Tag: trent rivers

Falcons lead the way in WAFL Colts Team of the Year

WEST Perth’s strong 2019 season which saw them reach a preliminary final in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition this year resulted in the Falcons having a competition-high five players in the Team of the Year. The Falcons had one more than East Fremantle and minor premiers, Peel Thunder, while East Perth had just three. Claremont, the side that bundled West Perth out of the finals series had just two players, the same amount as Subiaco, while Perth, Swan Districts and South Fremantle had the one player each.

West Perth’s Jack Clarke Medalist – best and fairest for the competition – Koopah Todd led the five-player contingent in the side, joined by Heath Chapman, Ben Johnson and Jaxson Prior in defence, and Tyron Hindmarsh making the interchange. Peel Thunder’s James Ewing holds down full-back, joined in the team by teammates, leading goalkicker Ben Middleton, as well as Jack Sears and Jackson Knight.

East Fremantle’s quartet of players is lead by potential first round draft picks, Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers, while fellow draft prospects, Chad Warner and Jai Jackson were also rewarded after strong seasons. Claremont’s Grand Final side features duo Jye Clark and Callum Jamieson, while East Perth trio of Jamie Marinoni, Sebit Kukek and Adam Boules all made the Team of the Year.

To round out the team is Subiaco duo, Abraham Clinch and Ben Golding, Perth’s Simon Hayward, Swan District’s Kade Wallrodt, and South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly.

Draft Central Power Rankings: September 2019

AFTER a massive 2018 which saw so many talented players realise their dreams, we turn our attention to the 2019 AFL Draft crop. In the fourth edition of our monthly Power Rankings which is posted on the first Monday of every month, we have compiled our top 30 players at this stage of the year. So much can change over the next few months, but the order is firming as combines around the country close near. Take note that the order is based purely on opinion and ability, not on any AFL club lists or needs.

We will be following up with ‘Ones to Watch’ in a separate piece later this week.

#1 Matt Rowell

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
01/07/2001 | 178cm | 75kg

Easily the most consistent player in the 2019 draft crop, having barely ever played a bad game. The inside midfielder is a tackling machine, averaging double-figure tackles at NAB League Boys level, while also racking up a massive 7.3 clearances per game. What is remarkable about Rowell is not only his ability to win the ball, but his ability to bring teammates into the game. Rowell is always looking to provide possession to a teammate in a better position, but when he needs to step up, Rowell is more than capable of finishing on his own. When at forward stoppages, Rowell has a nous of breaking away and snapping off his left as he did twice against Casey Demons on the MCG. There are plenty of candidates to the number one pick this year, but Rowell looks the 2019 equivalent of Sam Walsh – consistent across the board and just ticks all the boxes. He will spend the year playing school footy outside his National Under 18 Championships commitments before returning to the Chargers’ for their finals campaign.

August Ranking: #1

Last month: Returned to the NAB League Boys with a bang collecting a whopping 34 disposals, three marks, 10 clearances, six inside 50s and seven tackles in a huge effort for Oakleigh Chargers to get over the line against Sandringham Dragons in the final round of the season. Was tightly guarded in Oakleigh’s qualifying final win over Gippsland but was a key reason the Chargers got home , picking up 29 disposals, four rebounds and laying eight tackles.

#2 Noah Anderson

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder/Forward
17/02/2001 | 190cm | 87kg

In what was thought to be an anomaly last year with Henley High pairing Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine touted as potential pick one and two, Anderson and Rowell both attend Carey Grammar, making it a daunting combo for any other APS school. Anderson is different to Rowell in the sense he is taller, has the ability to break open a game in a quarter, and has a booming kick that easily travels greater than 50 metres. He has enjoyed a consistent start to the year and has not done too much wrong, with his field kicking an area he could improve on at times. When inside the forward half, Anderson is one of the most damaging prospects in the draft crop, and expect him to have an impact around goals at the National Under 18 Championships for Vic Metro. His game-breaking ability is as good as anyone’s in the draft crop.

August Ranking: #2

Last month: Anderson was one of the crucial match winners upon return to the NAB League Boys, booting 3.2 from 24 disposals, three marks, eight inside 50s and four clearances, taking control in the final term for the Chargers to overrun the Sandringham Dragons in the final round of the season. Finished the first final against Gippsland with 29 touches, four tackles, three inside 50s and two rebounds in a strong effort despite not having his usual time and space.

#3 Caleb Serong

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Small Forward/Midfielder
09/02/2001 | 178cm | 83kg

A tireless worker, Serong missed the opening game of the NAB League season and has been working his way back into the year finding plenty of the ball around the ground. For a smaller player, Serong never takes a backwards step and seems to find the ball in all three areas of the ground, having plenty of influence around the stoppages, particularly in the forward half. He is very strong overhead and brings his teammates into the game. Both he and close mate, Sam Flanders lead the Gippsland Power charge for draftees in what should be a big year for them. Will miss most of the NAB League season due to school and state commitments, but will be a welcome return come finals time.

August Ranking: #6

Last month: Rested for the final week of the NAB League Boys season after a hectic year that included school football, will attack finals fresh and be a key contributor for the Power in their bid for the flag. Got under the skin of some Oakleigh players in the Power’s narrow loss to the Chargers, putting together a strong 29-disposals, four-mark, five-tackle and seven-inside 50 performance.

#4 Hayden Young

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Defender/Inside Midfielder
11/04/2001 | 188cm | 82kg

One of the prime movers last season and a player who has the potential to be a deadly half-back. He has elite kicking skills coming out of defence, aided by the fact he has a penetrating kick that can clear 50m with ease. He just gets to the right positions and pushes up the ground where he takes a number of intercept marks. He will contest any marking contest regardless of opponent, and is a composed user in defence. He was tried in the middle early in the season, but his greatest influence is in the back half. After an okay start to the year without being anything dazzling, Young reminded everyone of his talent on the MCG, starring alongside Rowell and Anderson, taking a number of crucial intercept marks and setting up scoring plays. A hard edge with terrific kicking skills, Young is one to certainly keep in mind for Pick 1.

August Ranking: #3

Last month: Put together a solid month with three 20-plus disposal games, and spending time forward against Geelong Falcons in between. Was crucial in Dandenong’s win over Murray in the Wildcard Round to advance through to the finals, picking up 24 touches, two marks, seven tackles, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Was okay without being outstanding in Dandenong’s elimination final loss to Calder, picking up 19 disposals, two marks and three tackles. Drops down only because the three close to him had huge games in do-or-die or finals matches.

#5 Lachlan Ash

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | General Defender
21/06/2001 | 186cm | 80kg

Along with Young, Ash is the other standout Country prospect in defence. The Murray Bushrangers runner has few flaws to his game, owning the defensive 50 with a massive amount of intercept marks and rebounds, while slicing up opposition zones with his elite kicking ability. He is a player that just catches the eye, gets himself into the right positions, and can set up teammates around the ground or in attack. He has hardly put a foot wrong this season, and while his performance on the MCG had its ups and downs, his NAB League form is not to be questioned. The noticeable advantage with Ash compared to a lot of half-backs is he can win his own ball, and while he might only win a third of his possessions in a contest, he is comparably low with handball receives, almost winning more touches from marking than from handballs. If he and Young both play off half-back at the National Under 18 Championships, expect Country to have plenty of run and penetration.

August Ranking: #4

Last month: Finished his competitive season with a best-on performance for Murray in the Bushrangers’ loss to Dandenong in Wildcard Round. The co-captain was massive around the ground with his drive and elite skills and decision making. He took four marks, laid six tackles and got it down at both ends with six rebounds and five inside 50s. He now returns to play with Shepparton in his home club’s finals series.

#6 Sam Flanders

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder/Forward
24/07/2001 | 182cm | 81kg

After playing as a damaging forward in 2018, Flanders has moved into the midfield this season and been one of the more prolific extractors. While it could be argued his greatest impact is around goals – where he seems to kick the impossible at times – he also has the nous in the midfield to find the ball at stoppages and kick long inside 50, or sweep the handball out to a running teammate. Gippsland has missed his influence and strength in attack, but he has added another dimension to a deep Power midfield. Flanders is a player who will divide draft watchers as he could be top five, or later first round depending on what you look at. He plays taller than his 182cm, and is strong overhead or at ground level. Another top-end Country prospect to watch this year.

August Ranking: #5

Last month: Had his lowest disposal game of the year with just 14 against the Pioneers in Round 17, but has been a mirror of consistency this season with all bar one previous game with more than 20 disposals, including 28 and a goal against the Devils in Round 14. Absolutely dominated the second quarter of the qualifying final against Oakleigh, racking up 12 touches and booting four goals on his way to 27 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles and four inside 50s.

#7 Tom Green

GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies | Inside Midfielder
23/01/2001 | 188cm | 85kg

The inside hard nut has drawn comparisons to Patrick Cripps in the way he excels at the contested ball, bullying his way to a truckload of possessions and clearances. He has clean and quick hands on the inside and a long kick, while having no issues whatsoever finding the pill. In the opening few NAB League games, Green racked up an average of 33 disposals and 10.25 clearances, still going at more than 60 per cent efficiency despite running at greater than 60 per cent contested. Across the board he is very consistent – similar to Cripps – in order to have an influence on the contest. He will be the top pure tall inside midfielder in the draft, with adding more scoreboard pressure the key between Green and the likes of Rowell and Anderson.

August Ranking: #7

Last month: Has missed the past month with a knee injury.

#8 Dylan Stephens

Norwood/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
08/01/2001 | 182cm | 70kg

Stephens is another lightly built midfielder who despite being just 70kg has forced his way into the SANFL League side for Norwood already in season 2019. Given the Redlegs’ tendancy to restrict kids from being exposed at the top level – see Luke Valente last year – it is a credit to Stephens – and teammate Taheny, to already earn their stripes. He has held his own too, admitedly playing a very outside game, but with many bigger bodies at the Redlegs, Stephens has terrific skills and moves well in transition, able to win the ball in midfield, take off and kick perfectly inside 50. He still has to add bulk to his frame, but he showed when taking on his peers he is capable of playing an inside role as well. Expect him to be the prime mover for South Australia at the Under 18 Championships and raise his stocks with a big couple of months.

August Ranking: #9

Last month: Had held his spot in finalist Norwood’s League side and continues to be a solid contributor, averaging 18.1 touches, 4.5 marks, 4.7 tackles and 3.2 inside 50s per game. To end the regular season, Stephens recorded more than 20 disposals in three of his four matches. He then stepped up over the weekend for Norwood to keep their premiership dreams alive with a terrific goal to accompany his 14 touches, two marks, three tackles and two clearances.

#9 Brodie Kemp

Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country | Tall Utility
01/05/2001 | 192cm | 82kg

Kemp is a player that will be looked at as a long-term prospect, and one who could be moulded into nearly anything. At 192cm, he has played a hybrid role over the past few years, rotating between attack and midfield, and even some time in defence. He knows how to hit the scoreboard and has a long kick but could tidy it up when at full-speed. His ability to get to the outside and move in transition is a strength. He is a smooth mover who looks like an outside player, but wins the majority of his possessions at the coal face. Another player who will miss the majority of the NAB League season due to his school football commitments, but will be one to watch at the National Under 18 Championships.

August Ranking: #8

Last month: Unfortunately for Kemp, he went down with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear in July school game and will miss the remainder of the season.

#10 Fischer McAsey

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
11/04/2001 | 195cm | 86kg

McAsey is a key position defender who has played up the attacking end in previous years. He has found his place in the defence in 2019. and seems to be a settled player there not only doing well for Sandringham Dragons and at Caulfield Grammar, but stepping up for Vic Metro at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. He is considered one of the draft bolters this season, with not too many key position talls jumping up, McAsey is a player who is firmly putting his hand up as a top 10 prospect should his form continue, and he has plenty of traits to like. His intercept marking, athleticism and ball use by foot is very solid and does not have too many weaknesses across the board.

August Ranking: #10

Last month: Was quiet in Sandringham’s tight loss to Oakleigh failing to kick a goal, but backed up with a big 14 disposals, five marks and two goals in the Dragons’ massive 103-point thumping of Geelong Falcons in Wildcard Round. Had a quieter game playing down back against Eastern in the qualifying final. Glided through the air to take a number of intercept marks but also dropped a few, finishing with 11 touches, four marks and three tackles.

#11 Luke Jackson

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 197cm | 93kg

The athletic West Australian ruck picked Australian Rules over basketball last year despite donning the green and gold on the court. Jackson plays like an extra midfielder when moving around the ground and has been plying his trade at Colts level in the WAFL given the strength of ruck stocks at East Fremantle. Jackson looms as a potential first round pick, even though rucks are traditionally taken later. He would be viewed as a long-term prospect, and certainly if his two National Under 18 Championships games from 2018 are anything to go by, he has plenty of talent at his disposal. Clubs will like the fact he is not out of the contest once the ball hits ground level, and was solid against Casey Demons’ bigger-bodied rucks on the MCG. The standout ruck in the 2019 draft crop in a crop that does not have as many top-end talls as last year.

