Category: Tasmania

TSL/W weekend preview: Blues and Roos set to be pick of the weekend

UTAS Stadium and Windsor Park play host to a day of football for the Tasmanian State League (TSL) and TSL Women’s competitions. North Launceston hosts Tigers in both the men’s and women’s competitions at UTAS, while not far away, Launceston takes on Clarence at Windsor Park.

Last placed Glenorchy takes on a determined North Hobart side that has been gallant this season, pushing the top two teams in both its games. The Magpies finally got a win on the board in its last outing prior to its Round 5 bye, but it was far from convincing, coming away with a one-point triumph over Tigers. They had previously been belted by Clarence the week before after a competitive effort against Lauderdale in Round 2. The Demons have never been out of a match yet, winning two of their four games, and could have got the chocolates in the other two.

From an AFL Draft perspective, the Demons have a host of young talents including AFL Academy members, Patrick Walker and Sam Collins, while Jye Menzie is a clever forward who has drawn interest. With some teenage talls in Jacob Steele and Hamish Allan also coming through the Devils’ program North Hobart has plenty of up and coming talent on display. The Magpies do not necessarily have the same high amount of Devils’ players, but they have some elite talents in former Hawk, Zac Webster and the ever dangerous Jaye Bowden, one of the league’s best players of the past decade. They will need big games from them and across the board if they are to cause an upset over the young Demons.

Tigers will be hoping to cause the upset of the season when they take on North Launceston on Saturday. The Kingborough-based side has begun to turn its season around, and realistically has only been blown out of the water once (an 82-point shellacking to Launceston), with 10 and one-point losses either side of that. The yellow and blacks cracked through for a win last round, defeating Clarence thanks to an impressive opening three quarters.

The experience of ex-AFL talent Kieran Lovell showed in the midfield, while Luke Graham and Tyler Carter both slotted three majors each, and Lachlan Gadomski remains a rock in defence. North Launceston are chugging along nicely to slide into second spot now, and top-age AFL Draft prospect Jackson Callow leads all-comers from his side in front of the big sticks, slotting seven majors this season. Youngster, Baynen Lowe made his debut last round and will be one to track this season as well, while Ollie Sanders and Sherrin Egger are others who create excitement for the Bombers.

The Launceston machine rolled on another week, extending its unbeaten streak to five, but not without a challenge from the plucky Demons. The Blues experience won out in the end to get up by three points, but it was their tightest victory of the season. The Blues are stacked with experience, led by ex-Hawk and playing coach, Mitch Thorp, while Dylan Riley and Jake Hinds have combined for 24 goals this season. Jared Dakin is the draft prospect to watch after some impressive performances this season.

Now it is up to Clarence to not only try and turn around its past fortnight, but bounce back and take down the league’s top side this season. The Roos just conceded too many inside 50 entries last week as the Tigers snatched their first win, pushing the Roos out to a 1-3 record, albeit with a better percentage than the Tigers or Magpies. Oliver Preshaw and Josh Green were damaging inside 50, while Oliver Davis has been sensational this year for the red and whites. Along with bottom-age talents Sam Banks and Noah Holmes, the Roos have a number of players to keep an eye on in season 2020. Although Davis and Holmes will miss not take part in this match.

TSL ROUND 6 FIXTURES:

Glenorchy vs. North Hobart
North Launceston vs. Tigers
Launceston vs. Clarence

Nothing is better than a top of the table clash and grand final rematch all in one, but that is what confronts fans who attend the Clarence and Launceston battle in the TSL Women’s competition. The top of the table Roos have not missed a beat this season, winning all three matches, while the Blues slipped up for only the second time in 18 months, losing to Glenorchy to just sit four points and considerable percentage off top spot. Given the hurt from losing the grand final to the Roos last year, expect the Blues to have pencilled this one in the diary as a must-win.

Clarence has a couple of dominant goalkickers in Jessie Williams (eight goals), Amy Edmand (seven) and Jacinta Limbrick (five), while the young prospects to watch include 2021 AFLW Draft prospect, Amy Prokopiec and speedster Netty Garlo who have both impressed this season. The Blues are stacked with AFL Women’s talent led by Daria Bannister and Mia King who are always amongst Launceston’s best, as forward/ruck Camilla Taylor is an over-ager talent to watch.

The other game in the round is at the opposite end of the ladder when Tigers travel to North Launceston to take on the Bombers. North Launceston has a game in hand, and could well avoid the wooden spoon with a win in this clash, as the teams have scored a combined 16 points this season in five games, but will eye this one off as a game they both believe they can win.

Lily Ellis and Brooke Phillips are the Tigers goalkickers, while youngsters in Priscilla Odwogo and Hailee Baldwin have impressed at times this season. For the Bombers, they are yet to kick a goal in the opening two games, but have had some solid contributions from players such as Zoe Bourne, Ella Maurer and Kayla Sheehan this season.

TSLW ROUND 5 FIXTURES:

Launceston vs. Clarence
North Launceston vs. Tigers

Draft Central All-Star Team: Tasmania

TASMANIA has produced plenty of talented AFL stars over the years, with the Apple Isle more than deserving of its own elite level team. In this All-Star Team of the AFL Era, Draft Central gives fans an idea of what an all-Tasmanian side could have looked like, granted with players across the past three decades.

THE TEAM

Tasmania is rich with talent and players who can launch long, penetrating kicks from well outside 50. From the defenders to the forwards, a number of players are more than capable of hitting the scoreboard or piercing defensive zones from a fair distance away. They have a well-balanced team, a gritty midfield and strong defence. By far their greatest strength is their forward line, with the most goals kicked by any All-Star side in the series.

DEFENCE

The balance between offensive and defensively minded players is strong, with Jeremy Howe and Grant Birchall providing run out of defence. One can only dream of having the pair in the same backline with their raking long boots doing terrible damage to opposition defensive structures. There are a couple of handy 200-gamers are in the other spots with Melbourne utility Steven Febey (258 games) and three-club player Ben Harrison (211) providing valuable experience.

The two key position players are Colin Garland and Jade Rawlings, though Harrison could be that additional tall if required. Rawlings has the versatility to play up either end, while coming off the bench, Jake Kolodjashnij could also play in a key role, while Matthew Febey could be off a flank.

MIDFIELD

Hard. That is the best way of describing he midfield, with a tough onball group that no one would like to mess with. Paul Williams is the games record holder from the Apple Isle, racking up 306 games and booting 307 goals where he could also play forward. Joining him in there is the tough Darryn Cresswell and Adrian Fletcher, while Brendon Gale is the ruck. Between the quartet, the starting onball group has 1025 games of experience, as well as four best and fairests and two All-Australians.

On the wings is the silky skilled Darrin Pritchard who modern day spectators might not remember, but he played 211 games and won three flags with the Hawks. On the other wing is Brady Rawlings, who won three best and fairests and surpassed the 250-game mark himself. Coming off the bench is the likes of Mitch Robinson, Andy Lovell and Maverick Weller could rotate through there.

FORWARD

The front six is where the magic is for the Mariners/Devils with quality key forwards, mediums and smalls that have a lot of goals between them. Leading the team is Richmond forward Jack Riewoldt, with three Colemans, three All-Australians and two best and fairests in the bank, not too far off 300 games and 650 goals. He is in the forward pocket given his athleticism over his career, and he is the games record holder of a player coming out of the Tasmanian under 18s development program. At full-forward is Ben Brown, with the North big man always coming close to All-Australian, making the 40-man extended squad three times, and has nearly 300 goals from 130-odd games. The centre half-forward needs no introductions with Matthew Richardson kicking the most goals of any Tasmanian with 800, as well as 282 games, three All-Australians and a best and fairest.

Two of Melbourne’s best players of the modern era sit at half-forward with Russell Robertson and Brad Green combining for almost 500 games and 800 goals between them. Green could push into the midfield, and Robertson was a high-flyer with serious X-factor. Rounding out the front six is Simon Minton-Connell who slotted 305 goals in 112 games. Between the front six, they have combined for a mind-boggling 2793 goals, at an average of 465.5 per player. That combination is by far the most damaging forward line of the lot and would be near impossible to stop. Brodie Holland is a player who could impact up forward coming off the bench, but also run off a wing.

