Tag: North Melbourne

Tasmania weekly wrap: Mariners kick-off with a win; AFL hits Hobart

THIS week in Tasmanian football has seen the Tassie Mariners begin their Under 18 Academy Series; the state’s All Nations team making the grand final; North Melbourne easily accounting for Carlton in Hobart; TSL action continuing; and an update on the AFL Tasmania Steering Committee.

Mariners kick off 2018 Academy Series in style

The Tassie Mariners won their first game of the 2018 Under 18 Academy Series with a victory over the Gold Coast Suns Academy in Blacktown last Saturday. The Mariners produced a five-goal final quarter to run out eventual winners 15.9 (99) to 8.6 (54) with captain Chayce Jones doing his draft chances no harm, kicking four goals and being named in the best players by coach Lance Spaulding. Excitement machine Tarryn Thomas had 23 disposals and showed some great glimpses throughout the match.

The team will now face the Northern Territory on Sunday in Dandenong, Victoria from 10:30am at Shepley Oval.

AFL Diversity Championships

Tasmania has fallen agonisingly short of claiming the 2018 All Nations trophy at this week’s AFL Diversity Championships with the side going down to Victoria in a one-point thriller on Thursday. In a rollercoaster of events, Tasmania were awarded a mark and a 50-metre penalty to kick for goal after the siren, before being called back to take the kick again, with the second kick falling short and awarding Victoria the win.

North continues dominant run at Blundstone Arena

North Melbourne defeated Carlton to the tune of 86 points on a cold night last Saturday at Blundstone Arena. A crowd of 14,266 packed into the Bellerive stadium on a cold and blistery night with many expecting too see a much tighter contest.

Homegrown product Ben Brown starred for the hosts, kicking 5.1, with North never really challenged after quarter time. Things turned disastrous for Carlton before the first ball had even been bounced when captain Marc Murphy injured his foot in the warm-up and was replaced by Nick Graham. It was later revealed that the injury will keep Murphy out for a month. Midfielder Shaun Higgins racked up 35 disposals for the Kangaroos while Ed Curnow was the Blues’ best with 26 disposals and seven tackles.

North now face Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium (3:20pm) on Sunday while Carlton host West Coast at the MCG tomorrow from 4:35pm.

TSL Round 3 wrap and Round 4 preview

Round 3 of the BUPA TSL kicked off last Saturday with a couple of games throwing out surprising results.

Launceston accounted for Lauderdale by 62 points at Lauderdale Oval, thanks to a six goals to one last quarter. It was a much improved performance by the Bombers coming off their loss to Glenorchy, but it was the tall forward-line of Sonny Whiting (4) and Mitch Thorp (3) that were able to put away last year’s grand finalists, who now sit 0-3.

In the season’s biggest upset so far, Glenorchy ran out 52-point winners over North Launceston at UTAS Stadium after a stomach-bug took out 11 players from the host’s on Saturday morning. It was an even spread from the Magpies who, while losing the midfield battle, where able to set-up defensively to hold last season’s premiers to a 7.9 (51) scoreline while kicking 16.7 (103) themselves.

In the round’s final game, North Hobart put in a much improved performance against Clarence after their 131-point defeat to Launceston in Round 2. The Roos ran out eventual winners 13.18 (96) to 4.8 (32) and were able to hold the Demons to a solitary major in the second half, but the Dees brought a highly physical and contested game to the Roos.

This week sees Round 4 action kicking off tonight (20/4) with two Friday night games taking place. Glenorchy will host North Hobart at KGV while Lauderdale travel to the Twin Ovals in Kingston to face the Tigers with both games kicking off at 7:15pm. The final game of the round sees Clarence host North Launceston at Blundstone Arena on Saturday from 2:00pm.

AFL Tasmania Steering Committee Update

In an article written by The Age’s Peter Ryan, it was revealed that the committee has tabled a number of options for the future of Tasmanian football.

While it is clear that nothing has yet been set in stone, a number of options have been tabled including:

  • Putting a Tasmanian team in the NEAFL competition;
  • Continuing the TSL in its current form or with some changes;
  • Reverting to northern and southern leagues and;
  • a push to put the Tassie Mariners back in the TAC Cup competition.

No resolution is expected until the June 30 deadline they set to deliver recommendations on the future of the TSL and player pathways.

Tasmania weekly wrap: Blowouts across TSL Round 2; AFL hits Blundstone Arena

This week in Tasmanian football saw a number of Tasmanian State League (TSL) clubs stamp their dominance while this Saturday sees Blundstone Arena host AFL action.

AFL hits Hobart:

This Saturday sees Tasmania host it’s first AFL match of the season when North Melbourne play Carlton at Blundstone Arena. The clash, which will be a homecoming for Carlton coach Brendan Bolton, kicks off from 7:25pm on Saturday night with North looking to register their second win of the year while the Blues will be aiming to open their account after three consecutive losses.

Key defender Robbie Tarrant returns for the Kangaroos after being a late withdrawal in their loss to Melbourne last week with Nathan Hrovat out injured. The Blues have brought in Cam O’Shea for the injured Caleb Marchbank (ankle) while Jack Silvagni has been recalled for Jed Lamb (omitted) and last year’s number ten draft pick in Lochie O’Brien will make his debut, replacing Cameron Polson (omitted).

We will have a wrap-up of all the action in next week’s weekly wrap.

TSL Round 2:

Round 2 of the BUPA Tasmanian State League (TSL) saw three of the competition’s strongest sides stamp their early season dominance.

Glenorchy 22.15 (147) def. Lauderdale 8.12 (60)

2016 premiers Glenorchy started life under new coach Paul Kennedy in winning fashion on Saturday with a resounding 81-point victory over last year’s grand finalists Lauderdale, who now sit 0-2 after their round one loss to Clarence. New recruit Mitch Walker starred for the Magpies, kicking five goals, while returning defender Daniel Joseph was name best afield by Kennedy.

“We just did the things I thought we were capable of,” Kennedy said post-match. “Throughout pre-season you get an expectation of your players and the team and mine is really high for this group because they’re a good bunch of blokes that work really hard, they pick things up quickly and they expect high standards of themselves.” For Lauderdale, Northern Territory recruit Tim Misquito was a shining light, kicking three majors.

Launceston 21.21 (147) def. North Hobart 2.4 (16)

Launceston responded in convincing fashion from their round one defeat to cross-town rivals North Launceston, beating the TSL’s youngest side by 131-points at Windsor Park. Former Hawthorn player Mitch Thorp booted seven goals for the winners while forward line partner Sonny Whitting nabbed four. It was a tough day for the Demons but coach Richard Robinson implored his young side to learn from the experience of playing such a good side.

North Launceston 13.14 (92) def. Tigers 4.6 (30)

Last year’s premiers North Launceston now sit 2-0 after they easily accounted for the Tigers at UTAS Stadium. Under new coach Taylor Whitford, the Bombers looked as dangerous as ever and proved why they, along with Launceston, have been touted as potential premiers in 2018. Former Brisbane Lions listed forward Bart McCulloch kicked three goals for the victors while for the Tigers, former Carlton defender Marcus Davies battled hard throughout the day.

Round 3 Fixture:

Lauderdale v Launceston at Lauderdale Oval – 2:00pm

North Launceston v Glenorchy at UTAS Stadium – 2:00pm

North Hobart v Clarence at North Hobart Oval – 2:30pm

Tigers – BYE


Two of Tasmania’s best Under 18 talents ran out on the MCG last Saturday for the NAB AFL Academy against North Melbourne’s VFL team. Both Tarryn Thomas & Chayce Jones held their own, featuring in the best handful of players for the talented group of future draftees. 

Scouting notes: TAC Cup – Round 3

IT was another big weekend of TAC Cup football, with the Dandenong Stingrays and Sandringham Dragons continuing their undefeated streaks. 

With some teams missing their best players due to the AFL Academy’s clash against North Melbourne VFL, it allowed for others to step up and make an impact in their absence.

MATCH REPORT: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL
SCOUTING NOTES: AFL Academy vs. North Melbourne VFL

Read our scouting notes from ALL six games.

Bendigo Pioneers vs. Gippsland Power (Peter Williams)

Bendigo Pioneers:

#3 Liam Marciano – One of the Bendigo players who covered a lot of ground during the day, winning the ball in each of the thirds – defence, midfield and attack. He showed good vision and applied plenty of pressure on the ball carrier, forcing a number of stoppages or throw ins from his pressure. He kicked a great running goal after getting on the end of a series of passes, and then almost made it two, but hit the post in the third term.

#5 Noah Wheeler – Tended to be most damaging up forward, providing good pressure on the opposition defence and then roaming out of the attacking 50 to win his fair share of ball up the ground. He kicked a great inside-out snap goal from 20m while on the run and then kicked a goal after pouncing on a long Bailey Henderson bomb in the third term. Has a good share of contested and uncontested possessions.

#8 Brodie Kemp – Provided good pressure in defence, and then had an impact up forward when he kicked a set shot foal from 40m out following a 50m penalty. Later on he assisted a Will Holt goal with a powerful kick from the middle of the ground hitting up Holt perfectly. He backed himself in defence, taking a couple of good strong marks, including a good intercept grab in the final term, having really become more noticeable in the second half.

#9 Zane Keighran – I thought he was probably the Pioneers best player across four quarters because he consistently did everything right. Early on he dropped into a hole up forward and took a good grab, before moving up the ground and working hard in transition to run and carry the football forward. In the third term he really stepped it up, winning a heap of football across half-back and through the midfield. A highlight was a one-on-one marking contest where he was out of position, but he forced his way to the front and marked strongly. His win helped start a chain of possessions forward that led to a goal.

#18 Bailey Henderson – Played an important role down back before moving into the inside midfield in the second half. He mopped up everything in defence early, and used his powerful, long kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence going forward. He spent some time behind the ball, playing loose, before the opposition managed to ensure a man was beside him at all times. He took a couple of great intercept marks, and showed off his speed on the lead for good spoils. In the third term he moved inside and won a solid amount of contested possessions, then drifted back again, producing a highlight reel worthy run, to stream off half-back, fend off an opponent and kick long in front of Noah Wheeler, who capitalised.

#45 Will Holt – He was a leading target for the Pioneers up forward. He is so quick on the lead, and just leads to the right positions. He might have that old-school forward feel about him in the way that he starts in the square, leads, marks, goals, but he does have that athletic ability to also roam further up the field and showed that as the game went on which is important. Finished with three goals and probably could have had five with a couple of behinds in there too. Overall a promising performance.

Gippsland Power:

#2 Caleb Serong – A very classy performance from the talented bottom-ager. Among the Power’s better players again, he works hard on the inside with some clever handballs through traffic to outside runners. He kicked a good goal, seizing on a free kick to Sam Flanders to put it through. He is composed with the football and is a deadly kick. In the last term he put a dagger of a pass into the forward 50, slicing through a few Pioneers to hit-up Mason McGannon.

#4 Sam Flanders – Flanders booted four goals for the game, but realistically could have finished with a much larger bag. He was just everywhere in the first half, kicking 3.3 and a couple out on the fulls from his shots, just dominating his opponent in the air and at ground level. He was strong and powerful, moving well to have a real impact early in the game. He gave off a few passes to assist in scores, and his highlight was a dribble goal from the boundary 30m out. He took a huge contested mark in the third term to kick his fourth. Overall Flanders was a star on the day.

#6 Riley Baldi – Was one of the better players around the stoppages, and particularly damaging up forward. The exciting player booted two goals, and many of his disposals were impactful on the game. His ability to clear the ball out of the area and hurt the opposition in attack was a highlight. He also laid a number of good tackles to show he also applies plenty of defensive pressure as well.

#5 Xavier Duursma – The Gippsland Power captain played another consistent four quarter game and never stopped running. He played off a wing, but won his fair share of contested ball, and covers the ground so well. At times it looked like there was multiple Xavier Duursma’s out there because he seemed to win the ball at half-back and then would be on the end of a pass on a wing shortly after. He had a couple of top highlights, including a fantastic clearance to start the second term where he sidestepped an opponent and delivered a perfect pass to the 50m arc to Irving Mosquito leading out; and was on the end of a chain of passes, receiving the handball from Sam Flanders at top speed and kicking a great running goal.

#9 Irving Mosquito – Liked his enthusiasm throughout, particularly early. He was dangerous up forward and just looked damaging each time he went near the footy. Mozzie has that high vertical leap and strong hands for a smaller player, as well as a clean first touch to rarely waste a possession. He kicked a great goal on the run in the second term, scooping it off the ground cleanly and kicking truly. He was quite good around the forward stoppages and also won a bit of ball up the wing, sending it long inside 50.

#11 Austin Hodge – A fierce competitor who was dominant on the inside. He just bullied his way around the stoppages and won a truckload of contested possessions and clearances. He has a penetrating kick and can do some serious damage when in form, and he certainly played a well balanced game with more midfield time than I saw from him last season. An overager with a few nice tricks.

#12 Brock Smith – Provided some good speed out of defence and was a solid user of the football. Did not win as much of it as past weeks, but won a few one-on-ones and most importantly kept the ball moving forward. Continues to hold down that half-back to back pocket role well, and expect him to eventually move towards the midfield with more minutes in time.

#18 Matthew McGannon – A typical Matt McGannon performance off half-back, being a general in the back half. Just led his team superbly and took the game on when required. He was clean in defence, made spoils when called upon to do so and took a few really good intercept marks. Predominantly outside, this week he won a few more contested possessions, and opted for more lateral kicks to open the game up on the other side of the ground rather than blazing away. He was one of the better Power players on the day.

#22 Rylan Henkel – Played his best game for the season in the ruck and won a number of clearances as well as hitouts, rucking against Daine Grace for most of the game after Daniel Keating went down. Henkel was able to release midfielders with quick hands and cleared a number of stoppages with smart play.

Dandenong Stingrays vs. GWV Rebels (Peter Williams)

Dandenong Stingrays:

#2 Hayden Young – He was busy at the start (when the game was hot) and the end (when he went forward). He kicked a couple of goals and created some good drive out of defence when required early. Most of his touches were further up the field because that is where the game was being played. Kicked a goal in the final term to bring up the 100-point margin.

#5 Angus Paterson – Aside from a short stint in the forward line, Paterson played in defence and was really steady back there. He took a few important intercept marks and was smart with his ball use, making good decisions by hand or foot. He won a few hitouts when in defence, and took a couple of contested grabs as well.

#9 Zac Foot – Felt he was the best Stingray on the day, kicking four goals and looking dangerous every time he went near it. A clear strength of Foot’s is his forward pressure he is able to apply on the ball carrier when the opponent is trying to move out of defence. Foot has that unique goal sense where he kicked goals on the run, from a quick snap, and from a mark on a lead. He also found the ball further up the ground late in the match when he moved back.

#15 Toby Bedford – Had a sensational opening quarter where he really looked like turning the game on its head. Still did a few nice things throughout the game, providing pressure on opponents, and creating good run through the middle of the ground. He executed a nice pass into the pocket later in the game hitting up a teammate well.

#18 Mitch Riordan – Huge opening half of football when the game was hot, he was the clear standout through the middle. He racked up the clearances, won the footy on the inside and then progressed to the outside where he used his powerful kick to penetrate the opposition’s defence. Only had a handful of touches after the main break, but it was his effort in the first half that helped Dandenong race away to the huge half-time lead. Gave Foot a nice goal assist in the second term.

#23 Campbell Hustwaite – Along with Riordan, Hustwaite was a prime mover in the second quarter onslaught which saw the Stingrays boot seven goals to zero. He went a little quiet after half-time before having a huge last term where he seemed to have the ball on a string. Won a number of important clearances in the final term and laid some tough tackles. A hard worker on the inside.

#28 Bailey Schmidt – Played up forward and provided a contest. He took some really good marks and executed a neat pass in the third term to Jake Carosella. Schmidt could have had a handful of goals but finished with the two. His marking presence and work at the stoppages up forward was important, rotating through the ruck with the Cumming twins.

GWV Rebels:

#2 Matt Schnerring – Tried hard all match and had some impact early. Went quiet in patches, but applied some good defensive pressure throughout the game and laid some important tackles. Showed off some hard running through the first term in particular to receive the ball on the wing and on the half-back flank.

#3 Scott Carlin – One of the Rebels’ best on the day, Carlin was a consistent performer in the opening few quarters. Made a couple of errors late in the game, but could hold his head high as one of the Rebels who kept a cool head under the swam of Stingrays going forward. Won some crucial one-on-ones in the midfield and drifted into defence at times to help the defenders back there, collecting a number of rebounds.

#6 Charlie Wilson – Had an impressive first quarter and provided some serious dash. He looks to provide the run through using teammates for one-two movements and open up the game from the back half. He was hurt in the second term and had to come off, which impacted the Rebels with his loss of speed. When he returned he showed some good signs, sending a penetrating kick long into the forward 50, and laid an strong tackle to win a free late in the game.

#9 Lochie Dawson – Really important player and the Rebels’ best in my opinion. Just worked hard for four quarters and often sat back at half-back and repelled whatever he could as the ball continued to fly into defence. Of the midfielders he was the standout on the inside, notching up a number of important clearances, and working within his means through smart short kicks and settling down the team in defence. Won his own ball too which was important.

#11 Josh Chatfield – He is not a huge accumulator but has those “special” moments. He adds a touch of class to the side, and whenever the ball is in his area, he looks dangerous. Continued to present throughout the game and when he was not involved up forward, he moved down back and won a few possessions that way. Looked at home at half-back and along the wing in the final term.

Murray Bushrangers vs. Geelong Falcons (Peter Williams)

Murray Bushrangers:

#4 Laitham Vandermeer – He got my vote as best on ground for his ability to move the ball in transition. He won a heap of it in the first term, would have been close to double figure possessions, while also covering the ground well. He is always on the move and tucks the ball under his arm, powering forward through opposition forwards. Played off half-back but did move up the field at times, always looking forward.

#5 Ely Smith – Hard working inside effort from Smith who popped up regularly with a strong mark, bump or tackle to either open up the game for his teammates, or lock down a ball at a stoppage. In one instant in the second term, Smith went in hard, won the ball off an opponent, fended off another opponent and then managed to stay balanced to handball out to a teammate in space. A couple of overhead marks and some powerful kicking, Smith was a solid contributor.

#12 Lachlan Ash – Another player along with Vandermeer who I liked. Really calm and composed in defence, he rarely makes mistakes with ball in hand. Not only does he look to think his way through situations, but he creates run off half-back and side steps opponents using his good agility. Ash also has quick hands and is able to dish off quickly to teammates. A promising performance from the bottom-ager who has been consistent thus far this season.

#13 Bailey Frauenfelder – The forward booted three goals and was constantly a headache for the opposition. He snapped a goal from the boundary line in the second term after missing one from a standing start. Kicked his second not long after following a free kick for holding, nailing the set shot from 35m out on a 45 degree angle. His third goal was arguably the most important, winning a free kick for holding in the goal square, he kicked truly to put them 13 points up and snuff out a Falcons comeback.

#22 Ajak Dang – Ultra-impressed with his performance down back and I had him third best behind Vandermeer and Ash. He had so many intercept possessions throughout the game and is quite athletic when he leaps at the ball. Along with this offensive drive out of defence, Dang also provided good pressure on the Falcons forwards and laid a few fierce tackles. He stood up in defence in the final term taking some crucial marks, although did kick one out on the full when trying to switch play.

