Scouting Notes: 2022 AFL U16s – Vic Metro vs. South Australia
VIC METRO made it two wins from two attempts at this year’s AFL Under 16 National Championships, after holding on to defeat South Australia by three points on Tuesday. The Croweaters had a shot after the siren to snatch victory, but could not quite complete what would have been a stirring comeback. We noted some of the top performers from either side.
All notes are the opinion of the individual author.
>> MATCH REPORT: Vic Metro 9.14 (68) def. South Australia 9.11 (65)
By: Michael Alvaro
#2 Isaac Kako (Calder Cannons)
7/03/2006 | 174cm | Small Forward
As per usual, Kako brought unrelenting energy and creativity to Metro’s forward 50, and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal in the final quarter. He came up clutch during the dramatic dying stages, with his ground level dominance and shrewd decision making for what looked like game-winning plays at the time. Earlier, Kako’s clean skills also provided others with scoring opportunities; whether via taps, clever kicks around the corner, or his raw attack on the ball.
#3 Jayden Nguyen (Calder Cannons)
7/03/2006 | 175cm | Wing
A mainstay on the wing, Nguyen’s work rate and ability to carry the ball into dangerous areas proved productive for Metro. Like Calder Cannons teammate, Kako, he was super effective at ground level in the greasy conditions, and attacked the contest with vigour. Nguyen began to utilise his pace and agility more as the game wore on, working hard to receive in transition and boot Metro inside 50. His shrewd holding the ball tackle in the final minute looked to have sealed the game, but there was a little more to play out. Still, he was switched on right to the end.
#7 Lucas McInerney (Northern Knights)
28/02/2006 | 178cm | Defender
Another McInerney out of the Northern Knights, Lucas made the half-back his own once again on Tuesday. His long kicking looks to be his greatest weapon, and McInerney worked into good positions up the ground to utilise it. At times, he was squeezed on his right side and forced into awkward kicks, but adjusted in time and distributed the ball with increasing efficiency as the game panned out. He also took the chance to hit the scoreboard from a 50-metre penalty in term three.
#8 Jagga Smith (Oakleigh Chargers)
28/01/2006 | 179cm | Midfielder
The smooth moving Oakleigh Chargers midfielder was one of Metro’s best throughout the day, accumulating plenty of possessions around the ground. His work rate came to the fore in trying conditions, as Smith swept back to help drive Metro forward with his classy skills and sound decision making. While still quite lightly-built, Smith only needed a touch of time and space to make his touches count, often weaving webs around opposition defenders. He had a few chances to find the goals but could not quite seal the deal with a heavy ball.
#10 Levi Ashcroft (Sandringham Dragons)
18/12/2006 | 179cm | Midfielder/Forward
It was somewhat a game of two halves for Ashcroft, who started up forward before shifting into Metro’s midfield. The Brisbane Lions father-son prospect showcased his physicality and smarts in the first half, busting through tackles and laying his own, while also drawing free kicks at the contest. Once moved on-ball, he came to life and generated serious drive for his side with an accumulation of possessions which saw his impact go through the roof. His build and balance of ball winning ability are already quite similar to elder brother, Will.
#16 Zak Johnson (Northern Knights)
24/12/2006 | 182cm | Forward
With goals in each of the first three terms, Johnson was a dynamo around goal. The Northern Knights prospect may not have been as outwardly busy as others, but made his touches count with a trio of classy finishes inside 50. Two of them were incredibly polished dribblers across the greasy ground, while the third was a quick snap which showcased his goal sense once more. Johnson also utilised the dribble kick to good effect in open play, but was obviously most effective in a scoring sense with a third of his side’s majors, as Metro’s sole multiple goalkicker.
#20 Luke Trainor (Sandringham Dragons)
10/04/2006 | 185cm | Defender
A dynamic and versatile footballer with traits adaptable to many roles, Trainor did some nice things in Metro’s defence. The Sandringham Dragons prospect was super clean below is knees and off the deck, but also distributed the ball well by foot when moving the ball out of the last line. He also took on some of the kick-in duties and was generally composed with ball in hand, holding up well as one of the neater players afield.
#24 Tadhg McCarthy (Oakleigh Chargers)
7/03/2006 | 190cm | Tall Defender
McCarthy had quite the job on his hands, manning a couple of dangerous South Australian talls. He sacrificed some of his own game to help cover them, competing well when one-out inside defensive 50 to split contests, or rush the ball through for a behind. His reaction time in reading the play was quick, and McCarthy’s mobility helped him mop up the Croweater kicks he brought to ground.
