2017 Southern Cross TSL Team of the Year

The 2017 Southern Cross Tasmanian State League (TSL) Team of the Year has been selected.

All nine TSL clubs were asked to nominate players they believed worthy of Team of the Year consideration. An assembled TSL panel then selected the best 22 of the 2017 season, with the consultation of coaches and external opinions, where required.

The selection panel picked the team and positions as if the team were to play a game.

Please see the team listed below.

BACKS

Jordon Arnold (Glenorchy)
At just 21 years of age, Arnold has cemented his reputation as a key member of the Glenorchy side and as one of the most consistent defenders in the TSL.  The 2015 Matthew Richardson medallist excelled in his third season of regular senior football with his team-first approach, showcasing his ability to not only shut down direct opponents but provide drive out of defence on a weekly basis.  Arnold was selected in the state side that took on the NEAFL in June and performed admirably and with courage against a stacked forward line. His third
striaght Team of the Year nod.
Jason Bailey (Clarence)
The big-bodied Clarence full back had a huge start to the season, named among the ‘Roos best players four times in five matches as he consistently prevailed in his match ups with the competition’s key forwards.  Bailey’s intercept marking and physical presence meant that opposition scoring chances were usually hard-earned, and he set the standards as the leader of a young ‘Roos back six.  The defensive general of Blundstone Arena, Bailey was sorely missed when sidelined mid-season with injury, but returned to form late in the season. Without a doubt the best full back in the state.
James Holmes (Clarence)
One of the stories of the season, Holmes made his senior debut for Clarence in Round 2 and played 19 games, winning the Matthew Richardson Medal as the competition’s best emerging youngster.  The pint-sized defender announced himself in his second game against Lauderdale in Round 3, with a courageous performance dashing out of the backline, and didn’t look back.  Remarkably, the19 year old has had no previous involvement with any state pathway programs, instead rising through the ranks of the Clarence junior program, with his intercept marking and willingness to involve himself in the play likely to see him develop into a future leader of the club.  Holmes’ determination to play through a late-season shoulder injury and endearing personality suggest Clarence have themselves a star in the making.

HALF BACKS

Mitch Carter (Tigers)
Carter was arguably the recruit of the year, with the former Boulder City and Carlton-listed defender a shining light in an otherwise trying season for the Tigers.  The medium defender’s intercept marking and pinpoint long kicking saw him stand out every week, regardless of the result.  Carter’s ability to set up team mates in space with his elite disposal and his calm repeat defensive efforts when his side was under attack revealed a player among the upper echelon of the competition.  Named in his side’s best 11 times in 18 matches, fans will be hoping the classy Tiger will remain in the state next season.

Josh McGuinness (Lauderdale)
The former Brisbane Lion returned to Lauderdale this season and made an immediate impact, with his versatility on full display.  McGuinness played predominantly in defence, where he organised the Bomber’s back six, but had a strong impact during midfield stints and as a resting forward.  McGuinness’ strong marking and line-breaking disposal saw him among Lauderdale’s strongest players in the club’s highest finish ever, with a particularly impressive second half of the season setting the Bombers up for a shot at September glory.

Jay Foon (North Launceston)
The classy rebounding defender shifted his game up a gear this season, with his intercept marking and reading of the play clear strong points of the Bombers’ game.  Foon’s ability to maintain form when key Bombers’ playmakers succumbed to injury highlighted his importance to the side’s makeup, with a purple patch coming in the middle of the season, resulting in a deserved selection in the state side.  The dashing Bomber provided a few highlights this year with his reliable disposal and his reading of the game but will be perhaps remembered most for his mark of the year contender against the Tigers at Twin Ovals.

CENTRES

Rhys Mott (Glenorchy)
The Glenorchy wingman was a model of consistency this season, often shaking off close-checking opponents to break games open with his lethal left boot.  Mott’s knack of covering a remarkable amount of ground a game saw him rack up a number of rebound 50’s and kicks inside attacking 50 each and every game, often having a direct hand in a number of Magpie majors. 
Mott’s ability to stand out in a team full of impressive players is testament to the former North West Coaster’s phenomenal work rate and skill level, which has seen him graduate from last season’s Team of the Year interchange bench into a field position.

Brayden Webb (Glenorchy) – CAPTAIN
Not too much needs to be said about Glenorchy’s captain, with Webb again leading from the front for the boys from KGV this season. Named in his side’s best 13 times from his 16 matches, the hard-nosed midfielder worked hard on the inside then ran hard to space all season, often linking up to be a part of a large number of Magpies’ possession chains each week.  Webb booted multiple goals six times this season to finish with 16 majors, preferring to unselfishly set up team mates in front of goal as well. Named captain of the Team of the Year after leading both Glenorchy and Tasmania with aplomb in 2017.


Nat Franklin (Lauderdale)

With his 2016 season wiped out by a broken leg, the 19-year-old returned to Lauderdale’s side to have a huge impact this year.  Often sighted at the bottom of packs and winning clearances around stoppages, Franklin racked up disposals in most of the Bombers’ games as he worked hard and put his body on the line time and again to feed the ball to outside runners.  Named in the best a staggering 13 times in 16 games, Franklin certainly delivered on the potential discussed in Tasmanian football circles in recent years.

HALF FORWARDS

Thor Boscott (Lauderdale)
While 
Boscott has been around the fringes of the state side for a while now, the 23 year old had a break out 2017 season, adding consistency to his growing resume.  While pulling down hangers and booting flashy goals has always been a part of the Bomber’s repertoire, his ability to remain in the game across four quarters stood out this season.  Often lining up across half forward, Boscott booted 41 goals from 17 roster matches, with his nine goal haul against the Tigers a treat for Lauderdale and football fans alike.  Able to switch into the midfield and win key clearances, Boscott is sure to have caught the eye of AFL scouts as a potential mature-age recruit, with his back half of the season key in Lauderdale’s success.

Tom Bennett (North Launceston)
The big forward took his game to a new level this season, with his 28 goals including hauls of six and five against quality opposition sides in Lauderdale and Clarence respectively.  Bennett played most of the season up the ground as a lead up forward, being a strong link but also showed great skill when playing deep. His work rate up the ground and at times off a wing was a real feature and saw him preferred as a true centre half forward. His strong contested marking and his ability to bring the ball to ground for crumbing forwards made him a dangerous tall target to match up on, with his three matches in the month of August as good as it gets.Tom Couch (North Launceston)
The addition of the former Melbourne midfielder and 2012 VFL  J.J. Liston Trophy Runner-up as playing coach has seen North Launceston remain a force, with the Bombers heading into the season with a reputation as the fittest club in the TSL under Couch.  He has led from the front with the goal kicking midfielder often playing forward, quickly forging a reputation as one of the TSL’s most damaging players just a few games into the year.  Despite missing a number of games through injury, Couch booted 41 goals from 16 home and away games, kicking multiple goals a dozen times; including a seven goal haul on his birthday against a luckless Hobart City Demons outfit in Round 11.

FORWARDS

Dylan Riley (Devonport)
Undoubtedly one of the league’s finest midfielders, the Devonport Co-Captain spent a lot of time forward in 2017 and had a profound effect. He continued to break games apart through midfield with his ability to find the footy in a league of 
it’s own. It was his work forward of centre though that made him a new-found threat this season, often playing deep forward and showcasing brilliant one on one contested work. He kicked 16 goals and was a constant for a young Devonport side.

Jaye Bowden (Glenorchy)
Bowden continued to take all before him in 2017 with the Glenorchy star goal kicker again claiming the Hudson Medal for the league’s top goal kicker. Playing right across the park, Bowden kicked 53 goals and featured in his side’s best an astonishing 15 out of 18 games. Bowden’s work in front of the big sticks was clinical but it was also his marking, use by foot and ability to have an influence in any position that continues to make him the competition’s benchmark. His best goal kicking effort came in round two with a bag of 11 against Devonport. He kicked 3 or more on 10 occasions in a season that again earned him the RACTI Player of the Year.

Trent Standen (Clarence)The best small forward in the competition, Standen only went goalless on one occasion in 2017 on his way to 43 goals in 18 games. Standen was constantly a threat in a smaller Roos forward line with the goal sneak often putting his side in winning positions, kicking three or more goals on eight occasions, including a seven goal game against Glenorchy in Round 6.

RUCKS

Alex Lee (North Launceston)
Lee made the ruck role at North Launceston his own, taking the mantle at North Launceston vacated by Daniel Roozendaal. His work around the ground is solid and improving but it is his tap work that has him top the charts with consistent 
hit out dominance and first rate supply all season, frequently giving his midfielders first look. The big man was rarely beaten and stood up late in the season against opposing rucks of quality to stamp himself as the best ruckman in 2017.

Brad Cox-
Goodyer (North Launceston) – VICE-CAPTAINThe Dustin Martin of the TSL, Brad Cox-Goodyer is a beast of a footballer. The big bodied midfielder often seems untackleable, with the ability to bustle his way from congestion and send booming balls inside 50. His ability to kick long running goals is elite with the North Launceston Vice-Captain dangerous from anywhere within 60 metres. Playing predominantly midfield Cox-Goodyer has kicked 37 goals and has at times single handedly destroyed teams. Without a doubt one of the season’s top performers.

Brodie Palfreyman (Launceston)
A break out year for Launceston’s Palfreyman, becoming one of the competition’s premier midfielders. His beard and in more recent times moustache has become a distinctive feature for football fans to look out for. Palfreyman has featured in his team’s bests in 10 of 19 matches and has been a clearance leader in a deep midfield brigade at the Blues. His ability to burst away from the stoppage and create space and ignite attacks has been big for Launceston in 2017, seeing him receive greater defensive attention towards season’s end. The 18 year old plays above his years and is a vital cog in an ever-improving Launceston.

INTERCHANGE

Ryan Matthews (Hobart City Demons)
Matthews lead from the front for the Demons week in week out, to have a dominant season as the leader of an inexperienced midfield. Matthews rarely had a down game, frequently racking up over 30 touches for his team. He is hard at the contest with outstanding tackling pressure and damaging with 
ball in hand. Shows strong leadership to bring the team with him, standing up in some crucial moments.

Dylan Fyfe (Lauderdale)
Fyfe took his game to another level in 2017 with the pocket rocket a major reason why Lauderdale has become a force of the competition. His poise and cleanliness in traffic sets him apart and sets the Bombers attacking ball movement up frequently. The young gun finds plenty of the footy but also has been given stopping jobs and has been floated forward to kick 14 for the season, showing great versatility. Was rewarded with state selection and now Team of the Year honours.Sam Siggins (Clarence)
Siggins settled into a new role in the ruck at the Roos which allowed the agile big man to use his athletic prowess to cut apart opposition teams. The former Adelaide Crow shot out of the blocks with an outstanding first month that setup a standout season. His ability to cover the ground and his athleticism saw him get a hold of many ruck battles this year and his forward craft became a trump card for Clarence, booting 16 goals for the season.

Rulla Kelly-Mansell (Launceston)

Kelly-Mansell has been a huge inclusion into the Blues lineup in 2017, across half forward and the wing the exciting Kelly-Mansell has consistently been a spark for Launceston. Aerially dominant and crafty when the ball hits the ground, Kelly-Mansell booted 32 goals and consistently threatened opposition sides, capable of bursts in quarters that rip the game away from the opposition. His haul of 7.7 at West Park included some amazing goal kicking and a hanger that exemplified his game breaking ability in a strong season.

COACHES

Tom Couch (North Launceston)
Lead North Launceston to the minor premiership in his first season in charge.

Jeromey Webberley (Clarence)
Took the Roos from seventh to second in a season of significant improvement for Clarence.Darren Winter (Lauderdale)
Winter reinvented the Lauderdale side and playing style to steer the Bombers to their highest ever finish.

UMPIRE

Matt Clarke (27) has been named as the Field Umpire in the team. Matt who hails from Morairty on the North West Coast has had a very consistent year which has resulted in him being appointed to 24 Senior Matches.

Earlier in the season, Matt was appointed as one of the Tasmanian umpires in the Tasmania v NEAFL match at Blundstone Arena. Matt’s top form has continued in the latter half of the year and he has been appointed to a Senior Game in each week of the TSL Final series.

SELECTION HEADACHES WERE HAD!

Some positions were really difficult to decide and the panel acknowledges the unlucky omission of a number of players.

Zach Burt and Mitch Thorp both came into strong consideration for Centre Half Forward with Bennett preferred for his ability to influence as a lead-up player. Glenorchy’s James Webb had a phenomenal season through midfield and up forward but couldn’t quite squeeze in. Lauderdale’s workhorse Ray Hill was solid for the Bombers as was impact player Phil Bellchambers but neither could edge their way into a highly talented half forward line.

Max Kleverkamp and Jay Lockhart both featured strongly in the discussion on defenders, with the amazing defensive record of Glenorchy and Jordon Arnold just preferred ahead of the impressive Kleverkamp. Lockhart was one of the top players in the competition at the season’s half way point but unfortunately, injury cruelled the end to his season and it is that lack of football that saw him miss selection. North Launceston small utility Jack Avent and Glenorchy duo Matt Dilger and Josh Arnold were also strongly considered.

Nick McKenna played at both ends for Burnie as did Ryan Wiggins for Lauderdale but Jason Bailey was preferred in defence as he was the most consistent full back and was a barometer of Clarence all season.Youngster Keegan Wylie’s work in defence was also discussed but ultimately Josh McGuinness and Jason Bailey was preferred in the key defensive posts.

In midfield, there were a number of names that were discussed but despite great individual seasons were unable to crack the final 22. Launceston’s smooth mover Jay Blackberry, Lauderdale skipper Bryce Walsh, Hobart City Demons’  big bodied mid Will Campbell, North Launceston’s much-improved duo of Josh Ponting and Mark Walsh and experienced Clarence duo of Jackson O’Brien and Brady Jones all were prominent in the discussion.

The ruck role was a position that occupied a lot of time and deliberation with Alex Lee preferred ahead of Cameron Duffy and Hamish Leedham, with Sam Siggins landing the second ruck spot on the bench. It was considered Lee’s form was the most consistent and as his confidence grew his performances late in the season against the likes of Duffy and Leedham were outstanding.

THE TEAM OF THE YEAR WILL BE FORMALLY ACKNLOWDGED AT THE TASMANIAN FOOTBALL AWARDS DINNER ON OCTOBER 6.

DOWNLOAD TSL TEAM OF THE YEAR PDF