Tag: sa

Scouting Notes: 2021 SANFL Under 18s – Round 6

THE South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Under 18s rolled on into Round 6, with the latest weekend of action producing plenty more excellent performances from budding 2021 AFL Draft prospects. In the next SANFL Scouting Notes edition for 2021, we again narrow in on SA’s Under 18s competition, with a particular focus on the state’s Under 19 talent hub members and other standout performers. All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

STURT 5.7 (37) def. by GLENELG 16.20 (116)

By: Tom Wyman

STURT:

#10 Jake Aish

The Sturt midfielders were soundly beaten by the high-flying Tigers, but Aish was clearly Sturt’s best through the engine room. The number one clearance player on the ground, Aish spent the game cracking in hard at ground level, where he won his fair share of contested ball. When the heavens opened and the game turned into a stoppage-fest, Aish adapted well, with his strong inside game suited to the slippery conditions. His clearance ability was particularly important when the game became one of yardage. Although he lacked some polish when in space on the outside, Aish can hold his head high despite the lop-sided result, finishing with 24 disposals, six tackles, eleven clearances, nine inside 50s and five rebound 50s.

#17 Mitch Felton

With the ball seemingly living in the Glenelg forward half of the ground for much of the clash, Felton was never far from the action in defence. Charged with the kick-in duties in the first half, Felton was one of few Double Blues who regularly looked to take the game on, attacking each contest at speed and looking to utilise his clean, long foot skills out of defence. He took a couple of important intercept marks by positioning himself well down back. In the second half, Felton appeared to take on a more close-checking role, spending some time on Glenelg spearhead Corey Brougham. Clearly among Sturt’s best, Felton accumulated a team-high 29 touches (including 26 kicks), five marks, five tackles and 13 rebounds.

#25 Kade Harvey

Playing a similar role to the aforementioned Felton, Sturt’s Harvey was also in-and-around the action from start to finish. Harvey’s aerial ability was a real feature of his game, with the defender’s intercept marking particularly impressive. Although some poor kicking let him down at various stages, Harvey was often under the pump, especially when the rain set in. Sharing the kick-ins with Felton, Harvey generated some meaningful drive from the half-back line and finished with a game-high 14 rebounds from defence.

Others: 

Midfielder George Pope fought hard in the loss, winning nine clearances for the Double Blues along with 15 disposals. Edward Davies and Blake Fidge both applied plenty of pressure, laying seven and six tackles respectively. In attack, Chad Baulderstone and Nathan Houston were Sturt’s only multiple goalkickers, while Dylan Thredgold was strong in the ruck, winning 25 hitouts.

GLENELG:

#5 Hugh Stagg

Stagg produced another impressive performance in the yellow and black. With his explosiveness and ability to break tackles up there with the best in the state, the talented forward/midfielder wasted no time getting involved. Possessing one-touch cleanliness at ground level and the ability to brush off opponents with relative ease, Stagg appeared unstoppable at times. His kicking was inconsistent, with some hitting their desired target and others being chopped off or falling short, however Stagg produced another very strong showing. He concluded the contest with 24 disposals, two marks, nine inside 50s and a goal.

#12 Brodie Edwards

Edwards, the youngest son of Adelaide Crows legend Tyson, was typically classy for the Bays. The bottom-ager lined up in defence but was soon moved into the midfield. In both positions, he displayed calmness under pressure and made the most of his possessions. One of a long list of Tigers with the capacity to play a variety of roles across the field, Edwards finished the game with 19 touches, three marks, six tackles and three inside 50s in a solid showing.

#20 Lewis Rayson

The ever-consistent Rayson once again had a significant say over proceedings at Unley Oval. Spending time through the midfield and down back, Rayson was able to break lines with his dash and cut through the Sturt defence with his precise foot skills. Although his football smarts, skills and speed will stand out to recruiters, Rayson certainly cracks in hard when unleashed in the middle and showed he is a capable contested ball winner. When allowed to drift back a kick behind the play, Rayson took intercept after intercept, positioning himself to perfection and using it well for the most part. Certainly one of the most exciting South Australian draft prospects, Rayson continued his sensational start to the year by gathering 35 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and five clearances in the 79-point triumph.

#31 William Watts

Strongly-built utility, Watts put on a clinic for Glenelg, dominating proceedings in the midfield and up forward. Watts used his strength to damaging effect through the guts, where his contested ball winning and cleanliness by hand proved the catalyst for several Bays forward movements. Given the Tigers’ excellent depth through the midfield, Watts was often rotated through the forwardline and proved hard to contain. His vice-like hands on the lead ensured Watts became a genuine focal point in attack. Watts’ bigger frame was ideally suited to the slippery conditions of the clash, with his contested ball winning capacity and stoppage nous proving important. In a best-on-ground showing, Watts finished with 36 disposals, 10 marks, three tackles, eight clearances and a goal.

Others: 

Glenelg’s outstanding depth was on full display at Unley Oval, with 14 players accumulating 15 or more disposals. Darcy Gluyas was important in the middle and up forward, looking particularly threatening in attack as the rain fell. His classy snap goal was a highlight, however he probably should have finished with a couple more to his name. He finished with 30 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five inside-50s. Darcy Porter was excellent up forward, booting two goals (and three behinds) to go with 29 touches and four clearances. Hunter Window was busy and his effectiveness by hand stood out. He finished with 30 disposals, four marks, six tackles, six clearances and 12 inside 50s. Harrison Kaesler won 23 touches of his own, while forward Corey Brougham made the most of his limited opportunities, nailing three goals from six disposals.

NORTH ADELAIDE 8.12 (60) drew w/ WWT EAGLES 8.12 (60)

By: Tom Wyman

NORTH ADELAIDE:

#4 Isaac Keeler

After an impressive showing in the ruck last weekend against the Tigers, Keeler was moved back into the forwardline for the Roosters’ encounter with Woodville-West Torrens. Although he still did much of the ruckwork in the forward half of the ground, the talented bottom-ager struggled to get his hands on the football early on, with North bigman Adam Heath being the primary target in attack. He showed glimpses of elite athleticism and cleanliness below his knees, however it was a largely frustrating day for the South Augusta product. But, as all good players do, Keeler stood up when it mattered most, flying high for a mark-of-the-year contender with a couple of minutes left on the clock before calmly slotting the subsequent set shot to level the scores. Recruiters will certainly have enjoyed his clutch grab when the game was on the line. Keeler finished the game with 14 disposals, four marks, six hitouts and a goal.

#12 Hugh Jackson

It was quite simply the Hugh Jackson show on Saturday afternoon at Prospect Oval, with the balanced midfielder having it on a string. He spent much of the first term stationed down back, where he was able to set up the play with his deadly left foot. His skillset is well suited to a role as a ‘kicker’ down back, however, with the Roosters needing a lift around the ball, Jackson was soon thrown into the middle and dictated terms from then on. As has been on display all throughout the season, Jackson’s quick-give handballing was elite, as was his vision, ability to win the ball at ground level, and burst of acceleration. Jackson always seems to free his hands, even while being tackled, allowing him to pass it off despite the mounting pressure. His extraction work and stoppage smarts were excellent, but when allowed time and space, Jackson really made the Eagles pay, hitting targets by foot with ease over a variety of distances. Even when he was rested up forward, Jackson still couldn’t get away from the action, getting on the end of a spearing inside-50 ball from Isaac Keeler. His couple of misses in front of goal were just about the only blemish in what was a complete performance from the ball magnet, who finished with 41 disposals, nine marks and eight clearances.

