Author: Lenny Fogliani

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 3 – East Perth vs Claremont

IN Round 3 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Claremont defeated East Perth by 28 points at Leederville Oval.

Below are the best players from the game.

 

EAST PERTH 6.5 (41) defeated by CLAREMONT 10.8 (68)

 

East Perth:

#3 Harley Sparks
The Deanmill product was arguably the Royals’ best midfielder with a team-high 28 possessions, five tackles, three marks and a goal. Sparks often imposed himself in congestion to win the ball for his team and then dish it to the outside runners.

#9 Sebit Kuek
Last year’s Past Player and Officials Encouragement Award winner was excellent in the forward half for East Perth. He finished with 12 possessions, six hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. His leading patterns combined with his strong overhead marking ability make him a damaging forward prospect.

#14 Kane Hughes
The East Perth wingman toiled hard all day for the Royals with 26 possessions, seven marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His link-up style of play makes him one of the better wingmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#39 Cody Rodgers
The East Perth key defender showcased why he is considered to be one of the best key defensive options in this year’s draft pool. His positioning in defence was excellent, his knowledge of when to roll off his opponent to intercept the opposition was outstanding and his decision-making was sound. In the third quarter, he snuck forward and took a strong contested mark before booting a goal.

#40 Jed Montgomerie
The South Bunbury Junior was a standout in the ruck for East Perth in a competitive battle with Claremont’s Callum Jamieson. Montgomerie finished with 12 possessions, 22 hit-outs and five marks to be a presence for the Royals in the midfield.

 

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas
The Belmont junior was dynamic on the half-back line for Claremont with 19 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. His electrifying speed, top agility and penetrating skills make him one of the more highly regarded prospects in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#8 Jack Buller
The Christ Church Grammar student was situated at centre half-back, playing on Jaxon East, and more than held his own in the contest. Buller finished with 20 possessions, 10 marks and three tackles, while holding East goalless.

#14 Jack Cooley
Stationed on the half-back line, Cooley offered a calm and composed figure for the Tigers. He finished with 25 possessions, six marks and two inside 50s, often providing excellent rebound from the defensive half. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter, when he grabbed the ball out of a pack and speared it to Jacob Blight, who kicked his second goal.

#15 Liam Henry
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was arguably best afield, displaying traits that would endear him to recruiters. He accumulated 24 possessions, grabbed five marks and booted four goals in a sizzling display. His desire to run and carry and ability to use precise skills makes him one of the most damaging wingmen in this year’s draft pool.

#21 Louis Passera
The Scarborough junior continued his excellent start to the 2019 campaign with another superb performance, this time against the Royals. He collected 25 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid two tackles and recorded two inside 50s in a powerful display.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark was prolific in the midfield for the Tigers. He finished with a game-high 29 possessions, five marks and four inside 50s in a near best-afield performance. His decision-making and skill execution are elite for someone his age.

#25 Callum Jamieson
The North Beach Junior was outstanding in the ruck for the Tigers. In a highly competitive battle with East Perth’s Jed Montgomerie, Jamieson accumulated 15 possessions, won a game-high 23 hitouts, took six marks, laid six tackles and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players for Claremont.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 2 – East Fremantle vs Subiaco

EAST Fremantle flexed their muscles as a powerhouse of the 2019 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts season, with a 57-point victory over reigning premiers, Subiaco at East Fremantle Oval.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
The Chapman Valley junior is in outstanding form, and already earning a reputation as one of the premium midfielders in this year’s WAFL Colts Competition. Against the Lions Wright accumulated 24 possessions, laid six tackles, grabbed five marks and kicked two goals. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter when he performed a one-two with Luke Jackson, before snapping through his second goal.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, with an equal game-high 29 possessions, six tackles, five inside 50s, and five marks. His leadership off the half-back is similar to the way Luke Hodge controls his team. Rivers is looming to be one of the key players in this year’s AFL Draft.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior was his usual tough self for the Sharks, often burying himself in stoppages to win the ball for his team. He finished with 23 possessions, a game-high nine tackles and five inside 50s. Like Wright, Warner is proving to be one of the premium midfield players in the competition.

#20 Brandon Walker
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was sizzling off the half-back line for East Fremantle. He finished with 15 possessions and five marks, showcasing the traits that made him an All-Australian last year. He used his speed to burn off opponents, was smart with his decision-making and elite with his foot skills.

#23 Luke Jackson
The highly-touted Jackson put forward a display as to why AFL Draft experts believe he could potentially be a top-five pick. Against the Lions, he was arguably best afield with 17 possessions, 24 hit-outs, six marks, two tackles and two goals.

#24 Trey Ruscoe
The Aquinas College student was phenomenal against the Lions with 23 possessions, six inside 50s, three marks, three tackles and two goals. Playing more as a big-bodied inside midfielder, Ruscoe often crashed his body through stoppages to get the ball to the outside runners. He could be a draft bolter with his current form.

SUBIACO

#8 Ben Golding
The North Beach junior was outstanding for Subiaco on a tough day out, with 25 possessions, eight tackles, four inside 50s and three marks. The energy he provides around the contest is exceptional, so it was a shame it only rubbed off on some of his teammates.

#9 Tristan Hobley
The 2018 Mel Whinnen Medallist worked hard all day for the Lions, racking up an equal game-high 29 possessions, laying an equal team-high eight tackles, recording four inside 50s and taking two marks in a solid individual outing.

#10 Nicholas Martin
Originally known as a medium-sized forward, Martin was pushed into the midfield against East Fremantle. He adapted to the new role with aplomb, finishing with 24 possessions, four inside 50s, three tackles and two marks.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 1 – Claremont vs. East Fremantle

IN what was a cracking first game of the Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition of 2019, East Fremantle defeated Claremont by two points at Claremont Oval. The final quarter proved to be a see-sawing contest between both teams, but ultimately the Sharks prevailed by that narrow margin of two points.

Below were the best players from each team.

CLAREMONT

#4 Marc Boyatzis
Stationed in the back pocket Boyatzis held his own, especially when East Fremantle started to dominate stages of the game. He finished the game with 12 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s to arguably be the Tigers’ best defender. His intercept ability combined with his smart decision-making makes him a damaging rebounder, and his excellent lock-down mindset marks him as a tough opponent.

#5 Ronin O’Connor
The Marist junior was a bull in the midfield for the Tigers, often throwing himself into stoppages to win the ball for his team. He collected 20 possessions and laid an equal game-high nine tackles as he tried to give Claremont the ascendancy around the stoppages.

#8 Jack Buller
Playing centre half-forward, Buller always presents well for his midfielders to kick it to him. His leading patterns, strong hands, decision-making and skill execution were all on display for recruiters to see. The Cottesloe junior collected 12 possessions, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and booted a goal in a solid first hit-out.

#11 Thomas Baldwin
The 2018 WA Under 18s representative showcased why Claremont’s coaching staff rate him highly. Playing as a small forward, Baldwin booted two goals from 19 possessions, as well as laying six tackles and taking three marks. His energy and class around the forward half stoppages were pivotal in keeping the Tigers in the contest.

#12 Joel Western
The Subiaco junior was electrifying on the half-forward flank for the Tigers, finishing the game with 19 possessions, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. Available to Fremantle as an Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect in 2020, Western used his speed, evasiveness and skills to carve his way through East Fremantle’s defensive zones. He is already shaping up as a high draft prospect for next year.

#15 Liam Henry
The Derby product demonstrated why he is so highly touted in this year’s draft pool, especially by Fremantle who can select him under their Next-Generation Academy. Henry displayed his offensive flair and defensive soundness in a very well-rounded performance. He gathered 16 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed seven marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a magnificent goal in the second quarter, when he roved a pack inside 50 and snapped it through.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark displayed similar traits to his brother – he was highly skilful, made sound decisions with ball in hand, and was always taking on the game. He collected 19 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded two inside 50s as he rotated between the half-back line and the wing.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
The Chapman Valley junior was sensational for the Sharks and was a key player in their victory. He gathered 23 possessions, laid an equal game-high nine tackles, took five marks, and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best players for East Fremantle. His fierce attack on both the ball and man was superb.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks. He amassed a game-high 26 possessions, took five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s, playing between half-back and the midfield. He used his big frame to win crucial possessions, and his elite decision-making, vision and skill execution helped his team get the ball forward. He is already cementing himself as one of WA’s best draft prospects for 2019.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior was prolific in the midfield for East Fremantle with 24 possessions, seven tackles, three marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Warner plays in a similar way to Adelaide star Brad Crouch, as a player who is tough, skilful and prolific. His desire to win the contested ball before dishing it to the outside runners was pivotal for the Sharks’ victory.

#18 Chris Walker
The Fremantle NGA prospect convincingly proved why he is one of the best half-back flankers in this year’s Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition. Against the Tigers, Walker held his opponents to minimal impact, while he provided damage on the offence. His desire to take the game on with his skill and speed was fantastic to see.

#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 WA U16s All-Australian was excellent for the Sharks, showing why he is so highly rated for the 2020 AFL Draft. He used his crisp disposal and electrifying speed from the half-back line to torch the Tigers. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks and three tackles.

