Tag: glenelg

2021 SANFLW team review: Glenelg

IN summarising the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season, Draft Central will run through a team-by-team review of how each of the sides fared, and who some of the standout performers throughout the clubs were. The final team in the firing line is Glenelg.

Position: 2nd (Premiers)
Wins: 7
Losses: 3
Draws: 1
Points For: 379 (2nd)
Points Against: 261 (2nd)

Season in a Sentence: “A consistent team all season, the Bays stood tall at the pointy end of the year to claim their maiden SANFL Women’s premiership.

TOP PERFORMERS:

Jessica Bates

As consistent as ever, the midfielder had an outstanding 2021 season, earning a place in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year. Averaging 15.4 disposals, 2.2 marks, 3.0 clearances, 2.2 inside 50s, 1.7 rebound 50s and 8.5 tackles, Bates was able to influence in multiple parts of the ground. Playing all 13 matches, Bates only dipped into single-digit disposals once, and had back-to-back games of 24 disposals against South Adelaide and North Adelaide, where she also averaged 6.0 clearances, 6.5 tackles and 5.0 inside 50s in those matches.

Ellie Kellock

Captaining the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, Kellock proved she could play anywhere on the field in 2021, averaging 13.8 disposals, 1.6 marks, 3.5 clearances, 3.1 inside 50s, 1.2 rebound 50s, 2.9 tackles and booting six goals. She only had less than 10 disposals once, and had a memorable finals series, averaging 15.5 disposals, 6.0 clearances and 4.5 inside 50s against Norwood and West Adelaide. Kellock also made history by becoming the first Glenelg SANFLW captain and did it with a ray of consistency all season.

Brooke Tonon

The State Academy member had an outstanding season and really raised her draft stocks, proven by the fact she earned and AFLW Draft Combine invitation. Tonon earned a place at half-back in the SANFL Women’s Team of the Year, a role she made her own after playing in multiple positions in her debut season. Now in her draft-eligible year, Tonon provided great run out of the back 50 and could push up to a win to impact as well. In her 11 games, Tonon averaged 14.7 disposals – at 78 per cent efficiency – 2.5 marks, 3.1 tackles and 2.5 rebound 50s.

Tessa Kohn

After a solid debut season, Kohn stepped it up a notch in her second year at SANFL Women’s level, playing 13 matches and relishing the inside midfield role amongst some incredibly consistent performers. Kohn herself earned Draft Central SANFL Women’s Team of the Year honours, racking up 12.4 disposals, 5.4 tackles and 3.5 clearances, doing her best work at the coal face and impacting regularly for her side. In a purple patch between Rounds 8-10, Kohn averaged 18.7 disposals, 4.7 tackles and 6.3 clearances.

OTHERS:

Glenelg earned the premiership off some terrific contributors across the board, as the returning AFL Women’s talents in Ebony Marinoff and Caitlin Gould bolstered the already impressive outfit. State Academy member Tamsyn Morriss, 15-year-old Piper Window and the versatile Madisyn Freeman all impressed, with Sam Franson, Chelsea Packer and Meara Girvan all amongst a host of Glenelg talents who stood up when it counted, and helped the Bays win their last seven games of the season and romp to a premiership.

Picture credit: SANFL

SANFLW Player Focus: Brooke Tonon (Glenelg)

GLENELG took out the 2021 SANFL Women’s premiership on Saturday afternoon, bossing the game to come away 5.10 (40) to 2.5 (17) victors over West Adelaide. An even team spread helped the Bays claim ultimate glory, with a mix of experience and youth observed across the squad. 17-year-old Brooke Tonon was among the younger prospects to play a part, setting up well in the back half and even enjoying an early tussle with fellow state Under 19 representative, Zoe Venning.

Tonon is the prospect placed under our SANFLW Player Focus microscope this week; we run you through her game quarter-by-quarter, and bring you the key stats out of her Grand Final showing.

 

Brooke Tonon
Glenelg/South Australia

DOB: 19/09/2003
Height: 166cm
Position: Half-Back/Wing

2021 SANFLW Averages:

11 games | 14.7 disposals | 11.2 kicks | 3.5 handballs | 2.5 marks | 3.1 tackles | 1.0 clearances | 0.8 inside 50s | 2.5 rebound 50s

Image Credit: SANFL

2021 SANFLW Grand Final | Glenelg 5.10 (40) def. West Adelaide 2.5 (17)

#7 Brooke Tonon (Glenelg), Half-Back

Stats: 14 disposals (10 kicks, 4 handballs), 2 marks, 2 tackles, 2 clearances, 2 rebound 50s

Quarter-by-quarter:

Q1:

Starting in defence, Tonon was given an early taste of the Grand Final intensity when she dived on a ground ball and was sieged upon, conceding a holding the ball free kick. Her state Under 19s teammate Zoe Venning earned the possession for Westies, and proved a testing matchup in the first half.

Tonon got her own game going shortly after, backing her pace on the wing to burn an opponent and kick long down the line. She was also clean off the deck to flick a handball up to a runner inside defensive 50, showing she can play both sides of the contest.

The 17-year-old often lurked around for handball receives and knew when to run off her opponent, but was forced to kick under pressure and overcooked some of her disposals. Still, she matched Glenelg’s aggressive forward run and looked to take the game on that way, finishing the term with three kicks and one handball.

Q2:

Term two was somewhat of an ‘almost’ term for Tonon, who was done in by dodgy bounces of the ball and heavy pressure from Westies. She remained involved in the play, able to get her hands on the ball in congestion despite being wrapped up or knocked off it quickly as the intensity lifted.

She rose to the level as the quarter wore on, laying a hard joint tackle on Venning, before preventing a West Adelaide shot on goal by applying good body to the kicker. She also forced a ball out of bounds on the wing and did the tough stuff, but was not able to provide her usual drive on the outer – finishing with one kick and one handball.

Q3:

After being crunched in the opening exchanges of term three, Tonon bounced back well and got her usual game back up-and-running. She positioned a little deeper in defence and cut off a long kick inside defensive 50 as Westies broke quickly, holding the relieving mark.

She invited pressure with the resultant kick, but was sure to tighten that area of her game with a couple of better efforts via the kick-ins, sending one long outside 50 and the other short to an easy target.

Tonon’s speed came to the fore with her last two touches; the first was a handball receive at the front of a defensive 50 stoppage, which she used to power away and kick long, while the second was a clean gather in the corridor before dishing off a quick handball all in one motion. The latter contest was a particularly key ball to be won, with Tonon’s reading of the play helping Glenelg maintain possession and territory. She finished a productive quarter with four kicks and one handball.

Q4:

While Glenelg was not made to absorb as much pressure in the second half, Tonon finished solidly and setup shrewdly behind the ball. She attacked the contest well when called upon, taking a full-chested intercept mark on the wing, before kicking quickly over the top.

Her last kick for the day came from a last touch turnover at half-back, which she used to boot long down the line to a contest. Tonon’s last touch overall was a handball in the defensive 50, mopping up over the back with poise and dishing off quickly to set the Bays on the rebound.

There was not too much to be done in the end as the clock ran down, but Tonon capped her day positively and played her role superbly. She managed two kicks and one handball in the final term.

In closing…

Tonon has shown plenty of development in 2021 to become one of South Australia’s most promising Under 19 prospects, performing well at each level and in a variety of roles. Having cut her teeth on the wing, the 17-year-old has also been able to impact in defence with a good balance of line-breaking run on the rebound and defensive acts when required. She was able to open up the hotly contested Grand Final at times but did not shy away from the tough stuff, which should prove another handy tick for her versatility. Her positioning behind the ball as a sweeper and reading of the flow of play saw her win the ball in a variety of ways, able to intercept or be released on the outer.

2021 Academy Watch: SANFL Women’s Grand Final

IN the conclusion of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s finals series, Glenelg defeated West Adelaide by 23 points to take home the Bays’ inaugural women’s premiership. We took a look at the State Academy players running out for the four sides, with all notes the opinion of the individual writer.

Glenelg:

#7 Brooke Tonon

Wrapped up a sensational season with a fitting grand final playing off half-back, providing plenty of run and clean hands throughout the contest. She was good at ground level, and whilst sometimes she would be rushed by foot, she would fire off quick handballs around the contest to keep the ball moving in transition. Defensively she was strong and never took a backwards step, working well in tandem with her other defenders. Whilst she had a quiet third term due to the ball being tup the other end, she stepped up in the final term with a couple of intercepts and driving balls down the line, or quick hands to be an impressive performer in Glenelg’s win.

#12 Tamsyn Morriss

Did not find a lot of the football, but used her trademark skills and long kicking to advantage. Morriss took the first kick out from defence, and put it 60m out to hit a teammate. She had a good pickup on the wing in the second term, and then rotated between pushing up to half-back when there was a high line defence, and dropping back to the last line to mop up when required. Was solid with ball-in-hand.

