VFA / VFL News

From The Age

By Paul Sakkal & Daniel Cherny

The AFL is set to announce a marked increase in the amount of VFL curtain-raisers to be held before AFL matches in season 2019.

It's understood while curtain-raisers will definitely be played at Marvel Stadium, negotiations are still underway for curtain-raisers to also be played at the MCG.

The move represents a significant increase on the handful of curtain-raisers held in 2018, three of which took place at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.

Port Melbourne 2019 coaching changes.

Retired Borough Champs Form 2019 Assistant Coaching Trio

They were each champions for Port Melbourne on the field, and now three of the club’s greatest ever will be hoping to make an impact together off the field.

 

Sam Dwyer, Shane Valenti and Robin Nahas have been confirmed by Head Coach Gary Ayres as the three-pronged assistant coaching team to aid Ayres in working with the 2019 crop of Borough players.

 

From sportingnews.com
Reported by LUCIE BERTOLDO

"I'm in good spirits. One door closes and another one opens."

De-listed Hawk veteran Brendan Whitecross has been thrown a lifeline, accepting a coaching role with North Melbourne.
 

The Kangaroos signed the former Hawk as a development coach and player for the club's VFL team.

Hawthorn announced last Monday that Whitecross and VFL teammate Kieran Lovell would not be offered contracts for next season.

MORE: GWS Giants' Shane Mumford likely to cop two-match ban if he makes comeback | Sydney Swans talking to delisted Geelong Cats forward Daniel Menzel

"Brendan will play an instrumental role in helping to develop our younger players," Kangaroos football manager Cameron Joyce said.

"He's always had great versatility, playing forward, back or through the midfield, which will be beneficial.

"He knows what it takes to be successful and work through adversity and will set a great example for our younger players coming through.

From the Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full article - Ballarat Courier

 Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.

 BELIEF: Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.

THIS was a huge risk but on this night, almost 10 years ago, players were ready. They believed.

North Ballarat Roosters defied the odds and claimed the club’s first Victorian Football League premiership. 

This was a country football team taking on the state’s best, cohesively working in players from a partial AFL alliance with North Melbourne and proving what many had thought was unlikely.

A decade on, Ballarat needs to decide, as a football community and a city, whether it can take the risk to believe again.

The VFL grand final is on Sunday afternoon. This is the first season in 22 years Ballarat has not been prepared to put a team out on the park to watch what might be possible for our region’s most promising players.

We can pretend like it does not greatly matter – we’ve got quality leagues and a good senior Ballarat Football League flag showdown set for Saturday. 

But it is not really a challenge anymore. We are comfortable and our best players are pretty comfortable.

There is still a VFL flavour about the BFL but this influence on the grassroots game will fade.

The Roosters offered a clear pathway for players in western Victoria and for other country footballers, who preferred the regional lifestyle and what Ballarat had to offer. This was particularly in being a place to study at university and play state league football without having to be based in Melbourne.

This was the pathway that has produced AFL talent like Hawthorn triple premiership midfielder Isaac Smith who, 10 years ago, was happily on his way to winning a flag with Redan in a quality Ballarat Football League final.

Redan encouraged Smith to take a leap of faith and try VFL about midway through the next season.

Or, like Sydney Swan Dean Towers, a Colac boy who was studying teaching at University of Ballarat. Towers won the Fothergill-Round Medal as VFL’s best under-23 player in 2012, then drafted a month later.

The pathway is about more than producing draftees.

Grand final night, a Friday in 2008, the Roosters were in uncharted territory. 

They had been in VFL grand finals before – this was their third – but this was something different. This night was the first VFL grand final under lights, the first at the Docklands stadium, the first in a double-header with TAC Cup under-18s and it turned out to be the first in a premiership trilogy.

VFL: 2016 winner Michael Gibbons among the fancies for 2018 VFL Liston Trophy

Paul Amy, Leader - September 5, 2018 10:00am

SAM Collins had a remarkable season for Werribee.

He marked everything bar car tyres. Will he now grab the VFL’s JJ Liston Trophy, to be counted at Crown Palladium on Monday night?

The way the Tigers see it, it would be appropriate recognition for one of the most dominant years seen from a VFL player.

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Twenty years ago people raved about Werribee left-footer Michael Frost’s season. The former Bulldog duly won the Liston. The Bees made the grand final that year, only to be upset by Springvale.

Werribee won seven games this year and missed the finals, and there will be a query on Collins’ ability to pull votes in the 11 matches lost.

Tiger Sam Collins in an aerial contest with Jordan Lisle of Port Melbourne.

But as Bees football manager Stu Balloch pointed out, as a backman the former Fremantle Docker Collins was seeing a lot of play in the defeats. And with his marking he was catching eyes as well as the ball.

