Tag: wafl league

WAFL League Player Focus: Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle)

SOUTH FREMANTLE young small forward Jesse Motlop, the son of former Port Adelaide and North Melbourne player Daniel, has had an impressive 2021 season across the WAFL Colts and PSA competitions. His form and undeniable potential earned him a WAFL League debut with South Fremantle, against fellow finals contenders Swan Districts.

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospect ended up being an important part of the side’s six-goal victory, chiming in with two goals of his own in the third quarter whilst setting up a few more throughout the entirety of the game.

POCKET PROFILE

Jesse Motlop
South Fremantle/Western Australia

DOB: 23/11/2003
Height/Weight: 176cm/74kg
Position: Small Forward/Midfielder

Strengths: Speed, smarts, goal sense

2021 Averages:
WAFL Colts
(4 games)

15.3 disposals | 2.5 marks | 3.0 tackles | 4.0 inside 50s | 1.5 goals (6 total)

Image Credit: South Fremantle/WAFL

2021 WAFL League, Round 15 | Swan Districts 9.5 (59) def. by South Fremantle 15.5 (95)

#49 Jesse Motlop (South Fremantle)

Stats: 13 disposals (10 kicks, 3 handballs), 6 marks, 4 tackles, 1 inside 50, 2 goals

Q1

It was a low-key opening term for Motlop in his debut senior outing. Starting the game on the bench, he wasn’t sighted until about eight minutes in as he took his position in the goal square as the deepest forward for his first centre bounce.

His first involvement in general play came deep inside 50 where he hit the front and centre of a marking contest, cleanly picking the ball up off the ground and in a position to run into an open goal, but was brought down as soon as he picked it up for a stoppage.

He held the ball to an opponent not long after to get a stoppage in front of goal, though it didn’t result in anything. The only disposal Motlop would record for the first term came as he pushed up the ground to be a switch option from the corridor to the boundary, taking the ball on his chest uncontested before running it up a few steps and then lacing it out to a teammate on the wing, who was able to move the ball quickly and get it inside 50 for a goal.

Despite not racking up numbers on the stats sheet, Motlop was involved in the South Fremantle forward half, pressuring opponents to cause a few turnovers and stoppages, giving his side opportunities to score and making his one kick count.

Q2

Once again taking the role as a deep forward, Motlop wasn’t given many opportunities to use the footy, with the talls of South Fremantle being the targets and Swan Districts doing well to intercept balls as they flew in. He did continue to show the pressure work he did the previous quarter, laying two tackles around the forward 50 where his second efforts saw him get back at the opposition with the ball. He showed a lot of courage at times as well, getting involved in a marking contest where neither player held the ball, but he got straight back up to follow up.

Motlop moved up the ground to get involved when it was a bit of an arm wrestle, where he won the ball off the hands of a marking contest and followed his momentum by running back towards his defensive 50 through traffic, able to maintain possession whilst running through a pack of five Swan Districts players. He side-stepped to avoid being grabbed and hit a handball to a runner from the backline. He made it obvious the front and centres were a speciality area a few times, demonstrating why he was being paired under a tall forward down deep with his clean pick-ups below his knees.

Motlop worked into the game well in the second quarter, making the most of his opportunities to show his potential for eye-catching plays, but really impressing with his pressure work, second efforts and reading of the ball off hands more than anything, playing his small forward role particularly well despite not hitting the scoreboard.

Q3

The third quarter saw Motlop taking a bit more freedom and pushing up the ground, getting free around the back end of the centre square to be used a couple of times by his teammates. In those instances, he was able to lose opponents with his acceleration or repeated lead efforts. He followed up with generally good ball use, spotting out leading teammates up the field to put them in a good spot to move the ball forward.

One kick into the middle of the ground initially looked poor, but bounced well for his teammates to win the contest and get it long forward for an easy South Fremantle goal. Motlop’s high work rate was again on display, as he made gut runs to impact opponents, even if they moved the ball on before he got there he’d follow up and try and impact the next contest.

He got himself on the scoreboard with two goals in the third quarter, with both being a good example of his forward craft and ability to get free in dangerous spots. The first was more through his high work rate and repeat leading efforts, as he lost his opponent inside forward 50 and was spotted up by a teammate, taking a mark over his head about 40 out right in front of goal, where he went back and slotted it straight through from afar. The second goal came through his footy smarts, peeling off from where a pack was going to form, standing free right in front of goal about 25 out, then being used by his teammate coming out of the pack taking it on the chest and slotting his second.

Motlop continued to do the things he had been doing well in the third, whilst adding two goals for some additional impact and reward for all his hard work over the game. When given the freedom to push further up the ground, he finds the ball and can get into good spots to be a marking option, with generally strong ball use forward and a great ability to kick start scoring opportunities with his disposal choice.

Q4

As both teams reverted to a safer way of moving and carrying the ball the opportunities for a front and centre specialist dried up very quickly, meaning Motlop wasn’t as lively around the goals but still won a bait of ball around the boundary line inside 50. There were a couple of times he found himself stuck with a close option, but opted to kick to the square or go for goal, but the Swan Districts defenders would intercept and move the ball on. Moved up the ground and got a mark in the defensive 50 as South brought it in from a behind and kicked well to a teammate.

He essentially handed a goal to one of his taller teammates in the final quarter, as he collected a ground ball off one bounce about three meters out from the goal square, standing his ground in a tackle as he spun to face the goals, handballing it off to ensure it was a goal.

Closing thoughts:

It was an impressive debut at League level for Motlop after impressing at Colts and PSA levels through the year. He looked comfortable amongst bigger bodies and didn’t noticeably struggle with the physicality, looking courageous as he ran head first into packs and impacted contests in the forward half of the ground.

He had quite a few flashy moments with his agility and ability to find the right options with his disposal, setting up scoring plays, but his fundamentals of the game and work rate are what ultimately sets him up to be the smart and damaging player he is, forcing turnovers or backwards disposals from the opposition by pressuring them with his closing speed. This game showed a good base for Motlop and suggests plenty of potential to impact at the next level.

