2024 Coates Talent League: Round 3 TOTW

AFTER claiming victory in the highest-scoring match of Round 3, Dandenong Stingrays boast four members of our Coates Talent League Team of the Week. A quartet of regions also contributed three players apiece as prospects looked to impress ahead of the Victorian Under 18 trials.

>> CTL Round 3: Snapshot | Player of the Week


B: Harry Wilson (MB) – Thomas Barnett (CC) – Lachie Jaques (GF)
HB: Ben Hopkins (DS) – Matt Whitlock (MB) – Lachlan Hogan (BP)

Calder key defender Thomas Barnett stands alone as the sole Metro player in our back six. The 195cm top-ager played a role on Northern’s Tom Sims in the absence of National Academy member Harry O’Farrell, picking up five marks from 13 disposals.

The other tall to earn selection was Murray’s Matt Whitlock, who enjoyed an enthralling battle with Geelong’s Zac McInnes. He ruled the airways with eight marks, while teammate Harrison Wilson had nine to earn selection alongside Geelong co-captain Lachie Jaques (eight) in the same game.

Up on the flanks, Dandenong over-ager Ben Hopkins slots in for a third-straight week after racking up 25 touches in the Stingrays’ win over Greater Western Victoria (GWV). Bendigo’s Lachlan Hogan (27 disposals) was also prolific having spent the first half in midfield against Gippsland.


FOL: Jordan Doherty (DS) – Cody Anderson (ER) – Levi Ashcroft (SD)
C: Jack Ough (GWV) – Cooper Hynes (DS) – Willem Duursma (GP)

Dandenong co-captain Cooper Hynes turned it on with a round-high 32 disposals to feature at the heart of our side this week. He’s joined by teammate Jordan Doherty, who had 21 touches and 14 hitouts in the ruck, continuing to showcase his upside as an over-age prospect.

Eastern Ranges bull Cody Anderson threw his weight around with nine tackles in a loss to Sandringham, but was rewarded with a couple of goals and a starting spot here. On the winning team, Levi Ashcroft led all comers with 31 disposals, seven inside 50s and a goal as his side went 3-0.

The midfield group is rounded out by a pair of versatile Country wingmen. GWV’s Jack Ough put in a good account for himself on the outside, while Gippsland bottom-ager Duursma looked terrific in his moments before shifting back to arguably his most comfortable position in defence.


HF: Xavier Ivisic (GF) – Jack Whitlock (MB) – Christian Moraes (ER)
F: Isaac Kako (CC) – Will McLachlan (GF) – Lenny Douglas (TD)

This week’s forward line is spearheaded by Player of the Week Will McLachlan. The Geelong Falcons over-ager booted six goals from 12 disposals and six marks to go top of the Coates Talent League goalkicking charts. At 185cm, he’s our makeshift full forward.

In the same game, recent AFL Academy inclusion Jack Whitlock snared three majors and clunked eight marks to be among Murray’s best as a ruck-forward. Tasmania’s Lenny Douglas also stood up in a loss, kicking three goals from 22 touches to really get his season going.

Calder’s Isaac Kako was his usual self and features in a pocket, while rotating mids Xavier Ivisic (Geelong) and Christian Moraes (Eastern) were too good to deny starting spots. The former led all comers with 29 touches against Murray, while the latter had 21 to go with three goals against Sandringham.


INT: Tom Gross (OC), Damon Hollow (CC), Zak Johnson (NK), Noah Mraz (DS), Josh Smillie (ER), Jagga Smith (OC)

A quartet of National Academy members slot into the six-man interchange – namely Oakleigh midfielders Tom Gross and Jagga Smith, Eastern on-baller Josh Smillie, and Dandenong key defender Noah Mraz. There’s more talent in the final two spots, with Damon Hollow and Zak Johnson also selected having gone head-to-head in midfield.

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