Published on June 18, 2017 7:26 am

PREVIEW/TEAMS: Vic Metro heads west

Vic Metro is preparing to make the trip west to face Western Australia in their first match of the NAB AFL U18 Championships.

Despite the trip being among the longest in the game of Australian football, Vic Metro coach Martin Allison is not allowing it to intimidate his squad.

“We don’t highlight that it is a long trip, we just focus on that it is an interstate trip which is a good learning opportunity for the players to prepare for, particularly those that are going to be on an AFL list,” he said.

“We’ve got a job to do, it’s strictly business, we go over there, we get the job done, and come home. We don’t really focus on the distance or the travel, time in the air, we just have the players focused on the job that needs to be done, how we want to play, and what we want to get out of the game.”

After WA’s dramatic golden point victory against South Australia on Saturday, Allison believes that the hosts have the advantage of experiencing the higher standard of football.

“To have that game already in the bank, whether they won it or lost it, the margin really for me is inconsiderable. To have the experience of actually playing at the higher level is probably a little bit to WA’s advantage than our boys going in fresh.”

In terms of his own players, Allison believes that there are players to keep an eye on, and hopes that there are also a few surprise packets along the way.

“I think Jaidyn Stephenson and Patrick Naish are really quick outside skillful players, the sort of style of footy that we want to play, I like to think that they will be very good players by the end of the carnival.

“Sam Hayes in the ruck I think is going to be quite influential both in the ruck and as a forward, Noah Balta brings a level of athleticism to the key back, and I think he’s going to be quite useful,” Allison said.

“Those players are pretty well-known, I guess the exciting thing from a coaching point of view is watching those players that aren’t as well-known that will make that step up. It can just be from one game to the next, their development will rise quite sharply. Every year there’s three or four of those players that just jump up out of nowhere, where people wouldn’t expect.

“There’s a few of those players that I think we’ve got that are capable of rising to that new level.”

Ahead of the trip, Vic Metro have recently announced that Eastern Ranges prospect Joel Garner will captain the squad.

Allison highlighted Garner’s previous leadership experience as being a key to his selection as captain.

“As far as his leadership goes, he led these guys in the U16s Metro Carnival as well, and he captains Scotch College in the APS and the Ranges, so he’s got a wealth of experience that he brings, and he has the respect of the players,” he said.

“He’s always thinking about team, so those were the things that no doubt the players looked towards, when they voted him as their preferred player and the coaching staff agreed with their assessment.”

The match kicks off at 11:00am (WA time) on Sunday June 18 at Domain Stadium. Follow updates on twitter @TACCup or #NABAFLU18s



Backs 24. Durak Tucker 27. Sam Taylor 18. Zareth Roe
H Backs 17. Jaxon Cahill 29. Aaron Naughton 6. Jarrod Cameron
Centres 3. Tom Joyce 22. Kyron Hayden 13. Gordon Narrier
H Fwds 21. Matt Young 25. Oscar Allen 8. Sydney Stack
Fwds 20. Brandon Starcevich 28. Ben Miller 2. Ian Hill
Followers 31. Jonathan Frampton 11. Callum England 9. Jake. Patmore
Interchange 19. Christian Ameduri 35. Louis Miller 15. Brayden Ainsworth
  16. Jordan Boullineau 10. Connor West
  4. Lachlan Mitchell (Emerg) 26. Chris Scott (Emerg)


Backs 3 Ethan Penrith 29 Harrison Nolan 11 Ryley Stoddart
  Northern Knights Eastern Ranges Eastern Ranges
H Backs 8 Joel Garner 28 Noah Balta 6 Dylan Landt
  Eastern Ranges Calder Cannons Calder Cannons
Centres 14 Jack Petruccelle 17 Adam Cerra 5 Patrick Naish
  Northern Knights Eastern Ranges Northern Knights
H Fwds 18 Curtis Taylor 27 Toby Wooller 23 Jaidyn Stephenson
  Calder Cannons Oakleigh Chargers Eastern Ranges
Fwds 2 Jack Higgins 30 Hayden McLean 1 Dylan Moore
  Oakleigh Chargers Sandringham Dragons Eastern Ranges
Followers 37 Sam Hayes 19 Cameron Rayner 13 Trent Mynott
  Eastern Ranges Western Jets Eastern Ranges
Interchange 12 Callum Searle 25 Nicholas Coffield 15 Angus Styles
  Oakleigh Chargers Northern Knights Sandringham Dragons
  26 Mitchell Podhajski 36 Tristan Xerri 
  Calder Cannons Western jets
 Emergencies 16 Thomas North 22 Riley Jones
  Eastern Ranges Oakleigh Chargers

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