2019 Young Talent Time

Chris25

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Must be about time for a new draft thread.

There's a thread here on the U18 Championships board that has the fixture for the Championships and links to all the squads. I think it should be a pretty even competition between the four main teams, everyone should get a win or two. There's just the one match in WA this year, this Saturday against Vic Metro.

Overall, the draft is looking decent I think. There's a pretty clear top 2 in Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson from Vic Metro, then another group of about 5 or so players in the top 10 mix. After that it evens out, and we'll know more about the depth in about a month post the Championships. At the moment it's looking thin in terms of key forward talent, but quite strong for key defenders - potentially quite good news for us. And there's a little of everything in terms of midfielders. So if we have a bit of a closer look state by state...

Western Australia

Might as well start with the player everyone already knows in Liam Henry (179cm, 67kg). Small forward/midfielder who is available to us via our NGA, he has elite speed and skills amongst the draft contenders. Shaping up as a late first round pick at the moment, how he goes for WA and the role he plays will be key.

The top WA prospect in my opinion however is Jeremy Sharp (187cm, 79kg). I imagine he'll be a player Fremantle has high on their wish list, he'll be firmly in the 5-12 range. All Australian last year as a 17 year old, he's already made his league debut for East Fremantle this year. More of an outside midfielder at the moment, I expect he'll be used off half back for WA with his run and foot skills being used to set up the play.

With the lack of top end KPP talent, a versatile ruckman with huge potential like Luke Jackson (198cm, 94kg) could be valued at a premium and attract a first round pick. Ex basketballer who I think could develop into a ruck/midfielder/forward like Paddy Ryder. He'll be joined in the middle by Deven Robertson (182cm, 80kg) and Riley Garcia (175cm, 68kg). Robertson is a ball magnet in the middle with excellent agility and workrate, while Garcia keeps on improving and should round out the midfield.

Trent Rivers (188cm, 85kg) is one who could really shoot up the rankings, used as a ball winning midfielder at Colts level. Another I'm expecting to play across half back and potentially play as a rebounding third tall at the Championships. Likely to play as the #1 defender is Jake Pasini (192cm, 81kg). He's a solid defender who can play tall or small, good in the air and a decent kick. A bit like Hamling.

Otherwise, Elijah Taylor (185cm, 75kg) is a super talented medium forward/flanker. He could star for WA and be a real bolter. Some other names to look for would be Jarvis Pina, Trey Ruscoe, Jaxon Prior and Jack Buller.
South Australia

Shaping as another good year for SA and there's a few player I think would be of interest to Fremantle. Dylan Stephens (183cm, 69kg) is the consensus top prospect and in the mix from about pick 3 onwards. He's a talented and versatile midfielder, can play inside and outside. Excellent endurance with speed and foot skills to match. He's already playing league football for Norwood and doing very well. And in the same Norwood team is Cameron Taheny (185cm, 80kg) who I've been banging on about for quite some time now. Super talented medium forward, can play from the goal square or push further up the ground like a DeGoey. Kicked 5 goals in the SANFL from just 8 touches, he's elite overhead and on talent alone is as good as anyone in the draft.

In the midfield will be Jackson Mead (184cm, 83kg), a solid all round player who is a F/S for Port Adelaide. He can win the ball in close and hit the scoreboard up forward. While Kysaiah Pickett (170cm, 67kg) will provide the highlights and spark. One of the most talented small forwards in the draft, he does everything you'd expect of the position and can pinch hit in the middle too. Not afraid to hit like his uncle either.

Down back is where it might get more interesting for Fremantle. Will Gould (191cm, 98kg) is a massive kid, named All Australian last year and already starring against men in the SANFL. His game sense and reading of the play is excellent, he'll probably play as a third tall defender but it's his ball use and rebounding which is the strength. Think of him as a taller Shannon Hurn. While two of the better tall defenders in my opinion are Karl Finlay (192cm, 88kg) and Dyson Hilder (196cm, 91kg).

