Tag: Aidan Quigley

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 16

ROUND 16 of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend – with all teams at full strength following the conclusion of school football. We had scouts watching all six games, read their notes below.

Northern Knights vs. Western Jets (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

#2 Mitchell Andrews – Put on the long sleeves in the second half and didn’t look back, racking up the ball with ease from half back to the wing. Played a settling role for the Knights throughout the game and did well to break the lines in bringing his side forward. Showed good poise and even chimed in with a goal on the back of a 50-meter penalty

#5 Marcus Lentini – Played the role he’s been so consistent at all year for the Knights – mopping up between midfield and half back and setting up attacks with penetrating kicks. Showed good improvement in his decision making and short kicking accuracy too, while doing all the hard stuff that coaches love. Has the valuable quality of being able to play well in both wet and dry conditions

#8 Nick Coffield – The skipper produced another decent outing, acting as sergeant of the Knight’s back half. He was able to again show off his poise and class in-close, while also displaying his quick step and good turn of pace on the outside. Was prolific by foot as usual and tried his best to use his skill to settle the fast-paced game. Unfortunately, he gave away two uncharacteristic and costly free kicks in the final quarter that ended up handing Western the game – one was a very stiff deliberate rushed behind call, and the other a holding the ball decision. That shouldn’t take anything away from his solid game and overall credentials and is firmly in the top 10 mix.

#9 Alex Federico – Started off like a house on fire with 10 disposals and a handful of tackles in the first quarter. He continued that form and was probably the best for the Knights throughout the day, cracking in and winning the ball relentlessly. Attended most of the centre bounces and willed himself at the ball at each one, while making sure to follow up and not give his opponents an inch. Showed signs of the good outside traits he’s always had, too, and found targets with ease.

#11 Ethan Penrith – Was another who started the game well with half-a-dozen touches and a set shot goal in the first term. While he often drifts in and out of games, his pressure allows him to make his presence be felt on the field. You’d think opposition coaches would tell their players to take on anyone but Penrith, but he continues to wrap up players in great tackles to win the ball back. While he excels in that area, he just lacks a bit of polish in his disposal and decision making.

#18 Jamo Shea – Was very quiet for most of the game playing as a key forward, but dragged the Knights back into the game with his three second-half goals. Took his opportunities when they came but otherwise struggled to get going, along with the likes of Patrick Naish and Matt Harman.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – A member of the strong Western bottom-age contingent, Butters was reliable in the moments that counted. Most notably, he brought down Knights skipper Nick Coffiled late in the last quarter, allowing Cam Rayner to take the advantage and kick the sealing goal. Provided a wealth of drive for the Jets between the wing and half forward with his speed on the outside and grunt on the inside – despite his size. And while his name suggests otherwise, he showed a clean pair of hands in trying conditions.

#12 Connor Thar – Another bottom-ager, Thar backed up his performance for the Under 17 Vic Metro side with a solid outing here. Switching characteristically between defence and attack, the classy small provided plenty of run for the Jets on the outside. He isn’t afraid to take on an opponent (or three) and he regularly put his step to good use, buying himself time and space with ease.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty  Was arguably best afield in the first half as he won plenty of the ball and hit the scoreboard with two majors. Demonstrated a good work rate to find space in the forward 50 where not many can, and then put on a show of overhead marking to get full reward for his efforts. He’s another one who showed good desire in the contest while it was up for grabs, but sometimes got ahead of himself and gave away an undisciplined 50-meter penalty in the second half.

#19 Cameron Rayner – Rayner did his chances of snaring top spot in this year’s draft no harm with an impressive best-on-ground performance. He was slow to get going and the second quarter rain halted his ability to mark overhead momentarily, but he came to life after that. Chimed in with a couple of clutch goals to will his side over the line and continued to show signs of an improved work rate with some big efforts around the ground. He managed to do all of that and even throw in a typical fend off with a fractured thumb – freakish.

#26 Darcy Cassar – One who came from left-field, Cassar was as composed and assured as you’ll ever see a 16-year old be. With four first-half goals and an eye-catching set of locks, Cassar proved a real handful for the Knights defence all day and really took control of the half-forward line. He’s very clean with ball in hand and quite smart in the way he moves – certainly one to keep an eye on.

#38 Buku Khamis – Khamis is a late-comer to footy, but he looked like a natural out there today. Took some impressive grabs in defence, intercepting a lot of the long balls that went in and then setting up his side on the rebound. Uses the ball well by foot and is a promising, versatile talent for 2018’s draft.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons (Matt Balmer)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Had a very quiet first quarter, but impacted in the second quarter with multiple clearances on the inside. Has a burst of speed that can help him to burst away when he collects the ball. Took a nice mark in the fourth quarter, judging it better than his opponents.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played as a strong bodied inside midfielder. Is willing to use it off either foot when going forward and is follow up is superb. Has good clean hands in close and kicked a good goal in the second quarter after his 2nd efforts saw him able to intercept the ball.

#8 Toby Wooller – Made a very good tackle on Andrew Brayshaw and should’ve been rewarded with a holding the ball call in the opening quarter. Took some marks throughout the contest – including a very nice sliding mark in four quarter with his shot missing on goal. Also intercepted a kick from Charlie Constable close to full time deep inside 50.

#14 Ed Richards – Took majority of the kickouts for the Chargers and used his pinpoint left foot to find a target short. On some occasions he played on and used his zip to gain 25 metres and bang it long. Had a nice early run down the broadcast wing in the first quarter and used his clean hands to find targets in the contest. Had a good contested knock-on to Jack Higgins that set up a goal in the last quarter. Also spent time playing as an inside midfielder, mostly in the final term.

#35 Jack Higgins – Spent a lot of time as a small forward and finished with three goals for the match. Laid some strong tackles and his defensive smothers were very good – including two in quick succession showing his desperation. Showed off his contested marking ability inside 50 as the game progressed. Won a free for ‘ducking’ close to goal and did his trademark ‘Stevie J’ run around snap to slot the goal with ease.

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachlan Harris – Has played as an inside midfielder for Caulfield Grammar but returned playing as a small forward for the Dragons. Marked early in the game from 20 metres out and slotted the goal. He was willing to block to help his teammates and showed off some speed at times. Roved a nice tap in the third quarter but didn’t have time to get a shot on target. Finished with two goals for the day.

#6 Charlie Constable – Won a stack of the ball and used it well by hand and foot. Had a few chances on goal from 55 metres but just fell a few metres short into the wind. Had a nice rebound 50 in the second term that got the Dragons running down the far wing at RAMS Arena. His contested mark right on half time allowed him to go back and slot the chance giving them some momentum into the main break. Had another very good centre clearance in the last quarter and did his top 10 chances no harm.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Like Constable, would’ve won a lot of the football. What is noticeable is his contested ball winning and he weaves very well in tight spaces. His vision is good and he hits targets with ease. He worked hard defensively and was able to win the ball in multiple positions around the ground. Has a bit of zip in the midfield and could well push into the Top 10 come draft night.

#12 Jackson Hille – Played as a defender for the Dragons and possesses good hands in close. Was able to break free and rundown the wing in the opening quarter and his offensive work is good. At times he can get caught out with his defensive positioning and that is one area that he will improve as he spends more time in defence. Has a long right foot kick.

#24 Sam Cameron – Showed some speed across half back and has very good agility. Switched the ball well early in the contest and was composed with ball in hand. Is willing to use it off either foot.

Eastern Ranges vs. Calder Cannons 

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – Played through the midfield and was able to find the ball at ease. He used it well on his left foot and had hurt factor with his disposals.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – The Vic Metro defender is in stellar form at the moment, after being one of the Ranges’ best against Sandringham Dragons. He started back against Calder, but worked himself up the ground – finishing up forward with two goals. He impacted the play throughout the day and was again in the best players.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Again spent time in the midfield after being the best player on the ground against Sandringham Dragons. Won the footy in contested situations and was able to find targets ahead of him.

#18 Sam Hayes – Was the clear best ruckman throughout the day winning a lot of taps. For the second game in a row had a more of an athletic ruckman (Balta) that attempted to jump over him at times, but he was able to compete strongly using his strength around the ground. Also pushed forward to boot two goals.

#22 Jackson Ross – Ross booted 29 goals for Haileybury in the APS competition and left no doubts to recruiters on Saturday, that he has the ability to dominate at not just school level. Ross booted five goals in a best-on-ground display, covering the ground well and finding the football. A very athletic type, he is a player to keep an eye on.

Calder Cannons:

#12 Noah Balta – Has been trialled in different positions for the Cannons this season, but played in the attacking half of the ground. Balta booted two goals up forward and completed well in the ruck against Sam Hayes, in what was a good battle when they went against each other. Showed his athletic traits off throughout the contest.

#20 Rhylee West – Found the ball easily through the midfield and was able to get the ball moving forward. Has a strong build below his waist and is able to stay standing when he is tackles.

Geelong Falcons vs. Murray Bushrangers (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Miers played predominantly forward in the game, pushing up the ground and then creating space for himself in the forward 50 when his team had possession. Took a couple of strong diving marks, although the second of which looked like it hit the ground. Had a couple of set shots but missed opportunities to have a big impact on the scoreboard. Miers kicked a goal on the siren at the end of the third term to give the Falcons a two-goal lead when the Bushrangers had the momentum.

#7 Harry Benson – Benson was strong defensively but did not spend as much time in the midfield as he had in past games. Played a bit off half-back, Benson laid a few desperate tackles and showed good vision when moving the ball from half-back. Had a clanger in the second term when he hooked a kick inside 50 to a defender, but showed some super clean hands at ground level under pressure to dish off to a teammate earlier in the game.

#16 David Handley – Handley was impressive in the first term and got his fair share of the football throughout. He provided some good link-up through the middle and when one-on-one, protected the ball drop well. Handley kicked a couple of goals, both of which game in the first half, but he spread his ground cover to include the defensive half, having a rebound outside defensive 50. His kick was a bit rushed and went to an opponent, but overall his decision making was reasonable. He showed a good sidestep when taking on Daniel Johnston in the second term.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Stephens continues to have his moments of brilliance. He is a nice, penetrating kick of the football coming out of defence, it is just a case of working on his shorter kicks where he tends to not kick through the football and therefore drops short of loops his kicks. Stephens was a presence in the air and took a good contested grab in the third quarter.

#19 Matt Ling – Ling was another who showed a few highlights, but ultimately was well held through the game. Had a couple of eye-catching dashes on the wing, but was constantly under pressure. He has good vision when coming off half-back. Ling’s best quarter was his last as he managed to win a bit more of the football and used his delicate kicking skills to influence the contest coming out of defence and into attack.

#38 James Worpel – Worpel played his typically consistent game, winning the ball and just grinding out a strong effort. His kicking still leaves a bit to be desired, but his quick hands under pressure is really good. When in close, his decision making also appears to be good and kicked a goal in the opening minute of the third term which gave his side a boost.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Parish was busy around the ground, winning plenty of the football and spreading well. He is good at getting his arms free in a tackle and handballing to a teammate running into space. Had a nice moment where he arched his back and kicked inside 50 to hit up David Handley, but his kicking still needs much work. Overall one of the better Falcons and tried his heart out for four quarters.

#43 Josh Jaska – Jaska is a developing key position defender who has a nice mix of speed and strength. He took a few strong grabs and provided some rebound off half-back. Jaska laid a strong tackle against a midfielder on the wing to kill a contest and help his side reset.

Murray Bushrangers:

#1 Daniel Johnston – Johnston had a quieter game against the Falcons after big bags in recent weeks. He leads at the football strongly, but needs to work on his second and third efforts. He noticeably lifted his intensity after quarter time, but has some areas to work on in regards to athleticism. Johnston found a bit more of it in the ruck but gave away a free kick which looked to be in frustration. Kept trying, but just wasn’t his day.

#2 Jordon Butts – Butts played in defence and was impressively offensively. He took a chest mark going back with the flight when he should have stuck the mitts up, but he protected the ball drop which was important. Butts is a reliable kick over any distance and showed good athleticism to be involved in a chain of handballs on the wing. He also did well to corral the speedster Matt Ling, and has a good tackling technique.

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Vandermeer battled hard for four quarters and won a bit of inside ball but is not the big ball winner compared to some of his teammates and opposition on the day. He has quick hands under pressure and often looks to clear the area quickly by hand. He can tend to loop his handballs a bit which can put teammates under pressure at times.

#5 Ben Paton – Lined up on Miers early on and throughout the game at times and did a fairly good job. He has a penetrating kick coming out of defence and a good sidestep which he showed on multiple occasions. Paton took a fantastic contested mark sliding in from the side of a pack and then took an intercept grab in a rare stint pushing forward, cutting the deficit to just six points late in the third term.

#11 Jy Lane – Quiet game offensively for Lane who was tasked to oppose Ling early on. Kept his opponent quiet and did his job, but did not win a heap of the football himself. Provided a great run down tackle on Ling in the opening term, but was not sighted as much since.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands was definitely one of the better Bushrangers, starting off half-back then moving through the midfield and finishing up forward. He created some line-breaking speed in the opening half, and while his decision making at times was questionable, he starred up forward late. Langlands finished the game with three majors and along with Joe Richards (four goals), was the major goal kicker for the Bushrangers.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech showed off his athleticism against the Falcons with some good closing speed and defensive pressure. He smothered Gryan Miers who has having a shot on goal, but then caught him high in frustration after Miers was paid what seemed to be a questionable mark. He was moved onto Garner who had two majors in the first term and kept the big forward quiet. He applied plenty of team pressure across the ground with shepherds and bumps.

#34 Tom Boyd – Boyd played forward and was quiet early, but worked into the game as he moved further up the ground. Laid a great tackle in the third term at half-forward and was more involved in the play through the middle of the ground. Boyd kicked inside 50 for a goal assist in the third quarter and took a good lead-up mark through the middle of Mars Stadium.

Gippsland Power vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Hogan was one of the Power’s top performers across four quarters, winning plenty of the football and buzzing around the stoppages. He had a number of inside 50s pushing forward hard, and showed great vision throughout the game. Hogan’s hard running was rewarded when he got on the end of a handball chain in the third term and booted a goal. One of his better kicks came when going inside 50 to hit-up Irving Mosquito who took a great grab.

#6 Aidan Quigley – Quigley has an imposing figure around the stoppages and has an influence on the contest when he’s “on”. Made a statement early with a goal from just inside 50 after receiving the handball from Cal Porter, then had a goal assist with a lovely clearance to Kyle Reid. At times he can rush his kick when under pressure, but has a booming rake when he gets onto it.

#11 Austin Hodge – Hodge’s trademark is his penetrating kick which he used to effect early. He would win the ball in the midfield and then pump the footy long to a contest which advantaged his forwards. A couple of times his kick would be a little predictable and was chopped off, but he showed his versatility, sneaking inside 50 to grab a mark.

#19 Callum Porter – Porter continues to stand out for the Power, working hard around the stoppages and having that unique combination of strength and acceleration. He can burst away from a stoppage, but also get his hands dirty and fire out a handball to a teammate on the outside. Porter is a really strong contested mark, especially for his size and he has a decent vertical leap as well. He rarely loses a one-on-one.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#1 Paddy Dow – Dow is an A grade player and it is clear to see why he would come into consideration for the first pick in the National AFL Draft. He can win the ball inside or out, but does most of his damage when in space. He has super quick hands, a great kick when he has time and space, and he is a goal kicker as well. Dow booted a goal from outside 50 and then set up another later on in the game when he won the ball, kicked short, got to the contest to win the ball again and then weaved through three players to hit Angus Byrne lace out inside 50. Dow had another chance later in the third term but his shot drifted to the right. A last quarter goal after a contested grab again saw the Pioneers claw to within six points midway through the term.

#2 Kane Farrell – Farrell played a tough, inside role throughout the match and had clean hands in tight. He won a number of crucial one-on-ones and showed a good penetrating kick when going inside 50. Farrell booted a goal in the final term when the momentum was against the Pioneers and continued to battle hard. He just does all the defensive things right.

#10 Brent Daniels – A nuggety midfielder/forward, Daniels is the prototype defensive forward who can also punish opponents on the scoreboard. Daniels works hard to push forward and looks to play on at all costs. He is solid by foot and is able to kick laterally at full speed while fending off an opponent. Daniels booted a goal after being on the end of a chain of handballs, rewarding him for his hard work.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The likely top 10 pick looked a dominant force all game and began to influence the game on the scoreboard with a couple of goals and a narrow miss in the third term. Brander took a ton of contested marks, and was impressive at ground level for a bigger player. He has a penetrating kick for goal and looked every bit a marquee tall forward. He earned a few free kicks as well with his opponents wary of his ability.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Henderson started at half-back and moved through the midfield, particularly spending time on a wing. He knows how to find the football and is a good size with good accelerations. A couple of times he stood up in a tackle and used his body to win the ball and move it on to a teammate’s advantage.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Dandenong Stingrays (Peter Williams)

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#2 Callan Wellings – The GWV Rebels’ captain continued to try throughout the four quarters, constantly pushing to contest after contest. Wellings used his quick hands to get it to teammates to run down the ground and worked hard with Aiden Domic in the third term when everyone else seemed to be down. He really started to rack up the ball, particularly off half-back and could hold his head high for his efforts. Narrowly missed a shot on goal from outside 50 after taking a grab on a long lead.

#4 Aiden Domic – After a quiet start, Domic began to exert his influence on the game in the second term. While he had a couple of forgettable kicks, more often than not he managed to kick it to his teammates’ advantage and showed clean hands throughout the match. A highlight was his clean pick up at ground level, spin out of traffic and snap on goal, but it was unfortunately punched through by Oscar Clavarino after the ball bounced the wrong way on the goal line. Domic continued to win the ball throughout the third term, being used well in transition from half-back to half-forward.

#10 Jordan Johnston – A quieter game for the exciting talent. Johnston started in the midfield to show what he could do on the inside and he did not disappoint, earning a few free kicks after burying himself under packs and winning the ball first. He showed good vision across half-back under pressure, hitting up a teammate with a lateral pass while under pressure. Johnston also continued to apply defensive pressure despite not winning much of the ball, laying a few tackles and providing shepherds for his teammates. Johnston had a highlight earlier in the last term with a clever spin but then ruined it with a kick that landed in an opposition player’s lap. Johnston had a rare shot at goal late in the final term but his shot drifted away for a behind.

#23 Lloyd Meek – One of GWV Rebels’ best with the way he presented himself across the ground. He went when he had to go and provided a target up forward when he was not rucking. He took a few good contested marks and was equally as impressive at ground level. Meek knows how to use his body, shows good positioning and his tap work was also impressive. For a taller player, he is surprisingly good at ground level, and he is able to stand his ground well when one-on-one. Meek continued presenting throughout the four quarters.

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – Clark put in another impressive performance with a good mixture of speed and strength. His kicking was once again questionable with a few rushed kicks off the boot, including one that was smothered. Nonetheless, Clark was one of the better Stingrays, bursting out of a stoppage and kicking long to the forwards. His repeat efforts during the game were also impressive, while his one-on-one work was really good. Clark has good vision coming out of a stoppage and has a greater influence when he handballs to the advantage of a teammate rather than throwing it on the boot. Clark won a 50m penalty in the last quarter and kicked truly to put a goal on the board for his team.

