Tag: Ned Reeves

Stat Leaders: 2021 VFL – Round 3

THE 2021 Victorian Football League (VFL) season rolled on into its third round over the weekend, with 1 fixtures spread from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. There were a number of outstanding individual performances among the Round 3 action, as AFL-listed talent and state league guns alike topped a range of key categories. We take a look at this week’s stat leaders, as well as the season tallies to this point.

>> RESULTS: State League wrap

Usual forward Jake Riccardi swung into defence for GWS on Sunday and had a blinder, seeing him top the league for kicks and marks in Round 3. The 21-year-old racked up 40 disposals, with 31 of them delivered by foot and 19 earned via marks. His dynamic performance helped the Giants to a 30-point win over Southport, their first for the season.

It was no surprise to see Coburg ball magnet Marcus Lentini again tick over the 40-disposal mark, this time managing 42 against Brisbane in what was a battle of the Lions. The mid-season draft hopeful was just pipped atop the handball charts on the weekend by Gold Coast’s Will Brodie, who dished out 22 in the Suns’ narrow loss to Collingwood. In the same game, first year Magpie Reef McInnes got his hands dirty with a round-high 11 tackles.

Elsewhere, competition leading goalkicker Matt Hammelmann upped his season average (5.3) with a bag of six majors as Aspley went down to Frankston. The effort accounted for over half of the Hornets’ score, brining Hammelmann’s season tally to 16 after three games. Western Bulldogs ruck Jordon Sweet also excelled in his field, feasting to win 38 hitouts against inexperienced Northern Bullants’ talls.

Looking at the season leaders, Frankston jet Nathan Freeman has served a reminder of his class in 2021 with a clean run, topping the league for disposals and kicks. Jacob Dawson is another former AFL player finding plenty of ball, distributing more than any other player thus far by hand. Hammelmann and Casey’s James Munro are the other state leaguers topping charts, while AFL-listed bigmen Connor Ballenden and Ned Reeves have the most marks and hitouts respectively.

Find the full list of Round 3, and 2021 season stat leaders below.

ROUND 3 STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Marcus Lentini (Coburg) – 42

Kicks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 31

Handballs:
Will Brodie* (Gold Coast) – 22

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann** (Aspley) – 6

Marks:
Jake Riccardi* (GWS) – 19

Tackles:
Reef McInnes* (Collingwood) – 11

Hitouts:
Jordon Sweet* (Footscray) – 38

2021 SEASON STAT LEADERS:

Disposals:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 117 total / 39.0 average

Kicks:
Nathan Freeman (Frankston) – 78 / 26.0

Handballs:
Jacob Dawson (Southport) – 56 / 18.7

Goals:
Matt Hammelmann (Aspley) – 16 / 5.3

Marks:
Connor Ballenden* (Brisbane) – 34 / 11.3

Tackles:
James Munro (Casey) – 28 / 9.3

Hitouts:
Ned Reeves* (Box Hill) – 118 / 39.3

* – denotes AFL-listed.
** – denotes season leader.

Image Credit: Darrian Traynor/AFL Photos

Oakleigh Chargers 2017 review

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

Oakleigh Chargers

Finished: 3rd
Wins: 16
Losses: 4
Draws: 0
Percentage:
 164
Points: 64 (eliminated in preliminary final)

Players Drafted: (3)

  • Ed Richards (Western Bulldogs)
  • Jack Higgins (Richmond)
  • Toby Wooller (Brisbane)

2017 Review:

Oakleigh Chargers’ three top standouts throughout the season made their way onto AFL lists, with Ed Richards the first name to be called out. The grandson of Magpie legend Ron Richards headed to the Western Bulldogs, while teammate and Morrish Medal winner Jack Higgins headed to the Tigers a pick later. Oakleigh captain Toby Wooller headed north to join the Brisbane Lions, also changing allegiances ala Richards, after his grandfather Fred Wooller was a Geelong premiership player.

Among those players unlucky to miss out were state combine invitees Noah Answerth, Bailey Griffiths, Riley Jones, Matthew King, Ethan Phillips and Charlie Thompson, while the two with the most interest having received a National Draft Combine invitation – Matthew Day and Ned Reeves – were also incredibly unlucky to not be drafted by an AFL club.

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2018 Preview:

Oakleigh Chargers will have a talented mosquito-fleet next season with a number of draftable players below 180cm. Xavier O’Neill and Charlie Whitehead are among the taller prospects that have shone in their bottom-age year for the Chargers at 183cm, while running defender Isaac Quaynor is attached to Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy.

Xavier O’Neill (Oakleigh Chargers) 183cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (18) 17.7 disposals | 3.8 marks | 5.9 tackles | 2.3 clearances | 3.3 inside 50s | 60% KE | 69% DE | 36% CP

O’Neill is a well-balanced outside midfielder who spreads well and tackles hard. He had a promising bottom-age year showing off his composure and ability to get the ball moving forward, averaging 2.3 clearances and 3.3 inside 50s. With more midfield time expected in 2018, expect his disposal numbers to increase as well.

Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers) 180cm | 77kg | Small Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 11.7 disposals | 3.1 marks | 2.6 tackles | 2.4 rebounds | 78% KE | 76% DE | 38% CP

Tied to Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy, Quaynor is quick and loves to tuck the ball under his arm. He plays taller than his 180cm suggests and has played as a lockdown defender in the back half. He could play further up the ground in 2018, but he has great skills and agility.

Charlie Whitehead (Oakleigh Chargers) 183cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder/Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 13.2 disposals | 3.9 marks | 2.9 tackles | 1.9 inside 50s | 1.3 goals | 48% KE | 59% DE | 39% CP

Whitehead is not a huge ball winner or have an overly impressive stat sheet, but he is already a solid size and can play through the midfield or up forward in 2017, he averaged 1.3 goals per game from his 11 matches and like many of the other Chargers who have shown signs for next year, is expected to spend more time in the middle in 2018.

Others to keep an eye on:

Joseph Ayton-Delaney (Oakleigh Chargers) 181cm | 67kg | Small Defender
2017 TAC Cup: (10) 16.9 disposals | 2.7 marks | 2.8 tackles | 2.1 rebounds | 59% KE | 67% DE | 34% CP

Lachlan Bugeja (Oakleigh Chargers) 174cm | 72kg | Balanced Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (17) 16.6 disposals | 2.6 marks | 6.1 tackles | 2.5 clearances | 61% KE | 70% DE | 44% CP

Sam Harte (Oakleigh Chargers) 172cm | 66kg | Outside Midfielder
2017 TAC Cup: (19) 19.6 disposals | 4.1 marks | 4.6 tackles | 1.3 clearances | 4.2 inside 50s | 61% KE | 69% DE | 30% CP

Daniel Scala (Oakleigh Chargers) 174cm | 69kg | Small Forward
2017 TAC Cup: (11) 8.5 disposals | 1.2 marks | 2.6 tackles | 1.2 clearances | 2 goals | 66% KE | 71% DE | 59% CP

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Summary:

Oakleigh Chargers are prone to success and while they might be disappointed they fell in the penultimate match of the season, they were a dominant force throughout 2017. They once again look to be strong and will be thereabouts at the business end of the season. While many of their emerging top players are on the small side, they typically have a few talls hidden away playing school football that appear as the season goes on. Expect them to be dangerous at ground level in the new year.

2017 AFL Draft Combine: Day 2 results

DAY TWO of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft Combine saw players put under the spotlight with medical screenings in front of all 18 AFL club medical staff, as well as interviews with media and AFL clubs.

Wednesday night saw players undertake the kicking and goal kicking tests with the following players scoring well.

Vision of SA Under 18 players can be found on the SANFL Twitter account.

Goalkicking test (score out of 30)
Jordan Houlahan 30
Angus Schumacher 30
Jackson Ross 30
Ben Miller 30
Jake Patmore 25
Ryley Stoddart 25
Changkuoth Jiath 25
Andrew Brayshaw 25
Connor Ballenden 25
Aaron Naughton 25
Aiden Bonar 25

Kicking test (score out of 30)
Connor Ballenden 30
Jack Higgins 29
Angus Schumacher 29
Jack Payne 29
Hayden McLean 29
Jackson Ross 29
Ned Reeves 29
Jordan Houlahan 28
Hunter Clark 28
Lloyd Meek 28

2017 NAB AFL All-Star squads revealed

THE COUNTRY’S top teenage talent will again be on display in the two NAB AFL All Stars games in AFL Grand Final weeks.

Over 50 of the brightest prospects have been split into two evenly matched teams, with the AFL today releasing the squads for the Under 18 and Under 17 All Stars games.

