Under 18 previews
Wednesday, 25th May, 2011
South out for revenge as West look too good
Game one of round six in the Under 18 football competition is between South and Central.
The Kangaroos will be looking to get back on the winners list after suffering their first defeat at the hands of West last week. While the experts will tell you a loss to a top side won't hurt them, the Southerners will be hurting as they are proud of their record at this level and will be hell bent on inflicting a loss to Central.
Heath Caldwell should return for tonight's game and if he does he provides the x-factor and can turn a game on its head in one quarter of football, so expect Central to try and tag him out of the game. Marc Purcell looks to be struggling a little and appears to be carrying some sort of leg injury but still manages to get the ball and his heart will get him through. The Kangaroos will need to monitor his workload if he is injured. Cody Schorn is the standout player at this level and, unusually, he showed some signs of frustration last week and will be determined to make amends. Jared Burcher and Carson Banning are having career best seasons and are a perfect foil for the three above mentioned stars. Jordan Holmes is the competition's best ruckman and Ayden Pettit returned to form last start after struggling for most of the season thus far.
Jack Bird has been a find for South this year, still playing U/16 Bird bobs up each week with a goal and gives South another option in attack or on the wing.
The scoreboard tells us Central had a big win against North last week but that is deceiving with North in the game until the 10 minute mark of the last term. Curtis Jelbert is having a fine season and seems to have been playing at this level forever. Kyle Farcich is the standout key defender in the competition and the Magpie forward line functioned well last start with Riley Pearce, Jake Gepp, Zaden White and Kane Read all looking dangerous. Jack Roberts and Rodrick Jones give 100 per cent each week and Ethan Williams played his best every game last start and will be keen to build on that performance.
This will be a close game with the result depending on who runs out for each side. One loss is not enough for me to jump off South but expect Central to come out firing because a win here could see them be on the same points as South.
Game two between North and West will see the Bulldogs take some confidence into a game for the first time this season. Even though they are winless so far their performance was first rate against Central. Cameron Mackay, Josh Sheargold, Ryan Lehman, Ben Schorn and Robert Naudi have consistently been in North's best players over the first five rounds and are all having solid seasons. Jordan Vella provides run and always looks dangerous and Dimos Gazppis pops up with a goal or two each week. Matthew Grey played his best game of the season last start and inspiration skipper Zac Wauchope is providing a target up forward after spending most of his life in defence.
Dylan Stuart is the missing link; if Stuart can string a few games together he can turn a game off his own boot. West have now won three in a row and look to be at full strength. Keta Balchin and Nathan Kickett are dangerous around goals and Heath Teelow provides a target wherever he plays. Cynan Smith and Nick Agius are out and out stars and let's hope Agius has recovered from his injury last week. Bryant Mitchell is the rock in defence and in a throw back to the 80s it's Pettit, Harris, Hunt, Grose and King who are playing well, only this time it's Cohen, Heath, Mason, Hagen and Liam making names for themselves.
West should win and continue their winning run but don't discount North who look to be getting it together. The ladder at the moment sees South on four wins with West and Central on three wins each, so these three teams have everything to play for and we could have three teams tied on top of the ladder after this round.
NORTH: Z. Wauchope, D. Sturt, R. Lehman, R. Naudi, J. Vella, C. Mackay, E. Thomas, J. Sheargold, M. Grey, A. Dorman, N. Hill, S. Sutcliffe, C. Spangler, L. Hobba, B. McInnes, L. Henderson, J. Sturt, P. Morgan, M. Hiscock, B. Schorn, B. Martin, D. Gazppis, M. Mutu, D. Sanderson, B. Hack.
CENTRAL: E. McInnes, L. Muscat, J. McAllister, J. Gepp, R. Pearce, K. Reed, I. Sullivan, J. Roberts, D. Trebilcock, J. Dart, K. Farcich, C. Jelbert, J. Dwyer, K. Dwyer, R. Jones, J. Willoughby, Z. White, J. Bressanelli, S. Williams.
SOUTH: M. Purcell, C. Schorn, L. Lines, J. Holmes, A. Pettitt, L. Whitelaw, H. Caldwell, B. Westley, R. Schorn, J. Tonkin, B. Theoharidis, B. Wall, B. Pittaway, K. Rolton, J. Burcher, J. Bird, C. Banning, T. Banning, D. Hibberd, A. Carroll, J. Spratt, B. Thickett.
WEST: H. Grose, C. Smith, T. Davey, J. Caruana, M. Hunt, M. Everuss, H. Teelow, K. Balchin, B. Bright, J. Hodgkins, J. Carpenter, C. O'Donell, H. Harris, R. McInnes, C. Rosewarn, D. Capper, C. Pettitt, L. O'Donnell, B. Mitchell, J. Kappe, K. Bugmy, L. King, C. Smith, N. Aguis.