2024 Coates Talent League: Round 5 POTW

SANDRINGHAM Dragons forward Bailey McKenzie is our Coates Talent League Player of the Week after booting a big bag of goals in Round 5. In a breakout performance, the top-ager was dominant as his side ran rampant en route to a 114-point win over the Giants Academy on Sunday.

McKenzie had kicked five goals across his first three Coates Talent League outings this year, doing so from averages of 10 disposals and five marks per game. He blew those numbers out of the water with 23 disposals and 13 marks to go with his round-high seven majors.

A 191cm forward with a mercurial talent, McKenzie had shown glimpses of top-end potential before his big moment at Trevor Barker Oval. His marking exploits and eye for goal mean he only needs an inch to take a mile inside attacking 50, which he did several times on the weekend.

The Brighton Grammar student was made available to Sandringham due to having an APS bye, after booting four goals against Melbourne Grammar in Round 1. Barring potential representative selection for Vic Metro, he will continue to split time between the school and Dragons programs.

Despite many star players being in the same boat as McKenzie, Sandringham’s depth has proven resolute. In Round 5, the double reigning premier was clinical in front of goal with 22.8 from 46 inside 50s, including a run of nine unanswered goals during the second quarter.

The Dragons remain undefeated in top spot at 4-0 heading into consecutive bye rounds. They will return in Round 8 for a clash against the Swans Academy on Saturday May 18 at RSEA Park. The match will be Sandringham’s fourth fixture at its home venue in five outings.

McKenzie lands as the region’s second prospect to earn Player of the Week honours this year, after Taj Hotton did so in Round 2. Teammates Joshua Dolan (28 disposals, six inside 50s, one goal) and Ricky Theodoropoulas (16 disposals, six marks, six goals) were also outstanding on Sunday.

Around the grounds, there will be few players more unlucky not to earn a Player of the Week nod than Suns Academy bottom-ager Zeke Uwland. The midfielder kicked six goals from a team-high 25 disposals as Gold Coast thumped Oakleigh Chargers by 57 points on Saturday.

Swans Academy pair Nicholas Andreacchio (37 disposals) and Ned Hawkins were also prolific as Sydney picked up a 58-point win over Eastern Ranges on the same day. Tasmania also had a few standouts in the its breakthrough win over the Northern Territory Academy.

Among them, Oliver Depaoli-Kubank snared two goals from 32 disposals, while twins Liam and Connor Ling also had the ball on a string, and Lenny Douglas slotted four majors from 23 touches. Taj Stanley again stood tall in a heavy loss for the NT, posting 33 disposals and eight marks.

The fifth and final game of the round saw Northern hold on to beat the Lions Academy up in Brisbane. Local star Daniel Annable led all comers with 29 disposals and 10 tackles, while leading Knights prospect Zak Johnson notched 27 disposals, eight marks and two goals in the win.


Round 1: Josh Smillie (Eastern Ranges)
Round 2: Taj Hotton (Sandringham Dragons)
Round 3: Will McLachlan (Geelong Falcons)
Round 4: N/A
Round 5: Bailey McKenzie (Sandringham Dragons)

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments