Tag: Caulfield Grammar

AFL Draft Watch: Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Oakleigh Chargers’ Bailey Laurie, a smooth moving forward who can also run through midfield. The Caulfield Grammar student broke out towards the end of last year’s NAB League season, helping Oakleigh to its premiership triumph with an excellent first half performance in the decider. The 178cm prospect boasts elite agility and creativity forward of centre, able to weave his way into dangerous positions and bring others into the game. While he was squeezed out of the Chargers’ engine room as a bottom-ager, he will look to have an impact there in 2020 as one of his region’s top prospects.

PLAYER PAGE:

Bailey Laurie
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

DOB: March 24, 2002

Height: 178cm
Weight: 76kg

Position: Forward/Outside Midfielder

Strengths: Agility/evasion, creativity, impact, finding space
Improvements: Contested ball, consistency

2019 NAB League stats: 7 games | 15.3 disposals (63.7% UP) | 3.1 marks | 3.6 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 1.9 rebound 50s | 0.9 goals (6)

>> Feature: Bailey Laurie
>> Marquee Matchup: Clarke vs. Laurie

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Standing Vertical Jump – 58cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L) – 63cm/74cm
Speed (20m) – 3.19 seconds
Agility – 7.97 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo) – 20.5

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

NAB League Grand Final vs. Eastern

By: Peter Williams

Has his moments where he can break a game open, kicking a couple of goals either side of half-time and really making his presence felt. The bottom-age forward is a metres-gained player and while he missed a couple of opportunities with two behinds, he still amassed 17 disposals, five marks, four tackles and crucially had six inside 50s, constantly applying pressure on the Ranges.

>> MORE OAKLEIGH CHARGERS CONTENT

>> 2020 Vic Metro U18s Squad Prediction
>> July 2020 Power Rankings

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Jackson Callow
Braeden Campbell
Alex Davies
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Tanner Bruhn
Jack Ginnivan
Elijah Hollands
Zach Reid
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Eddie Ford
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins
Will Phillips

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western

AFL Draft Watch: Will Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central  takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Oakleigh Chargers’ Will Phillips, who has a terrific balance of inside and outside traits through the engine room – able to dig in and find plenty of his own ball, while providing forward movement in his bursting runs through congestion. The 179cm prospect averaged a tick over 22 disposals across 10 games in Oakleigh’s premiership-winning NAB League campaign last year, with his form enough to warrant a call-up to Vic Metro’s Under 18 side as a bottom-ager.

Having attended centre bounces with the likes of Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson through the Chargers’ program, Phillips is looking to become a leader in each midfield he lines up for in 2020; juggling his time between school football commitments at Caulfield Grammar, Oakleigh’s premiership defence, and representative duties with Vic Metro. Few others can extract possession like Phillips, making him a locked-on top 10 prospect for this year’s draft.

PLAYER PAGE:

Will Phillips
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

DOB: May 22, 2002

Height: 179cm
Weight: 78kg

Position: Balanced midfielder

Strengths: Accumulation, contested ball, consistency, durability/toughness, tackling, composure
Improvements: Repeat contests

NAB League stats: 10 games | 22.1 disposals | 2.6 marks | 4.0 tackles | 4.3 clearances | 3.2 inside 50s | 1.6 rebound 50s | 0.3 goals (3)

>> Q&A: Will Phillips

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Did not test.

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Peter Williams

Just a tackling machine who keeps on battling hard. Philips is a work horse who continues to dig in and win the ball and do all the team things to support his teammates. He laid a massive 14 tackles for the game while winning another 20-plus disposals. One of the better midfield options heading into next year, he is strong at the stoppages and can spread to the outside to win it as well and set up teammates. He kicked a goal in the third term by winning the ball from a stoppage, fending off an opponent and snapping it off his right at the top of the square. He then set up Joel Jeffrey with a goal thanks to a very nice kick inside 50.

NAB League Grand Final vs. Eastern

By: Peter Williams

The bottom-ager showed why he will be a highly touted prospect next year with a competitive effort through midfield. Just attacks the ball with vigour not to dissimilar to Rowell, and while he can be handball happy at times, had an even spread of kicks and handballs on his way to 16 touches, also hitting the scoreboard with two majors.

NAB League Preliminary Finals vs. Sandringham

By: Ed Pascoe

Phillips backed up his impressive game in the first final to once again make an impact in the preliminary final, showcasing his ability to find the ball and use it well, while also showing great movement in traffic and composure with ball in hand. Phillips has been playing mostly on the wing where he does well but he looks most natural winning his own ball and exiting the stoppages with his acceleration out of traffic and ability to weave through congestion and hit a target by hand or foot. He can also impact the contest with his strong tackling which he also showcased against Sandringham.

NAB League Qualifying Final vs. Gippsland

By: Ed Pascoe

Phillips was fantastic in Oakleigh’s strong start to the game, seeing the bottom age midfielder show some good clean hands in transition and getting involved in a number of plays going forward. Mostly playing on the wing he had no issues winning the ball with his smart running and willingness to also get in and win his own ball. Phillips kicked a nice goal in the third quarter showing some dash and getting back the handball to snap on the run. Phillips finished the game with 29 disposals, six inside 50s and a goal.

>> MORE OAKLEIGH CHARGERS CONTENT

>> 2020 Vic Country U18s Squad Prediction

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Jackson Callow
Braeden Campbell
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Jack Ginnivan
Elijah Hollands
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western

AFL Draft Watch: Elijah Hollands (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central  takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Murray Bushrangers’ Elijah Hollands, an exciting forward/midfield prospect who remains right in the top 10 discussions, despite the fact he is sitting out 2020 after tearing his ACL during preseason. Having previously afforded most of his seasons to school football with Caulfield Grammar, Hollands was set for a full-time dig in the NAB League with Murray upon the completion of his Year 12 studies in 2019.

The 188cm Wodonga native has a knack for the mercurial, able to break games open with bursts of brilliance in the form of opportunist goals, bursting runs, or high-flying marks. Hollands was one of the rare bottom-agers to play all four national carnival games as a bottom-ager in 2019, and further proved his status as a high-end prospect with an eye-catching performance in the Under 17 Futures All Stars fixture.

While he spent most of his time as a forward or on the outside at the Under 18 level, the Murray product had eyes on moving into the midfield in his top-age season. His value over time in the engine room remains to be seen, but one thing for certain is that Hollands is a rare talent and one of the absolute best of his cohort.

PLAYER PAGE:

Elijah Hollands
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

DOB: April 25, 2002

Height: 188cm
Weight: 80kg

Position: Forward/midfielder

Strengths: Overhead marking, scoreboard impact, athleticism, versatility
Improvements: Consistency/accumulation, post-injury durability

2019 Statistics:

NAB League: 4 games | 17.0 disposals | 5.5 marks | 3.8 tackles | 1.5 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 1.0 goals (4)
Under 18 National Championships: 4 games | 13.5 disposals | 2.3 marks | 5.5 tackles | 1.0 clearances | 5.3 inside 50s | 0.5 goals (2)

>> Feature: Elijah Hollands

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Did not test.

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Michael Alvaro

It was a near-complete performance from the Team Brown captain, who booted two classy goals in his time between the midfield and forward line. His work rate in the engine room was top notch, digging in to win the ball himself and tackling hard going the other way with the opposition breaking.

Hollands also impacted the centre bounces from his starting position on the wing early on, proving clean and composed when the footy was hot. His first goal was a typical one, propping after he collected the loose ball and snapping home. The second was a show-stopper, slamming the ball through the big sticks from 55m out off a couple of steps. Is one of the leading prospects at this early stage, and narrowly missed out on best afield honours.

NAB League Round 14 vs. Northern

By: Scott Dougan

Hollands played through the Bushrangers’ midfield, as well as up forward where he was a regular target. Hollands had a big impact early on when he spoiled a marking contest after a poor kick-in from the Knights, resulting in Murray’s first goal of the game.

He had an electric 10 or so minutes in the first term, where he provided spark and x-factor around the contest. Hollands’ forward craft is one of his best attributes and it was evident during the match, with the talented bottom-ager finding plenty of space across half-forward.

Under 18 National Championships vs. Vic Country

By: Peter Williams

Is so exciting and not only does he have the offensive capabilities, but works hard defensively as well, laying a number of huge tackles in the forward half. Hollands has lightning hands in congestion and is able to win the hard ball and quickly dish off to a teammate before being dispossessed.

