GVL Data

What’s in a name? Stats tell the story

Mitch and Tom: There are 16 players named Mitchell (or Mitch) in the GVL this season — including Mitch Cricelli (above) — and there are 14 Toms, including Seymour’s Tom Martin. Photo: Bruce Povey

Nicknames play a significant role in sporting circles, which is probably a godsend for those who carry the Christian names Ben, Will, Jack, Tom and Mitch in Goulburn Valley football ranks.

Heads would turn at regular intervals when the titles are screamed out by coaches or teammates, maybe even opponents and spectators, on and off the ground.

But what is in a name? Well, today’s GVL Data deep dive is to find out exactly what is the best-performing Christian name in the competition.

And whether or not quantity outweighs quantity when it comes to the contributions of respective Christian names to their respective teams.

There are 16 Mitchells (or Mitch’s) listed in GVL senior ranks this season, equal to the Bens (and Benjamins) and Wills (or Williams).

That trio of monikers is marginally ahead of the 15 Jacks listed for the 12 GVL clubs.

Toms (and Thomas’) account for 14 players, while Sam (and Samuels) tips the scale at 10, along with Zac, Zach and Zacharys.

Despite being low in number (just three of them), Christopher Nield (Mooroopna), Jansen (Rochester) and Welsh (Benalla) can make a case as the best performed name in the league.

Welsh averages 29 disposals, having gone past 30 possessions in eight matches.

He and Jansen (who averages 28 disposals) are also top four in clearances.

Leading goalkicker Nield (60, seven clear of Echuca’s Ruory Kirkby) is the league’s leading inside-50 marking player, along with Kirkby, and the Cats star has done it without the help of the umpires.

He has been paid just seven free kicks, but has given 24 away.

Speaking of Ruorys (or Rorys), Kirby and Seymour’s Scopel, have different spelling but have both had big impacts. There is one other, Rory Huggard, in the GVL.

Kirkby is the leading marking player in the competition and has 26 score assists to his credit (top five in the league).

Scopel has had injury problems, but Seymour’s winning streak has coincided with his return. He averages 23 touches from nine games, takes plenty of marks and sends the ball inside 50 five times a game.

Continuing the theme that good things come in threes are Echuca captain Kane Morris, Kaine Herbert and his Kyabram teammate Kayne Pettifer (and pronounced the same, but with different spelling).

Two of the GVL’s four Coopers, Kyabram’s Vick and Echuca’s Barber, continue to show that quality can often outweigh quantity.

Vick has kicked 29 goals and Barber averages 19 disposals and six marks a game. Adding to his case is three tackles a game and 20 goals.

There are only two Anthonys on the list, but both have done their title proud.

Shepparton’s Andoranco has 24 goals from 10 games and DePasquale (Kyabram) has 25 goals, while also averaging 13 disposals and four marks.

Nine Nathans, including a couple of Nates, strongly represent their title with the output of Nathan Rachele (Swans), hard tackling goal kicker Nathan Beattie (Seymour ) adding to the work of Nathan Basile (Mooroopna).

Then there is also strong-marking Nate Trotter from Euroa.

There are eight Liams and James’, while the name Ryan appears on seven occasions on the GVL Data statistics list.

Ben and Lachlan: Ben (Reid, from Echuca, above) is among 16 in the competition this season. The Lachlans (including Rochester’s Harper) are also strongly represented). Photo: Bruce Povey. Photo by 2022

The Liams could make a strong case for the number one name — Liam Tenace from Echuca, Mooroopna ruckman Liam Betson and United’s Liam Serra leading the charge.

Of the James’, Benalla’s Martinello is a standout, with support from Seymour’s James Wooster and Rochester key forward Jame McPhee.

Daniel and Dan have Rochester ruckman Daniel Russell, Mansfield star Daniel Jones and Echuca forward Daniel Willis among their seven strong ranks.

Willis has kicked 17 goals (from 37 scoring shots) and averages 22 possessions.

Half a dozen Jordans have also made their mark this season. Harper (Rochester) and Wolff (Benalla) are standouts, Harper kicking 14 goals from a wing and leading the league in handball receives (averaging 12 a game)

For the five Rileys it is Riley Smith from Echuca that leads the charge. He averages 25 touches from 14 games, marginally ahead of Seymour’s Riley Mason (averaging nine marks a game) and Riley Ironside (Kyabram).

All four Adams have, at some stage, made an impact.

Pigatto averages almost eight tackles a game and 22 possessions, while Adam Giobbi (Euroa) and Rochester small man Adam McPhee are also GVL stars.

Of the remaining names with 10-plus club members, it is the Bens who top the charts.

Three average 20 plus posessions, Seymour’s Rigoni, Reid from Echuca and Giobbi (Euroa), while Mansfield’s big marking Ben Christopher has 30 goals for the season.

They are challenged by the Jacks, led by Seymour’s Murphy (30 plus possessions a game), Echuca star Jack McHale, (Mansfield’s Hutchins (55 intercept marks) and another defender, Kyabram’s Jack Sheldon.

Will Monahan, William Martineollo (Benalla) and William McIntosh (Euroa) lead the way for their popular name, while for the Toms Tatura’s Sullivan and Kyabram’s Holman (27 goals) lead statistical data.

Finally, there is the Mitch mantle.

Mitch Cricelli from Rochester and teammate Mitch Bright have been brilliant this season for the Tigers, while United’s Roche and Trevaskis are also a dynamic duo for their team.

Mitch Wales from Echuca and Shepparton’s Mitch Brett also deserve a mention.

Samuel Harris (among a handful of players to have had 350 plus possessions this season), Sam Willoughby (Echuca)and Mansfield’s Sams (Lynch and Thomson) are stars for their respective clubs.

Rounding out the Christian names, fittingly the 26th letter of the alphabet, is Zac (Zach, or even Zachary).

Kyabram ruckman Norris and the man generally directly beneath him, teammate Keogh are enjoying strong years.

The other high two high-performing members are Zac Branch and Clohesy, who are among the Swans leading ball winners this season.


16 Mitch (or Mitchell)

16 Will (or William)

16 Ben (or Benjamin)

15 Jack

14 Tom (or Thomas)

10 Sam (or Samuel)

*statistical data to GVL Round 14