With 18 teams and 396 players running around in the big leagues every weekend, it can be hard to keep track of who’s missing. But there is always some Supercoach-relevant stock running around in footy’s second tier; whether it be rookies eager to push their way up, older heads desperate to prove that they’ve got more to offer, or just proven players coming back from injury or misadventure. Here’s the rundown of who did what in the State leagues last weekend; if there’s anyone I’ve missed that you’d like to hear about, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best!
The Eagles and Dockers are both travelling reasonably well so far this year, so opportunities for the second tier are a little scarce, but there are plenty of aspirants putting their hands up in the WAFL. West Coast’s pick 13 Jarrod Brander ($149K def/fwd) had 19 possessions and 3 goals for East Perth, putting his name up for debut consideration. Luke Partington ($219K fwd) racked up 33 touches and 2 goals, while Francis Watson ($124K def) managed 21 possessions in the same game. Big man Fraser McInnes ($256K ruc/fwd) continues to dominate around the ground and in front of goal (24 touches, 31 hitouts, 2 goals), while over at Peel, Lloyd Meek ($117K ruc) has moved into the reserve ruckman role at the Dockers (18 possessions and 23 hitouts), after Sean Darcy suffered a PCL injury.
It’s a similar story in South Oz, with both Adelaide sides in the top 3, limiting opportunities for those in the twos. Billy Frampton ($124K ruc) supported his cause with 17 possessions and 26 hitouts, just in case Hinkley decides that Port need an actual ruckman in the ruck. Jack Trengove ($163K mid) with 22 touches and 2 goals, and Joe Atley ($181K mid) with 25 possessions, continue to grind away at earning a spot in Port’s loaded midfield. Over at the Crows, budget priced forward options Patrick Wilson ($105K mid/fwd), Jordan Gallucci ($219K mid/fwd) and Harry Dear ($124K def/fwd) all posted impressive stats despite a big loss to Sturt.
In case you were wondering where he went, the answer is that Michael Barlow ($463K mid/fwd) is completely dominating the NEAFL. 36 possessions for Mick, who is much too good for this level of footy, Mr Dew! Pre-season favourite Harrison Wigg ($124K mid) returned from a broken ankle with 13 touches, while Jack Scrimshaw ($202K def) and Will Brodie ($188K mid) continued to impress with 18 and 20 disposals respectively. The reserves version of the Battle of the Bridge was a 4 point win to the Giants. Players to feature heavily included the ever prolific Nic Newman ($455K mid) with 30 possessions, and the Giants rookie triad of Nicolas Shipley ($117K mid), Isaac Cumming ($124K def) and Aiden Bonar ($158K mid/fwd) all saw plenty of the pill, with Shipley also totting up 13 tackles. Dawson Simpson ($290K ruc) put himself in line to replace Lobb if required with 44 hitouts, and the old dog Ryan Griffen ($277K mid) had 30 touches in yet another return from injury.
The Lions had a 1 point loss to the NT Thunder, but ‘veteran’ Tom Bell ($288K fwd) with 33 possessions and 2 goals, pick 15 Zac Bailey ($140K mid) 22 possessions and a goal, and pick 18 Brandon Starcevich ($127K mid/fwd) with 3 goals, all impressed.
The obvious interest in the VFL is at the Cats, whose bench resembled a hospital ward against the Eagles. Charlie Constable ($117K mid) was outstanding last weekend against Werribee with 31 possessions and a goal, and should be a strong candidate for a spot in the mids. Jordan Cunico ($189K mid) had 35 touches and was a travelling emergency for the senior side last week, while Zac Smith ($502K ruc) sent another reminder to Chris Scott of the usefulness of ruckmen with 14 possessions and 27 hitouts.
Lots of big numbers at the Pies, as they racked up the double ton against the Northern Blues. The volatile Jordan De Goey ($434K mid/fwd) kicked 4 goals, Josh Daicos ($191K mid/fwd) had 30 disposals, and Jamie Elliott ($406K fwd) kicked five snags of his own (edit: Elliott suffered a hamstring strain at training and won’t be considered this week). Cam O’Shea ($167K def) had 20 touches for the Blues, and may be the man to take the place of the injured Marchbank.
In Bomber land, noted ball magnet Dylan Clarke ($124K mid/fwd) racked up another 30, while Jackson Merrett ($243K def/fwd) kicked five and the luckless Kobe Mutch ($124K mid) managed 21 possessions. The senior side obviously struggled last week, so changes may be afoot. It’s a similar tale at the Sainters. Jack Lonie ($356K fwd) is too good for the VFL and kicked four goals, while young swingman Josh Battle ($124K fwd) had 23 touches and three goals.
Remember Harley Balic ($253K mid/fwd), who missed home too much and was traded from Freo in the off-season? He put his name up for a spot in the Dees senior squad with a sparkling effort of 20 possessions and 6 goals for Casey in their big win, with another forgotten man Angus Brayshaw ($317K mid/def) compiling 27 touches and a goal in the same game.
Finally, at Box Hill, another pair of pre-season notables James Worpel ($117K mid) and David Mirra ($102K def) had solid hitouts in the season opener, each recording 16 disposals.
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