Image Credit: South Fremantle/WAFL

Out to impress: 2020 WAFL Grand Final previews

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we await a trio of exciting Grand Final matchups, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. With premiership glory up for grabs, stakes are high for the state’s brightest prospects and bonafide stars alike.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

Claremont has earned passage to the final week of all three WAFL grades, with the League side set to take on minor premier, South Fremantle. Only a fortnight ago, the Tigers toppled their highly-fancied weekend rivals, who will feature in their second-straight League decider after going down to fallen powerhouse, Subiaco in 2019.

20-year-old midfielder and former West Coast rookie Callan England has been crucial this year for Claremont, pushing his case for another shot at AFL level with plenty of possessions and goals out of the engine room. He has been named in the forward pocket, while Max Spyvee, who enjoyed a stellar debut this season will rotate off the bench.

Thomas Baldwin, who has been a permanent League fixture in 2020 takes his place at half-back, with Tyron Smallwood on a flank at the other end, and Dylan Smallwood making his way into the side via the interchange bench.

The Bulldogs have been forced into a change from last week’s winning side, with 23-year-old midfielder Jake Florenca picking up the most untimely of calf injuries at the end of a terrific individual campaign. Jarrad Doney is the man who replaces him, a 24-year old who has made a late surge back into the League fold after some time in the Reserves this year.

Claremont’s Reserves side is also littered with promising young talent, who will look to beat the East Perth Royals to the two’s throne. On track to go through an entire season unbeaten, the Royals will have their hands full with a bunch of lively types on each line.

Claremont’s Isaac Barton was unlucky to be squeezed out of senior calculations, but promises to provide plenty of speed and flair through midfield. Anthony Davis is another who has enjoyed a taste of League footy, but will ply his defensive trade in the second grade having been named as a senior emergency. Jack Buller (half-forward) and Max Minear (full forward) are others to keep an eye on, along with Jye Clark at half-back – the brother of Geelong’s Jordan.

For East Perth, Jacob Msando is a reliable defender who will look to finish his year on a high. The 20-year-old has been named in the back pocket and is likely to take on a lockdown role. Harley Sparks should live up to his name while stationed on a wing, while Sebit Kuek is a raw target to look for at centre half-forward. Among those named on the bench is Jack Cooley, who had 33 touches in Claremont’s 2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final triumph. He’ll be hoping to claim more silverware – against former teammates, no less.

A fortnight after they met in the first week of finals, Claremont and Subiaco will play off for the ultimate Colts glory. The Tigers have the opportunity to go back-to-back after taking out last year’s title, with Joel Western, Cameron Anderson, Ben Ramshaw, and Logan Young all part of the successful 2019 side.

Skipper and Fremantle Next Generation Academy product, Western provides great pace and skill through midfield alongside Anderson, with Young the current competition leading disposal winner, and Kalin Lane the 204cm ruck set to service them. They’ll all have to be on-song against a Subiaco midfield which boasts Jack Clarke medalist Lachlan Vanirsen, who had 29 disposals and two goals in last week’s preliminary final.

The Lions will also rotate the likes of Connor Patterson, Jed Kemp, and bottom-ager Matthew Johnson through the middle, types who enjoy getting their hands dirty. Subiaco leader Sandon Page will also renew his rivalry with Jack Avery, after being held goalless for consecutive weeks. Jaxon Bilchuris is another Subiaco forward with plenty of goals to his name, while recent state combine addition Tyler Brockman will hope to impress.

After a qualifying final decided by 15 points in Claremont’s favour, the reigning premier will again be the favoured side coming in. While premiership glory is the number one priority, many of the prospects out there will also be looking to bring good form into the upcoming West Australian All-Star fixtures.

FIXTURES

League:

Claremont vs. South Fremantle | Sunday October 4, 3:10pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Reserves:

East Perth vs. Claremont | Sunday October 4, 9:15am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Colts:

Claremont vs. Subiaco | Sunday October 4, 12:10pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: Sandon Page (left, Subiaco) and Joel Western (Claremont) with the WAFL Colts premiership cup | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

FULL COUNT | 2020 Sandover Medal review – Fisher voted WAFL’s best

ACE VFL recruit Samuel Fisher was awarded the 2020 Sandover Medal after a stunning debut season for Swan Districts. The midfielder became Swan Districts’ 10th Sandover Medallist, and its first since Andrew Krakouer won the award in 2010.

>> SCROLL for the full leaderboard

The 22-year-old former Sydney rookie averaged 27 possessions, four tackles, four inside 50s and three marks across eight WAFL League games this season.

He produced dominant performances against West Perth in Round 1 (29 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s), Claremont in Round 2 (25 possessions, five tackles, four inside 50s), South Fremantle in Round 5 (27 possessions, four tackles), Peel Thunder in Round 6 (25 possessions), East Perth in Round 7 (37 possessions, seven marks, seven tackles, four inside 50s), Perth in Round 8 (23 possessions, five inside 50s, four tackles), and East Fremantle in Round 9 (28 possessions, six tackles, six inside 50s, four marks, one goal).

Fisher polled 13 votes in six of a possible eight games to edge out West Perth’s Aaron Black (11 votes) and East Perth’s Jackson Ramsay (10).

He joins Haydn Bunton Snr (1938, 1939, 1941), and Jye Bolton (2016, 2018) as Sandover Medal winners in their first season.

Fisher was also named on the interchange in the WAFL Team of the Year.

