CALDER CANNONS V NORTHERN KNIGHTS – RAMS ARENA – 19 MAY 2018
The Knights started the match in terrific fashion, booting the first 4 goals to lead by 24 points at the first break. The Cannons responded with goals to Sean Callander, Curtis Taylor and Mitchell Podhajski in the second term and found themselves only 9 points down at the main break.
Braedyn Gillard was dangerous up forward in the third quarter, and kicked his second of the game, 12 minutes in. James Lucente added another goal for the Knights to put them 20 points up deep into the quarter. A brilliant goal to Curtis Taylor in the 24th minute kept the Cannons within striking distance.
Daniel Hanna kicked a beautiful, long goal for the Cannons in the 15th minute of the 4th quarter, but the Knights bounced back with two of their own and eventually ran out winners by 21 points.
Here are the players that caught my eye:
CURTIS TAYLOR | CALDER CANNONS | D.O.B – 06/04/2000 | 186CM | 79KG
STATS: 20 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles, 2 goals.
Taylor started the match slowly, but it wasn’t long until he was able to make an impact on the contest, coming alive in the second term. He found a lot of the ball in all areas of the ground, and his work-rate was exquisite. Taylor reads the play well and can win the ball on the inside and outside. He’s smart with ball in hand and generally makes good decisions. His burst of speed allows him to break away from congestion around contests, where he can then put his elite ball skills to good use. Has all the attributes.
DANIEL HANNA | CALDER CANNONS | D.O.B – 24/11/1999 | 199CM | 81KG
STATS: 22 disposals, 7 marks (2 contested), 4 tackles, 1 goal.
Hanna took the eye when he took several strong intercept marks in defence during the second quarter. The 199CM defender was rock-solid down back, and read the play well. He gathered plenty of possessions and used the ball terrifically. Hanna drifted forward in the 4th quarter and was able to kick a wonderful goal from 40mtrs. Definite eye-catcher.
ISMAIL MOUSSA | CALDER CANNONS | D.O.B – 16/03/2000 | 179CM | 76KG
STATS: 18 disposals, 8 marks, 4 tackles.
I’ve been keeping a close eye on Moussa throughout this season, and he really impressed me in this match. Moussa is a speedy, rebounding back flanker who’s clean, composed and has good foot skills. He was able to accumulate a lot of possessions and generally made the correct decisions when creating the play. Moussa is quite strong for his size and is very competitive. Reminds me a lot of how Shane Savage plays.
LACHLAN SHOLL | CALDER CANNONS | D.O.B – 07/03/2000 | 185CM | 77KG
STATS: 17 disposals, 4 marks, 1 tackle.
Sholl started the match in defence and spent a considerable amount of time there. He matched up on Braedyn Gillard in the second term and kept him very quiet after Gillard had a huge impact in the first. Sholl was able to run freely in the second half where he started to get more involved. He’s a ball winner, can kick on both feet, is clean, composed, smart and can play multiple positions.
Other Calder Cannons players that stood out were Mohammed Abou-Eid, Nathan Croft and Tye Browning, who were all fantastic.
BRAEDYN GILLARD | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 14/11/2000 | 183CM | 77KG
STATS: 24 disposals, 6 marks (1 contested), 2 tackles.
Gillard set the tone early for the Knights, collecting 7 first term disposals and booting 1 goal. Gillard can be just as damaging forward as he can be in the midfield. He’s a creative player, who links up well through the midfield and is strong around stoppages. He was beaten by Lachlan Sholl in the second term, but he was able to respond in the third, where he was able to kick his 2nd goal of the day. Gillard is clean ball user, consistent performer, and has a high work-rate. Question marks over his speed and agility, but there’s no denying Gillard’s strengths and talent.
RYAN STURGESS | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 16/11/2001 | 187CM | 78KG
STATS: 17 disposals, 5 marks.
Sturgess is a bottom-ager and is only 16 years of age. The defender is one to keep an eye on, especially next year. He was very impressive in defence for the Knights, and his intercept marking ability was clear. Sturgess also knew when to spoil, and he did it strongly. He accumulated a lot of the ball and rebounded out of the defensive 50 superbly. Decision-making and composure under pressure was also noticeable. Outstanding game.
SUNNY BRAZIER | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 14/03/2000 | 190CM | 89KG
STATS: 23 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles.
Brazier had a strong first half where he used the ball well, worked tirelessly around the ground, tackled hard and was really good around stoppages. He was able to continue his form into the second half where he showed his strength and size whenever he got near the ball. His decision-making was decent when he had possession and he probably should’ve kicked a goal in the last quarter.
JOEL NAYLOR | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 20/09/1999 | 189CM | 87KG
STATS: 14 disposals, 4 marks (1 contested), 2 tackles.
Naylor is a nice size at 189m and is very strong at 87KG. He started in defence, along with Sturgess, and the two combined very well. His left-foot kicking was spot on, and he rebounded with intent. He took some strong intercept marks and spoiled successfully. He drifted forward in the last quarter and was able to hit the scoreboard, booting a goal in the last 3 minutes of the match (that he absolutely shanked, mind you) Overall, I thought he was consistent throughout 4 quarters. Reminds me a bit of Aaron Mullett, but with less speed.
Adam Carafa, Tom Hallebone and Nick Mayne also performed strongly.