Scouting Notes: 2021 AFL U17 National Championships – Queensland vs. Tasmania
QUEENSLAND and Tasmania locked horns in back-to-back representative fixtures on Friday, with either states’ brightest Under 17 and 19 prospects taking the field in Yeronga. In the bottom-age clash, Tasmania set an ominous tone for the day with its 14.12 (96) to 9.5 (59) victory on the road. We highlight some of the top performers from either Under 17 side in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.
By: Michael Alvaro
#5 Levi Fyffe (Labrador/Suns Academy) 19/10/2004 | 182cm | 76kg
Posted up forward for the Maroons, Fyffe started steadily but became one of the game’s busiest players. He began to get involved during the second term, hitting the scoreboard with a 45-metre set shot goal and burrowing in at ground level. His form continued after the main break, working further afield to provide pressure around the ball and help Queensland generate some momentum in transition. In a solid outing, Fyffe showcased a good turn of speed, clean hands and flashes of skill.
#6 Riley McMillan (Wilston Grange/Lions Academy) 12/04/2004 | 181cm | 69kg
Arguably Queensland’s best player on the day, McMillan brought plenty of energy and skill to his side’s play. He started in the high half-forward role, shifting up the ground and burning Tasmania on the way back with his speed and kicking. Timing his runs well, he snared a handball receive on the arc and slotted a lovely goal on the fly during term one. Plenty of play went through him during the opening half, before McMillan was shifted into midfield and again helped liven up Queensland’s play. He notched a couple of clean clearances and overall proved a ball magnet on the day.
#13 Bailey Tome (Mt Gravatt/Lions Academy) 22/06/2004
On a day where Tasmania’s midfielders dominated the stoppages at times, Tome was one of his side’s more solid and consistent ball winners. The Mt Gravatt product got his hands on plenty of ball around the contest and while there wasn’t always much room to move, he did his best to clear the Maroons forward. Part of the starting centre bounce trio, Tome remained a constant in midfield and enjoyed a couple of purple patches where he accumulated a good amount of possessions.
#15 Ben McCarthy (Morningside/Lions Academy) 19/03/2004 | 184cm | 73kg
The Queensland skipper had plenty to do in defence as he was placed under constant pressure to sweep up the loose balls and rebound in quick time. Having gained valuable senior experience with Morningside this season, McCarthy was well equipped to deal with the oncoming heat, but saw plenty of ball come straight back his way after repelling. There were a couple of shaky moments, though the 17-year-old constantly backed his kicking to move Queensland forward and had no trouble finding plenty of ball throughout the day.
#23 Kye Reynoldson (Broadbeach/Suns Academy) 7/01/2004 | 182cm | 75kg
Another member of Queensland’s usual centre bounce mix, Reynoldson displayed good work-rate and spurts of speed on Friday. The only thing which let him down at times was his kicking, particularly on the move, as he sent forward some scrubbers on his left foot after doing good work to break away with the ball. Still, Reynoldson was another to find plenty of it and worked hard for the Maroons on a tough day for their midfielders.
#28 Liam Hude (Sherwood/Lions Academy) 18/09/2004 | 187cm | 92kg
While just short of the tall category at 187cm, the solidly-built Hude was one of Queensland’s more viable forward targets throughout Friday’s showcase. He presented up the ground and displayed clean hands both stretching overhead and below his knees, proving strong in either situation. He couldn’t quite find the goals from a couple of set shots around the 40-metre mark, but earned one of them through great endeavour with a holding-the-ball tackle inside 50.
By: Declan Reeve
#1 Jack Callinan (Clarence) 7/10/2005 | 176cm | 71kg
Not playing a prolific game in the sense of ball winning, Callinan made every touch count when he won it, with his speed and agility helping him move out of traffic and use the ball well – setting up a couple of goals with smart disposal by weighting his kicks fantastically for his teammates. Callinan wasn’t just assisting in scores either, he managed to get on the scoreboard for three goals himself, showing off his forward craft with impressive crumbing.
#5 Seth Campbell (Burnie) 29/12/2004 | 179cm | 71kg
Playing almost permanently in the forward half, Campbell led all comers as he slotted four goals, displaying his natural craft in the forward 50 and instinct to be where the ball landed. His goal sense was naturally on full display, where for his first three goals he took advantage of the ball hitting the deck, even on hard angles and slotted the goals fairly easily. His fourth major saw him earn two 50-metre penalties in a row and put it through from the top of the goal square. Whilst the highlights were his goals, Campbell didn’t shy away from doing some hard work himself and set up scoring opportunities for his teammates, with his speed and aggression to hit front and centre being the biggest part in this for him.
#11 Ryley Sanders (North Launceston) 21/01/2005 | 185cm | 78kg
As a permanent midfielder, Sanders showed a remarkable ability to get involved in what felt like every possession chain in the centre of the ground, with his positioning and ability to time his run to get a releasing handball from teammates big assets of his game. Sanders shines in his attacking plays, with his kicking and handballing going forward generally well placed for teammates to run onto, although at times he did blaze away and take shots from too far out or on a difficult angle when there were forward options he could’ve used.
#12 Thomas Beaumont (South Launceston) 5/01/2005 | 186cm | 89kg
Whilst Beaumont may not have been the flashiest player on the ground, he was certainly one of the toughest and hardest workers, throwing himself into every contested situation he could and generally winning them with his strength. Around stoppages Beaumont was a hassle, winning first possession quite a bit but causing more headaches with his tackling, wrapping up opponents to cause repeat stoppages. He kicked the first goal of the second half by getting in front of a teammate being tackled, and kicking well.
#16 Lachlan Cowan (Devonport) 1/12/2004 | 187cm | 78kg
Rotating between the half-back line and midfield, Cowan proved himself to be one to watch for next year’s draft with his aggressive play from the defensive half. Cowan couldn’t be contained, pushing up the ground whenever he could and filling the hole outside of forward 50 to mark rushed kicks and send them right back in. This aggression saw Cowan kick the first goal of the game, tackling an opponent for holding the ball just inside 50. Cowan’s ball use, especially by foot was exceptional for the game, able to quickly shift his balance and hit targets in difficult spots.
#25 Tom McCallum (Clarence) 15/09/2004 | 193cm | 79kg
McCallum didn’t hit the scoreboard in a massive way throughout the game, but was arguably one of the most impactful forwards on the ground with remarkable hands and speed on the lead catching the eye, and his ability to leap above opponents being a key part of his forward game. McCallum was unselfish with the footy, looking for a more central option every time he had won it, often following up to get involved in any possession chain that came from his disposal. McCallum, despite being a tall forward, showed terrific ground ball ability and running capacity in the midfield, rounding him out as an exciting prospect for 2022
#28 Cameron Owen (Clarence) 28/05/2004 | 201cm | 88kg
Looming as yet another impressive ruck prospect for 2022, Owen was a standout performer amongst the big men on field. Owen’s ruck craft was superior all game, able to read the ball in the air perfectly to time his run and leap, it felt like he won every hitout he was competing for and managed to place the ball fantastically for teammates. His follow up work at ground level was also impressive, both when resting forward and as a ruck, able to compete well below his knees and apply pressure to smaller players. When up forward he showed a strong ability to get separation on the lead and hold some impressive grabs, making him one of the most dangerous players afield.
Featured Image: Queensland’s Riley McMillan gets a kick away | Credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos