Scouting Notes: 2023 Talent League – Round 2

ANOTHER bumper weekend in the Coates Talent League saw eight more games completed, meaning there were plenty of eye-catching performances to note. We highlight some of the league’s top talents in our Round 2 Scouting Notes.

>> SNAPSHOT: Coates Talent League Round 2

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Swans Academy

By: Michael Alvaro


#4 Sam Lalor

Entering the fray for his first game of the season, Lalor was typically clean and hard at the contest but elevated his game in the fourth quarter with two crucial goals. The bottom-ager spent most of the match in midfield and was shifted deep forward late, where he bagged two goals in as many minutes to cut the deficit to two points. Lalor’s physicality for a player with one year left in the system was outstanding, best showcased by his rag-doll tackle on Swans Academy bull Caiden Cleary.

#6 Luamon Lual

A player who bases his game on that of Hawthorn’s Changkuoth Jiath, Lual showed plenty of similar traits in a role which suits ‘CJ’s’ slingshot style off half-back. Playing an aggressively high line, the top-ager created productive overlap run and used his speed to set off on the attack. Lual advanced so far up the field he even managed a pair of running shots on goal – albeit both misses – in another promising outing.

#7 Joel Freijah

Freijah has made the wing his own and again plied his trade there for GWV, finishing as one of only two Rebels to tick over 20 touches. Much like in Round 1, he proved tough to tackle and oozed class when chaining possessions by hand, but found a few of his kicks falling a touch short. Though he could sometimes be a bit cute with his possessions, Freijah’s willingness to break the lines and generate momentum in attacking transitions proved a good watch.

#23 George Stevens

Nothing short of an accumulator down back, Stevens continued his strong return from a long-term injury by leading all comers with 32 disposals and six rebound 50s. The solidly built defender pumped long and flat kicks forward and looked most comfortable in kick-mark passages – rather than under pressure in open play. He got to typically good spots to contest aerially and intercept, proving near-impossible to move once planted or while rising for a mark.


#11 Indhi Kirk

The son of a gun has started his over-age campaign in fine fettle, turning in arguably another best afield performance for the Swans Academy. Kirk showed flashes of class in midfield with his ball winning smarts, agility and evasion, proving difficult to tie down at the contest. Once on the outside, he made excellent decisions and used the ball well. Among his highlights for the day were a long goal on the run and a speccy in the third quarter to cap off another top game.

#27 Caiden Cleary

Cleary was his usual bull-like self in midfield, burrowing low and hard at the contest en route to collecting a team-high 23 disposals. Though he could have looked to keep his feet more often, the National Academy member stood tall with opponents hanging off him and nearly always found a way to feed the ball out to runners. Having absorbed contact all day, Cleary got reward for effort with a 45-metre set shot goal in the third quarter.

#36 Caleb May

The 205cm top-ager put up a stat line which was difficult to ignore, winning a whopping 42 hitouts to go with his 15 disposals and six marks. He boasted a clear size advantage in the ruck and took toll, but also did well to play within his limits around the ground. Understanding his role, he always sought out an overlap runner after marking or winning a free kick, dishing off to let his midfielders get to work.

  • Team
  • Calder Cannons
  • Sandringham Dragons

By: Michael Alvaro


#11 Ryan Eyre

One of the great stories of the first two Coates Talent League rounds is Eyre, who again showed promised off the Cannons’ half-back line. With good range on his kicks and handy aerial work at 191cm, the top-ager was arguably most effective on the overlap where he and Charles Bolmat looked to slingshot Calder into attack.

#17 Nash King

The bottom-aged King was Calder’s most prolific player on Saturday, notching up 23 disposals and six inside 50s from midfield. He found his fair share of ball at the contest and got his legs pumping to manufacture paths to the outside, mostly through power and short bursts of speed. The 181cm onballer was often sharp when sharking the ball and can be pleased with his efforts against a formidable Sandringham midfield.

#41 Jordan Croft

Coming in for his first game of the season, Croft was one of the more impressive key position players afield. The Western Bulldogs father-son prospect featured up forward and at 200cm, showed instances of terrific athleticism. Croft hit up at the kicker strongly but looked most dangerous when allowed a run and jump at high balls inside 50, where his leap came to the fore. The top-ager covered the ground well on the follow-up and snared a goal in the final quarter.


