Tag: Josh Patullo

Classic Contests: Power fight back from 37-point half-time deficit to down Rebels

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 5 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Gippsland Power and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2015 when the sides produced an epic clash and the Rebels were still known as North Ballarat Rebels.

GIPPSLAND POWER 2.4 | 4.5 | 9.12 | 12.21 (93)
NORTH BALLARAT REBELS 5.3 | 10.6 | 10.7 | 12.8 (80)

Round 16 | Sunday, August 16, 2015
Morwell Recreation Reserve, 11am

Earlier in the season, the Rebels had got the better of the Power, coming from behind in Round 8 at Eureka Stadium to win by 13 points. They had trailed by 22 points at half-time, but a nine goals to three second half had sent the Rebels fans home happy. It would be eerily similar in the second encounter between the two sides, this time in Morwell where the home fans would be keen to repay the favour. After 15 rounds, the Rebels were sitting pretty on the top of the table with that Gippsland loss being only one of two for the season so far. The Power had been a mid-table team with six wins, seven losses and a draw from 14 games and were percentage ahead of the eighth-placed Calder Cannons.

The game started off with the favourites getting the jump on the home team, piling on five goals to two and making the most of their chances in the opening quarter. The Rebels led by 17 points at quarter time, and doubled up on that dose in the second term with another five goals to two quarters. Heading into the rooms at half-time, North Ballarat led 10.6 (66) to 4.5 (29), a 37-point margin in what was a one-sided contest to date. Few would have predicted what happened on the other side of the break, as the Power piled on five goals to zero – and it could have been even more with seven behinds – to slash the deficit to a remarkable one-point at the final break. The shell-shocked Rebels managed to get some momentum back with a couple of goals in the final term, but the Power continued their strong forward half dominance with 3.9 to win by 13 points and arguably should have been more given the final 12.21 (93) score. It was a stunning turnaround from a team that looked dead and buried at half-time, but found a way to win.

Of the future AFL draftees on the day, Ben Ainsworth was named among the best for the winners, recording 16 disposals, seven marks (one contested), one tackle and 1.3, while Tom Papley was also named in the best for his 2.4 from 16 touches, seven marks and a tackle. The twin towers in Ben and Harry McKay did not have a huge influence on the game, combining for 14 disposals, four marks, five tackles, 10 hitouts and 2.1. Of Gippsland’s best, Josh Patullo racked up 44 hitouts to go with 17 disposals, nine marks (three contested), three tackles and a goal, while Kade Renooy helped himself to 25 disposals, four marks, three tackles and a goal. Link Robinson (three goals) and Aloysio Ferreira (two) were the other multiple goalkickers for the Power in an even team performance. In terms of the bigger ball winners, Nash Holmes had a day out with 25 disposals, five marks and four tackles, while Jackson McMahon finished the match with 26 disposals, four marks and two tackles.

Of the Rebels, they too had a number of draftees both top and bottom-agers. A young Hugh McCluggage had 16 disposals, four marks – two contested – and six tackles on the day, while Lloyd Meek had 23 hitouts but just three disposals and three tackles. Tom Williamson finished with six disposals, one marks and four tackles, while Jamaine Jones was the other future draftee, picking up four disposals, three marks and booting a goal. Of those in the best for the Rebels, Josh Webster picked up 17 disposals, three marks and four tackles, while Joseph Symons laid nine tackles to go with 15 touches, two marks and a goal. Ezekiel Frank booted a game-high three goals from six touches and two marks in a losing side. The top disposal winner was Tom Templeton who helped himself to 20 disposals and five marks on the day.

Gippsland Power went on to finish seventh, but bowed out to a full-strength Oakleigh Chargers outfit to the tune of 78 points in the elimination final. The North Ballarat Rebels would suffer the same fate in the preliminary final after finishing on top of the table, losing to the Chargers by 32 points as Oakleigh went on to win the 2015 flag against Eastern Ranges.

South Australian weekly wrap: Roosters get back on track

SOME of South Australia’s (SA) young talents filtered back into South Australian National Football League (SANFL) games last week, with majority of SA’s U18 and U16 squad still away on National Championship duties.

School footy continues to be on break, so most clubs over the coming weeks will be able to get their best sides on the park, so SANFL club results will be interesting to watch. Jamie Morgan, Tom Wyman and Damon Mattiazzo all took a look at what is making news in South Australia.


