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QAFL Scouting notes: Semi-finals – Morningside and Broadbeach book spots in decider

IT was semi-final weekend in the QAFL, and the competition’s two best sides performed superbly after their week off. Broadbeach were far too good for Sherwood, keeping them to just four goals in a 43-point victory. Morningside led comfortably for the majority of their clash against Palm Beach Currumbin on the back of strong performances from Matthew McGannon, Nathan Colenso and William Pendlebury. They ran out 19-point winners, thus ending Palm Beach’s recent stranglehold on Grand Final day and setting up a blockbuster. It will be Morningside’s first QAFL decider since 2015, while the undefeated Broadbeach will be hoping to avenge their 2018 Grand Final defeat. When the two teams played each other earlier this month, Broadbeach got the chocolates with a thumping 50-point victory. This was a Broadbeach home game and Morningside’s only loss of the season to date, so fans should expect a closer contest next Saturday.

MORNINGSIDE:

#23 Blake Coleman

Coleman has had a fantastic draft year and put in another impressive performance against Palm Beach. The Brisbane Lions Academy prospect started the game on fire, kicking the first goal of the match just two minutes in. This came from a set shot after he earnt a free kick for a hold in a one-on-one contest deep inside forward 50. Coleman is such a dangerous threat in one-on-one situations because of his amazing combination of strength, speed and agility, so his defenders often panic in these situations and give away cheap free kicks. Coleman showed how skilled he is when he produced a brilliant handball in the first term on the up, out of congestion, to a teammate in the corridor. This started some great running play by his teammates and resulted in a goal. Coleman has great versatility too, because he can fly aerially with his fantastic leap or stay down and use his pace to crumb the contest. Despite predominantly being a forward, he usually also gets some midfield minutes because he is a clever stoppage player. However, he was not given many opportunities in the middle on Saturday.

#27 Saxon Crozier

This was one of the best games I have seen Crozier play, which speaks volumes given that it was a semi-final. He played his usual wing role and ran very hard to impact the contest offensively and defensively. Crozier pushed forward on multiple occasions to take uncontested marks inside 50 and earn shots at goal. Although he missed one shot in the first term, he made up for it with a lovely set shot in the third. Crozier’s great fitness level and willingness to push to the next contest made him very difficult for the opposition to stop, as he got a lot of handball receives and frequently found himself with plenty of space on the wings. He has clearly mastered the art of controlling possession as well, as he chipped the ball around a lot in the defensive half with teammates. This helped his side regain composure when Palm Beach started to get back into the game, and it was handy in the last quarter because it took some time off the clock. Crozier’s performance was fantastic and he will undoubtedly be one to watch in next week’s Grand Final.

#32 Nathan Colenso

Colenso had an outstanding game at half-forward for Morningside. He started the match with a beautiful front and centre crumb on the 50, and then quickly gave the ball on the up to a teammate running past. This early possession gave him some confidence, and it led to him flourishing for the rest of the match. His game style is very well suited to finals footy, as he shows a lot of aggression towards the contest and his opponents when they have the ball. This was highlighted when he laid a strong tackle in the forward half to earn a holding the ball decision in the first term. Colenso is a great long kick of the footy, as shown when he nailed a set shot from just inside the 50-metre arc. He followed this up just moments later by setting up another goal with a lovely weighted kick to a teammate. Throughout the day, Colenso applied some strong forward pressure and used his strength to shrug off tacklers and keep his feet after contact. His body use in marking contests was fantastic and he linked up well with other forwards, including Coleman and Liam Dwyer, to set up scoring opportunities. Colenso had a passage of play in the second quarter that was definitely one for the highlight reel. It started at half-back when he took the ball cleanly, drew an oncoming tackler and fed the handball inside to a teammate. He then pushed hard forward to get on the end of the play and kick an important goal for his side on the run. Colenso was a strong contributor for Morningside and he will be hoping to thrive once again in next week’s decider.

#35 Toby Triffett

Triffett had some good moments for Morningside in their victory. In the first term, he took a fantastic overhead mark on the wing whilst under pressure and linked up well with teammates to transition the ball forward. He spent time in the midfield throughout the day, where he read the ball nicely off the hands of the ruckmen and won some contested possessions and clearances. In the second half, he laid plenty of strong tackles and gave no space to his opponents at stoppages. He capped off the game with a smart kick inside 50 to find Dwyer in the last quarter for a scoring opportunity.

BROADBEACH:

#31 Aidan Fyfe

Fyfe is an athletic half-back that played his usual intercepting role beautifully for Broadbeach. He has a great leap and strong hands, and he sits off his opponent while getting into great positions behind the play so he can use these attributes to stop the opposition’s forward bursts. This was evident just before quarter time when he took a brilliant intercept mark in the middle of the ground and delivered the ball nicely to forward Jordan Moncrieff. Although Moncrieff’s marking attempt was well spoiled by a defender, the play still led to Broadbeach’s fourth goal of the day. Fyfe is a good ball user in defence, as he has an effective left foot kick and can also deliver cleanly on his right. He is a crafty player as well, which was shown when he cleverly snapped a pass around an opponent to find a teammate on the wing in the second quarter.

#35 Josh Gore

Gore was very lively up forward once again for the Cats. He applied some great forward pressure by using his electric pace and strong tackling ability. At forward 50 stoppages he frequently burst through the contest at speed and took opposition players with him, thus creating space for his teammates. Gore was also good at pushing up to the wings to provide a lead-up option for teammates coming out of defence. He was confident taking marks in the hands and his kicking was quite efficient. Gore only kicked one goal for the day, but it was an absolute gem in the second quarter. He drifted off his opponent into the pocket to take a nice mark, then he went back and kicked a difficult checkside from tight on the boundary. This gave Broadbeach a healthy lead and they never looked back.

#56 Bailey Reeves

Reeves had a solid impact for his team on the wing. He is one of the hardest runners offensively and defensively in the Broadbeach side, and his willingness to produce second, third and fourth efforts was on show once again in this game. This was particularly evident in the second quarter, when Reeves worked hard to get across and commit an important spoil inside his side’s attacking 50. He also regularly picked the ball up cleanly, held his own in marking contests and attacked the footy with ferocity. Although he did make some disposal errors as the day wore on, he never dropped his head and always worked to redeem himself at the next contest.