DEPTH

Of those who just missed the cut for the Mariners/Devils’ All-Star side, Justin Sherman (138 games) has the most, ahead of Tom Bellchambers and Liam Jones. Other 100-gamers are Aaron Hall, Simon Wiggins, Trent Nicholls and Josh Green. Peter Street (78 games) is next in line, ahead of Luke Russell (73), Aaron Joseph (73), Jesse Lonergan (60) and Jason Laycock (58). In more modern times, Toby Nankervis, Jimmy Webster, Alex Pearce and Brody Mihocek are established players. More recently again, Tarryn Thomas is looking good for the Kangaroos, Chayce Jones is running around for the Crows, while Mitch O’Neill and Matt McGuinness are among those who were drafted last year.

Scouting notes and weekly wrap: TSL – Round 5

IT was a big weekend of Tasmanian State League (TSL) action as a number of Tasmanian Devils prospects past and present ran around for respective clubs in the three matches over the weekend. We took notes on some of the young guns and recap how the matches went down.

CLARENCE vs. TIGERS

Tigers recorded their first win of the 2020 TSL season with an upset 15-point victory over Clarence. The win was on the back of a dominant first three quarters where Tigers piled on 12 goals to four in an impressive performance. Clarence roared to life in he final term as they booted 5.3 to 0.1, but still fell short of victory, going down 12.5 (77) to 9.8 (62). Luke Graham and Tyler Carter slotted three goals each for Tigers, as Kieran Lovell ran amok around the ground. Will Campbell and Zach Adams were other impressive players for the yellow and black. For the Roos, Oliver Davis was unbelievable and features in our notes, as does Sam Banks, while former Brisbane and Essendon goalsneak Josh Green slotted three majors in defeat.

By: Peter Williams

Clarence:

#20 Oliver Davis

Had a sensational outing and was clearly one of the Roos’ bet and four quarter performers. The AFL Academy member started onball and played there primarily other than the odd rest inside 50. His stoppage nous was terrific, and he was always burrowing in to either win the ball or lay a tackle on his opponent. Davis is able to find the exit at stoppages and read the taps well, and in the second term he got a quick snap off out of a stoppage to set up a goal for Josh Green. He has the smarts to reduce the impact of an opponent as well, by corralling them into a space – as he did in the third term at half-back – which forces them to retreat to safety and allow his teammates numbers to get back on the transition. Davis is definitely one of those pure inside ball winners and while sometimes he can be overzealous with his tackling, he is not afraid to crack in time and time again, showing off a high work rate. Reminded me a bit of Dylan Clarke at Under 18s level.

#23 Sam Banks

Played an outside role along and wing and drifting into either 50 when adding an extra number. Did not need to win a heap of the ball to do damage when he had his chance. His work under pressure is good, able to kick safely from half-back to the wing without putting it out on the full and gained vital metres. As a ball-winning midfielder, Banks did get caught out once by being sucked into the defensive 50 stoppage in the second term, and his opponent snuck out the back where an opposition player found him lurking at the top of 50. Banks’ offensive traits are superb though, and he showed in the third term what he can do with time and space, putting on the jets and burning off an opponent to kick long to the goalsquare where it almost created a goal-scoring opportunity.

Tigers:

#31 Lachlan Gadomski (Tigers)

The athletic 20-year-old remained in the interest of AFL recruiters last year, and he showed in little bursts what he is capable of. Having a clean run at it for a change this season, Gadomski was reliable in defence, with clean hands in the air and a strong aerial presence. He was hungry for the ball and laid some fierce tackles, but was also creative on the last line, often looked at as the option to switch play or, as on one occasion, go long down the middle. His pressure game was exemplified by winning a one-on-two contested in the back pocket where he was able to get the ball across the line, and in the fourth term, he did well not to give away a free backing back to a one-on-one and spoiling it to rush a behind.

 

LAUDERDALE vs. NORTH LAUNCESTON

North Launceston kicked into gear after a slow first half to pick up another win in its premiership defence season. The Bombers trailed by six points at quarter time against another top four side in Lauderdale, but after hitting the front by half-time (one point), ran away with it in the second half to boot six goals to two and secure a 10.7 (67) to 6.5 (41) victory. Nick Baker was terrific for Lauderdale and features in the notes, while Phillip Bellchambers, Josh McGuinness and Luke Nelson (three goals) were also impressive. For the winners though, Jackson Callow slotted two goals alongside Bart McCulloch, as youngster Sherrin Egger (one) and Alex Lee, were named amongst the best.

By: Fraser Stewart

Lauderdale:

#17 Nick Baker

Set up Lauderdale’s first goal of the game with impressive vision down on the wing. Impressive off half-back and was not afraid to show his attacking style of play often going forward to try and spark a Lauderdale attack, while at the same time showing great speed which was evident throughout the second half of the game. As well as showing a great instinct to attack, he was also calm in defence when the pressure was on him often defusing various North Launceston attacks through intercept marks and was even calm when he rushed a behind which shows he has the knowledge of match awareness in defence.

North Launceston:

#16 Ollie Sanders

Was quiet for much of the first half, came to life throughout the third term. However, he was always around the contest and it could be noted that much of his work went unnoticed as he was often the first person to get the ball out of a contest. It could be noted that his style more focussing on the one-percenters in which he contributed with a few spoils and pressure acts. Took a strong mark late in the third quarter to help slow the play showed good knowledge.

#21 Sherrin Egger

Set up North Launceston’s first goal of the game as he set up a Jackson Callow set shot off a clearance. He was impressive around the stoppages as he knows when to get the ball out often through a quick handball to set up a North Launceston attack. He also showed good composure when facing traffic often manoeuvring out of the way of Lauderdale’s oncoming players. He showed good vision too, and this was evident when he was on the wing as he knew where to kick it. Earned himself a 100-metre penalty early in the last quarter and kicked a goal, he goes hard at the contest too.

#25 Jackson Callow

It took 16 minutes for Callow to show what he is capable of as he kicked the first goal of the game with a great lead after a great chest mark. He was everywhere throughout the game plying his trade at half-forward where he kicked two goals and kicked it cleanly off the boot, in the ruck where he showed a great leap and even won a few hitouts. He also spent the majority of the last term in the backline defusing various Lauderdale attacks through intercept marks and spoils. On top of that, he can also be a handy midfield player too, as he was collecting possessions when he was near the ball. He has the potential to be a very useful player for any side as this game showed he can be a great utility that can play pretty much everywhere and has the footy smarts to go along with it. 

 

NORTH HOBART vs. LAUNCESTON

By: Eli Duxson

It was a captivating matchup in a top of the table clash which went right down to the wire despite a slow first half scoring wise. North Hobart looked like finally breaking Launceston’s undefeated streak after leading by two points at the main break, but then Launceston edged in front and held on to the lead to secure a memorable three-point win, 9.7 (61) to 9.4 (58) in one of the games of the season. While proven performers in Bailey Walker and Dylan Riley (four goals) stood out for either side, we will take a look at some of the young talent on display at North Hobart Oval in North Hobart’s Jake Steele, Hamish Allan, Will Peppin, Jye Menzie, Patrick Walker, and Sam Collins and Launceston’s Jared Dakin.

North Hobart

#11 Jake Steele

Steele has become the focal point of the Demons’ forward line having developed rapidly in the senior environment. The first forward entry of the game scrubbed its way into Steele who could not trap it which set the tone for much of his first quarter. He left the forward 50 on many occasions and provided a solid outlet target for North Hobart and despite not managing a mark until later in the quarter, he contested and brought it ground for his teammates to go to work. He made the most of some relaxed Launceston defence to mark uncontested 30 metres out and drilled it to give him his only goal for the day. Despite not impacting the scoreboard for the rest of the game, he showed his endurance with big efforts to create an outlet target in the back pocket. His field kicking looked scratchy but his willingness to push up the ground and help his defence is certainly a positive aspect of his game.

The second half saw him help Allan in the ruck and despite giving up some strength to Launceston ruckman Tim Auckland, he used his athleticism to not allow an easy clearance at stoppages for the Blues. When the game was at peak intensity in the final quarter, he managed to keep a cool head under pressure with a slick handball out of a pack to a runner on the wing which set up a deep forward entry, and taking an important intercept mark on his goal line.

Though he will look to continue working on his ball use around the ground, the Demons will be pleased with his improvement and ability to play as a key position player who can swing through the ruck. If he can turn his big spoils and marking contests into big contested marks, he will be a dangerous player moving forward.

#15 Hamish Allan

The matchup between he and Auckland from the outset was one to watch and he certainly did not back down an inch. The 205cm and 100kg brute of a 19-year-old showed an impressive amount of athleticism and endurance for much of the game, earning him a spot in his side’s best players. He thumped the ball from the very first ruck contest of the game and looked ominous from the outset. Later in the first quarter he even managed a clearance and a rebound 50 as he was willing to win, and use, his own ball. The second quarter provided one of the highlights of the game as he went for a big hanger in the middle of the ground. Even though he did not have to jump as high as the average player would have, it was still a good grab with a knee in the back of his opponent. Looking like he was unsure of what to do with it, he looked to go left, and then lumbered his way to his right and around the man on the mark to send it inside 50 where no North Hobart players were, unfortunately.

With Steele assisting him in the ruck for a lot of the second half, he managed to rest up forward and snagged a goal from a contested mark, slotting the goal from 25 metres out. He continued to show that he was not just a tall who slapped the ball out of the ruck, he even takes big pack marks leading up the wings much like Steele did when the Demons were moving forward. Further showing off his endurance, whenever he was in the ruck, he worked back defensively to plug the hole and did it effectively.

A very impressive game from the big man would have caught the eye of many as the prototype ruckman has started to turn into the hard-working athletic tall who can do it on both ends. Allan certainly has this ability and the only way is up for him.

#19 Will Peppin

The Devil from last season in the versatile Peppin found himself moving from the wing to the backline in what was a tough contest with the ladder leaders and despite his slight build, he looked to win his own ball on several occasions. He found his way to good spots and looked most comfortable floating down and getting the ball out the back. His ball use let him down for much of the first half, but he has done the hard yards to possess the ball which is what he would have been happy with. The first quarter saw a slick spin move and gather inside a defensive 50 pack, but an errant handball was the first of a few forgettable disposals for Peppin. Doing the grunt work with no result is far from a negative as clean and consistent ball use will come with confidence and experience at the level. His second quarter saw a drastic improve with an effortless side-step and switch kick deep in his defensive 50 hitting a target, and a well-weighted chip kick up the other end for a dropped mark from a teammate.

His second half showed off his pace as he assisted Allan for an easy goal, but it also showed off his inside work as he was willing to get in and under and scrap to win the hard balls. Even though he was muscled out of a contest early in the last quarter, he persisted on showing great poise in the defensive half of the ground in the manic moments as he started to become lively with their defensive exits. One of which included a big kick off the ground where he continued on to get on the end of a handball from his teammate who gathered his kick, as he found a target inside 50 for a shot on goal.

Even with a tough start in terms of disposal efficiency, he came into his own for most of the game and showed a level-head under defensive pressure. He will be looking to add some strength, but his inside and outside balance are a key feature of his game.

#46 Jye Menzie 

Menzie had a quiet game on his standards playing out of half-forward for the Demons but looked very threatening whenever he was around the ball. He led up strongly in the first quarter to mark at the centre of the ground and drilled a low ball to a target inside 50 who assisted a goal. Trying to get himself involved a bit more with Launceston doing most of the attacking in the second quarter, he found his way to the half back-flank to help with an exit. Menzie made a grubby kick from Steele look very good with an impressive ground ball gather at pace and under pressure, as he showed composure up against the boundary line and find a target with a handball. His pressure near the contest was also a highlight of his, a trait that many forwards require as they do not typically impact the game through high possessions.

His second half continued the same way his first half did with high impact on contests, but he would still like to find the footy a bit more. Menzie won a crucial one-on-one centre wing with a clean one-hand gather on the chaos ball before losing his footing. That did not affect him that much as he bounced back up to remain poised and recorded a goal assist with a kick to advantage inside 50. Being the link option between flanks for most of the game, Menzie found some space inside forward 50 following a quick Demons rebound, but unfortunately could not convert the 45-metre kick.

He may not have had as many possessions as he would have liked, but his defensive pressure, impact on contests and clean hands and disposal are what you want out of your forwards. Soon enough, his effort will turn into scoreboard results on a more consistent basis as it has in previous weeks.

#48 Patrick Walker

The AFL Academy member played predominantly on the wing as his run and carry and penetrating kick was on display. He injected himself into the game with a strong first quarter setting up well around stoppages to get clearances, while also finding himself free on transition plays to use his neat kicking to keep pushing it forward. Late in the opening quarter he drifted forward and took a mark in front of his opponent 45 metres out, but a 50-metre penalty put him on the goal line, and he put it straight through the middle. A quieter second quarter meant he almost got himself a second goal but fumbled at the wrong moment.

His second half also started a bit quieter than his blistering start to the game, but his play picked up with the intensity of the game in the final quarter as he halved a big contest in his defensive half before receiving help from teammates. His work did not stop there as he received a handball 60 metres away to pump it deep inside his forward 50. He continued to pop up in important spots as he had another shot on goal which just missed and covered good ground to create options on rebounds and entries.

Though he did have some quiet patches, he managed to maintain position and discipline as a wingman and more importantly, he played that linking role well with good ball use. He is a bit of a Lachie Whitfield type with a lean build, but good disposal and still an ability to find and win his own ball.

#49 Sam Collins

Normally playing as an attacking defender, he was given the responsibility of playing on the last line of defence against the Hudson Medal leader in Riley. The AFL Academy member showed he was up to it for much of the game, but a burst of brilliance from Riley may not reflect that if you only looked at the score sheet. He was caught behind on a few occasions due to quick ball movement off the turnover from Launceston but was not caught behind by much. He still scrapped at all contests but not had not conceded a goal for the first half. He kicked the ball well and found good options as his attacking mindset paid off when trying to escape tricky situations. He continued to find his own ball despite his tough assignment for the first half, but a missed spoil and loose body checking showed there are still things to work on if he wants to be a key defender moving forward.

Collins showed great closeout speed and ball reading all day, but there was not a lot he could have done to stop Launceston and Riley in the third quarter. Perfect kicks to space and strong hands meant Riley kicked his four goals for the day in the third quarter. To Collins’ credit, he did not give up. As you do as a defender, you force your opponent to kick goals from tough spots and work hard for it, and that is exactly what Collins did. He was on his tail for every lead and forced Riley toward the boundary.

His ball use was certainly a highlight of his game and all things considered, he defended well on a classy operator who enjoyed a quarter you do not have very often. He has all the attributes of a key defender as he reads the play well, has great closeout speed and with time, he will add some more strength to take on opponents like Riley moving forward.

Launceston:

#20 Jared Dakin

With no Isaac Chugg out there, he was the sole Devil representative for the Blues who did not enjoy the type of game that he has in recent weeks. He played in the forward half all day and did not impact the scoreboard, but he did pop up at good times to apply defensive pressure. He created a forward 50 boundary throw in due to a strong closeout and intercept spoil. Later in the quarter he hit up Riley inside 50 with a mark she should have taken. Besides kicking into the man on the mark, his first half was full of good pressure around the ball, he just could not get his hands on it.

Much like the other young talent on display, Dakin turned it on with the heat of the game in the final quarter, bringing that pressure and turning it into shots on goal. He hit the post after marking inside 50 and took a big contested mark further afield. He started to look dangerous when he laid a crunching tackle to create a forward 50 stoppage, before muscling out a handball while wrapped up.

He will certainly look to have more output in coming weeks, but his effort never wavered. He continued to apply defensive pressure and be physical around the stoppage.

