Tag: Daniel Stanford

Young Guns named for second game

A NUMBER of over-age prospects from the TAC Cup join some emerging young talent in the Victorian Football League (VFL) for the second game in the AFL Young Guns series at North Port Oval tomorrow from 11am. The program is a three-game series with the third and final match to take place on June 30.

On the Country team, Gippsland Power’s excitement machine Tyrone Hayes and big-bodied inside midfielder Austin Hodge, half-back Bailey Henderson, Murray Bushrangers key position utility Jordon Butts, Bendigo Pioneers’ ruck Daniel Keating and Dandenong Stingrays pair Angus Patterson and Lachlan Young are among the names on the list. Geelong Falcons’ premiership players Cooper Stephens and Cassidy Parish, former GWV Rebels’ midfielder Aiden Domic and ex-Gippsland Power tall Cody Henness are among the other names now on VFL lists.

For the Metro side, Calder Cannon mid/forward Dylan Landt and co-captain Mitch Podhajski, Western Jets’ Jack Papachatzakis, Oakleigh Chargers’ Matthew Day, Sandringham Dragons’ midfielder Kai Owens and forward Harry Bede, and Northern Knights’ key position defender Joel Naylor are some of the TAC Cup players in the match. Some of the names TAC Cup watches might remember from last year are Oakleigh Chargers’ trio Nathan Boucher, Charlie Thompson and Daniel Stanford, Sandringham Dragons’ duo Quintin Montanaro and Geordie Nagle and Northern Knights’ ruck Matthew Harman who have all progressed to the VFL this season.


1 Tyrone Hayes 27-Apr-99 176 68 Gippsland Power
2 Matt Neagle 19-Feb-98 180 75 Wodonga Raiders
3 Jack Blood 22-Oct-98 182 76 Geelong (VFL)
4 Cooper Stephens 21-May-99 180 72 Williamstown
5 Keegan Gray 04-Nov-99 181 73 Werribee
7 Aiden Domic 16-Jul-99 185 82 Geelong (VFL)
9 Kalan Huntly 18-Mar-97 185 88 Essendon (VFL)
10 Bailey Henderson 20-Oct-99 189 78 Bendigo Pioneers
12 Austin Hodge 02-Apr-99 190 83 Gippsland Power
13 Liam Whelan 16-Nov-97 194 85 North Melbourne (VFL)
14 Cody Henness 02-Jul-99 193 87 Footscray
15 Bailey Morrish 18-May-98 186 79 Williamstown
16 Cassidy Parish 04-May-99 193 85 Werribee
17 Lachlan Young 06-Apr-99 190 78 Dandenong Stingrays
18 Jordon Butts 31-Dec-99 196 80 Murray Bushrangers
19 Jack McHale 30-Aug-99 183 80 Frankston
21 Tom Freeman 14-Feb-96 191 85 Casey Demons
23 Mykelti Lefau 22-Jun-98 195 96 Casey Demons
24 Angus Paterson 03-Sep-99 199 88 Dandenong Stingrays
27 Jesse Davies 07-Jun-99 194 83 Frankston
28 Kieran Byers 05-Feb-97 203 99 Casey Demons
30 Daniel Keating 08-May-99 195 87 Bendigo Pioneers



1 Nathan Boucher 30-Apr-99 171 70 Box Hill Hawks
2 Dylan Landt 18-Nov-99 178 75 Calder Cannons
3 Charlie Thompson 15-Mar-99 183 80 Richmond (VFL)
6 Will Goss 09-Nov-98 179 71 Port Melbourne
7 Jack Papachatzakis 21-Oct-99 186 80 Western Jets
8 Matthew Day 01-Apr-99 189 83 Oakleigh Chargers
9 Quintin Montanaro 20-Jan-99 187 74 North Melbourne (VFL)
10 Geordie Nagle 11-Nov-99 187 81 Box Hill Hawks
11 Corey Rich 29-Mar-97 183 83 Frankston
13 Jackson McDonald 23-Apr-98 184 77 Coburg
14 Daniel Stanford 26-Feb-98 191 83 Collingwood (VFL)
15 Kai Owens 05-Oct-99 192 79 Sandringham Dragons
16 Sam Sofronidis 19-Aug-99 192 78 Sandringham Dragons
17 Fraser Cameron 28-Jun-98 185 86 North Melbourne (VFL)
19 Jake Page 05-Mar-98 190 86 Coburg
20 Joel Naylor 20-Sep-99 190 87 Northern Knights
21 Sam Ralph 07-Apr-98 195 77 Collingwood (VFL)
22 Mitch Podhajski 04-Jan-99 194 87 Calder Cannons
23 Harry Bede 25-Aug-99 192 75 Sandringham Dragons
25 Matthew Harman 02-Jun-98 200 91 Northern Blues

TAC Cup finals preview: Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights

IT is that time of year again where the best sides take to the field and determine which TAC Cup clubs are contenders and which are pretenders. In the past years, the junior competition has seen the finals series take on the identical look to that of the AFL, but in 2017, the finals will be three weeks of pure knockout. The first two games to kick off the round are first taking on eighth and third taking on sixth. So without further adue, we take a look at the first match of the finals series.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Northern Knights

Oakleigh: 1st, 15-3, 1653 points for, 993 points against, 166%
Northern: 8th, 7-10-1, 1164 points for, 1383 points against, 84%

On face value alone it is clear to see why the Chargers will head into this clash as strong favourites. They have amassed double the amount of points compared to Northern in the home and away season over 18 rounds and come in with a three-game winning streak, including two beltings over Bendigo Pioneers and Eastern Ranges. The Chargers’ three losses came against Western Jets, Geelong Falcons and Sandringham Dragons, with the Jets’ loss the only one since the end of April for the Chargers.

