Tag: Max King

Classic Contests: Dragons flurry of goals pips Power at Casey

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 8 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Gippsland Power and Sandringham Dragons. In this edition, we wind back the clock only a few years to 2017 when the two teams played out a low-scoring thriller.

GIPPSLAND POWER 0.2 | 3.5 | 3.6 | 4.8 (32)
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 1.1 | 2.1 | 2.2 | 5.3 (33)

TAC Cup, Round 12 | Saturday, July 8, 2017
Casey Fields, 1.15pm

Future draftees:

Gippsland: Xavier Duursma (Port Adelaide)*, Callum Porter (Western Bulldogs)
Sandringham: Max King (St Kilda)*, Ben King (Gold Coast)*, Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs)*, Liam Stocker (Carlton)*, Will Walker (North Melbourne), Nathan Murphy (Collingwood), Joel Amartey (Sydney)

Midway through the 2017 TAC Cup season, premiership contenders Sandringham Dragons met mid-table side Gippsland Power at Casey Fields in Cranbourne with a host of bottom-age talent on display. The Dragons sat fourth with seven wins from 11 games, less than a per cent behind third placed Murray Bushrangers – who were also four points clear – while being just percentage ahead of Dandenong Stingrays in fifth. The Power were back in seventh, two points behind sixth placed Northern Knights, and only percentage – albeit 10 per cent – ahead of eighth placed Eastern Ranges.

The teams would field an eventual five future first round picks, all bottom-agers who would make their way to AFL clubs less than 18 months later. Despite the talent – with plenty of scoring firepower – spectators would witness just nine goals on the day and accuracy becoming the ultimate factor in the Dragons’ one-point win.

Isaac Morrisby would be the only player to find the big sticks from either team in the opening term, as he slotted a goal seven minutes into the contest after the Power had missed a couple of opportunities. The second term was much more lively as Matthew McGannon kicked a major for the Power to regain the lead, only to be countered by future Roo, Will Walker in the 13th minute. Back-to-back goals to the Power through Will Leslie and Jack Hudson handed the home team an important 10-point buffer at the main break.

While the second term had experienced a flurry of goals, the premiership quarter was much the opposite with just two behinds – one to each team – kicked for the entire quarter as the Power retained their 10-point lead.

The fourth term was one of the strangest to see as Leslie converted his second major for the Power to race out to an 18-point lead six minutes in. Neither side looked to make inroads by the final five minutes with Gippsland still leading by 17 points at that point. Few would have predicted that within five minutes, the Dragons would hit the front.

Alfie Jarnstrom, Kai Owens and Max King found the big sticks for the first time since Walker’s goal midway through the second. Whilst the visiting fans had to wait more than 40 minutes between goals, it was worth the wait as the Dragons picked up the slack in red time to pile on the majors. King’s goal with less than 40 seconds remaining saw the Dragons hit the front for the first time since late in the second term and claim a remarkable one-point victory.

Future Western Bulldogs talent, Bailey Smith had a day out with 32 disposals, five marks and 10 tackles, while Geordie Nagle (30 disposals, five marks, nine tackles and nine rebounds) and Jarnestrom (27 disposals – 16 contested – 11 clearances, six tackles, four rebounds and a goal) were also sensational in the win. Walker picked up 24 disposals of his own with three marks, four tackles and a goal, while future Magpies Nathan Murphy continued his rise crossing from cricket with 22 disposals, three marks and six rebounds. Owens was the other 20-plus disposal winner with 20 touches, six tackles and a goal. Of the Dragons other draftees, King had 11 disposals, two marks, four tackles and a goal, while brother Ben was strong in defence with 17 disposals, four marks and five rebounds. Liam Stocker had 15 touches and nine tackles, while Joel Amartey recorded 13 disposals, seven tackles and 25 hitouts roaming through the ruck.

For the Power, the only 2017 AFL Draftee playing in the match from the Power, Callum Porter, had an equal team-high 20 disposals, as well as three marks, 14 tackles, three clearances, four inside 50s and two rebounds. Bailey Beck shared the team-high disposals with 20, as well as six tackles and four inside 50s, while McGannon was busy with 19 touches, four marks, five tackles, four clearances and a goal. Future first round draft pick, Xavier Duursma finished with 14 disposals, four tackles, four clearances and three rebounds, while Leslie was the only multiple goal kicker in the match with two majors from 12 touches, three marks and three inside 50s.

Sandringham Dragons would end up reaching the TAC Cup Grand Final before going down to Geelong Falcons, while Gippsland Power finished seventh on the table, and would be humbled by the Falcons two weeks earlier in the elimination final.

Classic Contests: Performance fit for a King helps Dragons roar

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest it is a clash between sides who would have played last Sunday week ago if the NAB League Boys competition was on, and we travel back in time to the day Max King not only underlined his future scope, but wrote it in full capitals with multiple exclamation marks. While King’s performance was the most talked about aspect of Sandringham Dragons’ win over Oakleigh Chargers in Round 2, 2018, the two teams were littered with future AFL draftees.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 2.6 | 5.6 | 10.7 | 13.11 (89)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 4.3 | 7.4 | 8.6 | 9.12 (66)

Round 2 | Saturday, March 31, 2018
RAMS Arena, Craigieburn, 1.30pm

Two heavyweights of the TAC Cup competition, Sandringham Dragons and Oakleigh Chargers were once again considered premiership contenders with a host of future AFL talents on their lists. Coming into the Round 2 clash that promised to be a beauty, both teams had won their first round encounters, keeping their opponents to low scores. Sandringham booted an inaccurate 9.18 (72), but still defeated Northern Knights by 45 points in wet and windy conditions. In the earlier game, Oakleigh Chargers added 8.13 (61) to Eastern Ranges’ 1.5 (11) to get the chocolates there too. To give an idea of the talent on display in the Round 2 clash between the sides, a total of 21 players would go on to be drafted over the next two years, 14 from Oakleigh and seven from Sandringham, but the Dragons certainly had a ton of top-end, top-age talents.

