Category: State Leagues

SANFL weekly wrap Round 3: Roosters crow with triumph over Tigers

SOUTH Australian football continued on the weekend with North Adelaide now the new premiership favourites following an impressive win over reigning premiers Glenelg in the League competition, while three sides remain unbeaten in the Reserves, and two others in the Under 18s. Six of the eight clubs are unbeaten in at least one of the three grades, giving fans something to smile about over the weekend and season thus far in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).

Central District vs. South Adelaide

South Adelaide has enjoyed a comfortable 44-point win over Central District in the league game, blowing away their opponents in the last term. The Panthers led by 15 points at the final break having inaccurately kicked 5.11, before piling on 6.1 to 1.2 in the last quarter to run away with the contest. South Adelaide arguably should have won by more with a whopping 54 inside 50s to 20, though the Bulldogs’ defence did well with 43 rebounds to 15. Central also led the tackle count with 72-51, while the Panthers had 24 more marks for the game.

Joseph Haines led the way in disposals for the Panthers, picking up 30 touches, 11 marks – two contested – and two inside 50s, while former Port Adelaide midfielder Matthew Broadbent racked up a game-high nine clearances to go with 26 touches, eight marks and five inside 50s. Joel Cross (25 disposals, six marks – two contested – five clearances and four inside 50s) and Ben Heaslip (24 disposals, eight marks – one contested – three clearances and five inside 50s) were impressive, while Zach Dumesny stood tall with a goal from 19 touches, 10 marks and three inside 50s.

James Boyd brought his own ball to the game for Central, racking up a mind-boggling 39 disposals, 11 marks, six tackles, five clearances and seven rebounds. He worked well in midfield with Troy Menzel (27 touches, 11 marks – two contested – three tackles, three clearances and a goal) and Darcy Pisani (22 disposals, two marks, four tackles, six clearances and two rebounds). Luke Habel and David Haydon combined for 38 disposals, 14 marks and eight rebounds working hard in the back half, while Corey Durdin had another 11 touches, as well as four marks and three inside 50s.

In the Reserves it was Central District that handed out a heavy beating, slamming home a whopping 12 goals to one in the second half to run away with the contest in a one-sided affair. The win meant Central sits atop the Reserves ladder while the Panthers hold up the competition at the other end of the table.

It was another big win to South Adelaide in the Under 18s, with the Panthers recording a comprehensive 76-point victory over Central District. The Panthers were on from the first bounce, booting six goals to zero in the opening term, and then kept Central scoreless in the final term while piling on five goals to win 16.12 (108) to 4.8 (32). The Panthers had an extra 113 disposals, 45 marks and 20 inside 50s showing just how dominant they were.

Bottom-age Panthers, Matthew Roberts and Jason Horne both had some big days out, as Roberts racked up 27 touches and 11 marks, while Horne finished with three goals from 26 disposals, six tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s. Max Clifton was strong in midfield with five clearances and seven inside 50s to go with 26 touches and seven tackles, teaming up well with Cooper Rogers and Jaiden Magor who combined for 41 disposals, 16 tackles, 11 clearances and 10 inside 50s, while Magor slotted 2.3. Liam Hamilton was the most prominent forward for the Panthers snagging five goals from eight scoring shots, while Liam Nye kicked the three majors.

Lewis Cowham was again one of Central’s best despite the loss, picking up a team-high 21 disposals and nine clearances, as well as five tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. Shaye Linke (16 disposals, two marks, 12 tackles, six clearances, four inside 50s and a goal) was prominent, as was Jacob Fiebiger (15 disposals, three marks and eight rebounds) of of defence. Similarly, Darcy McDonald and Aidan Ponton had 14 touches and five rebounds each.

 

Glenelg vs. North Adelaide

Booting the last three goals of the game would not be enough for Glenelg as the reigning premiers undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of North Adelaide on Saturday. In a seesawing contest, the Tigers led by five points at quarter time, before the Roosters took control to lead at each of the other breaks, including by as much as 19 points at three quarter time. North Adelaide got out to a 20-point lead in the last term, before Luke Reynolds booted two goals, and then Carl Nicholson snagged one, but it would not be enough to get the Tigers over the line, going down by three points, 11.5 (71) to 10.14 (74).

Campbell Combe had 27 disposals, two marks, 13 tackles, nine clearances and three inside 50s in a big game, while a number of his teammates racked up 25 touches. Jared Allmond (25 disposals, four marks, four clearances, five inside 50s and a goal), Mitchell Clisby (25 disposals, two marks, three tackles, three clearances, four inside 50s and four rebounds) and Thomas Schwarz (25 disposals, five marks, eight tackles, two clearances and four inside 50s) were all prolific. In front of goal, Kym Lebois was the sole multiple goalkicker with three majors, while Mitch Harvey had 35 hitouts from 15 disposals, six marks – two contested – and four clearances.

Liam McBean and Reynolds both snagged three goals for the Bays, while Darcy Bailey booted two majors in the narrow defeat. Matthew Snook picked up 27 disposals, three marks, 13 tackles, six clearances and seven inside 50s, with Bradley Agnew and Jack Hannath huge around the stoppages. Agnew finished with 23 disposals, three marks, six tackles, eight clearances and six inside 50s, as Hannah racked up 31 hitouts for 21 touches, six marks, nine clearances and five inside 50s. Luke Partington also had 20 touches, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s in a solid display.

In the Reserves, Glenelg bounced back from a goalless first term to run over the top of North Adelaide thanks to a stronger second half. The Bays trailed by 14 points at quarter time and eight at half-time, but booted eight goals to five in the second half, with a five goals to one third term in particular the difference between the sides. In the end, Glenelg took home the chocolates, 10.9 (69) to 8.5 (53).

In a very one-sided contest that ended in Glenelg triumphing by a whopping 75 points, it was inaccuracy that ultimately hurt North Adelaide, booting just 2.15 for the game as the Roosters’ opponents piled on 16.6. Most of that damage was done in the opening half as the Bays booted 10.5 to 2.7, and then held North Adelaide goalless in the second half with eight behinds to the Roosters’ name, while Glenelg piled on 6.1 in that time for a 16.6 (102) to 2.15 (27) victory.

Lewis Rayson had a big game in the win, picking up 35 disposals, 11 marks – one contested – four tackles, three inside 50s and five rebounds. Also busy for the Tigers were Hagan Wright (27 disposals, seven arks, two tackles, three inside 50s and seven rebounds) and Henry McAuliffe (25 disposals, two marks, six tackles, three clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds). Potential Adelaide father-son selection Luke Edwards had plenty of the ball with 24 touches, eight marks, four tackles and 10 inside 50s, while Lucas Schulz (five goals), Luke Pedlar (three), Riley Davis (three) and Hugh Stagg (two) were all multiple goalkickers.

Blayne O’Loughlin topped the disposal winners for the Roosters with 28 touches, eight marks and eight rebounds, while AFL Academy member Jamison Murphy had the 26 disposals, four marks, eight tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Also prominent in the middle was Kallis Freer (23 disposals, four marks, five tackles, nine clearances and four inside 50s), while Tariek Newchurch had seven inside 50s to go with 14 touches.

Sturt vs. West Adelaide

Sturt’s League side has bounced back from a forgettable Round 2 defeat to post a tight win over West Adelaide. The Double Blues have moved three points clear in fifth spot on the SANFL table after winning 11.6 (72) to 9.10 (64). It was Sturt’s fast start of four goals to one that got the Double Blues going in the opening term, and while the Bloods pegged them back by the main break, Sturt did not give in. A more accurate 11 majors from 17 scoring shots to West Adelaide’s nine from 19 told a tale, as the Double Blues dominated possession (56 per cent and plus 58 disposals) and marks (plus 55), but the Westies were better in other ways with 20 more tackles and 10 more inside 50s.

Sam Colquhoun again led the way for the Double Blues with 26 touches, six marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, two clearances, four rebounds and a goal, while James Battersby (25 touches, three marks, seven tackles and 12 clearances) was instrumental through the middle. Sam Wundke had 25 disposals, 11 marks – one contested – and 10 rebounds in a phenomenal effort in defence, while Abe Davis pushed up the ground to influence in the middle after being a scoring threat in the early rounds to finish with 20 touches and six clearances. Others who impressed included Daniel Fahey-Sparks (15 touches, eight marks – three contested – 36 hitouts and five inside 50s) and Ash Johnson if he had been able to find his kicking boots, slotting 1.5 from 13 touches and six marks – two contested – in the game.

The Westies had lower overall disposal winners but it did not stop Brett Turner battling hard with Battersby at the stoppages, notching up 11 clearances and five inside 50s from 21 disposals and five tackles. Kaine Stevens (20 disposals, four marks, eight tackles and four clearances) was also busy there, while potential number one AFL Draft pick Riley Thilthorpe continues to stand up at League level with his best game of the season collecting 13 disposals, six marks – three contested – 11 hitouts and two goals in a prominent day out. Isaac Johnson was the most damaging forward with 3.2 from 13 disposals, three marks, nine tackles and seven inside 50s.

Sturt had a much easier time in the Reserves, as the Double Blues notched up their first win with a 52-point victory over West Adelaide to move into the top four. The Blues slammed home six goals to zero in the second term to open up a 45-point lead at the main break, and while the Westies clawed to within 36 points at three quarter time, Sturt came again and booted 4.4 to 2.0 in the last term to run out 13.13 (91) to 5.9 (39) winners.

Sturt’s Under 18s also tasted success in a good weekend for the Double Blues, getting up by 49 points. Sturt and West Adelaide were neck-and-neck on Saturday at Hisense Stadium in the opening half, with the double Blues leading by a point and then a goal at the quarter and half-time breaks. While inaccuracy might have plagued them in the first half, the Double Blues found their range after that, extending the lead out to 19 points by the final change, then running away with a six goals to one final term in the 16.11 (107) to 9.4 (58) victory.

Tom Powell suffered leather poisoning during the game, racking up a ridiculous 39 disposals, 14 clearances, eight inside 50s, three marks, four tackles and two rebounds, also kicking two behinds. The next highest ball winners were Bradley Jefferies (24 disposals, five tackles, three clearances and a goal) and Mani Liddy (22 disposals, eight clearances, four tackles and three marks). Will Spain was also productive onball with Liddy, amassing six clearances to go with 21 touches, six tackles and four inside 50s while Malachy Carruthers had 20 disposals six marks, four tackles and three rebounds. However the most eye-catching performance might have been Zabien Parker-Boers up forward who slotted seven goals – only two less than the entire West Adelaide team – after taking six marks from 17 touches.

Bailey Chamberlain tried hard in the middle for the Westies, notching up 20 disposals, four marks, six tackles, five clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds, aided by Cade Kennedy (17 disposals, nine tackles, three clearances and two marks) and Lachlan De Cesare (13 disposals, five clearances and eight tackles). Harvey Bock also worked well out of defence with 13 disposals and five rebounds, while Hamish Dunkin (15 disposals, seven marks and three rebounds) was solid Thomas Rundle and Tyrell Sgroi booted three majors each up forward for the Bloods.

 

WWT Eagles vs. Norwood

After two tight losses against premiership contenders, Norwood was sent crashing back to earth by an impressive Woodville-West Torrens Eagles outfit. The Redlegs’ social media summarised it perfectly yesterday with the words “Nowhere near good enough”, as the Eagles held the visitors to one goal or less in three of the four quarters and booted 14 goals from 26 scoring shots themselves. Despite a three-goal third term giving Norwood some hope, the Bloods still trailed by 35 points at the last chance, but instead it was the Eagles who piled on 5.2 to 0.2 and ran away with the contest, 14.12 (96) to 4.7 (31).

Jimmy Toumpas racked up some big numbers for the Eagles yet again courtesy of 27 touches, five marks, four tackles, three clearances and two rebounds, while Jordan Foote had a feast through the midfield with a team-high seven clearances to accompany 24 touches, five tackles, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Matthew Goldsworthy was good on the outside with 21 touches, six marks, three tackles, eight inside 50s and two goals, while James Rowe, Jack Hayes and Jesse Lonergan combined for eight goals off 52 touches and 13 inside 50s. AFL Academy hub member and Port Adelaide Next-Generation Academy member Lachlan Jones also impressed with 16 disposals, six marks, two inside 50s and two rebounds.

Former Adelaide midfielder Richard Douglas had his biggest game of the year so far for the Redlegs, racking up 31 touches, five marks, five tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal in a strong all-around effort. Ruck, Sam Baulderstone was equally damaging with 30 hitouts, nine clearances and 21 disposals, while Brad McKenzie (21 disposals, eight rebounds and eight marks), Nik Rokahr (21 disposals, seven marks) and Mitch Wilkins (20 disposals, eight marks) had plenty of the ball. Matthew Panos and Peter Bampton shared in 12 clearances from 35 disposals onball, while Cody Szust worked hard with seven rebounds from 15 touches out of defence, but it was a forgettable day for the Redlegs.

It was much the same result in the Reserves with the unbeaten Eagles continuing to pile on the pain against a winless Redlegs side to win by 63 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval. The Eagles booted four goals to zero in the second term to race away to a 36-point half-time lead, and while the Redlegs tried to stay in touch in the third term, a four goals to one final quarter once again saw Woodville-West Torrens pull away in a 15.13 (103) to 6.4 (40) victory.

Norwood turned the tables of Woodville-West Torrens in the Under 18s competition, running away with an impressive 39-point win to sit fourth after three rounds and hand the Eagles their third straight loss. The teams were tight throughout the contest, as Norwood led by four points at quarter time and one point at half-time. They pulled away a little in the third courtesy of a five goals to three term, but still only held a 14-point advantage at the final chance. It was the five goals to one last quarter that did all the damage as Norwood ran away with the 16.13 (109) to 10.10 (70) victory.

Bottom-age Redlegs star, Cooper Murley had a day out thanks to 29 touches, two marks, six tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s and two goals, while Jack Saunders picked up 25 touches, two marks, seven clearances, nine tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds. The other player to notch up more than 20 touches for Norwood was Michael Cavallaro (21 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50s, two marks and two rebounds), while Nathan Hearing had 26 hitouts and eight clearances from 19 touches out of the ruck. Up forward, Finn Heard had plenty of chances with a five-goal haul that could have been even more, booting four behinds as well, while Marcus Roberts, Xavier Tranfa and James Higgins all snagged multiple goals. In defence, Matthew Dnistriansky had six rebounds from 16 touches, teaming well with Ben Ianniello (12 disposals, seven rebounds).

For the Eagles, Caleb Poulter‘s sensational season continued, booting two goals from 29 touches and eight marks – two contested – as well as five tackles, five inside 50s and three rebounds. Potential Port Adelaide father-son prospect, Jase Burgoyne had a handy day with 27 disposals, five marks – one contested – three tackles, three clearances and seven rebounds, while Harrison Dawkins booted a goal from 25 touches, five clearances and four inside 50s. Max Lister (20 disposals, three marks, four tackles, six clearances and five rebounds) impressed, while another Port Adelaide father-son prospect, Taj Schofield had an impressive game with 17 disposals, five clearances and a goal.

SANFL Player Focus: Lachlan Jones (WWT Eagles)

IN a return to our Player Focus piece, we take a look at a South Australian National Football League (SANFL) talent who has really stood out on the League stage. In Round 3 of the competition, our eyes were on Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) defender Lachlan Jones, who took part in the Eagles’ big win over Norwood.

PLAYER PAGE:

Lachlan Jones
WWT Eagles/South Australia

DOB: April 9, 2002
Height: 185cm
Weight: 89kg

Position: General Defender

SANFL LEAGUE ROUND 3 STATISTICS:

16 disposals
9 kicks
7 handballs
6 marks
1 tackle
2 inside 50s
2 rebound 50s

PLAYER FOCUS:

It has been no surprise to see Jones fit in so seamlessly at SANFL League level, and he enjoyed arguably his best outing to date this past weekend against Norwood. While you wouldn’t blame the defender for not getting too much involved as the Eagles kept their opponents to just four goals in the 65-point thumping, Jones still managed to stamp his mark on the contest with some strong passages of play.

The Port Adelaide Next Generation Academy prospect initially lined up down back directly opposed to fellow State Under 18 squad member, Henry Nelligan, who was making his League debut. It took a couple of goes at the ball for Jones to find his feet, fumbling at ground level early, but finding his touch with a couple of contributions forward of centre.

Shortly after booting a long ball into the forward pocket, Jones would be seen aggressively hitting up at a ground ball just inside the arc, picking it up cleanly on the half-volley at pace and bustling his way through traffic. His disposal by hand lacked on two attempts, but the intent was there. Jones’ remaining touches for the opening term came in more conventional defensive positions; punting a long rebound 50 to find a teammate, and later showing that trademark power through the contest in covering his lines across defensive 50.

Jones’ ability to attack from defensive positions began to form an asset for the Eagles as they went on to dominate proceedings, with the youngster positioning well at half-back to intercept – almost presenting like a Norwood forward should have been to cut off attacking forays with confidence. He also doubled as a defensive outlet as the play slowed, finding space to possess the ball uncontested in a chip-around game across the back 50. His short kicks across goal may have been either a touch short or overcooked at times, but it didn’t cost his side.

It was a case of more of the same for Jones after the main break, as he continued to fight fire with fire from his usual half-back post. His speed off the mark to incite a fast break was pleasing on the eye, getting the Eagles moving forward with positive running from a throw-in on defensive wing. Jones was not afraid to throw his 89kg frame around either, but it almost cost his side a goal as he remonstrated with a Redlegs opponent who had put Rhyan Mansell down after his kick, seeing the downfield penalty overturned.

That would not deter Jones by any stretch, as he continued to hit up at the ball hard. He did overrun one ground ball, but managed to lock the ball up to prevent a turnover in the back half. Another well read intercept mark on forward wing, followed by a deep inside 50 entry would be two of Jones’ final highlights on the ball, with his lone tackle for the day a crunching one inside defensive 50 to cap off his impressive performance.

Jones’ versatility in defence and ability to stand up against mature bodies at senior level have both been outstanding to this point, placing him firmly in first round contention at this early stage. He is an impressive athlete, and utilises his vertical leap, speed, and strength on-field to make for an impressive, readymade package. Having become a staple of the WWT League side, Jones will undoubtedly be a star for SA come national carnival time.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Subiaco

SUBIACO Football Club will aim to continue its dominance over the West Australian Football League (WAFL) modern era, aiming for its ninth WAFL League premiership, seventh Reserves premiership and second Colts premiership since 2000.

The League side will be aiming for its second three-peat of premierships, and with stars such as reigning Sandover Medallist Lachlan Delahunty, four time Best and Fairest winner Kyal Horsley, Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Sokol, as well as the inspirational captain Leigh Kitchin still playing, the Lions are poised for another finals campaign.

The likes of Hayden Kennedy, Angus Litherland, Jordan Lockyer, Harrison Marsh and Ben Newton are also key players for the Lions’ premiership hopes. Young guns Ryan Borchet and Greg Clark also look set to truly announce themselves as rising stars of the WAFL competition.

There are also a number of talented young players on Subiaco’s list that look destined to have an impact for the senior team in 2020. These young players include Jack Beverley, Michael Braut, Aaron Breman, Liam Hickmott, McKenzie Lawrence, Jacob Miller, Ben Reid, and Kyle Stainsby.

While the League team is full of star players, there are a number of quality youngsters coming through the Reserves that could prove to be good WAFL League players. As such, it can be expected that the Reserves will make a serious push for finals in 2020.

The Colts will be aiming to make finals again after missing out in 2019. The 2018 premiers boast a number of promising players including Matthew Johnson, Blake Morris, Jaxon Bilchuris, Sam Broughton, Mark Corbett, Ezekiel Bolton, Campbell Franceschi, and Bryce McDonald.

2020 League Coach: Beau Wardman

2020 League Captain: Leigh Kitchin

2020 Reserves Coach: Paul Vines

2020 Colts Coach: Chayce Creedy

2020 Colts Captain: Connor Patterson

2020 Colts Leadership Group: Connor Patterson (C), Lachlan Vanirsen, Lachlan Henderson, Sandon Page

Ins: Jordan Adams (Peel / Warnbro Swans), Daniel Farmer (Karratha Kats), Jonathan Garlett (East Fremantle), Oskar Matthews (Swan Districts), Joshua Robbins (Claremont), Luke Shepherd (Peel / Warnbro Swans), Francis Shoveller (Kelmscott / Bidyadanga), Jake Stergiou (Claremont), Lewis Upton (Dampier Sharks).

Outs: Josh Chapman (West Perth), Travis Clegget, Josh Deluca, Tristan Hobley (NEAFL), Craig Hoskins (Retired), Justin Joyce, Daniel Leach (GNFL), Jack Mayo (St Kilda), Simon Moore, Tim Sutherland (Kalgoorlie), Ryan Vermeersch, Clancy Wheeler.

2020 NAB AFL State-Based Academy Players: Matthew Johnson, Blake Morris

Port Adelaide Magpies Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

PORT ADELAIDE MAGPIES are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Perth Demons All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Lance Franklin announced as the winner and captain of the Demon’s All-Star side.

Port Adelaide Magpies have a star littered side that was hard to pick seeds because of the top-end quality involved in the players. In the end, Collingwood legend Nathan Buckley earned the top seed, but was one of three Brownlow Medallists hailing from the Magpies, including 300-gamers Andrew McLeod and Gavin Wanganeen.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Wednesday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is Sandringham Dragons starting on Thursday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: South Fremantle

THE SECOND best side of the last five years, and last year’s runner-up, South Fremantle will be looking to finally emerge from Subiaco’s shadow in 2020. Despite consistently finishing in the top two or three spots on the West Australian Football League (WAFL) ladder, Souths are looking to take the next step after a maiden Grand Final appearance since their 2009 premiership, last season. The Bulldogs look to have added further talent to their already strong list and look poised to present the biggest threat to Subi’s dominance yet again.

South Fremantle have added some big names this off-season, and there is perhaps none bigger in the game than Rioli. Ben Rioli will be the latest to come down and join the Red-V to play WAFL football following brothers Shannon and Dean, father Sebastian and uncle Maurice. If he can have anywhere near that impact he’ll be a huge weapon off half back. They’ll also benefit from the return of former number four AFL Draft pick Jarrod Pickett after his stints at GWS and Carlton.

Locally the Bulldogs have snagged Perth goalkicker Cody Ninyette, however the livewire forward could be subject to availability issues this season due to work commitments. The return of defender Steve Edwards from Albany, who had a very successful stint at the club between 2017 and 2019, is also sure to delight Souths fans. The Southerners will be disappointed to lose Sean Bewick, Adam McIntosh and Adam Verrier this season, with all three deciding to retire from League football.

The above recruits will be key in determining whether the club can make up the 96-point difference between them and the reigning premiers demonstrated on Grand Final day. They’ll join established stars such as perennial Sandover Medal contender Haiden Schloithe and star forward Mason Shaw in shaping the Bulldogs’ fortunes this season. Other key players at coach Todd Curley’s disposal include former Docker Nick Suban, captain Dylan Main, and Kade Stewart.

The Bulldogs had a disappointing season in the two’s last year, with an eighth-place finish the result of just five wins. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of talent in the Reserves side to draw upon with talented young players such as Kyle Hamersley, Matthew Ward, and Zane Sumich all plying their trade in the seconds last season. Curley will be hoping players of their like will be able to make the step up and apply real pressure for League positions.

The young Bulldogs also didn’t hit the heights of their senior counterparts last season with a last-placed finish last year. Even still players such as Manfred Kelly, Jack Musika and Toby McQuilkin put up solid numbers and have been added to the senior squad this year. No Southerners were part of the WA under 18s team last season but in AFL Academy members Mitchell Brown, Ira Jetta and Shannon Neale, they’ll be hoping that changes. A two-point scratch match win against reigning premiers Claremont shows promising signs for the coming season.

South Fremantle still look the most likely to end Subiaco’s stranglehold at the top of the ladder this season and will be hoping that the class in their squad filters down throughout the grades. Better seasons this year in both the Colts and Reserves would be a strong indicator that League success is not far around the corner. A first round derby against East Fremantle will be a good indication if this classy squad is ready for the pressure of a condensed season and the intensity of finals.

Draft Central All-Star Team: Perth Demons

PERTH Demons’ All-Star team has some serious quality key position players, as well as some electric smalls around the ground. One of the greatest ever key forwards in Lance Franklin earned the nod as the team’s captain thanks to your voting via our Instagram page.

TEAM

The team itself is solid without being outstanding, though there are quite a few underrated players in the side. The top-end elite talent is very strong, particularly in the key position areas, whilst a number of players can slot into multiple positions. The depth drops off towards the end, but there are some up-and-coming players who might have a say in the next few years to squeeze into the team.

defence 

The back six is highlighted by a couple of All-Australian talls in Darren Glass and Michael Johnson. Playing for opposite West Australian sides, Glass was one of the best full-backs of the modern era with four All-Australian nods and three best and fairests. He is paired up with Johnson who earned one All-Australian selection in his 244 games for the Dockers. A couple of talls who could also play against bigger opponents are Western Bulldogs’ Ryan Hargrave, and utility Scott Stevens who fill out the back pockets.

At half-back, a couple of midfielder-defenders slot in, with Tiger-turned-Docker Reece Conca and recently retired Pie-turned-Eagle Sharrod Wellingham rounding out the defensive end. Both provide plenty of speed and have some serious talent through there. Off the bench, Robbert Haddrill and Tendai Mzungu could play roles if required there.

MIDFIELD

The middle has some serious future talent in its onball group with Zac Fisher and Jaeger O’Meara likely to end their careers in the top five of Perth’s All-Time players at AFL level. Fisher has only played the 55 games but looks a natural at the level, while O’Meara has won a Rising Star and now he has overcome early injuries, is set to play his 100th game this year and be a star in Hawthorn’s midfield. They are joined by honest Fremantle midfielder Troy Cook, who won a best and fairest for the Dockers and played just shy of 200 games.

On the wings, a couple of tough players in their hey day, Richmond’s Mark Coughlan and Hawthorn’s Chance Bateman provide some extra depth across the ground. The midfield is quite deep, and the likes of David Myers and Steven Armstrong off the bench, and then Chris Mayne from half-forward gives it some flexibility when looking at the magnets. Sydney Stack might only have one season worth of experience, but he is another who could slot in through the forward half of the ground. Daniel Bandy might be a little undersized to play as the number one ruck, but he can also go forward and provide another target.

FORWARD

The front six is the most dangerous led by Franklin at centre half-forward. His career includes a whopping eight All-Australians, four Coleman Medals, one best and fairest, two premierships and a further three All-Australian 40-player squad nominations. A player who retired long before Franklin graced the field takes the other key position spot, with 200-game forward Earl Spalding booting 169 snags in 211 games.

The excitement machines in Collingwood utility, Leon Davis – a two-time All-Australian playing off half-back but was best known for his miraculous goals – is in a pocket along with high-flyer Winston Abraham best known for his mark at Manuka in 1999. Andrew McDougall is a third tall option in the other pocket, booting 50 goals in a short 43-game stint, while Mayne is at half-forward but could float into the midfield. Damon White is another key option who can influence off the bench.