West Adelaide:

#3 Abbie Ballard

The acting captain on the day played the way you would expect with her attack on the ball and opposition first class. She did not have much space like many of her teammates, but she would win the contested ball and shovel it out well. When in space she used her kick to advantage to get it forward, and never gave up, wrestling the ball out of a stoppage just before the final siren despite the game being done and dusted. A real captain’s performance with her work rate and intensity.

#7 Scarlett Griffiths

Did not manage a touch on the day, but laid a couple of tackles. Her defensive intensity when near the footy was good with a shepherd to allow Chelsea Biddell to have a shot on the ball, then dived on the ball and laid a tackle to her opponent in the third term, despite an overall quiet outing.

#8 Keeley Kustermann

Provided good run out of defence and tried to use her kicking to advantage going down the field. Did not have the space she could have to utilise all her traits, but put together a pretty solid performance. Laid a few good tackles and whilst sometimes she was out-bodied or overran it, Kustermann still was one of West’s more prominent ball winners on the day and kept fighting hard.

#9 Zoe Venning

In many ways was symbolic of West Adelaide as a whole. Had a huge first half with good intent and was one of the Bloods’ most prominent ball winners early, before a quiet third term which followed a busy fourth quarter. As a whole Venning kept having a crack, often under pressure or rushed, but really applied fierce defensive pressure, won some free kicks and was able to get her hands free on a couple of occasions. She did drop a couple of marks she should have taken, but her second efforts were admirable, and she laid some fierce tackles all over the ground, covering the field with ease.

#30 Lauren Young

To no-one’s surprise, Young was never going to have it too easy, with Glenelg ensuring there was a body on her at all times around the stoppages. She was prominent in the first term, then really won a lot of it in the second half, taking some huge contested grabs and winning it in all thirds of the ground. On a number of occasions she won free kicks for being pushed out of marking contests, with the umpires very aware of her height and the opposition’s willingness to nullify her. She made a few mistakes by foot, but then her best included a pinpoint pass inside 50 to Biddell, and was an intercept machine in the defensive half of the ground up to the wing.

2021 SANFL Women’s Grand Final preview: Glenelg vs. West Adelaide

THE ultimate glory awaits one side in the 2021 South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s Grand Final, with either Glenelg or West Adelaide to be crowned premiers after Saturday’s decider. The two teams ranked second and third on the table, knocking off Norwood in straight sets on their way to the final game of the season, though Glenelg comes in with a week’s break, whilst the Westies have played through after eliminating two-time premier South Adelaide in week one of the finals series. We preview the massive clash between two exciting sides in the competition, and how the game might go.

GLENELG vs. WEST ADELAIDE
Saturday, June 5 @ 12:40pm
Thebarton Oval

CHANGES:

Glenelg:
In: Sarah Wilton, Lucy Armitage, Molly Affolter
Out: Nil.

West Adelaide:
In: Sadie Lienert, Tiana Fernandez, Madelyn Zacher
Out: Bec Owen (injured)

The bittersweet preliminary final win for West Adelaide was only soured by an early injury to captain Bec Owen. Unfortunately it ruled her out not only for the rest of the game, but the the grand final as well. Teenager Abbie Ballard will step up into the captaincy role as a current vice-captain, while Glenelg’s captain Ellie Kellock will lead an unchanged side which has included three additional players to its lineup on an extended bench.

SEASON RECORD:

Glenelg:
R1: def. Sturt by 32 points
R2: lost to North Adelaide by five points
R3: lost to WWT Eagles by three points
R4: def. West Adelaide by six points
R5: lost to Norwood by two points
R6: drew with Sturt
R7: def. Central District by three points
R8: def. South Adelaide by three points
R9: def. North Adelaide by five points
R10: def. WWT Eagles by 68 points
R11: def. Central District by 11 points
SF: def. Norwood by 23 points

Glenelg fans might not have had any fingernails left between Rounds 2 and 9, with each of the eight games decided by six points or less. They could not seem to close out many of them early, losing three of the first four and then drawing a fifth, before finding what they needed to win their last couple of games, before the return of both the AFLW talents and State Academy players saw them trounce Eagles, and set themselves up for an automatic Grand Final spot thanks to a win over Norwood in the semi-final.

West Adelaide:
R1: def. Norwood by 14 points
R2: def. WWT Eagles by 26 points
R3: lost to North Adelaide by 19 points
R4: lost to Glenelg by six points
R5: lost to Central District by 22 points
R6: def. South Adelaide by 37 points
R7: lost to Sturt by 45 points
R8: lost to Norwood by 10 points
R9: def. Central District by 12 points
R10: def. North Adelaide by 20 points
R11: def. South Adelaide by one point
SF: def. South Adelaide by four points
PF: def. Norwood by 24 points

West Adelaide by contrast have only had three games decided by six points or less and the only one in the first 10 rounds was the loss to Glenelg by a straight kick. Two back-to-back nail-biters against South Adelaide steeled the Bloods for a big win over Norwood last week, and earning the right to challenge Glenelg for the 2021 SANFL Women’s premiership.

THE KEY PLAYERS:

Ebony Marinoff (Glenelg)

It is hard to look past the experienced Adelaide Crows talent who is not only one of the best players in the competition, but one of the best in the country. She is hard to stop and remarkably Glenelg has the flexibility to throw her around the ground, also starting her forward at times, simply because of the strength of the Bays’ midfield.

Lauren Young (West Adelaide)

The youngest player on the field and the most heralded in season 2021, the 15-year-old rising talent won the SANFL Women’s League Best and Fairest, Breakthrough Player Award and Coaches Award, as well as made the Team of the Year. Despite being two years away from being draft-eligible, Young has already proven to be a player the opposition tries to quell, with the teenager receiving the same attention from Norwood tagger Elisha Gallagher last weekend that Marinoff did the week before.

DRAFT PROSPECTS:

From a Glenelg perspective, Brooke Tonon has really enjoyed a promising season with the Bays, after being thrown here, there and everywhere in her debut SANFLW season last year, she has settled at half-back with some time on the wing. Her ability to move the ball in transition and make the right decisions has really caught the eye, and she earned a place in the Team of the Year for her efforts.

Teammate, Tamsyn Morriss is another defender who uses the ball well and is a member of the State Academy, whilst Tessa Kohn is a 20-year-old who continues to improve having been a late arrival to the code. If it were not for the remarkable exploits of Young, then 15-year-old Piper Window might be gaining more attention, with the teenager holding her spot to play 10 games this season, averaging 9.7 disposals, 2.6 inside 50s and 3.0 tackles in her debut year at senior level..

From a 2021 AFLW Draft perspective, Zoe Venning has done her chances no harm this season with a consistent year playing inside and then rolling out to half-forward. She is one who attacks the contest and works hard through four quarters to win plenty of the ball. Another youngster who earned Team of the Year honours, expect her to be a player who wins her fair share early in the game and provide the pressure required on the big stage.

Whilst Young is the obvious name thrust into the spotlight and deservedly so after winning the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for South Australia at the AFL Women’s Under 19 Championships and breaking the disposal record in a game (37) among her SANFL Women’s accolades, the Westies have plenty of other teenagers running around. In fact, 12 of the 24 players named were born this century, and of those in the State Academy, Keeley Kustermann is an exciting prospect to watch out for next year with her composure, poise and balance, as well as versatility across the field. Scarlett Griffiths (2003-born) and Ballard (2002-born) are others in the State Academy, whilst it is easy to forget that reliable centre half-back Sharnie Whiting is still only 20-years-old and would be more than capable to stepping up to the top level if required.

STRENGTHS:

Glenelg’s strength lies in its onball group, with a ridiculous amount of midfielders that can roll off onto flanks and spread around the ground. Kohn, Kellock and Jess Bates are all prominent clearance players, with the latter two able to play off flanks at either end. Add in Marinoff and Window who can roll through there, and the team has the flexibility to throw players around. The experience and leadership from some of those more senior Bays players will ultimately be a huge boost against a younger West Adelaide outfit.

West Adelaide just has all the pieces to have a genuine crack at the flag. They have the midfield, key position players and scoring options, but it is their ability to take contested grabs – be it Young, Whiting or Chelsea Biddell – that really sets themselves apart from the other sides. They can control the airways, and will look to back themselves in running from defence to attack with good speed and movement.

OPPOSITION OPPORTUNITIES:

Glenelg is a pretty consistent outfit, but the area where West Adelaide could get them is in the height department with so many players safe overhead. The Bays have most lines covered, but with size and safe hands of many of the Westies players, some of Bays might be playing undersized. For West Adelaide, they are young and exciting, but certainly less experienced than their opponents, and without captain Owen, the Bloods will need to play beyond their years because Glenelg will play a four-quarter consistent brand of football, so West will need to match that.

