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Cannons stun Stingrays with fourth-quarter blitz

Written by Jarryd Barca

Cannons to face Dragons in semis

Calder has surged it’s way through to this weekend’s semi finals with a late-storming 36-point win over Dandenong on Sunday – it’s first win in a final since 2014.

Trailing by one point at three-quarter time, the Cannons kicked six unanswered goals in the final term to book their date with the highly-fancied Sandringham Dragons this weekend.

The Cannons trailed by as much as 21 points midway through the second quarter at Ikon Park but booted 10 of the last 11 goals to secure the 11.9 (75) to 5.9 (39) elimination final victory.

Perennial ball-winners Daniel Mott and Sam Ramsay flexed their draft credentials with 34 and 35 touches respectively, while counterpart Ned Gentile’s 19 disposals and five tackles played a big part.

Jeremy O’Sullivan’s aerial prowess in the second half was gargantuan, planting his fingerprints all over Calder’s second-half resurgence.

Captain Brodie Newman’s influence was also profound, leading a defence which stood tall in a truly even performance.

Mott, Jackson Cardillo, Josh Eyre and Jake Sutton were the side’s four multiple goal-kickers.

It was the first time all season every player in the side laid at least one tackle – Harry Jones’ eight the most.

Calder got off to a fast start and early lead when Mott calmly converted the first set shot of the day.

But an inaccurate Dandenong, who played fast, direct footy, held the three-point slender advantage at quarter time.

The Stingrays continued to put their foot down in the second quarter and signs were looking ominous when Bigoa Nyuon, William Lewis and Clayton Gay combined with three goals to stretch the margin to 21 points.

But the Cannons soon found their rhythm, with late goals to Jack Keeping and Josh Eyre giving Calder the momentum heading into the main break.

The Stingrays extended their lead to 14 points with a goal in just over a minute of play in the second half, but it proved to be their last major of the day.

Goals to Ramsay and Jackson Cardillo capped off a momentum-shifting term from the Cannons who had plenty of petrol tickets left despite trailing at the last change of ends.

Eyre saw an open goal face early in the last and capitalised to put the Cannons in front for the first time since the opening quarter – and from there it was capitulation.

Five more majors capped off a marvellous 57-point turnaround from the second quarter as the Cannons fended off the Stingrays for the second time in 2019.

Calder will return to Ikon Park this Saturday to take on Sandringham in a semi final, where the winner will face the Oakleigh Chargers in a preliminary final.

Simon Madden squads


Here are the squads for our two Simon Madden games vs Western next Wednesday, September 4 at Highgate Recreation Reserve. 

Games will now start at 6pm and 8pm 

Please bring: Dark Shorts, Dark Socks, Mouthguard and Training Top. 
















































Brand to feature in Futures match

Calder Cannons Under 18 boys player Cody Brand has been selected to play in this year’s NAB AFL All Stars Futures match.

The AFL today announced the squads for the match which is to be played at the MCG as a curtain-raiser to the 2019 AFL grand final on Saturday, September 28 at 10:00am.

The two teams, filled with the nation’s best under-17 talent, have been named after former AFL champions Jonathan Brown (ex-Brisbane) and Nick Dal Santo (ex-St Kilda).

Twenty-three NAB League Boys players will participate in the match, with Brand the only Cannons selected.

The 17-year-old has played eight NAB League matches this season, including last week’s Wildcard Round fixture against Tasmania, and is averaging 8.4 disposals and two marks per game.

Brand, a 195cm utility, will line up for the Cannons in this Sunday’s elimination final against Dandenong.

NAB AFL Academy Head Coach Luke Power will coach Team Brown, while Team Dal Santo will be coached by Vic Country Under-18 coach Leigh Brown.

Brand will feature in Team Dal Santo.

AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said the match will give AFL club recruiting personnel and fans a chance to see the future stars of the game go head-to-head on the biggest day in the AFL calendar.

