Tag: sam collins

Queensland survive late scare from Tasmania to hold on in AFL U19s contest

QUEENSLAND has survived an almighty last quarter scare from Tasmania to post a narrow two-point win at Yeronga as part of the states’ clash for the AFL Under 19 Championships. After a scrappy first term, the home team piled on seven of the next eight goals to lead by as much as 35 points late in the third term. Tasmania found the momentum in the last 23 minutes, booting six of the last seven themselves to roar to within two points, and even have a shot after the siren for the win, but the kick sailed out on the full. For all the last quarter fight, Queensland held on to a narrow 9.8 (62) to 8.12 (60) win.

In perfect sunny conditions with a breeze blowing to the Queensland end early, it was in fact Baynen Lowe who would have the first shot of the day from outside 50. Easily making the distance, it sailed out on the full, providing an eerily opening and closing symmetry to the match. Despite Queensland having more chances in the opening term, it was key forward Will Splann who marked on the lead from an Oliver Davis pass inside 50, who kicked the first major of the contest five minutes in. Only one more goal in the next hour of play went the way of the visitors, as Toby Triffett‘s perfect set shot from the boundary getting Queensland on the board.

From the second term on it was all Queensland, as they piled on the five consecutive goals including Triffett’s major, with Max Pescud providing a high-flying highlight for mark of the game with a pack effort and subsequent goal. From the next stoppage, Saxon Crozier burst away and launched from 55m in a 90-second purple patch of of bliss. The key forwards started to get involved and were overpowering the smaller Devils defenders, with Will Tasker and Will Bella both converting majors, and the lead was suddenly out to beyond 25 points. A late goal against the flow to Bailey Gillow on the run gave Tasmania some hope, with both Jonty McIvor and Jye Menzie hitting woodwork either side, and the team combining for an inaccuracy 1.5 to Queensland’s 4.1.

Accuracy was the difference in the game and Queensland kept the foot on the pedal with Jack Briskey marking well and kicking a goal early in the third term, and then some more Pescud magic found Bella on the line for one of the easiest goals of his career. Briskey gave fans a sense of deja vu as he marked and delivered from an almost identical place as his earlier goal, and the Queenslanders were blowing the game right open with a six-goal lead. Desperate for a major and a late momentum swing, Sam Collins hit up McIvor inside 50 who marked and then made no mistake from straight in front to give the Devils a sniff heading into the last.

That was all they needed, as the top-agers of Ollie Sanders, Davis and Collins went to another level in the final term, determined to drag their team across the line. Collins was thrown forward and immediately had an impact just 75 seconds into the match, and then a couple of poor turnovers inside their defensive 50 saw the Queenslanders cough up two consecutive goals to Sanders and Menzie. A couple of almost chances drew to a single-digit deficit and the visitors were storming home. Luckily for the home side, Briskey kicked his third with a clever snap around his body to settle the home fans nerves, putting it back out to a 14-point lead.

The boys from the Apple Isle were not done yet though, with Sanders launching a ripping shot from 55m and then in the dying moments, Alex Davies kicked a goal with the outside of the boot to draw within two points. With less than a minute left, the next centre clearance was crucial, and it went the way of Queensland. A quick kick inside 50 fell in front of Bella who rushed the kick and it flew out on the full. Desperate times saw an end-to-end play by the Tasmanians, finishing with Sam Tilley moments before the final siren. Looking just outside his range, he was told to settle down and the siren sounded forcing him to attempt a barrel. The shot on goal sailed off the side and out on the full, handing Queensland the victory.

Triffett was a consistent performer throughout for Queensland, with Jed Foggo providing some good drive off half-back. Crozier was busy through the middle, and the likes of Briskey, Bella and Tasker all played their roles by hitting the scoreboard. For Tasmania, the trio of Sanders, Davis and Collins stepped up when required, whilst Zac Morris in defence, and the likes of Sam Foley and Dom White in midfield, provided good run and carry.

QUEENSLAND 1.4 | 5.5 | 8.8 | 9.8 (62)
TASMANIA 1.2 | 2.7 | 3.9 | 8.12 (60)

GOALS:

Queensland: J. Briskey 3, W. Bella 2, T. Triffett, M. Pescud, S. Crozier, W. Tasker.
Tasmania: O. Sanders 2, W. Splann, J. McIvor B. Gillow, S. Collins, J. Menzie, A. Davies.

DC BEST:

Queensland: T. Triffett, S. Crozier, J. Briskey, W. Tasker, J. Foggo
Tasmania: O. Sanders, O. Davis, S. Collins, Z. Morris, S. Foley

2021 AFL U17/U19 Championships preview: Queensland vs. Tasmania

WITH South Australia and Western Australia able to run out for a couple of representative games at the recent AFL Under 19 Championships, two of the Allied states join the party tomorrow when Queensland hosts Tasmania in a double-header of Under 17s and Under 19s action. The two games take place at Yeronga Sports Ground south of Brisbane, with the Under 17s kicking off from 9:30am, and the Under 19s locking horns at 11:30am.

With both state leagues in Queensland and Tasmania done and dusted, it means both states will have the pick of the players for their clash without having senior finals threatening to take away the top young talent. The visitors named their teams early a few days ago, with the Under 19s welcoming back Ollie Davis after playing for Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) in the bid to win a mid-season draft spot. Still remaining in the draft frame, the uncompromising Davis will lead a talented midfield that also features Darcy Gardner and Ollie Sanders.

Unfortunately the Devils will be without star talent Sam Banks who is still injured, but have a couple of National AFL Draft Combine invitees up either end in full-back Baker Smith, and centre half-forward Will Splann. Smith has been an impressive player for a number of years now with his reading of the ball in flight and intercepting capabilities. With Queensland having plenty of strong talls, he will be important to Tasmania getting the win. Splann is someone who has really enjoyed some fantastic form, first in the NAB League, and then in the TSL.

Others from the Apple Isle hoping to stake their case for the AFL Draft include top-agers Zac Morris and Sam Collins who have both been named in defence, as well as dangerous forward Jye Menzie. The Devils have nice balance across the ground and will be a difficult opponent for the Queensland side in this clash. Their opponents will be no push-overs either with some experienced top-age talent running around.

Saxon Crozier has continually put his hand up to be considered as a top-ager in 2021 after building more of an inside game, with he and Tahj Abberley among the midfielders who earned Draft Combine invites last year. Jack Briskey is a top-age tall who came close to earning a spot on Collingwood’s list after training with them over the summer, whilst goal-scoring machine Max Pescud, key defender Jack Johnston and the smooth-moving Bailey Reeves are all among those who were in consideration last year after combine invitations.

In 2021, Toby Trifett has continued to build for Morningside in the QAFL to put his hand up, whilst Cairns product Austin Harris remains Queensland’s key talent as a member of the AFL Academy. Bodhi Uwland has been the Sunshine State’s most consistent player in the NAB League, whilst Will Bella is hard to contain with his strength and overhead marking. Charlie Bowes, Brinn Little and Thomas Hofert round out the Allies Under 19 squad representatives.

Looking to the Under 17s clash, and the future year’s prospects will hope to catch the eye, lead by key forward Bryce Alomes who had a fantastic TSL Development Grand Final with five goals in a best-on-ground performance for Clarence. Ryley Sanders and Sam Banks-Smith will be players to watch in the midfield, with the Devils getting an additional chance at exposure to elite level football they missed out on in 2020, with a year or more to go to being in the AFL Draft selection frame.

For Queensland, they had a number of players who impressed in the NAB League and at QAFL level. Jaspa Fletcher is a potential father-son prospect to keep an eye on, but the other father-son in Will Ashcroft has been touted as a potential Top 5 selection. Though Ashcroft has been down in Victoria, the Lions have a couple of linked players for 2022. Ravi Schofield and Riley McMillan are other Lions players to watch in the big ‘Q’, while Cody Harrington is a high-level talent for the Suns with Jared Eckersley another name to watch coming out of the back half.

Opportunity awaits Oakleigh at the end of “challenging” year

WHILE Country regions prepare for a return to NAB League action this week, Metro talent programs are holding onto hope they’ll still be able to get on the park before finals. Oakleigh Chargers is one of those regions, the competition’s reigning premier and producer of the last two number one picks – three if you include Charlie Rowbottom‘s selection in the women’s intake last month.

Talent operations lead Jy Bond says he “feels for the kids who’ve missed out on a lot of footy” but is “grateful” that players were able to show their talent at the start of the year, and “optimistic” of the potential for more before season’s end.

“This year’s been a challenging one because it’s been difficult to get continuity in our group,” Bond said. “We’ve had the stop-start nature of the season with lockdowns and what-not, but have done a lot of positive work maintaining connection where possible. It’s also given us opportunities to play pretty much 99 per cent of our list barring a couple of kids with long-term injuries. That’s been a real bonus.

“Obviously Nick Daicos has been pretty handy, Sam Darcy is right up there with him. Then there’s Youseph Dib, Karl Worner, Giorgio Varagiannis, Lochie Jenkins, Paddy Voss and Sam Collins. These are the types of guys that have been able to play the majority of games which has been good.”

While the Chargers’ fleeting premiership defence adds motivation in a team sense, Bond says the chance to play finals serves a greater purpose in terms of opportunity and exposure. Sitting fifth in the Metro pool at 3-6, Oakleigh may need to lean on Wildcard Round entry to the finals, but have a clean injury slate and are “every chance to win some games” at full strength.

“It’s definitely not a win-loss (business) but if you’re a young man or woman in the NAB League and you’re wanting to get to the next level, you’ve got to be competitive,” Bond said. “It helps when you’ve got a full team to pick from, this year we’ve been unable to have a lot of our kids to get some cohesion.

“But the more games you play, the more recruiters can see you and the more exposure you get to potentially get drafted, and that’s the main thing. The more games you play at a high level and under finals pressure, the more chance you are to get more kids drafted which is the aim of the game. That’s my (priority) always.”

Nick Daicos fires off a handball

With two players, father-son prospects at that, well in contention to continue Oakleigh’s streak of number one picks, the often taken for granted opportunity to simply play may have a massive impact on how the draft plays out. Daicos (Collingwood) and Darcy (Western Bulldogs) are the pair in question, but have only played together thrice as Oakleigh teammates.

“In terms of Sam and Nick, either one could be picked number one depending on the team and arguably they’d be hard to split, they’re two very different players,” Bond said. “They’re both top-end characters, they’re both likeable, they’ve both got a bit of cheek about them but they’re also very hard-working and really good upstanding characters.

“We focus on the talent a lot at Oakleigh but something we place quite highly in our players is their character and whether they’re going to fit into a club and come out as good people which is almost more important that their footballing ability.”

Along with the usual crop of top-end talent in a draft eligible sense, the Chargers’ squad strength is well poised to carry on into next year. 10 Oakleigh products were selected for Under 17 representative duties this year, and most have also turned out already at NAB League level. Bond says the region is “buoyant” on its next batch of potential stars.

“We’ve got a really strong group of 17-year-olds which bodes well for the future,” he said. “If you look at that 17s group we’ve got quite a strong nucleus there for next year which is pleasing… and we’ll top that up with a lot of other kids that are running through the program this year and potentially others who if they’re unlucky not to get drafted this year, they’ll get the opportunity to come back as 19-year-olds.”

With one eye on this year’s draft and the other on the future, Oakleigh has been able to achieve great success over the last decade in the sense of draftee production and premiership glory. At the moment, the opportunity for these prospects to show their worth at the highest possible level is what drives a potential flag tilt.

Ones to Watch: The draft prospect bottleneck brimming with talent

WHILE the top end of the 2021 AFL Draft pool is shaping up nicely despite constant injuries to gun players, unexpected season intermissions, and the absence of an Under 19 National Championships, a massive bottleneck remains just outside of first round contention. Draft Central released its August Power Rankings update on Monday, which ranked the nation’s 25 best prospects, but had about 40 in contention for said honours.

With such an even crop forming around the 20-35 mark, we nominate a player from each national carnival region who could soon rise up the ranks to feature in future rankings, while also highlighting a bunch of other players to watch as regular season fixtures wind down. Some of the talents listed below were also spoken about in the latest Final Siren Podcast episode, where the Draft Central crew fielded your questions.

VICTORIA

Potential Riser: 

Zac Taylor (Calder Cannons)
31/01/2003 | 180cm/74kg | Midfielder

Arguably the 26th player in our August Rankings, Taylor may have already made a case for pushing into the top 25 come September’s edition. The small midfielder boasts excellent skills, vision, and decision making, which is exactly what you want from a player who finds the ball as much as he does. At 180cm, Taylor can also double as a pressure forward and utilise those reliable skills in the front half, but has really found a home as Calder’s primary ball winner of late. Over his last three NAB League outings, the 18-year-old has averaged 34 disposals, seven marks and six tackles en route to taking out the Round 15 Player of the Week. He is one of the form players of the draft pool right now, and is proving difficult to deny.

Ones to Watch:

There are plenty of Victorians in the mix as usual, with most already sneaking into the top 25 – like Tom Brown, Sam Butler, and Judson Clarke this past month. Arguably the next biggest riser has been St Kilda Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful Mitch Owens, a winger from the stacked Sandringham Dragons regions. The 190cm gloved goer has done plenty of growing over the last year and was a late call-up to last month’s Vic Metro side. He took his chance well, and was in fine form for the Dragons with 25 disposals, six marks, and seven tackles in their most recent outing.

Fellow Sandringham wingman Blake Howes has previously featured in our rankings and remains around the mark, with his athleticism and versatility boding well for a talent with incredible upside. Having rolled up to the wing from his usual forward post in 2021, the 190cm Vic Metro representative has added strings to his bow and booted two goals from 20 touches in his latest NAB League appearance.

Connor Macdonald and Jake Soligo are a couple of small midfielders with handy turns of speed who have no trouble finding the ball, and can also roll forward to impact the scoreboard. Collingwood NGA prospect Youseph Dib is another in that small category at 174cm, but has a mature body which stood up to the rigours of VFL football earlier in the year. He has stood up in midfield recently with his strength and speed around the contest, but is also able to play pressure roles at either end of the ground. Oakleigh teammate Lachlan Rankin is another to monitor; offering versatility, natural smarts, and clean skills in a range of roles.

At the taller end of the midfield scale, Geelong Falcons ball winner Mitch Knevitt has consistently been a standout for his region at the coalface. While he has plenty of room left for improvement, clubs will likely look at his speed, contested work and 193cm frame as traits which point towards workable upside. Fellow big-bodied mid Ned Long has been sidelined of late, but was in promising form at the start of the NAB League season.

There are a couple of defenders who have also impressed throughout the year to prove their potential, in Justin Davies and Oscar Morrison. Both represented Vic Country and have nice combinations of tall and small traits at just under 195cm. Meanwhile, Morrison’s Geelong Falcons teammate Toby Conway has firmed as one of the premier rucks available, standing at over 200cm with handy craft in that department and evolving influence around the ground.

Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Connor Macdonald

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Potential Riser:

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (Glenelg)
22/02/2003 | 188cm/70kg | Wing

A smooth-moving wingman with elite pedigree, Wanganeen-Milera is among one of the more eye-catching South Australian prospects. The nephew of Essendon and Port Adelaide champion, Gavin, he caught the eye last year with his speed and dare on the outer for Glenelg’s Under 18s, and has since plied his trade in the senior grades. After 11 Reserves outings, the 18-year-old earned a League berth with the Bays this season and was even a late addition to the AFL Academy squad in April. His skill and poise on the ball made him a standout in South Australia’s Under 19 trial game last month, and with his collection of high-level attributes as a tall and raw wingman, Wanganeen-Milera is certainly on the rise.

Ones to Watch:

After being considered among the top 10-20 prospects coming into 2021, Norwood midfielder-forward Cooper Murley was squeezed out of out latest top 25. It’s through no real fault of his own though, with the productive attacking runner first missing out on AFL Academy duties due to an ankle injury in April, before suffering a collarbone injury in the opening minutes of a SANFL Under 18s outing last month. With an extended run and some more senior action, he can quickly improve his stocks.

A trio of club-linked prospects have put themselves in contention with sustained form in 2021, particularly at Under 18s level. Port Adelaide father-son prospect Jase Burgoyne is quite highly regarded in his state, with versatility and clean foot skills among his best traits. While he is quite light-on, he enjoyed a steady three-game stint with Port’s SANFL outfit this season and has no trouble finding the ball.

Adelaide NGA products Blayne O’Loughlin and Isaiah Dudley are crafty smalls who will also come into consideration, and both have even managed to crack the Reserves grade. North Adelaide leader O’Loughlin is the nephew of Michael and loves to generate defensive rebound with his speed and kicking, while Centrals’ speedster Dudley also has good pedigree, with his high-level footy smarts boding well for a future in the small forward role.

North Adelaide midfielders Hugh Jackson and James Willis have both thrown their hats in the ring as potential bolters, but offer quite different strengths. Jackson has clearly been the SANFL Under 18s’ top ball winner with an average of 31.7, while also leading the league for handballs and inside 50s. He has a handy turn of speed, as does the explosive Willis. While a touch more raw in his finished product, Willis certainly catches the eye with his power and agility in the engine room.

State Under 16 and Under 19 teammates Lewis Rayson and Morgan Ferres continue to be thereabouts too. Rayson’s drive and kick penetration on the outer has proven a consistent feature of his game, while Ferres booted 13 goals from a whopping 21 scoring shots in his two SANFL Under 18s outings this season. Both have earned Reserves berths, while Centrals midfielder-forward Shay Linke has broken through to the top flight this year and showed some promise.

Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera in SA colours | Image Credit: AFL Photos

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Potential Riser:

Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle)
23/11/03 | 176cm/74kg | Small Forward

Fremantle staff and fans alike will be cursing a technicality in the NGA rules which may see Motlop snatched from their grasp. NGA products from metro regions in South and Western Australia are only eligible to join their aligned clubs with a bid past pick 40, and Motlop has certainly staked his claim to be taken well within that range. The speedy small forward has a terrific eye for goal and applies valuable pressure, which he showed in his WAFL League debut for South Fremantle last month. The son of former Port and North Melbourne forward, Daniel, has also featured at PSA level for Aquinas College and led the competition’s goalkicking as a Year 11 last year. He can also roll into midfield but will likely pique the most interest with his work inside attacking 50.

Ones to Watch:

Twin talls Jacob van Rooyen and Rhett Bazzo were highly touted coming into the season and while they have shown glimpses of top 25 potential thus far, may have fallen just outside that range. Claremont’s van Rooyen is a noted key forward who has shown his versatility this year with time in midfield and more recently, down back. A glandular fever diagnosis halted his initial run at League level. Bazzo, an Under 16 All Australian defender, has arced back to his intercept-marking roots of late after being trialled up forward earlier in the year. Both are AFL Academy members and will be key state Under 19s figures.

Among the recent League debutants are Corey Warner and Luke Polson, who are quite different prospects. Warner, the brother of Sydney’s Chad, is a real goer out on the wing while Polson is a mobile and versatile tall talent who is not afraid to run with the ball. Along with this pair, one of the state’s biggest risers has been West Coast NGA product Ethan Regan, out of East Perth. At 189cm, he is an explosive unit with terrific aerial prowess and the ability to cover good ground in transition.

It would be remiss not to mention some of WA’s top performers in the recent state Under 19s hitouts. Big-bodied midfielders Kade Dittmar and Angus Sheldrick have been superb across the three games, while Dittmar’s Royals teammate James Tunstill is a promising type. The likes of Jahmal Stretch and Kaden Harbour are lively small forwards entering the conversation, while Taj Woewodin should have Melbourne’s attention as a potential father-son pick-up. Meanwhile Lochlan Paton and Brady Hough have been solid across a few different roles for the Black Ducks.

Jesse Motlop celebrates a goal on his League debut | Image Credit: South Fremantle/WAFL

ALLIES

Potential Riser:

Sam Banks (Tasmania Devils)
2/04/2003 | 187cm/73kg | Half-Back

Banks has long been on the radar as Tasmania’s standout draft prospect for 2021, having taken out Under 16 Division 2 MVP honours in 2019. He also made eight appearances for the Devils’ NAB League side in the same year and has turned out in the TSL for Clarence. While he was sighted up on a wing and through midfield in the past, Banks has played almost exclusively in defence this season upon battling injury. A broken wrist saw him miss out on representing the AFL Academy in April, but the 18-year-old made his NAB League return in Round 11 and has looked promising with his rebound running and skills by foot across half-back. He could be in for a boost with an extended run and some more showings of his potential in roles further afield.

Ones to Watch:

Banks’ fellow Tasmanians Oliver Davis and Sam Collins have gotten back on the horse after being overlooked last year. Hard-nosed midfielder Davis attracted mid-season draft interest and is currently part of Adelaide’s reserves squad, while Collins has moved up to Victoria and linked with reigning NAB League premier, Oakleigh Chargers, where he has featured in midfield upon returning from injury. Forward Jye Menzie is another in the top-age category, and recently snared a bag of goals in the Devils’ Under 17 vs. Under 19 clash.

There are plenty of Northern Academy prospects who their respective clubs will look at closely. Brisbane has seen the likes of Saxon Crozier, Tahj Abberley, Toby Triffett, Charlie Bowes, and Will Tasker take strides at state league level this year, having all remained in the Lions’ system as 19-year-old talents. Gold Coast has more 2003-born talents in the pipeline, including AFL Academy member Austin Harris. He, too has gained VFL experience along with defender Bodhi Uwland and twin talls Will Bella and Jack Johnston.

Elsewhere, Giants Academy member Josh Green (brother of Tom) trained with Richmond during preseason and may still have some interest, while Murray Bushrangers prospects Charlie Byrne and Cameron McLeod were among those to have some interest at the next level – both during preseason and in this year’s mid-season intake.

Sam Banks in action for Clarence | Image Credit: Solstice Digital

Young Guns: 2021 VFL Round 13

A BUNCH of the nation’s most promising Under 19 prospects continues to filter through the Victorian Football League (VFL), including a raft of top-ups and academy talents. Many have already made their state league debuts, with more to come and a handful sighted this past weekend. We take a look at how the prominent 19th-year players performed as they hit the senior football grade.

>> RESULTS: State leagues wrap

2001-born Sandringham Dragons tall Felix Flockart ran out for his club debut with Port Melbourne on Friday night, notching 10 disposals and 11 hitouts as the Borough went down handily to Frankston. Fellow Dragons product Darby Hipwell continues to turn out for Sandringham Zebras, booting multiple goals for the first time in his VFL career as his side thumped Essendon. Bendigo Pioneers midfielder Jack Hickman was afield for the Bombers, managing four touches.

AFL-aligned clubs from NSW and Queensland again blooded top-up players, with a combined four NAB Leaguers lining up for Gold Coast and Sydney in their respective losses. Tall Dandenong utility Bryce Milford (four disposals) and Geelong Falcons top-ager Lachlan Kidd (five) both lined up for the Suns, while Sam Clohesy (eight disposals, four tackles) and Logan Young (14 disposals, four marks) were drafted into the Swans’ side.

Greater Western Sydney, who downed the Suns, also fielded a handful of academy talents while Sydney gave opportunities to two in its loss to Footscray. Josh Green (16 disposals, six marks), Maximus Monaghan (14 disposals, six tackles) and Harrison Grintell (nine disposals, three inside 50s) were among the Giants’ best youngsters, as Angus Anderson found the goals for the Swans and Pierce Roseby finished with 10 touches.

Bulldogs father-son prospect Ewan Macpherson played his third-straight game in red, white and blue, while Gippsland Power midfielder Chance Doultree also got another run at state league level – his second for the season.

Elsewhere, Brisbane Lions also found room for their academy products, with a quartet of young guns continuing to find their feet. Toby Triffett (14 disposals, five tackles) was solid as his side went down to Southport, while Saxon Crozier and Tahj Abberley each had it 11 times, and Will Tasker contributed five touches.

Western Jets midfielder Harrison White debuted for Werribee in the Tigers’ loss to Casey, while Tasmanian Sam Collins earned a berth with Collingwood and Gippsland Power defender Jess McGrath had his maiden outing for Richmond. Collins’ Oakleigh teammate Lochlan Jennkins reunited with some premiership Chargers in black and white, joined by Eastern Ranges skipper Josh Clarke in the side. Collins was the pick of the bunch, collecting 15 disposals and three marks as the Pies got up by five points against Richmond.

Image Credit: Martin Keep/AFL Photos

PREVIEW | NAB League guns return to stacked squads after representative action

AFTER fulfilling their representative obligations last week, a bunch of draft eligible guns are set to return to the NAB League in Round 11. Five of the weekend’s six fixtures are set to be played on Saturday, starting with a trio of intriguing matchups which bounce down at 1:00pm across the state.

