Tag: vic country

Fantastic Five: Memorable moments from the weekend

A DEVELOPMENT weekend saw the regular football viewing for Under 18s divided, with the Victorian Under 18 trials, AFLW Academy practice matches, and the Northern Academy Series taking place.

Victorian Under 18 Trials

Spectators who dared to venture to Ikon Park on Sunday in wet and blustery conditions were able to catch an early glimpse of the Victorian Under 18 sides in action ahead of the National Under 18 Championships in June. Vic Country and Vic Metro clashed in two shortened practice matches, with plenty to take out of the contest despite the conditions. Both squads left out their Level Two Academy members from the matches, as the depth in each side was put to the test. Country won both games, although it matters little with the sides cutting down their lists between now and their opening round clashes.

AFLW Academy practice matches

Under lights in an AFL-standard venue, the brightest AFLW prospects got to take on Geelong’s VFLW side in front of plenty of family and friends. They easily accounted for the Cats by eight goals, with the likes of Madison Prespakis and Tyla Hanks leading the way through the midfield. They AFLW Academy had other warm ups including against Darebin Falcons, where the Level One Academy players got to taste the action against senior bodies. With the weekend off TAC Cup Girls, they no doubt learnt a lot and will be excited to bring that back to their clubs when the action returns next weekend.

Hi-five for Stephenson

Eastern Ranges had a massive draft haul last season and one of the most talked about players was Jaidyn Stephenson. He excited crowds and had natural football ability, with some people believing he was the brightest talent in the 2017 AFL National Draft. Stephenson slipped to number six on the draft board where the Pies snaffled him up and have not regretted it since. After a couple of solid showings in the opening few rounds, Stephenson had a breakout performance in just his fourth game, booting five goals and proving an excitement machine up forward. Having sliced the Crows defence up, he was a key reason the Pies won at Adelaide Oval for the first time.

Northern Academies clash in Blacktown

Prior to the National Under 18 Championships, the Division 2 series takes place with the four Northern Academies – GWS GIANTS, Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns – and Northern Territory and Tasmania clashing in a series to help selectors decide on an Allies squad to take to the Division 1 championships. In the opening round it was the NSW/ACT sides that got the job done, with the GIANTS and Swans getting home, as did Tasmania.

Port Melbourne coach wins in milestone game

Gary Ayres has been a mainstay in Australian Rules football for as long as many fans can remember. His most recent accolade was the 2017 Victorian Football League (VFL) premiership, when the Boroughs knocked off Richmond in the grand final. This week marked his 700th game as player or coach, in a career spanning four decades. Remarkably he does not look like slowing down anytime soon, winning in his milestone game as the Borough bounced back from a round one loss to knock off Collingwood in a tight thriller in trying conditions at Olympic Park.

Scouting notes: Victorian trials

WET weather and blustery conditions played havoc at Ikon Park for the two Vic Country and Vic Metro Under 18 trial matches on Sunday.

With the Level 2 AFL Academy players rested from the games, alongside some injured prospects, it gave some other boys a chance to put their hand up to make the final squads for the AFL National Under 18 Championships. Vic Country won both games, but the results of the 15 minute quarter matches were irrelevant.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

GAME 1: 

#3 Mitchell Riordan (Vic Country) – Played in the attacking half of the ground, winning ball in the midfield and pushing forward well. He booted a goal in the second quarter, soccering the ball through the big sticks.

#5 Kye Quirk (Vic Metro) – Played mostly across half-back and found a bit of the football. Provided some run out of defensive 50 and used the ball reasonably well. Marked well overhead when required.

#6 Justin McInerny (Vic Metro) – Started in the midfield and did some impressive things early in the game. Had a nice passage across half-back, marking and getting the ball moving quickly with a short handball. His kicking was just okay in what was tough conditions for outside players.

#6 Matthew McGannon (Vic Country) – The overager was rocking a flashy pair of bright orange boots and had most of his impact in the opening half. He linked up well on the outside, willing to kick on either foot – making it hard to work out which is his preferred. He hit a lot of targets on the outside.

#8 Xavier O’Halloran (Vic Metro) – Started in the midfield, but basically did a straight swap with Alastair Richards after half-time. In an unfamiliar role in the backline, O’Halloran did some good things – taking a few kick outs and rebounding it well. Showed his strength in one contest, putting his head over the ball and winning a one-on-one.

#9 Irving Mosquito (Vic Country) – Did some nice things when he flashed in the contest. He didn’t boot a goal, but made his possessions count. He had a few runs towards goal, including one where he took a few bounces across half forward. He has plenty of tricks and his hands in close are very good.

#15 Zak Butters (Vic Metro) – One player who stood out during the day. He is a flashy player that makes you take notice of him, with good bursts through the midfield. Butters won the ball and was reasonably effective by foot, an area that I have thought in the past had plenty of room for improvement.

#17 Finlay Bayne (Vic Country) – One player who I had not seen a lot of coming into the game, but he won a lot of possessions during the game. The 177cm Stingray was good in both uncontested and contested situations, and finished the match well with a mark inside 50 – before booting home the goal.

#18 Alastair Richards (Vic Metro) – Was one of the few players who you could say that you left the ground thinking about how well they played. Was clearly the best player on the ground in the first game (and arguably the whole day). Richards started the day deep in defence as a small defender, but pushed into the midfield in the second half and dominated. He booted two goals for the game, using it well off his right foot and used his hands well in close. A very agile player who has had a superb start to season 2018.

#18 Hudson Garoni (Vic Country) – Started the game with two goals in the opening quarter. He provided a marking target during the match, with a nice lead up mark in the third quarter one of his few better touches. Another highlight was a right foot “na na” from a set shot that Brian Taylor would have enjoyed.

GAME 2: 

#5 Angus Hanrahan (Vic Metro) – Played right around the ground in the Vic Metro team, snapping a nice goal in the second quarter. In the opening quarter, he took a very good intercept mark in defence and in another passage of play saw him kick the ball into a damaging position into the corridor to find a Metro teammate.

#7 Sam Flanders (Vic Country) – Arguably one of the best players in Game 2, coming off a big 20 disposal and four goal game. He had an outstanding run down tackle in the 2nd quarter. He then picked up the ball and hit Charlie Sprague inside 50 who slotted the goal. He booted the only goal of the first quarter from the goal square, putting the ball out of Ikon Park.

#9 Zane Keighran (Vic Country) – Had a few good touches through the midfield, but occasionally did not elect to use the first option he had. He did take a good mark inside 50 in the 2nd quarter and showed enough to suggest he is a player to keep an eye on.