Early on it looked as if Oakleigh was going to get up, making more of its opportunities in front of goal, booting 4.3 to 2.6 in the opening term to lead by nine points, which extended to 10 by the main break. The only thing keeping the Dragons in the contest was Max King, with the unbeatable forward just simply sensational in the air or at ground level. He booted two goals in the first term and three in the second to take his total to five by half-time. He had booted the entire Dragons team’s goals in a half of football, as a few famous names were sharing it up the other end. Will Kelly (son of Craig, Collingwood), Zac Hart (son of Ben, Adelaide) and Ben Silvagni (son of Stephen, Carlton) booted five of the Chargers’ seven goals to the main break.

Four consecutive goals straight out of the gates in the second half to the Dragons turned the game on its head, with King booting his sixth, and then eventually seventh at the end, while a couple of bottom-agers in Jack Mahony (two goals) and Finn Maginness (one) chipped in with majors. Hart booted his third goal of the contest later in the third term, while another father-son prospect, Kyle Dunkley (son of Andrew, Sydney) got on the board early in the fourth to cut the deficit to seven points. That would be the Chargers’ last goal though, with Ben King going forward and taking a major away from his brother, while Max would boot his eighth later in the term, leading Sandringham to a memorable win. Whilst many were involved in that second half, had it not been for King’s work inside 50 in that first half, the Chargers could have been six goals up and almost home and hosed on a windy day.

Max King finished the game as the obvious choice for best on ground, slamming home eight majors – and should have gone into double figures – with five behinds to boot. He clunked a massive six contested marks from nine completed grabs, and the opposition defence was simply hopeless to stop him. It was one of the most complete individual performances by a key forward at the level, and no doubt would have scarred some opposition defenders into the future. Ben King was just as dominant starting up the other end and going forward, taking nine grabs himself – four contested – to go with 20 touches, six inside 50s and that last quarter goal. The top ball winner on the day was Angus Hanrahan (29 disposals, nine marks, four rebounds), while Alastair Richards (26 disposals, 11 marks and seven inside 50s) also feasted on the ball. From other future draftees, Hugo Ralphsmith (16 disposals, five rebounds), Maginness (15 disposals, four inside 50s and four tackles), Josh Worrell (14 disposals, four marks), Liam Stocker (13 disposals, four marks, five clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds), and Mahony (12 disposals, six marks, five tackles and two goals) all held their own.

Of Oakleigh’s famed side, Trent Bianco was impressive with 26 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and three rebounds, teaming up well with other future AFL talents in James Rowbottom (23 disposals, three marks, three tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and three rebounds) and Xavier O’Neill (22 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and four rebounds). A trio of bottom agers in Dylan Williams, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell all picked up 20 touches, while Isaac Quaynor (19 disposals, five marks and five rebounds) was prolific out of defence, as Riley Collier-Dawkins and Jack Ross added to the ridiculous depth of that midfield. The other two who played in the game yet to be mentioned and made their way onto AFL lists were Noah Answerth and Atu Bosenavulagi (both 15 disposals).

As history would show, Max King unfortunately went down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury in school footy a few weeks later, and would miss the remainder of the season. Sandringham Dragons reached the Preliminary Finals where they were bundled out by eventual premiers, Dandenong Stingrays who won in a thriller against the Chargers a week later.

Debutants earn spots in unprecedented times

WITH only senior leagues running this weekend at the elite level for men’s and women’s, we run through the AFL Round 1 debutants who after toiling away in the state leagues, waiting a few years at club land or impressing so much in an off-season to earn a spot, will run out for their respective teams and live out their dreams. We will add Sunday’s games once the team lists are confirmed.

Western Bulldogs: Ben Cavarra

The mature-age nuggety midfielder-forward has one of the most fascinating journeys to the big time after going through the pathways and being a poster boy for never giving up. Regarded as one of the hardest workers going around, the former Eastern Ranges’ premiership captain and then Frankston and Williamstown star at state level, Cavarra has been made to really earn his chance at the top level. It almost came last year but an injury setback ruled that out, instead playing 12 VFL games where he booted 19 goals. It followed on from some promising seasons where he reinvented himself as a forward having always been a reliable ball-winning midfielder. Possessing some elite athletic traits, Cavarra will show the AFL world that if you are good enough, you are tall enough when he runs out tonight at Marvel Stadium.

Collingwood: Tyler Brown

In another feel-good story for tonight’s game amongst all the despair in the world, Gavin Brown‘s second son Tyler will join his brother Callum out on Marvel Stadium for his debut. The former Eastern Ranges’ midfielder has that Pendlebury-like time and space and while still raw, he has that touch of class about him that will no doubt show over time. Brown is in his third season with the club and has put on six kilograms since his Under-18 year, where he weighed up 71kg. Still on the lighter side, Brown is a comfortable 188cm and his scope identified as a teenager is starting to come to the fore. More importantly, he showed during the Marsh Series that he is capable of winning the ball which was the question mark on him at junior level, because he rarely wastes a disposal. A long-term prospect but one who has earnt his spot.

Fremantle: Sam Sturt

The bolter from the 2018 National AFL Draft is ready to debut for Fremantle and those in draft circles will remember his rise from performing at school footy to really having an impact for the Dandenong Stingrays in the run home to the TAC Cup premiership. He is an elite athlete across the board with a ridiculous vertical jump. He was always going to need time to develop given he had not spent a lot of time in an elite program and was still raw, but now 12 months down he has done enough for the Dockers to give him a chance. Rewind to 2018, and remember Sturt lit up in big games, booting 11 goals in six games and was a dead-eye when it came to set shots. If he gets to control the airways, look out.

