The Oakleigh Chargers continued on its great start to the year with a fifth win and percentage boost, defeating a hapless Stingrays outfit by 90 points at Shepley Oval. While both teams looked superb in their heritage VFA strips, the match showed early signs of turning ugly as Oakleigh dominated the scoring in the first quarter. The seven goal half time advantage was always going to be difficult to come back from for Dandenong, but a ruthless Chargers attitude ensured there would be further pain. An 11 goal to three second half blew the margin out, as the Oakleigh forwards feasted on seemingly endless scoring opportunities.
Here are the most notable players for the day:
JACK HIGGINS | OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
MID | 19/03/1999 | 178CM | 76KG
It was less of the football and more time forward for Higgins on Sunday, but it led to a far greater impact on the game. The East Malvern junior shows on a week to week basis his football IQ, but his smarts become even more prominent inside 50. Manning him near the goals would be a stressful task as he just knows when to attack, take or even wait for the ball. He kicked four goals himself, but was equally as impressive in setting up goals up for his teammates with four score assists. He finished off a slick performance with the “Footy Prophet Mark of the Day” in the fourth quarter, giving recruiters further confidence of his credentials.
TOBY WOOLLER | OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
FWD/MID | 16/03/1999 | 193CM | 90KG
Wooller played his more traditional key position forward role with less midfield minutes and had a day out. He finished the day with four goals, 16 disposals and eight marks of which four were contested. He led high up the ground as usual, but also used smart body positioning deeper to win numerous one on one contests. He isn’t the quickest getting around and does struggle to get immediate separation from his opponent, but works tirelessly to eventually wear the defender out. He is a difficult player to place, but did his reputation no harm.
RILEY JONES | OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
DEF | 05/04/1999| 191CM | 79KG
Riley Jones wouldn’t have been one of the best players on the ground at Shepley Oval, but continues to show signs of what he may be capable of. He started as an extra in defence, before playing a more defensive role as the game wore on. He finds a way to get a fist on the ball even when in an awkward position and reads the ball well in the air. I’d love to see him become a bit more offensive as he is a lovely user of the ball by foot. I like what he presents though and there is stack of development to come.
MATTHEW BENNETT | OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
DEF | 07/01/1999 | 191CM | 86KG
Bennett was unheralded in the tough role of being matched up as an undersized KPD against tall, athletic types like Bailey Williams. While he had some goals kicked on him, he made the opposition talls accountable by playing offensive football in the other direction. He often out read his opponent in the air to take intercept marks and rebounded well with a tidy left boot. He competed hard for every contest despite giving many centimetres to his direct opponent. It was a mature and team oriented display.
RILEY COLLIER-DAWKINS| OAKLEIGH CHARGERS
MID | 03/02/2000 | 186CM | 79KG
There are times when the stats sheet doesn’t quite do a performance justice and while Collier-Dawkins didn’t have a huge influence on the outcome, the glimpses he provided pointed toward a player of the future. He only collected 13 possessions, but showed some potentially elite attributes around the stoppages. He reads congestion brilliantly and makes fast, effective decisions when taking possession. He has evasive hands and loves to lift his arms high to create a release opportunity. His overhead ability also looks promising, so I’m excited to see how he develops over the next 18 months.
BAILEY WILLIAMS | DANDENONG STINGRAYS
FWD/RUCK | 17/04/2000 | 198CM | 91KG
The hype on Bailey Williams continues to build after his most impressive display of the year on Sunday. On a day when his team was completely out played, Williams’ attributes stood out whether forward or in the ruck. He has a ridiculous vertical leap (yielding 36 hit outs), often finding himself on the shoulders of his opposition ruckman with minimal effort or intention. Coupled with that jumping ability, he marks or taps the ball at an extreme height which no defender at TAC Cup level could ever reach. Inside 50 he presented superbly despite limited opportunities, taking four contested marks and kicking four of his team’s five goals. He is shaping as a top prospect for the 2018 draft.
HUNTER CLARK | DANDENONG STINGRAYS
MID/DEF | 26/03/1999 | 186CM | 79KG
The looming top ten selection was again dominant as an inside midfielder, collecting 27 disposals, 15 contested possessions and eight clearances. His numbers have certainly been impressive since becoming a more full time midfielder, but there are still areas of his game to work on. His dual-sided qualities by foot are well documented, but there were times on Sunday where his execution was off in space. He appeared frustrated by it too, but continued to fight on at the stoppages despite the minimal support.
TOM MURPHY | DANDENONG STINGRAYS
FWD/MID | 19/01/1998 | 187CM | 80KG
A 19-year-old who was super in the first half with 14 possessions at the main break, before becoming quieter as Oakleigh took control of the game. He floated between half forward and the middle of the ground, entering his forward arc on nine occasions with precision at times. He read the play and timed his movements well, even showing a turn of speed by accelerating away from Riley Jones with ball in hand on one occasion. Nice size and has some AFL attributes to look out for.
Other Notable Performances:
Daniel Scala (Oakleigh Chargers), Isaac Quaynor (Oakleigh Chargers), Lachlan Bugela (Oakleigh Chargers), Daniel Stanford (Oakleigh Chargers), Sam Harte (Oakleigh Chargers), Mitch Cotter (Dandenong Stingrays), Jesse Davies (Dandenong Stingrays), Mason De Wit (Dandenong Stingrays), Sam Fletcher (Dandenong Stingrays).