VICTORIA Country and Metro sides battled it out at Ikon Park on Saturday with the best Under 16s having a hitout ahead of selection for the upcoming National Under 16s championships. Vic Metro won both games convincingly giving them great confidence ahead of the national carnival, and Ed Pascoe was on hand to note down the top performers across the day.
Miller Bergman (Dandenong Stingrays | 189/63)
Bergman was a neat user of the ball and moved well, standing 189cm he was and will be used in multiple areas of the ground but looked to get most of his touches on the wing where he looked most comfortable.
Campbell Chesser (Sandringham Dragons | 185/78)
Chesser was one of Country’s better players playing through the midfield and wings. he was a major ball winner and classy player through the the day, his hands at clearances and movement was a feature. Often very composed with ball in hand and always trying to move the play quickly he was important as a player that could be effective in the middle but also have the tools to play well on the outside as well. The 185cm midfielder looks a prospect to watch for Country at the Under 16s championships.
Ben Hobbs (GWV Rebels | 181/75)
Hobbs was the clear best player for Country in Game 2, winning plenty of the ball through the midfield and also hitting the scoreboard which he did twice with one goal from a 50m penalty in the second quarter and kicking a lovely set shot goal in the last quarter. Hobbs was clinical through the midfield, winning the ball well not just in the contest, but also on the outside winning the ball all over the ground. He wanted the ball so bad in the last quarter he even knocked over this own player to get to it.
Jake Hodgkin (Murray Bushrangers | 186/75)
Hodgkin was fantastic down back he looked good overhead and also at ground level where he attacked the ball equally as hard. Hodgkin started the game well with a strong pack mark down back beating plenty of taller players where Hodgkin only stands at 186cm. He attacked the ball hard and cleanly at ground level and saved countless goals from just running straight line at the ball and dishing off which his teammates would often struggle to do. He was the best defender for Country in Game 1.
Charlie Molan (GWV Rebels | 187/76)
It was not a good day to be a Country forward, but Molan was one of their better forwards in Game 2, attacking the contest well and always trying to move the play on. Molan wasn’t afraid to through his body around and put on pressure and the 187cm forward showed good run and movement as well when he would take a mark and quickly play on and weave through opponents.
Nyawi Moore (Bendigo Pioneers | 184/70)
Moore is the son of former Bomber Nathan Lovett-Murray who played over 100 games for the club so will be eligible to be picked by Essendon in the 2021 draft. Moore kicked the opening goal of Game 1 coming from a nice scoop gather and quick snap on goal which showed his talent and silky play. Moore did not get a huge amount of the ball but played on the wing in the last quarter and had a nice bit of play with some slick play showing his run and clean hands.
Indy Parish (Geelong Falcons | 183/79)
Parish plays eerily similar to his oldest brother Darcy, Playing through the midfield he showed good craft around stoppages and like his brother was very clean with his ball handling and his handballs nearly always hit their mark. Indy kicked a nice goal on the run in the second quarter but was moved into defence late where he didn’t look that comfortable. Already at 183cm he will be taller than his brother Darcy and projects as a similar type of player through the midfield.
Josh Rachele (Murray Bushrangers | 180/73)
Rachele looked all class up forward, he didn’t hit the scoreboard in the first quarter but looked lively and clean around the ball but the second quarter he really picked it up kicking an easy goal out the back and then roving a contest and kicking his second in the same quarter. He was moved up the ground in the second half and looked just as comfortable rarely panicking with ball in hand, one bit of play in the last quarter he showed great composure and kicked well inboard under pressure.
Jobe Somerville (Gippsland Power | 183/72)
Somerville was solid in defence taking some nice intercept marks and using the ball well down back, Somerville was no fuss in his approach and looked very good overhead for his size at 183cm and it would have been easy for anyone to think he was robbed a few centimetres. Somerville was one of the steadier players around and with the ball in Game 1 for Country.
Luca Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers | 187/71)
It was not hard to tell that Luca was the bother of potential number 1 pick in 2019 Noah Anderson. He has the similar haircut and even has the same build standing at 187cm already. Anderson took a no-nonsense approach to his game playing mostly on the wing he didn’t muck around when he had possession. He kicked a lovely snap goal in the second quarter and set up multiple others with his clean hands around the ground. He was moved to defence in the last quarter to show his versatility and he performed the role well with one good bit of play winning a good one on one contests and finding a target on the rebound by foot.
Braden Andrews (Oakleigh Chargers | 187/76)
Andrews was a ball magnet for Metro and his style of play reminded me of a recent Metro draftee in Charlie Constable. The tall 187cm midfielder was cool and calm at stoppages and was often clean with his hands and able to dish of a good handball, despite one poor kick his kicking was solid throughout the day and despite his inside dominance looked just as settled on the outside linking up through the midfield. Andrews looks set to be an important cog in the Metro midfield in this year’s Under 16 championships.
Brock Jacobsen (Western Jets | 178/71)
Jacobsen was a strong performer through the midfield moving well in congestion and showing good composure throughout the day. His skill and speed in the last quarter was on show getting separation on would be tacklers and kicking nicely inside 50. He combined this in the last quarter with a nice kick inside 50 and then running hard inside 50 to receive the ball back from a kick and then kicked the set shot goal. Jacobsen was one of Metro’s strongest four-quarter players always looking to move the play on and attack the ball hard.
