Tag: Michael O’Loughlin

Q&A: Blayne O’Loughlin (North Adelaide/South Australia)

ADELAIDE fans will again have their eyes on a budding Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect, with North Adelaide talent Blayne O’Loughlin gunning for the big leagues in 2021. The crafty defender enjoyed an exceptional bottom-age South Australia National Football League (SANFL) Under 18s season last year, with his ability to break lines and cleanly deliver by foot impressing many onlookers. He also has terrific family footballing ties, as the nephew of Sydney Swans great, Michael O’Loughlin.

Draft Central correspondent Tom Wyman chatted to O’Loughlin at the recent South Australia preseason testing event for a question and answer (Q&A) special.


Q: How do you think you tested today?

A: “I felt I went pretty well. Yo-yo was probably the biggest one I was focussing on and I ended up beating my score from last year. I was one (level) away from 21 so I’m pretty upset about it but what can you do, hopefully I beat it next time.”


Can you tell us a bit about your footy journey so far?

“I started in Under 6’s at Gepps Cross then throughout the grades I moved to Gaza, and Payneham Football Club. Then I was with North Adelaide through the Under 13s and all the way up to the 18s now.”


What are some of your goals for the season individually and with North Adelaide?

“The main thing is probably to get into the leadership group, that I was one thing I wanted to work on this year because last year as an under-ager I was starting to get a bit more vocal on the ground, so I’m looking to bring that into this year and hopefully get into the leadership group to see what the coaches think. But I’m always trying to help out my other teammates, especially the younger ones as well.”


How would you describe yourself as a player?

“I feel like I’m a crafty backman, so one that likes to use the ball by foot but likes to get teammates involved at the same time and find them space very well.”


Are your skills your best attribute?

“Yeah, I feel like my skills are my biggest attribute but I’m working on trying to get fitter so I can use that as another attribute to work well with my skills.”


Is there any player in the AFL you would compare yourself to?

“Someone like Zac Williams or Bachar Houli. More Bachar Houli in a one-on-one, but then I like to run-and-carry a bit so that’s why I like to look at Zac Williams, he likes to use the ball by foot and run with it.”


How has being tied to the Adelaide Crows academy been for you?

“It’s been pretty good. I’m training with the Crows now so we’ve trained over the last two weeks with them, up with the senior squads doing a bit of weights and touch sessions with them. It’s been good, just looking at the professionalism in what they do, the nutrition they use and how they go about training, the way they encourage the new lads, it’s very welcoming there.”


Would you be happy to go there, or anywhere?

“I’m happy to go anywhere. Crows have put a lot of time into me so I’m happy to go there, but I’m also happy to go anywhere just to play footy.”


How would you describe yourself as a person, off the field?

“Just a fun and outgoing person. Someone who likes to have a laugh with mates and teammates, I got a lot of mates at different clubs so we like to have a bit of competition with each other but at the same time it’s just fun. I like to go to the beach, take my mind away from footy, that sort of thing.”


How did you go about managing school with footy during last year?

“I finished school last year, so it was a bit tough at the start due to Covid. I had to do a lot of stuff online so I had to get into a good rhythm, just to wake up early because some people don’t like that and just doing work from home. I wanted to finish my schooling, that was my main (goal) last year, just to finish Year 12 but then to have a good footy season as well. It worked out pretty well so I’m pretty happy with last year.”


What’s the plan for this year?

“I’ve got a foundation course with uni. I didn’t know what I wanted to do last year, that’s why uni offered a foundation course, so it’s like a set-up for how to start uni and all that. I also had an apprenticeship but that was 38 hours a week so I can go back to it.”

Image Credit: Naomi Jellicoe/The Advertiser

Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: Dandenong Stingrays vs. Central District Bulldogs

OUR next All-Star Team battle is one between a Victorian club and a South Australian club, in the Dandenong Stingrays and Central District. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Brendan Fevola (Dandenong Stingrays) and Shannon Hurn (Central District).


Dandenong comes into the tournament as the sixth seeds here, boasting an incredibly talented line-up with very few flaws. The Stingrays take on a Central District outfit that has some serious talent with a nice balance between inside and outside players, and is seeded 27th.


The Stingrays have a number of strengths, but it is hard to look past the spine. With Trent Croad and Justin Leppitsch holding down key defensive positions and Tom J. Lynch and Fevola being the twin towers up forward, they have enough talls to control the airways. Further to that, they have one of the best small forwards of all time in Stephen Milne, and a ridiculously deep midfield with Matthew Boyd, Luke Parker and Nathan Jones providing the hardness, and Lachie Whitfield, Adam Treloar and Dylan Shiel providing the run.

Central has one of the best rovers of the modern era in John Platten, as well as the super boot of Hurn coming off half-back. The forward line is no doubt the strongest area for the Bulldogs, with Justin Westhoff and Michael O’Loughlin seriously difficult to contain, while Derek Kickett and Gilbert McAdam provide the class. Peter Vardy becomes a third marking option inside 50, while Stuart Dew is a big game performer and cannot be underestimated inside 50.


The Stingrays do not have too many weaknesses in the line-up with a real honest group of players across the field. If you were to be picky, you would say another small forward or two would be handy, because aside from Milne and Shane Savage – who realistically has been turned into a defender – the Stingrays are relying on their midfielders to rotate up forward.

Central does not have the depth to match it with the better sides, and while a number of players in their starting side are pretty good and some are among the best of their time – Platten and O’Loughlin in particular – the depth drops off. They would likely be able to match it with sides for a while, but once the opposition class steps up there might be a problem.


The Stingrays are seeded sixth and expected to advance, but Central is probably a step ahead of those seeded below them so would provide a challenge, particularly if the midfield could get on top.

Which All-Star Team are you picking?
Dandenong Stingrays
Central District
Created with Quiz Maker

Draft Central All-Star Teams: Central District

CENTRAL District has bred some of the most talented Indigenous players to ever grace the field over the years, from Swans legend Michael O’Loughlin to Magarey Medal-winning icon Gilbert McAdam. With more names such as the legendary John Platten to the modern day hero of Shannon Hurn, there is plenty of talent across the field. In fact, Hurn was the player voted by you, the fans as Central District’s Best Player of All-Time. He therefore earned the captaincy nod ahead of Travis Varcoe, who finished runner-up in our 16-man draw.


The Bulldogs have blooded 14 players to have played more than AFL 100 games, including six who managed in excess of 200 matches. The Central Districts team looks strong across the board, with a rugged, stingy backline complimented by a dangerous forward line headlined by a trio of key forwards. The midfield is perhaps the weaker of the three lines, but still features a Brownlow medalist. The ‘Dogs are one of South Australia’s most successful clubs and their best 24 is littered with talent.


The Central Districts backline has a strong Western Australian flavour, led across half-back by Eagles premiership skipper and Barossa Valley local Shannon Hurn. With 166 games under his belt, fellow Eagle defender Sam Butler was an obvious selection as a lockdown backman.

Cross-town rivals Fremantle are also represented in the Bulldogs side, in the form of rebounding defender Lee Spurr. A mature-aged rookie selection in 2011, the versatile Spurr played 120 games with the Dockers across seven seasons.

With limited key defensive prospects, the strongly-built Nathan Grima was a sure bet to feature at full back in the ‘Dogs best 24, having played 88 AFL matches with North Melbourne (86 games) and Essendon (2).

Luke McCabe‘s 138 games with Hawthorn ensured he featured in the side, whilst Anthony Ingerson assumes the role across centre-half-back, despite starting as a forward with Adelaide.


The midfield is headlined by South Australian football icon and Hawthorn great John Platten. The 1987 Brownlow Medalist is regarded as one of the best rovers the game has seen. With his trademark locks, Platten kicked 228 goals, won two best and forest’s, was a five-time All-Australian and won four premierships during his time with the Hawks.

The strongly-built Stuart Cochrane, who played 104 games at AFL level with Port Adelaide and North Melbourne, and versatile Brad Symes make up for Platten’s smaller frame, adding plenty of size to the ‘Dogs on-ball brigade.

Journeyman big-man Jonathan Giles was the logical ruckman, having played 63 games across four AFL clubs. Cat-turned-Pie Travis Varcoe and emerging Crow Wayne Milera provide the team with a plethora of speed and class from the wings whilst also possessing the ability to rotate through the forward line. Overall its a strong midfield, with a nice balance of in-and-under contested-ball winners complimented by flashy, outside ‘finishers’.


The forward line is perhaps the strongest line in the Bulldogs side, headlined by full-forward Michael O’Loughlin. ‘Micky-O’ is one of the most iconic Swans of the modern era, having kicked 521 goals in 303 games in the red and white. A dual All-Australian, best and fairest winner, premiership player and member of the Indigenous team of the century, O’Loughlin was the first name slotted into the Bulldogs side.

He is accompanied in the pockets by current coach of the Gold Coast Suns Stuart Dew. Clever around goal with a booming left foot kick, Dew kicked 265 goals in 206 games with Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, winning flags with both clubs.

Power veteran Justin Westhoff is renowned for his lanky frame, iconic beard and outstanding athleticism which allows him to play almost anywhere on the park. The 268-gamer earns a spot at centre-half-forward in the ‘Dogs best 24, but could easily rotate with Milera or Varcoe when desired.

The great thing with these key forwards is that they possess contrasting styles and thus provide a nice balance. Crows fans will no-doubt remember 1998 premiership hero Peter Vardy, who adds a touch of magic to the Bulldogs offence.

Derek Kickett was selected on the opposite flank, having booted 179 goals in 152 matches with Essendon, North Melbourne and Sydney. Gilbert McAdam is perhaps best known in South Australia for winning the 1989 Magerey Medal, but his 111 games and 89 goals at AFL level made him a clear-cut choice at half-forward.


The Bulldogs have a couple of very handy players on the pine, who could very easily have cracked an on-field position in many teams across the nation. Despite his injury woes, Daniel Menzel kept scoreboard operators busy during his 73 games at the Cats and further adds to an already-deadly forward line.

Central’s great and inaugural Crow Scott Lee provides a handy bench option either as a lockdown back pocket or strongly-built on-baller. Former-Magpie Ben Kinnear and ruckman Richard Cousins add much needed key position depth in a team lacking some height.

Martin McKinnon, the Crows’ first ever draft pick, provides some x-factor to the side with an ability to play either tall or small at 189cm. The cousin of Michael O’Loughlin, Eddie Sansbury rounds off the side, providing further depth on-ball and up forward.

Central District Bulldogs Player of the AFL Era: Vote for yours via our Instagram

CENTRAL District Bulldogs are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Calder Cannons All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Dane Swan announced as the winner and captain of the Cannons’ side. The Bulldogs have helped develop a number of legends both past and present of the modern era, and none more so than Hawthorn premiership star, John Platten and the electric, Michael O’Loughlin. Central District have also had a number of more recent talents pop up including West Coast premiership skipper, Shannon Hurn and the ultimate utility in Port Adelaide’s Justin Westhoff. Throw in performers who have stepped up on the big stage such as Stuart Dew and Travis Varcoe also in the Bulldogs’ top 16 that have gone into the vote.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Monday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). For West Australian fans, you will have your first club coming up later in the week with Claremont being the next club involved in the voting process. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

U17 All Stars ultimate review


BACK-TO-BACK wins saw ‘Team Judd’ claim inagularl Kevin Sheehan Trophy after defeating ‘Team O’Loughlin‘ by 13-points at Punt Road Oval on Saturday.

After winning comfortably on Friday in the Under 18 All Stars match, ‘Team Judd’ Under 17s were made to work much harder for their win on Grand Final day.

The concept saw the ‘Best 46’ 2017 draft prospects go head-to-head, all be it missing a few through injury.

Unfortunately for those involved, a late change saw the match moved from the MCG to Punt Road Oval. This is turn however, did allow a large contingent of Sydney Swans and Western Bulldogs fans come through the gates to see the very best U17 talent available for the 2017 draft.

Josh Poulter’s scouting notes: 


5 – Lochie O’Brien (Judd)

4 – Darcy Fogarty (Judd)

3 – Connor Ballenden (O’Loughlin)

2 – Hunter Clark (Judd)

1 – Jack Higgins (O’Loughlin)

Team Judd:

#1 – Charlie Spargo

Nothing unusual today for Spargo in the way he played. Worked hard on both the inside and outside of the contest and collected 16 disposals. Like the week before his disposal was both a highlight and lowlight as it went hot and cold. He was also named captain of the victorious side.

#9 – Lochie O’Brien

A new team was the only thing different for O’Brien as he played today in the manner as he has all year. Was the link-up & go-to player for Team Judd. His quality ball use was the catalyst for much of the attacking by his team. His kicking inside-50 was also a highlight.

#12 – Hunter Clark

Showed his X-Factor with moments of brilliance. Took a great pack mark and also had dash. Had plenty of the ball as well finishing the day with 21 disposals. Spent the majority of the day in the midfield and showed some explosive power when he gathered the ball on occasion.

#14 – Cameron Rayner

Was all over the game early and found most of his ball in the first half of the game, before fading to finish with 16 disposals. Showed moments of power and agility. Did look to bomb away at times and ‘dump kick’. He also got moved behind the ball late in the game.

#18 – Darcy Fogarty

Started the game off strongly in the forward line with the first goal of the game. Was thrown around throughout the game as well. Showed great alethicism for size and movement was very good for his size. His strong pair of hands were also a highlight and he won Best-on-Ground honours.

Team O’Loughlin

#3 – Jack Higgins

The midfielder/forward rotated between his two positions for the day and was one of Team O’Louhglin’s best players. Kicked 1.4 for the day and showed his footballing brain in the Forward-50. But his kicking cost him and could’ve had a much more impactful game on the scoreboard despite having 24 disposals.

#7 – Aidan Quigley

The Gippsland Power product was in and out of the game, but he had moments in the game that had the on-lookers impressed. His elite agility and lateral movement showed as he on a few occasions was able to weave out of traffic.

#28 – Nathan Kreuger

The tall defender played as the 3rd tall for the majority on the day and was able to peel off and gather his usual intercept possessions. He rebounded well out of defensive 50 and used his great left foot kick and also displayed strong hands overhead also.

#33 – Connor Ballenden

The highly touted Brisbane Lions academy prospect kicked two goals early but did most of his good work in the second half of the game. He also started the 3rd quarter in the ruck and showed his one one prowess in a marking contest, with him out muscling his opponents.

#35 – Sam Hayes

Started the game in the ruck but spent most of the game deep at Full-Forward. At moments he did look like he was labouring or a bit slow and fumbled on a few occasions below the knees. Sometimes he looked good and very average when leaping at the ball but took a really solid mark in the last quarter at the top of the goal-square.

Under 17 All Stars game ultimate preview

GF - James Worpel
Geelong Falcons midfielder James Worpel in action.

AUSTRALIA’S top teenage footballers will take part in a new concept that is aimed to feature the best players for the 2017 draft.

Saturday’s Under 17 All Stars match will see players divided up into two teams to play against each other in an event that the AFL hope will be in front of a blockbuster crowd at Punt Road Oval in the lead up to the 2016 AFL Grand Final.


