NOW that Round 8 is completely done and dusted, AFL Draft Central looks back across the six games and names its TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 8. It was spread across two weekends, but there are certainly a lot of fresh faces in the 22, with many players rested for Vic Metro or Vic Country duties.
Calder Cannons and Dandenong Stingrays had three players each in the side – the equal most of any team for the round. It was a remarkable feat for the Cannons since they actually lost to the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels at RAMS Arena, but their top stars covered each third of the ground. Co-captain Mitch Podhajski was influential in the midfield once again. Curtis Taylor booted five behinds in what could have been a day out if he converted in front of goal, and Campbell Barton was strong in defence. For the Stingrays, they had a much better day out, thumping the Sandringham Dragons by 78 points. Matthew Gahan makes his debut in our Team of the Week for his work in defence, along with AFL Academy ruck Riley Bowman and half-forward Lachlan McDonnell.
Eastern Ranges midfielders Lachlan Stapleton and Kye Quirk made the list, just ahead of Adrian Kalcovski who would be one of the unlucky ones. Quirk had a massive 39 disposals and a day out against Northern, while Stapleton was judged the Ranges’ most influential player on the day. Their opponents Northern also had two players in the Team of the Week, with full-back Stefan Uzelac and forward Sunny Brazier making the side.
Regular Team of the Week nominee, GWV Rebels’ forward Charlie Wilson made the cut with another three goals, joined in the side by debutant to the team, Elliot Lamb. Western Jets also had a couple of nominees from their narrow win over the Pioneers, with defender Buku Khamis sensational at half-back, while Darcy Cassar was a strong link in the chain from defence to attack. Speaking of the Pioneers, inside midfielder Noah Wheeler did his best to inspire the team in the third term, named on the ball as Bendigo’s sole nominee. Ruck Daniel Keating went close to making the team once again, but with three other outstanding rucks on the weekend, it was hard to squeeze in a fourth. Jets midfielder Connor Thar was the other unlucky player to miss out after a consistent performance.
In the most recent game on Saturday, both Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers produced two nominees for the Team of the Week. Matthew Day‘s seven goal haul was clearly enough to see him make the side, also named AFL Draft Central Player of the Week for Round 8. Midfielder Jack Ross made the team too, while for Murray, Mark Marriott had a successful return from injury, while creative mid/forward Mathew Walker was also promising up forward with two goals.
Of the remaining nominees who were their club’s only player in the 22, Sandringham Dragons’ Corey Watts holds down the fort at centre half-back, Gippsland’s Ryan Sparkes was sensational off half-back and Blake Schlensog pinch hit in the ruck and was ultra-impressive around the ground. Gippsland was unlucky not to have more contributors to the team, but their win was considered a very even performance across the ground.