Tag: nick daicos

Q&A: Youseph Dib (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Michael Alvaro chatted with Oakleigh Chargers’ Youseph Dib at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

There may not be much of the Collingwood Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect at 172cm, but he is well-built for his size and makes up for it with tenacious two-way effort. After earning All Australian honours at last year’s Under 16 National Championships in a stacked Vic Metro side, Dib also managed to crack into the premiership-winning Oakleigh line-up for one outing late in the 2019 season.

While he is able to win his own ball and impact contests from as high as the wing or through midfield, Dib will more likely feature as a small forward for Oakleigh this year in between school football commitments with Caulfield Grammar. Read what the impressive bottom-ager had to say about his journey thus far and the year ahead in our latest Q&A.

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Q&A:


MA: Youseph, how’s the day been for you so far?

YD: “Not too bad, it’s been a pretty long day. There’s a lot of boys out here, it’s good to see your competition and where everyone’s at. I’ve just got the yo-yo (test) left and then we’re good to go home.”

 

Is that one you’re looking forward to or dreading?

“Probably dreading. But one thing I’ve been working on in the off-season a lot is my fitness, so I’m excited to see where I’m at and see how I compare to before preseason.”

 

Coming off a really good Under 16 campaign, how did you enjoy the carnival up in Queensland?

“Yes, a good experience. I felt like the difference between our year and maybe some others was that our (group) really jelled well together. We had a really broad range of talent and as soon as we got on the ground, it didn’t take long for us to know each other. We just connected well and our chemistry was up there.”

 

There were plenty of fellow Oakleigh boys as well, did that make the connection easier?

“Definitely. We had about 10 or 11 there and I’ve been training with them for the last few months. But I also felt like we were leaders there and helped some of the other boys who didn’t have too many (others) from their regions. After a couple of training sessions everyone was all mixed together between regions which was one of the reasons why our chemistry was so high.”

 

Given you can go and win your own ball, which position do you see yourself fitting in best at Oakleigh now?

“I’ve been working a lot in the forward (group), so a small forward around some of the talls. I’m hoping to play a bit of midfield, a bit of wing. Playing up and down the ground and working on my fitness so I can be a bit more broad.”

 

You’d have some great mentors as part of the Collingwood Next Generation Academy, how has that been for your development?

“It’s been very good. Reef McInnes, who’s a year older than me as well, when I first came in I was pretty quiet and didn’t really know anyone and he really brought me in. Every training session he gets around all the younger boys with the new (Under) 15s coming in, he’s a very good leader. With ‘Daics’ (Nick Daicos) and Reef training at Oakleigh as well, it helps because we know each other so well… the NGA training has been pretty high-intensity which has been brought up a lot this year.”

 

What kind of goals are you looking to set out this year?

“Most of my year will be played out at school footy which I haven’t really done before, so I’m excited to see what the competition is like there and hopefully I can bring up my stats and fill out my role in the team. It’ll be a pretty long year (with) a lot of small goals, but my main goal from the off-season was my fitness. I’m excited to see what I’m like on the ground and where I’m at.”

Squad predictions: 2020 Vic Metro Under 18s

THE annual Under 18 National Championships may be the only chance we get to catch a glimpse of the class of 2020 before draft day, with a decision on the recommencement of competition pushed back to at least September. In the meantime, Draft Central takes a look at how each regional squad may line up should the carnival come around, but with a few stipulations in place.

RULES:

  • Top-agers (2002-born) have been prioritised due to the limited season and exposure
  • Of those, AFL Academy Hub members also gain priority for the starting squad
  • Bottom-agers (2003-born) in the hub, and top-agers outside it are named for depth
  • 19-year-old prospects miss out, having already staked their claims in previous years

A lot may change between now and when the squad will be announced, but all players look likely to be available. Of course, the sides may vary greatly as players look to shift and develop in different positions, but each member has been selected based on the roles they have previously played. Given only previous form, preseason testing and scratch matches are what we have to go off, bolters are also difficult to gauge at this point.

But without further ado, let’s get stuck into the first stipulated squad, with Vic Metro’s talent broken down line-by-line. An alternate squad with no limitations will also be provided below.

DEFENCE

FB – Cody Raak (Western), Cody Brand (Calder), Wil Parker (Eastern)
HB – Joshua Clarke (Eastern), Nikolas Cox (Northern), Connor Downie (Eastern)

There’s a real Eastern Ranges flavour to the back six, with regional skipper and Hawthorn NGA prospect Connor Downie a potential leadership candidate. Athletic Northern utility Nikolas Cox is another NAB League captain in line for those honours, and the two are joined across half-back by Josh Clarke.

The forward penetration Clarke and Downie provide makes for an exciting proposition, though Downie may well find his way up onto a wing or into the midfield in the final squad. The third Eastern product of the defence, Wil Parker can also add value on the rebound, but joins Bulldogs NGA candidate Cody Raak as a capable intercept marker inside defensive 50.

Essendon-aligned hopeful Cody Brand looks set to lock down a role at full back, making for a fairly sturdy last line. The combination of aerial threat and attacking ball use among the six bodes well for Metro, and should set the side up nicely.

