Tag: Jarrod Gilbee

Weekend Previews: TAC Cup – Wild Card Round

FOR players of four TAC Cup sides, they will run out for the final time this weekend with the new concept of a Wild Card Round giving every team the chance of winning a premiership, regardless of finishing position during the season. The four games will be played across two days, with a Double Header at MARS Stadium on Saturday, before a Double Header takes place at Ikon Park on Sunday.



Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 11:30am
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

It will be a case of déjà vu for fans who make the trip to MARS Stadium tomorrow. The Calder Cannons take on the Geelong Falcons at 11.30am, an identical match, time and place of their Round 16 clash a week ago. In that game, the Falcons proved too good, coming from behind at quarter time to run away with the game before the Cannons kicked back to go down by just 15 points. Arguably the Falcons should have won by more, as despite having 29 scoring shots to 19, they ended the match with an inaccurate 11.18 for the match. Co-captain Sam Walsh was a clear best on ground. Brayden Ham, while inaccurate in front of goal with 1.4, was exciting in the forward half, as was Connor Idun. Cooper Stephens and Ned McHenry were tough on the inside, while Cooper Cartledge and Charlie Sprague played their roles up their respective ends. For the Cannons, Rhylee West was sensational drifting forward to boot three goals, while Daniel Mott and Mitch Podhajski were strong through the midfield, with Podhajski getting forward to finish with two goals. Harrison Jones enjoyed a great game in the ruck, while Lachlan Sholl and Brodie Newman continue to impress behind the ball. Daniel Hanna has been named in the Cannons’ extended team, and will be a crucial inclusion to take a tall in the Falcons forward line, allowing the smaller rebounders to create more run out of defence. Geelong rightfully hold favouritism after last week, and pushing the minor premiers the week before, but both these teams are sleepers in the premiership race, and it is somewhat disappointing one has to go.



Wild Card Round – Saturday, September 1, 2:00pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The second game marks the third time that the Northern Knights will travel to MARS Stadium for the season to tackle the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. The venue holds no fears for the Knights, who have been victorious twice, once with a come-from-behind victory in Round 9 by four points, and then again in Round 12 when they won by 22 points. In the first encounter, it took until the 21st minute of the final term for the Northern Knights to hit the front for just the second time that day, with a Patrik Della Rocca goal. That was also the breakout game for bottom-ager Izaac Grant, who booted seven of the Rebels’ nine goals for the day. Elliott Lamb, Scott Carlin and Lochie Dawson were named the Rebels best on the day with Grant, while for the Knights, James Lucente‘s five majors saw him named the best, along with Della Rocca and Stefan Uzelac. In the second encounter, Sunny Brazier and Charlie Wilson booted three goals for their respective sides, while Cooper Craig-Peters and Patrick Glanford were the Rebels’ best. Adam Carafa had a day out with 37 disposals, while speedster Lachlan Potter was also impressive. On form, the Knights will head in as favourites, but some crucial inclusions for the Rebels in Carlin, Grant and Craig-Peters should be equally as important as Lucente and Ryan Sturgess for Northern.



Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 11:00am
Ikon Park, Carlton North

On Sunday, the Western Jets will take on the Eastern Ranges in a game that is one of two that should be fairly straight forward. As we have seen with finals or pre-finals however, anything can happen and regular season form means nothing now that we are at the knockout stage of the season. Eastern had just the two wins, but pushed Western all the way back in the only encounter between the sides this season. In blustery Williamstown, the Ranges led throughout the match and only trailed by a goal at the final break – mostly due to the Jets inaccuracy, booting 2.12. The home side found its kicking boots in the final term however, booting five goals to one and ran away with the 31-point win. Steven Kyriazis booted two goals that day, while Zak Butters earned best on ground honours (he will not be out there this weekend) and Connor Thar and Stefan Radovanovic were also impressive. Billy McCormack was the multiple goalkicker for Eastern, while Jarrod Gilbee, James Ross and Mitch Mellis were the top Ranges. Mellis will be the only one of the trio playing on Sunday, with Eastern hoping to cause an upset. The winner will face Oakleigh Chargers in the elimination final, so will want to hit the game with some great form.



Wild Card Round – Sunday, September 2, 1:30pm
Ikon Park, Carlton North

Murray Bushrangers were the side unlucky to drop out of the top four race, but by being the top-seeded team in the Wild Card Round, they take on the bottom-placed Bendigo Pioneers. The Pioneers have just had the two wins so far this season, while the Bushrangers won both their previous encounters against Bendigo. Murray won by 57 points in Round 2 up in Shepparton, before claiming a 40-point win at Queen Elizabeth Oval in Round 9. In the first game, Laitham Vandermeer was named best on ground, with the injured speedster not able to be out there on the weekend, but his partner in crime that day, Lachlan Ash will be, as will Nick Murray who was impressive in defence. Noah Wheeler was unsurprisingly named best for the Pioneers with another top performance, while Jye Caldwell amassed 24 disposals and laid seven tackles in his only TAC Cup game until last weekend. He will be crucial for the Pioneers this weekend if they are to get the upset, however the Bushrangers look to be too strong on season form. In the second encounter, Ely Smith was best on ground with 28 disposals and nine tackles, while Jordon Butts slotted six goals in a terrific effort up forward. Oscar Perez and Zane Keighran booted two goals each, while ruck Daniel Keating was named the Pioneers’ top player. With no Wheeler, Keighran or Keating this weekend, it will be a big ask for the Pioneers to get up, but there is no coming back. 

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 12b

TO complete Round 12, the remaining six teams take to country grounds, with matches in Dandenong, Shepparton and Morwell.


Round 12 – Saturday, July 21, 1pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Two sides which bookend the TAC Cup ladder go head-to-head at Shepley Oval in the only Saturday game. The Dandenong Stingrays have an eight-point buffer on second placed Gippsland Power and will look to extend their lead on the competition with a win, while Bendigo is searching for its third win. Jamie PlumridgeJake FrawleyAngus PatersonZac Foot and Bailey Williams are among some huge inclusions for the Stingrays, while the likes of Toby Bedford and Finlay Bayne head back to school football. The Pioneers have also been hurt by school football and have a number of crucial outs. Brodie KempJames SchischkaBailey Henderson and Thomson Dow are among the outs for the game, while Josh GraceLucas Caccaviello and Bailey Waasdorp are among seven inclusions into the team.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 41. L. Stenning
HB: 58. W. Hamill, 5. A. Paterson, 7. J. Taylor
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 49. M. Cottrell, 52. C. Ellison, 27. L. McDonnell
F: 11. E. Cahill, 29. B. Williams, 16. J. Frawley
R: 13. R. Bowman, 1. S. Fletcher, 57. R. Nanscawen
Int: 37. B. Angwin, 6. J. Barker, 36. S. Cumming, 48. J. Stuart, 50. L. Williams
23P: 25. J. Triep

In: L. Stenning, C. Ellison, J. Plumridge, A. Paterson, J. Frawley, R. Nanscawen, B. Angwin, Z. Foot, B. Williams
Out: L. Goonan,  T. Bedford,  J. Johnson,  J. Smith,  J. Burton,  B. Nyuon,  J. Toner,  F. Bayne, S. De Koning

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 26. C. O’Shea, 11. J. Grace, 2. J. Williams
HB: 16. J. Atley, 24. N. McHugh, 3. L. Marciano
C: 25. F.  Perez, 5. N.  Wheeler, 51. B.  Waasdorp
HF: 17. R. Ironside, 41. B. Vaz, 28. C. Vick
F: 15. L. Caccaviello, 34. R. Clarke, 49. O. Perez
R: 54. M. Christensen, 43. H. Lawrence, 6. J. Rodi
Int: 53. W. Allen, 27. M. Lias, 33. J. McHale, 29. E. Roberts, 31. B. Worme
23P: 13. K. Brown

In: L. Caccaviello, M. Lias, W. Allen, C. O’Shea, J. Grace, B. Waasdorp, N. McHugh
Out: B. Kemp, D. Loveridge, W. Wallace, T. Dow, J. Schischka, B. Rowles, B. Henderson


Round 12 – Sunday, July 22, 1pm
Deakin Reserve, Shepparton

Up north, the Murray Bushrangers welcome back a familiar face in Jacob Koschitzke who has missed considerable time due to the Under 18 Academy Series and then the National Under 18 Championships. He is among the three ins with Jordon Butts and Liam FioreDylan ClarkeLiam Andrews and Josh Crawford are the three outs. Eastern Ranges have made sweeping changes with the return of school football, as key position defender James Blanck is among 12 inclusions on an extended bench including Jarrod GilbeeCaleb Quirk and Steven Kapahnke. The likes of Xavier FryBrent Bredin and Todd Garner are list among 10 outs from last round’s team.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 20. J. Bradshaw, 16. N. Murray, 52. J. Sanford
HB: 26. R. Bice, 8. J. Koschitzke, 19. J. Boyer
C: 34. T.  Boyd, 5. E.  Smith, 6. W.  Chandler
HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 2. J. Butts, 10. P. Warner
F: 12. L. Ash, 18. H. Garoni, 14. J. Chalcraft
R: 35. F. Bollinghaus, 28. K. Clarke, 53. C. Wilson
Int: 59. L. Fiore, 13. B. Frauenfelder, 23. M. Marriott, 44. L. Whyte
23P: 47. J. Butts