The two teams have been named after AFL greats Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin and will be a part of the AFL’s changing program for the Grand Final weekend.

The league were forced into making a late change with a venue swap from the MCG to Punt Road Oval. The match time has been pushed back and it is hoped that Western Bulldogs and Sydney Swans fans will attend on their way to the ‘G.

Current NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Chris Judd teams, while NSW/ACT & Allies coach Tadhg Kennelly will coach the Michael O’Loughlin teams.

The match will be broadcast live on AFL.com.au (or the AFL app) from 10.30am.

Likely Teams:

U17 All Stars

Jaidyn Stephenson injured his wrist a fortnight ago and will not take his place in the selected team. Full lines ups to be confirmed on Saturday morning.

Star Power:

For Team Judd, Charlie Spargo is the name to keep an eye on. The small midfielder can win the football and push forward to hit the scoreboard. Spargo was one of the Bushrangers best bottom age players in 2016, performing strongly in the TAC Cup Grand Final with 24 disposals.

Another player to watch is South Australian forward/midfielder Darcy Fogarty, who impressed recently in the SANFL U18s final series and has plenty of strength at the contest. He played more of a role up forward in the Under 18 championships and certainly provides scoreboard impact when not running through the midfield.

Other names to watch include Dandenong Stingrays rebounding defender Hunter Clark, Bendigo Pioneers speedy midfielder Lochie O’Brien and possible top five selection in the 2017 draft tall utility Jarrod Brander.

For Team O’Loughlan, midfielders such as Jack Higgins and Lachlan Fogarty are two to keep an eye on. Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Higgins was runner-up in their Best and Fairest, working hard around the ground and can hit the scoreboard. Fogarty has spent some time on the sidelines with injury, but is another worth noting down.

Another to watch is Queensland key forward Connor Ballenden. The 200 cm goal kicker is rated extremely highly for next years draft (apart of the Brisbane Lions academy) and could kick a big bag for Team O’Loughlan if not contained. Vic Metro All-Australian ruck/forward Sam Hayes, Queensland defender Jack Clayton and Vic Metro key forward Hayden McLean are others to watch for the game.

Surprise Packets

For Team Judd there were some surprise selections which include medium forward Jack Petruccelle, midfielder Matthew Ling and GWS Academy member Brendan Myers.

Petruccelle comes from an elite basketball background where he played for the Under 18 Vic Metro team and caught the eye in only two games for the Northern Knights. He kicked four goals in those two games and looks to be an exciting player for the future.

Ling too the more conventional path as a player but was just as much of a surprise selection. He played five games for the Falcons and impressed with his skills enough to be selected for Team Judd.

For Team O’Loughlan they have their fair share of surprise packets including Queensland medium forward Harry Simington and South Australian utility Nathan Kreuger.

Simington was a real shock selection as he hasn’t had much exposure as he has only played the one state game and a handful of NEAFL games for the Gold Coast Suns. Simington has shown a lot of qualities which translate well to AFL level up forward.

South Adelaide’s Kreuger was also an interesting choice for Team O’Loughlan. This year Kreuger has been toiling away in the SANFL Under 18s as a tall roaming player at 194 cm. He is a fast and agile player who can play practically everywhere on the ground. He has recently dominated a the Under 17 Futures trial game in SA.


Key Matchups:

Callum Coleman-Jones vs Nathan Richards

This year there have been two standout ruckman for the 2017 draft and for this game they will face off against each other in the ruck. Coleman-Jones is the more mobile of the pair, as he can spread unlike most ruckman in the draft. He can win his own football on the ground and almost become an extra midfielder in the stoppages.

Richards is the stronger of the two as he often out muscles opponents to get crucial taps on his team. He also has better disposal efficiency, making him more damaging with the football. Richards is also a strong contested mark, which will make him difficult to beat in the air. Who wins the match up will depend on if it is a free flowing game  (suiting Coleman-Jones) or a scrappy game (suiting Richards).

Jake Patmore vs Tyrone Hayes

It looks likely that two indigenous speedsters will matchup on each other during the game. Gippsland Power small forward Hayes will likely play forward for Team O’Loughlin for most of the game. He provides lots of zip and class with ball in hand which could lead to him kicking a few if not held well.

Patmore on the other hand has been quiet about his business this year but has shown on many occasions he is just as damaging as Hayes. The West Australian is as classy as they come with the ball as he can deliver the ball to his teammates with great proficiency. This matchup will be crucial as whoever wins it could have a two or three goals swing in their way.

Connor Ballenden vs Oscar Clavarino

Another battle which will be pivotal is the one between potential top five prospects Clavarino and Ballenden. Ballenden is a massive key forward who marks the ball at the highest point and has shown on multiple occasions he can take games by the throat. On the other hand Clavarino is an intercept marking key defender with great skills and poise.

Ballenden as a tall is a better player one-on-one and is much taller than Clavarino, but Clavarino is a better judge of the ball in flight which will allow him to get good positioning to get marks as well as provide some rebound, but his kicking does need work. Both players are very highly touted and the fact that they will be facing each other is very exciting from a recruiters’ point of view.


