Scouting Notes: 2024 Coates Talent League – Round 3

WITH state trial matches fast approaching, many of Victoria’s emerging prospects were eager to impress in Round 3 of the Coates Talent League. We took note of some of the top performers from all six fixtures, which included a top-of-the-table clash, and an all-Country triple header.

>> 2024 CTL Round 3: Snapshot | POTW | TOTW

  • Team
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Eastern Ranges

Sandringham Dragons 12.14 (86) def. Eastern Ranges 10.7 (67)

By: Matthew Vella


#3 Levi Ashcroft
Midfielder | 179cm | 18/12/2006

The elite father-son talent had his hands all over this game once again. His high footy IQ was on display early in a tough first term, reading the play well and finding the ball to snare an early goal. When the Dragons scored, he showed why he’s captain by making sure he got to every forward individually and let them know of their good work. There’s little doubt about Ashcroft’s decision making by hand and foot, harnessing an ability to get his team into positions to break through and burst inside 50. Elite talent that gets the job done consistently.

#11 Nathaniel Sulzberger
Midfielder/Forward | 187cm | 06/05/2006

Running hard and fast through the middle, Sulzberger displayed the great core strength which gives him powerful evasive ability, and also helps bring those last-ditch tackles to the ground. After missing a shot on goal, the Tasmanian made up for it with his creation inside and outside of the contest. He showed great vision by hand and is able to keep his composure in pressure situations, holding a strong chemistry with other midfielders in the team.

#30 Taj Hotton
Midfielder/Forward | 182cm | 17/06/2006

After best on ground performance last week, Hotton had a quieter game this week. Wasn’t in the game much in the first quarter but brought pressure in the second. His strength allowed him to hold his own in a few tackles and when closing down opponents hard and fast to help create turnovers. After half time he came into his own, breaking lines at half-forward and hitting slick inside 50 kicks. His hard worked paid off with the final goal of the game, finding the crumb down low to ground and kicking into an open goalsquare.

#75 Cooper Lord
Midfielder | 184cm | 20/03/2005

The over-ager had a strong game in the VFL for North Melbourne last week and he was back in the Dragons’ midfield on Saturday. He ran hard and fast all game, proving quick and clean in and out of the pack. Lord has a long left-foot kick and while his vision let him down a few times in the game, he was dominant between the arcs. Added extra flair and an accumulation factor to the already stacked Dragons midfield, gathering 27 disposals and seven marks.


#7 Cody Anderson
Midfielder | 181cm | 30/01/2006

Was arguably best on ground. The tough inside midfielder had his best game to date, popping up for two goals, 28 disposals and plenty of strong tackles that caught the eye of the crowd. Kicking has been an issue for him this season, but his bone-shattering tackles were a standout. Despite some questionable choices by hand and foot at times, Anderson helped wing the fortunes for the Ranges in the second half.

#8 Lachy Dovaston
Small Defender | 176cm | 29/05/2007

A standout game from the bottom-ager, who was sighted down back, on the wing and forward throughout the game. He played fast by hand and was using his running ability all over the ground. Starting in defence on kick-in duties, he set the back line up and instructed teammates when and how to attack the game. He became more involved in the third term, transitioning the ball beautifully. With strong evasive skills, his running ability was elite from arc to arc before swinging forward in the final term.

#9 Christian Moraes
Midfielder | 183cm | 08/11/2006

Was at his absolute best in the first term. High standards as usual, making strong leads and finding space inside 50. He bagged the opening goal and snapped his second not too long later out of the pack. Reading the tap work well, his forward IQ looked elite. Moraes moved into the midfield for the rest of the game and while he struggled to play inside mid early on, was swift on the outside being able to penetrate attacking 50. Wasn’t his most breathtaking game, but was still able to finish with three goals from 21 disposals.

