Tag: tasmania devils

TSL weekend preview: Semi finals – Youngsters loom as Northern Bombers’ finals wildcard

FINALS time has hit the Tasmanian State League (TSL), with two Saturday semi finals set to decide this year’s grand finalists. Minor premier, North Launceston takes on fourth-placed Clarence at UTAS Stadium, while Launceston (2nd, 9-3) meets with Lauderdale (3rd, 7-5) at Windsor Park, with both games bounce down at 2pm. We take a look at where some of the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend, as the final four is trimmed to two.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures and teams

North Launceston could have a finals wildcard or two up its sleeve, with a couple of young Tasmania Devils guns entering the fold at team selection. The Northern Bombers have slotted bottom-ager Baynen Lowe straight back into the starting lineup at half-forward, with the diminutive ball winner set to provide a spark inside attacking 50. Oliver Sanders, who found the goals last week comes in on the bench, while bigman Jackson Callow looms as a massive returnee having been named as an emergency.

After edging out North Hobart to secure a finals spot, Clarence boasts arguably the competition’s best group of Under 18s, all of whom will be keen to impact on the big stage. Oliver Davis, Samuel Lewis-Johnson, and Sam Banks were all named among the Roos’ best last time out, while Noah Holmes and Darcy Gardner hit the scoreboard. Davis remains a crucial cog at the heart of midfield alongside Gardner and Ethan Jackson, while Banks will again provide class off half-back. Jacques Barwick and Lachlan Borsboom have been squeezed out to the emergency spots.

Clarence has given the highly-fancied Bombers side a good run on two occasions this season, going down by a combined 24 points in their Round 4 and 10 meetings. While the minor premiers have proven dominant in 2020, they cannot take anything for granted given the ruthless nature of this year’s knockout finals format.

In the weekend’s other fixture, Launceston and Lauderdale also duke it out for a spot in the Grand Final, with their head-to-head ledger sitting even at one win apiece in 2020. The Blues come in fresh off a bye, while Lauderdale will hope for an improved performance after sneaking home by just three points against Tigers in Round 13.

After being named among the best in Launceston’s last outing, Jared Dakin again takes up his spot in the side across half-back, while fellow Tasmania Devils representative Isaac Chugg has been named on the bench. Dakin’s work rate and toughness should suit the rigours of finals football, while Chugg’s speed could prove handy in helping break the game open. Meanwhile, Samuel Foley comes out of the side after a sole senior outing. For Lauderdale, Sam Tilley again lines up inside forward 50, while Oscar Shaw takes up his spot in defence. Tilley was among the Bombers’ best last week, so should prove a dangerous outlet.

>> FULL TSL SEMI FINALS TEAMS

Fixtures:

Saturday, October 10:

North Launceston vs. Clarence | 2:00pm @ UTAS Stadium

Launceston vs. Lauderdale | 2:00pm @ Windsor Park

Featured Image: North Launceston’s Baynen Lowe | Credit: Simon Sturzaker/The Advocate

TSL weekend preview: Round 13 – Last finals spot on the line

THE ULTIMATE round of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) home-and-away season is set to take part on a super Saturday, with final ladder positions all but sewn up. Clarence kicks off proceedings looking to consolidate fourth spot when it takes on North Hobart, as Tigers clip at the Roos’ heels. The Tigers face stiff opposition in Lauderdale, though, while North Launceston takes on Glenorchy in a first-versus-last meeting. We take a look at where some of the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend, as the finals race is decided.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures and teams

Leading bottom-age prospect Sam Banks comes into Clarence’s lineup this week, slotting in off half-back to join a host of young guns in the starting side. Oliver Davis is again at the heart of midfield, while Darcy Gardner will rotate off the bench after once more being named among his side’s best last week. The Roos’ team also features the likes of Noah Holmes, who starts at full forward, and on-ball starter Ethan Jackson.

The Roos’ opponent, North Hobart also lays claim to a bunch of young talent, even without the injured Patrick Walker. Sam Collins is coming off a solid display last round and takes up his usual place at centre half-back, alongside Tyler McGinniss. Will Peppin jumps back into the starting frame this week on a wing, with Jye Menzie up forward once again after a one-goal game, Bigman Hamish Allan is set to miss, while Jake Steele has been named as an emergency.