#6 Aiden Bonar – After a quiet first quarter at half-back, Bonar was moved to half-forward with instant results. He took a great grab and missed a chance at capitalising, but then snagged a great goal off a forward 50 stoppage when he read the tap to perfection. Despite having a few errors by foot, Bonar on the whole was reasonably effective by foot and his class without the ball shone through. He took a huge grab in the third term and kicked truly from the set shot to put the Stingrays 39-points up. Bonar won a bit of the football early in the last term and continued to push hard.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – The potential number one draft pick actually had an anti-climactic start without impacting the contest a great deal. Once he got going however, he really got going and began to collect the ball across the ground. While he would not have won as much of the football as Hunter Clark, most of his kicks were long, penetrating kicks deep inside 50 to his teammates’ advantage. Davies-Uniacke had a snap in the final term but just missed. His work in close was good as was his ability to cover the ground, from mopping up in to defence to having score assists inside 50. A highlight was a pinpoint penetrating kick to Riley D’Arcy on the lead inside 50 in the third quarter.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Clavarino is Mr Consistency and a complete rock in defence. He won a truckload of intercept possessions, going back, taking good contested grabs and rebounding off half-back. The most noticeable aspect about his game is his ability to seem composed at all times and is a good decision maker by hand or foot. Clavarino propelled a number of Rebels’ attacks throughout the match.

#26 Tom Murphy – Murphy had a few fleeting moments, but overall was quieter than other games. He had a booming shot at goal early from outside 50, but kicked it out on the full. Later on in the third term he did a good job clearing the ball out of defence with his penetrating boot to clear the defensive arc.

#35 Tom Freeman – Freeman did not have a huge game, but he was good in the contest. He continually put his body on the line and battled hard and lightened the load of Luke Davies-Uniacke and Hunter Clark on the inside. In one instance he got his hands free in a tackle when he looked well and truly wrapped up.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – D’Arcy had a huge first quarter but was relatively quiet after that. While he did not put a goal on the board, he took a number of contested grabs, and shepherded through a goal on the siren to allow Bailey Williams to goal. His kick to the top of the goal square moments earlier allowed Jai Nanscawen to pounce and snap a goal. D’Arcy showed good aggressiveness when tackling and had clean hands around the ground. Flynn Appleby locked down on him well after quarter time, with a rare mark in the third term and shot on goal just missing to the left.

Scouting notes: Vic Country vs. Western Australia

WESTERN AUSTRALIA finished their NAB AFL Under 18 Championships in style, defeating Vic Country at Etihad Stadium on Friday. Led by bottom-agers Ian Hill and Jarrad Fazioli, Western Australia ran out winners by 29-points.


Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Vic Country:

#6 Aidan Quigley – Looked composed with ball in hand, booting the first goal for Vic Country. Has played a few roles around the ground, but his best might just be as a small goal sneak up forward, as he knows where the goals are. Was clean by hand & foot and thought it was one of his better games I’ve seen him play.

#8 Lochie O’Brien – Voice was superb at the contest and around the ground, barking instructions to his teammates. Started far better than he did the week before – missed a kickable chance in the 3rd quarter and was a bit hot and cold with his kicking. Booted a strong goal from outside 50m on his left foot. Often waited for the ball to come to him, rather than going and getting it. Hoping he can put together a consistent four quarter effort.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Hit a nice spear pass early in the contest, but made a few errors by foot. His second half picked up and he was able to use his strength in the contest and find 23 disposals. Booted a goal just before three quarter time, but did fade in and out of the game at times. Hoping for a complete game like some of his school footy games in Country’s last game for the season.

#19 Matthew Ling – Laid a nice tackle in the first quarter in front of the interchange bench. Showed his dash on the outside, but did get run down on a few occasions. Very agile and has a deadly left foot. Expect him to be the first Falcon selected.

#33 Changkuoth Jiath – Took some exceptional overhead marks and is a flashy player – but yet again was let down by his poor kicking. His execution isn’t great and needs work if he is to be drafted, having one of the worst kicking efficiency numbers for the Under 18 Championships.

Western Australia:

#1 Jarrad Fazioli – Bobbed up as a small forward, booting four goals. Was impressive with his speed and dash, and was lively whenever the ball went near. Keep an eye on him for the 2018 draft.

#2 Ian Hill – Ian “Bobby” Hill was arguably the best player on the ground. His work in the attacking half was very good off the wing. His run was very good on the outside and helped WA run Vic Country off their legs. Going to be a special player and is eligible for the 2018 draft.

#9 Jake Patmore – Leading disposal winner on the ground for WA, with 32 disposals. Found the ball through the midfield, but his distribution off his right foot could be better.

#25 Oscar Allen – Booted two first half goals and took a nice pack mark right on the line and slotted the goal from an impossible angle in the last quarter. Had a very good battle with with his opponents (Jaska/Clavarino), and came out on top. Finished the day with three goals and has been WAs best performer.

#29 Aaron Naughton – Awkward kicking style on his left foot but they managed to get to the right spots. Played as a key defender and won his match up.

Under 18 Championships Preview: Vic Country

VIC COUNTRY enters the National Under 18s Championships as a big question mark given it failed to produce a win last season despite being one of the favourites. In 2017, Country has a greater depth of inside ball winners, but less class on the outside, while a plethora of key forwards and the best key defender in the draft help straighten the team up.

It is well known that contested ball and clearances are a key to winning a football match and Country have plenty of players that can do that. Headlined by Dandenong ball winner Luke Davies-Uniacke – who could well be a top two pick – Country also has James Worpel, teammate Cassidy Parish and Stingray Hunter Clark.

On the outside, Country will need to rely on the likes of Matthew Ling, Lochie O’Brien and Harry Benson to provide some dash and get crucial inside 50s to Tom De Koning, Bailey Williams and Tom McCartin. Murray Bushranger Jordan Butts played forward in the trial game, whether he stays there or goes back is largely unknown and it could depend on whether or not the likes of Power duo Cody Henness and Sean Masterson are playing.

Stingray Oscar Clavarino will stand tall in defence and take out the opposition’s best forward, while Ethan Floyd and Ben Paton take the game on and try and penetrate zones with their kicking off half-back. Up forward, Jordan Johnston, David Handley and Gryan Miers are likely to cause headaches for opposition teams, providing both offensive and defensive pressure. Meanwhile in the ruck, Rebel Lloyd Meek will share the duties with Gippsland’s Julian Patterson.

Players to watch:

Luke Davies-Uniacke – The standout player in the country team, using his big frame to star for the Stingrays early in the year before impressing at school football since. Played in defence last season and has now built up to play a huge role in the Country midfield and expect him to lead by example with the other inside midfielders.

James Worpel – Another inside player who has had an indifferent start to the season after a couple of niggling injuries, but the AFL Academy member could be a match winner for Country in the championships. He has the ability to go forward and influence, and will win his fair share of in-and-under hardball in the middle.

Lochie O’Brien – While the other Country midfield stars bring the grunt, O’Brien brings the outside class to the fore. He has not seen a lot of it this season, tagged out of most games at school football, but O’Brien is a dangerous prospect for opposition teams when up and going and will be the player Country looks for to hit-up targets inside 50.

Oscar Clavarino – The star key defender will be the most crucial player to the Country side. He will likely have a different pairing in defence each match, and will be tasked with organising the back six. He does lack some strength for the monster key position forwards, but with few monsters, Clavarino will beat most players one-on-one.

Jordan Johnston – An excitement machine, Johnston provides a different element to the Country forward mix. He is a high flying, accurate goal kicker who is capable on the ground as well. Likened to Jamie Elliott, Johnston has the X-factor about him, and he is just working on the consistency to make him a real danger to opposition defenders.

2018 names to keep an eye on:

Sam Walsh – A smooth mover who does not panic under pressure, has great vision and just thinks about his disposal. Walsh is good around the stoppages and is able to spot up teammates that many others might not and uses his smarts to outwit opponents. Has returned from an injury that kept him out of the last few weeks.

Bailey Williams – A key forward to get excited about next year, Williams also has played in the ruck for Dandenong and looks the goods. The bottom-ager could well play every game, but it might depend on if Jordan Butts plays in defence. Either way, when he does play, he is likely to stand out.

Zane Barzen – Very athletic forward who has an impressive vertical leap. Works hard up the ground and then sprints back forward. Is very clean below his knees and moves well. Should get game time for Vic Country throughout the Under 18 Championships.


Round 1: v ALLIES – June 11th 12.30pm Blacktown
Round 2: BYE
Round 3: v VIC METRO – June 24th 2.30pm Punt Road Oval
Round 4: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 30th 2.10pm Etihad Stadium (FOX FOOTY)
Round 5: v SOUTH AUSTRALIA – July 5th 4.40pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Possible Round One team:

B: Ben Paton, Josh Jaska, Laitham Vandermeer
HB: Ethan Floyd, Oscar Clavarino, Changkuoth Jiath
C: Cal Wellings, Paddy Dow, Matthew Ling
HF: Ethan McHenry, Jordan Butts, Brent Daniels
F: Gryan Miers, Tom De Koning, David Handley

FOLL: Lloyd Meek, Luke Davies-Uniacke, James Worpel
INT: Cody Henness, Jye Caldwell, Kane Farrell, Zane Barzen, Aidan Quigley


Finishing prediction: 3rd – Vic Country will finish somewhere between 2nd and 4th with Vic Metro the clear favourite and Western Australia behind the other teams. With the strong inside presence, Country would be favourites against the Allies, but the game against South Australia will be 50/50.

MVP prediction: Luke Davies-Uniacke – The top players stand up when the pressure intensifies so the two tips for the MVP are Luke Davies-Uniacke and James Worpel. Given LDU has played more football this year, we shall go with the big-bodied Stingray.


No. Name
HT (cm)
WT (kg)
1 Kane FARRELL 17/03/1999 180 72 Bendigo Pioneers
2 Samuel WALSH 2/07/2000 182 68 Geelong Falcons
3 Jye CALDWELL 28/09/2000 181 78 Bendigo Pioneers
4 Gryan MIERS 30/03/1999 177 73 Geelong Falcons
5 Ben PATON 19/10/1998 185 78 Murray Bushrangers
6 Aidan QUIGLEY 7/05/1999 183 72 Gipplsand Power
7 Harry BENSON 12/06/1999 180 72 Geelong Falcons
8 Lochie O’BRIEN 18/09/1999 184 75 Bendigo Pioneers
9 Luke DAVIES-UNIACKE 8/06/1999 187 85 Dandenong Stingrays
10 Brent DANIELS 9/03/1999 172 70 Bendigo Pioneers
11 Laitham VANDERMEER 3/02/1999 180 73 Murray Bushrangers
12 Edward MCHENRY 13/07/2000 176 67 Geelong Falcons
13 Ethan FLOYD 15/07/1999 179 70 Geelong Falcons
14 Callan WELLINGS 20/02/1998 181 71 GWV Rebels
15 Paddy DOW 16/10/1999 184 78 Bendigo Pioneers
16 David HANDLEY 1/09/1999 181 76 Geelong Falcons
17 Zane BARZEN 25/08/2000 191 76 Murray Bushrangers
18 Bailey HENDERSON 20/10/1999 188 75 Bendigo Pioneers
19 Matthew LING 21/04/1999 182 74 Geelong Falcons
20 Tom DE KONING 16/07/1999 200 92 Dandenong Stingrays
21 Hunter CLARK 26/03/1999 186 79 Dandenong Stingrays
22 Jordon BUTTS 31/12/1999 195 80 Murray Bushrangers
23 Cooper STEPHENS 21/05/1999 180 72 Geelong Falcons
24 Sean MASTERSON 23/08/1998 192 78 Gipplsand Power
25 Oscar CLAVARINO 22/05/1999 195 86 Dandenong Stingrays
26 Angus SCHUMACHER 16/03/1999 189 76 Bendigo Pioneers
27 Harrison JONES 15/03/1999 183 79 Murray Bushrangers
28 James WORPEL 24/01/1999 185 84 Geelong Falcons
29 Bailey WILLIAMS 17/04/2000 198 91 Dandenong Stingrays
30 Jordan JOHNSTON 9/09/1999 184 76 GWV Rebels
31 Sam FLETCHER 27/01/2000 188 77 Dandenong Stingrays
32 Cassidy PARISH 4/05/1999 190 84 Geelong Falcons
33 Changkuoth JIATH 13/06/1999 185 74 Gipplsand Power
34 Thomas BOYD 29/01/1999 191 75 Murray Bushrangers
35 Tom MCCARTIN 30/12/1999 192 86 Geelong Falcons
36 Cody HENNESS 7/02/1999 193 88 Gippsland Power
37 Joshua JASKA 26/02/1998 193 76 Geelong Falcons
38 Lloyd MEEK 22/04/1998 202 104 GWV Rebels
39 Hudson GARONI 14/01/2000 193 92 Murray Bushrangers
40 Julian PATTERSON 14/05/1998 203 81 Gipplsand Power
41 Aaron DARLING 24/01/1999 178 83 Dandenong Stingrays

Inside presence for Vic Country U18 squad

BIG bodied inside midfielders will headline the top-end talent in the 2017 Victoria Country squad at the National AFL Under 18s Championships.

The team is filled with some of the draft crop’s top inside midfielders led by Dandenong Stingrays’ Luke Davies-Uniacke who will be in the battle for the number one draft pick at the end of the season. Along with Davies-Uniacke, Geelong Falcons’ pair James Worpel and Cassidy Parish will ensure Country has an advantage at the stoppages, as well Stingrays’ Hunter Clark. Parish himself had 30 disposals in Sunday’s Vic Country trial game and will be a key cog to their strong midfield.

Vic Country U18 Trial Scouting Notes

To add a touch of class is Bendigo Pioneers’ pair Lochie O’Brien and Paddy Dow, while Falcon Matthew Ling will provide some speed and dash coming out of defence. There should be no shortage of Stingrays moving across the ground with bookends Tom De Koning and Oscar Clavarino to pull on the ‘Big V’.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels’ high-flyer Jordan Johnston is sure to create some excitement over the course of the championships, while Gippsland pair Aidan Quigley and Changkuoth Jiath are those the most highly rated from the far east of the state. Up north, Murray Bushrangers’ defenders Jordon Butts and Ben Paton will provide good rebound for the Country side.

Vic Country have strong inside midfielders, a variety of forwards and good smaller defenders, with only a deficiency at key position defense – but with Clavarino being the top key defender in the draft, they should have no issues taking the opposition’s best forward.

Vic Country will be co-captained by James Worpel and Oscar Clavarino 

Country commences its campaign against the Allies in Blacktown on Sunday June 11 from 12.30pm.


1 Kane Farrell 17/03/1999 180 72 Bendigo Pioneers Castlemaine
2 Samuel Walsh 2/07/2000 182 68 Geelong Falcons St Josephs
3 Jye Caldwell 28/09/2000 181 78 Bendigo Pioneers Golden Square / Geelong Grammar
4 Gryan Miers 30/03/1999 177 73 Geelong Falcons Grovedale
5 Ben Paton 19/10/1998 185 78 Murray Bushrangers North Albury
6 Aidan Quigley 7/05/1999 183 72 Gipplsand Power Yinnar
7 Harry Benson 12/06/1999 180 72 Geelong Falcons St Marys
8 Lochie O’Brien 18/09/1999 184 75 Bendigo Pioneers South Mildura / Geelong Grammar
9 Luke Davies-Uniacke 8/06/1999 187 85 Dandenong Stingrays Rye / Haileybury College
10 Brent Daniels 9/03/1999 172 70 Bendigo Pioneers Nyah Nyah West United / Geelong Grammar
11 Laitham Vandermeer 3/02/1999 180 73 Murray Bushrangers Mooroopna / Xavier College
12 Edward McHenry 13/07/2000 176 67 Geelong Falcons Barwon Heads / Geelong College
13 Ethan Floyd 15/07/1999 179 70 Geelong Falcons Colac
14 Callan Wellings 20/02/1998 181 71 GWV Rebels Trentham
15 Paddy Dow 16/10/1999 184 78 Bendigo Pioneers Swan Hill / Geelong Grammar
16 David Handley 1/09/1999 181 76 Geelong Falcons Geelong West Giants
17 Zane Barzen 25/08/2000 191 76 Murray Bushrangers Shepparton United
18 Bailey Henderson 20/10/1999 188 75 Bendigo Pioneers Strathfieldsaye
19 Matthew Ling 21/04/1999 182 74 Geelong Falcons St Marys
20 Tom De Koning 16/07/1999 200 92 Dandenong Stingrays Mornington
21 Hunter Clark 26/03/1999 186 79 Dandenong Stingrays Mornington
22 Jordon Butts 31/12/1999 195 80 Murray Bushrangers Shepparton
23 Cooper Stephens 21/05/1999 180 72 Geelong Falcons Colac
24 Sean Masterson 23/08/1998 192 78 Gipplsand Power Ellinbank
25 Oscar Clavarino 22/05/1999 195 86 Dandenong Stingrays Berwick / Haileybury College
26 Angus Schumacher 16/03/1999 189 76 Bendigo Pioneers Strathfieldsaye
27 Harrison Jones 15/03/1999 183 79 Murray Bushrangers Wodonga Bulldogs
28 James Worpel 24/01/1999 185 84 Geelong Falcons Bell Park
29 Bailey Williams 17/04/2000 198 91 Dandenong Stingrays Crip Point
30 Jordan Johnston 9/09/1999 184 76 GWV Rebels North Ballarat
31 Sam Fletcher 27/01/2000 188 77 Dandenong Stingrays Red Hill
32 Cassidy Parish 4/05/1999 190 84 Geelong Falcons Winchelseas
33 Changkuoth Jiath 13/06/1999 185 74 Gipplsand Power Morwell / Xavier College
34 Thomas Boyd 29/01/1999 191 75 Murray Bushrangers Picola United
35 Tom McCartin 30/12/1999 192 86 Geelong Falcons St Josephs
36 Cody Henness 7/02/1999 193 88 Gippsland Power Sale
37 Joshua Jaska 26/02/1998 193 76 Geelong Falcons Anglesea
38 Lloyd Meek 22/04/1998 202 104 GWV Rebels SMW Rovers
39 Hudson Garoni 14/01/2000 193 92 Murray Bushrangers Wodonga Bulldogs
40 Julian Patterson 14/05/1998 203 81 Gipplsand Power Leongatha
41 Aaron Darling 24/01/1999 178 83 Dandenong Stingrays Crib Point

Weekend That Was – Round 7

A DROUGHT-BREAKING win to Calder Cannons on the weekend has ensured every TAC Cup club will have sung the song at least once by the midway point of the season.

Calder won 18.9 (117) to Gippsland’s 12.13 (85), with bottom-age talent Jack Bytel racking up 34 disposals (17 contested) at 73.5 per cent efficiency, to go with 10 clearances, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Mitch Podhajski became a defender-cum-forward booting six goals from 23 disposals and 10 marks, while Brad Bernacki had 20 disposals, five clearances, six inside 50s and four rebounds in a strong all-round game.

For Gippsland, Aidan Quigley put in another strong performance with 20 disposals, five inside 50s and three goals, while Callum Porter had 18 disposals (88.9 per cent efficiency), six clearances, six tackles and booted a goal.

Meanwhile at the other end of the ladder, there was no drought broken for the impressive Geelong Falcons who continued on their merry way with a 65-point win over Northern Knights. The Falcons moved to 7-0 to start the season and rarely looked like losing after a seven goals to one second term. Northern fought back in the third to the Knights’ credit, but Geelong ran out too strong in the last with six goals to one in a 16.16 (112) to 7.5 (47) win.

Cassidy Parish’s sensational form continued with 33 disposals (72.7 per cent efficiency with 18 contested possessions), 12 clearances, seven inside 50s and a goal with his season likely to have him high, if not leading the Morrish Medal at this stage. Others that impressed were Lachie Noble who had 28 disposals, eight marks, five clearances and five inside 50s, while Bayley Cockerill and Matthew Ling were again prominent in the midfield. Ethan Floyd played further up the ground and had 24 disposals, five inside 50s and two goals.

For Northern, speedster Jack Petruccelle had 27 disposals (12 contested), five marks, nine inside 50s and three clearances in a pivotal link-up role, while Sam Binion and Christian Farchione both amassed good numbers with nine clearances, six inside 50s and two goals between them.

Murray Bushrangers locked in second spot with a commanding 23-point victory over Sandringham Dragons. Level at quarter time, it was the Bushrangers’ second term of four goals to zero which set up the victory, running out 13.11 (89) to 9.12 (66) winners.

Ben Paton continued to stake his claim as a potential over-age draftee notching up 26 disposals, two marks, two tackles, four inside 50s and a goal. Will Donaghey and Angus Hicks were once again busy, with the latter having 20 disposals (65 per cent efficiency), nine tackles, five inside 50s and two rebounds.

Speaking of impressive over-agers, Hamish Brayshaw could not have done much more in a losing team on the weekend. The Sandringham Dragons inside midfielder notched up 32 disposals, 11 marks, eight clearances, eight tackles, five inside 50s, two rebounds and two goals. Quintin Montanaro had 22 disposals, while Max Lohan’s 10 rebounds from 20 disposals and Aaron Trusler’s two goals from 18 disposals were also among the better Dragons’ efforts.

Eastern Ranges moved back into the top eight with another victory, this time a 29-point win over Bendigo Pioneers. The Ranges jumped the Pioneers at Box Hill in the first term with a six goals to two quarter. From there it was relatively even with the Ranges only winning the next three quarters by five points in a 14.13 (97) to 11.2 (68) win.

Thomas North earned the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week with 43 disposals (74.4 per cent efficiency), six marks, 12 clearances, two inside 50s, four rebounds and three goals for the Ranges. Kye Quirk was also ultra impressive with 31 disposals and nine marks, while Jaidyn Stephenson had a season-high seven clearances to go with his 22 disposals, four marks, five inside 50s and four tackles.

It must have been a game for big numbers with Pio Darby Henderson also suffering leather poisoning courtesy of 41 disposals, six marks, two clearances and nine rebounds in his best game in the TAC Cup. Along with Henderson, Laine Fitzgerald and Matt Harvey both recorded 27 disposals, with Harvey also booting two goals.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels survived a third quarter scare from the Western Jets to post an eight-point win over their opponents in the first game at the newly developed Eureka Stadium on the weekend. The Rebels led in a close game up until the third term when Western booted three goals to one to take a 10-point lead into the final break. The Rebels hit back with a four goals to one final term and finish the game off 11.5 (71) to 9.9 (63) win.

Aiden Domic was silk once again, as he amassed 19 disposals at 84.2 per cent efficiency, eight marks, seven tackles, six inside 50s and a goal. Others that were solid included Trent Reed with 21 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances and Lloyd Meek who provided more of a forward target in the match with 15 disposals, four marks, nine hitouts and a goal. Dale Cox had his best game of the year with 12 disposals, five marks and nine tackles.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round Seven

For Western, it was another promising game from Nicholas Stuhldreier who had 34 disposals (76.5 per cent efficiency), four marks, six clearances, three inside 50s, three rebounds and 11 tackles. Others that stood out included Connor Thar with a season-high 28 disposals, four marks and five clearances, as well as Jaden Rice (24 disposals eight clearances, eight tackles).

In the televised game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers enjoyed a huge 88-point thumping win over Dandenong Stingrays in their retro strips. Wearing the purple and gold, Oakleigh stormed to an early lead and did not take the foot off from there, booting at least four goals in each quarter to run away with a 20.8 (128) to 5.10 (40) victory.

Matt King stood up for Oakleigh off half-back with 28 disposals, 10 rebounds, seven clearances, four marks and four tackles, while Sam Harte had 28 disposals, eight inside 50s, five marks, five clearances and a goal as the key transition player into the forward line. Others that would battle for the best votes were Jack Higgins and Toby Wooller who both hit the scoreboard with four goals, with Higgins having 90 per cent efficiency in a game where he found more time and space to work his magic.

For the “Redlegs” Hunter Clark was busy once again with 27 disposals (although just 43 per cent by foot), five marks, eight clearances, six tackles and two rebounds. Mitch Cotter continued his work in an under with 27 disposals (19 contested), five tackles, nine clearances and four inside 50s. Bottom-age ruck/forward Bailey Williams looked the best of the lot early, booting Dandenong’s first three goals and finishing with four from 10 disposals, six marks (four contested) and 36 hitouts.

After seven rounds, Geelong is clearly the team to beat with seven wins and a superior percentage of 208. Murray six four points clear in second ahead of Oakleigh, followed by Sandringham and Northern with four wins apiece. The Rebels, Eastern and Dandenong round out the top eight with last year’s four sides that missed finals – Gippsland, Bendigo, Western and Calder at the tail-end of the ladder.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 5

ROUND Four of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching four of the games over the weekend. Read their scouting notes below:

Eastern Ranges vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – Worked hard all day around the ground, found plenty of the football and showed good agility. Notched up the clearances and was a key reason Eastern was in the game early. Has a trademark turn where he spins around to change direction.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Really strong performance from the over-ager. He is tough as nails, but clean at ground level. Showed quick hands at the stoppage to handball under pressure. Was reliable with the ball and took a few marks backing into the contest and has a penetrating kick which he used to kick inside 50. Wasn’t afraid to aggravate the opposition with a hilarious trash talk to Jordan Johnston saying “That’s the worst head I’ve ever seen”.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Kicked an early goal but then was largely unsighted in a quiet game for the AFL Academy member. Ended up playing full-back on Dale Cox in the final term and actually picked up the ball cleanly and bombed out of defensive 50 in a rare highlight. Not a game to remember for the talented utility who is one of many contesting for a top five pick.

#17 Cody Hirst – Good pace and showed it off with a clever snap for a goal on the run in the second half.

#19 Josiah Duncan – Finished the game with four goals and was clearly the Ranges’ most dangerous forward. Seemed to be good in the air, strong above his head and quick on the lead. A good size at 187cm and stood up when many others were quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – Was one of Eastern’s best in the first half rebounding many of the Rebels’ attacks. Then moved to the midfield in a surprise move in the third quarter and the Rebels dominated. Returned to defence and held it up, but was too late and showed what a crucial cog he is back there. Played a Ben Reid role with intercept marks and using his long, accurate kick to clear the danger in defensive 50.

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Still got a lot of improvement to be in consideration, but built a bit in the second half. Provides good pressure on the ball carrier and is super clean with his pickups – just grabbed a ball off the wet deck with one hand – just needs to do more for longer.

#2 Cal Wellings – A typical Wellings performance. Just good across the ground, booted four goals and lifted his team. One of the unluckiest players not to be drafted last season and he would be leading many of the over-agers this year. His kicking seems to have improved a bit and showed a bit of penetration throughout the game. Copped a few knocks and just kept getting up. A lionheart performer.

#3 Scott Carlin – A clean player who runs off half-back. Doesn’t panic and can change his kick midway through his action. Didn’t see too much penetration on his kicking, but uses it well enough even if his disposals are mostly short.

#4 Aiden Domic – Not one of his better games. Seemed a bit off and was not that clean at ground level. Still found a fair bit of the ball and got into space, but wasn’t as classy as usual. Not sure if he was under the weather but that was what it looked like. Will no doubt learn from the game and be better for the run.

#8 Aaron Shepherd – I don’t get excited about players off a game, but boy did this kid excite me. Reminded me of Josh Begley last season the way he led at the ball, had Velcro mits and clunked a series of marks. Was able to kick a goal from outside 50 off a couple of steps and constantly provide an option. He’s earned his way onto my watch list this season.

#10 Jordan Johnston – It seemed like today was the day that “JJ” finally came of age. I thought he had potential last season and would show it in bursts, but Saturday’s game it came to the fore. Six goals and just a dominant performance in the air and at ground level. His opponents were constantly wary of him and he nailed all his set shots. Just a great run-up, he is one I hope builds on this and goes on with it because he’s been threatening to break out for some time. Think Jamie Elliot, that’s the excitement he provides.

#13 Thomas Berry – This kid is a serious talent. Just gives the don’t argues and the fend-offs like players and specky bags. He wins plenty of his own ball, both inside and out, and has a penetrating kick. Brother of Jarrod, I think he could be even better and was one of the Rebels’ best with Wellings in the midfield. Had a lot of intercept possessions too and owned a wing on the day.

#15 Trent Reed – Another workman like performance from Reed. Continually pushes to each contest, gets knocked down and gets up again, always presenting and has quick hands. Had a chance to kick a goal but it fell short and that’s the area I’d like to see him improve on, become a more damaging player forward of centre and impact the scoreboard like a Cal Wellings.

#23 Lloyd Meek – A genuine chance to be drafted as an over-ager. Meek is strong in the ruck and presents an option up forward. He works hard and constantly provides second and third efforts. His biggest plus is his awareness around the stoppage where he seems to find his midfielders and one example was grabbing the ball out of the ruck, turning around and handballing to a running Jed Hill who sped off, which showed his awareness and vision.

#24 Matty Lloyd – Clean defender who is tasked with the kick-in duties. Always loves a good play on to get the ball out of the defensive 50 – and picking up a kick in the process – but has the license to do so as he does have penetration on his kicking and will hit his target more often than not. The next step for me is to see how he goes in contested situations as there were a couple where he might have rushed his disposal a little bit. But in terms of courage and ability to position himself in an area where he can find the footy from a quick kick forward by the opposition, Lloyd gets a tick from me.

#25 Charlie Wilson – Bottom-ager who has that class around goals. Kicked a couple of snap goals and a set shot goal and did his job. One to watch over the next 18 months and while he didn’t find it as much as others, was mostly forward and just clean in that forward 50.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#5 Callum Searle – Racked up the football across half-back and through the midfield, mostly uncontested but was a key player behind the ball rebounding for the Chargets along with Louis Cunningham. Had one bad passage where he turned it over straight to the Falcons from deep inside defensive 50 which resulted in a goal. Was largely tasked with kick out duties.

#8 Toby Wooller – Really good movement for a bigger bloke and presents up that high half-forward. Didn’t get as much as his 22-possession game, but will be a prospect watched over the course of the season. It was impressive to see him work hard at the stoppages, winning a few clearances rather than as a deep forward at times.

#13 Daniel Stanford – A key target for the Chargers and that medium size 189cm who plays taller. He missed a couple of set shots but kicked a third in a busy opening term. Stanford showed impressive positioning and use of the body, bringing the ball down in front if he didn’t mark it.

#19 Jordan Troani – Busy as a bee around goals. Showed versatility in his ability to lead and mark or snap, with a couple of impressive goals throughout the day, including a first quarter highlight tight against the boundary line with only a split second to kick.

#35 Jack Higgins – Found plenty of the football but did have a tendancy to get on his right foot. Had plenty of attention from opposition players and to his credit got back up each time. Always busy darting from contest to contest, looking for the quick handball to a teammate out the back to clear the stoppage.

#39 Atu Bosemvulagi – A bottom-age player who showed plenty of signs to say he might be one to watch over the next 18 months, with good body use one-on-one and movement, as well as a strong pack mark. It was hard to believe he measures in at 178cm.

#42 Louis Cunningham – Thought he was unlucky not to get drafted last season and he looks to still have the attributes this season with a piecing left foot kick that can travel the distance. He also has good agility and vision, positioning himself well behind the ball and is one who could be used to break down zones at AFL level.

#57 Riley Collier-Dawkins – A player who I hadn’t seen before the game, but was super in the middle. Started the day standing next to Cassidy Parish and won the ball in the centre of the ground. His first quarter was very good and I’m looking to see the bottom ager as the season progresses.

Geelong Falcons: 

#1 Lachlan Noble – Plays a small forward’s role to a tee with his defensive pressure, courage and able to kick goals.

#7 Harry Benson – A really fierce tackler with a long boot. Kicked a good goal after winning a holding-the-ball free kick, showed strength with a fend-off tackle and was busy between the arcs.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Showed some precise kicking skills with confidence in the defensive half and was sensible with his ball use under pressure. Is an attack first, defend second defender, showing plenty of dash.

#38 James Worpel – Worked into the game and is usually found right at the coal face shovelling the ball out to teammates by hand. Worpel showed good lateral movement.

#40 Hayden Elliot – Appeared to be more involved than in his top-age year and gets around the ground. Played in defence and took some good marks.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Another impressive game by the big bodied inside midfielder. Just has the ball on a string, strong around the contest and gets his arms free from the tackler to handball. His kicking is one area that is always pointed out as an improvement, but he has good athleticism and a quick closing speed when going to tackle.

#44 Jordon Reid – Liked his game where he played in the forward 50 continually presenting as a target. Reid crashed packs and brought the ball to ground even if he didn’t mark them all the time.

#46 Adam Garner – Imposing forward at 194cm/93kg and took some great grabs. Finished off his hard work in front of the big sticks and will be one to watch throughout the season.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Calder Cannons (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays: 

#2 Hunter Clark – The hands on this boy would make you think he’s a magician; managing to get to a contest seemingly out of nowhere. He played a quieter game than what we are used to but a solid one nonetheless. The Cannons drew him deep in the first half and he was often isolated away from the play. Clark took plenty of strong grabs in the second half, helping to keep the Cannons back after they began to show a bit of fight. The youngster ejected the footy with ease, creating strong runs along the flanks for plenty scoring opportunities.

#3 Jamie Plumridge –  ­This kid had no trouble at all ending his first quarter with a goal. His handling of the ball and the way he moves through his opposition is astounding. He effectively moved the ball through the middle, presenting no problem and zig-zagging his opponents. This young man was one of the best on ground, helping to keep the Dandenong’s midfield a well-oiled machine.

#42 Jai Nanscawen – Coming out strong in the first quarter, Nanscawen proved to be someone to hit up in the Dandenong forward line. He presented plenty of strong leads, ending up with two goals by the end of the match.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – This big fella had an excellent first half, cracking in the first few goals, ending the second quarter with four under his belt. His presence in the forward line demanded the ball, muscling out his opponents with ease. His kicking remained sharp up until the beginning of the third where D’Arcy punted through three consecutive behinds. The Cannons’ pressure kept his disposals thin for a while, but he managed to play a more supporting role as he pushed up the field.

Calder Cannons:

#2 Dylan Landt – He played a pivotal role in the second half, slowing the Stingray’s run down. Landt’s movement and speed through the backline remained consistent throughout the match. His command of the backline drove momentum in their direction, managing to set up a few goals himself. His intelligence on the field is easily recognised in his keen ability to break through pressure and set his midfield up for a smooth counterattack.

#33 Jack Evans – Much like the rest of the boys, Evans came out slow in the first half. Though as soon as that siren sounded for the third quarter, he was off like a rocket. Making his presence known immediately as he slotted away two to put up a fight against the Home team. Hungry for more, he later went onto kick another in the fourth as well popping up a beautiful screamer in the closing moments of the match. Finished the day with three goals.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – It was impossible to keep your eyes off him today. His intelligent placing off the ball set the Cannons up for numerous goal scoring opportunities, kicking the first for his team in the second half. Throughout the match Firebrace laid several strong tackles which implied intense pressure on the Stingrays’ backline, and impressively shrugged off two men attempting to apply their own. If there’s one thing he showed today, it’s that we should keep a close eye on him these coming weeks.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Gippsland Power (Matt Balmer)

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – A rock in defence in the first half, with multiple marks in the second quarter. Fought hard and was one of the better Dragons players before half time.

#7 Aaron Trusler – Kicked a good goal early thanks to an “off-break” bounce. His second goal was superb, running through the middle and finishing from 45m He also spent a fair bit more of the game in the midfield with the ‘weakened’ Dragons team.

#8 Will Walker – Took a smart intercept mark about 80 metres from goal, before a long kick to hit a Dragons teammate. Spent majority of the game on the inside and played a solid game throughout the day. He also kicked a great goal on the run in the first quarter.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Played on the wing and was judged the Dragons best player. Took a while to get into the game but was always the player in the defensive half of the ground that the Dragons looked to use whenever they switched or went to attack. The Power’s pressure was superb throughout the day and at times Montanaro missed some of his handballs under pressure.

#30 Hayden McLean – Took two marks in the opening two minutes of the game but disappointingly opted to pass them off in kickable positions for goal. Was influential due to his size and the Power not having anyone with strength to match him in the air. Kicked his only goal for the day in the second quarter and rucked for periods.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Missed a kickable shot in the first quarter, but unfortunately his day ended early not reappearing after half time with an injury.

#5 Xavier Duursma – One of the more exciting Power players. Kicked a huge goal in the context of the game on the verge of half time, laying plenty of tackles in an attempt to win the ball back. Appeared to hurt his groin in the third quarter – but continued to fight hard playing inside 50 in the last quarter.

#6 Aidan Quigley – One of the best games I’ve seen Quigley play. He laid tackles in the middle and through the forward 50. But it was a moment in the final term which summed up his day – The ball came inside 50 with Quigley laying two tackles to pressure two different Dragon players helping the Power get the ball back and slot the goal. Two great games in two weeks is a positive sign for Quigley.

#7 Will Stephenson – Again gets the job done and people are beginning to take note. While his size is always going to count against him, he fought hard and got into the right positions inside 50. He bagged four goals for the day, including a few nice snaps close to goal.

#9 Irving Mosquito – With a big group of Power parents in the stands, Mosquito provided plenty of entertainment up forward. He was millimetres away from clunking the TAC Cup mark of the year in the second quarter. At times he just bombs it forward when he’s outside 50, but close to goal is where he does his best work. Kicked a fantastic goal in the last quarter where he kept his feet unlike the Dragons defenders to bag his second goal for the afternoon.

Looking Ahead TAC Cup Round 4

Bendigo Pioneers (10th, 1-2) vs. Oakleigh Chargers (4th, 2-1)

Both Bendigo and Oakleigh contain some of their top-end talent despite the likes of Lochie O’Brien, Paddy Dow and Jarrod Brander missing due to school football for the Pioneers. The Pioneers’ strength in my opinion lies across the half-back line with all those players – Kane Farrell, Keelin Betson and Darby Henderson pushing up into the midfield as well. Their midfield holds up well, but their medium talls often have to play key position roles, with the likes of Bailey Henderson and Daine Grace both showing signs despite some inconsistencies at times this season.

I think the Pioneers might struggle with height as they have so far this season with Toby Wooller the one to watch up forward for the Chargers. Jack Higgins and Louis Cunningham will provide run through the middle and the likes of Callum Searle and Riley Jones holding up the defensive end. Oakleigh rebounded from a loss to Sandringham in the first round to post two victories and I think they will record one here.

The Chargers win more of the football, dominate the contested possession and lead the Pioneers across most statistical categories. Bendigo’s rebounding has been fairly good this season, as has their disposal by hand, not so much by foot. Bendigo is not the Bendigo of past years and will put up a real fight and at full strength I think the Pioneers would have them. But looking at the teams on paper, Oakleigh is my tip for this game.

Players to watch:

Bendigo: Darby Henderson: 27 disposals (11 contested), four marks, five clearances, three inside 50s, 91 DT points

Oakleigh: Jack Higgins: 30 disposals (14 contested), eight marks, five tackles, three clearances 127 DT points

Dandenong Stingrays (6th, 2-1) vs. Sandringham Dragons (2nd, 3-0)

Since the start of the season I have tipped Dandenong Stingrays for the flag and am not one to jump off the bandwagon. The return of Hunter Clark and Tom De Koning will aid the Stingrays at Frankston Oval, with Sandringham literally unrecognisable from the previous week with a whopping 15 changes – welcome back school football.

Dandenong’s top-end talent and ability to rebound will be too much for Sandringham and hand the Dragons their first loss. Mason De Wit and Bailey Morrish are two of the unlucky ones not to be drafted this season and both Clark and De Koning will be important in the Stingrays’ push going forward. I think they will miss Ali Zijai who has been one of the Stingrays’ best this season, however I’ll look forward to seeing bottom-ager Tom Hogan strut his stuff again after impressing in glimpses. Whether he will fit in the forward line with De Koning and Riley D’Arcy is yet to be seen, but he may end up sharing the ruck duties with Bailey Williams and Tom Roberts.

For the Dragons, Hamish Brayshaw and Quintin Montanaro are a couple of midfielders that will try and maintain continuity in the side, while Hayden McLean will be a tough ask to shut down for the opposition defence, with Will Walker and Max Lohan another couple to keep an eye on in this match.

The Dragons have used the ball well on the outside and have subsequently had low contested ball numbers. They play a high-skilled outside brand of football and the Stingrays would be aiming to try and force them to play more inside in order to counteract their possession play. I think the Stingrays will be too strong and the Dragons will need a few weeks to get used to their mass changes.

Players to watch:

Dandenong: Mason De Wit: 18 disposals, five marks, six rebounds, 77 per cent kicking efficiency, 63 DT points

Sandringham: Quintin Montanaro: 19 disposals, seven marks, six handball receives, 73 per cent kicking efficiency, 71 DT points

Eastern Ranges (7th, 1-2) vs. Geelong Falcons (1st, 3-0)

This match will be the match of the round in my opinion with a number of top-end talents returning to the teams. It will be the spectators’ loss that Adam Cerra will not take the field, but with Sam Hayes and Jaidyn Stephenson running around, there will still be plenty of excitement for the Ranges. Harrison Nolan is a key defender who will no doubt be on AFL clubs radars, while Eastern’s midfield is as good as anyone’s, but I think Geelong have them covered in this game.

James Worpel returns, he joins Cassidy Parish on the inside and that is the best 1-2 inside combination in the league, while Harry Benson, Oscar Brownless and Matthew Ling provide the Falcons with an embarrassment of riches. David Handley will be looking to continue his strong early season form while Tom McCartin is moving forward to follow in brother Paddy’s footsteps. Throw in Ethan Floyd, Gryan Miers and Hayden Elliot and it’s no wonder why this side is undefeated at the top of the table.

I think Geelong will remain at the top of the table after overcoming Eastern in this game. They lead them in most categories except hitouts – which they know they will lose due to height – and then clearances and contested possessions – both of which will change given Worpel is back in and Cerra is out for the Ranges. With the Falcons having a superior kicking efficiency as well, I think the will get the job done here.

Players to watch:

Eastern: Jaidyn Stephenson: 15 disposals (10 contested), six marks (two contested), four inside 50s, eight goals, 96 DT points

Geelong: James Worpel: 19 disposals (nine contested), six tackles, six clearances, seven inside 50s, 72 DT points

Western Jets (9th, 1-2) vs. Gippsland Power (8th, 1-2)

It is fair to say these sides have not had the start they would have liked, but after seeing Gippsland live last week, I feel they are better than their results are showing. Aidan Quigley returns this week which is a boost, and the Power has a good balance of talls and smalls around the ground. Will Stephenson just steps up when needed, while Nick Hogan, Callum Porter and Austin Hodge always provide effort over four quarters. Sean Masterson was good at full-forward last week but has been named at full-back to tackle Tristan Xerri this week. I do like him more as a forward, but we will see how that pans out.

For the Jets, they seemed lost without their two stars in Cam Rayner and Lachlan Fogarty. Those two jets – pardon the pun – are the lynchpin of the side and allow others to run on the outside. Xerri is raw but marks the ball at the highest point, while Judah Dundon and Nicholas Stuhldreier will always work hard. Both sides are pretty even across the board, but with Gippsland ahead on both the inside and outside they will have the slight advantage. However their footskills let them down while the Jets have been comparatively good by hand or foot and with good clearance ability, the Jets will always give their forwards first use.

The ability to put out a consistent team each week works in Gippsland’s favour and based on seeing these teams last week, I will be putting my tip the way of the Power who surprised me and I think they will continue this week.

Players to watch:

Western: Nicholas Stuhldreier: 19 disposals (seven contested), four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s, 79 DT points

Gippsland: Nick Hogan: 21 disposals (12 contested), five clearances, five inside 50s, three tackles, 75 DT points

Northern Knights (5th, 2-1) vs. Murray Bushrangers (3rd, 2-1)

In the first of the Sunday games at RAMS Arena, Northern Knights and Murray Bushrangers will be fighting for a top four spot. The Knights have a really strong midfield led by Nick Coffield, Patrick Naish, Marcus Lentini and Jack Petruccelle. The emergence of Max Dreher further this season has allowed Naish to play further up the ground, with Dreher and Ethan Penrith also able to drift through that midfield. Joel Grace booted six goals in their last match so no doubt he will be tightly watched by the Bushrangers defence.

For Murray, they always put out a really competitive team and with a half-back line of Doulton Langlands, Alex Paech and Ben Paton, expect there to be no shortage of drive and rebounding out of the Bushrangers defence. Both teams’ half-back lines are strong and Murray have a number of players that have shown signs including Isaac Wallace, Will Donaghey and Angus Hicks, while Nick Richards will be keen to bounce back from a quieter round three match following two strong performances in the first fortnight.

The Bushrangers’ strengths lie in their foot skills compared to the Knights and their ability to control possession. They do struggle a little on the inside compared to past years, but provide plenty of pressure to the opposition. The Knights have been good around the stoppages and equally frenetic without the ball and I think they will get the job done here. Northern is my tip.

Players to watch:

Northern: Max Dreher: 24 disposals (12 contested), five marks, five tackles, five clearances, three rebounds, 91 DT points

Murray: Ben Paton: 25 disposals, six marks, six rebounds, three tackles, 98 DT points

Calder Cannons (12th 0-3) vs. GWV Rebels (11th, 0-3)

Two of the smallest teams in the TAC Cup will do battle in the final game of the round with avoiding going winless after four rounds the carrot dangled in front of them. What makes this game more interesting than an 11th versus 12th clash is the fact that both have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both midfields are really solid, with Calder’s Jean-Luc Velissaris, Brad Bernacki and Ben Caluzzi facing Aiden Domic, Cal Wellings and Thomas Berry. I think the Rebels’ midfield bats a little deeper, but Calder does have the better talls. Keep an eye out for Scott Carlin who is skilful by foot and will be one to watch for next season, while Cannons excitement machine Jesse Firebrace is small but packs a punch.

Noah Balta is the star of the show and will be a high draft pick, but he has his work cut out for him against Lloyd Meek who has been one of the in-form ruckmen of the competition. Mitch Podhajski will look to use his “height” of 190cm to lead the Calder defence, while the Rebels will hope that their speed will counteract the Cannons’ height up the other end. It is almost scary to think 200cm Daniel Hanna could line-up on 188cm Jackson Taurau.

I think this match will come down to match conditions. I think in patches the Rebels have shown some signs, but so has Calder. The problem with both these teams is they tend to drift off for a quarter and the opposition boots a bag of goals and it hurts. Given I am very much on the fence I will turn to the stats where the Rebels have been superior by foot, in the hit-outs, clearances and inside 50s. Calder has been much better rebounding, but with the Rebels ahead in more areas, I will select them without a great deal of confidence either way.

Players to watch:

Calder: Jean-Luc Velissaris: 17 disposals (eight contested), four marks, six inside 50s, five tackles, 84 DT points

GWV: Callan Wellings: 28 disposals (15 contested), seven marks, eight clearances, eight tackles, five rebounds, 123 DT points

U17 All Stars ultimate review


BACK-TO-BACK wins saw ‘Team Judd’ claim inagularl Kevin Sheehan Trophy after defeating ‘Team O’Loughlin‘ by 13-points at Punt Road Oval on Saturday.

After winning comfortably on Friday in the Under 18 All Stars match, ‘Team Judd’ Under 17s were made to work much harder for their win on Grand Final day.

The concept saw the ‘Best 46’ 2017 draft prospects go head-to-head, all be it missing a few through injury.

Unfortunately for those involved, a late change saw the match moved from the MCG to Punt Road Oval. This is turn however, did allow a large contingent of Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs fans come through the gates to see the very best U17 talent available for the 2017 draft.

Josh Poulter’s scouting notes: 


5 – Lochie O’Brien (Judd)

4 – Darcy Fogarty (Judd)

3 – Connor Ballenden (O’Loughlin)

2 – Hunter Clark (Judd)

1 – Jack Higgins (O’Loughlin)

Team Judd:

#1 – Charlie Spargo

Nothing unusual today for Spargo in the way he played. Worked hard on both the inside and outside of the contest and collected 16 disposals. Like the week before his disposal was both a highlight and lowlight as it went hot and cold. He was also named captain of the victorious side.

#9 – Lochie O’Brien

A new team was the only thing different for O’Brien as he played today in the manner as he has all year. Was the link-up & go-to player for Team Judd. His quality ball use was the catalyst for much of the attacking by his team. His kicking inside-50 was also a highlight.

#12 – Hunter Clark

Showed his X-Factor with moments of brilliance. Took a great pack mark and also had dash. Had plenty of the ball as well finishing the day with 21 disposals. Spent the majority of the day in the midfield and showed some explosive power when he gathered the ball on occasion.

#14 – Cameron Rayner

Was all over the game early and found most of his ball in the first half of the game, before fading to finish with 16 disposals. Showed moments of power and agility. Did look to bomb away at times and ‘dump kick’. He also got moved behind the ball late in the game.

#18 – Darcy Fogarty

Started the game off strongly in the forward line with the first goal of the game. Was thrown around throughout the game as well. Showed great alethicism for size and movement was very good for his size. His strong pair of hands were also a highlight and he won Best-on-Ground honours.

Team O’Loughlin

#3 – Jack Higgins

The midfielder/forward rotated between his two positions for the day and was one of Team O’Louhglin’s best players. Kicked 1.4 for the day and showed his footballing brain in the Forward-50. But his kicking cost him and could’ve had a much more impactful game on the scoreboard despite having 24 disposals.

#7 – Aidan Quigley

The Gippsland Power product was in and out of the game, but he had moments in the game that had the on-lookers impressed. His elite agility and lateral movement showed as he on a few occasions was able to weave out of traffic.

#28 – Nathan Kreuger

The tall defender played as the 3rd tall for the majority on the day and was able to peel off and gather his usual intercept possessions. He rebounded well out of defensive 50 and used his great left foot kick and also displayed strong hands overhead also.

#33 – Connor Ballenden

The highly touted Brisbane Lions academy prospect kicked two goals early but did most of his good work in the second half of the game. He also started the 3rd quarter in the ruck and showed his one one prowess in a marking contest, with him out muscling his opponents.

#35 – Sam Hayes

Started the game in the ruck but spent most of the game deep at Full-Forward. At moments he did look like he was labouring or a bit slow and fumbled on a few occasions below the knees. Sometimes he looked good and very average when leaping at the ball but took a really solid mark in the last quarter at the top of the goal-square.

Under 17 All Stars game ultimate preview

GF - James Worpel
Geelong Falcons midfielder James Worpel in action.

AUSTRALIA’S top teenage footballers will take part in a new concept that is aimed to feature the best players for the 2017 draft.

Saturday’s Under 17 All Stars match will see players divided up into two teams to play against each other in an event that the AFL hope will be in front of a blockbuster crowd at Punt Road Oval in the lead up to the 2016 AFL Grand Final.


The two teams have been named after AFL greats Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin and will be a part of the AFL’s changing program for the Grand Final weekend.

The league were forced into making a late change with a venue swap from the MCG to Punt Road Oval. The match time has been pushed back and it is hoped that Western Bulldogs and Sydney Swans fans will attend on their way to the ‘G.

Current NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Chris Judd teams, while NSW/ACT & Allies coach Tadhg Kennelly will coach the Michael O’Loughlin teams.

The match will be broadcast live on AFL.com.au (or the AFL app) from 10.30am.

Likely Teams:

U17 All Stars

Jaidyn Stephenson injured his wrist a fortnight ago and will not take his place in the selected team. Full lines ups to be confirmed on Saturday morning.

Star Power:

For Team Judd, Charlie Spargo is the name to keep an eye on. The small midfielder can win the football and push forward to hit the scoreboard. Spargo was one of the Bushrangers best bottom age players in 2016, performing strongly in the TAC Cup Grand Final with 24 disposals.

Another player to watch is South Australian forward/midfielder Darcy Fogarty, who impressed recently in the SANFL U18s final series and has plenty of strength at the contest. He played more of a role up forward in the Under 18 championships and certainly provides scoreboard impact when not running through the midfield.

Other names to watch include Dandenong Stingrays rebounding defender Hunter Clark, Bendigo Pioneers speedy midfielder Lochie O’Brien and possible top five selection in the 2017 draft tall utility Jarrod Brander.

For Team O’Loughlan, midfielders such as Jack Higgins and Lachlan Fogarty are two to keep an eye on. Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Higgins was runner-up in their Best and Fairest, working hard around the ground and can hit the scoreboard. Fogarty has spent some time on the sidelines with injury, but is another worth noting down.

Another to watch is Queensland key forward Connor Ballenden. The 200 cm goal kicker is rated extremely highly for next years draft (apart of the Brisbane Lions academy) and could kick a big bag for Team O’Loughlan if not contained. Vic Metro All-Australian ruck/forward Sam Hayes, Queensland defender Jack Clayton and Vic Metro key forward Hayden McLean are others to watch for the game.

Surprise Packets

For Team Judd there were some surprise selections which include medium forward Jack Petruccelle, midfielder Matthew Ling and GWS Academy member Brendan Myers.

Petruccelle comes from an elite basketball background where he played for the Under 18 Vic Metro team and caught the eye in only two games for the Northern Knights. He kicked four goals in those two games and looks to be an exciting player for the future.

Ling too the more conventional path as a player but was just as much of a surprise selection. He played five games for the Falcons and impressed with his skills enough to be selected for Team Judd.

For Team O’Loughlan they have their fair share of surprise packets including Queensland medium forward Harry Simington and South Australian utility Nathan Kreuger.

Simington was a real shock selection as he hasn’t had much exposure as he has only played the one state game and a handful of NEAFL games for the Gold Coast Suns. Simington has shown a lot of qualities which translate well to AFL level up forward.

South Adelaide’s Kreuger was also an interesting choice for Team O’Loughlan. This year Kreuger has been toiling away in the SANFL Under 18s as a tall roaming player at 194 cm. He is a fast and agile player who can play practically everywhere on the ground. He has recently dominated a the Under 17 Futures trial game in SA.


Key Matchups:

Callum Coleman-Jones vs Nathan Richards

This year there have been two standout ruckman for the 2017 draft and for this game they will face off against each other in the ruck. Coleman-Jones is the more mobile of the pair, as he can spread unlike most ruckman in the draft. He can win his own football on the ground and almost become an extra midfielder in the stoppages.

Richards is the stronger of the two as he often out muscles opponents to get crucial taps on his team. He also has better disposal efficiency, making him more damaging with the football. Richards is also a strong contested mark, which will make him difficult to beat in the air. Who wins the match up will depend on if it is a free flowing game  (suiting Coleman-Jones) or a scrappy game (suiting Richards).

Jake Patmore vs Tyrone Hayes

It looks likely that two indigenous speedsters will matchup on each other during the game. Gippsland Power small forward Hayes will likely play forward for Team O’Loughlin for most of the game. He provides lots of zip and class with ball in hand which could lead to him kicking a few if not held well.

Patmore on the other hand has been quiet about his business this year but has shown on many occasions he is just as damaging as Hayes. The West Australian is as classy as they come with the ball as he can deliver the ball to his teammates with great proficiency. This matchup will be crucial as whoever wins it could have a two or three goals swing in their way.

Connor Ballenden vs Oscar Clavarino

Another battle which will be pivotal is the one between potential top five prospects Clavarino and Ballenden. Ballenden is a massive key forward who marks the ball at the highest point and has shown on multiple occasions he can take games by the throat. On the other hand Clavarino is an intercept marking key defender with great skills and poise.

Ballenden as a tall is a better player one-on-one and is much taller than Clavarino, but Clavarino is a better judge of the ball in flight which will allow him to get good positioning to get marks as well as provide some rebound, but his kicking does need work. Both players are very highly touted and the fact that they will be facing each other is very exciting from a recruiters’ point of view.


Team Judd on paper looks too strong for Team O’Loughlin. Team Judd’s midfield looks too strong for the smaller and less dominant Team O’Loughlin midfield with the likes of Hunter Clark and James Worpel in their team.

O’Loughlin’s team in defense looks likely to be too small to battle against the likes of Darcy Fogarty, Tom De Koning and Jarrod Brander up forward and possibly lacking speed to contain Cam Rayner as well as Jordan Johnston up forward.

Worpel is an easy candidate for BOG honours, as the strong clearance midfielder wins plenty of the ball and showed that against bigger bodies in the Under 18 championships. 


Team O’Loughlin v Team Judd
10.30am, Punt Road Oval
October 1st
Live on AFL.com.au (& AFL app) from 10.30am
Tweets: @afldraftcentral

Top talent on show on AFL Grand Final weekend

MB - Will Brodie

In a new initiative announced by the AFL, the best Under 17 and Under 18 talent will play games on the Grand Final day long weekend under the eyes of recruiters and fans.

The Under 18 All Stars game will be played at Punt Road Oval at 1.30pm, broadcast on Fox Footy on Grand Final Eve (Friday 30th September). The Under 17 game will be played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL Grand Final beginning from 10am with a live stream on AFL.com.au.

For more information on the initiative click here:

Under 18 squad:

Under 18 squad ALL STARS

Under 17 squad:

Under 17 squad