GWV Rebels season preview recently chatted to GWV Rebels Talent Manager Phil Partington about the club’s top individual talent and team prospects for season 2017.




2016 FINISH: 6th (12-7)

2016 BEST AND FAIREST: 1. Hugh McCluggage / 2. Willem Drew / 3. Callan Wellings

2016 DRAFTEES: Hugh McCluggage (pick no.3 to Brisbane) / Jarrod Berry (no.17 to Brisbane) / Cedric Cox (no.24 to Brisbane) / Willem Drew (no.33 to Port Adelaide) / Tom Williamson (no.61 to Carlton) / Jamaine Jones (rookie pick no.48 to Geelong)

- Selected in 2000: Drew Petrie (North Melbourne/West Coast)
- 2004: Matthew Rosa (West Coast/Gold Coast)
- 2006: Nathan Brown (Collingwood/St Kilda), James Frawley (Melbourne/Hawthorn), Shaun Grigg (Carlton/Richmond)
- 2007: Kyle Cheney (Melbourne/Hawthorn/Adelaide)
- 2008: Nick Suban (Fremantle), Jordan Roughead (Western Bulldogs)
- 2009: David Astbury (Richmond), Matt Dea (Richmond/Essendon), Josh Cowan (Geelong)
- 2010: Tom McDonald (Melbourne), Jeremy Cameron (GWS)
- 2011: Sebastian Ross (St Kilda), Tom Downie (GWS), Brad Crouch (Adelaide)
- 2012: Michael Close (Brisbane), Martin Gleeson (Essendon), Jake Neade (Port Adelaide), Jake Lloyd* (Sydney)
- 2013: Matt Crouch (Adelaide), Dallas Willsmore* (Hawthorn)
- 2014: Oscar McDonald (Melbourne), Daniel Butler (Richmond), Jesse Palmer (Port Adelaide)
- 2015: Jacob Hopper (GWS), Daniel Rioli (Richmond), Darcy Tucker (Fremantle)

2017 COACH: Gerard FitzGerald (second season)


Aiden Domic (pictured - 11 games, ave. 13 disposals and four marks in 2016): “Aiden’s a player AFL clubs really like not just because of his skill assets but also his endurance base. He’s a hard-running midfielder who uses the ball very well but also has a very high work rate. He played the majority of games for us last year as a half back flanker/winger but he’ll go on-ball this year. He’s an indigenous boy who’s gone through the Kickstart programs and played Vic Country U16s as well.”

Jordan Johnston (15 games, 26 goals, ave. 11 disposals in 2016): “Jordan played some good TAC Cup footy last year and kicked a bag of seven goals against the Sandringham Dragons. He’s a small to medium forward and a bit of a jack-rabbit who likes jumping at the football, but he knows where the goals are as well. We’ll use him as a lead-up forward and on the ball this year to develop other parts of his game. Unfortunately he had an ankle injury late last year which he had operated on, so he’s done no pre-season and I don’t expect him to be playing in probably the first couple of rounds.”


Dale Cox (not on list in 2016): “We had Dale’s cousin (and subsequent Brisbane draftee) Cedric Cox on our list last year. Dale moved down from Halls Creek earlier in 2017 and he’s a top-age player. He’s got really good leg speed and some good skills about him as well. We’re excited to see how he develops in a full-time TAC Cup environment and if an AFL club will be excited by what they see. He’s similar to Cedric in terms of his running capabilities and his speed at the moment.”


Lloyd Meek (15 games, seven goals, ave. 10 disposals, four tackles and 15 hitouts in 2016): “Lloyd was a Vic Country ruckman last year. We know ruckmen develop later and Lloyd’s grown since last season – he’s 202cm now – and he’s a bit thicker in the body as well. We just need him to make a bigger impact on games and be a bit more aggressive around the football, so that’s one thing he’s been working really hard on.”

Callan Wellings (16 games, ave. 22 disposals and five marks in 2016): “Callan was probably unlucky not to get an opportunity at the drafts last year, but he was injured for basically the first half of the year. Seeing him fully fit towards the end of 2016 was really encouraging for us. He’s working extremely hard on his contested football, and training with North Ballarat’s VFL team this pre-season has helped him with that. He’ll be a great leader for our football club and really show the younger boys in the program the required training level and attitude.”


Thomas Berry: Bottom-age brother of Jarrod (drafted to Brisbane in 2016). “Tom’s probably similar to Jarrod – a running half back flanker who can go on-ball, and his running capability’s also very high. He was a leader in our U16 program last year and certainly has those leadership traits similar to Jarrod (who captained the Rebels in 2016).”

Matthew Lloyd: Bottom-age brother of Jake (69 AFL games for Sydney). “Matthew’s probably a bit taller than Jake when he was going through the program. He’s a half back flanker/midfielder who’s going to have some height about him. He has some good work ethic attributes like his brother has.”


“I think we had a very high-end talent base last year and we’re going to be a lot more even across the board this year. I also think we’re going to be more of a bottom-age team than we were last year. The one thing (head coach) Gerard FitzGerald and I have spoken about is making the team a really competitive team, so we’re going to have really no stand-out players. We’re just hoping the boys will be really competitive, and from being really competitive in games, a few boys might pop their heads up and become draft-able players.”


“We’ve introduced two new assistant coaches and we’re very lucky to have these boys involved. Ash Baker was the head coach of the Ballarat Football Club for the last four years and he’s a school teacher at Ballarat High School. Joe Carmody has coached in his own right at SMW Rovers Senior Football Club and was at the Ballarat Football Club last year as director of coaching, and he’s a high-level teacher at St Patrick’s College. Also, Leigh Marriott’s coming in to be one of our development coaches. He’s been involved with North Ballarat’s VFL program for quite a few years, he was a Carlton runner for a while there and he’s had recruiting experience with the Geelong Football Club as well.”


CLICK HERE to view the full TAC Cup list


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