Tag: Tom Yorgey

Victorian school football update August edition

WE ARE at the end of the season in the APS and AGSV Victorian school boy football competition and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have stood out in the last few rounds after the school holidays.

The annual APS v AGSV game was held on Saturday, with the APS running out 38-point winners. You can find the stats from the game at the bottom of this page.

SCOUTING NOTES: APS v AGSV rep game

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 39-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE JUNE EDITION

APS:

Haileybury College completed a perfect season as the clear best team in the APS, with a record of 10-0. Coming back from two ACL injuries, Aiden Bonar returned through the seconds at Haileybury but made an impact in his first game back against St Kevin’s. In their final clash at Geelong Grammar, Charlie Constable (46 disposals) and Andrew Brayshaw (42 disposals) were the two stars dominating through the midfield, using the ball well. Unfortunately after representing Dandenong Stingrays through the holidays, Jack McHale suffered a serious knee injury against St Kevin’s. Jackson Ross continued his fine form throughout the season booting six goals in their big win over Geelong Grammar, taking his tally to 29 goals for the season. Both bottom age twins Max and Ben King were far too good for the opposition defenders up forward.

Carey Grammar finished as runners-up, winning nine games for the season. Ed Richards was yet again impressive against St Kevin’s at the Snakepit, rebounding the ball well and using his clean quick hands in close. Richards was also a dominant player in the APS v AGS game on Saturday, finding 33 disposals. Under 16 Vic Metro guns Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson used their smarts in the midfield and despite being younger than many of their opponents, continued to crack in and win the contested ball. Charlie Thompson won plenty of the ball and showed his skills going forward and booting six goals against Geelong Grammar. Carey bottom-ager Sam Elliott (son of Australian cricketer Matthew) has a good leap on him, playing in the ruck and up forward and will be a name to keep an eye on for next year.

Caulfield Grammar were well led by Vic Metro midfielder Dylan Moore who has been one of the premium midfielders in the APS competition. Moore booted six goals (five in the second half) against Melbourne Grammar in shocking conditions at Todd Rd. Moore found the ball at ease and was damaging going forward. Against Brighton, Moore was well held for most of the game but a damaging patch in the third quarter saw him collect a dozen possessions and boot three goals. His last quarter was pivotal in their come from behind win over Wesley in Round 11. Trent Mynott was another strong player against Melbourne, but suffered an ankle injury against Brighton in Round 10. Jackson Hille’s pinch hitting in the ruck was important and he showed some good signs in the second half of the season and was able to push himself onto the State Combine list. On the inside, Brisbane Lions father-son prospect and Caulfield captain Lachlan Harris continued to find plenty of the ball in the contest. Angus Styles’ ball winning was important against Wesley in the final game of the season.

One of Xavier College’s possible draft prospects CJ (Changkuoth Jiath) missed the last few games through injury, but there was plenty of other Xavier players to step up. Zak “Cherry” Evans has shown his strength up forward, booting four goals against Geelong College. Laitham Vandermeer however, might be their best draft hopeful with the rebounding defender using his pinpoint kick to effectiveness throughout the season. Jack Hewitt was their clear best against Wesley College, booting three goals and finding the ball through the midfield.

Brighton Grammar finished the year with a 6-4 record and have been able to unearth another AFL draft prospect in Nathan Murphy. The medium forward has been their prime target up forward and brought his goal kicking boots to Caulfield Grammar, where he kicked 6.0 setting up their win. The talented cricketer has plenty of suitors and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him move up into the first round, after showing his clean skills at ground level. Alfie Jarnestrom made it back-to-back best and fairest wins, after tieing with Andrew McGrath last year. Jarnestrom has moved to more of a role across half back and has used his tidy left foot to effectiveness, still finding the ball when playing through the midfield. Seb Williams was consistent throughout the year, finding 40 disposals as Brighton’s best against Geelong College in Round nine. Williams has speed and a good endurance base, and the midfielder has been invited to test at the State Combine. Year 11 Ruckman Nick Phillips has improved dramatically and his selection in the APS rep team showed how far he has come after a quiet 1st XVIII season as a Yr 10 last season. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker was Brighton’s most improved, looking at home as a hybrid defender, rebounding the ball well, showing good signs for next season.

St Kevin’s College had a solid year, with Lachlan Fogarty performing well in the midfield. Down in defence Ethan Phillips held his own as one of the better key backs in the competition. Cam Hodges was impressive throughout the season, thoroughly deserving his APS rep team spot collecting 17 disposals vs the AGSV. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Oliver) was another that put together a good string of form throughout the season. Rhylee West booted three goals in their loss to Haileybury, while Year 10 Jack Mahony continues to find the football and impress.

Melbourne Grammar had their best draft hope Charlie Spargo ruled out with a shoulder injury, but players such as Sam Cameron and Oscar Dowd were able to step up and impress. Cameron moves well around the ground and has some speed that has interested clubs enough to see him collect a State Combine invite. Dowd won Melbourne’s best and fairest where he was able to hit the scoreboard and find plenty of the ball. Another name to watch is bottom-ager Toby Bedford who had some eye catching performances in the second half of the year, impressing in their Cordner-Egglestone Cup loss to Scotch.

Scotch College finished with three wins for the season, but it was displays up forward by Will Sutherland that was important. Scotch isolated Sutherland at times and against Melbourne Grammar he was far too big and strong for his opponent, booting four goals. His game against Geelong Grammar where he kicked five goals was also impressive. Bottom-age ruckman Will Clark’s work in the ruck hasn’t been missed, showing signs that he could push himself into draft calculations for 2018. Clark’s battle with Brighton’s Nick Phillips was impressive in the final game for the season, and Clark’s main strengths are that he can use the ball well and find it around the ground unlike other ruckman in the competition. Vic Metro captain Joel Garner controlled the play across half back and was able to use his long left foot to effectiveness. Noah Croes was another who caught the eye, finding the ball and using it well on his right foot breaking lines. Sam Townsend marked well overhead and provided to be another good tall in defence.

