Tag: chad warner

Falcons lead the way in WAFL Colts Team of the Year

WEST Perth’s strong 2019 season which saw them reach a preliminary final in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition this year resulted in the Falcons having a competition-high five players in the Team of the Year. The Falcons had one more than East Fremantle and minor premiers, Peel Thunder, while East Perth had just three. Claremont, the side that bundled West Perth out of the finals series had just two players, the same amount as Subiaco, while Perth, Swan Districts and South Fremantle had the one player each.

West Perth’s Jack Clarke Medalist – best and fairest for the competition – Koopah Todd led the five-player contingent in the side, joined by Heath Chapman, Ben Johnson and Jaxson Prior in defence, and Tyron Hindmarsh making the interchange. Peel Thunder’s James Ewing holds down full-back, joined in the team by teammates, leading goalkicker Ben Middleton, as well as Jack Sears and Jackson Knight.

East Fremantle’s quartet of players is lead by potential first round draft picks, Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers, while fellow draft prospects, Chad Warner and Jai Jackson were also rewarded after strong seasons. Claremont’s Grand Final side features duo Jye Clark and Callum Jamieson, while East Perth trio of Jamie Marinoni, Sebit Kukek and Adam Boules all made the Team of the Year.

To round out the team is Subiaco duo, Abraham Clinch and Ben Golding, Perth’s Simon Hayward, Swan District’s Kade Wallrodt, and South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly.

Ones to watch – AFL Draft watch

FOLLOWING on from Monday night’s Power Rankings which included our current top 30 players, we take a look at some of the players who could make a move up the draft boards based on their season to date, their upcoming finals or perhaps their testing results come October. Mostly, this piece will mention a number of players who were very close to the top 30, and given the evenness of the competition, it is hard to fit a high amount of players into those spots. All the players chosen are those who have received National Draft Combine invitations and therefore have at least four AFL clubs who have expressed interest in them. For extended profiles on each player, click on their name highlighted in red.

Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons)

The exciting runner has been building since returning to the Dragons from school football and was second best-on for the side in the narrow loss to Eastern Ranges. His kicking his improved since the start of the season and he has eye-catching traits coming out of defence and along a wing.

Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)

The tireless working midfielder is a player who could slot into a senior midfield immediately and has a great first few metres out of a stoppage with his burst able to create separation from his opponent. He is one of the most consistent players in the competition and while his kicking can be ironed out further, he is as dual-footed as they come which is very handy, as well as dangerous going inside 50.

Darcy Cassar (Western Jets)

Is no stranger to racking up big numbers in the back half, and will be keen to put together a good finals series. He knows how to find the pill and get it out of defence, and while the elimination final win was not his finest game, he has the versatility to play further up the ground. He also has power in the way he moves, and is a reliable interceptor.

Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power)

The ruck missed the qualifying final loss to Oakleigh Chargers but is expected to be back for the semi-final clash with Western. Behind Luke Jackson, Comben has emerged as potentially the second picked ruck in the draft and when he is up and about looks just as dangerous up forward as through the middle. He can clunk marks and follow up with second efforts around the stoppages.

Noah Cumberland (Brisbane Lions Academy)

Will be an interesting one to see where a bid falls because while he is not the highest disposal winner, he has some athletic traits that are hard to ignore. His break-line pace is very eye-catching and his defensive work is terrific. He takes the game on, and while at times it can cause some mistakes, he has pace to burn and the versatility to fulfil a number of roles.

Sam De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)

The All-Australian key defender can play forward if required and has a good set of hands, reading the ball well in flight. He seems better suited in the defensive 50, but given a lack of top-end talls like there was last year, De Koning is a player who could go higher than expected and join his brother Tom in the AFL.

Mitch Georgiades (Subiaco)

Sidelined with a quad injury all year, trying to work out where the exciting but seriously raw forward will go is anyone’s guess. His work at the 2018 AFL Under-18 Championships was a treat with his high leaping and marking ability on display. He was still very raw in the sense he did not find a lot of it, but his ceiling could be great value for a club mid-draft, though a club could pounce earlier.

Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons)

Similar to De Koning, Jones is a versatile tall who put his name in lights with some strong performances for Vic Metro at the AFL Under-18 Championships. He spent a fair bit of time in the ruck on the weekend for the Cannons, but can play defensive roles, or be a leading target up forward. Still lightly built, the 194cm player is a genuine project key position prospect and they do not grow on trees.

Daniel Mott (Calder Cannons)

The balanced midfielder has always been a name in earlier draft conversation, but his form of late has been really impressive. The knock was his contested work but he is finding more of it to accompany his great kicking skills. More so, his work rate to find space is very good and he can hit the scoreboard, looming as a player who could play a key role in a senior midfield in the not-too-distant future.

Jake Pasini (Swan Districts)

The Swan Districts defender is as reliable as they come, having spent time across all three levels – League, Reserves and Colts – in the WAFL. While he was able to have more time and space to win the ball in the Colts competition, he showed he was still strong in the air regardless of opponent, averaging five marks per game in the senior ranks. Not talked about as much as some of the other key position defenders, but could be a really solid pick to play a lockdown role or be more offensive at the top level.

Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power)

Always exciting, the general forward can sniff a goal a mile away and just creates plays inside 50. His consistency is still an area of improvement, but when he gets going, he can do the impossible with a deadly left foot that has some distance on it. He roams outside 50 and can double back to crumb a ball, and at his medium size, can boot goals from set shots or from general play.

Sam Philp (Northern Knights)

Overlooked for Vic Metro selection, Philp is one player who I personally have noticed change since the start of the season. In the opening few rounds you could tell his was solid with good speed and ease at which he won the ball, but his run home has been nothing short of exceptional. He is now using not only his speed but burst out of stoppages, and he would be racking up the metres gained out of the midfield, and getting the ball into the forward 50 to set up goal scoring opportunities. Just as importantly, he got forward and managed to provide a target when resting up there meaning he has added versatility to his repertoire. Should be the first Knights player picked on form this season.

Kysaiah Pickett (Woodville-West Torrens)

The exciting forward and nephew of Byron has always been a crowd-pleaser with his magical goals from impossible angles and high-flying marks. He is still raw and lightly built, but he attacks the ball with vigour and is a player who could play that perfect crumbing role at AFL level. While Pickett will probably be the shortest player drafted this year, it is hard not to get excited about the potential highlight reel in the future that this kid could produce.

Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels)

With an endurance base that rivals Sam Walsh or Bailey Smith from last year, Rantall just burns his opponents into the ground. He moves well and gets to areas on the ground that make it hard for opponents to keep track of him, and he racks up the ball with ease. An inside midfielder with athletic capabilities, Rantall is at his most damaging around stoppages where he can burst away, or when inside 50 snap around his body to hit the scoreboard. He seems like a perfect second round prospect because he has areas to work on such as his composure when kicking, but it has been improving since the early rounds and having come from a basketball background, he is still raw and developing.

Harry Schoenberg (Woodville-West Torrens)

The South Australian Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the AFL Under-18 Championships has managed to fly under the radar this year comparatively to some of his state teammates. He has been ultra-consistent and his performances at the championships put his name right up into draft contention. Against senior bodies in the SANFL, Schoenberg has averaged 22.0 disposals, 5.0 marks, 4.0 clearances and 3.5 tackles showing he is one of a number of readymade prospects who could fill a role at senior level should he be required to in 2020.

Josh Shute (Sturt)

The yin to Schoenberg’s yang, Shute is the definition of a winger, with his hard running, good pace and nice kicking skills on display. He will provide a nice outside prospect who can slot into other roles such as half-back which is a place he has found himself for the Double Blues. Like Schoenberg, Shute is already playing against senior bodies in the Reserves and despite weighing in at 73kg at the start of the year, has shown no signs of being overawed against bigger bodies.

Brock Smith (Gippsland Power)

The reliable Gippsland defender missed out on the Power’s qualifying final loss to Oakleigh, but has put together a body of work this season. His offensive work has been more damaging than in past years where he has been asked to play more defensive-minded roles. He had to do just that at the AFL Under-18 Championships, but some of the games he put together for the Power this year have been superb with not only intercepting, but his work going forward and hitting the scoreboard as well. Occasionally makes mistakes but is generally reliable with the ball, and is just an animal who bleeds for the club he plays for and leaves nothing out on the field.

Chad Warner (East Fremantle)

An absolute contested ball-winning machine, Warner racks up the touches with ease and shows composure through the midfield when going forward. He has drawn comparisons to Jack Redden in the way he goes about it, but his drive and desire is what sets him apart from other midfielders. He works his way through stoppages and picks up plenty of clearances, but can also get back and assist the defence, acting as a two-way runner with solid defensive and offensive traits which hold him in good stead.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. East Perth

IN Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated East Perth by 28 points at New Choice Homes Park.

Despite talented prospects Rhai-Arn Cox (East Perth), Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle), and Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle) missing, a host of other players were prominent.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE:

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, using his big frame to win the contested possession for his team. He also showed his class on the outside, using his damaging skills to penetrate East Perth’s defensive zone. He finished with 25 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and a goal in another powerful display.

#11 Lachlan Taylor

The Melville Junior was excellent for the Sharks, providing them with plenty of run on the wing. Playing as the team’s link-up player, Johnston accumulated 19 possessions, recorded four inside 50s, and took four marks to be named in the best for the Sharks.

#14 Finn Gorringe

The 17-year-old was exceptional in the midfield for the Sharks, never shirking a contest despite being one of the smaller midfielders on the ground. He finished with 25 possessions, five inside 50s, four tackles, two marks and a goal in a dazzling performance. He is shaping up to be an interesting prospect from East Fremantle in next year’s competition.

#16 Chad Warner

The Willetton Junior was arguably best afield, controlling the stoppages and using his strong frame to crash-and-bash his way through congestion to win clearances. He accumulated a team-high 30 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles, grabbed six marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal in a wonderful performance. Like West Coast’s Jack Redden, Warner is a midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game and is an excellent two-way player.

#23 Luke Jackson

The former Australian basketballer continues to demonstrate why he is the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool. He finished with 24 possessions, 27 hit-outs, three inside 50s and a goal in a complete performance. In the ruck, he gave his midfielders first use, always followed up and positioned himself well around the ground. He also spent time as a forward, where his leading patterns and overhead marking were features of his game.

#25 Jai Jackson

The Chapman Valley product was again excellent for the Sharks rotating between the forward line and the midfield. He finished with 23 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks and a goal in a dazzling display. Jackson shares similar traits to Richmond premiership player Josh Caddy – both hit the ball at pace, use the ball effectively, never shirk a contest and can be extremely damaging forward of centre.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn Junior continued his excellent campaign with another polished performance. Against East Fremantle, Boules accumulated a game-high 31 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles and grabbed six marks to arguably be East Perth’s best player. He is shaping up to be a leading prospect from Western Australia in next year’s AFL Draft pool.

#3 Harley Sparks

The Deanmill product produced a performance that showed why he scored an invitation to this year’s AFL State Combine. Against the Sharks, Sparks finished with 22 possessions, eight marks and four tackles in a classy performance. He provided a heap of energy and zip around the contest and his decision-making was sound.

#15 Luke Lombardi

The Morley Junior continued to show why he is a lively prospect with another solid performance. Against East Fremantle, Lombardi accumulated 17 possessions, took three marks, and laid two tackles, while stationed on the half-back flank.

#19 Josh Hubbard

Playing on the wing, the 17-year-old showed a dare to always take the game on whether it be through his sheer speed or his penetrating skills. Despite East Perth being outplayed for most of the match, Hubbard never stopped competing for the Royals. The highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he nailed a goal from outside 50. He finished with 16 possessions, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing in defence, the Kojonup product tried his best to repel many of East Fremantle’s attacking forays. He accumulated 14 possessions, laid six tackles and won three free kicks to be one of the Royals’ best and consistent players across the entire match.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

An overager, the Joondalup-Kinross Junior showed he has a big future for East Perth with another outstanding display. The highlight of his game came in the fourth quarter when he gathered the ball on the wing, before going for a run, taking multiple bounces and then composed himself to convert a great running goal. Against East Fremantle, the Trinity College student finished with 21 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s, two marks and a goal as a wingman.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy representative never stopped competing for the Royals, trying his absolute best to give his midfielders first use of the ball from the ruck contest. He accumulated 13 possessions, won nine hit-outs, grabbed seven marks, laid four tackles and won two inside 50s to be one of East Perth’s best players.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Peel clinches minor premiership in style

THERE was a taste of Spring in the air as the teams made their way out onto the playing arenas for Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts. While the top five had been decided, there was no shortage of tricky tests, with a team who will not be playing in September claiming another big scalp.

WAFL Colts Round 18

Peel Thunder 14.10 (94) def. South Fremantle 3.5 (23)

Peel Thunder will finish the home and away season as minor premiers after ruthlessly dispatching of South Fremantle to the tune of 71 points at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

South Fremantle had been the master of this fixture in recent seasons, but Peel were more interested in the present as they looked to seal top position and move the Bulldogs one step closer to collecting the unwanted wooden spoon.

The opening half was a illustration of dominance as the visitors kicked eight goals to two behinds to take a 52-point lead into the half time break. Peel had six individual goalkickers for half with Tyrone Thorne and bottom ager Jaxon Pitts leading the way with two goals each.

Peel once again managed to keep their opponents goalless while adding another two goals to their tally in the third term. The final quarter was by far the best quarter of the game with both sides going goal for goal. While Peel ended up winning the term, it was good to see the Bulldogs show some fight despite being outclassed throughout the contest. The general stats were pretty close when you consider what the final margin was. The deciding factor was that Peel were able to hit the scoreboard on a frequent basis and amassed 24 scoring shots to just eight by South Fremantle.

Peel are well worth the honour of premiership favourites heading into September having been the best team in the competition in the second half of the season. Once again it was a even spread of contributors for Peel led by Thorne who amassed 25 disposals, seven tackles four inside 50s and five goals. Jack Sears was a major winner with 28 along with five inside 50s while Zachary Rankin was a hard worker all game with 21 disposals, eight tackles and six inside 50s. Meanwhile as it has been for most of the campaign, it was left to far too few for the Bulldogs. The trio of Ira Jetta (27 disposals, eight inside 50s and one goal), Jack Musika (25 disposals, six inside 50s and five tackles) and Manfred Kelly(21 disposals, eight tackles and five inside 50s) were very dependable yet again.

East Fremantle 9.12 (66) def. East Perth 5.8 (38)

The recent giant-killing ways of East Fremantle continued on Saturday as they knocked off yet another finals bound side their fourth in succession – this time it was East Perth to the tune of 28 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

The resurgent Sharks carried their recent fine form into the first half of this contest, building a 25-point lead at the long break. The load was shared with five individual goalkickers and the home teams defence was also more than filling their end of the bargain by restricting the Royals to just four scoring shots for the first 50 minutes of action. East Fremantle increased their lead in the third term, kicking two goals to nil leaving the visitors marooned on just one goal for the first three terms.

The visitors who had a lot riding on this encounter having come into it in second place needed to respond to regain a sense of confidence. To their credit, East Perth won the fourth quarter by four goals to two, but the damage had well and truly been done before then. In a quirky statistic, there was no multiple goalkickers on the day with 14 players each kicking one major. The Royals slipped to third and would be hoping for a Subiaco win later in the day against Swan Districts to hold onto that position.

Luke Jackson gave another showing of his all-round talents with 24 disposals, 27 hit-\outs and a goal. Chad Warner was terrific throughout the four quarters with 30 disposals and six tackles, while Trent Rivers picked up 25 disposals, six inside 50s and four marks. For the Royals, Adam Boules continued his terrific season with 31 disposals, six marks and six tackles while Harley Sparks found life tougher on the back of his 47 disposal showing, this week collecting 22 touches and eight marks.

Claremont 11.8 (74) def. West Perth 8.9 (57)

Claremont reclaimed second position on the ladder after a composed 17-point win against West Perth at Claremont Oval on Saturday morning.

After a entertaining first quarter of action with seven goals scored between the two Premiership contenders, Claremont opened up a handy break in the second term kicking three goals to nil and led by 22 points at the long break. Benjamin Elliott kicked his third goal early in the second half to give the home team a five goal margin. While the Falcons were getting the ball into their forward 50, the conversion was certainly lacking.

The difference was that the Tigers were more clinical and managed to increase their lead to 33 points at three quarter time. The Falcons certainly upped their intensity in the early stages of the fourth term with four of the opening five goals of and cutting the margin to 10 points. However, as what so often happens when a team makes a big run, they end up running out of steam and the Tigers were able to steady and clinch a very important victory.

Kade Lines was a key figure in the end result for the Tigers with four goals to go along with 13 disposals and five inside 50s. Jack Cooley had 24 disposals and five tackles and four inside 50s while Joel Western had 23 and three marks. The loss was the third in succession for the Falcons and while at one point seemed a likely prospect to seal a double chance, the Falcons seem likely to face a do or die clash in the first week of the finals. The prolific duo of Tyron Hindmarsh and Koopah Todd each collected 28 disposals and laid five tackles each for the Falcons.

Subiaco 12.8 (80) vs Swan Districts 8.8 (56)

Subiaco were the second team to put a dent in the double chance hopes of a finals bound team when the Lions defeated Swan Districts by 24 points at Kalgoorlie on Saturday evening. After a tight opening half, the Lions booted seven goals to five to gain some separation on their opponents and guarantee a big win with the season winding down.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Royals rise to second with win over South Fremantle

WE have finally arrived in the final month of the regular season. While the top five has been decided, jostling between the teams will be fascinating to observe. Just half a game separated second and fifth on the ladder meaning no team could afford a off day otherwise they could quickly slip down the ladder which could prove pivotal come finals time.

WAFL Colts wrap – Round 17

East Perth 10.12 (72) def. South Fremantle 5.7 (37)

East Perth continued their fine stretch of form by defeating a gallant South Fremantle by 35 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

It was the tale of two teams going in opposite directions. East Perth had won five of their past six games and were a premiership dark horse, while the Bulldogs had lost five on the bounce and were sitting last on the ladder. But the Royals knew every game from now was massively important.

It was an open beginning to the match with the ball moving freely to either end but the pressure from both defences being at an extremely high level. The home side were beginning to pepper the goals but a breakthrough was still to come as we ticked past the 20 minute mark. Eventually, the perseverance of the Royals paid off as Sam Van Diemen kicked the Royals’ first goal from 40 metres. That was soon followed by a major to Harley Sparks and the Royals had a 15-point break at quarter time. For all their endeavour, South Fremantle were yet to register a score in the first 25 minutes

That soon changed when Eric Botha converted from close range after some fine work further up the ground. South Fremantle were certainly making East Perth work hard across the ground and it had turned into a attritional battle. After many missed chances, East Perth finally kicked their first for the term courtesy of quick hands by Sebit Kuek and finished by Max Fabre. But to the Dogs credit, they were committed to give their higher placed opponents a real contest. A kick by the exciting bottom ager Ira Jetta found fellow youngster Aiden Hall and he duly converted cutting the margin to 12 points at the long break.

The Royals had 41 more disposals (175-134), four more inside 50s (24-20) and seven more scoring shots (10-3) but the visitors were well and truly in the contest. However, they would have to find a way to curve the accumulative talents of Harley Sparks who had amassed 25 disposals, four tackles and four inside 50s. Ira Jetta had shown flashes of his brilliance with 10 disposals and four inside 50s for the visitors.

Kyle Robinson gave the Royals a perfect start to the second half and that was soon followed by one to Luke Furlong and within a blink of a eye the margin of the game which was 24 points. Furlong then kicked his second on the run and the game was well and truly on East Perth’s terms now.

South Freo needed to find something quickly if they were not to be blown away and Jetta delivered a pin-point pass to Shannon Neale who converted truly. However bottom-ager Luke Lombardi kicked a fine goal on the run from just inside 50 in response to give the Royals back their five-goal lead. The Royals were not at their free-flowing best, but still were doing enough to keep a committed opponent in check.

Kuek started the final term in fine fashion kicking a goal from the boundary. Botha then responded for the Bulldogs as they continued their committed performance. Some smart work by Neale on the goal line give him his second and brought the margin back to 27 points. It was soon three in a row to the Bulldogs when Jermaine Pickett scored his first and they were getting full reward for their effort. Time was against the Bulldogs in terms of producing an inspiring comeback, but you could certainly see the confidence ooze out of their play.

Despite all their efforts the final say in this game went to the home team. Firstly, Robinson mopped up own crumb and snapped truly from 15 metres. And with the siren blowing in the background, Kuek put a cherry on top of the cake with a goal from 45 metres and he was duly mobbed by his teammates. It was not their best performance this year, but these are the games that really decide whether you have the will to get yourself over the line.

When you take scoring into the equation (22-7), you may think that it was fortunate that South Fremantle did not receive a real belting. But on the other hand, the visitors took it into their 50 on 37 occasions, only five fewer than their opponents. The lack of a third forward that could help out Botha and Shannon Neale really hurt. The snakes and ladders of the top five see East Perth take advantage of some of their rivals misfortune this round and work their way to second position. It is the highest they have been placed since the first week of the season.

Star of the day.

When you have a season-high 47 disposals, there can be only one name with that man being Harley Sparks. The 17-year-old (turns 18 in September) has a terrific ability to get to every contest and is able to distribute the ball to the outside runners. While he could be excused for dropping off in the second half after he amassing 25 disposals in the first half, Sparks certainly kept running to the very end and produced 13 touches in the last quarter. If he continues in the same vein and has a strong finals campaign, the midfielder may well be a smart smoky pick around draft time.

Other notables

Adam Boules produced a valuable contribution in midfield for the Royals with 27 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, and five inside 50s. Liam Dellamarta was accomplished with 26 disposals, nine marks, five tackles and five inside 50s. While Ruckman Josh Ladhams was colossal around the ground taking strong marks across half back and in the forward line. The accomplished big man had 19 disposals, nine marks and 36 hitouts. For the Bulldogs, Jack Musika never stopped working hard in his usual fashion and had 22 disposals and 11 marks, while George Wessels worked himself into the contest and had 22 disposals, eight tackles and seven marks.

Peel Thunder 12.4 (76) def. Claremont 9.6 (60)

Peel Thunder showed they are still the team to beat in the 2019 Colts competition after recording a 16-point victory over Claremont at David Grays Arena on Saturday morning.

Peel were desperate to taste that winning feeling again after falling to defeat for only the second time this season in their last game against East Fremantle. Meanwhile, Claremont had won four in a row and wanted to cut the margin between first and second to just one game, while inflicting a mental blow on their opponents.

The home team did not trail throughout the contest and set up their victory in the first term kicking six goals to three with Jackson Knight kicking three of them. While Claremont trimmed the margin back to 16 points at the long break, they seemed to be always playing catchup. Ben Middleton kicked two goals in the third term as they pushed the margin out to 35 points with one quarter to play. Although the Tigers never gave up on the course, kicking three goals to none in the final 25 minutes, it was little more than consolation as Peel got some revenge for their round six defeat.

Tyrone Thorne can normally effect the nature of the contest with his goalkicking and defensive pressure but today the state/U18s player got his hands on the ball plenty of times picking up 25 disposals, five tackles and three marks. Knight was influential when the game was on the line and he ended up with a fantastic all-round stat line of 15 disposals, six inside 50s, five tackles, five marks and three goals. The steady hand of Bradley Oldfield was also important with 24 disposals, six marks and two goals. For the Tigers who slip to third with the defeat, Jack Cooley and Jye Clark each had 29 disposals.

East Fremantle 11.10.(76) def. West Perth 8.11.(59)

The outstanding late season form of East Fremantle continued as they knocked off another finals bound team in West Perth to the tune of 17 points at Joondalup Arena on Saturday morning.

The Sharks while out of finals contention were keen on playing the spoilers role having defeated Swan Districts and Peel in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, West Perth were coming off the bye having lost last time out against rivals East Perth which was their first defeat in five games.

The Sharks displayed their A-game from the opening quarter, kicking five goals to one and going on with the job in the second term extending their lead to 39 points at the long break. Although the Falcons kicked seven goals to three in the second half, they did not get closer than 16 points.

The WA state 18s title winning quartet of Chad Warner, Trent Rivers, Jai and Luke Jackson were elite again for the Sharks combining for 114 disposals and five goals between them. Luke Jackson gave his on-ballers great service with 36 hit-outs. Bottom age talent Logan Foley competed well for the Falcons with 12 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and two goals.

Subiaco 15.8(98) def Perth 6.4(40)

Subiaco produced one of their best all-round performances of the season with a 58-point win over Perth at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday afternoon.

This clash was all about pride with both teams out of finals contention. Perth especially would have wanted to show something after the ignominy of a goalless game against Claremont two weeks ago. However that drought continued in the first quarter as Perth was kept scoreless while the Lions put on four goals. The second term was more even with three goals each, but that trend suited the Lions as they led by 25 points at the long break. The second half saw the visitors kick eight goals to three and seal their fifth win of the season.

The margin could have been even more when you take into account that the Lions had 45 more hitouts (70-25), 30 more inside 50s (53-23) and 13 more scoring shots (23-10). The Lions duo of Abraham Clinch and Ben Golding have been prolific for the reigning premiers throughout the 2018 season. Again they were magnificent with the duo combining for 60 disposals and 17 tackles while Clinch also kicked two goals. Kane Foley was a terrific target up forward with three goals. Meanwhile for the Demons, Hamish McFarlane made the most of limited opportunities with three goals while Nathan O’ Driscoll was terrific and tireless in a well beaten side with 29 disposals and ten tackles.

Victoria leads way with National Combine invitees

VICTORIA has dominated this year’s NAB AFL Draft Combine List, with 44 of the 79 invites hailing from the state, including a remarkable 11 players from Sandringham Dragons. Vic Metro led the way despite finishing on the bottom of the table at the National Under-18 Championships, with 23 players making the list, followed by title runners-up Vic Country (21), while overall winners Western Australia (16), and South Australia (13) both reached double-figure invites. Of the Allied states, Queensland had three nominees, followed by New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) with two, as Northern Territory and Tasmania both had the sole nomination each. Players must have been invited by at least four clubs to receive an invite to the national combine, which will be held from Tuesday, October 1-Friday October 4. The state combine lists are usually released over the next few months.

Among the list are five Northern Academy-aligned players with GWS Academy’s Tom Green and Liam Delahunty, Brisbane Lions’ Noah Cumberland and Will Martyn, and Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick. Also receiving invites are father-son prospects Jackson Mead (Port Adelaide) and Finn Maginness (Hawthorn), and the Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member Liam Henry.

Sandringham’s haul of 11 players includes Darcy Chirgwin (Vic Country) as well as double-digit Vic Metro representatives, Jack Bell, Miles Bergman, Louis Butler, Ryan Byrnes, Oscar Lewis, Maginness, Jack Mahony, Fischer McAsey, Hugo Ralphsmith and Josh Worrell. Oakleigh Chargers and Gippsland Power was the next most with six apiece, Dandenong Stingrays with five and Bendigo Pioneers with four.

In Western Australia, East Fremantle dominated the 16 nominees, picking up six as Jai Jackson, Luke Jackson, Trent Rivers, Trey Ruscoe, Jeremy Sharp and Chad Warner all named. In South Australia, Woodville-West Torrens had four representatives with Mead, Josh Morris, Kysaiah Pickett and Harry Schoenberg all receiving an invite. Just seven players came from the Allies squad, with Green and Tasmania’s Mitch O’Neill the top prospects.

A couple of players proving that missing out on representative selection is not the end of the AFL Draft dream are Northern Knights’ Sam Philp and Oakleigh Chargers’ Cooper Sharman. Philp has been in great form in the NAB League Boys competition, whilst Sharman has been plucked from under former AFL coach Rodney Eade’s nose to bolt up into draft calculations.

2019 NAB AFL Draft Combine list
NSW/ACT

Liam Delahunty (GWS Academy)
Tom Green (GWS Academy)

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Malcolm Rosas (NT Thunder)

QUEENSLAND

Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Academy)
Noah Cumberland (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Will Martyn (Brisbane Lions Academy)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Will Day (West Adelaide)
Karl Finlay (North Adelaide)
Will Gould (Glenelg)
Dyson Hilder (North Adelaide)
Jackson Mead (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Morris (Woodville-West Torrens)
Callum Park (Glenelg)
Kysaiah Pickett (Woodville-West Torrens)
Harry Schoenberg (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Shute (Sturt)
Dylan Stephens (Norwood)
Cameron Taheny (Norwood)

TASMANIA

Mitch O’Neill (Tasmania Devils)

VIC COUNTRY

Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers)
Riley Baldi (Gippsland Power)
Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays)
Darcy Chirgwin (Sandringham Dragons)
Jesse Clark (Geelong Falcons)
Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power)
Sam De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Thomson Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power)
Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers)
Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers)
Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power)
Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels)
Brady Rowles (Bendigo Pioneers)
Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power)
Brock Smith (Gippsland Power)
Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons)
Isaac Wareham (GWV Rebels)
Cody Weightman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Lachlan Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)
Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays)

VIC METRO

Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons)
Miles Bergman (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers)
Nick Bryan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons)
Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)
Darcy Cassar (Western Jets)
Josh Honey (Western Jets)
Emerson Jeka (Western Jets)
Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons)
Oscar Lewis (Sandringham Dragons)
Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons)
Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons)
Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons)
Daniel Mott (Calder Cannons)
Sam Philp (Northern Knights)
Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons)
Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
Cooper Sharman (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ryan Sturgess (Northern Knights)
Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers)
Josh Worrell (Sandringham Dragons)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Riley Garcia (Swan Districts)
Mitch Georgiades (Subiaco)
Liam Henry (Claremont)
Jai Jackson (East Fremantle)
Luke Jackson (East Fremantle)
Callum Jamieson (Claremont)
Ben Johnson (West Perth)
Ronin O’Connor (Claremont)
Jake Pasini (Swan Districts)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth)
Trent Rivers (East Fremantle)
Deven Robertson (Perth)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle)
Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle)
Elijah Taylor (Perth)
Chad Warner (East Fremantle)

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder

IN Round 15 of the Simply Energy West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated Peel Thunder by 13 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE

#8 Owen Dann
The Geraldton product was playing as a half-back flanker and showed promising signs, using his speed, and flair to set up attacking forays from the defensive half. He gathered 11 possessions, took seven marks and laid three tackles to be a pivotal defender for the Sharks.