#23 Luke Jackson
The former Australian Junior National basketballer put together a performance that indicated why many draft experts see him as a potential first round draft pick. He gathered 11 possessions, won a game-high 36 hit-outs and laid three tackles to be the most imposing ruckman on the ground.

#24 Trey Ruscoe
The Booragoon junior was arguably the most important player for the Sharks, especially in the last quarter when he booted two goals to give the Sharks the lead. In the 19th minute of the final quarter he managed to tap the ball to himself, burst away from his direct opponent and then drill the goal that reduced the margin to just four points. Two minutes later, he did an excellent lead pattern and found himself in space to take a pivotal mark inside 50. He then kicked the goal to give the Sharks to lead. His final statistics were 20 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks, four tackles and two goals.

#25 Jai Jackson
The Geraldton product was his combative self in the midfield. He gathered 17 possessions, laid seven tackles, recorded four inside 50s and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ better midfielders. His ability to win the contested ball within congestion and feed it out to his outside runners was elite.

West Australian draft prospects set to light up Colts competition

IN 2018, twelve West Australians were selected in the AFL National and Rookie Drafts, with five players taken across the first two rounds. Peter Sumich, Michael Ablett, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Craig Otto, and Mark Seaby, in different capacities respectively, played significant roles in player development across 2018 and are set to have an even greater impact in 2019.

These are the players in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition to keep an eye on for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER
(CLAREMONT/COTTESLOE JFC)

Despite being slightly undersized as a ruckman (196cm), Buller is competitive and aggressive in ruck contests and is exceptional at ground level. In 2018, he was a part of the WA U18s State Academy as a bottom-ager and showed plenty of promise averaging 14 possessions, eight hit-outs, four marks and three tackles with his best performance coming against Vic Country (17 possessions, 18 hit-outs, eight tackles and five marks). He also showed promise playing as a key forward for Claremont’s Colts team with eight goals from five games and averages of 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

LUKE JACKSON
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

The former Australian junior basketballer is one of the most exciting prospects for next year’s draft, even being mentioned as a possible top five selection. In just four games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he kicked four goals and averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs, four tackles and three inside 50s with dominant outings against Subiaco (14 possessions, 11 hit-outs, and two goals) and South Fremantle (17 possessions, 25 hit-outs and a goal). He was also exceptional for the WA U18s State Academy with two exceptional performances against South Australia (25 possessions, seven marks, and a goal and Vic Metro (seven possessions and 25 hit-outs). His athleticism, skills, and ruck craft are elite for someone his age.

TRENT RIVERS
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

A big-bodied midfielder who thrives at the stoppages, Rivers is an accumulator who gets the ball going forward for his team. He finished equal-second in East Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest after averaging 19 possessions, six marks, and two tackles across 15 games. He also polled 10 votes in the Jack Clarke Medal with sensational performances against Perth (20 possessions and six marks), and Claremont (21 possessions and seven marks). He also produced dominant outings in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (19 possessions and four marks) and in the Semi-Final against Peel (19 possessions and two goals) – highlighting his big-game performing ability.

JEREMY SHARP
(EAST FREMANTLE/ATTADALE JFC)

The 2018 U18s All-Australian is a silky-skilled and smooth-moving midfielder much like former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. In four games for Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro (26 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal). In seven games for East Fremantle, he was named in the best on three occasions including a magnificent performance in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (24 possessions, nine marks and eight inside 50s). At his best, Sharp is a line-breaker who uses his speed, skills and smarts to carve up the opposition. Is shaping up to be a first round selection in 2019 and potentially a top 10 pick.

RHAI-ARN COX
(EAST PERTH/MT HAWTHORN JFC)

Cox made a name for himself in 2017’s AFL U16 Championships when he booted a goal after the siren to win the game against Vic Metro. The 2017 WA U16s Vice-Captain is a crafty small forward with explosive athleticism, dazzling skills, an incredible toughness and a great understanding of the play. In 11 games for East Perth in 2018 he booted 15 goals (winning his Club’s Leading Goalkicker Award) and averaged 13 possessions, four marks and two tackles with some sizzling performances against Claremont (17 possessions and three goals), East Fremantle (10 possessions and three goals), Swan Districts (17 possessions and two goals) and West Perth (13 possessions and two goals). He also starred in the AFL U17s Futures game with 12 possessions and three goals for Team Riewoldt.

