Young Guns Game preview

Sunday’s Young Guns Game at North Port Oval will provide plenty of fresh-faced Victorian talent with the opportunity to show their wares on a big stage in front of AFL recruiters.

Some may even seize the chance to convince a club to draft them later in the year, as Gold Coast’s Adam Saad did in the 2014 Young Guns Game.

VFL Academy Coach Darren Flanigan said the match could be the “icing on the cake” for AFL clubs wondering whether they should commit to drafting a certain player.

“Someone’s been drafted out of this game every year,” Flanigan said.

“Adam Saad had a really solid year playing half-back flank for Coburg in the VFL, and AFL clubs were saying ‘yes, no, yes, no, maybe’.

“The way he played in the Young Guns Game last year was outstanding; his kicking, his speed and his evasiveness was just unbelievable, and if clubs were close to committing to him, his performance sort of dotted the ‘i’ and crossed the ‘t’ for them.”

Flanigan said Saad’s subsequent performances for the Suns this season – playing 16 games as a dashing defender and earning a Rising Star nomination – demonstrated what can happen when a part-time footballer graduates to a professional environment.

According to Flanigan, players such as 20-year-old Werribee midfielder Matt Hanson could be in the same boat in this year’s Young Guns Game as Saad was in 2014.

Other VFL players to watch include Hanson’s Werribee teammate Josh Porter – a bullocking key forward – as well as raw Casey Scorpions key-position player Jordan Moncrieff, who missed a lot of junior football with bad osteitis pubis.

Dynamic Footscray twins Will and James Hayes also impressed in the VFL in 2015, as did Coburg’s Lachlan Johns.

The Young Guns Game also gives opportunities to unlucky TAC Cup players such as Dandenong’s Liam Hullett and Oakleigh’s Tom Anderson, who haven’t been able to establish themselves in their finals-bound teams after suffering injuries during the season.

Several local league players will also make the step up to a higher level on Sunday, including Old Scotch’s Jono Daggian, Cheltenham’s Daniel Vaughan, Guy Hendry from Pines in the Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL and Dale Hinkley of Birchip Watchem in the North Central FL.

No matter where the player comes from, Flanigan said there’s one major goal of having them involved in the Young Guns Game.

“A lot of them are currently on the ‘maybe’ list,” he said.

“The question is: How do we get them from the ‘maybe’ list to the ‘yes’ list?

“This is the sort of game that can do it for them.”

Sunday, 12:15pm, North Port Oval


* Photo: Goy Lok from the Sandringham Dragons


See below the Black and Green teams for the Young Guns Game:

Team No Name Current Club Age Ht Wt
Coach   George Morgan Casey Scorpions      
Coach   Ross Gemmell Northern Blues      
Black 6 Tom Papley Gippsland Power 13/07/1996 176 74
Black 7 Jacob Hickey Western Jets 4/12/1997 178 79
Black 8 Alex Urban Port Melbourne VFL 27/07/1996 180 80
Black 10 Joe Maishman Werribee FC 26/04/1996 180 78
Black 11 Jack James Calder Cannons 29/10/1996 182 78
Black 12 Lachlan Johns Coburg FC  05/04/1993  181 79 
Black 13 Jono Daggian  Old Scotch 22/02/1995 186 74
Black 15 Cody Mance Coburg FC 25/01/1995 185 79
Black 16 Tom Anderson Oakleigh Chargers 3/09/1997 185 68
Black 17 Marty Hore Bendigo Pioneers 5/03/1996 187 72
Black 18 Jack Wallace Sandringham Dragons 1/08/1996 187 78
Black 19 Luke Hannon Casey Scorpions  28/5/1995 188 83
Black 20 Matt De Bruin Gippsland Power 14/01/1996 188 75
Black 22 Guy Hendry Pines FC 10/01/1992 193 94
Black 23 Christian Buykx-Smith Gippsland Power 27/03/1996 194 84
Black 24 Michael Tilmouth-Turner Northern Knights 14/09/1996 191 96
Black 25 Mitch Vandenberg Werribee FC 5/10/1993 194 90
Black 28 Fraser Fort South Barwon/Geelong VFL 4/10/1995 197 89
Black 29 Jordan Moncrieff Casey Scorpions  24/7/1992 197 96
Black 30 Rowan Marshall North Ballarat Roosters  24/11/1995 200 94
Coach   Sean Kavanagh Oakleigh Chargers      
Coach   Trevor Rowe Oakleigh Chargers      
Green 6 James Hayes Footscray Bulldogs 5/06/1995 181 79
Green 7 Will Hayes Footscray Bulldogs 5/06/1995  180 79
Green 8 Anthony Scott Richmond VFL  28/02/1995 180 78
Green 9 Goy Lok Sandringham Dragons 28/08/1997 180 80
Green 10 Ben Allan  Coburg/Calder FC  04/06/1996 180 74
Green 11 Andrew Tashevski-Beckwith Sandringham Dragons 18/05/1997 183 85
Green 12 Daniel Foley Western Jets 24/03/1997 184 82
Green 13 Bruno Laguda Calder Cannons 14/04/1997 185 74
Green 15 Matt Hanson Werribee FC 26/05/1995 186 81
Green 17 Ben Long Northern Knights 21/08/1997 186 72
Green 18 Daniel Vaughan Cheltenham 16/12/1992 187 75
Green 19 Bryce Rutherford Casey Scorpions  4/12/1994 189 74
Green 20 Dale Hinkley  Birchip Watchem 23/09/1995  190 83
Green 21 Liam Hullett Dandenong Stingrays  14/3/1997  194  89
Green 22 Declan Keilty Casey Scorpions  8/5/1995 194 85
Green 23 Brayden Sier Northern Knights  12/12/1997 190 91
Green 24 Cameron Tudor St Josephs/Geelong VFL 29/06/1992 196 89
Green 26 Lachlan Waddell Port Melbourne VFL 12/05/1995 200 96
Green 28 Brody Mihocek Werribee FC 4/02/1993 192 97
Green 29 Josh Porter Werribee FC 26/04/1994 196 98


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