Tag: Jack Buller

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 3 – East Perth vs Claremont

IN Round 3 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Claremont defeated East Perth by 28 points at Leederville Oval.

Below are the best players from the game.

 

EAST PERTH 6.5 (41) defeated by CLAREMONT 10.8 (68)

 

East Perth:

#3 Harley Sparks
The Deanmill product was arguably the Royals’ best midfielder with a team-high 28 possessions, five tackles, three marks and a goal. Sparks often imposed himself in congestion to win the ball for his team and then dish it to the outside runners.

#9 Sebit Kuek
Last year’s Past Player and Officials Encouragement Award winner was excellent in the forward half for East Perth. He finished with 12 possessions, six hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. His leading patterns combined with his strong overhead marking ability make him a damaging forward prospect.

#14 Kane Hughes
The East Perth wingman toiled hard all day for the Royals with 26 possessions, seven marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His link-up style of play makes him one of the better wingmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#39 Cody Rodgers
The East Perth key defender showcased why he is considered to be one of the best key defensive options in this year’s draft pool. His positioning in defence was excellent, his knowledge of when to roll off his opponent to intercept the opposition was outstanding and his decision-making was sound. In the third quarter, he snuck forward and took a strong contested mark before booting a goal.

#40 Jed Montgomerie
The South Bunbury Junior was a standout in the ruck for East Perth in a competitive battle with Claremont’s Callum Jamieson. Montgomerie finished with 12 possessions, 22 hit-outs and five marks to be a presence for the Royals in the midfield.

 

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas
The Belmont junior was dynamic on the half-back line for Claremont with 19 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. His electrifying speed, top agility and penetrating skills make him one of the more highly regarded prospects in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#8 Jack Buller
The Christ Church Grammar student was situated at centre half-back, playing on Jaxon East, and more than held his own in the contest. Buller finished with 20 possessions, 10 marks and three tackles, while holding East goalless.

#14 Jack Cooley
Stationed on the half-back line, Cooley offered a calm and composed figure for the Tigers. He finished with 25 possessions, six marks and two inside 50s, often providing excellent rebound from the defensive half. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter, when he grabbed the ball out of a pack and speared it to Jacob Blight, who kicked his second goal.

#15 Liam Henry
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was arguably best afield, displaying traits that would endear him to recruiters. He accumulated 24 possessions, grabbed five marks and booted four goals in a sizzling display. His desire to run and carry and ability to use precise skills makes him one of the most damaging wingmen in this year’s draft pool.

#21 Louis Passera
The Scarborough junior continued his excellent start to the 2019 campaign with another superb performance, this time against the Royals. He collected 25 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid two tackles and recorded two inside 50s in a powerful display.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark was prolific in the midfield for the Tigers. He finished with a game-high 29 possessions, five marks and four inside 50s in a near best-afield performance. His decision-making and skill execution are elite for someone his age.

#25 Callum Jamieson
The North Beach Junior was outstanding in the ruck for the Tigers. In a highly competitive battle with East Perth’s Jed Montgomerie, Jamieson accumulated 15 possessions, won a game-high 23 hitouts, took six marks, laid six tackles and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players for Claremont.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 1 – Claremont vs. East Fremantle

IN what was a cracking first game of the Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition of 2019, East Fremantle defeated Claremont by two points at Claremont Oval. The final quarter proved to be a see-sawing contest between both teams, but ultimately the Sharks prevailed by that narrow margin of two points.

Below were the best players from each team.

CLAREMONT

#4 Marc Boyatzis
Stationed in the back pocket Boyatzis held his own, especially when East Fremantle started to dominate stages of the game. He finished the game with 12 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s to arguably be the Tigers’ best defender. His intercept ability combined with his smart decision-making makes him a damaging rebounder, and his excellent lock-down mindset marks him as a tough opponent.

#5 Ronin O’Connor
The Marist junior was a bull in the midfield for the Tigers, often throwing himself into stoppages to win the ball for his team. He collected 20 possessions and laid an equal game-high nine tackles as he tried to give Claremont the ascendancy around the stoppages.

#8 Jack Buller
Playing centre half-forward, Buller always presents well for his midfielders to kick it to him. His leading patterns, strong hands, decision-making and skill execution were all on display for recruiters to see. The Cottesloe junior collected 12 possessions, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and booted a goal in a solid first hit-out.

#11 Thomas Baldwin
The 2018 WA Under 18s representative showcased why Claremont’s coaching staff rate him highly. Playing as a small forward, Baldwin booted two goals from 19 possessions, as well as laying six tackles and taking three marks. His energy and class around the forward half stoppages were pivotal in keeping the Tigers in the contest.

#12 Joel Western
The Subiaco junior was electrifying on the half-forward flank for the Tigers, finishing the game with 19 possessions, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. Available to Fremantle as an Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect in 2020, Western used his speed, evasiveness and skills to carve his way through East Fremantle’s defensive zones. He is already shaping up as a high draft prospect for next year.

#15 Liam Henry
The Derby product demonstrated why he is so highly touted in this year’s draft pool, especially by Fremantle who can select him under their Next-Generation Academy. Henry displayed his offensive flair and defensive soundness in a very well-rounded performance. He gathered 16 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed seven marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a magnificent goal in the second quarter, when he roved a pack inside 50 and snapped it through.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark displayed similar traits to his brother – he was highly skilful, made sound decisions with ball in hand, and was always taking on the game. He collected 19 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded two inside 50s as he rotated between the half-back line and the wing.

EAST FREMANTLE

#2 Michael Wright
The Chapman Valley junior was sensational for the Sharks and was a key player in their victory. He gathered 23 possessions, laid an equal game-high nine tackles, took five marks, and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best players for East Fremantle. His fierce attack on both the ball and man was superb.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks. He amassed a game-high 26 possessions, took five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s, playing between half-back and the midfield. He used his big frame to win crucial possessions, and his elite decision-making, vision and skill execution helped his team get the ball forward. He is already cementing himself as one of WA’s best draft prospects for 2019.

#16 Chad Warner
The Willetton junior was prolific in the midfield for East Fremantle with 24 possessions, seven tackles, three marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Warner plays in a similar way to Adelaide star Brad Crouch, as a player who is tough, skilful and prolific. His desire to win the contested ball before dishing it to the outside runners was pivotal for the Sharks’ victory.

#18 Chris Walker
The Fremantle NGA prospect convincingly proved why he is one of the best half-back flankers in this year’s Simply Energy WAFL Colts Competition. Against the Tigers, Walker held his opponents to minimal impact, while he provided damage on the offence. His desire to take the game on with his skill and speed was fantastic to see.

#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 WA U16s All-Australian was excellent for the Sharks, showing why he is so highly rated for the 2020 AFL Draft. He used his crisp disposal and electrifying speed from the half-back line to torch the Tigers. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks and three tackles.

#23 Luke Jackson
The former Australian Junior National basketballer put together a performance that indicated why many draft experts see him as a potential first round draft pick. He gathered 11 possessions, won a game-high 36 hit-outs and laid three tackles to be the most imposing ruckman on the ground.

#24 Trey Ruscoe
The Booragoon junior was arguably the most important player for the Sharks, especially in the last quarter when he booted two goals to give the Sharks the lead. In the 19th minute of the final quarter he managed to tap the ball to himself, burst away from his direct opponent and then drill the goal that reduced the margin to just four points. Two minutes later, he did an excellent lead pattern and found himself in space to take a pivotal mark inside 50. He then kicked the goal to give the Sharks to lead. His final statistics were 20 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks, four tackles and two goals.

#25 Jai Jackson
The Geraldton product was his combative self in the midfield. He gathered 17 possessions, laid seven tackles, recorded four inside 50s and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ better midfielders. His ability to win the contested ball within congestion and feed it out to his outside runners was elite.

West Australian draft prospects set to light up Colts competition

IN 2018, twelve West Australians were selected in the AFL National and Rookie Drafts, with five players taken across the first two rounds. Peter Sumich, Michael Ablett, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Craig Otto, and Mark Seaby, in different capacities respectively, played significant roles in player development across 2018 and are set to have an even greater impact in 2019.

These are the players in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition to keep an eye on for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER
(CLAREMONT/COTTESLOE JFC)

Despite being slightly undersized as a ruckman (196cm), Buller is competitive and aggressive in ruck contests and is exceptional at ground level. In 2018, he was a part of the WA U18s State Academy as a bottom-ager and showed plenty of promise averaging 14 possessions, eight hit-outs, four marks and three tackles with his best performance coming against Vic Country (17 possessions, 18 hit-outs, eight tackles and five marks). He also showed promise playing as a key forward for Claremont’s Colts team with eight goals from five games and averages of 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

LUKE JACKSON
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

The former Australian junior basketballer is one of the most exciting prospects for next year’s draft, even being mentioned as a possible top five selection. In just four games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he kicked four goals and averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs, four tackles and three inside 50s with dominant outings against Subiaco (14 possessions, 11 hit-outs, and two goals) and South Fremantle (17 possessions, 25 hit-outs and a goal). He was also exceptional for the WA U18s State Academy with two exceptional performances against South Australia (25 possessions, seven marks, and a goal and Vic Metro (seven possessions and 25 hit-outs). His athleticism, skills, and ruck craft are elite for someone his age.

TRENT RIVERS
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

A big-bodied midfielder who thrives at the stoppages, Rivers is an accumulator who gets the ball going forward for his team. He finished equal-second in East Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest after averaging 19 possessions, six marks, and two tackles across 15 games. He also polled 10 votes in the Jack Clarke Medal with sensational performances against Perth (20 possessions and six marks), and Claremont (21 possessions and seven marks). He also produced dominant outings in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (19 possessions and four marks) and in the Semi-Final against Peel (19 possessions and two goals) – highlighting his big-game performing ability.

