Tag: Laine Fitzgerald

NTFL Men’s Premier League wrap: Round 8 – Buffs move to third as in-form sides claim victories

NIGHTCLIFF got back on track after a rare loss, Southern Districts and Darwin got past their lowly ranked opponents, while Tiwi Bombers’ ripping form continued with yet another win in this round’s action of Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League.

WANDERERS 2.1 | 3.3 | 4.5 | 5.5 (35)
NIGHTCLIFF 6.2 | 11.5 | 14.7 | 16.12 (108)

GOALS:

Wanderers: W. Williams 2, D. Thompson, D. Weetra, R. Fejo.
Nightcliff: M. Bricknell 4, L. Sharp 4, J. Butcher 3, L. Holt-Fitz 2, M. McGregor, S. Wilson, T. Melville.

BEST:

Wanderers: C. Haley, K. Stephens, B. McLean, W. Williams, D. Thompson
Nightcliff: K. Riley, L. Masters, J. Butcher, W. Wheeler, J. Peris, J. Budarick

Top-of-the-table Nightcliff continued its terrific season after bouncing back from a rare loss last week to hand down a smashing to Wanderers who slipped down to sixth by the end of the round. Nightcliff burst out of the blocks to pile on six goals to two in the opening term, and led by 50 points at half-time. The team refused to take the foot off after the main break, booting five goals to two to run out 73-point winners in the first game at TIO Oval. Matthew Bricknell and Lachlan Sharp booted four gaols apiece, while former Port Adelaide forward, John Butcher kicked three majors and was named among the best. Talented high flyer Liam Holt-Fitz booted two majors for the Tigers, while Kaine Riley and Williamstown players, Leigh Masters and Willie Wheeler were named in the reigning premiers’ best. For Wanderers, Warwick Williams was the sole multiple goalkicker with two majors, named among the best with Charlie Haley and Kade Stephens. Wanderers take on Southern Districts on Saturday night at TIO Stadium, while Nightcliff host the in-form Tiwi Bombers.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES 2.0 | 2.4 | 4.5 | 6.7 (43)
SOUTHERN DISTRICTS 1.3 | 5.5 | 9.12 | 14.18 (102)

GOALS:

Palmerston: W. Shadforth, D. Gaykamangu , B. Church, M. Chester, T. Freeman, A. Diamond.
Southern Districts: S. Barnett 3, D. Williams 2, C. McAdam 2, B. Schwarze, D. Hall, M. Joshua, T. Holman, K. Dingo, M. Rosier, J. Farrer.

BEST:

Palmerston: J. Berry, A. Diamond, R. Mungatopi, M. Chester, S. Brock, W. Shadforth
Southern Districts: M. Rosier, B. Lake, J. Farrer, C. McAdam, S. Barnett, T. Holman

Southern Districts kept in touch with Nightcliff following a 59-point victory over cellar dwellers, Palmerston Magpies. The Magpies poor start to the season continued with their eighth straight loss, while the Crocs are up and about having won five and drawn one from as many encounters as the Magpies. It was the underdogs who started strongly booting two goals to one in the opening term, but it was all the Crocs from there, leading by 19 points at half-time, then slamming home nine goals to four in the second half to skip away to the comfortable win on the road. The Crocs had no shortage of goalkickers with Sam Barnett (three majors), Charles McAdam (two) and Damian Williams (two) all getting on the board. Matthew Rosier was handed best on ground honours, while teenage star Brodie Lake and Josiah Farrer were also named among the best. For the Magpies, Jack Berry was named best on ground, while former Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ small forward Dale Cox also featured in the side, with Adam Diamond and Randy Mungatopi named in Palmerston’s best. Next weekend, Palmerston looks to break its winless drought against Darwin, while the Crocs host Wanderers.

WARATAH 2.0 | 4.4 | 8.4 | 10.9 (69)
DARWIN BUFFALOES 1.7 | 3.12 | 10.14 | 14.17 (101)

GOALS:

Waratah: K. Kantilla 5, B. Zobel, M. Newton, L. Fitzgerald, A. Ankers, M. Blake.
Darwin: D. Stafford 5, J. Stokes 3, D. Shillabeer, M. Coombes, B. Culhane, C. Williams, B. Hogan, M. Campbell.

BEST:

Waratah: N/A.
Darwin: I. Seden-Kurnoth, C. Williams, D. Stafford, B. Hogan, C. Atkinson

Fourth placed Darwin Buffaloes overcame some terrible inaccuracy in the first half of their clash with Waratah to get back on track for a 32-point win at TIO Stadium. The Buffaloes were able to leapfrog St Mary’s who went down in the next match, sitting percentage ahead of the Saints and only two points behind second placed Southern Districts. For Waratah, the Warriors remain six points away from sixth spot, and their season is slipping away. Darwin looked a bit shaky early despite leading at each break, but booted three goals from 15 scoring shots in the first half to hold a narrow two-point lead at the main break. They got their act together after that, as the Buffaloes booted 11.5 to Waratah’s 6.5 to record the solid victory. It was a shootout up both ends with Darwin’s Daniel Stafford and Waratah’s Kim Kantilla booting five majors apiece, but Stafford had more support around him. Jarrod Stokes kicked three majors and was one of eight individual goalkickers, while Kantilla was the only multiple goalkicker from Waratah’s six. Isaac Seden-Kurnoth and Chris Williams were named best on ground for their contributions in Darwin’s big win. Abe Ankers and Laine Fitzgerald were among the goalkickers in the Eagles side. Next weekend, Waratah takes on St Mary’s, while Darwin travels to Palmerston to meet the last placed Magpies.

ST MARY’S 2.1 | 3.5 | 4.6 | 7.8 (50)
TIWI BOMBERS 3.4 | 7.9 | 9.10 | 12.12 (84)

GOALS:

St Mary’s: S. Rioli 2, N. Paredes, J. Geary, L. Larson, T. Saunders, J. Cheek.
Tiwi: J. Best 4, A. Wonaeamirri 3, J. Monigatti 2, M. Kantilla, R. Tungatalum, D. Munkara.

BEST:

St Mary’s: B. Rioli, L. Larson, T. Davies, L. Daly, J. Geary, J. Cheek
Tiwi: A. Hams, L. Wale-Buxton, C. Jones, R. Baird, R. Puruntatameri, J. Puruntatameri

In the final game of the round, Tiwi Bombers’ great form of late continue with a vital 34-point win over St Mary’s. The game was considered an “eight-point” match with St Mary’s able to extend the gap between fourth and fifth out to 10 points, and 14 clear of the Bombers, while instead, Tiwi cut the deficit to just four points and percentage away from the top four. Tiwi controlled the match after a tight start, leading by 10 points at quarter time and 28 points by half-time. Whist the Saints managed to keep in touch after the main break, the damage was done and the Bombers celebrated a great win. Jake Best (four goals), Austin Wonaeamirri (three) and Jack Monigatti (two) all kicked multiple goals for the visiting side, as Shannon Rioli added two for St Mary’s. Former Essendon player, Ashton Hams was named best on ground and really impacted the contest, as did Liam Wale-Buxton and Rodney Baird. For the Saints, Ben Rioli was named the best, while Leroy Larson and Nathaniel Paredes both booted goals in defeat. Next week, the Tiwi Bombers travel to test themselves against Nightcliff, while St Mary’s host a must-win game against Waratah.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 8 – Traditional rivals square off

TRADITIONAL rivals St Mary’s and Tiwi meet again in Round 8 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League, chasing slightly different goals among the top five places. Meanwhile, all four Round 7 losers will look to bounce back as they face off against each other, with Darwin and Waratah resuming their interesting recent duel on Saturday evening.

