Scouting Notes: 2024 Victorian Under 16 trials

VICTORIA’S best and brightest Under 16 prospects took to Trevor Barker Oval on Friday for a pair of trial matches. Vic Metro took out both games over their Country counterparts, as the selection process for this year’s National Development Championships narrows. We noted some of the top performers.

  • Team
  • Vic Country
  • Vic Metro


VIC COUNTRY 2.1 | 3.3 | 6.5 | 9.9 (63)
VIC METRO 4.3 | 11.7 | 16.9 | 20.13 (133)


Vic Country: W. Malady 4, T. Armstrong 2, C. Walker, A. Mounsey, S. Doherty
Vic Metro: A. Butler 4, T. Bradley 4, J. Surkitt 4, B. Challis 2, J. Watkins 2, C. Robbins, C. Hine, R. McConnell, J. Lawrence


#1 Marlon Neocleous (Gippsland Power)
Small Forward | 166cm | 26/02/2008

The smallest player afield at 166cm, Neocleous started up forward before shifting into the midfield. His energy and creativity were terrific in tight spaces, utilising sharp steps to navigate traffic and make good decisions by hand and foot. When attending stoppages, Neocleous wasn’t fazed by bigger bodies on the inside and competed hard to win his own ball, while also applying pressure on opposition ball carriers.

#2 Tanner Armstrong (Murray Bushrangers)
Midfielder | 178cm | 27/02/2008

Armstrong showcased terrific determination and speed on Friday, ending up with two final quarter goals for his efforts. He accelerated away from congestion and showcased good power in doing so. His best moments came late in the piece; first shaking a tackle and spiralling home his first goal, and then using his body cleverly one-on-one before breaking over the back for a second major.

#12 Angus Watson (Bendigo Pioneers)
Defender/Wing | 178cm | 01/02/2008

Watson added a bit of drive to Vic Country’s play – first down back and then up on the wing. He looked to carry the ball in transition and took quick metres from the kick-ins before distributing both long and short. Watson then got his chance to patrol further afield and utilised his defensive craft in a one-on-one contest in term four, winning the ball and again moving it on swiftly.

#13 Blake Newton (Murray Bushrangers)
Midfielder/Defender | 183cm | 16/12/2008

Newton was one of the strongest starters on Friday and immediately displayed his power at the centre bounces. His burst speed and strength were assets around the ball, catching the eye in explosive passages which helped his side break onto the attack. He shifted to defence in the second half and chimed in with a couple of intercept marks, but looked a natural inside midfielder.

#14 Cody Templeton (Gippsland Power)
Midfielder | 181cm | 01/01/2008

Donning a bright set of boots, it was hard to miss Templeton on Friday. The midfielder produced some tough work in the way of tackling, but caught the eye most with his chain running and core strength when charging forward. His ability to link with one-two handballs and complete repeat efforts was impressive.

#18 Wil Malady (Gippsland Power)
Forward | 187cm | 12/10/2008

Malady had a massive third quarter, booting three goals to finish with four overall. The 187cm forward was Vic Country’s most prominent threat inside 50, faring well with strong overhead marking and efficient set shot conversions. His only goal in open play was a ripper too, breaking away at speed over the back and finishing well under physical pressure.


#1 Jack Surkitt (Sandringham Dragons)
Small Forward | 174cm | 13/08/2008

One of three Vic Metro forwards to finish with four goals, Surkitt filled his boots in a prominent second quarter. The Sandringham Dragons small showed obvious forward 50 craft, converting with snaps, over the mark, and quickly off a stoppage. He also judged the ball well in flight to take a couple of strong grabs, playing above his 174cm standing in that regard.

#3 Jordan Knapp (Eastern Ranges)
Midfielder/Defender | 177cm | 05/01/2008

One of the most classy players afield, Knapp put on a kicking clinic and made excellent decisions throughout the day. He had a happy knack for hitting targets going inside 50 and took on inboard passes others wouldn’t, proving composed with each possession. He played at both ends of the ground and was effective in each third, balancing it out for efficiency when necessary.

