Tag: Charlie Constable

VFL weekly wrap: Dolphins come close

ROUND 5 of the Victorian Football League (VFL) saw Essendon and Richmond remain the only two undefeated sides in the competition, with the Bombers occupying top spot on a mammoth percentage.

Northern Blues 12.17 (89) defeated North Melbourne 7.10 (52)

North Melbourne started off the better of the two sides and looked on track to record their first win of the season, before the Blues reeled them back in and put on a final quarter to remember, winning by 37 points. The Kangaroos led for the majority of the first half, only slipping up just before the main break. They wrestled the lead back at three-quarter time, however from that point on it was all the Blues as they kicked 6 goals to none. Sam Fisher and Dan Robinson had the most touches on the ground with 27, while Curtis Taylor and Noah Wheeler kicked three goals each.

Essendon 13.16 (94) defeated Geelong 7.10 (52)

The curtain raiser to the Country Match at the MCG was anticlimactic as the Bombers boosted their percentage with a 42-point victory. Essendon took the lead midway through the first term and never looked back. Trent Mynott kicked three goals for the red and black. Charlie Constable won 25 disposals while Ryan Abbott dominated in the ruck following Sam Draper‘s unfortunate ACL injury, kicking two goals from 19 disposals and notching up 37 hitouts.

Coburg 12.7 (79) defeated by Port Melbourne 12.13 (85)

With a score worm that looks like the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Borough recorded an almighty comeback win at Piranha Park. Trailing by 37 points at half-time, Gary Ayres’ men fought back to win by six points. It was Campbell Walker‘s goal that gave Port the lead, and they would hold on in a tense last five minutes to claim the four points. Steven Stroobants had kicked one of his four goals a minute earlier to give the Lions back the lead. Tom O’Sullivan had 30 disposals while Shannen Lange had 28 and kicked a goal. Liam Dickson was best afield for the home side with 25 disposals, closely followed by Marcus Lentini with 24.

Casey 8.11 (59) defeated by Footscray 11.10 (76)

Casey seemed to drop dead at half time, barely putting up a fight as they relinquished their lead and the four points to the Bulldogs. The Demons trailed by 25 points early in the first term but fought back to lead by 2 points at the main break. Footscray then booted four goals to none in the third term to set up the victory. Bailey Williams recorded 29 disposals, while Tom Boyd booted three goals as he continues his return to football. Sam Weideman responded to his AFL non-selection with two goals and 21 disposals in a solid outing for Casey.

Williamstown 4.10 (34) defeated by Richmond 12.13 (85)

The Tigers led from the first bounce to the final siren, securing a big win away from home against the Seagulls. Richmond restricted Williamstown to just one goal at the three-quarter time break as they romped to a 51-point win. Dan Butler and Jake Aarts kicked three goals each while Maibor Chol added two. Mitch Hibberd had 27 touches for the Seagulls as Sam Dunell and Patty Naish each recorded 23 disposals.

Sandringham 11.12 (78) defeated Frankston 12.4 (76)

Football returned to Moorabbin for the first time in over a decade as the Zebras turned around a half-time deficit to deny the Dolphins their first victory of the season. Frankston led by as much as 16 points early in the third term after Sandy led by as much at quarter time. It was the Zebras’ six goal third quarter that gave them the win, despite the Dolphins holding them scoreless in the final term. Luke Dunstan was best afield with 32 disposals and a goal, while David Armitage also kicked a goal to go along with his 25 touches. Dolphins captain, Josh Newman led from the front with 26 disposals. Frankston’s forward line showed glimpses of what’s to come as Yilber Zijai kicked four goals from four kicks, while Shem Tatupu slotted home three.

Bye – Box Hill, Werribee, Collingwood

Picture: VFL.com.au

Pic: Basketball Australia

Demons in pole position for Category B prospect Bradtke

THE SON of Mark and Nicole Bradtke is not far away from making a decision on his future after setting his sights on forging an AFL career.

Austin Bradtke, 17, will decide which club he will join as a Category B rookie over the next month. 

The 205cm tall last year was part of Vic Metro’s basketball Under 18 National Championships victory and is eligible for being a Category B Rookie, having not been registered to play football in the past three years.

AFLDraftCentral.com.au understands that Melbourne are currently the club in the box seat to secure Bradtke’s services, having met with a number of Victorian clubs in recent times. 

The Haileybury College student played junior football at East Sandringham Junior Football Club alongside likely top-10 candidates, and fellow school mates, Max and Ben King.

While the agile tall is yet to decide on his decision, Melbourne are the front runners with Geelong certainly in play for the talented teenager. Geelong’s 2017 draftee Charlie Constable was a former Haileybury College student and should Bradtke elect to move to Geelong, the sight of a familiar face in Constable may make the transition smoother to AFL life. It had been believed in the past that a link to Stephen Silvagni and Carlton may be fruitful for Bradtke. 

Austin Bradtke (far left) alongside King twins Max & Ben in their junior playing days for East Sandringham. (Photo: Facebook)

With a talented family pedigree, after Australian Hall of Famer Father Mark was a three-time NBL Champion, 2002 NBL MVP and former NBA playerand& mother Nicole was a dual grand slam mixed double champion in 1992, clubs will be lining up for the service of Austin – who can choose any club he would like to join in the AFL.

Current Adelaide player Hugh Greenwood is one of the most recent converts from basketball to AFL, joining the Crows as a Category B player in 2015 – where he has since played 18 games, including last year’s AFL Grand Final. 

Check out Austin’s basketball highlights here.

Sandringham Dragons 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Sandringham Dragons

Finished: 2nd
Wins: 13
Losses: 8
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 123
Points: 44 (eliminated in grand final)

Players Drafted: (7)

  • Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)
  • Will Walker (North Melbourne)
  • Charlie Constable (Geelong)
  • Nathan Murphy (Collingwood)
  • Hamish Brayshaw (West Coast)
  • Angus Styles (Sydney)
  • Joel Amartey (Sydney)

2017 Review:

In 2016, Sandringham Dragons were the talk of the AFL Draft world with an abundance of draftees in the first round to complement their premiership. In 2017, they had an impressive seven players drafted, including the Brayshaw brothers – Andrew and Hamish – heading to Perth, Will Walker picked by North Melbourne, Charlie Constable heading down the highway to the Cattery and Nathan Murphy donning the black and white stripes for season 2018. Meanwhile in the rookie draft, Angus Styles and Joel Amartey were reunited within a round of each other as the pair was selected by Sydney.

On the field in 2017, Sandringham had another impressive season, finishing top four and then making its way to the grand final after defeating Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. At half-time in the grand final against the Geelong Falcons it looked like the Dragons would win back-to-back flags, but a dismal third quarter turned the game on its head. In a remarkable turnaround, the Dragons stormed home and almost stole the flag back with Amartey marking just before the siren, but his kick missed and the Falcons breathed a sigh of relief. Nonetheless, the Dragons had yet another strong season.

In 2018, the Dragons are the envy of the competition with the best 1-2 tall combo in twins Max and Ben King. Along with them, there are quite a few talented players who will divide their TAC Cup time with their school football. Another big year is predicted for Sandringham.

###

2018 Preview:

Sandringham Dragons have the much talked about twin-towers in Max and Ben King who can play either end or through the ruck. In 2017, Max played up forward and pinch hit in the ruck, while Ben primarily stayed down back, occasionally reliving the ruckman when in the defensive 50. Bailey Smith is another player who could push into the top 10 come draft night, with the outside midfielder spending the majority of his time in defence this season and showing he has no issues finding the ball.

Max King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 81kg | Key Position Forward/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 7.7 disposals | 3.4 marks | 7.7 hitouts | 1.4 goals | 57% KE | 65% DE | 63% CP

Max primarily played the ruck/forward role at TAC Cup level and was impressive in the air and in front of goal. He covered the ground well and showed off his versatility having had an ultra-impressive year for Haileybury in the APS competition. He is one of a number of players likely to command a top five pick in next year’s draft.

Ben King (Sandringham Dragons) 201cm | 79kg | Key Position Defender/Ruck
2017 TAC Cup: (9) 13.7 disposals | 4.8 marks | 0.8 tackles | 2.2 rebounds | 69% KE | 77% DE | 42% CP

Ben played down back for the Dragons and was strong overhead and used also as a rebounding defender. He has a long effective kick and also played forward during the school season with Haileybury teammate Oscar Clavarino holding down the fort in defence. He reads the play well and could well go top five with his brother.

Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons) 183cm | 74kg | Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (12) 24.3 disposals | 4.1 marks | 2.3 clearances | 2.5 inside 50s | 3.9 rebounds | 73% KE | 77% DE | 38% CP

A huge ball winner in the TAC Cup last season, Smith showed he was capable of playing midfield mid-season when his teammates were unavailable during the National Under 18s Championships, then was dominant in defence often tasked with the kick-out duties. He is a deadly kick of the football and averaged almost four rebounds per game, so expect him to settle into the midfield and see what he is capable of with a full-time role in there.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons) 188cm | 69kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (5) 16.4 disposals | 4.4 marks | 1.4 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 56% KE | 65% DE | 28% CP

Nicholas Stamatis (Sandringham Dragons) 175cm | 70kg | Small Utility
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 13.5 disposals | 2.2 marks | 4.4 tackles | 2.1 inside 50s | 65% KE | 76% DE | 32% CP

###

Summary:

Sandringham Dragons have been the most successful team of the past two years and with their twin towers and multiple other talents already emerging, it is clear 2018 is another year likely to keep smiles on the faces of the Dragons faithful. They had the seven players drafted in 2017, following on from a remarkable 2016 draft period. They will be up there with the best at the end of the 2018 season so do not be surprised to see them playing deep into September.

Matt Balmer’s 2017 Final AFL Draft Power Rankings Part 2

EVERY month since May, Matt Balmer has ranked his players from the 2017 AFL Draft pool. With the November 24 National AFL Draft on this Friday, he counts down the players in his top 25, after revealing his 50-26 players last week..

You can find his 50-26 rankings here.

Having seen just under 90 games throughout the season, it is always hard to come to a final order and I have ranked the players how I would if I was an AFL club going into the draft come November, ticking names off the list as they are called out.

Please note this is NOT a Phantom Draft – purely just how I rate the players. For this exercise, no mature agers have been considered.

#25 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who is linked to the Brisbane Lions academy. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well. Likely to receive a bid 25 plus on draft night.

Strengths: Contested marking, set shot goalkicking, kicking
Improvements:  Agility, endurance, conditioning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.75 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CONNOR BALLENDEN

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Brisbane Lions000000000000000000000
Total-00000000000006.04.510.55.03.50.02.50

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Queensland000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

NEAFL

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Brisbane Lions351954240055262665.83.29.04.00.30.31.00
Total-3519542400552626600000000

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-11.02.013.09.00.00.02.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Allies43730010000114.03.07.03.00.01.01.033
2017Allies351550231933423138048.83.812.55.85.81.00.061
Total-391857261933523138157.83.611.45.24.61.00.294

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.83.611.45.63.80.61.0

#24 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond and possibly may get bid on after the Tigers’ third selection (Pick 25) on draft night.

Strengths: Agility, leap, overhead marking
Improvements:  Decision making, inside game

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: PATRICK NAISH

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Northern Knights956215734001800002910.66.917.43.80.02.00.258
2017Northern Knights82701523158952101525513810.38.819.03.90.02.61.682
Total-17713230965589539015255151710.47.818.23.80.02.30.9140

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-14.01.015.04.00.01.01.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro52338520176413021763413.08.321.35.00.03.30.887
Total-52338520176413021763413.08.321.35.00.03.30.887

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total11.07.518.64.00.02.40.9

#23 Charlie Ballard
?Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

Strengths: Intercept marking, competitiveness, kicking
Improvements:  Breakaway speed, inside tackling

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.46 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CHARLIE BALLARD

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Sturt35205519134260091348.85.013.84.80.01.50.80
Total-352055191342600913400000000

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Sturt6141103304361120111551512.28.420.66.00.02.40.20
Total-6141103304361120111551500000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017South Australia4428721726467041441411.07.018.04.30.01.80.372
Total-4428721726467041441411.07.018.04.30.01.80.372

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total11.07.018.04.30.01.80.3

#22 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179.0cm | 75.0kg

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Unfairly flies under the radar and is right in the mix as a late first round pick.

Strengths: Agility, accumulation, speed, class, tackling
Improvements:  Consistency in disposal, one-on-one marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LACHLAN FOGARTY

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Western Jets596412313003910000511.812.824.62.60.27.80.069
2017Western Jets11264176257896680324899716.09.125.13.60.09.71.3113
Total-17112829938789610713248991214.310.724.93.20.18.90.8182

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro3225578233628010953310.78.319.02.70.09.31.080
Total-3225578233628010953310.78.319.02.70.09.31.080

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total13.510.223.73.10.19.00.8

#21 Ed Richards
Medium Defender/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick and clean hands to effectiveness.

