PREVIEW | 2024 AFL U18s: Vic Country vs. South Australia

VIC COUNTRY takes on South Australia in the second game of Sunday’s Under 18 National Championships double-header at IKON Park. The Vics are set to turn out in their first match of the tournament, while SA comes in after beating the Allies in game one. We preview the big clash.

>> PREVIEW: Vic Metro vs. Allies


Who: Vic Country vs. South Australia
When: Sunday June 9, 12:30pm AEST
Where: IKON Park, Carlton North
How to watch: AFL website/app & Fox Footy



#1 Jasper Alger
#2 Archer Day-Wicks
#3 Xavier Lindsay
#4 Oliver Warburton
#6 River Stevens
#7 Oliver Hannaford
#9 Joe Berry
#11 Connor Evans
#12 Harry Charleson
#13 Tobie Travaglia
#15 Xavier Ivisic
#16 Lachie Jaques
#17 Ben Rongdit
#18 Cohen Paul
#19 Mitchell Lloyd
#20 Jack Whitlock
#21 Noah Hibbins-Hargreaves
#22 Harvey Langford
#23 Willem Duursma
#24 Matt Whitlock
#25 Riley Onley
#26 Jack Ough
#28 James Barrat
#30 Cooper Hynes
#36 Flynn Penry
#37 Floyd Burmeister

Note: Vic Country emergencies to be announced Saturday.


#2 Lucas Camporeale
#3 Ben Camporeale
#4 Ned Bowman
#5 Evan Bradley
#7 Sid Draper
#8 Kade Herbert
#9 Louie Montgomery
#11 Phoenix Hargrave
#14 Sam Cumming
#16 Angus Clarke
#17 Jacob Newton
#19 Harley Barker
#22 Jett Hasting
#24 Dyson Sharp
#25 Charlie Nicholls
#26 Harry Ramm
#28 Tate Delmenico
#30 Tallan Rosenzweig
#31 Thomas McKay
#34 Jacob Sheean
#39 Noah Howes
#40 Alex Dodson
#42 Tyler Welsh
#6 Benny Barrett (emg)
#23 Harry Dodd (emg)
#41 Charlie West (emg)



Matt Whitlock

Along with twin brother Jack, Matt Whitlock has produced an exciting start to the season which has him in first round discussions. The raw tall talent mostly cut his teeth as a key defender, but has spent the month up forward, booting 13 goals in four games. With Noah Mraz unavailable through injury, Whitlock’s swingman capabilities may see him revert back to a key defensive post.

Harvey Langford & Cooper Hynes

The Dandenong Stingrays co-captains are a serious threat when either swapping for each other between the midfield and forward line, or lining up together at centre bounces. Both 190cm, powerful, and prolific, the pair are poised to have a big say in Vic Country’s fortunes. Combined, they average an even 50 disposals at Coates Talent League level and have kicked 21 goals between them.

Xavier Lindsay

Perhaps underrated when it comes to genuine first round draft prospects, Lindsay is as consistent as he is damaging. The left-footed midfielder can play in the guts or on the wing, and offers a handy point of difference in the Vic Country engine room with his turn of speed. He stays on the move and can launch deep forward 50 entries, which will help his side’s strong selection of key forwards thrive.

Joe Berry

With the Whitlock twins, Floyd Burmeister, and James Barrat potentially all rolling through the same forwardline, a crafty small who can do damage at their feet is necessary. That’s where Berry comes in. The speedy goalsneak provides spades of energy and creativity, able to convert goals over the mark or in open play as a clinical finisher. If not on Sunday, he’ll kick a bag during the championships.


Sid Draper

The South Australian skipper is a class act and is truly now beginning to find his feet after an injury interrupted start to the season. After collecting a steady 19 disposals against the Allies, Draper returned to SANFL Under 18s level last week and racked up 31 touches in a big win. His turn of foot is exceptional and he knows how to not only accumulate possessions, but make them count going forward.

Tyler Welsh

Adelaide’s promising father-son candidate produced a strong finish in South Australia’s opening match, booting three second half goals after having just one touch before the main break. Welsh carried that momentum into his first SANFL Under 18s appearance in nine months, booting eight goals and clunking 10 marks. He only needs a few moments to impact, and is incredibly dangerous with a full head of steam.

Alex Dodson

Ryan Borlace rucked for the Croweaters last week but Dodson gets his chance in game two. The highly talented basketballer has completed his cross-code commitments and is now fully focussed on running out a full season of football, which started with some promising performances back at Sturt. He’s a mobile tall with plenty of scope for development, and should be tested by some stiff opposition.

Dyson Sharp

Could a bottom-ager take out the Larke Medal? Sharp’s Under 18 debut in state colours would certainly suggest so, though he may face competition for the award from teammate Ben Camporeale and Allies gun Leo Lombard at this early stage. The midfielder thrives in contested situations and steps up when the game is there to be won, while also having the versatility to play a freer role across half-back.


The record states that South Australia has only played one competitive game, but that doesn’t take into account the two trial games which allowed the Croweaters much more time to jell. Having spent plenty of time together and already, they’ll have an early edge over Vic Country when it comes to chemistry.

While Vic Country’s final 23 is yet to be decided, both sides essentially have four tall forwards in their squads. The Vics lay claim to the Whitlock twins, Burmeister and Barrat, while South Australia will again unleash Welsh, Charlie Nicholls, Noah Howes, and Tallan Rosenzweig. Defences beware.

The Croweaters have found a good deal of flexibility in their midfield group. Draper and Phoenix Hargrave are capable of rolling forward, Ben Camporeale and Kade Herbert can switch out to the wing, and Dyson Sharp is just as effective roaming off half-back.

Similarly, Vic Country has the likes of Lindsay and Tobie Travaglia who can play a variety of roles across multiple thirds of the ground, along with utilities with genuine size. Hynes and Langford measure up at 190cm, which is remarkably shorter than Cohen Paul, Jack Ough, Riley Onley, and Zane Duursma.

Whether the more settled side can take advantage of that factor remains to be seen, but many of the strengths of either team shape up quite similarly. In the end, it may come down to the top-end talent afield and which draft prospects take the game by the scruff of its neck.


Vic Country will be without two of their top prospects in Finn O’Sullivan and Sam Lalor, but have considerable talent which can work to cover each base. South Australia will take confidence from its undefeated run in trials and competition this year, even with the away trip. The Croweaters came away victors in this fixture last year and may do the same again, by 10 points.


Sun, June 9Vic Metro vs AlliesIKON Park10:05am
Sun, June 9Vic Country vs SAIKON Park12:30pm
Sun, June 16SA vs WAAlberton Oval10:05am
Sun, June 23WA vs Vic MetroOptus Stadium10:45am
Sat, June 29WA vs Vic CountryRevo Fitness Stadium10:30am
Sun, June 30SA vs Vic MetroAlberton Oval10:05am
Sun, July 7Allies vs Vic CountryBrighton Homes Arena10:35am
Sun, July 14Vic Metro vs Vic CountryIKON Park10:35am
All times local

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