Brad Helbig tries to shake off Jason Tutt.

Brad Helbig tries to shake off Jason Tutt. Photo: Ken Irwin

Frankston midfielder Ben Cavarra could soon be one of those players who footy commentators dwell on: why, given the stellar start to his VFL career, was he overlooked in last year’s AFL draft?

He was one of the Dolphins' best players on Saturday during their 106-point loss to reigning premier Box Hill at Box Hill City Oval.

Cavarra gathered 23 disposals against Box Hill, the team he said he was weighing up whether to play for before deciding on the stand-alone Frankston because he had a greater guarantee of playing in the seniors.

 

At 17, the highly decorated TAC Cup player had the footy world at his feet but AFL clubs shied away mainly because of his small stature – he's 173 centimetres.

He has since done everything right and must be wondering what more he could do to get drafted.

“I can’t change my height, I’ve just got to look at the positives from it,” Cavarra said.

“I’m able to be quicker around the ground and to have a low centre of gravity and be able to put my body on the line as well ... I still look at the positives rather than the negatives of it,” Cavarra said.

As an Eastern Ranges midfielder, he was a joint winner of last year’s Morrish Medal, the TAC Cup’s best and fairest; he won the TAC Medal for best on ground in the grand final, which the Ranges won; he was captain of the premiership team; he represented Vic Metro; and won his second best and fairest at the Ranges in a team boasting four AFL draftees, Greater Western Sydney’s Tom Boyd, Western Bulldogs midfielder Mitch Honeychurch, Fremantle’s Michael Apeness and Brisbane’s Daniel McStay.

His coach at the Ranges, Darren Bewick, the former Essendon star who was marginally taller than Cavarra at 178 centimetres, said last year that Cavarra, from Lysterfield, had plenty of currency in the draft market after starring in the grand final.

 ''I don't care what size you are, if you can play footy and do what he does, it's better than a 188-centimetre athlete who they're trying to teach - he's ready to go,'' Bewick said.

Cavarra was hopeful, at least, that he would be plucked out as a rookie but admits now he was “disappointed”.

But he has been heartened by stories of persistence from AFL stars such as Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell, who started out in the VFL.

Not unlike Cavarra, another Morrish medallist Jarryd Blair, who is 174 centimetres, was forced to persist after initially being overlooked. Blair eventually made Collingwood’s rookie list and played in the Pies’ premiership team in 2010.

Essendon could be one club that keeps an eye on Cavarra – who is a clever ball-winner - given its close relationship with the Dolphins, who have bred current Bombers Dylan van Unen, Mark Baguley and Michael Hibberd.

Frankston coach Simon Goosey said Cavarra needed to prove to AFL clubs that he can match it physically against men in the state league.

 “He’s shown that he can do it against kids, but the question mark has been on whether can do that against men and clubs will look at him this year…he’s having a really good season,” Goosey said.

Cavarra said playing at state league level this season allowed him to work on different areas of his game.

“I want to become more than just a one-dimensional player,” Cavarra said.

“I want to be able to push forward and get a few more goals. But I just want to play my role for the team and do everything possible for the team.”

Goosey labelled the hefty loss to the Hawks as “pathetic and embarrassing”. He was shattered that the Dolphins have only a draw to their name from five rounds.

Box Hill’s amazing depth was evident: it missed several stars and still had the luxury of resting a few in the second half in preparation for its first ever Foxtel Cup match, against West Perth on Tuesday night at Etihad Stadium.

Tasmanian state league club, the Western Storm, upset defending champion West Adelaide by four points in the knockout tournament opener last Tuesday. 

Goosey believes the Hawks were relentless and still had an A-grade team at their disposal.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, they still had a good side,” Goosey said.

 

“Nothing went right, that’s for sure …we just didn’t get our hands on the ball and when we did, we turned the ball over, simple as that.”

Box Hill coach Marco Bello was impressed at his club’s depth.

“(Sam) Cust, (Tom) Gordon in the forward line, (Michael) Thompson down back, (Ryan) Exon on the wing. You can go through the whole side and that again is the great depth that we’ve got and we’re pleased that some are coming into third, fourth and fifth years, some of these guys and they’ve stuck it through,” Bello said.

Peter German’s Coburg Lions upset the Northern Blues by nine points to score their first win as a stand-alone team since 2000.

The Blues have dropped their bundle after they winning their first three matches of the season. Last week they were smashed by Werribee by 102-points – which was considered an aberration – and now they've lost to Coburg.

Lech Featherstone was terrific for the Lions and his 14 disposals in the first half helped his team to an 18-point lead at the main break.

Chris Cain starred for Port Melbourne in its 67-point thrashing of Bendigo at North Port Oval.

VFL Sunday

Richmond v Geelong, 11:30am at Punt Road Oval

North Ballarat v Footscray, 2pm at Eureka Stadium

Casey Scorpions v Werribee Tigers, 2pm at Casey Fields

Sandringham v Essendon, 2pm at Trevor Barker Beach Oval

Williamstown v Collingwood, 2pm at Burbank Oval

By Brent Diamond

Frankston midfielder Ben Cavarra could be one of those players that footy commentators soon dwell on why he was overlooked in last year’s AFL draft after a stellar start to his VFL career.

He was one of their better players for the Dolphins on Saturday despite their emphatic 106-point loss to reigning premier Box Hill at Box Hill City Oval on Sunday.

Cavarra gathered another 23 disposals against Box Hill, the team he said he was weighing up whether to play for before deciding on the stand-alone Frankston with more guarantee of playing in the seniors.

At 17, the highly-decorated TAC Cup player had the footy world at his feet but his small stature – at 173 centimetres –was a key reason why clubs shied away.

By the book, he did everything right and must have been wondering what more he could do to get drafted.

“I can’t change my height, I’ve just got to look at the positives from it,” Cavarra said.

“I’m able to be quicker around the ground and to have a low centre of gravity and be able to put my body on the line as well so I still look at the positives rather than the negatives of it,” Cavarra said.

He was a joint winner of last year’s Morrish Medal, the TAC Cup’s best and fairest; he won the TAC Medal for best on ground for the Eastern Ranges in its premiership win in which he captained; he represented Vic Metro and won his second best and fairest at the Ranges last year in a team boasting four AFL draftees including Greater Western Sydney’s Tom Boyd, Western Bulldogs midfielder Mitch Honeychurch, Fremantle’s Michael Apeness and Brisbane’s Daniel McStay.

His coach at the Ranges, Darren Bewick, who was just marginally taller than Cavarra at 178 centimetres in his playing days, said last year that Cavarra, from Lysterfield, had plenty of currency in the draft market after starring in last year’s grand final.

 ''I don't care what size you are, if you can play footy and do what he does, it's better than a 188-centimetre athlete who they're trying to teach - he's ready to go,'' Bewick said.

Cavarra was hopeful, at least, to be plucked as a rookie but admits now being “disappointed”.

But he his heartened by stories of persistence of current AFL stars such as Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell, who paved his career out in the VFL.

Not unlike Cavarra, another Morrish Medallist Jarryd Blair, who is 174 centimetres, was forced to persist after initially being overlooked. He eventually made Collingwood’s rookie list and was considered a success story after playing in the Pies’ premiership team in 2010.

Essendon could be one club that may keep an eye on Cavarra – who is a clever ball-winner - given its close relationship with the Dolphins, who have bred current Bombers Dylan Van Unen, Mark Baguley and Michael Hibberd.

Frankston coach Simon Goosey said Cavarra needed to prove to AFL clubs that he can match it physically against men in the state league.

 “He’s shown that he can do it against kids, but the question mark has been on whether can do that against men and clubs will look at him this year…he’s having a really good season,” Goosey said.

Cavarra said playing at state league level this season allows him to work on different areas of his game in preparation, perhaps, for one day making a statement on an AFL stage.

“I want to become more than just a one dimensional player,” Cavarra said.

“I want to be able to push forward and get a few more goals. But I just want to play my role for the team and do everything possible for the team.”

Goosey, meanwhile, labelled the hefty loss to the Hawks as “pathetic and embarrassing”. He is shattered that they only have a draw to its name from five rounds.

Shannon Taylor kicked their only goal for the game up until the final term when he added another two goals.

Box Hill’s amazing depth was evident after missing several of its usual stars and it also had the luxury of resting a few in the second half in preparation for its first ever Foxtel Cup match against West Perth on Tuesday night at Etihad Stadium.

Tasmanian state league club, the Western Storm, upset defending champions West Adelaide by four-points in the knockout tournament opener last Tuesday. Former Brisbane Lions ruckman was among the best for the Storm.

Goosey believes the Hawks were relentless and still had an A-grade team at their disposal.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, they still had a good side,” Goosey said.

“Nothing went right, that’s for sure…we just didn’t get our hands on the ball and when we did, we turned the ball over, simple as that.”

Box Hill coach Marco Bello is impressed at his club’s depth.

“(Sam) Cust, (Tom) Gordon in the forward line, (Michael)Thompson down back, (Ryan) Exon on the wing. You can go through the whole side and that again is the great depth that we’ve got and we’re pleased that some are coming into third, fourth and fifth years, some of these guys and they’ve stuck it through,” Bello said.

Peter German’s Coburg Lions upset the Northern Blues by nine-points in its first win as a stand-alone team since 2000.

The Blues have dropped their bundle after they won their first three matches of the season, only to be smashed by Werribee last week by 102-points – which was considered an aberration – and now losing Coburg, considered to be one of the strugglers.

The Blues had dug themselves out of holes in their opening three wins but were

Lech Featherstone was terrific for the Lions and his 14 disposals in the first half helped the Lions to an 18-point lead at the main break before withstanding a Blues fightback.

Chris Cain starred for Port Melbourne in its 67-point thrashing of Bendigo at North Port Oval.

VFL Sunday

Richmond v Geelong, 11:30am at Punt Road Oval

North Ballarat v Footscray, 2pm at Eureka Stadium

Casey Scorpions v Werribee Tigers, 2pm at Casey Fields

Sandringham v Essendon, 2pm at Trevor Barker Beach Oval

Williamstown v Collingwood, 2pm at Burbank Oval