#4 Will Brown

The Sandringham skipper was terrific as the leader of his side’s stacked on-ball brigade, doing plenty of good work on the inside en route to 21 disposals. For a 194cm ball winner whose contested stuff is so good, Brown’s work rate and ability to cover the ground from contest to contest was just as impressive. A 50-metre penalty gifted Brown his lone goal for the game, though he was due some form of reward.

#9 Archie Roberts

Having made a steady start to the season in Round 1, Roberts will likely be pleased with his second outing which yielded 30 disposals from behind the ball. He’s the kind of player who wants the ball in his hands at all times, and while he may sometimes have been guilty of overuse, generally made good decisions. A diving spoil and holding-the-ball tackle in the second term were among Roberts’ best moments defensively.

#15 Ryley Sanders

Sanders has been terrific across the first two games, and a haul of 34 disposals on Saturday brought his season tally to 62. What’s more, the Tasmanian again hit the scoreboard with a single major from three scoring shots, backing himself to take grass and find the big sticks from range, but ultimately converting deeper inside 50. Sanders’ strength and polished ball winning prowess at stoppage were again evident on a day where the greasy conditions suited his style. He took full toll.

#23 Charlie Harrop

Popping up with a goal in each quarter, Harrop’s haul of four came from as many marks and just eight disposals. He was the beneficiary of some of Sandringham’s slick ball movement in attacking phases, but can be credited for getting into all the right spots deep inside 50 and taking his chances.

#26 Miles Enders

Enders has been a more than handy find for Sandringham and built on the promise he showed in Round 1 with a greater goal tally of three. The 188cm forward is a good size but also moves well and did so on Saturday in a game where he owned his space. Whether presenting on the lead or twisting his way to good ball use on the attack, Enders again had his moments.

#29 Harvey Johnston

Along with Enders, Johnston has enjoyed a super start to the season and is certainly attracting interest. The 184cm top-age forward claimed 22 disposals and got involved in many a scoring chain, even snapping home a crafty goal of his own. Johnston is also a slippery customer who proves hard to get hold of in tight spots, making him a creative asset close to goal and up the ground.

  • Team
  • Bendigo Pioneers
  • GIANTS Academy

By: Liam Badkin


#1 Oliver Poole

Played another handy game on the wing, putting himself in a dangerous positions all day and finding various methods to impact the contest. He found plenty of space in the expanses of Queen Elizabeth Oval, but was not afraid to get his hands dirty around the contest. He set up Bendigo’s second goal with some clean hands below his feet and released his teammate with a well-timed handball, a trait that he displayed all day. Poole’s shining moment came shortly after, displaying an eye-catching vertical leap and flying in from the side to take a contested mark in the forward line, before kicking truly.

#3 Tobie Travaglia

Seemingly always catching the eye with his blonde mop and ability to rack up the ball, Travaglia popped up everywhere in Bendigo’s win, and looked extremely dangerous when involved in the play. He overcame some early fumbles to be one of the Pioneers’ best on the day. Travaglia could have had a much bigger day at the office given he kicked 1.2, but his presence was still felt for Bendigo. Gave the Pioneers camp a scare in the last quarter with a leg injury that ended up being cramp.

#5 Harley Reid

As expected, Reid caught the eye with yet another standout display, showcasing the traits that have seen him highly regarded ahead of the 2023 AFL Draft. From the opening clearance, Reid launched himself at the ball after reading the tap to perfection, and helped Bendigo get on top. He spent much of the game working through midfield, pushing into defence to help out on a few occasions and found plenty of the ball in doing so. His explosiveness is as good as it gets in the Coates Talent League and helped him to a dominant first half display. Although he copped a bit more defensive attention in the final two quarters, Reid showed why he is so dangerous and headed deep into the forward line to kick a goal.


#24 Daniel Gauci

The midfielder worked his way into the contest after not finding too much of the ball in the opening minutes of the game, while Bendigo dominated play. He showed his strength with some crunching tackles in defensive 50 to get his game going, before getting involved with some clearances around the ground shortly after. Spent some time trying to nullify the influence of Reid at stoppages in the second half, and did a reasonable job in doing so.

