an exciting prospect. It was an all-round performance from the SA side, and for new coach Julian Farkas an excellent championship for bringing the team together.   

SANFL Wrap:

League

All Under 18 talent returned to their local clubs, and slotted straight back into League footy. In Sturt’s loss to Norwood, Hugo Munn continued his strong form with 1.2 and a well balanced performance in a losing side. Norwood kicked a huge 13 goals in the last quarter to run over the Double Blues. For the Eagles, eyes were again on key forward Jack Lukosius who continued his form with eight marks, two goals and five tackle game that was impressive. The Eagles dominated the highly rated North Adelaide.

In the West Adelaide vs. Centrals match, the Bloods won easily, with star Izak Rankine proving inaccurate in front of goal finishing with 0.4 – it could have easily been better result for him. Centrals mid Jackson Hately found plenty of footy with 18 disposals and a goal in another consistent performance Glenelg secured a close victory over South, and 2017 SA U18 strong bodied mid Brad McCarthy was very good for the Tigers with one goal and 18 disposals. He was rewarded with a SA Powerade Breakthrough Player of the Week nomination. Young forward Lachlan Hosie continues to hit the scoreboard at League and Reserves level finishing with another three goals. For South, youngster Jaidan Kappler made his league debut for the Panthers.

In the Port Adelaide vs Adelaide Crows game held in Kadina, Adelaide young mid Jordan Boyle finished with 29 disposals. Crows listed players Patrick Wilson and Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Darcy Fogarty were also dominant. For Port Magpies, Jack Kluske continued his good form and earned a Breakthrough player nomination, while ex-Glenelg and Sacred Heart (SHC) youngster Harry Morgan made his league debut.  

Reserves:

Sturt’s Tom Lewis lead the way for the Double Blues despite a thumping from Norwood. His three goals and six tackles were one of the few standouts on the day. Backman Riley Grundy made his Reserves debut as well and didn’t look out of place. In Central’s loss to West Adelaide, SA U18 leader Jez McLennan showed his class for the Bulldogs as their best afield finishing with nine marks and 23 disposals. Every game he plays he improves and looks very well balanced at all times. North fell in against the Eagles and SA U18 lads Connor Rozee and Boyd Woodcock were dangerous around goal with four goals between them, looking very classy. Glenelg had a young team lose to South, and Tobin Cox best was best for the Tigers, along with 2019 prospects Will Gould and Brady Searle who found plenty of the ball. Tom Sparrow (South) was the player of the game with a huge 13 tackles in a tough display of midfield work.  

Under 18s:

The Eagles winning ways continued on, defeating North by 24 points. Tyson Francis finished with a five goal haul, while Connor McLeod and SA U18 Kai Pudney found plenty of ball with the latter using it more effectively this week. North’s Jak Gouldman-Glasson finished with six goals and Harrison Magor was also amongst their best. Jacob Kennerley stood out in Norwood’s win over Sturt. The dashing wingman played a complete game with 27 disposals, 12 contested, four clearances and two goals showed his all round class. He is one to watch for the remainder of the season. Fellow SA U18 member Ben Jarvis was good with nine marks, and over-ager Lachlan Pascoe made a solid return after a long lay off with injury. Sturt’s Jed McEntee’s run of form continued for the Double Blues in his fifth game in a row being Sturt’s best. His 27 disposals and 15 contested were indicative of his work rate, and leadership in the team. Will be interested to watch his remainder of the season.

It was a goal-fest for the South Adelaide boys with Daniel Sladojevic finishing with three goals and Hayden Sampson also had two. Glenelg mid Sam Liambis was good around stoppage finishing with nine clearances, and 11 of his 22 possessions being contested was a shining light in the 55 point loss. Standout performance of the week from the U18 comp was West Adelaide’s Ethan Moore who collected an impressive 41 disposals at 73 per cent efficiency. The SHC Student and ex-Mitcham Hawk tried to help drag his team over the line, but they lost by 12 points to Centrals. Moore’s performance earned him a U18 MVP nomination.  

SANFL Under 15 and Under 17 Competitions:

All SANFL clubs are currently participating in the week long U15 and U17 SANFL competition which gives some younger and other fringe players opportunities at the higher level and to aid in their development for U16 and U18 footy in future years. It is also a chance for local SANFL clubs to get a look at their Country zoned players who form part of these squads as well.  

College Footy:

All school football recommences in two weeks with the chase for both Messenger Shield and State Knockout titles to heat up in the back half of the year.

Scouting notes: National U18 Championships – Round 5

WE made the trip down to Etihad Stadium yesterday and saw the conclusion to the National Under 18 Championships. Here we take a look at every player in both games and see how they fared on the night. Lenny Fogliani, Cameron Ross, Scott Dougan, James Goller, Craig Byrnes, David Chapman, Jamie Morgan and Damon Mattiazzo all combined to provide the notes.

Allies vs. Western Australia:

Allies:

#1 Conor Budarick

Budarick was a strong tackler for the Allies having eight for the day – he was really fierce in the contest. He played like a smart footballer and made good decisions with the ball. His kicking was good all day and included three inside 50s. The 2019 draft prospect spent most of his time on the wing and through the forward line.

#3 Josh Stern

Stern had 10 possessions for the day. He showed courage going back with the flight in a marking contest – he didn’t flinch. He kicked the ball really well, especially in the last term. Stern also displayed good hands in the contest, playing mostly up forward pushing up the ground.

#6 Rhyan Mansell 

The hard nosed defender was impressive, laying seven strong tackles. He brought a bit of aggression out there and proved very hard to beat one on one, rarely losing a contest. He didn’t have a lot of the ball only collecting five possessions but used it well. Mansell showed a little bit of spread and speed off the back flank but needs to add more of that to his game so he can be a solid contributor both defensively and offensively, not just defensively.

#7 Jesse Quint

Quint had a okay day, gathering 10 possessions. A highlight was his hands in congestion. He kicked a nice goal to go with four inside 50s and kicked the ball well.

#10 Chayce Jones

The Tasmanian had a strong day at the office playing midfield and resting up forward. Jones is really hard at it in the contest and laid seven tackles for the game. When he doesn’t have the ball he was the willingness and desire to put as much defensive pressure on as he can. He kicked the ball well and made good decisions with ball in hand. He was both strong on inside and outside.

#11 Keidean Coleman

Coleman had seven possessions for the day playing down back, he was very strong defensively laying five tackles. He does have the ability to break the lines but he wasn’t able to do it enough having only two rebounds.

#12 Mitchell O’Neil

Definitely one to write down for the 2019 draft. He has really good hands in congestion. O’Neill also took a nice contested mark. He had 18 possessions and kicked the ball well, also booting a nice goal. He took the game on and was able to rebound well having three rebound 50’s for the game. O’ Neill made the All Australian team.

#15 Guy Richardson

The backman had 19 possessions for the day, I thought he played really well mopping up defensively. He was also good offensively rebounding four times and showcasing his really good foot skills. Richardson showed some good run and carry and the ability to break the lines. Defensively he was good one on one.

#17 Thomas Matthews

Another Allies defender who had a strong game, Matthews has really solid pressure in the contest. He only laid three tackles, but the work he does off the ball that doesn’t get any stats for was noticeable. He took five marks and a couple of those were intercepts. Matthews was great offensively as well having five rebounds. He kicks the ball well and showed some run and carry.

#19 Bailey Scott

The captain had a fantastic day for Allies. He played more in the midfield collecting 30 possessions. His clearance work was really good having six. He had really good hands in congestion and tackled really strongly showing some aggression with five tackles for the game. He kicked the ball well, especially late when he hit team mate Nick Blakey on the chest with a 40-meter kick. Scott was able to hit the scoreboard as well with a goal. He rebounded strongly with three rebounds and also had three inside 50s. The skipper also took a great mark.

#20 Fraser Turner

The wingman is a great runner and ran hard all day, slotting two great goals on the run at critical times. He had 24 possessions and showed strong hands in the contest. Turner rebounded really well having three for the game and his kicking was solid all day. Turner plays mostly on the wing is a outside damaging player.

#23 Michael Mummery

Mummery had a quiet day with only the four possessions, however, he was really good defensively laying five tackles. He also was good one on one in marking contests, taking a fantastic contested mark.

#28 Matthew Green

The tall midfielder put good pressure on the opposition and used his trademark long handballs into space to set up teammates running passed. Just the 11 disposals on the night, but he had a couple of crucial intercepts late, including one tackle which earned him a holding the ball free kick. Also had a couple of clearances and inside 50s on the night to end up with a solid performance.

#29 Joey Reinard

The forward showed some good glimpses in patches, kicking a goal early in the piece, working hard for leads and being creative through midfield. Not a high accumulator, he presents when required and plays that medium-tall role well.

#31 Connor McFadyen

The 190cm utility continues to impress with his super quick hands and strong contested marking ability. He took a great grab on the goal line in the second half to nail a vital goal, then handed one off to Mitch O’Neill who kicked truly from long range. He uses his body well one-on-one and has shown promising signs he can develop into an inside midfielder who drifts forward and has an impact.