On the other hand, the Knights did not have the run home they would have liked. A huge 39-point win over finalists Murray Bushrangers in round 17 disguised a formline that would worry the Knights coaching staff, with five losses from their last six games. The last time these two sides met, Oakleigh triumphed 16.14 (110) to Northern’s 4.2 (26) in a pretty comprensive victory, holding the Knights to just two goals in each half, while running away with it in the second half.

What was most impressive about that win was the fact the Chargers were missing star and Morrish Medallist Jack Higgins – who has been withdrawn from today’s match with a shoulder injury – as well as Toby Wooller, the clubs’ two leading goal kickers. But the likes of Matthew Day (24 disposals, eight tackles, two goals), Lachlan Bugeja (24 disposals – 18 contested, seven clearances, five inside 50s) and Daniel Stanford (16 disposals, nine marks and four goals) all stood up, while Matthew King was a rock in defence with seven rebounds, and Jordan Troani played further up the field with 12 marks and four inside 50s from 21 disposals.

For the Knights, they too were missing a host of stars including top 10 draft pick Nick Coffield, speedsters Jack Petruccelle and Ethan Penrith, and the exciting Patrick Naish to name a few. Marcus Lentini had 34 disposals and six marks to lead the way, while Mitchell Andrews racked up 30 disposals, seven marks and six rebounds in the game. Oliver Stapleton (26 disposals, seven rebounds) and Jamison Shea (23 disposals and eight marks were others that stood up in the heavy defeat to the Knights.

Key Players today:

Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers) – 17.7 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2.1 hitouts, 4.6 tackles, 2.7 goals per game

Without Higgins, Wooller will be the man the Chargers turn to for their goals and he will also play an important role leading up onto the wing. He has been in fantastic form all season, booting 40 goals, and still winning plenty of the football and most importantly laying some strong tackles.

Patrick Naish (Northern Knights) 18.7 disposals, 4.1 marks, 2.7 tackles, 1.7 goals per game

There were a number of players I could have highlighted here, but Naish is the one I feel could hold the key for the Knights. He has started in defence recently, but has the capability of going forward and kicking goals, which I think he will need to if they are to kick a winning score.

Last word:

For Northern to win, they need to play smart football and get goals out of their midfielders because that is how Oakleigh has been so successful this season. For the Chargers, Higgins will be a big loss, but the structures and ability of others to stand up has been on show all season, and that is why Oakleigh is my tip in today’s game.

Weekend That Was – Round 10

A COMBINED 78 disposals, 16 marks, 12 clearances, 16 inside 50s and two goals to Geelong Falcons pair James Worpel and Cassidy Parish sunk the Bendigo Pioneers to bounce back from the Falcons’ only loss of the season.

The Falcons proved too good for the Pioneers, who were missing a number of key players due to representative duties through the Allies and school football. They battled hard but ultimately could not match the ladder leading Falcons, going down 11.21 (87) to 3.9 (27).

Worpel finished with a season high 43 disposals (but kicked at just 38 per cent efficiency), eight marks, seven clearances, seven tackles, 12 inside 50s and two goals, while Parish won 35 disposals, took eight marks, had five clearances, four inside 50s, three rebounds and three tackles. Others to find plenty of the ball was Bayley Cockerill (28 disposals, 10 marks, seven inside 50s) and Adam Garner (16 disposals, 11 hitouts and three goals).

For the Pioneers, regular ball winner Darby Henderson racked up 28 disposals, five marks and four clearances, while Laine Fitzgerald and Angus Schumacher both finished with 27 disposals.

Up at RAMS Arena, Sandringham Dragons got the job done against Calder Cannons, kicking 6.7 to 0.1 in the third term to be the difference between the sides in a 35-point win. The Dragons won 13.13 (91) to 8.8 (56), led by Lucas Barrett who racked up 32 disposals, seven marks, 10 clearances and three inside 50s.

Other Dragons that stood out were Quintin Montanaro who had 33 disposals, seven marks and three clearances, Geordie Nagle with 29 disposals, eight marks and seven clearances, and Will Walker who went at an impressive 86 per cent efficiency for his 22 disposals, as well as six marks, four clearances and two goals.

For the Cannons, Brad Bernacki continued his big month with another 30 disposal game at 87 per cent efficiency, while Lucas Cavallaro had 21 disposals and eight marks and Ben Caluzzi finished with 23 disposals (74 per cent efficiency), five marks, eight inside 50s and a goal.

Dandenong survived an almighty scare against Murray to post an important two-point win. The Stingrays led by 27 points at the final break, but a five goals to one term saw the Bushrangers storm home, only to fall short 14.9 (93) to 14.7 (91).

Bailey Morrish was impressive around the ground with 20 disposals (80 per cent efficiency), five marks, six inside 50s, four rebounds, four tackles and a goal. Other Stingrays that stood out were Riley D’Arcy who booted six goals from 16 disposals and five marks, and midfield pair Tom Murphy and Mitch Cotter who had 23 disposals each and racked up a combined 18 tackles, eight clearances, seven inside 50s and four rebounds.

For Murray, Kyle Clarke had 19 disposals, three marks and thre tackles and Angus Hicks finished with 23 disposals, seven clearances and 11 tackles. Mark Marriott had 32 hitouts to go with 15 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and two goals.

Western Jets moved a win closer to the top eight with a 33-point victory over Eastern Ranges. The Jets had a strong start to lead by five goals at half-time and while the Ranges hit back in the third term, the Jets steadied in the fourth quarter to win 11.15 (81) to 6.12 (48).