WHO WINS?

It all comes down to the midfield. The Glenelg onball group as a whole is outstanding, though you can never discount a West Adelaide side that not only features Young, but the likes of Sarah Dargan, Ballard and Venning. The Bays have more experience in there and one would expect they take out the clearances, but Kate Walsh is an experienced ruck and expect her to put up a fight against Caitlin Gould who has proven to tear teams apart be it in the ruck or down forward.

Glenelg is coming off a week off, so it will be interesting to see how that plays a part compared to the Westies running out last week, with perhaps the Bloods able to use that momentum to start off the grand final, and the fresh legs being a factor later in the game. Glenelg is the side you know what you are going to get and you know the level they will put out. West Adelaide’s youth and excitement means anything could happen, and one thing seems certain a nail-biter will ensure.

Tip: West Adelaide by 4 points

 

Picture credit: SANFL

South claims Under 16 flag with super second half surge

SOUTH Adelaide is the 2021 SANFL Under 16 premier, after inflicting a second half assault on Glenelg in Sunday’s decider at Flinders University Stadium. The Panthers, who also took out this season’s minor premiership, booted 12 goals to the Bays’ two after half time to run away emphatic 53-point victors. Having lead at the main break, Glenelg looked on track to claim an unprecedented fifth-straight Under 16s flag, but that was not to be as South triumphed for the first time at any level since 1995.

Panthers ruck and vice-captain Tom Schirmer was awarded best afield honours, finishing with 15 disposals, five clearances, 26 hitouts, and a goal in his side’s salute. Competition leading goalkicker Jack Delean sprung to life and helped South break the game open in the third term, capping off a terrific season with 15 touches and three goals for the premiers.

Joining him among the goals were Phoenix Hargrave and Ryan Pearsons, who both snared two alongside Jake Agnew. South’s key ball winners were also at play during the big dance, with Jace Davis notching a team-high 20 touches and Tom Wheaton claiming 16, including seven marks and a goal.

While there has not been much good to shout about for Carlton fans of late, the Blues can look forward to seeing more of father-son prospect, Lucas Camporeale – the son of 1995 premiership player, Scott. The consistent ball winner racked up a game-high 22 disposals to average 27 across Glenelg’s two finals outings.

Bays skipper Ben Ridgway worked hard for his team to conclude with 19 disposals, eight tackles, five marks and two goals. Josh Altus was another to boot multiple majors, also finishing with a pair among his 15 touches. Bodie Ryan found it 16 times and among his 15 kicks, registered nine rebound 50s, while Ashton Moir soared for 10 marks (five contested) and Beau Symonds got his hands dirty for 11 tackles in yellow and black.

Players from both sides will now likely filter into the Under 18 competition and school football season, with the cream of the crop potentially even vying for state Under 17 selection.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 3.3 | 4.4 | 10.6 | 16.8 (104)
GLENELG 2.1 | 5.4 | 6.4 | 7.9 (51)

GOALS:

South: J. Delean 3, J. Agnew 2, P. Hargrave 2, R. Pearsons 2, B. Barrett, I. Churchill, J. Heinze, S. Hoeck, S. Oliver, T. Schirmer, T. Wheaton
Glenelg: J. Altus 2, B. Ridgway 2, J. Dutton, H. Francis, A. McShane

Best afield: Tom Schirmer (South Adelaide)

Image Credit: Morgan Sette/The Advertiser

2021 SANFL Under 16s Semi Finals wrap – South, Bays progress to decider

MINOR premier South Adelaide will meet Glenelg in the 2021 SANFL Under 16 Grand Final, after both sides won out in their preliminary bouts in a Sunday double-header at Hisense Stadium. Both sides finished the regular season with 5-2 records, before progressing through the first post-season week in style. We recap both results, highlighting some of the best players afield from all four finalists.

South Adelaide 16.11 (107) def. North Adelaide 12.3 (75)

South Adelaide became the first side to qualify for this year’s Under 16 decider, via a 32-point defeat of North Adelaide on Sunday morning. The Panthers led from the first goal and managed to break away after an even opening term. Having skipped to a three-goal buffer at half time, South made it five by the next change of ends, and maintained its scoreboard pressure to run out comfortable 16.11 (107) to 12.3 (75) victors.

Competition leading goalkicker Jack Delean had a blinder with 7.2 from 15 disposals, backing up a six-goal effort last week. Like Delean, Phoenix Hargrave also bagged his personal season-high in goals with four, as leading ball winners Tom Wheaton (24 disposals) and Sid Draper (23) also snared goals and had 17 clearances between them. Ryan Pearsons was another to have a say with nine marks, eight inside 50s and 19 disposals, while Jace Davis got his hands dirty with 10 tackles and Benny Barrett laid eight, also kicking 1.2.

Jed Dignan was North’s best form of reply with three goals, he also managed to clunk three contested grabs. Roosters’ leading goalkicker Dj Smith was one of two players to kick two goals, making for his fifth haul of multiple majors for 2021. Gun midfielder Kane McAuliffe capped a remarkable year with 36 disposals, nine marks and seven clearances, with Toby Turner (27 disposals, 14 rebound 50s) kept busy as the only other Rooster to tick over 25 touches. Mackenzie Boxall and Louie Montgomery were others to get amongst it, finishing with 15 disposals and one goal apiece.

Sturt 6.7 (43) def. by Glenelg 12.8 (80)

Glenelg earned passage to this year’s Under 16 Grand Final with a comprehensive performance against Sturt, defeating the Double Blues by 37 points on Sunday afternoon. The Bays led from the get-go and never looked back, opening up a handy buffer at the first break and applying too much scoreboard pressure for Sturt to surmount. The game was all but over at three quarter time with Glenelg 45 points clear, and the Tigers would end up doubling their opponents’ goal tally in the 12.8 (80) to 6.7 (43) drubbing.

Lucas Camporeale led all comers with 32 touches (25 kicks) and six inside 50s in the win, as Bodie Ryan managed 26 (20 kicks), nine marks and eight r50. Anders McShane booted a goal from his 23 touches, while skipper Ben Ridgway clunked seven marks and laid six tackles in a hard-working display. Eli Redman booted two goals from his 21 disposals, finishing only behind the haul of three from tall, Harry Francis. Ashton Moir was also strong in the air, clunking 11 marks (four contested).

Sturt finished with six single goalkickers, and leading ball winner Luca Slade was among them. He racked up 25 touches and five clearances, while Thomas McCourt was the only other Blues to tick over 20 disposals and kick a goal. George Pope had it 23 times, and Lachlan Murphy was another to keep busy with 21 as the second-ranked side fell short of reaching the season’s final week.

Image Credit: Cory Sutton/SANFL

Scouting Notes: 2021 SANFL Under 18s – Round 3

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Under 18s has continued into Round 3, with the latest weekend of action producing some excellent performances from plenty of 2021 AFL Draft prospects. In the next SANFL Scouting Notes edition for 2021, we again narrow in on SA’s Under 18s competition, with a particular focus on the state’s Under 19 talent hub members. All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

NORWOOD vs. NORTH ADELAIDE

By: Liam Badkin

NORWOOD:

#25 Matt Dnistriansky 

It was another great performance from the Norwood defender in the win. His work deep in the backline was crucial in thwarting countless Rooster attacks. He got many of his disposals deep in defence and was constantly composed and his decision making was key. Often playing off his opponent to attack, the athletic defender took 12 marks, with quite a few intercepts.

Once again tasked with frequently taking kick ins, he seemed not to miss a target as he calmly found teammates when he was under pressure. His form has continued to grow as he has worked his way into the season with each game. Ending the game with 29 disposals (22 kicks and seven handballs) and five rebound 50’s, he was crucially important in his team’s 11-point win.

Others:

Ruckman Damon Pitt played his best game of the season, displaying his ability to essentially act as an extra midfielder. He proved more than capable of winning his own hitouts, finishing with a season high 18, but it was his follow up work that caught the eye. He ended the game with 22 disposals and a game high 10 clearances, often outplaying both on ball brigades. Jack Ianniello excited forward of centre as he kicked 2.2 from 21 disposals. Had he converted the two missed shots, it would’ve capped off an excellent day.

NORTH ADELAIDE:

#12 Hugh Jackson

Continued his fine start to the year, popping up everywhere to find the ball all over the ground. As a midfielder, Jackson basically did it all. He found tough possessions on the deck, maintained his composure to hit targets by foot and was a clear standout on his team. While he may have amassed more disposals in the first two rounds (37 and 33 respectively), in a game where their midfield was often beaten, he can more than hold his head high.

