Weekend Preview: Academy prospects earn VFL call-ups
THERE are more Northern Academy prospects earning VFL debuts, while top pick fancy Harley Reid will once again turn out for Carlton today. Many AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft candidates are set to miss Round 7 due to the Young Guns game on Sunday, but there remain players to watch in the state leagues.
Reid has been named on the Blues’ interchange to face Brisbane, though the likes of Zane Duursma (Casey), George Stevens (Geelong), and Nathan Philactides (Richmond) will not go around again for their respective sides this week.
Lions Academy over-ager Joshua Cooper is among the northern talents to earn a call-up, poised to make his state league debut. The running defender represented the Allies in last year’s Under 18 National Championships and averaged 21 disposals in four Talent League games this year.
Gold Coast has also called upon its own over-age academy products, enlisting midfielders Marlin Corbett and Jared Eckersley to face Casey on the Suns’ home patch. Meanwhile, Sydney father-son candidate Indhi Kirk remains in the Swans’ side to take on Frankston, but Caiden Cleary comes out.
Over in the WAFL, mid-season hopeful Robert Hansen Jr is among a trio of Western Australia state squad members to be named for Subiaco. He lines up on a forward flank opposite to Koltyn Tholstrup, while Luker Kentfield also starts in the Lions’ forward line to take on South Fremantle.
Peel midfielder Clay Hall is the other junior primed for senior action, named on the Thunder’s extended bench to face Swan Districts. He’ll likely get the opportunity to wax with axed Fremantle on-baller Will Brodie in midfield.
Claremont is back in action this week, meaning top WA talent Daniel Curtin returns to the fray. He has formed a terrific partnership with fellow tall forward Sam van Rooyen this Colts season, but may have a job to do down back against East Perth talls Xavier Walsh and Mitch Williams.
On paper, state squad member Lucas Kemp takes the van Rooyen matchup in what looms as one of the Colts games of the round. Meanwhile, Claremont over-ager Harry Cole has been named as an emergency at Reserves level.
Swan Districts has been dealt a blow with leading prospect Riley Hardeman an untimely out after suffering a head knock last week. On the other hand, Bo Allan and Ethan Logan are handy ins for Peel Thunder, as is Stanley Waistcoat for South Fremantle against Subiaco.
In this week’s SANFL action, there will be no Ashton Moir for Glenelg after he picked up a hip flexor issue in his Round 4 Reserves outing. Norwood defender Logan Evans will feature though, having been dropped from the League side for the first time.
Sturt’s own running defender Alex Holt continues his run at the level in the meantime, while key forward Patrick Weckert is back in the Under 18s for Woodville-West Torrens. The last time Weckert played in said grade, he booted four goals from 18 disposals and six marks.
A host of Tasmania Devils guns will also hit the TSL in Round 5. Among them, skipper Tom Beaumont turns out for Launceston alongside James Leake, while North Launceston trio Oscar Van Dam, Mitchell Nicholas and Heath Ollington have all been named. The Ling twins – Liam and Connor – are a great story too, both included in Glenorchy’s side.