St Kilda Development Coach and Sandringham Senior Coach Jake Batchelor runs through each AFL-listed player's performance following this weekend's VFL clash against Southport.
On the game
It was always going to be a challenge going up to Southport and go against a good side who play a good system. This team is our least connected team, with seven changes made from this week’s side to last. We just weren’t able to get our system up and running. It was a good game for us in terms of resetting and knowing where we sit against the best teams in the competition. We know we can match it against the best, but it just wasn’t there on Saturday. Disappointing result but we’ll be taking some things away from it.
32 disposals, nine marks, one goal
JB had an impressive game, he played predominately on the wings but had some time forward too, as well as going through the stoppages. He looked lively, he was explosive and when he had the ball in hand, he usually made good decisions. He’ll put his hand up for selection this week.
Four goals, 16 disposals, seven marks
Cooper played well, he booted four majors which was pleasing, but it was more his ability to chase and pressure that was the standout for him. We had a couple of turnovers purely based off his pressure. If he can start playing like that consistently and add that chase to his game, he’ll become a fantastic player. He’s another that if an opportunity comes knocking, he’ll be ready.
24 disposals, five tackles
Hunter was once again his classy self. He played three quarters in the midfield for us and then came off of half-back to generate some ball movement. He makes good decisions for us. He can work on driving his legs through traffic and adding that evasion to his game, he got caught holding the ball a couple of times because of that, but he’s had a bit of an interrupted few weeks so good to see him back out there playing footy.
22 disposals, 19 kicks
Darragh had an interrupted pre-game, having to drive down from Brisbane to Southport after he was with the AFL side. He performed well and did his role. It wasn’t anything outrageous, he just did what he needed to do. We had a pretty inexperienced backline, and Darragh stood up and led well. I’ve been proud of what he’s been doing over the last couple of weeks and each week he is one of those boys who are putting their hands up.
One goal, 12 disposals, seven tackles, six marks
Kenty had a bit of an ‘almost’ game. It was his first competitive hit out in five weeks after returning from a knee injury and he got through well. He had a couple of scoring shots and a couple of tackles as a small forward, so his intent and pressure at the footy was good. We just need to get him in positions where he has the ball in hand more, because when is he a part of the play or has the footy, we are better because of it.
26 disposals, six clearances
Ronnie played predominately midfield and had a good balance between contested and uncontested possessions. We probably would have liked to see a bit more run, some burst from him, using that X-factor for us. He got involved in our attacking chains and now just need to keep seeing the turn of the head on defence when the ball is going inside-50. All-in-all, it was a solid game from Byrnesy.
17 disposals, five marks
Leo still progressing as a player. There’s a couple of defensive things he can work on, especially deep inside defensive 50, which he knows and we’ve spoken about. I’m excited to see how he rebounds next week, as his attitude is great and he is always trying to get better.
13 disposals, 21 hit outs
Tommy probably had his colours lowered for the first time this season. He went up against a good ruck duo and he didn’t have it easy. He needs to keep finding ways when it isn’t going well. It is just about going back to the basics of what is important for a ruck. He is disappointed and I’m keen to see him bounce back against Essendon.
Jack was good, he’s been one of the boys who has shown improvement every week, even if it just by one or two per cent. His contest work, the fight, the scrap and the want to just go with the opposition is awesome to see. We put him on Dawson in the last quarter and he held him to just two disposals when he had 29 in the three quarters before. He’s learning, he is buying in and he’s progressing well.
Seven disposals, one goal
It was a bit of a quiet game for Max, he kept getting into the contests but wasn’t clunking them up forward. We can probably help him a bit more up forward, making sure he is in one-on-ones but he just didn’t have the same impact as he has had previous weeks, but again, it is a progression and sometimes you’ll have quieter games. We have a lighter week on the track coming up, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes against the Dons and getting back to that physical brand of footy.
Five disposals, one goal
Matty also had a bit of a quiet game, he showed glimpses but we need to improve his consistency in the contest. He gets to contests but it is that next step to continue to compete. As a coach, we need to keep using his strengths, which is elite running. He can run, so we want to put him in positions where he can do so. It isn’t something that happens overnight, but the pleasing thing is that there are guys like Matt, like Leo and the other young boys who are putting in the work to get better. It will come.
Onto next week – Essendon at Sandringham
It will be an exciting challenge for us. Essendon just knocked off Carlton in the VFL so it is important we bounce back, not just as a VFL side but as an entire club. We’ll be ready for the fight and we want to make a statement at both levels to bounce back.