Port Adelaide 14.15 (99) defeated West Adelaide 3.4 (22)

Port Adelaide cemented their spot in the top five of the SANFL with an elementary victory over strugglers West Adelaide. The Magpies were in complete control of the contest with West Adelaide unable to cause any threat to the side that only featured one non-AFL listed player in their line-up. Billy Frampton was superb for Port with a dominant display comprising 25 disposals, nine marks and four goals. Former Lion Sam Mayes produced his best performance of the season so far with 28 disposals, seven marks and seven clearances, as Willem Drew and Kane Farrell were also busy with 23 touches each. Matthew Broadbent and Jarrod Lienert controlled the play from the wings with 25 and 24 disposals respectively. Highlight of the game came from Port Adelaide NGA player Martin Frederick who kicked the potential goal of the year with an amazing coast-to-coast goal from inside Port’s defensive 50. For West, former Hawthorn player Dallas Willsmore‘s efforts were left unrewarded in a tireless display accumulating 34 disposals, Chris Schmidt (31 disposals and five marks) and Kaine Stevens (30 disposals and six clearances) were also noteworthy.

South Adelaide 9.8 (62) defeated Sturt 15.8 (98)

The Double Blues grabbed the premiership points away from home at Flinders University Stadium, defeating the Panthers by 36 points. Josh Patullo kicked three majors for the victors and was aided in front of goal thanks to two goals each by mainstays Mark Evans and Josh Hone, Jack Penfold and veteran on-baller Aidan Riley. Consistent duo James Battersby (30 disposals, six marks, three tackles and eight clearances) and Sam Colquhoun (28 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and five clearances) helped their side win the midfield battle. Emmanuel Irra was the only multiple goalkicker for South Adelaide, booting two majors, with Abe Davis (brother of recent-Adelaide debutant Ben) again prolific with 33 disposals. Joseph Haines and Nick Liddle were prolific, recording 31 and 27 touches respectively, with the former also registering an impressive 10 marks and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Norwood 6.15 (51) defeated by Adelaide 13.10 (88)

Adelaide’s strong form in the SANFL continued with a dominant 37-point victory over Norwood. While the game was close in the first half, an eight goals to two second half – including a four goals to zero last quarter – saw the Crows run away with the contest. Adelaide listed players Patrick Wilson (28 disposals, six clearances, three tackles, nine marks and two goals) and Bryce Gibbs (22 disposals, 10 clearances, two marks and three tackles) impressed, as did Riley Knight who booted two goals from 22 disposals. For Norwood, Lewis Johnston continued his great form with 31 disposals, 10 marks, six tackles, two clearances and two goals, while Mitch Grigg and Matthew Nunn both had 26 touches, as well as a combined 17 marks, 14 tackles and 11 clearances in the loss.

Eagles 11.9 (75) defeated by Glenelg 14.6 (90)

This was a tough hitout from two in-form teams with Glenelg holding on by 15 points. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with Luke Partington clearly best for the Tigers all day. Partington finished with 43 disposals, eight marks, eight clearances, and two goals. The Eagles steadied once again on the back of small forward James Rowe booting two goals in the second quarter who finished the game with four majors, but Glenelg forwards Brad Close (20 disposals, two goals) and Tom Schott (three goals) were key contributors in the win. The Eagles had their chances after being level at three quarter time and were led well by experienced Chris Hall (30 disposals, seven marks) but fell short.

Central District 11.13 (79) defeated by North Adelaide 17.5 (107)

Roosters players and supporters can finally put the nineteenth man saga behind them after securing their second win finally had them out of negative premiership points zone. Aidan Tropiano led the way for the Roosters with 39 disposals and seven clearances, while young forward Frank Szekely finished with four goals and earned a Breakthrough Player Nomination. Consistent performers Travis and Jarrod Schiller had a heap of the footy with 42 and 30 possessions apiece for the Bulldogs.


Norwood 10.12 (72) defeated West Adelaide 4.7 (31)

Norwood were able to consolidate second spot on the ladder with a comfortable victory against third placed West Adelaide. Norwood were led by Connor Bristow who was dominant with 29 disposals that included 15 marks and a goal, Bristow was joined by dropped seniors Cody Szust and Christopher Olsson who had 28 and 26 disposals respectively. Brodie Carroll had 19 disposals returning from his stint in the senior side, as former State Academy players Tyler Martin (20 disposals) and Jacob Collins (16 disposals) were also influential. For West, James Bentley had a prolific game with 31 disposals and 1.4 for goal, Connor Fairlie (26 disposals), Lyndon Hupfield (24 disposals and 10 marks) and Aaron Anderson were other standouts.

South Adelaide 9.5 (59) defeated Sturt 7.14 (56)

South Adelaide prevailed by just three points in a nailbitting curtain raiser with Sturt. Returning from State Under-18 duties, Panther Darnell Tucker impressed with two goals from his 12 disposals, however it was his defensive pressure (10 tackles) which really stood out. Luke Bogle was crucial in his sides triumph, winning 31 disposals and getting the ball going his sides way with 11 clearances. For Sturt, Casey Voss was solid in what was a well-rounded statistical outing, collecting 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles, six clearances and seven inside-50s. Perhaps unlucky not to be given a chance in the SA Under-18 side, Anzac Lochowiak was effective again, collecting 23 disposals and laying 11 tackles. Fellow State Academy member Oliver Grivell booted 1.2 from. his 13 disposals. He took two contested marks (five in total) and, crucially, contributed to his sides defensive pressure by connecting with five tackles. Edward Allan was the most prolific player on the ground, amassing 33 disposals, six marks, six tackles and six clearances.

