DANIEL O'Keefe analyses the performances of the nine AFL-listed players who took to the field in the VFL on Saturday afternoon.
See what Daniel O'Keefe had to say about the nine AFL-listed players who took the field on Saturday afternoon.
4. Lochie O’Brien
Stats: 21 disposals, one goal.
He worked really hard all day on the wing: he was really clever with how he positioned himself, even late in the game when we went into some scenario-based game play. He was able to have some really good leadership there as an AFL player should, and led from the front in that regard. His running patterns and his ability to help the defence was evident throughout the day. Like Liam [Stocker], his kicking efficiency was really high and really impactful for us: it is a strength of his on his left foot and he was able to bring that and clearly with metres gained, that was a strength of his on the day.
Similar to Sam Ramsay, we just wanted to make sure we get our stoppage positions right and that can be a little bit on us as coaches but also on Lochie: 'how does he put himself in a position where he can impact his role to the best of his ability?'
13. Liam Stocker
Stats: 38 disposals, two tackles, one goal.
It was an outstanding performance by Liam. He went out and played as a half back for the entire game, and off the back of that he had the ball 38 times which clearly suggests he had a great impact on the game. What he did do was he owned his defenders, so not necessarily playing a real long, hard lock-down role, but he owned the space which then allowed him to roll off and support and take some really good intercept marks. The beauty of Liam is that, yes he got some ball that was less about defending really hard and more about just putting himself in good positions to receive, but he used it extremely well. His weapon is by foot and that’s something that was prolific in his game in that he was able to pierce the ground with his foot skills.
As a defender, we want to see him really have a hard-nosed, defensive approach and that is something we’ve reviewed and talked through him with, particularly at a higher ball, the decision-making process, ‘does he fly or stay down and defend his man?’ They were just some things that we looked at with him.
28. David Cuningham
Stats: 28 disposals, four tackles, one goal.
He was certainly lively throughout the whole game: he played mainly as a midfielder and pieces up forward as well. His ability to compete inside the contest as a midfielder was really strong and off the back of that, when he won the ball, his burst with ball in hand was super. t’s very hard to lay a hand on him when he’s driving through like that, and that’s something that we’re trying to work on with him and be consistent with: his driving forward with his legs, particularly when he’s under pressure. He was involved in plenty of scores himself so that tells you enough that he was in the game quite well.
29. Corey Durdin
Stats: 10 disposals, one goal.
Corey played as a small forward for the entire game. He played more game time than he had in previous weeks due to his injury that he’s come off and he pulled through that really well, so it was a really good outing from Corey in that regard, in terms of building his fitness base and his game play. We’ve seen some really good improvement in his forward running patterns so off the back of that we think it gets him in the game a lot more, which is exciting for Corey because we know what he can do with ball in hand. Corey hit the scoreboard this week too which is what we love about him: he kicked plenty of goals last year over in the SANFL so we’re starting to see that come into fruition now.
One goal he kicked, he hit the ground ball at full speed and then dribbled it along the ground like an opportunist forward does. We love his one percenters, his blocks and his bumpers and his ability to bring other teammates into the game was really strong. We’re continually working on him with his pressure: his pressure is certainly one of his assets and strengths, so we just need to make sure he brings that every game and adopt things like engaging his opponent: when he’s in a non-dangerous position, looking at how he can drag an opponent out and make more space for his teammates.
33. Sam Ramsay
Stats: 22 disposals, five tackles.
He’s had a couple of really nice games. He brought his tackle pressure again off the back of stoppages. His ability to run all day is super strong so when he sees space, particularly wide, to be able to break into that space, if he doesn’t get used, he opens up corridor space behind him for his teammates which is great. He keeps really simple by foot at the moment in terms seeing a free man and taking that option - whether it be 15 metres in front of him or 40 metres in front of him - which we love about him.
A couple of times he got caught coming in a little bit too close and was sort of following the opposition in when he was in a sweeper role, so that’s something that we wanted to hold space with and be more controlling in a stoppage that way.
34. Sam Philp
Stats: 16 disposals, four tackles, one goal.
He played two and a bit quarters, played mainly wing and a tiny bit on ball: he was really good. He’s building back from an injury as well so it was managed time. His running patterns were really solid, his kicking was really good too with his ability to take a short option when he sees it and pierce the corridor or with the 'around ball' was fantastic. We love it when he stays low on a ground ball and drives through it because he does it with real intensity and a few times he got rewarded with doing that: it’s just about staying consistent with that and making sure he does drive through tackles and drives through contests.
36. Josh Honey
Stats: 17 disposals, five tackles, one goal.
His power and his run was sensational, he had the most sprints on the ground by a long way. He consistently produces that and we expect that from him every game, that’s when he’s at his best. His tackling and closing speed is something that has improved this year and we love that he’s playing with physical presence now because he is such a strong athlete. He played a high half-forward role, he hit the back of stoppages for us and put pressure on the opposition, so he’s very diligent with that. He made some decision-making errors as well as his execution by foot, which is something we’ll continue to work on with him moving forward.
43. Will Setterfield
Stats: 14 disposals, 11 tackles.
He came back to the reserves on the weekend, he had a clear focus with his pressure and that’s what he certainly brought. I think he had 11 tackles which was a game-high and a lot of them were pre-clearance so he was able to do that and apply pressure at most stoppages. He numbered off really well which also put him in a position to pressure the opposition and he was able to break away from stoppages both defensively and in attack which was fantastic as well. A little bit of a focus was his ball security: when did 'Setters' did win the ball, we just need to make sure he’s making good decisions, whether he holds the ball in or he can feed it out and not just coughing it up, as well as having a little bit more of a defensive mindset at stoppages is something that we’re working on with him, particularly late in the game.
44. Matt Owies
Stats: 12 disposals, four goals, four tackles.
Matt kicked four goals and they all came in the first half. He was a dynamo in that period of time and found opportunist goals, whether it was snaps over the head or quick jams on the boot under pressure from stoppages. His ability to stalk stoppages was fantastic, so when the opposition tried to chain it out of the back of a stoppage, he was constantly there applying pressure. We’re just working with him on some fundamentals in terms of completing his plays, whether it be with marks or ball security: things like that would help him have more scoreboard impact and more impact on the game.