Adelaide: Fischer McAsey

An All-Australian key position defender and a more than capable forward for the Dragons at times, McAsey was identified as a player who could fill the Crows’ void of key position players. Having lost Jake Lever and Alex Keath in back-to-back years, McAsey will play in that back 50 and looks to have been given the responsibility of holding down centre half-back. In his debut game, he could face another top 10 pick in Nick Blakey who showed in glimpses what he was capable of on his debut year last year, and it sets up a tantalising match-up. His reading of the play and overhead marking is a strength, able to clunk grabs that few his age can.

GWS: Tom Green

An absolute bull at the contest, it comes as a shock to no-one that the New South Wales prospect is lining up for last year’s grand finalists in Round 1. Showing he would arguably get a gig in any AFL side from the get-go, he is an absolute star when it comes to ball-winning and clearance work. Green has been touted as the next Patrick Cripps, and while that is high praise, it is easy to see why. Last year he amassed 33.0 disposals and 10.3 clearances across four games in the NAB League for the GIANTS Academy, then produced it again through the Under-18 National Championships with a carnival average of 23.8 disposals and 8.0 clearances, as well as averaging more than four tackles across both competitions. A fantasy lock for those who enjoy playing SuperCoach or AFL Fantasy.

Gold Coast: Noah Anderson, Matt Rowell, Connor Budarick

The SUNS’ rebuild looks set to add a trio of talented players with last year’s top two picks and an Academy talent making their debuts in Round 1. Oakleigh Chargers’ premiership players Anderson and Rowell will no doubt be key inclusions through the midfield, with Anderson also likely to impact up forward. Budarick was a free get by the SUNS and an absolute steal at that, with the small utility able to play anywhere on the ground. In the clash against Port Adelaide, Budarick could take on former Western Jets’ talent Zak Butters who was another with an impressive debut season last year.

In 2019, Rowell averaged a whopping 31.7 disposals, 4.1 marks, 8.6 tackles, 8.3 clearances, 4.4 inside 50s, 1.7 rebounds and won the Chargers’ best and fairest, his second consecutive best on ground medal in the NAB League Grand Final, and made the All-Australian team. Anderson oozes X-factor and impact as the taller player who can roam through the midfield or provide a leading target inside 50. He averaged two goals a game from seven matches last year with the Chargers, also racking up 28.3 disposals, 3.0 marks, 3.6 tackles, 4.7 clearances, 4.0 inside 50s and 1.4 rebounds in a remarkable season where he too made All-Australian. Budarick was the best player in the Division 2 Academy Series captaining the Gold Coast SUNS on his way to 25.2 disposals, 6.2 marks, 8.2 tackles, 5.8 inside 50s and 2.2 rebounds in the NAB League. He is a tackling machine who earned a spot in the back pocket of the All-Australian team last year, and that is where he has been named in his debut game. Watch for his skill and tenacity.

Port Adelaide: Mitch Georgiades

A high-flying talent who missed all of 2019 with a quad injury, Georgiades is one of the surprise Round 1 bolters. He impressed over the pre-season for the Power, and from his bottom-age year back in 2018, showed off his talent with some aerial tricks. On his way to 10.3 disposals, 3.5 marks and almost a goal per game at the Under-18 Championships, Georgiades also stood out in the Colts competition with 13. disposals, 5.8 marks and 1.3 goals per game. What he offers is an unmatched aerial ability that will no doubt see him compete for the highlight reel each and every week. While he might not have had the match fitness last season, his ability to come straight into the program and already influence the coaches enough with his performance to get a gig is saying something.

St Kilda: Max King

The 200cm-plus key position forward finally makes his debut after missing the majority of his top-age year through an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and then just as he looked to debut last year, injured his ankle and missed out on his chance. That chance has now come after a confident Marsh Series where his ability to fly high, burst away from opponents and do things that players his size should simply not be able to do. The hype is high on the former Sandringham Dragons’ forward, but it is also real, having clocked a sub-three second 20m sprint at testing and booting eight goals against eventual grand finalists, Oakleigh in the first round of the season. No doubt Saints fans will be watching him more than any other player with his ability to break open a game.

Melbourne: Toby Bedford, Kysaiah Pickett

The Dees have announced two debutants for their Round 1 side, with Luke Jackson named on the extended bench but set to just miss out on selection. The two into the side are first round pick, Pickett and a member of Melbourne’s Next Generation Academy from the 2018 AFL National Draft, Bedford. Both have class, skill, speed and pressure and are sub-180cm but will add a forward pressure to the Demons side and ensure the ball is retained inside forward 50. In his top-age year in 2018, Bedford was a tackling machine at NAB League level, laying 5.2 tackles from 136. possessions whilst averaging almost a goal a game. Playing more of a pressure role up the field for Vic Country, Bedford had 6.8 tackles from 12.3 disposals at the Under-18 National Championships. Pickett was a highlight-reel forward with great pressure on the ball-carrier and despite standing at 170cm, earned a place in the League side for Woodville-West Torrens. While he only played the two games, he laid six tackles and ran at 50 per cent contested showing he was not afraid of bigger bodies. For South Australia, he booted a couple of goals from 13.7 disposals and 2.7 tackles at the championships.

VFL weekly wrap: Kangaroos stun the Tigers

NORTH MELBOURNE caused the biggest boilover of the Victorian Football League (VFL) season, handing top-of-the-table Richmond their first defeat in Round 9, while the Whitten Oval played host to an unbelievably low-scoring affair between Footscray and Geelong.

Box Hill 10.14 (74) defeated Williamstown 8.6 (54)

The Hawks recorded a victory at home against Williamstown after leading much of the game. Box Hill only sacrificed the lead towards half time, where they trailed by three points, but quickly took charge once again when the third term commenced to eventually run away 20-point winners. Luke Meadows had 27 disposals while Jake Greiser had the most for the away side with 23 and 1 goal. Jaylon Thorpe kicked three goals from five kicks.

Werribee 13.10 (84) defeated Casey 7.11 (53)

Werribee were comfortable victors over Casey at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday. The Tigers controlled the contest from the first bounce with their lead never really under threat. Michael Barlow’s good form continued with 33 disposals and a goal as teammate Josh Clayton also managed 30 disposals and a major. Corey Wagner had the most for Casey with 25 disposals and 10 tackles. Max Augerinos kicked 3 goals for the Tigers.

