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YvWater Mid-Season Review | Premier Senior Men’s

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By Josh Ward.



Ladder: 1st (9-0)

Percentage: 177.87%

Points For (Rank): 884 (2nd)

Points Against (Rank): 497 (2nd)

Leading Goalkicker: Charlie Haley (30 goals in 9 matches)


Following the departure of some key names heading into the season, there were some doubts that the Tigers could reach the pinnacle once again in 2024.


But their opening half of this year has certainly proven the critics wrong, with the Tigers sitting undefeated and almost untouchable at the top of the Premier Division table.


Whilst Charlie Haley sits atop the Premier Division goalkicking charts, Balwyn have still found different avenues to goal through players such as Nathan Oakes, Jack Tillig and Jordan Lisle.


The midfield trio of Bowen Smith, Alex Urban and Kayne Turner has also dominated, with Smith leading the division in contested possessions (137) and fourth in tackles (61).


There’s certainly been plenty to like about the Tigers in 2024 who enter the second half of 2024 as the hunted.


Prediction: 2nd



Ladder: 9th (1-8)

Percentage: 46.30%

Points For (Rank): 413 (9th)

Points Against (Rank): 892 (9th)

Leading Goalkicker: Lachlan Hollis & Elijah Roewer (8 goals each)


It’s been a fresh and challenging start to the 2024 season for Berwick who entered this year with one of the youngest lists on paper in the division.


And whilst they’ve shown patches of promise in each game they’ve played, it’s only been recently where the Wickers have started to gain some consistency.


The experience of captain Tom Brennan has stood out in most matches this season alongside ruckman Jesse Cirilus and Sam Hilton-Joyce.


Young guns such as Ashton Williamson and Caleb Van Oostveen have taken their game to the next level, with both sitting two and three in average disposals per game this year.


With some solid outings in their two most recent games, Berwick will look to continue that trend in the back half of the season.


Prediction: 9th



Ladder: 4th (5-4)

Percentage: 134.77%

Points For (Rank): 814 (3rd)

Points Against (Rank): 604 (4th)

Leading Goalkicker: Toby Wooller & Jake Hammond (18 goals each)


Blackburn entered 2024 beginning a new era with a fresh yet familiar face in Anthony Fagan taking the helm as its senior coach.


With that change has seen a much improved Burners outfit who look much more of a finals side than they have in previous years where they’ve made finals.


The midfield trio of captain Patrick Lawlor, Jason Read and Kade Answerth continue to fire, with the latter two averaging the most disposals per game for the Burners.


Returning star Jake Hammond has also formed a lethal duo in attack with ex-Brisbane forward Toby Wooller alongside up and coming star Billy Hicks.


There’s plenty to like about Blackburn under Fagan who could be set to make plenty of noise in the second half of the season.


Prediction: 3rd


Doncaster East

Ladder: 8th (2-7)

Percentage: 70.74%

Points For (Rank): 527 (8th)

Points Against (Rank): 745 (8th)

Leading Goalkicker: Hugh Johnson (15 goals in 9 matches)


After continuing on their upward trajectory, along with some strong recruiting, there was plenty of hope the Lions could continue to improve in 2024.


But injury and a lack of continuity has seen Doncaster East drop off, sitting only a game ahead of Berwick and Norwood at the foot of the table.

The likes of Hugh Johnson and Taylin Duman have provided key pillars through the spine, with Duman so far collecting the fifth most disposals in the division.


Josh Deluca has continued to fight tooth and nail through midfield, with the ex-Blue and Docker averaging around 25 disposals and 14 contested possessions per game so far.


If they can get some continuity, along with the inclusion of key players from recent years, the Lions can certainly cause teams headaches for the remainder of the season.


Prediction: 8th


East Ringwood

Ladder: 2nd (8-1)

Percentage: 185.65%

Points For (Rank): 893 (1st)

Points Against (Rank): 481 (1st)

Leading Goalkicker: Josh Fox (27 goals in 9 matches)


The Roos have built on an impressive return to Premier Division last year with a hot start to the 2024 season.


Whilst they sit second, almost everything has clicked from the word go for East Ringwood, with their one blemish coming against the undefeated Tigers.


James Belo has continued to set the standard in midfield, with his fellow midfielders in Connor and Josh Weightman and Corey Preston also impressing.


Josh Fox has also provided a strong target up forward, with Jamie Bennell also prospering at his new home in East Ringwood’s forward line.


The Roos have certainly proven their credentials and look set for their first tilt at a top flight premiership since their famous 2002 flag.


Prediction: 1st


Noble Park

Ladder: 7th (3-6)

Percentage: 102.71%

Points For (Rank): 644 (6th)

Points Against (Rank): 627 (6th)

Leading Goalkicker: Benjamin Marson & Bailey Lambert (15 goals each)


After a disappointing 2023 which saw them miss finals, there were some question marks about what Noble Park could do in 2024.


And following a promising start the Bulls have dropped off a fair bit, with a lack of continuity seeing them win only three games to date.


That hasn’t stopped the midfield from performing week on week, with Lachlan McDonnell, Jordan Marson and Chris Horton-Milne all having solid starts to their season.


Jackson Sketcher has also been on his Chandler Medal season to currently lead the division in disposals, with the return of Kyle Martin also providing some solid support.


While their midfield continues to fire, it’s now the forward’s and defence’s turn to help lift Noble up the ranks once again.


Prediction: 8th



Ladder: 10th (1-8)

Percentage: 41.18%

Points For (Rank): 369 (10th)

Points Against (Rank): 896 (10th)

Leading Goalkicker: James Menzies (8 goals in 9 matches)


It was as fresh a start as you could get for Norwood in 2024, with the side bringing in a new coach and their list completely overhauled.


Much like the Wickers they’ve shown glimpses but not enough, which sees them sit at the bottom of the Premier Division table.


Some of the young group has continued to improve weekly, particularly Connor Smith and Josiah Landy, both of whom playing key roles in Norwood’s only victory to date.


Joshua Tovey has provided plenty of grunt in the midfield, with the Box Hill Hawk-listed player averaging the most contested possessions per game.


Much more competitive performances are needed in the second half of the year if Brett Moyle’s side is to live to fight another day in Premier Division.


Prediction: 10th



Ladder: 3rd (6-3)

Percentage: 125.42%

Points For (Rank): 745 (4th)

Points Against (Rank): 594 (3rd)

Leading Goalkicker: Maverick Taylor (19 goals in 9 matches)


With a young group and plenty of talented players, there were a few that expected Rowville to be around the mark once again in Premier Division.


And so far the Hawks have delivered to those expectations despite the absence of some key premiership players, sitting reasonably comfortable in third.


Players such as Liam Coghlan, Lachlan Stapleton and Callum Verrell have all developed their games across different areas of the park.


But the youthful Hawks continue to be well led by Anthony Brolic and Lachlan McDonald, with both averaging the most disposals per game for the side.


They’ve set themselves up nicely for another premiership tilt, but they’ll face some challenges if they are to make it back-to-back.


Prediction: 4th


South Croydon

Ladder: 6th (5-4)

Percentage: 95.35%

Points For (Rank): 636 (7th)

Points Against (Rank): 667 (7th)

Leading Goalkicker: Daniel Cooper (19 goals in 9 matches)


There’s been a bit of a turnaround at the Bulldogs following a year which saw them nearly drop out of Premier Division for the first time in more than a decade.


While they may not sit in a finals position, they’ve certainly shown that they can be a finals side under new coach Brendan Allen.


Chris Jones and Daniel Cooper have both been pillars of strength throughout the season, with Jones leading the division in total intercept marks.


Brayden Kilpatrick and partner-in-crime Matt Jones have also starred in midfield, with both averaging north of 20 disposals, 11 contested possessions and seven clearances to date.


While they have the makings of a premiership side, the Bulldogs will look to find consistency in the second half of the season if they are to make it to September.


Prediction: 5th



Ladder: 5th (5-4)

Percentage: 112.59%

Points For (Rank): 699 (5th)

Points Against (Rank): 621 (5th)

Leading Goalkicker: Daniel Nielson (19 goals in 7 matches)


After returning to the top last year the Eagles have started to slowly return to the pack in the opening half of the 2024 seasons.


But after their opening three weeks Vermont are certainly in a much better position than they could’ve been, sitting inside the top five (on percentage).


Noah Bourke has continued to develop his game up forward alongside players such as Daniel Nielson, Lucas Vassis and Zac Thiessen.


Lachlan Johns and Calvin Daraio continue to excel though, with Johns having the potential to be a dark horse in the Chandler Medal race.


With most, if not all, of their wins coming against sides below them on the ladder, Vermont need to claim a scalp in the second half of the year if they are to challenge for a flag.


Prediction: 6th

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