Geelong Grammar had a disappointing season results wise, despite boasting a handful of draftable prospects. AFL clubs uncovered Joe Griffiths, who has since received a State Combine invite. The 204cm ruckman is boarding at Grammar and has a good leap. Griffiths’ marking was impressive in the APS v SATIS game on the weekend, clunking three contested marks in the opening quarter. It’s no surprise that midfielder Paddy Dow is in contention for the number one selection, with his clean hands and clearance work impressive. Dow was Geelong’s best against the star-studded Haileybury College team in the final round and has shown speed coming out of the stoppages. Jarrod Brander played as a true swingman in the last few games, playing at the end where the wind was going. Brander controlled the play in defence against Carey, intercepting well. Against Haileybury he was able to push forward and clunked a nice mark over Vic Country tall defender Oscar Clavarino. The classy outside midfielder Lochie O’Brien’s ball usage has been outstanding and his breakaway speed is a trademark and he is someone who should have a fine AFL career. O’Brien has been the large focal point for opposition school taggers – and it’s no surprise such his class – but he has been able to break away from the extra attention and was in Geelong’s best players in all of the last three games. Brent Daniels showed his speed and smarts around goal, booting four against Scotch and pushed into Geelong’s VFL team on the weekend.

Geelong College compiled a very nice win against Wesley College in Round 10, with bottom-age Geelong Falcons players Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless impressing. McHenry continued his strong Vic Country form into the APS, displaying his tricks and talent in the midfield as he gathered 30 disposals against Brighton, and 31 disposals, seven tackles and three goals against Wesley. Geelong 2018 father-son prospect Oscar Brownless has got better as the season went on, with an impressive 33 disposal game against Brighton. He laid 10 tackles in their loss against Xavier, while his ball winning was on show with 28 disposals in their win against Wesley. In the midfielder Jack Henderson was College’s best, winning their best and fairest. Henderson was well held against Brighton, but was unable to be stopped by Wesley, collecting 32 disposals and five tackles in a best-on-ground performance. He was similarly impressive against Xavier, with 32 disposals, nine tackles and eight marks. Charlie Sprague has been a revelation, finding himself as a late addition to the Vic Country U17 team. His work rate around the ground has been good and has been a reliable target up forward. In the final two games he had six contested marks and is one to keep an eye on for next year.  Sam Conway’s tall presence around the ground and in the ruck has allowed the first use to the midfielders at stoppages. Tom Page has also been a pivotal part of the College’s midfield settling into tagging roles during the year whilst also finding plenty of the ball when in attack. James Edmonds continued to be lively around the forward line booting (5 goals) against Wesley.

Wesley College lost their best player Adam Cerra to shoulder surgery late in the season, but their off-field efforts with the ‘spit’ going in the final round was a recruiters delight. They led for majority of the game against Caulfield, but were overrun in the final quarter. Vic Metro Under 16 tall Charlie Dean was good up forward, booting two goals and providing a good target inside 50 against the ‘Fields. Oscar Bennett was a consistent performer, while Adam Collinson had some eye catching runs in his bright red boots through the midfield.

AGSV: 

Marcellin College completed an undefeated season, making it three premierships in a row – defeating Ivanhoe in the Grand Final. Up forward, Matthew Cecchin was a dead eye not missing many shots and creating chances inside 50. Alex Federico controlled the play through the midfield and was able to set up multiple chances. In the ruck, high level Basketballer Bailey Griffiths has thrown himself into AFL Draft calcuations with strong form throughout the finals. Griffiths has great pedigree with mum Michelle having played for the Opals, as well as being the nephew of 193-gamer Dean Brogan. Possible Collingwood father-son player Tyler Brown showed his smarts across half forward and has been a big improver in 2017. Ben Wiggins was the eye-catcher in finals, intercepting exceptionally well in defensive 50. He has a good leap and was comfortable kicking the ball on either foot.

SCOUTING NOTES: AGSV Grand Final 

Ivanhoe Grammar played some strong football under the guidance of the ever passionate Roger Gill throughout the season. Richmond father-son Patrick Naish booted three goals in the Grand Final and despite copping plenty of the huge Marcellin crowd, was able to push his team throughout the contest. Bottom-ager Tom McKenzie was impressive, showing good signs for next year with some good intercept marks. Max Dreher started on fire against Marcellin in the Grand Final, playing through the midfield and across half back, using his strong hands to his advantage.

Mentone Grammar had a good season, with midfielder Ed Newman finding plenty of the ball and using it effectively on his pinpoint left foot in his long white and blue sleeves. Lewis Diggins used his big frame to play a role winning the contested ball, but they were helped with one of the best ruckman in the state Joel Amartey, feeding the ball down to the midfielders, with his eye catching leap on display. On the outside, Kai Owens found the ball and has been another who has improved throughout the year despite battling a few injury niggles in the post holiday’s period. Tom Yorgey’s aggression across half back was notable, while Dev Brereton showed his smarts inside 50 at times.

PEGS were outclassed by Marcellin in the final, but boast one of the best players in the country in Cameron Rayner. Rayner flew for some eye catching marks in the opening quarter in the semi final at Marcellin – clunking a very good one close to goal. While he didn’t have as big of an impact as he has in some games, he has carried a few injury niggles – now including a thumb injury, but he will play out the remainder of the season at this stage with a cast. Son of Dustin, Mason Fletcher played in multiple positions, lining up in the ruck in the Semi-Final at times. Curtis Taylor has also been important, marking well inside 50 and showing his agility & X-Factor through the midfield. Taylor was one of PEGS’ best in their semi-final loss to Marcellin.

Peninsula finished in fifth position, narrowly missing out on finals. Medium tall Tom Freeman has earned a spot at the State Combine and marks well overhead. His tackling and defensive efforts were noticeable for the AGSV on the weekend. Dandenong Stingrays bottom-ager Jai Taylor performed well all season and was in the best for Vic Country Under 17s on Saturday. Taylor collected 18 disposals, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s in a strong performance on the outside and the 186cm midfielder can play in multiple roles and is one to watch.

Ryley Stoddart has been a classy performer for Yarra Valley Grammar and had a role moving the magnets for the AGSV on Saturday. Stoddart missed their final game against Mentone with an injury niggle, but his form against Eastern Ranges against Sandringham Dragons a fortnight ago was super impressive. Mackenzie Doreian showed some craft as a small forward and isn’t a bad little player. Doreian collected 18 disposals and laid seven tackles in the APS v AGSV game on Saturday.

Trinity Grammar were represented by Charlie Beasley and Bailey Evans in the APS v AGSV rep game. Evans’ ball winning skills through the midfield was very good, while Beasley was able to mark the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50.

Liam Middleton was a good performer for Assumption College Kilmore and he did some good things in the APS v AGSV rep game on Saturday, finding 16 disposals and three inside 50s. Outside midfielder Ned Lanyon was another who performed well for Assumption.

David McColl is a name to keep an eye on out of Camberwell Grammar, with the Year 11 boy finishing second in their best and fairest last year as a Year 10. In their clash against PEGS earlier in the season, McColl had a very good one-on-one battle with Cameron Rayner throughout the game. McColl has some speed and was named as an emergency in the AGSV team.

APS v AGSV Stats: 

K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
AGSV 202 163 365 92 136 233 60 26 30 37 35 12 10
APS 213 215 428 107 145 291 51 40 34 53 25 18 12
APS K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
14 Ed RICHARDS 17 16 33 4 8 23 5 6
18 Andrew BRAYSHAW 14 17 31 5 12 19 8 6 4 1 1 1
12 Charlie THOMPSON 11 19 30 8 14 18 1 2 5 1 1
2 Lachlan HARRIS 12 17 29 6 8 22 3 2 1 1 1
4 Jack HENDERSON 14 14 28 2 14 14 6 5 4 1 1
6 Alfie JARNESTROM 15 12 27 8 10 19 2 3 2
11 Laitham VANDERMEER 12 15 27 6 7 20 1 1 3 2
7 Angus STYLES 13 12 25 6 6 19 1 3 2
5 Seb WILLIAMS 16 8 24 4 6 19 1 2 8 1 4 1
1 Jack ALEXANDER 6 13 19 4 8 12 1 3 4 1
10 Cameron HODGES 9 8 17 5 8 9 2 3 5
15 Oscar BROWNLESS 8 9 17 7 4 13 4 1 1
26 Max KING 11 5 16 10 8 8 1 5 5 2
3 Noah CROES 10 5 15 6 4 13 1 2 2 1
9 Oliver DICKSON 8 7 15 3 2 13 1 1 1 1 1
24 Nick PHILLIPS 6 9 15 5 6 10 1 24 1 2
27 Nathan MURPHY 7 6 13 3 7 6 2 8 2 2 2 1
28 Ben KING 10 3 13 4 8 5 1 1 3 1
23 Ethan PHILLIPS 2 10 12 4 1 11 4 1
8 Tom JEPSON 8 3 11 5 2 9 2 1 1
25 Hugh LONGBOTTOM 4 7 11 2 2 9 3 5 1 2 1
20 Bailey WRAITH 1 3
AGS K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
1 Matthew CECCHIN 15 14 29 7 9 19 3 2 4 2 2
13 Bailey EVANS 14 12 26 7 8 18 1 2 1
12 Ed NEWMAN 15 10 25 6 6 20 4 1 2 7 1
4 Lachlan WILSON 15 9 24 3 11 14 6 2 6 1 2 1
30 Lewis DIGGINS 14 10 24 6 6 17 2 2 1 1
24 Alex FEDERICO 17 6 23 5 12 12 3 5 2 4 1 1
9 Curtis TAYLOR 14 9 23 5 10 12 2 1 2 1
2 Mackenzie DOREIAN 10 8 18 6 10 9 7 3 3 1 2
7 Liam MIDDLETON 8 8 16 4 7 9 3 3 1
32 Luke MINAHAN 3 13 16 1 9 7 1 1
28 Tom YORGEY 12 3 15 4 3 12 1 1
15 Christian FARCHIONE 7 8 15 4 2 13 2 2 1
8 Max DREHER 6 9 15 4 6 9 1 2 1
37 Tom FREEMAN 7 8 15 5 10 5 7 2 2 1
23 Ned LANYON 5 9 14 3 13 5 1 2 1
10 Charlie BEASLEY 6 7 13 6 3 10 1 3
27 Stefan NADALIN 6 5 11 6 3 8 2 4
3 Harrison FRY 7 3 10 4 2 8 2 1 2 1
31 Mason FLETCHER 7 3 10 3 2 8 1 3
42 Oscar McINTYRE 3 5 8 1 4 5 3 11 2 1 1
14 Joel AMARTEY 6 1 7 2 4 3 2 13 2 1 1
34 Patrik DELLA ROCCA 5 2 7 2 6 1 2 2 1 2 2

Victorian school football update June edition

WE ARE at the midterm break into the APS and AGSV school boy Victorian football competitions and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have performed well in the school season.

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 31-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

Haileybury College has all but wrapped up the APS premiership – barring losses to both St Kevins and Geelong Grammar in their final two games. Possible number one pick Luke Davies-Uniacke has been the star through the midfield. His ability to clear the ball by hand and foot when being tackled is phenomenal and he has been able to beat any tagger sent to him. Against Scotch, he showed he could use the ball off either feet with a pinpoint left foot kick into the corridor, while against Geelong College he had 44 disposals. Davies-Uniacke had a tough day in the ‘Grand Final’ against Carey, tagged and getting bumped around the ground by the Carey players who did all they could to stop him. It did result in some shaky footwork but he was still able to find more than 25 disposals. Max King has returned from injury with 10 goals in the last three games, as one of their standouts in Saturday’s game doing his 2018 no.1 pick chances no harm. Twin brother Ben too has remained up forward slotting a bag of six against Caulfield Grammar and whilst he gets better each game up forward – he should hold down a key position defender slot in his draft year.

Charlie Constable had more than 30 disposals against Carey and played his best football as a general defender with stints in the midfield, while captain Andrew Brayshaw has nursed a quad injury but should put his hand up for Vic Metro selection soon. Jackson Ross continues to play a nice role on the wing and across half forward, while it has been Jack McHale who has caught the eye of a few clubs in defence. Oscar Clavarino has been solid often intercepting off half-back, but Scotch’s Will Sutherland clunked a beautiful mark over him in their clash. One name that bobbed up from the weekend was Adam Schache who did some nice things – but Aiden Bonar might just be one of the best of the lot and should excite when he returns from a long term injury soon.

(We’ll have a full report on the Carey vs. Haileybury game online later this week) 

Carey Grammar’s undefeated run came to an end on Saturday – but they put up a fight against Haileybury College. Year 10 Matthew Rowell is a star and is highly touted for the 2019 draft. Rowell wins the ball through the midfield and has been named as Vic Metro U16 captain. Cooper Leon was one of Carey’s best against Scotch and Caulfield, finding the football right around the ground and using it well on his right foot. Captain Charlie Thompson wins the football in the midfield and was a big reason Carey got back into the game against Scotch, while Ed Richards has been impressive with his run and carry a highlight before using it on his long left foot. Oliver Simpson impressed in the game on Saturday and is a playing to watch for next year.

At the ‘Snakepit,’ St Kevin’s have had to fight hard with star midfielders Lachlan Fogarty and Rhylee West nursing injuries. It has meant that youngsters James Rowbottom and Jack Mahony have had to step up in the midfield, with under 16 Mahony tipped to be a star of the future. Kane O’Halloran has been their most important forward kicking some strong goals, while Cam Hodges is putting together some solid form this season and would be in consideration for the APS team of the season.

Scotch’s Will Sutherland continues to get the plaudits playing superb football as a key target up forward and spending time in the midfield, with one recruiter drawring comparisons to Marcus Bontempelli. He has been named in the Vic Metro squad and expect him to line up this weekend in their clash against Vic Country. Against Carey, he clunked nine marks (five contested) and booted three goals as the clear best on ground in the first half. Against Haileybury, some of his marks were outstanding and spent more time in the midfield than he did against Carey. Noah Croes made a few recruiters jot some notes down, with a nice mark in defensive 50 catching the eye against Haileybury. Croes is another good cricketer who won their best and fairest as a Year 11 and is playing good football across half back using his smarts. Vic Metro Under 16 Finn Maginness has missed games through injury, while Joel Garner has predominantly played across half forward – not attending a single centre bounce against Carey and Haileybury. Garner has a defining moment against Scotch, winning a two-on-one inside 50 and banging home the goal on his left foot. Ruckman Will Clark was one of their best in a close loss to Carey, clunking marks around the ground.

Brighton Grammar and Melbourne Grammar took part in the first ‘Pride match’ at Todd Road in May. Brighton midfielders Seb Williams and Alfie Jarnestrom played strong games in the midfield. Williams has been a big ball winner in the APS competition using his speed and agility to get around opponents with ease – racking up more than 40 disposals in two of his games. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy has caught the eye and there has been plenty of interest at club land. The 188cm medium utility has looked at home in his new role up forward, clunking marks finishing with five goals against Wesley, with nearly all clubs having a scout in attendance. Murphy has a long kick and has been a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker has been outstanding coming out of defensive 50 possessing great agility.

Out at Flack Park, Melbourne Grammar led the ‘Pride match’ in front of a strong crowd with guest speaker Jason Ball speaking to the crowd before the contest. On the results front, it was not a great day for Melbourne going down to Brighton by 14 points. Charlie Spargo was well held with a quiet day – but did fight hard in the last quarter with some good lateral movement willing his teammates to try and turn around their three-quarter time margin. Up forward, Oscar Dowd has been one of their best – while Kyle Dunkley and Harry Bede are two others who have put together a strong month.

Caulfield Grammar has some draftable players with Vic Metro midfielders Dylan Moore and Trent Mynott, pushing themselves into draftable conversations after superb seasons at all levels. Captain Lachlan Harris played his best game of the season with 41 disposals against Geelong Grammar, tall forward Isaac Morrisby has fired into form with bags of five and four against St Kevin’s and Geelong Grammar respectively. Jackson Hille returned from an early season injury at the Dragons and has worked his way into the year with a good game finding 25 disposals on Saturday. Year 9 boy Will Phillips starred with 31 disposals and a goal vs. Geelong Grammar & will be a name to keep an eye on.

Geelong Grammar has disappointed results wise, but have some elite talent in Year 11 and Year 12. Jarrod Brander missed their clash with Caulfield due to Allies commitments, but up forward he was the difference in their victory over arch-rivals Geelong College. Brander turned the game on its head with a superb third quarter, with his marking and kicking under pressure a class above kicking five goals for the game. Bottom-ager Jye Caldwell has been impressive, with one draft watcher on declaring the star could contend for a top five pick in 2018. Paddy Dow has shown off his speed from the stoppages pushing himself into top ten calculations, giving his heart and soul through the midfield crashing in, getting it forward and hitting the scoreboard. The 184cm midfielder booted a bag of seven against Wesley College in Round 5. Lochie O’Brien has been tagged out of a few games with a rough start to the year – but expect him to show his class at the Under 18 Championships and the Bendigo Pioneers when he returns from injury. Jarrod Walters has also been another players well lately.

Geelong College went down in the local derby, but fought hard in a close loss to Melbourne Grammar on the weekend. Ed McHenry was outstanding for Vic Country and has been one of their best, with the lively player showing his tricks in the midfield. Jack Henderson has won plenty of football in the midfield and no doubt is leading their best and fairest. Henderson also clunked ‘APS Mark of the Year’ in the derby (See tweet below). Geelong 2018 father-son Oscar Brownless has worked his way into the season putting together some solid form.