North Melbourne 17.7 (109) defeated Richmond 11.14 (80)

In the upset of the season so far, North Melbourne returned to Arden Street Oval in style with a win over the current table-toppers Richmond. North had the lead at every break and finished strongly, kicking six goals to three in the final term. Taylor Garner, new recruit Lachlan Hosie, and Curtis Taylor all kicked three goals each for the home side while Patrick Naish continued his push for a senior call-up with 25 disposals and three goals. Paul Ahern recorded 27 disposals for the victors.

Essendon 12.12 (84) defeated Northern Blues 6.7 (43)

A five goal to none last term paved the way for a big Bombers win over the Northern Blues at Windy Hill. Essendon only held a 10-point lead at the final break, but the second-placed side turned on the jets to eventually win by 41 points. Dale Thomas made partial amends for his demotion with 32 disposals while Sam Fisher also impressed, notching up 26 touches. David Myers kicked two goals and also had 26 disposals. Brayden Ham converted three majors for the Bombers.

Coburg 8.10 (58) defeated by Sandringham 9.14 (68)

The Zebras won away from home against Coburg to remain in the top eight. Sandringham led for most of the match, bar a period in the third term, but never by a comfortable margin, and the Tigers continued to push them all the way until the final siren. St Kilda fans will be excited by Max King, who kicked three goals while Mitch Podhajski kicked 2 and could’ve had a few more, as he slotted 5 behinds. Marcus Lentini had 29 disposals as Adam Swierzbiolek recorded 52 hitouts.

Footscray 4.10 (34) defeated by Geelong 5.5 (35)

A truly bizzare game at the Whitten Oval resulted in a one-point win to Geelong. The biggest lead of the game was 18 points the way of the Bulldogs in the second quarter, and they lead by a goal at the main break. Ultimately, it was Footscray’s inaccuracy in front of goal that cost them the victory. Wylie Buzza was the only multiple goalscorer with 2 goals while Rhylee West had 22 disposals. Zach Guthrie notched up 21 for the Cats.

Port Melbourne 15.16 (106) defeated Collingwood 10.4 (64)

A disappointing Collingwood outfit collapsed in the final term, going scoreless as Port Melbourne romped to victory. The Magpies started strongly and despite resting the returning Matt Scharenberg from half time, led by 12 points at the final break. From then on it was all the Borough as they slammed on 8 goals to record a 42-point win. Brayden Sier starred with 34 disposals and a goal while Eli Templeton racked up 30 touches for Port. Jordan Lisle kicked 4 goals while at the opposite end, Andrew Gallucci kicked 3.

Bye – Frankston

Pic: VFL.com.au

VFL weekly wrap: Tigers and Borough winning streaks continue

ESSENDON returned to winning ways while Port Melbourne notched up their fifth win on the trot. Meanwhile, the Tigers remain on top without a loss following Round 7 of the Victorian Football League (VFL).

Footscray 13.13 (91) defeated Werribee 11.14 (80)

The Bulldogs bounced back from last week’s draw against Box Hill with a solid victory over Werribee. Footscray started fast and led most of the day, only falling behind midway through the third term. Daniel Giansiracusa’s men lifted and extended the lead to as much as four goals in the final quarter before eventually settling for an 11-point win. Bailey Dale kicked three goals and had 21 disposals for the home side while Max Augerinos slotted three for the Tigers. Pat Lipinski had the most touches on the ground with 30 as former Docker and Sun Michael Barlow produced another strong showing with a goal and 28 disposals.

Northern Blues 13.10 (88) defeated Frankston 9.9 (63)

It was another case of close yet so far for the Dolphins on Saturday as the Blues ran away the victors at Ikon Park. The final margin of 25 points perhaps doesn’t do the contest justice, with just two goals in it at three-quarter time and Frankston closing to within a goal early in the last. It was a day out for Patrick Kerr as he slammed home six majors, while Alex Fasolo and Jason Kingsbury kicked two apiece. Darcy Lang notched up 28 disposals, with Josh Newman the standout again for Frankston, collecting 26 disposals.

Casey 9.7 (61) defeated by Port Melbourne 16.8 (104)

A rampant second half performance by Port Melbourne saw the Borough take home four points for their fifth win in a row at Casey Fields. Leading at half-time by a point, the Demons would kick only two goals for the remainder of the match. Jordan Lisle did much of the damage for Port, kicking six goals as Shannen Lange assisted with three goals and 31 disposals. James Munro was best afield for the Demons with 29 disposals and 18 tackles while Brayden Preuss chimed in with two goals and 34 hitouts.

Richmond 11.12 (78) defeated Box Hill 11.4 (70)

The Tigers continued their impressive form with a hard-fought victory over Box Hill at Punt Road. The Hawks held the largest lead of the match 23 points up close to half time, however Richmond found a way to come back, taking control late in the third and doing enough to hold off Box Hill in the last. An AFL call-up for Patrick Naish can’t be too far away as he once again dominated with 28 disposals, while Dan Howe had 25 for the away side. Dan Butler and Jackson Ross kicked three each for their respective sides.

Coburg 10.8 (68) defeated by Williamstown 14.16 (100)

Williamstown recorded a solid 32-point win away to Coburg on Sunday afternoon. A six-goal nil first term set the tone for the rest of the match, however the Lions should be credited with continuing the battle and not letting the Seagulls run away with a larger win. Sam Dunell booted five goals for Willy while Adam Marcon kicked one major from 23 disposals. Luke Bunker had the most touches of anyone on the ground with 27.

Geelong 10.8 (68) defeated Collingwood 9.7 (61)

Collingwood’s finals hopes are in serious doubt after yet another close loss, this time to the Cats on the road. It was a close contest all day before Geelong opened up a 25-point lead halfway through the final term. The Pies fought back but ultimately fell short by seven points. Alex Woodward is looking to be an early favourite for the Liston Trophy after another 32-disposal display. In good news for Collingwood fans, Brayden Sier and Josh Daicos played well with a goal apiece and 24 and 23 disposals respectively. Wylie Buzza kicked five goals for the Cats.