FULL LEADERBOARD:

RANK PLAYER WAFL CLUB VOTES
1 Samuel Fisher Swan Districts 13
2 Aaron Black West Perth 11
3 Jackson Ramsay East Perth 10
4 Chris Masten Perth Demons 9
Jake Florenca South Fremantle 9
5 Jye Bolton Claremont 8
Kade Stewart South Fremantle 8
6 Alec Waterman Claremont 7
Tyler Keitel West Perth 7
7 Kane Mitchell Claremont 6
Bailey Rogers Claremont 6
Aidan Lynch East Perth 6
Angus Scott East Perth 6
Kyal Horsley Subiaco 6
Jesse Turner Swan Districts 6
8 Cameron Eardley East Fremantle 5
Haiden Schloithe South Fremantle 5
Leigh Kitchin Subiaco 5
9 Declan Mountford Claremont 4
Ben Howlett Peel Thunder 4
Lachlan Delahunty Subiaco 4
Corey Gault Swan Districts 4
Luke Meadows West Perth 4
Shane Nelson West Perth 4
10 Jared Hardisty Claremont 3
Thomas Bennett East Fremantle 3
Jordan Snadden East Fremantle 3
Andrew Fisher Perth Demons 3
Brady Grey Perth Demons 3
Frank Anderson Swan Districts 3
Trent Manzone West Perth 3
11 Anton Hamp Claremont 2
Cody Leggett East Fremantle 2
Rohan Kerr East Perth 2
Nicholas Robertson East Perth 2
Jackson Merrett Peel Thunder 2
Matthew Taylor Perth Demons 2
Jacob Dragovich South Fremantle 2
Brock Higgins South Fremantle 2
Mason Shaw South Fremantle 2
Gregory Clark Subiaco 2
Benjamin Newton Subiaco 2
Max Walters Subiaco 2
Michael Lourey West Perth 2
12 Callan England Claremont 1
Kody Manning East Fremantle 1
Brant Colledge Perth Demons 1
Logan McDonald Perth Demons 1
Matthew Rogers Perth Demons 1
Michael Sinclair Perth Demons 1
Caleb Datson South Fremantle 1
Chad Pearson South Fremantle 1
Zachary Strom South Fremantle 1
Jakob Atkinson Subiaco 1
Hayden Kennedy Subiaco 1
Connor West West Perth 1

Featured Image: 2020 Sandover Medalist Sam Fisher | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

Out to impress: 2020 WAFL weekend preview – Preliminary Finals

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into the second week of finals, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. With Grand Final spots up for grabs, stakes are high for the state’s brightest prospects and bonafide stars.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

South Fremantle and West Perth play off for the right to play Claremont in the League decider, with the Bulldogs on a mission to add to their minor premiership. The top-ranked side will be made to lean on its second chance after consecutive losses, while West Perth is riding the wave of an 11-point victory in Week One to secure passage to the prelims.

Against a hardened and experienced South Freo outfit, the Falcons will also look to take in its fair share of young talent. 21-year-old midfielder Connor West had a season-low 11 disposals last time out, but laid eight tackles and has what it takes to make an impact amid the finals atmosphere. 202cm bigman Zak Patterson and former Subiaco ball magnet Tristan Hobley have been named on the Falcons’ extended bench, both looking to retain their spots.

Claremont’s Reserves will hope to join their League and Colts teammates in the final week of the season, when they square off against Subiaco on Sunday afternoon. The Lions’ second chance comes into play after a loss to the undefeated East Perth, while the Tigers will hope its winning form counts having beaten South Fremantle last week.

Both sides boast a good array of youth prospects, with brothers Liam and Wil Hickmott among them. The midfielders carry League experience, and make up two of the three centreline selections for Subiaco. Thomas Edwards-Baldwin is another to watch for the Lions, named in the forward pocket to round out a month of Reserves footy after his own League stint. Fellow 21-year-old Koby Fullgrabe also features on the extended bench.

In response, the third-ranked Tigers boast players who can provide a spark on each line. The pacey Isaac Barton looms as one who can open up the game from midfield, while Jye Clark, the brother of Geelong’s Jordan has been named at half-back, and mainstay Jack Buller remains at half-forward.

Subiaco’s Colts will hope to make it a first-versus-second Grand Final, but have to get through the fourth-ranked East Fremantle before attempting revenge on Claremont. Ball-winning quartet Lachlan Vanirsen, Connor Patterson, Jed Kemp, and Matthew Johnson are all coming off strong showings for the Lions, with Kemp and Johnson getting their hands dirty defensively, too.

They’ll all play a key role for Subiaco, especially given the Sharks’ stocks. Bottom-agers Joshua Browne and Corey Warner have risen steeply of late, while Finn Gorringe is enjoying his time across half-back without Jack Carroll. Fellow defensive pair, Brandon Walker and Keanu Haddow have been reliable all season, while Chris Walker will be riding high having been added to the National Combine list.

Other combine invitees to watch include Subiaco defender Blake Morris and forward, Tyler Brockman, while East Fremantle’s Jed Hagan is a 2022-eligible gun who should benefit greatly from the heat of finals football in midfield.

FIXTURES

League:

South Fremantle vs. West Perth | Sunday September 27, 3:35pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Reserves:

Subiaco vs. Claremont | Sunday September 27, 1:00pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Colts:

Subiaco vs. East Fremantle | Sunday September 27, 10:25am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: West Perth players celebrate their Week One finals win | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

2020 WAFL League Weekly Wrap: Finals Week 1

IN the first week of the Optus WAFL League Finals Series, Claremont advanced through to the Grand Final after defeating South Fremantle by 47 points, while West Perth knocked Perth out of the finals race after beating the Demons by 11 points.

Read below to catch up on all the results, and see who stood out in Week One of the Optus WAFL League Finals Series.

South Fremantle 3.6 (24) def. by Claremont 10.11 (71)

Claremont has advanced through to its first WAFL League Grand Final since 2012, after defeating South Fremantle by 47 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Former West Coast player Alec Waterman starred for Claremont with 17 possessions, six inside 50s, four marks and four goals.

Jye Bolton (27 possessions, one goal), Declan Mountford (22 possessions, 15 tackles, seven inside 50s), Callan England (17 possessions, three inside 50s), Jared Hardisty (15 possessions, five inside 50s), Kane Mitchell (12 possessions, 10 tackles) and Alexander Manuel (10 possessions, five tackles, three goals) all excelled for the Tigers.

For South Fremantle, budding star Chad Pearson was excellent with 21 possessions, two marks, two tackles and two inside 50s.

