Scouting Notes: 2024 AFL U18s – Vic Metro vs. Allies

VIC METRO made a successful start to its Under 18 National Championships campaign on Sunday, defeating the Allies by 16 points at IKON Park. Despite the less than ideal conditions, a bunch of prospects improved their draft stocks to feature in the latest edition of Scouting Notes.

>> Match report: Vics beat all comers in dour double-header

  • Team
  • Vic Metro
  • Allies


#1 Isaac Kako (Calder Cannons)
Small Forward | 175cm | 07/03/2006

Stats: 11 disposals, 3 tackles, 2 goals

Kako’s radar has been hit or miss over the last few weeks and after a couple of minor scores in the opening term, he broke through for two goals at the opposite end of the ground. The crafty forward was typically busy, using his pace to find space in the forward half and hassle opposition ball carriers. His second goal was a ripper, crumbing front-and-centre before snapping it through.

#5 Damon Hollow (Calder Cannons)
Defender/Wing | 180cm | 30/03/2006

Stats: 21 disposals, 10 marks, 5 inside 50s

Never faulted for effort, Hollow’s hard running suited the wing role and his competitiveness was only elevated in the dour conditions. He racked up 19 uncontested possessions and it seemed at times as if no one would go near him, especially when he snuck inside 50. His booming kick, even with a wet ball, was useful with a pair of long-range set shots – the second of which iced the match.

#7 Harrison Oliver (Sandringham Dragons)
Defender | 181cm | 15/06/2006

Stats: 25 disposals, 6 marks, 5 rebound 50s

Oliver has been hovering on the precipice of first round contendership and in arguably the biggest litmus test for his credentials, he showed out. His offensive drive and incisive foot skills caused headaches for the Allies all day, as he mopped up everything in the back half and got busy creating transitions. Oliver made aggressive decisions and backed it up with his ball use, earning top marks on a day where he could have been excused for making errors.

#8 Murphy Reid (Sandringham Dragons)
Midfielder | 181cm | 30/07/2006

Stats: 24 disposals, 5 tackles, 3 inside 50s

Reid has the makings of a top 20 prospect and delivered on his promise on the representative stage. The classy midfielder is exactly the type of player you want in such poor conditions, with his clean ball handling and poise coming to the fore. As others were slowed by the damp turf, Reid was typically fleet of thought and executed his skills both at and away from the contest.

#9 Jagga Smith (Oakleigh Chargers)
Midfielder | 181cm | 28/01/2006

Stats: 32 disposals, 5 marks, 9 clearances

Clearly the best and most adept player afield, Smith defied the conditions with one of the most balanced and polished wet weather games you’re likely to see. The midfielder hardly wasted a touch and racked them up with ease, leaning on his hard and smart running patterns to dominate all around the ground. He pieced up the Allies by hand and won nine clearances, somehow keeping his feet at all times in the process. Consistency has been his biggest strength this year – tick.

#10 Levi Ashcroft (Sandringham Dragons)
Midfielder | 179cm | 18/12/2006

Stats: 24 disposals, 6 clearances, 2 goals

There’s no denying Ashcroft at times, with the prolific midfielder capable of impacting the game with fierce stoppage craft or by working over his opponents on the spread. He snared the opening goal with a forward 50 stoppage shark and snap to get Vic Metro going. That effort was followed by a terrific set shot conversion from the boundary in term four, where he justified his decision to go with the drop punt. Like Smith, he’s consistent and will always accumulate possessions.

#11 Christian Moraes (Eastern Ranges)
Defender | 182cm | 08/11/2006

Stats: 24 disposals, 6 inside 50s, 4 rebound 50s

Vic Metro’s midfield depth meant Moraes was squeezed out to a relatively unfamiliar role in defence. He took some time to get going but made great adjustments on the fly and ended up running out the game as one of his side’s better players. The hard running and versatile prospect began to carry the ball with greater intent in the second half and came into his own through a sheer will to compete. Otherwise, he boosted his numbers with the kick-in duties and tried to generate some creativity.

#15 Tom Gross (Oakleigh Chargers)
Midfielder/Forward | 182cm | 15/09/2006

Stats: 15 disposals, 5 tackles, 1 goal

Gross’ grit and sturdy style suited the conditions, though he was made to reign in his usual run-and-gun methods after being caught in possession early on. He thrived with a move into midfield, proving clean off the deck and showcasing much more measured foot skills. His running goal in the second quarter was one of class which has not always been evident on the attack, and his ball use seemed to only get better despite the challenge of a waterlogged ball.

#18 Patrick Retschko (Oakleigh Chargers)
Wing | 188cm | 28/02/2006

Stats: 24 disposals, 7 marks, 6 inside 50s

Along with Hollow on the opposition wing, Retschko had little trouble getting his hands on the ball and connecting Vic Metro between the arcs. His ball use was indifferent at times, registering four clanger kicks, but the areas where he could launch the ball with his six inside 50s were dangerous. His outside run and sheer work rate were real assets in Vic Metro’s transitional play.

Josh Murphy celebrates one of his two goals | Image Credit: Rookie Me Central


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

Stats: 25 disposals, 6 inside 50s, 8 rebound 50s

The Allies’ most prolific player on Sunday, Uwland popped up everywhere and owned the metres gained category. Capable of playing just about anywhere, the bottom-ager was given a run through midfield but racked up many of his 25 disposals in the back half where he took the kick-ins, was an outlet on the overlap, and mopped up sloppy Vic Metro forward forays. His kick-first mentality and running game made for plenty of productive passages in a game where gaining territory was crucial.

#8 Leonardo Lombard (Suns Academy)
Midfielder | 178cm | 05/11/2006

Stats: 18 disposals, 7 tackles, 6 inside 50s

Having dominated the Allies’ first two games, Lombard faced by far his stiffest opposition of the carnival and was thoroughly tested. While his strength and power ended up becoming factors, Lombard struggled to get the same smooth connection going with his teammates in tough conditions. He lifted his level in the second half with good grunt work and threw his frame around as usual, opening up the congestion by fending or rolling would-be tacklers off his back.

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

Stats: 9 disposals, 2 marks, 2 goals

Depaoli-Kubank stepped up for his side at a crucial juncture in the game, booting two goals in the Allies’ streak of four from the last minute of the second quarter, to the first start of the fourth. His class was evident on both occasions as Lenny Douglas and Billy Richardson combined by hand to free him up for the first score, before he went on to boot another with a deft dribbler. He has made a good knack of hitting the scoreboard in each game and only needs a couple of moments to impact.

#16 Samuel Marshall (Lions Academy)
Midfielder | 185cm | 19/01/2006

Stats: 24 disposals, 6 tackles, 4 clearances

Marshall has made an emphatic start to the championships as one of the Allies most consistent performers across each game. He provided his patented driving runs and was an asset in attacking phases, while also getting his hands dirty with strong work in the clinches. Marshall displayed good amounts of power to compliment his outside game with handy two-way efforts on the inside.

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

Stats: 16 disposals, 3 clearances, 1 goal

One of the best performed bottom-agers of the tournament to date, Annable’s early contributions came in the forward half despite starting in midfield. He had a couple of attempts on goal during the opening quarter and slotted a great snap to post his side’s only major of the first term. His urgency to will the ball forward made him somewhat of a battering ram at stoppages, having 11 handballs among 16 disposals and 14 contested possessions. He’s a competitor.

#32 Jobe Shanahan (Bendigo Pioneers)
Key Forward | 194cm | 02/08/2006

Stats: 12 disposals, 6 marks, 3 inside 50s

It wasn’t exactly an easy day for tall forwards but Shanahan made a positive start to proceedings. He presented nicely up the ground and wasn’t just content with bringing the ball to ground in wet conditions, taking a team-high six marks for the day. His blend of aerial aptitude and dexterity at ground level, along with great mobility, made him a valuable connection piece in the first half.

#33 Lachlan Hogan (Bendigo Pioneers)
Defender/Midfielder | 177cm | 13/01/2006

Stats: 18 disposals, 3 tackles, 4 rebound 50s

Having missed the initial Allies squad, Hogan’s home region of Bendigo was bullish on him getting an opportunity and he absolutely took it on Sunday. Much of his early work consisted of rebounding the ball from defence, utilising his punchy and penetrative kicking on the end of spurts of speed. He also got a run though midfield after half time and has a strong ability to rack up possessions.

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

Stats: 9 disposals, 4 marks, 2 goals

Another player who popped up and owned his moments, Murphy added another two goals to his tally at important stages. He was difficult to contain one-on-one, using his strength in aerial duels before recovering quickly to pounce on opportunities. He bagged a goal that way just before half time to snap Vic Metro’s run of three straight, and later cut the margin to 11 points with six minutes left in the game. Whether with overhead marking, leading, or forward 50 craft, he can impact.

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