Weekend Preview | Super Round hits WAFL, Vics undergo trials
WITH Victorian Coates Talent League programs heading into a month-long break, representative football is on the radar this weekend. Vic Country and Vic Metro will battle it out in a pair of trial games at Trevor Barker Oval on Saturday, helping decide the final Under 18 squads.
There are a few notable names who have been left out – the likes of Harley Reid and Nick Watson – but they will still be available for selection in the final representative list. The Under 16s also locked horns at the same venue on Friday, with their national carnival also getting underway in June.
Game one sees Country field three National Academy members in Darcy Wilson, Archer Reid and George Stevens against a Metro lineup which boasts none. The likes of Geelong Falcons livewire Tom Anastasopoulos will hope to rise into the final squad, while Ziggy Toledo has another chance to impress before the mid-season draft.
It’s largely about the talls for Metro in this game, with spearheads Logan Morris and Jordan Croft shaping as hard to stop. Over-ager Will Elliott will likely also rotate between the forward line and ruck in just his second game for the year, complimenting fellow mid-season draft hopeful Clay Tucker. Also, keep an eye on bottom-age small forwards Isaac Kako and Jesse Dattoli.
Metro will blood a couple of AFL Academy members in the second game, namely Northern Knights duo Nate Caddy and Will Green. Their teammate Charlie Naish is one of a few handy forwards pushing hard for representative honours, along with Sandringham’s Harvey Johnston and Calder’s Hugo Garcia.
It’ll be a funny old game for Oakleigh Chargers pair Finn O’Sullivan and Boston Dowling, who take on three of their Talent League teammates. Watch for a couple of key pairs elsewhere, with GWV Rebels guns Luamon Lual and Joel Freijah sure to impress, along with Dandenong half-backs Kobe Shipp and Billy Wilson. Gippsland forward Ryan Maric will also be on the radar as an over-age candidate.
Although the Vics are out of action for now, there is still one Coates Talent League game scheduled for Sunday. Tasmania takes on the Northern Territory Academy on neutral ground in Craigieburn, with the Devils welcoming back star midfielder Colby McKercher. The Thunder have a handy inclusion of their own, in mid-forward William Rowlands.
Meanwhile over in Western Australia, the now annual Colts Super Round is set to kick off in Round 3, with a trio of games to be played consecutively at Pentanet Stadium on Saturday. The initiative aims at giving AFL recruiters a broad insight into the state’s best talent all in one place.
Subiaco and Claremont kick off the action at 12pm, with the Tigers looking to strengthen their stranglehold on top spot. National Academy member Daniel Curtin returns for Claremont, named in defence having formerly created a strong partnership with Sam van Rooyen in attack.
In the next game, reigning premier Peel Thunder and South Fremantle will both be out to pick up their first points of the season. Both sit outside the top five as two of four sides without a win to date. Mitchell Edwards is back for Peel, in a boost to his side’s ruck stocks.
The final match of the triple-header pits the undefeated Perth against East Perth, with the Demons looking on track for a solid season. Swan Districts also take on West Perth at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday in another battle between two winless sides.
Up the grades, Koltyn Tholstrup will suit up for his second senior game, while Luker Kentfield has been named to debut in the same game for Subiaco. Over-ager Sam Gilbey is another potential first-gamer on Claremont’s extended bench.
Classy midfielder Clay Hall is another junior in action at League level, named again for Peel Thunder after impressing on debut last week. Like Tholstrup, Riley Hardeman looks like slotting straight back into Swan Districts’ side to take on West Perth.
While three of the WAFL Colts’ four games will be played within a day and at the same venue, all four SANFL Under 18 fixtures have been scheduled for Saturday. There should be plenty of returning stars among the ranks, while others will look to continue their persist of senior football. At the time of writing, teams are yet to be named.