July Ranking: #24

Last month: Continues to dominate the WAFL Colts, with three consecutive matches of 20-plus disposals and 27-plus hitouts, then went forward in the most recent game against Perth, booting two goals from 16 touches, four marks and 31 hitouts. Has risen back to where he was at the start of the year as others fall and his consistency remains the same.

#12 Will Gould

Glenelg/South Australia | Key Position Defender
14/01/2001 | 191cm | 98kg

The key defender is the player likely to be the big point of difference in the top-end of the rankings. At 191cm he is a tad undersized for a key position player, but he has the ability to play small or tall, and has been working on his tank to play midfield at times. He wins plenty of the ball at half-back and averages almost eight rebounds per game at League level for Glenelg – holding his own against bigger bodies and dropping into the hole with his game smarts reading the ball in flight well. He has leadership tendencies and captained the Australian Under 18s at the MCG against Casey Demons and will be a prime candidate for the South Australian job as well. Gould has put on seven kilograms since the championships last season, enabling him to take the more monster key forwards, and while he might still be undersized, he just competes and has a massive work rate which stands out each time he plays.

August Ranking: #12

Last month: Racked up a season-high 27 disposals in Glenelg’s loss to Sturt in Round 18 heading into finals, also having five marks and 10 rebounds and continuing to impress.

#13 Trent Rivers

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/07/2001 | 189cm | 84kg

It is a good year for East Fremantle, with prospects basically growing on trees, and Rivers is another touted top 30 prospect along with Jeremy Sharp and Luke Jackson. Rivers is a natural-born leader who thrives on the contest and is as consistent as they come, racking up more than 20 disposals in most outings. He loves to tackle and put his body on the line, and is a crucial key to the midfield of Western Australia at the national championships. Unlike a lot of other top-end midfielders this year, Rivers has the size on him, standing at 189cm and 84kg, and readymade for senior football.

August Ranking: #16

Last month: Racked up a season-high 30 disposals in the final round of the regular season for the Colts, while laying seven tackles and booting 2.2 from six marks. Rivers has not dropped below 25 disposals in a remarkable display of consistency this season.

#14 Trent Bianco

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Outside Midfielder
20/01/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

Arguably quite underrated given his size and the ability of his highly touted Oakleigh teammates, Bianco is one of the best ball users in the draft crop this season. Like Lachlan Ash, Bianco rebounds off half-back and can go into the middle when required, a place he will no doubt spend a lot of time this season having wrapped up his Year 12 studies last year. The co-captain of the Oakleigh Chargers is an outside ball user, and finding more contested ball could be an area he looks to in season 2019, but his skills are good enough that he could easily play as that outside user, especially considering his size. A versatile player, expect Bianco to be one of the Morrish Medal contenders this season when he is not running around for Vic Metro. He had a massive game against Tasmania Devils, racking up 42 disposals, although he did have seven clangers on the day. Keeps rising and despite being smaller, just finds the ball and uses it well more often than not.

August Ranking: #14

Last month: Picked up 28 disposals, five marks and six rebounds in a match-winning effort for the Chargers against the Dragons in the final round of the season, and while he did not have his usual influence in the first final, stepped up to kick the match-winning goal in the pouring rain to win the Chargers the match against Gippsland. He still finished with 24 touches, two marks, three tackles, three inside 50s and three rebounds.

#15 Miles Bergman

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Midfielder/Forward
18/10/2001 | 188cm | 77kg

The underrated midfielder missed out on being included in the State Victorian Metro Academy, but has not let that get him down, performing strongly across the NAB League and school seasons, and working his way up the boards with some strong performances against the best players around the country. He has a nice sidestep that can get him out of trouble and wins a lot of the ball in close, with a few areas to iron out such as his kicking, but he has some great developing traits and plenty of future development. Most importantly, he can win the ball on the inside and extract it out, but can also play an outside role too.

August Ranking: #N/A

Last month: Has had the biggest month of just about anyone, dominating in the Herald Sun Shield to win best on ground for St Bede’s College in their narrow win over St Patrick’s, then continued that form in NAB League with a goal against the Chargers from 13 disposals, four marks and six tackles, then ran riot against the Falcons with four goals from 18 touches, eight marks and four tackles. Showed in Sandringham’s narrow loss to Eastern in the qualifying final that he does not need many touches to hurt the opposition, booting two goals from 13 disposals, seven marks, five tackles and three inside 50s.

#16 Liam Henry

Claremont/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder/Forward
28/08/2001 | 179cm | 67kg

A member of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, Henry is another lightly built midfielder who can go forward and impact a game inside 50. Henry has nice skills and slick athletic traits that help him work his way out of congestion while making good decisions with ball-in-hand. He does need to find a bit more of the football at times which is the next step, but he is a player who will rarely waste a possession and one who Fremantle fans would be excited to have on their list. Still has scope to develop further, and grow into his body at just 67kg and another sub-180cm midfielder. One who would be keen to finish off the year strongly – although perhaps Fremantle would prefer he kept it in check. A highly talented player.

July Ranking: #17

Last month: Unfortunately dislocated his knee in a school football match and has not returned since his impressive 26-disposal, six-mark, two-goal game in Round 14.

#17 Finn Maginness

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
23/02/2001 | 187cm | 80kg

The underrated midfielder missed out on being included in the State Victorian Metro Academy, but has not let that get him down, performing strongly across the NAB League and school seasons, and working his way up the boards with some strong performances against the best players around the country. He has a nice sidestep that can get him out of trouble and wins a lot of the ball in close, with a few areas to iron out such as his kicking, but he has some great developing traits and plenty of future development. Most importantly, he can win the ball on the inside and extract it out, but can also play an outside role too.

August Ranking: #23

Last month: Carried his AFL Under-18 Championships form into his NAB League back-end of the season, having an impact through the middle and up forward, booting five goals – including three in the tight loss over Oakleigh in the final round – and racking up a combined 50 disposals in the two other games with the majority of his time spent in the middle. Is averaging more than five clearances per game since returning to the competition and could be the first Dragon picked in a tight contest with McAsey and Bergman. Did have a quiet game in the first final against Eastern, picking up 14 touches, but laid the 10 tackles showing his strong work defensively.

#18 Mitch O'Neill

Tasmania Devils/Allies | Outside Midfielder
21/02/2001 | 178cm | 69kg

The top Tasmanian prospect was an All-Australian in his bottom-age year, and has a nice blend of inside and outside capabilities. Given his lightly built frame, expect O’Neill to stick to the outside during the National Under 18 Championships, but he can win his own ball at the same time. He reads the taps well and is able to spread to the outside, pumping the ball inside 50 to set up scoring chains. Having spent time in defence last year, O’Neill has moved into the midfield and found just as much of the ball, and is a crucial ball user on the outside. He will be the player most analysed by opposition sides when playing Tasmania Devils in the NAB League, and O’Neill will enjoy added freedom at the National Under 18 Championships for the Allies.

August Ranking: #11

Last month: Has missed the past month due to injury.

#19 Jackson Mead

WWT Eagles/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/09/2001 | 183cm | 83kg

The son of Port Adelaide inaugural Best and Fairest winner, Darren has made a promising start to the 2019 SANFL season, starting in the Reserves and impressing, showing that a League debut would be in the not-too-distint future. Mead will team up with Stephens at the National Under 18 Championships to lead the side through his penetrating kick and good skills, spreading around and using the ball well forward of centre. Not as prolific a ball winner as some others, Mead has good smarts and does not waste too many disposals. Importantly, Mead hits the scoreboard as a midfielder, and can win his own ball on the inside when required. He might play more of an inside role at the National Championships, but South Australia will be keen to give him time and space to impact the contest best.

August Ranking: #13

Last month: Had a couple of okay weeks in the League side with 11 disposals per game average, before dropping back to the Reserves and starring with 27 touches, six marks, seven inside 50s and four clearances in Woodville-West Torrens’ huge win over North Adelaide in the final round of the season. Was a late withdrawal in the final round of the season

#20 Josh Worrell

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
11/04/2001 | 193cm | 78kg

The Sandringham Dragons defender has had an impressive past few weeks after not having to do too much in the Dragons’ obliteration of Calder in the opening round of the NAB League season. On the MCG against Casey Demons, Worrell stood tall in defence, showing an ability to remain calm under pressure and use the ball well. At 193cm, Worrell will be a player that clubs look at differently, being that few cms smaller than the current trend for key position defenders, which is fine considering Worrell’s ability to provide run and carry out of defence. He is still lightly built, but he is strong overhead and has the potential to develop into a tall midfielder or one who roams off half-back and sets up attacking plays. A player who will spend the season at Haileybury College.

August Ranking: #19

Last month: His season is over after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the 2019 season.

#21 Dylan Williams

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | General Utility
01/07/2001 | 185cm | 81kg

After having a terrific second half of the year playing as a medium forward, Williams has spent time mixed between attack and defence in season 2019. He is definitely more suited to attack where he has a high vertical leap and is dangerous around goals. He is as strong overhead as anyone and certainly impressive for a player of his size. Not a huge ball winner, Williams just needs to find four quarter consistency this season as he is the player that can boot four goals in a term and take the game away from the opposition. He also has terrific skills, and hits three out of his four targets despite finding half his possessions in a contest. When at stoppages, Williams is more than capable of winning clearances as he showed against Dandenong, bursting away and pumping the ball long. One area of improvement is his defensive work, which is why he has been played in defence at times to build that area of his game. In the wet at Craigieburn against Calder Cannons in Round 2, Williams had eight out of 12 disposals effective, running at a much higher efficiency than his teammates. Does not have APS school commitments so will play the full year at NAB League Boys level with the Chargers, co-captaining the side with Trent Bianco.

August Ranking: #15

Last month: Has not played in the past month with that back injury still troubling him.

#22 Cameron Taheny

Norwood/South Australia | General Forward
03/08/2001 | 184cm | 80kg

The medium forward is an excitement machine who lit up the National Under 16 Championships in 2017. He continued that form in his bottom-age year for Norwood, booting six goals in a game last year to show off his talents inside 50. Similar to Dylan Williams, Taheny has his ups and downs, but his best is as good as anyone else’s in the draft crop. A good season could propel him into the top half of the first round, and he is a player who could turn a match on its head which will be crucial for South Australia at the National Under 18 Championships. Has already broken into the League side for Norwood and booted three goals on debut. One to watch through the year as someone who could rise.

August Ranking: #18

Last month: After three goalless games in the SANFL League, Taheny dropped back to Norwood’s reserves where he had 11 touches and booted a goal, importantly laying five tackles in the Redlegs’ 23-point victory over West Adelaide in the final round.

#23 Will Day

West Adelaide/South Australia | General Defender
17/01/2001 | 187cm | 70kg

The underrated South Australian utility has been one of the big improvers this season, showing off some nice signs at school football and then South Australia at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. Like Weightman, Day has been on the periphery of our Power Rankings the past two months, and after some solid performances at the national carnival, makes the list for July. Day has shown signs similar to last year’s bolter, Jez McLennan who had a good carnival and emerged as a top 30 prospect with nice foot skills and composure. Day can kick on either side of his body and is a good size at 187cm despite still being very light at 70kg.

August Ranking: #26

Last month: With school football done and dusted, Day returned to the West Adelaide Reserves, picking up 26 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s, three rebounds, three tackles and a goal in the Bloods’ loss to Norwood in the final round of the season. Picked up 20 touches, nine marks and seven rebounds in a strong performance off half-back for West Adelaide in the Under 18s first final, now playing off in a preliminary final next weekend.

#24 Connor Budarick

Gold Coast SUNS Academy/Allies | General Utility
06/04/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy player could draw comparisons to Ned McHenry in both his stature and defensive pressure. Budarick played as a forward last year, and has spent more time in the midfield in 2019, but will likely rotate between both at the National Under 18 Championships. Weighing in at about 70kg, Budarick is outside leaning when in the midfield and just has little bursts where he wins the football. In the exhibition match against Casey Demons, Budarick played in defence and held his own back there, but his best comes forward of centre where he lays an average of seven tackles per game, and forces turnovers close to goal. He runs hard between the arcs and will likely cost Gold Coast a top 30 pick based on his skills and work rate.

August Ranking: #21

Last month: The talented small had 12 disposals, two marks and four tackles in his final game for the year with the SUNS missing out on NEAFL action. The week before he had 13, with his best game of August coming against Brisbane Lions, racking up 18 touches, three marks, five tackles and booting a goal in the 25-point loss.

#25 Cooper Stephens

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
17/01/2001 | 188cm | 83kg

Geelong Falcons midfielder unfortunately fractured his fibula in in Round 3. Stephens is a huge loss for Vic Country as Falcons Talent Manager Mick Turner said he would not take part in the National Under 18 Championships next month. Stephens is a neat user of the ball, recording 65 per cent by foot, and in the two games before his injury, Stephens averaged 26 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.0 clearances and ran at more than 60 per cent contested possessions.