Unlike last year, there has been a change with the Under 18 clash set to be played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the 2017 Grand Final on September 30. It will start at 10am, while the Under 17 clash will be played on Grand Final Eve at Simonds Stadium from 1.30pm.

The teams will be played under the banner of ‘Team Enright’ (after former Geelong defender Corey) and ‘Team Harvey’ (after North Melbourne great Brent), with AFL Academy assistant coach Brad Johnson to coach the Corey Enright teams and West Australian under 18 coach Peter Sumich to lead the Brent Harvey sides.

Possible No.1 draft contenders Paddy Dow and Adam Cerra will miss the NAB AFL Under 18 All-Stars game with shoulder injuries.

Full Squads:

NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars:
Grand Final Day, Saturday 30th September
MCG 10am

Team Enright 
1 Dylan Moore – Eastern Ranges
2 Lachlan Fogarty – Western Jets
3 Gryan Miers – Geelong Falcons (emergency)
4 Patrick Naish – Northern Knights
5 Matthew Ling – Geelong Falcons
6 Matthew McGannon – Gippsland Power
7 Brayden Ainsworth – Subiaco
8 Andrew Brayshaw – Sandringham Dragons
9 Jack Petruccelle – Northern Knights
10 Joel Garner – Eastern Ranges
21 Jordan Houlahan – Sturt
22 Hunter Clark – Dandenong Stingrays
23 Nicholas Shipley – St George
24 James Worpel – Geelong Falcons
26 Nicholas Coffield – Northern Knights
27 Oscar Allen – West Perth
28 Mitchell Podhajski – Calder Cannons
29 Jordon Butts – Murray Bushrangers
30 Noah Balta – Calder Cannons
31 Harrison Petty – Norwood
32 Sam Hayes – Eastern Ranges
33 Sam Taylor – Swan District
34 Lloyd Meek – GWV Rebels
35 Ned Reeves – Oakleigh Chargers

Team Harvey 
1 Brent Daniels – Bendigo Pioneers
3 Ben Paton – Murray Bushrangers
4 Alex Martini – Glenelg
5 Zac Bailey – Southern District
6 Ryley Stoddart – Eastern Ranges
7 David Handley – Geelong Falcons
8 Ed Richards – Oakleigh Chargers (emergency)
9 Lochie O’Brien – Bendigo Pioneers
10 Luke Davis-Uniacke – Dandenong Stingrays
11 Bailey Hendersnon – Bendigo Pioneers
21 Matthew Day – Oakleigh Chargers
22 Brandon Starcevich – East Perth
23 Jaidyn Stephenson – Eastern Ranges
24 Jackson Ross – Eastern Ranges
25 Jack Payne – Noosa (Emergency)
26 Nathan Murphy – Sandringham Dragons
27 Aiden Bonar – Dandenong Stingrays
28 Oscar Clavarino – Sandenong Stingrays
29 Jarrod Brander – Bendigo Pioneers
30 Hayden McLean – Sandringham Dragons
31 Charlie Ballard – Sturt
32 Hugh Dixon – Kingborough Tigers
33 Ben Miller – Subiaco
34 Brayden Crossley – Labrador Tigers
35 Connor Ballenden – Wests Juniors

NAB AFL Under 17 All Stars:
Grand Final Eve, Friday 29th September
Simonds Stadium 1.30pm

Team Enright 
1 Zac Butters – Western Jets
2 Tom Lewis – Sturt
3 Izak Rankine – West Adelaide
4 Will Hamill – Dandenong Stingrays
5 James Peatling – Pennant Hills
6 Isaac Quaynor – Oakleigh Chargers
7 Tom McKenzie – Northern Knights
8 Connor Rozee – North Adelaide
9 Bailey Smith – Sandringham Dragons
10 Luke Valente – Norwood
11 Joseph Ayrton-Delaney – Oakleigh Chargers
21 Michael Mummery – Southern Districts
22 Lachlan Gadomski – Kingborough Tigers
24 Stefan Radovanovic – Western Jets
25 Jackson Hately – Cantral Districts
26 Riley Bowman – Dandenong Stingrays
27 Bailey Schmidt – Dandenong Stingrays
28 Mark Marriott – Murray Bushrangers
29 Ben King – Sandringham Dragons
30 Max King – Sandringham Dragons
31 Zane Barzen – Murray Bushrangers
32 Matthew Green – Sporties Spitfires
33 Caleb Graham – Cairns Saints
34 Hugo Munn – Sturt

Team Harvey 
1 Ed McHenry – Geelong Falcons
2 Mitch Anderton – Lauderdale
3 Irving Mosquito – Gippsland Power
4 Tom Matthews – Coorparoo
5 Joseph Hiner – Swan Districts
6 Jye Caldwell – Bendigo Pioneers
7 Jarrod Cameron – Swan Districts
8 Bailey Scott – Broadbeach
9 Xavier Duursma – Gippsland Power
10 Xavier O’Neill – Oakleigh Chargers
11 Curtis Taylor – Calder Cannons
12 Mitch Riordan – Dandenong Stingrays
21 Oscar Brownless – Geelong Falcons
22 Matt Walker – Murray Bushrangers
23 Jack Bytel – Calder Cannons
24 Buku Khamis – Western Jets
25 Tarryn Thomas – North Launceston
26 Mason Fletcher – Calder Cannons
27 Jack Lukosius – Woodville West-Torrens
28 Xavier Peacock – Subiaco
29 Ben Kelly – Murray Bushrangers
30 Bailey Williams – Dandenong Stingrays
31 Jacob Atley – Bendigo Pioneers
32 Hudson Garoni – Murray Bushrangers
33 Dillon O’Reilly – East Fremantle

TAC Cup finals preview: Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

AFTER a round of less than underwhelming finals – with the Eastern/Dandenong clash the exception – the top four teams remain in contention for the 2017 TAC Cup premiership. There is one thing for certain – a metropolitan team will face a country team in the grand final for the second consecutive year. In the second match of the day, Oakleigh Chargers take on Sandringham Dragons in the preliminary final at Simonds Stadium with the winner to run out on Etihad in a week’s time.

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Sandringham Dragons

Oakleigh: 1st, 15-3, 1653 points for, 993 points against
Sandringham: 4th,11-7, 1360 points for, 1104 points against

Last week Oakleigh produced a blow-out win over Northern Knights, defeating their opponents 15.14 (104) to 4.10 (34) in a game not likely to be remembered fondly by anyone out at Preston. Chargers’ spiritual leader and 2016 captain Jack Roughsedge was instrumental through the middle with 28 disposals (16 contested), 10 clearances, three inside 50s and a goal. Toby Wooller was unstoppable leading out of the forward 50 with 22 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and 3.3 as well as two score assists. Others that impressed included Luke Stacker (26 disposals, six marks and foru clearances), Matthew King (24 disposals, six rebounds) and Charlie Thompson (22 disposals, five inside 50s, 2.2 and an impressive five score assists.

Sandringham on the other hand did not have the most ideal start, trailing Murray Bushrangers at quarter time and then conceding three of the next four goals before putting the foot down with a performance everyone expected of them. They piled on 16 of the next 21 goals to run away with the game in a huge 19.11 (125) to 11.8 (74) victory. There were plenty of standouts in that match including Will Walker who played a large portion forward, booting four goals to go with his 25 disposals, four marks and five clearances, while Hamish Brayshaw was huge again with 25 disposals, six marks, five clearances, eight inside 50s, six tackles and three goals. Others that impressed included Seb Williams (23 disposals, four inside 50s), Charlie Constable (23 disposals, six clearances and four score assists) and Alfie Jarnestrom (21 disposals, five marks, three clearances and three score assists).

The changes:

Unfortunately for Oakleigh, there is a huge out in the form of Toby Wooller. His omission will be felt quite considerably as he was one of the best last week and just leads by example with huge marks and telling goals. The inclusion of Jack Higgins after he missed with a shoulder injury will bring a sigh of relief from the coaches, but it is hard to replace Wooller. Given they lined up without a ruckman last week and Hugh Longbottom shouldered the bulk of the load, the 191cm versatile player will line-up at half-forward with giant Ned Reeves returning, along with Ed Michelmore and Bailey Griffiths.

For Sandringham, Joel Crocker is out after an injury late in the game, as is defender Nathan Murphy with the cricketer-turned-footballer named in the side to face the Chargers but was a late withdrawal. Tall forward/ruck Hayden McLean returns to the gold, as does Sam Cameron and Alastair Richards with three to be omitted from their team named on Thursday night.

