Waiting in the wings: Port debutant flag, Eagles squeeze, Durham & DGB debuts
Some familiar names will again be pushing for selection this week, while some stars are set to return for the West Coast Eagles and there’s a few potential debutants pushing their cases.
West Coast captain Luke Shuey (AF $678k SC $508k MID) made his first competitive appearance in months on Saturday after a long layoff with a hamstring injury, which may impact Luke Edwards‘ (AF $241K SC $117k MID) AFL selection.
The West Coast Eagles WAFL report confirming the return was a success: “Shuey finished the match with 22 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.” Alex Witherden (AF $650k SC $428k DEF) also made his return in the same game from a groin injury, collecting 26 disposals and six marks. He’s a threat to Luke Foley‘s (AF $230k SC $161k DEF) position too.
Dylan Williams (AF $170k SC $123k M/F) was impressive in a big loss for Port Adelaide, kicking 6.2 goals from his 12 disposals to be best afield. With Robbie Gray (AF $547k SC $450k FWD) out injured along with Orazio Fantasia (AF $452k SC $286k D/F), there may be a spot for Williams in Port’s line-up.
The Footscray Bulldogs secured an impressive comeback win over Geelong on Friday, with one-gamer Riley Garcia (AF $170k SC $123k MID) doing well. The Dogs report said: “Riley Garcia (30 disposals, three tackles) and Patrick Lipinski (31 disposals, 3 goals) were the most influential around the ball.”
Despite the loss to Footscray on the weekend, Jordan Clark (AF $388k SC $263k D/M) was dominant again with 25 disposals, eight marks and 3 goals.
Will Phillips (AF $279k SC $195k M/F) was impressive in North’s win over Coburg, finishing with 30 disposals, seven tackles and nine clearances. North VFL coach Leigh Adams said: “What he’s doing is he’s setting his game up really well so that when he does get another AFL call-up, he’s right to go.”
Eddie Ford (AF $170k SC $117k FWD) is another one to watch, kicking two goals up forward. North’s VFL report said: “Ford is looking more at home in senior football on a weekly basis and is starting to knock on the door for an AFL debut.”
Youngster Jack Carroll (AF $190k SC $117k MID) put in a strong performance in their win over Port Melbourne. Carlton’s VFL report said: “Jack Carroll was a standout with 25 disposals and four clearances”. In the forward line Josh Honey (AF $170k SC $123k M/F) was lively finishing the game with three goals.
Richmond drew level with Williamstown at the final siren on Sunday, with Patrick Naish (AF $286k SC $155k MID) and Matthew Parker (AF $308k SC $141k M/F) the standouts. Riley Collier-Dawkins (AF $372k SC $243k MID) was impactful in the contest and finished the game with 23 disposals and four tackles.
Tanner Bruhn (AF $223k SC $161k M/F) had strong patches, and finished game with 17 disposals and a goal as the Giants lost to Werribee. The Giants VFL report said: “Tanner started the game really well. His inside work at the stoppages is clearly a strength.”
Gold Coast beat Aspley by six points, with youngster Jeremy Sharp (AF $221k SC $141k MID) finding plenty of the ball, collecting 31 disposals to go with his seven marks. Top 10 draft pick Elijah Hollands (AF $258k SC $180k M/F) only had 10 disposals on his return from long-term injury.
Top 10 draft pick Denver Grainger-Barras (AF $260k SC $184k DEF) is a possible late season debutant, making his club debut with 10 disposals and eight marks. Mid-season draftee Jackson Callow (AF $170k SC $102k FWD) had seven marks and kicked two goals. Connor Downie (AF $202k SC $117k MID) had 18 disposals.
Another top 10 draft pick Zach Reid (AF $261k SC $166k DEF) returned from glandular fever, while mid-season draftee Sam Durham (AF $170k SC $102k D/M) had 20 possessions and six marks. Essendon development coach Cam Roberts said: “He’s a really good decision maker with ball in hand, so he was able to generate some good ball movement off half back for us. That was super pleasing.”
Connor Ballenden (AF $180k SC $146k Fwd) had 19 disposals and seven marks, while Nakia Cockatoo‘s (AF $243k SC $123k M/F) game ended prematurely which is a worry for the injury-prone recruit.