#10 Zac Foot (Vic Country) – Played a very good game last week and had a good opening half. He won the football through the midfield and provided some good burst out of the stoppages.

#11 Liam Stocker (Vic Metro) – Has been putting together a really strong first month for the Sandringham Dragons and continued to do some good things today. He has some speed that helps him at stoppages burst away from opponents, but what is impressive is his second efforts where he hunts the ball carrier. His hands in close were very good.

#13 Lachlan Sholl (Vic Metro) – Has a bit of X-Factor with the way he plays, flashing on the outside. He has a good kick on either side of his body and he had a few nice touches early in the contest.

#16 James Rowbottom (Vic Metro) – His pressure was good around the ground, where he mostly played in the attacking half of the ground. A clear highlight was the outnumbered Rowbottom winning a two-on-one contest, bringing the ball to ground before he smartly knocked it out of bounce to force a stoppage.

#21 Charlie Sprague (Vic Country) – Sprague in his blue boots booted a goal and won footy in the midfield. He set up Flanders in the goal square in the 1st quarter and Flanders returned serve, when he set up Sprague’s goal. His work in the midfield and across half-forward was good.

Victorian initial U18 Squads announced

THE INITIAL Under 18 squads for Victoria’s two Under 18 teams have been announced.

Both Vic Metro and Vic Country have released strong preliminary squads, with the final lists to be confirmed closer to the Championships at the conclusion of trial matches.

Both squads will meet this Sunday at Ikon Park, with two trial games to be played at 10.30am and 12.30pm. 

Vic Country once again kick-off their 2018 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships in Sydney against the Allies, while Vic Metro will travel to Western Australia in the opening round. 

Vic Metro’s Oakleigh Chargers (19) and Vic Country’s Dandenong Stingrays (16) lead the way for most representatives in the initial squads. 

VIC METRO U18     
CurtisTaylor6/04/200018679Calder Cannons
MasonFletcher8/04/200019977Calder Cannons
TyeBrowning28/01/200018181Calder Cannons
SamGraham24/06/200018576Calder Cannons
LachlanSholl7/03/200018577Calder Cannons
JackEvans21/03/200018683Calder Cannons
RhyleeWest12/07/200018080Calder Cannons
JackBytel14/03/200018781Calder Cannons
CodyHirst19/01/200018065Eastern Ranges
KyeQuirk30/05/200018674Eastern Ranges
JamiesonRossiter17/11/200118977Eastern Ranges
JamesBlanck20/11/200019580Eastern Ranges
XavierFry8/08/200018368Eastern Ranges
ThomasLockman5/03/200019780Eastern Ranges
TomMcKenzie23/06/200018476Northern Knights
ThomasHallebone19/07/200020183Northern Knights
BraedynGillard14/11/200018377Northern Knights
HarrisonGrace19/01/200019374Northern Knights
JustinMcInerny18/08/200018772Northern Knights
OscarWhite2/10/200018071Northern Knights
JospehAyton-Delaney25/03/200018068Oakleigh Chargers
MatthewRowell1/07/200118073Oakleigh Chargers
IsaacQuaynor15/01/200018282Oakleigh Chargers
DylanWilliams1/07/200118882Oakleigh Chargers
NoahAnderson17/02/200119083Oakleigh Chargers
MatthewWarren22/06/200019085Oakleigh Chargers
BaileyGriffiths1/10/1999202100Oakleigh Chargers
NoahAnswerth6/08/199918282Oakleigh Chargers
AtuBosenavualagi17/09/200017979Oakleigh Chargers
RileyCollier-Dawkins3/02/200019388Oakleigh Chargers
WillGolds6/05/200018168Oakleigh Chargers
WillKelly16/08/200019383Oakleigh Chargers
XavierO’Neill3/08/200018378Oakleigh Chargers
JayRobertson29/09/200018779Oakleigh Chargers
JackRoss3/09/200018685Oakleigh Chargers
BenSilvagni7/05/200019484Oakleigh Chargers
BaileyWraith29/04/200019184Oakleigh Chargers
JamesRowbottom19/09/200018578Oakleigh Chargers
JackMahony12/11/200117668Sandringham Dragons
BaileySmith7/12/200018582Sandringham Dragons
JoelCrocker14/04/200018970Sandringham Dragons
FischerMcAsey8/03/200119586Sandringham Dragons
EthanCasey13/04/1999202102Sandringham Dragons
BenKing7/07/200020285Sandringham Dragons
MaxKing7/07/200020386Sandringham Dragons
JoeGriffiths28/05/199920390Sandringham Dragons
SamuelForbes13/01/200018673Sandringham Dragons
AngusHanrahan9/08/200018268Sandringham Dragons
HarryHoulahan9/01/200018774Sandringham Dragons
WillKennedy18/06/200019886Sandringham Dragons
JamesRendell9/05/200019890Sandringham Dragons
AlastairRichards9/05/200018778Sandringham Dragons
LiamStocker23/01/200018383Sandringham Dragons
BukuKhamis24/03/200019081Western Jets
DalyAndrews22/02/200018376Western Jets
AaronClarke2/05/200019483Western Jets
HamishMurphy17/10/200018886Western Jets
ZakButters8/09/200018170Western Jets
XavierO’Halloran11/07/200018783Western Jets
StefanRadovanovic7/09/200019285Western Jets
EmersonJeka18/09/200119888Western Jets


