Tag: jesse motlop

2021 WAFL Colts: Round 16 weekend wrap

STATE Under 17 talent returned to the WAFL Colts competition in Round 16, contributing to four enthralling fixtures which shook up the race for finals. Three sides are now tied on five wins as they vie for the all-important fifth spot with under a month of regular season action left to play out. Swan Districts remains the team to beat after another impressive victory, while East Perth had the bye, though a select Royals team took on the state’s Under 19 side.

We recap all the action and outstanding performances in our weekly wrap, while also taking a look around the grounds at youngsters who impressed in senior grades.

>> Scouting Notes: WA U19s vs. East Perth

SWAN DISTRICTS 3.2 | 4.9 | 9.10 | 15.14 (104)
PERTH 2.1 | 4.1 | 4.1 | 4.1 (25)

Swan Districts continues to soar atop the WAFL Colts ladder after securing its 10th win of the season, downing Perth by 79 points in a top-versus-bottom clash. The Swans led by just eight points at half time, but kicked away with 11 majors thereafter while keeping the Demons scoreless.

Swans dominated possession with a total 326 disposals to Perth’s 182, headlined by ball winners Ben Hewett and Noah Hannah (both 32 disposals and one goal). Darcy Jones and Elijah Hewett were others to stand up in the win, while Braydon Fawcett and Ethyn Kane both booted a game-high three majors. Ben Weymouth was the lone Demon to tick up over 20 touches with his 23 and 17 tackles, but his side was comfortably outplayed in the second half.

GOALS:

Swans: E. Kane 3, B. Fawcett 3, A. Brock 2, J. Middleton, B. Hewett, A. Cartwright, B. Jones, B. Morris, N. Hannan, M. Watson
Perth: M. Hall 2, T. Henry, R. Seubert

WEST PERTH 2.2 | 6.2 | 7.5 | 13.6 (84)
PEEL THUNDER 2.2 | 5.4 | 8.7 | 10.9 (69)

West Perth continued its ascent back towards the top five with a 15-point win over Peel Thunder, meaning they head the trailing pack in what is becoming a hotly contested finals race. In a tight affair, the final margin was the largest of any break, with the Falcons made to overturn an eight-point deficit at three quarter time.

Versatile bottom-ager Kane Bevan was best afield with 25 disposals and seven marks, supported well by the likes of Luke Reilly and Jack DeMarte. Goalkickers Zarne Robis (three goals) and Saverio Marafioti (two) also had their moments in the win. For Peel, bigman Jackson Broadbent put in a monster effort with 21 touches and 36 hitouts, heading the Thunder’s disposal tally alongside small midfielder Scott Tuia. Cooper Osbourne also snared two majors from his six marks and five scoring shots in attack.

GOALS:

West Perth: Z. Robis 3, S. Marafioti 2, B. Sherwood 2, R. Gallen 2, L. Reilly, D. Dixon, J. DeMarte, J. Scaife
Peel Thunder: C. Osborne 2, B. Offer 2, S. Tuia, J. Klepzig, C. Carbone, H. Thomas, T. Salter, L. Taylor

CLAREMONT 5.1 | 6.3 | 7.6 | 10.7 (67)
EAST FREMANTLE 3.0 | 3.2 | 6.3 | 8.4 (52)

Claremont remains in the hunt for top spot after continuing its winning streak via a 15-point triumph over East Fremantle. In what was the only meeting between two top five sides for the weekend, the Tigers led at every break and consistently answered the Sharks’ surges with too much firepower moving forward

Tyreice Brown was terrific for the victors with 19 disposals, six marks and 4.2, while Talon Delacey had a game-high 25 touches and Max Mumme provided plenty of drive with his 24. Dylan Mulligan also took on some added responsibility well, finishing with 24 disposals, 23 hitouts and two goals. Samuel Otto notched a team-high 21 disposals for East Fremantle, followed closely by Luke Yeo (20, eight tackles) as the Sharks slipped down to fifth.

GOALS:

Claremont: T. Brown 4, D. Mulligan 2, C. Bristow 2, C. Jackman, X. Brenton-Reed
East Fremantle: S. Otto 2, K. Mcmillan 2, J. Baverstock, N. Phillips, K. Denney, J. Cripps

SUBIACO 1.1 | 4.5 | 7.6 | 9.10 (64)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 5.3 | 5.4 | 7.7 | 9.11 (65)

Subiaco slipped out of the top five after going down by a single point to South Fremantle in the round’s final fixture. A five-goal to one opening term from the Bulldogs proved crucial, as they were made to hold on amid Subiaco’s charge and only just managed to maintain their one-point lead from three quarter time, to the final siren.

Caleb Stephens again led the way for South with 22 disposals, joined by Tyler Piazzola on that figure, as Chase Bourne snared two goals from his 17 touches. Meanwhile, Jed Kemp racked up 36 disposals for Subi, with Jacob Evitt (25 disposals, five marks) another strong contributor.

GOALS:

Subiaco: L. Collard 3, C. Henderson 2, J. Evitt, D. O’Dea, B. Corderoy, J. Tholstrup
South Fremantle: C. Bourne 2, M. Bropho 2, L. Bloomer, J. Hulten, H. Elphick, C. Stephens, T. Jacques

UP THE GRADES:

While much of Western Australia’s top Under 19 talent donned representative colours this past weekend, there remained a handful of state squad members who instead ran out at League level. All five played in losses, starting with East Fremantle pair Corey Warner and Finn Gorringe. Warner’s level of consistency has been terrific in the senior grade, and he picked up another 15 disposals while also booting his first League goal. Gorringe had it 12 times, continuing his steady form in the top flight.

19-year-old Perth defender Jack Avery played his sixth senior game for the Demons and had his moments with 11 disposals and three marks. South Fremantle and Fremantle NGA small forward Jesse Motlop also popped up in spurts, laying five tackles and booting a goal among his handful of possessions. The state Under 19 squad will play against a select Perth squad this coming weekend, though all of the above players will turn out for their clubs should League selection again come knocking.

Image Credit: Brian Conduit via West Perth FC

2021 WAFL Colts: Round 15 weekend wrap

WHILE a bunch of Western Australia’s best talent went head-to-head in Saturday’s Under 17 vs. Under 19 trial game, the WAFL Colts competition rolled on into Round 15 over the weekend. Swan Districts swooped on a ninth win to continue its reign atop the table, while West Perth closed the gap on fifth with an upset win over East Fremantle.

We recap all the action and outstanding performances in our weekly wrap, while also taking a look around the grounds at youngsters who impressed in senior grades.

>> Scouting Notes: WA U17s vs. U19s

PEEL THUNDER 1.1 | 3.5 | 4.5 | 6.8 (44)
CLAREMONT 4.3 | 7.5 | 8.13 | 10.13 (73)

Claremont continues to hunt the top two sides after defeating Peel Thunder by 29 points last Friday night, 10.13 (73) to 6.8 (44). The Tigers shot out of the blocks with four goals to one in the opening term, holding at least a 20-point buffer at each break in what was a strong victory.

Kendyll Blurton’s fine form continued, as he notched a game-high 29 disposals to go with six inside 50s for the winners. Talon Delacey was again his partner in crime with 26 touches and five tackles, while Max Mumme had it 20 times and kicked a goal in his second game back at the level.

