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VFL player review: Round 14

BTV: VFL Rd 14 | Highlights Highlights from our round 14 win over Coburg at Piranha Park.

Senior coach Dan Jordan looks back at the performances of the 14 AFL-listed Dons who played a part in Sunday’s 39-point win over Coburg.

Mark Baguley  

Stats: 10 disposals, three marks, three tackles, two goals

From the coach: I thought ‘Bags’ played his role really well as a high-forward. He was able to hit the scoreboard with a couple of goals and was really good at finishing. It’s a low-possession role but I thought he played it well in terms of his patterns, being able to open up some space for us and applying some pressure in the forward line. 

Jordan Ridley 

Stats: 15 disposals, four marks, three tackles, four rebound 50s 

From the coach: ‘Rids’ played a mixture of half-back and wing. He was thrown around a little bit when we had some players go down but I thought he was aggressive enough with the ball when he got it. He had four rebound 50s from the back half, and as always he used the ball really well. He’s working on his aggression at the game with his run and carry, but also defended pretty well and played reasonably well on a mixture of talls and smalls in defence. 

Josh Begley 

Stats: 20 disposals, nine marks, two clearances, three goals 

From the coach: I really liked Josh’s game – as a hard-running forward he’s getting right up the ground and giving us an outlet. He’s also applying some pressure and getting back. He finished with three goals and worked really hard for all of them, plus 20 possessions and nine marks in that role which is a testament to his work rate. I thought he brought his work ethic on Sunday and was working hard for all four quarters – he covered a lot of the ground, which his GPS data reflected. I was really impressed with the way he played his role. 

Kobe Mutch

Stats: Four disposals, two tackles

From the coach: 'Mutchy' unfortunately went down in the first quarter. He played about 15 or 16 minutes before copping a heavy knock to the knee. We’ll get that assessed and see where that’s at, but he was pretty sore and played no further part in the game.

David Myers

Stats: 26 disposals, five marks, six tackles, four clearances, six inside 50s, one goal

From the coach: ‘Myersy’ obviously played mostly inside and did a lot of grunt work throughout the middle. He still found himself with 26 possessions and a goal, and he’s been really consistent at our level. His leadership and setting up our younger mids and providing the benefit to them though has been a real focal point to him - we’re seeing a lot of benefit from that in a few of our players coming through. In terms of his own game, he was just really consistent and solid again. 

Jordan Houlahan

Stats: Nine disposals, three marks, two rebound 50s, one goal

From the coach: ‘Houlas’ again played as a sort of high-forward. He got the nine possessions and played a bit on the wing as well – he’s working on applying his pressure and being able to use his run and his speed to his advantage. He kicked one nice goal too. We speak a bit about Houlas' impact being not about high possessions, but about how he uses the ball when he does have it. He’s finishing really well though and taking his opportunities – we just need him to have a few more opportunities. 

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher 

Stats: Seven disposals, two marks 

From the coach: Brandon was playing really well until he got a laceration on his hand and came off. He took no further part in the game and ended up requiring a few stitches. In the quarter that he played he took two intercept marks and had seven possessions, so looked like he was in for a big game but unfortunately had that little mishap.

Noah Gown

Stats: 13 disposals, eight marks, three tackles, one goal

From the coach: I liked Noah’s game – I thought he got back to competing really hard and using his run, and connected really well for us in the mid arc when we needed to come out of defence. He also competed one-on-one and also two-on-one with opposition defenders coming off. He only kicked the one goal but he took eight marks and presented really well – he had a good impact in the air and was a real focal point for us. 

Brayden Ham

Stats: 25 disposals, five marks, three tackles, five rebound 50s, two goals

From the coach: Another consistent game from ‘Hammy’ – 25 possessions off a wing/forward role and two goals. He used his run up and down the ground and transitioned really hard. I think he used his running ability with good effect. It’s not an easy role to play on the wings, in terms of the structures and patterns that you have to run, but I thought he was a really solid contributor 

Jake Long

Stats: 15 disposals, six marks, two tackles

From the coach: A pretty standard game from ‘Longy’. I thought he defended well and mopped up a little bit down back. He used the ball well when he did have it with 15 possessions from him. His output is really consistent at the moment. It’s good signs for him moving forward, but it’s just how we get him into the game a bit more and be able to use that really aggressive run and carry to break opposition defences open. 

Michael Hartley 

Stats: 18 disposals, five marks, four spoils, six rebound 50s 

From the coach: ‘Harts’ played as our key back post. Again, it was a really solid game. Obviously with Brandon (Zerk-Thatcher) going down, he got shuffled around a bit on a few of their talls but still had 18 possessions and six rebound 50s. He probably didn’t have the dominance in the air that he has had before, but still had five marks and competed really hard against (Coburg’s) Peter McEvoy who has been kicking a lot of goals. I thought his game defensively was really good and still gave us some weaponry in offence. 

Trent Mynott

Stats: 25 disposals (12 contested), seven tackles, nine clearances,  four inside 50s, one goal

From the coach: We’ve spoken the last few weeks about Trent building and I thought again he built on his form progressively over the last couple of games. It’s good to see him get a little bit more of the ball with 25 touches, but more importantly his pressure (was really good) – he had seven tackles and his ability to get out of the stoppages were evident. Those are things he’s been concentrating on recently so I was really happy with his game.

Ben McNiece 

Stats: 14 disposals, four marks, four tackles, two spoils

From the coach: Benny was solid as a small defender. Coburg has got some good small forwards and he was flicked around onto a couple of those, but still had 14 possessions and used the ball well. He also had four tackles and a good balance of going inside 50 and rebound 50s, so it was just a really solid small defender’s game.

Will Snelling 

Stats: 33 disposals (16 contested), four marks, eight tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s 

From the coach: I thought Will was terrific. He played a little bit more midfield minutes this week and found himself at the feet of it. He got a lot ball inside, but then also was able to get out of the stoppage really well. He used his running ability to get an even split of contested and uncontested possessions. Even when we didn’t have the ball, his pressure was still evident with eight tackles. It was a really nice midfielder’s game from him – he didn’t hit the scoreboard because we gave him less forward minutes, but we thought he used the ball really effectively.

Brooke Varney is in the final year of her Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) degree at RMIT University. As part of their strategic partnership, Essendon Football Club and RMIT University are committed to providing opportunities for students, staff, players and the wider community.