August Ranking: #25

Last month: It was confirmed recently that a return for Stephens is not worth the risk, which means the Falcons co-skipper will be on ice for the remainder of the year as he has been for the majority of it. He might have slipped down the order a bit, but he could end up a value pick given what he showed last season as as bottom-ager.

#26 Deven Robertson

Perth/Western Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/06/2001 | 182cm | 80kg

The massive ball-winning midfielder from Western Australia was been a dominant force in the AFL Under 18 National Championships after injury last year, and has boosted his draft ranking after the carnival. He still has areas to tidy up such as kicking under pressure, but would stake a case of the most consistent player in the draft crop and you know exactly what you are going to get from him.

August ranking: #28

Last month: Robertson is done for the year, needing a shoulder reconstruction after dislocating his shoulder in the final championships game.

#27 Jeremy Sharp

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder
13/08/2001 | 187cm | 79kg

One of a number of East Fremantle potential draftees, Sharp is a skilled midfielder who is capable of playing off half-back as well as along the wing. He is not a massive ball winner, but he is a terrific kick of the footy and is a run-and-carry player. Along with Jackson, Sharp is a potential top 10 player who is a good size at 187cm and has added some bulk to his frame over the off-season. He is one of just three players who earned All-Australian honours as a bottom-ager last season following a magnificent Under 18 Championships. Sharp is one of those players you want the ball in their hands going forward as he will likely pinpoint a target inside 50. One to watch if he can go to another level at his top-age championships.

August Ranking: #29

Last month: Finding his feet in the WAFL League competition, picking up 22 disposals and nine marks in the Round 19 clash against Perth as he showed he belongs in senior football.

#28 Cody Weightman

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Forward
15/01/2001 | 177cm | 73kg

For the first two months of our Power Rankings, the electric small forward has been on the periphery of making it, and after a terrific national carnival – where he booted four goals in two of his three games – Weightman makes it into the Power Rankings in July. He has a high ceiling given he can create goals out of nothing and score from general play or set shots and has a powerful kicking action to boot. Just 177cm and 73kg, Weightman is another light prospect who has plenty of development left in him. Could be another player who lights up NAB League finals as he is a big game player.

August Ranking: #20

Last month: Very raw but talented, Weightman looked like he was going to tear the game against Murray Bushrangers apart in the Wildcard Round, but after a strong first half, was ruled out of the second half with concussion as the Stingrays got up in a tight one. He finished with one goal from 12 touches after being inaccurate the week before against the Falcons with three behinds from 16 touches playing mostly through the midfield. Did not play the first final due to the concussion sustained in the Wildcard Round.

#29 Cooper Sharman

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Tall Forward
25/07/2000 | 190cm |

The Oakleigh Chargers product is the definition of a draft bolter, with clubs keeping him under wraps until he made his Chargers’ debut in the NAB League against Gippsland Power. He has since strung a few games together at the level and has plenty of exciting traits, both athletically and game-based. He knows where the goals are, is a reliable set shot and a great overhead mark. Looks damaging every time he goes near it. Is still raw and has areas to work on, but could certainly be the Sam Sturt of 2019.

August Ranking: #22

Last month: Had his first genuine test against a full-strength Sandringham Dragons’ outfit and held his own by booting two long-range goals from seven disposals and two marks, and is an X-factor heading into finals. The week before he booted two majors against the Jets from 10 touches and three marks, showing off his aerial ability against Emerson Jeka in one-on-one victories. Was quiet in the first final against Gippsland Power with his first time going goalless, while having the 13 touches, six marks and four inside 50s, but spent time in defence as well. His handball behind his head to set up a Reef McInnes goal right before quarter time was elite.

#30 Elijah Taylor

Perth/Western Australia | General Forward
01/05/2001 | 185cm | 75kg

Taylor has X-factor and plenty of scope for the future as a medium forward. He always looks damaging when in possession and a worry for opposition defenders when not in possession. He is still raw compared to other forwards, but his ceiling is quite high and no doubt clubs will keep him on their radar. He has been a talented player for some time, but he has started to string together impressive performances to put his name into top 30 calculations. A key player for Perth in the WAFL and stepped up during the AFL Under-18 National Championships.

August Ranking: #30

Last month: Booted two goals from 10 touches stepping up to the Reserves side at Perth over the weekend, backing up his two-goal effort from 16 touches at Colts level the week before.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Thunder dispose of Swan Districts to continue fine form

THERE’S two rounds to go in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts and while the minor premiership has been sown up, there is plenty of jostling within the top five. A win or loss in the next fortnight can be all-important in securing a double chance or facing a do or die encounter in the first week of the finals.

WAFL Colts wrap-Round 19

Peel Thunder 13.8 (86) def. Swan Districts 7.5 (47)

Peel Thunder inflicted a psychological blow on one of their premiership rivals as they defeated Swan Districts by 39 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

This game was the only one in the penultimate round that saw two teams in the top five go head-to-head. Swans and Peel had a almighty tussle at the head of the table for the first half of the season. However since Round 10, the teams have gone in opposite directions. Swans have won just one of seven games, while the minor premiers have reversed that with six wins from seven. So this game was a real test for Swans and whether they could find some of their early season form. Jake Pasini and Jax Watson were missing for the home side after earning call-ups to the senior side while Tyrone Thorne was given the same honour for Peel.

The players ran onto to a damp surface after some extremely heavy overnight rain so that added another element to the contest. Peel kicked the first goal of the game through Jackson Knight and that advantage was soon doubled by bottom ager Tyler Nesbitt. Despite some sustained forward line pressure Swans could not put the ball in between the big two sticks and Peel took the ball down and kicked their third through Bradley Oldfield. Swans had two more forward 50 entries for the first quarter but found themselves 17 points behind.

The home team eventually opened their account early in the second quarter through Ashley Brockbernd. However, Peel had all the answers with Jaxon Egan kicking his first on the run from 40 metres. A bad turnover by Swan Districts in defence was penalised in the harshest fashion when 16 year old Zac Trigwell kicked his first. To their credit, Swans managed to keep in touch through a second to Brockbernd. It was level pegging that quarter as Peel kept their 17-point margin for the term. Killian Rawson was the leading disposal gatherer for Peel with 14 to go with five marks, while Brockbernd was Swans’ best with 14 along with five inside 50s.

The question heading into the third term was whether Swans could kick consecutive goals and put Peel under scoreboard pressure. But it was Peel who started the stronger with bottom age talent Connor Heuer winning a free kick for holding the ball and converting from close range. Big man Bailey Kane converted at the other end to keep Swans within touching distance yet again. They then managed to kick consecutive goals with a quick kick from Seb Bright bouncing though an unmanned square. The pressure of the home side was now clearly noticeable as they looked to narrow the gap further. But Peel are top of the ladder for a reason and they responded through the steady figure of Oldfield for his second of the game. They continued to regain control courtesy of a major to Jaxon Pitts and when Oldfield kicked his third they had pushed the lead out to a game high 30 points with one quarter remaining.

Jack Sears then removed any doubt over the final outcome by kicking his first early in the last term and pushing the lead to six goals. Oldfield then put cream of the cake of his best on ground performance by kicking his fourth of the contest. Kade Walldrot put some respectability back on the scoreboard for Swans, however Sears responded in kind for the visitors. The two teams traded goals towards the tail end of the contest and it was the minor premiers who prevailed by a comfortable 39 point margin. Peel edged the overall disposal count (321-319) and had a narrow advantage in inside 50s (45-39). But at the end of the day it was the scoring shots which was the difference with the visitors holding an advantage (21-12).

Star of the day

There were some impressive performers but in terms of pure difference makers it was Bradley Oldfield. One of the more experienced players on the ground, Oldfield often does not often rack up massive numbers, but what he does with his disposals is what counts the most. The 18 year-old showed his poise by amassing 23 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and four telling goals. His importance come September is undeniable and other teams will certainly have to shut the midfielder down if they are going to stop Peel walking away with the premiership.

Other notables

The defensive pillars for Peel were also key to the outcome with Killian Rawson (23 disposals and eight marks) and James Ewing (20 disposals and six marks) keeping their opponents at bay. The foot skills of Rawson running off half back were a particular highlight. Jack Sears was also a lively figure in and around the forward 50 with 16 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals. For the home side, Ashley Brockbernd had 25 disposals, six inside 50s, five marks and two goals while Brenton Hilton worked exceptionally hard down back with 24 disposals and 11 marks.

In other games

Perth 13.11.(89) def. East Fremantle 12.8(80)

The fairytale run of East Fremantle was halted by a resilient Perth outfit as the Demons ended their long losing streak by claiming a nine-point victory at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday morning.

In contrast to their opponents who had defeated four finals bound opponents in succession, Perth had won only one of their last eight games. The Demons started on the front foot in this encounter with one of their best quarters of the season kicking six goals to two with Hamish McFarlane scoring two majors. The Sharks responded in the second term with four goals to one and narrowing the gap to seven points at the long break.

The ebbs and flows of the contest was now in full swing as the home side kicked the first three goals of the third to push the lead out to game-high 26 points. However the in-form Sharks responded with relish kicking four goals in a row and cutting the margin to a solitary point with one quarter to go.

The Sharks grabbed their first lead of the game early in the term throughOwen Dunn and regained ascendancy through Trent Rivers. But the Demons had the final say in this excellent clash between two bottom four sides when bottom ager Hamish Dickins and then McFarlane kicked the goals which got them the hard earned four points.

Simon Hayward was his usual workhorse self with 22 disposals, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and two goals while Elijah Taylor was silky with 16 disposals and two goals. Rivers was a ball magnet for the Sharks with 30 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and two goals.

Subiaco 8.8(56) def. West Perth 7.9(51)

Subiaco played spoiler this week knocking off finals bound West Perth by five points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

The reigning premiers who have had a disappointing campaign, led for just over ten minutes of the game. Bottom ager Lachlan Henderson was the hero kicking the major which decided the game with only two minutes remaining.

The loss could prove very costly for the Falcons as a victory would have seen them move up to third spot ahead of the dormant East Perth and in box seat for a double chance. But not for the first time, they wasted a opportunity and now need to defeat South Fremantle and depend on their conquerors from this week to do them a favour by knocking off the Royals.

Abraham Clinch led the Lions with 30 disposals, four marks, four tackles and five inside 50s and he was supported by Ben Golding with 22 disposals and 10 tackles. Meanwhile for the Falcons, Callum Johnson and Tyron Hindmarsh each had 31 disposals while ruckman Zak Patterson was colossal with 21 disposals to go with 36 hit-outs and four inside-50s.

Claremont 18.12(120) def. South Fremantle 6.6(42)

Claremont clinched a double chance for the finals after a emphatic 78-point thrashing of wooden spooners South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval on Saturday Morning.

The Tigers set up their big win in the first half kicking six goals to two in the first quarter and extending their advantage to 49 points at the long break. The second half was just an exercise respect for the Bulldogs, while for the Tigers they looked to build their percentage.

The visitors kicked seven goals to two and 12 individual goalkickers for the game told a story about their team-first approach. Claremont only took the in their forward 50 arc 44 times, but their efficiency was first class conjuring up 30 scoring shots. In comparison, the Bulldogs took the ball in 36 times but only had 12 scoring shots.

Jack Cooley was a tireless worker for Claremont with 28 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s while Fremantle next generation academy member Joel Western was classy picking up 26 disposals, four inside 50s and a goal. Charlie Malone was a towering presence with four goals to go along with five marks and 17 disposals. Meanwhile for the Bulldogs, Eric Botha tried his heart out with 18 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and four inside 50s while Nathan Spooner did likewise with 18 hit-outs to go with 19 disposals and nine marks.

With the top two locked in the main points of business to be sorted out in round 20 are the third position which will earn a double chance, and who will be in a elimination final. A win by East Perth next Sunday against Subiaco will give them third spot, but any slip-up and West Perth or Swan Districts can make them pay.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. East Perth

IN Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated East Perth by 28 points at New Choice Homes Park.

Despite talented prospects Rhai-Arn Cox (East Perth), Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle), and Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle) missing, a host of other players were prominent.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE:

#10 Trent Rivers

The East Fremantle captain led from the front for the Sharks, using his big frame to win the contested possession for his team. He also showed his class on the outside, using his damaging skills to penetrate East Perth’s defensive zone. He finished with 25 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and a goal in another powerful display.

#11 Lachlan Taylor

The Melville Junior was excellent for the Sharks, providing them with plenty of run on the wing. Playing as the team’s link-up player, Johnston accumulated 19 possessions, recorded four inside 50s, and took four marks to be named in the best for the Sharks.

#14 Finn Gorringe

The 17-year-old was exceptional in the midfield for the Sharks, never shirking a contest despite being one of the smaller midfielders on the ground. He finished with 25 possessions, five inside 50s, four tackles, two marks and a goal in a dazzling performance. He is shaping up to be an interesting prospect from East Fremantle in next year’s competition.

#16 Chad Warner

The Willetton Junior was arguably best afield, controlling the stoppages and using his strong frame to crash-and-bash his way through congestion to win clearances. He accumulated a team-high 30 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles, grabbed six marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal in a wonderful performance. Like West Coast’s Jack Redden, Warner is a midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game and is an excellent two-way player.

