Tag: kobe brown

Scouting notes: U17s – Vic Country vs Queensland

IN the first game at Ikon Park yesterday, Vic Country defeated Queensland in an exciting contest. We review all the players from both teams.

Vic Country:

By: Peter Williams and Craig Byrnes

#1 Kobe Brown

Had an early shot on goal on the run, but had an unlucky bounce and it went to the wrong side and out of bounds. A highlight-worthy moment came later in the game when he cleanly picked up the ball off the deck and side-stepped an opponent on the forward 50 arc. Fantastic agility.

#2 Jye Chalcraft

One of the more impressive Country players, Chalcraft showed fantastic strength and composure inside the forward 50 arc. We already knew he had top-class agility, but he went out with a real desire to hunt the football and the ball carrier in a contested brand of football. Spent a little bit of time through midfield, but majority inside 50, booting a goal in the final term to ice the game for Country. Laid some fantastic tackles and almost had a goal early in the game but just missed on the run.

#4 Jarryd Barker

Had one of the best clearances out of the middle early on, managing to burst away and hit-up a teammate lace-out in the first term by lowering the eyes. From then on it was a workman-like performance, laying some big tackles and he did well by hand or foot, lowering the eyes going inside 50. He had a shot on goal in the final term, but missed to the right. He still accumulated the footy, but a lot of it was in the contest, and often feeding it out to teammates, playing an important role at the stoppages.

#5 Flynn Perez

An exciting talent who oozes X-factor. His consistency throughout games still needs to improve, but when he has the ball he can do some magical things with it. He lowers his eyes going inside 50 and hit-up Fraser Phillips coming through the midfield when he was coming off half-back. Clean hands at ground level and his closing speed is top-notch. He was used in transition going forward, and was rewarded for hard running by playing deeper, marking 35m out and converting the set shot.

#6 Riley Baldi

An absolutely huge first half, having the ball on a string and seemingly covering the ground with ease. He was strong at the packs, winning clearances, cracking in hard at the contested ball and just extracting the ball to teammates in space. He was moved around in the second half, from half-back to half-forward and did not have as much impact as the first half through the guts, but he was still very solid and got to the right positions when required.

#7 Mitch Martin

Some players seem to step up at the higher level, and Mitch Martin was one of those players today. At the Rebels, Martin is always solid, but with the extra time and space, and plenty of midfield minutes, he thrived on the open spaces of Ikon Park. His kicking was sublime and equally matched by his vision. He is not a huge accumulator, but every time he won it, he seemed to use it well, setting up Flynn Perez for a goal in the third term. He almost kicked one himself after a good mark but missed to the right.

#8 Lachlan Williams

Cracked in hard and while he was another who did not win a lot of it, he had a couple of ‘wow’ moments in the third term. He used great vision to kick inside to Fraser Phillips, then teamed up with Phillips again with a pin-point pass to his teammates’ advantage amongst a pack of Queensland opponents who had zoned off in defence.

#9 Fraser Phillips

Building a rich vein of form of late and that continued on the weekend, with some really good play inside 50. He is a good runner and moved up to half-forward well, kicking inside 50 with good precision. He lowers the eyes when entering the 50 and gave his teammates chances to score. Booted a goal early in the peace by running back with the flight and nailing the short-range set shot, and just missed a couple of chances later on in the game.

#10 Leo Connolly

Provided good pressure on his opponents to force turnovers, and in one instant, took a mark off the next possession from the turnover. Laid a massive tackle early to bring his opponent to ground and keep the ball in the middle.

#12 Isaac Wareham

Not his best game, but was playing a defensive role in the back half. Just kept a close eye on his opponent at all times.

#13 Izaac Grant

Ultra-impressed with what Grant showed at IKON Park. Coming into the game I hoped to see if he could play a role other than the pigeonholed small forward which he has been thus far, and he showed some serious intent, not just in the midfield, but in contested situations as well. He was a lovely kick in space and not only used quick hands, but blocked an opponent while handballing to a teammate to give his teammate an extra couple of seconds. One of the better field kicks out there, and still showed his vertical leap. Did not kick a goal which is his forte, but his game was better than matches where he has kicked multiple goals – another string to his bow.

#14 Tye Hourigan

He plied his trade in defence as he usually does for Gippsland with commitment. While he only stands at 188cm, Hourigan is very capable in a key position role and is difficult to move off the ball. He generally reads the ball before his opponent, as shown during the third term when he took a strong intercept mark. More of a stopper at this stage, but I feel there is another offensive gear in him.