JacobAtley04/07/0019174Bendigo Pioneers
JyeCaldwell28/09/0018478Bendigo Pioneers
BrodieKemp01/05/0119376Bendigo Pioneers
JamesSchischka24/02/0119079Bendigo Pioneers
ZaneKeighran19/10/0018279Bendigo Pioneers
RileyBowman25/02/0019882Dandenong Stingrays
BaileyWilliams17/04/0019895Dandenong Stingrays
SamFletcher27/01/0018779Dandenong Stingrays
JaiNanscawen31/03/0018473Dandenong Stingrays
BaileySchmidt07/03/0019997Dandenong Stingrays
SamDe Koning26/02/0119478Dandenong Stingrays
JaiTaylor03/02/0018771Dandenong Stingrays
JakeFrawley03/08/9918781Dandenong Stingrays
MitchellRiordan25/01/0018679Dandenong Stingrays
HaydenYoung11/04/0118679Dandenong Stingrays
WilliamHamill17/11/0018570Dandenong Stingrays
CampbellHustwaite28/09/0018474Dandenong Stingrays
JamiePlumridge12/01/0018375Dandenong Stingrays
ZacFoot24/12/0018071Dandenong Stingrays
FinlayBayne06/09/0017768Dandenong Stingrays
TobyBedford27/05/0017665Dandenong Stingrays
SamuelWalsh02/07/0018374Geelong Falcons
EdwardMcHenry13/07/0017671Geelong Falcons
SamConway17/05/9920289Geelong Falcons
DaneHollenkamp22/10/9920083Geelong Falcons
BlakeSchlensog25/09/0019890Geelong Falcons
ConnorIdun29/07/0019089Geelong Falcons
CharlieSprague08/05/0018779Geelong Falcons
CooperStephens17/01/0118770Geelong Falcons
OscarBrownless16/02/0018676Geelong Falcons
BraydenHam25/04/9918169Geelong Falcons
RylanHenkel08/02/0020096Gippsland Power
NoahGown01/02/0019391Gippsland Power
KyleReid12/08/0019385Gippsland Power
BrockSmith13/03/0118878Gippsland Power
XavierDuursma07/07/0018571Gippsland Power
SamFlanders24/07/0118381Gippsland Power
CalebSerong09/02/0117882Gippsland Power
BoadieMotton20/04/0017873Gippsland Power
IrvingMosquito24/08/0017569Gippsland Power
MatthewMcGannon27/12/9918473Gippsland Power
MattyLloyd02/11/0018577GWV Rebels
TylarWatts14/04/0019883GWV Rebels
JoshChatfield02/08/0018684GWV Rebels
HarrisJennings07/02/0018678GWV Rebels
ThomasBerry01/05/0018576GWV Rebels
JedHill06/07/0017968GWV Rebels
ScottCarlin17/01/0018578GWV Rebels
LochieDawson27/05/0018281GWV Rebels
ZaneBarzen29/10/0019377Murray Bushrangers
MarkMarriott14/01/0020289Murray Bushrangers
HudsonGaroni25/08/0019591Murray Bushrangers
FinbarO’Dwyer24/07/0018872Murray Bushrangers
LachlanAsh21/06/0118677Murray Bushrangers
LaithamVandermeer03/02/9918076Murray Bushrangers
KyleClarke31/01/0017472Murray Bushrangers
KyleDunkley20/06/0018481Oakleigh Chargers

Victorian bottom-agers flying under the radar

WITH the announcement of the NAB AFL Under 17 All-Stars squads and the NAB AFL Academy Level Two squads imminent, we look at 12 Victorian players flying under the radar in their bottom age year.

Thomas Berry (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

Berry was captain of the Vic Country Under 16 side last year and this year has been a strong contributor for the Rebels. Berry begun the year across half back, but has moved into a balanced midfielder position averaging 17 disposals and four tackles throughout the TAC Cup season. Berry’s running ability is a key asset to his game alongside his lightening speed, while he is a strong tackler – not afraid to throw his weight around in the contest. Is the younger brother of Brisbane Lions 2016 draftee Jarrod.

Zak Butters (Western Jets/Vic Metro)

Butters has been a key member of the Western Jets this season as a bottom-ager. Butters has zip on the outside and possesses clean hands in close. Despite his size at 177cm, he has shown he can win inside ball and combine it with his damaging speed on the outside. As one of the Jets’ most reliable players, Butters averaged 17 disposals and four marks in his 17 matches – and is set for a big 2018.

Patrik Della Rocca (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)

Della Rocca is an exciting forward who has some of the strongest hands in the 2018 draft pool as a medium forward, standing at 189cm. Della Rocca impressed up forward for Marcellin College and the Northern Knights this year – where his aggression and ability to fly for marks was on show. He has presence inside 50 and can lay some strong bone-crunching tackles at times. Booted 10 goals in seven TAC Cup appearances.

Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)

Duursma has been super consistent throughout 2017, averaging 15 disposals and four tackles coming into the TAC Cup finals. He has toughness and has been deployed at all ends throughout the season, but his X-Factor has been appealing when he has been played inside 50. His competitiveness is showing and on the weekend in the Power’s TAC Cup finals loss – Duursma had 17 disposals (8 contested) and seven marks.

Sam Elliott (Carey Grammar/Vic Metro)

The son of former Australian cricket Matthew Elliott has a big decision on his hand – similar to 2017s Will Sutherland, Nathan Murphy and Ed Newman. The tall and skinny 201cm Ruck/Forward has had little time to concentrate on the oval ball over the last few years, with cricket being a major focus – but the talented dual-sports star is likely to spend all year at TAC Cup level in 2018. The tall is still raw in his footballing ability, but has shown a good leap in the ruck and that he is agile up forward.

Zane Keighran (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)

Midfielder Zane Keighran has had a breakout year for the Pios playing some really good footy, consistently across the season – bringing a touch of composure everytime he gets the ball. The Australian Under 16 cricketer averaged 15 disposals and three marks in his four games this season and showed some good signs in the Under 17 Futures match at Ikon Park last month – using his clean hands. Keighran collected 15 disposals, six marks, three inside 50s and booted two goals in an impressive showing against Vic Metro’s Under 17 Futures team.

Will Golds (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) 

Golds was an exciting player coming into the year and many couldn’t wait to watch him play after a stellar preseason at Oakleigh, however he was sidelined a couple of games into the APS school season – tearing his ACL when playing for Xavier College. Golds was one of the Chargers’ best in their Round 2 win over Eastern Ranges, with 14 disposals and six marks – using his classy foot skills to effectiveness. Golds looks best suited to playing on the wing, but he is more than capable across half back.

Cooper Leon (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

Leon was one of the many standouts in the talented Carey Grammar APS school team. He was one of the better players on the ground in their hard fought win over Scotch College, setting up the play across half back. Leon showed some glimpses for the Chargers during the Futures Rounds and his overhead marking is one of his strengths. Whilst his height will be a knock, Leon has shown he can win his own football in the contest and is a player to keep an eye on in 2018.

Tom McKenzie (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)

The half back/wingman has shown plenty to get excited about, averaging 15 disposals and five marks in his 10 games leading into the TAC Cup finals. McKenzie is quite slim, but is will to drop off his man and intercept the play in the defensive 50 – showing this on multiple occasions for Ivanhoe Grammar in the AGSV School boy football finals. He has a decent burst and is a good user of the ball by foot. He also had six marks and 13 disposals in the Vic Metro Under 17 Futures clash against Vic Country.

Mitch Riordan (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)

The Haileybury College student has had a number of roles for his school team, including tagging roles and playing a versatile role where his team needed him. He has been a consistent player throughout the year, averaging 14 disposals and four tackles for the Dandenong Stingrays during the regular TAC Cup season. On the weekend his good ball use was notable taking the ball inside 50 on six occasions and laying nine tackles in the Stingrays come from behind victory against Eastern Ranges.

