Scouting Notes: 2022 WAFL Colts – Preliminary Final
Peel Thunder have booked themselves a place in the WAFL Colts Grand Final after holding off a determined Subiaco outfit by 10 points at New Choice Homes Park in East Fremantle. The Thunder will now join minor premier, West Perth in this year’s decider. Before they lock horns, we noted some of the top preliminary final performers.
#13 Joel Rush
The 17-year-old didn’t dominate on the stats sheet, but stood out with his cleanliness and poise with ball in hand proving vital for the Thunder. Playing off half-back, Rush struck a nice balance between attack and defence, as he was able to defend strongly in most of his one on one contests but also provided some good drive from the back line, using his lovely foot skills and decision making to set up his team. He finished with 13 disposals and five marks in an excellent performance in what was a high pressure game.
#31 Reece Torrent
Amongst a very talented group of 2023 draft products that have been developing at Peel, Torrent has somewhat slid under the radar this year but he was very important in helping the Thunder edge over the line in the Preliminary final. The 17-year-old really got to work in the second quarter, providing some grunt around the contest and getting his hands on the football. He also took advantage of his left foot in traffic, as he was often able to turn onto his left and send the ball forward. He finished with 21 disposals and nine tackles to be one of Peel’s best.
#25 Michael Sellwood
The over-age defender has become a feature in the Scouting Notes this season off the back of a string of excellent performances down back, and he stood tall once again in the Preliminary Final, notching up 16 disposals and defending stoically. The Baldivas product got off to a superb start, racking up nine first quarter disposals and withstanding a barrage of early Subiaco pressure as he often used his good closing speed to just get a spoil in at the last moment. Although he wasn’t as prolific as the game went on, he still remained influential and will be a key for the Thunder if they are to prevail in next week’s decider.
The South Mandurah product showed why he is potentially WA’s best key forward prospect, as he produced a statement game, kicking five goals and taking 10 marks to be the difference in a contest between two sides that were so evenly matched. The 18-year-old used his solid frame to his advantage to clunk a few contested marks but was also equally impressive in timing his leads to perfection and leading up at the perfect time for the kicker to hit him. He also managed to bob up and kick a couple of opportunistic goals at ground level to compliment his strong marking and cap off what was a best on ground display.
#9 Toby McDonald
Stationed down back, the 17-year-old found plenty of the football and produced a solid defensive display. In a second quarter dominated by the Thunder, McDonald stood up, withstanding several Peel entries to ensure the scoreboard didn’t get out of hand for his team, as he often halved a one on one contest and cleared his defensive 50. He finished with 18 disposals and three marks.
#20 Ky Franceschini
The midfielder did everything in his power to keep his team’s season alive, winning 26 disposals, including a number of centre clearances and kicking a team-lifting goal in the third term. The 19-year-old really impressed with his power around the stoppages, and was the catalyst for Subiaco’s surge in the third term, as he was able to break free from congestion and send the ball forward. He highlighted his day with a superb major in the third term, after he took a mark 60m out before instinctively playing on a finishing on the run from 45.
#38 Tyzreise Clark
With Subiaco’s two best forwards in Koltyn Tholstrup and Tyrell Dewar missing, the Lions needed someone to provide some spark up forward and Clark looked to be the man early, as he kicked a terrific crumbing goal and drew plenty of the football towards him. The Kalgoorlie product didn’t win as much of the football after quarter-time as the supply dried up but he continued to apply good forward pressure. He inserted himself back into to match with a crunch goal on the run just before three quarter time and finished with two goals and six tackles in a game that showcased some of his raw talent.
UP THE GRADES:
While East Fremantle were ambushed early in the league preliminary final by Claremont, Jed Hagan was one of few players in blue and white who contributed across the full four quarters. The 17-year-old was one of the Sharks best, impressing with his work-rate and outstanding tackling pressure on some big-bodied opponents.
He also showed good creativity with ball in hand, setting up a couple of goals while kicking two himself. Despite the disappointing result for the Sharks, he can hold his head high in what will most likely be his last game for East Fremantle in some time.
Down back, fellow draft prospect Jack Cleaver, had his work cut out having to deal with an avalanche of Claremont pressure as the Tigers dominated the territory battle. The 18-year-old acquitted himself well given the situation, holding up defensively and finishing with 11 disposals and six marks to cap off what has been an impressive stint of senior football from him.