Headlining the inclusions in those games is Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Sam Darcy, fresh off his six-goal haul in last week’s trials. Having previously started down back for Oakleigh, he has unsurprisingly been named at centre half-forward for the Chargers’ clash with Greater Western Victoria (GWV).

While Darcy is a massive in, the Chargers look like they will be without skipper Nick Daicos, who continues to be managed. Nonetheless, they should be buoyed by Lachlan Rankin‘s return among a raft of other Vic Metro Under 19 squad members. Tasmanian Sam Collins also gets an extended run in midfield after impressing there last time out.

GWV also has plenty of its own representative talent returning to the fold, led by first round prospect Ben Hobbs. The combative midfielder has played just three games this season amid injury troubles, but has served a reminded of his high-end talent over the last fortnight.

With Marcus Herbert, Sam Breuer, and returning Allies hopeful Nick Hodgson part of the primary centre bounce mix, Hobbs has been named to start at half-forward. The Rebels have quite the spine too, bookended by Josh Gibcus and powerhouse skipper Josh Rentsch.

A solid midfield battle is brewing between the Calder Cannons and Geelong Falcons, who meet at Highgate Recreation Reserve. Mitch Knevitt, Noah Gribble, and Cooper Whyte slot straight into the Falcons’ engine room, while Zac Taylor and Josh Goater join the in-form Flynn Lakey in Calder’s midfield mix. The potential matchup of Calder forward Sam Paea and Geelong defender Oscar Morrison could also make for an exciting watch.

In the day’s other 1:00 start, Murray Bushrangers host Northern Knights in Wangaratta, with plenty of players to watch on each line. After lining up on Daicos a couple of weeks ago, Josh Ward‘s next assignment may come against Bushies top-ager Zavier Maher. The latter’s inclusion has squeezed Charlie Byrne to the wing, while Josh Rachele will start forward and Tom Brown returns in defence. Twin Northern talls Sam Grant and Anthony Caminiti also come in for their second games in the navy, black and white.

Sandringham has named a bumper midfield trio for its trip down to Tasmania on Saturday, with Josh Sinn, Campbell Chesser, and Finn Callaghan to attend the opening centre bounce. Chesser makes his long-awaited return from a knee injury, while Sinn did so last week in the NAB League, and Callaghan has been in red-hot form on both sides of midfield.

The competition for spots sees Charlie McKay shifted to half-back and Lachlan Benton starting on the bench, while debutant Lachlan Brooks may ply his trade as a small defender. St Kilda Next Generation Academy members Marcus Windhager and Mitch Owens are also among the Dragons to watch. For the Devils, Sam Banks is a massive inclusion after missing a chunk of football through injury, as is Darcy Gardner who will look to crack a rather settled midfield once again.

After an impressive five-goal haul in Vic Country colours, Dandenong Stingrays midfielder-forward Judson Clarke would have been one of the first on Nick Cox‘s team sheet for his side’s clash with Eastern Ranges. The showcase Saturday night game also sees Will Bravo and Connor Macdonald return to the hosts’ midfield.

Jake Soligo will be the go-to ball winner for Eastern as Tyler Sonsie recovers from bone bruising, with a tough test ahead. Corey Preston has been named at half-back after impressing there with his ball use during last week’s trials, but intercept marking machine Tyreece Leiu remains absent as he nurses a corkie.

In Sunday’s standalone fixture, the Western Jets travel to take on Gippsland Power in Morwell. The hosts should get plenty of drive from their starting centeline of Max Walton, Will Papley, and Cooper Alger, while Jai Serong in a welcome inclusion up forward. Western welcomes back match-winning small forward Paul Curtis, with the likes of Liam Conway and Harrison White also handy additions to a midfield which will operate under Geelong-listed ruck Paul Tsapatolis.

2021 Draft Central NAB League Boys TOTW: Round 10

THE Draft Central NAB League Round 10 Team of the Week has dropped, with 24 of the weekend’s best performed-players featuring in a competitive lineup. Player of the Week nominees Baynen Lowe (Tasmania Devils) and Joshua Clarke (Eastern Ranges) co-captain the side from midfield after stellar displays in their respective regions’ victories.

Lowe’s Devils teammates feature heavily along the spine, which is bookended by over-ager Tyler McGinnis at full back and bottom-ager Tom McCallum at centre half-forward. Both players put in phenomenal aerial performances against Dandenong Stingrays on Sunday, while Lowe was in the thick of the midfield action.

Clarke is joined by teammate Mitchell Sruk (half-back), who helped the Ranges rebound out of defence in tough conditions out in Williamstown. Eastern is the only Round 10 victor with two nominees, while Tasmania, Northern, and Sandringham all contributed three members, and Bendigo Pioneers boast four.

At the other end of the scale, the Dandenong Stingrays and Oakleigh Chargers have just one representative apiece after their respective losses, but could have had a couple more.

The likes of Flynn Lakey, Josh Hamilton, Lachlan Benton, and Jack Hickman arguably produced best afield performances, though the battle for spots in the midfield meant the latter two talents were pushed out to the half-forward flanks. Charlie Byrne was in a similar boat, pushed out to a familiar wing post despite mostly playing on the inside.

A trio of father-son hopefuls also feature in the 24-man squad. Calder’s Dane Whitnall (son of Lance) lines up next to Jackson Archer (Glenn) on the half-back line, while another Carlton-tied player in Charlie McKay (Andrew) snuck in on the bench for his 30-disposal effort.

Check out the full team below:

Draft Central NAB League Team of the Week: Round 10

B: Ethan Warburton (MB), Tyler McGinnis (TD), Daniel Didomenicantonio (DS)
HB:
Mitchell Sruk (ER), Dane Whitnall (CC), Jackson Archer (NK)
C: Jack Evans (BP), Baynen Lowe (TD, c) Charlie Byrne (MB)
HF:
Jack Hickman (BP), Tom McCallum (TD), Lachlan Benton (SD)
F:
Jack Rossimel (NK), Felix Flockart, Jack Stewart (BP)
FOL: Paul Tsapatolis (WJ), Joshua Clarke (ER, vc), Flynn Lakey (CC)

INT: Sam Clohesy (CC), Sam Collins (OC), Josh Hamilton (NK), Billy Cootee (WJ), Anthony Depasquale (BP), Charlie McKay (SD)

Scouting Notes: 2021 NAB League Boys – Round 10

NAB League regions had their depth tested over the weekend as Under 17 and 19 representative action took place over Saturday and Sunday, but a bunch of prospects were left to battle it out in the elite underage competition. We take a look at some of the top performers from each side across all five games, in our opinion-based Scouting Notes.

>> RESULTS | NAB League Round 10 snapshot

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 17.12 (114) def. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.5 (17)

By: Eli Duxson

Sandringham Dragons:

#5 Lachlan Benton

Was prolific all day for the Dragons playing through the midfield and notching up his best game for the season numbers-wise, finding the footy 26 times. Making the most of his extended minutes around the ball with teammates on Vic Metro duties, he showed a willingness to get to contests and be active at them. His speed out of stoppages was impressive with his tank allowing him to cover ground and find the ball uncontested (nine marks) as well under pressure. He kicked a set shot goal from just inside 50 at the start of the second quarter to round out arguably a best on ground performance.

#39 Matthew Harms

The lively debutant more than proved his worth with his two goal, 14 disposal, and five tackle effort out of half-forward. With the mullet flowing, his first impact on the game was a run-down tackle as he brought that physicality to every contest. He is not big in size, but he certainly did not play like it as he showed good work rate to push up the ground and help his midfielders, while also clearing space behind him for his big forwards to lead into. He kicked the Dragons’ second goal of the game with a tidy snap, while also kicking their second-last goal by getting on the end of a smooth chain of possessions.

#53 Eren Soylemez

The 19-year-old continued his impressive form, collecting his most disposals on the season (12), while bobbing up for his usual few shots a game. As a forward in the first half, he often pushed out of the arc to be the one delivering balls inside 50 or working back to crumb which often was not required with the clean and unaffected entries and marks. Speaking of marks, he showed he was capable overhead. His ball use by foot inside 50 was almost flawless as he found multiple targets with his four inside 50s. He was shifted back in the third quarter and continued to show his tidy ball use was necessary in the defensive half, although his defensive ability was hardly required and displayed. Moving forward to end the game, he managed two majors as he moved to 14 goals from six games.