#26 Jack Glanvill

One of the GIANTS’ best performers on a tough day, Glanvill never stopped trying and consistently tried to inject a spark of energy into his side. He finished with a team-high 24 disposals and worked tirelessly around the ground to win possession for the Giants. Although he bit off a bit more than he could chew at times, it was not without trying as he kept trying to get the ball inside 50 to try and give his side a chance, and got in and under at the coalface to win the hardball despite being outnumbered at times.

#41 Charlie McCormack

Despite not finding a whole heap of the ball, McCormack was a constant presence in the air for the Giants on a day where that was a rare commodity. He crashed packs across all four quarters and used his height to get the reach over his opposition. McCormack was often able to at least bring the ball to ground, and got reward for effort with a team-high two goals.

  • Team
  • Geelong Falcons
  • Oakleigh Chargers

By: Peter Williams


#5 Tom Anastasopoulos

Anastasopoulos starred in the game and was our Rookie Me Central Player of the Week for Round 2. He booted five goals from 18 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles and seven inside 50s. From start until finish, Anastaopoulos was a standout, rotating between midfield and forward and taking his game up a notch from his bottom-age year and even last week. In the second term, he copped a whack to his face and had to get patched up, sporting a cheek bandage upon return. It seemed to only make him stronger as he would kick four goals after that point, including a couple in the final term thanks to loose checking from Oakleigh defenders.

#10 Patrick Hughes

The strong midfielder battled away at the coalface by pulling out the ‘don’t argue’ in the second term. Unfortunately his subsequent flying shot missed, but he would continue to put his body on the line and win his fair share of the ball in close. He was strong and clean by hand under pressure, and was never too far from the action.

#13 Xavier Ivisic

The bottom-age talent provided silk on the outside and after a couple of shaky moments early such as a missed kick and being pinged for dispossessing the ball incorrectly at a contest, he began to get going. He roamed well around the ground and was largely used to dispose of the ball by foot in the forward half of the ground. He won a free kick inside 50 but his set shot missed, then nailed one a quarter later off a step. Ivisic would later set up a goal with outstanding vision and a kick inside 50 to hit up a teammate on the chest.

#14 Malachi White

Another Geelong Falcons midfielder who won plenty of it, White was prolific in his offensive game getting the ball from the middle into attack. He would rack up 24 disposals and have 10 inside 50s, while also sneaking forward to slot two majors. The first was a nice 50m goal bursting away at half-forward, with his second being a set shot in the final term with the game done and dusted. Found plenty of the ball on the outside and showed strength in a solid all-round effort.

#19 Angus Hastie

Composed in defence, Hastie was one of the few backmen who still found his fair share of the ball due to his high line. Often handed the duties of clearing the ball from the defensive 50, Hastie continually provided an anchor in the back half of the ground and drove it forward via long kicks down the line. He was neat, calm and consistent, and while he did not do anything outrageous, he was what the Falcons needed in ensuring the Chargers could not get any proper offensive flow going.


#5 Finn O’Sullivan

The Vic Country MVP at the Under 16s carnival started slowly but worked into the game with a massive second half. The Chargers’ best after the main break, O’Sullivan started to get his running game going and he was hard to stop. Once he found a gap in the stoppages, he would explode over the first few metres and it took a good tackle to bring him down. He was one of the few able to break through the tough defensive setup of the Falcons and give his team the best chance of scoring, while even having a shot but just missed to the left as he was pushed.

#6 Tadhg McCarthy

Did really well in a defence that was under siege at times, not doing too much, but doing enough to settle down the back six. He only had the nine touches in the game, but clunked five marks, including a number of intercept ones and just making nice clean passes. Of his eight kicks, six were rebound 50s, indicating how much he mopped up for his side in a losing battle.

#7 Jagga Smith

Arguably Oakleigh’s best across four quarters, Smith was composed with ball-in-hand playing behind the ball early when rolling through the midfield, then pushing forward hard to hit the scoreboard. His goal came from a burst out of a stoppage and had the composure to steady and nail the goal on the run in the second quarter. Smith continued to win the ball throughout the match and was the key to the Chargers winning clearances. In the end, he finished with a match-high 26 disposals, while also having six inside 50s to go with his goal.

