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Draft prospect takes incredible hanger as famous name impresses

Draft prospect's MCG hanger Watch the incredible mark taken by Callum Ah Chee in the AFL Academy's game against the Northern Blues

SAM Weideman flew for marks, crashed packs, kicked goals and set them up for others. This year's draft pool is not full of 196cm key forwards who can grab the ball, kick it straight and have the smarts to go with it, but Weideman announced himself as one of them on Saturday morning.

The 17-year-old, who is the grandson of Collingwood legend Murray Weideman and son of former Magpie Mark, set the tone for the NAB AFL Academy in its gallant nine-point loss to the Northern Blues' VFL team at the MCG.

In the first quarter alone, the Eastern Ranges prospect took five marks and kicked two goals. He finished with 11 touches and seven marks as the Academy rebounded from an 82-thumping at the hands of Werribee last week to provide a strong contest.

Western Australian Callum Ah Chee also confirmed his prodigious talent with an incredible pack mark in the goalsquare.

Going up ... Callum Ah Chee soars over teammates at the MCG. Picture: Darrian Traynor, AFL Media

With more than half of their team Carlton-listed players, the Blues were expected to win. And it was perhaps the maturity and poise of returning Carlton star Andrew Walker (29 disposals) and Dennis Armfield's four goals which proved the difference as the Blues held off the Academy to win 14.15 (99) to 14.6 (90).

While Weideman's performance in attack will have him in recruiters' thoughts as a top-10 pick, at the other end of the ground Jacob Weitering's claims for being the best under-18 player in the country continued. 

Patrolling the backline, Weitering's strength in the air, precise long kicking and mature frame saw him take control. The key defender finished with 21 disposals and eight rebound-50s in a display that further enhanced his stocks as the possible No.1 pick. 

The game all but ended the Academy's 10-day camp in Melbourne, which has seen them face two VFL opponents and spend the week training and preparing like an AFL club under coach Brenton Sanderson. 

It was easy to see the difference in performance from the first game to the second, with a number of players making starts last week and going on with things against the Blues.

Ah Chee collected 19 classy disposals – including two goals for the Academy in the second half – in a display that saw him win the MCC President's medal.

His second goal came after a huge pack mark in the goalsquare, underlining the speedy half-forward's talent as a possible top-five selection.

Coming down ... Ah Chee returns to earth after the amazing grab. Picture: Darrian Traynor, AFL Media

After starting at half-back, Darcy Parish moved into the midfield after half-time and finished with 25 touches, while Brisbane Lions' academy hopeful Ben Keays (24 disposals) continued to accumulate the ball.

Walker's return from another bout of knee surgery was the major positive for the Blues, and he appears ready to feature in Carlton's line-up next week after its heavy loss to West Coast on Friday night.

Dylan Buckley's dash and run from defence was excellent and he finished with 15 disposals and two goals, while first-round draft pick Blaine Boekhorst gathered 18 disposals.  

NAB AFL ACADEMY        3.2     7.3     9.5       14.6 (90)
NORTHERN BLUES         3.2     7.8     9.11    14.15 (99) 

GOALS
NAB AFL Academy: Schache 3, Ah Chee 2, Hipwood 2, Weideman 2, Keays, Tucker, Cole, Snadden, Curnow
Northern Blues: Armfield 4, Buckley 2, Johnson 2, Whiley, Totevski, Viojo-Rainbow, Walsh, Fields, Foster 

BEST
NAB AFL Academy: Ah Chee, Weitering, Parish, Weideman, Hopper, Keays, Tucker, Nyuon
Northern Blues: Armfield, Walker, Graham, Whiley, Boekhorst, Buckley, Wilson