#23 Luke Jackson

The former Australian basketballer continues to demonstrate why he is the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool. He finished with 24 possessions, 27 hit-outs, three inside 50s and a goal in a complete performance. In the ruck, he gave his midfielders first use, always followed up and positioned himself well around the ground. He also spent time as a forward, where his leading patterns and overhead marking were features of his game.

#25 Jai Jackson

The Chapman Valley product was again excellent for the Sharks rotating between the forward line and the midfield. He finished with 23 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks and a goal in a dazzling display. Jackson shares similar traits to Richmond premiership player Josh Caddy – both hit the ball at pace, use the ball effectively, never shirk a contest and can be extremely damaging forward of centre.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn Junior continued his excellent campaign with another polished performance. Against East Fremantle, Boules accumulated a game-high 31 possessions, laid a game-high six tackles and grabbed six marks to arguably be East Perth’s best player. He is shaping up to be a leading prospect from Western Australia in next year’s AFL Draft pool.

#3 Harley Sparks

The Deanmill product produced a performance that showed why he scored an invitation to this year’s AFL State Combine. Against the Sharks, Sparks finished with 22 possessions, eight marks and four tackles in a classy performance. He provided a heap of energy and zip around the contest and his decision-making was sound.

#15 Luke Lombardi

The Morley Junior continued to show why he is a lively prospect with another solid performance. Against East Fremantle, Lombardi accumulated 17 possessions, took three marks, and laid two tackles, while stationed on the half-back flank.

#19 Josh Hubbard

Playing on the wing, the 17-year-old showed a dare to always take the game on whether it be through his sheer speed or his penetrating skills. Despite East Perth being outplayed for most of the match, Hubbard never stopped competing for the Royals. The highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he nailed a goal from outside 50. He finished with 16 possessions, three tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing in defence, the Kojonup product tried his best to repel many of East Fremantle’s attacking forays. He accumulated 14 possessions, laid six tackles and won three free kicks to be one of the Royals’ best and consistent players across the entire match.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

An overager, the Joondalup-Kinross Junior showed he has a big future for East Perth with another outstanding display. The highlight of his game came in the fourth quarter when he gathered the ball on the wing, before going for a run, taking multiple bounces and then composed himself to convert a great running goal. Against East Fremantle, the Trinity College student finished with 21 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s, two marks and a goal as a wingman.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The 2017 WA U16s State Academy representative never stopped competing for the Royals, trying his absolute best to give his midfielders first use of the ball from the ruck contest. He accumulated 13 possessions, won nine hit-outs, grabbed seven marks, laid four tackles and won two inside 50s to be one of East Perth’s best players.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Peel clinches minor premiership in style

THERE was a taste of Spring in the air as the teams made their way out onto the playing arenas for Round 18 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts. While the top five had been decided, there was no shortage of tricky tests, with a team who will not be playing in September claiming another big scalp.

WAFL Colts Round 18

Peel Thunder 14.10 (94) def. South Fremantle 3.5 (23)

Peel Thunder will finish the home and away season as minor premiers after ruthlessly dispatching of South Fremantle to the tune of 71 points at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

South Fremantle had been the master of this fixture in recent seasons, but Peel were more interested in the present as they looked to seal top position and move the Bulldogs one step closer to collecting the unwanted wooden spoon.

The opening half was a illustration of dominance as the visitors kicked eight goals to two behinds to take a 52-point lead into the half time break. Peel had six individual goalkickers for half with Tyrone Thorne and bottom ager Jaxon Pitts leading the way with two goals each.

Peel once again managed to keep their opponents goalless while adding another two goals to their tally in the third term. The final quarter was by far the best quarter of the game with both sides going goal for goal. While Peel ended up winning the term, it was good to see the Bulldogs show some fight despite being outclassed throughout the contest. The general stats were pretty close when you consider what the final margin was. The deciding factor was that Peel were able to hit the scoreboard on a frequent basis and amassed 24 scoring shots to just eight by South Fremantle.

Peel are well worth the honour of premiership favourites heading into September having been the best team in the competition in the second half of the season. Once again it was a even spread of contributors for Peel led by Thorne who amassed 25 disposals, seven tackles four inside 50s and five goals. Jack Sears was a major winner with 28 along with five inside 50s while Zachary Rankin was a hard worker all game with 21 disposals, eight tackles and six inside 50s. Meanwhile as it has been for most of the campaign, it was left to far too few for the Bulldogs. The trio of Ira Jetta (27 disposals, eight inside 50s and one goal), Jack Musika (25 disposals, six inside 50s and five tackles) and Manfred Kelly(21 disposals, eight tackles and five inside 50s) were very dependable yet again.

East Fremantle 9.12 (66) def. East Perth 5.8 (38)

The recent giant-killing ways of East Fremantle continued on Saturday as they knocked off yet another finals bound side their fourth in succession – this time it was East Perth to the tune of 28 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

The resurgent Sharks carried their recent fine form into the first half of this contest, building a 25-point lead at the long break. The load was shared with five individual goalkickers and the home teams defence was also more than filling their end of the bargain by restricting the Royals to just four scoring shots for the first 50 minutes of action. East Fremantle increased their lead in the third term, kicking two goals to nil leaving the visitors marooned on just one goal for the first three terms.

The visitors who had a lot riding on this encounter having come into it in second place needed to respond to regain a sense of confidence. To their credit, East Perth won the fourth quarter by four goals to two, but the damage had well and truly been done before then. In a quirky statistic, there was no multiple goalkickers on the day with 14 players each kicking one major. The Royals slipped to third and would be hoping for a Subiaco win later in the day against Swan Districts to hold onto that position.

Luke Jackson gave another showing of his all-round talents with 24 disposals, 27 hit-\outs and a goal. Chad Warner was terrific throughout the four quarters with 30 disposals and six tackles, while Trent Rivers picked up 25 disposals, six inside 50s and four marks. For the Royals, Adam Boules continued his terrific season with 31 disposals, six marks and six tackles while Harley Sparks found life tougher on the back of his 47 disposal showing, this week collecting 22 touches and eight marks.

Claremont 11.8 (74) def. West Perth 8.9 (57)

Claremont reclaimed second position on the ladder after a composed 17-point win against West Perth at Claremont Oval on Saturday morning.

After a entertaining first quarter of action with seven goals scored between the two Premiership contenders, Claremont opened up a handy break in the second term kicking three goals to nil and led by 22 points at the long break. Benjamin Elliott kicked his third goal early in the second half to give the home team a five goal margin. While the Falcons were getting the ball into their forward 50, the conversion was certainly lacking.

The difference was that the Tigers were more clinical and managed to increase their lead to 33 points at three quarter time. The Falcons certainly upped their intensity in the early stages of the fourth term with four of the opening five goals of and cutting the margin to 10 points. However, as what so often happens when a team makes a big run, they end up running out of steam and the Tigers were able to steady and clinch a very important victory.

Kade Lines was a key figure in the end result for the Tigers with four goals to go along with 13 disposals and five inside 50s. Jack Cooley had 24 disposals and five tackles and four inside 50s while Joel Western had 23 and three marks. The loss was the third in succession for the Falcons and while at one point seemed a likely prospect to seal a double chance, the Falcons seem likely to face a do or die clash in the first week of the finals. The prolific duo of Tyron Hindmarsh and Koopah Todd each collected 28 disposals and laid five tackles each for the Falcons.

Subiaco 12.8 (80) vs Swan Districts 8.8 (56)

Subiaco were the second team to put a dent in the double chance hopes of a finals bound team when the Lions defeated Swan Districts by 24 points at Kalgoorlie on Saturday evening. After a tight opening half, the Lions booted seven goals to five to gain some separation on their opponents and guarantee a big win with the season winding down.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Royals rise to second with win over South Fremantle

WE have finally arrived in the final month of the regular season. While the top five has been decided, jostling between the teams will be fascinating to observe. Just half a game separated second and fifth on the ladder meaning no team could afford a off day otherwise they could quickly slip down the ladder which could prove pivotal come finals time.

WAFL Colts wrap – Round 17

East Perth 10.12 (72) def. South Fremantle 5.7 (37)

East Perth continued their fine stretch of form by defeating a gallant South Fremantle by 35 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

It was the tale of two teams going in opposite directions. East Perth had won five of their past six games and were a premiership dark horse, while the Bulldogs had lost five on the bounce and were sitting last on the ladder. But the Royals knew every game from now was massively important.

It was an open beginning to the match with the ball moving freely to either end but the pressure from both defences being at an extremely high level. The home side were beginning to pepper the goals but a breakthrough was still to come as we ticked past the 20 minute mark. Eventually, the perseverance of the Royals paid off as Sam Van Diemen kicked the Royals’ first goal from 40 metres. That was soon followed by a major to Harley Sparks and the Royals had a 15-point break at quarter time. For all their endeavour, South Fremantle were yet to register a score in the first 25 minutes

That soon changed when Eric Botha converted from close range after some fine work further up the ground. South Fremantle were certainly making East Perth work hard across the ground and it had turned into a attritional battle. After many missed chances, East Perth finally kicked their first for the term courtesy of quick hands by Sebit Kuek and finished by Max Fabre. But to the Dogs credit, they were committed to give their higher placed opponents a real contest. A kick by the exciting bottom ager Ira Jetta found fellow youngster Aiden Hall and he duly converted cutting the margin to 12 points at the long break.

The Royals had 41 more disposals (175-134), four more inside 50s (24-20) and seven more scoring shots (10-3) but the visitors were well and truly in the contest. However, they would have to find a way to curve the accumulative talents of Harley Sparks who had amassed 25 disposals, four tackles and four inside 50s. Ira Jetta had shown flashes of his brilliance with 10 disposals and four inside 50s for the visitors.

Kyle Robinson gave the Royals a perfect start to the second half and that was soon followed by one to Luke Furlong and within a blink of a eye the margin of the game which was 24 points. Furlong then kicked his second on the run and the game was well and truly on East Perth’s terms now.

South Freo needed to find something quickly if they were not to be blown away and Jetta delivered a pin-point pass to Shannon Neale who converted truly. However bottom-ager Luke Lombardi kicked a fine goal on the run from just inside 50 in response to give the Royals back their five-goal lead. The Royals were not at their free-flowing best, but still were doing enough to keep a committed opponent in check.

Kuek started the final term in fine fashion kicking a goal from the boundary. Botha then responded for the Bulldogs as they continued their committed performance. Some smart work by Neale on the goal line give him his second and brought the margin back to 27 points. It was soon three in a row to the Bulldogs when Jermaine Pickett scored his first and they were getting full reward for their effort. Time was against the Bulldogs in terms of producing an inspiring comeback, but you could certainly see the confidence ooze out of their play.

Despite all their efforts the final say in this game went to the home team. Firstly, Robinson mopped up own crumb and snapped truly from 15 metres. And with the siren blowing in the background, Kuek put a cherry on top of the cake with a goal from 45 metres and he was duly mobbed by his teammates. It was not their best performance this year, but these are the games that really decide whether you have the will to get yourself over the line.

When you take scoring into the equation (22-7), you may think that it was fortunate that South Fremantle did not receive a real belting. But on the other hand, the visitors took it into their 50 on 37 occasions, only five fewer than their opponents. The lack of a third forward that could help out Botha and Shannon Neale really hurt. The snakes and ladders of the top five see East Perth take advantage of some of their rivals misfortune this round and work their way to second position. It is the highest they have been placed since the first week of the season.

Star of the day.

When you have a season-high 47 disposals, there can be only one name with that man being Harley Sparks. The 17-year-old (turns 18 in September) has a terrific ability to get to every contest and is able to distribute the ball to the outside runners. While he could be excused for dropping off in the second half after he amassing 25 disposals in the first half, Sparks certainly kept running to the very end and produced 13 touches in the last quarter. If he continues in the same vein and has a strong finals campaign, the midfielder may well be a smart smoky pick around draft time.

Other notables

Adam Boules produced a valuable contribution in midfield for the Royals with 27 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, and five inside 50s. Liam Dellamarta was accomplished with 26 disposals, nine marks, five tackles and five inside 50s. While Ruckman Josh Ladhams was colossal around the ground taking strong marks across half back and in the forward line. The accomplished big man had 19 disposals, nine marks and 36 hitouts. For the Bulldogs, Jack Musika never stopped working hard in his usual fashion and had 22 disposals and 11 marks, while George Wessels worked himself into the contest and had 22 disposals, eight tackles and seven marks.

Peel Thunder 12.4 (76) def. Claremont 9.6 (60)

Peel Thunder showed they are still the team to beat in the 2019 Colts competition after recording a 16-point victory over Claremont at David Grays Arena on Saturday morning.

Peel were desperate to taste that winning feeling again after falling to defeat for only the second time this season in their last game against East Fremantle. Meanwhile, Claremont had won four in a row and wanted to cut the margin between first and second to just one game, while inflicting a mental blow on their opponents.