JEREMY SHARP
(EAST FREMANTLE/ATTADALE JFC)

The 2018 U18s All-Australian is a silky-skilled and smooth-moving midfielder much like former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. In four games for Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro (26 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal). In seven games for East Fremantle, he was named in the best on three occasions including a magnificent performance in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (24 possessions, nine marks and eight inside 50s). At his best, Sharp is a line-breaker who uses his speed, skills and smarts to carve up the opposition. Is shaping up to be a first round selection in 2019 and potentially a top 10 pick.

RHAI-ARN COX
(EAST PERTH/MT HAWTHORN JFC)

Cox made a name for himself in 2017’s AFL U16 Championships when he booted a goal after the siren to win the game against Vic Metro. The 2017 WA U16s Vice-Captain is a crafty small forward with explosive athleticism, dazzling skills, an incredible toughness and a great understanding of the play. In 11 games for East Perth in 2018 he booted 15 goals (winning his Club’s Leading Goalkicker Award) and averaged 13 possessions, four marks and two tackles with some sizzling performances against Claremont (17 possessions and three goals), East Fremantle (10 possessions and three goals), Swan Districts (17 possessions and two goals) and West Perth (13 possessions and two goals). He also starred in the AFL U17s Futures game with 12 possessions and three goals for Team Riewoldt.

DEVEN ROBERTSON
(PERTH/MANNING JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Captain and MVP winner is a bullocking inside midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game. In four games for WA’s U18s he averaged 14 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and two inside 50s with his best performances coming against the Allies (17 possessions, four tackles, and three inside 50s) and Vic Country (17 possessions and nine tackles). In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, Robertson averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and four inside 50s, with best afield performances against East Fremantle (33 possessions, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s) and Peel Thunder (34 possessions, five tackles and five inside 50s), and a near best-afield performance against Subiaco (36 possessions and a goal). The nephew of former West Coast champion Darren Glass has a very bright future.

ELIJAH TAYLOR
(PERTH/THORNLIE JFC)

The Thornlie junior is an exciting medium half-forward who has plenty of tricks to make opposing defenders extremely nervous. In 17 games for the Perth Demons’ Colts, Taylor averaged 13 possessions, three inside 50s, two marks and kicked nine goals with his best games coming against East Fremantle (14 possessions and a goal, East Perth (16 possessions and two goals) and Swan Districts (16 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and a goal). At his best, Taylor is a very hard match-up due to his size, explosive athleticism, damaging skills and elite decision-making – factors that will help him with his development into senior football. He is a raw prospect who has plenty of growth and an x-factor.

MITCHELL GEORGIADES
(SUBIACO/WEMBLEY DOWNS JFC)

The son of former Subiaco and Western Bulldogs sharpshooter John Georgiades, Mitchell is one of the most exciting forwards in WA’s State-Based AFL Academy. Blessed with a great set of hands, excellent skills and an elite reading of the play, Georgiades is a young forward with tremendous upside. In just six games for Subiaco’s Colts’ team, he averaged 13 possessions, six marks, two inside 50s, two tackles and booted eight goals with his best performance coming against South Fremantle (12 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two goals). He was also instrumental for Western Australia’s U18s team, where he averaged 10 possessions, four marks, two tackles and kicked three goals across four games, with his most notable against the Allies (13 possessions and two goals). He is already shaping up to be one of the most explosive forward options in next year’s draft pool.

RILEY GARCIA
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Leadership group midfielder is a small midfield dynamo who has excellent speed, agility, skills and reading of the play. He made his WAFL Colts debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and since then has gone on to become one of the premier midfielders for the 2019 AFL Draft. In 24 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Garcia has kicked 14 goals and averaged 20 possessions, three tackles and three marks. In 2018 he finished ninth in the Jack Clarke Medal and sixth in Swan Districts’ Colts’ Best and Fairest after some exceptional performances including best afield performance against Perth (32 possessions and a goal) and Claremont (31 possessions). However his performances in the 2018 finals series should have recruiters monitoring him closely after he averaged 22 possessions, three marks, two tackles and kicked four goals across four games.

JAKE PASINI
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has an excellent aerial ability and a powerful kick on him, making him an attractive defensive prospect. In 16 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Pasini averaged 11 possessions, three marks and three tackles while more often than not, he held the opposition’s key forward to minimal impact. This was especially evident in the Semi-Final against Subiaco where he held the 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo goalless while he recorded nine possessions and took five marks. He was also excellent for Western Australia with excellent defensive efforts on Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Matthew Walker (Allies) in his two games. The club that picks up Pasini will have a defender who goes about his business quietly and with no fuss.

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Liam Henry (Claremont/Cottesloe JFC)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Booragoon JFC)
Jack Sears (Peel Thunder/South Mandurah)
Tristan Hobley (Subiaco/Kingsway JFC)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC)

TESTING DAY STANDOUTS:

Jonathon Garlett was one of the best performers at the inaugural WA talent testing and education day, held at Aquinas College. The Geraltdon Towns product was electric in the 20m sprint (2.84 seconds) and agility test (8.17 seconds), while also showcasing the explosiveness that helped him to a national high jump medal – posting 91cm in the running vertical jump and 85cm in the standing. Swan Districts duo Ben Taylor and Kade Wallrodt also caught the eye, with Taylor showing a good mix of speed and enduarance with a 2.98-second 20 metre sprint and 21.1 yoyo test score. Wallrodt also had a sub-three second 20 metre sprint time, as well as a solid agilty score of 8.40 seconds. Of the WA-based AFL Academy members, Perth’s Deven Robertson proved his hard work in the off-season would pay off, with good scores across the board and particular improvement in the 2km time trial. Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospects Liam Henry and Brandon Walker were also impressive, as was 2018 Under 16 standout Logan McDonald – putting in early claims as ones to watch for the 2020 draft.   

Western Australia’s future stars named in state-based AFL Academy

WESTERN Australia looks set to have an excellent pool of possible draftees in 2019 and 2020, after the 28-man Western Australia AFL Academy squad was announced. Swan Districts have the most representatives with six, while East Fremantle and Perth have five apiece. The side will be coached by former West Coast spearhead Peter Sumich, and their first camp will be from December 10 – December 15. Below are the five notable players from Western Australia for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

A competitive and aggressive ruckman who is excellent at ground level, Buller was WA’s main ruckman in 2018 and he handled the responsibility with aplomb. Despite only being 196cm, Buller competed hard in the ruck contests and once the ball hit the ground, he transformed into a big-bodied midfielder. In four games for WA, he averaged 14 possessions eight hitouts, four marks, and three tackles, while in five games for Claremont, he booted eight goals and averaged 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks and two tackles.

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

A dynamic small forward with plenty of tricks, Cox made a name for himself with a goal after the siren to secure victory for WA over Vic Country in last year’s AFL National Under 16 Championships. He had a decent year with East Perth in 2018, averaging 13 possessions, four marks, three tackles and booted 15 goals from 11 games.

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

The former Australian junior basketball sensation is an athletic ruckman with excellent follow-up work and has already drawn comparisons to West Coast star Nic Naitanui. In two games for WA, Jackson averaged 16 possessions, 13 hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three clearances and three rebounding 50s. In four games for East Fremantle, he averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs and four tackles.

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

The nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass, Robertson has made a name for himself as a bullocking inside midfielder. In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, the 2017 WA U16s MVP winner averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and three marks to finish sixth in the Best & Fairest. He was also excellent for WA, averaging 14 possessions and seven tackles.

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

The 2018 AFL Under 18s All-Australian is a composed and skilled outside midfielder, not too dissimilar to former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. For Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s across four games, while in seven games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he averaged 19 possessions and five marks.

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

Jack Buller – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Anthony Davis – Claremont/Hale School/Borden FC
Liam Henry – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Joel Western – Claremont/Western Tigers/Subiaco JFC
Luke Jackson – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trent Rivers – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trey Ruscoe – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Booragoon JFC
Jeremy Sharp – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Attadale JFC
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle/Kardinya Kats JFC
Rhai-Arn Cox – East Perth/Mt Hawthorn JFC
Jack Sears – Peel Thunder/South Mandurah FC
Tyrone Thorne – Peel Thunder/Rockingham JFC
Deven Robertson – Perth/Aquinas College/Manning JFC
Elijah Taylor – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Bailey Smith – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Mitchell Georgiades- Subiaco/Hale School/Wembley Downs JFC
Nicholas Martin – Subiaco/Trinity College/Noranda JFC
Jermal Daly – Swan Districts/South Hedland
Riley Garcia – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts/Kalamunda JFC
Jake Pasini – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Ty Sears – Swan Districts/South Bunbury FC
Zane Trew – Swan Districts/Hills Rangers FC
Ryan Hudson – West Perth/Scotch College/Kalannie FC
Michael Mallard – West Perth/Wanneroo JFC
Jaxon Prior – West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC
Logan McDonald – Perth/Aquinas College
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth/Northam Saints

Dragons dominate Under 17 All Stars squads

AN eight-player contingent from Sandringham Dragons headlines the Under 17 All Stars match on AFL Grand Final day, which looks at the top young 2019-eligible draftees from across the country. The players are split into two sides – Team Riewoldt and Team Bartel – in an exhibition match on the MCG which will be broadcast from 10am on Grand Final day.

The Dragons have double the amount of players from any other side, with Oakleigh Chargers the next highest with four. Gippsland Power (three) is the most prominent country side, while Bendigo Pioneers, Dandenong Stingrays, Murray Bushrangers, Northern Knights and Western Jets all have two players each. Geelong Falcons had one player selected each, while Calder Cannons, Eastern Ranges and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will not have a representative on the day.

For the other states, Western Australia has the most representatives with eight, while South Australia has six. Queensland and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) have the most of the Division 2 states with three apiece, while Northern Territory and Tasmania have one representative respectively.

AFL Academy coach Luke Power will lead Team Riewoldt, while South Australian National Under 18 Championships title winning coach, Tony Bamford will call the shots for Team Bartel. Among the number one pick contenders are Victorians Noah Anderson and Hayden Young, South Australian Cameron Taheny and Western Australian Luke Jackson.