#15 Jake Van der Plight

Was in and out of the game a bit, but generally produced quality moments when he got his hands on the ball. Starting mostly on the wing, he ran up and down the ground, winning an excellent ground ball in the defensive 50 during the third term which was sharply released by hand. He is a lovely size at 188cm and is capable of playing multiple positions. He is another Gippsland bottom ager to keep an eye on next year.

#16 Jesse Clark

Clark looks an interesting type behind the ball. He was particularly calm when he gained possession in the defensive arc, displaying good skills and well thought out decisions. During the second term he was given the ball under pressure deep inside defensive 50, but found a teammate in the corridor by foot with minimal fuss to release the immediate pressure. I’m looking forward to having a closer look over the next 15 months or so.

#17 Riley Ironside

After a relatively quiet first half, Ironside came to life in the third term with a lovely left foot pass inside 50 to Martin. That classy piece of play saw him become more involved and while he shanked a set shot not long after, he started having an influence at the stoppages and spread to offensive positions. He hit another brilliant left foot pass inside 50 to Williams in the final quarter to show he has some forward of centre weapons at his disposal.

#19 Jimmy Boyer

Boyer was another player who was dangerous running out of the back half, moving the ball forward with speed whenever he got the opportunity. Vic Country looked likely of scoring when he had the ball and his kicking was first rate on most occasions. While his offensive football was what immediately stood out, he also laid a heavy tackle in the third term to earn a holding the ball free kick.

#20 James Schischka

The Bendigo Pioneer was one of Vic Country’s better players on the day, controlling things in defence with his ability to read the play quickly and peel off his man when required. He took two strong intercept marks in the first term that appeared to spark his confidence to get to as many aerial contests as he could. While there were times he had to play deep KPD, when the opportunity presented he would look to swap with an opponent and get in the dangerous space. He laid a vital tackle in the final term to finish off a very solid outing.

#21 Darcey Chirgwin

Chirgwin was one of Vic Country’s more impressive performers and arguably produced the most transferrable AFL attributes. He is a tall inside midfielder who stands 190cm and while he looked lanky at times, he presented moments of class and time under pressure that would have excited the club representatives in the stands. In the first half he spun around an opponent with ease to kick inside 50. Later in the game after being disposed, he gathered the ball cleanly, regained balance and brilliantly hit a target near the arc. He looks a likely type.

#22 Sam De Koning

Battled well by manning some of Queensland’s taller forwards. He killed a few long Queensland entrances and took the kick outs on occasions. He perhaps would have liked to use the ball better at times, but is usually a reliable kick.

#23 Zac Skinner

Having lacked opportunities at Gippsland due to so many other tall options, Skinner would have enjoyed the chance to spend more extended periods on the ground. He started the game well, taking a mark on the lead inside 50 early in the first term. He was then rotated in the ruck, showing a soft touch in the air and was especially clean below his knees for a 199cm kid. He has composure with the ball and often makes good decisions by hand.

#24 Bigoa Nyuon

The 195cm Nyuon provided some eye catching athleticism with his minutes forward and in the ruck, especially the latter where his outstanding vertical leap often won him the hit out. He gave his midfielders some excellent taps to advantage without breaking stride and competed defensively when the ball hit the ground. He didn’t win much of the ball, but that will come with further development.

#25 Josh Smith

The big, bullocking forward had a day out inside 50, kicking four goals and had a huge influence on the result. He made his presence known early in the game, taking a strong mark in the pocket and kicking truly with a brilliantly executed banana set shot. He demanded the ball all day and took a huge contested mark inside 50 during the third quarter. His work wasn’t all done in the air either, as he cleanly picked up a ground ball in the fourth term to set up a scoring chain. His fourth goal gave Vic Country the lead to end a great outing in the best possible way.

#26 Aaron Gundry

The 198cm Bendigo tall struggled to get consistently involved, but showed signs throughout the game forward and at times in the ruck. His best moment came deep inside in the pocket where he cleanly collected the ball and handballed to Smith for a goal assist.


By: Michael Alvaro and Ed Pascoe

#1 Danial Davidson

Davidson was slow to come into the game but began to rack up more possessions as the contest wore on. His tackling was good as a smaller midfielder, and he showed a willingness to attack the ball when the game was up for grabs in the second half.

#3 Hawego Paul Oea

The smooth moving forward posed a threat throughout the game with his pace and ability to find space in good areas. With ball in hand, Oea looked to move it on more often than not and was a valuable link between the wing and forward 50. He provided a smart assist to Will Martyn with a cutting ball from near the boundary in the fourth term, putting his smarts on full show.