WWT Eagles 9.4 (58) defeated by Glenelg 10.13 (73)

The Eagles have had an inconsistent few weeks, while Glenelg has been improving with the Tigers securing a 15 point win. With some players recovering from injuries, the Tigers look a bit more settled and on the back of strong performances from Tom Feely (28 disposals seven marks,) and Ben Sawford (25 disposals and 10 clearances) the Tigers held on. Young talent Declan Carmody was good with two goals and Finn Betterman was also amongst the best. Eagles struggled to play consistent football and defender/mid Jake Westbrook and Sam Rowland were best for the Eagles.

Central District 17.12 (114) defeated North Adelaide 4.8 (32)

Centrals did a demolition job on the Roosters by 82 points. Darcy Pisani look set for a League call up after a 42-possession, one-goal game and Connor McLean finished with four goals. Max Lower battled for the Roosters to finish with 34 disposals, and youngster Jackson Antrobus (son of Tony) finished with one goal for the losing side.

Under 18s:

Norwood 15.8 (98) defeated West Adelaide 7.4 (46)

West Adelaide easily dispatched a disappointing Redlegs side with a 52 point victory at the City Mazda Oval. Beau Nunan was the star of the game with a performance headlined with six goals for the Bloods, Joel Groom was top ball winner for his side with 27 touches. Eduard Van Den Berg was also fundamental to West’s win, as the Blood’s Riley Thilthorpe kicked three goals from eight contested marks. For Norwood, Henry Nelligan continued his prolific form with 27 disposals, nine clearances and a goal with Mitchell Carroll also impressing with 26 touches and seven marks.

South Adelaide 8.9 (57) defeated Sturt 7.12 (54)

South Adelaide snatched victory from Sturt by three points in a come-from-behind victory down south. The Panthers were led by Sacred Heart duo Marcus Lippett (26 disposals, six marks, six tackles and three inside 50s) – who was strong in the air with three contested grabs – and bottom-aged state representative Zac Dumesny (23 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles and eight clearances). Consistent medium forward Mitch Riddle booted two goals to sit equal-fourth in the under-18 goalkicking standings. Ruckman/tall forward Ben Ryan and Tyler Oliver also contributed two goals, with Nicholas Kraemer‘s 10 tackles also of note. Sturt dominated in the ruck, thanks to 32 hit-outs from Sam Zevenboom and 25 from Amos Doyle. Midfielder Tully Kennett was instrumental in-tight, collecting 36 disposals (including 26 handballs), 12 tackles and winning 14 clearances. Declan Fahey (33 disposals, four marks, 10 tackles and nine clearances) and Charlie Allen (32 touches, five marks, 11 tackles and six clearances) were also especially busy, with Aiden Holland and Angus Kitto Sturt’s multiple goal kickers with two apiece.

Glenelg 12.4 (76) defeated WWT Eagles 9.16 (70)

Despite a late charge from the Eagles, Glenelg hung on to win by six points. Cooper Hornsell impressed with three goals and 17 disposals, and Riley Holder is having a strong season to date again finishing with two goals and 19 disposals. Eagles ball accumulators Lachlan Hoile finished with 30 disposals and six clearances and Taj Schofield (son of Jarrod) was good for the Eagles finishing with 23 disposals. The Eagles retained top spot, but the chase for finals will be tough.

Central District 8.17 (65) defeated North Adelaide 11.7 (73)

North secured an eight-point victory over Centrals. The Bulldogs surged in the last quarter but weren’t able to secure a win. Jack Carpenter from the Bulldogs had a good all round game with 25 disposals, six marks and a goal, while Jakob Thomson impressed with three goals and 22 disposals and 10 marks, six of which were contested. North remain second on the ladder behind Eagles. Tyran Hill was good for North thanks to a two-goal, 25-disposal game and Jamison Murphy continued some solid form again with 28 disposals and two goals as well.

Season preview: SANFL 2019

AFTER a successful off-season that saw many South Australian National Football League (SANFL) players reach the highest level, the 10 clubs again begin the journey towards the 2019 premiership. Our South Australian writers take a look at how each side is shaping up in the pre-season.


