Tag: liam henry

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Round 3 – East Perth vs Claremont

IN Round 3 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, Claremont defeated East Perth by 28 points at Leederville Oval.

Below are the best players from the game.

 

EAST PERTH 6.5 (41) defeated by CLAREMONT 10.8 (68)

 

East Perth:

#3 Harley Sparks
The Deanmill product was arguably the Royals’ best midfielder with a team-high 28 possessions, five tackles, three marks and a goal. Sparks often imposed himself in congestion to win the ball for his team and then dish it to the outside runners.

#9 Sebit Kuek
Last year’s Past Player and Officials Encouragement Award winner was excellent in the forward half for East Perth. He finished with 12 possessions, six hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and a goal. His leading patterns combined with his strong overhead marking ability make him a damaging forward prospect.

#14 Kane Hughes
The East Perth wingman toiled hard all day for the Royals with 26 possessions, seven marks, two tackles and two inside 50s. His link-up style of play makes him one of the better wingmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#39 Cody Rodgers
The East Perth key defender showcased why he is considered to be one of the best key defensive options in this year’s draft pool. His positioning in defence was excellent, his knowledge of when to roll off his opponent to intercept the opposition was outstanding and his decision-making was sound. In the third quarter, he snuck forward and took a strong contested mark before booting a goal.

#40 Jed Montgomerie
The South Bunbury Junior was a standout in the ruck for East Perth in a competitive battle with Claremont’s Callum Jamieson. Montgomerie finished with 12 possessions, 22 hit-outs and five marks to be a presence for the Royals in the midfield.

 

Claremont:

#3 Leno Thomas
The Belmont junior was dynamic on the half-back line for Claremont with 19 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. His electrifying speed, top agility and penetrating skills make him one of the more highly regarded prospects in this year’s WAFL Colts competition.

#8 Jack Buller
The Christ Church Grammar student was situated at centre half-back, playing on Jaxon East, and more than held his own in the contest. Buller finished with 20 possessions, 10 marks and three tackles, while holding East goalless.

#14 Jack Cooley
Stationed on the half-back line, Cooley offered a calm and composed figure for the Tigers. He finished with 25 possessions, six marks and two inside 50s, often providing excellent rebound from the defensive half. A highlight of his game was in the third quarter, when he grabbed the ball out of a pack and speared it to Jacob Blight, who kicked his second goal.

#15 Liam Henry
The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy prospect was arguably best afield, displaying traits that would endear him to recruiters. He accumulated 24 possessions, grabbed five marks and booted four goals in a sizzling display. His desire to run and carry and ability to use precise skills makes him one of the most damaging wingmen in this year’s draft pool.

#21 Louis Passera
The Scarborough junior continued his excellent start to the 2019 campaign with another superb performance, this time against the Royals. He collected 25 possessions, grabbed five marks, laid two tackles and recorded two inside 50s in a powerful display.

#22 Jye Clark
The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye Clark was prolific in the midfield for the Tigers. He finished with a game-high 29 possessions, five marks and four inside 50s in a near best-afield performance. His decision-making and skill execution are elite for someone his age.

#25 Callum Jamieson
The North Beach Junior was outstanding in the ruck for the Tigers. In a highly competitive battle with East Perth’s Jed Montgomerie, Jamieson accumulated 15 possessions, won a game-high 23 hitouts, took six marks, laid six tackles and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players for Claremont.

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans maintain perfect record to the start the season

THERE is always a lot of uncertainty in the early stages of a new season. Getting a jump on your opposition can certainly be worth its weight in gold. Swan Districts experienced grand final heartbreak in 2018, but are determined to go one step further. So far in 2019, they have been up to that challenge.

Colts wrap: Round Two

 

Swan Districts 10.12 (72) defeated Perth 6.6 (42)

Swan Districts made it three wins from as many games as they beat Perth by 30 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

The home team made a fine start to the game with two early goals to Kade Walldrot and Bailey Kane. They then pushed the lead out to three goals when Ashley Brockbernd snapped truly. Jamieson Ugle made it four goals in a row to the Black and Whites who were playing with a real sense of freedom. Bottom-age talent Logan McDonald who was Perth’s most lively key target in the first quarter had a chance to get the Demons on the board but his kick on the siren just fell short. Swans were well deserving of their 24-point lead.

The second quarter started with a good move on the outside wing by the Demons which included Simon Hayward who fed the ball to Oscar Morcombe for a astute finish. The presence of Kane was too much for the Demons defenders and he took a great one hander and finished off with aplomb to give back Swan Districts their four-goal lead. The Demons were able to answer through Kaden Elliott and some hard running from Zac Sanderson helped set up Kajie Slater for another goal and the Demons had well and truly worked their way back into the game. A fantastic chase down tackle by Owen McClelland on Jake Pasini set up Morcombe for his second of the half and it was now a goal the difference. A few minutes later, a pin-point kick by Elijah Taylor set up McClelland and remarkably the Demons had locked up the scores at 5.4 a piece on the stroke of half time.

The Demons had now completely turned the momentum of the game on its head and they would have rued the siren as it gave the Swans coaching staff time to speak to their chargers and reset before the second half. One thing for certain was that we were set for a terrific second 50 minutes of action. Swans had taken the ball into their Forward 50 nine more times in the first half (24-15) but their efficiency was not at the level they would like. Zane Trew had the ball on a string in the first 50 minutes with 24 disposals and five tackles while the ever present Walldrot had 13 disposals. For the Demons it was the running power of Regan Clarke and Elijah Taylor who were big factors in getting the visitors back in the game.

It was a real tense and tough first 10 minutes for the third term and the breakthrough finally came through some good quick ball moment ending with Ugle’s second. They followed that soon after with Kade Screaigh setting up Jermarl Daly who finished with a very clever snap. Perth constructed some forward thrusts but they were to no avail with the Swans defence holding strong. Brodie Newman kicked the Swans’ third of the term to give them a handy three goal lead. While that seemed to be a comfortable margin, Perth were kicking to the scoring end in the last term where 12 of the 13 goals had been kicked for the game.

The first 12 minutes of the quarter was a real stalemate. That suited Swans fine as it was the Demons who needed some quick goals. It eventually came when Taylor set up McDonald to cut the margin to 16 points. However, Swans kicked a crucial goal when the hard working Kane set up the running Benjamin Taylor for a goal from the square. The big ruck/forward got his true reward for his hard work kicking his third for the game on the siren giving the Black and Whites their third win from three games to start the season with a 30-point win.

Star of the Day

A superb hard running 41-disposal and 10-tackle game from Zane Trew wins the bottom age midfielder the deserved honour.

However a special mention has to be given to Bailey Kane. The 206cm and 100kg man-mountain from Karratha was a telling presence in the forward 50 with 10 disposals, seven hit-outs, six marks and four tackles. For the gallant Demons, Elijah Taylor set up plenty of forward attacks with his run and finished with 20 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s while Simon Hayward was tireless in his efforts with 20 disposals and 13 tackles.