#5 Corey Joyce

Joyce covers the ground really well and showed a solid work rate from the wing. While he didn’t rack up as much of the ball as in previous Maroons outings, Joyce was clean in possession and showed good agility in traffic. He has the potential to play above his size too, as he gets himself in handy positions to intercept and impact contests around the ground.

#6 Jack Wingrave

Wingrave was entrusted with the kick-out duties early on and spent most of his time in the defensive half. His long kicking out of the back is an asset, and he used it to good effect when clearing his own arc. A highlight of Wingrave’s game was a tough tussle with Country’s Fraser Phillips late in the piece, where the two battled hard for the ball deep in Country’s 50 with little separating the sides, showing his willingness to compete.

#7 Lachlan Barry

Sporting a yellow headband, Barry did not find huge amounts of the ball in his deep forward role but had a decent last quarter. He laid a hard tackle in the final term and hit up big-man Samson Ryan with a pin-point pass into the forward 50, which was his best moment.

#8 Coby Williams

Williams was another who was quiet until later on, but he made his presence felt with a big tackle on Country star Jye Chalcraft in the fourth quarter, as well as a nice intercept mark in the centre square to cap off his day.

#9 Connor Budarick

The skipper was one of the Maroons’ best throughout the day with an all-round performance from midfield. The Allies and Gold Coast Academy star has good speed around the contest and showed tenacity to win much of his own ball from the stoppages. He may be small in stature, but Budarick is solid and stood up in tackles – despite being caught holding the ball once in the third term. He bounced back from that with a nice take-on and run from half-back not long after.

#10 Jack Moseley

Moseley showed glimpses of promise from half-back, looking a natural footballer. Despite starting off with a crude in the back free kick against him, he went on to prove his worth with displays of agility and a cool head in traffic. His highlight was managing to deliver a perfect kick to Hawego Paul Oea after keeping his hands up and evading a tackler, showing off a bit of class.

#14 Will Martyn

Martyn was arguably his side’s best in an industrious midfield shift. While he was fumbly early on, the Brisbane Academy member continued to crash in and win the ball out of the stoppages through brute force. Martyn’s kicking improved alongside his handling as the game progressed, with some good balls inside 50 providing scoring opportunities. His final term was particularly impressive, as he stood courageously under a loopy ball to take a mark and slot his first goal, backing it up shortly after with a second set shot major to put his side in front, with an early celebration to boot.

#15 Bruce Reville

The wingman was another Maroon to really impress with good athletic traits and a knack for finding the footy in dangerous areas. Reville has good handles and can gather the ball at pace, highlighted by a nice gather at speed from a third term centre bounce. Based on the wing for most of the game, Reville had a brief stint at the centre bounces to start the second half, but quickly moved back outside where he continued to assist his forwards with effective inside 50 entries.

#16 Campbell Aston

Aston was quiet but battled hard in the back half, recording nine disposals. His highlight was a solid grab against the highly touted Riley Baldi in the first term where he showed good attack on the footy.

#17 Josh Gore

Gore continued his good form in the Queensland jumper with another effective display up forward. While he only managed the one major this time around, Gore had plenty of opportunities and was able to find the ball inside 50 well. His goal came from a decent mark backing deep towards the goalsquare in the second term, and he converted the set shot. Gore worked to find the ball further up the ground in the second half and proved calm when delivering the ball forward. He also laid a solid holding the ball tackle in the third quarter to cap an all-round game.

#18 Brandon Deslands

Deslands started the game in defence and was trusted with a kick out, you used his solid kicking up the ground more in the third and fourth quarter. Deslands managed to get some time in the midfield in the last quarter getting involved and laying a nice tackle.

#19 Gracen Sproule

Sproule played as a forward and he showed great movement and skill throughout the day. His best quarter came in the second when he kicked a nice long goal from beyond 50. What stood out from Sproule was his clean takes on the run and clean use by hand and his ability to move through traffic.

#21 Matthew Fraser

Had a quiet day but he looked good at ground level with his front and square work really impressing, he read the ball well and was clean at ground level. Fraser was not afraid to tackle and have an impact when the ball was in his area.

#22 Thomas Jeffrey

Jeffrey was impactful with his strong marking ability and long kicking being used to effect all over the ground. He had a lovely kick inside 50 in the 2nd quarter and got involved in a nice passage of play in the last quarter showing both his good marking and kicking ability.

#23 Sam Butler

A good user of the ball throughout the day, his best moment came with a good long kick to the hot spot in the first quarter hitting up teammate Matthew Conroy. Butler was neat with his handballing and his kicking was sound.

#24 Nickolas Haberer

Haberer played well down back taking some nice intercept marks and providing some good spoils and using his body well in one-on-one contests. Haberer did the defensive acts well with good tackling and spoiling while also using the ball well down back.

#26 Matthew Conroy

Conroy made a statement in the first half kicking a nice set shot goal in the first quarter and kicking a long bomb in the second quarter which hyped up his team. He competed well in the ruck and up forward before a quieter second half.

#27 Ashton Crossley

Queensland’s best player on the day, Crossley was industrious through he midfield using his strong body to crash packs and win the contested ball. Early in the game he had a few long kicks which were not accurate, but he improved as the game went on with one of his kicks in the last quarter coming from a nice mark and then unleashing a long penetrating kick out wide. His strong marking and contested ability was important for Queensland around the ground and he was a solid four-quarter player.

#28 Max Newman

Newman did some nice things down back with some timely spoils with one on the last line in the third quarter. Not a huge game but played his role well. 

#30 Joshua Hammond

Hammond was one of the better defenders for Queensland with some fantastic spoiling efforts especially in the first quarter where he was most prominent. Hammond did not get much of the ball but he did not give his opponents an inch and if he was not spoiling he was tackling hard and blocking for teammates. With a bit more confidence it would be good to see how well he could rebound himself to really make him a more complete modern day defender. 

#32 Thomas Wischnat

Wischnat was a permanent forward often giving good leads but wasn’t always rewarded. He kicked a nice snap goal in the first quarter and he took a nice lead up mark in the 2nd although he missed the set shot. Wischnat could have done more at ground level but also could have hit the scoreboard harder with better supply from teammates.

#33 Sampson Ryan

The 203cm Ryan not only use his height to his advantage in the ruck, but also managed to keep involved all over the ground working into defence to intercept and also resting forward, providing a good option despite spraying many of his opportunities at goal. What stood out with Ryan was his smarts around the ground for a ruckman with some nice visions by hand and even a solid opposite foot kick in the last quarter.

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 8

TAC Cup action returned on the weekend, and while Murray Bushrangers and Oakleigh Chargers had the week off, we were at all five games and took notes on those from the extended Vic Metro and Vic Country squads, with a number of players trialled in various positions ahead of the National Under 18 Championships.

Northern Knights vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Michael Alvaro


#1 Ryan Gardner –

Assuming his usual role on the wing for much of the game, Gardner found it hard at times to generate his usual run and carry. With his best asset somewhat quelled, the underager was thrown into the centre bounces in the final term – a tactic that the Knights have long tried with their running outside players. His presense around the contest was good and he tackled hard all day, with his first being a rag-dolling effort on Eastern’s Xavier Fry. With Vic Metro duties potentially inbound, Gardner will be looking to continue his consistent form and take the game on.

#7 Harrison Grace

With the ball locked in Eastern’s attacking half for long periods in the opening two quarters, Grace struggled at times to find his way into the game playing as a half forward. Much like Gardner, he was thrust into the middle of the ground in the third term in an attempt to impose a stronger impact around the contest. Running alongside Eastern’s skipper Joel Burleigh, Grace had an immediate impact with a couple of centre clearances and some impressive work one-on-one. His ability to bring the ball over the back in overhead marking contests proved dangerous, and he looked better when given the chance to run through the midfield.


#23 Xavier Fry –

Fry provided some rare run and carry in what was a hotly contested game played mostly between the 50 arcs. ‘X’, as he is known on the field, spent most of his minutes behind the ball and produced a couple of highlight reel runs – most notably his three-bounce effort in the first term which he ended with an inside 50 and was followed up well. His outside dash is an obvious asset, but Fry could look to improve his field kicking on the run, with a couple of efforts in the third quarter being sprayed badly.

#24 Kye Quirk –

Quirk played most of the game through the middle and looked right at home, reading the ball best off the hands out of all of the midfielders out there. His exceptional roving ability was complemented well by his clean hands and ability to pick the ball up easily below his knees, setting him apart from most other players on the day. Quirk had a few notable moments, not all of which would make the highlight reel. The first was his consecutive one percenters in the second quarter as he laid a tackle, forced the turnover and stepped in with a shepherd; and the second was his decision to kick long out of the congestion with the Ranges struggling to edge forward, and his booming effort created a goal from almost nothing.

