Scouting Notes: 2022 AFL U18s – Western Australia vs. South Australia

WESTERN Australia notched its first win of the 2022 AFL Under 18 National Championships at the final time of asking, after downing South Australia by 20 points on Sunday. It was the last chance for prospects from either state to shine on the representative stage, and plenty did so in what was a high-scoring encounter at Joondalup. We highlighted some of the top performers in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.

>> MATCH REPORT: Western Australia 15.10 (100) def. South Australia 12.8 (80)

  • Team
  • Western Australia
  • South Australia


#1 Darcy Jones (Swan Districts)

The Swan Districts pocket rocket picked up straight from where he left off after missing last week’s game, showcasing his high-end speed and attacking threat through midfield. Jones’ ability to get out the back and burn a path forward was outstanding, as he backed his speed and pulled off some nice kicks at full tilt. He carried the ball into ideal positions to do plenty of damage in transition, and even got on the scoreboard himself with a slick running goal during term two.

#2 Jed Hagan (East Fremantle)

Capable of playing on each line, Hagan was part of his side’s midfield-forward rotation on Sunday and had little trouble accumulating possessions. His smarts came to the fore in short spurts, including a clever checkside finish to goal in the first quarter. He would end up with another goal in the fourth term, making good on one of his multiple chances from forward 50 stoppages. With a good ability to steady in space and execute his skills in the short range, Hagan was effective as ever.

#3 Koen Sanchez (East Fremantle)

Sanchez made an electric start to the game, sparking the Black Ducks’ surge with his side’s first two goals. The bottom-ager fared well at ground level, mopping up the spills inside 50 and showcasing good goal sense to finish quickly with shrewd snaps. Throughout the match, he tended to get to all the right spots in attack and could well have finished with a bag if not for later inaccuracy. Having also turned out on the wing, Sanchez got his chance in midfield late in the contest against South Australia.

#5 Steely Green (South Fremantle)

Green had previously established himself as a key figure in Western Australia’s midfield, but spent a good amount of time up forward in his most recent outing. The South Fremantle prospect got involved with neat touches in several early scoring chances, doing the fundamentals well to ensure his side carved a clean path to goal. His pressure acts were also notable in spurts, and Green was rewarded with a set shot conversion in the final quarter.

#8 Tyrell Dewar (Subiaco)

A classy operator in the forward half, Dewar produced somewhat of a breakout game having previously shown glimpses of his best form in representative colours. The Subiaco goalsneak presented well up to the attacking arc and was generally super clean in his handling, taking the ball one-touch on the move and when hitting up at the kicker. He also impacted the scoreboard with goals in the first and third terms, making good on his influence.

#11 Elijah Hewett (Swan Districts)

After a scintillating opening outing, the championships perhaps haven’t panned out how Hewett would have liked, but he still managed to display some of his starpower on Sunday. The midfielder featured heavily at the contest where he got his hands on the ball and looked to showcase his power on the way out. His best moment was a huge speccy on the wing just before half time, and while Hewett sprayed a few kicks on the move, he also proved his class with some neat passes on both feet. With good work rate to find possessions in either arc, the signs are there for him.

#21 Reuben Ginbey (East Perth)

Speaking of power, Ginbey has plenty of it and put that trait to good use against South Australia. The East Perth product again made his clean hands and strong frame key features at the contest, where he was consistently able to stand up and dish the ball out under heavy duress. His intent and willingness to move the ball quickly were also evident, with Ginbey able to snatch good meterage with his booming clearance kicks.

Reuben Ginbey
Reuben Ginbey was again one of WA’s best | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


#6 Jakob Ryan (Glenelg)

In the heat of a pretty scrappy contest between the arcs, Ryan proved relatively composed and clean in much of what he produced. The Glenelg defender positioned well behind the ball and took up aggressive positions, sweeping up tidily and distributing the ball with little fuss. He ended up earning some time up the ground on a wing, and the potential to play in a variety of roles is an asset Ryan certainly has in his locker.

#8 Kobe Ryan (West Adelaide)

Playing arguably his best game of the carnival, Ryan started in the most ideal fashion possible. He burst out of the opening centre bounce and hit up Ashton Moir at half-forward, setting a great tone for what was to come. Ryan also blasted home a 60-metre goal on the run in what was a super opening quarter, before going on to accumulate his fair share of the ball. His quick and clean hands were useful, and allowed him to play a role which defies his size.

#12 Ashton Moir (Glenelg)

Pressing his claims as the best bottom-ager in the country, Moir was one of South Australia’s best with his potent work inside attacking 50. The Glenelg talent was just about unstoppable as a marking target, consistently getting separation on the lead, proving too springy vertically, and incredibly strong when clunking the ball. Moir ambidextrous skill was also on show, as he slotted four quality goals, on both feet and from a variety of situations. Whether it was drop punts, snaps, or otherwise, Moir found a way to keep his side in the contest via the scoreboard.

#21 Mattaes Phillipou (Woodville-West Torrens)

Having copped a fair knock early in last week’s outing, Phillipou took somewhat of a back seat to start this game as he featured out on the wing. Though not as prominent as he has been in South Australian colours, the state’s leading prospect produced a couple of magic moments to remind onlookers of his talent. His third term goal was a particular highlight, as Phillipou marked at half-forward, played on and slotted home on the run in a passage he made look easy.

#28 Adam D’Aloia (Woodville-West Torrens)

Reliable and consistent at the coalface, D’Aloia returned another shift typical of his style with plenty of contested work. When not dishing out handballs in quick time, the Eagles midfielder was not afraid to gain meterage by throwing the ball on his boot for several clearances. He also benefitted from a couple of 50-metre penalties, converting one for his lone goal before missing a 45-metre attempt in the same quarter. Riding the bumps of a midfield scrap, he stood tall.

#38 Isaac Keeler (North Adelaide)

Having massively boosted his stocks during the National Championships, Keeler capped off his carnival well without completely taking ahold inside 50. He was a sound marking option alongside Moir, showcasing his reach and range close to goal while also presenting up the ground. While he did not stick as many marks as he has in previous games, Keeler produced a terrific moment with his 50-metre set shot goal in the opening term. He has the promise.

#45 Harry Barnett (West Adelaide)

Arguably now the leading ruck in this year’s draft crop, Barnett made even more strides with another solid appearance in state colours. The West Adelaide bigman took on primary ruck duties and had a good battle there against Mitchell Edwards, but excelled with some of his work outside of those initial acts. Barnett followed up his work with sound fundamentals to feed his mids when the ball hit the deck, and stood out with his aerial attack on the ball. With strong hands, he clunked a couple of terrific marks and looks to have really grown in confidence across the carnival.

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