#61 Max Heath

The St Kilda mid-season draftee performed at his new home in RSEA Park, showing why he is in the AFL system. Although at times he was caught out of position in the ruck either through unfavourable throw-ins/ball-ups or as he engaged body, he did look the most likely in the contest having led all comers with 23 hit outs on the day. He has a strong base and is prepared to create space for teammates when the ball hits the deck, throwing his weight around. Heath also proved a viable option up forward, being too tall for opposition defenders to effectively spoil, managing a goal from a strong mark.

#66 Charlie McKay

The father-son prospect enjoyed another big performance in his side’s dominant display, totalling 30 disposals to go with a goal, five inside 50s, and four tackles. He provided a lot of grunt on the inside as usual although his tackling numbers were just below his season average, keeping in mind Sandringham almost won by 100 points. His physicality around stoppages is not represented through stats as his pressure and strength inside were featured heavily. He capitalised on his side’s dominance around the ball, providing a running option moving forward, proving to be composed and tidy with his disposal.

#74 Felix Flockart

The 202cm over-ager kicked the most goals in the game with three, also his first goals of the season. A backup ruckman to Heath, he spent some unimpeded time up forward and managed the first goal of the game with a lead up mark and set shot from distance. His second goal came from a snap, with his last bookending the game after a big mark. He took five for the game but created many more contests with his leap and attack on the aerial ball, providing a solid option down the line for the Dragons. Flockart used his strength to his advantage in the ruck as he has 13 hit outs and was more than handy as a second option for Sandy.

Oakleigh Chargers:

#5 Sam Collins

Collins returned to the footy expected of him with 21 disposals, six marks, and five tackles in what was a tough outing for his Chargers. He was active early in the greasy conditions, burrowing in at stoppages while shooting balls inside 50 and being an option for defensive 50 exits. He showed good awareness in tight with a nice spin out of traffic a highlight, while also utilising strong and steady hips to stay upright in tackles. A good return to form despite the disappointing result.

#12 Lochlan Jenkins

Another one of the few performers for Oakleigh who also did his best out of their engine room but was overrun in the end. Jenkins had 22 disposals and a goal to go with four tackles and three inside 50s and looked impressive on the inside, as well as in space. His third quarter was busy with his side down nine goals, as Jenkins helped the Chargers to their best quarter by clearing deep inside 50, while turning disputed balls into clear possession. Another spin and slip of a tackle was nice in tight as he had his highest disposal game for the season with his Metro teammates away.

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 6.15 (51) def. CALDER CANNONS 6.1 (37)

By: Seb Bartholomeusz

Northern Knights:

#11 Jackson Archer 

Plying his trade across half-back, Archer had some good moments throughout the match. He had 18 disposals to go along with six marks and five tackles. While he doesn’t have the biggest frame, Archer still laid some strong tackles and competed well in one-on-one contests in defence. He also showed some good skills playing on the outside and sweeping across half-back. A couple skill errors were rectified by his second efforts and composure to execute under pressure. Composure was a highlight of his game, as Archer knew how to take his time, find targets, and importantly not succumb to pressure.

#17 Jackson Bowne 

Bowne had an impressive game, collecting 26 disposals and showing some good signs of what he may be capable of in the future. He often displayed good bursts of speed and explosiveness to break away from tackles and evade defenders. Standing at 174cm, Bowne doesn’t shy away from a contest and is the type of player that seems like he just loves that side of the game. He loves to take the game on, and he backs his ability to beat opponents. He kicked two behinds for the day but was always dangerous around stoppages and running towards goal.

#22 Jack Rossimel 

It could’ve been a big day for Rossimel after he put in a super impressive performance for a tall forward. His only downfall was his 0.3 on the scoreboard which didn’t reflect the game he had. He competed well and flew at every contest, he offered a strong aerial target for his team mates to kick to, and he provided some good leads to get on the end of a few marks, resulting in shots at goal. In addition to his marking abilities, Rossimel showcased his agility, getting down and dirty to lay some hard tackles, and following up his work with second and third efforts at the ball. He is a versatile forward and has already kicked multiple goals on more than one occasion. A big bag could be around the corner.

#55 Josh Hamilton 

Hamilton collected 29 disposals on the day and led all comers. He was ferocious with his hunt on the footy, and he worked hard from the first bounce to the final siren. He stood out with his speed and footwork to sidestep oncoming tacklers. Hamilton showed off his skills in some impressive passages, making use of the forward handball, and always following his play to be an option again. One passage of play in the third term would’ve caught the eye of many, after a desperate smother, Hamilton continued to fight for the ball and laid a tackle, before eventually getting a handball. He was always determined to win the ball, great game.

Calder Cannons:

#3 Jackson Cardillo 

Cardillo was a bit quiet in the first half, but he certainly got busy in the second, spending more time in the guts. He finished with 16 disposals, showing off his ability to stand up in a tackle and handball under pressure. He competes well in the middle, can break lines, and hit targets. He is a good size and very capable of competing in a one-one-one. He also read the play well in the second half as he begun to have a bigger influence. Cardillo is a big danger to opposition teams if he is at his peak for four quarters.

#4 Sam Clohesy 

Clohesy is a bit of a utility and has the attributes to play in multiple positions across the ground. He spent most of his time against the Knights across half-back and through the middle. A reasonably tall player at 189cm, Clohesy showed good endurance to cover large parts of the ground on his way to 23 touches. He played a bit like Jack Lukosius, the way he swept across half back with good skills, but also pushed up the ground and was a good user heading inside 50. He uses his size to stand up well in tackles and dispose of the ball in contested situations. He had a nice minute of play in the second term where he caught the ball while smothering an opposition kick, before getting it inside 50 quickly. Moments later he took an intercept mark. He added five marks and six tackles to his stat sheet in what was a strong four quarter effort.

#6 Flynn Lakey 

It was a sixth 20-plus disposal game for Lakey in as many matches, and this one was probably a best on ground performance. A total of 27 touches, paired with 11 tackles, the midfielder was relentless all day. He went in hard and found his own ball, read the ruck taps well and got clearances and put his teammates in space. He made a great play in the third quarter after going in for the hard ball, winning the free kick for a sling tackle, and then having the presence of mind to play on quickly and handball to a teammate who was able to kick a goal. He was courageous and kept competing until the final siren. For his small size he certainly gives everything a crack and is not afraid to put his body on the line. Great performance in a losing side.

#35 Dane Whitnall 

Whitnall plays as a key pillar down back for the Cannons. For his 193cm stature, he has quite good mobility and coupled with his ability to read the play, there were multiple times where he was able to leave his man to spoil or take a mark. One of his best attributes was holding structure, he was often set up well in defence and got into good positions to impact contests. Whitnall was also an option exiting defence. He took 11 marks for the game and had 18 disposals in what was a solid performance. A couple of times he was a bit sloppy with his disposal which led to re-entries into the Cannons defensive 50. With a bit more experience, the Carlton father-son hopeful can remove those errors from his game.

WESTERN JETS 5.8 (38) def. by EASTERN RANGES 9.11 (65)

By: Peter Williams

Western Jets:

#18 Nash Reynolds

Played an important role on the inside and was in-sync with ruck Paul Tsapatolis at the stoppages. Reynolds knew where to move, read the tap well and would chuck the ball on the boot to clear it. The end result was hit and miss, but he was getting it forward and giving his forwards first chance to get in front. He showed a fierce intent when tackling and quick hands, then received a 50m penalty and nailed the set shot from just inside 50 in the second term. He spread well and took a number of marks around the ground, including a contested grab on the wing in the final term, then not long after intercepted the ball at half-forward reading it well in flight.

#33 Billy Cootee

Started off with a double fend-off early in the game on the wing, and had a quick shot on goal under pressure which went to the goalsquare. Cootee worked hard to mark in the defensive 50 and then give off the quick handball to release a running teammate in transition. A mixture of hard and clean at ground level in the match, he had a few chances going forward, but missed a set shot in the second term and was forced to rush off the left in the third term on the wing. Overall he won his fair share of the ball and contributed strongly to the team’s cause.

#50 Paul Tsapatolis

Each stoppage was like watching a clip on repeat. Tsapatolis’ body work and strength was too good and his ability to plant his leg then protect the drop of the ball to palm the pill wherever he wanted was a standout. Once he had his body positioning, he was unmovable, and his set play which was a tap behind the head to Reynolds a few times was good. He won a free kick inside 50 in the first term but it drifted in the wind, then clunk a strong contested mark at half-back. The clear dominant ruck on the ground, the AFL-listed Cats rookie is progressing nicely.

Eastern Ranges:

#4 Josh Clarke

A simply massive accumulating game from the Eastern skipper who did as he pleased around the ground. The amount of times he would receive the handball on the outside to favour his trusty left foot without too much notice was fortunate for him. Even when he was closed down, Clarke showed off his terrific strength and evasion combination to shrug the would-be tacklers, then execute by hand to a teammate on the outside. He showed great on-field leadership in all thirds of the ground, and used the ball well in the conditions. He always tried to take the game on, and slotted home a great goal from the top of 50 in the first term. He had a few more chances, with a couple of shots in the third term which just missed, then a shot in the fourth that was marked in the goalsquare. Able to play the game on his terms, Clarke was far and away the best on ground.

#9 Mitchell Sruk

Had a crack throughout the four quarters and after missing a few kicks early in the game, settled into the conditions and was able to use better composure in the latter three quarters. He worked hard and ran for second and third possessions out of defence and through the midfield, and was often tasked with the kickouts. One of the noticeable strengths of Sruk’s was his tacking technique, where he was able to pin the arms and roll his opponent rather than going into his back. He showed great strength in close to rip the ball way from an opponent and get it out, then won a lot of his touches on the outside by working hard to get to teammates to receive the handball.

#32 Flynn Kroeger

Kroeger found the ball all over the field, often winning it in defence, spending time in the midfield and then holding a firm line at the top of 50 for the rushed kick out. His handballing and vision under pressure was mostly solid. He did drop a mark going back with the flight in the second term, but showed good second effort to win it at ground level, though rushed his handball which missed the target. Kroeger showed some good bursts of speed at times and when inside would often chuck it on his boot, but his ability to gather at ground level around stoppages was impressive. Overall a solid performance with some hits and misses.

TASMANIA DEVILS 11.17 (83) def. DANDENONG STINGRAYS 8.2 (50)

By: Michael Alvaro

Tasmania Devils:

#1 Baynen Lowe

The busy small midfielder led all comers on Sunday, collecting 33 disposals to go with 10 inside 50s and nine tackles in a Draft Central Player of the Week performance. His happy knack of finding the ball and short bursts of speed allowed for plenty of distance-snatching plays in midfield, where Lowe would either receive or win the hard ball before bombing a long kick forward. He also provided fierce tackling intent, hunting the ball carrier and hitting hard whenever possible to force stoppages or spillages. While a lot of his early possessions were won in the clinches, Lowe went on to work into positions to be released before disposing forward. A lot of his kicks were rushed and sought distance rather than a direct target, which contributed to Lowe’s three behinds on the day.

#12 Jye Menzie

Menzie started brightly in his usual forward post, working high up the ground to complement his inside 50 threat. The top-ager’s running back towards goal resulted in his first major, a pretty straightforward finish over the back. He added another in the opening term, adjusting his run nicely to crumb off hands and dribble home with class. Menzie’s pressure and ability to keep his feet both proved outstanding in the early stages, before enduring a quiet patch. He popped back up after half time and converted a 45m set shot on the wrong side for a right footer, finishing with three goals but leaving a couple more out there with two behinds.

#20 Tyler McGinnis

As expected of the 2001-born over-ager, he often looked the most composed and polished player afield. He leaned on his greater level of experience to read the play well and clunk numerous intercept marks, judging the ball better than most in flight. He showed good courage when flying or cutting across opposition forwards, keeping his eyes on the ball rather than worrying about oncoming contact or his direct opponent. That same trait could be observed in his one-on-one wins, as McGinnis easily plucked the ball while his adversary scrambled to get body or a spoil in. His ball use was also clean, distributing well-hit kicks both forward and laterally throughout the game.

#37 Tom McCallum

McCallum marked just about everything that came his way at half-forward, snapping up 11 grabs in what was an outstanding aerial performance. He seemed to grow in confidence as the game wore on, initially contesting well before making good on most balls which came his way with clean clunks. That also translated to his kicking, as the bottom-ager gradually took on more risky inboard passes and pulled them off well. At 191cm, his reach was difficult for Dandenong’s defenders to combat and he often marked with good separation on the lead. McCallum also hit the scoreboard with two majors, both in the first half as reward for his overall effort.

Dandenong Stingrays:

#38 Max Gregory

Gregory was a really productive distributor out of defence, finishing with four rebound 50s among his 12 kicks and 20 disposals overall. The top-ager was composed across half-back, able to either run it out of his own area or clear his lines with efficiency by foot. Combined, those two features saw Gregory run out as one of the better rebounders on the day in a performance where he equalled his season-high tally for disposals.

#39 Daniel Didomenicantonio

Didomenicantonio was a leader among Dandenong’s group with the Stingray’s other leadership group members on Vic Country duties. He set up his side from the back, often tasked with kick-in duties and looking to gain meterage with his penetrative boot. He provided solid forward drive when released via hand, able to take on the green ball and quickly transition Dandenong into attack. One such instance saw him stream through the corridor during the second term, before spearing a ball to Jai Culley on the lead at half-forward. It was a solid game overall for the 17-year-old, who managed a team-high 26 disposals.

#44 Jai Culley

As part of the midfield-forward rotation, Culley arguably looked at his best in attack where he was one of the Stingrays’ most reliable targets. He managed to get his hands on the ball around the contest, but had more impact with his possessions in the front half. Culley converted well from his long-range set shots, but was a little less reliable when made to rush his disposals, getting less direction and penetration. Still, multiple goals and five marks made for a promising game from the 2003-born talent.

#50 Sam Frangalas

An emergency for Vic Country’s Under 17 fixture, Frangalas was one of the best bottom-agers afield. As part of the starting centre bounce combination, he looked to get on the move at stoppages and often got first hands to the ball. His repeat running and continued following of the play allowed him to chain possessions up the ground, though his disposal at full tilt was sometimes hit and miss. Frangalas found plenty of ball dropping back during term two, but his rotation was up forward, where he constantly got the ball and either wheeled to go long, or dished off quickly to a runner.

BENDIGO PIONEERS 15.14 (104) def. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 8.3 (51)

By: Nick Kitchell

Bendigo Pioneers:

#4 Jack Hickman

It was a superb day out for the Bendigo mid/forward as he put together a best on ground performance for the Pioneers. It felt as though Hickman was everywhere, utilising his massive tank to get to every contest and more often than not impact it, whether it was digging a handball out of the congestion or using his acceleration to break away and open up the game. He showed confidence in his kicking, backing himself take the game on with kicks into the corridor. An impressive feature of Hickman’s game is his running patterns and positioning, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time. He also exhibited his versatility in his stints down forward, lowering his eyes and delivering a composed pass to teammate who goaled. He then proceeded to reward himself for a hard day’s work, snapping a goal of his own on his left from directly in front in the dying minutes of the game. A trait that stood out whilst Hickman was in the midfield was his competitiveness, laying a strong tackle on the opposition ruckman and showing good aggression against a bigger-bodied Murray midfield.

#13 Jack Evans

Typically found along half-back, Evans spent the entirety of the game on the wing. After a slow start he eventually worked his way into the game, doing most of his damage forward of centre. Evans was always able to impact when the ball came his way, winning his one-on-ones and creating numerous scoring opportunities, including a quality goal off a step from 40 metres out. In what had the potential to be a tough day for an outside midfielder due to the scrappy nature of the game, Evans still managed to be one of the more involved Pioneers in Sunday’s contest on the way to racking up 23 disposals.

#15 Jack Stewart

With numerous absences from the Pioneers’ usual midfield group, Stewart stepped up in a big way. Sharing his time evenly between midfield and forward, he found a good balance between winning the ball on the inside and linking up on the outside, doing both with composure. His spread and work rate up and down the ground was notable, seemingly bobbing up at most contests. Stewart remained busy whilst forward, getting a great front and centre crumb off a marking contest and snapping on goal as well as taking an intercept mark in the forward 50, however put the set shot wide for a minor score. His cleanliness by hand stood out in addition to his willingness to take the short option by foot rather than blazing away.

