Scouting Notes: 2023 AFL U18s – South Australia vs. Allies

THE ALLIES kicked off this year’s AFL Under 18 National Championships in style yesterday, beating South Australia by 16 points at Thebarton Oval. It was a slick performance on the road and with plenty of high-end draft prospects afield, there was plenty to jot down in the latest instalment of Scouting Notes.

>> Match report: Allies’ fast start too much for Croweaters

  • Team
  • South Australia
  • Allies


#2 Sid Draper (South Adelaide)
05/07/2006 | 180cm | 72kg | Midfielder

Arguably best afield for the home side was bottom-aged midfielder, Draper. The brother of Collingwood’s Arlo, Sid started the game on the bench but went straight into the midfield when he came on. At times he was the only SA midfielder prepared to run both ways, as the talented Allies engine room dominated proceedings. Draper was smooth in traffic, displaying some handy evasiveness and generally used the ball well. Looks a top prospect for next year’s draft.

#8 Ashton Moir (Glenelg)
15/04/2005 | 188cm | 84kg | Forward

It was a quiet game from Moir, who struggled to get into the contest at any stage. He pounced on an opportunity close to goal in the first term, which he soccered through. Needing a spark, coach Tony Bamford moved him up the ground and got Moir involved in the stoppages. However he didn’t provide the sort of quality he’s capable of. Will be eager to bounce back next weekend.

#12 Jack Delean (South Adelaide)
15/04/2005 | 181cm | 75kg | Forward

Delean was South Australia’s most damaging forward, with the classy small looking threatening all day. He didn’t get a heap of the ball, but made it count when he did. The Panthers product kicked SA’s opening goal and added a couple more, but his fourth – a snap from the pocket – was one of pure class. Earlier in the term he almost took mark of the century to show he can do it in the air and on the ground. This was the sort of performance many will have been looking for from Delean.

#14 Alex Holt (Sturt)
28/01/2005 | 182cm | 80kg | Defender

Holt spent the game across half-back for the Croweaters and struggled with the Allies’ onslaught earlier in proceedings. He got going eventually, using the ball quite well and setting up some rebounds. The Sturt backman kicked a solid set-shot goal after benefitting from a 50-metre penalty to showcase his foot skills.

#26 Kane McAuliffe (North Adelaide)
01/03/2005 | 187cm | 90kg | Midfielder

The Roosters utility had a slow start to the game, like many of his teammates, but he worked his way into the contest across half-back and in the middle. As SA began to lift and take the game on, McAuliffe got his hands on the ball. He wasn’t as efficient as usual but certainly lifted to finish with 17 disposals.

#38 Taylor Goad (South Adelaide)
28/04/2005 | 205cm | 90kg | Ruck

Goad may not have lit up the stats sheet in terms of possessions, but he rarely lost a tap when given the on-ball duties. His leap and reach allowed him to win hitouts even when he was out-positioned. He spent more time at full forward in the second term as Alex van Wyk did the ruck work, and subsequently Goad was quieter, but not before showing recruiters what he can do at representative level.

Jack Delean was SA’s most dangerous forward | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


#1 Ryley Sanders (Sandringham Dragons/Tasmania)
21/01/2005 | 186cm | 85kg | Midfielder

Sanders was best on ground at Thebarton Oval, with the Jason Horne-Francis lookalike doing as he pleased against SA. Obviously a natural footballer, he knew exactly where to run and along with Rogers and McKercher, gave the Croweaters a lesson in stoppage craft. He made decisions with ball in hand quicker than anyone else and had the skills to match. Sanders also crept forward to boot a couple of set shot goals in a terrific all-round performance.

#5 Colby McKercher (Tasmania Devils)
04/12/2005 | 181cm | 73kg | Midfielder

McKercher’s game might well be overshadowed by Sanders, but Colby was impressive in his own right. Like his fellow midfielders, McKercher found it easy to gather possession after possession early in the contest, as the Allies flicked it around to each other and tore up SA. McKercher used the ball with precision and showed a quick turn of pace. The Tasmanian has had an elite start to the year and his form is continuing on the representative stage.

#9 Jake Rogers (Suns Academy/Queensland)
02/03/2005 | 171cm | 68kg | Midfielder

The pacy Rogers was far too slick for SA’s on-ballers, who didn’t even look close to laying a tackle on him, let alone one which stuck. Rogers was clean below his feet, silky in traffic and used it nicely. It’s a bumper year for the Suns Academy and Rogers, Walter and Read will be a wonderful hall if the game against SA is any indication.

#25 Jed Walter (Suns Academy/Queensland)
08/06/2005 | 195cm | 91kg | Key Forward

As soon as Walter took a big contested mark earlier in the first term, you knew SA would have their work cut out for them. He started the game like a house on fire, taking clunk after clunk inside 50, using his strength advantage to out-manoeuvre any opponent SA threw at him. He ended the game with three majors, two from set shots and one a dribble which received a handy bounce, but should have had six or seven. He didn’t have his kicking boots on to capitalise on the utter aerial dominance. So powerful and tough to stop on the lead.

#30 Charlie McCormack (Giants Academy/NSW-ACT)
02/04/2005 | 198cm | 77kg | Key Forward

McCormack and Walter were always going to be tough for SA’s Patton and McCabe to contain, given they’re more suited to attacking half-back roles. The Allies exposed the SA midfield early and McCormack was able to benefit in the air. His three goals were all relatively straightforward shots, but he worked hard to get his opportunities in a strong game.

#39 Ethan Read (Suns Academy/Queensland)
07/08/2005 | 202cm | 87kg | Ruck

This match featured a couple of likely draftable ruckman, one being the highly touted Read. SA’s combination of Goad and Van Wyk likely had the advantage in terms of hitout numbers, but Read certainly had more impact around the ground. His mobility for a big man is excellent and allowed him to get involved in general play like the best rucks tend to do. He had 18 disposals on the day to prove his first round credentials.

Ryley Sanders put in an absolute shift for the Allies | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

>> Top 20: May 2023 Power Rankings

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