Baynen Lowe is out of the North Launceston side after two goals last week, one of three changes for the Northern Bombers. Oliver Sanders, who was named in the best alongside Lowe remains on the wing as the minor premiers look to round out their regular season on a high. They face Glenorchy, who are still in with a chance of climbing out of bottom spot. Among those up against it in the fight is 19-year-old Ryan Banks-Smith, named on the Magpies’ centreline after a promising outing in Round 12.

The final game of the weekend, and minor season sees Lauderdale take on Tigers, with the latter hoping to sneak into finals. Ranked third and coming off a bye round, Lauderdale boasts the likes of Oscar Shaw (back pocket) and bottom-ager Sam Tilley (forward pocket) up either end of the ground. The Tigers have made two changes, with defender Lachlan Gadomski among them, though Riley Ashlin and Oliver Burrows-Cheng both feature, with the latter starting on-ball.

>> FULL TSL ROUND 13 TEAMS

Fixtures:

Saturday, October 3:

Clarence vs. North Hobart | 11:30pm @ Richmond Oval

North Launceston vs. Glenorchy | 1:40pm @ UTAS Stadium

Lauderdale vs. Tigers | 2:00pm @ Lauderdale Oval

Bye: Launceston

Featured Image: Sam Banks in action for Clarence | Source: Solstice Digital

Flying solo: Vandenberg the surprise packet

IT is a unique experience being able to test at an AFL Women’s Draft Combine, but it is made all the more unique if you are the only one invited. While Tasmania’s Charlie Vandenberg was not alone for company – the Tasmanian AFL Draft Combine invites were there – the state hockey representative was the only female invitee from the Apple Isle.

Vandenberg said she was “shocked” that of all the players in the Tasmania Devils program, she was the one that was picked to test.

“As I was the only Tassie girl, I was very shocked and like ‘oh wow’, that’s interesting because I trained with our best footy players in the state,” she said. “I didn’t think I would have been the name picked out of us all, but every grateful for it obviously and wasn’t expecting it at all.”

Vandenberg admitted it was not her usual fitness testing event and had some nerves when entering the facility.

“It was very daunting to start off with,” Vandenberg said. “Not really knowing anybody there, only 10 or so that tested and a couple of injuries. “It wasn’t too bad because there weren’t many people but it was still daunting because I didn’t know that many faces. But definitely a good experience to be able to do that.”

Vandenberg has played hockey her whole life, whilst testing herself at Aussie rules football through school. It was not until Year 11 that a girls’ football team got off the ground where she was able to play a “handful” of games just for fun. Not long after, Vandenberg and some of her school friends were invited to trial out for the Devils, and from there she earned a place on the NAB League Girls’ list.

“Originally before any of our trainings or anything like that I was told ‘you’re here for development, you could have potential, you’ve never played before so don’t go into it with any expectations and just see what happens’,” Vandenberg said. “So I was happy with that and just happy to be apart of it all.

“The first two games, we didn’t change our team for those games. “The third game, which would have been Round 4 of the NAB got called off, and next week we had a call just to see how everybody was and they told me ‘oh you were actually selected to go play in that third match for our team’ and I was like ‘oh well that is a bit sad’ but it was motivated me to keep training because I had the potential.”

By her own admission, Vandenberg said she did not expect a game during the season, so being told she had proven enough at training to warrant a spot – cancelled game or not – gave her hope. With the NAB League season done and dusted, Vandenberg suited up for her local club, Wynyard. She was never expecting to receive an AFL Women’s Draft Combine invitation, but when she did, it only fuelled her more.

“Well it’s all still very fresh and I still don’t have much of an idea, like I haven’t been part of footy for a year now,” Vandenberg said when asked what she hoped to get out of the sport. “But with the coaches and stuff said if you give it a fair crack you could make it to the AFLW and obviously with the combine and stuff this year showed me if I put my head down I can get there which would be a dream to be able to, but if I don’t I’m really loving playing it so it doesn’t matter what happens.”

As a 181cm player, Vandenberg predominantly plays in the ruck, with her ability to get first hands to it and leap above her smaller opponents. In terms of her areas of improvement, Vandenberg was honest.

“Absolutely everything,” she said. “I’ve got a huge list, I’m still fresh.”

Entering 2020, Vandenberg had hoped to juggle both her football and hockey commitments, but as she found out, it would be a bit too difficult and opted to focus on her footy, a decision that paid dividends.

“At the start of the year I was going to see if I could do it (play both sports),” she said. “Play club footy and club hockey as well. “Then after the Coronavirus break, I thought ‘no I’ll give footy a crack’ so I’ve given hockey a break, and I’ll just see where footy takes me and maybe go back to hockey later in life.”

As for what it would mean to get drafted, considering where she came from 12 months ago, Vandenberg was lost for words.

“I could not even explain it,” she said. “It would be an absolute dream come true. “It would really mean a lot, I would be speechless.”

TSL weekend preview: Round 12 – Finals race heats up

THE PENULTIMATE round of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) home-and-away season got underway on Wednesday, as Lauderdale 10.13 (73) defeated Glenorchy 2.8 (20) on the road. The action picks up again on Saturday with a pair of afternoon fixtures, while Glenorchy is back on Sunday against North Hobart. We take a look at where some of the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend, as the finals race heats up.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures

With one hand on the minor premiership, North Launceston could secure its regular season glory and dash Tigers’ finals hopes in one fell swoop, pending other results. The two sides meet at Kingston Twin Ovals, having last played each other in Round 6, when the ladder leaders got up by 56 points.

After coming in on the bench last week, Oliver Sanders features on a wing for the Northern Bombers, with bottom-age jet Baynen Lowe set to provide a spark up forward. Meanwhile, bigman Jackson Callow misses again through injury. Former Tasmania representative Lachlan Gadomski assumes his usual half-back role for Tigers, while the likes of Oliver Burrows-Cheng and Riley Ashlin will rotate off the interchange.

Clarence will hope to hold onto fourth spot with only two rounds left, but faces a tough task in handling the second-ranked Launceston in Saturday’s other fixture. The Roos came out with a win over the Blues last time out in a match where the conditions wreaked havoc, but doing the double seems improbable.

Oliver Davis again anchors Clarence’s midfield alongside Ethan Jackson, with Noah Holmes injecting even more youth into the spine from full forward. Darcy Gardner was terrific in defeat last week and Baker Smith stood strong, starting at either end of the ground. Launceston’s strong side also features some promising youth, albeit off the bench in the form of Jared Dakin and Isaac Chugg.

In Sunday’s lone hit-out, bottom-two sides North Hobart and Glenorchy duke it out in a game which could well decide the wooden spoon. The Demons currently sit last, but a win would draw them level on points with the Magpies, who have an inferior percentage but have played one less game. Glenorchy is coming off a four-day break, but will hope to defeat North Hobart for a second time this season and keep touch with the top four, remarkably enough.

Sam Collins, and recent combine inclusion Jake Steele form the centrepiece of the Demons’ defence, which would also normally feature Patrick Walker. Jye Menzie will look to impact up the other end, with Will Peppin and Tyler McGinniss rotating off the bench. Just missing out this week are George McLeod, and bigman Hamish Allan, who have been named as emergencies. Meanwhile 19-year-old Ryan Banks-Smith is among Glenorchy’s young talent, one of four changes to the Magpies’ lineup.

>> FULL TSL ROUND 12 TEAMS

Fixtures:

North Launceston vs. Tigers | Saturday September 26, 1:30pm @ Kingston Twin Ovals
Clarence vs. Launceston | Saturday September 26, 1:30pm @ Richmond Oval
North Hobart vs. Glenorchy | Sunday September 27, 2:00pm @ North Hobart Oval

Featured Image: Sam Collins gets a kick away for North Hobart | Source: Andrew Woodgate

TSL weekend preview: Round 11 – Young stars return to state league action

ROUND 11 of the 2020 TSL bounces down on Saturday, with a host of Tasmanian young guns making their state league returns after last week’s Sports Association of Tasmanian Independent Schools (SATIS) Grand Final. We take a look at where the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures

Clarence will be buoyed by a bunch of young inclusions in preparation for its clash with Tigers, as the ‘Roos look to consolidate their top four spot. Fresh off a victory in the SATIS football decider, Under 18 AFL Academy member Oliver Davis leads the returnees among six changes for the visitors. Fellow Guilford Young students Baker Smith and Darcy Gardner make their way back to the senior level, as does five-goal hero Noah Holmes.

