Tag: Jonte Duffy

NAB League Boys weekend preview: Tasmania vs. Eastern

A standalone fixture this week sees Tasmania Devils host the Eastern Ranges in a bout originally scheduled for Round 12, as the rest of the competition enjoys a week off before Round 14 recommences the season on Saturday, July 20.


Round 12 – 13/06/2019


UTAS Stadium – Launceston


While it seemed long odds at the beginning of the season, Eastern has been far and away the most consistent and best side in 2019, sitting pretty atop the NAB League ladder at 9-2 coming into its clash with Tasmania. The Devils have been competitive for the most part, battling to 4-7 in their inaugural full-time NAB League season to sit eleventh. The two sides are yet to meet this season, taking history out of the equation and allowing both sides to work from a clean slate. With the national carnival run and done, both sides will slowly return to full strength in the coming weeks, starting on Saturday for Tasmania as it regains leading prospect Mitch O’Neill for the tough battle ahead. The core of the Devils’ side is in place, with Round 13 Draft Central Player of the Week Matt McGuinness remaining in the heart of defence, O’Neill back through the middle, and Jackson Callow set to dominate from centre half-forward. Allies representative Jake Steele also returns and may be freed up from his usual ruck duties, named on the wing. For Eastern, a bit of forward line depth slots into the selected 23 as Jordan Jaworski and Joshua Tilley find themselves named alongside diminutive ball winner, Jonte Duffy. It means Eastern possesses threats all around the ground, with a midfield capable of winning high amounts of ball, a forward line with plenty of goals in it from tall and small options, and a solid defence with rebounding quality. The Ranges could look to really get on top in their forward half though, with Tasmania’s strength most significantly lying in the engine room. Needless to say, it will be an uphill climb for the Devils in their persuit to overcome the Ranges, but they should give it a red-hot crack in front of their adoring home fans.





B: 60. J. Barwick, 38. O. Shaw, 21. L. Gadomski

HB: 12. I. Chugg, 7. M. McGuinness, 17. P. Walker

C: 39. S.  Green, 3. O.  Davis, 8. J.  Steele

HF: 20. W. Harper, 9. J. Chaplin, 4. W. Peppin

F: 33. L. Borsboom, 25. J. Callow, 27. R. Mansell

R: 56. J. Lane, 13. S. Collins, 1. M. O’Neill

Int: 2. O. Burrows-Cheng, 37. L. Deegan, 23. H. Ireland, 31. J. Menzie, 50. C. Riethoff, 26. O. Sanders, 14. B. Simpson, 35. L. Viney


In: L. Deegan, J. Steele, W. Harper, L. Borsboom, O. Sanders, C. Riethoff, S. Green, M. O’Neill

Out: N. Baker,  T. Reeves,  E. Jackson,  C. Stephenson,  Z. Adams



B: 12. J. Gilbee, 39. J. Nathan, 40. J. Hourihan

HB: 4. J. Clarke, 21. J. Ross, 19. W. Parker

C: 20. C.  Downie, 7. L.  Stapleton, 30. T.  Edwards

HF: 9. J. Duffy, 28. T. Weir, 13. J. Rossiter

F: 10. C. Black, 36. B. Hickleton, 27. J. Jaworski

R: 18. B. McCormack, 23. Z. Pretty, 11. M. Mellis

Int: 42. A. Begg, 44. H. Keeling, 32. I. Mccormick, 45. M. Zalac

Emg: 24. T. Hardstaff, 53. J. Tilly, 3. C. Tilyard


In: J. Duffy, J. Jaworski, J. Tilly, A. Begg

Out: T. Garner, J. Diedrich


NAB League Boys Round 9 wash-up: Dragons and Chargers adjust best to big outs

ROUND 9 NAB League results see each top four side sit pretty on six wins as ladder-leaders Dandenong had the week off, with Sandringham getting the better of Gippsland and Eastern getting up convincingly against Geelong. Despite missing around half of its best 22 to Vic Metro commitments, Oakleigh was another big winner – solidifying a top eight spot with the largest margin of the weekend.


GREATER WESTERN VICTORIA REBELS 1.4 | 2.8 | 3.13 | 5.14 (44)
TASMANIA DEVILS 2.1 | 5.5 | 7.13 | 10.16 (76)

GWV: F. Atchison 2, I. Grant, J. Quick, N. Caris.
Tasmania: J. Callow 4, J. Menzie 2, O. Burrows-Cheng, W. Peppin, C. Stephenson, J. Chaplin.

R. Polkinghorne, F. Marris, I. Grant, C. Craig-Peters, J. Dwyer, M. Lloyd
Tasmania: O. Davis, J. Chaplin, I. Chugg, J. Callow, O. Burrows-Cheng, R. Mansell

By: Joe Lee

Blustery conditions made for a scrappy affair at MARS Stadium on Saturday morning, with the Devils running out eventual victors by 32 points. With inaccuracy being the headline of the day, it was the Devils’ quick and efficient ball movement that saw them claim the four points ahead of the Rebels. With both teams being incredibly fumbly and wasteful with ball in hand, the game lacked class at times in tough conditions. Jackson Callow was outstanding with a four-goal haul for the Devils, whilst Oliver Davis and Will Peppin starred. Defensive pair Matt McGuinness and Sam Collins were a force to be reckoned with for the Devils, combining for a whopping 18 rebound 50s and 15 marks. Riley Polkinghorne amassed a whopping 39 touches for the Rebels, with Matty Lloyd and under-ager Jack Tillig working hard alongside him in the middle.


NORTHERN KNIGHTS 3.1 | 4.2 | 6.4 | 8.8 (56)
CALDER CANNONS 3.1 | 7.1 | 8.2 | 10.5 (65)

Northern: J. Lucente 3, B. Major, K. Davies, J. Bowne, T. McMahon, J. D’Intinosante.
Calder: J. O’Sullivan 3, F. Evans 2, O. Sasalu, M. Simpson, Z. Molloy, J. Eyre.

A. Taylor, S. Philp, J. Davies, B. Major, O. Simpson, J. Potter
Calder: N. Gentile, Z. Molloy, J. O’Sullivan, M. Simpson, C. Brown, B. Overman

Calder Cannons are back on a winning run after edging the Northern Knights by nine points in tough conditions. The match marked a return to Preston City Oval for the Knights, but the home ground advantage proved a minor factor as Calder adjusted better to the wet conditions after an opening quarter deadlock. An efficient showing in front of goal proved the difference, especially in the second term when Calder converted four-straight goals to build a match-defining 17-point lead – helping them over the line despite having one less scoring shot. Ned Gentile continues to impress for Calder, notching up another best-afield nod on the back of 21 disposals, six clearances and five inside 50s, while Jeremy O’Sullivan caught the eye with an equal game-high three goals from 17 touches. Max Simpson was the leading disposal-getter on the ground with 27, working admirably around the ground to also clock up 12 marks, six rebound 50s and five inside 50s, with Curtis Brown also finding plenty of the ball (23 disposals, four rebound 50s). For the Knights, over-ager Ayce Taylor was named best for his 23-disposal effort, just in front of leading ball-winners Sam Philp (25 disposals, five clearances) and skipper, Jackson Davies (22 disposals, six rebound 50s). James Lucente was their only multiple goal kicker with 3.1, but bottom-age key forward Ben Major was also dangerous forward of centre. The loss is a second-straight for Northern after it won three consecutively, set to back it up with a clash against ladder-leaders, Dandenong. Meanwhile, Calder will hope to extend its hot streak next week against fellow Round 9 winners, Oakleigh in what should be a cracking game.


MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 1.2 | 2.6 | 4.7 | 9.11 (65)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 3.6 | 8.11 | 14.12 | 18.14 (122)

Murray: H. Kaak 3, C. Wild 2, D. Bedendo, J. Chalcraft, W. Chandler, W. Bowden
Oakleigh: C. Stone 5, N. Stathopoulos 5, H. Mundy 3, T. Graham 2, L. Jenkins 2, A. Tassell

J. Boyer, D. Bedendo, J. Hillary, W. Christie, C. Wild, W. Chandler
Oakleigh: C. Stone, F. Elliot, L. Jenkins, V. Zagari, N. Stathopoulos, F. Maguire

Oakleigh Chargers made it three wins on the trot as they comfortably accounted for the Murray Bushrangers by 57 points, consolidating their top eight standing. After scraping over the line by under a goal in each of their last two outings, the Chargers emphatically returned to form on the back of huge second and third quarters where they piled on 11 goals to three to establish dominance. Goals came in droves for the winners, with five of their six goal kickers claiming multiples – led by bottom-ager Connor Stone and Nicholas Staphopoulos, who each bagged five majors. Both were named amongst the best, with the bottom-aged midfield pairing of Fraser Elliot (26 disposals, six inside 50s) and Lochlan Jenkins (24 disposals, eight clearances) again right in the thick of it, and Vincent Zugari (17 disposals, seven rebound 50s) also solid. Jimmy Boyer was the clear best for Murray on a tough day, amassing an equal game-high 27 disposals and nine rebound 50s, with Vic Country squad member Cam Wild (20 disposals, 2.3) also good. Hudson Kaak joined Wild as the only other Murray multiple goal kicker (three), with over-ager Will Christie (12 disposals, nine tackles, 26 hitouts) working well around the ground. Murray’s search for a third win heads to Tasmania next week as they ready themselves to do battle with the Devils, while Oakleigh hosts and in-form Calder side with both teams looking to stretch their win streaks.


EASTERN RANGES 1.4 | 4.8 | 6.12 | 9.16 (70)
GEELONG FALCONS 1.0 | 1.0 | 4.4 | 4.6 (30)

Eastern: J. Duffy 3, J. Jaworski 2, J. Tilly, B. Hickleton, B. McCormack, Z. Pretty.
Geelong: C. Brauer, T. Richardson, J. Grigsby, J. Sarcevic.

