Tag: Tim Taranto

TAC Cup finals preview: Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers

IT is that time of year again where the best sides take to the field and determine which TAC Cup clubs are contenders and which are pretenders. In the past years, the junior competition has seen the finals series take on the identical look to that of the AFL, but in 2017, the finals will be three weeks of pure knockout. The last two games to kick off the round are second taking on seventh and fourth playing fifth. So without further adue, we take a look at the fourth match of the finals series.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers

Sandringham: 4th, 11-7, 1360 points for, 1104 points against, 123%
Murray: 5th, 10-8, 1574 points for, 1380 points against, 114%

Not much has separated Sandringham and Murray all season, but based off the scores alone it is clear Sandringham play a patient, possession game and restrict their opponents defensively and are not afraid of a dog fight. Murray on the other hand have the most points for of any TAC Cup side, but have also conceded 176 points more than any of the top four sides.

Sandringham come into the match with some indifferent form, having won just one match of their past four – a 45-point win over Northern last week after losses to fellow finalists Dandenong, Oakleigh and Eastern, albeit all by a combined 24 points. But Murray’s formline heading into the finals series is one of the worst of all teams, with just an 82-point thrashing of Bendigo Pioneers amongst five losses, including defeats to bottom four sides Calder Cannons and GWV Rebels, as well as seventh and eighth placed sides Gippsland Power and Northern Knights.

Back on May 13, Murray got the better of Sandringham in a 23-point win at Norm Minns Oval. On that day, Ben Paton had 26 disposals and four inside 50s, while Will Donaghey and Angus Hicks had a combined 40 disposals and 10 inside 50s. Meanwhile Hamish Brayshaw had a typical performance with a lazy 32 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances, eight tackles, five inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals, while Max Lohan (20 disposals, 10 rebounds), Quintin Montanaro (22 disposals, four clearances) and Aaron Trusler (18 disposals, two goals) were also solid in defeat.

Key players:

Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons) 23.1 disposals, 6.1 marks, 2.7 tackles, 1.0 goals

The potential top 10 pick has been ultra-consistent this season, but I am looking forward to seeing if he can really take control in the finals series and being this year’s Tim Taranto. He has a big frame and is so well balanced and he is a player that can do some serious damage to opposition teams. I called for a lift from Luke Davies-Uniacke in yesterday’s game and he duly delivered, so now Charlie it is over to you for a best on ground performance.

Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers) 23.5 disposals, 5.0 marks, 3.5 tackles, 0.2 goals

The rebounding over-age defender will be crucial in Murray’s quest for a win here given Jordon Butts is out with injury. While Butts’ loss is offset by the injury to Hayden McLean, top 10 pick next year Max King returns and slots straight into a key forward post. Despite being ill in recent weeks, Paton will need to provide plenty of intercept marks and rebound if his side is to win.

The Final Word:

Looking at pure form and potential it is hard to go past Sandringham in this match. The reigning premiers have a ridiculous amount of players who have been nominated for the national and state draft combines and their depth is crazy good. The Bushrangers produced their best earlier in the season, but will need to rekindle that form if they are to be a chance in this game as the return of the star players from the National Under 18s Championships have dropped Murray down a peg or two.

Matt Balmer’s 2016 Final AFL Draft Power Rankings Part 2

EVERY month since May, Matt Balmer has ranked his players from the 2016 AFL Draft pool. With less than two weeks until the November 25 National AFL Draft, he counts down the players ranked 50-1. You can find the players Matt has ranked 50-26 here

Well what a year it has been. Looking back at May’s rankings, it’s amazing how things can change after Sam Petrevski-Seton was #1 all those months ago. We have had injuries such as Jy Simpkin and Alex Witherden breaking their legs in separate school game incidents, while names have jumped up with strong performances throughout the season and in finals.

Having seen just under 100 games throughout the season, it is always hard to come to a final order and I have ranked the players how I would if I was an AFL club going into the draft come November, ticking names off the list as they are called out.

This list is purely how I rate the players and is not a mock draft. 

#25 Cedric Cox
Outside Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
19/08/1997 | 181.1cm | 78.6kg

Cedric Cox came from nowhere to find himself as one of the more exciting prospects in 2016. Cox hails from Halls Creek and after a steller interleague game in the Hampden FNL, Cox was added to the North Ballarat Rebels’ list. Whilst not a huge ball winner, his ability to rebound the ball at speed is his strength and he disposes of it well off either foot. Cox begun the All Stars match on fire, before fading badly. Pushed forward in the TAC Cup finals for the Rebels, but seems most at home playing across half back. Is the cousin of Sam Petrevski-Seton and has recently been visited by clubs in his home town in Halls Creek over the last few weeks. Might be a surprise first round selection.

#24 Jordan Ridley
General Defender (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 191.9cm | 79.7kg

Jordan Ridley is a tall rebounding defender who is composed with ball in hand. He talents were on show in the Chargers’ elimination final win over the Calder Cannons, where he floated across the Calder forwards marking the ball and rebounding it well. When he has the ball at half back, he is composed and makes good decisions to take the game forward. He has pushed further up onto a wing at times, as well as playing up forward as a key target. His composed nature means he likely plays half back in an AFL environment, but will need to add some size to his frame where is he built very strongly below his waist. Injured his shoulder in the TAC Cup Finals against North Ballarat.

#23 Josh Battle
General Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192.0cm | 88.5kg

Josh Battle has one of the best ‘Footy IQs’ in the 2016 draft pool. Battle reads the play superbly inside 50 and his endurance is another one of his major assets when he gets up the ground on long leads. Battle can kick quick bags of goals and his fluid set shot routine means he kicks more than he missing, where he kicks the ball well through whether he is 20m or 55m out from goal. A Year 11 boy at Haileybury College will likely see him stay in Victoria wherever he is drafted to complete his schooling, similar to how Patrick Dangerfield and Jack Watts have done in the past. An ok mark overhead, but at 192cm it is unlikely he can play as a number one tall in an AFL environment. Can just be a straight line runner and will need to work on his agility.

#22 Sam Powell-Pepper
Inside Midfielder (East Perth/Western Australia)
08/01/1998 | 186.5cm | 90.2kg

Sam Powell-Pepper can have some moments that make you go wow. Some of these moments want you to cross his name off your list, whereas others make you more and more intrigued the more you watch. His decision making needs work, with a passage against South Australia in the Under 18 championships one to forget – as does his kicking which was below 50 per cent in the WAFL League, AFL Academy games and the Under 18 Championships. To Powell-Pepper’s credit, his kicking and decision making improved towards the latter half of the season and was much better throughout the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game. The powerful midfielder can win the ball in the contest and burst away from opposition players. Plays not too similar to a Dustin Martin.

#21 Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 195.5cm | 90.9kg

Twelve months ago, if you didn’t have Harrison Macreadie written down as a top five prospects your ability to follow junior football would’ve been question. Whatever has led to him dropping down the rankings, i’m not too sure but after being moved schools by the Giants earlier this season his form in 2016 hasn’t been able to reach what it was in 2015. He finished the year better than he started in the NEAFL, but in the Under 18 championships he was below that expected from him. Is a good rebounder who can intercept mark the ball – but one-on-one work will need some work. May turn into a midfielder at the next level pushing onto a wing or across half back.

#20 Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185.2cm | 82.1kg

Daniel Venables is an aggressive midfielder who can break through opposition tackles at ease. He has had a few injury concerns with a foot injury seeing him in a moon boot for the latter part of the season as well as a bad concussion earlier in the season. Venables has a powerful burst from the stoppages and has the ability to hit the scoreboard. Later in the season he played across half back for PEGS, but his best footy is on the inside or playing up forward. Didn’t put a full game together in 2016, but his flashes were simply outstanding.

#19 Will Hayward
Medium forward (North Adelaide/South Australia)
26/10/1998 | 184.7cm | 76.6kg

Will Hayward is the medium forward who has played tall in the SANFL U18s. His marking is outstanding and is good in the one-one-one contests for his size. He kicked nine goals in a SANFL U18s final where he truly dominated. Is clean below his knees, but may need some work on his set shot routine and technique at the next level. Booted eight goals in the Under 18 championships for South Australia but didn’t get too much recognition. Has some midfield craft and did a few nice things there in the midfield through the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game at Punt Road on Grand Final Day Eve. Could be a top 10 smokey.

#18 Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 196.6cm | 85.9kg

Todd Marshall is an athletic tall with a strong pair of dukes. Still raw only returning to AFL full time in 2016, after spending two winters in the UK playing cricket. At times his set shot goal kicking routine can see him hook the ball across his leg. Played his best game of the season in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final, where he had seven marks imposing himself on the game – but then followed that up with two quiet games in the important TAC Cup Grand Final and NAB AFL U18 All Stars contest. His flashes can be very good, but is yet to put a full game together and the consistency side of things is what is stopping him being worthy of a top 10 selection.

#17 Jy Simpkin
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
05/03/1998 | 181.7cm | 74.7kg

Jy Simpkin is a crafty small forward who burst onto the scene with seven goals in six Under 18 championship games in 2015. Knows where the goals are- but does he become a full time midfielder at AFL level? Broke his leg at school football earlier in the season for Scotch College in their game against Caulfield Grammar. Was good to see him around the draftees after needing a second surgery after infection, helping move the magnets around in the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game. Didn’t test at the combine, but has begun to kick the football again. May stake a claim to be a top 15 selection.

#16 Alex Witherden
Medium Defender (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
10/05/1998 | 186.2cm | 80.0kg

Alex Witherden is another talented prospect who missed a big chunk of 2016. Witherden suffered a broken leg playing school football for Geelong College against St Kevin’s College and missed the remainder of the season. A very good kid who has done all he can to ensure he’ll be ready to go when the preseason kicks off at his AFL club. His vision and kicking are two of his greatest strengths and these were on show early in the season for the Geelong Falcons. Witherden can play a role in multiple positions and will be able to fill a role where required. Is composed in traffic and is agile enough to get around opponents in close. Could be one of the steals of the draft.

#15 Oliver Florent
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 182.0cm | 74.4kg

Oliver Florent is an exciting half forward/outside midfielder. In his usual eye catching orange boots, Florent has plenty of X-Factor around the ball inside 50. Liked his work last year for Sandringham and has continued that into this season. Outside midfielder who is a capable overhead mark. A good kick around the ground, but does have the ability to shank the odd kick on the run. Looks likely to start his AFL career as a half forward and push onto a wing. Has pushed through a family loss and finished the season on a high with a TAC Cup Grand Final win and best afield in the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game where he had 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s – despite coming off a five-day break on a hard Etihad Stadium surface.

#14 Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 183.2cm | 83.7kg

Brad Scheer is a tough inside midfielder who just gets the job done with plenty of clearances. His strong contested work is his strength and he won the Allies the match against Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, with a snap deep in the pocket (Video can be found here). A heel injury kept him out of the combine and the NAB AFL U18 All Stars selection. Good runner around the ground, who likely receives a late first round or second round bid for the Gold Coast academy member.

#13 Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 191.9cm | 77.4kg

Josh Rotham is a hybrid defender who has played both tall and small this season. Against VFL opposition was undersized playing key back for the AFL Academy, but looked best in the championships further up the ground, wonder if he becomes a midfielder in the future? Strong mark who got better as the championships went on and is one of the top handful of kickers in this draft pool. Possesses elite speed but probably didn’t come on in 2016 as some would’ve hoped.

#12 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 191.0cm | 93.9kg

Strong lockdown defender who doesn’t lose too many one-on-ones. Rowing background at school has helped his physic, with a strong upper body enabling to outmuscle his opponents. Pinch hit in the ruck in the final match for WA in the Under 18 championships and kicks the ball well off his left foot. Has the tendency to double grab the ball when he possesses it – but overall looks to be the best key position player in the draft pool. Could play from Round one and it’s believed the Swans have been keeping close tabs on him. His work in the 3km run to mow down Josh Battle was an outstanding bit of gut strength. Despite his height (191cm), Logue should be able to match it with strong opposition forwards.

#11 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 189.4cm | 79.7kg

Will Setterfield is a tall midfielder who is still finding his feet as to where he best plays his football. The GWS Giants academy member was down on form in the championships, carrying a foot niggle. Can play in multiple positions, but looks best forward of centre. Needs some consistency as can float in and out of games. Setterfield laid 16 tackles in a huge performance for the Sandringham Dragons in their elimination final against Eastern Ranges, before suffering an AC-joint injury in the preliminary final which saw the AFL Academy rule him out of the TAC Cup Grand Final and the NAB AFL U18 All Stars contest. His hands in close are very good and is firmly in the Bombers sights at Pick 1- But the million dollar question is will they bid on him at Pick 1?

#10 Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 178.0cm | 76.2kg

Ben Ainsworth is a strong overhead mark and has the ability to change a game in 10 minutes. An interupted season with injury and suspension, but has had more midfield time in recent months. Booted four goals before being shut down by Andrew McGrath for Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, with one of his best games through the midfield being against South Australia. Did push through the midfield at TAC Cup level, but was against poor opposition including a junk time 15 disposals in the final term in the Power’s final TAC Cup outing. Damaging inside 50 but can be a bit goal hungry at stages. Ainsworth has declared his love to be drafted for the Brisbane Lions and seems likely to be heading interstate with a top five selection.

#9 Tim English
Ruckman (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
10/08/1997 | 204.7cm | 89.5kg

Tim English is a tall ruckman who uses his strong leap in the ruck contests. Only averaged 13 disposals through the championships, but showed plenty with his ability to find and dispose of the ball well off his right boot. Could mount a case that his kicking is better than some of the midfielders in the draft. Some think he may have the ability to play as a tall defender, such is his ability to read the play and kick the ball. Will need to add some size before he reaches the AFL, but is likely to be one of the few ruckman drafted in 2016.

#8 Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 183.9cm | 79.4kg

GWS academy member Harry Perryman is a good decision maker, reads the play well. He didn’t look out of place, where he was composed off the half back flank throughout the championships. Kicks on both feet and ideally will transition into the midfield. Does lack speed that some of the other midfielders have. Caught clubs eyes in 2015 when he booted goals for Collingullie-GP in 2015 when clubs flocked to see 2015 draftee Matthew Kennedy play. Was impressive in the trial game for NSW-ACT at the start of the season and won their MVP- as well as claiming the Allies’. Expect a bid in the teens on draft night.

#7 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193.1cm | 83.7kg

Sandringham Dragons’ Jack Scrimshaw is a hybrid defender that is better playing small than tall. Scrimshaw plays with plenty of X-Factor and is appealing to the eye across defence. He can dash in between packs, take some eye catching marks and pinpoint a left foot pass that looks impossible to the naked eye. His versatility is appealing to clubs as there is no position he couldn’t play, with teammate Andrew McGrath declaring he could even play in the ruck if required. Scrimshaw pushed onto a wing during the championships and in the TAC Cup he has floated forward on occasions, most notably in the TAC Cup Finals and particular the second half of the Grand Final. He does look most at home controlling the defence. Mutliple injuries have affected him over the last two seasons, but has been injury free since mid year. If Scrimshaw wants to become an inside midfielder, in the ‘Bontempelli’ category he will need to improve his competitiveness and contested ball winning abilities.

#6 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 179.7cm | 72.7kg

Sam Petrevski-Seton is an exciting midfielder who has the ability to use either side of his body. Looked a touch underdone in the championships returning from hamstring issues. Not a noted huge disposal winner, but does have x-factor about him. Isn’t a midfielder that hits the scoreboard with just one goal for Claremont this season. Performed well in the WAFL Colts Grand Final- but I was disappointed we didn’t get a chance to see him push into the Reserves or League team. His All Stars match saw him collect 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances where he was outstanding. Is one of the midfielders in the draft that has plenty of pace to burn.

#5 Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 188.0cm | 82.4kg

Will Brodie is a strong inside midfielder and is one of the best clearance players in the draft. Goes in hard at the ball, can’t see him being anything less than a 200 game AFL footballer. Real professional, could step into an AFL team in Round One next season. Kicking has improved from earlier in the season. Brodie had a very quiet game with just the 12 disposals in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final for the Bushrangers. He collided with the umpire in the opening quarter of the TAC Cup Grand Final, leaving his nose bloodied. Finished the day with 22 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles, but I thought bar a patch in the third term his day was largely influential. Sat out the All Stars game through injury and clubs have questioned his finish to the season and his ball winning ability. Wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him fall outside the top 10.

#4 Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 185.6cm | 84.1kg

Tim Taranto is an athletic forward that can play through the midfield. Very good in traffic, helped by his basketball background. Willing to give the ball off to teammates in better positions. Strong overhead mark means he has the ability to play deeper inside 50, where he has plenty of smarts and can hit the scoreboard. Has plenty of shots on goal. Taranto capped off his steller finals series with best on ground honours for the All Stars match. Four goals from 19 disposals was outstanding and his ability to play inside, along with up forward sees him push into top five selection come draft night – the only question is whether Gold Coast will nab him at four or will Carlton collect him at five that is of course is the Giants overlooked him with Pick two. Had 29, 23 and 31 disposals in his final three games in the TAC Cup for the Dragons.

#3 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187.0cm | 77.7kg

Jack Bowes is a silky smooth midfielder who doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. He moves well through traffic, willing to pump the ball long inside 50. Was a slow starter for the Allies but got better with each game in division one. Gold Coast Academy member. Did not look out of place playing in the NEAFL and his first diposal in their Elimination Final loss just screamed elite. Is an absolute farce that a bid might not come on the talented Gold Coast teen until Pick 9. If not for McGrath’s huge TAC Cup Finals, Bowes would’ve been my number two on my rankings and he has been a great performer right from the opening AFL Academy game at the beginning of the season to the final NAB AFL U18 All Stars game at Punt Road.