In: J. Butts, L. Fiore, J. Koschitzke
Out: L. Andrews,  J. Crawford,  D. Clarke

Eastern Ranges

B: 10. C. Black, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 38. M. Briggs
HB: 20. B. Cardamone, 31. J. Blanck, 52. L. Munro
C: 8. J.  Burleigh, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 26. C. Norris, 22. C. Quirk, 46. B. White
F: 5. R. Einsporn, 18. B. McCormack, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 24. K. Quirk, 25. L. Vassis
Int: 3. H. Chinn, 30. T. Edwards, 12. J. Gilbee, 2. A. Kalcovski, 36. S. Kapahnke, 42. T. Lockman, 45. M. Zalac
23P: 61. C. Tilyard

In: L. Vassis, C. Tilyard, H. Chinn, J. Blanck, R. Einsporn, L. Kruger, L. Munro, S. Kapahnke, C. Norris, M. Briggs, C. Quirk, J. Gilbee
Out: F. Smith, T. Amarant, D. Reynolds, T. Garner, C. Leon, L. Gawel, J. Kritopoulos, J. Jaworski, X. Fry, B. Bredin


Round 12 – Sunday, July 22, 1pm
Morwell Football Ground, Morwell

Out east, Gippsland Power will look to build on their Round 11 victory against Murray Bushrangers, to knock over the Western Jets at home. Both sides have bulked up their sides with extended benches following the return of state representatives. Key defender Kyle Reid returns to the side, as do captain Xavier Duursma, and bottom-ager Sam Flanders who have been named on-ball, while Matthew McGannon slots into the backline. Bottom-ager Caleb Serongheads back to school football, while Riley Baldi is the other listed out. The Western Jets have made six confirmed changes to their side, with Josh JenkinsTyler Kolyniuk and Jai Dodemaide among the outs. Captain Xavier O’Halloran is a welcome inclusion to the side, as are bookends Buku Khamis and Emerson Jeka, who will straighten the Jets up.

Gippsland Power

B: 40. Z. Hurley, 25. K. Reid, 12. B. Smith
HB: 1. T. Hayes, 14. T. Hourigan, 18. M. McGannon
C: 8. B.  Beck, 28. H.  Hood, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 20. H. Neocleous, 23. N. Gown, 7. B. Patterson
F: 9. I. Mosquito, 11. A. Hodge, 33. B. Thorson
R: 16. J. Smith, 4. S. Flanders, 5. X. Duursma
Int: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 42. T. Howard, 34. J. Hume, 19. F. Phillips, 15. R. Sparkes, 35. J. van der Pligt, 45. A. Young
23P: 44. M. Toussaint

In: K. Reid, S. Flanders, X. Duursma, M. McGannon
Out: C. Serong,  R. Baldi

Western Jets

B: 15. M. Hearne, 41. L. Rzanovski, 36. J. Rice
HB: 25. S. Johnson, 38. B. Khamis, 39. S. Radovanovic
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 7. J.  Watkins, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 37. H. Murphy, 10. S. Kyriazis
F: 1. J. Hazik, 45. A. Clarke, 49. D. Pantalleresco
R: 47. D. Walters, 33. X. O’Halloran, 12. C. Thar
Int: 48. A. Britten, 18. B. Colley, 24. J. Honey, 31. E. Jeka, 23. M. Maguang, 22. O. Manton, 2. T. Rudic
23P: 8. J. Kellett

In: X. O’Halloran, E. Jeka, M. Maguang, B. Khamis, L. Rzanovski, B. Colley, J. Hazik, T. Rudic
Out: D. Bolkas, J. Jenkins, A. Tanner, T. Kolyniuk, J. Dodemaide, J. Klaromenos

Team Selection: Sandringham Dragons vs. Eastern Ranges

WITH the Vic Metro and school football bye, both the Sandringham Dragons and Eastern Ranges will head into their standalone Round 9 clash with fairly healthy looking sides. Alastair Richards and Xavier Fry return for their respective teams after a stint with Vic Metro and one would assume they are not playing in Wednesday’s final clash against South Australia. Those still missing from the team include Ben King, Bailey Smith, Angus Hanrahan and James Rendell (Sandringham) as well as James Blanck (Eastern) who look to have retained their spots in the Metro side for Wednesday’s clash – deservedly so with some impressive performances at National level.

The Dragons are bolstered with the return of Dawit McNeish, Nicholas Stamatis and Ryan O’Meara who are among eight inclusions, while Kai Owens, Sam Sofronidis and Harry Bede are among six confirmed outs. For the Ranges, they have also made a number of changes, with Fry leading eight inclusions, while six players have been confirmed as outs. Caleb Quirk and Thomas Lockman are among those into the side, while Callum Norris and Jarrod Gilbee were listed among the omissions.

The ladder ramifications from the clash are simple – if Sandringham can win, the Dragons will leapfrog Oakleigh Chargers into fifth. If Eastern Ranges win, they will leapfrog the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels into tenth. A large enough win could also see them overtake Geelong Falcons in ninth. But after a loss last round, the Ranges will just be keen to bounce back and record their third win in four games. The midfield clash should be enticing with Richards, Liam Stocker and Harry Houlahan taking on Kye Quirk, Adrian Kalcovski and Joel Burleigh in the middle with Darcy Chirgwin and Mitch Mellis among the outside runners.

The key position defenders in Will Kennedy and Corey Watts have been in good form of late for the Dragons and will look to contain the Eastern forward line. The Eastern defence has been solid as well with Ben Cardamone regaining his early season form and will look to combine with Fry for some good rebound out of the back half. In a game where Sandringham will rightfully head in as favourites at home, Eastern will hope its midfield can get on top and kick a winning score.



Round 9 – Saturday, June 30, 12pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 45. J. Voss
HB: 14. R. O’Meara, 33. W. Kennedy, 11. N. Stamatis
C: 72. D.  Chirgwin, 2. A.  Richards, 19. S.  Forbes
HF: 17. J. Denborough, 48. J. Worrell, 39. J. Florent
F: 13. T. Brimble, 61. F. McAsey, 52. C. Dean
R: 59. A. Courtney, 6. H. Houlahan, 7. L. Stocker
Int: 36. M. Bergman, 51. N. Burke, 66. R. Byrnes, 26. F. Maginness, 21. D. McNeish, 53. H. Ralphsmith, 46. L. Witts
23P: 35. G. Grey

In: R. Byrnes, G. Grey, D. McNeish, A. Richards, N. Stamatis, R. O’Meara, L. Witts, M. Bergman
Out: C. Jones,  L. Butler,  C. Langford,  K. Owens,  S. Sofronidis,  H. Bede

Eastern Ranges

B: 10. C. Black, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i, 20. B. Cardamone
HB: 23. X. Fry, 18. B. McCormack, 25. L. Vassis
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 8. J.  Burleigh, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 1. B. Bredin, 42. T. Lockman, 3. H. Chinn
F: 27. J. Jaworski, 36. S. Kapahnke, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 24. K. Quirk, 2. A. Kalcovski
Int: 38. M. Briggs, 53. J. Drake, 5. R. Einsporn, 16. T. Garner, J. Kritopoulos, 22. C. Quirk, 33. B. Tahlambouris
23P: 51. D. Reynolds

In: J. Drake, B. Tahlambouris, D. Reynolds, T. Lockman, M. Briggs, J. Kritopoulos, C. Quirk, X. Fry
Out: C. Leon, L. Munro, L. Gawel, C. Norris, K. Crosby, J. Gilbee

Mid-Season Team of the Year: TAC Cup

SEVEN rounds down in the TAC Cup and during the week off, we at AFL Draft Central have come up with our TAC Cup Mid-Season Team of the Year, comprised of those players with the most nominations from AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week‘s so far this season.

Looking at the nominations, there were a total of 18 players across the competition who received three or more nominations from the seven rounds, and a further 20 players who received two nominations. In our Mid-Season Team of the Year, we selected the remaining six players from those 20, with the tiebreaker decided by bests in their respective team matches.

The TAC Cup clubs with the most nominations in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Mid-Season Team of the Year are the Dandenong Stingrays, Gippsland Power, Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets – no surprise considering they are the top four sides. Leading the way is our Mid-Season Team of the Year captain and Western Jets’ leader Xavier O’Halloran, who is the obvious choice considering he is the only player with four Team of the Week nominations, and he slots in nicely to the centre position. He is joined in the side by teammates Zak Butters up forward and Stefan Radovanovic down back.

Ladder leaders, Dandenong Stingrays, have two talls and a small in the side, with first round prospects and AFL Academy members Bailey Williams and Riley Bowman making the side, joined in the team by speedster Zac Foot who has enjoyed some great form this season. Gippsland Power has covered all thirds of the ground, with full-back Kyle Reid, forward Sam Flanders, and captain and midfielder Xavier Duursma all making the final 24. The Murray Bushrangers’ trio that have made the cut are bottom-ager defender Lachlan Ash, centre-half forward and TAC Cup leading goal kicker Hudson Garoni, and inside midfielder Ely Smith.