The home team did not trail throughout the contest and set up their victory in the first term kicking six goals to three with Jackson Knight kicking three of them. While Claremont trimmed the margin back to 16 points at the long break, they seemed to be always playing catchup. Ben Middleton kicked two goals in the third term as they pushed the margin out to 35 points with one quarter to play. Although the Tigers never gave up on the course, kicking three goals to none in the final 25 minutes, it was little more than consolation as Peel got some revenge for their round six defeat.

Tyrone Thorne can normally effect the nature of the contest with his goalkicking and defensive pressure but today the state/U18s player got his hands on the ball plenty of times picking up 25 disposals, five tackles and three marks. Knight was influential when the game was on the line and he ended up with a fantastic all-round stat line of 15 disposals, six inside 50s, five tackles, five marks and three goals. The steady hand of Bradley Oldfield was also important with 24 disposals, six marks and two goals. For the Tigers who slip to third with the defeat, Jack Cooley and Jye Clark each had 29 disposals.

East Fremantle 11.10.(76) def. West Perth 8.11.(59)

The outstanding late season form of East Fremantle continued as they knocked off another finals bound team in West Perth to the tune of 17 points at Joondalup Arena on Saturday morning.

The Sharks while out of finals contention were keen on playing the spoilers role having defeated Swan Districts and Peel in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, West Perth were coming off the bye having lost last time out against rivals East Perth which was their first defeat in five games.

The Sharks displayed their A-game from the opening quarter, kicking five goals to one and going on with the job in the second term extending their lead to 39 points at the long break. Although the Falcons kicked seven goals to three in the second half, they did not get closer than 16 points.

The WA state 18s title winning quartet of Chad Warner, Trent Rivers, Jai and Luke Jackson were elite again for the Sharks combining for 114 disposals and five goals between them. Luke Jackson gave his on-ballers great service with 36 hit-outs. Bottom age talent Logan Foley competed well for the Falcons with 12 disposals, five marks, four inside 50s and two goals.

Subiaco 15.8(98) def Perth 6.4(40)

Subiaco produced one of their best all-round performances of the season with a 58-point win over Perth at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday afternoon.

This clash was all about pride with both teams out of finals contention. Perth especially would have wanted to show something after the ignominy of a goalless game against Claremont two weeks ago. However that drought continued in the first quarter as Perth was kept scoreless while the Lions put on four goals. The second term was more even with three goals each, but that trend suited the Lions as they led by 25 points at the long break. The second half saw the visitors kick eight goals to three and seal their fifth win of the season.

The margin could have been even more when you take into account that the Lions had 45 more hitouts (70-25), 30 more inside 50s (53-23) and 13 more scoring shots (23-10). The Lions duo of Abraham Clinch and Ben Golding have been prolific for the reigning premiers throughout the 2018 season. Again they were magnificent with the duo combining for 60 disposals and 17 tackles while Clinch also kicked two goals. Kane Foley was a terrific target up forward with three goals. Meanwhile for the Demons, Hamish McFarlane made the most of limited opportunities with three goals while Nathan O’ Driscoll was terrific and tireless in a well beaten side with 29 disposals and ten tackles.

Draft Central Power Rankings: August 2019

AFTER a massive 2018 which saw so many talented players realise their dreams, we turn our attention to the 2019 AFL Draft crop. In the fourth edition of our monthly Power Rankings which is posted on the first Monday of every month, we have compiled our top 30 players at this stage of the year. So much changes over the next 12 months, with only bottom-age form and the first few of months of the seasons to go by so far. Take note that the order is based purely on opinion and ability, not on any AFL club lists or needs.

#1 Matt Rowell

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder
01/07/2001 | 178cm | 75kg

Easily the most consistent player in the 2019 draft crop, having barely ever played a bad game. The inside midfielder is a tackling machine, averaging double-figure tackles at NAB League Boys level, while also racking up a massive 7.3 clearances per game. What is remarkable about Rowell is not only his ability to win the ball, but his ability to bring teammates into the game. Rowell is always looking to provide possession to a teammate in a better position, but when he needs to step up, Rowell is more than capable of finishing on his own. When at forward stoppages, Rowell has a nous of breaking away and snapping off his left as he did twice against Casey Demons on the MCG. There are plenty of candidates to the number one pick this year, but Rowell looks the 2019 equivalent of Sam Walsh – consistent across the board and just ticks all the boxes. He will spend the year playing school footy outside his National Under 18 Championships commitments before returning to the Chargers’ for their finals campaign.

July Ranking: #1

Last month: Since finishing off his national carnival commitments with Vic Metro where he was rewarded with All-Australian selection, Rowell headed back to school football where he won the APS shield with Carey Grammar. At the national carnival, Rowell averaged 24.8 disposals, 5.0 marks, 5.3 clearances, 6.0 tackles and 3.0 inside 50s. He is expected to return to the Chargers’ line-up for the final game of the NAB League Boys season in the huge clash against Sandringham Dragons.

#2 Noah Anderson

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Inside Midfielder/Forward
17/02/2001 | 190cm | 87kg

In what was thought to be an anomaly last year with Henley High pairing Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine touted as potential pick one and two, Anderson and Rowell both attend Carey Grammar, making it a daunting combo for any other APS school. Anderson is different to Rowell in the sense he is taller, has the ability to break open a game in a quarter, and has a booming kick that easily travels greater than 50 metres. He has enjoyed a consistent start to the year and has not done too much wrong, with his field kicking an area he could improve on at times. When inside the forward half, Anderson is one of the most damaging prospects in the draft crop, and expect him to have an impact around goals at the National Under 18 Championships for Vic Metro. His game-breaking ability is as good as anyone’s in the draft crop.

July Ranking: #2

Last month: Anderson stepped up at the national carnival to earn All-Australian selection, and while he was quieter in Metro’s final game early, he finished full of steam to be one of the best. Across four games Anderson averaged 23.5 disposals, 3.3 marks, 5.3 clearances and 3.0 inside 50s. Since the carnival, Anderson helped Carey Grammar to an APS shield and will return to Oakleigh Chargers in the final round of the NAB League Boys competition when they tackle Sandringham Dragons.

#3 Hayden Young

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Defender/Inside Midfielder
11/04/2001 | 188cm | 82kg

One of the prime movers last season and a player who has the potential to be a deadly half-back. He has elite kicking skills coming out of defence, aided by the fact he has a penetrating kick that can clear 50m with ease. He just gets to the right positions and pushes up the ground where he takes a number of intercept marks. He will contest any marking contest regardless of opponent, and is a composed user in defence. He was tried in the middle early in the season, but his greatest influence is in the back half. After an okay start to the year without being anything dazzling, Young reminded everyone of his talent on the MCG, starring alongside Rowell and Anderson, taking a number of crucial intercept marks and setting up scoring plays. A hard edge with terrific kicking skills, Young is one to certainly keep in mind for Pick 1.

July Ranking: #3

Last month: All-Australian selection in defence after a strong national carnival (averaging 22.0 disposals, 5.3 marks, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 tackles) was terrific reward for the Dandenong Stingrays’ leader, as Young returned back to NAB League level in the past couple of weeks. While Dandenong has not managed to get a win on the board, Young’s influence in the defensive half has made a massive difference, spending time up the ground. In his three games since the national championships, Young has a averaged 25.7 disposals, 4.7 marks, 5.3 inside 50s and booted 3.4.

#4 Lachlan Ash

Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country | General Defender
21/06/2001 | 186cm | 80kg

Along with Young, Ash is the other standout Country prospect in defence. The Murray Bushrangers runner has few flaws to his game, owning the defensive 50 with a massive amount of intercept marks and rebounds, while slicing up opposition zones with his elite kicking ability. He is a player that just catches the eye, gets himself into the right positions, and can set up teammates around the ground or in attack. He has hardly put a foot wrong this season, and while his performance on the MCG had its ups and downs, his NAB League form is not to be questioned. He will be a massive chance for the Morrish Medal if he stays fit, and is a crucial part of the Murray Bushrangers outfit. The noticeable advantage with Ash compared to a lot of half-backs is he can win his own ball, and while he might only win a third of his possessions in a contest, he is comparably low with handball receives, almost winning more touches from marking than from handballs. If he and Young both play off half-back at the National Under 18 Championships, expect Country to have plenty of run and penetration.

July Ranking: #4

Last month: After a shaky start to the final game against Western Australia, Ash had a massive second half to have a real impact on the contest for Vic Country. While Country ultimately fell short in its quest for the title, Ash had shown enough to win All-Australian selection. The elite user averaged 23.0 disposals, 5.0 marks and 5.0 rebounds per game in his four outings. He has since returned to the Murray Bushrangers, where he averaged 25 disposals, 4.5 marks, 4.0 tackles, and playing large proportions of his games up forward, booted 3.4.

#5 Sam Flanders

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder/Forward
24/07/2001 | 182cm | 81kg

After playing as a damaging forward in 2018, Flanders has moved into the midfield this season and been one of the more prolific extractors. While it could be argued his greatest impact is around goals – where he seems to kick the impossible at times – he also has the nous in the midfield to find the ball at stoppages and kick long inside 50, or sweep the handball out to a running teammate. Gippsland has missed his influence and strength in attack, but he has added another dimension to a deep Power midfield. Flanders is a player who will divide draft watchers as he could be top five, or later first round depending on what you look at. He plays taller than his 182cm, and is strong overhead or at ground level. Another top-end Country prospect to watch this year.

July Ranking: #5

Last month: Retained his spot in the fifth place on the rankings, earning All-Australian honours at the national carnival where he averaged 22.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 6.0 tackles, 4.5 clearances and 4.8 inside 50s. Flanders has shown he is capable of playing midfield or forward, with a high level of X-factor particularly around goal. In his two games back for Gippsland Power, Flanders has averaged 24.5 disposals, 4.0 marks, 3.0 tackles and 4.5 inside 50s.

#6 Caleb Serong

Gippsland Power/Vic Country | Small Forward/Midfielder
09/02/2001 | 178cm | 83kg

A tireless worker, Serong missed the opening game of the NAB League season and has been working his way back into the year finding plenty of the ball around the ground. For a smaller player, Serong never takes a backwards step and seems to find the ball in all three areas of the ground, having plenty of influence around the stoppages, particularly in the forward half. He is very strong overhead and brings his teammates into the game. Both he and close mate, Sam Flanders lead the Gippsland Power charge for draftees in what should be a big year for them. Will miss most of the NAB League season due to school and state commitments, but will be a welcome return come finals time.

July Ranking: #7

Last month: Wrapped up the national championships with the Vic Country MVP, picking up 30-plus disposals in a massive game against South Australia at GMHBA Stadium, before a quieter outing against Western Australia in the final game. He averaged 23.5 disposals, 5.5 marks. 8.5 tackles and 5.3 clearances in a solid few weeks for the tough midfielder. Will return to Gippsland Power in the final round of the NAB League Boys season ahead of finals.

#7 Tom Green

GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies | Inside Midfielder
23/01/2001 | 188cm | 85kg

The inside hard nut has drawn comparisons to Patrick Cripps in the way he excels at the contested ball, bullying his way to a truckload of possessions and clearances. He has clean and quick hands on the inside and a long kick, while having no issues whatsoever finding the pill. In the opening few NAB League games, Green racked up an average of 33 disposals and 10.25 clearances, still going at more than 60 per cent efficiency despite running at greater than 60 per cent contested. Across the board he is very consistent – similar to Cripps – in order to have an influence on the contest. He will be the top pure tall inside midfielder in the draft, with adding more scoreboard pressure the key between Green and the likes of Rowell and Anderson.

July Ranking: #6

Last month: Earned All-Australian honours and the Allies’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the national championships, averaging 23.8 disposals, 2.8 marks, a massive 8.0 clearances and 4.5 tackles in his four matches. He has since injured his knee and will miss between four to six weeks, luckily avoiding surgery.

#8 Brodie Kemp

Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country | Tall Utility
01/05/2001 | 192cm | 82kg

Kemp is a player that will be looked at as a long-term prospect, and one who could be moulded into nearly anything. At 192cm, he has played a hybrid role over the past few years, rotating between attack and midfield, and even some time in defence. He knows how to hit the scoreboard and has a long kick but could tidy it up when at full-speed. His ability to get to the outside and move in transition is a strength. He is a smooth mover who looks like an outside player, but wins the majority of his possessions at the coal face. Another player who will miss the majority of the NAB League season due to his school football commitments, but will be one to watch at the National Under 18 Championships.

July Ranking: #9

Last month: Capped off a starring national carnival with All-Australian selection and almost delivering Vic Country’s title with crucial last quarter goals. He has proven to be a clutch player in big moments, averaging 20.0 disposals, 6.5 marks, 2.3 tackles and booting three goals at the championships. Unfortunately for Kemp, he went down with an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear in a recent school game and will miss the remainder of the season.

#9 Dylan Stephens

Norwood/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
08/01/2001 | 182cm | 70kg

Stephens is another lightly built midfielder who despite being just 70kg has forced his way into the SANFL League side for Norwood already in season 2019. Given the Redlegs’ tendancy to restrict kids from being exposed at the top level – see Luke Valente last year – it is a credit to Stephens – and teammate Taheny, to already earn their stripes. He has held his own too, admitedly playing a very outside game, but with many bigger bodies at the Redlegs, Stephens has terrific skills and moves well in transition, able to win the ball in midfield, take off and kick perfectly inside 50. He still has to add bulk to his frame, but he showed when taking on his peers he is capable of playing an inside role as well. Expect him to be the prime mover for South Australia at the Under 18 Championships and raise his stocks with a big couple of months.

July Ranking: #11

Last month: One of South Australia’s best across the national championships, Stephens showed off his slick foot skills and leadership to earn a place in the All-Australian side. He averaged 23.5 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.3 tackles and 3.5 inside 50s to be an important link on the outside for the Croweaters. He continues to shine in the SANFL League, returning to the competition and most recently having an impressive 26-disposal, eight-tackle, four-mark and one-goal game in the Redlegs’ big win over North Adelaide.

#10 Fischer McAsey

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
11/04/2001 | 195cm | 86kg

McAsey is a key position defender who has played up the attacking end in previous years. He has found his place in the defence in 2019. and seems to be a settled player there not only doing well for Sandringham Dragons and at Caulfield Grammar, but stepping up for Vic Metro at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. He is considered one of the draft bolters this season, with not too many key position talls jumping up, McAsey is a player who is firmly putting his hand up as a top 10 prospect should his form continue, and he has plenty of traits to like. His intercept marking, athleticism and ball use by foot is very solid and does not have too many weaknesses across the board.

July Ranking: #16

Last month: The draft bolter of the AFL Under 18 National Championships, McAsey earned the title of Vic Metro’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) for his work in defence. In his four games, McAsey has averaged 14.5 disposals, 6.5 marks, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 tackles, not only nullifying his direct opponent, but creating offensive run out of defence. In addition to this, McAsey had a big day out for Sandringham during a bye week for school football, booting three goals from 18 disposals and 10 marks to be the difference in the Dragons’ narrow seven-point win over Dandenong Stingrays.

#11 Mitch O'Neill

Tasmania Devils/Allies | Outside Midfielder
21/02/2001 | 178cm | 69kg

The top Tasmanian prospect was an All-Australian in his bottom-age year, and has a nice blend of inside and outside capabilities. Given his lightly built frame, expect O’Neill to stick to the outside during the National Under 18 Championships, but he can win his own ball at the same time. He reads the taps well and is able to spread to the outside, pumping the ball inside 50 to set up scoring chains. Having spent time in defence last year, O’Neill has moved into the midfield and found just as much of the ball, and is a crucial ball user on the outside. He will be the player most analysed by opposition sides when playing Tasmania Devils in the NAB League, and O’Neill will enjoy added freedom at the National Under 18 Championships for the Allies.

July Ranking: #8

Last month: Had an impressive carnival with the Allies, averaging 20.3 disposals, 5.5 marks and 4.3 rebounds playing between half-back and on the wing. Unfortunately injured himself returning back to NAB League duties, going down in the game between Tasmania and Eastern. Should not have too much bearing on his draftability with his first round expectations still there.

#12 Will Gould

Glenelg/South Australia | Key Position Defender
14/01/2001 | 191cm | 98kg

The key defender is the player likely to be the big point of difference in the top-end of the rankings. At 191cm he is a tad undersized for a key position player, but he has the ability to play small or tall, and has been working on his tank to play midfield at times. He wins plenty of the ball at half-back and averages almost eight rebounds per game at League level for Glenelg – holding his own against bigger bodies and dropping into the hole with his game smarts reading the ball in flight well. He has leadership tendencies and captained the Australian Under 18s at the MCG against Casey Demons and will be a prime candidate for the South Australian job as well. Gould has put on seven kilograms since the championships last season, enabling him to take the more monster key forwards, and while he might still be undersized, he just competes and has a massive work rate which stands out each time he plays.

July Ranking: #10

Last month: Recorded the most rebounds of any player at the national championships, posting up 7.3 rebounds per game in his four matches, as well as 21.5 disposals and 4.5 marks to earn All-Australian honours. Gould has become a well-established member of SANFL title favourites’ Glenelg’s line-up and has become a consistent performer against AFL listed players such as his efforts against Adelaide reserves recently.

#13 Jackson Mead

WWT Eagles/South Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/09/2001 | 183cm | 83kg

The son of Port Adelaide inaugural Best and Fairest winner, Darren has made a promising start to the 2019 SANFL season, starting in the Reserves and impressing, showing that a League debut would be in the not-too-distint future. Mead will team up with Stephens at the National Under 18 Championships to lead the side through his penetrating kick and good skills, spreading around and using the ball well forward of centre. Not as prolific a ball winner as some others, Mead has good smarts and does not waste too many disposals. Importantly, Mead hits the scoreboard as a midfielder, and can win his own ball on the inside when required. He might play more of an inside role at the National Championships, but South Australia will be keen to give him time and space to impact the contest best.

July Ranking: #12

Last month: Finished the national carnival with 21.3 disposals, 3.3 marks, 5.0 tackles, 3.0 clearances and 3.8 inside 50s in a prominent month of football for the potential father-son prospect. Has since returned to the SANFL where he has made his League debut for Woodville-West Torrens, picking up 10 disposals, four marks and booting a goal.

#14 Trent Bianco

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Outside Midfielder
20/01/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

Arguably quite underrated given his size and the ability of his highly touted Oakleigh teammates, Bianco is one of the best ball users in the draft crop this season. Like Lachlan Ash, Bianco rebounds off half-back and can go into the middle when required, a place he will no doubt spend a lot of time this season having wrapped up his Year 12 studies last year. The co-captain of the Oakleigh Chargers is an outside ball user, and finding more contested ball could be an area he looks to in season 2019, but his skills are good enough that he could easily play as that outside user, especially considering his size. A versatile player, expect Bianco to be one of the Morrish Medal contenders this season when he is not running around for Vic Metro. He had a massive game against Tasmania Devils, racking up 42 disposals, although he did have seven clangers on the day. Keeps rising and despite being smaller, just finds the ball and uses it well more often than not.

July Ranking: #13

Last month: A late withdrawal from Oakleigh’s game against Western on the weekend due to a quad issue, Bianco was best on ground in the Chargers’ upset win against Eastern Ranges upon his return to the NAB League. He picked up 34 touches, eight marks, four tackles, six inside 50s and 10 rebounds in a dominant performance off half-back and through the midfield. It followed up his work at the championships where he averaged 18.5 disposals, 4.3 marks, 3.8 inside 50s and 3.8 rebounds.

#15 Dylan Williams

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | General Utility
01/07/2001 | 185cm | 81kg

After having a terrific second half of the year playing as a medium forward, Williams has spent time mixed between attack and defence in season 2019. He is definitely more suited to attack where he has a high vertical leap and is dangerous around goals. He is as strong overhead as anyone and certainly impressive for a player of his size. Not a huge ball winner, Williams just needs to find four quarter consistency this season as he is the player that can boot four goals in a term and take the game away from the opposition. He also has terrific skills, and hits three out of his four targets despite finding half his possessions in a contest. When at stoppages, Williams is more than capable of winning clearances as he showed against Dandenong, bursting away and pumping the ball long. One area of improvement is his defensive work, which is why he has been played in defence at times to build that area of his game. In the wet at Craigieburn against Calder Cannons in Round 2, Williams had eight out of 12 disposals effective, running at a much higher efficiency than his teammates. Does not have APS school commitments so will play the full year at NAB League Boys level with the Chargers, co-captaining the side with Trent Bianco.

July Ranking: #14

Last month: Since returning from the championships, Williams helped Oakleigh get over the line with two crucial goals at moments during the win against Eastern. He just had the eight touches and three marks, but then was impacted by a back issue, forcing him to miss the Chargers’ last game against Western.

#16 Trent Rivers

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/07/2001 | 189cm | 84kg

It is a good year for East Fremantle, with prospects basically growing on trees, and Rivers is another touted top 30 prospect along with Jeremy Sharp and Luke Jackson. Rivers is a natural-born leader who thrives on the contest and is as consistent as they come, racking up more than 20 disposals in most outings. He loves to tackle and put his body on the line, and is a crucial key to the midfield of Western Australia at the national championships. Unlike a lot of other top-end midfielders this year, Rivers has the size on him, standing at 189cm and 84kg, and readymade for senior football.

July Ranking: #17

Last month: Does not do a lot wrong and always looks classy with ball-in-hand, Rivers averaged 21.8 disposals, 5.0 marks, 2.5 tackles and 3.0 rebounds for Western Australia and was one of the best in the Sandgropers’ win over Vic Country for the title. Named on the bench in the All-Australian team for his great work at the carnival and has since continued his form at WAFL Colts level for East Fremantle, including 28 disposals, five marks, five tackles and two goals in his most recent outing on the weekend.

#17 Liam Henry

Claremont/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder/Forward
28/08/2001 | 179cm | 67kg

A member of Fremantle’s Next Generation Academy, Henry is another lightly built midfielder who can go forward and impact a game inside 50. Henry has nice skills and slick athletic traits that help him work his way out of congestion while making good decisions with ball-in-hand. He does need to find a bit more of the football at times which is the next step, but he is a player who will rarely waste a possession and one who Fremantle fans would be excited to have on their list. Still has scope to develop further, and grow into his body at just 67kg and another sub-180cm midfielder. One who would be keen to finish off the year strongly – although perhaps Fremantle would prefer he kept it in check. A highly talented player.

July Ranking: #21

Last month: Finished the carnival on a high with a big game, particularly early for Western Australia in the Sandgropers’ win over Vic Country. Not as high disposal winner as others, he still had 17.5 disposals, 5.3 marks, 4.0 tackles and booted three goals from his four games in the championships, and rarely wastes a disposal with a high work rate.

#18 Cameron Taheny

Norwood/South Australia | General Forward
03/08/2001 | 184cm | 80kg

The medium forward is an excitement machine who lit up the National Under 16 Championships in 2017. He continued that form in his bottom-age year for Norwood, booting six goals in a game last year to show off his talents inside 50. Similar to Dylan Williams, Taheny has his ups and downs, but his best is as good as anyone else’s in the draft crop. A good season could propel him into the top half of the first round, and he is a player who could turn a match on its head which will be crucial for South Australia at the National Under 18 Championships. Has already broken into the League side for Norwood and booted three goals on debut. One to watch through the year as someone who could rise.

July Ranking: #15

Last month: Has continued to play a role in Norwood’s SANFL League side, improving the defensive side of his game with five tackles from 10 disposals in his last outing against North Adelaide. At the championships he averaged a goal a game from 14.0 disposals and 2.7 marks, with his upside, rather than current output the aspect that sets him aside from other forward prospects.

#19 Josh Worrell

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Key Position Utility
11/04/2001 | 193cm | 78kg

The Sandringham Dragons defender has had an impressive past few weeks after not having to do too much in the Dragons’ obliteration of Calder in the opening round of the NAB League season. On the MCG against Casey Demons, Worrell stood tall in defence, showing an ability to remain calm under pressure and use the ball well. At 193cm, Worrell will be a player that clubs look at differently, being that few cms smaller than the current trend for key position defenders, which is fine considering Worrell’s ability to provide run and carry out of defence. He is still lightly built, but he is strong overhead and has the potential to develop into a tall midfielder or one who roams off half-back and sets up attacking plays. A player who will spend the season at Haileybury College.

July Ranking: #18

Last month: Became a goal scoring hero for Vic Metro at the national championships, booting seven goals from four games as well as having 10.8 disposals and 3.8 marks per game. Unfortunately for Worrell and Sandringham Dragons, his season is over after a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the 2019 season.

#20 Cody Weightman

Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country | General Forward
15/01/2001 | 177cm | 73kg

For the first two months of our Power Rankings, the electric small forward has been on the periphery of making it, and after a terrific national carnival – where he booted four goals in two of his three games – Weightman makes it into the Power Rankings in July. He has a high ceiling given he can create goals out of nothing and score from general play or set shots and has a powerful kicking action to boot. Just 177cm and 73kg, Weightman is another light prospect who has plenty of development left in him. Could be another player who lights up NAB League finals as he is a big game player.

July Ranking: #20

Last month: Won the leading goalkicker award at the national championships which is no easy feat, booting nine majors in four games from his 11.0 disposals and 3.5 marks. Always looks damaging around the ball and is captain of Haileybury College where he has been playing since the championships finished up. He will be a welcome addition for Dandenong Stingrays in the final few weeks of the NAB League season.

#21 Connor Budarick

Gold Coast SUNS Academy/Allies | General Utility
06/04/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

The Gold Coast SUNS Academy player could draw comparisons to Ned McHenry in both his stature and defensive pressure. Budarick played as a forward last year, and has spent more time in the midfield in 2019, but will likely rotate between both at the National Under 18 Championships. Weighing in at about 70kg, Budarick is outside leaning when in the midfield and just has little bursts where he wins the football. In the exhibition match against Casey Demons, Budarick played in defence and held his own back there, but his best comes forward of centre where he lays an average of seven tackles per game, and forces turnovers close to goal. He runs hard between the arcs and will likely cost Gold Coast a top 30 pick based on his skills and work rate.

July Ranking: #19

Last month: The tackling machine laid a massive 9.3 tackles per game at the championships to accompany his 15.5 disposals and 2.3 marks. He can play anywhere on the field and was named in the back pocket where he stood out during the Division 2 series. Budarick was named the Harrison Medallist for his work with Gold Coast SUNS Academy, and has plenty of neat tricks that help recruiters overlook his size.

#22 Cooper Sharman

Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro | Tall Forward
25/07/2000 | 190cm |

The Oakleigh Chargers product is the definition of a draft bolter, with clubs keeping him under wraps until he made his Chargers’ debut in the NAB League against Gippsland Power. He has since strung a few games together at the level and has plenty of exciting traits, both athletically and game-based. He knows where the goals are, is a reliable set shot and a great overhead mark. Looks damaging every time he goes near it. Is still raw and has areas to work on, but could certainly be the Sam Sturt of 2019.

July Ranking: N/A

Last month: In four games, Sharman has booted nine goals for the Chargers, only narrowly missing his first set shot on the weekend. He averages the 13.5 disposals,5.0 marks and 2.5 inside 50s, and while his defensive game is an area of improvement, it was noticeable against Western that it was a focus of his, laying four tackles – the same amount he had in his first three games with the Chargers. The wildcard for Oakleigh in the final two months.

#23 Finn Maginness

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Balanced Midfielder
23/02/2001 | 187cm | 80kg

The underrated midfielder missed out on being included in the State Victorian Metro Academy, but has not let that get him down, performing strongly across the NAB League and school seasons, and working his way up the boards with some strong performances against the best players around the country. He has a nice sidestep that can get him out of trouble and wins a lot of the ball in close, with a few areas to iron out such as his kicking, but he has some great developing traits and plenty of future development. Most importantly, he can win the ball on the inside and extract it out, but can also play an outside role too.

July Ranking: #30

Last month: Really showed off his defensive capabilities at the national championships, averaging 18.3 disposals, 3.5 marks, 7.5 tackles, 4.3 inside 50s and 3.8 clearances to continue to prove a point after missing out on the Vic Metro Academy. Will likely play a key role in Sandringham’s finals campaign with a number of others injured.

#24 Luke Jackson

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Ruck
29/09/2001 | 197cm | 93kg

The athletic West Australian ruck picked Australian Rules over basketball last year despite donning the green and gold on the court. Jackson plays like an extra midfielder when moving around the ground and has been plying his trade at Colts level in the WAFL given the strength of ruck stocks at East Fremantle. Jackson looms as a potential first round pick, even though rucks are traditionally taken later. He would be viewed as a long-term prospect, and certainly if his two National Under 18 Championships games from 2018 are anything to go by, he has plenty of talent at his disposal. Clubs will like the fact he is not out of the contest once the ball hits ground level, and was solid against Casey Demons’ bigger-bodied rucks on the MCG. The standout ruck in the 2019 draft crop in a crop that does not have as many top-end talls as last year.

July Ranking: #23

Last month: Still the number one ruck in the draft crop, but like all rucks and even talls most of the time, tend to slip with the improvement of other players. Earned All-Australian honours and was runner-up in the Larke Medal voting, and is now back at East Fremantle where he had 25 disposals, 36 hitouts, and four marks in a big game for the Sharks on the weekend.

#25 Cooper Stephens

Geelong Falcons/Vic Country | Inside Midfielder
17/01/2001 | 188cm | 83kg

Geelong Falcons midfielder unfortunately fractured his fibula in in Round 3. Stephens is a huge loss for Vic Country as Falcons Talent Manager Mick Turner said he would not take part in the National Under 18 Championships next month. Stephens is a neat user of the ball, recording 65 per cent by foot, and in the two games before his injury, Stephens averaged 26 disposals, 3.5 marks, 4.0 clearances and ran at more than 60 per cent contested possessions.

July Ranking: #25

Last month: It was confirmed recently that a return for Stephens is not worth the risk, which means the Falcons co-skipper will be on ice for the remainder of the year as he has been for the majority of it. He might have slipped down the order a bit, but he could end up a value pick given what he showed last season as as bottom-ager.

#26 Will Day

West Adelaide/South Australia | General Defender
17/01/2001 | 187cm | 70kg

The underrated South Australian utility has been one of the big improvers this season, showing off some nice signs at school football and then South Australia at the AFL Under 18 National Championships. Like Weightman, Day has been on the periphery of our Power Rankings the past two months, and after some solid performances at the national carnival, makes the list for July. Day has shown signs similar to last year’s bolter, Jez McLennan who had a good carnival and emerged as a top 30 prospect with nice foot skills and composure. Day can kick on either side of his body and is a good size at 187cm despite still being very light at 70kg.

July Ranking: #26

Last month: Built nice form at the national carnival to average 18.8 disposals, 5.0 marks and 3.3 rebounds off half-back. A nice mover who has high upside expect him to finish the SANFL year strongly now school football is finished.

#27 Jack Mahony

Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro | Small Forward/Midfielder
12/11/2001 | 176cm | 70kg

One of the top performed and highly rated players at Under-15 level, Jack Mahony remains a top prospect despite others putting their hand up since. He might only stand at 176cm, but the Sandringham Dragons midfielder/forward has plenty to like about what he can offer to an AFL club. His kicking is as good as anyone in the draft crop, but more for his vision and decision making more so than a penetrating boot like others. He is a unique playmaker in the sense that he can set others up inside 50 with centimetre-perfect passes to leading teammates over any distance. Has more impact in the forward half, particularly as the player with the last disposal going inside 50. Hits the scoreboard himself as well which is important, and can run all day through the midfield if need be, though his size may limit him at the elite level.

July Ranking: #22

Last month: Mahony averaged 18.0 disposals, 3.3 marks, 3.5 tackles and 1.0 goals per game at the recent national championships, but it is the way he uses the pill that helps him stand out. In the forward half of the ground, Mahony reads and assesses his options quicker than most and has a playmaking role that impacts the contest. Unfortunately he recently broke his hand and will miss four to six weeks.

#28 Deven Robertson

Perth/Western Australia | Balanced Midfielder
30/06/2001 | 182cm | 80kg

The massive ball-winning midfielder from Western Australia was been a dominant force in the AFL Under 18 National Championships after injury last year, and has boosted his draft ranking after the carnival. He still has areas to tidy up such as kicking under pressure, but would stake a case of the most consistent player in the draft crop and you know exactly what you are going to get from him.

July ranking: N/A

Last month: Has forced his way into the rankings after an ultra-consistent national championships, where he collected every award he could with the Larke Medal, Western Australia MVP, All-Australian jumper and captaincy of the All-Australian team. Just does his job week in, week out and is a fierce tackler with 6.8 tackles per game during the championships, as well as picking up the most ever disposals. Unfortunately, Robertson is now done for the year, needing a shoulder reconstruction after dislocating his shoulder in the final championships game.

#29 Jeremy Sharp

East Fremantle/Western Australia | Outside Midfielder
13/08/2001 | 187cm | 79kg

One of a number of East Fremantle potential draftees, Sharp is a skilled midfielder who is capable of playing off half-back as well as along the wing. He is not a massive ball winner, but he is a terrific kick of the footy and is a run-and-carry player. Along with Jackson, Sharp is a potential top 10 player who is a good size at 187cm and has added some bulk to his frame over the off-season. He is one of just three players who earned All-Australian honours as a bottom-ager last season following a magnificent Under 18 Championships. Sharp is one of those players you want the ball in their hands going forward as he will likely pinpoint a target inside 50. One to watch if he can go to another level at his top-age championships.

July Ranking: #24

Last month: Sharp was named in the All-Australian team for his performances over the national championships, averaging 21.0 disposals, 5.8 marks and booting three goals from his four games. In his return to WAFL League, he picked up 20 disposals, six marks, three tackles and a goal before a more modest six dispsoals, three marks, two tackles and goal last week. It comes after he dominated at school footy, booting seven goals in just over a half for Aquinas College, playing forward to break a tag

#30 Elijah Taylor

Perth/Western Australia | General Forward
01/05/2001 | 185cm | 75kg

Taylor has X-factor and plenty of scope for the future as a medium forward. He always looks damaging when in possession and a worry for opposition defenders when not in possession. He is still raw compared to other forwards, but his ceiling is quite high and no doubt clubs will keep him on their radar. He has been a talented player for some time, but he has started to string together impressive performances to put his name into top 30 calculations. A key player for Perth in the WAFL and stepped up during the AFL Under-18 National Championships.

July Ranking: N/A

Last month: Finished equal third in the goal kicking at the national championships, booting six majors from four games. He also averaged the 12.3 disposals and 2.5 marks, showing some terrific athletic traits and X-factor inside 50.

Ones to watch:

Despite having to restrict the list to 30, there are plenty of players on the radar in an even draft, with the likes of Kysaiah Pickett, Darcy Cassar, Fraser Phillips and Nick Bryan just narrowly missing out having been in the top 30 of our Power Rankings previously and are every chance to still find a home in that space. Others who came into consideration from Victoria included Greater Western Victoria Rebels’ Jay Rantall, Dandenong Stingrays’ Sam De Koning and Ned Cahill, Bendigo Pioneers’ Thomson Dow, Calder Cannons’ Harrison Jones and Sandringham Dragons’ Miles Bergman. Others who have shown form, have past runs on the board or would be also in consideration in he first half of the draft include Western Australia’s Mitch Georgiades and Trey Ruscoe, South Australia’s Dyson Hilder and Harry Schoenberg, and Brisbane Lions’ Noah Cumberland.

Victoria leads way with National Combine invitees

VICTORIA has dominated this year’s NAB AFL Draft Combine List, with 44 of the 79 invites hailing from the state, including a remarkable 11 players from Sandringham Dragons. Vic Metro led the way despite finishing on the bottom of the table at the National Under-18 Championships, with 23 players making the list, followed by title runners-up Vic Country (21), while overall winners Western Australia (16), and South Australia (13) both reached double-figure invites. Of the Allied states, Queensland had three nominees, followed by New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) with two, as Northern Territory and Tasmania both had the sole nomination each. Players must have been invited by at least four clubs to receive an invite to the national combine, which will be held from Tuesday, October 1-Friday October 4. The state combine lists are usually released over the next few months.

Among the list are five Northern Academy-aligned players with GWS Academy’s Tom Green and Liam Delahunty, Brisbane Lions’ Noah Cumberland and Will Martyn, and Gold Coast’s Connor Budarick. Also receiving invites are father-son prospects Jackson Mead (Port Adelaide) and Finn Maginness (Hawthorn), and the Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA) member Liam Henry.

Sandringham’s haul of 11 players includes Darcy Chirgwin (Vic Country) as well as double-digit Vic Metro representatives, Jack Bell, Miles Bergman, Louis Butler, Ryan Byrnes, Oscar Lewis, Maginness, Jack Mahony, Fischer McAsey, Hugo Ralphsmith and Josh Worrell. Oakleigh Chargers and Gippsland Power was the next most with six apiece, Dandenong Stingrays with five and Bendigo Pioneers with four.

In Western Australia, East Fremantle dominated the 16 nominees, picking up six as Jai Jackson, Luke Jackson, Trent Rivers, Trey Ruscoe, Jeremy Sharp and Chad Warner all named. In South Australia, Woodville-West Torrens had four representatives with Mead, Josh Morris, Kysaiah Pickett and Harry Schoenberg all receiving an invite. Just seven players came from the Allies squad, with Green and Tasmania’s Mitch O’Neill the top prospects.

A couple of players proving that missing out on representative selection is not the end of the AFL Draft dream are Northern Knights’ Sam Philp and Oakleigh Chargers’ Cooper Sharman. Philp has been in great form in the NAB League Boys competition, whilst Sharman has been plucked from under former AFL coach Rodney Eade’s nose to bolt up into draft calculations.

