Rookie Review – Practice Games 2023

Written by Alza on March 13 2023

Welcome to the Rookie Review for the Practice games for 2023. This week’s Rookie Review will look a bit different to the usual week to week one that will kick off in Round 1. I will go through every rookie that set foot on the park with some stats and a bit of insight if I have any. I didn’t get to watch many of the games this week so if you have any Intel on a rookie that we should be picking for Round 1 let us know in the comments. To qualify for the Rookie Review this year the player’s starting price can’t be higher than number 1 pick Aaron Cadman at $207,300, which for this season shall be named the Cadman Line.

Legend – Player, (Price), Position – (Score, TOG)


Sam Butler ($197,600) FWD – (17, 36%) Played the 2nd half up forward for his 3 touches and 1 tackle, too expensive for a small forward.
Cam Mackenzie ($180,300) MID – (99, 73%) Played through the middle and gathered 24 touches with 5 marks, a goal and 8 clearances. He used it fairly well with 75% efficiency and attended 19 centre bounces. Hasn’t been confirmed as a starter for Round 1 but he will be and should be in your side.
Fergus Greene ($123,900) FWD – (84, 81%) A key forward that kicked 3.2 from 8 touches with 5 marks. Should be in the Hawks line up for Round 1 and is a great option for our benches due to his likely up and down scoring as key forwards tend to have.
Henry Hustwaite ($117,300) MID – (34, 33%) Only played the 2nd half but still managed 7 touches with 3 marks as a midfielder. Could be a decent downgrade option through the season.

Reef McInnes ($176,200) FWD – (38, 36%) He had 6 kicks with 5 marks and a goal in the 2nd half playing forward. With the Pies already tall forward line I see him as back up for them.

DNP: Long, Morris, Weddle, Brockman, Mitchell, O’Hara, Ramsden, Serong, Macdonald, O’Sullivan, Bennetts – Kreuger, Begg, Allan, Dean, Draper, Harrison, Kelly, Macrae, Murley, Richards, Ryan, Steene


Liam Henry ($202,300) MID/FWD – (75, 83%) Had a good game with 16 touches and 8 marks playing on the wing as has been suggested all pre-season. If he’s in your side then this should lock him in for you, Freo only had 23 play in this game so it gave us a real indication on their intentions.
Josh Treacy ($200,400) FWD – (91, 81%) Played forward with some time in the ruck also with Jackson not playing. He had 10 touches at 100% with 6 contested touches to boost his score. He kicked 2 goals and had 6 hitouts but at his price he is risky when Jackson returns as he could be forced out of their side.
Matthew Johnson ($123,900) MID – (9, 24%) Played midfield in the last quarter only for his 3 touches, won’t be in the Round 1 team but he will be a great downgrade option through the season.
Sam Sturt ($123,900) FWD – (80, 84%) Played on the forward flank for his 8 touches, 4 marks, 3 tackles and kicked 2 goals. He used it at a perfect 100% to boost his score. This performance should have definitely increased his Round 1 chances. I think he will get a chance but may be one of the first 3 or 4 out if he under performs.

Orazio Fantasia ($203,300) FWD – (48, 80%) Played half forward for his 8 touches, 3 tackles and a goal. Not in many teams and for a fair reason, injury prone and better options at his price tag.
Brynn Teakle ($198,500) RUC – (8, 28%) Played very limited game time for his 2 kicks in the ruck. An unlikely chance to start the season and too expensive for a bench spot to possibly not play.
Francis Evans ($136,500) FWD – (52, 35%) Very good score in only the 2nd half. He had 7 touches and kicked 2.1. Doesn’t seem that likely to be there Round 1.

DNP: Hamling, Corbett, Benning, Kuek, Worner, Davies, Emmett, Knobel, Wagner, Draper, Reidy, Williams – Jackson, Lord, Pasini, Sinn, Visentini, Williams, Marshall, McCallum, Scully, Barkla

BRISBANE v GEELONG @ Brighton Homes Arena

Will Ashcroft ($202,800) MID – (96, 83%) Could not have done any more. Played in the middle and gathered 26 touches at 81% with 5 marks and 3 tackles. He attended 13 centre bounces and is a lock for Round 1 and also our sides, on field.
James Tunstill ($187,900) MID – (54, 71%) Played half forward and had 12 touches with 3 marks. Not the best option due to his price and being MID only, also not likely to see much game time early on.
Darragh Joyce ($179,200) DEF – (6, 25%) Played as a key defender in the last quarter for 2 touches.
Conor McKenna ($167,500) DEF – (53, 87%) Played at half back and had 14 touches at 79%. His TOG is a great sign for him to play Round 1 and he will be very close to playing but be sure to keep an eye out.
Harry Sharp ($123,900) MID – (5, 13%) Played in the middle for a few minutes in the last quarter and had 3 touches. Probably won’t play early but maybe a downgrade option.
Darcy Wilmot ($123,900) DEF – (52, 76%) Played on the wing and had 9 touches with 3 marks. He used it poorly for 44% but he too will be around the mark for Round 1, possibly fighting for the last spot with McKenna.

Esava Ratugolea ($174,000) RUC/FWD – (49, 89%) Played in his new role down back for 10 touches at 90% with 3 marks including 8 intercept possessions. He will play and make some money but will he score enough to be viable on field is the issue.
Sam Simpson ($166,100) MID/FWD – (43, 77%) Played half forward and had 12 touches with 3 tackles. Don’t think he is in their best 22 even if he manages to play Round 1 it would be in a filler role.
Oliver Dempsey ($148,400) FWD – (49, 70%) Play up forward for 13 touches, 3 tackles and a goal. He played last year but will probably start in the VFL.
Cooper Whyte ($123,900) MID/FWD – (38, 47%) He played defence with some mid time in the 2nd half. He had 8 touches at 75% and even took 3 kick ins but unlikely to play Round 1.

DNP: Michael, Fletcher, Madden, Lohmann, Coleman, Lane, Smith, Brain, McDowell-White – Clark, Knevitt, Neale, Conway, Kroeger, Willis, Foster, Clohesy, Mulin, Murdoch, Riccardi


Mattaes Phillipou ($166,800) MID/FWD – (53, 80%) Played forward and had a decent game with 15 touches but used it poorly at 47% as well as kicking 1 goal. He didn’t lay a tackle or take a mark so his scoring has potential to increase. Should be playing from Round 1 and I think is safe enough to field.
Jack Bytel ($158,600) MID – (75, 60%) Apparently played a tagging role on Parish due to Windhager’s injury. This meant he was playing in the middle to find 16 touches with 3 marks and 7 tackles in a great game. Not sure he starts Round 1 but this performance would’ve helped his chances.
Anthony Caminiti ($102,400) FWD – (40, 83%) A key forward, he had 11 touches with 4 marks and 3 tackles but his efficiency of 36% let him down. He could be a smoky to start the season with their forward line injuries.

Kaine Baldwin ($172,900) FWD – (8, 22%) Played down back in the last quarter for 2 kicks.
Jye Menzie ($154,200) FWD – (62, 83%) Played up forward for 9 touches at 56% with 6 tackles. He is a chance to play but there seems to be better options at the moment.
Alwyn Davey ($117,300) MID/FWD – (67, 79%) Played forward and had 13 touches at 46% with a goal and 3 tackles. Good score considering his poor usage. Real chance to play early but he will be a bit inconsistent as small forwards are.

DNP: Adams, Allison, Connolly, Heath, Peris, Hotton, Keeler, Van Es, McLennan – Bryan, Cox, Tsatas, Lord, McBride, Voss, Wanganeen, J. Davey, Hayes, Montgomerie, Munkara

SYDNEY v CARLTON @ Blacktown International Sportspark

Angus Sheldrick ($165,700) MID/FWD – (8, 25%) Played the 2nd half up forward for 4 kicks. Not likely to play from the start.
Lachlan McAndrew ($123,900) RUC/FWD – (32, 38%) Very low TOG but managed 10 hitouts and 6 tackles but had just the 1 handball. He will play but I don’t think he will get enough games or make enough cash to be serviceable, loophole waiting to happen.
Lachlan Rankin ($123,900) DEF – (15, 25%) Played down back in the 2nd half and had 5 touches.
Matt Roberts ($123,900) MID – (47, 69%) Playing through the midfield he had 15 touches with 14 of them kicks but at a poor 47% to go with 5 marks. He’s a chance to play but keep an eye on the teams.
William Edwards ($102,400) DEF – (4, 26%) Played in the ruck for 1 handball, hitout and 2 tackles.

