2018 WA TALENT DAY
On Saturday, February 17, the WAFL held its State Academy U18s Trial Match to identify who the best players are for the AFL U18 National Championships.
Held at Domain Stadium, the trial match provided the first opportunity for Head Coach Peter Sumich and his assistants Glen Jakovich, Ash McGrath, Darren Rumble and Mark Seaby to see the best young talent from West Australia.
While the likes of highly rated prospects Jason Carter (Claremont), Rhai-Arn Cox (East Perth), Tristan Hobley (Subiaco), Ian Hill (Perth), Tom Joyce (East Fremantle), Dillon O’Reilly (East Fremantle) and Sydney Stack (Perth) did not play, their absence allowed for others to stake their claim to be a part of the 2018 WA U18s State Academy Squad.
Below were the best players in the game.
JARROD CAMERON | SWAN DISTRICTS | HALF-FORWARD | 181cm | 70kg
The younger brother of Brisbane’s Charlie, Cameron is an exciting half-forward flanker who can push through the midfield. Blessed with some exciting attacking traits, he was frequently the one setting up the play with his run and carry and his elite kicking skills for Team Black. He also showed excellent defensive efforts with some exceptional tackles. Another big year looms for the talented youngster.
LUKE ENGLISH | PERTH | MIDFIELD | 181cm | 79kg
The reigning Jack Clarke Medallist and WAFL Colts Coaches Award winner found a heap of footy for Team Black. Again and again, he was the one in the stoppage winning the clearance before finding his intended target with his crisp disposal. After such a dominant season in 2017, it will be fascinating to see what 2018 has in store for English.
KYLE HAMMERSLEY | SOUTH FREMANTLE | MIDFIELD | 185cm | 81kg
Arguably the best player on the ground, Hammersley used his pace and endurance to cover the ground exceptionally well. Whenever he had the ball in hand, he always found a target, especially when going inside attacking 50. The Wagin product looks to be one of the best prospects from Western Australia this year.
WIL HICKMOTT | SUBIACO | HALF-BACK | 181cm | 74kg
The son of former Carlton and Geelong player Adrian, Hickmott was sensational on the half-back line for Team Gold. He regularly intercepted Team Black’s attacking forays, before using his elite skills to rebound the ball and set up Team Gold’s attacking entries. There is no doubt that Carlton will be keen to monitor his progress closely with him being eligible for father | son selection.
JOSEPH HINDER | SWAN DISTRICTS | SMALL FORWARD | 180cm | 65kg
The Bassendean junior was at his lively best for Team Gold, taking the game on at key moments with his electrifying pace, and dazzling foot skills. A highlight of the game was when he collected the ball in the pocket and turned and snapped the ball through the goal from a tight angle.
BEN MAGUIRE | EAST PERTH | MIDFIELD | 183cm | 73kg
One of the most exciting players in this year’s draft, Maguire showcased his athletic, explosive and skilful style of play throughout the game. This was evident in the second quarter when he picked the ball up at full pace before burning off an opponent and slotting a sensational goal. As well as his remarkable offensive traits, Maguire showed a keenness for defensive efforts – something that will endear him to recruiters.
LOUIS MILLER | EAST PERTH | DEFENDER | 189cm | 82kg
The Dunsborough product is one of the best defenders in this year’s draft class and it is not hard to see why. On Saturday for Team Black, he was usually the last man in defence and mopping up when required. From last year, it looks as if Miller has improved his rebounding skills, and with more improvement, his drafts stocks could be set to soar.
XAVIER PEACOCK | SUBIACO | RUCK | 196cm | 85kg
The Sorrento-Duncraig junior was his usual physical self for Team Black. In the ruck contests around the ground, he was frequently able to use his strength to manhandle his direct opponent before palming the ball down to his rovers, while at the centre bounces, he used his raw athleticism to win the hit-outs. He is a very exciting prospect to keep tabs on.
DEVEN ROBERTSON | PERTH | MIDFIELD | 182cm | 75kg
The Level 1 AFL Academy member was the best of the 2019 prospects in the game. For Team Black, he’d be seen buried in the middle ripping the ball out of congestion before finding a target. He also showcased an excellent outside game with his neat disposal and special awareness. The reigning WA U16s MVP looks to be a real talent.
DURAK TUCKER | PEEL THUNDER | DEFENDER | 189cm | 76kg
The Guildford Grammar student is a defender who has elite intercept marking abilities and is a brilliant rebounder out of defence, much like Fremantle’s Luke Ryan. For Team Gold, he was the one who was setting play up from the back half, whether it was with ball in hand or instructing his teammates on what to do.
JOSEPH UGLE | PERTH | MIDFIELD | 172cm | 74kg
An over ager, Ugle looks to be a star of the future, especially with his clearance work. At every opportunity, the Redcliffe junior would use his body to protect the ball, before using his sizzling pace to burst away from the stoppage. What separates Ugle from other clearance guns is his elite disposal, especially by foot.
TEAM WA GOLD
|Billy Chambers||Peel Thunder|
|Blake East||East Perth|
|Jarrad Fazioli||Peel Thunder|
|Damon Greaves||East Perth|
|Joseph Hinder||Swan Districts|
|Jake Howes||Peel Thunder|
|Nathan Ireland||Swan Districts|
|Luke Jackson||East Fremantle|
|Tom Medhat||West Perth|
|Brad Oldfield||Peel Thunder|
|Tyson Powell||Peel Thunder|
|Michael Randall||Peel Thunder|
|Lachlan Riley||Peel Thunder|
|Ben Santella||East Perth|
|Durak Tucker||Peel Thunder|
|Nick Watson||East Fremantle|
TEAM WA BLACK
|Mitchell Bain||Swan Districts|
|Jarrod Cameron||Swan Districts|
|Bailey Chalmers||West Perth|
|Patrick Farrant||Swan Districts|
|Kyle Hammersley||South Fremantle|
|Ryan Hudson||West Perth|
|Ben Maguire||East Perth|
|Liam Martin||East Perth|
|Louis Miller||East Perth|
|Max Murphy||East Fremantle|
|Tom O’Donnell||West Perth|
|Lenny Papertalk||East Fremantle|
|Zak Patterson||West Perth|
|Jarvis Pina||Peel Thunder|
|Daniel Rowe||West Perth|
|Brynn Teakle||East Fremantle|