Jason Maskos (18 possessions, four tackles), Blayne Wilson (16 possessions, four marks), Caleb Datson (15 possessions, one goal), Dylan Main (15 possessions, two marks, two tackles), Haiden Schloithe (15 possessions, one goal), and Steven Verrier (15 possessions, seven tackles) competed strongly for the Bulldogs, who will now lean on their second chance as minor premiers.

West Perth 7.6 (48) def. Perth 5.7 (37)

Perth’s finals run came to an abrupt end, after being beaten by West Perth to the tune of 11 points at Provident Financial Oval.

Luke Meadows was inspirational for West Perth, finishing with 24 possessions, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.

Trent Manzone (26 possessions, four inside 50s), Shane Nelson (23 possessions, eight tackles, seven inside 50s), Blake Wilhelm (23 possessions, four tackles), Aaron Black (18 possessions, one goal), Zac Guadagnin (18 possessions, eight tackles), Tyler Keitel (11 possessions, two goals) and Mitchell Peirce (10 possessions, two goals) were prolific for the Falcons.

For Perth, former Fremantle player Brady Grey fought hard to finish with 24 possessions, six tackles and five inside 50s.

Matthew Taylor (18 possessions, four marks), Fraser McInnes (16 possessions, seven inside 50s, six tackles, five marks), Andrew Fisher (15 possessions, five marks, four tackles), Michael Sinclair (15 possessions, one goal), Christian Eyres (14 possessions, 23 hit-outs) and Brant Colledge (14 possessions, 19 tackles) were the Demons’ prominent players.

Featured Image: Claremont players celebrate their Grand Final berth | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

Out to impress: 2020 WAFL Finals Preview – Week 1

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into finals, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

Having helped secure Perth’s first finals appearance in over two decades, young trio Logan McDonald, Conor McPartland and Nathan O’Driscoll will look to drive the only Demons’ side to have made the postseason across all three grades. The latter two have been named in either forward pocket, while O’Driscoll will again get a crack through midfield. McDonald finished the regular season as second-highest League goalkicker (21 goals), while McPartland also brings form as one of his side’s best in last week’s miraculous defeat of South Fremantle. Regan Clarke has been squeezed out of the side as an emergency.

West Perth boasts some young talent which may provide X-factor, with 202cm 20-year-old Zak Patterson rotating off the bench, while Connor West looks to provide some dare from midfield. 2018 Mel Whinnen medalist Tristan Hobley‘s move from Subiaco seems a timely one in hindsight, as he lines up at half-forward while his former club is forced to watch on after a lacklustre season.

The Falcons are also in action at Colts level, up against East Fremantle at Provident Financial Oval. Heath Chapman and Kellen Johnson will finally get to team up in defence, while 19-year-old Callum Johnson slots back into the midfield with fellow over-ager Brady Alvaro. The Sharks will be without Jack Carroll through injury, seeing Finn Gorringe take on some extra responsibility off half-back alongside Brandon Walker. Both 2022-eligible prospects Kane Bevan (West Perth) and Jed Hagan (East Fremantle) are others to keep an eye on.

Despite a sharp fall at League level, Subiaco remains in the hunt among the Reserves and Colts grades. The Lions take on East Perth in the twos, boasting brothers Wil and Liam Hickmott across the centreline, while exciting 21-year-old Thomas Edwards-Baldwin takes his place up forward. The Royals will have reliable defender Jacob Msando at their disposal, while Jack Cooley and Harley Sparks provide value from the bench.

The Lions’ Colts matchup comes against a strong Claremont outfit, with the game’s midfield battle set to provide a high standard. Prolific Subiaco ball winners Jed Kemp and Lachlan Vanirsen are complimented well by tall bottom-ager Matthew Johnson in the engine room, while Claremont lays claim to leading disposal getter Logan Young, who is joined by Joel Western and Cam Anderson under the ruckwork of Kalin Lane. A couple of quality defenders will also line up at either end in the form of Blake Morris (Subiaco) and Jack Avery (Claremont).

The Tigers await battles with South Fremantle in their League and Reserves games, making for a couple of highly-anticipated finals fixtures. South Fremantle, who were undefeated until the League final regular season round, will have to combat the likes of Claremont’s Callan England and Anthony Davis, while fellow youngsters Max Spyvee and Tyron Smallwood are also sure to create some headaches for the Bulldogs’ defence.

Twenty-year-old Kye Barker is an emergency for that game, but lines up in the back pocket for the Reserves. He’s joined by midfielders Jacob Warne and Manfred Kelly in the team, while Claremont’s young contingent includes the pacy Isaac Barton in midfield, as well as Jye Clark and Jack Buller.

FIXTURES

League:

West Perth vs. Perth | Sunday September 20, 1:35pm @ Provident Financial Oval
South Fremantle vs. Claremont | Sunday September 20, 2:30pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Reserves:

East Perth vs. Subiaco | Sunday September 20, 11:00am @ Provident Financial Oval
Claremont vs. South Fremantle | Sunday September 20, 12:00pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

Colts:

West Perth vs. East Fremantle | Sunday September 20, 8:30am @ Provident Financial Oval
Claremont vs. Subiaco | Sunday September 20, 9:30am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: Claremont celebrates winning the 2019 WAFL Colts premiership | Source: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

WAFL League Weekly Wrap: Round 9 – Perth pulls off finals miracle

THE final round of the 2020 WAFL League season saw a host of great individual and team performances alike with Perth securing a drought-breaking finals appearance. The round also saw East Perth, West Perth and Swan Districts secure victories. Claremont was the club that had the bye this weekend.

Read below to catch up on all the Round 9 results, and to see the best players.

EAST PERTH 15.11 (101) def. PEEL THUNDER 4.6 (30)

East Perth ended its 2020 Optus WAFL League campaign with a bang, after thumping Peel by 71 points at Leederville Oval.

Former Casey Demon Angus Scott starred for East Perth with 26 possessions, 12 marks, 4 tackles and 3 goals.