MIDFIELD

C – Jake Bowey (Sandringham), Reef McInnes (Oakleigh), Lochlan Jenkins (Oakleigh)
FOL – Max Heath (Sandringham), Will Phillips (Oakleigh), Finlay Macrae (Oakleigh)

If there was an Eastern feel to the defence, then the midfield is all-Oakleigh. Following on with the NGA theme too is Collingwood academy member Reef McInnes, who takes up a spot in the centre with eyes on fulfilling a more midfield-oriented role in 2020.

The familiar faces of Will Phillips and Finlay Macrae look set to join him at the centre bounces, as smaller outlets who can find plenty of the ball. On the outer, we’ve opted for a small combination with the 174cm Jake Bowey on one side, and 177cm Lochlan Jenkins on the opposite.

Should the Metro coaches opt for more grunt through the middle, the likes of Downie and explosive Sandringham product Archie Perkins could add some extra power, though the chosen core should have little trouble finding the ball. Max Heath is the chosen ruck, one of the few pure talls among the ranks at the moment.

FORWARD

HF – Archie Perkins (Sandringham), Liam McMahon (Northern), Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh)
FF – Jackson Cardillo (Calder), Ollie Lord (Sandringham), Eddie Ford (Western)

Akin to last year’s squad, the forwardline is one of the weaker areas of the squad – not for a lack of talent, but due to the lack of a pure small forward. The likes of Perkins, Bailey Laurie, Jackson Cardillo, and Eddie Ford all pack dynamism, speed, and smarts, but fall into the category of midfielder/forwards.

This forward bunch should also have no troubles in competing aerially, with the high-marking prowess of Perkins and Ford aided by vertically apt key position prospects Liam McMahon and Ollie Lord. Though at 193cm and 195cm respectively, the pair falls a touch short of traditional key position height, so may prove less impactful against some of the bulkier defenders one-on-one.

Within the starting lineup, Cox is also able to swing forward if needed, while Heath may well earn a rest up there in between his ruck duties. In terms of mid-sizers, Macrae and McInnes spent plenty of time forward for Oakleigh in 2019, while Downie is another who can find the goals.

INTERCHANGE

INT – Jack Diedrich (Eastern), Conor Stone (Oakleigh), Luke Cleary (Sandringham), Josh Eyre (Calder)

The interchange bench sees two remaining top-age Academy Hub members named, incidentally also providing good depth down the spine. Eastern’s Jack Diedrich and Calder’s Josh Eyre can play in key position posts, with Diedrich adding ruck depth and Eyre a more dynamic option around the ground.

Conor Stone could fill the traditional medium-forward void given his promising form in Oakleigh’s 2019 premiership side, while Sandringham defender Luke Cleary is one of the few non-Academy choices, though his Under 17 experience and squad balance earns him a look-in.

TOP-AGE DEPTH

There are plenty of top-agers who will fancy their chances of cracking into the final squad, but there will always be the unlucky few who don’t. The beauty of having a carnival with multiple games means there is always room for rotation, so plenty of prospects should get their opportunity.

Under 16 representative Darby Hipwell was stiff to miss the Academy cut-off, and provide some great midfield depth. Oakleigh’s Fraser Elliot is a big-bodied mid who could also sneak in, but that midfield is hard to crack.

In terms of smaller options at either end, Lucas Failli could be the small forward Metro is searching for, with the agile 170cm Western product already boasting Under 16 and 17 representative honours.

Northern co-captain Ewan Macpherson skippered the Under 16 Metro side in 2018, and may be another small option. The potential Bulldogs father-son choice would fit in as a defender after his work for the Knights in 2019, though he is set on more midfield minutes in 2020. His Knights teammates Josh Watson, and fellow Under 16 rep Jaden Collins are others who are thereabouts.

Speaking of father-sons, Carlton may want to get a look at Charlie McKay (son of Andy, 244 games), who has impressed during preseason and provides a big body on each line.

Dragons pair Fraser Rosman and Lachlan Carrigan are others who may fly under the radar and into the side, along with raw Calder duo Jack Keeping and Matthew Allison. There are of course two more Academy members – Campbell Edwardes, and Sam Tucker – who could enter the fray, but are unlucky to miss our sides.

THE BOTTOM-AGERS

Having taken out the 2019 Under 16 National Championships, Metro has the luxury being able to top up its squad with a raft of capable bottom-age talents. MVP Tyler Sonsie is arguably the best of the lot, and could well find his way into the starting 18 on a wing or up forward.

Sonsie’s Eastern teammate Jake Soligo is another who may rise the ranks alongside him, while Vic Metro Under 16 squad member Lachlan Rankin is another handy outside type in the mix.

Sandringham dasher Josh Sinn is another who is capable of settling into the starting side, perhaps at half-back despite his midfield prowess. Potentially filling out the flanks is Nick Daicos, whose selection in the Academy Hub in his first year through the pathways speaking volume of his talent.

