The AFL has today announced the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team.
The 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team was selected with 18 players on the field and five interchange players, with players selected in their best positions.
Victoria Metro has the most representatives in the team after going through the Championships undefeated to claim its first title since 2017. Seven players from Victoria Metro were selected, along with coach Jason Davenport.
All five state MVP winners feature in the All-Australian team, including Will Ashcroft (Victoria Metro), Jhye Clark (Victoria Country), Adam D’Aloia (South Australia), Reuben Ginbey (Western Australia) and Harry Rowston (Allies).
Ashcroft, who claimed the Larke Medal as the Best and Fairest player of the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys, was named captain. He amassed 131 disposals in four appearances for Victoria Metro, averaging 18 kicks and 15 handballs per game. He also kicked two goals.
Hunter Harrison Medal winner, Jaspa Fletcher, was also selected in the All-Australian Team. The award is presented to the best player in the Academy Series, which involves non-Victorian Academy teams competing in the first four rounds of the NAB League Boys season.
Fletcher amassed 56 disposals and kicked five goals in three appearances for the Brisbane Lions Academy in the NAB League Boys competition and impressed in three appearances for the Allies.
The 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team features 21 players who will attend the 2022 NAB AFL Draft Combine this week, along with two bottom-aged players in Harley Reid and Jed Walter, both of whom are eligible for the 2023 NAB AFL Draft.
AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan congratulated everyone selected in the All-Australian team and said it was deserved recognition for their outstanding performance throughout the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys.
“Selection in the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team is a significant honour and all players selected are thoroughly deserving of their place in the team,” Sheehan said.
“The players selected in the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team represent the best young boys footballers in the country and highlight the quality of talent coming through the national pathway programs.
“Many of the players selected in the team will feature prominently in the 2022 NAB AFL Draft and we look forward to watching their development as AFL players.
“Harley Reid and Jed Walter have been selected in the team as bottom-aged players. Both will be eligible for the 2023 NAB AFL Draft and will be players to look out for again at next year’s Championships.”
The 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team was selected by a panel comprising Kevin Sheehan (AFL Talent Ambassador – Chairman), Tarkyn Lockyer (AFL National Academy Coach/Manager) and AFL club recruiters Scott Clayton (North Melbourne), Mark McKenzie (Hawthorn), Kelly O’Donnell (Melbourne) and Geoff Parker (Port Adelaide).
The NAB AFL National Championships are the highest level of state and territory representative football, as part of the AFL’s Talent Pathway Program. The competition features the most talented boys from across Australia who are the next generation of stars in the men’s game.
Please find below player profiles for all players selected in the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team, compiled by Kevin Sheehan.
Jed Hagan (Western Australia/East Fremantle/Brigades)
Date of Birth: 15/10/04; Height: 175cm; Weight: 73kg
Versatile player who played in all parts of the ground in the Championships, averaging 17 disposals (75% efficiency) and four tackles. Was among his team’s best players in all three matches, always playing with passion and determination that belies his physical size.
Josh Weddle (Victoria Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Eltham)
Date of Birth: 25/05/04; Height: 192cm; Weight: 89kg
Rock solid in defence in all matches for Victoria Metro. His intercept marking, strength one-on-one and dash from the back half are features of his game. Averaged 15 disposals, four marks, three tackles and four rebound 50s per game in an impressive Championships.
Lewis Hayes (Victoria Metro/Eastern Ranges/Lysterfield)
Date of Birth: 17/12/04; Height: 197cm; Weight: 81kg
Tall and agile defender who made great decisions on when to mark or spoil, as well as being neat with his ball use on the way out of defence. Averaged 17 disposals (91% efficiency), six marks and five rebound 50s to be an important cog in Victoria Metro’s Championships-winning team.
Half Back Flank
Lachlan Cowan (Allies/Tasmania Devils/North Launceston)
Date of Birth: 01/12/04; Height: 188cm; Weight: 81kg
A strong and powerful medium defender who intercepted extremely well and provided dash for the Allies. Averaged 22 disposals (75% efficiency), four tackles and six rebound 50s to be consistently one of his team’s best players. Being named an All-Australian capped off a superb year for Cowan, who was the joint winner of the NAB League’s Morrish Medal.