Team Judd on paper looks too strong for Team O’Loughlin. Team Judd’s midfield looks too strong for the smaller and less dominant Team O’Loughlin midfield with the likes of Hunter Clark and James Worpel in their team.

O’Loughlin’s team in defense looks likely to be too small to battle against the likes of Darcy Fogarty, Tom De Koning and Jarrod Brander up forward and possibly lacking speed to contain Cam Rayner as well as Jordan Johnston up forward.

Worpel is an easy candidate for BOG honours, as the strong clearance midfielder wins plenty of the ball and showed that against bigger bodies in the Under 18 championships. 


Team O’Loughlin v Team Judd
10.30am, Punt Road Oval
October 1st
Live on AFL.com.au (& AFL app) from 10.30am
Tweets: @afldraftcentral

U18 All Stars ultimate review

Tim English


Team Judd2556769715797
Team O’Loughlin1422385981159

A SLOW start didn’t stop ‘Team Judd‘ winning the inagularl Kevin Sheehan Cup after defeating ‘Team O’Loughlin‘ by 38-points at Punt Road Oval today.

The concept saw the ‘Best 46’ draft prospects go head-to-head, all be it missing a few through injury. A huge crowd rolled in at the conclusion of the AFL Grand Final Parade, resulting in fans sitting in the aisle upstairs in the stands at Punt Road.

Oliver Florent boosted his draft stocks and emerged as a possible top ten selection with 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s.

Florent shone throughout the day in his bright orange boots, taking the ball forward at every chance.

His performance saw him judged the best player from the losing O’Loughlin side, coach by NSW-ACT coach Tadhg Kennelly.

Team O’Loughlin burst away early in the contest, booting the first two goals before Team Judd’s star studded midfield helped them boot the next seven goals to put the margin beyond reach.

Jack Bowes was a prominent figure in the contest for Team Judd with 23 disposals and three clearances, in a match that was capped at 20 minutes per quarter.

Hugh McCluggage‘s class also caught the eye, with 17 disposals and four goals.

It was McCluggage’s fourth goal that has fans gasping after he intercepted the ball, weaved through the pack and nailed the shot from 50m out.

However, the pair were outdone by Sandringham Dragons’ Tim Taranto, who was outstanding winning the best on ground medal for Team Judd.

Taranto had 19 disposals, four tackles and four goals and was often involved in the play with McCluggage.

Taranto has been a superb performer right throughout September and one must wonder if he has the chance to be worth a top five pick.

Team Judd captain Andrew McGrath still collected 18 disposals despite a quiet showing, whilst it was West Australian Shai Bolton who shone on the outside with 16 disposals and seven inside 50s showing his dash and agility.

Josh Daicos played an unfamilar role at Half Back for Team Judd, racking up 18 disposals and two rebound 50s. On the opposite team, Callum Brown had 21 disposals and three clearances working hard in the middle of the ground.

Both Father/Son prospects seem destined to end up on Collingwood’s list, with a likely bid in the 30-50 range.

West Australia onballer Sam Powell-Pepper had 18 disposals and five tackles, backing up his strong performance in the WAFL Colts Grand Final and his state teammate Sam Petrevski-Seton impressed with 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances in a showing that should keep his name in the top handful of picks.

The tackle count for the contest was down and the match was largely open, with not a lot of defensive work from either team. In front of a packed crowd at Punt Road Oval, there is no doubt the AFL will consider the Under 18 All Stars match a success.

The best Under 17 talent will run out at Punt Road Oval tomorrow from 10.30am. The match will be broadcast on AFL.com.au & the AFL live app.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes: 

Team Judd:

#6 Alex Villis– The South Australian didn’t find a lot of the ball, but when he does have it he uses it well. Laid five tackles, a figure that was well above his season average in 2016.

#9 Hugh McCluggage– Whoever ends up with Pick 1 is going to have a tough choice on their hands. McCluggage is elite in traffic, you can’t doubt that. He spins through and it sometimes looks like time has stood still for him to get around an opponent. The goal kicking midfielder nabbed four goals, including an outstanding final goal which screamed out ELITE!

#11 Will Hayward– Another South Australia who did some good things. Booted two goals, including one from long range outside 50. He is a strong mark and booted nine goals a few weeks back in the SANFL U18s.

#12 Tim Taranto– Combined for a lot of disposals with McCluggage and was a deserving best on ground medal winner. Taranto kicked four goals and his work in close was very good.

#15 Jack Bowes– Despite not playing for the last month, Bowes looked as silky as ever. The smooth mover collected 23 disposals and covered the ground very well. Someone I still rate as a possible No.1 on my draft rankings.

#21 Sam Powell-Pepper– Powell-Pepper backed up his big performance in the WAFL Colts on the weekend, a game that some felt he was stiff for not winning the BOG medal. Today his kicking was much better than it has been throughout this season, finishing with 18 disposals and five tackles.

Team O’Loughlin:

#5 Sam Petrevski-Seton– If not for Ollie Florent’s outstanding day, Petrevski-Seton would’ve gone close to being best on ground. His run and carry with the ball is good and the dual sided midfielder is happy to go long or short on either foot. Petrevski-Seton had 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances in a display that keeps his name in the top five mix.

