Category: East Perth

2021 West Australian Under 19 squad announced

THE 2021 West Australian Under 19 squad was announced on Wednesday, with 33 players making the cut to represent their state at the upcoming National Championships. Selected to compete in games against South Australia (July 31) and the Allies (August 7), the squad features players ranging from their 19th year, to a gun 16-year-old who is also among the state’s Under 17 set-up.

The Black Ducks promise to be competitive at this year’s carnival, boasting a strong core of versatile key position prospects and dynamic midfield mix. AFL Academy members Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts), Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont), and Jack Williams (East Fremantle) are among the best talls available in this year’s draft crop, while Subiaco pair Matthew Johnson and Neil Erasmus are set to wax in midfield having also represented the national Under 19 Academy.

Fans of AFL clubs will also have specific players to keep an eye on, with father-son and Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospects littered through the side. Exciting small forward/midfielder Jesse Motlop (son of Daniel) comes under Fremantle’s academy umbrella, while explosive East Perth mover Ethan Regan is one for Eagles. Melbourne also has a father-son in the mix, with Taj Woewodin (son of Shane) a promising midfield option.

East Fremantle produced the most members (eight) this time around, as the WAFL club continues to prove a strong breeding ground for draft eligible talent. East Perth is the next best with six players involved, including Regan and leading Colts goalkicker Jye Amiss (25 goals). There is plenty of competition for spots up forward, with swingman Bazzo likely to revert to a defensive post along with versatile 19-year-old Jaiden Hunter (Perth).

Hunter is one of a few top-agers to have earned League berths in 2021 after being overlooked at last year’s draft, with Perth teammate Jack Avery in that same boat, alongside midfielder-turned-defender Finn Gorringe (East Fremantle) and ruckman Jake South (Subiaco). Meanwhile, 18th-year talents van Rooyen and Johnson also broke through for their senior debuts before returning to the Colts grade.

After hitouts against South Australia and the Allies, WA is scheduled to take on Vic Country and Vic Metro in Victoria on September 24 and 29, to round out the National Championships.

Below is a preview of how the West Australian team may look, in a line-up put together by Draft Central analyst Ed Pascoe. Scroll further to see the full squad.

FB: Jack Avery (P) – Rhett Bazzo (SD) – Finn Gorringe (EF)
HB: Jed Hagan (EF) – Jaiden Hunter (P) – Judd McVee (EF)
C: Corey Warner (EF) – Matthew Johnson (S) – Max Chipper (SD)
HF: Ethan Regan (EP) – Jacob van Rooyen (C) – Neil Erasmus (S)
FF: Jye Amiss (EP) – Jack Williams (EF) – Jesse Motlop (SF)
FOL: Jake South (S) – Josh Browne (EF) – Kade Dittmar (EP)

INT: Zac Fleiner (WP), Kaden Harbour (EP), Brady Hough (PT), Lochlan Paton (WP), Luke Polson (PT), James Tunstill (EP)

EMG: Oscar Armstrong (EP), Eric Benning (C), Ed Curley (EF), Richard Farmer (S), Jarrod McIlvinney (PT), Angus Sheldrick (C), Jahmal Stretch (C), Bryce Watson (SD), Taj Woewodin (EF)

FULL SQUAD:

Image Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 9 – East Perth vs. West Perth

EAST Perth bounced back to the WAFL Colts winner list in style, earning a 28-point city derby win over West Perth on Monday morning. The Royals lived up to the WA Day occasion, leading at each break and powering away with five goals to one during term three to set up a comfortable victory. The 9.13 (67) to 5.9 (39) result sees East Perth remain clear in second spot, while their rivals sink to seventh at 3-4.

We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and go around the grounds with some of the other outstanding Colts performances out of Round 9.

SCOUTING NOTES

East Perth:

#7 Jye Amiss

Again the standout forward afield, Amiss is in ripping form and booted another bag of five goals for the Royals. While he has improved his overall mobility and ground level craft, the East Perth spearhead found himself most often stationed one-out inside 50 where he could do the most damage. His first two goals, both in the opening half, were relatively straightforward, but the third term is where Amiss really came to life. Three of his five majors came during said period, with two being set shot conversions after showing strong hands on the lead, and the other a classy snap on his favoured left foot after competing for the mark one-on-one. He now has 25 goals for the season and is so potent inside 50, needing few opportunities to hit the scoreboard – even in tough conditions.

#9 Kade Dittmar

After a disappointing display last time out, Dittmar was back to his bullocking best against West Perth. The big-bodied midfielder showed his patented strength at the contest and was able to shrug tackles with pure power, while later getting his legs pumping to break to the outer. His aggressive tackling was another key feature on Monday, as the 18-year-old laid 13 overall with plenty of intent. After sparking a half time skirmish, he came out with a point to prove and was even more fierce in the second half, helping East Perth break away for the win. He capped off his game with a 50m set shot goal in the third quarter, though could do with some sharpening on his field kicking at times.