#54 Finbar O’Dwyer – One of those lively forwards who just continued to present and cause some headaches for opposition defenders. Won a couple of free kicks, but just kicked the one goal, in the second term. He missed a couple of shots to give him a few majors, but still put in a solid performance. I thought he was promising in attack and also showed quick hands under pressure to hand off the ball to teammates to create scoring opportunities.

Geelong Falcons:

#2 Sam Torpy – Lively in the first half and just zipped around the wing picking up quite a few important touches. Looked to break the game open with a few quick-fire handballs or short dagger kicks going forward, also intercepting at half-back. Had a precise pass inside 50 to Brayden Ham to set up a goal.

#10 Baxter Mensch – Performed at his best in the first half, just winning a fair chunk of the footy along the wing and through the middle. He won a free going in hard with a huge tackle in the first term, and had a shot on goal a bit later off a standing start but missed. Really started to get busy in the second term and stood up when Murray was attacking.

#16 Bailey Scott – Absolute huge final term. He was good in patches throughout the game, but his final term was sensational. Kicked two crucial goals, assisted Ham on a third, and almost had a second goal assist to Ham except the latter missed his snap. Just ran his opponents off their feet and seemed to be treating the last quarter like it was the first term the way he kept running.

#20 Brayden Ham – Best on ground in my eyes despite being in a losing side. He was so effective on the outside, using his run in transition to hurt Murray going forward. Got forward and finished the game with three goals, missed a couple more but was always involved in the play. He almost put the Falcons within a goal late in the final term for the second time – he had done just that a little earlier – but his snap just missed. Overall he was huge in the first term and last term, and just consistent across all quarters. The best performance I have seen him play.

#30 Oscar Brownless – Without his partners in crime in Sam Walsh and Ned McHenry I hoped for a big game for Brownless. He was okay in the first half, before really turning it on in the second half. In particular the last quarter he turned on a clinic, and despite not having a heap of touches, gained metres and impacted with each touch, causing serious problems for the opposition with his long kicking and ability to set up his teammates. Gave Bailey Scott a handball to run onto and kick a goal in the last term. He had a great running shot on goal late but just missed. He went from an okay game to a very good game with that second half when the heat was turned up.

#41 Cooper Stephens – He might have the same name and same junior club as last year’s captain, but he plays a different role and stood out early. On the field he was quite impressive early, running on the outside in the opening term, just keeping the ball moving. He has a powerful kick and was a bit fortuitous in the first quarter, snapping in the area and somehow found Sprague inside 50. He leads up the ground and took some marks on the wing, and always looks to play on.

#48 Blake Schlensog – Not a bad game from the tall forward who covers some serious ground. He took a few nice marks, including one in the first term where he did not even break stride before slotting it home. He roamed up the ground a bit and took a mark at half-back late in the game, the drifted forward again, had a snap in the third term but just missed. His field kicking had its ups and downs, but he certainly looked lively inside 50.

Western Jets vs. Eastern Ranges (Brandon Hutchinson) 

Western Jets:

#2 Tristan Rudic – Demonstrated some good footy out of congestion, with great pace and agility. Rudic was slick throughout the ground and had no problem getting his own football. He displayed a great take off speed and some clever decisions getting the ball forward. He fought hard around the stoppages and lifted his form for his team in the second half. Rudic is sharp, quick and precise as a midfielder and played quite unique football. He picked his man well, and passed well to get the ball running down field.

#10 Steven Kyriazis – In a sloppy affair from both sides, Kyriazis stood his ground. Kyriazis showed great form in the Jets’ forward line, and was the man to hit in the air. He picked his spots well and did not shy away from crashing the packs. He took some strong grabs and was a dangerous utility for his team going into attack. In the end, Kyriazis booted two goals, finessing them through with some smooth, classy football. The first term seemed off for most of the Western players, with consistency across four quarters the next step for the talented forward.

#11 Zak Butters – Butters showed some impressive work throughout ground on Saturday. He kicked sharp, attacked the ball well and made good decisions getting the ball forward. He picked his spots well and was unselfish in his passes, also going hard at his opponent, laying some important tackles, and moving well out of a congested midfield. He got his own ball and showed great poise in drawing in his man, at one stage taking on two players and still getting off an important pass. He is composed but aggressive, and the mix proved well throughout the game.

#12 Connor Thar – Thar had a good eye for taking the ball up forward and moved well with it in hand. He showed sharp skills around the middle, and made great choices in moving the ball up field. He lifted his game in the fourth and bagged himself a goal. His presence was obvious in the Jets’ win over the Ranges, and he showed it with some smooth and thoughtful football.

#36 Jaden Rice – Rice dominated players in the contest with his supreme size. He shrugged players off comfortably and showed great poise with the ball in hand. Rice applied great pressure around the contested ball, and laid a few crucial tackles – looking right at home with the ball in hand, taking clean kicks without worry. He is strong and played some impressive football. Rice was difficult to beat and even harder to bring down. Plenty of positives from his performance. 

Eastern Ranges:

#12 Jarrod Gilbee – A tough defender who doesn’t shy away from a knock. Gilbee’s work rate around the backline was astounding over the weekend, and he showed it with some earnest efforts. He demonstrated a strong attack on the ground and had no problem earning his own ball. He had a few good runs out of the backline which helped propel the ball forward into attack. Like a bull, Gilbee demonstrated plenty of acceleration and pace around plays, as well a few good choices to get the ball moving. He may not be as smooth as some of the others on this list, but his fight for the ball and work rate earn him his spot.

#17 Cody Hirst – Hirst’s game was unfortunately cut short following a heavy collision with an opposing player during the second. He was seen back on the oval for a bit as half-time closed in, but did not appear again for the rest of the game. Despite this, Hirst played some classy football. He goes hard at that the ball and does not struggle breaking free from congestion. He had a few great runs across the wing, helping launch the ball forward into attack. His contribution through the midfield had Eastern looking like the more composed team in the first half and his clean ball work most always found his man. Hirst had a couple good tackles in the first and assisted an important goal. He’s got good pace and a clean read of the ball, and if he played the second half, we could have seen a much tighter match.

#20 Ben Cardamone – Cardamone laid some crucial tackles in his backline as the Jets approached goal. He worked well around the contest and did well to keep the persistent attack at bay. He was a strong presence throughout the backline and helped to keep many players scoreless. His tackles were perfect and his pressure consistent. Cardamone demonstrated some good footy smarts and could see himself develop well as a fullback in his future.

#23 Xavier Fry – Fry was a crucial factor in keeping the Jets at bay when they went forward. He demonstrated great acceleration out of the backline and his second efforts over the ball often kept the Jets from taking off. Fry picked his spots well, appearing to play as a loose man throughout congestion. His skills were sharp and he showed great composure when possession was critical. His positioning often saw him intercept possessions throughout the mid, and he did well to move the ball out of danger. What he does, he does well, but he may also need to look at getting his own ball if he is to improve his work around the ground.

Sandringham Dragons vs. Calder Cannons (Billy Friend & Owen Leonard) 

Sandringham Dragons:

#7 Liam Stocker – A Dustin Martin style game from Stocker against the Cannons, who led the Dragons to a strong 23-point triumph at Trevor Barker Oval. While he was dominant through the midfield, Stocker was extremely dangerous while resting forward, particularly shown in the second term with a strong mark at the top of the goal square, resulting in his second goal. Stocker’s on-ground leadership was also notable, his calls for teammates to “find a man” clearly heard from the grandstand. A complete performance with Stocker finding over 20 disposals and booting two goals.

#19 Samuel Forbes – While he wasn’t a major ball-winner, Forbes impressed with precision left-foot kicking out of defence. He hit seven out of his eight targets and could be a playmaker to watch throughout the Dragons’ campaign, when he returns from school football later in the season.

#21 Dawit McNeish – Playing as an inside midfielder for the majority of the game, McNeish had a strong first half, displaying insistent grunt at stoppages. An impressive set-shot conversion from 45m out on a 45 degree angle after a free kick in the second quarter was super. Rested deep in the forward line late in the game, with a goal assist putting the Dragons 14-points clear.

#27 Jack Mahony – Backing up a strong performance last week, Mahony applied relentless forward pressure and was a constant ground level option. Playing a small forward role for most of the day, Mahony also worked hard with short stints in the midfield, kicking the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions.

#28 James Rendell – After a quiet first half, the key forward came to life in the third quarter, kicking the first two goals of the term. Played a big role in the Dragons’ victory, with a monumental second half, in which all four of his goals came. Took a strong mark at the start of the fourth quarter, and showcased his pinch-hitting ability with forward 50 ruck work. The Dragons’ tall was everywhere in the second half, and will be one to watch closely in season 2018.

#30 Ethan Casey – The big man seemed to move well in his first game back from an ACL injury, often providing his teammates first use through his power at ruck contests. He won majority of the hitouts for the contest and it was good to see him get through the contest unscathed. 

#69 Corey Watts – Played a traditional full-back role with the socks up. Provided strong drive from defence, and seems to have a rare balance between defending and attacking. Knew when to run off his man, and regularly setup play with his booming right foot.

Calder Cannons:

#11 Jake Firebrace – Firebrace had a quiet first half in the windy conditions but showed his quality in a brilliant third quarter. He is extremely clean below his knees and provided great run and carry out of defence. His agility & speed are elite and he showed flashes of his talent today.

#26 Mason Fletcher – Fletcher once again showed an ability to spoil at the last minute with his long levers, but was beaten by Rendell who kicked four goals on him in the second half. Like his old man (Dustin), Fletcher is very lightly built so can be overpowered at this stage of his career. He has plenty of filling out to do, so is far from the finished project. 

