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VFL player review: round 16

Matt Burgan  August 10, 2017 4:17 PM

When we needed him the most on the weekend, he was there. It was great to see the young man influence the game in the last quarter

CASEY coach Justin Plapp reviews the Melbourne-listed players who played in the VFL

2017 Peter Jackson VFL

Saturday, August 5, 2pm
Casey Demons 14.9 (93) d Sandringham 12.11 (83)
Casey Fields 

From the coach …

“It was probably the best win that I’ve been involved in at VFL level. From the point of view that our players were under duress and they were in conditions that weren’t conducive for good footy. We had to find a way – we were six goals down at half-time, kicking against a pretty strong breeze in the last quarter. For all of those reasons, around spirit, togetherness, our one club value and finding a way – they were on display in the second half. I think it wasn’t through any one individual performance – it was more collective. It just goes to show you’re never out of it. For those reasons, the heat was on and we had to win that game and we didn’t lay down. It was a good result and the boys should get a lot of confidence from it. We certainly played our style in the last half and we know we can be more than competitive in the coming weeks.” – Justin Plapp 

Angus Brayshaw: Angus had 34 disposals, including 16 contested possessions, seven clearances, six inside 50s and five tackles. It was really pleasing to see Angus get back to his best, as it’s been well-documented that he’s had his challenges with concussion. To see him come and play, and invest himself in the game the way he did, was really exciting to see. He was the most dominant player on the ground for mine – he used his speed and was able to win two or three critical contests. He sent a big message on the weekend.

Liam Hulett: Liam had six disposals, two marks, two inside 50s and kicked 1.1. He didn’t have a big impact from a statistical point of view, but did some strong defensive efforts that were able to generate some forward half turnovers for us. He was able to kick a critical goal at a crunch time in the game – it was a really clever, crumbing snap. We need more out of him, so he’s going to have to standup this week.

Dion Johnstone: Dion had 24 disposals, including 14 contested possessions, five clearances and five inside 50s. He’s a first-year player who continues to go from strength-to-strength. Dion’s had a consistent month of football and he’s becoming a lot more consistent in his game that he’s been challenged in. He brings a lot of energy and did that on the weekend, plus a lot of forward half pressure. The great thing is that he’s now starting to win a lot more of his own ball. We’re playing him in a number of different roles and trying to educate him in expanding his whole game. He’s tracking along nicely.

Declan Keilty: Declan had 12 disposals, six marks, three inside 50s and four tackles. He’s entered a period of his footy where he’s been able to string two or three games of consistency together. Dec’s still got areas of his game that we’re really challenging him to be better in – and he needs to be better if he takes the next step. He’s making some incredible improvements, so we’re happy with where he’s at.

Ben Kennedy: Ben had 31 disposals, including 13 contested possessions, six clearances, five inside 50s, four tackles and one goal. He had a good day. Benny played the role we needed him to – he played as a high half-forward and played around the ball. For a day that suited him – we needed him to be at his best – and he won the ball around critical contests, which was significant. Defensively, he really helped us as well.

Jay Kennedy-Harris: Jay had 43 disposals, six clearances and nine tackles. He played a number of different roles and it was really a day of two halves for him. In the first half, he was inefficient with his ball use – he wasn’t as clean with it as we would’ve liked. He was able to reset in the second half, like a lot of our players, and he got his game back to what we know. Jay made a lot more impact and brought his teammates into play with some good run-and-carry. He showed some composure and did some clever things at time. It was a good response in the second half after a poor first half.

Mitch King: Mitch had seven possessions, two marks, 21 hit outs and six tackles. After Jake Spencer got injured, Mitch had to step-up. Although it took a while for him to get going, I thought his second half was outstanding. He’s a developing ruckman, and when the game was in the balance, we needed our big blokes to stand-up and create a contest and he was able to do that.

Joel Smith: Joel suffered an injury early in the game, but up until that point, he had a big impact early. It was disappointing, as we’re going to lose him for the rest of the season, which isn’t great.

Jake Spencer: Jake only had four hit outs as he got injured in the second quarter, as he suffered an abdominal injury. He didn’t take any further part in the game after that, so that was disappointing for him.

Billy Stretch: Billy had 22 disposals, three clearances, five inside 50s and nine tackles. For three weeks in a row, he’s been consistent in his performances. The areas that we’re encouraging Billy to improve in, he’s really tackling them head on. We felt he was another player who was influential in the second half, when there were critical contests to be won. He drove strong behaviours and was involved in some strong passages of play – breaking some lines and getting the ball moving forward. Billy continues to play a really high level of VFL football, and a team-first game as well, which we know that he’s exceptional in.

Jack Trengove: Jack had 24 disposals, including 10 contested possessions, five clearances and five tackles. It was another stock standard game from Jack – he played with a lot of spirit and I thought his work, in and around the contest, was significant. He was able to bring a lot of players outside of the contest into play with some clever hands. But he was just an inspirational leader for us, and he really brings the team together. He adds massive value to our VFL team each week.

Sam Weideman: Sam had nine disposals, three marks, one goal and three tackles. It wasn’t a big game, numbers wise, but you know what you’re going to get with Sammy, when the ball’s in his area, particularly in the air. I felt that he played a strong role in creating aerial contests for us to bring our ground level players into play. In the last quarter, when we needed players to stand-up and compete, he took two strong contested marks and kicked a goal. He also set up another goal. When we needed him the most on the weekend, he was there. It was great to see the young man influence the game in the last quarter.

2017 AFL Victoria Development League
Saturday, August 5, 11am
Casey Demons 15.14 (104) d Sandringham 8.7 (55)
Casey Fields  

No Melbourne-listed players played in the Development League