2022 AFL U18s: Three sides announce MVPs

THE 2022 AFL Under 18 National Championships are over for three of five teams, meaning the Most Valuable Players (MVPs) have begun to roll in. South Australia, Western Australia, and the Allies (comprising of players from Northern Territory, NSW-ACT, Queensland, and Tasmania) have all announced their best and fairests, having played out their four fixtures respectively.

Coincidentally, it’s a celebration of midfielders as all three MVP recipients featured heavily in their sides’ on-ball brigade. Before Vic Country and Metro battle it out in September’s championship decider, we take you through the three award winners thus far. Stay tuned for the Victorian MVPs, and Larke Medal winner come AFL Grand Final week.

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Harry Rowston (Giants Academy/NSW-ACT)
12/08/2004 | 180cm | Midfielder

There was hardly any question of Rowston’s status as the Allies’ most consistently impactful player across the four games, and he significantly boosted his draft stocks in the process. The Giants Academy product proved an incredibly hard worker in midfield, not only to win the contested ball, but to surge forward and become a scoring threat in open play. Rowston’s clean overhead marking and polished set shot conversion compounded his onball impact, and he had little trouble imposing himself on games either way. Now, he looks poised to challenge for second round selection, albeit via the bidding system.

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Adam D’Aloia (Woodville-West Torrens)
9/04/2004 | 186cm | Midfielder

An accomplished junior who is no stranger to taking out awards, D’Aloia capped off a consistent Under 18s campaign by being named his state’s MVP. The Eagles product held off the likes of club teammate Mattaes Phillipou for the award, proving a reliable competitor for the 1-3 Croweaters. A hardened ball winner who thrives at the contest, D’Aloia fared well in scrappy conditions throughout the carnival and was able to help others shine with his distribution by hand. He was also made to showcase different strings to his bow, rotating forward to find the big sticks and transfer his usual competitive spirit. Though not as flashy or polish as others, his style and reliability are reminiscent of 2016 state Under 18 skipper, Jack Graham.

SA MVP Adam D’Aloia was a consistent performer | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

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Reuben Ginbey (East Perth)
10/09/2004 | 189cm | Midfielder

Another tough competitor to have taken out MVP honours for his state, Ginbey proved every bit the powerful prospect he was billed as coming into the championships. Having already turned out at senior level for East Perth in defence, Ginbey took on full-time midfield duties and even spent time rotating forward to good effect. His explosive athleticism made him difficult to combat and like both Rowston and D’Aloia, he was able to tick up over 20 disposals with relative ease throughout the carnival. His consistent output and effort suited the wet conditions he was often faced with, complimenting star midfielder Elijah Hewett beautifully, and arguably outshining him in the final three games. A solid player his state often turned to, Ginbey is now right among the first round calculations.

Reuben Ginbey
WA MVP Reuben Ginbey’s power was evident in state colours | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

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