Scouting Notes: 2022 AFL U17 Futures – Vic Country vs. NSW-ACT

VIC COUNTRY came home with a wet sail to down a valiant NSW-ACT side by 14 points in Sunday’s Under 17 Futures clash. The visitors broke away during the second term but were reigned back thereafter, and could not quite hold on in the face of Country’s five final term goals.

While a bunch of top-end stars were absent for the Victorians, the Rams turned out with a strong squad, and collectively the fixture provided a glimpse into generation next in the way of AFL Draft prospects. We highlighted some of the top performers in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.

VIC COUNTRY 2.5 | 3.7 | 7.7 | 12.9 (81)
NSW-ACT 1.4 | 5.6 | 8.6 | 10.7 (67)


VC: S. Amoroso 3, J. Cooper 2, M. Rudd 2, L. Kershaw, D. Wilson, K. De La Rue, H. De Mattia, J. Freijah
NSW-ACT: H. Thomas 3, C. McCormack 2, J. Lugsdin 2, D. Gauci, N. Hawkins, C. Hillier


VC: K. De La Rue, K. Shipp, P. Hughes, L. Lual, J. Cooper
NSW-ACT: H. Thomas, C. Hiller, J. Lugsdin, C. McCormack, L. Cabor

  • Team
  • Vic Metro
  • NSW/ACT Rams


#2 Joeve Cooper (Murray Bushrangers)
3/08/2005 | 173cm | Small Forward

The mercurial small forward got reward for effort with two second half goals, having wreaked havoc with his speed and creativity in the front half. Both were handy efforts, though Cooper’s first major was an absolute blinder, as he slotted an inside-out checkside from the boundary line. He slipped while shooting his second goal, which dribbled through the big sticks.

#7 Kade De La Rue (Dandenong Stingrays)
19/11/2005 | 181cm | Midfielder

De La Rue was a classy and constant member of Vic Country’s midfield, who looked promising when swooping on the stoppage ball and breaking to the outside. He put an early set shot out on the full, but went on to show neater skills on the end of his turns of speed and had little trouble getting his hands on the footy.

#8 Sam Frangalas (Dandenong Stingrays)
20/04/2005 | 187cm | Forward/Midfielder

Starting forward before taking toll in midfield, Frangalas showcased some of his power and flair throughout a promising outing. The Dandenong Stingrays prospect got off the leash early as he worked up the ground from half-forward, but could not quite always put the finishing touch on his good work. Once shifted on-ball, he got busy with one-two chains and plenty of forward drive.

#9 Kobe Shipp (Dandenong Stingrays)
12/05/2005 | 186cm | Defender

Spring-boarding off the strong NAB League form he built, Shipp slotted nicely into Vic Country’s defence as a classic rebounder. He took on the kick-in duties and looked to snatch metres wherever he could, while also jetting past teammates for overlap handballs. He was particularly effective in the first half, and looked to take the game on in the face of NSW-ACT’s purple patch.

#10 Patrick Hughes (Geelong Falcons)

20/03/2005 | 180cm | Midfielder

Hughes was another mainstay in Country’s midfield and his contested acumen was a factor in getting the Victorians home. The Geelong Falcons on-baller was strong at the coalface, but balanced his game nicely with composed decisions as he bustled to the outside. Not afraid to take on tacklers through force, Hughes won his fair share of clearances and proved a good watch.

#16 Luamon Lual (GWV Rebels)
28/03/2005 | 181cm | Defender

Vic Country’s skipper for the day, Lual took up his usual defensive post and played a game typical of the form which richly justified his selection. He seemed to constantly get to the right spots to mop up or become an outlet in the back half, before distributing the ball with great composure and neat skills. There’s nice upside to his game.

#17 Malik Gordan (Bendigo Pioneers)
3/04/2005 | 190cm | Midfielder/Forward

While not necessarily his most prolific game, Gordan managed to display some of the top-end traits which have the Pioneers so high on his talent. During the first term, he delivered a couple of perfectly weighted kicks inside 50, and went on to showcase his ability to break cleanly from the contest in midfield.

Luamon Lual skippered Vic Country | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


#1 Harvey Thomas (Giants Academy)
8/08/2005 | 175cm | Midfielder

The NSW-ACT skipper was a productive member of the on-ball group, buzzing around at ground level and snaring three goals. His speed and clean handling off the deck proved troublesome for the Country midfielders, as was his finishing ability. Fittingly for the Rams, he kicked a major with the last kick of the day, with two of his conversions coming from 40 metres out, and the other via a 50-metre penalty.

#4 James Lugsdin (Swans Academy)
25/10/2005 | 177cm | Small Forward

A hard-working small forward who joined NSW-ACT’s list of multiple goalkickers (two), Lugsdin’s smarts in the front half lead to some creative scoring opportunities. He chained possessions by hand in transition, and improvised well to craft assists in the second and third quarters. His cork in the ocean style goal in term three was also handy, making for a day of great moments for the Swans Academy member.

#8 Charlie Hillier (Bendigo Pioneers)
19/07/2005 | 180cm | Utility

Hillier was one of the best watches on Sunday, with his run, carry, and attacking instincts helping break the game open. From behind the ball and in midfield, he linked well by hand and backed his speed to burn past opponents, producing some of the Rams’ most exciting plays. His running third term major from the top of the centre square was a real highlight, proving Hillier’s eye for goal.

#9 Caiden Cleary (Swans Academy)
5/03/2005 | 180cm | Midfielder

Utilising his power going both ways, Cleary got his chance on the inside for NSW-ACT and played at a high intensity. He laid a strong tackle at the opening centre bounce and won the first centre clearance of term three, with a bunch of contested work contributed in-between. As the Rams’ only Under 18 representative afield (Allies), he was tasked with plenty of responsibility.

#10 Lachlan Cabor (Swans Academy)
28/09/2005 | 181cm | Defender/Midfielder

The bottom-aged AFL Academy member was stationed behind the ball for NSW-ACT, and got to showcase some of his breakaway speed on the rebound. He was one of the Rams’ more accomplished users of the ball in defence, and proved powerful in much of what he did. That factor eventually won him some midfield minutes in term four.

#26 Charlie McCormack (Giants Academy)
2/04/2005 | 197cm | Key Forward/Ruck

Though raw, the Giants Academy tall was arguably his side’s most promising tall and snagged a couple of goals for his efforts. The soggy Craigieburn deck saw him crash to the ground on a few occasions, but McCormack searched up the ground and got his hands on the ball outside attacking 50. His first major came from a handy one-on-one mark, and the second was a snap defiant of his 197cm standing.

Charlie Hillier gets a kick away for the Rams | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

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