#9 Tom Gross

Another prolific bottom-ager for the Chargers, Gross was perhaps not as consistent as Smith and O’Sullivan in his disposal, but he cracked in and was not afraid to get his hands dirty. Showing good strength, he took an early mark at half-back, and then won a couple of free kicks after being crunched in tackles, before giving up a couple himself. A player with plenty of upside, Gross’ best was brilliant, it was just about tidying up some of the errors under pressure. Overall a pretty solid game supporting O’Sullivan and Smith in that midfield.

  • Team
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Lions Academy

By: Michael Alvaro


#3 Cooper Simpson

One of the premier inclusions this week, Simpson had his work cut out for him in the face of a tag. It mattered little at the opening centre bounce where Simpson prized the first clearance and clicked into gear as the game wore on. The top-aged National Academy member had opportunities to take grass and was eventually shifted forward, where he converted a 45-metre set shot for his sole goal of the game.

#8 Sam Frangalas

Frangalas is one of those dynamic midfielder-forwards with sheer power and he used plenty of it in damp conditions on Saturday. He often looked to burst away in typical fashion and broke forward at speed, but also used his pace to close in on opponents. The latter factor saw him prize a goal from nothing, spoiling an opponent early in the play before slamming the ball home from long-range. He has those moments in him, but can certainly tidy up the rough edges.

#11 Billy Wilson

Pegged as a player to watch by Dandenong, Wilson claimed a team-high tally of 24 disposals, seven marks and nine rebound 50s in a prolific outing off half-back. The 182cm top-ager came into his own when able to take grass in transition and unleash flat, penetrative kicks. He was eventually rotated into midfield but looked a touch more natural behind the ball.

#14 Kobe Shipp

Usually a player who picks up rafts of possessions in impactful patches, Shipp worked his way to 19 disposals and five marks in Round 2. Plying his trade off half-back, the top-ager was positive in his intent to peel of and intercept, before showcasing his kicking skills on the rebound. While a touch quieter than he can be, there was a little less for Shipp to do in comparison to last week.

#16 Harry De Mattia

De Mattia has been super impressive with his speed across the first two weeks and again managed to hit the scoreboard in an impactful outing through the midfield. The Stingrays co-captain, supported by Simpson, also rotated forward and could have snared a few more majors if not for inaccurate finishing. Still, he backed himself with ball in hand and consistently caught the eye.


#12 Sam Marshall

Marshall has had absolutely no trouble finding the ball over his first two games this year, notching a team-high 29 disposals in a second loss. The midfielder worked hard from contest to contest and certainly got his hands dirty around the ground, even capping off a strong game by finding the goals with a long-range effort which snuck over the back in term two.

#19 Joshua Cooper

Cooper has had his hands full for the Lions Academy, plying his trade in a defence which has largely been under siege. The over-ager was again tasked with generating some dash off half-back, taking on the kick-in duties and rebounding the ball seven times among his 23 disposals. He also tended to take some of Dandenong’s best forwards and was made to put in a shift going both ways.

#34 Patrick Snell

A conundrum for the Lions coaching staff was how they could get Snell involved in the contest more often, with the key forward lacking consistent opportunity in attack. He presented up the ground strongly and made repeat leads in an effort to build some connection down the line, taking four marks from 14 disposals. He looks like a tall who’s hard to spoil and proved as much, but also did some nice things at the fall of the ball – albeit with a few scrappy kicks on his favoured left side.

  • Team
  • Murray Bushrangers
  • Northern Knights

By: Michael Alvaro


#4 Darcy Wilson

After a busy outing in Round 1, Wilson was a touch more subdued on Saturday but still managed to show his usual class. He started up forward where opportunities evaded him, before rotating into midfield and looking dangerous when able to carry the ball back towards goal. His turn of speed and evasive technique caught the eye, with Wilson a tough player to catch hold of in time and space. He converted a nice snap goal in the second quarter to headline his 15 disposals.

#6 Coby James

James is a real accumulator in midfield and proved as much on Saturday, remaining consistent with his Round 1 effort for 22 touches, seven inside 50s and two goals. The 176cm top-ager is a neat short-range player, able to dart in and out of congestion and pick out nifty passes on the move. While he could have been more polished on a few occasions, James got the job done in front of goal with two majors in the first half as he continues his transition into full-time midfield work.

