Tag: GWV Rebels

Q&A: Jye Lockett (GWV Rebels/Queensland)

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

It would only seem fitting that the nephew of Tony Lockett would ply his trade as a budding centre half-forward, and furthermore make the move down to Ballarat as he looks pursue footballing and schooling opportunities. The Queenslander is also part of the Gold Coast SUNS Academy and represented Queensland at last year’s Under 16 National Championships, booting multiple goals in two of the three games.



MA: Jye, how’s the day been so far?

JL: “It’s been good to see all the other teams here. Everyone goes out there and competes hard and I guess it gives a good indication of your athletic ability.”


Which of the tests are you excelling in or looking to improve on at the moment?

“I didn’t do too bad at the agility (test) but I’d probably like to work on my 20-metre sprint.”


How has the transition been coming from Queensland?

“It was good, I moved down just before last year and was in the Under 16s Rebels program. I moved into the 18s this year and it’s going really well.”


You enjoyed a pretty successful Under 16 carnival as well playing forward alongside Noah McFadyen, how was that?

“Yes, I love playing with ‘Nug’. He’s a great bloke and I think we work really well together, so that 16s Queensland side was real fun.”


Will you continue to represent Queensland and the Allies or transition to Vic Country?

“The plan was this year to play with the Queensland Futures 17s and go through the Allies program in my 18th year, but I’m not too sure about that just yet. I’m focused on this year.”


And you’ve come down for school as well?

“Yes, I got a scholarship at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat and have done Year 11 and 12 there.”


Who are some of the boys from there and the Rebels you’re looking forward to playing alongside?

Ben Hobbs and Charlie Molan, Josh Rentsch – a few of the Academy boys. It’ll be good to play alongside them and learn off all their different skills.”


In terms of position, are you looking to move further afield in future?

“Yes. Centre half-forward is obviously the main position but anywhere from half-forward or deep forward, even pushing up the ground into the midfield or up on the wing is probably the next goal.”


Do you have any other goals for the year?

“Obviously if I can play really well in those Queensland Under 17 games then get into the Under 18 Academy and Allies (squad) and set myself up really well.”

Classic Contests: Jets hold off fast-finishing Rebels

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 11 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Western Jets. In this edition, we wind back the clock to just one year to mid-2019, where the Metro side snuck home on enemy territory.

2019 NAB League, Round 11
Saturday June 22, 11:30am
Mars Stadium

GWV REBELS 1.3 | 1.7 | 4.7 | 7.9 (51)
WESTERN JETS 3.1 | 4.2 | 6.3 | 9.4 (58)


GWV: C. Giddings, L. O’Brien, C. Nagorcka, L. Herbert, F. Marris, M. Martin, N. Caris
A. Manton 2, E. Ford, M. Cousins, K. Borg, J. Honey, H. Schumann, N. Reynolds, L. Vidovic


GWV: L. Herbert, M. Martin, R. Polkinghorne, M. Burgess, M. Herbert, N. Stevens
C. Raak, L. Rocci, J. Kellett, L. Phillips, E. Ford, M. Cousins

Draftees in action:

GWV: Nil
Josh Honey (Carlton)

A battle of the two western sides went down in Round 11 of the 2019 NAB League, with GWV Rebels hosting the Western Jets in Ballarat on a late-June Saturday morning. Both sides were a touch undermanned amid the national carnival, with just one future draftee taking the field in Western graduate and Carlton rookie, Josh Honey.

The form between the two sides was heavily contrasted, with the Rebels coming off a 111-point belting at the hands of Eastern where they were kept goalless, capping a five-game losing run. The Jets were faring much better at that point, earning three wins on the trot including the scalp of Gippsland in Round 10 as they readied for their first meeting with GWV for the year.

It all meant Western came in right in the thick of a top three charge, sitting just two points off third and four off first in fifth spot at 6-3. On the other hand, the Rebels were down in 15th with their 2-7 record, but had some decent talent in which would have been hungry to arrest their alarming form slump.

For not of a lack of trying, the hosts found themselves immediately behind as Western adjusted better to the conditions, booting 1.3 to the Jet’s 3.1 in the opening term. The yips carried through to the second term for the Rebels too, this time exceeding Western’s scoring shots with a total of four, but putting them all through the behinds as the Jets managed 1.1 to open up a 13-point buffer at the main break, with double GWV’s score.

But with the game opening up slightly and the Rebels still within striking distance, we had a game on our hands. The home side proved as much, straightening up in front of goal to slam home three-straight majors in the third term to close the gap to eight points heading into the final stanza. While a goal to Mitch Martin midway through the term brought the margin back to a single point, Western had all the answers to run home seven-point winners in a tense finish.

Competition leading goalkicker Archi Manton was the only player to notch multiple goals with two on a low-scoring day, with 14 individuals across either side finding the big sticks. GWV’s Liam Herbert led all comers with 28 disposals and a goal, followed by Riley Polkinghorne (26) and Martin (20) for the Rebels, while Daly Andrews (27) was among four Jets to rack up over 20 touches. Honey was impactful with a goal from 16 disposals, but it was Western Bulldogs NGA hopeful Cody Raak who was named the winners’ best with 14 disposals and three marks from defence.

The two sides would go on to meet again in Wildcard Round, with Western advancing to the finals on the back of a 50-point win having finished 7th at 8-7. The Jets would crash out to Gippsland in the semi-finals after overcoming Northern in their elimination bout, with GWV’s 6-9 season ending at that. Jay Rantall would be the sole GWV graduate to find a home at AFL level, though that could well change in future, while Honey and Emerson Jeka were both picked up in the rookie draft following their time at Western.

Classic Contests: Chargers bundle Bushies out in straight sets

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 11 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2015, where the two sides met in a tense semi-final.

2015 TAC Cup, Semi Finals
Sunday September 13, 11:00am
Ikon Park

MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 2.4 | 3.9 | 5.12 | 9.13 (67)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.4 | 4.6 | 7.10 | 10.13 (73)


Murray: J. Schache 2, C. Oliver 2, T. McMullan, L. Smith, B. Smith, L. Tiziani, H. Payne
T. Phillips 2, L. Walker 2, P. Kerr, D. Cuningham, C. Lane, L. Byrne-Jones, J. Ridley, H. Thompson


Murray: L. Tiziani, C. Oliver, M. Waite, J. Schache, H. Payne, W. Brodie
L. Byrne-Jones, K. Answerth, D. Beddison, L. Walker, P. Phillips, J. Firns

Draftees in action:

Murray: Will Brodie*, Nicholas Coughlan**, James Cousins*, Ryan Garthwaite*, Mitch King, Harry Morrison*, Clayton Oliver, Josh Schache, Jy Simpkin*, Lachie Tiziani
 Ben Crocker, David Cuningham, Taylin Duman*, Dion Johnstone*, Patrick Kerr*, Sam McLarty*, Tom Phillips**, Jordan Ridley*

* – denotes bottom-aged
* – denotes 19-year-old

It was do-or-die for the Oakleigh Chargers and Murray Bushrangers come semi-finals time in the 2015 TAC Cup season. Having finished third at 12-5, Murray had exhausted its second chance rights after losing its qualifying final to Dandenong, while Oakleigh (sixth, 9-8) comfortably accounted for Gippsland in its elimination final tie.

Despite the loss a week earlier and the lingering fact that Oakleigh had beaten them by 10 points in Round 5, the Bushrangers would come in as favourites given their superior record and the Chargers’ 0-3 run prior to finals. Both sides were producing ridiculous numbers of AFL draftees at the time too, with Murray boasting 10 in its lineup while Oakleigh laid claim to eight – both with players across all three age groups.

Ikon Park set the scene for another big day of post-season fixtures, and the opening to this bout lived right up to the finals atmosphere in North Carlton. Both sides managed 2.4 apiece in the first term, before Oakleigh found a way on top heading into the main break. The lead was three points, credit to the Chargers’ superior finishing with 4.6 to Murray’s 3.9 – a gap of three total scoring shots to the side in deficit.

Oakleigh threatened to take the game by the scruff of its neck but could not quite pull away in the second half, with low-scoring resuming in the tricky conditions and a two-goal buffer about the best the Chargers could manage. It meant the game would be set up for a grandstand finish, with the loser set to say goodbye to season 2015. Murray sured up its kicking in the final term but could not quite sneak ahead, falling five points short with its effort of 4.1 replied to with Oakleigh’s 3.3.

Among the four players two boot two goals across both sides were three eventual draftees, with Oakleigh’s Tom Phillips managing the feat, while top five picks Josh Schache and Clayton Oliver did the same for Murray. Schache and Oliver were also among the Bushrangers’ best alongside SUNS draftee Will Brodie, with GWS Academy selection Lachie Tiziani leading the way. Lachlan Byrne-Jones earned that honour for Oakleigh, while future Blues David Cuningham and Patrick Kerr found the goals once each.