Of the remaining sides, four teams have two nominees in the team, while the remaining four – Bendigo Pioneers, GWV Rebels, Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons – have the one nominee for varying reasons. Calder Cannons’ co-captain Mitch Podhajski has showed some great form this season to make it onto a wing, joined in the team by Lucas Cavallaro who just got the nod ahead of teammates co-captain Jack BytelJack Evans and Curtis Taylor who were also both on two nominations. Eastern Ranges defenders Ben Cardamone and Jarrod Gilbee make the side with the former receiving back-to-back Team of he Week nominations to open the season, and having three at the midway point, whilst Gilbee’s consistency over seven rounds saw him just make it ahead of Geelong Falcons’ full-back Dane Hollenkamp and Sandringham Dragons’ Ben King (the latter of whom starred in his games for two nominations, but has been playing APS football since).

Speaking of Geelong Falcons, co-captain Sam Walsh and half-forward Brayden Ham both make the side after strong starts to the season. It is no surprise to see the top five pick Walsh there, however Ham has been a revelation early in the season with three Team of the Week nominations. Meanwhile the Northern Knights midfield duo of Braedyn Gillard and Tom McKenzie make the side – the latter of which received three nominations from his three games, a remarkable feat.

Of the sides with one nomination, Bendigo Pioneers’ ruck Daniel Keating, GWV Rebels’ half-forward Charlie Wilson, Oakleigh Chargers’ AFL Academy member Isaac Quaynor, and Sandringham Dragons’ forward Harry Bede made the final 24. Both the Pioneers and Rebels are in the bottom four sides this season, but for Oakleigh and Sandringham, it was a case of personnel changes through APS football that meant the nominations have been shared around this season. Bede made it into the team given his past month, getting the accolade ahead of star teammates Ben King and Bailey Smith who also received two nominations but have not played since. For Oakleigh, it was more bizarre with Quaynor the only player receiving multiple nominations. The Chargers’ depth has been on show this season with a massive 10 players receiving Team of the Week nominations, but nine of them received a sole nomination.

Other players with two nominations that were in consideration were Bendigo’s Will Holt, Dandenong’s Campbell Hustwaite, Geelong’s Charlie Sprague, Gippsland’s Matthew McGannon, GWV’s Lochie Dawson, Murray’s Jordon Butts and Laitham Vandermeer, and Northern’s Josh D’Intinosante.

Weekend previews: TAC Cup – Round 7

IN Round 7 of the TAC Cup, spectators can witness a Triple Header at RAMS Arena on Saturday, before a number of neck-and-neck contests on the Sunday at various metropolitan grounds.


Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 10am
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the first game of the round, the sixth placed Calder Cannons take on the eighth placed Northern Knights from 10am at RAMS Arena. The Cannons have had a yo-yo start to the season, not able to string two consecutive wins together thus far, but with a home ground advantage against the Knights, Calder will be keen to build on their strong performance against the Bendigo Pioneers last week. The big question is where the Cannons are rated in the scheme of things because they clearly have talent in the team, but so far have just beaten the bottom three sides and will be keen to add a top eight scalp to the mix. The Knights started the season pretty rocky in wet conditions at Frankston, but have since performed fairly well, notching up two wins and a draw – which was unlucky not to be a win – from five games.

Dylan Landt is a key inclusion for the Cannons and will provide another strong body for co-captain Mitch Podhajski after his best on ground performance last week. With Jack Bytel still out injured and Rhylee West suiting up for St Kevin’s, the pair will look to lead the side through the midfield, with help from Curtis Taylor, Tye Browning and Jack Evans. Lachlan Sholl played more of a defensive role for his 35 disposals last week, and will be looking to combine with Lucas Cavallaro to keep the ball rebounding out of the defensive 50. For the Knights, Josh D’Intinosante might be the danger man up forward, while Patrik Della Rocca and Braedyn Gillard join him on the half-forward line in which is a dangerous trio in the makings. Thomas Hallebone will look to take full advantage in the ruck, and with Justin McInerney and Joel Naylor among a host of inclusions, the Knights have beefed up their best 22 for this weekend’s clash.



Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 12.30pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

Spectators making the trip to RAMS Arena could be in for an absolute treat in the second game, with a top-of-the-table clash between Murray Bushrangers and Dandenong Stingrays. The Bushrangers have not missed a beat since they were outclassed by Gippsland Power in round one, while the Stingrays have almost had the perfect start to the season – with two 15 goal plus wins and aside from a last quarter fadeout against Oakleigh, have been fairly dominant. It also makes for a simple reward for the winner – whoever takes home the four points secures top spot, while for the loser, it could mean dropping as low as fourth if both Gippsland and Oakleigh can win their respective games.

For Murray, welcoming back Mathew Walker will be a huge bonus, while the loss of Mark Marriott is countered by the inclusion of Ben Kelly. After a best on ground performance in the middle last week, Ely Smith will look to continue his strong form and combine well with the Clarke’s in Dylan and Kyle through the midfield. Hudson Garoni always looms as a danger up forward, while both sides head into the game with a number of quality talls. Overager Angus Paterson is likely to be given the job on Garoni, while Sam De Koning could line-up against Jacob Koschitzke when he roams up the ground. Jordon Butts and Nick Murray are likely to have their hands full with Bailey Schmidt and Bailey Williams, while Lachlan Ash and Zac Foot will provide great dash through their respective midfields.



Round 7 – Saturday, May 19, 3pm
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn

In the final game of the RAMS Arena Triple Header, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels will look to build on their first positive final quarter from last week to head into this game full of running. They stole two points off the second placed Oakleigh Chargers, and can sneak into the eight with a good win here, and a Knights loss. However the Gippsland Power will be a formidable opponent, as one of the most in-form sides this season. Only a loss to the Dandenong Stingrays and a draw to the Northern Knights has stopped them being at the top of the table. Heading into the season it was clear the Power had an enormous amount of raw talent, particularly at the bottom-age level, but 2019 was expected to be their year. However thus far they have really taken it up to more experienced sides and have been incredibly enjoyable to watch.

The Rebels will no doubt need to be at their absolute best to knock off the Power – and we have seen in patches what they are capable of both offensively and defensively. They held Geelong Falcons goalless in the first half of their clash, and hit the front early in the final quarter against Murray Bushrangers a few weeks ago. The likes of Thomas Berry, Scott Carlin and Lochie Dawson form a good core midfield with Matt Schnerring and Harrison Jennings also playing good footy. Ben Annett had his best game of the year last week, while Charlie Wilson and Jed Hill are two of the most damaging small forwards in the competition. Tylar Watts has been named at centre half-back, potentially matching up on the in-form Noah Gown. Sam Flanders and Austin Hodge both booted four goals last week and are just some of the key players for the Power heading into this game. Captain Xavier Duursma, Matthew McGannon and Riley Baldi form a strong midfield that can match it with anyone, while Brock Smith and Jake Van Der Pligt are bottom-agers who have been in great form this season.



Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 10.45am
Warrawee Park, Oakleigh

In the early Sunday game, Oakleigh Chargers host Western Jets at Warrawee Park with a top four spot on the line. The Jets have come a long way in the past fortnight and are playing some good football with wins over Sandringham Dragons and Geelong Falcons. The Chargers will be ruing they dropped two points against the GWV Rebels last week and will be keen to make a statement back at home in round seven. A win would see them retain a top four spot, however a loss would certainly see them forfeit their fourth place to the Jets.

Oakleigh has a strong defence that is ruthless, but also skilful, with the likes of Dylan Williams, Noah Answerth and Isaac Quaynor providing good rebound out of the back half. The midfield is somewhat stretched with the APS season running, however Riley Collier-Dawkins and Xavier O’Neill can have the ball on a string when at their best. Atu Bosenavulagi played his best game of the season last week in that dangerous small forward role, while Trent Bianco and Bailey Griffiths return to the onball brigade. For the Jets, they will go in the same as last week and keen to continue their good form. Stefan Radovanovic was sensational through the midfield last week, with he and captain Xavier O’Halloran taking control while Zak Butters, Daly Andrews and Connor Thar provide strong support around the ground. Up forward, Emerson Jeka, Aaron Clarke and Josh Honey provide good targets, while Steven Kyriazis and Darcy Cassar have shown they can hit the scoreboard with multiple goals.



Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Box Hill City Oval, Box Hill

Over at Box Hill, the Eastern Ranges and Bendigo Pioneers face off in a bottom two battle. The Ranges are yet to get a win on the board, while the Pioneers have just the one victory – a one-point win in round one against the GWV Rebels. The Ranges are back at home with Cody Hirst returning from injury and a number of other fresh faces to hopefully turn their form around. The Pioneers have also had a rough start to the season, and will be keen to take home the four points here in what would be considered a must-win by both sides to kick-start their 2018 campaigns.