#15 Harvey Harrison

After struggling slightly against the Tigers, Harrison was back to his prolific best in the Roosters’ draw with the Eagles. Once again, his eye-catching run-and-carry really opened up the ground and provided a point-of-difference through the middle. His foot skills on the run were excellent and, albeit for a rare miscued bounce, Harrison rarely wasted a possession. His ability to win the footy at the coalface and apply pressure around the ball is well complimented by his speed and composure. Harrison concluded the game with 24 disposals, five marks, six tackles and three clearances.

Others:

Defender Shaun Bennier stood tall for the Roosters, putting a stop to several inside 50s. Tough and courageous in the air, Bennier was strong overhead, hauling in four contested marks, but also provided plenty of rebound. Crafty midfielder Zyton Santillo had some excellent moments, with the speedster providing some energy through the middle. Using the ball well, he finished with 22 touches, five marks, four tackles and four clearances.

Providing serviceable support for Jackson and Harrison through the midfield, Kelsey Rypstra won 23 possessions and booted a goal while James White gathered 18 disposals and sent the ball inside 50 four times. Up forward, Adam Heath booted the first goal of the match and also snagged an important major late in the contest, finishing with three maximums. His presence up forward proved important for the red and whites. Ruckman Oliver Moors competed well against Eagle big-man Zac Phillipswinning 18 hitouts to go with eight touches and four marks.

EAGLES:

#4 Jack Murphy

Murphy was one of the Eagles’ best performers at Prospect Oval. A natural ball-winner with a clean kicking action, Murphy used the ball well on the outside and also showed an ability to win his own ball in-and-under. He finished the game with an impressive 30 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s.

#5 Brayden Calvett

Calvett provided the Eagles with some run-and-carry from defence. Pushing into the midfield as the game wore on, Calvett used the ball well by foot and booted a nice goal late in the final term, but will likely rue his three behinds. The hard-working Calvett finished with 26 disposals, two marks, two tackles and four inside 50s.

#24 Zac Phillips

Ruckman, Phillips was the dominant bigman on the park for much of the contest. He regularly provided the Eagles on-ballers with first-use (Eagles won the hit-outs 30-20), but it was his work away from the stoppages which impressed. Phillips clunked several big pack marks, despite flying from three-deep at times. Showing handy athleticism and mobility for a player of his size, Phillips looked to play on wherever possible and generally used the ball well.

Others:

With Port Adelaide father/son prospect Jase Burgoyne playing League football for the Magpies, William Neumann and Dustin Launer stood up for Woodville-West Torrens. Neumann, the Eagles leading possession winner, showed excellent work rate up around the ground. He finished with 31 disposals and 11 marks, while Launer gathered 29 possessions, four marks, six clearances and four rebounds. Up forward, Will Pearce booted three majors and also gathered 19 disposals. At the other end of the ground, Jonte Hunter-Price was solid in defence, taking a couple of important overhead grabs.

SOUTH ADELAIDE 8.5 (53) def. by WEST ADELAIDE 8.6 (54)

By: Tom Cheesman

SOUTH ADELAIDE:

#10 Isaac Birt

Birt was one of South Adelaide’s best players on Saturday with 27 disposals, six inside 50s, four clearances, four marks and a goal. His second half was particularly outstanding, as he provided some important run-and-carry down the wing and used his pace to break the game open. Despite the slippery conditions, Birt always picked up the ball cleanly and found targets by hand and foot with ease. He also used the corridor well and followed up his possessions to ensure that the ball kept moving forward. Midway through the final term, Birt kicked a brilliant goal from 40 metres out off a couple of steps to give his side the lead. Unfortunately for Panthers fans, their side could not hold on and went down by one point.

#33 Arlo Draper

Draper continued his impressive start to 2021 with another good performance for South. He was very active at clearances, as he worked hard to win the contested ball and applied some strong pressure on the opposition. Draper had 24 kicks and just three handballs, showing that he played to the slippery conditions well. Gaining ground (especially from clearances) is an important part of wet weather footy, so Draper got the ball on the boot as often as possible to move it into his side’s forward half. With that said, Draper also showed more composure with ball in hand than most other players on the field. Most players were just bombing the ball down the line, whereas Draper took that extra second to look inside and find a target in the corridor on several occasions. Draper finished with 27 touches, nine clearances, five tackles, three inside 50s and an important goal that levelled the scores going into the final break.

#37 Kyle Marshall

Marshall was impressive for the Panthers on Saturday, providing a strong marking target for them when they exited their defensive 50. He continually led up hard at the footy, made a contest and (at least) brought the ball to ground for his teammates. He tried to be too cute with his possessions at times in the slippery conditions, but his decision making with ball in hand improved as the game wore on. Marshall finished with 12 disposals, four hitouts, three tackles, two marks, two clearances and two inside 50s for the day.

#39 Will Verrall

Verrall was South’s best performer on Saturday. He toiled away in the ruck all day, winning the majority of the hitouts and giving his midfielders first use at the stoppages. Verrall has good chemistry with Draper and Luke Mitton, and these three combined for 24 clearances between them. This was a major reason why their side won the clearance battle 41 to 29. Verrall used his huge frame to position himself well in ruck contests, and he often provided a good marking target for his teammates kicking down the line. A strong intercept mark in the last quarter when scores were tied was another individual highlight. He finished with 21 disposals, 37 hitouts, six marks (two contested), five tackles and five clearances.

Others:

Nathan Hicks (15 disposals, six tackles, one goal) was good for the Panthers up forward, as he applied consistent frontal pressure and used the ball well going inside 50. Luke Mitton (23 disposals, 10 clearances, six tackles) was crafty at the stoppages, while Dylan Brown (20 disposals, seven inside 50s, six tackles) initiated some important passages of play in the forward half.

WEST ADELAIDE:

#3 Charlie Pridham

Pridham did some good things in the defensive half for the Bloods. He was a ball magnet, earning 35 disposals to go with seven rebound 50s, five tackles and four marks for the day. His ball use was great most of the time, he never fumbled and he linked up well with teammates when bringing the ball out of defence. Pridham’s ability to choose the right option was important too, as he helped his side control possession with some short passes in defence whenever the Panthers appeared to be gaining the momentum. He also attacked the ball hard throughout the match, particularly loose balls that he sprinted to in defensive 50. One negative was that he gave away some unnecessary free kicks in the defensive half, which he can work on going forward.

#7 Ben Burbridge

Burbridge was West’s most prominent midfielder in this clash. He was tough at the contest, always in and under, found plenty of the ball around the ground and used it well whenever he got it. His quick hands to release his teammates into open space were outstanding, and this is undoubtedly a feature of his game. Burbridge took some important marks too, both when receiving from teammates and when intercepting the opposition’s kicks. His pressure was relentless, highlighted when he applied a great tackle on Draper in second term to cause a turnover. He finished with 25 disposals, six tackles, five marks and four inside 50s.

#10 Cade Kennedy

Kennedy is a bull for the Bloods and he thrived in the slippery conditions on Saturday. He works harder around the ground than most at Under 18s level, and as much was evident in this match through the amount of contests he was able to get to despite spending much of his time in a half-forward role. Kennedy does the little things well, such as blocks and smothers to help his teammates out around the ball. Although he missed a shot on goal that he should have nailed in the opening term, he made up for it in second quarter with a crisp snap to put his side 20 points up. Kennedy finished with 16 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s.

#13 Hugh Desira

Desira was fantastic for the Bloods in the first half of this match. He kicked West’s first goal of the game early, using the wet conditions well to skid the ball through with a nice kick around his body. After that, Desira frequently used his electric pace and ability to kick on both feet to break the game open and get the ball moving forward with speed. The wingman always competes in the air despite lacking in size, and he has quick hands that he uses to release teammates into space on the outside of contests. Although he drifted out of the game a bit in the second half, Desira still finished with 17 disposals (15 kicks), five marks, five tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and a goal.

#53 David Midwinter

Key defender, Midwinter was a brick wall in defence, frequently using his size and strength to spoil his opponents and repel South’s persistent attacks going forward. He has clean hands, is agile for his size and uses the ball quite well by foot. With five minutes remaining and scores level, Midwinter won a huge one-on-one contest deep inside West’s defensive 50 by out-bodying his opponent, taking the ball cleanly off the ground and finding a teammate with a quick handball. Many defenders would panic in this situation, but Midwinter stayed composed under the high ball, did not give away a free kick and was able to release the pressure by winning the contest and without conceding a behind. This was one of many instances where Midwinter’s composure was important for the Bloods.

Others:

Jesse Thackeray (20 disposals, six marks, five clearances) worked hard in the midfield, Kade Harkins (16 disposals, six rebound 50s) was reliable down back and Jaeden Watts (two goals, five tackles) was dynamic up forward. Dylan McCormick (nine disposals, three marks) applied some outstanding pressure throughout the day and finished with a whopping 16 tackles.

NORWOOD 7.2 (44) def. by CENTRAL DISTRICT 11.16 (82)

By: Tom Cheesman

NORWOOD:

#25 Matthew Dnistriansky

While it has been a tough few weeks for Norwood in the Under 18s, Dnistriansky has maintained consistency and been a shining light in defence. His defensive work is reliable, his composure under pressure is outstanding and his kicks rarely miss a target. Some of his kicking in this contest was exceptional, including one bullet pass from full back (in the wet) that found Corey Jones-Bobridge inside the centre square in the third term. As usual, he facilitated many switches of play and created plenty of run and link up out of defence. Dnistriansky had a nice moment in the second quarter when, after biding his time, he ran past a teammate that was lining up for a set shot, received the handball and booted an important goal from outside 50. As poor as the defending was from the Bulldogs in this instance, it was great awareness from Dnistriansky to see the opening and take full advantage with his booming right foot kick. Although Dnistriansky made a couple of uncharacteristic errors by hand, overall it was another strong performance from the defender.

Others:

Given Centrals won the inside 50 count 58 to 25, it was a very tough day to be a Redlegs defender. Despite this, Oliver Stenchlik (21 disposals, four rebound 50s, two tackles), Riley Verrall (21 disposals, seven rebound 50s, five tackles) and Taj Rahui (12 disposals, six tackles, two clearances, one goal) fought hard and did well to help keep the margin to under 40 points. Connor Kent (29 disposals, nine tackles, seven marks) worked hard as well.

CENTRAL DISTRICT:

#3 Isaiah Dudley

Rotating between midfield and forward, Dudley was one of the Bulldogs’ best contributors. The Adelaide Crows NGA prospect was brilliant whenever he went near the ball, providing a major spark and using his skills to open up the play for his side. He is so clean below his knees, very creative and a fantastic decision maker. His high football IQ was on display in several instances, including a moment in the first quarter when he twist and turned around multiple Redlegs players before executing a beautiful long handball inside to find Finn Reed. Dudley used his pace to his advantage in this match by applying constant pressure all over the ground and using his low centre of gravity to gather the ball without fumbling. Although he is probably going to be a small forward in the long-term as he moves up the grades, he was more prolific in the midfield throughout this contest. His tackling pressure in the centre square was relentless, as demonstrated when he caught two Norwood players holding the ball at seperate contests within a one-minute period in the second term. Dudley kicked a well-deserved goal in the closing minutes from a set shot after crumbing a marking contest at pace and earning a free kick for a high tackle. He finished with 27 disposals, nine tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s to go with his goal.

#15 Finn Reed

Read was another fantastic midfielder for the Bulldogs in their first Under 18 victory of the season. He showed good pace, tackled strongly and provided plenty of link up play through the middle of the ground. A powerful intercept mark he took in defensive 50 at the 12-minute mark of the opening term helped set the tone for his side. Although he missed a couple of shots at goal, he launched the ball inside 50 on eight occasions and had multiple other score involvements. He finished with 24 touches, eight tackles, eight inside 50s, five marks and two clearances.

#34 Darcy McDonald

McDonald was a standout for Centrals. Playing predominantly as an inside midfielder, he collected 20 disposals to go with a tremendous 12 tackles, four inside 50s and three clearances. As his statline suggests, his tackling pressure and willingness to hunt down opposition players was outstanding, but this was not the only feature of his game. McDonald is a good size, silky mover and won plenty of contested ball. He had arguably the moment of the match in the third term when, in the wet, he scooped the ball up one-handed, sold some candy to get past an oncoming tackler and then delivered the ball inside 50. There were many times in this match where McDonald won his own ball and used his agility to escape a stoppage with ease before releasing a teammate on the outside. The challenge for McDonald now is to produce this level of play on a consistent basis.

Others:

Saxon Evans (37 hitouts, 12 disposals, one goal) and Brodie Tuck (13 hitouts, 15 disposals, two goals) dominated in the ruck and gave their inside midfielders first use. Tomas Hahn (22 disposals, 11 tackles, eight clearances) was another prominent Bulldog midfielder and kicked a glorious goal on the outside of his boot in the third term.

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

Q&A: Jason Horne (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide prospect Jason Horne is the current consensus for top pick out of the 2021 draft crop, credit to an outstanding season last year which saw him crack the Panther’s League lineup. Now part of the AFL and South Australia Under 19 academies, Horne is looking to cement such status with another big season. The combative midfielder has very few weaknesses and can also hit the scoreboard, making him a threatening option in the engine room. Fittingly, he is a Fremantle supporter who moulds his game on Nat Fyfe.

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

Q&A:

Q: How did you go at testing?

A: “Not too bad. The yo-yo was a bit disappointing, I think I got pulled out a bit early but I’m alright with that, I thought the day went pretty well.”

 

Can you tell us a bit about your footballing journey?

“I started playing footy in Under 7s for Salisbury North, I played there for a season then moved down here and played for (Christies Beach) since Under 8s I think. Then I played my whole junior career through there and came to South to play 13s, 14s, 15s and now 16s, 18s and seniors. So a pretty easy journey straight through all the development squads, it’s been good.”

 

How’d you find the experience of being promoted to League level in 2020?

“I thought it was a challenging step up but I really enjoyed it, took it onboard and thought it was a really good experience coming into this year.”

 

Did you enjoy competing against the bigger bodies?

“It was a bit difficult but I enjoyed the challenge and found ways to work around it I guess.”

 

What would you say your biggest strengths on the field are?

“I think my competitiveness and my contested footy, that’s the one big one that I think stands out a lot. My kicking and marking are two of my big (strengths) as well.”

 

What are you looking to improve on?

“I think I really need to improve on my leadership. Also, me and Boofa (Jarrad Wright) the League coach talked about my field kicking going inside 50, I just think that could improve a bit from last year. Then also my goalkicking, from my point of view I think it needs a bit of improvement.”

 

Do you anticipate some more midfield minutes this year having spent plenty of time up forward in 2020?

“Yeah, me and Boofa had a talk not long ago and we said we’ll have a bit more flexibility this year with our League team, getting ‘Gibba’ (Bryce Gibbs) and a couple of young fellas from the AFL clubs, so we think hopefully this year I’ll have a bit more midfield time as well as a bit up forward.”

 

Have any senior players in particular taken you under their wing at South Adelaide?

“I think Gibba’s the main one. He’s working with us young fellas and the 18s just to work on our development so he’s been a good mentor for us young boys and especially me, I’ve been spending a bit of time with him.”

 

How would you describe yourself off-field?

“I just think I’m a nice, respectful bloke. Good to have a laugh with and chat with.”

 

How do you go with balancing footy with other commitments?

“I’m working now five days a week so it’s a challenge but it’s helped me improve my time management.”

 

Is there anyone you mould you game on?

“Nat Fyfe. I like Nat Fyfe and I’ve been watching him for a long time so he’s the big one I model myself on.”

Image Credit: Deb Curtis/SANFL

Lishmund looks to the one-percenters

NORWOOD youngster Alana Lishmund hardly looked out of place last year in her debut SANFL Women’s season. In 2021, the exciting midfielder-forward is turning towards the one-percenters and focusing on her strengths as she strives to become one of South Australia’s next AFL Women’s products.

“Personally, (my goal is) to just keep up the one-percenters,” Lishmund said. “Then looking towards the end of the year, it’s just getting drafted.”

The Hope Valley junior has juggled multiple sporting commitments in the past but has now “cut it back”, focusing on the native code through Norwood’s development program.

“I’ve been playing (football) for about five years,” she said. “I started off locally at Hope Valley and then I’ve been at Norwood for a couple of years coming up through their development program.

“Before this year I played two sports and I was juggling that, but this year I kind of cut it back because I used to play soccer.”

Lauded for her ability to play both deep forward and further afield, Lishmund brings plenty of X-factor to the table with punishing tackling pressure and an eye for goal. Her performance rotating through the forwardline in last year’s South Australia Under 18 Girls All-Star fixture was a particular highlight, putting her on the draft radar in 2021.

While Lishmund has found success in those areas of the ground, says she is happy to play “anywhere”, with a couple of key strengths aiding that kind of versatility.

“I usually like to be rover, so in the centre,” she said. “But (I can play) really anywhere, up forward or on the wing too.

“As a left footer, I know not many people have that so that’s kind of a strength of mine. “I’ve got some pace as well, (I’m) pretty fast.”

Off the field, Lishmund describes herself as a “pretty outgoing, friendly, bubbly” character and it shows in her vigour once the white line is crossed. Honest could be another descriptor, especially after her assessment of how preseason fitness testing panned out.

“Going through everything we had to do, I was very happy with it,” she said. “I was a bit ripped off in a couple of runs when it came to the yo-yo, but all good other than that.”

Lishmund and her Redlegs are set to kick off their 2021 SANFL Women’s season against West Adelaide at Coopers Stadium on Friday, February 26. The first bounce is at 7:45pm.

Image Credit: AFL Photos

South Australia’s strong start to National AFLW Under 18 Championships

SOUTH Australia has kicked off its 2018 National AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships in style with back-to-back wins over Northern Territory. The two-game series is the first stage of the National Championships, with South Australia and Northern Territory to combine to form the Central Allies. The Central Allies will play three matches against other states – including a composite NSW/ACT and Tasmanian side called the Eastern Allies – when they converge on the Gold Coast in July over a week-long series.

In the first game on Friday night, South Australia got the job done despite being inaccurate in front of the big sticks, booting nine goals from 22 scoring shots, to record a 29-point victory over Northern Territory. The second match on Sunday was much more prolific, as the visitors piled on 10.9 to one behind to run away 68-point victors. Nikki Gore was named South Australia’s best across the two games, just ahead of Rachelle Martin who both featured in the top three players in both matches. Up forward, Katelyn Rosenweig showed she will be a force to be reckoned with at the championships, booting six goals across the weekend, while Kiana Lee finished with three. Captain Esther Boles booted a goal in each match. Rachel Dunstan was named the South Australian vice-captain.

For Northern Territory, the Thunder only trailed by two goals at half-time courtesy of a strong first half with Bella Clarke booting two majors from the home sides’ four goals.  By full-time, Tayla Hart-Aluni and Arthurina Moreen had joined her on two majors, with a goal in each half. The visitors kicked away in the second half, but the home side had shown they were more than capable of matching it with them. The Sunday game was less even, with the Thunder managing just the one behind, but Hart-Aluni and Stephanie Williams were again among the best. Tabitha May was deemed the Northern Territory’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) across the two games.

Game 1:

Northern Territory 6.2 (38) defeated by South Australia 9.13 (67)

GOALS:
SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kiana Lee, Maddi Newman, Madisyn Freeman, Teah Charlton.
NT: Tayla Hart-Aluni 2, Bella Clarke 2, Arthurina Moreen 2.

Game 2:

Northern Territory 0.1 (1) defeated by South Australia 10.9 (69)

GOALS:
SA: Katelyn Rosenzweig 3, Abbie Ballard, Kiana Lee 2, Bella Smith, Esther Boles, Kimberley Fry.
NT: Nil.  

The Central Allies’ first match is against the Eastern Allies on July 9 at Metricon Stadium, before clashes with Vic Country at Broadbeach on July 11, and Vic Metro at Bond University on July 13.

SANFL Finals – Week 1 Draft Prospects Update

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects in South Australia. With the end of school footy, and SANFL Finals commencing, a number of draft propsects have now finished their footy season. We look at the first round of finals and we look at the top performances across the weekend.

Reserves:

West Adelaide defeated Central District by 31 points in an elimination final. The Centrals players in general were not prolific possession winners, smashed 363 to 239. For Centrals, bottom-ager Jackson Hately had 13 disposals and six tackles, supported by Ryan Falkenberg (seven disposals) and Cooper Dahms (nine disposals and six tackles).

The other final saw Sturt defeat North Adelaide by 52 points. Jordan Houlahan kicked four goals from his 16 disposals, including seven marks around the ground. Mitch Crowden was not as prolific as the last few weeks with his 14 disposals but was part of a dominant midfield and laid six tackles – and showed real courage in the last quarter by running back into a pack to be flattened by a teammate. For the Roosters, bottom-ager Boyd Woodcock was among the best with his 23 disposals including eight marks and six tackles and worked hard around the ground. Bryce Denham and Frankie Szekely both played up forward and had a few possessions each with Denham coming out of one of the breaks with some strapping around the knee.

U18s:

Sturt defeated West Adelaide 110-70 in an elimination final. For Sturt, Hamish Fielke was judged best with 21 disposals and seven marks. Ed Allan again showed his strong ball winning ability and finished the game with 33 disposals (17 contested), six clearances and a goal. Bottom-ager Tom Lewis had 29 disposals, 12 tackles and seven clearances.

For Westies, Will Gutsche was one of their best with 14 disposals. Myles Crump booted four goals, while possible 2018 no.1 draft pick Izak Rankine had 21 disposals, eight marks (three contested), six inside 50s and a goal. Josh Smithson was also solid with 21 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s.

Woodville-West Torrens defeated minor premiers South Adelaide by three points, in a nail-biter to go into the Grand Final. Jimmy Rowe was the best for the Eagles – collecting 30 disposals, nine clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals. Isaac Moller was also good up forward with four goals. Ruckman Sam Michael was also in the bests with 19 hitouts.

Bottom-ager Hayden Sampson (son of Crow Clay) was best for South with 22 disposals, seven clearances and two goals. Liam Fitt kicked three goals, to go with his 18 disposals – while another bottom-ager Tom Sparrow was in the bests with 16 disposals, seven marks and four rebound 50s.

School Footy:

The College Footy best and fairest, the Gosse Medal, was held on Monday 4 September and the winner of the 2017 Medal was Cole Gerloff from Prince Alfred College. In the 3,2,1 umpire based voting system, second place was Tom Lewis from St Peters. James Rowe (Sacred Heart) and Sam Davis (Immanuel) both tied in third place.

SANFL Round 18 Draft Prospects update part 1

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. On the weekend, round 18 of the SANFL took place with school football also continuing. We look at the top performances from the weekend:

League:

In Glenelg’s loss to West Adelaide, Alex Martini was named in the best, led by a game high 12 tackles to go with his 13 disposals. Teammate Jackson Edwards also collected 16 disposals. Westies Underager Izak Rankine was again exciting, finishing with 16 disposals and two goals.

Reserves:

In Sturt’s 58-point win over Norwood, Mitch Crowden again won best-on-ground honours with 28 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Crowden’s work on the inside was impressive, where he had eight clearances. Adam Trenorden was again in the bests with 20 disposals, while Jordan Houlahan booted four goals from his 13 disposals. For Norwood, Stefan Giro was among it – with 30 disposals and 12 marks. Brodie Carroll was also in the best, with 29 disposals and 13 marks. South Australian Under 18 MVP Harrison Petty was superb on his return from school footy, with 26 disposals and a whopping 15 marks.

In Central District’s demolition of Woodville-West Torrens, bottom-ager Jackson Hately returned from a week off, with 25 disposals through the midfield. Cooper Dahms (15 disposals) and Ryan Falkenberg (13 disposals) were also impressive. For the Eagles, possible 2018 no.1 draft pick Jack Lukosius was named second best, with 19 disposals, 12 marks and 2.5 – in a dangerous game up forward. Cooper Gaffney was also strong with 21 disposals.

U18s:

South Adelaide snuffed out North Adelaide’s finals chances, with a big 71-point victory. Bottom-ager Heath Sampson was best-on-ground with 25 disposals and three goals. Luke Bogle was another who stood out on the inside, with 17 disposals, 14 tackles and eight clearances. For North, Connor Rozee (27 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) and Boyd Woodcock (24 disposals and nine clearances) found plenty of the ball, aided by Ben Oborn winning 45 hit outs throughout the game.

Centrals defeated the Eagles with Llwellyn Milera starring. Milera collected 23 disposals, six inside 50s and booted two goals, while bottom-ager Jordan O’Brien was also strong with 21 disposals (15 contested) and booted a bag of five goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was best with 28 disposals, including 10 marks and three goals. Tom Schmusch also did some good things, with 17 disposals and two goals.

Tall Hugo Munn was named in the best in Sturt’s 48-point win over Norwood. Munn had 16 disposals, 16 hitouts and nine marks (six contested). Teammate Ryan Weidenhofer led the stats sheet with 27 disposals, six clearances and six rebound 50s. Despite the loss, Norwood dominated the stats for most of the day due to their high possession style game plan. Jacob Kennerley was their best with 23 disposals.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQz5IYfpvCY[/embedyt]

In the battle for finals, Westies demolished Glenelg by 114-points. Patrick Fairlie dominated in the midfield, and was best with 43 disposals, 14 clearances and 11 marks – winning the Torrens Uni Cup MVP nomination for the round. Josh Smithson was also excellent with 27 disposals, nine marks, seven clearances and four goals. For Glenelg, Ruben Flinn was their best with 20 hitouts and 11 disposals.

School Footy:

Our report on school football will be online tomorrow afternoon, including a report on the 2017 SA State Championships game, that saw Prince Alfred College defeat Henley High by five points.

 

2017 Under 18 All-Australia team announced

THE Under 18 Championships have come and gone, with Vic Metro claiming back-to-back titles after winning three of their four games.

In no surprise, Metro dominate the 23-man squad, headlined by possible no.1 pick Cameron Rayner who is one of nine Metro players included.

West Australia key forward Oscar Allen, the winner of the Larke Medal for the best player in Division 1, was named up forward.

Sydney Swans academy member Nick Blakey won the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best player in the Under 18 Academy Series (Formerly Division 2), but didn’t feature in the 23-man squad.

Vic Metro coach Martin Allison was named as the All-Australia coach, with Western Australia coach Peter Sumich named as his assistant.

DEFENDERS:

Ben Paton
Back pocket (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
19/10/1998 | 185cm | 78kg

Averaged 18 disposals, four marks and four rebound 50s per game playing as a small defender. Uses the ball well by foot and was often tasked with the kick out duties.

Oscar Clavarino
Full back (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Has a solid carnival in defence for Vic Country averaging 11 disposals and six marks. Clavarino took the opposition best forward in most games and has had two good seasons in the Under 18 Championships.

Sam Taylor
Back pocket (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
05/05/1999 | 196cm | 85kg

The AFL Academy member played as a lock-down defender who was an unsung hero for WA. Averaged just 11 disposals, but had three rebounds per game pushing his name into draft contention.

Charlie Constable
Half back flank (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

Constable was one of Vic Metro’s best in the carnival and despite missing out on selection in their first game, managed to average 26 disposals, five marks and three tackles. He announced himself as a genuine top 10 with 31 disposals, six marks and six inside 50s in the ‘Vic derby’ playing in the midfield and across half forward.

Aaron Naughton
Centre half back (Peel Thunder/Western Australia)
30/11/1999 | 194cm | 84kg

Rebounding tall defender who was a good user on his left foot. Naughton took 21 marks for the carnival and was the rock in defence alongside Sam Taylor. Was WAs co-captain alongside Oscar Allen.

Nicholas Coffield
Half back flank (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg

A player who has pushed into top 10 calculations after a strong carnival. Coffield averaged 22 disposals and four marks, rarely looking rushed with ball in hand in the defensive half. One of the better users in the draft by hand and foot.

MIDFIELDERS:

Brayden Crossley
Ruckman (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Allies)
16/08/1999 | 198cm | 105kg

The big Gold Coast Suns Academy ruckman was the MVP for the Allies, averaging 16 disposals and 27 hitouts from his three games. Crossley’s strength in the ruck is obvious and he hasn’t looked out of place in the NEAFL team for the Suns.

Cameron Rayner
Ruck rover (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg

One of the players who were stiff not to win the Larke Medal. Rayner averaged 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances and booted 12 goals in an impressive carnival. Rayner wasn’t afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents and had some impressive moments during the carnival.

Paddy Dow
Rover (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg

Showed off his elite speed bursting from the stoppages on multiple occasions, averaging 19 disposals (12 contested) and five clearances in an impressive showing in the midfield. Did his top 10 chances no harm.

Patrick Naish
Wing (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg

The Richmond father-son averaged 21 disposals, five marks and four inside 50s for the carnival and provided run & dash out of defence on multiple occasions for Metro. One of the better players in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and two goals at Punt Road.

Brayden Ainsworth
Centre (Subiaco/Western Australia)
27/11/1998 | 183cm | 75kg

The inside midfielder won 49% of his possessions in contested situations, averaging 24 disposals and six clearances throughout the carnival. Started the carnival off with a bang, collecting 26 disposals and eight clearances against South Australia in their golden-point victory.

Izak Rankine
Wing (West Adelaide/South Australia)
23/04/2000 | 178cm | 74kg

The small forward caught the eye of the recruiters using his speed and elite side-step to good use. Rankine averaged 19 disposals, four marks and four inside 50s – kicking six goals for the carnival. The bottom-ager is one to watch for the 2018 draft.

FORWARDS:

Zac Bailey
Half forward flank (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg

Bailey has a great burst of speed and the Northern Territory midfielder averaged 17 disposals, four tackles and three clearances per game. Bailey’s burst from the centre bounce to win the final clearance in the last few minutes against Vic Metro was a key reason for their unexpected victory.

Jarrod Brander
Centre half forward (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg

Spent time at either end throughout the carnival but finished with a breakout 16 disposal, nine marks and three goals game up forward against title winning Vic Metro.

Jack Higgins
Half forward flank (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg

Higgins was the only player to break the 100 disposal barrier, finishing with 109 disposals (53 contested) in the carnival. Higgins was a deserving MVP for Vic Metro, going close to the Larke Medal. Higgins also averaged six tackles, five clearances and booted six goals for the tournament showing his skill as a player likely to be taken in the backend of the first round.

Callum Coleman-Jones
Forward pocket (Sturt/South Australia)
13/06/1999 | 201cm | 98kg

Coleman-Jones averaged 19 hitouts per game, with a breakout 28 disposal, 15 hitouts and five marks game against the Allies in Round 2. Coleman-Jones is one of the stronger marks in the draft pool.

Oscar Allen
Full forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg

The key forward looms as the likely first West Australian prospect drafted. Allen won the Larke Medal as the best player in Division One, booting 11 goals for the carnival. Allen also averaged 15 disposals and six marks, as an overall deserving Larke Medalist.

Dylan Moore
Forward pocket (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg

The small midfielder cracked in hard, winning plenty of contested ball, rolling through the Vic Metro centre bounces. Moore had 92 disposals (45 contested) for the carnival and booted three goals.

INTERCHANGE:

Sam Hayes
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg

The Vic Metro ruckman becomes a dual U18 All-Australian. Hayes averaged 17 hitouts per game and booted four goals up forward. Also took 14 marks for the carnival and showed his versatility up forward.

Lachlan Fogarty
Interchange (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg

The half forward/midfielder missed the opening game of the carnival recovering from a groin injury. Fogarty averaged 19 disposals and a goal throughout the championships, using his smarts around the ground.

Harrison Petty
Interchange (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 194cm | 81kg

One of the more impressive players in the carnival, winning the South Australian MVP. Petty averaged 12 disposals and four marks, with his best performance coming against Vic Metro lining up on Will Sutherland with Petty having 18 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s.

James Worpel
Interchange (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg

Was the Vic Country MVP averaging 20 disposals (10 contested), four clearances and four inside 50s for the carnival. Was the leading tackler for the carnival with 33 tackles in his four games.

Joel Garner
Interchange (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg

The Vic Metro captain had a superb carnival despite battling an ankle injury in their third game. Garner averaged 16 disposals with 48 per cent of these in contested situations. Garner controlled the play in the defensive half, with a standout performance in the ‘Vic derby’ with 24 disposals, nine marks and six rebound 50s.

Under 18 Championships Preview: South Australia

SOUTH AUSTRALIA enters the National Under 18s Championships lacking the star power that both the Victorian sides have. In saying that – they do appear to be a well balanced unit with a large number of prospects who look likely to feature throughout the middle stages of the draft.
SA have a number of excellent ball users, particularly off half-back, grunt in the midfield and some tall timber who are capable of fulfilling key position spots at either end of the ground. This squad is versatile and we can expect to see a number of players being used in a variety of roles. Sturt big man Callum Coleman-Jones will lead the side with Darcy Fogarty and Andrew McPherson named as joint deputies. However. McPherson will miss the opening two games of the Under 18 Championships with a quad injury.
With five level two AFL Academy players in the squad, along with seven level one prospects, perhaps next year will be more fruitful in terms of star talent, but don’t go ruling them out in 2017. Although Vic Metro looked primed to go back-to-back, I think South Australia can realistically mount a push. The battle with Vic Country on July 5th could prove particularly instrumental.
 
Players to watch:
 
Darcy Fogarty – Undoubtedly South Australia’s best draft prospect and he is well in truly in the mix for the number one selection. Despite not starring, Fogarty has been a regular fixture in Glenelg’s senior side and posses the unique ability to be able to cover any position on the field apart from the ruck. He slotted in at half-back in an SA trial match earlier in the season but has also shown serious promise up forward and as an inside midfielder. At 192cm, he could become a third tall forward at AFL level, but I expect him to feature in the guts in the Champs.
Alex Martini – Fogarty’s teammate at Glenelg has also proven himself in the SANFL  League side, having played predominately off half-back. Martini captained Sacred Heart College last year and his on-field leadership will be crucial – He may spend more time in the midfield with the half-back line looking impressive for SA.
Jackson Edwards – The son of Tyson Edwards is a father-son prospect for the Crows and although he is yet to break into the Glenelg league side, he has been solid so far in the Reserves. He has a touch of class about him, much like his father, and will be a vital cog in the on-ball brigade.
Nathan Kreuger – Kreuger has potential to burn and at 194cm – he is one who can hold down a key position at either end and at times has even been deployed as a big-bodied midfielder. Athletic with neat foot skills, I can see Kreuger pushing higher up rankings with a strong National Championships. However he has been left out in Round one and will have to fight to break into their team for their remaining fixtures.
Callum Coleman-Jones – The Key Forward/Ruckman will be eager to assert his authority on the champs. Despite requiring some work on his endurance, Coleman-Jones is a great contested-mark and an imposing figure both in the ruck and when sent forward. Looking forward to his duel with top five candidate Sam Hayes when SA clash with Vic Metro at Etihad Stadium but would prefer to see him at full-forward.
2018 names to keep an eye on:
Jack Lukosius – Lukosius could well be the number one draft pick in 2018. The Woodville-West Torrens star is already lighting it up in the SANFL ranks. Yet another South Australian with the ability to play at either end, Lukosius has excellent mobility for a guy of 193cm and the foot skills of a midfielder.
Izak Rankine –  Rankine has as much talent as any 17 year-old in the country and will strut his stuff up forward and on the wing for South Australia. Possesses good agility and has X-Factor.
Connor Rozee – Won the Kevin Sheehan medal as the best player in the Under 16 carnival and is a classy midfielder on both the inside and outside. Vision is very good in traffic and is a clean user by both hand and foot.

FIXTURES

Round 1: v WESTERN AUSTRALIA – June 10th 12.30pm Domain Stadium
Round 2: v ALLIES – June 17th 10.10am Adelaide Oval (FOX FOOTY)
Round 3: BYE
Round 4: v VIC METRO – June 30th 4.40pm Etihad Stadium (FOX FOOTY)
Round 5: v VIC COUNTRY – July 5th 4.40pm Simonds Stadium (FOX FOOTY)

Round One team:

B: Lachlan Pascoe, Harrison Petty, Brad McCarthy
HB: Isaac Hewson, Thomas Schmusch, Mitchell Coles
C: Izak Rankine, Darcy Fogarty, Charlie Ballard
HF: Jordan Houlahan, Jack Lukosius, Jackson Edwards
F: James Rowe, Callum Coleman-Jones, Sam Davis

FOLL: Ruben Flinn, Alex Martini, Mitch Crowden
INT: Jakob Heitmann, Stefan Giro, Jackson Hately, Connor Rozee, Jake Weidemann, Brodie Carroll, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Two to be omitted)

Predictions:

Finishing prediction: 2nd – I doubt South Australia will have the star power to overcome Vic Metro, but wins over Western Australia and the Allies are expected, and if they can account for Vic Country they will be in good shape for a crack at their first title since 2014.

MVP prediction: Darcy Fogarty – There are a number of ‘ready made’ talents in the South Australia squad who have already experienced SANFL Macca’s League football, but Fogarty is at this stage the only out-and-out star in my eyes. He is a real talent with that modern day frame and provides a presence wherever deployed. No doubt he will have learnt from playing against men for the ‘bays’ and will surly be up there on draft night come November. Can push forward and hit the scoreboard.

2017 SOUTH AUSTRALIA SQUAD

No. Name
DOB
HT (cm)
WT (kg)
Club
1 Alex Stidiford 05-Apr-99 169 70 West Adelaide / Immanuel College
2 Izak Rankine 23-Apr-00 178 74 West Adelaide / Henley High
3 James Rowe 19-Sep-99 172 70 Woodville West Torrens / Sacred Heart College
4 Cooper Gaffney 07-Jan-99 179 74 Woodville West Torrens
5 Stefan Giro 10-Mar-99 175 72 Norwood
6 Connor Rozee 22-Jan-00 184 72 North Adelaide / Cedar College
7 Robert Irra 20-Oct-99 175 73 South Adelaide
8 Jacob Coles 14-Jul-99 179 70 Norwood / Banksia Park High
10 Luke Valente 08-May-00 186 79 Norwood / Rostrevor College
11 Tobin Cox 15-Jul-99 179 82 Glenelg / Henley High
12 Alex Martini 30-Mar-99 181 78 Glenelg
13 Jackson Edwards 11-Oct-99 185 77 Glenelg / Henley High
14 Isaac Hewson 02-Apr-99 182 79 Norwood
15 Jordan Houlahan 19-Feb-99 185 78 Sturt
16 Mitch Crowden 28-Apr-99 175 88 Sturt
17 Brad McCarthy 27-Feb-99 177 83 Glenelg
18 Brodie Carroll 26-Nov-99 186 71 Norwood / St Pauls College
19 Cole Gerloff 02-Aug-99 184 83 Norwood / Prince Alfred College
20 Jackson Hately 21-Oct-00 189 79 Central District / Trinity College
21 Andrew McPherson 20-Jun-99 186 78 Woodville West Torrens
22 Jake Weidemann 16-Mar-99 190 80 Woodville West Torrens / Henley High
23 Jordy Aitchison 25-Feb-99 185 85 Sturt
24 Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 25-Aug-98 195 77 Sturt
25 Lochie Charlton 19-Oct-99 192 84 Norwood / Prince Alfred
26 Josh Smithson 04-May-99 185 84 West Adelaide
27 Liam Denton 22-Jan-99 185 78 Glenelg
28 Jakob Heitmann 31-Oct-99 188 86 West Adelaide / Cabra
29 Isaac Moller 02-Mar-99 190 77 Woodville West Torrens
30 Cameron Buchanan 20-Sep-99 188 82 Glenelg / Henley High
31 Mitchell Coles 15-Jan-98 191 79 Norwood
32 Thomas Schmusch 05-Mar-99 192 81 Woodville West Torrens
33 Hugo Barry 28-Jun-99 191 83 North Adelaide / Prince Alfred College
34 Sam Davis 05-Sep-99 193 88 Glenelg / Immanuel College
35 Ryan Falkenberg 29-Apr-99 196 79 Central District
36 Jack Lukosius 09-Aug-00 194 82 Woodville West Torrens / Henley High
37 Charlie Ballard 23-Jul-99 195 81 Sturt / Sacred Heart College
38 Harrison Petty 12-Nov-99 194 81 Norwood / Rostrevor College
39 Cameron Ball 27-Jul-99 194 82 Norwood / Rostrevor College
40 Darcy Fogarty 25-Sep-99 192 92 Glenelg / Rostrevor College
41 Nathan Kreuger 25-Jun-99 196 86 South Adelaide
42 Hugo Munn 03-Apr-00 196 92 Sturt / Mercedes College
43 James Siviour 09-Mar-99 195 89 Norwood
44 Lachlan Pascoe 02-Jun-99 190 97 Norwood / Tyndale Christian School
45 Bryce Denham 17-Jan-99 194 89 North Adelaide
46 Ruben Flinn 09-May-00 200 103 Glenelg / Brighton
47 Simon Furnell 03-Jun-99 197 97 Central District / Nuriootpa High
48 Ben Oborn 30-Oct-99 199 93 North Adelaide / Endeavour College
49 Callum Coleman-Jones 13-Jun-99 201 98 Sturt / Scotch

Sharpshooting South Australia U18s defeat North Adelaide Reserves

SOUTH Australia have won their final trial match in the lead up to the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, defeating North Adelaide Reserves by 50-points at Football Park on Friday night.

After trailing at quarter time, a five-goal second quarter kickstarted South Australia’s game and saw them convincingly convert their chances on goal.

James Rowe was a standout up forward, booting four goals. Rowe also found plenty of the football when pushing through the midfield.

Tall Callum Coleman-Jones marked well overhead, with multiple strong contested marks up inside 50, finishing with four goals. Coleman-Jones also showed his versatility, working hard against 2016 SA Under 18 team mate Jordan Sweet in the ruck.

Possible 2018 number one draft pick Jack Lukosius kicked three goals up forward and continues to show his great skills at either end of the ground.