#29 Jake Riccardi – Riccardi struggled to impact the scoreboard today as much as we know he can, but he made up for that with hard work. Playing in the ruck for long stints of the game he acted as an extra midfielder for the Cannons. He showed good running ability for a tall forward getting to many contests.

#30 Mitchell Podhajski – Podhajski’s big body in the midfield really stood out today thanks to his clearance work in the trenches. He was able to break tackles, fire out quick handballs and lay tackles himself. He also impressed resting forward, taking two strong contested marks and providing a dangerous target for the Cannons in the mid-fwd role.

#33 Jack Evans – Was one of Calder’s best players today rebounding out of defence. His penetrating kicking was the highlight of his game, which included a running goal from 55m out in the third quarter. Evans has the ability to defend one-on-one as well as being an offensive weapon for the Cannons.

#40 Lachlan Johnson – Kicked the first two goals of the game and looked lively up forward. As a small forward, Johnson showed terrific forward pressure and impact for the amount of disposals he gathered.

Northern Knights vs. Oakleigh Chargers (Peter Bonadio) 

Northern Knights:

#4 Tom McKenzie – One of those players who influences a team. When he had the ball things seemed to happen a lot smoother for the Knights. Excellent vision to find teammates by foot. Contestant ball winner who works well inside the centre square.

#5 Lachlan Potter -The defender was best on ground for the Knights today. A very consistent player, who read the play off half back very well, being in the right spot at the right time. An agile player who has a great turn off feet. Potter isn’t afraid to back himself and use his pace to break away from congestion and find targets further forward.

#17 Josh D’Intinosante – Improved as the game went on. Played better when he moved up forward. Applies good forward pressure and can take a strong mark overhead. He has a natural goal sense finding the goals on two occasions.

#20 Patrik Della Rocca – Consistent all day and finished with four goals. Works well up the ground and can lay a strong tackle. Leads well towards the ball and can take a strong contestant mark.

#21 Mark Baker – Good key forward who can move into the ruck. His ruck work was very good as to was his follow up work. He can also move around the ground well and is quite efficient by foot and has the ability to hit targets inside the forward 50. 

Oakleigh Chargers:

#3 Joseph Ayton-Delaney – Good in patches. Has a very efficient kick and spots teammates across the ground very well. Quick turn of foot and his extra bit of pace helps him burn off opponents and break through packs.

#8 Noah Anderson – Best-on-ground for the Chargers today, had plenty of the footy and used it well. Has the ability to go up forward and kick a few goals. Anderson was explosive running through the middle allows him to rack up the inside 50’s. 

#10 Charlie Whitehead – Uses his pace well around the ground and can take a contestant grab every now and then. Has good footy knowledge and reads the play well. 

#18 Ben Silvagni – Needs to work on his set shot conversions but managed to slot home three goals including a skilful dribble goal from the boundary. Helped in assisting in a few goals also with his quick hands inside the Chargers forward 50.

2018 AFL Academy stunning win over North Melbourne VFL

THE NAB AFL Academy have pulled off a stunning 43-point victory over North Melbourne’s VFL team on Saturday.

In the curtain raiser to the AFL clash between Melbourne and North Melbourne, the best players from the draft eligible group defeated their VFL opponents, in only the second time ever in the years of facing off against VFL sides.

The AFL Academy’s captain Sam Walsh put a stamp on his credentials as the best midfielder in the 2018 draft pool, booting through the opening goal of the game in the first few minutes.

Walsh worked hard through the midfield, finding targets by ease off his right foot, finishing the day with 22 disposals, nine marks and four clearances.

Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West relished the competitive game, that was full of plenty of push and shove throughout the afternoon, with the Vic Metro midfielder throwing himself in the contest.

The 180cm/81kg West found plenty of the football, with nine disposals in the opening quarter – eventually finishing the contest with 16 disposals, nine marks and five inside 50s.

Fellow Calder Cannons teammate, Jack Bytel was also among it early, winning the football in the centre of the ground.

After coming off a bag of eight goals last weekend, Max King begun the match with two marks in the first quarter – but similar to last Saturday, his three early shots on goal only resulted in a sole goal. King finished the day with 2.2 in a solid showing inside forward 50.

Twin brother Ben held down a key-post in defence, marking well overhead and spoiling when required. His consistent performance throughout the day saw him earn the MCC President’s Medal as the best player from the AFL Academy side.

Jack Lukosius, the player considered by many to be the front runner for the 2018 number one pick, started the game in defensive 50, before moving forward after half time, where he looked far more comfortable.

Lukosius finished the game with 12 disposals and two goals, while fellow South Australian Jackson Hately booted two goals and was in the best handful of players.  

West Australia’s best draft prospect Ian Hill, livened up the second quarter, booting two goals as the small forward started to work into the contest. Tasmanian draft prospect Chayce Jones (15 disposals) also looked impressive in the AFL Academy’s big win.  

For North Melbourne, Braydon Preuss’ physicality was on show – where he won majority of the hitouts against his smaller and less experienced under 18 opponents. Running defender Sam Wright was the Roos’ best, while Mason Wood booted two goals from his 15 disposals.

NAB AFL ACADEMY               5.3   9.6   12.10   17.12 (114)
NORTH MELBOURNE VFL      3.3   7.3     9.6    10.11 (71)

NAB AFL Academy: 
Taylor 2, Hately 2, Thomas 2, Hill 2, Lukosius 2, Mummery 2, M.King 2, Walsh, Blakey, Rozee
North Melbourne VFL: Wood 2, Holmes 2, Larkey 2, Narrier, Zurhaar, Xerri, Baker

NAB AFL Academy: 
Walsh, Hately, B.King, West, Jones
North Melbourne VFL: Wright, Preuss, Hibberd, Holmes, Wood

AFL Draft whispers – November 2017

With just 12 days until the 2017 NAB AFL Draft – our team have been working the phones and compiling the latest rumours ahead of the draft on Friday week.

Have you got a whisper? Or know more? – Direct Message us on Facebook, Twitter or leave an anonymous post below.

Want to know more about the 2017 NAB AFL Draft crop? Visit our draft pool page for all the player profiles & stats.


If Darcy Fogarty makes it to Pick 12 – it would be very very hard to see Hamish Ogilvie overlook the talented South Australian prospect. If he’s off the board, the Crows will likely look to take the best player available and the names Hunter Clark and Jarrod Brander continue to be linked with Pick 12. If Aiden Bonar manages to get outside the top 10 – it would be interesting to see whether the Crows consider him. With Pick 39 – there is some suggestion they are looking at bringing in another running defender.


Most people agree that the Brisbane Lions have made their decision on the number one selection. But just who it will be is the million dollar question? Majority of the talk for a few months is that it will likely be Vic Country midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke, but talk from some continue to suggest that Cameron Rayner’s name can’t be ruled though. The Lions have shown in the past that they will prefer to take Vic Country players which means Paddy Dow will remain the conversation – but the feeling is that it’s most likely ‘LDU’. Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan is a big fan of Andrew Brayshaw and whether the Lions recruiters have a similar taste remains to be seen. Regardless of the Lions choice at No.1 – Charlie Constable is the player most likely to be selected at Pick 15. The strong bodied inside midfielder averaged 26 disposals and five marks for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Constable is school mates with Brayshaw & Davies-Uniacke – and would fit in well if they link up at the Lions. Western Jets midfielder Lachlan Fogarty is another name the Lions have shown interest in and he could be selected at Pick 15 or Pick 18. As a rookie selection, the Lions have been linked with Box Hill Hawks’ Sam Switkowski. The Lions will also likely match a bid from Jack Payne in the third or fourth round.


Carlton have two top 10 selections and have heavily been linked to Adam Cerra in the last fortnight or so. The Eastern Ranges midfielder averaged 18 disposals and five tackles in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and the feeling of some recruiters is that he would’ve challenged for the No.1 pick if not for a shoulder injury late in the season. Cameron Rayner may fall into their lap if both interstate clubs look past him and it would be hard to see them let him get past Pick 3. At pick 10, Darcy Fogarty has been linked – but could come into their thoughts at Pick 3 with some talk of North Melbourne considering him at Pick 4 – but this could be a smokescreen for the Blues hoping for another player to slip down to Pick 10. Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark are two other midfielders who might find themselves wearing navy blue next year, while Jackson Ross and Ryley Stoddart are both in the mix at Pick 30.


Collingwood hold the keys to the draft – with a big selection at Pick 6. The only tall considered at this pick appears to be key defender Aaron Naughton, while draft ‘bolters’ Nathan Murphy and Aiden Bonar are also in the mix. Nick Coffield is another name that could be considered but the latest talk suggests that things might go another way. Could a top midfielder slide to the Pies? GWV Rebels defender Flynn Appleby might be a possible late draft selection.


Essendon are another club without a first round draft pick – entering the draft at Pick 48. With the retirement of Jobe Watson – fans are hoping for Adrian Dodoro and his team to bring in an inside midfielder & if Vic Country’s James Worpel manages to get there – it would make sense for him to be selected. Essendon also held a private testing session for about 20 kids a month ago – with Jake Riccardi and Ben Wiggins two names to keep an eye out for as possible rookie selections. They’ve also enquired about two VAFA senior footballers as draft smokeys. Fans want the fairytale to link up the Parish brothers – but if remains very unlikely the Bombers will draft Cassidy Parish at Pick 48.


Fremantle continue to be linked with Vic Metro pair Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw – but seem likely to pick between Vic Country midfielders Paddy Dow and Luke Davies-Uniacke at Pick 2. Some suggest that Cerra is their man at Pick 5 – but should he be taken before then, Brayshaw will be picked. The early mail suggested Fremantle would opt for a tall in either Jarrod Brander or Aaron Naughton – but most believe they will take the two best midfielders. As for later in the draft, the Dockers are likely to select a ruckman – having been linked with TAC Cup Grand Final ruckman Sam Conway (Geelong Falcons) and Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons). They’ve also done some work on GWV Rebels’ ruck Lloyd Meek and defender Flynn Appleby.