He had a huge highlight in the second term with an unbelievable goal out of nothing from a forward stoppage, roving Charlie Comben and booting the goal from just inside 50 close to the boundary line.

Under 18 Victorian Trials vs. Vic Metro

By: Ed Pascoe

Hollands was seriously impressive up forward, he was a constant threat and was often minded by one of 2019’s top prospects, Dylan Williams. He kicked his first goal in the first quarter running into open goal and he set up others with his kicking inside 50, all class.

One of his standout features was his ability to keep strong in the contest and get his arms up, and his second goal came from a classy snap goal 40 metres out in the third quarter. His best bit of play also came in the third quarter where he worked hard to keep the ball in play on a wing and used the ball well with a long handball to a running teammate inboard.

NAB League Round 3 vs. GWV

By: Peter Williams

A classy forward who just has that knack of finding the goals, he was disappointed in himself missing a few early chances, before kicking two for the game, including a natural instinct shot off the left to win the game for the Bushrangers. Hollands also shows good second efforts, giving off a quick handball before following up with a tackle immediately after.

NAB League Round 2 vs. Bendigo Pioneers

By: Scott Dougan

Hollands was consistent over four quarters and never seemed to fade out of the contest. He was a solid target up forward for the Bushrangers, specifically in the final term when he had a couple of shots on goal that only failed to register a score because of the tough weather conditions. Hollands also displayed his athletic ability, footy smarts, and foot skills throughout the game.

NAB League Round 1 vs, Gippsland

By: Peter Williams

The bottom-age talent showed his class early inside 50, winning a number of possessions on the outside and using his long kicking ability and was one of the top ball winners in the first half. He missed a few opportunities to capitalise from set shots, finishing the game with 1.3, but he timed his leads well, protecting the drop zone with his timing. He was quieter in the second half, but his first half showed the potential he has not only as a forward, but further up the ground as well.

>> MORE MURRAY BUSHRANGERS CONTENT

>> Marquee Matchup: Hollands vs. O’Driscoll
>> 2020 Vic Country U18s Squad Prediction

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Jackson Callow
Braeden Campbell
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Jack Ginnivan
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western

Q&A: Youseph Dib (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Michael Alvaro chatted with Oakleigh Chargers’ Youseph Dib at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

There may not be much of the Collingwood Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect at 172cm, but he is well-built for his size and makes up for it with tenacious two-way effort. After earning All Australian honours at last year’s Under 16 National Championships in a stacked Vic Metro side, Dib also managed to crack into the premiership-winning Oakleigh line-up for one outing late in the 2019 season.

While he is able to win his own ball and impact contests from as high as the wing or through midfield, Dib will more likely feature as a small forward for Oakleigh this year in between school football commitments with Caulfield Grammar. Read what the impressive bottom-ager had to say about his journey thus far and the year ahead in our latest Q&A.

>> CATCH UP ON ALL OUR FEATURES

Q&A:


MA: Youseph, how’s the day been for you so far?

YD: “Not too bad, it’s been a pretty long day. There’s a lot of boys out here, it’s good to see your competition and where everyone’s at. I’ve just got the yo-yo (test) left and then we’re good to go home.”

 

Is that one you’re looking forward to or dreading?

“Probably dreading. But one thing I’ve been working on in the off-season a lot is my fitness, so I’m excited to see where I’m at and see how I compare to before preseason.”

 

Coming off a really good Under 16 campaign, how did you enjoy the carnival up in Queensland?

“Yes, a good experience. I felt like the difference between our year and maybe some others was that our (group) really jelled well together. We had a really broad range of talent and as soon as we got on the ground, it didn’t take long for us to know each other. We just connected well and our chemistry was up there.”

 

There were plenty of fellow Oakleigh boys as well, did that make the connection easier?

“Definitely. We had about 10 or 11 there and I’ve been training with them for the last few months. But I also felt like we were leaders there and helped some of the other boys who didn’t have too many (others) from their regions. After a couple of training sessions everyone was all mixed together between regions which was one of the reasons why our chemistry was so high.”

 

Given you can go and win your own ball, which position do you see yourself fitting in best at Oakleigh now?

“I’ve been working a lot in the forward (group), so a small forward around some of the talls. I’m hoping to play a bit of midfield, a bit of wing. Playing up and down the ground and working on my fitness so I can be a bit more broad.”

 

You’d have some great mentors as part of the Collingwood Next Generation Academy, how has that been for your development?

“It’s been very good. Reef McInnes, who’s a year older than me as well, when I first came in I was pretty quiet and didn’t really know anyone and he really brought me in. Every training session he gets around all the younger boys with the new (Under) 15s coming in, he’s a very good leader. With ‘Daics’ (Nick Daicos) and Reef training at Oakleigh as well, it helps because we know each other so well… the NGA training has been pretty high-intensity which has been brought up a lot this year.”

 

What kind of goals are you looking to set out this year?

“Most of my year will be played out at school footy which I haven’t really done before, so I’m excited to see what the competition is like there and hopefully I can bring up my stats and fill out my role in the team. It’ll be a pretty long year (with) a lot of small goals, but my main goal from the off-season was my fitness. I’m excited to see what I’m like on the ground and where I’m at.”

Marquee Matchups: Elijah Hollands vs. Nathan O’Driscoll

DESPITE remaining in the unknown of football’s temporary absence, Draft Central is set to ramp up its draft analysis with another new prospect-focussed series, Marquee Matchups. We take a look at some of the high-end head-to-head battles which look likely to take place should the class of 2020 take the field, comparing pairs of draft hopefuls to help preview who may come out on top.

The pair next under the microscope – Murray’s Elijah Hollands and Perth’s Nathan O’Driscoll – have already gone head-to-head, matching up in representative action at Under 16 and Under 18 level, while also playing on opposing sides during last year’s Under 17 Futures All Star fixture. Both are among their state’s leading draft prospects for 2020, with Hollands in the conversation for number one pick honours before suffering a season-ending knee injury, while O’Driscoll has the all-round game to push for first round selection.

Hollands, who was one of the few bottom-agers to feature in all four national carnival opportunities, last year also cracked the Bushrangers’ Under 18 side as a 16-year-old. He played three times in 2018 and backed it up with another four outings in 2019, averaging nearly 17 disposals and over a goal per game in the NAB League in between his school football commitments with Caulfield Grammar. Having already graduated from school, Hollands was primed to feature full-time for Murray in his usual midfield/forward role, hoping to showcase his match-winning abilities.

O’Driscoll was another bottom-aged prospect to make an early break into the Under 18 state squad, running out three times for the Black Ducks across last year’s carnival. Playing mostly as a running half-back/wingman, the Perth product averaged 16 disposals and 6.7 tackles as he adjusted seamlessly to the step-up in competition. O’Driscoll was also a mainstay in the Demons’ Colts side, averaging over 25 disposals in his seven appearances in more of a midfield-oriented role. Both he and Hollands were set to see more midfield minutes in 2020, but could well have also met in a half-back/half-forward duel in this year’s National Championships.

Without further ado, get up to speed with how the two match up in terms of their form to date, strengths, improvements, and what has already been said about their performances in our scouting notes.

PLAYER PAGES

Elijah Hollands
Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

DOB: April 25, 2002

Height: 188cm
Weight: 80kg

Position: Forward/balanced midfielder

Nathan O’Driscoll
Perth/Western Australia

DOB: May 17, 2002

Height: 187cm
Weight: 76kg

Position: Half-back/inside midfielder

ATHLETIC PROFILES

VERTICAL JUMP

Hollands – 47cm
O’Driscoll
– 67cm

RUNNING VERTICAL JUMP (R/L)

Hollands – 60cm/59cm
O’Driscoll
– 86cm/80cm

SPEED (20m)

Hollands – 3.05 seconds
O’Driscoll
– 2.99 seconds

AGILITY

Hollands – 8.87 seconds
O’Driscoll
– 8.46 seconds

ENDURANCE (Yo-yo)

Hollands – 21.2
O’Driscoll
– 21.8

Note: Hollands’ results derive from 2019 preseason testing.