In terms of a bolter, Josh Morris (186cm, 76kg) is a big time goal kicker and many think he hasn't even started to reach his potential as a forward/outside midfielder. While keep an eye on Oliver Grivell, Will Day and Josh Shute.
Vic Metro

The Vic Metro team is really all about two players, Matthew Rowell (178cm, 74kg) and Noah Anderson (188cm, 86kg). They're a step above the rest of the draft at the moment, and both would probably have gone ahead of Sam Walsh last year. Expect them to look for each other whenever Metro plays this year. I have Rowell at #1, he's just dominated every big game he's played. If a player needs to step up, it's him. He's like a Joel Selwood, he'll lead from the front and someone you can build around. Anderson is almost the opposite in terms of playing style, but he's been just as consistent. He has the height and explosiveness that could see a team prefer him with the top pick. He'll run all day, hits the ball at speed and can be damaging as a forward.

Outside the two stars, Metro does have three of the more intriguing talls in the first round mix. Nick Bryan (202cm, 87kg) is the clear best ruckman in some people's minds, and he is an extra midfielder when he's in the centre. Elite both chasing the ball and with it in hand for someone his size. Josh Worrell (195cm, 74kg) is a rangy KPP, floats around the ground and seems best suited to the back half. While in a thin tall forward crop, Charlie Dean (194cm, 86kg) has potential in the air and on the ground.

A player I like is Darcy Cassar (183cm, 75kg) as a versatile option, he's got good skills and makes the right choices. He can play almost anywhere on the ground, I like him off half forward. Louis Butler, Trent Bianco, Finn Maginness and Dylan Williams are others worth some attention.
Vic Country

At the moment, if anyone is going to push past the Metro boys and into the top 2 it will probably be one of the Vic Country half backs. Lachie Ash (186cm, 80kg) is shaping as one of the most exciting prospects. When he gets the ball off half back, he almost always looks to take the game on and run. He has genuine speed, but is smart too. And then opposite him on the other flank is Hayden Young (188cm, 82kg), he's as polished as any 18 year old has been. He's composed in the back half and is an elite kick.

Sam Flanders (182cm, 81kg) came into the season a top prospect as a small/medium forward with good aerial ability. He's now playing more midfield, using his power in close and still pushing forward. Looking to be in the 8-15 draft range, along with Caleb Serong (178cm, 83kg). A similar player, Serong is the more accomplished midfielder of the two. He's clever with the ball going inside 50.

Brodie Kemp (192cm, 82kg) is a utility that some think could push the top 10. He doesn't win a lot of the ball at the moment, but his size and athleticism will have clubs watching anyway. Can play at either end of the ground or in the midfield. Thomson Dow, Jay Rantall, Sam DeKoning and Charlie Comben are others with their fans.
The Allies

Like most years, the Allies have some good individual players but it's still to be seen how they go as a team. The top prospect is GWS Academy member Tom Green (188cm, 85kg). The big bodied midfielder is a true contested ball winner and is improving his run and spread. Looking like a top 10-15 pick, he'll no doubt be leading the Allies side. Joining him in the midfield will be Mitch O'Neill (181cm, 70kg). A midfielder from Tasmania, he's one of the few in this side who won't be tied to an academy. All Australian last year, he'll win plenty of ball and uses it well.

Both Queensland sides have a midfielder of their own coming through. Connor Budarick (175cm, 72kg) is only small but he plays bigger and hits hard. A willing tackler, he's been getting big numbers in the NAB League. While Will Martyn (183cm, 73kg) isn't at quite the same level but will feature regularly on the stats sheet.

Another GWS prospect I like is Liam Delahunty (192cm, 90kg). I think he's one of the more talented key forwards on offer. Shapes more as a second or third tall, but he's quite strong and can create opportunities from nothing. I expect the Allies side will be heavily rotated but Malcolm Rosas Jnr, Hewago Paul-Oea, Luke Parks and Matt Conroy could be players to catch the eye.
 

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Joao

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Who's the best stoppage burst midfielder that might be in our range Chris25? Stephens?

Think we need that or a quality forward at our first (Taheny perhaps as we were discussing).
 
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Dockernut

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Cheers Chris, always appreciate your work.
 

theGav56

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I am liking who may be available to us with our first. Taheny, Flanders, Serong, Jackson, Gould and Sharp are a really diverse group and any of them would work well for us.

I wonder if we could simply add Serong and Henry to our forward line as an electric pair of footy-smart smalls, and gradually introduce them to our midfield rotations? Both could be productive almost immediately and be dangerous.
 