Tom McCartin has jumped as an AFL Draft prospect and could push up in consideration for one of Geelong’s three second round picks. The “local” prospect could come into their thinking – but the Year 11 student will need to finish school in 2018. There has been some links to local boy Matt Ling, who has impressive agility and a deadly left foot kick. South Australian duo Jordan Houlahan and Charlie Ballard are two players who could slot into the Geelong team, with Houlahan a medium forward with plenty of X-Factor, while 195cm Ballard can play on the wing or as a key position player at either end. They are also another club who have shown some interest in Calder Cannons’ Jake Riccardi.


Gold Coast enter the draft at Pick 19 with Ed Richards and Nathan Murphy two players right on their hit list. While Murphy looks destined to be a top 10 selection, Richards is a chance to be available there. Chris Pelchen also linked the Suns with tall Sam Taylor in the SEN Inside Football draft guide. There were multiple Gold Coast Suns recruiters watching Noah Balta in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final and he might be another tall in the mix. As for academy prospect Brayden Crossley – sources suggest the Suns will need to match a late pick after pick 50.


With the retirement of Stevie J – GWS are in the hunt for a small forward. Jack Higgins appears to be at the top of the pecking order with Pick 11, but there are multiple small forward options in Dylan Moore, Charlie Spargo and Gryan Miers – that could be instead picked in the second round which could allow the Giants to go “best available’ or a tall at Pick 11. There is some suggestion that the Giants could draft Jarrod Brander at Pick 11 or West Australian key back Aaron Naughton if he slipped outside the top 10. Midfielder Nick Shipley will likely have his bid matched somewhere 40+.


Once again Hawthorn enter the draft without a first round selection – after it was traded to the Saints as part of the Jaeger O’Meara deal. With Pick 43 – the Hawks have been linked with Eastern Ranges midfielders Trent Mynott and Tom North. They have nominated Changkuoth Jiath (CJ) as a Next-Generation Academy Member, but the bid will likely be well after their first selection at the draft. Zippy midfielder Will Walker may also be considered if he’s on the board.


Melbourne have shown in recent years that they are willing to hit the state leagues at the NAB AFL Draft. With their first selection, Aspley midfielder Oskar Baker is a name  that continues to come up in discussions and he could be selected at Pick 29 or 36. Right under their noses at Casey is Bayley Fritsch, who will likely find a home in the middle of the draft and is in the mix.


The Kangaroos are in a precarious position – not knowing how the cards will fall ahead of them. Jaidyn Stephenson has been a name they’ll likely have in the mix – but at least one of the consensus top four (Davies-Uniacke, Cerra, Rayner and Dow) will be available at Pick 4. Rayner’s attractive game style might take a fancy for the Roos, looking for some class and speed in the attacking half of the ground. Andrew Brayshaw is another name that some suggest is ready to go from Round 1. North have shown they are willing to bid on players using their picks and may do so on Richmond father-son Patrick Naish and Brisbane Lions academy member Connor Ballenden. South Australian Mitch Crowden is also a player the Roos have interviewed recently and he could be selected as a late pick/rookie. Some whispers have also suggested if West Coast pass on Tim Kelly at Pick 21 that North Melbourne will jump at Pick 23.


Jackson Ross appears to be right on Port Adelaide’s radar at Pick 46 – but the former high level tennis player could be off the board by Port’s pick. Liam Ryan was linked early days with the Power – but appears likely to go inside the 2nd round. A fellow West Australian Jake Patmore might be in the mix as an outside player. Some talk of Oscar Chapman being a possible player of interest late in the draft or in the rookie draft.


The latest talk suggests the 2017 Premiers might not get a bid for Patrick Naish until after their third selection in the NAB AFL Draft (Pick 25). They’ve long been linked with Vic Metro ruckman Sam Hayes, but other players like Oscar Allen, Noah Balta and Sam Taylor might be above Hayes on their draft board. If the Tigers overlook Hayes – they will likely look for a ruckman later in the draft or through the rookie list to provide some depth to their ruck stocks. It’s unlikely that possible Next Generation Academy member Derrick Smith will get a bid in the National Draft.


St Kilda have two picks in a row and there is a range of players in the mix. Alan Richardson watched some of the TAC Cup Finals, with Nick Coffield catching his eye. A lot of the talk is that they will take one of the draft ‘bolters’ in Aiden Bonar or Nathan Murphy and then the best midfielders available. The best midfielder seems to be one of Andrew Brayshaw, Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield or Jaidyn Stephenson – assuming someone else doesn’t slide down to Pick 7 and 8.


Sydney Swans were long linked with cricket convert Nathan Murphy – but with the whispers being that he will be selected inside the top 10, Sydney will likely need to look elsewhere. There has been some suggestion they could take Jordan Houlahan – who plays a similar medium forward role and did spend some time as an inside midfielder for Sturt. They have plenty of inside midfielders – but Charlie Constable would be a nice addition to any list. Hunter Clark is another name that has done the rounds who could be selected here. Leading into TAC Cup Finals, there was suggestion Jackson Hille was on the Swans’ radar – while fellow Dragon Hamish Brayshaw will come into their thinking as another late pick/rookie. Charlie Ballard is an intriguing player and could be in the mix for one of the Swans first two selections.


West Coast continue to be linked with forward Oscar Allen. They would have to consider Hunter Clark and Charlie Constable at Pick 13 if they were available – but the suggestion is they will likely focus on midfielders with their second round selections. Second round West Australian prospects include Tim Kelly, who is right at the top of the tree with Pick 21 – while Liam Ryan will likely become an Eagle. Brandon Starcevich and Brayden Ainsworth could also come into consideration here while Eagles fan Ryley Stoddart might be a Victorian in the mix. Vic Metro key defender Noah Balta is a player they’re very interested in and they could select him at Pick 21 or Pick 26.


The Western Bulldogs are a club who have Nathan Murphy right in their eyeline. With Pick 9 and 16 – they will get a good crack at two players. Ed Richards has some speed and a nice left foot kick and they could grab him at Pick 16. They’ve also been linked with Gippsland Power duo Matthew McGannon and Callum Porter as possible rookie picks. Lachlan Fogarty is a likely name at Pick 16 too. Whispers about the Bulldogs bidding on Richmond father-son Patrick Naish appear to be dying.

As for who has an invite to the draft? Our sources suggest there are 20 players that will be attending in Sydney at this stage.

Oscar Allen
Aiden Bonar
Jarrod Brander
Andrew Brayshaw
Adam Cerra
Hunter Clark
Nicholas Coffield
Luke Davies-Uniacke
Paddy Dow
Darcy Fogarty
Lachlan Fogarty
Jack Higgins
Nathan Murphy
Patrick Naish
Aaron Naughton
Lochie O’Brien
Cameron Rayner
Ed Richards
Nicholas Shipley
Jaidyn Stephenson

Matt Balmer’s 2017 early Phantom Draft

IT IS just over a month until AFL clubs will meet at Sydney Showgrounds for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

At the conclusion of trade week, Matt Balmer predicts who will go where inside the first round, in his 2017 early Phantom Draft.

Pick 1: Brisbane – Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

In the mix: While some may see Cameron Rayner as the best player in the 2017 draft pool, I think the Lions will look for a full-time inside midfielder. Paddy Dow’s name is another who the Lions will consider – but at the moment the gut feel is ‘LDU’ is ahead of Dow.

Pick 2: Fremantle – Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

In the mix: Fremantle only acquired Pick 2 today, in a trade from the Gold Coast giving up Lachie Weller. They’ll need to take a Victorian midfielder at Pick 2 – with Cerra, Rayner, Davies-Uniacke others who could also feature. Fremantle have a lot of players similar to Rayner – but it’d be hard to let him go – as a player who can do things that many others can’t in this draft pool.

Pick 3: Carlton – Cameron Rayner
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

In the mix: Fremantle are the great unknown and it’d be very hard to see the Blues let Rayner slip past them if he gets through to Pick 3. Haileybury College midfielders Andrew Brayshaw, Charlie Constable and Davies-Uniacke will be in the mix. Paddy Dow might land in their lap if things fall another way.

Pick 4: North Melbourne – Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

In the mix: Most of the talk is that the top three selections will be Rayner, Davies-Uniacke & Dow – with the order unknown. Stephenson had a great second half of the year and adds some X-Factor for the Roos. Adam Cerra, Nick Coffield and Andrew Brayshaw are three other names that no doubt they’ll be monitoring.

Pick 5: Fremantle – Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

In the mix: Take a midfielder at Pick 2 and at Pick 5? Another big question – but Fremantle hold the keys to shaping the top 10 of the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. They’ve watched a fair bit of the Sandringham Dragons and Andrew Brayshaw could be a player selected here. Adam Cerra and Nick Coffield are two other Vic Metro players who they’ll have on the list – but it might be hard to turn down the best West Australian and tall in the draft pool.

Pick 6: Collingwood – Nick Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

In the mix: Few whispers of the Pies meeting with Aaron Naughton on the weekend and they may pick him if he is available here. Coffield is the best player available and should be able to transition into an inside midfielder in the future.

Pick 7: St Kilda – Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

In the mix: I’m told St Kilda have been big fans of Brayshaw throughout 2017 – meeting with him on multiple occasions and it would be hard to see them turn him down if he’s available. Alan Richardson watched the TAC Cup elimination final where Nick Coffield dominated and he is another option if still on the board. It would be a tough call to let Adam Cerra go too.

Pick 8: St Kilda – Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

In the mix: The biggest unknown in the 2017 draft pool is Aiden Bonar and he is a name that St Kilda could take – to address bringing in a big bodied midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was outstanding and there’s no doubt with the security of having two picks inside top 10 – the Saints could make the move on the Dandenong Stingray.

