Tag: Tim Kelly

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 13

ROUND 13 came with a surprising amount of top first-year performers, given the bye for six teams. The youngsters from Fremantle stepped up again, and Geelong’s Tim Kelly remained at his usual high standards. 

Ed Richards

Richards starred in his clash against Port Adelaide, kicking a team-high three goals for the game in the second quarter alone. Before the game, Richards had no score to his name, but stood up for the Doggies despite poor kicking accuracy. At the end of the second quarter, he put through a difficult set shot on the boundary from 50 metres out. Typically playing out of the backline, Richards showed us what he can do as an attacking player. With five score involvements and four inside 50s, his offensive was in full flight, and with extra efforts in his 17 pressure acts and three one percenters, Richards presented us a complete footballer in the making. I would recommend the Doggies playing to his strengths to build him up for next season.

Tim Kelly

Kelly kept his elite form in a tough fight against the reigning Premiers at the MCG. Shaping up with all kinds of class alongside Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield, the South Australian collected 14 contested possessions, seven uncontested, with a 71 per cent disposal efficiency. He dominated the clearances with four from the centre and three out of stoppages, getting clean hands to the ball first and ripping it cleanly from congestion. He managed to impact Geelong’s scoreboard despite not hitting it himself with four inside 50’s and four score involvements. The pressure he applied to Richmond summarise what he brings to the Geelong midfield. With grit and power, Kelly laid six tackles with 23 pressure acts. He adds necessary elements to Geelong’s classy midfield with his power around congestion.

Hunter Clark

The Rising Star Nominee for Round 13 put on another impressive display in defence. He finished with 18 possessions and an 82 per cent disposal efficiency. His clean footy and immense pressure may have been the difference between a few possible Suns’ goals. It was his five intercept possessions, six tackles and four one percenters that walled off the Suns. He is slowly developing into a hungry, young player, a quality lost on him at the beginning of the season. There have been a few weeks in a row now that Clark has shone in the backline. In the coming years, Clark could become a promising half-back utility for the Saints, showing more of his run and carry that he demonstrated for the Dandenong Stingrays.

Stefan Giro

In only three games, Giro has already began raising standards for first year players. Gaining most of his possessions off the wing and the forward half, Giro finished his game with an 81 per cent disposal efficiency and 17 possessions. Though not impacting the board directly, he had five score involvements, two goal assists and three inside 50s. The most impressive of Giro’s stats comes from his pressure acts, racking up an enormous 32 with five tackles (two inside 50s). The Fremantle first-year players have been immense thus far, so Giro is lucky to grow along side some other promising youths. There’s a chance we could be looking at the AFL’s next super team if they continue to develop as they are.

Lochie O’Brien

Despite suffering Fremantle’s onslaught, O’Brien managed to make an impact. O’Brien was able to still get plenty of the football, collecting 17 possessions with a 71 per cent disposal efficiency. Given Fremantle’s forward pressure, the youngster’s success with the football was impressive. He remained composed and confident, and despite spending 73 per cent in the defensive half, had five score involvements. The well-rounded performer had three rebound s, three inside 50s, two clearances and 18 pressure acts. O’Brien also had an impressive 370 metres gained, second only on his team to Kade Simpson. He was a top performer for Carlton and should not go unnoticed due to a poor outcome.

Andrew Brayshaw

Brayshaw put on a show away at Etihad Stadium, thriving in Fremantle’s rare dominance. Picking up 13 uncontested possessions and seven contested, the number two pick started to show signs of his TAC Cup standards. He kicked one goal starting up on the wing and contributed to eight score involvements. In certain areas, he fell short with eight turnovers and a 65 per cent disposal efficiency. Brayshaw is showing glimpses of a bright future. He rounded off a fair performance with three clearances, four tackles, three inside 50s, three one percenters and 24 pressure acts.

Charlie Ballard

In a nail-biter at Metricon Stadium, Ballard starred out from the backline. Gaining 94 per cent of his 16 possessions in the defensive half, Ballard finished with 63 per cent disposal efficiency. He contributed to the attack with his four score involvements and two rebounds. He carefully picked his spots and read the attack well, taking much of the uncontested ball. For the game he closed out with a brilliant nine interceptions and three one percenters. Ballard impacted the game through great marking ability and nice read on the incoming footy.

Adam Cerra

Cerra’s performance away from home was far from his greatest for the season, but he injects enough class into the game to beef up his stats and earn his spot. He finished with nine uncontested possessions and five contested. His disposal efficiency finished at 64 per cent, but he earned some redemption with three interceptions. While goalless himself, Cerra had six score involvements and two marks inside 50. He gained plenty of his football  in the defensive 50 and along the wing, laying three tackles with two rebound 50s. Cerra played with a different role out of defence, keeping him unusually weak on the goal front, but the No. 5 played a damaging role nonetheless.

Tom McCartin

McCartin topped his game with six inside 50s, assisting the Swans greatly in there dominant offence. Over half of his possessions were contested,  but had less satisfactory disposal efficiency at 69 per cent. Regardless, his efforts were still an improvement from his average nine possessions and a 56 percent disposal efficiency. McCartin’s performance lift came through in all facets. He laid three tackles with four one percenters. McCartin put pressure on defensive plays and demonstrated flexibility in how he affected a linkup. It was disappointing that a forward hadn’t kicked a goal in such an important game, but he managed three score involvements and a direct assist.

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.

Keeping Tabs: Standout performers from Round 11

IN Round 11 there were plenty of standout performers from the 2017 draft crop, with mature agers leading the way with some impressive performances.

Tim Kelly

Again, Kelly’s form stayed true. The Western Australian lad injected plenty of class to aid Geelong in their 85-point smashing over the Suns. With a 79 per cent disposal efficiency, Kelly picked up 24 possessions, with 11 contested. His work through linkups saw him with plenty contribution to the board, racking up 10 score involvements to compliment his two goals. If we weren’t here reminding you, nobody would believe this kid to be a first-year player. With the numbers he puts on the stat sheet, Kelly is holding himself up there with the more seasoned players on his team. To round out his performance, he saw an extra five clearances, four tackles and three inside 50s. This Cat is going to be in some important conversations in the coming years if he continues to play like this.

Bayley Fritsch

Fritsch put on a bit of a clinic for spectators on the weekend. His efforts on the ground ought to fill Melbourne fans with confidence since they re-signed him in late May. At an 89 per cent disposal efficiency, the Demon tallied up a strong 26 possessions, with eight contested. A goal and six score involvements sealed his spot as one of their top performers, Fritsch’s forward pressure burning through the Bulldog’s defence. Add two more clearances, four tackles and seven rebound 50s and you’ve got a future star in the making. Fritsch’s development in this supreme offensive side should shape him into a danger for backman in these coming years. Be prepared.

Brody Mihocek

Coming straight from the Rookie Draft last year, Mihocek demonstrated what his years at Port Melbourne have offered his new club. With a 100 percent efficiency on the ball, the tall unit took home 12 disposals, nine contested. Mihocek not only kicked his first goal for his career but picked up three more to follow. His experience only adding to the Magpie’s crafty offensive.  In all, the Port Melbourne son finished with seven score involvements, 11 pressure acts, two tackles and three one percenters. The highlight for this man’s day came through perfectly efficient football and I’m excited to see what Round 12 brings.

Cam Rayner

The number one draft pick showed off some of the missed aspects of his football in the Lions loss to North Melbourne on the weekend. Gathering much of his ball through the midfield, Rayner blew up the stat sheet. He had seven score involvements, five clearances, five inside 50s and seven tackles and displayed composure breaking out of congestion, planting the ball in front of his forwards.  His 22 pressure acts certainly made the Kangaroos earn their victory. The youngster finished the game with 21 possessions, eight contested at a 76 per cent disposal efficiency. Rayner barred some dynamic football, unafraid to take on the game is other areas.

Lachie Fogarty

Fogarty has been a little hit and miss so far throughout the season, so it’s a pleasure to be able to put him on this list again.  The Cats forward was unlucky on the board, missing his shot on goal, but regrouped, making plenty of impact with eight score involvements. Fogarty finished with a 77 per cent disposal efficiency and 17 possessions in Geelong’s 85-point victory against the Gold Coast Suns. The young forward spent much of the four quarters along the forward 50, laying both his tackles inside and picking up two one percenters. The work Geelong has put into developing their youth is shown greatly through stars like this.

Zac Bailey

Bailey played integral football in his side’s loss against the Kangaroos. A 14-possession game at a 79 per cent disposal efficiency demonstrated the young lion’s class despite their thrashing. Bailey put through a goal at the end of the second, branding four score involvements for the day. He laid three tackles, with 23 pressure acts and four intercept possessions. Bailey, above all else, should be praised for his determination in the face of a stronger side. I would be curious to see his stats if his team had a better day out on the field.

Hunter Clark

Clark’s numbers on the stat sheets stood up in areas unique to what we’ve caught so far. Plenty of his 17 possessions were taken in the midfield, 11 of which were contested. His disposal efficiency came up a little short at 59 percent, but Clark more than made up for it with his pressure on the game. In total, the young Saint laid six tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s. He was unfortunate in coughing up five turnovers but stepped up to the midfield challenge well. Clark worked hard to re-cement himself into the side, and should be left to develop there if he works the game like he is.

Bailey Banfield

The high pressure forward stepped up in their loss to the Magpies. Kicking one and missing the other, Banfield saw plenty of contribution to the board with his six score involvements. He put in heaps of work to keep the ball in their forward 50. A 15-possession game with seven contested, closed his game off at a 73 per cent disposal efficiency. Five huge tackles, two clearances and two one percenters showed off the Dockers’ extra efforts in keeping his team above water.

Darcy Fogarty

In the biggest rollercoaster match of the round, Fogarty found his season beginning form, putting in the work on and off the play.  The Crow had plenty of impact in the side’s 16-point loss to the Giants with  11 possessions, five contested at an 82 per cent disposal efficiency. The youngster had three inside 50s, two tackles and an impressive four one percenters. He was unfortunate in turnovers and free kicks, giving away five and three, but could be forgiven given the intensity of the game. Hopefully Fogarty’s able to lift leading further into the season and we can see some of Adelaide’s 2017 form.

Paddy Dow

In a strong first half against the Swans, the Blues young prodigy took on plenty of the play. Dow put through his second goal for the season and continued to pick up another handful of clearances. He sat one per cent below his season average 63 per cent disposal efficiency, collecting 13 for the day with seven contested. His work rate was high around the loose ball and his skill work continues to be quite polished. He may need to take time to adjust his tempo to suit the flow of play, as well as picking his passes a little better. As usual, his day on the ground finished off well-rounded as he continued to go hard at everything. Some further three score involvements and three tackles top off Dow’s game and sum up his efforts appropriately.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 5

ROUND FIVE was huge for the first year players, with plenty stepping up to earn a spot on this weekly list. Most of the names here have been seen before, but we give credit when it is due. We’re hoping to see some fresh faces in the coming rounds and for the players below to ramp up their game more and more with every passing round. There are still plenty of rounds left so there’s no telling what could come next.

Tim Kelly

Kelly played some outstanding football against the Power over the weekend. In all he picked up 20 disposals, of which half were contested with an 80 per cent efficiency. He displayed 27 pressure acts, laid five tackles, kicked a goal, had four clearances and three score involvements. Kelly is a well-rounded player and has demonstrated countless times that he can do plenty to help his side. He has also kicked at least one goal a game since the start of the season showing his reliability and consistency thus far.

Adam Cerra

Cerra is well on his way to becoming a fan favourite at Optus Stadium. He has shown some incredible promise on game day, with the Bulldogs clash being no different. Cerra snagged himself 15 disposals (four contested) at an 87 percent efficiency. He also went on to kick two goals with eight total score involvements. Cerra is smooth around the football with incredible composure at the elite level. He works hard around the contests, illustrated through his impressive 24 pressure acts and four tackles (two inside 50s). This medium forward is being developed by the right team it seems with impressive first years all throughout the side.

Jaidyn Stephenson

His efficiency could use some work, but he is getting his opportunities and making most of them count. Capping off his game with 15 disposals, four contested and two goals, Stephenson went hard in the ANZAC match. He picks his spots and moments well, and capitalises well off errors. He had 19 disposals and four tackles for the game in all. He is continuing to make his mark as a forward for Collingwood and is doing so with an intense attack on the game.

Mitch Crowden

Fremantle’s first years have been dominating the competition so far. Along with his fellow draftees, Crowden is playing very efficient football. With 17 disposals at an 88 per cent efficiency, Crowden is continuing to perform at a high standard. His presence throughout the ground is clear, laying five tackles, 21 pressure acts and having nine score involvements. Developing alongside the likes of Cerra and Brayshaw, Crowden is likely to become part of the next biggest elite midfield for the AFL.

Nick Coffield

Once again, Coffield showed off his patented smooth, clean football. With excellent composure on and around the ball, Coffield is providing some much-needed efficiency around the midfield. In total, he finished with 18 disposals at an 83 per cent efficiency, with five score involvements. He is working hard to earn his spot within the side and it shows on the field. Hopefully his efforts remain at this level for a long time.

Andrew Brayshaw

A fair game for Brayshaw with 17 disposals, four contested at a 71 percent efficiency. The number two pick in the 2017 National AFL Draft is slowly evolving to suit the elite level. He performed well off and on the ball, laying five tackles, 17 pressure acts with three score involvements. Brayshaw needs to polish up his footy in some areas as shown through his five turnovers. However, if he continues to work, he is well on his way to one day dominating the game.

Lachie Fogarty

Geelong’s new recruits are hard to separate from the rest of their side due to their elite performances. In their match against Port, Fogarty had an excellent run of it. While 17 disposals with nine contested is a decent stat, it’s Fogarty’s ten tackles that really caught my eye, all of which were completed without giving away a free. He also slotted away a goal and had five score involvements. Fogarty is developing well with Geelong and should be watched closely in the coming years.

Matt Guelfi

After a stellar debut in round four, Guelfi managed earn a spot in the side for the Anzac Day match in just his second game. A surprise prospect for Essendon, Guelfi has shown no issue adapting to the elite level. A 15-disposal game at 87 per cent efficiency made him a highlight for a struggling Bombers. He had an impressive four intercept possessions as well as 20 pressure acts. With a better Essendon side, it is likely his performance will only improve.

Paddy Dow

Dow attacked the football hard over the weekend, racking up 15 disposals (11 contested) with an 80 per cent efficiency. He is a highlight for Carlton, and it is good to see his efforts still high despite a slow start to the season. Dow is fierce around the contests, with an impressive seven clearances on the weekend, only second to Patrick Cripps (eight). He laid three tackles and had five score involvements. Dow is a confident footballer who knows how to back himself. Hopefully we continue to see his level of football continue to rise in the coming years.

Lochie O’Brien

O’Brien showed some great promise in his second game in the navy blue. The number 10 draft pick played some efficient football, running at 73 per cent efficiency  from his 15 disposals (six contested). He had a few good midfield clearances, laid three tackles and earned plenty of the ball off Carlton’s flanks. With his athletic background, O’Brien should be fine to earn more of the football in the coming games.

Cam Rayner

Despite his efficiency in goal kicking, the number one pick again showed great attack on the ball in the forward half. Kicking one goal and two behinds, Rayner earned a handful of opportunities to score big, but continues to fail on the execution. He is a standout for the Lions and is slowly developing a unique brand of football. He is hungry around the ball as demonstrated through six contested possessions out of a total of 11. He needs to improve his efficiency further, but it can be explained through his high number of contested possesions.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 3

With now a game or two under their belts, the first-year players are starting to find their groove. Some have certainly been more consistent over the weeks than others, but this week a few new names stood up to earn their spot. This week we looked at the best performing players from last years’ draft and which of your players you should keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Liam Ryan

The Geelong and West Coast clash was a game for the first-year players as Liam Ryan proved. The young man dominated the West Coast offensive, picking up three goals in only his third game. He also took home 12 disposals – five contested – three tackles and three intercept possessions, all with a 75 per cent efficiency. His smart play allowed him to be tied the leading goal kicker (Mark LeCras) for his team. Provided he keeps up his efforts, Ryan will have a big future with the Eagles.

Tim Kelly

Once again, Kelly performed like a seasoned player for Geelong, picking up 19 disposals and 10 contested possessions. Despite being his lowest game numbers-wise so far, Kelly still exceeded expectations. In his first year, he is already holding his own against some of the AFL’s most elite athletes and is on his way to cementing a spot in the starting 18. He kicked an impressive goal in the fourth quarter to further Geelong’s lead, but unluckily for him, West Coast finished on top. Kelly has a big year ahead of him if he keeps playing at this level.

Mitchell Crowden

Crowden had the difficult matchup in Steven May, but did not let that lessen his performance. Taken with pick 59 in last year’s AFL National Draft, Crowden has so far smashed expectations. With 13 disposals, five contested, a goal and a 92 per cent efficiency against the Suns, the kid from South Australia dominated in his second game. He also boasted seven score involvements and two goal assists. Fremantle have developed their first years well, and it definitely shows in Crowden.

Nick Coffield

St. Kilda showcased their number eight pick from the AFL National Draft, Nick Coffield, against Adelaide in Round 3. Coffield played some impressive football in his first game. He made great decisions with the ball in hand, and did not rush his disposals. By half-time, Coffield had 12 disposals, one contested possession, a goal and an outstanding 100 percent disposal efficiency. He was a highlight for the Saints despite the resulting loss. In the end, Coffield picked up 18 disposals and three contested possessions to close the game, and his efficiency finished on 89 per cent. We saw plenty of smart football from this young man, and an eagerness to prove himself. If he takes the rest of his football this way, we might see some remarkable things from Coffield.

Ed Richards

In his first win for the Bulldogs, Richards had his fair share of the ball. With 17 disposals, two contested possessions, and a 71 per cent efficiency, Richards more than played his part to take home the win. The second gamer showed a lot fight around the football, taking on his man and laying five strong tackles. Richards showed poise and control around the pill, and with a few more games under his belt, could become a powerful defensive presence for the Dogs.

Aaron Naughton

Again, Naughton had the challenging task of playing on an elite opponent. Matched up on Joe Daniher, Naughton easily held his own and kept Essendon’s key forward off his game. He went onto collect 15 disposals, six contested possessions and finished with 87 per cent disposal efficiency. Many of the Bulldogs’ players showed a better read on Essendon’s movement better than they could, and Naughton was no exception, racking up eight intercept possessions.

Cameron Rayner

Brisbane’s number one pick played some efficient football in Saturday’s clash against Port Adelaide. Rayner dramatically picked up his game from last week’s four disposals with a 50 per cent efficiency. He bumped up it all up to take home nine important disposals – four contested – with an 89 per cent efficiency. He took a great contested grab going back with the flight of the ball which also snagged him a goal. He laid four tackles and had three inside 50s. Brisbane has faced some well performing teams thus far which may be forcing Rayner to push his game even further. With a few more matches, Rayner should fulfil his role even more with the Lions.

Lachie Fogarty

If there is one thing Geelong has proved they can do this year, that’s develop young players. Fogarty played some decent football in a tough match against West Coast. His efficiency was not as high as it can be, but he got half the job right. Fogarty will need to work on finishing properly if he’s to become a top tier player. The medium forward picked up 14 disposals, three contested possessions and a goal. He had five goes at scoring but only kicked the one goal. If he sharpens up in the matches to come, those behinds could easily become goals.

Bailey Banfield

There must have been something in the water at the Optus Stadium because Banfield was one of three first year Fremantle players to cap his game off with over a 90 per cent efficiency. Banfield had 11 disposals – six contested – four tackles and a 91 per cent efficiency. He played some dominant football, and his clean plays were a big reason Fremantle came out on top.

Adam Cerra

Cerra played some efficient football in his second game against the Suns. The young man finished his game with an impressive 90 per cent efficiency from 10 disposals. He played smart football and made lots of clever decisions, but was quiet around the contested ball. Cerra is developing into a fine player along with all of Fremantle’s first year players, but will need to show he can get his own ball going forward.

Paddy Dow

The dynamic midfielder got to experience his first rivalry clash against Collingwood in Round 3. He got a decent amount of touches, taking home 15 disposals – six contested – with 67 per cent efficiency. Dow is slowly coming into his own, laying two tackles, three intercept possessions, and four score involvements. He is yet to have his big game yet but his efforts need to be noted nonetheless.

Keeping tabs: Standout draftees from Round 2

ROUND two provided many young draftees with the chance to improve upon their debut games. With nine clubs playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2018, fans finally got to see their new players up close. Many of the draftees put in some greatly improved performances this Easter Weekend. 

Luke Davies-Uniacke 

Davies-Uniacke impressed for North Melbourne in their Good Friday victory over St.Kilda. In what was certainly a scrappy game, ‘LDU’ laid five tackles, had 16 disposals and took three marks. His delivery by foot was excellent, recording a disposal efficiency of 75 per cent. Having spent time as an outside and inside midfielder, Davies-Uniacke’s in-and-under stoppage work was a highlight, totalling four clearances whilst also managing nine contested possessions. In what could be a tough year for the Kangaroos, Luke Davies-Uniacke will certainly give fans something to get excited about for the future.

Adam Cerra

Taken with pick five of last year’s national draft, Fremantle’s Adam Cerra made his debut in Optus Stadium’s purple christening. The classy onballer showcased why clubs rated him so highly as he collected nine disposals at 78 pe rcent efficiency and did not record a turnover. Spending most of the night up forward, Cerra kicked two goals and took three marks inside 50, proving his ability in attack. He seemed to make a positive impact with every possession against Essendon and will no-doubt continue to feature for Fremantle in 2018.

Andrew Brayshaw

After a heavy debut loss to Port at the Adelaide Oval, Brayshaw appeared more comfortable in front of the Dockers faithful. Playing on-ball in his 65 percent time on ground, he was not flashy but recorded 16 disposals, had 23 pressure acts (second for the Dockers behind debutant Mitch Crowden), four intercept possessions, five tackles and six inside 50s. As he looks to spend more time on ground in the coming weeks, expect Brayshaw to continue to fit in well at AFL level. 

Darcy Fogarty

Darcy Fogarty also made his home debut this round, in what was one of the biggest games of the season. In trademark fashion, Fogarty crashed plenty of packs, applied serious forward pressure and certainly let the Tigers defenders know of his presence. One particular incident saw ‘Fog’ hit premiership player Josh Caddy, making him earn his mark. As the game progressed, Fogarty was involved in a number of fiery incidents and he certainly did not back down. He calmly slotted two set shots which never looked like missing, demonstrating his terrific foot skills. Only recorded the seven disposals, but Fogarty took five marks and looks set to wreck havoc for opposition defences, building a formidable partnership with skipper Taylor Walker.  

Aaron Naughton

The Bulldogs key defender had his work cut out for him in round one, opposed to Giants forwards Jeremy Cameron for parts of the day. However, with superstar Josh Kennedy out for the Eagles, Naughton’s second game proved to be an easier one. He collected 12 disposals at 67 percent efficiency, six intercept possessions, seven marks (including two contested marks), 10 score involvements and sent the ball inside 50 on three occasions. For a key position player, Naughton has made a good, solid start to his AFL career, There’s little doubt he will continue to improve as he gains further experience. 

Liam Ryan

In just his second game, Liam Ryan starred in what was a fantastic victory for the West Coast Eagles. Ryan, taken from WAFL club Subiaco with pick 26 in the 2017 AFL National Draft, recorded 93 per cent of his 14 disposals in the attacking half, finishing the game with three majors. His aerial prowess was on display with three of his six marks being contested, including one screamer late in the opening quarter. The day could’ve been even more productive, considering he totalled three behinds. After years of being looked over by AFL clubs, Ryan is beginning to repay the Eagles recruiters. He has slotted seamlessly into the Eagles forward line, forming one half of a dangerous, electrifying duo with Willie Rioli, who made his debut on Sunday afternoon.

Tim Kelly

The mature-aged recruit continued his great form from round one with a sensational game against Hawthorn in the Easter Monday blockbuster. Kelly amasssed 27 disposals, six marks, four tackles and booted a goal, to be one of Geelong’s best in a high-pressure game. His 13 contested possessions were telling, also finishing the match with four clearances and seven inside 50s, looking as if he was more a 10-year veteran than a first year player.

Keeping tabs: Standout draftees from Round 1

ROUND one of the AFL kicked-off and with it came some familiar faces making the step up from the TAC Cup and National Under 18 Championships up into the big time. Fans got the opportunity to see how some of the new boys picked up during the off season fit in with their beloved clubs. There were some outstanding performances by the debutantes. These players adjusted well to the elite level and we got the chance to see how they might fair for the rest of the season. In what will become a weekly feature, Keeping tabs will track the progress of draftees and name the top performers from the weekend.

Bayley Fritsch

Fritsch opened Melbourne’s scoring with his first goal. It started the Demons off toward a fierce forward attack, and in the end, they came close to taking the win. The 21 year-old did not have much of the football after Geelong got tighter on the ball but he laid five important tackles and earned himself four contested possessions. His efficiency was a little under par but with some time he should see some improvements and develop some consistency.

Cam Rayner
The number one pick for the 2017 National Draft pulled on the boots for Brisbane on Saturday as they took on St Kilda at Etihad Stadium. He spent most of his time in the forward line, earning himself four contested possessions and a brilliantly crumbed goal. Running around in Jonathan Brown’s old jumper, Rayner did not shy away from the ball and attacked every play with ruthless intensity. He crashed the packs and demonstrated his potential as a key forward player. With some adjusting, Rayner should only become more damaging as a player as the season progresses.

Jaidyn Stephenson
Stephenson played some outstanding footy against Hawthorn on Saturday night. Looking comfortable at the elite level, Stephenson finished the game with 16 disposals and five contested possessions. His passing was clean and he did not shy away from taking on his man. He laid an impressive tackle along his forward 50 and smothered the ball off the kick after it spilled out. He was a highlight for Collingwood and was unfortunate not to top it off with a win.

Hunter Clark
Clark marched out with the Saints to take on the Lions in his first ever AFL match. He began the game a little shy around the ball, but was smooth enough with it when it found his hands. He positioned himself well around plays and demonstrated a few effective hand-passes to get the Saints out of congestion. With sharp kicking, Hunter was consistent in hitting his man, and even picked himself up his first goal for his career. He had a total of 12 disposals with a 75 percent efficiency. In time, Clark could see himself developing his slick brand of footy with the Saints and cement his spot in their best 22.

Darcy Fogarty
Fogarty came out the gate galloping with Crows in his first three appearances. He kicked one goal in his first JLT game against the Dockers, and three in his second against Port. He kept this intensity alive going into Round One against Essendon, kicking two goals in his first  AFL match. With only the six disposals, Fogarty managed to inflict some damage on the Bombers. He went hard at the ball and put pressure on his opposition. Fogarty is a forward in the making, and if he keeps up this level of football, could see himself take home the serious awards during his AFL career.

Lachie Fogarty
Fogarty’s effort may have been a bit overshadowed by the return of Gary Ablett, but Geelong’s young guns produced some enormous efforts. Fogarty capped his game off with 20 disposals and 10 contested possessions. He had a 70 per cent disposal efficiency, four intercept possessions and kicked a goal. At pick 22 in the 2017 AFL National Draft, Fogarty played a far more damaging role for his side than other clubs may have anticipated. He was a decent utility throughout the game for Geelong and has the potential to go far in his career if he uses the Cats’ current midfield group as the standard he needs to reach.

Tim Kelly
Another first gamer for Geelong, Kelly smashed expectations with his first game. The South Australian applied some good pressure, hit his man, kicked his first goal and ended the game with a brilliant 27 disposals. He was a star for Geelong as seen through his 70 per cent efficiency. He adapted well to match their elite level of football and earned himself an outstanding 13 contested possessions, only second to Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver. This young man was outstanding overall, and played like a seasoned AFL player.

Andrew Brayshaw
The number two draft selection had a solid outing in his debut game, racking up 12 disposals for Fremantle in the Dockers’ heavy loss to Port Adelaide. Brayshaw had four kicks and eight handballs, along with two clearances, running at 75 per cent disposal efficiency. Throw in three marks and two tackles from 66 per cent time on ground, Brayshaw made the most of his time on the big stage.

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

Victorian cricketer headlines 2017 AFL Draft Combine invites

VICTORIAN Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy headlines the 83 players invited to take part in the 2017 AFL Draft Combine.

Murphy has recently turned his focus to football, with the Brighton Grammar student booting 19 goals in the Victorian APS school boy competition as one of the more impressive medium talls in the competition. Murphy was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad, averaging over 22 disposals in his three games, including a three-goal haul against Bendigo Pioneers and the invite to the testing will give clubs an idea regarding his athletic ability after cricket has largely been the focus of the talented teenager.

The AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least four AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 29 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro won back-to-back titles in the Under 18 Championships, as the clear standout across the carnival.

At the Combine, draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL.

Possible number one candidates Adam Cerra, Nicholas Coffield, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Rayner will be keen to show off their athletic traits and will be a few players expected to have an important batch of interviews at the Combine.

Larke Medalist Oscar Allen is one of a number of Western Australia players invited.

In sweeping changes to the 2017 format, the Beep test and 3km time trial have been scrapped. The Beep Test has been replaced by the Yo-Yo run, with the AFL and combine sub-committee believing the beep test wasn’t the most accurate measure to predict fitness levels for team sports. The 3km time trial has been cut back to 2km, falling in line with the majority of AFL clubs who use the 2km run in their programs.

The clean hands test and the 30m repeat sprints test have been removed, with more time allocated to club interviews and medical screenings this year.

Possible Collingwood father-son Tyler Brown is one of 10 Eastern Ranges players selected. Brown was overlooked for Vic Metro selection, but has impressed for Marcellin College in AGSV School Football and for the Ranges in the TAC Cup.

Ed Richards is another with Collingwood links, as the son of Kane Richards, whose late father Ron played 143 games for the Pies. Ron Richards’ brother was Collingwood legend Lou.

Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish has also been invited, with Naish averaging 21 disposals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Hugh Dixon is the sole representative from Tasmania, with 11 players selected from the Allies squad.

Adam Sambono (Northern Territory) and Tim Kelly (Western Australia) are the only two mature-agers selected for the combine, with the pair both impressing at NEAFL and WAFL level respectively.

Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.

The National Combine will begin on Tuesday, October 3 and go through to Friday, October 6 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

Vic Metro

Noah Balta (Calder Cannons)
Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Tyler Brown (Eastern Ranges)
Adam Cerra (Eastern Ranges)
Nick Coffield (Northern Knights)
Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons)
Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets)
Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges)
Sam Hayes (Eastern Ranges)
Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Hayden McLean (Sandringham Dragons)
Dylan Moore (Eastern Ranges)
Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Mynott (Eastern Ranges)
Patrick Naish (Northern Knights)
Tom North (Eastern Ranges)
Ethan Penrith (Northern Knights)
Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Cameron Rayner (Western Jets)
Ned Reeves (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ed Richards (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jackson Ross (Eastern Ranges)
Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges)
Ryley Stoddart (Eastern Ranges)
Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Walker (Sandringham Dragons)
Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers)

Vic Country

Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Hunter Clark (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Clavarino (Dandenong Stingrays)
Brent Daniels (Benigo Pioneers)
Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays)
Tom De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aiden Domic (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ethan Floyd (Geelong Falcons)
David Handley (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Henderson (Bendigo Pioneers)
Changkouth Jiath (Gippsland Power)
Jordan Johnston (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Harrison Jones (Murray Bushrangers)
Matthew Ling (Geelong Falcons)
Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons)
Matthew McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Lloyd Meek (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)
Lochie O’Brien (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers)
Angus Schumacher (Bendigo Pioneers)
James Worpel (Geelong Falcons)

Western Australia

Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco)
Oscar Allen (West Perth)
Callan England (Claremont)
Kyron Hayden (Subiaco)
Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Ben Miller (Subiaco)
Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder)
Jake Patmore (Claremont)
Brandon Starcevich (East Perth)
Sam Taylor (Swan Districts)

South Australia

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)
Harrison Petty (Norwood)

NSW-ACT

Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers)
Brendan Myers (Wagga Tigers/GWS academy)
Jack Powell (Ainsli/GWS academy)
Nicholas Shipley (St George/GWS academy)
Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland

Connor Ballenden (Wests Juniors/Brisbane Lions academy)
Brayden Crossley (Labrador/Gold Coast Suns academy)
Jack Payne (Noosa/Brisbane Lions academy)

Northern Territory

Zac Bailey (Southern Districts/Norwood)
Adam Sambono (NT Thunder)

Tasmania

Hugh Dixon (Kingborough Tigers)