Key factors

The ability of Swans to respond after they had lost momentum in the second quarter. They don’t call the third quarter the ‘Premiership Quarter’ for nothing, and the home team kicked 3.2 to 0.2 which really set up their push for victory. Try as they might, Perth couldn ot find a way back in the last term. You also are not going to win a game of footy by kicking one goal across three quarters which is what the Demons did.

 

In other games:

 

Peel 10.11 (71) defeated East Fremantle 6.6 (42)

Peel Thunder are the other team with a 100 per cent record after defeating East Fremantle by 29 points at David Grays Arena.

There was nothing more than a couple of goals between the teams for the majority of the contest, but a 3.4 to one behind final term was all the difference. Tyrone Thorne was a influential figure kicking three goals and constantly pressuring the Sharks defence with eight tackles. Jarvis Pina was also excellent in this regard with nine tackles to go along with 19 disposals. Jai Jackson was tireless for the Sharks with 23 disposals and 12 tackles.

 

Claremont 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

In keeping with the pattern of the Easter weekend fixtures, The Tigers produced a dominant period of play outscoring their opponents nine goals to one in the second and fourth quarters to set up their victory.

After the Royals held a 21-point lead at quarter time, Claremont responded in kind kicking 5.2 to no score to have a 11 point lead at the long break. Once again the Royals took the honours in the third term kicking two goals to one to cut the margin to seven points, but the final 25 minutes was all Claremont as they kicked the last three goals of the game to seal their first four points of the season.

Fremantle Next Generation Academy player Liam Henry kept up his fine start to the season with 24 disposals, five marks and four goals. He was supported well by Jye Clark who compiled 29 disposals and five marks. Harley Sparks was a ball magnet for the Royals once again with 28 disposals and five tackles. Sparks has averaged 29 disposals from his three games so far.

 

West Perth 9.7 (61) defeated South Fremantle 8.7 (55)

In the closest game of the round on Easter Sunday, it was West Perth who got the chocolates, defeating South Fremantle by a goal at Fremantle Oval.

The margin did not exceed 14 points throughout the topsy turvy contest. The Bulldogs got out to their biggest lead of the game when Adam Correia put them two goals in front 10 minutes into the final term, but the visitors kicked the final three majors of the contest to seal their second win from three game.

Koopah Todd and Jaxon Prior were two of the key driving forces of the victory. They each accumulated 29 disposals, while also kicking a goal in West Perth’s final term comeback. For the Bulldogs, George Wessels was terrific compiling 28 disposals, ten marks and six tackles.

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans and Sharks setting the early pace

ROUND 2 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts was split over Saturday and Sunday with two games played at Steel Blue and East Fremantle Oval giving talent scouts terrific opportunity to watch the next generation of stars.

WAFL Colts: Round Two

West Perth 8.7.55 defeated Claremont 5.10.40

West Perth made it two wins out of two defeating Claremont at Steel Blue Oval by 15 points.

The Falcons got the first goal of the day through Callum Johnson and that was increased soon afterwards by a smart snap by Ewan Brazier. Johnson was setting the tone for others to follow with his hard running and a third major soon followed for Lachlan Scurria. West Perth had winners all over the ground and the Tigers needed to find a way to get on the scoreboard before too long.

An opportunity came through via a long kick came into their forward 50 but the exciting prospect Liam Henry could only register a minor score. For all the Tigers toil, the Falcons were making every post a winner in their Forward 50 when Brazier kicked his second of the quarter the Falcons had a impressive 25 point lead. That remained the margin at the first break and it was a tale of effiency with both teams entering their Forward 50 on ten occasions, but the only thing that counted was that West Perth had six scoring shots to Claremont’s one.

The Tigers looked more fluid at the start of the second quarter with several attacking thrusts but were still unable to put the ball between the big sticks. A free kick from the the goalsquare to Michael Mallard added to their woes and then Ben Johnson converted to pile on the pain. Bottom ager Joel Western got the Tigers on the board midway through the quarter and the game switched into a holding pàttern of sorts. However another indiscretion before the siren led to another 50 metre penalty with Zak Patterson goaling from the square. The 37 point-lead was fully deserved by the Falcons who had winners all over the field led by Jaxon Prior with 20 disposals and Ben Johnson with 14.

The Tigers started the third term with real purpose with Callum Jamieson taking a fine mark and covering from the square and that was soon followed by Charlie Malone kicking their second in quick succession and narrowing the lead to four goals.

For the first time in the contest, the Tigers were running at their opponents and puttting the Falcons under constant pressure. West Perth were well off their game compared to the first two quarters but kicked a steadier right before the siren through Tyron Hindmarsh after some fine ball movement further afield which extended their lead to 30 points. The positive for Claremont was that their effort was certainly now matching their opponents and all they needed was a high level of conversion to finish it off. They got what they were after courtesy of Jack Buller to cut the margin to 20 points. A free kick to Max Minear saw him convert from 40 metres to give them a real chance with eight minutes remaining. However some smart possession football by West Perth saw them withstand the fight back and claim a 14 point win, their second to start the season.

Star of the day

A player that offered so much run from half back was Jaxon Prior who amassed 34 disposals, eight marks, three tackles and countless rebounds from defensive 50 and fully deserved that honour.

Other Falcons who were fine players on the day included Tyron Hindmarsh (28 disposals and eight tackles), Koopah Todd (28 disposals and eight marks) and Ben Johnson (27 disposals and seven marks. A real exciting prospect for the Tigers is mobile 200cm ruck/forward Callum Jamieson with 14 disposals,five marks 13 hit-outs and a goal.

Key factors

The slow start was crucial to the outcome. It is not desirable to give a team a 4-5 goal head start in today’s footy otherwise you are playing catchup for the remainder of the game, however it is still early in the season and there is plenty to work on for both teams. The first half and the ability to show poise under pressure in the closing minutes would please Falcons coach Ryan Lascock and his assistants. Meanwhile, it would have been easy for the Tigers to drop their heads, however they hung in there which was a big positive for the Tigers coaching group. The amount of ball that Claremont took into their forward 50 will also be a pleasing factor (49-33), although they need more players to step up and help convert that advantage.

 

Swan Districts 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 8.4 (52)

The second game of the double header saw Swan Districts erase a 27-point first half deficit to claim a 16-point win and make it two wins from two games to start the season.

The Royals started the better of the two teams with a number of forward entries. Jaxon East crumbed the ball expertly to kick the first of the game. They then increased their lead through Joshua Ladhams with a mark and goal and just like the previous game one team got off to a flyer with Sam Van Diemen kicking his first under very little pressure. Swans finally got onto the board with their best passage of play leading to a soccered goal by Sebastian Bright from the square. Ladhams put a exclamation point on a great quarter when he marked and goaled from 40 metres as the Royals led by 21 points at quarter time.

Swans got off to the perfect start on the second when Jayden Farrant snapped truly from 15 metres, but Van Diemen replied a few minutes later to give East Perth their their four goal lead once again. Some good forward line pressure saw Sebit Kuek earn a shot at goal which he duly converted and the Royals were out to their biggest lead of the day.

Defender Jack Pasini made the most of a infringement by the man on the mark to kick Swans’ third of the day. The two teams then traded goals towards the end of the second term and East Perth went into the long break with a 21 point margin. The Royals strength throughout the first half was their ability to generate inside 50s (25) and though they only scored on 10 occasions, the weight of numbers told the story. In comparison, Swans only had four scoring shots from their 15 entries. Harley Sparks continued his form from his impressive first game of the season against Subiaco compiling 15 disposals for the half. Meanwhile Kade Wallrodt was a tireless worker for Swans with 14 disposals and two marks.

Bottom ager Ayden Cartwright gave Swans’ the perfect start to the third term with a goal within two minutes. The next 15 minutes was a war of attrition with both teams launching attacks but to no avail. The home team finally broke the deadlock when bottom ager Jamieson Ugle got them to within seven points which seemed inconceivable a quarter ago. The Black and Whites had outscored East Perth 2.2 to no score in the term, but in truth it felt a lot more than that and it was certainly all to play for in the last quarter.

Some clever play early in the last quarter by Narkle set up Cartwright for his second of the game and the scores were now level. East Perth were seemingly running on the spot with Swans all over them like a rash. Cartwright soon kicked his second for the term and Swans had the lead for the first time in the game.

With East Perth needing to find a target in their forward line it was Kuet who stepped up to the mark and cut the deficit to one point. The next goal was always going to be pivotal and it was bottom ager Zane Trew with a fine snap from 35 metres for the home side. The icing on the cake came just before the siren when Jermarl Daly won a free kick and kicked his first major to seal a stirring 16 point victory.

 

Star(s) of the day

There were many candidates with Harley and Connor Sparks amassing 54 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles for the Royals.

But in truth, you could pick a handful of Swan Districts players and not go wrong.
Kade Wallrodt was tireless with 33 disposals and five marks, Zane Trew kicked a decisive goal to go along with his 26 disposals and seven tackles, while bottom ager Ayden Cartwright kicked three goals including two in the all important last term.

However it was the double act of Brenton Hilton and Jake Pasini who really stemmed the tide in the first half. In truth, it would have been a eight goal game without them holding the fort. Then in the second half they were imperious, impassable, impeccable or any other complement you want to pay them. The duo are key to Swan Districts premiership hopes this season.

 

Key factor

Momentum is massive in football and you have to make the most of it when you have it. East Perth had it in the first half but didn’t make the most of it. Swans had it in the second half and kicked six goals to one. That is the game in a nutshell.

 

In Sunday’s games:

East Fremantle 12.8 (80) defeated Subiaco 3.5(23)

East Fremantle made it two wins from two to start the season after a 57-point win. In the clash between the last two premiers it was the home team mastered the greasy conditions from the get-go kicking four goals to no score in the first quarter and the reigning premiers could not respond. Subiaco also were unable to kick a goal in the third term as the Sharks kicked six without reply. Exciting talents Luke Jackson and Trey Ruscoe combined for 40 disposals, nine marks and four goals while Trent Rivers was tireless with 29 disposals and six tackles. With a number of changes to playing personnel and a new head coach, it will take a bit of time for Subiaco to gel. The prolific Tristan Hobley never stopped working hard with 29 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Perth 9.12 (66) defeated South Fremantle 6.9 (45)

Perth kicked six goals to three on the second half to break open what was a low scoring scrappy affair and claim a win in their first game of the season by 21 points. The Demons made the most of their advantage when it came to forward 50 entries (46-33) and scoring shots (21-15) leading as much as 35 points in the last term putting together a impressive performance. Bottom-age talents Nathan O’Driscoll and Cain Evans were terrific for the Demons. O’Driscoll had 32 disposals and five marks while Evans compiled 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals. Meanwhile, Jack Musika was a willing worker with 26 disposals and five tackles and bottom ager Shannon Neale kicked three goals which was a fine effort in a team that only scored six for the game.

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

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

Below were the best players from each team.

CLAREMONT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EAST FREMANTLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

West Australian draft prospects set to light up Colts competition

IN 2018, twelve West Australians were selected in the AFL National and Rookie Drafts, with five players taken across the first two rounds. Peter Sumich, Michael Ablett, Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Craig Otto, and Mark Seaby, in different capacities respectively, played significant roles in player development across 2018 and are set to have an even greater impact in 2019.

These are the players in the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition to keep an eye on for the 2019 AFL Draft.

JACK BULLER
(CLAREMONT/COTTESLOE JFC)

Despite being slightly undersized as a ruckman (196cm), Buller is competitive and aggressive in ruck contests and is exceptional at ground level. In 2018, he was a part of the WA U18s State Academy as a bottom-ager and showed plenty of promise averaging 14 possessions, eight hit-outs, four marks and three tackles with his best performance coming against Vic Country (17 possessions, 18 hit-outs, eight tackles and five marks). He also showed promise playing as a key forward for Claremont’s Colts team with eight goals from five games and averages of 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks, three tackles and two inside 50s.

LUKE JACKSON
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

The former Australian junior basketballer is one of the most exciting prospects for next year’s draft, even being mentioned as a possible top five selection. In just four games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he kicked four goals and averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs, four tackles and three inside 50s with dominant outings against Subiaco (14 possessions, 11 hit-outs, and two goals) and South Fremantle (17 possessions, 25 hit-outs and a goal). He was also exceptional for the WA U18s State Academy with two exceptional performances against South Australia (25 possessions, seven marks, and a goal and Vic Metro (seven possessions and 25 hit-outs). His athleticism, skills, and ruck craft are elite for someone his age.

TRENT RIVERS
(EAST FREMANTLE/BULLCREEK-LEEMING JFC)

A big-bodied midfielder who thrives at the stoppages, Rivers is an accumulator who gets the ball going forward for his team. He finished equal-second in East Fremantle Colts’ Best and Fairest after averaging 19 possessions, six marks, and two tackles across 15 games. He also polled 10 votes in the Jack Clarke Medal with sensational performances against Perth (20 possessions and six marks), and Claremont (21 possessions and seven marks). He also produced dominant outings in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (19 possessions and four marks) and in the Semi-Final against Peel (19 possessions and two goals) – highlighting his big-game performing ability.

JEREMY SHARP
(EAST FREMANTLE/ATTADALE JFC)

The 2018 U18s All-Australian is a silky-skilled and smooth-moving midfielder much like former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. In four games for Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro (26 possessions, four marks, three inside 50s and a goal). In seven games for East Fremantle, he was named in the best on three occasions including a magnificent performance in the Elimination Final against South Fremantle (24 possessions, nine marks and eight inside 50s). At his best, Sharp is a line-breaker who uses his speed, skills and smarts to carve up the opposition. Is shaping up to be a first round selection in 2019 and potentially a top 10 pick.

RHAI-ARN COX
(EAST PERTH/MT HAWTHORN JFC)

Cox made a name for himself in 2017’s AFL U16 Championships when he booted a goal after the siren to win the game against Vic Metro. The 2017 WA U16s Vice-Captain is a crafty small forward with explosive athleticism, dazzling skills, an incredible toughness and a great understanding of the play. In 11 games for East Perth in 2018 he booted 15 goals (winning his Club’s Leading Goalkicker Award) and averaged 13 possessions, four marks and two tackles with some sizzling performances against Claremont (17 possessions and three goals), East Fremantle (10 possessions and three goals), Swan Districts (17 possessions and two goals) and West Perth (13 possessions and two goals). He also starred in the AFL U17s Futures game with 12 possessions and three goals for Team Riewoldt.

DEVEN ROBERTSON
(PERTH/MANNING JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Captain and MVP winner is a bullocking inside midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game. In four games for WA’s U18s he averaged 14 possessions, seven tackles, two marks and two inside 50s with his best performances coming against the Allies (17 possessions, four tackles, and three inside 50s) and Vic Country (17 possessions and nine tackles). In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, Robertson averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and four inside 50s, with best afield performances against East Fremantle (33 possessions, six marks, five tackles and five inside 50s) and Peel Thunder (34 possessions, five tackles and five inside 50s), and a near best-afield performance against Subiaco (36 possessions and a goal). The nephew of former West Coast champion Darren Glass has a very bright future.

ELIJAH TAYLOR
(PERTH/THORNLIE JFC)

The Thornlie junior is an exciting medium half-forward who has plenty of tricks to make opposing defenders extremely nervous. In 17 games for the Perth Demons’ Colts, Taylor averaged 13 possessions, three inside 50s, two marks and kicked nine goals with his best games coming against East Fremantle (14 possessions and a goal, East Perth (16 possessions and two goals) and Swan Districts (16 possessions, seven marks, three inside 50s and a goal). At his best, Taylor is a very hard match-up due to his size, explosive athleticism, damaging skills and elite decision-making – factors that will help him with his development into senior football. He is a raw prospect who has plenty of growth and an x-factor.

MITCHELL GEORGIADES
(SUBIACO/WEMBLEY DOWNS JFC)

The son of former Subiaco and Western Bulldogs sharpshooter John Georgiades, Mitchell is one of the most exciting forwards in WA’s State-Based AFL Academy. Blessed with a great set of hands, excellent skills and an elite reading of the play, Georgiades is a young forward with tremendous upside. In just six games for Subiaco’s Colts’ team, he averaged 13 possessions, six marks, two inside 50s, two tackles and booted eight goals with his best performance coming against South Fremantle (12 possessions, seven marks, three tackles, two inside 50s and two goals). He was also instrumental for Western Australia’s U18s team, where he averaged 10 possessions, four marks, two tackles and kicked three goals across four games, with his most notable against the Allies (13 possessions and two goals). He is already shaping up to be one of the most explosive forward options in next year’s draft pool.

RILEY GARCIA
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

The 2017 WA U16s Leadership group midfielder is a small midfield dynamo who has excellent speed, agility, skills and reading of the play. He made his WAFL Colts debut as a 15-year-old in 2016 and since then has gone on to become one of the premier midfielders for the 2019 AFL Draft. In 24 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Garcia has kicked 14 goals and averaged 20 possessions, three tackles and three marks. In 2018 he finished ninth in the Jack Clarke Medal and sixth in Swan Districts’ Colts’ Best and Fairest after some exceptional performances including best afield performance against Perth (32 possessions and a goal) and Claremont (31 possessions). However his performances in the 2018 finals series should have recruiters monitoring him closely after he averaged 22 possessions, three marks, two tackles and kicked four goals across four games.

JAKE PASINI
(SWAN DISTRICTS/CAVERSHAM JFC)

A no-nonsense defender, Pasini has an excellent aerial ability and a powerful kick on him, making him an attractive defensive prospect. In 16 games for Swan Districts’ Colts team, Pasini averaged 11 possessions, three marks and three tackles while more often than not, he held the opposition’s key forward to minimal impact. This was especially evident in the Semi-Final against Subiaco where he held the 2018 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker Jack Mayo goalless while he recorded nine possessions and took five marks. He was also excellent for Western Australia with excellent defensive efforts on Sam Flanders (Vic Country) and Matthew Walker (Allies) in his two games. The club that picks up Pasini will have a defender who goes about his business quietly and with no fuss.

OTHERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Liam Henry (Claremont/Cottesloe JFC)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Booragoon JFC)
Jack Sears (Peel Thunder/South Mandurah)
Tristan Hobley (Subiaco/Kingsway JFC)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC)

TESTING DAY STANDOUTS:

Jonathon Garlett was one of the best performers at the inaugural WA talent testing and education day, held at Aquinas College. The Geraltdon Towns product was electric in the 20m sprint (2.84 seconds) and agility test (8.17 seconds), while also showcasing the explosiveness that helped him to a national high jump medal – posting 91cm in the running vertical jump and 85cm in the standing. Swan Districts duo Ben Taylor and Kade Wallrodt also caught the eye, with Taylor showing a good mix of speed and enduarance with a 2.98-second 20 metre sprint and 21.1 yoyo test score. Wallrodt also had a sub-three second 20 metre sprint time, as well as a solid agilty score of 8.40 seconds. Of the WA-based AFL Academy members, Perth’s Deven Robertson proved his hard work in the off-season would pay off, with good scores across the board and particular improvement in the 2km time trial. Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospects Liam Henry and Brandon Walker were also impressive, as was 2018 Under 16 standout Logan McDonald – putting in early claims as ones to watch for the 2020 draft.   

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

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

JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT

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

RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH

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

LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE

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

DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH

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

JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE

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

WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:

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

Western Australia weekly wrap: Bulldogs loom large as finals wildcard

THE final round of the home and away season saw a ‘Super Sunday’ of action with three games played at Domain Stadium. While the final five was locked in, a precious double chance was still up for grabs with East Fremantle and Swan Districts jostling for that third position. With Swans playing on Saturday, East Fremantle knew the equation at hand when they met their arch rivals the following day.

Could the Sharks get the job done? Read ahead to find out all the details.

WAFL Wrap Round 21

South Fremantle 13.9 (87) defeated East Fremantle 10.9 (69).

South Fremantle kept up their fine late season form while dealing their bitter rivals a hammer blow in the process with a 18-point win over East Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

East Fremantle got off to the best possible story courtesy of a Tom Wright goal. The Sharks looked more composed in the early stages, but South Fremantle eased their way into the contest and got on the board courtesy of Lachlan Johnson. The Sharks regained the lead courtesy of an opportunistic snap by Jai Jackson, but the inform Bulldogs produced a great piece of team football which was smartly finished off by Jack Musika.

Both teams were really cracking in hard giving no quarter and expecting none in return. Jackson was looming as a key figure in the contest kicking his second of the quarter and helping the Sharks hold a six point lead at quarter time.

South Fremantle were peppering the goals at the start of the second term but were unable to get maximum reward for their effort. Another smooth piece of ball movement involving the likes of Ira Jetta gave Johnson the chance to change that and he kicked truly to level the scores. Jetta was then left unattended inside the forward 50 and the lively 16 year-old made the Sharks pay to give them their biggest lead of the contest.

The game was now being played on South Fremantle’s terms and some clever footwork by Luke Moore outfoxed his opponent and he kicked truly from 40 metres. The Bulldogs were now oozing confidence and some swift ball movement down the outer wing involving Jack Redman ended with Robert Woods who nailed their fourth for the term.

East Fremantle certainly needed a steadier and they got two in as many minutes firstly from Cody Smith and then a good running goal from the very likely bottom age prospect in Luke Jackson. It was a fascinating quarter with the Bulldogs dominating large parts but East Fremantle finished the stronger and only trailed by six points at the long break.

As always, the third quarter shaped as pivotal for the outcome of this captivating contest. It began with a brilliant rundown and tackle by Manfred Kelly who set up Moore for his second of the day to re-establish the two goal margin for the Bulldogs and Jaxon Bellchambers and Moore then set up Brodee Knight for his first.

All the hard work in getting back into the contest was at risk of being washed away and the influential Moore emphasised that point as he kicked his third to give the rampant Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game which was 24 points. East Fremantle then got a much needed response through Dylan Curley, however it was South Fremantle that were just playing better football with their transition from defence into attack which was first class and that was illustrated when Nash Miller set up Kyle Hamersley for his first and the Sharks defence was now close to breaking point.

East Fremantle then made the fatal mistake of over committing in defence leaving Toby Mcquilkin loose out the back to goal from close range. However they quickly regrouped courtesy of a long bomb by Cody Smith which was marked by Nicolas Watson in the goal square just before the three quarter time siren. It gave the Sharks a lifeline heading into the final 25 minutes and they would have known that every goal was vital as they had percentage to protect with third spot on the line.

After some untidy play to start the final term, Moore kicked his fourth of the game to re-establish their five goal lead and make life difficult for the visitors. A costly 50 metre penalty gave hard running defender Neil Irani a shot at goal which he duly converted to ice the game for the Bulldogs. Curley kicked his second of the game for the Sharks and Jackson soon set up the forward for another one soon after to trim the margin back to four goals. The Sharks were certainly playing with renewed energy knowing that every goal mattered in the equation of a double chance.

Cameron Davidson kicked a goal on the final siren to narrow the final margin 18 points but that did not worry the Bulldogs as they continued their fine end to the season which was their third in a row and third victory against top four opponents in as many attempts (also defeating Swans in Round 19 and Peel in Round 16). They are peaking at the right time and loom as a very dangerous opponent against anyone they come up against. Meanwhile the loss proved extremely costly for the Sharks who now slip to fourth and a rematch against their Fremantle rivals next week.

Moore was pivotal in the second half kicking three of his four goals and setting up another while Ira Jetta ran hard all day pressuring his opponents of himself all over the ground with 18 disposals and four tackles while James Russell was fantastic in defence with 17 disposals and three marks. For the Sharks Corey Robinson tried hard all day with 30 disposals while Jai Jackson was a true focal point with 23 disposals five tackles, four marks and two goals.

Peel Thunder 11.15 (81) defeated East Perth 9.8 (62)

Following that clash, Peel Thunder bounced back from last weeks disappointing loss against Claremont with a solid 19-point win over East Perth.

Peel dominated the early stages of the contest racking up four inside 50s in as many minutes and they finally got their reward through a mark and goal by Michael Randall in the square. East Perth barely got the ball past halfway in the first 12 minutes but were lucky to remain in the contest as Peel were not making their overall dominance count.

East Perth’s first scoring attempt came through Jarrad Hamer-Mathew who missed to the near side but they were edging closer to success and their first major came through Thomas Baulch. Then out of nowhere the game completely switched in momentum and East Perth were on the front foot when Egan Bradbury kicked their second of the contest. A third goal soon followed through Hamer-Mathew and remarkably the Royals went to the quarter time break with a six-point lead. Wasteful footy was certainly costly for Peel who finished the quarter with 1.8 but realistically should have been three goals in front.

Peel needed a spark and they got just that to start the second quarter with a brilliant running goal by Jake Howes from the boundary from 45 metres. Hamer-Mathew responded soon after for the Royals and Liam Martin then followed to give them their biggest lead of the contest which was 14 points. Lee Chapman kicked a important goal for Peel to cut the margin to single digits and then Jack Sears marked and goaled to cut it to a single point. When Sears kicked his second of the term, Peel were back in front but Baulch seemed to lock the scores at 40 points a piece at the long break, however it was deemed to be after the siren therefore Peel went into the long break with a six-point lead.

The second placed Peel now looked just like they did to start the contest, but the only difference were they were making their opportunities count outscoring the Royals four goals to one with Jake Howes prominent in their attacking thrusts. When Tyrone Thorne kicked his second for the quarter the margin in a blink of a eye was 31 points and a long way back for East Perth. The Royals were getting smashed out of the centre with the running fleet of Peel in fine form. Harley Sparks cut the margin to four goals but once again it was that man Thorne who gave Peel their five goal margin again and they took that margin to the three-quarter time break.

East Perth started the final quarter with some purpose and the excellent hard running of Baulch set up Rhai-arn Cox for his first of the day. The Royals were now certainly pushing hard but just not converting their opportunities. A strong tackle by Ben McGuire in the forward 50 gave him his first for the day to cut the margin to three goals but the Thunder were not in any immediate danger and saw out the rest of the game with no troubles and they go into their finals clash with Swan Districts next week on a winning note.

Remarkably Peel Thunder only totalled 219 disposals for the game but used them to great effect with 44 inside 50s compared to 31 from East Perth which led to 26 scoring shots compared to 19 from the Royals.

Thorne was the catalyst behind the terrific second half by the Thunder with three goals to go along 18 disposals six tackles and five marks while Jake Howes was in and under all game with eight tackles to go along with 16 disposals and two goals.

For the Royals, it was the hard running of Baulch which was a stand out as the top ager collected 24 disposals and eight marks while Cox kept working hard and looked dangerous collecting 14 disposals eight marks and three tackles along with a goal.

Subiaco 17.15 (117) defeated Perth 4.4 (28)

In the final game of a long day it was Subiaco who recorded their eleventh straight win with a 89-point thrashing over Perth. The team football which have served the Lions so well this season was again on display with eleven goal kickers on the day led by Jordan Faraone with three and Jack Mayo with 20 disposals, 10 marks and two goals while Tristan Hobley rounded out his home and away season in fine style with 32 disposals, ten marks and eight tackles.

The thumping loss consigned Perth to the wooden spoon position dispute going into the game with a 5% advantage over East Perth. They finished the game with a deficit of 0.3 per cent. Two of their youngest players could hold their head high high with Deven Robertson having 36 disposals and six marks while 16 year-old Nathan O’ Driscoll continued his excellent form with 27 disposals and eight tackles.

Swan Districts 10.8 (68) defeated Claremont 5.7 (37)

In the lone game played on Saturday morning, Swan Districts tuned up for finals action with a comprehensive 31 point win over Claremont at Steel Blue Oval in a game where they led throughout the contest.

Swans got off to a strong start leading by 13 points at quarter time courtesy of two goals to Atem Deng. Claremont, who were eliminated from finals calculations last week responded well in the second quarter kicking three goals to two and cutting the margin to seven points at the long break.

Swan Districts who were looking to get some momentum heading into the finals after two straight losses kicked the first two goals of the third term courtesy of Nathan Ireland and Patrick Farrant and once again Claremont failed to register a goal in the third term and had an uphill task heading into last quarter trailing by 19 points.

Bottom ager Liam Henry gave the visitors the best possible start to the final term kicking a goal but Patrick Farrant responded giving them their three goal lead and that was soon followed by Ayden Cartwright’s first major of the game which sealed the four points for the Black and Whites.

Deng sealed a best on ground performance with his third late in the contest and Graydon Wilson topped off a fine second-half performance for the home side to seal a 31 point win and put them in a positive frame of mind as they head into September action looking to make up for their 2017 exit after being bundled out in straight sets after finishing third in the home and away season. With the Sharks loss, it has handed them them a perfect opportunity to do just that. The Lions can now put up their feet and watch the four teams below them put their bodies on the line.

At least they will have the opportunity to atone that disappointment which is more than what Claremont can do as the Premiers from 2015 and 2016 and runners-up from last year reflect on a campaign that never really got any momentum behind it. However with a number of promising youngsters in their ranks, they cannot be written off as a chance to play finals footy next season.

Deng was the player who set the tone for the win with 19 first half disposals and two goals and while he had a much quieter second half, his impact could not be understated finishing with 24 disposals, five marks and three goals. He had strong support from Western Australia Under 18s representative Wilson with 23 disposals, seven marks and a goal and Riley Garcia was at his ball gathering best with 31 disposals. For Claremont, bottom-ager Henry was a willing worker throughout the contest with 18 disposals, four marks and two goals.

 

Week 1 Finals:

Qualifying Final

Peel Thunder vs Swan Districts

Elimination Final

East Fremantle vs South Fremantle

Western Australia weekly wrap: Subiaco returns to top spot

ROUND 14 in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts saw the top two teams meet, while a new contender emerged for the last finals berth.

WAFL Colts Round 14 Wrap:

Subiaco 12.8 (80) defeated Peel Thunder 7.11 (53)

A strong second half performance has earned Subiaco their fifth straight win and a return to the top of the ladder for the first time in two months after a 27-point win against their closest rival Peel Thunder at Leederville Oval on Saturday.

The scene was set for a great encounter between the two hottest teams in the WAFL Colts in 2018. After starting the season 1-3, the visitors brought a seven game winning streak into the contest while after a sticky spell, Subiaco had won four games in a row.

A partly cloudy day with little breeze greeted both teams onto the field and the first few minutes saw Subiaco dominate the play. Jordan Faroane kicked the first goal of the game for the Lions but Ben Middleton crumbed well to give Peel the quick reply. Subiaco took back the early initiative with a goal to Jack Mayo from 45 metres from a acute angle. After an extended part of the quarter was defined by strong pressure tackling by both teams, it was Peel who broke the deadlock through key forward Lachlan Cullen. Soon after, Cullen appeared to push his opponent out the contest but the mark was paid and he kicked his second from 15 metres to give Peel their first lead of the game. Cullen was proving a real headache for the Lions defence and he took another mark just before the siren. Although the kick missed, Peel had illustrated their credentials from the 10 minute mark of that quarter.

Zane Shellabear Healey got the home side of to the perfect start in the second term where he was all alone in the forward 50 and able to dribble it through from 30 metres. Not soon after, Jack McIntosh gave the Lions back the lead with a true snap on goal. Just like the early stages of the contest, Subiaco was dictating the terms as Peel has suddenly lost its forward structure and composure in possession. For all Subi’s dominance, they only led by five points so the visitors were well in the contest. With the weight of possession came opportunities for Subiaco’s forwards and Mayo kicked his second for the half with a fine goal from the boundary. Middleton kicked Peel’s first for the second quarter which was vital to take a bit of momentum away from the Lions. The halftime siren saw the Lions lead by five points in an intriguing half of football.

It looked to be a battle of the key forwards with Mayo for Subiaco, and Cullen and Middleton for the Thunder set to have a key say in proceedings in the next 50 minutes. Nicolas Martin gave Subiaco the best possible start after the long break with a mark and goal from 35 metres in front and he backed that up a few minutes later with his second and give Subiaco their biggest lead of the game of 16 points. Some excellent forward pressure from Faroane forced a fumble from his opponent and he took advantage kicking his second of the game. Both teams then had their chances but it was the Lions who went into the final change leading by 24 points. Some great interplay by ball magnets Jacob Peletier and Tristan Hobley set up Martin for his third to take them a massive step closer to icing the four points.

However, good teams like Peel always manage to hit back hard and they did so through a classy goal to James Wiltshire from the boundary and then Cullen took a strong mark and goal to narrow the gap to under three goals with fifteen minutes remaining. It was now Subiaco’s time to reply and some good ball movement saw Duane Oxenham-Smith kick his first and arguably the sealer. Once again the pure determination by Subiaco in their forward 50 was superb as 15 year old Tyler Broughton ripped the hall away from his opponent and snapped truly. Peel bottom-ager Jack Sears kicked a clever goal from a acute angle, but it was Mayo who had the final say in the contest kicking his third which made the final margin 27 points and move the Lions a game and percentage clear of Peel and Swan Districts on the ladder.

In the end it was a very composed performance by the Lions in a hotly contested battle befitting of the two top teams on the ladder. Their pressure around the ball especially in the second half was superb and that was able to force mistakes from their opponents which they were able to seize upon and create opportunities of their own.

To put Subiaco’s 2018 season into perspective, this win was their ninth for the season. In the previous three seasons they had only won 12 games combined (including a one win season in 2016). Their last finals appearance was back in 2013, and while they wouldn’t want to be getting ahead of themselves in any way, it is looking very likely that they will make a long-awaited to September action this year.

Although Peel’s coaching group will be aware they they can play a lot better, they will have lost few friends with their competitive performance. In truth, they lost the contest in the second and third quarters being outscored six goals to one and lost all momentum they had after a very impressive first quarter.

Hobley (28 disposals, six marks and six tackles) and Peletier (24 disposals and seven marks) were strong contributors and the impact of their forwards Mayo (11 disposals, seven marks and three goals) and Nicholas Martin (17 disposals, six marks and three goals) were essential to the victory.

Sturrock (25 disposals, six tackles) and Riley (21 disposals, eight marks) were solid contributors all game for the Thunder while Cullen was a strong target with three goals.

In other games;

South Fremantle put on a emphatic display to defeat Claremont by 82 points at Fremantle Oval and with the win moved into the top five for the first time this season.

The final score was 15.13 (103) to 3.3 (21).

Lachlan Feeney kicked four for the home side and he was well supported by Lachlan Johnson and Thomas Weston each with two. It was a grim old day for the Tigers with Liam Henry and Benjamin Elliott the only goal kickers.

Feeney had 20 disposals and eight marks to go along with his four goals while their on-ball brigade had a field day, as Tom Blechynden had 34 disposals, Enrique Aiken-Featherstone with 28 disposals and Jack Musika 27 disposals to name just three. Liam Henry tried all day with 20 disposals and nine tackles for last years grand finalists who with their poor percentage (71.5) fell to the bottom of the ladder.

Meanwhile, East Fremantle continued their impressive form to defeat West Perth by 43 points at East Fremantle Oval and further entrench themselves in the top five.

The final score was 12.12 (84) to 5.11(41).

Bottom-ager Connor McPartland was the leading goalkicker with four goals while Ethan Brown kicked two. There were five individual goalkickers for the Falcons.

Milan Murdock was irrepressible with 33 disposals but was also superb with 16 tackles while McPartland also had eight tackles, six marks and 16 disposals to go with his four majors. Meanwhile Nathan Murray kept up his superb season with 37 disposals, four marks and four tackles along with a goal.

In the round’s final game, a powerful last quarter display saw Swan Districts consign Perth to their fifth loss in a 39 point win – 9.15 (69) to 4.6 (30).

Bottom-age youngster Nelson White and Matthew Russo each kicked two goals for the home side while Kade Walldrot racked up 29 disposals and seven tackles. Meanwhile for Perth, Zac Casey was their best on the day with 27 disposals, nine marks and eight tackles.

Western Australia claims Under 16s Championships with nail-biting wins

WESTERN Australia has remarkably pulled off back-to-back one-point wins over both Victorian teams to claim the division one title at the National Under 16s Championships. The third round of the division one championships concluded on Friday with the Sandgropers winning 11.8 (74) to Vic Metro’s 11.7 (73) in what was effectively the grand final after both sides headed into the final round unbeaten.

With a couple of minutes remaining in the Vic Country vs. Western Australia game on Monday, it looked likely Vic Metro had sewn up the shield heading into the last game, but a three-goal spurt in the last two minutes saw Western Australia climb over the top of Country in an exhillarating one-point win. South Australia finished third overall after defeating Vic Country on the final day of the tournament to claim its first win. Across the tournament all sides had a number of players that fans are likely to hear more about in the coming years as they continue down the pathway to reach their goal of playing AFL.

Western Australia played an exciting brand of high-intensity, high-risk, high-reward football. Among the players that impressed me were ruckman Luke Jackson from East Fremantle who was not too dissimilar to Brodie Grundy in his second efforts. While still a lighter framed player at 81kg, the 192cm ruckman moved really well for a taller player and depending on how his growth goes over the next few years, could become that prototype midfielder, or even that Mark Blicavs’ role switching between midfielder and ruck. South Fremantle’s Jack Musika also stood out with his penetrating kick and great skills. Having not seen any of this group of players before, against Vic Country he would opt for that difficult in-board kick and also set up a number of passes inside 50 providing his teammates with score assists.

Luke Jackson was impressive in the ruck and around the ground for Western Australia with some good second efforts and movement for a bigger player.

Others for Western Australia that stood out on the Gold Coast included East Perth’s Rhai Arn Cox, Claremont’s Liam Henry and Perth’s Tarkyn Brogan-Henry. Cox rose above the pack to clunk a mark with seconds remaining and win the game for the Swans against Vic Country. He is a lightly framed forward, but always looked dangerous inside 50. Henry buzzed around the ground and always looked creative, despite on occasions doing a bit too much and getting caught. Brogan-Henry got the West Australians off to a great start against Country, booting three goals in the first quarter and providing a target both up the ground and closer to goal.

Vic Metro’s top star was Oakleigh Charger Noah Anderson, with the 16 year-old already a good size at 188cm and 83kg and looked to have plenty of develpment left in him. Anderson was Metro’s leading disposal winner with 26 against Vic Country in round one and finished as the Kevin Sheahan Medallist as the best player in division one. Naturally he also won the Vic Metro MVP Award for the tournament in a large field of candidates that could have been successful.

Chargers’ teammate  Matt Rowell who was another standout across the tournament. He showed off his versatility across the three rounds playing both inside and outside midfield, as well as kicking goals up forward and creating plays off half-back. Rowell’s unbelievable 31 disposals, nine clearances and four goals against South Australia on Monday was an example of what he could excite fans in the TAC Cup later in the year should he be selected by the Chargers. Rowell will likely be one of a number of Vic Metro players selected in the AFL Academy sides announced later in the year.

Oakleigh is sure to have no shortage of talent over the next few years with the classy Dylan Williams really standing out with his smarts and strength overhead. Playing between midfield and half-forward, Williams hit the scoreboard and would remind a few of Jack Billings the way he clunked marks at 185cm against taller opponents.

Vic Metro’s Matt Rowell was ultra-impressive for Vic Metro against South Australia.

Others that stood out for Vic Metro included Sandringham Dragons’ duo Jack Mahony – who provided good run in transition and found space inside 50 while forward – and Andrew Courtney who at 197cm but just 76kg still has plenty of filling out to do but his ruckwork was impressive. Western Jets’ Emerson Jeka impressed up forward leading to the right positions and taking some good marks but his kicking was off, not making the most of his opportunities. He played down back as well and showed off his versatility across the ground. Eastern Ranges’ Mitch Mellis and Calder Cannons’ Daniel Mott were others that stoof out, although players like James Ross (Eastern), Jamieson Rossiter (Eastern) and Lachlan Rzanovski (Western) were also impressive.

For South Australia, unfortunately the game I saw live at Gold Coast was not the best performance, particularly early on. The Croweaters were competitive apart from a couple of poor patches, but there was one clear standout for me. Cameron Taheny from Norwood was ultra-impressive playing all over the ground and using his penetrating left boot to kick out from full-back and launch goals from outside 50. He also worked hard defensively laying several strong tackles and providing good team pressure around the stoppages. His kicking was similar to Matt Suckling with more strings to his bow, Taheny did step over the goal line a couple of times which caused ball-ups in the goal square, but otherwise he really impressed me.

South Australia’s Cameron Taheny was one of the more impressive players on the Gold Coast with a penetrating kick and ability to play anywhere.

Other South Australians that stood out were Glenelg’s Will Gould, who at 98kg was outmuscling opponents at will, playing through the ruck and up forward. Gould was impressive in his second efforts and defensive presusre. Woodville-West Torrens’ duo Kysaiah Pickett and Harry Schoenberg also had their moments providing good run through the middle, with Pickett’s clean hands and turn of pace among the highlights. Norwood’s Mitchell Carroll made good decisions under pressure in the back half, while Eagles’ Jackson Mead was another who impressed with his pace, kicking and strength in the air. Sturt’s Josh Shute, South Adelaide’s Daniel Sladojevic – who really impressed up forward with his presence and booming kick – and the balanced Karl Finlay from North Adelaide – who won the South Australian MVP – were others I noted as performers in the match against Vic Metro.

Vic Country also had a number of impressive players stand out across the tournament. For Country, forward pairing Izaac Grant (GWV Rebels) and James Schischka (Bendigo Pioneers) were high flyers that provided plenty of scoreboard impact. Grant despite weighing in at just 64kg, took several big grabs and was a reliable set shot for goal. Schischka worried opponents with his ability to crash packs and moved well for a taller 190cm forward. Dandenong Stingrays’ Hayden Young took out the Vic Country MVP Award, having a good combination of clean hands and strength at ground level, good momement and strong in the air. Young collected 26 disposals and had five rebound 50s against Vic Metro in round one.

Gippsland Power’s Sam Flanders was influential early in the match against Western Australia, with the Vic Country midfielder seen competing for the ball here with Liam Henry.

Gippsland Power’s Sam Flanders seemed to be everywhere on the Gold Coast and won plenty of the football, using it well in transition. He along with Power teammate Caleb Serong and Bendigo Pioneers’ Thomson Dow won their fair share of the football and will no doubt be names to remember in the years to come. Of all the Vic Country players, Tom Richardson (Geelong Falcons) really impressed me with a workman-like effort moving up and down the ground constantly, being that Nick Riewoldt roaming half-forward who was a really slick kick inside 50. He stands at 190cm and 79kg, a frame that could see him become that contested beast or key position forward in the next 18 months, both roles he could play really well.

MVP:

Vic Metro: Noah Anderson
Vic Country: Hayden Young
South Australia: Karl Finlay
Western Australia: Devon Robertson

2017 Kevin Sheehan Medalist: Noah Anderson (Vic Metro)

2017 NAB AFL Under 16 Championships Division One results:

ROUND 1

Vic Metro 12.11 (83) d Vic Country 9.8 (62) 

Goals
Vic Metro: McAsey 5, Rossiter 3, Jeja 2, Bianco, Ramsey
Vic Country: Gundry 2, Flanders 2, Stuart, Serong, Barker, Kaak, Schischka

Best
Vic Metro: Rowell, Mahony, Anderson, McAsey, Witts, Bianco
Vic Country: Young, Kemp, Serong, Flanders, De Koning, Stephens, Gundry

Western Australia 12.13 (85) d South Australia 11.13 (79)

Goals
Western Australia: Davies 3, Cox 2, Middleton, Buller, Brogan-Henry, Brockernd, Smith, Garcia, Sharp
South Australia: Sladojevic 5, Pickett 2, Park, Lochowiak, Hilder, Durdin

Best
Western Australia: Jackson, Buller, Robertson, Penny, Cox, Pasini
South Australia: Hilda, Pickett, Stephens, Mead, Douglas, Sladojevic

ROUND 2

Vic Metro 17.10 (112) d South Australia 6.12 (48) 

Goals
Vic Metro: Rowell 4, Williams 3, Westwood 2, Anderson 2, Bianco, Mahony, Romero, Mott, Rossiter, Jeka
South Australia: Sladojevic 2, Taheny, Davis, Shute, Schoenberg

Best
Vic Metro: Rowell, Anderson, Cassar, Williams, Duffy, Ross
South Australia: Stephens, Mead, Taheny, Shute, Dowdell

Western Australia 12.8 (80) d Vic Country 12.7 (79)

Goals
Western Australia: Brogan-Henry 3, Cox 3, Middleton 2, Jackson, Smith, Buller, Thomas
Vic Country: Schischka 3, Grant 3, Richardson, Flanders, Serong, Barker, Ironside, Kaak

Best
Western Australia: Robertson, Jackson, Cox, Musika, Pasini, Brogan-Henry
Vic Country: Stephens, Barker, Kemp, Young, Schischka, Flanders

ROUND 3

Western Australia 11.8 (74) d Vic Metro 11.7 (73) 

Goals
Western Australia: Ruscoe 3, Thomas 2, Brogan-Henry, Cox, Garcia, Middleton, Smith, Sharp
Vic Metro: Jeka 3, Rossiter 3, Rowell, Mahony, O’Sullivan, McAsey, Mott

Best
Western Australia: Musika, Jackson, Robertson, Garcia, Ruscoe, Hudso
Vic Metro: Anderson, Jeka, Rossiter, Westwood, Ross, Mott

South Australia 14.14 (98) d Vic Country 10.10 (70)

Goals
South Australia: Park 3, Pickett, Arriola, Sladojevic, Stephens, Davis, Freitag, Durdin, Pearce
Vic Country: Grant 3, Serong, Flanders 2, Ash, Schischka, Barker

Best
South Australia: Finlay, Arriola, Taheny, Gould, Stephens, Magor, Mead, Pickett
Vic Country: Flanders, Serong, Young, Ash, Rayner, Schischka

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:

NEXT GENERATION ACADEMY – ELIGIBLE PLAYERS

CARLTON
2017 Draft eligible:
Ethan Penrith, Reservoir (club), Indigenous (background)
Artan Cabdi, Heidelberg Heights, Multicultural
Others:
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

ESSENDON
2017 Draft eligible:

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

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

GEELONG
2017 Draft eligible:
Titak Nyak (2017), Corio, Multicultural
Others:
Nil.

HAWTHORN
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
Others:
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

NORTH MELBOURNE
2017 Draft eligible:
Nil.
Others:
Tarryn Trindall (Thomas) (2018), Hadspen, Indigenous
Leiwyn Jones (2019), Launceston, Indigenous

RICHMOND
2017 Draft eligible:
Derek Smith (2016/17), Mildura, Indigenous
David Smith (2017), Shepparton, Indigenous
Anthony Walker (2017), Kialla, Indigenous
Others:
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

WESTERN BULLDOGS
2017 Draft eligible:
Nil.
Others:
Buku Khamis (2018), St Albans, Multicultural