Tag: wwt eagles

Scouting Notes: 2020 SANFL Grand Finals

GRAND Final week in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) brings along with it another edition of our scouting notes, focusing on the top draft-relevant performers from around the competition this weekend. In this instalment, we widen our scope to cover the prospects running around across all three grades, with a particular focus on State Academy based talentNational Combine invitees, and others who may push for selection along the line.

Please consider that each set of notes showcase the opinions of our scouts individually, and there are only so many players we can keep an eye on each week.

>> Power Rankings: October Edition

LEAGUE/RESERVES

WWT Eagles vs. North Adelaide

By: Tom Wyman

WWT Eagles:

#9 Rhyan Mansell (League)

The young defender again played an integral role down back for the premiers. The Tasmanian combined well with Lachlan Jones and veteran Patrick Giuffreda in the back half, finishing with three rebounds. Mansell used the ball with precision and orchestrated a number of successful attacks. He showcased his sound vision, composure, and decision making and positioned himself well to take a number of intercept marks. Mansell finished the game with 19 disposals, eight marks and five tackles.

#16 James Rowe (League)

As has been the case all season, the excitement machine looked threatening whenever he was near the footy. He demanded attention all day and capitalised on his opportunities, as all good small forwards do. North’s Mitch Clisby was given the big job on Rowe and kept him quiet early on as the Roosters started strongly. However, when the Eagles were well on top, he nailed a goal in the dying minutes of the first half. The son of former-Crow Stephen, Rowe kicked a fantastic goal from 40 metres out after his Eagles teammates forced a turnover in the third term. Whenever he wasn’t lurking around the forward line, Rowe was getting under the skin of his Roosters opponents. He used the ball to terrific effect in general play and finished the day with 15 disposals and four inside 50s to go with his two goals. After a dominant season, Rowe is becoming increasingly difficult to overlook for a spot at the elite level.

#28 Jacob Wehr (League)

The 22-year-old from Balaklava in South Australia’s mid-north was excellent for the Eagles. Wehr was able to get the ball in some time and space, allowing him to cut up North’s defence with his pin-point foot skills. The wingman worked hard both ways between the arcs and continuously provided an outlet for Woodville-West Torrens. He finished the contest with 19 disposals, six marks, five tackles, two inside 50s and three rebound 50s. Wehr has been a revelation for the Eagles this season and is one of several mature-aged prospects who could attract some AFL attention over the coming months.

#34 Lachlan Jones (League)

The bull-like defender produced another sensational performance on the big stage and once again showed class beyond his years. As he has shown time and time again throughout the year, Jones refused to be beaten one-on-one. He was deployed as the loose defender for much of the day and read the play exceptionally well. He positioned himself like a seasoned veteran, taking a number of important intercept marks. He showed great composure and poise both with and without the ball, using it efficiently by hand and foot. He produced a number of terrific defensive actions which didn’t show up on the stats sheet, but will have impressed coach Jade Sheedy. Jones finished with 18 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three rebound 50s. A premiership medal is a fitting way to end a wonderful season for Jones, who appears likely to be a first round selection come draft night.

#51 Lachlan McNeil (League)

In a game where all the Eagles youngsters contributed well, McNeil was the best of the bunch. He provided relentless run along the wing and used the ball as well as anyone. McNeil’s high work rate allowed him to take a host of marks on the outer side. He used the ball well and his teammates clearly looked for him to hit a target going inside 50. But the clear highlight of his game was a terrific running goal in the second quarter, which featured two bounces and a beautiful finish. He concluded the match with 23 disposals, nine marks, two tackles, three clearances and six inside 50s. The Clare product missed out on being drafted as an 18-year-old last year, but after a great performance on Grand Final day and a consistent season at senior level with the Eagles, McNeil could find himself a home at AFL level at the second time of asking.

>> MORE WWT EAGLES CONTENT

North Adelaide:

#37 Karl Finlay (League)

It was a difficult day for the Roosters, who struggled to get anything going after quarter time as Finlay and his fellow backmen had their backs against the wall all day. However Finlay was one of North’s best, particularly in the air. He spent some time on dangerous Eagle forward Jack Hayes and also rolled onto Jake Von Bertouch at times. Given the duo’s ability to clunk big contested marks, Finlay held his own. He was thrown up forward by coach Jacob Surjan for a brief stint when the Eagles were in full control and took one of his three contested marks. Finlay tackled hard at ground level and also provided some rebound. He finished with 13 disposals, three marks, five tackles and two inside 50s.

#38 Dyson Hilder (Reserves)

Much like Finlay in the League game, fellow teenaged defender Hilder was similarly strong in the air for the Roosters’ Reserves. He took a couple of strong contested marks and finished the game with seven grabs overall. Hilder, who played a couple of senior games with North Adelaide earlier in the season, provided some clear rebound by foot and was among his side’s best players, despite the loss. He also gave number one ruckman James Craig a break by rotating through the ruck and winning seven hitouts. He finished with 16 disposals and four rebound 50s.

>> MORE NORTH ADELAIDE CONTENT

UNDER 18s

Norwood vs. Sturt

By: Michael Alvaro

Norwood:

#1 Cooper Murley

With Norwood at full strength and solid top-age operators roaming through the engine room, Murley has been squeezed out a touch in this finals series after an outstanding regular season. Nonetheless, the speedy bottom-ager managed to have an impact with bursts of pace and some crafty plays forward of centre. His instinctive attacking runs allowed him to find space inside 50 from the get-go, sinking one of two first term set shots. His kicks were a touch rushed on the outside under the heat of battle, but most of his running game came in that kind of fashion. He missed a few more chances to hit the scoreboard, albeit from tough positions and distances, with a two-bounce dash through the corridor during the final term ending in a flying shot which just did not have the legs. It was more a game of glimpses for Murley compared to his previous form, but he looms as a first round prospect for next year’s draft.

#4 Henry Nelligan

Nelligan is the kind of player you want on your side during a big game, with his consistency and work rate up there with the best of players. Starting in midfield and rotating forward, the diminutive ball winner ended with a game-high 28 disposals to go with six inside 50s and 1.3 in an inspired display. Not only did Nelligan showcase his clean hands and quick skills at ground level, but he was also able to accumulate around the ground and provide a reliable outlet in all areas. A lot of his clearances were booted over his shoulder, but still gained good meterage in the high-stakes contest. While stationed forward, Nelligan stayed busy and used his smarts to position beautifully upon Norwood’s inside 50 entries. His lone goal came in the first term from a strong mark close to goal, and he put two other chances just wide with another touched before bouncing through the big sticks. After some massive performances for the Redlegs, he remains an outside chance to be drafted as a natural footballer with great smarts.