#31 James Blanck –

Playing as a key defender, Blanck had the sort of game where if you didn’t notice him, it meant that he was doing his job well. With much of the play being fought out well up the ground, Blanck was able to keep the Knights forwards quiet for most of the match – helping his defence to keep Northern to just one first-half goal. He was efficient for the most part with ball in hand and displayed some decent follow up work when the ball spilled to ground.


Western Jets vs. Bendigo Pioneers


#11 Zak Butters

Butters was lively throughout the match, running all day and was damaging between the arcs. He started forward then moved into the midfield, often drifting wide then releasing a quick handball or a weighted kick inside 50. He had a leap in the first term but couldn’t bring it down and laid a great run-down tackle late in the quarter. He showed fierce intent when attacking the ball and was able to pick it up cleanly at full pace. Butters showed good vision in traffic and even took a good intercept mark at half-back floating in from the side. He has the patience to wait and release a handball under pressure. He had a huge collision with Kobe Brown in the last quarter and neither player took a backwards step.

#17 Daly Andrews

Andrews was busy early and had a few neat passages of play throughout the game. He was always on the move and was not afraid to take on opponents. He has good agility and quick hands and is another who hits he contest at full speed. He holds onto the footy in a stoppage to wait for a clean exit. He played predominantly off half-back and didn’t win a heap of it, but tried to run and carry when it came his way.

#31 Emerson Jeka

Spent the first half in attack and the second half in defence. He was involved in a number of transition plays which is often rare for a player of his size. He is a great athlete and attacked the contest when going for a mark and provided good leads up the ground. He won the ball through the middle as well and looked to the outside to release a running teammate. He covers the ground well and took a vital intercept mark deep in defence late in the third term when the Pioneers were attacking.

#37 Hamish Murphy

Started in defence and swung forward in the second half to switch with Jeka. He was good one-on-one deep in the first term to spoil a ball across the line and stop a certain goal in the first term. Murphy also showed good closing speed on the lead to effect a number of spoils on his opponents. Sometimes he tended to rush his short kicks as a couple came off as drubbers, but he was better over long distance. Had a great pick-up off he deck and kicked a running goal from 45m in the third term, then got on the end of an end-to-end play by the Jets to kick the easiest of goals. Took the last mark of the match uncontested inside 50 and managed to get the behind which locked away the victory.

#38 Buku Khamis

Unbelievable game at half-back. He just patrolled the airways and took a heap of intercept marks. His kicking action is among the best there is and he rarely made a mistake by foot. He has the knack of raising his arms up to dispose of the ball when being tackled and can often shrug off an opponent this way because of his skinny frame. Khamis tends to float through the air similar to Jeremy Howe in a gliding sense and looks so sure with his timing and ability to clutch marks. He also has a good first few steps to burn off some opponents and is composed under pressure. Best-on for mine.

#39 Stefan Radovanovic

Started in the midfield and would drift out wide to win a lot of possessions on the wing and in space. He attacks the contest with vigour, is strong in the air and is constantly used in transition from half-back to half-forward. He kicked a goal from a 25m set shot after an intercept mark at half-forward and a 50m penalty. Radovanovic always puts good pressure on the ball carrier, constantly harassing and chasing them to try and force a turnover. He had a great moment in the final term running to half-forward, fooled the opposition with a look-away behind the back quick handball to Josh Honey who ran on and kicked a great goal from the boundary. A solid performance.

#45 Aaron Clarke

Clarke was busy early but had a quieter second half. He took a few good grabs working hard and running up to the wing. Covers the ground really well and stays involved. Had a couple of shots on goal, one in the first term from a set shot and one from a quick snap after a clean pick-up in the second term.


#9 Zane Keighran

One of Bendigo’s hardest workers on the day, running until the final siren. He took it upon himself in the final minutes to slot a goal running inside 50 with a fantastic snap to level the game. Throughout the match Keighran continued to battle on the inside, putting his body on the line and firing out handballs to teammates in order to release them. Though he was strong for the majority of the game he tended to rush his short kicks and kicks out of a clearance just throwing it on the boot instead of thinking his way through.  When kicking long with time and space in front of him he put it into dangerous areas, and he was most effective when releasing the handball in traffic to the outside. He took a huge grab in the air against Emerson Jeka after positioning himself well, but his set shot just dropped short. Not much more he could have done on the day and tried his heart out.

#16 Jacob Atley

Atley played on the wing and up forward and used quick-fire handballs to try and get run happening between the arcs. He is strong in the air and took a few strong grabs, and would find space and link-up with teammates. Often he would win the ball and handball into space for a teammate to run onto. One strength is his ability to cleanly pick up the footy, swooping down and grabbing it with one hand and taking it full stride.

