Scouting Notes: 2022 WAFL Colts – Finals Week 1
PEEL Thunder and South Fremantle advanced to week two of the WAFL Colts finals series, after first-up victories on the weekend. With some of the best West Australian prospects strutting their stuff, we noted some of the top performers from either Colts fixtures, before taking a look up the grades.
By: Hayden Narducci
#19 Ethan Logan
Feeling good off nine goals in his previous two games, bottom-ager Logan kept up this form on the big stage, slotting three past the Lions in this game. Posting up deep in the forward line, Logan’s impact on this game was truly a matter of not counting your touches but making your touches count. His first came from reading a ball that no one else managed to, popping up behind the pack for a simple chest mark and point blank goal in the cage. His second was a beautiful lead out mark, quick turn around and beautiful finish from 45 out on a slight angle, and his third goal was a simple matter of applying the pressure on a defender to cause a fumble which he capitalised on. At a medium-tall height, Logan showed off his ability to play as a target man or the pressure forward in this game, one clubs will be watching closely for next year.
#21 Clay Hall
Another member of the Thunder’s very talented bottom-age brigade, Hall finished the top ball getter for his side in what was a quiet game for both sides’ numbers, finishing with 19 disposals. Playing on the inside and outside of midfield, Hall is a classy and smooth operator, gliding through defenders and dishing off the hands to outside runners, or taking the game on with his beautiful kicking. Despite his young age, he has been an integral member for the Thunder all season, especially in this game, and his form will be crucial to their push in this finals series.
#23 Joshua Draper
In just his second game back from months off with injury, Draper found himself playing a tall defensive role in this game, and though his numbers won’t show it, he was imperative to the Thunder getting across the line. His athleticism is a key part to his game, and he showed it off, flying across packs to intercept, halving contest after contest and putting in the one percenters to make sure his teammates could get away unopposed. If he continues to play this role next week as they take on West Perth, he will face his biggest challenge yet as a defender with their tall timber up forward, but clubs will keep a keen eye on him as he shows off his versatility late in the year.
#2 Tyrell Dewar
The standout player for his side in this game, Dewar often found himself much higher up the ground than the forward line he has tended to occupy this season, but managed to be impactful in each third of the ground. His speed and agility lets him create distance between himself and his direct opponent with ease, allowing for an easy uncontested mark to keep the Lions moving forward quickly in build-up play. Though it was in the second half, as he played a more forward role that he shone and slotted two beautiful goals; one the result of a terrific leap to soar above the tall’s in the goal square for a contested mark, and the other a perfect set shot from 45 out on the boundary line. He led by example in this game for the Lions and always looked dangerous whenever he had the ball.
#23 Koltyn Tholstrup
Despite only being 17, Tholstrup is a genuine leader on the field for this Lions side. Playing in a range of positions, Tholstrup definitely looks most impactful around the forward 50 arc, but looked a threat whenever he got the ball in this game. His desperation on the deck, combined with his composure when he has the footy, makes him a very important clearance player towards the centre of the ground. When forward, his strength makes him a great marking option, with great hands overhead. His goal in this game was a fortunate one, losing his footing but showing the grace and composure to get back up immediately, side step a defender and snap one home.
#50 Luker Kentfield
The birthday boy of this game, freshly 17, Kentfield’s size could easily have him mistaken for much older than that. Kentfield was a genuine utility in this game, posing as a key pillar at either end of the ground and pinch hitting in the ruck. He managed two strong goals in this game, one from a beautiful passage where he plucked one out of the ruck and snapped around his body to drag things back for the Lions. The other, a typical big man mark, with a snap around the body to get them within a kick in the last quarter. If his size wasn’t enough to excite for a bottom age player, then his talent at either end of the ground surely is.