SHERWOOD:

#45 Jack Briskey

Briskey was one of Sherwood’s best performers on Saturday. He played as a deep defender for most of the match and was extremely reliable, frequently using his size and strength to win or halve one-on-one contests. Broadbeach were great at locking the ball in their forward half and getting repeat inside 50s, so Briskey and the other Sherwood defenders were under constant pressure all day. Despite this, Briskey continually stepped up for his team defensively. He always positioned himself well, gave his opponent no space to work with and saved some certain goals with fantastic spoils. Briskey also laid some strong tackles in the defensive 50, attacked the ball hard in congestion and provided an option for teammates to link up with coming out of defence. While his performance was mostly strong, Briskey did make some skill errors throughout the day. In the third term, he took a brilliant intercept mark in the defensive goal square but immediately turned the ball back over with a poor kick down the middle, luckily resulting in just a behind. In the final term, Briskey was pushed forward to give his side a strong leading option. He took some nice marks and provided a decent presence up there, but unfortunately it was too little too late for Sherwood.

Picture: RF Photography

Panthers’ Kraft finds right balance

HAILING from South Australia, Brooklyn Kraft is an exciting young prospect who is hoping to leave her mark on the football world with her ruck craft and hard work. Although still relatively fresh to the football world having only picked up the sport in Year 8, Kraft has some undeniable raw talent, something her teachers saw and encouraged her to pursue.

“At Victor, my old high school, there was a carnival – my teachers invited me out to it because they noticed my athletic ability. I played there and after that they made a football Academy at my school to play against football teams up in Adelaide,” she said.

When asked about what aspect of footy Kraft liked the youngster struggled to put a finger on just one area, noting both the on-field and off-field bonuses of playing footy.

“I like how like there’s so many different skills you can put into football like marking and handballing… I like the team culture around it, like it’s nice,” she said.

Standing at 182cm, Kraft makes full use of her height able to compete in the air and most importantly ply her trade in the ruck, an area she believes to be one her strengths. However a downside of her height is her mobility, something the 17-year-old hopes to improve on as she develops as a player.

“Probably my rucking like tapping the ball, marking and kicking,” she said. “In the future I want to improve my tackling probably and just around the ground movement.”

In her short career the South Australian has already tasted her fair share of success being part of the South Adelaide premiership winning side in 2019 at the ripe age of 16, a moment she recalls fondly despite all the nervous jitters and cold weather.

“Very nervous when I went out there, very like new to me and I only had played I think three games before that so I was very surprised that I got chucked in the grand final team. It was very cold, (but) it was so exciting when we won two in a row as well, at the club everyone was getting around that,” she said.

In her first grand final appearance the youngster looked to fellow up and comers in Montana McKinnon and draftee hopeful Teah Charlton to help guide her through while also leaning on the experience and smarts of their captain, Lauren Buchanan given her relative inexperience especially when it came to performing on the big stage.

“Montana McKinnon and Teah Charlton, she’s always a good player to look up to and Lauren Buchanan our captain she’s very nice.”

Prior to picking up the oblong ball, Kraft plied her trade on the netball court before making the hard decision to put down the bib and permanently work on her ruck craft with South Adelaide, with time commitment a huge factor in her decision.

“I quit completely now because it was getting too much with the trainings colliding with football training,” she said. “Sometimes I would have to call up netball and ask, if it was getting close to the finals as well I’d have to ask and say I have an opportunity to go out with South and train and sometimes they’d be like yeah, some of the times I had to commit to the netball.”

Having played nine games at SANFLW level this season, Kraft has steadily developed and relished the game time with South Adelaide. Last year Kraft made the move from her local stomping ground in Victor to be closer to her football and reduce the amount of hours spent on the road.

“We used to live down in Victor so we had to do a lot of travel but last year we moved up here and started renting,” she said. “Yeah (it is) much easier to get here to football. It saves a lot of time travelling. Back when I was living in Victor it was like probably an hour drive up so maybe four hours a week driving because it was back and forth.”

Travel was not the only thing Kraft had to balance, highlighting the toll on fitting in schoolwork around her heavy workload.

“Schoolwork has been pretty hard to balance. Just been getting used to managing it like training nights I would probably work a lot at school and then just have the training night,” she said.

When asked about her goals for the future there was one thing in mind and that was to “get drafted and play in the AFLW”, something that could become a reality for the South Australian product. Kraft also indicated her desire to play alongside two-time premiership player Erin Phillips with the youngster making mention of her sheer class and star power.

“Her skills are so good, just everything, her fitness, she’s just an amazing footballer.”

2020 SANFL Reserves MOTR: Round 13 – West Adelaide vs. WWT Eagles

ROUND 13 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) saw a host of Under 18 talent running around across the two senior grades. With our weekly scouting notes geared towards those at League and Under 18s level, we took a look at some of the young guns plying their trade in between, in the Reserves on the weekend.

In this week’s nominated match of the round, the brightest West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) prospects from their clash were put under the microscope, as the Eagles ran away 49-point victors via a six-goal to one final term. Below are scouting notes on just some of the young talent afield, with a paticular focus on the Under 18s products on display.

WEST ADELAIDE 1.2 | 1.4 | 2.5 | 3.6 (24)
WWT EAGLES 2.4 | 4.5 | 5.5 | 11.7 (73)

GOALS:

Bloods: T. Harris 2, M. McKenzie
Eagles: N. Moore 2, A. Asfaha 2, T. Carcuro 2, H. Morgan 2, C. Poulter, L. Beecken, G. Armfield

BEST:

Bloods: L. Hupfeld, C. Fairlie, J. Sinderberry, B. Chamberlain, W. Mead, Z. Wooldridge
Eagles: C. McLeod, M. Mead, R. Bruce, L. Barnett, A. Asfaha, S. Michael

SCOUTING NOTES

West Adelaide:

#4 Nicholas Couroupis

The hard-nosed inside midfielder was part of a young trio of Bloods to feature at the centre bounces, but he also did some nice work away from the coalface. In his fifth-consecutive Reserves outing since entering the grade, Couroupis was able to showcase his admirable defensive work-rate and ability to impact aerially, using his courage and vertical leap to reel in a couple of nice marks. He provided a safe outlet in the back half when a hold in possession was required, but also attacked the ball hard in open play and came out better for it. This was most evident in the final term, as Couroupis straight-lined the ball between three opponents, burst free, and delivered a goal assist to Tyler Harris, who was free inside 50.

#23 Cooper Gilbert

Another of Westies’ young inside midfielders, Gilbert has adapted his hardness around the contest well at senior level. In his fourth Reserves appearance, Gilbert was thrust straight into the centre bounces, where he showed great tenacity going both ways. He was able to get first hands on the ball, without winning a mountain of possessions, and was just as impactful in his defensive duties with plenty of bumps and tackles. Gilbert is not one to boast massive numbers by game’s end, but makes his presence felt throughout and pops up in exciting spurts.

