Tag: Joel Western

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Round 14

A mixed bag of results did not take away from some outstanding performances in Round 14 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts, with many from the title-winning Western Australia Under 18s squad returning to action. Lenny Fogliani was on hand to provide his opinion-based notes on outstanding players from three of the four fixtures.

East Fremantle vs. Swan Districts

East Fremantle:

#2 Michael Wright

Playing as a defensive small forward, the Chapman Valley Junior was outstanding for the Sharks, performing his role to perfection. He accumulated 16 possessions, recorded six inside 50s, grabbed four marks, laid three tackles and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best.

#7 Jeremy Sharp

The dual All-Australian was at his best for the Sharks providing a heap of offence from the wing. His penetrating skills, elite speed and endurance, skilful evasive moves and line-breaking capabilities were all on display against the Swans. He finished with a game-high 35 possessions, eight inside 50s, four marks and a goal.

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. His ability to shrug off opponents is elite for someone his age, and at his size (191cm) this makes him a very attractive prospect. His decision-making, vision and skill execution were all on display for the home team. He finished with 26 possessions, five tackles and three goals.

#15 Jack Carroll

The 2017 WA U15s State Schoolboys representative continued his fine season for the Sharks with another sensational performance. Against the Swans, Carroll collected 21 possessions, laid four tackles and took two marks to be one of the Sharks’ best midfielders on the day.

#16 Chad Warner

The clearance machine was again brilliant for the home team, often winning the ball for his team and getting it forward. He accumulated 31 possessions, laid 13 tackles, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal in a telling performance. The Willetton junior shares similarities to West Coast’s Jack Redden in that both are tough, thrive on the contest, can win their own ball and apply serious pressure to the opposition.

#18 Chris Walker

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member was excellent on the half-back line, providing a heap of rebound as well as intercepting a host of Swans’ attacking forays. He collected 15 possessions, grabbed six marks, and laid two tackles to be a pivotal player for East Fremantle’s victory.

#20 Brandon Walker

The 2018 AFL Under 16s All-Australian member increased his draft stocks for 2020 with another superb performance. Against Swan Districts, Walker accumulated 16 possessions, took four marks and laid two tackles, playing primarily across the half-back line. His line-breaking capabilities, decision-making and disposal efficiency are all at a fantastic level for someone his age. He is a part of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy.

#23 Luke Jackson

The Larke Medal runner-up showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another brilliant performance. He gathered 17 possessions, won a game-high 38 hit-outs, laid seven tackles and kicked a goal to be one of the most influential players in East Fremantle’s victory. His raw athleticism, ruck craft and endurance make him a tantalising prospect.

#25 Jai Jackson

Pushing through injury, Jackson played a great game playing as a hybrid forward. Against Swan Districts, Jackson collected 11 possessions, laid seven tackles, took three marks and kicked a goal to be one of the more dangerous forwards on the ground. As well as playing as a forward, Jackson has demonstrated an ability to push into the midfield where he uses his big frame to crash and bash his way through stoppages to get the ball going forward for his team.

#29 Reuben McGuire

The Wesley College student always provided a target inside 50 for his team-mates to kick to. He finished with 11 possessions, 12 hit-outs, four marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His raw athleticism, power and aggression make him an attractive key forward prospect.

Swan Districts:

#11 Ashley Brockbernd

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member tried hard all day for the Swans, playing off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Brockbernd accumulated 11 possessions, laid six tackles, took two marks and recorded two inside 50s to try and keep his team within touching distance of the rampant Sharks.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was prolific for the Swans playing in defence. He was trying to thwart plenty of East Fremantle’s attacking forays, while also trying to provide plenty of rebound from the defensive zone. He finished with 22 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s and three marks.

#18 Jake Pasini

Having made a name for himself as a strong key defender, Pasini showed off his versatility playing as a big-bodied inside midfielder against East Fremantle. He bullocked his way to 17 possessions, three marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

#21 Jackson Ryan

The 17-year-old showed why he could be one of the rising key forward prospects out of Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft with a powerful performance. Despite a lack of attacking forays, Ryan always provided an option for his team-mates and clunked four marks. He finished with two goals from seven possessions.

#25 Jermarl Daly

The South Hedland product showed flashes of his brilliance against the Sharks. One moment of his brilliance came in the second quarter, when he took a fantastic pack mark and then nailed the goal to bring the Swans within a goal of the Sharks. He finished with seven possessions, three tackles and a goal.

#34 Jak Watson

Arguably Swan Districts’ best player, Watson never stopped trying for the visitors but to no avail. He accumulated 27 possessions, laid eight tackles, grabbed three marks and recorded two inside 50s in a dazzling performance.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles Next-Generation Academy member was sublime for the Swans, playing on the half-forward line. He gathered 15 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create attacking opportunities for the visitors. Last year Deng finished seventh in Swans’ Best & Fairest, and another strong year would increase his draft chances.

#59 Ty Sears

The bottom-age star was brilliant for Swan Districts off the half-back line. Against East Fremantle, Sears collected 19 possessions, recorded three inside 50s and took two marks as he tried to create attacking drive from the defensive half.

