Tag: Jeremy Goddard

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 4

THREE rounds of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action are down for season 2020/21, seeing the competition roll on into Round 4 this weekend. In a first for the new season, four different venues will be used to hold each fixture, with two games played under lights on Friday night, and the remaining two on Saturday afternoon. All that, and more in our weekend preview.

Palmerston Magpies vs. Wanderers
Friday October 23, 7:30pm
Cazalys Arena

Two sides with perfectly opposite records meet as Palmerston takes on Wanderers to open Round 4 proceedings at Cazalys Arena. The 1-2 Magpies moved back into the negative after a loss to Darwin last week, but have shown some promise with a fresh raft of recruits seeming to come together nicely in patches. Wanderers sit pretty at 2-1, with the Muk Muks’ only loss coming by 10 points at the hands of undefeated reigning premier, Nightcliff.

Palmerston key forward Daniel Stafford is one of the moving parts coming into good form, fresh off a four-goal haul against his former side. Fellow ex-Buff Chris Williams has enjoyed a dazzling start to the season along with Eric Guthrie and reliable ruckman Matthew Dennis. The run and rebound of Michaelis McMasters and Tyrrell Lui has also been important thus far, while Nigel Lockyer Jnr will have to get back to scoring form this week to help overcome the promising Eagles.

Nichols Medallist Beau O’Connell looks like being a massive in for Wanderers, returning to the Premier League after appearing in Division 1. The likes of Simon Bates and Brett Eddy have already proven their scoring threat, with Victorian imports Shaun Mannagh and Brodie Newman looking to continue their high-level starts to life in the NTFL. Dane McFarlane and Michael Mummery bring some more potency having gotten some games under their belts, making for a dynamic Wanderers lineup.

St Mary’s vs. Nightcliff
Friday October 23, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

A second 2019/20 Grand Final rematch is set to go down within the first month of the new season, as St Mary’s takes on Nightcliff at TIO Stadium. It has been business as usual for Nightcliff, who dispatched the Saints by 52 points in Round 1 en route to remaining undefeated to this point. The Saints have had it harder, losing their first two games before a much-needed drought breaking win came against Tiwi last week.

There have been some green shoots for St Mary’s, most significantly after Under 18 talent Beau Tedcastle kicked three goals on his senior debut last time out. Jackson Paine comes in off a six-goal haul, while the likes of Nate Paredes, Jacob Long, and Shaun Edwards are ticking along nicely. Kieren Parnell looms as a nice addition as the Saints continue to field some fresher faces, including Jeremy Goddard and Charlie Furphy from Victorian. They both have turned out this season, along with Jack and Dylan Landt, who have made an impact.

The Tigers could also blood some imported talent, namely Calder Cannons graduate Daniel Mott after his impressive Division 1 showings. In the top flight, Kyle Emery has justified his switch from Palmerston with 11 goals in the last two games, fronting up well with the likes of Brodie Filo, Daniel Bowles, and Phillip Wills delivering from further afield. Tom Boyd is another looking to continue his good form, with the reigning premiers looking strong as ever.

Tiwi Bombers vs. Southern Districts
Saturday October 24, 12:30pm
Wurrumiyanga Oval

Barring a draw, either Tiwi or Southern Districts will break their duck for season 2020/21 when they square off at Wurrumiyanga Oval on Saturday. While both sides are winless at 0-3, it is the Bombers who sit bottom of the ladder after three losses by over 50 points. The Crocs have shown signs of improvement and amid a tough draw, have had a couple of tight losses. Last week’s heartbreaker against Waratah should serve as adequate motivation.

Districts has a distinct Geelong feel about it this week, with former Nightcliff midfielder James Tsitas lining up alongside good mates Luke Kiel and Andrew Boseley. More recent Geelong Falcons graduates Jesse Clark and Jay Dahlhaus are also set to take the field, having already impressed in the top flight. Nikolaus Rokahr is another brilliant addition, fresh off a solid SANFL season for Norwood.

The Bombers look like banding together some of their favourites once again, with the likes of Cyril Rioli and Austin Wonaeamirri named in hopes of boosting their side’s form. Jack Monigatti also looms as a great inclusion, with the likes of Angus Byrne and Mason Dewit already staking their claims in the squad. Given Harley Puruntatameri, Henry Kerinaiua, and Adam Sambono have also been named, the Bombers look like posing their usual threats of speed and forward firepower.

Waratah vs. Darwin Buffaloes
Saturday October 24, 3:00pm
Gardens Oval

Darwin will once again put its perfect record on the line when it faces Waratah at Gardens Oval on Saturday, with both sides looking to continue their promising starts to the season. The Buffs are top of the table after three rounds, proving a bunch of doubters wrong under new coach Cameron Stokes. Waratah’s only blemish thus far was dealt by Nightcliff, with the Warriors looking a much more settled side in season 2020/21.

The Buffs boss looks to have named himself in the side this week, only adding to the experience and class of Matt Campbell and Jarrod Stokes. Jalen Clarke has been in ripping form for the Double Blues, while the likes of Brodie Foster and Ishmael Palmer will once again look to team up for bags of goals up forward. Isaac Seden-Kurnoth is another to keep an eye on, as well as Ryan Pendlebury down back.

Tahs have had some consistent performers too, with skipper Brodie Carroll coming off a game-winning effort and the likes of Callum Searle down back, Abe Ankers through the middle, and the Collis boys making for an even team spread. Jake Sutton and Jae McGrath are also dangerous up forward, and will be sure to make up a heap of goals in response to Darwin’s potency.

Featured Image: Brodie Newman in action for Wanderers | Credit: Celina Whan/AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 3

TWO rounds of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action are down for season 2020/21, seeing the competition roll on into Round 3 this weekend. All four games are again set to be played on what shapes up as a super Saturday of football, headlined by a TIO Stadium triple-header. The first ball bounces down as St Mary’s takes on Tiwi, while Southern Districts is the only true host as it welcomes Waratah to Norbuilt Oval. All that, and more in our weekend preview.

St Mary’s vs. Tiwi Bombers
Saturday October 17, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Tiwi’s milestone men will hope to drag the Bombers off the bottom of the ladder when they face St Mary’s to open the round on Saturday afternoon. The two sides take to TIO Stadium with 0-2 records, as a mix of underperformance and stiff opposition has rendered them winless across the opening rounds. But that is all set to change come this weekend, barring a draw, as the two traditional rivals square off.

If their meetings from season 2019/20 are anything to go by, this bout should be a belter. Tiwi got the better of the Saints in the first two digs, but St Mary’s squared the ledger at 2-2 after solid wins in Round 17 and the qualifying final. The 37-goal Round 3 shootout was the most eye-catching result, making for sensational neutral viewing.

Tiwi 150-gamers Michael Dunn and Dion Munkara will hope all their flair and carry on the outer can propel the Bombers to victory. Fresh off a bag of goals, Harley Puruntatameri should also shine in that department, while prolific talent Adam Sambono is a chance to come into the side. Down back, Mason Dewit has been super on the rebound.

Under 18s wonderkid Beau Tedcastle looks set to make his senior debut for the Saints, a lively small forward who knows where the goals are. Former NAB Leaguer Jeremy Goddard is also poised to make his first Premier League appearance, and both should have terrific support in the form of mainstay figures Raphael Clarke, Nate Paredes, and Shaun Edwards, who have all been in good nick.

Southern Districts vs. Waratah
Saturday October 17, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

The winless Southern Districts will be out to halt its skidding start to the season when Waratah comes to town on Saturday, with the two sides set to face off at Norbuilt Oval. 0-2 after the opening pair of rounds, Districts will have some young talent come in to bolster their squad. Meanwhile, Waratah sits at 1-1 after last week’s tight loss to Nightcliff, with plenty of positives to take out of its first two outings in season 2020/21. The Warriors side looks much more settled than in their last campaign.

AFL Draft prospect Brodie Lake looms as a big in for the Crocs, with the 18-year-old fresh off a terrific SANFL season with Central District. He promises to add some grunt through midfield or run from defence, on top of the obvious class he possesses. After being named in the best half-dozen players last week, former Geelong Falcons co-captain Jesse Clark looks like being joined in the side by fellow NAB League graduate Jay Dahlhaus. The latter is the cousin of Geelong’s Luke, and is likely to play a similar small forward role.