#36 Will Sheehan

The pillar up forward for the Pioneers, Sheehan bagged a game-high three goals. The smooth moving forward got up and down the ground with ease, reaching as high up as centre wing and wheeling back deep inside forward 50 to contest aerially. Leading up at the ball carrier was where Sheehan looked most dangerous, creating separation from his opponent with ease. A moment that gave a good depiction of Sheehan’s character was when he marked 15 metres out on a slight angle and rather than going back and slotting an easy goal, he gave a handball over the top for a teammate to walk into an open goal, exemplifying his unselfishness. In addition to his offensive ability, Sheehan exhibited strong defensive traits, laying solid tackles as well as working hard to force a forward half turnover in the dying seconds of the game.

#39 Anthony Depasquale

For what Depasquale lacks in athleticism he makes up for in just about every other aspect of his game. Arguably the cleanest player on the ground, Depasquale was near perfect below his knees and created numerous clearances via handballs out of congestion, using his composure to weave his way out of stoppages. Whilst his blue-collar work on the inside cannot be commended enough, Depasquale’s work rate around the ground should also receive praise, finding pockets of space seemingly at will. When not on the ball he spent time forward, utilising his footy smarts to read the ball off the hands of forwards and constantly putting himself in the right position to get the footy. A couple contested marks rounded out Depasquale’s rather complete performance.

#58 Max Dow

A famous name among the Bendigo Pioneers region, Dow looked right at home in his NAB League debut. He adjusted well to the pace of the game from the outset, playing with composure and confidence. For an undersized body, Dow’s attack on the ball was impressive, earning a couple of free kicks thanks to his willingness to take contact from a bigger body. He was busy up forward, creating a turnover and shovelling a handball out to Jack Evans who goaled, as well as creating another scoring shot which sailed wide of the big sticks. In addition to distributing, Dow slotted two goals of his own on debut, one coming from a set shot after a free kick and the other on the run from 30m out. After having a strong first half, Dow was rewarded with some midfield time which was short lived before he was moved back forward.

Murray Bushrangers:

#2 Charlie Byrne

On a day where his team was lacklustre, Byrne was far from it. A player who typically spends his time across half-back or on a wing, the Under 19 Allies squad member made the smoothest of transitions into the midfield, collecting a game-high 32 disposals. Byrne capitalised on his team’s dominance in the ruck, frequently getting first use and utilising his strength to break tackles and get hands free or occasionally backing in his leg speed to burst out of stoppages and send forward one of his game-high 11 inside 50s. When not in the midfield Byrne spent time as a high half-forward, demonstrating a willingness to work high up the ground and get involved in play as opposed to sitting in the forward 50 and waiting for play to come to him. Byrne made a few impressive plays by foot around the ground including some crafty short kicks to teammates, however there were times when he missed easy targets as well as blazing away to a contest rather than lowering his eyes to an open teammate.

#10 Jedd Longmire

A member of the Under 17 NSW-ACT squad, Longmire did plenty of good work in the forward half of the ground as well as being a solid contributor in his time in the midfield. Leading patterns and positioning were standout traits in Longmire’s game when forward, finding good lanes to lead up at the ball carrier as well as putting himself in the right position to be used when in his own forward 50. This smart positioning paid dividends when he placed himself in the perfect spot for a mark inside 50 and proceeded to go back and nail the set shot. In his limited time in the midfield, Longmire exhibited a strong inside game, embracing the physical nature of this contest whilst also being clean under pressure.

#31 Ethan Warburton

The Bushies’ defensive 50 was under attack all day long, and if not for Warburton the final margin would have been far greater. The 18-year-old stood tall all day against the Pioneers forwards, exhibiting some strong intercept marks, the first of which a specky where he flaunted his athletic traits. In addition to his intercepting ability, Warburton provided plenty of rebound for his team in the way of a game-high nine rebound 50s. Trusted with kick-ins, his penetrating left foot ignited numerous attacks for the Bushies which often resulted in forward 50 entries.

#37 Jake Hodgkin

It was a hard day at the office for Hodgkin, however the big-bodied defender did himself no disservice with his performance. You couldn’t ask for much more out of Hodgkin who was just about as reliable as they come in Sunday’s contest. With ball in hand Hodgkin was always composed, breaking tackles and getting his hands free when he got himself into trouble, always finding targets when given time. Defensively Hodgkin didn’t give his opponent an inch, tackling strongly as well as taking a strong intercept mark.

2021 NAB League Boys snapshot: Round 10

WHILE Victorian Under 19 trials and the Under 17 National Championships saw a bunch of the state’s talent honoured with representative duties, the 2021 NAB League season rolled on into Round 10 on the weekend. Five fixtures were played, with all six Metro regions competing between themselves on Saturday, before Tasmania and Bendigo played host on Sunday. Check out the key performances and stats in our weekend snapshot, with Scouting Notes to follow tomorrow evening.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 17.12 (114) def. OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 2.5 (17)

IN A SENTENCE:

The Sandringham Dragons emphatically beat their rivals, Oakleigh Chargers by 97 points on home turf, piling on 13 goals at one end while restricting the Chargers to just two in total.

TEAM STATS:

  • Sandringham Dragons won the disposals (332-244), inside 50s (54-25), marks (93-55), and scoring shots (29-7)
  • Oakleigh Chargers won the rebound 50s (54-25) and tackles (58-57)

KEY PLAYERS:

  • Charlie McKay (Sandringham Dragons) 30 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal
  • Lachlan Benton (Sandringham Dragons) 26 disposals, 9 marks, 6 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal
  • Felix Flockart (Sandringham Dragons) 12 disposals, 5 marks, 1 tackle, 1 inside 50, 13 hitouts, 3 goals
  • Lochlan Jenkins (Oakleigh Chargers) 22 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal
  • Sam Collins (Oakleigh Chargers) 21 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s
  • Henry Brown (Oakleigh Chargers) 17 disposals, 2 marks, 7 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

DC MEDAL VOTES:

5 – Lachlan Benton (Sandringham Dragons)
4 – Charlie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
3 – Felix Flockart (Sandringham Dragons)
2 – Luca MacNab (Sandringham Dragons)
1 – Sam Collins (Oakleigh Chargers)

NEXT UP:

Sandringham Dragons vs. Tasmania Devils | Saturday July 3, 2:00pm @ Kingston Twin Ovals
Oakleigh Chargers vs. GWV Rebels | Saturday July 3, 1:00pm @ Mars Stadium

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 6.15 (51) def. CALDER CANNONS 6.1 (37)

IN A SENTENCE:

14 behinds were the difference between the Northern Knights and Calder Cannons on Saturday, as the home side held firm despite its goalkicking inaccuracy to pick up a fourth-straight win.

TEAM STATS:

  • Northern Knights won the handballs (176-106), inside 50s (47-30), and tackles (78-65)
  • Calder Cannons won the rebound 50s (40-23) and marks (92-85)

KEY PLAYERS:

  • Josh Hamilton (Northern Knights) 29 disposals, 5 marks, 6 tackles, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s
  • Jackson Bowne (Northern Knights) 26 disposals, 8 marks, 4 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s
  • Jackson Archer (Northern Knights) 17 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles, 2 rebound 50s
  • Flynn Lakey (Calder Cannons) 27 disposals, 7 marks, 11 tackles, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s
  • Riley Mason (Calder Cannons) 26 disposals, 11 marks, 1 tackle, 3 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal
  • Sam Clohesy (Calder Cannons) 23 disposals, 5 marks, 6 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s

DC MEDAL VOTES:

5 – Josh Hamilton (Northern Knights)
4 – Jackson Archer (Northern Knights)
3 – Flynn Lakey (Calder Cannons)
2 – Jackson Bowne (Northern Knights)
1 – Riley Mason (Calder Cannons)

UP NEXT:

Northern Knights vs. Murray Bushrangers | Saturday July 3, 1:00pm @ Norm Minns Oval
Calder Cannons vs. Geelong Falcons | Saturday July 3, 1:00pm @ RAMS Arena

WESTERN JETS 5.8 (38) def. by EASTERN RANGES 9.11 (65)

IN A SENTENCE:

The Eastern Ranges overcame a half time deficit and notched three goals to nil in the final term to knock off the Western Jets by 27 points away from home.

TEAM STATS:

  • Eastern Ranges won the disposals (375-284), kicks (202-165), handballs (202-165), and marks (73-55)
  • Western Jets won the rebound 50s (45-42) and hitouts (41-22)

KEY PLAYERS:

  • Billy Cootee (Western Jets) 28 disposals, 4 marks, 1 tackle, 5 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal
  • Nash Reynolds (Western Jets) 19 disposals, 4 marks, 7 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 1 goal
  • Cameron Kizan (Western Jets) 17 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 6 rebound 50s
  • Josh Clarke (Eastern Ranges) 38 disposals, 7 marks, 2 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal
  • Bradley Watson (Eastern Ranges) 25 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 6 inside 50s
  • Max Hall (Eastern Ranges) 24 disposals, 5 marks, 8 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 1 rebound 50, 1 goal

DC MEDAL VOTES:

5 – Josh Clarke (Eastern Ranges)
4 – Billy Cootee (Western Jets)
3 – Max Hall (Eastern Ranges)
2 – Bradley Watson (Eastern Ranges)
1 – Nash Reynolds (Western Jets)

UP NEXT:

Western Jets vs. Gippsland Power | Sunday July 4, 1:00pm @ Morwell Recreation Reserve
Eastern Ranges vs. Dandenong Stingrays | Sunday July 4, 11:00am @ Shepley Oval

TASMANIA DEVILS 11.17 (83) def. DANDENONG STINGRAYS 8.2 (50)

IN A SENTENCE:

Consistent scoreboard pressure saw the Tasmania Devils come away 33-point victors over an undermanned Dandenong Stingrays at UTAS Stadium, seeing the hosts return to the winners list.

TEAM STATS:

  • Tasmania Devils won the kicks (215-184), inside 50s (50-33), and tackles (64-43)
  • Dandenong Stingrays won the rebound 50s (39-24) and hitouts (33-31)

KEY PLAYERS:

  • Baynen Lowe (Tasmania Devils) 33 disposals, 6 marks, 9 tackles, 10 inside 50s, 3 behinds
  • Sam Foley (Tasmania Devils) 29 disposals, 3 marks, 6 tackles, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal
  • Tom McCallum (Tasmania Devils) 23 disposals, 11 marks, 2 tackles, 7 inside 50s, 2 goals
  • Daniel Didomenicantonio (Dandenong Stingrays) 26 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s, 6 rebound 50s
  • Declan Cole (Dandenong Stingrays) 23 disposals, 10 marks, 1 inside 50, 3 rebound 50s
  • Jai Culley (Dandenong Stingrays) 16 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles, 4 inside 50s, 2 goals

DC MEDAL VOTES:

5 – Baynen Lowe (Tasmania Devils)
4 – Sam Foley (Tasmania Devils)
3 – Daniel Didomenicantonio (Dandenong Stingrays)
2 – Sam Tilley (Tasmania Devils)
1 – Tom McCallum (Tasmania Devils)

UP NEXT:

Tasmania Devils vs. Sandringham Dragons | Saturday July 3, 2:00pm @ Kingston Twin Ovals
Dandenong Stingrays vs. Eastern Ranges | Sunday July 4, 11:00am @ Shepley Oval

BENDIGO PIONEERS 15.14 (104) def. MURRAY BUSHRANGERS 8.3 (51)

IN A SENTENCE:

A seven-goal final term saw the Bendigo Pioneers power away from Murray Bushrangers on Sunday, ending up 53-point winners in the Echuca all-country clash.

TEAM STATS:

  • Bendigo Pioneers won the disposals (347-296), kicks (211-174), inside 50s (56-38), and tackles (78-60)
  • Murray Bushrangers won the rebound 50s (40-29), marks (82-60), and hitouts (53-27)

KEY PLAYERS:

  • Jack Hickman (Bendigo Pioneers) 27 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles, 9 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s, 1 goal
  • Anthony Depasquale (Bendigo Pioneers) 24 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 4 rebound 50s
  • Ricky Monti (Bendigo Pioneers) 21 disposals, 3 marks, 11 tackles, 2 inside 50s
  • Charlie Byrne (Murray Bushrangers) 32 disposals, 6 marks, 3 tackles, 11 inside 50s
  • Ethan Warburton (Murray Bushrangers) 26 disposals, 8 marks, 4 tackles, 9 rebound 50s
  • Hunter Gottschling (Murray Bushrangers) 21 disposals, 6 marks, 7 tackles, 3 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

DC MEDAL VOTES:

5 – Jack Hickman (Bendigo Pioneers)
4 – Charlie Byrne (Murray Bushrangers)
3 – Anthony Depasquale (Bendigo Pioneers)
2 – Ethan Warburton (Murray Bushrangers)
1 – Ricky Monti (Bendigo Pioneers)

UP NEXT:

Bendigo Pioneers – Bye
Murray Bushrangers vs. Northern Knights | Saturday July 3, 1:00pm @ Norm Minns Oval

PREVIEW | NAB League rolls on amid representative action

THE NAB League regular season enters double digits this weekend, with Round 10 offering up five fixtures across Saturday and Sunday. While plenty of top end talent will be observed at the Under 19 Victorian trials and Country-Metro Under 17 clash, a solid core of talent remains among the elite talent pathway. Debutants continue to filter through, and more established talent will also get a chance to shine in greater roles.

A much different looking rematch kicks off the round’s action, as Sandringham and Oakleigh do battle at RSEA Park for the second time this season. Both sides are set to field sides with hosts of changes, as up to eight Dragons debutants enter the fold. Among them, Hugo Hall-Kahan has been a standout for Haileybury College, while Charlie Clarke‘s local form for Port Melbourne Colts sees him earn a NAB League berth.

The home side is also set to be bolstered by the return of co-captain Josh Sinn, who has shaken off a hamstring strain. Fellow first round prospect Campbell Chesser is said to be another week away. Sandringham’s midfield will feature the likes of Lachlan Benton and Charlie McKay, under the ruckmanship of St Kilda mid-season recruit Max Heath. Up either end, 20th-year players Felix Flockart and Jesse Castan fill out the spine.

Oakleigh’s midfield will also be full of experience, with top-agers Lochlan Jenkins and Sam Collins poised for a permanent run. Collins, a Tasmanian who debuted for Oakleigh last week, is also familiar to the half-back role and even started up forward in Round 9. Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Academy and Allies squad member Patrick Voss is another to watch for Oakleigh, as he continues his defensive apprenticeship.

Northern Knights take on Calder Cannons at Preston City Oval in a second all-metro clash for the day, with a number of club-aligned players set to feature across either team. Jackson Archer (son of Glenn) will again line up in the Knights’ defence, alongside Carlton Next Generation Academy (NGA) hopeful Regan Uwandu. Blues fans can also look out for father-son eligible pair Tom Gleeson (Adrian) and Dane Whitnall (Lance) for Calder.

Essendon has a few potential academy and father-son prospects to monitor, all on the Cannons’ side. Bottom-ager NGA pair Carlos Egan and Reuben Rode get a crack at Under 19s level, while Josh Misiti returns to the fold after making his debut in Round 1 and featuring thrice. The likes of Sam Clohesy and Jack Rossimel are handy types who were overlooked for trial duties, while bottom-agers Caleb Burquest and Josh Hamilton should enjoy a few tussles in midfield.

Western Jets and Eastern Ranges round out Saturday’s action, locking horns at Downer Oval. Fresh off honours in the cricketing realm, Jets leader Billy Cootee will line up in midfield, potentially across from Ranges skipper Josh Clarke, who plays his second game for the season. Geelong-listed rookie Paul Tsapatolis is back in the ruck for the hosts, while Sahaf Ali is one to watch up forward for the Ranges after a promising debut last week.

Proceedings head down to Tasmania on Sunday as the Devils host Dandenong in Launceston, with the Stingrays hit hard by the weekend’s representative fixtures. Fresh off a 97-point triumph in Round 9, the visitors will be heavily rotated coming into this clash. The Devils’ side featured Allies squad members Baker Smith (centre half-back) and Jye Menzie (half-forward), the latter of which was best afield for his side last time out.

Seeing out the weekend’s play, Bendigo battles with Murray in Echuca, making for a replay of their Round 7 meeting. The Pioneers are set to unleash Max Dow, the third brother to enter through the NAB League pathway. NSW-ACT Under 17 squad members Jason Gillbee and Jedd Longmire will line up on opposite sides, while solid draft eligible players also remain.

Budding Allies representatives Charlie Byrne, Ryan Eyers, Cameron McLeod, and Toby Murray will all feature for the Bushrangers, while Essendon VFL-experienced pair Jack Hickman and Jack Evans should bolster Bendigo on either side of midfield.

Jack Hickman in action for Essendon VFL | Credit: Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos

Country regions Geelong, Gippsland, and Greater Western Victoria all have byes this round.