#2 Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 177.4cm | 76.7kg

Andrew McGrath is an exciting rebounder from defence. The agile runner has an elite athletics background and is not afraid to take the game on- with that comes his kicking which can be shaky at stages when he tries to break the game open. Can win his own ball on the inside too. Depth of kicking over 50m a question mark, but McGrath gives you 10m in run and a 40m kick to your advantage. Excellent leadership skills as indicated by being Co-Captain of Vic Metro and school captain of Brighton Grammar School. Can play last line of defence and shut down an opponent as indicated by blanketing Ben Ainsworth & Jaidyn Stephenson. Has had a huge year, which included a steller interschool athletics carnival that saw him blitz the 100metres running a sub 11 second time. Racked up huge numbers in the TAC Cup Finals and his 38 disposal & eight clearance effort in the Grand Final saw him earn the TAC Medal for best on ground. Should be ready for action come Round One. I am expecting him to be a Bomber come next week.

#1 Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185.8cm | 75.9kg

Despite McGrath’s huge season, McCluggage remains as my Number One on my ‘Power Rankings’- which he has held since August. He appears like Scott Pendlebury in traffic, making everything appear in slow motion. Clears the ball with ease via quick hands or off his preferred right boot. A few people questioning his contested ball winning abilities, but averaged 20 disposals in the Under 18 Championships (43 per cent contested). McCluggage’s contested numbers are similar at TAC Cup level and has been able to deal with the extra attention from opponents. McCluggage had some great moments in the Rebels’ semi-final loss. McCluggage collected 25 disposals, but did lack some polish by foot. His game in the All Stars match was outstanding, with the goal kicking mid slotting four majors alongside having 17 disposals. Goal kicking midfielders don’t grow on trees, but all the mail as of late will be that Essendon may overlook the talented Rebel.

 

So that’s my players ranked 25-1, if you want to know more: Send me a Tweet @MattBalmer7 – Keep your eye out for our ‘early’ Phantom Draft online later this week.

Stars to shine bright at the National AFL Draft Combine

ben-jarman

FOR the draft crop of 2016, the National 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 five 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.

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. A total of 81 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.

Matt Balmer takes a look at who might be the standouts in the testing which runs from Friday to Sunday.


Thursday:

Players will begin to arrive at Etihad Stadium before a welcome will be held for all 81 players in attendence. Not all players will be able to test due to injuries, but they will sit in on interviews and medicals with clubs early in the combine.

Thursday also sees heights and weight taken, along with all the body sizing and measurements such as skin folds and tricept sizes. My spies have told me Ollie Florent will be a likely winner for the biggest hands at the combine.

The media will also be in attendance on Thursday afternoon with Kevin Sheehan speaking alongside Jonty Scharenberg, Jy Simpkin and Sam Powell-Pepper.

Friday:

More medicals and interviews for players when they arrive for another day. Friday night from 7pm-9.30pm will be the hand balling, kicking and goal kicking tests.

The Matthew Lloyd clean hands/handpassing test measures how well a player collects the football and is able to dispose of it using a handball. There are three targets set up on both the left and right side at distances of 6m, 8m and 10m. An official will roll out or throw a ball at the player and instruct them where to handball the ball to. This is done six times and a score from 1-5 is allocated to each handball depending on how good it is.

Who could win? Hugh McCluggage‘s hands in stoppages are outstanding, whilst Andrew McGrath has the highest TAC Cup handball efficiency with 93 per cent of his handballs hitting the target.

The Brad Johnson goal kicking test will measure a players accuracy kicking for goal. Four kicking points are designated with players taking five kicks in total; two set shots (35m out in either pocket), two snaps (20m out, one left foot and one right foot) and one kick on the run (40m out directly in front). The player has 70 seconds to complete the test. A score is then worked out from the amount of goals and behinds a player kicks.

Who could win? Vic Country forward Josh Battle has a superb kick on him from short or long range distances in front of goal. Again, Hugh McCluggage has shown he can push forward and hit the scoreboard throughout 2016.

The Nathan Buckley kicking test measures players kicking efficiency over six kicks. Six targets (three on each side) are set out at distances of 20m, 30m and 40m. An official will call out a target at random to the kick, who will then to proceed to hit the target. Each kick is given a score from one to five, with five being a perfect kick.

Who could win? West Australian Josh Rotham is one of the best kicks in the draft pool, his teammate tall ruckman Tim English is another who uses the ball well. Harry Morrison, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Alex Villis and Harry Perryman are others that should perform well in this test.

Saturday:

The biggest day of the carnival will see sprints, agility, jumps and the beep test held on the purpose built floor on Etihad.

Sprints will be held in the morning , whilst the afternoon will conclude with the beep test.

Who could win in the sprints? Exciting WA midfielder Shai Bolton will test extremely well in both the 20m sprint and the agility test. Back in 2014, Bolton ran a sub 3s 20m sprint and under 8s for the agility test, considered elite.

Brandan Parfitt and Cedric Cox are among others who has shown off their speed at times this season while Jordan Gallucci should perform well in the agility test. Vic Country teammates Ben Ainsworth (8.00 seconds) and Jarrod Berry (7.80 seconds) were superb in TAC Cup preseason testing, while Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish was just behind Berry running 7.81 seconds. Queenslander Josh Williams showed a remarkable dash of speed in a division two National Under 18s Championships game earlier in the season.

Murray Bushrangers tall Esava Ratugolea is another who tested well in the past (2.92s) as has South Australian excitement machine Kym Lebois.

The vertical leap test is always an interesting test with vertical jump and running vertical jump (left and right foot) measured.

Who could win in the jumps? South Australian tall utility Brennan Cox was superb in the preseason testing in the SANFL, recording over 90cm off either foot in the running vertical jump. Ruckman Tim English, Esava Ratugolea and Tony Olango could test well above their counterparts, but it was Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish who beat all comers in the TAC Cup preseason testing with a vertical leap of 81cm.

The shuttle run/beep test or multistage fitness test depending on where you’re from is another that is closely watched by clubs. Most are looking for kids to push out one last level on the test, rather than take the easy option and drop out early. Sometimes the dedication and commitment from players can lead to them ‘spewing’ up their lunch- but an effect that some clubs might put down as a big tick in their notebook.

Who could win in the beep test? Tim Taranto will be an early front runner, having run a 15.9 in the preseason. His Sandringham Dragons team mate Ollie Florent is another who might perform well. If Jack Graham tests, he could be South Australia’s best.

Sunday:

The final day of the combine will see the 3km time trial run in groups of 10-15. The 3km time trial is one of the most strutinised tests, players pushing themselves to the limit deserve a pat on the back- while those that cruse through without little effect might come under the eyes of recruiters when they pour over all their data.

The 3km time trial has gotten faster every season, with the record being broken for three years running.

Who could win the 3km time trial? Possible number one draft pick Andrew McGrath should run well, but will his heavy work load over the last few months affect him? Again Tim Taranto will be another who could perform well.


Invites:

Small Defenders/Midfielders/Forwards

Ben Ainsworth- Vic Country
Liam Baker- Western Australia
Shai Bolton- Western Australia
Callum Brown- Vic Metro
Cedric Cox- Vic Country
Joshua Daicos- Vic Metro
Zac Fisher- Western Australia
Ben Jarman- South Australia
Kym Lebois- South Australia
Andrew McGrath- Vic Metro
Brandan Parfitt- Northern Territory
Tyson Stengle- South Australia

Medium Defenders 

Jarrod Berry- Vic Country
Isaac Cumming- NSW/ACT
Taylin Duman- Vic Metro
Ben Long- NT
Bailey Morrish- Vic Country
Harry Morrison- Vic Country
Harry Perryman- NSW/ACT
Sam Walker- South Australia
Tom Williamson- Vic Country
Alex Witherden- Vic Country
Alex Villis- South Australia

Tall Defenders

Brennan Cox- South Australia
Ryan Garthwaite- NSW/ACT
Elliot Himmelberg- Queensland
Griffin Logue- Western Australia
Harrison Macreadie- NSW/ACT
Jack Maibaum- Vic Metro
Sam McLarty- Vic Metro
Jordan Ridley- Vic Metro
Joshua Rotham- Western Australia
Jack Scrimshaw- Vic Metro
Declan Watson- Queensland

Medium Midfielders

Jacob Allison- Queensland
Joseph Atley- Vic Country
Hamish Brayshaw- Vic Metro
Will Brodie- Vic Country
Jack Bowes- Queensland
Dylan Clarke- Vic Metro
Willem Drew- Vic Country
Judah Dundon- Vic Metro
Jordan Gallucci- Vic Metro
Jack Graham- South Australia
Matt Guelfi- Western Australia
Oscar Junker- Vic Metro
Hugh McCluggage- Vic Country
Kobe Mutch- NSW/ACT
Sam Petrevski-Seton- Western Australia
Myles Poholke- Vic Country
Sam Powell-Pepper- Western Australia
Luke Ryan- VFL
Jonty Scharenberg- South Australia
Will Setterfield- NSW/ACT
Daniel Venables- Vic Metro
Josh Williams- Queensland

Medium Forwards

Joshua Begley- Vic Metro
Benjamin Davis- NSW/ACT
Sam Fisher- NSW/ACT
Oliver Florent- Vic Metro
Will Hayward- South Australia
Mitchell Hinge- South Australia
Patrick Lipinski- Vic Metro
Quinton Narkle- Western Australia
Mark O’Connor- International
Brad Scheer- Queensland
Jy Simpkin- Vic Country
Tim Taranto- Vic Metro
Cameron Zurhaar- Western Australia

Tall Forwards/Rucks

Josh Battle- Vic Country
Sean Darcy- Vic Country
Timothy English- Western Australia
Jack Henry- Vic Country
Patrick Kerr- Vic Metro
Max Lynch- NSW/ACT
Todd Marshall- NSW/ACT
Mitchell McCarthy- Vic Country
Tony Olango- NT
Esava Ratugolea- Vic Country
Zachary Sproule- NSW/ACT
Jake Waterman- Western Australia

By the states:

International (1):
NSW/ACT (11):
Northern Territory (3):
Queensland (6):
South Australia (10):
Vic Country (18):
VFL (1):
Vic Metro (19):
Western Australia (12):

Matt Balmer’s October Power Rankings

Friday's Under 18 All Stars match saw the best draftees go head-to-head at Punt Road Oval.
Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match saw the best draftees go head-to-head at Punt Road Oval.

