Scouting Notes: 2024 AFL U16s – Lions Academy vs. Tasmania

TASMANIA set up up an essential Pool B grand final on Thursday, after overcoming Brisbane Lions Academy to remain undefeated in the AFL Under 16 Championships. The boys from the Apple Isle will face Sydney Swans Academy at Southport on Thursday and are the only two undefeated teams left after the Devils also knocked off Northern Territory in game one.

In the win over the Lions Academy on the Gold Coast, Tasmania burst out of the blocks to kick five straight goals in the opening term and lead by 16 points. While it became a dour affair in the second term, Tasmania found a way to break through it after that and kick six goals to one in the second half as Brisbane struggled with inaccuracy. Despite having the same amount of scoring shots, Tasmania got up by 35 points in an impressive performance.

LIONS ACADEMY 2.2 | 3.6 | 3.10 | 4.14 (38)
TASMANIA 5.0 | 5.2 | 7.6 | 11.7 (73)

Lions Academy:
M. Owen, C. Murray, A. Watts, H. Paterson
Tasmania: R. Walters 3, B. Barwick 2, M. Whitney 2, H. McCallum, B. Speed, T. Thomas, R. Stewart

Lions Academy:
M. Owen, A. Watts, C. Murray, C. Hodge, B. Phillips
Tasmania: A. Devine, H. McCallum, R. Walters, R. Bugg, C. Bovill

  • Team
  • Lions Academy
  • Tasmania


#4 Oscar Tanks
Midfielder/Forward | 174cm | 02/02/2007

Stats: 19 disposals, 5 marks, 6 tackles, 8 clearances

Tanks had a prominent start to the match, winning the first clearance after trying to break away and getting caught high. He would use that burst speed to advantage around the stoppages, and was an incredibly strong tackler, hitting the opposition with intent. A left-footer, Tanks often thumped the ball to safety down the ground, and though sometimes they were picked off, his extraction ability coupled with his athletic traits has him as one to watch for the future.

#7 Matthew Owen
Midfielder | 178cm | 01/03/2008

Stats: 27 disposals, 5 marks, 4 rebound 50s

Really got to work accumulating the ball as the match went on. Owen provided a strong body at the coalface, often quickly firing out a handball of his own or kicking long down the ground. Turning it on in the second term, he had five clearances from 16 disposals to the main break, and then capped off his day with a well deserved late goal. Ran hard through the contest and finished with a team-high five hardball gets.

#10 Cooper Hodge
Defender/Midfielder | 179cm | 26/07/2008

Stats: 16 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s

The potential Hawthorn father-son prospect and Brisbane Academy product played a similar role to his father Luke, coming off half-back and doing so aggressively. He did pop in and out of the game in the first half, but had a courageous moment when he was crunched in a marking contest to spoil between two opponents, showing he is a chip off the old block. Had a productive second half and was not afraid to get his hands dirty, working up the ground to get involved in scoring chains and does lower the eyes going inside 50.

#14 Archie Watts
Midfielder | 182cm | 30/06/2008

Stats: 19 disposals, 4 marks, 5 clearances, 1 goal

May not have had as many touches as some others, but his impact-per-possession work was fantastic. He ran at 84.2 per cent disposal efficiency while racking up five clearances and kicking a goal in an all-round effort. His clean hands set up scoring chances and Watts’ ball use over any distance was a delight to watch. Ironically one of the few chances he had on goal he did miss to the right and it was rushed through, but in play in the second term kicked a classy goal off the late turnover. His release by hand or foot is timed to perfection. A name to remember for sure.

#16 Caylen Murray
Midfielder | 183cm | 03/01/2008

Stats: 21 disposals, 4 clearances, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal

Another of the Brisbane players to get better despite the game working against them on the scoreboard, he often looked to play aggressive charging from the defensive half into the attacking one, then when forward had some shots on goal. He did convert a clever snap, though also put a couple of kicks out on the full, treading a fine line but also happy to take risks for reward. His 11 handball receives indicate his desire to keep the ball moving in transition.

#17 Baelin Phillips
Defender | 183cm | 07/02/2008

Stats: 28 disposals, 6 marks, 4 rebound 50s

Knows how to find the ball and did it easily in the match, racking it up with relative ease all across the ground. He intercepted then ran past to receive the handball and kick down the ground, while also taking some of the kickouts as well. While the Lions Academy has no shortage of inside ball-winners, Phillips was an outside runner and he worked hard each time he could get the chance to get it and go with another touch down the ground.

