Tag: taj woewodin

2021 West Australian Under 19 squad announced

THE 2021 West Australian Under 19 squad was announced on Wednesday, with 33 players making the cut to represent their state at the upcoming National Championships. Selected to compete in games against South Australia (July 31) and the Allies (August 7), the squad features players ranging from their 19th year, to a gun 16-year-old who is also among the state’s Under 17 set-up.

The Black Ducks promise to be competitive at this year’s carnival, boasting a strong core of versatile key position prospects and dynamic midfield mix. AFL Academy members Rhett Bazzo (Swan Districts), Jacob van Rooyen (Claremont), and Jack Williams (East Fremantle) are among the best talls available in this year’s draft crop, while Subiaco pair Matthew Johnson and Neil Erasmus are set to wax in midfield having also represented the national Under 19 Academy.

Fans of AFL clubs will also have specific players to keep an eye on, with father-son and Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospects littered through the side. Exciting small forward/midfielder Jesse Motlop (son of Daniel) comes under Fremantle’s academy umbrella, while explosive East Perth mover Ethan Regan is one for Eagles. Melbourne also has a father-son in the mix, with Taj Woewodin (son of Shane) a promising midfield option.

East Fremantle produced the most members (eight) this time around, as the WAFL club continues to prove a strong breeding ground for draft eligible talent. East Perth is the next best with six players involved, including Regan and leading Colts goalkicker Jye Amiss (25 goals). There is plenty of competition for spots up forward, with swingman Bazzo likely to revert to a defensive post along with versatile 19-year-old Jaiden Hunter (Perth).

Hunter is one of a few top-agers to have earned League berths in 2021 after being overlooked at last year’s draft, with Perth teammate Jack Avery in that same boat, alongside midfielder-turned-defender Finn Gorringe (East Fremantle) and ruckman Jake South (Subiaco). Meanwhile, 18th-year talents van Rooyen and Johnson also broke through for their senior debuts before returning to the Colts grade.

After hitouts against South Australia and the Allies, WA is scheduled to take on Vic Country and Vic Metro in Victoria on September 24 and 29, to round out the National Championships.

Below is a preview of how the West Australian team may look, in a line-up put together by Draft Central analyst Ed Pascoe. Scroll further to see the full squad.

FB: Jack Avery (P) – Rhett Bazzo (SD) – Finn Gorringe (EF)
HB: Jed Hagan (EF) – Jaiden Hunter (P) – Judd McVee (EF)
C: Corey Warner (EF) – Matthew Johnson (S) – Max Chipper (SD)
HF: Ethan Regan (EP) – Jacob van Rooyen (C) – Neil Erasmus (S)
FF: Jye Amiss (EP) – Jack Williams (EF) – Jesse Motlop (SF)
FOL: Jake South (S) – Josh Browne (EF) – Kade Dittmar (EP)

INT: Zac Fleiner (WP), Kaden Harbour (EP), Brady Hough (PT), Lochlan Paton (WP), Luke Polson (PT), James Tunstill (EP)

EMG: Oscar Armstrong (EP), Eric Benning (C), Ed Curley (EF), Richard Farmer (S), Jarrod McIlvinney (PT), Angus Sheldrick (C), Jahmal Stretch (C), Bryce Watson (SD), Taj Woewodin (EF)

FULL SQUAD:

Image Credit: Daniel Pockett/AFL Photos

2021 WAFL Colts MOTR: Round 5 – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

AFTER an unforeseen week away due to West Australian lockdown, the WAFL Colts returned on the weekend for Round 5. The latest featured game saw East Perth take on Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning, with the Royals running away 34-point victors to remain top of the table.

A fast start saw the hosts look like beating their opponents black and blue, booting four goals to nil in the opening term. But Swans wrestled back some momentum and territory during the second and third quarters, answering each Royal run to remain just within striking distance at both of those breaks.

