Tag: carlton blues

2020 AFL Draft Preview: Carlton Blues

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is Carlton, a side on the up after finishing 11th in 2020 and bringing in some high-end talent during trade period. Having featured at the pointy end of many a draft over the last 20 years, the Blues are only set to enter this year’s event towards the end of round two. It is a signal of their finals intent after elongated rebuilds and a new lease on life under coach, David Teague. As has often been the case for Carlton, academy and father-son options are scarce, despite four prospects being eligible under the latter rule this year. With the Blues only set to use two or three picks, it is difficult to see them making much of an impression on this year’s proceedings, though some late gems may be in the offing with their current hand.

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 38, 48, 78
* – denotes as of November 21

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands

ELIGIBLE ACADEMY/FATHER-SON PICKS:

Charlie McKay, Mackenzie Hogg, Tom Silvagni, Tom Gleeson (all father-son)

>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls

LIST NEEDS:

Ruck depth
Midfield points of difference
Long-term key defensive depth

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:
(Pick 38)

There are a few areas Carlton could look to consolidate with this year’s intake having already covered the need for speed during trade period. The retirement of Matthew Kreuzer leaves the Blues with only two genuine ruck options, while recent delistings sees their long-term key defensive stocks looking quite thin. In the former category, ruckman Henry Walsh, the 203cm brother of Sam already has links to the club having also trained there during preseason, potentially making for a good story and easy transition. He’s a competitive tap ruckman who is working on his running capacity and impact around the ground. Other ruckmen likely to feature in that range include Shannon Neale, Kalin Lane, and Max Heath.

There is not too much in the way of key defenders who would be viable to Carlton in the second round, and perhaps the Blues could further relay their intentions by targeting a mature-age prospect. Tom Highmore fits the bill as a tall defender who seems ready to make the next step after an outstanding maiden SANFL campaign. The 22-year-old former GWS Academy member made the move to South Adelaide this year and was a rare mature-age invitee to the national draft combine. Along similar lines, 21-year-old Woodville-West Torrens goalsneak James Rowe is a name which has been hot on the lips of Carlton fans, who are yearning for a genuine small forward to take over from Eddie Betts in 2022.

If the Blues look towards midfield depth, Zavier Maher could be the explosive type they are after on the inside, and Sam Berry is a hard-working accumulator who remains active going both ways. Should they take the two birds, one stone approach, the likes of Corey Durdin and Charlie Lazzaro may slide far enough to be snapped up as zippy smalls who are likely to begin their careers up forward. However, Carlton has spent first round picks on Paddy Dow, Lochie O’Brien, Liam Stocker, Sam Philp, and Brodie Kemp in recent years, not to mention Sam Walsh and traded-in players like Matthew Kennedy and Will Setterfield, so should back their current stocks to develop over another preseason.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

With the third-lowest total draft points value of all clubs as it stands, the Blues may not have much leverage to work with in terms of live trade options. Should a player they are really keen on slide within the second round, they could package a couple of their picks to move up the order and come away with just two selections. Alternatively, their 2021 picks may be put on the table to extract maximum value out of a deal, though next year’s crop is said to be much stronger than this year’s.

THE KEY QUESTIONS:

Will Carlton take on any mature-age players?

Will Carlton work to move up the order?

Will Carlton back its current midfield crop, or look to add depth?

Will Carlton take a punt on their father-son choices?

Featured Image: Carlton Media

Draft Central’s 2020 Top 50 AFLW Players: #15 – Kerryn Harrington

WITH the AFL Women’s 2020 season officially come to a close now the awards are done and dusted, Draft Central looks back on our Top 50 Players of season 2020. This countdown purely looks at the 2020 season so does not look at past performances and will not include injured stars such Erin Phillips or Chelsea Randall.

In this edition, we look number 15 in our count, a reliable defender who earned a place in the highly competitive back six of the AFL Women’s All-Australian side.

#15 Kerryn Harrington

7 GAMES AVE: 13.7 disposals, 4.4 marks, 1.9 tackles, 2.6 rebounds

Reliable has always been a term Carlton has been able to coin for its steady full-back in Kerryn Harrington. The Blues have been able to rely on her for the past three seasons since the international junior basketballer and former Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) player opted to pursue her football career.

Initially signed as a rookie for the Blues at the end of the 2017 season, Harrington immediately had an impact when the 2018 season rolled around with her debut against Collingwood in Round 1. Since then she has been a difficult opponent for any forward, with the 173cm defender able to nullify her opposition forward and allow her teammates to go to work.