Paul Curtis (Western Jets | 178/72)
Curtis was a crafty forward kicking a goal in every quarter bar the last quarter where he still managed to take a shot but just missing. Curtis was good at ground level showing his agility but he also took a lovely mark to convert his second goal. His third goal showed his lovely agility and kicked a classy snap goal. Curtis was the most dangerous forward on the ground in Game 2 kicking three goals.
Ingo Dammersmith (Oakleigh Chargers | 189/72)
Ingo Dammersmith was a good target for Metro up forward. He kicked two goals in the first half and always looked dangerous with his strong leads and assured hands overhead. He was sent to defence in the second half and took some strong contested marks and used the ball very well by foot. The 189cm prospect could be a handy key position player for Vic Metro in the Under 16 championships.
Sam Darcy (Oakleigh Chargers | 191/66)
The son of Bulldogs champion Luke Darcy looked every bit like his old man although playing mostly as a forward he took some nice marks on the lead and certainly moved well and showed good hands at ground level for a taller player. Standing at 191cm and only 66kg, he certainly needs to grow into his body before he can really dominate a game but the signs are there that he could be a handy player and with any luck can grow to the height of his old man and be that dangerous goal kicking ruckman that would be handy in the modern game.
Joel Fitzgerald (Northern Knights | 186/73)
Fitzgerald was a wall in defence in the first quarter taking a lot of intercept marks and dashing from defence taking the game on and using the ball well by hand and foot. This was his standout feature for the game he was either taking intercept marks and staying strong in contest or he was using his run and carry and skills to do damage on the rebound, The 186cm defender certainly has a lot of tricks and will be a strong pillar for Metro in the 16 championships.
Blake Howes (Sandringham Dragons | 186/68)
Howes looked sensational in the air showing of a good leap and overhead marking ability. His marking was a good feature but he was also clean with his hands and ball use in general play, he had a nice kick inside 50 in the second quarter and would get his shot inside 50 in the second quarter taking a strong contested pack mark and slotting and set shot goal. Howes mostly played on the wing in Game 2 and was a strong performer and a hard matchup standing at 186cm.
Ned Long (Northern Knights | 190/83)
Long played as a tall midfielder standing already at 190cm he didn’t exactly use his taller frame to his advantage but did show his superior skill and movement in congestion especially in the second quarter where he was most involved and really looked a promising prospect with not many players sharing height and good skills and smarts around the ground at his age.
Jack Newitt (Calder Cannons | 188/71)
Newitt was a hard worker up forward showing good leading patterns and using the ball well forward of centre. His best quarter came in the second where he kicked 2 goals and set up countless others showing his forward craft both at ground level and in the air judging the ball well. The 188cm prospect was moved to defence and did some nice things late in the game showing his versatility which should hold him in good stead on the lead up to his draft year.
Anthony O’Sullivan (Northern Knights | 186/83)
O’Sullivan was a great target up forward and kicked three goals for the game. The 186cm 83kg Forward obviously had the size and strength advantage and used it well and effectively, his first quarter was quiet but he really came to life after that especially in the last half where he grew in confidence and was leading up at the ball well taking many marks and looked impossible to stop.
Lachlan Rankin (Oakleigh Chargers | 179/63)
Rankin was a classy and composed player in defence early for Metro, he wasn’t hard to spot with the red hair but it was his classy ball use and composure that stood out more so. Rankin was rewarded with some midfield time late in the game and won plenty of the footy and used it just as well in close, not very tall or strong standing at 179cm and only 63kg he still managed to catch the eye with his footy smarts and composure.
Jake Soligo (Eastern Ranges | 178/73)
Soligo was a little bull through the midfield constantly going in hard to win the back but also spreading well out of stoppages showing good speed and agility. His best bit of play came in the third quarter running out the ball from a stoppage then delivering a nice short pass and quickly running inside 50 to receive the ball back and kick a nice goal on the run. Soligo also showed his skill with a lovely opposite foot kick inside 50.
Josh Sinn (Sandringham Dragons | 186/72)
Sinn was terrific for Metro, starting down back he took some fantastic intercept marks and was lethal with is kicking which was often long and straight, he had a nice intercept which eh attacked at speed and quickly ran into goal but just missed. He was often trusted with the kickouts and often used his left foot and in the second half he was moved forward and also looked outstanding quickly getting involved with a turn and burn from 50m and narrowly missing. He had plenty of shots on goal and finally converted a set shot in the 3rd quarter, he came off late in the game looking sore so hopefully it wasn’t that bad.
Tyler Sonsie (Eastern Ranges | 180/71)
Sonsie had the ball on a string and was impossible to stop everywhere on the ground, he started in the midfield winning plenty of the ball and showing his peed of the mark to get separation and often kick long with his deadly left boot. One bit of play he had deep in defence just showed he was a class above taking the game on and running through defence staying composed under pressure and was impossible to tackle and eventually kicked a fantastic switch kick under enormous pressure. He was moved to defence in the 2nd half to allow some other players to get midfield time but he still managed to win plenty of the ball and rebound with deadly results with his run and kicking first class. The 180cm Midfielder will be one to watch when the under 16 championships are under way.
Josh Ward (Northern Knights | 178/73)
Ward was a crafty forward all day often being he link up between half forward using his smarts and skill to cause havoc for the opposition. Ward could have kicked plenty of goals but was very unselfish setting up others on multiple occasions, Ward showed a lot of class and football smarts and despite his small stature he played a big impact on the result.