AFLHCC Representative Football Preview – 3 days to go!

Written By David Redden



Saturday May 18 sees the return of representative football to our region after a two year absence.

The AFL Hunter Central Coast hosts the AFL South Coast in Womens and Mens representative fixtures at the magnificent new Pasterfield Complex in Cameron Park.

The Womens fixture commences at 3.00pm, followed by the Mens fixture at 5.00pm. Both representative fixtures will be broadcast live on BARTV Sports.

AFLHCC Womens coach Craig Golledge is confident of a strong performance from his side. The playing squad is:

Women’s squad:

Head Coach: Craig Golledge

Assistant Coaches: Josh Lawler and Jackson Farquhar


Chiara Lam, Meaghan Macdonald , Rosie Ronan-Yates, Sarah Halvorsen, Taylor Joyce, Molly Simpson – Newcastle City

Morgan Ross – Terrigal-Avoca

Angela Jones, Ashleigh Page, Jocelyn Kelleher, Megan Jenkins – Killarney Vale

Jemma Astley, Kate Holland – Nelson Bay

Arizona Cross, Matisse Coram-Parker, Taylah Wilks – Cardiff

Tahlia Thompson – Singleton

Alexandra Pearce, Emily Bohan, Kanesha Murray, Rebecca Ives, Sarah Ball – Wyong Lakes

Anna Fraser, Sarah Burns – Maitland

Amy Pittman, Kate Booth – Wallsend West Newcastle

Emma-Jayne Howe – Lake Macquarie

Golledge indicated that the Squad “is definitely one of the strongest Womens sides that the region has produced over the past few years. We are very much looking forward to the challenge that the South Coast provides”.

Golledge stated “that our players have a fantastic opportunity, in the first year of the AFL Hunter Central Coast representative program, we are hoping to start things off on the right foot with a successful performance. I know having personally coached a number of our girls that it is exciting times for the region, and I can’t wait to what lies ahead.”

Golledge is expecting very good performances from Sarah Halvorsen and Meaghan Macdonald, “with both players having been involved in the GWS Giants Winter Series. Halvorsen provides us with great leadership and experience”.

The Wyong Lakes ruck duo of Rebecca Ives and Kanesha Murray have been in unstoppable form for the unbeaten Magpies outfit this season, and Golledge thinks that these two will provide quality ball for followers such as Amy Pittman, Jocelyn Kelleher, Alexandra Pearce and Megan Jenkins.

Golledge advised that “Ives and Murray have very different styles of play. Ives is, in many ways, an old-fashioned tap ruck whilst Murray uses her outstanding athletic ability to great effect, using a great natural jump, even though she sometimes jumps off two feet”.

First bounce in the Womens fixture is at 3.00pm.


Mens Squad:

Co-Head Coach: Tim Cotter and Nathan Harkness

Assistant Coach: Michael Solomons


Mac O’Malley, Conor Haswell, Aidan Watling, Reed Van Huisstede, Kevin McDonald, Harrison Selkirk, Hugh Blanchfield, Cameron Keast – Newcastle City

Brandon Thomas, Jack Grimmond, Nathan Belbin, Kurt Fleming, Lachlan Bayliss, Corbin Bond – Terrigal Avoca

Tim Oosterhoff, Brendan Lewis, Josh Mifsud, Alex Bailey – Killarney Vale

Billy Barton, Craig Bird – Nelson Bay

Pat Murphy, Tristan Carter – Gosford

Trent Thompson, Jack Lennon, Marcus DeLeur, Jack Pratt, Bryce Graetz, Nick Tomlinson, Izaac Hughes – Cardiff

Jake Roach, Isaiah Olsen, Matthew Spinks – Warners Bay

Andrew Scott – Singleton

Brayden Tos, Carter Jones – Wyong Lakes

Pat McMahon – Maitland


Co-coach Nathan Harkness says that the Mens side has been chosen specifically “to get a really good team group, top level players that are super keen to play, fit, and versatile.”

Harkness explained that a premium has been placed on superior fitness and form. “We have made a conscious decision to make fitness a priority, with Pasterfield being such a big, expansive ground. We have gone for skilful players, and with our more senior players, we have placed an emphasis on experience”.

Harkness stated that being able to have five players on the bench (it has been agreed that both sides can field 23 players) means that AFLHCC can choose 2 specialist ruckmen; “we may not have gone with a second ruckman if we were restricted to 22 players, because of the size of the ground, but the extra man on the bench opens up a second ruck spot for either of Brayden Tos or Billy Barton, behind (2018 Elliott Davey Medallist) Tim Oosterhoff’.

Harkness advised that Tos and Oosterhoff “can both play key position as well as ruck, which gives us flexibility. Marcus (DeLeur) can also swing into the ruck if required”.

Harkness stated that “we want to have a really simple game plan. We have chosen a series of smaller, running players who can really make difference, especially on the spread and switch. All of our smaller players are quick and experienced, which makes them very valuable assets”.

Conor Haswell’s utility value will be a key for Harkness and co-coach Tim Cotter. “Haswell uses the ball very well, he has great skills and he is really brave through the corridor”.

Bryce Graetz is “just your old-fashioned, no-frills, put your head over the ball on-baller, he never lets you down, same as Mac O’Malley, who played really well against AFL Canberra last year”.

First bounce in the Mens fixture is at 5.00pm.


Final teams for both the Men’s and Women’s will be announced on Friday.