Obviously these results are essentially incomparable given all of Hollands’ scores come from his bottom-aged preseason, but O’Driscoll’s efforts from earlier this year give a good insight into his overall athletic package. Both are powerful and well-built athletes, with O’Driscoll proving as much in his near-elite results across the board; posting terrific running vertical jump scores, a sub-three-second 20-metre sprint, very serviceable agility time of 8.46 seconds, and a high-end yo-yo test score of 21.8.

O’Driscoll’s rare combination of speed and endurance is exactly what AFL recruiters yearn for, while his explosive capabilities prove he is well equipped to keep up with the speed and rigours of senior football. While his 2019 results may not speak to it as such, Hollands is not lost on the same attributes, boasting a similarly high-level speed and endurance base. His vertical jumping results are entirely unflattering and thus far from indicative of how he plays. Hollands would arguably feature right up there with O’Driscoll at this point in time if not for his knee injury, but that remains to be seen.

>> PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

20m Sprint
Agility Test
Yo-yo Test
Jumps

ON-FIELD PROFILES

2019 STATISTICS

Hollands:

2019 NAB League: 4 games | 17.0 disposals | 5.5 marks | 3.8 tackles | 1.5 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 1.0 goals (4)

2019 Under 18 National Championships: 4 games | 13.5 disposals | 2.3 marks | 5.5 tackles | 1.0 clearances | 5.3 inside 50s | 0.5 goals (2)

O’Driscoll:

2019 WAFL Colts: 7 games | 25.1 disposals | 4 marks | 7.6 tackles | 0 goals

2019 Under 18 National Championships: 3 games | 16 disposals | 1.7 marks | 6.7 tackles | 3 clearances | 2.6 inside 50s

The slight differences in roles across these two prospects are evident in their 2019 statistics, with O’Driscoll showing a higher output in terms of disposals and tackles, while Hollands has the edge in forward 50 penetration and scoreboard impact. It is much easier to find the ball across half-back, but O’Driscoll is exceptional at it with his contested work and intercept marking abilities, while also being able to showcase his ball winning prowess with a touch more midfield time than Hollands – particularly at WAFL Colts level.

In a much more forward or outside oriented role, Hollands managed to find space well and work almost as a centre half-forward at times with his marking strength. His two-way work rate is also evident in his tackling numbers, while that all-important ability to find the goals shines through across all levels. Hollands may see less of the ball, but creates high-impact plays forward of centre. That is not to say O’Driscoll cannot do the same, with his kick penetration particularly damaging on the rebound.

BEST GAME

Hollands:

2019 NAB League Round 1 vs. Gippsland

15 disposals (12 kicks)
10 marks
3 tackles
4 inside 50s
1 goal, 3 behinds

O’Driscoll:

2019 WAFL Colts Round 14 vs. South Fremantle

28 disposals (14 kicks)
7 marks
12 tackles
10 inside 50s

Our chosen game for both players may seem odd given they returned outings with more disposals or goals respectively, but we feel these were their most balanced performances.

Hollands began his 2019 season strongly against good opposition and while his 1.3 may have proven costly in a three-point loss to Gippsland, he was dangerous as ever. The Bushrangers’ 15 disposals were thereabouts with his career average across all levels, but his impact came in his ability to provide an aerial presence (10 marks) and cover the ground well from half-forward with four inside 50s, while also heading back towards goal effectively to put four scores on the board.

O’Driscoll’s chosen game stood out despite having cracked the 30-disposal mark in a seperate outing, and had another level of value given it came in a winning effort. This was a monster performance from the Demons gun, picking up 28 disposals from midfield and pumping the ball forward relentlessly with 10 inside 50s, while remaining relevant around the ground with seven marks, and on the defensive side with 12 tackles. All of O’Driscoll’s damaging traits and work rate were on show in this fixture, and may be a pointer of what’s to come should he be let off the chain through the engine room more often.

PREVIOUS MEETING

2019 Under 18 National Championships
Vic Country 6.10 (46) def. by Western Australia 7.9 (51)

Hollands:

14 disposals
2 marks
7 tackles
1 clearance
4 inside 50s
1 rebound 50

O’Driscoll:

21 disposals
4 marks
6 tackles
1 clearance
4 inside 50s
2 rebound 50s

This was of course the game made famous by Regan Clarke‘s match-winning goal for the Black Ducks, and Hayden Young‘s elite switching kick which put him on the map (if he wasn’t there already). Employed off half-back, O’Driscoll arguably fared the better of the two, showing great dash on the outside and delivering the ball forward with aplomb. Hollands, who was manned at times by Denver Grainger-Barras, still managed to make a menace of himself up forward with a touch more ground level play, but failed to find the big sticks in this outing.

STRENGTHS

Hollands:

Overhead marking
Scoreboard impact
Athleticism
Versatility

O’Driscoll:

Contested ball
Kick penetration
Two-way impact
Explosiveness

It will be difficult to adjust these strengths for Hollands across the year despite being billed for more time in a different role, but O’Driscoll’s four traits listed below translate well across both his half-back and midfield assignments. While Hollands’ overhead marking and scoreboard impact hint at a very forward-oriented mindset, he is just as capable as O’Driscoll on the defensive end when need be, with the mix of speed and smarts from both players aiding such efforts.

Hollands’ athleticism and strong build bode for more time in the engine room, and O’Driscoll has arguably better proven his worth in said position with his ability to hunt the ball and really burst away from stoppages. Hollands thrives on being able to position well and outclass his direct opponents, while O’Driscoll uses the same attribute when stationed in defence to intercept aerially. Hollands is more of an attacking threat in that sense, using his clean hands to burrow through at ground level, while also marking in dangerous areas.

Both players are also great kicks of the ball and while Hollands can sure up his kicking for goal at times, is usually a sure bet in terms of length and accuracy. O’Driscoll’s pins are absolute weapons in terms of penetrative ability, and make him a two-way asset in any position.

IMPROVEMENTS

Hollands:

Consistency/accumulation
Post-injury durability

O’Driscoll:

Short/long-range kicking balance

Part of Hollands’ improvements are listed by no fault of his own, with the question of durability and endurance often attributed to those who suffer severe knee injuries. A preseason at the elite level should cover that issue, with his work-rate and professionalism usually no issue. In terms of moving seamlessly into a more permanent midfield role, he’ll need to up his numbers and find the ball more consistently. O’Driscoll is a difficult one to list improvements for given his well-roundedness both athletically and skills-wise, but finding a balance in his short and long-range kicking options will be key to his effectiveness going forward. He sometimes blasts the ball forward from midfield, but is such a great target-finder when allowed more time.

KEY SCOUTING NOTES

Hollands:

2019 Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Michael Alvaro

It was a very near-complete performance from the Team Brown captain, who booted two classy goals in his time between the midfield and forward line. His work rate in the engine room was top notch, digging in to win the ball himself and tackling hard going the other way with the opposition breaking.

Hollands also impacted the centre bounces from his starting position on the wing early on, proving clean and composed when the footy was hot. His first goal was a typical one, propping after he collected the loose ball and snapping home. The second was a show-stopper, slamming the ball through the big sticks from 55m out off a couple of steps. Is one of the leading prospects at this early stage, and narrowly missed out on best afield honours.

O’Driscoll:

2019 Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Peter Williams

Spread well to win the ball in all thirds of the ground and found plenty of it, particularly early. He took a strong mark at half-forward in the first term and then won a lot of his touches at half-back as the game turned against his side. He would play the defensive side of the wing to mop up and kick long, providing a release option for his side going forward.

Q&A: Josh Rachele (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Michael Alvaro chatted with Murray Bushrangers’ Josh Rachele at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

The electric midfielder/forward was a standout at last year’s Under 16 National Championships, captaining Vic Country en route to earning the Kevin Sheehan Medal as Division 1 MVP. His form warranted a call-up to the Bushrangers’ NAB League side, where Rachele booted eight goals in four games in the back-end of the season. With a full athletic package and freaking skills to boot, the 178cm prospect is set to hit the ground running again in 2020, representing Murray and his new school, Caulfield Grammar once football resumes.

>> CATCH UP ON OUR FEATURES

Q&A:


MA: Josh, have you had a good day so far with the testing?

JR: “Yes, so far it’s been pretty good, a good experience. I hit a couple of PB’s (personal bests) which is alright but overall the Murray boys have been doing pretty (well) which is good.”

 

Coming off a MVP-winning Under 16 campaign as captain, what has it been like moving into the Murray Under 18s program?