DEVEN ROBERTSON
(PERTH/MANNING JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Captain and MVP winner is a bullocking inside midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game. In four games for WA’s U18s he averaged 14 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and two inside 50s with his best performances coming against the Allies (17 possessions, four tackles, and three inside 50s) and Vic Country (17 possessions and nine tackles). In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, Robertson averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and four inside 50s, with best afield performances against East Fremantle (33 possessions, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s) and Peel Thunder (34 possessions, five tackles and five inside 50s), and a near best-afield performance against Subiaco (36 possessions and a goal). The nephew of former West Coast champion Darren Glass has a very bright future.

ELIJAH TAYLOR
(PERTH/THORNLIE JFC)

The Thornlie junior is an exciting medium half-forward who has plenty of tricks to make opposing defenders extremely nervous. In 17 games for the Perth Demons’ Colts, Taylor averaged 13 possessions, three inside 50s, two marks and kicked nine goals with his best games coming against East Fremantle (14 possessions and a goal, East Perth (16 possessions and two goals) and Swan Districts (16 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and a goal). At his best, Taylor is a very hard match-up due to his size, explosive athleticism, damaging skills and elite decision-making – factors that will help him with his development into senior football. He is a raw prospect who has plenty of growth and an x-factor.

MITCHELL GEORGIADES
(SUBIACO/WEMBLEY DOWNS JFC)

The son of former Subiaco and Western Bulldogs sharpshooter John Georgiades, Mitchell is one of the most exciting forwards in WA’s State-Based AFL Academy. Blessed with a great set of hands, excellent skills and an elite reading of the play, Georgiades is a young forward with tremendous upside. In just six games for Subiaco’s Colts’ team, he averaged 13 possessions, six marks, two inside 50s, two tackles and booted eight goals with his best performance coming against South Fremantle (12 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two goals). He was also instrumental for Western Australia’s U18s team, where he averaged 10 possessions, four marks, two tackles and kicked three goals across four games, with his most notable against the Allies (13 possessions and two goals). He is already shaping up to be one of the most explosive forward options in next year’s draft pool.

RILEY GARCIA
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Leadership group midfielder is a small midfield dynamo who has excellent speed, agility, skills and reading of the play. He made his WAFL Colts debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and since then has gone on to become one of the premier midfielders for the 2019 AFL Draft. In 24 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Garcia has kicked 14 goals and averaged 20 possessions, three tackles and three marks. In 2018 he finished ninth in the Jack Clarke Medal and sixth in Swan Districts’ Colts’ Best and Fairest after some exceptional performances including best afield performance against Perth (32 possessions and a goal) and Claremont (31 possessions). However his performances in the 2018 finals series should have recruiters monitoring him closely after he averaged 22 possessions, three marks, two tackles and kicked four goals across four games.

JAKE PASINI
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has an excellent aerial ability and a powerful kick on him, making him an attractive defensive prospect. In 16 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Pasini averaged 11 possessions, three marks and three tackles while more often than not, he held the opposition’s key forward to minimal impact. This was especially evident in the Semi-Final against Subiaco where he held the 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo goalless while he recorded nine possessions and took five marks. He was also excellent for Western Australia with excellent defensive efforts on Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Matthew Walker (Allies) in his two games. The club that picks up Pasini will have a defender who goes about his business quietly and with no fuss.

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Liam Henry (Claremont/Cottesloe JFC)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Booragoon JFC)
Jack Sears (Peel Thunder/South Mandurah)
Tristan Hobley (Subiaco/Kingsway JFC)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC)

TESTING DAY STANDOUTS:

Jonathon Garlett was one of the best performers at the inaugural WA talent testing and education day, held at Aquinas College. The Geraltdon Towns product was electric in the 20m sprint (2.84 seconds) and agility test (8.17 seconds), while also showcasing the explosiveness that helped him to a national high jump medal – posting 91cm in the running vertical jump and 85cm in the standing. Swan Districts duo Ben Taylor and Kade Wallrodt also caught the eye, with Taylor showing a good mix of speed and enduarance with a 2.98-second 20 metre sprint and 21.1 yoyo test score. Wallrodt also had a sub-three second 20 metre sprint time, as well as a solid agilty score of 8.40 seconds. Of the WA-based AFL Academy members, Perth’s Deven Robertson proved his hard work in the off-season would pay off, with good scores across the board and particular improvement in the 2km time trial. Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospects Liam Henry and Brandon Walker were also impressive, as was 2018 Under 16 standout Logan McDonald – putting in early claims as ones to watch for the 2020 draft.   

AFL Draft preview: West Coast

THE 2018 premiers do not have too many pressing needs for their list, especially considering their premiership window is wide open.

LIST NEEDS

  • Best available but:
    • Ruck depth
    • Small-medium forward
    • Key defender
    • Small-medium defender

 

DRAFT PICKS: 20, 22, 61, 72, 76, 94

Coming off the premiership, the Eagles do not have any significant holes in their list management – they have a well-stocked midfield, an array of gun forwards, some excellent defenders and serviceable ruckmen.

They enter the draft at pick 20 and depending if he slides, the Eagles could look to Perth product Ian Hill to fill the shoes left by the retired Mark LeCras. Hill is a similar damaging small forward to Fremantle star Michael Walters, and would add an extra spark to an already impressive forward line. They might opt for a taller forward option in Sam Sturt or Curtis Taylor if either are on the board. West Coast could be the side that pounces first on Bailey Williams if they think he can fit amongst their talls and secure a long-term ruck/forward rather than a short-term mature-ager.

With pick 22, West Coast could look at Victorian pair Xavier O’Halloran and Ely Smith. O’Halloran, a product of the Western Jets, is seen as the best leader in this year’s draft pool and is a midfielder capable of inflicting damage on the scoreboard – traits similar to Richmond’s premiership captain Trent Cotchin. Smith on the other hand is a speedy and competitive midfielder who attacks each contest with vigour, similar to St Kilda’s David Armitage.

It is expected the Eagles will receive a bid for Next-Generation Academy member Jarrod Cameron around pick 40 and will certainly match the offer, giving up their remaining picks for the Swan Districts product. Cameron is a small forward who is raw but has plenty of upside. If they look to add a tall late in the draft, perhaps they turn to James BlanckRiley Grundy or Kyle Reid who could be there in the final stages of the draft.

There is talk that the Eagles will look to add ex-Sydney player Harry Marsh or ex-Brisbane player Marco Paparone in the Rookie Draft. Marsh will add to the small-medium defensive options, especially considering Shannon Hurn is 32. Paparone will be the fourth recognised key defender at West Coast behind Jeremy McGovern, Tom Barrass, and Will Schofield.

AFL Draft preview: Port Adelaide

PORT Adelaide’s 2018 season can only be described as a “wasted season.” The Power were sitting in fourth position after round 16 with 11 wins, before slumping to tenth spot, winning just one more game before the season concluded. They recruited strongly in the 2017 off-season, bringing in three players – Jack Watts, Tom Rockliff and Steven Motlop – but their goals of moving up the ladder with the extra experience did not pan out.

List needs:

  • Outside midfielders
  • Small-medium forward
  • Key position forward depth

Draft Picks: 5, 10, 15, 85

The 2018 AFL Draft is crucial for Port Adelaide as they have three first round picks which they have to nail. At pick five they will likely consider a Sandringham Dragons player with Max or Ben King, or Bailey Smith all coming into consideration. Jye Caldwell could come into the Power’s thinking, though the inside-leaning midfielder would be used more on the outside. Expect a best available selection with pick five, likely to be a King. The Power are stocked for key position players, but the ones in the forward half are ageing, with Justin Westhoff and Paddy Ryder in the twilight on their careers. Port has more depth in the key defensive posts, but might decide to bring in Ben King to be the future star – who could also play forward.

With pick 10, they could look to West Australian Jordan Clark who will add skill on the half-back line or wing. Like Hamish Hartlett, Clark can turn a defensive situation into an offensive opportunity with his physicality, smarts and supreme skills. Other players that are in consideration with this pick are Jackson Hately, and Chayce Jones, while another to keep in mind is Western Jets’ Zak Butters who will reportedly go inside the top 12 selections.

With the third pick, if one of the above slides, the Power should look to snap up another running player, while Xavier Duursma seems a perfect fit for Port Adelaide at the selection. West Australian, Ian Hill fills the void for outside speed and skill, while Port are perfectly placed to throw some bids on the likes of Tarryn Thomas and Isaac Quaynor both of whom could fill needs at the club.

At pick 85, the Power may look at a key defender with Tom Jonas, Tom Clurey, Dougal Howard and Jarrod Lienert the only recognised key defenders. Some prospects include Connor Idun, Kyle Reid, and Riley Grundy. They could consider a small forward if they had not already picked one up, with Hayden Sampson, Kade Chandler and Boyd Woodcock among the South Australian talents who could be there, while Jed HillJai Nanscawen and Zane Keighran are Victorians who could be sneaky chances. Some left-field choices include Western Magpies’ Adam Tipungwuti or Frankston’s Corey Rich, though both could be rookie selections.

AFL Draft preview: North Melbourne

MANY commentators and punters predicted North Melbourne to be in the bottom five of the AFL in 2018. However, the Roos defied these predictions, finishing ninth with 12 wins (one win away from the top eight). During the Trade Period, the Roos brought in a heap of talented players such as Aaron Hall, Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard, and Dom Tyson. They also secured plenty of draft selections to secure academy and father-son prospects.