M. Mellis, J. Ross, W. Parker, J. Duffy, M. Zalac, Z. Pretty
Geelong: S. Bourke, C. Karpala, C. Fleeton, W. Kilpatrick, O. Barrow, J. Sarcevic

Eastern Ranges consigned the Geelong Falcons to a third-straight loss despite some troubles in front of goal, claiming victory by 40 points to jump into third. The Ranges kept their opponents goalless in the second and fourth quarters, while taking full advantage of the one-way breeze to boot three majors in each of those terms – which proved more than enough. The result could have been blown out far worse had Eastern converted its 25 scoring shots better, but the Box Hill City Oval conditions hardly ever make for pretty football. Mitch Mellis responded to being left out of the Vic Metro side well, collecting a monster 39 disposals, 10 clearances and seven inside 50s in yet another best-afield performance for Eastern. Zak Pretty was next best in the ball-winning stakes with 28 disposals, with skipper James Ross (13 disposals, six marks) solid in defence, Mihaele Zalac (19 disposals, eight inside 50s) showing signs, and Jonte Duffy busy with three goals. Sam Bourke continues to put his hand up for Geelong despite the side’s down form, named best for his 21-disposal effort off half back. Chas Karpala was not far behind with his team-high 24 touches and nine marks, while bottom-ager Cameron Fleeton was impressive alongside Bourke in the back half with 15 disposals and six rebound 50s. Not being massively depleted by the national carnival worked to the Ranges’ favour as they fielded a near full strength side in the face of Geelong missing both of its co-captains. Both sides are set to take part in a MARS Stadium double-header next Saturday, with Geelong opening the show against Sandringham while Eastern clashes with GWV.


WESTERN JETS 3.1 | 3.4 | 7.5 | 11.7 (73)
BENDIGO PIONEERS 2.3 | 4.4 | 4.5 | 4.7 (31)

Western: S. Clifford 4, D. Pantalleresco 2, L. Heaney 2, A. Manton, D. Edwards, K. Borg.
Bendigo: J. Ginnivan, K. Brown, A. Gundry, S. Conforti.

L. Rocci, S. Clifford, E. Ford, D. Edwards, A. Clarke, L. Rzanovski
Bendigo: L. Fitzgerald, B. Vaz, J. Treacy, A. Gundry, J. Evans, J. Guiney

Bendigo Pioneers suffered its sixth-straight loss, held goalless in the second half to go down by an even seven goals to the Western Jets. The Pioneers have suffered massively on the back of losing their star players to school football and now, Vic Country commitments, and this game highlighted that. The low score broke Bendigo’s two-game run of putting 74 points on the board, with Western booting four goals each in the third and fourth terms to build its winning margin. Bottom-ager Samuel Clifford booted a game-high four goals for the Jets, joined by over-ager Daniel Pantalleresco and Luke Heaney with multiple goals. But it was Lucas Rocci who impressed most, racking up 34 disposals (29 kicks), 12 marks, and 12 rebound 50s to be the winner’s clear best performer, while Eddie Ford‘s 22 disposals was the next highest. Leading Bendigo ball-winner Logan Fitzgerald (29 disposals, five clearances) was named best in a losing effort, with Sam Conforti (27 disposals) Braydon Vaz (21, seven marks) solid, and Aaron Gundry (19 disposals, 28 hitouts) the only Pioneers goal kicker to also be named amongst the best. While Bendigo can enjoy a week off, Western faces a tough task in backing up its win against the surging Gippsland Power in Round 10.


GIPPSLAND POWER 1.4 | 3.6 | 4.7 | 6.7 (43)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 3.4 | 7.6 | 10.8 (68)

Gippsland: L. Connolly, Z. Skinner, M. McGannon, L. Williams, M. McGarrity, Z. Soutar
Sandringham: K. Yorke 5, T. Sheezel, J. Bell, M. Heath, G. Grey, J. Gray

T. Hourigan, T. Mann, T. Rees, J. van der Pligt, B. McAuliffe, L. Williams
Sandringham: K. Yorke, T. Milne, L. Lamble, J. Bell, J. Voss, B. O’Leary

The Sandringham Dragons overcame massive outs and a half-time deficit to get the better of fellow top four fancies Gippsland Power in a 25-point victory to see out Round 9. The Dragons clicked into gear after being held well in a deadlocked first half, kicking away with seven goals to three over the third and fourth terms to snap up a sixth win. Kyle Yorke found his way back onto the scoresheet in emphatic fashion with 5.2 as the game’s only multiple goal kicker and Sandringham’s best afield. Potential St Kilda father-son pair Jackson Voss (27 disposals, seven tackles) and Tyson Milne (25 disposals, eight marks, seven rebound 50) benefitted from greater midfield minutes as other Dragons to impress, while Lachlan Lamble and Blake O’Leary matched Voss’ game-high haul of 27 touches. Luke Williams was the only Power player to find the goals and be named in the best, with Jake van der Plight (20 disposals, 11 tackles) and Leo Connolly (20 disposals, one goal) leading the possession stakes. Tye Hourigan was named Gippsland’s best though on the back of 17 disposals and five marks, but it wasn’t enough to help the Power cover for the heavy losses they suffered due to Vic Country selection. Sandringham’s form without many of its stars proved the difference, with Gippsland hardly experiencing the same test to its depth before this outing. The Power have the chance to rectify the loss against Western next week, while Sandringham travels to face Geelong at MARS Stadium.

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 8

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


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

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

Northern Knights

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

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

Eastern Ranges

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

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


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

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

Western Jets

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

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

Bendigo Pioneers

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

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


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

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

Calder Cannons

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

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

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

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

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


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

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

Dandenong Stingrays

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

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

Sandringham Dragons

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

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


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

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

Gippsland Power

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

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

Geelong Falcons

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

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

Team Selection: TAC Cup – Round 7

A NUMBER of key inclusions to TAC Cup sides this round could help teams in their quest to get a win ahead of the Development Weekend next weekend. GWV Rebels have welcomed back Matty Lloyd, a defender who made a habit of running and carrying the footy out of defence last year, while AFL Academy member Mathew Walker and key position player Stephen Cumming return for their respective teams after strong Under 18 Academy Series performances. In Round 7 there is a top-of-the-table clash, a bottom two clash, and a number of contests which could see teams leapfrog the other with victories.


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

In the first game of a Triple Header at RAMS Arena, the Calder Cannons will be hoping to win its second consecutive match for the first time this season. At 3-3, the Cannons are sixth on the table hosting the eighth placed Knights. However a win to the visitors will see Northern leapfrog Calder on the ladder, with the Knights just two points behind the Cannons. Calder have made at least three changes to their line-up, with Jonah Horo, Dylan Landt and Ben Reddick coming into the starting line-up, while Mohammed Abou-Eid has been named as the 23rd man. The likes of Kyle Baker, Oscar Sasalu and Luke Sultana make way for these changes. For the Knights, they have thrown the magnets around with six changes, including some big inclusions. Patrik Della Rocca, Kye Yodgee, Justin McInerney, Joel Naylor and Mark Baker are among the names to return to the side with an extended bench, with Aaron Castagna – the brother of Tiger Jason Castagna – named as 23rd man.

Calder Cannons

B: 9. C. Barton, 38. B. Newman, 3. I. Moussa
HB: 43. L. Cavallaro, 23. D. Hanna, 8. L. Sholl
C: 27. T.  Browning, 33. J.  Evans, 48. S.  Ramsay
HF: 44. N. Gentile, 46. S. Callander, 2. D. Landt
F: 11. J. Firebrace, 12. J. O’Sullivan, 5. C. Taylor
R: 54. C. Lamb, 30. M. Podhajski, 42. N. Croft
Int: 17. N. Doyle, 6. J. Horo, 52. B. Reddick, 55. A. Righele
Emg: 51. W. Jury, 1. D. Mott, 29. J. Riccardi
23P: 53. M. Abou-Eid

In: W. Jury, M. Abou-Eid, D. Mott, J. Horo, B. Reddick, D. Landt
Out: K. Baker,  O. Sasalu,  L. Sultana

Northern Knights

B: 33. J. Randall, 28. S. Uzelac, 11. R. Sturgess
HB: 25. J. Davies, 12. J. Naylor, 5. L. Potter
C: 1. R.  Gardner, 10. B.  Bell, 30. J.  McInerney
HF: 17. J. D’Intinosante, 20. P. Della Rocca, 3. B. Gillard
F: 8. A. Carafa, 31. N. Barro, 27. J. Lucente
R: 16. T. Hallebone, 36. K. Yodgee, 18. S. Brazier
Int: 21. M. Baker, 24. R. Bowkett, 37. K. Brandt, 45. J. Furphy, 7. H. Grace, 40. N. Mayne, 22. M. Wild
23P: 42. A. Castagna

In: K. Yodgee, P. Della Rocca, A. Carafa, A. Castagna, J. Furphy, M. Baker, J. Davies, J. McInerney, J. Naylor
Out: E. Tsitsis, C. Wild, N. Kitchell, J. Hart, K. Agosta, K. Nasser



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

The second game at RAMS Arena sees an mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between Murray Bushrangers and Dandenong Stingrays. The winner will go outright top with a 6-1 win-loss ratio and earn some early bragging rights. Murray has loaded up with AFL Academy member Mathew Walker, Dylan Clarke and ruck Ben Kelly among the ins, however Mark Marriott, Edward Dayman and Will Chandler are listed among the outs. For the Stingrays, they have named an extended bench with William Geurts the only confirmed out. Key position tall Stephen Cumming and speedster Zac Foot are among four inclusions with the 25-man squad to be cut back to 22.

Murray Bushrangers

B: 34. T. Boyd, 2. J. Butts, 19. J. Boyer
HB: 12. L. Ash, 16. N. Murray, 22. A. Dang
C: 4. L.  Vandermeer, 5. E.  Smith, 10. P.  Warner
HF: 7. Z. Barzen, 8. J. Koschitzke, 26. R. Bice
F: 13. B. Frauenfelder, 18. H. Garoni, 9. M. Walker
R: 3. B. Kelly, 38. D. Clarke, 28. K. Clarke
Int: 11. E. Adams, 17. N. Amery, 20. J. Bradshaw, 14. J. Chalcraft
Emg: 48. R. Goodley, 15. R. Quinn, 44. L. Whyte
23P: 50. K. Davies

In: B. Kelly, R. Quinn, M. Walker, L. Whyte, R. Goodley, D. Clarke
Out: E. Dayman,  M. Marriott,  W. Chandler

Dandenong Stingrays

B: 12. M. Gahan, 20. S. De Koning, 10. L. Young
HB: 7. J. Taylor, 5. A. Paterson, 2. H. Young
C: 9. Z.  Foot, 23. C.  Hustwaite, 27. L.  McDonnell
HF: 49. M. Cottrell, 29. B. Williams, 3. J. Plumridge
F: 52. C. Ellison, 28. B. Schmidt, 57. R. Nanscawen
R: 13. R. Bowman, 1. S. Fletcher, 33. J. Carosella
Int: 37. B. Angwin, 11. E. Cahill, 36. S. Cumming, 16. J. Frawley, 45. L. Goonan, 47. J. Hickey, 41. L. Stenning
23P: 50. L. Williams

In: L. Goonan, E. Cahill, S. Cumming, Z. Foot
Out: W. Geurts



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

In the final game of the RAMS Arena Triple Header, the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels take on the Gippsland Power. The Rebels drew with Oakleigh last week and have moved to within four points of the top eight, however Gippsland is flying, thumping Sandringham Dragons last week and moving into third spot on the table. A win to the Power will see them move into second with the top two teams facing off in the earlier day. Matty Lloyd is a vital inclusion for the Rebels, playing his first game of the season, brought in with Izaac Grant and Darcy McEldrew, while Harrison Butler and Jacob Lohmann are the confirmed outs. For the Power, Nick Lowden and Fraser Phillips are the two confirmed outs, while the five ins include Mason McGannon, Grady Cocksedge and Will Broadbent.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels

B: 48. J. Cleaver, 43. J. Wright, 1. C. Craig-Peters
HB: 32. M. Burgess, 20. T. Watts, 24. M. Lloyd
C: 3. S.  Carlin, 9. L.  Dawson, 5. H.  Jennings
HF: 14. J. Hill, 27. E. Lamb, 6. C. Wilson
F: 15. K. Councillor, 28. C. Giddings, 21. I. Grant
R: 29. P. Glanford, 4. B. Annett, 2. M. Schnerring
Int: 17. T. Clark, 35. C. Hinkley, 7. M. Martin, 45. D. McEldrew
Emg: 12. A. Gove, 33. J. Ross
23P: 16. E. Harvey

In: J. Ross, D. McEldrew, I. Grant, M. Lloyd
Out: H. Butler,  J. Lohmann

Gippsland Power

B: 15. R. Sparkes, 25. K. Reid, 35. J. van der Pligt
HB: 7. B. Patterson, 14. T. Hourigan, 12. B. Smith
C: 8. B.  Beck, 6. R.  Baldi, 29. B.  Motton
HF: 36. M. Bentvelzen , 23. N. Gown, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 4. S. Flanders, 16. J. Smith, 11. A. Hodge
R: 22. R. Henkel, 5. X. Duursma, 18. M. McGannon
Int: 26. W. Broadbent, 17. G. Cocksedge, 10. L. Connolly, 1. T. Hayes, 3. M. McGannon, 21. M. McGarrity, 37. H. Pepper
23P: 43. Z. Skinner

In: H. Pepper, G. Cocksedge, M. McGarrity, W. Broadbent, M. McGannon
Out: N. Lowden, F. Phillips



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

In the first Sunday game, the Oakleigh Chargers host the Western Jets at Warrawee Park. The Chargers were forced to split the points last week after a GWV Rebels comeback, while the Jets have now strung a couple of wins together after the disaster at Shepley Oval. Given the swings and roundabouts of school football, the Chargers have brought in six players for an extended bench including Trent Bianco and Bailey Griffiths, while the three confirmed outs are Lachlan Harry, Riley Thompson and Tyson Calder. A win to the Jets will see will see Western leapfrog the Chargers into fourth on the back of great form. The Jets have named an unchanged line-up so far, with Tom Warner, Jack Crawford and Lachlan Rzanovski all named in the 25.

Oakleigh Chargers

B: 56. M. Fewings, 43. P. Bohan, 22. D. Williams
HB: 12. N. Answerth , 23. I. Quaynor, 76. H. Leonard
C: 17. T.  Bianco, 2. L.  Bugeja, 35. X.  Fry
HF: 13. A. Bosenavulagi, 27. J. May, 26. J. Gasper
F: 6. M. Day, 7. J. Robertson, 25. D. Scala
R: 79. B. Griffiths31, 1. R. Collier-Dawkins, 5. X. O’Neill
Int: 47. U. Chol, 63. S. Elliott, 39. S. Fernandez, 24. S. Harte, 77. M. Tighello, 42. K. Viccars, 50. V. Zagari
23P: 20. F. Elliot

In: T. Bianco, B. Griffiths, M. Tighello, F. Elliot, U. Chol, S. Fernandez
Out: L. Harry,  R. Thompson,  T. Calder

Western Jets

B: 25. S. Johnson, 41. L. Rzanovski, 28. J. Papachatzakis
HB: 17. D. Andrews , 38. B. Khamis, 37. H. Murphy
C: 11. Z.  Butters, 33. X.  O’Halloran, 6. L.  Rocci
HF: 20. D. Cassar, 24. J. Honey, 7. J. Watkins
F: 45. A. Clarke, 31. E. Jeka, 10. S. Kyriazis
R: 47. D. Walters, 12. C. Thar, 39. S. Radovanovic
Int: 21. J. Crawford, 32. N. Ellis, 29. D. Fruscalzo, 36. J. Rice, 2. T. Rudic, 26. W. Smyth, 35. T. Warner
23P: 5. M. Chak

In: T. Warner, J. Crawford, L. Rzanovski



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

Over at Box Hill on Sunday, the Eastern Ranges host the Bendigo Pioneers in what is a clash of the cellar dwellers. Eastern have been competitive throughout the season, and will be keen to have a win on their home soil. For the Pioneers, they only have a narrow win over GWV Rebels in round one to show for their season thus far and will be keen to potentially leapfrog the Rebels with a victory in this game. The Ranges have made at least four changes to their side, with key defender James Blanck, tackling small forward Cody Hirst and the likes of Brent Bredin and Jonte Duffy returning, while Thomas Lockman is one of four players named out of the side. Bendigo has lost Jacob Atley and full-forward Will Holt from its line-up, but with Geelong Grammar having the school football bye, can welcome a number of players back into the line-up. Thomson Dow is a name likely to be tracked over the next 18 months, while Zane Keighran, Riley Ironside and Bailey Waasdorp are a number of key ins.

Eastern Ranges

B: 12. J. Gilbee, 31. J. Blanck, 47. T. Hallett-Tauali’i
HB: 20. B. Cardamone, 21. J. Ross, 4. R. Clausen
C: 30. T.  Edwards, 7. L.  Stapleton, 11. M.  Mellis
HF: 17. C. Hirst, 18. B. McCormack, 46. B. White
F: 9. J. Duffy, 13. J. Rossiter, 28. L. Kruger
R: 58. R. Smith, 8. J. Burleigh, 24. K. Quirk
Int: 1. B. Bredin, 3. H. Chinn, 53. J. Drake, 2. A. Kalcovski, 22. C. Quirk, 54. J. Sullivan, 25. L. Vassis
23P: 43. K. Crosby

In: J. Duffy, H. Chinn, J. Drake, J. Blanck, L. Kruger, C. Hirst, B. Bredin
Out: T. Lockman,  J. Weichard,  M. Taylor,  C. Daraio

Bendigo Pioneers

B: 3. L. Marciano, 11. J. Grace, 2. J. Williams
HB: 14. T. Dow, 24. N. McHugh, 25. F. Perez
C: 33. J.  McHale, 5. N.  Wheeler, 48. P.  Moi Moi
HF: 27. M. Lias, 35. Z. Denahy, 51. B. Waasdorp
F: 9. Z. Keighran, 18. B. Henderson, 29. E. Roberts
R: 23. D. Keating, 20. J. Schischka, 43. H. Lawrence
Int: 15. L. Caccaviello, 54. M. Christensen, 17. R. Ironside, 21. D. Loveridge, 37. C. McCarty, 38. K. Stevens, 28. C. Vick, 19. T. Walters
23P: 32. W. Wallace

In: R. Ironside, Z. Keighran, D. Loveridge, W. Wallace, T. Dow, C. Vick, B. Waasdorp
Out: J. Atley, W. Holt, L. Chisholm



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

In the final game of the round, the Sandringham Dragons will be hoping a home ground advantage can turn their recent form around. The Dragons have dropped the three games since APS football started and will hoping that they can bounce back against the Geelong Falcons who lost against Western Jets last week following two good wins. A win to the Falcons would see Geelong move past Sandringham on the TAC Cup ladder. Among the large amount of ins for the Dragons is Kai Owens and key forward James Rendell, but the home side loses key midfielder Liam Stocker, as well as Ethan Casey among at least five changes. For the Falcons, Ed McHenry returns to school football after his one week back in the side, while Brayden Ham is among another three outs for the Falcons. Riley Hayden, Bailey Scott and Campbell Tanis are returning to the side for the round seven clash.

Sandringham Dragons

B: 14. R. O’Meara, 59. A. Courtney, 16. J. Paul
HB: 11. N. Stamatis, 69. C. Watts, 45. J. Voss
C: 37. N.  Bufalo, 66. R.  Byrnes, 25. O.  McMaster
HF: 3. T. Fogarty, 58. K. Yorke, 56. J. Hannah
F: 20. H. Bede, 28. J. Rendell, 21. D. McNeish
R: 32. J. Griffiths, 50. T. Deane-Johns, 8. K. Owens
Int: 34. C. Birmingham, 63. M. Butera, 24. H. Ferdinand, 71. B. Krongold, 15. R. Ladds, 65. L. Lamble, 76. X. Verdnik
23P: 47. T. Milne

In: L. Lamble, X. Verdnik, T. Milne, K. Owens, J. Rendell, O. McMaster, M. Butera, B. Krongold
Out: M. Scott,  T. Long,  T. Murray,  L. Stocker,  E. Casey

Geelong Falcons

B: 15. L. Handley, 49. D. Hollenkamp, 7. C. Harris
HB: 3. K. Rayner, 31. C. Cartledge, 41. C. Stephens
C: 6. D.  Madigan, 9. B.  Morton, 2. S.  Torpy
HF: 10. B. Mensch, 39. C. Idun, 32. F. Parish
F: 14. R. Hayden, 48. B. Schlensog, 26. F. Wilson
R: 50. J. Grigsby, 30. O. Brownless, 22. S. Walsh
Int: 16. B. Scott, 21. L. Smith, 35. C. Tanis, 25. L. Taylor
Emg: 33. Z. Knights, 28. C. O’Connor, 53. S. Stokes
23P: 11. C. Karpala

In: C. O’Connor, Z. Knights, C. Tanis, L. Smith, R. Hayden, B. Scott
Out: E. McHenry, B. Ham, B. Campi, J. Clark

TAC Cup previews: Round 4

SO many changes at the selection table and ahead of round four we investigate which players will need to stand out, and those who will need to continue their form in order to get their team across the line in round four of the TAC Cup competition.