Jack Carroll ($207,000) FWD – (16, 18%) Only played the last quarter but in the middle. Had 5 touches at 100%
Sam Durdin ($188,300) DEF – (24, 23%) Played in defence in the last quarter for 6 touches and 4 marks.
Josh Honey ($177,300) FWD – (5, 43%) Played forward and had 3 touches with 2 marks and 2 tackles.
Oliver Hollands ($162,300) MID – (59, 84%) Has flown under the radar a little this pre-season but is a real chance to play early. He had 17 touches at 76% and took 6 marks playing on a wing and put his hand up to be picked.
Lachie Cowan ($117,300) DEF – (57, 72%) He had 10 touches at 90% and laid 4 tackles. I think he might just miss out for Round 1 unfortunately as he is fighting for a spot with Cincotta.
Alex Cincotta ($102,400) DEF/MID – (70, 80%) Played down back and had 16 touches at 88% with 3 marks and 6 tackles. I think he plays Round 1 and can be trusted on field.

DNP: Francis, Melican, Gould, Hall-Kahan, Sheather, Warner, Konstanty, Mitchell, Vickery, Magor, Owen – Marchbank, Fogarty, Cunningham, Akuei, Mirkov, Philp, Binns, Lemmey, O’Keeffe

WEST COAST v ADELAIDE @ Mineral Resources Park

Tom Cole ($182,300) DEF – (68, 88%) Had a good game in defence for 16 touches at 81% with 7 marks and 3 tackles. More of a lockdown defender but he will start the season and be a solid selection.
Reuben Ginbey ($171,300) DEF/MID – (99, 56%) Played in defence and in the middle, he can play. In only 56% TOG he had 17 touches at 88% with 5 tackles and 6 clearances. Lock for Round 1 and on ground in SC.
Elijah Hewett ($148,800) MID – (2, 31%) Played the 2nd half in the middle when the Crows dominated so only had the 2 touches. Downgrade option.
Campbell Chesser ($123,900) DEF/MID – (34, 61%) Played on the wing, middle and down back. He had 9 touches with 2 marks and 2 tackles. I think he plays Round 1 but the Eagles may use him as the sub or sub out option early on due to his injuries last year, good bench option either way.

Luke Pedlar ($173,400) FWD – (56, 55%) Played half forward and looked good for his 10 touches and a goal. He is a bit pricey so would want him to be a certainty to play every week which I’m not sure he is currently.
Max Michalanney ($135,300) DEF – (38, 79%) Played as a key defender to have 7 touches at 85% with 3 marks and 2 tackles. Don’t know that he plays Round 1 but he definitely will this season. He won’t be the biggest scorer but could be a slow burn downgrade target.

DNP: Edwards, Winder, Trew, Williams, Barnett, Burgiel, Long, Baker, Dewar – McPherson, Keane, Borlase, Nankervis, Newchurch, Taylor, Bond

GWS v GOLD COAST @ Blacktown International Sportspark

Xavier O’Halloran ($202,100) MID – (38, 64%) Played through the middle for 8 touches with 2 marks, too pricey.
Josh Fahey ($123,900) DEF/MID – (35, 67%) Played down back and had 10 touches at 80% and took 3 marks. Could be a decent downgrade target.
Conor Stone ($123,900) FWD – (49, 69%) Played forward for his 9 touches at 89%, 4 marks and a goal. Unlikely for Round 1 but he could play again this year.

Ben King ($176,300) FWD – (29, 42%) Played his standard role in the forward line but only for the 1st half returning from an ACL injury. He had 4 touches with 3 marks and a goal. Will definitely play, if he was under $150,000 he’d be in a lot more teams.
Thomas Berry ($123,900) FWD – (40, 66%) Played in the forward line for his 9 touches at 100% with 4 marks and a goal. He’s on the fringes for their best 22 so a real sub candidate plus he will play as a small forward.
Charlie Constable ($123,900) DEF/MID – (73, 89%) Played off of half back and had 19 touches with 16 kicks going at 67% with 3 marks and 3 tackles. He did have 10 turnovers including 5 clangers though showing his score could have been better. Plays Round 1 but the Suns do have some similar players returning soon in Powell, Weller and Lemmens so let’s hope he does enough to cement a spot.
James Tsitas ($123,900) MID/FWD – (11, 22%) Played the last quarter up forward for his 2 kicks and a goal. Unlikely to play Round 1 but could be a downgrade target if he gets a decent run in the AFL side unlike in his debut.
Bodhi Uwland ($123,900) DEF/MID – (6, 24%) Played the last quarter down back and had 3 touches.

DNP: Cadman, Buckley, Daniels, Rowston, Angwin, Derkson, Fleeton, Gruzewski, Jones, McMullin, Gillbee, Madden – Atkins, Humphrey, Oea, Burgess, Blakely, Brock, Faulkhead, Moyle, Johnson


Toby McLean ($178,900) MID/FWD – (45, 85%) Played forward and on the wing and had 15 touches with 5 marks. He will play and I think he will score fairly well, if he has been in your side all pre-season then back him in but if he isn’t and you wanted to see something from him then it’d be a tough call to make. He is priced at 32 and he will average at a minimum 55 with the upside to average 75 which not many forward rookies can do.
Josh Bruce ($161,200) FWD – (61, 87%) Played in his new role down back for 17 touches, 5 marks with 4 one percenters and 8 intercepts. He will play Round 1 and he will score okay, he was in my initial side but like others I have looked elsewhere. Should be a decent pick if he stays fit.
Oskar Baker ($123,900) MID – (111, 85%) Played on the wing and had 22 touches with 8 marks and 1.2. At the moment the wing role is his and as a mature ager he can be on field for us, just don’t expect 100’s every week.
Arthur Jones ($123,900) FWD – (68, 84%) Played half forward for 9 touches with 2 marks, tackles and 2.1. He scored well but I don’t think he is in their team for Round 1.

Aiden Bonar ($203,700) DEF – (44, 79%) Played defence and had 10 touches at 80% with 2 marks. He will play but at his price and role he isn’t really an option.
Harry Sheezel ($198,300) FWD – (72, 87%) He started at half forward but also played down back which is great to see. He had 21 touches at 81% with 5 marks and a goal. He is a bit expensive but he will have good job security and score well especially when at half back.
Josh Goater ($192,700) DEF/MID – (46, 81%) Played down back and had 12 touches at 58% with 2 marks and a goal. If he didn’t have an elevated price he would be in a lot of sides but there are better options at the moment.
Will Phillips ($158,300) MID – (48, 78%) He played through the middle and had 17 touches but poor usage with 35% with 4 clangers hurt his score. He had 1 mark and 2 tackles with 4 clearances from 24 centre bounces. The role is there he just needs to improve his disposal which can add 15-20 points easily. Job security is important and he should have that with decent scoring potential.
Miller Bergman ($123,900) DEF – (18, 32%) Played in the 2nd half and had 5 touches with 2 marks and tackles. Will be a good downgrade target as he plays a decent role.
Charlie Comben ($123,900) FWD – (-3, 84%) Played in the forward line and had 6 touches with 2 marks. He gave away 5 frees from his 7 total clangers. On the back of this I don’t think he will play but he could get games through the season.

DNP: Busslinger, Bedendo, Raak, Clarke, Gallagher – Wardlaw, Edwards, Ford, Spicer, George, Harvey, Drury, Free


Kade Chandler ($123,900) FWD – (46, 78%) Played forward for 7 touches at 57% with 4 marks, kicked 1.3 so it could have been better. He was the sub multiple times last year and looms to be on the fringe again.
Bailey Laurie ($123,900) MID/FWD – (17, 56%) Rotated on the wing to have 6 touches, been on the list a few years but this wasn’t the performance we were hoping to see.
Judd McVee ($123,900) DEF/MID – (23, 81%) Played down back for 4 touches at 100%, lockdown defender so limited scoring potential.
Taj Woewodin ($123,900) MID/FWD – (15, 21%) Played the last quarter in the middle with 5 touches and 2 marks.

Judson Clarke ($196,700) FWD – (44, 79%) Played half forward and had 14 touches with 2 marks. He is a chance to play early but there are better options with his elevated price.
Samson Ryan ($123,900) RUC/FWD – (21, 24%) Played forward and ruck in the last quarter and had 6 kicks but went at 33% with 5 marks with 4 contested and kicked 1.2. If he gets a decent run with some ruck time in there he would be a great R3/F6. He just needs to be the 2nd ruck and not the 3rd choice behind Soldo.
Steely Green ($117,300) MID – (16, 56%) Came on in the 2nd quarter through the middle and had 6 touches and 2 tackles.
Tylar Young ($102,400) DEF – (65, 91%) Mature aged key defender that played well. He had 9 touches at 89% with 3 marks, 2 tackles and 12 one percenters but he gave away 4 frees. He could play early but he may just be a short term injury replacement but if he plays like that it would be hard to drop him.

DNP: Jefferson, Howes, Moniz-Wakefield, Smith, D. Turner, van Rooyen, Adams, Farris-White, Sestan, Verrall, K. Turner – Mansell, Nyuon, Banks, Bauer, Brown, Colina, Smith, Campbell

So after all of that I said and done, here is how I would rank the top rookies in each position judged by price, job security and scoring potential. Let me know what you think.