Sticking with the theme set by their opponents, the Warriors are also set to unleash a former NAB League talent. Murray Bushrangers standout Cam Wild looks like entering the Premier League fold after knocking down the door in Division 1, having also spent time in South Australia with Central District. Tahs boast a pretty solid spine, with the likes of Abe Ankers and Brodie Carroll holding down midfield, while Jae McGrath continues to spearhead the forwardline. Victorian Callum Searle has also proven a great addition in defence, giving Waratah balance on each line. It may prove too much for the Crocs to handle.

Darwin Buffaloes vs. Palmerston Magpies
Saturday October 17, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin will put its perfect record is on the line when it meets the ever-improving Palmerston on Saturday evening, the second game of a TIO Stadium triple-header. Under new coach Cameron Stokes, the Buffs are sitting pretty atop the Premier League table despite a heavy offseason turnover. Meanwhile, the Magpies have already matched their wins tally from last season after victory in Round 2, and look like providing the Double Blues with their toughest assignment to date.

Young utility Tyrrell Lui is fresh off his Rising Star nomination, having provided terrific rebound from defence thus far. He is joined once again in the back six by Sandy Brock, while Chris Williams will look to run the show once again from midfield. He is one of a few ex-Darwin players looking to impress against their former side, with big forward Daniel Stafford another who will be keen to find some form. He will be joined up forward by Nigel Lockyer Jnr, who has been finding the big sticks with ease having booted nine goals in two games.

But Darwin boasts some firepower of its own, with Brodie Foster continuing to set the competition alight. The goalsneak boasts 11 majors across his first two outings, and while Ishmael Palmer may not be there in support once again, Isaac Seden-Kurnoth looms as a major factor inside 50. The experienced Matt Campbell also looks to be in hot form, with Ryan Pendlebury another to settle the side in his defensive duties. Darwin’s mainstays have started the season emphatically and will fancy a third-consecutive win here, but should take nothing for granted against the rising Magpies.

Wanderers vs. Nightcliff
Saturday October 17, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Someone’s ‘0’ will go when undefeated sides Wanderers and Nightcliff do battle at TIO Stadium, making for an exciting finish to a big round of action. The Muk Muks have again started the season well, knocking off two 2019/20 finalists en route to taking on the formidable reigning premier. Nightcliff has been ticking along strongly, too, taking out a Grand Final rematch in Round 1 and managing to halt Waratah’s head of steam last time out with ruthless efficiency.

The returning Kyle Emery has added yet another dimension to the Tigers’ side, with his six-goal haul last week a warning shot for Wanderers defenders. Should 2019/20 Chaney Medal winner Trent Melville also take his spot in the side, this game looms as a must-watch. The likes of Cam Ilett and Daniel Bowles have been reliable as ever, while Phillip Wills is set to celebrate game 200. Victorian recruit Tom Boyd has been superb thus far, and the Tigers will hope former Calder Cannons standout, Daniel Mott can have a similar impact through midfield after strong Division 1 performances.

The Eagles are no slouches either though, with a bunch of high-end talent filling each line. Brett Eddy is fresh off a six-goal haul and has looked sharp up forward, while Braedon McLean has led steadily from defence. Newcomers Shaun Mannagh and Brodie Newman have given Wanderers an extra edge too, and Michael Mummery is one who could break the game open having gotten some game time under his belt last week. With a good amount of class scattered across either lineup, this should be a cracking contest.

Featured Image: Aaron Black/AFLNT Media

Out to impress: WAFL Round 7 preview

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into Round 7, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In our latest edition, a familiar name could finally be in for his League debut with Subiaco, while Peel continues to blood its youth.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

Son of a gun Liam Hickmott is finally set to make his League debut for Subiaco this week, but younger brother Wil comes the other way as part of five changes for the reigning premiers. Liam slots straight into the midfield, while fellow debutant Aaron Breman assumes a spot on the bench to start. The Lions take on Perth in all three grades, with Conor McPartland headlining the Demons’ promotions in his Reserves berth. The 19-year-old is a readymade ball winner who has made a prolific start to the season at Colts level.

Nathan O’Driscoll not only retains his spot in Perth’s League line-up, but looks like gaining some more midfield minutes with 2018 West Coast premiership player Chris Masten out of the team. Key forward Logan McDonald will continue his push for top five AFL draft contender-ship, while 22-year-old Ethan Hansen comes into the side for his sixth League game, and first since Round 2.

Undefeated ladder leader South Fremantle takes on winless cellar dweller Peel Thunder on Saturday, with a couple of exciting inclusions made to both teams. In line with Peel’s promotion of its youth, leading draft prospect Isiah Winder returns to the top flight fold after averaging 27 disposals at Colts level since being dropped. Unfortunately, Ryan Bennell comes out of the team, while David Yaccob‘s Colts form has been rewarded with a Reserves dig. 22-year-old Jacob Warne is also poised to make his League debut for South Fremantle, having made the cut on the interchange bench.

Bottom-age gun Richard Bartlett‘s Colts return may be short-lived, but East Fremantle’s Colts side should remain well stocked as the likes of Brandon Walker, Finn Gorringe, and Jack Carroll still battle to climb the grades. 202cm 20-year-old Brynn Teakle has been named among the Sharks’ extended League bench, looking to make his second appearance at the level.

Claremont shapes up as a fearsome opponent for the Sharks across the League and Colts competitions, though the sides are relatively even at the Reserves level. Tyron Smallwood and Jeremy Goddard missed the League cut and should boost the Tigers’ two’s stocks, which already includes the likes of Jack Buller, Jye Clark, and Cameron Anderson.

The round’s final set of fixtures sees East Perth take on Swan Districts, with the Swans fresh off their maiden League win. They can move level on points with the Royals should consecutive wins be in the offing, with help from Denver Grainger-Barras down back. Up the other end, Victorian Corey Watts remains for the Royals, though they will still be without AFL recruit Angus Schumacher due to injury. Youngsters Harley Sparks and Sebit Keuk were named on an extended Royals bench, though they look set to remain unchanged.

Victorian Deven Costigan comes out of Swan Districts’ League team and remains doubtful with a hamstring niggle, while the likes of Zane Trew, Ty Sears, and Jamison Ugle continue to push for senior selection.

This week, Draft Central will have eyes on the Claremont vs. East Fremantle Colts fixture. Keep an eye out for our scouting notes and weekly wraps early next week.

FIXTURES

League:

Perth vs. Subiaco | Saturday August 29, 12:05pm @ Mineral Resources Park
Peel Thunder vs. South Fremantle | Saturday August 29, 2:00pm @ David Grays Arena
East Fremantle vs. Claremont | Saturday August 29, 2:30pm @ New Choices Homes Park
East Perth vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 29, 2:35pm @ Leederville Oval

Reserves:

East Perth vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 29, 12:00pm @ Leederville Oval
East Fremantle vs. Claremont | Saturday August 29, 12:00pm @ New Choices Homes Park
Perth vs. Subiaco | Saturday August 29, 2:40pm @ Mineral Resources Park

Colts:

Perth vs. Subiaco | Saturday August 29, 9:25am @ Mineral Resources Park
East Perth vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 29, 9:30am @ Leederville Oval
East Fremantle vs. Claremont | Saturday August 29, 9:30am @ New Choices Homes Park
Peel Thunder vs. South Fremantle | Saturday August 29, 4:30pm @ David Grays Arena

Bye: West Perth

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: Owen Davies/Peel Thunder

Out to impress: WAFL Round 5 preview

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into Round 5, Draft Central brings to you a new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In our first edition, a couple of key inclusions boost stocks in the Colts grade, while a notable AFL Academy member readies for a Reserves berth.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

Perth is set to blood another gun youngster at senior level, this time as Nathan O’Driscoll lines up for the Reserves. The Demons take on West Perth on Saturday, with the 187cm prospect named in the back pocket. O’Driscoll is real goer who loves to carry the ball and boasts a penetrating kick, so don’t be surprised to see him feature off half-back, or even through midfield as he usually does at Colts level.

Logan McDonald is also poised to continue his hot start to the season at League level, with the opportunity to again break clear atop the goalkicking charts. The 196cm key forward has cemented his spot in Perth’s first team, and looms as a riser in terms of top 10 AFL Draft calculations. 19-year-old Regan Clarke is in line to return to League action for Perth, while Victorian Matty Lloyd – the younger brother of Sydney’s Jake – will make his fifth appearance for the Falcons.

At couple more top-age spearheads look likely to go head-to-head in a shootout at Colts level, as leading goalkickers Corey Rundle (West Perth, 15 goals) and Harry Quartermaine (Perth, 12 goals) prepare for battle. There will be plenty of talent running around in the competition’s featured game for the week, with versatile defender Heath Chapman among them, while fellow Falcons Michael Mallard and Brady Alvaro have made promising starts to the season. Conor McPartland, who is currently averaging 34 disposals per game, is also one to watch for Perth.

Peel Thunder is a team familiar with trialling youth this year, and this week is again set to be no different as Tyler Nesbitt awaits his potential League debut. After four promising Colts outings, he has been named on the Thunder’s extended bench alongside fellow top-age draft hopeful Isiah Winder. Winder could be back after his one-and-done Round 3 debut, with Ryan Bennell another out to make his second appearance at the top level in 2020. Among those established in the side are over-agers Zach Rankin, Ben Middleton, and Tyrone Thorne.

The Thunder take on Subiaco this weekend, who could field a couple of familiar names in hopes of bouncing back from last week’s loss. Brothers Liam and Wil Hickmott – the sons of former Carlton and Geelong player, Adrian – have both been named on an extended bench for the Lions, with Lachlan Henderson a Colts product who could also make his debut. The younger of the pair, Wil has already played three League games, while Liam will hope to earn his maiden senior cap.

Sandringham Dragons graduate Corey Watts is set to be thrust straight back into the League fold after one week out due to a finger dislocation. He lines up at full back for the Royals, while exciting small Rhai-Arn Cox is a well-known talent who continues to hunt for a senior berth. The Under 16s State vice-captain had been thrown to the wilderness until late last year, and will make his third-consecutive appearance at Reserves level this week. Last year’s Mel Whinnen medalist, Jack Cooley will feature in the two’s for East Perth against his old side.

Mature-age Claremont prospects Jeremy Goddard and Callan England will be out to boost their stocks once again for the Tigers’ League outfit, with Jye Clark among the potential debutants. Talented over-ager Cameron Anderson looks like moving up to the Reserves level having proven himself in the Colts, while Fremantle Next Generation Academy member, Joel Western will make his return from injury in the junior grade. State Academy Hub members Kalin Lane and Jacob van Rooyen have been in ripping form for the reigning Colts premiers, and should prove a handful once again.

The undefeated South Fremantle League side has been impressive over four rounds, but in terms of youth, Swan Districts will be the side to look towards this week when the two sides go head-to-head. Leading prospect Denver Grainger-Barras will look to back up a terrific performance last time out, with his intercept marking and composure working a treat in defence. Nathan Ireland is set to return for his first top level outing in 2020, while Victorian forward Deven Costigan has been named to make his League debut having moved across with mature-age guns Sam Fisher and Frank Anderson.

At Colts level, inside midfielder Zane Trew is likely to make his return from a concussion for the Black Ducks as they continue their search for a maiden win. They’ll have to do so without the smooth moving Jamison Ugle though, as he makes the move up to the Reserves grade.

This week, Draft Central will have eyes on the Perth vs. West Perth, and East Perth vs. Claremont Colts fixtures. Keep an eye out for our scouting notes and weekly wraps early next week.

FIXTURES

League:

South Fremantle vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 15, 2:30pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Peel Thunder vs. Subiaco | Saturday August 15, 2:30pm @ David Grays Arena
Perth vs. West Perth | Saturday August 15, 2:30pm @ Mineral Resources Park
East Perth vs. Claremont | Saturday August 15, 3:05pm @ Leederville Oval

Reserves:

South Fremantle vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 15, 12:00pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Perth vs. West Perth | Saturday August 15, 12:00pm @ Mineral Resources Park
East Perth vs. Claremont | Saturday August 15, 12:30pm @ Leederville Oval

Colts:

South Fremantle vs. Swan Districts | Saturday August 15, 9:30am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Perth vs. West Perth | Saturday August 15, 9:30am @ Mineral Resources Park
East Perth vs. Claremont | Saturday August 15, 10:00am @ Leederville Oval
Peel Thunder vs. Subiaco | Saturday August 15, 12:00pm @ David Grays Arena

LEAGUE TEAMS

Picture: Michael Willson

2020 WAFL Club Preview: Claremont

CLAREMONT will be looking to continue its strong form across all West Australian Football League (WAFL) levels as action returns this month, boasting strong squads in each grade. Fourth and third-place finishes over the past two seasons at League level are under Claremont’s belt, but its mission to go at least one better than 2019’s preliminary final berth starts with the huge task of combating reigning premier, Subiaco.

The Reserves side will be made to wait eight rounds before attempting to exact revenge on West Perth, after the Falcons downed them by a goal in last year’s Grand Final – despite having clinched the minor premiership with just one loss to their record. At the junior grade, the Tigers’ Under 18s will hope to defend their 2019 crown, and boast three talented AFL Academy hub members, including Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful, Joel Western.

Preseason scratch matches have thrown up a mixed bag of results for the Tigers, with the League outfit the only side to scrounge a win. They beat East Fremantle by a goal having made the most of their chances inside attacking 50, while the Reserves went down by 28 points to the Sharks’ 2’s, and the Under 18s got within two points of knocking off South Fremantle. West Perth will be the Tigers’ final preseason opponent across each level, set to face off on July 11 in each club’s last hit-out before season proper kicks off on July 18.

Skipper and fan favourite Kane Mitchell is set to lead the Tigers’ League charge, fresh off a best and fairest winning campaign and backed by the likes of two-time Sandover Medalist Jye Bolton, Declan Mountford, and Tom Curren. Mitchell and Mountford will be joined among the leadership ranks by Anton Hamp (co-vice-captain), and Hayden Busher and Ryan Lim, completing a five-man group. It is that hardened midfield core which is set to help the Tigers thrive in their pursuit for WAFL glory, aided by the ruck craft of 202cm bigman Jeremy Goddard, and the addition of delisted Docker, Ryan Nyhuis.

A blow for the club on the eve of the season has been a serious knee injury to defender, Jack Beeck, who will miss the entire year as a result. But his absence and some list movement at the end of last will see opportunities arise for young players, with the likes of Jack Buller and Tom Baldwin set to enter the senior bracket from Colts level. Cal England and Jake Anderson are also among the promising types who look likely to develop well with some more experience in 2020, while Alex Manuel is a player who may feature having missed a large chunk of 2019.

Western is the clear leader among the Under 18 crop, and will be hoping to impress enough to warrant selection by Fremantle, or a bid from elsewhere come draft time. The mercurial 172cm hopeful is a freak athlete, and ranked among the top 10 for Western Australia in all three vertical jump tests, as well as third in the 20-metre sprint. Able to play off flanks at either end of the field or run through the engine room, Western is a terrific prospect and among those who will be looking to lead Claremont to back-to-back premierships.

A 202cm ruck Kalin Lane is another who is likely to feature among the state side, and he is a terrific story as somewhat of a latecomer to the sport – or at least this level. He featured among the yearly academy intake despite running out for just one Colts game in 2019, and is joined in the hub by bottom-ager, Jacob van Rooyen.

With some good talent coming from the ground, up and established leaders set to continue their search for WAFL gold at senior level, fans will be feeling good about where Claremont sits coming into season 2020.

