PREVIEW | 2024 Coates Talent League: Gippsland Power

GIPPSLAND Power will enter the new Coates Talent League season off a Round 1 bye, but are set to do so with plenty of vigour and a new-look squad boasting high potential. Head coach Rhett McLennan talked us through the season ahead and his region’s top prospects.


“It’s been really good. There hasn’t been any major hiccups. We’ve been a squad that we thought we’d find some new players… we’ve scoured Gippsland and found a few guys that trajectory-wise are looking quite promising.

“But we’ll wait and see what it’s like at a standard that they’ve never played before and how they develop. It’ll be really exciting, so we go into the season with open eyes.

“Out of our total of 46 players – our 35 primary list and 10 development list guys – 23 are bottom-agers. So, we’re going to be fairly young and inexperienced, but with that we actually see some potential there.

“There’s a lot of guys that it’s new to them, this program. To their full credit, they’ve embraced everything we’ve asked them to do. So, we’re really excited for the season to start.”


Xavier Lindsay
Midfielder | 183cm | 03/08/2006

“Xavier’s been sensational. I can’t fault anything he’s done so far in regards to leadership and driving standards. He’s been the guy that’s pushing all of our guys to the next level. Really proud about how he’s started this preseason.”

Ricky Mentha
Small Forward | 178cm | 04/09/2006

“I couldn’t be prouder of the way that Ricky’s developed – not just as a footballer, but also as a person. He looks really comfortable around our club, we’ve seen elements of leadership in what he’s done at training too, which I’m just so pleased with.

“He’s spent two weeks at Melbourne so far this year, and every time he comes back he just seems to be just a little bit more confident in himself. His footy speaks for itself, so we’re really happy for him and excited about what the season can bring for Ricky.”

Willem Duursma
Utility | 191cm | 21/06/2007

“He’s going really well. Incredibly durable for a young guy who continues to grow physically and developmentally. I think we’re going to try him on the wing and might try him a little bit midfield, but I wouldn’t discount any position on the ground for Willem.

“For his height, he’s just so mobile and skilful. Our job is to expose him to different situations so that AFL clubs can see him in different positions and against different types of players. That’s really what this year’s about. If we can give him that exposure and then narrow him down next year.”

Jobe Scapin
Defender | 186cm | 01/05/2007

“Jobe had an interrupted preseason. He’s had a sore back and related injuries, which a lot of younger guys can have at times. He’s been back in full training for the last couple of weeks and has been really good. It might be a slower start to the season for Jobe, but all indications are that he’s showing moments that have got him into that Vic Country hub.”

>> Profiled: 2024 Vic Country Talent Hub

2024 GOALS

“From a performance or win/loss point of view, we don’t want to put any kind of idea of what is or isn’t a successful season for us. What we really want to do is just continue to develop people, make sure that our guys are connected to each other and creating a really good atmosphere around the club. Hopefully that creates the best environment for our boys to develop as footballers and as people.”


“From a squad health point of view we’re actually in a really good spot, which is great… we’ll have an extra week to freshen up because we have a bye in Round 1. So, we really have no idea what our Round 1 squad looks like (yet). That’s for the week(s) to come.”

Round 1: Bye
Round 2: vs. Dandenong Stingrays @ Belvedere Reserve

>> Season Preview: Dandenong Stingrays

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