WANDERERS (5th, 3-3-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (1st, 6-1)
Saturday November 23, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Seldom do two top five sides meet after respective losses, but that is exactly the case as Wanderers and Nightcliff prepare to do battle on Saturday afternoon. While the Muk Muks have struggled to string wins together in a season full of promise, Nightcliff had been a figure of consistency in its premiership defence before tasting defeat for the first time in Round 7. The Tigers’ loss to fellow premiership contender St Mary’s did not set them back in terms of ladder standing, but Wanderers’ defeat at the hands of Darwin saw the two sides swap spots to put the Eagles in danger of dropping out of the top five should they fare no better in this contest.

While three Motlops have been named in an extended Wanderers side, Marlon Motlop is not one of them. Nonetheless, ex-AFL experience remains in the form of Liam Patrick, while Liam Jurrah and Brett Eddy feature on the 12-man interchange. Nightcliff’s side becomes a touch scarier with the inclusions of former Williamstown pair Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters, set to inject class in the forward half. The Tigers’ depth and dynamism is clear as the likes of Kaine Riley and Trent Melville look set to start from the pine.

With both sides looking to return to the winners list, it will be a case of who responds best and wants it more. The Tigers remain the team to beat, so should come in as favourites but will have to be switched on against an Eagles outfit keen to remain in the finals hunt.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES (8th, 0-7) vs. SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (3rd, 4-2-1)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
Palmerston Oval

The remaining two losers out of Round 7, Palmerston and Southern Districts have the opportunity to make amends on Saturday evening as they clash at Palmerston Oval. While the Crocs looked to be angling for a top two spot before an upset loss to Tiwi, the Magpies have been season 2019/20’s cellar dwellers with a winless record to this point. A win would still leave them at least four points behind the pack as their finals hopes dwindle, but it would be a welcome change of fortune in front of home fans. On the other hand, a fifth win would put the Crocs back on track as they push to jump into the top two with St Mary’s and Nightcliff facing slightly tougher fixtures respectively.

The Crocs’ spine looks strong as ever, with the middle strengthened by the rare inclusion of ex-Tiger Richard Tambling, pushing Nikolaus Rokahr to the bench as Josiah and Will Farrer look set to be key absentees. Alwyn Davey‘s Palmerston’s side is still without the same real ex-AFL starpower and experience, but forward movers Kyle Emery and Keiden Holt-Tubbs are always dangerous inside 50 and Aaron Lonergan adds value through midfield.

While it would be easy to dismiss this contest based on looks on-paper, the Magpies should be well buoyed by their home support and the chance to finally get on the board. But their opposition is fearsome and will come in fired up after a loss to bottom-three opposition.

WARATAH (7th, 2-5) vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES (4th, 4-3)
Saturday November 23, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Waratah can continue its climb up the NTFL ladder with a third official win for the year, but face stiff opposition in the form of Darwin on Saturday evening. The Warriors have the wood over the Buffs, boasting four consecutive wins over their weekend opponents dating back to last season’s finals series – despite what this year’s records show. While the Round 3 result came somewhat controversially, there can be no debate about Waratah’s recent form over the Buffs. But Darwin look primed to make amends after a big win over fellow finals hopefuls, Wanderers last time out. But Waratah’s 89-point drubbing of Palmerston in the same weekend makes them tough opposition at this stage, and poises the clash as a cracker.

Waratah’s extended bench alone is as formidable as they come, with last week’s six-goal hero Kim Kantilla featuring among the likes of Abe Ankers, ex-Bendigo Pioneer Laine Fitzgerald, and former Melbourne forward Michael Newton. All four add enormous value and experience to the lineup led by centreman, Brodie Carroll. Brayden Culhane and Jalen Clarke are Darwin’s own bench threats, with ex-AFL pair Joe Anderson and Matt Campbell leading the Buffs’ lineup from the forward half.

With experience and class on each line, expect the fourth place side to come in well equipped to turn its fortunes around and solidify a finals spot. But recent results will be fresh in the Warriors’ minds, and an improved starting lineup will make them strong through the mid-season period.

ST MARY’S (2nd, 5-2) vs. TIWI BOMBERS (6th, 3-4)
Saturday November 23, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

Potentially the game of the round again features St Mary’s, as it looks to rectify an early-season loss to Tiwi when the two sides meet to close out Round 8. The Bombers enter Saturday night’s clash in good form after a solid win over Southern Districts last time out, and can be further assured by a fighting shootout victory over the Saints in Round 3. But St Mary’s come in having shown just as formidable form in a win over the previously undefeated Nightcliff, stamping its authority as a genuine premiership threat.

While Nicholas Yarran looks like being a key absentee this week, Saints club legend and eight-time premiership player Peter McFarlane has been named in a forward line featuring former Collingwood-listed utility Michael Manteit, while draft hopeful Kieren Parnell starts on a wing. They will all be important in the face of a relative full-strength Tiwi side, with the Bombers’ pace through Adam Tipungwuti, Dion Munkara and Harley Puruntatameri posing problems for each side. The former-AFL midfield pair of Ashton Hams and Nathan Djerrkura should also prove vital in Tiwi’s hopes of a win.

The Bombers are one of just two sides the Saints are yet to beat this season, so the opportunity to claim another scalp should ring true for the better-placed side. Either way, this clash should provide a raft of real highlights if the first encounter is anything to go by.

NTFL Men’s Premier League preview: Round 3 – Wanderers face Nightcliff in lone top five clash

ONLY one game in Round 3 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League will be played between teams in finals spots, with Wanderers facing reigning premier Nightcliff on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, both Southern Districts and Palmerston have the chance to grab their first win of the season, and St Mary’s will look to stay undefeated.

TIWI BOMBERS (8th, 0-2) vs. ST MARY’S (2nd, 2-0)
Saturday October 19, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Teams with polar opposite formlines meet to kick off Round 3 as Tiwi plays host to St Mary’s at TIO Stadium. The topped-up Saints have been excellent so far in toppling Waratah and Palmerston, but will face a tricky task in upholding their form against an underperforming Bombers unit. Both teams had a good amount of build-up coming into the season, but Tiwi’s production has been levels off that of its weekend opponent. To be fair to the Bombers, fixtures against Darwin and reigning premier Nightcliff to start the year arguably poised them with the toughest early draw, but their best started to come to the fore in the second and third terms against Nightcliff after the Tigers got the jump on them. Slow starts seem to be a theme for the bottom-placed side, which had to dig itself out of a similar rut in the opening stages of last season. St Mary’s ended up being the side to claim the dreaded wooden spoon, but all signs point toward a more positive outcome this time around.