#5 Ethan Schwerdt

Donning the knee brace once again, Schwerdt was a very handy part of Norwood’s midfield-forward rotation. His first big contribution came inside attacking 50, as he put a quick snap wide, but followed up with a shrewd crumb and dribble goal in the opening term. Schwerdt’s skills were neat in the short range and his little bursts of speed away from congestion proved key in setting Norwood on the front foot. His second goal, which came in the final term, was undoubtedly his highlight of the day. Schwerdt bravely marked between two opponents, moved on immediately to burn both of them, and slotted home a long-range bomb on the run.

#11 Xavier Tranfa

Another of Norwood’s prolific midfielders who also impacted in the front half, Tranfa’s two third term goals truly broke the game open. His first came via a strong mark directly from the centre clearance against a couple of opponents, with the set shot converted emphatically from around the 50-metre arc. Shortly after, he found himself on the end of another forward chain, wheeling on his favoured left side and sinking a powerful shot through the big sticks. That kind of impact was complimented by some strong work at the contest, as Tranfa attacked both the ball and carrier with intent. He was clean at ground level and while not overly quick, he would get his legs pumping or buy enough time to eventually send Norwood into attack. 19 disposals, six tackles, four clearances, and a couple of goals made for a terrific all-round game.

#15 Harlee Chandler

Chandler has proven somewhat of a finals wildcard for Norwood, slotting into the midfield with aplomb and providing great balance at the contest. He began proceedings with a sharp run through the middle and goal assisting pass inside 50, with that kind of run and movement through the corridor a sign of things to come. He was able to fend off opponents and break free, with much of his work as clean as and impactful as anyone else afield. A rush of blood saw Chandler miss his final term attempt on goal after a terrific play to win the ball, but it hardly took away from what was an eye-catching performance from the youngster. He finished with 19 disposals, six tackles, and three clearances.

#27 Nathan Hearing

The 2020 Alan Stewart Medal winner was best afield, Hearing was his usual heroic self through the ruck. Hardly a one-dimensional bigman, the 195cm prospect won a game-high 11 clearances, one more than his 10 hitouts throughout the day. His 21 disposals all-up came in various positions and fashions, but the majority of his work was done at the fall of the ball at stoppages to release his runners at ground level. Hearing’s imposing figure was also sighted down back where he took a couple of relieving marks close to goal, using his reach and timing to stand tall amid forming packs. He may have been beaten vertically at times at the centre bounces, but fared well around the ground and even took balls directly out of the ruck to send the Redlegs forward.

Others:

As is often the case for Norwood, an even team spread saw many contributors stand up across the day. Mitchell Trepka stood up early from defence, with Billy Haebich providing some dash and Sam Duke proving an important aerial figure on the same line. Daniel Fairbrother, who gained senior experience this year was also part of Norwood’s sturdy defence. Marcus Roberts fared well up forward with a couple of goals while big Finn Heard spearheaded the attack, and Michael Cavallaro provided a classy outlet on the wing.

>> MORE NORWOOD CONTENT

Sturt:

#9 Malachy Carruthers

Usually one of the more attacking defenders who is capable of impacting through the corridor, Carruthers’ rebounding efforts mostly came from inside own defensive 50. While his long-range kicking was as sound as ever amid the breeze and Norwood’s pressure, Carruthers seldom had reliable targets to kick to as the ball would often eventually find its way back to his area. He was one of Sturt’s only consistently cool heads down back, but was too often forced too far away from positions in which he would normally attack. Carruthers seemed to lift in the third term as the Double Blues’ hopes began to fade, with his intercept marking, urgent running, and weighted kicks all coming to the fore. It would end up being an effort in vein, but the potential draft bolter finished with a very handy 21 disposals, nine marks, and nine rebound 50s as one of Sturt’s best.

#17 Mani Liddy

Arguably Sturt’s most impactful midfielder in the first half, Liddy was particularly prolific at the centre bounces. His core strength and clean hands gave the Double Blues numerous opportunities to attack first, though some grubber kicks out of congestion on Liddy’s end did his side few favours in that sense. His disposal on the move was a touch untidy in those opening stages despite finding the ball at will, apart from his obvious proficiency via hand. Not shy of a bit of niggle, Liddy’s lone goal for the game came in the second term after being crunched inside 50, with his set shot conversion proving sound. He attempted to force some forward momentum in the latter stages, finishing with 18 disposals, seven clearances, and a goal.

#18 Tom Powell

Powell may have seen the most ball for Sturt with 25 disposals and six marks, but had a touch less than his usual impact around the stoppages. His ability to extract and quickly release via hand was still on show, with numerous drawing handballs and well-timed distributive touches showcasing his best assets. It also lent to his high-level vision and decision making, especially amid the contested Grand Final chaos. Powell’s clean hands were also shown as he gathered well below his knees and snapped home a sharp goal in the second term, something he is increasingly bringing to the fore. With a couple of goal assists to cap off his outing, that attacking prowess is something which will be important in shaking that one-dimensional accumulator tag. He lived up to his billing for the most part, but could not quite help Sturt get over the line.

#25 James Borlase

Borlase was in the thick of the action as tensions boiled over in the third term, not afraid to throw his large frame around and get involved in the biff. He was hardly the only one, but got very heated and seemed to be a prime target for Norwood as ill discipline crept into Sturt’s game. Outside of that, Borlase once again proved a class above many of his Under 18 competitors with terrific reading of the play down back and strong intercept marking. His ball use was often sound and allowed Sturt to retain possession, without being overly damaging. He had a purple patch in the second term with a string of aerial marks, while also bringing his kick penetration into play. He was thrown into the centre bounces during the final quarter in hopes of turning the midfield battle with his physicality, but would have little impact there and revert back to his defensive duties in open play. The Crows Academy prospect finished with 22 disposals and eight marks (three contested) as arguably Sturt’s best player afield.

#32 Morgan Ferres

Ferres finished his bottom-age season strongly, providing a much-needed target leading up from the forward half. It proved a tough gig as Sturt struggled to transition the ball, with Ferres forced to search all the way up to defensive wing at times to find the ball. Half of his six marks were contested, and he was also able to make an impact closer to goal with some touches inside 50. Ferres ended the game with 1.1, sinking a set shot in the final term after seeing multiple attempts either go wide, fall short, or end up out of bounds. If he can tidy up that conversion, Ferres may well prove to be a force in next year’s competition.

