Published on March 12, 2019 12:00 pm

Mitch O'Neill in action during the 2018 NAB U17 All Stars match

SEASON PREVIEW: Tasmania Devils boys

AFL Tasmania Football Manager Craig Notman gives his thoughts on the state’s upcoming season in the NAB League Boys competition.

FORMER TASMANIA U18 PLAYERS ON AFL LISTS:

  • Selected in 2005: Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) 245 games
  • 2006: Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) 249
  • 2007: Tom Bellchambers (Essendon) 104
  • 2008: Liam Jones (Western Bulldogs/Carlton) 66/46, Mitch Robinson (Carlton/Brisbane) 100/68
  • 2010: Andrew Phillips* (GWS/Carlton) 14/22
  • 2011: Jimmy Webster (St Kilda) 85
  • 2012: Jackson Thurlow (Geelong/Sydney) 46/0
  • 2013: Kade Kolodjashnij (Gold Coast/Melbourne) 78/0, Toby Nankervis (Sydney/Richmond) 12/44, Alex Pearce (Fremantle) 42, Jake Kolodjashnij (Geelong) 47
  • 2017: Hugh Dixon (Fremantle) 0
  • 2018: Tarryn Thomas (North Melbourne), Chayce Jones (Adelaide), Fraser Turner (Richmond)

2019 AFL ACADEMY:

  • Level 2 (18yo): Jared Dakin, Mitch O’Neill, Will Peppin
  • Level 1 (17yo): Jackson Callow, Sam Collins, Oliver Davis

2019 HEAD COACH: Adrian Fletcher

2019 SEASON START: vs Swans Academy @ Blacktown International Sportspark, Saturday March 30 (CLICK HERE for full fixture)

 

 

TOP 2019 AFL DRAFT PROSPECT

Mitch O’Neill (local club – North Hobart): “Mitch has previously played on a wing and is a high possession-winner. He’ll take on the challenge of playing more as an inside midfielder this year, but he’s highly football-intelligent and a competitor who just wants to play. He’s certainly at the top of the tree for us at the moment.”

 

POTENTIAL DRAFT SURPRISE PACKETS

Will Peppin (North Hobart): “Will has a strong combination of speed and endurance and is developing well as an inside midfielder after performing strongly as a half back last year. He’s strong overhead and has a good leap, and we’re looking forward to his continued growth throughout the season.”

Matt McGuinness (19yo in 2019, Lauderdale): “Matt is a tall, rangy half back who’s still quite raw and quite light, but I think he could really bob up over the course of the season. He could potentially push up the ground into the midfield and the forward line this year. He’s a Next Generation Academy player for North Melbourne.”

 

BOTTOM-AGERS TO WATCH

Jackson Callow (North Launceston): “Jackson is a tall marking forward who has a great set of hands and is a strong competitor in the air. He has great aerobic capacity for a player of his type; you probably wouldn’t expect him to run the numbers he does in endurance testing. I think we’ll also throw him down back this year.”

Sam Collins (North Hobart): “Sam is a nice, neat little player who wins a lot of the ball and is highly skilful. I think he has the skill to play various roles – at half back, through the midfield and across half forward as well. He has a lot of footy smarts.”

 

 

TEAM STRENGTHS

“Having not had the privilege of being able to play week in and week out in a competition of this level, I think (Tasmania’s inclusion in the NAB League Boys) will only benefit the kids down here. It’ll give them the realisation of where they fit in the scheme of things and allow them to compare themselves with kids playing in a competition that delivers a fair amount of the draft numbers every year.

“Once we get into the cut and thrust of games, it’ll really paint a picture of where we fit. It’ll probably be a year where we’re looking for a few players to bob up over the course of the season.”

 

CLICK HERE for 2019 season previews on other NAB League Boys clubs.

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