For Peel, Aquinas College midfielder Michael Sellwood returned well from a finger injury and PSA duties, collecting a team-high 23 disposals and five inside 50s to go with a goal. The versatile Cooper Osbourne managed 21 touches, while small midfielder Scott Tuia finished with 16.

GOALS:

Peel: B. Finch, M. Sellwood, T. Salter, J. McLellan, L. Taylor, B. Offer
Claremont: H. Cole 3, P. Kitchener, D. Mulligan 2, M. Mumme, R. Charles, J. Sukuroski

PERTH 3.2 | 4.2 | 6.3 | 6.6 (42)
EAST PERTH 2.3 | 5.8 | 6.10 | 8.16 (64)

While plenty of stars were impressing in the weekend’s state trial game, East Perth did enough to beat Perth by 22 points in Saturday morning’s opening fixture, winning 8.16 (64) to 6.6 (42).

Kalani Brooks took over the Royals’ midfield and dominated with 44 disposals, seven tackles and 1.3, supported well by Jayden Peak (33 disposals, 11 inside 50s) and Jake Littleton (21 disposals, seven inside 50s, one goal) on the outer.

Perth had a couple of shining lights in its 11th loss, as Damian Sinclair notched a team-high 29 disposals, while Harry Quartermaine took 12 marks among his 26 touches. Aiden O’Driscoll, the brother of Fremantle’s Emma and Nathan was the game’s sole multiple goal kicker, snaring two in his fourth outing at 16-years-old.

GOALS:

Perth: A. O’ Driscoll 2, A. Luers, J. Evans, O. Zolnier-Owens, B. Weymouth
East Perth: M. Williams, T. Druzianich, T. Graham, J. Chadwick, J. Littleton, K. Brooks, G. Ryan, B. Cubahiro

WEST PERTH 2.2 | 4.6 | 5.7 | 11.9 (75)
EAST FREMANTLE 1.0 | 3.3 | 6.8 | 8.8 (56)

West Perth closed the gap on the top five, drawing to within a game of the leading pack with a 19-point upset win over East Fremantle, coming from behind at the final break to get up 11.9 (75) to 8.8 (56).

Luke Michael led all comers with 31 disposals and 14 marks for the Falcons in his best showing for the season, while Luke Reilly (28 disposals, nine tackles) and Darcy Dixon (21 disposals, 1.3) also got busy in the win. Rucking against stiff opposition, Riley Sprigg showed promising signs with 15 touches and 32 hitouts.

Kobe McMillan was the Sharks’ ruck, returning from Reserves duties to share the role with Joshua Cripps. Their top ball winners were Jake Urquhart (29 disposals) and Samuel Emery (28), while Fremantle NGA hopeful Richard Bartlett was amongst the goalkickers.

GOALS:

West Perth: Z. Robis 3, S. Marafioti 2, L. Reilly, L. Homsany, D. Dixon, J. DeMarte, R. Gallen, N. Farrow
East Fremantle: T. Foss 2, B. Parasiliti, L. Gangemi, R. Bartlett, T. Giles, K. McMillan, J. Feist

SWAN DISTRICTS 3.1 | 4.6 | 7.11 | 11.13 (79)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.4 | 4.6 (30)

A seven-goal second half has helped Swan Districts claim a 49-point victory over South Fremantle, winning 11.13 (79) to 4.6 (30) to remain top of the WAFL Colts ladder after 15 rounds – with a game in hand, no less.

Ben Hewett was terrific for the victors, posting 27 touches and six marks, while Noah Hannan (31 disposals) led all comers and Ayden Cartwright (25 disposals, two goals) was again impressive among a formidable Swans team effort.

Meanwhile, Caleb Stephens continues to shine for South after his 35 disposals and two goals, supported by Caden Turnbull (27 disposals, eight marks) this time out with pressure mounting on the Bulldogs’ fifth-place standing.

GOALS:

Swan Districts: J. Middleton, J. Sullivan, B. Morris, A. Cartwright 2, J. Ugle, J. Eastough, T. Sears
South Fremantle: C. Stephens 2, L. Brandis, J. Hulten

UP THE GRADES:

Fremantle NGA prospect Jesse Motlop, the son of Daniel, made his League debut with South Fremantle on Saturday, booting two goals from 13 disposals as his Bulldogs beat Swan Districts. If not for his top flight berth, the exciting forward would have run out for the Under 19s state squad on the same day.

Likewise, Perth defender Jack Avery and East Fremantle’s Corey Warner also prioritised League duties. Avery had 20 touches as Perth went down to East Perth, while Warner had it 14 times as the Sharks went down to West Perth. 19th-year state squad member Finn Gorringe was also afield, managing 16 disposals and five marks.

A few of WA’s most highly touted talent also missed Saturday’s trial game through injury, headlined by Subiaco midfielder Neil Erasmus. Prolific East Fremantle midfielder Josh Browne and versatile Perth tall Jaiden Hunter were also in that boat. The former two should be available for the Under 19s carnival-opener against South Australia on August 7.

At Reserves level, Deklyn Grocott (Perth) and Tyrell Metcalf (Swan Districts) were among those to continue their step-ups into senior grades. The former managed 14 disposals in Perth’s win over East Perth, while the latter had 13 touches as Swans went down to South Fremantle.

Image Credit: Phil Elliott & Justin Elliott (Pixell Photography) via East Fremantle FC

WAFL League Player Focus: Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle)

SOUTH FREMANTLE young small forward Jesse Motlop, the son of former Port Adelaide and North Melbourne player Daniel, has had an impressive 2021 season across the WAFL Colts and PSA competitions. His form and undeniable potential earned him a WAFL League debut with South Fremantle, against fellow finals contenders Swan Districts.

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospect ended up being an important part of the side’s six-goal victory, chiming in with two goals of his own in the third quarter whilst setting up a few more throughout the entirety of the game.

POCKET PROFILE

Jesse Motlop
South Fremantle/Western Australia

DOB: 23/11/2003
Height/Weight: 176cm/74kg
Position: Small Forward/Midfielder

Strengths: Speed, smarts, goal sense

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts
(4 games)

15.3 disposals | 2.5 marks | 3.0 tackles | 4.0 inside 50s | 1.5 goals (6 total)

Image Credit: South Fremantle/WAFL

2021 WAFL League, Round 15 | Swan Districts 9.5 (59) def. by South Fremantle 15.5 (95)

#49 Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle)

Stats: 13 disposals (10 kicks, 3 handballs), 6 marks, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50, 2 goals

Q1

It was a low-key opening term for Motlop in his debut senior outing. Starting the game on the bench, he wasn’t sighted until about eight minutes in as he took his position in the goal square as the deepest forward for his first centre bounce.

His first involvement in general play came deep inside 50 where he hit the front and centre of a marking contest, cleanly picking the ball up off the ground and in a position to run into an open goal, but was brought down as soon as he picked it up for a stoppage.

He held the ball to an opponent not long after to get a stoppage in front of goal, though it didn’t result in anything. The only disposal Motlop would record for the first term came as he pushed up the ground to be a switch option from the corridor to the boundary, taking the ball on his chest uncontested before running it up a few steps and then lacing it out to a teammate on the wing, who was able to move the ball quickly and get it inside 50 for a goal.

Despite not racking up numbers on the stats sheet, Motlop was involved in the South Fremantle forward half, pressuring opponents to cause a few turnovers and stoppages, giving his side opportunities to score and making his one kick count.

Q2

Once again taking the role as a deep forward, Motlop wasn’t given many opportunities to use the footy, with the talls of South Fremantle being the targets and Swan Districts doing well to intercept balls as they flew in. He did continue to show the pressure work he did the previous quarter, laying two tackles around the forward 50 where his second efforts saw him get back at the opposition with the ball. He showed a lot of courage at times as well, getting involved in a marking contest where neither player held the ball, but he got straight back up to follow up.

Motlop moved up the ground to get involved when it was a bit of an arm wrestle, where he won the ball off the hands of a marking contest and followed his momentum by running back towards his defensive 50 through traffic, able to maintain possession whilst running through a pack of five Swan Districts players. He side-stepped to avoid being grabbed and hit a handball to a runner from the backline. He made it obvious the front and centres were a speciality area a few times, demonstrating why he was being paired under a tall forward down deep with his clean pick-ups below his knees.

Motlop worked into the game well in the second quarter, making the most of his opportunities to show his potential for eye-catching plays, but really impressing with his pressure work, second efforts and reading of the ball off hands more than anything, playing his small forward role particularly well despite not hitting the scoreboard.

Q3

The third quarter saw Motlop taking a bit more freedom and pushing up the ground, getting free around the back end of the centre square to be used a couple of times by his teammates. In those instances, he was able to lose opponents with his acceleration or repeated lead efforts. He followed up with generally good ball use, spotting out leading teammates up the field to put them in a good spot to move the ball forward.

One kick into the middle of the ground initially looked poor, but bounced well for his teammates to win the contest and get it long forward for an easy South Fremantle goal. Motlop’s high work rate was again on display, as he made gut runs to impact opponents, even if they moved the ball on before he got there he’d follow up and try and impact the next contest.

He got himself on the scoreboard with two goals in the third quarter, with both being a good example of his forward craft and ability to get free in dangerous spots. The first was more through his high work rate and repeat leading efforts, as he lost his opponent inside forward 50 and was spotted up by a teammate, taking a mark over his head about 40 out right in front of goal, where he went back and slotted it straight through from afar. The second goal came through his footy smarts, peeling off from where a pack was going to form, standing free right in front of goal about 25 out, then being used by his teammate coming out of the pack taking it on the chest and slotting his second.

Motlop continued to do the things he had been doing well in the third, whilst adding two goals for some additional impact and reward for all his hard work over the game. When given the freedom to push further up the ground, he finds the ball and can get into good spots to be a marking option, with generally strong ball use forward and a great ability to kick start scoring opportunities with his disposal choice.

Q4

As both teams reverted to a safer way of moving and carrying the ball the opportunities for a front and centre specialist dried up very quickly, meaning Motlop wasn’t as lively around the goals but still won a bait of ball around the boundary line inside 50. There were a couple of times he found himself stuck with a close option, but opted to kick to the square or go for goal, but the Swan Districts defenders would intercept and move the ball on. Moved up the ground and got a mark in the defensive 50 as South brought it in from a behind and kicked well to a teammate.

He essentially handed a goal to one of his taller teammates in the final quarter, as he collected a ground ball off one bounce about three meters out from the goal square, standing his ground in a tackle as he spun to face the goals, handballing it off to ensure it was a goal.

Closing thoughts:

It was an impressive debut at League level for Motlop after impressing at Colts and PSA levels through the year. He looked comfortable amongst bigger bodies and didn’t noticeably struggle with the physicality, looking courageous as he ran head first into packs and impacted contests in the forward half of the ground.

He had quite a few flashy moments with his agility and ability to find the right options with his disposal, setting up scoring plays, but his fundamentals of the game and work rate are what ultimately sets him up to be the smart and damaging player he is, forcing turnovers or backwards disposals from the opposition by pressuring them with his closing speed. This game showed a good base for Motlop and suggests plenty of potential to impact at the next level.

Image Credit: South Fremantle/WAFL

State Leagues wrap: COVID chaos and big boilovers

WHILE Victoria has descended into COVID chaos once more, state leagues rolled on in South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia with a bunch of intriguing results produced. While it was largely business as usual in the SANFL, there was a major boilover in the TSL, while the WAFL top five is firming as three teams continue to battle for top spot. We run you through all the results from around the nation and what they mean moving forward in this week’s state leagues wrap.

South Australia (SANFL):

While Round 16 proceedings are currently under a COVID cloud, Round 15 went ahead without a hitch in the SANFL. There were two clashes between top five teams this past weekend, as ladder position counted for plenty with every higher-ranked side picking up full points across the five-game round.

At the top of the tree, Glenelg extended its perfect run to 14 games with an 18-point win over South Adelaide, who have now in lost three of their last four outings. A three-goal to nil opening term proved the difference, as the Bays put away another finals candidate. Matthew Snook (29 disposals, one goal), Luke Partington (26 and one), and Chris Curran (24 and one) were all prominent in yellow and black, while Bryce Gibbs managed 27 touches, 14 tackles and a goal in his 50th League match, fittingly against his old side.

Saturday’s other top five clash saw reigning premier Woodville-West Torrens power past Norwood, winning by 36 points on the back of a second half surge. The Eagles piled on nine of the last 10 goals after trailing at the main break, flexing their muscle forward of centre. James Tsitas and Mitch Grigg led the disposal count for either side with 29 touches apiece, while Tyson Stengle‘s two goals at the end of term three helped the Eagles push ahead.

Port Adelaide and Sturt remain in the hunt for finals after respective wins against the bottom two sides, though both came by a mere 13 points. The Magpies did enough to get past a plucky West Adelaide on Sunday, remaining one game out of the top five, while the Double Blues bettered Central District in a low-scoring slog to sit two games off the pace. North Adelaide was the weekend’s other winner, downing Adelaide by 54 points to strengthen its standing in third.

Tasmania (TSL):

Clarence has shaken up the TSL top four frame, defeating North Launceston by two points in a major boilover. The Roos led by a single point at half time and after extending the margin to eight come the final break, were made to reclaim the ascendancy via Colin Garland‘s boot at the death.

The result sees Clarence close to within a game of its weekend rival, as the Northern Bombers suffer rare consecutive losses in what was meant to be a celebration for player-coach Brad Cox-Goodyer‘s 200th game.

Brandon Leary booted four goals for the victors in a losing effort for the Northern Bombers, while Garland finished with three and James Holmes was named best afield.

Meanwhile, league leader Launceston escaped a similar scare against Tigers, snaring three goals to nil in the final term to sneak home by 13 points. The Blues trailed at every break after the hosts got the jump, but clawed their way back and pounced at the ideal time.

Fletcher Seymour and Cody Thorp (two goals) were among the victors’ best, while Luke Graham booted a game-high three majors for Tigers as Zach Adams claimed full votes.

In the weekend’s sole non-top four clash, Lauderdale powered past Glenorchy on the back of a 13-goal second half, saluting to the tune of 81 points. Leading a brigade of nine individual goalkickers for the Bombers was Edward Stanley (five), while Tyler Martin (four) and Allen Christensen (three) compounded their side’s scoreboard dominance.

Western Australia (WAFL):

East Perth inflicted the sole ladder change after Round 15 of the WAFL League season, jumping Perth in eight after its nine-point road win over the Demons. Former Carlton-listed pair Rohan Kerr (41 disposals, 10 marks) and Angus Schumacher (33 disposals, two goals) were prominent for the Royals, who held off Perth’s final term surge after leading by an even five goals at three quarter time.

A three-way tie for points from first to third remains after Claremont, Subiaco, and South Fremantle all claimed their ninth wins for the season. Subiaco still leads the way on percentage having defeated West Coast by 20 points, with 10 of the Lions 12 goals coming at one end of Leederville Oval.

Claremont isn’t far behind after downing Peel Thunder by nine points on Sunday, while South Fremantle’s 36-point win over Swan Districts proved a definitive result between finals contenders. Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect Jesse Motlop debut for the Bulldogs, booting two goals from 13 touches.

West Perth came away as the round’s other winner after scraping past East Fremantle by five points, overcoming a half time deficit and near-costly inaccuracy to remain clean in fourth. The Falcons were served typically well by Aaron Black (38 disposals, nine marks), as Tyler Keitel and Lachlan Bailey booted four goals for their respective sides.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

Victoria’s recently-extended five-day lockdown saw Round 14 of the VFL scrapped, with the competition currently running on a week-by-week scheduling basis. Victorian teams which travelled to Queensland also had their official fixtures cancelled, though Essendon and North Melbourne combined their reserves to face Brisbane in a scratch match on Saturday. Returning Roos tall Charlie Comben impressed with four goals in that hit-out.

The VFL Women’s finals series has also been impacted, but the VFL says it remains committed to awarding a premier with just the preliminary and grand finals left to play.

Image Credit: Cory Sutton via SANFL

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 13 – East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder

PEEL Thunder pulled off a memorable upset over East Fremantle on Saturday morning, coming from behind at each break to snatch victory within the last 90 seconds, 9.8 (62) to 7.16 (58).

The inaccurate Sharks were made to pay for their inability to shut the door on Peel, with their early control of the territory, midfield and scoring shot domination counting for little as they fell behind at the last hurdle.

16-year-old Koen Sanchez had the chance to win back the points for East Freo with a flying shot in the last 30 seconds, but pulled it wide to seal the result in soggy conditions at New Choice Homes Park.

We take a look at a few of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes, and go around the grounds with some of the other outstanding Colts performances out of Round 13.

SCOUTING NOTES

East Fremantle 7.16 (58) def. by Peel Thunder 9.8 (62)

East Fremantle:

#2 Koen Sanchez

The 2005-born talent is an exciting prospect for the future, and started brightly in his latest WAFL Colts outing. Sanchez was stationed out on the wing and provided really good drive between the arcs, running hard and proving a quick thinker in possession. He unfortunately put wide a game-winning opportunity in the last 30 seconds, but it was a decent effort on the fly from the 16-year-old.

#4 Jed Hagan

Hagan was another who started well, contributing the first two scores of the game – albeit both behinds. As a permanent fixture in midfield, the bottom-ager was wonderfully clean below his knees and clever at the contest, able to win the ball at will and draw free kicks under pressure. He again found plenty of the ball with 26 disposals, working to all areas of the ground with smooth movement and slick ball use. Looks a dead ringer for recent North Melbourne draftee, Will Phillips.

#6 Josh Browne

As he so often does, Browne finished Saturday’s game as the clear leading ball winner, racking up 33 disposals and looking particularly ominous in the first half. He was the go-to midfielder at stoppages, often able to get first hands on the ball and move it on cleanly by hand. His quick clearing kicks were less effective and not quite penetrative, but Browne consistently got his hands on the ball and corrected some of those deficiencies. After spurning a set shot opportunity in term two, he straightened up to slot one home in the following quarter.

#7 Judd McVee

One of the more polished players afield, McVee was able to display his smooth movement on the rebound off half-back. He positioned well to intercept across the backline, before distributing nicely by foot. His composure on the ball pointed towards great class, and there were a couple of instances where McVee spun out of tight spots or sold candy to keep the play moving fluently.

#8 Taj Woewodin

The Melbourne father-son hopeful was another of East Fremantle’s prolific ball winners, providing good drive out of the engine room. He often received the ball facing forward, or had momentum going that way, which he continued with his carry and capped off with clean kicks. He began to find more of the ball away from the contest after half time and snuck forward to drill through a terrific goal in the final term.

#19 Richard Bartlett

In his first WAFL Colts outing for the season, Bartlett showed some promise and class in the front half. The Fremantle NGA prospect has slick hands and a punchy kind of kick, which he used to get creative at half-forward. He presented well and took a couple of clean overhead marks, but mostly caught the eye with his goal at the start of the fourth term. He had also kicked one in the second quarter but missed another late set shot chance and even gave a couple off.

#22 Jack Cleaver

14 disposals and six marks do not quite do justice to the mark Cleaver made at half-back, with his no-frills kind of approach proving important in the defensive half. The solidly built bottom-ager was exactly that – solid – as he saw most of his possessions on the defensive side of the corridor where he looked to distribute with short kicks. While there was nothing spectacular about his game, Cleaver played his role well and was handy in most departments.

#25 Jack Williams

Spending more time in the ruck than usual, Williams had his work cut out for him but still managed to put up good numbers with 17 disposals, five marks, 18 hitouts and 1.2 on the scoreboard. The versatile tall prospect was shrewd with his ruck bodywork and just as clever in his ability to peel off after initial forward marking contests. He showed this on two occasions, with both breaks leading to set shot opportunities and the first resulting in a goal. He was typically assured in the air, but could be a touch stronger when bodied in contests.

Peel Thunder:

#7 Byron Finch

Finch popped up to be one of Peel’s best midfielders in crucial moments, including a couple of centre bounce breaks during term four. He also came up clutch with the game-winning goal with 90 seconds left on the clock, winning a free kick inside 50 before coolly converting. With crafty movement and foot skills, Finch impacted both at the fall of the ball and coming away from the contest.

#8 Brady Hough

Hough spent plenty of time forward before shifting back into midfield, proving another who stood up in the tough moments. He provided Jackson Klepzig with the game’s first goal, breaking over the back in transition and kicking long inside 50. He really started to get going after half time, helping Peel shift into attack with positive forward carry. The state Under 19 squad member lifted his urgency late on, breaking tackles and looking to move inside 50 quickly.

#23 Luke Polson

The mobile tall again rotated into the ruck from his key forward post, moving well in both roles and taking the game on with vigour for a player of his stature. Polson looked ominous in the early-goings with a solid mark and shot on goal, but popped up for more moment- type plays as the game wore on. He was not afraid to back his athleticism to burn opponents or move through traffic, and his effort to break multiple tackles led to Blake Offer’s important fourth term goal.

#24 Blake Offer

Offer was the most effective key forward afield in terms of scoreboard impact, booting a game-high three goals with each of them coming in different terms. He got on the board with two set shots in the opening half, and snapped a clutch goal in the final quarter to help draw Peel back within two goals. His clean finishing proved key to the Thunder’s comeback victory as East Fremantle faltered.

#28 Jackson Broadbent

The bottom-aged tall showed some nice signs throughout the match, using his height advantage well in the ruck and hitting to dangerous zones at stoppages. He won a game-high 24 hitouts, competing plenty against highly touted Sharks prospect, Jack Williams. Broadbent only notched eight disposals and spend a good amount of time forward, but did his best work in the ruck.

#30 Jarrad McIlvinney

Another of Peel’s state Under 19 squad members, McIlvinney was strong in his usual defensive post and did most of his best work aerially. He took four marks for the day, winning one-on-ones inside defensive 50 and using his reach to advantage to pluck the ball at high points.

AROUND THE GROUNDS

Subiaco earned a thumping 70-point win over Perth to open the round, with leading Lions prospect Matthew Johnson notching 28 disposals, nine marks, 10 tackles and a goal. Jed Kemp (33 disposals) was also prominent, while Jacob Evitt (23 disposals, two goals) and Ezekiel Bolton (22 and three) found plenty of the ball and the goals.

East Perth’s push for top spot continued with a 19-point win over West Perth on the road, spearheaded once again by rising prospect Jye Amiss. The prolific key forward booted four goals, while the likes of Kalani Brooks (27 disposals) and James Tunstill (19 disposals, two goals) were also productive. Falcons skipper Luke Reilly was his side’s leading ball winner with 23 touches, trailed by versatile tall Kane Bevan (20) as Darcy Dixon (19 disposals, two goals) and the returning Lochlan Paton (19 disposals, six tackles) also stood up.

Claremont were the other big winners in Round 14, trouncing South Fremantle to the tune of 68 points away from home. Small forward Jahmal Stretch booted four goals to prove his credentials as a state squad member, as ball winners Angus Sheldrick (28 disposals) and Talon Delacey (22, one goal) went to work. Caleb Stephens was again prolific for the Bulldogs, winning a game-high 29 touches and snagging a goal.

A few Colts guns were also sighted at League level, headlined by the debut of East Fremantle midfielder Corey Warner. The brother of Chad managed 14 disposals and five marks in his maiden outing, making for a solid start to his senior career. Claremont forward Jacob Van Rooyen made another appearance as the Tigers lost to South Fremantle by a point, while Fremantle NGA prospect Jesse Motlop kicked a goal for the Bulldogs’ Reserves.

Big-bodied East Perth midfielder Kade Dittmar was also sighted in the seconds, collecting 29 disposals and laying five tackles as the Royals downed West Perth.

Image Credit: Phil Elliott/Justin Elliott (Pixell Photography) via East Fremantle Football Club

2021 West Australian Under 19 squad announced

THE 2021 West Australian Under 19 squad was announced on Wednesday, with 33 players making the cut to represent their state at the upcoming National Championships. Selected to compete in games against South Australia (July 31) and the Allies (August 7), the squad features players ranging from their 19th year, to a gun 16-year-old who is also among the state’s Under 17 set-up.

The Black Ducks promise to be competitive at this year’s carnival, boasting a strong core of versatile key position prospects and dynamic midfield mix. AFL Academy members Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts), Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont), and Jack Williams (East Fremantle) are among the best talls available in this year’s draft crop, while Subiaco pair Matthew Johnson and Neil Erasmus are set to wax in midfield having also represented the national Under 19 Academy.

Fans of AFL clubs will also have specific players to keep an eye on, with father-son and Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospects littered through the side. Exciting small forward/midfielder Jesse Motlop (son of Daniel) comes under Fremantle’s academy umbrella, while explosive East Perth mover Ethan Regan is one for Eagles. Melbourne also has a father-son in the mix, with Taj Woewodin (son of Shane) a promising midfield option.

East Fremantle produced the most members (eight) this time around, as the WAFL club continues to prove a strong breeding ground for draft eligible talent. East Perth is the next best with six players involved, including Regan and leading Colts goalkicker Jye Amiss (25 goals). There is plenty of competition for spots up forward, with swingman Bazzo likely to revert to a defensive post along with versatile 19-year-old Jaiden Hunter (Perth).

Hunter is one of a few top-agers to have earned League berths in 2021 after being overlooked at last year’s draft, with Perth teammate Jack Avery in that same boat, alongside midfielder-turned-defender Finn Gorringe (East Fremantle) and ruckman Jake South (Subiaco). Meanwhile, 18th-year talents van Rooyen and Johnson also broke through for their senior debuts before returning to the Colts grade.

After hitouts against South Australia and the Allies, WA is scheduled to take on Vic Country and Vic Metro in Victoria on September 24 and 29, to round out the National Championships.

Below is a preview of how the West Australian team may look, in a line-up put together by Draft Central analyst Ed Pascoe. Scroll further to see the full squad.

FB: Jack Avery (P) – Rhett Bazzo (SD) – Finn Gorringe (EF)
HB: Jed Hagan (EF) – Jaiden Hunter (P) – Judd McVee (EF)
C: Corey Warner (EF) – Matthew Johnson (S) – Max Chipper (SD)
HF: Ethan Regan (EP) – Jacob van Rooyen (C) – Neil Erasmus (S)
FF: Jye Amiss (EP) – Jack Williams (EF) – Jesse Motlop (SF)
FOL: Jake South (S) – Josh Browne (EF) – Kade Dittmar (EP)

INT: Zac Fleiner (WP), Kaden Harbour (EP), Brady Hough (PT), Lochlan Paton (WP), Luke Polson (PT), James Tunstill (EP)

EMG: Oscar Armstrong (EP), Eric Benning (C), Ed Curley (EF), Richard Farmer (S), Jarrod McIlvinney (PT), Angus Sheldrick (C), Jahmal Stretch (C), Bryce Watson (SD), Taj Woewodin (EF)

FULL SQUAD:

Image Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 5 – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

AFTER an unforeseen week away due to West Australian lockdown, the WAFL Colts returned on the weekend for Round 5. The latest featured game saw East Perth take on Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning, with the Royals running away 34-point victors to remain top of the table.

A fast start saw the hosts look like beating their opponents black and blue, booting four goals to nil in the opening term. But Swans wrestled back some momentum and territory during the second and third quarters, answering each Royal run to remain just within striking distance at both of those breaks.

But a powerhouse final period saw East Perth pick up its third victory of the 2021 season, bookending the game nicely with a further five goals to put some meat onto the bones of its winning margin. Boasting a terrific conversion rate, the Royals won out 13.5 (83) to Swans’ 7.7 (49), with both sides now losing players to the Public Schools Association (PSA) competition.

SCOUTING NOTES

East Perth:

#4 Ethan Regan

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect showcased some exciting traits in the forward half, starting brightly and capping off his game with a couple of nice moments. Regan got amongst it early through sheer work rate, impacting ground level contests and applying good defensive pressure. He cut across to take a nice intercept mark inside forward 50 in term one, which saw him kick his sole goal of the game. Regan’s speed and skill would later come to the fore as he combined well with Jye Amiss, streaming forward and hitting targets by foot. Late in the piece, he popped up with a pair of eye-catching overhead marks on the move, reaching the ball at its highest point.

#7 Jye Amiss

Another who started brightly for the Royals, Amiss snared three of his four goals by 4:30 into the second quarter. Stationed almost exclusively inside attacking 50, the promising key forward had two goals on the board in a flash through terrific forward craft, quick reactions and innate goal sense. He is said to have improved his ground level work this year, and it showed in those moments. An in-the-back free kick during term two gifted Amiss his third major, while number four came in the final quarter after a mark on the lead. Goalkicking exploits aside, Amiss also had a nice moment in the third term as he desperately ran down an opponent, holding the ball.

