Scouting Notes: 2023 Talent League – Round 10

THE SOLE Coates Talent League fixture over the King’s Birthday long weekend saw Sandringham Dragons defeat local rival, Oakleigh by 10 points at RSEA Park. The lead changed hands at each break, but it was the home side which snuck ahead when it counted to win 10.14 (74) to 9.10 (64).

Both sides were missing a host of star players amid the Under 18 National Championships commencement, but there was still enough quality afield to produce an enthralling result. The Dragons now sit fifth at 5-2, snapping a two-game losing streak to claim their first win since before the break.

Given either region’s powerhouse status when it comes to draftee production, there were inevitably a few carryover Metro squad members who took the field. A combined six turned out on Monday, making up this week’s Scouting Notes instalment.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 3.2 | 5.6 | 6.11 | 10.14 (74)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 4.1 | 4.4 | 8.7 | 9.10 (64)


Sandringham: T. Hotton 2, A. May 2, J. A’Beckett 2, H. Oliver, L. Young, N. Maginness, M. Reid
Oakleigh: B. Hicks 2, H. Eales, W. Elliott, T. Gross, B. Hill, C. Richardson, O. Badr, P. Retschko


Sandringham: M. Reid, L. Lloyd, A. May, T. Hotton, J. A’Beckett, C. Lord
Oakleigh: O. Badr, T. Gross, W. Elliott, T. McCarthy, H. Eales, B. Hill

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Oakleigh Chargers


#13 Joshua Docking
14/10/2005 | 178cm | Wing

Typically busy out on the wing, Docking registered his equal-lowest disposal tally for the season, though it was still a respectable haul of 16. The St Kilda NGA product worked into space and was often sighted wheeling around before sending kicks forward, but tended to slice the ball and perhaps wasn’t as sharp in that department as he could have been. Nonetheless, Docking also took five marks and looked good overhead for his size.

#37 Taj Hotton
17/06/2006 | 180cm | Forward

Another player with ties to St Kilda, through his elder brother, Hotton booted two goals from 11 touches playing exclusively up forward. He showed good anticipation to stay down and crumb the back of a pack for the game’s first goal, before going on to hold his width well on most occasions and provide an outlet on the outside. His hands were clean in tight spots and with quick thinking, he snared a second goal with a snap under pressure during term three.

#58 Murphy Reid
30/07/2006 | 181cm | Midfielder

One of the standout players afield, Reid racked up an equal game-high 26 disposals and laid eight tackles in a well rounded midfield performance. The bottom-ager was clean at the coalface and showed his poise with a few nifty u-turns to move out of traffic, but also got his hands dirty defensively. He sat under and leapt into a high ball inside 50 to mark and snare his lone goal, from 45 metres out in the second quarter.

#64 Luke Trainor
10/04/2006 | 193cm | Defender

In his first game since the community break, Trainor reverted to a defensive role to clock up 17 disposals, four marks and seven tackles. He started off with a strong one-on-one mark inside defensive 50 and generally read the ball well from there, though the bottom-ager’s kicking was a touch indifferent. In one instance, Trainor coughed the ball up directly to an Oakleigh player to see the Chargers move nine points adrift in the third quarter.


#9 Tom Gross
15/09/2006 | 180cm | Midfielder

Turning out for his sixth Talent League game this season, Gross once again proved his side’s prime mover in midfield with a host of stars missing. He gathered an equal team-high 23 touches to go with seven inside 50s and a goal, which came with the last kick of term one. Gross showcased his turn of speed, playing the receiver at stoppage and twisting his way to the outside before launching clearances. Though some of his disposals were rushed, the bottom-ager showed good urgency to generate momentum and is arguably good enough to be a starter for the Metro Under 18s.

#23 Will Elliott
11/06/2004 | 203cm | Key Forward

Elliott, who was considered a strong mid-season draft chance, has shown glimpses of potential throughout the year and that was no different on Monday. The mobile key forward booted 1.2 from 10 disposals and five marks, leaping at the ball with confidence and displaying the upside which had him in draft contention. His three scoring shots were among a handful of set shot attempts, including two which missed on either side of the big sticks in Oakleigh’s wasteful term two.


Sandringham was served well by its tall forwards, with Archer May and Jeremy A’Beckett booting two goals apiece, while Levi Young snared one as he rotated through the ruck, and Luke Lloyd scrounged three behinds.

It meant the likes of Luke Teal and Tadhg McCarthy had their hands full inside Oakleigh’s defensive 50, and both earned recognition among the Chargers’ list of best players. At the other end, Billy Hicks was Oakleigh’s sole multiple goal kicker with two.

Elsewhere, Cooper Lord (26 disposals, six inside 50s) and Ollie Badr (23 disposals, nine tackles) showed good intent on opposite sides of the midfield battle, both finishing equal-top of their respective teams’ disposal tallies.


Round 11 of the 2023 Coates Talent League season gets underway on Saturday June 24. Sandringham is in action on that day with a road trip to take on Gippsland Power in Morwell, while Oakleigh will put its feet up and enjoy a bye. The Chargers then face Western on July 1 at Avalon Airport Oval.

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