Pick 9: Western Bulldogs – Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

In the mix: If the Saints don’t take Bonar, he’s a player I’d expect the Bulldogs to snap up. With Stringer leaving the kennel, South Australia’s best draft prospect Darcy Fogarty could fill a similar role as a forward. They have also shown some interest in Nathan Murphy – but they may hope that he gets to their next selection.

Pick 10: Carlton – Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

In the mix: SOS has some good relationships among the APS school boy football competition and if one of Bonar or Constable reach their Pick 10 – It would be seriously hard to see him let them go past. Either can play as an inside midfielder and support Patrick Cripps.

Pick 11: GWS – Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

In the mix: The Giants have long wanted a small forward and the retirement of Stevie J might see them select Jack Higgins, who would fit in well playing a role alongside Tim Taranto and Toby Greene. They have shown in the past that they aren’t afraid to grab players with dual sport abilities (Pat McKenna), so Nathan Murphy could be another considered.

Pick 12: Adelaide – Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

In the mix: The obvious option is for the Crows to take home grown talent in Darcy Fogarty, but if he’s off the board – they may look to Vic Country inside midfielder Hunter Clark who has had a superb finish to the season.

Pick 13: West Coast – Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

In the mix: Another club that will look to bolster their inside midfielders stock. If Hunter Clark is on the board it is a no-brainer, while if they feel they want to take the best homegrown player – it is not too far out of Under 18 Larke Medalist Oscar Allen’s range.

Pick 14: Sydney – Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

In the mix: In what was a quiet trade week for Kinnear Beatson and the Swans, they will hit the draft with their first round pick. Nathan Murphy is a player they could consider, with a chance he moves into the midfield. If they are looking for some outside class – players such as Lochie O’Brien, Matt Ling, Ed Richards and Ryley Stoddart could be considered, but all are probably likely to fall into the second round.

Pick 15: Brisbane – Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

In the mix: Pick 15 places the Lions a bit in no-man’s land – if the draft falls as I have it, they may miss out on probably the best crop of midfielders. No doubt they’d be keen to link up Dandenong Stingrays pair Aiden Bonar and Hunter Clark with Davies-Uniacke if they were available. Despite having Oscar McInerney developing well, they might look at Sam Hayes to boost their ruck stocks or develop as a key forward – but they do have Connor Ballenden who should get a bid after their next pick somewhere in the 20s. Could they bid on Patrick Naish?

Pick 16: Western Bulldogs – Ed Richards
Medium Defender/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean and effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

In the mix: The Tigers will be hoping that father-son prospect Patrick Naish doesn’t get a bid here – with the Bulldogs showing plenty of interest this season. If they’re looking to add some speed on the outside, Ed Richards has had a great season and might be one they look to recruit. Norwood small midfielder Zac Bailey was superb throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for the Allies and could be another they consider.

Pick 17: Richmond – Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

In the mix: The Tigers went into finals with a small side – but may look to bring in some more talls to help with their depth. Most people in the know feel Jarrod Brander will get outside the top 10 and the Tigers would have to snatch him up at Pick 17. Sam Hayes is another tall they will consider – but the Tigers will be hoping he gets through to Pick 20. If the Bulldogs or Lions bid on Naish – this pick will be removed from the order.

What about the rest?

Pick 19: Gold Coast – Nathan Murphy would be a likely suitor should he get through to Pick 19. Medium forward Jordan Houlahan from Sturt would be another name that fits the bill as a similar player to Murphy. Larke Medalist Oscar Allen and Vic Metro tall Noah Balta are still on the board and might fit the best available selection, while the loss of Adam Saad might allow them to look for a similar prospect in Matt Ling.

Pick 22: Geelong – Similar to the Suns – medium forwards Murphy and Houlahan would appeal to add to the Cats’ forward line. Lachlan Fogarty might be another good fit, with high pressure and tackling numbers sure to fit the bill of AFL teams after a success with Richmond this season. Could the Wooller name return to Simonds Stadium?

Pick 29: Melbourne – A small forward or classy outside ball user would likely appear to the Dees. Ryley Stoddart, Matt Ling and Lochie O’Brien are three such classy outside midfielders/half back flanks. If they’re looking for a small forward, Dylan Moore and Charlie Spargo are two second round prospects that they could consider. The Demons also have Pick 31 and 36.

Pick 43: Hawthorn – Once again the Hawks will enter the draft without a first round pick – but it is at least closer than their 2016 first selection. Next Generation Academy member Changkuoth Jiath is tied to the Hawks – but will likely be a late selection or rookie pick. While it’s probably unlikely Andrew McPherson would be a good fit across half back and through the midfield, after an injury interrupted 2017. Two other midfielders that might be considered from the Hawks are Brayden Ainsworth and Matthew Day. Could James Worpel still be there at Pick 43?

Pick 46: Port Adelaide – The Power are one of a number of clubs to show interest in Eastern Ranges & Haileybury College outside midfielder/general forward Jackson Ross. Ross is very athletic and has plenty of scope for development. If the two West Australian teams haven’t grabbed Liam Ryan – the Power might consider it here.

Pick 48: Essendon – If the Bombers can find an inside midfielder at Pick 48 – it would cap off a very impressive draft & trade period. The Bombers would’ve taken Constable with Pick 11 had they held onto it, but if James Worpel gets to Pick 48 – It’d be hard to see them let him go. There’s been a lot of talk about them being keen on Dylan Moore – but he’s likely to end up inside the top 30.

GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


2017 Indicative draft order post Round 23

FOLLOWING the final round of the home and away season, the 2017 draft order has been partially locked in leading into the 2017 AFL finals series.

The Brisbane Lions currently hold the No.1 pick after finishing 18th – with Victorian midfielders Adam Cerra, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Rayner the four most likely contenders for the first selection.

BRISBANE searches for inside fix

Due to the penalties from the Lachie Whitfield affair last year, the Giants have been penalised 1000 ‘draft value points’, which means that their first pick (currently worth 1112 points) will slide back to the end of the draft and fall at No.63 (worth 112 points).

Indicative draft order after the home and away season

BL 1. Brisbane Lions
GCFC 2. Gold Coast
CARL 3. Carlton
NMFC 4. North Melbourne
FRE 5. Fremantle
COLL 6. Collingwood
STK 7. St Kilda (received from Hawthorn)
STK 8. St Kilda
WB 9. Western Bulldogs
MELB 10. Melbourne
WCE 11. West Coast
ESS 12. Essendon
SYD 13. Sydney
BL 14. Brisbane Lions (received from Port Adelaide)
RICH 15. Richmond
RICH 16. Richmond (received from Geelong, via Carlton and GWS on-trades)
ADEL 17. Adelaide
BL 18. Brisbane Lions
GCFC 19. Gold Coast
GEEL 20. Geelong (received from Carlton)
NMFC 21. North Melbourne
GCFC 22. Gold Coast (received from Fremantle)
GWS 23. Greater Western Sydney (received from Collingwood)
GCFC 24. Gold Coast (received from Hawthorn)
GWS 25. Greater Western Sydney (received from St Kilda)
WB 26. Western Bulldogs
MELB 27. Melbourne
WCE 28. West Coast
ESS 29. Essendon
SYD 30. Sydney
PORT 31. Port Adelaide
HAW 32. Hawthorn (received from GWS, via Carlton on-trade)
GCFC 33. Gold Coast (received from Richmond)
GEEL 34. Geelong
ADEL 35. Adelaide


COLL 36. Collingwood (received from the Brisbane Lions)
GCFC 37. Gold Coast
CARL 38. Carlton
WB 39. Western Bulldogs (received from North Melbourne)
FRE 40. Fremantle
BL 41. Brisbane Lions (received from Collingwood)
HAW 42. Hawthorn
STK 43. St Kilda
NMFC 44. North Melbourne (received from Western Bulldogs)
MELB 45. Melbourne
WCE 46. West Coast
ESS 47. Essendon
SYD 48. Sydney
PORT 49. Port Adelaide
RICH 50. Richmond (received from Greater Western Sydney)
RICH 51. Richmond
GEEL 52. Geelong
ADEL 53. Adelaide


COLL 54. Collingwood (received from the Brisbane Lions)
Fre 55. Fremantle (received from Gold Coast)
CARL 56. Carlton
STK 57. St Kilda (received from North Melbourne, via Western Bulldogs on-trade)
FRE 58. Fremantle
COLL 59. Collingwood
HAW 60. Hawthorn
STK 61. St Kilda
NMFC 62. North Melbourne (received from Western Bulldogs)
GWS 63. Greater Western Sydney* (original pick No.15 slides down after 1000-point penalty)
MELB 64. Melbourne
WCE 65. West Coast
ESS 66. Essendon
SYD 67. Sydney
PORT 68. Port Adelaide
GWS 69. Greater Western Sydney
RICH 70. Richmond
GEEL 71. Geelong
ADEL 72. Adelaide

* The Giants will lose their first pick as a result of the 1000-point penalty placed on them due to the Lachie Whitfield affair.