#9 Dylan Curley
The Mullewa junior showed why he is such an exciting player, showing off plenty of flair in the forward half for East Fremantle. He led the Sharks’ revival in the second quarter, when he took a strong contested mark early before drilling his first goal. His final statistics were eight possessions, four marks, three inside 50s, two tackles and two goals.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain was inspiring for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. He collected 25 possessions, laid seven tackles, grabbed six marks and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground.

#13 Keanu Haddow
A Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member, Haddow showed promising signs of his potential against the Thunder. Stationed on the half-back line, Haddow accumulated 17 possessions and took two marks, providing a heap of rebound out of the defensive half to set up attacking forays for his team.

#16 Chad Warner
The WA U18s State Academy member was his usual bullocking self in the contest against Peel Thunder. Warner accumulated 26 possessions, laid eight tackles, recorded three inside 50s and grabbed two marks to be one of the best midfielders on the ground. His thirst for the contest was especially evident, often barging his way into stoppages to win the ball for his team.

#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 AFL U16s All-Australian defender showed why he is so highly touted for the 2020 AFL Draft with another polished performance. He accumulated 11 possessions, grabbed three marks and laid two tackles, while he also provided a heap of run from the defensive half.

#23 Luke Jackson
The All-Australian ruckman showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another dominant display. Against Peel, Jackson accumulated 22 possessions, won 41 hit-outs, laid three tackles and grabbed two marks to be the most dominant ruckman on the ground. His aerobic ability is outstanding for someone his age.

#25 Jai Jackson
The Chapman Valley product was his usual explosive self, rotating between the midfield and the forward line. He finished with 16 possessions, four marks and four tackles, playing an excellent role for the Sharks.

#29 Reuben McGuire
The Willetton junior produced a powerful performance to remind recruiters of his potential at the next level. He gathered 12 possessions, won 12 hit-outs, v\grabbed three marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be a key component of East Fremantle’s victory. His best moment came in the last quarter when he intercepted a Peel kick-out, before he snapped through a goal.

PEEL THUNDER

#1 Tyrone Thorne
The Rockingham junior showed why he is considered to be one of the better small pressure forwards in this year’s AFL Draft Pool. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid six tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create plenty of attacking opportunities for the Thunder.

#2 Jackson Knight
Currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his fine season with another great performance, this time against East Fremantle. He finished with 25 possessions, 12 tackles, eight inside 50s and seven marks to arguably be Peel’s best player. His best passage of play came in the last quarter, when he won an important clearance before he laced out Roy George inside attacking 50.

#5 Andrew Butler
Playing as the rover, Butler provided a heap of energy around the stoppages, trying to will his team on to victory. His clearance work was outstanding and his desire to win the contested possession was superb for someone his age. He finished with 15 possessions, eight tackles, and three marks to be one of Peel’s best players.

#11 Jarvis Pina
The Peel Thunder captain tried hard to will his team to victory with another accomplished performance. Against the Sharks, Pina collected 16 possessions, grabbed four marks, laid four tackles and recorded two inside 50s rotating between the wing and the half-back flank. His skills in the wet conditions were outstanding.

#18 Ben Middleton
The Halls Head product continued to show why he is the best key forward in this year’s WAFL Colts competition with another powerful performance. He finished with 14 possessions, four inside 50s, three marks and two goals to be Peel’s most dangerous forward target. He now has 20 goals from 10 games for the season.

#19 Isaiah Winder
The Eaton Boomer put together some moments that showed why he is considered a highly-rated prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. His final statistics were eight possessions, four marks, two tackles and two goals, but it was what he did with ball-hand that would have impressed recruiters. An example of this was in the first quarter, when he was stuck on the boundary but had to poise and composure under duress, to square the ball to Jonathon Ietto.

#27 Jack Sears
Having already made a name for himself as a gun key forward, Sears has shown a versatility to be a damaging wingman for the Thunder in recent weeks. Against the Sharks, Sears gathered 14 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles and grabbed three marks to be a key link to many of Peel’s attacking forays.

#29 Connor Heuer
A bottom-age talent, Heuer showed why he is considered to be a talented prospect for next year’s draft with a dazzling performance against East Fremantle. He accumulated 16 possessions, laid four tackles, and recorded three inside 50s stationed on the half-forward flank.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Sharks play spoilers again to end Peel’s winning run

THERE was only three games in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition this week, but there was certainly no lack of storylines.

WAFL Colts wrap: Round 15

East Fremantle 10.9 (69) defeated Peel 8.9 (57)

A rejuvenated East Fremantle caused one of the upsets of the WAFL Colts season by defeating the red hot Peel Thunder by 12 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

The Sharks came into this game full of confidence having knocked off Swan Districts to end a nine-game losing streak, but it was the ladder leaders who started the contest in ominous fashion kicking the first three goals of the game to take an 18-point lead into the first break.

Bottom ager Isiah Winder kicked his second goal early in the second term to extend the lead, but Dylan Curley quickly responded for the Sharks. Jonathan Ietto pushed the lead back out to four goals, but from that moment it was all East Fremantle. The home side kicked four straight goals to narrow the gap to a single point at the long break.

It was an outstanding quarter by the Sharks which belied their lowly position on the ladder who outscoring their in-form opponents 5.2 to 2.3. The Sharks had more of the ball in the first half (153-124) with Luke Jackson giving his midfielders terrific service with 17 hit-outs for the first half. Trent Rivers was prominent with 14 disposals and four inside 50s while Jackson Knight led the way for Peel with 13 disposals and seven tackles.

In what had turned in a fascinating encounter, both teams split four goals in the early stages of the third term. It remained tight and tough for the remainder of the term and the Thunder took the slimmest of margins into the three quarter time break. Peel had a 2-0 record with games decided by under a kick in 2019 while the Sharks were 1-3.

East Fremantle took their first lead for the game courtesy of bottom ager Finn Gorringe. It was a huge mental barrier to climb over for the Sharks and now it was down to the Thunder to respond and see whether they can reproduce their form from the first term. However, the Sharks were not in the mood to let their southern rivals back into the contest. Ruck/forward Reuben McGuire and Alec Evensen pushed the lead to 19 points. Peel managed to hit back with 12 minutes remaining courtesy of of bottom ager Roy George. The ladder leaders were now pressing hard but the lowly ranked Sharks were adeptly keeping the premiership favourites at bay.

Three goals to one in the final quarter was able to see the Sharks over the line and seal their second consecutive win. It is the second time they have managed to win back to back games this season with the first time occurring way back in the first two rounds of the season. Conversely, it was only Peel’s second defeat of the season and their first since the middle of May. But with West Perth also tasting defeat this round, they keep their buffer of two and a half games.

The Sharks were well worth their victory when you take the overall statistics into account. The home team had 58 more disposals (297-239) and 29 more hitouts (53-24), and while East Fremantle had four less inside 50s (37-33), they were more efficient with two more scoring shots on the day (19-17).

Although the Sharks wont play finals this season they can certainly play a spoiling role in the weeks ahead. You also wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these youngsters taste senior action before the season is out. Jackson will be one of those in line for selection as the ruck/forward hasn’t missed a beat since returning from the U18s carnival. Jackson not only controlled the ruck duties with 41 hit/outs, he also had 22 disposals and two marks. Likewise, Rivers was prominent with 25 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and five inside 50s and Chad Warner was composed throughout with 26 disposals and eight tackles. The Thunder while beaten will have appreciated the stern tests they have been given in the last few weeks. Jackson Knight produced an all-round terrific display with 25 disposals, 12 tackles, eight inside 50s and seven marks.