Strengths: Speed, kicking, leap, contested work, clean hands
Improvements:  Endurance, contested ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.01 | Agility (secs) 8.59 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.6

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ED RICHARDS

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Oakleigh Chargers000000000000000000000
2017Oakleigh Chargers72781502852922901513153107.27.815.02.80.02.90.356
Total-72781502852922901513153107.27.815.02.80.02.90.356

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.27.815.02.80.02.90.3

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo and Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Strengths: Kicking, Footy IQ, spread
Improvements:  Disposal under pressure, contested ball

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.03 | Agility (secs) 8.35 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.7

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LOCHIE O’BRIEN

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Bendigo Pioneers715012134001400002514.210.024.26.80.02.80.485
2017Bendigo Pioneers3339721028437041353311.013.024.03.30.02.31.089
Total-1048919344284321041355813.011.124.15.50.02.60.6174

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-0.01.01.00.00.00.00.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Country12172940010000026.08.514.52.00.00.50.041
2017Vic Country3984718739703951313.02.715.76.00.02.30.375
Total-51257622739803951510.25.015.24.40.01.60.2116

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total11.18.219.34.70.02.10.4

#19 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

Strengths: Leap, marking, mobility
Improvements:  Set shot goalkicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.07 | Agility (secs) 8.27 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: OSCAR ALLEN

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Western Australia000000000000000000000
2017Western Australia382462243127822901149.56.015.56.00.52.02.882
Total-382462243127822901149.56.015.56.00.52.02.882

WAFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016West Perth000000000000000000000
2017West Perth12517100020000026.02.58.55.00.01.00.00
Total-125171000200000200000000

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016West Perth1326820060005022400014177.84.011.83.513.22.90.80
2017West Perth11143154610030470007813.95.419.37.65.93.80.90
Total-2431113541210080271000212500000000

WAFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016West Perth000000000000000000000
2017West Perth1982712001020000129.54.013.52.010.05.00.50
Total-19827120010200001200000000

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total9.56.015.56.00.52.02.8

#18 Matthew Ling
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Strengths: Speed, kicking, cleanness, agility
Improvements:  Consistency, opposite foot

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.03 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: MATTHEW LING

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Geelong Falcons17143180070000135.74.710.32.70.02.30.336
2017Geelong Falcons11813225042881613801235210148.49.417.93.00.02.70.062
Total-13514628150881614501235211177.98.616.52.90.02.60.198

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Country000000000000000000000
2017Vic Country272956151442110542146.87.314.03.80.02.80.354
Total-272956151442110542146.87.314.03.80.02.80.354

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.58.315.73.00.02.70.1

#17 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the National Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick, but there is some suggestion that he could last into the 40s on draft night.

Strengths: Leap, long right foot kick, versatility
Improvements:  Decision making, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.05 | Agility (secs) 8.38 | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NOAH BALTA

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Calder Cannons642084240021660001679.12.912.03.49.43.02.367
2017Calder Cannons15045195561049450152266220121311.53.515.04.311.73.80.989
Total-21465279801049471218266220282010.73.314.04.010.93.61.4156

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro234279151246267037.71.39.03.02.01.30.045
Total-234279151246267037.71.39.03.02.01.30.045

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total10.33.013.33.89.63.31.3

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

Strengths: Intercept marking, reading the play, mature body, agile
Improvements:  Kicking technique

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.09 | Agility (secs) 8.22 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: AARON NAUGHTON

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Western Australia871540050000024.03.57.52.00.02.50.025
2017Western Australia342559211937711211048.56.314.85.30.31.80.059
Total-4232742519371211211067.05.312.34.20.22.00.084

WAFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Peel Thunder000000000000000000000
2017Peel Thunder7225974800920002700000000
Total-7225974800920002700000000

WAFL Colts

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Peel Thunder126571835700241500061300000000
2017Peel Thunder803311351001840005700000000
Total-20690296108004219000112000000000

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.05.312.34.20.22.00.0

#15 Sam Hayes
Ruckman/Key Position Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. The ruck/forward needs to improve his running and it will likely see him fall outside the first round.

Strengths: Overhead marking, ruckwork, forward craft
Improvements:  Endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.13 | Agility (secs) 8.77 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 19.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: SAM HAYES

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Eastern Ranges97831804700203380005156.55.512.03.122.51.30.364
2017Eastern Ranges12110422565133962833645291517148.67.416.14.624.02.01.2101
Total-218187405112133964867445291522297.56.414.03.923.21.70.8165

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-9.05.014.01.011.01.02.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro161329120030000535.34.39.74.00.01.01.747
2017Vic Metro2632581435272671171446.58.014.53.516.80.51.081
Total-4245872635275671171976.06.412.43.79.60.71.3128

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.16.213.33.719.81.40.9

#14 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Was ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Strengths: Clean hands, decision making, strength, kicking
Improvements:  Endurance, clear position at next level, ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: DARCY FOGARTY

SANFL League

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Glenelg19264542424110860044.86.511.31.00.02.80.00
Total-192645424241108600400000000

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017Glenelg62845320240016.02.08.04.00.02.00.00
Total-628453202400100000000

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016South Australia20929130060000736.73.09.74.30.02.02.353
2017South Australia31154614193090468447.83.811.53.50.02.31.055
Total-5124752719301504681177.33.410.73.90.02.11.6108

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total7.33.410.73.90.02.11.6

#13 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy kicked over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan. Lots for upside and could well wind up as a midfielder in years to come.

Strengths: Intercept marking, versatile, cleanness at ground level
Improvements:  Set shot goalkicking, midfield craft, double-grab marking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.16 | Agility (secs) 8.85 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NATHAN MURPHY

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Sandringham Dragons000000000000000000000
2017Sandringham Dragons8247129384582160417213810.35.916.14.80.02.00.467
Total-8247129384582160417213810.35.916.14.80.02.00.467

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total10.35.916.14.80.02.00.4

#12 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Strengths: Goal sense, Footy IQ, quick hands, contested marking
Improvements:  Speed, hurt factor with disposal

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.10 | Agility (secs) 8.45 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.3

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JACK HIGGINS

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Oakleigh Chargers8369152350021000014711.99.921.75.00.03.02.082
2017Oakleigh Chargers19912332275147170710412616311414.28.823.05.40.05.12.2103
Total-282192474110147170920412616452113.49.122.65.20.04.42.1185

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-15.014.029.05.00.03.00.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro251641800100001212.58.020.54.00.00.50.569
2017Vic Metro5356109245354250201366413.314.027.36.00.06.31.5118
Total-7872150325354260201367613.012.025.05.30.04.31.2187

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total13.310.023.35.20.04.21.9

#11 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Strengths: Composure, clean hands, acceleration
Improvements:  Kicking consistency, outside game

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: HUNTER CLARK

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Dandenong Stingrays985515332001900005109.85.515.33.20.01.90.553
2017Dandenong Stingrays19415334742175180860808533111314.911.826.73.20.06.60.8117
Total-292208500741751801050808533162312.79.021.73.20.04.60.7170

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-0.00.00.00.01.01.00.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Country1231500050000026.01.57.50.00.02.50.021
2017Vic Country40216112223918001072410.05.315.33.00.04.50.559
Total-5224761222392300107268.74.012.72.00.03.80.380

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total11.17.518.62.80.04.20.6

#10 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Strengths: Kicking, acceleration, X-Factor, versatility
Improvements:  Endurance, consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.90 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 20.5

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: AIDEN BONAR

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Dandenong Stingrays10110000000020.50.00.50.50.00.00.03
2017Dandenong Stingrays42418321463826014210567.06.813.83.50.04.30.864
Total-43418422463826014210585.45.110.52.80.03.30.667

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total5.45.110.52.80.03.30.6

#9 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Strengths: Mobility, set shot goalkicking, versatile
Improvements:  Consistency

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.11 | Agility (secs) 8.40 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.1

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JARROD BRANDER

Division 2

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2017GWS Giants000000000000000000000
Total-000000000000000000000

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Bendigo Pioneers41135426006100010410.33.313.56.50.31.52.572
2017Bendigo Pioneers18133114171511050336.04.310.34.70.30.31.050
Total-592685401715720501378.43.712.15.70.31.01.9122

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Allies000000000000000000000
2017Allies42206220213430010144410.55.015.55.00.00.81.071
Total-42206220213430010144410.55.015.55.00.00.81.071

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total9.24.213.45.50.20.91.5

#8 Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground. A potential heart issue was picked up at the Combine and it remains to be seen how the club medical staff will judge the top 10 prospect.

Strengths: X-Factor, speed, agility, endurance, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Kicking

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.97 | Agility (secs) 8.64 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.8

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JAIDYN STEPHENSON

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Eastern Ranges113391526000270000181011.33.915.26.00.02.71.871
2017Eastern Ranges22711234870158178826486925141515.17.523.24.70.45.50.9101
Total-3401515001301581781096486925322513.66.020.05.20.24.41.3172

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro50530000000015.00.05.03.00.00.00.024
2017Vic Metro333164101749100347648.37.816.02.50.02.51.563
Total-383169131749100347657.66.213.82.60.02.01.287

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total12.25.918.44.60.23.81.2

#7 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

Strengths: Contested ball winning, impact in the midfield, kicking, endurance, leadership
Improvements:  Scoreboard impact

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 3.00 | Agility (secs) 8.30 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 22.4

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ANDREW BRAYSHAW

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Sandringham Dragons161430100060000235.34.710.03.30.02.00.739
2017Sandringham Dragons1221262484011713766049401681012.212.624.84.00.06.60.8103
Total-13814027850117137720494016101310.610.821.43.80.05.50.8142

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro14284251826802102127.014.021.02.50.04.00.574
Total-14284251826802102127.014.021.02.50.04.00.574

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total9.510.520.03.40.05.00.7

#6 Charlie Constable
Inside Midfielder/General Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

Strengths: Footy IQ, contested ball winning, versatile, clearance work, marking inside 50
Improvements:  Speed, endurance

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CHARLIE CONSTABLE

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Sandringham Dragons5131830060000022.56.59.01.50.03.00.025
2017Sandringham Dragons981112095310110124142161410109.811.120.95.30.12.41.091
Total-1031242275610110130142161410128.610.318.94.70.12.50.8116

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro2456801629521307112138.018.726.75.30.04.30.394
Total-2456801629521307112138.018.726.75.30.04.30.394

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total8.512.020.54.80.12.90.7

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

Strengths: Athleticism, work in tight, efficiency, versatility, leadership
Improvements:  Tackling, contested ball winning

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) 2.91 | Agility (secs) 8.53 | Yo-Yo Test (level) 21.2

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: NICHOLAS COFFIELD

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Northern Knights14612927557003400000188.17.215.33.20.01.90.048
2017Northern Knights21911633575113213320474550131613.77.320.94.70.02.00.892
Total-365245610132113213660474550133410.77.217.93.90.01.90.4140

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro52378917305790714111413.09.322.34.30.02.30.387
Total-52378917305790714111413.09.322.34.30.02.30.387

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total11.07.418.43.90.02.00.4

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages. Missed the latter parts of the season due to a shoulder injury.

Strengths: Powerful, classy, contested work, vision, scoreboard impact
Improvements:  Kicking under pressure

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: PADDY DOW

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Bendigo Pioneers819517627002000003810.111.922.03.40.02.50.467
2017Bendigo Pioneers384179134039100161842312.713.726.34.30.03.30.7112
Total-1191362554040393001618451110.812.423.23.60.02.70.5179

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Country000000000000000000000
2017Vic Country38387610493110021114349.59.519.02.50.02.50.882
Total-38387610493110021114349.59.519.02.50.02.50.882

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total10.511.622.13.30.02.70.5

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Missed the second half of the year with a shoulder injury.

Strengths: Kicking, contested ball, agility, upside
Improvements:  Speed, injury durability

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ADAM CERRA

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Eastern Ranges561130040000015.06.011.03.00.04.00.036
2017Eastern Ranges7629105275851150232195419.07.326.36.80.03.81.3129
Total-8135116305851190232195516.27.023.26.00.03.81.0165

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro423173123442220171662410.57.818.33.00.05.50.581
Total-423173123442220171662410.57.818.33.00.05.50.581

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total12.36.618.94.20.04.10.7

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September’s TAC Cup Finals.

Strengths: Powerful, penetrating kick, contested marking, big game player, acceleration, kicking
Improvements:  Endurance, speed

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Dandenong Stingrays19102950070000029.55.014.52.50.03.50.046
2017Dandenong Stingrays78671452670762102827126613.011.224.24.30.03.51.0105
Total-97771743170762802827126812.19.621.83.90.03.50.8151

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Country10616479202400110.06.016.04.00.02.00.068
2017Vic Country493887243160130121443412.39.521.86.00.03.30.895
Total-5944103283869150141843511.88.820.65.60.03.00.6163

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total12.09.321.34.50.03.30.7

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot. Battled a knee injury in the second half of the season.

