Sydney Swans youngster arrested and questioned by police

Sydney Swans youngster Elijah Taylor has been arrested and questioned by Western Australia police, according to Channel 7 Perth.

According to the report, the WA-born teenager was arrested in the Perth suburb of Langford on Sunday afternoon, with no charges being laid at this stage and no reason for the arrest currently known.

CCTV footage allegedly shows the 19-year-old being taken into custody.

Taylor was earlier suspended for the rest of the AFL season after breaking COVID protocols in August while the Swans were staying in Perth, allegedly sneaking his former partner into the club’s Joondalup resort.

He remains under AFL investigation after several allegations were made against him on social media.

“The allegations are extremely serious,” the AFL said in a statement earlier this month.

“The AFL has been in contact with local law enforcement and will continue to provide support and assistance for all.”

Taylor has played four games for Sydney in his debut season after being taken with pick 36 in the 2019 National Draft.

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May heaps praise on Dees youngster

Melbourne defender Steven May said he was proud of how youngster Trent Rivers performed in the club’s crucial five-point win over the GWS Giants at the Gabba.

The 28-year old told AFL Nation post-match that Rivers, who is in his debut season with the club, stood up when the game was there to be won.

“I’ve been riding Trent pretty hard about his defensive stuff because we know his offense is really good, but we need him to be strong defensive player,” May said.

“Both of his goals came from closing down his man and winning the ball back… I told him that’s what happens when you work hard and play your role.

“I’m super proud of him and that should give him a lot of confidence.”

The 19-year old kicked the penultimate goal of the match that put the Dees 10 points ahead and sealed the match, despite a late Brent Rivers major.

Rivers was drafted with Pick 32 in last year’s AFL Draft and has played seven matches since making the move from Western Australia.

The former Gold Coast Suns captain said his backline persisted and held tough despite some difficulty throughout the match.

“Our mids and forwards, they certainly look to the back half and our body language determines a lot,” he said.

“A few of the boys’ heads went down but we’re pretty tight knit in the backline.

“What I was stressing to the backline was ‘boys, you might have lost a few critical contests, but we still need you, we’re still alive, so I just need your best five minutes and we’ll reassess from there’.”

May said he was impressed with the effort and output of the playing group as a whole in such a crucial game for the club.

“We had a very good team performance,” he said.

“Jake Lever, I thought he was good in the last quarter, he came back strong.

“Joel Smith he had a couple of moments but he came back and certainly Bailey Fritsch, he had the job on Nick Haynes, probably the best intercept defender in the league.”

Melbourne sit in eighth position on percentage ahead of the Giants and the Western Bulldogs and face a do-or-die clash next Saturday against Essendon at Metricon Stadium.

May laughed at how the controversially rescheduled match would now determine the Dees’ finals hopes.

“It is funny how it works out,” he said.

“We joked that it would be funny if it came down to that game, it’s not so funny now.”

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Wallace’s “gut feeling” about “exciting” Carlton youngster

Tom De Koning is a promising youngster who many Carlton fans have been bullish about for a few years now.

The athletic 21-year-old big man has been biding his time in the VFL since he was drafted by the Blues in 2017, often playing a hybrid forward/ruck role.

Following a pair of senior games late in the 2018 season, De Koning returned to AFL level in the Round 11 loss to West Coast before contributing to last weekend’s thrilling last-gasp win over Fremantle with eight possessions and 21 hit-outs.

Ahead of tonight’s crunch clash with Gold Coast, for which the Blues have recalled Marc Pittonet, the question of De Koning playing in the same side as a ruckman was raised on SEN’s The Match Committee.

Terry Wallace says he sees the 203cm De Koning developing into a player who can have an impact around the ground as well as inside forward 50.

“He’s played that role in the VFL quite regularly,” he said.

“I’ve always sat there and said, ‘What is he?’. Is he the ruckman? Is he the forward? Is he the forward/ruck?

“I don’t think we have a definitive answer to where he finishes in his career. I’ve got a gut feeling he can be that really mobile, athletic ruckman, sort of more like a Tim English type.

“But we still have to wait and see how that plays out.”

Wallace added: “Carlton fans will tell you, he’s been really exciting in the VFL for a couple of seasons now.

“It hasn’t been a matter of if, it’s just been a matter of when. How long before they play him? How much do you hold him back?

“He’s come in and he’s shown that he can play the game.”