The return of James Blanck will be welcomed after he started the season strongly and will work well with Jarrod Gilbee in defence. Kye Quirk and Ben Cardamone will hope to provide some good rebound out of the back half, while Joel Burleigh and Tyler Edwards have been in good form of late. Lachlan Stapleton brings the tackling pressure, while Mitch Mellis adds a touch of class to the outside with Eastern’s midfield looking as strong as it has been all year. For the Pioneers, they lose Jacob Atley, but regain Zane Keighran and Thomson Dow, while Riley Ironside and Bailey Waasdorp add depth and strength through the midfield. Bailey Henderson looks to be set to fill Will Holt’s shoes lining up at full-forward, while Daniel Keating is one of the most in-form rucks and will look to feed the ball to Noah Wheeler and James Schischka in the midfield.



Round 7 – Sunday, May 20, 2pm
Trevor Barker Beach Oval, Sandringham

In the final game of the round, Sandringham Dragons will look to reverse their recent form and get back to their winning form early in the season. The Dragons have lost their past three games after winning their first three matches, while their opponents Geelong Falcons will look for their third win of the season after winning two of their past three games. A win for the Falcons will see the reigning premiers jump back into the top eight at the expense of either the Dragons or Northern Knights.

Sandringham always have it tough with continuity in their team due to the comings and goings of school football, and this week is no different. Liam Stocker is a key out for the home side, but the Dragons will be hoping the experience of overager Kai Owens returning will help cover Stocker’s loss on the inside. Harry Bede and Corey Watts have been a couple of shining lights for the Dragons at either end of late, while James Rendell will be a welcome return to the forward line, providing a target deep inside 50. For the Falcons, possible top 20 draft prospects Ed McHenry and Brayden Ham are set to miss the match which will be a big loss for Geelong. Bailey Scott was good in Geelong’s narrow loss to Murray Bushrangers a month ago and could add some X-factor in the forward half, while a midfield with Sam Walsh and Oscar Brownless is always going to be tough to beat. The defensive pairing of Dane Hollenkamp and Cooper Cartledge is proving a good combination, while Blake Schlensog, Baxter Mensch and Connor Idun have also looked good throughout 2018.

Team of the Week: TAC Cup – Round 6

CALDER Cannons’ big win over Bendigo Pioneers has seen them top the list for the most nominees in the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Team of the Week for Round 6. The Cannons had three nominees in what was an even spread across the board with every other winning (and drawing) side, as well as Eastern Ranges and Geelong Falcons having two nominees apiece. Bendigo Pioneers, Northern Knights and Sandringham Dragons had the one nominee each after losses on the weekend.

Calder co-captain Mitch Podhajski led the way to be named the AFL Draft Central TAC Cup Player of the Week for Round 6 and he leads the midfield, while Lachlan Sholl sits at half-back and Curtis Taylor slides onto the interchange. Also in the midfield is Murray Bushrangers’ Ely Smith who is joined in the team by forward Riley Bice, while Stefan Radovanovic played his best game of the year and dislodges captain Xavier O’Halloran from the centre position, with the latter considered unlucky to miss, as Darcy Cassar made the forward line.

A regular in the Team of the Week is Geelong star Sam Walsh who slots onto a wing, joined in the team by first-time nominee Dane Hollenkamp at full-back. Ed McHenry was the next player in line for a spot, just missing out after 11 tackles and seven rebounds to slot into what was a competitive defensive back six this week. On the other wing is Gippsland Power’s Austin Hodge who returned to boot four goals for the Power in their big win over the Dragons, as did Sam Flanders who made the forward line.

Speaking of the defence, Dandenong Stingrays top bottom-age prospect Hayden Young was impressive making the team, along with ruck/forward Bailey Schmidt who will rotate through the middle. Bendigo Pioneers’ sole nominee, ruck Daniel Keating also makes his third appearance in the Team of the Week. In the other back pocket, Isaac Quaynor makes the team again for Oakleigh Chargers, and Collingwood fans will be licking their lips seeing both Quaynor and fellow Next Generation Academy member Atu Bosenavualagi making the team after impressive performances.

At half-back is Ben Annett who was impressive across the ground, he and Charlie Wilson (half-forward) make the side following Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ draw with Oakleigh. The final spot in the defence belongs to Jarrod Gilbee who has been strong down back this season for the Ranges, joined in the team by Tyler Edwards who made the interchange bench. The remaining two spots are taken up by the sole nominees for their respective teams, Harry Bede (Sandringham Dragons) and Ryan Bowkett (Northern Knights). The Knights had a couple of unlucky players with Braedyn Gillard and Thomas Hallebone going close to making the side but having stiff competition, while exciting half-GWV Rebels forward Jed Hill also just missed out.


Weekend wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 5

ROUND FIVE of the TAC Cup saw the Dandenong Stingrays suffer their first loss of the year at the hands of the Oakleigh Chargers, while Gippsland Power jumped inside the top four, after a convincing victory against the Eastern Ranges.

Sandringham Dragons 8.9 (57) defeated by Western Jets 12.17 (89)

The Western Jets bounced back from a horror 126-point belting at the hands of Dandenong Stingrays to run out 32-point victors over Sandringham Dragons. The Dragons started strongly for the second week in a row with a three goals to one first term, as Western booted 1.5 and missed opportunities. The Jets found their radar after that though, booting 11 goals to six in the final three quarters, including four goals to two in the final stanza to run away with a solid victory.

Xavier O’Halloran was best on ground with 22 disposals, three marks, five clearances, five inside 50s, six tackles an a goal, while Connor Thar found plenty of it again with 25 disposals, 10 marks and two goals. Jack Watkins and Jaden Rice were strong on the inside with a combined 50 disposals, seven marks, 12 tackles and 13 clearances, while Rice also slotted two majors. Daly Andrews had 24 disposals and seven inside 50s, while Stefan Radovanovic was a welcome addition with 22 disposals out of defence.

For the Dragons, Bailey Smith starred with 28 disposals, 11 clearances, four inside 50s, three rebounds, six tackles and two goals, while Corey Watts had 22 disposals and five rebounds coming out of defence. Harry Bede had 26 disposals, five inside 50s and six rebounds, while father-son prospect Jackson Voss had 17 disposals and five rebounds in his debut game. James Rendell booted two goals to be the other multiple goal kicker with Smith.

Oakleigh Chargers 11.6 (72) defeated Dandenong Stingrays 9.12 (66)

The Oakleigh Chargers came from behind to pull off an incredible six-point win at Warrawee Park on Saturday. Trailing by 11-points coming into the final quarter, the Chargers booted four goals to one, giving the Stingrays their first loss of the season. Lachlan Harry slotted home the match winner with just over three minutes left on the clock and the Chargers managed to hold on.

With Xavier College having a bye in school football, Joe Ayton-Delaney impressed through the midfield and across half back, with 25 disposals – finding plenty of targets by foot around the ground. Atu Bosenavualagi (20 disposals, nine tackles and two goals) provided some X-Factor across half forward for the Chargers, while Riley Collier-Dawkins (15 disposals, five tackles and four clearances) put in a good performance in the middle. Isaac Quaynor (17 disposals and six rebound 50s) was important across half back, with tall defender Charlie Beasley (12 disposals and five rebound 50s) also showing some good signs.

The Stingrays had plenty of even contributions in the midfield, with Jamie Plumridge (22 disposals, six inside 50s and a goal), Lachlan McDonnell (20 disposals and five inside 50s) and Jake Frawley (18 disposals, six inside 50s and three clearances) working hard in the middle of the ground. Up forward, talls Corey Ellison (2.3) and Bailey Williams (0.4) provided targets – but both were ineffective in front of goal at crucial stages. Riley Bowman (21 hitouts) had a very good battle against a bigger Chargers opponent (Lachlan Harry), but held his own.

GWV Rebels 9.8 (62) defeated by Murray Bushrangers 11.13 (79)

Murray Bushrangers notched up their fourth consecutive win on the weekend, toppling the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels to make it three losses on the trot for the Rebels. The Bushrangers had to weather an early storm, trailing by 10 points at quarter time after the Rebels failed to make the most of their opportunities, before the Bushrangers had a role reversal, not quite putting the foot down, but doing enough to lead by five points at the main break. The Rebels hit back to trail by just a point at the final break, but a strong last term by the Bushrangers saw Murray boot four goals to two, to record a solid 17-point victory.

Jordon Butts had the ball on a string in defence, racking up 29 disposals, nine marks and eight rebounds, while his partner-in-crime Lachlan Ash notched up 24 disposals, eight marks and eight rebounds. Laitham Vandermeer was consistent once again with 21 disposals four marks and five rebounds, while Ely Smith (20 disposals, six tackles and six clearances) and Kyle Clarke (19 disposals, five tackles and five clearances) both booted a goal and made their presence known through the middle of the ground.

For the Rebels, Tom Berry had a promising second game back from injury with 22 disposals, six marks, four clearances, four inside 50s, five rebounds and a goal, while Scott Carlin and Lochie Dawson both had 20 disposals on the day. Elliott Lamb was the team’s highest disposal winner with 23 touches, four marks, three clearances and five inside 50s, while Charlie Wilson had a game-high eight inside 50s to go with his 17 disposals and four marks.