#11 James Tunstill

Tunstill continues to be a consistent ball winner in midfield for the Royals, and proved as much on Monday morning with a game-high 30 disposals. He was able to put East Perth on the front foot by extracting at the contest, before sending quick clearing kicks inside 50. Having ended with 23 kicks and nine inside 50s, that was his main method. Tunstill was particularly prominent during the third term, giving his side a real boost in the engine room by getting first hands on the ball where it mattered most. This was the 17-year-old’s second 30-touch haul for the season.

#33 Sokaa Soka

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect continued his solid development, proving too good for his counterparts in the ruck. His combination of pure reach and athleticism was difficult for West Perth to combat, seeing him win 33 hitouts for the day. The next step for Soka will be to more consistently guide those taps to his rovers, rather than thumping forward with the momentum of his leap, but he does so a touch better around the ground. Speaking of, Soka again moved superbly for a player of his size and got his hands dirty with some early clearances and contested marks. As a raw talent, there are exciting traits to work with.

West Perth:

#4 Luke Reilly

Arguably his side’s best player in a dirty derby loss, Reilly consistently burrowed in around the contest and was able to make some clean plays at ground level. The small midfielder has deceptive strength for his size and is not afraid to have a crack, even when running back with the flight of the ball in marking contests. He snapped West Perth’s first score of the day, a minor, and drove the Falcons forward with running spurts. Reilly capped of his solid shift with a classy dribble finish in the final term, roving the forward 50 stoppage nicely and finishing coolly.

#8 Lochlan Paton

Paton spent plenty of time forward in this outing and did some good work in the front half, looking like West Perth’s most dangerous user of the ball. He sprayed a couple of rushed kicks early on but shook off the cobwebs and began to spear some terrific passes inside 50 for the Falcons. Paton was active at stoppages and strong over the ball as usual, with his repeat running efforts capped off by those bullet-like passes to his grateful forwards. He rotated into the midfield but continued to look most dangerous in advanced areas, finishing off with a beautiful left-foot snap running away from goal early in term four.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Subiaco proved far too good for the winless Perth on Saturday morning, powering past the Demons 11.8 (74) to 5.7 (37) at Mineral Resources Park. Jed Kemp maintained his good for for the Lions with a game-high 31 disposals, followed closely by first round prospect Matthew Johnson (30), who is again pressing for a senior call-up. Campbell Henderson was another to impact with 16 touches, 10 marks and three goals, while strong Perth forward Harry Quartermaine also clunked 10 grabs and Zak Meloncelli racked up 23 disposals in the loss.

Swan Districts was the other side to pick up a win on Saturday, defeating Peel Thunder 15.6 (96) to 4.9 (33) to remain clear atop the table. Max Chipper returned his fourth-straight effort of over 30 disposals, accumulating 35 for the Swans and kicking a goal. Tyrell Metcalf snared a bag of five goals in the win, as Brady Hough was again Peel’s most prolific ball winner (24 disposals) and promising tall Luke Polson showed his dynamism with 18 touches, four marks and a goal.

Fast forward to Monday’s second fixture, and East Fremantle moved into the top five with a 12.8 (80) to 6.8 (44) victory over South Fremantle, with both sides now sitting at 4-3. Josh Browne was again outstanding for the Sharks with a game-high 28 touches and one goal, while Kobe McMillan (23 disposals, 15 hitouts, four goals) enjoyed a day out and Jack Williams booted two majors. Caleb Stephens (22 disposals) found the most ball for South, as Julian Hulten and Kobe Foster combined for four of their side’s six goals.

The West Australian Under 19 state squad was also announced on Wednesday. It can be found below via the WAFL.

Image Credit: Brian Conduit/West Perth FC

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 8 – Claremont vs. East Perth

CLAREMONT staked its claim as a WAFL Colts premiership threat in 2021, upsetting the formerly first-placed East Perth by 48 points on Saturday morning. Conditions were trying at Revo Fitness stadium, but the rain and soaked deck worked to the favour of Claremont’s midfield as they got on top where it mattered most. Benefitting from quick and repeat entries, the Tigers’ host of dangerous small forwards took full toll in the 12.9 (81) to 5.3 (33) victory.

With 21 total scoring shots to eight from 61 inside 50s to 33, the hosts absolutely dominated possession and territory for long periods of time. After the Royals’ second term fightback, Claremont flexed its muscle once again to pull away with four goals to nil in the third quarter, effectively putting the game to bed. The result sees East Perth relinquish top spot to Swan Districts, while Claremont holds onto fourth spot on the same amount of wins (four), albeit with an extra game played.

SCOUTING NOTES

Claremont:

#12 Talon Delacey

On a day where hard-nosed types thrived and precision was largely thrown out the window, Delacey still managed to show enormous class through midfield. He was a constant in the engine room for Claremont, proving a point of difference with his clean hands and refined ball use going forward. While he did not have as much of the ball as others, Delacey made his kicks count with good decision making and finessed passes going inside 50. He broke to the outside well having taken the ball cleanly, which proved no mean feat in the soggy conditions. The 18-year-old was not afraid to get stuck in at the contest too, laying nine tackles in a well-balanced performance for the winners.

