We talk to Sandringham Dragons Talent Manager Ryan O’Connor about the team’s upcoming TAC Cup season.
2017 FINISH: Runners-up (13-8)
2017 BEST AND FAIREST: 1. Geordie Nagle / 2. Quintin Montanaro / 3. Will Walker
2017 DRAFTEES: Andrew Brayshaw (pick no.2 to Fremantle) / Will Walker (no.23 to North Melbourne) / Charlie Constable (no.36 to Geelong) / Nathan Murphy (no.39 to Collingwood) / Hamish Brayshaw (no.68 to West Coast) / Angus Styles (rookie pick no.14 to Sydney) / Joel Amartey (rookie pick no.28 to Sydney)
OTHER FORMER PLAYERS CURRENTLY ON AFL LISTS:
- Selected in 2006: Josh Kennedy (Hawthorn/Sydney), Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
- 2008: Jack Watts (Melbourne/Port Adelaide), Tom Lynch (St Kilda/Adelaide)
- 2009: Jack Gunston (Adelaide/Hawthorn), Max Gawn (Melbourne), Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast)
- 2010: Ben Jacobs (Port Adelaide/North Melbourne), Jarryd Lyons (Adelaide/Gold Coast)
- 2011: Fletcher Roberts (Western Bulldogs), Sam Frost* (GWS/Melbourne)
- 2012: James Stewart (GWS/Essendon)
- 2013: Josh Kelly (GWS), Christian Salem (Melbourne), Nathan Freeman (Collingwood/St Kilda), Zachary Merrett (Essendon), Tom Langdon (Collingwood), Karl Amon (Port Adelaide), Kurt Heatherley* (Hawthorn)
- 2014: Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne), Brayden Maynard (Collingwood), Ed Vickers-Willis (North Melbourne), Ed Langdon (Fremantle), Harry Dear (Adelaide)
- 2015: Harley Balic (Fremantle/Melbourne)
- 2016: Andrew McGrath (Essendon), Tim Taranto (GWS), Will Setterfield (GWS), Jack Scrimshaw (Gold Coast), Oliver Florent (Sydney), Cameron Polson (Carlton), Corey Lyons (Brisbane), Lachlan Filipovic* (Melbourne)
2018 AFL ACADEMY: Ben King, Max King, Bailey Smith (Level 2) / Jack Mahony, Fischer McAsey (Level 1)
2018 COACH: Jeremy Barnard (fourth season)
2018 SEASON START: vs Northern Knights (Saturday March 24) / vs Oakleigh Chargers (Saturday March 31) / vs Calder Cannons (Sunday April 8)
* CLICK HERE to see the full 2018 TAC Cup fixture.
TOP 2018 DRAFT PROSPECTS
Ben King (East Sandringham junior, nine games in 2017) and Max King (East Sandringham, seven): “Max has played forward and Ben has probably played more back in the past, but we see that being changed up a bit this year – Max might spend more time in the ruck and Ben might actually play more forward. It’s exciting when you see kids of 200cm-plus with Ben and Max’s athletic ability really take the game on.”
Bailey Smith (East Malvern junior, 12 games in 2017): “We expect Bailey to make a progression from defence to the midfield, a bit like (former Dragon and now Essendon player) Andrew McGrath did two years ago. We know Bailey will probably end up being an inside/outside midfielder, but he has really good defensive tendencies and concentration. I think he has some good goal sense as well.”
Finn Maginness (bottom-age East Brighton junior): “Finn has really jumped up out of nowhere and he impressed on the track early in pre-season. He’s going to be a midfielder but is continuing to grow and we’re hoping he might nudge 190cm. If he can keep his endurance up, he’ll be an exciting prospect.”
“We’re really lucky to have Ethan Casey (Ormond junior, three games in 2017) coming back as a 19-year-old player. He’s had to overcome a serious knee injury so I think he has the respect of the boys and they look to him for leadership. Bailey Smith (see above) and Ben King (see above) are both going well in terms of leadership, while James Rendell (top-age Mordialloc Braeside junior, four games in 2017) is also someone the boys look up to.”
POTENTIAL SURPRISE PACKETS
Joe Griffiths (19-year-old player): “Joe is a 200cm-plus ruckman who hasn’t played at TAC Cup level yet but he looks like a likely type. He’s really fitted in with the boys so I think he’ll go well.”
Alastair Richards (top-age East Malvern junior, five games in 2017): “Alastair played really nicely in our grand final side last year and maybe surprised us a bit as a bottom-ager. He looks like he’s continued that progression.”
Harrison Houlahan (top-age Beaumaris junior, two games in 2017): “Harry is very athletic and can play a number of positions. He’s almost 190cm and we’re hoping to settle him initially down back and continue his progression from there.”
FAMOUS FOOTBALL RELATIONS
Joel Crocker (top-age St Kilda City junior, five games in 2017): Son of Darren Crocker (165 AFL games for North Melbourne from 1985-98).
James Rendell (see above): Son of Matt Rendell (177 AFL games for Fitzroy and Brisbane from 1981-92).
Tyson Milne (bottom-age Cheltenham junior): Son of Stephen Milne (275 AFL games for St Kilda from 2000-13).
Jackson Voss (bottom-age Cheltenham junior): Son of Brett Voss (170 AFL games for Brisbane and St Kilda from 1997-2007).
Finn Maginness (see above): Son of Scott Maginness (131 AFL games for Hawthorn from 1988-96).
Jeremy Goddard (bottom-age Geelong Amateur junior): Brother of Hugh Goddard (nine AFL games for St Kilda from 2015-present) and cousin of Brendan Goddard (312 AFL games for St Kilda and Essendon from 2003-present).
Jai Florent (bottom-age): Brother of Oliver Florent (nine AFL games for Sydney from 2017-present).
WHAT TO EXPECT
“TAC Cup watchers can expect us to be tall; I think we have five 200cm-plus players and an another 10 that are 195cm or taller. It’ll be interesting to see how we overcome challenges to do with height and shape, but I see more of the same in regards to a structured side that looks to adhere to a game plan and work well together.”
COACHING PANEL ADDITIONS
“We’ve gone with the status quo and everyone’s stuck around here. We’re hoping we can go one kick better this year!”