Moving across the ground smoothly, he was a crucial cog in strong play. Finishing with an impressive seven rebound 50’s, his work in the defensive half caught the eye as he worked tirelessly to remove the ball from the backline. His skills on both feet also resulted in four inside 50’s as he connected with leading forwards. His kicks drew his teammates into space as he picked holes in the well organised defence.

The teenager from Crystal Brooke has had a blistering start to the year and this match was no exception. Arguably his side’s best for the day, Jackson finished with 31 disposals, nine marks, four tackles and three clearances.

Others:

Blayne O’Loughlin topped the disposal list for the second game in a row, backing up his 44 touch effort with 32 this week. He also added seven rebound 50’s and was the catalyst for plenty of excellent ball movement forward from the backline.

Tough midfielder Zyton Santillo ended the match with 26 disposals, nine tackles and nine marks in a typically strong performance as he stuffed the stat sheet. Fellow midfielder Harvey Harrison also impressed with 27 disposals and seven clearances. He also missed two shots on goal (one in the second quarter and one in the third quarter) that would’ve added to his day.

 

GLENELG vs. CENTRAL DISTRICT

By: Liam Badkin

GLENELG:

#32 Oscar Adams

The team win had plenty of contributors, but none were as influential as the big ruckman. His hit out work is something to be admired as he continuously gave his midfielders first use, allowing them to win the clearances 38-28. Even more impressive was his ball after the ruck contest, finding the ball 24 times.

He bounced back from each contest to either lay a tackle or find the ball himself. His combination with his on ballers was a joy to watch as he stamped his influence on the game with his dominant play. A missed shot on goal in the third quarter would have disappointed, but essentially did everything else to get his team rolling out of the middle.

The ruckman role has developed past just hit-outs, now expected to find their own footy around the ground. Adams fits this bill perfectly, and can also shift to defence, a role he filled in his U16 Glenelg side.

Others:

Dashing defender Lewis Rayson continued his consistent start to the season, finishing with 24 disposals and five tackles. Once again creative with the ball, Rayson’s skills by foot hurt the opposition as he picked holes through defenders with his bullet-like passes.

Ball-winner Harry Tunkin led his team in disposals with 27 for the day. Spending time in the midfield and up forward, his inside work saw him end with a handball happy game, setting up teammates on the outside. Kicked a nice goal late in the second quarter to add to an already impressive game.

Hugh Stagg led the side in clearances finishing with eight to go with 19 disposals and a goal. The big bodied midfielder has plenty of upside and this game should give him confidence going forward.

CENTRAL DISTRICT:

#16 Shay Linke

In a disappointing day for his side, the midfielder never stopped trying, working tirelessly around the ball. The SANFL Academy player has been a standout in his side’s underwhelming start to the year and yesterday continued this trend. In a day where his team was convincingly beaten, Linke fought in the midfield to try and keep his side in the game, finishing with 26 disposals. His ability to find space around the field was great, as his hard running saw him end with eight marks.

Linke also did the defensive work, laying seven solid tackles around stoppages. He was certainly a standout in a side with very little positives for the day.

Others:

Darcy Mcdonald had 14 touches and nine tackles as the Central midfield fought to slow down a dominant midfield performance from the Tigers. Key forward Cody Gilchrist‘s wayward kicking prevented him from a big haul, kicking 1.3 for the day. His marking still impressed, pulling down three contested marks for the day. Had he converted his shots on goal, it may have been a different story for Central.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS

By: Tom Wyman

SOUTH ADELAIDE:

#21 Matthew Roberts

Roberts has already proven to be a step above the SANFL Under-18 competition, and he was at it again at Noarlunga Oval in Round 3. Despite the Eagles coming away with a 16-point win following a dominant second-half, Roberts was clearly the most dominant midfielder on the park. Starting at the opening centre bounce and alternating up forward with fellow draft hopeful Arlo Draper, Roberts had the ball on a string. Roberts’ work rate from start to finish enabled him to dictate terms for large portions of the contest. He was strong in the coal-face but his running patterns ensured he also won plenty of uncontested possessions. Roberts used the ball neatly with his clean left foot and was also effective with his hands in-tight. His team-lifting goal in the third term was clearly the highlight of the match. Positioned in the forward pocket, he gathered the loose ball, turned sharply onto his trusty left foot, sized up the target and snapped a sensational goal. The classy goal and consistent run and carry efforts were memorable, but Roberts also made an impact defensively, laying eight tackles and dropping back to take a couple of intercept marks. He finished with 37 touches, nine marks, five clearances, eight inside-50s and six rebounds.

#33 Arlo Draper

Although Draper did not find as much of the ball as teammate Roberts, the tall midfielder/forward made a genuine impact whenever he was near it. The Panthers deployed him as the deepest forward at times and he looked threatening when the ball was kicked in his direction. He used his strength and football smarts well one-on-one, nudging his opponent under the ball and taking an uncontested mark to boot South’s first goal of the contest. His clearance-work and ability to read the taps was terrific when moved onto the ball, and his cleanness and sharpness at ground level instigated a number of positive plays for the home side. A clear example of his distribution by hand came when he fired off a quick handball to set-up a Hugo Hoeck goal. Draper collected 22 disposals, five marks, four tackles, four clearances and five inside-50s.

#39 Will Verrall

Bottom-aged ruckman Verrall went head-to-head with Woodville-West Torrens ruckman Zac Phillips in a hard-fought battle between two of the most talented big-men in the competition. Verrall won the first hit-out of the match, tapping it straight to star on-baller Roberts who won the clearance. He was heavily involved around the ground early on and it was encouraging to see him continue to back himself to spot up teammates with precise inside-50 kicks. Verrall’s contested marking was also a real feature of his game. Although Phillips gained the upper hand in-terms of pure hit-out numbers (winning 27 to Verrall’s eight), the Panther tall showed some very promising signs, both in the ruck contest and around the ground. He finished with 12 disposals, four marks, three clearances and a goal.

Others: Consistent wingman Isaac Birt was once again among his sides best performers, running hard up and down the ground to provide an outlet option. He used the ball well and was an important connector between defence and attack, finishing with 19 disposals, ten marks, four inside-50s and three rebounds. Midfielder Cooper Rogers also found plenty of the ball, complementing the likes of Draper and Roberts in the engine room. He gathered 23 disposals, a game-high 12 marks and nine inside-50s in another impressive display.

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS:

#17 Lukas Cooke

Cooke dominated proceedings in attack, proving far too good for the Panthers defenders. It was just one of those days for Cooke, who marked everything within his reach. And on the rare occasion in which he didn’t clunk the mark, he brought the ball to ground for the Eagles crumbers to pounce upon. What made Cooke’s performance so good was his ability to convert, oftentimes from long range. His set-shot routine is smooth and it proved ultra effective as he nailed five first half goals. His snap on goal in the dying moments of the first half further demonstrated his exciting mobility and athletic prowess. Cooke handled the ruck duties when the ball was in the Eagles forward 50 and more than held his own against some of the Panthers more physically developed juniors, winning five hit-outs, including a couple directly to advantage. After booting two goals in the opening round and one goal last weekend in the loss to Glenelg, Cooke finished the day down south with seven goals to his name, along with 19 disposals and seven marks (including five contested) in a dominant display which will surely have caught the attention of AFL recruiters.

#24 Zac Phillips

Ruckman Phillips could consider himself a touch unlucky to miss out on being drafted in his first year of eligibility in 2020. However, having re-joined the Eagles under-18 set-up as an over-ager, the towering Yorke Peninsula teenager did his draft chances no harm with a terrific display at Noarlunga. Competing against the Panthers duel-rucks Will Verrall and Heath Treloar, Phillips was influential around the ground, with his hit-out ascendancy, cleanliness below his knees, efficient handball skills and neat kicking the standout features of his game. He moved well around the ground and finished the game with 13 disposals, 27 hit-outs, four marks, three tackles and five inside-50s.

Others: Mattaes Phillipou was everywhere for the Eagles. Although he was slightly inconsistent with his ball use, Phillipou’s stoppage nous and ability to accumulate the ball at-will went a long way towards the Eagles picking up their first win of the season. He finished with a team-high 34 disposals, three marks, three tackles, seven clearances and six inside-50s. Dustin Launer was another Eagle who stood up and performed well against a South Adelaide side with a handful of exciting talents. He gathered 26 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, seven clearances and four rebounds in a well-rounded performance. SANFL State Talent Hub member Jay Watson gathered 16 disposals, seven marks, six inside-50s and a goal, with bottom-ager Adam D’Aloia (22 disposals and a goal) also winning his fair share of the ball through the midfield and in attack.