In an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

Well, what a season it has been. Games are done and dusted for the season, with Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match showcasing some of the very best draft prospects for 2016. The AFL National Combine runs from Thursday to Sunday, with clubs casting their eye over the 2016 draft prospects.

U18 ALL STARS ULTIMATE REVIEW

You can read Matt Balmer‘s September edition of his Power Rankings here:


This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185cm | 75kg
Previous Ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Appears like Scott Pendlebury in traffic, making everything appear in slow motion. Clears the ball with ease via quick hands or off his preferred right boot. A few people questioning his contested ball winning abilities, but averaged 20 disposals in the Under 18 Championships (43 per cent contested). McCluggage’s contested numbers are similar at TAC Cup level and has been able to deal with the extra attention from opponents.

Last month: McCluggage had some great moments in the Rebels’ semi-final loss. McCluggage collected 25 disposals, but did lack some polish by foot. His game in the All Stars match was outstanding, with the goal kicking mid slotting four majors alongside having 17 disposals.

#2 Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: Exciting rebounder from defence. Agile runner with an elite athletics background. Not afraid to take the game on- with that comes his kicking which can be shaky at stages when he tries to break the game open. Can win his own ball on the inside too. Depth of kicking over 50m a question mark, but McGrath gives you 10m in run and a 40m kick to your advantage. Excellent leadership skills. Can play last line of defence and shut down an opponent as indicated by blanketing Ben Ainsworth & Jaidyn Stephenson.

Last month: McGrath was a crucial figure for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup finals, which saw him rack up 27 disposals v Dandenong, 32 disposals v Geelong (including 14 in the final quarter) and a mammoth 38 disposal effect in their winning TAC Cup Grand Final. McGrath moved to the half back flank after half time and 28 second-half disposals saw him win best on ground honours. Still had 18 disposals in the All Stars game but was quieter, with a five day break off a hard Etihad Stadium surface looking to take its toll. Certainly been a big year.

#3 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg
Previous Ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Silky smooth midfielder who doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. Moves well through traffic, willing to pump the ball long inside 50. Was a slow starter for the Allies but got better with each game in division one. Gold Coast Academy member. Did not look out of place playing in the NEAFL.

Last month: Bowes played just the one game in the All Stars match racking up 23 disposals. His silky smooth approach sees him work hard in the contested situations. If not for McGrath’s huge TAC Cup finals, Bowes would still be my #2. Gold Coast has a gem.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JACK BOWES

#4 Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 186cm | 82kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Athletic forward that can play through the midfield. Very good in traffic, helped by his basketball background. Willing to give the ball off to teammates in better positions. Strong overhead mark means he has the ability to play deeper inside 50, where he has plenty of smarts and can hit the scoreboard. Has plenty of shots on goal.

Last month: Taranto just capped off his steller finals series with best on ground honours for the All Stars match. Four goals from 19 disposals was outstanding and his ability to play inside, along with up forward sees him jump this high in my rankings. Had 29, 23 and 31 disposals in his final three games in the TAC Cup for the Dragons.

#5 Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 189cm | 82kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Strong inside midfielder, one of the best clearance players in the draft. Goes in hard at the ball, can’t see him being anything less than a 200 game AFL footballer. Real professional, could step into an AFL team in Round One next season. Kicking has improved from earlier in the season.

Last month: Brodie had a very quiet game with just the 12 disposals in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final for the Bushrangers. He collided with the umpire in the opening quarter of the TAC Cup Grand Final, leaving his nose bloodied. Finished the day with 22 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles, but I thought bar a patch in the third term his day was largely influential. Sat out the All Stars game through injury.

#6 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg
Previous Ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Exciting midfielder who has the ability to use either side of his body. Looked a touch underdone in the championships returning from hamstring issues. Not a noted huge disposal winner, but does have x-factor about him. Isn’t a midfielder that hits the scoreboard with just one goal for Claremont this season.

Last month: Petrevski-Seton continued to find the football in Claremont’s final series in the WAFL Colts. I still would have liked him to have played higher WAFL up than he did. 21 disposals and six tackles in the Grand Final was a great effort. His All Stars match saw him collect 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances where he was outstanding. Is one of the midfielders in the draft that has plenty of pace to burn.

#7 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm, 77kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Hybrid defender that is better playing small than tall. Nice long left boot, where he looks best at home across the half back flank. At stages has pushed onto a wing, which might be his finishing position thanks to a strong disposal efficiency. Has had multiple injuries in the last 18 months so will need to stay fit for the rest of the season to show clubs he’s over them. His ability to weave through traffic coming out of half back is elite.

Last month: Kicking has been on the improve and is back to what it was in the National Under 18s Championships. Floated forward at stages in the TAC Cup finals, including the grand final when he moved from half back to half forward after half time. Continued to find the football since last month with his 27 disposal display against Dandenong one of his best for the year. His marking overhead has been good when floating back in defence.

#8 Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Good decision maker, reads the play well. Didn’t look out of place off the half back flank throughout the championships. Kicks on both feet, ideally will transition into the midfield. Lacks speed that some of the other midfielders have. GWS Academy member.

Last month: Perryman took part in the All Stars game after spending the last few months playing for his local club. Did not find a huge amount of the ball, but I do like his composure across half-back. Certainly going to be interesting to see who/where he gets bid on come draft night.

#9 Tim English
Ruckman (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
10/08/1997 | 203cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Tall ruckman who uses his strong leap in the ruck contests. Only averaged 13 disposals through the championships, but showed plenty with his ability to find and dispose of the ball well off his right boot. Could mount a case that his kicking is better than some of the midfielders in the draft. May warrant a Top five pick on draft night.

Last month: Continued to find the football and have good hitout numbers in the WAFL with disposals and 18 hitouts in his final WAFL reserves match. Had one of his quiest games in the All Stars match. Clubs will need to be patient with him, but his leap at the ruck contest is outstanding.

#10 Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Strong overhead mark and has the ability to change a game in 10 minutes. An interupted season with injury and suspension, but has had more midfield time in recent months. Damaging inside 50 but can be a bit goal hungry at stages. Does a small forward warrent a Top 10 pick?

Last month: Just the one game for the month, which was the Under 18 All Stars. Played up forward for most the game, without running through the midfield. Ainsworth finished with 15 disposals, six marks and a goal in an okay game.

#11 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who is still finding his feet as to where he best plays his football. Was down on form in the championships, carrying a foot niggle. Can play in multiple positions, but looks best forward of centre. Needs some consistency as can float in and out of games. GWS academy member.

Last month: Collected 22 disposals and laid nine tackles in the Dragons’ semi-final win over Dandenong, using the ball well and taking it forward. Unfortunately for Setterfield, he injured his shoulder in the TAC Cup preliminary final resulting in him missing the TAC Cup Grand Final and All Stars match.

#12 Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 192cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Hybrid defender who has played both tall and small this season. Against VFL opposition was undersized playing key back, but looked best in the championships further up the ground, wonder if he becomes a midfielder in the future? Strong mark who got better as the championships went on and is one of the top handful of kicks in this draft pool.

Last month: Had just the 11 disposals playing in the back half in the All Stars. Did not get the opportunity to use his good kick very often, but I think he is going to be there abouts in the first round.

#13 Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Tough inside midfielder who just gets the job done with plenty of clearances. His strong contested work is his strength and he won the Allies the match with a snap deep in the pocket (Video can be found here). Good runner around the ground, probably a late first round or second round bid for the Gold Coast academy member.

Last month: Gold Coast Suns NEAFL were knocked out in the elimination final and an injury kept him out of the Under 18 All Stars game.

#14 Oliver Florent
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 183cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: Exciting half forward/outside midfielder. In his usual eye catching orange boots, Florent has playing of X-Factor around the ball inside 50. Liked his work last year for Sandringham and has continued that into this season. Outside midfielder who is a capable overhead mark. A good kick around the ground, but does have the ability to shank the odd kick on the run. Looks likely to start his AFL career as a half forward and push onto a wing.

Last month: One of the big jumpers up the rankings with a big finals series and a best on ground performance in the All Stars match. His form in the TAC Cup previous was up and down with 20 disposals in both games in the lead up to his 24 disposal and five tackle effort in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Despite a five-day break, he put on the jets to have 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s (in a shortened 4×20 minute match).

#15 Jy Simpkin
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
05/03/1998 | 182cm | 72kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Crafty small forward who burst onto the scene with seven goals in six Under 18 championship games in 2015. Knows where the goals are- but does he become a full time mid? Broke his leg at school football earlier in the season.

Last month: N/A – Recovering well from leg surgery from all reports. Hoping to be back for the National Combine in October. It was good to see him kicking the ball around at Under 18 All Stars training on Thursday and was on the bench working the whiteboard at Friday’s game.

#16 Alex Villis
Outside Midfielder (Norwood/South Australia)
20/08/1998 | 182cm | 70kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Clean kick on either sides of his body. Smart footballer who knows when to pull the kick short or go long. Decision making is elite and has held his own at SANFL senior level. A lot of his possessions are uncontested.

Last month: A quiet game in the SANFL reserves final with just 12 disposals, but he took eight marks around the grounds. Used his superb kick mostly well in the All Stars match and laid five tackles. That tackle figure is one of his biggest for the season and was a good sign for someone who mostly collects uncontested ball.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ALEX VILLIS

#17 Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Athletic tall that has a strong pair of dukes. Still a bit raw after only returning to AFL after two winters in the UK playing cricket. Set shot goalkicking routine needs some work to stop him hooking the ball across his leg. Has only shown patches so far in 2016.

Last month: Played the best game I have seen him play in the TAC Cup preliminary final against Oakleigh, where he took seven marks (three contested) and imposed himself on the game. Had just two kicks for two goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final after being well held by Ari Sakeson. Was again quiet in the All Stars game. His flashes can be really good, but will he make it and be able to put a full game together?

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: TODD MARSHALL

#18 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 193cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Strong lockdown defender who doesn’t lose too many one-on-ones. Rowing background at school has helped his physic, with a strong upper body enabling to outmuscle his opponents. Pinch hit in the ruck in the final match for WA and kicks the ball well off his left foot.

Last month: Disappointingly missed the All Stars match, as his form in the latter half of the year at WAFL level was very good from regular WAFL watchers.

#19 Patrick Kerr
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
31/07/1998 | 194cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Strong overhead mark, who has worked on his mobility at ground level. Speed over first 10 metres is one of the best out of all the key forwards and gets distance between himself and defenders. Speaks exceptionally well and will interview well. When he’s on, he’s hard to stop.

Last month: An okay month for Kerr, but I thought when he got on the lead and marked the ball he looked very good like he did against North Ballarat in the TAC Cup Semi-Final. Started well bagging the first goal in the All Stars match and finished with eight disposals and four marks.

#20 Josh Battle
General Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Superb footy IQ and a great endurance base helps him get up the ground. Has the ability to change a game quickly with bursts of goals. Set shot routine is great and he’ll kick the ball through whether he’s 20m or 50m out. Solid mark overhead, but unlikely to play as the number one tall at AFL level. Year 11 boy too, so will need to complete school next year.

Last month: Was well held by Ari Sakeson in the Stingrays’ semi-final loss, kicking just two goals. Did not impact the game in the All Stars match, but showed he can nail a goal from long range. A good kick of the football and should fine a suitor in the second or third round.

#21 Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg
Previous Ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Tall Defender that has the ability to push further up the ground. Strong rebounder, intercept marks was his strengths in 2015- but have been scarce in 2016. His form in NEAFL has still be solid and I would be very very surprised if GWS academy member Macreadie was not at the Giants, after they had a part in him moving schools.

Last month: Was solid with 15 disposals, rebounding the ball well in the NEAFL Preliminary Final. He was quiet in their NEAFL Grand Final win and believe he was rested from the All Stars game.

#22 Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Aggressive midfielder who can break through opposition tackles. Powerful burst from a stoppage and can hit the scoreboard. Yet to see a full complete game from him, as he’ll flash in and out of games.

Last month: N/A – Has been injured in the past month and was sporting a moon boot at the Morrish Medal last month. Believe he will not test at the combine.

#23 Jonty Scharenberg
Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
28/08/1998 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Inside midfielder who is the brother of Collingwood’s Matt. Scharenberg works hard at the stoppages, with his best asset his ability to free his arms when tackled to dish the ball off to a teammate. Champion Data rate Scharenberg as an elite clearance and tackling midfielder. Doesn’t have a great deal of speed, but often elects to pass the ball off to a teammate rather than trying to burst away from the stoppage. Kicking efficiency of 49% through the Under 18 championships.

Last month: Could not have done much more to get Glenelg over the line in the SANFL reserves final. Despite having 27 disposals and five clearances, his contested possession numbers were down and the Tigers could not get the win. Played his one and only SANFL Under 18s game for Glenelg in the Grand Final, in their after the siren win over North Adelaide. Scharenberg had 34 disposals, 12 tackles and five clearances in a strong performance. Had 20 disposals in the All Stars game, but his kicking is a work in progress.

#24 Jordan Gallucci
Outside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/05/1998 | 182cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: Explosive midfielder whose kicking can be hot and cold. Has plenty of zip at the contest, but just where does he play his best football? Is willing to use either foot to take the ball inside 50. Strong leadership skills as indicated by being selected as co-captain of the Vic Metro side.

Last month: Started well in the first half in the All Stars game, but thought he was very quiet after that. Finished with nine disposals and three marks and it is certainly going to be interesting to see where he gets drafted come November.

#25 Shai Bolton
Outside midfielder (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
8/12/1998 | 177cm | 67kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Electric speed and an elite side step, the Flashy West Australian will end up with one of the best highlight packages in this years draft crop. Consistency is his biggest issue and with flash in and out of a contest. At times can just bang the ball on his boot without looking.

Last month: Ninteeen disposals and four goals in South Fremantle’s semi-final loss. Caught the eye of those who haven’t seen much of him in the All Stars game at Punt Road, where he had 16 disposals. Bolton had some eye catching moments on the wing and his agility is traffic is elite. Another who will test well for speed and agility at the combine.

#26 Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward/Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 87kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Key Position Forward who can get up the ground on long leads thanks to a good endurance base. Agile inside 50, but more of your true leading centre half forward. Takes most of his marks outside 50, but kicked 13 goals in the Division One & Two carnivals combined. When playing back has looked ok one-on-one despite his light frame.

Last month: Looks to have been working on playing at both ends and kept Josh Battle to one goal in August. Floated between both ends yesterday but for me he looks more at home inside 50.

#27 Will Hayward
Medium forward (North Adelaide/South Australia)
26/10/1998 | 186cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who plays tall. His marking is outstanding and good in one-on-one contests for his size. Booted nine in the SANFL Under 18s in the finals. Not a big ball winner, but leads well and marks the ball well overhead or down below his knees. Kicked eight goals in the Under 18 championships, but didn’t earn a lot of credit for his craft.

Last month: Kicked nine goals in North Adelaide’s preliminary final. Took 10 marks (including five on a lead) and was a clear best player for the Roosters. Started well in the Grand Final, finishing the day with four goals. Showed good signs in the All Stars game with 14 disposals and two goals.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: WILL HAYWARD

#28 Jordan Ridley
General Defender (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 192cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #30

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is composed with the ball in hand. Can push up further onto a wing and is capable overhead. Build strongly below his waist, but should be able to build that physic in his upper body with a few preseasons under his belt.

Last month: Collected 22 disposals and was strong across half back for the Oakleigh Chargers against North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup Semi-Final. It was a fast finishing final quarter, but unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury late in the game. Has not played since.

#29 Cedric Cox
Outside Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
19/08/1997 | 184cm | 70kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Neat outside midfielder who can play at both ends of the ground. Looks best suited to half-back, where he can use his speed to burn off his opponents. Is a dual footed kicker and is willing to use both his left and right foot in any situation.

Last month: Played mostly forward for the Rebels in their semi-final loss. Some of his moments are great, but was reasonably quiet. Had four disposals in almost as many minutes to open the game in the Under 18 All Stars, but faded badly throughout the game. A lot to like about some of his flashes. Expect him to test well in speed and agility.

#30 Dylan Clarke
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
06/09/1998 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: Strong inside midfielder who crashed in hard and wins the clearances. Kicking technique needs some work and it has seen him kick at under 50% in the TAC Cup this season.

Last month: Seventeen disposals and a goal in the Under 18 All Stars for Clarke. Did not have a clearance for the game and he was mostly playing forward in a team that was chocker block with inside midfielders.


Our Draft Profiles are still being posted online, so keep on eye on the website where we take you through over 150 names eligible for the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

Remember to check out our YouTube account for vision on the draftees.

As always, if you have any questions or want to know more, send me a tweet @MattBalmer7.

U18 All Stars ultimate review

Tim English

Results

TeamQ1Q2Q3Q4GoalsBehindsTotal
Team Judd2556769715797
Team O’Loughlin1422385981159

A SLOW start didn’t stop ‘Team Judd‘ winning the inagularl Kevin Sheehan Cup after defeating ‘Team O’Loughlin‘ by 38-points at Punt Road Oval today.

The concept saw the ‘Best 46’ draft prospects go head-to-head, all be it missing a few through injury. A huge crowd rolled in at the conclusion of the AFL Grand Final Parade, resulting in fans sitting in the aisle upstairs in the stands at Punt Road.

Oliver Florent boosted his draft stocks and emerged as a possible top ten selection with 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s.

Florent shone throughout the day in his bright orange boots, taking the ball forward at every chance.

His performance saw him judged the best player from the losing O’Loughlin side, coach by NSW-ACT coach Tadhg Kennelly.

Team O’Loughlin burst away early in the contest, booting the first two goals before Team Judd’s star studded midfield helped them boot the next seven goals to put the margin beyond reach.

Jack Bowes was a prominent figure in the contest for Team Judd with 23 disposals and three clearances, in a match that was capped at 20 minutes per quarter.

Hugh McCluggage‘s class also caught the eye, with 17 disposals and four goals.

It was McCluggage’s fourth goal that has fans gasping after he intercepted the ball, weaved through the pack and nailed the shot from 50m out.

However, the pair were outdone by Sandringham Dragons’ Tim Taranto, who was outstanding winning the best on ground medal for Team Judd.

Taranto had 19 disposals, four tackles and four goals and was often involved in the play with McCluggage.

Taranto has been a superb performer right throughout September and one must wonder if he has the chance to be worth a top five pick.

Team Judd captain Andrew McGrath still collected 18 disposals despite a quiet showing, whilst it was West Australian Shai Bolton who shone on the outside with 16 disposals and seven inside 50s showing his dash and agility.

Josh Daicos played an unfamilar role at Half Back for Team Judd, racking up 18 disposals and two rebound 50s. On the opposite team, Callum Brown had 21 disposals and three clearances working hard in the middle of the ground.

Both Father/Son prospects seem destined to end up on Collingwood’s list, with a likely bid in the 30-50 range.

West Australia onballer Sam Powell-Pepper had 18 disposals and five tackles, backing up his strong performance in the WAFL Colts Grand Final and his state teammate Sam Petrevski-Seton impressed with 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances in a showing that should keep his name in the top handful of picks.

The tackle count for the contest was down and the match was largely open, with not a lot of defensive work from either team. In front of a packed crowd at Punt Road Oval, there is no doubt the AFL will consider the Under 18 All Stars match a success.

The best Under 17 talent will run out at Punt Road Oval tomorrow from 10.30am. The match will be broadcast on AFL.com.au & the AFL live app.


Matt Balmer’s scouting notes: 

Team Judd:

#6 Alex Villis– The South Australian didn’t find a lot of the ball, but when he does have it he uses it well. Laid five tackles, a figure that was well above his season average in 2016.

#9 Hugh McCluggage– Whoever ends up with Pick 1 is going to have a tough choice on their hands. McCluggage is elite in traffic, you can’t doubt that. He spins through and it sometimes looks like time has stood still for him to get around an opponent. The goal kicking midfielder nabbed four goals, including an outstanding final goal which screamed out ELITE!

#11 Will Hayward– Another South Australia who did some good things. Booted two goals, including one from long range outside 50. He is a strong mark and booted nine goals a few weeks back in the SANFL U18s.

#12 Tim Taranto– Combined for a lot of disposals with McCluggage and was a deserving best on ground medal winner. Taranto kicked four goals and his work in close was very good.

#15 Jack Bowes– Despite not playing for the last month, Bowes looked as silky as ever. The smooth mover collected 23 disposals and covered the ground very well. Someone I still rate as a possible No.1 on my draft rankings.

#21 Sam Powell-Pepper– Powell-Pepper backed up his big performance in the WAFL Colts on the weekend, a game that some felt he was stiff for not winning the BOG medal. Today his kicking was much better than it has been throughout this season, finishing with 18 disposals and five tackles.

Team O’Loughlin:

#5 Sam Petrevski-Seton– If not for Ollie Florent’s outstanding day, Petrevski-Seton would’ve gone close to being best on ground. His run and carry with the ball is good and the dual sided midfielder is happy to go long or short on either foot. Petrevski-Seton had 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances in a display that keeps his name in the top five mix.

#8 Oliver Florent– I’ve seen Florent play over 10 times this year, but I have no doubt that this was his best game. Florent has plenty of X-Factor and has shown glimpses right through the year, but today showed why he can push for the top ten. A deserving best on ground medal winner with 29 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s.

#9 Cedric Cox– Had five disposals in the opening ten minutes of the contest playing on the wing, but faded badly to finish with nine disposals. Cox did some uncharacteristic things throughout the day, missing targets he usually hits. I’m not sure whether it was nerves, but he certainly looked off. Despite this, I’d be very surprised if he isn’t called out in the first round on draft night.

#25 Jake Waterman– The O’Loughlin captain won the toss, but that was one of the only things that went right for Waterman. He looked severly underdone and I can see why he didn’t train yesterday and was in doubt. He did kick two goals from his six disposals, but I think he would’ve wanted to do more to put his hand up to be drafted.

#34 Tony Olango– Best game from Olango and one that might’ve got a few recruiters talking. His leap in the ruck is elite and one of the traits that the ruckman uses in the contest. He uncharacteristically crashed a few packs and looked to give it his all. Doesn’t win much of the footy, but today’s game should give him some confidence in the lead up to the draft.

#35 Tim English– A quiet today from the possible top five prospect. English uses the ball well, but had just the two kicks for the afternoon. His rucking is very good and he didn’t lose too many contests. Was hoping for more, but I think English has done enough this season to suggest he’s going to be high on clubs boards.

Stats:

Team Judd

# PlayerPositionKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GL
1Shai Bolton-13316200200001
2Josh Daicos-11718200300000
3Ben Ainsworth-8715600100001
4Andrew McGrath-71118400200000
6Alex Villis-6511400500000
7Jordan Gallucci-639300100000
8Harry Perryman-10616200100000
9Hugh McCluggage-9817200200004
10Bailey Morrish-448200000000
11Will Hayward-7714200200002
12Timothy Taranto-12719300400004
13Joe Atley-31215200110000
15Jack Bowes-71623200400000
21Sam Powell-Pepper-81018200500000
23Cameron Zurhaar-437100400001
24Jarrod Berry-4913300100000
26Josh Battle-7310300300002
27Oscar Junker-415200200000
29Jack Maibaum-224200320000
32Declan Watson-2911100200000
33Todd Marshall-279100220000
34Esava Ratugolea-0661000110000
35Max Lynch-358000180000
 Total 1391512905200512400015

Team O’Loughlin

# PlayerPositionKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GL
2Ben Jarman-5510000100000
4Callum Brown-81321300300000
5Sam Petrevski-Seton-131023100800000
6Harry Morrison-549400400000
7Isaac Cumming-8412400200000
8Oliver Florent-171229400300000
9Cedric Cox-459300100000
10Myles Poholke-71219300100001
11Jonty Scharenberg-81220400300000
12Sam Walker-2911200000000
13Mitchell Hinge-51015100000000
14Dylan Clarke-10717400300001
21Ben Davis-6410400200002
22Willem Drew-5611100200000
25Jake Waterman-516400000002
26Ryan Garthwaite-7714100200000
27Josh Rotham-2911200000000
28Jack Scrimshaw-51116600000000
29Brennan Cox-5914300300000
30Patrick Kerr-808400110001
32Zachary Sproule-628400000001
34Tony Olango-1340004180000
35Tim English-2571002160000
 Total 144160304630045350008

Missed the game or want to re-watch it?

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arcnx_kDhyo[/embedyt]

Under 18 All Stars game ultimate preview

Allies - Kobe Mutch

AUSTRALIA’S top teenage footballers will take part in a new concept that is aimed to feature the best players from the 2016 draft pool.

Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match will see players divided up into two teams to play against each other in an event that the AFL hope will be in front of a blockbuster crowd at Punt Road Oval following the AFL Grand Final Parade.

The two teams have been named after AFL greats Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin and will be a part of the AFL’s changing program for the Grand Final weekend.

The league has made the most of the Grand Final Day public holiday and the movement of the Grand Final parade to the MCG precinct, where the junior talent coming through will be recognised.

Current NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Chris Judd teams, while NSW/ACT & Allies coach Tadhg Kennelly will coach the Michael O’Loughlin teams.

The match will be broadcast live on FOX FOOTY from 1.30pm on Friday.


Likely Teams:

The final U18 All Stars teams. ** Subject to late changes.
The final U18 All Stars teams. ** Subject to late changes.

** Will Setterfield‘s replacement is to be confirmed- We believe it is Mitchell Hinge**

With a five day turnaround for a large amount of the players due to the WAFL Colts, SANFL Reserves and TAC Cup Grand Finals over the weekend, there are many sore bodies.

Will Brodie hurt his nose in an incident with an umpire on Sunday and will miss the contest despite training this afternoon. Murray Bushrangers outside midfielder Harry Morrison will replace Brodie.

Will Setterfield was still in a sling on Sunday at the TAC Cup Grand Final and is expected to miss with Mitchell Hinge believed to be taking his place.

Key Defender Griffin Logue is also out for Team Judd, with Dandenong Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish taking his place.

There were also a few injury issues at training with many players on light duties. Sam Petrevski-Seton copped a knock below the knee, which affected his ankle and trained for five minutes only. Petrevski-Seton appears likely to play, but West Coast Father/Son prospect Jake Waterman is in more doubt after failing to train with what appeared to be a groin complaint.


Star Power:

On the outset, Team Judd look the most talented on paper. Featuring Andrew McGrath, Hugh McCluggage and Jack Bowes– all of whom could challenge for the number one draft pick. Up forward, they feature Josh Battle and Todd Marshall, whilst down back Declan Watson and Jack Maibaum will hold down the fort.

Harry Perryman will be a name to watch after being relatively left alone since the Under 18 championships. The GWS academy member has spent the last two months playing for his local club Collingullie-GP, hitting the scoreboard and playing through the midfield.

Tim Taranto and Ben Ainsworth are two others from Team Judd that may feature in the Top 10 come November.

For Team O’Loughlin, Jack Scrimshaw will be one of the stars worth watching. The rebounding defender has a classy left foot and was one of the best players on the ground on Sunday. Despite missing inside midfielder Will Brodie, players such as Dylan Clarke, Jonty Scharenberg and Willem Drew will likely step up in his absence. After a steller game for the Murray Bushrangers on Sunday, Ryan Garthwaite will be a likely opponent on his Bushrangers teammate Todd Marshall.

Up forward Patrick Kerr, Zach Sproule and Jake Waterman will make up their forward line whilst West Australian midfielder Sam Petrevski-Seton will look to perform well to keep his name in the first handful of picks.

Excitement machine Cedric Cox hasn’t been spoken about enough this season and the little known 19-year-old is a big chance for a Top 20 pick on draft night.


Surprise Packets:

South Australian medium forward Will Hayward has jumped out as a surprise inclusion. Hayward kicked a bag of nine goals in the SANFL U18 Preliminary Final for North Adelaide and another good performance on Friday may see him find a spot in the first half of the draft.

DRAFT PROFILE: WILL HAYWARD

Murray Bushrangers ruckman Esava Ratugolea has plenty of X-Factor and leap like no other AFL Draft prospect. Ratugolea continues to show glimpses after an eight goal haul earlier in the season saw him drafted into the Vic Country team late.

DRAFT PROFILE: ESAVA RATUGOLEA

Little known Cameron Zurhaar from East Fremantle is one to watch. The medium forward has kicked averaged 16.6 disposals in the WAFL Colts this year.

Isaac Cumming is flying under the radar and the GWS academy member may find himself as a national draft selection. Cumming was nominated for the National Combine and the smart half back flanker rebounded the ball well in the Under 18 championships.

Willem Drew played two excellent TAC Cup finals games for the North Ballarat Rebels, averaging 23 (13 contested) disposals and seven clearances in the 2016 TAC Cup. The inside midfielders contested ball winning is superb, but does lack some speed around the ground.

Brennan Cox made the All-Australian team after a strong championships down back for South Australia. Cox has played up forward for the Woodville-West Torrens in the SANFL but looks likely to start in the defence.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2duh-DJIhU[/embedyt]


Key Matchups:

Willem Drew vs Hugh McCluggage

Teammates at the North Ballarat Rebels, the pair will be opponents in the big clash on Friday. Both represented Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, but McCluggage was more prominant. At TAC Cup level, Drew’s contested ball winning abilities are greater than McCluggage’s- But McCluggage’s work in traffic is elite and is his advantage despite not winning a large chunk of contested ball. McCluggage can also push forward and hit the scoreboard, something that Drew hasn’t showed throughout this season. Drew does lay plenty of tackles and win the clearances, but does lack a touch of pace and class with his skills with him at times just bombing the ball forward off his boot without looking.  

Tim English vs Max Lynch

It looks likely that the first ruck contest of the game will have West Australian tall English and NSW/ACT ruck Lynch. English only featured as the number one ruck in the final championships game, but has an elite leap and his footskills are better than some of the midfielders running around in the game. Despite being skinny in appearance, it makes for an interesting contest against former junior goalkeeper Lynch. Lynch’s form in the latter half of the season was very good for the Bushrangers and the GWS academy member may have pushed himself into a national draft selection. 

Jack Scrimshaw vs Tim Taranto

Sandringham Dragons key players Scrimshaw and Taranto may play on each other. Scrimshaw is a rebounding defender, with a pinpoint pass and was a strong player in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Scrimshaw does have the ability to rack up the clangers with his foot at times and when he’s off- he’s off. Taranto was a consistent performer right throughout the year playing through the midfield and across half forward. A good showing from either, could see them really put their hand up for Top Five players on clubs boards. 

Jack Maibaum vs Patrick Kerr

With Griffin Logue a late out for Team Judd, expect Maibaum to have first crack at strong Vic Metro forward Kerr. Both played together in the Vic Metro winning Under 18 championship team and won All Australia honours with Maibaum’s strength will be the reason he should get first chance at stopping Kerr. Kerr however is a tough match up, with strong hands overhead and one of the fastest forwards over 10m on a lead. Maibaum has played both forward and defence throughout 2016, but averaged the third most spoils in the Under 18 championships.

Ryan Garthwaite vs Todd Marshall

The pair were teammates on Sunday, but loom likely to match up on each other. Garthwaite is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the draft pool, while Marshall has shown some superb glimpses at times. Garthwaite collected 24 disposals on Sunday as one of his teams best performers, whilst Marshall was kept reasonably quiet from Ari Sakeson with just two kicks for two goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final. If Marshall can put in a strong performance that recruiters are wanting, he could keep his name amongst the top ten names. Garthwaite despite an awkward kicking style, does use to ball well more often than not and has done a great job down back this season. 


Predictions

Team Judd on paper looks too strong for Team O’Loughlin. Team Judd’s midfield looks too star studded, despite Tim English likely giving Team O’Loughlin first use at the ball. If Team O’Loughlin’s contested midfield brigade can fire, they could give the star studded Judd side a run for their money.

It would be hard to go past Andrew McGrath for BOG honours, but there are multiple players from either side that are capable of changing a game. 


Details:

Team O’Loughlin v Team Judd
1.30pm, Punt Road Oval
September 30th
Live on FOX FOOTY 1.30pm
Tweets: @afldraftcentral


Matt Balmer’s predicted starting line up:

Possible line ups

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Grand Final

corey-lyons

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

Michael Alvaro’s scouting notes:

Sandringham Dragons:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

Murray Bushrangers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daring Dragons claim their third TAC Cup Premiership

dragonsprem

Murray Bushrangers:     1.4   4.6   7.10   9.14 68
Sandringham Dragons   2.2   6.6   9.8    12.13 85

Murray Goals: Richards 2; Marshall 2; McMullan 2; Tiziani; Pinnuck; Sproule;
Sandringham Goals: H.Brayshaw 2; Krakauer 2; Maloney 2; Florent; Lyons; McLean; Lok; Scrimshaw; Trew

Murray Best: Garthwaite, Brodie, Spargo, Cousins, Carroll, Richards
Sandringham Best: McGrath, Scrimshaw, Taranto, Burt, Lyons, Florent


The Sandringham Dragons have claimed their third TAC Cup premiership, with a tense 17-point win over Murray Bushrangers at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Sandringham led at all main-breaks, but the game continued to sea-saw right throughout the day.

The game stepped up a notch when the Bushrangers hit the front in the final quarter and they held the lead with 12 minutes remaining.

Jack Scrimshaw picked the ball up and goaled from a scrap giving the Dragons the lead.

Tom Maloney continued his strong form from the finals, nailing the winning goal for the Dragons, before Josh Trew put the extra icing on the cake with two minutes to go.

Vic Metro Under 18 MVP Andrew McGrath was enormous in the second half and was a vital cog in the Dragons’ win.

McGrath wasn’t allowed space in the first half, kept to just ten disposals before a match-winning move saw McGrath moved to half back, which allowed him to run and create for the Dragons.

McGrath finished the contest with 38 disposals (21 contested) and eight clearances, as the worthy winner of the TAC Medal for Best on Ground.

“It was a good win. I think I’m making a habit of starting slow,  every final I’ve started a bit poorly but worked my way into the game,” McGrath said post-game.

“It’s all about the team today. Yeah it’s an honour to receive the medal, but everything we did today was for the team, we come in here as a team, we’re going to leave as a team and celebrate as a team,”

“The next month is pretty interesting…Everything starts to heat up, the All Stars game next week, the combine after that, exams… It’s a busy time and you’ve just got to take it week by week and just know your priorities.”

Midfielders Tim Taranto (31 disposals, seven marks and 11 tackles), Oliver Florent (24 disposals) and Corey Lyons (24 disposals) played an important role as the Dragons won 90 more disposals than their opponents.

The Bushrangers won the midfield battle early in the contest and had countless inside 50s, but it was Scrimshaw’s strong work across half back that stopped them in their tracks.

Scrimshaw used his pinpoint left foot on multiple occasions and it was his work repelling the Bushies attacks that kept the Dragons on top.

After half time, Scrimshaw was surprisingly moved forward, a role which he has done in the past, booting the goal to put Dragons in front deep in the final quarter.

Will Brodie came off sore early after colliding with an umpire, resulting in him leaving the ground with a blood nose.

Brodie’s work at the stoppages was good throughout the day finishing with 22 disposals (12 contested), six tackles and seven clearances.

Brodie’s work on the inside was assisted by 179cm bottom-aged midfielder Charlie Spargo who had 24 disposals (11 contested) in one of his best games of the season.

Spargo’s father Paul played 81 games for North Melbourne, narrowly missing the 100 game mark to have Charlie eligible to join the Roos as a Father Son prospect. However, Spargo is part of the GWS academy and will be eligible for them in 2017.

Up forward Todd Marshall was kept off the pace, with Dragons tall Ari Sakeson doing a stellar job keeping him to three disposals and two goals.

Zach Sproule was another who couldn’t get into the game down back and moved forward booting 1.2, but was another quiet Bushranger.

Ryan Garthwaite was the Bushies best with 24 disposals, nine marks, six tackles and six rebound 50s.

A strong one-on-one defender, Garthwaite was able to win plenty of the ball and take it forward. Despite an akward kicking style with a double handed ball drop, he hit the target on 14 out of 17 occasions.

The Dragons now keep their undefeated streak at TAC Cup Grand Finals alive, with three premierships from three occasions.

The players’ attention now turns to Friday afternoon at Punt Road, where the best Under 18 prospects will have the chance to push their name up clubs’ draft boards.

SCOUTING NOTES: TAC CUP GRAND FINAL


Matt Balmer
@MattBalmer7 

Top talent on show on AFL Grand Final weekend

MB - Will Brodie

In a new initiative announced by the AFL, the best Under 17 and Under 18 talent will play games on the Grand Final day long weekend under the eyes of recruiters and fans.

The Under 18 All Stars game will be played at Punt Road Oval at 1.30pm, broadcast on Fox Footy on Grand Final Eve (Friday 30th September). The Under 17 game will be played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL Grand Final beginning from 10am with a live stream on AFL.com.au.

For more information on the initiative click here:

Under 18 squad:

Under 18 squad ALL STARS

Under 17 squad:

Under 17 squad

Scouting notes: TAC Cup Preliminary Finals

Max Lynch

The Sandringham Dragons will meet the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup Grand Final next Sunday from 11.05am at Etihad Stadium.


Sandringham Dragons 10.10 (70) defeated Geelong Falcons 7.6 (48) by 22-points.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Geelong Falcons:

#6 Sam Simpson– Geelong could have a gem here. Simpson hasn’t had a lot talked about him, but he’s a very smart footballer. He has the chance to go Father/Son to Geelong if they nominate and match the bid for him. He’s very lively around the contest, running around in his long socks. Had 14 disposals but might begin to get some more talk at club land.

#10 Mitch Diamond– Played mostly behind the ball, kicking the ball out from full back. He had 25 disposals and eight tackles as one of the best for the Falcons.

#28 Paddy Dowling– 21 disposals and two goals for the left footer. Dowling can play in multiple positions, but looked at his best playing as a high half forward. He did attend a few centre bounces, but I like him better on the outside.

#42 Cassidy Parish– With his brother watching on, I’m sure most of the AFL club recruiters had an eye on the bottom ager. With slick back hair and bright red boots there were plenty of passages where he streamed through the middle of the ground. Parish had 22 disposals and eight clearances, often electing to take the ball out of a stoppages looking for a loose player by hand.

#50 Sean Darcy– Was on fire in the first half, but slowed down a bit once Sandy worked themselves back into the day. He dominated in the ruck with 35 hitouts, but struggled when Sandy attempted to go third man up around the ground against him. Will attend the National Combine and clubs will be looking eagerly at his testing results.

Sandringham Dragons:

#4 Will Setterfield– Suffered a shoulder injury early in the 2nd quarter and that was his day done. Believe he went off the hospital and the Dragons weren’t too confident he’ll play again this season.

#5 Andrew McGrath– A huge last quarter of 14 disposals was one of the reasons Sandy are into the Grand Final. He finished with 32 disposals, eight tackles and nine clearances in another dominant display. Hit most of his targets, but played more on the outside than on the inside compared with last weekend. Could he challenge for the No.1 pick? Might be sweating on a report for a sling tackle in the 3rd term.

#7 Corey Lyons– Another solid finals performance collecting 21 disposals. His kicking was again under 50%, but his I was impressive at 3QT with his vocal work willing his teammates over the line.

#8 Tim Taranto– Another huge game for Taranto and he’s well and truly pushing himself into the top handful or so of picks. He has the ability to go and play tall inside 50 and is a tough match up either forward or on the ball. 23 disposals (17 contested) and four goals.

#10 Jack Scrimshaw– Started like a house on fire, but slowed down after quarter time. His left foot was superb playing in the back half. Might need to move further up the ground next week if Setterfield misses the contest.

#13 Oliver Florent– Easily Florent’s best game for a while. Had plenty of spark and was involved right throughout the day. He also laid seven tackles, however he does have the ability to flash in and out of the game with two touches in two passages, before not being seen for 20 minutes.



Murray Bushrangers 15.12 (102) defeated Oakleigh Chargers 8.10 (58) by 44-points. 

Peter Williams’ scouting notes:

Murray Bushrangers:

#7 Will Brodie – Was uncharacteristically quiet today, and while he does not rack up the numbers other potential top five picks do, the uncompromising inside midfielder is usually more consistent. Worked into the game more in the second half, starting with the first goal of the third term from a stoppage. Hard to keep the bull down and will be crucial in winning the hard ball next week.

#13 Lachlan Tiziani – Having a sensational season, in particularly the second half, kicking another swag of goals today. Kicked three goals in three minutes in the second term to help the Bushrangers get some breathing space and run away with the game. Finished with six goals and just looked so good in the air. Huge vertical leap and great goal sense, an over-ager who is likely to make it onto an AFL club’s list.

#20 Zach Sproule – Played an important role as a rebounding defender who is far more mobile than his 196cm would suggest. He can take the ball in flight and not lose stride, running away from the 50 and sending the ball forward. Might be an underrated tall in the draft who will likely cost GWS a pretty penny if he performs well next week. One to watch in the grand final.

#22 Harry Morrison – Reliable defender who plays like a quarterback, peeling off his opponent, positioning himself well and intercepting the ball on the last line of defence. A good kick, Morrison provides run and a link-up player who while a little small, plays taller than his standing at 182cm. Was particularly impressive when he moved up to the wing and sat a kick behind play, rebounding the ball back inside 50 or forward of centre.

#25 Ryan Garthwaite – Another rebounding defender who reads the ball really well. Can sometimes trail his opponent on the lead and is not as strong as other key defenders, but often will outsmart his opponent, reading the ball drop perfectly. Most awkward kicking style you will ever see, but is more effective than others and can clear the danger zone with ease.

#40 Todd Marshall – Really impressive game from the big man. Playing as a lead-up key forward, Marshall finished the game with seven marks and one goal. Not only did he make numerous leads and look strong overhead, but he was quick to dispose of it and keep the game moving for the Bushrangers. Laid a great tackle on Lachlan Walker in the fourth quarter who was streaming down the wing. The first round pick is no longer GWS-bound, and is on the open market with no doubt plenty of suitors likely to be impressed from his strong game today.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Campbell Lane – Found plenty of the football once again and tried hard across the four quarters. Worked well on the inside, but kicking can let him down. Finished with 24 disposals, six marks and five tackles getting it done at both ends. Did not stand out particularly, but can hold his head high in a disappointing team performance.

#8 Toby Wooller – Bottom-age prospect who is continuing to show plenty. A really good mark of the football, he let himself down with his set shots. Continues to develop strongly and gets plenty of space with his leads and expect him to come back stronger next year. One to watch in 2017.

#21 Lachlan Walker – Typical workman like performance by Walker. Is not the cleanest or classiest player out there, but just wills himself to contests and does everything right. Not elite in any one category, but a really consistent player who covers ground well and was consistent by foot today.

#24 Dion Johnstone – An enigma up forward, Johnstone is an interesting prospect. From North Warrnambool boarding at Scotch, he is dangerous inside 50 and finished the game with a couple of goals including a fantastic effort from a tight angle. Johnstone is a one-touch player and while he needs to work on his consistency, will be one with plenty of scope for future development.

#28 Josh Daicos – A quiet performance from Daicos with nine disposals. Picked up a little in the last with a nice goal assist, but missed to the right with a set shot he would normally nail. Plenty of class though and rarely wastes a disposal.