Twin talls Dante Visentini and Alex Lukic would provide key position depth up either end under normal circumstances, with Lukic the Under 16 All Australian centre half-forward. Others to gain that honour and Academy selection were Blake Howes, Youseph Dib, Lachlan Brooks, and Braden Andrews, who could all fill roles around the ground.

There are a number of others outside of the current representative and academy bubbles who could also break through in their own top-ager seasons, but it simply remains to be seen.

With these additional top and bottom-age prospects in mind, below is our potential Vic Metro squad, without any provisions.

FB – Cody Raak, Cody Brand, Wil Parker
HB – Joshua Clarke, Nikolas Cox, Josh Sinn
C – Jake Bowey, Connor Downie, Finlay Macrae
HF – Archie Perkins, Liam McMahon, Bailey Laurie
FF – Tyler Sonsie, Ollie Lord, Eddie Ford
FOL – Max Heath, Will Phillips, Reef McInnes
INT – Felix Flockart, Lochlan Jenkins, Conor Stone, Jackson Cardillo

EMG
– Luke Cleary, Nick Daicos, Josh Eyre

Q&A: Nick Daicos (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Peter Williams chatted with Oakleigh Chargers’ Nick Daicos at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

A midfielder/forward with silky skills, Daicos comes from legendary pedigree with his father, Peter‘s 250 games for Collingwood ensuring the youngster is eligible to be drafted under the father-son rule in 2021. Akin to his brother, Josh‘s journey, Nick has only just entered the Oakleigh program in his 17th year, and would have been a consensus choice to play for Vic Metro at last year’s Under 16 national carnival.

The Carey Grammar student also captured attention with his form in the APS competition, running out alongside the likes of former Chargers Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson in what was a successful 2019 campaign. Daicos is poised to get a run through the stacked Oakleigh side in between school football and possible representative commitments should competitions commence, with a pre-season hip niggle now behind him.

Hear what the impressive bottom-ager had to say about his journey, added expectations, and the year ahead in our latest Q&A.

Q&A:

 

PW: How’s the day been so far?

ND: “Pretty good so far. I’ve been injured over the past few weeks with a hip injury so I’ve just been here supporting the boys. It’s been good.”

 

What kind of things do you do during testing day when you’re not out there yourself?

“I’m just more getting around the boys and chatting today. Obviously if I was competing I’d be warming up, trying to get the best results I can but as I can’t impact physically I’m just trying to encourage the boys so they can optimise their performance.”

 

Playing school footy last year and now coming into Oakleigh, how has that been for your development?

“I think it’s been really good. I enjoyed Carey (Grammar) footy last year, we had a good year as a team and the training was quite advanced so it’s been a bit of a smooth transition. Obviously a bit of a change but I’m slowly gauging the standard and adjusting to it.”

 

Is there anything particularly different between training with school and Oakleigh?

“Clarkey (Oakleigh coach, Leigh Clarke) emphasises on just being really sharp and utilising every minute. It is a bit more professional in that aspect, you can’t really waste a minute.

“You get to training, you’ve got 30 minutes before training to just do some craft work and optimise your performance there. So that’s probably where it’s a bit different, you can’t waste any time at all.”

 

How do you manage the extra expectations and media attention to just play your own game?

“Well that’s exactly it, I just try and play my own game. I think sometimes it’s nice when you get a bit of praise, and then also when you get in trouble.

“But you’ve also got to realise that you’ve just got to have your small group of people that you listen to and take their opinion – the good, the bad, and the indifferent.”

 

How much do you learn off or lean on them for advice?

“I lean on them a lot, I’ve got a good little small group. Coaches in particular, Dad, my brother, (are) some people I like going to.

“Leigh (Clarke) has been really good with me just to start with here at Oakleigh and I’ve learned a lot already so hopefully that can just grow and grow.”

 

What do you see as your strengths on the field?

“Probably just my ability to run with the ball and use it by foot, to bring others into the game.”

 

Where have you enjoyed playing most?

“I predominantly see myself as a midfielder. I can rotate forward though so it’s a good option to have.”

 

Going forward, what improvements are you looking to make?

“I really want to improve on my marking this year and then a bit of the physical aspect I think I can improve on. So hopefully playing midfield that can help me.”

 

Being a bottom-ager, what are your goals for this year?

“Just to grow as a player. Lots of experience this year can hopefully be gained and hopefully can set me up to have a good top-age year and learn the level.”

 

And with the injury today, is it anything that will delay your season?

“I think I should be alright early on. I’m playing in a practice match (back in March) which we’re still discussing with the physio if I’m going to be on monitored minutes so we’ll see how we go. But I think I should be ready to go as soon as the season starts.”

 

So you’ll be at Oakleigh for the first few games, then return for the rest after school football?

“Yeah that’s the aim. Hopefully I get a game in early which would be really nice, and then school footy. Then it all starts.”

 

Who are you looking forward to playing with here at Oakleigh?

Jamarra (Ugle-Hagan) down forward, I’m really looking forward to him. We haven’t been able to train much in rehab so I’ve just been kicking to him which has been good.

“Then a couple of the on-ballers; Will Phillips, Lochie Jenkins. They’re just all great kids so I’m looking forward to it.”

2020 NAB League Boys team preview: Oakleigh Chargers

REIGNING premiers, Oakleigh Chargers have plenty of bottom-age talent from 2019 that will lead the assault on back-to-back flags, with a host of Next Generation Academy (NGA) and father-son prospects who will create plenty of traction in season 2020. Talent Manager Jy Bond said the club had a lot more bottom-agers last season that usual but it showed the strength of the group and could mean plenty of good signs for the season ahead.

“I think we played 10 or 11 bottom-aged kids last year in the grand final team so you’d expect that they (will) continue to develop and that they will be thereabouts again which bodes for another strong list,” he said. “We were probably a bit bottom-age dominant last year but that’s what you get when you’ve got such talented kids that pushed for selection throughout the year and it means we’ve got a strong top-aged group this year – which is obvious because the kids are a year older. “It’s going to be good, those kids get another year of opportunity and development, a lot of them are in the (AFL Academy) Hub which will mean they’ve got a lot on their plate with our football, school football, and Vic Metro. “But we’re happy with where they’re at and it gives the bottom-age kids from this year a chance to come and learn from those kids so it’s a good situation to be in.”

Not only will the list now be top-age dominated again, but a number of top talents are finished school or not having to juggle their on-field commitments between NAB League and school football. Bond said whilst many top-agers will be available, it was still important to give the bottom-agers chances for sustained development, though the ability to pick between a larger number of players will be a welcome change.

“It’s a different situation to what has happened in the past in our region with a top-age dominated list, and a lot of those kids are out of school which is another change for our region. Sam Tucker and Alex Lukic, they’re both in the Hub and out of school, we’ve got Lochlan Jenkins, Giorgio Varagiannis, Ryan Valentine, it allows us a bit more stability in our list,” he said. “Last year there were rounds where we struggled to find enough kids to play because of school football and the schedule so this year we should have a bit more continuity with our list which will be a bit better for consistency and development of some of these younger kids. “But I’m assuming with those younger kids we’ve got on our list, we’ll definitely play them. “We’ll play as many kids as we can like last year, I think we played probably 70-plus kids last year and part of the program is to develop kids and give them an opportunity so the more kids we can play, the better. “But it’ll be a little bit harder to manage this year with the top-end talent that’s going to be available every week.”

Oakleigh has always had strong top-end talent and 2020 will be no different with familiar names and consistent players from last season likely to lead what is predicted to be another strong draft crop from the Chargers’ perspective. Bond said it was hard to beat the midfield the Chargers had in 2019, but a fair chunk of that midfield was still running around and despite losing the top two picks – Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – there was plenty of be excited about for the year ahead.

“When you think of last year, you couldn’t get a much stronger midfield than what we had last year with Ando (Anderson), Rowell, Will Phillips, Lochie Jenkins, Fraser Elliot, (and) Finlay Macrae,” Bond said. “We’ll probably play our kids all over the ground to give them experience and exposure to different roles so we can prepare them for the next level. “But it’s going to be competitive, that’s the reason and if they’re going to be playing at the next level they’ve got to be able to compete and win a position. So if they can do it with us, they’re on the right track.”

Of those with family ties from the AFL, Bond said there were a number of father-son prospects who could follow their father’s into the elite level, but still had plenty of development left in them. Among the familiar names were Tex Wanganeen, son of Essendon and Port Adelaide great, Gavin, Tom Silvagni (Stephen, Carlton), Harrison Free (Tony, Richmond), Maurice Rioli Jnr (Maurice Snr, Richmond) and Sam Darcy (Luke, Western Bulldogs). Of the more talked about talents are the NGA members with Reef McInnes (Collingwood) and arguably the most talked about player in the entire draft, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan who is attached to the Western Bulldogs’ NGA.

“Reef’s had a bit of an injury-interrupted pre-season, he had a bit of a stress response from last year so we’ve taken it easy with him – we’re not rushing him at all,” Bond said. “And Jamarra’s just Jamarra, he’s a fantastic leader and obviously works really hard. “There’s a lot going on this year, obviously these boys are NGA eligible, they’re training with their AFL clubs, they’re training in their respective hubs and they’ve both got school for Scotch (College) and they’ve got the Chargers program. “We’re just monitoring their workloads and their wellbeing and we’ll know that they’ll play great footy for us and we’re really excited that they’re in our program. “It’s just exciting to have such good kids in our region that we’ve got to work with, we’re blessed with talent and we’re pretty fortunate as we have been over the past couple of years and probably will be for the next couple of years as well.”

While many of the above are also in the Vic Metro Academy Hub, there were a few more names that Bond raised who also have earned a spot in the hub with great signs during their time at the club.

“They’re (Academy Hub players) obviously identified as really talented kids,” he said. “Conor Stone is another one in the hub that sort of came out of nowhere last year and Bailey Laurie. “We rated them really highly in our program, that’s why we played them as bottom-agers. Sam Tucker’s another kid who will get an opportunity with us all year being out of school. “We’ve got to look at their continued development, I know it’s a bit of a cliché but we’re there to support them, let them have fun and enjoy their footy. “It’s one of the strengths of our program that they all love being there and they’re a really strong group – I think that’s what we saw last year with the way they all interacted and they all knock about with each other outside of school. “They’re really strong as a group, we’ve done a lot of leadership work with the group and it’s really exciting. “I sound like I’m banging on a bit about them but we can’t fault them. “The coaching group’s done a really good job, we’ve got a really good culture at the program.”