Under 17 Futures All-Stars match:

Victoria:

Bendigo Pioneers [2]: Brodie Kemp, Flynn Perez
Calder Cannons [0]: Nil.
Dandenong Stingrays [2]: Bigoa Nyuon, Hayden Young
Eastern Ranges [0]: Nil.
Geelong Falcons [1]: Cooper Stephens
Gippsland Power [3]: Sam Flanders, Caleb Serong, Brock Smith
GWV Rebels [0]: Nil.
Murray Bushrangers [2]: Will Chandler, Lachlan Ash
Oakleigh Chargers [4]: Noah Anderson, Trent Bianco, Matthew Rowell, Dylan Williams
Northern Knights [2]: Ryan Gardner, Lachlan Potter
Sandringham Dragons [8]: Jack Bell, Darcey Chirgwin, Andrew Courtney, Charlie Dean, Jack Mahony, Fischer McAsey, Hugo Ralphsmith, Joshua Worrell
Western Jets [2]: Darcy Cassar, Emerson Jeka

INTERSTATE:

Western Australia [8]: Jack Buller, Rhai Arn Cox, Mitchell Georgiades, Luke Jackson, Trent Rivers, Deven Robertson, Jeremy Sharp, Elijah Taylor
South Australia [6]: Karl Finlay, Will Gould, Jackson Mead, Kysaiah Pickett, Dylan Stephens, Cameron Taheny
Queensland [3]: Connor Budarick, Will Martin, Hewago Paul Oea
NSW/ACT [3]: Liam Delahunty, Tom Green, Josh Rayner
NT [1]: Malcolm Rosas
Tasmania [1]: Mitch O’Neill

Team Riewoldt:

#1 Kysaiah Pickett (Woodville West Torrens) 
#2 Rhai Arn Cox (East Perth) 
#3 Malcolm Rosas (Darwin) 
#4 Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Academy) 
#5 Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons) 
#6 Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#7 Dylan Stephens (Norwood) 
#8 Mitch O’Neill (North Hobart) 
#16 Jackson Mead (Woodville-West Torrens) 
#17 Deven Robertson (Perth) 
#18 Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power) 
#19 Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#20 Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers) 
#21 Brock Smith (Gippsland Power) 
#22 Tom Green (Marist) 
#24 Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#25 Darcy Chirgwin (Geelong Falcons) 
#26 Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers) 
#31 Liam Delahunty (Giants Academy) 
#32 Joshua Rayner (Swans Academy) 
#33 Joshua Worrell (Sandringham Dragons) 
#34 Charlie Dean (Sandringham Dragons) 
#35 Luke Jackson (East Fremantle) 
#36 Andrew Courtney (Sandringham Dragons)

Team Bartel:

#1 Hewago Paul Oea (Gold Coast Academy) 
#2 Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power) 
#3 Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers) 
#4 Will Chandler (Murray Bushrangers) 
#5 Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers) 
#6 Will Martyn (Brisbane Academy) 
#7 Ryan Gardner (Northern Knights) 
#8 Cameron Taheny (Norwood) 
#9 Darcy Cassar (Western Jets) 
#16 Lachlan Potter (Northern Knights) 
#17 Elijah Taylor (Perth) 
#18 Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle) 
#19 Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons) 
#20 Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays) 
#21 Trent Rivers (East Fremantle) 
#22 Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons) 
#23 Mitchell Georgiades (Subiaco) 
#24 Karl Finlay (North Adelaide) 
#31 Will Gould (Glenelg) 
#32 Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons) 
#33 Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays) 
#34 Jack Buller (Claremont) 
#35 Emerson Jeka (Western Jets) 
#36 Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons)

Scouting notes: National U18 Championships – Round 5

WE made the trip down to Etihad Stadium yesterday and saw the conclusion to the National Under 18 Championships. Here we take a look at every player in both games and see how they fared on the night. Lenny Fogliani, Cameron Ross, Scott Dougan, James Goller, Craig Byrnes, David Chapman, Jamie Morgan and Damon Mattiazzo all combined to provide the notes.

Allies vs. Western Australia:

Allies:

#1 Conor Budarick

Budarick was a strong tackler for the Allies having eight for the day – he was really fierce in the contest. He played like a smart footballer and made good decisions with the ball. His kicking was good all day and included three inside 50s. The 2019 draft prospect spent most of his time on the wing and through the forward line.

#3 Josh Stern

Stern had 10 possessions for the day. He showed courage going back with the flight in a marking contest – he didn’t flinch. He kicked the ball really well, especially in the last term. Stern also displayed good hands in the contest, playing mostly up forward pushing up the ground.

#6 Rhyan Mansell 

The hard nosed defender was impressive, laying seven strong tackles. He brought a bit of aggression out there and proved very hard to beat one on one, rarely losing a contest. He didn’t have a lot of the ball only collecting five possessions but used it well. Mansell showed a little bit of spread and speed off the back flank but needs to add more of that to his game so he can be a solid contributor both defensively and offensively, not just defensively.

#7 Jesse Quint

Quint had a okay day, gathering 10 possessions. A highlight was his hands in congestion. He kicked a nice goal to go with four inside 50s and kicked the ball well.

#10 Chayce Jones

The Tasmanian had a strong day at the office playing midfield and resting up forward. Jones is really hard at it in the contest and laid seven tackles for the game. When he doesn’t have the ball he was the willingness and desire to put as much defensive pressure on as he can. He kicked the ball well and made good decisions with ball in hand. He was both strong on inside and outside.

#11 Keidean Coleman

Coleman had seven possessions for the day playing down back, he was very strong defensively laying five tackles. He does have the ability to break the lines but he wasn’t able to do it enough having only two rebounds.

#12 Mitchell O’Neil

Definitely one to write down for the 2019 draft. He has really good hands in congestion. O’Neill also took a nice contested mark. He had 18 possessions and kicked the ball well, also booting a nice goal. He took the game on and was able to rebound well having three rebound 50’s for the game. O’ Neill made the All Australian team.

#15 Guy Richardson

The backman had 19 possessions for the day, I thought he played really well mopping up defensively. He was also good offensively rebounding four times and showcasing his really good foot skills. Richardson showed some good run and carry and the ability to break the lines. Defensively he was good one on one.

#17 Thomas Matthews

Another Allies defender who had a strong game, Matthews has really solid pressure in the contest. He only laid three tackles, but the work he does off the ball that doesn’t get any stats for was noticeable. He took five marks and a couple of those were intercepts. Matthews was great offensively as well having five rebounds. He kicks the ball well and showed some run and carry.

#19 Bailey Scott

The captain had a fantastic day for Allies. He played more in the midfield collecting 30 possessions. His clearance work was really good having six. He had really good hands in congestion and tackled really strongly showing some aggression with five tackles for the game. He kicked the ball well, especially late when he hit team mate Nick Blakey on the chest with a 40-meter kick. Scott was able to hit the scoreboard as well with a goal. He rebounded strongly with three rebounds and also had three inside 50s. The skipper also took a great mark.

#20 Fraser Turner

The wingman is a great runner and ran hard all day, slotting two great goals on the run at critical times. He had 24 possessions and showed strong hands in the contest. Turner rebounded really well having three for the game and his kicking was solid all day. Turner plays mostly on the wing is a outside damaging player.

#23 Michael Mummery

Mummery had a quiet day with only the four possessions, however, he was really good defensively laying five tackles. He also was good one on one in marking contests, taking a fantastic contested mark.

#28 Matthew Green

The tall midfielder put good pressure on the opposition and used his trademark long handballs into space to set up teammates running passed. Just the 11 disposals on the night, but he had a couple of crucial intercepts late, including one tackle which earned him a holding the ball free kick. Also had a couple of clearances and inside 50s on the night to end up with a solid performance.

#29 Joey Reinard

The forward showed some good glimpses in patches, kicking a goal early in the piece, working hard for leads and being creative through midfield. Not a high accumulator, he presents when required and plays that medium-tall role well.

#31 Connor McFadyen

The 190cm utility continues to impress with his super quick hands and strong contested marking ability. He took a great grab on the goal line in the second half to nail a vital goal, then handed one off to Mitch O’Neill who kicked truly from long range. He uses his body well one-on-one and has shown promising signs he can develop into an inside midfielder who drifts forward and has an impact.

#36 Matthew McGuiness

Playing in defence, McGuiness rebounded well from the back 50, working in tandem with Jacob Koschitzke and Nick Baker. Positions himself well and is able to put pressure on opposition forwards, while taking some strong marks.

#37 Jacob Koschitzke

One of the most improved players across the tournament, Koschitzke played another strong game out of full-back, taking some good contested marks and rebounding strongly. He showed good courage backing back with the flight on a couple of occasions and applying his penetrating kick to clear of the defensive zone.

#40 Kieren Briggs

The clear dominant ruck on the ground once again and deserving of the Allies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the carnival. It was clear Briggs has a huge tank and covers the ground well, barely taking a break. His second efforts are a highlight and he continually does the defensive things right as well. I would be surprised if it was not just the GIANTS keeping an eye on the overager.

#41 Mathew Walker

The Murray Bushrangers forward started slowly but worked into the game in the second half. He kicked a good goal on the move, and missed a chance to add a second. Walker showed good hands in close, giving off lightning quick handballs to teammates and opening up space for them.

#44 Caleb Graham

The athletic big man was often found pushing up onto a wing and showing off his versatility. He laid a really big tackle early in the piece and took a great intercept mark and drove the ball long inside 50. Not a huge accumulator, but a long kick of the football and can play anywhere.

#46 Tarryn Thomas

The potential top 10 pick was relatively quiet again by his lofty standards, but he did pick up in the last quarter where he kicked a great set shot goal to get the Allies team up and about. He has the cleanest hands at ground level, and could pick up a soaking ball with velcro-like hands. Had a big clearance in the first term that resulted in a Nick Blakey goal. Thomas was terrific defensively laying a number of good tackles to stop opponents in their tracks.