#9 Kade Dittmar

While he was a force for most of the game, Dittmar really came to prominence during a powerhouse final quarter. His explosive ability from the centre bounces was evident, as well as his power running through the middle of the ground. Dittmar would be seen getting first hands on the ball, breaking away to bomb inside 50, and following up his kicks all in the same chain. His ability to stand up under opposition heat, fend off, and dish out was also noticeable in the earlier stages, before Swan Districts’ midfield got on top in term two. Still, Dittmar was able to impact through the middle and was very clean with his shorter-range disposal by foot – especially for such a bullocking inside type. Considering his primary role, he seems quite well balanced.

#26 Kaden Harbour

Harbour is a handy small forward who also rotates through midfield, providing a good amount of spark wherever he goes. He arguably looked most comfortable inside attacking 50 during this outing, where he was able to snap up a couple of goals and take eye-catching aerial marks. After an indifferent opening half, Harbour began to better impact as the contest wore on, helping East Perth break clear at the start of the third quarter with two goals in quick succession. The first came from a big contested mark close to goal, where Harbour rose from the back, while the second was a quick snap just as deep as he arrived first to the spillage. Known for his high flying, he’s difficult to miss in full flight.

Others:

Jake Littleton was in plenty early on for East Perth, operating on a wing and catching the eye under his helmet. Through midfield, James Tunstill found plenty of the ball, as Jayden Peak provided a bit of spark moving forward. The raw talent of Sokaa Soka, another West Coast NGA talent, became more prominent as the game wore on, while Luke Lombardi did some nice things exiting out of defence.

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

A permanent fixture in Swan Districts’ midfield, Chipper ended as his side’s most prolific ball winner and did so with plenty of quick-minded plays. Reasonably clean at ground level, the diminutive mover is not the most quick or agile out of congestion, but makes up for it with good vision and decision making on the ball. He tended to air his kicks a touch but generally hit targets and backed himself to do so heading into potentially risky areas. After a slow start, he worked into the game well during the second term and nearly nabbed a goal on the run from long range. After a solid outing in the black and white, Chipper appeared to limp off late in the final quarter after miscuing a kick.

#23 Luke Taylor

Potentially the most impressive player afield, Taylor proved his pedigree with a three-goal haul full of promise. The brother of GWS defender Sam, Taylor is a raw key forward with equally good potential in the air. While it was not always rewarded, Taylor’s work up the ground and ability to provide a contest allowed the Swans a chance to chain up play forward of centre. He brought the ball to ground on multiple occasions and had a few almost-marks, which he should begin to hold as he grows. Taylor kicked his first goal in the second quarter, using his reach to pluck a high ball in the goalsquare before duly converting. His clever leading patterns saw him gain separation and become an inside 50 target during the third term, which led to goal number two. Capping off his day, Taylor was gifted a third major via a 50-metre penalty, proving a handy reward for effort.

Others:

19-year-old Ty Sears had some nice moments running off half-back and the wing, without always possessing the finished product he would desire. Ben Hewett and Noah Hannan were both productive in midfield, while West Coast NGA talent Lawson Humphries stood up in defence. Up the other end of the ground, Bryce Watson popped up for a couple of handy goals, as Darcy Jones showed good promise and zip at ground level and Tyrell Metcalf got busy.

AROUND THE GROUNDS:

Headlining the news around Western Australia’s latest draft crop this week was the League debut of Matthew Johnson. Fresh off a solid showing for the AFL Academy, the tall Subiaco midfielder notched 11 disposals and five tackles as the Lions went down to South Fremantle. Elsewhere, star key forward Jacob Van Rooyen is being rested by Claremont after his glandular fever diagnosis, as reported by the West Australian’s Jordan McArdle. The start of the PSA season has also seen a raft of players become unavailable for WAFL Colts selection.

Back in the Colts competition, East Fremantle found a way to edge Perth in their clash on Saturday morning. Key forward Jack Williams again played a starring role with four goals, as Josh Browne (35 disposals) had the ball on a string in midfield and Melbourne father-son prospect Taj Woewodin (27 disposals) continued his good form. Jack Avery was a Goliath-like in Perth’s defence with 41 touches and 13 marks, as Zak Meloncelli proved his class having dropped back down to Colts level from the Reserves grade.

West Perth notched its first win of the season with a 23-point triumph over Claremont, with gun midfielder Lochlan Paton again finding plenty of the ball. He racked up 27 disposals and nine marks after managing 28 touches last round, while Zac Fleiner (26 disposals), Jordan Berry (10 marks), and Zarne Robis (four goals) all contributed in different ways for the victors. Talon Delacey delivered 20 of his 27 disposals by foot for Claremont, as Kendyll Blurton showed plenty more promise for 24 touches and six inside 50s.

South Fremantle became the third team to land on three wins as the Bulldogs beat Subiaco by eight points, with Liam Brandis and Jacob Plunkett combining for seven goals. Caleb Stephens (29 disposals, nine marks) was also fantastic in the win, as Fremantle NGA talent Ashwin Malik more than held his own in defence. Fellow NGA prospect Jesse Motlop kicked a goal from his 10 touches. Meanwhile, Jacob Evitt (18 disposals, two goals) and Blake Morris (13 disposals, seven marks) were solid for Subiaco.

Next Gen gripes: The Academy prospects who will have recruiters sweating

THE SHIFT in Next Generation Academy (NGA) related rules means clubs will only be able to match bids which come after pick 20 in this year’s draft, with the ‘first dibs’ concession set to be pushed back to pick 40 in 2022. Still, there will be a few clubs sweating on the form of their academy talents.

Headlining the list of NGA bolters is Dandenong Stingrays standout Mac Andrew (Melbourne), a raw and athletic tall whose NAB League form earned him a call up to the AFL Academy squad. Having already shown his wares across three games with the ‘Rays, the 18-year-old stamped his top 25 potential with an eye-catching final term performance in the ruck, as the Academy was thumped by Geelong VFL last Saturday.

While Andrews’ form will buoy Melbourne’s recruiting and list management staff, it may also throw a spanner in the works if other clubs take rightful notice of his upside. In a draft pool stocked well on midfielders, versatile talls like Andrew could accelerate up the order. The Dees also have access to Ryan Koo Kwet Kim and Kobi George from the Dandenong region, while Josiah Kyle is tied to St Kilda.

The Saints came into the year with one of the more promising NGA lists, but foster more long-term prospects at this stage. Jack Peris, the son of Olympic champion Nova, is beginning to show his true potential for Sandringham Dragons alongside teammates Angus McLennan, Marcus Windhager and Mitch Owens. Peris is an agile outside runner who snuck forward to kick a couple of goals against Dandenong in Round 3, after debuting in Round 1. Scott Beilby is another for St Kilda to monitor, a defender with good attacking traits.

Adelaide may lose out massively with the new rulings – if not this year, than certainly next. The Crows currently lay claim to North Adelaide small defender Blayne O’Loughlin, the nephew of Sydney great Michael, who also played in the AFL Academy game. He started the SANFL Under 18s season with averages of 35 disposals and seven inside 50s, captaining his side. He is arguably still safe of that top 20 range.