“Obviously there were a lot of high hopes for this season so the main goal is to just play well early. I’ve had a pretty good preseason so far, the first couple of goals will be to get into the Vic Country squad and hopefully play a game. But really, just to develop my game as well.”

 

Where do you see your best position being, having played through the midfield and up forward thus far?

“I’d probably say at the moment probably that fifth/sixth role, that forward-flanker who gets up the ground, then goes deep. Next year I’ll hopefully get a few more minutes in the midfield but this season, hopefully just through the forward line.”

 

Who are some of the Murray-listed players you’re looking forward to playing alongside?

“Number one would have to have been Elijah Hollands, but it’s unfortunate with his ACL (injury). But just to learn off him this year, he’s going to do a bit of coaching at Vic Country and the Bushrangers so he’s going to have eyes, just watching me and I’ll ask for advice, especially with the resilience he’s going to have to build.

“Also Zavier Maher, he’s probably going to be in the leadership group at Caulfield Grammar this year. He’s been a big part of my Caulfield journey so far and I’ve been doing a lot of extras with him.”

 

What has the transition to Caulfield been like?

“I think there was about four or five Murray Bushrangers guys already there so that made my move pretty easy. I knew a few day-schoolers already but that main connection with the Bushrangers boys helped me move in pretty smoothly.”

 

It must be great also having a connection with your Under 16 teammates, moving into this year and your top-age season in 2021?

“Yes, next year will probably be one of the biggest years of my life. A lot of high expectations really, but (I’ll look to) have another good preseason and start early. No major goals, just to get into the Vic Country squad again and move from there.”

 

Are there any other little goals you’re looking to tick off?

“We have the Australia (Under 17) game coming up in April, so that will be a goal just to play well there and get a win with the boys which would be an unreal experience. Then to play the Under 17s game on Grand Final day, that’s it really.”

2020 APS football season fixtures: How is it different?

WHILST all eyes are on the elite level of Australian rules football that kicks off tonight, junior elite level football is not too far away. The South Australian National Football League (SANFL)’s top young stars will begin their 2020 journey in a couple of weeks, but crossing the border and the first top-level Victorian competition to begin will be the Associated Public Schools (APS) on July 25.

APS Boys

This year is different compared to others, and not just because of the COVID-19 lockdown. In past years, the winner and/or winners of the boys competition would be announced as the team that was on top at the end of the season when the 11 competing schools had played one another. With a time crunch, this year sees the 11 sides broken up into two pools of sides, one with six and one with five, where the teams play all the other teams in their respective pool.

Last year was the first time since 2006 there was a three-way tie with Carey Grammar – led by top two AFL Draft picks Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – Caulfield Grammer and Haileybury College all deemed the winners. Haileybury had won its third successive title after having a raft of high draft picks over the past few years including Max and Ben King, Liam Stocker, Luke Davies-Uniacke and Andrew Brayshaw just to name a few. Caulfield Grammar had an even team with Fischer McAsey the star last year, but also possessed a number of bottom-age talents including Oakleigh Chargers’ Will Phillips and Murray Bushrangers’ Zavier Maher.

The first round kicks off on July 25, with the final round scheduled for September 12, all games to be played on Saturdays. Following the five-week round robin season, three rounds have been left clear for a re-draw to enable the best teams from both pools to face off and earn a premiership title.

POOL 1:

Brighton Grammar
Carey Grammar
Geelong College
Haileybury College
Scotch College
Wesley College

POOL 2:

Caulfield Grammar
Geelong Grammar
Melbourne Grammar
St Kevin’s College
Xavier College

APS Girls

There are some similarities in the boys’ fixturing as there is in the girls, such as the start and end dates of the competition. But as a competition that is by comparison relatively new, just five teams compete in the girls’ APS season. They do align with schools from the boys – Carey Grammar, Caulfield Grammar, Geelong Grammar, Haileybury College and Wesley College.

The five round season presents a perfect opportunity for each of the APS Girls sides to face every other team, with the three rounds of redrawn matches giving organisers a chance to get double-up matches between the best sides.

APS Boys Fixtures

 ROUND 1: Saturday, July 25

Brighton Grammar vs. Scotch College
Geelong College vs. Carey Grammar
Wesley College vs. Haileybury College

Caulfield Grammar vs. Xavier College
Melbourne Grammar vs. St Kevin’s College
Bye: Geelong Grammar

ROUND 2: Saturday, August 1

Scotch College vs. Geelong College
Haileybury College vs. Brighton Grammar
Carey Grammar vs. Wesley College

St Kevin’s College vs. Caulfield Grammar
Geelong Grammar vs. Melbourne Grammar
Bye: Xavier College

ROUND 3: Saturday, August 8

Haileybury College vs. Scotch College
Wesley College vs. Geelong College
Brighton Grammar vs. Carey Grammar

Caulfield Grammar vs. Geelong Grammar
Xavier College vs. St Kevin’s College
Bye: Melbourne Grammar

ROUND 4: Saturday, August 15

Scotch College vs. Wesley College
Carey Grammar vs. Haileybury College
Geelong College vs. Brighton Grammar

Melbourne Grammar vs. Caulfield Grammar
Geelong Grammar vs. Xavier College
Bye: St Kevin’s College

ROUND 5: Saturday, August 22

Carey Grammar vs. Scotch College
Brighton Grammar vs. Wesley College
Haileybury College vs. Geelong College

Xavier College vs. Melbourne Grammar
St Kevin’s College vs. Geelong Grammar
Bye: Caulfield Grammar

APS Girls Fixtures

ROUND 1: Saturday, July 25

Caulfield Grammar vs. Geelong Grammar
Wesley College vs. Haileybury College
Bye: Carey Grammar

ROUND 2: Saturday, August 1

Haileybury College vs. Caulfield Grammar
Carey Grammar vs. Wesley College
Bye: Geelong Grammar

ROUND 3: Saturday, August 8

Haileybury College vs. Geelong Grammar
Caulfield Grammar vs. Carey Grammar
Bye: Wesley College

ROUND 4: Saturday, August 15

Geelong Grammar vs. Wesley College
Carey Grammar vs. Haileybury College
Bye: Caulfield Grammar

ROUND 5: Saturday, August 22

Wesley College vs. Caulfield Grammar
Geelong Grammar vs. Carey Grammar
Bye: Haileybury College

Marquee Matchups: Joshua Clarke vs. Bailey Laurie

DESPITE remaining in the unknown of football’s temporary absence, Draft Central is set to ramp up its draft analysis with another new prospect-focussed series, Marquee Matchups. We take a look at some of the high-end head-to-head battles which look likely to take place should the class of 2020 take the field, comparing pairs of draft hopefuls to help preview who may come out on top.

Our next matchup takes place on the outer, with flying flankers/wingmen Joshua Clarke (Eastern Ranges) and Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh Chargers) put under the spotlight. Of course, the pair will likely be teammates for Vic Metro should a national carnival go ahead, but have already faced off twice in the NAB League – including in the grand final, no less. Both were prominent as bottom-agers in the 2019 season decider, with Clarke assuming his usual role off half-back, while Laurie ran riot at half-forward.

Clarke’s 18 underage games are testament to his ability, as he quickly became a key member of the highly successful Eastern side credit to his damaging work moving forward from the back. Laurie managed seven outings in Oakleigh’s premiership side last year, mixing his time between Chargers duties and APS school football at Caulfield Grammar. A popular teammate, Laurie ranks as elite for his agility and is a livewire in the forward half who harnesses his phenomenal creativity.

Without further ado, get up to speed with how the two match-up in terms of their form to date, strengths, improvements, and what has already been said about their performances in our scouting notes.

PLAYER PAGES

Joshua Clarke
Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro

DOB: March 5, 2002

Height: 180cm
Weight: 71kg

Position: Half-back/wing

Bailey Laurie
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

DOB: March 24, 2002

Height: 178cm
Weight: 76kg

Position: Forward/outside midfielder

FITNESS TESTING PROFILES

VERTICAL JUMP

Clarke – 48cm*
Laurie – 58cm

RUNNING VERTICAL JUMP (R/L)

Clarke – 66cm/56cm*
Laurie – 63cm/74cm

SPEED (20m)

Clarke – 3.10 seconds*
Laurie – 3.19 seconds

AGILITY

Clarke – 8.24 seconds*
Laurie – 7.97 seconds

ENDURANCE (Yo-yo)

Clarke – 20.4*
Laurie – 20.5

* – 2019 testing data

Inevitably, it is impossible to compare testing results from the two athletes given only one of them tested this year, however, Clarke did participate in 2019 to give us some data to work with. The pair ranks very highly in agility, with Laurie’s sub-eight second effort landing him in the competition’s top 10. Speed is the area which seems to set the two apart, though Clarke’s 20m time of 3.10 seconds in 2019 is far from flattering to the pace he is able to build at full flight.

