Power return home, load up against Knights

GIPPSLAND Power will welcome back captain Bailey Humphrey as well as Coby Burgiel for its Round 14 home match against Northern Knights tomorrow in what will be a big inclusion for the home side. Humphrey has not played since Round 8, and has been named in the forward pocket for the game, while Vic Country representative Burgiel will play thanks to his school side – Wesley College – having the bye. Gippsland is coming off its first loss to the season, fading away against Tasmania Devils in Round 13, while Northern Knights fell a point short of Bendigo Pioneers and sit 12th with just two wins from 10 games.

Gippsland Power’s forward line could be the most exciting in the competition when all in there and firing, with Humphrey joining top-age talent Jacob Konstanty and potential Top 10 picks in next year’s AFL Draft, Zane Duursma and Archer Reid. Jonti Schuback is another exciting talent for the 2022 AFL Draft, and has been named on the wing for the Morwell clash which kicks off from 1pm tomorrow. Knights bottom-age tall Nate Caddy will make the trip down the highway and is lining up at centre half-forward.

In other NAB League games, Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels and Eastern Ranges will face off in a match with serious finals ramifications. The ninth placed Rebels will be hoping the home ground advantage can get them across the line in order to snatch eighth spot off the Ranges. In-form key forward Aaron Cadman is proving near-unstoppable with five goals from 24 disposals last week. Vic Metro Under 16s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Josh Smillie will also earn a second game for the Ranges, named at full-forward for the big clash.

Calder Cannons are coming off a bye in the NAB League, with their last game way back on July 9, which was a forgettable 41-point defeat at the hands of Northern Knights. They will take on the red-hot Tasmania Devils who are coming off a confidence-boosting win over Gippsland Power. Top 30 AFL Draft prospect Lachlan Cowan and bottom-age talent Colby McKercher were both superb in the victory last week.

The Cannons will insert Under 16s talents Isaac Kako and Jayden Nguyen. The former was an exciting forward at the AFL Under 16 Championships, while Nguyen provided plenty of dash along a wing. Both are apart of nine Essendon Next-Generation Academy (NGA) players in the clash. The match also marks the return of Rye Penny who has not played since Round 4.

Coming off a big win last round, Palm Beach Currumbin hosts Noosa Tigers in a massive mid-table clash in the QAFL. Bottom-age forward Jed Walter was terrific up forward last round for the Lions, and has been named at full-forward. Coming off a bye last round, Broadbeach takes to the field for Round 18 against 10th placed Surfers Paradise in what could be an incredibly one-sided result.

Gold Coast Suns Academy prospect Marlin Corbett will be one to watch for the Demons, but the strength of the Cats, which include the likes of NAB League experienced Cody Harrington and Jye Lockett will have a mix of youth and experience. Bottom-age Allies representative Jake Rogers has also been named up forward for the Cats. Two more bottom-agers in James Lewis and Jack Manly will run out for their respective teams in the Sherwood and Wilston Grange clash.

In Western Australia, Under 18s talent Jed Hagan will make his League debut with East Fremantle, named in the forward pocket for the Sharks up against Perth. At Reserves level, top West Australian prospect Elijah Hewett comes in for Swan Districts in the Black Ducks’ road trip to Claremont. Jack Cleaver will play at Reserves level for the Sharks against Perth, while Steely Green will run out for South Fremantle in the same level when the Bulldogs take on West Perth.

At Colts level, the top three clash between East Perth and Peel Thunder welcomes back some top young talent, with Tyler Lindberg returning to the Royals outfit, while Mitchell Edwards and Corey Tregenza-Cashell both come into the Thunder setup. The other crunch top five contest sees fifth placed South Fremantle lock horns with top of the table West Perth, but just one win separates the sides. The Falcons welcome back the likes of Jasper Schaife, Daniel Gathercole and Kane Bevan. Though out of finals contention, Anthony Hansen, Otis Harvey and Harrison Creighton are among the Under 16s talents coming into the Swan Districts side, while Edward Allan, Harry Cole and Sam Gilbey are back in for Claremont in that match.

South Australian AFL Draft prospect will have a weekend off, with the SANFL returning on August 6.

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