Round 4 – Friday, April 20, 7pm
Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo

Bendigo Pioneers host Oakleigh Chargers under lights tonight at Queen Elizabeth Oval and it becomes a game which is almost impossible to predict how it is going to go. Bendigo has made at least six changes, something that pales in comparison with Oakleigh’s team selection as 13 players return to school football or other commitments. Noah Anderson will be a key out, second overall in clearances for the Chargers, but Bendigo will still need to watch James Rowbottom, who has notched up 17 clearances (eight centre clearances) and is influential at the stoppages.

Bendigo’s 1-2 counter punch at the stoppages are Noah Wheeler and Zane Keighran with the latter named at half-back for the match. They have 21 clearances between them in season 2018, but Wheeler has also been crucial for 12 inside 50s. Bailey Henderson has been named up forward after being Mr Consistent at half-back, and he will line-up alongside Will Holt who is leading the goal kicking in the competition with Max King. The injury to Daniel Keating will be felt, with the in-form ruck having played some great football to date, and the Pioneers will look to Matt Hird in his first game this year to provide the midfielders with the first possession.

For Oakleigh, they will need their depth to step up in the absence of Anderson, Trent Bianco, Matt Rowell, Jack Ross and Charlie Whitehead in the middle, while Ben Silvagni has been the most influential forward in terms of scoreboard influence this year. In his place comes Sam Elliott who moves to full-forward with Daniel Scala the key small down there. With Anderson, Silvagni, Whitehead and Zac Hart gone, the Chargers lose four of their top five players involved in scoring chains this year. Instead of having eight of the top 10 in this match-up, it is more even 6-4 split. Oakleigh still has the depth to win the game, but Bendigo will be hoping to take advantage of the mass changes and its strong inside brigade make the most of its experience at the stoppages.


Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.15am
Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

In a game where both sides are still looking for their first win, last year’s reigning premiers and the team with the most players drafted in 2017, find themselves in a vastly different situation six months on. Geelong will welcome back Sam Walsh who is a crucial cog in the Falcons midfield, especially against an Eastern Ranges outfit which will be without the likes of Xavier Fry and Cody Hirst who both rotate through there.

Geelong will miss Charlie Sprague who has been arguably the most consistent Falcons player who has played all three games, as Sprague heads back to play school football, as will Cooper Stephens and a host of others among seven changes for Geelong. Eastern have also made six changes, with Hirst’s a forced one through injury. One area in which Eastern can try and take control is in the midfield with a strong inside brigade. With no Ed McHenry, the Ranges have four of the top five clearance players in the game, with Joel Burleigh, Jonte Duffy, Adrian Kalcovski and Lachlan Stapleton all providing good extraction from the stoppages. Oscar Brownless, Baxter Mensch, Brayden Ham and of course Walsh will look to go head-to-head with the Eastern onballers in what could decide the match.

The big question for these teams is scoring, with the Falcons missing Sprague (who would have the highest scoreboard impact in this match-up) and relying on Blake Schlensog who has had nine score involvements, three more than any other player on the field this season. Based on the season so far, both teams will look to share the load in terms of scoring, with Billy McCormack and Thomas Lockman named as the key position posts for Eastern, while Finlay Parish comes in for his first game and will line-up at centre-half forward in between Ham and Walsh. Throwing Connor Idun forward continues to offer a different look for the Falcons, and with a marked improvement in round three compared to the prior two rounds, the Falcons will be confident going into this one.


Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 11.30am
Norm Minns Oval, Wangaratta

In the other early game on Saturday, Murray Bushrangers will look to win their third consecutive match, while Sandringham Dragons head into the game unbeaten. With the start of the APS and AGVS seasons, the Dragons are hit harder than any other team and lose almost all of their best 22 – they made 16 changes. It will be a great test to see if they can overcome the Bushrangers with their next tier of players, and see some stand up in the absence of others.

Players who have been in form for the Dragons include Alastair Richards, Liam Stocker and Kai Owen, the three highest extractors for the Dragons this season who have been named in the line-up. Without Dawit McNeish and Bailey Smith, the Dragons will need to win the clearances against a Bushrangers midfield which includes Ely Smith and Dylan Clarke, with Mark Marriott dominant in the ruck more often than not. Losing the King twins always hurts, but the Dragons got the job done against Calder without them, and they will look to James Rendell to continue his good form – booting four goals in the second half against the Cannons – to have an impact on the contest. Up the other end, the Bushrangers have no shortage of contributors, with Patrick Warner (six goals), Bailey Frauenfelder (five), Riley Bice (four) and Jacob Koschitkze (three) all having an impact. Sandringham will be vastly unknown quantity up forward, with Liam Stocker (two) the highest season goal kicker behind Rendell, with Angus Hanrahan thrown forward for this match.

Last year the Dragons knocked off Dandenong Stingrays at Frankston Oval after making 17 changes to its side at the start of the APS season. It was a remarkable win, and they will be looking to do the same here. The trick will be trying to limit the influence of Murray’s midfield and working as a team to ensure they don’t concede too many early goals as they try and gel which is always difficult with wholesale changes. Murray does not rely on one goal kicker to kick a high score, something Sandringham will look for this round as the teams aim to share the goals around and provide a great contest in Wangaratta.


Round 4 – Saturday, April 21, 12.45pm
Morwell Recreation Reserve, Morwell

In what is shaping to be a great contest, Gippsland Power takes on Northern Knights at Morwell, a ground where the Power pushed Dandenong Stingrays all the way a few weeks back. The Knights have also improved since a round one capitulation against the Sandringham Dragons, and are starting to find their groove – so naturally both sides have been scattered with the start of the school football system with Gippsland’s four omissions among their four most important players – Xavier Duursma, Sam Flanders, Austin Hodge and Caleb Serong. Northern has also lost their most consistent ball winner in Tom McKenzie, as well as the likes of Justin McInerney, Oscar White and Joel Naylor among at least seven changes.

Gippsland will look to rely on Matthew McGannon for plenty of drive out of the back half, with the overager leading the competition in disposals (84) and marks (30). Through the midfield, Riley Baldi’s role as a clearance gem will become more important given the loss of partner in crime Hodge, and the fact the Knights will be without the only player with more clearances than Baldi this season in McKenzie. Gippsland will look to the likes of Nick Lowden, Brett Thorson and Boadie Motton to stand up through the middle and around the ground who have been that next tier of players behind the four omissions. Brock Smith is a talented bottom-ager who provides great drive, while Ryan Sparkes is another one who has impressed so far this season. Gippsland’s forward line is vastly untouched outside of Flanders, with Irving Mosquito and Josh Smith – two of the three highest Power goal kickers – both in the side.

For Northern, Josh D’Intinosante and Braedyn Gillard shape as the two most important players. D’Intinosante is a bottom-ager who has a good all-round game providing forward pressure and scoreboard impact. He also gets up the ground and sets up his teammates, as does Gillard through the middle with his work at stoppages. Without McKenzie, Gillard will look to Harrison Grace and Ryan Gardner among others to try and win the midfield battle – an area which is weakened for the Power by their omissions. Lachlan Potter provides a good link down back, while Patrik Della Rocca and Mark Baker will be a couple of targets who can hit the scoreboard if given the opportunity. The battle between Rylan Henkel and Thomas Hallebone in the ruck will be fascinating with both players selected in the extended Vic Country and Vic Metro squads respectively.


Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 12.30pm
Shepley Oval, Dandenong

Dandenong Stingrays face Western Jets in the first game on Sunday, with the Stingrays losing a number of key players to school football and Under 18 Academy Series commitments. The Stingrays are yet to lose in season 2018, but their depth will be put to the test with the likes of Stephen and Matthew Cumming, Hayden Young, Mitch Riordan, Toby Bedford, Jai Nanscawen and Heath Briggs out of the side. Riley Bowman and Bailey Williams return from the AFL Academy game among a host of fresh faces including familiar Stingrays name Sam De Koning who lines up at centre-half back. For the Jets, Emerson Jeka is a big loss down forward, while Lucas Rocci is another out; but the return of AFL Academy member Buku Khamis will buoy the Jets coaching staff.

Western might have the upper hand if they can control Williams and Bowman in their defensive 50, with Aaron Clarke, Steven Kyriazis and Zak Butters three of the most damaging forwards in the game, all adding a different element inside 50 for the Jets. Bailey Schmidt, captain Campbell Hustwaite, and Finlay Bayne have the three highest score involvements of the remaining Dragons, although expect both Williams and Bowman to have a say in the team’s fortune down forward. Zac Foot booted four goals in the last outing against the GWV Rebels, so is another who could be damaging, but the Jets also have a strong defence to rely upon.

The likes of Khamis and Hamish Murphy hold down the key defensive posts, while Stefan Radovanovic and Jack Papachatzakis provide good run and defensive pressure. Xavier O’Halloran has been Mr Consistent through midfield, while Connor Thar provides a strong presence at the stoppages and is a known ball winner. Daly Andrews and Darcy Cassar are others who have shown some good signs throughout the season. For Dandenong, Jamie Plumridge and Will Hamill provide a good trio with Hustwaite, while Angus Paterson has been a rock in defence.