19-year-old former Tasmania Devils player Ethan Jackson is also poised to feature next to Davis in midfield, but the rush of inclusions comes at the expense of a trio of 18-year-olds in Tyler Penwright, Adrian Butterworth, and Jacques Barwick, among others. Coming off a two-win round, the Tigers side which boasts Oliver Burrows-Cheng and Riley Ashlin on the bench could well go in unchanged.

North Launceston has included top-age small Oliver Sanders on its bench in the team readying to face Lauderdale. The ladder leaders will crucially be without key position gun Jackson Callow, which makes their meeting with the third-placed Bombers even more dangerous. 17-year-old Sam Tilley will look to impact off Lauderdale’s bench, as former Devils representative Oscar Shaw remains in the defensive six.

The final fixture of the round sees Launceston host North Hobart, as the Blues look to stake their claim for top spot. The youth of North Hobart, who were relegated to the wooden spoon spot in Round 10, should be in for a good scrap, though. Patrick Walker remains out through injury, but Sam Collins will again play a key role at centre half-back, while Will Peppin (wing) and Jye Menzie (forward pocket) also feature in the starting lineup.

19-year-old ruck Hamish Allan should have his hands full against solid opposition, while fellow over-agers Tyler McGinniss and Jake Steele will rotate off the Demons’ bench. Top-agers Isaac Chugg (wing) and Jayden Hinds (forward pocket) are set to provide some spark going forward for Launceston. The Blues have also named promising 19-year-old Jared Dakin on the bench.

>> FULL TSL ROUND 11 TEAMS

Fixtures:

Tigers vs. Clarence | Saturday September 19, 1:30pm @ Twin Ovals
North Launceston vs. Lauderdale | Saturday September 19, 1:40pm @ UTAS Stadium
Launceston vs. North Hobart | Saturday September 19, 2:00pm @ Windsor Park

Bye: Glenorchy

TSL weekend preview: Round 10 – Top four square off in finals-defining weekend

ROUND 10 of the 2020 TSL got underway on Wednesday, as Tigers got one over North Hobart with a tight four-point win. The likes of Sam Collins, Jye Menzie, and Jake Steele could not quite help drag the Demons home, but a host of other Tasmanian young guns will be hoping to go one better as they get on the park. We take a look at where the best Tasmanian youth prospects will line up this weekend.

>> SCROLL for full fixtures

In a quirk which looks set to make for an incredible set of fixtures, the current top four clubs will battle it out against fellow finals-bound teams on Saturday, with fifth-placed Glenorchy waiting in the wings for the opportunity to get back into finals contention. The Magpies take on Tigers in Sunday’s lone match, with the latter coming in off a four-day break.

While bigman Jackson Callow has not been named for Launceston (2nd, 7-1), the Bombers will count themselves in with a good chance of knocking off Clarence (4th, 4-4) with the home side also missing a bunch of promising youngsters. Top-age AFL Academy gun Oliver Davis and Under 16 Division 2 MVP Sam Banks are both set to instead line up for Guilford Young College in the SATIS Football Grand Final on Saturday, a game which will see plenty more Tasmania Devils representatives in action. Banks’ Under 16s teammate Baynen Lowe will lineup for the Bombers in midfield, though.

Ladder leader Launceston (7-2) travels to face Lauderdale (3rd, 4-4), boasting arguably the best two draft relevant talents in the TSL this weekend. 19-year-old Jared Dakin lines up at half-back for the Blues, while athletic top-ager Isaac Chugg takes his place on the wing. Oscar Shaw, a NAB League teammate of the pair in 2019, has been named on Lauderdale’s bench, while Eastern Ranges product Adrian Kalcovski starts at half-forward.

Having already run out in a mid-week fixture, North Hobart is listed for the bye round this week. Demons prospect Patrick Walker is done for the season through injury.

