AS the nation’s top under 18s players go head to head in a series of tests at the National AFL Draft Combine, AFL Draft Central has fast forwarded to the 2019 AFL Draft. It might seem a while off yet, but here are 30 players who impressed at the V/Line Cup last week. For those who do not know, the V/Line Cup is for the best under 15s as a pathway onto the TAC Cup under 16s lists and then the under 18s lists. We have listed the players that were named among the best in both games, led the competition’s goal kicking over the two games and a few that have ties to current players.
Top V/Line Cup players in alphabetical order:
Warrack Eagles (North Ballarat Rebels)
11/07/2001 | 185cm | 64kg
Likely to grow into a tall midfielder, Bibby impressed in the V/Line Cup learning from his senior experience with Warrack in the Wimmera Football League. He played seven senior games this year and managed six goals, while playing 10 under 17s matches for 17 goals.
South Barwon (Geelong Falcons)
14/01/2002 | 173cm | 75kg
A nippy bottom-ager, Bove is not eligible to be picked up by an AFL club until 2020, but he stood out against the North Ballarat Rebels Two in the V/Line Cup booting five goals. Impressed in the Barwon AFL Under 14 Grading with nine goals in four games.
Mt Eliza (Dandenong Stingrays)
11/01/2001 | 174cm | 69kg
Ned Cahill was a standout for the Stingrays in both their games in the V/Line Cup. Playing for Mount Eliza, Cahill has booted 15 goals from 10 games, showing his capability of having an impact on the scoreboard.
Jeparit/Rainbow Storm (North Ballarat Rebels)
24/05/2001 | 184cm | 70kg
A talented junior who has remarkably already tasted senior action, Cocks was named among the best on both occasions for the Rebels in the V/Line Cup. It would not have been surprising at his home club, where he has been named in the best on 12 of a possible 15 occasions playing in the under 17s. Started playing senior football at 14 years of age.
Lavington (Murray Bushrangers)
07/11/2001 | 184cm | 77kg
Kai Davies was named among the best on both occasions for the North East Border side, particularly impressing in the team’s victory over Gippsland Power Two. Playing in the under 16s for Lavington in the Albury Wodonga Junior Football League, Davies played five matches, booting three goals.
Sam De Koning
Mt Martha (Dandenong Stingrays)
26/02/2001 | 179cm | 59kg
The name might sound familiar for TAC Cup watchers and it is – De Koning is the brother of Tom who caused a splash with nine goals against Northern Knights. At 179cm he will have a lot of growing to do if he is to match his brother, but has the same skinny build.
St Joseph’s (Geelong Falcons)
25/02/2001 | 170cm | 60kg
Edwards was a productive goal scorer for the Falcons, booting five goals in two games and among Geelong’s best. The small forward booted 25 goals in 15 games for St Joseph’s only finishing goalless on two occasions.
Garfield (Gippsland Power)
16/01/2002 | 179cm | 73kg
Fourteen year-old Fitzpatrick booted a goal in each of his two V/Line Cup games and was another impressive player for the Power. At 179cm and 73kg, expect him to become a medium midfielder with a fair bit of size by the time he reaches TAC Cup level.
Emerald (Eastern Ranges)
24/04/2001 | 170cm | 55kg
Goonan might be small in stature but he has a knack for kicking goals. His 170cm and 55kg size has not stopped him booting 23 goals from 14 games as a bottom ager for Emerald, following on from his impressive 68 goals from 14 games at an average of 4.86 per game in the under 14s last year. Was Yarra Ranges’ best across the V/Line Cup and one to watch if he grows.
Benalla Giants (Murray Bushrangers)
06/02/2001 | 187cm | 80kg
A good size already, Goodley booted seven goals in his two games for North East Border Two. He has booted 68 goals in the past two seasons for the Benalla Giants in the Wangaratta and District Junior Football League.
Hepburn (North Ballarat Rebels)
02/07/2001 | 179cm | 65kg
Possibly one of the greatest junior goal kicking machines of all time. In the past three years he has booted a total of 367 goals from 57 games for his age group at a remarkable average of 6.4 goals per game. Excited to see what he will grow to, with the hope he becomes that medium half-forward in time. Booted three goals in his two games for the Rebels at the V/Line Cup.
South Warrnambool (North Ballarat Rebels)
01/03/2001 | 183cm | 70kg
Brother of former Gold Coast Suns’ rookie Louis, Herbert has had a huge season for the Roosters, booting 13 goals from eight matches as a bottom-ager and celebrated the club’s premiership. Another solid performer in the V/Line Cup for the Rebels.
Upwey Tecoma (Eastern Ranges)
25/03/2001 | 180cm | 69kg
Holland was a solid contributor for Yarra Ranges in his two games in the V/Line Cup. Named among the best, he took his game to another level after playing 12 games for the under 16s in the Yarra Ranges Junior Football League this season.
Thurgoona (Murray Bushrangers)
16/06/2001 | 180cm | 75kg
Another player who had a superb V/Line Cup, Howard was named in the top two players for North East Border Two in both his matches. Howard also finished with five goals, including a best-on-ground three-goal performance against Gippsland Power Two.
