THE COLGATE Young Guns series concluded over the weekend, with Victoria’s top mid-season draft prospects putting their best foot forward in their bid to make their way onto an AFL list next month.

The two-game series saw the Colgate Young Guns take on Victoria Metro U18 and Vic Country U18 across consecutive weekends.

The Colgate Young Guns team was selected by AFL recruiters with an eye towards the 2022 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft, which will be held on Wednesday 1 June.

The squad featured the state’s brightest 19-year-old prospects, most of whom are competing as top-age players in the 2022 NAB League Boys season. The team also included several VFL-listed players.

The series gave players in the Victoria Metro U18 and Victoria Country U18 teams the chance to push their case for selection in the squads that will compete at the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships - U18 Boys.

Charlie Molan marks the ball during the match between the Colgate Young Guns and Vic Country U18 at Ikon Park. Picture: AFL Photos

The Colgate Young Guns secured a 20.12 (132) to 11.7 (73) victory over Victoria Metro in the first game of the series at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday 7 May, which was followed by an 11.11 (77) to 6.11 (47) win over Victoria Country at IKON Park on Sunday.

Colgate Young Guns coach Matt O’Connor said the series had provided members of the Young Guns team the perfect opportunity to showcase their talent in front of AFL recruiters on the eve of the 2022 Mid-Season Rookie Draft.

“It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was all about how we played,” O’Connor said.

“I thought they moved the football very well and they were so coachable. Every time we asked them to do something they did it and executed it.

“The players represented their NAB League regions positively. Yes, it’s about football talent but it’s also about being good people. I think if criteria one is football, criteria two is about being a good person and they all ticked that box.

“I think this year getting the best kids together to play together for the Young Guns against the Metro players and Country players trying to prove themselves was a much better concept.”

Please click here to watch replays of both matches from the Colgate Young Guns Series.

Below are some of the notable performers across the Colgate Young Guns Series:


The rebounding defender from the Western Jets accumulated 24 disposals and nine rebound-50m in the win over Victoria Metro, before racking up 32 disposals and nine marks in the game against Victoria Country on Sunday. D’Ambrosio was a very clean ball user out of the back half and also spent time moving through the midfield.


Had 20 disposals and eight marks in the first game of the Series, but it was his second match against Victoria Country that drew high praise from the Colgate Young Guns coaching staff. The Richmond VFL-listed running defender had 22 disposals in the game at IKON Park, which included seven rebound-50m. His decision-making in picking the right times to run of his opponent was highlighted, along with his ability to change lines.


Was prominent in the win over Victoria Metro when he amassed 23 disposals and five inside-50m, before showing his versatility and moving to the half back flank in the second game against Victoria Country. The GWV Rebels product showed resilience to play out the second half while under injury duress in the second game and finished with 22 disposal and four tackles.


Was dominant in the first half of the match against Vic Metro, racking up 16 disposals and four goal to help the Colgate Young Guns open a 27-point lead at the main break. Culley didn’t play in the second game of the series, but his efforts across the first two quarters in the match at Avalon Airport Oval were enough to showcase his tremendous potential.


The 17-year-old entered the match on the back of a dominant showing for Sandringham Dragons, where he collected 28 disposals and kicked 6.2 in the NAB League Boys win over Tasmania Devils. The only 2022 AFL Academy player named for Victoria Metro, Sheezel was named captain and displayed outstanding leadership qualities despite his side falling to a 59-point defeat. Was a presence both in the air and at ground level and finished with 5.0 from his 13 disposals.


The Geelong Falcons midfielder was in the thick of everything early at IKON Park. Had 11 disposals in the opening quarter, before finishing the match with 29, along with six marks, five tackles and five inside-50m entries. His disposal tally was the second-most for Victoria Country, behind only fellow AFL Academy member Jason Gillbee (30).