#26 Josh Smillie
Midfielder | 194cm | 17/05/2006

The star midfielder was at his own pace once again, clean and swift in the guts. He may not have had the biggest game of the season, but was still doing Josh Smillie things. Composure in the contest, brilliant vision by hand and foot and was patient to find the opportunities he thrives on. At 194cm, he moved well around the ground and was able to get uncontested deep forward and smartly snap an easy goal late on. Racked it up with and equal team-high 28 touches.

  • Team
  • Calder Cannons
  • Northern Knights

Calder Cannons 12.9 (81) def. Northern Knights 7.9 (51)

By: Adrian Dixon


#2 Isaac Kako
Small Forward | 175cm | 07/03/2006

Showed strong endeavour to start with, kicking the first goal of the day once again while starting on the ball and rotating between there and the forward line. He was considerably strong in one-on-one contests and found space very easily – he is very dangerous when doing so. Looked to bring others into the game and on other occasions looked to take it all on, however did it well. Is very good when it comes to roving the fall of the ball from the bottom of the packs, always managed to deliver the ball into dangerous spots in the forward line and his play reading ability continued to be excellent.

#10 Damon Hollow
Midfielder | 180cm | 30/03/2006

Hollow was amongst Calder’s prominent ball winners again, managing a team-high 27 disposals and a game-high 14 inside 50s along with seven marks. His reading of the ruck contests, especially from stoppages, was elite while he also provided plenty of pressure acts around the contest to go with his workrate. His ball delivery inside 50 was excellent, hitting up his teammates on a number of occasions. Showed his agility and evasiveness throughout the day with good running patterns. Went head-to-head with Jesse Dattoli on a few occasions in the second half. Has to come under strong consideration for Vic Metro selection.

#19 Thomas Legudi
Forward | 177cm | 15/03/2006

Looked to play an important linking role for the Cannons as a high half forward. Showed a great ability to read the play while kicking a great goal from a snap early in the game. Delivers the ball well by foot inside 50 with his penetrating kicking, put it in a dangerous spot that led to a Harry Ryan goal. Pushes up the ground really well and showed excellent vision, especially inside 50. Strong marking, however his decision making can do with some improvement.

#21 Thomas Barnett
Key Defender | 195cm | 22/04/2006

In the absence of Harry O’Farrell, Barnett played a crucial role as the teams key defender against Tom Sims, who had little impact up forward. Barnett restricted his output winning many of the one-on-one contests while also taking numerous strong marks. His kicking for a dour key defender can do with some improvement. Worked very well in the backline alongside Ryan Brodie and Ryan Eyre where the three often worked together to repel the Knights’ forward forays.

#27 Patrick Said
Midfielder | 180cm | 24/04/2006

Had a quiet first half not being accustomed to his prolific ball winning abilities however went head-to-head with Lucas McInerney and came out on top in that battle, with McInerney’s output restricted. Managed to kick two goals in the final quarter, including the important first goal of the last quarter. Ball use in that final term was efficient and clean as always.


#1 Jesse Dattoli
Midfielder/Forward | 179cm | 07/08/2006

Reading of play from the stoppages was excellent, however his decision making needs to get better, where on one occasion he kicked it to a one on three contest early in the game. Competes very well aerially in pack mark situations and showed plenty of good athleticism, being dangerous in open space. Managed to kick 1.1 from two set shots and his coverage of the ground was excellent, moving around easily. Finished with 27 disposals, 17 of them handballs.

#7 Zak Johnson
Midfielder | 185cm | 24/12/2006

Read the stoppages well, made good decisions and used the ball well early in the game starting in the midfield. He was moved to the backline in the second quarter providing some drive off half-back and showing his hard running ability, along with setting up the play and showing his excellent vision – always looking to do the team thing. Went forward in the last quarter to try and give his side a lift due to his ball winning ability, however only managed one set shot at goal which he missed.

#18 Thomas Sims
Ruck/Forward | 199cm | 12/05/2006

Was well and truly restricted by Tom Barnett however still managed to do some good things, in the first quarter he played a key role in getting Northern’s first goal where he couldn’t mark one out in the square, however he tapped it down from a contest for the first goal. His only goal from the day was from a set shot from a free kick in the second quarter. His play reading ability was good although he needs to time his run/jump at the ball better. His leading patterns were sound. Went in the ruck in the last quarter to try and get in the game, managing 15 hitouts.

  • Team
  • Oakleigh Chargers
  • Tasmania Devils

Oakleigh Chargers 15.7 (97) def. Tasmania Devils 13.10 (88)

By: Adrian Dixon


#7 Jagga Smith
Midfielder | 181cm | 28/01/2006

Was prominent early making smart decisions with the ball looking towards the outside runners and his tackle pressure was strong, providing one-percenters to get involved in the contest. Dropped back at times in defence to help out his defenders and his clearance work was excellent. Finished with a typically prolific haul of 28 disposals, five marks and five tackles.

#9 Tom Gross
Midfielder/Forward | 181cm | 15/09/2006

Covered the ground exceptionally well and was also prominent early. His running ability and speed were on display early however could do with some work in his general awareness after getting caught holding the ball late in the first term. Managed to take numerous marks inside 50. His set shot kicking could do with some improvement, however he managed to go around the corner and kick one from a set shot to make amends. Managed to finish with 25 disposals and seven marks.

#15 Noah Yze
Forward | 190cm | 12/04/2006

Pushed up the ground exceptionally well highlighting his strong work rate. He is very dangerous on a lead while his marking overhead was also on display. Is an excellent set shot got goal kicking two goals for the game including the goal to seal the game. Despite being undersized, he did well to compete in the ruck at times, pinch-hitting from up forward.

#24 Kane Emery
Small Forward | 173cm | 11/01/2006

Managed to make the most of his opportunities when it counted kicking three goals from 11 disposals and five marks. Was very dangerous in the forward line with his ability to find space and his ability to read the play putting pressure on his opponents. Two of his three goals were kicked in the second quarter from set shot kicks.


#4 Geordie Payne
Forward | 184cm | 06/11/2005

Started up forward again. Very strong in the contest especially in one-on-one situations. His set shot kicking was much improved compared to round one though he looked for better options when he wasn’t confident to go for goal. Showed excellent forward smarts and positions himself well. Showed excellent acceleration and excellent tackle pressure bringing a hard edge to the contest. Was put into the midfield in the last quarter with the game on the line.

#11 Max Mapley
Ruck/Forward | 199cm | 27/10/2005

Had a slow start to the game up forward and needed to position himself better in play. Was moved into the ruck in the second quarter and it was from there where he made an impact. Used his athleticism to win the ruck contests. Very strong bodied and kicked a great goal from a set shot late to keep them in the game. Provides excellent ground coverage, it feels like he is relied upon too much especially up forward where they have a lack of depth in terms of key forwards.

#21 Lenny Douglas
Midfielder/Forward | 179cm | 03/07/2006

Had a not so prominent first half, however came to life in the third quarter bringing his x-factor when his side needed it the most, kicking three goals for the term to get his side back in it. He was very dangerous with his powerful running ability and his decision making bringing in teammates into the game. His work rate was efficient, managing to cover the field and help out where necessary.

  • Team
  • Bendigo Pioneers
  • Gippsland Power

Bendigo Pioneers 12.9 (81) def. Gippsland Power 8.9 (57)

By: Michael Alvaro

Tobie Travaglia winning a looseball get | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#3 Tobie Travaglia
Defender/Midfielder | 187cm | 26/10/2006

A recent call-up to the National Academy squad, Travaglia showed more glimpses of the form which earned him such an honour. Starting in defence before rotating into midfield, the top-ager threw his light frame into every contest and often came away with the ball. Travaglia’s desperation was unquestionable and certainly helped as he rose to take his trademark intercepts. For all his work rate and intent, perhaps one improvement area will be keeping his feet more at the coalface.

#8 Dayten Uerata
Midfielder/Forward | 185cm | 28/10/2005

A big improver this year, Uerata has attracted mid-season draft interest with a consistent opening three weeks. His power and speed were again on show in his second 18-disposal outing on the campaign, starting in midfield with rotations up forward. He very nearly took a stepladder speccy in term one and broke dangerously over the back in term three – requiring only a touch more polish to take full toll on both occasions.