BL 73. Brisbane Lions
GCFC 74. Gold Coast
CARL 75. Carlton
NMFC 76. North Melbourne
FRE 77. Fremantle
COLL 78. Collingwood
HAW 79. Hawthorn
WB 80. Western Bulldogs (received from St Kilda)
WB 81. Western Bulldogs
MELB 82. Melbourne
WCE 83. West Coast
ESS 84. Essendon
SYD 85. Sydney
PORT 86. Port Adelaide
GWS 87. Greater Western Sydney
RICH 88. Richmond
GEEL 89. Geelong
ADEL 90. Adelaide


Pick/Pts Pick/Pts Pick/Pts Pick/Pts Pick/Pts
1. 3000 19. 948 37. 483 55. 207 73. 9
2. 2517 20. 912 38. 465 56. 194 74. –
3. 2234 21. 878 39. 446 57. 182
4. 2034 22. 845 40. 429 58. 170
5. 1878 23. 815 41. 412 59. 158
6. 1751 24. 785 42. 395 60. 146
7. 1644 25. 756 43. 378 61. 135
8. 1551 26. 729 44. 362 62. 123
9. 1469 27. 703 45. 347 63. 112
10. 1395 28. 677 46. 331 64. 101
11. 1329 29. 653 47. 316 65. 90
12. 1268 30. 629 48. 302 66. 80
13. 1212 31. 606 49. 287 67. 69
14. 1161 32. 584 50. 273 68. 59
15. 1112 33. 563 51. 259 69. 49
16. 1067 34. 542 52. 246 70. 39
17. 1025 35. 522 53. 233 71. 29
18. 985 36. 502 54. 220 72. 19

2016 AFL Draft order

Vic Metro co-captain Andrew McGrath is likely to be high on the Bombers list for Pick 1.
Vic Metro co-captain Andrew McGrath is likely to be high on the Bombers list for Pick 1.

After a hectic AFL Trade period, with players and picks exchanging between clubs, the dust has settled and the 2016 draft order has been confirmed.

Essendon have the corveted Pick 1, with Vic Metro’s Andrew McGrath and Vic Country’s Hugh McCluggage the likely two to come into consideration for their selection.

No. Points Club
1. 3000 ESS Essendon
2. 2517 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Brisbane Lions via a 2016 pick exchange)
3. 2234 BL Brisbane Lions (received from GWS via a 2016 pick exchange; originally received from Fremantle via a trade for Cam McCarthy)
4. 2034 GCFC Gold Coast
5. 1878 CARL Carlton
6. 1751 GCFC Gold Coast (received from Richmond as part of Dion Prestia trade)
7. 1644 FREM Fremantle (received from Greater Western Sydney via a trade for Cam McCarthy; received by GWS from Collingwood via a 2015 trade for Adam Treloar)
8. 1551 GCFC Gold Coast (received from Melbourne in a 2015 exchange of picks)
9. 1469 SYD Sydney Swans (received from Port Adelaide in a pick exchange)
10. 1395 GCFC Gold Coast (received from Hawthorn as part of Jaeger O’Meara trade; received by Hawthorn from St Kilda in a pick exchange)
11. 1329 NMFC North Melbourne
12. 1268 WC West Coast
13. 1212 ADEL Adelaide
14. 1161 PORT Port Adelaide (received from Sydney Swans in a pick exchange; received from Hawthorn as part of Tom Mitchell trade)
15. 1112 GWS Greater Western Sydney
16. 1067 BL Brisbane Lions (received from GWS via a 2016 pick exchange; received from Carlton via a 2015 trade for Lachie Plowman, Jed Lamb, Andrew Phillips and Liam Sumner; received by Carlton from Geelong via a trade for Lachie Henderson)
17. 1025 PORT Port Adelaide (received from Sydney Swans in a pick exchange)
18. 985 WB Western Bulldogs

No. Points Club
19. 948 SYD Sydney Swans (received from Port Adelaide in a pick exchange; received by Port Adelaide from the Brisbane Lions as part of the Pearce Hanley trade; originally a Brisbane Lions priority pick received from AFL)

No. Points Club
20. 912 ESS Essendon
21. 878 BL Brisbane Lions
22. 845 BL Brisbane Lions (received from Suns as part of the Pearce Hanley trade; originally from Fremantle via a 2015 pick exchange)
23. 815 STK St Kilda  (received from Hawthorn via a 2016 pick exchange; received from Fremantle for Bradley Hill; originally received as compensation for Chris Mayne)
24. 785 GEEL Geelong (received from Richmond as part of Josh Caddy trade; received by Richmond from Gold Coast as part of Dion Prestia trade)
25. 756 CARL Carlton
26. 729 WB Western Bulldogs (received from Gold Coast in an exchange of picks; received by Gold Coast from Richmond as part of 2015 Charlie Dixon trade)
27. 703 RICH Richmond (received as compensation for free agent Ty Vickery)
28. 677 COLL Collingwood
29. 653 ESS Essendon (received from Melbourne as part of the Michael Hibberd trade)
30. 629 PORT Port Adelaide (received from Gold Coast as part of the Pearce Hanley trade; originally received from Port Adelaide as part of 2015 Charlie Dixon trade)
31. 606 PORT Port Adelaide (received from Sydney Swans in a pick exchange; received by Sydney Swans from Greater Western Sydney in a pick exchange; received by GWS from from Brisbane Lions in a pick exchange; received from Collingwood as part of 2015 James Aish-Ryan Bastinac trade; originally received from St Kilda via trade for Nathan Freeman)
32. 584 NMFC North Melbourne
33. 563 NMFC North Melbourne (received as compensation for free agent Daniel Wells)
34. 542 WC West Coast
35. 522 FREM Fremantle (received from Gold Coast in a pick exchange; received by Gold Coast from Western Bulldogs in pick exchange; received by Western Bulldogs from Fremantle as part of the Joel Hamling trade; originally received by Fremantle from Greater Western Sydney via a trade for Cam McCarthy)
36. 502 STK St Kilda (received from Hawthorn in a 2016 pick exchange)
37. 483 GWS Greater Western Sydney
38. 465 GEEL Geelong
39. 446 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Sydney Swans in a pick exchange)
40. 429 FREM Fremantle (received from Western Bulldogs as part of the Joel Hamling trade)

No. Points Club
41. 412 ESS Essendon
42. 395 GEEL Geelong (received from Brisbane Lions via a 2015 trade for Josh Walker and Jarrad Jansen)
43. 378 ADEL Adelaide (received from Gold Coast as part of Jarryd Lyons trade; received by Gold Coast from Western Bulldogs in pick exchange; received by Western Bulldogs from Fremantle as part of the Joel Hamling trade)
44. 362 COLL Collingwood (received from Gold Coast as part of Jarrod Witts trade)
45. 347 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Carlton as part of Caleb Marchbank/Jarrod Pickett trade)
46. 331 SYD Sydney (received from Richmond as part of Toby Nankervis trade)
47. 316 MELB Melbourne (received from Collingwood as part of Lynden Dunn trade)
48. 302 CARL Carlton (received from Hawthorn in a pick exchange; received by Hawthorn from Melbourne as part of the Jordan Lewis trade)
49. 287 SYD Sydney Swans (received from Port Adelaide in a pick exchange)
50. 273 WB Western Bulldogs (received from St Kilda as part of Koby Stevens trade)
51. 259 COLL Collingwood (received from Melbourne as part of Lynden Dunn trade; received by Melbourne from Greater Western Sydney as part of Pat McKenna trade; received from Brisbane Lions via a 2016 pick exchange; originally received from North Melbourne as part of 2015 James Aish-Ryan Bastinac trade)
52. 246 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Sydney Swans in a pick exchange; received by Sydney Swans from Hawthorn as part of Tom Mitchell trade; originally received by Hawthorn from West Coast as part of Sam Mitchell trade)
53. 233 ADEL Adelaide
54. 220 WC West Coast (received from Hawthorn as part of Sam Mitchell trade)
55. 207 GWS Greater Western Sydney
56. 194 RICH Richmond (received from Geelong as part of Josh Caddy trade)
57. 182 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Melbourne as part of Pat McKenna trade; received by Melbourne from Hawthorn as part of the Jordan Lewis trade)
58. 170 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Carlton as part of Caleb Marchbank/Jarrod Pickett trade; received by Carlton from Western Bulldogs via a 2015 pick exchange)

No. Points Club
59. 158 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Melbourne as part of Pat McKenna trade; received by Melbourne from Essendon as part of the Michael Hibberd trade)
60. 146 GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Brisbane Lions via a 2016 pick exchange)
61. 135 STK St Kilda (received from Western Bulldogs as part of Koby Stevens trade; received by Western Bulldogs from Fremantle as part of the Joel Hamling trade)
62. 123 COLL Collingwood (received from Gold Coast as part of Jarrod Witts trade)
63. 112 CARL Carlton (received from Geelong as part of Zach Tuohy trade; received by Geelong from Fremantle for Shane Kersten; received by Fremantle from Western Bulldogs as part of the Joel Hamling trade)
64. 101 GEEL Geelong (received from Richmond as part of Josh Caddy trade)
65. 90 COLL Collingwood
66. 80 CARL Carlton (received from Hawthorn in a pick exchange; received by Hawthorn from Melbourne as part of the Jordan Lewis trade)
67. 69 ADEL Adelaide (received from Gold Coast as part of Jarryd Lyons trade; received from Port Adelaide as part of Pearce Hanley trade)
68. 59 ESS Essendon (received from Melbourne as part of the Michael Hibberd trade, originally received from Hawthorn as part of the Jordan Lewis trade)
69. 49 MELB Melbourne (received from Greater Western Sydney as part of Pat McKenna trade; received by GWS from North Melbourne for Paul Ahern)
70. 39 CARL Carlton (received from Hawthorn in a pick exchange; received by Hawthorn from West Coast as part of Sam Mitchell trade)
71. 29 FREM Fremantle (received from Gold Coast in a pick exchange; received by Gold Coast from Adelaide as part of Jarryd Lyons trade)
72. 19 GEEL Geelong (received from West Coast for Nathan Vardy; received by Geelong from Hawthorn as part of Sam Mitchell trade)
73. 9 GCFC Gold Coast (received from Fremantle in a pick exchange; received from Greater Western Sydney via a trade for Cam McCarthy)
74. GEEL Geelong
75. WB Western Bulldogs (received from the Sydney Swans as part of the 2015 Michael Talia trade)
76. BL Brisbane Lions (received from Collingwood as part of Jack Frost trade; received by Collingwood from the Western Bulldogs for Travis Cloke)

