Team of the Week: 2023 Talent League – Round 1

THE COATES Talent League boys season got underway on the weekend, with a bumper eight games stretched evenly across Saturday and Sunday. It made it tough to squeeze the raft of top performances into the Round 1 Team of the Week, though there is plenty of quality in the squad of 24.

Gippsland Power (five representatives) and Oakleigh Chargers (four) dominate the side after respectively impressive wins, with a range of age groups represented across all three lines. Check out who made the cut!


FB: Max Stobie (GP), Cooper Trembath (ER), Ryan Eyre (CC)
HB: Kobe Shipp (DS), Connor O’Sullivan (MB), Angus Hastie (GF)

Getting height into this week’s team was tough, though there are many capable markers among this hypothetical back six. 198cm Murray Bushrangers utility Connor O’Sullivan fills a gap at centre half-back after a handy showing of versatility, while Eastern surprise packet Cooper Trembath earned his place on the last line.

A couple of potential Vic Country rebounders in Kobe Shipp and Angus Hastie slot in off half-back having racked up plenty of possessions in the same game, while Gippsland’s Max Stobie is the first bottom-ager in the lineup. Calder’s Ryan Eyre, who has had a horror run with injuries, rounds out the defence after an assured outing on debut.


C: Harvey Thomas (GWS), Indhi Kirk (SS), Jagga Smith (OC)
FOL: Wil Dawson (GP), Patrick Hughes (GF), Will Graham (GC) 

A competitive bunch of midfield performances made it near-impossible to select five on-ballers and a ruck. Gippsland’s Wil Dawson was super and takes on the tall role, feeding a bunch of talented rovers in our hypothetical lineup.

There’s a northern academy feel to the group, with Harvey Thomas (GWS), Will Graham (Gold Coast), and Player of the Week Indhi Kirk (Sydney) all featuring after turning in best afield efforts for their respective sides.

Bottom-ager Jagga Smith, who will later be joined by Thomas at the Oakleigh Chargers, was also outstanding in a win, as was Geelong Falcons bull Patrick Hughes. On the bench and beyond, there were plenty who can count themselves unlucky to miss out.


HF: Levi Ashcroft (SD), Archer Reid (GP), Harley Reid (BP)
FF: Ryan Maric (GP), Logan Morris (WJ), Billy Hicks (OC)

There’s plenty of firepower in this week’s forward line, and a couple of classy midfielders to rotate through. This year’s top prospect Harley Reid is among them, while bottom-age gun Levi Ashcroft was terrific for Sandringham and did enough to earn a spot.

Both Ryan Maric and Logan Morris impressed with four-goal hauls, while National Academy member Archer Reid put in an impressive shift alongside the former for nine marks and three majors. Rounding out the six is Billy Hicks, who was lively in a well-fed Oakleigh attack.


Zane Duursma (GP), Daniel Gauci (GWS), Tom Gross (OC), Alex Molan (GWV), Finn O’Sullivan (OC), Darcy Wilson (MB)

EMG: Tye Gander (SS), Michael Rudd (GF), Ryley Sanders (SD)

There’s an abundance of talent on the interchange, starting with top-age midfielder-forwards Zane Duursma and Darcy Wilson, who starred in the same game. Meanwhile, Oakleigh’s representatives tick up to four with the inclusion of bottom-agers Finn O’Sullivan and Tom Gross.

It was then hard to deny Daniel Gauci after his strong showing for the Giants Academy in tandem with Thomas, while Alex Molan posted good numbers for the GWV Rebels. There was an abundance of midfielders and forwards left on the cutting room floor, too.

Swans Academy tall Tye Gander and Geelong Falcons co-captain Michael Rudd can count themselves unlucky having both snared impressive three-goal hauls, and Sandringham Dragons ball winner Ryley Sanders could not have done much more to earn selection. He was our Player Focus this week.

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