Picture: The West Australian

NAB League Boys Round 4 preview: Changes galore as NAB League goes national

ROUND 4 of the NAB League Boys sees established Victorian Metropolitan sides both play host and traveler as five clubs steel themselves for clashes against the Northern Academies, while the Country clubs each have a bye. A Saturday double-header sees both Sydney academies hit Sandringham, while the Queensland academies are set to host a game each at Southport on Sunday, and Calder becomes the first side for the year to cross Bass Strait and battle Tasmania.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. GWS GIANTS ACADEMY
Saturday April 13, 10:45am
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

Northern Knights and GWS GIANTS Academy open Round 4 as sides still searching for their first win in season 2019. This bout acts as the Giants’ first experience in playing against established NAB League Boys opposition after losses to the Sydney and Brisbane academies in Rounds 2 and 3. For Northern, while the chance to showcase talent that would otherwise miss out during the year will be the number one priority, wins are at a premium and a 0-4 start would not be ideal. With the core ripped out of their side due to Vic Metro trial game commitments, the Knights have plenty of players who will be looking to consolidate a spot in the underperforming starting lineup. 19-year old Northern Blues listed Sunny Brazier is one of them, and should form a handy midfield trio alongside Sam Philp and Lucas Perry. Speaking of, the Giants have a few in-form ball winners of their own – with star Tom Green leading the way from Jeromy Lucas and Matt McGrory. An inexperienced and largely bottom-aged Knights defence will also have its hands full with dynamic Liam Delahunty, who has been in good goal-scoring form. With one side depleted and the other looking to prove themselves, this should prove to be a close encounter.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY
Saturday April 13, 1:15pm
Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval – Sandringham

Sandringham will be looking to maintain its perfect start to season 2019 as it hosts the Sydney Swans academy to close out Saturday’s proceedings. Like many of the metro sides, the Dragons have a raft of key outs as trial games roll into town, with at least 14 changes from last week’s side that beat Oakleigh. With their typical midfield core out, the likes of Jackson Voss and Angus Hanrahan will get the opportunity to run through the middle, while Riley Bowman is sure to take up more rucking responsibility. AFL family connections Jai Florent and Jeremy Goddard also slot in at either end as noticeable ins, but Sydney has arguably the most important inclusion of the round. Errol Gulden is set to suit up for his second game of the year, looking to have the likes of Braeden Campbell and Jackson Barling bounce off the electricity he brings. A change of structure looks imminent with Josh Rayner named at half-back, while the promising Ky McGrath will slot in as 23rd man. With the Dragons’ depth set to be tested on this rare occasion, look for the Swans to come out firing, with some serious talent running around on each line.

GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY v. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
Sunday April 14, 10:45am
Southport Oval

Best placed Academy side Gold Coast SUNS welcome NAB League Boys premiership fancies Oakleigh Chargers to the Sunshine State, looking to maintain its winning record. While the Suns downed NT and Brisbane in their first two games, Oakleigh suffered its first loss for the year against Sandringham last time out and will hope to rectify it this week. With perfect conditions forecasted, it is as good a chance as any for the Chargers to showcase their brand of football. The Suns have proven their worth though, and the likes of top-end midfield duo Connor Budarick and Ashton Crossley will have a big say on proceedings. The clinical Josh Gore is also in good form, and is sure to cause headaches for the Oakleigh depth alongside Hewago Paul Oea. Chargers over-ager Joe Ayton Delaney is one who remains amid the 11 changes, and should have a good battle with Budarick as another zippy midfield type. While many of the big names are missing, Oakleigh’s second-string is arguably as strong as some sides’ starting line-up, so they will stand every chance of jumping on the plane home with a win.

TASMANIA DEVILS v. CALDER CANNONS
Sunday April 14, 11:30am
Penguin Oval – Tasmania

Tasmania is set to play on home turf for the first time this season, hosting Calder Cannons at Penguin Oval. The Devils are the best placed side with one win, sitting pretty in ninth after toppling NT in Round 3, while Calder also got on the board last week with a win over Western. While six changes is nothing to scoff at for the Cannons, they will remain relatively steady coming into this game, travel aside, with a solid bunch of 19-year olds looking to contribute. Josh Kemp leads the pack alongside Mason Fletcher, with Tye Browning showing glimpses of why he was picked to return thus far, and top-ager Harrison Minton-Connell another likely type in midfield. The hosts will feel they have answers on each line though, with Jackson Callow one who may well keep Fletcher busy, while Matt McGuinness and Sam Collins have been good across half-back, Jye Menzie and Will Harper likewise up the other end, and Mitch O’Neill leading all-comers in midfield. With the whole state behind them, Tasmania will look to take full advantage of a good hand and streak to a second-straight win, but it will not be easy against the Cannons.

BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY v. EASTERN RANGES
Sunday April 14, 1:15pm
Southport Oval

Eastern Ranges will be hoping to make it three-straight NAB League Boys wins as it travels north to face the Brisbane Lions Academy in the second game of Sunday’s double-header. The Lions went down in last week’s Q-Clash, but hold a Round 2 win over their GWS counterparts, while Eastern has soundly beaten Western and Northern to shape as one of the surprise packets so far. With nine outs named, the Ranges will be stretched thin in combating their weekend travel, but will have solid contributors across the park. 19-year old James Blanck comes in to stake his claim, with forward pocket duo Chayce Black and Joshua Tilly showing good form thus far. The Lions have some eye-catchers, with Bruce Reville a clear standout last week, while Will Martyn will look to lift and join Tom Griffiths in finding a wealth of possessions. Good conditions should greet the sides, which should make for decent viewing on stream for those watching at home. A couple should really catch the eye, so look for those smooth movers in the hosts’ lineup.

WESTERN JETS v. NORTHERN TERRITORY
Sunday April 14, 2:30pm
Downer Oval – Williamstown

A clash between Western Jets and Northern Territory Thunder is set to close the round out, with the travelling Thunder still looking to get on the board in their NAB League Boys stint. After Western snatched a win in Round 1 over Northern, both sides have lost over the last two weeks with a crushing defeat handed to them each. The Jets remain the most steady of the Victorian sides coming into this weekend with only four outs, but they are all key players at that. Still, the likes of Aaron Clarke and Archi Manton have found the goals well, and over-ager Daly Andrews should catch the eye through midfield. For NT, Stephen Cumming looks to be coming along nicely after teasing for Dandenong last year, while the likes of Joel Jeffrey and Maurice Rioli Jr have provided moments of magic. Joel Budarick and Ben Jungfer are ball-winners also sure to catch the eye, though the conditions at Downer Oval may prove difficult for all. A good opportunity rises for the Thunder, but the Jets proved in Round 1 that they will not go down without a fight.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Elimination finals

THERE is no turning back now for the eight remaining TAC Cup sides as regular season form is thrown out the window in the first week of finals. The eight teams have made minimal changes to their sides, with no more than three confirmed outs from sides heading into the elimination finals.

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Elimination Finals  – Saturday, September 8, 12pm IKON Park, Carlton North

Dandenong has a luxury of talls at its disposal and have recalled Riley Bowman to the side, who will slot into full-forward replacing Bailey Schmidt for the first elimination final. Also recalled to an extended bench are Reid Nanscawen, Corey Ellison, Luca Goonan and Ned Cahill, while Jack Toner is the other out from the Stingrays side. For the eighth placed GWV Rebels, they also have an extended bench with Elliott Lamb, Tynan Shannon, Joel O’Connell, Mitchell Burgess and Lochie Dawson named in the side. Harrison Butler and Ben Dodd are the two confirmed outs for the Rebels.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 56. M. Cumming, 41. L. Stenning HB: 58. W. Hamill, 32. D. Frampton, 10. L. Young C: 49. M.  Cottrell, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 9. Z.  Foot HF: 27. L. McDonnell, 29. B. Williams, 7. J. Taylor F: 15. T. Bedford, 13. R. Bowman, 59. S. Sturt R: 36. S. Cumming, 1. S. Fletcher, 17. F. Bayne Int: 52. C. Ellison, 16. J. Frawley, 45. L. Goonan, 57. R. Nanscawen, 3. J. Plumridge, 18. M. Riordan, 2. H. Young 23P: 11. E. Cahill

In: L. Goonan, E. Cahill, R. Nanscawen, C. Ellison, R. Bowman Out: B. Schmidt,  J. Toner

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 10. J. Lohmann, 43. J. Wright, 26. R. Ranieri HB: 48. J. Cleaver, 18. B. Helyar, 5. H. Jennings C: 24. M.  Lloyd, 3. S.  Carlin, 30. I.  Wareham HF: 1. C. Craig-Peters, 20. T. Watts, 14. J. Hill F: 21. I. Grant, 6. C. Wilson, 7. M. Martin R: 29. P. Glanford, 27. E. Lamb, 2. M. Schnerring Int: 32. M. Burgess, 9. L. Dawson, 47. T. Mahony, 45. D. McEldrew, 34. J. O’Connell, 44. R. Polkinghorne, 25. T. Shannon 23P: 50. J. Ugle-Hagan

In: E. Lamb, T. Shannon, J. O’Connell, M. Burgess, L. Dawson Out: H. Butler, B. Dodd

GIPPSLAND POWER v. GEELONG FALCONS

Elimination Finals  – Saturday, September 8, 2.30pm IKON Park, Carlton North

In the second all-Country elimination final, Gippsland has made at least three changes to the team that defeated Eastern Ranges a fortnight ago. Matt Ryan, Ben Maslen and Wade Anderson have been confirmed as out, while Harrison Pepper, Boadie Motton, Austin Hodge, Josh Wykes, Aaron Young and Luke Williams are all back into the side. For the Falcons, they have gone in unchanged showing faith in the side that got the job done in the Wild Card Round against the Cannons. Geelong have added Brady Campi, Baxter Mensch and Harrison Whyte to an extended bench.

