A mixed bag of results did not take away from some outstanding performances in Round 14 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts, with many from the title-winning Western Australia Under 18s squad returning to action. Lenny Fogliani was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on outstanding players from three of the four fixtures.
East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts
#2 Michael Wright
Playing as a defensive small forward, the Chapman Valley Junior was outstanding for the Sharks, performing his role to perfection. He accumulated 16 possessions, recorded six inside 50s, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best.
#7 Jeremy Sharp
The dual All-Australian was at his best for the Sharks providing a heap of offence from the wing. His penetrating skills, elite speed and endurance, skilful evasive moves and line-breaking capabilities were all on display against the Swans. He finished with a game-high 35 possessions, eight inside 50s, four marks and a goal.
#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. His ability to shrug off opponents is elite for someone his age, and at his size (191cm) this makes him a very attractive prospect. His decision-making, vision and skill execution were all on display for the home team. He finished with 26 possessions, five tackles and three goals.
#15 Jack Carroll
The 2017 WA U15s State Schoolboys representative continued his fine season for the Sharks with another sensational performance. Against the Swans, Carroll collected 21 possessions, laid four tackles and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ best midfielders on the day.
#16 Chad Warner
The clearance machine was again brilliant for the home team, often winning the ball for his team and getting it forward. He accumulated 31 possessions, laid 13 tackles, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal in a telling performance. The Willetton junior shares similarities to West Coast’s Jack Redden in that both are tough, thrive on the contest, can win their own ball and apply serious pressure to the opposition.
#18 Chris Walker
The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member was excellent on the half-back line, providing a heap of rebound as well as intercepting a host of Swans’ attacking forays. He collected 15 possessions, grabbed six marks, and laid two tackles to be a pivotal player for East Fremantle’s victory.
#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 AFL Under 16s All-Australian member increased his draft stocks for 2020 with another superb performance. Against Swan Districts, Walker accumulated 16 possessions, took four marks and laid two tackles, playing primarily across the half-back line. His line-breaking capabilities, decision-making and disposal efficiency are all at a fantastic level for someone his age. He is a part of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.
#23 Luke Jackson
The Larke Medal runner-up showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another brilliant performance. He gathered 17 possessions, won a game-high 38 hit-outs, laid seven tackles and kicked a goal to be one of the most influential players in East Fremantle’s victory. His raw athleticism, ruck craft and endurance make him a tantalising prospect.
#25 Jai Jackson
Pushing through injury, Jackson played a great game playing as a hybrid forward. Against Swan Districts, Jackson collected 11 possessions, laid seven tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the more dangerous forwards on the ground. As well as playing as a forward, Jackson has demonstrated an ability to push into the midfield where he uses his big frame to crash and bash his way through stoppages to get the ball going forward for his team.
#29 Reuben McGuire
The Wesley College student always provided a target inside 50 for his team-mates to kick to. He finished with 11 possessions, 12 hit-outs, four marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His raw athleticism, power and aggression make him an attractive key forward prospect.
#11 Ashley Brockbernd
The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member tried hard all day for the Swans, playing off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Brockbernd accumulated 11 possessions, laid six tackles, took two marks and recorded two inside 50s to try and keep his team within touching distance of the rampant Sharks.
#12 Brenton Hilton
The Ellenbrook junior was prolific for the Swans playing in defence. He was trying to thwart plenty of East Fremantle’s attacking forays, while also trying to provide plenty of rebound from the defensive zone. He finished with 22 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s and three marks.
#18 Jake Pasini
Having made a name for himself as a strong key defender, Pasini showed off his versatility playing as a big-bodied inside midfielder against East Fremantle. He bullocked his way to 17 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.
#21 Jackson Ryan
The 17-year-old showed why he could be one of the rising key forward prospects out of Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft with a powerful performance. Despite a lack of attacking forays, Ryan always provided an option for his team-mates and clunked four marks. He finished with two goals from seven possessions.
#25 Jermarl Daly
The South Hedland product showed flashes of his brilliance against the Sharks. One moment of his brilliance came in the second quarter, when he took a fantastic pack mark and then nailed the goal to bring the Swans within a goal of the Sharks. He finished with seven possessions, three tackles and a goal.
#34 Jak Watson
Arguably Swan Districts’ best player, Watson never stopped trying for the visitors but to no avail. He accumulated 27 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed three marks and recorded two inside 50s in a dazzling performance.