#27 Angus Sheldrick

Far and away the best player afield, particularly during the first half, Sheldrick dominated in the wet with his strength over the ball and work-rate leading to a wealth of possessions. He brought great presence to contested situations, but also worked up and back to chase, tackle, and find the ball in other areas. He racked up 22 of his game-high 31 disposals by the main break, as well as two goals, before seeming to spend a little more time resting forward. The hard work had already been done though, as Sheldrick set the tone beautifully and was unstoppable at his best.

#32 Jacob Van Rooyen

The first round draft prospect built on his steady return to the Colts grade with a big outing this time around, finishing with 24 disposals, six marks, and three goals. He did so in unideal conditions for a key forward and on managed gametime, having been diagnosed with glandular fever this year. Van Rooyen presented well up the ground as a marking option, but also worked hard back towards goal, getting involved in handball chains with some run-and-carry on the counter. Two of his three goals came in the opening term, with one a well-struck set shot and the other a handy snap from close range. His third goal proved the cherry on top –  a handball receive on the attacking arc and booming finish from range. In a promising sign for his recovery, Van Rooyen seemed to run out the game well and even earned a spell in midfield during the final quarter.

#34 Dallas McAdam

Another talent out of the prosperous Halls Creek region, McAdam also boasts good footballing pedigree as the brother of Adelaide Crows high-flyer, Shane. The bottom-aged small forward was electric on his Colts debut, starting on the right foot with a classy snap goal from the pocket in term one. He showed a good smarts in the front half and snared a second goal in the third quarter, again finishing with aplomb on the run. He produced a genuine highlight-reel moment too, rising above the pack to take a screamer in the final term, before handing off to Van Rooyen for a goal assist.

Others…

The Tigers were served well by a bunch of solid contributors on each line, starting with Dylan Mulligan in the ruck. He racked up 23 touches and won 13 hit-outs, also rotating forward and finding the ball between the arcs. Eye-catching midfielder Kendyll Blurton had his moments, and zippy small forward Henrick Alforque provided plenty of spark in the forward half for Claremont. Elsewhere, bottom-aged key defender Hugh Davies was resolute as ever, while Rohan Macniell put in a good shift from the wing.

East Perth:

#7 Jye Amiss

The East Perth spearhead was essentially his side’s sole form of resistance in attack, booting three of the Royals’ five goals in trying conditions. Two of his majors were already on the board early into the second term, with his prominent work on the lead and fluent set shot action leading to such impact. Unfortunately, Amiss didn’t see too much desirable delivery when stationed one-out, and was made to work a little further afield to get his hands on the ball at times. He showcased strong hands in those instances and his sharp radar was observed in the final term after marking at the top of attacking 50, turning quickly and slotting a beautiful goal from range on his cannon-like left foot.

#33 Sokaa Soka

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) member returned his best hit-out numbers by far for 2021, winning 34 in a promising showing. Soka used his raw athleticism and sizeable leap to do so, while also proving mobile in his work around the ground to finish with 12 disposals and three marks. He thrived aerially and was a handy kick-in target for the Royals, but also worked out of tight spaces at the contest to help get his side moving to the outer. While the Claremont midfield was largely on top, Soka was able to showcase his development in a tough losing effort.

Others…

James Tunstill worked hard in midfield as the Royals’ most prominent player in there, with Kade Dittmar kept quiet early before coming into the game later on. Luke Lombardi was kept busy in defence and finished with a team-high 26 disposals, 25 of which were kicks. Wingman Jake Littleton also saw a good amount of ball, as did Jason Kissack while Ethan Regan displayed some of his explosiveness around the contest.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Peel Thunder got the better of Subiaco in a low-scoring slog on Saturday morning, managing 19 scoring shots to 11 from just five more inside 50s. First round draft prospect Matthew Johnson returned to Colts level for the Lions, winning 21 touches and seven inside 50s while also laying nine tackles. Jed Kemp finished with a game-high 30 disposals for Subi, as Blake Morris clunked eight marks in defence and Koltyn Tholstrup bagged two goals. Cooper Osbourne swung forward again for Peel to also claim a pair of goals, as standout prospect Luke Polson impressed with 18 touches, five marks, and one major. Brady Hough and Clay Philpott also had it 18 times each, while Josh Edwards won 26 hitouts in the ruck.

West Perth thumped the winless Perth by 75 points, with the Demons kept to just two goals as the Falcons jumped into the top five. Deklyn Grocott (29 disposals, six inside 50s) proved a bright spot in the Demons’ loss, supported well by Menno Inverarity (26 disposals) in midfield. West Perth skipper Luke Reilly was his side’s top ball winner on 25, as the likes of Harrison Baxter and Lochlan Paton snared two majors apiece while also getting their hands on the ball.