Ex-AFL players Jackson Ramsay (35 possessions, five inside 50s, three marks, three tackles), Nicholas Robertson (25 possessions, seven marks, six tackles, one goal), Rohan Kerr (22 possessions), Nathan Blee (21 possessions, six marks), Patrick McGinnity (15 possessions, two goals), and Scott Jones (12 possessions, 35 hit-outs) were prominent for the Royals.

Young guns Kye Willcocks (19 possessions, eight marks), Christian Amdeuri (15 possessions, eight tackles, one goal), and Matthew Young (12 possessions, five marks, one goal) also showed encouraging signs for the Royals.

For Peel, talented youngsters Michael Randall (22 possessions, seven marks), Isiah Winder (15 possessions), Tyrone Thorne (13 possessions, eight tackles, one goal), and James Sturrock (12 possessions, four marks, four tackles) showed promise, somewhat a theme of the Thunder’s difficult season.

WEST PERTH 12.5 (77) def. SUBIACO 8.10 (58)

West Perth ended the finals hopes and dynasty of reigning premier, Subiaco after beating the Lions by 19 points at Provident Financial Oval.

In his 200th Club game, Aaron Black was sensational for West Perth with 26 possessions, 7 tackles, 3 marks, 3 inside 50s and a goal.

Shane Nelson (28 possessions, 3 marks), Connor West (20 possessions, five marks, three tackles, three inside 50s), Luke Meadows (15 possessions, four tackles), Noah Pegoraro (13 possessions, four marks), and Tyler Keitel (12 possessions, eight marks, five goals) helped guide the Falcons to victory.

For Subiaco, captain Leigh Kitchin competed admirably with 23 possessions, 13 tackles and 4 inside 50s.

Kyal Horsley (21 possessions, five tackles, five inside 50s, four marks), Lachlan Delahunty (18 possessions, 36 hit-outs), Max Walters (17 possessions, one goal), and Greg Clark (16 possessions, four marks, three tackles, three inside 50s, two goals) also competed strongly for the Lions.

PERTH 8.18 (66) def. SOUTH FREMANTLE 9.7 (61)

Perth secured its first finals campaign since 1997, after overcoming South Fremantle by five points in a thrilling contest at Mineral Resources Park.

Former West Coast player Brant Colledge was inspirational for Perth with 22 possessions, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 2 inside 50s and a goal.

Andrew Fisher (26 possessions, 9 marks), Matthew Rogers (13 possessions, 8 marks, 6 tackles, 6 inside 50s, 3 goals), Jacob Coniglio (17 possessions, 4 marks) and Marshall Jones (15 possessions, 8 tackles, 1 goal) were excellent for the Demons.

Budding stars Conor McPartland (16 possessions, five inside 50s, four tackles), Nathan O’Driscoll (10 possessions, seven tackles), Regan Clarke (9 possessions, three marks) and Logan McDonald (8 possessions, one goal) played pivotal roles to help steer the Demons to victory.

For South Fremantle, former Hawthorn player, Kade Stewart shone with 19 possessions, nine tackles, four marks, four inside 50s and two goals.

Jacob Dragovich (27 possessions, seven tackles, seven inside 50s, five marks), Chad Pearson (21 possessions, three marks, three tackles, three inside 50s), Ben Rioli (14 possessions, one goal), Caleb Datson (16 possessions, two goals), Dylan Main (12 possessions, seven tackles, one goal) and Steven Verrier (13 possessions, four tackles) contributed strongly for the Bulldogs.

EAST FREMANTLE 6.8 (44) def. by SWAN DISTRICTS 11.9 (75)

Swan Districts secured its third victory of the 2020 Optus WAFL League competition, after overwhelming East Fremantle by 31 points at New Choice Homes Park.

Jesse Turner was best afield for Swan Districts with 32 possessions, 7 inside 50s, 6 marks, 5 tackles and 3 goals.

Samuel Fisher (28 possessions, six tackles, six inside 50s, four marks, one goal), Frank Anderson (25 possessions, five tackles), Corey Gault (22 possessions, 23 hit-outs) and Lachlan Riley (14 possessions, one goals) produced superb performances for the Swans.

Former Fremantle Rookie Luke Strnadica was a shining light for East Fremantle with 11 possessions, 16 hit-outs and two goals.

Cameron Eardley (26 possessions, six inside 50s, five marks, five tackles), Blaine Boekhorst (26 possessions, three tackles), Cody Leggett (19 possessions, three inside 50s) and Jarrad Jansen (16 possessions, nine tackles) were admirable for the Sharks.

Featured Image: Perth players celebrate their finals qualification | Credit: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

WAFL League Player Focus: Logan McDonald (Perth) vs. Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts)

IT was a highly anticipated matchup that did not disappoint. Both Logan McDonald and Denver Grainger-Barras are not only considered the best young players out of Western Australia, but loom as possible top five picks who have been mainstays in their respective League sides. They have both had some impressive performances, with McDonald second in the League for goals and Grainger-Barras closing in on the top 10 for marks in the competition.

In our latest Player Focus edition, we take a look at how the leading West Australian prospects fared as McDonald’s Perth took on Grainger-Barras’ Swan Districts in Round 8 of the WAFL League. The pair did not start on each other, as Nathan Ireland was tasked with manning McDonald early, but Swan Districts would give scouts what they wanted in the second half.

Logan McDonald
Perth/Western Australia

DOB: April 4, 2002
Height: 196cm
Weight: 85kg

Position: Key Position Forward

>> Draft Watch
>> Round 2 Player Focus

Denver Grainger-Barras
Swan Districts/Western Australia

DOB: April 14, 2002
Height: 195cm
Weight: 78kg

Position: Key Position Defender

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PLAYER FOCUS

STATS:
McDonald: 4 kicks | 2 handballs | 6 disposals | 3 marks | 1 tackle | 1 inside 50 | 3 goals
Grainger-Barras: 12 kicks | 4 handballs | 16 disposals | 8 marks | 3 tackles | 1 inside 50

Q1:

Even when McDonald and Grainger-Barras did not start on each other, a lot of their possessions in the first half where linked in some form. The first player to get involved was McDonald, who would almost take a strong grab on the wing. He dropped the mark at the last possible moment but quickly recovered, receiving a handball from good mate Nathan O’Driscoll and in-turn handballing to a teammate running past. Not too long after that, Grainger-Barras almost took an impressive mark in defence, which he began to stick eventually as he snapped up a nice intercept mark before kicking long to the wing. The ball would come back though, and making the most of it was that man McDonald. After taking a strong contested mark at the 50-metre arc, he would go back and slot a long bomb for his first goal of the game.