#8 Connor O’Sullivan

The taller of Murray’s National Academy pair, O’Sullivan showcased his versatility in a game spent mostly up forward. The 198cm prospect was somewhat enigmatic – missing set shots from the top of the goalsquare as easily as he twisted around opponents and snapped home from 30 metres. He started the game strongly with two goals in the opening quarter, using his reach to advantage when situated deep but leaning on his mobility when presenting further afield.


#1 Jesse Dattoli

In what was nothing short of a match-winning effort, Dattoli booted three consecutive goals in the final term to help edge the Knights home after trailing by as much as 28 points. The bottom-aged livewire was a menace throughout the game though, not afraid to niggle his opponents and proving dangerous around goal. Scoring aside, his work to present up the ground and allow Nate Caddy to take deeper positions proved he could play a role for the team, and he was duly rewarded. Dattoli looked much calmer when finishing this week, ending up with 4.1 and enacting a clear goalkicking routine.

#2 Nate Caddy

Making a return somewhat ahead of schedule, Caddy would have been delighted to get his hands on the ball off the opening centre clearance, putting the wheels in motion. Seemingly untroubled by the broken leg which kept him out of Round 1, Caddy was difficult to compete with vertically and won one-on-one battles by simply rising and reaching higher than his opponent. He was a touch shaky in front of goal with 2.3, but snagged a much needed major in term two and looked to grow in confidence as the game wore on – even throwing himself at the ball aerially as he usually does.

#10 Will Green

Taking on the primary ruck role for Northern, Green again displayed his rare reach as a 204cm athlete at junior level. His range allowed for a bunch of hits to advantage and Green could largely pick and choose where he wanted to guide the ball, also using his size to pluck a couple of marks. He was quite clean skills and handling-wise and even jagged a goal in the final quarter to ignite Northern’s comeback.

#19 Charlie Naish

Naish is a prospect playing himself into representative contention, having impressed over the opening two weeks of the season. The Richmond father-son candidate again spent most of his time forward and also rotated into midfield at the crunch, but looked most natural in attack. He got on his bike to present as a target up the ground, but got busy closer to goal too with his springy leap and clean overhead marking. Naish’s nine marks made for impressive viewing from a medium type (187cm), and though a goal alluded him, plenty of Northern’s attacks went through him.

  • Team
  • Tasmania Devils
  • Western Jets

By: Michael Alvaro


#3 Jack Callinan

Callinan started his season like a house on fire, snaring three consecutive goals during a six-minute purple patch in the first quarter. The National Academy member was employed primarily as a forward before shifting into midfield, but he looked most lively in attack. In several instances, Callinan flew high for marks and landed like a cat, swooping on the loose ball and snapping it home in a flash. The top-ager ended up with 19 touches and six inside 50s, with his best moments produced early on.

#14 Tom Beaumont

The Tasmanian captain produced a round-high tally of 38 disposals on Saturday, including 20 contested possessions and an incredible 14 clearances. While the likes of Callinan and Colby McKercher used their turn of speed to break to the outer, Beaumont brought others into the game and used them to combine in chains of handballs to come away cleanly. He took just 20 seconds to bag the game’s opening goal from range, and was typically polished on the inside with his strong frame and one-touch handling.

#27 Colby McKercher

Finishing as the second most prolific Devil with 33 touches, McKercher was his usual busy self in midfield. The National Academy member, and arguably Tasmania’s top prospect took the game on with nearly every possession, breaking to the outside with his patented speed. He rightly backed himself in and produced many eye-catching runs, but can look to add polish to his end product. A prime example of that was when McKercher fended off back-to-back opponents, but then turned the handball over under pressure. Still, a scintillating showing.


#8 Diesel Moloney

The Jets skipper was again busy off half-back and bettered his Round 1 tally with 33 disposals and 11 rebound 50s. Though others were perhaps more penetrative and dangerous with their run and disposal, Moloney went about his business with little fuss and was generally neat with ball in hand. He also competed well with plenty of heat coming his way as Tasmania nearly doubled Western’s inside 50 count.

#24 Logan Morris

It’s hard to believe that Morris did not end up with more reward for effort on Saturday, with the big key forward working hard for his 12 disposals, seven marks and two goals. Morris has made marked improvements in his work rate and capacity to present up the ground, and proved as much by hitting up all the way to half back as any good centre half-forward should. He flew for his marks typically well and converted a pair of set shots from 40-50 metres each, as he continues to shine for the 0-2 Jets.