#47 Nick Baker

Played up the ground through the midfield as well as at half-back and was strong one-on-one. He managed to get his hands on the football a bit and continued to remain involved in the contest. He was one of the Allies’ more prominent ball winners in the match.

#49 Nick Blakey

Just enormous. After being held early, Blakey came into the game with a bang once moving into the middle, winning two early clearances in the second half. He used his big body to impact the contest and then drifted forward to provide a contest. He had a brilliant dart of a pass to Mathew Walker in the third term and his disposal by foot was terrific. Just got better with every game he played and yesterday was huge when the game was on the line.

 

Western Australia:

#2 Jarrod Cameron

The lively small forward wasn’t as influential as compared to his dazzling performance against Vic Country, but still showed glimpses of his potential. His desire to run and chase opposition defenders is outstanding for someone his age, and his ability with ball in hand is unbelievably good.

#4 Graydon Wilson

The dynamic defender was outstanding for Western Australia, with his run and carry, skills and vision all on display. He also produced the match-saving spoil and tackle that secured WA the victory.

#6 Wil Hickmott

A late inclusion into the squad, Hickmott’s class was on full display. His vision, skills and reading of the play are at a fantastic level for someone his age. Carlton will be monitoring him closely as he is the son of former player Adrian Hickmott

#8 Luke Moore

The South Fremantle product finished with 13 possessions and two goals but the stat line doesn’t emphasise how good he was. In the first quarter, he stood up in a tackle and got the ball to Brad Oldfield who duly converted the opening goal of the game. Then late in the first quarter, he gathered the ball at full pace, sidestepped an opponent and snapped one through. The youngster has been likened to Alan Didak and shapes as a genuine match winner for any AFL club.

#9 Tyron Smallwood

Smallwood was extremely lively in the forward half for the Sandgropers, often setting up attacking forays. Not unlike Adelaide star Tom Lynch, Smallwood was the connector between the midfield and the forward line and he played the role to perfection.

#10 Rylie Morgan

The Claremont product was outstanding in the midfield. A beautifully balanced player with exceptional skills and sound decision-making, Morgan wielded an influence on the inside and the outside. He shapes as a potential bolter come draft night.

#11 Luke English

The acting captain of the day, English showed why he is such a highly rated prospect. He was tough, combative, skilful and smart against the Allies. He finished with 25 possessions and six tackles in what was a tremendous display.

#12 Jeremy Sharp

The bottom-ager did his stocks for the 2019 AFL Draft no harm whatsoever with an accomplished display against the Allies. His vision, speed, skills and smarts all make him an attractive player, and he would be thoroughly deserving of All-Australian selection.

#13 Jason Carter

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy player showed glimpses of why he is such a highly rated prospect. His dare to take the opposition on should excite the Fremantle recruiters and his speed was unmatched by any Allies player.

#14 Sydney Stack

The Northam product’s stocks continue to soar by the week. Against the Allies, Stack was aggressive, tough, skilful and dynamic. In the last quarter, he soared for a mark, roved his own crumbs and dribbled through a goal. He finished with 20 possessions and seven clearances.

#15 Jordan Clark

Arguably the best player on the ground, Clark deservedly took home the WA Most Valuable Player award. He finished with 29 possessions and 11 rebounds, and was often a catalyst for WA’s drive from the back half to the forward half. His skills, vision, composure and toughness will all make him an AFL star.

#16 Ethan Hansen

Hansen started the game in terrific fashion, taking an early intercept mark and gathering plenty of possessions. He showed the ability to kick on both sides of his body and his decision-making with the ball in hand was superb. Hansen was able to use his speed to escape the congestion and to provide run on the outside of the contest, which proved handy for Western Australia going forward. In the third quarter, Hansen read the play superbly and was able to take an intercept mark at full speed in the middle of the ground, resulting in a Western Australian goal. Hansen had 19 disposals and more than 300 metres gained.

#18 Deven Robertson

The bottom-age midfielder looks to be one to keep an eye on in next year’s draft. He didn’t have massive numbers by any means but what impressed me the most with Robertson, was his work-rate. He chased hard defensively and he was able to make plenty of contests in all areas of the ground, due to his gut-running.

#20 Luke Foley

Foley was pivotal in the midfield for Western Australia, setting the standard required for his teammates by making a strong impression early. He accumulated disposals in all areas of the ground, on the inside and outside of the contest. His clearance work was really good, but his tackling was even better. Foley never gave up and he tried his hardest to make an impact, both offensively and defensively.

#21 Tyson Powell

Powell started in defence and was solid. He tackled strongly and had some nice defensive spoils. In the second quarter, Powell coped a big knock and was unable to have the same influence. He bounced back in the second half and was responsible for the in-form Connor McFayden at times. Powell continued to spoil strongly and he started to find more of the ball as the game went on.

#23 Louis Miller

Miller was prominent down back and was one of Western Australia’s best on the day. His competitiveness and strength in the contest were noticeable throughout the match. Miller positioned himself well defensively and rebounded effectively. He amassed 22 disposals and used the ball well. The highlight of the day came in the second quarter when Miller took an eye-catching pack mark over four players on the wing.

#24 Regan Spooner

The classy defender spent a considerable amount of time on the in-form forward, Nick Blakey. Spooner kept Blakey to one goal in the first half and played his role fabulously. His ball use was top-notch and he was clean below his knees. His finest passage of play came in the second quarter when he kicked an absolute bullet inside 50 to the leading Tom Medhat.

#26 Jake Pasini

Pasini started the game in the defence and was solid. He did not have the same stats to most of his teammates, but he undeniably played a crucial role in limiting the Allies forwards impact during the game.

#27 Tom Medhat

The versatile forward was Western Australia’s most dangerous in the first half and he proved difficult for the Allies defenders to stop. He kicked his team’s second goal of the match with a running goal from 40m out, demonstrating his composure in pressure situations. Medhat found plenty of space in the second quarter and kicked his second goal only three minutes into the term. He pushed into the midfield at times and showed the ability to win the contested ball. Medhat kicked his third goal of the term in the dying minutes and was one of the main reasons behind Western Australia’s dominance in the first half. He didn’t have the same effect in the third and fourth quarters, but he continued to work hard at making himself an attractive option in the forward 50.

#29 Dillion O’Reilly

O’Reilly started in the forward half and shared ruck duties with Jack Buller throughout the game. He showed his athleticism early, winning some impressive jumping hit-outs to give his midfielders first use. O’Reilly kicked his first goal of the day in the second term, with a terrific snap around the body. He continued to hit the scoreboard for Western Australia, booting his second goal in the third term after leading successfully into a large amount of space inside 50.

#34 Brad Oldfield

Oldfield was outstanding in contested situations, winning the ball in tight and dishing the ball out by hand to his teammates. Oldfield found plenty of space in situations that you shouldn’t, which helped him make the correct decisions with ball in hand. In the first term, he was involved in an important passage of play where he kicked the ball inside 50 to a teammate and then sprinted extremely hard to make himself an appealing option to receive the ball back, resulting in the first goal of the game. His work rate and hard running was evident across four quarters.

#35 Mitchell Georgiades

The bottom-ager played on Nicholas Baker and arguably beat him in the first half. He booted two essential goals in the space of 10 minutes in the second term, instantly becoming one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground. Georgiades showcased his sticky hands and the ability to mark the ball at its highest possible point. His set-shot goal kicking was spot on and his technique was sublime. He was unable to have the same influence in the second half, but his 10-minute burst in the second quarter was enough to get me excited for his draft year in 2019.

#36 Jack Buller

Buller’s competitiveness and ground level work for a big man was on display from the get-go. He was beaten in the hit-out department to the bigger and stronger opposition ruckmen Kieran Briggs, but as soon as the ball hit the deck, Buller basically turned into a midfielder. His follow up work was magnificent, his pressure on the opposition was clear and he won plenty of contested possessions. After his dominant first half, Buller went into the main break with 11 disposals to his name. He was much quieter in the second half, but there’s no doubt he was one of Western Australia’s main contributors in the first two quarters.

 

Vic Metro vs. South Australia

Vic Metro:

#1 Jack Mahony

The bottom ager started a little shaky by foot early. He has really good hands in congestion and has the endeavour to put on pressure and really goes in the contest with pace. He showed courage when taking a mark back with the flight, knowing there would be contact. Mahony kicked a ripping snap goal at the start of the third term. With a goal and 17 possessions to his name, he played well.

#2 Joe Ayton-Delaney

Ayton-Delaney has the ability to really break the lines and hurt his opposition with it had five rebounds to his name which shows this. However, he did make some poor decisions with the football. He tends to use the ball fairly well, however his decision making leads him to turn over the footy and this happened a few times. Interested to see how he goes in the back-end of the year for Xavier College and Oakleigh Chargers.

#3 Zak Butters

Yesterday was set to be Butters’ last game for the season as he is going in for shoulder surgery next week. Sadly his season send-off ended early with a injury to the same shoulder. He showed a willingness to take the game on with his three possessions. Butters is quite small in stature, but is a slick and crafty player.

#4 Rhylee West

West did not have a big day against South Australia only having the 12 possessions. He has really solid hands in close, also making decent decisions with it. He kicked fairly well especially when he tried to open the play up. The Western Bulldogs father-son prospect is looking like at this stage a late first round, or early second round selection.

#5 Matt Rowell

Rowell had a fantastic day at the office, with the hard nosed midfielder collecting 20 possessions for the day. Rowell has break away speed from stoppages which caught the eye. On top of that he has really good hands in congestion. He is a fantastic tackler and managed seven for the day. He used the ball well on his left and right having four clearances and three inside 50s. Definitely one to watch for the 2019 draft.