#28 Hugo Kelly

Although he managed to recover well, the tall defender had some shaky moments in defence, starting with a horror spilt mark which led to Caleb Poulter converting the game’s opening goal. The soon-to-be 18-year-old found steadiness as the game wore on, and went on to have arguably his greatest impact in the first term despite the aforementioned slip-up. He constantly got a fist in to prevent WWT from linking up quickly on the outer, positioning aggressively up the ground and looking to become an option on the turnover. Kelly was quieter in the second half, but showed some nice signs.

#40 Bailey Chamberlain

There may not be much of him, but Chamberlain finds a way to become as prominent as any player at stoppages. Having narrowly missed the cut once more for a League debut, the balanced midfielder went about his business once again with great speed coming away from congestion, and great accumulative quality. His five-step acceleration made him nearly impossible to catch when sweeping up the ground balls, though a lack of strength found him wanting at times when caught in congestion. Still, Chamberlain stayed busy and got his hands on plenty of the ball throughout, while also showcasing good closing speed in tackle chases. He still looks to be polishing his disposal and decision making at speed, though a nice lateral kick coming away from the first centre bounce was neat.

#60 Jye Sinderberry

While the National Combine invitee has impressed this season as a defensive interceptor, he was stationed up on a wing throughout this particular contest. He got his hands on the ball straight away via Chamberlain’s smooth centre bounce exit, and went on to enjoy a solid first half. Directly opposed to Caleb Poulter when the Eagles’ man was on the wing, Sinderberry got goalside of his dangerous opponent despite sometimes losing direct touch of him. His vertical power allowed him to mark well when required, though the 189cm prospect did not show the same explosive traits when covering the ground. Nonetheless, Sinderberry was able to get up and back to good effect, and even won a one-on-one on the end of a fast break to burst inside attacking 50. His delivery by foot was also neat, and physicality evident in a sweet run-down tackle on Taj Schofield in the third term.

WWT:

#11 Harrison Dawkins

In just his second Reserves appearance, Dawkins looked sharp at the level with some superb drive out of congestion and smart work in-close. The big-bodied 18-year-old has the body to match it with more mature players, but also showed enough class to prove his Under 18s form was not simply down to brawn. Having rotated off the bench into the centre bounce, Dawkins immediately found the ball and generated some forward momentum. When unable to burst clear, he was able to prize his arms clear and release, adding finesse to his inside grunt.

#30 Taj Schofield

The Port Adelaide father-son hopeful was another to rotate into the game off the bench, taking up a familiar role on the wing. Schofield’s read the movement of play well off each centre bounce, while also working hard both ways to impact around either arc. This was particularly noticeable in defence, as Schofield positioned at the back of stoppages and got on his bike to receive and deliver forward. The clever small stayed involved with each play and while his kicking radar was a touch off under pressure in the early goings, he adjusted well to showcase his class later on. Schofield arguably looks most dangerous wheeling on the outside, where he can properly assess his options in space and get creative via foot. He was caught holding the ball a couple of times for a lack of strength and explosive speed, but showed good combativeness in the dying stages to beat Jye Sinderberry to a ground ball, before hitting up a teammate inside 50.

#33 Caleb Poulter

Perhaps the most highly-fancied draft prospect afield, Poulter had some nice moments in his fourth Reserves appearance. The smooth moving big-bodied midfielder was stationed out on the wing to start off, before rotating into the centre bounces sporadically. He kicked off his game perfectly with the opening goal, which he read well off the hands of an opponent before snapping home beautifully on his trusty left side. Poulter’s greatest strengths at Under 18s level were his overhead marking, defensive acumen, and presence at stoppages, all of which seemed to suffer a touch due to a perceived lack of confidence. While positioned perfectly in some dangerous spots, it seemed Poulter was unable to fly at or win balls he usually would. That is not to say he had a bad game though, with his high level of performance this year making for lofty standards. The 17-year-old still showed dare and penetration in his kicking, and was able to float around the ground in his usual manner, covering it beautifully both ways.

Young gun focus: 2020 SANFL Round 13 wrap

WITH young guns impressing at state league level around the nation, we again narrow our focus for this week’s South Australian National Football League (SANFL) wrap to the performances of youth throughout all three grades. There is plenty to unpack in our next altered edition, with Under 18 prospects scattered across the two senior competitions, and a bunch of youngsters impressing in the junior grade in Round 13. Some returning school football guns also made for handy inclusions, putting in eye-catching cameos.

West Adelaide vs. WWT Eagles

League: West Adelaide 5.4 (34) def. by WWT Eagles 16.14 (110)
Reserves:
West Adelaide 3.6 (24) def. by WWT Eagles 11.8 (74)
Under 18s:
WWT Eagles 15.17 (107) def. West Adelaide 2.5 (17)

Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) did the triple over West Adelaide on Friday and Saturday, taking home its hat-trick of wins by a combined margin of 216 points. At League level, the Eagles have all-but officially clinched the minor premiership, while Westies look destined to finish in the wooden spoon position.

Mature-age draft prospects James Rowe (five goals) and Sam Lowson (four) were electric up forward, combining for nearly half of the winners’ score. NT Thunder product Ben Jungfer collected 19 touches on his League debut, while Port Adelaide NGA prospect Lachlan Jones had just seven disposals. Jacob Wehr, who is garnering some attention, managed 13 disposals and laid six tackles down back. Former Port Rookie Kai Pudney is set to compound the selection squeeze come finals, having notched 26 touches in his fourth game for the season.

The Bloods had some good young talent take the field as well, headlined by National Combine invitee Mitchell Duval, who reeled in seven marks on a tough day for the Westies defence. GWS Academy graduate, Lachlan Squire continued his run in the top flight with 19 disposals and nine rebound 50s in a slightly different role, while Sydney Academy product Hamish Ellem booted a goal up forward.

Bailey Chamberlain again narrowly missed the cut at League level, but continues to thrive in the Reserves despite his side’s shortcomings. Westies went down to another strong Eagles side in the second grade, but had Chamberlain and Jye Sinderberry named among the best players. Fellow Under 18s prospect Nicholas Couroupis has also proven an asset in the side across the last few weeks alongside Cooper Gilbert, while Hugo Kelly returned to the fold, and another Swans Academy product in Kyle Martin continued his streak in the Reserves. Taj Schofield and Harrison Dawkins were present for the Eagles in their big win having recently earned promotion, joining goalkicker and first round bolter Caleb Poulter at the level.