But a powerhouse final period saw East Perth pick up its third victory of the 2021 season, bookending the game nicely with a further five goals to put some meat onto the bones of its winning margin. Boasting a terrific conversion rate, the Royals won out 13.5 (83) to Swans’ 7.7 (49), with both sides now losing players to the Public Schools Association (PSA) competition.

SCOUTING NOTES

East Perth:

#4 Ethan Regan

The West Coast Next Generation Academy (NGA) prospect showcased some exciting traits in the forward half, starting brightly and capping off his game with a couple of nice moments. Regan got amongst it early through sheer work rate, impacting ground level contests and applying good defensive pressure. He cut across to take a nice intercept mark inside forward 50 in term one, which saw him kick his sole goal of the game. Regan’s speed and skill would later come to the fore as he combined well with Jye Amiss, streaming forward and hitting targets by foot. Late in the piece, he popped up with a pair of eye-catching overhead marks on the move, reaching the ball at its highest point.

#7 Jye Amiss

Another who started brightly for the Royals, Amiss snared three of his four goals by 4:30 into the second quarter. Stationed almost exclusively inside attacking 50, the promising key forward had two goals on the board in a flash through terrific forward craft, quick reactions and innate goal sense. He is said to have improved his ground level work this year, and it showed in those moments. An in-the-back free kick during term two gifted Amiss his third major, while number four came in the final quarter after a mark on the lead. Goalkicking exploits aside, Amiss also had a nice moment in the third term as he desperately ran down an opponent, holding the ball.

#9 Kade Dittmar

While he was a force for most of the game, Dittmar really came to prominence during a powerhouse final quarter. His explosive ability from the centre bounces was evident, as well as his power running through the middle of the ground. Dittmar would be seen getting first hands on the ball, breaking away to bomb inside 50, and following up his kicks all in the same chain. His ability to stand up under opposition heat, fend off, and dish out was also noticeable in the earlier stages, before Swan Districts’ midfield got on top in term two. Still, Dittmar was able to impact through the middle and was very clean with his shorter-range disposal by foot – especially for such a bullocking inside type. Considering his primary role, he seems quite well balanced.

#26 Kaden Harbour

Harbour is a handy small forward who also rotates through midfield, providing a good amount of spark wherever he goes. He arguably looked most comfortable inside attacking 50 during this outing, where he was able to snap up a couple of goals and take eye-catching aerial marks. After an indifferent opening half, Harbour began to better impact as the contest wore on, helping East Perth break clear at the start of the third quarter with two goals in quick succession. The first came from a big contested mark close to goal, where Harbour rose from the back, while the second was a quick snap just as deep as he arrived first to the spillage. Known for his high flying, he’s difficult to miss in full flight.

Others:

Jake Littleton was in plenty early on for East Perth, operating on a wing and catching the eye under his helmet. Through midfield, James Tunstill found plenty of the ball, as Jayden Peak provided a bit of spark moving forward. The raw talent of Sokaa Soka, another West Coast NGA talent, became more prominent as the game wore on, while Luke Lombardi did some nice things exiting out of defence.

Swan Districts:

#2 Max Chipper

A permanent fixture in Swan Districts’ midfield, Chipper ended as his side’s most prolific ball winner and did so with plenty of quick-minded plays. Reasonably clean at ground level, the diminutive mover is not the most quick or agile out of congestion, but makes up for it with good vision and decision making on the ball. He tended to air his kicks a touch but generally hit targets and backed himself to do so heading into potentially risky areas. After a slow start, he worked into the game well during the second term and nearly nabbed a goal on the run from long range. After a solid outing in the black and white, Chipper appeared to limp off late in the final quarter after miscuing a kick.

#23 Luke Taylor

Potentially the most impressive player afield, Taylor proved his pedigree with a three-goal haul full of promise. The brother of GWS defender Sam, Taylor is a raw key forward with equally good potential in the air. While it was not always rewarded, Taylor’s work up the ground and ability to provide a contest allowed the Swans a chance to chain up play forward of centre. He brought the ball to ground on multiple occasions and had a few almost-marks, which he should begin to hold as he grows. Taylor kicked his first goal in the second quarter, using his reach to pluck a high ball in the goalsquare before duly converting. His clever leading patterns saw him gain separation and become an inside 50 target during the third term, which led to goal number two. Capping off his day, Taylor was gifted a third major via a 50-metre penalty, proving a handy reward for effort.

Others:

19-year-old Ty Sears had some nice moments running off half-back and the wing, without always possessing the finished product he would desire. Ben Hewett and Noah Hannan were both productive in midfield, while West Coast NGA talent Lawson Humphries stood up in defence. Up the other end of the ground, Bryce Watson popped up for a couple of handy goals, as Darcy Jones showed good promise and zip at ground level and Tyrell Metcalf got busy.

AROUND THE GROUNDS:

Headlining the news around Western Australia’s latest draft crop this week was the League debut of Matthew Johnson. Fresh off a solid showing for the AFL Academy, the tall Subiaco midfielder notched 11 disposals and five tackles as the Lions went down to South Fremantle. Elsewhere, star key forward Jacob Van Rooyen is being rested by Claremont after his glandular fever diagnosis, as reported by the West Australian’s Jordan McArdle. The start of the PSA season has also seen a raft of players become unavailable for WAFL Colts selection.

Back in the Colts competition, East Fremantle found a way to edge Perth in their clash on Saturday morning. Key forward Jack Williams again played a starring role with four goals, as Josh Browne (35 disposals) had the ball on a string in midfield and Melbourne father-son prospect Taj Woewodin (27 disposals) continued his good form. Jack Avery was a Goliath-like in Perth’s defence with 41 touches and 13 marks, as Zak Meloncelli proved his class having dropped back down to Colts level from the Reserves grade.

West Perth notched its first win of the season with a 23-point triumph over Claremont, with gun midfielder Lochlan Paton again finding plenty of the ball. He racked up 27 disposals and nine marks after managing 28 touches last round, while Zac Fleiner (26 disposals), Jordan Berry (10 marks), and Zarne Robis (four goals) all contributed in different ways for the victors. Talon Delacey delivered 20 of his 27 disposals by foot for Claremont, as Kendyll Blurton showed plenty more promise for 24 touches and six inside 50s.

South Fremantle became the third team to land on three wins as the Bulldogs beat Subiaco by eight points, with Liam Brandis and Jacob Plunkett combining for seven goals. Caleb Stephens (29 disposals, nine marks) was also fantastic in the win, as Fremantle NGA talent Ashwin Malik more than held his own in defence. Fellow NGA prospect Jesse Motlop kicked a goal from his 10 touches. Meanwhile, Jacob Evitt (18 disposals, two goals) and Blake Morris (13 disposals, seven marks) were solid for Subiaco.

Next Gen gripes: The Academy prospects who will have recruiters sweating

THE SHIFT in Next Generation Academy (NGA) related rules means clubs will only be able to match bids which come after pick 20 in this year’s draft, with the ‘first dibs’ concession set to be pushed back to pick 40 in 2022. Still, there will be a few clubs sweating on the form of their academy talents.

Headlining the list of NGA bolters is Dandenong Stingrays standout Mac Andrew (Melbourne), a raw and athletic tall whose NAB League form earned him a call up to the AFL Academy squad. Having already shown his wares across three games with the ‘Rays, the 18-year-old stamped his top 25 potential with an eye-catching final term performance in the ruck, as the Academy was thumped by Geelong VFL last Saturday.

While Andrews’ form will buoy Melbourne’s recruiting and list management staff, it may also throw a spanner in the works if other clubs take rightful notice of his upside. In a draft pool stocked well on midfielders, versatile talls like Andrew could accelerate up the order. The Dees also have access to Ryan Koo Kwet Kim and Kobi George from the Dandenong region, while Josiah Kyle is tied to St Kilda.

The Saints came into the year with one of the more promising NGA lists, but foster more long-term prospects at this stage. Jack Peris, the son of Olympic champion Nova, is beginning to show his true potential for Sandringham Dragons alongside teammates Angus McLennan, Marcus Windhager and Mitch Owens. Peris is an agile outside runner who snuck forward to kick a couple of goals against Dandenong in Round 3, after debuting in Round 1. Scott Beilby is another for St Kilda to monitor, a defender with good attacking traits.

Adelaide may lose out massively with the new rulings – if not this year, than certainly next. The Crows currently lay claim to North Adelaide small defender Blayne O’Loughlin, the nephew of Sydney great Michael, who also played in the AFL Academy game. He started the SANFL Under 18s season with averages of 35 disposals and seven inside 50s, captaining his side. He is arguably still safe of that top 20 range.

Blayne O’Loughlin is tied to Adelaide’s NGA | Image Credit: AFL Photos

The Crows have seen Isaiah Dudley, who also boasts strong family ties to the top level, return with aplomb in 2021 for Central District, while Jacob Lochowiak earned a Reserves berth at Sturt. They will likely have one eye on next year’s crop though, as dynamic tall Isaac Keeler is coming through the ranks. He has already been billed as a first round talent and bagged five goals in Round 1 of this year’s SANFL Under 18s. If he maintains such form, Adelaide will inevitably miss out on him in 2022.

Fremantle is another team with a typically strong NGA program, having nurtured the likes of Joel Western and Brandon Walker to the top level as recently as last year. In 2021, Jesse Motlop is a name making waves. The son of Daniel, he is not eligible to be taken as a father-son by North Melbourne or Port Adelaide, but is another exciting talent for Dockers fans to look out for.

The crafty forward/midfielder has booted five goals in his three WAFL Colts outings thus far, with eyes on a League call-up as he continues to showcase his eye-catching work in the front half. Richard Bartlett is another on the radar, with Freo officially granted access to the East Fremantle talent this year, while South Fremantle’s Riley Colborne has good potential.

Speaking of potential, Collingwood will be able to snap up another NGA product coming through the Oakleigh Chargers’ pathway in Youseph Dib. Having graduated from Caulfield Grammar last year, the well-built small utility has made the step up to Collingwood’s VFL side amid the NAB League hiatus. He is another sitting outside that top 20 range, but has terrific traits.

Collingwood NGA prospect Youseph Dib

Looking at others tied to clubs who have impressed via the NAB League, Cody Raak is arguably top of the list. He trained for a final spot in the Western Bulldogs’ squad over the off-season, and has really hit the ground running in 2021 having been overlooked. Northern Knights ruck Dominic Akuei has impressed with his athleticism and will have Carlton taking a closer look, while Blake Scott (Western Bulldogs) has shown glimpses along with Achoung Agog (Richmond).

Greater Western Sydney (GWS) fans have yet another academy product rising the ranks, with Josh Fahey proving his top 20 credentials of late. The was some conjecture surrounding his eligibility for the Giants after moving up to the Gold Coast last year, but having returned to the region in 2021 he will have enough years in the program to qualify, and be snapped up by GWS when a bid arrives. Gold Coast has classy small Austin Harris in its program, a little further down the order at this stage.

There should be a few father-son prospects in the top 20 mix too, headed by Nick Daicos. The son of Collingwood legend Peter is becoming hard to deny as the number one player in this year’s crop after scintillating performances for Oakleigh. Jase Burgoyne, the son of Peter and nephew of Shaun, played alongside Daicos in the AFL Academy showcase, while Daicos’ Oakleigh teammate Sam Darcy (son of Luke) is shooting up draft boards. He is a key position player with great versatility, upside, and aerial ability.

Elsewhere, Charlie McKay has proven his worth as an inside midfielder and hardened defender, and could be looked at by Carlton, while Ewan Macpherson (Western Bulldogs) and West Australian Taj Woewodin (Melbourne) may also garner some attention this year.