Team of the Week: 2023 Talent League – Round 2

THERE are 13 regions represented in our Coates Talent League Team of the Week for Round 2, with a trio of sides contributing a high of three players apiece. On the back of impressive wins, Bendigo, Geelong and Tasmania feature most prominently in a competitive side which spans performances from eight games.

Check out who made the cut in our 24-player squad!


FB: Diesel Moloney (WJ) – George Stevens (GWV) – Josh Cooper (BL)
HB: Billy Wilson (DS) – Angus Hastie (GF) – Archie Roberts (SD)

There’s plenty of rebounding power amongst our hypothetical back six, albeit for a lack of true key position options. Filling said spots are George Stevens on the last line and Angus Hastie, both of whom have started their seasons strongly. Stevens had a game-high 32 touches in the GWV Rebels’ win over Sydney, while Hastie helped Geelong repel Oakleigh with six marks and eight rebound 50s.

Also busy with over 30 disposals this week were Sandringham’s Archie Roberts and Western Jets skipper Diesel Moloney. They’re joined in the six by fellow top-ager Billy Wilson, who opened up the play in Dandenong’s win over Brisbane, while Lions Academy kicker Joshua Cooper also earned a spot for his efforts in the same game.


C: Joel Freijah (GWV) – Tom Beaumont (TD) – Harry De Mattia (DS)
FOL: Caleb May (SS) – Josh Smillie (ER) – Harley Reid (BP)

A competitive array of midfield outings again made it tough to narrow down each starting spot, though there are at least a pair of genuine wingers this time out. Joel Freijah returned another strong display on the outside, while Dandenong’s Harry De Mattia played mostly on the inside and up forward but can just as easily shift to the role.

Tasmania Devils captain Tom Beaumont was impossible to ignore for his round-high haul of 38 disposals, taking up the centre spot this week. He’s joined at the centre bounces by top prospect Harley Reid and one for next year in Josh Smillie, both of whom were typically dynamic in Round 1. In the ruck is Swans Academy ruck Caleb May, who won a whopping 42 hitouts and took six marks.


HF: Tom Anastasopoulos (GF) –  Eli Pearce (BP) – Nick Watson (ER)
FF: Jesse Dattoli (NK) – Jovan Petric (WJ) – Jack Callinan (TD)

Headlining our forward line this time out is Player of the Week Tom Anastasopoulos, who dined out with five goals in Geelong’s win over Oakleigh. Northern Knights bottom-ager Jesse Dattoli joins Western over-ager Jovan Petric in the side after both snared four goals, though only Dattoli’s Knights took out a win.

In the other key position slot is Bendigo’s Eli Pearce, who impressed with three majors in the Pioneers’ big win over the Giants Academy. National Academy member Jack Callinan nabbed as many goals for Tasmania to earn a spot, while electric forward Nick Watson only managed one but was outstanding in Eastern’s maiden win of the season.


Will Brown (SD), Tom Evans (BP), Coby James (MB), Colby McKercher (TD), Jagga Smith (OC), Malachi White (GF)

EMG: Nash King (CC), Finn O’Sullivan (OC), Ryley Sanders (SD)

There’s a diverse range of talent on the bench, which features captains, national academy members and top bottom-age prospects alike. Sandringham captain Will Brown made the cut after impressing in midfield, while the likes of Colby McKercher and Jagga Smith were also hard to overlook.

Rounding out the six-man bench are Tom Evans, Coby James, and Malachi White – all of whom kicked two goals and found plenty of the ball. They all made it ahead of guns like Ryley Sanders, who racked up 34 touches this week, and Nash King. The latter’s fellow bottom-ager Finn O’Sullivan was our other emergency having fared well in a loss.

There are plenty of other who can consider themselves unlucky. Sandringham forwards Charlie Harrop, Miles Enders and Harvey Johnston all put their hands up, while Amin Nain also found the goals in the same game.

The likes of Indi Kirk and Sam Lalor would have been good shouts, and Kirk’s fellow northern academy product Sam Marshall was another high accumulator around the mark. Elsewhere, the class of Xavier Ivisic and Jake Rogers was eye-catching, Connor O’Sullivan had another good outing, and Jack Glanvill was arguably the Giants Academy’s best in a big loss.

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