A few minutes later, McDonald almost took a strong contested mark inside 50, but again it spilled out on the way down. Grainger-Barras was the one to capitalise, sweeping on the loose ball, jumping over McDonald in the process, and handballing to a teammate. Grainger-Barras would have some more good moments soon after on the wing; first doing well in a one-on-one marking contest to nullify it, and a few moments later attacking the ball hard at ground level to gather and release a good handball. About a minute later, McDonald returned to the fray, using good bodywork to work his opponent under the ball. He would run onto the loose ball inside 50 but was well pressured from behind, and sent the dribble shot on a tight angle through for a behind.

A few minutes later both players would be linked again. Grainger-Barras gathered nicely in the middle but his kick out wide was poor, leading to a turnover. Not long after, he went to spoil the next aerial ball but did not kill the contest, which lead to McDonald kicking his second goal further down the ground from 15 metres out directly in front. Grainger-Barras wouldn’t make the same mistake twice, spoiling a marking contest well late in the quarter.

Q2:

The links between the two players continued into the second quarter, with Grainger-Barras attacking the loose ball hard from a defensive stoppage, but being met with a strong tackle. The ball would later be kicked to the leading McDonald, with Grainger-Barras working hard to come from the side to spoil but to no avail. It was a very strong lead and mark from McDonald, who would convert from the set shot nicely for his third and final goal.

At around the 17-minute mark it seemed the move had been made with Grainger-Barras going to McDonald. Grainger-Barras would earn a simple possession, being closest to an out-on-the-full kick deep in defence and booting the free kick long down the line. Late in the quarter, McDonald was very unlucky not to be paid a fantastic contested mark, contesting both Grainger-Barras and impressive ruckman Corey Gault on the wing.

Q3:

Everything form here on out was purely McDonald vs. Grainger-Barras, with Grainger-Barras hot on the heels of McDonald wherever he went. McDonald played centre half-forward which may have been a mistake in hindsight, for as hard as McDonald worked to give strong leads and provide a good outlet, the delivery to him was very poor and very rarely to his advantage. The first notable contest was on the wing where Grainger-Barras used good bodywork to work McDonald under the ball, gather nicely, and get a a scrappy left-foot kick forward. Not long after, Grainger-Barras took a nice intercept mark and this was the point where that side of his game would really start to shine, as he does it better than anyone else in his draft class.

Grainger-Barras is a competitor and despite his light frame, he is not afraid to go in hard not just to win his own ball, but to also tackle hard. He laid a strong tackle and a few minutes later he applied a great spoil on McDonald at half-forward – letting his opponent know about it and further adding to McDonalds growing frustration. Grainger-Barras is not afraid to stir the pot and get under his opponents’ skin, and at the earlier half time scuffle he made sure to get involved in some capacity.

The frustration wouldn’t go away for McDonald because not long after the aforementioned spoil, he again found himself outdone by Grainger-Barras, who took a very nice intercept mark going back with flight and following with a nice kick inboard. You couldn’t blame McDonald for the frustration, with plenty of kicks certainly not to his advantage, but credit also had to be given to Grainger-Barras to still show his strength as an interceptor while also manning up the most dangerous forward on the opposition.

Q4:

It did not take long for Grainger-Barras to get involved with a strong tackle on the wing that should have been rewarded, but he would get a free kick later on at McDonald’s expense. He would have to be considered lucky as their was not much in it, only further adding to McDonald’s frustrating second half. Not long after, Grainger-Barras again took a strong intercept mark on the wing and would kick long inside 50 to a one-on-one. McDonald did not drop his head and still competed hard, crashing one pack hard on the wing. A couple of minutes later, he would again compete hard in a marking contest inside 50 which would allow his smaller teammates to gather the crumbs. It won’t show on the stat sheet, but McDonald certainly worked hard to not only give an option on the lead, but also compete in the contest.

Grainger-Barras was in fine intercepting form for this quarter and he would take a brilliant intercept mark close to goal, before using the ball well with a long switch kick. Apart from his error early in the game, his kicking had been sensational, especially his longer kicks as he can really get under them. About a minute afterwards, McDonald would have another nice moment inside 50. Despite not getting a stat for it, he competed well inside 50 and a timely intercept from a handball would lead to his team gathering the loose ball and kicking a goal. McDonald really proved in the the last quarter that it’s his work inside 50 that’s most generous and advantageous for Perth and his final involvement, he would make a clean gather at ground level and handpass to a teammate close to goal. McDonald has proven this year that he is not only strong in the air but also nimble and clean at ground level for a taller player, and I expect he will hold more of his marks once he puts on some more size in the future. He was beaten by Grainger-Barras in the second half but you couldn’t have asked for more from him, and kicking three goals is certainly not a bad return.

Grainger-Barras wasn’t done yet though, as he had a really good two-minute patch not long after McDonald’s last involvement. He would take a lovely contested intercept mark flying in from the side in defensive 50, and again would release a long kick out from defensive 50 down the line. He competed really well on the wing where he took on a tackler and got a handball out in what was a great act of desperation, despite the game already being won. Not long after that he would put the exclamation point on his great game, taking an awesome intercept mark going back with flight and hurting himself in the process. That was certainly enough to give him a well earned rest anyway.

There was a fear going into the game that these two young guns wouldn’t line up on each other but not only did they line up on each other, they both managed to have very good games with Grainger-Barras perhaps having his best ever game at League level. He finished with 17 disposals and eight marks while McDonald again hit the scoreboard, kicking 3.1 as he firmly looks to finish among the top three in the WAFL goalkicking charts. Fellow draft fancy, O’Driscoll also had a great game backing up his brilliant outing last week, but this game was all about two young talents going head-to-head in McDonald and Grainger-Barras. They did not disappoint.

