Vic Metro continued its undefeated 2017 Championships with a 22 point victory against fierce rival Vic Country. It was a high standard and entertaining game, as the cream of the crop provided evidence that this year’s draft pool could be deeper than originally predicted. In a match that is likely to provide a high percentage of the top 20 come November, there was no better time to perform than in front of a grandstand full of recruiters.
Here are the most notable players from the day:
JOEL GARNER | VIC METRO | DEF/MID | 21/05/1999 | 183CM | 81KG
The Metro captain produced one of his better performances of the season and was arguably best on ground. Playing mostly behind the ball, Garner started many of Metro’s attacking chains. He intercepted and rebounded with consequence, collecting 24 disposals and nine marks, of which two were contested. He read the ball quicker than most and finished the job on most occasions with his dangerous left boot.
PATRICK NAISH | VIC METRO | MID | 01/04/1999 | 179CM | 75KG
The Richmond Father/Son prospect was one of the more influential players on Punt Road Oval, running hard into space and creating a vital link on the outside. He constantly ran up and down the ground, firstly seen rebounding from defence, before becoming the conduit inside 50. He kicked two great goals, the first a classy banana, the second a reward for hard work after starting the chain from the defensive half. While he took some unnecessary risks in the corridor, his 24 disposals provided many more good moments than bad.
CHARLIE CONSTABLE | VIC METRO | MID/FWD | 18/05/1999 | 190CM | 83KG
The stocks of Charlie Constable continue to rise after an outstanding performance on Saturday afternoon. Balancing his time in the midfield and forward, the Sandringham utility ended the day as the most prolific player on the ground with 31 disposals and four score assists. He just knows how to find the ball in any position and is a difficult match up at his size. He is winning more fans with every performance and is right in first round calculations.
CAMERON RAYNER | VIC METRO | FWD/MID | 21/10/1999 | 187CM | 88KG
Could we have a new favourite as the No.1 pick? The bullocking midfielder come forward was just enormous in the first half, collecting 13 disposals and a match defining three goals. He is explosive, strong and extremely difficult to hold on to in a tackle. He possesses surprising agility in tight and has incredibly sticky hands in the air. As much as I hate player comparisons, it is just so difficult not to think Dustin Martin when watching this kid play.
JACK HIGGINS | VIC METRO | MID/FWD | 19/03/1999 | 178CM | 76KG
When watching Higgins at TAC Cup level, you sometimes feel he could have a greater influence through the midfield, but he just steps it up a level when the higher standard arrives. He did his Larke Medal hopes no harm, collecting another 31 disposals which included 14 contested possessions, seven clearances and finished it off with two goals. He has such a high footy IQ and despite his size, is just too good not to be considered a top 10 prospect.
NICK COFFIELD | VIC METRO | DEF/MID | 23/10/1999| 190CM | 83KG
I’ve been on Nick Coffield as a high priority for clubs since last year and he continues to justify my early faith. After playing a valuable defensive role for a majority of the game, the Northern Knight’s skipper was thrown further up the ground and had a huge impact in the final quarter. His seven fourth quarter possessions were won in offensive positions and he rarely wasted them. He finished with 22 disposals in an impressive display.
LACHIE FOGARTY | VIC METRO | MID/FWD | 01/04/1999 | 179CM | 75KG
There isn’t much of Fogarty frame and size wise, but it doesn’t matter when you possess as much poise and class as he does. He is a great decision maker who was especially creative in the forward half on Saturday. He finished the game with 23 disposals and four clearances, but more importantly hit the scoreboard with two goals. He also laid a match high 12 tackles, proving that his grunt work deserves just as much kudos.
WILL SUTHERLAND | VIC METRO | FWD | 27/10/1999 | 195CM | 90KG
Despite having never played a TAC Cup game, Sutherland entered this game attached with arguably the greatest hype. The athletic 195cm forward is a very highly rated cricketer and the son of CA CEO James Sutherland, leaving a life defining decision. He didn’t dominate but certainly didn’t disappoint, creating a target for his side all day by taking two contested marks and leading with vigour. He also showed his competitive attitude with physicality and by getting in the ear of the opposition. There’s certainly something to like here.
JAMES WORPEL | VIC COUNTRY | MID | 24/01/1999 | 185CM | 84KG
James Worpel almost singlehandedly kept his side in the game with his spirit, physicality, effort and never give up attitude. He lifted significantly in the second half and he didn’t care who got in the way in his quest to win the ball. 14 of his 25 disposals were contested and you wouldn’t have wanted to be on the end of any of his 10 tackles. The Geelong Falcon’s ball use was less rushed than usual, an aspect of his game that needed improvement. It was an inspired performance.
GRYAN MIERS | VIC COUNTRY | MID/FWD | 30/03/1999 | 177CM | 73KG
Gryan Miers continues to produce performances that suggest he is very capable of developing his traits at the highest level. He wasn’t far off matching Worpel for impact, collecting 24 disposals in an eye catching display. He was influential at the stoppages in gathering five clearances and dangerous in the forward arc with two goals. He ended with four shots on goal and had three score assists on top. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that he can make it as a small forward on an AFL list.
PADDY DOW | VIC COUNTRY | MID | 16/10/1999 | 184CM | 78KG
You could easily miss what Paddy Dow creates inside the contest, but things happen when he wins the ball at a stoppage. He has the rare ability of giving his side a dangerous offensive advantage from a clearance. He can quickly make space appear with fast hands and movements, often to the delight of a teammate flowing forward. He only gathered 17 disposals, but 12 were contested on top of five clearances.
DAVID HANDLEY | VIC COUNTRY | FWD/MID | 01/09/1999 | 181CM | 76KG
An unassuming type who continues to provide promising traits at all levels. He has kicked 16 goals in seven games for the Falcons and is now doing the damage for Vic Country. He doesn’t have any obvious strengths on first glance, but knows how to get in dangerous areas and position himself. Playing mainly half forward and occasionally rotating through the midfield, Handley gathered 15 disposals and kicked two goals to be one of his side’s best.
OSCAR CLAVARINO | VIC COUNTRY | DEF | 24/01/1999 | 195CM | 86KG
There is absolutely no doubting the talent that Clavarino possesses and the negating roles that he has provided, but we have been left wanting more offensively from the back half. He produced that on Saturday afternoon by attacking the ball in the air, especially in the second half. He took two outstanding contested intercept marks in the final quarter and didn’t waste a possession all day. They were attributes we had been waiting for, but knew he possessed.
Other Notable Performances:
Dylan Moore (VM), Sam Hayes (VM), Adam Cerra (VM), Ben Paton (VC), Lachie o’Brien (VC), Matthew Ling (VC).