Bond said the likes of Jenkins and Varagiannis had already stepped it up over the preseason, whilst another father-son prospect had come into the program as a bottom-ager after purely playing school football last year.

“I think Lochie Jenkins has really worked hard over the pre-season. Obviously being at a public school (and) out of school being a labourer, we’re hoping he gets a look in. Giorgio Varagiannis has had a good pre-season as well, another hard-working kid who’s not in the hub. We’ve had a fairly standard pre-season, we’ve had a lot of interruptions this year with smoke, with weather, with ground availability so we’ve been a bit nomadic in our preparation but we don’t see that as a detriment. They’ve got to play a lot of footy, so we manage their workloads so that they can come good during the footy season. Nick Daicos has come into the program and he’s been fantastic. A couple of the younger bottom-aged kids in Braden Andrews (and) Alex Lukic, they’ve fitted in well and enjoyed a pre-season with the top-aged kids.”

While with the enviable talent at Oakleigh’s disposal the Chargers are tipped to be one of the team’s to beat again, Bond said it was still about development and getting them to where they need to be in their career progression.

“We’ll go out there and have a crack,” he said, “We like to throw the boys around to give them more opportunities and I guess at the end of the day when you’ve got such good kids they tend to put it on the scoreboard.”

Daicos, Edwards among 150 players named in 2020 AFL Academy Squads

ONE-hundred and fifty of the top identified 2020 and 2021 AFL Draft talents have been named in the NAB AFL Academy Squads today. The program sees players from across each state and territory take part in high performance camps focusing on players’ on and off-field education throughout the month of December.

In what has been touted as a highly compromised draft in the sense that plenty of players are already attached to AFL clubs via either father-son or Next Generation Academy (NGA) and Northern Academies, there is plenty to like from all club supporters for not only next year’s draft, but the following year as well. Among the names over the next two years, Nick Daicos (Peter – 2021), Luke Edwards (Tyson) and Taj Schofield (Jarrod) are potential father-son selections, while Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Western Bulldogs), Reef McInnes (Collingwood), Coby Brand (Essendon), Connor Downie (Hawthorn), James Borlase (Adelaide) and Joel Western (Fremantle) are among some of the NGA prospects.

AFL National Talent Pathways Manager Marcus Ashcroft said it is an exciting time for the country’s best young talent.

“The new approach to the national NAB AFL Academy, introduced for the first time in 2018, will again ensure more of our most talented players have access to AFL facilities, while receiving the best quality coaching, high performance and well-being services in the country,” he said. “Importantly these players will spend more time in their home states, with year-round first-class support that will enhance their opportunity to perform at an elite level. “I congratulate all players who have been named in their NAB AFL Academy Squads today and I look forward to watching their development over the next few years.”

All five NAB AFL Academy Squads will come together for camps in the final month of the year as below:

Vic Country
Sunday, December 15 – Thursday, December 19.

Vic Metro
Sunday, December 15 – Friday, December 20.

South Australia
Friday, November 29 – Tuesday, December 3.

Western Australia
Monday, December 9 – Friday, December 13.

Allies (training at AFL clubs)
Monday, November 18 – Friday, December 20.

A select few of Under-17 and Under-18 players will also have the opportunity to attend national camps, with activities that include:

– NAB AFL Under-17 Futures players to spend a week at an AFL club (December 2019)
– The best 24 Under-18 players to represent Australia against VFL opposition (April 2020)
– The best 24 Under-17 players to represent Australia against New Zealand (April 2020)
– NAB AFL Under-17 Futures Game (2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final Day)

Of the 150 players named, the Oakleigh Chargers lead all-comers across the country with a total of 11 players named, followed by Geelong Falcons and Sandringham Dragons with eight each. Murray Bushrangers have seven players in the Academy squads, while the top represented sides from the Allies (Brisbane Lions Academy), South Australia (Glenelg) and Western Australia (East Fremantle) all have six.

The full list of NAB AFL Academy members are below:

ALLIES:

Brisbane Lions Academy: [6]

Tahj Abberley
Jack Briskey
Blake Coleman
Saxon Crozier
Noah McFadyen
Carter Michael

Gold Coast SUNS Academy: [5]

Alex Davies
Aidan Fyfe
Jack Johnston
Rhys Nicholls
Ryan Pickering

GWS GIANTS Academy: [4]

Jack Driscoll
Josh Fahey
Josh Green
Sam Stening

Murray Bushrangers: [2]

Charlie Byrne
Ryan Eyers

Sydney Swans Academy: [5]

Braeden Campbell
Errol Gulden
Kye Pfrengle
Marco Rossman
Mark Sheather

Tasmania: [5]

Sam Banks
Jackson Callow
Sam Collins
Oliver Davis
Patrick Walker

SOUTH AUSTRALIA:

Central District: [3]

Isaiah Dudley
Corey Durdin
Lachlan Grubb

Glenelg: [6]

Kaine Baldwin
Luke Edwards
Riley Holder
Cooper Horsnell
Lewis Rayson
Will Schreiber

North Adelaide: [2]

Jamison Murphy
Tariek Newchurch

Norwood: [3]

Ned Carey
Cooper Murley
Henry Nelligan

South Adelaide: [5]

Arlo Draper
Zac Dumesny
Jason Horne
Nicholas Kraemer
Matthew Roberts

Sturt: [3]

James Borlase
Mani Liddy
Tom Powell

West Adelaide: [3]

Bailey Chamberlain
Jye Sinderberry
Riley Thilthorpe

Woodville-West Torrens: [5]

Lachlan Jones
Zac Phillips
Caleb Poulter
Taj Schofield
Henry Smith

VIC COUNTRY:

Bendigo Pioneers: [5]

Sam Conforti
Jack Ginnivan
Cooper Hamilton
Seamus Mitchell
Josh Treacy

Dandenong Stingrays: [2]

Will Bravo
Clayton Gay

Geelong Falcons: [8]

Tanner Bruhn
Toby Conway
Cameron Fleeton
Noah Gadsby
Noah Gribble
Oliver Henry
Charlie Lazzaro
Henry Walsh

Gippsland Power: [3]

Ryan Angwin
Sam Berry
Zach Reid

GWV Rebels: [5]

Joshua Gibcus
Ben Hobbs
Charlie Molan
Josh Rentsch
Nick Stevens

Murray Bushrangers: [5+2]

Dominic Bedendo
Tom Brown
Elijah Hollands
Zavier Maher
Joshua Rachele

Oakleigh Chargers: [1]

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Sandringham Dragons: [1]

Campbell Chesser

VIC METRO:

Calder Cannons: [4]

Cody Brand
Jackson Cardillo
Campbell Edwardes
Joshua Eyre

Eastern Ranges: [5]

Joshua Clarke
Jack Diedrich
Connor Downie
Wil Parker
Tyler Sonsie

Northern Knights: [2]

Nikolas Cox
Liam McMahon

Oakleigh Chargers: [10+1]

Braden Andrews
Nicholas Daicos
Youseph Dib
Bailey Laurie
Alex Lukic
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Will Phillips
Conor Stone
Samuel Tucker

Sandringham Dragons: [7+1]

Jake Bowey
Lachlan Brooks
Blake Howes
Ollie Lord
Archie Perkins
Josh Sinn
Dante Visentini

Western Jets: [2]

Eddie Ford
Cody Raak

WESTERN AUSTRALIA:

Claremont: [3]

Kalin Lane
Jacob Van Rooyen
Joel Western

East Fremantle: [6]

Richard Bartlett
Jack Carfoll
Owan Dann
Finn Gorringe
Judd McVee
Brandon Walker

East Perth: [2]

Kade Dittmar
Jack Hindle

Peel Thunder: [3]

Tyler Nesbitt
Luke Polson
Isiah Winder

Perth: [2]

Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll

South Fremantle: [3]

Mitchell Brown
Ira Jetta
Shannon Neale

Subiaco: [2]

Matthew Johnson
Blake Morris

Swan Districts: [5]

Rhett Bazzo
Max Chipper
Denver Grainger-Barras
Ty Sears
Zane Trew

West Perth: [2]

Heath Chapman
Kellen Johnson

Mid-Season Review: 2018 APS season

AT the mid-point in the Associated Public Schools (APS) Australian Rules competition, we take a look at how each of the schools are going and some of the names who have stood out, both TAC Cup-listed players and non TAC Cup-listed players. For those schools in the Associated Grammar Schools (AGS), we will review them next week.

Brighton Grammar (BGS)

R1: lost to Scotch by 11 points
R2: defeated Caulfield by 16 points
R3: defeated Geelong College by 10 points
R4: lost to Carey by nine points
R5: lost to Haileybury by 23 points
R6: lost to St Kevin’s by 55 points

Summary:

Brighton have won two games this season and will be hoping to turn their form around in the second half of the season. A narrow defeat to Scotch College in the opening round was followed by two wins over Caulfield Grammar and Geelong College, but Brighton has since lost its past three games, albeit two by narrow margins, including the undefeated Haileybury by under four goals. Brighton Grammar lost their key defender Oscar Lewis, in the opening quarter in their hard fought win against Caulfield Grammar. North Melbourne father-son prospect Joel Crocker is also out for the season, after an ankle injury at school training required surgery. Captain Harry Reynolds could be a name to pencil in, with a few clubs tracking the utility. Sandringham Dragons bottom-ager Louis Butler has been their standout, with multiple BOG performances. 

