Scouting Notes: 2022 AFL U16s – Vic Country vs. Western Australia

WESTERN Australia got on the board at this year’s AFL Under 16 National Championships, after consigning Vic Country to its second loss in a 16-point win at Metricon Stadium. Despite less than ideal conditions, plenty of prospects brought the heat. We highlighted them in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.

All notes are the opinion of the individual author.

>> MATCH REPORT: Vic Country 7.5 (47) def. by Western Australia 9.9 (63)

  • Team
  • Vic Country
  • Western Australia


By: Michael Alvaro

#2 Oliver Warburton (Murray Bushrangers)
13/06/2006 | 182cm | Midfielder/Defender

A key figure in Country’s starting midfield mix, Warburton injected a bit of speed and intensity around the contest. He combined well with his fellow on-ballers to receive and drive his legs forward, racking up a good amount of possessions that way. While a touch scrappy at times, Warburton could not be faulted for effort in conditions which fed his appetite to compete.

#4 Finn O’Sullivan (Oakleigh Chargers)
30/05/2006 | 180cm | Midfielder

Another of Country’s core midfielders, O’Sullivan built into the game nicely having come off a prolific first outing in the Big V. He worked hard to spread and accumulate away from the contest, but was also clean in the thick of the action, working his way into space with a slick step. Across a stronger second half, O’Sullivan produced weaving forward runs and even snared a goal, after taking the advantage from a forward 50 free kick.

#7 Xavier Ivisic (Geelong Falcons)
1/06/2006 | 180cm | Wing

A winger who suited the role with his work rate, especially to sweep across the defensive half, Ivisic racked up his fair share of possessions and made them count. The feature of his game was elite kicking, which was seemingly unaffected by the rain as he picked out low-percentage targets with searing penetration. One particular play in the final term summed up Ivisic’s game well, as he darted consecutive kicks from defensive 50, and through the corridor to help Country set up a well thought out goal in transition.

#9 Jasper Alger (Gippsland Power)
17/12/2006 | 180cm | Defender

A composed figure across Country’s backline, Alger was another who drove the ball out of defence with efficiency and frequency. He mopped up a number of contests he was able to split, gathering the wet pill nicely and making great decisions with ball in hand. Like Ivisic, his use by foot was particularly impressive as he dished out a range of passes from behind the ball. Having made an impact in the first three quarters, Alger was also given a run in midfield where he transferred some of his running power.

#13 Tobie Travaglia (Bendigo Pioneers)
26/10/2006 | 185cm | Defender

As was the case in game one, Travaglia made the defensive 50 his own and had little trouble getting his hands on the ball back there. He was one of many sound distributors on the day, most often going by foot and choosing the long option. Travaglia also popped up to intercept a few West Australian attacks, sticking to the couple of real strengths he executes well.

#16 Sam Lalor (GWV Rebels)
30/08/2006 | 186cm | Midfielder

A leader in the Country group, Lalor’s size and slick handling made him one of the standout players on a trying day. The Greater Western Victoria talent made an immediate impact, getting his hands on the ball at the opening centre bounce and slotting a no-fuss goal on the run later in term one. His compact style and clean distribution by hand made for smooth transitions to the outside for Country, and while dominant at stoppages, Lalor also worked hard to rack up even more touches at either end of the ground.

Xavier Ivisic’s ball use defied the wet conditions | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


By: Ed Pascoe

#3 Malakai Champion (Subiaco)
17/05/2006 | 170cm | 64kg | Small Forward

An impressive display from the Subiaco talent, despite being one of the smallest players on the ground. Champion provided plenty of spark and confidence throughout the game, showing he was more than just a crafty small forward. His clean hands in the wet were superb, often collecting cleanly at ground level and quickly getting separation before using the ball neatly by hand or foot. All of the above was highlighted in the third quarter, when Champion kicked his only goal of the day with a lovely checkside off the back of that ability to take the ball cleanly and quickly. The best play, however, was an incredible fend-off which is usually reserved for the big and strong players, but Champion changed the perception in a lovely passage of play.

#5 Anthony Hansen (Swan Districts)
26/02/2006 | 172cm | 61kg | Small Forward

Although he did not win a lot of the ball, you couldn’t help but be drawn to Hansen whenever he went near it, with his attack on the contest at breakneck speed and cleanliness proving real highlights in the wet conditions. Both of Hansen’s goals were dribblers, with his best coming in the third quarter from the boundary, around 40 metres out in an incredible show of talent. As electric as he looked with the ball, he also wasn’t afraid to put pressure on with repeat efforts, and laid some impressive tackles as well. He may not often tick up past 10 disposals a game, but his hurt factor will still make him a dangerous player going forward.

#15 Harrison Creighton (Swan Districts)
1/01/2006 | 182cm | 77kg | Midfielder

It wasn’t hard to miss Creighton in his helmet, but it was also his football that caught the eye, with his clean hands, impressive composure and agility. He used all of those traits on multiple occasions through the midfield and around the ground. Creighton was classy with ball in hand and when disposing by hand or foot, with a good mix of winning his own ball, but also doing plenty on the outside to create by foot. He completed his game with a lovely checkside goal in the third quarter.

#16 Deian Roberts (Peel Thunder)
24/07/2006 | 183cm | 77kg | Midfielder

The standout midfielder for Western Australia, Roberts was a powerhouse around stoppages, often taking the ball cleanly and bursting away with a great mix of strength and speed. Roberts’ attack on the ball all over the ground was impressive, often hitting the contest at full pace and winning the ball himself in ground level one-on-ones. What improved compared to his game against South Australia was his kicking, which saw him hitting targets with ease on either side of his body. He also took some nice marks around the ground, which is always a handy point of difference in modern midfielders.

#27 Thomas Cathcart (Swan Districts)
28/05/2006 | 189cm | 78kg | Defender

One of the generals down back for Western Australia, especially early on, the medium-sized defender was a cool head in defence. He won some important touches under pressure, and used the ball superbly by foot. Cathcart’s willingness to compete in the air and fight for front position, while also staying strong and composed at ground level made him a hard defender to fluster. Upon winning possession, his sharp kicking action enabled him to hit some nice passes to kickstart WA’s rebounds.

#31 Xavier Walsh (East Perth)
6/09/2005 | 194cm | 84kg | Tall Forward

The over-ager didn’t have the most prolific game, but still managed to really catch the eye with some impressive movements in the forward half, especially for a taller player with a lighter build in wet conditions. His ability overhead was outstanding, with his first goal coming from a strong contested mark, and in the same quarter he clunked an unreal grab going back with the flight. His last quarter provided another highlight, with a nice gather in the goal square and kick over his head showcasing his dexterity at ground level as well.

Deian Roberts was arguably WA’s best midfielder | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

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