In 2020, Harrington was named co-captain of the Blues exemplifying her leadership within the team. The extra role did not faze her as she averaged a career-high 13.7 disposals and 4.4 marks this year, becoming an even greater threat in the air compared to past seasons.

Just last month, Harrington was rewarded for her efforts with her first All-Australian award and if anyone wondered whether she was among the best defenders in the competition, then this was further justification. While there were many memorable games for the defender, her best game was against St Kilda as she earned best on ground honours thanks to 21 disposals, eight marks, four tackles and five rebounds in a strong performance.

Given Harrington’s improvement from former basketballer to AFL Women’s star, the 28-year-old seems like a mainstay in the Blues back six for many years to come.

VFL Women’s 2018 season preview

THE new-look VFL Women’s season features 10 new teams in a 13 team competition. The sides feature plenty of elite AFLW, TAC Cup and local talent in what is shaping up to be a fascinating season of the state league. We have looked at each side’s players in the lead-up to the season’s commencement on Saturday.

 

Carlton Blues

The Carlton Blues have one of the most exciting TAC Cup Girls players joining their new team in 2018.

Gippsland Power co-captain and gun midfielder, Tyla Hanks will pull on the navy blue to test her skills against some bigger bodies. Hanks has been named in the best players in each game she has played for the Power this season and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Hanks will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rene Caris. Caris has been a solid force in the ruck for the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels this season and has been awarded with a navy blue jumper. Oakleigh’s Isabella Gietzmann will also suit up for the Blues this season. Gietzmann plays cricket as well as footy and could be a potent player for Carlton.

The Blues have also secured the services of their AFLW players including 2017 AFLW leading goal-kicker, Darcy Vescio, 2018 club best and fairest, Breann Moody, 2017 TAC Cup Girls best and fairest, Bridie Kennedy, 2018 Carlton captain, Sarah Hosking and 2017 Carlton captain, Lauren Arnell.

 

Casey Demons

The Casey Demons have combined Melbourne stars with Dandenong guns in their inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Coach and former Melbourne defender, Colin Garland will be able to work with plenty of AFLW talent, including Aliesha Newman, Bianca Jakobsson, Kate Hore, Katherine Smith and Shelley Scott. Two well-known former TAC Cup Girls players will also join the Melbourne brigade, with Eden Zanker and Darcy Guttridge donning the red and blue in this VFL Women’s season. Zanker hails from the Bendigo Pioneers and starred in her late appearances for the Demons in the AFLW. Guttridge on the other hand is a former Gippsland Power player who suited up for the Pies in the AFLW season, and will now get an opportunity to combine her skills with a new group of players in the VFL Women’s season.

In terms of TAC Cup players, the Demons have gone with two talented Dandenong Stingrays to fill their side. Captain, Jordyn Allen is a key acquisition for the club, as she is a talented defender who oozes composure and class. She will be joined by forward, Brooke Struylaart, who knows how to find the goals and provides plenty of assists along the way.

 

Collingwood Magpies

Collingwood’s VFL Women’s coach is a pioneer in female football.

Penny Cula-Reid was instrumental in getting the Youth Girls competition up and running. After being told at the age of 14 that she could not play football with the boys anymore, she took the case to the Victorian and Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and AFL Victoria created the competition for the young female footballers. Although Cula-Reid only played two games for Collingwood, she played in excess of 150 games at the St Kilda Sharks VFL Women’s club and has a brilliant footy mind.

Collingwood will have a very strong line-up with plenty of its AFLW players joining the Magpie brigade in the VFL Women’s season. 2018 Collingwood best and fairest, Chloe Molloy will be joined by AFLW captain, Stephanie Chiocci, former Calder Cannon, Sarah Dargan, and plenty more. The club also has a strong connection to TAC Cup Girls club, Oakleigh Chargers, signing three players for its inaugural VFL Women’s campaign. Oakleigh captain, Hannah McLaren is the most notable of the signings. McLaren has been one of the Chargers’ most important players this year, demonstrating her versatility in the side’s line-up. Other Oakleigh signings include former players, Julia Halaseh-Russo and Sarah Cameron, who will be players to watch throughout the VFL Women’s season.

 

Darebin Falcons

The Darebin Falcons are the most successful VFL Women’s side, having won five consecutive premierships.

