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NEAFL Coaches Comments: Round 8

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Will Brodie of the Suns handpasses the ball during the 2019 AFL round 05 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Gold Coast Suns at the Adelaide Oval on April 21, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by AFL Photos)

NEAFL Coach Nick Malceski has given his appraisal on the performances of the listed players in last weekend’s NEAFL match against Sydney.

Callum Ah Chee:

This was Cal’s first game back from his quad injury so we had him on limited minutes. He played off half-back. It was a quiet game by Cal’s standards but we’re confident he’ll get back to his best as he builds his match fitness back up.

Will Brodie:

Will played on the ball and he  found plenty of it with 27 touches, 9 tackles but started to slow down after half time. We’re working hard with Will on his running capabilities so he’s able to run out four quarters at 100% intensity at AFL level when his opportunity comes.

Brayden Crossley:

Brayden was also coming back from injury (hamstring) and was solid in the forward line. He competed hard as he always does and had a really strong third quarter where he kicked two goals. Brayden has been working on his contested marking and leading patterns and we’ll continue to work with him on that as he builds his way back into it.

Jacob Dawson:

Jacob found a lot of the ball in defence and played on a number of Sydney’s forwards. He defended well for most the game. The pleasing thing is he’s been working hard on his kicking throughout the week and we saw reward on that during the game. We’re looking forward to him backing up this game this week against GWS. 

Sam Day:

Sam played his usual role as a key forward and helping Tommy Nicholls in the ruck. He had a quieter game for his standard. We are looking forward to him getting back to his best next week.

Corey Ellis:

We played Corey in defence again this week and he is starting to play some good football. He had 17 touches on the weekend and played his role. Corey’s still building confidence after a couple of injury setbacks so we’ll look to help him continue this form consistently in the coming weeks.

Sam Fletcher:

Sam was also on the comeback from injury (quad) and played limited minutes. He didn’t have the impact he would have liked in his first game back but has already switched his focus to this week and will be looking to improve. 

Caleb Graham:

Caleb played on some of Sydney’s dangerous tall forwards and played his role. He’s been able to compete well with most of his opponents this year and is taking strides in his development. He’ll face another tough opponent this week when we take on GWS.

Jacob Heron:

A quiet game from Speedy this week. He played down back but wasn’t able to have as much impact as he would have liked. After being named as an emergency for the seniors for a couple of weeks earlier in the season, Jacob will be hoping to bounce back next week and play the good football we know he’s capable of.

George Horlin-Smith:

George played in the midfield and was able to find plenty of the ball. His leadership was particularly noticeable out there and he was the first one to get around to all of the boys after the match. He played at a good standard and will be putting pressure on for a senior return this week. 

Jack Leslie:

Jack played deep in defence and played on different types small and tall. He’s had some solid performances in the last few weeks and we need him playing at a high level week in, week out so he pushes his way into the AFL team.

Jez McLennan:

Jez is starting to look more comfortable playing against bigger bodies and is starting to find more of the ball. He played off half-back and had 16 disposals. He’s tracking nicely in his development and if he can continue this form he’ll be asking the question for an AFL debut later in the year. 

Tom Nicholls:

Tom worked hard all day in the ruck for us. He finished with 32 hitouts and probably broke even with Darcy Cameron from Sydney. What we really liked from Tom this week was his ability to follow up at ground level with 19 disposals and six clearances. We expect more games like this from Tom in the future.

Connor Nutting:

Connor had his best game in SUNS colours for us on the weekend and was one of our best afield. He’s transitioned into a forward role this year and got the reward for his hard work on the weekend, kicking three goals. He played the type of footy we know he’s capable of on the weekend and we’re looking forward to him being a real threat for us in the forward line in the next few weeks.

Josh Schoenfeld:

Josh was very good for us in the midfield on the weekend. He’s working back to full fitness after some injury interruptions earlier in the year and competed well to finish with 31 touches. We’re looking for Josh to back this up week in, week out.