Swan Districts swooped on top spot with a seven-point win over East Fremantle in Sunday’s sole fixture, holding out for its fifth win of the season. It was no surprise to see hard-running accumulator Max Chipper win 33 touches for the Swans, including 12 marks and two goals. Tyrell Metcalf also notched two majors, as Joshua Middleton snagged three in an even Swans performance. Josh Browne continued his dominant stretch of form for the Sharks, racking up 38 disposals and being supported by bottom-age gun Jed Hagan (34, 11 marks, nine tackles). Ed Curley finished with two goals from 26 touches, as rising WA draft prospect Jack Williams booted another three from 13 disposals and seven marks.

Image Credit: (Retrieved from) Claremont Football Club via Facebook

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 5 – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

AFTER an unforeseen week away due to West Australian lockdown, the WAFL Colts returned on the weekend for Round 5. The latest featured game saw East Perth take on Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning, with the Royals running away 34-point victors to remain top of the table.

A fast start saw the hosts look like beating their opponents black and blue, booting four goals to nil in the opening term. But Swans wrestled back some momentum and territory during the second and third quarters, answering each Royal run to remain just within striking distance at both of those breaks.

But a powerhouse final period saw East Perth pick up its third victory of the 2021 season, bookending the game nicely with a further five goals to put some meat onto the bones of its winning margin. Boasting a terrific conversion rate, the Royals won out 13.5 (83) to Swans’ 7.7 (49), with both sides now losing players to the Public Schools Association (PSA) competition.

SCOUTING NOTES

East Perth:

#4 Ethan Regan

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect showcased some exciting traits in the forward half, starting brightly and capping off his game with a couple of nice moments. Regan got amongst it early through sheer work rate, impacting ground level contests and applying good defensive pressure. He cut across to take a nice intercept mark inside forward 50 in term one, which saw him kick his sole goal of the game. Regan’s speed and skill would later come to the fore as he combined well with Jye Amiss, streaming forward and hitting targets by foot. Late in the piece, he popped up with a pair of eye-catching overhead marks on the move, reaching the ball at its highest point.

#7 Jye Amiss

Another who started brightly for the Royals, Amiss snared three of his four goals by 4:30 into the second quarter. Stationed almost exclusively inside attacking 50, the promising key forward had two goals on the board in a flash through terrific forward craft, quick reactions and innate goal sense. He is said to have improved his ground level work this year, and it showed in those moments. An in-the-back free kick during term two gifted Amiss his third major, while number four came in the final quarter after a mark on the lead. Goalkicking exploits aside, Amiss also had a nice moment in the third term as he desperately ran down an opponent, holding the ball.

#9 Kade Dittmar

While he was a force for most of the game, Dittmar really came to prominence during a powerhouse final quarter. His explosive ability from the centre bounces was evident, as well as his power running through the middle of the ground. Dittmar would be seen getting first hands on the ball, breaking away to bomb inside 50, and following up his kicks all in the same chain. His ability to stand up under opposition heat, fend off, and dish out was also noticeable in the earlier stages, before Swan Districts’ midfield got on top in term two. Still, Dittmar was able to impact through the middle and was very clean with his shorter-range disposal by foot – especially for such a bullocking inside type. Considering his primary role, he seems quite well balanced.

#26 Kaden Harbour

Harbour is a handy small forward who also rotates through midfield, providing a good amount of spark wherever he goes. He arguably looked most comfortable inside attacking 50 during this outing, where he was able to snap up a couple of goals and take eye-catching aerial marks. After an indifferent opening half, Harbour began to better impact as the contest wore on, helping East Perth break clear at the start of the third quarter with two goals in quick succession. The first came from a big contested mark close to goal, where Harbour rose from the back, while the second was a quick snap just as deep as he arrived first to the spillage. Known for his high flying, he’s difficult to miss in full flight.

Others:

Jake Littleton was in plenty early on for East Perth, operating on a wing and catching the eye under his helmet. Through midfield, James Tunstill found plenty of the ball, as Jayden Peak provided a bit of spark moving forward. The raw talent of Sokaa Soka, another West Coast NGA talent, became more prominent as the game wore on, while Luke Lombardi did some nice things exiting out of defence.

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

A permanent fixture in Swan Districts’ midfield, Chipper ended as his side’s most prolific ball winner and did so with plenty of quick-minded plays. Reasonably clean at ground level, the diminutive mover is not the most quick or agile out of congestion, but makes up for it with good vision and decision making on the ball. He tended to air his kicks a touch but generally hit targets and backed himself to do so heading into potentially risky areas. After a slow start, he worked into the game well during the second term and nearly nabbed a goal on the run from long range. After a solid outing in the black and white, Chipper appeared to limp off late in the final quarter after miscuing a kick.

#23 Luke Taylor

Potentially the most impressive player afield, Taylor proved his pedigree with a three-goal haul full of promise. The brother of GWS defender Sam, Taylor is a raw key forward with equally good potential in the air. While it was not always rewarded, Taylor’s work up the ground and ability to provide a contest allowed the Swans a chance to chain up play forward of centre. He brought the ball to ground on multiple occasions and had a few almost-marks, which he should begin to hold as he grows. Taylor kicked his first goal in the second quarter, using his reach to pluck a high ball in the goalsquare before duly converting. His clever leading patterns saw him gain separation and become an inside 50 target during the third term, which led to goal number two. Capping off his day, Taylor was gifted a third major via a 50-metre penalty, proving a handy reward for effort.

