GVL Data ǀ Martiniello’s a masterful midfield magician

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Workhorse: Will Martiniello has had a superb season in the Saints’ engine room.

It comes as no surprise that Benalla playing-coach Will Martiniello has been crucial in the Saints’ midfield this season.

The former Morrison medallist is third in the league for total disposals this year (281), going at 79 per cent efficiency by hand.

Martiniello leads the league for contested possessions with 153, also averaging 31.2 disposals and 7.8 clearances a game.

Fellow Saints midfielder Chris Welsh is just ahead of Martiniello in second on the disposal chart, registering 285 across his nine games.

Martiniello was up against it at the weekend against a blistering Echuca outfit, but nevertheless fought hard for his side every opportunity he was given.

At a glance

Will Martiniello v Echuca in round 11

Disposals: 34

Contested possessions: 20

Ground ball gets: 15

Clearances: 10

Tackles: 8

Alongside his brother, James, the Martiniello’s notched 38 contested possessions between them, Will also getting his hands dirty to lay eight tackles.

The Martiniellos led the way for their side in clearances with 14, Benalla only just losing out in the clearance battle 29-28.

But without a dominant forward target, the Saints were blown out of the water on the inside 50 count; the Murray Bombers heading inside 50 a whopping 69 times to Benalla’s 15.

Martiniello and his Saints onballers will certainly be tested again this weekend, going head-to-head with a Seymour midfield unit who have also dominated in patches throughout the year.

But with former Carlton and North Melbourne key forward Jarrad Waite set to pull on a Saints jumper this weekend, Benalla’s forward entry fortunes are almost sure to change.

Season average

Will Martiniello in 2022

Disposals: 31.2

Contested possessions: 17

Clearances: 7.8

Groundball gets: 14

Handball efficiency: 79%