Oliver Simpson (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) 

The damaging Carey Grammar wingman has bursted into draft contentions for next year using his elite speed & agility and endurance as key aspects of his game. Simpson has had a very strong pre season with the Chargers, featuring in their top five in their 2km time trial. His performance for Carey against eventual APS premiers Haileybury was notable, where he was a classy performer on the grand stand wing. He also loves to fly for marks and notably plucked three against Wesley College – whilst he isn’t a huge ball winner, he can hurt teams getting the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions off his right foot.

Jai Taylor (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country) 

Taylor is a speedy wingman that likes to tackle hard and break the lines with ball in hand. On the outside, he can be the link up man – running from half back to half forward and has had some very impressive glimpses at school and TAC Cup level. His work in the Vic Country Under 17 Futures game was impressive, where he had 18 disposals, three rebound 50s and three inside 50s.

Scouting notes: Vic Metro v Vic Country U17 Futures

VIC Country Under 17s defeated Vic Metro Under 17s by 59-points at Ikon Park on Sunday.

Michael Alvaro was there watching the TAC Cup Futures teams, with players eligible for the 2018 draft playing. Vic Metro’s Bailey Griffiths was the sole overager in the game and has been invited to the State Combine to be held in October.

Michael Alvaro’s scouting notes: 

Vic Metro:

#6 Ben Cardamone – It’s no wonder this kid wears a helmet, he cracked in with some outrageous courage throughout the game and didn’t look discouraged when he came off second best. Is capable of taking good overhead marks and always provides a contest in the back half. Only knock on him at this stage is his kicking – he often chose to go short but didn’t always find his target, leading to some turnovers in dangerous areas.

#12 Connor Thar – There’s not much of him but it seemed like he was everywhere at times. Did his best work when he was thrown down back during the second half in combination with Joel Crocker, and seemed to have the ball on a string in the last quarter. Moves really well and has a good bit of pace about him, but has some good inside traits too. Only blight on his game today was his rebound kicking – Metro struggled to get the ball out of their own 50 and Thar tended to blaze away on occasion, allowing Country to pump the ball straight back in.

#21 Joel Crocker – Was Metro’s most consistent performer alongside Thar and started the game off in particularly good form. His marking on the lead was terrific, and he used his breakaway speed well to find space around the 50-meter arc. Spent the final quarter or so around half back, linking up with Thar in trying to break through Country’s zone. Like many of the players today he just fell short with his kicking, putting a few suspect balls inside 50 and a dampener on his marking efforts.

#37 Thomas Hallebone – A typical ruckman, Hallebone is an absolute rake at over 200cm. Rotated between ruck and full forward with Bailey Griffiths and showed his best form with some impressive overhead grabs in the forward half. Kicked a goal early on and didn’t do much wrong, but is still prone to an errand kick as most young ruckmen are. Is still very raw, but is working on his frame and that’ll only help to improve his bodywork.

#38 Bailey Griffiths – Griffiths is an interesting prospect who has been attracting some high-end attention as he is eligible for this year’s draft. One of the stars in Marcellin’s AGSV Grand Final victory, the young ruckman comes from elite basketball and footballing pedigree as the son of Olympian Michelle Brogan and nephew of Dean Brogan. He has had little exposure to footy and it tells at times, but he has the potential to hit the grow into an exciting player. Worked in tandem with Hallebone, but certainly looked keen to swap into the ruck at times as Metro’s forward delivery was quite poor all day. Showed some clever ruckwork, hitting well to advantage or into space and is one to keep an eye on.

Vic Country:

#2 Jai Nanscawen – The thing Nanscawen does best is score goals. While conditions didn’t always oblige for that kind of game, he still managed to find plenty of the ball and so much space in the forward 50. Was moved from half-forward to the wing later on and showed the impressive poise he no doubt gets from his basketball pedigree.

#4 Scott Carlin – Went about his business without fuss through the midfield and looked quite comfortable there. Has the ability to play off half back, but his contested ball winning skills and lack of real pace makes him a good fit for an inside midfielder. He attended most centre bounces for Country using the all well by hand, and also showing he is more than capable of good decision making by foot.

#7 Jai Taylor – Had a slow start but got stuck in during the second half with some solid tackling and eventually a few glimpses of his pace. Cemented his spot on the wing and did well to push his side forward, often breaking the lines and sending Country inside 50. Sprayed a couple of shots on goal though and lacked a bit of polish at times with his kicking, but that can be fixed with time.

#9 Irving Mosquito – It’s anyone’s guess as to why the Gippsland pocket rocket didn’t start the game, but he made his mark nonetheless in his bright yellow boots. The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy member came on in the second half and racked up a handful of touches early on, with his pace and nose for goal on show. Is still pretty raw in terms of his decision making and disposal, but if he can turn his highlight reel into a four quarter performance, he’ll be a star.

#12 Charlie Sprague – Sprague is one who popped up and had some good moments throughout the game, but not quite for its entirety. He was a bit of an unknown quantity coming into the game having only played two games for Geelong Falcons at TAC Cup level playing his school football at Geelong College, but showed he belonged with good presence in the forward half.

#24 Matty Lloyd – Was far from his best outing but he was still able to show off his best assets. His decision making was exceptional, and Country made sure that his efficiency by foot did not go to waste, utilising him off the half back flank – much like his brother Jake, from Sydney.

#32 Hudson Garoni – Has such a solid build but plays much like a bullocking midfielder with ball in hand coming out of defence. Played his best footy in the first half, displaying clean hands and breaking tackles easily to help Country get on the attack.

Vic Country and Allies share spoils in AFLW Under 18s Championships

VIC Country and the Allies remained unbeaten throughout the AFL Under 18s Championships which concluded on the Gold Coast last week to be the top teams in the competition. The sides played three matches through the week classed as round two, with both sides defeating Queensland, NSW/ACT and Western Australia.

In a standalone match at Simonds Stadium last month, Vic Country defeated Vic Metro by 27 points in what was expected to be a battle for the title. But while Vic Country went through the carnival undefeated, Vic Metro fell at the hands of Western Australia. Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia also competed in round one, with South Australia coming away with two victories and Tasmania knocked off Northern Territory by two goals.

The three sides – Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia – then formed the Allies and competed in the second round of competition, surprising rivals and coming away undefeated, having played everyone except the two Victorian teams.

Vic Metro bottom-age star Madison Prespakis was named the carnival’s best player. The Calder Cannons star is a member of the AFLW Academy and was a number of youngsters to stand out both in the TAC Cup Girls’ competition as well as on the national stage.

