Around the Grounds 2020 Preview – Part 3

Published by Barron Von Crow on

Welcome Community to Part 3 of our preview of the 2020 Supercoach season. We’re not gonna waste too much time fussing about this week, we’re gonna get right into it, we’re taking a look at Geelong, Gold Coast and GWS this week, so let’s get a-moving!


Quinton Narkle – He managed 6 games last year in the AFL, but has yet to be sighted in the senior side for the Cats this year. Had a BOG effort last week in the VFL with 30 disposals and 2.4, he’s averaging 18 disposals, 2 marks and 3 tackles over his 10 VFL games this year. Higher end of the rookie price scale probably rules him out, even if he doesn’t get another game this year.

Jamaine Jones – Another Cat who played in the AFL last year, but hasn’t broken through in 2019. Jones played 7 AFL games in 2018 for an average of 44.1 SCPoints. His averages in the VFL have been 14 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles and he’s kicked 9.9 from 13 games. Likely in the same spot as Narkle for 2020.

Wylie Buzza – A repeating thread here, Buzza played AFL in 2018, but hasn’t added to that number in 2019. He’s spent less time in the ruck than previous years thanks to the recruitment of Darcy Fort, but has kicked 20.11 from 12 games in the VFL, along with 12 disposals, 6 marks, 2 tackles and 2 hitouts.

Nakia Coackatoo – No one can doubt his talent, but his body is the one thing holding him back. He’s very much like Harley Bennell who we looked at last week. If his body is right then he’ll play and he’ll play well. We just have to wait for that to happen.

Sam Simpson – Joining the list of players who saw some action in 2018, but have yet to be in the senior side for 2019, Simpson has played every game in the VFL this year for averages of 18 disposals, 2 marks and 4 tackles.

Nathan Kreuger – Recruited from South Adelaide via Carlton’s priority access to mature picks prior to the 2018 AFL Draft, Kruger has spent the year in the VFL for the Cats before suffering a recent knee injury against Casey. He’s played 12 games for averages of 9 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles, with 16.6 kicked for the year. Have to wait and see on the knee issue, but he’s looking like a guy the Cats want to develop for life after Hawkins.

Oscar Brownless – The son of Bill, Oscar has played 13 VFL games for averages of 13 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles. He was known as an elite tackler at U18 level, averaging 7.1 tackles for the Geelong Falcons, he probably spends 2020 in the VFL developing his game at this stage.

Ben Jarvis – Pick #48 in the 2018 AFL Draft, Jarvis is a tallish forward at 189cm, but one who definitely needs to add some weight to his frame. Hasn’t had much luck in the VFL for the Cats, averaging 8 disposals, 3 marks and a tackle, he will be way off at this stage.

Jacob Kennerley – The #50 pick from the most recent draft, Kennerley set the Draft Combine record for the 2km time trail, with a time of 6 minutes and 4 seconds (That’s about the 1km time trial for me!). Mostly a wingman, he’s averaging 13 disposals, 4 marks and 3 tackles across 13 VFL games so far this year.

Jake Tarca – Another SA’er the Cats snapped up in the most recent draft, Tarca was taken at pick #68. Didn’t make the AFL Draft Combine, the small forward recorded a 2.96 second 20m sprint, which was a top 10 result for the country. He’s kicked 10.6 over 13 VFL games, along with 10 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles. Beware the small forward Supercoach curse!

Stefan Okunbor – An Irish recruit taken in the rookie draft, Stefan has only managed the 6 VFL games so far this year, for averages of 10 disposals, 2 marks and 2 tackles with 3 rebound 50’s. Has quality size for a midfielder (190cm, 87kgs), but still has a lot of development to do in 2020.

Blake Schlensog – Taken from the Cats Next Generation Academy, he’s spent a time working on his fitness during the year, but already boasts a AFL ready body at 198cm and 99 kgs. He’s played just the 9 VFL games for averages of 7 disposals, 3 marks and has kicked 8.5 for the year. Promising, but won’t feature in 2020 you’d think.

Gold Coast

Tom Nicholls – Nicholls has been in the league for awhiles now, playing his first AFL game back in 2011, but he hasn’t managed to crack the senior side since 2016, a combination of injuries and the ultra consistent form of Jarrod Witts keeping him out of the side. He actually has posted some decent SC scores in the past though, he had an average of 91.6 SCPoints in 2013 from 8 games and 82.5 SCPoints from 15 games in 2016. He’s been toiling away in the NEAFL this year, with averages of 16 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles and 40 hitouts from 13 games. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year, the Suns have probably moved past him, so he might have some offers elsewhere, but even if he is picked up elsewhere it’d be as a backup option only.

Izak Rankine – The speedster recruited with the #3 pick in the 2018 AFL Draft, Rankine hasn’t been able to get out onto the field this year due to a persistent hamstring injury. Not good for him obviously, but could send his starting price for 2020 tumbling down. He’s one you’d expect to be there in Round 1 if he’s healthy.

Connor Nutting – Recruited from the Suns academy with the #55 pick in the 2017 AFL Draft, Nutting missed a big chunk of 2018 with a leg injury which restricted him to just 11 games for the year. Nutting has added some goal scoring prowess to his game this year, booting 14.10 from his 12 NEAFL games, along with 12 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles. Numbers don’t excite at NEAFL level, they’re unlikely to at AFL level as well.

Caleb Graham – A very late pick in the 2018 AFL Draft, all the way back at pick #71, Graham is a versatile tall who is developing his game as a key defender for the Suns. Still only 18 years old, he’s played every game in the NEAFL this year with averages of 14 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles and 3 rebound 50’s.

