2023 RMC Coates Talent League Team of the Year

THE 2023 Rookie Me Central Coates Talent League Team of the Year has been finalised, with the original squad of 48 cut down to 24. After weekly nominations throughout a 17-round regular season, the competition’s best, most dominant and consistent players were selected.

>> Full Squad: 2023 RMC Coates Talent League TOTY

Conversely to the official team, representative form was not considered and there was a six-game minimum to qualify. The latter stipulation means those who have played at least half of the season make the cut, but omits Northern Academy talent after their respective five-game stints.

Rookie Me Central Medal winner Zane Duursma leads the side as captain and slots into the forward pocket having topped this year’s goal kicking charts with 29 in 10 home-and-away outings. He also made more Team of the Week squads than anyone this year, featuring in nine.

>> Duursma snatches RMC Medal in final round

Of the 13 full-time regions, 12 are represented in our final squad with GWV Rebels boasting a high of four players. Minor premier and preliminary finalist Tasmania leads a trio of other programs with three players apiece alongside Northern and Oakleigh, while Eastern, Dandenong, and Murray are represented twice each.

Rookie Me Central Medal winner Zane Duursma | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


B: Luamon Lual (GWV)Arie Schoenmaker (TD)Nathan Philactides (OC)
HB: Billy Wilson (DS)Connor O’Sullivan (MB)Angus Hastie (GF)

There’s some seriously good ball users and relentless rebounders among our hypothetical defence this year, with all members of the back six more than competent with ball in hand. The entire half-back line was locked in having each earned six Team of the Week nominations during the season.

Murray Bushrangers utility and Allies MVP Connor O’Sullivan is the star of the show at centre half-back, while Tasmania’s Arie Schoenmaker sneaks in at full back having played his first game in Round 8. The latter will likely take the kick-ins too with his wand of a left foot.

Carrying the ball in transition will be speedy small defenders Luamon Lual and Nathan Philactides. Up at half-back, Billy Wilson and Angus Hastie are capable of the same and have terrific kicking skills to boot, making for a dynamic mix of talent on the last line.

Angus Hastie gets a handball away | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


FOL: William Green (NK) Colby McKercher (TD) Jagga Smith (OC)
C: Joel Freijah (GWV) George Stevens (GWV) Caleb Windsor (ER)

Much of the midfield picked itself, starting with centreman George Stevens. The big bodied GWV Rebels ball winner started in defence but found a home on-ball, collecting over 25 touches in 10 of his 13 games. Colby McKercher was similarly prolific with an average of 31 disposals in eight games.

He’s joined at the centre bounces by the side’s only starting bottom-ager in Jagga Smith, who averaged 30 touches and never dipped below 25 in his 10 games. Rucking to the aforementioned trio is Will Green, a mobile tall at 204cm who co-captained Northern with some outstanding performances.

Two genuine wingmen feature on the outside, too. GWV Rebels prospect Joel Freijah was hard to deny, while Eastern Ranges speedster Caleb Windsor has bolted into first round contention and became an absolute lock for the side after finishing the regular season strongly.

George Stevens was a lock in midfield | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


HF: Darcy Wilson (MB) Nate Caddy (NK)Kynan Brown (OC)
F: Lachlan Charleson (GWV) Logan Morris (WJ) Zane Duursma (GP)

There’s a mix of marking power, midfield potential, and undeniable class in the front six which is spearheaded by talls Nate Caddy and Logan Morris. Western’s Morris narrowly missed out on the leading goal kicking gong with 27 home-and-away majors, while Caddy bagged 23 in nine games.

Duursma is joined on the front line by GWV Rebels small Lachlan Charleson, whose headline game yielded a bag of eight against Bendigo. Murray’s Darcy Wilson and Oakleigh’s Kynan Brown are the hypothetical midfield rotations, though the former was also considered for a wing spot.

Darcy Wilson (left) and Zane Duursma compete for the ball | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


INT: Levi Ashcroft (SD), Harry De Mattia (DS), Kristian Ferronato (NK), James Leake (TD), Christian Moraes (ER), Mahmoud Taha (CC)

Two more bottom-agers feature on the six-player interchange, namely Levi Ashcroft and Christian Moraes. The former was selected for his excellence over a condensed seven-game home-and-away run, while the latter was undeniable across his 12 regular season appearances.

Dandenong co-captain Harry De Mattia was consistently among his side’s best in a variety of roles, and the same can be said for rising Tasmanian talent James Leake. Rounding out the bench are consistent accumulators Kristian Ferronato and Mahmoud Taha, who both averaged around 28 disposals.

Harry De Mattia unleashes a kick | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central

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