Prespakis and West Australian Courtney Hodder were among the best in the national carnival, but they still have 18 months until they can play an AFLW match meaning spectators will get to see them run around again next season. While Vic Country’s Eden Zanker earned the leading goal kicker award.

Tyla Hanks won the Vic Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while Eloise Jones (Allies), Alyce Parker (NSW/ACT) and Lauren Bella (Queensland) won their teams’ respective awards. It was no surprise that Prespakis and Hodder also won their teams’ MVP awards.

Vic Country’s dominance at the carnival was rewarded with 15 players named in the initial 54-player AFL Women’s Under 18s All-Australian squad. The next highest was Queensland with 10, while Vic Metro (nine), Western Australia (eight), Allies (seven) and NSW/ACT (five) rounded out the represented sides.

The 54 players will be divided into two teams and play a curtain-raise to the AFL Women’s State of Origin match to be played during the AFL ‘Celebration of Football’ between the end of round 23 and the first week of the AFL finals.


Defenders: Nikki Gore (Allies/SA), Kitara Farrar (Queensland), Ruby Blair (Queensland), Arianna Clarke (Queensland), Courtney Bromage (Queensland), Sabreena Duffy (WA), Rebecca Webster (VC), Courtney Jones (VC), Iilish Ross (VC), Bridie Kennedy (VC), Lucy McEvoy (VC), Georgia Clarke (VC), Olivia Vesley (VM), Georgia Ricardo (VM), Georgia McPherson (VM), Molly Warburton (VM).

Midfielders: Eloise Jones (Allies/SA), Chloe Scheer (Allies/SA), Mia King (Allies/TAS), Daria Bannister (Allies/TAS), Alyce Parker (NSW/ACT), Georgia Breward (NSW/ACT), Haneen Zreika (NSW/ACT), Gabby Collingwood (Queensland), Tarni White (Queensland), McKenzie Dowrick (WA), Courtney Hodder (WA), Sonia Dorizzi (WA), Darcy Guttridge (VC), Tyla Hanks (VC), Jordyn Allen (VC), Aisling Tupper (VC), Olivia Purcell (VC), Georgia Gee (VC), Madison Prespakis (VM), Maddy Guerin (VM), Olivia Flanagan (VM), Georgia Patrikios (VM).

Rucks: Jess Allen (Allies/SA), Ellie Delgano-Fixture (NSW/ACT), Lauren Bella (Queensland), Tayla McAuliffe (WA), Rene Caris (VC).

Forwards: Danielle Ponter (Allies/NT), Jordyn Jolliffe (NSW/ACT), Sophie Conway (Queensland), Kalinda Howarth (Queensland), Jemma Abott (Queensland), Emily McGuire (WA), Kate Bartlett (WA), Rosie Deegan (WA), Denby Taylor (VC), Eden Zanker (VC), Emerson Woods (VM).

The final AFLW Under 18 All-Australian side will be named at the conclusion of the game.

Full results from the AFLW Under 18 National Championships:

Round 1:

South Australia 9.4 (58) defeated Tasmania 1.3 (9)
South Australia 15.9 (99) defeated Northern Territory 1.3 (9)
Tasmania 6.5 (41) defeated Northern Territory 4.5 (29)

Queensland 3.6 (24) defeated NSW/ACT 3.3 (21)
Western Australia 15.9 (99) defeated NSW/ACT 2.0 (12)
Queensland 6.8 (44) defeated Western Australia 5.4 (34)

Vic Country 8.6 (54) defeated Vic Metro 4.3 (27)

Round 2:

Vic Country 4.8 (32) defeated Queensland 3.4 (22)
Allies 4.2 (26) defeated NSW/ACT 3.5 (23)
Western Australia 6.11 (47) defeated Vic Metro 3.2 (20)

Vic Metro 7.3 (45) defeated Queensland 3.5 (23)
Vic Country 6.6 (42) defeated NSW/ACT 2.3 (15)
Allies 3.7 (25) defeated Western Australia 3.2 (20)

Vic Metro 6.8 (44) defeated NSW/ACT 5.7 (37)
Vic Country 8.8 (56) defeated Western Australia 5.4 (34)
Allies 5.3 (33) defeated Queensland 3.8 (26)

Western Australia claims Under 16s Championships with nail-biting wins

WESTERN Australia has remarkably pulled off back-to-back one-point wins over both Victorian teams to claim the division one title at the National Under 16s Championships. The third round of the division one championships concluded on Friday with the Sandgropers winning 11.8 (74) to Vic Metro’s 11.7 (73) in what was effectively the grand final after both sides headed into the final round unbeaten.

With a couple of minutes remaining in the Vic Country vs. Western Australia game on Monday, it looked likely Vic Metro had sewn up the shield heading into the last game, but a three-goal spurt in the last two minutes saw Western Australia climb over the top of Country in an exhillarating one-point win. South Australia finished third overall after defeating Vic Country on the final day of the tournament to claim its first win. Across the tournament all sides had a number of players that fans are likely to hear more about in the coming years as they continue down the pathway to reach their goal of playing AFL.

Western Australia played an exciting brand of high-intensity, high-risk, high-reward football. Among the players that impressed me were ruckman Luke Jackson from East Fremantle who was not too dissimilar to Brodie Grundy in his second efforts. While still a lighter framed player at 81kg, the 192cm ruckman moved really well for a taller player and depending on how his growth goes over the next few years, could become that prototype midfielder, or even that Mark Blicavs’ role switching between midfielder and ruck. South Fremantle’s Jack Musika also stood out with his penetrating kick and great skills. Having not seen any of this group of players before, against Vic Country he would opt for that difficult in-board kick and also set up a number of passes inside 50 providing his teammates with score assists.

Luke Jackson was impressive in the ruck and around the ground for Western Australia with some good second efforts and movement for a bigger player.

Others for Western Australia that stood out on the Gold Coast included East Perth’s Rhai Arn Cox, Claremont’s Liam Henry and Perth’s Tarkyn Brogan-Henry. Cox rose above the pack to clunk a mark with seconds remaining and win the game for the Swans against Vic Country. He is a lightly framed forward, but always looked dangerous inside 50. Henry buzzed around the ground and always looked creative, despite on occasions doing a bit too much and getting caught. Brogan-Henry got the West Australians off to a great start against Country, booting three goals in the first quarter and providing a target both up the ground and closer to goal.

Vic Metro’s top star was Oakleigh Charger Noah Anderson, with the 16 year-old already a good size at 188cm and 83kg and looked to have plenty of develpment left in him. Anderson was Metro’s leading disposal winner with 26 against Vic Country in round one and finished as the Kevin Sheahan Medallist as the best player in division one. Naturally he also won the Vic Metro MVP Award for the tournament in a large field of candidates that could have been successful.