#12 Jobe Shanahan
Tall Forward | 194cm | 02/08/2006

After booting four goals last week, Shanahan was back to his Round 1 output of eight disposals and one major, but still produced moments of high class. His dexterity and skill at 194cm are sublime, and he proved as much with a slick one-handed scoop off the deck in term one. He moved smoothly on the lead, presenting for four marks, but got his goal by staying down inside 50 and soccering the ball home in term three.

#17 Lachlan Hogan
Midfielder/Defender | 177cm | 13/01/2006

Leading all comers with 27 disposals, Hogan was afforded permanent midfield minutes in the first half before shifting back to defence. For a smaller player, he isn’t afraid to put his body on the line and did so with two diving smothers in the first quarter. He also sat under a high ball and did his best to halve contests, but looked most productive when driving his legs and chaining possessions together. He brought his teammates into the play in such instances.

#42 James Barrat
Tall Forward | 193cm | 23/11/2006

If not for a poor rate of conversion, Barrat could have ended up with a big bag of goals. He had to settle for two in the end, also registering four behinds and having another set shot fall short. Despite that, he certainly knows how to get into scoring positions and proved troublesome inside 50, whether as a marking target or opportunist in open play.


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

Lindsay’s game was cut short by a corked thigh in the third quarter, and he was unsighted in the fourth as a result. Still, he managed to rack up 20 touches as arguably Gippsland’s most effective midfielder in that time. Lindsay looked best when afforded the time and space to utilise his kicking skills, hitting the ball sweetly and finding targets with aplomb. He was also clean in the clinches and made quick decisions under pressure, but has classic traits of a half-back or wingman.

#7 Willem Duursma
Wing/Defender | 191cm | 21/06/2007

Having been exposed to the wing role early this season, Duursma started there once again on Sunday before shifting back to his arguably more comfortable role in defence. There, he set up play from the kick-ins and covered plenty of ground in gaining multiple possessions during single passages of play. The bottom-ager’s movement, ball use and clean handling were all key features in another game littered with outstanding moments.

#16 Jobe Scapin
Defender/Wing | 186cm | 01/05/2007

Scapin started the day in defence but switched with fellow bottom-ager Duursma to end it on the wing. After dusting out the cobwebs early, he worked into good spots behind the ball and knew where he could impact at the base of the contest. Scapin looked classy in possession, particularly when gaining a few metres and delivering by foot. Hopefully in the games to come he can get his hands on the ball a little more often.

#29 Ricky Mentha
Small Forward | 179cm | 04/09/2006

Mentha didn’t quite have his kicking boots on in Round 3 but still looked lively within sight of goal with 1.3 from 12 touches. The Alice Springs native showcased his forward craft by positioning front-and-centre to the talls and anticipating the drop of the ball. He came to life when trying to manufacture space for a shot on goal, zigging and zagging but putting his snap attempts wide.

  • Team
  • Geelong Falcons
  • Murray Bushrangers

Geelong Falcons 16.11 (107) def. Murray Bushrangers 8.8 (56)

By: Michael Alvaro

Xavier Ivisic has enjoyed a strong start to the season | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#13 Xavier Ivisic
Midfielder/Forward | 180cm | 01/06/2006

Racking up a game-high 29 disposals (20 handballs), Ivisic did well to post such high numbers given he started the game up forward. The top-ager was neat and tidy when releasing the ball, helping the Falcons chain together in attacking phases and find fluency in a seven-goal opening quarter. An accumulator who runs hard and makes clever decisions, Ivisic can look to enhance his hurt factor heading into representative season.

#20 Lachie Jaques
Defender | 184cm | 01/06/2006

Jaques put up a near-perfectly opposite stat line to Ivisic, posting 21 kicks among his 27 disposals down back. The Geelong co-captain also displayed his spring with eight marks, plenty of them being intercepts, and had moments of flair when venturing up the ground. He held a high line to help lock the play into Geelong’s forward half and generally distributed the ball efficiently.