#6 Curtis Taylor

Taylor is pure class inside the forward 50. He had eight possessions for the day, but really made each one of them effective in play – two of his forward tackles resulted in set shots. He also had two inside 50s and was dangerous up forward for Vic Metro, booting two goals.

#7 Angus Hanrahan

A quieter day for Hanrahan with 12 possessions. He is a real interesting type; starting forward he did not have much impact, but after moving to the wing he started to get his hands more on it. He has good hands in close and managed nine handballs. Only having three kicks for the day is slightly disappointing as his real strength is his kicking on his left and right. It’s hard to tell exactly where Hanrahan fits. I think he could fit around the mid second round to fourth round. Really depends on his second half of the year.

#8 James Rowbottom

Rowbottom is a real inside mid. He did not have a lot of the ball with just the 12 possessions compared to his other Championship games, but he was a strong tackler for Metro laying seven, with one of the tackles being a goal-saving one. He gave a little bit of spread from stoppages and his kicking was okay. Rowbottom’s draft stocks have risen from the championships

#12 Tom McKenzie

McKenzie played off the half-back flank and was one of Metro’s best in the first half. He provided run and carry out of the defensive 50 and his ball use was very good, on most occasions. He stayed composed under pressure, especially when South Australia were repeatedly entering their forward 50. He did most of his damage in uncontested situations but has proven in the past that he can win the ball on the inside when necessary.

#14 Isaac Quaynor

Along with the majority of his teammates, he started slowly but quickly found himself more involved as the game went on. He spent most of his minutes further up the ground, rather than deep, which is a position I do enjoy him in. His best passage of play came in the third quarter when he showcased his agility and speed with an exciting blind turn in the middle of the ground, effectively releasing the ball by hand to an outside runner.

#15 Bailey Smith

The hard-running, endurance beast was one of Metro’s only shining lights in the first half. Smith never gave in and tried hard all game, even when things were not going his way. His tackling was strong as always and he won the ball in contested and uncontested situations, which is why he’s so highly rated. His clearance work was impeccable and he was able to find plenty of the ball, finishing with 22 disposals. His positioning and effort in the defensive 50 were below par at times, but it is something that he will work on during his development.

#16 Noah Answerth

It was an up-and-down game for Answerth, who received a red card at the half-time break and missed the first 15 minutes of the third term. He showed that he can have a big impact on the contest with his ball-winning ability and link-up play, but was completely exposed in defensive situations. Answerth was responsible for the red-hot forward Izak Rankine, who was near-impossible to stop. There were a couple of moments that Answerth was caught ball watching, forgetting to give Rankine enough attention, which resulted in Rankine booting some very easy goals, with no defensive pressure applied. This is common with junior footballers and of no big concern. He will improve in this area as he progresses through his development.

#18 Xavier O’Halloran

The captain gradually worked into the match and was vital in stages throughout the second half. O’Halloran only had the 10 disposals but definitely made them count, which makes him such a damaging player. He did his best work in the forward half of the ground and was involved in one of cleanest passages of play in the game. In the third quarter, he was able to drill a 40-metre kick inside 50 to the leading Ben King, who marked and kicked truly, keeping Metro in the game. O’Halloran hit the scoreboard himself in the last minute of the third, after taking a strong contested mark 20 metres out.

#19 Jack Bytel

Bytel was at his best in tight, where he could gather possession and release the ball by hand to his teammates on the outside. His ball use by foot was inconsistent. He turned the ball over on multiple occasions but also displayed that he can hit targets in high-pressure situations, on both feet. Bytel spent some time down back in the second half but was unable to have any real influence on the match.

#23 Buku Khamis

Khamis spent some time on the highly-rated Connor Rozee, with the athletic rebounding defender doing his best in trying to limit his impact. Khamis read the play well, his ball use was good and his intercept marking was a standout. Khamis has progressed rapidly over the past year and did his draft chances no harm.

#24 Noah Anderson

The exciting bottom-ager from the Oakleigh Charges contributed to Metro’s midfield and looms as one of the top prospects for next year. He didn’t have the biggest effect on the game but his ball-winning ability, speed and clean ball use was a sign of things to come in 2019.

#26 Riley Collier-Dawkins – The big bodied Oakleigh midfielder was in and around the stoppages for long periods of the night, but struggled to have the impact of earlier matches. He often won first possession, but struggled to find the opportunity to release as the South Australians wrapped him up quickly. While he would only win eight disposals, Collier-Dawkins still produced moments that showcase why he is now regarded a first round prospect. He took a great overhead mark and played on with acceleration inside 50, but couldn’t finish off his work by foot. In the third term he raised his arms high at a stoppage to release a teammate brilliantly on the outside, before showing his defensive presence by producing a heavy tackle on Valente later in the quarter.

#27 Will Kelly – Starting on Lukosius, Kelly was one of the only Vic Metro defenders to keep his opponent accountable with offensive run during the early onslaught. He intercepted and rebounded with style, but also defended admirably by holding the most talked about player of the draft pool to one goal. He went forward in the final term and looked capable leading to space, while also setting up Bailey Smith in the corridor. The son of Craig and brother of Jake at Adelaide finished with 17 disposals to be one of Vic Metro’s better players. You suspect the Pies won’t let another Kelly father/son prospect slip on this occasion.

#28 Ben Silvagni – The second of the Silvagni boys came to Etihad Stadium with some expectation from the Carlton faithful and he started okay forward considering the lack of early opportunities. He took a nice overhead mark on the lead inside 50, before a brilliant piece of play on the wing where he shrugged a tackle, disposed the ball to a teammate and ran hard forward to receive the kick on the arc. A disappointing set shot after the half time siren could have given his side some life going into the break, but instead instigated a small melee. He was moved to defence in the second half and faded as the match wore on.

#29 James Blanck – After an excellent performance in defence against Vic Country at the MCG, Blanck was given a small reality check by a rampaging South Australian side. He was exposed physically against the bigger Hugo Munn in the first term, who out muscled him one on one on two occasions. He positioned himself better as the game went on, but couldn’t have the same impact offensively as his previous game. He finished the night spending time in the ruck.

#34 James Rendell – Rendell is another father/son prospect who has ties with Brisbane through his father Matt’s 164 games for Fitzroy. The 198cm forward/ruck has shown signs of promising AFL attributes throughout 2018 and again produced moments of interest against South Australia. After a quiet first half he came to life in the third term, kicking a banana out of congestion that bounced to Jack Mahony in the corridor to set up a goal. He then produced one of the highlights of the game to take a towering pack mark deep inside 50 and kicked truly to continue his side’s fight back at the time. A goal, 12 hit outs and 11 possessions was a solid outing when considering minimal Vic Metro contributors.

#35 Thomas Hallebone – The lanky 201cm Northern Knights ruckman had moments throughout the day to suggest that he can develop into a capable prospect with time. While only winning five disposals for the game, he took a strong intercept mark in the first term. In the ruck he has skills, highlighted by a soft touch that the midfielders can easily read. He is currently more effective at the centre bounces where he can jump at the ball, as the bigger bodied, albeit shorter James Siviour was able to easily push his 83kg frame out of position at around the ground stoppages.

#36 Ben King – King again proved his potential No.1 pick worth with a four goal haul on arguably the biggest pathway stage against a mighty South Australian outfit at Etihad Stadium. While he lacked opportunities in the first term with the ball seemingly forever at the other end, he took his chance in the second quarter with a series of strong marks and smart leads. He attacked the ball at its highest point, often leaving his opponent with no chance. That was highlighted perfectly in the third term as he brought down a contested mark on the move with Riley Grundy right on his hammer creating immense physical pressure. He made the most of his shots on goal too, kicking four goals straight from only seven disposals. The recruiters also got their wish of the dream King/Lukosius match up in the second half, but unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown as they rarely competed aerially.

South Australia:

#2 Hayden Sampson

Sampson as dangerous around the ball and put his head into the pack on numerous occasions. Probably would have liked to be a bit cleaner off the ground but his 15 disposals and three clearances were important

#4 Kade Chandler

Another SA player that goes in hard. Played his role as small defensive forward and crumbed a good goal from the pocket and set up a teammate’s goal with some great pressure.

#10 Martin Frederick

Really stepped up and provided a number of dashing drives from half-back. With 16 disposals he used the ball also really well, broke some tackles due to his pace, and nearly got a goal bursting inside 50. Has really improved his draft chances and is a Port Next Generation Academy.

#11 Finn Betterman

The midfielder had a quieter game but still managed to lock in four tackles, which is what you need to do when the ball is not coming your way. Can play the first receiver really well and his possessions normally matter.

#13 Connor Rozee

This was the return to form we were waiting for, Rozee had the 18 disposals and four clearances. Managed the miracle goal out of the back of the pack with a smart kick and was smooth when he had it. But it was his desperation that really showed off as he was diving for smothers, chasing at speed and on multiple occasions jumped up to intercept or bring to ground a Vic Metro kick, killing off their rebound.

#14 Izak Rankine

One word – Magic! Booted five goals and about four of them were goal of the game contenders. Just so special, and no doubt his highlights package will be something to marvel over. A class above on the night.

#16 Tom Lewis

Literally living at the bottom of a pack, this inside bull was outstanding. Had 18 disposals and eight tackles. Lewis continues to find the footy under enormous contested pressure and dish out to teammates. A memorable play was where he was on the ground in the pack, got the footy, stood up, bursted out of the congestion with 2-3 Vic Metro players on him and dished to a teammate. Scored a nice goal in the last quarter.

#18 Oscar Chapman

The third tall was outstanding and able to demonstrate all his flexibility. Opened up with a holding the ball tackle that hit Munn for the goal and was continuously harassing Metro defenders and providing blocks for his other forwards. In the last quarter he was taken off the leash and exploded kicking 2.2 including a fantastic pack mark 15m out. Finished with a game high seven marks and 14 disposals

#22 Jacob Kennerley

Was important key ball winner for SA and was dominant early on the wing linking play to the SA forwards. Always looked damaging with the ball and used it well and when Vic Metro came back in the third quarter he worked back well. Certainly one of SA’s best for the day finishing with 22 disposals.