Xavier O’Halloran had 27 disposals, three marks, eight clearances, six inside 50s and 12 tackles for the winners, while Nicholas Stuhldreier racked up 29 disposals, nine clearances, four inside 50s and five rebounds. Connor Thar was also productive with three goals from 25 disposals, nine inside 50s and 10 marks.

For Eastern, Thomas North continued his leather poisoning for season 2017 with 37 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and six inside 50s, while partner in crime Jordan Lynch had 20 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles and booted a goal. Cody Hirst laid 11 tackles to go with his 20 disposals and five marks.

Over at Casey Fields, Callum Porter backed up his huge effort in the last round to have another best on ground performance against the Greater Western Victoria Rebels. Porter had 31 disposals, six marks, 11 clearances, nine inside 50s, eight tackles and two goals to lead from the front for the Gippsland Power who knocked off the Rebels by 27 points. Trailing by a point at the final break, the Power booted six goals to two in the final quarter to run over the top of the Rebels, having finished with eight of the last 10 goals to win 15.14 (104) to 12.5 (77).

Acting captain Will Stephenson stood up at clutch moments, having 20 disposals (75 per cent efficiency, five marks, five clearances, four inside 50s and four goals, while Kim Drew had 20 disposals, six marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and four rebounds. Up forward, Kyle Reid was a target, booting four goals from seven shots and his game included 18 disposals and six marks.

For the Rebels, Aiden Domic was the clear standout with 26 disposals, five marks and a goal, while Naish McRoberts (23 disposals) and Trent Reed (20 disposals and eight clearances) worked hard around the stoppages. Lloyd Meek was prominent in the ruck with 28 hitouts and 15 disposals.

TAC Cup Scouting Notes: Round 10

In the other game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers got the points against Northern Knights in a thumping 83-point victory. The Chargers never looked like losing and played a consistent four quarters in the 16.13 (109) to 4.2 (26) victory.

Lachlan Bugeja had 24 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles, five inside 50s and two rebounds, while James Troani was busy in the forward half with 21 disposals, 12 marks, four inside 50s and a goal. Matthew Day was also prominent with 24 disposals, three marks, two goals and eight tackles, while Daniel Stanford had seven marks (three contested) and booted four goals from 16 disposals.

For the Knights, Marcus Lentini had 34 disposals and six marks, while Mitchell Andrews racked up another 30 touches, seven marks and six rebounds. Jamison Shea (23 disposals, eight marks and a goal), and Lane Sinclair (21 disposals, four marks and four rebounds) were also among the bigger ball winners.

After 10 rounds, Geelong Falcons sits four points clear on top ahead of Oakleigh Chargers and Murray Bushrangers. Sandringham Dragons and Dandenong Stingrays sit four points behind with Northern Knights (20 points) outright sixth ahead of Gippsland Power and Eastern Ranges in seventh and eighth. Greater Western Victoria Rebels, Western Jets and Bendigo Pioneers are ready to pounce outside the eight on 12 points, while Calder Cannons are holding up the ladder with eight points.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 10

ROUND Ten of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend and we had scouts watching four of the games. Round 10 is the start of the three week TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ which will see teams play a minimum of 11 bottom-aged players. Read their scouting notes below:

Eastern Ranges vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – One of the unlucky players to miss out on Vic Metro selection for the opening game, but North did all he could do to bang down the door for a spot in their round three team. North’s hands in close were super and he worked the ball out of the stoppage with ease. His usage on his left foot was good and he hit most of his targets. Would’ve been one of the leading disposal winners on the ground, often looking to play on at all costs.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Stop the game at quarter time and the over-ager would’ve been clear best on ground. Lynch controlled the centre of the ground for most of the day and while he faded out a bit as the game went on with some extra attention from the Jets – he was a great player for them. His strong body at the stoppages helped him win the clearances and he used his agility and burst to move the ball forward at speed. Has presence.

#17 Cody Hirst – Laid an outstanding rundown tackle on O’Halloran in the opening quarter on the 50m arch. Took a nice mark on the lead in the second quarter and used the ball well on his left foot throughout the game. Had a kickable shot on goal in the third quarter 20m out on the run, but was impressive on the outside.

#20 Ben Cardamone – First time I’d noticed Cardamone and he wasn’t a player I had jotted down to watch coming into the clash – but I was impressed by the bottom-ager. Spent time at either end and was lively around the ball – willing to crack in hard and lay tackles. Reckon he’s a player to track over the next 18 months.

#24 Kye Quirk – Played in defensive 50 and the bottom ager was solid without starring. Has a long kick and has good vision with ball in hand. Took a nice mark at ground level in the opening quarter. Was winded in a Buku Khamis tackle in the third quarter nursing a sore head, but played out the game without too much discomfort.

Western Jets:

#1 Jake Hazik – Has an enormous supply of energy and the bottom-ager is as lively as they come. Possess great speed & agility and is fast footed. Booted a nice goal on his left foot close to goal in the opening quarter but his best goal was around the corner in the second quarter of the game over his shoulder. Did miss a kickable shot on the run in the first quarter but he’s someone who certainly will catch the eye.

#11 Zak Butters – Was a big ball winner in the U17 Futures game for Vic Metro last week and provides plenty of run and carry for the Jets team. Is a zippy midfield and while his kicking can be hot and cold, he was pretty good on Saturday. Picks the ball up cleanly from ground level and loves to tackle.

#12 Connor Thar – Roved his first goal from the ruck contest 15m out and was solid right throughout the game. Ball use was good on his right foot and took a nice mark in the last quarter.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Was a slow starter but his work in the centre of the ground was outstanding. Is a clearance machine and possesses a long kick. When tackled he lifts his arms up and is able to get them free to dish off a handball. Laid some crunching tackles and was superb in the second quarter.