By: Damon Mattiazzo

The Adelaide Crows SANFL team will be headlined this season by former AFL-listed forward Matthew Wright who will captain the team into the 2019 season. Wright will also take on a role as a part-time development coach with the club after announcing his retirement from the AFL after three years at Carlton. The club did not draft any players from South Australia and picked up Allies star midfielder Chayce Jones, who played Round 1 in the AFL. Will Hamill and Lachlan Sholl will be intriguing prospects for the Crows, as Ned McHenry should be on the fringes for an AFL debut sometime throughout the season. The Crows also gained Shane McAdam from Carlton through trade after he was selected in the mature-aged pre-draft after a stellar season for Sturt. Out of the Crows SANFL contracted players, Jordon Boyle from Salisbury North impressed the most last season, but Michael McMahon and 2018 Dean Bailey award winner Corey Davey should be their best contributors. With Tom Doedee suffering a season ending ACL injury in Round 1 against Hawthorn, the Crows may potentially consider taking a player at the first AFL mid-season draft to bolster their defensive stocks.


By: Damon Mattiazzo

Central District will be hoping for a swift return to finals football after a rare finals absence in 2018. Former Crow Troy Menzel headlines the new recruits returning after five years in the AFL with Carlton, Adelaide and a dominant premiership stint in the SAAFL with Tea Tree Gully in 2018. The Dogs have also recruited a trio of Neagle’s- Jydon, Matthew, and Jaxon– from Wodonga and will be looking to make the most of the opportunity at the Ponderosa. Tim Auckland– 2018 Adelaide Crows SANFL contracted player- impressed enough to earn himself a contract at the Dogs and will be the one envisaged to replace the outgoing Darcy Fort. Central were one of the club’s to be hit most by AFL Draft, with Jackson Hately (GWS), Jez McLennan (Gold Coast), Aaron Nietschke (Melbourne) and Fort (Geelong) all recruited. 2018 leading goal kicker John Butcher and former Docker Jack Hannath have also both moved onto new opportunities outside of the game.


By: Jamie Morgan

Things have been very busy in the offseason at Brighton Road with some big names to the club. Ex-West Coast midfielder Luke Partington will look to have an immediate impact on the side slotting straight into the middle. Added as well is Ex-Geelong forward and local Glenelg boy, Cory Gregson. Despite his injury troubles whilst in the AFL system, the best of Gregson will compliment a strong Glenelg side. With key experienced players Liam McBean and Brad Agnew back to the Bay, this looks like the strongest Glenelg squad for some years. Despite losing Tobin Cox to Port Power, and some other players moving, the talent coming is excellent. Coach Mark Stone has young talent to work with, with 2019 Top 10 draft hopeful Will Gould showing he is ready for league footy in the pre-season and has been rewarded with a Round 1 berth. Gould is a versatile player with a strong body who will be looking to thrive in his draft year. 2018 SA U18 team member Finn Betterman has impressed also over the pre-season and will be making his debut in Round 1 as well. The Glenelg leaders of Max Proud and Chris Curran will be looking to guide this team to finals and break a long drought for the Tigers. At Reserves and Under 18 level there is plenty of talent keen to impress with SA U18 members Cooper Hornsell and Brady Searle developing nicely.

North Adelaide:

By: David Chapman

The reigning premiers have an uphill start, being docked two wins prior to the start of the season for the 19th man incident in the 2018 Preliminary finals. They have also lost five premiership players to the AFL in the form of Best and Fairest Callum Wilkie, wing/forward Robbie Young, ruckman Jordon Sweet, utility Connor Rozee and small forward Boyd Woodcock. Coming into the mix to replace those will be; back from the AFL, small forward Jake Neade (Power), and mid/forward Ben Jarman (Crows). Also out of country footy and returning to the Roosters with three Mail Medals is former SA U18 captain and midfielder Campbell Coombe and key defender from Keith, Bill Laurie. Rugby convert Jack Blair from NSW also takes up the ruck space. In the trial games, we have also seen some exciting play from small forwards Keanu Miller and Frankie Szekely and winger Mason Neagle. Some of the key youngsters in the mix for the Roosters this year include tall Dyson Hilder, at around 196cm he has played in the SANFL league trials in the midfield, up forward and down back and will be a key cog in the SA U18 champs this year. Also one to watch is key position player, Karl Findlay, picked in the U18 Academy as well, this smooth and calm defender will have a his mix of school, state and SANFL commitments this year. With the Reserves also winning the flag last year there is some depth, but a number of those experienced players have left the club to play some local and country footy. This year North cannot really afford to go on a 1-6 late season run like they did last year. The nucleus of the North success has been their core of hard midfielders, and while the key positions remain unchanged, the impact of losing Wilkie could be the key. However, North will still be a real threat in 2019.


By: Jamie Morgan

Norwood look to again be in the mix for finals after another solid offseason adding ex Port (and Glenelg) Dom Barry and former South Adelaide player Cody Szust to an already strong list. Magarey medalist Mitch Grigg again looks like he will be able to control games from the middle alongside Matthew Panos. Norwood had four of their talented youngsters drafted at the end of 2018 in Luke Valente, Jacob Kennerley, Ben Jarvis, and Kade Chandler, but their core group is experienced and tough and Coach Jarrod Cotton will be looking to go further than 2018. Ex PAC student Cole Gerloff is an emerging talent and should be a consistent member of the league side this year. The Under 18 talent at the Redlegs is again top notch and SA squad members Cameron Taheny and Dylan Stephens are real standouts who will no doubt get a taste at the next level. Both will be keys for SA’s Under 18 title defence and will be watched closely for the Redlegs.

