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Melbourne Football Club

VFL player review: round three

Matt Jones shares a laugh during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock, Melbourne on April 28, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Matt Jones shares a laugh during the Melbourne Demons training session at Gosch's Paddock, Melbourne on April 28, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Maxy [Gawn] definitely played his best game for the year. He kicked three goals and should’ve kicked five or six, as he missed a couple of opportunities. The highlight for his game was his 11 marks, with seven of those contested
Justin Plapp

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


Casey Scorpions 16.11 (107) d Essendon 10.14 (74)

Windy Hill

“We had a 33-point win, which was a really good response from last week, where we felt we didn’t play our best football and we were pretty inconsistent over four quarters. We felt we were outworked against the Bulldogs, but this week we addressed that. Last week, we also lacked some spirit and we’re trying to build that within our alignment – with a one club mentality. So when we come to play, we play with a one club mentality and not two separate identities. On the weekend, I felt like it was the first game since I’ve been coaching [Casey] that there was a one club, four quarter effort. From that part of it, we didn’t have any passengers at all. We let a few goals slip late in the game, through fatigue and concentration levels, but it was a game we had under control for most of it. We had a lot of good performers and most of them were Melbourne-listed players, which was fantastic. Across the board, the 12 Melbourne-listed players that played all had an impact on the game and certainly our more senior players put their best foot forward.” – Justin Plapp

Rohan Bail: It was Ro’s best performance for the year. He copped a knock the week before and came off the ground, but this week he went to one of Essendon’s better players and played his role well. He ended up with 23 possessions and nine tackles, which was a great effort by Ro. We’re looking for him to back that performance up and then hopefully push for senior selection.

Jack Fitzpatrick: Jack continues to play a new role. He’s getting better each week and we seem to be fine-tuning that key defensive role for him. We felt it was another step forward for him on the weekend. He’s certainly been very open to the new role and the tasks we’ve given him, and he seems to be really enjoying his footy at the moment, which is a positive.

Max Gawn: Maxy definitely played his best game for the year. He kicked three goals and should’ve kicked five or six, as he missed a couple of opportunities. The highlight for his game was his 11 marks, with seven of those contested. The week before, Gawny had a performance that probably wasn’t his best, and he was well aware of that, but he bounced back really well. We were really happy with his output and we just need to see a bit of consistency with his footy. Max was definitely one of our best on the day.

James Harmes: Harmsey got injured and had a nasty corkie, half way through the third quarter. He was pretty lively early and in the first half. Harmesy played through the middle of the ground and won some really good clearances and kicked two first half goals. It was a bit of shame that he got injured, because he was on track to having one of his better performances. He’s another kid who is working on his craft and up until that point, we were really pleased with his output.

Matt Jones: Matty was our best performer from a possession-winning point-of-view. He had 30 disposals and certainly had the opportunity to hit the scoreboard two of three times. Matty played in the middle of the ground and gave us a lot of mid-forward connection. He’s been building over the past two or three weeks and he’s certainly going about his business in the way we need him to be. Matty is also working on some other areas, but he was certainly one of our better players on the weekend – there’s no doubt about that.

Oscar McDonald: Oscar played his first senior VFL match and the younger brother of Tom was serviceable. There are some things in his game that we’re really working with him hard on, but he didn’t look out of place at senior level football. From a development perspective, he needs to keep building his body, but I’d expect Oscar to keep playing senior footy – if he gets his opportunity. He’s a terrific young man who is really coachable, so he’s certainly going to give himself every opportunity – that’s for sure.

Alex Neal-Bullen: He’s a good story. Alex played his first senior VFL game on the weekend. He’d been building over the past two weeks at [AFL Victoria] Development [League] level and he certainly didn’t look out of place. Alex had 21 possessions and eight tackles and gave us a bit of drive through the middle. He looked a really likely type and we’re really excited about him. Alex is a young man who is still building his game and learning his craft, but we’re really happy with where he’s at, at the moment.

Aidan Riley: Aidan was another really good performer, after making the senior squad last weekend. He backed up a really strong game with some strong clearance and inside work. Aidan had nine tackles, which is a really great reward for him, as he’s worked really hard on his game, particularly over the past month. Hopefully he can be rewarded with some real consistency in his football. He was another one of our strong performers on the day.

Jake Spencer: Big Jake’s past month has been tremendous. His appetite for the contest and his work rate was very good. Spence dominated the ruck, along with Max Gawn, and they worked really well together. Jake also went forward and took some really strong marks. He created a couple of goals from his contested work, where he launched at the footy and created opportunities. He’s a terrific young man Spence and he’s had a good month of football.

Dean Terlich: We set Terls for one of Essendon’s key forwards, Kyle Hardingham, who had kicked a few bags of goals over the past few weeks. Terls accepted his challenge really well and played well. He had an interrupted pre-season, but is still building and trying to string some games together. Terls has some inconsistencies in his game at times, where he can switch on and switch off. And there are some patches where he needs to concentrate a bit more, but we’re happy with the way he’s going overall.

Jimmy Toumpas: Jimmy probably had a quieter day than his usual standards. It wasn’t through a lack of effort. He had a really strong first half, but he couldn’t get near much of the football in the second half. He’s another young man we’re working with to build his game. Jimmy’s very coachable and he knows where he’s at and we’ll just continue to work on his game. Without being a super, strong game, he played his role and did what was expected.

Mitch White: Mitch was one of three senior debutants on the weekend, along with Oscar McDonald and Alex Neal-Bullen. He came into the team and played a half-back role. Mitch played on one of their better high half-forward, but we were really encouraged by his performance on the weekend. He showed he’s got a really strong defensive mindset to his game. From half-back, he went inside 50 two or three times. He’s got a big driving left-foot kick, but we were really happy with the way Whitey accepted a role and played his role. He certainly showed some strong glimpses of why he’s on an AFL list. He’s certainly very clear about where he needs to get better.

AFL Victoria Development League

Casey Scorpions did not play