Gippsland Power

B: 12. B. Smith, 14. T. Hourigan, 15. R. Sparkes HB: 18. M. McGannon, 25. K. Reid, 7. B. Patterson C: 8. B.  Beck, 5. X.  Duursma, 29. B.  Motton HF: 9. I. Mosquito, 23. N. Gown, 20. H. Neocleous F: 4. S. Flanders, 16. J. Smith, 11. A. Hodge R: 22. R. Henkel, 6. R. Baldi, 2. C. Serong Int: 10. L. Connolly, 13. N. Lowden, 37. H. Pepper, 35. J. van der Pligt, 32. L. Williams, 38. J. Wykes, 45. A. Young 23P: 36. M. Bentvelzen

In: H. Pepper, B. Motton, A. Hodge, J. Wykes, A. Young, L. Williams Out: M. Ryan,  B. Maslen,  W. Anderson

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris HB: 20. B. Ham, 31. C. Cartledge, 21. L. Smith C: 8. E.  McHenry, 6. D.  Madigan, 22. S.  Walsh HF: 1. J. Dahlhaus, 39. C. Idun, 9. B. Morton F: 36. C. Sprague, 48. B. Schlensog, 2. S. Torpy R: 44. S. Conway, 30. O. Brownless, 41. C. Stephens Int: 37. B. Campi, 10. B. Mensch, 34. C. Page, 32. F. Parish, 3. K. Rayner, 42. H. Spiller, 13. H. Whyte 23P: 15. T. Bruhn

In: B. Campi, B. Mensch, H. Whyte

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. WESTERN JETS

Elimination Finals  – Sunday, September, 9, 11am IKON Park, Carlton North

On Sunday, Oakleigh Chargers have made just the two confirmed changes from the side that belted the GWV Rebels by 15 goals in the final round. Will James and Daniel Scala are out, while overager Noah Answerth, Xavier O’Neill, Charlie Beasley, Matthew Day and Will Golds are back into the side to beef up the Chargers’ best 22. For the Jets, they have not made a change to their winning formula against Eastern Ranges last week, as Blake Colley, Jake Hazik and David Fruscalzo were named in an extended team.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 3. J. Ayton-Delaney, 4. W. Kelly, 16. L. Westwood HB: 17. T. Bianco, 36. C. Beasley, 23. I. Quaynor C: 31. W.  Golds, 9. J.  Rowbottom, 11. M.  Rowell HF: 26. J. Gasper, 7. J. Robertson, 10. C. Whitehead F: 8. N. Anderson, 22. D. Williams, 13. A. Bosenavulagi R: 30. B. Wraith, 32. J. Ross, 12. N. Answerth Int: 1. R. Collier-Dawkins, 6. M. Day, 20. F. Elliot, 38. Z. Hart, 64. J. Jordon, 5. X. O’Neill, 33. M. Warren 23P: 44. W. Phillips

In: N. Answerth , X. O’Neill, C. Beasley, M. Day, W. Golds Out: W. James,  D. Scala

Western Jets

B: 48. A. Britten, 37. H. Murphy, 15. M. Hearne HB: 25. S. Johnson, 38. B. Khamis, 39. S. Radovanovic C: 17. D.  Andrews , 7. J.  Watkins, 20. D.  Cassar HF: 3. L. Failli, 31. E. Jeka, 24. J. Honey F: 10. S. Kyriazis, 45. A. Clarke, 49. D. Pantalleresco R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 33. X. O’Halloran Int: 18. B. Colley, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 1. J. Hazik, 22. O. Manton, 28. J. Papachatzakis, 6. L. Rocci, 2. T. Rudic 23P: 16. C. White

In: B. Colley, J. Hazik, D. Fruscalzo

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS v. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS

Elimination Finals  – Sunday, September 9, 1.30pm IKON Park, Carlton North

In the last elimination final of the weekend, both Sandringham Dragons and Murray Bushrangers have made at least three changes for Sunday’s match. Callum Jones, Nicholas Burke, Troy Brimble, Finn Maginness, Kai Owens and Jack Mahony have all been included in the extended side, while Jack Bell, Jeremy Goddard and Oscar McMaster are the three confirmed outs. For the Bushrangers, they are the only side to have named just 23 players this weekend, with Robert Paradzayi, Ben Kelly and Kai Davies all into the side for Rory Quinn, Cameron Wilson and Will Christie.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 18. A. Seaton, 69. C. Watts, 48. J. Worrell HB: 53. H. Ralphsmith, 52. C. Dean, 2. A. Richards C: 19. S.  Forbes, 8. K.  Owens, 12. C.  Jones HF: 66. R. Byrnes, 29. B. King, 23. A. Hanrahan F: 72. D. Chirgwin, 33. W. Kennedy, 27. J. Mahony R: 28. J. Rendell, 7. L. Stocker, 74. H. Reynolds Int: 13. T. Brimble, 51. N. Burke, 17. J. Denborough, 38. J. Le Grice , 26. F. Maginness, 61. F. McAsey, 11. N. Stamatis 23P: 35. G. Grey

In: C. Jones, N. Burke, T. Brimble, F. Maginness, K. Owens, J. Mahony Out: J. Bell,  J. Goddard,  O. McMaster

Murray Bushrangers

B: 11. E. Adams, 59. L. Fiore, 55. R. Paradzayi HB: 34. T. Boyd, 16. N. Murray, 19. J. Boyer C: 26. R.  Bice, 5. E.  Smith, 10. P.  Warner HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 2. J. Butts, 6. W. Chandler F: 12. L. Ash, 18. H. Garoni, 13. B. Frauenfelder R: 35. F. Bollinghaus, 9. M. Walker, 38. D. Clarke Int: 20. J. Bradshaw, 58. E. Hollands, 40. N. Irvine, 3. B. Kelly 23P: 50. K. Davies

In: R. Paradzayi, B. Kelly, K. Davies Out: R. Quinn, C. Wilson, W. Christie

Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 8

IT was a weekend of upsets, with two of the bottom three sides claiming victory, and the other levelling the scores in the dying minutes only to lose the lead again with a match-winning goal. Oakleigh Chargers grabbed a top four spot with victory against Murray Bushrangers on Saturday in the standalone day.

Northern Knights 7.7 (49) defeated by Eastern Ranges 10.8 (68)

By: Michael Alvaro

In perfect conditions at Preston City Oval, the Knights and Ranges could only manage three first half goals between them in what was an end-to-end contest. The travelling side broke the game open in the third quarter with five goals to two, as well as the opening two goals of the final term to set up an unassailable lead. The Knights fought to trim the margin back late, with forward Sunny Brazier booting two of the last three goals to have the final deficit sit at 19 points. 

Eastern were on top in the midfield battle thanks largely to midfielder Kye Quirk, who collected 39 disposals, 11 clearances, nine tackles and three marks. He was aided well by Adrian Kalcovski (24 disposals, six tackles) and skipper Joel Burleigh (18 disposals, 14 tackles), while their forward line clicked with three multiple goal kickers.

Stefan Uzelac (17 disposals, five marks, three tackles) stood up under pressure in defence for the Knights, setting them up well with 88% disposal efficiency to be named their best. Patrik Della Rocca provided a big body in the midfield, collecting 20 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal alongside bottom ager Josh D’Intinosante, who also had it 20 times to go with six marks and eight tackles. Brazier (13 disposals, six tackles, four marks, three goals) was their only real bright spot up forward, popping up in the right place when given the opportunity. 

The Ranges now climb off equal-last on the ladder with their second win for the year, while the Knights hold on to seventh place for another round.

Calder Cannons 7.19 (61) defeated by GWV Rebels 10.11 (71)

By: Liam Connop

In perfect footy conditions at RAMS Arena, the Cannons’ inaccuracy in front of goal cost them a golden opportunity to win the their fourth game of the season. Kicking with the breeze in the opening term, Calder dominated proceedings but could not put it on the scoreboard, kicking 2.8 (20) to quarter-time. This would come back to haunt them, as the Rebels kicked five goals to one in the second quarter to take the ascendency at half-time. The second half was an arm wrestle, with a couple of late goals giving the Rebels a 10-point win and their second win of the season.

Thomas Berry (16 possessions, six marks) was the X-factor in the game, showing off his pace and taking a mark that Warwick Capper would have been proud of. Elliott Lamb (24 possessions, eight marks) had an excellent game in the midfield, rarely wasting a possession. In what was an even performance from the Rebels, Matty Lloyd (23 possessions, seven marks) had a strong game in the midfield and across half-back, while Charlie Wilson and Mitchell Martin (three goals each) did the damage up forward.

For the Cannons, ball-magnet Mitchell Podhajski (30 possessions, 12 tackles, two goals) continued his outstanding season, while Curtis Taylor (29 possessions, 10 marks) backed up his best-on-ground performance last week, despite being wasteful in front of goals, booting five behinds. Lachlan Sholl (32 possessions, 18 handball receives) was also very impressive rebounding off half-back.

Western Jets 9.11 (65) defeated Bendigo Pioneers 8.10 (58)

Western Jets played their get out of jail card in the dying moments of their narrow win against Bendigo Pioneers. It was a close game throughout, until the Jets looked like they had broken free in the third term with three consecutive goals to open up a healthy 22-point margin. Bendigo refused to give in, booting the last two goals of the quarter to draw within eight points at the final break. When Hamish Murphy ran into an open goal in the final term it looked beyond the Pioneers, before Phill Moi Moi and Zane Keighran slammed home goals to tie the game with less than three minutes remaining. The Jets managed to get it forward and Malwal Maguang received a free kick, converting from a tight angle which ended up being the winning goal.

For the Jets, Buku Khamis (22 disposals, nine marks and four rebounds) was superb off half-back, controlling the airways and rebounding anything that came his way. Darcy Cassar was busy through midfield, linking up to a high half-forward, with a game-high 25 disposals and six inside 50s. Connor Thar (24 disposals, four clearances), Jack Watkins (22 disposals, 11 tackles) and Jaden Rice (21 disposals, seven clearances) were also among the key on-ballers, while Zak Butters (21 disposals, six marks) and Stefan Radovanovic (20 disposals, seven marks, six rebounds, four inside 50s and a goal) were instrumental from defence through to attack.

For the Pioneers, Keighran had 19 disposals, four marks and kicked that crucial goal, while Noah Wheeler was enormous in the middle with eight clearances and nine inside 50s to go with his 24 disposals – a key reason the Pioneers turned the momentum in the third quarter. Hunter Lawrence was busy with 23 disposals and six inside 50s, while Liam Marciano (22 disposals, seven rebounds) and Daniel Keating (14 disposals, seven marks, 19 hitouts and three rebounds) were top players once again.

Dandenong Stingrays 15.15 (105) defeated Sandringham Dragons 4.4 (28)

By: Ed Pascoe

Despite missing nine players from the Vic Country squad, top of the ladder Dandenong easily defeated a young Sandringham Dragons team. Dandenong played a great team defence with their defenders setting up well behind the ball and their forwards putting on good pressure to cause many mistakes for the inexperienced Sandringham defenders. Sandringham did not lack in effort, they where just beaten by a red hot team looking to impress on their home turf.

Ruckman Riley Bowman was a standout with two goals (15 disposals, five marks), moving well around the ground and often following up his ruck work to providing a good target when forward. Matthew Gahan had a field day in defence with his intercept marking and drive (19 disposals, seven marks) and young leaders Campbell Hustwaite (24 disposals) and Jamie Plumridge (23 disposals) controlled the midfield, Hustwaite was busy at stoppages while Plumridge owned the Wing with both players looking both strong and composed around the ball.

It was not all doom and gloom for Sandringham with young key defender Corey Watts (15 disposals, nine marks) a standout in defence with some good contested and intercept marks, while his long kicking was also an asset. Darcy Chirgwin (21 disposals, six tackles) showed class on the wing and was willing to work hard deep in defence, even managing a goal. Jeremy Goddard (14 disposals, 11 tackles) competed hard in the midfield – despite his small frame, he wasn’t afraid to go in and have a crack against the bigger Dandenong bodies.

Gippsland Power 10.5 (65) defeated Geelong Falcons 3.13 (31)

By: Ed Pascoe

As they say, ‘bad kicking is bad football’ and that rang true for Geelong who struggled to turn opportunities into goals, scoring 11 behinds before Samuel Torpy kicked a classy goal from the boundary late in the 3rd quarter. With the scorecard reading 3.13 Geelong will be ruing what could have been. Credit has to go to Gippsland however since they took their opportunities and their entries inside 50 made the difference. Gippsland still looked the better team on the day and deserved the win.

Gippsland had an even spread of contributors – Bailey Beck was influential on the wing using the ball well, taking some fantastic marks under pressure (seven marks, two contested) he also finished with 20 disposals and a goal in a classy display. The backline was well controlled with the likes of Tye Hourigan (15 disposals), Ryan Sparkes (24 disposals) and Bailey Patterson (19 disposals) all providing run and drive from the backline with the ball coming out of the defensive 50 very quickly. The midfield had a good mix with the grunt coming from overager Austin Hodge (18 disposals) and the class coming from fellow overager Tyrone Hayes (18 disposals).

Vic Country representative Blake Schlensog was the standout tall player on the ground competing hard and following up his ruck work (21 disposals) while also helping out the defence staying strong taking some quality intercept marks to finish with eight overall. Geelong’s other Vic Country representative and bottom ager Cooper Stephens was the standout midfielder for the day winning the contested ball at stoppages and also working hard to get on the outside. He had the ball on a string in the first three minutes to finish with 20 disposals. Sam Torpy kicked Geelong’s first goal late in the third quarter and finished the game with two of his team’s three goals, working hard to also collect 17 disposals.

Murray Bushrangers 7.10 (52) defeated by Oakleigh Chargers 17.10 (112)

A blistering first quarter set up Oakleigh’s huge 10-goal win over Murray Bushrangers in the standalone game on Saturday. The Chargers booted seven goals to two in a massive opening quarter, then maintained the rage with a 38-point lead at half-time courtesy of a four goals to three second term. After a low-scoring third quarter which saw the home side boot the only goal of the quarter, Oakleigh stormed home with six of the last seven goals to run away with the massive 60-point win and jump into the top four.

Matthew Day was a star with seven goals from 19 disposals and six marks, acting as the key forward in the absence of a number of players due to Vic Metro duties. Despite both sides missing a huge chunk of their top-end talent, a number of bottom-agers stood out. Trent Bianco racked up 19 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s, two rebounds and two clearances, while Dylan Williams had four inside 50s from nine disposals. Jack Ross was a standout in midfield with 19 disposals, five marks, six clearances, six inside 50s and four tackles, while Lucas Westwood had six rebounds from 17 disposals.