Xavier’s Anthony Zimmerman is using his elite speed and goal smarts to good use, hitting the scoreboard. Bailey Smith was solid in the Vic Metro U17 Futures game and has been a strong performer in the midfield and rebounding across half back. Laitham Vandermeer is another who has been great for Xavier and would be a contender for their best player of the season. Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) has been exciting and his moments of flashes are simply eyecatching, often using his good athletic leap to clunk marks.  Australia Under 19 cricket speed demon Zak “Cherry” Evans has been a standout for Xavier – and could easily follow the football pathway should he wish. Evans booted two goals in the opening quarter on Saturday and is playing well. Charlie Whitehead, Jack Hewitt and Jeremy Lucas have been other good contributors for the Xavs.

Adam Cerra has nursed a shoulder injury at times for Wesley – but was a star in Vic Metro’s opening win of the National Under 18 Championships. Cerra spent most of the game against Brighton playing forward with his shoulder heavily strapped, and could’ve easily booted three goals in the opening quarter had he taken his chances. He used his speed to get distance between himself and opponents, taking a few good marks overhead. Charlie Dean impressed as a tall for Vic Metro Under 16 and has been good for Wesley. Oscar Bennett has been a strong APS player over recent years and has been solid playing mostly in defence. Adam Collinson has been another who has shown draftable traits through the midfield competiting well in the stoppages. While Bo James‘ impressive games left a one veteran recruiter scrambling to find out his date of birth for draft eligibility.

Over the in AGSV competition, Marcellin sit undefeated on top and have locked down the minor premiership spot.

Alex Federico is Marcellin’s best draft prospect and has been great through the midfield and dropping back to help the defence. His composure with ball in hand is good. Patrick Della Rocca is too powerful and strong for most opponents, with broad shoulder and a strong build helping the bottom-ager inside 50. Josh Posar impressed around the ground, finding plenty of the ball and marking uncontested on multiple occassions. It was however Riley Loton’s first half that would’ve had his name circled, using his nice left foot on the wing to power the ball forward. Christian Farchione used it well at times on his left foot, while Ben Wiggins provided a contest inside 50 as a marking target.

Mentone fought hard in their loss to Marcellin, unable to stay with them for long enough. Ed Newman looms as the most draftable player, playing across half back and through the midfield. The Victorian Under 19 cricketer will have a tough decision on his hands – recently added to the Sandringham Dragons squad, but if he picks the football path I have no doubt a club would strongly consider him. Newman booted a good running goal in the third quarter on his left foot. Kai Owens impressed on the wing, finding plenty of the ball and is okay on his right foot. Joel Amartey was played out of position, with most of the game inside 50 as their tall target rather than in the ruck. The first bounce saw the ex-basketballer leap over his Marcellin opponent and win the tap, but up forward didn’t read the flight of the ball great. Devlin Brereton is fast on his feet, with good agility and caused trouble at times for Marcellin defenders. Year 10 Jai Florent bagged a good goal in the third quarter, while Tom Yorgey and Lewis Diggins are willing to crack in hard and fly the flag for their teammates.

PEGS have the top prospect from the AGSV with Cameron Rayner a strong performer in Vic Metro’s win on Sunday. Rayner has been solid without starring for PEGS, but returned to form with an outstanding game against Mentone with over 30 disposals and multiple strong contested marks showing off what many saw him do as Year 11 for school. Curtis Taylor has come back from injury and been another great performer, seeing him earn selection in the Vic Metro side. PEGS did miss the ‘dynamic duo’ on Saturday, with Peninsula pulling off a great win at home.

Patrick Naish is playing good football for Ivanhoe, booting a few goals against a weak Trinity team and a strong Mentone team. Naish had some extra attention from the Mentone midfielders, but still was okay. Seems to relish playing out at Chelmsworth Park (Ivanhoe’s home ground) where he has played some brilliant games over the last few years. Max Dreher missed the game against Mentone – but has been another solid performer on the inside and across defence.

Peninsula pulled off an unexpected win against PEGS, but won’t qualify for AGSV finals. They have got a good crop of young Dandenong Stingrays and as I eluded to in the previous update, Jai Taylor and Will Antonie are the two worth keeping an eye on.

Ryley Stoddart is Yarra Valley’s best player and starred with a big bag of goals against the winless Camberwell. Stoddart is a clean ball user on his left foot and was good for Vic Metro on the weekend. For Assumption, Shane Skidmore has been impressive and put in a solid performance for Vic Metro in the Under 17 Futures clash. Trinity and Camberwell have struggled so far this season and both hold the clear bottom two positions – despite Trinity pushing Ivanhoe for a draw earlier in the season.

Victorian school football update May edition

WE ARE a month into the APS and AGSV school boy Victorian football competitions and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have started well in the school season.

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 27-game career has shown, it is not the be all & end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

Down at Brighton, their APS ‘four-peat’ premiership tilt appears over after a few losses to start the season with coach Robert Shaw fielding a much younger squad than previous years. They do have one for the future – with state Under 15 and Year 9 boy Darby Hipwell a standout early in the season. Sandringham Dragons midfielder Alfie Jarnestrom tied for their best and fairest alongside Andrew McGrath in 2016 and has again taken it up another notch, with 36 disposals in their loss against Haileybury using the ball well on his left foot. 2018 North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker has been utilised at both ends, showing glimpses in his bottom-age year. On the weekend against Geelong Grammar, the grandson of Don Williams (Melbourne Hall of Famer), Seb Williams returned from concussion with 40 plus disposals in one of the better performances from a Brighton Grammar School captain, against a midfield with likely first round selections Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy had recruiters working the phones over the weekend, leaving them stunned with a seven-goal haul at centre half forward and he may be another with a tough decision on his hands.

Scotch’s Will Sutherland has been the leading ‘icon’ of the multi-talented sportsplayers this season, with the tall starring up forward throughout the start of the APS season. It does look more and more likely that football may be the destination for the Australian Under 19 cricketer at the end of the season, with AFL Victoria keen to push him into the Vic Metro squad for the Under 18 Championships. Noah Croes is another good cricketer who won Scotch’s best and fairest as a Year 11 and has caught the eye with his good ball use and run & carry. Joel Garner has used his clean hands well at the contest and continues to put his hand up as a possible first round selection. Hawthorn fans have a name to keep an eye on with Under 16 Vic Metro’s Finn Maginness in the number 33 as one of their best to start the season as a Year 10 – hitting the scoreboard up forward.

Carey Grammar have been the surprise packet starting the season without a loss. They are playing their big ground well out at Bulleen, with Ed Richards the leader of their run from defence. Richards has often taken the kick outs, speeding off past his opponents and working down one of the wings. Charlie Thompson‘s ball winning has been important, ensuring that Carey are getting first hands on the ball despite coming up against stronger midfielders. Recruiters took note of Tom Jepson‘s tagging job of Wesley’s Adam Cerra in Round two, rendering him largely influential for the entire day.

Despite his quiet game against Carey, Cerra has been one of Wesley’s best and shown why he is capable of contending for the number one selection with his good ball use on his right foot ringing true. He wins the ball at the centre bounces and is smart at the stoppages – making him a tough tagging candidate as he was able to get off the chain against Haileybury as Wesley’s clear best. Adam Collinson impressed for the Oakleigh Chargers and has carried that into the APS season through the midfield. 188cm medium tall Charlie Dean is a name for the future, selected in the Vic Metro Under 16 preliminary squad.

At the ‘Snakepit,’ St Kevin’s continue to show consistency in their teams from year to year. Lachlan Fogarty goes about his job in the midfield, despite missing the game against Melbourne Grammar with concussion. Fogarty was one of their best in the win against Brighton, winning the ball in the contest. Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West continues to crack in hard, while Year 10 boy Jack Mahony has been the surprise packet with the Vic Metro Under 16 player a star in their Round one win over Geelong Grammar. Ethan Phillips has been defending well, using his athletic ability to shut down the oppositions best tall.

Out at Keysborough, Haileybury on paper has one of the strongest APS teams in a long time, with names such as Luke Davies-Uniacke, Oscar Clavarino and the King twins – they are the clear favourites for the premiership. Andrew Brayshaw continues to play a strong role in the midfield, winning plenty of the football while Charlie Constable uses his smarts rotating through the midfield from across half back.

Davies-Uniacke has only dropped below 30 disposals once for the ‘Bloods’, with his 32 disposal and six-goal performance against Brighton simply amazing. Clavarino has been able to intercept mark the ball with ease in the defensive 50, dropping off his man and his ball use by foot has been solid. Despite brother Max being out with a knee injury – Ben King looks better with each game he plays up forward, booting seven goals against Xavier on Saturday. His contested marking was on show and his move forward has shown his versatility for the natural defender. Liam Stocker has looked good across half back, while athletic Jackson Ross continues to put his hand up as a draft smokey with glimpses of outstanding play as a centre half forward and on the wing.

Despite Clavarino’s strong start to the season, Carlton 2018 father-son prospect Ben Silvagni was able to get on top of him booting three goals for Xavier in their clash Saturday. Charlie Whitehead has started the season well and put in a gutsy tagging effort on Davies-Uniacke, while Anthony Zimmerman is using his goal smarts and speed up forward. Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) has been exciting through the midfield and up forward and is playing some great football.

Caulfield are another school undefeated, with Vic Metro midfielders Dylan Moore (30 disposals, three goals against Scotch) and Trent Mynott dominating at the start of the season putting their hand up for possible draft calculations. The pair tackle hard and win the ball in at the clearances. Angus Styles is showing his poise, with 30 disposals in their big win against Scotch – while captain Lachlan Harris had a huge third quarter effort for the ‘Fields’. Will Kennedy is giving their midfielders first use of the ball winning the ruck, with Isaac Morrisby providing a big target up forward.

Out at Flack Park, Charlie Spargo has got the ball on a string for Melbourne. His performance against St Kevin’s College will go down as one of the best individual games many have seen – kicking three goals and having a big amount of the ball. Hybrid defender Harry Bede is marking well overhead and is another name to keep an eye on, with a similar pedigree to Hawthorn 2016 draftee Oliver Hanrahan from a cricket background. Sam Cameron has also played some impressive football as one of their better starters to the season. MGS also possess a younger Dunkley and Goddard amongst their ranks.

Down the highway, Geelong College have had a quiet start to the season. Ed McHenry impressed in the Vic Country trials and has been one of their best, showing his elite endurance running hard all game. Jack Henderson has won plenty of football in the midfield and was best on ground in their loss to Caulfield.

Arch-rivals Geelong Grammar are the surprise packet – with few tipping them to contend for the premiership. Their lack of depth has affected them, but they boast likely draftees Jarrod Brander, Brent Daniels, Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien. Brander returned from a knee injury on Saturday – that he suffered in round one to boot a bag of goals up forward. Daniels goes in hard for a small, while Dow has used his burst from the midfield to hit the scoreboard with five goals against St Kevin’s. O’Brien was tagged out of the game on Saturday, but is a classy ball user on the wing.

Over the in AGSV competition, Marcellin and Mentone sit undefeated on top. While neither school boasts a likely high draftee – their depth is very good.

Alex Federico is Marcellin’s best draft prospect and was very good against PEGS. Federico is composed with ball in hand and plays his best football across half back. Patrik Della Rocca is a bottom-age forward who impressed last year for Marcellin and has continued that into this year – including booting three goals on Saturday for the Northern Knights.

Mentone ruckman Joel Amartey is continuing to get better with each game he plays and was good in the first half against Assumption. Tom Yorgey and Ed Newman are using the ball well across half back, setting up the play. Victorian Under 19 cricketer Newman may be another to forge to the football pathway, should clubs come calling. Kai Owens is finding the ball through the midfield, while Hawthorn father-son prospect Devlin Brereton is showing good signs.

Mitch Lewis was drafted out of Assumption last year to the Hawks and they boast eight players on TAC Cup lists this year. Their most talented tall Joel Naylor can play at either end, while Shane Skidmore was super impressive at last year’s Under 16 Championships for Vic Metro.

Anthony Larkey is one of Trinity’s best – but they have struggled so far this season, as have Camberwell – while Peninsula have a good crop of Dandenong Stingrays players on their list with Jai Taylor and Will Antonie two names to keep an eye on.

Ryley Stoddart fought hard for Yarra Valley in their big loss to Ivanhoe. Stoddart is a classy ball user across the wing or half back and took an outstanding contested mark in the opening quarter before slotting the goal. He was moved onto the damaging Patrick Naish in the second half, keeping him to just two goals in a vallient effort as one of their clear best players. Stoddart did come off late with cramp in his calf, but should be commended for his strong efforts on Naish.

Patrick Naish’s seven-goal haul was simply outstanding for Ivanhoe and had Richmond recruiters watching on with a grin on their face. He booted three in the opening quarter, turning the game on it’s head. He attended a good chunk of centre bounces, before resting deep out of the goal square and was a marking target with his great leap on show – keeping the big crowd entertained despite “Roo” being another target up forward. Max Dreher was another who played a strong game for Ivanhoe in the midfield and through defence, winning the contests and disposing of the ball well. Xavier Naish is another father-son prospect for Richmond in 2019 – playing on the wing and kicking two goals on Friday.

PEGS have the top prospect from the AGSV with Cameron Rayner showing off his contested marking and power in the midfield. Whilst he was quieter against Marcellin, winning a lot more unconstesed possessions than normal – he makes a meal of the poor teams in the competition. He doesn’t have a huge tank, but he can do some special things in short bursts that can change the game. Curtis Taylor has been injured, but was a star last season as Year 11 boy up forward.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 3

ROUND Three of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts at four of the games over the weekend. Read their scouting notes below:

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Bendigo Pioneers:

#7 Matt Harvey – Was one of the better players early in the game and faded out a little like many of his teammates. Showed great agility inside the contest and can move laterally to weave away from an opponent if required. He laid a fierce, bone crunching tackle in the first term. Harvey earned a goal when he got to the right position in the second quarter.

#10 Brent Daniels – Really got up and going in the second term, booting three of his four goals and helping the Pioneers build that early lead. Has that unique nous around goals and one of those players if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile. Could have had about six, having hit the post running in at one stage. Took a great one-handed mark inside 50 in the second term and for a 172cm player, he gets enough marks inside 50, including contested, to add a point of difference to the Pioneers forward line. Knows how to get to the right spots which is handy.

#15 Darby Henderson – A strong player in the contest who wins his own ball on the inside and receives on the outside. Really good at winning contests against bigger players and has good hands in close. His second and third efforts are impressive and is constantly on the move. One knock is probably his kicking which at times was hit or miss. Not in the sense of necessarily kicking it to the wrong position, but it looked like he misjudged the weight on his kicking, so for a shorter target it might drop short for example. Overall he’s got a few likeable traits however, and from an inside ball winners point of view there is something there to work on. Will be one to watch their development this season.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Of all those playing on Saturday, Henderson could well be the one to watch from the Pioneers. He is that medium forward who is capable both in the air and at ground level, presents well and has a penetrating kick. Played more as that high half-forward leading up the ground, but took a couple of marks inside 50 and has clean hands when it hits the deck. Contributed to a Matt Harvey goal when he spun out of a tackle and gave off a handball. Did have a number of ineffective kicks throughout the day however.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Buzzes around the contest and creates some excitement. Can be hit or miss by foot, but works hard and has good agility. Did try and do a bit too much late in the game in one instant and was pinged for dropping the ball. But he is one who continues to work hard and is always seemingly around the contest.

#7 Will Stephenson – Really like him as a player but the automatic knock will be his height. At 169cm as a player you’re up against it from the word go. In terms of ability however, I think there’s a fair bit to work with. Does not win as much of the ball as other midfielders, but is usually reliable. He has good acceleration and this was highlighted by a great run down tackle in the first quarter. The other knock I would have on him is he looks to occasionally double guess himself and not take the first option. He works hard and if he doesn’t hit a target he kicks it to the right positions. Booted three goals and is incredibly strong above his head for his size. Turned the game on its head and effectively helped drag Gippsland to the win.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Got better as the game went on after a few bloopers in the first half. Has so much X-factor about him with his pace and agility, but just rushes his disposal at times. Needs a bit of a confidence boost by the looks of it, because when he got into space outside of pressure he hit up Sean Masterson for the sealer. I think it is a case of just needing to know he has the pace to burn off opponents and have time to dispose of it. Got obvious skill, but rushing his disposal is what hurts.

#11 Austin Hodge – Really like him as a player. Not as silky as others, but has a build that clubs are looking for at 188cm and 77kg. Had a bit of Dustin Martin in the way he goes about it, fending off opponents and having good balance. He’s god a good, penetrating kick and doesn’t rush under pressure which is really impressive. Needs to find more of the ball and build more consistency to take his game to another level.

#24 Sean Masterson – A defender last season who missed out on being drafted is now up the other end. I personally like him more as a forward because he has that freedom to use what I didn’t realise was such a huge vertical jump. Not the most reliable set shot, missing a couple of relatively straight forward kicks, but he presents a target and does everything you ask of a forward otherwise. I think he has more development to come as a forward and I certainly would like to see him more in the forward line.

#36 Jack Hudson – Buzzed around the forward line and finished with three goals. A medium forward who plays a bit taller than his 180cm, he stepped up through the third term and kicked a great running goal earlier in the match.


Western Jets vs. Sandringham Dragons (Duncan Robertson)

Western Jets:

#12 Connor Thar – Played well through the midfield for the Jets and was one of their best in the first half. Finished with 18 disposals and laid some strong tackles in the centre. Could perhaps clean up his kick but won the ball on both the inside and outside.

#16 Nicholas Stuhldreier – Was the Jets best player right throughout the day and might be a player to watch. He finished with 22 disposals (11 contested) and had eight clearances in the middle of the ground. Is a really nice size and distributes the ball well.

#24 Tom Yorgey – Kicked it well off his left foot playing in the defensive half. Cracks in hard – which did result in three frees against, but played a solid game.

#25 Jack Noonan – Another player who impressed me playing through the midfield. He was willing to kick the ball long inside 50 to look for a target – but he led the clanger count for the Jets by foot. Was hard around the packs and at times was dangerous running forward.

#44 Tristan Xerri – Continues to play solid footy in the ruck and up forward. Created a nice dynamic duo up forward with Brock McGregor. If he can hit the scoreboard and show what he did in 2016, he may be a chance come November.

Sandringham Dragons:

#5 Seb Williams – Looked a class above playing in the attacking half of the ground. Has plenty of speed and took the ball inside 50 on six occasions. Continued to find the ball and was the Dragons’ leading ball winner, his kicking can be hot and cold at times – but he bagged two good goals.

#7 Aaron Trusler – He was very very lively inside 50 and despite his size marks well overhead (seven marks for the day). Reminds me a bit like Ben Ainsworth with his ability overhead despite his height. Kicked an outstanding goal on the run from 50m after taking a few bounces in the centre. Finished with 4.2 and two assists.

#23 Devlin Brereton – The son of Dermott’s best game to date, with plenty of impact up forward. He moves very well and has strong hands – as well as a nice kick on him. Hoping to see more of this throughout the year.

#28 Isaac Morrisby – Bagged four goals early for the Dragons and was a class above in the first half. For me I think he’s more of a third tall at AFL level similar to Jack Darling, but will need to improve his mobility if that will be his role long term.

#32 Ethan Casey – Dominated in the ruck with 30 hitouts until he had to be stretchered off with about 30 seconds remaining in the game. Unfortunately he’s done his ACL, but he can be proud about his efforts on how he played on Saturday.

#33 Howie Persson – Played in defence in more of an attacking role than he has in the past few weeks. Finished with 19 disposals and six tackles. Has plenty of speed to burn.


Murray Bushrangers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Murray Bushrangers:

#5 Ben Paton – Like the look of him off half-back and seems to have stood up as that leader for the Bushrangers. An over-age player who missed out on being drafted last season, Paton has a penetrating kick and moves well in transition. Will be one of a number of over-age players to keep an eye on this season.

#10 Dave Smith – Kicked an really good goal in the first term, showcasing his speed and work rate to run into goal and have the composure to finish it off.

#34 Thomas Boyd – Looked very good early one-on-one as a key defender. He’s not necessarily the height of a key defender at 190cm, but playing that similar role to Ryan Garthwaite last season, Boyd could that developing tall. He showed he had good closing speed to spoil an opposition player’s attempt at marking.

#35 Floyd Bollinghaus – Played up forward and made his mark in the second quarter, winning a crucial one-on-one against Hayden Elliot and kicking a goal. Missed another chance shortly after, but was up and about and could be a presence down there.

Geelong Falcons:

#7 Harry Benson – Provided a highlight in the opening term when he launched a monster goal from well outside 50. Showed a few good signs as a bottom-ager last year and will likely be an important player in that midfield-forward link-up transition.

#16 David Handley – Really like his attributes as a forward. His smarts were summed up in the first term where he was corralled in on the boundary line about 20m out and while most would tend to have a shot, he pulled the kick and centred it to his teammate rather than blazing away. He will be one to keep an eye on throughout the season.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Geelong fans would not help but get excited about this kid’s prospects. I was surprised to see he’s only the 186cm because he plays taller and is really strong overhead. Just puts power through his set shots and did not stray from the target with a solid set shot routine.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Brother of Darcy and could not be much different in size and features. A big inside bodied midfielder, Parish still has good pace but his best work is at the stoppages. He knows how to use his frame and is another player that aids in the transition from the midfield to the forward line.


Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

#2 Cal Wellings – Overage player who was unlucky not to be drafted last season. Reads the taps well and oozes leadership. Had some improvements to make this season and has shown he has no problem winning the ball. Really quick hands in traffic, think more scoreboard impact will be the next box to tick for the captain. Stands tall in the middle and has a high work rate.

#4 Aiden Domic – The top prospect from the Rebels this season. Moves well in and out of a contest, goes forward and has an impact and is clean. Kicked the only goal of the first term for the Rebels and will be the one to watch throughout the year.

#23 Lloyd Meek – Thought I’d highlight the over-age ruck as he is someone who really could benefit from this extra year at TAC Cup level. He has that bigger body and just imposes himself in the ruck to give his midfielders first use. Occasionally gives away a few free kicks, but generally will outmuscle his opponent and he has shown to have an impact inside forward 50.

#29 Lachie Wareham – Good strong hands overheads, leads well just lacks that touch of agility for that medium forward. Given the Rebels lack of height he does have to play that full-forward role, but unsure of his versatility to play up the ground. Certainly good overhead though.

Dandenong Stingrays:

#42 Jai Nanscawen – Finished with four goals from 12 disposals and while he was that forward type, showed he has the potential to be lively and make the most of his possessions.

#46 Mason De Wit – He was one of my favourites last season not to be drafted. Has that bigger body and that sense of a prototype midfielder. Just gets his arms free and is a penetrating kick. Doesn’t need a lot of the footy to make an impact, just needs a bit of luck on the injury front.

#54 Tom Hogan – He’s one I like and at 198cm has plenty of development in him. Leads at the ball, takes a good contested grab and kicks through the football. I want to see more of him this season and what role he will play when the Stingrays are at full strength. Played through the ruck and at full-forward and while there’s still some raw work in there, he’s someone that will build with time.

#55 Ali Zijai – A really balanced player who uses the ball well and works hard defensively to lay tackles. On the weekend he had 20 effective disposals (out of 23) and laid nine tackles to be one of the best on ground.