#23 Aaron Nietschke

Was a quiet game for Nietschke possession wise, but he did show glimpses of what he can do. Worked hard in and under when the opportunity was there. He has had better games, but his body size and work rate made him a valuable member of the team

#25 Tom Sparrow

Another player who had an impact when it was his turn, and finished with 17 disposals and five inside 50s and did like some of his work down back when he won some key one on ones and fed the ball out. Another contributor who rarely lost a contested ball when in his area.

#27 Jez McLennan

Another solid and productive game for the defender. Managed to grab some intercept marks and always was poised with the football and efficient. Looked well balanced and calm when Vic Metro had a run in the third quarter. A key for the SA defence all tournament and absolute leader down back. His seven tackles were evident of his work rate and willingness to chase and compete. Great leadership shown.

#30 Ben Jarvis

The goal sneak is a real enigma as he always looks dangerous near the footy and around goal and was rewarded with another two goals. He roved a ball off the pack at speed and class which showed off his ability. He worked up the ground at times and was also good in at the contest. Drifted in and out of the game, but when he is near the footy, things happened that really benefit his team.

#31 Mihail Lochowiak

Was prominent early in the game with dash, but did try to do too much at times and turned the ball over. Once he adjusted to the pace of the game he made a solid contribution and when Vic Metro were coming made a nice lead and goal to stem the flow. A bit more poise and polish to his game will be key to his development as his pace, willingness to take the game on and size are all impressive

#32 Luke Valente

A quieter game for the captain, but as a true leader really worked into the game after a quiet first quarter. Still finished with 18 disposals for SA, but what stands out is his composure in traffic, and decision making is generally spot on. Seemed to have a bit more time than others which showed his class. Liked how he dug in during the third quarter to win some key football. His evasion and side step is excellent

#33 Tyler Martin

Had limited possessions but this game really saw his class when challenged. Would rarely be beaten for the footy and just a classic “played your role” game which was vital for the team. He reads the play well and is the third man up at times with timely spoils as well as finishing with five marks intercepting when required.

#34 Jackson Hately

Hately produced another fantastic performance when it mattered most in the title decider. Hately capped off a consistent carnival with 23 disposals in the final game a team high and also a game high of six inside 50’s. He had ten disposals in the first quarter as the Croweaters could no wrong, his brilliant quarter was shown in finding Rankine with a pin-point kick inside 50 to his advantage on the lead. Hately was deservedly named in the forward line of the U18 All Australian team.

#35 Jacob Collins

Norwood’s Jacob Collins was called up for his first game of the carnival and rewarded selectors with a solid game. Collins had plenty of touches early on as the South Australian defence exited Vic Metro’s forward line with ease. Collins ball use from defence early was terrific as South Australia punished Vic Metro’s poor forward entries. Had a knock in second quarter which curtailed his influence somewhat, but still managed to have 13 disposals and five inside 50s.

#37 Riley Grundy

Grundy had the easiest job on field in the first quarter as the service to Ben King was nothing sort of horrific. But once Vic Metro responded, delivery to King was maximised as the height difference between King (202cm) and Grundy (195cm) in the marking contests started to show. Grundy struggled at times to compete with King aerially, as King finished with four goals. Grundy has had a solid carnival down back with Will Gould and has done decent jobs on the each team’s key forward.

#42 Jack Lukosius

Lukosius took a back seat to the Izak Rankine show early on and was quiet in the first term. In the second quarter Lukosius kicked his first goal after a great passage of play by the SA onball brigade, as Munn tapped it down to Lukosius who converted on ground level. In the second half the recruiters got their carnival wish as Lukosius was sent back to stop King from continuing his dominance. Lukosius certainly assured the SA backline and took intercepting marks down back to prove that he is almost the prototype footballer that can play in almost any position. His brilliant carnival was capped off with the centre half-forward position in the U18 All Australian team and is likely to be taken at pick one in the AFL National Draft.

#43 Will Gould

Under-age defender Will Gould was a monster down back for his side as he also had a carnival high of 17 possessions for the match. Gould took it upon himself to be more adventurous out of defence once he was joined by Jack Lukosius down back proving his versatility. Gould was deservedly awarded with a spot in U18 the All-Australian team on the interchange, as massive achievement for the 2001-born player.

#44 James Siviour

Siviour produced his best performance for the title decider as he took care of ruckman Tom Hallebone, Joe Griffith’s replacement. Siviour contributed with 28 hitouts, 10 disposals and goal, his intercepting down back was a highlight as took six marks for the day, as Hallebone could only manage one.

#47 Hugo Munn

Munn was on fire in the first quarter as he dominated opponent James Blanck tacking a pack mark and converting truly and another contested mark against his opponent and fed a running Rankine who kicked it from the goal square. Munn has showed some brilliant signs and efforts throughout the carnival as finished as one of the top goal kickers with Lukosius, Rankine and King.

National U18 Championships previews: Round 5

IN the final stanza of the National Under 18 Championships, all roads lead to Etihad Stadium where the Allies take on Western Australia, and Vic Metro hosts South Australia in an enticing double header. Vic Metro and South Australia become the headline act with the winner-takes-all mentality given the title is on the line for both sides.

ALLIES V. WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 2.10pm
Etihad Stadium

The opening game of the final round pits the Allies against Western Australia. The winner takes third spot on the final table of the National Under 18 Championships, with both teams having sole wins over Vic Country, and losses against South Australia and Vic Metro. The Allies come into the game with a strong squad, omitting bottom-ager Thomas Green who had been solid so far, and rotating Dirk Koenen for Matthew McGuiness. Overager Michael Mummery gets his chance to shine on Etihad, while the Western Australian side has three fresh faces to add to it’s victorious team over Vic Country. Ian Hill is a huge loss for the Black Swans, with the West Australian captain banned for a sling tackle on Laitham Vandermeer last Friday. With injuries to Damon Greaves and Thomas Baldwin, Western Australia flew over Wil Hickmott to join the squad, and he will run out tomorrow with Luke Moore and Ethan Hansen as the other changes.

The midfield battle will be intriguing with Hickmott joining Sydney StackLuke FoleyDeven Robertson and Luke English in the middle. Jack Buller will have his work cut out for him against man mountain Kieren Briggs who is in super form for the Allies. He has been giving his midfield of Tarryn ThomasConnor McFadyenChayce Jones and Fraser Turner first chance at the stoppages. Jacob Koschitzke is in fine form and could be the man for Dillon O’Reilly who has been showing promising signs as a key forward, while Jason Carter and Jordan Clark provide plenty of dash off half-back. Bailey Scott and Connor Budarick will look to keep them honest, while Nick Blakey looms as the danger man for the Allies and one that Western Australia – and perhaps Regan Spooner in particular – will look to contain. Overall, the Allies will head in as favourites, but the West Australians move the ball quick and cleanly to the forward line and it is hoped Jarrod Cameron can provide the spark again after he booted five goals in Geelong.

VIC METRO V. SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Wednesday, July 4, 4.40pm
Etihad Stadium

In the game that everyone will tune in for, the National Under 18 Championships title will be on the line for the undefeated Vic Metro and South Australian sides. In what ended up being a perfect fixture for the AFL, the two best sides are going head-to-head in the final match of the series with the winner to be handed the trophy and celebrate afterwards without any interruptions to other fixturing. South Australia has made its expected two changes, with Mihail Lochowiak and Jacob Collins replacing Kai Pudney and Boyd Woodcock in the team. Vic Metro has rotated rucks for the final game, with Tom Hallebone recalled to ruck against James Siviour after injury struck down Joe GriffithsJack Bytel has been named in the side despite suffering what looked to be an injury in the last round which would keep him out of the final match. Isaac Quaynor and Ben Silvagni return from injury and will strengthen both ends for Metro.

The match-up on everyone’s lips – Jack Lukosius pitted against Ben King – is unlikely to happen despite recruiters hopes, with both players named forward. As we saw in Geelong, Lukosius also played on the wing and down back, standing side-by-side with Tarryn Thomas and Nick Blakey at different times showing his versatility. If things start to head south for Vic Metro, King can also play in defence, while Will Kelly is a capable forward if required. It is predicted Kelly will get first chance on Lukosius, while James Blanck will line-up on Hugo Munn. The midfield battle of Izak RankineLuke ValenteTom Lewis and Jackson Hately up against Bailey SmithRiley Collier-DawkinsJames Rowbottom and Zak Butters is mouthwatering and likely to decide the contest. With both teams having plenty of firepower up front, the midfield is where the game will be won or lost. Curtis Taylor showed he is a danger up forward for Metro, while Xavier O’Halloran and Noah Anderson have already shown through the championships they can boot multiple goals. Will Gould and Riley Grundy are in great form – the latter is the man predicted to head to King. Jez McLennan and Martin Frederick provide great run out of defence and will be keen to break the lines, while Quaynor and Tom McKenzie will be keen to do the same up the other end. It is hard to pick a winner in this game, with both sides filled to the brim with quality.

Scouting notes: Vic Country vs. Western Australia

AFTER releasing our team notes on the Allies and South Australian match last night, we had a number of writers take a look at the Vic Country and Western Australia match. Scott DouganJames Goller and Callum Thomson watched the Vic Country side closely, while Peter Williams and Lenny Fogliani took notes on the West Australian team.

Vic Country vs. Western Australia

Vic Country:

#1 Will Hamill

Hamill spent the majority of the game in the back half but was given the opportunity to play through the middle in the last quarter. He laid some strong tackles and used his accurate left foot to hit up his teammates. Hamill’s best passage of play came in the second quarter when he went back with the flight and took an eye-catching contested intercept mark.

#2 Sam Walsh

Walsh was at his usual best, gathering plenty of disposals in all areas of the ground. He won a fair share of the ball on the outside of the contest but he demonstrated yet again that he can play inside when necessary. Walsh is a very consistent footballer who rarely plays a poor quarter of footy. His awareness, composure and decision making was a real highlight for Vic Country, especially when they needed someone to step up. The reason Walsh is able to accumulate so much of the ball is because of his extreme work rate. He is an elite runner and works tirelessly to make as many contests as possible. He was involved in many passages of play in the second quarter that all resulted in goals. Walsh also kicked an impressive snap from the boundary line that kept Vic Country within striking distance. Was one of Vic Country’s best.

#3 Toby Bedford

The Dandenong Stingray was given the opportunity to impress throughout Country’s midfield and that is exactly what he did. Bedford showed that he can win the ball on the inside and outside. He was aggressive around the contest and constantly put his head over the ball to win possession. His speed and agility were also evident and undoubtedly helped him escape congestion on numerous occasions. He was exceptionally clean at ground level and displayed composure with ball in hand. One of my favourite passages of play came in the last quarter when he turned the ball over by foot, but redeemed himself by sprinting 50 metres forward to win possession back. Impressive game.

#5 Xavier Duursma

Duursma was a little quieter compared to his past two performances. He found a bit of the ball but was unable to have a huge influence on the game. His match-time was shared between the midfield and backline, signifying just how versatile he can be. His competitiveness, ball use and ability to release his hands to handball was still on display throughout the match.

#6 Laitham Vandermeer

The over-ager from the Murray Bushrangers started the match well before he was involved in a crunching tackle by Ian Hill, only five minutes into the first quarter. He was concussed and had his collarbone broken in the contest. He played no further part.

#8 Ned McHenry

The number one pressure player in the National Championships was again fierce around the contest. His defensive pressure and tackling was brilliant but probably did not have as much impact on the game as he would like. He collected the majority of his disposals in the third quarter where he was involved in several passages of play. What impressed me the most with McHenry was his effort and high intensity when he didn’t have the ball. He is always trying to apply pressure and he never drops his head if things don’t go his way.

#10 Zac Foot

Foot played on the wing but also played inside at times. He was very clean at ground level and provided some much needed outside run. His work rate and elite endurance became clear in the third quarter when he sprinted hard defensively to spoil a marking contest.

#11 Zane Keighran

The Bendigo Pioneer was part of the midfield rotation for Country but played the majority of the match in back half. Keighran seemed to work hard but was unable to have much impact on the game, finishing with eight disposals and two clearances.

#13 Thomas Berry

Berry demonstrated his versatility yet again, playing predominately in the back half, but also provided some outside run when required. His competitiveness, attack on the ball and defensive spoiling was top notch but he was constantly let down by his ball use. He rebounded well when exiting the defensive 50 but missed targets multiple times. He had three turnovers in the space of two minutes, with one resulting in a goal for Western Australia. Berry moved forward in the last quarter to try and give Country some much-needed spark but could not have the same effect as he did down back.

#14 Sam Flanders

One to definitely look out for in the 2019 draft. Was really impressive. Playing mostly forward he had stints in the midfield . The Gippsland product, was very dangerous up forward kicking 1.1. He has kicked a goal in every one of his games this carnival, showing a consistent impact on the scoreboard. A real highlight for Flanders is the pressure he puts on his opponents. He laid five tackles, but it was not just his tackles that was impressive he was able to put on all sorts and types of pressure on his opponents.

#20 Cooper Stephens

Stephens had 14 disposals against Western Australia. He showed that he has good hands within congestion. He dropped a simple chest mark which was not great. However he showed some speed and was able to have three inside 50s and thre rebounds. He also took a nice mark and spoiled strongly in a few marking contests.

#21 Ely Smith

The Murray Bushranger is one to definitely keep a eye on. With fantastic TAC Cup form, Smith was selected to play his first game of the carnival and he did not disappoint. Smith had 30 possessions with 23 of them handballs. He really impressed on the inside with his contested work having nine clearances to his name. He also spread from stoppages well, with having three inside 50s and three rebounds. Definitely a draft prospect to pencil down. Really interested to see how his second half of the season goes after being Country’s best in the match.

#23 Mark Marriott

The Vic Country ruckman, had a solid game, collecting seven possessions. He had 32 hitouts, beating his opposing ruckman Jack Buller. A highlight of his game was his fierce tackling – finishing the match with five to his name. He showed some good ground work and had five kicks and two handballs, which was interesting because generally ruckman handball more then kick.

#24 Matty Lloyd

Lloyd had 18 disposals for the game and was fairly good by foot. The defender looked strong in the contest and was very good one on one. Through the game he seemed to read the play well and made some good decisions with ball in hand. He not only was good defensively but he was able to counter attack a number of times. With five marks and three rebounds to his name, he was solid for Vic Country.

#27 Zane Barzen

Barzen did not have a lot of the ball recording only eight possessions however, he had impact. Barzen was on the receiving end of a handball in the goal square, but also earned it after hard running. He took a fantastic contested mark, arguably mark of the carnival to date. He showed good hand skills when in congestion and made the right decisions.

29 Bailey Williams

Williams played in the forward line for the majority of the game. He took a number of strong marks and was able to find opportunities in front of goal. He showed great athleticism to put pressure on opponents and to create space when in possession of the ball. Williams finished with two goals and was Vic Country’s most dangerous threat up forward.

#30 Oscar Brownless

Brownless started on the wing in the first quarter and rotated between there and half forward for the rest of the game. He took a mark inside 50 in the second quarter off the back of some good running on a fast break and was composed lining up for goal, kicking his only goal for the game. Brownless displayed clean hands and when up forward provided good pressure. The Geelong father-son prospect finished with 17 disposals and was one of Vic Country’s best.

#31 Brock Smith

Smith played in the backline and at times had to match up on Cameron where he gave away a couple of free kicks. The Gippsland Power member did not get a lot of the pill but he was polished when in possession and always hard at the contest, making his presence known.

#32 Brodie Kemp

Kemp played mostly off the half-back line where he was able to intercept and find a bit of the ball. When in possession he was confident and looked composed. He was efficient with his disposal and displayed good footy smarts. Playing his first game of the championships, Kemp did not look out of place and was one of Country’s better players.

#34 Scott Carlin

Carlin who had a quiet outing, was able to make the most of his limited disposals. He displayed clean hands and was able to link up with his teammates to get out of trouble multiple times. He found himself playing on Cameron at times and struggled to match up against his pace and agility.

#35 Hudson Garoni

Garoni took a nice mark just inside 50 late in the first term but failed to convert the tough shot. He was well held all day and really struggled to get involved in the game, getting no help from the poor delivery by his teammates. The TAC Cup leading goal kicker provided a target for Vic Country and despite not getting much of the ball he was able to provide a contest and bring the ball to ground most of the time.

#36 Riley Bowman

Bowman played as Vic Country’s number one ruckman and battled hard all day. When resting up forward, Bowman had an opportunity at goal but badly hooked the kick. His disposal use was good at the contest and in congestion, especially his hands. He was the best ruckman on the ground and always provided second efforts.

#39 Connor Idun

Idun tried hard in defence and used the ball quickly by hand. Idun impressed with his ability to read the play and his footy smarts. He was able to effect the contest either by spoiling or taking the intercept mark. He often kicked the ball down the line instead of either switching the play or finding the short option, however.

Western Australia:

#1 Ian Hill

Played a solid game on the outside, predominantly running along the wing and causing some headaches for the opposition. His best game of the carnival, but one that should hold him in good stead for the final game on Wednesday given his obvious talent. A great vertical leap and strong tackler, his tackle unfortunately caused Laitham Vandermeer to come off on a stretcher in the first term, but such was his class, went over and checked on him before they took him off. It was clear his leadership is fantastic around the ground, getting to players and keeping them focused. With the ball, he is classy both through his disposal and ability to force teammates to move in certain ways. He has great vision and ahows clean hands under pressure.

#2 Jarrod Cameron

Most people outside of Western Australia would not have heard of the livewire forward who is a member of the West Coast Next Generation Academy, but by the end of the match, the brother of Brisbane’s Charlie, had everyone talking. He booted five goals and just caused a nuisance of himself down forward, showing a swagger with five majors, and could have had a couple more. He has a great vertical leap and great acceleration, burning off Zac Foot and Tom Berry – both of whom are lightning quick themselves.

#4 Graydon Wilson

Had a promising game in defence, using the ball well by foot, while also putting pressure on the ball carrier. He positions himself well when inside defensive 50 and showed good hands in the third term to give it to Sydney Stack on the wing who set up a goal with the next kick. He reads it well in traffic and puts it to his teammates advantage.

#9 Tyron Smallwood

Started the game like a house on fire, and while he tired out towards the end, he showed glimpses of what he was capable of. He laid some strong tackles early, and gathered it cleanly at ground level. He snapped a great goal in the first term. Went for a massive ride on the wing in the fourth term, but could not bring the ball down.

#10 Rylie Morgan

I was impressed with the Under 16s state captain and his work through the middle. He always went in hard and showed good hands to give-and-go with hard running. He laid a great run-down tackle on Tom Berry and Sam Walsh, and made good decisions in traffic. He reads the flight path of the ball so well, intercepting a handball in tight and then showed off his hard running by winning the ball on the wing, delivering a short pass forward then was on the receiving end inside 50 two possessions later. His set shot fell short, however.

#11 Luke English

Just finds the football and works really hard between the inside and outside midfield, laying strong tackles and burying himself under packs. Booted the one goal, had another chance when running inside 50 but just missed. Is more of the ball-winning work-hard-in-transition type more than anything, and he covers ground as well as anyone. Looks like he has a huge tank for the amount of running he does between the arcs.

#12 Jeremy Sharp

Another promising performance from a player who was clear in defence and used good speed to evade opponents. He showed a good turning circle to step around Oscar Brownless and laid a great run-down tackle on Toby Bedford, albeit Bedford got his handpass away (see pic). Hurt himself from going in hard to spoil a ball on the wing, but showed good courage in doing so.

