Tag: Michael Walters

Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: Northern Knights vs. Swan Districts

OUR next All-Star Team battle is the final one of the Round of 16 between a Victorian club and a West Australian club, in the Northern Knights and Swan Districts. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were AFL games record holder, Brent Harvey (Northern Knights) and Richmond full-back, Alex Rance (Swan Districts).

TEAMS:

These clubs are seeded fifth (Northern Knights) and 12th (Swan Districts) respectively, forming another Round of 16 clash in our draw. The winner will qualify for the quarter finals, set to face the Murray Bushrangers/Oakleigh Chargers.

STRENGTHS:

The Knights have a really underrated squad when it comes to this series simply because there are not too many weaknesses. The Knights’ spine is A-grade quality from the key defenders in Simon Prestigiacomo and Michael Hurley, to the key forwards in Anthony Rocca and Lance Whitnall. Though that is not to take anything away from the midfield with Marcus Bontempelli, Trent Cotchin and Adam Simpson a really well balanced core with different strengths.

For the Swans, they have an elite starting midfield. Nic Naitanui in the ruck, with Stephen Coniglio, Michael Walters and Andrew Embley at the stoppages, you would back them in to win the midfield battle. Up forward, the likes of Charlie Cameron and Jeff Garlett would create havoc at the feet of their key forwards, while Lewis Jetta‘s elite kicking and Rance’s intercepting ability means they have some strong players across the field.

WEAKNESSES:

There are not really any weaknesses with the Knights. If you had to be picky you could argue the lack of wingers, given Leigh Montagna and Paul Licuria are more inside ball winners, and while both Blake Caracella and David Zaharakis could play on the wing, it leaves the forward line a little short. Overall though, the depth is pretty sound.

For the Swans, it is that depth and little pockets in different parts of the field where they just fall short. They could match it with the Knights in the midfield, but outside of that, they would be stretched in different areas of the field.

SUMMARY:

The Knights would be favoured in this one for a bit more balance across the ground. Swan Districts has an elite midfield, and some star talent around the ground, but the depth of the Knights would be a bit too much.

Who would you pick?
Northern Knights
Swan Districts
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Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: WWT Eagles vs. Swan Districts

OUR next All-Star Team battle is one between a South Australian club and a West Australian club in Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) Eagles and Swan Districts. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Matthew Pavlich (WWT Eagles) and Alex Rance and Nic Naitanui (Swan Districts).

TEAMS:

Swan Districts are the 12th seeds in our draw, with WWT Eagles not far behind, ranked 21st overall in the mid-table logjam where not much separates the sides.

STRENGTHS:

The aspect that sticks out for WWT Eagles is the fact they have great depth. Not many sides can look at their bench and see players who would slot into most other sides’ starting outfits, but they do, with an abundance of quality rucks (Matt Rendell, Sam Jacobs and Rhett Biglands), as well as good inside midfield depth with Luke Dunstan and Robert Shirley on the bench, as well as winger, Jared Polec. Speaking of wingers, their wingers in Steven Stretch and Michael Long are superb, whilst the key position depth, led by Pavlich is sublime, with Brian Lake, Nathan Bock and Jay Schulz some seriously strong contested marks.

For the Swans, they have an elite starting midfield. Naitanui in the ruck, with Stephen Coniglio, Michael Walters and Andrew Embley at the stoppages, you would back them in to win the midfield battle. Up forward, the likes of Charlie Cameron and Jeff Garlett would create havoc at the feet of their key forwards, while Lewis Jetta‘s elite kicking and Rance’s intercepting ability means they have some strong players across the field.

WEAKNESSES:

They have one elite player in Pavlich, and then some incredibly talented players bordering on elite in Long, Camporeale and Lake, but as a whole, the Eagles are just a really even squad. After the top couple of players, there is not much to separate them which is good, but also difficult against teams with a bit more class and talent overall.

For the Swans, it is that depth and little pockets in different parts of the field where they just fall short. In many ways, the Swans are the opposite to the Eagles, in the fact they have a number of elite players, but just fall away in the second half of the squad.

SUMMARY

This could be one of the more tough matches to pick. Some might think the midfield battle won by the Swans would be enough to see them get home, whilst the Eagles depth could see them make it through too, and it makes for an interesting vote.