#26 Josh Smillie (Eastern Ranges)
17/05/2006 | 191cm | Midfielder
Having impressed in defence last time out, Smillie was thrown into Metro’s midfield as skipper of the side. His big frame suited the conditions, and the move looked a masterstroke when he got his hands to the very first centre clearance. Smillie’s presence at the contest made for strong work on the inside, but he also utilised his size advantage to compete in packs around the ground, and took a big mark in the first term. At his best, he’s difficult to stop at this level.
By: Ed Pascoe
#6 Lucas Camporeale (Glenelg)
21/07/2006 | 182cm | Wing
The stand-in captain for South Australia, Camporeale played a great game on the wing, particularly given the wet conditions played and his light frame. His work rate around the ground was good, with plenty of repeat efforts highlighted early on by a smother, which he followed up to win the ball himself and spin out of trouble. In the last quarter, Camporeale showed another string to his bow, positioning himself on the wing to take some nice intercept marks. The Carlton father-son prospect, along with his brother Ben will be players to watch out for in the coming years.
#11 Louie Montgomery (North Adelaide)
24/04/2006 | 183cm | Forward
The exciting Port Adelaide father-son prospect didn’t have his most prolific game in conditions that hardly suited his style, but he still managed to produce some eye-catching plays in the forward half. After a quiet first quarter, Montgomery came to life in the second, kicking two opportunistic goals which proved reward for effort for some nice plays outside 50, and good pressure to put the heat on Vic Metro. He flew for marks which didn’t stick on the day, but be sure to keep an eye on his aerial work in the coming years.
#14 Jacob Newton (Norwood)
20/03/2006 | 176cm | Midfielder
It was another strong performance from Norwood midfielder, Newton, with the powerful left-footer offering plenty of drive through the midfield and using his long kicking on many occasions while bursting away with the ball. Newton can win first possession, but it is that kicking which is his real weapon, proving as much with a good intercept mark and kick inside 50 to teammate Will Thomas. Shortly after, he also burst away to hit teammate Tyler Welsh on the lead. His production could be higher, but Newton extracts a lot out of his touches when he gets possession.
#15 Benny Barrett (South Adelaide)
1/05/2006 | 174cm | Small Utility
The fleet footed Port Adelaide Next-Generation Academy prospect impressed again after showing signs against Western Australia, to put together an even more complete game against Vic Metro. Starting forward before going into the middle, and later featuring on the wing, he provided great run and carry and precision with his long left foot. Barrett did well as a receiver at stoppages and his speed over the first five metres meant he wasn’t getting caught anytime soon, which he showcased in defensive 50 in the second quarter upon escaping congestion quicker than a hiccup. Although he had a few misses on goal that would have completed his game as a damaging runner, he still showed he is a very damaging prospect and could even potentially become a very good attacking half-back down the line.
#17 Dyson Sharp (Central District)
23/05/2007 | 184cm | Defender
By name and by nature, Sharp was South Australia’s prime rebounder, with the bottom-aged prospect backing up his impressive game against Western Australia. Sharp did it all down back, taking numerous intercept marks by using his ability to read the play, while also creating by hand and foot with his constant rebound. He wouldn’t have missed many targets for the day which is why it was unsurprising to see him taking the kick-outs, even as the youngster of the team. Sharp’s performances so far have shown he will be a player to keep an eye on when his draft year comes around in 2025.
#25 William McCabe (Central District)
29/09/2005 | 196cm | Tall Defender
The athletic tall defender did not have a productive game but could not have done much more to play his role on the Metro talls. He shut them down with relative ease, using his superior speed and leap in the air to give the Metro forwards nothing. His best bit of play came from Metro kicking inside 50, with McCabe anticipating quickly and beating his opponent to the ball. After disposing, he ran forward to receive and although he did not get the ball, it showed he could also be real force on the rebound if he begins to be used more often.
#26 Tyler Welsh (Woodville-West Torrens)
15/08/2006 | 189cm | Tall Forward
It could have been a huge game for the Adelaide Crows father-son prospect, with the talented forward a real force in the air, taking numerous contested and lead-up marks as his side’s centre half-forward. The one area that let him down was his kicking – in general play and on goal – with three misses in the last quarter which were a shame, because his marking prowess and ability to make time for himself was good. His best bit of play came with a great chase after already leading hard at the ball, and despite it not reaching him, he showed he has a good mix of offensive and defensive traits.
#30 Charlie West (Woodville-West Torrens)
1/02/2006 | 193cm | Tall Forward
After missing the first game against Western Australia, West was the pick of the key forwards, providing a great target closer to goal as teammate Welsh played the higher role. West went goalless in quarters two and three, but kicked two majors in each of the first and fourth quarters. Three of those four goals came from set shots, with two earned via strong marks. His final goal was the pick of the bunch, finishing well on the run close to the boundary after gathering a loose ball, handballing it off, and getting it back for the final kick. In that passage, he showed his wares as a tall forward who can also create at ground level.