WWT booted 13 goals to West Adelaide’s one after quarter time to seal a massive Under 18s win on Saturday, despite both sides missing some key personnel – listed above. Another Port Adelaide-aligned prospect, Jase Burgoyne again topped the disposal charts for the Eagles with 35, leading from fellow bottom-agers Brayden Clavett (27) and Cormack O’Reilly (25), who also kicked a goal each. Jay Watson could have had a massive day out having managed 2.4 from 21 touches, while Zac Phillips (20 disposals, nine marks, 22 hitouts) was prominent aerially.

Eduard van den Berg was again kept busy down back for West Adelaide, racking up a team-high 31 disposals and nine rebound 50s. Cade Kennedy (30 disposals, seven tackles) and Ben Burbridge (23 disposals) were the main forms of resistance from midfield, while Luke Young again worked hard up the field from his forward post, but couldn’t find the goals.

South Adelaide vs. Norwood

League: South Adelaide 17.14 (116) def. Norwood 6.6 (42)
Reserves:
South Adelaide 8.7 (55) def. by Norwood 9.5 (59)
Under 18s:
Norwood 14.10 (94) def. South Adelaide 10.9 (69)

South Adelaide crushed Norwood’s League finals dream on Saturday, running out 74-point victors to consolidate its own top four position. The Panthers were terrific across the board against a wounded Redlegs outfit, but in terms of young talent, saw Jason Horne and Beau McCreery each boot a goal. Victorian recruit Daly Andrews had his quietest outing yet, but still managed 12 disposals. Another VFL pick-up, Nikolaus Rokahr was one of Norwood’s best, while 21-year-old Cole Gerloff snared a goal, Brodie Carroll kept his spot after a Round 12 return, managing nine touches alongside Under 18s gun, Daniel Fairbrother.

The Redlegs’ Reserves pipped South Adelaide at the post, claiming a four-point victory despite remaining planted to bottom spot with two wins. Jack Saunders continued his terrific run of form, this time in a slightly different aspect with two majors among a relatively young squad. National Combine invitee Phoenix Spicer again hit the scoreboard for the Panthers with one goal, while Damon Freitag matched his feat as he looks to gain an extended run.

Norwood’s defeat of South Adelaide at Under 18s level also sets up an intriguing final round of action, with the Panthers only just holding on to their top four spot. The Redlegs had plenty of strong contributors, with Finn Heard booting five goals, while Sam Duke had 21 kicks from his 23 touches, and Henry Nelligan was industrious as always with fellow AFL Academy member, Cooper Murley. School football returnees Ethan Schwerdt (23 disposals) and Xavier Tranfa (16) also showed good signs.

Speaking of, Matthew Roberts picked up where he left off, racking up a game-high 31 disposals and booting two goals for South. He was supported well by fellow bottom-ager Arlo Draper in midfield, while Brayden Cook slammed home five majors, and the defensive pair of Jack Flett and Harry Spacie was again strong.

Sturt vs. North Adelaide

League: Sturt 8.6 (54) def. by North Adelaide 12.13 (85)
Reserves:
Sturt 7.8 (50) def. by North Adelaide 8.12 (60)
Under 18s:
North Adelaide 14.7 (91) def. Sturt 8.7 (55)

North Adelaide secured second spot at the very least at League level on Saturday, defeating Sturt by 31 points to complete what ended up being a clean sweep of the Double Blues. The defensive duo of Karl Finlay and Dyson Hilder was reunited at League level having interchanged through the Reserves, and both had an impact in the Roosters’ win.

Sturt bigman Daniel Fahey-Sparks was prominent as he bagged two goals and won 29 hitouts, while midfielders Tom Lewis and Casey Voss were again serviceable with 21 touches apiece. Crows NGA hopeful James Borlase returned from College football duties, managing 10 disposals in a more advanced role.

It was a much tighter affair in the Reserves as the Roosters crowed to the tune of 10 points, but Sturt still boasted a couple of strong young performers. Tom Emmett was again among the most notable, booting three goals to take his fortnightly tally to eight. The strongly-built forward has suited the level well since earning a berth last month.

Another dominant performance at Under 18s level sees North Adelaide in with a big chance of snaring a top four spot, having knocked off the ladder leaders in true style. Bottom-age Crows NGA prospect Blayne O’Loughlin again accumulated plenty of ball with 31 disposals, while Jayden Davison and James Willis both hit the scoreboard from midfield among a raft of impressive performers. Unsurprisingly, Sturt’s Tom Powell led all comers with 35 disposals, while the likes of Bradley Jefferies, Malachy Carruthers, and Morgan Ferres (four goals) all made an impact upon their returns to the competition.

Glenelg vs. Central District

League: Glenelg 11.11 (77) def. Central District 10.16 (76)
Reserves:
Glenelg 11.9 (75) def. by Central District 15.14 (104)
Under 18s:
Central District 13.7 (85) def. Glenelg 12.6 (78)

Reigning League premier, Glenelg secured its spot in finals, but not before being pushed all the way by a gallant Central District outfit on Saturday evening. Callum Park (27 disposals, 11 rebound 50s, one goal), Luke Parks (18 disposals, eight marks), and Jonty Scharenberg were among the defence which helped stave off Centrals in the dying stages. Dandenong Stingrays graduate Jack Toner also played arguably his best game yet for the Bulldogs, notching 27 disposals and laying seven tackles in the defeat.

Plenty of talented prospects also impressed in the Reserves grade, particularly for the Bays despite a 29-point loss. Ty Murphy was in everything early, finishing with three goals alongside Victorian Mitch Martin, while Kye Dean also found the big sticks upon his return to the twos. Hagan Wright was named among the Tigers’ best, while potential Adelaide father-son Luke Edwards played alongside his brother, Jackson, and Under 18s Cooper Horsnell and Connor Drum added to the young talent afield. Fresh off a five-goal haul, Lachlan Grubb managed to find the goals again with one major, while mature-age prospect Nicholas Lange booted four.

Centrals also picked up a win in the Under 18s, their fourth for the year, to close the gap to Glenelg among the bottom four. 16-year-old Austin McDonald was back to his prolific best with a game-high 34 disposals, while bigman Wyatt Ryan (31 disposals, 10 marks, 28 hitouts) had another monster game, Finn Read snared three goals from midfield, and Brodie Lake (21 disposals, eight clearances, one goal) fit right back in after a run in the Reserves.