#25 Jovan Petric

Petric was kept relatively quiet in Round 1 but made his mark with four majors this time out, proving somewhat a beneficiary of Morris’ work further afield. Stationed deeper in attack, the over-ager found space inside attacking 50 and made much needed scoreboard contributions in the opening half when Tasmania piled on seven-straight goals. Petric snared Western’s first two majors, though his best was number three – a running effort from 50 which sailed over the head of Morris.

  • Team
  • Eastern Ranges
  • SUNS Academy

By: Michael Alvaro


#5 Nick Watson

The electric Eastern forward was at his busy best on Sunday, venturing into higher positions to rack up 27 disposals. Starting in attack, he joined in at stoppage and was most often sighted collecting the ball at half-forward, where he would wheel around onto his right side and look to find a creative pass. He had a great battle with willing 2007-born Sun Zeke Uwland and traded hold-the-ball free kicks as both sides looked to take the game on. Watson also ended up spending time behind the ball and backed himself to take on low-percentage plays all around the ground – including close to goal where he managed 1.2 for the day.

#13 Riley Weatherill

One of Eastern’s key pillars inside attacking 50, Weatherill showed handy forward craft en route to bagging 2.3 from just nine touches and six marks. The 195cm talent clunked the ball super cleanly and worked into good positions close to goal, making his life easy when the time came to convert. Moving well for his size to boot, Weatherill could have had an even bigger haul and was eventually outscored by skipper Brayden LaPlanche.

#26 Josh Smillie

Smillie was nothing short of outstanding on Sunday, producing another high class performance from midfield. The bottom-ager is an absolute unit at 194cm and used his strong frame at the contest to find exits. He shared the ball around as Eastern ventured forward and also laid an impressive seven tackles, doing a bit of everything when running on-ball. He also spent time forward and took a hanger in term two before converting his second goal. That instance, along with many others proved he has the athleticism to blend with his size.

#59 Cooper Trembath

A player who may have surprised onlookers in Round 1, Trembath backed up his promising opening outing with more of a role-oriented game on Sunday. He had the big job of manning Suns Academy spearhead Jed Walter, who’s a competitive beast, and held up generally well. Though Walter showed his calibre, Trembath had his moments good reads of the play inside defensive 50 and aerial contributions.


#12 Jake Rogers

Rogers looked absolutely up for it on Sunday and made an ominous start for Gold Coast before going on to rack up a team-high 27 touches and nine tackles. The diminutive midfielder was typically slippery at the contest and super sharp in tight spots, feeding the ball to others and breaking to the outside himself. He proved remarkably balanced and strong through the core under tackling pressure, with his speed often worrying Eastern and drawing free kicks. A clearance out the front of a centre bounce for one of Rogers’ five kicks saw him hit up Walter on the lead inside 50, capping the top-ager’s game nicely.

#21 Will Graham

Once again, Graham resembled a bull on the inside for Gold Coast and worked his way to 24 disposals in a solid outing. The 186cm midfielder won the first centre clearance of the day and was a battering ram at stoppage, but absorbed all the blows and often kept his feet before dishing off. In contrast to that play, Graham proved clean and composed when he found uncontested possessions and made few glaring mistakes with ball in hand.

#30 Jed Walter

There are few key forwards to have gone through the pathway who showcase the same effort and defensive endeavour as Walter, who was made to work for his second consecutive game of 17 touches and two goals. The 194cm prospect booted the game’s first major and continued to make his presence felt by absolutely crunching a couple of Eastern opponents – including fellow National Academy member Nick Watson. Perhaps most impressively, Walter remained unselfish in the face of a tough day and looked to set up others. He showed care for his teammates and the result with those decisions in possession, and did so through sheer physicality on the defensive end.

#33 Ethan Read

It was another dynamic kind of display from Read, who was essentially a fourth midfielder for Gold Coast through the ruck. He is still learning to use his mobility against more physically developed talls, but still won a game-high 20 hitouts and got involved in his usual manner around the ground with 15 disposals. Clean and comfortable in possession for a 202cm player, Read’s best moments included an intercept mark deep inside defensive 50, and some deft taps to Jake Rogers on the run.

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