The talent on either side is undeniable, stacked with famous NT names throughout. Saints leader Raphael Clarke has made a starring start to the year alongside smaller types in Nicholas Yarran, Nathaniel Paredes, and the returning Jackson Geary. Ex-AFL midfielder Will Hams has also been a welcome addition to what is a re-energised Saints line-up looking to crack back into its rightful top-end spot. Former-Saint Michael Dunn has bagged multiple goals in both of his games thus far and will provide good opposition alongside Adam Tipungwuti and Jason Puruntatameri. They will look to new recruit Michael Mummery, Round 2 rising star nominee Jeffrey Simon, and Harley Puruntatameri to provide some added spark, with the Bombers’ x-factor something that sets them apart. That unpredictability against some of St Mary’s proven quantities will be key to this contest, and we could well get a belter.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS (5th, 0-1-1) vs. PALMERSTON MAGPIES (7th, 0-2)
Saturday October 19, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

One team’s zero is set to go, as the winless Southern Districts and Palmerston do battle at Norbuilt Oval in the weekend’s only game away from TIO Stadium. Given the 0-2 Magpies sit without any points altogether, the Crocs would be smelling blood in the water at the opportunity continue their trend of going one-better in each passing game. A draw against Wanderers last time out was less than ideal though, with the Crocs unable to truly click into gear for four quarters despite showing some promising signs in their Round 1 grand final rematch. Another less-than-ideal situation is that they will be without William Farrer for at least this fixture after he became the first NTFL player to be charged under the Auditory Offences matrix for umpire abuse. It serves as another blow to the Crocs’ firepower, which is already missing ex-AFL star Leroy Jetta and now-Bomber Michael Mummery from last year’s campaign. They will have to turn to Josiah Farrer, Beau Schwarze and Brodie Lake, as well as the experience of 100-gamer Charlie McAdam for inspiration in this clash, with Palmerston boasting a few tricky customers.

The Magpies were competitive despite falling short of Darwin by almost four goals in Round 2, slowly building on a disappointing opening round showing. State combine invitee Nigel Lockyer Jnr has been the standout with three goals in both games so far, while Bundoora stalwart Matthew Dennis has transferred last year’s form to this season. All three Davey boys were absent last time out for the Magpies in what was a blow to their creativity forward of centre, so a combination of them back in the side would do a world of good. Kyle Emery and Misha Perry Jnr will look to up their output to match the Crocs too, with the inability to kick a winning score one of the things holding Palmerston back from the better teams as it stands. If Southern Districts can find its groove and get on top early, watch out, otherwise expect to see the Magpies compete again for four quarters.

DARWIN BUFFALOES (1st, 2-0) vs. WARATAH (6th, 0-2)
Saturday October 19, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

Another clash of opposing form is set to go down in Saturday’s evening game between Darwin and Waratah, with the former looking to remain atop the NTFL ladder. The Buffs have made an inspired start to the season for a second campaign running, sparked by big bags of goals from Adam Sambono (12 goals) and Brayden Culhane (six) in either game. While Sambono was absent in Round 2, his return would spell serious trouble for the struggling Warriors as it would free the likes of Joe Anderson and Patrick Boles to wreak havoc further afield. Lee Mununggurr and Antonio James are others who can excite, making Darwin a real handful for any side in the competition with their star-power across the board.

On the other hand, Waratah has struggled to exit second gear after an outstanding 2018/19 campaign and had its depth tested far more with the absence of Abe Ankers last week. He remains the key man for them with his scoreboard impact from midfield, despite some of the scoring load eased by VFL-listed small forward Steve Stroobants. Scoreboard assistance is sure to come in the form of Henry Kerinaiua and Kim Kantilla, with Cam Barrett, Sam Godden and ex-Bendigo Pioneer Laine Fitzgerald looking to make an impact further afield. The Warriors have been unlucky to come up against three in-form teams to start the season, but will be sure to give it a red-hot crack if their consistency last season is anything to go by. The memory of their 2018/19 thrashings of Darwin late in the season would also be fresh and serve as apt motivation, with the Buffs looking like a true premiership contender at this point. Expect their class to shine through, but to be tested depending on who is available.

WANDERERS (4th 1-0-1) vs. NIGHTCLIFF (3rd, 2-0)
Saturday October 19, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

The game of the round will be the last for the weekend, as Wanderers and Nightcliff battle it out to remain undefeated. It serves as the only fixture this week between two teams in finals spots, with the Tigers one of three 2-0 sides while Wanderers suffered the first blemish to its record with a draw to Southern Districts last time out. If football math ever worked, this would be a time to use it given both sides have already faced the Crocs, with the Tigers managing to get the better of them in Round 1’s grand final rematch. But that kind of analysis is hardly useful this early in the piece, and does not take into account the x-factor that Wanderers can bring. Under-17 star utility Joel Jeffrey leads the way in that department, followed closely by Round 1 Rising Star nominee Ronald Fejo Jnr. Both have been impactful thus far, particularly up forward, with consistency of Shane Thorne and spark of Davin Ferreira set to come into play too in the absence of experienced star Marlon Motlop from last campaign. There is still a raft of players of the same name making a difference this time around, and the Muk Muks will need all of their talent to continue Wanderers’ promising start.

Nightcliff remains the biggest test in the competition though, starting with a perfect record against good opposition despite not yet clinching that top spot. The Tigers’ scoring power is scary and comes from a raft of players, including the likes of NT legend Cam Ilett, with others like Trent Melville, Matthew Bricknell and Wade Derksen still due to claim a big bag. Ex-Port forward John Butcher is another who can come back into the side and slot through multiple goals, making Nightcliff’s forward threats every bit as deep as any other side. It could be a case of the ultra-consistent and high-scoring Tigers bringing Wanderers back down to earth, but do not be surprised to see the Eagles give the reigning premier a good run on the back of some confidence gained over the first two rounds.

NTFL Men’s Premier League: Round 2 preview – Round 1 winners face opening weekend losers

IN a satisfying set of events for the neutral, each 1-0 team is set to face off with a 0-1 side in Round 2 of the Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) Men’s Premier League. Given last week’s mixed bag of results, finalists from last year will be looking to get on the board, while other will be hoping to continue on their upward trends.

TIWI BOMBERS vs. NIGHTCLIFF
Saturday October 12, 2:30pm
TIO Stadium

Nightcliff will hope to continue its ideal premiership defence when it faces heavy Round 1 loser Tiwi Bombers to open the weekend’s play.

The Tigers were made to earn their opening win last time out in a grand final rematch, overcoming Southern Districts by nine points to compile to Crocs’ misery. On the other hand, Tiwi’s first outing for season 2019/20 did not quite go to plan as the Bombers conceded 24 goals in a 113-point loss to Darwin.

The Tigers’ ruthlessness inside 50 and wealth of options when it counted made the difference in last week’s win, while helping to heap misery on their lesser-ranked opponents last year. Tiwi will hope to not fall into that hole and be easily overcome for the second-straight week, with plenty of class remaining in its side and the coup of Palmerston junior Rodney Baird set to bolster the defence. The likes of Michael Mummery, Brayden Rioli, and Jeffrey Simon hardly got going for the Bombers in Round 1, but what is just as ominous is the fact that Nightcliff has Wade Derksen, Joel Budarick and Matthew Bricknell who can all make the same kind of greater impact this week.

There is plenty of firepower on either side and the experience of both midfields also makes for an interesting battle. The Tigers will come in as unbackable favourites, but Tiwi has plenty to offer and will be dangerous in full flight.

SOUTHERN DISTRICTS vs. WANDERERS
Saturday October 12, 4:00pm
Norbuilt Oval

Southern Districts will look to avoid a rare 0-2 start when it hosts a rejuvenated Wanderers side in the round’s sole fixture away from TIO Stadium.

The Crocs went close to making good on last year’s grand final loss in a Round 1 rematch against Nightcliff, but went down by under two goals in a game where they enjoyed spurts of success. Winners in Round 1, the Eagles found themselves on the better end of the momentum game against 2018/19 preliminary finalist Waratah, with young gun Joel Jeffrey running the show up forward.

The x-factor of Jeffrey, rising star Ronald Fejo Jnr, and class of Davin Ferreira will do well to match the more experienced forward might of Nightcliff, which will inevitably create a wealth of scoring opportunities. Beau Schwarze and Brandon Rusca are sure to get going, while Will Farrer has already reminded us of his nous in front of goal. The two sides are arguably at different stages of their team development, but Wanderers’ mix of exuberance and experience in the front half should pose some problems for the highly-fancied Crocs.

Expect last year’s grand finalists to come out hard, with their pressure set to pose questions to the Muk Muks’ finishing inside 50, which luckily did not trouble them last week.

PALMERSTON MAGPIES vs. DARWIN BUFFALOES
Saturday October 12, 5:00pm
TIO Stadium

First comes up against second-last when an ominous looking Darwin Buffaloes faces Palmerston on Saturday evening.

The Buffs kicked off their season in style with a thumping win over the much-hyped Tiwi Bombers, with Adam Sambono notching a remarkable 12 goals. On the other hand, Palmerston looks destined for another slow start after going down to last season’s wooden spooner St Mary’s in Round 1.

Darwin’s depth of experience will strike fear into any side, but will be particularly tricky for Palmerston given the Magpies’ lack of major ex-AFL class. Alwyn Davey leads that field though and will hope to have another strong outing alongside his twin sons Alywn Jnr and Jayden, while state combine attendee Nigel Lockyer Jnr will have to shoulder a heap of responsibility going forward. For the Buffs, Sambono leads the way from Joe Anderson, Jarrod Stokes and Christopher Williams, providing a wealth of scoring options from further afield.

The depth of Darwin looks like being too much for the Magpies at this stage of the season, but write any team off in this league at your own peril.

WARATAH vs. ST MARY’S
Saturday October 12, 7:30pm
TIO Stadium

In the final game of the round, St Mary’s will seek to continue its resurgence when it does battle with Waratah under the TIO Stadium lights.

The Saints were terrific in Round 1, earning a comfortable victory over fellow 2018/19 bottom-three side Palmerston. The return of Jackson Geary has proven a handy one already, with a more filled-out squad led brilliantly by Raphael Clarke. They have the famous names; Shannon Rioli, Jack Long, Jacob Long and Nick Yarran to go with the electric Nathaniel Paredes and Braxton Ah Mat, ensuring Clarke and co have improved service and support going forward.

For Waratah, the emergence of home grown talent is said to be what will take them further this year after a preliminary final berth, but a Round 1 stumbling block came in the form of Wanderers. Not to be deterred, Abe Ankers should lead the side well again after a five-goal haul, with TAC Cup graduate Laine Fitzgerald and Sam Godden providing support. The Warriors will be leaning on the heavy momentum shifts this league can bring to get the edge in this game, with their consistent side looking for that first win.

Waratah has more proven products on paper over time, but the experience and added depth of St Mary’s should cause a few headaches all the same.

Bendigo Pioneers 2017 review

With the off-season now officially here for TAC Cup clubs, AFL Draft Central will go back and review what 2017 was like for each of the 12 clubs. We kick off the series with Bendigo Pioneers and will end with the Western Jets.

Bendigo Pioneers

Finished: 12th
Wins: 3
Losses: 15
Percentage: 68
Points: 12

Players Drafted: (7)

  • Paddy Dow (Carlton)
  • Lochie O’Brien (Carlton)
  • Jarrod Brander (West Coast)
  • Brent Daniels (GWS Giants)
  • Kane Farrell (Port Adelaide)
  • Angus Schumacher (Carlton)
  • Derek Smith Jnr (Richmond)

2017 Review:

While the on-field results were once again not what the Bendigo Pioneers had hoped, draft night was a raging success with a massive six players drafted from the club – and Derek Smith Jnr added as a Category B rookie at Richmond – its best ever result. Many believed this year was the year the Pioneers could finally break the finals hoodoo of the past decade, and while it was not to be, their development – as with those at Geelong Grammar where a number of the draftees boarded – should be praised for their work.

Carlton was the biggest benefiary, taking two Pioneers in the top 10 in Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien, while also picking up a third Bendigo boy in Angus Schumacher late in the draft. Jarrod Brander was touted as a top five pick early in the season but drifted as far as West Coast before the Eagles decided enough was enough, while pint sized speed machine Brent Daniels headed to the Giants and Kane Farrell found a home at Port Adelaide.

It was a great result for the club with outside midfielder Bailey Henderson considered the unluckiest to miss out, but given his future scope all is not lost. Darby Henderson topped all statistical charts for the season taking out the Pioneers best and fairest and it will be interesting to see where his future lies whether it be in the state leagues or back as an over-ager. Meanwhile the likes of Jobee Warde, Matt Harvey, Laine Fitzgerald and Lewin Davis were also impressive at times throughout the season.

###

2018 Preview:

Looking ahead to 2018, the Pioneers might not have the bucketload of talent they had in 2017, but there are still a couple of top-end prospects from which are likely to go high on draft night. Leading the way are Jye Caldwell and Jacob Atley who the former has been touted as a top picks since the under 16s, while Atley has been consistent over the past couple of seasons.

Jacob Atley (Bendigo Pioneers) 189cm | 75kg | General Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (14) 16.8 disposals | 5.9 marks | 2.4 tackles | 3.5 rebounds | 59% KE | 62% DE | 41% CP

Atley is a clean mover who knows how to find the football and was one of the better rebounders in the TAC Cup last season. Expect him to spend time through the midfield in his top-age year and he has a good balance between offensive and defensive traits, providing plenty of drive for the Pioneers.

Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers) 181cm | 78kg | Inside Midfielder/Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (2) 17.7 disposals | 2.7 marks | 5.3 tackles | 3.3 clearances | 76% KE | 81% DE | 47% CP

Caldwell is a special talent and could well go top 10 on draft night with a consistent season. A lovely kick of the football and a high contested possession rate at the same time, Caldwell mostly played forward when representing Vic Country at the National Under 18 Championships, but is expected to be more of an inside midfielder next season. He tackles hard, wins the clearances and is so balanced inside or out so it is not hard to see why he is a promising prospect.

