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VFL player review: Round 8

VFL Highlights | Round 8 Watch the highlights from Carlton listed players in the Northern Blues' Round 8 win over Coburg.

Northern Blues coach Josh Fraser rates the performances of every Carlton-listed player from the nine-point win over Coburg.

49. Dennis Armfield
Stats: 12 disposals, 5 marks, 1 goal
From the coach: Dennis worked really hard as a forward and on the wing - he probably missed some ground ball opportunities early but came back in the second half and had an important role. He provided some good experience and leadership as he’s done every week.

62. Blaine Boekhorst
Stats: 15 disposals, 7 handball receives, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal
From the coach: His work-rate was the same as what it was before the bye, but he wasn’t able to impact the game as much as previous weeks. Having said that, he kicked a terrific goal that got us going. He needs to continue working hard on his running patterns which he’s been doing.

7. Dylan Buckley
Stats: 12 disposals, 5 handball receives, 4 tackles
From the coach: I thought he defended really well, which is something that he’s worked extremely hard on. We’re trying to balance his defensive awareness with playing to his strengths, which is using his explosive running and rebound.

59. Ciaran Byrne
Stats: 13 disposals, 5 marks, 7 handball receives
From the coach: It was a really encouraging return, having missed 12 months of football. He looked right at home and had some good runs through the middle of the ground. He’ll keep building with form and fitness.

56. Andrew Gallucci
Stats: 13 disposals, 7 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50s
From the coach: It was probably a patchy performance. He shows his creativity with the ball and his pressure but needs to show a little bit more attention to detail. We certainly think he’s tracking in the right direction with a game where he really takes hold of the contest.

32. Nick Graham
Stats: 33 disposals, 9 clearances, 6 inside 50s, 6 tackles
From the coach: He’s just super-consistent for us at VFL level. He was really strong inside the stoppages, he showed good running into space and predominantly used the ball well.

Nick Graham was a dominant performer against Coburg. (Photo: Tim Murdoch)

48. Kristian Jaksch
Stats: 15 disposals, 5 marks, 8 rebound 50s
From the coach: I thought ‘KJ’ played with a real edge this week. He’s been used down both ends and played in a key defensive post on the weekend. There was room to improve in some contests but he defended well on the whole. I thought it was a pretty strong performance from him.

31. Patrick Kerr
Stats: 13 disposals, 3 inside 50s, 1 goal
From the coach: We used him in parts in the ruck but in terms of playing his role he was outstanding. He kicked a great goal on half-time and he’s a really crafty leading forward who we think has a pretty bright future ahead of him. 

72. Sam Kerridge
Stats: 31 disposals, 16 marks, 7 handball receives, 1 goal
From the coach: He worked tirelessly again and for the most part used the ball well around the ground. He provides good leadership in the middle, setting up our structure around the ball. 

76. Kym Lebois
Stats: 1 goal, 5 tackles
From the coach: His first half was really encouraging: his pressure was second to none with some terrific tackling efforts. He’s got some real x-factor in his game: the next step is building consistency.

19. Harry McKay
Stats: 9 disposals, 9 marks (7 inside 50), 2 goals
From the coach: I thought Harry competed in the air really well, and he’s becoming more consistent. He needs to tidy up around goal considering he probably should’ve finished with five goals, but we’re certainly excited with the direction he’s heading in.

70. Harrison Macreadie
Stats: 13 disposals, 5 marks, 4 tackles
From the coach: He had a couple of terrific examples of AFL traits as a defender, identifying when his man was in the wrong spot to peel off and take an intercept mark. He’s got some attributes to find the footy and run with it, so the next step is finding more of the ball. It was a strong performance.

24. Rhys Palmer
Stats: 28 disposals, 7 marks, 9 clearances, 6 inside 50s
From the coach: His first half was terrific, where his ability to win contested ball was outstanding as well as work on the outside. His second half was patchy but on the whole his game was really strong — we’re playing good football when Rhys is.

15. Andrew Phillips
Stats: 15 disposals, 4 inside 50s, 1 goal, 44 hitouts
From the coach: I thought he was outstanding, pitted against one of the premier ruckmen in the VFL competition. He gave us first look in the middle and his marking and follow-up work around the ground was encouraging. We really liked how he went about his game.

Andrew Phillips was in fine touch against Coburg. (Photo: Tim Murdoch)

60. Jarrod Pickett
Stats: 12 disposals, 6 tackles, 1 goal
From the coach: Jarrod really showed some promising signs as a small forward, where he used explosive pace to apply pressure but was also really creative and got amongst the goals. It was a really important game for him.

67. Cameron Polson
Stats: 14 disposals, 6 handball receives, 3 inside 50s
From the coach: Didn’t have the impact we or he would’ve liked, but he’s a young player who keeps working incredibly hard on his game. We keep seeing exciting glimpses of his talent: the next step as it is with most young players is doing it consistently.

Cam Polson gets in the thick of the action on Saturday. (Photo: Tim Murdoch)

47. Ciaran Sheehan
Stats: 13 disposals, 4 inside 50s, 4 handball receives, 1 goal
From the coach: I think he’s been as consistent as anyone in our side over the course of the year. He’s using the ball as well as he ever is and his contest is terrific.

5. Billie Smedts
Stats: 15 disposals, 6 marks, 3 inside 50s, 2 goals
From the coach: His ability to run the lines was there and he hit the scoreboard, but we probably didn’t get the amount of impact that we’ve been used to across a number of roles.

43. Simon White
Stats: 15 disposals, 8 marks, 4 rebound 50s
From the coach: He was great again: it was a real leader’s game down back. He provided outstanding contest, he used the ball well and demanded structure behind the ball.

Simon White's leadership and experience came to the fore on Saturday. (Photo: Tim Murdoch)