Tag: tom papley

Draft Central All-Star Teams: Gippsland Power

GIPPSLAND Power has a really solid All-Star team. With a nice mix of toughness and class, the Power have a lot of versatile options making it a dream for any coach. From a classy midfield to key position utilities and running half-backs, the Power have a team that could match it with most others in this series.


The team has a nice balance across the board in terms of smalls and talls, as well as some nice depth off the bench. The Power would be able to size up well against most oppositions and have no shortage of captain nominees with an array of AFL captains past and present in the team. In this scenario though, Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury will lead the team out after being voted the Power’s All-Star Player of the AFL Era via our Instagram polls.


The defence has a nice balance to it, with Sydney and St Kilda key defender Sean Dempster and North Melbourne big man Lachlan Hansen able to take the key position players. Tyson Goldsack provides some good height off the bench and could play tall or small. In the back pockets, a couple of underrated players in David Wojcinski and Jason Gram slot into the team, with Wojcinski no stranger to success with three flags to his name.

The real X-factor is off half-back where Sam Docherty and Robert Murphy provide some elite talent. They will bring the run out of the back 50, and with both Wojcinski and Gram able to also add rebounding prowess, the Power would be able to cover the slower key defenders in this instance. Docherty could also move into the midfield if needed, allowing Goldsack to add a third tall if the opposition side tried to stretch the defence. Xavier Ellis is another could come off the bench and play half-back, or push up to a wing.


Class with a capital ‘C’ is the best way to put it. Pendlebury is Mr Dependable having the most accolades of anyone in the side thanks to six All-Australians, five best and fairests, four All-Australian 40-squad nominations, a Norm Smith and 194 Brownlow votes. He is joined in the middle by two-time All-Australian and one-time best and fairest winner Brendon Goddard, with former Magpie turned Blue, Dale Thomas, and current Bomber Dyson Heppell rounding out a strong core. Goddard could also play defence or forward, which gives the Power great versatility in the line-up.

Greg Tivendale is the odd one out in the sense that his career ended when most of the other midfielders in this group were starting to hit their straps. Off the bench, the Power has a number of options from which to rotate, including Troy Makepeace, Luke Ablett, Jason Winderlich and Josh Dunkley. With limited ruck options, Nathan Vardy gets the nod after 68 games and 42 goals – second lowest only to Dunkley (66 and 36).


A tall forward line to be fair, with Jarryd Roughead the key centre piece and sole Coleman Medallist in the side. He also has success with four flags to his name and stands alongside fellow tall, Leigh Brown who could play anywhere on the field, but we have slotted him in the forward pocket. Mark Stevens at centre half-forward booted 123 goals in 122 games playing in a premiership with Adelaide to make it a three-prong tall attack.

Tim Membrey could be argued as even a fourth tall, but he adds a slightly different element to the others, and he makes the side off 169 goals in 92 games. The two smalls are Tom Papley and Jarryd Blair who would create some goals out of nothing, and Papley is one who could become something really special in the years to come. There might not be too many options coming off the bench from a forward perspective, but Dunkley could roll through here if need be.


With the talent at the Power’s disposal, the depth wains a little outside the top 25, but there are a number of players who were able to forge out 90-plus game careers such as Tomas Bugg (94), Andrew McQualter (94), Ben Robbins (92) and Koby Stevens (91), while Brent Macaffer won a premiership with the Magpies playing a strong role in 2010.

Classic Contests: Power fight back from 37-point half-time deficit to down Rebels

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 5 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Gippsland Power and Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2015 when the sides produced an epic clash and the Rebels were still known as North Ballarat Rebels.

GIPPSLAND POWER 2.4 | 4.5 | 9.12 | 12.21 (93)
NORTH BALLARAT REBELS 5.3 | 10.6 | 10.7 | 12.8 (80)

Round 16 | Sunday, August 16, 2015
Morwell Recreation Reserve, 11am

Earlier in the season, the Rebels had got the better of the Power, coming from behind in Round 8 at Eureka Stadium to win by 13 points. They had trailed by 22 points at half-time, but a nine goals to three second half had sent the Rebels fans home happy. It would be eerily similar in the second encounter between the two sides, this time in Morwell where the home fans would be keen to repay the favour. After 15 rounds, the Rebels were sitting pretty on the top of the table with that Gippsland loss being only one of two for the season so far. The Power had been a mid-table team with six wins, seven losses and a draw from 14 games and were percentage ahead of the eighth-placed Calder Cannons.

The game started off with the favourites getting the jump on the home team, piling on five goals to two and making the most of their chances in the opening quarter. The Rebels led by 17 points at quarter time, and doubled up on that dose in the second term with another five goals to two quarters. Heading into the rooms at half-time, North Ballarat led 10.6 (66) to 4.5 (29), a 37-point margin in what was a one-sided contest to date. Few would have predicted what happened on the other side of the break, as the Power piled on five goals to zero – and it could have been even more with seven behinds – to slash the deficit to a remarkable one-point at the final break. The shell-shocked Rebels managed to get some momentum back with a couple of goals in the final term, but the Power continued their strong forward half dominance with 3.9 to win by 13 points and arguably should have been more given the final 12.21 (93) score. It was a stunning turnaround from a team that looked dead and buried at half-time, but found a way to win.