The Falcons have lost Melbourne AFLW captain, Daisy Pearce, who will take a year off from VFL Women’s. However, they have plenty of players from local roots, with all but three coming from Darebin. These include AFLW players, Karen Paxman, Elise O’Dea, Lauren Pearce and Maddy Guerin. But that’s just from Melbourne. The Falcons will also have the services of Greater Western Sydney star, Jessica Dal Pos, as well as Aasta O’Connor and Nicole Callinan from the Western Bulldogs. Perhaps the most notable signing is Ainslie’s Hannah Mouncey. The transgender footballer was ineligible for the 2017 AFLW draft, but will be keen to play some good football for Darebin.

Darebin has also recruited the services of three TAC Cup Girls stars. Northern Knights forward, Alex Pronesti will pull on the Falcons jumper this year, after kicking nine goals for the undefeated Knights so far. She will be joined by teammate, Marnie Jarvis, who has been a valuable player for the Knights with her agility and speed around the contest. Eastern Ranges defender, Lauren Szigeti also has the opportunity to pull on the Darebin jumper in the VFL Women’s season. Szigeti has been a solid asset in defence for the Ranges, and could have the same impact for the Falcons.

 

Essendon Bombers

The Essendon Bombers have recruited a number of Calder Cannons and Diamond Creek players to join the newly-formed VFL Women’s side.

Current Calder players, Carla Rendelmann and Molly Warburton have earned a spot on the Bombers’ list this year. Rendelmann is a dominant force in the ruck and has represented Vic Metro while Warburton is a hard-working defender who boasts a place in the AFLW Academy squad. Premiership Cannons captain, Lauren Caruso also has an opportunity to pull on the footy boots again after not playing as an over-ager in the TAC Cup Girls this season. Caruso was a fantastic on-field leader in the midfield and 2018 is likely not to be any different. The Calder trio will be joined by another solid ruck presence in Bridie Winbanks from the Oakleigh Chargers. In the upcoming VFL Women’s season, Winbanks will have an opportunity to go head-to-head against Chargers teammate, Hannah McLaren, who will play for Collingwood.

The Bombers have also poached 17 (14 VFL Women’s players and three development players) Diamond Creek players, including the face of their AFLW bid, Michaela Long, who is the daughter of Essendon legend, Michael Long. Essendon has also recruited some local talent, including Natasha Hardy, who hails from the Sunbury Lions in the Essendon District Football League (EDFL). Hardy is a fantastic on-field leader and adds a mature presence in the Bombers’ VFL Women’s line-up. She will be joined by another experienced player in GWS defender, Tanya Hetherington, who often matched up on the damaging key forwards in the AFLW this year.

 

Geelong Cats

The Geelong Cats boast a number of AFLW players as well as some TAC Cup talent, but not who you may think.

GWV Female Talent Manager, Krista Woodroffe will line up for the cats in 2018, having an opportunity to do battle against Rebels ruck, Rene Caris, who will don the navy blue in the VFL Women’s competition. She will be joined by GWV defender, Georgia Clarke, who has been fantastic in the Rebels backline this seasonGeelong’s Mia-Rae Clifford will be another player who will be involved in an intriguing battle. Clifford, who is a former Melbourne AFLW player will play against the side that her partner, Penny Cula-Reid coaches, in the Collingwood Magpies.

Speaking of Melbourne, Geelong boasts two current AFLW Demons players on its VFL Women’s list. Powerful forward, Richelle Cranston and agile ruck, Erin Hoare will line up for the Cats in 2018. Hoare, who is a former Melbourne Vixen, got the opportunity to play AFLW this year for the Demons after being a rising star for the Cats last year.

 

Hawthorn Hawks

Hawthorn boasts a very experienced VFL Women’s list, with a host of AFLW players donning the brown and gold for the upcoming season.

Recently retired Pie, Meg Hutchins was one of the club’s first signings, and will provide a level head in defence. The forward line on the other hand, will be explosive with Adelaide’s Sarah Perkins and Greater Western Sydney’s (GWS) Phoebe McWilliams headlining the Hawks forward 50 line-up. Perkins was named as an AFLW All-Australian forward in 2017 while McWilliams was the Giants’ leading goal-kicker in 2018. Perkins grew up in Waverley and was a Hawthorn supporter growing up. The club also welcomes back Collingwood AFLW mid/ forward, Melissa Kuys, who captained Box Hill in 2017.