Power Rankings: September 2020 | July 2020 | August 2020
>> 2020 Western Australia Under 18s Squad Prediction

Featured Image: Leading WA draft prospects Denver Grainger-Barras, Logan McDonald, and Nathan O’Driscoll | Source: Michael Willson/AFL Media

Out to impress: WAFL Round 8 preview

YOUNG talent continues to turn heads at state league level around the nation, and it has been no different across all three WAFL grades upon the competition’s resumption in 2020. As we roll into Round 8, Draft Central continues its new weekly preview format, highlighting some of the best up-and-comers who will be out to impress with each passing game. In our latest edition, Perth is set to blood another Colts standout, while a first round AFL Draft candidate has finally been named in West Perth’s League side.

>> SCROLL for fixtures and League teams

19-year-old midfielder Conor McPartland is set to become the latest Perth product to earn a League debut, named in the forward pocket among the Demons’ side to face Swan Districts. A prolific ball winner, McPartland required just one Reserves outing to earn a second promotion, having averaged 33 disposals across his five Colts games this year.

He joins fellow Colts talents Nathan O’Driscoll and Logan McDonald in the lineup, as well as Regan Clarke. After a terrific 20-disposal display last time out, O’Driscoll has been pegged for even more midfield minutes, while keen draft watchers will undoubtedly have their eyes peeled for the seemingly inevitable McDonald-versus-Denver Grainger-Barras matchup.

Grainger-Barras lines up for his seventh League appearance in 2020, set to grace the backline alongside Nathan Ireland. A trio of youngsters make up the Swans’ inclusions; as Thomas Edwards readies for his top flight debut, while Lachlan Riley makes his first League outing for the year, and Tarir Bayok reenters the fold. Draft hopefuls Zane Trew and Ty Sears have again been teased with promotion to the Reserves, while bottom-agers Rhett Bazzo and Max Chipper are again absent in the Colts grade.

Leading West Perth draft prospect Heath Chapman is another young gun preparing to make his League debut, after finally earning the call-up ahead of this weekend’s action. The 193cm defender has proven a class above at Colts level, averaging 23 disposals and over seven marks per his six games. Should be he let off the hook as a third tall in defence, expect his intercept marking and exceptional skills by foot to come to the fore.

Tristan Hobley, who made his League debut in Round 7, remains in the Falcons’ side, while Claremont prepares to unearth some fresh faces of its own. 18-year-old Max Spyvee comes in for his maiden top flight berth, while Anthony Davis and Tyron Smallwood make their respective returns for the Tigers. Jack Buller has been named as an emergency after impressing in the Reserves. Speaking of, Tyron Hindmarsh and Callum Johnson are set to remain in said grade alongside Victorian Matty Lloyd, while Kellen Johnson is a possible Colts inclusion pending recovery from his wrist injury.

Another Round 7 first-gamer, Liam Hickmott remains in Subiaco’s side as the Lions do battle with East Fremantle, with brother Wil named as an emergency. 19-year-old forward Nicholas Martin also holds onto his spot despite his first goalless outing for the year. Jai Jackson is another 19-year-old knocking on the League door, while Jacob Miller and Ben Reid find themselves back in the Reserves as Subiaco’s two outs.

Brynn Teakle comes in for his first taste of League footy for 2020 as part of at least one East Fremantle change, with another four players added to the Sharks’ extended bench. The 202cm 20-year-old is set to slot in up forward, while Durak Tucker plies his trade down back once again. AFL Academy guns Jack Carroll, Finn Gorringe, and Brandon Walker all seem close to promotions, while bottom-ager Judd McVee looks like being a key out for the Colts.

Much like the aforementioned Sharks trio, Jack Cooley and Harley Sparks are a couple of East Perth youngsters on the cusp of League berths. They are both poised to continue their push in the Reserves though, as they Royals take on South Fremantle on Saturday. The undefeated, ladder-leading Bulldogs have made four changes, with 22-year-old Jacob Warne making a one-and-done League outing as he comes back out of the side.

Manfred Kelly remains in the Reserves for South while Ira Jetta looks like missing another round of Colts action, much like Kade Dittmar for East Perth.

FIXTURES

League:

Subiaco vs. East Fremantle | Saturday September 5, 2:30pm @ Leederville Oval
Claremont vs. West Perth | Saturday September 5, 2:30pm @ Revo Fitness Stadium
South Fremantle vs. East Perth | Saturday September 5, 2:35pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Swan Districts vs. Perth | Saturday September 5, 3:05pm @ Steel Blue Oval

Reserves:

Subiaco vs. East Fremantle | Saturday September 5, 12:00pm @ Leederville Oval
Claremont vs. West Perth | Saturday September 5, 12:00pm @ Revo Fitness Stadium
South Fremantle vs. East Perth | Saturday September 5, 12:00pm @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Swan Districts vs. Perth | Saturday September 5, 12:20pm @ Steel Blue Oval

Colts:

Subiaco vs. East Fremantle | Saturday September 5, 9:30am @ Leederville Oval
Claremont vs. West Perth | Saturday September 5, 9:30am @ Revo Fitness Stadium
South Fremantle vs. East Perth | Saturday September 5, 9:30am @ Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Swan Districts vs. Perth | Saturday September 5, 9:500am @ Steel Blue Oval

Bye: Peel Thunder

LEAGUE TEAMS

Featured Image: (Retrieved from) @WAFLOfficial via Twitter

WAFL League Weekly Wrap: Round 7 – Lions stay in the hunt

A HOST of great individual and team performances characterised Round 7 of the Optus WAFL League competition

This round saw Subiaco (13.12.90) defeat Perth (9.10.64), South Fremantle (9.16.70) beat Peel Thunder (5.5.35), Claremont (10.5.65) overcome East Fremantle (9.6.60), and East Perth (11.9.75) triumph over Swan Districts (6.4.40). West Perth was the club that had the bye this weekend.

