2024 Coates Talent League: Round 1 TOTW

A NEW Coates Talent League season means our first Team of the Week for 2024 has been locked in, after an eventful opening round over the weekend. The bumper Oakleigh-Eastern clash, which featured a handful of top 10 prospects, produced a high of six players to the squad. See who made the cut.

>> Snapshot: 2024 Coates Talent League – Round 1


B: Cooper Trembath (ER) – Matt Whitlock (MB) – Wil Rantall (GWV)
HB: Tobie Travaglia (BP) – Luke Trainor (SD) – Ben Hopkins (DS)

The talls are a key feature of this week’s defence, with Matt Whitlock (197cm), Luke Trainor (194cm), Wil Rantall (192cm), and Cooper Trembath (193cm) all starting their seasons on high notes. Trainor’s ball use at centre half-back was particularly outstanding in Sandringham’s win over Calder.

Rantall and Whitlock showcased their athleticism as Greater Western Victoria and Murray both suffered losses, while over-ager Trembath was dominant aerially with seven marks as Eastern beat Oakleigh. All together, they’d be hard to beat and help turn defence into attack.

A couple of Country flankers light up the half-back line. Bendigo’s Tobie Travaglia racked up 30 touches and 10 marks to earn his spot, while Dandenong dasher Ben Hopkins had 27 and five. Travaglia also plied his trade at centre bounces to be one of the more impactful players afield.


FOL: Louis Emmett (OC) – Jagga Smith (OC) – Christian Moraes (ER)
C: Lucas McInerney (NK) – Josh Smillie (ER) – Murphy Reid (SD)

This week’s centre bounce quartet comprises solely of players from the Oakleigh-Eastern clash. The side’s centrepiece is captain and Player of the Week Josh Smillie, who stood up when it mattered to post 24 disposals and two goals in the Ranges’ 28-point win.

He’s joined by teammate Christian Moraes (25 disposals, two goals) and fellow top 10 prospect Jagga Smith in the middle, while Chargers ruck Louis Emmett takes up the ruck duties. A renowned rower, Emmett took three marks and won a game-high 18 hitouts in the losing side.

The wings boast plenty of class in Round 1, with arguably no prospect personifying that trait quite like Sandringham’s Murphy Reid. Playing inside and out, he collected 28 disposals and 10 marks. Northern’s Lucas McInerney matched his disposal haul and kicked two goals to slot in on the opposite side.


HF: Joshua Murphy (MB) – Thomas Sims (NK) – Harvey Langford (DS)
F: James Barrat (BP) – Jack Whitlock (MB) – Joe Berry (MB)

There are plenty of goals among the forwards this week, headlined by 12 majors shared equally between a trio of Murray Bushrangers. Tall Jack Whitlock was the centrepiece of his side’s win over Tasmania alongside the powerful Joshua Murphy and crafty Joe Berry.

Northern Knights ruck-forward Thomas Sims snagged a round-high five goals, including three in a row to help turn the game in term three. The 199cm top-ager clunked seven grabs with a clean set of hands and converted his chances over the mark with aplomb.

Rounding out the starting side, Dandenong Stingrays co-captain Harvey Langford showcased a vice-like set of hands as he booted three goals from 21 disposals against Geelong. Bendigo’s James Barrat also gets the not for snaring three goals from eight scoring shots in a win.


INT: Tom Gross (OC), Lachlan Hogan (BP), Damon Hollow (CC), Lachie Jaques (GF), Zak Johnson (NK), Nathaniel Sulzberger (SD)

A tight battle for midfield spots has spilt over to the bench, which includes Vic Metro guns Tom Gross and Zak Johnson. Potential Allies squad inclusion Nathaniel Sulzberger showcased his power to earn a spot, while Calder captain Damon Hollow played a key role through the middle to also be recognised. Bendigo’s Lachlan Hogan and Geelong’s Lachie Jaques racked up the ball down back to get nods.

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