There is also no shortage of TAC Cup talent, with 2017 TAC Cup Girls Team of the Year member, Olivia Flanagan suiting up for the Hawks. Flanagan played for Box Hill last year and was also a key cog in the forward line for the Eastern Ranges. She will be joined by current Eastern Ranges players, Emerson Woods, Georgia Macpherson, Mikala Cann and Sarah Kendall. Woods is the co-captain of the Ranges side this year and is a member of the AFLW Academy. Macpherson is also a member of the Academy, and has been a key cog in Eastern’s defence this year with one some of the best hands in the TAC Cup Girls competition. Cann is a basketballer, and has showed her immense speed in the midfield this year for Eastern. Kendall has been dominant in the ruck and can also play a sweeping role in defence.

 

Melbourne University

There is plenty of TAC Cup Girls talent in the Melbourne University lineup this year, including one Calder Cannon who has been tearing up the competition so far.

Calder captain Madison Prespakis will have the opportunity to play VFL Women’s for the first time this year, and could be a key cog in the Melbourne University midfield. She will be joined by fellow AFLW Academy member, Rebecca Webster, who has been a versatile player across the midfield and in defence for the Murray Bushrangers this year. Up forward, Western Jet Caitlin Greiser will have an opportunity to continue her solid goal-kicking form into the VFL Women’s competition, after kicking eight goals for the Jets so far this season. Former Bendigo Pioneer, Aisling Tupper will be one to keep an eye out for, as the small and powerful midfielder starred for the Pioneers last season. Sandringham’s Alanna Dalley and Nicole Amiet round out the elite list of TAC Cup Girls players in the Melbourne University side.

As far as AFLW players go, Melbourne University only has one. But it is the best of the lot, as 2018 AFLW best and fairest, Emma Kearney will suit up for Melbourne University this season. After dominating in the midfield for the Bulldogs in 2018, Kearney will be a North Melbourne player in 2019, as the club prepares to enter AFLW for the first time.

 

Northern Territory Thunder

The Northern Territory (NT) Thunder unsurprisingly has a number of Adelaide AFLW players in its VFL Women’s side.

The club has a strong connection to the Crows, and could be a surprise package in the VFL Women’s competition. This is because the club has acquired the services of Adelaide co-captain, Chelsea Randall, Adelaide United’s Jenna McCormick, leading ruck, Rhiannon Metcalfe and exciting forward, Ruth Wallace. Defenders, Marijana Rajcic, Deni Vernhagen, Jasmyn Hewett and Angela Foley are among the other notable inclusions for the side.

The Thunder outfit also features two GWS players in Renee Forth and Emma Swanson. Forth was a solid presence for the Giants in the AFLW season, and is a mentor in the AFLW Academy program. Swanson is the GWS vice-captain and was a fantastic on-field leader for the side in 2018.

 

Richmond Tigers

Richmond have poached some Collingwood AFLW players ahead of its first season in the VFL Women’s competition.

Emma King, Lauren Tesoriero and Amelia Barden will swap the black and white for yellow and black, as they prepare to suit up as Tigers for the 2018 VFL Women’s season. All three players were key contributors to Collingwood’s AFLW outfit, with King dominating in the ruck, Barden having some nice moments in the forward line while Tesoriero was a lively player around the ground.

The Tigers have also acquired two Murray Bushrangers, Grace Egan and Sophie Damon. Egan has been a star in defence for the Bushrangers this season, and has also proven her versatility through stints in the midfield. Damon has been solid in the ruck for Murray and has been one of the most valuable players for the side in the TAC Cup Girls season. Eastern Ranges’ Jess Provan will also pull on a yellow and black jumper this season, after formerly playing at Diamond Creek.

 

Southern Saints

The Southern Saints are one of the new sides in the VFL Women’s competition, and have a diverse line-up.

The line-up will feature two Sandringham Dragons stars in Eleanor Brown and Jemma Owen. Brown has been a key cog in the midfield and has produced plenty of fantastic performances throughout the TAC Cup Girls season. Owen, who is the Dragons captain, has been leading from the front, as she has been dominant in the midfield and has even found herself up forward a couple of times, proving her versatility. Dandenong midfielder, Shelley Heath also joins the Saints side, and may have an opportunity to match up against TAC Cup Girls teammates, Jordyn Allen and Brooke Struylaart, who will suit up for Casey this season.

While the Saints have no AFLW players, they have a combination of players from Cranbourne, Seaford, and Mornington, recruiting local talent to boost their side’s chances in 2018.

 

Western Bulldogs

The Western Bulldogs have a host of AFLW premiership players in their VFL Women’s side.

Players include 2018 leading goal-kicker, Brooke Lochland, captain, Katie Brennan, and Rising Star nominees, Monique Conti, Aisling Utri and Bonnie Toogood. Star midfielder, Ellie Blackburn has also joined the side after making the move from Melbourne University. The club has also acquired the services of Bree White, who retired from AFLW in 2018 after playing for the Pies.

Three TAC Cup Girls players will also feature for the Bulldogs’ VFL Women’s outfit. GWV Rebels captain, Lauren Butler has been a wonderful leader for the Rebels this season, after making solid contributions in the midfield. Also joining the Bulldogs is Western Jets, Lauren Basto and Katarina Rebuffo. Rebuffo has been a key cog in defence for the Jets and will look to continue her form into the VFL Women’s season. Basto played for the Jets last season and would be keen to make an impact at the Bulldogs. 

 

Williamstown Seagulls

Williamstown has an even mix of local, AFLW and TAC Cup talent in its inaugural VFL Women’s side.

Bendigo captain Megan Williamson will play for the Seagulls this year, after being a shining light for the Pioneers in the midfield this season. She will be joined by AFLW Academy forward, Sophie Van De Heuvel. Van De Heuvel has kicked five goals in five games for the GWV Rebels this season, and has been a key link in the chain in the Rebels forward line. Western Jets defender, Sharnie Whiting will also have the opportunity to stay close to home, after doing a wonderful job in the Jets’ backline during the TAC Cup Girls season.

The Seagulls have one of the leading AFLW defenders lining up for their side this year. Collingwood’s Jess Duffin was dominant in the back line, and was able to show composure and class at all times. She will be joined by teammate, Jasmine Garner, who revolutionised her game through moving from the forward line to the back line. Garner showed that she can dominate in both roles, which is a dangerous prospect in the VFL Women’s competition. Bulldogs premiership player, Jenna Bruton rounds out the AFLW players who are featuring in the Seagulls outfit.

Tasmania weekly wrap: Blowouts across TSL Round 2; AFL hits Blundstone Arena

This week in Tasmanian football saw a number of Tasmanian State League (TSL) clubs stamp their dominance while this Saturday sees Blundstone Arena host AFL action.

AFL hits Hobart:

This Saturday sees Tasmania host it’s first AFL match of the season when North Melbourne play Carlton at Blundstone Arena. The clash, which will be a homecoming for Carlton coach Brendan Bolton, kicks off from 7:25pm on Saturday night with North looking to register their second win of the year while the Blues will be aiming to open their account after three consecutive losses.

Key defender Robbie Tarrant returns for the Kangaroos after being a late withdrawal in their loss to Melbourne last week with Nathan Hrovat out injured. The Blues have brought in Cam O’Shea for the injured Caleb Marchbank (ankle) while Jack Silvagni has been recalled for Jed Lamb (omitted) and last year’s number ten draft pick in Lochie O’Brien will make his debut, replacing Cameron Polson (omitted).

We will have a wrap-up of all the action in next week’s weekly wrap.

TSL Round 2:

Round 2 of the BUPA Tasmanian State League (TSL) saw three of the competition’s strongest sides stamp their early season dominance.

Glenorchy 22.15 (147) def. Lauderdale 8.12 (60)

2016 premiers Glenorchy started life under new coach Paul Kennedy in winning fashion on Saturday with a resounding 81-point victory over last year’s grand finalists Lauderdale, who now sit 0-2 after their round one loss to Clarence. New recruit Mitch Walker starred for the Magpies, kicking five goals, while returning defender Daniel Joseph was name best afield by Kennedy.

“We just did the things I thought we were capable of,” Kennedy said post-match. “Throughout pre-season you get an expectation of your players and the team and mine is really high for this group because they’re a good bunch of blokes that work really hard, they pick things up quickly and they expect high standards of themselves.” For Lauderdale, Northern Territory recruit Tim Misquito was a shining light, kicking three majors.

Launceston 21.21 (147) def. North Hobart 2.4 (16)

Launceston responded in convincing fashion from their round one defeat to cross-town rivals North Launceston, beating the TSL’s youngest side by 131-points at Windsor Park. Former Hawthorn player Mitch Thorp booted seven goals for the winners while forward line partner Sonny Whitting nabbed four. It was a tough day for the Demons but coach Richard Robinson implored his young side to learn from the experience of playing such a good side.

North Launceston 13.14 (92) def. Tigers 4.6 (30)

Last year’s premiers North Launceston now sit 2-0 after they easily accounted for the Tigers at UTAS Stadium. Under new coach Taylor Whitford, the Bombers looked as dangerous as ever and proved why they, along with Launceston, have been touted as potential premiers in 2018. Former Brisbane Lions listed forward Bart McCulloch kicked three goals for the victors while for the Tigers, former Carlton defender Marcus Davies battled hard throughout the day.

Round 3 Fixture:

Lauderdale v Launceston at Lauderdale Oval – 2:00pm

North Launceston v Glenorchy at UTAS Stadium – 2:00pm

North Hobart v Clarence at North Hobart Oval – 2:30pm

Tigers – BYE

AFL ACADEMY:

Two of Tasmania’s best Under 18 talents ran out on the MCG last Saturday for the NAB AFL Academy against North Melbourne’s VFL team. Both Tarryn Thomas & Chayce Jones held their own, featuring in the best handful of players for the talented group of future draftees. 

Queensland weekly wrap: Colts fixtures released; juniors embrace AFLX

IN the past week, Queensland football lovers have seen the release of the QAFL and QFA Colts 2018 fixtures released, as well as an AFLX trial at the Under 14 Cross-Conference Invitational.

QAFL and QFA Colts 2018 Fixtures Released

AFL Queensland has announced the finalised structure and fixtures for the Under 18 Colts competition ahead of the 2018 season. The updated structure includes six new teams that will participate in the Colts format in 2018; increasing the total number of clubs involved to 24 – four more than last year. The structure aims to align teams with their existing senior competitions, with the 24 teams grouped into three separate competitions.

The alignment aims to assist in the transition of players from the youth ranks to senior football. As a result, most matches in the fixture will commence at 9:30am, prior to each club’s respective senior fixtures. All three competitions feature a 19-round home and away season, before a finals series at its conclusion. Grand Finals will be held on September 15 (QFA Colts Maroon), September 16 (QFA Colts White) and September 22/23 (QAFL Colts) adding to the theatre of existing Grand Final days.

All Colts competition games commence on April 21.

AFLX takes centre stage at Under 14 Cross-Conference Invitational

AFLX made its first venture into Queensland youth football last weekend as 18 teams across the Wide Bay and South East Queensland regions competed in the Under 14 Youth Boys Cross-Conference Carnival Invitationals. Rules from the latest footballing initiative such as ten-point ‘zooper’ goals, kick-ins after all scores and play on form posts were all incorporated in the carnival, however games were still played on a traditional football oval.

Both Wynnum and the Sunshine Coast hosted one-day carnivals on March 25th for several Under 14 clubs as part of their preseason preparations. Ten teams from the Wide Bay, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast leagues participated at the Sunshine Coast event at North Shore AFC, whilst eight teams from the Brisbane and Gold Coast regions partook in the Wynnum carnival.

Feedback from clubs across the offseason as part of the Youth Male Strategy highlighted a desire for more variety in the games played and the opportunity for an alternative match day experience. As a result, AFL Queensland developed the initiative to provide South East Queensland junior AFL clubs with increased variety of opposition in the preseason as teams from different competitions and regions played against each other.

Each team across both carnivals played four games throughout the day with everyone receiving a participation medal for their contribution on the day.

AFL Round Two:  

Brisbane Lions vs. Melbourne Demons

Melbourne survived a huge scare, holding off a ferocious Brisbane comeback to win by 26 points at the Gabba on Saturday night. The clash marked the first home game of the season for the Lions and Luke Hodge’s first appearance at the Gabba in Lions’ colours.  For the second week in a row the Lions have given their opposition the start as the Demons kicked five goals to the Lions’ three behinds in the first term. This had Brisbane down by 31 points heading into the second term. Again, the Lions were to aggressive with ball in hand to the point of recklessness, blazing away when they needed to slow the game down. The result was a glut of turnovers, particularly entering attack, leaving them stranded as the ball rebounded the other way.

In the second term both sides were on level pegging, but for the majority of the second half the Lions were much more dominant. Between the seven-minute mark of the third quarter and the 17-minute mark of the last, the Demons didn’t kick a goal. The Lions drew level through Allen Christensen’s third major, and had the momentum to roll over the top of the visitors. But critical mistakes cost them, and the Demons rallied to pull away in the last 10 minutes.

Jesse Hogan and Jeff Garlett were particularly instrumental for the Demons. Hogan was dominant, setting up Melbourne’s victory with three goals from 14 possessions and seven marks in the first half, with two more final quarter goals sealing the win. Garlett as usual needed only a couple of half-chances to have an impact, kicking two and giving away another to Nathan Jones in the first half. Like Hogan, he kicked two more in the last when his side needed a spark.

There were bright spots for the Lions. On top of the courage shown to come all the way back to level the scores at one stage, Crows import Charlie Cameron was the Lions’ best player and barely wasted a touch. But Melbourne were a stronger unit, beating the Lions inside for contested ball. The Lions drop to 0-2 ahead of trips to play Port Adelaide and Richmond in the next fortnight.

Final Scores:

Brisbane 10.14 (74) defeated by Melbourne 14.16 (100)

Goals:

Brisbane: Cameron 3, Christensen 3, Bewick, Zorko, Hipwood, Cox.
Melbourne: Hogan 5, Garlett 4, Jones 2, Fritsch 2, Neal-Bullen.

Best:

Brisbane: Cameron, Christensen, Cox, Taylor, Zorko
Melbourne: Hogan, Garlett, Oliver, Jones, Petracca

Gold Coast Suns vs. Carlton Blues

In-demand power forward Tom Lynch booted eight goals to help Gold Coast Suns to a convincing 28-point win over Carlton, keeping their undefeated record intact. The Suns led from start to finish, bursting out of the blocks with five goals to one in the opening term to set up a handy buffer. Their relentless pressure ensured that the Blues could find no easy way back into the game, highlighting the new brand of football that coach Stuart Dew has swiftly enforced.

Pocket rockets Darcy Macpherson and Jarryd Lyons were in the thick of things with game-highs in tackles (10) and contested possessions (26) respectively. They were supported well by former Blue Nick Holman, who continued his impressive return to AFL football with 15 disposals and 10 tackles. Their collective impact made all the difference on the day, as the Blues won the disposal and inside 50 counts comfortably, but found themselves butchering the ball in important areas under the pressure of 93 Gold Coast tackles. 

The home side were up against it before the ball was even bounced, with their ever-reliable ruckman Matthew Kreuzer a late out, replaced by midfielder Cameron Polson. It proved to be telling, as Jarrod Witts took full advantage of the less-experienced rotation of Levi Casboult, Charlie Curnow and Cam O’Shea, who was on debut. While Curnow put in a solid shift with his two goals alongside his brother Ed, who was ever-present with his 38 disposals and 10 tackles, the Blues lacked a spark in the forward half and were swiftly found out for it.

For the second time in their history the Suns will go into round three with a perfect record, looking to improve to a 3-0 record with a win against Fremantle Dockers at home. Their early season form is a far-cry from what many expected out of the young Suns squad, and there is sure to be some excitement up on the Gold Coast with the Commonwealth Games due to commence this week.    

Final Scores:

Gold Coast 15.11 (101) defeated Carlton 9.13 (67)

Goals:

Carlton: Wright 2, C. Curnow 2, Cripps, Fisher, Weitering, Lamb, Murphy.
Gold Coast: Lynch 8, Martin 3, Macpherson, Lyons, Ainsworth, Young.

Best:

Carlton: Cripps, E. Curnow, C. Curnow, Simpson, Petrevski-Seton, Murphy
Gold Coast: Lynch, Witts, Swallow, Martin, Lyons, Hall, Thompson

Who will the Blues take?

Weitering 2

The Blues will be really shaping the draft for some other clubs. The rumours coming out of the Blues draft camp have been varied, and it’s tough to get a read on them.

Pick one

The big fish: Jacob Weitering

Weitering is the best player in the draft, and he’s got the runs on the board. For a young key defender to not only be able to shutdown AFL quality players, but to run off them, take intercept marks and then create scoring opportunities through rebounding, well that’s serious cause for his draft standing.

Plan B: Josh Schache

Looks pretty clear that the Blues will head with Weitering, but Schache is an excellent player too. His sharp goal kicking would be a welcome change for Carlton. He can beat his opponent in a one-on-one contest and he’s got the fitness to play as a lead up forward, but at this stage, he needs to work on being a bit more of a lead up player to show he can do it all.

Pick 12 (originally pick 8)

The big fish:  Aaron Francis

Gold Coast may be in the frame to take the athletic defender, but if he’s there, the Blues should jump at the chance. He’s an excellent intercept mark, and he’s got one of the best leaps in the draft class. Francis could end up playing as a third tall at either end, and while he has midfield scope, it might be a waste of his athletic potential.

Plan B: Clayton Oliver

Oliver is a strong bodied midfielder who wins his own footy easily on the inside. He’s actually quite a clean kick of the footy and he’s got runs on the board in terms of being able to kick goals from the midfield. Athletically, Oliver is much more agile and quick than the eye test tells you. He might be gone if Essendon or Melbourne are really keen.

Pick 14 (originally 11)

The big fish: Harry McKay

McKay is very raw at this stage, but his upside is great. McKay has shown great signs as a lead up forward. His work rate is excellent, and he’s got some really nice athletic traits. He’s going to need a really good development team to get the best out of him, but his rate of improvement across the year has been encouraging.

Plan B: Callum Ah Chee

Ah Chee provides the spark that the Blues lack up forward and on the outside of the contest. He’s got speed, a terrific leap and he’s one of the smarter smaller players in the draft. Ah Chee has shown that he can win his own ball on the inside at under-18 level, which is encouraging for his case to play midfield minutes at the top flight.

Pick 23 (originally 19)

The big fish: Jade Gresham

Gresham wins so much of the football as a small midfielder, that recruiters cannot pin him down as an exclusive small forward. That being said, the Blues could do with another crumbing option, and Gresham is very clean when the ball hits the deck. He’s not the ‘mercurial’ small forward type, but he works hard defensively and he’ll be a consistent presence in every game.

Plan B: Ryan Clarke

Clarke is a running machine who should be playing quite a few games next year through his elite fitness. He breaks the lines and his kicking can be lethal at times. Clarke has also shown his nous winning his own footy, and he has that Patrick Dangerfield-esque breakaway power and acceleration from stoppages.

Pick 52 (originally 59)

The big fish: Jack Silvagni

Silvagni has really nice hands and he’s got clean skills when the ball hits the deck. He’s lacking a lot of strength and probably won’t be a true key position player through his size. But with his skill set, he could be a third linking forward. I like Silvagni as a lockdown defender too. He reads the play well, and despite not having the strength, he positions himself well to negate the contest even against bigger opponents.

2014 Draft Profile: Jayden Foster

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Jayden Foster (Calder Cannons)
Height: 194 cm
Weight:
91 kg
Position: Key forward
Player comparison: Jack Gunston

Foster is a 19-year-old prospect who led the TAC Cup goal kicking in 2014, with 49 goals in 16 games. With an average of just over three goals per game for the Cannons, who finished second, most would assume that Foster is a dominant key forward. On the contrary, Foster is a role player, who capitalises on the opportunities he is given.

Foster of course shared a forward line with Peter Wright. Working alongside Wright allowed Foster to understand the value of spacing within a forward line. This was crucial, as you can see Foster understands where to lead and when he should double back. His reading of the play is immaculate, and combined with his separation off the lead, Foster can often find himself taking easy chest marks 30 metres out from goal.

Foster is great at ground level too. He often kicks opportunistic goals, so even when he isn’t getting much delivery, his output is still solid.

One of the best aspects of Foster’s game is his contested marking. His 25 contested marks in 16 games is very solid. Considering he plays out of the goal square, his forward 50 contested marking all of a sudden become extremely dangerous, as his set shots come from less than 40 metres out.

The most impressive aspect of Foster’s game is his goal kicking. His 49 goals came with just eight behinds. He is a sharp shooter, although those stats are skewed because he kicked many from close range.

At AFL level, Foster should be groomed into the secondary or third tall option, as he isn’t the type to build a forward line around. This is in fact a good thing, as his game works well around many different game plans. His skill set is adaptable to all different situations, which should see him as a very solid pick. The Bulldogs will be kicking themselves that they couldn’t take him as a rookie.

2014 Draft Profile: Blaine Boekhorst

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Blaine Boekhorst (Swan Districts)
Position: Midfielder
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 69 kg
Plays like: Brent Stanton

Speed, speed, and more speed. It’s the hallmark of Boekhorst’s game. The mature-age midfielder had a break-out season at league level for Swan Districts this year, averaging 21 disposals and running amok in the midfield. Boekhorst’s ability to break away from opponents is the feather in his cap. He tucks the ball under his arm, and rates elite for meters gained, and was one of the highest rating WAFL players this year for bounces per game.

He loves to give and get, and is sublime by foot going inside 50 to hit up a target, or go the journey himself. He navigates congestion well with a terrific side step, owing to his solid agility. After he’s broken away, when he’s in space he’s a really handy user of the ball.

He’s got good composure and makes the right decision with his disposal. He likes to move the ball long and direct, but his vision to execute a switch through the middle of the ground, squaring the ball up from a wing is something he does with ease. He’s shown enough to suggest that he has an inside game, and has often been utilised at the stoppages and centre square. Silk on the outside, Boekhorst averaged a solid 73 per cent disposal efficiency from his 19 senior outings, but needs to work on his defensive game.