Of the future AFL draftees on the day, Ben Ainsworth was named among the best for the winners, recording 16 disposals, seven marks (one contested), one tackle and 1.3, while Tom Papley was also named in the best for his 2.4 from 16 touches, seven marks and a tackle. The twin towers in Ben and Harry McKay did not have a huge influence on the game, combining for 14 disposals, four marks, five tackles, 10 hitouts and 2.1. Of Gippsland’s best, Josh Patullo racked up 44 hitouts to go with 17 disposals, nine marks (three contested), three tackles and a goal, while Kade Renooy helped himself to 25 disposals, four marks, three tackles and a goal. Link Robinson (three goals) and Aloysio Ferreira (two) were the other multiple goalkickers for the Power in an even team performance. In terms of the bigger ball winners, Nash Holmes had a day out with 25 disposals, five marks and four tackles, while Jackson McMahon finished the match with 26 disposals, four marks and two tackles.

Of the Rebels, they too had a number of draftees both top and bottom-agers. A young Hugh McCluggage had 16 disposals, four marks – two contested – and six tackles on the day, while Lloyd Meek had 23 hitouts but just three disposals and three tackles. Tom Williamson finished with six disposals, one marks and four tackles, while Jamaine Jones was the other future draftee, picking up four disposals, three marks and booting a goal. Of those in the best for the Rebels, Josh Webster picked up 17 disposals, three marks and four tackles, while Joseph Symons laid nine tackles to go with 15 touches, two marks and a goal. Ezekiel Frank booted a game-high three goals from six touches and two marks in a losing side. The top disposal winner was Tom Templeton who helped himself to 20 disposals and five marks on the day.

Gippsland Power went on to finish seventh, but bowed out to a full-strength Oakleigh Chargers outfit to the tune of 78 points in the elimination final. The North Ballarat Rebels would suffer the same fate in the preliminary final after finishing on top of the table, losing to the Chargers by 32 points as Oakleigh went on to win the 2015 flag against Eastern Ranges.

2019 AFL Draft club review: Carlton Blues

AFTER an improved second half of the season under new coach David Teague, Carlton headed into the AFL Draft confident of finding a quality player at Pick 9. Instead, the Blues made a couple of clubs earn their Academy stars in Stephen Silvagni‘s last year at the desk, and then opted to trade down their selection to grab a slider and a bolter, as well as a much-improved midfielder. In the Pre-Season and Rookie drafts, the Blues grabbed their man from the Gold Coast SUNS, as well as two players with immense upside and X-factor.


National Draft:
17. Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country) | 192cm | 89kg | Tall Utility
20. Sam Philp (Northern Knights/Vic Metro) | 186cm | 79kg | Inside Midfielder
47. Sam Ramsay (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro) | 180cm | 72kg | Balanced Midfielder

Rookie Draft:
3. Josh Honey (Western Jets/Vic Metro) | 185cm | 82kg | Midfielder/Forward
18. Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power/Vic Country | 187cm | 72kg | Medium Forward
PSD. Jack Martin (Gold Coast Suns)

If you are a Carlton fan you have to be happy with the haul achieved at the 2019 National AFL Draft. With Eddie Betts coming into the side – joined by Jack Martin in the Pre-Season Draft – the Blues somewhat moved past missing out on Tom Papley. It was clear they wanted to grab some more inside depth to assist Patrick Cripps in the midfield, as well as some firepower up forward to roam around the feet of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay, as well as roam up the ground and open up the space for those forwards.

If that was the goal, then Carlton ticked that box with the five 18-year-olds walking into the club. Brodie Kemp was touted as a top 10 pick before going down with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, and the fact he was there for the picking at selection 17 was madness. While he will not be able to run around in the navy blue next year, if he can get a couple of games in the reserves late in the season, it will give Blues fans a taste of what they can expect in 2021. Sam Philp was the other player taken on night one and he provides not only inside ball-winning ability, but also elite speed. With a 2.87-second 20m sprint, Philp is lightning around the stoppages and adds a different element to the midfield. He might have been seen as a bolter for a player who did not play Under-18 Championships, but his second half of the season, and indeed after the first month of NAB League was deserving of the first round selection. All-in-all, Carlton fans might have been annoyed to miss out on potentially picking up Sam Flanders, but landed terrific value with their picks and two players who offer that point of difference in the midfield.

With the Blues’ only other National Draft selection, Carlton picked up another late bloomer with Calder Cannons’ Sam Ramsay a hard working runner on the inside. He started the season with indifferent form as a winger, but once he went into the guts, excelled averaging 31 touches per game over a seven-game purple patch. His form earned him a share in the Calder Cannons’ best and fairest award, as well as a spot on an AFL list.

But the bargains did not stop there. While Martin was always predicted to land at the Blues on a heavily front-ended contract, the former SUNS long wait to land at Ikon Park was finally over to add extra class in the front half of the ground. Also joining him there in the forward half were rookies, Josh Honey and Fraser Phillips. Both have tremendous upside, with Phillips in particular touted as having a lot of development left in him. Honey can spend time in the midfield and is super athletic with an eye for goals, while Phillips predominantly players inside 50 as a medium forward who can do magical things, but could eventually develop into a midfielder.

Overall, Carlton fans should be really pleased with what their club has been able to do at the drafts, picking up genuine bargains and players with upside and high ceilings that while they do not always work out, if they do then this draft haul could be lauded in the future.