Tag: Bailey Banfield

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 18

SOME lower order draftees stood tall in Round 18 of the AFL, while other top-end picks continued their incredible season for this week’s Keeping Tabs.

Jack Higgins

Higgins once again provided the Richmond forward line with even more energy, which was highlighted by his four tackles (two inside-50 tackles) and 16 pressure acts. Incredibly prolific as a junior, Higgins’ ball winning ability has transferred over to the biggest stage with 18 disposals (seven kicks and 11 handballs), 10 of which were won in contested situations, four clearances and a goal. Look for Higgins to spend more stints on-ball in future games where his ability to find an abundance of the ball, apply a stack of pressure and win the clearances. The Premiers have found another star small forward.

Hunter Clark

Whilst St Kilda’s miserable season continues to roll on with the loss to Richmond, Hunter Clark played one of the best matches of his young 13 game career. The former Dandenong Stingray found more of the ball than in previous weeks and once again looked composed and clean with ball in hand from his role along the Saints backline. Clark found 20 disposals (12 kicks and eight handballs at a sound 70 per cent disposal efficiency), took six marks and rebounded from the half-back line on three occasions. The 2017 first round draftee will be aiming to finish off the season strongly, with four of his sides next five games coming at Etihad Stadium.

Jaidyn Stephenson

Now the clear Rising Star favourite, Jaidyn Stephenson just keeps on playing his role in the Magpies lineup, once again having a significant impact on the scoreboard booting three majors in the win over North Melbourne on Saturday afternoon. Stephenson collected 11 possessions (eight kicks and three handballs) at an improved 82 percent disposal efficiency, three marks and a pair of strong tackles. His speed and leap make Stephenson a nightmare match-up for his direct opponent and a valuable asset in the Pies forward line.

Bailey Banfield

Bailey Banfield has played a prominent role in the Dockers on-ball brigade so far this season. In the 29 point defeat at the hands of the Bombers, the Claremont boy was able to get his hands on the ball 22 times with 14 kicks and eight handballs playing an inside/outside balanced role through the middle. Banfield, an imposing figure at 189cm and 86kg, was dominant particularly around the stoppages and in the contest, collecting six clearances and eight contested possessions. Banfield’s 398 metres gained was also a strong aspect of his performance.

Cameron Rayner

The number one draft pick flew and took a massive hanger close to goal from four deep, then converted the set-shot in what was one of the highlights of the night up at the Gabba. Rayner has impressive strength through his legs which allowed him to launch into packs often. It is only a matter of time before he starts to clunk these grabs more consistently. The highly touted forward/midfielder seems to have created a bit of a presence for himself when the balls in his area, a terrific sign for an 18 year-old. Rayner, who has featured in every game for the Lions in his rookie year, managed 14 disposals, seven kicks and seven handballs at an 86 per cent disposal efficiency. He spent considerably more time on-ball last weekend, matching up on All-Australian Crow Matt Crouch at the stoppages on occasions.

Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly must now be recognised by most as an A-grader of the competition despite it being just his first year in the big league. The silky Western Australian midfielder has brushed off speculation regarding a potential return to his home state, and is beautifully complimenting established stars in Selwood and Dangerfield. Kelly ended the game with  32 disposals, 18 kicks and 11 handballs at a 59 per cent disposal efficiency, six marks, five clearances, a goal and 506 metres gained. Kelly’s stoppages and evasiveness on the run are particularity noticeable. His efforts in the Cats incredible fourth quarter comeback went a long way to getting his side over the line.

James Worpel

The blonde-haired onballer played the best game of his career in the smooth-sailing victory over Carlton. Worpel collected the majority of his career-high 32 disposals (12 kicks and 20 handballs) across the wing area. Worpel managed to balance his game out nicely, winning 14 contested possessions and three clearances, but also send the ball inside-50 five times and collect a handful of intercept possessions. Also impressive was his disposal efficiency at 88 per cent, is a significant improvement on some of the numbers Worpel put up last season in the TAC Cup. The Geelong Falcon graduate will no-doubt gain plenty of confidence and belief from this encouraging performance as he and the Hawks look to launch themselves into another finals series.

Keeping Tabs: Standout players from Round 17

IT IS not often that we have such a large list of defensive performers in the list, but after this round, we could be looking at the future All-Australian backline. It seems the debutants have embraced extra responsibilities with teams experimenting with positions. The bar has been raised, but the players just keep on coming. The race to the Rising Star award is close and will be hard to call at the end of the season.

Cam Rayner

The wait is finally over – this is Cam Rayner. The last three rounds, with a confident Lions, has redefined our expectations of the number one pick as he lifts to a new level with each round. Blessed with a stronger team than what we saw at the beginning of the season, Rayner is getting his chance to run free. His 19 possessions at a 74 per cent disposal efficiency alone could have been enough to earn him a spot here, but Rayner decided he’d top his game off with three goals and 11 score involvements as well. Rayner played a huge impact, finishing with two rebound 50s, two inside 50s, two clearances, two tackles and two one percenters. He gained 462 metres for the game, and only fell short by two points to Eric Hipwood on the goal front. Anywhere and everywhere, this kid dominates and could be aiming for his Rising Star award as we close out the season.