Others:

Will Spain‘s efforts to win the ball and tackle at ground level were noted by his coaches, while fellow bottom-ager Brad Jefferies also gave it his all while rotating forward through midfield. Blake Higgins provided his usual run on the outside, while skipper Ned Walter was valiant in defence. Declan Hortle‘s 33 hitouts in the ruck also proved a big effort against the player judged best afield.

>> MORE STURT CONTENT

Featured Image: Norwood’s Under 18s celebrate their 2020 SANFL premiership | Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Newcomer Dolan enjoys strong debut season in SANFLW

CHARLOTTE Dolan only started playing Australian rules football a few years ago, and played her first South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s match this year. Running out for Woodville-West Torrens Eagles, Dolan was involved in the club’s inaugural win back in Round 4, marking a really memorable debut for the teenager.

Dolan said she was thrilled to win on debut, but had not thought about being the club’s first win when it happened, just soaking up the moment in a great team effort rather than being a lucky charm of sorts.

“Yeah wow nah I thought everyone played really well that game,” Dolan said. “I was playing off the wing and onball for a part of it and the pressure was just really high which made it successful. “I don’t know what to say, I’m good luck?”

Whilst the game’s result had Dolan on a high, the uncertainty around the season – that would eventuate not long after – put her new found senior career on hold. Despite this she used the COVID-19 pandemic postponement as a way to improve her overall game to hit the ground running when it restarted in June.

“It was a really gut-dropping feeling,” Dolan said. “I was at the game on the Friday night (before her debut) I think it was, and we didn’t even know if the game was going to go ahead, and everyone was like ‘they might be cancelling the game’ because of COVID and stuff. “I was like ‘oh no’ but finding out out the week after the next game against Westies had been cancelled and I was like ‘you’re kidding? I finally made my way into the side’. “But I guess it gave me that break to push harder, train a bit more, get a bit fitter again and keep working on my skills.”

As mentioned above, Dolan was not always a footballer, instead she came from a a soccer and surf lifesaving background. She reached state representation in both those sports, but was a chance chat with friends that got the ball rolling for a girls football team at SMOSH West Lakes.

“I remember it was a friend of ours who was highly involved in football around at SMOSH West Lakes and we were like ‘let’s get a girls team going’ and the parents weren’t too sure about it obviously but we thought we might as well give it a crack and it was like something new,” Dolan said. “At the time it wasn’t really a big thing, and were like ‘oh this could be cool, let’s get involved and see what happens’.”

From there it grew, as Dolan was starting effectively from scratch, having only brought across a competitive nature and being involved in a team environment from her other two sports. Prior to the Eagles having a team entered in the SANFL Women’s, Dolan was initially in the Glenelg pathway before her zone changed to Woodville-West Torrens and played a couple of Under 17s matches there prior to progressing into the senior team.

That debut came in the famed Round 4 win, and aside from the climate at the time and uncertainty that came with it, Dolan had her own natural nerves heading into the game against senior opponents.

“My first game I was pretty scared going out there against everyone older,” Dolan said. “It was a bit nerve wracking but I haven’t struggled too much I don’t think. “Just having confidence in myself is just the main thing. “I can do this.”

Dolan gained confidence over time and was included in the State Under 18s Academy this year which further enhanced her self-belief and love for the sport.

That (State Academy) was good, it started off really well,” Dolan said. “Every weekend we’d have a training on the Sunday morning and that was good to have as different to the other trainings were were doing at our clubs and it was good to have another training. “It was different coaches and you’ve also got to hang out with the other girls from other teams which was good.”

After collecting the wooden spoon in 2019, the Eagles showed great development in 2020, picking up two wins and as Dolan pointed out, were a lot more competitive across the board.

I guess you look at it as a learning curve obviously and you can see where things went right and things went wrong,” Dolan said. “It’s not like we were far off getting wins throughout the season. “The games were usually pretty close, they weren’t smashings aside the game against North.”

Dolan is a natural onballer from the time she spent at junior level, but began running around on a wing and increasing her versatility with the Eagles. Her fitness base gained from her other sports allowed Dolan to run out full games and often mentally work over opponents.

I’m naturally more of a sweeper, defensive player, midfielder,” Dolan said. “Playing centre on the ball and playing in my first game off the wing and I played that natural on the 45 and then behind the play and that suited me pretty well. “But definitely when I played school footy for example, I’ll play onball and I prefer more of that onball than a wing.”

Dolan stopped playing soccer when she took up Australian rules football, but unlike many top-age hopefuls, she had initially quit footy as well until she found the hunger to run around again.

“I stopped playing soccer three or four years ago to focus on footy and then do surf lifesaving on the side as a bit of fun and fitness,” Dolan said. “I quit footy last year actually and then I got really bored watching my brothers and my sister play so thought I’d play again and that’s when I got picked up. “I did surf lifesaving, I would train for that.”

Despite being one of the fittest going around, Dolan still aims to build her fitness even greater, as well as improve her acceleration to be able to take the game on even more and apply increased defensive pressure to her opponents. As for her goal, while the All-Stars game did not go as she had hoped, Dolan is still eyeing off a future at the elite level at some stage.

“It would be pretty awesome to make an AFLW side,” Dolan said. “For the draft this year, it was just a bit unfortunate the game on Friday night (All-Stars game). “I wasn’t too happy with how it played out but I guess not the end of the world and more bigger and brighter things to come.”

Picture: Karley J Photography

2020 SANFL Reserves MOTR: Round 13 – West Adelaide vs. WWT Eagles

ROUND 13 of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) saw a host of Under 18 talent running around across the two senior grades. With our weekly scouting notes geared towards those at League and Under 18s level, we took a look at some of the young guns plying their trade in between, in the Reserves on the weekend.

In this week’s nominated match of the round, the brightest West Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) prospects from their clash were put under the microscope, as the Eagles ran away 49-point victors via a six-goal to one final term. Below are scouting notes on just some of the young talent afield, with a paticular focus on the Under 18s products on display.

WEST ADELAIDE 1.2 | 1.4 | 2.5 | 3.6 (24)
WWT EAGLES 2.4 | 4.5 | 5.5 | 11.7 (73)

GOALS:

Bloods: T. Harris 2, M. McKenzie
Eagles: N. Moore 2, A. Asfaha 2, T. Carcuro 2, H. Morgan 2, C. Poulter, L. Beecken, G. Armfield

BEST:

Bloods: L. Hupfeld, C. Fairlie, J. Sinderberry, B. Chamberlain, W. Mead, Z. Wooldridge
Eagles: C. McLeod, M. Mead, R. Bruce, L. Barnett, A. Asfaha, S. Michael

SCOUTING NOTES

West Adelaide:

#4 Nicholas Couroupis

The hard-nosed inside midfielder was part of a young trio of Bloods to feature at the centre bounces, but he also did some nice work away from the coalface. In his fifth-consecutive Reserves outing since entering the grade, Couroupis was able to showcase his admirable defensive work-rate and ability to impact aerially, using his courage and vertical leap to reel in a couple of nice marks. He provided a safe outlet in the back half when a hold in possession was required, but also attacked the ball hard in open play and came out better for it. This was most evident in the final term, as Couroupis straight-lined the ball between three opponents, burst free, and delivered a goal assist to Tyler Harris, who was free inside 50.

#23 Cooper Gilbert

Another of Westies’ young inside midfielders, Gilbert has adapted his hardness around the contest well at senior level. In his fourth Reserves appearance, Gilbert was thrust straight into the centre bounces, where he showed great tenacity going both ways. He was able to get first hands on the ball, without winning a mountain of possessions, and was just as impactful in his defensive duties with plenty of bumps and tackles. Gilbert is not one to boast massive numbers by game’s end, but makes his presence felt throughout and pops up in exciting spurts.

#28 Hugo Kelly

Although he managed to recover well, the tall defender had some shaky moments in defence, starting with a horror spilt mark which led to Caleb Poulter converting the game’s opening goal. The soon-to-be 18-year-old found steadiness as the game wore on, and went on to have arguably his greatest impact in the first term despite the aforementioned slip-up. He constantly got a fist in to prevent WWT from linking up quickly on the outer, positioning aggressively up the ground and looking to become an option on the turnover. Kelly was quieter in the second half, but showed some nice signs.

#40 Bailey Chamberlain

There may not be much of him, but Chamberlain finds a way to become as prominent as any player at stoppages. Having narrowly missed the cut once more for a League debut, the balanced midfielder went about his business once again with great speed coming away from congestion, and great accumulative quality. His five-step acceleration made him nearly impossible to catch when sweeping up the ground balls, though a lack of strength found him wanting at times when caught in congestion. Still, Chamberlain stayed busy and got his hands on plenty of the ball throughout, while also showcasing good closing speed in tackle chases. He still looks to be polishing his disposal and decision making at speed, though a nice lateral kick coming away from the first centre bounce was neat.

#60 Jye Sinderberry

While the National Combine invitee has impressed this season as a defensive interceptor, he was stationed up on a wing throughout this particular contest. He got his hands on the ball straight away via Chamberlain’s smooth centre bounce exit, and went on to enjoy a solid first half. Directly opposed to Caleb Poulter when the Eagles’ man was on the wing, Sinderberry got goalside of his dangerous opponent despite sometimes losing direct touch of him. His vertical power allowed him to mark well when required, though the 189cm prospect did not show the same explosive traits when covering the ground. Nonetheless, Sinderberry was able to get up and back to good effect, and even won a one-on-one on the end of a fast break to burst inside attacking 50. His delivery by foot was also neat, and physicality evident in a sweet run-down tackle on Taj Schofield in the third term.

WWT:

#11 Harrison Dawkins

In just his second Reserves appearance, Dawkins looked sharp at the level with some superb drive out of congestion and smart work in-close. The big-bodied 18-year-old has the body to match it with more mature players, but also showed enough class to prove his Under 18s form was not simply down to brawn. Having rotated off the bench into the centre bounce, Dawkins immediately found the ball and generated some forward momentum. When unable to burst clear, he was able to prize his arms clear and release, adding finesse to his inside grunt.

#30 Taj Schofield

The Port Adelaide father-son hopeful was another to rotate into the game off the bench, taking up a familiar role on the wing. Schofield’s read the movement of play well off each centre bounce, while also working hard both ways to impact around either arc. This was particularly noticeable in defence, as Schofield positioned at the back of stoppages and got on his bike to receive and deliver forward. The clever small stayed involved with each play and while his kicking radar was a touch off under pressure in the early goings, he adjusted well to showcase his class later on. Schofield arguably looks most dangerous wheeling on the outside, where he can properly assess his options in space and get creative via foot. He was caught holding the ball a couple of times for a lack of strength and explosive speed, but showed good combativeness in the dying stages to beat Jye Sinderberry to a ground ball, before hitting up a teammate inside 50.

#33 Caleb Poulter

Perhaps the most highly-fancied draft prospect afield, Poulter had some nice moments in his fourth Reserves appearance. The smooth moving big-bodied midfielder was stationed out on the wing to start off, before rotating into the centre bounces sporadically. He kicked off his game perfectly with the opening goal, which he read well off the hands of an opponent before snapping home beautifully on his trusty left side. Poulter’s greatest strengths at Under 18s level were his overhead marking, defensive acumen, and presence at stoppages, all of which seemed to suffer a touch due to a perceived lack of confidence. While positioned perfectly in some dangerous spots, it seemed Poulter was unable to fly at or win balls he usually would. That is not to say he had a bad game though, with his high level of performance this year making for lofty standards. The 17-year-old still showed dare and penetration in his kicking, and was able to float around the ground in his usual manner, covering it beautifully both ways.

Draft Central All-Star Team matchup: WWT Eagles vs. Swan Districts

OUR next All-Star Team battle is one between a South Australian club and a West Australian club in Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) Eagles and Swan Districts. The two captains voted in by the public as the All-Star Players of the AFL Draft era were Matthew Pavlich (WWT Eagles) and Alex Rance and Nic Naitanui (Swan Districts).

TEAMS:

Swan Districts are the 12th seeds in our draw, with WWT Eagles not far behind, ranked 21st overall in the mid-table logjam where not much separates the sides.

STRENGTHS:

The aspect that sticks out for WWT Eagles is the fact they have great depth. Not many sides can look at their bench and see players who would slot into most other sides’ starting outfits, but they do, with an abundance of quality rucks (Matt Rendell, Sam Jacobs and Rhett Biglands), as well as good inside midfield depth with Luke Dunstan and Robert Shirley on the bench, as well as winger, Jared Polec. Speaking of wingers, their wingers in Steven Stretch and Michael Long are superb, whilst the key position depth, led by Pavlich is sublime, with Brian Lake, Nathan Bock and Jay Schulz some seriously strong contested marks.

For the Swans, they have an elite starting midfield. Naitanui in the ruck, with Stephen Coniglio, Michael Walters and Andrew Embley at the stoppages, you would back them in to win the midfield battle. Up forward, the likes of Charlie Cameron and Jeff Garlett would create havoc at the feet of their key forwards, while Lewis Jetta‘s elite kicking and Rance’s intercepting ability means they have some strong players across the field.

