Scouting Notes: 2023 WAFL Colts Grand Final

CLAREMONT has withstood a fast-finishing but wasteful Perth outfit, holding onto an 11-point victory to secure the 2023 WAFL Colts Premiership.

With Western Australia’s best prospect Daniel Curtin slotting into a Claremont line-up already flush full of talent, the Tigers entered the Grand Final as favourites but were made to work hard for their spoils by a spirited Perth side.

Claremont looked the more accomplished team for most of the contest, opening a 22-point buffer at the final change and looking on track for a comfortable premiership win.

But Perth lifted a gear in the final term, dominating the territory battle and giving the Tigers an almighty scare. However, the Demons spurned several chances to close the margin further, allowing Claremont to escape with a 10.7 (67) to 8.8 (56) triumph.

For the final time in 2023, we noted some of the best afield with a narrow focus on state representatives, draft combine invitees and emerging bottom-age talent.

  • Team
  • Claremont
  • Perth


#7 Daniel Curtin

The highly touted Curtin returned as captain for his first Colts game since July and while he didn’t dominate proceedings, he was a valuable contributor to the Tigers’ victory. Lining up in the midfield, Curtin started slowly but grew into the game after quarter-time, with his aerial prowess coming to the fore with some strong marks. The 18-year-old was subject to strong physical attention from the Demons that somewhat curtailed his influence, but still he won plenty of ball and provided good penetration from his left foot. With Perth charging in the final term, he was swung behind the ball and was a calm presence under pressure, helping navigate the Tigers to victory. He finished as the game’s leading ball-winner with 23 disposals and five marks, with his attention now turning to the upcoming National Combine in October.

#9 Bailey Banfield

The son of dual West Coast premiership player Drew, Banfield was tough in the clinches for the Tigers, winning plenty of clearances and applying good physical pressure around the contest. Banfield’s inside work was particularly strong, seeing him be clean at ground level and able to stand tall in the tackle to release a teammate or get a kick away. He also used the ball nicely when given time and space, spotting up a teammate inside 50 on one occasion with a lovely, weighted pass. He finished with 22 disposals, five marks and six tackles in an outing that helped clinch a Colts premiership to add to his Alcock Cup victory with Scotch College, rounding out a very successful 2023 campaign. 

#21 Zane Zakostelsky

A behemoth in the ruck, Zakostelsky deservingly took home the Mel Whinnen Medal for best afield honours in a dominant display. With Perth missing its ruck lynchpin in Coen Livingstone, Zakostelsky’s influence at stoppage was enormous, as he helped the Tigers gain clearance ascendancy, either through palming it down to an on-baller or grabbing the ball out of the ruck and launching it forward. The 17-year-old’s follow up work at ground level was equally impressive, winning plenty of ball below his knees to finish as the game’s second highest disposal getter. He ended with 22 disposals, 18 hitouts and four tackles in a clear best on ground performance that will do his rising draft stocks no harm.

#38 Hamish Davis

The most prolific goalkicker on the ground with three majors, Davis impressed for the Tigers with his strong marking and straight kicking. Playing in tandem with Sam van Rooyen, the bottom-ager drew plenty of the ball and looked the more likely target, taking seven marks and getting two hands to several other contests. A renowned goalkicker for Hale School at PSA level, Davis converted his chances when they arose, kicking three goals straight, all from the set shot. He finished with 11 disposals, seven marks and three goals to cap off an excellent finals series from Davis, who looks to be one to watch from a 2024 draft perspective.


Kai Devailland was outstanding early, troubling the Demons with his power at stoppage before fading in the second half. Bottom-age pair Cody Angrove and Will Hayes were excellent, combining for three majors and providing good speed and clean skills. Riley Disisto and Ashton Bryant were important in the engine room with 19 disposals apiece, while Sebastian Ballard and Josh Howard were strong in defence. Under 17s Futures squad member Austin van der Stuyf had his hands full opposed to Aiden O’Driscoll but worked into the game and showcased his nice foot-skills. State combine invitee Joe Fonti was steady, albeit not at his line breaking best, while Sam van Rooyen competed hard aerially, but failed to hit the scoreboard.  


#2 Aiden O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll started the game like a house on fire, booting the first two majors, with the second a direct result of his blistering speed where he gathered a loose ball and exploded away from his opponent. He continued to cause problems for the Claremont defence, with his pace and proactivity with ball in hand ensuring he was Perth’s most dangerous player in the front half.  Working high up the ground and looking to burn his opponent back towards goal, he finished with 13 disposals, seven marks and two goals.

#3 Cooper Moore

After a reasonably subdued start, Moore got involved the longer the game went and was one of the prime movers in Perth’s last quarter surge. With the Demons chasing the game late, the bottom-ager was often able to find space in the wide expanses of Optus Stadium, and looked to be a player who could find a mark inside 50 with his good ball use. His diminutive stature saw him outmuscled by the strongly built Claremont midfield brigade at times, but he never stopped working and found a way to be influential on the outside. He finished with 17 disposals and six marks.

#29 Noah Cachard

Fresh off a best afield display in the Preliminary Final, Cachard was a good contributor in the decider, working tirelessly around the contest to try and lift his team. With his side on the canvas and trailing by more than five goals in the third term, Cachard helped Perth breathe life into the contest, winning some big contests and drifting forward to hit the scoreboard on two occasions. He finished with 17 disposals, four marks and two goals to cap off what has been an excellent campaign from the 18-year-old.

#36 Elijah Scoble

A pillar of strength in defence, Scoble stood tall for the Demons, taking several towering intercept marks to diffuse the pressure for his side. With his side under the pump, particularly through the middle of the game, the 18-year-old looked undeterred, regularly showing good composure deep in defence and not letting the pressure of the occasion get to him. His intercept marking was the highlight of his outing, as he often drifted into the marking contest from the side to pluck some strong grabs. He finished with 17 disposals and seven marks to be one of his sides best.


Jake Watson was the team’s leading ball-winner, gathering 19 disposals and kicking an important goal on the run in the third term. Noah Murray was also busy for the Redlegs with 18 touches and five tackles while Aquinas College skipper Mitch Keene was a strong contributor, notching 17 touches and booting two goals in a tenacious display. State combine invitee Oscar Hine-Baston worked hard in defence 16 disposals while wingman Thomas Waite’s ball use was a feature, with his accurate left-foot kick proving damaging at times.

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