Strengths: Strength, contested marking, X-Factor, penetrating kick, big game player
Improvements:  Endurance, consistency within games

Combine test results: 20m Sprint (secs) N/A | Agility (secs) N/A | Yo-Yo Test (level) N/A

2017 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: CAMERON RAYNER

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Western Jets91551463500361900017811.46.918.34.42.44.52.176
2017Western Jets83611442384603112832810711.98.720.63.30.14.41.494
Total-174116290588460672028328271511.67.719.33.91.34.51.8170

Trial matches

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total-7.05.012.03.01.01.01.0

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
2016Vic Metro000000000000000000000
2017Vic Metro353873124531110151021248.89.518.33.00.02.83.089
Total-353873124531110151021248.89.518.33.00.02.83.089

Career Total

SeasonKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC Points
Total10.88.018.83.71.14.02.0

With just four sleeps until draft night, the 2017 NAB AFL Draft looms as one of the most open and unpredictable in recent memory. My final Phantom Draft will be released Thursday night at 7pm – if you want to know more: send me a Tweet @MattBalmer

Matt Balmer’s 2017 early Phantom Draft

IT IS just over a month until AFL clubs will meet at Sydney Showgrounds for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

At the conclusion of trade week, Matt Balmer predicts who will go where inside the first round, in his 2017 early Phantom Draft.

Pick 1: Brisbane – Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

In the mix: While some may see Cameron Rayner as the best player in the 2017 draft pool, I think the Lions will look for a full-time inside midfielder. Paddy Dow’s name is another who the Lions will consider – but at the moment the gut feel is ‘LDU’ is ahead of Dow.

Pick 2: Fremantle – Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

In the mix: Fremantle only acquired Pick 2 today, in a trade from the Gold Coast giving up Lachie Weller. They’ll need to take a Victorian midfielder at Pick 2 – with Cerra, Rayner, Davies-Uniacke others who could also feature. Fremantle have a lot of players similar to Rayner – but it’d be hard to let him go – as a player who can do things that many others can’t in this draft pool.

Pick 3: Carlton – Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

In the mix: Fremantle are the great unknown and it’d be very hard to see the Blues let Rayner slip past them if he gets through to Pick 3. Haileybury College midfielders Andrew Brayshaw, Charlie Constable and Davies-Uniacke will be in the mix. Paddy Dow might land in their lap if things fall another way.

Pick 4: North Melbourne – Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

In the mix: Most of the talk is that the top three selections will be Rayner, Davies-Uniacke & Dow – with the order unknown. Stephenson had a great second half of the year and adds some X-Factor for the Roos. Adam Cerra, Nick Coffield and Andrew Brayshaw are three other names that no doubt they’ll be monitoring.

Pick 5: Fremantle – Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

In the mix: Take a midfielder at Pick 2 and at Pick 5? Another big question – but Fremantle hold the keys to shaping the top 10 of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. They’ve watched a fair bit of the Sandringham Dragons and Andrew Brayshaw could be a player selected here. Adam Cerra and Nick Coffield are two other Vic Metro players who they’ll have on the list – but it might be hard to turn down the best West Australian and tall in the draft pool.

Pick 6: Collingwood – Nick Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

In the mix: Few whispers of the Pies meeting with Aaron Naughton on the weekend and they may pick him if he is available here. Coffield is the best player available and should be able to transition into an inside midfielder in the future.

Pick 7: St Kilda – Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

In the mix: I’m told St Kilda have been big fans of Brayshaw throughout 2017 – meeting with him on multiple occasions and it would be hard to see them turn him down if he’s available. Alan Richardson watched the TAC Cup elimination final where Nick Coffield dominated and he is another option if still on the board. It would be a tough call to let Adam Cerra go too.

Pick 8: St Kilda – Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

In the mix: The biggest unknown in the 2017 draft pool is Aiden Bonar and he is a name that St Kilda could take – to address bringing in a big bodied midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was outstanding and there’s no doubt with the security of having two picks inside top 10 – the Saints could make the move on the Dandenong Stingray.

Pick 9: Western Bulldogs – Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

In the mix: If the Saints don’t take Bonar, he’s a player I’d expect the Bulldogs to snap up. With Stringer leaving the kennel, South Australia’s best draft prospect Darcy Fogarty could fill a similar role as a forward. They have also shown some interest in Nathan Murphy – but they may hope that he gets to their next selection.

Pick 10: Carlton – Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

In the mix: SOS has some good relationships among the APS school boy football competition and if one of Bonar or Constable reach their Pick 10 – It would be seriously hard to see him let them go past. Either can play as an inside midfielder and support Patrick Cripps.

Pick 11: GWS – Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

In the mix: The Giants have long wanted a small forward and the retirement of Stevie J might see them select Jack Higgins, who would fit in well playing a role alongside Tim Taranto and Toby Greene. They have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid to grab players with dual sport abilities (Pat McKenna), so Nathan Murphy could be another considered.

Pick 12: Adelaide – Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

In the mix: The obvious option is for the Crows to take home grown talent in Darcy Fogarty, but if he’s off the board – they may look to Vic Country inside midfielder Hunter Clark who has had a superb finish to the season.

Pick 13: West Coast – Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

In the mix: Another club that will look to bolster their inside midfielders stock. If Hunter Clark is on the board it is a no-brainer, while if they feel they want to take the best homegrown player – it is not too far out of Under 18 Larke Medalist Oscar Allen’s range.

Pick 14: Sydney – Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

In the mix: In what was a quiet trade week for Kinnear Beatson and the Swans, they will hit the draft with their first round pick. Nathan Murphy is a player they could consider, with a chance he moves into the midfield. If they are looking for some outside class – players such as Lochie O’Brien, Matt Ling, Ed Richards and Ryley Stoddart could be considered, but all are probably likely to fall into the second round.

Pick 15: Brisbane – Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

In the mix: Pick 15 places the Lions a bit in no-man’s land – if the draft falls as I have it, they may miss out on probably the best crop of midfielders. No doubt they’d be keen to link up Dandenong Stingrays pair Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark with Davies-Uniacke if they were available. Despite having Oscar McInerney developing well, they might look at Sam Hayes to boost their ruck stocks or develop as a key forward – but they do have Connor Ballenden who should get a bid after their next pick somewhere in the 20s. Could they bid on Patrick Naish?

Pick 16: Western Bulldogs – Ed Richards
Medium Defender/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

In the mix: The Tigers will be hoping that father-son prospect Patrick Naish doesn’t get a bid here – with the Bulldogs showing plenty of interest this season. If they’re looking to add some speed on the outside, Ed Richards has had a great season and might be one they look to recruit. Norwood small midfielder Zac Bailey was superb throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for the Allies and could be another they consider.

Pick 17: Richmond – Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

In the mix: The Tigers went into finals with a small side – but may look to bring in some more talls to help with their depth. Most people in the know feel Jarrod Brander will get outside the top 10 and the Tigers would have to snatch him up at Pick 17. Sam Hayes is another tall they will consider – but the Tigers will be hoping he gets through to Pick 20. If the Bulldogs or Lions bid on Naish – this pick will be removed from the order.

What about the rest?

Pick 19: Gold Coast – Nathan Murphy would be a likely suitor should he get through to Pick 19. Medium forward Jordan Houlahan from Sturt would be another name that fits the bill as a similar player to Murphy. Larke Medalist Oscar Allen and Vic Metro tall Noah Balta are still on the board and might fit the best available selection, while the loss of Adam Saad might allow them to look for a similar prospect in Matt Ling.

Pick 22: Geelong – Similar to the Suns – medium forwards Murphy and Houlahan would appeal to add to the Cats’ forward line. Lachlan Fogarty might be another good fit, with high pressure and tackling numbers sure to fit the bill of AFL teams after a success with Richmond this season. Could the Wooller name return to Simonds Stadium?

Pick 29: Melbourne – A small forward or classy outside ball user would likely appear to the Dees. Ryley Stoddart, Matt Ling and Lochie O’Brien are three such classy outside midfielders/half back flanks. If they’re looking for a small forward, Dylan Moore and Charlie Spargo are two second round prospects that they could consider. The Demons also have Pick 31 and 36.

Pick 43: Hawthorn – Once again the Hawks will enter the draft without a first round pick – but it is at least closer than their 2016 first selection. Next Generation Academy member Changkuoth Jiath is tied to the Hawks – but will likely be a late selection or rookie pick. While it’s probably unlikely Andrew McPherson would be a good fit across half back and through the midfield, after an injury interrupted 2017. Two other midfielders that might be considered from the Hawks are Brayden Ainsworth and Matthew Day. Could James Worpel still be there at Pick 43?

Pick 46: Port Adelaide – The Power are one of a number of clubs to show interest in Eastern Ranges & Haileybury College outside midfielder/general forward Jackson Ross. Ross is very athletic and has plenty of scope for development. If the two West Australian teams haven’t grabbed Liam Ryan – the Power might consider it here.

Pick 48: Essendon – If the Bombers can find an inside midfielder at Pick 48 – it would cap off a very impressive draft & trade period. The Bombers would’ve taken Constable with Pick 11 had they held onto it, but if James Worpel gets to Pick 48 – It’d be hard to see them let him go. There’s been a lot of talk about them being keen on Dylan Moore – but he’s likely to end up inside the top 30.

GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

 

Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft October Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings every month throughout 2017. 

You can read Matt Balmer‘s September edition of his Power Rankings here:

The season is just about over for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft prospects after a long year, with some players pushing themselves through just under 30 games for the season.

Last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine saw clubs get a final chance to interview and see 85 players tested, before they finalise their draft boards with under 50 days until the draft on November 24th.

With trade week beginning today, plenty of deals will affect the draft order & at the conclusion of the trade week – the staff at AFL Draft Central will release our first Phantom Draft for 2017.

This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

Last month: Rayner has battled thumb and knee issues through 2017 and he missed the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day. Rayner faced the media and was put through various club interviews at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was unable to test.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

Last month: It was “LDU’s” performance in the Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup Elimination Final that kept his name in the contention for the Brisbane Lions’ number one pick. Davies-Uniacke had a game-high 33 disposals (21 contested), six clearances and five inside 50s – as he hunted the ball in the midfield and showed off his power getting the ball forward. In their preliminary final loss, LDU had 22 disposals (12 contested), six tackles and five clearances, often spending time up forward playing as a marking target. He finished the year with 23 disposals and four inside 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match as one of Team Harvey’s best. A toe/calf issue kept him out of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: A shoulder injury has kept Cerra out of action for most of the second half of the season and he missed the Eastern Ranges finals campaign – but it was good to see Cerra sitting in the coaches box on elimination final day, assisting the coaches throughout the afternoon. Was another player who didn’t test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Since the last update, Dow had surgery on his shoulder and was unable to play the final few games for the Bendigo Pioneers. Dow did not test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine but was involved in multiple interviews with AFL club recruiters.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

Last month: Coffield was by far the best Northern Knights player in their elimination final loss to the Oakleigh Chargers. His midfield work was super and he used his quick and clean hands to effectiveness. Coffield had 25 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s in a performance that pushed his top 10 credentials. On Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, Coffield rebounded the ball well on five occasions finishing with 15 disposals and five marks. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, he showed off his elite speed with a 2.91s 20m sprint. He was also impressive in the kicking test scoring 27.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

Last month: Constable’s centre clearance work in the TAC Cup elimination final was impressive, with four out of his six clearances coming in this fashion. Finishing the day with 23 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and a goal – Constable showed off his top 10 traits. A back/groin issue sidelined him in the preliminary final and there was plenty of doubt whether he’d run out on Grand Final day, but the Dragons midfielder was able to push through pain and record 23 disposals & four clearances. A burst in the second quarter saw him boot two goals and he was one of the Dragons’ better players for the night. Injury kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars and NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#7Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

Last month: Has there been a better player in the second half of the year? I doubt it. Stephenson started TAC Cup finals with 30 disposals, 11 tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and a goal. While his kicking wasn’t the cleanest, after playing some time forward early he was able to win the ball on the outside and get it inside 50. He was best-on-ground in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day with 22 disposals, five tackles, four inside 50s and three goals. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, his speed of 2.97s in the 20m sprint and 6min 21s in the 2km time trial were strong. Stephenson also performed well in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and had some of the best skinfolds of the combine.

#8 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

Last month: The Sandy Dragons midfielder just rolls up his sleeve and gets the job done and is always one of the better performers on the stats sheet. The TAC Cup elimination final saw him collect 20 disposals (10 contested), six tackles, five inside 50s and two goals. He was able to impact the contest using it efficiently going inside 50 and was able to hit the scoreboard. In the preliminary final, Brayshaw was best-on-ground with 25 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s, pushing his top five chances. In the TAC Cup Grand Final, Brayshaw had 21 disposals and four inside 50s and had a good showing. His midfield work in the NAB AFL Draft Combine was impressive with 16 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Brayshaw was the endurance king – coming in first place in the Yo-Yo test with 22.4, four place with six minutes 14 seconds in the 2km time trial and was also placed top 10 in the agility test.