WEAKNESSES:

They have one elite player in Pavlich, and then some incredibly talented players bordering on elite in Long, Camporeale and Lake, but as a whole, the Eagles are just a really even squad. After the top couple of players, there is not much to separate them which is good, but also difficult against teams with a bit more class and talent overall.

For the Swans, it is that depth and little pockets in different parts of the field where they just fall short. In many ways, the Swans are the opposite to the Eagles, in the fact they have a number of elite players, but just fall away in the second half of the squad.

SUMMARY

This could be one of the more tough matches to pick. Some might think the midfield battle won by the Swans would be enough to see them get home, whilst the Eagles depth could see them make it through too, and it makes for an interesting vote.

Which All-Star Team do you pick?
WWT Eagles
Swan Districts
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SANFL Women’s season review: WWT Eagles

WOODVILLE-WEST Torrens Eagles are the next team up in our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s season review series as we look at the eight sides in reverse ladder order and how their 2020 seasons went down.

Position: 7th
Wins: 2
Losses: 8

2020 IN A NUTSHELL

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles landed the wooden spoon in their inaugural season, going through 2019 without a win. Luckily for the Eagles they broke that drought after a number of close contests, winning against Glenelg by 25 points in Round 4. It was a deserving victory just before the break, and gave them confidence going forward. After a couple of tight losses – and a couple of beltings – the Eagles won in the final round of the season, toppling Sturt by 15 points to leap off the bottom of the table and avoid the wooden spoon.

AFL WOMEN’S ALL-STARS GAME REPRESENTATIVES:

Charlotte Dolan

A 17-year-old with some serious wheels, Dolan came into her own in the last month of the season, being amongst the Eagles’ best. She was able to play in defence or further up the ground, and generally use it well when having time and space. She is not afraid to take a bounce and try and gain metres for her side.

Kiana Lee

A versatile utility who just played consistently all year, Lee started as a full-forward and progressed into a full-back, then would play at both ends during games. She was the club’s leading goalkicker last season and went that way again in 2020, but what made it more remarkable was her ability to adapt to defence. Her contested marking and long kicking are among her strengths.

Tesharna Maher

One of the quickest players going around, Maher provided the need for speed out of defence. She went on four or five-bounce runs more than any other player and was great at finding space down the outside of the field. Continued to improve throughout the year and is still only an over-ager.

Jamie Parish

Represented South Australia at Under 16s level last season, Parish is still only young but showed good progression signs as the season went on. Playing in her first season at League level, Parish held her own, often standing up in defence and providing good run off half-back. She does not need to be a high disposal winner to catch the eye.

Teagan Usher

Another Central Allies representative at the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships last year, Usher is one who has a crack in the midfield, or can play in defence and settle the team down. While only standing at 157cm, coaches know what to expect from Usher.

OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT:

  • Jovanka Zecevic
  • Amie Blanden
  • Renee Forth
  • Chloe Forby
  • Anastasia Falkenberg

Some of the more consistent performers throughout the season, 21-year-old Jovanka Zecevic won the club best and fairest, hardly putting a foot wrong all year in a multitude of roles. Renee Forth and Chloe Forby provided great experience and reliability through midfield and half-back respectively, while Amie Blanden rotated well between the middle of the ground and as a target up forward. Another underrated player was Anastasia Falkenberg who continued to deliver from a team perspective each week.

Summary

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles became renowned for their tackling pressure throughout the season, and made it really difficult for opposition teams to score in the first half. Once the others gained more AFL Women’s experience back, the Eagles struggled, but still picked up a win to get off the bottom of the table. Had Jess Sedunary not gone down with injury, and Jaimi Tabb been available, no doubt the Eagles would have pushed some of the other sides in the run home.

Picture: Jack Chambers

All-Star Team of the AFL Draft Era: Which club is the best of the best?

EVERY year, a new crop of AFL Draft talents rise up and make waves at AFL level. Some clubs such as Calder Cannons and Geelong Falcons are referred to as ‘footy factories’. Others are less well known, but nonetheless vital in providing players with their start to the AFL.

Over the past couple of months, Draft Central has gone through all of the NAB League, SANFL and WAFL clubs and tried to determine the best 24-player squad for their respective clubs. The captains and vice-captains were determined by the public through Instagram voting. Now, it is up to the public to decide which All-Star Team is the greatest of the lot. That’s right, the 30 teams from Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia are going head to head in a knockout draw.

Which teams are competing?

NAB League [12]: Bendigo Pioneers, Calder Cannons, Dandenong Stingrays, Eastern Ranges, Geelong Falcons, Gippsland Power, GWV Rebels, Murray Bushrangers, Northern Knights, Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons, Western Jets
SANFL [9]: Central District, Glenelg, North Adelaide, Norwood, Port Adelaide, South Adelaide, Sturt, West Adelaide, Woodville-West Torrens
WAFL [9]: Claremont, East Fremantle, East Perth, South Fremantle, Peel Thunder, Perth, Subiaco, Swan Districts, West Perth

How will it work?

Each day at 10am, we will publish the two All-Star Teams of the AFL Draft era, and the public will be able to vote through the article, Facebook and Twitter, with the overall winner moving through to the next round.

Given there are 30 teams, two sides who we have picked out as the top two seeds – East Fremantle and Geelong Falcons – will have the bye in the opening round, with the other 28 teams seeded appropriately similar to the All-Star Player voting (3rd against 28th, 4th against 27th etc.).

Who is up first?

The first All-Star Team battle is between a couple of metropolitan sides who we have seeded 16th and 17th in the draw. They both have some absolute elite stars, but Calder Cannons and Western Jets will begin the voting on Monday. They will be followed by the Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Eastern Ranges on Tuesday, before a cross-state clash sees third seed Port Adelaide Magpies tackle Peel Thunder.

Draft Central All-Star Team: Woodville-West Torrens Eagles

WOODVILLE-WEST Torrens Eagles are the final team in our All-Star Team of the AFL Draft era. The Eagles have a strong spine and plenty of speedy types as well as those who can hit the scoreboard regularly.

THE TEAM:

Matthew Pavlich, Michael Long, Brian Lake and Scott Camporeale are the headline acts in what is a formidable Eagles side. The side is loaded with tall talent and the height up forward would prove a nightmare for opposition defenders. Several players should consider themselves unlucky to miss out on selection in this strong Woodville-West Torrens lineup.

DEFENCE: 

Three-time Hawthorn premiership player and 2013 Norm Smith Medalist Lake was an obvious inclusion at full-back – a position he excelled in for the Hawks after spending eleven years at the Bulldogs. Lake was named an All-Australian on two occasions and won the best and fairest award in 2007 during his time at Whitten Oval. Nathan Bock was selected as his key position partner in defence, although the former Crow and Sun was also capable in attack. He had a terrific year in 2008, winning All Australian selection at centre-half-back and taking out the Malcolm Blight Medal as Adelaide’s best and fairest.