DEPTH

The only 50-gamer to miss out on the side was Dion Woods (59 games), while Cruise Garlett (32), Brennan Stack (21) and Brad Fox (21) were the others to reach at least 20 games. Of the current players, Quinton Narkle (12 games prior to the season) and Ian Hill (eight) are among those talented ones expected to make the jump in the coming years.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Perth

THE PERTH Demons will be aiming to end their long finals drought in 2020, after adding some exciting players to the already talented line-up.

Despite losing the likes of Clint Jones (retired), Cody Leggett (East Fremantle) and Cody Ninyette (South Fremantle), the Demons secured some big names in Chris Masten (West Coast), Fraser McInnes (West Coast), Brady Grey (West Coast) and Kieran Delahunty (NT Thunder) in its bid to play finals for the first time since 1997.

It is worth noting that the Demons only just missed out on finals in 2019, with their percentage (91.8%) inferior to that of West Coast’s Reserves (99.8%), and West Perth (97.5%).

Inspirational skipper Corey Yeo is set to lead the Demons again, while he will be supported by the likes of Lachlan Dennis, Christian Eyres, Brant Colledge, Michael Sinclair and Mitch Henderson. Other players to watch out for include Richard Bourne Jnr, Jacob Coniglio, Guy Langdon and young stars Regan Clarke, and Ethan Hansen.

The Demons’ Reserves team will be aiming to be back playing in finals for the first time since 2017. The Colts team, headed by notable players Logan McDonald and Nathan O’Driscoll, will be out to play in finals for the first time since 2016, when they won the minor premiership. While McDonald and O’Driscoll are clearly the leading players in the Colts line-up, other notable youngsters include Bailey Kane, Conor McPartland, and Jayden Narrier among others.

2020 League Coach: Earl Spalding

2020 League Captain: Corey Yeo

2020 Colts Coach: Michael Pratt

League Gains for 2020: Jack Amos (EP), Kieren Delahunty (NT), Liam Dellamarta (EP), Sam East (EP), Andrew Fisher (WCE), Brady Grey (WCE), Chris Masten (WCE), Fraser McInnes (WCE), Ryan Murphy (Claremont), Jacob Peletier (Subiaco), Jayden Quill (EF), Jack Richardson (CL) Sam Stubbs (Mt Gravatt), Kade Tombides (CL), Dylan Williams (Amateurs).

League Losses after 2019: Clint Jones (Retired), Cody Leggett (East Fremantle), Cody Ninyette (SF).

2020 NAB AFL State-Based Academy Players: Logan McDonald, Nathan O’Driscoll

AFL Draft Watch: Alex Davies (Gold Coast SUNS Academy/Allies)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change 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 Gold Coast SUNS Academy product Alex Davies, a big-bodied inside midfielder who looms as Queensland’s most promising 2020 prospect. Solidly built at 191cm and 85kg, Davies is a terrific extractor at the stoppages and finds the ball at will, setting the tone from midfield. He represented the Maroons at Under 16 and 17 level, but will now be looking to become the centrepiece of the Allies’ engine room as a top-ager. His four NAB League outings as a bottom-ager also put him in good stead, and he could cost the SUNS first round points value come draft time.

PLAYER PAGE:

Alex Davies
Gold Coast SUNS Academy/Allies

DOB: March 18, 2002

Height: 191cm
Weight: 85kg

Position: Inside Midfielder

Strengths: Contested ball, clean hands, distribution, poise
Improvements: Outside impact

2019 NAB League stats: 4 games, 18 disposals (49.3% contested possessions), 2.8 marks, 3.5 tackles, 3.8 clearances, 2.8 inside 50s, 1.3 rebound 50s, 0.3 goals (1)

>> Q&A: Alex Davies
>> Marquee Matchup: Davies vs. McInnes

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Did not test.

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

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Ed Pascoe

The Gold Coast academy prospect was one of Team Dal Santo’s better performers going through the midfield and winning plenty of the ball especially early. He is a nice size as a modern day tall midfielder and he had no trouble winning first possession and dishing it out to his runners. He kicked a lovely goal in the last quarter under pressure he was able to cleanly pickup and quickly kick a nice running goal.

Under 17 Futures vs. Vic Metro

By: Ed Pascoe

The tallest of Queensland’s big midfielders standing at 190cm, he was a strong player around stoppages going in hard to win clearances but also working hard around the ground to be an option. Davies showed good attack on the ball but he also showed his ability to pressure and give multiple efforts through the midfield, and had a good bit of play in the first quarter with a great second effort smother. Davies finished the game with 15 disposals and was his team’s leading clearance player with five.

Under 17 Futures vs. NSW/ACT

By: Michael Alvaro

Davies’ game suited the conditions, with the big-bodied midfielder bustling around packs and forcing his way through at stoppages. His approach was pretty simple, slamming the ball on the boot in traffic and gaining territory for his team – often kicking off one or two steps. He did the hard stuff as well with six tackles and a spoil to kill the ball from a front-half kick-in.

NAB League Round 6 vs. GWV

By: Sophie Taylor

Davies used his height to his advantage, providing a solid option in pack scenarios while showing some good movement in space and shepherds around stoppages. He put pressure on ground ball and crumbers, credit to his clever use of space and ability to barrel through a pack. Had only the 12 touches, three marks and two tackles, but his bodywork around the ball was solid.

>> MORE SUNS ACADEMY CONTENT

>> 2020 Allies U18s Squad Prediction
>> Positional Analysis: Inside Mids
>> July 2020 Power Rankings

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Jackson Callow
Braeden Campbell
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

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

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins
Will Phillips

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western

SANFL Women’s Round 7 preview: Contenders to lock horns in Super Saturday

ROUND 7 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition is almost like a finals series, with 1st against 4th, 2nd against 3rd, and then the bottom four teams facing off in a round that is sure to determine a lot of things in the run home to the finals series. All four games are being played tomorrow in a Super Saturday.

WEST ADELAIDE VS. SOUTH ADELAIDE
Saturday, July 11, 11.00am
Hisense Stadium

The opening game of the round is set to be the best of the lot with a battle of second up against third and two genuine title contenders going at it. The team with the most firepower up forward (West Adelaide) going up against the team that has the most balanced group of the past couple of seasons (South Adelaide) makes for essential viewing. The back-to-back reigning premiers will be hard to beat, but at home the Westies will push the Panthers all the way.

Key questions:

Which midfield will win the battle?

The answer to this question may well determine the match. Both midfields are loaded with talent, as the likes of Rachelle Martin, Abbie Ballard and Zoe Greer go up against Nicole Campbell, Hannah Munyard and a returning Czenya Cavouras.

Will West Adelaide’s high pressing defence work against South?

The Bloods have a highly effective system where the defenders hold a high line, constantly pushing teams back so when a quick kick comes out of the forward 50, there is a defender there ready to mark and send it back in. Madison Newman is particularly strong in this area, and with Newman and Keeley Kustermann both superb kicks off half-back, they are players that are so damaging for the game.

How will South Adelaide handle the toughest forward line?

South is renowned for its sturdy defence that meets every challenge thrown at it. This week it will be the biggest of the lot, with damaging talls in Melanie Elsegood and Chelsea Biddell, and the always dangerous Stevie-Lee Thompson. If the likes of Lauren Buchanan who returns back into the side this week, Jaslynne Smith and Samantha Pratt can contain them, then this will be a tight tussle.

Prediction: Too tight to call. South deserve favouritism and it is hard to tip against them. Every time you do, they find a way to win. But there is something about West Adelaide at the moment that screams they are ready to take the next step, so do not be surprised if the Westies get up in this one.

 

STURT VS. GLENELG
Saturday, July 11, 11.30am
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

In a battle of the sides that realistically could fight for a finals spot but are just not quite close enough, the youth of Sturt take on the experience of Glenelg. The Bays have been unlucky since loading up on AFL Women’s talent, pushing both North Adelaide and South Adelaide in the past fortnight. It is expected they will be keen to start strongly against a Sturt side that has plenty of bright future stars, and a strong defence, but have struggled to score.

Key questions:

Can Sturt kick a winning score?

No doubt Sturt’s defence is unbelievable. The likes of Hannah Prenzler, Jo-Anna Baltais and Alysha Healy all offer a different defensive aspect. This week Prenzler has been named at half-forward which could be the key to answering the question. Everyone knows Glenelg has the ability to kick a big score, but it will likely need to be a tight, low-scoring contest for Sturt to do the same.

Who will win the midfield battle?

Both these sides have very capable midfields with Sturt’s containing co-captain’s Maya Rigter and Georgia Bevan, as well as Isobel Kuipers, whilst the Tigers are led by Ebony Marinoff and Eloise Jones, and Ellie Kellock has been in some terrific form of late.

How much will AFLW experience count?

The Bays’ AFLW experience will be important up against an inexperienced side. Sturt will never stop throwing everything at its opposition, but Glenelg has enough firepower that it will continue to attack. Glenelg has had patches where the top two teams got on top and kicked multiple goals, so the Tigers will keen to not let that happen here.

Prediction: Glenelg’s experience should see them home here, but Sturt will make life difficult for them so expect a low-scoring battle.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS VS. CENTRAL DISTRICT
Saturday, July 11, 1.15pm
Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Both Woodville-West Torrens and Central District have shown they are much more competitive in year two compared to their inaugural year last year, which is great for the competition as a while. Central grabbed an early win in Round 1, whilst the Eagles snaffled one back in Round 4 just before the season was suspended. This match could be an interesting one because one team is more than capable of moving the ball well, it is just about finding the right targets going forward, whilst the other is a fierce defensive side that wears down its opposition.

Key questions:

Where can Central take the advantage?

The Bulldogs’ spine is stronger with genuine talls at either end in the form of Sarah Allan and Katelyn Rosenzweig, with the former spending the majority of her time through the ruck last week too. Central is a side that opposition teams have to play well against to beat, because the Bulldogs are not going to just let you win. The Bulldogs have found a way to share the scoring load since the break, so now have multiple threats up there, such as Shannon Murphy who kicked two majors.

Where can Eagles take the advantage?

Woodville-West Torrens’ tackling is the best in the business. They make sure the opposition is feeling it throughout games and earn every touch. If their tackles stick, it will go a long way to winning because they can shut down the Bulldogs running game. Central’s style looks good when it moves, but it is often that last kick inside 50 that can sometimes miss and the Bulldogs will know the Eagles will bring the heat. Jess Sedunary has been a massive inclusion fo the Eagles, and Jovanka Zecevic and Amie Blanden – funnily enough the Eagles’ half-forward line this week – have been amongst their most consistent players.

What are some of the key match ups?

A potential young guns match up that could be huge to see if they ended up going head-to-head would be Latiah Huynh (Central) up against Charlotte Dolan (Eagles). Both are not afraid to move the ball, both are courageous and both are fierce at the contest when needing to be. Along with that, a vital match up at opposite ends would be Demi Sonneman up against Kiana Lee, and Ashlee Reid potentially trying to quell Katelyn Rosenzweig. There are no shortage of big one-on-ones here.

Prediction: Another one too close to call. Really like the way both sides have taken it up to the opposition the last few weeks, but Central in particular with the style were great against South and it might hold up here for the Bulldogs’ second win.

 

NORTH ADELAIDE VS. NORWOOD
Saturday, July 11, 1.40pm
Prospect Oval

A massive clash that will have huge ramifications on the run to the finals is up next with the other top four head-to-head between North Adelaide and Norwood. The Roosters are yet to lose this season, keen to avenge their grand final loss in 2019, while the minor premiers from last season have had to undergo some rebuilding with a lot of players being drafted – including their coach – into the AFL Women’s. A number of them have returned and Norwood have been able to string a couple of wins together since the break, but this is a huge test here. If they win, they draw level with West Adelaide, while North run the risk of South catching them at the top. It also means there would be up to a five-point gap between the top four and bottom four, all but guaranteeing the finals teams.

Key questions:

Does North Adelaide have an Achilles heel?

With six wins on the trot and answering every challenge thrown at them, it is hard to point out a weakness in the side. The defence is sturdy and reliable, the midfield is elite, the forward line has a nice mix of talls and smalls, and the depth is very impressive. However like any side, the key is winning the ball out of the midfield, because if they do not do that, it is hard to pile on the high scores that they do. It is imperative that Norwood win the midfield battle if they are to go on their way to claim victory. North Adelaide have not lost for a reason.

How much will the ruck battle play a role?

Leah Cutting is clearly one of, if not the standout ruck in the competition from a state league perspective, whilst Bek Rasheed has come in this season but shown some promising signs for the Redlegs. Most will expect Cutting to win that battle – and she will need to in order to give her midfielders a chance – but if Rasheed can nullify or get on top, then North is already a step ahead. Given North’s midfield of Anne Hatchard, Leah Tynan and Ashleigh Woodland with Katelyn Pope providing the dash off the wing, it will be a difficult one to stop.

How does Norwood kick a winning score against North?

The Roosters lowest score this year is 4.1 (25) and Glenelg’s identical score last week was the highest score against the Roosters. South pushed them all the way in Round 4, and the Redlegs are the only team yet to face them. Norwood on the other hand have score more than four goals once – in the win against Central in Round 5 – so you have to think they will need to do it again to win here. They have the potential through the likes of Alison Ferrall and Mattea Breed who both booted three goals in that aforementioned victory, whilst the midfield of Najwa Allen, Monique Hollick and Jess Macolino can all get forward and contribute. Norwood often has a rolling forward line with a lot of midfielders rotating through there which can also be a huge help. Unfortunately for the Redlegs, North’s defence is the best in the competition with Kristi Harvey and Amber Ward superb rebounders, and now Talia Radan back there too.

Prediction: It is just too hard to look past North. Norwood will give it a real shake and have the talent to do it, but the Roosters just keep getting it done each and every week and it is hard to see them getting beaten.

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Peel Thunder

PEEL Thunder will be hoping to avoid a return to the dark days when football returns this season, after enduring possibly the most tumultuous preseason of any West Australian Football League (WAFL) club. Due to the AFL’s COVID-19 directives, the Thunder have lost access to all Fremantle listed players for the 2020 season in what will be a true test of the club’s depth. With the exception of former Essendon midfielder Ben Howlett’s best and fairest triumph in 2018, Peel has not had a non-Fremantle player win either its best and fairest or leading goal kicker awards since 2012, when the club finished last.

On top of that, Peel will also be without former captain Gerald Ugle, one of the club’s most consistent performers over the course of the past few seasons. To help cover their losses, the Thunder have secured the return of premiership key defender Josh Bootsma from country football, and will have full-time use of Hayden Ballantyne’s services following his AFL retirement.

Peel will have to rely on its depth to cover for the losses and take the next step from a finals contender to a consistent finals threat. Last season’s bottom place Reserves finish will be a little concerning, but a Grand Final appearance for the Colts in 2019 gives hope that the youth of the club can contribute immediately.

Colts graduates Tyrone Thorne and Ryan Bennell were both part of last year’s State Under 18s squad and were given games in the senior team last season. Look for them to receive extensive opportunities as the club re-builds. Jackson Knight could also be a seniors candidate after a strong season in the Colts last year while Ben Middleton finished the campaign with 26 goals in his final eight Colts games and snagged four in his Reserves debut as a tall forward. If the young talent can be guided by captain Ben Howlett and experienced campaigners in Ballantyne, Blair Bell and Jackson Merrett, perhaps this season could turn into a positive one.

It’s hard to get a read on where the team is at without a preseason match against another club. Instead, the Thunder’s Round 1 match against Perth will provide the first look at this fresh outfit. The primary concern from the outside is the lack of experienced key position players, roles recently covered by Dockers players such as Griffin Logue, Brennan Cox, Lloyd Meek and Hugh Dixon. Instead, the local talent will finally get a chance to shine outside of the Fremantle shadow.

Due to the loss of players, Peel will not be fielding a Reserves side in this year’s competition, raising questions about how much quality competition those hanging on the fringes of the side will face. The Colts side will be looking to continue its form that saw a Grand Final appearance in 2019. The Thunder will have three players included in this year’s NAB AFL Academy in Tyler Nesbitt, Luke Polson and Isiah Winder.

Stability could be an issue for the side with potential senior opportunities available throughout the year. Early signs have been positive though with a 22-point win over Swan Districts in their only practice match and the Thunder will be hoping that their Colts can again be the club’s shining light.