School football standout and National Combine invitee Xavier Robins showed his wares with 30 disposals and 10 rebound 50s for the Bays, while Riley Holder and Harry Tunkin combined for an evenly-shared 46 disposals and four goals. Harry McInnes was another Tiger, among others, to show promise with three majors.

Featured Image: North Adelaide’s Karl Finlay flies for a mark | Credit: Phil Radoslovich/SANFL

TSL Women’s weekend wrap: Round 10 – Roos go outright top with 83-point thumping

CLARENCE has risen to the top of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s table after a comprehensive 83-point win over last placed Tigers in the standalone game of Round 10. In a dominant performance from the first bounce to the final siren, Clarence always looked in control and only got better as the game rolled on to win 13.6 (84) to 0.1 (1).

The Roos led by 12 points at quarter time and then 33 points at the main break, booting five goals from nine scoring shots to just one behind at the half. They added three more goals to the total by the last change, extending the margin out to 52 points, before coming home with a wet sail to really open the game up and pile on 5.1 to run out easy winners. They kept Tigers scoreless after quarter time and only the one scoring shot to 19 for the game.

Jacinta Limbrick snagged five goals in an impressive performance up forward, as partner-in-crime Jessie Williams again had a big day out in front of goal with four majors. Amy Edmand kicked a couple of goals, as did Hannah Smith who was named Clarence’s best in the victory. Along with Limbrick, Hannah Smith made the opposition pay forward of centre to be among the top Roos, whilst Tahlia Bortignon, Charlotte Kenny, Vanessa Delpero and Maddison Robertson were also nominated in the Roos’ best.

For the losing side, they had some regular performers stand up with Mikayla Absolom named best-on. Lily Ellis, Mimosa Middleton Miller, Meg Purdon also stood out, while Paige Flakemore and Hailee Baldwin also made their way into the Tigers’ best.

The loss all but means the Tigers will miss out on finals, yet to win a game in seven attempts, with the top four teams to play finals. At the other end of the scale, Clarence has firmed for a top two spot, but needs to still beat Launceston next week to secure top spot, with a loss to see them drop back to second due to the Blues’ higher percentage.

Tigers take on fourth placed North Launceston and would need a massive win to overtake the Bombers. A final round standalone match between the Bombers and Glenorchy will set the scene, who need to win in that match to have any chance of a home final in the opening week.

AFL Draft Watch: Cameron Fleeton (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)

IN the midst of football’s long-awaited return, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state in some capacity leading into 2020, or are bolting into draft contention. While plenty has changed between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Geelong Falcons prospect Cameron Fleeton, a fast-rising defender who put his name in lights towards the back-end of last year’s NAB League season. Across his nine outings for the largely inexperienced Falcons side, Fleeton quickly proved his worth at the level with outstanding showings of intercept marking, leadership, and composure among an under-siege defence. The 18-year-old was so impressive, that his form warranted selection as one of Geelong’s 2020 co-captains, while also earning him an invite to this year’s National Combine. Having been forced to play a lockdown role in 2019, Fleeton was looking forward to being let off the leash as a top-ager, allowing more attacking traits to come to the fore.

PLAYER PAGE:

Cameron Fleeton
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country

DOB: June 17, 2002

Height: 191cm
Weight: 80kg

Position: General Defender

Strengths: Intercept marking, reading the play, composure, defensive versatility, leadership
Improvements: In-between size

2019 NAB League averages: 9 games | 15.8 disposals | 3.4 marks | 2.0 tackles | 1.4 clearances | 4.7 rebound 50s

>> Q&A: Cameron Fleeton
>> Marquee Matchup: Fleeton vs. Callow

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Standing Vertical Jump: 58cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L): 71cm/62cm
Speed (20m): 3.08 seconds
Agility: 8.22 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo): 20.6

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

NAB League Wildcard Round vs. Sandringham Dragons

By: Michael Alvaro

Was quite possibly Geelong’s best player given the heat he took on in a key defensive post. Fleeton was as sure as anyone by foot, switching confidently across defensive 50 to try and set the Falcons on the right foot coming out of defence. Two of his three marks were fantastic too, intercepting strongly in the first term and sticking a one-hander going back in the second to show some courage and athleticism. The bottom-ager was also incredibly composed on the ball, not afraid to take on opponents on the last line and burning one in the second quarter with a good piece of agility after gathering over the back. Also contributed some second efforts with the result beyond doubt, showing heart on a rough day.

NAB League Round 16 vs. Tasmania Devils

By: Michael Alvaro

Another exciting Falcons bottom-ager, Fleeton played a massive role in what was arguably the contest of the day against Devils forward Jackson Callow. Despite conceding some size, Fleeton trimmed the difference with his leap and combativeness, following Callow’s every step and managing to get a hand in at the opportune moment. He improved his positioning as the game went on after getting caught behind and too far under the ball on separate occasions early, while making his opponent work the other way with some run on the rebound. Can sharpen up his use by foot at times, but has played every game since his Round 8 debut and is coming on in leaps and bounds.

NAB League Round 14 vs. GWV Rebels

By: Michael Alvaro

Fleeton is another bottom-ager the Falcons staff are high on, and he continues to put his hand up in an intercepting role across half-back. His early work included a few repelling kicks as GWV made a quick start, before eventually getting his aerial game going. Fleeton positioned well on the wing to intercept a long Rebels ball forward in the second term, repeating the act with a terrific pack mark to show his clean hands and reading of the ball in flight. Looks to have been a good find in the middle-part of the year.

Featured Image: Cameron Fleeton flies for a mark | Credit: David Crosling/Geelong Advertiser

>> 2020 AFL National Draft Combine List
>> 2020 Vic Country U18s Squad Prediction

>> August 2020 Power Rankings
>> July 2020 Power Rankings
>> September 2020 Power Rankings

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Charlie Byrne
Jackson Callow
Blake Coleman
Braeden Campbell
Alex Davies
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden
Joel Jeffrey
Maurice Rioli Jnr
Patrick Walker

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Brayden Cook
Zac Dumesny
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Lachlan Jones
Tariek Newchurch
Caleb Poulter
Tom Powell
Taj Schofield
Henry Smith
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Tanner Bruhn
Jack Ginnivan
Oliver Henry
Elijah Hollands
Zach Reid
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jake Bowey
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Eddie Ford
Max Heath
Bailey Laurie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins
Will Phillips

Western Australia:
Jack Carroll
Heath Chapman
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Zane Trew
Brandon Walker
Joel Western
Isiah Winder

Peel Thunder complete fairytale from wooden spooners to premiers

IT was a modern day football fairytale, with the 2019 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s wooden spooners Peel Thunder turning their fortunes around in 12 months and claiming a remarkable title in 2020 over minor premiers, Subiaco. The Thunder reversed two previous results against the Lions this season, losing by nine and then six points – the latter of which happened a fortnight ago in the second semi-final – to post a memorable 15-point win.

In what was a fantastic performance by the second placed Thunder, Peel weathered the early Subiaco storm aided by a strong breeze, to boot three second quarter goals, and only concede on goal in the last 75 minutes of the match. Chloe Wrigley won the Lou Knitter Medal for best on ground for her work through the middle, but it easily could have gone to any number of players such was the even team performance across the board from the Thunder.

From 15-year-old Ella Roberts‘ strong overhead marking and kicking two majors in the second term, to the defensive efforts of Tanisha Anderson, Ebony Dowson and Cassie Davidson in the back half, and the strength and nous of Kira Phillips inside 50, everything clicked for the Thunder on the big stage. Subiaco was not without its chances, and after a second goal early in the third term gave them hope, the Lions could not maximise their time with the breeze, and ultimately ran out of time as Peel’s defensive work in the second half restricted their ability to score.

It looked good early for the minor premiers who had defeated Peel just two weeks earlier, doing all the attacking. Five minutes into the contest, it was Maggie Maclachlan – who received a Draft Combine invitation a couple of weeks ago – who got her team going with a quick kick that was a wobbly floater but effective, reading the ball off hands and putting it through. Subiaco was relentless in its attack going forward, but Dowson and Anderson were holding up well.

Kia Buckley was having some sort of first term for the maroon and gold, but kept finding the ball a touch too far out, and Wrigley was beginning to work into the match. Ebony Bilcich‘s long boot off the wing pickpocketing her opponent hit up Kate Bartlett just outside 50 and Peel had its first inside 50, 16 and a half minutes into the term. Unfortunately Bailey Molloy got a cruel bounce and Subiaco cleared, but it was only for a short time as Roberts won the ball on the wing, got it to Bartlett who spotted Phillips leading out.

Her long shot from 45m was impressive given she was kicking into the wind, but sprayed it to the right. Nonetheless, Peel was gaining some crucial forward minutes against the breeze late in the quarter. Soon they would get on the board through Phillips, who wrestled a number of opponents, managed to craft it to her boot at the top of the goalsquare and bounced it home with the final kick of the quarter. Despite having to concede forward half possession for the majority of the contest, the Thunder headed into the first break with a one-point advantage.

Now kicking with the breeze, the Thunder took full advantage of the wind, booting three majors to give themselves some breathing space on the scoreboard. It was no surprise to see Roberts heavily involved with an inside 50 from Hannah Church. Her shot from 40m hardly looked like missing and Peel extended the lead in the opening minute of the contest. Subiaco had a number of forward thrusts themselves as Aimee Schmidt and Tayla Thorogood were involved, while Lions captain Hayley Miller tried to create something special.

Demi Liddle joined the likes of Anderson, Dowson and Davidson in holding firm in defence, and the Thunder used their trademark ball movement to turn defence into attack in transition. Midway through the term, it was some smart thinking from Phillips kicking with the outside of the boot close to the boundary line to spot Molloy loose and running towards goal. Her teammate marked 20m out and then made no mistake, with the lead out to 13 points.

Subiaco was showing signs of frustration with Abbey Dowrick giving away a downfield free kick for a late push, and a number of high tackles. It would be the work of Liddle again, this time further up the ground to hit up Roberts with an unbelievable mark overhead, so clean and reading it incredibly well to set up another set shot. Being 40m out, it was like she was point-blank as she coasted another one home and all of a sudden the lead was out to 19 points and the danger signs were there for Subiaco.

Able to gain some minutes inside 50 in the later stages of the term, Maclachlan had a chance to kick one against the flow, but her dribble kick went to the left and through for a behind – the first score since her goal early in the opening term. The last play of the term was a contested grab from Phillips but her long-range torpedo from 50m fell short and Subiaco was able to lock it up. Heading into half-time, the Lions trailed by 18 points.

Picture: Owen Davies/Peel Thunder

The second half would only yield one goal, but it did not stop the contest from being tight and tense throughout. Ellie Blackmore had been solid throughout the contest and tried her best through the midfield, and soon it was Maclachlan again who poped up just three minutes into the term. Leading Shannon Whale to the ball, she won a free kick for being held and then converted the goal to draw within 12 points.

Tiah Haynes had presented Maclachlan with a perfect kick inside 50, and both Haynes and Blackmore were trying to get the ball moving inside 50. Whale, Anderson and Dowson had other ideas with their fierce tackling really stemming any flow Subiaco could create. Greta McKinley was getting in on the action with some drives out of defence. Roberts was even getting back to help out, and moving through midfield taking some crucial contested marks.

Charlie Thomas had a quick kick towards goal midway through the term but could not get penetration on the kick, and every time Subiaco charged forward, the Thunder had the answers. Anderson was best-on in the third term with great position, playing in front, strong marking and kicking out from half-back really owning her defensive line. It helped Peel attack fiercely and whilst they did not manage to put a goal on the board, the likes of Bartlett and Roberts both had chances, but missed. Peel had done enough to lead by 14 points at the final break.

The final term was much of the same as the third quarter as Peel had the breeze and was still attacking to make sure they did not park the bus and allow the Lions to make all the moves. Dowson got involved with a great kick to Roberts who took another contested mark and then a huge front-on tackle from Whale forced a turnover on the wing and the Thunder went forward and locked it up. That was what the final term was all about, just keeping the ball inside forward 50.

They did that for the full 20 minutes as each time Subiaco went to attack, the Peel defence stood up. Dowson, Whale and McKinley were particularly impressive in the final term, with Roberts and Phillips again great forward of centre. Wrigley, deserving of the best on ground medal won it through the middle and Peel was able to play a perfect final term. With a few minutes left, Liddle took a strong intercept mark deep in defence and it was the final straw that broke the camel’s back. The siren sounded a few minutes later and the Thunder were victorious.

For all of Subiaco’s hard work, the consistency of Ange Stannett, Schmidt, Blackmore and Maclachlan, it would not be enough as the full team contribution from the Thunder had got them home. The fairytale was complete. Peel Thunder were the 2020 WAFL Women’s premiers.

WAFLW GRAND FINAL 

SUBIACO 1.0 | 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.1 (13)
PEEL THUNDER 1.1 | 4.1 | 4.3 | 4.4 (28)

GOALS:

Subiaco: M. Maclachlan 2.
Peel: E. Roberts 2, B. Molloy, K. Phillips.

ADC BEST:

Subiaco: E. Blackmore, M. Maclachlan, A. Schmidt, K. Buckley, A. Stannett
Peel: C. Wrigley, E. Roberts, T. Anderson, E. Dowson, C. Davidson, K. Phillips

Picture: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

Young leader Prenzler thrives in Sturt’s culture

NAMED as a member of Sturt’s leadership group at just 17 years old, Hannah Prenzler is not overawed by expectations. A cool, calm and collected speaker, the soon-to-be 18-year-old is symbolic of the Double Blues side – young, talented and having a bright future. When head coach Bruce Dawes told Prenzler of her inclusion into the 2020 leadership group, she was “quite surprised”.

“To be so young but to be honest really, really honoured that everyone, or some people in the team voted me in is pretty special,” Prenzler said. “I love to be a leader when I can and help people out. “I think we have a whole team of leaders so everyone gets up in their own different way which is really great. “

“It’s been really awesome being a part of the leadership group and we’ve had a really good group with the balance of experience, not as experienced, younger, older girls so I’ve had a lot of fun this year.”

Playing all the popular sports, Prenzler focused on basketball primarily, but grew up testing herself with Auskick and then netball given there was no established Australian rules football pathway yet. But then it all changed a few years ago.

“Probably three or four years ago when I was in Year 9 I started girls footy at school and a couple of years ago started at Mitcham Hawks which is my local club,” Prenzler said. “Firstly I started in the Under 17s program for Sturt when I was about 14 and then from there continued in the Under 17s program and after my first year when I was 15, got asked to go out to the League Sturt girls and have been there ever since.”

With the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition establishing itself in 2017, and Sturt coming into the league in 2018, Prenzler was among the first players to run out for the Double Blues. Coming up from the Under 17s – at that stage she was just 15 – and she had no expectations on her football career.

“I think it was really good for our inaugural year there was probably about 10-15 of us that had been asked from the Under 17s program,” Prenzler said. “We thought we were just training for the League but then we started playing games. “But I think it’s been good because we’ve all grown together and since we were that younger age we have had opportunities of Under 17s coaching, state coaching which some of the over-age girls didn’t have so I think it was really good for us to have a young team that provided versatility and we were all very excited to learn.”

Prenzler said being able to establish herself in the Sturt side and remain there over the past few years alongside some close friends had been unbelievable.

“I think it’s been great,” she said. “First when I got asked to train with the League in our inaugural year and I thought it was a pretty cool opportunity to train. “Then when our coach said I was playing the first round I was quite shocked but it was awesome and to be lucky enough to play for most the games I think it’s been really good for a good bunch of us to stay together for most of the time and really try and gel and bond as a team.

“Obviously it’s been a bit tough for us with not getting too many wins but I still think it’s important we have a great club culture and everything like that so it’s been really good like that to keep growing and developing which has been good.”

Her debut for Sturt, and running out for South Australia against Northern Territory last year to determine the Central Allies squad were among her top achievements. Being included in the State Academy from the Under 16s through to the Under 18s has also been an unforgettable experience.

“That’s been awesome I reckon some of the best footy experiences that I’ve had personally starting off in the Under 16s,” Prenzler said. “That was really good to be with a whole group of girls, similar age groups who were very talented from different clubs around the SANFL which was really good.”

“Then moving up to the Under 18s again was I found another step up in professionalism,” she said. “It was really cool to have different trainers. coaches, physios. “Different things like that really made it awesome, and playing against different states and having really high level training sessions and getting a bit more coached and talking about the game which was really, really cool.”

The postponed season put her top-age year on ice, but did not stop Prenzler making the most of her time off, working with a specialist trainer to try and improve multiple aspect in her game.

Obviously it was pretty weird not knowing when we’d be back and everything but I guess having that time off, I really set a goal to get fitter, stronger. “Make my footy skills better,” Prenzler said. “I actually started up with a new gym, Arruda Gym with a trainer called Warwick Raymond and he’s been really, really good. “I’ve done different sessions there each week with body work and footy craft, strengths and weights sessions and also running and fitness as well which I’ve really enjoyed.”

Picture: Supplied

Speaking of onfield traits, Prenzler is known for her accurate kicking, with her ability to hit targets consistently and is able to read the game and make the right decisions coming off half-back. Most importantly, the young leader is always determined to improve.

“I always make sure I’m listening and absorbing as much as I can so when I go out on the field I can really make the best opportunities for myself and my team,” she said.

“I think a big thing for me is I’ve always been so excited to come to footy that I’ve always practiced on my skills and practice on my kicking. “So now to take my game to the next level I really want to work on my fitness and speed to just be that next level, that can run out a full game and not just run it out, but be an obvious standout of being fitter and really covering a lot of ground. “That takes pressure off all my kicks if I’m under fatigue and stuff like that.”

Having spent most of her life running around of the basketball court, the self-proclaimed competitor also loves the aggressive nature of Australian rules football. While the aerobic running capacity between the sports has helped her remain fit, she said there are other cross-over traits, as well as differences.

“I think that hand-eye coordination and a ball sport (are comparable), but I was always someone who liked to get aggressive and competitive so I think being able to tackle and really get in there, I really loved that aspect of it,” Prenzler said.

Prenzler has always been close with her family, watching her sister Taylor have a similar path playing basketball then joining Hannah at Sturt. Unfortunately, the older Prenzler – who turned 20 this week – injured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) a couple of years ago and it was tough for the close siblings.”

“A few years ago, she (Taylor) decided to come out and give it a go which has been awesome,” Prenzler said. “Two years ago now she did her ACL so that put her out for a year which was tough. “I found it pretty tough not being able to see her do the things she loved but she’s come back and she’s had a really good year this year so that was exciting. “I love playing with her.”

Furthermore on her family values, Prenzler said both her parents have been among her greatest inspirations for their encouragement and support through her sporting journey.

“Well I definitely a lot of people that would be (inspirations), but both my parents, my mum and dad,” she said. “Dad more so in the way that he’s always encouraged me for footy, I have a younger brother as well – getting me across to footy but then yeah both of them, mum for always taking me places and encouraging me. “Sometimes they get so invested and love it which really shows me that they care so I think both my parents have been great role models throughout my journey.”

As for her future in the sport, Prenzler said she would love to play at the elite level, but understood the difficulties with the interrupted year. Undeterred, the Sturt leader said she wanted to continue to improve and become the best possible player she can be.

Obviously this year has been a bit of a crazy one with a lot of unknowns and a lot of things being cancelled but I do have a goal and a drive to one day hopefully become drafted,” Prenzler said. “I know that this year is my draft year however a lot of things have happened like I know we’ve missed out on our nationals tournament up on the Gold Coast to perform on a national stage.

“But what’s really good is that there’s a range of different girls that get drafted you know, 19, 20, 21 so yeah the dream isn’t over for just this year if I do or don’t get in or get out. “Hopefully i do get drafted one day, but just to keep improving and becoming the best I can be.”

AFL Draft Watch: Maurice Rioli Jnr (Oakleigh Chargers/NT Thunder/Allies)

IN the midst of football’s long-awaited return, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state in some capacity leading into 2020, or are bolting into draft contention. While plenty has changed between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Oakleigh Chargers and NT Thunder prospect, Maurice Rioli Jnr. He is the son of late Richmond great, Maurice Rioli, and is eligible to be taken by the Tigers in this year’s draft under the father-son rule. As his pedigree would suggest, the 18-year-old is an excitement machine out on the field, boasting electric pace, sharp skills, and an uncanny knack of finding the goals. While he stands at just 173cm, Rioli is not afraid to get stuck in, boasting a high contested possession rate and applying smothering defensive pressure as he rotates forward through the midfield.

Having moved down to Victoria this year to complete his studies at Scotch College, Rioli was also keen to run out for Oakleigh in the now-scrapped NAB League competition. Nonetheless, he remains one of the sole prospects based in the Southern state to have completed a season of football in 2020, after he helped St Mary’s qualify for this year’s NTFL Grand Final in a memorable post-season.

PLAYER PAGE:

Maurice Rioli Jnr
Oakleigh Chargers/NT Thunder/Allies

DOB: September 1, 2002

Height: 173cm
Weight: 73kg

Position: Small Forward/Midfielder

Strengths: Speed, smarts, goal sense, defensive pressure, creativity
Improvements: Consistency/sustained impact

2019 NAB League averages: 3 games | 11.3 disposals | 1.3 marks | 6.3 tackles | 3.0 inside 50s | 0.3 goals (1)

>> Feature: Maurice Rioli Jnr

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Standing Vertical Jump: 60cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L): 62cm/78cm
Speed (20m): 2.98 seconds
Agility: 8.11 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo): 20.5

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

SCOUTING NOTES:

2019 NAB League Round 3 vs. Tasmania Devils

By: Alex Gibson

The way this bottom-ager plays, it is no surprise he is a Rioli. His presence of silky skill was complimented beautifully by his dashing speed. Although he did not have huge numbers, his possessions were damaging thanks to his precise vision and ability to lower his eyes. A run-down tackle at the start of the third quarter got the crowd up on its feet.

2018 Under 16 National Championships vs. Tasmania

By: Michael Alvaro

The latest of the Rioli clan, Maurice has all of the traits you would expect given his pedigree. While he did not find a heap of the ball in the forward half, he looked dangerous in possession and started the game off perfectly with a snap after slipping his opponent. While he is still very raw, Rioli has plenty of talent to work with and is not afraid to pull off a party trick at full pace. At 173cm, he is not quite yet ready for a spot in the midfield, but was given a run at a centre bounce in the third quarter.

Featured Image: Maurice Rioli Jnr in action for St Mary’s | Source: Keri Megelus/News Corp Australia

>> 2020 AFL National Draft Combine List
>> 2020 Allies U18s Squad Prediction

>> August 2020 Power Rankings
>> July 2020 Power Rankings
>> September 2020 Power Rankings

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Charlie Byrne
Jackson Callow
Blake Coleman
Braeden Campbell
Alex Davies
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden
Joel Jeffrey
Patrick Walker

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Brayden Cook
Zac Dumesny
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Lachlan Jones
Tariek Newchurch
Caleb Poulter
Tom Powell
Taj Schofield
Henry Smith
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Tanner Bruhn
Jack Ginnivan
Oliver Henry
Elijah Hollands
Zach Reid
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jake Bowey
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Eddie Ford
Max Heath
Bailey Laurie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins
Will Phillips

Western Australia:
Jack Carroll
Heath Chapman
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Zane Trew
Brandon Walker
Joel Western
Isiah Winder

AFLW U18s to Watch: Joanna Lin (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

IN a new series focusing on the up and coming AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, we take a look at some names who would be among their respective states’ top draft prospects for the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft. Next under the microscope is Oakleigh Chargers’ midfielder Joanna Lin who was the highest poller for her club in the league best and fairest in her middle-age year and was a reliable player through the midfield.

Joanna Lin (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

Height: 162cm
Position: Outside Midfielder
Strengths: Footy smarts, strength, skill, work rate, decision making

2020 NAB League stats: 2 games | 14.5 disposals | 2.0 marks | 2.0 tackles | 4.5 inside 50s | 1 goal

2019 NAB League stats: 10 games | 12.0 disposals | 2.1 marks | 3.5 tackles | 2.4 inside 50s | 2 goals

A clever and slick outside midfielder, Joanna Lin showed throughout her middle-age season that she did not need to win a heap of the ball to have an impact. Averaging just the 12 touches per game, Lin’s ability to run and spread from the contest, and cover a ridiculous amount of ground was telling. Often coming off a wing and being the player that her teammates looked to in transition, Lin also had the smarts to make the right decisions with ball-in-hand.

Of all the traits required to be an effective outside midfielder, Lin had the majority. She had the footy smarts, skill, work rate and decision making to win the ball, move it on and hit targets down the field, which earned her a place in the AFL Women’s Academy alongside Chargers’ teammate, Mimi Hill. It also earned her plaudits from the Chargers’ coaching staff, finishing the highest in the league best and fairest for her club and winning Team of the Year honours, and continuing that form into 2020.

Whilst she only managed to play the two games due to the season being cancelled, Lin showed that she had brought the same intensity to the season that she had in her middle-age season. At 162cm, Lin is not very tall, but she has good strength and is hard to shift when battling for the ball, particularly at ground level. Her ability to hold her ground and use her strength to position herself well, then never give in, allows her to constantly remain in the contest.

Lin is one who was rated highly by the coaches last year for her effectiveness with ball-in-hand and coupled with the fact she ran all day long and got to contest after contest, she earned every touch. With some development still left in her, Lin has some nice traits that are obvious whenever she is able to win the ball and move it in transition.