Fellow tall defender and former Tiger Paul Bulluss also earned a spot, having played 97 AFL games in the yellow and black. Current Crow Brodie Smith provides plenty of line-breaking run and carry from half-back and possesses one of the most lethal kicks in the competition. Former Power defender Matthew Broadbent takes out the other flank position and, like Smith, would provide plenty of rebound from half-back. The lock-down role would be handled by the 176cm Steven Sziller, who played 118 games with St. Kilda and 38 with Richmond. Former Crow, Ken McGregor is a player who can come off the bench and provide height at either end.

MIDFIELD:

The Woodville-West Torrens midfield is dominated by a a nice blend of speed and skill, as well as hardness. In the centre circle is Yorke Peninsula boy, Bernie Vince. Boasting excellent foot skills and an ability to impact the scoreboard, Vince played 129 matches with Adelaide and 100 with the Demons, winning best and fairest awards at both clubs. Vince did some of his best work as a tagger at Melbourne. Carlton champion Camporeale was a star on the wing in the navy blue before switching to cross-town rivals Essendon later in his career but has been ‘pushed’ into the centre given the two wingman in the side. A genuine goal kicker, ‘Campo’ booted 205 majors in 252 games, won a premiership in 1995 and was a best and fairest and All Australian in 2000. Strong-bodied on-baller Shayne Breuer also earned selection in the midfield rotation and will forever be known for kicking Port Adelaide’s first AFL goal, while Luke Dunstan rounds out the midfield rotation off the bench.

Both Essendon star Long and predominantly Melbourne – with a stint at Fitzroy – talent Steven Stretch run off the wings. Long won a Norm Smith Medal in the first of two flags and also made the All-Australian side twice, while Stretch won a best and fairest at the Dees. Coming off the bench, current Roo Jared Polec can fill a role on the wing, with his high metres-gained playing style suiting an outside role. Ruckman Sam Jacobs was a revelation in the tri-colours after being traded by the Blues. He played 184 games with Adelaide, was named in the All Australian squad of 40 on three occasions and is waiting to come off the bench to rotate with Matt Rendell. The Fitzroy ruck earned two All-Australian honours and two best and fairests to grab the starting position. Robert Shirley made a career on tagging for the Crows. A reliable on-baller responsible for shutting down the opposition’s best midfielder, Shirley played 151 AFL games and will rotate through the middle.

FORWARD:

Footballing legend Pavlich is the undisputed go-to man up forward. After being drafted in 1999, ‘Pav’ booted 700 goals in 353 AFL games for Fremantle and earned 126 Brownlow votes. A six-time All-Australian and six-time best and fairest winner, Pavlich was a shining light for the Dockers despite the club struggling for much of his career. High-flying former Crow Brett Burton provides a handy decoy option for Pavlich, but was an excellent key forward in his own right. He kicked 264 goals and took a plethora of spectacular grabs during his 177 games at West Lakes. Kent Kingsley is named at full-forward, having nailed an impressive 239 majors in 125 games, 110 of which came with Geelong.

Jay Schulz was also a regulation selection, having played 194 games and kicked 333 goals. Although the forward-line features four talls, they each possess different skill-sets and complement each other with different playing styles. Providing some much-needed speed at ground level is two-time premiership winning small forward Matthew Stokes. Although Glenn Freeborn played in a variety of positions, he was selected on a half-forward flank, having booted three goals for the triumphant Kangaroos in the 1996 Grand Final. Both McGregor and Rhett Biglands could rotate off the bench here, while Biglands could be the third ruck option for the Eagles as well.

DEPTH:

In terms of players just on the cusp of making selection, Scott McMahon (124 games) has the most games of those missing out, while Cameron Sutcliffe (109) and Paul Stewart (101) also reached the ton but just missed out on making it. In more recent times, Brennan Cox and Jack Lukosius are giving fans plenty to enjoy and no doubt in a few years will force their way into this side. Others who made their debuts this year include Kysaiah Pickett, Josh Morris, Harry Schoenberg and Andrew McPherson, with a number of other talents running around out of the Eagles’ program.

Woodville-West Torrens Eagles Player of the AFL Draft Era: Vote for yours on our Instagram channel

WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS EAGLES are up next in our Player of the AFL Era series which will be run through our Instagram channel starting at 12.30pm today. The West Perth All-Star voting was completed yesterday with Mark LeCras announced as the winner and captain of their All-Star side.

The Eagles have some star-studded champions making up a tantalising spine, led by Fremantle legend Matthew Pavlich, and key defender, Brian Lake. With Scott Camporeale and Bernie Vince among the top players coming out of the Eagles, as well as past Woodville Warriors such as Michael Long and Matt Rendell, there is plenty of talent about to form an All-Star Team of the AFL Draft era.

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

Picture: Fremantle FC

SANFL Player Focus: Lachlan Jones (WWT Eagles) vs. Jason Horne (South Adelaide)

THERE was hope that Jason Horne and Lachlan Jones would line up against each other as South Adelaide and Woodville-West Torrens (WWT) met in Round 8 of the SANFL League competition. Unfortunately, they did not, but either way we still got to see them both show why they are such highly rated prospects. Port Adelaide NGA star Jones is a potential top 15 pick this year, and Horne a likely top five prospect in the 2021 draft. Here is what we saw from the two on Saturday, starting with tough Eagles defender, Jones.

PLAYER FOCUS

Lachlan Jones | General Defender
WWT Eagles/South Australia
9/04/2002 | 185cm | 89kg

Coming off one of his best games at League level, Jones seems to be getting better and better with every game. He has been given plenty of different roles, with his hardest task against giant full forward Liam McBean, where he gave up nearly 20cm. Part of what makes Jones such a highly rated prospect is his ability to play on talls and smalls with his impressive leap and competitiveness. He was again given a tough task in this outing, often taking on the dangerous talls in South Adelaide’s forward-line.

Jones didn’t take long to get amongst the action with a strong punch in the goalsquare only seconds into the game, and a few minutes later he got his first possession with a nice long kick along the boundary at half-back. Jones played a more negating role, so this was his only disposal for the first quarter.

Jones was more involved in the second quarter, taking a strong mark at half-back around the seven-minute mark and quickly passing off to a teammate running past, although within a minute he would give away a free kick in the middle of the ground. He would have some better defensive efforts though, with a good spoil on his opponent at around the 20-minute mark.

