More investment in to player talent ID required: Dyer
WA under-18’s coach Ben Dyer believes investing more into talent identification will be the key to the state staying competitive at the national level.
A disappointing underage carnival for the Sandgropers ended last Sunday with an 81-point loss to Vic Metro at RSEA Park in Moorabbin, leaving them with a 1-3 record across their four games.
Dyer told Sports Breakfast the Allies side that won their first-ever carnival had excelled in spotting young athletes with AFL attributes.
“I think we face the same challenges that a number of other states do and the code does in general,” he said.
“We’re probably entering a period where our talent can be drained a bit because of what happens at younger age groups. Kids these days can flick from sport to sport, they’re very much dependent on what their friends are doing and there’s a lot of other stuff going on that they’re interested in.
“Our challenge is going to be to make sure that our volume of talent continues to be produced.
“Our talent managers are pretty stretched at WAFL level, they need to do a lot of things. It’s a big admin role for those guys, they do a ton of work.”
After strong performances against South Australia and Vic Country at home, Dyer said the road loss to Vic Metro was a disappointing end to the carnival.
“Half-time would’ve resembled an under-10’s or an under-12’s discussion about the fundamentals of the game,” Dyer said.
“We were really uncompetitive in the first half.
“Individually there’s things within your game that when a game’s going like it is that you’ve got to change and you’ve got to be on the front foot with, so it’s a learning experience for the boys in terms of that scenario we were in.”
WA’s top draft prospect Daniel Curtin enhanced his credentials with an exceptional campaign, winning the state’s MVP award, with Dyer saying the Claremont product was a top-five talent in the country.
“He’s a terrific player and I thought he really stepped up over the champs,” he said.
“He’s been tried in a number of positions early in the year in the colts, he played forward a little bit, he went inside for a couple of games. His abilities inside were unknown but I thought the way he adapted off not a lot of midfield craft training was a testament to his competitiveness.
“We know that he’s a very, very capable key defender. He wanted to play on Jed Walter in round one, he set himself for that, and against a player who many are touting as the number two pick, I think his performance in that game showed the level he’s at in that part of the ground.”
“He showed in those games that he’s the type of player that rises to the occasion and steps up when you need him to.”
Curtin was one of many WA products to enhance their credentials over the course of the carnival, with Peel Thunder midfielder Clay Hall and East Fremantle forward Koen Sanchez among the other players to improve their draft stock.