Centre Half Back
Jedd Busslinger (Western Australia/East Perth/Coolbinia)
Date of Birth: 11/03/04; Height: 196cm; Weight: 83kg
A tall defender whose intercept marking is a feature of his game, along with his precise ball use and composure. Was among his side’s best in matches against Victoria Metro and the Allies, averaging 22 disposals (75% efficiency) seven marks and five rebound 50s, before being curtailed by a shoulder injury.
Half Back Flank
Harley Reid (Victoria Country/Bendigo Pioneers/Tongala)
Date of Birth: 17/04/05; Height: 185cm; Weight: 78kg
A versatile bottom-aged player who was outstanding for his team predominantly in defence. His contested marking, line-breaking speed and precise ball use are all features of his play. Moved forward in the final quarter of the deciding match of the Championships and almost lifted Victoria Country over the line with two goals from contested marks. Averaged 20 disposals (83% efficiency) and seven marks.
Jaspa Fletcher (Allies/Brisbane Lions Academy/Sherwood)
Date of Birth: 24/02/04; Height: 184cm; Weight: 73kg
A medium midfielder who played on both the inside and outside. Key features of his game include his step through traffic, composure with the ball and ability to win the contested ball. Averaged 23 disposals (78% efficiency) and three tackles. Also won the Hunter Harrison Medal as the Best and Fairest player in the Academy series as part of selection for the Allies.
Will Ashcroft (Victoria Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Old Brighton Grammarians)
Date of Birth: 06/05/04; Height: 183cm; Weight: 79kg
Exciting midfielder who dominated throughout the Championships. Averaged 33 disposals, 15 contested possessions, nine clearances and six tackles to completely impose himself on all matches. Won the ball on both the inside and outside with an exciting burst of speed. His influence on games was a major factor in Victoria Metro winning the Championships. Won both his side’s MVP and the Larke Medal as the Best and Fairest player of the Championships.
Jaxon Binns (Victoria Country/Dandenong Stingrays/Berwick)
Date of Birth: 29/10/04; Height: 182cm; Weight: 72kg
Played on the wing for the majority of the Championships and was a running machine, averaging 26 disposals and six marks per game. Has the ability to find space as well as connect with teammates, as demonstrated by averaging 11 handball receives. He provided consistent forward entries for this team with his 39 disposal game against the Allies, which was an outstanding individual performance.
Half Forward Flank
Harry Rowston (Allies/GWS Giants Academy/Calder Cannons/Griffith Swans)
Date of Birth: 12/08/04; Height: 182cm; Weight: 78kg
A midfielder/forward who excelled in both roles. Was a prolific ball winner in the centre of the ground and kicked important goals for his team when forward for the Allies. Averaged 23 disposals (72% efficiency) with 10 contested possessions. Was a model of consistency throughout the Championships and won the Allies’ MVP award.
Centre Half Forward
Jed Walter (Allies/Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach Currumbin)
Date of Birth: 08/06/05; Height: 195cm; Weight: 91kg
Bottom-aged tall forward who played with a real physical presence up forward. His attack on the ball in marking contests and at ground level was a real asset. Also used his speed and agility to great effect. Averaged nine disposals and four marks, which belied his real influence as he kicked multiple goals in three matches and finished with nine goals for the Championships.
Half Forward Flank
Cameron Mackenzie (Victoria Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Beaumaris)
Date of Birth: 21/01/04; Height: 187cm; Weight: 80kg
A medium midfielder who had an ultra-consistent Championship, averaging 25 disposals (75% efficiency) with an excellent balance of contested possessions (10) and uncontested possessions (15). Used his elite speed, along with his vision and neat disposal to set up his team forward of centre.
Harry Sheezel (Victoria Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Ajax)
Date of Birth: 13/10/04; Height: 183cm; Weight: 74kg
Medium forward who showed a touch of class with a special ability to make something out of nothing around the goals. Kicked eight majors for the Championships, as well as averaging 15 disposals and three marks. Showed the ability to read the cues ahead of others, with his crafty winning of the ball whether in the air or off hands. Always looked dangerous and capable of turning opponents inside out.
Aaron Cadman (Victoria Country/GWV Rebels/Darley)
Date of Birth: 03/03/04; Height: 194cm; Weight: 88kg
A left-footed tall forward with a vice-like grip overhead. Averaged six marks and 14 disposals to be a real standout performer for Victoria Country. Kicked 10 goals for the Championships, including three goals in the deciding match against Victoria Metro, when he was one of the most influential players on the ground.