The tip:

This game is incredibly hard to tip (like it should be) given Oakleigh has done nothing wrong all year, but Sandringham just know how to peak at the right time. The Chargers are one of only a handful of teams that produce four quarter performances game in, game out, but without Toby Wooller it leaves a massive hole up forward. The Dragons have gone very tall in their line-up, hoping to control the airways over the smaller Chargers, while Oakleigh will hope they use their speed to advantage. In saying that, Sandringham has some serious pace in its line-up and given it is closer to full-strength and coming off a dominant second half, I will pick the Dragons to head into the grand final. However, start like they did against Murray last week and the Dragons could be in serious trouble as the Chargers do not muck around or waste opportunities. It is set to be a cracker.

Victorian cricketer headlines 2017 AFL Draft Combine invites

VICTORIAN Under 19 cricketer Nathan Murphy headlines the 83 players invited to take part in the 2017 AFL Draft Combine.

Murphy has recently turned his focus to football, with the Brighton Grammar student booting 19 goals in the Victorian APS school boy competition as one of the more impressive medium talls in the competition. Murphy was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons squad, averaging over 22 disposals in his three games, including a three-goal haul against Bendigo Pioneers and the invite to the testing will give clubs an idea regarding his athletic ability after cricket has largely been the focus of the talented teenager.

The AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least four AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 29 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro won back-to-back titles in the Under 18 Championships, as the clear standout across the carnival.

At the Combine, draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL.

Possible number one candidates Adam Cerra, Nicholas Coffield, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Rayner will be keen to show off their athletic traits and will be a few players expected to have an important batch of interviews at the Combine.

Larke Medalist Oscar Allen is one of a number of Western Australia players invited.

In sweeping changes to the 2017 format, the Beep test and 3km time trial have been scrapped. The Beep Test has been replaced by the Yo-Yo run, with the AFL and combine sub-committee believing the beep test wasn’t the most accurate measure to predict fitness levels for team sports. The 3km time trial has been cut back to 2km, falling in line with the majority of AFL clubs who use the 2km run in their programs.

The clean hands test and the 30m repeat sprints test have been removed, with more time allocated to club interviews and medical screenings this year.

Possible Collingwood father-son Tyler Brown is one of 10 Eastern Ranges players selected. Brown was overlooked for Vic Metro selection, but has impressed for Marcellin College in AGSV School Football and for the Ranges in the TAC Cup.

Ed Richards is another with Collingwood links, as the son of Kane Richards, whose late father Ron played 143 games for the Pies. Ron Richards’ brother was Collingwood legend Lou.

Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish has also been invited, with Naish averaging 21 disposals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Hugh Dixon is the sole representative from Tasmania, with 11 players selected from the Allies squad.

Adam Sambono (Northern Territory) and Tim Kelly (Western Australia) are the only two mature-agers selected for the combine, with the pair both impressing at NEAFL and WAFL level respectively.

Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.

The National Combine will begin on Tuesday, October 3 and go through to Friday, October 6 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

Vic Metro

Noah Balta (Calder Cannons)
Andrew Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Tyler Brown (Eastern Ranges)
Adam Cerra (Eastern Ranges)
Nick Coffield (Northern Knights)
Charlie Constable (Sandringham Dragons)
Matthew Day (Oakleigh Chargers)
Lachlan Fogarty (Western Jets)
Joel Garner (Eastern Ranges)
Sam Hayes (Eastern Ranges)
Jack Higgins (Oakleigh Chargers)
Hayden McLean (Sandringham Dragons)
Dylan Moore (Eastern Ranges)
Nathan Murphy (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Mynott (Eastern Ranges)
Patrick Naish (Northern Knights)
Tom North (Eastern Ranges)
Ethan Penrith (Northern Knights)
Jack Petruccelle (Northern Knights)
Mitchell Podhajski (Calder Cannons)
Cameron Rayner (Western Jets)
Ned Reeves (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ed Richards (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jackson Ross (Eastern Ranges)
Jaidyn Stephenson (Eastern Ranges)
Ryley Stoddart (Eastern Ranges)
Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)
Will Walker (Sandringham Dragons)
Toby Wooller (Oakleigh Chargers)

Vic Country

Aiden Bonar (Dandenong Stingrays)
Jordon Butts (Murray Bushrangers)
Hunter Clark (Dandenong Stingrays)
Oscar Clavarino (Dandenong Stingrays)
Brent Daniels (Benigo Pioneers)
Luke Davies-Uniacke (Dandenong Stingrays)
Tom De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aiden Domic (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Paddy Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Kane Farrell (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ethan Floyd (Geelong Falcons)
David Handley (Geelong Falcons)
Bailey Henderson (Bendigo Pioneers)
Changkouth Jiath (Gippsland Power)
Jordan Johnston (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Harrison Jones (Murray Bushrangers)
Matthew Ling (Geelong Falcons)
Tom McCartin (Geelong Falcons)
Matthew McGannon (Gippsland Power)
Lloyd Meek (Greater Western Victoria Rebels)
Gryan Miers (Geelong Falcons)
Lochie O’Brien (Bendigo Pioneers)
Ben Paton (Murray Bushrangers)
Angus Schumacher (Bendigo Pioneers)
James Worpel (Geelong Falcons)

Western Australia

Brayden Ainsworth (Subiaco)
Oscar Allen (West Perth)
Callan England (Claremont)
Kyron Hayden (Subiaco)
Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Ben Miller (Subiaco)
Aaron Naughton (Peel Thunder)
Jake Patmore (Claremont)
Brandon Starcevich (East Perth)
Sam Taylor (Swan Districts)

South Australia

Charlie Ballard (Sturt)
Callum Coleman-Jones (Sturt)
Darcy Fogarty (Glenelg)
Jordan Houlahan (Sturt)
Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide)
Alex Martini (Glenelg)
Andrew McPherson (Woodville-West Torrens)
Harrison Petty (Norwood)

NSW-ACT

Jarrod Brander (Bendigo Pioneers)
Brendan Myers (Wagga Tigers/GWS academy)
Jack Powell (Ainsli/GWS academy)
Nicholas Shipley (St George/GWS academy)
Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers)

Queensland

Connor Ballenden (Wests Juniors/Brisbane Lions academy)
Brayden Crossley (Labrador/Gold Coast Suns academy)
Jack Payne (Noosa/Brisbane Lions academy)

Northern Territory

Zac Bailey (Southern Districts/Norwood)
Adam Sambono (NT Thunder)

Tasmania

Hugh Dixon (Kingborough Tigers)

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 13

ROUND Thirteen of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend, with teams at full strength after Vic Metro and Vic Country players returned from Under 18 Championships commitments. We had scouts watching four of the games – read their notes below.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Northern Knights (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Coming through with two goals for the game, Davies-Uniacke ended the game being one of the best on ground. His high work ethic and movement around the ground showed spectators how smart and calculating of a midfielder he really is. He is ahead of the curb defensively and offensively. His ability to read the play made for clever midfield movement and he showed no issue with putting himself on the line for his team. An all-rounder and a playmaker, who won the contested ball.

#18 Mitch Riordan – Another star for the weekend, Riordan showed off a consistent and strong work ethic. Where many others players had many ups and downs throughout the match, this man came out the gate galloping and kept up his efforts until the closing siren. A brilliant midfielder who knows how to move throughout the ground and open up pathways for his teammates, and that’s exactly what Riordan demonstrated and why he remained relevant during the whole game. While the midfielder displayed more stopping and starting than a rugby game, the bottom-ager managed to break the cycle and deliver that ball to his forwards or by snatching it from his opposition.

#25 Oscar Clavarino – A strong backline can make all the difference in a football match, so it should come at no surprise that Clavarino played a major part in his team’s victory. Possibly taking more marks than inside the Knight’s forward line than the Knights forwards combined. Clavarino read the play well and his most impressive feat was the initiation of the quick run from the backline to their forward line which ended in a goal.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – It should be no surprise to anyone that D’Arcy came through as one of the best Stingrays on the weekend. This young man’s talents in the forward line has for countless weeks put his team yards ahead of their opposition. While he seemed to be up against a tougher opponent than he may have been used to, D’Arcy fought through the challenge, showing both sides why he is a danger when the ball is in the air. His contested marking is unparalleled, muscling out anyone who tries to snatch his football away. This young man also showed his teammates that what makes a good forward by hitting them up to increase the chances at goal. A nice four goal game, along with his assistive efforts help guide his team to victory and his around the body snap from 50 out was nothing but a sight to behold.

Northern Knights:

#6 Patrick Naish – Naish played a solid game booting two goals and setting up a few others. He spent more time up forward than he has in the past few weeks and his potential did shine through. He did miss a few of his targets but he showed some good signs that should help him spring into a great second half of the season.

