Tag: Will Walker

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 20

A NUMBER of new faces were among the first-year players who impressed in their games on the weekend, continuing the season trend of readymade draftees from last year’s AFL National Draft.

Hunter Clark

Hunter Clark was typically calm and composed across the St.Kilda half-back line in their defeat to the Western Bulldogs. The 19 year-old collected 20 disposals and recorded three rebounds but crucially, managed a disposal efficiency of 90 per cent, hitting 18 out of 20 targets by hand and foot and helping his side maintain possession of the Sherrin. The long-haired Hunter, who is versatile but looks perhaps best suited to a role in defence, has performed well enough this season to suggest he will live up to the hype as a future star of the competition.

Will Walker

Second-gamer Will Walker bagged the first two goals of his young career at the Gabba on Saturday afternoon. Viewed by some as a surprise selection when he was taken as early as pick 23 by the ‘Roos last year, Walker collected the majority of his possessions across the half-forward and wing areas, where his long leg and speed make him an exciting prospect for North. In addition to his two smart goals, Walker collected 11 disposals (seven kicks and four handballs at 64 per cent disposal efficiency), two clearances, one tackle and five score involvements. With the likes of Shaun Higgins and Ben Jacobs looking to make their returns to the side, Walker will have his work cut-out to keep his position. However he will undoubtedly have learned greatly from exposure in his first year.

Kane Farrell

In what was his second game and first Showdown, Kane Farrell was impressive, netting three goals. Opposed to Crows 199-game veteran David Mackay for much of the contest, Farrell was damaging out the back of the contests, hitting the scoreboard to help Port crawl back into the game after Adelaide got off to a flyer. Despite his side enduring a heartbreaking loss, the Victorian fitted in nicely, gaining 384 metres, moving the ball inside-50 five times and taking two strong contested marks. He looks to have made the small forward role his own, for the time being at-least.

Cameron Rayner

It was a performance which he will remember for crucially missed a chance to snatch the game late, however the number one draft pick was strong across the board. Rayner presented well up the spine of the ground as a medium forward, collecting six of his 14 disposals in the true centre-half-forward region. In addition to his six marks and two goals, also impressive was Cam’s time on-ground percentage which, at 82 per cent, suggests the has really worked hard to improve his endurance over the course of the year, given this was arguably the Western Jet’s lone flaw as a draftee. Rayner’s field kicking was terrific, ending with a disposal efficiency of 86 per cent however he will rue his final kick of the match.

Jack Higgins

In the absence of Premiership on-baller Dion Prestia, first-year small Jack Higgins stepped up the the plate, relishing his chance of added midfield minutes. A high draft pick from 2017, Higgins tallied 18 disposals (11 kicks and seven handballs), took two marks, laid a couple of tackles and kicked 1.2 in-front of goal. The former Oakleigh Charger showed off his stoppage smarts with four clearances and was an important piece in getting the ball moving for the Tigers. Although his role saw Higgins focus on winning and extracting the contested ball from inside, his disposal efficiency of 44 per cent will be an area for improvement moving forward.

Bayley Fritsch

In the Demons rout of the struggling Gold Coast, Bayley Fritsch once again more-than justified his second-round selection in the 2017 National Draft. His ability to cover the ground, pushing up across the wings and into the defensive half is becoming a trademark, as is his aerial prowess which saw him take another nine marks (including five intercept possessions). Recruited from the Dees’ VFL affiliate side Casey, notched up 21 touches (15 kicks and six handballs at 67 per cent efficiency) to go with 332 metres gained, three inside-50’s and two rebound-50’s. Fritsch is now not only an established best-22 player, but fast becoming an important link-up player for the Demons as they head into a draught-breaking finals series.

Tim Kelly

The incredible story of Tim Kelly rolls on, this time with the Western Australian collecting 36 touches (19 kicks, 17 handballs), three tackles, three marks, four clearances, 669 metres gained and one goal in the nail-biting loss at the hands of Richmond. Kelly was typically cool and composed under pressure in a game where many players struggled to get clean possessions away, highlighting his immense talent. I feel as if Kelly’s disposal efficiency (53 per cent) does not quite justify how good he was. Whenever the smooth-mover was in possession of the ball, you feel as if something good will come from the disposal. Kelly continues to star in just his first year in the competition, ignoring the media attention regarding his future at Kardinia Park to perfection.

Sandringham Dragons 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Sandringham Dragons

Finished: 2nd
Wins: 13
Losses: 8
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 123
Points: 44 (eliminated in grand final)

Players Drafted: (7)

  • Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)
  • Will Walker (North Melbourne)
  • Charlie Constable (Geelong)
  • Nathan Murphy (Collingwood)
  • Hamish Brayshaw (West Coast)
  • Angus Styles (Sydney)
  • Joel Amartey (Sydney)

2017 Review:

In 2016, Sandringham Dragons were the talk of the AFL Draft world with an abundance of draftees in the first round to complement their premiership. In 2017, they had an impressive seven players drafted, including the Brayshaw brothers – Andrew and Hamish – heading to Perth, Will Walker picked by North Melbourne, Charlie Constable heading down the highway to the Cattery and Nathan Murphy donning the black and white stripes for season 2018. Meanwhile in the rookie draft, Angus Styles and Joel Amartey were reunited within a round of each other as the pair was selected by Sydney.

On the field in 2017, Sandringham had another impressive season, finishing top four and then making its way to the grand final after defeating Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. At half-time in the grand final against the Geelong Falcons it looked like the Dragons would win back-to-back flags, but a dismal third quarter turned the game on its head. In a remarkable turnaround, the Dragons stormed home and almost stole the flag back with Amartey marking just before the siren, but his kick missed and the Falcons breathed a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, the Dragons had yet another strong season.

In 2018, the Dragons are the envy of the competition with the best 1-2 tall combo in twins Max and Ben King. Along with them, there are quite a few talented players who will divide their TAC Cup time with their school football. Another big year is predicted for Sandringham.

###

2018 Preview:

Sandringham Dragons have the much talked about twin-towers in Max and Ben King who can play either end or through the ruck. In 2017, Max played up forward and pinch hit in the ruck, while Ben primarily stayed down back, occasionally reliving the ruckman when in the defensive 50. Bailey Smith is another player who could push into the top 10 come draft night, with the outside midfielder spending the majority of his time in defence this season and showing he has no issues finding the ball.

Max King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 81kg | Key Position Forward/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 7.7 disposals | 3.4 marks | 7.7 hitouts | 1.4 goals | 57% KE | 65% DE | 63% CP

Max primarily played the ruck/forward role at TAC Cup level and was impressive in the air and in front of goal. He covered the ground well and showed off his versatility having had an ultra-impressive year for Haileybury in the APS competition. He is one of a number of players likely to command a top five pick in next year’s draft.

Ben King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 79kg | Key Position Defender/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (9) 13.7 disposals | 4.8 marks | 0.8 tackles | 2.2 rebounds | 69% KE | 77% DE | 42% CP

Ben played down back for the Dragons and was strong overhead and used also as a rebounding defender. He has a long effective kick and also played forward during the school season with Haileybury teammate Oscar Clavarino holding down the fort in defence. He reads the play well and could well go top five with his brother.

Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons) 183cm | 74kg | Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (12) 24.3 disposals | 4.1 marks | 2.3 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 3.9 rebounds | 73% KE | 77% DE | 38% CP

A huge ball winner in the TAC Cup last season, Smith showed he was capable of playing midfield mid-season when his teammates were unavailable during the National Under 18s Championships, then was dominant in defence often tasked with the kick-out duties. He is a deadly kick of the football and averaged almost four rebounds per game, so expect him to settle into the midfield and see what he is capable of with a full-time role in there.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons) 188cm | 69kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (5) 16.4 disposals | 4.4 marks | 1.4 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 56% KE | 65% DE | 28% CP

Nicholas Stamatis (Sandringham Dragons) 175cm | 70kg | Small Utility
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 13.5 disposals | 2.2 marks | 4.4 tackles | 2.1 inside 50s | 65% KE | 76% DE | 32% CP

###

Summary:

Sandringham Dragons have been the most successful team of the past two years and with their twin towers and multiple other talents already emerging, it is clear 2018 is another year likely to keep smiles on the faces of the Dragons faithful. They had the seven players drafted in 2017, following on from a remarkable 2016 draft period. They will be up there with the best at the end of the 2018 season so do not be surprised to see them playing deep into September.

Matt Balmer’s 2017 Final AFL Draft Power Rankings Part 1

EVERY month since May, Matt Balmer has ranked his players from the 2017 AFL Draft pool. With less than three weeks until the November 24 National AFL Draft, he counts down the players ranked 50-1 over the next two weeks. Today will be 50-26, before next Monday’s final rankings from 25-1.

Having seen just under 90 games throughout the season, it is always hard to come to a final order and I have ranked the players how I would if I was an AFL club going into the draft come November, ticking names off the list as they are called out.

Please note this is NOT a Phantom Draft – purely just how I rate the players. For this exercise, no mature agers have been considered.

#50 Jackson EDWARDS
Outside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
11/10/1999 | 184.5cm | 75.0kg

Scouting notes: The son of Tyson is eligible for father-son to Adelaide at the end of the season. Possesses a nice clean left foot on the outside where he plays his best across half back or on the wing. At times he could be a bit more damaging with his disposals, rather than finding the safe target short.

Strengths: Agility, accumulation, kicking
Improvements:  Hurt factor, contested ball

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.18 | Agility (secs) 8.39 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016South Australia00000000000000000000
2017South Australia49479618306513011770412.311.824.04.50.03.30.0
Total-49479618306513011770412.311.824.04.50.03.30.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total12.311.824.04.50.03.30.0

#49 Oscar CLAVARINO
Key Position Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 195.6cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: Key Position defender who should fill out in an AFL environment. His best can be very good and has held down the key post for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships over the last two years.  His intercept work is getting better and has become more sure of himself when dropping off his man. Kicking can be shaky under pressure – but is another element to his game that has improved throughout the season.

Strengths: Intercept marking, endurance, rebounding
Improvements:  Confidence, strength

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.13 | Agility (secs) 8.63 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: OSCAR CLAVARINO 

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Dandenong243054190060000054.86.010.83.80.01.20.0
2017Dandenong61671284553772333221087.68.416.05.60.42.90.0
Total-859718264537729332210136.57.514.04.90.22.20.0

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-6.04.010.03.00.01.00.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country14132790050000034.74.39.03.00.01.70.0
2017Vic Country22234523212380025045.55.811.35.80.02.00.0
Total-363672322123130025075.15.110.34.60.01.90.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total5.86.212.04.50.12.00.0

#48 Jake PATMORE
Outside Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
29/01/1999 | 181.1cm | 71.75kg

Scouting notes: Speedy outside midfielder who can play as a rebounding defender. Wins plenty of the ball and has slimmed down during the season. Patmore has plenty of scope for development. AFL Academy member.

Strengths: Agility, accumulation, speed
Improvements:  Inside game, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.02 | Agility (secs) 8.43 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western Australia24164040030000046.04.010.01.00.00.80.0
2017Western Australia50419118226717059100412.510.322.84.50.04.30.0
Total-74571312222672005910089.37.116.42.80.02.50.0

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Claremont65681331800110000370000000
2017Claremont25018843860005600005150000000
Total-31525657178006700008220000000

WAFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Claremont00000000000000000000
2017Claremont8101840030000010000000
Total-8101840030000010000000

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.37.116.42.80.02.50.0

#47 Matthew DAY
Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers)
01/04/1999 | 189.2cm | 79.4kg

Scouting notes: The Chargers midfielder missed out on Vic Metro selection but uses his nous in the contest to get the ball moving forward. Was a high level basketballer, before recently making the full-time switch to football. Wins the contested ball and is willing to tackle hard to win it back.

Strengths: Inside work, kicking, speed, future scope
Improvements:  Accumulation, raw, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.00 | Agility (secs) 8.64 | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: MATTHEW DAY 

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Oakleigh14584229421221126925847913169.15.314.32.60.14.30.8
2018Oakleigh733510838426320441422289.14.413.54.80.52.52.8
Total-2181193378016417589662611135249.15.014.03.30.33.71.5

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.15.014.03.30.33.71.5

#46 Brent DANIELS
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
09/03/1999 | 170.5cm | 70.4kg

Scouting notes: The inside midfielder was superb in the Vic Country Under 18 trial match in 2016, but showed his skills across half forward for Vic Country in the National Under 18 Championships in 2017. Daniels possesses elite speed and can play as an inside midfielder, but possesses a good goal sense and can pressure opposition defenders up forward.

Strengths: Skill, speed, goal sense, agility
Improvements:  Hands in close, overuse of the footy

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.95 | Agility (secs) 8.11 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: BRENT DANIELS

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Bendigo3129609001500004310.39.720.03.00.05.01.3
2017Bendigo70741442382842303323913710.010.620.63.30.03.31.9
Total-10110320432828438033239171010.110.320.43.20.03.81.7

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-6.014.020.03.00.07.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total8.710.018.73.30.03.81.5

#45 Sam TAYLOR
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
05/05/1999 | 196.1cm | 87.3kg

Scouting notes: A Key Position Defender who has flown a bit under the radar. Taylor was prominent in the AFL Academy game against Northern Blues at the start of the year, and is a good one-on-one defender. Taylor rebounds the ball ok by foot and is willing to take intercept marks.

Strengths: Marking, rebounding, positioning, athleticism
Improvements:  Kicking, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.51 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western Australia691570000000023.04.57.53.50.00.00.0
2017Western Australia202444142124411013045.06.011.03.50.31.00.0
Total-263359212124411013064.35.59.83.50.20.70.0

WAFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Swan Districts00000000000000000000
2017Swan Districts4052923200190000070000000
Total-4052923200190000070000000

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Swan Districts70441144200142000080000000
2017Swan Districts78721505800309000280000000
Total-1481162641000044110002160000000

WAFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Swan Districts00000000000000000000
2017Swan Districts741140090000010000000
Total-741140090000010000000

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total4.35.59.83.50.20.70.0

#44 Tom McCARTIN
Key Position Forward (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
30/12/1999 | 192.6cm | 84.0kg

Scouting notes: One of the late bloomers of the 2017 AFL Draft pool. The brother of St Kilda’s Patrick has a late December and is still in Year 11 – meaning he will need to finish school in 2018. Clubs won’t be put off by this however and the talented forward showed in the first quarter of the TAC Cup Elimination Final that he can be a damaging player. McCartin marks well overhead and is an agile footballer. He has plenty of scope for development.

Strengths: Contested marking, endurance, cleanness at ground level, agility
Improvements:  Goal kicking, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.12 | Agility (secs) 8.36 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: TOM McCARTIN

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Geelong936215573718930233309137.24.811.95.60.22.30.7
Total-936215573718930233309137.24.811.95.60.22.30.7

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Vic Country712191061441030032.34.06.33.30.31.30.0
Total-712191061441030032.34.06.33.30.31.30.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total6.34.610.95.20.22.10.6

#43 Ethan FLOYD
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
15/07/1999 | 180.0cm | 70.7kg

Scouting notes: Outside midfielder who possesses a pinpoint left foot pass. Can run hard all day on the wing and has a good mix of speed and endurance – standing out in his bright boot. He has the ability to play across half back and provides good rebound and can get the ball inside 50 and find a target.

Strengths: Kicking penetration, speed, endurance, ground coverage
Improvements:  Inside game, foot skills under pressure, tackling numbers

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.98 | Agility (secs) 8.46 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ETHAN FLOYD 

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Geelong10634140250027000051010.63.414.02.50.02.70.5
2017Geelong21284296657720820013673821613.35.318.54.10.01.30.1
2018Geelong2873571121100366039.32.311.72.30.03.30.0
Total-346125471978822957016734472911.94.316.23.30.02.00.2

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country00000000000000000000
2017Vic Country211132952770035037.03.710.73.00.02.30.0
Total-211132952770035037.03.710.73.00.02.30.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total11.54.315.73.30.02.00.2

#42 Brandon STARCEVICH
Balanced Midfielder (East Perth/Western Australia)
24/07/1999 | 186.6cm | 84.4kg

Scouting notes: A strong riser in the second half of the year where he can attack a stoppage at speed and clear the ball out reasonably effective by foot. Finished the season on a high with 18 disposals and four inside 50s in the Under 18 All Stars game at the MCG on Grand Final day. Possesses elite speed and agility, with his inside game are area that has improved. Not a big ball winner.

Strengths: Versatile, speed, agility
Improvements:  Inside game, consistency, ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.87 | Agility (secs) 8.08 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Western Australia1531830080000135.01.06.01.00.02.70.3
2017Western Australia321850924261215102448.04.512.52.30.33.01.0
Total-4721681224262015102576.73.09.71.70.12.90.7

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016East Perth813811927001820002100000000
2017East Perth935014329003910005100000000
Total-1748826256005730007200000000

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total6.73.09.71.70.12.90.7

#41 Trent MYNOTT
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/10/1999 | 184.8cm | 75.1kg

Scouting notes: Inside midfielder who has plenty of scope for development. Mynott can win the contested ball and clear it effectively out to an outside runner by hand. Is willing to do the defensive work and tackles hard to get the ball back. Kicking has room for improvement.

Strengths: Clearances, acceleration, agility
Improvements:  Speed, kicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.22 | Agility (secs) 8.20 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern784111920003300005711.15.917.02.90.04.70.7
2017Eastern116631792695773304521167814.57.922.43.30.04.10.9
Total-194104298469577660452116121512.96.919.93.10.04.40.8

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro263157111344150164038.710.319.03.70.05.00.0
Total-263157111344150164038.710.319.03.70.05.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total12.27.519.73.20.04.50.7

#40 Will WALKER
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons)
30/03/1999 | 186.5cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Zippy half forward flanker who has improved his contested ball abilities in the second half of the year. Wins the ball in the midfielder and spreads well from a stoppage. At times he can just bang the ball on his boot – but he has the power to kick the ball over 50 metres and his clearance work is very good. Comes from a former soccer background.

Strengths: Speed, agility, clearance work, rawness
Improvements:  Kicking, contested ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.74 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: WILL WALKER

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Sandringham623799230025000015115.63.49.02.10.02.31.4
2017Sandringham21817138982161228761666917221911.59.020.54.30.14.01.2
Total-280208488105161228101166691737309.36.916.33.50.03.41.2

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.36.916.33.50.03.41.2

#39 Toby WOOLLER
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
16/03/1999 | 192.7cm | 89.9kg

Scouting notes: Key Position Forward who has played as a hybrid midfielder at times for the Oakleigh Chargers. While still likely to end up a second or third tall at the next level, Wooller is a good mark and knows where the goals are. Is mobile enough to get up and down the ground on multiple leads. Is the grandson of Geelong’s Fred Wooller.

Strengths: Contested marking, scoreboard impact, work ethic, strength, leadership
Improvements:  Speed, kicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.12 | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: TOBY WOOLLER

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Oakleigh87301176300151500010108.73.011.76.31.51.51.0
2017Oakleigh2127628892145152773532555431613.34.818.05.82.24.82.7
Total-299106405155145152925032555532611.54.115.66.01.93.52.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro13619791031080126.53.09.53.50.51.50.5
Total-13619791031080126.53.09.53.50.51.50.5

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total11.14.215.35.91.83.41.9

#38 Nathan KREUGER
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 195.7cm | 88.9kg

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield but showed his strength up forward for South Australia in the National  Under 18 Championships.

Strengths: Agility, strength, marking, versatile
Improvements:  Raw, skills, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.03 | Agility (secs) 8.21 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.4

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017South Adelaide109195121051021133.33.06.31.70.31.70.3
Total-109195121051021130000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017South Adelaide10940149497583392224331513119.93.613.54.52.03.51.2
Total-10940149497583392224331513110000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016South Australia00000000000000000000
2017South Australia11718810731260125.53.59.04.00.51.50.5
Total-11718810731260125.53.59.04.00.51.50.5

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total5.53.59.04.00.51.50.5

#37 James WORPEL
Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185.1cm | 85.5kg

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks are on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs but he did show in the National Under 18 Championships that he was able to stop and find a target without rushing. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a top 30 selection.

Strengths: Inside game, tackling, leadership, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Kicking, agility

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.08 | Agility (secs) 8.89 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JAMES WORPEL

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Geelong183812643100760000111314.16.220.32.40.05.80.8
2017Geelong236106342361701771092748219111614.86.621.42.30.16.80.7
Total-419187606671701771852748219222914.46.420.92.30.16.40.8

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-9.08.017.01.00.04.00.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country3017473001700002310.05.715.71.00.05.70.7
2017Vic Country453479163842330161662411.38.519.84.00.08.30.5
Total-7551126193842500161664710.77.318.02.70.07.10.6

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total13.66.620.22.40.16.40.7

#36 Jackson ROSS
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192.5cm | 74.5kg

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and is a player with plenty of development left.

Strengths: Upside, mobility/versatile, kicking, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Consistency, tackling, reading the game

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.09 | Agility (secs) 8.46 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JACKSON ROSS

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern74381122300160000589.34.814.02.90.02.00.6
2017Eastern13937176367595270223615161013.93.717.63.60.02.71.6
Total-21375288597595430223615211811.84.216.03.30.02.41.2

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total11.23.915.23.10.02.31.1

#35 Gryan MIERS
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
30/03/1999 | 177.6cm | 77.4kg

Scouting notes: Small forward who shot to frame after booting seven goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Whilst he doesn’t possess elite speed, he has smarts around goal and is willing to kick the ball off either foot. Has played some time on the inside, but is destined to be a small forward at the next level.

Strengths: Footy IQ, endurance, goal sense, X-Factor
Improvements:  Speed, vertical leap

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.19 | Agility (secs) 8.39 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: GRYAN MIERS

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Geelong4621671600220000359.24.213.43.20.04.40.6
2017Geelong202892917011416862018532501711.95.217.14.10.03.62.9
Total-2481103588611416884018532532211.35.016.33.90.03.82.4

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Country00000000000000000000
2017Vic Country41297018175215071112410.37.317.54.50.03.80.5
Total-41297018175215071112410.37.317.54.50.03.80.5

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total11.15.316.54.00.03.82.1

#34 Harrison PETTY
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 195.3cm | 81.9kg

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead. Won South Australia’s MVP after a superb National AFL Under 18 Championships.

Strengths: Positioning, composure, kicking, intercepting
Improvements:  Speed, strength

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.17 | Agility (secs) 8.29 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Norwood241741231428510051212.08.520.511.50.52.50.5
Total-24174123142851005120000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Norwood41317229284417303411058.26.214.45.86.03.40.0
Total-41317229284417303411050000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017South Australia252449172624821213046.36.012.34.30.52.00.0
Total-252449172624821213046.36.012.34.30.52.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total6.36.012.34.30.52.00.0

#33 Charlie SPARGO
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 171.6cm | 70.2kg

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Had shoulder surgery which ruled him out for the season.

Strengths: Goal sense, speed, agility, endurance, tackling
Improvements:  Marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total-10.04.014.05.00.01.03.0

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Murray53288118001400007510.65.616.23.60.02.81.4
2017Murray00000000000000000000
Total-53288118001400007510.65.616.23.60.02.81.4

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Allies15142980090000027.57.014.54.00.04.50.0
2017Allies117184811601200111.07.018.04.00.06.00.0
Total-26214712811150120038.77.015.74.00.05.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total8.95.314.23.50.03.01.0

#32 Andrew McPHERSON
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 79.4kg

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the National AFL Under 18 Championships last year, but missed the carnival in 2017 due to injury. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Strengths: Endurance, kicking, footy smarts, rebounding
Improvements:  Inside game, athleticism

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Woodville-West Torrens3835731821511085120312.711.724.46.00.00.30.0
Total-383573182151108512030000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Woodville-West Torrens35804410112013.05.08.00.00.01.00.0
Total-35804410112010000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016South Australia282149140080000039.37.016.34.70.02.70.0
2017South Australia00000000000000000000
Total-282149140080000039.37.016.34.70.02.70.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.37.016.34.70.02.70.0

#31 Jack PETRUCCELLE
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 185.1cm | 77.7kg

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82 seconds recorded earlier in the season. He is willing to take opposition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. He comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Strengths: Speed, agility, inside game
Improvements:  Kicking, endurance, accumulation

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.87 | Agility (secs) 8.64 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.7

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Northern11102160054000425.55.010.53.02.02.52.0
2017Northern156912375014310759035681714169.85.714.83.10.03.70.9
Total-1671012585614310764435681718189.35.614.33.10.23.61.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro1513287131490135135.04.39.32.30.03.00.3
Total-1513287131490135135.04.39.32.30.03.00.3

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total8.75.413.63.00.23.50.9

#30 Dylan MOORE
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175.8cm | 65.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. He also a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who do not possess elite speed. Is a smart footballer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Strengths: Endurance, kicking, contested ball winning, scoreboard impact, clearance work
Improvements:  Speed, marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.14 | Agility (secs) 8.48 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 22.3

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Eastern282654120060000147.06.513.53.00.01.50.3
2017Eastern125106231321161145204240189913.911.825.73.60.05.81.0
Total-15313228544116114580424018101311.810.221.93.40.04.50.8

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2016Vic Metro00000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro35579210455013012133348.814.323.02.50.03.30.8
Total-35579210455013012133348.814.323.02.50.03.30.8

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total10.410.520.93.00.03.90.7

#29 Jordan HOULAHAN
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185.7cm | 75.9kg

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the National Under 18 Championships. Also played a few games as a midfielder at SANFL level. Was a dual premiership player for the Double Blues in the SANFL Under 18s and SANFL Reserves.

Strengths: Contested marking, kicking skills, leap, versatility
Improvements:  Consistency, leading patterns, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JORDAN HOULAHAN

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Sturt813211334625638121524720117.42.912.33.11.13.51.8
Total-813211334625638121524720110000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Sturt472471243936251181431059.44.814.24.82.25.02.0
Total-472471243936251181431050000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017South Australia2514391224131414131746.33.59.83.00.33.51.8
Total-2514391224131414131746.33.59.83.00.33.51.8

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total6.33.59.83.00.33.51.8

#28 Zac BAILEY
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 181.0cm | 81.1kg

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Bailey wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Strengths: Contested ball winning, speed, kicking, tackling
Improvements:  Marking, endurance, hitting the scoreboard

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.98 | Agility (secs) 8.69 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.6

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ZAC BAILEY

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Northern Territory00000000000000000000
Total-00000000000000000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Norwood4530759443490181390315.010.025.03.00.03.00.0
Total-453075944349018139030000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Allies3633698274118013143149.08.317.32.00.04.50.3
Total-3633698274118013143149.08.317.32.00.04.50.3

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.08.317.32.00.04.50.3

#27 Ryley STODDART
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 184.6cm | 73.7kg

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson. Finished the year with some impressive performances and showed he can push further up the ground and hit the scoreboard.

Strengths: Agility, kicking, composure under pressure
Improvements:  Tackling, one-on-one defending

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: RYLEY STODDART

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Eastern114511653858891504223641011.45.116.53.80.01.50.4
Total-114511653858891504223641011.45.116.53.80.01.50.4

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Vic Metro1830486182640138044.57.512.01.50.01.00.0
Total-1830486182640138044.57.512.01.50.01.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.45.815.23.10.01.40.3

#26 Joel GARNER
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Strengths: Leadership, kicking, quick hands, inside game
Improvements:  Endurance, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.18 | Agility (secs) 8.85 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

TAC Cup

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Eastern114511653858891504223641011.45.116.53.80.01.50.4
Total-114511653858891504223641011.45.116.53.80.01.50.4

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
2017Vic Metro1830486182640138044.57.512.01.50.01.00.0
Total-1830486182640138044.57.512.01.50.01.00.0

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGames playedKHDMHOTG
Total9.45.815.23.10.01.40.3

So that’s my players ranked 50-26, if you want to know more: Send me a Tweet @MattBalmer7 before my final 25-1 is released next Monday night.

Scouting notes: 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final

GRYAN Miers starred in the Geelong Falcons’ 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final win, after the Sandringham Dragons had a chance to kick a goal after the siren for the win. Read the full match report here.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Seven goals – ’nuff said. I tweeted after he’d kicked his first two goals that he was a second rounder and I think he consolidated that thought, finishing with 7.2 from 16 disposals. While his kicking technique does need some work, it is effective. His first goal of the game was mighty impressive on his left foot and one that may find himself drafted in the early second round.

#8 Ed McHenry – The bottom-ager was again impressive and put his hand up for AFL Academy honours. His hands in close are very good and he was able to fire the ball out to the link players effectively. He is an effective kick going forward and found 21 disposals for the game.

#11 Mitch Chafer – When the Falcons were up and firing in the third term, Chafer really got going after a quiet start. He is willing to work hard both ways and tackle his opponents. Had eight of his 14 disposals in the “premiership quarter.”

#22 Sam Walsh – The bottom-ager is arguably the best midfielder in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. Walsh led the stats sheet with 30 disposals, seven inside 50s and won five clearances. Walsh linked up well on the outside and worked very hard at the stoppages. Whilst not all his kicks inside 50 were effective, his ball winning ability is outstanding.

#44 Sam Conway – The Geelong College student has a few suitors at AFL level and may wind up a draft selection – as a real riser in the second half of the year. Conway is a very raw ruckman who is often made to handball the ball to his midfielders, but he can mark well around the ground and has plenty of traits that’ll appeal to a club looking for a ruckman.

#49 Dane Hollenkamp – Like Conway, Hollenkamp’s improvement this year has been exceptional. In the ruck, he has shown improvement and at times backs himself to take it out of the ruck and handball it out to a teammate. At ground level, he is clean and can win the ground balls and get it out to a teammate. Hollenkamp finished with 10 disposals and 12 hitouts and like Conway – may find himself in draft calculations.

Sandringham Dragons

#6 Charlie Constable – There was plenty of doubt on Constable coming into the game with a groin injury, but Constable showed his class in the opening half of the match – turning the game in the second quarter with the first two goals of the quarter. Constable is able to play up forward and mark the football. His clearance work was good, and off limited game time he was able to get 23 disposals and four clearances.

#8 Will Walker – Walker’s clearance work around the ground was impressive and he was able to get the ball on his boot and bang it forward. While at times his kicking can be hit and miss, most of his kicks went long and were effective. He wins the contested ball and Walker was able to push forward and boot two goals – and may himself drafted inside the top 30.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Brayshaw just gets to the right positions and is a clean ball user by hand and foot. The Falcons sat Harry Benson on him and at times he was under enormous pressure and resulted in him handballing out of the stoppages in more occasions than not. His contested numbers were slightly down, but he was able to bring the ball inside 50 throughout the game. Laid a match-high 11 tackles and pushed hard in the final term.

#20 Kai Owens – In the first 15 minutes of the final quarter, Owens had five disposals, four marks and booted three goals. When the game was looking for a player to stand up, Owens was the man who got the Dragons back into the game – using his leap and his agility up forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – A lot has been said about his after the siren miss, but the Dragons ruckman has been a big improver since Round 1. Was the clear best ruckman on the day with 27 hitouts, but his pressure and tackling around the ground was an important facet of the game. I think he might find a home in the back half of the draft.

#30 Hayden McLean – Thought it was Hayden McLean’s best game for the season. His first half in particular saw McLean show some signs of what had been hoped from the AFL Academy member this year. McLean took four marks in the opening quarter, as well as booting a goal. Finished the day with 12 disposals and seven marks. Boosted himself up a touch with a good Grand Final game.

TAC Cup Grand Final preview: Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER 18 rounds and two weeks of finals, the two top TAC Cup sides have emerged with reigning premier Sandringham Dragons taking on top four regular Geelong Falcons. The Dragons finished fourth overall and defeated Murray Bushrangers in the elimination final before toppling Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. Geelong defeated Gippsland Power in the elimination final before an impressive victory over Dandenong Stingrays last week.

The Falcons head into the grand final with few injuries, at close to full-strength as possible. The Dragons on the other hand, have a number of question marks, with Ed Newman (suspended) out, and both Nathan Murphy (ankle) and Charlie Constable (tightness) under injury clouds.

This game sees the best outside midfield taking on the best inside midfield, with the Dragons content on using their slick skills and short passing to frustrate opponents, while the Falcons often win the contest through sheer strength, winning the ball at the coal face and booting it inside 50. The winner will be the one that can play the game on their own terms.

Check out the player stat comparisons for the starting 18 here.

KEY PLAYERS:

Andrew Brayshaw – The Geelong Falcons strong inside midfield will have an advantage at the stoppages and it will be up to the Brayshaw brothers, Andrew and Hamish, to turn the game in the Dragons’ favour. The potential first round draftee wins the ball inside and out, as well as 5.4 clearances per game.

Gryan Miers – The dangerous small forward has booted 37 goals in the TAC Cup this season and looms as the key to a Falcons’ victory. He rarely lacks opportunities and if he can have his kicking boots on, he has been prone to booting bags, including a six-goal haul earlier this season.

FIVE KEY FACTORS:

1 Coal face battle – The midfield of James Worpel, Cassidy Parish and Sam Walsh average 16.5 clearances between them, while Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw and Will Walker average 15.5, not too far behind. Add in the fact Walker spends time down forward and it is evenly balanced. Parish and Hamish Brayshaw are the two best extractors in the TAC Cup so going head-to-head will be enthralling.

2 Oh Miers – I briefly mentioned above, but Gryan Miers is one of a number of talented goal sneaks who can really hurt the opposition given the chance. I expect Nathan Murphy – if fit – to take Miers as he is equally strong in the air, or perhaps Bailey Smith or Howie Persson are others potentially seen as match-ups for Miers.

3 Goal sneak battleLachie Noble and Aaron Trusler love to pounce on opportunistic goals and whilst they will be up opposite ends of the ground, the one who impacts the match more could be the difference in what is expected to be a tight game.

4 Key KingsMax King and Ben King are top 10 prospects next year and have already shown impressive glimpses in their bottom-age year. Max has been playing forward, while Ben has taken up a key position post in defence and they will be expected to play a big role in the Dragons’ success this year and next. Ben will likely line-up on Falcons’ key forward Adam Garner, while Max will likely see Josh Jaska stand beside him at the first bounce.

5 Top-end talent – Sandringham had a host of first round draft picks last year and they look set to have a new bunch this year including Charlie Constable, Andrew Brayshaw and Nathan Murphy, leading a huge 19 National and State Combine invitations. For the Falcons, Matt Ling looks set to be the first Falcon taken this year, with James Worpel, Ethan Floyd, Cassidy Parish, David Handley and Gryan Miers among the others that will no doubt be on a number of recruiters lists.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17)

Sandringham goals: Lachlan Harris (2), Isaac Morrisby (2), Will Walker, Kai Owens, Anthony Seaton, William Kennedy.
Geelong goals: Hayden Elliot, Bayley Cockerill.
Sandringham disposals: Geordie Nagle (38), Bailey Smith (34), Angus Styles (33), Seb Williams (32), Will Walker (28), Nathan Murphy (28)
Geelong disposals: Harry Benson (25), Jack Henderson (22), Brayden Ham (20), Cooper Stephens (19), Bayley Cockerill (17), Ethan Floyd (17)

CHANGES FOR GRAND FINAL:

Geelong ins: Josh Jaska, Jarrod Walters, Oscar Brownless, Matt Ling, James Worpel, Sam Walsh, Ed McHenry, Gryan Miers, Tom McCartin, Dane Hollenkamp, Cassidy Parish, David Handley, Mitch Chafer, Sam Conway
Sandringham ins: Charlie Constable, Ben King, Alfie Jarnestrom, Hayden McLean, Max King, Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw, Lucas Barrett*, Sam Cameron*, Josh Gorman*, Aaron Trusler*, Alastair Richards

TEAMS:

Geelong Falcons:
B: 17. Cooper Stephens – 43. Josh Jaska – 26. Jarrod Walters
HB: 30. Oscar Brownless – 39. Connor Idun – 19. Matt Ling
C: 13. Ethan Floyd – 38. James Worpel – 22. Sam Walsh
HF: 7. Harry Benson – 46. Adam Garner – 8. Ed McHenry
F: 4. Gryan Miers – 41. Tom McCartin – 1. Lachie Noble
R: 49. Dane Hollenkamp – 42. Cassidy Parish – 16. David Handley
INT: 11. Mitch Chafer – 44. Sam Conway – 40. Hayden Elliot – 5. Jack Henderson
23rd: 36. Charlie Sprague

Sandringham Dragons:
B: 2. Geordie Nagle – 33. Howie Persson – 37. Bailey Smith
HB: 6. Charlie Constable – 70. Ben King – 74. Nathan Murphy
C: 22. Quintin Montanaro – 8. Will Walker – 10. Angus Styles
HF: 15. Alfie Jarnestrom – 30. Hayden McLean – 5. Seb Williams
F: 1. Lachie Harris – 61. Max King – 20. Kai Owens
R: 29. Joel Amartey – 9. Andrew Brayshaw – 11. Hamish Brayshaw
INT: 3. Lucas Barrett – 24. Sam Cameron – 13. Josh Gorman – 12. Jackson Hille – 25. Max Lohan – 28. Isaac Morrisby – 7. Aaron Trusler (Three to be omitted)
23rd: 58. Alastair Richards

TIP:

On form, fitness and consistency throughout the year, it is hard to look past the Geelong Falcons. Sandringham Dragons leave their best until last and it would not surprise me whatsoever if they got up in this game, but with the Falcons in top-form, cruising along nicely and no injury question marks, I will tip the Falcons by 25 points. I tip Gryan Miers to be named best on ground.

Player focus: Ed Richards

AFTER an injury led to him missing out on Vic Metro selection, the grandson of Collingwood great Ron Richards (whose brother was premiership skipper Lou), has impressed in the last month with his eye-catching runs and his impressive disposal – pushing his name into first round calculations. On the weekend, Peter Williams analysed the lightning red head and watched how he moved and what he did to get a better understanding of the type of player he was, when his side the Oakleigh Chargers went down to Sandringham Dragons on Sunday in the preliminary final.

First quarter:

Ed Richards started on Alfie Jarnestrom at half-back but with Oakleigh looking strong early, Richards was pushed up to the wing. With no much to report in the opening few minutes, Richards hung back from a stoppage in the Chargers’ forward 50 region. His opponent went into the contest and Richards cleverly stayed out, receiving the handball and then arching his back before piercing an effective kick inside 50 to Jack Higgins who marked and goaled.

It would be Richards’ only kick of the quarter, but his burst and effectiveness to hit a target on the run was really impressive. At the next piece of play, Richards was kicking out after a Chargers’ behind and he managed to find his target in Luke Stacker in the back pocket. Richards ran past but looked a bit surprised to receive the ball back and under pressure he had to handball to Riley Jones before the pressure from the Dragons forced the ball out for a throw-in.

The next moment Richards came into contact with the play was in the ninth minute where he pressured Aaron Trusler, forcing him to not take possession cleanly, before Richards was benched for the first time in the game at about the eleventh minute mark. He returned at the 15.30 minute mark and went to half-back to play on Josh Gorman. As he had at the start of the quarter, he pushed up but once he got to the half-forward flank, word came from the bench loud and clear “Ed, stay out” and he moved back in line with three other Chargers’ to zone across the middle of the ground.

At the 17-minute mark, Sandringham kicked inside 50 to Jarnestrom who set sail for home unbeknown that Richards was closing down and the speedster managed to get a hand to him and knock him off balance forcing Jarnestrom’s shot on goal to fall short. He continued to oppose Jarnestrom at half-back for the next few minutes, holding a strong line. At the 19.30 mark, he won a one-on-one contest with Jarnestrom deep in defence and manage to spoil it to a teammate who cleared the football.

At the 20-minute mark, Richards picked up Trusler again but Sandringham had spotted a hole in the Oakleigh defence with Will Walker slipping free. Richards realised at the last moment, darted back to cover Walker but the small midfielder/forward took the mark. Luckily for the Chargers’ defence, their loss in focus only cost them a behind as Walker’s shot hit the inside of the post.

Richards then assumed a role on Walker at the next play and managed to nullify a Dragons’ ball that went deep, and for his last piece of play for the quarter, Richards produced a long, bullet pass outside 50, perfectly hitting his target with rare precision.

Quarter 1 stats: 2 Disposals (1 Kick, 1 Handball), 1 Inside 50

Second Quarter:

Ed Richards again started the quarter at half-back assigned to Jarnestrom although within the first 90 seconds he had pushed up into the stoppage with his opponent. In the third minute, Richards received a handball on the wing, handballed back to Stacker before his teammate was dispossessed and Sandringham kicked the ball forward. A shot on goal from the Dragons resulted in a behind, with Richards taking the kick-out. He kicked long to about the 55m metre mark to hit-up big ruckman Ned Reeves, but he was well spoiled by Joel Amartey.

Sandringham mopped up and kicked long inside 50 where Walker led at the ball, but Richards was up to the task producing a strong spoil and the Chargers cleared the ball from danger. A few minutes later Ed Richards was opposed to Andrew Brayshaw, spoiling his attempted mark and following him into the middle. While on Brayshaw, Jarnestrom had snuck free of Richards close checking and enjoyed the freedom by taking an uncontested mark inside 50 and kicking the goal.

Richards returned to the defensive 50 after the goal to match up on Trusler, and it was not long before a long ball headed in their direction with Richards once again showing his closing speed and strength one-on-one, spoiling Trusler on the lead. As he pushed up to the wing with the press, Richards won the ball under pressure and tried to kick inside 50 but his kick was a scrubber and ineffective.

In the eighth minute, Jarnestrom won the first one-on-one contest anyone had against Richards that day, with very little the speedster could do. The ball was a pinpoint low pass for Jarnestrom to take on his chest and left Richards little chance to spoil. A minute later he took a good mark just outside defensive 50 with a good leap in front of Jarnestrom and produced an effective short kick into the corridor to Lachlan Bugeja.

With the ball up the other end for the next few minutes, Richards was not involved in the play until another one-on-one with Trusler, which Richards won, but he could not quite gather it cleanly and it was forced into a stoppage. He moved into the middle to face Lucas Barrett and moments later Sandringham kicked inside 50 and goaled. At the fifteenth minute mark, Richards was sent to the bench for the second time in the game.

He returned four minutes later to stand beside Andrew Brayshaw at half-back, and Brayshaw marked in front of the defender when Richards was zoning off. A couple of minutes later, Richards received a handball on the wing, then tucked the ball under his arm, took a bounce and kicked inside 50, but unfortunately it landed straight in the arms of Ben King. He returned to the defence where he picked up Walker inside 50 and then moved into the midfield in the last minute of the quarter, standing Geordie Nagle. Sandringham won the clearance with Trusler marking and subsequently goaling just on the siren.

Quarter 2 stats: 5 Disposals (4 Kicks, 1 Handball), 1 Mark, 1 Inside 50, 1 Rebound
Total stats: 7 Disposals (5 Kicks, 2 Handballs), 1 Mark, 2 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound

Third Quarter:

Ed Richards returned from the half-time break and started inside at the centre bounce. He opposed Jarnestrom there and won the first clearance of the second half, albeit a shorter one to the 60m mark. A minute later the most damning piece of play occured for Richards which might not have been noticed for anyone not directly watching him.

There was a throw-in on the wing and Richards was shoulder-to-shoulder with Walker (1:12:18 on the livestream). After Sandringham won possession, Walker darted forward at full speed while Richards jogged behind. The ball was bombed long to the square by Amartey where Walker had continued running and took an uncontested mark about 15m clear of Richards and did not break stride as he ran into an open goal. The piece of play indicated to me that Richards looked to have been caught ball-watching and Walker had taken the opportunity to run forward backing his teammates to win the football and kick it to the dangerous area.

After that, Richards stood in space about 60m out from his defensive 50, helping zone for the Chargers, before resuming his contest with Jarnestrom. He pushed up to help the press inside 50 and was lucky not to be pinged for holding the ball on the wing at the five minute mark when he dove on it and could not get it out. A minute and a half later, Richards pushed forward and took a good mark overhead. He chipped to Charlie Thompson but the pair was not on the same wave length, with the chip designed for Thompson to run onto, but instead Richards’ teammate had stopped running and the ball went past him and Sandringham cleared the defence.

In the eighth minute, Richards went in hard and received a free kick for his efforts, about 25m out on a 45 degree angle. His set shot was weighted to pop through and he registered a goal to his name (1:19:30 on the livestream). A minute later he punched the ball from a stoppage knowing he did not have time to take possession and instead got it clear to the running Sam Harte, before Richards was called to the bench for a break at the nine and a half minute mark.

He returned two and a half minutes later and went back to the half-back flank opposed to Josh Gorman. Immediately he had a clean, one-hand pickup but his kick was rushed. It proved effective however and started the chain of possessions that led to an Oakleigh goal as the Chargers hit the Dragons hard in the third term. Richards was only on the ground a few minutes before being benched again in the fifteenth minute as he had in the second quarter.

Richards returned to the field at the 17-minute mark and opposed Andrew Brayshaw inside defensive 50. He produced a couple of statless pressure acts there without winning a possession and spent another five minutes on the ground before another stint on the bench at the 22 and a half minute mark. His interchange time was about 90 seconds before heading to half-back where he won the football and effectively handballed to Isaac Quaynor. In the dying moments he was at half-forward on Gorman before filling a hole in defensive 50 before the final break. Richards’ third quarter was by far his most productive, making the most of his increased midfield minutes which was reflected in his stats.

Quarter 3 stats: 7 Disposals (5 Kicks, 2 Handballs), 1 Mark, 2 Clearances, 1 Inside 50, 1 Goal
Total stats: 12 Disposals (9 Kicks, 3 Handballs), 2 Marks, 2 Clearances, 3 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound, 1 Goal

Fourth Quarter:

The fourth quarter was a bit of a let-down for Richards, being mostly in the middle but not greatly impacting the contest. He started inside opposed to Andrew Brayshaw and drifted back to be loose on the defensive 50 line. At the two and a half minute mark, he produced a fantastic chase down tackles on Quintin Montanaro on the wing (1:50:27 on the livestream), indicating Richards’ closing speed. A minute later Richards was benched.

He had a long stint on the interchange, spending about five minutes resting before returning in the eighth minute. He burst onto the scene, winning the football and took advantage of a free kick with a quick handball and it lead to a kick inside 50. He returned to the inside against Brayshaw at the tenth minute and and stood his ground well in a marking contest against Brayshaw with his opponent slipping over. Richards took possession cleanly, handballed it off, received it back was tackled but managed to produce an effective handball nonetheless.

He returned to the centre square opposing Brayshaw, but was there for another minute before he was called to the bench once again, this time spending seven minutes on the pine which was a little surprising. Of the first 20 minutes in the last quarter, Richards spent about 12 minutes on the bench which probably points to endurance and the fact he has had little match practice this season due to injury.

Richards returned at the 20-minute mark and went forward for a few minutes but Sandringham was mostly controlling the play at that stage. A couple of minutes later he moved into the midfield to oppose Nagle again, and then Brayshaw at a half-forward throw-in, but without registering another disposal. The siren sounded and Richards had produced a few highlights, he had eventually tired in the final term and unfortunately his team had been eliminated as Sandringham celebrated a terrific win.

Quarter 4 stats: 4 Disposals (0 Kicks, 4 Handballs), 2 Tackles
Total stats: 16 Disposals (9 Kicks, 7 Handballs), 2 Marks, 2 Tackles, 2 Clearances, 3 Inside 50s, 1 Rebound, 1 Goal

2017 TAC Cup Scouting notes: Finals week 1

THE FIRST week of TAC Cup Finals have been run and won, with Oakleigh, Dandenong, Geelong and Sandringham progressing to next Sunday’s Preliminary Finals at Simonds Stadium.

You can re-watch all four TAC Cup Finals games here.

Read Matt Balmer and Peter Williams’ scouting notes from all four finals below, focusing on some of the better players on the weekend, with an emphasis on the 2017 draft eligible players.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#1 Jack Roughsedge – Booted the first goal of the game for the Chargers and played as an inside midfielder during the game. Coming out the stoppages and in tight, Roughsedge preferred to use his right foot kick rather than his hands to get the ball out of the contest. Spreads well out of the stoppages.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Has had a great second half of the year and is pushing himself in draft calculations. When up forward, he keeps his feet and is able to get the ball out to a teammate by hand. His clearance work in the midfield is very good and he was willing to tackle hard – putting pressure on his opponents. While he does lack a touch of speed, he knows his limitations and is able to get the ball moving forward on his right foot. Kicked a nice left foot snap goal.

#8 Toby Wooller – Was one of the Chargers’ best players but hopped off in the last quarter and scans post game confirmed he had broken his ankle. His marking was on show early, including a spectacular clunk on the wing in the first quarter. He did have two chances late in the first term to capitalise on goal – but missed them both. He did boot two goals in the third quarter and really showed his strengths in the air and at ground level. One of his better games in a while.

#14 Ed Richards – Didn’t win a stack of the ball, but his moments were very good and he was able to link up and create drive off half back. He did take a while to get going, but a nice intercept mark in the second quarter really got him going and he booted a goal in the second quarter. Late in the game he was shown into the midfield and won a centre clearance late, booting the ball inside 50 on his long left foot.

#22 Hugh Longbottom – It was surprising to see him begin the game in the ruck as an undersized tall at 191cm – but immediately he used his trademark leap to crack in hard, in what was a very good contest with Matthew Harman. He was very mobile around the ground and was able to get the ball around the ground and mark when required.

#50 Matt King – Worked tirelessly all day in the back half and reads the play well. Does not find as much of it as some of his teammates, but I felt he put in a lot of work moving the ball out of defence and propelling it forward in transition.

#71 Dylan Williams – The 16 year-old might not be available for draft selection until 2019, but his game on the weekend was first class. He marked well above his head, showed good athleticism and was able to pinpoint passes in traffic with ease. It is worth remembering this name next year as he is likely to take the competition by storm as a bottom-ager.

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Started as an inside midfielder but was also able to go across to the half back flank when he rotated out. He accumulates the ball well and is willing to tackle hard around the ground. He is usually clean across half back and in tight at the stoppages, he’s able to use his quick hands to effectiveness.

#6 Patrick Naish – Played as a utility, but again looked his best in the second quarter playing up forward, where he was able to bag one of Northern’s four goals. While his finishing could’ve been better around the ground – his tackling pressure was very good. Is springy on his feet and can jump up high above some of the other midfielders when trying to win the ball in the air.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Started off slowly but got going and showed his ability to win the ball in the contested situations. Went deep up forward at times in the second quarter, including an outstanding mark in the second quarter where he converted the chance. At the moment, he is far from the finished product and has plenty of traits that will appeal to clubs with his eye-catching speed and leap outstanding.

#8 Nick Coffield – Won the footy on the inside and once again was very good in traffic. Is so composed in the content and for one of the first times of the season – he was caught holding the ball at one stage during the match. A spin early in the contest was very impressive, while another good trait was his long handballing ability. An elite kick inside 50 in the third term was simply outstanding and while St Kilda coach Alan Richardson was looking on – it wouldn’t be a shock to see him drafted before their first pick inside the top 10.

#9 Alex Federico – Was willing to kick out of the stoppages on either his left or right foot – and while his numbers weren’t as big as previous games, he did some good things in their tough loss. At times he did just bang the ball forward, but his clearance work was important in meaning the Knights could get the ball going inside 50. His vision in the final quarter to find a target on his left foot directly to his right was outstanding.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Eastern Ranges 

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – Dandenong’s game plan involves getting the ball inside 50 as many times as possible – and Hunter Clark is a playing that completes that task. Whilst early in the contest, not all of his kicks hit the target, he was damaging in the second half of the contest and gave the Stingrays forwards the ball inside 50. His tackling and multiple efforts were hugely important in helping the Rays lift after half time. He had two pinpoint passes inside 50 in the third quarter, and his good hands in tight were impressive in the last quarter.

#6 Aiden Bonar – Played it patches, showing off his good burst and his strength in the contest. A nice contested mark, saw him run into an open goal in the first term, while he flied high for a mark in the second quarter. His tackling and general pressure around the ball was good, but did cop a knock late – but should be fine for next week.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – ‘LDU’ was back to his pre-champs best, dominating throughout the contest – in particular in the final half of the game when the Stingrays took control. His hands and his pick ups from ground level were outstanding, while he showed his tenacious attack on the ball in the contested. A good passage in the second quarter saw him take a few bounces running down the middle, while another goal assist in the third term was equally impressive. He looked ‘stuffed’ in the last quarter after pushing himself – but he found another gear after he Stingrays needed someone to keep it going in the midfield and there’s no doubt he was the best player on the ground. Wow.

#15 Toby Bedford – Really liked his game out of the midfield. Managed to burst away from his opponents a couple of times and kick inside 50. He did not always hit his targets going forward but was able to get deep entries inside 50 which was a plus, especially in a game where Dandenong had tall targets such as Riley D’Arcy and Bailey Williams rotating forward.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Took a couple of marks in defence, but he didn’t have as many as the previous week. He was able to be an option on the switch and at times was able to win crucial one-on-one contests. He is a rock in defence at times and reads the play well and hits the contest as a third man so well.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued to win the ball on the inside and spread well from the contest. His clearance work was good and he was able to win it on the outside as well. His ball winning is very good and his stoppage work is appealing. Had a good third term. An underrated midfielder in the Stingrays’ line-up.

Eastern Ranges:

#6 Ryley Stoddart – Continued to work his backside off throughout the whole game coming out of defensive 50. He was able to mark around the ground with ease early in the game, but at times looked to rush things and elected to use his agility to try and get around players rather than just looking for a simple option, often seeing him tackled trying to do too much. His kicking was uncharacteristically off – but a few recruiters made it verbally known that it was obvious he was giving his all despite his teammates basically stopping late in the game.

#10 Dylan Moore – Used his smarts and agility to good use in the midfield, but was just out powered in the second half by the bigger bodies Davies-Uniacke and Clark. Moore’s follow up work was good and he was able to sneak forward and his goal in the last quarter did give the Ranges some brief hope that they might be able to snatch back the win.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson started the game up forward and was more impactful there than through the midfield. When he was playing well and providing some spark the Ranges were up and about, but after half time Stephenson was unable to get his hands on the ball and the Ranges begun to struggle. Stephenson snapped a nice goal in the opening term and had a good passage of play in the second term marking the ball – but unfortunately didn’t convert the chance. I still think his best position is inside 50.

#17 Cody Hirst – The exciting forward has pace to burn. He might not be the highest rated player, but the defensive pressure he offers and continual bursts of acceleration make him a danger inside 50. Pressured the Stingrays’ defenders throughout the day.

#21 Joel Garner – Played up forward after spending most of the second half of the year playing across half back. Garner showed his smarts and was able to hit the scoreboard in the second quarter. He used his left foot well and his kick to Trent Mynott in the third term was executed perfectly. He was able to provide a target and had more impact than he has in recent weeks.

#22 Jackson Ross – Again showed bursts to suggest the high level junior tennis player is worth a selection in the draft. He was willing to power the ball long inside 50 on either foot and covers the ground well. Booted two goals for the day and some of his overhead marks were very good.

Geelong Falcons vs. Gippsland Power 

Geelong Falcons:

#1 Lachlan Noble – A small forward who plays the role perfectly. While he does not win a lot of the ball he just pressures opposition defenders and then when his team wins the ball he darts forward and often wins the ball over the top. Kicked two goals in the second term from pure running and being the first to the ball deep inside 50.

#4 Gryan Miers – Was everywhere in the opening quarter, getting space in the attacking half of the ground. Won multiple frees inside 50 and was able to convert his chances in front of goal on his right foot. Finished the day with three goals and was able to impact the game up forward.

#11 Mitchell Chafer – The forward was pretty good early taking a great mark one-on-one and showed off his aerial strength. Adds an extra dimension to the forward line and with the opposition’s top defenders on the likes of Miers, Handley and Noble, Chafer can often be the beneficiary and has good goal sense.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Was best-on-ground using his great running ability on the outside. He used the ball reasonably well off his left foot and broke the lines, often using his burst of speed or agility to get around the players around him. Had multiple rebound 50s and inside 50s throughout the contest, and his follow up work was very good. One of his best games of the year.

#19 Matt Ling – Again had a disposal figure in the teens – but he was able to be damaging breaking the lines and hitting targets on his left foot. Had a very nice kick to Hollenkamp in the opening quarter, while an exceptional passage in the second quarter saw him use his quick hands deep inside defensive 50 – then following up to receive the ball across half back and have a run to get the ball moving onto the wing. He was composed with ball in hand and showed he was willing to defend – laying a few shepards and spoiling when required.

#22 Sam Walsh – Unbelievable once again. This bottom-age kid is something special and he will be one to watch next season. He has such poise and composure with ball in hand and just moves so well through the stoppages. He also has an impact up forward and consistently finds the ball.

#38 James Worpel – The inside midfielders was able to win the ball in the contest and get it moving forward. His long kick inside 50 that found Mitch Chafter was super in the opening half of the game, as was his goal from outside 50m off his right boot. He did appear the cramp later in the game, but he was able to keep pushing and a centre clearance in the final quarter that found O’Gorman was great.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Tag-teamed with Worpel in the midfield for the Falcons, he often looking to handball rather than kicking coming out of the stoppages. At times he was ‘casual’ in his approach kicking around the ground, but his ball winning ability was good. He cramped in his calf late in the game, but played it out still in the midfield for most of the last quarter.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Was very good early and his attack on the ball was notable. Starting across half back, he was able to set them up early in the opening quarter when the Power were in the game. He showed his speed and had a good smother on Cassidy Parish early in the game.

#4 Changkuoth Jiath – CJ was again exciting with some great eye-catching marks. His burst in close about 70 metres from goal in the second quarter showed promise and while the Hawthorn next-generation academy member is far from the finished product – his kicking was better than it has been in previous weeks. One of his best kicks was when he marked inside 50 and then was able to hit another player on the lead with pinpoint accuracy.

#6 Aiden Quigley – Spent time at either end, but got more involved as the game went on. He had a really good kick to Will Leslie in the third term and showed off some speed. He was willing to use it off either foot and was a deserving winner of a holding-the-ball after laying a nice tackle close to goal.

#7 Will Stephenson – Really busy early but faded as the game went on. He just runs hard at the ball and shows desperation with every attack on the ball. Might be small in stature but he is smart and just gets forward well, finds space and kicks the ball cleverly. Does not win a heap of the ball, but generally uses it pretty well. Good overhead for his height

#15 Cody Henness – One of Gippsland’s best today. Adam Garner had been a thorn in the Power’s side this season but Henness was superb one-on-one. He continually outmuscled him and was composed with ball in hand. He has shown this season he can play at either end and I gave him a big tick for his defensive efforts against the big Falcons forward, especially with the amount of inside 50s Geelong had.

#18 Matthew McGannon – Returning from injury, McGannon took some time to get into the contest, but got going after quarter time. Playing as an outside midfielder, he was able to spread well and kicked it long off his right foot. While at times his attack on the ball could’ve been better, he showed his desire to win the ball with a very good tackle in the third quarter.

#19 Callum Porter – Went head-to-head with Cassidy Parish early in the game and while he probably didn’t have a huge impact early – he worked his backside off to get the Power back into the contest. Showed his agility in the second and third quarters, with some good runs on the broadcast wings in front of the fans. Porter is normally good overhead for his player of his size and again showed that – with a good contested mark in the third quarter. Was tightly guarded by the Falcons through the second term and worked into the game after half-time.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers 

Sandringham Dragons:

#5 Seb Williams – Williams must like MARS Stadium – as his recent performances there have been very good. Williams again showed his run and zip on the outside, spreading well and backing himself to use his speed to get the ball up the field and inside 50. Williams booted a goal in the last quarter and did his draft chances no harm with another good game.

#6 Charlie Constable – Again continued to plug along and show why he is highly touted. He won the ball in the contested and dished it out to his teammates by hand – hitting most of his targets. He is a difficult match up inside 50 and he is able to take a good mark down low or in the air up forward. Had a nice handball goal assist to Morrisby early in the contest. Constable just gets his hands on the footy and gets to the right positions.

#8 Will Walker – Walker bobbed up and booted four goals, showing his run and carry ability getting the ball inside 50. He mixed his time between inside midfielder and up forward and it’ll be interesting to see at the next level where he fits in. Possesses good agility and has improved throughout the year.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Stood out again through the midfield, just getting to the right spots and was able to win it in the contested situations. His clearance work again was good and he was able to spread and win the ball around the ground. His third quarter was huge in ensuring that the Bushrangers weren’t a sniff at making a comeback. Linked up with his brother well (especially early) and had an outstanding passage, kicking the ball to Jarnestrom in tight on the boundary line.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – Was a damaging player in the midfielder, winning the ball and using his strong frame. Was able to hit the scoreboard, but his smarts in the contest were notable. Has been injury free this season and there’s no doubt his VFL form has helped him come back into the TAC Cup as a better player.

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Was one of the clear Bushies best players and at every opportunity went to run off his opponent with ball in hand. His agility and run across half back was vital in the opening quarter, keeping them in the lead. He used it reasonably well on his right foot and was willing to take on his opponents (and kept doing it even late in the last quarter). Has a good burst and was one of the better players for Xavier College this year in Victorian APS school football.

#5 Ben Paton – Despite being sick in recent weeks, Paton was able to win the ball around the contest and across either arcs. He did rest forward at times, but his run was important throughout the day and did take some good marks late in the contest. One of the better Bushrangers, particularly early when they put the pressure on the Dragons.

#7 Zane Barzen – All class and was strong early. He booted a couple of goals and just showed great vision on the run to hit-up a teammate by centring the ball while under pressure. It was not the easiest of kicks but he made it look simple. A bottom-ager that might remind some Bushrangers’ fans of a Steele Sidebottom who turned out to be a pretty handy AFL player.

#10 Dave Smith – Smith again used his key traits to effectiveness, showing off his speed and flair on the outside. He was clean picking the ball up from ground level and he looked to pressure his opponents whenever he could.

#19 Will Donaghey – Booted a long goal during the contest and rebounded the ball well across half back. Possesses good agility and his marking was impressive (especially overhead) where he took an intercept mark in the third term. He was willing to hold onto the ball and look laterally for a switch at every opportunity he had.

#30 Alex Paech – Played as a key position forward and was often used in the ruck. When he collected the ball, he looked to dispose of it by hand balling to a teammate. Kicks the ball on his left foot and is able to kick it 50 metres.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 18

THE final round of the TAC Cup season was completed on the weekend – with the all important finals series kicking off at Victoria Park this Saturday. We had our scouts watching all six games in Round 18, read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Arguably the best game I have seen him play live. Took a couple of fantastic grabs one-on-one and kicked two goals, one from a snap and a second from a set shot. He continued to look dangerous throughout the contest, applying good pressure inside forward 50, and a touch of class when on the outside. While he did not receive a state combine invite, he could be one that falls under the Western Bulldogs Category B rookie if they choose to nominate him.

#2 Callan Wellings – The Rebels’ captain put in another strong performance on the weekend. Wellings is one of the most consistent performers in the TAC Cup and he just has a no-fuss approach to his football. He showed a high work rate and great vision in close while also finding space around the ground. He was rewarded with a goal when he snuck into space inside 50. He took a few intercept marks across half-back in the final term to snuff out any hope of a Bendigo comeback and was involved in a possession chain where he won the ball in the defensive half and then ran forward to take a mark at half-forward in the same possession chain.

#4 Aiden Domic – Domic has been a big improver in the second half of the season and was best on ground against the Pioneers on the weekend. He is a really smart footballer who does not waste time with his disposal. While his inside numbers have improved in the second half of the season, he played predominantly on the wing as Jordan Johnston took an inside role. He snapped a terrific goal in the third term with five minutes remaining to put the Rebels 39 points up. Domic has an impact up forward and great goal sense and is one of the best endurance runners in the competition.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Appleby’s draft stocks would have to be rising after yet another big performance down back, this time on top 10 hope Jarrod Brander. Appleby gave up nine centimetres and six kilograms to the big forward but held his own. He was really composed with the football and apart from a couple of minutes in the second term when Brander got hold of him, he stood up well, positioning himself well in the one-on-ones, protecting the ball drop and also peeling off Brander to assist teammates. Appleby was unlucky not to receive a state combine invitation, but his last month has been nothing short of sensational.

#10 Jordan Johnston – The exciting forward has put together a good month of football as an uncomprimising inside midfielder. He holds his own in close and played on fellow forward-cum-midfielder Brent Daniels at the stoppages. Johnston won more of the football but was exposed for leg speed against Daniels crusing out of a pack. Johnston as a whole had more of an influence, turning it on in the third term setting up a goal assist after a free kick in the middle, and then had a second clearance from the next centre bounce, finishing with a goal moments later. A highlight was in the second quarter when Johnston smothered the ball and managed to grab the footy in one motion.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The over-age ruckman continued his good form in season 2017 with another influential display across the ruck and up forward. He has developed his body this year to really use his strength and frame to outmuscle opponents and was too strong for the in-form Jobee Warde. While Warde had the athleticism, Meek was really impressive in holding his ground and ensuring Warde could not get an easy jump at the ruck stoppages. Up forward, Meek presented well, crashing packs and taking a few good marks, although his goal kicking still needs some work, missing the lot from the forward pocket, albeit on a very tight angle.

#40 Tylar Watts – I was really only focusing on top-agers, but Watts caught my eye with a pretty good performance working in tandem with Meek. While his possession numbers are not high, Watts produced arguably the biggest highlight of the game with a towering mark in the final term when the Pioneers were threatening to chase down the deficit. He stood tall, kicked the goal and iced the game, giving Rebels fans a bit of excitement about what he could be capable of in 2018.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – I really liked Farrell’s game on the weekend. He is not a huge accumulator of the football but he looks balanced and has good vision through traffic and great hands in close. There were a couple of times where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered it well inside 50 to a leading target. He also showed his versatility to have an impact up forward, kicking a crucial goal late in the third term. The one knock from the weekend was there was an instance or two where he tried to do too much and was caught before he could effectively dispose of it or finish cleanly.

#6 Cooper Jones – Like his side, Jones was fairly influential early on, rebounding what he could for the Pioneers playing across half-back. He went in hard along the wing and laid a bone-crunching tackle winning a free kick. Last year he played up forward but I like him as a defender, was quieter in the second half, but still had a few nice touches across half-back and on the wing. He could potentially develop into a taller midfielder.

#8 Lochie O’Brien – It was not one of O’Brien’s better games despite picking up a vote in the Morrish Medal. He won more of the football than usual, but his kicking efficiency was well down on his usual standards, which was later reflected with just 50 per cent by foot. I regard O’Brien as a deadly left foot kick, but the Rebels captain Cal Wellings and his teammates gave O’Brien little time and space to use his strong attributes. Despite not having the influence he has had in other games, O’Brien still kicked a goal thanks to an old fashioned sausage roll from 50m in the last term.

#10 Brent Daniels – The nuggety forward played more inside midfield against the Rebels and flashed in and out with some brilliant patches. He almost created the highlight of the day, streaming down the middle of the ground taking a couple of bounces and got to about 60m from goal before taking a third bounce and fluffing it and getting caught by his chasing opponent. As a whole I felt he was composed with the football when under pressure and was good in tight by hand.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The possible top 10 draft pick continued to work throughout the four quarters but became Flynn Appleby’s latest victim. Brander was good on the lead and kicked a fantastic goal outside 50 in the second term and took a couple of marks in a two minute purple patch when he looked to break the game open, but otherwise was well held by his opponent. A combination of the swirly conditions and teammate’s inefficiency going inside 50 did not help his cause. Cannot fault his endeavour however and he continued to present up at the football, and when marking was a clean grab.

#15 Darby Henderson – The Pioneers ball magnet continued to win the pill throughout the game showing pretty good hands in close and doing everything right defensively. His kicking is still iffy at times and that’s the main knock on him, but he laid eight tackles and won the football all over the ground, clearing the ball out of the defensive 50 on a number of occasions.

#18 Bailey Henderson – The wingman continued a really solid season with a pretty solid game. He has great vision looking forward, but I questioned his peripheral vision when he had plenty of time but was run down from the side by an opponent. When in space he used a piercing kick and was able to win the ball at half-back and move forward in transition. He tends to have a slower kicking action which also saw opponents bump or tackle him when he was in possession, forcing him to make a few errors.

#20 Angus Schumacher – Like many of his teammates, Schumacher has had better games but he worked into the match in the second half. He took a good intercept mark early in the third but immediately coughed up the football with a short 20m pass. Schumacher sometimes does not kick through the ball over short distances and therefore makes errors by foot, but when kicking long he has a nice action and more often than not can hit-up a teammate 40-50m down the ground. Schumacher also showed good agility and closing speed on the lead.

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Continued his good ball winning abilities in the midfield and was a deserving runner-up in the Morrish Medal. Was able to spread well from the contest and you couldn’t fault his endeavours in wanting to win the ball back when the Jets were in possession.

#5 Curtis Taylor – The standout Cannon for the day for me. Playing in the attacking half of the ground, he showed off his X-Factor and agility in the stoppages. Taylor provided a dangerous option when he was up forward and he was able to get the ball inside 50 effectively when he was playing through the midfield. Also marks well overhead.

#12 Noah Balta – Begun the game up forward and mixed his time between ruck/forward. Was the clear best tall in at the centre bounces, using his elite leap to effectiveness. Up forward with the wind, Balta showed on multiple occasions he could bang the ball long 60 metres at goal – and he kicked a fine set shot goal in the opening quarter from outside 50. Contested marking was impressive right around the ground.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played as a centre half back for the majority of the game and was able to drop off his opponent and win the ball in the defensive half of the ground. Is one I think that is better suited up forward, but has shown he is more than capable at either end in recent weeks. Was also very efficient by hand and foot, hardly missing a target all day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Battled hard playing as a key position player and was able to win the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50. Is a handy mark and can take them in contested situations. Gave away a few unnecessary free kicks during the game, but worked hard all day.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – Kicked a great banana goal in the opening quarter and his ball use was very good right throughout the game. He was able to win the ball in the contest and was also willing to tackle back to win the ball. Looking forward to tracking him closely next season.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty – One of the stiffest players to even not collect a vote in the Morrish Medal after his best-on-ground display. Fogarty hunted the ball back with immense pressure and his tackling was phenomenal. His clearance work was good and it lead to multiple inside 50s coming from his boot. Is agile enough to get around his opponents at the stoppages and he pushed forward to boot three goals.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Once again showed his contested ball winning abilities, working hard at every stoppage he attended. Also pushed forward and took a good mark inside 50 in the third quarter. Spent a bit more time forward than usual and didn’t win too many clearances – but was another important player in the midfield for the Jets.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played as a key defender and showed some smarts when teammates had the ball inside defensive 50, where he was often able to spread and get to the right position for the switch. Took some strong contested grabs and with the ball in hand his decision making was good.

#44 Tristan Xerri – Easily the best game I’ve seen Xerri play where he was not only able to dominate in the ruck, but win the ball around the ground. He linked up well by hand and his follow up work was very good. Booted two goals up forward, but it was his work in the contest that was super impressive for the tall.

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Tom North – The inside midfielder was best on ground in the first quarter, seemingly bringing his own football with him. He was noticeaby missing after quarter time given Oakleigh took more control of the midfield. North hurt his ankle and did not play a further part after a nine disposal, two clearance start to the game. He is one who has shown enough this season to be considerd around the middle of the draft.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – One of the best Ranges on the weekend, Stoddart showed off some impressive, penetrating kicks coming out of defensive 50. He was assigned to Higgins at times and while he was beaten in the air by the Morrish Medallist, he was smart in peeling off and assisting teammates in other contests. Stoddart reads the play well and times his spoils to perfection, while he also has good vision to spot up teammates in space. A player who really applies good pressure when he is around the football I noticed he tends to rush his kick under pressure at times and can lean back to get more distance but sometimes it puts him off balance.

#10 Dylan Moore – Played his part for the Ranges on the weekend as one of the best and has an equal balance of offensive and defensive pressure. He leads at the football when it is his time to go, and he pressures opponents when he does not have the football to try and keep the ball locked into the forward 50. Kicked a good goal from a set shot and when he went into the midfield he really began accumulating the football. While he has been likened to that smaller forward role, Moore showed he can more than hold his own in the midfield with a number of clearances and winning it on the inside or out.

#14 Trent Mynott – The midfielder was quiet early but pressured his opponents and got to the right positions. He won a bit more of the football in the second half, and laid a huge bone-crunching tackle that even had the crowd going “oooh”. Mynott has a fierce attack on the football and while he was not a huge accumulator on the weekend, he always does the defensive aspects right.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – The midfielder/forward is just an excitement machine. At times his kicking can be iffy, but he wins the ball all over the ground, is good in the air or at ground level and just oozes excitement. As a spectator you cannot help but be drawn to see what he will do with the ball and what move he will pull next. He snapped a great goal under pressure in the second term and streamed through the middle of the ground showing off some great acceleration to kick inside 50. He had a couple of snaps early in the final term but could not find the radar, but was one of the few Ranges who could hold their head high for four quarters. It was one of his more consistent performances and caps off a great month.

#18 Sam Hayes – The most impressive thing about Hayes as a ruck is, despite not being overly mobile compared to other rucks, he does win a fair few clearances to go with his hitouts. A combination of grabbing it out of the ruck and putting it on the boot as well as picking it off the deck and booting it forward, Hayes put in another solid performance. He also wins a fair few free kicks because his opponents are wary of what he is capable of. He can take some good contested grabs and is a clear first round prospect and the first ruckman taken this year.

#21 Joel Garner – Had a good first quarter intercepting a number of possessions going inside 50, timing his leads and reading the ball well playing opposed to Higgins at times. But a late hit on an opponent after he kicked – nothing malicious just very late – saw him reported and set off late in the second term. Oakleigh took advantage of Garner being off the ground to boot a few late goals. Garner was not as influential after he returned in the second half, understandably.

#22 Jackson Ross – Not a big ball winner but produced a few highlights on the weekend. He had a fantastic intercept mark reading the play well on the wing, not breaking stride, but then was tackled and coughed up possession after he did not see a tackler coming hard from the side. He booted a nice goal from outside 50 in the opening minute of the final term, but otherwise was quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – The key position defender always applies pressure inside defensive 50 and the game against Oakleigh was no different. He lays some strong tackles and assists his teammates, also providing some rebound out of defence. Not a big ball winner, but he wins a fair chunk of his one-on-ones and therefore is good in contested situations.

#33 Tyler Brown – The son of Gavin and brother of Callum on the weekend was okay, but realtively quiet. He played at half-forward predominantly and lead up at the football on a number of occasions. He had a handball predominant game, winning most of his possessions in close, but was effective in getting it to a teammate.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Played inside forward 50 and had a quiet game. He took a fanastic sliding mark in the third term and kicked the goal from the set shot, while also spending stints in the midfield, but did not accumulate big numbers.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played more of a forward role compared to his huge game the week before and was good in the way he continued to dig in and offer an option for his midfielders. He hits the contest hard and was rarely beaten overhead. He has great skills for a predominantly contested player and is a reliable set shot so I would not be surprised to see him rocket up the draft boards if he continues his good form.

#8 Toby Wooller – One of the best Oakleigh players in the win despite his kicking letting him down at times. He has developed into a hard running midfielder who is good overhead and can clear the area with some long kicks. He took a huge contested mark on the wing and while his kicking efficiency would have been average, his ability to win plenty of the football in midfield then go forward and kick three goals shows he has what it takes to make it at the next level, arguably as an athletic midfielder.

#35 Jack Higgins – The deserving Morrish Medallist again worked hard through four quarters but it probably was not his best game due to missed opportunities. His disposal by foot at times was rushed and he finished the game with 2.4 including a poster from a set shot. The wind caused much havoc and the pressure was high at times, but Higgins was a fanastic contested mark and can set up the play really well. His leading patterns are top notch and his work rate is huge. His kicking efficiency of 38 per cent and inaccuracy in front of goal stopped it from being a dominant performance once again.

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Peter Williams)

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Worked hard in close and while he did not win a heap of the football, produced a lot of one percenters to help his teammates. He fought throughout the four quarters and was rewarded for his hard running with a great goal from outside 50.

#6 Patrick Naish – The Richmond father/son nominee was effective across half-back early, looking calm and composed. He was more influential in the first half than in the second, like many of his teammates. He had a flying shot at goal from outside 50 but it went well out on the full, before adding a major to his name late in the last quarter with a good goal inside 50. Not one of his better games, but was serviceable considering his team as a whole did not perform the way they would have liked.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Did not accumulate a heap of it, but I felt he was one of the best Knights. He won the ball in close and on the outside and while he could rush his kick on occasions when disposing of it over short distances, he had an impressive purple patch in the quarter. He won the ball at half-back and spurred a dart inside 50 to a teammate and then moments later had a running shot at goal and it sailed home. Petruccelle had a good clearance out of the centre to open the final term..

#9 Alex Federico – Known for his ball winning ability and he was one of the bigger accumulators on the weekend. His work rate is really high and he is important in the Knights’ transition from half back to half-forward. Federico was really cleaver around the stoppages in extracting the ball and getting it forward, winning the bulk of his disposals in tight.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The usual defender played up forward and had a good pressuring role. Unfortunately his stats will not reflect the game he had without the football, just a couple of touches and a goal, but he laid a few tackles and did add an extra element inside 50 when the ball went down there. Didn’t see him have a touch in the second half though.

#12 Joel Naylor – The tall forward was indicative of the Knights’ performance in the sense he was super impressive when handed opportunties in the first half, but faded away in the second half. Took a few good marks and slotted a goal in the first term, but was barely sighted after half-time such was the lack of entries inside the Knights’ forward 50.

#34 Matthew Harman – Harman did his bit in the ruck, sharing the duties with Joel Grace and being serviceable across the ground. He had an ingenious moment in the second term when he kicked the ball along the ground to the advantage of his teammates when he knew he did not have time to take possesion. Did not accumulate much of the pill, but held his own in the ruck contests. 

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachie Harris – Due to injury and school football I have not had the chance to see Harris live since the Dragons’ round one match and while he is not a huge accumulator, he is that small forward who adds pressure to the forward 50. He probably needs to do a bit more offensively, but defensively he was solid and kicked an important goal in the third term to put his side 24 points up with 10 minutes remaining.

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle is another “handball-first” player, but he is ultra-quick with his thought process and disposal. He has clean hands and won plenty of the ball in the middle of the ground, always on the move and shovelling it out to a teammate in space. Nagle earned a lot of his disposals running on the outside and also mopped up in defence on a number of occasions.

#5 Seb Williams – The Brighton Grammar midfielder was strong in the contest but his disposal let him down. His decision making at times was also questionable, such as handballing to a stationary target under pressure. However, his pros from the weekend really impressed me with his overhead strength and neat sidestep. He finds space inside 50 and kicked a great goal. He spread from the contest well and continued to present as an option coming off half-back and along the win. If he can tinker with his kicking and improve his decision making, he could be a late pick-up this year.

#6 Charlie Constable – The inside beast has had bigger games disposal wise, but when he wins the football he is really noticeable. His strength and balance in the contest is huge and in one instant he swivelled his hips to shake off a tackler and pump it long to Isaac Morrisby on the lead. Took a contested mark on the wing despite pressure coming from both sides of his body and he also defended well, adding composure to the back six. He finds space really well and looks to execute a pass inside to the corridor at every opportunity.

#8 Will Walker – Walker strikes me as a really hard runner. He is very outside in the way he goes about it, but he just gets to contest after contest. He often wins a lot of possessions through handball receives, but what impressed me on the weekend was his ability to work hard defensively and lay a number of good tackles. The knock was his influence around the ground because he won a bit through the middle of the ground, but was not as influential as others elsewhere.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Along with his brother, Brayshaw continued to win plenty of the football. He was more prominent in the first half, winning the ball in close and then spreading to the outside, delivering some nicely waited passes inside 50. He also set up a number of scoring opportunities when going forward and while there were a few rushed kicks, Brayshaw kicked an important goal early in the final term to snuff out Northern’s chances of a comeback.

#10 Angus Styles – One of the smarter players in terms of vision and footy nous in close. One example I saw which I liked was his ability to not rush his handball into space, but instead hold onto the footy for an extra second to enable his teammate Will Walker to run into the space required to receive the handball. He took a good intercept mark inside 50 for the Dragons by standing his ground, but missed the set shot and finished the day with two behinds. Styles was a really balanced player in the marking contest and he protects the ball drop. Not a huge accumulator, I thought Styles contributed to the Dragons’ win well.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – The star of the show with five goals and was just influential throughout the contest. He was known for his ability to accumulate on the inside last season and on the weekend he played forward and just dominated. Then he went into the midfield and dominated there, laying some great tackles and influencing the contest in tight. Most importantly it was one of the best games I have seen him play in terms of disposal and hurt factor with some really impressive, penetrating kicks inside 50, setting up a couple of goals for teammates. An over-age player, Brayshaw would have to be in consideration at some clubs for his pure ball winning ability and his strength to make an impact when forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – An impressive game rotating through the ruck and up forward, needing to play more minutes in the midfield after Hayden McLean was concussed and taken from the ground. He started forward and took a great diving mark with his set shot from 35m out going straight through the middle. He then influenced the contest around the ground, showing off his athleticism to win a heap of hitouts and became the link-up man in transition from the midfield to the forwards. One of the best games I have seen him play.

#30 Hayden McLean – He took a huge contested grab and hurt himself doing so, with his kick on goal powerful, but missing. He presented up forward, but was not as influential as in other games, then came off concussed in the third term and did not play any further part.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The weekend’s game was the first time I have seen Murphy play live and I am sold. He was really strong in the opening moments with some deadly darts inside 50 and looked really slick along the wing. He went back later in the game and was good one-on-one and took some great marks. I thought his ground coverage was great, and he is not afraid to back himself in the contest. The one knock I would have is that he is still raw and learning aspects of the game having come from a cricketing background. With the ball he is fine, but without it there were a couple of moments where he looked uncertain of whether to shepherd a teammate or go for the ball himself. But I expect that will come with time and certainly with ball in hand, Murphy was ultra impressive.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#6 Aiden Bonar – Was impressive throughout the contest and spent more time in the midfield as the game went on. His pressure was very high and he laid some very strong tackles. Has presence around the contest and showed that he has a decent burst when he needs to use it. Took a strong contested mark in the third quarter and was able to find the ball around the ground. Bonar was willing to provide multiple efforts, including a great passage of play in front of recruiters on the wing – where he was able to make multiple efforts and attempt to win back the ball by applying pressure on the Geelong defenders.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Played one of the best games I’ve seen him play, marking with ease in the defensive 50. Was also pushed forward late, but his intercept work was one of the reason that the Falcons struggled to kick goals. His usage was good on his right foot and provided a few rebound 50s.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued his strong form showing his ball winning abilities through the midfield. Covered the ground well and his defensive efforts were good – not only dropping back to help out in defensive 50, but tackling hard through the midfield. Hitting form at a good time.

#35 Tom Freeman – Played as a third tall rebounding defender for the Stingrays and whilst most of his possessions were in uncontested situations – he reads the play well and his positioning was good. Has some burst of speed too.

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Had a quieter game than usual, not winning as much ball as he has done in some games this season. Spent most the day inside 50, and his follow up and pressure work was good. Laid some strong tackles in the wet and his hands in close were effective.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Had a superb run down tackle in the first quarter and was able to get off the chain on the outside as one of the Falcons’ best. Showed off his agility on the wing and was willing to take on opponents with his speed. Booted a great left foot goal from outside 50 and pumped the ball long on multiple occasions.

#16 David Handley – Had five scoring shots on goal – but unfortunately only managed to convert one – which was an absolute beauty booted from mid air 10 metres out. Showed off his long right foot kick at times and his leading was good – able to get space between himself and his opponent to mark the ball unopposed.

#19 Matt Ling – Started the game exceptionally well, but was quieter after quarter time. Used his good agility to effectiveness, as well as his pinpoint left foot pass. Took multiple kick outs for the Falcons and had a few good spoils when he needed to defend in one-on-one situations.

#38 James Worpel – Didn’t have as much impact than he has in other games – but his contested game was again on show. His tackling and pressure in the contest was very good and he was often found at the bottom of the packs throughout the game. In the wet, he was able to clear the ball and bang it long inside 50 to one of the Falcons’ tall targets.

#41 Tom McCartin – Leapt at a few balls throughout the day and you can tell he’s the brother of St Kilda’s Patrick. Had some good defensive efforts and was involved in a few score assists, getting the ball to teammates. Unfortunately, his day ended early suffering concussion.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Was strong on the inside and had plenty of early possessions in the opening half. Had good vision at times to find a target by hand in close and was another player that was willing to boot the ball out of the pack and get it going inside 50.

#46 Adam Garner – Pulled off a great contested mark in the opening quarter, as well as winning a free kick after being held – which he converted the shot on goal. However, once the rain came after half time, it was hard going for the Falcons tall.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Michael Alvaro)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Amassed 25 disposals and seven clearances as one of Murray’s more consistent performers. Had a good mix of inside and outside possession, but his run and carry was what made him stand out on the day. Would like to see him finish off his bursts of speed with more kicks though, he opted to hand the ball off on the back of his runs and broke down the momentum of his move.

#7 Zane Barzen – Was a key link in the chain forward of centre for Murray with eight marks, one of which was a decent hanger on the wing in the third term. He chimed in with a couple of clever goals to cap off what was a solid shift overall. Needs to work on his defensive efforts though, as he didn’t clock a tackle despite having a strong presence up forward.

#11 Jy Lane – Lane was consistently the man moving the ball in and out of either 50 as he worked hard to take the game on and break the lines constantly. He worked well in that aspect alongside Langlands, while also quelling the influence of Jiath after quarter time on the wing.

#19 Will Donaghey – Lead all-comers in terms of disposals with 31 and was a key part in Murray’s moves out of defence. He collected a wealth of those possessions on the outside and often used his teammates to gather quick 1-2’s breaking away from stoppages. With 24 of his disposals counting as uncontested, it’s fair to say Donaghey’s strength lies on the outside, and he showed off his high footy IQ with some clever and opportunistic plays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands doesn’t often stand out in any particular areas, but this was one of his better games as he made his mark with some great run and carry. He’s a regular across half-back for Murray and he played that quarterback-type role perfectly as he gathered a wealth of uncontested ball and running bounces. He also impacted the scoreboard with his sole major and three score assists from some sharp inside 50 entries.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech was constantly a solid option up forward for the Bushies, but he struggled to reel in anything that came his way. While his hands aren’t the strongest, he does some good work at ground level and moves well for a key position player. He bagged two majors and was extremely vocal throughout the day, screaming ‘get around him’ from the bench whenever he could. Unfortunately copped a knock and limped off later on.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Part of the talented Gippsland midfield mosquito fleet, Hogan excited with some strong bursts from the stoppages and showed good clearance nous. Attended most of the centre bounces and helped his side to get on top with 8 clearances in a game-high 30 disposals. Played his part moving up the ground with 11 inside 50’s and some nice handball chains through the midfield.

#4 Changkouth Jiath – Was instrumental in the first quarter with 10 disposals, it seemed like Jiath was everywhere. Used his athleticism well to mark overhead and then break away along the wing, but just lacked a finish product. Needs to improve on his kicking if he wants to take full advantage of his damaging traits, which are outstanding. Also had a good battle with Jy Lane on the wing, rotating with Irving Mosquito throughout the game.

#5 Xavier Duursma – Duursma is as unfazed in combat as you’ll see any bottom-ager. Played his typical role in defensive-50, snuffing out opposition attacks both aerially and on the ground, while also providing plenty of rebound. He’s usually a composed kick but lost his head a couple of times today, turning it over in dangerous areas. Was still trusted with kick-in duties and put in a good shift overall down back.

#7 Will Stephenson – Was reasonably quiet in his loud green boots early on, but came to life after half time with more minutes in the midfield. He worked well at the centre bounces with Hogan, Porter and Quigley to get Gippsland on the front foot with a barrage of long inside-50 entries. Chimed in with three important goals and showed how clever he is around the big sticks, finding opportunities where not many would.

#19 Callum Porter – Arguably the best afield across the whole game, Porter capped off his consistent home and away season with a big performance. He was able to show off his inside and outside traits as a midfielder with some hard work in-tight followed up by streaming runs through the corridor. Continually popped up at the back of the centre bounces, either pumping the ball long or trying to break free of his opponents. Was an overall complete midfielder’s game today from the Gippsland star.

#41 Sam Flanders – Flanders was an absolute menace up forward and didn’t allow his opponents a moment of rest. Combined with fellow AFL Academy member Caleb Serong to amass four third-quarter goals which played a vital part in Gippsland’s second half breakaway. He lead the way in the defensive pressure stakes with some bruising tackles, but also showed some good finesse around goals despite kicking five behinds. Looks like a very promising type, and reminds me a bit of former Gippsland forward Tom Papley – who also wears the #41.

#42 Caleb Serong – The 16 year old hasn’t looked out of place at TAC Cup level and this game was no exception. Worked well in tandem with Sam Flanders inside forward 50 and chimed in with two crucial goals during the third term after moving from the wing early on. Can take a good overhead grab and does some smart work around goals, he’s another to watch in the coming years.

Parish and Higgins headline possible Morrish Medal winners

WITH just six games remaining, the 2017 TAC Cup season will come to a close on Sunday and later that night a new Morrish Medallist or medallists will be crowned. AFL Draft Central’s Peter Williams looks at some of the contenders that could win the competition’s top award.

In past years’ players from country sides have traditionally polled well over metropolitan players because they do not have as many clashing commitments. While some players do have school football, some in the west play mid-week, unlike their private school competition counterparts. The National Under 18s Championships also play a factor in the winner with players missing a handful of games over June and early July, making it tough for Vic Metro and Vic Country representatives that also have school football, to poll enough votes to win.

Last year overwhelming favourite and at that stage, potential number one pick Hugh McCluggage took home the Morrish Medal after an outstanding year. He missed a number of games with Vic Country, but produced first class performances across all his outings to win from surprise packets, Dandenong’s Dan Allsop and Gippsland’s Cal McKeon.

In 2017, the winner is not as clear cut, but in my mind there are two strong favourites ahead of the rest. These are Geelong Falcons’ midfielder Cassidy Parish, and Oakleigh Chargers’ livewire Jack Higgins. Parish racks up the ball with ease and has worked on a number of areas of his game throughout the season. He has fantastic vision in close and gets his hands dirty for his side as one of the best extractors in the competition. Higgins on the other hand has been a standout down forward, including a seven-goal haul against Bendigo Pioneers last weekend. He started the season in the midfield but has played predominantly forward in the second half of the season.

The question mark over whether these two will win it is given the success of their respective teams, will they be the ones to attract the votes from the umpires? Could a Sam Walsh, James Worpel or Harry Benson take votes off Parish in the midfield? Could the likes of Toby Wooller, Charlie Thompson or Matthew Day steal a handful from Higgins? If so, who are the others most likely to poll a high number of votes.

Calder’s Brad Bernacki is one that immediately comes to mind. His second half of the season has been outstanding and while Calder’s slow start, which saw them go 0-6 might work against him, if he picks up a few votes early and then storms home in the second half of the season, he could be in the running when the whips are cracking. Likewise, Darby Henderson, who regularly finds plenty of the football and has played more games than many others, that like Bernacki, could poll very well on the night. Henderson has been an important cog in the Bendigo midfield, but also like Bernacki, could struggle to poll best on grounds given Bendigo has struggled this season.

An outside chance could be Dandenong’s Hunter Clark, which while unlikely due to Vic Country commitments, has produced a number of best on ground performances when he has played and if he has caught the umpires’ eye, could be in the running. Clark’s burst speed out of a stoppage is something likely to attract votes. Heading down the highway, Gippsland’s Cal Porter would also have to be among those considered for the league best and fairest. While he might compete for votes with Will Stephenson in a number of games, Porter had an unbelievable purple patch mid-season to mirror Gippsland’s turnaround which could see him net a number of three votes.

Hunter Clark in action against the Sandringham Dragons

Others from clubs that should poll well include Western Jets’ Nicholas Stuhldreier, Eastern Ranges’ trio Tom North, Sam Hayes and Jaidyn Stephenson – hence why they will likely steal votes off each other – Murray Bushrangers’ duo Kyle Clarke and Angus Hicks, Greater Western Rebels’ Callan Wellings, Sandringham Dragons’ Will Walker and Northern Knights’ duo Nick Coffield and Jack Petruccelle.

My top 5 are as follows:

1 Cassidy Parish
2 Jack Higgins
3 Brad Bernacki
4 Cal Porter
5 Darby Henderson

Whether or not that eventuates is yet to be seen as there is always a surprise packet or two on the night. But one thing is for sure, after a long, hard season, players are able to enjoy a night off with their friends and families.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 15

ROUND 15 of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend and there were a number of close contests. We had scouts watching three of the games – read their notes below.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – It should not be a surprise to anyone to again see Clark on this list. The running midfielder played an excellent four quarters, proving dangerous on the inside and outside. His trademark composure was demonstrated brilliantly through his movement around the Bendigo boys, and their difficulties in landing a tackle was due to his sharp and agile style of football. Clark’s clever positioning and ball placement was key in breaking congestion in the midfield during a wild second half. The youngster opted for more of a stationery role on the weekend, displaying a keen awareness of how to create a play through his passes. With plenty of free men scattered about the ground this proved an effective approach. Clark hit-up his forwards a few times for goal, kicking low and hard to their leads. He also left the game with two of his own; one through careful running and the other a beautiful snap along the ground. Whether aggressive or conservative, Clark knows how to play his opponents, adapting his style and role to help carry his team to victory.

#3 Jamie Plumridge – The goals were shared all amongst the Dandenong boys on Saturday with Plumridge booting two of his own. In the first, a big snap from about 50 metres gave him one, and another clean kick around the body in the third gave him his second. Plumridge was present throughout the ground, showing some smart and resolute running. He ran from the back to the forward, directing traffic and guiding the ball forward through careful passing and pace. Though he was closed down in the forward, the ball still covered huge ground which he was responsible for. As the game picked up in intensity in the second half, Plumridge kept up a consistent bravery and work rate. He pushed through incoming traffic to move the ball up through a bit of congestion.

#7 Jai Taylor – Taylor made it his business in the second half to snatch up any stray ball that found its way in his zone. Smart placement set him apart from the other players on ground, plucking the ball out of the air from failed Bendigo ejections. Taylor’s strong midfield presence always kept him as an option and was dangerous in moving the ball through traffic. Talented, Taylor needs to prove that he’s able to perform at the level earlier on in the game. However, his strong presence late in the game could be indicative of his ability to rise with game’s intensity. Overall, smart placement and hard running helped this set man apart from the rest of the game.

#17 Finlay Bayne – Finlay Bayne kicked three goals in a strong performance. His presence remained consistent, assisting in more ways than one in getting the ball between the sticks. A creative player, Bayne dominated the forward line with his quick and clever thinking. Coming seemingly out of nowhere to steal the ball, Bayne snatched the ball on the chest in the third to put away his second. He went on to kick another in the fourth with a beautiful boot around the body. Bayne also gave D’Arcy his fourth with a nice pass, showing onlookers what a well-oiled machine the Dandenong forward line has become.

#19 Josh Bateman – Bateman was one of the best performers on the day. A strong burst along the pocket and up the wing in the first term saw Bateman help his team to breathing space after an early, close scrape. The skipper played some firm football. His quick decision-making was pivotal as he and his boys proved a bit too sharp at times for the Bendigo boys.

#29 Bailey Williams – Williams came out with the opening goal, setting up Dandenong’s first quarter stampede over Bendigo. He was a consistent winner in the ruck, keeping all his rovers well fed. The big man was pivotal in moving the midfield and getting the play moving off that centre bounce. When he was not rucking, he also proved important in the forward, soaring high over the pack in the fourth. Williams booted just the one goal however. He played some good footy, but he is capable of more as he displayed throughout certain parts of the game. To step up his performance Williams needs to make himself more of an option because he is more than tall enough to snatch away a few marks.

#50 Riley D’Arcy –  If you count all of D’Arcy’s clever goal assists, he would have walked away with a lot more than four majors on Saturday. The big man showed his audience that he understands how to play forward line, even if he’s not the one punting through the goals. With two clever handpasses to Frankie Mitropoulos, both of which ended in goals, D’Arcy proved being tightly watched by the Bendigo boys is not stopping him from putting scores on the board. He was on the same wave length with his entire team, leading strong to his midfield and returning the favour through his quick improvisation in the forward line. He had no problem marking the ball with the extra eyes on him, taking a firm grab alone against two Bendigo boys, and a beautiful diving mark in the fourth. However, given Dandenong’s score it was expected that D’Arcy went home with a few more than four, but the Stingrays would not be disappointed with his output. He remained present throughout most forward plays during the game, keeping his forwards on the ball when he couldn’t be.

#46 Mason De Wit – De Wit’s high pressure defensive play kept a wild Bendigo forward line from snatching up more goals than they worked for. Laying plenty of tackles and taking important marks down back, the young man made small work of the loose kicks coming into his backline. Brilliantly closing down a runner early in the second, de Wit kept his opposition back when they began to fight harder in the second and third. He trailed off a bit in the fourth as the ball spent more time in Dandenong’s forward line, but his pressure in defence was too much for the Bendigo boys.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – Farrell played some resilient football given his team’s performance. He did not let that stop him from playing to his fullest, being one of the few players able to make moving through the Dandenong midfield like child’s play. He laid a tough tackle toward the second quarter and earned a free. He later copped a big knock and lost the ball, but quickly recovered, regained the ball and kicked a monster of a goal. Farrell often ran the ball along the wing, covering the same great ground. He displayed excellent technical ability and composure during some football. When he could assist the play, he did so with focused running and kicking downfield. Farrell stepped up for his team when it seemed like nobody would. Farrell finished the game with six majors, and best on ground for his team.

#20 Angus Schumacher –  After a poor first quarter for the Pioneers, Schumacher put through the first goal for his team in the second. He later saved his team from another goal with a defensive rebound down the field. The versatile mover was one of the better performers for his team, getting his fair share of the ball. Though after the second quarter, Schumacher was not seen having much of the ball. If he’s going to take his football career any further, he will need to find some consistency or at least make himself more of an option.

#25 Lewin Davis – Davis had a few decent runs along the wing and put away a goal late in the second quarter. He knows how to remain poised and throw his head over the ball when it calls for it. He took a great mark late in the third which always saw him lost his head. Davis was willing to put himself on the line for the ball more than once for his team. He laid a tough tackle in the fourth and dived on the ball when it went loose which saw it moved up the wing. In the future, Davis may need to work more on his placement and map out his passes a bit more if he is to keep up with an intense game like the one on Saturday.

#65 Evan Dorrington – The Dandenong forward line proved more than a little difficult for much of the Bendigo defenders, but Dorrington stepped up more than a few times against the adversity. He saved a potential goal in the first quarter and out wrestled his way to the ball on a number of occasions. He took a spectacular mark in the third and was later moved into the forward line where he put one away from himself. Often the Dandenong players proved a bit much for him, so in the future he will need to continue his good work across four quarters.

Northern Knights vs. Calder Cannons (Peter Bonadio)

Northern Knights:

#8 Nicholas Coffield – Coffield showed good composure around the footy. A natural born leader who makes smart decisions out of the backline, he showed some excellent kicking ability moving the ball forward.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The talented mover played well in patches across the match. Penrith is a great tackler and put a lot of pressure on his opponent causing them to make mistakes. He showed a great turn of pace with and without ball in hand and is a smart user with the footy showing good vision to hit-up his teammates.

#18 Jamison Shea – VFL Experience has helped Shea who looked more comfortable on the field. Shea is a great mover inside forward 50 as he leads to the right spots. He is a good set shot for goal and consistent a goal scorer, finishing the day with three majors.

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – The Cannons captain continues to find the footy and is impressive around the contest. One area for improvement is his kicking efficiency but has shown a deep desire to improve and has already come on in leaps and bounds since the start of the season. One to watch in the final month of the TAC Cup season.

#12 Noah Balta – Very Soild player. Natural talent who is very athletic and quick. Great by foot and finding teammate even over longer distances. Great tackler. Versatile player who look comfortable anywhere he plays. Side note, for 194cm player can play well in the ruck. Booted a superb 70+ metre goal out of the centre bounce.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – He showed some great work ethic and has great closing speed. Defensively, Firebrace is a very solid tackler and with the ball in hand showed good vision to spot his teammates. The classy user was very effective by foot in the Cannons’ win, sealing the win with a goal in the last play..

Eastern Ranges vs. Sandringham Dragons (Billy Friend)

Eastern Ranges:

#6 Ryley Stoddart – The agile and smooth moving defender was extremely impressive for all four quarters in his side’s victory. Stoddart burts past players and linked up for one-twos regularly and seemed to love having the ball in his hands. His left leg is penetrating and efficient and he even snuck forward to kick a goal in the third term to round off a complete game.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Lynch was extremely dangerous up forward and impactful when he was playing around the stoppages. His pressure around the ball was relentless and he made the most of his touches.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson gathered the most disposals and was the clear best on ground. The number 16 bought his own football in the first half and after a more subdued third term the midfielder played a terrific last quarter to help seal the game. His hard running allowed him to find space and he linked up with teammates in scoring chains more than anyone else. His performance was sealed by a terrific overhead mark and goal.

#18 Sam Hayes – Hayes looms as one of the best monster power forwards/ruckman in the TAC Cup and showed why today. He dominated the hit-outs and the Dragons had no match for him when he went forward. Hayes kicked two goals to set the tone in the first term and played out the rest of the match strongly.

#26 Harrison Nolan – Nolan was the rock in defence for the Ranges and displayed a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude all game. His spoiling and intercept marking was a highlight and he generally looked bigger and stronger than his opposition.

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle played the role of delivery man extremely well all day and was important exiting the back half for the Dragons. He makes up for his lack of size with swift movement and football smarts and is one to watch.

#7 Aaron Trusler – The small forward was instrumental in Sandy’s last quarter comeback and was in the best couple for his team today. He kicked two goals and applied strong tackling pressure in the Sandy forward line.

#8 Will Walker – Walker has footy nous and always seems to find a lot of the ball around stoppages as well as on the spread. His clearance work is the strength of his game and he impressed again today with his in and under approach.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Despite not accumulating heaps of possessions, Montanaro showed some Pendlebury qualities through his ability to hold onto the ball with poise and find the best option possible. He was difficult to tackle and rarely wasted the ball.

#27 Jak Nardino – The defender was extremely influential in the first half via his run and carry and precision kicking. He could not mirror his output in the second half however when the game was on the line.

#29 Joel Amartey – The big man is an unbelievable athlete and took mark of the day thanks to his big leap. He is rough around the edges at times but went forward today and took strong contested marks and kicked a goal. Amartey fought hard against a dominant Sam Hayes in the ruck.

#50 Callum Jones – Jones demonstrated tremendous defensive qualities through spoils and smothers but his kicking let him down.

#73 Ed Newman – Newman showed flashes of brilliance today but struggled to get his hands on the ball outside of the contest. The Victorian Under 19 cricketer was brilliant at times with his head over the ball but had a quiet outing today on Dragons debut. One to keep an eye on for the remainder of the year.