Jez McLennan – Another 2018 draftee, Jez taken at pick #23, he’s a roaming half-back type who played some senior football for Central Districts in the SANFL last year for averages of 12 disposals, 3 marks and 3 tackles, with his averages moving to 14 disposals, 4 marks and 2 rebound 50’s over 13 NEAFL games this year. Numbers aren’t there yet, but he plays in the position we like in Supercoach.

Harrison Wigg – Unlucky in his career so far, his form in the SANFL in 2017 demanded selection which was ignored and he was then moved up to the Gold Coast that off-season. Since then he’s been hit with the injury bug, broken ankles in 2018 and a ruptured ACL this year have all but wiped out his time at the Suns. He’s a bit on the small size at 180cm, but he’s got a cannon of a leg on him, but if he’s around for 2020 he most likely starts in the NEAFL as he regains form from his ACL injury.

Sam Fletcher – Signed in the off-season as part of the pre-season supplemental selection period, Fletcher was training with the Box Hill Hawks through the VFL pre-season. An inside midfielder, Fletcher has played 5 NEAFL games so far this year for averages of 12 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles and 2 inside 50’s. Not great numbers yet.

Mitchell Riordan – Part of the mid-year supplemental draft, Riordan, he took a few weeks to get up to speed before he started playing NEAFL games, but had 26 disposals, 5 marks, 5 tackles, 9 inside 50’s and a goal in his debut game against Redland, followed with 20 disposals against Sydney Uni.


Aiden Bonar – The #11 pick in the 2017 Draft, Bonar hasn’t been able to break into the GWS side full-time, featuring in just 4 matches in 2018 and 0 so far this year. His NEAFL stats have been solid, with averages of 20 disposals, 3 marks and 6 tackles with 4 inside 50’s across 13 games, but he’s one who could look elsewhere for opportunities next year. One to watch.

Dylan Buckley – 26 years old and has a combined 41 games with Carlton and GWS across 7 years. He’s played 10 NEAFL games so far this year for averages of 10 disposals, 2 marks and has kicked 10.6. Well off the pace at his age.

Jye Caldwell – The #11 pick from the 2018 AFL Draft, Caldwell has quickly become one of the top midfielders for the Giants NEAFL side with averages of 20 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles and 3 inside 50’s across 6 games. Will likely have to spend some time waiting, even Jackson Hately hasn’t been able to break into the Giants side consistently, but he’s one to keep an eye on for 2020.

Nick Shipley – The #64 pick in 2017, Shipley impressed pretty quickly, playing a pair of AFL games, though he only averaged 24.0 SCPoints. His NEAFL numbers have been impressive this year, averaging 25 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles and 3 each of inside and rebound 50’s. Again, GWS is a hard side for mids to break into at the moment, so he’s just a wait and see approach for now.

Jack Buckley – A former member of the Sydney Swans Academy, Jack quit during his teen years, which allowed the Giants to pick him up as a locally-zoned category B rookie as a 20 year old. A 193cm forward, Buckley has averages of 15 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles and has kicked 5.6 for the year.

Matthew Flynn – A big lad taken all the way back in the 2015 AFL Draft at pick #41, he’s spent the past 3 years developing in the NEAFL. He’s averaged 14 disposals, 5 marks, 18 hitouts and has kicked 11.8 over 13 NEAFL games this year. The Giants ruck situation is murky looking in the short term, he’s one who could get a shot to start 2020.

Zachary Sproule – Sproule has been developing for a few years now as a key forward, with NEAFL goal tallies of 28 goals from 17 games in 2017, 31 from 18 in 2018 and so far has kicked 23 from just 9 games in 2019. Also averaging 13 disposals, 6 marks and 2 tackles, with rumours of Jon Patton perhaps moving on in 2020, Sproule is one who could stand to benefit from such a move.

Kieren Briggs – A developing ruckman taken with pick 34 in 2018 from the Giants Academy. He’s played the 14 NEAFL games this year for averages of 11 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles, 6 hitouts and has kicked 14.6 for the year. The long-term prospects of the Giants current rucks like Mumford and Simpson look weak, so Briggs could be in the mix for 2020, but there’s also talk of the Giants recruiting another mature age ruck like Paddy Ryder for next year, which puts a serious dent in his prospect in the short term.

Connor Idun – The Giants spent two 4th round picks they had for the 2019 AFL Draft to move up to pick #61 to grab Idun in the 2018 AFL Draft and have already handed him an extra 2 year extension on his contract, so they obviously rate him highly at this stage. He’s played every NEAFL game this year for averages of 14 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles and 4 rebound 50’s. Probably takes a bit of time to develop, but signs look encouraging for him.

Xavier O’Halloran – The #22 pick in the 2018 Draft, O’Halloran was the Vic Metro Captain in the U18 Championships last year. A quick midfielder, he is currently suffering from a knee injury, but played 9 NEAFL games for averages of 18 disposals, 3 marks and 3 tackles so far this year. Behind a few still at this stage.

Callum M. Brown – A Gaelic Football player from Country Derry who joined the Giants as a Category B Rookie. He’s featured in every NEAFL game so far this year for averages of 9 disposals, 2 marks and a tackle a game, while kicking 3.6 in front of goals. Needs plenty of time at this stage.

And that’s it for me this week, as usual whack your comments in the selection below or hit me up on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow.

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We’ll leave the toilet humour to Patch, Baz.

Hoping Rankine gets himself right and debuts next year.


Great article again, Barron! However, Matthew Flynn suffered an ACL injury late last week so he might not be a 2020 prospect after all.

The Ranger

Love ya work Barron, thanks.


J Jones at Geelong looks to have put on some much needed weight and they are turning him into a rebounding defender while they are persisting with Narkle as a small fwd.