Others:

19-year-old Ty Sears had some nice moments running off half-back and the wing, without always possessing the finished product he would desire. Ben Hewett and Noah Hannan were both productive in midfield, while West Coast NGA talent Lawson Humphries stood up in defence. Up the other end of the ground, Bryce Watson popped up for a couple of handy goals, as Darcy Jones showed good promise and zip at ground level and Tyrell Metcalf got busy.

AROUND THE GROUNDS:

Headlining the news around Western Australia’s latest draft crop this week was the League debut of Matthew Johnson. Fresh off a solid showing for the AFL Academy, the tall Subiaco midfielder notched 11 disposals and five tackles as the Lions went down to South Fremantle. Elsewhere, star key forward Jacob Van Rooyen is being rested by Claremont after his glandular fever diagnosis, as reported by the West Australian’s Jordan McArdle. The start of the PSA season has also seen a raft of players become unavailable for WAFL Colts selection.

Back in the Colts competition, East Fremantle found a way to edge Perth in their clash on Saturday morning. Key forward Jack Williams again played a starring role with four goals, as Josh Browne (35 disposals) had the ball on a string in midfield and Melbourne father-son prospect Taj Woewodin (27 disposals) continued his good form. Jack Avery was a Goliath-like in Perth’s defence with 41 touches and 13 marks, as Zak Meloncelli proved his class having dropped back down to Colts level from the Reserves grade.

West Perth notched its first win of the season with a 23-point triumph over Claremont, with gun midfielder Lochlan Paton again finding plenty of the ball. He racked up 27 disposals and nine marks after managing 28 touches last round, while Zac Fleiner (26 disposals), Jordan Berry (10 marks), and Zarne Robis (four goals) all contributed in different ways for the victors. Talon Delacey delivered 20 of his 27 disposals by foot for Claremont, as Kendyll Blurton showed plenty more promise for 24 touches and six inside 50s.

South Fremantle became the third team to land on three wins as the Bulldogs beat Subiaco by eight points, with Liam Brandis and Jacob Plunkett combining for seven goals. Caleb Stephens (29 disposals, nine marks) was also fantastic in the win, as Fremantle NGA talent Ashwin Malik more than held his own in defence. Fellow NGA prospect Jesse Motlop kicked a goal from his 10 touches. Meanwhile, Jacob Evitt (18 disposals, two goals) and Blake Morris (13 disposals, seven marks) were solid for Subiaco.

2020 AFLW Draft review: Fremantle Dockers

NOW the AFL Women’s Draft is over, we take a look at each club, who they picked and what they might offer to their team next year. We continue our countdown with Fremantle, a team that went undefeated in 2020 and were able to add a couple of classy teenagers and a former Docker back on their list.

Fremantle:

#14 – Sarah Verrier (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
#30 – Mikayla Morrison (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
#46 – Tiah Haynes (Subiaco)

Fremantle went into the draft with the luxury of being able to pick best available after not losing a game in 2020. With their three selections the Dockers were able to add two of the most talented kids in Sarah Verrier and Mikayla Morrison, as well as running defender, Tiah Haynes. All three have different traits and provide some exciting capabilities at the top level.

Haynes is a former Fremantle player, drafted way back in the inaugural 2016 AFL Women’s Draft with Pick 36. She played six games across two seasons before being unfortunately delisted at the end of 2018. She went back to the WAFL Women’s competition where she was able to ply her trade and become a standout for runners-up Subiaco, and now the 27-year-old gets a second crack at the elite level.

Verrier has been long touted as a top West Australian prospect. The balanced midfielder has clean skills but can play inside or outside, and even off a flank if required. Her ability to win the ball is superb, and whilst she had some setbacks through injury in 2020, she was still a key member of Peel Thunder in their remarkable premiership year. She was raised as the Dockers’ first pick for some time given the link through their Academy, and once she was left on the table by the Eagles, it was an easy choice.

Morrison has been building for a couple of years now not only at WAFL Women’s level, but through the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships too. The East Perth product went to Swan Districts this season in order to play League with the Royals just having an Under 18s side. There she showed enough to suggest it will not be long before she breaks through in the AFL Women’s, with velcro-like hands at ground level or in the air, and hardly impacted on wet days.

As a whole, the Dockers were able to bring in three players that fitness providing, will push for a spot in the best side, but as a tough team to crack into, they will be made to work for it. Expect the Dockers to again challenge for a flag in 2021.

Picture: Fremantle FC

Draft Central All-Star Teams Grand Final: East Fremantle vs. Geelong Falcons

THE ultimate All-Star Teams clash has arrived with the two best sides reaching the Grand Final after a month of voting. Top seeds East Fremantle take on second seeds Geelong Falcons, and they would play out a hypothetical thriller if they clashed.