#20 James Schischka

Played in defence and seemed composed with ball-in-hand. He fired out quick handballs to teammates to clear the area and took a good intercept mark at half-back in the second term. Did not win a heap of it, but did not fumble a great deal when a lot of others were.


Calder Cannons v. Greater Western Victoria Rebels

By: Liam Connop 


#5 Curtis Taylor

On the back of a best afield performance last week, Taylor played in the midfield once again and found plenty of the footy, with a good ability to find space. Taylor used his clean hands to dish the ball out to teammates, which was on full-display with a brilliant half-volley gather before hand-balling to Bytel who kicked the goal. Taylor covers the ground well and also showed he has a penetrating kick. Good player who does not do a lot wrong.

#8 Lachlan Sholl 

Sholl was a prolific ball-winner, particularly in the first half, playing at half-back and setting up many of the Cannons attacks. Sholl tends to play a kick behind the play and has excellent skills off both feet. Unflustered under pressure, Sholl also showed a nice turn of foot, and looks to be a typical break the lines off half-back type player. He noticeably also plays with confidence, demanding the ball from teammates to set-up the play.

#16 Jack Bytel  

On return from injury, Bytel sat out the first half. He then played full-forward for the third quarter with the Cannons having the wind that quarter, winning a one-on-one contest at ground level before snapping a goal, shortly before setting up another thanks to his clean hands. Bytel then had a run around on the ball in the last quarter while looking to regain his fitness going forward.

#27 Tye Browning

Browning started on the wing and played there for a large duration, with some stints up forward in the second half. Browning is a very swift mover who looks like a natural athlete. He produced many examples of great clean hands, as well as possessing a lovely kicking style. Was involved in many of the Cannons attacks and looks to be a skilful, versatile player.

#33 Jack Evans

Evans spent his day in the forward line, and had a pretty quiet game with the occasional glimpse of skill. With a three or four goal breeze, Evans was not as prolific as he can be through the middle or down back, especially in the second and fourth quarters when the Rebels had the majority of the play. Nonetheless, Evans showed composure when he got the ball, setting up a shot on goal with a nice left foot in the second term. He finished the game with three behinds.



#3 Scott Carlin

Carlin played through the midfield as well as across half-back, showing versatility to play in multiple positions. In the first quarter Carlin’s vision resulted in a nice switch of play to hit up a teammate, resulting in a forward 50 entry. Carlin moves nicely and was entrusted with the kick-out from full back on a number of occasions, demonstrating a nice kicking style and an ability to lower his eyes to find a teammate.

#5 Harris Jennings 

Jennings started the game in the centre, and is a nicely sized midfielder. He moves well and was able to link up well with teammates often against the run of play, propelling the Rebels into attack. Jennings spent a lot of time on the wing as the game progressed, winning plenty of the footy and was a key factor in the Rebels hitting the lead in the last quarter.

#9 Lochie Dawson

Dawson started in the centre and spent the majority of game in the midfield. Dawson has a solid build for a midfielder, and showed his ability to make great decisions throughout the game, with good disposals by both hand and foot. He showed a good understanding with teammate Scott Carlin, as they linked up by hand often to get the ball forward for scoring opportunities for the Rebels. Despite copping a heavy knock in the second quarter and starting the third quarter on the interchange, he recovered well to have a strong impact on the game.

#13 Thomas Berry

Berry switched his time on-ball and attack. He demonstrated an ability to use the ball well with clean hands. In the second quarter, Berry showed a willingness to get involved in the contest, with a Dusty style fend-off impressing the fans, and showed a nous for where the goals are. Berry is also a strong tackler, and produced the highlight of the day with what was possibly the mark of the season with a huge hanger in the third term, before unselfishly trying to centre the ball.

#14 Jed Hill

Hill was starved of opportunities for the game, not finding a lot of the footy on the half-back flank. Despite this, Hill kicked a sublime goal in the last quarter to give the Rebels the momentum and looked at home in his regular position up forward.

#20 Tylar Watts

Watts started the game at centre half-forward. The Rebels have a very strong ruck combination with his ability to interchange with Patrick Glanford, often giving the midfielders first use of the footy. Watts showed a nice ability to leap at the footy, and although not taking a heap of marks, he brought the ball to ground. Watts was not afraid to impose himself, using his strength in the contests through strong bumps and tackles.

#24 Matty Lloyd

Lloyd started the game across half-back, rotating between there and the wing throughout the game. Lloyd started reasonably quietly, but showed a willingness to contest well and really came into play in the third quarter. Perhaps frustrated at times by what appeared to be an ankle injury in the third term, and one or two defensive lapses, Lloyd started to win the footy and covered a lot of ground in the back half, showing great defensive skills.


Dandenong vs Sandringham

By: Ed Pascoe


#3 Jamie Plumridge

Plumridge was a clean and tough performer throughout the day for Dandenong mostly playing on the wing providing good linkup and defensive running. Early in the game Plumridge’s class was shown through some clean handballs and a creative kick inboard deep in defence. In the second quarter he got down and dirty laying some terrific tackles especially for his size, one passage of play he attacked the contest hard had a run and then executed a nice long handball. He continued his hard running and attack on the footy in the second half and he was rewarded with a goal in the third quarter taking a nice mark and going back to kick a set shot goal.

#7 Jai Taylor

Taylor took a while to have some impact in the game but he was a driving force in the second half with his run and dare leading to some eye catching plays. He missed a running shot at goal but his attack on the football and run that lead up to it was fantastic, he also had a nice kick inside 50 that lead to a goal on three quarter time. Taylor did not let up his running in the last quarter taking the game on at every opportunity, he even took some nice intercept marks showing he wasn’t just all run and flair.

#13 Riley Bowman

Bowman hit the ground running winning the opening tap of the game, he continued this trend for most of the first quarter while also following up his taps and using the ball well be hand. He decided to do it all late in the quarter roving his own taps and kicking a snap goal. His second goal came from some good positioning out the back and running into an open goal in the third quarter. Bowman did it all, taking some nice marks overhead while also using the ball well by hand and foot and using his impressive agility for a ruckman and avoiding much smaller players in the heat of the contest.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite

Hustwaite played a complete performance through the midfield winning plenty of the ball in the contest while also getting on the outside and having an impact. Hustwaite was very clean with ball in hand and was hardly flustered. He showed his composure on several occasions in the third quarter with one passage of play involving him running along the boundary with the opposition looking to take him out he just stayed composed and managed to get around his opponent and kick inside 50. He was rewarded for his efforts in the midfield in the last quarter kicking a goal when allowed to rest up forward.



#28 James Rendell

Rendell had a tough day at the office with not a lot going his way throughout the day, he managed to take some nice marks around the ground and although he got a few touches they were not as clean as he would like. His best bit of play came in the third quarter where he attacked the contest on the lead, picking up a ground ball and turning on a dime to kick to the hotspot. He will be hoping to win a spot in the Vic Metro side next week.

#32 Bailey Griffiths

Griffiths competed well in the ruck all day but what stood out most was his clean hands at ground level. Despite some fumbles he managed to kick a goal in the first quarter but that would be his only goal for the day. Like Rendell, he will be pushing for a spot in the ruck for Vic Metro.


Gippsland vs Geelong

By: Ed Pascoe


#22 Rylan Henkel

Henkel had a good battle with Schlensog throughout the day in the ruck, Henkel competed hard at the stoppages and he was also able to get on the outside and take some nice marks. He did his best to move the ball quickly after taking marks, he made some good choices by foot as well. The ruckman kicked a goal from a free kick in the second quarter.

#23 Noah Gown

Gown provided a good leading target for Gippsland all day taking some nice lead up marks and worked hard to give an outlet for his running defenders. Gown kicked two goals for the day, one from a free kick and the other from a mark inside 50 which he converted with ease. It was not a huge day but he played his role well.



#31 Cooper Stephens

Stephens was a workhorse in the midfield he started like a house on fire winning plenty of the ball in the contest and also on the outside. Stephens showed good composure with ball in hand throughout the day and his attack and clean hands where an asset at the stoppages. Stephens is not eligible to be drafted until 2019 but his selection in the Vic Country squad shows his quality and he would be a big chance to get a few games for Vic Country this year based of this performance.

#48 Blake Schlensog

Schlensog was the dominant big man on the ground doing everything you could ask from a big, strong ruckman. He was surprisingly clean at ground level for his size and his attack on the ball after a tap was very good. Schlensog took several intercept marks in defence showing his ability to work behind the ball to help his defenders, his kicking after a mark was also good with some low penetrating passes hitting their mark. He should also be judged for his rucking which on many occasions was effective, he had one tap behind in the first quarter which was noticeably impressive. Schlensog did his chances of a Vic Country spot no harm with his game, you could see how much he wanted the responsibility with the ball.

AFL clubs look to Next Generation

THE first intake of the AFL’s newest initiative – Next Generation Academies – are six months away from potentially realising their AFL dream. Eleven players are listed from five AFL clubs with each of the participants exposed to their designated clubs’ coaching, facilities and expertise across health, fitness and personal development.

The talent academies are for the 14 clubs outside New South Wales and Queensland, with each club designated a region in their state, with some clubs also designated a region in Northern Territory, or in North Melbourne’s case, Tasmania.

The AFL Club Next Generation Academies are a joint initiative between the AFL and AFL clubs aimed at increasing the opportunities for young people to learn about and play the game of Australian Rules football. The program is targeted at Multicultural and Indigenous communities who may not have had as much opportunity to be involved in football programs, or have limited understanding of the game and how it is played.

Among those currently in AFL Next Generation Academies are Northern Knights’ Ethan Penrith, an exciting, pacy player who become an important cog in the Knights’ side, as well as Gippsland’s Changkuoth Jiath (CJ), who is zoned to Hawthorn. The pair will be subject to the same bidding process as father-son and northern academy players if a rival club places a bid on him during the NAB AFL Draft held later this year in Sydney.

Of the 11 players eligible to be drafted in 2017, nine of them come from three clubs, with Hawthorn (four), Richmond (three) and Carlton (two), while Essendon and Geelong both have one player each. Richmond, Hawthorn and Carlton all seem to have been early winners out of the initiative with an additional 25 players between them listed over the coming years.

Fremantle (two), North Melbourne (two) and Western Bulldogs (one), all have future Next Generation Academy players named. At this stage, Adelaide, Collingwood, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and West Coast have not listed any Next Generation Academy eligible players at this stage. See the full list below:


2017 Draft eligible:
Ethan Penrith, Reservoir (club), Indigenous (background)
Artan Cabdi, Heidelberg Heights, Multicultural
Nick Riebelt (2018), Eltham, Multicultural
Sunny Brazier (2018), North Fitzroy, Multicultural
Mitchell Wild (2018), South Morang, Indigenous
Michael Bozikis (2019), Fairfield, Multicultural
Paul Sidhu (2019), Mernda, Multicultural
Tochukwu Oparaocha (2019), Wollert, Multicultural
Cameron Wild (2019), South Morang, Indigenous

2017 Draft eligible:

Daniel Hanna (2017), East Keilor, Multicultural
Lucas Cooper (2018), Maningrida, Indigenous

2017 Draft eligible:
Jason Carter (2018), Wyndham, Indigenous
Liam Henry (2019), Derby, Indigenous

2017 Draft eligible:
Titak Nyak (2017), Corio, Multicultural

2017 Draft eligible:
Tony Olango (2016/17), Marrara, Multicultural
Changkuoth Jiath (2017), Morwell, Multicultural
Bol Jok (2017), Pakenham, Multicultural
Tyrone Hayes (2017), Lakes Entrance, Indigenous
Stephen Kapahnke (2018), Macclesfield, Multicultural
Irving Mosquito (2018), Briagolong, Indigenous
Marcus Toussaint (2019), Inverloch, Multicultural
Todd Garner (2019), Gruyere, Indigenous
Tot Jok (2019), Pakenham, Multicultural
Charles Power (2019), Heathmont, Multicultural
Sebastian Reyneke (2019), Park Orchards, Multicultural
Harrison Pepper (2019), Morwell, Indigenous

2017 Draft eligible:
Tarryn Trindall (Thomas) (2018), Hadspen, Indigenous
Leiwyn Jones (2019), Launceston, Indigenous

2017 Draft eligible:
Derek Smith (2016/17), Mildura, Indigenous
David Smith (2017), Shepparton, Indigenous
Anthony Walker (2017), Kialla, Indigenous
Ajak Dang (2018), Mooroopna, Multicultural
Kyle Clarke (2018), Shepparton, Indigenous
Phillip Moi Moi (2018), Robinvale, Multicultural
Kailen Walker (2018), Red Cliffs, Indigenous
Hugo Ingham (2019), Shepparton, Multicultural
Peter Clarke (2019), Mildura, Indigenous
Kobe Brown (2019), Mildura, Indigenous
Masang Dang (2020), Mooroopna, Multicultural
Abel Conners (2020), Shepparton, Multicultural
Nathan Louw (2023), Swan Hill, Multicultural

2017 Draft eligible:
Buku Khamis (2018), St Albans, Multicultural