Jordan Houlahan returned to form – justifying his selection in the AFL Academy, kicking four goals. Houlahan was on fire throughout the contest, showing off his agility, marking the ball at ease and disposing of it well.

In defence, Thomas Schmusch played as a tall rebounding defender. Schmusch read the ball well, including a number of nice attacking runs. Brad McCarthy also looked good playing as a small defender, rebounding the ball well.

Norwood midfielder Stefan Giro has found the ball at ease in the SANFL and that continued with another strong showing in the centre, while Adelaide father/son prospect Jackson Edwards (Son of Tyson Edwards) suffered concussion.

With key players released for SANFL League games: Mitch Crowden, Izak Rankine, Alex Martini, Darcy Fogarty – and Andrew McPherson to return from injury it looks like the SA team are starting to gel on their run into the Championships.

South Australia kick off their Under 18 championships campaign on the 10th of June at Domain Stadium against Western Australia.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA    3.0    8.1     11.2     19.3 (117)
NORTH ADELAIDE       4.4    6.5       8.7       10.7 (67)

BEST:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Rowe, Coleman-Jones, Petty, Houlahan, McCarthy, Schmusch
NORTH ADELAIDE: Sweet, Minervini, De Leonardis, Woodcock, Wohling

GOALS:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Coleman-Jones 4, Houlahan 4, Rowe 4, Lukosius 3, Hately, Schmusch
NORTH ADELAIDE: Minervini 2, McInerney, De Leonardis, Lloyd, Helyar, Wohling, Slade, Denham, Oborn

 

2015 Draft Profile: Wayne Milera

bfgnprofiles

Wayne Milera
Club: Central Districts
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 76 kg
Position: Outside midfielder/half forward
Strengths: Evasion, distribution by hand, composure, poise, spacial awareness, vision, cleanliness at ground level
Weaknesses: Physicality, strength over the ball, accumulation, scoreboard impact when forward, pure line-breaking
Player comparison: Murray Newman (better version)
First year impact: Minimal. Might play a few games but he will likely take time.

Kicking: Above average
Marking: Average
Endurance: Above average
Speed: Above average

If there is a player who has flown under the radar this year, it is Wayne Milera. In South Australian midfields usually filled with hard workers and battlers, Milera is a rarity – a truly classy footballer. You would have to go back to James Aish to find a South Australian with such class.

Flying under the radar last year, Milera played predominantly under 18s for Central Districts, kicking 25 goals in 16 games. Starting the season slowly – he was only in the bests four times out of 13 in under 18s games. He kept improving and earnt a promotion to the reserves for the final three games, rising with the standard to be in the bests each game.

Even with that late year surge in mind, it would have been outlandish to predict Milera would line up in the SANFL league side in round one this year. But he did – a result of hard work on the track and some strong improvement. Before the championships, he played every possible league game, never excelling but always playing a role and showing some real class week in week out.

During the championships Milera was one of South Australia’s most consistent players, rarely making mistakes and usually impacting across each quarter. You could argue that he was very unlucky to miss out on All-Australian selection. After the champs, Milera went back to Centrals and was made to work his way back up to the league side, winning the Maccas Cup MVP in his first week back and then also excelling the next week in the reserves. He now finds himself back in the league side and will aim to continue to impress looking towards the draft.

As a player, Milera is pure class. That’s the best way to describe him – everything he does is with grace and style; he’s the kind of player that just makes the most difficult look easy. Perhaps his best skill is his ability to distribute by hand. He is, without doubt, the most skilled player in the draft by hand. The speed at which he handballs is incredible; the teammate already has it before you can blink. The subtlety of it is a weapon – he is able to release the ball without even noticing that he’s motioning to handball. And the accuracy – he fires them into perfect positions. Not only does he hit teammates with efficacy, but he places them into better positions. By virtue of his amazing skill by hand, Milera is able to release the ball from congestion to a runner regularly, a skill very few have.

Complimenting Milera’s skill by hand is his cleanliness at ground level. He’s very much a one touch player, rarely fumbling below the knees and able to gather a ground ball at top speed. Aerially he is clean, possessing an excellent and underrated vertical leap and clean hands. If he is able to cut across a contest and utilise his leap he’s a real marking threat however still lacks the physicality to take strong contested marks.

Athletically Milera is solid. He is not elite for speed, but he is still quick. His agility is excellent as is his leap. He is able to get from contest to contest and seems to possess reasonable endurance and runs out games well. He works hard on the field, regularly working to find space and present an option. After disposing of the ball he regularly works hard to provide second and third options, likewise he makes repeat efforts at ground level too.

By foot Milera is reliable. Over short to medium distances he kicks with accuracy and penetration. He makes the right decisions, has create vision and creates. However Milera rarely kicks it long. I believe he has a range of at least 45-50 metres, but he just rarely backs himself to really go long. Perhaps this is partially a strength as it indicates he is always finding effective medium range options, but there are times in football that it’s necessary to take the game forward quickly and Milera instead favours shorter range passing. Under pressure he usually disposes of the ball well by foot. By virtue of elite spacial awareness he is able to decide the right times to dispose of the ball or run and retain it. That spacial awareness also allows him to evade and break tackles with such ease.

But while he can break tackles with ease, he can struggle to make them too. He runs well defensively and pressures the ball carrier but is often shrugged and knocked away from the ball. He doesn’t seem to have much strength over the ball nor the strength to lay crunching tackles. That said, his physicality has improved over the season and he is now capable of hitting a bit harder than he was earlier.

At AFL level Milera is likely to be able to play a variety of roles. As a forward, he has shown the ability to pop up for a goal or two each game at under 18s level but projects more as a half forward than a forward pocket. He’s got good goal sense but not the elite goal sense required to be an AFL standard genuine crumber. Across half forward he has also shown some aptitude playing as a high half forward in the link role – he regularly finds space and presents as an uncontested target in dangerous areas between the arcs.

As a midfielder Milera certainly prefers the outside, playing as a first receiver type but a bit closer to the contest than your average wingman, usually receiving the ball in some sort of congestion and then using his speed, awareness and agility to create space on the outside. While he can break the lines he doesn’t do it enough for a player of his skill set and role. He also rarely accumulates big disposal numbers, instead hovering around the teens usually. At AFL level if he wants to play full time in the middle he’s going to want to start pushing a 20 or more disposal average.

There’s also some real scope for Milera to be used as a defender. Though he hasn’t played there much, with his athletic gifts he would be able to play on the quicker smalls while also being a very damaging offensive player with his decision making, vision and skill out of the defensive half. Clubs usually like having players who make the right decisions under pressure in defence and that’s Milera. Not to mention that he would also possess some real speed to run the ball out of the back half. I could see him playing some football here in the AFL.

As a player Milera is a bit unique, but he does remind me a little bit of Murray Newman. Newman went in the top 25 of his draft and shared similar athleticism, skills and awareness. Milera however has perhaps a few more tricks and a better record at senior level. Milera also reminds me a little of Michael O’Loughlin, without the elite goal sense and overhead ability. While Milera now is considered by most to be in the second round range, with his set of tricks I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in the first round come November. He has got several points of difference compared to other prospects and also seems a very high character individual. The top 15 is not out of the equation for him.