The duo of De Koning and Pittonet will have to work well in tandem when they come up against the experienced Jarrod Witts if the Blues are to get the better of the Suns in Darwin.

Regarding Carlton’s hopes, Wallace has his reservations about David Teague’s side and if they have the quality to win enough games from their remaining six to secure a first finals berth since 2013.

“I think they’ll fall short,” he said further.

“I think they’re still 12 months away from taking that step. They’ve had six games where they’ve been within seven points.

“In fairness to Carlton supporters as well – you’ve got (Port Adelaide’s) Robbie Gray after the siren against you, you got one back after the siren this week – but you’ve won four of them and lost two. So you’ve actually finished on the better side of the ledger in those games.

“I just can’t see them being able to bank enough wins in this back half. They’ve got to win (tonight). I don’t think it’s going to be an easy game for them whatsoever.

“Just off the back of that win last week, the travel, and meeting somebody who needs to prove a point as well, I think it becomes a really critical game.”

The Blues currently occupy 12th position on the ladder with a record of 5-6 while the Suns sit one spot below and two points in arrears as they prepare to meet in a must-win affair.

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Penrith Panthers youngster Stephen Crichton’s parents put hard word on son to stay at club

The only other rookie in serious contention would be Newcastle centre Bradman Best.

Penrith are certainly leaving nothing to chance by extending local junior Crichton until the end of 2024. The hold-up is not caused by any tension between the club and Crichton.

Panthers flyer Stephen Crichton last weekend.

Panthers flyer Stephen Crichton last weekend.Credit:Getty

After his older brother Christian left for Canterbury, Crichton said his parents Va’a and Sina made it clear they wanted at least one of their boys still representing Penrith.

“I want to stay at Penrith, I’m still young and my parents don’t want me leaving either,” was all Crichton would tell the Herald when asked about his future.

Crichton trained hard every day with his Bulldogs’ brother during the COVID-19 lockdown and forced coach Ivan Cleary to pick him in his preferred centre position when the competition resumed. Crichton also spent a lot of time at fullback coming through the grades.

Penrith this week extended Liam Martin, and now want Crichton and winger Charlie Staines to re-commit.

Cleary said on Thursday the club were never happy for Staines to test his value on the open market, and said “that’s his agent”.

“We’ve put forward what we believe is a very good offer, we feel we can offer Charlie the opportunity to fulfil his potential at the right time and grow at his own pace,” Cleary said of Staines, the injured Forbes flyer who has six tries in 105 minutes of NRL football, as well as on-going hamstring issues.

“His best opportunity is at this club with a lot of his friends and teammates he’s become accustomed to.


“His body is still getting used to [first grade]. We don’t want him to test the market … the only reason we’ve allowed him to test the market is to expedite the process of being able to sign him and let him be a part of our future.”

As for Crichton’s development, Cleary said: “‘Critter’ is one of those kids who has good game awareness and game sense and obviously he’s a try-scorer – try-scoring players have that ability to turn up at the right time and place.

“He’s done really well in his first full season in first grade. The potential is there for all to see. He continues to work hard in the background to improve his game. He’s got a long way to go but we’re definitely happy with how he’s going.”

Cleary said Brent Naden had done well to put behind him last weekend’s racial taunts from eight drunken fans well, and appreciated the public support shown by his teammates, rival players and the NRL. The integrity Unit continue to investigate the matter.

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Buckley provides injury update on Collingwood youngster

Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley says debutant Will Kelly has likely suffered a dislocated elbow but was hopeful he’s avoided sustaining a fracture.

Kelly, son of Pies premiership player Craig and brother of Adelaide defender Jake, kicked a goal with his first kick in AFL football but later fell heavily on his hand during a marking contest.

Despite what Buckley describes as a “bittersweet” night for the teenager, he confirmed Kelly would join his teammates in Perth next week ahead of their clash against Geelong.

“It is bittersweet (for Kelly),” Buckley told reporters post-match.

“He looked like he was enjoying himself and he was a part of a solid team performance…I think the early diagnosis is a dislocated elbow and we don’t know if we can rule out a fracture at this point but it seems like he may have escaped that.

“We’ll get a scan on (Saturday) morning and then we plan to fly him over to Perth and get whatever assistance we need over there.”

Collingwood are now three wins from six matches in 2020 ahead of next Thursday night’s blockbuster against Geelong at Optus Stadium, which will be played in front of up to 30,000 fans in Perth.

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