STAR POWER

Both these teams have no shortage of star power, with elite midfields that have deep rotations, as well as strong key position options, and plenty of runners and defensive options. It is no surprise that both these teams reached the final match of the knockout tournament, and it shapes as an absolute thriller. The two captains that lead these sides are Brownlow Medallists and two-club players, Ben Cousins (West Coast and Richmond) and Gary Ablett Jnr (Geelong and Gold Coast). They have accolades that few dream of, and when comparing them, Ablett Jnr gets the marginal nod, but both were (and are in Ablett’s case) champion players.

KEY STATS

Brownlows: East Fremantle (3) – Geelong Falcons (4)
All-Australians: East Fremantle (29) – Geelong Falcons (41)
Best & Fairests: East Fremantle (21) – Geelong Falcons (33)
Coleman Medals: East Fremantle (2) – Geelong Falcons (1)
Norm Smiths: East Fremantle (1) – Geelong Falcons (3)
Rising Stars: East Fremantle (2) – Geelong Falcons (0)
Average Games: East Fremantle (83.1) – Geelong Falcons (66.6)
Average Brownlow Votes: East Fremantle (13.2) – Geelong Falcons (11.2)

KEY MATCHUPS

Simon Black (East Fremantle) vs. Jimmy Bartel (Geelong)

Alongside their Brownlow captains, Black and Bartel were some of the classiest and most consistent footballers going around. They also have near-identical accolades with three premierships, a Brownlow and a Norm Smith – the only two players to achieve those feats and still play over 300 games. Bartel was one of the best wet weather players, whilst Black hardly played a bad game, and with three club best and fairests during a golden era for the Brisbane Lions, the East Fremantle product might marginally get the nod.

Harry Taylor (East Fremantle) vs. Jonathan Brown (Geelong)

If these teams played out in a match, this would be absolutely crucial to the success of their respective teams. Like their real-life teammates (but on opposite sides in this) above, they had plenty of success during their careers and were among the best in their respective positions. If Taylor could shut down Brown it would go a long way to the Sharks winning, whilst a big bag of goals from Brown would aid in the Falcons getting up.

Aaron Sandilands (East Fremantle) vs. Matthew Primus (Geelong)

You would probably hand the points to Sandilands in the ruck battle due to the added centimetres, but Primus would potentially have more influence around the ground. Both their midfields are star studded, so it would be a huge start for the rucks to win first hands to the ball. However given the quality of the onball groups, if one ruck got on top of the other, the midfielders would no doubt be able to learn to shark the opposition taps.

KEY QUESTIONS

Which midfield gets on top?

It is a tough question to answer because both are ridiculously talent rich to the point of All-Australians, Best and Fairests and even Brownlows and Norm Smith Medals feature highly. East Fremantle have the star power in terms of the starting onballers, but the half-forwards for the Falcons in Ablett and Patrick Dangerfield provide better rotation, though Daniel Kerr coming off the bench and Elliot Yeo rotating through there would be electric.

Who does Cameron Ling tag?

Imagine being the Falcons coach and having to pick just one player to saddle up Ling alongside with given all the rest will likely get off the chain. The first impression would be Black as the most damaging, but Cousins is another option in there as someone who must be stopped. Jordan Lewis could even play a defensive role, whilst the likes of Dom Cassisi and Josh Carr coming off the bench would likely follow around Dangerfield and Bartel.

Are the defences too tall?

It would be an interesting proposition for the coaches seemingly having two key position players in each forward line, but three key defenders. Chances are, the Sharks may throw Cale Hooker forward, which gives Lachlan Henderson a matchup, otherwise Henderson goes in without a direct player to man for his size. The Falcons might opt to bring in young guns James Worpel and Sam Walsh, but with these kinds of midfields, chances are they would not play in their preferred position. For the Sharks, they have David Swallow who is waiting in the wings, but with midfield depth for days, it is hard to squeeze them all in.

OVERALL:

This match is an absolute cracker with elite players across both sides. You get the feeling that Geelong’s elite group stretches a little more, but the East Fremantle side has greater depth in the right areas. Either of these teams could win on the day and it is fair to say they would bring in a full house with this kind of star power on show.

Which All-Star Team is the best?
East Fremantle
Geelong Falcons
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Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: Sandringham Dragons vs. East Perth Royals

OUR next All-Star Team battle is one between a Victorian club and West Australian club, in Sandringham Dragons and East Perth. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Chris Judd (Sandringham Dragons) and Dean Cox (East Perth).

TEAMS:

These clubs are seeded eighth (Sandringham Dragons) and 25th (East Perth) and is the last battle of the first round featuring a side anticipated to make it through to the quarter finals.