#52 Atem Deng
The West Coast Eagles Next-Generation Academy member was sublime for the Swans, playing on the half-forward line. He gathered 15 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create attacking opportunities for the visitors. Last year Deng finished seventh in Swans’ Best & Fairest, and another strong year would increase his draft chances.
#59 Ty Sears
The bottom-age star was brilliant for Swan Districts off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Sears collected 19 possessions, recorded three inside 50s and took two marks as he tried to create attacking drive from the defensive half.
East Perth vs. Peel Thunder
#2 Adam Boules
Stationed on the wing, the Mount Hawthorn junior was prolific for the Royals, as he always provided a link for their attacking forays and displayed a desire to run defensively as well. He gathered 22 possessions, laid 11 tackles, took five marks and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best for the Royals.
#8 Cooper Sparks
The Deanmill product continues to amass an excellent season for East Perth with another polished performance against the Thunder. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked a goal to be the Royals’ best player on the night.
#9 Sebit Kuek
The West Coast Eagles’ NGA member was dangerous in the forward line for the Royals, always providing an option for his team-mates. He gathered 11 possessions, won 18 hitouts, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a dazzling performance.
#15 Luke Lombardi
Playing on the half-back line, Lombardi showed why he could be a bolter for next year’s AFL Draft. He finished with 14 possessions, three marks and two tackles, showing off poise, composure and sound-decision-making with ball in hand.
#19 Joshua Hubbard
The Ellenbrook junior was outstanding for the Royals, rotating between the half-back line and the wing. His run and carry, link-up play, decision-making and skill execution were all pivotal in the Royals’ effort to defeat the Thunder. He finished with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, and four tackles.
#37 Joshua Ladhams
The Southerners product was instrumental in the ruck for East Perth. He finished with 10 possessions, 33 hit-outs, five marks and four tackles, while being in an entertaining duel against Brendan Cooke (nine possessions and 30 hit-outs).
#39 Cody Rodgers
Playing in defence and up forward, Rodgers competed hard all night for the home team. He only gathered five possessions, but took three marks and kicked three goals to be a potent option up forward. His contested marking was a real feature of his game against the Thunder.
#49 Rhai-Arn Cox
The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member showed off his flair and offensive tricks in the forward half for the Royals. He collected 14 possessions, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a solid performance. As a small forward, Cox boasts excellent goal sense and the ability to take strong contested marks – similar to how West Coast star Liam Ryan plays.
#1 Tyrone Thorne
The WA U18s State Academy member was dangerous in the forward half for the Thunder, always on the move and ready to pounce on any scoring opportunities that came his way. Thorne also showed why he is considered to be one of the better small forwards in this year’s AFL Draft pool with six tackles to his name. He finished with 11 possessions and two goals.
#2 Jackson Knight
Currently fourth in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his excellent campaign with another solid performance for the Thunder. Against East Perth, Knight accumulated 22 possessions, laid eight tackles, and recorded seven inside 50s to be one of the more damaging midfielders on the night.
#3 Roy George
Stationed in defence, George showed why he is such a prodigious talent with his intercepting and rebounding a real feature of his game. He gathered 10 possessions, took two marks, and even drifted forward to kick a goal.
#8 Zachary Rankin
Stationed on the wing, Rankin played an excellent two-way game for the Thunder, being defensively accountable but also showing off some offensive flair. Against the Royals, Rankin gathered 18 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s to be one of the more instrumental players in Peel’s victory.
#11 Jarvis Pina
The Peel Thunder captain was pivotal in his team’s victory over the Royals with a game-high 33 possessions, five marks, five tackles and two inside 50s. His reading of the play, decision-making and penetrating skills were all on display for the recruiters to see.
#13 Cameron Gavin
The Halls Head junior was outstanding for the Thunder, finishing with 15 possessions, five inside 50s, four marks and two goals in a sizzling performance. His forward half presence was outstanding for the Thunder and he played a big role in the victory with his decision-making and skill execution a real feature of his game.
#18 Ben Middleton
The leader in this year’s WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award, Middleton showed why he is arguably the best forward in the competition. In nine games for the Thunder, Middleton has kicked 18 goals – three ahead of East Perth’s Sebit Kuek and West Perth’s Ewan Brazier. Against the Royals, Middleton kicked two goals from eight possessions and four marks.
#27 Jack Sears
Playing on the wing, Sears sent a timely reminder to recruiters on why he should be considered one of the best players in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He collected 23 possessions, took eight marks and recorded six inside 50s in a powerful display.
Subiaco vs. Claremont
#3 Leno Thomas
The Fremantle NGA player was lively in the forward half for the Tigers. As well as being gifted with offensive tricks, Thomas showed off a defensive side of his game against the Lions, recording five tackles. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal.
#5 Ronin O’Connor
Stationed in defence, O’Connor was solid for the Tigers, often repelling Subiaco’s attacking forays. He gathered 12 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks, but it was his leadership down back that caught the eye. His ability to communicate with his team-mates about where they should position themselves was outstanding for someone his age.
#8 Jack Buller
Arguably best afield for the Tigers, Buller was instrumental playing as either a key position player or when he pinch-hit in the ruck. His strength in the contest was outstanding, often barging his way through the opposition to get the ball going forward for his team. His final statistics were 16 possessions, 26 hit-outs and three tackles.
#12 Joel Western
A bottom-age prospect, Western showed why he is such a promising prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. Against Subiaco, Western accumulated 18 possessions, took three marks, recorded three inside 50s and laid two tackles, from the wing. His speed, agility, vision, decision-making and skill execution were all on display.
#14 Jack Cooley
The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboy was outstanding in the midfield for the Tigers, accumulating 33 possessions, taking five marks, laying five tackles and recording five inside 50s as he willed his team to victory. His power to burst away from stoppages and to win the clearance was simply phenomenal
#15 Liam Henry
The U18 All-Australian was electrifying around the ground for the Tigers, using his speed, agility and evasive tricks to weave his way in and out of congestion. Once in space, Henry was balanced and had the poise to execute his skills to a high level. His decision-making was also elite against the Lions. He finished with 26 possessions, six marks, three tackles and two goals.
#16 Anthony Davis
Stationed on the half-back line, Davis showed why he is considered to be a draft smokey this year. Against the Lions, Davis gathered 13 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks as he tried to repel plenty of Subiaco’s attacking forays.
#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan Clark, Jye showcased why he is considered a top-five midfielder in the competition. Like his older brother, Jye is physical in the contest, prepared to throw his body on the line, is a sound-decision maker and is an excellent distributor whether by hand or foot. Against Subiaco, Clark finished with 35 possessions, five inside 50s, three marks and three tackles.
#25 Callum Jamieson
The North Beach junior was terrific for the Tigers, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He gathered 10 possessions, won 20 hitouts, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked two goals in a powerful display.
#35 Isaiah Butters
In just his second game of WAFL Colts, Butters showed he belongs at the level with a lively performance against Subiaco. He collected 18 possessions, took six marks, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s and kicked two goals in a dazzling display.
#1 Jacob Peletier
The Esperance product was superb in the midfield for the Lions, racking up 24 possessions, recording three inside 50s, taking two marks and laying two tackles. His leadership throughout the game was exemplary, often throwing his body on the line to try and win the contested ball for his team.
#8 Ben Golding
Against the Tigers, Golding produced a performance that highlighted why he is currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award. He gathered 29 possessions, laid 10 tackles, took eight marks, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal as he tried to will his team to victory. The only blemish on his performance was two behinds.
#19 Lachlan Henderson
Stationed at centre half-back, Henderson was outstanding for the home team, often repelling Claremont’s attacking forays. The 17-year-old finished with 10 possessions, four hit-outs and two marks in a solid performance.
#21 Connor Patterson
In just his fifth game of WAFL Colts, Patterson showed signs of being a gun player for the Lions. He gathered nine possessions, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals in a lively performance.
#27 Trey Kennedy
The Warwick-Greenwood junior was superb off the half-back line for the Lions, amassing 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. His defensive accountability, combined with his decision-making and skill execution make him an elite half-back flanker.
#37 Abraham Clinch
The Warwick-Greenwood product was prolific in the midfield for the Lions, gathering a team-high 32 possessions, recording five inside 50s, taking four marks, laying two tackles and kicking a goal. His desire to throw his body into congestion to win the ball for his team is outstanding for someone his age.
#41 Tyler Broughton
The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent in the forward line for the Lions, using his speed, agility and flair to create scoring opportunities for his team. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid five tackles, took four marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground.
#50 Xavier Peacock
The 2018 WA U18s State Academy player showed why he is one of the best ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. His work around the ground, ruck craft and strength in the contest were all on display. He finished with 12 possessions, 17 hit-outs, three marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.