Kyabram (Bendigo Pioneers)
22/11/2001 | 179cm | 69kg
A talented athlete across a range of disciplines, Ironside is a member of the under 15s AFL Goulburn Murray Academy. He was named best on ground in both his matches in the V/Line Cup and one of the top players for the tournament.
Cobram (Murray Bushrangers)
Johnston was Goulburn Murray Two’s top performer in the V/Line Cup, named in the best twice. He has stepped up as a bottom-ager playing under 17s for Cobram this year, playing 17 matches named in the best six times.
Kolora-Noorat (North Ballarat Rebels)
23/08/2001 | 175cm | 57kg
Isaac Kenna had a break-out season for Warrnambool and District club Kolora-Noorat, booting his maiden century shortly after his fifteenth birthday. The feat was made all the more impressive considering he plays primarily midfield, but enjoyed bags of 19 and 17 goals during the year. Kenna capped off his year named in the best for both V/Line Cup matches.
Mt Martha (Dandenong Stingrays)
24/05/2001 | 175cm | 73kg
Lewis is a well built midfielder/forward who has managed eight goals in seven games for the Mounties, named in the best on five occasions. In the V/Line Cup he booted two goals against Gippsland Power One in an impressive display.
Leongatha (Gippsland Power)
30/01/2001 | 176cm | 61kg
A lightly framed player, McGannon booted three goals in his two V/Line Cup games, named in his side’s best against Yarra Ranges. McGannon has played 17 games for Leongatha in the Central Gippsland league, finishing the season with three best on grounds.
Warragul (Gippsland Power)
15/05/2001 | 181cm | 59kg
Fraser Phillips was a solid contributor to Gippsland Power Two in the V/Line Cup, named in the best twice and has continued on from his 17 games and seven goals in the Warragul under 16s. Also booted a goal in his sole under 18s appearance.
Myrtleford (Murray Bushrangers)
05/03/2001 | 190cm | 82kg
Well developed key position player, Quirk was named best on ground in a tight two-point loss to Gippsland Power One. He also booted a goal in his other game for the tournament. Remarkably, Quirk has managed 10 games playing seniors for Myrtleford, booting two goals and was named among the best against Wodonga.
Lake Wendouree (North Ballarat Rebels)
06/03/2001 | 176cm | 72kg
A strong performance in the V/Line Cup from the Ballarat Football League’s 2015 under 14s league best and fairest. Named in the top two performers in both his matches, he has followed on from a strong season last year to boot 15 goals in 20 matches for the under Lake Wendouree 16.5s, named in the best nine times.
Torquay (Geelong Falcons)
12/02/2001 | 190cm | 79kg
Key position player who has impressed for the Falcons named in the best for both V/Line Cup matches. Has taken part in both the Barwon AFL Under 16 Grading and Buckley’s Cup, performing admirably.
Cobden (North Ballarat Rebels)
14/08/2001 | 174cm | 66kg
A smaller midfielder whose brother Trent is a bottom-ager at the Rebels. Missed out on premiership glory in the under 16s after a grand final loss, but is another one to keep an eye on for Rebels in the future.
Simpson (Geelong Falcons)
31/01/2001 | 180cm | 74kg
A late call-up to the Falcons’ V/Line Cup squad, Robbins wasted no time having an impact, named in the best in the Falcons’ heavy loss to the Pioneers. Backed it up against the Rebels in the second game where he remarkably played against Simpson teammate Jack Hookway with the pair zoned to different clubs.
Congupna (Murray Bushrangers)
Joel Shannon was a top performer for Goulburn Murray, named in the best three against Bendigo Pioneers Two and Yarra Ranges. Playing in the under 17s for Congupna, Shannon was among the best in nine of 19 games.
Moe (Gippsland Power)
26/03/2001 | 193cm | 73kg
Brother of Brisbane Lions’ Zac, the beanpole ruck will be hoping he can have better luck with injury than his brother. If he possesses the same talent, watch out for him.
Moe (Gippsland Power)
13/03/2001 | 186cm | 74kg
Big bodied player from Gippsland, Smith booted four goals in his two V/Line Cup games and was one of the Power’s best players for the tournament. Playing for Newborough under 14s, Smith has booted 25 goals in 15 games, named among the best on six occasions.
St Mary’s (Geelong Falcons)
24/09/2001 | 188cm | 78kg
At 188cm and 78kg, Watson should be a genuine key position player by the time he reaches TAC Cup level. Watson booted six goals in the V/Line Cup, having had a strong year with 12 goals from four games in the AFL Barwon Under 16 grading and 18 goals in 13 games in the Buckley’s Cup.
Cobden (North Ballarat Rebels)
18/05/2001 | 187cm | 79kg
A readymade size already, Worboys stepped up in the V/Line Cup, named among the best in both his matches for the Rebels. Worboys managed to play in an under 18.5s flag with Cobden, finishing with eight games to go with his 15 games for the under 16s.