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East Perth vs. Peel Thunder

East Perth:

#2 Adam Boules

Stationed on the wing, the Mount Hawthorn junior was prolific for the Royals, as he always provided a link for their attacking forays and displayed a desire to run defensively as well. He gathered 22 possessions, laid 11 tackles, took five marks and recorded four inside 50s to be one of the best for the Royals.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product continues to amass an excellent season for East Perth with another polished performance against the Thunder. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked a goal to be the Royals’ best player on the night.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ NGA member was dangerous in the forward line for the Royals, always providing an option for his team-mates. He gathered 11 possessions, won 18 hitouts, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a dazzling performance.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Playing on the half-back line, Lombardi showed why he could be a bolter for next year’s AFL Draft. He finished with 14 possessions, three marks and two tackles, showing off poise, composure and sound-decision-making with ball in hand.

#19 Joshua Hubbard

The Ellenbrook junior was outstanding for the Royals, rotating between the half-back line and the wing. His run and carry, link-up play, decision-making and skill execution were all pivotal in the Royals’ effort to defeat the Thunder. He finished with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, and four tackles.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Southerners product was instrumental in the ruck for East Perth. He finished with 10 possessions, 33 hit-outs, five marks and four tackles, while being in an entertaining duel against Brendan Cooke (nine possessions and 30 hit-outs).

#39 Cody Rodgers

Playing in defence and up forward, Rodgers competed hard all night for the home team. He only gathered five possessions, but took three marks and kicked three goals to be a potent option up forward. His contested marking was a real feature of his game against the Thunder.

#49 Rhai-Arn Cox

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy member showed off his flair and offensive tricks in the forward half for the Royals. He collected 14 possessions, recorded two inside 50s and kicked a goal in a solid performance. As a small forward, Cox boasts excellent goal sense and the ability to take strong contested marks – similar to how West Coast star Liam Ryan plays.

Peel Thunder:

#1 Tyrone Thorne

The WA U18s State Academy member was dangerous in the forward half for the Thunder, always on the move and ready to pounce on any scoring opportunities that came his way. Thorne also showed why he is considered to be one of the better small forwards in this year’s AFL Draft pool with six tackles to his name. He finished with 11 possessions and two goals.

#2 Jackson Knight

Currently fourth in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his excellent campaign with another solid performance for the Thunder. Against East Perth, Knight accumulated 22 possessions, laid eight tackles, and recorded seven inside 50s to be one of the more damaging midfielders on the night.

#3 Roy George

Stationed in defence, George showed why he is such a prodigious talent with his intercepting and rebounding a real feature of his game. He gathered 10 possessions, took two marks, and even drifted forward to kick a goal.

#8 Zachary Rankin

Stationed on the wing, Rankin played an excellent two-way game for the Thunder, being defensively accountable but also showing off some offensive flair. Against the Royals, Rankin gathered 18 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid five tackles and recorded three inside 50s to be one of the more instrumental players in Peel’s victory.

#11 Jarvis Pina

The Peel Thunder captain was pivotal in his team’s victory over the Royals with a game-high 33 possessions, five marks, five tackles and two inside 50s. His reading of the play, decision-making and penetrating skills were all on display for the recruiters to see.

#13 Cameron Gavin

The Halls Head junior was outstanding for the Thunder, finishing with 15 possessions, five inside 50s, four marks and two goals in a sizzling performance. His forward half presence was outstanding for the Thunder and he played a big role in the victory with his decision-making and skill execution a real feature of his game.

#18 Ben Middleton

The leader in this year’s WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Award, Middleton showed why he is arguably the best forward in the competition. In nine games for the Thunder, Middleton has kicked 18 goals – three ahead of East Perth’s Sebit Kuek and West Perth’s Ewan Brazier. Against the Royals, Middleton kicked two goals from eight possessions and four marks.

#27 Jack Sears

Playing on the wing, Sears sent a timely reminder to recruiters on why he should be considered one of the best players in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. He collected 23 possessions, took eight marks and recorded six inside 50s in a powerful display.

Subiaco vs. Claremont

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas

The Fremantle NGA player was lively in the forward half for the Tigers. As well as being gifted with offensive tricks, Thomas showed off a defensive side of his game against the Lions, recording five tackles. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal.

#5 Ronin O’Connor

Stationed in defence, O’Connor was solid for the Tigers, often repelling Subiaco’s attacking forays. He gathered 12 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks, but it was his leadership down back that caught the eye. His ability to communicate with his team-mates about where they should position themselves was outstanding for someone his age.

#8 Jack Buller

Arguably best afield for the Tigers, Buller was instrumental playing as either a key position player or when he pinch-hit in the ruck. His strength in the contest was outstanding, often barging his way through the opposition to get the ball going forward for his team. His final statistics were 16 possessions, 26 hit-outs and three tackles.

#12 Joel Western

A bottom-age prospect, Western showed why he is such a promising prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. Against Subiaco, Western accumulated 18 possessions, took three marks, recorded three inside 50s and laid two tackles, from the wing. His speed, agility, vision, decision-making and skill execution were all on display.

#14 Jack Cooley

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboy was outstanding in the midfield for the Tigers, accumulating 33 possessions, taking five marks, laying five tackles and recording five inside 50s as he willed his team to victory. His power to burst away from stoppages and to win the clearance was simply phenomenal

#15 Liam Henry

The U18 All-Australian was electrifying around the ground for the Tigers, using his speed, agility and evasive tricks to weave his way in and out of congestion. Once in space, Henry was balanced and had the poise to execute his skills to a high level. His decision-making was also elite against the Lions. He finished with 26 possessions, six marks, three tackles and two goals.

#16 Anthony Davis

Stationed on the half-back line, Davis showed why he is considered to be a draft smokey this year. Against the Lions, Davis gathered 13 possessions, laid six tackles and took three marks as he tried to repel plenty of Subiaco’s attacking forays.

#22 Jye Clark

The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan Clark, Jye showcased why he is considered a top-five midfielder in the competition. Like his older brother, Jye is physical in the contest, prepared to throw his body on the line, is a sound-decision maker and is an excellent distributor whether by hand or foot. Against Subiaco, Clark finished with 35 possessions, five inside 50s, three marks and three tackles.

#25 Callum Jamieson

The North Beach junior was terrific for the Tigers, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He gathered 10 possessions, won 20 hitouts, laid four tackles, took two marks and kicked two goals in a powerful display.

#35 Isaiah Butters

In just his second game of WAFL Colts, Butters showed he belongs at the level with a lively performance against Subiaco. He collected 18 possessions, took six marks, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s and kicked two goals in a dazzling display.

Subiaco:

#1 Jacob Peletier

The Esperance product was superb in the midfield for the Lions, racking up 24 possessions, recording three inside 50s, taking two marks and laying two tackles. His leadership throughout the game was exemplary, often throwing his body on the line to try and win the contested ball for his team.

#8 Ben Golding

Against the Tigers, Golding produced a performance that highlighted why he is currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award. He gathered 29 possessions, laid 10 tackles, took eight marks, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal as he tried to will his team to victory. The only blemish on his performance was two behinds.

#19 Lachlan Henderson

Stationed at centre half-back, Henderson was outstanding for the home team, often repelling Claremont’s attacking forays. The 17-year-old finished with 10 possessions, four hit-outs and two marks in a solid performance.

#21 Connor Patterson

In just his fifth game of WAFL Colts, Patterson showed signs of being a gun player for the Lions. He gathered nine possessions, took three marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and kicked two goals in a lively performance.

#27 Trey Kennedy

The Warwick-Greenwood junior was superb off the half-back line for the Lions, amassing 18 possessions, four marks, four tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. His defensive accountability, combined with his decision-making and skill execution make him an elite half-back flanker.

#37 Abraham Clinch

The Warwick-Greenwood product was prolific in the midfield for the Lions, gathering a team-high 32 possessions, recording five inside 50s, taking four marks, laying two tackles and kicking a goal. His desire to throw his body into congestion to win the ball for his team is outstanding for someone his age.

#41 Tyler Broughton

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent in the forward line for the Lions, using his speed, agility and flair to create scoring opportunities for his team. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid five tackles, took four marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be one of the most dangerous forwards on the ground.

#50 Xavier Peacock

The 2018 WA U18s State Academy player showed why he is one of the best ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. His work around the ground, ruck craft and strength in the contest were all on display. He finished with 12 possessions, 17 hit-outs, three marks, three inside 50s and two tackles.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Swans slip up and Peel take full advantage

THIS weekend saw the second part of the split round conclude with the top two teams returning to competitive action after a week off in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts. Despite just the two games being played, there were plenty of storylines to come from the fixtures.

WAFL Colts wrap – Round 10:

Peel Thunder 15.8 (98) defeated South Fremantle 7.8 (50)

A six-goal to one opening term blitz was the catalyst behind Peel Thunder’s 48-point victory against South Fremantle on Saturday evening, which saw the Mandurah based club record their seventh win of the season.

The home team have built their success in 2019 on an even spread of contributors and once again this was a key factor with eleven goalkickers on the evening, icluding six multiple goal scorers and six players amassing 20 disposals or more. Jack Sears led the way with 28 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s while Isiah Winder kicked two goals to go along with 27 disposals six marks and three inside 50s. The work-rate of Andrew Buttler was certainly noticeable with eight tackles to go along with 10 disposals, three inside 50s and one goal.

South Fremantle did manage to win the second and fourth quarters, but the damage was well and truly done in the first and third terms when they were outscored by 12 goals to two. Ira Jetta was a shining light with 18 disposals, three inside 50s and two goals.

Claremont 5.11 (41) defeated Swan Districts 5.8 (38)

Claremont proved once again to be the fly in the ointment of the top two sides after inflicting the first defeat on Swan Districts for 2019 with a thrilling three-point win over the Black and Whites at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday morning.

The Tigers have had a topsy-turvy campaign to date and after four games were languishing with a 1-3 record. A sterling come from behind win over the previously unbeaten Peel Thunder in round six seemed to be a catalyst and they have managed to gain considerable confidence from that victory and with this win over Swans, they now sit half a game inside the top five.

The game itself didn’t reach any great heights, but as a contest it was gripping with the margin not exceeding eight points throughout the four quarters. This season Swan Districts have built their success on a dominant 30 minutes of football where they have just left their opponents in their wake. However in this game, the Tigers did not let their opponents get away in any sense. The home team held a slender three point lead at the long break, but Claremont had their most productive quarter in an attacking sense during the third term, kicking 3.3 to 2.2 to take a four-point lead into the last term.

Swan Districts still would have fancied their chances with one quarter remaining, but Claremont defended for their lives, handing Swan Districts only their second goalless quarter of the season to date. While the Tigers also were unable to put the ball between the big sticks, they wouldn’t have cared one bit as they picked up their fourth win for 2019.

Callum Jamieson was a colossal figure for the Tigers in this game where he collected 18 disposals, eight tackles, seven marks and 39 hit-outs. Fremantle NGA candidate Joel Western continued his impressive season with 25 disposals and five tackles, while Jye Clark kept up his accumulating ways with 28 disposals, eight tackles and four inside 50s. The big guns for Swans still managed to have a sustained impact with Ethan Nordahl (29 disposals and six tackles), Brenton Hilton (28 disposals and five marks) and Kade Wallrodt (23 disposals, 7 marks and a goal) all contributing.

With the defeat, The Black and Whites lead Peel only on percentage (9.8%) and their much awaited first meeting of the season is looming on the horizon in two weeks time. Before that, Swans face another stern challenge against third placed West Perth on Saturday and after controlling a great majority of their round four encounter before falling just short in the final term, the Falcons will certainly not be lacking any confidence.

AFL Under 18 National Championships preview: Western Australia

THE 2019 West Australian Under-18 representative side is stacked with exciting prospects, with plenty who will catch the eye and rise in stocks during the carnival. A crop of East Fremantle talents will be a key feature, with a balanced midfield, some damaging outside types, and a certain leading ruck prospect forming the base of the squad. With five players named in last year’s U16 All Australian side, there will no doubt be a handful of bottom-agers to make a mark, too.

Key players:

Jack Buller
Claremont | Key Position Utility
16/05/2001 | 198cm | 92kg

Playing in defence, Buller held up well at last year’s championships and then went into the ruck to cause headaches for opposition sides, replacing Luke Jackson once he had basketball commitments. He reads the ball well in the air and can set up attacking plays, as well as take crucial one-on-one marks. He is a player who can drift forward and act as a leading target inside the forward 50. Wherever he plays over the next month, expect him to play a role and really nullify an opposition tall.

Luke Jackson
East Fremantle | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 198cm | 94kg

A highly talked up ruck prospect, Jackson and his counterpart this weekend, Nick Bryan are subscribed by many as the top two ruck prospects in the draft crop. Jackson is an athletic tall who has represented Australia at basketball, but has now chosen football and looms as a key in the West Australian side. He is a high-volume ruck who can win possessions around the ground, drift forward and have an impact, or drop back and take a crucial mark. His game against South Australia last year at the championships – 25 disposals, seven marks and a goal – was as impressive as any performance during the carnival.

Trent Rivers
East Fremantle | Inside Midfielder/Defender
30/07/2001 | 188cm | 85kg

Captain of East Fremantle, Rivers is potentially the leading draft candidate for Western Australia this year along with Jeremy Sharp and Luke Jackson. Rivers is an inside midfielder who can play off half-back, attacking the ball fiercely and handing it off to his running teammates, while also creating plays off half-back. He is a consistent performer and has shown that this season in 2019, constantly finding the ball and laying plenty of tackles. A leader on the inside or outside, Rivers is a player Western Australia can rely upon to get the job done.

Deven Robertson
Perth | Inside Midfielder
30/06/2001 | 182cm | 80kg

Named captain of the West Australian side, Robertson is a crucial member of the inside midfield, and has been a natural-born leader throughout the journey. He attacks the contest with vigour and does not take a backwards step. One of a number of West Australians who were able to taste the atmosphere of the Under 18 Championships, averaging 14 disposals, seven tackles, two inside 50s and two marks. He is a huge ball winner at WAFL Colts level and will be a key midfielder in the state side.

Jeremy Sharp
East Fremantle | Outside Midfielder/Defender
13/08/2001 | 187cm | 79kg

Burst onto the scene at the championships, especially at Marvel Stadium, where Sharp looked a class above against the Allies, roaming from half-back to midfield alongside Jordan Clark. Sharp earned a spot in the 2018 Under-18 All Australian team for his performances, and has already been a member of the East Fremantle WAFL League side this season, holding his own against senior bodies. A good size at 187cm and 79kg, Sharp is a player that his teammates can rely upon with ball in hand.

X-factor:

Liam Henry
Claremont | Outside Midfielder
28/08/2001 | 179cm | 62kg

The exciting outside midfielder has huge upside and is a player who could have a pretty handy highlights package at the championships. A member of the Fremantle Next Generation Academy, Henry is very light at just 62kg and 179cm, but is someone who is versatile, damaging and provides as much defensive pressure as offensive nous in the forward half. Henry has had a ripping start to the season, averaging 22 disposals, six marks and five tackles in the WAFL Colts competition already this year.

Jarvis Pina
Peel Thunder | Small Defender
30/10/2000 | 176cm | 71kg

Another club captain who has made the state side, Pina is a clever defender who uses the ball well out of the back half, but can also be tasked with defensive roles to nullify dangerous opposing forwards. An overager, Pina missed out last year on being drafted, but his improvement in 2019 – averaging 22 disposals, five marks and seven tackles – including a 32-disposal game against West Perth in the opening round – has him on recruiters minds, so much so he was invited for an AFL Mid-Season Draft medical last month.

Jaxon Prior
West Perth | General Defender
04/06/2001 | 188cm | 79kg

Prior is likely to be one of the more damaging prospects for Western Australia, and one who can set up plays coming out of defence. At 188cm and 79kg, Prior is a readymade defender who is able to not only intercept the ball, but has superb vision, skills and decision making. While other defenders are able to lock down, Prior is able to be creative in defence to hurt opposition zones.

Up and comers:

Denver Grainger-Barras
Swan Districts | Key Defender
17/04/2002 | 192cm | 77kg

Grainger-Barras is one who will sure up the Black Swans’ defence, bringing high level reading of the play and solid marking to the table. The Swans product is still quite slight at 77kg, and while he has shown his ability to play as a key defender, Grainger-Barras will likely provide lockdown roles on the back of his rounded defensive game and can get the ball moving forward.

Logan McDonald
Perth | Key Forward
4/04/2002 | 192cm | 84kg

The dynamic Perth forward grabbed attention with a stunning Under 16 national championships last year, including a six-goal haul against Vic Metro. Has not been selected to face them this weekend, but should get a crack with his mix of lead-up overhead marking and ground level work rate. Finds goals at will, which is a valuable commodity.

Nathan O’Driscoll
Perth | General Defender
17/05/2002 | 182cm | 75kg

One of five selected bottom-agers to have made the Under 16 All-Australian team last year, O’Driscoll is a defender who finds plenty of the ball. Has only played two games for Perth in the Colts this year, but averages more than 25 disposals over the last two seasons. Also has the ability to intercept and push up the ground.

Zane Trew
Swan Districts | Inside Midfielder
26/04/2002 | 184cm | 81kg

The solidly-built midfielder thrives in the contest and is a terrific ball winner. Averages 29 disposals for the Swan Districts at Colts level, including a season-high 40, and should add some grunt to the WA engine room. Is a good exponent of handballs out of traffic, and possesses rare vision which adds finesse to his aggression and tackling pressure.

Brandon Walker
East Fremantle | General Defender
17/10/2002 | 182cm | 69kg

The 2020 Fremantle NGA prospect is an exciting half-back with fantastic skills by foot and apt decision making. Marks well for his size but stands out most with his ability to rebound effectively and do so at pace – so expect him to catch the eye if he gets a chance.

Joel Western
Claremont | Small Forward
12/10/2002 | 171cm | 69kg

The zippy Claremont small forward is coming into some form, having picked up a season-high 27 disposals in his latest Colts outing. Is another tied to the Fremantle NGA, and should provide some spark inside 50 for the Black Swans. Also possesses good goal sense, and is a menace to defenders.

AFL U18s Fixtures: (All WST)

vs Vic Metro @ Lathlain Park, Saturday June 8, 10am
vs South Australia @ Optus Stadium, Saturday June 15, 11am
vs Allies @ Alberton Oval, Saturday June 22, 9.15am
vs Vic Country @ Marvel Stadium, Wednesday July 3, 12.10pm

Summary:

The current crop of top-agers took out their Under-16 carnival two years ago, so should give it a good crack once again. It is always hard to get an early gauge on how the West Australians will fare, but we should get a better read of their talents in their upcoming meeting with the highly-fancied Vic Metro side. The likes of Luke Jackson in the ruck and Jeremy Sharp on the outside are some of the leading prospects in their positions, with Trent Rivers and Deven Robertson set to provide real grunt in the midfield. A strong defence will also be a feature, with dynamic tall prospects, good intercepters, and effective rebounders all at their disposal. Watch for some of their better bottom-agers to also make an impact across the carnival, with a couple tied to the Fremantle Next Generation Academy.

Western Australia announces 40-player squad for National Under 18 Championships

EAST Fremantle has dominated the National Under 18 Championships list for Western Australia, with nine players included in the main squad, and a further two train-one players making it 11 from a 40-player squad. The next highest representation comes from Swan Districts with six main squad players and one train-on player, one more than Claremont and West Perth. Perth has five players, while Subiaco has three and Peel Thunder two.

The Western Australia side includes nine bottom-agers in the team, as well as seven over-agers. Among the top players to keep an eye on this season, East Fremantle has a couple of potential top 10 selections in ruckman, Luke Jackson and running winger, Jeremy Sharp, while Jack Buller (Claremont), Deven Robertson (Perth), and Riley Garcia and Jake Pasini (Swan Districts) are others to watch. With a consistent team across the board, expect Western Australia to be very competitive at the championships as they have been the last few years.

Claremont [6]: Cameron Anderson, Jack Buller, Liam Henry, Callum Jamieson+, Ronan O’Connor, Joel Western*
East Fremantle [9+2]: Owen Dann* (TO), John Garlett+ (TO), Jai Jackson, Luke Jackson, Reuben McGuire, Max Murphy+, Trent Rivers, Trey Ruscoe, Jeremy Sharp, Brandon Walker*, Chad Warner
East Perth [0]: Nil.
Peel Thunder [2]: Jarvis Pina+, Tyrone Thorne
Perth [5]: Regan Clarke, Logan McDonald*, Nathan O’Driscoll*, Deven Robertson, Elijah Taylor
Swan Districts [6+1]: Jermari Daly (TO), Riley Garcia, Denver Grainger-Barras*, Nathan Ireland+, Jake Pasini, Ty Sears*, Zane Trew*
Subiaco [2+1]: Mitchell Georgiades (TO), Tristan Hobley+, Nicholas Martin
West Perth [4+2]: Heath Chapman (TO), Ryan Hudson, Ben Johnson, Michael Mallard* (TO), Zak Patterson+, Jaxon Prior.

* Bottom-age (2002 birth)
+ Over-age (2000 birth)
TO = Train-on, can be elevated to main squad over the championships

Western Australia’s National Under 18 Championships fixture:

vs. Vic Metro at Lathlain Park, June 8.
vs. South Australia at Optus Stadium, June 15.
vs. Allies at Alberton Oval, June 22.
vs. Vic Country at Marvel Stadium, July 3.

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

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

Below were the best players from each team.

CLAREMONT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EAST FREMANTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

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

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

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

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

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

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

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

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

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

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

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

Western Australia weekly wrap: Bulldogs one step closer to finals footy

THE five-team race to claim the final spot in the top five was reduced to three after Round 19 in the WAFL Colts, but which two teams crashed out of contention and who kept their hopes alive?

Read ahead to find out the details.

Round 19 WAFL Colts Wrap:

South Fremantle 8.7(55) defeated Swan Districts 3.11(29)

South Fremantle took one big step in securing the final position in the top five with a perfectly executed 26-point win against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval.

Chilly but clear conditions greeted the teams in this pivotal encounter for both sides. After a promising early couple of minutes by the home team, South Fremantle then dominated field position for the next period of time leading to the first goal of the game by Luke Moore. The forward entries by both teams were on the scrappy side and therefore were not giving their key forwards the best chance to convert, but it was a real contested game of footy with every player made to earn their possessions.

Great forward line pressure by Aiden Cartwright led to a holding the ball decision and the first goal of the game for Swans. While it was a quarter lacking in highlights in the true sense of the word, the closeness of the contest was indisputable with scores locked at 1.1 at quarter time. A pin-point kick by Toby McQuilkin set up Nash Miller for his first to put the visitors back in front. South Fremantle dominated the first five minutes of the term with six inside 50s and Swans not being able to take the ball forward from the centre square.

The scrappy nature of the contest continued in the second term and Swans were clearly striving to get their running game into action but the fantastic pressure of South Fremantle was preventing that from happening. That pressure proved pivotal once again as Callum Narkle was the beneficiary of some great work from his teammates to kick the major from close range. Whenever Swan Districts did bring the ball into their forward line they were forced wide which made scoring goals harder to execute.

The half-time margin of 10 points may have looked slender on paper, but the game was certainly played on South Fremantle’s terms and Swans had plenty of work to do to create some clear goal scoring opportunities. The willingness of the contest continued in the third term, and it was the visitors who took their opportunities when Jack Redman swooped on the loose ball and snapped truly to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game. A rare forward thrust by Swans saw Jack Allen take a mark but when his side needed a goal, he hit the post and South Fremantle raced down the other end where Lachlan Feeney kicked truly and that was the story of the contest in a nutshell.

The game was now at real danger of getting away from Swans as they just could not get any momentum going, while South were growing in confidence by the minute. With a quarter to play, South Fremantle had a 22-point lead which in all honesty felt a whole lot more. The sealer was kicked at the six mark of the final term by Ira Jetta and that was soon followed by a second of the day to Feeney. While their percentage was already strong compared to their rivals chasing the final spot in the top four, this was a added bonus.

The defensive group of South Fremantle led by James RussellJoshua Grant and Jacob Sax were unsung heroes who marshalled the defensive 50 superbly. The icing on a delicious cake was delivered by Braiden Quartermaine who sold the dummy to his opponent and set sail from 40 metres straight through the middle. A belated goal for Swans then arrived through a direct kick into the 50, which set up Atem Deng on the spot to convert from close range which incredibly was their first goal for three quarters. Some further smart and direct play by Swans led to a goal by Denver Grainger-Barras but it was far too little too late for Swan Districts who fell to their eighth defeat of the season.

The pressure of South Fremantle was superb all around the ground highlighted by their advantage in tackles (78-69) and their physical presence led to plenty of turnovers which allowed the Bulldogs to generate a lot more inside 50 entries (53-32). South Fremantle can seal their spot in the finals as soon as next week with a victory against one of their pursuers in Perth and in addition to that, if Peel can defeat Claremont, the Bulldogs will be bound for September action.

Enrique Aitken-Featherstone was a key element of that as one of the leaders of the Bulldogs on-ball brigade had eight tackles to go along 26 disposals while Mcquilkin was important with his powerful running gathering 18 disposals, and Joshua Grant was a rock solid defensive figure with 11 disposals, five tackles and three marks. While his delivery left a bit to be desired in the first half, Deng could held his head high for Swan Districts with his second half display finishing with 23 disposals, three marks and a goal. The versatile 16 year-old Grainger-Barras was solid with 13 disposals, eight marks and a goal.

 

Claremont 8.8 (56) defeated Perth 7.7 (49)

Claremont kept their finals flame flickering with a vital seven-point win. No more than a goal separated both teams throughout the contest and with their season well and truly on the line two late majors saw the Tigers run out seven point winners.

The contributions of 15 year-old Joel Western (20 disposals and two goals) and Jack Monaghan (16 disposals and two goals) were pivotal to the end result. Claremont need to remain in a must win mindset for the final fortnight of the home and away season in their quest to play finals in 2018. Because of their poor percentage (78.8) they need to win both their games (against Peel and Swans) and hope the Bulldogs lose both of their games.

Despite the loss, Perth remain In the hunt to claim the fifth spot and face a early elimination final against the Bulldogs at Fremantle Oval next Saturday. Bailey Smith had 22 disposals and six marks and four tackles and Zac Casey was a tireless worker with 11 tackles to go along with 21 disposals for the Demons.

 

East Fremantle 15.5.(95) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

Defending premiers East Fremantle moved one step closer to sealing a double chance with a emphatic 54 point win against East Perth at Leederville Oval. It was a superb performance by the Sharks who won all four quarters and remain a very slim chance of snaring a top two berth with two rounds remaining. The Sharks will have to win both their games against Subiaco and South Fremantle and because of Peel’s big percentage advantage (140-111 per cent) will require the Thunder to drop both their games against Claremont and East Perth which seems highly unlikely on the face of things but funnier things have been known to occur in footy.

Dylan Curley was a great focal point for the Sharks with 19 disposals, nine marks and four goals and was well supported by top ager Cody Smith with three goals along with 20 disposals six tackles and five marks and Tom Wright who racked up a outstanding 18 tackles. With the heavy loss, East Perth have been eliminated from the finals race which will come as a real blow as they were the 2016 Grand Finalists and made the Preliminary Final last year. Thomas Baulch has been a standout performer of the very poor campaign for the Royals and it was illustrated once again on Saturday with 34 disposals and 10 marks.

 

Subiaco 12.12 (84) defeated West Perth 3.5(23)

Subiaco has one and a half hands on the minor premiership after stretching their winning streak their to nine games with a 61-point win over West Perth and also ended the Falcons’ finals hopes. The first half was a relatively even affair with Subiaco leading by 16 points, the second half was a different story as the Lions put West Perth to the sword outscoring their opponents 7.6 to three behinds. While the Lions kicked just the 12 goals, they had four multiple goalkickers with bottom-ager Trey Kennedy and the ever-reliable Jack Mayo kicking three goals while Benjamin Golding had 22 disposals and kicked two goals. The Lions had further strong contributions from Liam Hickmott who was a real ball magnet with 36 disposals and nine tackles and he was well supported by Tristan Hobley with 30 disposals.

Subiaco has a two-game lead plus a 13 per cent advantage over Peel with each team having a couple games left. While the old phrase ‘mathematically possible’ currently comes into play, one more win will completely seal the minor premiership for Subiaco. For West Perth, Daniel Rowe was full of endeavour with 23 disposals and nine tackles.

Scouting Notes: U16 National Championships – Division 1

IN a day that was not pleasant viewing for Victorian fans, we headed down to Southport to check out the Under 18s matches in which South Australia and Western Australia showed off the talent for the 2020 draft.

South Australia vs. Vic Country

South Australia:

#1 Isaiah Dudley

There’s not much of 2003-born Dudley, but the excitement machine packs a punch. Standing at 163cm, it is not hard to imagine how he plies his trade – zipping around would-be tacklers, snapping highlight reel goals and enjoying the celebration. Dudley was in and out of the game, but there was always a sense of anticipation when he went near it. The most exciting thing about his game today was how clinical he was from set shots – with two of his three goals coming from long range kicks over the mark. The third, of course, was a clever snap in the fourth quarter that we may come to expect from the youngster.

#6 Kye Dean

Dean made an immediate impact with the first goal of the game and stayed right in it with consistent accumulation through the midfield. He just seemed to constantly pop up and find the ball around the stoppages, finishing as SA’s equal-highest baller winner with 21 disposals. His clearance work is clearly a strong point, and his six for the day were mixed in well with subtle handballs out of congestion and into space. Hopefully with time the Glenelg product can develop his outside game and continue to rack up high numbers.

#14 Matthew Roberts

The other Croweater to amass 21 disposals, Roberts was a damaging figure in the midfield. He fed well off the extraction from the likes of Dean and Luke Edwards, pushing SA forward with his 16 kicks and five inside 50s. Roberts’ five marks were also a testament to his work rate on the spread, but he would be looking to bulk up and improve his inside work to become a more complete midfielder.

#16 Mani Liddy

While Liddy did not have huge numbers, he was thereabouts all day and proved a figure of consistency. The Sturt product was composed in traffic and showed good agility to slip his opponents when looking to move the ball forward from tight spaces. His 12 disposals were mostly either important or effective, with three of them being clearances, two inside 50s and one a rebound. Liddy’s three tackles and marks rounded off a solid contribution.

#19 Luke Edwards

The son of Adelaide great Tyson and brother of Jackson, Edwards showed his good footballing pedigree with a solid first half display. The potential Adelaide 2020 father-son pick dug in for eight tackles and burst out of congestion well with four clearances. While he was solid in the contested stakes, he could perhaps have been cleaner below his knees, and drifted out of the game somewhat later in the game, despite winning 18 disposals.

#28 Kaine Baldwin

Baldwin was another who had a greater impact than what his stat-line would suggest. His contested marking overhead was outstanding; both deeper forward in the first half, and higher up the ground as the game wore on. Baldwin found his way into the game in the second term when he booted his lone goal and missed the chance to add another within a minute. He continued on with an assist to Zac Dumesny in the third term before clunking a couple more contested marks to finish the day with seven overall with 15 disposals.

#31 Riley Thilthorpe

Thilthorpe had a great outing, sharing the ruck duties with James Borlase. At 197cm he used his size to advantage, but was even better in his movement around the ground, collecting 16 disposals and clunking three marks. His 15 hitouts, four clearances and three inside 50s highlight his true impact around the stoppages as almost a fourth midfielder. Thilthorpe looks to be a real modern day mobile ruckman with plenty of room to grow and develop.

 

Vic Country:

#2 Tanner Bruhn

Bruhn was far and away Country’s best player on the day, putting in a complete display amongst a disappointing team performance. With 24 touches, he was the highest possession getter on the ground, adding seven clearances, seven rebound 50s, four inside 50s, four marks and four tackles. With two thirds of Bruhn’s disposals being kicks, it was a shame that his damaging presence did not go further as Country faltered forward of centre. Still, his drive and efficiency from the back half and midfield did not go unnoticed and his key traits surely caught the eye.