While Murray’s run ended there, the Chargers would go on to complete a remarkable finals run which ended in premiership glory, beating the Eastern Ranges come grand final day after knocking over minor premier North Ballarat in the preliminary stage. Six Chargers were drafted in 2015 to go with nine the year after, while Murray also had a total of 15 players move on to the elite level over the same period.


Draft Central All-Star Team: GWV Rebels

THE Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels – formerly known as North Ballarat Rebels – have an interesting team. As we will discuss, the Rebels have an abundance of key defenders, and a legend leading the side in Adam Goodes who has been the standout player coming from the Rebels, across his AFL career.


There is undoubted talent across three lines, but it is more the ridiculous depth of its key defensive stocks that make it a hard team to formulate. There are up to six players whose preferred position is in a key defensive role, something that is usually pretty hard to come by. Having Goodes in the side allows the Sydney champion to play anywhere on the field, and the ruck is a clear deficiency in terms of depth, so he heads there to lead a hardened inside midfield group.


The key defensive stocks are a smorgasbord of options. In this team, James Frawley, Troy Chaplin and David Astbury all earn starting spots in the back six, with Tom McDonald (forward pocket), Jordan Roughead and Nathan Brown (both bench) also in the team. It is a bit top heavy, but they standout above those who missed out on selection in the team.

For the medium-smalls, Sydney rebounder Jake Lloyd will provide the outside run alongside former Essendon talent Nathan Lovett-Murray and Brisbane turned Western Bulldogs defender Jed Adcock. The trio provide the speed and run that might be lost by having multiple strong, but less athletic keys in the back six.


Led by Goodes in the ruck who has two Brownlow Medals, four All-Australians, three best and fairests and a Rising Star Award just to name a few of his accolades, the midfield looks pretty strong. Shane O’Bree and Brad Sewell provide the inside hardness and unwavering effort that coaches would rely upon as they showed over their 200-plus games at AFL level.

Matt Crouch joins them in the starting midfield with the more recent Crows talent having a couple of elite years over at West Lakes with an All-Australian and best and fairest to his name. On the wings, James McDonald is another hardened soldier and one who could be utilised in a tagging role, while Seb Ross has been a standout player for the Saints of late.

Turning to the bench, Brad Crouch could very well start in favour of just about any of the midfielders, but just has not had the continuity to earn a start just yet – though his 2019 season was huge. Also on the bench is West Coast and Gold Coast winger Matt Rosa, whilst Clinton Young – who could also play in the backline is there, with Nic Suban in a similar position.


The forward line stretches a little thin when it comes to smalls and mediums, though that is set to change in the coming years. In terms of the experienced top-end quality, Jeremy Cameron, Drew Petrie and Tom McDonald provide a three-pronged attack with the latter able to play in the defensive half. Cameron’s two All-Australians, one Coleman Medal and one best and fairest make him a challenging player to beat having booted 403 goals in 154 games.

Around them are three hybrid mid-forwards in Shaun Grigg – who could also play ruck if required – Liam Picken and Tom Notting who were all strong contributors for their sides in their premiership years. The forward half of the ground for the Rebels is very fluid and versatile, able to rotate players around quite easily which would be a bonus for any coach.


We mentioned already how strong the key defensive stocks are for the Rebels, but believe it or not, there were two others who could have deserved a spot in the side. Shannon Watt (155 games) and Michael Jamison (150) were both unlucky, whilst James Walker (151) was the other 150-gamer to miss out.

After that the unlucky omissions drop down to the below-90 games with Mark Orchard (86) and Kyle Cheney (85) next in line. However look slightly below that, and the next way of AFL stars is ready to break into the side. Fast forward a few years and expect the likes of Daniel Rioli, Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry, Darcy Tucker and Jacob Hopper all to squeeze into the outfit.

Throw in Rowan Marshall – who is in some elite form last season – and Oscar McDonald and the team has a high volume of depth that will likely see some of the 150-plus gamers fall out of the side in exchange for youth. If this team was constructed in a few years, this might be the most altered team of the lot such is the young talent coming through the AFL system.

AFLW U18s Ones to Watch: Maggie Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

IN a new series focusing on the up and coming AFL Women’s Draft hopefuls, we take a look at some names who would be among their respective states’ top draft prospects for the 2020 AFL Women’s Draft.

Next under the microscope is Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ ruck Maggie Caris who is hoping to join Rene in the AFL Women’s, whilst also having an elite junior level netball background.

Maggie Caris (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

Height: 189cm
Position: Ruck
Strengths: Ruckwork, athleticism, second efforts, upside

2020 NAB League stats: 2 games | 11.5 disposals | 0.5 marks | 29.0 hitouts | 1.0 tackles | 3.0 inside 50s

2019 NAB League stats: 6 games | 8.7 disposals | 0.5 marks | 23.3 hitouts | 1.7 tackles | 1.0 rebounds

2019 Under 18 National Championships stats: 2 games | 6.5 disposals | 1.0 marks | 17.0 hitouts | 4.5 tackles

With rucks considered a premium at junior level, GWV Rebels’ Maggie Caris looks to be the top prospect for the 2020 AFL Women’s draft crop. Caris has represented Victoria in both Australian rules and netball, making her a dual-sport threat and someone who could capably pursue either career. In terms of her football, Caris has always had height on her side, usually towering over all of her opponents through the pathways, and having the ruck nous and athleticism to stand out.

Along with her work in the air, Caris is strong at ground level with her second efforts a feature of her game. Whilst not a massive tackler at NAB League level – she really ramped up the pressure at last year’s Under 18 National Championships, laying 4.5 tackles per game from her two matches. In just two games this year, Caris lifted her disposal count and hitout numbers, as well as played more of an offensive role compared to a defensive one where she dropped into the hole last year.

With three inside 50s per game, and having a dominant performance against the Western Jets in Round 2, Caris showed just what she was capable of winning the ball around the ground. But while her current ability is quite impressive, there are still areas to build upon – such as her overhead marking and scoreboard impact – which would take her game to another level again.

If the 2020 AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships do go ahead, Caris is a player who not only would lead Vic Country’s attack through the ruck, but would be a contender for the All-Australian ruck position with a couple of talented South Australians also well stocked in that area. If she can pursue football and end up being drafted, she would follow in her sister Rene – Geelong AFL Women’s – in doing so.

GWV Rebels Player of the AFL Era: Vote for yours via our Instagram

GWV REBELS are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Glenelg Tigers All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Stephen Kernahan announced as the winner and captain of the Tigers’ All-Star side.

The Rebels – formerly known as North Ballarat Rebels – are led by the likes of Adam Goodes and Jeremy Cameron as the two main seeds, with plenty of talent coming through in recent years from All-Australians to best and fairest winners.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Saturday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is Murray Bushrangers starting on Sunday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

Classic Contests: Fletcher, Cannons come up clutch

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 9 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Calder Cannons. In this edition, we wind back the clock just one year to when the sides played out a thriller in late-2019.

2019 NAB League, Round 15
Sunday July 28, 1:00pm
Mars Stadium

GWV REBELS 3.3 | 5.6 | 7.11 | 8.13 (61)
2.1 | 4.3 | 6.7 | 9.11 (65)

Draftees in action:

GWV – Jay Rantall (Collingwood)
Calder – Sam Ramsay (Carlton)

There was not much on the line when the Calder Cannons and GWV Rebels faced off late in the 2019 NAB League season, but it would not stop the sides from giving it their all in search of a win. The finals-bound Cannons came in riding high off an undefeated month of action, sitting sixth at 8-5 and level on points with fourth. The Rebels were on a decent run too, winning two of their last three games to improve their record to 4-8, good enough for 14th spot at the time.

Both regions named relatively unexperienced sides for the bout in Ballarat, with all three age brackets represented across the two lineups. Of course, either side still managed to squeeze in a future draftee each, with Collingwood slider Jay Rantall at the heart of GWV’s midfield, while Sam Ramsay played the same role for Calder. Ramsay would be one of four Cannons drafted in 2019, but the only one afield in this clash.

With pride on the line, the hosts looked as if they had a point to prove after what had been a lacklustre season to date, and took the lead at 10 minutes into the first term. Although Calder managed to remain just over a goal adrift at every break, GWV did not relinquish its lead until the final term, while pushing the margin out to 21 points in the second term and 23 in the third.

Inaccuracy would end up costing the Rebels, with their 21 scoring shots to Calder’s 20 still not enough to prize the four points. The Cannon’s late third quarter momentum carried on into the fourth, as Mason Fletcher found the big sticks with just over a minute played, and put his side in front shortly after. Nick Caris snatched the lead back for GWV in quick time, but that advantage would again prove short-lived as Ned Gentile booted the deciding goal with over 10 minutes left to play.

Both sides spurned opportunities to score in the late stages, with the typically windy conditions making life hard for a would-be hero. It meant the Cannons came up trumps at the ideal time, holding on to win by four points and remain in the hunt for an unlikely top three berth.

Former Essendon father-son prospect Fletcher booted 3.3, including two majors in the final term to play a key role, with his goalscoring feat match by teammate, Gentile. The Rebels laid claim to three multiple goalkickers, with Caris, Harry Sharp, and Matty Lloyd all finding the big sticks in a valiant losing effort.

Unsurprisingly, the two eventual draftees led all comers for disposals, with Rantall racking up a game-high 35 touches, while Ramsay trailed closely to notch 33 of his own – along with three behinds. The Rebels had plenty of the ball, with seven players racking up over 20 disposals, including the returning Liam Herbert (23). Among the Cannons youngsters to impress were Jackson Cardillo (18 disposals) and Harrison Andronaco (17, one goal).

Calder would go on to mount a decent finals run, advancing through Wildcard Round and the first week of finals before losing comfortably to Sandringham in the semis – all after narrowly missing out on the top three. GWV improved its position slightly to finish 10th at 6-9, before being bundled out of Wildcard Round by Western.

Rantall was the sole Rebel drafted from the class of 2020, though he could be joined by some teammates on the day in future. Calder’s impressive haul of four included Ramsay, Harrison Jones, and bolters Lachlan Gollant and Francis Evans.

Q&A: Joshua Gibcus (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

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

Gibcus represented Vic Country during last year’s Under 16 national championships, and is looking to follow in the footsteps of teammates Ben Hobbs and Charlie Molan in breaking into the Rebels’ lineup. As part of a talented bottom-age core, Gibcus will look to make his mark up either end of the field, using his terrific leap and athleticism to catch the eye.




PW: How’ve you found the testing today, Josh?

JG: “It’s a good experience and chance to show where you’re at right now, what you can improve on and have a look at some other regions to see what they’re good at.”


How has the preseason treated you?

“It’s been good. Tough work, you’ve got to get it done but the boys and I got it out of the way so we’re doing well so far.”


After getting preseason and testing under your belt, how much are you looking forward to getting into the games?

“I’m definitely looking forward to getting into games and playing with the boys, playing against other regions. I reckon it’ll be fun.”


What do you see as your strengths here in testing?

“My strengths would definitely be the jumping.”


What do you see as the strengths in your game on-field?

“One of my best strengths has been my athleticism and probably jumping for marks.”


And the areas you want to improve on?

“Probably one big improvement is my kicking. Just getting it to penetrate and hitting targets.”


What role do you hope to develop into throughout the year?

“Sort of a defender, and maybe somewhere in the forwardline.”


Who are you most looking forward to playing alongside?

“I’m looking forward to playing with Charlie Molan and (Ben) Hobbs. They’re definitely good players and I reckon they’re good teammates to play with.”


The Rebels have a good core of bottom-agers, what does it mean to be able to come through as a group like that?

“There’s a lot of bottom-agers now so if we’ve got them all running out it’ll be pretty good for the next year, just that experience.”

Classic Contests: Daniels proves a handful for the Rebels

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 8 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Bendigo Pioneers and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2017 when the two teams met for the first of their two battles during the TAC Cup season.

2017 TAC Cup, Round 2
Sunday April 2, 2:30pm
Alfredton Recreation Reserve

GWV REBELS 2.3 | 10.5 | 10.9 | 14.12 (96)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 3.2 | 7.5 | 12.10 | 16.12 (108)

Draftees in action:

GWV – Lloyd Meek (Fremantle), Flynn Appleby (Collingwood), Thomas Berry (Brisbane)*
Bendigo – Brent Daniels (GWS), Paddy Dow (Carlton), Lochie O’Brien (Carlton), Kane Farrell (Port Adelaide), Angus Schumacher (Carlton), Jye Caldwell (GWS)*

* – denotes bottom-aged

GWV and Bendigo may have finished as the bottom two TAC Cup sides in 2017, but it did not stop the regions from producing solid draftee hauls out of their respective squads. The early and late rounds of the competition often see each team come in at full strength, and it was no different as the Rebels and Pioneers went at it in Round 2, three years ago, with Bendigo coming out on top by 12 points.

Both sides could lay claim to most of their future AFL draftees in this fixture, with GWV naming all of their three while Bendigo boasted a whopping six – only missing Jarrod Brander. The Pioneers’ production line was particularly impressive given it had three first rounders – Paddy Dow (Pick 3), Lochie O’Brien (10), and Brander (13) – attracting eyes from all around the pathway programs.

In terms of form, Bendigo struggled in Round 1 to click its stacked side into gear, falling by a comfortable 51 points to Murray on neutral territory. The Rebels did not fare any better, beating out the Pioneers’ total (47) but being thumped to the tuned of 82 points by eventual premier, Geelong.

The home side was unlucky not to share the spoils in a tight opening term, as both teams shared five scoring shots each. Bendigo would sneak ahead via its greater conversion, managing to split their chances 3.2 to GWV’s 2.3. It only worked to kick the Rebels into gear, as they took advantage of the more open contest to pile on eight second term majors and lead by 19 points at the main break.

Bendigo’s four goals in the term split GWV’s momentum and gave the Pioneers a sniff, with their top-end talent helping to spark an incredible turnaround. It was now the visitors’ turn to batter the scoring end, notching five goals while keeping GWV goalless to swing the lead 13 points in their favour. The Rebels could not recover enough, with their need to attack leaving them exposed the other way as both sides managed four goals apiece in the final term.

Brent Daniels‘ handful of goals meant he was exactly that for the GWV defence, and he could have had a massive day out had it not been for his four behinds. He was beaten out to best afield honours by Dow for his 21-disposal effort, while fellow Carlton recruits O’Brien and Angus Schumacher managed 26 and 21 respectively. A bottom-aged Jye Caldwell was also named among the best having racked up 19 touches, with Port forward Kane Farrell held to 12 and a goal.

Brisbane’s Thomas Berry notched 18 disposals, eight tackles, and a goal in an outstanding bottom-aged display, but had Collingwood VFL gun Cal Wellings beat him out to best-on recognition with 35 touches, 10 marks, and nine tackles. Freo bigman Lloyd Meek served his role in the ruck with 23 hitouts, while the final draftee afield, Flynn Appleby managed 13 disposals.

GWV would go on to shake the poor start with their five wins making for a superior tally to Bendigo’s three. The Rebels would also gain redemption in the return fixture, downing the Pioneers by 27 points. Still, their seven draftees over the next two drafts can only be labelled as a success.

AFL Draft Watch: Nick Stevens (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)

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

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels prospect Nick Stevens, who has already played representative football across multiple age groups, as well as featuring in last year’s Under 17 All Star showcase. The classy half-back is set to once again line up on the flank he looked most comfortable across in 2019, with six NAB League appearances scattered in between Geelong Grammar commitments and an unfortunate early-season injury.

Now raring to get back on the park, the 191cm draft hopeful will be one of his region’s great hopes and outlets heading into his top-age season, standing alone as the Rebels’ sole 18-year-old Vic Country Hub member. Get up to speed with how he has performed off-field in 2020, with a look back at his 2019 campaign.


Speed (20m): 3.09 seconds
Agility: 8.60 seconds
Running Vertical Jump:



Nick Stevens

Height: 191.2cm
Weight: 82.4kg
Position: Half-back

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATS: 6 games | 14.3 disposals | 2 marks | 2.5 tackles | 1 clearance | 3.5 rebound 50s | 2.6 inside 50s

Strengths: Poise/class, decision making, rebounding
Improvements: Inside game, endurance


Under 17 Futures All Star Game

By: Michael Alvaro

The classy mover looked at home across half back, competing well and getting the ball moving along the line. He took some time to build into the game and had his best moments during the second and third terms with shows of clever use by both hand and foot. His mix of competitiveness and class came to the fore, winning his own ball one-on-one but doing so with quick gathers and flashy spins.

NAB League Round 12 vs. Dandenong

By: Peter Williams

He was injured earlier in the season, but the talented Under-16 Vic Country representative was clean with his ball use and showed good hands under pressure in terrible conditions. He possesses a nice long kick, and was often tasked with the kick out duties. He tried to play on and take the game on more often than not, and benefited late when the opposition gave away a 50m penalty trying to stop him doing just that. Stevens applied good pressure on the kicker having a shot for goal inside 50 and forced a mistake by foot.