2019 NAB AFL Draft Combine list
NSW/ACT

Liam Delahunty (GWS Academy)
Tom Green (GWS Academy)

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Malcolm Rosas (NT Thunder)

QUEENSLAND

Connor Budarick (Gold Coast Academy)
Noah Cumberland (Brisbane Lions Academy)
Will Martyn (Brisbane Lions Academy)

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Will Day (West Adelaide)
Karl Finlay (North Adelaide)
Will Gould (Glenelg)
Dyson Hilder (North Adelaide)
Jackson Mead (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Morris (Woodville-West Torrens)
Callum Park (Glenelg)
Kysaiah Pickett (Woodville-West Torrens)
Harry Schoenberg (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Shute (Sturt)
Dylan Stephens (Norwood)
Cameron Taheny (Norwood)

TASMANIA

Mitch O’Neill (Tasmania Devils)

VIC COUNTRY

Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers)
Riley Baldi (Gippsland Power)
Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays)
Darcy Chirgwin (Sandringham Dragons)
Jesse Clark (Geelong Falcons)
Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power)
Sam De Koning (Dandenong Stingrays)
Thomson Dow (Bendigo Pioneers)
Sam Flanders (Gippsland Power)
Brodie Kemp (Bendigo Pioneers)
Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers)
Fraser Phillips (Gippsland Power)
Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels)
Brady Rowles (Bendigo Pioneers)
Caleb Serong (Gippsland Power)
Brock Smith (Gippsland Power)
Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons)
Isaac Wareham (GWV Rebels)
Cody Weightman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Lachlan Williams (Dandenong Stingrays)
Hayden Young (Dandenong Stingrays)

VIC METRO

Noah Anderson (Oakleigh Chargers)
Jack Bell (Sandringham Dragons)
Miles Bergman (Sandringham Dragons)
Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers)
Nick Bryan (Oakleigh Chargers)
Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons)
Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons)
Darcy Cassar (Western Jets)
Josh Honey (Western Jets)
Emerson Jeka (Western Jets)
Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons)
Oscar Lewis (Sandringham Dragons)
Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons)
Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons)
Fischer McAsey (Sandringham Dragons)
Daniel Mott (Calder Cannons)
Sam Philp (Northern Knights)
Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons)
Matt Rowell (Oakleigh Chargers)
Cooper Sharman (Oakleigh Chargers)
Ryan Sturgess (Northern Knights)
Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers)
Josh Worrell (Sandringham Dragons)

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Riley Garcia (Swan Districts)
Mitch Georgiades (Subiaco)
Liam Henry (Claremont)
Jai Jackson (East Fremantle)
Luke Jackson (East Fremantle)
Callum Jamieson (Claremont)
Ben Johnson (West Perth)
Ronin O’Connor (Claremont)
Jake Pasini (Swan Districts)
Jaxon Prior (West Perth)
Trent Rivers (East Fremantle)
Deven Robertson (Perth)
Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle)
Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle)
Elijah Taylor (Perth)
Chad Warner (East Fremantle)

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – East Fremantle vs. Peel Thunder

IN Round 15 of the Simply Energy West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated Peel Thunder by 13 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

Below were the best players in the game.

EAST FREMANTLE

#8 Owen Dann
The Geraldton product was playing as a half-back flanker and showed promising signs, using his speed, and flair to set up attacking forays from the defensive half. He gathered 11 possessions, took seven marks and laid three tackles to be a pivotal defender for the Sharks.

#9 Dylan Curley
The Mullewa junior showed why he is such an exciting player, showing off plenty of flair in the forward half for East Fremantle. He led the Sharks’ revival in the second quarter, when he took a strong contested mark early before drilling his first goal. His final statistics were eight possessions, four marks, three inside 50s, two tackles and two goals.

#10 Trent Rivers
The East Fremantle captain was inspiring for the Sharks, often throwing his body into stoppages to win the contested possession for his team. He collected 25 possessions, laid seven tackles, grabbed six marks and recorded five inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground.

#13 Keanu Haddow
A Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member, Haddow showed promising signs of his potential against the Thunder. Stationed on the half-back line, Haddow accumulated 17 possessions and took two marks, providing a heap of rebound out of the defensive half to set up attacking forays for his team.

#16 Chad Warner
The WA U18s State Academy member was his usual bullocking self in the contest against Peel Thunder. Warner accumulated 26 possessions, laid eight tackles, recorded three inside 50s and grabbed two marks to be one of the best midfielders on the ground. His thirst for the contest was especially evident, often barging his way into stoppages to win the ball for his team.

#20 Brandon Walker
The 2018 AFL U16s All-Australian defender showed why he is so highly touted for the 2020 AFL Draft with another polished performance. He accumulated 11 possessions, grabbed three marks and laid two tackles, while he also provided a heap of run from the defensive half.

#23 Luke Jackson
The All-Australian ruckman showed why he is arguably the best ruck prospect in this year’s AFL Draft pool with another dominant display. Against Peel, Jackson accumulated 22 possessions, won 41 hit-outs, laid three tackles and grabbed two marks to be the most dominant ruckman on the ground. His aerobic ability is outstanding for someone his age.

#25 Jai Jackson
The Chapman Valley product was his usual explosive self, rotating between the midfield and the forward line. He finished with 16 possessions, four marks and four tackles, playing an excellent role for the Sharks.

#29 Reuben McGuire
The Willetton junior produced a powerful performance to remind recruiters of his potential at the next level. He gathered 12 possessions, won 12 hit-outs, v\grabbed three marks, recorded three inside 50s and kicked a goal to be a key component of East Fremantle’s victory. His best moment came in the last quarter when he intercepted a Peel kick-out, before he snapped through a goal.

PEEL THUNDER

#1 Tyrone Thorne
The Rockingham junior showed why he is considered to be one of the better small pressure forwards in this year’s AFL Draft Pool. He accumulated 12 possessions, laid six tackles and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to create plenty of attacking opportunities for the Thunder.

#2 Jackson Knight
Currently third in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award, Knight continued his fine season with another great performance, this time against East Fremantle. He finished with 25 possessions, 12 tackles, eight inside 50s and seven marks to arguably be Peel’s best player. His best passage of play came in the last quarter, when he won an important clearance before he laced out Roy George inside attacking 50.

#5 Andrew Butler
Playing as the rover, Butler provided a heap of energy around the stoppages, trying to will his team on to victory. His clearance work was outstanding and his desire to win the contested possession was superb for someone his age. He finished with 15 possessions, eight tackles, and three marks to be one of Peel’s best players.

#11 Jarvis Pina
The Peel Thunder captain tried hard to will his team to victory with another accomplished performance. Against the Sharks, Pina collected 16 possessions, grabbed four marks, laid four tackles and recorded two inside 50s rotating between the wing and the half-back flank. His skills in the wet conditions were outstanding.

#18 Ben Middleton
The Halls Head product continued to show why he is the best key forward in this year’s WAFL Colts competition with another powerful performance. He finished with 14 possessions, four inside 50s, three marks and two goals to be Peel’s most dangerous forward target. He now has 20 goals from 10 games for the season.

#19 Isaiah Winder
The Eaton Boomer put together some moments that showed why he is considered a highly-rated prospect for the 2020 AFL Draft. His final statistics were eight possessions, four marks, two tackles and two goals, but it was what he did with ball-hand that would have impressed recruiters. An example of this was in the first quarter, when he was stuck on the boundary but had to poise and composure under duress, to square the ball to Jonathon Ietto.

#27 Jack Sears
Having already made a name for himself as a gun key forward, Sears has shown a versatility to be a damaging wingman for the Thunder in recent weeks. Against the Sharks, Sears gathered 14 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles and grabbed three marks to be a key link to many of Peel’s attacking forays.

#29 Connor Heuer
A bottom-age talent, Heuer showed why he is considered to be a talented prospect for next year’s draft with a dazzling performance against East Fremantle. He accumulated 16 possessions, laid four tackles, and recorded three inside 50s stationed on the half-forward flank.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Sharks play spoilers again to end Peel’s winning run

THERE was only three games in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition this week, but there was certainly no lack of storylines.

WAFL Colts wrap: Round 15

East Fremantle 10.9 (69) defeated Peel 8.9 (57)

A rejuvenated East Fremantle caused one of the upsets of the WAFL Colts season by defeating the red hot Peel Thunder by 12 points at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday morning.

The Sharks came into this game full of confidence having knocked off Swan Districts to end a nine-game losing streak, but it was the ladder leaders who started the contest in ominous fashion kicking the first three goals of the game to take an 18-point lead into the first break.

Bottom ager Isiah Winder kicked his second goal early in the second term to extend the lead, but Dylan Curley quickly responded for the Sharks. Jonathan Ietto pushed the lead back out to four goals, but from that moment it was all East Fremantle. The home side kicked four straight goals to narrow the gap to a single point at the long break.

It was an outstanding quarter by the Sharks which belied their lowly position on the ladder who outscoring their in-form opponents 5.2 to 2.3. The Sharks had more of the ball in the first half (153-124) with Luke Jackson giving his midfielders terrific service with 17 hit-outs for the first half. Trent Rivers was prominent with 14 disposals and four inside 50s while Jackson Knight led the way for Peel with 13 disposals and seven tackles.

In what had turned in a fascinating encounter, both teams split four goals in the early stages of the third term. It remained tight and tough for the remainder of the term and the Thunder took the slimmest of margins into the three quarter time break. Peel had a 2-0 record with games decided by under a kick in 2019 while the Sharks were 1-3.

East Fremantle took their first lead for the game courtesy of bottom ager Finn Gorringe. It was a huge mental barrier to climb over for the Sharks and now it was down to the Thunder to respond and see whether they can reproduce their form from the first term. However, the Sharks were not in the mood to let their southern rivals back into the contest. Ruck/forward Reuben McGuire and Alec Evensen pushed the lead to 19 points. Peel managed to hit back with 12 minutes remaining courtesy of of bottom ager Roy George. The ladder leaders were now pressing hard but the lowly ranked Sharks were adeptly keeping the premiership favourites at bay.

Three goals to one in the final quarter was able to see the Sharks over the line and seal their second consecutive win. It is the second time they have managed to win back to back games this season with the first time occurring way back in the first two rounds of the season. Conversely, it was only Peel’s second defeat of the season and their first since the middle of May. But with West Perth also tasting defeat this round, they keep their buffer of two and a half games.

The Sharks were well worth their victory when you take the overall statistics into account. The home team had 58 more disposals (297-239) and 29 more hitouts (53-24), and while East Fremantle had four less inside 50s (37-33), they were more efficient with two more scoring shots on the day (19-17).

Although the Sharks wont play finals this season they can certainly play a spoiling role in the weeks ahead. You also wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these youngsters taste senior action before the season is out. Jackson will be one of those in line for selection as the ruck/forward hasn’t missed a beat since returning from the U18s carnival. Jackson not only controlled the ruck duties with 41 hit/outs, he also had 22 disposals and two marks. Likewise, Rivers was prominent with 25 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and five inside 50s and Chad Warner was composed throughout with 26 disposals and eight tackles. The Thunder while beaten will have appreciated the stern tests they have been given in the last few weeks. Jackson Knight produced an all-round terrific display with 25 disposals, 12 tackles, eight inside 50s and seven marks.

East Perth 8.7 (55) defeated West Perth 5.10 (40)

East Perth proved once again that they are one of the dark horses in the Premiership race after defeating West Perth by 15 points at Joondalup Arena on Saturday morning.

This clash saw the old rivals in prime form. West Perth had won four in a row while the Royals had won four of their past five with their only defeat coming in a one-point thriller against Peel Thunder last week. The Royals took a slender five point margin into to the first break. The second term was lacking in terms of goalscoring action, but that suited East Perth nicely. The visitors kicked the only two majors to extend their lead to 15 points.

Both teams had seven scoring shots and West Perth had three more inside 50s (17-14) but it was clearly evident that East Perth had made the most of their opportunities. The Royals looked to put the game out the Falcons reach early in the third team by kicking two quick goals to Luke Furlong and Cody Rodgers. The ever present Koopah Todd kicked two goals for the Falcons in the term, but the Royals still won the quarter and took a 22-point lead into the final 25 minutes of action.

To the Falcons’ credit they kept at the job at hand, chipping away inch by inch but sometimes it is not your day and the Royals were able to keep them at arms-length throughout claiming their fifth win from six starts. There was not one dominant quarter by the Royals but more so a steady build leading to a consistent performance. In some ways, West Perth will look at their wastefulness in front of goal (5.10) and overuse of the football as some reasons behind the defeat. East Perth had 44 less disposals (273-229) and four less inside 50s (36-32) yet still managed the same amount of scoring shots and walked away with the four points. But With the quality of the two teams you would expect they will meet in September.

It was an even spread of contributors for the victors with Harley Sparks prominent with 28 disposals, eight inside 50s and six marks. Joshua Ladhams has regularly had a major impact with his ruck work this season and so it proved again with 24 hit/outs which he combined with 17 disposals and eight marks. While the tenacious in and under work of Adam Boules was there for all to see again as the bottom ager added another eight tackles to his tally for the season. Boules leads the category with 91 for the season at a outstanding average of seven per game.

Meanwhile for the Falcons, Tyron Hindmarsh racked up big numbers again with 31 disposals and four tackles. The midfielder is averaging 28.50 disposals a game. WA U18s representative Jaxon Prior also got his fair share of the ball the running half back compiling 32 disposals, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal.

Claremont 10.9 (69) defeated Perth 0.4 (4)

Continuing the WAFL’s plan to take Colts footy to the regions, Claremont and Perth played their fixture in Albany on Saturday evening. It was a game that Claremont will remember while the Demons would soon forget as the Tigers produced a superb exhibition of wet weather football by claiming victory to the tune of 65 points. The victory sees the Tigers rise with a bullet up to second place and certainly a clear premiership threat. Meanwhile, the Demons produced the lowest score of the season and are basically out of all finals contention. A staggering statistic to take into account in regards to Claremont’s four game winning streak is that they have conceded on average just 25 points in those wins. That is what you call a supreme defensive effort and something to keep an eye on as we approach the final month of the regular season.