Round 4 – Sunday, April 22, 1.30pm
MARS Stadium, Ballarat

The final game of the round sees GWV Rebels return to MARS Stadium where they take on the Calder Cannons with both sides at a crucial junction in the early part of the season, sitting 1-2 after three rounds. The Rebels will look to turnaround from the heavy defeat at the hands of Dandenong Stingrays up in Bendigo, while Calder will look to build on the performance against Sandringham Dragons without their AFL Academy members, and bring the same level of intensity into this clash. Unlike many other teams, both sides have got stronger at the top end, with the Rebels welcoming back midfielder Tom Berry, while the Cannons have their AFL Academy trio in, of Jack Bytel, Curtis Taylor and Rhylee West. They do lose Mitch Podhajski and Mason Fletcher who have been consistent all season, but will be bolstered by the important returns.

Without a second thought, the clearances are going to be an entertaining battle with Lochie Dawson and Scott Carlin leading the way in this game, while Taylor, Bytel and Curtis will add some serious grunt in the middle. Neither side has a dominant key forward, and instead looks to share the goals around between talls and smalls, with Jed Hill (five), Mitch Martin (four) and Josh Chatfield (three) the top Rebels goal kickers; and Taylor (four) and Jack O’Sullivan (three) the top Cannons in the absence of Podhajski. Tylar Watts returns to the ruck against Devereux Pretty who is back into the side this week, with the ruck battle a crucial one-on-one in the overall scheme of things.

Calder has a consistent defence with Jack Evans, Lucas Cavallaro and Lachlan Sholl back there, while Kyle Baker adds composure and speed. Dylan Landt and Tye Browning are other consistent mid/forwards, while the Rebels have a mosquito fleet in attack. Matt Schnerring and Toby Mahony joining Hill, Chatfield and Martin as dangerous forwards, while Jed Henderson will look to provide a target as well. Harris Jennings and Charlie Wilson are other players to watch, while Angus Gove links well between midfield and attack.

Silvagni leads the way in score involvements

WITH all the tactics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in today’s football, the golden principle to winning is the same as it was when the game was founded – score more than your opposition. So as the TAC Cup had a bye over the weekend, it was an opportune time – ahead of the multiple schools competitions starting – to look at which players led the way in score involvements in the opening three rounds. Score involvements of course include goals, behinds and score assists, with a number of midfielders setting up teammates down the field, which is still important in kicking a winning score.

Oakleigh Chargers and possible Carlton father-son Ben Silvagni leads the way with a total of 15 score involvements in season 2018. The mobile forward has booted four goals, six behinds and had five score assists to cover each key category. Just behind him is Sandringham Dragons’ key forward Max King, who has had 14 score involvements – eight goals, five behinds and a score assist – in just one game.

A host of country players follow next on 13 score involvements thus far this season, with Gippsland Power’s Josh Smith (six goals, two behinds, five score assists), Geelong Falcons’ Charlie Sprague (four goals, five behinds, four score assists) and Murray Bushrangers’ Bailey Frauenfelder (five goals, six behinds, two score assists) all coming next on the list.

Looking to the top three from each team, Oakleigh Chargers has the most potent top-end attack, with their top three players – Silvagni, Daniel Scala and Noah Anderson – combining for a total of 37 score assists. Next on the list is Gippsland Power with Smith, Sam Flanders and a tie for third with Austin Hodge and Fraser Phillips, totalling up to 36. Sandringham Dragons are next with Will Kennedy (11) and Jack Mahony (10) following on from King to make a total of 35 so far from the top three. Murray Bushrangers and Western Jets round out the top five with 32 score assists a piece. The Bushrangers have Frauenfelder, Patrick Warner (12), and Riley Bice and Finbar O’Dwyer (seven each); while Western has Aaron Clarke (12), Steven Kyriazis (11) and Zac Butters (nine) sharing the load.

A special mention should go to Sandringham Dragons’ midfielder Alastair Richards, who has had an impressive eight score assists – leading the competition – two ahead of Hodge and Butters. Dandenong’s Bailey Schmidt, Oakleigh’s Zac Hart and Murray’s Dylan Clarke are others who have had five score assists but did not quite make it into their club’s top three for score involvements.

Top 15:

Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh) 15
Max King (Sandringham) 14
Josh Smith (Gippsland) 13
Charlie Sprague (Geelong) 13
Bailey Frauenfelder (Murray) 13
Patrick Warner (Murray) 12
Mitch Podhajski (Calder) 12
Sam Flanders (Gippsland) 12
Daniel Scala (Oakleigh) 12
Aaron Clarke (Western) 12
Austin Hodge (Gippsland) 11
Fraser Phillips (Gippsland) 11
Josh D’Intinosante (Northern) 11
Will Kennedy (Sandringham) 11
Steven Kyriazis (Western) 11

Club by Club: Top 3

Bendigo: Will Holt (10) | Noah Wheeler (8) | Liam Marciano (6)
Calder: Mitch Podhajski (12) | Rhylee West/Jack O’Sullivan/Curtis Taylor (7)
Dandenong: Bailey Schmidt/Jai Nanscawen (10) | Campbell Hustwaite (8)
Eastern: Jonte Duffy (6) | Mihaele Zalac (5) | Joel Burleigh/Adrian Kalcovski/Mitch Mellis/Jordan Jaworski (3)
Geelong: Charlie Sprague (13) | Blake Schlensog (9) | Oscar Brownless/Bailey Scott/Brayden Ham (6)
Gippsland: Josh Smith (13) | Sam Flanders (12) | Austin Hodge/Fraser Phillips (11)
GWV: Mitch Martin (10) | Izaac Grant (9) | Jed Hill (8)
Murray: Bailey Frauenfelder (13) | Patrick Warner (12) | Riley Bice/Finbar O’Dwyer (7)
Northern: Josh D’Intinosante (11) | Patrik Della Roca (9) | Harrison Grace (7)
Oakleigh: Ben Silvagni (15) | Daniel Scala (12) | Noah Anderson (10)
Sandringham: Max King (14) | Will Kennedy (11) | Jack Mahony (10)
Western: Aaron Clarke (12) | Steven Kyriazis (11) | Zak Butters (9)


Early look: Metro sides’ big ball winners

IT is the opening turn of the long TAC Cup season, but after three rounds, AFL Draft Central takes a look at those players who are already lighting up the stats sheet. From disposals and marks, to kicking efficiency and contested rate, there are a number of players already standing out. Today’s early look just investigates the six Metro teams, with the six Country ones to come.

Noah Anderson is leading the way with disposals, four clear of Northern’s Tom McKenzie, however McKenzie tops the charts in the clearances, three clear of the next highest player having notched up 20 in his three games thus far.

Alastair Richards has been impressive in his first few games for Sandringham, racking up 71 disposals and 20 marks – the latter ranked at number one from the Metro sides. Looking at those with plenty of defensive pressure, Eastern’s Lachlan Stapleton leads all comers by some way, laying 29 tackles in three games well ahead of his nearest rivals with 22.

Despite playing the one game, Max King is the club house leader in the goal kicking stakes. His eight goals against Oakleigh Chargers was enough to see the potential top five pick leading the Metro players after three rounds. His brother Ben has also been eye-catching in defence with some stints forward, ranked third overall in kicking efficiency – four out of five kicks have found their target so far.

The King brothers’ teammate Sam Forbes is just ahead of Ben with 83.9 per cent of his kicks being declared efficient, while Bombers fans would be smiling knowing potential father-son recruit and key defender Mason Fletcher is the most efficient kick of the Metro players (25 or more kicks) with an impressive 89.3 per cent hitting the mark.

Northern’s Sam Philp is the most contested player from the Metro sides with 40 or more touches so far this season, leading Western’s Jaden Rice and Eastern’s Ben Cardamone. Other players that have impressed across multiple statistical categories are Western pair Connor Thar and Zak Butters, Northern pair Braedyn Gillard and Josh D’Intinosante, and Calder co-captain Mitch Podhajski.


1 Noah Anderson (Oakleigh) 77
2 Tom McKenzie (Northern) 73
3 Alastair Richards (Sandringham) 71
3 Connor Thar (Western) 71
5 Mitch Podhajski (Calder) 65
6 Kye Quirk (Eastern) 63
6 Adrian Kalcovski (Eastern) 63
8 Matt Rowell (Oakleigh) 60
9 Zak Butters (Western) 58
10 Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh) 57


1 Alastair Richards (Sandringham) 20
2 Lachlan Sholl (Calder) 18
3 Kai Owen (Sandringham) 17
3 Jack Evans (Calder) 17
3 Sam Forbes (Sandringham) 17
6 Tye Browning (Calder) 16
6 Steven Kyriazis (Western) 16
6 Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh) 16
9 Mitch Podhajski (Calder) 14
9 Lucas Cavallaro (Calder) 14
9 Mason Fletcher (Calder) 14


1 Lachlan Stapleton (Eastern) 29
2 Jack Watkins (Western) 22
2 Jonte Duffy (Eastern) 22
2 Nathan Croft (Calder) 22
5 Josh D’Intinosante (Northern) 18
6 Kye Quirk (Eastern) 17
6 Jaden Rice (Western) 17
6 Liam Stocker (Sandringham) 17
9 Dawit McNeish (Sandringham) 16
9 Cody Hirst (Eastern) 16
9 Ben Cardamone (Eastern) 16
9 Zak Butters (Western) 16


1 Tom McKenzie (Northern) 20
2 James Rowbottom (Oakleigh) 17
2 Xavier O’Halloran (Western) 17
4 Braedyn Gillard (Northern) 15
4 Zak Butters (Western) 15
6 Connor Thar(Western) 14
6 Noah Anderson (Oakleigh) 14
8 Liam Stocker (Sandringham) 13
9 Dawit McNeish (Sandringham) 12
9 Bailey Smith (Sandringham) 12


1 Max King (Sandringham) 8
2 Mitch Podhajski (Calder) 6
2 Josh D’Intinosante (Northern) 6
2 James Rendell (Sandringham) 6
2 Patrik Della Rocca (Northern) 6
2 Steven Kyriazis (Western) 6
7 Aaron Clarke (Western) 5
7 Daniel Scala (Oakleigh) 5
9 Curtis Taylor (Calder) 4
9 Will Kennedy (Sandringham) 4
9 Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh) 4
9 Josh Honey (Western) 4

Kicking Efficiency: (At least 25 kicks)

1 Mason Fletcher (Calder) 89.3%
2 Sam Forbes (Sandringham) 83.9%
3 Ben King (Sandringham) 80%
3 Xavier Fry (Eastern) 80%
5 Angus Hanrahan (Sandringham) 77.4%
6 Jack Papachatzakis (Western) 76.9%
7 Lucas Cavallaro (Calder) 75.8%
8 Ryan Gardner (Northern) 75.7%
9 Lachlan Sholl (Calder) 70.6%
10 Trent Bianco (Oakleigh) 67.9%

Contested Percentage: (At least 40 disposals)

1 Sam Philp (Northern) 66.7%
2 Jaden Rice (Western) 60%
3 Ben Cardamone (Eastern) 58.7%
4 Zac Hart (Oakleigh) 58.1%
5 Zak Butters (Western) 55.9%
6 Atu Bosenavualagi (Oakleigh) 55%
7 Liam Stocker (Sandringham) 51.9%
8 Joel Burleigh (Eastern) 50%
8 Jack Watkins (Western) 50%
8 Josh D’Intinosante (Northern) 50%


Weekend Wash-up: TAC Cup – Round 1

IT was a big weekend in TAC Cup football to kick-off the season, with Western Jets winning under lights, while Oakleigh Chargers and Sandringham Dragons triumphed in pouring rain. An upset to Gippsland Power saw them topple Murray Bushrangers, while Bendigo Pioneers stunned the GWV Rebels with a huge final quarter comeback, and the Dandenong Stingrays put a rubber stamp on their premiership credentials with a 53-point belting of the reigning premiers.

Western Jets vs. Calder Cannons

The TAC Cup season kicked-off on Friday night with a nail biter at RAMS Arena, where Western held off a fast finishing Calder outfit. A five-goal second term pushed the Jets out to a 20-point lead at half-time, but the Cannons came home strong outscoring the Jets but narrowly went down 12.9 (81) to 12.5 (77).

Western Jets midfielder Xavier O’Halloran was his teams best player, winning the ball from the stoppages and propelling it inside 50 on multiple occasions. Around the ground he elected to mostly go by foot and was effective finding targets ahead of him. Connor Thar and Darcy Cassar were also impressive in the attacking half of the ground and impacted the game when required. Up forward it was Aaron Clarke who booted three goals for the contest. 

Lachlan Sholl’s X-Factor was on show throughout the contest, lighting up the Cannons midfield off the wing. Overager Mitch Podhajski won the football in the midfield, showing some signs that hadn’t been seen in his top-age season last year. Tye Browning was also a strong player, while Lucas Cavallaro intercepted well & rebounded well out of the Cannons’ defensive 50. Possible Top 10 draftee Curtis Taylor slotted three goals, as did bottom-ager Jeremy O’Sullivan

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Eastern Ranges

Ed Pascoe

Oakleigh came home with the victory against Eastern in wet conditions with both teams leaving nothing in the tank although it was Oakleigh’s midfield dept  and class that made the difference. Oakleigh’s defence held up strong keeping Eastern to the single goal that coming in the last quarter. Despite Eastern’s depth they where up against a genuine premiership contender in Oakleigh who boast a solid defence and perhaps the strongest midfield in the TAC. The final score was 8.13 (61) to 1.5 (11).

It was tough to pick the best player for Oakleigh since they had a great mix of contributors all over the ground. The backline was lead by Isaac Quaynor who had an outstanding game, James Rowbottom and Joe Ayton-Delaney also showed a lot of class down back. Daniel Scala was the most dangerous forward bobbing up with two goals and midfielder Xavier O’Neill also kicked two and showed a lot of class up the ground. The midfield was strong with Riley Collier-Dawkins, Noah Answerth and Jack Ross winning the contested ball and 17 year olds Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson provided run and class on the outside. Dylan Williams and Trent Bianco were other 17 year olds who impressed. Father-son prospects Will Kelly and Ben Silvagni were not helped with the wet conditions playing as tall forwards but still showed some promising signs.

Eastern had a clear best on ground in Ben Cardamone who was tough as nails in defence and tried his hardest to stop the onslaught that was Oakleigh, he took countless intercept marks and was solid by foot. James Blanck was another who impressed down back, the key defender stood tall all day and was the pick of the key position players for both sides. The midfield tried hard but just came up undersized. Adrian Kalcovski, Jonte Duffy and Lachlan Stapleton toiled hard and weren’t afraid to get in and under and tackle hard. Eastern are a small and quick side so they will be suited to better conditions.


Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons

Ed Pascoe

In what was a tight tussle for the first half, Sandringham pulled away in the second half with their class coming to the forefront. Although the conditions were not as bad as the previous game, the ground and ball were still wet and hard to control. Northern did not let Sandringham have it easy with their forwards putting on good pressure and making the Sandringham defenders accountable. Northern have some impressive youth and despite the result showed some real dare and speed. Sandringham won 9.18 (72) to 3.9 (27).

Northern did not have many players that played a four-quarter game, but captain Braedyn Gillard could hold his head up high, he continued to put his head over the ball and force the ball forward any way he could. He was assisted by Tom McKenzie who added the class and polish to the midfield, rarely making a mistake he often got them all rolling with clearing handballs and creative kicks. The youth really stood out with 17 year olds Josh D’Intinosante and Lachlan Potter provided plenty of excitement with their speed and dare both of them added a great dynamic to the team at either end. The forward line toiled hard with Patrick Della Rocca and Nicholas Mayne providing good targets.

The very clear best on ground was Bailey Smith who had the ball on a strong for Sandringham, he won plenty of the ball in the contest and on the outside with his dangerous kicking and slick decision making on show. The Sandringham forward line worked incredibly well with each player having an impact with and without the ball. Talk forwards Will Kennedy and Josh Worrell were a real handful and provided great pressure without the ball. Small forwards Jack Denborough and Jack Mahoney were quick and sharp and set up countless scoring opportunities. Ben King went forward late to kick two goals and forward/ruck James Rendell showed good athleticism with his two goals. Other important contributors included defender Harry Houlahan, 17 year-old wingman Darcy Chirgwin and line breaker Alastair Richards.


Greater Western Victoria Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers

Cameron Ross

A five-goal performance from Will Holt inspired the Bendigo Pioneers to a thrilling comeback victory against the GWV Rebels on Saturday. The Pioneers clawed their way back from a 19-point deficit a three quarter time to win by 1 point on a perfect Mars Stadium deck.

Although the Rebels led for the majority of the day, the Pioneers never threw in the towel, and answered every Rebels goal with a goal of their own. Holt was not the only contributor for the Pioneers, with ruckman Daniel Keating and big-bodied midfielder Noah Wheeler giving the Pioneers first use through the middle. Keating was dominant in the ruck, and acted as a fourth midfielder at stoppages, attacking the football at ground level and winning it for his side.

The Rebels task was made more difficult by the injury to star midfielder Tom Berry. Berry, who was arguably the best player on the field at the time, hit the point post side on at full pace. Berry showed remarkable courage to walk off on his own power, but was seen icing his ribs at three quarter time. The Rebels will be hoping that Berry’s injury is only minor, as his contribution to the 2018 season will be pivotal if the Rebels are to contend this season. The losing side may have an early contender for TAC cup mark of the season however. After taking a strong mark on the wing, Jed Hill turned and kicked long into the forward line. Out of nowhere came Mitch Martin, who soared onto the back of his opponent, and took an incredible mark. The highlight was complete after Martin kicked truly and was surrounded by his teammates. Other strong performers for the Rebels, came from Charlie Wilson and Lochie Dawson, who were consistent all day, while the afore mentioned Hill had terrific second and third quarters.

The Rebels will look to bounce back next week against the Geelong Falcons at Skilled Stadium, while the Pioneers hope to build on this performance playing the Murray Bushrangers at Shepparton.

Geelong Falcons vs. Dandenong Stingrays

Dandenong Stingrays made a fairly strong statement to open the 2018 TAC Cup season with a dominant 53-point victory over reigning premiers, Geelong Falcons. Both sides had five scoring shots in the opening term at GMHBA Stadium, but the Stingrays converted three goals to zero, opening up a 15-point lead. They then built on that lead with a seven goals to one second term to storm to a whopping 40-point advantage at half-time much to the surprise of the home crowd. It was a closer affair after half-time, but the Stingrays still added to their lead, booting seven goals to five to win 15.10 (100) to 6.11 (47).

For the visitors, Aaron Darling marked a strong return after a year out with injury, booting three goals, while Campbell Hustwaite, Finlay Bayne, Jai Taylor and Riley Bowman kicked two majors apiece to share the load. Hustwaite was one of the Stingrays’ best, being a leader around the stoppages, constantly getting the ball forward, while bottom-ager Hayden Young was good in transition. Bowman was strong rotating through the ruck, while Toby Bedford was another player who used his speed to lay some bone-crunching tackles for the Stingrays.

For the Falcons, AFL Academy stars Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry were the clear standouts through the midfield with Walsh laying some huge tackles and McHenry dancing around opponents out of the stoppages with undoubtedly high clearance numbers. Charlie Sprague booted three goals but was the only multiple goal kicker for the Falcons, while Sam Conway and Blake Schlensog were strong through the ruck, while rotating forward. Oscar Brownless was another who stood up against the Stingrays to win plenty of the ball through midfield, while bottom-ager Charlie Harris provided some rebound for the homes side throughout the match.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Gippsland Power

In arguably the upset of the weekend, a primarily bottom-aged Gippsland Power side rolled the highly-rated Murray Bushrangers at the Swinburne Centre in Richmond. Undoubtedly talented, the Power had to fight for it early, trailing by a point at quarter time, before booting six goals to three in the second term to head into the main break with a 15-point advantage over their opponents. A tight three goals to two term saw Gippsland extend its lead to 20 points with a quarter to play, before running out the game with a four goals to one final term to win 15.14 (104) to 8.12 (60).

Big full-forward Josh Smith booted three goals and was among 10 individual goal kickers for the Power. Over-ager Matthew McGannon was crucial at half-back, having the ball on a string as he marked everything that came his way, providing some drive and run out of the back 50. Captain Xavier Duursma played his usual role through the midfield with much success, delivering the ball inside 50 with clean disposal. His work in close and ability to spread was good, rewarded with a goal. Bottom-agers Sam Flanders and Caleb Serong gave fans a glimpse into the future with some impressive ball-winning abilities, while Austin Hodge was strong in midfield as the 19 year-old moved forward to boot two goals for the Power.

For Murray, Lachlan Ash and Ely Smith had no trouble finding the ball, while Kyle Clarke built on his strong performances early in the season last year. Over-ager Laitham Vandermeer covered the ground well winning possessions in each third, while highly-touted tall Hudson Garoni played outside 50 taking multiple marks and hitting up targets inside the arc. Riley Bice, Matthew Walker and Patrick Warner all booted two goals for the Bushies, but it would not be enough to get the victory. 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 1

THE 2018 TAC Cup season kicked-off with a bang with wet weather playing havoc with Saturday’s double header at Skybus Stadium. We had four scouts watching games over the weekend, read their notes below.

Calder Cannons vs. Western Jets (Liam Connop & Josh Calvitto)

Calder Cannons:

#2 Rhylee West – West started at the centre bounces and reads the play well. He accumulated the footy well, so expect him to really build on his opening game of the season and improve as the year progresses. 

#8 Lachlan Sholl – Sholl had an excellent first game, positioning himself well around the group. He accumulated plenty of the ball and capped off a great game by hitting the scoreboard.

#16 Jack Bytel – The other co-captain of the Cannons, Bytel is a medium-size midfielder with a strong build who showed his class at times despite not accumulating big numbers. Bytel is another who is hard at the contest, often being first to the football. He played generally as an inside midfielder, but also showed his ability when in space to hit targets, and appears not to waste too many of his kicks. Bytel is a very classy player who is primed for a very good season for the Cannons.

#27 Tye Browning – Was in everything in the first half, playing in the centre. Browning has great attacking instincts and goes hard at the football, using his quick hands on the inside to release teammates into space. He showed poise with ball in hand, often summing up the situation well before making a decision. Whilst he wasn’t as proficient in the second half, he was certainly one of the Cannons better players, spending stints up forward and demonstrating his attacking instincts.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski was able to accumulate the ball consistently over four quarters. The co-captiain started in the centre and was often able to read the play well by getting into the right position and generally made smart decisions with ball in hand. He used his strong frame brilliantly in the third quarter, winning the contested ball before evading a tackle and finishing on his left foot from 30 metres out. Podhjaski has clean hands with the footy and appears to be a smart player.

#33 Jack Evans – Evans was impressive playing off half-back, and was able to intercept a number of the Jets’ inside 50 entries. In particular, Evans took a great contested intercept mark in the second quarter, showing his overhead capabilities. Another strength of Evans is his pace; his run and carry was a feature throughout the game. A couple of times running at full speed, he did turn the ball over – so that may be a small area for improvement, as despite a couple of errors – he showed plenty as an attacking half- back. 

#35 Sam Graham – Playing off half-back, Graham has a great turn off foot, using his dash to break away from contests and his ball use was impressive by foot. Another aspect of Graham’s game was his competitiveness, throwing himself at the ball and giving maximum effort. Graham is frequently looked to at half-back as the link-up man, with one instance in the second quarter where he showed his natural speed and hit the target at high speed. One to watch this season.

#36 Patrick Mahoney – Mahoney is a classy left-footer who played off half-back; has clean hands and played in front of his opponent well, showing his defensive skills.

Western Jets:

#11 Zak Butters – Butters showed early in the match his superb marking ability with an early mark in the forward 50. Up forward he looked ominous with great pressure and fantastic closing speed resulting in multiple scoring attempts and a goal. When the game needed to be won the coaching staff put him onto the on-ball and he lead from the front winning the footy and making the correct decisions down the stretch.

#20 Darcy Cassar – Played predominantly forward the whole game, where he had plenty of energy causing turnovers and kicking a couple of opportunistic goals. The quick forward set the standard in the first quarter with his pressure in partnership with Butters.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Played most of the game in the middle, O’Halloran worked hard in the contest and was the hardest defensive working midfielder, enduring up on a lot of rebound 50s thanks to this work ethic. He was in the middle when the game got tough deep in the last quarter, and his skills, decision making and work ethic made him an easy choice for best on ground.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic – Radovanovic positioned himself well and rebounded the footy at great speed and great skill. He was always in the correct position and hardly lost a 50/50 all game. When Calder really came hard in the last quarter, he stood up and was instrumental in the rebound footy that won the Jets the game.

#45 Aaron Clarke – On debut for the Western Jets, the big athletic full-forward from Melton South hit the contest well & looked to hit up at speed all the time. Kicking three goals and contributing to the spill from a contest for the small forwards to crumb and kick goals. Clarke stood out as a forward who could kick a lot of goals this season in the TAC Cup.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Eastern Ranges (Ed Pascoe)

Oakleigh Chargers:

#1 Riley Collier-Dawkins – Collier-Dawkins showed some promising signs last year especially as a midfielder but in the off-season he has gone from less than 190cm to 194cm and he is now a genuine tall big bodied midfielder and played his role perfectly against Eastern. Collier-Dawkins was always on the move at stoppages and in the wet weather he was impressive at picking the ball off the deck and getting his arms free to release his teammates on the outside. Despite his size he also has good pace which he showed in the first quarter laying a great spoil with his closing speed and then followed up with a fantastic long handball. As a tall midfielder with maybe more growing left in him, he is one to certainly watch this season.  

#5 Xavier O’Neill – O’Neill was arguably the most dangerous player on the ground, kicking two goals in a game where goals were a premium and they mostly came from his hard running to get into dangerous positions. O’Neill played a complete performance he attacked the ball hard in the middle but was also clean with his hands with most of his handballs and kicks in the wet conditions hitting their mark. He was part of a fantastic passage of play in the third quarter where he kicked on his opposite foot under pressure to the favoured side of his running teammate going towards the forward 50.

#12 Noah Answerth – An unlucky injury ruined Answerth’s season last year and before that injury he was one of Oakleigh’s most promising draft prospects. Coming back as a 19 year-old, he has been named captain and he played a quality captains game playing to the conditions and leading from the front. His hands in the wet weather where superb with some of his handballs very slick in traffic, his ability to pick the ball up on the wet deck at speed was a real highlight. He kicked an excellent set shot goal late in the game and was reward for his efforts at the stoppages with his hard and clean attack and blocks for his fellow midfielders

#23 Isaac Quaynor – Last year Quaynor grew in confidence and finished his underage year superbly and has continued his upwards improvement with a solid game down back. Quaynor set the tone early with his attack on the ball and willingness to create from half back, his composure under pressure and clean hands in the wet conditions was impressive but more so was his work rate and ability to just find himself in nearly every contest that went into defence. It was the perfect defenders game able to both attack and defend to a high quality and with his added fitness and confidence he looks to be a quality prospect this year.

#32 Jack Ross – Ross stood out in a stacked Oakleigh midfield, despite his strong size (186cm, 85kg), what really impressed was his class and composure in traffic. Ross was incredibly clean in wet conditions he rarely fumbled and his hands and kicking where almost faultless, his smarts and skill where pivotal in the middle and in multiple scoring chains. His hard attack and tackling to go with his skill and class will make him a pivotal part of Oakleigh’s already stacked and impressive midfield.

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Adrian Kalcovski – Kalcovski like most of his teammates in the middle had their work cut out for them, he put his body over the ball all day and you could not question his attack on the footy and willingness to tackle. Kalcovski was Eastern’s biggest midfielder at 183cm and did his best against the much stronger and taller Oakleigh midfield. With a bit more support he should be able to flourish as the year goes on and from the days game you couldn’t question his ability to put his body on the line.

#9 Jonte Duffy – Duffy was the pick of his team’s midfielders on the day, the 2019 draft prospect work hard all day laying plenty of tackles and putting his head over the ball. Duffy was his teams sole goal scorer and that came from a typical bit of play where he attacked the ball hard and was rewarded with a free kick. Despite easily being the smallest player in the midfield he wasn’t afraid to lay hard tackles and borrow under packs to win the ball. Already a young leader who would have impressed his teammates from the days game.

#17 Cody Hirst – It wasn’t the greatest conditions for a player like Hirst who is a small and silky player but class stands out in the wet and he was one of the cleanest players out there by hand. Was a tough day for wingman and flankers so he didn’t get many opportunities to show his class but his class was apparent when he was involved. The one thing that impressed me was how well he tackled despite his size, when he tackles they stick and that could be a point of difference for his draft chances.

#20 Ben Cardamone – The clear standout for Eastern on the day he was a rock in defence and he couldn’t have done anymore to help his team. Cardamone played the conditions perfectly he threw himself into any contest he could get to and didn’t muck around with the ball. Cardamone took countless intercept marks which showed of his great reading of the play, the amount of possessions he got down back was a credit to his work rate and ability to provide multiple efforts around the ball.

#31 James Blanck – In a tough day for Eastern defenders Blanck could hold his head up high, he took some impressive intercept marks and in terrible conditions he played them very well with his big punches and follow up work after a contest. Blanck moves pretty well for his size, standing at 195cm his marking and defensive efforts at ground level will make him a very valuable defender for Eastern this year. Blanck was the standout key position player on the day for the Ranges. 

GWV Rebels vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Cameron Ross)

GWV Rebels:

#6 Charlie Wilson – One of the Rebels’ most consistent players all match. His ability to put pressure on the Pioneers defenders and midfielders caused consecutive turnovers. He kicked a terrific goal and immediately after set-up a scoring opportunity for his team with a fantastic piece of individual play to get the ball inside 50. Kicked another goal in the third term to round off a terrific day.

#7 Mitch Martin – Took one of the best marks you will see at this level. After a strong mark, Jed Hill turned and kicked long into the forward line. Martin got the sit, and managed to hold on and take the mark. To top it off, went back and kicked the goal from 30m out. Another consistent performer, who worked hard for his side all day.

#13 Thomas Berry – Dominant first half, where he was clearly the best player on the ground. Opposition had no answer as he continually racked up the possessions. He also kicked a terrific goal in traffic in the first quarter. Berry dropped the contested mark, but his second effort to crumb and snap the goal was the highlight of the quarter. Moved forward in the third quarter, and had a huge collision with the point post in the which drew “oooohs” from the Mars Stadium crowd. After being put on ice at three quarter time, his absence was sorely missed in the final term, as the Pioneers started to consistently win the footy at stoppages.