WEST ADELAIDE vs. STURT 

By: Tom Wyman

WEST ADELAIDE:

#9 Kobe Ryan

Ryan was the clear best-on-ground for West Adelaide as they took control of their clash with Sturt. Despite being a year younger and considerably slimmer than many of his opponents, Ryan’s natural ball-winning abilities, poise with ball in-hand and smart running patterns ensured he found the ball with the ease of a seasoned veteran. Effortlessly classy in his movement and typically clean at ground level, Ryan used the ball to excellent effect for the most part, making smart decisions and then executing well by hand and foot. Although a number of his possessions were uncontested touches with limited pressure, the Bloods clearly have confidence in Ryan’s skillset and decision making capabilities – and for good reason. Deceptively strong above his shoulders, Ryan showed why he is considered among the most talented junior footballers in South Australia with an impressive showing, featuring 31 disposals, four marks, four tackles and seven clearances.

#10 Cade Kennedy

The skipper lead from the front for West Adelaide, setting the tone with his aggressive attack on the ball and line-breaking speed proving too difficult to handle for the Sturt midfielders. Although his ball use was questionable at-times, with a couple of his kicks falling short of their intended targets, Kennedy’s production, constant pressure and zip around the ball provided an important point-of-difference and complemented his fellow on-ballers. The sole top-aged West Adelaide player in the SANFL State Talent Hub, Kennedy concluded the match with 27 disposals, five marks, eight tackles and six inside-50s.

#16 Dylan White

Dylan White was another of the Bloods midfield brigade to run riot at Hisense Stadium. A Renmark product from within the West Adelaide country zone, White had a big impact on the contest in the coal-face, winning his fair share of contested ball but, importantly, spread hard and pushed forward to hit the scoreboard. His long range goal at the five minute mark of the second term extended his sides lead and evidently provided a real moral boost. White accumulated 31 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, four clearances and two goals in what was his best game of the season to-date.

#36 Tyson Coe

Powerful bottom-ager Coe played an instrumental role in the Bloods triumph. Regarded for his contested ball winning and tough in-and-under style, it was Coe’s penetrating foot skills which stood out against the Double Blues. Despite boasting an unconventional kicking action, his left foot found plenty of targets on Saturday afternoon, over both long and shorter distances. Skipper of the Bloods Under-16s side last season and current member of the Under-18 leadership group, Coe booted two first half goals, including a long range attempt from near the 50m line and a set-shot from similar range. Coe seemed to be involved in every scoring play for West Adelaide and has made the step-up to under-18s level with ease over the first few weeks. The damaging midfielder/forward finished the game with 22 disposals, five marks and five inside-50s.

#40 Luke Young

Often the focal point in attack for West Adelaide, key forward Luke Young again played an important role in his sides win. Working well in-tandem with fellow tall Harry Lemmey, Young pushed up the ground as he usually does, allowing Lemmey to play as the deepest forward. Young was typically good in the air, taking a couple of nice grabs but importantly bringing the ball to ground too. The Plympton junior’s field kicking was clean and his goal came via a regulation set-shot in the first term, however Young will have no-doubt liked to have added a couple more majors. Nevertheless, he concluded another solid outing with 18 disposals, six marks and four inside-50s.

Others: Bottom-aged key forward Harry Lemmey showed some glimpses of genuine excitement in attack. A highly athletic prospect with excellent mobility and cleanliness for a big man, Lemmey has a smooth set-shot routine and is a capable overhead mark. However he also showed off his natural talent by booting a fantastic running goal on the stroke of half-time. He finished with nine touches and three goals for the match. Dylan McCormick was effective on the wing and through the midfield, particularly in the games early stages. A neat user of the footy, McCormick finished with 18 disposals, six marks and six inside-50s. Patrick Singleton was another ‘Westies’ junior who found an abundance of the ball, accumulating 28 touches and six marks. His repeat-efforts at ground level to stop a regulation Sturt goal in the second term would have thoroughly impressed the Bloods coaching staff. Jed Obst (21 disposals and ten marks), Charlie Pridham (21 disposals, five tackles and six rebounds) and Jesse Thackeray (21 disposals and nine clearances) were also among the Bloods top performers.

STURT:

#7 Nick Sadler

The bottom-aged utility was used up forward and in attack and had some nice moments which suggests he could be one to watch over the next couple of seasons. His penetrating foot skills stood out again today, hitting most of his targets by foot and also using the ball well by hand. He is a strong tackler and appears to have a few handy attributes. Sadler finished with 15 disposals, three marks and four clearances.

#13 Brad Jefferies

Strongly-built midfielder Brad Jefferies was industrious in his return to under-18s level. Jefferies possesses a booming long kick and used the ball effectively by foot for the most part, working against a talented West Adelaide engine room. Jefferies worked hard for the entirety of the match and, in the absence of regular on-baller Will Spain who gained a call-up to reserves level, was Sturt’s go-to man at stoppages. The Double Blues relied heavily upon his combative style in the coal face and will be relived to have the Onkaparinga product back in the under-18 set-up. He finished the game with a team-high 27 disposals, five marks, three tackles, five clearances and four inside-50s.

#37 Zac Becker

Stationed deep in defence, Zac Becker was arguably Sturt’s best performer. Forced to weather a storm of West Adelaide inside-50s at-times, Becker stood up well under the pressure. He spent some time opposed to West Adelaide centre-half-forward Luke Young in what proved to be an enticing battle between two of the premier key position players in the SANFL under-18 competition. As has been the case all season, Becker was trusted with the kick-in duties – a testament to his excellent foot skills. He often cleared the defensive-50 from a kick-in, using his long and accurate leg. Importantly, Becker made good decisions and was also competitive in the air. Clearly the league’s most prolific rebounder after three rounds of action (averaging over 11 rebounds per game), the SANFL Talent Hub member finished with 20 disposals (all of which were kicks), four marks and 14 rebounds.

Others: With Morgan Ferres lining up in the reserves for the second-straight week, it was up to key forward Felix Packer to fill the void. And he did just that, booting four goals from ten disposals and five marks. An accurate set-shot for goal, Packer’s presence in the air was important for a Double Blues side which managed just 37 inside-50s for the match. Although he didn’t hit the scoreboard, medium forward Jacob Lochowiak played with aggression and intent, collecting 18 disposals, three marks, five tackles and seven inside-50s. On-ballers Jamie Taylor (16 disposals, one goal, four tackles and four clearances) and Jake Aish (15 disposals, four marks, five tackles, three clearances and four inside-50s) again fought hard for the visitors.

Picture credit: Nick Hook Photography

Scouting Notes: 2021 SANFL Under 18s – Round 2

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Under 18s rolled on into Round 2, with the latest weekend of action producing some excellent performances from plenty of 2021 AFL Draft prospects. In the second SANFL Scouting Notes edition for 2021, we again narrow in on SA’s Under 18s competition, with a particular focus on the state’s Under 19 talent hub members. All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

GLENELG vs. WWT EAGLES

By: Liam Badkin

GLENELG:

#32 Oscar Adams

Worked hard through the midfield all day to give his team ascendency. Fought all game in the poor conditions to give his midfielders first use with his hitouts around the ground.

#20 Lewis Rayson

Found plenty of the ball and rarely wasted it. A game-high 29 disposals showcased his creativity with the ball as he set up countless plays with his hard work from half-back. An excellent performance as he continues to impress and demonstrate the quality talent coming out of South Australia.

#5 Hugh Stagg

Didn’t get a heap of the ball, but made the most of it when he did. Kicked a nice goal from a snap in the first quarter to extend his side’s strong lead. Spent time on the ball where he used his big frame to put others in better positions.

#13 Hayden Brokensha

A quieter performance than last week, the hard runner only found the ball eight times but there were still plenty of bright spots. His disposal could’ve been cleaner, but the effort was never in doubt as he looks to build on this performance.

#10 Lachlan Scannell

Another who didn’t accumulate the ball as much as last week, but showed his endeavour and willingness to work hard for his touches. With a solid 15 disposals, Scannell ran tirelessly all day and found himself an integral link up player as his side rebounded the ball out of defensive 50.

EAGLES:

#12 Brayden Calvett

The lethal left footer once again proved his worth to his side. Working around the midfield, he took the game on plenty of times and used his damaging skills to hurt the opposition and incite fantastic ball movement. Missed a shot on goal at the start of the last quarter but would be pleased with his performance overall.

#4 Jase Burgoyne

A handy link-up player who did his best work on the half-forward line. Always crafty, Burgoyne was a key cog in a lot of good Eagles ball movement. Found the ball 23 times and should hold his head high despite the loss. One of his side’s best on the day, and should built into competition well after an interrupted preseason.

#17 Lukas Cooke

A quieter game than last week, Cooke was the victim of the ball not entering his forward 50 enough. It’s hard to judge a key forward on a game where his side is beaten around other areas of the ground. Kicked his sole goal to open the scoring account for the second quarter as he tried to pull his side back into the game. Other than that, lack of opportunities hurt his output.

#2 Jay Watson

Found the footy plenty of times in a game where his side struggled to get their hands on it. Constantly drove the ball forward with his quality kicking skills, and tried until the final bounce to get his side back into the game.

#15 Adam D’Aolia

Another solid performance for the midfielder, as he fought bravely in a losing battle. Was dangerous around the stoppages, where he managed to find a game-high five clearances, despite his forwards not finishing his hard work and being beaten. Also worked his way to six tackles as he forced plenty of stoppages with his ability to stop opponents in their tracks.

 

CENTRAL DISTRICT vs. WEST ADELAIDE

By: Liam Badkin

CENTRAL:

#3 Isaiah Dudley

One of his side’s strongest performers on the day, the highly touted mid-forward lived up to the high expectations he has set for himself. Working through the midfield and forward of the ball, Dudley provided a spark on a dour day for his side. His explosiveness was hard to ignore around the contest, as he burst through packs and finished the day with 17 disposals and two goals. His stocks continue to rise.

#37 Cody Gilchrist 

It was a day that could have yielded so much more for the aerial specialist, but his inaccuracy cost him a bag of six as he finished with 1.5. His marking skills were more efficient as he brought down five grabs, with some contested. His ability to set himself up for a scoring opportunity is a real stand out, and if his accuracy can improve, he will be a nightmare for defenders.

#16 Shay Linke 

The SANFL Academy member once again continued his promising start to the year, and demonstrated his ability to win the footy all around the ground. His work around the stoppages was marvellous as he worked his way to 30 disposals and four clearances. His third quarter goal showcased his ability to hit the scoreboard, and he performed strongly on a tough day at the office.

#28 Luca Whitelum 

Backed up last week’s solid showing with another, consistently competing in a losing side. Missed two shots on goal that he could’ve kicked if he had his time over, but never gave up. Another step in the right direction.

WEST ADELAIDE:

#10 Cade Kennedy 

One of his side’s best performers, Kennedy found plenty of the ball and gave opposition coaches headaches as he continued to rack up possessions. His work at the contest was high-level, extracting three clearances, and he hit the scoreboard with a handy second quarter goal, when the opposition were making a strong run. Fantastic.

#36 Tyson Coe

While gathering slightly less of the ball than last week, Coe still showed his talent as a big-bodied midfielder, finding the ball 15 times. His two goals would’ve pleased his coaches as he continues to add strings to his bow.

#54 Harry Lemmey 

The developing key forward continues his improvement with another nice game. The ball movement inside 50 at times suited his skillset as he reeled in five marks. Could’ve finished with five goals but instead settled for 2.3 in an important performance for his side.

#9 Kobe Ryan

A star in the making, Ryan put in a best on ground performance with his outstanding effort in the midfield. Seemingly always around the play, the bottom ager was herculean for his team, winning eight clearances to drive his team forward. His defensive work was just as strong, laying eight tackles as he refused to be beaten by an opponent. Strong in the air and on the ground, he was impossible to stop, as he remarkably went at 90 per cent disposal efficiency from his 33 touches. An outstanding performance.

 

SOUTH ADELAIDE vs. NORTH ADELAIDE 

By: Tom Wyman

SOUTH ADELAIDE:

#33 Arlo Draper

One of SA’s most highly rated draft prospects, Draper had some nice moments where he appeared a cut above Under 18 level, but didn’t star as the Panthers were beaten by a strong North Adelaide side. Starting at the centre bounce but drifting forward for parts of the match, Draper is a great size for the modern game at 186cm.

His quick snap on goal from the stoppage was soccered through on the goal-line for a major, but highlighted his high-level forward craft. An impressive overall athlete, Draper’s stoppage nous was terrific, reading the taps well and gliding through congestion on a number of occasions. He didn’t attend every stoppage but still won a game-high seven clearances – highlighting his smarts in the midfield. Draper’s hands in-tight were sound and he hit some tricky targets by foot, particularly when looking to centre the ball.

Although the Willunga product didn’t dominate proceedings or find lots of the ball, he had an impact just about every time he touched it. Draper is clearly an aerial threat and his strong midfield craft and ability forward of centre will no doubt have scouts monitoring him closely. He concluded the game with 16 disposals, a goal (10 kicks and six handballs) and four tackles.

Others: 

Angus Bradley was likely best-on-ground for the Panthers. Although South Adelaide were beaten in the midfield, Bradley didn’t back down, winning a team-high 31 disposals (25 kicks and six handballs) to go with seven marks and eight rebound-50s. A kick-first type of player, Bradley used the ball cleanly by foot.

Half-back flanker Lachlan Hayes showed a nice bit of zip from defence. He took the game on wherever he could and appears to be a smart player. He finished with 22 disposals and three rebounds. Key defender Dylan Miller was opposed to talented Roosters forward Isaac Keeler and kept the Adelaide NGA product goalless, after he booted five majors the week before.

Wingman Isaac Birt produced a balanced game, finishing with 19 disposals, six marks, six tackles, three inside-50s and a goal, with fellow midfielder Cooper Rogers (22 disposals, six tackles and three clearances) also busy. Koby Cockshell booted three goals for the home side.

NORTH ADELAIDE:

#4 Isaac Keeler

After kicking five goals in a dominant display against Central District last week, the tall forward was well-held by the South Adelaide backline. The bottom-aged Adelaide NGA product still showed some nice glimpses, with his ability to gain separation on the lead, natural athleticism and impact at ground level all evident.

However, Keeler was slightly off despite the Roosters’ win, dropping a simple chest mark in the opening term and turning the ball over a couple of times by foot. His cleanliness below his knees was a real highlight though. Keeler finished with 11 disposals, three marks, three tackles and a couple of clearances when given a run in the ruck. Expect him to return to the scoresheet against the Redlegs next week.

#12 Hugh Jackson

Jackson has stated the season in dominant fashion and would have to be one of the early favourites to take out the McCallum-Tomkins Medal (SANFL Under 18 best and fairest), after a strong showing against the Panthers. His hands in traffic, on both sides of his body, were not only lightening fast, but they always found their target. Playing as an inside midfielder, Jackson won a lot of his possessions in congestion but, impressively, was still able to hit his targets by foot.

However, like many of his North Adelaide teammates, Jackson has the ability to spread well from the stoppages and get involved in general play, which allows him to best exploit his clean skillset. His running patterns allowed him to get on the end of handball chains and be the one to deliver the ball inside-50. The teenager, from Crystal Brook in the heartland of the Roosters country zone, drew teammates towards him with his kicking and was able to slice through tricky gaps in the play.

He did all the defensive stuff too, laying a game-high ten tackles. He was caught holding the ball a couple of times, however the smooth-mover again looked in complete control, finishing the clash with 33 disposals, five marks, five clearances, five inside 50s. He was unlucky to have a snap at goal hit the post in the fourth quarter too.

#15 Harvey Harrison

Blayne O’Loughlin’s 44-touches are hard to overlook, but the performance of Harrison had a similar influence over the game. Harrison was typically productive around the ground, consistently winning the ball in-tight at the coal-face, but it was his spread from the contest and the run and carry that he provided which proved deadly. Involved in countless handball-chains through the middle of the ground, Harrison was instrumental in turning defensive into attack.

Many players tend to waste their possessions when travelling at full speed, but not Harrison. His delivery by foot was outstanding and his running goal in the third-term triggered a flurry of Roosters majors, however he could have had an even bigger game if he had converted some of his chances in-front of the big sticks (kicking five behinds). The Golden Grove junior looks to have established himself as one of the leading midfielders in the state, after accumulating 64 touches across the first fortnight of action.

A high metres-gained type of midfielder, Harrison finished the round two clash with 31 disposals (21 kicks and ten handballs), four marks, six tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and a goal. He sits third in the competition for disposals (trailing only teammates Blayne O’Loughlin and Hugh Jackson), equal-fourth for marks and second for clearances – highlighting his well balanced game.

#18 James Willis

Willis returned to the Roosters’ Under 18s set-up and wasted no time in getting involved. He spent time rotating through the midfield and forwardline, where his speed, run-and-carry, and ability to win the contested ball featured prominently. He applied plenty of defensive pressure around the ball and tackled with genuine intent. The SANFL Academy member also bobbed up for two goals late in the game, to go with 18 disposals, three marks, four tackles and five inside 50s.

