2024 Coates Talent League: Round 9 POTW

OAKLEIGH Chargers captain Jagga Smith is our Coates Talent League Player of the Week after a monumental performance in Round 9. The classy midfielder amassed 50 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and a goal to be a standout in his side’s 18-point loss to Western Jets on Sunday.

Despite the Chargers’ 1-6 record, Smith has been a class above in his six outings to date. Before Sunday’s game, he varied between 28 and 33 disposals, but took his numbers to another level to crack the 50-mark – becoming just the third player to do so in competition history.

Smith’s haul was nearly double that of the next highest disposal winner (26), and takes his season average up to 33.8. His outrageously high level and consistent form comes on the eve of Vic Metro’s Under 18 National Championships campaign, which begins on June 9 against the Allies.

There, Smith will again get to showcase his craft on the big stage having donned the Big V during last year’s carnival. The potential top five pick is with Oakleigh full-time having graduated from Scotch College in 2023, where he is now doing part-time coaching in the APS competition.

Renowned for his agility and decision making, Smith moulds his game on the likes of Connor Rozee and Sam Walsh. Having hoped to reach a level of consistency in a leadership role with Oakleigh this year, Smith has certainly done so as the home-and-away season nears halfway.

Around the grounds in Round 9, fellow leading prospect Josh Smillie again showed out for Eastern. The Ranges beat Bendigo by 15 points, with their star midfielder booting two goals from 34 disposals – the third time in four outings he has posted multiple goals and over 30 touches.

Tasmania Devils kicked off the weekend with their own 15-point win, over Northern. 16-year-old debutant Charlie Bovill booted five goals to kickstart his Coates Talent League career, while Knights midfielder-turned-defender Zak Johnson was again prolific with 32 disposals in the loss.

Murray swingman Matt Whitlock impressed with his second five-goal haul of the season as the Bushrangers beat Calder in a thriller. The raw 197cm prospect lined up in the same forwardline as twin brother Jack, who returned to action with a goal from 17 touches and six marks.

Mid-season draft hopeful Will McLachlan did his chances no harm with six goals in Geelong’s win over GWV. Like Smillie, the 19-year-old has already earned a Player of the Week nod this season. He and Round 8 recipient Geordie Payne will hope to hear their name read out in Wednesday’s draft.


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)
Round 6: Cooper Hynes (Dandenong Stingrays)
Round 7: Xavier Lindsay (Gippsland Power)
Round 8: Geordie Payne (Tasmania Devils)
Round 9: Jagga Smith (Oakleigh Chargers)

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