No. Points Club
77. GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Essendon for James Stewart)
78. BL Brisbane Lions
79. FREM Fremantle
80. WB Western Bulldogs (received from Gold Coast in pick exchange)
81. CARL Carlton
82. RICH Richmond
83. COLL Collingwood
84. MELB Melbourne
85. PORT Port Adelaide
86. STK St Kilda
87. NMFC North Melbourne
88. HAW Hawthorn (received from West Coast as part of Sam Mitchell trade)
89. ADEL Adelaide
90. HAW Hawthorn
91. GEEL Geelong (received from GWS via a 2015 trade for Steve Johnson)
92. NMFC North Melbourne (received from Geelong for Aaron Black)
93. SYD Sydney Swans
94. WB Western Bulldogs

No. Points Club
95. ESS Essendon
96. BL Brisbane Lions
97. FREM Fremantle
98. GCFC Gold Coast
99. CARL Carlton
100. RICH Richmond
101. COLL Collingwood
102. MELB Melbourne
103. PORT Port Adelaide
104. STK St Kilda
105. COLL Collingwood (received from North Melbourne for Marley Williams)
106. WC West Coast
107. ADEL Adelaide
108. HAW Hawthorn
109. GWS Greater Western Sydney
110. GEEL Geelong
111. SYD Sydney Swans
112. WB Western Bulldogs

No. Points Club
113. ESS Essendon
114. BL Brisbane Lions
115. FREM Fremantle
116. GCFC Gold Coast
117. CARL Carlton
118. RICH Richmond
119. COLL Collingwood
120. MELB Melbourne
121. PORT Port Adelaide
122. STK St Kilda
123. NMFC North Melbourne
124. WC West Coast
125. ADEL Adelaide
126. HAW Hawthorn
127. GWS Greater Western Sydney
128. GEEL Geelong
129. SYD Sydney Swans
130. WB Western Bulldogs

No. Points Club
131. ESS Essendon
132. BL Brisbane Lions
133. FREM Fremantle
134. GCFC Gold Coast
135. GWS Greater Western Sydney (received from Carlton for Rhys Palmer)
136. RICH Richmond
137. COLL Collingwood
138. MELB Melbourne
139. PORT Port Adelaide
140. STK St Kilda
141. NMFC North Melbourne
142. WC West Coast
143. ADEL Adelaide
144. HAW Hawthorn
145. GWS Greater Western Sydney
146. GEEL Geelong
147. SYD Sydney Swans
148. WB Western Bulldogs

Current draft order as of September 1

North Ballarat Rebels midfielder Hugh McCluggage in action against Calder Cannons in the 2016 TAC Cup.
North Ballarat Rebels midfielder Hugh McCluggage is likely to come into consideration for pick one in November’s AFL National Draft.

INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER (as at current ladder positions after round 23)

Round one
1 Essendon
2 Brisbane Lions
3 Fremantle
4 Gold Coast
5 Carlton
6 Richmond
7 Greater Western Sydney (received from Collingwood)
8 Gold Coast (received from Melbourne)
9 Port Adelaide
10 St Kilda
11 North Melbourne
12 Western Bulldogs
13 West Coast
14 Adelaide
15 Greater Western Sydney
16 Hawthorn
17 Greater Western Sydney (received from Geelong, via Carlton on trade)
18 Sydney Swans

Round two
19 Essendon
20 Brisbane Lions
21 Gold Coast (received from Fremantle)
22 Gold Coast
23 Carlton
24 Gold Coast (received from Richmond)
25 Collingwood
26 Melbourne
27 Gold Coast (received from Port Adelaide)
28 Brisbane Lions (received from St Kilda, via Collingwood on trade)
29 North Melbourne
30 Western Bulldogs
31 West Coast
32 Greater Western Sydney (received from Adelaide)
33 Greater Western Sydney
34 Hawthorn
35 Geelong
36 Sydney Swans

Round three
37 Essendon
38 Geelong (received from Brisbane Lions)
39 Fremantle
40 Gold Coast
41 Carlton
42 Richmond
43 Collingwood
44 Melbourne
45 Port Adelaide
46 St Kilda
47 Brisbane Lions (received from North Melbourne)
48 Carlton (received from Western Bulldogs)
49 West Coast
50 Adelaide
51 Greater Western Sydney
52 Hawthorn
53 Geelong
54 Sydney Swans

Round four
55 Essendon
56 Brisbane Lions
57 Fremantle
58 Gold Coast
59 Western Bulldogs (received from Carlton)
60 Richmond
61 Collingwood
62 Melbourne
63 Port Adelaide
64 St Kilda
65 North Melbourne
66 Western Bulldogs
67 West Coast
68 Adelaide
69 Greater Western Sydney
70 Hawthorn
71 Geelong
72 Western Bulldogs (received from Sydney Swans)

Round five
73 Essendon
74 Brisbane Lions
75 Fremantle
76 Gold Coast
77 Carlton
78 Richmond
79 Collingwood
80 Melbourne
81 Port Adelaide
82 St Kilda
83 North Melbourne
84 Western Bulldogs
85 West Coast
86 Adelaide
87 Geelong (received from Greater Western Sydney)
88 Hawthorn
89 Geelong
90 Sydney Swans

Round six
91 Essendon
92 Brisbane Lions
93 Fremantle
94 Gold Coast
95 Carlton
96 Richmond
97 Collingwood
98 Melbourne
99 Port Adelaide
100 St Kilda
101 North Melbourne
102 Western Bulldogs
103 West Coast
104 Adelaide
105 Greater Western Sydney
106 Hawthorn
107 Geelong
108 Sydney Swans

2017 AFL Academy squads named

Vic Country midfielder James Worpel heads the list of inclusions for the 2016/17 AFL Academy squad that was named today.

Worpel missed selection for the Level One squad in 2015, but after a stellar Under 18 Championship for Vic Country averaging 15 disposals, he was added into the Level Two squad.

The eligible squad for next year’s draft will take part in a program run by former Adelaide coach and current academy head coach Brenton Sanderson.

Although this year’s AFL Draft pool looks strong for midfielders at the top end, a number of taller names have already shown enough in 2016 to suggest they’ll be early picks for the 2017 draft held in Sydney.

Eastern Ranges talls Sam Hayes and Jaidyn Stephenson are two likely high picks, showing plenty of good signs inside forward 50 throughout the season.

Hayes was the only bottom ager in the Under 18 All Australian team named in July and showed he can play as a marking tall inside 50 and work through the ruck.


Vic Metro’s Jack Higgins will likely warrant an early pick in 2017, continuing to find the football as a bottom ager throughout the TAC Cup with the Chargers and for Vic Metro.

Possible Richmond father-son Patrick Naish also made the squad, after showing glimpses across half back for Northern Knights in the TAC Cup.

His father, Chris, played 153 games for the Tigers.

NSW/ACT themselves are duly represented with six players making the Level One and Two squads.



The level one academy group, for 2018 draft prospects, will be made up of seven  South Australians after they took out the recent Under 16 championships.

Kevin Sheehan Medalist Connor Rozee will be a name to keep an eye on in the future after dominating the championships in the midfielder for South Australia.


After a poor Under 18 championships, Tasmania will have some joy with Tarryn Thomas making the level one squad.

Thomas won both the Under 18 and Under 16 MVP for Tasmania, but will likely be linked with North Melbourne’s next generation academy as an eligible selection in 2018.

Vic Metro didn’t win a game through the Under 16 championships, but have four representatives in the Level One squad.

Rhylee West will be closely watched by the Western Bulldogs, after a dominant Under 16 carnival for Metro. West is the son of Western Bulldogs great Scott, who played 324 games in the red, white and blue.

Sandringham Dragons twins Ben and Max King, are two talls likely to be considered as early picks in 2018.

West isn’t the only father son selected in the Level One squad with Nick Blakey (son of John) and Bailey Scott (son of Robert) named alongside him.

Blakey and Scott are in a never before seen position, eligible for three different clubs in 2018.

Blakey can be selected as a father-son selection for Brisbane and North Melbourne, but also falls under Sydney Swans’ academy after living in the region when his father has been an assistant coach with the Swans.

Scott is eligible as a father-son selection for North Melbourne and Geelong, as well as falling into the Gold Coast Suns academy zone.

The connections don’t end there, with Western Australian small forward Ian Hill selected. Hill is the cousin of current AFL footballers Stephen and Brad Hill and performed well kicking eight goals in the Under 16 carnival.



Northern Territory: Dominic Grant
NSW-ACT: Charlie Spargo, Jack Powell, Jarrod Brander, Nathan Richards
Queensland: Jack Clayton, Connor Ballenden, Brayden Crossley
Vic Country: Tyrone Hayes, Aaron Darling, Kane Farrell, Aidan Quigley, Lochie O’Brien, Hunter Clark, Luke Davies-Uniake, Oscar Clavarino, James Worpel, Tom De Koning
Vic Metro: Jack Higgins, Lachlan Fogarty, Patrick Naish, Joel Garner, Jaidyn Stephenson, Sam Hayes
South Australia: Jordan Houlahan, Darcy Fogarty, Thomas Schmusch, Callum Coleman-Jones, Andrew McPherson
Western Australia: Jake Patmore


Northern Territory: Michael Mummery
NSW-ACT: Matthew Walker, Nick Blakey
Queensland: Bailey Scott
Vic Country: Sam Walsh, Zane Barzen, Jye Caldwell, Sam Fletcher, Hudson Garoni
Vic Metro: Rhylee West, Jack Bytel, Max King, Ben King
South Australia: Izak Rankine, Connor Rozee, Jackson Hately, Jack Lukosius, Hugo Munn, Ruben Flinn, Luke Valente
Tasmania: Chance Jones, Tarryn Thomas
Western Australia: Ian Hill, Tom Joyce, Sydney Stack, Jason Carter