For the Bushrangers, Ely Smith was the highest disposal winner with 21 touches, three clearances, three inside 50s and six tackles, while Kyle Clarke had four clearances from his 18 disposals. Potential Brisbane father-son prospect Jake Bradshaw was busy with 18 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds. The classy Mathew Walker booted two important goals from his 15 touches, nine marks, seven tackles and five inside 50s to be a clear standout of the losing side. Mark Marriott and Ben Kelly were strong in the ruck, notching up 21 and 20 hitouts respectively.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 8

ALL ten TAC Cup clubs have thrown the magnets around at the selection table with a number of top prospects rested ahead of the National Under 18 Championships. For Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers, they have to wait an extra week to play in a standalone game, but there are still five games for the interested onlooker to sink their teeth into across the weekend.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS v. EASTERN RANGES

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 11:15am
Preston City Oval, Preston

Both Northern and Eastern have named extended benches with Mark Baker returning to the side and has been named at full-forward, while Kobe Brandt and Evan Tsitsis are others who have been named on the field for the Knights. They will miss captain Braedyn Gillard who has been a consistent ball-winning midfielder this season, while Kye Yodgee and Adam Carafa are others who have been confirmed outs for the game. For Eastern, Cody Hirst and Jonte Duffy are out, however there is good new for the Ranges with James Blanck and Xavier Fry back into the lineup, named among four inclusions in the extended squad.

Northern Knights

B: 25. J. Davies, 11. R. Sturgess, 22. M. Wild
HB: 1. R. Gardner, 33. J. Randall, 5. L. Potter
C: 37. K.  Brandt, 10. B.  Bell, 40. N.  Mayne
HF: 24. R. Bowkett, 18. S. Brazier, 14. E. Tsitsis
F: 7. H. Grace, 21. M. Baker, 27. J. Lucente
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 12. J. Naylor, 17. J. D’Intinosante
Int: 35. K. Agosta, 31. N. Barro, 20. P. Della Rocca, 23. J. Hart, 34. Z. Hudson, 50. M. Sindrivanis, 28. S. Uzelac
23P: 39. N. Kitchell

In: E. Tsitsis, N. Kitchell, M. Baker, J. Hart, K. Agosta, M. Sindrivanis, Z. Hudson, K. Brandt
Out: K. Yodgee,  B. Gillard,  A. Carafa,  X. Bateman,  A. Castagna

Eastern Ranges

B: 20. B. Cardamone, 31. J. Blanck, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i
HB: 23. X. Fry, 18. B. McCormack, 25. L. Vassis
C: 4. R.  Clausen, 7. L.  Stapleton, 30. T.  Edwards
HF: 2. A. Kalcovski, 53. J. Drake, 11. M. Mellis
F: 14. L. Gawel, 13. J. Rossiter, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 24. K. Quirk
Int: 3. H. Chinn, 5. R. Einsporn, 12. J. Gilbee, 27. J. Jaworski, 36. S. Kapahnke, 22. C. Quirk, 54. J. Sullivan
23P: 43. K. Crosby

In: S. Kapahnke, L. Gawel, J. Jaworski, J. Blanck, X. Fry
Out: J. Duffy, C. Hirst

WESTERN JETS v. BENDIGO PIONEERS

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 2.15pm
Williamstown Football Ground, Williamstown

In the second game of the day, the Western Jets will hope to continue their strong form against the Bendigo Pioneers who are on a six-game losing streak. The Jets lose captain Xavier O’Halloran who has earned a break ahead of the National Championships, but regain Stefan Radovanovic and man mountain Darren Walters who is among six inclusions for the extended squad. The Pioneers will be without the likes of Bailey Henderson for the clash with at least seven players departing the side from last round, while Jacob Atley is back in to provide good support in midfield.

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 41. L. Rzanovski, 37. H. Murphy
HB: 10. S. Kyriazis, 38. B. Khamis, 6. L. Rocci
C: 17. D.  Andrews , 36. J.  Rice, 23. M.  Maguang
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 24. J. Honey, 2. T. Rudic
F: 11. Z. Butters, 31. E. Jeka, 45. A. Clarke
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 39. S. Radovanovic
Int: 5. M. Chak, 21. J. Crawford, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 4. J. Jenkins, 28. J. Papachatzakis, 35. T. Warner, 7. J. Watkins
23P: 16. C. White

In: D. Walters, C. White, J. Crawford, M. Maguang, S. Radovanovic, T. Rudic
Out: X. O’Halloran,  N. Ellis,  W. Smyth

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. L. Marciano, 11. J. Grace, 41. B. Vaz
HB: 24. N. McHugh, 32. W. Wallace, 2. J. Williams
C: 25. F.  Perez, 43. H.  Lawrence, 49. O.  Perez
HF: 29. E. Roberts, 46. L. Tenace, 20. J. Schischka
F: 6. J. Rodi, 54. M. Christensen, 5. N. Wheeler
R: 23. D. Keating, 9. Z. Keighran, 15. Caccaviello
Int: 16. J. Atley, 33. J. McHale, 48. P. Moi Moi, 28. C. Vick, 51. B. Waasdorp
23P: 13. K. Brown

In: J. Atley, L. Tenace, C. Vick, K. Brown, J. Rodi, O. Perez, B. Vaz
Out: L. Caccaviello, Z. Denahy, T. Walters, C. McCarty, M. Lias, D. Loveridge, B. Henderson

CALDER CANNONS v. GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS

Round 8 – Saturday, June 2, 2.15pm
RAMS Arena, Cragieburn

Up at RAMS Arena, Calder Cannons have bolstered their line-up with the return of co-captain Jack Bytel from injury, while the classy Kyle Baker and tall Jake Riccardi join a number of inclusions in the team. Switchman Daniel Hanna was good last week but is among the outs, as is Dylan Landt and Jeremy O’Sullivan. For the GWV Rebels, Tom Berry will be a welcome return, while Terang Mortlake junior Isaac Wareham makes his debut as the 23rd player. Harrison Butler and Ethan Harvey are the two confirmed outs for the Rebels.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 17. N. Doyle
HB: 3. I. Moussa , 43. L. Cavallaro, 8. L. Sholl
C: 44. N.  Gentile, 5. C.  Taylor, 1. D.  Mott
HF: 4. K. Baker, 27. T. Browning, 11. J. Firebrace
F: 33. J. Evans, 41. J. Roumeliotis, 48. S. Ramsay
R: 29. J. Riccardi, 42. N. Croft, 30. M. Podhajski
Int: 16. J. Bytel, 46. S. Callander, 6. J. Horo, 52. B. Reddick
Emg: 51. W. Jury, 19. B. Rigoni, 39. L. Sultana
23P: 53. M. Abou-Eid

In: W. Jury, K. Baker, L. Sultana, D. Mott, J. Bytel, B. Rigoni, J. Roumeliotis, J. Riccardi
Out: J. O’Sullivan,  D. Hanna,  C. Lamb,  A. Righele,  D. Landt

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 3. S. Carlin, 35. C. Hinkley, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 32. M.  Burgess, 2. M.  Schnerring, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 14. J. Hill, 20. T. Watts, 6. C. Wilson
F: 7. M. Martin, 28. C. Giddings, 39. J. Mawson
R: 29. P. Glanford, 13. T. Berry, 9. L. Dawson
Int: 4. B. Annett, 12. A. Gove, 27. E. Lamb, 33. J. Ross
Emg: 17. T. Clark, 21. I. Grant, 40. I. Thomas
23P: 30. I. Wareham

In: J. Mawson, I. Wareham, I. Grant, I. Thomas, T. Berry
Out: H. Butler, E. Harvey

DANDENONG STINGRAYS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS

Round 8 – Sunday, June 3, 10.45am
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong has put most of its Vic Country stars on ice for this round, with Bailey Williams, Zac Foot, Sam Fletcher and Bailey Schmidt all out, while Stephen and Matthew Cumming return, as does AFL Academy member Hayden Young. For the Dragons, they have the four confirmed outs with Josh Paul and Jackson Hannah departing he side, while the break from school footy sees the likes of Darcy Chirgwin, Jacquin Mifsud, Jeremy Goddard and Charlie Langford returning with the Melbourne Grammar bye this weekend.