Read below to catch up on all the Round 7 results, as we review some of the best performances.

PERTH (9.10.64) def. by SUBIACO (13.12.90)

Subiaco returned to the winners list, after defeating the in-form Perth Demons by 26 points at Mineral Resources Park.

Toodyay product Jakob Atkinson was named Subiaco’s best after he finished with 18 possessions, 7 inside 50s, 5 hit-outs and 3 goals. Experienced trio Kyal Horsley (23 possessions, 4 marks, 4 tackles, 4 inside 50s), Leigh Kitchin (20 possessions, 7 tackles, 1 goal) and Lachlan Delahunty (19 possessions, 23 hit-outs, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal) also led the Lions exceptionally well.

Meanwhile, young guns Max Walters (17 possessions, 2 goals), Greg Clark (13 possessions, 9 tackles), Michael Braut (12 possessions, 4 marks, 1 goal) and Nicholas Martin (12 possessions, 5 inside 50s, 4 marks, 4 tackles) showed encouraging signs.

For the Demons, Nathan O’Driscoll (20 possessions, 6 tackles, 3 inside 50s and 2 marks) and Logan McDonald (8 possessions, 3 marks, 3 goals) enhanced their draft prospects with stunning performances. Matthew Taylor (20 possessions, 7 marks, 4 tackles), Jacob Coniglio (16 possessions, 3 marks), Brady Grey (15 possessions, 5 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal), Michael Sinclair (15 possessions, 8 tackles) and Fraser McInnes (12 possessions, 5 marks, 3 goals) also competed strongly for the Demons.

>> Round 7 Player Focus: Nathan O’Driscoll

PEEL THUNDER (5.5.35) def. by SOUTH FREMANTLE (9.16.70)

South Fremantle remains undefeated in the 2020 Optus WAFL League competition, after beating Peel Thunder by 35 points at David Grays Arena.

Former Port Adelaide forward Mason Shaw starred for the Bulldogs with 13 possessions, 8 marks and 4 goals. Jake Florenca (36 possessions, 8 marks, 6 inside 50s, 4 tackles), Nick Suban (21 possessions, 6 marks, 6 tackles, 1 goal), Jacob Dragovich (17 possessions, 8 tackles), Kade Stewart (17 possessions, 6 tackles), Chad Pearson (17 possessions, 4 marks, 3 inside 50s), Dylan Main (17 possessions, 7 inside 50s) and Steven Verrier (16 possessions, 3 marks) were prolific for South Fremantle.

Former Carlton defender, Josh Bootsma was named Peel’s best player after he finished with 17 possessions, 10 rebound 50s, 9 spoils, 5 marks (2 intercept marks) and 3 score involvements. Former Essendon players Jackson Merrett (25 possessions, 8 marks, 5 tackles, 1 goal) and Ben Howlett (18 possessions, 2 marks, 2 inside 50s) competed strongly for the Thunder.

Young guns Ben Hancock (18 possessions, 6 tackles, 3 inside 50s), Michael Randall (17 possessions, 5 marks), Tyrone Thorne (14 possessions, 5 tackles) and James Sturrock (12 possessions, 5 tackles) displayed promising signs, while Isiah Winder collected 11 touches upon his League return.

EAST FREMANTLE (9.6.60) def. by CLAREMONT (10.5.65)

Claremont overcame a late surge by East Fremantle to win by five points in a thrilling contest at New Choice Homes Park. The Tigers led by 23 points at three quarter-time, but only held on to win by five points against the Sharks.

Dual Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton was best afield for Claremont, finishing with 29 possessions, 10 marks, 6 inside 50s and 2 goals. Kane Mitchell (20 possessions, 10 marks, 6 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal), Declan Mountford (19 possessions, 2 inside 50s, 2 tackles), Bailey Rogers (18 possessions, 5 marks), Jared Hardisty (17 possessions, 8 tackles, 3 inside 50s), Callan England (17 possessions, 5 marks, 1 goal) and Oliver Eastland (15 possessions, 22 hit-outs) all played critical roles in getting Claremont over the line.

For the Sharks, boom recruit Cody Leggett continued his magnificent season with another sensational performance. He finished with 24 possessions, 4 inside 50s, 3 marks and 2 goals. Thomas Bennett (20 possessions, 1 goal), Jordan Snadden (19 possessions, 6 marks), Cameron Eardley (19 possessions, 3 tackles), Ryan Lester-Smith (16 possessions, 7 marks) and Ambrose Ryan (14 possessions, 6 marks, 2 goals) were influential for the Sharks.

EAST PERTH (11.9.75) def. SWAN DISTRICTS (6.4.40)

East Perth won its third game of the Optus WAFL League, after triumphing over Swan Districts by 35 points at Leederville Oval.

Former Collingwood player Jackson Ramsay was dynamic for the Royals, finishing with 30 possessions, 9 inside 50s and 4 marks. New recruit Aidan Lynch (31 possessions, 9 tackles, 6 marks, 5 inside 50s), and former VFL player Angus Scott (28 possessions, 4 marks, 4 inside 50s) were prolific for the Royals.

Budding stars Kye Willcocks (18 possessions, 4 marks), Matthew Young (18 possessions, 7 tackles), and Edward Simpson (9 possessions, 6 marks, 4 goals) continued to show impressive signs.

For Swan Districts, former Northern Blues midfielder Samuel Fisher had an enormous impact with 37 possessions, 7 marks, 7 tackles and 4 inside 50s. Corey Gault (14 possessions, 23 hit-outs, 7 tackles, 5 marks, 4 inside 50s), Frank Anderson (18 possessions, 9 tackles, 3 marks), Steven Payne (14 possessions, 3 marks, 2 tackles) and Tony Notte (14 possessions, 4 tackles, 3 marks) competed strongly for the Swans.

Rising star Denver Grainger-Barras continued to enhance his draft prospects with another excellent performance. He finished with 9 possessions, 4 marks, 3 tackles and a goal.

Featured Image: @WAFLOfficial via Twitter