#13 Jason Carter

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy member is an eye-catching type who shows lightning quick hands in traffic and tries to take the game on whenever he can. Did not win a heap of the football – just the 10 touches – but he does have the Jets to hurt opposition sides.

#14 Sydney Stack

One of the more impressive West Australians on the night, Stack continued to be involved throughout the four quarters. He provides great run-and-carry, and often draws opponents to him before firing off a handball to a running teammate. Stack showed good vision and skills on the night, and set up his forwards well with good kicks to their advantage. He produced a great kick to Jason Carter later in the night at top speed, and was strong to stand up in a tackle and tap the ball along the ground to his teammates advantage. Just needed to capitalise on the odd decision making error better, but overall a strong performance.

#15 Jordan Clark

A super impressive defender who certainly threw up his name given his willingness to take the game on and remain composed in the back half. He won plenty of it in the first half in particular, and just mops up from the half-back line. He had six rebounds and four inside 50s from 23 disposals, pushing up the ground and rarely wasting a touch. One to watch going forward.

#17 Thomas Baldwin

Had an okay match, doing his best work on the defensive end, laying six tackles to nullify contests on the inside. He is a long kick of the football and was able to hit up Mitchell Georgiades inside 50 in the opening term. Landed awkwardly after going up in a marking contest and was limping for a bit. Had a third quarter shot on goal but missed to the left.

#18 Deven Robertson

A midfield bull, Robertson is putting his name forward as an exciting prospect for the 2019 National Draft. His attack on the ball and man is frightening.

#20 Luke Foley

The Subiaco midfielder was explosive in the midfield, kicking the opening goal of the game (a set shot from 50 metres), and setting up other multiple attempts. His clearance work was sublime.

#21 Tyson Powell

Was originally meant to start forward for the Black Swans, but was shifted to defence after Greaves suffered an arm injury. In defence he was an intercept king and mopped up everything.

#22 Damon Greaves

The East Perth product went off early with what appeared to be an elbow injury in the first quarter.

#23 Louis Miller

The Busselton product was outstanding in defence for Western Australia. His second third defensive efforts were to be marvelled at, especially in the second quarter when he spoiled a ball and then smothered an attempted kick on goal.

#24 Regan Spooner

The 2015 All-Australian representative was outstanding in defence, racking up possessions and distributing with aplomb. What’s even more exciting about Spooner is his ability to also push into the midfield.

#26 Jake Pasini

Opposed to Sam Flanders (who only kicked one goal), the 17-year-old was outstanding. He was solid in the air and on ground level, and his positioning was outstanding for someone his age.

#27 Tom Medhat

In his first game of the Championships, Medhat displayed promise as a key forward prospect. His leading patterns and marking ability were solid and his skills were on full display.

#29 Dillon O’Reilly

The imposing key forward was instrumental, always providing a presence inside 50. He also pinch-hit in the ruck and at times played as a big-bodied midfielder. The sky is the limit for O’Reilly.

#34 Brad Oldfield

The nuggety midfield was his busy self in the middle, winning the hard ball before dishing it to his outside runners. His thirst for contact was evident and his awareness was brilliant, as he got others into the game.

#35 Mitch Georgiades

Despite only gathering nine possessions, Georgiades displayed promising signs as possible draftee next year. He also took five marks, and almost secured “Mark of the Championships” when he flew high above a pack in the first quarter.

#36 Jack Buller

With Luke Jackson out of the team, a heap of responsibility was placed onto Buller and he did not disappoint. The AFL Academy member always competed strongly in the ruck contest and was very mobile around the ground.

Potential number ones make it win number one for Vic Metro

TWO players in contention for the number one pick in the next two years’ National Drafts put Western Australia to the sword up forward, as Vic Metro recorded an 18-point win in its first game of the National Under 18s Championships. Sandringham Dragons key position swingman Ben King, one of a number of players vying to be called out first on draft night this year, booted five goals from 15 disposals and five marks. Potential 2019 number one pick Noah Anderson was equally as damaging, booting four goals from 20 disposals and five inside 50s, with the Oakleigh Chargers utility causing all sorts of headaches for the Black Swans defence.

Vic Metro led at every break, booting three goals to two in the opening term, then piled on four goals to three in the second quarter, to open up a 15-point advantage at the main break. Once again the visitors managed to keep the ascendancy bagging three goals and keeping the Black Swans to two majors in the third quarter. The Oakleigh and Sandringham contingent was impressive through all the thirds on the ground. Along with the two key goal scorers, Metro vice-captain Bailey Smith (28 disposals, five clearances and 10 tackles) was vital in the midfield, working alongside Calder Cannons’ inside midfielder Rhylee West (25 disposals, nine clearances, six marks and nine tackles). Chargers’ pair James Rowbottom (22 disposals, seven tackles and two clearances) and Isaac Quaynor (20 disposals, seven rebounds) were also impressive, with the pair named in the best.

For Western Australia, it was a vastly improved performance from the 89-point away drubbing at the hands of South Australia, but it does mean their title hopes are all but over, with just two games to come against the Allies and Vic Country. Key Position forward Dillon O’Reilly booted three goals for the Black Swans, while top draft prospect Ian Hill (11 disposals, six tackles and three inside 50s) found form in the second game, nailing two goals and was named among the best. Peel Thunder’s Brad Oldfield was also impressive, slotting two goals and was one of the best afield. Luke Foley‘s (17 disposals, six clearances and five tackles) first game of the National Under 18s Championships saw the overager light up the stage and was named second best behind Jeremy Sharp (26 dispoals, four marks, two clearances and three inside 50s).

The Black Swans showed great defensive pressure, laying 80 tackles to Vic Metro’s 64, while only having 21 less disposals. The eight less inside 50s hurt the home side in the end, but they matched them in most areas, including through the midfield, winning the hitouts thanks to Luke Jackson (25 hitouts) and had just three less clearances. Foley, Sydney Stack (four) and Luke English (three) were the main extractors in the middle, while Jack Buller had a team-high five rebounds.

For the winners, Noah Answerth assisted Quaynor in defence with four rebounds, while Metro captain Xavier O’Halloran had seven inside 50s and four clearances from his 18 disposals. Sandringham Dragons pair Angus Hanrahan and Jack Mahony combined for 34 disposals, four marks, seven inside 50s and two goals in a strong showing.

Western Australia has a 19-day break ahead of its next match with the bye in Round 2, and the Black Swans having already played their Round 3 match against South Australia prior to Round 1. They face Vic Country at GMHBA Stadium on June 29, before a clash at Etihad Stadium with the Allies on July 4. For Vic Metro, they head north to Southport to face the Allies, before travelling to the MCG for an all-Victorian clash with Vic Country as a curtain raiser to the Carlton-Collingwood game on June 24.

Western Australia    2.1   5.2   7.3    12.4 (76)
Vic Metro                   3.2   7.5  10.7  14.10 (94) 

GOALS
Western Australia: O’Reilly 3, Hill 2, Oldfield 2, Foley, English, Cameron, Sharp, Hansen
Vic Metro: King 5, Anderson 4, Mahony 2, West, O’Halloran, McKenzie 

BEST
Western Australia: Sharp, Foley, Oldfield, Stack, Hill, O’Reilly
Vic Metro: King, Anderson, West, Smith, Rowbottom, Quaynor

WA announces initial Under 18 Championships squad

WESTERN Australia has announced the initial squad for the National AFL Under 18 Championships to be played across June and July. The WA State Academy features 38 players, with a second intake of Under 18s players set to occur in the coming weeks. The announcement came in the same week South Australia announced its extended squad for the championships.

The West Australian side features a good spread of players from across all nine clubs with Claremont and Perth leading the way with six each, while East Fremantle has five. No club has less than three, with seven 17 year-old development players included in the side. Demons star Ian Hill has firmed as the state’s top draft prospect, but the team has good depth, and includes players from the West Australian National Under 16 Championship-winning team last year, such as livewire Rhai-Arn Cox who took the final mark of the match with seconds remaining and kicked a goal after the siren to win the game.

West Australian Football Commission (WAFC) Executive Manager Talent and Football Operations, Scott Baker, told the WAFC website that the players should be proud of their efforts.

“These players have all demonstrated great talent and ability and I congratulate them on being selected in the WA State Academy,” he said. “We look forward to working with each of them to help achieve their full potential both on and off the field. “We want WA to be the leading state for talent development  and are committed to delivering an Academy program that provides each player with the football and personal development opportunities to become key players and leaders of the future.”

Western Australia takes on South Australia in the opening game of the National AFL Under 18 Championships at Alberton Oval on June 3, before hosting Vic Metro at Optus Stadium on June 19. The championships conclude with games at GMHBA Stadium and Etihad Stadium on June 29 and July 4 against Vic Country and the Allies respectively.

Claremont [6]: Tyron Smallwood, Rylie Morgan, Jordan Clark, Thomas Baldwin, Jack Buller, Anthony Davis*

East Fremantle [5]: Jeremy Sharp, Trey Ruscoe, Trent Rivers, Dillon O’Reilly, Luke Jackson

East Perth [3]: Rhai-Arn Cox, Damon Greaves, Louis Miller

Peel Thunder [3]: Jarrod Fazioli, Jason Carter, Tyson Powell

Perth [6]: Ian Hill, Luke English, Sydney Stack, Ethan Hansen, Deven Robertson, Elijah Taylor*

South Fremantle [3]: Luke Moore, Kyle Hamersley, Regan Spooner

Subiaco [4]: Wil Hickmott, Luke Foley, Xavier Peacock, Mitchell Georgiades*

Swan Districts [4]: Joe Hinder, Graydon Wilson, Jake Pasini*, Riley Garcia*

West Perth [4]: Tom Medhat, Tom O’Donnell, Jaxson Prior*, Ryan Hudson*

*denotes 17s development players