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 20. S. De Koning, 41. L. Stenning
HB: 7. J. Taylor, 56. M. Cumming, 2. H. Young
C: 37. B.  Angwin, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 3. J.  Plumridge
HF: 49. M. Cottrell, 36. S. Cumming, 27. L. McDonnell
F: 11. E. Cahill, 5. A. Paterson, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 13. R. Bowman, 16. J. Frawley, 47. J. Hickey
Int: 6. J. Barker, 33. J. Carosella, 38. J. Harmes, 55. J. Ocaa, 35. F. Stellato, 50. L. Williams
23P: 45. L. Goonan

In: L. Goonan, H. Young, J. Barker, F. Stellato, J. Ocaa, S. Cumming, J. Harmes, M. Cumming
Out: B. Schmidt,  L. Young,  Z. Foot,  S. Fletcher,  C. Ellison,  B. Williams

Sandringham Dragons

B: 44. J. Mifsud, 43. C. Langford, 45. J. Voss
HB: 14. R. O’Meara, 69. C. Watts, 11. N. Stamatis
C: 72. D.  Chirgwin, 8. K.  Owens, 50. T.  Deane-Johns
HF: 47. T. Milne, 20. H. Bede, 76. X. Verdnik
F: 13. T. Brimble, 28. J. Rendell, 58. K. Yorke
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 66. R. Byrnes, 21. D. McNeish
Int: 37. N. Bufalo, 63. M. Butera, 59. A. Courtney, 24. H. Ferdinand, 3. T. Fogarty, 41. J. Goddard, 25. O. McMaster
23P: 55. J. Cowden

In: T. Brimble, J. Mifsud, J. Goddard, D. Chirgwin, J. Cowden, C. Langford, H. Ferdinand
Out: J. Paul, L. Lamble, J. Hannah, B. Krongold

GIPPSLAND POWER v. GEELONG FALCONS

Round 8 – Sunday, June 3, 1.15pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Both Gippsland and Geelong have rested a multitude of stars in the final game of the round ahead of the National Championships. Gippsland will go in with its youngest side of the year with captain Xavier Duursma, over-ager Matthew McGannon, key defender Kyle Reid and bottom-agers Brock Smith and Sam Flanders all out of the side. Nick Lowden, Will Broadbent and Mason McGannon are among at least five inclusions for the game. For Geelong, they will miss their full-back Dane Hollenkamp, as well as switchman Connor Idun and co-captain Oscar Brownless who joins fellow captain Sam Walsh on the sidelines.

Gippsland Power

B: 7. B. Patterson, 40. Z. Hurley, 15. R. Sparkes
HB: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 14. T. Hourigan, 10. L. Connolly
C: 8. B.  Beck, 1. T.  Hayes, 19. F.  Phillips
HF: 20. H. Neocleous, 23. N. Gown, 45. A. Young
F: 6. R. Baldi, 16. J. Smith, 26. W. Broadbent
R: 22. R. Henkel, 13. N. Lowden, 11. A. Hodge
Int: 17. G. Cocksedge, 3. M. McGannon, 21. M. McGarrity, 29. B. Motton, 37. H. Pepper, 43. Z. Skinner, 35. J. van der Pligt
23P: 31. B. Macfarlane

In: N. Lowden, Z. Hurley, F. Phillips, A. Young, M. McGarrity, B. Macfarlane, W. Broadbent, M. McGannon
Out: K. Reid,  B. Smith,  S. Flanders,  X. Duursma,  M. McGannon

Geelong Falcons

B: 40. J. Clark, 37. B. Campi, 33. Z. Knights
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 31. C. Cartledge, 21. L. Smith
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 41. C.  Stephens, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 32. F. Parish, 20. B. Ham, 16. B. Scott
F: 14. R. Hayden, 42. H. Spiller, 48. B. Schlensog
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 13. E. Floyd, 10. B. Mensch
Int: 9. B. Morton, 35. C. Tanis, 25. L. Taylor, 26. F. Wilson
Emg: 15. L. Handley, 28. C. O’Connor, 45. T. Richardson
23P: 19. B. Ritchie

In: C. O’Connor, T. Richardson, Z. Knights, B. Ham, J. Clark, B. Campi, E. Floyd, B. Ritchie, H. Spiller
Out: C. Harris, S. Stokes, D. Hollenkamp, C. Idun, C. Karpala, O. Brownless

TAC Cup preview: Sandringham Dragons

SANDRINGHAM Dragons were only a kick away from winning back-to-back TAC Cup titles last year, and with plenty of top talent in 2018 – they will be looking to make it three consecutive Grand Final berths. The Dragons produced seven draftees last year, headlined by Andrew Brayshaw – who was drafted by Fremantle with the second pick overall. 2018 will see the Dragons put out a taller team than previous seasons and hold two of the best key position players in the entire 2018 draft pool in the King twins.

The Haileybury College students Max & Ben both tower over 200cm and the AFL Academy members will be right in the mix as top five selections for the 2018 draft. Bailey Smith’s superb season across half-back and in the midfield, pushed him into the AFL Academy squad and the Dragons’ 2018 captain will be looking to progress into a full-time midfielder during the season. Smith’s bottom-age year was headlined by his 44 disposal, 13 inside 50s and 10 clearances game against Western Jets in Round 14 of the 2017 TAC Cup.

Another player that will feature heavily in the Dragons’ pursuit for success will be North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker (son of Darren). The rangy hybrid midfielder impressed last year at school football for Brighton Grammar playing in defence and is a good ball user by foot. The agile Crocker missed the latter parts of the Dragons 2017 campaign due to an ankle injury, but expect him to feature prominently this season.

Nineteen year-old 200cm tall Joe Griffiths might be one to keep an eye on, coming to the TAC Cup club for the first time after the boarder performed well in the ruck for Geelong Grammar at school football, earning him a State Combine invite. Ethan Casey will also return from an ACL injury and will battle it out in the ruck alongside vice-captain James Rendell (son of Fitzroy and Brisbane ruckman Matt). There’s no doubting opposition teams will need to have plenty of tall timber to combat the Dragons team.

Tom Long, Alastair Richards, Liam Stocker, Harry Houlahan and Ryan Macdermid are a handful of players who had experience as bottom-agers and they will be looking to progress their football in 2018. Angus Hanrahan (brother of Hawthorn’s Ollie) is another player who performed well at school football for St Kevin’s College in 2017, and might be a player to track during the year. Alongside Hanrahan, Rendell and Crocker – there are some other familiar last names down at the Dragons with Finn Maginness (son of Hawthorn premiership player Scott), Jai Florent (brother of Sydney’s Ollie), Jeremy Goddard (brother of St Kilda’s Hugh), Jackson Voss (son of former Saint Brett) and Tyson Milne (son of former St Kilda goalsneak Steven).

2017 Stats:

2017 Summary:

The Dragons were not far off back-to-back premierships in a see-sawing TAC Cup Grand Final that saw them come from 20 points down at three-quarter time to nearly storm home and get the win, after Geelong Falcons small forward Gryan Miers booted seven goals. They begun the season with a bang at Ikon Park, with bottom-age forward Max King bagging six marks and booting four goals. Hamish Brayshaw returned in the second half of the season after VFL commitments for Sandringham Zebras and used his power in the middle of the ground to push the Dragons side deep into the finals, eventually helping the 19 year-old find himself on an AFL list by the end of the year. Although they lost some games throughout the season that they ultimately should’ve won, the ‘next man up’ attitude at the Dragons saw them able to cover their losses during the season when the APS and AGSV school football commitments popped up.

2018 Snapshot:

The Dragons begin the season at Skybus Stadium in Frankston against Northern Knights, before playing the Oakleigh Chargers and Calder Cannons before school football season kicks-off. If the Dragons can win all three winnable games, it should set them up for the season that will see them juggle plenty of squad members as best as they can. With the Dragons’ strong squad, if they can avoid having to play off during the ‘Wildcard’ round in the lead up to finals, they should be able to progress deep into September for yet another year.

2018 Fixture:

Sandringham Dragons 2018

DateEventTime/ResultsVenueArticle
Frankston Oval
Rams Arena
Trevor Barker Oval
Norm Minns Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Morwell Recreational Reserve
Trevor Barker Oval
Shepley Oval
Warrawee Park
Trevor Barker Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
MARS Stadium
Trevor Barker Oval
Box Hill City Oval
Avalon Airport Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Trevor Barker Oval
Ikon Park