Port Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

For the first time since Port Magpies re-assignment in the SANFL they will not be led by club stalwart Steven Summerton. Taking over the captaincy and marquee spot is former Fremantle utility Cameron Sutcliffe who surprisingly knocked back his original SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens. Sutcliffe has also taken on a role as a development mentor which will aid the draftees’ development and integration into the Magpies setup. Bar Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, Port drafted exclusively from South Australia and already have Boyd Woodcock and Connor Rozee who played in a North Adelaide premiership in the previous season. Kai Pudney dominated in U18’s level last season and will look to take the next step in the seniors, as will Martin Frederick – who impressed at the U18 South Australia championship win – and will be looking to further his development with senior football. Out of the Magpies SANFL contracted players, ex-Central District forward Dallas Hill will be one to watch, as is Matt Appleton, who played 15 league matches for North Adelaide in 2018 will be an interesting prospect. With the Magpies’ Reserves side disbanded for 2019, all SANFL contracted players that don’t feature in the league side will play for their community clubs when not required. Second year Western Australian player Jake Patmore suffered an ACL injury in a SANFL trail match against South Adelaide and will miss the season, much like ruckman Sam Hayes who suffered the same injury last season but will be looking return to the SANFL side in the near future.

South Adelaide:

By: Jamie Morgan

It has been an interesting off season for the Panthers with some great talent snapped up with losing players Nathan Krueger to Geelong, Keegan Brooksby back into the AFL system at West coast as well as youngsters Tom Sparrow to Melbourne and Jake Tarca to Geelong. Bringing in Malcom Karpany from West Coast will be a handy addition as well as South favourite Emmanuel Irra returning from Port Adelaide, but it is the class of ball magnet Nick Liddle and Joel Cross which always makes South hard to beat. Players ready to break out include Liam Fitt who impressed with every game and Jaiden Kappler is another talent on the rise. South has some quality young talent emerging with big men Damon Freitag and Daniel Sladojevic likely to get an opportunity at the highest level.


By: Damon Mattiazzo

After losing dual premiership coach Marty Mattner as an assistant coach to the Adelaide Crows, the new Sturt era will be under the tutelage of former North Melbourne and Central District premiership player Nathan Grima. Grima was recruited from Essendon Football League side Strathmore and has brought Victorian pair Tom Condon from his former side and 6ft 5in giant Josh Patullo from Footscray’s VFL team from across the border. But their season will be headlined by the return of Sturt product Danyle Pearce, returning after 258 AFL games for Fremantle and Port Adelaide and a 2006 Rising Star award to his name. The Double Blues lost star player Shane McAdam to the AFL as a Mature-age draft pick and Riley Grundy to Port Adelaide late in last year’s draft. Sturt will also miss promising midfielder Tom Lewis – a key asset in South Australia’s successful U18 carnival- to an ACL injury suffered in an early season trial match and will miss the entire 2019 season.

West Adelaide:

By: Damon Mattiazzo

West Adelaide will hope 2019 can be the season the Bloods can rise back up into finals contention, with coach Gavin Colville into his second term. West welcome back Jack Oatey medallist and the captain of their 2015 premiership Chris Schmidt, partnering the return of Will Snelling back from three seasons with Port Adelaide. Snelling- a hard luck story to be delisted by Port- will be keen to build on his 2018 best-and-fairest SANFL Port season and make a big impact back at his original club. The Bloods have also recruited Dallas Willsmore from Hawthorn after he was delisted at the end of the 2018 season after two AFL games in four seasons with the Hawks. Willsmore will provide more depth in West’s engine room, as West rounded out their acquisitions with Werribee swingman Jade Cleeland and ex-Norwood defender Pat Levicki. The recruits should replenish the loss of star players Chris Burgess and Izak Rankine, who were picked by the Gold Coast Suns, and veterans Aaron Fielke, Daniel Webb, and Shannon Green.

Woodville-West Torrens:

By: Jamie Morgan

There has been some strong ex-AFL talent added to the Eagles side this year, with Jimmy Toumpas (Port), Jesse Lonergan (Gold Coast) and Jordan Foote (Sydney Swans) providing even more class to a finals hardened outfit. With long-time coach Michael Godden departing to take up an Assistant role at Adelaide Crows, the Eagles secured Sam Lonergan as head coach in the off-season. Lonergan brings AFL and SANFL playing and Tasmanian coaching experience to the group and will be looking to have a clean slate after the difficult end to 2018 and the 19th man saga. This side looks ready for finals, and with exciting youngsters in their draft year Kysiah Pickett and Jackson Mead, the mix of experience and youth is spread well. No doubt the Round 1 clash vs 2018 Premiers North Adelaide will have an extra bite to it, with Lonergan’s team wanting to make its mark on the competition early. Midfielder accumulator James Boyd will be important, as will the class of Luke Thompson in defence.