#4 Sam Harris (Calder Cannons)
Midfielder | 179cm | 17/01/2008

Harris put his power on show through midfield, breaking tackles by force and driving his legs to shake off opponents. His core strength was evident in those instances, and he was an effective player on the inside who could also help move the ball to the outer. Harris had a rotation to defence in the second half but was more prominent on-ball.

#7 Arki Butler (Sandringham Dragons)
Forward | 180cm | 23/04/2008

The star of the show up forward, Butler ended up with four majors but could easily have had many more from his double-digits shots at goal. The dynamic 180cm prospect was a menace inside 50 and flew for several big marks, while also converting from a range of techniques and angles. His radar wasn’t always on, but Butler served up some of the day’s best highlights and is certainly one to watch. He can just about do it all as a forward.

#8 Jackson Watkins (Calder Cannons)
Forward/Wing | 180cm | 04/10/2008

Watkins benefitted from the work of Knapp early in the piece, combining well with his teammate to get on the end of many classy kicks. He kicked goals in the first and third quarters and got into dangerous spots to score. Watkins could have added another couple of majors to his tally with better conversion, but it was not to be.

#14 Cohen Hine (Eastern Ranges)
Midfielder | 182cm | 11/01/2008

A mainstay in Vic Metro’s midfield, Hine was arguably his side’s most effective on-baller and proved a natural extractor at stoppages. He worked well in combination with his teammates to win primary possession and feed it out, utilising his 182cm frame at the contest. Hine also showed his class with an excellent checkside goal in the second quarter as Metro kicked away.

#22 Tyson Bradley (Sandringham Dragons)
Tall Forward | 193cm | 16/09/2008

Vic Metro’s most prolific tall forward, Bradley booted four goals – including three in the second half. The 193cm talent displayed good mobility for his size and kept his feet in marking contests, presenting strongly up the ground. He got on his bike to have an impact past the halfway mark, but then doubled back to make good on his chances inside 50. Excellent conversion over the mark.

  • Team
  • Vic Country
  • Vic Metro


VIC COUNTRY 0.4 | 2.7 | 7.10 | 11.15 (81)
VIC METRO 5.1 | 8.4 | 13.6 | 15.7 (97)


Vic Country: A. Assemani 2, A. Morgan 2, J. Pickett 2, M. Prasad, N. Williams, J. Phillips, M. Toner, R. Donovan
Vic Metro: F. Woolhouse 6, C. MacKenzie-George 4, J. Djaschenko, R. Hobson, M. Downes, W. Verworet, L. Houndsome


#1 Marcus Prasad (Dandenong Stingrays)
Small Forward | 169cm | 23/03/2008

Skipper in game two, Prasad was one of the many crafty smalls on show throughout the day. His best play was a terrific finish on goal during the second quarter, where he squeezed the ball just inside the post with a low spearing kick. Prasad’s creativity was evident and he took a high mark in term four to add to his moments.

#4 Ethan Drever (GWV Rebels)
Midfielder | 179cm | 10/07/2008

One of the most clean and efficient players afield, Drever was among Vic Country’s more consistent performers as the game wore on. He had little trouble getting his hands on the ball at stoppages and did some of his best work at ground level. Drever also swept into the back half and helped move the play fluently out of tight spots.

#6 Jackson Phillips (Dandenong Stingrays)
Midfielder/Forward | 179cm | 30/01/2008

Phillips was one of Vic Country’s most productive players on Friday, often sighted chaining his plays to have multiple possessions in single passages. He won the opening centre clearance of the game and generated positive momentum out of the middle, showing strong intent to make things happen and bring others into the game. Phillips capped off his performance with a set shot goal in term four.

#17 Mitch Toner (Dandenong Stingrays)
Forward/Midfielder | 186cm | 16/01/2008

A player who screams upside and raw potential, Toner showcased exciting moments of athleticism on Friday. The 186cm prospect started up forward where his turn of speed and spring-heeled leap proved troublesome. He booted a goal in the second quarter before shifting into midfield after half time, where his explosiveness and ability to penetrate stood out. He used his size to advantage with plenty of crash and bash plays, taking the game on at all costs.

#20 Tethloach Dak Liem (GWV Rebels)
Midfielder/Defender | 187cm | 15/02/2008

Another raw talent, Dak Liem got his chance through midfield before settling down back in the second half. He fared well overhead at 187cm and was able to relieve pressure in defence, impacting several contests and finding the ball quite naturally. He seemed to get better with his ball use and decision making as the game went on, and should have plenty more promising moments to come.

#22 Angus Morgan (GWV Rebels)
Defender/Forward | 184cm | 09/10/2008

Along with Jack Pickett, Morgan came to prominence during the final quarter and ended up with two second half goals. He started the day down back before swinging to attack, becoming a viable and mobile target forward of the ball. He proved skilful in possession too, having made himself a reliable outlet inside 50.


#4 Jack Poustie (Oakleigh Chargers)
Midfielder | 177cm | 14/06/2008

The brother of 2024 AFL Women’s draft prospect Sarah, Jack has similar traits in the way of effort and work rate through midfield. He seemed to accumulate possessions and got into the game through tackling pressure, including a holding-the-ball tackle in term one. Poustie also rotated forward but was a relative mainstay in Vic Metro’s on-ball group.

#5 Zane Gentner (Western Jets)
Defender | 177cm | 12/04/2008

Gentner was among Vic Metro’s most prominent defenders, especially in the first half. He read the play beautifully to snare several intercepts early in the piece, and tended to use the ball well by foot across short and long distances. The Western Jets prospect was quieter after half time but showed plenty of class beforehand.

#6 Levi Prismall (Oakleigh Chargers)
Midfielder/Forward | 178cm | 12/02/2008

A stylish player through midfield, Prismall has a distinct method with ball in hand and certainly stands out when he’s involved. He started at the centre bounces before shifting out to the wing and getting a run up forward, looking sharp with each possession and showcasing great movement with his darting steps.

#7 Hunter Easton (Oakleigh Chargers)
Defender | 179cm | 31/03/2008

Along with Gentner, Easton was one of Vic Metro’s more prominent players in the back line. He popped up with an early intercept mark and looked to take the game on with bursts of speed, which got him into trouble at times. He played the percentages better in the second half and began to get his kicking game going, utilising both sides of his body.

#11 Lachlan Hicks (Western Jets)
Midfielder | 183cm | 19/01/2008

A member of Vic Metro’s starting centre bounce core, Hicks worked hard from contest to contest and ended up accumulating a good amount of ball. A decent size at 183cm, he got his hands on it at the contest and wasn’t afraid to crash in with a couple of hard tackles, while also generating some drive as Metro shifted to the outside.

#12 Ben Wilson (Northern Knights)
Midfielder/Defender | 185cm | 13/01/2008

Standing out with his flashy green boots, Wilson was another Vic Metro midfielder who used his size to advantage when necessary. He was difficult to tie down around the contest and looked to bustle his way to the outside, using a similar quality when moving the ball out of defence. There may be improvement left in his ball use, but he had his moments.

#18 Charlie MacKenzie-George (Western Jets)
Tall Forward | 190cm | 27/08/2008

MacKenzie-George booted three of the first four goals of the game to take full advantage of Vic Metro’s first half ascendancy. He finished with four majors as part of a dangerous forward duo with Woolhouse, filling his boots with plenty of opportunistic work inside 50. His range of finishes was diverse, not just relying on marks and set shots at 190cm, but also snapping the ball home and showing good goal sense in scrambles for the loose ball.

#20 Flynn Woolhouse (Oakleigh Chargers)
Tall Forward | 191cm | 06/05/2006

Woolhouse was the star of the show on Friday, bagging six goals with two majors in each of the first three quarters. The 191cm Oakleigh Chargers forward was brutally efficient with his conversion rate and thrived on his side’s frequent forward 50 entries. He finally missed a snap in the third quarter but showcased great range and dexterity at his height to score both in open play and over the mark.

#22 Tate Hodgson (Northern Knights)
Tall Defender | 193cm | 24/07/2008

Hodgson bookended his game nicely as a mainstay in defence. He snapped up an early intercept mark and moved the ball on quickly, showing good mobility at 193cm. His finish to the game was strong, continuing to move well but also looking comfortable with ball in hand as he took on the kick-in duties. Hodgson’s use by foot was quite polished for a player his size.

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