2024 Coates Talent League: Round 1 POTW

EASTERN Ranges midfielder Josh Smillie is our Coates Talent League Player of the Week for Round 1 after his starring role in the Ranges’ 28-win over Oakleigh. The 194cm prospect turned it on with 24 disposals and two goals in what was pegged as the game of the round.

>> 2024 Coates Talent League: Snapshot | Team of the Week

A handful of potential top 10 talents converged on Trevor Barker Oval on Sunday, with Smillie battling it out in midfield alongside Ranges teammate Christian Moraes, and against potent Chargers trio Finn O’Sullivan, Jagga Smith, and Tom Gross at the centre bounces.

While all five players struggled to get going at times in the first half, they helped break the game open when it mattered and Smillie was at the centre of the action. His third quarter goal out of a forward 50 stoppage showcased all the stoppage craft and power at his disposal.

Around the grounds, Northern Knights pair Zak Johnson and Lucas McInerney had 28 disposals apiece on the inside and outside respectively, while key forward Thomas Sims changed the game with five goals. All three were difficult to split for best afield honours.

Murray Bushrangers trio Jack Whitlock, Joe Berry, and Joshua Murphy all posted four goals in their side’s win over Tasmania, while Bendigo’s James Barrat registered three goals from eight scoring shots as the Pioneers upset Greater Western Victoria.

Only two players notched up 30 disposals over the weekend, namely Smith and Bendigo’s Tobie Travaglia. Sandringham duo Murphy Reid and Taj Hotton managed 28 each, while Dandenong co-captain Harvey Langford (21 disposals, three goals) was outstanding in a loss to Geelong.


Round 1: Josh Smillie (Eastern Ranges)

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