#14 Jed Hill – Medium sized forward who showed signs of a player in the making. Kicked a lovely goal in the first quarter from a tight angle, but his second quarter was outstanding. After the Pioneers kicked four goals straight, Hill set up two consecutive goals within minutes. He had piece of individual brilliance in the third quarter after spinning out of a tackle, and giving a clean handball to a teammate for a scoring opportunity. Also in the third quarter, he chased down his opponent in the pocket, knocking the ball out in the process resulting in Berry’s second goal of the day. Super impressive player.

#21 Izaac Grant – Took a nice mark in the second quarter, giving him a set shot that he unfortunately missed. Had a tremendous piece of play at an important time in the final quarter manning the mark, Grant smothered the ball, causing a turnover, and set up his team mate for a scoring opportunity.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#5 Noah Wheeler – The big-bodied midfielder from Echuca was superb. Wheeler was winning clearances all day, and his presence was felt at stoppages, bursting out of tackles and kicking it long. Wheeler’s leadership was also impressive. He was extremely vocal and set up his teammates at stoppages and kick ins. Set up a goal for his side with a terrific decision to switch the ball.

#23 Daniel Keating – Undersized ruckman, yet was absolutely dominant. Barely lost a tap all day and gave his onballers first use. Agile, and terrific below his knees. Whenever the ball went to ground at a stoppage, Keating would put his head over it to win the ball for his side. Also took a really nice intercept mark in the third quarter showing his versatility and his ability around the ground. Consistent performer who was the Pioneers best player all day.

#45 Will Holt – The key forward was sensational all day, and was not only the best forward all day, but possibly the best player. Holt’s goal kicking was poetry in motion, and most of his five goals came from the set shot. Aggressive, competitive player, who attempted to get under the skin of the opposition all day.

#47 James Sala – Sala has it all. Pace, skill and intangibles. A really good combination for any footballer. Had a terrific bit of play in the second quarter which could have gone unnoticed. Sala could have elected to go long to a contest but stopped, dodged his opponent and used the corridor, opening up the Rebels defence. Also chased down his opponent from behind and laid a team lifting tackle.

#50 Kobe Lloyd – Had a magnificent last quarter when his side needed him. He forced a turnover with a superb chase and tackle which resulted in a scoring opportunity. Although the shot was missed, Lloyd followed this up by reading the kick-in, cutting it off and kicking the goal. Arguably the best player in the fourth quarter, which is a big wrap, as the Pioneers overran the Rebels late.

#51 Bailey Waasdorp – Waasdorp’s gut running was impressive during the contest. As the others tired, he seemed to continually get better and better. One to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

Northern Knights vs. Sandringham Dragons (Ed Pascoe)

Northern Knights:

#3 Braedyn Gillard – The new Knights captain lead from the front all day, he burrowed under the packs and just forced the ball forward at stoppages. The wet conditions suited his “in and under” style, at stoppages his hands where very clean with some of his pickups at ground level being first class. Gillard is a natural midfielder and that was plain to see with some impressive roves and positioning at stoppages. He was the most consistent Knights player with a solid four quarter effort.

#4 Tom McKenzie – Easily the cleanest player of the day for the Knights with his slick hands and decision making. McKenzie played mostly as a defender last year and he spent all day in the midfield being a good foil to Gillard’s in and under work with his quick hands and class on show at the stoppages. Not to be outdone by Gillard, he attacked the ball hard in one bit of play in the last quarter and followed that up with some good contested efforts.

#5 Lachlan Potter – Potter is not eligible to be drafted until 2019 but has already started to make a name for himself, you couldn’t help but notice his dazzling speed and movement in traffic. In wet conditions he picked up the ball at pace with ease and his willingness to take the game on was really good to watch. One bit of play saw him go up against a much taller opponent and he forced the spoil and went straight back onto the ball, forcing it forward. The signs are there that he has the ability to be a real game changer with his speed and dare.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante – Another player not eligible until 2019 and much like Potter his speed and eagerness to get involved really added a good dimension to the team. Playing mostly forward he both attacked the ball at speed and also tackled hard and harassed. As great as his speed and dare was, his best moment came late in the game when he hit up McKenzie with a beautiful pass inside 50, the vision he showed in that bit of play really caught the eye and the kick was sublime.

#20 Patrik Della Rocca – In a dirty day for forwards he could hold his head up high. Not only did he look like a threat around the ground but he also did the team things and put on defensive pressure. Della Rocca kicked the Knights first goal of the game with a classy snap goal, he didn’t add any other goals but still did plenty around the ground. He used good bodywork in a lot of marking contests and his pressure and second efforts for a big forward where also impressive.

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Alastair Richards – Despite a slow start, Richards finished the game on a massive high having a huge impact in the last quarter and really making a difference once he got more time in the midfield. In a bad day for kicking, he really stood out with his precise and long kicking. Coupled with his great speed, his long kicking makes him a real weapon and one of his kicks late in the game where he lowered his eyes to hit up Ben King was very impressive. To see him work into the game was very encouraging and he was one of the hardest runners late in the game and his line breaking ability was telling.

#5 Bailey Smith – In his first game as captain Bailey Smith was the clear best on ground putting on a clinic in the midfield. Smith had it on a string and his clean hands and composure made his touches all the more damaging it was very rare to see him waste a possession and his kicking inside 50 was first class. Smith’s work in traffic was outstanding he knew when to give off a quick handball and knew when to spread out of trouble and kick long. Smith had a complete midfielders performance with his contested and uncontested game both equally top notch. His tackling was sound and still managed to take plenty of marks just being in the right spot and he looks like a very worthy captain for the Dragons.

#7 Liam Stocker – Stocker was a real workhouse around the stoppages, he is not afraid to put his head over the ball and he was clean around the ground with his marking and picking up the ground ball in wet conditions. He had a few very decent kicks and he managed to have an impact when resting forward with his lead up work and decision making helping set up many scoring opportunities. Did a lot of unrewarded work around stoppages whether with blocking or using his voice to assist team mates.

#29 Ben King – One of the much talked about King twins Ben played down back for three quarters before being shifted forward in the last quarter where he kicked two goals. Despite hitting the scoreboard, King did his best work down back, where he patrolled the CHB line taking plenty of intercept marks and using the ball well out of defence. His best bit of play happened 10 minutes into the second quarter when he flew for a high mark, he did not complete the mark but he got right back up and laid an impressive tackle highlighting his great athleticism for someone 201cm tall.

#33 Will Kennedy – Kennedy played a fantastic game considering the conditions, the tall forward worked hard all day presenting up the ground to be an option. The most impressive part of his game was his defensive pressure for a 198cm forward, he laid plenty of tackles and gave second and third efforts multiple times during the day. Not to go unrewarded he kicked a classy running goal in the second quarter at an important time of the game. Kennedy showed incredible skill at ground level for his size and he could really do a number on defenders in better conditions where he can also be a threat overhead.

TAC Cup preview: Eastern Ranges

EASTERN Ranges may not have had the on-field success last year in terms of wins, but they were clearly the most successful off the field with a staggering 10 players drafted, in the form of Adam Cerra (pick five), Jaidyn Stephenson (six), Sam Hayes (47), Tyler Brown (50), Ryley Stoddart (53), Joel Garner (60), Tom North (65), Dylan Moore (67), Jackson Ross (71) and Trent Mynott (Rookie) all finding new homes.

They took it up to Dandenong in the first final showing once again that they will always be a threat when it comes to finals football, they even did the same the year before, losing narrowly to eventual 2016 premiers Sandringham in one of the better TAC Cup games you will see.

Eastern will not be expecting 10 players to be drafted like last year but there are still plenty of players making a good early impression. Eastern had a number of bottom age players have an impact last year with Adrian Kalcovski and Joel Burleigh (12 games), Xavier Fry and Ben Cardamone (nine) all players to keep an eye on. Eastern have a very even spread of players this time around so it will be hard to find the pick of the bunch, Cody Hirst showed a lot of class last year playing as a small forward and should be getting more time up the ground to showcase his great composure and skill. Blake Tahlambouris is a crafty medium forward who can have an impact both overhead and at ground level, he will be a tough match-up for the opposition this year and does his best work deep forward. Kye Quirk looked very comfortable last year playing in defence he showed a great ability to both attack and defend. He is a smart reader of the play who should be set for more midfield time this year, and is also the grandson of Carlton premiership player Bryan Quirk.

An unexpected arrival as a 19 year-old playing for Eastern this year is none other than Devlin Brereton, son of Hawthorn champion Dermott Brereton. The lively small forward has come over from Sandringham Dragons after narrowly missing out on getting drafted last year; he faces a big year to prove himself. Eastern will be going in with a smaller and younger squad compared to last year so expect to see bottom agers like Jamieson Rossiter, Jonte Duffy, Mitch Mellis, James Ross and Todd Garner (brother of 2017 draftee Joel Garner) all push to make an impact, making them the key to Eastern challenging for a finals spot again in 2018.

2017 Stats:

2017 Summary:

Eastern had an up and down year but managed to finish 6th. School football meant that the bulk of their star players weren’t available for selection and that was made even worse at the National Championships when they would also lose their gun players who didn’t have school commitments like Stephenson and Hayes. In the later part of the year Eastern really started to find their groove with the natural progression of their up and coming bottom agers and the return of their star players from school football culminating in a 5-game run of wins in the lead up to the finals. Although they lost their last 2 rounds to high quality finals teams in Oakleigh and Geelong, they gave Dandenong a massive scare in the first final where they lead by 50 points at half time. Eastern went out fighting which they have done so very often in recent years.

2018 Snapshot:

Eastern start the year with a big game down at Skybus Stadium in Frankston against a strong Oakleigh Chargers team. Eastern only get to play the four games at their fortress in Box Hill and incredibly will play at 11 different grounds not including their home ground which they have to wait until round seven to play on. Once again Eastern will play a night game at RAMS arena in round two on a Thursday night.

2018 Fixture:

Eastern Ranges 2018