East Perth 8.7 (55) defeated West Perth 5.10 (40)

East Perth proved once again that they are one of the dark horses in the Premiership race after defeating West Perth by 15 points at Joondalup Arena on Saturday morning.

This clash saw the old rivals in prime form. West Perth had won four in a row while the Royals had won four of their past five with their only defeat coming in a one-point thriller against Peel Thunder last week. The Royals took a slender five point margin into to the first break. The second term was lacking in terms of goalscoring action, but that suited East Perth nicely. The visitors kicked the only two majors to extend their lead to 15 points.

Both teams had seven scoring shots and West Perth had three more inside 50s (17-14) but it was clearly evident that East Perth had made the most of their opportunities. The Royals looked to put the game out the Falcons reach early in the third team by kicking two quick goals to Luke Furlong and Cody Rodgers. The ever present Koopah Todd kicked two goals for the Falcons in the term, but the Royals still won the quarter and took a 22-point lead into the final 25 minutes of action.

To the Falcons’ credit they kept at the job at hand, chipping away inch by inch but sometimes it is not your day and the Royals were able to keep them at arms-length throughout claiming their fifth win from six starts. There was not one dominant quarter by the Royals but more so a steady build leading to a consistent performance. In some ways, West Perth will look at their wastefulness in front of goal (5.10) and overuse of the football as some reasons behind the defeat. East Perth had 44 less disposals (273-229) and four less inside 50s (36-32) yet still managed the same amount of scoring shots and walked away with the four points. But With the quality of the two teams you would expect they will meet in September.

It was an even spread of contributors for the victors with Harley Sparks prominent with 28 disposals, eight inside 50s and six marks. Joshua Ladhams has regularly had a major impact with his ruck work this season and so it proved again with 24 hit/outs which he combined with 17 disposals and eight marks. While the tenacious in and under work of Adam Boules was there for all to see again as the bottom ager added another eight tackles to his tally for the season. Boules leads the category with 91 for the season at a outstanding average of seven per game.

Meanwhile for the Falcons, Tyron Hindmarsh racked up big numbers again with 31 disposals and four tackles. The midfielder is averaging 28.50 disposals a game. WA U18s representative Jaxon Prior also got his fair share of the ball the running half back compiling 32 disposals, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal.

Claremont 10.9 (69) defeated Perth 0.4 (4)

Continuing the WAFL’s plan to take Colts footy to the regions, Claremont and Perth played their fixture in Albany on Saturday evening. It was a game that Claremont will remember while the Demons would soon forget as the Tigers produced a superb exhibition of wet weather football by claiming victory to the tune of 65 points. The victory sees the Tigers rise with a bullet up to second place and certainly a clear premiership threat. Meanwhile, the Demons produced the lowest score of the season and are basically out of all finals contention. A staggering statistic to take into account in regards to Claremont’s four game winning streak is that they have conceded on average just 25 points in those wins. That is what you call a supreme defensive effort and something to keep an eye on as we approach the final month of the regular season.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 14

A mixed bag of results did not take away from some outstanding performances in Round 14 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts, with many from the title-winning Western Australia Under 18s squad returning to action. Lenny Fogliani was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on outstanding players from three of the four fixtures.

East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

East Fremantle:

#2 Michael Wright

Playing as a defensive small forward, the Chapman Valley Junior was outstanding for the Sharks, performing his role to perfection. He accumulated 16 possessions, recorded six inside 50s, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best.

#7 Jeremy Sharp

The dual All-Australian was at his best for the Sharks providing a heap of offence from the wing. His penetrating skills, elite speed and endurance, skilful evasive moves and line-breaking capabilities were all on display against the Swans. He finished with a game-high 35 possessions, eight inside 50s, four marks and a goal.

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. His ability to shrug off opponents is elite for someone his age, and at his size (191cm) this makes him a very attractive prospect. His decision-making, vision and skill execution were all on display for the home team. He finished with 26 possessions, five tackles and three goals.

#15 Jack Carroll

The 2017 WA U15s State Schoolboys representative continued his fine season for the Sharks with another sensational performance. Against the Swans, Carroll collected 21 possessions, laid four tackles and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ best midfielders on the day.

#16 Chad Warner

The clearance machine was again brilliant for the home team, often winning the ball for his team and getting it forward. He accumulated 31 possessions, laid 13 tackles, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal in a telling performance. The Willetton junior shares similarities to West Coast’s Jack Redden in that both are tough, thrive on the contest, can win their own ball and apply serious pressure to the opposition.

#18 Chris Walker

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member was excellent on the half-back line, providing a heap of rebound as well as intercepting a host of Swans’ attacking forays. He collected 15 possessions, grabbed six marks, and laid two tackles to be a pivotal player for East Fremantle’s victory.

#20 Brandon Walker

The 2018 AFL Under 16s All-Australian member increased his draft stocks for 2020 with another superb performance. Against Swan Districts, Walker accumulated 16 possessions, took four marks and laid two tackles, playing primarily across the half-back line. His line-breaking capabilities, decision-making and disposal efficiency are all at a fantastic level for someone his age. He is a part of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.

#23 Luke Jackson

The Larke Medal runner-up showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another brilliant performance. He gathered 17 possessions, won a game-high 38 hit-outs, laid seven tackles and kicked a goal to be one of the most influential players in East Fremantle’s victory. His raw athleticism, ruck craft and endurance make him a tantalising prospect.

#25 Jai Jackson

Pushing through injury, Jackson played a great game playing as a hybrid forward. Against Swan Districts, Jackson collected 11 possessions, laid seven tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the more dangerous forwards on the ground. As well as playing as a forward, Jackson has demonstrated an ability to push into the midfield where he uses his big frame to crash and bash his way through stoppages to get the ball going forward for his team.

#29 Reuben McGuire

The Wesley College student always provided a target inside 50 for his team-mates to kick to. He finished with 11 possessions, 12 hit-outs, four marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His raw athleticism, power and aggression make him an attractive key forward prospect.

Swan Districts:

#11 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member tried hard all day for the Swans, playing off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Brockbernd accumulated 11 possessions, laid six tackles, took two marks and recorded two inside 50s to try and keep his team within touching distance of the rampant Sharks.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was prolific for the Swans playing in defence. He was trying to thwart plenty of East Fremantle’s attacking forays, while also trying to provide plenty of rebound from the defensive zone. He finished with 22 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s and three marks.

#18 Jake Pasini

Having made a name for himself as a strong key defender, Pasini showed off his versatility playing as a big-bodied inside midfielder against East Fremantle. He bullocked his way to 17 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

#21 Jackson Ryan

The 17-year-old showed why he could be one of the rising key forward prospects out of Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft with a powerful performance. Despite a lack of attacking forays, Ryan always provided an option for his team-mates and clunked four marks. He finished with two goals from seven possessions.

#25 Jermarl Daly

The South Hedland product showed flashes of his brilliance against the Sharks. One moment of his brilliance came in the second quarter, when he took a fantastic pack mark and then nailed the goal to bring the Swans within a goal of the Sharks. He finished with seven possessions, three tackles and a goal.

#34 Jak Watson

Arguably Swan Districts’ best player, Watson never stopped trying for the visitors but to no avail. He accumulated 27 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed three marks and recorded two inside 50s in a dazzling performance.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles Next-Generation Academy member was sublime for the Swans, playing on the half-forward line. He gathered 15 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create attacking opportunities for the visitors. Last year Deng finished seventh in Swans’ Best & Fairest, and another strong year would increase his draft chances.

#59 Ty Sears

The bottom-age star was brilliant for Swan Districts off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Sears collected 19 possessions, recorded three inside 50s and took two marks as he tried to create attacking drive from the defensive half.

