Vic Country, Vic Metro and the Allies (a team combined with the best players from NSW-ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory), all converged to Ikon Park to continue preparations for the upcoming U18 National Championships with two trial games. The Allies split its squad into two to firstly take on a Vic Country outfit missing many of its stars. Vic Country looked too strong from the outset, eventually running away to a comfortable 39 point victory. Although the result didn’t concern too many, the players were given valuable time together to gel and provide recruiters further evidence of what they are capable.
Here are the most notable players for the day:
ETHAN FLOYD | VIC COUNTRY | FWD/MID | 15/07/1999 | 179CM | 70KG
The dangerous Floyd starting the game at half forward and was threatening from the beginning of the match. He kicked an early goal and could have ended up with more as he found space with ease and swung onto that attractive left foot. Having mainly seen him play behind the ball, he was very creative in the forward half and used his speed to effect running both directions.
CASSIDY PARISH | VIC COUNTRY | MID | 04/05/1999 | 190CM | 84KG
The tall Geelong midfielder’s contested numbers have been large throughout the entire season and Sunday was no exception. He reads the ball so quickly at a stoppage and uses his reach to advantage by constantly getting first touch. While his inside traits continue to impress, he still produces some questionable moments by foot. There are certainly signs of improvement, but you never quite know what you are going to get with his short passes. Thankfully he makes up for it with some brilliant releases by hand.
CODY HENNESS | VIC COUNTRY | DEF | 07/02/1999 | 193CM | 88KG
Henness has played most of his football forward or in the ruck for Gippsland in 2017, but was thrown back with effect on Sunday morning. He looked immediately comfortable, making defensive and attacking decisions like it was second nature. He is a competitive type who will attack the ball whether in the air or on the ground and even chased down a small Allies forward to earn a holding the ball free kick in the fourth quarter. His kicking still needs some fine tuning, but overall a very satisfying outing for the big man.
JORDAN BUTTS | VIC COUNTRY | FWD | 31/12/1999 | 195CM | 80KG
The Murray Bushranger was Vic Country’s most dangerous forward on the day, presenting with strong hands on the lead. He only kicked the one major, but had the opportunity for more goals with some long missed set shots. The highlight was certainly his hands in the air as he completed numerous one grab overhead marks, including a great contested effort during the third quarter in the goal square. He is as young as a draft eligible prospect can be having been born on the last day of the millennium and has much development.
ANGUS SCHUMACHER | VIC COUNTRY | DEF | 16/03/1999| 189CM | 76KG
Schumacher was a player I hadn’t seen a lot of coming to Ikon Park, but has certainly been added to the watch list. He is an attractive looking left footer who makes sound decisions from half back. His skills were immaculate on occasions and proved to be sound overhead. He has AFL attributes that stand out and is a great size at 189cm. An underrated type to keep an eye on over the forthcoming National Championships.
ZAC BAILEY | ALLIES/NORTHERN TERRITORY | MID | 23/09/1999 | 180CM | 66KG
Having played outstanding football for the Northern Territory during the Division 2 Championships and at school level in South Australia, the dynamic midfielder continued his form at Ikon Park on Saturday. He is capable of carrying the ball through traffic with ease, using his agility and speed to weave around opponents and create space. He is also extremely clean in tight and has a nice balance of contested and uncontested possession. A brilliant right foot snap in the second quarter further highlighted his talent.
JAKE HINDS | ALLIES/TASMANIA | DEF | 07/05/1999 | 186CM | 78KG
One I came to the ground knowing little about and was pleasantly surprised. The Tasmanian acted a bit like a quarterback, often receiving the ball by hand to utilise a lovely left hoof. While he occasionally tried to do too much by foot, his kicks carried great penetration and were effective more often than not. He took the kick outs and enjoyed carrying the ball, but also produced some great defensive moments when it was his turn.
ADAM SAMBONO | ALLIES/NORTHERN TERRITORY | FWD | 24/04/1997 | 184CM | 65KG
The Daly River local is one of the most fascinating draft prospects of 2017. He has been granted special permission to participate at the National Championships as a 20 year old due to having such restricted access to an elite pathway. He possesses serious x-factor and is extremely evasive, but is level headed with ball in hand as proven by kicking two calm snapped goals in the second and fourth quarters. He has taken the NEAFL by storm with 26 goals in seven games and has many recruiters talking.
JACK PAYNE | ALLIES/BRISBANE ACADEMY | DEF | 15/10/1999 | 195CM | 93KG
Payne is a key position defender to look out for after earning the Brisbane Lions Academy MVP award at the Division 2 Championships. He holds his ground and reads the flight well, producing many effective defensive moments. He isn’t just lock down either, possessing a strong set of hands that see him intercept well. He moved forward late in the game, but had minimal opportunities to show his I50 attributes.
JACOB DAWSON | ALLIES/ GOLD COAST ACADEMY | MID | 03/11/1999 | 182CM | 80KG
Dawson is a Gold Coast Academy midfielder who is particularly smart in tight. He is capable of massive contested possession and clearance numbers, but can spread to the outside with effect. He is clean at the stoppages and has a knack of getting his arms free in a tackle. He perhaps needs to tidy up his kicking, but it certainly isn’t an obvious flaw.
Other Notable Performances:
Gryan Miers (VC), Laitham Vandermeer (VC), David Handley (VC), Matthew Ling (VC), Zane Barzen (VC), Ben Paton (VC), Jordan Johnstone (VC), Damien Burke (Allies), Bailey Scott (Allies), Damien Burke (Allies), Jarrod Osbourne (Allies), Jake Brown (Allies), Sam Davidson (Allies).