Scouting Notes: 2023 Coates Talent League – Quarter Finals

THE 2023 Coates Talent League finals series got underway over the weekend, with a quartet of elimination bouts split into two double-headers. We noted some of the top prospects from all four games, focussing on combine invitees and representative squad members.

>> Snapshot: Coates Talent League Quarter Finals

  • Team
  • Tasmania Devils
  • Gippsland Power

Tasmania Devils 9.8 (62) def. Gippsland Power 5.15 (45)


#3 Jack Callinan

Having been utilised across each third in recent weeks, Callinan was back to his usual role up forward with stints in midfield. Despite being caught holding the ball twice in the early stages, he showed good urgency and creativity with ball in hand and looked to cause his opponents headaches when possible. The crafty small ended up with three goals from 16 disposals and was typically sharp around the big sticks in tough conditions.

#4 Geordie Payne

Payne brought the effort and hunger in Tasmania’s defence, albeit if he lacked a touch of polish when rebounding by foot. The state combine invitee picked up the ball quickly in flight to intercept and put his body on the line as usual, but tended to bomb it clear under pressure. Still, he played an important role with 17 disposals, six tackles and eight rebound 50s.

#7 Heath Ollington

One of the few over-aged combine invitees, Ollington was again prominent in Tasmania’s forward half with 20 disposals and five marks. The 190cm leading target displayed his strong hands as he presented up the ground and competed hard to link the Devils into attack. With strength, he plays above his size and was hard to beat both in the air and when the ball hit the deck.

#8 James Leake

A real utility at the Devils’ disposal, Leake was used in every third of the ground on Saturday – starting in midfield. The dynamic 188cm prospect rotated forward from there and snapped a terrific goal in the first quarter, before eventually solidifying his side’s defence in the second half. No matter where he was stationed, Leake’s athleticism and ability to compete aerially stood out.

#37 Arie Schoenmaker

Schoenmaker has been on a bit of a tear recently and was again Tasmania’s leading disposal getter with 32 (28 kicks). He took some time to find his radar and was generally most effective in slow play, but also got dangerous with overlap run through the corridor. Schoenmaker timed his moments well to get handball receives and launch inside 50, advancing up the field aggressively. One such moment saw him snare a crucial goal before three-quarter time.


#9 Zane Duursma

While he couldn’t quite help get Gippsland over the line, Duursma produced another fine outing playing primarily in attack. He worked high up the ground and troubled his opponent with pure athleticism and range, proving hard to stop on the lead. Duursma also got a run in midfield and seemed to lift in the fourth quarter, converting his only goal of the game to give the Power a sniff in the final five minutes.

#15 Tew Jiath

Jiath has well and truly bolted into second round range after a terrific back-end of the Talent League season, which was capped off with 15 disposals and six rebound 50s on Saturday. The Hawthorn NGA prospect was the player Gippsland wanted setting up play out of defence, with his ability to put speed on the ball in transition suiting the Power’s fast-paced style. Jiath also worked into good spots to impact defensively without having his usual marking influence.

#21 Wil Dawson

Having been relatively quiet last week, Dawson put together his usual glimpses more consistently on the finals stage to register 14 disposals, seven marks and 10 tackles. He was a competitive figure in defence, holding his own one-on-one and tracking a series of opponents on the lead. At 200cm, he did the job aerially but also stayed with the play at ground level and made his presence felt behind the ball.

#38 Willem Duursma

The youngest Duursma sibling is going to be a serious player by the time he is draft eligible in 2025. Playing forward alongside brother Zane, Willem clunked four marks from 10 touches and booted a lovely set shot goal at the start of term two. He earned the chance through a terrific tackle and despite being just 16 years old, held up in such contests. Duursma’s aerial game was also promising, not dissimilar to Zane with his clean hands, reach and pure leap.

#42 Lachlan Smith

Smith dominated in the ruck with 29 hitouts, more than Tasmania’s combined total. He also got involved around the ground for 15 disposals and three marks, providing good coverage behind the ball and competing well in the air. The left-footer also launched long kicks and while he could have executed better at times, had little trouble getting his hands on the ball.

  • Team
  • Eastern Ranges
  • Oakleigh Chargers

Eastern Ranges 11.18 (84) def. Oakleigh Chargers 10.17 (77)


#1 Caleb Windsor

A player whose pace is made for frantic finals matches, Windsor brought the heat with 17 disposals, five tackles and four inside 50s on Saturday. With both sides coming out full of intent, the flying wingman shut down opponents with menacing closing speed and showed them a clean set of heels on the attack. He also spent time rotating forward and booted a first quarter goal.

#5 Nick Watson

Watson brought the heat from the off, laying a huge tackle in the opening exchanges to get his side up and about. The 170cm livewire started on the wing but arguably had his best moments up forward, albeit for a steady haul of 13 disposals, three marks and one goal. Watson always provides a spark when the ball comes his way and may prove a match winner this finals series.

#9 Christian Moraes

Six was the magic number for Moraes on Saturday as he compiled 26 disposals, six marks, six tackles, and six inside 50s. The bottom-ager was super clean at the contest and typically dangerous when chaining possessions on the attack. His all-round skill set continues to translate to sustained impact, and Moraes even helped ice the game by assisting Riley Weatherill‘s sealer.

#13 Riley Weatherill

The centrepiece of Eastern’s attack, Weatherill has been a figure of efficiency lately. He snared five scoring shots (three goals) from nine disposals and four marks, making use of his side’s fluent forward 50 entries. The 195cm prospect has a great knack for finding space and gobbled up whatever came his way, including in the final few minutes when he slotted the sealing goal.

#21 Ry Cantwell

Alongside Windsor and Watson, Cantwell was again part of Eastern’s wing-forward rotation and continues to show glimpses of the talent which earned him a state combine invite. The 186cm prospect has some pop and rose for five marks among his 12 disposals, including a speccy on the full time siren. A goal eluded him, but his power is evident.

#59 Cooper Trembath

Trembath has had some big jobs of late and again posted relatively strong numbers from his key defensive post with 16 disposals and four marks. The 192cm state combine invitee was resolute on the last line and read the play nicely when peeling off to intercept. With strength and a sound aerial game, he plays above his height but may fall into that awkward in-between category.


#3 Kynan Brown

Fresh off a five-goal haul, Brown continued his strong run of form with 2.2 from 20 touches on Saturday. The slick midfielder-forward was hard to lay a hand on when slipping away from congestion and he made the most of his time in attack. His two third quarter goals attest to that, with Brown truly pressing his case to Melbourne as a father-son candidate.

#5 Finn O’Sullivan

Having showcased enormous class in each of his previous seven Talent League outings, O’Sullivan was kept to under 20 disposals for the first time this season – but not for a lack of effort. At times, he looked to go alone and shoulder the responsibility of keeping his side in the game, blasting the ball long by foot and taking it on at all costs. It was an indifferent day in that respect, but productive nonetheless.

#7 Jagga Smith

Despite starting forward as he has done in recent weeks, Smith had little trouble impacting once he was unleashed through midfield. The smooth moving bottom-ager collected a team-high 26 touches and five inside 50s to go with three scoring shots, including his third quarter goal which cut the margin to five points. He does things with unique class, racking up possessions effortlessly.

#9 Tom Gross

Gross was one of Oakleigh’s most prominent attacking threats, albeit for a lack of end product with 1.4 from 13 disposals and six marks. He was hungry for a goal in the first half but straightened up thereafter and was involved in plenty of scores regardless, taking the game on with his turn of speed and booming boot at half-forward.

#11 Will Lorenz

With one of his better games for the season, Lorenz was among Oakleigh’s best players afield with 20 disposals, four marks and two behinds. He’s the type of player you want possessing the ball in attacking phases, and that came to fruition as the wingman accumulated on the outside and sent the Chargers into attack. As usual, he was composed and efficient with ball in hand.

#26 Harvey Thomas

Thomas rounded out his season with another solid game, amassing 20 disposals, four inside 50s and five rebound 50s. As the numbers suggest, he was used at either end of the ground with a start up forward before a shift to defence. The diminutive and clever ball user showed great game awareness in the closing stages as he went down the middle with kick-ins, albeit if his side fell short. He was also deceptively tough in contested situations.

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Geelong Falcons

GWV Rebels 9.11 (65) def. by Geelong Falcons 13.5 (83)


#2 Lachlan Charleson

Stationed inside 50 as he has been throughout recent weeks, Charleson only managed the one goal from nine touches but was energetic as usual. Geelong clamped down well to catch him in possession twice during the opening term, with the 176cm prospect otherwise trapping the ball well at speed and hitting up at the kicker aggressively. The undoubted highlight of Charleson’s day was his wheeling goal from 50m to kickstart the Rebels’ second half.

#4 Sam Lalor

Lalor has been integral for the Rebels in the back-end of the season, but his side found it tough to win the midfield battle when Geelong began to surge. Out of the gate, Lalor’s strength and willingness to hunt were evident as he competed hard and threw his weight around at the contest. The bottom-ager ended up with 18 disposals, eight tackles and six inside 50s and one of GWV’s more prominent ball winners.

#6 Luamon Lual

Lual rebounded from a relatively quiet fortnight to be GWV’s leading disposal getter on Sunday with 21. He started in defence and generated great momentum on the overlap, timing his runs nicely and carrying the ball at speed. His end product could have been more refined, but Lual’s energy saw him swung into midfield as the Rebels searched for a spark after half time.

#8 Jonty Faull

Teammate Mitchell Lloyd booted the first two goals of the game, but Faull soon took over to become his side’s most viable forward target. The bottom-ager was matched up by Tom Peirce but managed to reel in six marks with continual presentation and strong leaps at the ball. Faull’s best term was the third, where he bagged his only goal for the game from four scoring shots before getting a run as ruck at the centre bounces.

#23 George Stevens

Stevens dipped below the 20-disposal mark for just the second time this season having otherwise averaged 29 touches across 13 consistent games. The big bodied midfielder showed quick and clean hands around the contest, but Geelong’s pressure and intent meant he wasn’t always able to properly use his strength to bustle out of congestion. Struggling to impose himself, Stevens was shifted to defence and still managed to get his hands on the ball.


#5 Tom Anastasopoulos

A trio of Falcons snared three goals on Sunday, with Anastasopoulos being one of them. The top-aged livewire brought his usual energy, proving speedy when breaking out the back and shutting down opponents with tackling pressure. His finishing was also on point and Anastasopoulos’ opportunism made for some classic small forward goals. His third was arguably the best, having earned it with a crunching tackle on Vic Country teammate Joel Freijah.

#13 Xavier Ivisic

Ivisic has hardly wavered in his output with the Falcons this season, and put together another solid 15 disposals on Sunday. The bottom-aged utility showed terrific poise with ball in hand, flicking it on for outside runners to latch onto and finding the right option with neat and tidy disposals. He translated that to a goal to give Geelong the lead just before three-quarter time.

#19 Angus Hastie

Though many of his best plays were executed on the attack, Hastie also played an important defensive role on Vic Country teammate, Charleson. The 189cm rebounder matched his smaller opponent for pace and competed well in every phase to get the Falcons moving forward. His smooth movement with ball in hand and aggressive kicking launched some promising forays, as Hastie finished with 13 disposals and six rebound 50s.

#25 Michael Rudd

Geelong’s co-captain started like a house on fire, getting his marking game going in the early stages against a sturdy opponent in Oscar Gawith. Rudd presented up the ground and also helped lock the ball in with a few intercepts, before striking a sweet shot for his opening quarter goal. He was a touch quieter thereafter and conceded a couple of overzealous free kicks, but managed to tick up to 10 touches, six marks and four inside 50s.

#29 Joe Pike

Pike won nearly the same amount of hitouts as GWV combined (30), credited with 28 to go with 14 disposals and six inside 50s. The 203cm ruck was typically strong at stoppage and followed up nicely to prize his own clearances, bombing the ball as long as he could from the centre square to give the Falcons’ forwards quick and frequent entries.

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Northern Knights

Sandringham Dragons 14.18 (102) def. Northern Knights 6.14 (50)


#3 Levi Ashcroft

After a relatively subdued first half by his high standards, Ashcroft lifted in the second half to help steer his side to victory. The natural accumulator began to pop up everywhere in the third quarter and sharpened up his ball use, going by hand as opposed to rushing by foot. He also snapped a classy goal in the fourth to cap off a solid outing.

#9 Archie Roberts

Alongside the likes of Billy McGee Galimberti and Ethan Williams, Roberts was a real threat in transition and weaponised his running ability off half-back. As soon as the ball turned over, he jetted off into aggressive positions over the back and sparked several end-to-end plays with typically sound delivery. As a leader in the Dragons side, he also stood up for his teammates when push came to shove in the second half.

#15 Ryley Sanders

Sandringham’s leading disposal winner with 29, Sanders was his usual productive self through midfield but also showcased added strings to his bow. His overhead marking and ability to find the ball when rotating forward were among the prime examples of that, and Sanders even had a foray of three running bounces in the final quarter. The Tasmanian failed to find the goals but was clean as ever by hand and is a great example of how pure midfielders can always develop new elements in their game.

#17 Tarkyn O’Leary

It was another productive outing for O’Leary on the wing, as he managed to get involved with spurts of speed and overlap run. He timed his moves well to receive on the outside and use his pace to take ground before delivering sharp passes at full tilt. He’s a handy proposition with that speed-endurance mix and the ability to kick off either foot.

#28 Charlie Edwards

The real riser in Sandringham’s ranks, Edwards was again integral through the middle of the ground with 22 touches and a goal. The 190cm bolter has super slick hands, a great turn of speed and punchy kicking skills on the outside, making for a desirable all-round skillset. Edwards’ best moment for the day was a burst out of the centre bounce which ended in a shot from outside 50.

#29 Harvey Johnston

While he has great flair and evasive technique, Johnston is a player who may go under the radar at times among Sandringham’s fearsome fleet of draft prospects. Rotating through midfield from up forward, he twisted and turned out of trouble in the first half but found more success after half time with three goal assists and 1.2. Looking most lively in attack, Johnston’s late exploits helped Sandringham blow out the margin to 52 points.

#32 Vigo Visentini

Visentini had the tough task of competing against two rucks over 200cm, but held his own in the role to win a game-high 22 hitouts. His bodywork troubled the opposition early and the top-ager competed well over the ball when it hit the deck. With strong presence, Visentini notched up 13 disposals and six marks to do his stocks no harm.

#54 Ollie Murphy

Having not been all that busy in the first half, Murphy eventually showed his class with 11 disposals, six marks and five rebound 50s. The athletic key defender did the job on his direct opponent but also peeled off nicely to intercept on the last line. He was polished with ball in hand and made composed decisions under pressure, looking like a smaller player in both respects.

#58 Murphy Reid

Reid has some traits which have him poised as one to watch heading into 2024, though he’s already making an impact in 2023. Stationed up forward, the bottom-ager started out with a left-foot snap goal and right-foot poster, showcasing his smarts inside 50 before also getting involved in link play beyond the ark. He finished up with 15 disposals, four inside 50s and 1.2, providing his usual creativity in attack/


#2 Nate Caddy

As is so often the case with Caddy, the opposition couldn’t contain him for four quarters and he began to get on top in the third. Donning the number 54 after a jumper change, he got his marking game going inside 50 despite often being double-teamed, and got on his bike to find success on the lead. The same one-grab clunks eluded Caddy in the first half, but he made an impact to finish with two goals from five scoring shots and seven marks.

#10 Will Green

Locking horns with fellow Vic Metro ruck Vigo Visentini for the second time in four games, Green put up similar numbers to their Round 16 clash with 15 disposals, four marks and 14 hitouts. The Northern co-captain was up against it physically at times, but leant on his mobility to drop back and take some clean intercept marks, or even get on the move when resting forward. He was also typically spring-heeled at the centre bounces and efficient with ball in hand.

#13 Kristian Ferronato

Ferronato had double the amount of disposals as his next most prolific teammate, racking up 34 as somewhat of a lone hand while other Knights were seemingly more interested in the push and shove. The state combine invitee proved his stoppage nous with a series of clearances and strong work around the ball, absorbing plenty of physical attention as the game heated up. While lacking a bit of polish by foot, Ferronato held his own and competed hard against stiff opposition.

#26 Zak Johnson

Johnson was one of three Knights who trailed Ferronato on 17 disposals, adding eight inside 50s to his haul as a midfielder-forward. The bottom-ager showed great spatial awareness to pick his targets in tight spots and was also made to absorb some big hits after half time. He’ll be a key cog in Northern’s midfield next year, as he was in 2023.

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