TSL ROUND 10 FIXTURES:

Saturday, September 12:
Clarence vs. North Launceston | 1:30pm @ Richmond Oval
Lauderdale vs. Launceston | 2:00pm @ Lauderdale Oval

Sunday, September 13:
Glenorchy vs. Tigers | 1:00pm @ KGV

AFL Draft Watch: Patrick Walker (Tasmania Devils/Allies)

IN the midst of football’s long-awaited return, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state in some capacity leading into 2020. While plenty has changed between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Tasmanian prospect Patrick Walker, a classy half-back/wingman who possesses sharp skills by foot. The North Hobart product earned AFL Academy recognition for 2020 after an eye-catching bottom-age campaign, where he played 16 games in Tasmania’s inaugural full-time NAB League season. While he was mainly utilised in defence, Walker has since adapted his efficient outside game slightly further afield to prosper on a wing for North Hobart in this year’s Tasmanian State League (TSL). He has shot in from slightly further back, but the 186cm prospect has become one of his state’s most promising draft hopefuls.

PLAYER PAGE:

Patrick Walker
North Hobart/Tasmania Devils/Allies

DOB: July 9, 2002

Height: 186cm
Weight: 80kg

Position: Wing/Half-Back

Strengths: Kicking, decision making/efficiency, outside accumulation, rebound
Improvements: Inside game

2019 NAB League averages: 16 games | 16.5 disposals | 3.8 marks | 2.2 tackles | 1.5 inside 50s | 5.4 rebound 50s | 0.3 goals (5)

PRESEASON TESTING RESULTS:

Standing vertical leap: 59cm
Running vertical leap (R/L): 75cm/67cm
Speed (20m): 3.11 seconds
Agility: 8.34 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo): 20.7

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

2020 SCOUTING NOTES:

TSL Round 7 vs. Clarence

By: Peter Williams

Started on a wing and was able to spend time inside 50 on a number of occasions, showing good pressure on Josh Green to force a mistake for the Clarence player going inside 50. He started a play through hands in the middle then pushed forward, received it back after it spilled out, and quickly snapped for a great first quarter goal. He was quieter in the second term, but started to get back into it with a productive third quarter. He just finds space and uses it well, though on one occasion was a bit rushed after being surprised the tap on the wing fell to him. He had a late kick towards goal but was intercepted by the loose Clarence player in the final term. Nonetheless, Walker showed some promising signs with neat ball use around the ground and was creative enough to start plays off half-back or through the middle.

TSL Round 6 vs. Glenorchy

By: Peter Williams

While many of his teammates were missing targets early in the wet conditions, Walker was using the ball well and showing clean hands off the deck. He was kicking long out of the back 50 and trying to provide run for his team against the flow with some one-twos on the wing. Walker showed composure under pressure and while he made the odd mistake in the wet conditions after the opening term, was still able to show good recovery on the wing when knocked off the ball at first in the third term, and then pressured an opponent off the ball to make a mistake in the last quarter. His hands in the wet conditions remained strong with a deep kick to the pocket important as the Demons continued to attack late.

TSL Round 5 vs. Launceston

By: Eli Duxson

The AFL Academy member played predominantly on the wing as his run-and-carry and penetrating kick were on display. He injected himself into the game with a strong first quarter, setting up well around stoppages to get clearances, while also finding himself free on transition plays to use his neat kicking to keep pushing it forward.

Late in the opening quarter he drifted forward and took a mark in front of his opponent 45 metres out, but a 50-metre penalty put him on the goal line, and he put it straight through the middle. A quieter second quarter meant he almost got himself a second goal but fumbled at the wrong moment.

His second half also started a bit quieter than his blistering start to the game, but his play picked up with the intensity of the game in the final quarter as he halved a big contest in his defensive half before receiving help from teammates. His work did not stop there as he received a handball 60 metres away to pump it deep inside his forward 50. He continued to pop up in important spots as he had another shot on goal which just missed and covered good ground to create options on rebounds and entries.

Though he did have some quiet patches, he managed to maintain position and discipline as a wingman and more importantly, he played that linking role well with good ball use. He is a bit of a Lachie Whitfield type with a lean build, but good disposal and still an ability to find and win his own ball.

TSL Round 1 vs. North Launceston

By: Peter Williams

Walker looked classy on the wing, winning plenty of the ball and using it well by foot by often hitting long and accurate passes, providing a good mix to his side. Walker mostly played down back last year but looks just as comfortable up the ground in what was an impressive senior debut. 

>> MORE TASMANIA DEVILS CONTENT

>> 2020 Allies U18s Squad Prediction
>> August 2020 Power Rankings
>> July 2020 Power Rankings

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Charlie Byrne
Jackson Callow
Blake Coleman
Braeden Campbell
Alex Davies
Oliver Davis
Errol Gulden

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Bailey Chamberlain
Zac Dumesny
Corey Durdin
Luke Edwards
Lachlan Jones
Tariek Newchurch
Caleb Poulter
Tom Powell
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Tanner Bruhn
Jack Ginnivan
Oliver Henry
Elijah Hollands
Zach Reid
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jake Bowey
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Eddie Ford
Bailey Laurie
Finlay Macrae
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins
Will Phillips

Western Australia:
Heath Chapman
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll
Brandon Walker
Joel Western
Isiah Winder

Tasmanian Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

TASMANIA is up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The Swan Districts All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Nic Naitanui and Alex Rance announced as dual winners and co-captains of the Swans’ All-Star side.

Tasmania has had development teams on and off over the years, from the Mariners to the Devils, as well as a few players who have gone on to be drafted outside of the Apple Isle at other clubs. For the purpose of this, we have included the likes of Ben Brown who was drafted out of the VFL, but hailed from Tasmania, as well as those like Matthew Richardson who came from the Tasmanian State League (TSL) rather than a development program. The top few seeds in the draw include Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt and former Melbourne star, Brad Green.

The voting will run over the next four days starting today, with the winner to be decided by Wednesday night (unless extra time and the full 24 hours is needed in the final vote). The next club involved in the voting process is West Adelaide Bloods starting on Thursday. All eligible players were selected thanks to the Draft Guru site.

Classic Contests: Short stands tall as Northern takes out Tasmania

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 18 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Northern Knights and Tasmania Devils. In this edition we wind back the clock to 2014, before Tasmania returned as a full-time team, and relive when the two sides clashed at Preston City Oval.

2014 TAC Cup, Round 10
Saturday June 14, 11:00am
Preston City Oval

NORTHERN KNIGHTS 4.1 | 8.7 | 10.11 | 13.14 (92)
TASMANIA 2.4 | 4.7 | 7.9 | 7.12 (54)

GOALS:

Northern: B. Jordan 3, W. Murphy 2, L. Hunt 2, J. Gresham, J. El Moussalli, K. Malone, K. Declase, B. Fiorini, S. Switkowski.
Tasmania:
K. Pitchford 2, B. Sharman, P. Bellchambers, M. Rainbird, A. Dickenson, J. Watts.

BEST:

Northern: J. Short, W. Murphy, J. Gresham, S. Switkowski, B. Jordan, A. Di Paolo
Tasmania:
A. Dickenson, C. Hislop, L. Reynolds, T. Jones, P. Bellchambers, J. Johnson

Draftees in action:

Northern: Jayden Short, Brayden Fiorini, Jade Gresham, Sam Switkowski, Tyrone Leonardis
Tasmania: Josh McGuinness, Josh Watts, Ryan Gardner, Jay Lockhart

Tasmania’s part-time TAC Cup duties in 2014 pitted them against the Northern Knights for a clash at Preston City Oval in mid-June. Formerly the Mariners and not yet the Devils, the Tasmanians donned the Map for their four-game stint in the Victorian competition. A loss to Dandenong in Round 8 had them sitting 0-1, while Northern were out to snap a four-game losing run and improve on its 2-7 record.

Timing would see the Knights go in without some key personnel, with the likes of Jason Castagna and Kyle Langford absent along with key talls Reece McKenzie and Ivan Soldo. It meant Jayden Short was left to lead a solid core of top-agers and promising bottom-age fleet for the Knights on home turf. Tasmania was able to field some promising talent of its own, most notably in the form of 2014 draftees Josh McGuinness and Josh Watts, as well as future AFL products Ryan Gardner and Jay Lockhart.

Despite managing one less scoring shot in the opening term, Northern showed its knowledge of the home conditions to make the most of its chances. 4.1 to Tasmania’s 2.4 gave the Knights a handy buffer, which was only extended to an even four-goal margin at half-time as they piled on a further four majors in term two.

While the visitors got the better of the third term with three goals to Northern’s two, it seemed they had little left in the tank. The Knights would take advantage of the scoring end to kick away to victory, keeping Tasmania goalless in the final period while prettying up the final margin to come out 38-point winners at 13.14 (92) to 7.12 (54).

In what was the four-quarter effort the Knights were after all season, Short was named best afield for his 28 disposals, five marks, and six tackles. Jade Gresham (21 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) and Sam Switkowski (17 disposals, five tackles, one goal) were also named among Northern’s best, and Bailey Jordan booted three goals. Ashton Dickenson was adjudged Tasmania’s most valuable player for his 14 disposals and four marks, follwed by Caleb Hislop (31 disposals).

The Knights would go on to add just three more wins to their tally in the back-end of the season, landing in 10th spot with six wins and 11 losses. Tasmania’s four-game cameo ended with a 1-3 record, but it was capped off in style with a win over North Ballarat in Round 16.

Classic Contests: Cassar, Honey star as Jets soar past the Devils

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 17 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Western Jets and Tasmania Devils. In this edition, we wind the clock back just one year to Round 5 of 2019, when the Jets soared to a comfortable win away from home.

2019 NAB League, Round 5
Sunday April 28, 11:45am
UTAS Stadium

TASMANIA DEVILS 1.4 | 1.6 | 2.7 | 3.8 (26)
WESTERN JETS 2.0 | 4.3 | 7.8 | 10.13 (73)

GOALS:

Tasmania: T. Penwright, L. Gadomski, I. Chugg.
Western:
A. Manton 3, J. Honey 2, E. Ford 2, A. Clarke, C. White, J. Horo.

BEST:

Tasmania: O. Burrows-Cheng, P. Walker, M. McGuinness, B. Gordon, L. Viney, O. Shaw
Western: 
D. Cassar, K. Borg, J. Kellett, J. Horo, W. Kennedy, L. Rocci

Draftees in action:

Tasmania: Matthew McGuinness
Western:
 Josh Honey

Two sides with a couple of wins already under their belts went head-to-head early in last year’s NAB League campaign, with Tasmania hosting the Western Jets at UTAS Stadium in Launceston. The Devils had made a positive start in their maiden full-time season, enjoying a bye in Round 1 and bouncing back from their Round 2 loss to take a 2-1 record heading into this clash. Western sat similarly poised at 2-2, having just secured a rebound victory over the Northern Territory a week earlier.

While the two regions would lay claim to a pair of draftees each come the end of the year, only one would take the field on either side; with North Melbourne rookie Matt McGuinness lining up for the home side, while Carlton recruit Josh Honey ran through midfield for Western. The Jets were missing Emerson Jeka, with Tasmania also down a tall target as Jackson Callow came out of the side. Fellow Academy-based bottom-agers Oliver Davis and Sam Collins were also absent alongside Mitch O’Neill in a blow to the Devils’ chances.

The losses seem to take toll early, as the Devils failed capitalise on their domination of the territory and possession. A 20-minute goalless patch ensued after debutant Isaac Chugg put through the game’s first goal, only for Western to hit back twice within the final five minutes of the opening term to hit the front. It seemed to sink the Devils a touch, as they went on to go goalless throughout the second stanza, while giving up another two goals and a 15-point deficit at half time – albeit in a low-scoring contest.

Lachlan Gadomski broke Tasmania’s hour-long goal drought with a major nine minutes into the third term, but it proved a feeble form of reply as Western continued to pile on the scoreboard pressure and extended the margin to 31 points at three quarter time. It was an unassailable gap, and the Jets only further ensured it would be a bridge too far as they kicked away to a nine-goal lead, only to settle for the final 47-point margin.

Darcy Cassar ran the show off half-back for Western, proving a key player in shifting the early momentum back into the Jets’ favour. He finished with 31 disposals, 13 marks, and eight rebound 50s, while Honey booted two goals from his 25 touches. Tasmanian pair Bailey Gordon and Patrick Walker matched that feat to be their sides’ leading ball winners. Archi Manton led the goalkicking stakes with three goals, followed by bottom-aged Eddie Ford and Honey on two. Oliver Burrows-Cheng and McGuinness were named among the Devils’ best.

Tasmania would go on to add just two wins to its record across the season, finishing in 12th spot at 4-11 and bowing out during Wildcard Round to Calder. The Jets earned a seventh-place finish, storming into finals where they upset Northern in the elimination stage, but had their run ended by Gippsland in the semi finals a week later.