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Brayshaw, Stretch impress in VFL

Matt Burgan  March 17, 2015 2:21 PM

AFL 2015 Portraits - Melbourne Demons

Angus Brayshaw poses for a photograph during the Melbourne Demons portrait session at the MCG, Melbourne on January 29, 2015. (Photo: Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

Angus [Brayshaw] put in a really, really strong performance in his first game at VFL level

DRAFTEES Angus Brayshaw and Billy Stretch impressed in their first senior outings in a VFL practice match last weekend, according to Casey coach Justin Plapp.

Plapp, who is in his first season as coach of the Scorpions, but is working full-time for Melbourne, said Brayshaw and Stretch were strong contributors against Box Hill. 

“Angus put in a really, really strong performance in his first game at VFL level,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“He certainly showed some real poise and strong contested efforts, which is what his trademark is. But his performance on the weekend was a really strong performance I thought.

“Billy was very much the same as [Brayshaw] – although he has a lighter body – but the things he did were really good. His running ability and understanding of the game was definitely a highlight. He was another who put in a really strong performance as well.

“From a development point of view, he’s building and is heading in the right direction.”

In total, seven Melbourne-listed players played in the VFL, with big men Cam Pedersen, Jack Fitzpatrick and Jake Spencer also having a run. Plapp said Pedersen took some “strong contested marks and had a run in the ruck” and Spencer was “dominant in the ruck”.

Tall draftee Oscar McDonald, the younger brother of Tom, also played up forward to further his development and “worked tirelessly”, according to Plapp.

Rookie James Harmes also featured, with Plapp saying the midfielder displayed some “positive signs” after a good pre-season.

Plapp said the positive aspect from the practice match was the overall team performance against Box Hill.

“Box Hill had about 18 AFL players playing – and I understand it was only the first VFL practice match – but we felt that we got a really consistent contribution across the board,” he said.

“The work that we’ve done over the pre-season – from an AFL and VFL point of view and an alignment point of view – has already started to show some positive signs.

“The players’ performance against Box Hill was really good.”

Casey will play five VFL practice matches before its opening match of the season against Frankston at Casey Fields on April 19.