Which All-Star Team do you pick?
WWT Eagles
Swan Districts
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Draft Central All-Star Team: Swan Districts

SWAN DISTRICTS’ All-Star Team of the AFL Draft era is another impressive one overall, with plenty of talent across the board, and a side that fans would love to see running around on the park. From contested marking talls, to athletic smalls and speedy midfielders, the Swans’ outfit is certainly one to marvel.

THE TEAM:

Swan Districts has a nice balance of talent in each of the thirds, with enough defensively-minded players to match their high level of offensively-minded ones. With Nic Naitanui dominating the ruck, and a lot of both past and present speedsters around the ground and bursting out of the stoppage, the Swans will creates headaches for any defence.

DEFENCE:

Starting in the back six, recently retired star Alex Rance holds down full-back with five All-Australians and a best and fairest to his name in 200 games of AFL football. He is paired with Stephen O’Reilly back there, winning a best and fairest himself in 146 games across three clubs. The other versatile tall is Adam Hunter who could play a multitude of roles, and we have named him in defence given the forward 50 strength.

Moving onto the other three medium to smalls, Dennis Armfield could lock down on a dangerous opposition small forward, while Nathan Broad and Neville Jetta would provide the dash and dare off half-back to set up an attacking move in transition. Coming off the bench, the Swans have Sam Taylor who might only have 30-odd games to his name, but is becoming a consistent key defender, as well as Clancee Pearce who could play a role there, as could All-Australian defender, Craig Holden.

MIDFIELD:

Through the midfield, Naitanui is the star factor and point of difference in the ruck, but his midfield is equally as elite when it comes to speed and skills. Stephen Coniglio and Michael Walters are at the peak of their powers currently, and still have plenty of years left to continue their terrific form. Andrew Embley is another who has been named onball, and he is Swan Districts’ AFL games record holder, notching up 250 games to go with his Norm Smith Medal and premiership.

On the wings are Lewis Jetta and Chris Yarran who add the touch of speed and class to the outside, with Jetta’s footskills in particular renowned throughout the competition. Connor Blakely is on the bench ready to come on and rotate through the midfield, while the ruck depth at the club is quite impressive with Beau McDonald and Rory Lobb also waiting in the wings on the interchange.

FORWARD:

The forward 50 is very exciting, as modern day small forwards Charlie Cameron and Jeff Garlett would be a nightmare at the feet of Scott Cummings and Jason Ball. While the latter two key position players were not the quickest players going around, they do not need to be in this team with the crumbers at their feet. Cummings won a Coleman and booted 349 goals in 128 games, while Ball played 193 games and kicked 159 goals, also playing through the ruck.

Speaking of playing through the ruck, Lobb on the bench would start inside 50 and likely have the freedom to remain a key forward, though if injuries struck, could also jump into the middle. Michael Richardson (171 games, 174 goals and an All-Australian nod) and Craig Callaghan (124 games, 94 goals) are the other two players who earn a spot in the side and provide some more goalkicking power up there.

DEPTH:

Of the players not in the side, the ones with the most games are Jamie Bennell (87 games), Steven Handley (73), Brett Johnson (70) and David Ellard (63). In terms of modern day players, Marcus Adams and Griffin Logue would both be pushing for a spot in coming years.

Swan Districts Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

SWAN DISTRICTS is up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Subiaco All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Matt Priddis announced as the winner and captain of the Lions’ All-Star side.

Swan Districts has a number of elite talents that would make the side one to watch every single week. With Alex Rance at full-back, Nic Naitanui in the ruck, and the likes of Michael Walters and Charlie Cameron running around, the Swans are a super exciting side.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Saturday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is Tasmania Mariners/Devils starting on Sunday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

Picture: ABC

Queensland weekly wrap: Lions win Youth Girls Academy Series

BRISBANE Lions Youth Girls Academy were the top performers at the weekend’s Northern Academy Series, while their AFL counterparts pushed Port Adelaide all the way in Adelaide, but the Gold Coast Suns went down to Fremantle in a “home” game at Optus Stadium.

Lions and Suns compete in Youth Girls Northern Academy Series

Brisbane Lions have triumphed in the Youth Girls Northern Academy Series with three victories over the GIANTS, Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans. The Lions defeated the GIANTS by one point in the opening game, before a 46-point victory over the Suns and 20-point victory over the Sydney Swans followed. The Suns won their two other matches with a 23-point victory over Sydney and a 42-point victory over the GIANTS, restricting both sides to a combined two behinds in their matches. A total of 60 players took part in the series from Queensland, with 28 representing Brisbane Lions and 32 representing the Gold Coast SUNS.

For more information on how the series went down, head to the AFL Queensland website.

AFL Round 3 

Brisbane Lions vs Port Adelaide Power

Port Adelaide survived a goalless last quarter to beat the incredibly brave and luckless Brisbane Lions by five points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. Inspired by Stefan Martin, who had an amazing 30 disposals and 48 hit-outs, the Lions came back from 18 points down at three-quarter time and battled hard. The Power looked completely drained after a six-day break from a tough away encounter against the Sydney Swans. Port was expected to win – they have been touted by many to finish in the top four – but the Lions seemed to believe they were always a chance.

The Lions turned up in hot conditions ready to produce a highly respectful performance, going down fighting to the bitter end. Charlie Cameron started at full-forward and kicked three telling early goals on his old hunting ground, and for Brisbane to lead by 11 points at half-time was a huge wake-up call for the Power. When they did, they were back to their controlling best, but again not without needing to work hard for each possession. Port regrouped after half-time and found their cleaner flow, definitely with more vigour. They tested the resilience of the Lions, switching the play and forcing them into growing errors amidst the extended pressure.

For 43 of the first 75 minutes of match play the Lions led and looked like deserving winners. Of course, ultimately Port clawed their way back through tenacity and a rise in intensity, but for the Lions to hang in there for so long speaks volumes for the path coach Chris Fagan is taking them on. There were Brisbane’s hardy perennials like Luke Hodge who masterminded the defence, Dayne Zorko who was brilliant in the midfield, and Mitch Robinson who was inspirational with his attack on the ball, but it was Stefan Martin with some magnificent ruck work that really gave the Lions a big chance. Port kicked seven goals to the Lions’ five in the second half to escape with the game which went right down to the wire. Next Saturday afternoon the Lions face reigning premiers Richmond at the MCG.

Final Scores: Port Adelaide 14.13 (97) defeated Brisbane 14.8 (92)  

Gold Coast Suns vs. Fremantle Dockers

Gold Coast Suns’ undefeated run came to an end on the weekend at the hands of a Nat Fyfe-inspired Fremantle Dockers outfit at Optus Stadium. With the Commonwealth Games in full swing on the coast, the Suns sold their home game to the Dockers and it proved to be a winning factor in the game. While the crowd wasn’t nearly as strong as the previous numbers Perth’s new stadium has yielded, the Freo fans surely helped to will their side over the line. It took special performances from Michael Walters (23 disposals, six tackles, two goals) and Ed Langdon (27 disposals, five marks, five tackles), alongside their skipper, for Fremantle to break the half-time deadlock and come away with the four points.

While it was a fairly even contest for most of the game, the Dockers ended up dominating the key stats – winning the disposal count 387-324, clearances 37-29 and contested possessions 154-135 – and the margin could have been more had they kicked more accurately in front of goal with 31 scoring shots to 18. For the Suns, Jarryd Lyons continued his admirable early season form with a complete performance of 30 disposals, ten tackles, seven clearances and two goals. Jack Martin pitched in with 21 disposals, six marks and a goal alongside Kade Kolodjashnij (22 disposals, seven marks) and Touk Miller (19 disposals, six tackles, five clearances).

One of the more pleasing performances came from the injury riddled Sam Day, who booted three goals from his ten disposals and five marks with Tom Lynch kept quiet. Besides the loss, coach Stewart Dew will also face the concern of potentially losing star wingman Pearce Hanley to another shoulder injury after he suffered a dislocation in the first half. Overall, the result came from a mix of Fremantle’s brilliance and a somewhat disappointing Gold Coast effort. The Suns will again head to Optus Stadium to face West Coast in round four. Final Scores: Fremantle 13.18 (96) defeated Gold Coast 10.8 (68)