#38 Buku Khamis – Haven’t seen a lot of Khamis up forward but he bagged two goals on his long left foot from outside 50 which were outstanding. He keeps his feet at the contest and has a very good leap. At times he misjudged the flight of the ball and didn’t take as many marks as he could’ve – but I thought it was one of the better games I’ve seen him play. Not a huge ball winner, but his last quarter was special despite missing an easy shot on goal from 15m out.

Gippsland Power vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

#5 Xavier Duursma – Played a solid role on the outside, moving the ball really well in transition and his ability to get his hands free when tackled is a big plus. Did not win as much of it as others, but seemed to get better as the game went on and kicked a really good goal from a standing start. Almost had a second courtesy of a high leap but just missed.

#7 Will Stephenson – The acting captain for the Power just relishes the big moments. With the game on the line and the Rebels starting to get hold of the match, Stephenson booted three second half goals to turn the game back in Gippsland’s favour. He was in the votes for mine, just behind teammate Cal Porter with the pair booting six majors between them and proving a handful for the opposition.

#15 Cody Henness – A steady hand in defence. He would chop off opposition passes and just hold up the play to regain momentum for Gippsland. He would then size up his options and pass laterally or go long, playing percentage football. A rock back there for Gippsland.

#18 Matthew McGannon – The Power player switched between midfield and defence at times and seemed to judge his kick really well. He had a good pass in the second term where he used his peripheral vision to kick laterally, hit-up a target and allow the Power to run clear of the defensive 50. One of the better Power players on the day and was solid throughout the four quarters.

#19 Callum Porter – Another best on ground performance for mine. Just so strong in the air, wins clearances and kicks goals. His reading of the tap in the last quarter, bursting away, taking a couple of bounces and slotted it from outside 50. Finished with two goals, a large number of contested possessions, contested marks and clearances, he just continues to get the job done and another all-round performance for the inside midfielder.

#20 Kim Drew – Another underrated midfielder at the Power who caught my eye a number of times. He sometimes was let down by his execution, but his decision making was very good. In otherwords, he would kick it to the right areas, and he has that penetrating kick, but it wouldn’t always hit the target lace out. He also had good vision on the outside and was a key mover on the wing.

#24 Sean Masterson – Can play at either end but settled in defence. Started on Jordan Johnston but moved around a fair bit. Took a couple of really neat hangers to show off his aerial ability. Got a bit of the ball and is athletic for his size, so another promising performance for the over-ager.

#25 Kyle Reid – Finished the match with four goals and for mine that’s a good day in any key forward’s book. Proved too strong for his opponents at times, he leads at the football and makes the most of his opportunities. Might have had one or two more but he had a few shots from tight angles. One goal he kicked tight up on the boundary line was his best. A prominent target inside 50.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin – The player to go to in the defensive half, Carlin isn’t rushed with his disposal and will hit up targets over short and medium ranges. Tasked with the kick-in duties, he did not let his side down and often would look for the 1-2 pass coming out of defence. Definetely a defensive playmarker and will be good to watch him develop into a midfielder over the next 18 months given his accurate passing.

#4 Aiden Domic – A very impressive performance from the Rebels midfielder. I’ve always thought he had the talent, but on the weekend he added the hard running to the max and got a tick from me. In one instant he had the ball at half-back, kicked long to a teammate and ran hard enough to receive the pass from that teammate inside 50. Kicked a goal against the flow late and used his pinpoint passing to effect throughout the game. Was very pleased with what he produced.

#9 Flynn Appleby – I took notice of both his offensive and defensive traits from the game. He laid a really good smother early in the third term, and also has that ability to break zones with his long kicking. He showed good hands under pressure and just kept bobbing up throughout the game and could hold his head high from that performance.

#10 Jordan Johnston – Looked to be going for the marks record early on, was hauling them in from everywhere including a high flying grab in the goal square for the first goal of the game. Finished with just the two majors, but played further up the ground as the game went on and hit up targets inside 50 on numerous occassions. A fine performance from the Vic Country squad member.

#15 Trent Reed – Had a truck load of the ball, but his kicking let him down at times. Seemed to rush his disposal a little bit but continually worked hard throughout the match. Copped a knock early and played it out and despite some of the missed kicks would have been one of the Rebels’ best. He covers the ground really well and just continually puts his body on the line and does the team thing with no regard for his own safety.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The standout ruck in the game, he’s just so strong and manhandled his opponents. In the past he’s had the ruckwork ability but this season he’s come in leaps and bounds in terms of using his body to ragdoll opponents. Took several contested marks including a few in defence and just played everywhere on the ground. A presence in the air and so clever around the stoppages.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Michael Alvaro) 

Northern Knights:

#5 Marcus Lentini – Has returned from a wrist injury well over the last few weeks, settling the Knights across half-back and earning high numbers in disposals. Uncharacteristically shirked a contest in the third term, but worked hard afterwards to rectify it and really dug in for his side going forward. While he was great at setting his side up, his efforts going the other way weren’t as prominent, and he’ll need to work on that as he gains more time in the midfield. That, and blazing away under pressure are probably the things keeping him out of the final Vic Metro squad.

#10 Brody Bell –Utilised on the wing for most of the game, the bottom-ager stood out with his one-on-one prowess and hunger for the contest. Isn’t a high accumulator, but tackles well and already has a decent build, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him thrown into the centre bounces in the future. The Knights have a good history of doing that and it certainly wouldn’t hurt his development.

#13 Ollie Stapleton – Looks much-improved this year and provided some needed dash for the Knights with starts Jack Petruccelle and Patrick Naish on Vic Metro representative duty this weekend. Prone to a clanger or two, but has a lot of upside with his gut-running and knack around goals.