Cesoir

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I am liking who may be available to us with our first. Taheny, Flanders, Serong, Jackson, Gould and Sharp are a really diverse group and any of them would work well for us.

I wonder if we could simply add Serong and Henry to our forward line as an electric pair of footy-smart smalls, and gradually introduce them to our midfield rotations? Both could be productive almost immediately and be dangerous.
After a season on the half back flank of course...
 

poshman

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Any chance of Henry dropping past our pick so we get him for our second or however it is the points work Chris25
 

Snuffaluphagus

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I'm torn on what we need but I think its just targetting best available mid. Our best 22 is looking close to sorted with only Mundy to come out through age in the next couple of years. The longer it goes on, the more likely to lose one of Langdon or Tucker.

Hopefully Henry provides some depth and quality to the small forwards then we target whoever we think will be the best mid to add to the competition for spots and hopefully pull in another A-grader who I think we'll be needing shortly
 

Snuffaluphagus

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Any chance of Henry dropping past our pick so we get him for our second or however it is the points work Chris25
Answering for Chris but from the talk of late and before the Carnival, he's currently rated around the end of the first round.

I think our first pick will be before any bids come on him unless he destroys the U18s Carnival or we somehow get top 4
 

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poshman

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I'm torn on what we need but I think its just targetting best available mid. Our best 22 is looking close to sorted with only Mundy to come out through age in the next couple of years. The longer it goes on, the more likely to lose one of Langdon or Tucker.

Hopefully Henry provides some depth and quality to the small forwards then we target whoever we think will be the best mid to add to the competition for spots and hopefully pull in another A-grader who I think we'll be needing shortly
Still a steal if he is a first rounder and we get him for a mid 2nd pick.
 

Hazelsnuts

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Must be about time for a new draft thread.

There's a thread here on the U18 Championships board that has the fixture for the Championships and links to all the squads. I think it should be a pretty even competition between the four main teams, everyone should get a win or two. There's just the one match in WA this year, this Saturday against Vic Metro.

Overall, the draft is looking decent I think. There's a pretty clear top 2 in Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson from Vic Metro, then another group of about 5 or so players in the top 10 mix. After that it evens out, and we'll know more about the depth in about a month post the Championships. At the moment it's looking thin in terms of key forward talent, but quite strong for key defenders - potentially quite good news for us. And there's a little of everything in terms of midfielders. So if we have a bit of a closer look state by state...

Western Australia



South Australia



Vic Metro



Vic Country



The Allies

Unfortunately the weather is going to be crap this Saturday in Perth and the game will be more of a grind than a skill show.
I’ll be really interested to see the likes of the WA boys work rate in the conditions.
The ground drains well but it will still be testing and player with work ethic and appetite for the contest will stand out.
 

Chris25

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Who's the best stoppage burst midfielder that might be in our range Chris25? Stephens?

Think we need that or a quality forward at our first (Taheny perhaps as we were discussing).
Assuming our pick is around the 8-12 mark? I tend to think Stephens won't be available come then. That's the sort of range where the midfielders are still being sorted out, I expect a few will stand up over the next couple of months. I quite like Finn Maginness, he's a Hawthorn F/S though. Deven Robertson, Thomson Dow and Mitch O'Neill could fit the bill.

One of the best contested ball winning midfielders is Cooper Stephens from Vic Country. He's got the size at 188cm and 83kg, but he fractured his leg and is missing the Champs. Could make him a value pick though.

Do you think Kysaiah Pickett will fall due to his size? Interesting prospect for me
I think he probably will. On talent, he's worth a pick in the top 20 but he is small. He's a strong player with a big leap, which will help manage the concerns about size. But I still think he'll be pushed down into the second or even third round.

Any chance of Henry dropping past our pick so we get him for our second or however it is the points work Chris25
Henry being bid on before our first pick would be a nice surprise, because it would probably mean we went deep into the finals. At the moment, I'd think it would come around the 15-20 mark. Not unlike how Ian Hill went lower than a lot were projecting.
 

theGav56

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Chris, how do you read our needs, and who would you see fitting that at, say, pick 10-12?

Do you think Taheny may get to us and be an attractive option? Will he develop a midfield game?
 
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