Others to keep an eye on:

Daine Grace (Bendigo Pioneers) 195cm | 79kg | Key Position Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (7) 4 disposals | 2.1 marks | 1.6 hitouts } 0.6 goals | 50% KE | 71% DE | 61% CP

Liam Marciano (Bendigo Pioneers) 173cm | 62kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (6) 19 disposals | 4.3 marks | 2.7 tackles | 2.5 inside 50s | 55% KE | 68% DE | 28% CP

Phill Moimoi (Bendigo Pioneers) 181cm | 83kg | Outside Midfielder/Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (6) 9.8 disposals | 3.8 marks | 1.8 tackles | 1.5 inside 50s | 46% KE | 54% DE | 38% CP

###

Summary:

Bendigo Pioneers will look back at 2017 fondly with a record number of players drafted and some great talent heading to AFL clubs. While 2018 might be different, the Pioneers will be looking to see the load shared between its players who have seen what is possible with hard work. It will be interesting to see what the squad looks like in 2018 with a few key position players and smaller pocket rockets a chance to impress in front of recruiters.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 12

ROUND Twelve of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend, with TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ continuing. We had scouts watching two of the games – read their notes below.

GWV Rebels vs. Eastern Ranges (Jack Carter)

GWV Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin – Played a solid game on the wing for the Rebels. He wasn’t afraid to go in hard and win the contested ball.

#4 Aiden Domic – Was one of the Rebels players who held his own throughout the contest. He laid multiple strong tackles and tried hard all day to get his team going.

#9 Flynn Appleby – Was yet again solid in defence for the Rebels. With multiple entries from the Ranges midfielders, he was able to apply himself well using it efficiently by foot.

Eastern Ranges:

#4 Riley Clausen – Provided very good run and kicked it well. He tackled hard right throughout the day and had a strong presence in the midfield. His running patterns were very good and he knew where to move

#22 Jackson Ross – Has a great set shot kick and booted five goals straight. Once he adds some size he will have the perfect body size for an AFL football. Spent time in the midfield as well as up forward, knowing where to go at the stoppages and was hard at the ball. Was one of the best players on the ground.

#34 Adrian Kalcovski – Took advantage of some poor kicks in the entries inside 50 from the GWV Rebels midfielders allowing him to drop off and win the ball. Was able to create run for the Ranges and possesses a strong mark.

#61 Mackenzie Dorelan – Ran hard all day and his decision making & kicking at full tilt was outstanding. Is a strong player for a player of his size and he controlled the play from half back for the Ranges.

Northern Knights vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Michael Alvaro)

Northern Knights:

#2 Mitchell Andrews – Found the ball in all parts of the ground, playing mainly out of defence. Has worked on his kicking and defensive work rate, lending a good hand to the likes of Dreher and Lentini in bringing moving Knights forward.

#4 Max Dreher – Fresh from a couple of weeks off after his Vic Metro stint, Dreher looked to be getting back to the form that had him held in high esteem early in the year. Was important for the Knights in the second half as the game came down to the wire, and shouldered most of the kick-in duties. Looks to have improved his contested ball-winning ability, and threw himself at the ball on numerous occasions.

#5 Marcus Lentini – Was utilised through the midfield with Dreher back in defence to sure things up. Played on the wing when he didn’t attend centre bounces, but wasn’t able to have his usual impact. He looked to be conscious of not blazing away, opting for a lot of short, sideways, and backwards kicks which took away the forward penetration he usually brings. Still delivered in terms of effort and accumulating possessions.

#19 Christian Farchione – Was punishing in bursts throughout the game, but was just short of really taking the game by the scruff of its neck. Gave a timely reminder of his devastating left foot with some great passes going forward and inside-50 entries, and has matched that up now with better decision making. He’s a natural footballer, but still very raw and slight in frame. Booted an incredible goal from the pocket.

#30 Oliver Wilson – By no means is a high-possession getter but stands out with his defensive pressure and effort. Does all the hard stuff and dug in well for the Knights after half time, setting a good example with his physicality. Hit Laine Fitzgerald with a huge bump at the start of the third term to set the tone.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#7 Matt Harvey – The 19-year old was effective all day, streaming seamlessly between the midfield & forward line and putting in a few noticeable efforts in the third term with the game on the line. Racked up the possessions and was a key contributor.

#9 Laine Fitzgerald – He didn’t have his best game, but the GWS Academy product showed his class today and sent repeatedly sent his side into attack. Looked to be frustrated after being cleaned up early in the third term and gave away an unnecessary free kick for his troubles. Has a hard edge to him and it shows in his contested ball winning, but he also spreads well and found himself involved in some good handball chains.

#15 Darby Henderson – Sets up really well of half back and has a knack for finding space, which is odd since his yellow boots stand out so much. Lifted his side in the second and third quarters, breaking the lines and looking dangerous with ball in hand. He doesn’t tend to kick the ball as much as he could, though, which would make him even more threatening going forward. Has a good mix of outside and inside traits, which he showed with his combined pace, pressure, and a clever snap goal.

#16 Jacob Atley – A really rangy outside player, Atley didn’t find much of the ball but made an impact when he did. His highlight for the day was a two-bounce dash down the Mary St wing which eventually sent the ball deep inside the Pioneers 50. One to watch for 2018 purely for his pace and the x-factor it brings.

#19 Mitchell Kemp – There’s not much of him, but Kemp isn’t afraid to throw himself at the ball in the air. He’s not particularly quick, but has a decent leap and finds himself in the right places to intercept opposition balls into the 50. Controlled the back half today and provided some good rebound

Weekend That Was – Round 10

A COMBINED 78 disposals, 16 marks, 12 clearances, 16 inside 50s and two goals to Geelong Falcons pair James Worpel and Cassidy Parish sunk the Bendigo Pioneers to bounce back from the Falcons’ only loss of the season.

The Falcons proved too good for the Pioneers, who were missing a number of key players due to representative duties through the Allies and school football. They battled hard but ultimately could not match the ladder leading Falcons, going down 11.21 (87) to 3.9 (27).

Worpel finished with a season high 43 disposals (but kicked at just 38 per cent efficiency), eight marks, seven clearances, seven tackles, 12 inside 50s and two goals, while Parish won 35 disposals, took eight marks, had five clearances, four inside 50s, three rebounds and three tackles. Others to find plenty of the ball was Bayley Cockerill (28 disposals, 10 marks, seven inside 50s) and Adam Garner (16 disposals, 11 hitouts and three goals).

For the Pioneers, regular ball winner Darby Henderson racked up 28 disposals, five marks and four clearances, while Laine Fitzgerald and Angus Schumacher both finished with 27 disposals.

Up at RAMS Arena, Sandringham Dragons got the job done against Calder Cannons, kicking 6.7 to 0.1 in the third term to be the difference between the sides in a 35-point win. The Dragons won 13.13 (91) to 8.8 (56), led by Lucas Barrett who racked up 32 disposals, seven marks, 10 clearances and three inside 50s.