Eastern Ranges 9.8 (62) defeated by Gippsland Power 17.16 (118)

By: Taylah Melki

After a slow start to the game the Gippsland Power hit their straps in the second half of the match claiming a 56-point victory against the Eastern Ranges. The Ranges took it to the Power in the opening quarter trailing by four at quarter time. But their intensity and pressure around the ground slowly dropped off while the Power started to dominate, especially in front of goal, putting on 11 goals to five in the second half.

Noah Gown was a clear standout for the Power bagging four goals for the match and taking plenty of big contested marks inside the forward 50. Gown took a whopping nine marks for the game showcasing his impressive strength and ability to lead up at the footy. Gippsland captain, Xavier Duursma, also starred for the Power with his impressive evasive skills, clean pick-ups and ability to break lines racking up 23 touches. Tyrone Hayes also played a big role in the Powers 56-point win slotting a goal and gathering 20 possessions for the game. Nick Lowden amassed 23 touches and laid five tackles with Riley Baldi also collecting 23 touches and six marks.

For Eastern, the likes of Kye Quirk stood tall in a disappointing outing for the Ranges. Quirk racked up 22 touches for the game and made his presence felt in and around the contest. Fellow teammate and captain Joel Burleigh also had a ripper game for the Ranges leading the way in disposals with 40 touches. Not only were his hands at stoppages invaluable but he also bagged three goals and laid 12 tackles for the game. The likes of Jarrod Gilbee ended up with 23 touches and five marks while Mitch Mellis tallied up 30 disposals and five clearances.

Calder Cannons 6.6 (42) defeated by Geelong Falcons 14.7 (91)

By: Julia Montesano

It was a tight tussle at RAMS Arena for much of the first half but the Geelong Falcons stormed home to kick seven of the last eight goals, storming home for a big win against the Cannons. The Falcons kept the Cannons to just two goals in the second half while they piled on eight majors to seal their second win of the season.

Sam Walsh was everywhere for the Falcons, racking up 34 disposals, eight inside 50s and kicking a goal. He was complemented by Brayden Ham, who moved up the goal-kicking list with three goals on Sunday. Ham also recorded 17 disposals and took eight marks, making his presence known inside 50. Oscar Brownless also continued his consistent season for the Falcons, kicking two goals for the day and laying nine tackles, complementing his 30 disposals against the Cannons.

Calder co-captain, Jack Bytel continues to be a shining light for the Cannons and Sunday was no different, as he consistently put his head over the footy and won the hard ball for his side. Bytel was the leading disposal-getter with 32 and laid 10 tackles. Jack Evans was one of the hardest-working players on the field, racking up 22 disposals in the back line and providing great on-field leadership. Curtis Taylor also contributed with 20 disposals and six marks in his side’s 49-point loss.

Northern Knights 11.10 (76) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 7.3 (45)

By: Michael Alvaro

Northern Knights snuck into the top eight with a comfortable win over Bendigo Pioneers at home. In what was a frustrating encounter at times, the travelling Pioneers were kept goalless in the first and third terms despite putting a good amount of pressure on the Knights defence. The home side never looked back after setting up a four-goal buffer at the first break, and they stretched their lead out to as much as 44 points after booting the first four goals after half time.

Northern bottom-ager Ryan Gardner was arguably the best afield with his damaging run and carry, finishing with 25 disposals and six marks. Fellow bottom-ager Josh D’Intinosante showed a quick step and was also outstanding with 22 disposals, six marks and a goal. In the middle of those two was skipper Braedyn Gillard, who worked hard for 30 disposals, seven tackles and three marks. He was aided by ruckman Tom Hallebone, who gave him first use with his 21 hitouts, while marking well overhead to clunk a total of seven to go with his goal.

For Bendigo, the versatile James Schischka led the way with his 21 disposals and six tackles, accompanied by tough midfielder Noah Wheeler (22 disposals, seven marks, two goals) and Hunter Lawrence, who collected a team-high 29 disposals to go with seven marks and eight tackles. Skipper Jacob Atley showed off his speed at both ends of the ground with his 21 disposals.

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 3

IT was a huge weekend of football with the country sides clashing at Bendigo and the metro teams searching to either continue or find form in the third round of the TAC Cup competition. We recap all the matches in our Weekend Wash-up.

Western Jets 7.15 (57) defeated Eastern Ranges 3.7 (25)

Windy conditions played havoc at Williamstown Football Ground, with the Western Jets running out 32-point winners over the Eastern Ranges. With only two goals a-piece to three quarter-time, the four points were up for grabs – but the Jets put the foot down to storm home with a five-goal-to-one last quarter.

Jets midfielder Connor Thar (29 disposals, four clearances) and Zak Butters (27 disposals, eight clearances and eight inside 50s) were dominant right throughout the contest, winning the contested ball and getting inside 50 for the forwards to hit the scoreboard. Xavier O’Halloran worked hard strongly after half time, to finish the game with 20 disposals and six clearances. Stefan Radovanovic (19 disposals, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s) worked hard up and down the ground and was another player in the Jets best. Tall forward Aaron Clarke have four shots on goal, while Steven Kyriazis was a dangerous utility for the team when pushing forward.

In what was a disappointing day for the Ranges, Xavier Fry (27 disposals, 13 rebound 50s) found plenty of the ball, kicking long from deep in defence after the Jets kicked an abundance of behinds. Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals) and Kye Quirk (23 disposals, eight rebound 50s, five inside 50s) were two other of the better players for the Ranges. With the Jets peppering the goals, defender Jarrod Gilbee was a player who showed some strong efforts.


Bendigo Pioneers 8.5 (53) defeated by Gippsland Power 17.14 (116)

A seven goals to two second term has helped Gippsland Power to a dominant 63-point victory over Bendigo Pioneers. Both sides could not be split at quarter time, but a one-sided second term and rush of goals saw the Power head into the main break with a 34-point lead. Bendigo managed to restrict the Power in the third term to cut the deficit to 31 by the final break, but it was all the Power once again in the final term, booting six goals to one, running away with the huge win.

Sam Flanders led the way with four goals and could have been more had he had his kicking boots on, in a show that included two behinds and three out on the fulls from shots at goal. Along with Flanders, Riley Baldi and Caleb Serong found plenty of the footy and booted two goals each, as did Mason McGannon. Matthew McGannon had a game-high 29 disposals off half-back, while Baldi was dominant at stoppages, registering 10 clearances, just ahead of overager Austin Hodge‘s seven.

For the Pioneers, Bailey Henderson was impressive at half-back and through the midfield, collecting 23 disposals, four marks and four clearances, while teammate Zane Keighran registered the most touches of any Bendigo player, with 25. Liam Marciano (16 disposals and four inside 50s), Bailey Kemp (15 disposals and a goal) and Noah Wheeler (11 disposals and two goals) were others who influenced the contest forward of centre.


Dandenong Stingrays 20.13 (133) defeated Greater Western Victoria Rebels 5.5 (35)

In a very one-sided contest, Dandenong Stingrays were simply too good for Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. In reflecting on the match, the Rebels socials summed it up best by saying “it just wasn’t our day”, as the strong Stingrays ran out one of the most impressive four quarter performances in some time. They had booted 12 goals to half-time and never let up, passing the 100-point margin late in the final quarter before the last goal of the day to the Rebels put the final deficit within double figures.

Jamie Plumridge had a game-high 29 disposals for the Stingrays, while it was the first half of Mitch Riordan (18 disposals, four marks, six clearances, six inside 50s) and Zac Foot (17 disposals and four goals) who did most of the damage. The Stingrays won the clearances 47-24 and inside 50s 69-17 and it was hard to fault anything they did all day. Campbell Hustwaite had four inside 50s and six clearances to go with his 25 disposals, while Jai Taylor had five clearances and five inside 50s with 21 disposals. Bottom-age talent Hayden Young booted two goals drifting forward and collected 17 disposals and four marks.

For the Rebels, Lochie Dawson had 26 disposals and four marks along with eight clearances and five rebounds in a top effort. He was ably assisted by Scott Carlin (23 disposals, four marks, six rebounds) and Matt Schnerring (21 disposals and six tackles). The Rebels mosquito fleet of mid/forwards in Charlie Wilson, Jed Hill and Josh Chatfield all showed signs at different points during the match, but the overwhelming pressure by Dandenong meant life was difficult for the GWV forwards.


Murray Bushrangers 10.17 (77) defeated Geelong Falcons 8.13 (61)

In what was a contested affair for most of the day, Murray Bushrangers got up against Geelong Falcons in what turned out to be a thrilling last quarter. The game opened up after the final break and there was plenty of end-to-end football and scores flowing through. Nine of the 18 goals for the game came in the last term, with Murray marginally ahead with a five goals to four term, after the Bushrangers led by 10 points at the final break. The Falcons lead at quarter time and half-time, but the Bushrangers’ second half got them home.

Laitham Vandermeer was solid throughout, notching up 24 disposals, eight marks, four rebounds and three inside 50s to cover the ground well, while Lachlan Ash was strong in defence with 21 disposals and seven marks. Nicholas Murray had 20 disposals and 10 marks in defence, while Kyle Clarke was busy around the football with 18 disposals, five marks, four clearances and six tackles. Bailey Frauenfelder peppered the goals, finishing with 3.4 from 13 disposals, three marks and three clearances.

For the Falcons, Baxter Mensch had the most touches with 23, to go with four marks, four clearances and five inside 50s, while Oscar Brownless had a big second half to finish with 21 disposals, six tackles, five clearances, five inside 50s and four rebounds. Brayden Ham was everywhere on the day and the bet for his side, with 20 disposals and 10 marks, as well as six inside 50s and three goals. Bailey Scott (16 disposals, seven marks, two goals) and Cooper Stephens (15 disposals) were also impressive for the Falcons.


Sandringham Dragons 14.16 (100) defeated Calder Cannons 11.11 (77)

The Sandringham Dragons continued their undefeated start to the season, defeating the Calder Cannons by 23-points in breezy conditions at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. The Cannons managed to hit the lead in the final quarter, thanks to Mitch Podhajski’s second goal for the afternoon, but the Dragons breathed fire and booted the next five goals to ensure they would take home the four points.

Dragons captain James Rendell played his best game for the season, booting four second-half goals, including two to start the third term. Fellow tall forward Will Kennedy booted three goals, from his 20 disposals. The tall Dragons outfit were buoyed by the return of overaged ruckman Ethan Casey (24 hitouts), who suffered a terrible ACL injury early in 2017. Midfielder Alastair Richards (27 disposals, seven inside 50s) once again was superb for the Dragons and has certainly played three very strong games to start the season, while Liam Stocker (21 disposals, five inside 50s, two goals) was another impressive player for the home side. Another overager Kai Owens found 20 disposals (10 contested) and four clearances, in a role through the midfield.

Overager Mitch Podhajski was the Cannons’ best, with 28 disposals (17 contested), seven marks, four rebound 50s, three clearances and two goals. Podhajski moved well through the midfield throughout the contest, linking up well with the Cannons’ outside runners. Jake Riccardi (seven marks) marked well overhead in the attacking half of the ground, while it was Lachlan Johnson (two goals) who was most impressive in the opening quarter of the game, where the Cannons got out to a 10-point lead at quarter-time.


Northern Knights 12.3 (75) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 13.22 (100)

TAC Cup football returned to Preston City Oval for the first time this season, but it was the away team, the Oakleigh Chargers who came out as winners in front of a good crowd on a fine sunny Sunday afternoon. The Knights took a nine-point lead at quarter-time, but it was all Chargers after that – with the Chargers booting eight goals to four in the following two quarters of the contest, eventually running out 25-point winners.

Braedyn Gillard and Tom McKenzie continued to put their hand up as two of the better Knights players. Playing through the midfield, McKenzie collected 26 disposals (13 contested), 10 clearances and six inside 50s – hitting targets throughout the day and he worked hard throughout the entire contest. Gillard (21 disposals, four rebound 50s) played well on the outside, helping the Knights get the ball forward. Up forward Patrik Della Rocca bagged four goals and Josh D’Intinosante booted three goals, while bottom-ager Lachlan Potter (22 disposals) also impressed.

Bottom-ager Noah Anderson was the standout for the Chargers, with 32 disposals, 10 inside 50s and two goals. His explosive running through the middle of the ground was mighty impressive. Fellow midfielder James Rowbottom (22 disposals, 10 clearances and eight inside 50s) was a dominant figure against the Knights midfielders, making for some really good battles in the centre of the ground. Possible Carlton father-son prospect Ben Silvagni booted 2.4 and clunked 10 marks, while small forward Daniel Scala kicked 3.4 from 17 disposals. Running defender Joseph Ayton-Delaney (16 disposals) and Charlie Whitehead (20 disposals) were also good in patches.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 3

IT was another big weekend of TAC Cup football, with the Dandenong Stingrays and Sandringham Dragons continuing their undefeated streaks. 

With some teams missing their best players due to the AFL Academy’s clash against North Melbourne VFL, it allowed for others to step up and make an impact in their absence.

MATCH REPORT: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL
SCOUTING NOTES: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL

Read our scouting notes from ALL six games.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Bendigo Pioneers:

#3 Liam Marciano – One of the Bendigo players who covered a lot of ground during the day, winning the ball in each of the thirds – defence, midfield and attack. He showed good vision and applied plenty of pressure on the ball carrier, forcing a number of stoppages or throw ins from his pressure. He kicked a great running goal after getting on the end of a series of passes, and then almost made it two, but hit the post in the third term.

#5 Noah Wheeler – Tended to be most damaging up forward, providing good pressure on the opposition defence and then roaming out of the attacking 50 to win his fair share of ball up the ground. He kicked a great inside-out snap goal from 20m while on the run and then kicked a goal after pouncing on a long Bailey Henderson bomb in the third term. Has a good share of contested and uncontested possessions.

#8 Brodie Kemp – Provided good pressure in defence, and then had an impact up forward when he kicked a set shot foal from 40m out following a 50m penalty. Later on he assisted a Will Holt goal with a powerful kick from the middle of the ground hitting up Holt perfectly. He backed himself in defence, taking a couple of good strong marks, including a good intercept grab in the final term, having really become more noticeable in the second half.

#9 Zane Keighran – I thought he was probably the Pioneers best player across four quarters because he consistently did everything right. Early on he dropped into a hole up forward and took a good grab, before moving up the ground and working hard in transition to run and carry the football forward. In the third term he really stepped it up, winning a heap of football across half-back and through the midfield. A highlight was a one-on-one marking contest where he was out of position, but he forced his way to the front and marked strongly. His win helped start a chain of possessions forward that led to a goal.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Played an important role down back before moving into the inside midfield in the second half. He mopped up everything in defence early, and used his powerful, long kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence going forward. He spent some time behind the ball, playing loose, before the opposition managed to ensure a man was beside him at all times. He took a couple of great intercept marks, and showed off his speed on the lead for good spoils. In the third term he moved inside and won a solid amount of contested possessions, then drifted back again, producing a highlight reel worthy run, to stream off half-back, fend off an opponent and kick long in front of Noah Wheeler, who capitalised.

#45 Will Holt – He was a leading target for the Pioneers up forward. He is so quick on the lead, and just leads to the right positions. He might have that old-school forward feel about him in the way that he starts in the square, leads, marks, goals, but he does have that athletic ability to also roam further up the field and showed that as the game went on which is important. Finished with three goals and probably could have had five with a couple of behinds in there too. Overall a promising performance.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Caleb Serong – A very classy performance from the talented bottom-ager. Among the Power’s better players again, he works hard on the inside with some clever handballs through traffic to outside runners. He kicked a good goal, seizing on a free kick to Sam Flanders to put it through. He is composed with the football and is a deadly kick. In the last term he put a dagger of a pass into the forward 50, slicing through a few Pioneers to hit-up Mason McGannon.

#4 Sam Flanders – Flanders booted four goals for the game, but realistically could have finished with a much larger bag. He was just everywhere in the first half, kicking 3.3 and a couple out on the fulls from his shots, just dominating his opponent in the air and at ground level. He was strong and powerful, moving well to have a real impact early in the game. He gave off a few passes to assist in scores, and his highlight was a dribble goal from the boundary 30m out. He took a huge contested mark in the third term to kick his fourth. Overall Flanders was a star on the day.

#6 Riley Baldi – Was one of the better players around the stoppages, and particularly damaging up forward. The exciting player booted two goals, and many of his disposals were impactful on the game. His ability to clear the ball out of the area and hurt the opposition in attack was a highlight. He also laid a number of good tackles to show he also applies plenty of defensive pressure as well.

#5 Xavier Duursma – The Gippsland Power captain played another consistent four quarter game and never stopped running. He played off a wing, but won his fair share of contested ball, and covers the ground so well. At times it looked like there was multiple Xavier Duursma’s out there because he seemed to win the ball at half-back and then would be on the end of a pass on a wing shortly after. He had a couple of top highlights, including a fantastic clearance to start the second term where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered a perfect pass to the 50m arc to Irving Mosquito leading out; and was on the end of a chain of passes, receiving the handball from Sam Flanders at top speed and kicking a great running goal.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Liked his enthusiasm throughout, particularly early. He was dangerous up forward and just looked damaging each time he went near the footy. Mozzie has that high vertical leap and strong hands for a smaller player, as well as a clean first touch to rarely waste a possession. He kicked a great goal on the run in the second term, scooping it off the ground cleanly and kicking truly. He was quite good around the forward stoppages and also won a bit of ball up the wing, sending it long inside 50.

#11 Austin Hodge – A fierce competitor who was dominant on the inside. He just bullied his way around the stoppages and won a truckload of contested possessions and clearances. He has a penetrating kick and can do some serious damage when in form, and he certainly played a well balanced game with more midfield time than I saw from him last season. An overager with a few nice tricks.

#12 Brock Smith – Provided some good speed out of defence and was a solid user of the football. Did not win as much of it as past weeks, but won a few one-on-ones and most importantly kept the ball moving forward. Continues to hold down that half-back to back pocket role well, and expect him to eventually move towards the midfield with more minutes in time.