#36 Matthew McGuiness

Playing in defence, McGuiness rebounded well from the back 50, working in tandem with Jacob Koschitzke and Nick Baker. Positions himself well and is able to put pressure on opposition forwards, while taking some strong marks.

#37 Jacob Koschitzke

One of the most improved players across the tournament, Koschitzke played another strong game out of full-back, taking some good contested marks and rebounding strongly. He showed good courage backing back with the flight on a couple of occasions and applying his penetrating kick to clear of the defensive zone.

#40 Kieren Briggs

The clear dominant ruck on the ground once again and deserving of the Allies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the carnival. It was clear Briggs has a huge tank and covers the ground well, barely taking a break. His second efforts are a highlight and he continually does the defensive things right as well. I would be surprised if it was not just the GIANTS keeping an eye on the overager.

#41 Mathew Walker

The Murray Bushrangers forward started slowly but worked into the game in the second half. He kicked a good goal on the move, and missed a chance to add a second. Walker showed good hands in close, giving off lightning quick handballs to teammates and opening up space for them.

#44 Caleb Graham

The athletic big man was often found pushing up onto a wing and showing off his versatility. He laid a really big tackle early in the piece and took a great intercept mark and drove the ball long inside 50. Not a huge accumulator, but a long kick of the football and can play anywhere.

#46 Tarryn Thomas

The potential top 10 pick was relatively quiet again by his lofty standards, but he did pick up in the last quarter where he kicked a great set shot goal to get the Allies team up and about. He has the cleanest hands at ground level, and could pick up a soaking ball with velcro-like hands. Had a big clearance in the first term that resulted in a Nick Blakey goal. Thomas was terrific defensively laying a number of good tackles to stop opponents in their tracks.

#47 Nick Baker

Played up the ground through the midfield as well as at half-back and was strong one-on-one. He managed to get his hands on the football a bit and continued to remain involved in the contest. He was one of the Allies’ more prominent ball winners in the match.

#49 Nick Blakey

Just enormous. After being held early, Blakey came into the game with a bang once moving into the middle, winning two early clearances in the second half. He used his big body to impact the contest and then drifted forward to provide a contest. He had a brilliant dart of a pass to Mathew Walker in the third term and his disposal by foot was terrific. Just got better with every game he played and yesterday was huge when the game was on the line.

 

Western Australia:

#2 Jarrod Cameron

The lively small forward wasn’t as influential as compared to his dazzling performance against Vic Country, but still showed glimpses of his potential. His desire to run and chase opposition defenders is outstanding for someone his age, and his ability with ball in hand is unbelievably good.

#4 Graydon Wilson

The dynamic defender was outstanding for Western Australia, with his run and carry, skills and vision all on display. He also produced the match-saving spoil and tackle that secured WA the victory.

#6 Wil Hickmott

A late inclusion into the squad, Hickmott’s class was on full display. His vision, skills and reading of the play are at a fantastic level for someone his age. Carlton will be monitoring him closely as he is the son of former player Adrian Hickmott

#8 Luke Moore

The South Fremantle product finished with 13 possessions and two goals but the stat line doesn’t emphasise how good he was. In the first quarter, he stood up in a tackle and got the ball to Brad Oldfield who duly converted the opening goal of the game. Then late in the first quarter, he gathered the ball at full pace, sidestepped an opponent and snapped one through. The youngster has been likened to Alan Didak and shapes as a genuine match winner for any AFL club.

#9 Tyron Smallwood

Smallwood was extremely lively in the forward half for the Sandgropers, often setting up attacking forays. Not unlike Adelaide star Tom Lynch, Smallwood was the connector between the midfield and the forward line and he played the role to perfection.

#10 Rylie Morgan

The Claremont product was outstanding in the midfield. A beautifully balanced player with exceptional skills and sound decision-making, Morgan wielded an influence on the inside and the outside. He shapes as a potential bolter come draft night.

#11 Luke English

The acting captain of the day, English showed why he is such a highly rated prospect. He was tough, combative, skilful and smart against the Allies. He finished with 25 possessions and six tackles in what was a tremendous display.

#12 Jeremy Sharp

The bottom-ager did his stocks for the 2019 AFL Draft no harm whatsoever with an accomplished display against the Allies. His vision, speed, skills and smarts all make him an attractive player, and he would be thoroughly deserving of All-Australian selection.

#13 Jason Carter

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy player showed glimpses of why he is such a highly rated prospect. His dare to take the opposition on should excite the Fremantle recruiters and his speed was unmatched by any Allies player.

#14 Sydney Stack

The Northam product’s stocks continue to soar by the week. Against the Allies, Stack was aggressive, tough, skilful and dynamic. In the last quarter, he soared for a mark, roved his own crumbs and dribbled through a goal. He finished with 20 possessions and seven clearances.

#15 Jordan Clark

Arguably the best player on the ground, Clark deservedly took home the WA Most Valuable Player award. He finished with 29 possessions and 11 rebounds, and was often a catalyst for WA’s drive from the back half to the forward half. His skills, vision, composure and toughness will all make him an AFL star.

#16 Ethan Hansen

Hansen started the game in terrific fashion, taking an early intercept mark and gathering plenty of possessions. He showed the ability to kick on both sides of his body and his decision-making with the ball in hand was superb. Hansen was able to use his speed to escape the congestion and to provide run on the outside of the contest, which proved handy for Western Australia going forward. In the third quarter, Hansen read the play superbly and was able to take an intercept mark at full speed in the middle of the ground, resulting in a Western Australian goal. Hansen had 19 disposals and more than 300 metres gained.

#18 Deven Robertson

The bottom-age midfielder looks to be one to keep an eye on in next year’s draft. He didn’t have massive numbers by any means but what impressed me the most with Robertson, was his work-rate. He chased hard defensively and he was able to make plenty of contests in all areas of the ground, due to his gut-running.

#20 Luke Foley

Foley was pivotal in the midfield for Western Australia, setting the standard required for his teammates by making a strong impression early. He accumulated disposals in all areas of the ground, on the inside and outside of the contest. His clearance work was really good, but his tackling was even better. Foley never gave up and he tried his hardest to make an impact, both offensively and defensively.

#21 Tyson Powell

Powell started in defence and was solid. He tackled strongly and had some nice defensive spoils. In the second quarter, Powell coped a big knock and was unable to have the same influence. He bounced back in the second half and was responsible for the in-form Connor McFayden at times. Powell continued to spoil strongly and he started to find more of the ball as the game went on.

#23 Louis Miller

Miller was prominent down back and was one of Western Australia’s best on the day. His competitiveness and strength in the contest were noticeable throughout the match. Miller positioned himself well defensively and rebounded effectively. He amassed 22 disposals and used the ball well. The highlight of the day came in the second quarter when Miller took an eye-catching pack mark over four players on the wing.

#24 Regan Spooner

The classy defender spent a considerable amount of time on the in-form forward, Nick Blakey. Spooner kept Blakey to one goal in the first half and played his role fabulously. His ball use was top-notch and he was clean below his knees. His finest passage of play came in the second quarter when he kicked an absolute bullet inside 50 to the leading Tom Medhat.

#26 Jake Pasini

Pasini started the game in the defence and was solid. He did not have the same stats to most of his teammates, but he undeniably played a crucial role in limiting the Allies forwards impact during the game.

#27 Tom Medhat

The versatile forward was Western Australia’s most dangerous in the first half and he proved difficult for the Allies defenders to stop. He kicked his team’s second goal of the match with a running goal from 40m out, demonstrating his composure in pressure situations. Medhat found plenty of space in the second quarter and kicked his second goal only three minutes into the term. He pushed into the midfield at times and showed the ability to win the contested ball. Medhat kicked his third goal of the term in the dying minutes and was one of the main reasons behind Western Australia’s dominance in the first half. He didn’t have the same effect in the third and fourth quarters, but he continued to work hard at making himself an attractive option in the forward 50.

#29 Dillion O’Reilly

O’Reilly started in the forward half and shared ruck duties with Jack Buller throughout the game. He showed his athleticism early, winning some impressive jumping hit-outs to give his midfielders first use. O’Reilly kicked his first goal of the day in the second term, with a terrific snap around the body. He continued to hit the scoreboard for Western Australia, booting his second goal in the third term after leading successfully into a large amount of space inside 50.

#34 Brad Oldfield

Oldfield was outstanding in contested situations, winning the ball in tight and dishing the ball out by hand to his teammates. Oldfield found plenty of space in situations that you shouldn’t, which helped him make the correct decisions with ball in hand. In the first term, he was involved in an important passage of play where he kicked the ball inside 50 to a teammate and then sprinted extremely hard to make himself an appealing option to receive the ball back, resulting in the first goal of the game. His work rate and hard running was evident across four quarters.

#35 Mitchell Georgiades

The bottom-ager played on Nicholas Baker and arguably beat him in the first half. He booted two essential goals in the space of 10 minutes in the second term, instantly becoming one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground. Georgiades showcased his sticky hands and the ability to mark the ball at its highest possible point. His set-shot goal kicking was spot on and his technique was sublime. He was unable to have the same influence in the second half, but his 10-minute burst in the second quarter was enough to get me excited for his draft year in 2019.

#36 Jack Buller

Buller’s competitiveness and ground level work for a big man was on display from the get-go. He was beaten in the hit-out department to the bigger and stronger opposition ruckmen Kieran Briggs, but as soon as the ball hit the deck, Buller basically turned into a midfielder. His follow up work was magnificent, his pressure on the opposition was clear and he won plenty of contested possessions. After his dominant first half, Buller went into the main break with 11 disposals to his name. He was much quieter in the second half, but there’s no doubt he was one of Western Australia’s main contributors in the first two quarters.

 

Vic Metro vs. South Australia

Vic Metro:

#1 Jack Mahony

The bottom ager started a little shaky by foot early. He has really good hands in congestion and has the endeavour to put on pressure and really goes in the contest with pace. He showed courage when taking a mark back with the flight, knowing there would be contact. Mahony kicked a ripping snap goal at the start of the third term. With a goal and 17 possessions to his name, he played well.

#2 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney has the ability to really break the lines and hurt his opposition with it had five rebounds to his name which shows this. However, he did make some poor decisions with the football. He tends to use the ball fairly well, however his decision making leads him to turn over the footy and this happened a few times. Interested to see how he goes in the back-end of the year for Xavier College and Oakleigh Chargers.

#3 Zak Butters

Yesterday was set to be Butters’ last game for the season as he is going in for shoulder surgery next week. Sadly his season send-off ended early with a injury to the same shoulder. He showed a willingness to take the game on with his three possessions. Butters is quite small in stature, but is a slick and crafty player.

#4 Rhylee West

West did not have a big day against South Australia only having the 12 possessions. He has really solid hands in close, also making decent decisions with it. He kicked fairly well especially when he tried to open the play up. The Western Bulldogs father-son prospect is looking like at this stage a late first round, or early second round selection.

#5 Matt Rowell

Rowell had a fantastic day at the office, with the hard nosed midfielder collecting 20 possessions for the day. Rowell has break away speed from stoppages which caught the eye. On top of that he has really good hands in congestion. He is a fantastic tackler and managed seven for the day. He used the ball well on his left and right having four clearances and three inside 50s. Definitely one to watch for the 2019 draft.

#6 Curtis Taylor

Taylor is pure class inside the forward 50. He had eight possessions for the day, but really made each one of them effective in play – two of his forward tackles resulted in set shots. He also had two inside 50s and was dangerous up forward for Vic Metro, booting two goals.

#7 Angus Hanrahan

A quieter day for Hanrahan with 12 possessions. He is a real interesting type; starting forward he did not have much impact, but after moving to the wing he started to get his hands more on it. He has good hands in close and managed nine handballs. Only having three kicks for the day is slightly disappointing as his real strength is his kicking on his left and right. It’s hard to tell exactly where Hanrahan fits. I think he could fit around the mid second round to fourth round. Really depends on his second half of the year.

#8 James Rowbottom

Rowbottom is a real inside mid. He did not have a lot of the ball with just the 12 possessions compared to his other Championship games, but he was a strong tackler for Metro laying seven, with one of the tackles being a goal-saving one. He gave a little bit of spread from stoppages and his kicking was okay. Rowbottom’s draft stocks have risen from the championships

#12 Tom McKenzie

McKenzie played off the half-back flank and was one of Metro’s best in the first half. He provided run and carry out of the defensive 50 and his ball use was very good, on most occasions. He stayed composed under pressure, especially when South Australia were repeatedly entering their forward 50. He did most of his damage in uncontested situations but has proven in the past that he can win the ball on the inside when necessary.

#14 Isaac Quaynor

Along with the majority of his teammates, he started slowly but quickly found himself more involved as the game went on. He spent most of his minutes further up the ground, rather than deep, which is a position I do enjoy him in. His best passage of play came in the third quarter when he showcased his agility and speed with an exciting blind turn in the middle of the ground, effectively releasing the ball by hand to an outside runner.

#15 Bailey Smith

The hard-running, endurance beast was one of Metro’s only shining lights in the first half. Smith never gave in and tried hard all game, even when things were not going his way. His tackling was strong as always and he won the ball in contested and uncontested situations, which is why he’s so highly rated. His clearance work was impeccable and he was able to find plenty of the ball, finishing with 22 disposals. His positioning and effort in the defensive 50 were below par at times, but it is something that he will work on during his development.

#16 Noah Answerth

It was an up-and-down game for Answerth, who received a red card at the half-time break and missed the first 15 minutes of the third term. He showed that he can have a big impact on the contest with his ball-winning ability and link-up play, but was completely exposed in defensive situations. Answerth was responsible for the red-hot forward Izak Rankine, who was near-impossible to stop. There were a couple of moments that Answerth was caught ball watching, forgetting to give Rankine enough attention, which resulted in Rankine booting some very easy goals, with no defensive pressure applied. This is common with junior footballers and of no big concern. He will improve in this area as he progresses through his development.

#18 Xavier O’Halloran

The captain gradually worked into the match and was vital in stages throughout the second half. O’Halloran only had the 10 disposals but definitely made them count, which makes him such a damaging player. He did his best work in the forward half of the ground and was involved in one of cleanest passages of play in the game. In the third quarter, he was able to drill a 40-metre kick inside 50 to the leading Ben King, who marked and kicked truly, keeping Metro in the game. O’Halloran hit the scoreboard himself in the last minute of the third, after taking a strong contested mark 20 metres out.

#19 Jack Bytel

Bytel was at his best in tight, where he could gather possession and release the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. His ball use by foot was inconsistent. He turned the ball over on multiple occasions but also displayed that he can hit targets in high-pressure situations, on both feet. Bytel spent some time down back in the second half but was unable to have any real influence on the match.

#23 Buku Khamis

Khamis spent some time on the highly-rated Connor Rozee, with the athletic rebounding defender doing his best in trying to limit his impact. Khamis read the play well, his ball use was good and his intercept marking was a standout. Khamis has progressed rapidly over the past year and did his draft chances no harm.

#24 Noah Anderson

The exciting bottom-ager from the Oakleigh Charges contributed to Metro’s midfield and looms as one of the top prospects for next year. He didn’t have the biggest effect on the game but his ball-winning ability, speed and clean ball use was a sign of things to come in 2019.

#26 Riley Collier-Dawkins – The big bodied Oakleigh midfielder was in and around the stoppages for long periods of the night, but struggled to have the impact of earlier matches. He often won first possession, but struggled to find the opportunity to release as the South Australians wrapped him up quickly. While he would only win eight disposals, Collier-Dawkins still produced moments that showcase why he is now regarded a first round prospect. He took a great overhead mark and played on with acceleration inside 50, but couldn’t finish off his work by foot. In the third term he raised his arms high at a stoppage to release a teammate brilliantly on the outside, before showing his defensive presence by producing a heavy tackle on Valente later in the quarter.

#27 Will Kelly – Starting on Lukosius, Kelly was one of the only Vic Metro defenders to keep his opponent accountable with offensive run during the early onslaught. He intercepted and rebounded with style, but also defended admirably by holding the most talked about player of the draft pool to one goal. He went forward in the final term and looked capable leading to space, while also setting up Bailey Smith in the corridor. The son of Craig and brother of Jake at Adelaide finished with 17 disposals to be one of Vic Metro’s better players. You suspect the Pies won’t let another Kelly father/son prospect slip on this occasion.

#28 Ben Silvagni – The second of the Silvagni boys came to Etihad Stadium with some expectation from the Carlton faithful and he started okay forward considering the lack of early opportunities. He took a nice overhead mark on the lead inside 50, before a brilliant piece of play on the wing where he shrugged a tackle, disposed the ball to a teammate and ran hard forward to receive the kick on the arc. A disappointing set shot after the half time siren could have given his side some life going into the break, but instead instigated a small melee. He was moved to defence in the second half and faded as the match wore on.

#29 James Blanck – After an excellent performance in defence against Vic Country at the MCG, Blanck was given a small reality check by a rampaging South Australian side. He was exposed physically against the bigger Hugo Munn in the first term, who out muscled him one on one on two occasions. He positioned himself better as the game went on, but couldn’t have the same impact offensively as his previous game. He finished the night spending time in the ruck.

#34 James Rendell – Rendell is another father/son prospect who has ties with Brisbane through his father Matt’s 164 games for Fitzroy. The 198cm forward/ruck has shown signs of promising AFL attributes throughout 2018 and again produced moments of interest against South Australia. After a quiet first half he came to life in the third term, kicking a banana out of congestion that bounced to Jack Mahony in the corridor to set up a goal. He then produced one of the highlights of the game to take a towering pack mark deep inside 50 and kicked truly to continue his side’s fight back at the time. A goal, 12 hit outs and 11 possessions was a solid outing when considering minimal Vic Metro contributors.

#35 Thomas Hallebone – The lanky 201cm Northern Knights ruckman had moments throughout the day to suggest that he can develop into a capable prospect with time. While only winning five disposals for the game, he took a strong intercept mark in the first term. In the ruck he has skills, highlighted by a soft touch that the midfielders can easily read. He is currently more effective at the centre bounces where he can jump at the ball, as the bigger bodied, albeit shorter James Siviour was able to easily push his 83kg frame out of position at around the ground stoppages.

#36 Ben King – King again proved his potential No.1 pick worth with a four goal haul on arguably the biggest pathway stage against a mighty South Australian outfit at Etihad Stadium. While he lacked opportunities in the first term with the ball seemingly forever at the other end, he took his chance in the second quarter with a series of strong marks and smart leads. He attacked the ball at its highest point, often leaving his opponent with no chance. That was highlighted perfectly in the third term as he brought down a contested mark on the move with Riley Grundy right on his hammer creating immense physical pressure. He made the most of his shots on goal too, kicking four goals straight from only seven disposals. The recruiters also got their wish of the dream King/Lukosius match up in the second half, but unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown as they rarely competed aerially.

South Australia:

#2 Hayden Sampson

Sampson as dangerous around the ball and put his head into the pack on numerous occasions. Probably would have liked to be a bit cleaner off the ground but his 15 disposals and three clearances were important

#4 Kade Chandler

Another SA player that goes in hard. Played his role as small defensive forward and crumbed a good goal from the pocket and set up a teammate’s goal with some great pressure.

#10 Martin Frederick

Really stepped up and provided a number of dashing drives from half-back. With 16 disposals he used the ball also really well, broke some tackles due to his pace, and nearly got a goal bursting inside 50. Has really improved his draft chances and is a Port Next Generation Academy.

#11 Finn Betterman

The midfielder had a quieter game but still managed to lock in four tackles, which is what you need to do when the ball is not coming your way. Can play the first receiver really well and his possessions normally matter.

#13 Connor Rozee

This was the return to form we were waiting for, Rozee had the 18 disposals and four clearances. Managed the miracle goal out of the back of the pack with a smart kick and was smooth when he had it. But it was his desperation that really showed off as he was diving for smothers, chasing at speed and on multiple occasions jumped up to intercept or bring to ground a Vic Metro kick, killing off their rebound.

#14 Izak Rankine

One word – Magic! Booted five goals and about four of them were goal of the game contenders. Just so special, and no doubt his highlights package will be something to marvel over. A class above on the night.

#16 Tom Lewis

Literally living at the bottom of a pack, this inside bull was outstanding. Had 18 disposals and eight tackles. Lewis continues to find the footy under enormous contested pressure and dish out to teammates. A memorable play was where he was on the ground in the pack, got the footy, stood up, bursted out of the congestion with 2-3 Vic Metro players on him and dished to a teammate. Scored a nice goal in the last quarter.

#18 Oscar Chapman

The third tall was outstanding and able to demonstrate all his flexibility. Opened up with a holding the ball tackle that hit Munn for the goal and was continuously harassing Metro defenders and providing blocks for his other forwards. In the last quarter he was taken off the leash and exploded kicking 2.2 including a fantastic pack mark 15m out. Finished with a game high seven marks and 14 disposals

#22 Jacob Kennerley

Was important key ball winner for SA and was dominant early on the wing linking play to the SA forwards. Always looked damaging with the ball and used it well and when Vic Metro came back in the third quarter he worked back well. Certainly one of SA’s best for the day finishing with 22 disposals.

#23 Aaron Nietschke

Was a quiet game for Nietschke possession wise, but he did show glimpses of what he can do. Worked hard in and under when the opportunity was there. He has had better games, but his body size and work rate made him a valuable member of the team

#25 Tom Sparrow

Another player who had an impact when it was his turn, and finished with 17 disposals and five inside 50s and did like some of his work down back when he won some key one on ones and fed the ball out. Another contributor who rarely lost a contested ball when in his area.

#27 Jez McLennan

Another solid and productive game for the defender. Managed to grab some intercept marks and always was poised with the football and efficient. Looked well balanced and calm when Vic Metro had a run in the third quarter. A key for the SA defence all tournament and absolute leader down back. His seven tackles were evident of his work rate and willingness to chase and compete. Great leadership shown.

#30 Ben Jarvis

The goal sneak is a real enigma as he always looks dangerous near the footy and around goal and was rewarded with another two goals. He roved a ball off the pack at speed and class which showed off his ability. He worked up the ground at times and was also good in at the contest. Drifted in and out of the game, but when he is near the footy, things happened that really benefit his team.

#31 Mihail Lochowiak

Was prominent early in the game with dash, but did try to do too much at times and turned the ball over. Once he adjusted to the pace of the game he made a solid contribution and when Vic Metro were coming made a nice lead and goal to stem the flow. A bit more poise and polish to his game will be key to his development as his pace, willingness to take the game on and size are all impressive

#32 Luke Valente

A quieter game for the captain, but as a true leader really worked into the game after a quiet first quarter. Still finished with 18 disposals for SA, but what stands out is his composure in traffic, and decision making is generally spot on. Seemed to have a bit more time than others which showed his class. Liked how he dug in during the third quarter to win some key football. His evasion and side step is excellent

#33 Tyler Martin

Had limited possessions but this game really saw his class when challenged. Would rarely be beaten for the footy and just a classic “played your role” game which was vital for the team. He reads the play well and is the third man up at times with timely spoils as well as finishing with five marks intercepting when required.

#34 Jackson Hately

Hately produced another fantastic performance when it mattered most in the title decider. Hately capped off a consistent carnival with 23 disposals in the final game a team high and also a game high of six inside 50’s. He had ten disposals in the first quarter as the Croweaters could no wrong, his brilliant quarter was shown in finding Rankine with a pin-point kick inside 50 to his advantage on the lead. Hately was deservedly named in the forward line of the U18 All Australian team.

#35 Jacob Collins

Norwood’s Jacob Collins was called up for his first game of the carnival and rewarded selectors with a solid game. Collins had plenty of touches early on as the South Australian defence exited Vic Metro’s forward line with ease. Collins ball use from defence early was terrific as South Australia punished Vic Metro’s poor forward entries. Had a knock in second quarter which curtailed his influence somewhat, but still managed to have 13 disposals and five inside 50s.

#37 Riley Grundy

Grundy had the easiest job on field in the first quarter as the service to Ben King was nothing sort of horrific. But once Vic Metro responded, delivery to King was maximised as the height difference between King (202cm) and Grundy (195cm) in the marking contests started to show. Grundy struggled at times to compete with King aerially, as King finished with four goals. Grundy has had a solid carnival down back with Will Gould and has done decent jobs on the each team’s key forward.

#42 Jack Lukosius

Lukosius took a back seat to the Izak Rankine show early on and was quiet in the first term. In the second quarter Lukosius kicked his first goal after a great passage of play by the SA onball brigade, as Munn tapped it down to Lukosius who converted on ground level. In the second half the recruiters got their carnival wish as Lukosius was sent back to stop King from continuing his dominance. Lukosius certainly assured the SA backline and took intercepting marks down back to prove that he is almost the prototype footballer that can play in almost any position. His brilliant carnival was capped off with the centre half-forward position in the U18 All Australian team and is likely to be taken at pick one in the AFL National Draft.

#43 Will Gould

Under-age defender Will Gould was a monster down back for his side as he also had a carnival high of 17 possessions for the match. Gould took it upon himself to be more adventurous out of defence once he was joined by Jack Lukosius down back proving his versatility. Gould was deservedly awarded with a spot in U18 the All-Australian team on the interchange, as massive achievement for the 2001-born player.

#44 James Siviour

Siviour produced his best performance for the title decider as he took care of ruckman Tom Hallebone, Joe Griffith’s replacement. Siviour contributed with 28 hitouts, 10 disposals and goal, his intercepting down back was a highlight as took six marks for the day, as Hallebone could only manage one.

#47 Hugo Munn

Munn was on fire in the first quarter as he dominated opponent James Blanck tacking a pack mark and converting truly and another contested mark against his opponent and fed a running Rankine who kicked it from the goal square. Munn has showed some brilliant signs and efforts throughout the carnival as finished as one of the top goal kickers with Lukosius, Rankine and King.

National U18 Championships previews: Round 5

IN the final stanza of the National Under 18 Championships, all roads lead to Etihad Stadium where the Allies take on Western Australia, and Vic Metro hosts South Australia in an enticing double header. Vic Metro and South Australia become the headline act with the winner-takes-all mentality given the title is on the line for both sides.

ALLIES V. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 2.10pm
Etihad Stadium

The opening game of the final round pits the Allies against Western Australia. The winner takes third spot on the final table of the National Under 18 Championships, with both teams having sole wins over Vic Country, and losses against South Australia and Vic Metro. The Allies come into the game with a strong squad, omitting bottom-ager Thomas Green who had been solid so far, and rotating Dirk Koenen for Matthew McGuiness. Overager Michael Mummery gets his chance to shine on Etihad, while the Western Australian side has three fresh faces to add to it’s victorious team over Vic Country. Ian Hill is a huge loss for the Black Swans, with the West Australian captain banned for a sling tackle on Laitham Vandermeer last Friday. With injuries to Damon Greaves and Thomas Baldwin, Western Australia flew over Wil Hickmott to join the squad, and he will run out tomorrow with Luke Moore and Ethan Hansen as the other changes.

The midfield battle will be intriguing with Hickmott joining Sydney StackLuke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English in the middle. Jack Buller will have his work cut out for him against man mountain Kieren Briggs who is in super form for the Allies. He has been giving his midfield of Tarryn ThomasConnor McFadyenChayce Jones and Fraser Turner first chance at the stoppages. Jacob Koschitzke is in fine form and could be the man for Dillon O’Reilly who has been showing promising signs as a key forward, while Jason Carter and Jordan Clark provide plenty of dash off half-back. Bailey Scott and Connor Budarick will look to keep them honest, while Nick Blakey looms as the danger man for the Allies and one that Western Australia – and perhaps Regan Spooner in particular – will look to contain. Overall, the Allies will head in as favourites, but the West Australians move the ball quick and cleanly to the forward line and it is hoped Jarrod Cameron can provide the spark again after he booted five goals in Geelong.

VIC METRO V. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 4.40pm
Etihad Stadium

In the game that everyone will tune in for, the National Under 18 Championships title will be on the line for the undefeated Vic Metro and South Australian sides. In what ended up being a perfect fixture for the AFL, the two best sides are going head-to-head in the final match of the series with the winner to be handed the trophy and celebrate afterwards without any interruptions to other fixturing. South Australia has made its expected two changes, with Mihail Lochowiak and Jacob Collins replacing Kai Pudney and Boyd Woodcock in the team. Vic Metro has rotated rucks for the final game, with Tom Hallebone recalled to ruck against James Siviour after injury struck down Joe GriffithsJack Bytel has been named in the side despite suffering what looked to be an injury in the last round which would keep him out of the final match. Isaac Quaynor and Ben Silvagni return from injury and will strengthen both ends for Metro.

The match-up on everyone’s lips – Jack Lukosius pitted against Ben King – is unlikely to happen despite recruiters hopes, with both players named forward. As we saw in Geelong, Lukosius also played on the wing and down back, standing side-by-side with Tarryn Thomas and Nick Blakey at different times showing his versatility. If things start to head south for Vic Metro, King can also play in defence, while Will Kelly is a capable forward if required. It is predicted Kelly will get first chance on Lukosius, while James Blanck will line-up on Hugo Munn. The midfield battle of Izak RankineLuke ValenteTom Lewis and Jackson Hately up against Bailey SmithRiley Collier-DawkinsJames Rowbottom and Zak Butters is mouthwatering and likely to decide the contest. With both teams having plenty of firepower up front, the midfield is where the game will be won or lost. Curtis Taylor showed he is a danger up forward for Metro, while Xavier O’Halloran and Noah Anderson have already shown through the championships they can boot multiple goals. Will Gould and Riley Grundy are in great form – the latter is the man predicted to head to King. Jez McLennan and Martin Frederick provide great run out of defence and will be keen to break the lines, while Quaynor and Tom McKenzie will be keen to do the same up the other end. It is hard to pick a winner in this game, with both sides filled to the brim with quality.

Scouting notes: Allies vs. South Australia

IN the first of our two-game scouting notes wrap up for the National Championships on the weekend, we took a look at the Allies and South Australia. Scott Dougan, James Goller and Callum Thomson split up to take a look at the Allies, while Damon Mattiazzo, David Chapman and Jamie Morgan noted down the South Australian side.

Allies:

#1 Connor Budarick

The bottom-ager aligned with the Gold Coast Suns played up forward and was able to hit the scoreboard in the last quarter with a beautiful dribble kick. Throughout stages of the game, he showed aggression in contested situations and composure on the outside. Budarick is not the tallest of players but his speed, agility and footy smarts make up for his height. A classy footballer who will be one to watch out for next year.

#3 Josh Stern

Stern was part of the Allies forward line and also drifted through the midfield when needed. He played on the outside of the contest and his ball use was good. But he was unable to have any sort of impact on the game, failing to lay a tackle and only amassing four disposals.

#6 Rhyan Mansell 

The Tasmanian had an impressive diving smother on the half-back flank in the first quarter, but unfortunately, the ball rebounded back inside South Australia’s forward 50. Mansell was at his best in contested situations, releasing the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. He worked hard to get from contest to contest and was able to hit the scoreboard in the last quarter after crumbing a Nick Blakey marking contest superbly.

#7 Jesse Quint

Quint played forward and booted the Allies first goal after he crumbed a marking contest inside 50. He lacked intensity and grunt when he lost an important one-on-one contest in the second quarter to a more desperate South Australian player. Quint found it difficult to get involved during the game but popped up in the third quarter with a notable contested mark against Will Gould.

#10 Chayce Jones

The hard-running midfielder was one of the Allies best in their 24-point defeat. Jones had an important spoil in the first term which resulted in Jesse Quint kicking the first goal for the Allies. His aggression on the contest, work-rate, pressure and competitiveness were a highlight throughout the day. He won the ball in contested situations but also found it just as easy to find it on the outside. His defensive running was faultless and clear when he was able to keep up with speedy South Australian, Hayden Sampson after he sprinted 100 metres to make himself an option in the forward 50. Jones’ kicking has been criticised and does need some work, but in the fourth quarter, he was able to hit up the leading Nick Blakey on the chest with a blistering opposite foot bullet. A very solid four-quarter performance from the possible first-round draft pick.

#11 Keidean Coleman

Coleman was responsible for the Allies kick-ins and played as a rebounding defender. His ball use was clean and his composure under pressure was good. He did not find much of the ball but made the correct decisions when he had it. Coleman made a couple of defensive errors in the match, one in the third quarter when he went up for a marking contest with two other teammates and failed to keep his feet, resulting in a goal for South Australia. Another one came in the last quarter when he was walking around without an opponent, unaware of his surroundings, which lead to an opposition player leading to a massive area of space with ease, gifting him a shot at goal.

#12 Mitchell O’Neill

The bottom-age outside midfielder was one of the top contributors for the Allies. He showed poise and composure with ball in hand and his ball use was exceptional when delivering the ball inside 50. He was involved in both of Nick Blakey’s goals in the second quarter, which helped the Allies to regain the confidence and desire they were lacking in the first term. O’Neill played all over the ground and worked hard to get involved in as many passages of play as possible. One of his several high points of the day came in the third term when he positioned himself wonderfully in front of a one-on-one contest deep inside 50, reading the play well and booting an important goal.

#15 Guy Richardson

Richardson was solid in the back half, remaining calm when the Allies defence was under siege in periods throughout the game. His penetrating kick was handy when rebounding out of the defensive 50 and he always used the ball well. He was unable to lay a tackle but showed glimpses of competitiveness.

#17 Thomas Matthews

Matthews a tough backman, laid six strong tackles in his game against South Australia. One of these was a goal-saving tackle in the third quarter. This is where he showed great follow up pressure. He had two rebounds from the defensive fifty, where he lowered his eyes and was composed when making decisions. You really know what your going to get from Matthews , trying all day. He also took a strong intercept mark. Matthews is also hard to tackle and broke through a number of South Australian tackles.

#19 Bailey Scott

A interesting player, Scott, the father-son prospect for North Melbourne and Geelong but is also an Academy player for the Gold Coast Suns. Scott played throughout the midfield and forward line. He showed his forward craft by kicking two goals. He has the ability to generate a high number of possessions as Scott had the most disposals for the Allies with 22 possessions. He also showed his midfield craft gaining three clearances and four inside 50s. Scott at times was able to break away from stoppages by using his speed which was impressive. He showed that he can make solid decisions with the ball in hand. Not only that but Scott’s hands were good in congestion. With Scott’s kicking, he hit Tarryn Thomas on the chest with a 45-50 metre kick which caught the eye and did this again with hitting up teammate Nick Blakey.

#20 Fraser Turner

Turner played mostly on the wing and through the midfield for Allies. He set up a goal early with nice hands from a crumbling situation. He showed his ability to weave out of congestion very well. In congestion, Turner had quick hands and made solid decision making skills. He had 17 possessions for the day, but did not lay a tackle.

#26 Thomas Green

Green played in the midfield for the Allies . A highlight was his six tackles and he looked fairly strong in the contest. An in and under player, he also took a nice intercept mark running off his opponent and reading the ball well in the air. Green ended up collecting 13 possessions. He was another Allies player that showed in congestion good use with his handballing.

#28 Matthew Green

Green did not have a big day at the office however there were certain parts to his game that were solid. Green has break away speed which he used across the half-back line. He rebounded the ball a few times importantly out of defence. Green used his speed to break through the lines by really taking the game on.

#29 Joey Reinhard

Was barely sighted in the first half, but had a much better second half of the game. Playing across the half-back line and wing for the Allies. Reinhard showed solid work rate by when it comes to his running patterns. He showed some leg speed in the contest and managed three inside 50s in the second half.

#31 Connor McFadyen

McFadyen had a outstanding game for the Allies. He was one of the best on for them, collecting 21 possessions. Playing through the midfield and forward line he really put on fantastic pressure on his opponents laying seven tackles. He pinch-hit in the ruck to give Kieren Briggs a chop out. This is where McFadyen kicked a ripping goal on his left from the stoppage. The 190cm McFadyen was really strong in the contest, which allowed him to have six clearances and five inside 50s. The Brisbane Academy player played a great game and is one to keep a watch on especially Brisbane Lions fans.

#37 Jacob Koschitzke

The key back had a solid game against the South Australian team. After coming off a great match against Vic Metro. Koschitzke started well taking two really good marks. He really reads the ball well in flight, as a number of times he ran off his opponent to spoil contests. He showed courage in the game also with a back with a flight spoil which caught the eye.

#40 Kieren Briggs

The GWS Giants academy big man looked dangerous all day, alternating between the forward line and the ruck. When in the ruck, Briggs was able to impose himself around the ground and win the majority of the ruck contests. Up forward Briggs presented well whether as a stay at home forward or a linking target further up the ground. If he could not mark the ball in the contest, he was able to bring it down to ground level and provide the smaller forwards with opportunities. What sets Briggs apart from most other big men is his desire. He had a fantastic chase down in the third term and consistently provided defensive pressure and second efforts. Finishing with 22 hitouts, 12 disposals and seven tackles, Briggs was one of the Allies best.

#41 Mathew Walker

Walker played a solid game without doing anything special, finishing with 10 touches, two marks and two tackles. Spending most of his time as a half-forward, the GWS Academy product also rotated into the midfield but failed to make an impact. When Walker got the ball he was able to use it cleanly, while without the ball, he applied good defensive pressure.

#44 Caleb Graham

Graham played in a variety of positions today, showing off his versatility. The Gold Coast Academy prospect started the game up forward where he could not impact the game. Moving into the ruck, Graham was able to win his fair share of hit outs as well as get the better of his opponent around the ground. Graham looked most comfortable down back, where he was able to read the play well, talking a couple of nice intercept marks. Graham finished the game with 28 hitouts, eight disposals and four marks.

#46 Tarryn Thomas

Thomas was not up to his usual standards, but always looked dangerous when in and around the contest. Up forward, Thomas provided good pressure and was always a threat at ground level. In the midfield, Thomas used the ball well when he had the opportunity, especially by hand. Thomas played his best when he was in and under the contest, getting first use of the ball and using his clean hands to find an open teammate. The Tasmanian finished with 12 disposals and six tackles and continues to show glimpses of something special.

#47 Nicholas Baker

Baker was set the task of defending South Australia’s best forwards. He started on Connor Rozee and moved onto Jack Lukosious in the second quarter to curb his influence. Baker was able to read the play well, leaving his man to get to contests and spoil. One of the Allies best defenders, Baker finished with 11 disposals and five tackles.

#48 Dirk Koenen

Playing as a key pillar in defence, Koenen came off the ground after a contest halfway through second quarter for treatment on a high right hamstring, but came back on later in the quarter. Koenen was good in the aerial contests and used the ball well when in possession, finishing with 10 disposals and three marks.

#49 Nick Blakey

Blakey was quiet in the first quarter but took a strong mark early in the game. Blakey scored his first early in the second snapping it home from a Briggs hand off. Less than a minute later he kicked his second after a strong lead. Blakey looks most dangerous when he can run and jump at the ball. He doesn’t break stride on the lead and marks the ball at the highest point. Blakey was able to play deep or as a linking option. The Sydney academy member was one of the Allies best finishing with 11 possessions, six marks and two goals (three behinds).

South Australia:

#2 Hayden Sampson

The son of Adelaide Crows premiership player Clay Sampson had a solid contribution to South Australia’s with 12 disposals and three marks. He showed his opportunist forward instincts with a great roving goal in the third quarter after the ball raced away from a stoppage in SA’s forward line.

#3 Boyd Woodcock

Serial ball winner Woodcock played his first game of the carnival and provided an extra outlet through the midfield and half-forward. His tackling pressure was great throughout the game, and he also kicked a top goal from outside 50 to cap off a decent game.

#4 Kade Chandler

Unfortunately Chandler struggled to have a great impact on the game, against Vic Country in the previous game his tackling pressure was massive with 12, but only could muster four against the Allies.

#10 Martin Frederick

The Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy player played his best game for the carnival as he was a crucial element to South Australia’s run and carry from defence. His disposal is left to be desired at times but two inside 50s and three rebounds highlighted his influence. Frederick showed off his dashing run and “sold candy” as he kicked a superb goal on the run from a difficult angle.

#11 Finn Betterman

Betterman was one of the best for his side as his performance was significant to the great victory. Betterman found plenty of the ball in the early exchanges of the match and continued to be consistent throughout. His highlight for the game was definitely his pressure around the ball as he claimed 10 tackles for the day. His pressure was most evident when he smothered an Allies kick out of defence and followed on to kick a great snap goal.

#13 Connor Rozee

Rozee had his most influential game of the carnival and was firing from the start as he kicked the first goal of the game. His kicking was a joy to behold throughout the match, later on Rozee was hurt from a pack mark attempt but played out the game with no problems.

#14 Izak Rankine

Rankine kicked three goals as he lit up at the GMHBA Stadium with his daring dash and explosiveness. He started through the midfield and found plenty of the ball in the early stoppages and finished with 20 disposals a carnival high for Rankine. Kicked two outstanding goals to lift his side and provided plenty with score involvements across the game.

#16 Tom Lewis

An unsung leader of the team Lewis was highly influential for his side again across the stoppages. Lewis provided a game high 11 tackles and three clearances as he complimented clearance kings Valente and Hately fantastically.

#18 Oscar Chapman

The medium-tall forward was always presenting, but was not used that much, provided a lot of forward pressure and finished with a nice goal from the boundary.

#22 Jacob Kennerley

The winger was again important with his 17 disposals and the link between the arcs. With five inside 50s he helped set up many scoring opportunities.

#23 Aaron Nietschke

Playing mainly in the defensive half, Nietschke showed real poise on a number of occasions to stem the flow from the Allies with a crucial mark.

#25 Tom Sparrow

The inside bull was everywhere and works hard and fast. Sparrow had nine disposals, but also had nine tackles and continues to play well as a defensive mid.

#27 Jez McLennan

Playing across half-back, McLennan was at his best when taking the game on whilst rebounding. Did also take a nice defensive pack mark as well.

#29 Kai Pudney

The winger had 15 disposals and five marks and provided an outlet on a number of occasions, but probably would have liked to make a bit more of an impact on the game.

#30 Ben Jarvis

Smart play on a number of occasions saw Jarvis on the end of many attacks. The medium/tall forward kicked 2.3 and had five good marks.

#32 Luke Valente

A real leaders’ game and showed the way in the first quarter. Continued to lead all players with game high 28 disposals and worked hard inside the contest. Showed his class and work rate all game despite a quiet second quarter but his six clearances were important. Coming into his own during the National Championships, and his stocks would have risen after this game.

#33 Tyler Martin

Did not win much of the footy, but was still solid in defence all game. Competed well when the ball was in his area and certainly played his role. He is a good size and show some poise coming out of defence.

#34 Jackson Hately

Showed in this game what he can do. Down and dirty inside at the contest, and his decision making in traffic was very good and often released others from the contest with handball. Eight tackles and six clearances was reflective of his work rate, and his height and size looks ready-made for the contest. A very good all-round game

#37 Riley Grundy

The tall defender worked into the game after the first quarter. His intercept marks looked to give him confidence and his athleticism was at show for sure. Allies forward Nick Blakey was on top early, but Grundy dug in and certainly kept the Allies key forward quieter in the second half. Bit of polish to finish his work will come with more games

#42 Jack Lukosius

Came out blazing in the first quarter, and his work rate across the ground stood out along with his elite disposal. He played a higher role up the ground, worked into defence and really did it all at both ends. He was rewarded with a goal, and three inside 50s and rebound 50s was reflective of an all-round game. He drifted out of the game along with teammates in the second quarter, but his disposal continues to impress.

#43 Will Gould

Liked his game across half-back, and had the key match up early on Blakey. Gould was settled in defence and read the ball well with a number of intercepts finishing with 7 marks. Showed his ability to run and work rate up the ground at times as well and he held the SA defence together all game. Looks like he will be right amongst it in next years draft.

#44 James Siviour

Shared the ruck duties with Hugo Munn, and competed well. Did not find a lot of the footy, but broke even at most of the ruck contests.

#47 Hugo Munn

Settled in the first quarter, and looked really dangerous up forward, slotting one goal and could have had three by quarter time. A quiet second quarter, but then his ruck and around the ground work after half time was good. His decision making was excellent hitting up targets and willingness to compete on the ground stood out. Like his athleticism and ability to run out the game in Ruck and up forward.

Weekend previews: National U18 Championships – Round 4

IN what will be a big five days for the most talented Under 18s in the country, the National AFL Championships continue tomorrow in the first of two double headers in Victoria. Tomorrow, teams clash at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong before reconvening next Wednesday at Etihad Stadium. Vic Metro has the bye tomorrow, while Vic Country plays its final game of the series in Geelong.

ALLIES VS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 2.10pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

The Allies come into this clash after a good performance against Vic Metro where they narrowly fell short in the dying minutes. Jacob Koschitzke was one of the most impressive, restricting potential number one pick Ben King to just one goal – unfortunately it was the match winner. His job does not get any easier this week, with a potential match-up on likely number on pick Jack Lukosius. He will look to work in tandem with Dirk Koenen – who also played well in the last match – likely to take fellow tall Hugo MunnFraser Turner was the Allies’ best in the last game and he could line-up on AFL Academy member and potential first round pick Connor Rozee, while on the inside, Connor McFadyen joins Tarryn Thomas and Chayce Jones against the A-grade midfield of Izak RankineLuke Valente and Tom Lewis, with Jackson Hately rotating between midfield and forward. Kieren Briggs and bottom-agers Thomas Green and Mitchell O’Neill are others who have impressed in the championships thus far.

In defence, Riley Grundy and Will Gould have been impressive and will likely be given the jobs on Caleb Graham and Nick Blakey, while Mathew Walker provides a medium-tall option in attack, with plenty of smalls creating havoc at ground level. Jez McLennan has looked good this carnival in defence, while Hayden Sampson has shown promising signs in attack and through the midfield. The attacking end for South Australia is unbelievable, with Lukosius and Munn joined by high-flying overager Oscar Chapman who returns to the team, while clearance machine Boyd Woodcock makes his debut for the Croweaters. Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy member Kai Pudney leads the strong depth on the bench with Ben Jarvis and Kade Chandler – others who have impressed at times this carnival.

South Australia head into the game as deserving favourites, but given the Allies were able to push Vic Metro all the way and South Australia was largely challenged by Vic Country, anything is possible in this game. A win to South Australia sets up a tantalising match with Vic Metro next week in what would decide the 2018 National Under 18 Championships title.

 

VIC COUNTRY VS. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Friday, June 29, 4.40pm
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

In the second game of the double header, the two sides without a win do battle to open their account in the National Under 18 Championships. Vic County has lost all three of its games thus far and will want to end the carnival on a high, while Western Australia can finish off with two wins if it can topple Country and then the Allies next Wednesday. After losing to South Australia by 89 points in the opening round, Western Australia were much improved at home against Vic Metro. In this game, the exciting Jason Carter returns to provide some speed on the wing, joining a talented Black Swans outfit that will be without Jarrod Fazioli who booted three goals against Country in last year’s National Championships. The midfield of Luke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English is a consistent base, while Ian Hill and Rylie Morgan are always dangerous up the forward end. In defence, Jake Pasini and Louis Miller come into the team, while Regan Spooner and Damon Greaves will be hoping to continue their form.

For Vic Country, Murray Bushrangers midfielder Ely Smith receives the call-up to replace the injured Mitch Riordan, and will be hoping to back-up his 37-disposal game in the TAC Cup last weekend. Smith is joined in an extended side by teammates Zane Barzen and Hudson Garoni, while Gippsland bottom-agers swap spots with Brock Smith coming in and Caleb Serong heading out. Connor Idun and Kyle Reid have been consistent in defence and will want to finish the carnival with a positive note taking on the likes of Dillion O’Reilly and Tyson PowellTom Berry will have a strong challenge against Hill, while Laitham Vandermeer and Hayden Young will look to create run out of defence. Ely Smith joins Sam Walsh and Sam Fletcher in the midfield, while the forward set-up of Oscar BrownlessNed McHenry and Xavier Duursma seemed to provide opportunities last week, with Brodie Kemp coming into the mix for his first game.

National U18 Championships preview: South Australia

By: Jamie Morgan and David Chapman

For South Australia (SA), the U18 Championships kick off with their first game versus Western Australia at the home of Port Adelaide – Alberton Oval. With it widely to be considered the “super draft”, it is expected that a number of the SA talent will feature inside the Top 20. 

The SA team looks to have quite a potent forward  line led by Jack Lukosius and Hugo Munn as the tall targets, Oscar Chapman linking the play and Izak Rankine extremely dangerous and capable of kicking those ridiculous goals with ease. All other teams will have their work cut out stopping SA scoring.

The SA midfield is also going to be tough to move, with tall midfielder Jackson Hately dominating in the last trial game and playing consistently good League footy for Centrals, he also rotates up forward and slots goals. Captain Luke Valente, also super skillful will be setting up a lot of the play as well, and then the midfield bulls of Tom Lewis and Tom Sparrow, both fierce tackling monsters will make any opposition midfielder earn every possession and also bust out of packs with their own ball. This allows Conor Rozee some freedom on the wing to set up the play.

The SA defence is of most concern. Not overly tall, the players to watch include underager Will Gould, being the most consistent during the trials playing as a key back, either crashing the pack to spoil, or dropping off to take the intercept mark. Jez McLennan and Mihail Lochowiak both possess some real poise and attack off half-back, both having played SANFL Reserves this year.

Players to watch:

Jack Lukosius
Key Position Forward | 194cm | 84.5kg | Woodville West Torrens
League Ave: 11.8 disposals | 4.4 marks | 1.0 tackles | 1.75 goals

Lukosius has shown at a number of levels including SANFL League, that he is ready to play.  He can play as a running hit up forward, or as a dangerous marking forward closer to goal.  With a smooth kicking style and ability to read the play, Lukosius is considered by recruiters as a top pick and with senior experience already there’s not much more to prove. 

Hugo Munn
Key Position Forward | 197cm | 92.5kg | Sturt
League Ave: 4.5 disposals | 1.0 contested marks | 1.0 tackles | 0.75 goals

With real talent and an AFL frame, Munn would be looking to rip apart a few games this championship.  Having showed glimpses at league level for Sturt, in last weekend’s U18 trial game v West Adelaide reserves, whilst not getting much of still managed 4 goals.  With strong hands in the contested mark situation, Munn can be that key deep forward target.  He also can pinch hit in the ruck and it would be expected to see him switch through there during the champs.

Izak Rankine
General Forward/Midfielder | 180cm | 76.4kg | West Adelaide
League Ave: 13.3 disposals | 3.7 marks | 0.7 tackles | 2.3 goals

All Australian last year as a 17 year-old, with pace, creativity and a desire to take them on, Rankine can kick goals from any location and break apart games and break the lines.  Having played SANFL League as a 16 year-old, and consistently delivering at that level by hitting the scoreboard, it will be interesting to see if Rankine gets some more midfield minutes to further demonstrate his talent in different roles. Another proven performer at senior level. 

Oscar Chapman
Medium Forward | 187.5cm | 71.7kg | North Adelaide
Res Ave: 7.5 disposals | 2.3 marks | 1.5 tackles | 2.25 score involvements

Coming into the team as an over-ager, Chapman jumped into the picture with some good performances at school and SANFL level in the second half of last year, being invited to the SA Combine. Playing SANFL Reserves, Chapman has the tank and pace to push up and down the ground to link the play, and does not mind the big pack mark. But it is his defensive pressure which he has added which keeps him in this team and balances the SA forward line.

Jackson Hately
Balanced Midfielder | 190cm | 80.6kg | Central Districts
League Ave: 18.5 disposals | 3.5 marks | 5.8 tackles | 1.0 goals

Playing League footy this season, Hately has been at home in the midfield and across half-forward. He is a consistent ball winner and goal kicker. At 190cm, he is a modern prototype midfielder.  School captain as well and leading scorer and in the All-Tournament team at the U16 national basketball champs, Hately is comfortable in traffic and when up forward with his leap and smarts is dangerous. Could be the most complete midfielder in the 2018 draft pool.

Luke Valente
Balanced Midfielder | 186cm | 80kg | Norwood
Res Ave: 22 disposals | 7.0 marks | 3.0 tackles | 4.0 score involvements

Named Captain for SA – as well as school captain, Valente is dripping with leadership. You will often find him in the packs, riding the tackles and dishing out the ball to teammates to open up the game. Given the chance by foot, Valente’s skill on either side is elite. He will be looking to the championships to show what he can do and move up the draft board.

Tom Lewis
Inside Midfielder | 178.5cm | 80kg | Sturt
Res Ave: 20.5 disposals | 2.0 marks | 7.5 tackles | 6.0 clearances

Is found at the feet of ruckman and bottom of packs, Lewis is a midfield bull.  With an AFL ready frame, Lewis gets a lot of contested ball, and can burst into and out of packs.  The scary part if he does not get it, is that he tackles like you stole his wallet, fierce, hard and bruising. At Reserves levels he averages just under eight tackles per game.

Tom Sparrow
Inside Midfielder | 182cm | 81kg | South Adelaide
U18 Ave: 20.3 disposals | 3.3 marks | 3.8 tackles | 5.8 clearances

Another midfield bruiser and hard as a cats head, Sparrow likes to work in close. Gets his own ball in the contest and gets the ball out to the outside runners well. When he invariably bursts out of the pack himself, Sparrow can use his speed to create space on the opposition. Sparrow plays both SANFL and College footy, where he is captain for Prince Alfred College, last years State Champions and victors over Haileybury in a pre-season match this year. 

Connor Rozee
General Utility | 185cm | 71.2kg | North Adelaide
League Ave: 10.5 disposals | 3.3 marks | 2.3 tackles | 3.0 score involvements

A medium sized utility, Rozee started the year setting up the game across half back in the SANFL Reserves and then was selected across half-forward in the League team.  More of an outside runner in the midfield, Rozee reeks class with his positioning and precision of disposal.  Has a nice leap as well as a keen eye for goals and has the potential to get into space undetected. 

Will Gould
Tall Defender | 190cm | 93kg | Glenelg
U18 Ave: 17 disposals | 4.8 marks | 2.5 tackles | 4.5 rebounds

An underager Gould has been playing against the older boys his whole career including being U15 All Australian as a 14 year-old.  Has played up forward and kicked bags including seven goals in an U16 SANFL Grand Final.  But it is in defence during the SA U18 trials that Gould has cemented his place.  His ability to read the flight of the ball, and either jump into the pack bringing the ball to ground, or drop back to mark the ball is top notch. For his frame he is deceptively quick and can either chase down forwards or drive the ball into attack. 

Jez McLennan
General Defender | 183cm | 80.7kg | Central Districts
Res Ave: 12.6 disposals | 3.8 marks | 3.2 tackles | 1.4 clearances

Playing across half-back, McLennan provides a quarterback role in this team and rebounds well from the defensive 50m arc with smart choices.  Has demonstrated courage on numerous occasions to drop in front of the oncoming forward without flinching. Given the chance, McLennan can take a nice overhead pack mark as well.

Mihail Lochowiak
General Defender | 184cm | 81.6kg | Sturt | Medium Defender
Res Ave: 16 disposals | 3.6 marks | 3.6 tackles | 3.4 inside 50s

Another classy half back, Lochowiak continues to find the ball at half-back and attack with pace. Comfortable to take on the opposition, brush a tackle and take a bounce, he is exciting to watch and really breaks the lines. Probably needs to tidy up his final disposal, but the positives of his 70-80m plays are worth it. 

Others to note include:

Mid/forward Hayden Sampson (son of Crow Clay) who can use his smarts to get loose and create forward thrusts and kick goals. 
Riley Grundy (brother of Pie Brody) is a likely key back, and shows real desperation in the contest to beat his opponent, and still has some development to come.

 Leadership Group:

Captain: Luke Valente
Deputies:  Jackson Hately, Tom Lewis, Jack Lukosius and Jez McLennan

Fixture:

Game 1: June 3 vs. WA – Alberton Oval
Game 2: June 17 vs. Vic Country – Adelaide Oval
Game 3: June 29 vs. Allies – GMHBA Stadium (Geelong)
Game 4: July 4 vs. Vic Metro – Etihad Stadium

South Australia announces final 42-man squad for National Championships

SOUTH Australia has confirmed its 42-man squad for the upcoming National Under 18 Championships today.After an internal trial game at Thebarton Oval on Sunday, the initial squad of 52 was cut to 42 ahead of the championships, with many bottom-agers making way in the side.

Among the names to look out for are Woodville-West Torrens’ key forward Jack Lukosius and small forward/midfielder Izaac Rankine from West Adelaide, with the pair expected to be high selections in the National Draft, while North Adelaide’s Connor Rozee and Central Districts’ Jackson Hately are also likely to force an AFL club to use a first rounder on them. Some famous names also included in the squad are Riley Grundy (brother of Collingwood’s Brodie) and Hayden Sampson (son of former Crow Clay). The squad also includes six overagers (missed out last year) and five bottom-agers (not eligible to be drafted until 2019).

Norwood has dominated the South Australian team this year, with a massive nine players in the final squad, three more than Glenelg, South Adelaide and Sturt. Woodville-West Torrens has five, just ahead of Central Districts and North Adelaide (four apiece). while West Adelaide has just two.

Central Districts [4]: Aaron Nietschke, Jackson Hately, Jez McLennan, Ryan Falkenberg
Glenelg [6]: Declan Carmody, Finn Betterman, Seb Schrieber, Tobin Cox, Tom Jones, Will Gould
North Adelaide [4]: Boyd Woodcock, Connor Rozee, Josh Hart, Oscar Chapman
Norwood [9]: Ben Jarvis, Cameron Taheny, Dylan Stephens, Jacob Collins, Jacob Kennerley, James Siviour, Kade Chandler, Luke Valente, Tyler Martin
South Adelaide [6]: Hayden Sampson, Job Colwell, Robert Irra, Tate Coleman, Tom Sparrow, Jake Tarca
Sturt [6]: Dougal Grieve, Hugo Munn, James Braidwood, Mihail Lochowiak, Riley Grundy, Tom Lewis
West Adelaide [2]: Angus Rana, Izak Rankine
Woodville-West Torrens [5]: Jack Lukosius, Jackson Mead, Kai Pudney, Kysaiah Pickett, Martin Frederick

States can add more players if form or fitness allows closer to the championships.

Scouting notes: SANFL Internal Trial

SOUTH Australia’s most talented Under 18s players took to the field in an internal trial on the weekend to help selectors narrow down the Croweaters squad for the upcoming National Under 18 Championships.

On a beautiful Sunday morning at Thebarton Oval in perfect conditions the preliminary U18 squad went through its paces in a selection trial. The main draft talents were “rested” for this match with Jack Lukosius, Jackson Hately, Connor Rozee, Luke Valente, Hugo Munn, Tom Lewis and Jez McLennan running laps prior to the match. The one exception was Izak Rankine – who missed several games due to a suspension early in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) season – who played in the match for extra game time. In a game which the Blue team led at three quarter time by 41 points, the Yellow team had a spirited comeback with a seven goal to one final quarter to fall four points short.

South Australia Blue 13.11 (89) defeated South Australia Yellow 12.13 (85)

The notable performances across both teams were:

Izak Rankine: Played and continued his league form with multiple goals, including a couple of magical snaps, as well as bringing his teammates into the game with some score assists. Rankine played mainly as a half forward and rotating into the midfield.

Hayden Sampson: The son of former Crow Clay was also electrifying through the midfield with some hard running and hit the scoreboard with at least three goals, looking classy and composed.

Tom Sparrow: A midfield bull, putting his head over the ball and busting into and out of packs. Sparrow also exploded away from a number of centre clearances to hit targets inside 50.

Mihail Lochowiak: Lochowiak was especially damaging in the first half with his trademark rebound run from half-back, showing class and poise with the ball in hand.

Aaron Nietschke: Playing mainly across half back after a quiet first half, Nietschke had plenty of impact in the second half, with his defensive work and rebound setting up his teammates.

Will Gould: The underager played as a key defender in the first half and was composed, taking a number of intercept marks and was not beaten in a contest. In the second half he went to the deep forward role and again presented well and clunked some marks inside 50.

Oscar Chapman: The overager played across half forward and played a linking role taking a number of marks and rolling off to drive the team forward. His defensive pressure also caused a couple of crucial turnovers.

Riley Grundy: The brother of Collingwood’s Brodie played as a key defender and was very competitive in the contest. Grundy was also able to do a good job pinch-hitting in the ruck.

Finn Betterman: Playing through the midfield, Betterman sparked the second half comeback with some hard running and a number of centre clearances and effective disposals.

Dylan Stephens: The underage winger was especially effective in the first half with much of the Yellow rebound going through his wing. Stephens opened up plenty of space and had a number of marks.

Kysaiah Pickett: The underager played exclusively as a forward pocket and was especially dangerous in the second half, creating a number of scoring opportunities for his teammates with some pinpoint kicking under pressure.

Seb Schrieber: Started the game at half-back, however he had more impact when he went forward and was able to get two goals to get the Yellow team back in the game in the last quarter.

The Final 35-40 man squad will be announced tonight as the team then rolls into two trial games against SANFL Reserves teams, prior to the first match against Western Australia on Sunday 3 June.

South Australia Under 18 side schedule:

19/5/18 – Trial v Glenelg Reserves
26/5/18 –Trial v West Adelaide Reserves
3/6/18 – Game 1 v WA – at Alberton Oval
9/6/18 – Trial v WWT Reserves
17/6/18 – Game 2 v Vic Country – at Adelaide Oval
29/6/18 – Game 3 v Allies – at GMHBA Stadium
4/7/18 – Game 4 v Vic Metro – at Etihad Stadium