TAC Cup Scouting Notes: Murray Bushrangers v Bendigo Pioneers

Updated: March 8, 2017

Murray Bushrangers v Bendigo Pioneers

This game was a tough and hard slog, with the final score fitting the game. There were many young guns missing from todays game for Bendigo – Jarrod Brander, Lochie O’Brien, Paddy Dow, Brent Daniels and Laine Fitzgerald. Missing from the Murray lineup was Charlie Spargo, Daniel Johnston, Alex Paech, Jy Lane and Doulton Langlands. With so many guns out a few players really stood up for their teams.

Murray Bushrangers

Will Donaghey  192cm Half-Back

Donaghey was fantastic off half back, he showed the usual composure with ball in hand and his run from half back was fantastic. He is very good at setting up play from behind the ball and that was definitely on show today. Donaghey was physical and really looks to be using his bigger body to his advantage, and he laid some bone crunching tackles which led to a composed goal from the pocket in the last quarter. One goal he kicked was a running goal from outside 50, showing he can be a damaging half back and his height will make him a well sought after player in this year’s draft.

Zane Barzen  189cm  Half-Forward

Barzen is eligible for 2018 draft and he already looks a standout for next year.  He has incredible hands overhead and judges the ball so well in flight. His ability to take a nice mark and then kick inside 50 is elite, and if he takes a mark at half forward you can guarantee he will hit up a player perfectly close to goal. He is also a long kick with one goal being kicked from outside 50. While plying his trade as a half forward, it would be good to see him used in the midfield, because his clean hands and foot skills would be valuable in there.

Harrison Jones  186cm  Midfield

Jones worked tirelessly in the midfield winning the ball on the inside and outside, at 186cm he is at a good size already and possesses decent speed, which he uses to provide run and carry with the ball. His foot skills were very good on Saturday, and if that is something he can keep up for the whole year he looks a good prospect for Murray, as they look to make it back to back grand final appearances.

Dave Smith  178cm  Small Forward

Smith is an exciting player with great speed and skill. He likes to move fast not just himself, but the play he is involved in,  and this was on show with him taking a strong mark, only to play on quick and finish with a goal. Later in the game he showed his defensive capabilities with a ripper chase down tackle which looked like he ran 100m just to lay the tackle. If he can use his speed both offensively and defensively he will really start to impress recruiters.

Jessy Wilson  184cm  Half-Forward

Wilson had a quitter game this week but still did some very nice things and even got some time in the midfield where he looked very comfortable. Wilson has great hands from his basketball background but what basketball doesn’t teach you is kicking and that is Wilson’s biggest strength, some of his kicks of his favoured left foot where just sublime. Wilson did well to win his own ball when in the midfield but he also has some class on the outside, as the year goes on he could really turn some heads.


Bendigo Pioneers

Kane Farrell  180cm  Half-Forward

Farrell started in a blaze of glory. He was constantly involved and moving the ball super quick. He was hard to stop in the first quarter up forward where he was moving well inside traffic, which also helped him shake off the extra attention he was receiving. The middle of the game saw him a little quieter than in the first quarter, but he came back to life in the last quarter kicking a steadying goal. Farrell has incredible hands and composure and he never looks flustered and his disposal by foot is right up there with the best in this draft. Based on what he showed as a forward only, it will be something to watch once he is in full flight through the Bendigo midfield, which is looking strong this season.

Coby McCarthy  179cm  Midfield

McCarthy was the king of clearances in this game, he reads the ruck contest well and is a smart user in the stoppages. He doesn’t panic in possession of the ball, finding targets by hand in the stoppage that most players wouldn’t. He went forward late and looked dangerous, his smarts and positioning are a real key to his game, which adds to the midfield engine room that Bendigo has.

Tom Campbell  192cm  Key Defender

Campbell was classy and composed in the back line and even showing some real aggression in the contest. Campbell’s ball use form defence was of high standard and his rebound game was also solid taking some nice floating marks. When it came to defending one on one, he did that flawlessly with some terrific spoils and his tackling was also very good. Campbell is a nice size and his skill set should make the Bendigo backline very damaging.

Darby Henderson  176cm  Midfield

Henderson toiled hard all game, he went in hard and copped a lot of knocks. His hands in close are superb and his ability to get his body behind the ball and dispose of the ball efficiently shows his composure. Henderson spent a lot of time off the ground, and it was easy to see how eager he was to get out there because he loves to stay involved, and he was rewarded with a nice goal in the 3rd quarter. Being a goal kicking threat will only enhance his draft stocks.

Angus Schumacher  189cm  Midfield

Schumacher played in the midfield this week after looking very good down back last year. Schumacher didn’t get a lot of the ball in the midfield, but he started to influence the game later getting a lot more of the ball. He was involved in some passages of play in defence where he showed his usual play making and solid ball use. His strength is that play making defender role, but being able to play in the midfield could give him that extra string to his bow for recruiters.


Players To Watch For 2018

Both Zane Barzen and Hudson Garoni played in Game 2 and both look like very high picks next year but here are some others who impressed in game 1.


Will Christie – Murray – 196cm  Key Forward

Christie has great agility for his size he was able to get around smaller players with ease. He reads the ball really well in flight he has a good strong mark overhead and a neat set shot kicking action.

Kailen Walker – Bendigo – 184cm  Forward

Walker has some freakish talent, he has great speed and clean hands and has great awareness of the big sticks.  He kicked some nice snap goals with the best coming in the 3rd quarter which had the crowd in awe.

Jacob Atley – Bendigo – 189cm  Key Defender

The Atley name is destined for AFL and it looks set to continue with Jacob joining Shaun and Joe. Atley plays in defence where he uses his fantastic speed and dare he loves to take the game on and he can weave through traffic easily. He took some nice intercept marks and then he doesn’t muck around with his attacking style he quickly plays on to move the play

Kobe Lloyd – Bendigo – 178  Small Forward

Lloyd is a class act up forward with his hands, skills and speed at a very high level. He would just pop up out of nowhere and effect the play. His kicking to forwards was elite and showed some great dash with ball in hand. He can kick on both feet very well and makes quick and good decisions.

The next game Ed will be attending is Sandringham vs Oakleigh, at Trevor Barker Oval on the 19th of March.


Written by: Ed Pascoe (@charbox2)

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*The opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and not Over The Line Sports or AFL Draft Hub

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