Sam Taylor

Earning a Rising Star nomination for his performance out the backline, Taylor showed off a football sense well beyond his years. With quite possibly the defensive equivalent of a bag of goals, Taylor finished the match with eight intercept possessions, five tackles, eight one percenters, all while minimising his turnovers. Despite only 13 touches, Taylor managed to take seven in a contest with each having a considerable impact. He also had three rebound 50’s, three score involvements and one clearance. While a lot of debutantes had stellar defensive performances this weekend, Taylor’s stood out due to his mistake minimisation, percentage of important possessions and work off the ball. Quite often the success of players is measured through a player’s offensive presence. People love goals, but when a player steps up and bares a responsibly Taylor had against the Tigers, it needs to be recognised and rewarded. We could be seeing a future All-Australian backman in the making.

Matt Guelfi

The hungry, high-pressure player frightened across the ground, making his opponents earn every inch of the football.  With 17 disposals, eight contested with an 82 per cent disposal efficiency, Guelfi may have been unlucky not to earn a Rising Star nomination. Though his performance didn’t end there, collecting six interceptions, seven score involvements, two clearances, six one percenters and two goals. His efforts were especially useful down back. He snagged five tackles, 16 pressure acts, two rebound 50’s and five marks. Guelfi is steadily developing into a talented, pressure midfielder and could receive a nomination soon if he continues to star like this. Pretty good for pick 76.

Charlie Spargo

Melbourne returned to their goal-front domination this round with Spargo sharing in the fun. Kicking two goals, with eight score involvements and one goal assist, the young Dee was immense in their victory of the Dogs. A careful read on the high ball and an uncanny crumbing ability, turned his opponents inside out as he kicked and affected goals. Melbourne have recruited two amazing forward players in Spargo and Fritsch, and while different footballers in front of goal, complement each other all the same. Spargo also laid an impressive seven tackles for the day with 21 pressure acts. A glimpse at the next best small forward in the competition it might seem.

Bailey Banfield

Like Taylor, Banfield was a pivotal defensive presence for the Dockers, yet to be recognised. Though low on the goal front despite playing up forward, Banfield’s pressure has been nothing short of astonishing. For the game, he recorded 41 pressure acts – the highest across the round, and laid nine tackles. He recorded 12 contested possessions with his 18 touches, six clearances, two inside 50s, two rebound 50s, five score involvements and three intercept possessions. Though messy with the ball at times (56 per cent disposal efficiency), Banfield played a unique role for his side with a commanding presence around the ball. With some tidier skill work, Banfield should easily earn himself a Rising Star nomination.

Lachlan Murphy

Despite his low disposal efficiency of 55 per cent, Murphy put on a stellar performance for his side. Noting his 23 pressure acts and clear presence up forward, it is no surprise Murphy kicked three goals for the game. He laid three tackles (two inside 50) and had a hand in five of Adelaide’s scores. A solid contender with seven contested possessions, a contested mark and three tackles. Murphy is eager to leave his mark on the game and has done just that in Round 17.

Tim Kelly

Though unable to win the Rising Star award due to his age, talks have begun as to whether Kelly will make All-Australian selection. The Western Australian sensation loves to decorate his stat sheet and his performance against the Crows was no different. With 29 disposals and 15 contested possessions, Kelly dominated around the bounce having seven clearances. He kicked his fourteenth goal for the season, had five score involvements with one goal assist and three inside 50s. I think All-Australian talks are completely justified at this point in the season. Kelly not only dominates the game, but does it on a team with Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood, blending in with the future hall of famers like he is one.

Aaron Naughton

If we are acknowledging standout defensive performances, I would be amiss if I glossed over Naughton’s performance against the Dees. With 94 per cent disposal efficiency off his game spent cleaning up messes in the backline, Naughton brought clean hands and careful positioning to the ball, collecting nine intercept possessions and ten one percenters. His game finished with 18 possessions with six contested, four marks and four rebounds. When you’re up against the best attacking side in the competition, it is no easy task defending, especially in your first year, but Naughton had a fair crack. If it wasn’t for five turnovers, lower efficiency, and less spread across his stats, Naughton could have taken home a nomination.