The pair fared similarly in terms of endurance albeit if the score are a touch low, and Clarke’s preseason injury interruptions would have made building on the 20.4 score difficult. As smaller players, their power and explosiveness seems to lack in the jumping tests, though they may rarely need to compete in the air given their nous at ground level.

>> PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

20m Sprint
Agility Test
Yo-yo Test

ON-FIELD PROFILES

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATISTICS

Clarke:

18 games
16.1 disposals (68.7% UP)
1.9 marks
1.5 tackles
1 clearance
3.1 inside 50s
2.3 rebound 50s
0.2 goals (4)

Laurie:

7 games
15.3 disposals (63.7% UP)
3.1 marks
3.6 tackles
2.6 inside 50s
1.9 rebound 50s
0.9 goals (6)

Obviously it is difficult to compare the figures of two players who have very different appearance numbers, but a factor that is somewhat alleviated given they occurred in the same competition.

Something that is immediately evident across both stat-lines is the uncontested possession rates, with both athletes rating at above 63 per cent. For Laurie in particular, it displays his knack of finding space and getting busy on the outside, and his average of 3.1 marks is credit to his leap and ability to find space.

The rebound and inside-50 numbers for both player are also solid, but stand out more glaringly for Clarke given half-backs typically rack up more rebounds. His greater average of inside 50s highlights his ability to break the lines coming out of defence as a real metres-gained asset, getting on the end of handball receives and putting the ball into goal-threatening areas.

That aspect of Clarke’s game means he is also able to find the goals from further afield, while Laurie is seldom far away from the big sticks either and can create chances from nothing. Having put up solid numbers as bottom-agers, it would have been great to see more of their development in 2020.

BEST GAME

Clarke:

2019 NAB League Round 4 vs. Brisbane Lions Academy
Eastern 13.8 (86) def Brisbane 12.3 (75)

21 disposals
3 marks
2 tackles
5 inside 50s
5 rebound 50s
1 goal

Laurie:

2019 NAB League Grand Final vs. Eastern
Oakleigh 12.17 (89) def. Eastern 5.6 (36)

17 disposals
5 marks
4 tackles
6 inside 50s
2 goals
2 behinds

While there may well have been other appearances right in the mix to be chosen for either player, we feel they best showcased their most significant traits in these games.

Coincidentally, Laurie’s chosen best game is also the pair’s previous meeting, beating out his season-high 19 disposals against Calder, and one of his other two-goal efforts – Round 19 against Gippsland. On the biggest of stages, the elusive forward took the game by storm, setting the base for Oakleigh’s triumph with some eye-catching moments early on. Laurie crucially found the goals, but also brought others into the contest and broke it open with his ability to burst out of congestion.

Clarke also had a good batch of games to choose from, but his 21 disposals and one goal up in Queensland against the Lions Academy was a memorable one. We could well have opted for his 22 disposals and one goal in the grand final, or four other showings of over 20 touches across his 18 games. Against the Lions, Clarke had a similarly profound impact and kicked a crucial goal on the run to lift his side in the tight contest. That is somewhat a trademark of Clarke, as is his ability to penetrate either arc. It was all on show in this game, a top effort.

PREVIOUS MEETING

2019 NAB LEAGUE GRAND FINAL
Oakleigh Chargers 12.17 (89) def. Eastern Ranges 5.6 (36)

Clarke:

22 disposals (15 kicks)
2 clearances
7 rebound 50s
1 goal

Laurie:

17 disposals
5 marks
4 tackles
6 inside 50s
2 goals
2 behinds

You already know about Laurie’s efforts in the grand final given we judged it as his best game, but Clarke was also one of his side’s best players in a losing effort. He managed to collect his second-best disposal tally for the year (22), while also finding the scoreboard in typical fashion on the run from range, and providing plenty of rebound from defensive 50. Clarke’s two clearances and weight of rebound 50s reflect how much pressure the Ranges defence was under, which he held up well in, however tallies of zero marks and tackles reflect Clarke’s reliance on the uncontested and attacking game.

STRENGTHS

Clarke:

Speed
Rebound
Run-and-carry
Kick penetration

Laurie:

Agility/evasion
Creativity
Impact
Finding space

The speed-versus-agility battle comes to the fore in either players’ strengths, with Laurie obviously excelling with sideways movement, while Clarke is able to hit the gas moving forward. Laurie’s evasion can be particularly eye-catching, with his ability to side-step and sneak into improbable pockets of space nothing short of elite.

Finding space also transfers to how busy Laurie gets, proving a pest to opposition defenders as a slippery customer. His creativity with ball in hand also works to break games open, able to hit short-range targets with good vision and execution to thus give him the added – and highly desirable – trait of having a high impact per possession.

Clarke’s best assets all tie into one another, with his speed, carries, and kick penetration essential to any rebounding half-back/wingman. He can prove equally evasive in congestion and once he breaks free, good luck catching him. Clarke is not afraid to carry the ball forward, but also gains serious meterage with his sweet left-foot kicks. Accustomed to booting goals from range, Clarke is a multi-faceted threat in a typically one-dimensional position.

IMPROVEMENTS

Clarke:

Contested ball
Defensive game

Player:

Contested ball
Consistent impact

Laurie’s listed improvement of contested ball is a difficult one to attribute, as he is quite good at weaving through congestion but tended to find more of the ball on the outside or in space up forward. Given his clear ability to move into the centre bounces, Laurie can also work on having a more consistent impact throughout the four quarters, while also accumulating bigger numbers. That aspect was evident even in his best game, where he was electric early but faded away in the latter stages. It may be a product of his forward role in 2019, but can always be worked on.

For Clarke, contested ball is also listed as an improvement given his largely outside game and uncontested possession rate of 68.7 per cent. It ties into the need to improve his defensive game, which Clarke alluded to in preseason himself, adding the defensive attributes to match that attacking flair off the half-back line. A key indicator of improvement will be building on his 2019 tackle average of 1.5, with defensive pressure an in-vogue and required trait for structures at the AFL level.

KEY SCOUTING NOTES

Clarke:

2019 NAB League Boys Grand Final
By: Ed Pascoe

In what turned out to be a dirty day for Eastern, a shining light was the game from young dashing defender Joshua Clarke, who did everything he could to get his team over the line with his dash and dare from the back half. Clarke had some eye-catching moments, using his speed to take the game on and get away from any would-be tacklers. He had a huge second quarter highlighted by a fantastic goal on the run on a hard angle and distance while also under pressure.

Laurie:

2019 NAB League Grand Final
By: Peter Williams

Has his moments where he can break a game open, kicking a couple of goals either side of half-time and really making his presence felt. The bottom-age forward is a metres-gained player and while he missed a couple of opportunities with two behinds, he still amassed 17 disposals, five marks, four tackles and crucially had six inside 50s, constantly applying pressure on the Ranges.

FINAL WORD

The two may be a touch separate in terms of draft range at this point, with Laurie’s agility, damage, and game-breaking abilities forward of centre making him a desirable option. That should not detract from Clarke’s impressive resume and range of traits, though half-backs and outside types are often put into the dime-a-dozen category. But Clarke’s speed and the improvements that can come from his game are exciting, and he can be just as much of a game changer. The pair would make for a dangerous combination up either end in the Metro side, would have again met in the NAB League this year. Laurie may be set for more midfield time, at 178cm, his best position at the next level with likely be up forward. If both players can harness the contested game sharpen their overall games, they will have little trouble in finding a place at the elite level.

Marquee Matchups: Sam Berry vs. Zavier Maher

DESPITE remaining in the unknown of football’s temporary absence, Draft Central is set to ramp up its draft analysis with another new prospect-focussed series, Marquee Matchups. We take a look at some of the high-end head-to-head battles which look likely to take place should the class of 2020 take the field, comparing pairs of draft hopefuls to help preview who may come out on top.