Cooper Hodge showed similar signs to his famous dad, Hawthorn premiership star Luke in the Lions’ loss to Tasmania. Image credit: Rookie Me Central


#1 Riley Walters
Wing/Forward | 175cm | 04/07/2008

Stats: 15 disposals, 4 marks, 4 rebound 50s, 3 goals

A classy player who ran hard up and down the wing and got his reward with three majors when up forward. He had a few more chances as well that just went begging or were rushed across the line, but aside from his first major early in the game which was a set shot, the other two game from clever gathers off hard running in the final term. He has a thumping kick for a small player, but does not just do the attacking things, also getting back to defence and providing a timely spoil, and uses the outside of the boot cleverly to weight kicks.

#3 Hugh McCallum
Wing | 174cm | 10/08/2008

Stats: 20 disposals, 5 clearances, 1 goal

A really impressive wingman and appropriately donning the long sleeves in the wet and overcast conditions, though he was the one who provided the spark early. McCallum set up the first goal of the game with his speed to break down the opposition and find a target inside 50, then kicked one himself intercepting the ball inside 50. He boasts really clean hands and an elite running capacity, able to impact at both ends of the ground. A standout who was one of the two best afield, he rarely wasted a touch and worked hard for his disposals.

#12 Benjamin Barwick
Forward | 185cm | 13/04/2008

Stats: 11 disposals, 3 marks, 2 goals

Started a little shakily with an errant spoil going straight to where all the Lions Academy numbers were out the back of the back on a forward flank, but worked into the game nicely in the second half. He took a couple of strong grabs in the third term and made no mistake from the set shot, then set up Tyane Thomas with a clever snap around his body. He miscued a couple of field kicks when under pressure, but is a reliable set shot.

#14 Archie Devine
Utility | 180cm | 13/02/2008

Stats: 31 disposals, 5 tackles, 6 clearances, 5 inside 50s, 4 rebound 50s

After playing at both ends in Tasmania’s win over Northern Territory, Devine spent more time on-ball winning a number of important clearances, while still rotating out to slot in wherever was needed. He was the key ball-winner for the side, unassumingly racking up the ball by winning individual contests and finishing with 10 looseball gets and seven handball receives, while winning 64.3 per cent of his possessions in a contest. Devine’s defensive running was a standout, finding his way into the backline in order to assist and rebound the ball back on his side’s terms.

#17 Ryder Bugg
Midfielder | 174cm | 22/05/2008

Stats: 15 disposals, 4 marks, 6 inside 50s

Not a massive ball-winner, but Bugg’s disposal in the game was really noticeable. He weighted his kick early and helped set up a goal to Mason Whitney, and even though he ran at around 50 per cent efficiency, his impact was far greater. One instance saw Bugg take a groundball ridiculously cleanly, absorb contact by spinning away from his opponent and then executed by foot. Was not afraid to crack in at the contest too despite being one of the smaller players out there.

#25 Charlie Bovill
Tall Defender/Forward | 192cm | 30/03/2008

Stats: 13 disposals, 5 marks, 4 inside 50s, 2 rebound 50s

The highly touted tall seemed to roam the ground and spend time up both ends to assist and use his aerial strength to advantage. He had a big moment in the second term when he charged out of defence off the intercept and put it forward leading to a shot on goal. He moved reasonably well and has some smarts as well, understanding the game to a t. He was a little fumbly at ground level which could be an area of improvement, but after a quiet start, just bobbed up for some eye-catching plays.

#26 Brodie Speed
Forward | 178cm | 02/05/2008

Stats: 12 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 1 goal

Speed provided the highlight of the day with a huge mark on the wing early in the contest, one of a couple he took pushing up the ground. It was not a huge game from the forward, only converting the one goal, but it was a beauty with it being a checkside on the run from a tight angle. Has the tricks that make others stand up and take notice.

#27 Blake Philpott
Forward / Defender | 183cm | 02/01/2008

Stats: 12 disposals, 5 marks, 3 hitouts

Another player who just stepped up and played their role in attack before switching down the other end and taking an important intercept mark in the back 50. Though only 183cm, Philpott still won three hitouts showing his athleticism, and his aerial ability was a strength in the match, always looking busy when around the ball.

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