#22 Blayne O’Loughlin

The skipper led from the front for the Roosters, setting up the play beautifully from half-back. Another Rooster who is tied to the Adelaide Crows via NGA rules, O’Loughlin had the ball on a string right from the start. Although he did accumulate many of his touches from kick-ins, his skills when exiting the defensive-50 were exceptional. Always calm and composed with ball in hand, the SANFL Academy member was largely pin-point with his disposal by foot, weighing up the situation and thinking his way through things.

O’Loughlin reads the game so well and possesses a rare understanding of how the play appears to be unfolding in-front of him, then consistently makes the right decision and executes by hand or foot. The crafty defender is a deep thinker on the field and is equipped with the skillset to match, but he also showed a willingness to crack in hard for his side and win some contested ball, which will have impressed scouts and recruiters watching on.

O’Loughlin’s footy smarts were again on display when he sprinted 30 metres to plug the gap in-front of a leading South Adelaide forward and prevent a near-certain shot on goal. Blayne finished with a game-high 44 disposals (30 kicks and 14 handballs), nine marks, four tackles and eight rebound 50s in what could well be his best performance at Under 18s level to date.

#29 Zyton Santillo

The speedy Santillo was typically industrious for the red and whites through the midfield and in attack. He had no trouble finding the ball and used it really well. One of several North Adelaide midfielders with some speed and skill, Santillo was precise with his kicking, particularly when heading inside 50, and ran hard both ways. Not unlike Brisbane star Dayne Zorko in the way he moves, Santillo once again showed he is an important cog in what appears to be a very strong Roosters squad, accumulating 31 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, six clearances and six inside 50s in an impressive outing.

Others:

Whilst the North Adelaide midfield unit will receive much of the attention and plaudits for their dominance, defender Lewis Saint played an important role in defence, breaking up several Panthers attacks. Medium-forward Thomas Cusack had a blistering third term, booting four goals in six minutes to break-open the game and more-or-less put the game beyond reach. Elliott McNamara was an important target up forward, finishing with 20 disposals, four marks (including two contested), six tackles and five inside 50s.

 

NORWOOD vs. STURT

By: Tom Wyman

NORWOOD:

#1 Tyson Walls

After making a strong start to the season last weekend, the bottom-aged midfielder was again among the best players on the ground in Norwood’s victory. He spent the game in his customary midfield role, where he won his fair share of contested ball and showed an ability to look for the right options in congestion, rather than blaze away.

He possesses a very quick first couple of steps and, importantly, he used this to advantage, often speeding away from stoppages in his bright yellow boots. A well-balanced midfielder who shares some similarities in playing style to Essendon’s Darcy Parish, Walls’ vision and skill execution were also commendable. He banked himself a well deserved goal in the closing stages of the final term and finished with 24 disposals (19 kicks and five handballs), seven marks, six tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s.

#9 Alastair Lord

The speedy half-back/wingman took a while to get going, but worked into the game nicely and proved to be the most damaging player on the ground after quarter time. Primarily stationed in the defensive 50 but pushing up onto the wings when required, Lord provided plenty of his trademark run-and-carry. For a player of just 177cm, he displayed good strength above his head and took a couple of timely intercept grabs.

Lord’s attacking mindset was clear from the outset, as he looked to break lines with his speed whenever possible. At times, he made things more difficult for himself by running into traffic, however his aggressive mindset was pivotal in the Redlegs 32-point win. In what was a scrappy game for the most part with both sides struggling to execute their skills, Lord’s ball use stood out. He finished with 28 touches (17 kicks and 11 handballs), seven marks and four inside 50s.

#25 Matt Dnistriansky 

The athletic defender was once-again Norwood’s designated kicker down back. Often charged with the kick-in duties, Dnistriansky looked to set up the play with his precise kicking. He has a racking right foot kick and was accurate across long and short distances. He positioned himself well throughout the game, dropping in front of the Sturt forwards to cut off several Double Blues attacks. Although many of his touches were accumulated deep in defence, his clean ball-use was important. Concluded the game with a game-high 29 disposals (24 kicks and five handballs), nine marks and eight rebounds.

Others:

SANFL Academy Hub member Taj Rahui showed a couple of nice glimpses in-tight, with his breakaway speed and agility on show. Connor Kent missed a couple of shots on goal but was prolific, accumulating 27 touches and seven marks. Bottom-aged defender Riley Verrall was inconsistent by foot but found plenty of it and provided some handy rebound across half-back, finishing with 26 disposals, seven marks and seven rebounds.

STURT:

#7 Nick Sadler

Bottom-aged midfielder/forward was one of Sturt’s best performers in what proved to be a scrappy contest at Coopers Stadium. Sadler was unlucky to hit the post with a set-shot from a difficult angle in the first term, but made up for it just moments later by sending a piercing kick through for a major. He went head-to-head with Norwood’s Alastair Lord and held his own, even managing to beat the speedster to the ball on the outer wing on one occasion. He looks to have a long and penetrating kick and appears clean on both sides of the body. He finished with 20 disposals (14 kicks and six marks), six marks, three clearances and six inside 50s.

#11 Will Spain

The inside midfielder didn’t set the world alight but was solid through the engine room. He is one of the best tacklers in the competition and a capable ball winner at stoppages, however Spain also ran some nice patterns which allowed him to pick up uncontested possessions. He worked tirelessly, often going head-to-head with Norwood’s Tyson Walls, and used the ball well by hand. He finished with 19 disposals, four marks, nine tackles and four inside 50s.

Others:

With talented key forward Morgan Ferres not playing, the Double Blues clearly lacked a focal point in attack. Powerful medium-forward Jacob Lochowiak had his moments and competed well. Jake Aish (20 disposals, one goal, six clearances and six inside-50s) found plenty of the footy through the midfield and Jordan Hein (24 disposals and ten rebounds) used it well out of defence. Jamie Taylor kicked a goal and had 20 disposals while the ruck-duo of Hugo Kittle and Jackson Bishop provided the Sturt midfielders with first use, winning 17 and 15 hit-outs respectively. Down back, the clean-kicking Zac Becker (20 disposals, five marks and 15 rebounds) provided some handy rebound from defence.

Image Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

NT troops trump Glenelg as rep footy returns to the Top End

REPRESENTATIVE football returned to the Northern Territory on Saturday as an out-of-season Glenelg outfit took on the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) rep side at TIO Stadium. The NTFL Buffaloes won out by 24 points in a competitive outing played amid soggy conditions, finishing the game strongly with three goals to Glenelg’s nil in the final term.

NT captain Cam Ilett took home the Australia Day medal as best afield, leading a side packed with a mix of local talent and guns from around the nation. Territorians Neil Vea Vea and Marlon Motlop were among the Bays’ most valuable players, providing physicality and spark going forward. The game was the first NT representative fixture in 15 years, and the first hitout against Glenelg in 36 years.

>> SCROLL for the final scores, goalkickers and best players

The hosts readied themselves for battle and came out the better side early, applying smothering defensive pressure and locking the ball in their front half for much of the opening term. It translated to the scoreboard too, as the rushed and undisciplined Bays gifted two goals via 50-metre penalties to trail by 11 points at quarter time.

An elongated team talk at the first break spurred Glenelg into action though, with former Richmond key forward Liam McBean booting his second major and Reid Kuller adding another in quick time to put their side ahead. A Nate Paredes bomb from nothing helped steady the NT, who remained ahead by five points at half time as the sides began to trade goals.

The scoring dried up as the rain began to fall harder in the second half, but that did not stop Lachie Hosie from expertly roving a pack and putting Glenelg back ahead. Both sides showed a bit of feeling as the stakes were raised, with the goal-for-goal streak continuing in term three but resulting in Glenelg gaining the ascendancy as the final turn approached.

It was all NT from there, with the likes of James Tsitas and Abe Ankers popping up to show their class in the clutch moments. The in-season factor proved telling as Glenelg fell away late and went scoreless in the final term, a period which was capped by Shaun Edwards‘ game-sealing snap. The celebratory major made for a game-high lead and put the cherry on top of NT’s terrific showing.

While Ilett earned another piece of silverware for his extraordinary personal collection, ball magnet Dane McFarlane was unlucky not to be recognised as the NT’s best player. Rebounding key defender Brodie Newman was also exceptional, while bigman Matthew Dennis battled hard in the ruck, Harley Puruntatameri was lively up forward, and Paredes had patches of dominance.

Vea Vea’s physicality was a highlight for Glenelg as he rotated forward through the ruck, while Motlop came up clutch with a handy third term goal to aid the Bays’ Territorian influence. McBean proved a reliable target up forward and Hosie was dangerous at his feet, with Brady Searle a handy factor down back and Darcy Bailey influential between the arcs.

Earlier, the NTFL Women’s representative team took on their Glenelg counterparts in an historic meeting between the two sides. The wet weather wreaked havoc but did not stop the Territorians from establishing a three-goal lead in the first half, before seeing out a 28-point victory; 5.5 (35) to 1.1 (7). NT standout Jasmyn Hewett won the Australia Day medal, while Mickayla Ward booted two goals.

The night’s other featured match saw the Alice Springs Redtails defeat Katherine’s Big Rivers Football League side by 50 points in an exciting interleague clash. Nigel Lockyer Jnr was among the victors’ best, booting an equal game-high three majors as his team ran out 12.18 (90) to 5.10 (40) winners, largely credit to their superior fluency with ball in hand.

FINAL SCORES:

NTFL BUFFALOES | 3.1 | 5.2 | 6.5 | 9.12 (66)
GLENELG TIGERS | 1.2 | 4.3 | 6.6 | 6.6 (42)

GOALS:

NTFL: B. Eddy, R. Turnbull, C. Ilett, N. Paredes, H. Puruntatameri, J. Stokes, J. Tsitas, A. Ankers, S. Edwards
Glenelg: L. McBean 2, R. Kuller, D. Bailey, L. Hosie, M. Motlop

DC BEST:

NTFL: D. McFarlane, B. Newman, M. Dennis, C. Ilett, H. Puruntatameri, N. Paredes
Glenelg: N. Vea Vea, L. McBean, M. Motlop, D. Bailey, R. Kuller, L. Hosie, B. Searle

Australia Day Medal: Cam Ilett (NT)

Featured Image: The NT Buffaloes and Glenelg Tigers join for a photo post-match | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media

Kohn comes on in leaps and bounds for Bays

SOME players might struggle to get out of bed on a Saturday for an afternoon game, others might ride a casual 150km. Glenelg inside midfielder Tessa Kohn was certainly the latter, prior to entering the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) Women’s competition. The elite cyclist admitted she “didn’t take it (Under 18s footy) seriously” and cycling was what had taken her to high levels.

“Well I got in through talent identification, I started that in Year 8 because of my running abilities they were good, so I got in and I did that in Year 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 for five years,” Kohn said. “And I did Oceania’s and I got placing at Oceania’s and stuff like that. “I would go to Nationals and basically I was riding 14 times a week or like 10 times a week or gym sessions. “Footy was just fun in Under 18s, I didn’t take it seriously. “Basically I would race or ride 150km on a Saturday morning and rock up to my footy game on Saturday arvo.”

Times certainly changed once she moved into the League competition, winning the Under 18s best and fairest despite focusing primarily on her cycling. Over the off-season, Kohn moved up from her Under 18s role at Morphettville Park to play for Glenelg and have a breakthrough season. Prior to that, the talented teenager represented Sacred Heart in the college competition each year, but had not taken the plunge just yet. In her final year of school, she decided to make that step up.

“Last year I thought ‘oh I might give it a crack in an amateur league’,” Kohn said. “So I started playing for Morphettville Park in the Under 18s and the Women’s teams. “I played about half a season there (Morphettville Park) and then went to Glenelg.”

While some players might have struggled to get up to speed with the new sport, Kohn said her aerobic capacity and playing other sports as a youngster had allowed her to smoothly transition into the oblong-shaped ball game.

Well I have always been into sport so it wasn’t that hard,” Kohn said. “The skill part I was obviously still developing and I still had to pick that up, but the aggression and attack on the ball wasn’t that hard to pick up. “It was just the preseason gave me a really good look. “We had a lot of trial games leading up to the season so that made it a lot less daunting. “After the first game, all the nerves were gone and I reckon I was ready to go. “After just 10 games I have learnt quite a lot.”

She certainly proved she belonged at the level, taking just four rounds to earn a Breakthrough Player Award for her efforts on the inside. In the loss to Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, Kohn had a game-high 18 disposals, as well as seven clearances and five tackles – in just her fourth game of senior football.

“That was amazing,” Kohn said. “I did not expect that at all. “I think when I saw my name at the top of stats I was like ‘oh my god did I really touch the ball that much?’. “Basically, I was so surprised I did not expect that at all.”

Kohn said she did not know what to expect coming into the competition, having dominated at Under 18s level for Morphettville Park, as her 2019 league best and fairest award attests to.

“Prior to Glenelg I played in the Under 18s at Morphettville and I played pretty much in the midfield and I pretty much dominated that,” Kohn said. “Because of that I didn’t know where I was going to play. “I thought because of the female team I’d be put on a wing or something. But after our first few trainings and me going and taking time, I think about two months to get my skills up to date with everyone else’s…. I was always playing in the mid but they started playing me as the attacking mid.”

Transitioning from the outside to the inside and Kohn’s exact role for the 2020 season took plenty of discussions amongst the coaching group, but in the end, the 18-year-old lined up onball. Unfortunately following that breakthrough performance in Round 4, everything Kohn had worked for had come to a grind halt.

The SANFL Women’s competition was postponed and would not restart for another few months, and Kohn was back to cycling to stay fit. It allowed her to not only maintain her fitness, but come back stronger and more driven, particularly when one Ebony Marinoff arrived at training and raised the bar for the rest of the playing group.

“That was actually an amazing experience,” Kohn said. “It was really, really nice seeing how hard ‘Noffy’ (Marinoff) trains and seeing the levels I need to be at. “Basically I had a trial game and that was with the Bays girls, so just an internal trial. “So the three Adelaide girls were on one team and I was on the other team and basically when I played or against them, it just rose my levels so much higher. “I feel like by COVID happening it was the best thing for my footy career because I’ve had three or four girls back from the AFL who are absolutely amazing. “It just made me realise, it rose our training levels and our game levels by a lot more and it made our skills and everything a lot better.”

Kohn said playing with and against AFL Women’s players lifted her game, but she was not phased by the challenge of taking on South Australia’s top footballers. Except Adelaide best and fairest winner Anne Hatchard who Kohn admitted was “a bit intimidating” to play on and named her as her toughest opponent “by far” to play on.

Assessing her on-field performance, Kohn said her clearance ability – leading the league in clearances after four rounds in her debut season – running and perseverant attitude were among her strengths, as was her attack on the football. As for areas of improvement, she is still building up her skills and working on some athletic traits, with the off-season a key focus for her strength conditioning, vertical jump and 20m sprint.

Her skills have been a work in progress, but Kohn is always striving to be the best possible player she could be, and her work through repetition helped her get up to standard.

“Well because I’d already played touch footy, I already had ground balls were like I was good at and handballs,” Kohn said. “And because I played basketball at a high level, my marking was fine. “It was just my kicking, so I reckon in preseason for about five months, including COVID the time there, I just kicked the ball every day, I was just so determined to get out on the field and not be the one of the worst kicks. “I didn’t want to let my team down. “Especially because I get so many clearances, I can’t have a terrible kick if I’m ripping it out of the pack trying to get it forward.”

It is no surprise to see her teammate Marinoff as one of her inspirations, having seen first hand how hard she worked week-in, week-out and wanted to become the best possible player she could be on-field.

“I don’t really have a football idol because I came in so late and I believe with athletes, I believe that in how hard they work,” Kohn said when asked of an inspiration along her football journey. “But I would say because of COVID and how the AFLW girls came back and I would say with Ebony Marinoff and how I would rotate with her through attacking mid from the forward line and she was just her intensity and the way she would help me out so I would understand. “She was such a good coach/player. “It was just how many extra hours she put in the gym and on the running field. “It was just inspiring to see what I need to do to get to her level.”

For Kohn, it is about nailing the fundamentals and giving herself the best preparation available to play at the elite level. She said she dreams of playing at the top grade one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, and has her sights set on having a big preseason and huge 2021. Not only does she want to make the grade, but succeed at it.

“I would ideally like to play at the highest level I can with AFLW football but I don’t just want to play at the highest level, I want to be one of the better players,” Kohn said. “I would like to play in the AFLW and be successful in there. “So a tier one player.”

So how does she intend to build on her game? By adding further strings to her bow and making her game more consistent across the board. A by-chance role in the forward line for the South Australian Women’s All-Star game helped her come up with an idea for next season.

“I’ve actually had a conversation with my coach and in the All-Star game I felt really, really comfortable in the forward line and I never felt comfortable in there,” Kohn said. “I feel like next season I want to be, my midfield work is generally pretty good, it’s just some decisions and timing that I’ve got to improve on, with obviously just a few skill errors. “If I perfect and get way better at my forward line stuff, I’ll be a good all-around player. “That’s my main goal. “My main goal is just kicking goals, I want to be able to get a lot of goals and clearances.”

Having finished third in Glenelg’s best and fairest this year, it is fair to say that Kohn had some sort of debut season. With her eyes well and truly set on the prize in 2021, expect her to continue to build on her talents and be one to watch next year.