ROUND 5 RESULTS:

Clarence 9.8 (62) defeated by Tigers 12.5 (77)
Lauderdale 6.5 (41) defeated by North Launceston 10.7 (67)
North Hobart 9.4 (58) defeated by Launceston 9.7 (61)

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Round 4 – Magpies stun Launceston as Clarence takes top spot

GLENORCHY Magpies reaffirmed themselves as a genuine premiership contender in the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition with an impressive 25-point win over the previously undefeated Launceston. The upset win against a side that has only lost once in the past 12 months – the 2019 TSL Women’s Grand Final – helped Glenorchy move to third on the table, percentage behind the Blues. Meanwhile Clarence’s impressive 10-goal win over Tigers handed the Roos outright top spot.

The impressive Magpies got the job done courtesy of a dominant final term in what had been previously an arm-wrestle against the Blues. Kicking the only two points on the first term, and then leading by a solitary point at half-time, Glenorchy booted the only four goals of the second half, whilst restricting the top of the table Launceston to just one behind in the process. By the time the siren sounded, Glenorchy had won 5.3 (33) to 1.2 (8).

Sarah Skinner booted two goals for the Magpies and was among the best, as Elise Barwick, Molly Mitchell and Angelica Clark all snagged a goal apiece. Former North Melbourne talent, Libby Haines was best-on in the upset win, while Kira Maass and Macklyn Sutcliffe were also impressive. For the Blues, Makenna Hillier slotted the only major of the game, while Kelsie Hill joined AFL Women’s talents, Daria Bannister and Mia King among the best in the loss.

In the other game, Clarence had no such struggles running away with a 10.6 (66) to 1.0 (6) victory over Tigers. The Roos led by 14 points at the first break, but kicked away in the second with four goals to zero to hold the visitors scoreless at the main break. Lilly Ellis broke the goal scoring drought for Tigers in the third term to keep her side on level pegging for the quarter, but the final three goals in the last term went to Clarence as the Roos skipped away to a huge win to take top spot.

Amy Edmand was best on ground with four goals as the only multiple goalkicker, with Clarence teammates lining up in a real team effort with seven individual goal scorers. Nicole Bresnehan, Brianna McDonald, Jacinta Limbrick, Netty Garlo, Emma Blair and Megan Harper were the others who hit the scoreboard, as Brianna Oates, Louisa Marmion and Amy Prokopiec all impressed in the red and white. For Tigers, it was a youth feel among some of the bests with Priscilla Odwogo, Hailee Baldwin and Mimosa Middleton Miller all amongst the bests in the big loss.

Moving onto Round 5 in the competition, and a huge top of the table clash takes place at Windsor Park as Launceston looks to dethrone Clarence and take back top spot in a must-watch encounter. In the other game, the two winless teams in North Launceston and Tigers do battle with the winner to lock up fourth spot on the table for at least a week.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4 RESULTS:

Glenorchy 5.3 (33) defeated Launceston 1.2 (8)
Clarence 10.6 (66) defeated Tigers 1.0 (6)

Tasmanian Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

TASMANIA is up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Swan Districts All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Nic Naitanui and Alex Rance announced as dual winners and co-captains of the Swans’ All-Star side.

Tasmania has had development teams on and off over the years, from the Mariners to the Devils, as well as a few players who have gone on to be drafted outside of the Apple Isle at other clubs. For the purpose of this, we have included the likes of Ben Brown who was drafted out of the VFL, but hailed from Tasmania, as well as those like Matthew Richardson who came from the Tasmanian State League (TSL) rather than a development program. The top few seeds in the draw include Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt and former Melbourne star, Brad Green.

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 West Adelaide Bloods starting on Thursday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

Guilford Young celebrate come-from-behind win over St Patricks in opening SATIS clash

GUILFORD Young College booted six of the last seven goals of the game to come from behind and run over the top of St Patrick’s in the opening game of the SATIS Division 1 season on Wednesday afternoon. A two-goal final term to Tasmania Devils’ Lachlan Borsboom sealed the win for the visiting side who would have headed back down the Midland Highway pleased with an eight-point victory, 7.4 (46) to 6.2 (38).

St Patrick’s had the upper hand early after the game was moved from UTAS to St Patrick’s after the former was inundated with snow from the previous night. It meant Guilford Young had to make the trek up from the southern location to their opponents’ home ground and were on the back foot, but the visitors settled down, kicking the opening goal through big man, David Monks. His long-range set shot was soon countered four and a half minutes later by Angus Jeffries who got St Patrick’s up and about in a low-scoring opening term. Both sides were a goal apiece in wet and windy conditions.

The home team got the jump in the second term and controlled play to boot the only three goals of the second term. After being held well in the opening term – partially due to the terrible conditions for key forwards – Jackson Callow began to get involved, setting up scoring opportunities and even kicking a behind or two himself. Fellow Tasmania Devils talent Oliver Sanders marked inside 50 and handed his team the advantage, which had broken a fair goal drought. Firmly in control, Declan Chugg added his name to the goalkickers list with a major 25m out, with a last minute goal following a turnover from Oliver Davis to Callow who quickly played on and hit up Ben Hyatt one-on-one in the goalsquare. In what would be the last kick of the half, Hyatt turned around and booted it home, for a 4.2 (26) to 1.0 (6) half-time lead.

Callow had worked into the game in that second term, with Sanders and Angus Jeffries looking strong, as was Oliver Chugg. The Guilford Young captain, Davis had been one of the more prominent players in the first half, with AFL Under 16s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Sam Banks, as well as Sanders, Sam Collins and Dom White also busy.

The second half opened with a lightning quick clearance out of the middle from Tony Aganas who was moved into the ruck, roved his own tap and then kicked off the ground forward. A free was paid to St Patrick’s, but the quick give off to Sanders had a fifth goal – and his second – for the home side in the opening minute. From then on though, Guilford Young owned the game. Coach Blair Brownless shuffled around the magnets and got the visiting team moving the ball more aggressively and it started to show on the scoreboard. As the lead had got out to 26 points at one stage, the losing side hit back with three goals, starting with key forward Noah Holmes‘ snap around his body. Darcy Gardiner made it two with a similar attempt midway through the term, and then a silly free kick against the home side for bowling over Banks in midfield gave Davis a 50m penalty and brought him to within range. He duly delivered for his side’s third consecutive goal, and while the home team had a real chance with a few minutes remaining going deep inside 50, Patrick Walker clunked a huge contested grab to save the day.

After a disappointing second half of the third term, St Patrick’s needed an early major in the last to steady the ship, and once again it was Aganas who got the ball moving out of the ruck straight to Zach Morris. He unloaded from 50m with the breeze and all of a sudden the home team was back in control with a 6.2 (38) to 4.1 (25) lead in wet and windy conditions. But, in what was also near-identical to the third term, Guilford Young through everything at St Patrick’s in what would be a memorable final term. Borsboom became the match winner with two final term goals, starting with a quick answer to Monks’ major a few minutes later. Out of nothing the Tasmania Devils’ talent snapped around his body for a goal, and then Ned Ward made it two not long after to level the scores.

With the teams neck-and-neck through the midpoint of the quarter, it looked as though Holmes would be the saviour with a mark not too far out from goal after a strong mark following an end-to-end play. A Banks tackle in the middle had set up the scoring opportunity for the Clarence big man, but he sprayed it to the right. His behind was enough to put his team in front though, and they never surrendered the lead. Marking straight from the kickout, Holmes had another chance, albeit from much further out. It was on target but rushed across the line, but crucially it handed the visitors a two-point lead. Then came the match-winner in Borsboom who won a free kick 15m out on a tight angle after a frustrated Callow gave away a free kick at the top of the defensive 50 for being double-teamed. Borsboom delivered for the second time in the term to hand his side the comfortably lead, and they held on from there.

The turnaround occurred because Guilford Young dared to dream and attacked relentlessly in the second half, as St Patrick’s had chances, but were slower with the ball movement and had tried to stem the momentum against Guilford Young such as throwing Callow behind the ball. Unsurprisingly, Borsboom was one of the winners’ best, with Davis and Banks playing key roles, and Homes providing a target inside 50. Callow worked hard throughout the game, while Sanders was terrific, as was Aganas and Hyatt, but to no avail.

The victory got Guilford Young off to the perfect start in the SATIS Division 1 season, with the second Round 1 game between Hutchins and Scotch Oakburn to take place on Saturday at 1.30pm. St Patricks then home to take full advantage of Scotch Oakburn’s four-day turnaround with a clash back at St Patrick’s next Wednesday, while Guilford Young has an extended break until Saturday, August 15 when it hosts the fifth side in the division – Grammar.

Tasmanian weekly preview: Top of the table TSL clash highlights Round 5 action

A TOP of the table Tasmanian State League (TSL) clash between Launceston and North Hobart is the highlight of a big weekend of Tasmanian football action. Lauderdale and North Launceston lock horns in a third against fourth clash, as Clarence and Tigers will meet in both the TSL and TSL Women’s competitions. In the other TSL Women’s meeting, Glenorchy and Launceston lock horns in a much anticipated clash.

There is little doubt Launceston is the team to beat this season with the best offence and defence, as the only team above 250 points (276) and the only one conceding less than 130 (127) this season. They take on a much improved North Hobart team that has put its wooden spoon season behind it and picked up two wins in three games. The one loss was a gallant one against reigning premiers, North Launceston, but this is going to be an even greater challenge for the young Demons who have some terrific youth prospects.

Stringing back-to-back wins together, Jye Menzie and Nathan Harvey have each slotted five majors with Jake Steele (four) not far behind. Patrick Walker and Sam Collins are a couple of AFL Academy members to watch out for with plenty of talent. The key to stopping the Blues is limiting their damaging forward line, led by Dylan Riley (12 goals), with Jake Hinds (seven) and Mitch Thorp (five) not far behind. Jared Dakin and Collins might go head-to-head at some stage, whilst Tim Auckland is always a challenging player to beat around the ground. Yet to lose a game and sitting pretty eight points clear of their nearest rival – albeit with an extra game – they are the favourites in this clash.

North Launceston’s premiership defence has not started too bad this season, but dropping the Round 2 clash to Launceston would have hurt. They have since accounted for Clarence in a tough clash, and now face another challenger in Lauderdale that is looking to bounce back with a win after two consecutive losses. The Bombers prefer a lower scoring tight contest, and have done enough to keep the opposition under 70 points, but have not scored more than five goals in the past two weeks.

Lauderdale might look to leading goalkickers, Toutai Havea (seven goals) and Adrian Kalcovski (four) to kick a winning score, while their opponents have plenty of firepower up forward led by top-age talent Jackson Callow (five goals), and Brad Cox-Goodyer (four), while the likes of playing coach Taylor Whitford (three) and Corey Nankervis are always ones to watch.

In the final match of the round, Clarence will look to balance the ledger with a win against a winless Tigers side after going down in a tight contest to North Launceston last week. The Roos will be heavily fancied against a Tigers outfit that agonisingly came close to victory last week against Glenorchy but fell a point short. They have been competitive in two of their three losses, with a forgettable defeat at the hands of Launceston in Round 3.

Luke Graham (five goals) and Tyler Carter (four) have been shining lights in attack for Tigers, while Kieran Lovell is starting to get going for the league’s bottom side. Lachlan Gadomski and Oliver Burrows-Cheng are other talents who have been on the draft radar in year’s gone by and will be hoping to put their best foot forward. For the Roos, Noah Holmes booted four goals last week to race to equal second in his club’s goalkicking race with Oliver Preshaw, just behind Jeromey Webberley (five). Sam Banks is a name to watch out for next year while Oliver Davis should have plenty of time in the midfield throughout Clarence’s season as a top-age draft prospect.

TSL ROUND 4:

Clarence vs. Tigers
Lauderdale vs. North Launceston
North Hobart vs. Launceston

In the women’s match between Clarence and Tigers, the Roos are comfortably sitting in second with a massive percentage and will head into the clash with Tigers as heavy favourites. The damaging aspect about Clarence is that the Roos have an even spread of players across the ground. Jessie Williams booted seven goals in the Round 2 win, but only had the one last week as Jacinta Limbrick took centre stage with four. Amy Prokopiec, Netty Garlo and Tahlia Bortignon are among the young talents to watch on the Roos list.

Meanwhile Brooke Phillips broke through for Tigers’ first goal last week in the heavy defeat, whilst Kiira Johns and Mikayla Absolom have been named in the best on both occasions. Priscilla Odwogo was named best-on for the Tigers in the Round 3 loss, while Hailee Baldwin is another player who can stand up on her day.

The red hot Launceston is ready to make it three from three after having a rest in Round 3. They completely dominated Tigers by 81 points in Round 2, after holding North Launceston to the same score (one behind) but found the going a little tougher by only scoring the 26 points. Glenorchy is coming off a thumping of Tigers too, winning by 85 points, though the Magpies fell to Clarence the week before by 32.

Daria Bannister leads the goalkicking after her three goals against the Tigers, and what makes the Blues such a damaging unit is different players stand up on different days. Angela Dickson is the only player to have kicked a goal in both games, with eight individual goalkickers in the Round 2 rout, including one to top AFL Women’s talent, Mia King. Camilla Taylor is an over-age tall to keep an eye on, whilst Jennifer Guy is another named in the best for both games thus far. For Glenorchy, Sarah Skinner and Tiarna Ford have combined for nine majors, with Skinner and youngster Jemma Webster named in the best twice, leading an equally talented young list into battle.

TSL WOMEN’S ROUND 4:

Glenorchy vs. Launceston
Clarence vs. Tigers

TSL Women’s weekly wrap: Magpies and Roos roll past opponents

GLENORCHY and Clarence were far too good for their respective opponents, combining for a whopping 22.25 (157) to 1.2 (8) in Round 3 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) Women’s competition. With last year’s minor premiers and runners-up Launceston having a bye, it resulted in both reigning premiers Clarence and finalist Glenorchy having some one-sided wins over their opposition.

Clarence held North Launceston to just two behinds for the match whilst having 21 scoring shots for a total score of 9.12 (66). The Roos booted 5.6 in the opening half, then 4.6 in the second half, in a scoreline that could have been even greater with increased accuracy. Jacinta Limbrick starred in a best on ground performance with four majors for the Roos, while Amy Edmand kicked a couple of goals.

Louisa Marmion, Nicole Bresnehan and Bronte Scott were impressive, whilst last week’s seven-goal hero Jessie Williams snagged a major, as did AFL Women’s Academy member, Amy Prokopiec. For the Bombers, whilst they did not score a goal, Zoe Bourne, Maggie Cuthbertson and Ella Maurer were named in the best.

In the other match, Glenorchy stormed to a massive 13.13 (91) to 1.0 (6) victory over Tigers. The first term was relatively even with three goals to one at quarter time and the visitors leading by 15 points. It was all one-way traffic after that however, as Glenorchy slammed home 10 goals to zero in the last three quarters to enjoy a percentage-boosting win, the Magpies’ first of the season after going down last week.

Sarah Skinner (four goals), Elise Barwick (three) and Tiarna Ford (three) provided the Magpies with a triple threat inside 50, whilst Perri King was another dangerous player, kicking a goal. Barwick and Ford were named the Magpies’ best two players, whilst Jemma Webster and Angelica Clark were also impressive in the victory. Brooke Phillips was the sole goalkicker for the Tigers, as young talent, Priscilla Odwogo starred as her team’s best in the loss. Kiirra Johns and Mimosa Middleton Miller were others who stood out.

After each team has now played two matches, Launceston and Clarence loom as yet again the two teams to beat in season 2020. The Roos’ percentage of 536.36 would normally look pretty impressive had it not been for the Blues’ casual 5400 per cent on top. Conceding only two behinds this season, the Blues have been incredible in defence, whilst the Roos are the highest scoring team. Glenorchy is third with a percentage of 191.38, whilst Tigers and North Launceston sit in the bottom two.

North Launceston has the bye over the weekend, with Glenorchy to host Launceston and Clarence to face Tigers in what is sure to be another big weekend of TSL Women’s action.

Draft Central Power Rankings: August 2020

BUDDING AFL Draft prospects from around the nation have stamped their claims over the last month with football returning across multiple states, making for a top-end list boasting plenty of movers and sliders. In Draft Central‘s second Power Rankings edition for 2020, we again stick to a list of 20 with only a few adjustments made to our initial July rankings. A certain West Australian key forward has pushed into the top 10, while a couple of South Australian midfielders have bolted in from the clouds to also warrant a spot each. All that, and more in our August Power Rankings update.

Note, the list is ordered purely on our opinion and each players’ ability, not taking into account any AFL clubs’ lists or needs.

#1 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Country | Key Position Forward
4/04/2002 | 194cm | 84kg

Western Bulldogs fans may not entirely enjoy seeing Next Generation Academy (NGA) product, Ugle-Hagan perched atop the tree given the hefty price that comes with it, but should be buoyed by their club having first dibs on such a remarkable talent. The 194cm key position forward has been compared to champion goalkicker Lance Franklin for his athleticism and left-foot kick, but he plays a little differently. Ugle-Hagan’s pace off the lead and sticky hands overhead set him apart, while elite scores in each of the preseason testing events make him an irresistible prospect alone. He is the consensus number one choice at this point, having delivered on the hype as he moved to the Oakleigh region via a scholarship with Scotch College.

July Ranking: #1

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

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#2 Elijah Hollands
Murray Bushrangers/Vic County | Forward/Midfielder
25/04/2002 | 188cm | 80kg

Hollands’ placing in these rankings will inevitably prove one of the hardest to call throughout the year, given he is set to sit out the entire 2020 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). At this point though, he has done more than enough to warrant top five status at the least, and finds a place in second spot once again. While his knack for producing game-defining periods has most significantly been achieved forward of centre, Hollands has the size and skill to warrant his goal of earning more midfield minutes. With clean hands, athleticism, and a booming boot which often finds the goals, Hollands is all you could ever want from a high-ceiling prospect. Not playing shouldn’t hurt his value too much, but it would have been nice to see him get an uninterrupted crack at NAB League level having finished his schooling at Caulfield Grammar.

July Ranking: #2

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and long-term knee injury.

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#3 Will Phillips
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
22/05/2002 | 179cm | 78kg

We have all marvelled at how well Oakleigh graduates Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson have adapted to life in the AFL, and Phillips could be the next Charger in line to do just that having leant on the pair during his bottom-aged campaign. Like Rowell, Phillips is a sub-180cm prospect who consistently finds plenty of the ball and possesses great leadership qualities. He is a well-balanced midfielder too, having plied his trade at times on the outside for Oakleigh en route to premiership glory. Phillips seems to thrive on the inside though, with his hardness and ability to weave through traffic making him an invaluable stoppage asset. The Caulfield Grammar student will juggle APS football and NAB League duties in 2020, while standing as a clear leadership candidate for Vic Metro come national carnival time.

July Ranking: #3

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

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>> Draft Watch

#4 Denver Grainger-Barras
Swan Districts/Western Australia | Key Position Defender
14/04/2002 | 195cm | 78kg

Another tall amongst the top five, and a versatile one at that. While he is definitely most comfortable and renowned as a key position defender, the Swan Districts hopeful’s versatility lies in the roles he play inside defensive 50. Credit to his athleticism and slender frame, he is able to keep up with medium types at ground level, while also showing form as a lockdown type on the opposition’s best big forward, or as an intercept marking outlet. Grainger-Barras is a cool head in possession too, boasting a sound kick for his size and composure beyond his years. That same level-headedness and footballing IQ makes him a sound reader of the play from the back, and the leading option of his position.

July Ranking: #5

Last Month: Grainger-Barras has picked up right from where he left off in 2019, slotting back into Swan Districts’ League side after making his senior debut last year. Across the first three rounds, he has averaged 9.3 disposals, 4.3 marks, and 2.3 tackles from half-back, with his most recent outing earning him best afield honours against Subiaco. The promising defender is so assured in the air and reads the game better than most, though can work on finding more of the ball to make even better use of his smarts and composure.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#5 Riley Thilthorpe
West Adelaide/South Australia | Ruck/Key Position Forward
7/07/2002 | 200cm | 99kg

In a welcome change from last year’s crop, key position prospects will be in abundance at the top end. Thilthorpe is one of them, an athletic ruck/forward who possesses enormous running capacity and can dominate the airways. In his ruck duties, the 200cm West Adelaide product plays more like a fourth midfielder, able to follow up at ground level and cover the ground like a small. He has been utilised in a more forward-oriented role for the Bloods at SANFL League level though, with his goalkicking attributes and diverse skillset already making him a handful for senior players with more mature bodies. Ask any of the South Australian Under 18s who they are most looking forward to playing alongside in 2020, and Thilthorpe is among them. Jot the name down, he should be among those you are most looking forward to watching, too.

July Ranking: #4

Last Month: Another key position player who is thriving at senior level, Thilthorpe has become a consistent figure up forward for West Adelaide’s League side. He has booted four goals across his six games thus far, finding the big sticks in half of his outings. The area Thilthorpe has impressed most in is his marking, having shown a terrific forward 50 presence and the ability to use his reach to take the ball at its highest point. He is difficult to stop when doing so, and doubles his threat with good ground level efforts. Yet to take a game by the scruff of its neck, though that may prove difficult as the Bloods sit at 1-4-1.

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#6 Braeden Campbell
Sydney Swans Academy/Allies | Balanced Midfielder/Forward
4/02/2002 | 181cm | 72kg

While he has again been squeezed out to number six, Campbell is a player likely to sit among the top five come season’s end. Uncertainty lingers over how much exposure NSW/ACT athletes will be able to gain in 2020 given the NEAFL’s scrapping and a shortened NAB League competition, but one must only watch last year’s Under 17 Futures All-Star showcase to be reminded of Campbell’s talent. He was best-afield in that game, with electrifying speed, hardness at the ball, and a booming left-foot kick catching the eye of all who bore witness. The Swans Academy product is also apt in the short range as well, and has the invaluable ability to impact games in multiple positions. Whether it be on the inside, outside, or forward of centre, Campbell is a match-winner and should cost the Swans a pretty penny in terms of draft points.

July Ranking: #6

Last Month: Like many of the Swans Academy prospects, Campbell has been plying his trade in the AFL Sydney Premier Division, running out for the Pennant Hill Demons over the last three weeks. He booted six goals in his first two appearances and was named in the best both times.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#7 Tanner Bruhn
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
27/05/2002 | 182cm | 73kg

Class with a capital ‘C’ is what Bruhn has been described as, despite his limited on-field opportunities of late. The Geelong Falcons midfielder burst onto the scene as Vic Country’s Under 16 MVP in 2018, but injuries have cruelled him since; having initially required knee surgery after a 2019 preseason incident, and undergone a follow-up procedure that would have had him in doubt to feature early this year. He still managed to add two NAB League outings to his resume towards the end of last season, showcasing his terrific stoppage craft with clean hands and wonderful movement around the ball. Should he enjoy an extended run and put his best form on display, Bruhn could well push to be the premier midfielder of this year’s bunch.

July Ranking: #7

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

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>> Draft Watch

#8 Nikolas Cox
Northern Knights/Vic Metro | Key Position Defender/Utility
15/01/2002 | 199cm | 82kg

A 199cm player who can run, kick on both sides, and play just about anywhere? It sounds too good to be true, but that is exactly what Cox brings to the table as his region’s most outstanding draft candidate. Cox cut his teeth as a tall wingman and key position swingman in 2019, juggling his time between school football, 10 NAB League outings, and a berth in the Under 18 Vic Metro squad as a bottom-ager. In 2020, the Northern Knights co-captain is set to develop as a centre-half back, with his athleticism and versatility in the role lending to the fact he has an enormous ceiling. He is also set to be a prime candidate to lead Vic Metro should the national carnival swing around, lauded for his professionalism and the example he sets via training standards.

July Ranking: #8

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and AGSV Football.