#9 Charlie Lazzaro

Lazzaro was a constant in the stoppages, doing most of his work in-close through the midfield throughout the game. He tackled hard with five overall and managed five clearances, with two of them being rebound 50s. Should he fill out in the coming year or two, he could be a heavy presence at the Under 18 level.

#16 Zavier Maher

Another to pitch in at the stoppages, Maher was the beneficiary of South Australia’s solidity in the sense that he was one to keep heaving the ball back from where once it came. With 13 of his 18 disposals being kicks, four of them being clearances, four being inside 50s and another three as rebounds, Maher possessed the ball in key areas and did not shy away from the contest.

#17 Noah Gadsby

Bar the clearances, Gadsby’s stats read very similarly to Maher, except he tended to contribute more so on the outside with some dash and composure going forward. His 18 disposals (12 kicks, six handballs), six inside 50s and goal came on the back of a willingness to take the game on and test the South Australian defence. It was easier said than done, but you cannot say Gadsby did not try. His goal on the run in the second quarter was a highlight, as he showed real zip to break away.

#23 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Ugle-Hagan was one who didn’t do a whole lot throughout the course of the game, but caught the eye when he was in possession. A few twists, turns, strong contested marks and clean pick ups were enough to suggest we may see a few more highlights from him in the future.

 

Western Australia vs. Vic Metro

Western Australia:

#1 Joel Western

Western first caught the eye in the opening term when he burst through the middle on a lightning run to hit up Logan McDonald for one of his three first-quarter goals. His speed from the wing was damaging, and while it only came in spurts, it left spectators wanting more. His few inside 50 entries also highlighted his potential to do serious damage when on song.

#9 Taj Schofield

Schofield was one of the more effective midfielders out there with his endless run and abilty to get on the end of handball chains. Starting with an effort off half-back, his defensive pressure soon became known as he was again pestering his opponents deep forward, where he almost ended up with a clever dribbled goal. His forward drive was immense, and there where times where Schofield would be directing his teammates around him with ball in hand as if to coordinate the attack like a quarterback. A clever operator, Schofield already proved to be a crowd favourite.

#16 Zane Trew

There’s a lot to like about the Swans product as a solidly built midfielder. Starting at the opening centre bounce, Trew’s first big play was a releasing handball forward which opened up play, followed by a composed kick across the 50 that highlighted his rare vision. Later in the game, his overhead marking came into play as he floated between the 50 arcs, contesting hard in the air. Trew’s aggression also came to the fore as he was not afraid to get stuck in and lay some hard tackles.

#28 Logan McDonald

McDonald quite simply took the game by the scruff of its neck and tore it apart in the opening stages, booting WA’s first four majors. It was a complete display from the forward; with goals from leads, holding the ball free kicks, and open play snaps helping him to come away with a bag of six after two more final quarter goals. He could have had more, too, with two misses in the opening term doing little to take away from his reputation as a beautiful kick for goal. At a slight 191cm, McDonald has plenty of time to grow into his key forward position and can work on earning the ball higher up the ground.

#29 Jack Allen

Allen was one to slowly but surely work his way into the game with some impressive overhead marking in the third term. The Swan Districts talent was at real presence at 194cm and 84kg, using his size well to lead up to the wing and clunk a few big grabs. His efforts were rewarded in the final term with a goal in between McDonald’s final two.

#30 Denver Granger-Barras

The Black Swans key man put in a tough shift in his defensive 50 post, marking or intercepting almost everything that came his way. His hands overhead were exceptional, and he showed a willingness to take the game on with quick exits out of defensive 50. A defender’s defender, the best way to describe his game was solid – as a rock.

#31 Michael Mallard

Mallard is an absolute prototypical unit at 197cm and 88kg. Spending most of his time in the ruck, he looks a natural footballer with a casual style who enjoys being out there. His mobility and overall work around the ground was brilliant, with some nice overhead marks taken all over the gaff and a booming kick on him to boot. His ruckwork was also solid, and he showed good control with his taps to put the ball into space for his midfielders.

 

Vic Metro:

#5 Lochlan Jenkins

Jenkins was a regular in the Metro midfield and worked hard to effect as many contests as he could. A smother in the first quarter set the tone for the rest of his game, and he would have had a sensational goal on the run from 50 had it not been touched on the line. With some good run and agility, Jenkins showed he can put in the effort to get the best out of his talent.

#6 Ewan Macpherson

The Diamond Creek product led from the front and did everything in his power to make his side’s performance more respectable. His burst from the clearances early was a highlight, and he showed good agility to keep some nippy would-be tacklers at bay. The younger brother of Gold Coast’s Darcy, Macpherson has the same willingness to push the ball forward at all costs and break through whoever may be in his way. An overarching theme of his game was leadership, and he can hold his head up high for that.

#13 Eddie Ford

While he was not the most consistent player out there, Ford put together a collection of plays good enough to catch the eye. Most of his good work was done early, with no less than four displays of strong overhead contested marks, as well as an explosive burst through three players in the opening term. He continued to do his best to turn his opposition in the second quarter, but can work on his disposal and staying in the contest for longer.

#27 Samuel Tucker

Tucker was utilised in a variety of roles throughout the day. Starting forward, he provided a good presence and took a nice contested mark in the early stages. He managed to snare Metro’s only goal for the first three quarters with one sneaking out the back in the second term. Later, he could be seen rucking and swinging down back in a decent overall display.