LIST NEEDS

  • Small Forward
  • Ruckman
  • Small Defender

DRAFT SELECTIONS: 42, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58, 86

It is likely North Melbourne will receive a bid for their highly-rated Academy prospect Tarryn Thomas between pick seven and pick 20. The Roos should happily match the bid for the talented youngster thanks to the multiple picks in the 40s. Thomas is a highly skilled and explosive line-breaking midfielder who can impact the scoreboard, much like Gold Coast star Jack Martin. Thomas has the capabilities of playing from round one next year. He has high offensive drive and moves well, while having the prototype size of 189cm that he can fill out and be a valuable contributor at Arden Street.

The Kangaroos will also match a bid for father-son prospect Bailey Scott in the second round. The son of former Geelong and North Melbourne champion Robert, Scott is a versatile midfielder with clean hands, neat skills, a good ball-winning ability and someone who oozes leadership. He does not have too many deficiencies in his game and Kangaroos fans will be excited by having him on board because he offers consistency and an ability to roam around the ground.

Finally, the Kangaroos have nominated fellow father-son prospect, Joel Crocker, son of Darren. He has not had much luck getting on the park in the past 18 months, missing his entire top-age year this season, but has nice athletic ability and some great upside for the future. He is a long-term prospect who might take some time, but should be worth the wait when he fully develops. The . Kangaroos could well head home with just Thomas, Scott and Crocker, making it an easy night for both the club and supporters knowing who will walk into Arden Street the next week. With the club having four list spots to fill, they will likely pick up a late prospect, who could be someone like an Angus Hanrahan or Tyron Smallwood who could be selected before Crocker, or perhaps they opt for a tackling small forward in Hayden Sampson.

In the rookie draft, North Melbourne will look to bring in a mature ruckman to help support All-Australian Todd Goldstein. Some players the Kangaroos should be targeting include former Western Bulldog Tom Campbell, Claremont product Oliver Eastland, Central Districts’ Darcy Fort or Southport’s Fraser Thurlow.

AFL Draft preview: Fremantle

AFTER finishing fourteenth with just eight wins in 2018, Fremantle went on a recruiting spree, acquiring gun key forwards Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb, a solid midfielder in Reece Conca and the speedy Travis Colyer. However they did lose star on-baller Lachie Neale to Brisbane, which leaves a significant hole in their midfield. But the Dockers have an array of picks and will look to the draft to further bolster their needs.

LIST NEEDS

  • Small Forward
  • Inside midfielder
  • Ruck
  • Outside midfielder

DRAFT SELECTIONS: 14, 31, 43, 65, 81

Fremantle originally went into the trade period armed with only picks five and 77 but some smart trading saw them acquire more picks to consolidate their rebuild. Their final draft positioning may change, nonetheless we will analyse who the Dockers should look at with each of their picks.

The Dockers do not enter the draft till pick 14, but could potentially snare local gun Ian Hill to fill their needs for a smart and crafty small forward. With Hayden Ballantyne nearing the end of his career, and with Brandon Matera coming off a poor 2018 campaign, Hill could be the spark up forward the Dockers crave. Other possible options include Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, and Ned McHenry.

If he is available at pick 31, the Dockers could have a steal in Perth’s Sydney Stack who is one of the most exciting and impactful midfielder/forwards in this year’s draft pool. Despite only standing at 177cm, Stack has shown a desire to crash-and-bash his way through packs to win the hard ball before finding a teammate in open space. As well as showing an outstanding ability in the midfield, Stack can drift forward and have a presence inside 50. Other players around the mark may include James Rowbottom and Jack Ross.

Fremantle has been linked to South Australian young gun Tom Lewis and should snare him with pick 43. Lewis has been likened to former Docker Lachie Neale, because of his size, accumulation, contested work and his leadership qualities. It is also worth noting that Lewis is close with Dockers’ young gun Mitch Crowden and this may sway Fremantle in picking him at this selection, while another South Australian, Boyd Woodcock might come into the Dockers’ thinking.

With picks 65 and 81, the Dockers should look at some mature-age talent from the WAFL, SANFL or VFL. By choosing a mature-age midfield option, the Dockers will have a ready-made prospect who can slide into the midfield alongside Fyfe, Mundy and Blakely. Players to look at include Jye Bolton, Mitch Grigg and Michael Gibbons.

It is worth noting though that the Dockers will likely have a late bid on Academy pair Jason Carter and Tom Medhat, but there is a strong possibility that both could go to the club through the Rookie Draft.