Colin O’Riordan

Despite North’s heavy hitters in Majak Daw, Ben Brown and Jack Ziebell, O’Riordan’s 10 intercept possessions, eight marks and 17 pressure acts kept Sydney’s walls from crashing down. He had plenty of defensive efforts with five tackles and five rebounds. His disposal efficiency rested at 79 per cent,  with 19 disposals staying clean and composed despite an aggressive offensive. All his time spent resting in the Swan’s back half, O’Riordan showed he can take the big responsibilities and stood up for the Swans

Bayley Fritsch

Though only kicking two behinds, Fritsch’s disposal efficiency of 78 was a standout with his 18 possessions. Entering unfamiliar territory, Fritsch played most of his football in Melbourne’s defensive half, collecting eight intercept possessions, three tackles and three one percenters. His impressive hands were on display with his six marks (one contested), chopping off the Bulldog’s transition with his impressive overhead ability. Consistently clean, he also had three inside 50s, five score involvements and one goal assist. Fritsch added to an already impressive resume with this performance, showing that his goals don’t define his football.

Luke Davies-Uniacke

After a lengthy stay in the VFL, Luke Davies-Uniacke (LDU) got the call up for the Kangaroos, starting his game in the centre. Initially playing on Josh Kennedy, LDU showed a composure unlike anything we’d seen in previous rounds despite the obvious mismatch. The open field offered up after the Sydney skipper was forced from the ground might have done wonders for the Dandenong boy’s game. With an 88 percent disposal efficiency, seven contested and 11 uncontested possessions, he starred around the stoppages with three clearances and one out of the centre. He often grabbed first hands to the loose ball and switched well to break Sydney’s lines. He laid five tackles with 14 pressure acts, bringing more hunger later in the game after an effective first half. While not overly impressive in his VFL performances, LDU stood up for the big stage with three inside 50s, five score involvements and one goal assist. He brought his mental game with him and cleaned up where he was lacking early in the season.


Keeping Tabs: Standout performers from Round 11

IN Round 11 there were plenty of standout performers from the 2017 draft crop, with mature agers leading the way with some impressive performances.

Tim Kelly

Again, Kelly’s form stayed true. The Western Australian lad injected plenty of class to aid Geelong in their 85-point smashing over the Suns. With a 79 per cent disposal efficiency, Kelly picked up 24 possessions, with 11 contested. His work through linkups saw him with plenty contribution to the board, racking up 10 score involvements to compliment his two goals. If we weren’t here reminding you, nobody would believe this kid to be a first-year player. With the numbers he puts on the stat sheet, Kelly is holding himself up there with the more seasoned players on his team. To round out his performance, he saw an extra five clearances, four tackles and three inside 50s. This Cat is going to be in some important conversations in the coming years if he continues to play like this.

Bayley Fritsch

Fritsch put on a bit of a clinic for spectators on the weekend. His efforts on the ground ought to fill Melbourne fans with confidence since they re-signed him in late May. At an 89 per cent disposal efficiency, the Demon tallied up a strong 26 possessions, with eight contested. A goal and six score involvements sealed his spot as one of their top performers, Fritsch’s forward pressure burning through the Bulldog’s defence. Add two more clearances, four tackles and seven rebound 50s and you’ve got a future star in the making. Fritsch’s development in this supreme offensive side should shape him into a danger for backman in these coming years. Be prepared.

Brody Mihocek

Coming straight from the Rookie Draft last year, Mihocek demonstrated what his years at Port Melbourne have offered his new club. With a 100 percent efficiency on the ball, the tall unit took home 12 disposals, nine contested. Mihocek not only kicked his first goal for his career but picked up three more to follow. His experience only adding to the Magpie’s crafty offensive.  In all, the Port Melbourne son finished with seven score involvements, 11 pressure acts, two tackles and three one percenters. The highlight for this man’s day came through perfectly efficient football and I’m excited to see what Round 12 brings.

Cam Rayner

The number one draft pick showed off some of the missed aspects of his football in the Lions loss to North Melbourne on the weekend. Gathering much of his ball through the midfield, Rayner blew up the stat sheet. He had seven score involvements, five clearances, five inside 50s and seven tackles and displayed composure breaking out of congestion, planting the ball in front of his forwards.  His 22 pressure acts certainly made the Kangaroos earn their victory. The youngster finished the game with 21 possessions, eight contested at a 76 per cent disposal efficiency. Rayner barred some dynamic football, unafraid to take on the game is other areas.

Lachie Fogarty

Fogarty has been a little hit and miss so far throughout the season, so it’s a pleasure to be able to put him on this list again.  The Cats forward was unlucky on the board, missing his shot on goal, but regrouped, making plenty of impact with eight score involvements. Fogarty finished with a 77 per cent disposal efficiency and 17 possessions in Geelong’s 85-point victory against the Gold Coast Suns. The young forward spent much of the four quarters along the forward 50, laying both his tackles inside and picking up two one percenters. The work Geelong has put into developing their youth is shown greatly through stars like this.

Zac Bailey

Bailey played integral football in his side’s loss against the Kangaroos. A 14-possession game at a 79 per cent disposal efficiency demonstrated the young lion’s class despite their thrashing. Bailey put through a goal at the end of the second, branding four score involvements for the day. He laid three tackles, with 23 pressure acts and four intercept possessions. Bailey, above all else, should be praised for his determination in the face of a stronger side. I would be curious to see his stats if his team had a better day out on the field.

