THE Northern Knights lay claim to a high of five representatives in our latest NAB League Team of the Week. After a breakthrough win over Calder, the Knights lead the way in Round 13, while Country regions Gippsland, Dandenong, and Murray also contributed strongly with three selected players apiece. Check out who made the full 24-man squad, and three emergency spots below.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
One of four Knights to notch over 30 disposals on Saturday, Ben Ham put up numbers which were too good to ignore. The midfielder accumulated 34 touches, seven marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and three goals in a best afield performance, helping his side earn its second win of the season. He kicked goals at important times too, essentially sparking Northern’s game defining run during the second and third terms.
This week’s defence has a nice balance to it; boasting two key position pillars, a couple of smalls, and utility types who can play above their size. Sam Grant and Jed Rule are repeat entrants as tall defenders after respectively strong marking displays, aided by Gippsland’s Rhys Galvin.
Running smalls Aleksandr D’Arro and Matt Clarkson both racked up plenty of the ball to earn their spots in the starting back six, while Dandenong Stingrays rebounder Finn Emile-Brennan rounds out this week’s defence after another promising outing.
Ham is joined by a trio of Country-based talents at the centre bounces, and a couple of club-tied prospects at that. Brisbane father-son candidate Noah Bradshaw and Geelong Next Generation Academy (NGA) talent Ted Clohesy were their side’s prime movers on the weekend, and line up alongside Ham and undersized Dandenong ruck Jess McManus.
On the outside, there is another Murray Bushrangers product in Thomas Cappellari, who has made the wing his own in 2022. Out on the opposite side, Lachlan Reidy finds his place in the squad once again having impressed in Eastern’s big win over Western.
As is usually the case, it’s goals galore in our hypothetical forwardline. Tom Gillett booted a round-high six to spearhead Geelong’s win over Bendigo, while Harrison Jones bagged his second haul of five in as many outings. Zach Greeves rounds out the full forward trio, having nabbed four majors of his own.
Up at half-forward, Northern’s Nate Caddy was impressive aerially and produced six shots on goal to justify his spot. He’s flanked by a couple of rotating Gippsland Power midfielders in Coby Burgiel and Zane Duursma, who found the big sticks and a good amount of the ball.
A competitive interchange bench predominantly features midfielders who didn’t quite make the starting centre bounce mix. Jack Brown (Calder), Lachlan Charleson (GWV), and Jaelen Pavlidis (Western) were all prolific in losing causes, as was Bendigo’s Harvey Gallagher in a slightly altered role. Josh Hamilton was hard to deny for his 37 touches, as was Toby Murray after kicking five goals.
ROOKIE ME CENTRAL ROUND 12 NAB LEAGUE TEAM OF THE WEEK:
FB: Rhys Galvin (GP) – Sam Grant (NK) – Aleksandr D’Arro (NK)
HB: Matt Clarkson (SD) – Jed Rule (OC) – Finn Emile-Brennan (DS)
C: Thomas Cappellari (MB) – Ben Ham (NK, C) – Lachlan Reidy (ER)
HF: Coby Burgiel (GP) – Nate Caddy (NK) – Zane Duursma (GP)
FF: Zach Greeves (ER) – Tom Gillett (GF) – Harrison Jones (DS)
FOL: Jess McManus (DS) – Noah Bradshaw (MB) – Ted Clohesy (GF)
INT: Jack Brown (CC), Lachlan Charleson (GWV), Harvey Gallagher (BP), Josh Hamilton (NK), Toby Murray (MB), Jaelen Pavlidis (WJ)
EMG: Ned Moodie (DS), Mitch Moschetti (GP), Jonathan Tomasiello (NK)