#30 Oliver Wilson – A strong defensive player, Wilson smashed through his competitors, laying plenty of tackles and putting on pressure. Wilson set himself apart from the rest of his game, putting in the extra effort and doing the team thing . Doing it all, he even ended the game with a goal under his belt and assisted in setting up a few others. Wilson worked well with the pressure, using it to fuel himself and step up for his team.

#39 Patrik Della Rocca – A tough match for the Dandenong defence, Della Rocca put up a firm fight against the ferocious Stingrays. Kicking two goals, and battling hard in the contest, this kid ended as one of the better players for the day. The game had plenty of interceptions, many players failing to find their targets, but often than not Della Rocca managed to find his target and pluck the ball right out of the air. On top of all that he took a wobbly but beautiful mark toward the end of game stunning spectators.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Matt Balmer)

Sandringham Dragons:

#6 Charlie Constable – Dominated the contest and was the star in the opening 10 minutes of the game. He won the ball on the inside and dished it off with ease to teammates to clear it from the contest. He also pushed forward and booted three goals and did his top five chances no harm. Was on track at quarter time for 40 disposals, but the Pioneers were able to do a reasonable job shutting him down.

#8 Will Walker – Found a lot of the ball but often turned it over by foot or just thumped it long. Walker opted to bang the ball long and high rather than slowing down and looking for the shorter targets. He did manage to bring the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions helping the Dragons hit the scoreboard.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw – Won the ball in the midfield and does a lot right, getting to the right positions and using it well off his right foot. He covers the ground well and is willing to defend, tackling hard throughout the game. His contested work is very good and perhaps underrated by some.

#29 Joel Amartey – Leaped well around the ground in the ruck and just when recruiters were beginning to pack their bags he clunked a fantastic contested mark and slotted the goal from 35m out in the last quarter. The raw ruckman is getting better with each game he plays.

#74 Nathan Murphy – Was the Dragons’ best player, moving up forward after playing his last two games in defence. His clean pick up from ground level was exceptionally and he marked well overhead, showing off a decent leap. He booted three goals, including a smart snap roving the pack in the first quarter. He snapped his third goal around the corner but it would’ve been touched if not for poor defending from the Pioneers.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#2 Kane Farrell – Spent times at both end of the ground but lifted his output when he went into the attacking half of the ground. Used it well on his left foot hitting all his targets. Had a very good passage on the wing in front of recruiters showing off his speed and agility getting around a handful of Dragons opponents with ease.

#7 Matthew Harvey – Linked up well in the midfield finding the ball around the ground. Booted a goal for the Pioneers and was one of their biggest ball winners.

#20 Angus Schumacher – The left footer used it well by foot and was able to find the ball through the midfield. His tackling was very good and he was willing to get involved in the contest. Possesses quick hands and was able to get the ball out to his teammates effectively.

#31 Caleb Sheehan – Didn’t win a lot of the ball but showed some good signs across half forward and in the midfield. Booted a goal and used the ball effectively by hand in close. Positioning at the stoppages was pretty good and he was able to win multiple clearances.

#59 Angus Byrne – The over-ager did some good things inside 50 booting two goals and provided some chop out in the ruck. Had a chance to convert an easy goal in the third term – but missed the chance. Marked well at ground level and the left footer was solid throughout the contest.

GWV Rebels vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Matt Balmer)

GWV Rebels:

#4 Aiden Domic – Found the ball floating across half back and through the midfield. Did have the odd bomb out of a stoppage, but his kicking was pretty neat on his right foot. Moves well and hit a nice spear pass inside 50 early in the game. Was smart enough to boot the ball long 50+ metres with the breeze and had a goal assist in the final quarter.

#9 Flynn Appleby – I thought Appleby was the Rebels’ best playing in defence. Appleby marked exceptionally well and used his good vision to spot a player with ease when he had ball in hand. He fought hard all day often matched up on the taller Toby Wooller and rebounded the ball well. Laid a superb tackle on Scala in the final quarter earning him a free kick.

#10 Jordan Johnston – Led well inside 50 and showed off his eye catching leap on a few occasions – including multiple contested grabs. He rushed a few of his kicks and it wasn’t a great day for him efficiency wise. When he picked the ball up off the ground he was able to dish it off to a teammate using quick hands on a few occasions.

#13 Thomas Berry – The bottom-ager was impressive laying multiple crunching tackles – including one on Riley Jones right on the three quarter time siren. He also nearly took a ‘screamer’ in the second term flying high for a mark. He got to the right spots to win the footy on the inside and possesses very good agile. Booted a simple goal in the final quarter claiming an intercept mark 15 metres out from goal.

#23 Lloyd Meek – Won the hitouts with ease in the ruck using his stronger frame which allowed him to out muscle Ned Reeves on most occasions. Had his quad strapped but it didn’t appear to effect him covering the ground well. Took a good grab in the last quarter but was one of a number of players whose kicking efficiency was affected by the wind.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#4 Ned Reeves – Was able to get up and over his Rebels opponents in the ruck at the ball ups – but was out muscled by Meek when they went head-to-head. Had a great centre clearance in the second quarter and was a damaging target inside 50 in the season half, with his extra height making him an impossible task for the smaller Rebels’ key position players. He marked and goaled twice in the third term.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Didn’t find as much of the ball early but worked his way into the contest, using his clean quick hands in close at the stoppages. Had a few shots on goal that were affected by the wind (resulting in 2.3 on the scoreboard). He was willing to go in and get the ball, but did rush a few kicks around the ground. Snagged a nice snap goal in the third term.

#8 Toby Wooller – Started the game well with a nice lead up mark in the opening quarter but it was just an ok game from Wooller. He played up forward as well as spending time at the stoppages, and had an outstanding centre clearance in the second quarter. The Chargers skipper reads the ball well at the stoppages and his defensive efforts were decent.

#14 Ed Richards – Has been super for Carey Grammar this season and continued his form into the game playing in defence. He was tasked with the kick outs and was able to find a free target with most of his kicks on his left foot. His hands in traffic are very good and he was willing to show off his elite speed and agility, taking on the Rebels players at times. Controlled the play and set the Chargers up well going forward.

#35 Jack Higgins – A quiet game by Higgins’ high standard. He still found 30 disposals, but it wasn’t as impactful as some of his other games this season. He worked his way into the game in the second half with 14 disposals alone in the third term, after earlier booting a trademark snap around the corner (Stevie J style) in the first quarter. He gave away a few innocuous free kicks throughout the day, but his quick hands were on show and the trait is one of the skills that seperate him from others at the stoppages. Kicked goal of the day on his left foot (non-preferred) deep in the pocket. Was willing to get in and tackle hard around the ground and his clearance work was very good.

Geelong Falcons vs. Western Jets (Peter Williams)

Geelong Falcons:

#1 Lachlan Noble – He was influential after quarter time, particularly in the third quarter. Booted two goals early in that quarter to help the Falcons hit the front and they never looked back from there. Noble finished the game with four majors and read the ball drop well, combining with his good goal sense to play a perfect crumbing forward’s game on a day where smalls were prominent.

#4 Gryan Miers – One of the best on ground for sure. Booted five goals and just looked dangerous every time he went near it. Strong in the air and at ground level, Miers particularly stands out with his ability to protect the ball drop and use his body well against his opponent to take the grab. He could have finished with about eight by the end of the day if he had not missed a few through the middle stages, but showed his class with a banana from the boundary line to go with a number of set shot and snaps.

#5 Jack Henderson – A reliable defender who did not do too much wrong in the backline. Along with Cooper Stephens, Henderson was tasked with switching the ball and trying to transition it out of defence. He hit his targets more often than not and seemed a composed user with ball in hand.

#7 Harry Benson – While he might not have accumulated the numbers he has in past weeks, he showed his super quick hands at the stoppages and is one of the many Falcons runners who are used in transition to move the ball cleanly from half-back to half-forward. He played on the ball and spent time on Lachie Fogarty, Benson laid a number of strong tackles on opponents.

#8 Ned McHenry – An underrated member of the Falcons midfield in my opinion. A lot is spoken about many of the others, but the bottom-ager goes about his business quietly achieving. A good user of the ball and particularly effective forward of centre, McHenry is most used as part of the chain of possessions moving in transition.

#16 David Handley – Kicked the first goal for the Falcons and the first goal of the second half, but otherwise was quiet. Like a traditional small forward, he pops up for an effective handball or pounces on an opportunity. The highlight was a bouncing ball in the square which saw Handley beat his opponent and volley it home to keep the Falcons’ momentum going after the half-time break.