Chargers’ teammate  Matt Rowell who was another standout across the tournament. He showed off his versatility across the three rounds playing both inside and outside midfield, as well as kicking goals up forward and creating plays off half-back. Rowell’s unbelievable 31 disposals, nine clearances and four goals against South Australia on Monday was an example of what he could excite fans in the TAC Cup later in the year should he be selected by the Chargers. Rowell will likely be one of a number of Vic Metro players selected in the AFL Academy sides announced later in the year.

Oakleigh is sure to have no shortage of talent over the next few years with the classy Dylan Williams really standing out with his smarts and strength overhead. Playing between midfield and half-forward, Williams hit the scoreboard and would remind a few of Jack Billings the way he clunked marks at 185cm against taller opponents.

Vic Metro’s Matt Rowell was ultra-impressive for Vic Metro against South Australia.

Others that stood out for Vic Metro included Sandringham Dragons’ duo Jack Mahony – who provided good run in transition and found space inside 50 while forward – and Andrew Courtney who at 197cm but just 76kg still has plenty of filling out to do but his ruckwork was impressive. Western Jets’ Emerson Jeka impressed up forward leading to the right positions and taking some good marks but his kicking was off, not making the most of his opportunities. He played down back as well and showed off his versatility across the ground. Eastern Ranges’ Mitch Mellis and Calder Cannons’ Daniel Mott were others that stoof out, although players like James Ross (Eastern), Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern) and Lachlan Rzanovski (Western) were also impressive.

For South Australia, unfortunately the game I saw live at Gold Coast was not the best performance, particularly early on. The Croweaters were competitive apart from a couple of poor patches, but there was one clear standout for me. Cameron Taheny from Norwood was ultra-impressive playing all over the ground and using his penetrating left boot to kick out from full-back and launch goals from outside 50. He also worked hard defensively laying several strong tackles and providing good team pressure around the stoppages. His kicking was similar to Matt Suckling with more strings to his bow, Taheny did step over the goal line a couple of times which caused ball-ups in the goal square, but otherwise he really impressed me.

South Australia’s Cameron Taheny was one of the more impressive players on the Gold Coast with a penetrating kick and ability to play anywhere.

Other South Australians that stood out were Glenelg’s Will Gould, who at 98kg was outmuscling opponents at will, playing through the ruck and up forward. Gould was impressive in his second efforts and defensive presusre. Woodville-West Torrens’ duo Kysaiah Pickett and Harry Schoenberg also had their moments providing good run through the middle, with Pickett’s clean hands and turn of pace among the highlights. Norwood’s Mitchell Carroll made good decisions under pressure in the back half, while Eagles’ Jackson Mead was another who impressed with his pace, kicking and strength in the air. Sturt’s Josh Shute, South Adelaide’s Daniel Sladojevic – who really impressed up forward with his presence and booming kick – and the balanced Karl Finlay from North Adelaide – who won the South Australian MVP – were others I noted as performers in the match against Vic Metro.

Vic Country also had a number of impressive players stand out across the tournament. For Country, forward pairing Izaac Grant (GWV Rebels) and James Schischka (Bendigo Pioneers) were high flyers that provided plenty of scoreboard impact. Grant despite weighing in at just 64kg, took several big grabs and was a reliable set shot for goal. Schischka worried opponents with his ability to crash packs and moved well for a taller 190cm forward. Dandenong Stingrays’ Hayden Young took out the Vic Country MVP Award, having a good combination of clean hands and strength at ground level, good momement and strong in the air. Young collected 26 disposals and had five rebound 50s against Vic Metro in round one.

Gippsland Power’s Sam Flanders was influential early in the match against Western Australia, with the Vic Country midfielder seen competing for the ball here with Liam Henry.

Gippsland Power’s Sam Flanders seemed to be everywhere on the Gold Coast and won plenty of the football, using it well in transition. He along with Power teammate Caleb Serong and Bendigo Pioneers’ Thomson Dow won their fair share of the football and will no doubt be names to remember in the years to come. Of all the Vic Country players, Tom Richardson (Geelong Falcons) really impressed me with a workman-like effort moving up and down the ground constantly, being that Nick Riewoldt roaming half-forward who was a really slick kick inside 50. He stands at 190cm and 79kg, a frame that could see him become that contested beast or key position forward in the next 18 months, both roles he could play really well.


Vic Metro: Noah Anderson
Vic Country: Hayden Young
South Australia: Karl Finlay
Western Australia: Devon Robertson

2017 Kevin Sheehan Medalist: Noah Anderson (Vic Metro)

2017 NAB AFL Under 16 Championships Division One results:


Vic Metro 12.11 (83) d Vic Country 9.8 (62) 

Vic Metro: McAsey 5, Rossiter 3, Jeja 2, Bianco, Ramsey
Vic Country: Gundry 2, Flanders 2, Stuart, Serong, Barker, Kaak, Schischka

Vic Metro: Rowell, Mahony, Anderson, McAsey, Witts, Bianco
Vic Country: Young, Kemp, Serong, Flanders, De Koning, Stephens, Gundry

Western Australia 12.13 (85) d South Australia 11.13 (79)

Western Australia: Davies 3, Cox 2, Middleton, Buller, Brogan-Henry, Brockernd, Smith, Garcia, Sharp
South Australia: Sladojevic 5, Pickett 2, Park, Lochowiak, Hilder, Durdin

Western Australia: Jackson, Buller, Robertson, Penny, Cox, Pasini
South Australia: Hilda, Pickett, Stephens, Mead, Douglas, Sladojevic


Vic Metro 17.10 (112) d South Australia 6.12 (48) 

Vic Metro: Rowell 4, Williams 3, Westwood 2, Anderson 2, Bianco, Mahony, Romero, Mott, Rossiter, Jeka
South Australia: Sladojevic 2, Taheny, Davis, Shute, Schoenberg

Vic Metro: Rowell, Anderson, Cassar, Williams, Duffy, Ross
South Australia: Stephens, Mead, Taheny, Shute, Dowdell

Western Australia 12.8 (80) d Vic Country 12.7 (79)

Western Australia: Brogan-Henry 3, Cox 3, Middleton 2, Jackson, Smith, Buller, Thomas
Vic Country: Schischka 3, Grant 3, Richardson, Flanders, Serong, Barker, Ironside, Kaak

Western Australia: Robertson, Jackson, Cox, Musika, Pasini, Brogan-Henry
Vic Country: Stephens, Barker, Kemp, Young, Schischka, Flanders