A. Davey


Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

25 thoughts on “Rookie Review – Practice Games 2023”

  1. fantastic write up!
    Very helpful and a bit of insight on the rookies roles across the practice matches which i dont often get too watch first hand, love it.

    I’m not sure I agree with the midfield rank but that comes down too personal opinion wt the end of the day as there’s probably not alot in them. I just have Phillips second behind ashcroft he has the best role north will give him every opportunity he just had a down game against the toughest supercoach midfields? he had the TOG and CBAs it was his DE% that hurt but he will clean that up. And 25k cheaper than Mackenzie. Baker I do not trust one bit with his JS.
    But love the article very insightful, thank you


    1. Carlton have confirmed that Ollie Hollands and Lachie Cowan to both play against Richmond in round one.


  2. Excellent, Alza.

    Thank you for an informative and concise review of practice games.

    All the best for 2023.


  3. Sensational, Alza. Straight up sensational. Enormous coverage tied right back to relevancy.

    As the first comments and CT in the CB have let us know, Cowan’s gotten the gig ahead of Cincotta. No biggie, tack on 16k. He looked like quite a hard nut.

    I’ve faded Mackenzie at this stage. Have PTSD from Ward and the practice match gave Mackenzie a role and match conditions that won’t be even close to being replicated in the season proper. That said, I’m not loving a MID bench of just Baker, Chesser and Davey. Very thin CG prospects, so am considering taking Mackenzie or Hollands (also just announced to debut) as an M9 despite not really rating them.

    Ratugolea a banana but close to selling myself on him at R3, no loop and max CG. I can nail captains and think a full playing bench could be the move given this year’s OA rookie crop is quite thin. Might be a record low for debutants to start the season.

    Despite the heinous role and side he’s in, I have Sheezel at F6 beating out Philli and then joined by Greene and Sturt at F7/8.

    Again a tremendous write up and re-read just before Thursday night. Gw, Alza!


  4. TU: D.Cameron, McKenna & Bruhn
    TD: D.Cameron, L.Jones & Flanders
    DIRECTLY BELOW: S.Darcy, L.Jones & Sturt


    1. Oscar Allen debuted in 2018 for the WCE, scoring 66 goals from 56 games over his career.
      He didn’t play during 2022 due to a stress-related foot concern. The 23 year old hasn’t played for 575 days
      He originally started in attack but then more often to pinch-hit in the ruck as back up for Nicnat.
      The Eagles stressed that he would be a key forward as Kennedy’s replacement, and not be in the ruck this year.


    2. Yeah, he did. Just not classed as rookie.

      Was okay. Kicked 1.3, took a few marks. Body looked fine.

      If West Coast were a Top 8 side, it’d be an easy selection. But alas we’re not, so the issue becomes will Allen get enough service to score well.


  5. I feel Caminiti might actually have a good chance at playing since Membrey, King and Hayes all out for the Saints.
    Membery does only look to be out for 1 or 2 weeks though.
    With such a large amount of players out for the Saints there is a good chance that some rookies will be named


  6. I’m slightly surprised Richmond’s Tyler young is only 4% of sides? Tarrant & gibcus look to be out for a few more weeks yet.. he’s had a high TOG which is promising and 4FAs hurt his score. Hope he cleans that up most weeks. Probably a slow burn and hope he keeps his job when others return. On my radar being a basement price.


    1. “Probably not this week. He’s very very close. We’ve been real impressed with this kid. He’s been in our system 5 minutes but he’s taken us by storm. I’ve got no doubt you’ll see him in the coming weeks.” Damien Hardwick


  7. Anyone else been waiting for round 1 to start for ages but now feels like they’re not ready!!!

    Good luck to you all……..except those I’m in league battles with!! Haha


  8. TU – Sheezel (has been named R1)
    TD – McLean (if names R1)

    One of these players will probs be my F6.


  9. Brilliant read Alza….thank you. Looking for some guidance on midfield bench selection

    TU: Phillipou
    TD: Hollands


  10. Only have 185k for a forward rookie at F6 needing some advice if anyone can help pls. Tossing up between mclean and pedlar but there’s also King, RAT, Bruce, Phillpou and menzie to consider too. Pls help and good luck to all supercoachers


    1. I’m a fan of McLean. Bevo seems to love him and the unavailability of Weightman & Jones should see him with more chances to score in early rounds



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *