Scouting Notes: 2024 AFL U18s – South Australia vs. Allies

SOUTH Australia pipped the Allies in a 12-point win to kick off this year’s Under 18 National Championships on Sunday. Plenty of club-tied talent took to Thebarton Oval and starred for either side, with many of them featuring in a stacked instalment of Scouting Notes.

>> Match Report: Croweaters win thriller to kick off championships

  • Team
  • South Australia
  • Allies


#3 Ben Camporeale (Glenelg)
Midfielder | 185cm | 21/07/2006

Stats: 27 disposals, 5 clearances, 6 inside 50s

Camporeale has been in serious form with the state team and continued his run as the Croweaters’ most prolific player on Sunday. The Carlton father-son prospect featured at the opening centre bounce and while he also shifted out to the wings, was most prominent as an onballer. He was clean in the clinches but found his fair share of uncontested possessions, covering plenty of ground in transition and having multiple touches in single passages. Though his kicking on the run remains a work in progress, Camporeale showcased terrific work rate and inside-outside balance.

#5 Evan Bradley (North Adelaide)
Small Forward | 174cm | 17/01/2006

Stats: 10 disposals, 2 marks, 3 goals

Said to be a player who gains confidence from early scores, Bradley would have been full of beans after his two opening quarter goals. The classy small forward displayed sharp finishing skills to split the big sticks with the inside and outside of his boot, before levelling the scores with a third major over the mark in term three. In between, the North Adelaide prospect worked high up the ground and backed his speed en route to goal, even helping himself to a few running bounces.

#7 Sid Draper (South Adelaide)
Midfielder | 182cm | 05/07/2006

Stats: 19 disposals, 5 marks, 2 clearances

Draper continues to get run in his legs and while a few uncharacteristic fumbles or falls lingered, he still produced moments of class. The state skipper’s dancing feet were on show as he darted clear at the centre bounces, showing great composure and evasiveness to exit the stoppage. He was also productive on the way forward and even if he invited pressure at times, made good decisions with ball in hand. He’ll soon be back to his best and remains a top 10 talent.

#24 Dyson Sharp (Central District)
Midfielder/Defender | 188cm | 23/05/2007

Stats: 25 disposals, 7 tackles, 9 clearances

Much like Draper last year, Sharp already has claims on being his state’s best player as a bottom-ager and was an integral part of Sunday’s result. The big-bodied midfielder was imperious on the inside, never flinching on contact and utilising his frame to break open the clinches. He was particularly prominent during South Australia’s second half surge, proving the ideal teammate with his grunt work and willingness to get stuck in going both ways. A star in the making.

#25 Charlie Nicholls (Central District)
Key Forward | 197cm | 08/06/2006

Stats: 9 disposals, 7 marks, 1 goal

He may have only had nine disposals, but Nicholls clunked an equal game-high seven marks as one of South Australia’s many dangerous tall forwards. As usual, he was most effective when presenting high up the ground, beating his opponent through work rate or with strength in one-on-one duels. Nicholls took a clutch pack mark in the dying stages and his clean hands were also useful closer to goal, where he bagged a major from two scoring shots. He’s one to watch among the crop of talls.

#31 Thomas McKay (Glenelg)
Tall Defender | 191cm | 27/10/2006

Stats: 9 disposals, 3 marks, 6 rebound 50s

Akin to Nicholls, McKay had nine disposals but made many of them count and produced some excellent moments down back. The rising Glenelg prospect sprung up for a few eye-catching intercepts, showcasing brilliant aerial ability and sound reading of the play. He did all of his best work in the first half, where he looked composed in possession to compound his ball retention rate.

#39 Noah Howes (South Adelaide)
Key Forward/Ruck | 196cm | 28/10/2005

Stats: 14 disposals, 4 marks, 2 goals

With the mid-season draft on the horizon, Howes was the only over-ager afield and certainly did not hurt his chances of achieving higher honours. After missing a shot after the half time siren, the key forward lifted with two second half goals, including one to level the scores on the back of a soaring contested mark. He also rolled through the ruck to win five hitouts and proved his dexterity with nimble work around the ground. His senior experience shone through.

#42 Tyler Welsh (Woodville-West Torrens)
Tall Forward | 191cm | 15/08/2006

Stats: 6 disposals, 3 tackles, 3 goals

While Welsh may not stuff the stats sheet every week, he is lauded for his ability to produce moments. On Sunday, the Adelaide father-son candidate was restricted to just one touch in the first half but came to life with three goals thereafter. His marking ability came to the fore with two strong grabs which led to scores, and he was nimble enough to slot a left-foot snap to give South Australia the lead in term four. Perhaps an underrated moment was Welsh’s hard chase and lock-up tackle over the back inside 50, which led to a his side scoring from the ball-up.