Western Australia 11.8 (74) d Vic Metro 11.7 (73) 

Western Australia: Ruscoe 3, Thomas 2, Brogan-Henry, Cox, Garcia, Middleton, Smith, Sharp
Vic Metro: Jeka 3, Rossiter 3, Rowell, Mahony, O’Sullivan, McAsey, Mott

Western Australia: Musika, Jackson, Robertson, Garcia, Ruscoe, Hudso
Vic Metro: Anderson, Jeka, Rossiter, Westwood, Ross, Mott

South Australia 14.14 (98) d Vic Country 10.10 (70)

South Australia: Park 3, Pickett, Arriola, Sladojevic, Stephens, Davis, Freitag, Durdin, Pearce
Vic Country: Grant 3, Serong, Flanders 2, Ash, Schischka, Barker

South Australia: Finlay, Arriola, Taheny, Gould, Stephens, Magor, Mead, Pickett
Vic Country: Flanders, Serong, Young, Ash, Rayner, Schischka

Scouting notes: Vic Country vs. South Australia

SOUTH AUSTRALIA ran out comfortable winners against Vic Country in the final game of the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.


Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Vic Country:

#2 Sam Walsh – The bottom-ager used the ball well off either foot playing in the midfield. His hands in close were very good and he spreads well around the ground. Wins the footy and has a high work rate. One of the better midfielders in the 2018 draft.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Spent a fair bit of time across half forward than as a pure inside midfielder. Kicked a superb checkside goal in the 2nd quarter. Had a very nice centre clearance in the opening quarter and he showed off his long right foot. Has a strong core and can stay standing in tackles, but it wasn’t an impactful game (only had four contested possessions) that was expected from a possible no.1 pick.

#15 Paddy Dow – Another standout performance from Dow in the midfield. He finds targets on his right foot, winning the ball in the contested situations. Gets to the right positions and at one stage beat three SA players to win the ball. Pushed forward and can get to the right positions to mark the ball. Laid a great tackle on Brad McCarthy in the first quarter – Dow also booted a goal.

#28 James Worpel – Had a couple of ‘bombs’ kicking the ball forward, but finished with eight inside 50s where he was able to get the ball going forward. Often looked for the high contact free by lifting his arm up but got only one a single free for the day. Kicked a great long goal in the second quarter and finished with 22 disposals.

#32 Cassidy Parish – Used the ball better than he has done in the past by foot and was conscious to look for the best option to clear the ball by hand. Is a very good contested ball winner and won multiple clearances. Missed a simple shot on goal early in the game but had a solid outing.

South Australia:

#2 Izak Rankine – The bottom-ager is going to be a special player and just makes things happen. Was clean by foot and had three score assists. Kept his feet in the contest and was willing to use his elite side-step to get around the Country players. At one point it took two Country players to bring him to ground. Also kicked a magnificent goal in the last quarter.

#13 Jackson Edwards – Was the leading disposal winner with 30 – but 26 of his possessions were uncontested. In contested situations, he can often just bang it forward and he looks far better when used on the outside when he can use his clean left foot. Is very left sided, but had very good follow up around the ground.

#15 Jordan Houlahan – Showed off his leap from the get-go with a nice mark on the wing in the first quarter. Houlahan is an exciting player up forward and has a clean pick up – to go with this he used his vision well to find a target by hand close to the boundary bringing it back into the corridor. Did often leap and grab the ball on his chest rather than out in front of him. Houlahan also booted a goal in the third quarter.

#37 Charlie Ballard – One of the more impressive players for SA throughout the carnival. The 195cm wingman has a long right foot kick. His pick up from ground level was good and he laid a very good tackle on CJ in the third quarter. Brought the ball inside 50 on seven occasions and clunked nine marks around the ground. Kicked a goal in the third quarter, but missed one that he could’ve kicked in the second quarter.

#38 Harrison Petty – South Australia’s MVP for the carnival. The key defender reads the play well in defence and remains composed with ball in hand. Kept his feet and his positioning was good.

2017 Under 18 All-Australia team announced

THE Under 18 Championships have come and gone, with Vic Metro claiming back-to-back titles after winning three of their four games.

In no surprise, Metro dominate the 23-man squad, headlined by possible no.1 pick Cameron Rayner who is one of nine Metro players included.

West Australia key forward Oscar Allen, the winner of the Larke Medal for the best player in Division 1, was named up forward.

Sydney Swans academy member Nick Blakey won the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best player in the Under 18 Academy Series (Formerly Division 2), but didn’t feature in the 23-man squad.

Vic Metro coach Martin Allison was named as the All-Australia coach, with Western Australia coach Peter Sumich named as his assistant.


Ben Paton
Back pocket (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
19/10/1998 | 185cm | 78kg

Averaged 18 disposals, four marks and four rebound 50s per game playing as a small defender. Uses the ball well by foot and was often tasked with the kick out duties.

Oscar Clavarino
Full back (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Has a solid carnival in defence for Vic Country averaging 11 disposals and six marks. Clavarino took the opposition best forward in most games and has had two good seasons in the Under 18 Championships.

Sam Taylor
Back pocket (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
05/05/1999 | 196cm | 85kg

The AFL Academy member played as a lock-down defender who was an unsung hero for WA. Averaged just 11 disposals, but had three rebounds per game pushing his name into draft contention.

Charlie Constable
Half back flank (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Constable was one of Vic Metro’s best in the carnival and despite missing out on selection in their first game, managed to average 26 disposals, five marks and three tackles. He announced himself as a genuine top 10 with 31 disposals, six marks and six inside 50s in the ‘Vic derby’ playing in the midfield and across half forward.

Aaron Naughton
Centre half back (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
30/11/1999 | 194cm | 84kg

Rebounding tall defender who was a good user on his left foot. Naughton took 21 marks for the carnival and was the rock in defence alongside Sam Taylor. Was WAs co-captain alongside Oscar Allen.

Nicholas Coffield
Half back flank (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

A player who has pushed into top 10 calculations after a strong carnival. Coffield averaged 22 disposals and four marks, rarely looking rushed with ball in hand in the defensive half. One of the better users in the draft by hand and foot.


Brayden Crossley
Ruckman (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Allies)
16/08/1999 | 198cm | 105kg

The big Gold Coast Suns Academy ruckman was the MVP for the Allies, averaging 16 disposals and 27 hitouts from his three games. Crossley’s strength in the ruck is obvious and he hasn’t looked out of place in the NEAFL team for the Suns.

Cameron Rayner
Ruck rover (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg

One of the players who were stiff not to win the Larke Medal. Rayner averaged 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances and booted 12 goals in an impressive carnival. Rayner wasn’t afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents and had some impressive moments during the carnival.

Paddy Dow
Rover (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg

Showed off his elite speed bursting from the stoppages on multiple occasions, averaging 19 disposals (12 contested) and five clearances in an impressive showing in the midfield. Did his top 10 chances no harm.

Patrick Naish
Wing (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg

The Richmond father-son averaged 21 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s for the carnival and provided run & dash out of defence on multiple occasions for Metro. One of the better players in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and two goals at Punt Road.

Brayden Ainsworth
Centre (Subiaco/Western Australia)
27/11/1998 | 183cm | 75kg

The inside midfielder won 49% of his possessions in contested situations, averaging 24 disposals and six clearances throughout the carnival. Started the carnival off with a bang, collecting 26 disposals and eight clearances against South Australia in their golden-point victory.

Izak Rankine
Wing (West Adelaide/South Australia)
23/04/2000 | 178cm | 74kg

The small forward caught the eye of the recruiters using his speed and elite side-step to good use. Rankine averaged 19 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s – kicking six goals for the carnival. The bottom-ager is one to watch for the 2018 draft.


Zac Bailey
Half forward flank (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg

Bailey has a great burst of speed and the Northern Territory midfielder averaged 17 disposals, four tackles and three clearances per game. Bailey’s burst from the centre bounce to win the final clearance in the last few minutes against Vic Metro was a key reason for their unexpected victory.

Jarrod Brander
Centre half forward (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg

Spent time at either end throughout the carnival but finished with a breakout 16 disposal, nine marks and three goals game up forward against title winning Vic Metro.

Jack Higgins
Half forward flank (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg

Higgins was the only player to break the 100 disposal barrier, finishing with 109 disposals (53 contested) in the carnival. Higgins was a deserving MVP for Vic Metro, going close to the Larke Medal. Higgins also averaged six tackles, five clearances and booted six goals for the tournament showing his skill as a player likely to be taken in the backend of the first round.

Callum Coleman-Jones
Forward pocket (Sturt/South Australia)
13/06/1999 | 201cm | 98kg

Coleman-Jones averaged 19 hitouts per game, with a breakout 28 disposal, 15 hitouts and five marks game against the Allies in Round 2. Coleman-Jones is one of the stronger marks in the draft pool.

Oscar Allen
Full forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg

The key forward looms as the likely first West Australian prospect drafted. Allen won the Larke Medal as the best player in Division One, booting 11 goals for the carnival. Allen also averaged 15 disposals and six marks, as an overall deserving Larke Medalist.

Dylan Moore
Forward pocket (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg

The small midfielder cracked in hard, winning plenty of contested ball, rolling through the Vic Metro centre bounces. Moore had 92 disposals (45 contested) for the carnival and booted three goals.


Sam Hayes
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg

The Vic Metro ruckman becomes a dual U18 All-Australian. Hayes averaged 17 hitouts per game and booted four goals up forward. Also took 14 marks for the carnival and showed his versatility up forward.

Lachlan Fogarty
Interchange (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg

The half forward/midfielder missed the opening game of the carnival recovering from a groin injury. Fogarty averaged 19 disposals and a goal throughout the championships, using his smarts around the ground.

Harrison Petty
Interchange (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 194cm | 81kg

One of the more impressive players in the carnival, winning the South Australian MVP. Petty averaged 12 disposals and four marks, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro lining up on Will Sutherland with Petty having 18 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s.

James Worpel
Interchange (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg

Was the Vic Country MVP averaging 20 disposals (10 contested), four clearances and four inside 50s for the carnival. Was the leading tackler for the carnival with 33 tackles in his four games.

Joel Garner
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg

The Vic Metro captain had a superb carnival despite battling an ankle injury in their third game. Garner averaged 16 disposals with 48 per cent of these in contested situations. Garner controlled the play in the defensive half, with a standout performance in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s.

Crowden claws South Australia to victory

MITCH Crowden has powered South Australia to a 46-point win over Vic Country in their NAB AFL Under 18 Championships clash at Simonds Stadium on Wednesday.

South Australia dominated from the opening bounce and Crowden was instrumental in their dominance; with 20 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and four tackles in the opening half.

Crowden distributed the ball well off his left foot and his strong frame allowed him to win the ball in the contest, finishing with 28 disposals and four clearances as their best player.

Possible Adelaide father-son selection Jackson Edwards racked up a game-high 30 disposals, distributing the ball well off his left foot and looms as the Crows second father-son selection in as many years.

On the wing, 195cm Charlie Ballard had some impressive moments finishing with 24 disposals, nine marks and seven inside 50s, and will be a player to keep an eye out in the SANFL for the remainder of the season.

Bottom-ager Izak Rankine continued to impress with 20 disposals and five inside 50s, booting a smart goal from tight in the pocket in the last quarter.

Rankine was one of the multiple bottom-agers to standout in the Under 18 Championships, with the belief that the 2018 draft is more talented than the 2017 draft clearly seen throughout the 10 games of the carnival.

Tall defender Harrison Petty was the deserving MVP for South Australia, capping off his impressive carnival with 12 disposals, four tackles and three marks against Vic Country.

Darcy Fogarty (16 disposals, six rebound 50s and five marks) played in defence for the Croweaters.

Vic Country were simply outworked throughout the contest, recording 75 less disposals than the South Australian’s.

Bottom-ager Sam Walsh has been one of Country’s best players in the Under 18 Championships, finishing with a game high 24 disposals in a strong showing through the midfield.

Again it was the Geelong Falcons tag-team James Worpel and Cassidy Parish who won the football on the inside for Country. Worpel’s strong carnival saw him judged as the Vic Country MVP.

Worpel finished the carnival off with his best game, collecting 22 disposals, eight inside 50s, six tackles and five clearances – while Parish finished with 22 disposals and six clearances.

Possible no.1 pick Luke Davies-Uniacke had an ok showing with 16 disposals and five marks.

VIC COUNTRY                        1.3      3.5      7.7           9.11 (65)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA               3.3      9.7      11.13      16.15 (111)                   

VIC COUNTRY: Daniels 2, Clark 2, Dow, Davies-Uniacke, Worpel, Jiath, Williams
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Rozee 3, Smithson 3, Giro 3, Coleman-Jones, Crowden, Rowe, Davis, Ballard, Houlahan, Rankine

Walsh, Worpel, Parish, Paton, Daniels, Quigley
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Crowden, Ballard, Rankine, Edwards, Giro, Rozee