By: Charlie McCormack
#9 Will Cassidy
The Augusta Margaret River product was among the better players for the Royals, registering 15 disposals, four tackles and kicking two goals in a well rounded game. The 18-year-old brought a layer of hardness to the contest and generally executed his skills well throughout the game. Cassidy is a player who has the fundamentals of the game down pact and his clean hands and football smarts proved important for the Royals, as he was able to bob up at critical stages in the game to kick two crucial goals.
#20 Jordyn Baker
Playing as a full-time inside midfielder, Baker put together an excellent performance for the Royals, finishing with 23 disposals and nine marks in a classy display to be his side’s best. The West Coast NGA prospect is a silky mover and he used the ball nicely as he usually does, but he showed an ability to win some contested ball around the clinches to compliment his strong outside game. He kicked a superb running goal from the pocket to put his side on the scoreboard in the first term and fought hard right until the end.
#24 Bailey Harbour
The key defender held up strongly down back, competing well in his one on one contests and playing with a good level of intensity, beelining the football on a few occasions to win some critical contests. The 16-year-old also showed some good courage, putting his body on the line to back into a pack and laid a desperate goal-saving tackle, in an effort that epitomised his performance.
#28 Darcy Miller
The 18-year-old has been one of the Royal’s best contributors throughout the season so it was no surprise that he played strongly in the elimination final, as he gathered 19 disposals in a workmanlike display. Miller played predominantly in the midfield but also rested forward and looked threatening, taking a couple of good contested marks inside 50. Unfortunately, he strayed with both of his set shots but that should take nothing away from what has been an excellent season from the youngster who has filled a variety of roles across all three lines with aplomb.
#3 Chase Bourne
The state squad member showed a touch of class whenever he had the football and was one of the players who had the composure and skill to execute an inside kick to help break open the play. Bourne made a terrific start to the game, winning the first clearance and setting up the first goal and although he drifted in and out of the game at times, good things would happen for the Bulldogs whenever he had the footy. He also put the exclamation mark on the game, stripping an opponent of the ball before kicking a checkside goal to seal the game. He finished with 19 disposals.
#7 Christian Wilson
The competition’s most consistent ball winner put together another productive display, working hard at the coalface to notch up another 26 disposals and six inside 50s. After a quiet start by his standards, Wilson got to work after quarter-time and was particularly influential when the game was on the line in the second half, working in tandem with O’Heir to win some important clearances and using the ball smarty by hand and foot.
#11 Liam Brandis
The mercurial forward was an excitement machine for the Bulldogs in attack, kicking four high-quality goals to break the game open. The 18-year-old showed he does’t need a second invitation to kick a goal, kicking all four of his goals in opportune fashion at important times to help swing the momentum back into the Bulldogs favour. His second goal was a beauty, as he marked 60m out before taking on the man on the mark and blasting it home from 50 while he showed a clean pair of heels in kicking his third, burning off an opponent to finish supremely on the run. Brandis has a deep bag of tricks and gives the Bulldogs forward line the point of difference it needs if it is to make a deep run into September.
#33 Roan O’Heir
The South Fremantle skipper put his team on his back in a sensational individual performance to help the Bulldogs keep their season alive. The 18-year-old racked up 28 disposals and six marks to be the leading ball-winner on the ground but instead of just accumulating the football, his touches were impactful, as he won numerous centre clearances bursting out of the stoppage and also worked hard defensively to support his back six and help his side clear their defensive 50. He capped of his game with a clutch goal in the forward pocket to put his side up by two goals and on their way to victory.
UP THE GRADES:
By: Michael Alvaro
There was a spattering of star state representatives at League and Reserves level, though only a couple of East Fremantle youngsters helped their side prize a win. Jack Cleaver was once again relatively prolific with 15 disposals, while Jed Hagan had it 11 times as the Sharks downed Claremont by 48 points.
Steely Green also turned out in the top flight, though his South Fremantle Bulldogs were pipped by Peel Thunder. The midfielder managed 12 disposals, four marks and three tackles, while Swan Districts bottom-ager Riley Hardeman had 13 touches and four marks in a 73-point to Subiaco at Reserves level.