#18 Jamison Shea – The Old-Paradian has enjoyed a decent few weeks as 23rd man for Footscray in the VFL and as a star-man for the Knights. Was played through the middle to capitalise on his improved ball-winning ability, and floated around the ground nicely to win the ball in important areas at both ends. Has really excelled this year with the Knights having more key position outlets, allowing him to play a role more suited to his slight 190cm frame.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#4 Ned Reeves – The Knights tried three different rucks but couldn’t get the better of Oakleigh’s man mountain. Dominated the centre bounces, giving his classy midfielders first use and even chimed in with a goal late in the game.

#6 Matthew Day – Big bodied midfielder with a ton of class. Has terrific hands which he often uses to release teammates on the run, and compliments it well with a booming left foot. Provided a couple of decent highlights throughout the day with a huge run-down tackle and a neat side-step which lead to his first of two goals. Was also rested forward in the second half after hurting his ankle in that tackle and looked dangerous.

#10 Riley Jones – Has an exciting mix of athleticism and courage – showcasing his outstanding leap and strong hands with either a ridiculous mark or attempt in each term. Backed it up with three goals and was menacing throughout the game, latching onto high balls into the 50 that would often go to ground.

#13 Daniel Stanford – The 19-year-old excelled up forward, dominating his side’s 50 for the whole contest. Proved a handful with his work rate and ability to find space, teaming up well with Riley Jones to provide reliable targets. Finished with deserved return of four goals.

#16 Lachlan Bugeja – There isn’t much of this bottom-ager, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the way he wins his contested ball. Provided a combination of grunt and class in the second and third terms which set the sides apart and saw Oakleigh gain an unassailable lead. Attended most of the centre bounces and used the ball well out of them.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Murray Bushrangers (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays: 

#29 Bailey Williams – Showed consistent success in his centre hitouts throughout this weekend’s match. The leap and timing of him was not easy to match from the Bushrangers. While not every hitout was correctly capitalised on, his midfield presence in the centre made him a strong target for his team. With an excellence composure, this young man remained a pillar for his team throughout a tough four quarters of football.

#38 Mitch Cotter – The ferocity shown by Cotter is powerful and unmatched. Has no problem throwing his head over the ball. Always in the right place at the right time, and he works hard to eject the football toward his 50 and has no issue playing both offensively and defensively. He is excellent along the ground, snatching up the football whenever he’s near it. This kid is someone to keep an eye on.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – His physical presence did not go unnoticed in the Stingray’s forward 50. In the air he is unparalleled, with firm marking and sharp kicking that launched his team out of the gate in the second quarter. D’Arcy had a strong first half, kicking four assuming an assisting role in the later half of the game. His movement of the ball helped cease midfield scramble, creating smooth movement through the passage toward goal. When he is hit up in front of goal, more often than not is he going to mark and put a score on the board. D’Arcy ended the game with five goals.

#55 Ali Zijai – Has excellent midfield presence and hits the scoreboard. Zijai’s slick running along the wing is a sight to behold. In a game with plenty of stoppages and fumbling, this young fella held the ball tight and put it where it needed to be. On the ground and in the air, Zijai holds his composure under insurmountable opposition pressure. Sharp kicking and excellent run & carry saw this young man set up plenty of goals out of the midfield, as well as kicking three of his own.

Murray Bushrangers: 

#1 Daniel Johnston – Had a realatively quiet game but launched out of the gate as soon as the Bushies got a whiff of victory. He kicked Murray’s first goal for the game and their final goal to put them within two points. His fight came through hard in the final quarter, kicking two to give the Bushrangers a chance. His willingness to attack the ball was quite prevalent in the nail biter, and the hanger he took in the closing minutes was nothing short of incredible.

#18 Hudson Garoni – Was a man on a mission. He opened up Murray’s game launching through two important goals in the first quarter. Was their leading goal kicker for the day, showing no issue dropping them in from any angle. As a smaller forward, this kid has a future and showed it without doubt against the Stingrays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – This man’s work in the backline was a huge reason behind the close finish. His decision-making and running was a key factor behind his teams movement along the wing. When this kid grabbed the ball he was off. It could be easily argued that he was the biggest problem for Stingray’s forward line, being way too quick for any of their players. Langlands has a lot of potential, showing he can do at all if he’s needed to. If you ask me, he definitely has a future in this game.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 7

ROUND Seven of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching two of the games. Read their scouting notes below:

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Williams)
** – Note some players were wearing different numbers due to the special jumpers each club was wearing. The players original number has been used. 


#2 Hunter Clark – A tale of two stories for the talented midfielder. Was really good in close, showing great vision by hand when under pressure in a stoppage, but was disappointing by foot on the outside. Had a few clangers when in space, but won plenty of the football and provided drive off half-back. Battled hard throughout the four quarters and showed some fierce tackling, earning each of his possessions. Was instrumental in getting the ball outside the contest.

#4 Reece Piper – Has electrifying pace and takes the game on, but got caught a few times trying to do too much. Showed willingness to take risks, and sometimes it paid off, but others it didn’t. At least tried to break the game open when Dandenong was stagnant at times. Kicked the first goal of the final term using his pace.

#26 Tom Murphy – The overager was solid across the ground. Provided good link-up between the middle and half-roward, took a good mark inside 50 in the first half but his set shot went wide. Showed good courage and reads the ball well in flight.

#29 Bailey Williams – Ultra impressed by the big bottom-age ruck/forward. Dominated the hitouts with his athleticism and ability to tap to advantage. Fairly athletic considering his build, and kicked Dandenong’s only two goals of the first half, and only three goals in the first three terms. Almost had another after a strong contested grab, but just missed in the third quarter, then capitalised with the last goal of the day to finish with four.

