Players to watch in Devils intra-program showdown

Tasmania’s best young players will go head-to-head this Sunday, with the Devils under-19 and under-17 sides facing of in an intra-program showcase.

The two Devils sides will meet at the Kingborough Twin Ovals, with the first bounce at 11:00 AM. The game will be streamed live via YouTube and the Tasmania Devils Facebook page.

This game will provide both teams with a competitive hit-out in a time where both have seen fixtures cancelled. The under-19s were initally scheduled to play the Northern Knights in the NAB League, while the under-17s were set to take on Queensland in the NAB AFL Under-17 Championships.

It will also be an extra opportunity for players to impress AFL recruiters and scouts, with footage and data from the game to be sent to every AFL club. With that in mind, learn more about some of the key players ahead of Sunday’s showdown, with player profiles from Tasmania Devils coaches Jamie Hayward and Nathan Warren.

Under-17s

Player profiles via Jamie Hayward

Tom McCallum, Clarence

Photo by Cameron Grimes/AFL Photos

An extremely hard-working power forward, Tommy is an elite runner with fantastic endurance. His marking ability is regularly on display as well as his ability to be clean at ground level when running hard.

He regularly takes the game on and his run and carry with the ball in hand is game-breaking, often creating 70-metre plays to the advantage of his team.

He is carrying some very good NAB League form into this weekend, and with season-highs of 23 disposals, 11 marks and 2 goals against Dandenong earlier in the year, Tommy is one to watch this weekend.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 12.5 disposals, 6.3 marks, 3.3 inside-50s

 

Lachlan Cowan, Devonport

Photo by Cameron Grimes/AFL Photos

Coming to the Tasmania Devils via the Devonport Football Club, Lachie was the 2019 captain of the Tasmanian Under-15 team at the National School Sports Australia Carnival in Launceston. Lachie has also regularly represented Tasmania in cricket, with a recent switch to a full focus to his football pursuits bearing fruit at NAB League level

With a recent move to defence, Lachie is thriving in his new role and is expected to again have an impact in the back half in this weekend’s game. His ability to read the ball in the air to intercept, as well as his run and carry and efficient ball use coming out of defence, has been a highlight in recent weeks .

Lachie has also managed to hit the scoreboard for at least 1 goal in four out of seven NAB league games to date. His best game of the year came against a high-quality team in Sandringham at this weekend’s venue, with 19 touches, four marks and five tackles, and also including eight rebound 50s. Lachie is sure to have some confidence coming into this one.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 12.1 disposals, 3.9 marks, 2.9 tackles, 2.4 rebound-50s

 

Ryley Sanders, North Launceston

Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/AFL Photos

An elite talent hailing from North Launceston, Ryley has looked at home this year playing in the NAB League despite still being at the tender age of 16. His attributes allow him to play as an contested inside midfielder or an outside running receiver, which offers the coaching staff some real flexibility with his positioning.

Ryley has also shown he can go back into defence and use his run and carry to set play up from the back half for the Devils with his efficient ball use. His ability to link up for multiple possessions in a single chain of play is a highlight, and he rarely wastes a disposal

A strong season has been highlighted by his 25 disposals in his first game in defence against the GWS Giants. Ryley will play a pivotal role for the Devils under 17’s this weekend.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 16.0 disposals, 4.4 marks, 4.1 tackles, 1.9 rebound-50s, 2.3 inside-50s

 

Under-19s

Player profiles via Nathan Warren

Sam Banks, Clarence

Photo by Solstice Digital

Arguably Tasmania’s leading 2021 prospect and part of this year’s AFL Academy and Allies squad, Banks is a smooth and classy half-back who can easily open it up by foot. He missed several early games with a broken wrist but since his return in round 10 has continued right where he left off.

He was eased back in against the highly touted Dragons, playing a half in his first hit out and winning 13 disposals, eight of them rebounding from the defensive 50. Now that he is back at full flight, Banks is set for a move into the midfield this week where his ball winning ways are sure to continue.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 21.8 disposals, 4.0 marks, 2.3 tackles, 4.8 rebound-50s

 

Jye Menzie, North Hobart

Photo by Steve Bell/AFL Photos

Menzie, who is also a part of this year’s Allies squad, is not a high possession winner but is damaging when he does find the ball as a half forward operator. His speed allows him to lose his opponent, especially when his side regains possession. He always finds space and his ball use is second to none. He makes good decisions, favouring to kick more often than handball.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 15.0 disposals, 4.9 marks, 3.6 inside-50s, 1.7 goals

 

Baynen Lowe, Devonport

Photo: Solstice Digital

Lowe is a hard-working and consistent midfielder with TSL senior experience as a 17-year-old with North Launceston. He racks up plenty of the ball in the midfield, but he can also rotate forward and hit the scoreboard. An ultra-consistent player who runs hard and regularly finds a lot of possessions, his pressure acts stand out, whilst his poise with ball in hand is equally impressive.

By the numbers
NAB League (per game): 25.0 disposals, 5.0 marks, 4.3 tackles, 5.1 inside-50s