_

East Perth vs. Peel Thunder

East Perth:

#2 Adam Boules

Stationed on the wing, the Mount Hawthorn junior was prolific for the Royals, as he always provided a link for their attacking forays and displayed a desire to run defensively as well. He gathered 22 possessions, laid 11 tackles, took five marks and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best for the Royals.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product continues to amass an excellent season for East Perth with another polished performance against the Thunder. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked a goal to be the Royals’ best player on the night.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ NGA member was dangerous in the forward line for the Royals, always providing an option for his team-mates. He gathered 11 possessions, won 18 hitouts, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a dazzling performance.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Playing on the half-back line, Lombardi showed why he could be a bolter for next year’s AFL Draft. He finished with 14 possessions, three marks and two tackles, showing off poise, composure and sound-decision-making with ball in hand.

#19 Joshua Hubbard

The Ellenbrook junior was outstanding for the Royals, rotating between the half-back line and the wing. His run and carry, link-up play, decision-making and skill execution were all pivotal in the Royals’ effort to defeat the Thunder. He finished with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, and four tackles.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Southerners product was instrumental in the ruck for East Perth. He finished with 10 possessions, 33 hit-outs, five marks and four tackles, while being in an entertaining duel against Brendan Cooke (nine possessions and 30 hit-outs).

#39 Cody Rodgers

Playing in defence and up forward, Rodgers competed hard all night for the home team. He only gathered five possessions, but took three marks and kicked three goals to be a potent option up forward. His contested marking was a real feature of his game against the Thunder.

#49 Rhai-Arn Cox

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member showed off his flair and offensive tricks in the forward half for the Royals. He collected 14 possessions, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a solid performance. As a small forward, Cox boasts excellent goal sense and the ability to take strong contested marks – similar to how West Coast star Liam Ryan plays.

Peel Thunder:

#1 Tyrone Thorne

The WA U18s State Academy member was dangerous in the forward half for the Thunder, always on the move and ready to pounce on any scoring opportunities that came his way. Thorne also showed why he is considered to be one of the better small forwards in this year’s AFL Draft pool with six tackles to his name. He finished with 11 possessions and two goals.

#2 Jackson Knight

Currently fourth in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his excellent campaign with another solid performance for the Thunder. Against East Perth, Knight accumulated 22 possessions, laid eight tackles, and recorded seven inside 50s to be one of the more damaging midfielders on the night.

#3 Roy George

Stationed in defence, George showed why he is such a prodigious talent with his intercepting and rebounding a real feature of his game. He gathered 10 possessions, took two marks, and even drifted forward to kick a goal.

#8 Zachary Rankin

Stationed on the wing, Rankin played an excellent two-way game for the Thunder, being defensively accountable but also showing off some offensive flair. Against the Royals, Rankin gathered 18 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s to be one of the more instrumental players in Peel’s victory.

#11 Jarvis Pina

The Peel Thunder captain was pivotal in his team’s victory over the Royals with a game-high 33 possessions, five marks, five tackles and two inside 50s. His reading of the play, decision-making and penetrating skills were all on display for the recruiters to see.

#13 Cameron Gavin

The Halls Head junior was outstanding for the Thunder, finishing with 15 possessions, five inside 50s, four marks and two goals in a sizzling performance. His forward half presence was outstanding for the Thunder and he played a big role in the victory with his decision-making and skill execution a real feature of his game.

#18 Ben Middleton

The leader in this year’s WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award, Middleton showed why he is arguably the best forward in the competition. In nine games for the Thunder, Middleton has kicked 18 goals – three ahead of East Perth’s Sebit Kuek and West Perth’s Ewan Brazier. Against the Royals, Middleton kicked two goals from eight possessions and four marks.

#27 Jack Sears

Playing on the wing, Sears sent a timely reminder to recruiters on why he should be considered one of the best players in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He collected 23 possessions, took eight marks and recorded six inside 50s in a powerful display.

Subiaco vs. Claremont

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas

The Fremantle NGA player was lively in the forward half for the Tigers. As well as being gifted with offensive tricks, Thomas showed off a defensive side of his game against the Lions, recording five tackles. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal.

#5 Ronin O’Connor

Stationed in defence, O’Connor was solid for the Tigers, often repelling Subiaco’s attacking forays. He gathered 12 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks, but it was his leadership down back that caught the eye. His ability to communicate with his team-mates about where they should position themselves was outstanding for someone his age.

#8 Jack Buller

Arguably best afield for the Tigers, Buller was instrumental playing as either a key position player or when he pinch-hit in the ruck. His strength in the contest was outstanding, often barging his way through the opposition to get the ball going forward for his team. His final statistics were 16 possessions, 26 hit-outs and three tackles.

#12 Joel Western

A bottom-age prospect, Western showed why he is such a promising prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. Against Subiaco, Western accumulated 18 possessions, took three marks, recorded three inside 50s and laid two tackles, from the wing. His speed, agility, vision, decision-making and skill execution were all on display.

#14 Jack Cooley

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboy was outstanding in the midfield for the Tigers, accumulating 33 possessions, taking five marks, laying five tackles and recording five inside 50s as he willed his team to victory. His power to burst away from stoppages and to win the clearance was simply phenomenal

#15 Liam Henry

The U18 All-Australian was electrifying around the ground for the Tigers, using his speed, agility and evasive tricks to weave his way in and out of congestion. Once in space, Henry was balanced and had the poise to execute his skills to a high level. His decision-making was also elite against the Lions. He finished with 26 possessions, six marks, three tackles and two goals.

#16 Anthony Davis

Stationed on the half-back line, Davis showed why he is considered to be a draft smokey this year. Against the Lions, Davis gathered 13 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks as he tried to repel plenty of Subiaco’s attacking forays.

#22 Jye Clark

The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan Clark, Jye showcased why he is considered a top-five midfielder in the competition. Like his older brother, Jye is physical in the contest, prepared to throw his body on the line, is a sound-decision maker and is an excellent distributor whether by hand or foot. Against Subiaco, Clark finished with 35 possessions, five inside 50s, three marks and three tackles.

#25 Callum Jamieson

The North Beach junior was terrific for the Tigers, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He gathered 10 possessions, won 20 hitouts, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked two goals in a powerful display.

#35 Isaiah Butters

In just his second game of WAFL Colts, Butters showed he belongs at the level with a lively performance against Subiaco. He collected 18 possessions, took six marks, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s and kicked two goals in a dazzling display.

Subiaco:

#1 Jacob Peletier

The Esperance product was superb in the midfield for the Lions, racking up 24 possessions, recording three inside 50s, taking two marks and laying two tackles. His leadership throughout the game was exemplary, often throwing his body on the line to try and win the contested ball for his team.

#8 Ben Golding

Against the Tigers, Golding produced a performance that highlighted why he is currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award. He gathered 29 possessions, laid 10 tackles, took eight marks, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal as he tried to will his team to victory. The only blemish on his performance was two behinds.

#19 Lachlan Henderson

Stationed at centre half-back, Henderson was outstanding for the home team, often repelling Claremont’s attacking forays. The 17-year-old finished with 10 possessions, four hit-outs and two marks in a solid performance.

#21 Connor Patterson

In just his fifth game of WAFL Colts, Patterson showed signs of being a gun player for the Lions. He gathered nine possessions, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals in a lively performance.

#27 Trey Kennedy

The Warwick-Greenwood junior was superb off the half-back line for the Lions, amassing 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. His defensive accountability, combined with his decision-making and skill execution make him an elite half-back flanker.

#37 Abraham Clinch

The Warwick-Greenwood product was prolific in the midfield for the Lions, gathering a team-high 32 possessions, recording five inside 50s, taking four marks, laying two tackles and kicking a goal. His desire to throw his body into congestion to win the ball for his team is outstanding for someone his age.

#41 Tyler Broughton

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent in the forward line for the Lions, using his speed, agility and flair to create scoring opportunities for his team. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid five tackles, took four marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground.

#50 Xavier Peacock

The 2018 WA U18s State Academy player showed why he is one of the best ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. His work around the ground, ruck craft and strength in the contest were all on display. He finished with 12 possessions, 17 hit-outs, three marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.

Scouting notes: AFL U18 Championships – Vic Country vs. Western Australia

WESTERN Australia took out the AFL Under-18 National Championships title with a narrow victory over Vic Country thanks to a goal after the siren. We were on hand to note down some of the prominent players, with all notes opinion-based of the individual writer.

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams

#2 Caleb Serong

Had one of the more quiet halves he has had on the big stage with just four touches in the first half against Western Australia. Visibly frustrated as he came to the bench at one point in the second term, Serong came out with intent in the second half to pick up 12 touches and finish with 16 by the final siren. Only the one effective kick, but buried himself under the packs and won 10 contested possessions and four hardball gets. Not the best game overall, but he was able to inspire his team more in the second half and it was a key reason Country got back in the contest. His overall carnival was superb and he throughly deserved his Country Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and All Australian honours.

#4 Sam Flanders

Was one of the more dominant Vic Country players early, but let himself down by foot in the first half, with four clangers by half-time. He was winning the ball in tight and able to get it out to his teammates and keep it moving, but found himself under pressure when at defensive stoppages and had to throw in on the boot. After half-time he was sharper by foot and ended up with a team-high 24 touches and seven clearances as the dominant inside midfielder on the Country side. He almost had a quarter of his team’s clearances and continued what was a marvellous carnival with an All Australian jumper.

#9 Isaac Wareham

Underrated performance by the GWV Rebels’ midfielder who while he made some mistakes, kept trying to take the game on and would have been high up there with metres gained. He almost created a highlight-reel burst out of the middle at one point but just slipped with a bounce and had to rush to get it out, and on another occasion was sold into trouble by a teammate. As a whole, he was one of the better Country players and he has good vision that sets up teammates laterally and opens up scoring opportunities. He looked most comfortable on the wing and was able to execute the kick inside the corridor, and also provide some opportunities for teammates going forward.

#12 Lachlan Ash

Like many of his teammates, he seemed a tad off in the first half with a couple of clangers – something that no-one associates Ash with given his elite kicking skills. He shook that off in the third term, as he burst off half-back, won a one-on-one against Liam Henry, took on the opposition and then with a dart inside 50 hit-up Brodie Kemp for a goal reminiscent of last week’s match winner against South Australia. His foot skills in the second half were back to what we have come to know from the exciting runner, and he and Hayden Young’s slicing kicks were forcing Western Australia onto the back foot. Finished with a team-high eight rebounds, five more than his next highest teammate.

#13 Jay Rantall

Just kept buzzing around the stoppages and running all day, using quick hands in close and when in space to open up opportunities for teammates. Knowing his own strengths, Rantall executed under pressure handballs to good effect and went in hard to win a team-high amount of hardball gets. He also was able to win a number of important clearances around the ground and had a flying shot on the goal to create something out of nothing, but missed.

#16 Brodie Kemp

Another standout game for Country and continues his ascent up draft boards with some crucial marks inside 50. He booted two goals from four scoring shots, and always threatened to be a danger in the air. One of the few consistent Country performers across the game, Kemp spent a lot of time on the inside and then went forward, winning 11 contested possessions and taking two contested marks. His strength in the air or at ground level was clear, and he was able to pump the ball inside 50 on numerous occasions. While he still made some mistakes by foot, Kemp was another player who took risks and was willing to put it on the line to try and win the championships for Country. A deserving All Australian member.

#17 Hayden Young

When Young hit-up a Western Australian opponent 40m out with a short kick from deep in defence under limited pressure, it was clear Vic County were not on their game early. Similar to Ash, Young and clanger kicks do not belong in the same sentence, and he fixed that in the second half with some terrific long bombs to find teammates in difficult positions but made it look easy with his ability. One kick that exemplified what Young is capable of came in the final term when under pressure he kicked 40m across his body inboard, over a few West Australian opponents to land in the lap of the running Isaac Wareham who did not need to break stride. Also collected an All Australian jumper for his carnival.

#36 Sam De Koning

The tall defender was Country’s best player if you take into account all four quarters. When very few were standing up, he was repelling attacks in the back 50 with strong intercept marks and rebounds out of defence. He came in with timely spoils on the lead and was able to nullify his opponents one-on-one. He also settled down the defence and kicked long out of the back half, though did make mistakes by foot. De Koning was at his best when able to drop back and take a settling mark then set up plays from defence to attack.

Western Australia:

By: Lenny Fogliani

#4 Riley Garcia

Until he injured his knee midway through the first quarter, Garcia was arguably Western Australia’s best player. He provided a heap of energy and zip around the contest and proved to be a damaging link-up player. His final statistics were seven possessions, three clearances and two tackles.

#5 Liam Henry

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy member increased his draft stocks with another exquisite performance. Against the ‘Big V’, Henry racked up 25 possessions, took six marks, recorded five rebounds, laid five tackles and produced four inside 50s. His mercurial ability to weave his way around opposition pressure, before composing himself and finding a team-mate in space, is extraordinary for someone his age.

#7 Nathan O’Driscoll

Another bottom-age prospect, O’Driscoll was brilliant on the half-back line for the Sandgropers. He finished with 21 possessions, six tackles, four marks, four inside 50s and two rebounds, providing good zip on the outside and damaging run forward.

#10 Deven Robertson

The WA Under 18 captain continued his magnificent campaign that saw him win the Larke Medal and the WA U18 MVP. Against Vic Country, he accumulated a game-high 28 possessions, laid eight tackles, won six clearances and recorded six inside 50s to be WA’s best player. His contested possessions and clearance work were outstanding and pivotal for WA’s victory.

#12 Regan Clarke

The match winner – Clarke will go down in WA history after he kicked the winning goal with five seconds to go in the final quarter. After taking the mark, Clarke was able to duly convert his set shot to give WA its first Championships triumph since 2009. But he was also fantastic throughout the game, finishing with 14 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.

#14 Chad Warner

The Willetton product was busy in the midfield for the Sandgropers, often throwing himself into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 22 possessions, six inside 50s, five tackles, four clearances, and three marks. Warner shares similar traits to West Coast star Jack Redden – both are clearance machines and get the ball going forward for their respective teams.

#17 Jeremy Sharp

The reigning All-Australian put forward his best game for the WA at this year’s Championships. Against Vic Country he finished with 20 possessions, 11 marks, and a goal. His penetrating kicking, line-breaking ability and composure with ball in hand were all on display.

#21 Jake Pasini

The no-nonsense defender produced another solid performance for the Sandgropers. Lined up on Josh Smith, Pasini only gathered seven possessions and took two marks, but restricted Smith to five possessions and no goals.

#32 Luke Jackson

The runner-up in this year’s Larke Medal, Jackson showed why he is considered to be the best ruckman in this year’s draft pool. He accumulated 19 possessions, won 37 hitouts, five clearances, recorded five inside 50s, took three marks and laid two tackles to be one of the most influential players for Western Australia. His follow-up work and ability to cover the ground are elite for a ruckman his age.

#36 Denver Grainger-Barras

The bottom-ager was excellent in defence for the Sandgropers, often thwarting many of Vic Country’s attacking forays. Stationed at centre half-back and opposed to Elijah Hollands, Grainger-Barras accumulated 13 possessions and took eight marks, while Hollands gathered 14 possessions but failed to kick a goal.