#19 Matthew Ling – The speedy midfielder has that touch of class and it is no wonder there are plenty rating him in the first round. Does not win as much of it as some of his teammates, but he certainly knows how to do damage by foot. In saying that, he had a couple of uncharacteristic errors going inside 50 on the weekend and he berated himself for it, indicating the high standard he expects from himself. Ling’s top efforts were highlighted in a couple of footraces along the boundary line, beating his opponent and quickly disposing of the ball quickly by hand.

#22 Sam Walsh – Not named among the best for the Falcons which surprised me a little as I thought his run and carry was really good. Sometimes at full speed he would miss his his targets, but when time was on his side he weighs his kicks perfectly. One of a number of Falcons who impressed moving from half-back and through the midfield.

#38 James Worpel – Played more outside as he has recently, and won plenty of the ball on the wing and half-forward. Had a number of kicks going inside 50 but just needs to work on his disposal further. On Sunday his biggest problem just seemed to be that his execution let him down with his decision making still good, such as a few kicks dropping short of their intended targets. Laid quite a number of tackles, but also gave away a few free kicks. Worpel found space really well and covers the ground with ease.

#39 Connor Idun – Played on Cam Rayner when he was forward and I would have given the points to Idun. Did not always go with him in the midfield, but wore him like a glove in the defensive 50. While he does not win a heap of it, his defensive pressure and work rate is very good. Idun has good vision and can often handball to a teammate on the outside of a contest when he is in a congested situation.

#42 Cassidy Parish – I liked his game more than previous ones because he was opting to kick long rather than using a sideways handball. His ability in close is undoubtedly up there with the best, but it is his outside game, particularly his kicking which has brought the most critics. On the weekend I thought he kicked a lot better than previously. If he did not hit the target, he was clearing 40m passes and using long kicks to just get the ball deep inside 50. For me he played a clever game in the windy conditions – going for meterage and getting deep forward entries.

#46 Blake Schlensog – I was quite impressed with Schlensog’s movement around the ground. He seemed to be in sync with his midfielders when he was in a stoppage or contest and if he did not take the grab he would bring it front and centre. Schlensog had good vision for a taller player and managed to get his arms free in tackles.

Western Jets:

#12 Connor Thar – Really like Thar as a prospect because he rarely panics under pressure. He wins the ball and thinks his way through his disposal of it, showing good decision making and composure. Likewise his disposal by foot under pressure was also impressive and often found himself kicking to a target inside 50. As a bottom-age prospect, he will no doubt look to add size to his frame to work on the defensive attributes further, but overall he showed some promising signs.

#14 Lachlan Fogarty – A classy user when in possession, it was great to see Fogarty back at TAC Cup level with school football having the bye and his Vic Metro commitments over. Fogarty was really busy early and popped in from time to time but still needs to build his endurance further, having had a setback with a groin injury recently. When in space he uses it really well and puts it to the advantage of his teammates, but sometimes when in tight he can throw it on the boot. One instance was at a stoppage where he read the tap won the football and threw it on the boot. His opponent James Worpel had moved towards the contest and Fogarty had the open space to run inside 50 had he held it for a few more seconds to look. But given the pressure within the game he certainly could be forgiven for that, and I expect he will be a first round pick in this year’s draft with his skill set. The Jets’ best on the weekend.

#19 Cameron Rayner – Plenty of eyes would have been on the powerfully built forward. He looked strong early, fending off a few opponents to lead to a goal assist to Tristan Xerri, but over the four quarters was well contained. His opponents wore him like a glove such was their awareness of what he was capable of, and every contest he went to, he always had company by his side. A few glimpses, but overall a quieter game from the potential number one pick.

#20 Josh Mould – A risk-taking defender who I liked offensively. Penetrated past the defensive 50m arc kicking out on a number of occassions and would more often than not hit a target. Apart from a blue in the last quarter which led to a goal after attempting to kick short, Mould was quite good coming out of the back half. In the second quarter he ran about 40m to break through the Falcons zone. Does need to work on his defensive attributes as he was beaten one-on-one against Gryan Miers.

#25 Jack Noonan – Playing forward he did his job booting three goals. In the third term when the Jets looked down and out facing an eight-goal deficit coming up to half-time, Noonan had two set shots from difficult angles inside 50 and nailed them both. With the windy conditions, his set shot routine was quite good and he got a tick from me.

#37 Hamish Murphy – A typical lockdown defender who, despite not winning much of the ball, impressed me quite a bit. Early on he took a couple of intercept marks and really shut down the strong Adam Garner. Garner finished the game with one goal and could have had two, beating Murphy on the lead, but one-on-one, Murphy held his own through pure positioning and ability to read the ball in flight.

#38 Buku Khamis – Another Jets’ defender whose game I thought was quite impressive. Did not win much of it, but his role in shutting down the dangerous Tom McCartin could not be understated. He only had seven disposals, but kept McCartin goalless which was no easy feat. Khamis was good one-on-one and had a good game sense. For mine, his timing needs some work because he sometimes jumped too early to spoil.

#44 Tristan Xerri – The key forward/ruck is a hard one to read. I really like his work as a key forward, but there is still development needed around the ground. I think his leading patterns and ability to mark at the highest point, as well as a decent vertical leap make him a really solid prospect as a forward. The next step for me is that I find that he is a bit raw and needs to work further on his game sense. One instance was where the ball was about to roll out and Xerri was in hot pursuit with an opponent right behind him. Rather than let it roll out and reset, he dragged the ball back in but chose to take possession where he was immediately tackled and naturally called for holding the ball. I think he has plenty of development left in him and his field kicking seemed to be quite good, it is just his game sense which needed improvement in my opinion.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 11

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

Sandringham Dragons vs. Geelong Falcons (Matt Balmer)

Sandringham Dragons:

#2 Geordie Nagle – Won plenty of football in the defensive half of the ground, playing more up the ground at stages in the contest than rather as a pure back pocket. Did make a few errors by foot, but was able to mark and get to the right spots when having to defend.

#5 Seb Williams – Had the ball on a string early across half forward and through the midfield. Often opted for shorter passes by foot – but was smart at times by hand, drawing a player before whipping the ball into the corridor by hand and get the Dragons moving.

#8 Will Walker – Another who found plenty of the ball in the first half. At times was sloppy by foot skewing a few targets up the ground. Quieter after half time but still found a good amount of the footy.

#10 Angus Styles – The Dragons’ best in their strong win. Rebounded the ball well across half back and was good through the contest. Kicking can be hot and cold – but was solid in what was a windy day at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

#37 Bailey Smith – One that has impressed at school footy for Xavier and shown glimpses in his appearances for the Dragons and Vic Metro U17 Futures. Provides good run & carry getting the ball going forward, with a dash of speed. One to keep an eye on for next year’s draft.

#74 Nathan Murphy – The Victorian cricketer was a late addition to the Dragons squad and had a solid debut in defense after turning heads in the APS school boy competition up forward for Brighton Grammar. Possesses a long kick but at times did overuse the ball by hand coming out of defence. Voice was good in the defensive 50 barking instructions to his teammates despite being a new learner to the Dragons structures.

Geelong Falcons: 

#7 Harry Benson – Played through the midfield and was solid for the Falcons, often acting as a sweeper at the contest. Found the ball and was able to dispose of it well on his right foot – bar one clanger right near their Falcons’ defensive 50.

#9 Frazer O’Gorman – The left footer played through the midfield and despite his small frame competed well at the contest. He did however have multiple ineffective kicks off his left foot – but was one of the Falcons’ best.

#13 Ethan Floyd – Arguably the Falcons’ best – not wearing his usual red boots but was sporting a fresh lime green pair. Uses it well off his left foot on the outside and a strong player on the wing for the Falcons. Hoping he comes back in for Vic Country this week.

#17 Cooper Stephens – Another who impressive in what was a poor game for the Falcons. Kicked the ball well around the ground, hitting plenty of targets. Thought he was the Falcons’ best behind Floyd.


Oakleigh Chargers vs. Gippsland Power (Brandon Hutchinson)

Oakleigh Chargers: 

#4 Ned Reeves – Although the Power tried – the ruck work from Reeves proved hard to match with the Power rotating their ruckman to no avail. He was a tough one to beat in the air, being a popular target through the midfield and demonstrated a keen eye for passing & smothering.

#6 Matthew Day – Day was a nightmare for the Gippsland midfield this weekend, booming through any chance he got. He racked up three goals for himself and was pivotal in setting up a few more for his team. His sharp kicking was key to the Charger’s efficient four quarters and his movement with the footy makes for some exciting plays.

#7 Charlie Thompson – Launching through the first goal of the game, Thompson set a pace for the game his opposition would struggle to keep up with. His movement through the midfield aided many of his teammates’ scoring. He has a keen awareness of his surrounding shown through his ability to run and carry, shrug off his opponents and lay heavy tackles. The work rate of this youngster would not be easy to match.

#8 Toby Wooller – Wooller came out hot in the second half, ending his game with five goals under his belt. The ball always managed to find his strong hands, and whenever it was thrown to his boot, it hit the best option he could find. A powerhouse for the Chargers, Wooller destroyed the Power defence, slotting through plenty of goals and assisting in many others. The youngster also had no issue stepping up as ruck and showed off a beautiful smother in the final minutes off the game.

#37 Ed Michelmore – The work ethic from this young man helped keep Power goalless in the second half. A smart footballer, this young man excelled in the midfield. His movement was quick, sharp and calculated, displaying an outstanding sense for delivering that footy. He shrugged off two tackles running through the midfield, tossing his opponents into the pitch. Michelmore was exciting and dangerous for the Chargers.

#57 Riley Collier-Dawkins – Dawkins’ two goals were an impressive feat, but the work to be noted is his presence in the midfield. Having no problem getting his own ball, he was present during most of the major transitions through the Charger’s midfield. Athletic and intelligent, Dawkins showed us this weekend why he is the perfect football. His run and carry through the midfield is powerful, and his passing sharp and clever. This man deserves some attention for his efforts shown today and is one to keep an eye on for the 2018 AFL Draft.

Gippsland Power: 

#4 Changkuoth Jiath – Jiath has an athletic and adaptable future with his efforts today helping to reinforce these beliefs. CJ stepped up to the ruck at the beginning of the third, and despite being much shorter than his opponent, leapt to a height that made him Reeves best opponent for the day. A quick and agile footballer, Jiath was often the first to the ball and was up higher than the rest when it came to pack marks. His smart passing saw the footy reach his forward half, and his intercept in the second half was a sight to behold.

#19 Callum Porter – Despite being on the losing team, Porter was without a doubt one of the best on ground. Even with victory seeming more and more impossible, the young gun refused to give up the fight. His defensive pressure kept the Chargers out of his neck of the woods early on, and his work through the midfield comes with plenty of class and finish. Making the most of what he has, this youngster made the game appear a lot better than the end result may suggest.

#29 Boadie Motton – Working to the bone for his team, Boadie’s defensive pressure and placement of the ball made galloping off a bit harder for the Chargers in the opening half. His first quarter really showed off his talents with his clever movement in the midfield. He hits up his target, runs with excellent carry and refused to break under the pressure of a more adept side.


Calder Cannons vs. Bendigo Pioneers (Billy Friend)

Calder Cannons:

#1 Brad Bernacki – Like salt and pepper, Brad Bernacki was everywhere for the Cannons today. The tough inside midfielder led his team from the front and continues to prove himself despite not being selected by Vic Metro. Today was a classic Bernacki performance; contested possessions, strong tackling and two crucial goals from midfield.

#5 Curtis Taylor – Demonstrated plenty of X-Factor today in the forward half by kicking three goals and setting up a couple more. His craft and agility allowed him to bring his teammates into the game and the forward won several one-on-one contests.

#19 Ben Caluzzi – Caluzzi really impressed today via his run and carry off half back. The defender accumulated disposals as the Cannons’ main delivery man and was prominent throughout the whole match. He kicked an incredibly skilful goal from the boundary line from outside fifty which also caught the eye. If there was one criticism of his performances, he did occasionally turn the ball over, but more than made up for this with a terrific performance.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Fletcher acted as the rock in defence again today. The bottom-ager reads the flight of the ball better than his opponents and even snuck forward to kick a cheeky goal in the last quarter. Somehow I don’t think we will be seeing him kicking too many more goals in the competition because of his value in the defensive half.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski mimicked Noah Balta’s role (against the Knights) for the Cannons today and was one of the best players on the ground today. The swingman kicked a terrific goal and took several strong contested marks, including multiple intercept possessions in defence. He displayed a long penetrating kick and composure when he had the ball.

#48 Liam Middleton – Middleton showed himself to be a tidy footballer in today’s performance. He didn’t amass a huge amount of ball but was clean and impactful when he got it.

Bendigo Pioneers:

#7 Matt Harvey – Harvey was one of the Pioneers best today in what was a commanding four quarter performance. He was the first player for his team at the bottom of the pack and showed an outstanding thirst for contested ball. His kicking was effective and fought bravely in the midfield all day.

#15 Darby Henderson – Henderson was also in the best few for his team as he collected lots of possessions by pushing up the ground. His performance was highlighted by his kicking inside fifty as he was able to hit targets and didn’t waste any of his possessions.

#16 Jacob Atley – Atley’s first five metres off the mark is explosive and he provided run & dash out of the backline.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Started the match off slowly but eased into the contest and found a lot of ball on a wing. His uncontested game set up the Pioneers forays forward and like his namesake delivered the well inside fifty.

#19 Mitchell Kemp – Kemp fought bravely in a tough day for the Bendigo defenders and was probably the pick of his back six. He displayed an ability to read the ball and take intercept marks and spoiled well in one on one duels.

#31 Caleb Sheahan – Made the most of his return to the team by demonstrating aerial prowess for a midfielder and physicality around the ball. He didn’t collect the numbers of Bernacki or Harvey but impressed none the less.

#35 Jobee Warde – Won the majority of hitouts today and allowed his midfielders to get first use via many hit outs to advantage.

#69 Austin Mertz – His speed on the lead was impressive and worked hard to present as the Pioneers’ main tall forward. Mertz displayed athleticism and strong hands and was the only multiple goal kicker for his team.

#70 Angus Byrne – Byrne was the surprise packet of the day. His intensity and tackling around the ball for a tall player was outstanding and he coupled this with strong overhead marking. The big man possesses a piercing left foot kick and always presented for his teammates. He kicked one goal but imposed himself with his big frame around the ground.

TAC Cup Scouting notes: Round 10

ROUND Ten of the TAC Cup was completed over the weekend and we had scouts watching four of the games. Round 10 is the start of the three week TAC Cup ‘Futures Rounds’ which will see teams play a minimum of 11 bottom-aged players. Read their scouting notes below:

Eastern Ranges vs. Western Jets (Matt Balmer)

Eastern Ranges:

#2 Thomas North – One of the unlucky players to miss out on Vic Metro selection for the opening game, but North did all he could do to bang down the door for a spot in their round three team. North’s hands in close were super and he worked the ball out of the stoppage with ease. His usage on his left foot was good and he hit most of his targets. Would’ve been one of the leading disposal winners on the ground, often looking to play on at all costs.

#7 Jordan Lynch – Stop the game at quarter time and the over-ager would’ve been clear best on ground. Lynch controlled the centre of the ground for most of the day and while he faded out a bit as the game went on with some extra attention from the Jets – he was a great player for them. His strong body at the stoppages helped him win the clearances and he used his agility and burst to move the ball forward at speed. Has presence.

#17 Cody Hirst – Laid an outstanding rundown tackle on O’Halloran in the opening quarter on the 50m arch. Took a nice mark on the lead in the second quarter and used the ball well on his left foot throughout the game. Had a kickable shot on goal in the third quarter 20m out on the run, but was impressive on the outside.

#20 Ben Cardamone – First time I’d noticed Cardamone and he wasn’t a player I had jotted down to watch coming into the clash – but I was impressed by the bottom-ager. Spent time at either end and was lively around the ball – willing to crack in hard and lay tackles. Reckon he’s a player to track over the next 18 months.

#24 Kye Quirk – Played in defensive 50 and the bottom ager was solid without starring. Has a long kick and has good vision with ball in hand. Took a nice mark at ground level in the opening quarter. Was winded in a Buku Khamis tackle in the third quarter nursing a sore head, but played out the game without too much discomfort.

Western Jets:

#1 Jake Hazik – Has an enormous supply of energy and the bottom-ager is as lively as they come. Possess great speed & agility and is fast footed. Booted a nice goal on his left foot close to goal in the opening quarter but his best goal was around the corner in the second quarter of the game over his shoulder. Did miss a kickable shot on the run in the first quarter but he’s someone who certainly will catch the eye.

#11 Zak Butters – Was a big ball winner in the U17 Futures game for Vic Metro last week and provides plenty of run and carry for the Jets team. Is a zippy midfield and while his kicking can be hot and cold, he was pretty good on Saturday. Picks the ball up cleanly from ground level and loves to tackle.

#12 Connor Thar – Roved his first goal from the ruck contest 15m out and was solid right throughout the game. Ball use was good on his right foot and took a nice mark in the last quarter.

#33 Xavier O’Halloran – Was a slow starter but his work in the centre of the ground was outstanding. Is a clearance machine and possesses a long kick. When tackled he lifts his arms up and is able to get them free to dish off a handball. Laid some crunching tackles and was superb in the second quarter.

#38 Buku Khamis – Haven’t seen a lot of Khamis up forward but he bagged two goals on his long left foot from outside 50 which were outstanding. He keeps his feet at the contest and has a very good leap. At times he misjudged the flight of the ball and didn’t take as many marks as he could’ve – but I thought it was one of the better games I’ve seen him play. Not a huge ball winner, but his last quarter was special despite missing an easy shot on goal from 15m out.

Gippsland Power vs. Greater Western Victoria Rebels (Peter Williams)

Gippsland Power:

#5 Xavier Duursma – Played a solid role on the outside, moving the ball really well in transition and his ability to get his hands free when tackled is a big plus. Did not win as much of it as others, but seemed to get better as the game went on and kicked a really good goal from a standing start. Almost had a second courtesy of a high leap but just missed.

#7 Will Stephenson – The acting captain for the Power just relishes the big moments. With the game on the line and the Rebels starting to get hold of the match, Stephenson booted three second half goals to turn the game back in Gippsland’s favour. He was in the votes for mine, just behind teammate Cal Porter with the pair booting six majors between them and proving a handful for the opposition.

#15 Cody Henness – A steady hand in defence. He would chop off opposition passes and just hold up the play to regain momentum for Gippsland. He would then size up his options and pass laterally or go long, playing percentage football. A rock back there for Gippsland.

#18 Matthew McGannon – The Power player switched between midfield and defence at times and seemed to judge his kick really well. He had a good pass in the second term where he used his peripheral vision to kick laterally, hit-up a target and allow the Power to run clear of the defensive 50. One of the better Power players on the day and was solid throughout the four quarters.

#19 Callum Porter – Another best on ground performance for mine. Just so strong in the air, wins clearances and kicks goals. His reading of the tap in the last quarter, bursting away, taking a couple of bounces and slotted it from outside 50. Finished with two goals, a large number of contested possessions, contested marks and clearances, he just continues to get the job done and another all-round performance for the inside midfielder.

#20 Kim Drew – Another underrated midfielder at the Power who caught my eye a number of times. He sometimes was let down by his execution, but his decision making was very good. In otherwords, he would kick it to the right areas, and he has that penetrating kick, but it wouldn’t always hit the target lace out. He also had good vision on the outside and was a key mover on the wing.

#24 Sean Masterson – Can play at either end but settled in defence. Started on Jordan Johnston but moved around a fair bit. Took a couple of really neat hangers to show off his aerial ability. Got a bit of the ball and is athletic for his size, so another promising performance for the over-ager.

#25 Kyle Reid – Finished the match with four goals and for mine that’s a good day in any key forward’s book. Proved too strong for his opponents at times, he leads at the football and makes the most of his opportunities. Might have had one or two more but he had a few shots from tight angles. One goal he kicked tight up on the boundary line was his best. A prominent target inside 50.

Greater Western Victoria Rebels:

#3 Scott Carlin – The player to go to in the defensive half, Carlin isn’t rushed with his disposal and will hit up targets over short and medium ranges. Tasked with the kick-in duties, he did not let his side down and often would look for the 1-2 pass coming out of defence. Definetely a defensive playmarker and will be good to watch him develop into a midfielder over the next 18 months given his accurate passing.

#4 Aiden Domic – A very impressive performance from the Rebels midfielder. I’ve always thought he had the talent, but on the weekend he added the hard running to the max and got a tick from me. In one instant he had the ball at half-back, kicked long to a teammate and ran hard enough to receive the pass from that teammate inside 50. Kicked a goal against the flow late and used his pinpoint passing to effect throughout the game. Was very pleased with what he produced.

#9 Flynn Appleby – I took notice of both his offensive and defensive traits from the game. He laid a really good smother early in the third term, and also has that ability to break zones with his long kicking. He showed good hands under pressure and just kept bobbing up throughout the game and could hold his head high from that performance.

#10 Jordan Johnston – Looked to be going for the marks record early on, was hauling them in from everywhere including a high flying grab in the goal square for the first goal of the game. Finished with just the two majors, but played further up the ground as the game went on and hit up targets inside 50 on numerous occassions. A fine performance from the Vic Country squad member.

#15 Trent Reed – Had a truck load of the ball, but his kicking let him down at times. Seemed to rush his disposal a little bit but continually worked hard throughout the match. Copped a knock early and played it out and despite some of the missed kicks would have been one of the Rebels’ best. He covers the ground really well and just continually puts his body on the line and does the team thing with no regard for his own safety.

#23 Lloyd Meek – The standout ruck in the game, he’s just so strong and manhandled his opponents. In the past he’s had the ruckwork ability but this season he’s come in leaps and bounds in terms of using his body to ragdoll opponents. Took several contested marks including a few in defence and just played everywhere on the ground. A presence in the air and so clever around the stoppages.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Michael Alvaro) 

Northern Knights:

#5 Marcus Lentini – Has returned from a wrist injury well over the last few weeks, settling the Knights across half-back and earning high numbers in disposals. Uncharacteristically shirked a contest in the third term, but worked hard afterwards to rectify it and really dug in for his side going forward. While he was great at setting his side up, his efforts going the other way weren’t as prominent, and he’ll need to work on that as he gains more time in the midfield. That, and blazing away under pressure are probably the things keeping him out of the final Vic Metro squad.

#10 Brody Bell –Utilised on the wing for most of the game, the bottom-ager stood out with his one-on-one prowess and hunger for the contest. Isn’t a high accumulator, but tackles well and already has a decent build, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him thrown into the centre bounces in the future. The Knights have a good history of doing that and it certainly wouldn’t hurt his development.

#13 Ollie Stapleton – Looks much-improved this year and provided some needed dash for the Knights with starts Jack Petruccelle and Patrick Naish on Vic Metro representative duty this weekend. Prone to a clanger or two, but has a lot of upside with his gut-running and knack around goals.

#18 Jamison Shea – The Old-Paradian has enjoyed a decent few weeks as 23rd man for Footscray in the VFL and as a star-man for the Knights. Was played through the middle to capitalise on his improved ball-winning ability, and floated around the ground nicely to win the ball in important areas at both ends. Has really excelled this year with the Knights having more key position outlets, allowing him to play a role more suited to his slight 190cm frame.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#4 Ned Reeves – The Knights tried three different rucks but couldn’t get the better of Oakleigh’s man mountain. Dominated the centre bounces, giving his classy midfielders first use and even chimed in with a goal late in the game.

#6 Matthew Day – Big bodied midfielder with a ton of class. Has terrific hands which he often uses to release teammates on the run, and compliments it well with a booming left foot. Provided a couple of decent highlights throughout the day with a huge run-down tackle and a neat side-step which lead to his first of two goals. Was also rested forward in the second half after hurting his ankle in that tackle and looked dangerous.

#10 Riley Jones – Has an exciting mix of athleticism and courage – showcasing his outstanding leap and strong hands with either a ridiculous mark or attempt in each term. Backed it up with three goals and was menacing throughout the game, latching onto high balls into the 50 that would often go to ground.

#13 Daniel Stanford – The 19-year-old excelled up forward, dominating his side’s 50 for the whole contest. Proved a handful with his work rate and ability to find space, teaming up well with Riley Jones to provide reliable targets. Finished with deserved return of four goals.

#16 Lachlan Bugeja – There isn’t much of this bottom-ager, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the way he wins his contested ball. Provided a combination of grunt and class in the second and third terms which set the sides apart and saw Oakleigh gain an unassailable lead. Attended most of the centre bounces and used the ball well out of them.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. Murray Bushrangers (Brandon Hutchinson)

Dandenong Stingrays: 

#29 Bailey Williams – Showed consistent success in his centre hitouts throughout this weekend’s match. The leap and timing of him was not easy to match from the Bushrangers. While not every hitout was correctly capitalised on, his midfield presence in the centre made him a strong target for his team. With an excellence composure, this young man remained a pillar for his team throughout a tough four quarters of football.

#38 Mitch Cotter – The ferocity shown by Cotter is powerful and unmatched. Has no problem throwing his head over the ball. Always in the right place at the right time, and he works hard to eject the football toward his 50 and has no issue playing both offensively and defensively. He is excellent along the ground, snatching up the football whenever he’s near it. This kid is someone to keep an eye on.

#50 Riley D’Arcy – His physical presence did not go unnoticed in the Stingray’s forward 50. In the air he is unparalleled, with firm marking and sharp kicking that launched his team out of the gate in the second quarter. D’Arcy had a strong first half, kicking four assuming an assisting role in the later half of the game. His movement of the ball helped cease midfield scramble, creating smooth movement through the passage toward goal. When he is hit up in front of goal, more often than not is he going to mark and put a score on the board. D’Arcy ended the game with five goals.

#55 Ali Zijai – Has excellent midfield presence and hits the scoreboard. Zijai’s slick running along the wing is a sight to behold. In a game with plenty of stoppages and fumbling, this young fella held the ball tight and put it where it needed to be. On the ground and in the air, Zijai holds his composure under insurmountable opposition pressure. Sharp kicking and excellent run & carry saw this young man set up plenty of goals out of the midfield, as well as kicking three of his own.

Murray Bushrangers: 

#1 Daniel Johnston – Had a realatively quiet game but launched out of the gate as soon as the Bushies got a whiff of victory. He kicked Murray’s first goal for the game and their final goal to put them within two points. His fight came through hard in the final quarter, kicking two to give the Bushrangers a chance. His willingness to attack the ball was quite prevalent in the nail biter, and the hanger he took in the closing minutes was nothing short of incredible.

#18 Hudson Garoni – Was a man on a mission. He opened up Murray’s game launching through two important goals in the first quarter. Was their leading goal kicker for the day, showing no issue dropping them in from any angle. As a smaller forward, this kid has a future and showed it without doubt against the Stingrays.

#21 Doulton Langlands – This man’s work in the backline was a huge reason behind the close finish. His decision-making and running was a key factor behind his teams movement along the wing. When this kid grabbed the ball he was off. It could be easily argued that he was the biggest problem for Stingray’s forward line, being way too quick for any of their players. Langlands has a lot of potential, showing he can do at all if he’s needed to. If you ask me, he definitely has a future in this game.

Finals preview: Saturday’s games

CC - Tyson Lever

Oakleigh Chargers vs. Calder Cannons

FANS will not have to wait long to find out the first team to be eliminated from the 2016 TAC Cup finals series, with no coming back for the loser of Oakleigh and Calder. The teams will take to the field from 11.30am on Saturday, with a number of top-age and bottom age prospects to watch for.

For Oakleigh, its strength is in its forward line, with Patrick Kerr, Toby Wooller, Nick Larkey, Jack Higgins and Dion Johnstone all capable of kicking a bag on their day. While their midfield might not have the silky clash of past years, they have a number of players that can find the ball and get it forward, which is all they need to do with the firepower forward of centre.

Their defence has a few talented players likely to end up on AFL lists, starting with Taylin Duman, a composed user of the ball, as well as the athletic and versatile Jordan Ridley. The Chargers have good depth in their 23, with their 23rd player still able to provide a role on the day.

For Calder, their strength lies at either end. In their defence is Hayden Blythe, Lachlan Bramble and Zac Guthrie all on clubs radars and will be keen to impress. In the forward line, Karl Brown is the league’s leading goal kicker, while Muhammed Saad booted seven goals in a game, with Mitch Lewis and Noah Balta (bottom ager) another two forwards to keep an eye on. Their midfield like Oakleigh’s, is not as strong as in past years, but the likes of Tyson Lever, Ben Ronke and Jackson McDonald are more than capable of winning their own ball. Ovie Magbegor is likely to have a fascinating duel in the ruck with Ned Reeves, with Magbegor a potential rookie selection.

What is the key to winning the match?

Ball movement will be a huge factor in the difference between winning and losing, with both teams willing to take risks through the centre corridor and kicking long down the line.

Who could be the difference for each side?

Jack Higgins (Oakleigh) is a natural ball winner and just finds plenty of space. More importantly, he can kick multiple goals in a short space of time and really turn a game on its head.

Zac Guthrie (Calder) will have one of the most important roles on Saturday, not only needing to likely nullify Nick Larkey, but also provide run out of defence. He loves to run, but can often rush his kicks, something he cannot afford to do in a final.

What do Oakleigh need to do to win?

The midfield battle is important to win, but their defence uses it well and they have plenty targets up forward that are not only strong overhead, but mobile as well. If the ball hits the ground, you can back the Chargers’ crumbers to make the most of their opportunities.

What do Calder need to do to win?

Simply, they must win the midfield battle. It is the one area they can top Oakleigh, and might even win the clearance count with an abundance of inside midfielders. Magbegor should win the hitouts and give the midfielders first touch, but they need to make the most of it. If Brown and Saad can get off the chain, then they are half a chance, but they cannot afford to engage in a shoot-out because it will not end well.

Who will win?

For mine it’s hard to go past Oakleigh. I respect Calder for what they have been able to do without an elite talent, but the cream rises to the top in finals, and Oakleigh has that cream.

Tip: Oakleigh by 35 points.



Geelong Falcons vs. North Ballarat Rebels

The second Saturday match is the qualifying final between the Geelong Falcons and North Ballarat Rebels. The Falcons held top spot for most of the season and had a massive win over Calder in the second last round before surrendering the minor premiership to Dandenong in the final round.

North Ballarat is on a huge high following a strong second half showing to snatch third after looking destined to finish fifth for most of the season. This game could be a low scoring game with both sides’ forward lines the lowest of the finals teams in my opinion.

While the Falcons have Brett Blair and Zachary Zdybel, Zdybel often rotates through the ruck with Sean Darcy, while Hayden Elliot also floats through both positions. Aside from those two key forwards, a lot of their goals come from midfielders, which is great because of the unpredictability, but it also means if you are losing the midfield battle, chances are you will lose the match.

The Rebels have a very solid defence with Jarrod Korewha, Clay Bilney and Hunter Dawborn able to match up on the taller players, while Tom Williamson and Callan Wellings provide movement from half-back and through the midfield.

North Ballarat Rebels’ midfield is the best in the competition, with Hugh McCluggage, Willem Drew, Jarrod Berry and Cedric Cox all to be drafted in November, and quite possibly in the first 40 picks.

It will be a tough ask for Geelong, with top prospect Jack Henry (probably a later National Draft selection) and James Worpel (bottom ager) as they provide the class, while the likes of Max Augerinos and Lockey McCartney provide the inside grunt. Sean Darcy is a monster in the ruck, but the Falcons will need to overcome a lack of star power across the field to win.

In defence there are a few underrated players in Jack Blood and Mitch Diamond, while Sam Simpson and Pat Dowling can kick a few goals on their day up forward. Overall, it will be a case of whether Geelong’s working class midfield can upstage the polish of North Ballarat’s midfield.


What is the key to winning the match?

The key in my opinion is converting opportunities. Both forward lines might not have big names in there, but have shown to still kick big scores on occasions with midfielders rotating through.

Who could be the difference for each side?

James Worpel (Geelong) is a star and still 12 months away from being drafted. The inside midfield beast can go forward and kick goals, and I think he will get to go head-to-head with another contested beast in Willem Drew.

It is hard to go past Hugh McCluggage for the Rebels, with the likely number one draft pick all class and seemingly unstoppable in the second half of the season. McCluggage does it all from finding space, moving through traffic and kicking goals, of which he kicks an absurd amount for a midfielder.

What do Geelong need to do to win?

Geelong will have to play a possession style game and nullify North Ballarat’s better ball users in McCluggage and Cox. If Geelong can win the football at the coal face and try and reduce the amount of pain the Rebels can cause them on the outside, then they are certainly in with a chance. On paper they lack the class, but a blue collar side are not afraid to get down and dirty and if it’s a tight game, they are the ones that often close out matches.

What do North Ballarat need to do to win?

Simply, put it in the hands of their better ball users in McCluggage and Cox. Exactly the opposite to Geelong – give it to them and let them work their magic. If both have days out, then the Rebels will win. They also have more run around the ground than the Falcons, so they can afford to take the game on with big kicks Korewha and Berry able to clear zones. They will need to be smart going forward as their most dangerous targets are small to medium types, whereas Geelong is good at getting across and spoiling.

Who will win?

I’m tipping North Ballarat as I believe they can go all the way and win the flag. But in saying that, Geelong are in with a shot if they can win the inside battle and get it to their big forwards. If North Ballarat can open the game up, then they will really apply pressure on their opponents, and much like the Oakleigh/Calder game, class rises to the top.

Tip: North Ballarat by four points.