Leo Lombard fires a handball off | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


#2 Zeke Uwland (Suns Academy)
Wing | 178cm | 24/04/2007

Stats: 15 disposals, 3 rebound 50s, 1 goal

Uwland’s greatest strength – his kicking – is abundantly clear, and came to the fore with a booming long-range goal in term three. The bottom-ager bit off some sharp options and got good length on his passes, but was perhaps a little reluctant to use his right foot – which is actually quite neat. Nonetheless, Uwland’s productivity on the outside made him the ideal wingman, running hard to help the Allies connect in transition and taking the game on during attacking phases.

#8 Leonardo Lombard (Suns Academy)
Midfielder | 178cm | 05/10/2006

Stats: 27 disposals, 6 clearances, 9 inside 50s

Lombard was the Allies’ best player on Sunday and the one who had SA’s coaches most worried. His output hardly waned throughout the four quarters, showcasing an ability to chain possessions with repeat running and creativity. His energy and power brought the Allies’ ball movement to life – whether by clearing from stoppage or breaking lines on the outside. He went forward and booted a vital goal for the lead in term four, but couldn’t quite drag his side over the line.

#13 Oliver Depaoli-Kubank (Tasmania Devils)
Wing | 178cm | 24/07/2006

Stats: 14 disposals, 6 tackles, 2 goals

Playing on the opposite wing to Uwland, Depaoli-Kubank produced a couple of special moments inside 50. The Tasmanian started out with a brilliant one-handed mark before playing on to slot a first quarter goal on the run. He then showcased deft agility to have opponents falling around him, including for his second major at the top of the goalsquare in term three. His poise and ability to kick on both feet are handy points of difference.

#16 Sam Marshall (Lions Academy/Sandringham Dragons)
Midfielder | 185cm | 19/01/2006

Stats: 30 disposals, 7 marks, 4 clearances

Marshall is the type of player who can rack up possessions and take hold as others tire, which was the case as he led all comers on Sunday. The Lions Academy product started out on the wing before getting a run on-ball after half time, where his work rate and inside-outside balance helped him post big numbers. He was massive in the final quarter and shared the ball well, accumulating over half of his total disposals with 16 disposals to go with six marks.

#20 Daniel Annable (Lions Academy)
Midfielder | 183cm | 05/04/2007

Stats: 23 disposals, 7 clearances, 4 inside 50s

Annable is showing great signs of development as a bottom-ager, consistently adding to his already high level game. He’s a real competitor and natural ball winner, both of which were evident on Sunday as he got stuck in at the coalface for seven clearances. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of his game was the adjustments he made to suit the Allies’ style of ball movement – trading dump kicks for composed drawing handballs to allow for smooth stoppage exits.

#34 Nathaniel Sulzberger (Sandringham Dragons)
Midfielder | 187cm | 06/05/2006

Stats: 21 disposals, 4 clearances, 7 inside 50s

Sulzberger has been highly touted since preseason and finally got to show his wares on the national stage. He was a mainstay of the Allies’ midfield group and looked most effective when helping move the ball forward with chains of handballs. The Tasmanian’s strong frame, burst speed and clean hands were useful in surging those waves, though his use by foot could do with a bit of polish.

#37 Joshua Murphy (Murray Bushrangers)
Forward | 190cm | 28/11/2006

Stats: 8 disposals, 5 marks, 3 goals

Back in action after serving a local league suspension, Murphy quite literally led from the front as the Allies’ captain and spearhead forward. He had a great knack for leading into the right-hand pocket and taking strong marks which led to three scores (2.1) in the opening quarter. While he was shut down relatively well thereafter, Murphy used his body well for a one-on-one mark and goal in the final quarter to showcase his power and efficiency inside 50.

#40 Logan Smith (Giants Academy)
Ruck | 204cm | 24/09/2006

Stats: 11 disposals, 24 hitouts, 3 clearances

Doing a mountain of work as the Allies’ primary ruck, Smith again showed why he is increasingly being considered as one of the best prospects in his position. The towering tall was like an extra midfielder at stoppages with his clean hands and ability to feed teammates, leading to a tally of 10 handballs from his 11 total touches. He tried to impose himself with three clearances and used his solid fundamentals when taking possession around the ground.

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