BOTTOM-AGER Ian Hill has led Western Australia to their third win of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships with a strong performance up forward at Etihad Stadium on Friday.
The 17 year-old showed off his speed in the attacking half, collecting 25 disposals helping Western Australia to a 29-point win over Vic Country in their final outing of the carnival.
Hill is eligible for the 2018 draft and is one of the top talents spoken about for next year’s draft crop touted as a ‘super draft’ by some.
Small forward Jarrad Fazioli was another bottom-ager to star, booting three first half goals – finishing with four goals as the away team were damaging with their extra leg speed.
The match begun with an error-riddled opening term, but it was Western Australia who kicked away with three goals-to-one. Tall forward Oscar Allen proved a challenge for the Country talls, providing a target down the line with two goals in the opening half.
AFL Academy member Jake Patmore found plenty of the ball through the midfield, getting to the right positions, leading the disposal count at half time with 17 disposals, eventually running out with a game-high 32 disposals showing his class in the midfield.
Midfielders Callan England and Brayden Ainsworth (27 disposals) again were prominent in WAs victory, finishing off their Under 18 Championships campaign with three wins and a loss.
Vic Country’s possible no.1 pick Luke Davies-Uniacke worked into the contest in the second half, using his strength at the contest finding 23 disposals, clunking a few marks and booted a goal after the siren in the third term to give the home side a sniff.
Ruckman Bailey Williams brought the margin to under 10 points in the final term, but WA co-captain Oscar Allen was able to clunk a excellent pack mark and slot his third goal for the day from a tight angle, making the margin far too great to Vic Country to overcome.
Geelong Grammar midfielders Paddy Dow (23 disposals) and Lochie O’Brien (18 disposals) were among Country’s best in the loss.
Dow showed his burst of speed that he has from the stoppages, booting a nce goals in the third term. O’Brien distributed the ball well off his classy left foot and used his voice well around the ground.
Geelong Falcon Matt Ling was another who impressive in glimpses, including a run down tackle in the opening term. His agility and speed were on show across either wing, where he was willing to take on his WA opponent.
Geelong Falcons duo James Worpel and Cassidy Parish worked hard on the inside for Country, battling against the quick WA midfielders, while Ethan Floyd used his left foot well on the outside, finding 19 disposals.
Western Australia remain in contention to win the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, relying on Vic Metro to loose their remaining games. Vic Country will have a chance to redeem themselves on Wednesday against South Australia at Simonds Stadium.
VIC COUNTRY 1.1 2.2 6.5 7.11 (53)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 3.4 6.7 8.8 12.10 (82)
VIC COUNTRY: Daniels 2, Quigley, O’Brien, Davies-Uniacke, Dow, Williams,
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Fazioli 4, Allen 3, Ainsworth, Stack, West, Cramer, Young
VIC COUNTRY: Dow, Walsh, Davies-Uniacke, O’Brien, Parish, Floyd
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Hill, Patmore, Ainsworth, Fazioli, Allen
Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:
#6 Aidan Quigley – Looked composed with ball in hand, booting the first goal for Vic Country. Has played a few roles around the ground, but his best might just be as a small goal sneak up forward, as he knows where the goals are. Was clean by hand & foot and thought it was one of his better games I’ve seen him play.
#8 Lochie O’Brien – Voice was superb at the contest and around the ground, barking instructions to his teammates. Started far better than he did the week before – missed a kickable chance in the 3rd quarter and was a bit hot and cold with his kicking. Booted a strong goal from outside 50m on his left foot. Often waited for the ball to come to him, rather than going and getting it. Hoping he can put together a consistent four quarter effort.
#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Hit a nice spear pass early in the contest, but made a few errors by foot. His second half picked up and he was able to use his strength in the contest and find 23 disposals. Booted a goal just before three quarter time, but did fade in and out of the game at times. Hoping for a complete game like some of his school footy games in Country’s last game for the season.
#19 Matthew Ling – Laid a nice tackle in the first quarter in front of the interchange bench. Showed his dash on the outside, but did get run down on a few occasions. Very agile and has a deadly left foot. Expect him to be the first Falcon selected.
#33 Changkuoth Jiath – Took some exceptional overhead marks and is a flashy player – but yet again was let down by his poor kicking. His execution isn’t great and needs work if he is to be drafted, having one of the worst kicking efficiency numbers for the Under 18 Championships.
#1 Jarrad Fazioli – Bobbed up as a small forward, booting four goals. Was impressive with his speed and dash, and was lively whenever the ball went near. Keep an eye on him for the 2018 draft.
#2 Ian Hill – Ian “Bobby” Hill was arguably the best player on the ground. His work in the attacking half was very good off the wing. His run was very good on the outside and helped WA run Vic Country off their legs. Going to be a special player and is eligible for the 2018 draft.
#9 Jake Patmore – Leading disposal winner on the ground for WA, with 32 disposals. Found the ball through the midfield, but his distribution off his right foot could be better.
#25 Oscar Allen – Booted two first half goals and took a nice pack mark right on the line and slotted the goal from an impossible angle in the last quarter. Had a very good battle with with his opponents (Jaska/Clavarino), and came out on top. Finished the day with three goals and has been WAs best performer.
#29 Aaron Naughton – Awkward kicking style on his left foot but they managed to get to the right spots. Played as a key defender and won his match up.