“All players named in the 2019 NAB AFL All Stars Futures match will be eligible for the 2020 NAB AFL Draft,” Sheehan told

“With trading of future selections now part of the NAB AFL Draft landscape, this game becomes essential viewing for clubs and will be a great spectacle for fans.

“Many of the players selected have been prominent in this year’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championships as bottom-aged players … and we look forward to watching their progression.

“We are pleased to have the support of two champions of the game in Jonathan Brown and Nick Dal Santo – the players in their teams will have a memorable experience.”

U15 Dick Reynolds squads

See below the Under 15 Dick Reynolds squads for two matches to be played on Monday night.

Please note: players in Game 1 must be at the ground by 5pm and players in Game 2 must be at the ground by 6:30pm.


  • Dawson
  • Winkel
  • Ryan
  • Piescik
  • Hubik
  • Gaylard
  • Phelan-Smith
  • Cullen
  • Burquest
  • Pascu
  • Foley
  • Balta
  • Wilmore
  • Winchester
  • Alessio
  • Egan
  • Jedwab
  • Making
  • Rode
  • Kenos
  • Smith
  • Hibble
  • Vendramini
  • Valensisi
  • Sudano
  • Penny


  • Fish
  • Lee
  • Taleb
  • Fox
  • Bullen
  • O’Sullivan
  • Phelan
  • Restuccia
  • Murphy
  • M Johnson
  • Banova
  • Veneziano
  • Curll
  • Forte
  • Saad
  • Disipio
  • Lockens
  • Ivkovic
  • Jones
  • Figioli
  • Middleton
  • Tadd
  • L Johnson
  • O/Richards

Cannons survive wildcard thriller

Written by Jarryd Barca

Come-from-behind win seals Cannons’ finals berth

They did it the hard way, but Calder has secured its position in the NAB League finals with a heart-stopping six-point win over Tasmania during Wildcard Round.

The Cannons suffered an after-the-siren loss against the ladder-leading Ranges last weekend.

But in a change of fortuity, this time they ran over the top of the Devils who were looking to take a scalp and enter the finals proper from 13th position.

Tasmania held a five-point three-quarter time advantage which had Calder staring down the barrel of a second-successive Wildcard Round defeat, having been pipped by the Geelong Falcons in 2018.

And with their season on the line, the desperate Cannons booted the opening three goals of the final quarter to record the 9.9 (63) to 7.15 (57) victory and keep their season alive.

Assistant coach Chris Nolan said he was pleased with the boys’ efforts to rally behind each other and edge past the Devils.

“It probably started in the middle,” he said.

“Hotch (ruckman Josh Hotchkin) was enormous for us today. We got first use, the ball started going forward a bit more consistently than it had all day and we probably made the most of some more opportunities.”

Tasmania continued to threat in the last term and put Cannons defenders under pressure with a 17 inside 50 effort, compared to Calder’s 11.

But many stood tall for their teammates when the going got tough.

“I thought our defence was really good, especially late,” Nolan said.

“Keeps (Jack Keeping) was phenomenal on a wing in the last quarter and admittedly he’d been down to that point, so to keep his head up, stay positive and have an impact says a bit about Jack and how far his footy’s come.

“The skipper was good as always – just read the flight of the ball and him and Cody Brand were both exceptional late in defence.”

No strangers to a nail-biter, the past three Cannons matches have all finished with an accumulative margin of just 14 points.

Their ability to respond when challenged and overcome adversity is a trait the Nolan believes will hold them in good stead this finals series.

“I think there’s a real connection in the group. We seem a lot more united now than we did after say four rounds, we know each other’s strengths and we have a great trust in each other,” he said.

“We’ve got every faith that the group can still go for a few weeks yet, providing they play their best football.”

Sam Ramsay was yet again the most prolific in the engine room, amassing 33 disposals and 11 marks at Highgate Recreation Reserve.

Midfield counterpart Harry Minton-Connell (19 touches) played a pivotal role – with the first two goals of the last quarter both coming off his boot.

But the road blocks for Tasmania were Campbell Edwardes and Lachlan Gollant, who both combined for an impressive – and equally crucial – 19 marks.

Nolan said it was cleaner ball movement moving forward in the final stanza that enabled the Cannons to make the most of their slim opportunities.

“Having only gone inside 50 12 times in a half, a little bit more hand ball receive – which we seemed to get through Simpson and the like, Curtis Brown off half back – was the key,” he said.

“They dictated us a lot with their pressure and tackling in the first half and we really let them off. But we were a lot more cautious with the footy in the second half.

“We were able to get it on our terms at the right times to hold on.”

Calder will take on the eighth-placed Dandenong Stingrays in an elimination final this Sunday at Ikon Park.

The two sides previously met back in Round 13 where the Cannons showed no mercy in a 68-point drubbing at Highgate Recreation Reserve.

Prespakis tops the league

Calder Cannons young gun Georgie Prespakis took out the NAB League Girls best and fairest award overnight, 12 months after her sister Madison achieved the same feat.

Prespakis polled a total of 20 votes in seven of her eight matches in 2019 – six times being judged best-afield.

The 16-year-old averaged 22.8 disposals, 2.4 marks, 5.6 tackles and 1.3 goals – including one seven-goal haul – this season.

“It’s a fantastic achievement, and something that’s really well deserved,” Female Talent Coordinator Russell Humphrey said.

“Georgie had a wonderful season and we were really pleased with the development she showed across her eight matches.

“It’s another great feather in her cap after winning our club’s Meg McArthur Medal as the side’s best player.”

It also becomes the third-straight season a Cannon has taken out the award, with current Collingwood player Chloe Molloy earning the honour in the maiden NAB League Girls – the then-known TAC Cup – 2017 season.

Madison Prespakis was drafted by Carlton in last year’s AFL Women’s draft, however Georgie will continue to develop in the NAB League for a further two season before being eligible to be selected by an AFLW club.

“It’s brilliant to have had all three winners come from our club,” Humphrey said.

“It comes down to our players’ willingness to listen to coaches and to transform that into game day performance.”

Vice-captain Felicity Theodore (six votes), captain Georgia Patrikios and Alana Barba (four each), Zali Friswell and Georgia Sampson (two each) and Gloria Elarmaly, Krstel Petrevski and Laura Cocomello (one each) also polled on the night.

“It’s great that we had nine different players acknowledged by the umpires throughout the yer,” Humphrey said.

“A number of those players are bottom-agers and we look forward to their continual development in 2020.”

Prespakis was also named on a half-back flank in the 2019 NAB League Girls Team of the Year, along with Theodore and Patrikios.

Meanwhile, state combine-bound Brodie Newman was named in a back pocket in the NAB League Boys Team of the Year after a stellar season averaging 19.4 touches and 6.3 marks per game.

Ned Gentile can also hold his head high after finishing third in the Morrish Medal with 13 votes.

The small forward has averaged nearly 20 disposals, four marks and 4.1 inside 50s this NAB League season.

Sports trainers wanted

The Calder Cannons are looking for sports trainers who want to ply their trade in an elite underage football program.

Must have:

-Prior experience with a football club

-Trainers accreditation and Level 1 Sports Trainer qualification

-Availability on match days and multiple training nights for our Under 18 boys and girls, as well as potentially other various squads. 

The role will include tasks such as strapping and massaging pre-game as well as working with the head trainer on injury prevention and retention for the playing group.

For any enquiries, please contact Matthew Burton at .

Cannons go down after siren

Written by Jarryd Barca

Stolen at the death

The Calder Cannons’ fifth consecutive win was snatched at the jaws of defeat in the final game of the NAB League home-and-away season.

Going into Round 17 with a four-game winning streak, Calder flexed its finals credentials against the top-of-the-table Eastern Ranges – despite losing with the last kick of the game.

The Cannons were five-point leaders at the last change of ends, with that lead extended to 12 when Jeremy O’Sullivan capitalised after 10 minutes.

The Ranges booted two in under a minute to lock the scores at 55 apiece as Avalon Airport Oval was treated to a grandstand finish.

