2024 Coates Talent League: Round 2 POTW

SANDRINGHAM Dragons midfielder-forward Taj Hotton is our Coates Talent League Player of the Week for Round 2 after turning it on in his side’s 52-point win over Oakleigh. The top-ager filled his boots with 32 disposals, 10 marks, five inside 50s and four goals in a sparkling performance.

Hotton booted three consecutive majors amid a third quarter procession for Sandringham, helping set up the comprehensive victory. He started forward before getting his usual run through the centre bounces and led the Dragons’ disposal count for a second week running.

The son of 78-game former Blue and Magpie Trent, Taj is not father-son eligible for either club. He has further ties to the elite level, though, having seen brother Olli be drafted to St Kilda in 2022. Ollie was part of the Dragons’ premiership side that year, with the region gunning for a three-peat in 2024.

Hotton is highly regarded for his athletic traits and put them on show on Saturday. At 182cm, he is a terrific overhead mark and utilises a strong leap to impact aerially, while also covering the ground with a wicked turn of speed which sees opponents turned inside-out in a flash.

His exploits have seen Sandringham begin its premiership defence at 2-0 after also defeating Metro rivals Calder in Round 1 – both wins have been in excess of 50 points. The Dragons will next face Eastern on Saturday in a third consecutive fixture at RSEA Park, in what looms as the match of Round 3.

Around the grounds, top 10 prospect Christian Moraes had a day out for the Ranges in a 56-point win over Northern. The midfielder matched Hotton’s four-goal haul while helping himself to 25 touches and nine marks in another outstanding showing.

Despite his side going down by two points in a thriller against Bendigo, Murray Bushrangers forward Joshua Murphy snared six goals to back up his Round 1 bag of four. teammate Joe Berry also nabbed four majors for the second straight week.

Also among the goals was Geelong forward Will McLachlan, who posted 5.3 from 13 disposals and six marks as the Falcons thumped GWV. Over in Seaford, fellow over-ager Tom Hanily dominated with 32 disposals, nine marks, and seven tackles in Gippsland’s win over Dandenong.


Round 1: Josh Smillie (Eastern Ranges)
Round 2: Taj Hotton (Sandringham Dragons)

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