#22 Zac McInnes
Key Forward | 196cm | 13/01/2006

Faced with another tough matchup in Matt Whitlock, McInnes got to work as the more mobile of Geelong’s tall marking targets. He presented high up the ground and found greater success as the match wore on, reeling in marks on strong leads. With Whitlock often affording him space on the back shoulder, McInnes took five marks and converted a set shot in the final quarter.

#23 Brady Hall
Defender | 190cm | 09/03/2006

Hall had an array of matchups throughout the four quarters but managed to play his own game as a dynamic intercept defender. In tandem with fellow co-captain Jaques, he positioned well behind the ball and was often there to mop up or intervene Murray’s forward forays. He finished with season-high numbers of 19 disposals and seven marks, looking a promising third tall type.

#24 Will McLachlan
Forward | 185cm | 13/04/2005

McLachlan has enjoyed a sparkling start to his over-age campaign, climbing atop the Coates Talent League goalkicking charts with 13 in three games. His bag of six on Sunday followed five the previous week, with the left-footed forward already attracting mid-season draft interest. He started like a house on fire, booting three goals in the opening quarter and showcasing high level reading of the play inside 50. He judged the ball better than anyone else and converted nicely over the mark.

#27 Liam Kershaw
Wing | 185cm | 17/10/2005

Another of the Falcons’ notable over-agers, Kershaw bagged two goals from the wing – including the first of the match. He slotted his second from a hand-off at the top of forward 50, which proved to be one of his better moments. Kershaw also showed terrific defensive application with hard tackles and repeat efforts, forcing turnovers and smothering kicks. A lovely overhead mark in term three again showed the more flashy side to his game.

#29 Joe Pike
Ruck | 203cm | 17/05/2005

The mid-season draft is usually a haven for talls and Pike is a 203cm prospect firmly throwing his hat in the ring. Playing as Geelong’s primary ruck, the over-ager helped prise the opening centre clearance before popping up with several marks around the ground. In that regard, he has improved his ability impact away from the contest. Pike also rotated forward and nabbed a goal in the third quarter to offer a bit of versatility.


#19 Harrison Wilson
Defender | 188cm | 03/01/2007

Wilson certainly had his hands full in defence and stepped up to the task, notching 20 disposals and nine marks across half-back. He began to get his offence going after a one-way opening quarter, using his long kicking and consistently running past on the overlap. Wilson was also a prominent interceptor at 188cm, handling the ball cleanly and being rewarded for effort with a third quarter goal off the back of a 50-metre penalty.

#20 Jack Whitlock
Key Forward/Ruck | 200cm | 16/05/2006

Another of the National Academy inclusions, Whitlock timed his run nicely with 16 disposals, eight marks and three goals as Murray’s spearhead forward. He displayed great dexterity to work up the ground and was typically clean, clunking a couple of strong marks on the end of his significant overhead reach. Two of his majors were kicked in the final quarter, both converted on the snap to highlight how skilful modern day key position players can be.

#24 Matt Whitlock
Key Defender | 199cm | 16/05/2006

The inverse Whitlock down back, Matt had the job on Zac McInnes and started out well on top. He took eight marks for the day and many of them came in the first quarter, where he thrived aerially and covered the ground nicely. Playing quite loose one-on-one, Whitlock read the play well and wasn’t afraid to peel off when he could win the ball or get a spoil in. His agility and willingness to take risks makes him dynamic in each phase of play, albeit if he runs into trouble at times.

  • Team
  • GWV Rebels
  • Dandenong Stingrays

GWV Rebels 13.4 (82) def. by Dandenong Stingrays 17.15 (117)

By: Michael Alvaro

Harry Charleson caught the eye again for the GWV Rebels. | Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#2 Harry Charleson
Midfielder | 182cm | 26/06/2006

His side’s most prolific player around the ball, Charleson ended up with a team-high 26 disposals on home turf. The midfielder had little trouble getting his hands on it and looked best when able to drive his legs on the outside as a first-receiver. He’s among the many Rebels pushing hard to be considered for the Vic Country squad.

#6 Jack Ough
Wing | 194cm | 15/12/2006

At 194cm, there were shades of Joel Freijah roaming the Mars Stadium wings in Ough’s play on Sunday. The versatile top-ager had previously played on the inside but brought his size, clean hands and composure to the outside expanses. He absorbed contact well and hardly looked rushed in possession, even sneaking forward for a third term goal after proving prominent between the arcs.

#7 Oliver Hannaford
Midfielder | 180cm | 01/09/2006

Hannaford posted 16 disposals and while he was not the most prolific of GWV’s midfielders, he certainly has some of the best traits. His quick feet and ability to shift into space brought energy to each passage he was involved in. Hannaford’s endeavour was also shown after kicking the ball out on the full, where he smothered the resultant free kick and turned it into a goal assist for his side.

#16 Harley Hicks
Small Forward | 178cm | 26/07/2006

Made to wait for a debut, Hicks turned it on with a couple of sharp moments up forward and kicked two terrific goals. The speedy bottom-ager’s energy was undeniable, buzzing around at ground level and proving too slick when the ball hit the deck. He crumbed front-and-centre for his first major in term two, before adding another by waiting down and receiving the final handball before finishing nicely. Plenty of x-factor to work with.

#20 Floyd Burmeister
Key Forward | 198cm | 04/05/2006

Burmeister is a 198cm key forward who exudes raw potential. It was on display as he went to work on Sunday, matched up against National Academy defender Noah Mraz. The top-ager’s mobility was a handful, presenting up to the top of attacking 50 and even looking dangerous when wheeling back towards goal. His two final-quarter majors were impressive; first striking a 45-metre set shot, and then juggling the ball in a one-on-two before turning and snapping home.


#1 Cooper Hynes
Midfielder/Forward | 190cm | 28/02/2006

Best afield on Sunday, Hynes put up a monster stat line of 32 disposals, eight marks, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and a goal. The Stingrays co-captain was out to point to prove, showcasing considerably more measured, punchy and precise kicking in the first half. He lowered his eyes to honour several leads inside 50 and seemed to have his tail up when dominating through midfield. He also rotated forward but lost his radar a touch, despite booting a goal with the last kick of the game.

#2 Harvey Langford
Midfielder/Forward | 190cm | 15/03/2006

Somewhat taking a back seat to Hynes, Langford started up forward and took little time to showcase his strong marking ability. He got involved in several early scores and also had an immediate impact once shifted into midfield, looking just as polished at stoppages. While not overly quick, Langford’s smarts in tight spaces brought him time and he showed the left-footer difference by turning his opponent for a goal in the second quarter.

#10 Ben Hopkins
Defender | 190cm | 28/07/2005

Hopkins is among the best performed over-agers at this early stage in the season, and continued on his merry way with 25 disposals on Sunday. He provided much of the outside drive expected of him at this point, turning defence into attack and chaining possessions together in transition. His range was shown with a couple of intercept marks, and he even snuck forward for a goal in term two.

#22 Jordan Doherty
Ruck | 199cm | 21/02/2005

Doherty is among the many talls to have come up in mid-season draft conversations, and produced arguably his best game yet in Round 3. The over-ager was a fourth midfielder of sorts in the ruck, leaning on his athletic ability and clean fundamental skills to impact both at, and away from the contest. Some of his kicking defied a 199cm listing, looking composed in possession and smooth with his movement. Definitely one to watch.

#23 Noah Mraz
Ruck | 198cm | 20/02/2006

While not as prolific as his return game last week, Mraz was still impressive with 15 disposals, five marks and six rebound 50s down back. He matched up well on the athletic Burmeister and read the play shrewdly to make good decisions without the ball. Mraz wore a few hits when flying at the contest but was rewarded with a couple of intercepts and moves so well for a 198cm player.

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