ROUND Two of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts at three of the games over the weekend. Read their scouting notes below:
Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Matt Balmer)
#2 Jordan Butts – Begun the day at full back, but floated forward later in the game. Moves well for a player over 190cm and looks at his best when he isn’t locking down as a key defender. Took a great mark on the lead in the fourth goal, which resulted in a behind. One to keep an eye on, as he has a very late December birthday.
#10 David Smith – The Richmond next generation academy member showed great speed playing through the midfield. He won the football on both the outside and the inside and got better as the game went on. Has a nice right foot kick – but at times needed to lower the eyes and look for shorter options.
#53 Joe Richards – The 176cm pocket-rocket was one of the Bushrangers best players against the Power. In fluro green boots, Richards showed off his good skills in traffic using the ball well by hand. Richards is also very agile and has good speed and had a great moment in the third quarter when he picked the ball up and shot at goal off his right boot that just scrapped the post in what would’ve been one of the goals of the day.
#2 Nick Hogan – Hogan played well through the midfield and up forward, winning the ball at ease. His solid build in his thighs allow for him to have the strength to move around opponents easily. Hogan plays aggressively and he’s someone that despite his size has presence about him when he plays. Had a quiet finish to the day, but was one of the Power’s best throughout the second and third quarters.
#4 Changkuoth Jiath – An ok game from Jiath playing in the attacking half of the ground. He has a good wingspan which allows for him to play taller than he is (185cm) allowing him to mark the ball overhead inside 50. What was lacking was his momentum in his run up and at times he looks lethargic when kicking for goal, disappointingly resulting in him not making the distance from 35m out when taking a set shot. He missed a few chances on goal throughout the day which he needs to make. Despite this, the ball does spin really well off either foot.
#24 Sean Masterson – Masterson was one I had on my radar late last year and I’m pleased he’s come back as a 19-year-old. He spent more time forward on Saturday, bagging two goals. He has a light frame, but was able to reach above the Murray defenders to clunk marks at ease.
Oakleigh Chargers vs. Eastern Ranges (Matt Balmer)
#7 Charlie Thompson – Another solid game through the midfield for Thompson. He found the ball well on the outside and uses the ball well. Missed a chunk of football in 2016 through injury but is one to certainly note down.
#8 Toby Wooller – Booted four goals for the game, including three in the first half as he was far too good for Harrison Nolan. He marked the ball well all day and was clean when he collected the ball at ground level. It was good to see him push up through the midfield as the game got on, working hard at the stoppages adding another string to his bow.
#12 Noah Answerth – Took an outstanding mark dropping off his opponent running back in front of a Rangers forward in the first quarter, Was moved onto the dangerous Stephenson and was on top until a knee to the back saw him stretchered off after he was in severe pain. Fingers crossed it isn’t too bad as he has been impressive the last two weeks.
#28 Adam Collinson – Came into the team this week and was one of the first players to stand out during the day. With his long socks, he played mostly on the “broadcast” wing finding plenty of the ball. His ball use was impressive, but at times did look a touch slow when covering the ground. One that hopefully improves as the season progresses.
#35 Jack Higgins – A quieter day after collecting 30 disposals last week. Higgins was used in different roles, across half back in the second quarter – before spending more time forward in the third and then the final quarter. Kicked two goals, but disappointingly missed his “Stevie J curve” snap in the final term when the game was on the line. His hands in close at the contest were very good.
#1 Adam Cerra – Performed well last week, but surprisingly started up forward against the Chargers and was quieter. He continued to tackle hard when he went through the midfield and took a good mark in the third quarter. Hopefully more midfield minutes in the weeks to come, as when he went through there he looked his best.
#6 Ryley Stoddart – Jumped out at me last week and backed up the good signs I saw last week. The left footer used the ball well and found it in the contest. His work rebounding the ball from half back to half forward was good, as was his ability to find targets up field. One to watch.
#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Kicked four goals for the game and looked dangerous all bar the periods for when Answerth was lined up on him. A really big wingspan allows for him to almost just pluck the ball from above opposition defenders even without a leap in the air. His marks is a strength, but I do question whether he can play deep forward in the years to come. Hoping for more midfield minutes and time up the ground throughout this season.
#21 Joel Garner – Was one of the best players on the ground, having the ball on a string at times. He was good on the inside & outside and used the ball well off his left foot. His handballing in close was exceptional and continued to hit his targets on the run streaming inside 50. Making a case to be a very high draft selection.
#22 Jackson Ross – A quieter day from the raw Ross, but he did have some good moments of the wing that will appeal to clubs. At times he marked the ball well down the line and kicked it well inside 50, but other times he looked a touch out of place unsure where to run. Is only going to get better the more games he plays.
Sandringham Dragons vs. Northern Knights (Peter Bonadio)
#4 Ari Sakeson – Was solid in defence in more of a running defender role rather than a lock-down defender role which he played last year. He took some good defensive marks and worked hard offensively to create opportunities for his team mates. Does need to improve his kicking at times, as he can turn the ball over.
#5 Seb Williams – Does all the right things, kicking three goals (including the first two of the game) and assisted a few more. Williams is a good small forward who has good speed and agility inside 50. He also applies a good amount of forward pressure which at times did make the Knights defenders fumble. Did miss one late that he should’ve kicked which would’ve given him four for the afternoon.
#11 Hamish Brayshaw – First game back for the season after missing last week through soreness. The 19-year-old has quick hands in the contest and has a good footy IQ. He uses his voice well around the ground and is a great team player and a natural leader.
#15 Alfie Jarnestrom – One of the Dragons’ best for the day. Has great quick hands in the contest. His vision is very good and it allows for him to use his efficient left foot well. Jarnestrom is a smart player and spreads well from the contest. For someone his size, he tackled well throughout the day.
#28 Isaac Morrisby – Kicked an early goal for the Dragons, but a relatively quiet day. At times he looked moved slow and did take some time to get the ball from his hands to his boot. Morrisby did mark the ball well when the ball came his way.
#5 Marcus Lentini – Was arguably Northern’s best for the day. Kicked a great goal late in the final quarter, Lentini is an efficient user of the ball who finds the football at ease. Through the midfield he hunts the ball well and is willing to tackle hard to win it back.
#6 Patrick Naish – His goal on the verge of half time and three-quarter time is what kept Northern in the contest for most of the day. He moves well through the midfield and found a lot of the ball. At times he can turn the ball over and kicking is one area that does need to get more consistent. His pressure was very good but did fade in & out at certain moments.
#7 Jack Petruccelle – Was hardly sighted in the first half, but his bounces down the wing in the third got him going. He has a good tank and is quiet raw – but does lack in his skills at times, where he can be ineffective by both hand and foot.
#8 Nicholas Coffield – Another solid game from Coffield after finishing last week with a bang. Kicked a good goal in the third term but is another that missed a few kicks that he should’ve made.
#19 Christian Farchione – A quiet game from the Marcellin College student. The left footer used the ball well around the ground, but made a mess of a running shot on goal. Sometimes his decision making can be off, but he showed in 2016 he can be a damaging player.