#38 Mitch Cotter – Buried himself under the pack and has the old fashioned “see ball, get ball” attitude. Charges at the ground level ball and gets his arms free to handball off in close. Cotter works hard fensively and gives as much as he gets. Really fierce tackler.


#8 Toby Wooller – Really good athleticism and turning circle. Had a highlight in the third term where he marked, spun around and hit up fellow forward Daniel Stanford. Spent some time in the midfield and used his bigger frame well. Really good overhead and leads to the right spots. An imposing player who just keeps getting better. Finished the game with four majors.

#10 Riley Jones – One of the better kicks in the league was once again on show, providing silver service to the Chargers’ forwards and was praised by captain Toby Wooller after the game. Wins enough of his own ball and uses it well when in space.

#13 Daniel Stanford – Presented well and showed good mobility with a clever snap. Constantly lead the football took some important marks and finished off with three goals.

#35 Jack Higgins – Finds plenty of the the football and has the skill to weigh his passes perfectly. Took a really good grab at centre-half forward in the final term where he rose above a couple of defenders to take a good grab. One of his better games for the season, booted four goals and showed some real talent with his scoreboard impact and score assists, hitting up short targets inside 50.

#37 Ed Michelmore – Has a good first few steps where he can burst away from opponents. Michelmore moves well across the ground and found the ball in all three areas of the field. Came off with an ankle injury early in the third term.

#41 Isaac Quaynor – Looked composed in defence, switched play when required and used good foot skills and decision making throughout.

#69 Daniel Scala – A dangerous and exciting small forward. Scala slotted a goal from a set shot, then backed it up with an opportunistic snap just outside the square off the pack. A bottom-age player and stands at just 174cm, but has a vertical leap on him and that versatility inside 50 which adds a different dimension to the Chargers’ forward line.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Western Jets (Jack Carter)

Greater Western Victoria Rebels: 

#4 Aiden Domic – He was one of the best midfielders for the day. He had clean skills by foot and always drew opposition players to put his own teammates in better positions. Highlight of the day was quick clearance from a ball-up, where he ran and carried the ball and kicked from 35 meters out at full tilt – for a goal.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Stood up well from the backline knowing exactly where to stand when the Jets butchered the ball inside 50. He was strong with his marking and created a good starting point for the Rebels setting up to go into attack.

#23 Lloyd Meek – Great versatility being able to ruck and go forward as a key position option. Great above his head, good skills for a big man and was able to play as an extra midfielder when used for linking up throughout the ground. Really strong running patterns up forward when leading and positioning when in the ruck.

#25 Charlie Wilson – Presented well as a medium forward with strong tackling and had the ability to create forward pressure. Great right foot kick, with his two goals in the second quarter really standing out in how, through his own pressure on the opposition allowed him to create scoring opportunities.

Western Jets: 

#12 Connor Thar – Really solid link work throughout the midfield and generally hit his target by hand or foot. Worked hard to get to each contest and made good decisions when he had ball in hand.

#13 Matthew Young – Provided a strong target as a medium lead-up forward, rotated well throughout the midfield. Had a really nice pick up from the pack and snap from the pocket to kick a goal.

#20 Joshua Mould – Set up from half back quite well, ran and carried the ball, generally hitting the target by foot. Strong intercept marking on more than one occasion which created rebound opportunities.

#38 Buku Khamis – Provided a strong, leading target up forward. Was able to take multiple strong contested marks and was generally good at following the ball up if it came to ground. Very strong left foot kick for goal, on the run or set shot. Seem to also read the play well with solid leading patterns.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 5

ROUND Four of the TAC Cup continued over the weekend and we had scouts watching four of the games over the weekend. Read their scouting notes below:

Eastern Ranges vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Peter Williams)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – Worked hard all day around the ground, found plenty of the football and showed good agility. Notched up the clearances and was a key reason Eastern was in the game early. Has a trademark turn where he spins around to change direction.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Really strong performance from the over-ager. He is tough as nails, but clean at ground level. Showed quick hands at the stoppage to handball under pressure. Was reliable with the ball and took a few marks backing into the contest and has a penetrating kick which he used to kick inside 50. Wasn’t afraid to aggravate the opposition with a hilarious trash talk to Jordan Johnston saying “That’s the worst head I’ve ever seen”.

#16 Jaidyn Stephenson – Kicked an early goal but then was largely unsighted in a quiet game for the AFL Academy member. Ended up playing full-back on Dale Cox in the final term and actually picked up the ball cleanly and bombed out of defensive 50 in a rare highlight. Not a game to remember for the talented utility who is one of many contesting for a top five pick.

#17 Cody Hirst – Good pace and showed it off with a clever snap for a goal on the run in the second half.

#19 Josiah Duncan – Finished the game with four goals and was clearly the Ranges’ most dangerous forward. Seemed to be good in the air, strong above his head and quick on the lead. A good size at 187cm and stood up when many others were quiet.

#26 Harrison Nolan – Was one of Eastern’s best in the first half rebounding many of the Rebels’ attacks. Then moved to the midfield in a surprise move in the third quarter and the Rebels dominated. Returned to defence and held it up, but was too late and showed what a crucial cog he is back there. Played a Ben Reid role with intercept marks and using his long, accurate kick to clear the danger in defensive 50.

GWV Rebels:

#1 Dale Cox – Still got a lot of improvement to be in consideration, but built a bit in the second half. Provides good pressure on the ball carrier and is super clean with his pickups – just grabbed a ball off the wet deck with one hand – just needs to do more for longer.

#2 Cal Wellings – A typical Wellings performance. Just good across the ground, booted four goals and lifted his team. One of the unluckiest players not to be drafted last season and he would be leading many of the over-agers this year. His kicking seems to have improved a bit and showed a bit of penetration throughout the game. Copped a few knocks and just kept getting up. A lionheart performer.

#3 Scott Carlin – A clean player who runs off half-back. Doesn’t panic and can change his kick midway through his action. Didn’t see too much penetration on his kicking, but uses it well enough even if his disposals are mostly short.

#4 Aiden Domic – Not one of his better games. Seemed a bit off and was not that clean at ground level. Still found a fair bit of the ball and got into space, but wasn’t as classy as usual. Not sure if he was under the weather but that was what it looked like. Will no doubt learn from the game and be better for the run.

#8 Aaron Shepherd – I don’t get excited about players off a game, but boy did this kid excite me. Reminded me of Josh Begley last season the way he led at the ball, had Velcro mits and clunked a series of marks. Was able to kick a goal from outside 50 off a couple of steps and constantly provide an option. He’s earned his way onto my watch list this season.

#10 Jordan Johnston – It seemed like today was the day that “JJ” finally came of age. I thought he had potential last season and would show it in bursts, but Saturday’s game it came to the fore. Six goals and just a dominant performance in the air and at ground level. His opponents were constantly wary of him and he nailed all his set shots. Just a great run-up, he is one I hope builds on this and goes on with it because he’s been threatening to break out for some time. Think Jamie Elliot, that’s the excitement he provides.

#13 Thomas Berry – This kid is a serious talent. Just gives the don’t argues and the fend-offs like players and specky bags. He wins plenty of his own ball, both inside and out, and has a penetrating kick. Brother of Jarrod, I think he could be even better and was one of the Rebels’ best with Wellings in the midfield. Had a lot of intercept possessions too and owned a wing on the day.

#15 Trent Reed – Another workman like performance from Reed. Continually pushes to each contest, gets knocked down and gets up again, always presenting and has quick hands. Had a chance to kick a goal but it fell short and that’s the area I’d like to see him improve on, become a more damaging player forward of centre and impact the scoreboard like a Cal Wellings.

#23 Lloyd Meek – A genuine chance to be drafted as an over-ager. Meek is strong in the ruck and presents an option up forward. He works hard and constantly provides second and third efforts. His biggest plus is his awareness around the stoppage where he seems to find his midfielders and one example was grabbing the ball out of the ruck, turning around and handballing to a running Jed Hill who sped off, which showed his awareness and vision.

#24 Matty Lloyd – Clean defender who is tasked with the kick-in duties. Always loves a good play on to get the ball out of the defensive 50 – and picking up a kick in the process – but has the license to do so as he does have penetration on his kicking and will hit his target more often than not. The next step for me is to see how he goes in contested situations as there were a couple where he might have rushed his disposal a little bit. But in terms of courage and ability to position himself in an area where he can find the footy from a quick kick forward by the opposition, Lloyd gets a tick from me.

#25 Charlie Wilson – Bottom-ager who has that class around goals. Kicked a couple of snap goals and a set shot goal and did his job. One to watch over the next 18 months and while he didn’t find it as much as others, was mostly forward and just clean in that forward 50.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#5 Callum Searle – Racked up the football across half-back and through the midfield, mostly uncontested but was a key player behind the ball rebounding for the Chargets along with Louis Cunningham. Had one bad passage where he turned it over straight to the Falcons from deep inside defensive 50 which resulted in a goal. Was largely tasked with kick out duties.

#8 Toby Wooller – Really good movement for a bigger bloke and presents up that high half-forward. Didn’t get as much as his 22-possession game, but will be a prospect watched over the course of the season. It was impressive to see him work hard at the stoppages, winning a few clearances rather than as a deep forward at times.

#13 Daniel Stanford – A key target for the Chargers and that medium size 189cm who plays taller. He missed a couple of set shots but kicked a third in a busy opening term. Stanford showed impressive positioning and use of the body, bringing the ball down in front if he didn’t mark it.

#19 Jordan Troani – Busy as a bee around goals. Showed versatility in his ability to lead and mark or snap, with a couple of impressive goals throughout the day, including a first quarter highlight tight against the boundary line with only a split second to kick.

#35 Jack Higgins – Found plenty of the football but did have a tendancy to get on his right foot. Had plenty of attention from opposition players and to his credit got back up each time. Always busy darting from contest to contest, looking for the quick handball to a teammate out the back to clear the stoppage.

#39 Atu Bosemvulagi – A bottom-age player who showed plenty of signs to say he might be one to watch over the next 18 months, with good body use one-on-one and movement, as well as a strong pack mark. It was hard to believe he measures in at 178cm.

#42 Louis Cunningham – Thought he was unlucky not to get drafted last season and he looks to still have the attributes this season with a piecing left foot kick that can travel the distance. He also has good agility and vision, positioning himself well behind the ball and is one who could be used to break down zones at AFL level.

#57 Riley Collier-Dawkins – A player who I hadn’t seen before the game, but was super in the middle. Started the day standing next to Cassidy Parish and won the ball in the centre of the ground. His first quarter was very good and I’m looking to see the bottom ager as the season progresses.

Geelong Falcons: 

#1 Lachlan Noble – Plays a small forward’s role to a tee with his defensive pressure, courage and able to kick goals.

#7 Harry Benson – A really fierce tackler with a long boot. Kicked a good goal after winning a holding-the-ball free kick, showed strength with a fend-off tackle and was busy between the arcs.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Showed some precise kicking skills with confidence in the defensive half and was sensible with his ball use under pressure. Is an attack first, defend second defender, showing plenty of dash.

#38 James Worpel – Worked into the game and is usually found right at the coal face shovelling the ball out to teammates by hand. Worpel showed good lateral movement.