“He’s one of the standout players of the competition, absolutely no doubt,’’ Balloch said.

“The wins and losses, typically you look at those and say, righto, it may be hard in a losing side (to earn votes). However as a key defender and the ball being down there, his contested mark has got to be noticed, doesn’t it? So from that perspective he’s given himself every chance.’’

Collins, 24, finished the season with 195 marks from 18 matches. Sixty-four were contested. He was named in Werribee’s best 14 times, and will win the best and fairest by so far that binoculars will be needed to sight the runner-up. He will almost certainly be given a second chance at AFL level.

“He’s too good for the VFL, I believe,’’ Balloch said. “He should be and hopefully will be given an opportunity in the AFL next year.’’

Seagulls Michael Gibbons and Lachie George.

The same can be said about another leading Liston contender, Williamstown rover Michael Gibbons.

AFL premiership coach Paul Roos fixed a spotlight on Gibbons two weeks ago and in his two matches since the right-footer has been best-afield.

Gibbons is a proven votegetter, having won the 2016 Liston and finished runner-up last year, and he will go into this year’s count with big numbers behind him: 509 possessions from his 18 games (an equal league-high), and No 1 in the VFL for clearances and inside 50s.

Willy assistant coach Peter Banfield is a big Gibbons fan and believes he’ll give the Liston a shake.

“He’s had an outstanding year, tremendously consistent in terms of his ball-winning, creative,’’ he said. “He’d have to be a big chance.’’

Banfield noted that Brett Bewley had also had a mighty season — he finished fourth on the disposal count with 471 from his 18 games — and wondered if they would take votes from each other.

Gibbons is also a candidate to win the newly badged Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the best player 23 years and under.

The west will have a strong hand in the Liston. Aside from Collins of Werribee and Gibbons and Bewley of Willy, Footscray Bulldog Will Hayes had a superb season — and if the talk is right the Doggies will reward him with a rookie listing.

Hayes, neat and nippy, was fifth on the VFL disposal count.

Tiger Anthony Miles battles it out with Willy’s Brayden Monk.

Another previous winner, 2015 recipient Nick Rippon, crossed to North Melbourne this year and featured in the best players in 15 of his 17 matches for a side that went 8-10.

Richmond’s Anthony Miles was among last year’s Liston favourites, but another Tiger, Jacob Townsend, topped the leaderboard.

Miles rounded out the top five with 13 votes and it’s easy to imagine him finishing higher this year. Like Collins, his level is above the VFL.

If not for a suspension, Box Hill captain Andrew Moore would have been considered a fancy after his consistent season for the Hawks, where he shared standout billing with James Cousins and David Mirra.

Cameron Pedersen of Casey Demons.

Cameron Pedersen can be expected to poll well for the Casey Demons. The Melbourne man had 15 matches, was named in the best nine times and influenced games in a way few other players do in the VFL. Jay Lockhart and Corey Wagner, both mature-age draft prospects, should feature too.

Ace defender Marty Hore appeals as Collingwood’s best Liston chance. But don’t be surprised to see former winner Alex Woodward rattle up some votes in the seven matches he played after making his return from another knee reconstruction late in the season.

Captain Aaron Heppell, the dashing Nick Hind and ball magnet Dylan Clarke are likely to corner the most votes for Essendon, and Geelong skipper Tom Atkins will have his admirers based on 13 appearances in the list of best players.

Atkins deserves a medal for laying 172 tackles this season.

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Port Melbourne midfielders Mack Rivett, Tom O’Sullivan, Eli Templeton and Shannen Lange will get some nods from the umpires. Ditto for Izzy Conway, who was among the Liston favourites before he went down with a knee injury in Round 15.

Former AFL pair Josh Hill and Sam Fisher and captain Tom Wilson (Northern Blues), Brede Seccull (Sandringham), Marcus Lentini (Coburg) and Will Fordham (Frankston) appeal as their club’s best contenders.

SELECTIONS

Paul Amy (Leader):

1 Sam Collins,

2 Michael Gibbons,

3 Anthony Miles.

Luke D’Anello (Leader):

1 Michael Gibbons,

2 Sam Collins,

3 Will Hayes

Toby Prime (Leader):

1 Anthony Miles,

2 Michael Gibbons,

3 Andrew Moore

Tim Michell (Leader):

tie between Anthony Miles and Michael Gibbons.

Roughie: Tom Atkins.

Brendan “Jonty’’ Rhodes (Casey Radio):

1 Michael Gibbons,

2 Anthony Miles,

3 Tom Atkins

Brad David (3WBC):

tie between Mi

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