The Geelong Falcons yet again proved they will be a very difficult team to overcome in the final two weeks of the TAC Cup season after an impressive 85 point win against Gippsland Power. In a fierce opening quarter, Gippsland set the early physical standards, although the Geelong runners were already beginning to show its dominance on the outside. When the ball was turned over, the likes of Floyd, Walsh and Ling took control and moved the ball with frightening speed offensively. You couldn’t fault Gippsland’s effort, but once the Falcon’s got on a roll they couldn’t be stopped and kicked 12 goals to 0 after quarter time. The victory sees Geelong earn itself a home Preliminary Final against Dandenong at Simonds Stadium, which will be a fascinating contest.
ETHAN FLOYD | GEELONG FALCONS | WING | 15/07/1999 | 179CM | 70KG
The best game I’ve seen Floyd play. Starting on the wing, it appeared that Floyd was involved in every offensive foray the Falcon’s produced. He ran hard to dangerous positions, carried the ball with speed whenever given the opportunity and generally finished the job with his potent left foot. In partnership with Walsh and Ling in particular, he provided wave after wave of electrifying movement through the corridor that just became too much for Gippsland after quarter time. He would end the day with a season high 34 disposals and 18 handball receives to be the most prominent player on the ground.
SAM WALSH | GEELONG FALCONS | MID | 02/07/2000 | 182CM | 68KG
Boy can this kid play, there is just so much to love about him. He was at his offensive best on Sunday, getting the opportunity to carry the ball greater distances into space. On the run he bends his back much like Trent Cotchin, aggressively piercing gaps through traffic before making elite decisions by foot or hand. Only one of his 24 disposals was ineffective for the day, while he also managed to get into scoring positions with two goals. His class was truly proven when selling candy to an unsuspecting Will Stephenson on the mark before hitting Lachie Noble on the chest inside 50. Then there is the courage, brilliantly displayed when he went back with the flight of the ball in the last quarter to take an inspiring mark, despite the game being won. He is as elite as they come for next year.
MATT LING | GEELONG FALCONS | DEF | 21/04/1999 | 182CM | 74KG
Much like Ethan Floyd, Matt Ling was able to have a huge offensive influence with his rebound and carry from half back. There were countless occasions where he was able to showcase his trademark electrifying pace and go on long runs. For how fast he can move, he has an elite left foot and he looks to use the corridor whenever possible. When at top speed, he is capable of wrong footing opponents to weave through space that seemingly appears out of nowhere. For a club requiring a line breaking half back that can create a devastating impact on the turnover/slingshot, look no further than Ling.
GRYAN MIERS | GEELONG FALCONS | FWD/MID | 30/03/1999 | 177CM | 73KG
With Jack Higgins, Gryan Miers has claims of being the smartest TAC Cup footballer inside 50. He goes about his business with minimal fuss and at the end of the day, it is rare that he hasn’t conjured multiple goals and 20+ disposals. He is ominous in the forward arc, knows where to position himself and more often than not finds himself with the ball. He is good one on one, knows how to find space and has serious goal sense. Three goals and 24 disposals is your run of the mill performance by the dread locked No.4.
NED McHENRY | GEELONG FALCONS | MID | 13/07/2000 | 176CM | 67KG
McHenry is another underage kid who is sure to draw attention next year as a noted draft prospect. There is nothing of him, but can he run! Finding himself mostly on the wing, he got himself to ball winning positions and his work ethic was rewarded. He would win 25 quality possessions, but he also deserves a mention for his two way running. His eleven tackles was a game high for the Falcons and he refused to let the Power players have an easy escape when they won the ball in his vicinity. He goes hard, but with a slight frame, can be pushed off the ball on occasions. Hopefully he has a growth spurt in the next 12 months.
OSCAR BROWNLESS | GEELONG FALCONS | DEF/MID | 16/02/2000 | 186CM | 73KG
A Geelong Cats 2018 father/son prospect and son of Billy, Oscar Brownless produced his best TAC Cup performance to date in the Elimination Final at Mars Stadium. In a scene unfamiliar to his famous father, Oscar found himself in the defensive half and read the ball well all day. He took some telling intercept marks and made good decisions with ball in hard. He generally has a high handball to kick ratio and Sunday was no exception, as 13 of his 19 disposals were by hand. His hands inside are extremely sharp though as proven in the third quarter when he won a contested ground ball and released the ball effectively with genuine speed. Lovely size and will get greater midfield minutes next year.
BAILEY BECK | GIPPSLAND POWER | MID/DEF | 10/01/2000 | 181CM | 69KG
The underage Beck has had a consistent year, mostly on the wing and running forward, but was found floating back into the defensive arc on Sunday. He went in hard for the ball, competing equally in the air as on the ground. His contested marking has really stood out in recent weeks, taking four combined over the past two games. He has played a mostly outside role throughout the year, but proved he is more than capable of winning his own ball against Geelong and is one to monitor for next year.
MATTHEW MCGANNON | GIPPSLAND POWER | WING/DEF | 27/12/1999 | 182CM | 70KG
The draft combine invitee made his long awaited return from injury in the Elimination Final and provided some moments as to why he is so highly rated. Although it took time to adapt to the speed of the game again while on the wing, it didn’t take him long to start winning possessions when moved behind the ball. Given the tough task of manning the dangerous David Handley and at times Miers, he got in rebounding positions and found space. While there were a couple of rusty turnovers, he generally used the ball very well and made calm decisions. Pity we don’t get to see him again as another run would have done wonders.
SEAN MASTERSON | GIPPSLAND POWER | DEF | 23/09/1998 | 192CM | 78KG
In his last game for Gippsland, Masterson showed all the determined qualities we’ve come to admire over the past two seasons. He threw himself at anything aerially, often with absolutely no consideration for his own health. He got plenty of his intercept efforts to stick too, taking a game high three contested marks to go with his many defensive wins. Despite so many entries into the Falcon’s forward arc, Masterson managed to keep their KPF options quiet with serviceable help from Cody Henness. He was never going to be leaving anything in the shed.
Other Notable Players: Cassidy Parish (GF), Lachie Noble (GF), Jack Henderson (GF), Aiden Quigley (GP), Cody Henness (GP), Will Leslie (GP).