This edition features a pair of prospects who have ironically been teammates at representative level over the last two years, with Sam Berry and Zavier Maher both part of Vic Country’s Under 16 and 17 setups. Pending the resumption of all sport, the two were set to team up once again in Vic Country’s Under 18 side given they are both part of the Academy hub, but would eventually face-off in the NAB League and APS school football competitions.

Gippsland’s Berry is a hard-working, hard-nosed midfielder who can accumulate big numbers on the inside. The 180cm jet is solidly built and impressed with his two-way running across 10 NAB League outings in 2019, while also turning out for Melbourne Grammar in between his Power outings. Having honed his craft alongside the likes of Caleb Serong and Sam Flanders within his region, Berry is primed to take over the reigns as a leader in his top-age season.

His counterpart, Maher also boasts an impressive resume having run out six times for Murray in 2019 after making a return from injury through school football with Caulfield Grammar. The powerful 184cm Bushranger also took on the opportunity to train with Richmond in the off-season alongside Caulfield and Murray teammate, Elijah Hollands. Coming off his first ever full pre-season, Maher looked set to really excel through the engine room at all levels with some serious talent surrounding him.

PLAYER PAGES

Sam Berry
Melbourne Grammar/Gippsland Power/Vic Country

DOB: February 12, 2002

Height: 180.6cm
Weight: 81.4kg

Position: Midfielder

Zavier Maher
Caulfield Grammar/Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country

DOB: May 5, 2002

Height: 184.2cm
Weight: 82.6kg

Position: Midfielder

FITNESS TESTING PROFILES

VERTICAL JUMP

Berry – 65cm
Maher – 71cm

RUNNING VERTICAL JUMP (R/L)

Berry – 80/89cm
Maher – 73cm/80cm

SPEED (20m)

Berry – 3.19 seconds
Maher – 2.96 seconds

AGILITY

Berry – 8.24 seconds
Maher – N/A

ENDURANCE (Yo-yo)

Berry – 21.7
Maher – N/A

Note: Maher did not partake in the agility or endurance tests due to injury

The pair returned some seriously impressive results in the athletic stakes, posting elite numbers in a range of tests. While Maher edged Berry in the standing vertical jump, the Gippsland product managed to pip his counterpart of both feet in the running jumps. Maher’s excellent sub-three second 20m sprint time really sets him apart from Berry, showcasing his real burst of power in shorter movements. Berry excels over time and with repeat effort, putting in an elite endurance score of 21.7 – his personal best – on the Yo-yo test. A hip niggle prevented Maher from completing the final two tests, although Berry’s scores are hard to beat in any case.

ON-FIELD PROFILES

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATISTICS

Berry:

10 games
17.7 disposals (53% contested)
2.7 marks
6.5 tackles
7.3 clearances
3.8 inside 50s
1.3 rebound 50s
0.6 goals (6)

Maher:

6 games
10.5 disposals (58% contested)
2.0 marks
3.0 tackles
3.2 clearances
2.8 inside 50s
0.6 rebound 50s
0.3 goals (2)

The stats show that Berry had a slightly greater output in his bottom-age season at NAB League level, proving consistent over a greater number of games. Some of that may come down to the strength of Gippsland’s side in comparison to Murray in 2019, although you still have to find the ball yourself as Berry so often did.

Berry’s exceptional numbers in tackling and clearances showcase his work-rate going both ways at the stoppages, with a contested ball rate of over 50 per cent also ideal for an inside midfield type. Maher actually slightly exceeds him in that area with 58 per cent of his possessions contested, but it is the only key stat which he beats Berry in.

The spread of either players’ numbers suggest their strengths lie in very similar areas, making for an even match-up should the two go head-to-head.

BEST GAME

Berry:

2019 NAB League Rd 12 vs. Geelong

20 disposals (16 kicks)
18 tackles
9 clearances
2 inside 50s
2 rebound 50s
3 goals

Maher:

2019 NAB League Rd 13 vs. Eastern

15 disposals (10 kicks)
3 marks
4 tackles
5 clearances
7 inside 50s
1 goal

Either players’ true strengths truly come to the fore when taking a glance at their best NAB League outings in 2019. Berry’s 18 tackles and nine clearances against Geelong are a testament to his endurance and desire at the contest, while Maher’s five clearances and seven inside 50s against Eastern are credit to his metres gained style and penetrating kick.

The two games are also true to form for both players’ overall stats, with Berry’s output greater overall in most areas, but Maher still having a profound impact on the game with his damaging disposal. It is worth noting that Berry’s performance was extra-impressive given he also booted three goals. This was a game where Gippsland came back from 27 points down at three-quarter time to win, and consecutive final term goals from Berry played a major part in that.

STRENGTHS

Berry:

Endurance
Two-way work rate
Contested ball
Accumulation

Maher:

Explosive speed
Metres gained
Kick penetration
Vertical leap

The areas which set either player apart have already been delved into, and there are subtle differences between the two which make them unique. While they are both a similar size, powerful, and apt in the contested stakes, the way they go about it is very different.

Maher uses his power and explosive speed to break away from congestion and rack up meters, while Berry uses his strength and agility to break free, while also staying in the hunt going the other way. Berry’s impact is felt over time, and he is always a presence credit to his endurance base, while Maher has those bursts of energy where he can break the lines and set his side on the front foot.

IMPROVEMENTS

Berry:

Speed

Maher:

Short field kicking
Durability

Like all draft hopefuls, these two prospects have a few areas which they are looking to fine-tune. Berry’s speed stands out as one, with his 20m sprint time not indicative of his power in the short term. At pre-season testing, Berry said his repeat speed and ability to chain up for handball receives as the ball enters the outside are what he is working on.

One of Maher’s improvements is something that is slightly out of control, with durability there on account of his injuries as a bottom-ager. But with a full pre-season under his belt, he looks on track to rectify that. Maher is also working on the fundamentals; being clean with the ground balls for his inside game, while also honing his short field kicking.

Leadership is an added aspect Maher is hoping to develop, and he has already taken fellow Murray prospect Josh Rachele under his wing at Caulfield Grammar.

KEY SCOUTING NOTES

Berry:

Berry was his team’s standout player with his grunt work in the middle setting the tone for the day.

His work rate with and without the ball was impressive and that carried on for the four quarters.

He would also hit the scoreboard with his goal coming from reading the play to mark 40 metres out and slot the nice goal.

His clearance work was great but it was also his skill with ball in hand that stood out, and despite looking like the type to just win the hard ball and bomb it, he actually took the time to hit his targets on both feet.

Maher:

Maher combined well with fellow midfielder Sam Berry to not only win plenty of the ball but also offer something a little different with his ability to get forward and take the game on.

The Murray product covered plenty of ground and played a good mix to win his own ball but also work hard to get around the ground on the outside, which showed with his seven marks, three rebound 50s and seven inside 50s.

The inside 50s especially late in the game stood out where he often hit his targets and lowered the eyes.

ACCOLADES

Berry:

2018 Vic Country Under 16 representative
2019 Vic Country Under 17 representative

Maher:

2018 Vic Country Under 16 representative
2019 Vic Country Under 17 representative
2019 Under 17 Futures All Star representative

FINAL WORD

It is often difficult to place players like this pair on draft boards in comparison to one another given the different traits that they offer – while they are similar in so many ways, they set themselves apart in others. At this point in time, it is a case of placing a consistent, hard-working midfielder against one who perhaps catches the eye more, but in less-consistent bursts. Ceiling is often what analysts look to when comparing players and while Maher may have the edge in that area given his athletic base, Berry has greater runs on the board in terms of production. A truly interesting matchup, and one we hope to see if/when football returns.

Victorian school football update August edition

WE ARE at the end of the season in the APS and AGSV Victorian school boy football competition and Matt Balmer delves deeper into which prospects have stood out in the last few rounds after the school holidays.

The annual APS v AGSV game was held on Saturday, with the APS running out 38-point winners. You can find the stats from the game at the bottom of this page.

SCOUTING NOTES: APS v AGSV rep game

The old saying that “If you’re good enough, recruiters will find you, no matter where you play” rings true in the Victoria school football competition where players such as Jayden Hunt (Melbourne) and Oliver Hanrahan (Hawthorn) have been plucked out of the school boy competition without playing TAC Cup. As Hunt’s 39-game career has shown, it is not the be all and end all if players aren’t selected in the pathways as we once knew it.

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE MAY EDITION

VICTORIA SCHOOL FOOTBALL UPDATE JUNE EDITION

APS:

Haileybury College completed a perfect season as the clear best team in the APS, with a record of 10-0. Coming back from two ACL injuries, Aiden Bonar returned through the seconds at Haileybury but made an impact in his first game back against St Kevin’s. In their final clash at Geelong Grammar, Charlie Constable (46 disposals) and Andrew Brayshaw (42 disposals) were the two stars dominating through the midfield, using the ball well. Unfortunately after representing Dandenong Stingrays through the holidays, Jack McHale suffered a serious knee injury against St Kevin’s. Jackson Ross continued his fine form throughout the season booting six goals in their big win over Geelong Grammar, taking his tally to 29 goals for the season. Both bottom age twins Max and Ben King were far too good for the opposition defenders up forward.

Carey Grammar finished as runners-up, winning nine games for the season. Ed Richards was yet again impressive against St Kevin’s at the Snakepit, rebounding the ball well and using his clean quick hands in close. Richards was also a dominant player in the APS v AGS game on Saturday, finding 33 disposals. Under 16 Vic Metro guns Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson used their smarts in the midfield and despite being younger than many of their opponents, continued to crack in and win the contested ball. Charlie Thompson won plenty of the ball and showed his skills going forward and booting six goals against Geelong Grammar. Carey bottom-ager Sam Elliott (son of Australian cricketer Matthew) has a good leap on him, playing in the ruck and up forward and will be a name to keep an eye on for next year.

Caulfield Grammar were well led by Vic Metro midfielder Dylan Moore who has been one of the premium midfielders in the APS competition. Moore booted six goals (five in the second half) against Melbourne Grammar in shocking conditions at Todd Rd. Moore found the ball at ease and was damaging going forward. Against Brighton, Moore was well held for most of the game but a damaging patch in the third quarter saw him collect a dozen possessions and boot three goals. His last quarter was pivotal in their come from behind win over Wesley in Round 11. Trent Mynott was another strong player against Melbourne, but suffered an ankle injury against Brighton in Round 10. Jackson Hille’s pinch hitting in the ruck was important and he showed some good signs in the second half of the season and was able to push himself onto the State Combine list. On the inside, Brisbane Lions father-son prospect and Caulfield captain Lachlan Harris continued to find plenty of the ball in the contest. Angus Styles’ ball winning was important against Wesley in the final game of the season.

One of Xavier College’s possible draft prospects CJ (Changkuoth Jiath) missed the last few games through injury, but there was plenty of other Xavier players to step up. Zak “Cherry” Evans has shown his strength up forward, booting four goals against Geelong College. Laitham Vandermeer however, might be their best draft hopeful with the rebounding defender using his pinpoint kick to effectiveness throughout the season. Jack Hewitt was their clear best against Wesley College, booting three goals and finding the ball through the midfield.

Brighton Grammar finished the year with a 6-4 record and have been able to unearth another AFL draft prospect in Nathan Murphy. The medium forward has been their prime target up forward and brought his goal kicking boots to Caulfield Grammar, where he kicked 6.0 setting up their win. The talented cricketer has plenty of suitors and it wouldn’t be a shock to see him move up into the first round, after showing his clean skills at ground level. Alfie Jarnestrom made it back-to-back best and fairest wins, after tieing with Andrew McGrath last year. Jarnestrom has moved to more of a role across half back and has used his tidy left foot to effectiveness, still finding the ball when playing through the midfield. Seb Williams was consistent throughout the year, finding 40 disposals as Brighton’s best against Geelong College in Round nine. Williams has speed and a good endurance base, and the midfielder has been invited to test at the State Combine. Year 11 Ruckman Nick Phillips has improved dramatically and his selection in the APS rep team showed how far he has come after a quiet 1st XVIII season as a Yr 10 last season. North Melbourne 2018 father-son prospect Joel Crocker was Brighton’s most improved, looking at home as a hybrid defender, rebounding the ball well, showing good signs for next season.

St Kevin’s College had a solid year, with Lachlan Fogarty performing well in the midfield. Down in defence Ethan Phillips held his own as one of the better key backs in the competition. Cam Hodges was impressive throughout the season, thoroughly deserving his APS rep team spot collecting 17 disposals vs the AGSV. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Oliver) was another that put together a good string of form throughout the season. Rhylee West booted three goals in their loss to Haileybury, while Year 10 Jack Mahony continues to find the football and impress.

Melbourne Grammar had their best draft hope Charlie Spargo ruled out with a shoulder injury, but players such as Sam Cameron and Oscar Dowd were able to step up and impress. Cameron moves well around the ground and has some speed that has interested clubs enough to see him collect a State Combine invite. Dowd won Melbourne’s best and fairest where he was able to hit the scoreboard and find plenty of the ball. Another name to watch is bottom-ager Toby Bedford who had some eye catching performances in the second half of the year, impressing in their Cordner-Egglestone Cup loss to Scotch.

Scotch College finished with three wins for the season, but it was displays up forward by Will Sutherland that was important. Scotch isolated Sutherland at times and against Melbourne Grammar he was far too big and strong for his opponent, booting four goals. His game against Geelong Grammar where he kicked five goals was also impressive. Bottom-age ruckman Will Clark’s work in the ruck hasn’t been missed, showing signs that he could push himself into draft calculations for 2018. Clark’s battle with Brighton’s Nick Phillips was impressive in the final game for the season, and Clark’s main strengths are that he can use the ball well and find it around the ground unlike other ruckman in the competition. Vic Metro captain Joel Garner controlled the play across half back and was able to use his long left foot to effectiveness. Noah Croes was another who caught the eye, finding the ball and using it well on his right foot breaking lines. Sam Townsend marked well overhead and provided to be another good tall in defence.

Geelong Grammar had a disappointing season results wise, despite boasting a handful of draftable prospects. AFL clubs uncovered Joe Griffiths, who has since received a State Combine invite. The 204cm ruckman is boarding at Grammar and has a good leap. Griffiths’ marking was impressive in the APS v SATIS game on the weekend, clunking three contested marks in the opening quarter. It’s no surprise that midfielder Paddy Dow is in contention for the number one selection, with his clean hands and clearance work impressive. Dow was Geelong’s best against the star-studded Haileybury College team in the final round and has shown speed coming out of the stoppages. Jarrod Brander played as a true swingman in the last few games, playing at the end where the wind was going. Brander controlled the play in defence against Carey, intercepting well. Against Haileybury he was able to push forward and clunked a nice mark over Vic Country tall defender Oscar Clavarino. The classy outside midfielder Lochie O’Brien’s ball usage has been outstanding and his breakaway speed is a trademark and he is someone who should have a fine AFL career. O’Brien has been the large focal point for opposition school taggers – and it’s no surprise such his class – but he has been able to break away from the extra attention and was in Geelong’s best players in all of the last three games. Brent Daniels showed his speed and smarts around goal, booting four against Scotch and pushed into Geelong’s VFL team on the weekend.

Geelong College compiled a very nice win against Wesley College in Round 10, with bottom-age Geelong Falcons players Ned McHenry and Oscar Brownless impressing. McHenry continued his strong Vic Country form into the APS, displaying his tricks and talent in the midfield as he gathered 30 disposals against Brighton, and 31 disposals, seven tackles and three goals against Wesley. Geelong 2018 father-son prospect Oscar Brownless has got better as the season went on, with an impressive 33 disposal game against Brighton. He laid 10 tackles in their loss against Xavier, while his ball winning was on show with 28 disposals in their win against Wesley. In the midfielder Jack Henderson was College’s best, winning their best and fairest. Henderson was well held against Brighton, but was unable to be stopped by Wesley, collecting 32 disposals and five tackles in a best-on-ground performance. He was similarly impressive against Xavier, with 32 disposals, nine tackles and eight marks. Charlie Sprague has been a revelation, finding himself as a late addition to the Vic Country U17 team. His work rate around the ground has been good and has been a reliable target up forward. In the final two games he had six contested marks and is one to keep an eye on for next year.  Sam Conway’s tall presence around the ground and in the ruck has allowed the first use to the midfielders at stoppages. Tom Page has also been a pivotal part of the College’s midfield settling into tagging roles during the year whilst also finding plenty of the ball when in attack. James Edmonds continued to be lively around the forward line booting (5 goals) against Wesley.

Wesley College lost their best player Adam Cerra to shoulder surgery late in the season, but their off-field efforts with the ‘spit’ going in the final round was a recruiters delight. They led for majority of the game against Caulfield, but were overrun in the final quarter. Vic Metro Under 16 tall Charlie Dean was good up forward, booting two goals and providing a good target inside 50 against the ‘Fields. Oscar Bennett was a consistent performer, while Adam Collinson had some eye catching runs in his bright red boots through the midfield.

AGSV: 

Marcellin College completed an undefeated season, making it three premierships in a row – defeating Ivanhoe in the Grand Final. Up forward, Matthew Cecchin was a dead eye not missing many shots and creating chances inside 50. Alex Federico controlled the play through the midfield and was able to set up multiple chances. In the ruck, high level Basketballer Bailey Griffiths has thrown himself into AFL Draft calcuations with strong form throughout the finals. Griffiths has great pedigree with mum Michelle having played for the Opals, as well as being the nephew of 193-gamer Dean Brogan. Possible Collingwood father-son player Tyler Brown showed his smarts across half forward and has been a big improver in 2017. Ben Wiggins was the eye-catcher in finals, intercepting exceptionally well in defensive 50. He has a good leap and was comfortable kicking the ball on either foot.

SCOUTING NOTES: AGSV Grand Final 

Ivanhoe Grammar played some strong football under the guidance of the ever passionate Roger Gill throughout the season. Richmond father-son Patrick Naish booted three goals in the Grand Final and despite copping plenty of the huge Marcellin crowd, was able to push his team throughout the contest. Bottom-ager Tom McKenzie was impressive, showing good signs for next year with some good intercept marks. Max Dreher started on fire against Marcellin in the Grand Final, playing through the midfield and across half back, using his strong hands to his advantage.

Mentone Grammar had a good season, with midfielder Ed Newman finding plenty of the ball and using it effectively on his pinpoint left foot in his long white and blue sleeves. Lewis Diggins used his big frame to play a role winning the contested ball, but they were helped with one of the best ruckman in the state Joel Amartey, feeding the ball down to the midfielders, with his eye catching leap on display. On the outside, Kai Owens found the ball and has been another who has improved throughout the year despite battling a few injury niggles in the post holiday’s period. Tom Yorgey’s aggression across half back was notable, while Dev Brereton showed his smarts inside 50 at times.

PEGS were outclassed by Marcellin in the final, but boast one of the best players in the country in Cameron Rayner. Rayner flew for some eye catching marks in the opening quarter in the semi final at Marcellin – clunking a very good one close to goal. While he didn’t have as big of an impact as he has in some games, he has carried a few injury niggles – now including a thumb injury, but he will play out the remainder of the season at this stage with a cast. Son of Dustin, Mason Fletcher played in multiple positions, lining up in the ruck in the Semi-Final at times. Curtis Taylor has also been important, marking well inside 50 and showing his agility & X-Factor through the midfield. Taylor was one of PEGS’ best in their semi-final loss to Marcellin.

Peninsula finished in fifth position, narrowly missing out on finals. Medium tall Tom Freeman has earned a spot at the State Combine and marks well overhead. His tackling and defensive efforts were noticeable for the AGSV on the weekend. Dandenong Stingrays bottom-ager Jai Taylor performed well all season and was in the best for Vic Country Under 17s on Saturday. Taylor collected 18 disposals, three inside 50s and three rebound 50s in a strong performance on the outside and the 186cm midfielder can play in multiple roles and is one to watch.

Ryley Stoddart has been a classy performer for Yarra Valley Grammar and had a role moving the magnets for the AGSV on Saturday. Stoddart missed their final game against Mentone with an injury niggle, but his form against Eastern Ranges against Sandringham Dragons a fortnight ago was super impressive. Mackenzie Doreian showed some craft as a small forward and isn’t a bad little player. Doreian collected 18 disposals and laid seven tackles in the APS v AGSV game on Saturday.

Trinity Grammar were represented by Charlie Beasley and Bailey Evans in the APS v AGSV rep game. Evans’ ball winning skills through the midfield was very good, while Beasley was able to mark the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50.

Liam Middleton was a good performer for Assumption College Kilmore and he did some good things in the APS v AGSV rep game on Saturday, finding 16 disposals and three inside 50s. Outside midfielder Ned Lanyon was another who performed well for Assumption.

David McColl is a name to keep an eye on out of Camberwell Grammar, with the Year 11 boy finishing second in their best and fairest last year as a Year 10. In their clash against PEGS earlier in the season, McColl had a very good one-on-one battle with Cameron Rayner throughout the game. McColl has some speed and was named as an emergency in the AGSV team.

APS v AGSV Stats: 

K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
AGSV 202 163 365 92 136 233 60 26 30 37 35 12 10
APS 213 215 428 107 145 291 51 40 34 53 25 18 12
APS K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
14 Ed RICHARDS 17 16 33 4 8 23 5 6
18 Andrew BRAYSHAW 14 17 31 5 12 19 8 6 4 1 1 1
12 Charlie THOMPSON 11 19 30 8 14 18 1 2 5 1 1
2 Lachlan HARRIS 12 17 29 6 8 22 3 2 1 1 1
4 Jack HENDERSON 14 14 28 2 14 14 6 5 4 1 1
6 Alfie JARNESTROM 15 12 27 8 10 19 2 3 2
11 Laitham VANDERMEER 12 15 27 6 7 20 1 1 3 2
7 Angus STYLES 13 12 25 6 6 19 1 3 2
5 Seb WILLIAMS 16 8 24 4 6 19 1 2 8 1 4 1
1 Jack ALEXANDER 6 13 19 4 8 12 1 3 4 1
10 Cameron HODGES 9 8 17 5 8 9 2 3 5
15 Oscar BROWNLESS 8 9 17 7 4 13 4 1 1
26 Max KING 11 5 16 10 8 8 1 5 5 2
3 Noah CROES 10 5 15 6 4 13 1 2 2 1
9 Oliver DICKSON 8 7 15 3 2 13 1 1 1 1 1
24 Nick PHILLIPS 6 9 15 5 6 10 1 24 1 2
27 Nathan MURPHY 7 6 13 3 7 6 2 8 2 2 2 1
28 Ben KING 10 3 13 4 8 5 1 1 3 1
23 Ethan PHILLIPS 2 10 12 4 1 11 4 1
8 Tom JEPSON 8 3 11 5 2 9 2 1 1
25 Hugh LONGBOTTOM 4 7 11 2 2 9 3 5 1 2 1
20 Bailey WRAITH 1 3
AGS K H D M CP UP T HO C I50 R50 G B
1 Matthew CECCHIN 15 14 29 7 9 19 3 2 4 2 2
13 Bailey EVANS 14 12 26 7 8 18 1 2 1
12 Ed NEWMAN 15 10 25 6 6 20 4 1 2 7 1
4 Lachlan WILSON 15 9 24 3 11 14 6 2 6 1 2 1
30 Lewis DIGGINS 14 10 24 6 6 17 2 2 1 1
24 Alex FEDERICO 17 6 23 5 12 12 3 5 2 4 1 1
9 Curtis TAYLOR 14 9 23 5 10 12 2 1 2 1
2 Mackenzie DOREIAN 10 8 18 6 10 9 7 3 3 1 2
7 Liam MIDDLETON 8 8 16 4 7 9 3 3 1
32 Luke MINAHAN 3 13 16 1 9 7 1 1
28 Tom YORGEY 12 3 15 4 3 12 1 1
15 Christian FARCHIONE 7 8 15 4 2 13 2 2 1
8 Max DREHER 6 9 15 4 6 9 1 2 1
37 Tom FREEMAN 7 8 15 5 10 5 7 2 2 1
23 Ned LANYON 5 9 14 3 13 5 1 2 1
10 Charlie BEASLEY 6 7 13 6 3 10 1 3
27 Stefan NADALIN 6 5 11 6 3 8 2 4
3 Harrison FRY 7 3 10 4 2 8 2 1 2 1
31 Mason FLETCHER 7 3 10 3 2 8 1 3
42 Oscar McINTYRE 3 5 8 1 4 5 3 11 2 1 1
14 Joel AMARTEY 6 1 7 2 4 3 2 13 2 1 1
34 Patrik DELLA ROCCA 5 2 7 2 6 1 2 2 1 2 2