#18 Matthew McGannon – A typical Matt McGannon performance off half-back, being a general in the back half. Just led his team superbly and took the game on when required. He was clean in defence, made spoils when called upon to do so and took a few really good intercept marks. Predominantly outside, this week he won a few more contested possessions, and opted for more lateral kicks to open the game up on the other side of the ground rather than blazing away. He was one of the better Power players on the day.

#22 Rylan Henkel – Played his best game for the season in the ruck and won a number of clearances as well as hitouts, rucking against Daine Grace for most of the game after Daniel Keating went down. Henkel was able to release midfielders with quick hands and cleared a number of stoppages with smart play.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. GWV Rebels (Peter Williams)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hayden Young – He was busy at the start (when the game was hot) and the end (when he went forward). He kicked a couple of goals and created some good drive out of defence when required early. Most of his touches were further up the field because that is where the game was being played. Kicked a goal in the final term to bring up the 100-point margin.

#5 Angus Paterson – Aside from a short stint in the forward line, Paterson played in defence and was really steady back there. He took a few important intercept marks and was smart with his ball use, making good decisions by hand or foot. He won a few hitouts when in defence, and took a couple of contested grabs as well.

#9 Zac Foot – Felt he was the best Stingray on the day, kicking four goals and looking dangerous every time he went near it. A clear strength of Foot’s is his forward pressure he is able to apply on the ball carrier when the opponent is trying to move out of defence. Foot has that unique goal sense where he kicked goals on the run, from a quick snap, and from a mark on a lead. He also found the ball further up the ground late in the match when he moved back.

#15 Toby Bedford – Had a sensational opening quarter where he really looked like turning the game on its head. Still did a few nice things throughout the game, providing pressure on opponents, and creating good run through the middle of the ground. He executed a nice pass into the pocket later in the game hitting up a teammate well.

#18 Mitch Riordan – Huge opening half of football when the game was hot, he was the clear standout through the middle. He racked up the clearances, won the footy on the inside and then progressed to the outside where he used his powerful kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence. Only had a handful of touches after the main break, but it was his effort in the first half that helped Dandenong race away to the huge half-time lead. Gave Foot a nice goal assist in the second term.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite – Along with Riordan, Hustwaite was a prime mover in the second quarter onslaught which saw the Stingrays boot seven goals to zero. He went a little quiet after half-time before having a huge last term where he seemed to have the ball on a string. Won a number of important clearances in the final term and laid some tough tackles. A hard worker on the inside.

#28 Bailey Schmidt – Played up forward and provided a contest. He took some really good marks and executed a neat pass in the third term to Jake Carosella. Schmidt could have had a handful of goals but finished with the two. His marking presence and work at the stoppages up forward was important, rotating through the ruck with the Cumming twins.

GWV Rebels:

#2 Matt Schnerring – Tried hard all match and had some impact early. Went quiet in patches, but applied some good defensive pressure throughout the game and laid some important tackles. Showed off some hard running through the first term in particular to receive the ball on the wing and on the half-back flank.

#3 Scott Carlin – One of the Rebels’ best on the day, Carlin was a consistent performer in the opening few quarters. Made a couple of errors late in the game, but could hold his head high as one of the Rebels who kept a cool head under the swam of Stingrays going forward. Won some crucial one-on-ones in the midfield and drifted into defence at times to help the defenders back there, collecting a number of rebounds.

#6 Charlie Wilson – Had an impressive first quarter and provided some serious dash. He looks to provide the run through using teammates for one-two movements and open up the game from the back half. He was hurt in the second term and had to come off, which impacted the Rebels with his loss of speed. When he returned he showed some good signs, sending a penetrating kick long into the forward 50, and laid an strong tackle to win a free late in the game.

#9 Lochie Dawson – Really important player and the Rebels’ best in my opinion. Just worked hard for four quarters and often sat back at half-back and repelled whatever he could as the ball continued to fly into defence. Of the midfielders he was the standout on the inside, notching up a number of important clearances, and working within his means through smart short kicks and settling down the team in defence. Won his own ball too which was important.

#11 Josh Chatfield – He is not a huge accumulator but has those “special” moments. He adds a touch of class to the side, and whenever the ball is in his area, he looks dangerous. Continued to present throughout the game and when he was not involved up forward, he moved down back and won a few possessions that way. Looked at home at half-back and along the wing in the final term.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – He got my vote as best on ground for his ability to move the ball in transition. He won a heap of it in the first term, would have been close to double figure possessions, while also covering the ground well. He is always on the move and tucks the ball under his arm, powering forward through opposition forwards. Played off half-back but did move up the field at times, always looking forward.

#5 Ely Smith – Hard working inside effort from Smith who popped up regularly with a strong mark, bump or tackle to either open up the game for his teammates, or lock down a ball at a stoppage. In one instant in the second term, Smith went in hard, won the ball off an opponent, fended off another opponent and then managed to stay balanced to handball out to a teammate in space. A couple of overhead marks and some powerful kicking, Smith was a solid contributor.

#12 Lachlan Ash – Another player along with Vandermeer who I liked. Really calm and composed in defence, he rarely makes mistakes with ball in hand. Not only does he look to think his way through situations, but he creates run off half-back and side steps opponents using his good agility. Ash also has quick hands and is able to dish off quickly to teammates. A promising performance from the bottom-ager who has been consistent thus far this season.

#13 Bailey Frauenfelder – The forward booted three goals and was constantly a headache for the opposition. He snapped a goal from the boundary line in the second term after missing one from a standing start. Kicked his second not long after following a free kick for holding, nailing the set shot from 35m out on a 45 degree angle. His third goal was arguably the most important, winning a free kick for holding in the goal square, he kicked truly to put them 13 points up and snuff out a Falcons comeback.

#22 Ajak Dang – Ultra-impressed with his performance down back and I had him third best behind Vandermeer and Ash. He had so many intercept possessions throughout the game and is quite athletic when he leaps at the ball. Along with this offensive drive out of defence, Dang also provided good pressure on the Falcons forwards and laid a few fierce tackles. He stood up in defence in the final term taking some crucial marks, although did kick one out on the full when trying to switch play.

#54 Finbar O’Dwyer – One of those lively forwards who just continued to present and cause some headaches for opposition defenders. Won a couple of free kicks, but just kicked the one goal, in the second term. He missed a couple of shots to give him a few majors, but still put in a solid performance. I thought he was promising in attack and also showed quick hands under pressure to hand off the ball to teammates to create scoring opportunities.

Geelong Falcons:

#2 Sam Torpy – Lively in the first half and just zipped around the wing picking up quite a few important touches. Looked to break the game open with a few quick-fire handballs or short dagger kicks going forward, also intercepting at half-back. Had a precise pass inside 50 to Brayden Ham to set up a goal.

#10 Baxter Mensch – Performed at his best in the first half, just winning a fair chunk of the footy along the wing and through the middle. He won a free going in hard with a huge tackle in the first term, and had a shot on goal a bit later off a standing start but missed. Really started to get busy in the second term and stood up when Murray was attacking.

#16 Bailey Scott – Absolute huge final term. He was good in patches throughout the game, but his final term was sensational. Kicked two crucial goals, assisted Ham on a third, and almost had a second goal assist to Ham except the latter missed his snap. Just ran his opponents off their feet and seemed to be treating the last quarter like it was the first term the way he kept running.

#20 Brayden Ham – Best on ground in my eyes despite being in a losing side. He was so effective on the outside, using his run in transition to hurt Murray going forward. Got forward and finished the game with three goals, missed a couple more but was always involved in the play. He almost put the Falcons within a goal late in the final term for the second time – he had done just that a little earlier – but his snap just missed. Overall he was huge in the first term and last term, and just consistent across all quarters. The best performance I have seen him play.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Without his partners in crime in Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry I hoped for a big game for Brownless. He was okay in the first half, before really turning it on in the second half. In particular the last quarter he turned on a clinic, and despite not having a heap of touches, gained metres and impacted with each touch, causing serious problems for the opposition with his long kicking and ability to set up his teammates. Gave Bailey Scott a handball to run onto and kick a goal in the last term. He had a great running shot on goal late but just missed. He went from an okay game to a very good game with that second half when the heat was turned up.

#41 Cooper Stephens – He might have the same name and same junior club as last year’s captain, but he plays a different role and stood out early. On the field he was quite impressive early, running on the outside in the opening term, just keeping the ball moving. He has a powerful kick and was a bit fortuitous in the first quarter, snapping in the area and somehow found Sprague inside 50. He leads up the ground and took some marks on the wing, and always looks to play on.

#48 Blake Schlensog – Not a bad game from the tall forward who covers some serious ground. He took a few nice marks, including one in the first term where he did not even break stride before slotting it home. He roamed up the ground a bit and took a mark at half-back late in the game, the drifted forward again, had a snap in the third term but just missed. His field kicking had its ups and downs, but he certainly looked lively inside 50.

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges (Brandon Hutchinson) 

Western Jets:

#2 Tristan Rudic – Demonstrated some good footy out of congestion, with great pace and agility. Rudic was slick throughout the ground and had no problem getting his own football. He displayed a great take off speed and some clever decisions getting the ball forward. He fought hard around the stoppages and lifted his form for his team in the second half. Rudic is sharp, quick and precise as a midfielder and played quite unique football. He picked his man well, and passed well to get the ball running down field.