#8 Oliver Florent– I’ve seen Florent play over 10 times this year, but I have no doubt that this was his best game. Florent has plenty of X-Factor and has shown glimpses right through the year, but today showed why he can push for the top ten. A deserving best on ground medal winner with 29 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s.

#9 Cedric Cox– Had five disposals in the opening ten minutes of the contest playing on the wing, but faded badly to finish with nine disposals. Cox did some uncharacteristic things throughout the day, missing targets he usually hits. I’m not sure whether it was nerves, but he certainly looked off. Despite this, I’d be very surprised if he isn’t called out in the first round on draft night.

#25 Jake Waterman– The O’Loughlin captain won the toss, but that was one of the only things that went right for Waterman. He looked severly underdone and I can see why he didn’t train yesterday and was in doubt. He did kick two goals from his six disposals, but I think he would’ve wanted to do more to put his hand up to be drafted.

#34 Tony Olango– Best game from Olango and one that might’ve got a few recruiters talking. His leap in the ruck is elite and one of the traits that the ruckman uses in the contest. He uncharacteristically crashed a few packs and looked to give it his all. Doesn’t win much of the footy, but today’s game should give him some confidence in the lead up to the draft.

#35 Tim English– A quiet today from the possible top five prospect. English uses the ball well, but had just the two kicks for the afternoon. His rucking is very good and he didn’t lose too many contests. Was hoping for more, but I think English has done enough this season to suggest he’s going to be high on clubs boards.


Team Judd

# Player Position K HB D M CP UP T HO CLR I50 R50 GL
1Shai Bolton-13316200200001
2Josh Daicos-11718200300000
3Ben Ainsworth-8715600100001
4Andrew McGrath-71118400200000
6Alex Villis-6511400500000
7Jordan Gallucci-639300100000
8Harry Perryman-10616200100000
9Hugh McCluggage-9817200200004
10Bailey Morrish-448200000000
11Will Hayward-7714200200002
12Timothy Taranto-12719300400004
13Joe Atley-31215200110000
15Jack Bowes-71623200400000
21Sam Powell-Pepper-81018200500000
23Cameron Zurhaar-437100400001
24Jarrod Berry-4913300100000
26Josh Battle-7310300300002
27Oscar Junker-415200200000
29Jack Maibaum-224200320000
32Declan Watson-2911100200000
33Todd Marshall-279100220000
34Esava Ratugolea-0661000110000
35Max Lynch-358000180000
 Total 1391512905200512400015

Team O’Loughlin

# Player Position K HB D M CP UP T HO CLR I50 R50 GL
2Ben Jarman-5510000100000
4Callum Brown-81321300300000
5Sam Petrevski-Seton-131023100800000
6Harry Morrison-549400400000
7Isaac Cumming-8412400200000
8Oliver Florent-171229400300000
9Cedric Cox-459300100000
10Myles Poholke-71219300100001
11Jonty Scharenberg-81220400300000
12Sam Walker-2911200000000
13Mitchell Hinge-51015100000000
14Dylan Clarke-10717400300001
21Ben Davis-6410400200002
22Willem Drew-5611100200000
25Jake Waterman-516400000002
26Ryan Garthwaite-7714100200000
27Josh Rotham-2911200000000
28Jack Scrimshaw-51116600000000
29Brennan Cox-5914300300000
30Patrick Kerr-808400110001
32Zachary Sproule-628400000001
34Tony Olango-1340004180000
35Tim English-2571002160000
 Total 144160304630045350008

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[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arcnx_kDhyo[/embedyt]

Under 18 All Stars game ultimate preview

Allies - Kobe Mutch

AUSTRALIA’S top teenage footballers will take part in a new concept that is aimed to feature the best players from the 2016 draft pool.

Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match will see players divided up into two teams to play against each other in an event that the AFL hope will be in front of a blockbuster crowd at Punt Road Oval following the AFL Grand Final Parade.

The two teams have been named after AFL greats Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin and will be a part of the AFL’s changing program for the Grand Final weekend.

The league has made the most of the Grand Final Day public holiday and the movement of the Grand Final parade to the MCG precinct, where the junior talent coming through will be recognised.

Current NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Chris Judd teams, while NSW/ACT & Allies coach Tadhg Kennelly will coach the Michael O’Loughlin teams.

The match will be broadcast live on FOX FOOTY from 1.30pm on Friday.

Likely Teams:

The final U18 All Stars teams. ** Subject to late changes.
The final U18 All Stars teams. ** Subject to late changes.

** Will Setterfield‘s replacement is to be confirmed- We believe it is Mitchell Hinge**

With a five day turnaround for a large amount of the players due to the WAFL Colts, SANFL Reserves and TAC Cup Grand Finals over the weekend, there are many sore bodies.

Will Brodie hurt his nose in an incident with an umpire on Sunday and will miss the contest despite training this afternoon. Murray Bushrangers outside midfielder Harry Morrison will replace Brodie.

Will Setterfield was still in a sling on Sunday at the TAC Cup Grand Final and is expected to miss with Mitchell Hinge believed to be taking his place.

Key Defender Griffin Logue is also out for Team Judd, with Dandenong Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish taking his place.

There were also a few injury issues at training with many players on light duties. Sam Petrevski-Seton copped a knock below the knee, which affected his ankle and trained for five minutes only. Petrevski-Seton appears likely to play, but West Coast Father/Son prospect Jake Waterman is in more doubt after failing to train with what appeared to be a groin complaint.

Star Power:

On the outset, Team Judd look the most talented on paper. Featuring Andrew McGrath, Hugh McCluggage and Jack Bowes– all of whom could challenge for the number one draft pick. Up forward, they feature Josh Battle and Todd Marshall, whilst down back Declan Watson and Jack Maibaum will hold down the fort.

Harry Perryman will be a name to watch after being relatively left alone since the Under 18 championships. The GWS academy member has spent the last two months playing for his local club Collingullie-GP, hitting the scoreboard and playing through the midfield.

Tim Taranto and Ben Ainsworth are two others from Team Judd that may feature in the Top 10 come November.

For Team O’Loughlin, Jack Scrimshaw will be one of the stars worth watching. The rebounding defender has a classy left foot and was one of the best players on the ground on Sunday. Despite missing inside midfielder Will Brodie, players such as Dylan Clarke, Jonty Scharenberg and Willem Drew will likely step up in his absence. After a steller game for the Murray Bushrangers on Sunday, Ryan Garthwaite will be a likely opponent on his Bushrangers teammate Todd Marshall.

Up forward Patrick Kerr, Zach Sproule and Jake Waterman will make up their forward line whilst West Australian midfielder Sam Petrevski-Seton will look to perform well to keep his name in the first handful of picks.

Excitement machine Cedric Cox hasn’t been spoken about enough this season and the little known 19-year-old is a big chance for a Top 20 pick on draft night.

Surprise Packets:

South Australian medium forward Will Hayward has jumped out as a surprise inclusion. Hayward kicked a bag of nine goals in the SANFL U18 Preliminary Final for North Adelaide and another good performance on Friday may see him find a spot in the first half of the draft.


Murray Bushrangers ruckman Esava Ratugolea has plenty of X-Factor and leap like no other AFL Draft prospect. Ratugolea continues to show glimpses after an eight goal haul earlier in the season saw him drafted into the Vic Country team late.


Little known Cameron Zurhaar from East Fremantle is one to watch. The medium forward has kicked averaged 16.6 disposals in the WAFL Colts this year.

Isaac Cumming is flying under the radar and the GWS academy member may find himself as a national draft selection. Cumming was nominated for the National Combine and the smart half back flanker rebounded the ball well in the Under 18 championships.

Willem Drew played two excellent TAC Cup finals games for the North Ballarat Rebels, averaging 23 (13 contested) disposals and seven clearances in the 2016 TAC Cup. The inside midfielders contested ball winning is superb, but does lack some speed around the ground.

Brennan Cox made the All-Australian team after a strong championships down back for South Australia. Cox has played up forward for the Woodville-West Torrens in the SANFL but looks likely to start in the defence.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2duh-DJIhU[/embedyt]

Key Matchups:

Willem Drew vs Hugh McCluggage

Teammates at the North Ballarat Rebels, the pair will be opponents in the big clash on Friday. Both represented Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, but McCluggage was more prominant. At TAC Cup level, Drew’s contested ball winning abilities are greater than McCluggage’s- But McCluggage’s work in traffic is elite and is his advantage despite not winning a large chunk of contested ball. McCluggage can also push forward and hit the scoreboard, something that Drew hasn’t showed throughout this season. Drew does lay plenty of tackles and win the clearances, but does lack a touch of pace and class with his skills with him at times just bombing the ball forward off his boot without looking.  

Tim English vs Max Lynch

It looks likely that the first ruck contest of the game will have West Australian tall English and NSW/ACT ruck Lynch. English only featured as the number one ruck in the final championships game, but has an elite leap and his footskills are better than some of the midfielders running around in the game. Despite being skinny in appearance, it makes for an interesting contest against former junior goalkeeper Lynch. Lynch’s form in the latter half of the season was very good for the Bushrangers and the GWS academy member may have pushed himself into a national draft selection. 

Jack Scrimshaw vs Tim Taranto

Sandringham Dragons key players Scrimshaw and Taranto may play on each other. Scrimshaw is a rebounding defender, with a pinpoint pass and was a strong player in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Scrimshaw does have the ability to rack up the clangers with his foot at times and when he’s off- he’s off. Taranto was a consistent performer right throughout the year playing through the midfield and across half forward. A good showing from either, could see them really put their hand up for Top Five players on clubs boards. 

Jack Maibaum vs Patrick Kerr

With Griffin Logue a late out for Team Judd, expect Maibaum to have first crack at strong Vic Metro forward Kerr. Both played together in the Vic Metro winning Under 18 championship team and won All Australia honours with Maibaum’s strength will be the reason he should get first chance at stopping Kerr. Kerr however is a tough match up, with strong hands overhead and one of the fastest forwards over 10m on a lead. Maibaum has played both forward and defence throughout 2016, but averaged the third most spoils in the Under 18 championships.