Other Dragons that stood out were Quintin Montanaro who had 33 disposals, seven marks and three clearances, Geordie Nagle with 29 disposals, eight marks and seven clearances, and Will Walker who went at an impressive 86 per cent efficiency for his 22 disposals, as well as six marks, four clearances and two goals.

For the Cannons, Brad Bernacki continued his big month with another 30 disposal game at 87 per cent efficiency, while Lucas Cavallaro had 21 disposals and eight marks and Ben Caluzzi finished with 23 disposals (74 per cent efficiency), five marks, eight inside 50s and a goal.

Dandenong survived an almighty scare against Murray to post an important two-point win. The Stingrays led by 27 points at the final break, but a five goals to one term saw the Bushrangers storm home, only to fall short 14.9 (93) to 14.7 (91).

Bailey Morrish was impressive around the ground with 20 disposals (80 per cent efficiency), five marks, six inside 50s, four rebounds, four tackles and a goal. Other Stingrays that stood out were Riley D’Arcy who booted six goals from 16 disposals and five marks, and midfield pair Tom Murphy and Mitch Cotter who had 23 disposals each and racked up a combined 18 tackles, eight clearances, seven inside 50s and four rebounds.

For Murray, Kyle Clarke had 19 disposals, three marks and thre tackles and Angus Hicks finished with 23 disposals, seven clearances and 11 tackles. Mark Marriott had 32 hitouts to go with 15 disposals, nine tackles, four clearances and two goals.

Western Jets moved a win closer to the top eight with a 33-point victory over Eastern Ranges. The Jets had a strong start to lead by five goals at half-time and while the Ranges hit back in the third term, the Jets steadied in the fourth quarter to win 11.15 (81) to 6.12 (48).

Xavier O’Halloran had 27 disposals, three marks, eight clearances, six inside 50s and 12 tackles for the winners, while Nicholas Stuhldreier racked up 29 disposals, nine clearances, four inside 50s and five rebounds. Connor Thar was also productive with three goals from 25 disposals, nine inside 50s and 10 marks.

For Eastern, Thomas North continued his leather poisoning for season 2017 with 37 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and six inside 50s, while partner in crime Jordan Lynch had 20 disposals, five marks, 10 tackles and booted a goal. Cody Hirst laid 11 tackles to go with his 20 disposals and five marks.

Over at Casey Fields, Callum Porter backed up his huge effort in the last round to have another best on ground performance against the Greater Western Victoria Rebels. Porter had 31 disposals, six marks, 11 clearances, nine inside 50s, eight tackles and two goals to lead from the front for the Gippsland Power who knocked off the Rebels by 27 points. Trailing by a point at the final break, the Power booted six goals to two in the final quarter to run over the top of the Rebels, having finished with eight of the last 10 goals to win 15.14 (104) to 12.5 (77).

Acting captain Will Stephenson stood up at clutch moments, having 20 disposals (75 per cent efficiency, five marks, five clearances, four inside 50s and four goals, while Kim Drew had 20 disposals, six marks, five tackles, four inside 50s and four rebounds. Up forward, Kyle Reid was a target, booting four goals from seven shots and his game included 18 disposals and six marks.

For the Rebels, Aiden Domic was the clear standout with 26 disposals, five marks and a goal, while Naish McRoberts (23 disposals) and Trent Reed (20 disposals and eight clearances) worked hard around the stoppages. Lloyd Meek was prominent in the ruck with 28 hitouts and 15 disposals.

TAC Cup Scouting Notes: Round 10

In the other game of the round, Oakleigh Chargers got the points against Northern Knights in a thumping 83-point victory. The Chargers never looked like losing and played a consistent four quarters in the 16.13 (109) to 4.2 (26) victory.

Lachlan Bugeja had 24 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles, five inside 50s and two rebounds, while James Troani was busy in the forward half with 21 disposals, 12 marks, four inside 50s and a goal. Matthew Day was also prominent with 24 disposals, three marks, two goals and eight tackles, while Daniel Stanford had seven marks (three contested) and booted four goals from 16 disposals.

For the Knights, Marcus Lentini had 34 disposals and six marks, while Mitchell Andrews racked up another 30 touches, seven marks and six rebounds. Jamison Shea (23 disposals, eight marks and a goal), and Lane Sinclair (21 disposals, four marks and four rebounds) were also among the bigger ball winners.

After 10 rounds, Geelong Falcons sits four points clear on top ahead of Oakleigh Chargers and Murray Bushrangers. Sandringham Dragons and Dandenong Stingrays sit four points behind with Northern Knights (20 points) outright sixth ahead of Gippsland Power and Eastern Ranges in seventh and eighth. Greater Western Victoria Rebels, Western Jets and Bendigo Pioneers are ready to pounce outside the eight on 12 points, while Calder Cannons are holding up the ladder with eight points.

Under 18 Championships Preview: Allies

THE ALLIES are in their second year of a relatively new Under 18 Championship concept bringing together the best players from the Under 18 Academy Series (Previously the division two championships) to play against the division one teams.

2016 saw top ten draftees Will Setterfield (GWS Giants) and Jack Bowes (Gold Coast Suns) run out for the Allies, playing against division one sides South Australia, Western Australia, Vic Country and Vic Metro.

Last year saw the Allies bookmarked as favourites by some for the title – but struggled coming together just before the championships started, finding it hard to play as a team. This year; a camp as a group and two trial games in the lead up to the division one carnival will hopefully allow the players to adjust to their new teammates and gel as a group.

While the squad on the forefront isn’t as strong as last year, the Allies are expected to put up a fight throughout the carnival.

Greater Western Sydney’s academy has the most members of any division two side, with 12 players included, followed by Gold Coast Academy (10) and Sydney Academy (nine). Northern Territory (seven), Tasmania (six) and Brisbane Lions (four) round out the other division two sides.

Among those named are first round prospects Jarrod Brander and Charlie Spargo (GWS), both of whom were ruled ineligible to be drafted by GWS through the academy system and placed on the open market. Connor Ballenden (Brisbane) is another pegged as a first round talent as one of the best key forwards in the draft.

The squad also includes two father-son prospects for the 2018 draft with Bailey Scott (Gold Coast) who is also eligible for father/son at Geelong and North Melbourne, and Nick Blakey (Sydney – also eligible for father/son at North Melbourne and Brisbane).

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DHu5Xb0zzg[/embedyt]

Players to watch: 

Zac Bailey – Was one of the standouts for the Allies in their trial game against Vic Country – collecting 18 disposals, laying eight tackles and had five clearances. His work inside the contest is very good despite his small frame. Has enough speed to burst from the stoppages and can hit the scoreboard.

Connor Ballenden – The Brisbane Lions Academy member is a strong contested marking forward who plays well out of the goalsquare. Will likely provide some chop out in the ruck for Brayden Crossley and Nathan Richards throughout the carnival. Has a very fluid set shot routine and kicks more goals than he misses.

Jarrod Brander – Brander is a key position tall that can play at either end. His mobility is very good and he reads the flight of the ball well in the air. Has been kicking goals for Geelong Grammar at school football – but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him play at centre half back in the Under 18 Championships for the Allies.

Jack Powell – The GWS Academy member is a good two-way runner and is a clean ball user on his right foot. Spreads well from the contest and did some good things in the NAB AFL Academy game at the MCG. Had 16 disposals in the midfield for the Allies in their practice game against Vic Metro.

Charlie Spargo – Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard despite standing at 175cm. Wins the contested ball and is willing to tackle hard to get the ball back. Played for the Allies in 2016, with a strong effort manning Vic Metro’s MVP Andrew McGrath at Etihad Stadium – collecting 15 disposals and laying six tackles.

2018 names to keep an eye on:

Bailey Scott – Good decision maker with ball in hand and wins the ball on both the inside and outside. Marks well overhead and was impressive for Gold Coast in the Under 18 Academy Series. Had 12 disposals and took four marks in the Allies’ trial game against Vic Country. Father-Son prospect to Geelong and North Melbourne, as well as being eligible for Gold Coast through their academy.

Nick Blakey – One of the leading players for the 2018 draft. Not only can play as a tall, but has the ability to push up into the midfield. Moves well and kicks it nicely on his left foot. Likely to play up forward for the Allies. Sydney Swans Academy member and father-son prospect to North Melbourne and Brisbane Lions.

Tarryn Thomas – Starred for Tasmania last year in the Under 18 Championships as an Under 16 player. Had some outstanding moments in the trial game against Vic Metro collecting 17 disposals, showing off his speed across half forward. Had very good vision and awareness to switch the ball deep inside 50 to find a free teammate at the top of the goalsquare. Is part of North Melbourne’s Next-Generation Academy.

FIXTURES

Round 1: v VIC COUNTRY – June 11th 12.30pm Blacktown
Round 2: v SOUTH AUSTRALIA – June 17th 10.10am Adelaide Oval (FOX FOOTY)
Round 3: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 25th 12.30pm Leederville Oval
Round 4: BYE
Round 5: v VIC METRO – July 5th 2.10pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Possible Round One team: 

B: Jake Hinds, Jack Payne, Kwaby Boakye
HB: Tom Highmore, Jarrod Brander, Jack Clayton
C: Brodie Foster, Nicholas Shipley, Sam Davidson
HF: James Bell, Nick Blakey, Tarryn Thomas
F: Hugh Dixon, Connor Ballenden, Jack Hardman

FOLL: Brayden Crossley, Charlie Spargo, Jack Powell
INT: Nathan Richards, Luke Robertson, Brendan Myers, Harry Simmington, Zac Bailey

Predictions: 

Finishing prediction: 4th – The Allies should be able to beat Western Australia and their tall forwards may cause headaches for other teams if they can win enough ball in the midfield.

MVP prediction: Charlie Spargo – The tough inside midfielder was the Under 16 Alan McLean Medalist, dominating division two back in 2015. Expect him to crack in hard and win the plenty of the ball.

2017 ALLIES SQUAD

No. Name
DOB
HT (cm)
WT (kg)
Club
1 Charlie SPARGO 25/11/1999 173 73 Murray Bushrangers/Albury
2 Jack HARDMAN 31/12/1999 173 67 Swans/UNSW
3 Brodie FOSTER 3/3/1999 178 74 Suns/Surfers Paradise
4 Laine FITZGERALD 16/1/1999 179 78 Bendigo Pioneers/Balranald
5 Zac BAILEY 23/9/1999 180 68 Southern Districts
6 Jack POWELL 15/7/1999 180 75 Giants/Ainslie
7 Sam DAVIDSON 6/5/1999 180 70 Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin
8 Luke SKRIVANIC 8/4/1999 182 74 Swans/Pennant Hills
9 Jacob DAWSON 3/11/1999 182 80 Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin
10 James BELL 10/2/1999 183 75 Swans/UNSW
11 Brendan MYERS 10/2/1999 183 80 Giants/Wagga Tigers
12 Adam SAMBONO 24/4/1997 184 69 Darwin Buffalos
13 Bailey SCOTT 9/7/2000 184 70 Suns/Broadbeach Cats
14 Jack CLAYTON 25/2/1999 184 77 Lions/Wests Juniors
15 Jake BROWN 19/3/1998 185 76 Swans/St George
16 Thomas MUNDY 23/11/1999 185 79 Burnie
17 Jy LANE 21/3/1999 185 78 Murray Bushrangers/Corowa
18 Jake HINDS 7/5/1999 186 78 Launceston
19 Doulton LANGLANDS 29/7/1999 187 80 Murray Bushrangers/North Albury
20 Nicholas HUTCHINSON 21/5/1999 187 80 Hobart City
21 Damien BURKE 21/1/1999 188 83 Suns/Cape York Eagles
22 Tarryn THOMAS 25/3/2000 189 71 North Launceston
23 Luke ROBERTSON 7/5/1998 189 85 Swans/North Shore
24 Kwaby BOAKYE 16/3/1999 188 88 Suns/Broadbeach Cats
25 Harry SIMINGTON 28/3/1999 189 85 Suns/Labrador Tigers
26 Nicholas SHIPLEY 25/6/1999 190 90 Giants/St George
27 Matthew GREEN 5/5/2000 190 67 Sporties Spitfires
28 Harrison CARR 9/2/1998 190 87 Swans/North Shore
29 Michael CARROLL 18/6/1999 191 85 Swans/Pennant Hills
30 Caleb GRAHAM 12/9/2000 192 82 Suns/Palm Beach Currumbin
31 Tom HIGHMORE 24/2/1998 192 82 Giants/Marist
32 Zac BUECHNER** 5/3/1998 192 90 Clarence
33 Jarrod BRANDER 11/2/1999 194 89 Bendigo Pioneers/Wentworth
34 Nicholas BLAKEY 27/2/2000 194 75 Swans/UNSW
35 Hugh DIXON 26/2/1999 195 92 Kingborough Tigers
36 Jack PAYNE 15/10/1999 195 93 Lions/Noosa
37 Alex PAECH 17/6/1999 196 99 Murray Bushrangers/North Albury
38 Connor BALLENDEN 29/3/1999 199 95 Lions/Wests Juniors
39 Brayden CROSSLEY 16/8/1999 198 105 Suns/Labrador Tigers
40 Nathan RICHARDS 11/2/1999 200 102 Giants/Griffith Swans
42 Timakoi BOWIE 4/4/1999 175 80 Suns/Cape York Eagles
43 Jarrod OSBORNE 29/12/1998 180 79 Swans/Manly
44 Ben SLOAN 27/8/1999 189 80 Lions/Mt Gravatt
45 Rodney BAIRD 1/3/1999 192 72 Palmerston
46 Daniel JOHNSTON 1/12/1999 196 97 Murray Bushrangers/Barooga
47 Tony OLANGO 2/9/1998 200 80 St Mary’s
 ** Zac Buechner was a late inclusion for Tasmania Chayce Jones

Allies announce strong under 18s squad

FOLLOWING the conclusion of the AFL National Under 18s Division Two Championships, the Allies have announced their squad for the upcoming division one championships. Greater Western Sydney’s academy has the most members of any division two side, with 12 players included, followed by Gold Coast Academy (10) and Sydney Academy (nine). Northern Territory (seven), Tasmania (six) and Brisbane Lions (four) round out the other division two sides.