Western Australia’s future stars named in state-based AFL Academy

WESTERN Australia looks set to have an excellent pool of possible draftees in 2019 and 2020, after the 28-man Western Australia AFL Academy squad was announced. Swan Districts have the most representatives with six, while East Fremantle and Perth have five apiece. The side will be coached by former West Coast spearhead Peter Sumich, and their first camp will be from December 10 – December 15. Below are the five notable players from Western Australia for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

A competitive and aggressive ruckman who is excellent at ground level, Buller was WA’s main ruckman in 2018 and he handled the responsibility with aplomb. Despite only being 196cm, Buller competed hard in the ruck contests and once the ball hit the ground, he transformed into a big-bodied midfielder. In four games for WA, he averaged 14 possessions eight hitouts, four marks, and three tackles, while in five games for Claremont, he booted eight goals and averaged 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks and two tackles.

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

A dynamic small forward with plenty of tricks, Cox made a name for himself with a goal after the siren to secure victory for WA over Vic Country in last year’s AFL National Under 16 Championships. He had a decent year with East Perth in 2018, averaging 13 possessions, four marks, three tackles and booted 15 goals from 11 games.

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

The former Australian junior basketball sensation is an athletic ruckman with excellent follow-up work and has already drawn comparisons to West Coast star Nic Naitanui. In two games for WA, Jackson averaged 16 possessions, 13 hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three clearances and three rebounding 50s. In four games for East Fremantle, he averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs and four tackles.

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

The nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass, Robertson has made a name for himself as a bullocking inside midfielder. In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, the 2017 WA U16s MVP winner averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and three marks to finish sixth in the Best & Fairest. He was also excellent for WA, averaging 14 possessions and seven tackles.

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

The 2018 AFL Under 18s All-Australian is a composed and skilled outside midfielder, not too dissimilar to former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. For Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s across four games, while in seven games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he averaged 19 possessions and five marks.

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

Jack Buller – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Anthony Davis – Claremont/Hale School/Borden FC
Liam Henry – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Joel Western – Claremont/Western Tigers/Subiaco JFC
Luke Jackson – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trent Rivers – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trey Ruscoe – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Booragoon JFC
Jeremy Sharp – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Attadale JFC
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle/Kardinya Kats JFC
Rhai-Arn Cox – East Perth/Mt Hawthorn JFC
Jack Sears – Peel Thunder/South Mandurah FC
Tyrone Thorne – Peel Thunder/Rockingham JFC
Deven Robertson – Perth/Aquinas College/Manning JFC
Elijah Taylor – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Bailey Smith – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Mitchell Georgiades- Subiaco/Hale School/Wembley Downs JFC
Nicholas Martin – Subiaco/Trinity College/Noranda JFC
Jermal Daly – Swan Districts/South Hedland
Riley Garcia – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts/Kalamunda JFC
Jake Pasini – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Ty Sears – Swan Districts/South Bunbury FC
Zane Trew – Swan Districts/Hills Rangers FC
Ryan Hudson – West Perth/Scotch College/Kalannie FC
Michael Mallard – West Perth/Wanneroo JFC
Jaxon Prior – West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC
Logan McDonald – Perth/Aquinas College
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth/Northam Saints

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Grand Final

SUBIACO overcame a gallant Swan Districts by just two points at Optus Stadium to take out the 2018 WAFL Colts premiership. Despite being favourites, the Lions were troubled by the Swans throughout the match with the last quarter a see-sawing contest.

Below were the best players from each team.

Subiaco:

# 1 Madoc Plane

The Subiaco skipper was inspirational in defence often setting up his team-mates and helping to intercept a host of the Swans’ attacking forays. He collected nine possessions and took two marks, but he always put his body on the line to try and inspire his teammates.

 #3 Tristan Hobley 

The 2017 WA Under 17s State Academy player took home the Mel Whinnen Medal as best afield after an outstanding display. He accumulated a game-high 28 possessions, took six marks and recorded two inside 50s to be a catalyst for the Lions’ victory. His ball-use especially by foot was exceptional, particularly late in the game when players were fatigued.

#6 Jake McKinnon 

The Maddington product was a serious rival to Hobley for the Mel Whinnen Medal after a sensational performance. He gathered 22 possessions, laid a game-high eight tackles, took four marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal. He also produced the game-saving smother in the middle of the ground to stop a certain goal for the Swans.

#10 Jack Mayo 

The 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker was dynamic up forward for the Lions with 15 possessions, six marks and two goals. His leading patterns combined with his explosive pace and agility made him a nightmare match-up for whoever was playing on him.

