Cannons impressing at Coburg

Tim Michell

CALDER Cannons graduate Ben Allan has been tipped to become a key member of Coburg’s VFL midfield this year.

The hard-running on-baller, who attracted AFL interest during his top-age TAC Cup year, has played 34 VFL matches over the past two seasons for the Lions.

The 20-year-old, who played junior football for Pascoe Vale, has been a reliable contributor for Peter German’s side over that time.

Lions general manager Seb Spagnuolo has no doubt AFL recruits will be keeping a close eye on Allan’s progress again this year.

“Every year, Ben has little bits of (AFL) interest and clubs that are asking about him,” Spagnuolo said on Calder’s North West FM radio program Pathway to the Top, which airs 5-6pm Wednesdays.

“This year, third year in the VFL system, that’s normally when you start seeing guys really take off and jump up to that next level.

“That’s what we’re expecting from Benny. We know that his electrifying pace, his ball use, the way he takes the game on, as a club we will never stifle that.

“We want him to show those abilities.”

Fellow ex-Cannons Jackson McDonald and Zak Wunhym were also chosen in Coburg’s senior team for its final practice match of pre-season against Box Hill Hawks.

Spagnuolo said the pair had developed quickly since joining the Lions.

“They’ve both definitely put their best foot forward,” he said.

“Jackson…he’s going to be quite a player come the back end of the year once he understands the game plan and the requirements of VFL football.

“Zak had a taste of senior football last year, showed that he can have an impact.”

Ruckman Mark Kovacevic is also set for a major role in the club’s senior side, sharing centre-square duties with Lions captain Tom Goodwin.

“Kova has been able to work on his body, he has been very impressive in the pre-season,” Spagnuolo said.

“He’s been able to make himself more mobile, which also helps, we can play him forward.”

Coburg kicks off its VFL campaign on Saturday with a home fixture against Collingwood at Piranha Park from 2.40pm.

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