Box Hill kicked off its premiership defence campaign with a practice match against Richmond on Saturday.
After a slow start from the Hawks, who have a new-look list heading into 2019, they were able to steady the game in their favour and come away 22-point victors.
Coach Max Bailey was pleased with his side’s first outing of the year and he gives us his review of each AFL-listed player.
“He played half-back all day. We love getting the ball in his hands, he just makes things happen off half-back and gives us a real aggressive ball movement, which is great. He’s also now one of the more experienced guys down there, so we’re looking to him to help the other young guys and new Box Hill players to settle in in the backline.” MB
“Coming off playing a JLT game, which was a great experience for him, he shows a real level-headedness. He seems like he is older than his 18 years. He defended really well, and he does the simple things well with the ball. He is just looking to grow his game and get used to playing against men, he will also try to get a little bit more attacking in his game.” MB
“Tim obviously came from GWS and is still getting used to a slightly different style of play with us, but he has been very reliable down back. Playing on the last line and on the biggest forward, he doesn’t get beaten. We feel he is really reliable in that sense so for him it’s just a matter of starting to get used to playing with new players and in a new system.” MB
“His strengths have been his aggression with his ruckwork and then at ground level with his follow-up, his tackling is really important to us. We had a pretty shaky start on the weekend where Richmond beat us up around the ball, but Pitto helped us turn that around by getting really physical in the stoppages. That also seemed to help other areas of his game because he got more touches than he usually gets by following up and getting on the end of chains.” MB
“Will played JLT last week as well and had some good learning about his running patterns off a wing. He uses the ball really well and is a really good decision maker. He plays that wing role really well. He is another one who is getting used to playing with new teammates and in a new system, but we want to get the ball in his hands because he is a good ball-user.” MB
“Mat played half-forward all day. He played for three quarters, given that he is coming back from an interrupted pre-season. He plays like a 25-year-old, he has a really good-sized body and he doesn’t really look like a first-year player. He is good with the physical stuff and applies good pressure, he also kicked a really good long goal from 50 metres out. He is showing some really good signs that he is going to be a pretty impactful player in his first year of VFL.” MB
“He is a very elusive forward, he is quite smart at knowing when to peel off a contest and he can really get out and behind defenders when he’s reading the ball well. His challenge, a bit like Teia, is to take on a bit more of a leadership role, despite being only a second-year-player. We think he can do this because he is that sort of personality. He kicked a really good crumbing goal as well.” MB
“It was Schoey’s first game of this pre-season after a few little interruptions, but he is so reliable when he comes to us at Box Hill with providing a contest, providing leadership and providing a really good attitude and lifting the standards. Although he obviously wants to be playing AFL, we’re rapt to have him with us because he straightens us up and you know what you’re going to get with him. We loved his game from that sense.” MB
“He played half-back and was a real leader for us, setting us up. One of our positives, in the last three quarters at least, was how well we defended and set up behind the ball and Conor was a big part of getting that going. He used the ball really well and defended really well so it was a solid game from Conor. We’d just love to try to get the ball in his hands a bit more.” MB