#13 Liam Hickmott 

The 2018 Jack Clarke Medallist was his combative self in the midfield for the Lions. He won 18 possessions, laid six tackles, took four marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal. His clearances and contested possessions were crucial in getting the Lions over the line.

#14 Zane Shellabear-Healey 

The 2015 WA U15s State Schoolboys’ representative was powerful in the middle of the ground for Subiaco. He finished with 15 possessions, six inside 50s, five tackles and two marks in an excellent performance.

#15 Wil Hickmott 

The younger son of former Geelong and Carlton player Adrian Hickmott, Wil was sensational on the wing for the Lions. He accumulated 18 possessions, took two marks and laid two tackles in a game that showcased his class. His composure, ball-use and decision-making were all elite, especially when most players were fatigued.

#16 Taj Schofield 

The son of Port Adelaide premiership star Jarrad Schofield, Taj was excellent on the wing for the Lions. He collected 19 possessions, took five marks and laid four tackles in a phenomenal performance. Still only 16 years old, Schofield’s decision-making and ball use are extremely sound for someone his age.

#17 Kyle Stainsby 

The reigning Newton Screaigh Medallist was brilliant off the half-back line, with his penetrating skills and his run-and-carry both on display. He finished with 15 possessions, six tackles and three marks, well and truly putting his stamp on the game.

#20 Josh Leunig 

Stationed at full-back, Leunig was one of the key catalysts for Subiaco’s triumph. He finished with 12 possessions, five tackles and three marks but his statistics do not tell the full story. He was setting up the defence, often intercepting the Swans’ attacking forays and saved many potential goal opportunities from the Swans.

#22 Luke Foley 

The Sorrento-Duncraig junior showed that he is a big-game performer which will enhance his draft stocks. He collected 22 possessions, took seven marks (including a screamer over a pack of players), laid six tackles, recorded six inside 50s and kicked a goal in a near-best afield performance.

#39 Nicholas Martin 

The Noranda junior was a star in the forward line for Subiaco with three goals from 10 touches and four marks. His mobility and his strong aerial presence had the Swans’ defenders nervous.

 

Swan Districts:

#1 Joseph Hinder 

The Bassendean junior was electrifying throughout the match often using his pace to break Subiaco’s defensive zone. He collected 12 possessions, laid four tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal.

#2 Atem Deng 

The Ellenbrook junior was dynamic in the forward half for the Swans, often troubling the Subiaco defenders with his speed, mobility and precise skills. He finished with 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and two goals.

#3 Mitchell Bain 

Arguably the Swans’ best player, Bain did everything he could to get the Swans over the line. He gathered a team-high 24 possessions, laid a game-high eight tackles, took two marks and kicked a long-range goal in the last quarter to bring the Swans within just two points. Without doubt the WAFL Colts Player of the Finals.

#7 Patrick Farrant 

The Bunbury product produced a performance that would have seen his draft stocks soar. He was powerful on the lead and in one-on-one contests, he was mobile around the ground and was incredibly skilled. He finished with 14 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s, three tackles and two goals.

#9 Riley Garcia 

The 2017 WA Under 16s State Academy player fought hard in the midfield for the Black Ducks. He finished with 20 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s, two tackles and a goal. His speed, agility and damaging skills were magnificent.

#11 Jackson Beck 

Stationed on the half-back line, Beck proved to be one of the most valuable players for the Swans. His intercept play combined with his decision-making, vision and excellent skills made him extremely damaging. He finished with 18 possessions and seven marks.

#12 Graydon Wilson 

The Centrals FC product was outstanding on the half-back line for the Swans, often using his dash and skills to break down Subiaco’s defensive zone. He finished with 11 possessions, five tackles, three inside 50s and three marks.

#18 Jake Pasini 

The Caversham junior proved why he is one of the highly sought key defenders in next year’s AFL Draft. He only finished with nine possessions, four tackles, three marks and two inside 50s, but his impact was much more significant. He was the chief organiser in defence for the Swans and his ability to halt the Lions’ offensive forays helped keep Swans within fighting distance.

#20 Jarrod Cameron 

The West Coast Academy member showcased why he is one of the best prospects in this year’s Draft pool. He collected 11 possessions, laid four tackles, took two marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals to be one of the very best players on the ground. His speed and evasiveness had the Lions’ defenders on edge all game.

#23 Matthew Germs 

Arguably the best ruckman on the ground, Germs was a key factor in almost helping the Swans get so close to victory. He accumulated 12 possessions, won a game-high 31 hit-outs, recorded four inside 50s and laid three tackles in an inspiring performance.