AFL Draft





The Bushrangers got off to a flyer, with Jye Chalcraft booting the first goal of the day for the Bushies after taking a strong mark inside 50. Cameron Wild responded a couple of minutes later for the Knights when he was able to convert his set shot attempt after a brilliant pass from Lachlan Potter. Scores were tied at the end of the first, after a contested and exciting opening term.

The Bushrangers dominated the second quarter, kicking 4 of the next 5 goals. They were able to control the game with their clean ball use and effectiveness going inside 50. The Bushrangers led by 20 points at the main break.

Murray continued to control the game after half-time and found themselves 35 points up early into the third quarter after goals to Riley Bice, Zane Barzen and Kai Davies. The Knights were able to outscore the Bushrangers 3 goals to 2 in the final term but were unable to trim the margin, losing the game by 35 points.

Here are the players that caught my eye:

ELY SMITH | MURRAY BUSHRANGERS | D.O.B – 13/09/2000 | 187.5CM | 86KG

STATS: 24 disposals, 3 marks, 9 tackles.

Absolute bull. That’s one way to describe this contested beast. Smith’s size and strength was noticeable as he consistently broke tackles to release the ball by hand to his teammates. He’s a ball-winner and his work in close and around stoppages is first class. Smith plays with no fear and isn’t afraid to lay a tackle. There was one passage of play during the third quarter where Smith’s ‘no fear’ approach was evident. Smith threw his entire body at a marking contest after running back with the flight of the ball, catching many spectators attention. Personal favourite.

RILEY BICE | MURRAY BUSHRANGERS | D.O.B – 26/09/2000 | 184.5CM | 68KG

STATS: 18 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles and 3 goals.

The classy left-footer was dangerous inside 50, kicking 3 goals. He caught the eye in the first, snapping a great goal from a tight angle. Bice also featured throughout the Bushrangers midfield, putting his foot skills to good use. An outside player who also has speed and agility. Exciting.

LACHLAN ASH | MURRAY BUSHRANGERS | D.O.B – 21/06/2001 | 185.5CM | 77KG

STATS: 22 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles.

Ash is a bottom aged player who can play in multiple positions. He spent a lot of time across half-back, rebounding the ball beautifully by foot. He had no troubles finding the pill and he hurt the Knights with his fantastic decision-making, speed and clean ball use. He’s a very smart footballer and his composure under pressure was evident. Ash also has the ability to win the ball on the inside. Plenty of positives signs.


STATS: 13 disposals, 8 marks(4 contested), 5 tackles and 2 goals.

Garoni marked everything that came in his direction, taking several contested marks throughout the day. He was the go-to man inside the Bushrangers forward 50 and presented well all day, booting two goals. Garoni is a tough matchup for opposition due to his size and versatility. His follow up work when the ball hits the ground is superb and his repeated efforts are top notch.

Jye Chalcraft, Zane Barzen, Kyle Clarke, Tom Boyd and James Boyer were also impressive for the Bushrangers.


STATS: 28 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles, 2 behinds.

Gillard found a lot of the ball in all areas of the ground, which tells us a lot about his work-rate. He always finds a way to stay involved in the contest and is a good user by foot. There was a passage of play where he took several bounces on the wing, lowered his eyes and hit up a Knights player inside 50. He had 8 touches in the first 8 minutes of the third term. A clearance player that is great around stoppages, but also can find it on the outside.

STEFAN UZELAC | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 09/04/2000 | 193CM | 100KG

STATS: 12 disposals, 9 marks(2 contested), 3 tackles.

The 100kg monster was rock-solid for the Knights down back. Uzlec read the play well all day, putting himself in the best positions to impact contests. He took plenty of strong intercept marks, and I thought he was one of the reasons why the Knights weren’t completely blown away. Probably needs to improve his ball use and decision making, but besides that, he played a great game.


STATS: 12 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle.

The lightly framed midfielder reminds me a lot of how Jaidyn Stephenson plays. Potter loves to take the game on and isn’t afraid of being caught holding the ball (which did happen a couple of times). His composure at full-speed was evident when he was able to lower his eyes when entering the forward 50, hitting a Knights player on the chest. Potter ran hard all day, linking up with many Knights players throughout the middle of the ground. He needs to work on his decision-making and ball use, but he’s definitely an exciting prospect. Runs a 2.89-second 20mtr sprint.

TOM HALLEBONE | NORTHERN KNIGHTS | D.O.B – 19/07/2000 | 201CM | 85KG

STATS: 8 disposals, 4 marks, 1 tackle and 1 goal.

Hallebone’s ruck work was outstanding, giving his midfielders first use. He also spent a lot of time in the forward line, presenting well and taking several strong marks on the lead. His kicking skills and technique are also quite good for someone his size. Needs to put on some more weight and work on his marking ability in the air, but he has no doubt improved many areas of his game.

Ryan Bowkett, Ryan Gardner and Brody Bell also caught the eye for the Knights.

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