Can anyone catch the next generation of Old Xaverians?

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Under 19s

Bailey Berry

The Holmesglen Under 19 Premier competition is a breeding ground for the next generation of VAFA stars. All players in this competition will be looking to put in strong patches of form, to potentially earn a call up into senior sides, and be in line for the Anytime Fitness Rising Star award. 

As well as higher honours, the opportunity to win an Under 19 Premiership for the club, is considered just as important as that of a senior club Premiership. 

2022: 1st | Under 19 Premier Men’s Premiers

It will be difficult for the red and black mafia to top their stellar performance last season. After not dropping a game for the first 16 rounds, the Xavierians went on to achieve the ultimate glory against Old Brighton last September.

It’s no secret the Xavs possess tremendous depth and will no doubt utilise it in an effort to go ‘back-to-back’ in 2023.

Players to watch: Sam Hansen, Jude Sassi, Ben Bilson McGillen, Hamish MacIsaac, Hayden Woodhouse, Oscar Duncan.

2022: 1st | Under 19 Division 1 Men’s Premiers

After a dominant 2022 campaign, the Tigers find themselves in the Premier division for the first time in several years. 

Though this side will look significantly different to the one that nearly went undefeated in Division 1 last season.

Majority of last year’s team have progressed to the senior ranks, leaving plenty of opportunity for those wanting to seize a spot in Evan Ryder & Tighe Chandler’s team. 

SBMT entered three U19 squads in 2023, signalling great depth for the year ahead.

Though Senior men’s coach Steve D’Andrea has made it abundantly clear that he plans to expose U19s to senior level, so don’t be surprised if you see some of the below names lace up in Premier B Men’s at Brindisi St.

Players to watch: Jake Ryder, Jay Bolton, Jake Harding, Jack Ferraro, Dash McMaster.

2022: 5th | 10 wins | 8 losses

Caulfield Grammarians has become a mainstay in the Under 19 Premier competition. Their consistency continued last season, but they weren’t quite able to clinch a top four finish.

They’ll look to build upon their strong form in such a competitive 2023 division.

2022: 7th | 6 wins | 12 losses

After a few lean years in Premier, SKOB plan to push for the top four in 2023. The attendance of U19s throughout the preseason has been consistent and strong, indicating a strong desire to climb back up the ladder.

The squad has a strong composition of younger and older boys. The older demographic, led by Flynn Clark, have taken it upon themselves to drive the standard for the 2023 campaign, not wanting to waste a single opportunity.

SKOB will loan Seb Duffy to the Sandringham Dragons but are hopeful to see him feature at T H King Reserve throughout the season.

Players to watch: Jasper Conquest, Jack Palmer, Tom Davidson, Nick Tonge, Ollie Gill, Cooper Chaffey, Harry Kirkwood. 

2022: 9th | 2 wins | 16 losses

After narrowly avoiding relegation in 2022, Uni Blues have regenerated and rejuvenated their squad leading into a fresh season. After a tough year in what was a hard-hitting competition, the Blues are seeking redemption.

2022: 8th | 5 wins | 13 losses

De La will roll out an abundance of fresh faces for the 2023 season at the Dairy Bell. A majority of Simon Miller’s squad are entering into their first year of U19s football, eager to make their mark on the competition.

They are aiming to improve off the back of a lacklustre 2022 campaign. 2023 looks to be an exciting year of youth development at Waverley Oval.

2022: 3rd | 13 wins | 5 losses

Last year’s Grand Finalists were consistent performers in 2022. The Tonners will look to turn the tables this season in an attempt to take the crown from Old Xaverians.

The squad has put in an impressive preseason and competition for spots looks as fierce as ever.

2022: 4th | 13 wins | 5 losses

After a very solid showing in 2022, the Cardinals are aiming to push for the ultimate success in 2023. Bryce McGain will once again take the reins and is doing all he can behind the scenes to improve his side by 10-15 percent.

A small margin of improvement to what is already a talented team should see them be able to consistently match it with Xav’s, Brighton, and St. Kevin’s.

2022: 6th | 9 wins | 9 losses

Former Collingwood VFL identity Marcus Barham will take the reins of the St. Bernard’s Under 19s in 2023. The Snowdogs performed solidly last season but weren’t quite able to crack the top four.

They’ll aim to break away from the middle pack this year and assert themselves as a headache away match for the opposing team.

2022: 2nd | 14 wins | 4 losses

Williamstown enter 2023 looking to avenge the conclusion of last year’s season. After a strong and consistent showing throughout the home and away season, regrettably fell short during their finals campaign.

The ‘buy-in’ throughout a long preseason has left incumbent coach Darren Ryan impressed and eager for the year ahead. Williamstown will field two Under 19 sides at Fearon Reserve this season.