#10 Steven Kyriazis – In a sloppy affair from both sides, Kyriazis stood his ground. Kyriazis showed great form in the Jets’ forward line, and was the man to hit in the air. He picked his spots well and did not shy away from crashing the packs. He took some strong grabs and was a dangerous utility for his team going into attack. In the end, Kyriazis booted two goals, finessing them through with some smooth, classy football. The first term seemed off for most of the Western players, with consistency across four quarters the next step for the talented forward.

#11 Zak Butters – Butters showed some impressive work throughout ground on Saturday. He kicked sharp, attacked the ball well and made good decisions getting the ball forward. He picked his spots well and was unselfish in his passes, also going hard at his opponent, laying some important tackles, and moving well out of a congested midfield. He got his own ball and showed great poise in drawing in his man, at one stage taking on two players and still getting off an important pass. He is composed but aggressive, and the mix proved well throughout the game.

#12 Connor Thar – Thar had a good eye for taking the ball up forward and moved well with it in hand. He showed sharp skills around the middle, and made great choices in moving the ball up field. He lifted his game in the fourth and bagged himself a goal. His presence was obvious in the Jets’ win over the Ranges, and he showed it with some smooth and thoughtful football.

#36 Jaden Rice – Rice dominated players in the contest with his supreme size. He shrugged players off comfortably and showed great poise with the ball in hand. Rice applied great pressure around the contested ball, and laid a few crucial tackles – looking right at home with the ball in hand, taking clean kicks without worry. He is strong and played some impressive football. Rice was difficult to beat and even harder to bring down. Plenty of positives from his performance. 

Eastern Ranges:

#12 Jarrod Gilbee – A tough defender who doesn’t shy away from a knock. Gilbee’s work rate around the backline was astounding over the weekend, and he showed it with some earnest efforts. He demonstrated a strong attack on the ground and had no problem earning his own ball. He had a few good runs out of the backline which helped propel the ball forward into attack. Like a bull, Gilbee demonstrated plenty of acceleration and pace around plays, as well a few good choices to get the ball moving. He may not be as smooth as some of the others on this list, but his fight for the ball and work rate earn him his spot.

#17 Cody Hirst – Hirst’s game was unfortunately cut short following a heavy collision with an opposing player during the second. He was seen back on the oval for a bit as half-time closed in, but did not appear again for the rest of the game. Despite this, Hirst played some classy football. He goes hard at that the ball and does not struggle breaking free from congestion. He had a few great runs across the wing, helping launch the ball forward into attack. His contribution through the midfield had Eastern looking like the more composed team in the first half and his clean ball work most always found his man. Hirst had a couple good tackles in the first and assisted an important goal. He’s got good pace and a clean read of the ball, and if he played the second half, we could have seen a much tighter match.

#20 Ben Cardamone – Cardamone laid some crucial tackles in his backline as the Jets approached goal. He worked well around the contest and did well to keep the persistent attack at bay. He was a strong presence throughout the backline and helped to keep many players scoreless. His tackles were perfect and his pressure consistent. Cardamone demonstrated some good footy smarts and could see himself develop well as a fullback in his future.

#23 Xavier Fry – Fry was a crucial factor in keeping the Jets at bay when they went forward. He demonstrated great acceleration out of the backline and his second efforts over the ball often kept the Jets from taking off. Fry picked his spots well, appearing to play as a loose man throughout congestion. His skills were sharp and he showed great composure when possession was critical. His positioning often saw him intercept possessions throughout the mid, and he did well to move the ball out of danger. What he does, he does well, but he may also need to look at getting his own ball if he is to improve his work around the ground.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons (Billy Friend & Owen Leonard) 

Sandringham Dragons:

#7 Liam Stocker – A Dustin Martin style game from Stocker against the Cannons, who led the Dragons to a strong 23-point triumph at Trevor Barker Oval. While he was dominant through the midfield, Stocker was extremely dangerous while resting forward, particularly shown in the second term with a strong mark at the top of the goal square, resulting in his second goal. Stocker’s on-ground leadership was also notable, his calls for teammates to “find a man” clearly heard from the grandstand. A complete performance with Stocker finding over 20 disposals and booting two goals.

#19 Samuel Forbes – While he wasn’t a major ball-winner, Forbes impressed with precision left-foot kicking out of defence. He hit seven out of his eight targets and could be a playmaker to watch throughout the Dragons’ campaign, when he returns from school football later in the season.

#21 Dawit McNeish – Playing as an inside midfielder for the majority of the game, McNeish had a strong first half, displaying insistent grunt at stoppages. An impressive set-shot conversion from 45m out on a 45 degree angle after a free kick in the second quarter was super. Rested deep in the forward line late in the game, with a goal assist putting the Dragons 14-points clear.

#27 Jack Mahony – Backing up a strong performance last week, Mahony applied relentless forward pressure and was a constant ground level option. Playing a small forward role for most of the day, Mahony also worked hard with short stints in the midfield, kicking the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions.

#28 James Rendell – After a quiet first half, the key forward came to life in the third quarter, kicking the first two goals of the term. Played a big role in the Dragons’ victory, with a monumental second half, in which all four of his goals came. Took a strong mark at the start of the fourth quarter, and showcased his pinch-hitting ability with forward 50 ruck work. The Dragons’ tall was everywhere in the second half, and will be one to watch closely in season 2018.

#30 Ethan Casey – The big man seemed to move well in his first game back from an ACL injury, often providing his teammates first use through his power at ruck contests. He won majority of the hitouts for the contest and it was good to see him get through the contest unscathed. 

#69 Corey Watts – Played a traditional full-back role with the socks up. Provided strong drive from defence, and seems to have a rare balance between defending and attacking. Knew when to run off his man, and regularly setup play with his booming right foot.

Calder Cannons:

#11 Jake Firebrace – Firebrace had a quiet first half in the windy conditions but showed his quality in a brilliant third quarter. He is extremely clean below his knees and provided great run and carry out of defence. His agility & speed are elite and he showed flashes of his talent today.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Fletcher once again showed an ability to spoil at the last minute with his long levers, but was beaten by Rendell who kicked four goals on him in the second half. Like his old man (Dustin), Fletcher is very lightly built so can be overpowered at this stage of his career. He has plenty of filling out to do, so is far from the finished project. 

#29 Jake Riccardi – Riccardi struggled to impact the scoreboard today as much as we know he can, but he made up for that with hard work. Playing in the ruck for long stints of the game he acted as an extra midfielder for the Cannons. He showed good running ability for a tall forward getting to many contests.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski’s big body in the midfield really stood out today thanks to his clearance work in the trenches. He was able to break tackles, fire out quick handballs and lay tackles himself. He also impressed resting forward, taking two strong contested marks and providing a dangerous target for the Cannons in the mid-fwd role.

#33 Jack Evans – Was one of Calder’s best players today rebounding out of defence. His penetrating kicking was the highlight of his game, which included a running goal from 55m out in the third quarter. Evans has the ability to defend one-on-one as well as being an offensive weapon for the Cannons.

#40 Lachlan Johnson – Kicked the first two goals of the game and looked lively up forward. As a small forward, Johnson showed terrific forward pressure and impact for the amount of disposals he gathered.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Bonadio) 

Northern Knights:

#4 Tom McKenzie – One of those players who influences a team. When he had the ball things seemed to happen a lot smoother for the Knights. Excellent vision to find teammates by foot. Contestant ball winner who works well inside the centre square.

#5 Lachlan Potter -The defender was best on ground for the Knights today. A very consistent player, who read the play off half back very well, being in the right spot at the right time. An agile player who has a great turn off feet. Potter isn’t afraid to back himself and use his pace to break away from congestion and find targets further forward.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante – Improved as the game went on. Played better when he moved up forward. Applies good forward pressure and can take a strong mark overhead. He has a natural goal sense finding the goals on two occasions.

#20 Patrik Della Rocca – Consistent all day and finished with four goals. Works well up the ground and can lay a strong tackle. Leads well towards the ball and can take a strong contestant mark.

#21 Mark Baker – Good key forward who can move into the ruck. His ruck work was very good as to was his follow up work. He can also move around the ground well and is quite efficient by foot and has the ability to hit targets inside the forward 50. 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#3 Joseph Ayton-Delaney – Good in patches. Has a very efficient kick and spots teammates across the ground very well. Quick turn of foot and his extra bit of pace helps him burn off opponents and break through packs.

#8 Noah Anderson – Best-on-ground for the Chargers today, had plenty of the footy and used it well. Has the ability to go up forward and kick a few goals. Anderson was explosive running through the middle allows him to rack up the inside 50’s. 

#10 Charlie Whitehead – Uses his pace well around the ground and can take a contestant grab every now and then. Has good footy knowledge and reads the play well. 

#18 Ben Silvagni – Needs to work on his set shot conversions but managed to slot home three goals including a skilful dribble goal from the boundary. Helped in assisting in a few goals also with his quick hands inside the Chargers forward 50.