Matthew Jefferson (Victoria Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Ashburton)
Date of Birth: 08/03/04; Height: 195cm; Weight: 78kg
A tall forward whose marking both on the lead and in a contested situation was his weapon. Averaged four marks and nine disposals to be the key deep target for the Championships-winning team. Finished with 14 goals overall, including seven goals against Western Australia in a standout performance.
Harry Barnett (South Australia/West Adelaide/Goodwood)
Date of Birth: 22/01/04; Height: 202cm; Weight: 93kg
A strong-marking ruckman and tall forward who showed a real physical presence around the ball, as well as impressive ruck craft and strong hands overhead. Was his team’s best player in their narrow loss to Victoria Country, which was his standout performance. Averaged 12 disposals and 15 hitouts in his three matches, being the best performed ruckman despite missing one game.
Reuben Ginbey (Western Australia/East Perth/Dunsborough)
Date of Birth: 10/09/04; Height: 188cm; Weight: 81kg
Left-footed midfielder who was outstanding in winning contested ball and showed a real burst of speed from stoppage. Averaged 21 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four tackles and three clearances to be a shining light for Western Australia. Considered more of a defender coming into the Championships, he was his team’s best player against the Allies and Victoria Country and consistent in other matches to win Western Australia’s MVP award.
Jhye Clark (Victoria Country/Geelong Falcons/Queenscliff)
Date of Birth: 23/07/04; Height: 180cm; Weight: 77kg
Hard-edged midfielder who attacked the ball aggressively and distributed it neatly by both hand and foot on either side of his body. Also displayed hard running both ways. Averaged 23 disposals (70% efficiency), four clearances and five tackles in an outstanding Championships. Finished runner-up in the Larke Medal, as well as winning Victoria Country’s MVP award.
Adam D’Aloia (South Australia/Woodville West Torrens/Henley)
Date of Birth: 09/04/04; Height: 186cm; Weight: 86kg
A strong-bodied medium midfielder who was ultra-consistent for South Australia throughout the Championships. Averaged 24 disposals (78% efficiency), with 14 contested possessions and five inside 50s to take out his team’s MVP award.
Oliver Hollands (Victoria Country/Murray Bushrangers/Wodonga)
Date of Birth: 16/01/04; Height: 183cm; Weight: 73kg
Medium midfielder who used his elite aerobic capacity, courage and clean hands to be a prolific ball winner for Victoria Country. Averaged 24 disposals (75% efficiency) and four tackles to be one of his team’s consistent performers throughout the Championships.
Olli Hotton (Victoria Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Hampton Rovers)
Date of Birth: 06/09/04; Height: 181cm; Weight: 77kg
Quick and agile forward with a very good feel for the game. Got into dangerous spots to create for his team throughout the Championships. Averaged 17 disposals, seven contested possessions and finished with six goals across four matches. Was outstanding in Victoria Metro’s comprehensive win over South Australia, with 24 disposals and three goals.
Darcy Jones (Western Australia/Swan Districts/Kalamunda)
Date of Birth: 03/04/04; Height: 174cm; Weight: 63kg
A small midfielder who is quick, skilful and has footy smarts, all attributes which were displayed prominently in his three matches. Averaged 20 disposals and eight contested possessions per game, as well as finishing with four goals. Missed one match but was an eyecatcher for his team.
Max Michalanney (South Australia/Norwood/ Glenunga)
Date of Birth: 26/02/04; Height: 192cm; Weight: 78kg
Mobile defender who used his reach and speed to negate the effectiveness of his opponents throughout the Championships. Was South Australia’s best player in its win over the Allies and narrow loss to Victoria Country. Averaged 13 disposals (72% efficiency) and five tackles per game.
Jason Davenport (Victoria Metro)
Players by team
Victoria Metro: (7) Will Ashcroft, Lewis Hayes, Olli Hotton, Matthew Jefferson, Cameron Mackenzie, Harry Sheezel, Josh Weddle
Victoria Country: (5) Jaxon Binns, Aaron Cadman, Jhye Clark, Oliver Hollands, Harley Reid
Allies: (4) Lachlan Cowan, Jaspa Fletcher, Harry Rowston, Jed Walter
Western Australia: (4) Jedd Busslinger, Reuben Ginbey, Jed Hagan, Darcy Jones
South Australia: (3) Harry Barnett, Adam D’Aloia, Max Michalanney
Please click here to see all results and replays from the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys.