Tag: Stefan Giro

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 15

NAMING the best first-years for Round 15 proved much harder than I expected, with several boys starring for their team, and a handful kicking a neat bag of goals. It seems the players are on the rise as we approach September, etching their spot in their respective teams marching towards the finals.

Cam Rayner

It is fair to say that a first-year player may only perform as good as the team they are in. Hence why players like Kelly, Fritsch and Stephenson continue to find success individually and with their team. This weekend we were able to witness Rayner perform in a confident and dominate Brisbane Lions, with a strong first half at Optus Stadium. Jumping between the midfield and the forward line, Rayner collected eight uncontested and 11 contested possessions at a 63 per cent disposal efficiency. He kicked two goals for the game, along with taking a strong contested mark on the goal line to secure an easy one. He wanted a piece of everything with his four inside 50s and six score involvements. His tackling was strong and pressure ever present, laying five with 18 pressure acts. It was a brilliant showing by the Lions, Rayner showing us all why he is the player most deserving of his number one pick.

Ed Richards 

It seems Richards’ days in the backline are behind him, again impressing in the Bulldogs’ forward half, putting away three goals in a tight victory against the Cats. For the day, Richards spent 83 per cent in the forward half of the ground, continuing to display a remarkable football sense around goal and against the opposing ball carrier. The youngster laid a strong tackle on Dangerfield after the Brownlow medallist attempted a fake. Richards won the free and with a total of five tackles for the game. In all, he had eight contested and five uncontested possessions for the game at a 69 percent disposal efficiency. Instrumental in the Doggy’s high score, Richards contributed to six score involvements, one goal assist and applied  himself to all facets of the game, collecting three clearances out of stoppages, two one percenters, 21 pressure acts, and three intercept possessions. He is on the way up, finding his zone as an attacking utility for the comeback Bulldogs.

Jaidyn Stephenson

When I watch Collingwood’s games, I sometimes forget that Stephenson is playing his first year at the elite level. His willingness to take on the game gave Collingwood a player on a sharp incline to greatness.  It does not even shock anyone that Stephenson kicked three goals against Gold Coast, putting him on 24 for the season. That makes him fifteenth overall in the competition, tied with Robbie Gray and above players like Jarryd Roughead, Taylor Walker and Tom Lynch. There is no doubting Stephenson’s impact for Collingwood and how well he fits into Collingwood’s unselfish style of attacking football. For the day, Stephenson had eight score involvements, five inside 50s, two tackles and 18 pressure acts. He finished with six contested and seven uncontested possessions at a 69 percent disposal efficiency. The young Magpie putting on an amazing one-on-one contest against Steven May in front of goals, edging the big man under the ball to take it off a bounce and kick a goal. It is a great summary of the player Stephenson is becoming in that he is not afraid of a challenge and backs himself to the very end.

Bayley Fritsch

Fritsch was a pillar of excellence in Melbourne’s high scoring loss against St. Kilda. The first year player led hard and kicked true, finishing with four goals for the game, seven score involvements and two goal assists. Almost coming from thin air, Fritsch has a knack for finding space inside 50 and pouncing on the loose ball to convert. The 21 year-old has fit nicely in this high scoring side, leading the scoring for Demons despite the poor result against the Saints. He reads the offensive play well and places himself well under the ball. He is on his way to becoming a dominant goal kicker for our competition someday.

Jack Higgins

It is no easy feat being deemed good enough to earn a place in Richmond’s dominate line-up, but Higgins has done just that 10 times this season. After a hilarious pep talk at the half-time break, Higgins went on to finish his game with eight contested and 12 uncontested possessions at a solid 75 per cent efficiency. While goalless for the game, the small forward still had seven score involvements with two goal assists and two inside 50s. He proved most dangerous off the crumb, collecting the loose ball in front of goal and hitting the better option to put away goals. He plays instinctive football and has great sense while under pressure. It seems Richmond chose well with pick 17, adding a clean and unselfish utility in to their already dangerous forward line.

Tim Kelly 

Kelly has had such a good start to his season, at times making it hard to living up to his own hype. The WA boy has already left his mark on the game, dominating the contested work for Geelong and blending nicely with a star cast of players. Kelly topped the game for disposals, finishing with 12 contested and 22 uncontested possessions. He proved poor with the ball with his disposal efficiency at 56 per cent with 10 turnovers, so this was far from his best performance. Despite that, Kelly finished the game with five clearances, four tackles, five inside 50s and two rebounds. It was a high-pressure game, but Kelly managed to make an impact, still good enough to put through a goal with six score involvements.

Stefan Giro

Giro displayed some excellent composure for the Dockers despite their poor showing at Optus Stadium. The young man finished the game with five contested and ten uncontested possessions at a 73 per cent disposal efficiency, and a goal to his name. He applied important forward pressure, laying five tackles with 20 pressure acts. Developing nicely alongside, Brayshaw and Cerra, Giro showed fans that he won’t bend beneath the pressure, remaining composed and minimising his errors.

Hunter Clark

One of the Saints’ poster boys for the year, Clark continues to put in significant effort on the pitch. Leaning off his pressure elements against Melbourne, Clarke’s presence was a little less resounding. Despite this, Clark put through his third goal for the season and took home a decent nine uncontested and five contested possessions at a 79 per cent disposal efficiency. He picked up two clearances, roaming mostly in the back half of the ground, but still managing to lay two tackles inside 50. He kept a hand in a lot of the plays, having seven score involvements and two inside 50s. The young Saint is a favourite within the Club and seems to be developing well within their walls.

Paddy Dow 

Dow may not be hitting high numbers like some of the others on this list, but he’s keeping his head well above water and showing some real glimpse of what’s soon to come. Dow had a solid performance, breaking even with seven contested and seven uncontested possessions with a 79 per cent disposal efficiency. Doing it all with his three clearances, two tackles, 26 pressure acts, four score involvements and one goal. With the way he’s travelling, Dow is well on his way to becoming a damaging, pacey midfielder for the Blues.

Andrew Brayshaw

Despite the Lions onslaught, Brayshaw stood tall. Getting involved everywhere, the number two pick had three clearances, four tackles, two inside 50s, 22 pressure acts and three intercept possessions. Despite this, he was messy with his disposals including seven turnovers and a 61 per cent disposal efficiency. Though beneath Brisbane’s stranglehold, the youngster was still able to collect six contested possessions and 12 uncontested, breaking even with his time on either end of the ground. A strong showing by the young man in a struggling side.

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 12

THE 2017 draft crop are playing some impressive football in the middle of the season, as Rising Star favourite Jaidyn Stephenson continues his great form, as does a number of mature-age stars and high draft picks.

Jaidyn Stephenson

In Collingwood’s terrific Queens Birthday victory over the Demons, top 10 draft pick Jaidyn Stephenson again showed extremely impressive signs. Spending the entire day almost isolated in the Magpie forward line (93 percent time in the forward half), the former Eastern Rangers product kicked another bag of goals, this time ending the day with four. His speed off the mark has always been one of Jaidyn’s biggest strengths and it was again on show on the big stage of the Big Freeze match. He took five marks for the game, including four inside 50, gained 271 metres and was involved in nine Collingwood scores. His defensive pressure was also impressive, which saw him lay six tackles (four tackles inside 50) and show great endurance (playing 103 of a possible 122 minutes on-field). Although his kicking will need to be worked on, having recorded a disposal efficiency of 50 percent from his 12 disposals and kicking three behinds. However, Stephenson has endured a super start to his AFL career, with his impact per possession high.

Charlie Spargo

Spargo’s game got off to a slow start against the Pies, as he looked to find his feet, playing in front of easily the biggest crowd of his career. He failed to record a disposal until after quarter time, but a prolific second term saw him finish the game with a major-statistic line which read – 12 disposals (five kicks and seven handballs), four marks, seven tackles (three inside 50) and a behind. Deployed in his natural role as a small forward, Spargo applied a heap of defensive pressure (also finished with 23 pressure acts) and worried the opposition with his speed. Spargo continues to build on his numbers each week, despite playing in a potentially difficult role for a draftee.

Bayley Fritsch

Bayley Fritsch once again proved himself at the home of football, producing a solid performance in a loosing side. Strength overhead is a real feature of Fritsch’s game, along with his tackling intensity. In the air, Fritsch was extremely strong, considering his light frame, tallying nine marks (two inside 50 and one contested). His speed, run and carry was important in linking up play from the wing into the forward 50, gaining 454 metres for the match. The former Casey forward was also typically sound with his skills, registering a disposal efficiency of 84 per cent. 

Stefan Giro

In just his second game in the purple and white of Fremantle, South Australian boy Stefan Giro had a couple of great moments which would have impressed the Dockers coaching staff. Playing across the midfield in an outside-leaning role, Giro’s effectiveness by hand was a prominent feature in his game. He was reasonably clean at ground level and did not miss a target with his handballs. Giro spent only 66 per cent of the game on-ground, but ran hard when he got his chances, expanding out to all areas of Optus Stadium to collect his possessions. Giro concluded the successful outing with 18 disposals (seven kicks and eleven handballs at a superb 89 percent disposal efficiency), two marks and two tackles. As the Dockers continue to blood their youth, expect the long haired Stefan Giro to combine with fellow 2017 draftees Bailey Banfield, Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw in the midfield for the remainder of the season and beyond.

Adam Cerra

In a performance that could potentially see him collect a few Brownlow votes, Adam Cerra proved why he was regarded so highly coming into the 2017 National Draft. In what was no doubt his best showing at AFL level to date in the Docker’s three-point win against the Crows, Cerra was deployed in the midfield and across half-back, where he was able to set up play with his silky foot skills. Last year’s fifth overall pick amassed a career-high 30 disposals (at 70 per cent disposal efficiency), eight intercept possessions, six marks (including two contested), eight inside 50s and four tackles. He showed terrific versatility, vision, composure and class, proving to be instrumental in the Dockers dismantling the Crows at Optus Stadium. Since debuting in round two, Cerra has looked right at home at the level, slotting into a relatively inexperienced Dockers side and immediately providing them with a Rolls Royce type future star.

Tim Kelly

Kelly is fast becoming one of Geelong’s most dependable players, having so far contributed more than what was expected of him as a supporting act to the trio of Dangerfield, Selwood and Ablett. This weekend, in the win over North Melbourne at GMHBA Stadium, Kelly managed 19 disposals (11 of which were contested at an impressive 79 per cent disposal efficiency), five marks, four tackles and a goal in his role as an inside ball winner. Kelly was typically dynamic around the stoppages, finishing with five clearances, proving instrumental in getting the ball moving in Geelong’s direction. Another draft masterstroke by the Geelong recruiting staff, Kelly must surely be considered one of the best mature-aged pickups in recent drafts.

Charlie Ballard

Despite his side getting trounced by the Giants, Gold Coast’s South Australian draftee Charlie Ballard showed some positive signs, playing in a role across the wing which saw him also spend plenty of time in the backlines. Ballard’s nine contested possessions were a highlight, given his slim build and the fact he spent most of his under-age career as an outside type. Perhaps the Suns officials see him as more of a big-bodied, balanced midfielder once he further develops. His 10 intercept possessions were also good to see, with his overhead marking and ability to read the play standing out. Look for Ballard to be played in a wide variety of positions, such is his versatility.

Matt Guelfi

Essendon’s Matt Guelfi continued his solid start to life in the big league with a 17-disposal, two-mark, three-tackle and one-goal showing in the win over Brisbane. Guelfi found 67 per cent of his possessions in the defensive half of the Gabba, contributing to multiple Bomber attacks off the half-back line (three rebound-50’s and two intercept possessions), whilst amassing nine disposals on either wing. Guelfi was effective by foot, finishing with a 71 per cent disposal efficiency – an area of his game which he has clearly spent time working on back at Essendon’s Windy Hill base. The Western Australian’s 22 pressure acts, three tackles, eight contested possessions and six score involvements were also worth noting.

South Australian College football prepares for revamp

A TRADITIONAL football system is getting a revamp, with the Adelaide College football turning to a multi-tier system involving promotion and relegation, and we look at how it works, what it means and how the College football and State league can work together for the best possible results.

College football has a long and proud tradition in Adelaide, in fact next year, two of the oldest colleges, Prince Alfred College (PAC) and St Peters will play in their 150th annual Intercol, and in 2017, Sacred Heart and Rostrevor College completed their 95th year of Intercol competing. This tradition has resulted in an agreement with the SANFL that prioritizes a player to be allowed to play for their College side over their South Australia National Football League (SANFL) side. In almost all cases players named in an SANFL league team are released for SANFL duty.

The SA College system has a long production line of AFL Players with some recent draftees since 2014 including:

For PAC: Zac Bailey, Mitch Crowden, Aaron Francis, Riley Bonner, Cam Hewett, Harrison Wigg. 
Sacred Heart: Charlie Ballard, Mitchell Hinge, Liam Mackie, Alex Neal-Bullen, Keenan Ramsey, Cory Gregson, Ryan Burton.
St Peters: Will Hayward, Matt Allen
Rostrevor: Darcy Fogarty, Harry Petty, Toby Pink
Also from other colleges include Callum Coleman-Jones, Andrew McPherson, Lewis Young, Luke Partington and Stefan Giro.

The talent at College football is deep and keeping tabs and reporting on the performances of those players important.

2018 College Football System 

The 2018 season will see SA College football have a revamp, culminating in a new system of promotion and relegation with a top level Premier League and a north and south Championship League. It is a bit complex, but here is how it will work for 2018:

Stage 1:  The Premier division will start with six teams: PAC, Sacred Heart, Rostrevor, St Peters, Immanuel and St Michaels. There will then be a Championship North conference: Trinity, St Ignatius, Westminster, Blackfriars, Marryatville and PAC 2.  The Championship South conference will include: Scotch, Mercedes, CBC, Pembroke, Adelaide High and Sacred Heart 2.  Stage 1 games will involve all schools in their respective grades playing each other once. At which point re-grading will take place. 

Stage 2:  The bottom two Premier League teams will be relegated to the Championship league. The top team in the North and South Conference will be promoted to the Premier League.  Also the next 12 teams will then be regraded into two further divisions of 6 to allow hopefully all schools to be more evenly matched for Stage 2 of the season.
Stage 2 will see each team play each other again for the premiership in each division.

Finals: In the Premier League the top team will go straight into the State Championship grand final, with the second placed team to play a preliminary final against the highest ranked State school.  So in 2017 Sacred Heart was defeated by Henley High in the preliminary final, then with Henley going into the Grand Final against PAC, resulting in victory to PAC in a thrilling contest.

So during the season the typical under 18 draftable college player will play five to six SANFL games, then start College football for five games, then two to three back in the SANFL during school holidays, and then another five to six College games, before SANFL finals kick in.

SANFL vs College Football 

Whilst there is a peace between the SANFL and the College System, there is always some debate about the merits of College football, as compared to the development and recognised elite pathway through the SANFL.  However those in the College system will argue that College footy presents those players with a pure football experience, focused on team and character rather than individual performance and stats, as well as the opportunity to still play SANFL, and exposure to a college education.

Many country-based players are given this option to board at a city-based college and this gives them the opportunity to play all forms, whereas otherwise a seven0hour round trip for a Lucindale-based player such as Darcy Fogarty, may not be feasible.  It should also be noted that the College teams are now often coached by ex-AFL/SANFL players and have support structures similar to SANFL clubs.  In 2017 College coaches included ex-AFL/SANFL players and coaches in Martin McKinnon, Jon Symonds, Steve Symonds, Brett Chalmers, Darren Trevena, and Andrew McLeod

Those in the SANFL may well argue that by doing both you do not promote yourself as best you can.  An interesting outcome of College football is that there is no Champion Data on games and generally these games are not videoed.  So it is quite common to see a bunch of recruiters at these College games, tracking the performances of these potential AFL players. Whilst the best players will go through, there are also the fringe players who do not get through because AFL teams haven’t got enough data to make that call. 

This is an interesting debate. An example from last year involves a player not getting selected for SANFL Under 18 games, but playing College football. Recruiters attending college games noticed this player and upon noting his lack of SANFL games, questioned the club and he was subsequently selected in his SANFL Under 18s club game where he had some excellent performances. After this he was  invited to the SA State based AFL Combine and ended up playing in a SANFL reserves final.  And he met with a number of AFL clubs. This player was not subsequently drafted.  Feedback was positive, “we liked what we saw, just didn’t see enough”, and encouraging for future years. Did College football help this player get noticed? Absolutely.  Did SANFL footy help this player? Not to start with and then absolutely. There are pros and cons to both systems and many examples both ways of the benefits if the AFL path is what you want.

A perfect example of where school football and a state development league did work out however, was Sandringham Dragons’ Nathan Murphy, who missed out on being picked for the Dragons initially, and then after some superb form in the APS competition, made it onto the Dragons list mid-season and by the end of the year, had found a home in the AFL, selected by Collingwood in the National Draft.

But in the meantime, the culmination of a College football year is the end-of-season Intercol game between traditional rivals. An experience not to be missed as player or spectator.  The week of festivities, with thousands watching the game, and the post-match with each team being swamped by hundreds of school mates, presentation of trophies and speeches is AFL Grand Final like – just minus Mr Brightside.

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

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

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

AFLX Series:

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

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

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

JLT Series:

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

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

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

SANFL Trial Games:

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

Full schedule of trial games can be found here.

SANFL Clubs Voice Concern:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Draftees named for AFLX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FIXTURES:

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

South Australians fly at recent state combine

Last weekend the AFL came to town with 21 hopefuls and “a recovered from rolling his ankle” Harrison Petty arriving for the combine at Prince Alfred College. Of the 22, four were unable to do the testing due to injury.

The 20-metre sprint was up first and the South Australian boys flew, with five getting under three seconds – after only 13 players at the National Combine hitting that mark. Midfield powerhouses Mitch Crowden recorded 2.92 seconds and Stefan Giro 2.93 seconds recorded the quickest times as did Josh Smithson as a mid/fwd also scorched at 2.92 seconds and former AFL player Dom Barry with 2.93 seconds.

For the agility test, medium defender Brodie Carroll set the best time cracking the eight-second mark with 7.92 seconds, and Dom Barry at 8.06 seconds would have had them both top two nationally. The South Australian tate combine boys filling six of the top 14 times nationally.

For the vertical jumps there were also had some impressive performances from South Australians. The 175cm Crowden leapt 81cm, placing him third nationally. Carroll recorded 74cm and Smithson, Giro, Bryce Denham and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher all jumping 73cm. Again, six of the best 14 jumps nationally were recorded in Adelaide.

In the running vertical jumps right: 195cm defender Zerk-Thatcher had an impressive 95cm, placing him third nationally, and Crowden’s 91cm would have had him fifth overall. In the running vertical jumps left: 190cm Jake Weidemann (son of Wayne) achieved 90cm, and Crowden achieved 89cm placing them fifth and sixth nationally.

The boys then finished off with the yo-yo test. Running machine Giro pushed out an impressive 22.3 level to be placed equal second nationally, with Weidemann and Carroll with a 21.6 to be equal eighth. In summary there were a couple of players whose performance may have changed expectations. Both Crowden and Smithson both displayed elite pace, as well outstanding jumping and agility.

Top five in each test:

20-metre sprint:
1.Mitch Crowden 2.92 seconds
2.Josh Smithson 2.92
3. Stefan Giro 2.93
4. Don Barry 2.93
5. Liam Denton 2.97

Yo-yo test:
1. Stefan Giro 22.3 level
2. Jake Weidemann 21.6
2. Brodie Carroll 21.6
4. Mitch Crowden 21.3
5. Harry Petty 21.2

Agility test:
1. Brodie Carroll 7.92 seconds
2. Dom Barry 8.06
3. Josh Smithson 8.14
4. Stefan Giro 8.21
5. Mitch Crowden 8.26

Standing vertical jump:
1. Mitch Crowden 81cm
2. Brodie Carroll 74cm
3. Josh Smithson 73cm
3. Stefan Giro 73cm
3.Bryce Denham 73cm
3. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 73cm

Running vertical jump – right:
1. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 95cm
2. Mitch Crowden 91cm
3. Brodie Carroll 87cm
4. Stefan Giro 85cm
5. Oscar Chapman 84cm

Running vertical jump – left:
1. Jake Weidemann 90cm
2. Mitch Crowden 89cm
3. Josh Smithson 88cm
4. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 87cm
5. Bryce Denham 85cm

SANFL Round 18 Draft Prospects update part 1

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. On the weekend, round 18 of the SANFL took place with school football also continuing. We look at the top performances from the weekend:

League:

In Glenelg’s loss to West Adelaide, Alex Martini was named in the best, led by a game high 12 tackles to go with his 13 disposals. Teammate Jackson Edwards also collected 16 disposals. Westies Underager Izak Rankine was again exciting, finishing with 16 disposals and two goals.

Reserves:

In Sturt’s 58-point win over Norwood, Mitch Crowden again won best-on-ground honours with 28 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Crowden’s work on the inside was impressive, where he had eight clearances. Adam Trenorden was again in the bests with 20 disposals, while Jordan Houlahan booted four goals from his 13 disposals. For Norwood, Stefan Giro was among it – with 30 disposals and 12 marks. Brodie Carroll was also in the best, with 29 disposals and 13 marks. South Australian Under 18 MVP Harrison Petty was superb on his return from school footy, with 26 disposals and a whopping 15 marks.

In Central District’s demolition of Woodville-West Torrens, bottom-ager Jackson Hately returned from a week off, with 25 disposals through the midfield. Cooper Dahms (15 disposals) and Ryan Falkenberg (13 disposals) were also impressive. For the Eagles, possible 2018 no.1 draft pick Jack Lukosius was named second best, with 19 disposals, 12 marks and 2.5 – in a dangerous game up forward. Cooper Gaffney was also strong with 21 disposals.

U18s:

South Adelaide snuffed out North Adelaide’s finals chances, with a big 71-point victory. Bottom-ager Heath Sampson was best-on-ground with 25 disposals and three goals. Luke Bogle was another who stood out on the inside, with 17 disposals, 14 tackles and eight clearances. For North, Connor Rozee (27 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) and Boyd Woodcock (24 disposals and nine clearances) found plenty of the ball, aided by Ben Oborn winning 45 hit outs throughout the game.

Centrals defeated the Eagles with Llwellyn Milera starring. Milera collected 23 disposals, six inside 50s and booted two goals, while bottom-ager Jordan O’Brien was also strong with 21 disposals (15 contested) and booted a bag of five goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was best with 28 disposals, including 10 marks and three goals. Tom Schmusch also did some good things, with 17 disposals and two goals.

Tall Hugo Munn was named in the best in Sturt’s 48-point win over Norwood. Munn had 16 disposals, 16 hitouts and nine marks (six contested). Teammate Ryan Weidenhofer led the stats sheet with 27 disposals, six clearances and six rebound 50s. Despite the loss, Norwood dominated the stats for most of the day due to their high possession style game plan. Jacob Kennerley was their best with 23 disposals.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQz5IYfpvCY[/embedyt]

In the battle for finals, Westies demolished Glenelg by 114-points. Patrick Fairlie dominated in the midfield, and was best with 43 disposals, 14 clearances and 11 marks – winning the Torrens Uni Cup MVP nomination for the round. Josh Smithson was also excellent with 27 disposals, nine marks, seven clearances and four goals. For Glenelg, Ruben Flinn was their best with 20 hitouts and 11 disposals.

School Footy:

Our report on school football will be online tomorrow afternoon, including a report on the 2017 SA State Championships game, that saw Prince Alfred College defeat Henley High by five points.

 

SANFL Round 16 Draft Prospects update

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. On the weekend, round 16 of the SANFL took place with school football continuing. We look at the top performances from the weekend:

League:

Adelaide father-son prospect Jackson Edwards had a great game for Glenelg  with 25 disposals including a goal, named in the bests in their loss to Sturt. West Adelaide bottom-ager Izak Rankine was also in the best in their loss to Port with 14 disposals including two goals.

Reserves:

There were at least 22 Under 18 players playing Reserves this week. Some of the notable performances included the following:

In the South Adelaide versus Woodville-West Torrens draw, Souths draft prospect Nathan Kreuger had 11 disposals including a goal, with Henry Bruce also getting 14 disposals. For the Eagles, Andrew McPherson made a great return to footy after a long stint out with injury. McPherson had 31 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s to be named second best. Bottom-ager and possible 2018 number one draft pick Jack Lukosius clunked nine marks and booted four goals to be in the best alongside Cooper Gaffney who had 22 disposals, eight marks and two goals. Tom Schmusch was another who impressed with 18 disposals and a goal.

Sturt’s medium forward Jordan Houlahan booted five goals, helping them to a huge 96-point win over Glenelg. Mitch Crowden has had League exposure this season and was also strong with 24 disposals and a goal. Adam Trenorden was another who featured in the bests, with 21 disposals and a goal. For Glenelg, South Australian Under 18 players Alex Martini (22 disposals) and Brad McCarthy (17 disposals) were strong, with McCarthy’s rebound out of defensive 50 a highlight.

In Central District’s 36-point win over Norwood, AFL Academy Level one member Jackson Hately was again in the bests, with a 25 disposals, six clearances and three goal performance. Cooper Dahms was also in the bests with 21 disposals, six tackles and a goal. For Norwood, Brodie Carroll was in the bests with 25 disposals and nine marks. Stefan Giro continued his fine form in 2017, finding 12 contested possessions in the midfield.

U18s:

In the Tigers’ 10-point win over Sturt, Liam Denton was in the bests with his 21 disposal and two goal game. Under 15 state captain and son of Tyson, Luke Edwards chimed in with 20 disposals including seven tackles on debut. For Sturt, Oliver Grivell was named as the best player with 29 disposals, 13 tackles and nine marks.

In Westies 27-point win over North Adelaide, Josh Smithson was strong with 30 disposals, 10 inside 50s, nine marks and two goals. Will Gutsche was another who played well, finishing with 23 disposals, nine tackles and seven marks. Roosters ruckman Ben Oborn was dominant with 36 hitouts, finding 20 disposals and eight marks around the ground. Midfielder Daniel Aplin was among it with 31 disposals, eight tackles and seven inside 50s.

In Souths win over the Eagles, Liam Fitt collected 19 disposals, eight marks and booted a goal, while Tate Coleman (21 disposals) also contributed to the win. For the Eagles, Mitchell Mead was best with 23 disposals, 11 tackles and nine inside 50s.

Centrals demolished Norwood by 98-points, led by their Under 16s – with four goals from Jack Carpenter and a best-on-ground performance from Jordan O’Brien, who had 26 disposals and four goals, earning him the Torrens Uni Cup MVP nomination for the round. Tyler Martin was best for Norwood with 23 disposals, 10 marks, eight rebound 50s, six inside 50s and a goal.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDzgTEMORmQ[/embedyt]

School Footy:

Sacred Heart defeated Pembroke 16.13 to 5.5, in what was for Hearts a chance to mix up players and try them in some different positions and keep a few players fresh for their forthcoming matches against Henley, before they head off on the annual exchanged versus Assumption College Kilmore. They played Tuesday in the knockout State Championship semi-final against the talent laden Henley High. Henley came out victors in wet conditions by 15-points.

With Hearts taking a slim five-point lead into the final quarter (having not capitalised on the first half dominanance of the play) the class of Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine helped Henley get three goals to ice to game. For Hearts, Charlie Ballard had the best of Lukosius for most of the day, controlling play across half back. Seb Kerrish’s running rebound was also impressive.

PAC defeated Scotch by 20 goals in what was a one sided affair after quarter time. Zac Bailey was one of PACs best through the midfield, with a cameo up forward – while their captain Cole Gerloff was also dominant aroubnd the ground. Up forward, Tom Humphries booted six goals and Oscar Chapman kicked three – including a soccer kick out of mid air from 20 metres out.

PAC have now locked up both the State Championship Grand Final bert and the Messenger Shield.

Other winners included St Peters who had a comprehensive team win over Immanuel, while Rostrevor easily defeated St Michaels by 11 goals.

SANFL Round 15 Part 2 Draft Prospects update

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. An extended Round 15 SANFL continued with limited league and reserves games as well as school football, but no under 18s. So we look at the top performances across the weekend.

League:
Sturt, West, Glenelg, Eagles and Norwood did not play.

Reserves:
With only two matches this week North defeated Centrals by 39 points. North underagers Boyd Woodcock (20 disposals) and Connor Rozee (12 disposals) were amongst it, Bryce Denham kicked a goal, Daniel Aplin up from the under 18s also had 15 disposals. For Centrals, underager Jackson Hately was second best with 27 disposals including eight marks.

South went down to Port by 58 points. For South, prospect Nathan Kreuger only got the seven disposals, whilst Henry Bruce was consistent again with 19 disposals including six tackles. Also after his six goals last week promoted Nick Steele kicked one goal.

Under 18s:
There were no under 18 SANFL games this weekend.

School Football:
In one of the biggest matches of the year, Sacred Heart played Rostrevor at home in their Annual Intercol. Sacred Heart bounced back to win easily 12.10 (82) to 3.10 (28), with the match being a State Knockout qualifying game the win effectively locks up second spot on the college ladder.

Best players for Sacred Heart included Wilson Otto, Finn Betterman and Charlie Ballard. Draft prospect Ballard playing centre half back and marking anything that came his way. At the other end of the ground for Rostervor Harrison Petty at centre half back was also accumulating the marks for his team. Mihail Lochowiak was also solid for Rossies.

Prince Alfred College (PAC) headed to Immanuel and easily accounted for them with 21.16 (142) to 9.4 (58), which sent PAC straight into the State Championship Grand Final. Best for PAC included Charlie Hay and Kade Chandler. Zac Bailey and Oscar Chapman kicked three goals each. Sam Davis was amongst the best for Immanuel playing in the midfield.
St Peters also defeated St Michaels by 54 points.

Combine Update:
There are eight South Australians invited to the National Combine (where four or more AFL clubs nominated players):
Charlie Ballard (Sturt), Callum Coleman-Jones (Sturt), Darcy Fogarty (Glenelg), Jordan Houlahan (Sturt), Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide), Alex Martini (Glenelg), Andrew McPherson (Woodville-West Torrens) and Harrison Petty (Norwood)

There are 21 South Australians invited to the SA State Combine (where between two to three AFL clubs have nominated players:
U18s: Cameron Ball (Norwood), Brodie Carroll (Norwood), Oscar Chapman (North Adelaide), Lochie Charlton (Norwood), Tobin Cox (Glenelg), Mitch Crowden (Sturt)
Sam Davis (Glenelg), Bryce Denham (North Adelaide), Liam Denton (Glenelg), Jackson Edwards (Glenelg), Stefan Giro (Norwood), Isaac Hewson (Norwood), Curtis McCarthy (Glenelg), Thomas Schmusch (Woodville-West Torrens), Josh Smithson (West Adelaide), Jake Weidemann (Woodville-West Torrens).

Over 18s: Dom Barry (Glenelg), Jordan Sweet (North Adelaide) Jordan West (Woodville-West Torrens) Patrick Wilson (Sturt), Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Sturt).

Draft dream not over for 2017 state combine nominees

THE draft dream is not over to the 2017 state combine nominees after the AFL today released the list of 96 players from around the country nominated by AFL clubs to attend the 2017 State Combine.

83 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2017 NATIONAL AFL DRAFT COMBINE

Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia will each run individual tests, with clubs sent the data to analyse before November’s draft. Recruiters will also get a chance to cast their eyes over a further 23 footballers at the ‘Rookie Me Combine,’ created due to number restrictions at Etihad Stadium. The Victorian State Combine will be held on Friday October 6th at Etihad Stadium, with the ‘Rookie Me Combine’ to run on Sunday October 8th at a venue yet to be decided.

Similar to the process for the national combine, each club nominated up to fifty players to nominate that they wanted to see test. To receive an invite to the AFL State Combine, players must receive at least three expressions of interest from AFL clubs, with players receiving 1-2 taking part in the Rookie Me Combine.

Possible Adelaide father-son Jackson Edwards headlines the list of nominees. The South Australia midfielder averaged 24 disposals and four marks throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and is one of 21 South Australian’s that will test in the state based combine.

Victorian Under 19 cricketer Ed Newman was Australia’s 13th man at the MCG on Boxing Day is one of the 11 Sandringham Dragons on the list. Newman has been a standout for Mentone Grammar in the AGSV School Football competition and made his Dragons debut on Sunday.

Former Melbourne player Dom Barry is on the verge of another AFL berth, scoring an invite to South Australia’s State Combine after being a strong performer for Glenelg this year.

The state leagues around the country have been well represented with a number of players invited to test out. The VFL has 10 players nominated to attend with Essendon VFL’s Alex Boyse looming as their best prospect. Boyse has booted 26 goals this season and the 191cm forward is one of four players nominated from Essendon’s VFL team.

Invites:

Victorian State Combine (55):

Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons)
Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
Mark Baker (Northern Knights)
Oskar Baker (Aspley)
Harry Benson (Geelong Falcons)
Brett Bewley (Williamstown VFL)
James Bell (Sydney Swans Academy)
Tom Boyd (Murray Bushrangers)
Alex Boyse (Essendon VFL)

Sam Cameron (Sandringham Dragons)
Riley D’Arcy (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aaron Darling (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Davidson (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach)
Lewin Davis (Bendigo Pioneers)
Max Dreher (Northern Knights)
Alex Federico (Northern Knights)
Bayley Fritsch (Casey Scorpions VFL)
Bailey Griffiths (Marcellin College)
Harrison Gunther (Glenorchy)
Jackson Hille (Sandringham Dragons)
Nick Hind (Essendon VFL)
Jake Hinds (Tasmania)
Austin Hodge (Gippsland Power)
Dane Hollenkamp (Geelong Falcons)
Nick Hogan (Gippsland Power)
Josh Jaska (Geelong Falcons)
Daniel Johnston (Murray Bushrangers)
Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers)
Matthew King (Oakleigh Chargers)
Dylan Landt (Calder Cannons)
Jy Lane (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)
Doulton Langlands (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)

Quintin Montanaro (Sandringham Dragons)
Thomas Mundy (Burnie)
Tom Murphy (Dandenong Stingrays)
Geordie Nagle (Sandringham Dragons)
Joel Naylor (Northern Knights)
Ed Newman (Sandringham Dragons)
Harrison Nolan (Eastern Ranges)
Connor Nutting (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Kai Owens (Sandringham Dragons)
Alex Paech (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)
Cassidy Parish (Geelong Falcons)
Ethan Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
Callum Porter (Gippsland Power)
Aiden Quigley (Gippsland Power)
Nathan Richards (GWS Giants Academy)
Harry Simmington (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Labrador)
Derrick Smith (Richmond VFL)
Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons)
Aidan Tilley (Calder Cannons)
Laitham Vandeermeer (Murray Bushrangers)
Callan Wellings (GWV Rebels)
Seb Williams (Sandringham Dragons)

Tristan Xerri (Western Jets)

South Australian State Combine (21): 

Cameron Ball (Norwood)
Dom Barry (Glenelg)
Brodie Carroll (Norwood)
Oscar Chapman (North Adelaide)
Lochie Charlton (Norwood)
Tobin Cox (Glenelg)
Mitch Crowden (Sturt)
Sam Davis (Glenelg)
Bryce Denham (North Adelaide)
Liam Denton (Glenelg)
Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)
Stefan Giro (Norwood)
Isaac Hewson (Norwood)
Curtis McCarthy (Glenelg)
Thomas Schmusch (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Smithson (West Adelaide)
Jordan Sweet (North Adelaide)
Jake Weidemann (Woodville-West Torrens)
Jordan West (Woodville-West Torrens)

Patrick Wilson (Sturt)
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Sturt)

West Australian State Combine (20):

Christian Ameduri (East Perth)
Liam Baker (Subiaco)
Jordan Boullineau (Peel Thunder)
Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle)
Damon Cramer (Peel Thunder)
Patrick Farrant  (Swan Districts)
Jonathon Frampton (South Fremantle)
Scott Jones (East Perth)
Zac Langdon (Claremont)
Tyrese Miller (West Perth)
Lachlan Mitchell (Peel Thunder)
Gordon Narrier (Perth)
Cody Nineytte (Perth)
Will Powell (Claremont)

Aaron Redhead (East Perth)
Zareth Roe (Perth)
Liam Ryan (Subiaco)
Haiden Schloithe (Subiaco)
Chris Scott (East Fremantle)
Taryce Stewart (Swan Districts) 

Rookie Me Combine (23):

Kwaby Boakye (Gold Coast Suns Academy)
Hamish Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Damien Burke (Gold Coast Suns Academy)
Jack Clayton (Brisbane Lions Academy)
James Ferry (Essendon VFL)
Tom Freeman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Joel Griffiths (Geelong Grammar)
Jack Hardman (Sydney Swans Academy)
Matthew Harman (Northern Knights)
Lachlan Harris (Sandringham Dragons)
Marty Hore (Collingwood VFL)
Cooper Jones (Bendigo Pioneers)
Daniel Joseph (Aspley)
Francis Kinthari (NT Thunder)
Jordan Lynch (Eastern Ranges)
Josh Newman (Williamstown VFL)
Tony Olango (NT Thunder)
Kieren Parnell (NT Thunder)
Julian Patterson (Gippsland Power)
Kieran Strachan (Essendon VFL)
Sam Switkowski (Box Hill VFL)
Charlie Thompson (Oakleigh Chargers)
Aaron Trusler (Sandringham Dragons)