IT WAS FIVE weeks between matches for the Casey Demons, but they were back in action on Sunday, and continuing their winning ways.
With 20-AFL listed players taking the park, the Dees ran away with a 48-point victory over Essendon at Casey Fields, as they remain undefeated from six matches this VFL season.
The clash was the first for Kye Declase and Daniel Turner in the red and blue after being recruited via the Mid-Season Rookie Draft, while Bailey Laurie (on debut), Deakyn Smith, Joel Smith and Aaron vandenBerg all returned from injury in an official capacity.
There were plenty of individual performances that caught the eye, but GM of AFL Football Performance, Alan Richardson, is most pleased by the depth in the playing list.
“Looking at the last two games we’ve played, we think we’ve got a lot of players in-form and our list is really healthy,” Richardson told Melbourne Media.
“We’ve also got a lot of people who, although they might not have been named in the best players on the weekend, could quite easily come in if required through either form or injury for those in the AFL team.
“If we needed Nev (Jetta), he’s ready to go. If we needed Melky (Jake Melksham), he’s ready to go. The list goes on.”
Take a look below as Richardson reviews some of Casey’s best contributors:
14 disposals, 8 marks, 5 goals
“We really liked Ben Brown’s game, and it’s not just about the scoring – we were pleased that he was able to get some reward with five goals, but he moved really well. He’s been building his game, his training has been positive and we’ve been expecting that form to transfer to game day and it did on the weekend. If it is that we were to make a change to a winning team, he’s done everything right.”
36 disposals, 11 clearances, 6 tackles, 1 goal
“Nathan Jones has had a really strong period of playing good footy for about a month. He did get a lot of the ball, but we were really happy with the way he played his role and really pleased with the way he executed. He’s always been a beautiful user of the footy and the weekend was no exception. His leadership in the VFL has been really impressive – it hasn’t been about him, it’s been about the team.”
21 disposals, 11 marks, 10 hit-outs, 1 goal, 3 behinds
“Sam Weideman had an impressive game, but not what you might expect. His role was to play as a high forward and a bit in the ruck. He got a lot of the footy, Weids, and moved really well. He would’ve got a lot of confidence out of having 21 touches – he missed a couple of shots on goal, but we really liked the way he went about his game. He would’ve been disappointed to be out of the team but he did what he needed to do.”
26 disposals, 18 kicks, 7 marks, 4 tackles
“Jake Bowey had a really strong game. He’s a really creative half-back and he’s been working really closely with Troy Chaplin on making sure he has a real clarity on what he needs to do from a defensive point of view. It’s not just about beating his man but helping others and for obvious reasons, he’s a first-year player, it’s been a work in progress. But that’s starting to come together and he’s starting to put pressure on there. If it is that we were to get someone injured, we’re starting to get really comfortable with where he’s at that he could come in and play that role.”
28 disposals, 8 clearances, 7 marks, 6 tackles
“Aaron vandenBerg is playing good footy. He’s hitting in hard – we expect that. He’s running well, he’s helping others, he’s a bit like an on-field coach the way he supports and directs. He’s done a lot of work with Fraser Rosman who plays on the wing – Rosman is really improving. So Vanders has done well there, but his own form is heading the right way. We’d feel pretty comfortable, now that he’s been able to get a bit of continuity in his training and his games, because that’s been his challenge really. We have always said that he makes us a better team, we’ve just been worried about him being able to string training sessions together to be a really consistent performer, and he’s getting there now.”
(Photos by Adam McFarlane)