TAC Cup to the VFL An AFL Victoria pathway

FOR every player that achieves his dream of playing AFL from his top-age year of TAC Cup football, there are many more that sadly miss out. For one reason or another, they are not drafted in that year, but could be the next, or the year after that; or perhaps, many years down the track.

There are a number of TAC Cup players who go on to play at VFL level to try and put their best foot forward, add another string to their bow and convince AFL clubs they are worth a shot. In 2017, many VFL spectators might see some familiar names if they attended the TAC Cup in 2016.

Coburg has picked up a whopping 13 TAC Cup players, including league leading goal kicker Karl Brown and tireless inside midfielder from Northern, Luke Bunker. Coburg’s affiliation with Calder Cannons saw them pick up seven players including Hayden Blythe and Jackson McDonald who received state combine invitations last year.

Three Western Jets have moved on to their VFL affiliate in Williamstown, with Brodie Romensky unlucky not to have found an AFL home in the 2016 drafts. Some of the players will already have a good feel around their new club with guys like Campbell Lane (Oakleigh) having played at Collingwood throughout last year. He will be joined by new teammates, former Dragon Kye Beveridge former Stingray Matthew La Fontaine.

The talented Josh Patullo will join Footscray, while former Gippsland Power teammate Kade Renooy will now aim to rove his taps as an opposition player when his new club Port Melbourne meets the Dogs. While this list may not be complete 100 per cent, it was accurate as of January from the AFL Victoria website. If there’s others who have made the transition, let us know and we can add them to the list so everyone can keep tabs on their development.



Bendigo: Josh Formosa

Calder: Ben Barton, Hayden Blythe, Karl Brown, Billy Cannolo, Jackson McDonald, Jaidyn Owen, Jack Reaper

GWV Rebels: Connor Byrne

Murray: Lachlan Waite

Northern: Luke Bunker, Corey McKay, Matthew Perry, Chas Roberts


Dandenong: Matthew La Fontaine

Oakleigh: Campbell Lane

Sandringham: Kye Beveridge


Western: Wilson Berry


Gippsland: Josh Patullo

Northern Blues:

Northern: Jake Bradley

Port Melbourne:

Dandenong: Dylan Atkins

Gippsland: Kade Renooy

Oakleigh: Jono Aujard, Ethan Hanley, Sam Michael, James Pullan

Sandringham: Hugh Johnson, Charlie Kelso, Ash Krakauer, Jesse Smith


Dandenong: Daniel Hughes

Sandringham: Reuben Hayward, Conor Larkin, Josh Trew


Calder: Lachlan Bramble

Murray: Fletcher Carroll

Western: Nick Giarrizzo, Max Philpot, Brodie Romensky

Scouting notes: TAC Cup bottom four round


Northern Knights 11.12 (78) def Western Jets 10.4 (64)

Josh Poulter’s scouting notes:

Northern Knights

#4 – Chas Roberts

Spent the majority of the game in the ruck for the Knights with a strong work-rate and second efforts being notable. Roberts looked like he easily outmuscled both Walters and McGregor at the ruck contest, and followed up well on the ground by getting on hands and knees finishing the game with 19 disposals and 28 hitouts. Took a few marks along the line to bail out the Knights as well on occasion. It is a shame we won’t see him in the finals to see if he can boost his draft stocks even more.

#6 – Patrick Naish

Naish was by far and away the best player on the ground in the first half of the game. The potential Richmond father-son was the go to player for the Knights in all areas of the ground. Ball use was good overall but at times it cost the Knights on the rebound, especially by foot. Faded out in the second half but did bob up at times, but mainly put his stamp on the game in the first two quarters.

#9 – Lachlan Murphy

At all clearance opportunities, Murphy was the go-to player for Knights, sharking from the ruck contests multiple times. Set the Knights up going out of the contest, showing he can win a great mix of inside and outside football and using his already developed frame collecting 30 disposals.

#12 – Patrick Lipinski

Going into the game, there was hope Lipinski would continue his rich vein of form in the midfield, but mainly played the key pillar up forward alongside Clancy Bland. Showed his athleticism and leap many times, and finished off the game with 3 goals. With every game his stock his rising and this one was no different.

#47 – Joel Naylor

Impressed in the first-half with his dash and ball-use out the backline, being able to run off-his opponent deep in defence and set of Knights into attack. He copped a heavy knock in the 3rd quarter which forced him off the ground, but came back on for the 4th quarter and was put up forward where he kicked 3 goals.

Western Jets

#5 – Luke Hitch

Consistent as ever in defence, continued on his great year by being the hard-nosed shut-down defender that he is. Was able to beat his direct opponent on many occasions and also then go to win the ball with his second efforts and clear the 50 for Jets. His tackling again was also his highlight with many strong tackles.

#7 – Nicholas Buykx

Was by far and away the best Jets midfielder for the day, leading by example in tight and also on the outside. Tackling was a highlight and his leadership around the ground was also evident as well. Ball use was average, but also showed dash at times along the wing.

#39 – Harrison Bult

Showed his versatility throughout the day, playing everywhere and even had a short stint in the ruck. His exquisite kicking skills were also a highlight, both from kicking out of full-back and in general play. Also went into the forward line in the last quarter and kicked a goal from nearly 50m out.

#44 – Oscar Junker

Easily the best player on the ground, and his performance was nearly a match-winning one for the Jets. Kicked 3 goals in the 2nd quarter and also pinch-hit in the midfield at times. Played both at Full-Forward and at Centre-Half Forward but didn’t look lost in either and was the target going inside 50 most of the time whilst being the X-Factor in the game.

#48 – Brock McGregor

Battled hard and had handled most of the ruck duties alongside Darren Walters. Much like opponent Chas Roberts, showed great work rate around the ground and was a strong target. Showed great hands on the ground and also great evasiveness able to get his hands free and get past a few tacklers. Though he at times did try to do much with the ball, he was generally very good. Won the Jets’ match ball for their best player on the ground on the day.

Gippsland Power 17.16 (118) def Bendigo Pioneers 12.5 (77)

Peter Williams’ scouting notes:

Bendigo Pioneers

#1 – Joe Atley

Typical working class effort from Atley. Won a bit more outside ball than usual and kicked a great running goal bouncing off an opponent to steady and snap. Just a consistent performer who is a no-fuss footballer. Doesn’t have the X-factor of other players, but just goes everything right and is a good team player who never panics.

#2 – Kane Farrell

Was good early, but like many Pioneers went quiet after half-time. Kicked an impressive running goal in the first term and has a bit of pace about him. Small midfielder who can move forward and snag a couple.

#6 – Lochie O’Brien

Stood out with his clever ball use on his left foot and moving in transition from half-back to half-forward. Kicked a couple of goals early and helped the Pioneers get off to a great start.

#8 – Paddy Dow

Good overhead for his size and can roost it from 50 if required. Another good bottom-ager who is coming along nicely for the Pioneers. Is a player to watch next season.

#9 – Laine Fitzgerald

Has no problem finding the footy and getting out of tight situations. Can find a small gap and work with it to clear it from congestion. Undersized, but works hard in the midfield.

#13 – Jarrod Brander

Good contested mark and nice mover for a big bloke. Reads the play well and kicked a couple of goals. Still a bottom-ager and I imagine he will want to bulk up a bit, but a good athletic forward who can clunk marks.

Gippsland Power

#2 – Nick Hogan

Tenacious small forward who can play up the ground and is dangerous around goals. Really quick and evasive, kicked a couple of impressive goals, including one from long range. Doesn’t find a heap of it compared to others, but is a very reliable kick for goal.

#5 – Ben Ainsworth

A class above. While everyone else was missing targets both in play and for goal, Ainsworth was a dead-eye, never looking like missing, kicking both on the run and from set shots. Plenty of X-factor and strong in the contest, the forward cum-inside midfielder just wins the footy and fires out quick handballs. Isn’t afraid to demand the ball if he feels he can deliver for his team. Collected plenty of the ball in the final term when the game was done and dusted. Finished the match with 33 disposals and 10 marks.

#15 – Cody Henness

Really like his closing speed. Twice he caught a Pioneers defender cold with a brilliant run down tackle. He hit the post with his first set shot, but nailed his second opportunity. Strikes me as that defensive forward who kicks a couple of goals a game in the Tyson Goldsack style.

#20 – Nathan Voss

Played forward and his biggest highlight was goal of the year. Tight up against the pocket under pressure, he somehow snapped an inside out banana goal and could hardly believe it himself. Did his chances no harm with a few majors and provided pressure inside 50.

#22 – Josh Patullo

Big bodied ruck/forward who shared the ruck duties throughout the game. Took an impressive mark and really imposes himself on the contest. Not overly mobile like other rucks, Patullo still covers ground well, and can influence up forward. Really influenced at the forward stoppages with his hitouts to advantage.

#30 – Jai Rout

Don’t mind Rout as a prospect, he has a long kick and played that high half forward role. Was among the Power players who stood up in the third term, kicking a couple of goals and assisting in a few more. Didn’t find a heap of it and went in and out of the contest like others, but looked good in that purple patch.