A few minutes later he added to that – cutting off an inside 50, while helping to mop up and lock down at ground level shortly after. He would later be trusted to take a few kick-outs, which he should perhaps do more often. He only further proved he has a big leg with some long kicks to a pack of players at half-back.

It was not an ideal start to the second half for Jones, getting beaten on the lead early which led to a goal, and shortly after giving away a high free kick that led to another goal. Not one to let those efforts get him down, he worked extremely hard for the rest of the quarter – earning a free kick with a strong tackle, although his kick on his opposite foot afterwards wasn’t his best. It would be his only disposal for the quarter.

He had two very nice defensive efforts late in the term, flying for a spoil deep in defence which he would miss, but quickly get back to rush the ball over for a behind. Close to the siren, he would lay another strong tackle at the top of the goalsquare.

Jones left his best quarter until last, where his confidence looked at its best for the whole game. At the 12-minute mark he would show good composure deep in defence and kick long from defensive 50. A few minutes later, he again showed great composure after getting the ball to ground on the wing, using great bodywork to then win possession and kick nicely down the line. Not long after that, he would also have a nice gather and handball on the run, again showing his composure in what was a tough and tight last quarter with the pressure on.

Jones has shown that he really does belong at the level with his athleticism, skills, toughness, and defensive versatility all at a high level, which should all hold him in good stead for when he inevitably debuts in the AFL. He is playing a mostly defensive role, but in time it would be nice to see him play a prominent attacking role where he can use his power and kicking to really break the lines and become an attacking threat from the back half.

>> AFL Draft Watch
>> Round 3 Player Focus

Jason Horne | Midfielder/Forward
South Adelaide/South Australia
21/06/2003 | 182cm | 75kg

The bottom-age talent has been in ripping form in the Under 18s where he has shown so many elite traits; namely his explosiveness from stoppages, strong tackling, overhead marking, and scoreboard impact. They all combine to make him such a dangerous player and almost a complete package as a midfielder. Horne earned his League debut last week and was able to keep his spot again, even getting some time in the midfield despite being so young.

Horne didn’t get involved until almost eight minutes into he first quarter, where he would win the ball at half-forward, handpassing to a teammate in the quarterback position. While he put his teammate under pressure, he would gather the loose ball again very cleanly and go for a small dash, ending with a kick inside 50 to a one-on-one contest.

He had a good couple of minutes at the stoppages not long after, competing hard and staying strong over the ball despite not being able to take clean possession. He would finally win his first clearance shortly after on the wing with a scrappy left-foot kick under pressure. A few minutes later, he won his second clearance on the opposite wing, and at that stage was leading the game for clearances – showing the impact he can have in such a small amount of time.

It wasn’t until late in the quarter that he would win another possession, gathering the ball well with clean hands and then following up with a well weighted kick in the middle of the ground. He would then run the whole length of the ground to almost snag a goal himself near the goalline, putting pressure on the opponent who rushed the ball over for a behind.

Horne had a couple of chances in the second quarter to kick his first League goal, with his first chance coming as he ran past Eamon Wilkinson going into open goal, who ignored him. What made it worse was that the shot on goal was missed anyway, especially at a time which would have helped swing the game in South Adelaide’s favour.

Horne would get his second chance with a much tougher kick after winning a free kick. He would have to have a shot on goal from 50-metres out, which he narrowly missed despite making the distance quite easily, mind you. Horne would not find another possession until later in the quarter, with a mark and short pass in defensive 50.

What became a theme for Horne in the second half was the amount of times he was tackled as soon as he got possession, learning that getting a touch at League level is a lot harder than it is in the Under 18s. The senior boys are bigger and hungrier, especially in a clash where the two teams were looking to win a close contest.

His attack on the ball was still fantastic for a younger player, especially his second efforts to go again and again. He had a mixed bit of play at the 17-minute mark, roving and gathering nicely from a marking contest, but his handball was poor to a teammate inside 50. He would have a better piece of play late in the quarter with another nice, clean gather at ground level, before going on to show a good turn of pace to evade his opponents and kick nicely inside 50 on his non-preferred left foot.

His tough attack on the footy was again a feature in the last quarter, and he would have another good gather at the six-minute mark. Horne almost weaved his way through but just got caught, yet was still able to stand up strongly in the tackle and get a handball out at least. He again got tackled every time he won possession for the rest of the game, so he wouldn’t win another disposal, but he did have a nice bit of play at the 19-minute mark with a smother and strong follow-up tackle.

Horne looks to be building and may not yet have the full confidence oof his teammates, but with more opportunities at League level that confidence in himself and from his teammates will grow. Hopefully then Horne will start to really blossom and show why he is such a highly rated midfielder for the 2021 draft. He might not have cemented his spot, but he will learn so much from his time playing League football and it should hold him in great stead going forward.

>> Get to know: Jason Horne

Caleb Poulter – The Eagle soaring into first round contention

CALEB POULTER is hard to miss on the footy field. He is the big-bodied midfielder rapidly climbing his way up draft boards on the back of six outstanding SANFL Under 18s outings for Woodville-West Torrens (WWT). While a flowing mullet and rudely bright boots already make him easily identifiable, Poulter’s presence at the contest, overhead marking, and graceful coverage of the ground ensure he is truly unmistakable.

After earning a State Under 16s berth and contributing to the Eagles’ SANFL Under 18s premiership in 2019, the Adrossan junior decided to make the big move over to Henley High School in 2020. It would allow him to bridge the two-hour gap to and from training, the opportunity to consistently play alongside the likes of Bailey Chamberlain, Taj Schofield and roommate Zac Phillips, while also gaining a top-notch Year 12 education to boot.

Fast-forward through an arduous preseason and great bouts of uncertainty, Poulter hit the ground running this year with form that made him impossible to ignore. His Round 1 performance of 34 disposals, seven marks, 10 tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s, and a goal put him on the map with a Torrens University Cup MVP nomination, but his performances since have propelled him into first round calculations. Averaging 24.5 disposals, 6.0 marks, 5.8 tackles, 3.0 clearances, 5.0 inside 50s, and over a goal per game, Poulter is one of the most dynamic and dominant midfielders at the level right now.

Such form has warranted heavy opposition attention, as well as contact with AFL recruiters. But the soaring Eagles prospect is simply looking to find consistency in his game and iron out his areas of improvement. With fellow 2019 premiership Lachlan Jones plying his trade at League level, a rise up the SANFL grades is also on the cards for Poulter in his top-age campaign.

We caught up with the talented 17-year-old during the week to chat all things footy. Below are quotes from the man himself regarding a range of topics; from his journey to this point, dealing with uncertainty, and just why he supports two AFL clubs.

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

JUNIOR FOOTY:

“It’s always been footy for me ever since I was growing up. Through AusKick and the juniors I’ve always had a passion for footy, just the competitive side of it. It’s always been footy for me.

“(WWT) Eagles invited me to all their country programs, whether that was Under 14s or Under 15s. It started to become serious in my Under 16s year, obviously playing as a Metro and Country team combined. Then last year for the Under 18s as a bottom-ager, coming into this year as a top-ager, and hopefully playing some senior footy.”

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN

INITIAL FEELINGS:

“It was obviously a surreal feeling. Me and the other boys had trained our asses off since November just to be told we don’t know when footy’s coming back. So it was quite surreal but we used the lockdown period to work on all our improvement areas. For me, it was my contested side of things, so I used that time to get in the gym and get busy so when footy did come back, I’d be ready to go.”

KEEPING CONTACT:

“It’s been pretty quiet with all the (AFL Academy) hub stuff lately. But we always touch base, whether that’s through Zoom or through Tony Bamford just having one-on-one meetings… We just try to stay connected in any way possible just in case there is a national carnival coming up at the end of the year.

“Like I said, it’s sort of quietened down now, but I know when the hub was around we did a lot of wellbeing meetings or group tasks just to benefit the team and make closer friends. Just that bonding side of things was quite big.”

RETURNING TO PLAY:

“I definitely think it’s a huge benefit for us, for myself and the other SA boys that really want to fly up the draft ranks. For Vic Country and Vic Metro not to play, I think recruiters are focussing on WA and SA players more than what they have in previous years. So I’m definitely trying to use that as a opportunity to just perform well and see what happens come the end of the year.”

SEASON 2020

STEPPING UP:

“Obviously in the preseason I worked pretty hard, whether that was out with the Eagles seniors or in the (AFL Academy) hub. I just worked on all my improvement areas and got all of them right. Then I just took some form from the preseason games earlier this year and took it on to this season so it’s been good. Hopefully I can stay consistent.

“I sat down with the senior coaches and we thought I’d just find some form in my own age group before I have the opportunity to hopefully go up and play some two’s or one’s footy. I just want to stay consistent and keep playing my role for the 18s, then hopefully later on in the season I can crack the senior side.”

MOVING SCHOOLS, TO ADELAIDE:

“I’m in Year 12. I moved from the country down to (Adelaide) last year to go to Henley High. All the boys there have been welcoming and they’ve obviously got a great football program so it’s been good so far.

“It was pretty challenging. My old school in the country, I was there until Year 11 and obviously making the move to Adelaide to go to a big school like Henley was quite nerve wracking at first… school has a great bunch of lads and we’re all a tight knit group. The coach likes for us to be tight so it’s been great training with them.

“The team’s led by players like Taj Schofield and Bailey Chamberlain, they’re great footy players and have had a great year so far. They’ve been great leaders for the younger boys coming through.”

ATTRACTING INTEREST:

“I’ve had a few Zoom meetings with AFL recruiters, a fair few clubs lately have been Zooming me. They obviously just want to get to know you as a person I guess, and as a player. They’ve been great, they just tell us if we need to work on anything.”

“I think it was against North (Adelaide) that I got thrown down back because I was getting a fair bit of attention from certain players, so I thought to break the tag the coach would put me in the backline to find a bit of the footy… It’s pretty hard having to have all that attention on me, I’ve had it for the past few weeks ever since my Round 1 performance. I just try to think about the play I guess and play my style of footy and hopefully things will pay off and the ball will come my way.”

PREFERRED POSITION:

“I definitely feel like I can benefit most for the team playing inside mid, then resting forward. But I think a big thing for me is my versatility, coaches like to put me in the backline sometimes and I can even play a bit of outside mid as well. So it’s good to have that versatility but like I said, I like playing inside mid then resting up forward like I have been this year.”

STRENGTHS:

“I’d bring physicality and competitiveness (to an AFL club). I love the hard ball so I think they’re the main two things that I bring, and obviously I’m quite an outgoing type of person so I think my personality would suit well with any bunch of boys. That’s definitely the three things for me and just overall, I’m hard working and never give up. They’re definitely the traits I like to be known by the most.”

TEAMMATES (STATE, SCHOOL, AND SANFL):

“I know there’s a lot of leaders out there like Riley Thilthorpe, playing League out at Westies this year. He’s someone who uses his experience in the hub from previous years to help out the younger boys and just get around them. So he was obviously a leader for us, and then you’ve got people like Luke Edwards and Kaine Baldwin, they were also great leaders. They definitely helped over preseason and in the hubs, it was good.

“(Lachie Jones) has been really good. He had a solid preseason with the senior boys and is fortunate enough to be playing one’s at the moment. He’s having a great year so hopefully he can stay consistent. He’s tied to Port so hopefully they can pick him up later on this year.”

BACK-TO-BACK?:

“I’m extremely excited, i just want to stay consistent and find the footy and obviously just benefit for my team and hopefully we can get a few wins on the board, crack finals and see what happens at the end of the year… going into preseason back-to-back premierships for myself and a few of the other boys was in sight. So hopefully we can work well as a team, all play out roles and see what happens.”

CALEB POULTER, THE PERSON

FAVOURITE AFL TEAM:

“I go for Geelong and Brisbane… My family always grew up going for Geelong so I went to Geelong, then when Brisbane drafted Cam Rayner and some others a few years back I sort of liked the way they play and they have a few young blokes who’re playing a good brand of footy lately.”

“I’m happy to go anywhere. All 18 clubs have a great culture and whatnot. I don’t really care where I end up, as long as I can get on an AFL list. I don’t really have any preferences, just anywhere really.”

ASPIRATIONS:

“Obviously I want to achieve good grades to get a high ATAR. If footy doesn’t work out or just as a plan B, going to uni to do something like human movement or physiotherapy definitely catches my eye.”

“On the field I just want to stay consistent and play a good style of footy and hopefully get drafted at the end of the season. Off the field it’s just to stay on top of my grades, to use my time management to get on top of my school, and then go to training and train hard. They’re the main things for me.”

MENTORS:

“My dad’s been a big support for me. He obviously played a fair bit of footy growing up and was pretty good so he gives me a lot of constructive feedback whenever I need it. And coaches like my 18s Eagles coach and the hub coaches have also been great mentors for my progression over the years as well. That’s definitely got me to where I am today, so I can’t thank them enough.”

>> MORE WWT EAGLES CONTENT
>> AFL Draft Watch: Caleb Poulter
>> August 2020 Power Rankings
>> 2020 SA Under 18s Squad Prediction