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Carey Grammar (CY)

R1: lost to Melbourne Grammar by 32 points
R2: defeated Geelong Grammar by 38 points
R3: lost to St Kevin’s by 48 points
R4: defeated Brighton by nine points
R5: defeated Wesley by six points
R6: defeated Xavier by one point

Summary:

A strong Carey team is sitting third on the APS ladder and this is largely due to its midfield strength. Bottom-agers Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson already project as top 10 prospects for next year’s AFL National Draft, with the duo combining as Carey’s best on ground on multiple occasions this year. Despite his size, Rowell competes with the stronger inside midfielders in the draft pool with his quick hands on the inside a key trait – while Anderson is a big ball winner and can hurt you with his disposal. Young Nick Daicos is a while away from his draft year, but has booted some goals throughout the year. Midfielder Oliver Simpson and school captain Bailey Wraith have also had some good moments throughout the season. A one-point win over the previously undefeated Xavier was a massive result, with losses to Melbourne Grammar and St Kevin’s earlier in the season the only two defeats.

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Caulfield Grammar (CAUL)

R1: defeated Wesley by 48 points
R2: lost to Brighton by 16 points
R3: lost to Melbourne by 43 points
R4: lost to Xavier by 81 points
R5: defeated Geelong College by seven points
R6: Bye

Summary:

Caulfield Grammar has managed to have two wins this season, either side of three losses. An ugly 81-point loss to Xavier College was the worst of the bunch, but Caulfield has shown it is more than capable of performing when required, defeating Wesley by eight goals, and getting past Geelong College in a thriller. Sandringham Dragons’ 198cm prospect Will Kennedy is an interesting one – he has been playing all around the ground this season up forward and through the midfield. Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Jack Ross has provided a hard edge to the Caulfield on-ball brigade showcasing his clean his hands in congestion. He is a player that puts on a lot of tackling pressure through out games. Ryan Pietsch is a defender who got the better of Ben Silvagni when the Carlton father-son prospect had plenty of opportunities in Xavier’s 81-point win. Pietsch is strong one-on-one and also has the ability to play forward.

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Geelong College (GC)

R1: lost to Xavier by 64 points
R2: defeated Wesley by 12 points
R3: lost to Brighton by 10 points
R4: Bye 
R5: lost to Caulfield by seven points
R6: defeated Scotch by 18

Summary:

Geelong College has won two games from its five games thus far this season which is a good result. Aside from a forgettable 10-goal loss to Xavier in Round 1, Geelong College has been competitive in every match, losing its other two games by a combined 17 points, while winning its two games by a combined 30 points. Geelong College’s best player is first round prospect Ned McHenry. The inside midfielder won the contested ball and knows where the goals are, and almost single handedly got Geelong College over the line against Brighton Grammar back in Round 3. Forward Charlie Sprague is another who has been named among the best and looms as an underrated prospect in the 2018 draft crop after a good year as a bottom-ager last season. Looking to the future, 16 year-old Charlie Lazarro has been named among the best on several occasions including in the victory against Wesley and the loss to Xavier.

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Geelong Grammar (GGS)

R1: lost to Haileybury by 156 points
R2: lost to Carey by 38 points
R3: lost to Scotch by 45 points
R4: lost to St Kevin’s by 53 points
R5: Bye
R6: defeated Melbourne by 18 points

Summary:

Geelong Grammar started their season with four straight losses, including the horrific 156-point demolition at the hands of Hailebury. But after a tough month which saw them face a number of the top sides, they broke through for their first win, defeating Melbourne Grammar by three goals. The school has remarkable top-end talent with three AFL Academy members including Bendigo Pioneers’ Jye Caldwell and Brodie Kemp. Caldwell has played mostly on the outside, but has shown he can win the football at school football level when required. Kemp has been solid as a tall, working hard in the Grammar side despite the losses mounting. Gippsland Power’s Caleb Serong is a lively prospect for next year’s draft and will be doing plenty of travelling – to go from Geelong Grammar back home to Gippsland throughout the year. Serong has smarts around goal and is also a useful inside midfielder and has been named in the best on multiple occasions. Another name to keep an eye on is Thomson Dow who is the bottom-aged brother of Carlton’s Paddy and has been okay throughout the season. Tanner Bruhn turned 16 last weekend and has been another youngster who has put in some promising performances.

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Haileybury (HY)

R1: defeated Geelong Grammar by 156 points
R2: defeated St Kevin’s by 33 points
R3: Bye
R4: defeated Melbourne by 24 points
R5: defeated Brighton by 23 points
R6: defeated Wesley by 68 points

Summary:

Haileybury are sitting on top of the ladder undefeated and are looking good for the premiership. With a number of AFL Academy members it is no surprise that Hailebury are the benchmark in the competition to date. They destroyed Geelong Grammar in the opening round when Ben King piled on 10 goals, and has since taken his tally to 29 in five games. His ability to play at either end is remarkable and it would be hard not to see him amongst the top few picks in the 2018 AFL National Draft. His brother Max is unfortunately out for the season after injuring his knee in the opening round. Heath Briggs has also been one of Haileybury’s best, while Cody Weightman impresses every week as a small forward. Mitch Riordan is another top talent who could be a first round prospect.

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Melbourne Grammar (MGS)

R1: defeated Carey by 32 points
R2: defeated Scotch by 26 points
R3: defeated Caulfield by 43 points
R4: lost to Haileybury by 24 points
R5: lost to St Kevin’s by 72 points
R6: lost to Geelong Grammar by 18 points

Summary:

Melbourne Grammar is sitting three and three this season, starting the year on fire with three victories, before losing its next three games, including a 12-goal defeat at the hands of St Kevin’s and a three-goal loss to the previously winless Geelong Grammar. Melbourne Grammar vice-captain Toby Bedford has been exciting, with the Dandenong Stingrays mid/forward using his game-breaking speed to disrupt the opposition and he shows clean hands in congestion, putting a lot of tackle pressure on his opponents. Darcy Chirgwin has also been impressive, with his solid work rate throughout games and hitting contest after contest with 110 percent. Sam Connock has been playing forward and competes and reads the play well, taking a number of good marks this season. Oakleigh Chargers’ Sydney Swans father-son prospect Kyle Dunkley has been named among the best, with the Sale product one to watch.

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Scotch College (SC)

R1: defeated Brighton by 11 points
R2: lost to Carey by 38 points
R3: defeated Geelong Grammar by 45 points
R4: lost to Wesley by one point
R5: lost to Xavier by 13 points
R6: lost to Geelong College by 18 points

Summary:

Scotch College started the year well with a win over Brighton Grammar, but have won just one game in the past four outings, albeit with some unlucky losses along the way. New recruit – Maurice Rioli Jnr will turn some heads throughout the year. While the Northern Territory Under 16 prospect is still very raw, he has shown a tenacious tackling ability and booted a freak goal against Xavier a few weeks ago. Finn Maginness has played well in the midfield, while Collingwood father-son prospect Will Kelly had been utilised up forward and is a very strong mark. Defenders Reef McInness and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan mark outstandingly well in the defensive 50 – with Ugle-Hagan definitely a name to keep an eye on for years to come.

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St Kevin’s College (SKC)

R1: Bye
R2: lost to Haileybury by 33 points
R3: defeated Carey by 48 points
R4: defeated Geelong Grammar by 53 points
R5: defeated Melbourne by 72 points
R6: defeated Brighton by 55 points

Summary

This season St Kevin’s have a strong team with four boys making the Vic Metro squad. Having lost their first game to Haileybury, the team has been able to bounce back, not losing a game since and winning every game in excess of eight goals. Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West is an inside beast who has been playing up forward a lot more and has been hitting the scoreboard every week. It has given his game another layer. Alastair Richards is having a terrific start to the season, often arching his back and taking the game on, as well as hitting the scoreboard for St Kevin’s. James Rowbottom is a big ball winning midfielder who adds plenty of defensive pressure and importantly hits the scoreboard. His hands in close have been great and he also has some breakaway speed from the stoppages. Angus Hanrahan is an interesting prospect who has shown he can play up forward. He is a natural footballer with elite use of the footy on his left and right foot and plenty of X-factor. Others that have impressed include bottom-age prospect Jack Mahony, as well as non TAC Cup-listed players defender Matthew Presutto and forward Will James.

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Wesley College (WC)

R1: lost to Caulfield by 48 points
R2: lost to Geelong College by 12 points
R3: lost to Xavier by 59 points
R4: defeated Scotch by one point
R5: lost to Carey by six points
R6: lost to Haileybury by 68 points

Summary:

Wesley College has managed one win this season, defeating Scotch by the narrowest of margins. Aside from close defeats to Carey Grammar (six points) and Geelong College (12 points), Wesley has suffered three defeats by more than eight goals, granted two of them came against the premiership favourites. Wesley College do not have a standout draft prospect, but have shown they can match is with some of the stronger schools, with a consistent spread of players across the board. Oscar Jackson and Charlie Dean have been prominent players for the Lions, booting goals on multiple occasions including combining for seven majors in Wesley’s only victory of the season. Nick Sund is another player who has been named among the best on a number of occasions.

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Xavier College (XC)

R1: defeated Geelong College by 64 points
R2: Bye
R3: defeated Wesley by 69 points
R4: defeated Caulfield by 81 points
R5: defeated Scotch by 13 points
R6: lost to Carey by one point

Summary:

One of the strongest Xavier College teams in recent memory, the side lost its first game of the season in round six to Carey by one point. The team is a really well coached and structured and is led by potential top 10 draft pick and captain Bailey Smith who has been playing predominantly in the midfield. Smith leads from the front using the ball exceptionally well. He has the ability to win the footy on the inside and outside and uses his pace to break away from stoppages and take the game on. Potential Carlton father-son Ben Silvagni is yet to tear a game apart, but does have impact within games. He uses his body well in marking contests and also reads the play well. Joe Ayton-Delaney has been impressive, using his foot-skills to great effect, while Oakleigh teammate Charlie Whitehead has been good in congestion and shows great decision making skills and composure. What is really impressive is his endeavour to put pressure on his opponents. Teammate and small forward Zac Hart is quick and able to use the ball well and kicks goals. Others who have also impressed include Zak Evans, Charles Holmes, Harrison Bell and Sam Stynes.