STATS CENTRAL: End of dark Knights

The Northern Knights have endured three particularly dark years, but the club looks to be emerging into the light.

The Knights finished 10th in 2014 (with a record of 6-11), 10th in 2015 (4-13) and 12th in 2016 (4-12) after reaching a semi final in 2013, but a 2-1 start to 2017 and a list full of talent will have them thinking of a return to September action.

Northern was dominant in the early days of the TAC Cup. The Knights won four consecutive premierships from 1993-96 but haven’t reached a Grand Final since, and Talent Manager Rhy Gieschen said earlier this year it was time for a change.

“We want to bring the Knights back to being one of the stronger TAC Cup regions,” Gieschen said. “Going through a pretty poor year last year has probably really galvanised the playing group and they want to have some more on-field success.

“About midway through last year we made a real effort to put time and effort into some of our bottom-age players – they played every game when they were available for us and in key roles. We think that will hold us in pretty good stead this year.”

That effort to blood bottom-age players in 2016 is bearing fruit now.

2017 captain Nick Coffield played every game last year and the rebounding defender became the match-winning forward in Northern’s 16-point victory over the Western Jets in Round 1, booting four second-half goals to go with his 22 disposals.

In the same game, Marcus Lentini (13 games in 2016) had a match-high 31 disposals, while Alex Federico (eight games) was influential in the contests with 22 disposals and seven clearances and Patrick Naish (nine games - pictured) dynamic inside 50 with two goals.

Last week against the Eastern Ranges, Joel Naylor (nine games in 2016) was the hero of Northern’s 15-point victory with six goals. Ethan Penrith (17 games) had a round-high 13 tackles and Jack Petruccelle – who burst onto the scene in two games late in 2016 – had 19 disposals and six inside-50s.

Gieschen’s investment in the future late last year may yet take the club back to the glories of its past.


Round 3 keys to victory:

17: The Gippsland Power marked and disposed of the ball less than Bendigo in their 26-point victory over the Pioneers, but did the tough stuff better with 17 more contested possessions and eight more clearances. Sale junior Nick Hogan (16 contested possessions and nine clearances) and Traralgon product Nick Lowden (13 and six) were the Power’s best in the clinches.

73: The Sandringham Dragons effectively monopolised possession in their 64-point win against the Western Jets. Last year’s premiers had 73 more uncontested marks and 134 more uncontested possessions than the Jets, with Old Brighton junior Quintin Montanaro finding the space to rack up round-highs of 10 uncontested marks and 21 uncontested possessions.

16: The Dandenong Stingrays proved the benefit of accurate kicking for goal in their 20-point triumph over the GWV Rebels, getting the win despite having the same number of shots on goal (16.6 to 12.10). Rosebud product Jai Nanscawen (4.1) and Crib Point junior Bailey Williams (three goals straight) were Dandy’s chief dead-eyes.


Round 3 stats leaders:

Adam Cerra Eastern Ranges 28  
Ben Caluzzi Calder Cannons 23  
Nick Hogan Gippsland Power 21  
Mackenzie Doreian Eastern Ranges 19  
Caleb Sheahan Bendigo Pioneers 18  
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 18  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 18  
Matthew Day Oakleigh Chargers 18  
Lachlan Gill Bendigo Pioneers 17  
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 17  
Will Donaghey Murray Bushrangers 17  
Oliver Stapleton Northern Knights 17  
Jean-Luc Velissaris Calder Cannons 16  
Harry Benson Geelong Falcons 16  
Xavier O'Neill Oakleigh Chargers 16  
Darby Henderson Bendigo Pioneers 23  
Cassidy Parish Geelong Falcons 15  
Ben Paton Murray Bushrangers 14  
Andrew Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 14  
Charlie Thompson Oakleigh Chargers 13  
Sebastian Williams Sandringham Dragons 13  
Matthew McGannon Gippsland Power 13  
Max Dreher Northern Knights 13  
Howie Persson Sandringham Dragons 13  
Laitham Vandeermeer Murray Bushrangers 13  
Callan Wellings GWV Rebels 12  
Mitch Cotter Dandenong Stingrays 12  
Bailey Smith Sandringham Dragons 12  
Jacob Atley Bendigo Pioneers 12  
Oscar Brownless Geelong Falcons 12  
Quintin Montanaro Sandringham Dragons 10  
Angus Schumacher Bendigo Pioneers 9  
Mitchell Kemp Bendigo Pioneers 9  
Ben Paton Murray Bushrangers 8  
Kyle Clarke Murray Bushrangers 8  
Lachlan Gill Bendigo Pioneers 8  
Ryan Bruce Murray Bushrangers 8  
Caleb Sheahan Bendigo Pioneers 8  
Isaac Morrisby Sandringham Dragons 8  
Matthew McGannon Gippsland Power 7  
Angus Styles Sandringham Dragons 7  
Jordon Butts Murray Bushrangers 7  
Ari Sakeson Sandringham Dragons 7  
Sean Masterson Gippsland Power 7  
Aaron Trusler Sandringham Dragons 7  
Julian Patterson Gippsland Power 33  
Ethan Casey Sandringham Dragons 30  
Lloyd Meek GWV Rebels 29  
Matthew Harman Northern Knights 29  
Joel Grace Northern Knights 28  
Ben Kelly Murray Bushrangers 27  
Nathan White Oakleigh Chargers 26  
Jobee Warde Bendigo Pioneers 23  
Anthony Jenkins Oakleigh Chargers 20  
Hayden Elliot Geelong Falcons 17  
Mike Washington Calder Cannons 17  
Daniel Hanna Calder Cannons 16  
Tom Roberts Dandenong Stingrays 15  
Tom Hogan Dandenong Stingrays 12  
Lukas Essenwanger GWV Rebels 12  
Liam Middleton Calder Cannons 13  
Ethan Penrith Northern Knights 13  
Ben Caluzzi Calder Cannons 12  
Tynan Smith Northern Knights 11  
Andrew Brayshaw Sandringham Dragons 11  
Harrison Jones Murray Bushrangers 10  
Trent Reed GWV Rebels 10  
Charlie Thompson Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Jack Hewitt Oakleigh Chargers 10  
Adrian Kalcovski Eastern Ranges 10  
Luke Hitch Western Jets 10  
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 9  
Lucas Woodward Eastern Ranges 9  
Angus Hicks Murray Bushrangers 9  
Ben McIntosh Murray Bushrangers 9  
2017 LEADING GOALKICKERS Last round Total
David Handley Geelong Falcons 2 9
Gryan Miers Geelong Falcons 3 9
Brent Daniels Bendigo Pioneers 4 9
Toby Wooller Oakleigh Chargers 3 8
Jaidyn Stephenson Eastern Ranges DNP 8
Riley D'Arcy Dandenong Stingrays 3 7
Charlie Whitehead Oakleigh Chargers 4 7
Isaac Morrisby Sandringham Dragons 4 7
Aaron Trusler Sandringham Dragons 4 6
Jordon Reid Geelong Falcons 1 6


Related content:

REVIEW: TAC Cup Round 3

STATS CENTRAL: Falcons flying forward


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