From the Cranbourne Leader
Reported by Paul Amy.
MARK Weideman played for Coburg. On Saturday his son Sam played against the Burgers — and played stylishly and superbly.
As his father watched on, rugged up at a cold and wet Casey Fields ground, the third-year Melbourne forward booted 7.0 for the Casey Demons, leading the home team to a emphatic win, 16.12 (108) to 4.7 (31).
Dees senior coach Simon Goodwin was at the match and his eye was presumably taken by Weideman’s sure marking and certain kicking.
It was his best return at the VFL.
“Yeah, dad’s told me a lot of stories about Coburg back in the day,’’ Weideman, who turns 21 on Tuesday, said after the match.
Casey defender Harrison Petty comes in with a big spoil over Coburg forward Peter McEvoy.
Coburg was a power of the old VFA in Weideman senior’s time at the club.
Thirty years on it’s battling through a difficult period as a stand-alone entity, light on for experience as it goes up against teams brimming with AFL players.
Saturday’s match was a meeting of second against bottom and the result went as expected. Casey’s class told, even in conditions made difficult by drizzle that stuck around all afternoon.
Billy Stretch and Jay Kennedy-Harris were as influential as Weideman as the Demons claimed their sixth consecutive victory.
“I thought our players were really professional. They adjusted to the conditions,’’ Demons coach Jade Rawlings said.
“Coburg were really good in the contest but we showed a capacity to use the ball well … we were able to keep it locked in our front half for long periods of the game. Really pleased with how we played over four quarters.’’
Asked where Weideman was at, Rawlings said: “He’s at Casey at the moment. He’s a good player. He was going OK in the AFL but he got a slight calf (injury) four or five weeks ago which took him a couple of weeks to rehabilitate. He’s a player of the future … that performance is going to ask a lot of questions of the match committee.’’
Weideman said he thought he was “developing in the right direction’’.
“I’ve had a few inconsistencies which I want to get out of my game but I feel like I’m building pretty strongly now,’’ he said.
“Today I just found myself in pretty good positions. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my contest stuff with (Melbourne assistants) Matt Egan and Max Rooke at AFL level. I’m doing it in training and it’s starting to come out in games. I’m happy with how I’m progressing but I’ve still got a lot of work to do.’’
Casey skipper Jack Hutchins celebrates one of his three goals.
Weideman had a surprise partner up front in Casey captain Jack Hutchins, who has made his name as one of the VFL’s best backmen.
With Melbourne keen for Cam Pedersen to play in defence, Hutchins made the switch of ends and was handy with three goals.
Pedersen, one of those players who struggles for permanence in the AFL but is a class above the VFL, presented a large obstacle to the Lions forwards, as did Sam Frost.
The Demons brought in Cory Stockdale for his senior debut and he popped up with a goal in the last quarter.
The brother of ex-Casey back pocket Michael Stockdale, the 21-year-old played in the
Cory Stockdale is chuffed after nailing a goal in the last quarter.)
Development League in 2016 and missed last season due to a shoulder problem.
“He’s been one of the great results of our program this year,’’ Rawlings said. “He’s taken on board everything we’ve asked. He’s a genuine hard worker. Really puts time into his game. He’d been playing well at Traralgon, his local club, and we felt it was time to give him a chance. He certainly took it.’’
The Lions could salvage a few positives from the match.
Mitchell Podhajski was sent to Stretch in the second half and restricted him to six possessions.
First-year player Marcus Lentini went into the match second on the list for most disposals in the VFL and added another 28 to his name. Burgers coach Leigh Adams believes he should be on an AFL list.
Ryan Exon, Ben Allan and Josh Guthrie battled hard too.
Adams said his team met class opposition in Casey and was “continually outworked all over the ground’’.
“That’s where we were shown up today, they outnumbered us at contest after contest,’’ he said.
“We’ll use this week as a really good week to look at the game and see where we can improve our players. Obviously they’re a young bunch and seeing some of the workrates of those AFL players will be a good thing for them.’’
Coburg coach Leigh Adams.
Coburg is winless after 11 matches and Adams said the task of coaching a stand-alone team was as difficult as he imagined when he crossed from South Croydon at the end of last season.
He said there had been “a bit of a culture where they’ve been happy to get close and that’s been good enough’’. “A few games we probably should have won, they’ve been happy we got close to winning. The good thing is the blokes want to improve. It looks horrible, 0-11, but you can’t knock the endeavour of the blokes. I’m excited to go home and review the game and see what some of the young blokes did.’’
Casey Demons 4.2, 9.4, 13.6, 16.12 (108)
Coburg 1.3, 2.3, 3.5, 4.7 (31)
Casey Demons goals: S. Weideman 7, J. Hutchins 3, B. Stretch 2, C. Stockdale, J. Garlett, J. Kennedy-Harris, O. Baker
Best: S. Frost, S. Weideman, B. Stretch, J. Kennedy-Harris, T. Bugg, J. Hutchins
Coburg goals: J. Weightman, J. Belo, M. Conn, S. Binion
Best: M. Podhajski, J. Guthrie, R. Exon, B. Allan, S. Gregory, M. Lentini