#32 – Kade Renooy

Seems to find a lot of the ball without being noticed, but today he was instrumental in turning the game in the Power’s favour. When they needed a goal, he bobbed up with two in the third term, kicking two in a row to push the margin from three points to 15 and the Pioneers never came back from that.

Weekend That Was – Round 15



THE 2016 TAC Cup finalists were officially decided in a round that could prove to shape the eight.

In arguably the two most important games for determining the eight sides competing in finals, Oakleigh Chargers won and Bendigo Pioneers lost, meaning anything short of a disaster/miracle would turn the teams’ retrospective seasons around.

Oakleigh had the first crack at locking away a top eight spot and it certainly did not come easy.

Despite playing the lowly Northern Knights, the Chargers were pushed the whole way and trailed by seven points at the final break.

Luckily, with the carrot of finals dangling in front of them, the Chargers steadied and booted five goals to three to run out 16.8 (104) to 15.8 (98) winners.

Bottom-ager Jack Higgins again starred with 34 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and three goals, while for the Knights, Luke Bunker was crucial in the midfield battle with 34 disposals, four marks, nine tackles and three goals.

Meanwhile the Bendigo Pioneers were unable to overcome a powerful North Ballarat Rebels side.

The Rebels had a few players missing who competed for St Patrick’s in the Herald Sun Shield grand final at the MCG on Saturday, but it mattered little as they fought over a dogged Bendigo Pioneers with a superb third quarter burst.

After trailing by six points at quarter time and seven points at half-time, the Rebels flicked a switch, slamming on 10 goals to two in a dominant quarter to lead by 45 points at the final break.

They continued their good form with three last quarter goals, to make it a 58-point win, and a 65-point turnaround since half-time.

There are very few superlatives left to describe potential number one draft pick Hugh McCluggage, who brought his own ball with him, amassing 37 disposals, five marks, three tackles and two goals in a dominant performance.

Over-ager James Gow finished with 27 disposals and seven marks, while for the Pioneers, bottom-ager Darby Henderson topped the disposal count with 30 disposals, three marks, two tackles and a goal.

At the other end of the ladder, Geelong Falcons managed to hold on to top spot – or so it thought – with a narrow seven-point victory over Eastern Ranges.

Trailing by 10 points at half-time, the Falcons nutted out a four goals to two third term, which proved to be the difference as they managed to get up 13.14 (92) to 13.7 (85).

Zachary Zdybel impressed from the ruck with 21 disposals, eight marks and a goal to go with his 19 hitouts, while for the Ranges, top 10 bottom-age prospect Jaidyn Stephenson booted five goals in an impressive performance up forward.

While victory seemed the logical way for Geelong to maintain the top spot, percentage came into play and Dandenong Stingrays stole pole position with a huge 62-point win over the Western Jets.

Not many people gave the Jets a chance after a few down weeks, and Dandenong made sure it did not either with a seven goals to one opening term to race away to a 39-point quarter time advantage.

Western fought its way back to within 26 points at half-time, before the Stingrays reloaded and booted eight goals to three in the second half and run out 62-point victors.

Myles Poholke led all comers with 29 disposals, five marks and a goal, while small forward Sam Fowler had his best game for the season with 28 disposals, six tackles and two goals.

For the Jets, Brodie Romensky racked it up with 38 touches, three marks, seven tackles and five hitouts in a strong all-round game.

In the battle for third spot, Murray Bushrangers got the better of Sandringham Dragons with a 17-point win.

The Dragons blew Murray away in the first term, holding them scoreless as they booted 5.4.

Murray clawed its way back into the contest with a three goals to one second term, but Sandringham managed to hold a 19-point advantage at the final break.

It was not long before Murray cut the deficit, slamming home seven goals to one, running over the top of the Dragons and securing the 11.10 (76) to 8.11 (59) win.

Zach Sproule finished with 25 disposals, while James Cousins and Todd Marshall both booted three goals for the Bushrangers.

For the Dragons, Hamish Brayshaw had a rounded performance with 24 disposals, 10 marks, 10 tackles and a goal, while Corey Lyons collected 32 disposals.

Sixth spot suddenly looks in danger after Calder Cannons dropped their match to Gippsland Power by 23 points.

After trailing by 15 points at quarter time, the Cannons booted five goals to one to head into the main break 13 points in front and many thought that would roll on in the second half.

Instead, Gippsland came out firing, booting 8.9 to 1.0 in a complete domination that resulted in a 38-point last break lead.

While Calder fought back with a four goals to two final quarter, it was a case of too little, too late for the Cannons with the Power recording an impressive 14.16 (100) to 11.11 (77) victory.

Josh Patullo had a day out for the Power with 29 disposals, five marks, 27 hitouts, 12 clearances, two tackles and a goal in a best on ground performance.

For the Cannons, Mitch Lewis finished with 33 disposals, 13 marks, 12 hitouts and four goals in an equally impressive