#9 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed finals, but Brander did take part in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game playing as a key defender. Brander was able to intercept at times, finishing with 12 disposals and three rebounds. Brander tested well in the kicking test with a score of 27 at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. A score of 8.40 seconds was pretty good in the agility test.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool. Running needs to be improved.

Last month: Was the premier ruckman in the TAC Cup competition and finished the season with 24 hitouts and 24 disposals for the Eastern Ranges in their elimination final loss. Hayes played predominantly forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match, where he booted 1.2 from his four marks and 14 disposals. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, results showed that Hayes does need to improve his running – but a score of 24 in the kicking test was decent.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Higgins missed the Oakleigh Chargers first TAC Cup final with an injury, but surprised some by coming back into the side for the second final. He picked up a groin injury that restricted him but up forward he was able to boot two goals from his 10 touches. Higgins didn’t play in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and would’ve been disappointed with his results at the NAB AFL Draft Combine – but there’s no doubt soreness played some part on what has been a big year for Higgins.

#12 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: The inside midfielder was enormous in getting the Stingrays back into the TAC Cup elimination final and they were able to get the win after trailing by 55 points at one stage. Clark finished with a round-high 16 tackles and also had 24 disposals (15 contested), nine clearances and five inside 50s in one of the best individual performances for the season. He impacted the second final, with 25 disposals (13 contested) and a whopping 10 inside 50s – finding an effective target on most occasions. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game he was also reasonable, with 19 disposals (10 contested), four inside 50s and three tackles. A knee problem kept him out of most of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was able to score 28 in the kicking test which was very good.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick.

Last month: The Calder Cannons missed out on TAC Cup Finals, but Balta did have an impact – especially early, in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. Balta finished with 12 disposals and two marks and often took the kick outs for Team Enright. Showed off his leap at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and was a very good tester in the agility with 8.38 seconds. He sat out the yo-yo test with knee soreness, but was able to complete the 2km time trial the next day.

#14 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Last month: Bonar had a superb month to finish 2017, and whilst his eight disposals, seven tackles and a goal performance does not scream outstanding – it was his presence up forward and through the midfield that was important, pressuring his opponents. He followed his tackling performance up the following week, with eight tackles from 14 disposals. While he played more up forward than in the midfield, some glimpses were mighty impressive. The Grand Final day performance was elite for the  NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars, where he had 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances – showing off his potential as an inside midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was super, equalling the all-time standing vertical jump record and was second place in the 20m sprint with a time of 2.9 seconds.

#15 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Fogarty once again didn’t play this month, recovering from surgery on a small meniscus tear which meant that he was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Missed out on playing in the WAFL Grand Final with a knock and was not helped by Fremantle players coming back into the team to strengthen it. The knock kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but he was able to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, where he placed in equal third in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and was also in the top 10 for the agility test with a time of 8.22s.

#17 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: The Sandringham Dragons medium tall went down with a sprained ankle in the TAC Cup elimination final & missed the preliminary final – but returned for the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals, five marks and four tackles, but looked like he needed the run. Had some good glimpses in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but was concussed and his day ended early. The former cricketer hadn’t done a lot of testing and it will be the first time clubs got a chance to look at Murphy’s athletic results. There’s no doubt they would’ve been impressed by his athletic capabilities in his 2km time trial (6min 31sec) and Yo-Yo score of 21.3.

#18 Matthew Ling
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Ling played one of his better games for the season, with 23 disposals and six tackles in the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup elimination final win. Ling showed off his good agility and rebounded the ball with speed, hardly missing a target on his left foot. Had 15 disposals and three inside 50s in the preliminary final, but was largely restricted in the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals and six marks. Ling’s 10 disposals were largely effective in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. His sprint time of 3.03s and 8.30s in the agility was very good & he looms as a top 25 prospect come draft night.

#19 Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Started up forward in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup final loss, finishing the day with 17 disposals (12 contested), eight inside 50s, five clearances and five tackles in one of his better games in a while. He didn’t have a lot of impact in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with just 10 disposals and two clearances to his name. Garner’s NAB AFL Draft Combine last week was underwhelming, but there’s no doubting his leadership and his character will have shone through in the interviews.

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed out on finals, but the classy outside midfielder was at his best in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game with a team-high 24 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal, in a game that saw him spend more time in the attacking half of the ground. His 2km time trial result of six minute 12 seconds was second best overall and he was just short of breaking the three-second barrier in the 20m sprint. Scored well in the kicking test with a score of 27.

#21 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 178.8cm | 75.0kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer and unfairly flies under the radar.

Last month: The Western Jets missed out on finals, but Fogarty managed an appearance in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, where he had 14 disposals, seven inside 50s and five tackles. In a game that lacked some defensive intensity, Fogarty showed his willingness to hunt the ball carrier and win the ball. Unfortunately for Fogarty, he was unable to show his testing capabilities at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine due to sickness.

#22 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Naish looked his best in the TAC Cup elimination final for the Northern Knights when he was in the attacking half of the ground, finishing the day with 21 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Not only did Naish get to see his Tigers win on Grand Final day, but he was the leading disposal winner for Team Enright with 21 disposals and three rebound 50s – using the ball well on his right foot. Back spasms saw Naish only complete the goal kicking and kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#23 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

Last month: Allen didn’t feature in finals for West Perth and despite hardly training on the Thursday before the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, he was one of the better players in the opening half of the game – marking with ease overhead and hitting the scoreboard. Allen finished with 18 disposals, seven marks (four contested) and booted 2.3. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Allen showed off his running vertical jump on his left hand, with a score off 88 placing him in the top five.

#24 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 184.6cm | 73.7kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: Stoddart busted his backside off in the Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final, finishing with 18 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s, but was under enormous pretty with the ball coming quickly inside 50 late in the game. Was often matched up on the most dangerous Stingrays midfielder Davies-Uniacke or Clark when they went forward. Had 13 disposals and four inside 50s in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, and was able to get more up the ground in the third quarter. He completed the kicking tests at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but hamstring soreness kept him out of the rest of the testing other than the jumping tests which showed his outstanding leap.

#25 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: With Josh Schache returning home, Ballenden was called up for the NEAFL Grand Final and was part of the Lions NEAFL premiership team. Ballenden finished the game with 12 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and booted two goals. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, Ballenden begun as a tall defender – but struggled at times opposed to possible top 10 pick Sam Hayes. He moved forward in the second half and finished with eight disposals and two marks. In the kicking test, Ballenden scored a perfect 30/30 and ran a 3.05s 20m sprint at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Areas that Ballenden no doubt can improve on will be his endurance and bringing his skinfolds down.

Connor Ballenden in action for the Allies in their practice match against Vic Metro.

#26 Ed Richards
Medium Defender/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean & effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

Last month: Started with 11 disposals in the TAC Cup elimination final, but some of his moments were impressive and he was vital is finding targets from the kick out to get the Chargers moving forward. Had 16 disposals and three inside 50s against the Sandringham Dragons in the Chargers’ preliminary final loss, switching between half back and as an inside midfielder. Richards hardly missed a target in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and showed his willingness to tackle hard. Had a reasonable NAB AFL Draft Combine, testing in at 3.01s in the 20m sprint.

#27 Charlie Ballard
?Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

Last month: Ballard was lucky enough to win two premierships for the ‘Double Blues’ in two weeks, part of Sturt’s winning Under 18 and Reserves teams in the SANFL. In the Under 18 Grand Final, Ballard collected 21 disposals, three clearances and three inside 50s playing on the wing and was very efficient by foot. In the Reserves Grand Final, Ballard played up forward and finished the game with a goal from seven disposals. Had eight disposals and four rebound 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash. Ballard also tested well reasonably well at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and has plenty of development for whatever club drafts him.

#28 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 181.0cm | 81.1kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Bailey showed his ability to run both ways in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with 18 disposals, four marks, three rebound 50s, two inside 50s and two clearances. Bailey used his burst in the midfield and spread well from the contests. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Bailey’s elite speed was obvious, scoring 2.98s in the 20m sprint event.

#29 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185.7cm | 75.9kg
Previous ranking: #31

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Similar to Charlie Ballard, Houlahan also won two SANFL Premierships within a week. In the SANFL Under 18 Grand Final for Sturt, Houlahan played close to goal as a marking target – pealing off three contested marks and booted 4.2 from his 10 disposals. In the SANFL Reserves Grand Final, he played a bit further up the ground and had five inside 50s from his 10 disposals, also kicking a goal. Houlahan played a different role in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, as a rebounding defender where he had five disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, he was a dead-eye in front of goals with 30/30 in the goal kicking test and had a running vertical jump in the top three (95cm) – but he would’ve been disappointed with his endurance results and that will be an area for improvement at the next level.

#30 Jack Petruccelle
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 185.1cm | 77.7kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Had a quiet performance in the TAC Cup elimination final with eight disposals and four tackles. Was used across half back at times, finishing with 11 disposals in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game. Was the fastest player at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, running 2.87s in the 20m sprint. His endurance work has room for improvement, but was well above average in the jumps category.

#31 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175.8cm | 65.9kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Moore collected 24 disposals and laid eight tackles in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final loss. Moore was impressive after half-time and was able to get the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions. His midfield work was good in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, finishing the contest with 17 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Despite his size, his running vertical jump was above average at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and he starred in the endurance events. Moore finished in first place with a time of six minutes nine seconds in the 2km time trial and was second behind Andrew Brayshaw with 22.3 on the yo-yo test.

#32 Charlie Spargo
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 171.6cm | 70.2kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Spargo is still recovering from shoulder surgery early in the year and was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#33 Jackson Ross
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192.5cm | 74.5kg
Previous ranking: #32

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and is a player with plenty of development left.

Last month: Ross did some good things in the Eastern Ranges TAC Cup elimination final loss, with 18 disposals and five clearances. Started slowly in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day, but worked into the contest in the attacking half of the ground to finish with 12 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Ross won the goal kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and scored 29/30 in the kicking test.

#34 Andrew McPherson
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 79.4kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last year. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member has dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Last month: McPherson returned from injury and made an appearance in the Eagles’ SANFL Under 18 Grand Final loss to Sturt. McPherson was impressive in the opening quarter of the game, rebounding the ball well and was clean with his disposals – but he suffered an injury and went off the ground in the second quarter. The injury kept him from testing at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#35 Harrison Petty
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 195.3cm | 81.9kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead.

Last month: Petty played as a key defender in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, finishing the game with 12 disposals and three marks. The talented South Australian scored 27 in the kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but sprained his ankle and was ruled out for the remainder of the testing.

 


GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Scouting notes: 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final

GRYAN Miers starred in the Geelong Falcons’ 2017 TAC Cup Grand Final win, after the Sandringham Dragons had a chance to kick a goal after the siren for the win. Read the full match report here.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Seven goals – ’nuff said. I tweeted after he’d kicked his first two goals that he was a second rounder and I think he consolidated that thought, finishing with 7.2 from 16 disposals. While his kicking technique does need some work, it is effective. His first goal of the game was mighty impressive on his left foot and one that may find himself drafted in the early second round.

#8 Ed McHenry – The bottom-ager was again impressive and put his hand up for AFL Academy honours. His hands in close are very good and he was able to fire the ball out to the link players effectively. He is an effective kick going forward and found 21 disposals for the game.

#11 Mitch Chafer – When the Falcons were up and firing in the third term, Chafer really got going after a quiet start. He is willing to work hard both ways and tackle his opponents. Had eight of his 14 disposals in the “premiership quarter.”

#22 Sam Walsh – The bottom-ager is arguably the best midfielder in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft. Walsh led the stats sheet with 30 disposals, seven inside 50s and won five clearances. Walsh linked up well on the outside and worked very hard at the stoppages. Whilst not all his kicks inside 50 were effective, his ball winning ability is outstanding.

#44 Sam Conway – The Geelong College student has a few suitors at AFL level and may wind up a draft selection – as a real riser in the second half of the year. Conway is a very raw ruckman who is often made to handball the ball to his midfielders, but he can mark well around the ground and has plenty of traits that’ll appeal to a club looking for a ruckman.

#49 Dane Hollenkamp – Like Conway, Hollenkamp’s improvement this year has been exceptional. In the ruck, he has shown improvement and at times backs himself to take it out of the ruck and handball it out to a teammate. At ground level, he is clean and can win the ground balls and get it out to a teammate. Hollenkamp finished with 10 disposals and 12 hitouts and like Conway – may find himself in draft calculations.