STRENGTHS:

Sandringham is another side with talent all across the park, particularly in the midfield area. The onball group of Max Gawn, Judd, Luke Ball and Josh P. Kennedy is as elite as it comes, and that’s before you look to the wings in Jobe Watson and Zac Merrett, and then the depth of Josh Kelly, Tim Taranto and Angus Brayshaw. The half-backs in Brayden Maynard and Andrew McGrath provide great run, while Tom Hawkins is a terrific target to have leading out inside 50. A very hard team to beat in the middle, so will get plenty of scoring opportunities.

East Perth has plenty of height around the ground, with Ross Glendinning and Craig Starcevich no doubt stretching the Sandringham defence. The team is probably too tall for its own good, but has a really strong midfield itself, with Cox one of the few rucks who could beat Gawn if they went head-to-head at their best. Joel Corey and Mitch Duncan are great players through the midfield, while they would work over the Dragons with their height and rucks including Matt Leuenberger and Alex Ischenko.

WEAKNESSES:

The Dragons are a little down when it comes to key position defenders, with Ted Richards a great warrior, and Jason Blake a solid best 22 type for more than 200 games, but neither would be declared in the elite category. They have enough talent in the defensive end to ensure the ball gets out of there, but that, along with perhaps another specialist forward would improve the team.

The Royals just do not have the depth, particularly in the mediums and smalls. Outside of their obvious standout players, they lack a little up either end, and the bench drops off. They would stretch the Dragons in the air, but would struggle once the ball hit the deck, particularly in attack.

SUMMARY

Sandringham would be tipped to take the match out, just too strong across the park with arguably the best midfield in this series for depth and quality.

Which All-Star Team are you picking to win?
Sandringham Dragons
East Perth Royals
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All-Star Team of the AFL Draft Era: Which club is the best of the best?

EVERY year, a new crop of AFL Draft talents rise up and make waves at AFL level. Some clubs such as Calder Cannons and Geelong Falcons are referred to as ‘footy factories’. Others are less well known, but nonetheless vital in providing players with their start to the AFL.

Over the past couple of months, Draft Central has gone through all of the NAB League, SANFL and WAFL clubs and tried to determine the best 24-player squad for their respective clubs. The captains and vice-captains were determined by the public through Instagram voting. Now, it is up to the public to decide which All-Star Team is the greatest of the lot. That’s right, the 30 teams from Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia are going head to head in a knockout draw.

Which teams are competing?

NAB League [12]: Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Dandenong Stingrays, Eastern Ranges, Geelong Falcons, Gippsland Power, GWV Rebels, Murray Bushrangers, Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons, Western Jets
SANFL [9]: Central District, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, Port Adelaide, South Adelaide, Sturt, West Adelaide, Woodville-West Torrens
WAFL [9]: Claremont, East Fremantle, East Perth, South Fremantle, Peel Thunder, Perth, Subiaco, Swan Districts, West Perth

How will it work?

Each day at 10am, we will publish the two All-Star Teams of the AFL Draft era, and the public will be able to vote through the article, Facebook and Twitter, with the overall winner moving through to the next round.

Given there are 30 teams, two sides who we have picked out as the top two seeds – East Fremantle and Geelong Falcons – will have the bye in the opening round, with the other 28 teams seeded appropriately similar to the All-Star Player voting (3rd against 28th, 4th against 27th etc.).

Who is up first?

The first All-Star Team battle is between a couple of metropolitan sides who we have seeded 16th and 17th in the draw. They both have some absolute elite stars, but Calder Cannons and Western Jets will begin the voting on Monday. They will be followed by the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Eastern Ranges on Tuesday, before a cross-state clash sees third seed Port Adelaide Magpies tackle Peel Thunder.

Scouting Notes: 2020 WAFL Colts Round 2 – Claremont vs Swan Districts

IN Round 2 of the Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition, Claremont continued its premiership defence with a convincing 87-point victory over Swan Districts at Revo Fitness Stadium. Below were the most notable players. There were also plenty of standout performers around the grounds, SCROLL to read about how the remaining talent fared.

FEATURED GAME:
Claremont vs. Swan Districts

By: Lenny Fogliani

Claremont:

#2 Logan Young

The son of AFL player manager Colin Young, Logan was exceptional in the midfield for the Tigers. He finished with an equal game-high 31 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and four tackles in a powerful display.

#3 Zac Mainwaring

The son of the late Chris Mainwaring, Zac was lively in the forward half for the Tigers, creating plenty of goal scoring opportunities for his team. He finished with 12 possessions, five marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and two goals. The highlight of his game came late in the third quarter, when he took a sensational one-handed mark.

#4 Jake Willson

The Wembley Downs Junior was powerful in the midfield, winning 17 possessions, laying six tackles, taking two marks and recording two inside 50s.

#10 Joel Western

The Fremantle Dockers’ Next Generation Academy (NGA) member went off with what looked like a hamstring injury. Before departing the field, Western racked up 14 possessions, recorded four inside 50s and laid two tackles in a dazzling display. His desire to take the game on was a real feature of his shortened outing.

#11 Jacquin Ciminata

The Marist junior was electrifying in the forward half for Claremont. He finished with 19 possessions, eight tackles, five marks and four goals. The highlight of his game came in the first quarter, when he took a strong mark inside 50, before duly converting his set shot.

#13 Sam Alvarez

The Fremantle Dockers’ NGA member was excellent on the wing for Claremont with 19 possessions and two goals. The highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he snapped through his first goal.

#20 Logan Guelfi

The younger brother of Essendon’s Matt Guelfi, Logan was always dangerous for the Tigers. He accumulated 16 possessions, recorded seven inside 50s, laid five tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal. He kicked the opening goal of the game. Another highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he produced a spear kick across his body to Mainwaring inside 50.

#28 Kalin Lane

The Denmark-Walpole product showed why he is considered to be one of the leading ruck prospects from Western Australia this season with a strong performance against Swan Districts. He finished with 16 possessions, 29 hit-outs, four marks and three inside 50s. For a ruckman, he covered the ground well, often positioning himself just behind the play to halt any attacking momentum the Swans had.

Swan Districts:

#2 Ayden Cartwright

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member battled manfully in the midfield for the Swans, finishing with 31 possessions, eight marks, five tackles and a goal. In the final quarter, he was able to take a solid mark inside 50, before duly converting his set shot.

#8 Zane Trew

The Hills Rangers junior showed why he is one of the leading inside midfield prospects in this year’s AFL draft pool. He accumulated 31 possessions, laid five tackles, grabbed three marks and recorded three inside 50s in a powerful display. His composure, and decision-making around the stoppages was impressive for someone his age. When he got the ball on the outside, he constantly hit his intended target.

#10 Ty Sears

Playing off the half-back line, the South Bunbury product battled valiantly in defence for Swan Districts. He gathered 15 possessions, took three marks and laid two tackles as he tried to kickstart the Swans’ attacking drives.

Around the grounds:

By: Michael Alvaro

For the second week running, all eyes were on Perth key forward Logan McDonald, as he soared to the top of the WAFL League goalkicking charts with a bag of four goals. The 196cm prospect was dominant in the air and strong close to goal, but it was his accuracy which helped the Demons most in their 21-point win over East Perth. Denver Grainger-Barras also turned out at League level, taking four marks in his 10-disposal effort against Claremont.

Back in the Colts grade, Callum Johnson was again a prolific ball winner for West Perth as the Falcons downed South Fremantle, collecting an equal game-high 28 touches, while also booting three behinds. Brady Alvaro (23 disposals) and Lochlan Paton (21) both continued their strong starts to the season, while leading draft prospect Heath Chapman also had it 21 times and reeled in six marks. Michael Mallard sent another reminded of his talents with 18 disposals, 10 marks, and 30 hitouts from the ruck.

Oscar Armstrong and Toby Dodds both had 28 disposals for the Bulldogs, and also combined for a total of 13 marks. Jaxon Bellchambers worked hard to rack up 12 of his own among 27 touches, with Adam Correia pitching in for 25 disposals. None of the South Freo players were able to bag multiple goals in the 28-point loss.

Peel Thunder doubled East Fremantle’s score to take out a 36-point victory, with exciting prospect Isiah Winder continuing his push for senior selection. He gathered a game-high 26 disposals, including five marks, three inside 50s, and two goals in a brilliant display of his skills. Zach Rankin also snared two majors from his 24 touches, while David Yaccob was again solid with 22 disposals and seven marks, and Jonathon Ietto found both the goals and a solid amount of ball.

There is always some prolific, top-end talent among the Sharks’ lineup, and Finn Gorringe was again among the best as he and Joshua Browne collected a team-high 24 disposals each. Bailey Hodge was good for a goal from his 18 uses of the ball, while Jack Carroll laid six tackles and pumped the ball inside 50 four times amid his 17-disposal effort. Fremantle NGA prospect Brandon Walker had 16 disposals (14 kicks) in the defeat.

The round’s final Colts fixture saw East Perth come away with a 22-point win over Perth, beating out some outstanding individual performers on the Demons’ side. Among them, Connor McPartland again led all comers with 29 disposals and seven inside 50s, while AFL Academy jet Nathan O’Driscoll looks back near his best with 25 touches, six marks, and five tackles. Harry Quartermaine added three goals to his seven from last week, while Jaiden Hunter palmed down 33 hitouts.

For the Royals, Joshua Clements booted a game-high four goals from eight disposals, as three other teammates managed two majors apiece – most notably, Jayden Peak and Sokaa Soka, who also notched 15 disposals. Adam Boules led the ball winning stakes with 28 disposals, followed closely by Luke Lombardi‘s 24.

>> WAFL League Player Focus: Logan McDonald

>> 2020 Western Australia Under 18s Squad Prediction
>> July 2020 Power Rankings

Draft Diaries:
Zane Trew – Edition 1 | Edition 2
Jack Allen – Edition 1

AFL Draft Watch:
Heath Chapman
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western
Isiah Winder

Marquee Matchups:
Kaine Baldwin vs. Denver Grainger-Barras
Oliver Davis vs. Zane Trew
Elijah Hollands vs. Nathan O’Driscoll