Hunter Clark

Clark’s numbers on the stat sheets stood up in areas unique to what we’ve caught so far. Plenty of his 17 possessions were taken in the midfield, 11 of which were contested. His disposal efficiency came up a little short at 59 percent, but Clark more than made up for it with his pressure on the game. In total, the young Saint laid six tackles, five clearances and three inside 50s. He was unfortunate in coughing up five turnovers but stepped up to the midfield challenge well. Clark worked hard to re-cement himself into the side, and should be left to develop there if he works the game like he is.

Bailey Banfield

The high pressure forward stepped up in their loss to the Magpies. Kicking one and missing the other, Banfield saw plenty of contribution to the board with his six score involvements. He put in heaps of work to keep the ball in their forward 50. A 15-possession game with seven contested, closed his game off at a 73 per cent disposal efficiency. Five huge tackles, two clearances and two one percenters showed off the Dockers’ extra efforts in keeping his team above water.

Darcy Fogarty

In the biggest rollercoaster match of the round, Fogarty found his season beginning form, putting in the work on and off the play.  The Crow had plenty of impact in the side’s 16-point loss to the Giants with  11 possessions, five contested at an 82 per cent disposal efficiency. The youngster had three inside 50s, two tackles and an impressive four one percenters. He was unfortunate in turnovers and free kicks, giving away five and three, but could be forgiven given the intensity of the game. Hopefully Fogarty’s able to lift leading further into the season and we can see some of Adelaide’s 2017 form.

Paddy Dow

In a strong first half against the Swans, the Blues young prodigy took on plenty of the play. Dow put through his second goal for the season and continued to pick up another handful of clearances. He sat one per cent below his season average 63 per cent disposal efficiency, collecting 13 for the day with seven contested. His work rate was high around the loose ball and his skill work continues to be quite polished. He may need to take time to adjust his tempo to suit the flow of play, as well as picking his passes a little better. As usual, his day on the ground finished off well-rounded as he continued to go hard at everything. Some further three score involvements and three tackles top off Dow’s game and sum up his efforts appropriately.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 6

THERE were debuts galore in Round 6 of the AFL, as a number of 2017 draftees stood out and produced some early glimpses of their talent which they showed in under 18 competitions last year. From first round selections to rookie picks, here are some of the top first year player performances from the weekend.

Charlie Spargo

Small forward/inside midfielder Charlie Spargo endured a winning start to his AFL career in the victory over Essendon at Etihad Stadium. The former Murray Bushranger collected four kicks, 14 handballs, four marks, three tackles and kicked two majors. His terrific football smarts, goal sense and work rate were all on show in the Dee’s forward-50. Teaming up with fellow 2017 draftee Bayley Fritsch, the pair look set to spend plenty of time together in the Demons forward line throughout 2018 and seasons to come.

Bayley Fritsch

After playing a major role in the Demons first month of the season, Bayley Fritsch was dropped for the round five before returning to the senior side for the Sunday afternoon clash with Essendon. The week off from AFL football certainly did the job, with the Casey Demon draftee booting a career-high three goals, to go with 14 disposals at an impressive 86 per cent efficiency, eight marks (including three contested and three inside 50s) and 435 metres gained. He is shaping as one of the better later pick ups from the 2017 National Draft.

James Worpel

Hawthorn’s James Worpel was also included in the Hawks 22 for the first time on the weekend. The inside midfielder who is renowned for his inside grunt work spent much of the game in the midfield, tallying 13 disposals at 85 per cent efficiency and three tackles. He additionally sent the ball inside 50s on three occasions. Worpel joined fellow inside midfielders Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara in the centre of the ground, who he will no-doubt have learned plenty from over the summer. Expect to see more of the tough, combative contested ball-winner.

Bailey Banfield

The West Australian had 14 disposals, two marks and 14 tackles in Fremantle’s loss to West Coast in his home state. It might have been weird for Eagles fans to see a Banfield in the purple and white, but he showed off his hard nature, winning 10 contested possessions, two inside 50s and a clearance.

Jack Higgins

Opposed to fellow first-year player Flynn Appleby, Higgins had a memorable first term, finding space to kick a goal from the square and begin his trademark celebrations. He won a free seconds later when he was knocked over by Collingwood defender Lynden Dunn, finishing with a second goal in a minute. He had 13 disposals (nine contested), one mark, two tackles and three inside 50s for the game.

Andrew Brayshaw

Another solid outing for the number two draft pick from last year, notching up 14 disposals, two marks, four tackles and booting a goal for the Dockers in Fremantle’s narrow Western Derby defeat. Brayshaw has been a consistent performer in his first season, also having two inside 50s in the match.