Ryan Garthwaite vs Todd Marshall

The pair were teammates on Sunday, but loom likely to match up on each other. Garthwaite is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the draft pool, while Marshall has shown some superb glimpses at times. Garthwaite collected 24 disposals on Sunday as one of his teams best performers, whilst Marshall was kept reasonably quiet from Ari Sakeson with just two kicks for two goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final. If Marshall can put in a strong performance that recruiters are wanting, he could keep his name amongst the top ten names. Garthwaite despite an awkward kicking style, does use to ball well more often than not and has done a great job down back this season. 


Team Judd on paper looks too strong for Team O’Loughlin. Team Judd’s midfield looks too star studded, despite Tim English likely giving Team O’Loughlin first use at the ball. If Team O’Loughlin’s contested midfield brigade can fire, they could give the star studded Judd side a run for their money.

It would be hard to go past Andrew McGrath for BOG honours, but there are multiple players from either side that are capable of changing a game. 


Team O’Loughlin v Team Judd
1.30pm, Punt Road Oval
September 30th
Live on FOX FOOTY 1.30pm
Tweets: @afldraftcentral

Matt Balmer’s predicted starting line up:

Possible line ups

Top talent on show on AFL Grand Final weekend

MB - Will Brodie

In a new initiative announced by the AFL, the best Under 17 and Under 18 talent will play games on the Grand Final day long weekend under the eyes of recruiters and fans.

The Under 18 All Stars game will be played at Punt Road Oval at 1.30pm, broadcast on Fox Footy on Grand Final Eve (Friday 30th September). The Under 17 game will be played as a curtain-raiser to the AFL Grand Final beginning from 10am with a live stream on AFL.com.au.

For more information on the initiative click here:

Under 18 squad:

Under 18 squad ALL STARS

Under 17 squad:

Under 17 squad

Top teenage talent on show for AFL’s biggest weekend

Pat Kerr marks inside 50 for Vic Metro.
Pat Kerr marks inside 50 for Vic Metro.

AUSTRALIA’S top teenage footballers will take part in a new concept that is aimed to feature the best players from the 2016 and 2017 draft crops.

Players will be divided up into two teams and take part in an All-Stars weekend that will involved two matches, one of top-age players (18 year-olds) and the other with bottom-age players (17 year-olds).

The two teams have been named after AFL greats Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin and will be a part of the AFL’s changing program for the Grand Final weekend.

The league has made the most of the Grand Final Day public holiday and the movement of the Grand Final parade to the MCG precinct, where the junior talent coming through will be recognised.

Current NAB AFL Academy coach Brenton Sanderson will coach the Chris Judd teams, while NSW/ACT & Allies coach Tadhg Kennelly will coach the Michael O’Loughlin teams.

The squads for the two matches will be announced in due course, but are expected to draw plenty of attention from fans and recruiters right across the country.

Judd believed he would’ve relished the opportunity to play against the best when he was coming through the draft.

“It would’ve been great to be apart of this game when I was in Under 18s,” he said.

“I could’ve played on a Luke Hodge or a Gary Ablett, it’d make for a really good viewing.”

The Under 18s match will be a part of Foxtel’s Footy Festival that will take place in Yarra Park from September 28 to October 1. The Under 18s match begins at 1.30pm on Grand Final Eve at Punt Road Oval, broadcast live on Fox Footy.

Under 18 All Australian and Vic Metro key forward Patrick Kerr believed the experience to play in front of a huge crowd was outstanding.

“It’ll be very exciting, especially Grand Final Eve in front of a packed crowd at Punt Rd,” he said.

Kerr himself already has links to the Blues, as the Grandson of Carlton Hall of Famer Laurie Kerr. Kerr’s relatives also sponsored Judd in his days at the Blues.

“My Grandma was his [Judd] player sponsor when he was at the blues, so I’ve had a few dinners with him.”

Vic Metro #24 Tim Taranto v Vic Country. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media).
Vic Metro #24 Tim Taranto v Vic Country. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media).

Fellow Vic Metro teammate Tim Taranto, throughly enjoyed the ability to play on AFL venues throughout the Under 18 championships.

“It was awesome… Simonds [Stadium] was a really good atmosphere, Etihad [Stadium] was amazing walking out onto the park. Punt Road looks like it’s in good nick as well, so should be exciting,” Taranto said.

The Under 17s All-Stars match will be a curtain raiser to the Toyota AFL Grand Final, held at 10am at the MCG.

AFL General Manager of Football Operations Mark Evans, said the All-Stars weekend concept should provide fans with the opportunity to witness the best talent on show for the next two years.

“The Under 18s match at Punt Road Oval will be the final match preview of the best players eligible for this year’s NAB AFL Draft,” he said.

“With the trading of future draft selections now part of the system, the Under-17s Judd v O’Loughlin match at the MCG will give a further insight into the potential for 2017.”

The AFL will also partner with Ladder for the two NAB AFL All Stars matches. Ladder empowers young people to break the cycle of homelessness by harnessing the support of the AFL industry’s profile, networks and players.