Sandringham 13.9 (87) defeated by Essendon 15.10 (100)

The Bombers fought off an impressive Zebras comeback to record victory at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. Essendon started fast, kicking seven goals to two in the first term before Sandy came out with fire in the second, kicking five to one. With all the momentum, one would have expected Sandringham to continue their display in the second half, but Essendon held strong and eventually ran away 13 point winners. St Kilda’s first pick in last year’s draft, Max King, booted four goals while Danny Younan kicked four for the Bombers. Hunter Clark kicked a goal and had 32 disposals while David Myers racked up 29 and kicked three. Billy Longer dominated in the ruck with 57 hitouts.

Bye – North Melbourne

Picture: VFL.com.au

AFL Draft review: St Kilda

ST KILDA targeted ready-made players at the 2018 AFL National and Rookie drafts, bringing in an elite tall, followed by players who can slot straight into the best 22 from round one if needed. Around the ground they picked up two general forwards, two defenders and an inside midfielder to go with a key position forward, covering a lot of bases and depth at Moorabbin.

 

National Draft:

 

Max King – Key Position Forward

The standout key position forward from Victoria and up there in contention for the number one pick until a knee injury ruined his year, King made his way to his supported club with their first overall selection at pick four. At 200cm and with a sub-three second 20m sprint, King is an unbelievable athlete, taking contested grabs at the highest point, and has a unique ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and have an impact. He might not have been out on the field much this season, but his work off-the-field was just as influential, showing how highly rated his character is as well.

Jack Bytel – Inside Midfielder

The inside midfielder was believed to be hunted by Richmond with their second round pick, but the Saints snapped up the Calder Cannons co-captain with the selection before, adding him to their long list of big-bodied onballers. With a penetrating kick, strength overhead and a knack of retrieving the ball from contested situations, Bytel not only adds another ready-made midfielder to the fold, but natural leadership that will strengthen the Saints’ culture. He is that prototype midfielder size, and being good friends with King also helps as the pair end up in the red, white and black.

Matthew Parker – General Forward

A mature-ager who stepped up in the absence of Tim Kelly this year, Parker became a nuisance for opposition sides inside 50. The South Fremantle forward booted 27 goals from 20 games, while averaging 13 disposals and three marks per game in 2018. His breakout season has earned him a place on St Kilda’s AFL list, and along with SANFL premiership player, Robert Young, will add serious competition to the Saints’ forward half spots.

Nick Hind – General Defender

The speedy Ballarat plumber enjoyed a huge season at Essendon in the VFL in 2018, and now finds himself on the Saints’ senior list. He was best known for the semi-final winning sprint down the middle of the ground against Richmond in the dying seconds which delivered the ball to James Stewart for an upset Essendon win. He will offer that blistering speed on the outside from half-back and along the wing, which is what the Saints crave, and will provide them with an outside runner for their hardened inside midfielders to find.

Robert Young – Small Forward

After just managing the six SANFL League games with Port Adelaide Magpies last season, Young moved to North Adelaide where he became a crucial member of the Roosters’ forward six. He booted 19 goals from 19 games with the premiers, including a haul of six majors against Norwood early in the year. He has that keen goal sense and X-factor up forward, and will cause serious damage if given time and space. Another mature-age player who is ready to go and offer a battle-hardened body to the lighter Saints forward line.

 

Rookie Draft:

 

Callum Wilkie – General Defender

The sole Rookie Draft selection was North Adelaide defender, Callum Wilkie. He joins teammate, Robert Young on the Saints list after an ultra impressive season as an intercept defender. He has been gradually improving each year, and was a key cog in the Roosters’ premiership this year. He will develop into that Sam Gilbert role at half-back, being a rock taking grabs off opposition forward entries. He can also drift forward if required, and reads the ball in flight really well and is clean above his head, taking contested grabs.

 

Summary:

St Kilda clearly targeted players that will challenge for roles in the best 22 from round one, if fit. They picked up four mature agers, with Parker and Young capable of slotting into attack, while Hind and Wilkie could become crucial intercept players in defence. Throw in the big body of Jack Bytel in midfield and the key target of Max King inside 50 once he has recovered from his season-ending knee injury, and the Saints have six players who could immediately add to their side.

2018 National AFL Draft selections

THE 2018 National AFL Draft selections and club by club selections as they happen today will appear here:

Round 1:

1 – Carlton – Sam Walsh (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
2 – Gold Coast – Jack Lukosius – (WWT Torrens/South Australia)
3 – Gold Coast – Izak Rankine (West Adelaide/South Australia)
4 – St Kilda – Max King (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
5 – Port Adelaide – Connor Rozee (North Adelaide/South Australia)
6 – Gold Coast – Ben King (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
7 – Western Bulldogs – Bailey Smith (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
8 – North Melbourne – Tarryn Thomas (North Launceston/Tasmania)
9 – Adelaide – Chayce Jones (Launceston/Tasmania)
10 – Sydney – Nick Blakey (Sydney Swans Academy/NSW-ACT)
11 – GWS GIANTS – Jye Caldwell (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
12 – Port Adelaide – Zak Butters (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
13 – Collingwood – Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
14 – GWS GIANTS – Jackson Hately (Central District/South Australia)
15 – Geelong – Jordan Clark (Claremont/Western Australia)
16 – Adelaide – Ned McHenry (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
17 – Fremantle – Sam Sturt (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
18 – Port Adelaide – Xavier Duursma (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
19 – Carlton – Liam Stocker (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
20 – Richmond – Riley Collier-Dawkins (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
21 – Brisbane – Ely Smith (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
22 – GWS GIANTS – Xavier O’Halloran (Western Jets/Vic Metro)

End of Round 1:

23 – Gold Coast –  Jez McLennan (Central District/South Australia)

Round 2:

24 – GWS – Ian Hill (Perth/Western Australia)
25 – Sydney – James Rowbottom (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
26 – Western Bulldogs – Rhylee West (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
27 – Melbourne – Tom Sparrow (South Adelaide/South Australia)
28 – West Coast – Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
29 – Collingwood – Will Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
30 – Adelaide – Will Hamill (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
31 – West Coast – Luke Foley (Subiaco/Western Australia)
32 – Fremantle – Luke Valente (Norwood/Western Australia)
33 – Melbourne – James Jordon (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
34 – GWS GIANTS – Kieren Briggs (GWS GIANTS Academy/NSW-ACT)
35 – West Coast – Bailey Williams (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
36 – Brisbane – Thomas Berry (GWV Rebels/Vic Country)
37 – Western Bulldogs – Laitham Vandermeer (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
38 – Essendon – Irving Mosquito (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
39 – West Coast – Jarrod Cameron (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
40 – Brisbane – Tom Joyce (East Fremantle/Western Australia)
41 – St Kilda – Jack Bytel (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
42 – Brisbane – Connor McFadyen (Brisbane Lions Academy/Queensland)
43 – Richmond – Jack Ross (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

Round 3:

44 – Sydney –  Justin McInerney (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
45 – Western Bulldogs – Ben Cavarra (Williamstown VFL)
46 – North Melbourne – Curtis Taylor (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
47 – St Kilda –  Matthew Parker (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
48 – Geelong – Ben Jarvis (Norwood/South Australia)
49 – North Melbourne – Bailey Scott (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Queensland)
50 – Geelong – Jacob Kennerley (Norwood/South Australia)
51 – Sydney – Zac Foot (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
52 – Hawthorn – Jacob Koschitzke (Murray Bushangers/Allies)
53 – Melbourne – Aaron Nietschke (Central District/South Australia)
54 – St Kilda –  Nick Hind (Essendon VFL)
55 – Brisbane – Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

Round 4:

56 – Melbourne – Marty Hore (Collingwood VFL)
57 – Fremantle – Lachlan Schulz (Williamstown VFL)
58 – Richmond – Fraser Turner (Clarence/Tasmania)
59 – Fremantle – Brett Bewley (Williamstown VFL)
60 – Essendon – Noah Gown (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
61 – GWS GIANTS – Connor Idun (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
62 – Richmond – Luke English (Perth/Western Australia)
63 – Hawthorn – Matthew Walker (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
64 – Adelaide – Lachlan Sholl (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
65 – Geelong – Darcy Fort (Central District/South Australia)
66 – Carlton – Finbar O’Dwyer (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
67 – St Kilda – Robert Young (North Adelaide/South Australia)
68 – Geelong – Jake Tarca (South Adelaide/South Australia)
69 – North Melbourne – Joel Crocker (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

Round 5 onwards:

70 – Carlton – Ben Silvagni (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
71 – Gold Coast – Caleb Graham (Gold Coast Academy/Queensland)
72 – Essendon – Brayden Ham (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
73 – Port Adelaide – Riley Grundy (Sturt/South Australia)
74 – Geelong – Oscar Brownless (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
75 – Melbourne – Toby Bedford (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
76 – Port Adelaide – Boyd Woodcock (North Adelaide/South Australia)
77 – Collingwood – Atu Bosenavulagi (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
78 – Western Bulldogs – Will Hayes (Footscray VFL)

*Clubs matched bids to secure father-son or academy prospect

Club by Club Players:

Adelaide: Chayce Jones, Ned McHenry, Will Hamill, Lachlan Sholl
Brisbane: Ely Smith, Thomas Berry, Tom Joyce, Connor McFadyen, Noah Answerth
Carlton: Sam Walsh, Liam Stocker, Finbar O’Dwyer, Ben Silvagni
Collingwood: Isaac Quaynor, Will Kelly, Atu Bosenavulagi
Essendon: Irving Mosquito, Noah Gown, Brayden Ham
Fremantle: Sam Sturt, Luke Valente, Lachlan Schulz, Brett Bewley
Geelong: Jordan Clark, Ben Jarvis, Jacob Kennerley, Darcy Fort, Jake Tarca, Oscar Brownless
Gold Coast: Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine, Ben King, Jez McLennan, Caleb Graham
GWS GIANTS: Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately, Xavier O’Halloran, Ian Hill, Kieren Briggs, Connor Idun
Hawthorn: Jacob Koschitzke, Mathew Walker
Melbourne: Tom Sparrow, James Jordon, Aaron Nietschke, Marty Hore, Toby Bedford
North Melbourne: Tarryn Thomas, Curtis Taylor, Bailey Scott, Joel Crocker
Port Adelaide: Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, Riley Grundy, Boyd Woodcock
Richmond: Riley Collier-Dawkins, Jack Ross, Fraser Turner, Luke English
St Kilda: Max King, Jack Bytel, Mathew Parker, Nick Hind, Robert Young
Sydney: Nick Blakey, James Rowbottom, Justin McInerney, Zac Foot
West Coast: Xavier O’Neill, Luke Foley, Bailey Williams, Jarrod Cameron
Western Bulldogs: Bailey Smith, Rhylee West, Laitham Vandermeer, Ben Cavarra, Will Hayes

AFL Draft Central’s Comprehensive Guide to the AFL Draft

SO tomorrow is the 2018 AFL National Draft and you need a quick guide to know the basics. We have you covered so read below to find out the details, draft invitations, father-son and academy players, bidding system and club-by-club picks.

DRAFT DETAILS

The 2018 AFL National Draft kicks off from 7pm tomorrow night, Thursday, November 22. The first round will be televised live on FOX FOOTY – with coverage from 6.30pm – and the remaining picks to be taken from midday on Friday, November 23. The first pick in the second round will be taken from 12.05pm, with the rookie draft to follow that evening. Depending on how long the National Draft takes, the Rookie Draft could begin anytime between 5pm-7pm.

DRAFT INVITATIONS (26)*

*Known, can still change between now and tomorrow night.

Nick Blakey
Kieren Briggs
Zak Butters
Jye Caldwell
Jordan Clark
Riley Collier-Dawkins
Xavier Duursma
Jackson Hately
Ian Hill
Chayce Jones
Will Kelly
Ben King
Max King
Jack Lukosius
Ned McHenry
Isaac Quaynor
Izak Rankine
Connor Rozee
Bailey Smith
Ely Smith*
Liam Stocker
Sam Sturt
Curtis Taylor*
Tarryn Thomas
Luke Valente
Sam Walsh

*indicates late call-ups after an initial list of 24 names were released.

SONS OF GUNS

Carlton: Ben Silvagni
Collingwood: Will Kelly
Essendon:  Matthew Neagle*
Geelong: Oscar Brownless
North Melbourne: Joel Crocker, Bailey Scott
Sydney: Kyle Dunkley*
Western Bulldogs: Rhylee West

The names above are all eligible to be taken by the club their father played for, however in the case of Matthew Neagle (Essendon) and Kyle Dunkley (Sydney), to quote the AFL rules, if the pair “is not selected at a National Draft, the Club with whom he is eligible as a Father/Son Player may include him on its Rookie List prior to the Rookie Draft.” However any AFL club may select them in the National Draft without the father’s club being able to match.

NORTHERN ACADEMIES

Brisbane: Keidean Coleman, Darcy Marsh, Thomas Matthews, Connor McFadyen
Gold Coast: Emmanuel Baru, Kwambena Boakye, Ryan Gilmore, Dirk Koenen, Lachlan McDonald
GWS GIANTS: Kieren Briggs, Jeromy Lucas, James Peatling, Guy Richardson
Sydney: Nick Blakey, Zach Cameron, Connor Flanagan, Kyle McKellar, Josh Stern, Bailey Stewart, Sam Wicks

NEXT GENERATION ACADEMIES

Collingwood: Atu Bosenavulagi, Isaac Quaynor, Bailey Wraith
Fremantle: Jason Carter
Geelong: Blake Schlensog
GWS: Mathew Walker
Hawthorn: Irving Mosquito
Melbourne: Toby Bedford
North Melbourne: Rhyan Mansell, Matthew McGuinness, Tarryn Thomas
Port Adelaide: Martin Frederick, Kai Pudney
West Coast: Jarrod Cameron
Western Bulldogs: Buku Khamis

Northern Academies and Next Generation Academies are different to the father-son rules in the sense that clubs nominate all the players they are considering listing either on their senior or rookie lists. They can choose to match bids during the National Draft, select them with their later selections if they like, pre-list them prior to the Rookie Draft, or choose not to take them. The reason for nominating some players is just for the option of matching bids if they choose, for those not nominated, they are free to be chosen by any club. A father-son example of that is Carlton’s Wil Hickmott who the club has chosen not to nominate, and therefore any club may select him without the Blues having the right to match a bid.

HOW DOES THE BIDDING SYSTEM WORK?

Much like when clubs go to select a player, the AFL club calls out the name of the player they wish to select, which prompts the AFL to turn to the club attached to the father-son or academy player, and ask if they wish to match. They work out the offer of picks it will take to match and the club then can assess its options if they match or let the player go to the club that bidded. If a bid comes in and clubs are worried they might struggle with points to match it, they can do a live trade to bring in more points. However, some clubs are exempt from future pick trading, which limits options (explained below). If a club does match and they do not have enough points, they go into deficit next year.

The best example could be Collingwood who are set to have to match Isaac Quaynor and Will Kelly, which if they are high enough could see them lose all their picks from 41 to 60, and may still not have enough points to match. While they will definitely be fine matching Quaynor, the placement of the Quaynor bid could determine Kelly’s future. The club will hope that the Quaynor bid does not come in the top 10, because if it does, and Kelly – who has been invited to draft night – also cops a first round bid forcing the Magpies into deficit, they Collingwood are unable to match as they traded their first rounder to Brisbane in the Dayne Beams exchange. If Kelly’s bid comes in the second round, that will be fine as the points deficit will come off next year’s second rounder instead.

Arguably the keenest club on both, especially Quaynor, is Adelaide, who holds picks 8, 13, 16 and 21. With Nick Blakey and Tarryn Thomas‘ bids expected to come before Quaynor on draft night, Adelaide could hold picks 9 (after a club bids on Blakey) and 15 (after Thomas bid), with that latter pick expected to be the bid on Quaynor. Any later picks and the Pies will have the points to cover easily. The remaining sides with father-son and academy prospects are not expected to have any issues matching bids.

It is worth noting, clubs receive a 20 per cent discount on bids that occur in the first round, and a discount of a flat 197 points from the second round onwards. So if a bid for Quaynor as the example came in at 15, that selection is worth 1112 points. A 20 per cent discount sees Collingwood needing to cover 890 points. With the expected two earlier bids, Collingwood would hold picks 43 (378 points), 46 (331), 59 (158), 61 (135) and 62 (123). That would remove picks 43, 46 and 59, with pick 61 moving back to pick 63. If Adelaide then bid on Kelly with pick 25 (after Blakey, Thomas, Quaynor and Bailey Scott bids), it is equivalent of 756 points. The Magpies get the flat 197 points from the second round bid, meaning they have to come up with 559 points. They would not have enough points to cover, however they will be just forced into deficit in the second round next year.

CLUB BY CLUB PICKS

Adelaide: 8, 13, 16, 21, 73, 83, 101, 119
Brisbane: 18, 30, 35, 56, 78, 98, 116
Carlton: 1, 69, 71, 77, 95, 113
Collingwood: 41, 44, 57, 59, 60, 93, 111, 129
Essendon: 34, 66, 84, 102, 120
Fremantle: 14, 31, 43, 65, 81, 99, 117
Geelong: 12, 50, 51, 70, 87, 105, 123
Gold Coast: 2, 3, 6, 24, 29, 80, 96, 114
GWS GIANTS: 9, 11, 19, 25, 52, 89, 107, 125
Hawthorn: 53, 90, 108, 126
Melbourne: 23, 28, 54, 62, 91, 109, 127
North Melbourne: 42, 47, 48, 49, 55, 58, 86, 104, 122
Port Adelaide: 5, 10, 15, 85, 103, 121
Richmond: 17, 37, 64, 68, 74, 92, 110, 128
St Kilda: 4, 36, 46, 67, 79, 97, 113
Sydney: 26, 33, 38, 39, 40, 88, 106, 124
West Coast: 20, 22, 61, 72, 76, 94, 112, 130
Western Bulldogs: 7, 27, 32, 45, 63, 75, 82, 100, 118

WHO WILL GO PICK 1?

While there has been some rumours in the past few days that Carlton might be considering Izak Rankine with the first overall selection, it would be quite a shock not to hear Geelong Falcons co-captain, Sam Walsh‘s name read out first tomorrow night.

DRAFT GUIDE

If you’re keen to find out more detailed information about each prospect mentioned here and more than 200 players across the whole draft, check out our AFL Draft Central 2018 Draft Guide.

AFL Draft preview: St Kilda

ST KILDA had a disappointing year after such high expectations coming into 2018, and Saints fans were left wondering how they had slipped to the bottom four. They enter the draft with pick four, followed by a couple of mid-draft selections and a couple of late selections, meaning they can fill needs, as well as target what they ultimately crave – outside run and skill.

List needs:

  • Outside midfielder
  • Ruck
  • Forward depth

Draft Picks: 4, 36, 46, 67, 79

At pick four, St Kilda are ultimately choosing between Sandringham key forward, Max King, and North Adelaide skilful midfielder, Connor Rozee. The Saints need the skillset that Rozee offers, but given King could well have challenged for pick one had he not injured his knee, it is more than fair to say he is best available at the selection. He could team up with Paddy McCartin in attack with the pair being different types of marking forwards, while Rozee could play from round one on the wing or a flank. There has been some talk of a trade down to pick six, but given that means both of King or Rozee will be gone by that selection, it does not seem beneficial to the Saints. Talking to some Saints fans, the obvious pick is King’s Dragons’ teammate, Bailey Smith, though King and Rozee appear to be the Saints’ preferred players at the selection.

For the Saints’ mid-draft selections, they must target outside run and skill, with the clear standout being Dandenong’s Will Hamill. The Saints love picking a Stingrays player, and Hamill fits the bill both athletically and skilfully. If they look further abroad, Tasmania’s Fraser Turner is a value option, while Laitham Vandermeer brings the speed and skill, and Jack Ross brings the consistent efforts and bigger body. Tom McKenzie or Will Golds are others who might come into consideration here, with the Saints likely to pick up two midfielders they can put on wings in the future. There has been some talk of Bailey Williams sliding, and while the chances of the athletic ruck/forward being there at 36 are very slim, the Saints would have to consider him at the pick.

With the later selections it is a bit of a gamble, but St Kilda could opt for Riley Bowman if they choose to top-up through the National Draft, or they look to the Rookie Draft for a mature-ager. They might be the side that bids on Irving Mosquito at some stage to keep Hawthorn honest, while they might also look to Brayden Ham or Joe Ayton-Delaney with later picks for their run and carry. If they consider going a hybrid forward, perhaps a Zane Barzen or Oscar Chapman might be on their radar.

AFL Draft preview: Port Adelaide

PORT Adelaide’s 2018 season can only be described as a “wasted season.” The Power were sitting in fourth position after round 16 with 11 wins, before slumping to tenth spot, winning just one more game before the season concluded. They recruited strongly in the 2017 off-season, bringing in three players – Jack Watts, Tom Rockliff and Steven Motlop – but their goals of moving up the ladder with the extra experience did not pan out.

List needs:

  • Outside midfielders
  • Small-medium forward
  • Key position forward depth

Draft Picks: 5, 10, 15, 85

The 2018 AFL Draft is crucial for Port Adelaide as they have three first round picks which they have to nail. At pick five they will likely consider a Sandringham Dragons player with Max or Ben King, or Bailey Smith all coming into consideration. Jye Caldwell could come into the Power’s thinking, though the inside-leaning midfielder would be used more on the outside. Expect a best available selection with pick five, likely to be a King. The Power are stocked for key position players, but the ones in the forward half are ageing, with Justin Westhoff and Paddy Ryder in the twilight on their careers. Port has more depth in the key defensive posts, but might decide to bring in Ben King to be the future star – who could also play forward.

With pick 10, they could look to West Australian Jordan Clark who will add skill on the half-back line or wing. Like Hamish Hartlett, Clark can turn a defensive situation into an offensive opportunity with his physicality, smarts and supreme skills. Other players that are in consideration with this pick are Jackson Hately, and Chayce Jones, while another to keep in mind is Western Jets’ Zak Butters who will reportedly go inside the top 12 selections.

With the third pick, if one of the above slides, the Power should look to snap up another running player, while Xavier Duursma seems a perfect fit for Port Adelaide at the selection. West Australian, Ian Hill fills the void for outside speed and skill, while Port are perfectly placed to throw some bids on the likes of Tarryn Thomas and Isaac Quaynor both of whom could fill needs at the club.

At pick 85, the Power may look at a key defender with Tom Jonas, Tom Clurey, Dougal Howard and Jarrod Lienert the only recognised key defenders. Some prospects include Connor Idun, Kyle Reid, and Riley Grundy. They could consider a small forward if they had not already picked one up, with Hayden Sampson, Kade Chandler and Boyd Woodcock among the South Australian talents who could be there, while Jed HillJai Nanscawen and Zane Keighran are Victorians who could be sneaky chances. Some left-field choices include Western Magpies’ Adam Tipungwuti or Frankston’s Corey Rich, though both could be rookie selections.