Flynn Appleby

A late call-up to the Collingwood side for their clash with Richmond at the MCG, the former GWV Rebels defender did not look overawed on the huge occasion in front of a packed house. Appleby’s first touch was a lunging spoil away from fellow youngster Jack Higgins, and his day included a bone-crunching tackle on Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin. Appleby finished with eight disposals (five contested), one mark and three tackles, but his efforts away from the stats sheet were impressive.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 4

ROUND four provided many young prospects with the opportunity to build on their starts. Many have been backed in by their respective clubs and look likely to feature in most games throughout the year. This week we looked at the best performing players draftees and which of your players you should keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Jaidyn Stephenson

Stephenson starred for the Pies in their upset victory over the Crows in a performance which resulted in the round four Rising Star nomination. In wet and windy conditions, last year’s fifth overall pick kicked a game-high five goals, collected, 13 disposals at 92 per cent efficiency and took four marks, helping the Magpies to a seemingly unlikely victory. Stephenson has featured in all four rounds in his debut season, showcasing his blistering speed and strong aerial ability. He will continue to add plenty of excitement to the Collingwood side.

Cameron Rayner

Despite the hefty loss to the reigning premiers, last year’s number one draft pick produced the best performance of his young career so far. Spending the majority of the game across half-forward Rayner collected 22 touches (12 contested possessions), took four marks (including three contested), laid three tackles, launched the ball inside 50 on six occasions and kicked a goal in his first game on the MCG for premiership points. After showing glimpses of his undoubted potential in the first three games, this was Rayner’s most complete performance to date.

Mitch Crowden

Fremantle’s Mitch Crowden has made an immediate impact at AFL level, having made his debut in round two after heading west as a rookie selection. The South Australian’s ball-winning ability and toughness was on show throughout the National Under 18 Championships last year, and the inside midfielder has been able to display these traits early in his AFL career. In the loss to GWS, he amassed 15 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and had 22 pressure acts playing across half-forward and the midfield. Having set a strong foundation and cemented his spot in the Dockers side for the time being, with Crowden to now focus on improving his disposal efficiency.

Bailey Banfield

Banfield has fitted into the ‘Freo’ lineup terrifically well in 2018, having been recruited from WAFL club Claremont. His AFL-ready body allowed Banfield to spend considerable time in the midfield from the get-go, alongside the likes of Lachie Neale and Nat Fyfe. Having been used as a tagger in previous rounds, Banfield played a predominately outside role against the Giants, finishing the game with 17 disposals (15 uncontested at 88 per cent efficiency), five marks (all uncontested), three marks and a goal. Banfield has proven his ability on both the inside and outside and will be given every opportunity to fully establish himself in the Dockers on-ball brigade.

Aaron Naughton

The key defender continues to improve in his first season at AFL level. The Bulldogs have a couple of promising key defenders on their hands in Marcus Adams and Lewis Young but last seasons ninth overall pick could be the best on the lot. Having featured in all four games so far, Naughton would have taken enormous confidence from last weekends game, where he was able to restrict the influence of Joe Daniher. This week, he again showcased his toughness,  ability to read the play and drift in to take intercept marks. With more and more games under his belt, Naughton will firm as a leader in the Bulldogs defence soon enough. Made a couple of errors, but has progressed very well for a young key position player.

Nick Coffield

After being introduced to AFL football last weekend against the Crows at Etihad Stadium, a trip down to Geelong was always going to be difficult. However the first round draftee once again showed class and composure well beyond his years. Coffield racked up 17 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency (including eight contested possessions), seven intercept possessions, four marks, five tackles and five rebounds. He was deployed across half-back where his foot skills and decision making stood out. He looks to be justifying his early selection already.

Lachlan Fogarty

The hard working, small midfielder/forward showed off his ability to find the football in just his fourth game of senior football for the cats, amassing 18 disposals – 11 of which were contested. Used across half-forward for much of the day, Fogarty also laid three tackles and propelled the ball inside 50 on six occasions. He looks to have locked down a spot in the Cats side, along with fellow 2016 draftee Tim Kelly, however Fogarty will be looking to improve upon his ball use, recording an efficiency of just 56 per cent against the Saints.

Keeping Tabs: Standout draftees from Round 3

With now a game or two under their belts, the first-year players are starting to find their groove. Some have certainly been more consistent over the weeks than others, but this week a few new names stood up to earn their spot. This week we looked at the best performing players from last years’ draft and which of your players you should keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Liam Ryan

The Geelong and West Coast clash was a game for the first-year players as Liam Ryan proved. The young man dominated the West Coast offensive, picking up three goals in only his third game. He also took home 12 disposals – five contested – three tackles and three intercept possessions, all with a 75 per cent efficiency. His smart play allowed him to be tied the leading goal kicker (Mark LeCras) for his team. Provided he keeps up his efforts, Ryan will have a big future with the Eagles.

Tim Kelly

Once again, Kelly performed like a seasoned player for Geelong, picking up 19 disposals and 10 contested possessions. Despite being his lowest game numbers-wise so far, Kelly still exceeded expectations. In his first year, he is already holding his own against some of the AFL’s most elite athletes and is on his way to cementing a spot in the starting 18. He kicked an impressive goal in the fourth quarter to further Geelong’s lead, but unluckily for him, West Coast finished on top. Kelly has a big year ahead of him if he keeps playing at this level.

Mitchell Crowden

Crowden had the difficult matchup in Steven May, but did not let that lessen his performance. Taken with pick 59 in last year’s AFL National Draft, Crowden has so far smashed expectations. With 13 disposals, five contested, a goal and a 92 per cent efficiency against the Suns, the kid from South Australia dominated in his second game. He also boasted seven score involvements and two goal assists. Fremantle have developed their first years well, and it definitely shows in Crowden.

Nick Coffield

St. Kilda showcased their number eight pick from the AFL National Draft, Nick Coffield, against Adelaide in Round 3. Coffield played some impressive football in his first game. He made great decisions with the ball in hand, and did not rush his disposals. By half-time, Coffield had 12 disposals, one contested possession, a goal and an outstanding 100 percent disposal efficiency. He was a highlight for the Saints despite the resulting loss. In the end, Coffield picked up 18 disposals and three contested possessions to close the game, and his efficiency finished on 89 per cent. We saw plenty of smart football from this young man, and an eagerness to prove himself. If he takes the rest of his football this way, we might see some remarkable things from Coffield.

Ed Richards

In his first win for the Bulldogs, Richards had his fair share of the ball. With 17 disposals, two contested possessions, and a 71 per cent efficiency, Richards more than played his part to take home the win. The second gamer showed a lot fight around the football, taking on his man and laying five strong tackles. Richards showed poise and control around the pill, and with a few more games under his belt, could become a powerful defensive presence for the Dogs.

Aaron Naughton

Again, Naughton had the challenging task of playing on an elite opponent. Matched up on Joe Daniher, Naughton easily held his own and kept Essendon’s key forward off his game. He went onto collect 15 disposals, six contested possessions and finished with 87 per cent disposal efficiency. Many of the Bulldogs’ players showed a better read on Essendon’s movement better than they could, and Naughton was no exception, racking up eight intercept possessions.

Cameron Rayner

Brisbane’s number one pick played some efficient football in Saturday’s clash against Port Adelaide. Rayner dramatically picked up his game from last week’s four disposals with a 50 per cent efficiency. He bumped up it all up to take home nine important disposals – four contested – with an 89 per cent efficiency. He took a great contested grab going back with the flight of the ball which also snagged him a goal. He laid four tackles and had three inside 50s. Brisbane has faced some well performing teams thus far which may be forcing Rayner to push his game even further. With a few more matches, Rayner should fulfil his role even more with the Lions.

Lachie Fogarty

If there is one thing Geelong has proved they can do this year, that’s develop young players. Fogarty played some decent football in a tough match against West Coast. His efficiency was not as high as it can be, but he got half the job right. Fogarty will need to work on finishing properly if he’s to become a top tier player. The medium forward picked up 14 disposals, three contested possessions and a goal. He had five goes at scoring but only kicked the one goal. If he sharpens up in the matches to come, those behinds could easily become goals.

Bailey Banfield

There must have been something in the water at the Optus Stadium because Banfield was one of three first year Fremantle players to cap his game off with over a 90 per cent efficiency. Banfield had 11 disposals – six contested – four tackles and a 91 per cent efficiency. He played some dominant football, and his clean plays were a big reason Fremantle came out on top.

Adam Cerra

Cerra played some efficient football in his second game against the Suns. The young man finished his game with an impressive 90 per cent efficiency from 10 disposals. He played smart football and made lots of clever decisions, but was quiet around the contested ball. Cerra is developing into a fine player along with all of Fremantle’s first year players, but will need to show he can get his own ball going forward.

Paddy Dow

The dynamic midfielder got to experience his first rivalry clash against Collingwood in Round 3. He got a decent amount of touches, taking home 15 disposals – six contested – with 67 per cent efficiency. Dow is slowly coming into his own, laying two tackles, three intercept possessions, and four score involvements. He is yet to have his big game yet but his efforts need to be noted nonetheless.

Western Australia Weekly wrap: Eagles’ alliance continues

East Perth and Eagles continue alliance:

Western Australian Football League (WAFL) club East Perth has extended its alliance with the West Coast Eagles for a further three years.

The alliance – which has been running since 2014 – automatically rolled over to extend to 2020, after East Perth chose not to initiate a severance act in its contract with West Coast, which stated that the club had to inform the Eagles by February 28 of any intention to dissolve the agreement.

Speaking to The West Australian, East Perth Chief Executive Dean Turner said the Royals were happy with the current arrangement and were prepared to be the sole club to take on Eagles players who do not make the best 22.

“Our deal with West Coast will simply roll over and we will be together for the next three seasons at the very least,” Turner said.

“I think both parties are pretty happy with how things are going.”

Although East Perth have consolidated their position as an AFL-aligned club in the WAFL, the Royals have been dealt a blow in regards to their recruitment of non-AFL listed players who can be brought in outside of their League and Reserves squad cap.

The Western Australian Football Commission (WAFC) rejected an application from the Royals to recruit an extra senior player for the 2018 season, citing grand final runs from both the Royals’ colts and reserves sides in 2016 as signs of club depth, which has been tested since the start of the alignment.

Turner said East Perth were waiting for an explanation from the WAFC after being denied an extra recruit.

“We do have an issue with the way the WAFC has handled the spirit of the agreement,” Turner said. “We are waiting for clarification on our ability to recruit players because we believe they have not honoured the spirit of the agreement.”

Morabito pulls the pin:

Former number four draft pick and Fremantle midfielder Anthony Morabito has called time on his footballing career after requiring more surgery on his troublesome knees.

Morabito, who had only been signed by WAFL side Claremont last season after being delisted by Fremantle, has bid farewell to AFL and WAFL football after 26 games with the Dockers, 47 games with Peel Thunder and four games with the Tigers.

After famously suffering three consecutive ACL tears in three years, Morabito retires as one of football’s genuine hard luck stories.

Morabito’s first 23 games of his AFL career came in 2010, his debut year at the Dockers, in which he won an AFL Rising Star nomination and became more of a permanent fixture of a finals-bound Fremantle side. After his successive knee injuries, Morabito had to wait 1369 days to play his 24th game in Round 16, 2014, and could only add two more games to his career total.

Despite only playing four games for Claremont last season, Morabito’s retirement will hurt the Tigers midfield depth, which has already lost Matt Guelfi to Essendon and Bailey Banfield to Fremantle.

Draftees named for AFLX

TWENTY-one draftees from the 2017 National Draft will get an early taste of senior football in the AFL’s newest competition – AFLX. Among them are three former Sandringham Dragons, two Bendigo Pioneers and two Eastern Ranges, while Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons) and Jack Petruccelle (Northeren Knights) are the sole players named from their TAC Cup sides.

The tournament begins on Thursday night with six sides – Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide and West Coast – playing shortened 20-minute matches in a round robin format in two pools from which the winner of each pool advances to the grand final at the end of the night. Two further AFLX round robins will be played on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Played at Hindmarsh Stadium in South Australia, former Sturt players Patrick Wilson (Adelaide) and Mitchell Crowden (Fremantle) have been named, as have Jackson Edwards (Glenelg now Adelaide), Stefan Giro (Norwood now Fremantle), Dom Barry (Glenelg now Port Adelaide) and Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL now Adelaide). Mature-ager Tim Kelly (South Fremantle now Geelong), Bailey Banfield (Claremont now Fremantle), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco now West Coast), Jake Patmore (Claremont now Port Adelaide) and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle now West Coast) are the West Australians involved.

Along with the thrill that comes with representing an AFL club, there is the potential for a number of former teammates to face off on the elite stage. Former Sandringham Dragons Nathan Murphy and Hamish Brayshaw could go head to head when the Magpies face the Eagles, while Brayshaw could also face off against his brother Andrew if both West Coast and Fremantle make the grand final. Glenelg pair Jackson Edwards and Dom Barry could go head-to-head if the South Australian sides make the grand final, as could Eastern Ranges’ exports Jaidyn Stephenson and his former captain Joel Garner if the Magpies meet the Power in the decider. Other former teammates that could face off include Patrick Wilson and Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Tim Kelly and Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle), and Kane Farrell and Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers).

The AFLX competition is played on a ground with dimensions of between 100-120m in length and 60-70m in width, with four posts at each end and two 40m arcs. Each team will consist of 10 players per game – seven on the field and three on the bench – and there are no restrictions on rotations. No marks will be paid on backwards kicks (except in the forward 40m area) and the last touch out of bounds is a free kick. Kick-ins will occur after each score – even goals – while at least two players from each team must start each quarter inside each 40m arc and any deliberate rushed behinds will result in a free shot to the opposition team from the forward 40m arc resulting in a potential 10-point goal.

The full list of draftees named for the first night for the AFLX competition is:

Adelaide: Patrick Wilson (Sturt), Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL), Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)

Collingwood: Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges), Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)

Fremantle: Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Mitchell Crowden (Sturt), Bailey Banfield (Claremont), Stefan Giro (Norwood)

Geelong: Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets), Tim Kelly (South Fremantle), Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)

Port Adelaide: Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers), Jake Patmore (Claremont), Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges), Dom Barry (Glenelg)

West Coast: Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers), Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco), Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights), Hamish Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons), Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle)


6.10pm – Port Adelaide v Geelong
6.38pm – Adelaide v Collingwood
7.06pm – Geelong v Fremantle
7.34pm – West Coast v Adelaide
8.02pm – Fremantle v Port Adelaide
8.30pm – Collingwood v West Coast
9.03pm – Grand Final

Draft dream not over for state combine nominees

Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker headlines the 2016 state combine invites.
Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker headlines the 2016 state combine invites.

Following from last Monday’s announcement of the 80 players invited to the National Combine, 100 players from around the country have been nominated by clubs to attend the State Combine.


Each state will run individual tests, with clubs sent the data to analyse before November’s draft. Similar to the process for the national combine, each club nominated a list of players that they wanted to see test. To receive an invite to the AFL State Combine, players must receive at least two expressions of interest from AFL clubs.

Vic Metro midfielder Luke Bunker averaged 22 disposals in the Under 18 championships and headlines the list of names that was released by the AFL today.

One of the big surprises invited to the combine is Alex Mastromanno. Mastromanno missed the Sandringham Dragons Under 18 cut earlier in the year and has dominated the APS school boy competition kicking just under 35 goals for Brighton Grammar.

Mastromanno also booted four goals at U19 Level for the VAFA representative team and has kicked seven goals in two senior VAFA games for Old Brighton.

Tasmania have a sole invite to the combine with Harrison Pearce making the list of a 100. The Glenorchy midfielder has a superb dash of speed but has missed a large chunk of football this season with an injury.

Former Gold Coast Sun, Andrew Boston, who played 16 games from 2013-15 has been named after a dominant season for Southport in the NEAFL.

Dandenong Stingray exciting small forward Sam Fowler will also test and provides a real point of difference in the draft pool. The 169cm player nicknamed “Rat” is the third leading goal kicker in the TAC Cup, with 33 goals this season.

After a strong last quarter performance on Sunday, Oakleigh Charger tall Nick Larkey has made the cut. The utility has played at both ends of the ground throughout the year and will likely be seen as a project for clubs looking for a tall.

Western Bulldogs father-son hopeful Michael Romero will also be there and the Dogs will be keeping a close eye on him. Romero has spent his time at Calder and in the Footscray VFL side, along with playing his school football at St Kevin’s College throughout the season. Romero is the son of Jose, who played 211 AFL games.

Numerous brothers of current AFL footballers have also been nominated with Corey Lyons (brother of Jarryd), Zach Guthrie (brother of Cam), Will Leslie (brother of Jack) and Jamie Hampton (brother of Curtly) making the list.

Jake Brown
Jordan Harper
Ryan Hebron
Lucas Meline
Matt Wilson
Lachlan Tiziani

Northern Territory (3)
Jamie Hampton
Willie Rioli
Rohan Armstrong 

Queensland (5)
Andrew Boston
Daniel Charlesworth
Blake Grewar
Jack Rolls
Max Spencer

South Australia (17)
Tye Bedford
Lachlan Cameron
Mitch Carter
Tom Charlton
Sam Draper
Brayden Kirk
Peter Ladhams
Jackson Lee
Liam Mackie
Connor Noonan
Andre Parella
Toby Pink
Jake Pitman
Steven Slimming
Jordan Sweet
Dylan Whimpress
Lewis Young

Tasmania (1)
Harrison Pearce

VFL (6)
Robbie Fox
Declan Keilty
Rowan Marshall
Oscar McInerney
Sam McLachlan
Tom Stewart

Vic Country (18)
Dan Allsop
James Cousins
Mason De Witt
Pat Dowling
Sam Fowler
Cooper Jones
Jermaine Jones
Kayle Kirby
Jarrod Korewha
Will Leslie
Sean Masterson
Liam McKay
Lloyd Meek
Louis Pinnuck
Reece Piper
Sam Simpson
Isaac Wallace
Callan Wellings

Vic Metro (28)
Jono Aujard
Hayden Blythe
Harrison Bult
Luke Bunker
Harrison Burt
Louis Cunningham
Lachlan Filopovic
Zach Guthrie
Kane Keppel
Nelson Lane
Nick Larkey
Mitch Lewis
Jordan Lynch
Corey Lyons
Alex Mastromanno
Jackson McDonald
Brock McGregor
Lachlan Murphy
Ed Phillips
Cam Polson
Brodie Romensky
Michael Romero
Ben Ronke
Jack Roughesedge
Ari Sakeson
Callum Searle
Matthew Signorello
Lachlan Walker

Western Australia (16)
Bailey Banfield
Tarir Bayok
Darcy Cameron
Brad Fullgrabe
Jeremy Goddard
Noah Hura
Luke Meadows
Jimmy Miller
Chad Pearson
Tyson Pickett
Liam Ryan
Keanu Shandley
Luke Strnadica
Matt Taylor
Calvin Thorne
Stan Wright