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#9 Logan McDonald
Perth/Western Australia | Key Position Forward
4/04/2002 | 196cm | 85kg

A dominant key position forward with terrific endurance is McDonald, who adds to the strong tall and West Australian representation on this list. The high-marking spearhead ran out for his state thrice during last year’s Under 18 National Championships, averaging a goal per game and impressing with his ability to clunk marks leading up the ground. He has terrific hands on the lead and usually has no trouble finding the big sticks, while his high-level endurance confirms his status as a true, modern-day centre half-forward. Having grown and filled out to a more conventional key position size, expect McDonald to better showcase his game-winning ability from forward of centre – something which earned him All-Australian honours as an Under 16s player.

July Ranking: #20

Last Month: McDonald is the big riser this month having put his name in lights at WAFL League level. The 196cm key position forward put on a show in his senior debut with 16 disposals, four marks, and three goals, before going one-better in Round 2 to boot four majors from 15 disposals and seven marks. His marking strength both on the lead and one-on-one has been exceptional, as has his finishing. After a bye in Round 3, expect McDonald to continue to rise.

>> Draft Watch
>> Player Focus

#10 Alex Davies
Gold Coast SUNS/Allies | Inside Midfielder
18/03/2002 | 191cm | 85kg

A second Northern Academy prospect and first Queenslander on the list, Davies is one of the more highly touted big-bodied midfielders of his cohort. Standing at 191cm and filling out to 85kg, the SUNS Academy hopeful boasts the ideal size to not only dominate his junior competitors, but more importantly make an immediate impact at the next level. He has been his state’s prime ball winner for some time and thrives on racking up high contested numbers, but has also displayed terrific poise in traffic and adds releasing handballs to his thumping kicks away from the stoppages. He ran out for four of Gold Coast’s NAB League outings as a bottom-ager, and should prove a key figure among the Allies squad in 2020.

July Ranking: #9

Last Month: Davies has managed to squeeze a QAFL game into his schedule, appearing for the Broadbeach Cats a fortnight ago and booting a goal in their 57-point win over Mt Gravatt.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
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#11 Reef McInnes
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
12/12/2002 | 192cm | 84kg

Just slipping outside the top 10 due to McDonald’s rise is another inside midfielder and a second NGA product tied to both the Scotch College and Oakleigh Chargers systems. Attached to Collingwood, McInnes is set to be yet another in the production line of academy and father-son prospects made available to the Magpies, and looms as a first round candidate. While he was pushed out to the forward line in Oakleigh’s stacked premiership side, McInnes is a bull on the inside who can dominate at stoppages. He is hardly the typical slow, strength-dependant type either, able to lean on his agility and awareness to effectively extract from midfield. The versatility he was made to learn as a bottom-ager adds another string to his bow, with goals a valuable part of his game in 2019.

July Ranking: #10

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

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#12 Lachlan Jones
WWT Eagles/South Australia | General Defender
9/04/2002 | 185cm | 89kg

Yet another NGA prospect, Jones is tied to Port Adelaide and features quite highly on this list. His big frame has seen him adjust well to the rigours of SANFL League football, running out against mature bodies for both of the Eagles’ opening two fixtures in the grade. As a general defender, Jones possesses obvious hardness at the ball and can compete both aerially and at ground level, remaining relevant going both ways too. His skills are also a big asset, able to spear passes to high percentage options while also breaking games open with his long-range efforts. Jones may well be one to push further up the list as he progresses in 2020, with some solid traits which point to a quick transition into the next level.

July Ranking: #17

Last Month: Another SANFL League representative, Jones’ form has been enough to warrant a decent rise up our board. The solidly-built defender has cemented his spot at senior level, running out in all six of WWT’s fixtures thus far. While he has returned a few down games of under 10 disposals, Jones’ best is first round quality and indicative of a readymade player. Port fans and staff alike may want to downplay his value, but he looms as a prospect just outside of the top 10 range.

>> Draft Watch
>> Player Focus

#13 Nathan O’Driscoll 
Perth/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder/Defender
17/05/2002 | 187cm | 76kg

One of Western Australia’s leading prospect’s is O’Driscoll, a hard-at-it inside midfielder who can also double as a damaging half-back or wingman. The 187cm Perth Demons product was a standout at Colts level last year, while also breaking through for three outings in the Black Ducks’ Under 18 National Championships campaign as a bottom-ager. Having learnt off the likes of former Perth teammate and Brisbane draftee, Deven Robertson, O’Driscoll is primed to become a permanent midfield fixture haven already proven his ball winning capabilities. His penetrating boot and speed-endurance mix make him a prospect with many desirable traits, not to mention his older sister Emma, is already plying her trade at AFLW level for Fremantle.

July Ranking: #13

Last Month: O’Driscoll has been plying his trade at WAFL Colts level, featuring in Rounds 1 and 2 before a bye most recently. He has been named as the Demons’ starting centre half-forward, but after a steady opening performance, looks to have returned to his usual form through midfield with 25 disposals, six marks, and five tackles in Round 2. Enough to hold his spot.

>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#14 Kaine Baldwin
Glenelg/South Australia | Key Position Forward
30/05/2002 | 193cm | 92kg

The news of Baldwin’s second ACL tear in as many years – albeit partial this time – was shattering. It means the promising 193cm forward will miss out on yet another season of football after earning All Australian honours at Under 16s level in 2018, and a crack at the SANFL Reserves grade as a bottom-ager. In our eyes, he remains a first round prospect on talent alone, and looked poised to really crack on in 2020 after his initial recovery. He was a handy preseason testing performer, with good returns in the vertical jumps and yo-yo test conveying Baldwin’s ability to crash packs and clunk big contested marks, while also harnessing that aerial dominance in his work up the ground.

July Ranking: #11

Last Month: Inactive due to long-term knee injury.

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#15 Zach Reid
Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Key Position Defender/Utility
2/03/2002 | 202cm | 82kg

A versatile tall who could push for top 10 status, Reid returned a consistent output during his bottom-age season as a key member of Gippsland’s spine. He was tried up either end and through the ruck across 15 NAB League outings, but looked most comfortable down back and should find a home there once again in 2020. At 202cm, Reid is filling out nicely and can utilise that added strength to compete better one-on-one against big key forwards. He is a terrific judge of the ball in flight and positions intelligently, not just relying on his height to compete aerially. Reid is also both a sound handler and user of the ball for his size, providing a cool head in rebounding transitions.

July Ranking: #12

Last Month: While the competition has now been suspended, Reid managed to fit in three outings for Leongatha in the Gippsland League. He was named among the best for his two goals in the Parrots’ Round 2 win over Moe, and looks to be shuffling around to a few different positions as he has done previously. Hardly a slide, others in more competitive interstate leagues have just gone ahead of him.

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#16 Zane Trew
Swan Districts/Western Australia | Inside Midfielder
26/04/2002 | 186cm | 78kg

Trew is one of many top-end prospects who have had to battle injury throughout their bottom-age seasons, but he looks primed to bounce back well in 2020. Hailing from the talent-stacked Swan Districts program, Trew is a classy inside midfielder who can rack up plenty of ball in style, backed by his 40-disposal effort in last year’s WAFL Colts competition. While he was limited to just three outings and missed Under 18 selection for WA, the 186cm prospect should not be forgotten in first round discussions. Trew is a handball-happy extractor, able to flick out releasing touches to his runners, but he is just as effective by foot with clean skills at short range and penetration when required. Should be a lock for the WA engine room this season.

July Ranking: #16

Last Month: The Swan Districts midfielder has already matched his games tally from 2019, but had his most recent WAFL Colts outing cut short through injury. The bye comes at a good time for Trew as he works to wear off his concussion, but he has otherwise fared well in the junior competition. Across Rounds 1 and 2, Trew averaged 28 disposals, three marks, and five tackles in displays consistent enough to see him hold down the number 16 ranking.

>> Draft Diary 1 | 2
>> Marquee Matchup

#17 Oliver Henry
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Medium Utility
29/07/2002 | 187cm | 77kg

Another brother-of who should feature at the top end of this year’s rankings is Henry, the younger sibling of Geelong Cats defender, Jack. The Geelong Falcons product has top 10 potential, able to play up either end of the ground and pull down big marks. While he looks most comfortable up forward as a high-flying third tall type, Henry is just as capable down back where his aerial prowess translates to intercept value. At 187cm, he plays above his size through sheer athleticism and reading of the play, with the potential to also move up onto a wing. Should he finally be allowed back onto the park in 2020, expect Henry to be one who could rise quite steeply given his enormous upside and versatility.

July Ranking: NR

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and school football.

>> Feature
>> Marquee Matchup

#18 Tom Powell
Sturt/South Australia | Midfielder
2/03/2002 | 180cm | 73kg

There are few more consistent ball winners than Powell, who has put an interrupted bottom-age season behind him to emerge as arguably Sturt’s most promising draft prospect. The Double Blues standout simply finds the ball at will, able to get his side going on the front foot from midfield with clever positioning, movement, and extraction. He may be a touch handball happy, but is an elite exponent of that tool and is beginning to mix in his kicking to have an even greater impact on games. At his best, Powell is nothing short of dominant, though goals and a greater run-and-carry game would make him a complete midfielder – think Lachie Neale‘s development.

July Ranking: NR

Last Month: As by far the most prolific Under 18s ball winner in South Australia, and potentially the entire country, Powell is proving impossible to ignore at this stage. He leads the competition for total disposals, clearances, and inside 50s after six rounds, averaging 37.2, 9.2, and 6.8 in those respective categories. Having also added goals to his arsenal most recently, Powell continues to add strings to his bow. Gaining much-deserved recognition after an injury-riddled 2019 campaign.

>> Feature
>> Draft Watch

#19 Archie Perkins
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Forward/Midfielder
26/03/2002 | 186cm | 77kg

Perhaps a slightly speculative choice of ranking at this stage, but Perkins has all the makings of a special talent. Having caught the eye as a forward and outside midfielder in 2019, the Sandringham Dragons standout is poised to spend more time on the inside as a top-ager, with just the right size and some incredible athletic attributes to aid his transition. Perkins boasts a monster vertical leap, covers 20 metres in less than three seconds, and is brilliantly agile, making for an ideal athletic base. His finishing touch is an area he can refine, but the 186cm prospect is no stranger to finding the goals and can be a real game changer when required. Damage or impact is a key trait which is often hard to measure, but Perkins ranks highly in that department.

July Ranking: #18

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch
>> Marquee Matchup

#20 Finlay Macrae
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
13/03/2002 | 184cm | 75kg

You may recognise the name and yes, Finlay is the brother of Western Bulldogs midfielder, Jack. They are quite clearly cut from the same cloth, with the younger Macrae possessing a similar ball winning appetite and class on the ball to his established older sibling. The 184cm Charger also boasts a terrific balance in his traits, able to impact the play moving forward with sound decision making and precise execution via foot, on top of his obvious exploits in extraction. While he is not overly quick, Macrae’s evasiveness comes through agility and awareness, which should be on full show as he prepares to feature prominently for Oakleigh, Xavier College, and Vic Metro in 2020.

July Ranking: #14

Last Month: Inactive due to lack of NAB League and APS Football.

>> Q&A
>> Draft Watch

IN THE MIX:

Off the bat, Caleb Poulter and Heath Chapman are essentially number 21 and 22 on our list, making them the hardest to leave out of the top 20. Both have enjoyed impactful starts to their respective seasons; with Poulter a midfielder who packs presence in the SANFL Under 18s, and Chapman an intercept defender who has roamed further afield in the WAFL Colts. They are both terrific sizes, and have a range of weapons at their disposal.

Bailey Laurie and Brandon Walker are the two who slid out of the 20 from July’s rankings. It has been no real fault of their own, with the inactive Laurie a victim of others’ rises, while Walker has made a solid start to his WAFL Colts campaign but is ultimately just squeezed out.

Walker’s fellow Fremantle Next Generation Academy member, Joel Western has enjoyed a terrific start to the year to come into contention, but missed last weekend’s action through injury. Isiah Winder is another on the rise having earned his WAFL League debut for Peel Thunder, so keep an eye out for his name in future. Midfielder/half-back Jack Carroll is also in form, along with left-field ruck hopeful, Kalin Lane, but both are still just outside this kind of range.

The likes of Corey Durdin and Zac Dumesny linger around the top 30 for some given their SANFL League form, while Tariek Newchurch could be a first round smokey, but can work on becoming a more consistent threat. He and Jamison Murphy have been prominent for North Adelaide, while Bailey Chamberlain and Mani Liddy are hard to ignore at SANFL Under 18s level. Potential Adelaide father-son Luke Edwards also earned a SANFL Reserves call-up this month.

Down in Tasmania, Jackson Callow and Oliver Davis have made promising starts to their TSL campaigns. Of those who are around the mark, but cannot currently stake their claims due to a lack of top-level competition are Connor Downie, Eddie Ford, Jake Bowey, Sam Berry, and ruck bolter Max Heath. NT Thunder utility Joel Jeffrey has top 25 potential, as does Sydney Academy prospect Errol Gulden.

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Classic Contests: Short stands tall as Northern takes out Tasmania

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 18 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Northern Knights and Tasmania Devils. In this edition we wind back the clock to 2014, before Tasmania returned as a full-time team, and relive when the two sides clashed at Preston City Oval.

2014 TAC Cup, Round 10
Saturday June 14, 11:00am
Preston City Oval

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 4.1 | 8.7 | 10.11 | 13.14 (92)
TASMANIA 2.4 | 4.7 | 7.9 | 7.12 (54)

GOALS:

Northern: B. Jordan 3, W. Murphy 2, L. Hunt 2, J. Gresham, J. El Moussalli, K. Malone, K. Declase, B. Fiorini, S. Switkowski.
Tasmania:
K. Pitchford 2, B. Sharman, P. Bellchambers, M. Rainbird, A. Dickenson, J. Watts.

BEST:

Northern: J. Short, W. Murphy, J. Gresham, S. Switkowski, B. Jordan, A. Di Paolo
Tasmania:
A. Dickenson, C. Hislop, L. Reynolds, T. Jones, P. Bellchambers, J. Johnson

Draftees in action:

Northern: Jayden Short, Brayden Fiorini, Jade Gresham, Sam Switkowski, Tyrone Leonardis
Tasmania: Josh McGuinness, Josh Watts, Ryan Gardner, Jay Lockhart

Tasmania’s part-time TAC Cup duties in 2014 pitted them against the Northern Knights for a clash at Preston City Oval in mid-June. Formerly the Mariners and not yet the Devils, the Tasmanians donned the Map for their four-game stint in the Victorian competition. A loss to Dandenong in Round 8 had them sitting 0-1, while Northern were out to snap a four-game losing run and improve on its 2-7 record.

Timing would see the Knights go in without some key personnel, with the likes of Jason Castagna and Kyle Langford absent along with key talls Reece McKenzie and Ivan Soldo. It meant Jayden Short was left to lead a solid core of top-agers and promising bottom-age fleet for the Knights on home turf. Tasmania was able to field some promising talent of its own, most notably in the form of 2014 draftees Josh McGuinness and Josh Watts, as well as future AFL products Ryan Gardner and Jay Lockhart.

Despite managing one less scoring shot in the opening term, Northern showed its knowledge of the home conditions to make the most of its chances. 4.1 to Tasmania’s 2.4 gave the Knights a handy buffer, which was only extended to an even four-goal margin at half-time as they piled on a further four majors in term two.

While the visitors got the better of the third term with three goals to Northern’s two, it seemed they had little left in the tank. The Knights would take advantage of the scoring end to kick away to victory, keeping Tasmania goalless in the final period while prettying up the final margin to come out 38-point winners at 13.14 (92) to 7.12 (54).

In what was the four-quarter effort the Knights were after all season, Short was named best afield for his 28 disposals, five marks, and six tackles. Jade Gresham (21 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) and Sam Switkowski (17 disposals, five tackles, one goal) were also named among Northern’s best, and Bailey Jordan booted three goals. Ashton Dickenson was adjudged Tasmania’s most valuable player for his 14 disposals and four marks, follwed by Caleb Hislop (31 disposals).

The Knights would go on to add just three more wins to their tally in the back-end of the season, landing in 10th spot with six wins and 11 losses. Tasmania’s four-game cameo ended with a 1-3 record, but it was capped off in style with a win over North Ballarat in Round 16.