#40 Hayden Elliot – Appeared to be more involved than in his top-age year and gets around the ground. Played in defence and took some good marks.

#42 Cassidy Parish – Another impressive game by the big bodied inside midfielder. Just has the ball on a string, strong around the contest and gets his arms free from the tackler to handball. His kicking is one area that is always pointed out as an improvement, but he has good athleticism and a quick closing speed when going to tackle.

#44 Jordon Reid – Liked his game where he played in the forward 50 continually presenting as a target. Reid crashed packs and brought the ball to ground even if he didn’t mark them all the time.

#46 Adam Garner – Imposing forward at 194cm/93kg and took some great grabs. Finished off his hard work in front of the big sticks and will be one to watch throughout the season.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Calder Cannons (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays: 

#2 Hunter Clark – The hands on this boy would make you think he’s a magician; managing to get to a contest seemingly out of nowhere. He played a quieter game than what we are used to but a solid one nonetheless. The Cannons drew him deep in the first half and he was often isolated away from the play. Clark took plenty of strong grabs in the second half, helping to keep the Cannons back after they began to show a bit of fight. The youngster ejected the footy with ease, creating strong runs along the flanks for plenty scoring opportunities.

#3 Jamie Plumridge –  ­This kid had no trouble at all ending his first quarter with a goal. His handling of the ball and the way he moves through his opposition is astounding. He effectively moved the ball through the middle, presenting no problem and zig-zagging his opponents. This young man was one of the best on ground, helping to keep the Dandenong’s midfield a well-oiled machine.

#42 Jai Nanscawen – Coming out strong in the first quarter, Nanscawen proved to be someone to hit up in the Dandenong forward line. He presented plenty of strong leads, ending up with two goals by the end of the match.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – This big fella had an excellent first half, cracking in the first few goals, ending the second quarter with four under his belt. His presence in the forward line demanded the ball, muscling out his opponents with ease. His kicking remained sharp up until the beginning of the third where D’Arcy punted through three consecutive behinds. The Cannons’ pressure kept his disposals thin for a while, but he managed to play a more supporting role as he pushed up the field.

Calder Cannons:

#2 Dylan Landt – He played a pivotal role in the second half, slowing the Stingray’s run down. Landt’s movement and speed through the backline remained consistent throughout the match. His command of the backline drove momentum in their direction, managing to set up a few goals himself. His intelligence on the field is easily recognised in his keen ability to break through pressure and set his midfield up for a smooth counterattack.

#33 Jack Evans – Much like the rest of the boys, Evans came out slow in the first half. Though as soon as that siren sounded for the third quarter, he was off like a rocket. Making his presence known immediately as he slotted away two to put up a fight against the Home team. Hungry for more, he later went onto kick another in the fourth as well popping up a beautiful screamer in the closing moments of the match. Finished the day with three goals.

#39 Jesse Firebrace – It was impossible to keep your eyes off him today. His intelligent placing off the ball set the Cannons up for numerous goal scoring opportunities, kicking the first for his team in the second half. Throughout the match Firebrace laid several strong tackles which implied intense pressure on the Stingrays’ backline, and impressively shrugged off two men attempting to apply their own. If there’s one thing he showed today, it’s that we should keep a close eye on him these coming weeks.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Gippsland Power (Matt Balmer)

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – A rock in defence in the first half, with multiple marks in the second quarter. Fought hard and was one of the better Dragons players before half time.

#7 Aaron Trusler – Kicked a good goal early thanks to an “off-break” bounce. His second goal was superb, running through the middle and finishing from 45m He also spent a fair bit more of the game in the midfield with the ‘weakened’ Dragons team.

#8 Will Walker – Took a smart intercept mark about 80 metres from goal, before a long kick to hit a Dragons teammate. Spent majority of the game on the inside and played a solid game throughout the day. He also kicked a great goal on the run in the first quarter.

#22 Quintin Montanaro – Played on the wing and was judged the Dragons best player. Took a while to get into the game but was always the player in the defensive half of the ground that the Dragons looked to use whenever they switched or went to attack. The Power’s pressure was superb throughout the day and at times Montanaro missed some of his handballs under pressure.

#30 Hayden McLean – Took two marks in the opening two minutes of the game but disappointingly opted to pass them off in kickable positions for goal. Was influential due to his size and the Power not having anyone with strength to match him in the air. Kicked his only goal for the day in the second quarter and rucked for periods.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Nick Hogan – Missed a kickable shot in the first quarter, but unfortunately his day ended early not reappearing after half time with an injury.

#5 Xavier Duursma – One of the more exciting Power players. Kicked a huge goal in the context of the game on the verge of half time, laying plenty of tackles in an attempt to win the ball back. Appeared to hurt his groin in the third quarter – but continued to fight hard playing inside 50 in the last quarter.

#6 Aidan Quigley – One of the best games I’ve seen Quigley play. He laid tackles in the middle and through the forward 50. But it was a moment in the final term which summed up his day – The ball came inside 50 with Quigley laying two tackles to pressure two different Dragon players helping the Power get the ball back and slot the goal. Two great games in two weeks is a positive sign for Quigley.

#7 Will Stephenson – Again gets the job done and people are beginning to take note. While his size is always going to count against him, he fought hard and got into the right positions inside 50. He bagged four goals for the day, including a few nice snaps close to goal.

#9 Irving Mosquito – With a big group of Power parents in the stands, Mosquito provided plenty of entertainment up forward. He was millimetres away from clunking the TAC Cup mark of the year in the second quarter. At times he just bombs it forward when he’s outside 50, but close to goal is where he does his best work. Kicked a fantastic goal in the last quarter where he kept his feet unlike the Dragons defenders to bag his second goal for the afternoon.