Tag: 2020 wafl

Out to impress: 2020 WAFL weekend preview – Preliminary Finals

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into the second week of finals, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. With Grand Final spots up for grabs, stakes are high for the state’s brightest prospects and bonafide stars.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

South Fremantle and West Perth play off for the right to play Claremont in the League decider, with the Bulldogs on a mission to add to their minor premiership. The top-ranked side will be made to lean on its second chance after consecutive losses, while West Perth is riding the wave of an 11-point victory in Week One to secure passage to the prelims.

Against a hardened and experienced South Freo outfit, the Falcons will also look to take in its fair share of young talent. 21-year-old midfielder Connor West had a season-low 11 disposals last time out, but laid eight tackles and has what it takes to make an impact amid the finals atmosphere. 202cm bigman Zak Patterson and former Subiaco ball magnet Tristan Hobley have been named on the Falcons’ extended bench, both looking to retain their spots.

Claremont’s Reserves will hope to join their League and Colts teammates in the final week of the season, when they square off against Subiaco on Sunday afternoon. The Lions’ second chance comes into play after a loss to the undefeated East Perth, while the Tigers will hope its winning form counts having beaten South Fremantle last week.

Both sides boast a good array of youth prospects, with brothers Liam and Wil Hickmott among them. The midfielders carry League experience, and make up two of the three centreline selections for Subiaco. Thomas Edwards-Baldwin is another to watch for the Lions, named in the forward pocket to round out a month of Reserves footy after his own League stint. Fellow 21-year-old Koby Fullgrabe also features on the extended bench.

In response, the third-ranked Tigers boast players who can provide a spark on each line. The pacey Isaac Barton looms as one who can open up the game from midfield, while Jye Clark, the brother of Geelong’s Jordan has been named at half-back, and mainstay Jack Buller remains at half-forward.

Subiaco’s Colts will hope to make it a first-versus-second Grand Final, but have to get through the fourth-ranked East Fremantle before attempting revenge on Claremont. Ball-winning quartet Lachlan Vanirsen, Connor Patterson, Jed Kemp, and Matthew Johnson are all coming off strong showings for the Lions, with Kemp and Johnson getting their hands dirty defensively, too.

They’ll all play a key role for Subiaco, especially given the Sharks’ stocks. Bottom-agers Joshua Browne and Corey Warner have risen steeply of late, while Finn Gorringe is enjoying his time across half-back without Jack Carroll. Fellow defensive pair, Brandon Walker and Keanu Haddow have been reliable all season, while Chris Walker will be riding high having been added to the National Combine list.

Other combine invitees to watch include Subiaco defender Blake Morris and forward, Tyler Brockman, while East Fremantle’s Jed Hagan is a 2022-eligible gun who should benefit greatly from the heat of finals football in midfield.

FIXTURES

League:

South Fremantle vs. West Perth | Sunday September 27, 3:35pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Reserves:

Subiaco vs. Claremont | Sunday September 27, 1:00pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Colts:

Subiaco vs. East Fremantle | Sunday September 27, 10:25am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: West Perth players celebrate their Week One finals win | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

2020 WAFL League Weekly Wrap: Finals Week 1

IN the first week of the Optus WAFL League Finals Series, Claremont advanced through to the Grand Final after defeating South Fremantle by 47 points, while West Perth knocked Perth out of the finals race after beating the Demons by 11 points.

Read below to catch up on all the results, and see who stood out in Week One of the Optus WAFL League Finals Series.

South Fremantle 3.6 (24) def. by Claremont 10.11 (71)

Claremont has advanced through to its first WAFL League Grand Final since 2012, after defeating South Fremantle by 47 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Former West Coast player Alec Waterman starred for Claremont with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and four goals.

Jye Bolton (27 possessions, one goal), Declan Mountford (22 possessions, 15 tackles, seven inside 50s), Callan England (17 possessions, three inside 50s), Jared Hardisty (15 possessions, five inside 50s), Kane Mitchell (12 possessions, 10 tackles) and Alexander Manuel (10 possessions, five tackles, three goals) all excelled for the Tigers.

For South Fremantle, budding star Chad Pearson was excellent with 21 possessions, two marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

Jason Maskos (18 possessions, four tackles), Blayne Wilson (16 possessions, four marks), Caleb Datson (15 possessions, one goal), Dylan Main (15 possessions, two marks, two tackles), Haiden Schloithe (15 possessions, one goal), and Steven Verrier (15 possessions, seven tackles) competed strongly for the Bulldogs, who will now lean on their second chance as minor premiers.

West Perth 7.6 (48) def. Perth 5.7 (37)

Perth’s finals run came to an abrupt end, after being beaten by West Perth to the tune of 11 points at Provident Financial Oval.

Luke Meadows was inspirational for West Perth, finishing with 24 possessions, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

Trent Manzone (26 possessions, four inside 50s), Shane Nelson (23 possessions, eight tackles, seven inside 50s), Blake Wilhelm (23 possessions, four tackles), Aaron Black (18 possessions, one goal), Zac Guadagnin (18 possessions, eight tackles), Tyler Keitel (11 possessions, two goals) and Mitchell Peirce (10 possessions, two goals) were prolific for the Falcons.

For Perth, former Fremantle player Brady Grey fought hard to finish with 24 possessions, six tackles and five inside 50s.

Matthew Taylor (18 possessions, four marks), Fraser McInnes (16 possessions, seven inside 50s, six tackles, five marks), Andrew Fisher (15 possessions, five marks, four tackles), Michael Sinclair (15 possessions, one goal), Christian Eyres (14 possessions, 23 hit-outs) and Brant Colledge (14 possessions, 19 tackles) were the Demons’ prominent players.

Featured Image: Claremont players celebrate their Grand Final berth | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 9 – East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

MATCH REPORT

THE final regular season round of the 2020 Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition saw East Fremantle secure its finals position after overcoming Swan Districts by 10 points at New Choice Homes Park.

East Fremantle’s captain Keanu Haddow was inspirational in defence for the Sharks with 30 possessions and seven marks. Finn Gorringe (21 possessions, eight marks, four tackles), Brandon Walker (21 possessions, five marks, three tackles, three inside 50s), Jed Hagan (21 possessions, eight tackles, eight inside 50s, seven marks, one goal) and Chris Walker (13 possessions, seven tackles, four marks, three inside 50s) were also amongst the Sharks’ best.

For Swan Districts, Zane Trew enhanced his draft prospects with another powerful performance. He finished with a game-high 32 possessions, a game-high 10 tackles, a team-high seven marks and five inside 50s. Max Chipper (21 possessions, six marks), Ty Sears (21 possessions, six inside 50s), Ayden Cartwright (20 possessions, two goals), Jamison Ugle (16 possessions, one goal), Ashley Brockbernd (16 possessions, nine tackles) and William Collins (15 possessions, five marks) competed strongly for the Swans.

Joel Baverstock snapped the ball out of a pack for the first goal of the game, in the sixth minute of the opening quarter. Cartwright scored the instant reply for the Swans. Late in the opening quarter, Hagan won a holding-the-ball free kick, and nailed his set shot.

In the second quarter, Jack Williams and Kobe McMillan kicked goals for East Fremantle, which ultimately gave the Sharks a 15-point lead at half-time.

After the main break, Sears speared a pass into Cartwright, who dribbled through his second goal. Moments later, Baverstock snapped through his second goal. Soon after, Ugle booted home a goal for the Swans. Joseph Salmon then soccered through a goal that brought the Swans to within five points of East Fremantle. Late in the quarter, Joshua Middleton read the flight of the ball exceptionally well to mark the ball in a pack. He went back and nailed the goal that gave the Swans a four-point lead at three-quarter time.

At the thirteenth minute of the final quarter, Corey Warner smothered a Swans’ rebounding 50, before kicking the goal that put the Sharks back in front. Soon after, Edward Curley speared a pass to Bailey Hodge inside 50. Hodge went back and slotted the goal that gave the Sharks a 10-point buffer. Moments later, Gorringe laid a strong tackle in defensive 50 to stop a certain Swans’ score. In the 22nd minute, Gorringe smothered a Swans’ shot on goal that ultimately gave the Sharks a 10-point victory.

Next week, East Fremantle travel to Provident Financial Oval where they will take on West Perth in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts first semi-final.

SCOUTING NOTES

EAST FREMANTLE:

#2 Joel Baverstock

The 16-year-old produced the best game of his short Simply Energy WAFL Colts career against Swan Districts. He accumulated 18 possessions, recorded three inside 50s, laid two tackles and kicked two goals. He kicked the opening goal of the game, when he snapped the ball out of a pack through the goals, in the sixth minute of the opening quarter.

#6 Joshua Browne

The Applecross-Mount Pleasant junior continued his magnificent season for the Sharks with another excellent performance. He finished with 30 possessions, five marks and five inside 50s.

#7 Chris Walker

The Fremantle Dockers’ Next-Generation Academy member was superb as a pressure forward for East Fremantle. He collected 13 possessions, laid seven tackles, took four marks and recorded three inside 50s.

#8 Finn Gorringe

The Aquinas College graduate reminded recruiters of his enormous potential with an outstanding performance. He finished with 21 possessions, a game-high eight marks and four tackles in a brilliant performance. He produced a game-saving tackle, and a game-saving smother late in the last quarter to secure victory for East Fremantle.

#9 Brandon Walker

The 2018 AFL U16s All-Australian defender was fantastic for East Fremantle. Playing off half-back, Walker gathered 21 possessions, took five marks, laid three tackles and recorded three inside 50s to enhance his draft prospects. His ability to break the opposition’s defensive zone with his penetrating skills and blistering speed was a real feature of his game.

#10 Jed Hagan

Still only 15-years-old, the Brigades product produced another strong performance for the Sharks. He finished with 21 possessions, a team-high eight tackles, a game-high eight inside 50s, seven marks and a goal.

#13 Keanu Haddow

The East Fremantle captain was inspirational for his team, and he led the Sharks superbly. Playing in defence, Haddow finished with an equal team-high 30 possessions, and seven marks. His rebounding out of defence was excellent, and his strength in the contest was a real feature of his game.

#15 Ethan Paholski

The Geraldton product was excellent in the midfield for the Sharks, finishing with 15 possessions, five marks, and three tackles.

>> MORE EAST FREMANTLE CONTENT

SWAN DISTRICTS

#2 Ayden Cartwright

The Kalamunda junior continued his stunning season with another polished performance. He collected 20 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, took four marks, laid two tackles and kicked two goals. A highlight of his game came in the first quarter, when he snapped through the Swans’ first goal of the match.

#4 Max Chipper

Returning from a hand injury, Chipper played a fantastic game as a wingman for the Swans. He accumulated 21 possessions and grabbed six marks as he played an excellent link-up game.

#8 Zane Trew

The Hills Rangers product continued to enhance his draft prospects with another powerful performance. He finished with a game-high 32 possessions, a game-high 10 tackles, a team-high seven marks and five inside 50s.

#9 Jamison Ugle

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was dynamic for the Swans, rotating between the half-forward flank and the wing. He finished with 16 possessions, five marks, five inside 50s, two tackles and a goal. In the third quarter, he snapped through a goal that brought the Swans to within 10 points of East Fremantle.

#10 Ty Sears

The Bunbury product reminded recruiters of his talent with another sizzling performance. Against East Fremantle, Sears accumulated 21 possessions, recorded a team-high six inside 50s, took five marks and laid two tackles.

#35 William Collins

Stationed at full back, Collins was rock solid for the Swans. He finished with 15 possessions and five marks. The highlight of his game came early in the second quarter, when he took a magnificent overhead ‘specky’ in defence.

#37 Joseph Salmon

The St Mary’s product was electrifying for the Swans. He finished with 11 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and a goal. The highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he soccered through a goal that brought the Swans to within five points of the Sharks. It was his first goal in his Simply Energy WAFL Colts career.

#58 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member continued his fine season for Swan Districts with a superb performance. He finished with 16 possessions, nine tackles, five inside 50s and three marks.

#60 Dylan Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member was brilliant for Swan Districts with 12 possessions, six marks, three tackles and three inside 50s.

>> MORE SWAN DISTRICTS CONTENT

2020 WAFL Club Preview: West Perth

WEST PERTH Football Club comes into the 2020 season following a campaign that saw all three grades play finals football. Highlighted by a premiership in the Reserves, the Falcons will be looking to build on a strong year but will be pressed by a number of sides which have added to their squads over the pre-season. They’ll have to find replacements for a couple of key contributors with a fair bit of talent out the door.

Andrew Strijk leaves a significant hole as the club’s leading goal kicker in each of the past two seasons. Strijk’s ability to set up his teammates will also heavily impact the Falcons attack. At the other side of the ground, Jordan Mills will be a loss in defence after becoming a solid contributor. It isn’t all doom and gloom at Arena Joondalup, as the club will be buoyed by the inclusion of a couple of Victorian recruits. Fans will be wondering what Matthew Lloyd, brother of Sydney’s Jake, has in his locker but will not be surprised by the production of the returning Luke Meadows. Meadows was a key player for the club before plying his trade in the VFL last year. With the uncertainty gripping Victorian football, the midfielder chose to head home.

West Perth will once again heavily rely on its midfield brigade in 2020. Sandover Medallist Aaron Black and WA teammate Shane Nelson rarely have trouble finding the pill and the returning Meadows will further strengthen that part of the ground. Fairest and Best from 2019 Tyler Keitel should continue to improve, with the key forward showing great promise around the ground in a rucking role at times last season. He will need to carry the load up forward whilst continuing that development for the Falcons to have a good season. A 19-point win over Claremont on Saturday in preseason is a very positive sign for the club.

The Colts side found itself in a preliminary final last season and coach Geoff Valentine will be hoping a number of players can push for first team spots this year. Koopah Todd is last year’s fairest and best and even found himself in the victorious Reserves Grand Final side. Ruckman/tall forward Zak Patterson is another who is impressing at Joondalup and is seen as an exciting prospect for the future after a promising Colts campaign.

This year’s crop looks well-stocked to be highly competitive again and showed its credentials with a 43-point win over Claremont on Saturday. Heath Chapman had a very good bottom-aged campaign, regularly gathering more than 20 possessions and at 193cm is a good size for the modern game. Teammate Kellen Johnson will join him in this year’s NAB AFL Academy squad. Another youngster turning heads for West Perth is 16-year-old Lochlan Paton who has been very impressive in his short time at the club thus far. The Falcons will be hoping his promise turns into production in the coming years.

Last year’s Reserves premiership highlighted the depth at West Perth and many players from that young side will be hoping to push their credentials for a regular League position this year. Add to that promising Colts crop from last year and the Falcons should be strong contenders in the second grade yet again. Players such as Tristan Hobley and Liam Tedesco will be hoping for more League opportunities this season but will once again be strong contributors for the Reserves if those roles are not forthcoming. A 68-point loss in a Grand Final rematch with Claremont on Saturday, however was not the most promising start to the year.

Picture: WAFL via Twitter

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Swan Districts

SWAN DISTRICTS will be looking to climb off the bottom of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) League ladder in 2020, having managed just four wins last time out to miss finals for a second consecutive season. The Reserves fared only slightly better with five victories to land in seventh in 2019, as the Colts lifted the club with their finals qualification at 8-8 to finish fifth.

While the Black Ducks are once again well stocked at the junior grade, they will be made to cover some key, experienced losses as they search for improvement at senior level. The retirement of former skipper David Ellard will hurt, as will the loss of enigmatic 2008 AFL Rising Star, Rhys Palmer, who also ended his League career.

Jesse Glass-McCasker‘s next move remains in limbo given he was set to feature in the recently cancelled VFL season, while long-time Swan Jacob Coniglio has sought opportunities elsewhere in the competition with Perth. Albert Dean is the other player to complete a move within the WAFL, joining East Perth, while Freddie Clutterbuck will look to stamp his claim in country football this year.

On the flip-side, former Northern Blues pair Frank Anderson and Sam Fisher will be thanking their lucky stars having made the move West at an ideal time, poised to provide solid midfield and forward cover for the Swans this season. The pair have been standouts in the Victorian competition, and earned invites to last year’s state draft combine.

Former East Perth pair Tarir Bayok and Nelson Waite will also line up in the Black and White throughout 2020, alongside former Claremont Tiger, Jacob Sideris and Diggers Rest recruit, Deven Costigan. A third Victorian on the list, Costigan’s transition to state league football in WA will be made easier having made the move with Anderson and Fisher on two-year deals.

The squad will be led by fan favourite co-captains Tony Notte and Matt Riggio, with former Collingwood key forward Corey Cault named vice-captain in his fourth year at the club. Much of the goalkicking onus may again fall on Leigh Kohlmann and Brayden Noble, who provide good height and diversity having led the club’s scoring charts over the last two seasons. Reigning best and fairest George Hampson should be in for another big campaign, while young tall Nathan Ireland will hope to continue his development at senior level.

Speaking of, leading AFL draft prospects Denver Grainger-Barras and Zane Trew could well crack League berths in their top-age campaigns, as two of the Swans’ five State Academy Hub members. Grainger-Barras is a rangy key defender with great athleticism and versatility, while Trew is a hard-nosed midfield extractor and terrific exponent of the handball. Both look like pushing for first round contention.

Ty Sears is another promising top-ager who injects searing pace off half-back or on the outside, while Rhett Bazzo and Max Chipper are bottom-age guns who played a role in WA’s Under 16 National Championships campaign last year.

If the promising youth is anything to go by, the only way is up for Swan Districts in 2020. The heavy losses in experience will be difficult to manage, but some terrific top-up talent from around the competition and nation should hold the Black Ducks in decent stead.

Preseason form has not been entirely promising though; with the League side going down to Perth by eight points, and the Colts losing both of their scratch matches, but the Reserves coming up trumps against Perth to the tune of 23 points. Swans fans will be hoping for plenty more of the same, and a quick return to form. West Perth awaits in Round 1 of the 2020 WAFL season.

2020 League Coach: Adam Pickering

2020 League Captains: Tony Notte, Matt Riggio, Corey Gault (VC)

2020 Reserves Coach: David McKay

2020 Colts Coach: Simon Bergin

Ins: Frank Anderson (Northern Blues), Sam Fisher (Northern Blues), Tarir Bayok (East Perth), Jacob Sideris (Claremont), Nelson Waite (East Perth), Deven Costigan (Diggers Rest).

Outs: Jacob Coniglio (Perth), Albert Dean (East Perth), Jesse Glass-McCasker (VFL), David Ellard (Retired), Rhys Palmer (Retired), Riley Garcia (Western Bulldogs), Jake Pasini (Port Adelaide), Freddie Clutterbuck.

2020 NAB AFL State-Based Academy Players: Rhett Bazzo, Max Chipper, Denver Grainger-Barras, Ty Sears, Zane Trew

2020 WAFL Club Preview: South Fremantle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian