Young Guns step out once more in Country challenge

THERE is not a large volume of junior pathways action around the country this weekend, though Victoria’s second Young Guns showcase headlines the upcoming fixtures. After dispatching of a makeshift Metro Under 18s side by 58 points last week, the over-age squad is now set to lock horns with a strong looking Country outfit at Princes Park on Sunday.

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The clash looms as another chance for mid-season draft candidates to stamp their claims as potential AFL-level talent, given said intake is set to take place on June 1. A few Young Gun squad members already look like locks too, with Dandenong Stingrays mid-forward Jai Culley and Sandringham Dragons ruck Max Ramsden among the leading pack.

Overlooked in 2021, Culley was relatively new to the elite talent pathway. Now in his second season with the Stingrays, he has dominated as a 193cm utility who can compete overhead, kick goals, and display great skill for a player his size. Ramsden is another unique talent fresh to the NAB League. He impressed in last year’s APS competition with Melbourne Grammar and looks a step above rucks his age, able to get from contest to contest.

The pair will again turn out in the Young Guns lineup, along with fellow mid-season fancies Hugo Hall-Kahan (Sandringham) and Massimo D’Ambrosio (Western Jets). The former is a dynamic 188cm goalkicker, while the latter has been prolific as a small defender, co-captaining Western’s campaign. Last week, D’Ambrosio also got the matchup on Harry Sheezel, arguably Metro’s best selected talent.

Others to watch include Bendigo Pioneers small Harvey Gallagher, who booted 5.4 last time out, and there are a raft of Vic Country Under 18s to keep an eye on too. AFL Academy members Jhye Clark, Oliver Hollands, Henry Hustwaite (all 2004-born), Zane Duursma and Harley Reid (both 2005-born) headline a strong squad which will be coached by Geelong Falcons’ Paul Corrigan. Click here to watch the stream at 1:30pm.

Before the Young Guns and Country boys do battle, another marquee bout will serve as the day’s curtain raiser. The Fitzroy Cubs, a program dedicated to showcase culturally diverse talent ahead of the midseason draft, will take on Carlton’s VFL side at 10:50am.

State league and NAB League footballers of indigenous or multicultural backgrounds, from each state and territory have been considered, falling into the 19-23-year-old age bracket. The game can be watched via the same stream link above.

There are some familiar, and formerly club-tied talents in the mix. Adelaide Crows Next Generation Academy (NGA) products Isaiah Dudley and Blayne O’Loughlin will feature among others, as well as Essendon father-son candidate Nyawi Moore – the son of Nathan Lovett-Murray. From the Northern Territory, Nigel Lockyer Jnr is always a good watch, as one of a few combine invitees from years past.

Elsewhere, the current NAB League recess sees just one game scheduled, also set to bounce down on Sunday. Interstate mainstay Tasmania plays host to the Western Jets at Windsor Park, with the two regions currently vying for similar ladder positions. The Jets (2-2) will be missing D’Ambrosio, but the Devils (3-1) come in at relative full strength after just one week off.

Around the nation, the annual SANFL/WAFL state game means both competitions will effectively also be in recess. That may be another fixture of particular interest to recruiters given the upcoming mid-season intake, especially with Tasmanian Jye Menzie selected in South Australia’s squad. The goalsneak has been in sparkling touch this season, and can bolster his stocks in a featured bout against some of the best mature-age talent around.

No matter which part of the country you’re from, all signs are pointing towards what looks like another even mid-season draft crop. While there are a few standouts already, more names may pop up over the next couple of weeks ahead of the big day on June 1.


1MassimoD’Ambrosio5-06-2003178Point CookWestern Jets
2HarveyGallagher26-09-2003177SandhurstBendigo Pioneers
3PaddyCross14-02-2003181Nar Nar GoonGippsland Power
4EuriahHollard11-03-2003175Newtown & ChilwellGeelong Falcons
5PatrickDozzi27-06-2003185MontmorencyNorthern Knights
6TylerNorton8-05-2003184Wangaratta MagpiesMurray Bushrangers
7OskarFaulkhead11-02-2003179WentworthBendigo Pioneers
8HamishSinnott25-11-2003186CamperdownGWV Rebels
9MaxWalton6-11-2003182Phillip IslandGippsland Power
10JamiesonBallantyne16-04-2003183PortlandGWV Rebels
11CharlieMolan23-01-2003187Mount ClearGWV Rebels / Williamstown
12ZavierMaher5-05-2002185Shepparton UnitedCarlton VFL
13LachlanCarrigan9-12-2002191Hampton RoversRichmond VFL
14HugoHall-Kahan22-09-2003188Old HaileyburySandringham Dragons
15JedRule10-06-2003191Box Hill HawksOakleigh Chargers
16TyreeceLeiu14-04-2003194RowvilleEastern Ranges
20RyanEyers22-04-2003198Corowa RutherglenMurray Bushrangers
22JeromeLawrence18-07-2003196BlackburnOakleigh Chargers
24SamuelGrant4-04-2003199Old CareyNorthern Knights
26FletcherHart1-07-2003200AlburyMurray Bushrangers
27TobyMurray3-11-2003200Wangaratta RoversMurray Bushrangers
28MaxRamsden19-04-2003202Old MelbourniansSandringham Dragons


1JacobKonstanty09-11-2004176Drouin FNCLowanna CollegeGippsland Power
2ThomasCappellari8-04-2004181MyrtlefordMarian College MyrtlefordMurray Bushrangers
3MaxDow17-02-2004171Swan HillGeelong GrammarBendigo Pioneers
4DarcyWilson18-08-2005184Wangaratta RoversGalen CollegeMurray Bushrangers
5JhyeClark23-07-2004180QueenscliffSt Ignatius, DrysdaleGeelong Falcons
6MichaelKiraly9-01-2004183SandhurstBendigo Senior SecondaryBendigo Pioneers
7HughBond25-09-2004184North Ballarat GWV Rebels
8OliverHollands16-01-2004183WodongaGeelong GrammarMurray Bushrangers
9ZaneDuursma28-08-2005188FosterFoster Secondary CollegeGippsland Power
10JontiSchuback18-03-2004183MaffraCatholic College SaleGippsland Power
11JasonGilbee15-05-2004192BalranaldCatherine McAuley CollegeBendigo Pioneers
12BaileyHumphrey11-09-2004184MoeLowanna CollegeGippsland Power
13FinnEmile-Brennan7-05-2004181Mt ElizaRosebud SCDandenong Stingrays
14HarleyReid17-04-2005185TongalaSt Joseph’s EchucaBendigo Pioneers
15MaxClohesy12-02-2004179Shepparton SwansNotre Dame SheppartonMurray Bushrangers
16HenryHustwaite20-07-2004194RosebudRosebud SCDandenong Stingrays
17CooperVickery16-12-2004180Bairnsdale FNCNeagle CollegeGippsland Power
19FelixFogaty9-06-2004198East PointSt. Patricks CollegeGWV Rebels
21WillParkhouse17-05-2004194ColacTrinity College, ColacGeelong Falcons
24OscarMurdoch24-09-2004189Newtown & Chilwell Geelong Falcons
25AaronCadman3-03-2004194DarleyEmmanuel CollegeGWV Rebels
28OlivierNortham28-07-2004195St Joseph’sWestern Heights CollegeGeelong Falcons
29HarveyHowe26-10-2004201TraralgonLavalla Catholic CollegeGippsland Power
30MaxKnobel27-06-2004204Maffra Gippsland Power


1IsaiahDudley30-04-03166cm69kgsCentral Districts (SANFL)
3BlayneO’Loughlin03-11-01171cm74kgsNorth Adelaide (SANFL)
4FitzroyGreenwool27-04-00175cm65kgsSandringham (VFL)
5BeauO’Connell25-10-01173cm60kgsWanderers (NTFL)
6KymLe Bois22-05-98175cm73kgsNorth Adelaide (SANFL)
7KobeBrown13-02-01176cm75kgsNorthern Bullants (VFL)
9FrankSzekely13-08-99177cm68kgsNorth Adelaide (SANFL)
10KuiyJiath21-07-96178cm74kgsNorthern Bullants (VFL)
13NyawiMoore06-02-03184cm80kgsBendigo Pioneers (NAB League)
15RebeunWilliam31-12-97184cm 84kgsWerribee (VFL)
16ScottBiebly22-02-03186cm74kgsSandringham (VFL)
17SaadElhawli15-05-01186cm83kgsWerribee (VFL)
18NigelLockyer03-07-97186cm82kgsNorth Adelaide (SANFL)
19PatrickTaban31-12-99189cm103kgsWilliamstown (VFL)
20BiorMalual24-07-96190cm71kgsWerribee (VFL)
23EmmanuelAjang11-12-01191cm83kgsWerribee (VFL)
26AriekLual17-11-98192cm82kgsWerribee (VFL)
29AgogAchoung07-08-03195cm84kgsShepparton Bears
30AkolDeng04-12-98195cm102kgsWerribee (VFL)
31SamPaea14-07-02194cm94kgsWerribee (VFL)
9RyanKoo Kwet Kim16-12-02178cm71kgsCasey Demons (VFL)
25JordanDorizzi 16-10-00193cm80kgsCentral Districts (SANFL)

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