Mason Fletcher was able to edge the home side’s noses in front again with a long-range launch from outside the arch.

The Cannons peppered the inside 50s in the dying stages and had chances to seal the game, but only managed two behinds.

And in heartbreaking circumstances, the Ranges surged the ball forward one last time and locked away a four-point win on the final buzzer.

Assistant coach Brett Gourley was impressed with the players’ ability to take it right up to the minor premiers.

“When you lose any game with a kick after the siren it’s obviously pretty disappointing, but to do what we did against the best team in the competition is a real credit to the boys,” he said.

Calder finished fifth on the ladder following the 9.9 (63) to 10.7 (67) result, winning a total of nine matches for the season.

And they should be taking ample confidence into this week’s Wildcard Round fixture against the Tasmania Devils having registered wins in six of their last seven matches.

“They’ve played some really good footy and we’re starting to gel as a team at the right time of the year,” Gourley said.

“I think it’s a really even competition – anything’s possible and on any day.

“The way this competition works, any team can beat any team.

“We’re really confident heading into this finals campaign and I think the boys should be too.”

Sam Ramsay closed out his home-and-away season with another best-afield 27 touches, seven tackles and five inside 50s.

Midfield counterpart Daniel Mott was also prominent with 21 touches, 10 clearances and six inside 50s, while Jake Sutton (three goals) was the most dangerous of the forwards.

Gourley said the side has come a long way since losing the opening game of the season against Sandringham by 109 points.

“We were having a look at our stats throughout the course of the week to clearly see that this team has improved a hell of a lot,” he said.

“We’re really pleased with our progress – we just have to take that into finals.”

Head coach Ross Smith was as equally proud, optimistic of the Cannons’ ability to compete against the best.

“Eastern’s strength is their clearance numbers, contested ball, tackling and we matched them in all departments,” he told

“We’re really buoyed by the way we played … we’ve got to learn from the experience, we’ve got to be disappointed but positive and use it to drive us.”

A dozen Cannons headed to combines

Twelve Calder Cannons players will attend the 2019 NAB AFL, AFLW and State Draft Combine later this year.

Georgia Patrikios, Alana Barba and Felicity Theodore will be among 25 NAB League girls invitees to the NAB AFL Women’s Draft Combine to be held in Melbourne in early October.

AFLW clubs shortlist their preferred players to attend the Combine, with each of the 45 players invited receiving at least one AFLW club nomination.

The combine will test players’ skills, agility and strength through a series of tests including the 20-metre sprint and vertical jump, along with goal-kicking and marking tests.

After impressing with Vic Metro, Harrison Jones and Daniel Mott also caught the eye of recruiters and will join 21 others from the metro region to trial at the NAB AFL Draft Combine to be held from Tuesday, October 1 to Friday, October 4.

Prospects needed to be nominated by at least four clubs to head to the national Combine, with each AFL club asked to select a list of their 50 preferred players to attend.

AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said the combine is an opportunity for players to showcase their skills before the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.

“The Draft Combine sees the best players from across Australia gather to showcase their abilities both physically and mentally in front of club recruiters,” he told

“Clubs receive a final chance to assess players from their skills testing at the Draft Combine, and they are able to conduct one-on-one interviews across the week to analyse the personalities of the players.

“The on and off-field assessments assist AFL clubs in making their decisions for the upcoming NAB AFL Draft in November.”

The NAB AFL Draft Combine will move from Marvel Stadium for the first time since 2011, with a new venue yet to be confirmed.

A further seven Cannons – Curtis Brown, Brodie Newman, Sam Ramsay, Jeremy O’Sullivan, Nathan Stewart, Lachlan Gollant and Francis Evans – have been invited to the State Draft Combine, which will run following the conclusion of the national NAB AFL Draft Combine.

Players needed to receive at least two nominations from AFL clubs to be invited to attend the State Draft Combine.

The dozen Cannons will join 185 others from across Australia to showcase their AFL potential.

The club wishes the 12 invitees all the very best.