Draftees named for AFLX
FIVE former Vic Country teammates are likely to clash on Friday night in the AFL’s newest pre-season competition, AFLX. Bendigo Pioneers’ Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien have both been named for the Carlton side, and might stand opposite a familiar face in Luke Davies-Uniacke in the blue and white strips. Davies-Uniacke could meet close friend Hunter Clark in the AFLX grand final should North Melbourne and St Kilda make the decider. Former Geelong Falcons hard nut James Worpel will line-up for Hawthorn alongside Eastern Ranges’ star Jackson Ross.
Other TAC Cup players include former Murray Bushranger Charlie Spargo, and 2017 Northern Knights captain Nick Coffield. In a great feat of perseverance three VFL players have also been named since being selected on AFL lists in Northern Blues’ Cam O’Shea, Box Hill’s David Mirra and Casey Demons’ Bayley Fritsch. Oskar Baker will don the red and blue after playing in the NEAFL last year, while Perth teammates Matt Guelfi (now Essendon) and Gordon Narrier (now North Melbourne) could face off if their respective sides make the decider.
The AFLX competition is played on a ground with dimensions of between 100-120m in length and 60-70m in width, with four posts at each end and two 40m arcs. Each team will consist of 10 players per game – seven on the field and three on the bench – and there are no restrictions on rotations. No marks will be paid on backwards kicks (except in the forward 40m area) and the last touch out of bounds is a free kick. Kick-ins will occur after each score – even goals – while at least two players from each team must start each quarter inside each 40m arc and any deliberate rushed behinds will result in a free shot to the opposition team from the forward 40m arc resulting in a potential 10-point goal.
The full list of 2017 draftees named in the AFLX squads for Friday night are:
Carlton: Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers), Lochie O’Brien (Bendigo Pioneers), Cam O’Shea (Northern Blues)
Essendon: Matt Guelfi (Perth)
Hawthorn: James Worpel (Geelong Falcons), Jackson Ross (Eastern Ranges), David Mirra (Box Hill)
Melbourne: Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers), Bayley Fritsch (Casey Demons), Oskar Baker (Aspley)
North Melbourne: Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays), Billy Hartung (Hawthorn), Gordon Narrier (Perth)
St Kilda: Hunter Clark (Dandenong Stingrays), Nick Coffield (Northern Knights)
6.40pm – Carlton v Melbourne
7.08pm – Hawthorn v Essendon
7.36pm – North Melbourne v Carlton
8.04pm – Essendon v St Kilda
8.32pm – Melbourne v North Melbourne
9.00pm – St Kilda v Hawthorn
9.33pm – Grand Final