Blayne O’Loughlin is tied to Adelaide’s NGA | Image Credit: AFL Photos

The Crows have seen Isaiah Dudley, who also boasts strong family ties to the top level, return with aplomb in 2021 for Central District, while Jacob Lochowiak earned a Reserves berth at Sturt. They will likely have one eye on next year’s crop though, as dynamic tall Isaac Keeler is coming through the ranks. He has already been billed as a first round talent and bagged five goals in Round 1 of this year’s SANFL Under 18s. If he maintains such form, Adelaide will inevitably miss out on him in 2022.

Fremantle is another team with a typically strong NGA program, having nurtured the likes of Joel Western and Brandon Walker to the top level as recently as last year. In 2021, Jesse Motlop is a name making waves. The son of Daniel, he is not eligible to be taken as a father-son by North Melbourne or Port Adelaide, but is another exciting talent for Dockers fans to look out for.

The crafty forward/midfielder has booted five goals in his three WAFL Colts outings thus far, with eyes on a League call-up as he continues to showcase his eye-catching work in the front half. Richard Bartlett is another on the radar, with Freo officially granted access to the East Fremantle talent this year, while South Fremantle’s Riley Colborne has good potential.

Speaking of potential, Collingwood will be able to snap up another NGA product coming through the Oakleigh Chargers’ pathway in Youseph Dib. Having graduated from Caulfield Grammar last year, the well-built small utility has made the step up to Collingwood’s VFL side amid the NAB League hiatus. He is another sitting outside that top 20 range, but has terrific traits.

Collingwood NGA prospect Youseph Dib

Looking at others tied to clubs who have impressed via the NAB League, Cody Raak is arguably top of the list. He trained for a final spot in the Western Bulldogs’ squad over the off-season, and has really hit the ground running in 2021 having been overlooked. Northern Knights ruck Dominic Akuei has impressed with his athleticism and will have Carlton taking a closer look, while Blake Scott (Western Bulldogs) has shown glimpses along with Achoung Agog (Richmond).

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) fans have yet another academy product rising the ranks, with Josh Fahey proving his top 20 credentials of late. The was some conjecture surrounding his eligibility for the Giants after moving up to the Gold Coast last year, but having returned to the region in 2021 he will have enough years in the program to qualify, and be snapped up by GWS when a bid arrives. Gold Coast has classy small Austin Harris in its program, a little further down the order at this stage.

There should be a few father-son prospects in the top 20 mix too, headed by Nick Daicos. The son of Collingwood legend Peter is becoming hard to deny as the number one player in this year’s crop after scintillating performances for Oakleigh. Jase Burgoyne, the son of Peter and nephew of Shaun, played alongside Daicos in the AFL Academy showcase, while Daicos’ Oakleigh teammate Sam Darcy (son of Luke) is shooting up draft boards. He is a key position player with great versatility, upside, and aerial ability.

Elsewhere, Charlie McKay has proven his worth as an inside midfielder and hardened defender, and could be looked at by Carlton, while Ewan Macpherson (Western Bulldogs) and West Australian Taj Woewodin (Melbourne) may also garner some attention this year.

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 1 – South Fremantle vs. West Perth

THE 2021 WAFL Colts competition got underway on the weekend, with the four fixtures providing some fairly competitive action. It took little time for much of the West Australian Under 19 talent pool to shake off the cobwebs in Round 1, and fans were treated to high-scoring games with end-to-end forays and even a bit of spirit.

Our featured match of the round, played between South Fremantle and West Perth, exemplified everything good about the opening weekend of football. In a contest littered with momentum shifts and fast-paced transitional play, the Bulldogs came out on top by 14 points 15.11 (101) to 13.9 (87) in warm conditions at Fremantle Oval on Saturday morning.

We take you through some of the top performers from either side in our Scouting Notes. Please note, they are the opinion of the individual scout.

SCOUTING NOTES

SOUTH FREMANTLE vs. WEST PERTH

By: Michael Alvaro

South Fremantle:

#9 Julian Hultan

Hultan was a sensation in the attacking half for South Fremantle, finishing with half-a-dozen goals and proving a handful for opposition defenders. While not an overly tall player at 182cm, Hultan defied his listing to play like a key forward at times with the way he commanded space and worked strongly in the air. He opened his account with an opportunistic goal from nothing in the first term and added another in the second, but was sighted contributing more work up the ground before the main break. Afterwards, his forward craft came to the fore inside 50 with some really crafty goals. His composure and willingness to compete at ground level proved the theme for two third term goals, while contested marking became his MO in the fourth with another two majors. Overall, it was a memorable day for the 18-year-old.

#18 Aaron Drage

A key part of the Bulldogs’ strong midfield rotation, Drage won his fair share of ball on the inside early and did not mind getting nice and physical with the opposition. He looked to send the ball forward quickly from congestion with some hurried kicks away at stoppages, but also remained strong under tackling pressure to dish out by hand. As the game wore on, Drage also worked up to either end of the ground and was competitive in his efforts to ensure South could hold on for victory.

#20 Caleb Stephens

Stephens was South’s leading ball winner on the day with 22 disposals and provided some real drive from midfield with a game-high seven inside 50 entries. He looked to set the tone by wheeling and going quickly, while also working to string together some nice handball chains as South broke forward. Stephens almost troubled the scorers in the third term but pulled a snap wide, though his long kick to Lochlan Bloomer ended in a goal assist during the same stanza. He also ran hard back to defence in the fourth quarter after South was beaten in the middle, providing a clutch intercept at the death.

#21 Angus Fraser

Another of the Bulldogs to play a key hand in midfield, Fraser provided a handy point of difference with his willingness to stay on the move once in possession at the contest. He was not as overtly dominant as a pure ball winner, but did some nice things with ball in hand and most importantly, impacted the scoreboard. Fraser’s first major came from a crafty and clean finish at a forward 50 stoppage, showcasing his quick thinking. His second was a set shot conversion on the end of a 50-metre penalty, having initially cut across to turn the ball over inside attacking 50.

#37 Jesse Motlop

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member and son of Daniel was lively in South’s win, rotating through midfield from up forward. He bookended his game inside the attacking 50 and constantly looked to create forward of centre, showing great confidence to take on opponents and baulk his way into open spaces. He first hit the scoreboard with some quick work over the back in term two, putting boot to ball with composure to snap through a classy goal. His second major was the highlight of the day through, as Motlop initiated a give-and-go hemmed in on the boundary, before cutting inside and snapping home once again. He is still a raw type who looks more comfortable up forward, but has rare instincts and constantly backs himself to make something happen.

Others:

Lochlan Bloomer was another South Freo forward to shine, taking his chances well for three goals on the back of some lively work inside 50. Liam Brandis and Ira Jetta were others to provide some spark in the front half, while Lachlan Turley played a key role down back and Toby Dodds‘ work on the rebound was terrific. Another Fremantle NGA prospect, Riley Colborne also showed promise on the wing.


West Perth:

#3 Zac Fleiner

Difficult to miss under his brightly-coloured helmet, Fleiner also has an eye-catching style of play. The run-and-gun defender loves to break the lines out of defence and strung together a number of passages with multiple running bounces. He is a kick-first kind of talent and often sent forward short, darting passes, but can refine some of his work at full tilt. His first term goal was one of the moments of the day, as Fleiner finished from long range on his favoured left foot having taken a couple of bounces and good meterage. While lightly built, another pleasing aspect of Fleiner’s play was his intensity and courage to work back defensively; flying for intercept marks and doing some dirtywork at ground level.

#4 Luke Reilly

Reilly was one who worked well into the game and began to show his best traits once he built up a full head of steam. His first good bit of play came in the second term, with a spearing pass to assist Jack De Marte’s goal. The nippy midfielder looked smooth on the ball and often looked to dart into open space before delivering forward passes by foot. He set the tone for West Perth’s ball movement with a relentless willingness to move it on quickly, constantly looking to move with intent. Reilly seemed to lift in the final term and kicked a goal on the run having taken the advantage from a free kick.

#8 Lochlan Paton

Paton is a player with a lot of class and while he was not overly prolific with 15 disposals, his high level was evident in nearly every possession. He started a little shakily with a poor kick across defensive 50, but redeemed himself with some nice moments in the first quarter. A couple of important defensive efforts led to goals for West Perth in term two; with the first being a smother as South Fremantle looked to break out of defence, and the second a terrific holding the ball tackle which had the same effect. Paton seemed to have more time on the ball than most others and showed off with some nice spins to break out of congestion cleanly. If he can begin to accumulate better and string together such moments more consistently, he could quickly rise in 2021.

#24 Jack De Marte

Leading all comers on the day with 23 disposals (20 kicks), De Marte was one of the more busy players out there. He built into the contest well and began to take hold after quarter time, propping nicely in congestion to get an open kick away and even sneaking forward to snare a goal in term two. His kicking became neater as the game wore on and he was one of the key West Perth players to lift when the game was on the line late. One particularly clutch play saw him lay a tackle and then deliver inside 50 for a Saverio Marafioti goal.

#28 Zarne Robis

Robis was clearly West Perth’s premier forward on the day and finished with four goals in a highly promising display. He took a bit of luck to get going, but exemplified the Falcons’ ability to be efficient inside 50 with two snap goals in the first term. Later, he would showcase his smooth set shot routine to complete the four-goal haul and catch the eye of many onlookers. At 191cm, the 19-year-old is not exactly key position size, but rather dynamic and versatile in the role he plays up forward.

Others:

Cooper Blackburn showed plenty of dash coming out of defence for the Falcons, while Saverio Marafioti‘s raw talent came to the fore up forward with bull-like attack and real penetration in his play. Kane Bevan‘s transition to a key forward role yielded one goal, as Liam McWha and Riley Sprigg battled well in the ruck. Harrison Baxter was also handy in the front half and Jordan Berry had his moments.

Image Credit: AFLNT Media

Weekend preview: 2020/21 NTFL Men’s Premier League – Round 12

THE FINAL round of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League action for 2020 is set to play out this weekend, before the eight sides enjoy a well earned mid-season break. A clash between Wanderers and St Mary’s looms as the pick of the bunch, with both sides boasting eight wins and looking to stake their claim as Nightcliff’s greatest threat. Meanwhile, the remaining top five teams are set to take on those currently below them in an opportunity for each to strengthen their positions before the upcoming interval. That, and more in our Round 12 preview.

Darwin Buffaloes (5th, 6-5) vs. Tiwi Bombers (8th, 0-11)
Saturday December 19, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Darwin will be looking to get its finals push back on track when it takes on Tiwi at TIO Stadium on Saturday, marking the teams’ first meeting since Round 1. The Buffs have lost four of their last five games but put enough early runs on the board to remain among the finals places as it stands. Conversely, Tiwi remains winless after 11 games and despite a couple of recent close calls, were trumped by over 50 points once again last week.

The potential absence of star recruits Mason De Wit and Fletcher Carroll spells trouble for the Bombers, who will have plenty to cover in defence and through midfield. Dion Munkara and Brayden Rioli have been named among the squad, so could provide the flexibility Tiwi is after as magnets furiously shuffle. Darwin is set to regain some experience in Matt Campbell, while Joey Collinson adds some further firepower for the Double Blues. Young guns Antonio James and Cade Abala are among those pushing for a call-up.

Nightcliff (1st, 8-2-1) vs. Southern Districts (6th, 5-6)
Saturday December 19, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Two teams which returned to winning ways last week meet on Saturday evening, as Nightcliff plays host to Southern Districts at TIO Stadium. The Tigers have gone 2-1-1 in their last four outings, with that one loss coming at the hands of their weekend adversaries. The Crocs lost consecutive games after the breakthrough win, but convincingly returned to winning form last week against Palmerston and will look to again put pressure on the top five. Not many teams beat Nightcliff twice in a season though, so the Crocs are up against it.

The back-to-back reigning premiers have had most of their stars settle into the lineup, with their raft of depth options rotating through. Daniel Bowles is a big name in line for an immediate return, while Zach Brain has been named at half-back and Luca Goonan again finds himself teased with top flight selection, named on an extended bench. Will Farrer is in the mix for Southern Districts, while the likes of Brandon Rusca and Ed Barlow will be keen to hit the ground running after missing last week’s big win.

Wanderers (2nd, 8-2-1) vs. St Mary’s (3rd, 8-3)
Sunday December 20, 4:00pm
Tracy Village

The game of the round poises Wanderers and St Mary’s against each other, two sides with eight wins under their belts and vying for a top two spot. The Muk Muks came up trumps in their previous meeting with St Mary’s, winning by 26 points back in Round 2. Things look a touch different this time around, with the Saints riding a five-game winning run while Wanderers have gone 1-1-1 in its last three outings, bouncing back last time out against Tiwi. Only half a game separates these two teams, with Nightcliff still the team to beat atop the table.

St Mary’s is set to be buoyed by a huge state league coup in star South Fremantle midfielder Haiden Schloithe. He only adds to the Saints’ fearsome engine room, which looks likely to combat Wanderers’ run with a combative ground level game. Leader Raphael Clarke is also in line to return to the top flight, with the Saints side settling nicely. Liam Patrick has been named for Wanderers, while Shaun Mannagh looms as a massive inclusion. Brett Eddy leaves a big hole in Wanderers’ front six, but the likes of Simon Bates and Round 11 Rising Star Jesse Motlop should handily pick up the slack.

Palmerston (7th, 2-9) vs. Waratah (4th, 6-5)
Sunday December 20, 6:30pm
Cazalys Arena

Waratah will be looking to solidify its standing within the top five when it travels to face Palmerston at Cazalys Arena on Sunday night. The Warriors had previously flown under the radar as a premiership threat, but notched wins over some of the top sides to gain a positive record thus far. Palmerston has beaten Tiwi twice but remains embedded in the bottom three, with the previous meeting between these sides ending in a 69-point drubbing in favour of Waratah.

Some more positive news for Palmerston comes via its team sheet, with bookends Sandy Brock and Daniel Stafford set to take the field. Brock should free up Tyrrell Lui down back, while Stafford will likely take a scoring load off Nigel Lockyer Jnr. Aaron and Alwyn Davey have been named on the extended bench. Waratah’s Jake Wild looks set for a Premier League debut, while Abe Ankers looms as a big inclusion to run through midfield alongside recent recruit, Darcy Lang.

Feature Image: Wanderers’ Brodie Newman gets a kick away | Credit: Felicity Elliott/AFLNT Media