Among those named are first round prospects Jarrod Brander and Charlie Spargo (GWS), both of whom were ruled ineligible to be drafted by GWS through the academy system and placed on the open market, as well as Brayden Crossley and Bailey Scott (Gold Coast) the latter of which is also eligible for father/son at Geelong and North Melbourne, Connor Ballenden (Brisbane) and Nick Blakey (Sydney – also eligible for father/son at North Melbourne and Brisbane).

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DHu5Xb0zzg[/embedyt]

From Matt Balmer’s top 25 Power Rankings, the Allies have Brander (#1), Ballenden (#8), Spargo (#11) and Jack Powell (#15) in the squad. A number of the GWS Academy members are on TAC Cup lists including Brander and Laine Fitzgerald (Bendigo Pioneers); and Alex Paech, Daniel Johnston, Doulton Langlands and Spargo (Murray Bushrangers).

The squad will play their final practice games on Sunday 28th May.

2017 National AFL Under 18s Championships Allies Squad:

NSW-ACT (GWS Academy): Nicholas Shipley, Brendan Myers, Jack Powell, Nathan Richards, Jarrod Brander, Alex Paech, Daniel Johnston, Laine Fitzgerald, Doultan Langlands, Jy Lane, Tom Highmore, Charlie Spargo
NSW-ACT (Sydney academy): Luke Skrivanic, Nick Blakey, James Bell, Michael Carroll, Harrison Carr, Luke Robertson, Jarrod Osborne, Jake Brown, Jack Hardman
Northern Territory: Rodney Baird, Zac Bailey, Matthew Green, Jeremiah Scrutton, Tony Olango, Adam Sambono, Dominic Grant
Queensland (Gold Coast academy): Brodie Foster, Brayden Crossley, Harry Simmington, Jacob Dawson, Bailey Scott, Sam Davidson, Damien Burke, Timakoi Bowie, Caleb Graham, Kwaby Boakye
Queensland (Brisbane Lions academy): Connor Ballenden, Jack Payne, Jack Clayton, Ben Sloan
Tasmania: Chayce Jones**, Tarryn Thomas, Hugh Dixon, Thomas Mundy, Jake Hinds, Nicholas Hutchinson
** Jones has been ruled out through injury and has been replaced by Zach Buechner (Tasmania)

Division Two Round 3 Wrap

The newly formatted Under 18 Academy Series continued over the weekend, despite the AFL Academy game going ahead meaning some teams were under strength. The series will take a break over the next two weekends, returning back on April 29th. (The postponed match between Brisbane Lions and Tasmania will be played on April 22nd)

Despite being undermanned, the GWS Giants Academy prevailed over Tasmania by 11 points at North Hobart Oval on Saturday.

Nicholas Shipley continued his stellar form in the academy series, collecting 17 disposals and laying 11 tackles as a strong player at the contest. Tom Highmore was also a prominent figure through the midfield with 18 disposals and seven marks.

It was however, Laine Fitzgerald (24 disposals, six clearances) and Doulton Langlands (18 disposals, seven marks) who were the difference in the contest, both racking up the ball through the midfield.

Both players are eligible to the open draft pool after GWS were stripped of part of their zone last month.

Tasmania’s captain Lachlan Clifford was the Mariners clear standout with 23 disposals, seven tackles, seven clearances and three goals – an effort which will do his possibilities of an Allies squad call up no harm.

TASMANIA                3.1    5.6    8.3    12.5 (77)
GWS ACADEMY         2.1    6.2    10.3 14.4 (88)        

GOALS
?TASMANIA: Clifford 3, Buechner 3, Dixon 2, Pearce, Auckland, Brenner, B McGuinness
GWS ACADEMY: Paech 3, Lane 2, Stevens 2, Pollock, Walker, Highmore, Palombi, Briggs, Cuthbert, Koschitzche 

BEST
?TASMANIA: Clifford, Buechner, Pearce, Dixon, Brenner
GWS ACADEMY: Highmore, Shipley, Langlands, Gaynor, Owen-Auburn, Fitzgerald


Sydney Swans bottom-age academy prospect Nick Blakey continued to turn heads, with a four goal effort helping the Swans to a 66-point victory over the Gold Coast Suns Academy.

Blakey finished the game with 18 disposals and booted all four of his goals in the second quarter to take the game away from the Suns.

Half-forward Luke Skrivanic showed speed and agility, booting three goals from 14 disposals. Overager Jake Brown collected 26 disposals, five clearances and booted two goals in one of his best games in the academy series so far.

For the Suns, Bailey Scott had 16 disposals, five inside 50s and kicked a goal from the midfield. Scott is eligible for North Melbourne, Geelong and Gold Coast at a discount.

Connor Nutting was the Suns’ best and moved well around the ground, while Sam Davidson had 18 disposals, nine marks and six inside 50s.

SYDNEY ACADEMY              4.3       8.5       10.9    15.11 (101)
GOLD COAST ACADEMY     3.2       3.3       4.5       5.5 (35) 

GOALS
Sydney Academy: Blakey 4, Skrivanic 3, Carroll 2, Brown 2, Wicks, Rankin, Carr, Stewart
Gold Coast Academy: Arnold, Foster, Watson, Scott, Beaman

BEST?
Sydney Academy: 
Carroll, Skrivanic, Wicks, Stewart, Osborne, Rogers
Gold Coast Academy: Nutting, Heron, Foster, Smith, Arnold, Davidson


Brisbane Lions Academy defender Jack Payne continued to standout in the Under 18 Academy Series, aiding the Lions to a 50-point with over Northern Territory at TIO Stadium in Darwin on Saturday.

Payne’s strong one-on-one work was outstanding and he used the ball well coming out of defensive 50.

193cm key forward Billy Drake bagged three goals, as did smart half-forward Billy Johnson who worked hard all day.

Northern Territory themselves were undermanned with Zac Bailey missing through school football commitments in South Australia.

Bottom age 176cm forward Beau Schwarze booted four goals and was a hard match up for the Lions.

Tall Marcus Valastro played in multiple positions for NT and continued to compete hard all day, finishing as his side’s best player.

NORTHERN TERRITORY               1.1      3.2         6.4          8.6 (54)
BRISBANE LIONS ACADEMY       6.1      8.5       11.7        16.8 (104) 

GOALS
Northern Territory: Schwarze 4, Mu, Hutt, Bricknell, Althouse-Cooper
Brisbane Lions Academy: Drake 3, Johnson 3, Fletcher 2, Kristelly, Aston, Stackelberg, Coleman, Lambert, Fleming, Franks, Warren

BEST
Northern Territory: Valastro, Schwarze, Holt-Fitz, Green, Bull, Hutt
Brisbane Lions Academy: Matthews, Franks, Johnson, Payne, Tomkinson