Sandringham Dragons

#6 Charlie Constable – There was plenty of doubt on Constable coming into the game with a groin injury, but Constable showed his class in the opening half of the match – turning the game in the second quarter with the first two goals of the quarter. Constable is able to play up forward and mark the football. His clearance work was good, and off limited game time he was able to get 23 disposals and four clearances.

#8 Will Walker – Walker’s clearance work around the ground was impressive and he was able to get the ball on his boot and bang it forward. While at times his kicking can be hit and miss, most of his kicks went long and were effective. He wins the contested ball and Walker was able to push forward and boot two goals – and may himself drafted inside the top 30.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Brayshaw just gets to the right positions and is a clean ball user by hand and foot. The Falcons sat Harry Benson on him and at times he was under enormous pressure and resulted in him handballing out of the stoppages in more occasions than not. His contested numbers were slightly down, but he was able to bring the ball inside 50 throughout the game. Laid a match-high 11 tackles and pushed hard in the final term.

#20 Kai Owens – In the first 15 minutes of the final quarter, Owens had five disposals, four marks and booted three goals. When the game was looking for a player to stand up, Owens was the man who got the Dragons back into the game – using his leap and his agility up forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – A lot has been said about his after the siren miss, but the Dragons ruckman has been a big improver since Round 1. Was the clear best ruckman on the day with 27 hitouts, but his pressure and tackling around the ground was an important facet of the game. I think he might find a home in the back half of the draft.

#30 Hayden McLean – Thought it was Hayden McLean’s best game for the season. His first half in particular saw McLean show some signs of what had been hoped from the AFL Academy member this year. McLean took four marks in the opening quarter, as well as booting a goal. Finished the day with 12 disposals and seven marks. Boosted himself up a touch with a good Grand Final game.

TAC Cup Grand Final preview: Geelong Falcons vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER 18 rounds and two weeks of finals, the two top TAC Cup sides have emerged with reigning premier Sandringham Dragons taking on top four regular Geelong Falcons. The Dragons finished fourth overall and defeated Murray Bushrangers in the elimination final before toppling Oakleigh Chargers in the preliminary final. Geelong defeated Gippsland Power in the elimination final before an impressive victory over Dandenong Stingrays last week.

The Falcons head into the grand final with few injuries, at close to full-strength as possible. The Dragons on the other hand, have a number of question marks, with Ed Newman (suspended) out, and both Nathan Murphy (ankle) and Charlie Constable (tightness) under injury clouds.

This game sees the best outside midfield taking on the best inside midfield, with the Dragons content on using their slick skills and short passing to frustrate opponents, while the Falcons often win the contest through sheer strength, winning the ball at the coal face and booting it inside 50. The winner will be the one that can play the game on their own terms.

Check out the player stat comparisons for the starting 18 here.

KEY PLAYERS:

Andrew Brayshaw – The Geelong Falcons strong inside midfield will have an advantage at the stoppages and it will be up to the Brayshaw brothers, Andrew and Hamish, to turn the game in the Dragons’ favour. The potential first round draftee wins the ball inside and out, as well as 5.4 clearances per game.

Gryan Miers – The dangerous small forward has booted 37 goals in the TAC Cup this season and looms as the key to a Falcons’ victory. He rarely lacks opportunities and if he can have his kicking boots on, he has been prone to booting bags, including a six-goal haul earlier this season.

FIVE KEY FACTORS:

1 Coal face battle – The midfield of James Worpel, Cassidy Parish and Sam Walsh average 16.5 clearances between them, while Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw and Will Walker average 15.5, not too far behind. Add in the fact Walker spends time down forward and it is evenly balanced. Parish and Hamish Brayshaw are the two best extractors in the TAC Cup so going head-to-head will be enthralling.

2 Oh Miers – I briefly mentioned above, but Gryan Miers is one of a number of talented goal sneaks who can really hurt the opposition given the chance. I expect Nathan Murphy – if fit – to take Miers as he is equally strong in the air, or perhaps Bailey Smith or Howie Persson are others potentially seen as match-ups for Miers.

3 Goal sneak battleLachie Noble and Aaron Trusler love to pounce on opportunistic goals and whilst they will be up opposite ends of the ground, the one who impacts the match more could be the difference in what is expected to be a tight game.

4 Key KingsMax King and Ben King are top 10 prospects next year and have already shown impressive glimpses in their bottom-age year. Max has been playing forward, while Ben has taken up a key position post in defence and they will be expected to play a big role in the Dragons’ success this year and next. Ben will likely line-up on Falcons’ key forward Adam Garner, while Max will likely see Josh Jaska stand beside him at the first bounce.

5 Top-end talent – Sandringham had a host of first round draft picks last year and they look set to have a new bunch this year including Charlie Constable, Andrew Brayshaw and Nathan Murphy, leading a huge 19 National and State Combine invitations. For the Falcons, Matt Ling looks set to be the first Falcon taken this year, with James Worpel, Ethan Floyd, Cassidy Parish, David Handley and Gryan Miers among the others that will no doubt be on a number of recruiters lists.

LAST TIME THEY MET:

Sandringham Dragons 9.12 (66) defeated Geelong Falcons 2.5 (17)

Sandringham goals: Lachlan Harris (2), Isaac Morrisby (2), Will Walker, Kai Owens, Anthony Seaton, William Kennedy.
Geelong goals: Hayden Elliot, Bayley Cockerill.
Sandringham disposals: Geordie Nagle (38), Bailey Smith (34), Angus Styles (33), Seb Williams (32), Will Walker (28), Nathan Murphy (28)
Geelong disposals: Harry Benson (25), Jack Henderson (22), Brayden Ham (20), Cooper Stephens (19), Bayley Cockerill (17), Ethan Floyd (17)

CHANGES FOR GRAND FINAL:

Geelong ins: Josh Jaska, Jarrod Walters, Oscar Brownless, Matt Ling, James Worpel, Sam Walsh, Ed McHenry, Gryan Miers, Tom McCartin, Dane Hollenkamp, Cassidy Parish, David Handley, Mitch Chafer, Sam Conway
Sandringham ins: Charlie Constable, Ben King, Alfie Jarnestrom, Hayden McLean, Max King, Andrew Brayshaw, Hamish Brayshaw, Lucas Barrett*, Sam Cameron*, Josh Gorman*, Aaron Trusler*, Alastair Richards

TEAMS:

Geelong Falcons:
B: 17. Cooper Stephens – 43. Josh Jaska – 26. Jarrod Walters
HB: 30. Oscar Brownless – 39. Connor Idun – 19. Matt Ling
C: 13. Ethan Floyd – 38. James Worpel – 22. Sam Walsh
HF: 7. Harry Benson – 46. Adam Garner – 8. Ed McHenry
F: 4. Gryan Miers – 41. Tom McCartin – 1. Lachie Noble
R: 49. Dane Hollenkamp – 42. Cassidy Parish – 16. David Handley
INT: 11. Mitch Chafer – 44. Sam Conway – 40. Hayden Elliot – 5. Jack Henderson
23rd: 36. Charlie Sprague

Sandringham Dragons:
B: 2. Geordie Nagle – 33. Howie Persson – 37. Bailey Smith
HB: 6. Charlie Constable – 70. Ben King – 74. Nathan Murphy
C: 22. Quintin Montanaro – 8. Will Walker – 10. Angus Styles
HF: 15. Alfie Jarnestrom – 30. Hayden McLean – 5. Seb Williams
F: 1. Lachie Harris – 61. Max King – 20. Kai Owens
R: 29. Joel Amartey – 9. Andrew Brayshaw – 11. Hamish Brayshaw
INT: 3. Lucas Barrett – 24. Sam Cameron – 13. Josh Gorman – 12. Jackson Hille – 25. Max Lohan – 28. Isaac Morrisby – 7. Aaron Trusler (Three to be omitted)
23rd: 58. Alastair Richards

TIP:

On form, fitness and consistency throughout the year, it is hard to look past the Geelong Falcons. Sandringham Dragons leave their best until last and it would not surprise me whatsoever if they got up in this game, but with the Falcons in top-form, cruising along nicely and no injury question marks, I will tip the Falcons by 25 points. I tip Gryan Miers to be named best on ground.

2017 TAC Cup Scouting notes: Finals week 1

THE FIRST week of TAC Cup Finals have been run and won, with Oakleigh, Dandenong, Geelong and Sandringham progressing to next Sunday’s Preliminary Finals at Simonds Stadium.

You can re-watch all four TAC Cup Finals games here.

Read Matt Balmer and Peter Williams’ scouting notes from all four finals below, focusing on some of the better players on the weekend, with an emphasis on the 2017 draft eligible players.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#1 Jack Roughsedge – Booted the first goal of the game for the Chargers and played as an inside midfielder during the game. Coming out the stoppages and in tight, Roughsedge preferred to use his right foot kick rather than his hands to get the ball out of the contest. Spreads well out of the stoppages.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Has had a great second half of the year and is pushing himself in draft calculations. When up forward, he keeps his feet and is able to get the ball out to a teammate by hand. His clearance work in the midfield is very good and he was willing to tackle hard – putting pressure on his opponents. While he does lack a touch of speed, he knows his limitations and is able to get the ball moving forward on his right foot. Kicked a nice left foot snap goal.

#8 Toby Wooller – Was one of the Chargers’ best players but hopped off in the last quarter and scans post game confirmed he had broken his ankle. His marking was on show early, including a spectacular clunk on the wing in the first quarter. He did have two chances late in the first term to capitalise on goal – but missed them both. He did boot two goals in the third quarter and really showed his strengths in the air and at ground level. One of his better games in a while.

#14 Ed Richards – Didn’t win a stack of the ball, but his moments were very good and he was able to link up and create drive off half back. He did take a while to get going, but a nice intercept mark in the second quarter really got him going and he booted a goal in the second quarter. Late in the game he was shown into the midfield and won a centre clearance late, booting the ball inside 50 on his long left foot.

#22 Hugh Longbottom – It was surprising to see him begin the game in the ruck as an undersized tall at 191cm – but immediately he used his trademark leap to crack in hard, in what was a very good contest with Matthew Harman. He was very mobile around the ground and was able to get the ball around the ground and mark when required.

#50 Matt King – Worked tirelessly all day in the back half and reads the play well. Does not find as much of it as some of his teammates, but I felt he put in a lot of work moving the ball out of defence and propelling it forward in transition.

#71 Dylan Williams – The 16 year-old might not be available for draft selection until 2019, but his game on the weekend was first class. He marked well above his head, showed good athleticism and was able to pinpoint passes in traffic with ease. It is worth remembering this name next year as he is likely to take the competition by storm as a bottom-ager.

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Started as an inside midfielder but was also able to go across to the half back flank when he rotated out. He accumulates the ball well and is willing to tackle hard around the ground. He is usually clean across half back and in tight at the stoppages, he’s able to use his quick hands to effectiveness.

#6 Patrick Naish – Played as a utility, but again looked his best in the second quarter playing up forward, where he was able to bag one of Northern’s four goals. While his finishing could’ve been better around the ground – his tackling pressure was very good. Is springy on his feet and can jump up high above some of the other midfielders when trying to win the ball in the air.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Started off slowly but got going and showed his ability to win the ball in the contested situations. Went deep up forward at times in the second quarter, including an outstanding mark in the second quarter where he converted the chance. At the moment, he is far from the finished product and has plenty of traits that will appeal to clubs with his eye-catching speed and leap outstanding.

#8 Nick Coffield – Won the footy on the inside and once again was very good in traffic. Is so composed in the content and for one of the first times of the season – he was caught holding the ball at one stage during the match. A spin early in the contest was very impressive, while another good trait was his long handballing ability. An elite kick inside 50 in the third term was simply outstanding and while St Kilda coach Alan Richardson was looking on – it wouldn’t be a shock to see him drafted before their first pick inside the top 10.

#9 Alex Federico – Was willing to kick out of the stoppages on either his left or right foot – and while his numbers weren’t as big as previous games, he did some good things in their tough loss. At times he did just bang the ball forward, but his clearance work was important in meaning the Knights could get the ball going inside 50. His vision in the final quarter to find a target on his left foot directly to his right was outstanding.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Eastern Ranges 

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hunter Clark – Dandenong’s game plan involves getting the ball inside 50 as many times as possible – and Hunter Clark is a playing that completes that task. Whilst early in the contest, not all of his kicks hit the target, he was damaging in the second half of the contest and gave the Stingrays forwards the ball inside 50. His tackling and multiple efforts were hugely important in helping the Rays lift after half time. He had two pinpoint passes inside 50 in the third quarter, and his good hands in tight were impressive in the last quarter.

#6 Aiden Bonar – Played it patches, showing off his good burst and his strength in the contest. A nice contested mark, saw him run into an open goal in the first term, while he flied high for a mark in the second quarter. His tackling and general pressure around the ball was good, but did cop a knock late – but should be fine for next week.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – ‘LDU’ was back to his pre-champs best, dominating throughout the contest – in particular in the final half of the game when the Stingrays took control. His hands and his pick ups from ground level were outstanding, while he showed his tenacious attack on the ball in the contested. A good passage in the second quarter saw him take a few bounces running down the middle, while another goal assist in the third term was equally impressive. He looked ‘stuffed’ in the last quarter after pushing himself – but he found another gear after he Stingrays needed someone to keep it going in the midfield and there’s no doubt he was the best player on the ground. Wow.

#15 Toby Bedford – Really liked his game out of the midfield. Managed to burst away from his opponents a couple of times and kick inside 50. He did not always hit his targets going forward but was able to get deep entries inside 50 which was a plus, especially in a game where Dandenong had tall targets such as Riley D’Arcy and Bailey Williams rotating forward.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Took a couple of marks in defence, but he didn’t have as many as the previous week. He was able to be an option on the switch and at times was able to win crucial one-on-one contests. He is a rock in defence at times and reads the play well and hits the contest as a third man so well.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued to win the ball on the inside and spread well from the contest. His clearance work was good and he was able to win it on the outside as well. His ball winning is very good and his stoppage work is appealing. Had a good third term. An underrated midfielder in the Stingrays’ line-up.

Eastern Ranges:

#6 Ryley Stoddart – Continued to work his backside off throughout the whole game coming out of defensive 50. He was able to mark around the ground with ease early in the game, but at times looked to rush things and elected to use his agility to try and get around players rather than just looking for a simple option, often seeing him tackled trying to do too much. His kicking was uncharacteristically off – but a few recruiters made it verbally known that it was obvious he was giving his all despite his teammates basically stopping late in the game.

#10 Dylan Moore – Used his smarts and agility to good use in the midfield, but was just out powered in the second half by the bigger bodies Davies-Uniacke and Clark. Moore’s follow up work was good and he was able to sneak forward and his goal in the last quarter did give the Ranges some brief hope that they might be able to snatch back the win.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Stephenson started the game up forward and was more impactful there than through the midfield. When he was playing well and providing some spark the Ranges were up and about, but after half time Stephenson was unable to get his hands on the ball and the Ranges begun to struggle. Stephenson snapped a nice goal in the opening term and had a good passage of play in the second term marking the ball – but unfortunately didn’t convert the chance. I still think his best position is inside 50.

#17 Cody Hirst – The exciting forward has pace to burn. He might not be the highest rated player, but the defensive pressure he offers and continual bursts of acceleration make him a danger inside 50. Pressured the Stingrays’ defenders throughout the day.

#21 Joel Garner – Played up forward after spending most of the second half of the year playing across half back. Garner showed his smarts and was able to hit the scoreboard in the second quarter. He used his left foot well and his kick to Trent Mynott in the third term was executed perfectly. He was able to provide a target and had more impact than he has in recent weeks.

#22 Jackson Ross – Again showed bursts to suggest the high level junior tennis player is worth a selection in the draft. He was willing to power the ball long inside 50 on either foot and covers the ground well. Booted two goals for the day and some of his overhead marks were very good.

Geelong Falcons vs. Gippsland Power 

Geelong Falcons:

#1 Lachlan Noble – A small forward who plays the role perfectly. While he does not win a lot of the ball he just pressures opposition defenders and then when his team wins the ball he darts forward and often wins the ball over the top. Kicked two goals in the second term from pure running and being the first to the ball deep inside 50.

#4 Gryan Miers – Was everywhere in the opening quarter, getting space in the attacking half of the ground. Won multiple frees inside 50 and was able to convert his chances in front of goal on his right foot. Finished the day with three goals and was able to impact the game up forward.

#11 Mitchell Chafer – The forward was pretty good early taking a great mark one-on-one and showed off his aerial strength. Adds an extra dimension to the forward line and with the opposition’s top defenders on the likes of Miers, Handley and Noble, Chafer can often be the beneficiary and has good goal sense.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Was best-on-ground using his great running ability on the outside. He used the ball reasonably well off his left foot and broke the lines, often using his burst of speed or agility to get around the players around him. Had multiple rebound 50s and inside 50s throughout the contest, and his follow up work was very good. One of his best games of the year.

#19 Matt Ling – Again had a disposal figure in the teens – but he was able to be damaging breaking the lines and hitting targets on his left foot. Had a very nice kick to Hollenkamp in the opening quarter, while an exceptional passage in the second quarter saw him use his quick hands deep inside defensive 50 – then following up to receive the ball across half back and have a run to get the ball moving onto the wing. He was composed with ball in hand and showed he was willing to defend – laying a few shepards and spoiling when required.

#22 Sam Walsh – Unbelievable once again. This bottom-age kid is something special and he will be one to watch next season. He has such poise and composure with ball in hand and just moves so well through the stoppages. He also has an impact up forward and consistently finds the ball.

#38 James Worpel – The inside midfielders was able to win the ball in the contest and get it moving forward. His long kick inside 50 that found Mitch Chafter was super in the opening half of the game, as was his goal from outside 50m off his right boot. He did appear the cramp later in the game, but he was able to keep pushing and a centre clearance in the final quarter that found O’Gorman was great.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Tag-teamed with Worpel in the midfield for the Falcons, he often looking to handball rather than kicking coming out of the stoppages. At times he was ‘casual’ in his approach kicking around the ground, but his ball winning ability was good. He cramped in his calf late in the game, but played it out still in the midfield for most of the last quarter.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Was very good early and his attack on the ball was notable. Starting across half back, he was able to set them up early in the opening quarter when the Power were in the game. He showed his speed and had a good smother on Cassidy Parish early in the game.

#4 Changkuoth Jiath – CJ was again exciting with some great eye-catching marks. His burst in close about 70 metres from goal in the second quarter showed promise and while the Hawthorn next-generation academy member is far from the finished product – his kicking was better than it has been in previous weeks. One of his best kicks was when he marked inside 50 and then was able to hit another player on the lead with pinpoint accuracy.

#6 Aiden Quigley – Spent time at either end, but got more involved as the game went on. He had a really good kick to Will Leslie in the third term and showed off some speed. He was willing to use it off either foot and was a deserving winner of a holding-the-ball after laying a nice tackle close to goal.

#7 Will Stephenson – Really busy early but faded as the game went on. He just runs hard at the ball and shows desperation with every attack on the ball. Might be small in stature but he is smart and just gets forward well, finds space and kicks the ball cleverly. Does not win a heap of the ball, but generally uses it pretty well. Good overhead for his height

#15 Cody Henness – One of Gippsland’s best today. Adam Garner had been a thorn in the Power’s side this season but Henness was superb one-on-one. He continually outmuscled him and was composed with ball in hand. He has shown this season he can play at either end and I gave him a big tick for his defensive efforts against the big Falcons forward, especially with the amount of inside 50s Geelong had.

#18 Matthew McGannon – Returning from injury, McGannon took some time to get into the contest, but got going after quarter time. Playing as an outside midfielder, he was able to spread well and kicked it long off his right foot. While at times his attack on the ball could’ve been better, he showed his desire to win the ball with a very good tackle in the third quarter.

#19 Callum Porter – Went head-to-head with Cassidy Parish early in the game and while he probably didn’t have a huge impact early – he worked his backside off to get the Power back into the contest. Showed his agility in the second and third quarters, with some good runs on the broadcast wings in front of the fans. Porter is normally good overhead for his player of his size and again showed that – with a good contested mark in the third quarter. Was tightly guarded by the Falcons through the second term and worked into the game after half-time.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Murray Bushrangers 

Sandringham Dragons:

#5 Seb Williams – Williams must like MARS Stadium – as his recent performances there have been very good. Williams again showed his run and zip on the outside, spreading well and backing himself to use his speed to get the ball up the field and inside 50. Williams booted a goal in the last quarter and did his draft chances no harm with another good game.

#6 Charlie Constable – Again continued to plug along and show why he is highly touted. He won the ball in the contested and dished it out to his teammates by hand – hitting most of his targets. He is a difficult match up inside 50 and he is able to take a good mark down low or in the air up forward. Had a nice handball goal assist to Morrisby early in the contest. Constable just gets his hands on the footy and gets to the right positions.

#8 Will Walker – Walker bobbed up and booted four goals, showing his run and carry ability getting the ball inside 50. He mixed his time between inside midfielder and up forward and it’ll be interesting to see at the next level where he fits in. Possesses good agility and has improved throughout the year.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Stood out again through the midfield, just getting to the right spots and was able to win it in the contested situations. His clearance work again was good and he was able to spread and win the ball around the ground. His third quarter was huge in ensuring that the Bushrangers weren’t a sniff at making a comeback. Linked up with his brother well (especially early) and had an outstanding passage, kicking the ball to Jarnestrom in tight on the boundary line.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – Was a damaging player in the midfielder, winning the ball and using his strong frame. Was able to hit the scoreboard, but his smarts in the contest were notable. Has been injury free this season and there’s no doubt his VFL form has helped him come back into the TAC Cup as a better player.

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Was one of the clear Bushies best players and at every opportunity went to run off his opponent with ball in hand. His agility and run across half back was vital in the opening quarter, keeping them in the lead. He used it reasonably well on his right foot and was willing to take on his opponents (and kept doing it even late in the last quarter). Has a good burst and was one of the better players for Xavier College this year in Victorian APS school football.

#5 Ben Paton – Despite being sick in recent weeks, Paton was able to win the ball around the contest and across either arcs. He did rest forward at times, but his run was important throughout the day and did take some good marks late in the contest. One of the better Bushrangers, particularly early when they put the pressure on the Dragons.

#7 Zane Barzen – All class and was strong early. He booted a couple of goals and just showed great vision on the run to hit-up a teammate by centring the ball while under pressure. It was not the easiest of kicks but he made it look simple. A bottom-ager that might remind some Bushrangers’ fans of a Steele Sidebottom who turned out to be a pretty handy AFL player.

#10 Dave Smith – Smith again used his key traits to effectiveness, showing off his speed and flair on the outside. He was clean picking the ball up from ground level and he looked to pressure his opponents whenever he could.

#19 Will Donaghey – Booted a long goal during the contest and rebounded the ball well across half back. Possesses good agility and his marking was impressive (especially overhead) where he took an intercept mark in the third term. He was willing to hold onto the ball and look laterally for a switch at every opportunity he had.

#30 Alex Paech – Played as a key position forward and was often used in the ruck. When he collected the ball, he looked to dispose of it by hand balling to a teammate. Kicks the ball on his left foot and is able to kick it 50 metres.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 18

THE final round of the TAC Cup season was completed on the weekend – with the all important finals series kicking off at Victoria Park this Saturday. We had our scouts watching all six games in Round 18, read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Peter Williams)

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Arguably the best game I have seen him play live. Took a couple of fantastic grabs one-on-one and kicked two goals, one from a snap and a second from a set shot. He continued to look dangerous throughout the contest, applying good pressure inside forward 50, and a touch of class when on the outside. While he did not receive a state combine invite, he could be one that falls under the Western Bulldogs Category B rookie if they choose to nominate him.

#2 Callan Wellings – The Rebels’ captain put in another strong performance on the weekend. Wellings is one of the most consistent performers in the TAC Cup and he just has a no-fuss approach to his football. He showed a high work rate and great vision in close while also finding space around the ground. He was rewarded with a goal when he snuck into space inside 50. He took a few intercept marks across half-back in the final term to snuff out any hope of a Bendigo comeback and was involved in a possession chain where he won the ball in the defensive half and then ran forward to take a mark at half-forward in the same possession chain.

#4 Aiden Domic – Domic has been a big improver in the second half of the season and was best on ground against the Pioneers on the weekend. He is a really smart footballer who does not waste time with his disposal. While his inside numbers have improved in the second half of the season, he played predominantly on the wing as Jordan Johnston took an inside role. He snapped a terrific goal in the third term with five minutes remaining to put the Rebels 39 points up. Domic has an impact up forward and great goal sense and is one of the best endurance runners in the competition.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Appleby’s draft stocks would have to be rising after yet another big performance down back, this time on top 10 hope Jarrod Brander. Appleby gave up nine centimetres and six kilograms to the big forward but held his own. He was really composed with the football and apart from a couple of minutes in the second term when Brander got hold of him, he stood up well, positioning himself well in the one-on-ones, protecting the ball drop and also peeling off Brander to assist teammates. Appleby was unlucky not to receive a state combine invitation, but his last month has been nothing short of sensational.

#10 Jordan Johnston – The exciting forward has put together a good month of football as an uncomprimising inside midfielder. He holds his own in close and played on fellow forward-cum-midfielder Brent Daniels at the stoppages. Johnston won more of the football but was exposed for leg speed against Daniels crusing out of a pack. Johnston as a whole had more of an influence, turning it on in the third term setting up a goal assist after a free kick in the middle, and then had a second clearance from the next centre bounce, finishing with a goal moments later. A highlight was in the second quarter when Johnston smothered the ball and managed to grab the footy in one motion.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The over-age ruckman continued his good form in season 2017 with another influential display across the ruck and up forward. He has developed his body this year to really use his strength and frame to outmuscle opponents and was too strong for the in-form Jobee Warde. While Warde had the athleticism, Meek was really impressive in holding his ground and ensuring Warde could not get an easy jump at the ruck stoppages. Up forward, Meek presented well, crashing packs and taking a few good marks, although his goal kicking still needs some work, missing the lot from the forward pocket, albeit on a very tight angle.

#40 Tylar Watts – I was really only focusing on top-agers, but Watts caught my eye with a pretty good performance working in tandem with Meek. While his possession numbers are not high, Watts produced arguably the biggest highlight of the game with a towering mark in the final term when the Pioneers were threatening to chase down the deficit. He stood tall, kicked the goal and iced the game, giving Rebels fans a bit of excitement about what he could be capable of in 2018.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – I really liked Farrell’s game on the weekend. He is not a huge accumulator of the football but he looks balanced and has good vision through traffic and great hands in close. There were a couple of times where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered it well inside 50 to a leading target. He also showed his versatility to have an impact up forward, kicking a crucial goal late in the third term. The one knock from the weekend was there was an instance or two where he tried to do too much and was caught before he could effectively dispose of it or finish cleanly.

#6 Cooper Jones – Like his side, Jones was fairly influential early on, rebounding what he could for the Pioneers playing across half-back. He went in hard along the wing and laid a bone-crunching tackle winning a free kick. Last year he played up forward but I like him as a defender, was quieter in the second half, but still had a few nice touches across half-back and on the wing. He could potentially develop into a taller midfielder.

#8 Lochie O’Brien – It was not one of O’Brien’s better games despite picking up a vote in the Morrish Medal. He won more of the football than usual, but his kicking efficiency was well down on his usual standards, which was later reflected with just 50 per cent by foot. I regard O’Brien as a deadly left foot kick, but the Rebels captain Cal Wellings and his teammates gave O’Brien little time and space to use his strong attributes. Despite not having the influence he has had in other games, O’Brien still kicked a goal thanks to an old fashioned sausage roll from 50m in the last term.

#10 Brent Daniels – The nuggety forward played more inside midfield against the Rebels and flashed in and out with some brilliant patches. He almost created the highlight of the day, streaming down the middle of the ground taking a couple of bounces and got to about 60m from goal before taking a third bounce and fluffing it and getting caught by his chasing opponent. As a whole I felt he was composed with the football when under pressure and was good in tight by hand.

#13 Jarrod Brander – The possible top 10 draft pick continued to work throughout the four quarters but became Flynn Appleby’s latest victim. Brander was good on the lead and kicked a fantastic goal outside 50 in the second term and took a couple of marks in a two minute purple patch when he looked to break the game open, but otherwise was well held by his opponent. A combination of the swirly conditions and teammate’s inefficiency going inside 50 did not help his cause. Cannot fault his endeavour however and he continued to present up at the football, and when marking was a clean grab.

#15 Darby Henderson – The Pioneers ball magnet continued to win the pill throughout the game showing pretty good hands in close and doing everything right defensively. His kicking is still iffy at times and that’s the main knock on him, but he laid eight tackles and won the football all over the ground, clearing the ball out of the defensive 50 on a number of occasions.

#18 Bailey Henderson – The wingman continued a really solid season with a pretty solid game. He has great vision looking forward, but I questioned his peripheral vision when he had plenty of time but was run down from the side by an opponent. When in space he used a piercing kick and was able to win the ball at half-back and move forward in transition. He tends to have a slower kicking action which also saw opponents bump or tackle him when he was in possession, forcing him to make a few errors.

#20 Angus Schumacher – Like many of his teammates, Schumacher has had better games but he worked into the match in the second half. He took a good intercept mark early in the third but immediately coughed up the football with a short 20m pass. Schumacher sometimes does not kick through the ball over short distances and therefore makes errors by foot, but when kicking long he has a nice action and more often than not can hit-up a teammate 40-50m down the ground. Schumacher also showed good agility and closing speed on the lead.

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Continued his good ball winning abilities in the midfield and was a deserving runner-up in the Morrish Medal. Was able to spread well from the contest and you couldn’t fault his endeavours in wanting to win the ball back when the Jets were in possession.

#5 Curtis Taylor – The standout Cannon for the day for me. Playing in the attacking half of the ground, he showed off his X-Factor and agility in the stoppages. Taylor provided a dangerous option when he was up forward and he was able to get the ball inside 50 effectively when he was playing through the midfield. Also marks well overhead.

#12 Noah Balta – Begun the game up forward and mixed his time between ruck/forward. Was the clear best tall in at the centre bounces, using his elite leap to effectiveness. Up forward with the wind, Balta showed on multiple occasions he could bang the ball long 60 metres at goal – and he kicked a fine set shot goal in the opening quarter from outside 50. Contested marking was impressive right around the ground.

#29 Jake Riccardi – Played as a centre half back for the majority of the game and was able to drop off his opponent and win the ball in the defensive half of the ground. Is one I think that is better suited up forward, but has shown he is more than capable at either end in recent weeks. Was also very efficient by hand and foot, hardly missing a target all day.

#30 Mitch Podhajski – Battled hard playing as a key position player and was able to win the ball and rebound it out of defensive 50. Is a handy mark and can take them in contested situations. Gave away a few unnecessary free kicks during the game, but worked hard all day.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – Kicked a great banana goal in the opening quarter and his ball use was very good right throughout the game. He was able to win the ball in the contest and was also willing to tackle back to win the ball. Looking forward to tracking him closely next season.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty – One of the stiffest players to even not collect a vote in the Morrish Medal after his best-on-ground display. Fogarty hunted the ball back with immense pressure and his tackling was phenomenal. His clearance work was good and it lead to multiple inside 50s coming from his boot. Is agile enough to get around his opponents at the stoppages and he pushed forward to boot three goals.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Once again showed his contested ball winning abilities, working hard at every stoppage he attended. Also pushed forward and took a good mark inside 50 in the third quarter. Spent a bit more time forward than usual and didn’t win too many clearances – but was another important player in the midfield for the Jets.

#38 Buku Khamis – Played as a key defender and showed some smarts when teammates had the ball inside defensive 50, where he was often able to spread and get to the right position for the switch. Took some strong contested grabs and with the ball in hand his decision making was good.

#44 Tristan Xerri – Easily the best game I’ve seen Xerri play where he was not only able to dominate in the ruck, but win the ball around the ground. He linked up well by hand and his follow up work was very good. Booted two goals up forward, but it was his work in the contest that was super impressive for the tall.

Eastern Ranges vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Tom North – The inside midfielder was best on ground in the first quarter, seemingly bringing his own football with him. He was noticeaby missing after quarter time given Oakleigh took more control of the midfield. North hurt his ankle and did not play a further part after a nine disposal, two clearance start to the game. He is one who has shown enough this season to be considerd around the middle of the draft.

#6 Ryley Stoddart – One of the best Ranges on the weekend, Stoddart showed off some impressive, penetrating kicks coming out of defensive 50. He was assigned to Higgins at times and while he was beaten in the air by the Morrish Medallist, he was smart in peeling off and assisting teammates in other contests. Stoddart reads the play well and times his spoils to perfection, while he also has good vision to spot up teammates in space. A player who really applies good pressure when he is around the football I noticed he tends to rush his kick under pressure at times and can lean back to get more distance but sometimes it puts him off balance.

#10 Dylan Moore – Played his part for the Ranges on the weekend as one of the best and has an equal balance of offensive and defensive pressure. He leads at the football when it is his time to go, and he pressures opponents when he does not have the football to try and keep the ball locked into the forward 50. Kicked a good goal from a set shot and when he went into the midfield he really began accumulating the football. While he has been likened to that smaller forward role, Moore showed he can more than hold his own in the midfield with a number of clearances and winning it on the inside or out.

#14 Trent Mynott – The midfielder was quiet early but pressured his opponents and got to the right positions. He won a bit more of the football in the second half, and laid a huge bone-crunching tackle that even had the crowd going “oooh”. Mynott has a fierce attack on the football and while he was not a huge accumulator on the weekend, he always does the defensive aspects right.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – The midfielder/forward is just an excitement machine. At times his kicking can be iffy, but he wins the ball all over the ground, is good in the air or at ground level and just oozes excitement. As a spectator you cannot help but be drawn to see what he will do with the ball and what move he will pull next. He snapped a great goal under pressure in the second term and streamed through the middle of the ground showing off some great acceleration to kick inside 50. He had a couple of snaps early in the final term but could not find the radar, but was one of the few Ranges who could hold their head high for four quarters. It was one of his more consistent performances and caps off a great month.

#18 Sam Hayes – The most impressive thing about Hayes as a ruck is, despite not being overly mobile compared to other rucks, he does win a fair few clearances to go with his hitouts. A combination of grabbing it out of the ruck and putting it on the boot as well as picking it off the deck and booting it forward, Hayes put in another solid performance. He also wins a fair few free kicks because his opponents are wary of what he is capable of. He can take some good contested grabs and is a clear first round prospect and the first ruckman taken this year.

#21 Joel Garner – Had a good first quarter intercepting a number of possessions going inside 50, timing his leads and reading the ball well playing opposed to Higgins at times. But a late hit on an opponent after he kicked – nothing malicious just very late – saw him reported and set off late in the second term. Oakleigh took advantage of Garner being off the ground to boot a few late goals. Garner was not as influential after he returned in the second half, understandably.

#22 Jackson Ross – Not a big ball winner but produced a few highlights on the weekend. He had a fantastic intercept mark reading the play well on the wing, not breaking stride, but then was tackled and coughed up possession after he did not see a tackler coming hard from the side. He booted a nice goal from outside 50 in the opening minute of the final term, but otherwise was quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – The key position defender always applies pressure inside defensive 50 and the game against Oakleigh was no different. He lays some strong tackles and assists his teammates, also providing some rebound out of defence. Not a big ball winner, but he wins a fair chunk of his one-on-ones and therefore is good in contested situations.

#33 Tyler Brown – The son of Gavin and brother of Callum on the weekend was okay, but realtively quiet. He played at half-forward predominantly and lead up at the football on a number of occasions. He had a handball predominant game, winning most of his possessions in close, but was effective in getting it to a teammate.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#6 Matthew Day – Played inside forward 50 and had a quiet game. He took a fanastic sliding mark in the third term and kicked the goal from the set shot, while also spending stints in the midfield, but did not accumulate big numbers.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Played more of a forward role compared to his huge game the week before and was good in the way he continued to dig in and offer an option for his midfielders. He hits the contest hard and was rarely beaten overhead. He has great skills for a predominantly contested player and is a reliable set shot so I would not be surprised to see him rocket up the draft boards if he continues his good form.

#8 Toby Wooller – One of the best Oakleigh players in the win despite his kicking letting him down at times. He has developed into a hard running midfielder who is good overhead and can clear the area with some long kicks. He took a huge contested mark on the wing and while his kicking efficiency would have been average, his ability to win plenty of the football in midfield then go forward and kick three goals shows he has what it takes to make it at the next level, arguably as an athletic midfielder.

#35 Jack Higgins – The deserving Morrish Medallist again worked hard through four quarters but it probably was not his best game due to missed opportunities. His disposal by foot at times was rushed and he finished the game with 2.4 including a poster from a set shot. The wind caused much havoc and the pressure was high at times, but Higgins was a fanastic contested mark and can set up the play really well. His leading patterns are top notch and his work rate is huge. His kicking efficiency of 38 per cent and inaccuracy in front of goal stopped it from being a dominant performance once again.

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Peter Williams)

Northern Knights:

#4 Max Dreher – Worked hard in close and while he did not win a heap of the football, produced a lot of one percenters to help his teammates. He fought throughout the four quarters and was rewarded for his hard running with a great goal from outside 50.

#6 Patrick Naish – The Richmond father/son nominee was effective across half-back early, looking calm and composed. He was more influential in the first half than in the second, like many of his teammates. He had a flying shot at goal from outside 50 but it went well out on the full, before adding a major to his name late in the last quarter with a good goal inside 50. Not one of his better games, but was serviceable considering his team as a whole did not perform the way they would have liked.

#7 Jack Petruccelle – Did not accumulate a heap of it, but I felt he was one of the best Knights. He won the ball in close and on the outside and while he could rush his kick on occasions when disposing of it over short distances, he had an impressive purple patch in the quarter. He won the ball at half-back and spurred a dart inside 50 to a teammate and then moments later had a running shot at goal and it sailed home. Petruccelle had a good clearance out of the centre to open the final term..

#9 Alex Federico – Known for his ball winning ability and he was one of the bigger accumulators on the weekend. His work rate is really high and he is important in the Knights’ transition from half back to half-forward. Federico was really cleaver around the stoppages in extracting the ball and getting it forward, winning the bulk of his disposals in tight.

#11 Ethan Penrith – The usual defender played up forward and had a good pressuring role. Unfortunately his stats will not reflect the game he had without the football, just a couple of touches and a goal, but he laid a few tackles and did add an extra element inside 50 when the ball went down there. Didn’t see him have a touch in the second half though.

#12 Joel Naylor – The tall forward was indicative of the Knights’ performance in the sense he was super impressive when handed opportunties in the first half, but faded away in the second half. Took a few good marks and slotted a goal in the first term, but was barely sighted after half-time such was the lack of entries inside the Knights’ forward 50.

#34 Matthew Harman – Harman did his bit in the ruck, sharing the duties with Joel Grace and being serviceable across the ground. He had an ingenious moment in the second term when he kicked the ball along the ground to the advantage of his teammates when he knew he did not have time to take possesion. Did not accumulate much of the pill, but held his own in the ruck contests. 

Sandringham Dragons:

#1 Lachie Harris – Due to injury and school football I have not had the chance to see Harris live since the Dragons’ round one match and while he is not a huge accumulator, he is that small forward who adds pressure to the forward 50. He probably needs to do a bit more offensively, but defensively he was solid and kicked an important goal in the third term to put his side 24 points up with 10 minutes remaining.

#2 Geordie Nagle – Nagle is another “handball-first” player, but he is ultra-quick with his thought process and disposal. He has clean hands and won plenty of the ball in the middle of the ground, always on the move and shovelling it out to a teammate in space. Nagle earned a lot of his disposals running on the outside and also mopped up in defence on a number of occasions.

#5 Seb Williams – The Brighton Grammar midfielder was strong in the contest but his disposal let him down. His decision making at times was also questionable, such as handballing to a stationary target under pressure. However, his pros from the weekend really impressed me with his overhead strength and neat sidestep. He finds space inside 50 and kicked a great goal. He spread from the contest well and continued to present as an option coming off half-back and along the win. If he can tinker with his kicking and improve his decision making, he could be a late pick-up this year.

#6 Charlie Constable – The inside beast has had bigger games disposal wise, but when he wins the football he is really noticeable. His strength and balance in the contest is huge and in one instant he swivelled his hips to shake off a tackler and pump it long to Isaac Morrisby on the lead. Took a contested mark on the wing despite pressure coming from both sides of his body and he also defended well, adding composure to the back six. He finds space really well and looks to execute a pass inside to the corridor at every opportunity.

#8 Will Walker – Walker strikes me as a really hard runner. He is very outside in the way he goes about it, but he just gets to contest after contest. He often wins a lot of possessions through handball receives, but what impressed me on the weekend was his ability to work hard defensively and lay a number of good tackles. The knock was his influence around the ground because he won a bit through the middle of the ground, but was not as influential as others elsewhere.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Along with his brother, Brayshaw continued to win plenty of the football. He was more prominent in the first half, winning the ball in close and then spreading to the outside, delivering some nicely waited passes inside 50. He also set up a number of scoring opportunities when going forward and while there were a few rushed kicks, Brayshaw kicked an important goal early in the final term to snuff out Northern’s chances of a comeback.

#10 Angus Styles – One of the smarter players in terms of vision and footy nous in close. One example I saw which I liked was his ability to not rush his handball into space, but instead hold onto the footy for an extra second to enable his teammate Will Walker to run into the space required to receive the handball. He took a good intercept mark inside 50 for the Dragons by standing his ground, but missed the set shot and finished the day with two behinds. Styles was a really balanced player in the marking contest and he protects the ball drop. Not a huge accumulator, I thought Styles contributed to the Dragons’ win well.

#11 Hamish Brayshaw – The star of the show with five goals and was just influential throughout the contest. He was known for his ability to accumulate on the inside last season and on the weekend he played forward and just dominated. Then he went into the midfield and dominated there, laying some great tackles and influencing the contest in tight. Most importantly it was one of the best games I have seen him play in terms of disposal and hurt factor with some really impressive, penetrating kicks inside 50, setting up a couple of goals for teammates. An over-age player, Brayshaw would have to be in consideration at some clubs for his pure ball winning ability and his strength to make an impact when forward.

#29 Joel Amartey – An impressive game rotating through the ruck and up forward, needing to play more minutes in the midfield after Hayden McLean was concussed and taken from the ground. He started forward and took a great diving mark with his set shot from 35m out going straight through the middle. He then influenced the contest around the ground, showing off his athleticism to win a heap of hitouts and became the link-up man in transition from the midfield to the forwards. One of the best games I have seen him play.

#30 Hayden McLean – He took a huge contested grab and hurt himself doing so, with his kick on goal powerful, but missing. He presented up forward, but was not as influential as in other games, then came off concussed in the third term and did not play any further part.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The weekend’s game was the first time I have seen Murphy play live and I am sold. He was really strong in the opening moments with some deadly darts inside 50 and looked really slick along the wing. He went back later in the game and was good one-on-one and took some great marks. I thought his ground coverage was great, and he is not afraid to back himself in the contest. The one knock I would have is that he is still raw and learning aspects of the game having come from a cricketing background. With the ball he is fine, but without it there were a couple of moments where he looked uncertain of whether to shepherd a teammate or go for the ball himself. But I expect that will come with time and certainly with ball in hand, Murphy was ultra impressive.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#6 Aiden Bonar – Was impressive throughout the contest and spent more time in the midfield as the game went on. His pressure was very high and he laid some very strong tackles. Has presence around the contest and showed that he has a decent burst when he needs to use it. Took a strong contested mark in the third quarter and was able to find the ball around the ground. Bonar was willing to provide multiple efforts, including a great passage of play in front of recruiters on the wing – where he was able to make multiple efforts and attempt to win back the ball by applying pressure on the Geelong defenders.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – Played one of the best games I’ve seen him play, marking with ease in the defensive 50. Was also pushed forward late, but his intercept work was one of the reason that the Falcons struggled to kick goals. His usage was good on his right foot and provided a few rebound 50s.

#26 Tom Murphy – Continued his strong form showing his ball winning abilities through the midfield. Covered the ground well and his defensive efforts were good – not only dropping back to help out in defensive 50, but tackling hard through the midfield. Hitting form at a good time.

#35 Tom Freeman – Played as a third tall rebounding defender for the Stingrays and whilst most of his possessions were in uncontested situations – he reads the play well and his positioning was good. Has some burst of speed too.

Geelong Falcons:

#4 Gryan Miers – Had a quieter game than usual, not winning as much ball as he has done in some games this season. Spent most the day inside 50, and his follow up and pressure work was good. Laid some strong tackles in the wet and his hands in close were effective.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Had a superb run down tackle in the first quarter and was able to get off the chain on the outside as one of the Falcons’ best. Showed off his agility on the wing and was willing to take on opponents with his speed. Booted a great left foot goal from outside 50 and pumped the ball long on multiple occasions.

#16 David Handley – Had five scoring shots on goal – but unfortunately only managed to convert one – which was an absolute beauty booted from mid air 10 metres out. Showed off his long right foot kick at times and his leading was good – able to get space between himself and his opponent to mark the ball unopposed.

#19 Matt Ling – Started the game exceptionally well, but was quieter after quarter time. Used his good agility to effectiveness, as well as his pinpoint left foot pass. Took multiple kick outs for the Falcons and had a few good spoils when he needed to defend in one-on-one situations.

#38 James Worpel – Didn’t have as much impact than he has in other games – but his contested game was again on show. His tackling and pressure in the contest was very good and he was often found at the bottom of the packs throughout the game. In the wet, he was able to clear the ball and bang it long inside 50 to one of the Falcons’ tall targets.

#41 Tom McCartin – Leapt at a few balls throughout the day and you can tell he’s the brother of St Kilda’s Patrick. Had some good defensive efforts and was involved in a few score assists, getting the ball to teammates. Unfortunately, his day ended early suffering concussion.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Was strong on the inside and had plenty of early possessions in the opening half. Had good vision at times to find a target by hand in close and was another player that was willing to boot the ball out of the pack and get it going inside 50.

#46 Adam Garner – Pulled off a great contested mark in the opening quarter, as well as winning a free kick after being held – which he converted the shot on goal. However, once the rain came after half time, it was hard going for the Falcons tall.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power (Michael Alvaro)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – Amassed 25 disposals and seven clearances as one of Murray’s more consistent performers. Had a good mix of inside and outside possession, but his run and carry was what made him stand out on the day. Would like to see him finish off his bursts of speed with more kicks though, he opted to hand the ball off on the back of his runs and broke down the momentum of his move.

#7 Zane Barzen – Was a key link in the chain forward of centre for Murray with eight marks, one of which was a decent hanger on the wing in the third term. He chimed in with a couple of clever goals to cap off what was a solid shift overall. Needs to work on his defensive efforts though, as he didn’t clock a tackle despite having a strong presence up forward.

#11 Jy Lane – Lane was consistently the man moving the ball in and out of either 50 as he worked hard to take the game on and break the lines constantly. He worked well in that aspect alongside Langlands, while also quelling the influence of Jiath after quarter time on the wing.

#19 Will Donaghey – Lead all-comers in terms of disposals with 31 and was a key part in Murray’s moves out of defence. He collected a wealth of those possessions on the outside and often used his teammates to gather quick 1-2’s breaking away from stoppages. With 24 of his disposals counting as uncontested, it’s fair to say Donaghey’s strength lies on the outside, and he showed off his high footy IQ with some clever and opportunistic plays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – Langlands doesn’t often stand out in any particular areas, but this was one of his better games as he made his mark with some great run and carry. He’s a regular across half-back for Murray and he played that quarterback-type role perfectly as he gathered a wealth of uncontested ball and running bounces. He also impacted the scoreboard with his sole major and three score assists from some sharp inside 50 entries.

#30 Alex Paech – Paech was constantly a solid option up forward for the Bushies, but he struggled to reel in anything that came his way. While his hands aren’t the strongest, he does some good work at ground level and moves well for a key position player. He bagged two majors and was extremely vocal throughout the day, screaming ‘get around him’ from the bench whenever he could. Unfortunately copped a knock and limped off later on.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Part of the talented Gippsland midfield mosquito fleet, Hogan excited with some strong bursts from the stoppages and showed good clearance nous. Attended most of the centre bounces and helped his side to get on top with 8 clearances in a game-high 30 disposals. Played his part moving up the ground with 11 inside 50’s and some nice handball chains through the midfield.

#4 Changkouth Jiath – Was instrumental in the first quarter with 10 disposals, it seemed like Jiath was everywhere. Used his athleticism well to mark overhead and then break away along the wing, but just lacked a finish product. Needs to improve on his kicking if he wants to take full advantage of his damaging traits, which are outstanding. Also had a good battle with Jy Lane on the wing, rotating with Irving Mosquito throughout the game.

#5 Xavier Duursma – Duursma is as unfazed in combat as you’ll see any bottom-ager. Played his typical role in defensive-50, snuffing out opposition attacks both aerially and on the ground, while also providing plenty of rebound. He’s usually a composed kick but lost his head a couple of times today, turning it over in dangerous areas. Was still trusted with kick-in duties and put in a good shift overall down back.

#7 Will Stephenson – Was reasonably quiet in his loud green boots early on, but came to life after half time with more minutes in the midfield. He worked well at the centre bounces with Hogan, Porter and Quigley to get Gippsland on the front foot with a barrage of long inside-50 entries. Chimed in with three important goals and showed how clever he is around the big sticks, finding opportunities where not many would.

#19 Callum Porter – Arguably the best afield across the whole game, Porter capped off his consistent home and away season with a big performance. He was able to show off his inside and outside traits as a midfielder with some hard work in-tight followed up by streaming runs through the corridor. Continually popped up at the back of the centre bounces, either pumping the ball long or trying to break free of his opponents. Was an overall complete midfielder’s game today from the Gippsland star.

#41 Sam Flanders – Flanders was an absolute menace up forward and didn’t allow his opponents a moment of rest. Combined with fellow AFL Academy member Caleb Serong to amass four third-quarter goals which played a vital part in Gippsland’s second half breakaway. He lead the way in the defensive pressure stakes with some bruising tackles, but also showed some good finesse around goals despite kicking five behinds. Looks like a very promising type, and reminds me a bit of former Gippsland forward Tom Papley – who also wears the #41.

#42 Caleb Serong – The 16 year old hasn’t looked out of place at TAC Cup level and this game was no exception. Worked well in tandem with Sam Flanders inside forward 50 and chimed in with two crucial goals during the third term after moving from the wing early on. Can take a good overhead grab and does some smart work around goals, he’s another to watch in the coming years.