Player Watch #47: Henry Crauford

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eth-dog

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Jan 11, 2007
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The ruck gets the gig!


THE mature-aged ruck from Norwood is a player who has the physicality – but not quite the athleticism and endurance – to come straight into an AFL system, with his contested marking ability, strength and work around the ground among his best traits. He manages to find plenty of the ball despite not having a high endurance base, following up well for his size to average 4.9 clearances and 3.6 tackles among 15.9 disposals this season. It is no surprise though that a player of his size lacks athleticism across the board, with his effort making up for that gap. The 22-year-old continued his development in the SANFL Reserves this year across 19 games, taking out the Redlegs’ best and fairest at said level for his consistent season. His 18 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles and 47 hitouts against South Adelaide was the peak, and an insight into his potential to dominate. Overall, a mature-age ruck option for clubs with a few years under his belt and the confidence to impact games beyond the ruck battle.
STRENGTHS: Contested marking, strength, accumulation, ruck work
IMPROVEMENTS: Athleticism, endurance
 
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eDPS

Devon Goods
Nov 4, 2010
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THE mature-aged ruck from Norwood is a player who has the physicality – but not quite the athleticism and endurance – to come straight into an AFL system, with his contested marking ability, strength and work around the ground among his best traits. He manages to find plenty of the ball despite not having a high endurance base, following up well for his size to average 4.9 clearances and 3.6 tackles among 15.9 disposals this season. It is no surprise though that a player of his size lacks athleticism across the board, with his effort making up for that gap. The 22-year-old continued his development in the SANFL Reserves this year across 19 games, taking out the Redlegs’ best and fairest at said level for his consistent season. His 18 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles and 47 hitouts against South Adelaide was the peak, and an insight into his potential to dominate. Overall, a mature-age ruck option for clubs with a few years under his belt and the confidence to impact games beyond the ruck battle.
STRENGTHS: Contested marking, strength, accumulation, ruck work
IMPROVEMENTS: Athleticism, endurance
 

Chris25

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Two days before it was announced Essendon were looking at him, I was posting about Crauford on the Fremantle board. We didn't have a list space available, but ruck depth was a concern of mine and he was my pick. My reasoning was pretty simple, pick him up now or pay a lot more come the end of the year.

Yes, he's only played reserves so far in the SANFL. But he's also only had the one season in the SANFL. If it wasn't for the fact that Sam Baulderstone is so dominant, Crauford definitely would have played last year. From all reports, Norwood were set to unleash both rucks this year with Crauford likely spending some time up forward too.

He's a good athlete for his size, reasonably mobile and has decent skills for a ruck. Strong mark. I doubt he factors into the AFL mix this year but I think he was the best ruck prospect outside of the AFL, and a full season in the SANFL would have shown exactly that. So I reckon it's a smart buy now, rather than spending a national draft pick come November.
 

BrunoV

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May 5, 2009
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It's an intriguing signing which is a bit hard to just take at face value.

We've gone from hardly being able to put a ruck on the park to taking on a 5th as Phillips is proving himself serviceable.

Wonder if he's genuinely being looked at for what he might be able to do forward.
 

Foxx

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Jul 18, 2011
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It's an intriguing signing which is a bit hard to just take at face value.

We've gone from hardly being able to put a ruck on the park to taking on a 5th as Phillips is proving himself serviceable.

Wonder if he's genuinely being looked at for what he might be able to do forward.
The forward hunch is probably right imo. With Joey injured, McKernan is our only legitimate forward/relief ruck on the list.
 

ant555

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It's an intriguing signing which is a bit hard to just take at face value.

We've gone from hardly being able to put a ruck on the park to taking on a 5th as Phillips is proving himself serviceable.

Wonder if he's genuinely being looked at for what he might be able to do forward.
Strength- Contested marking.

Seriously it is about time we put some time into a few rucks.
 

JayJ20

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Aug 28, 2016
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Nice pickup! We’ve certainly grown as a club the last 6 months. We’re learning from our mistakes.
The ruck situation late last year was horrendous. Now we’ll have plenty to choose from.
 

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BrunoV

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May 5, 2009
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Strength- Contested marking.

Seriously it is about time we put some time into a few rucks.

Agreed, though I would not have thought we'd take on 3 ruckmen in an off-season. I suppose it really doesn't matter when we recruit them, the focus should be getting the best prospects and then crossing the position off the list for the next 6 to 10 years.

How does SANFL reserves compare to TAC footy, by the way?

Not every aspect of a clip is misleading. It's weird that athleticism is highlighted as a criticism for such a big guy that moves as well as Crauford does. He throws himself around like a much smaller guy and seems to handle and kick the ball well.

Keen to see all of Draper, Bryan and Crauford this year.
 
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fairbump_playon

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Jun 27, 2014
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Agreed, though I would not have thought we'd take on 3 ruckmen in an off-season. I suppose it really doesn't matter when we recruit them, the focus should be getting the best prospects and then crossing it off the list for the next 6 to 10 years.

How does SANFL reserves compare to TAC footy, by the way?

Not every aspect of a clip is misleading. It's weird that athleticism is highlighted as a criticism for such a big guy that moves as well as Crauford does. He throws himself around like a much smaller guy and handle and kicks the ball well.

Keen to see all of Draper, Bryan and Crauford this year.
Yeah he looked nimble, bordering on silky - for a ruck. Perhaps endurance is the bigger knock.
 

un_eggs

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Jun 9, 2007
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THE mature-aged ruck from Norwood is a player who has the physicality – but not quite the athleticism and endurance – to come straight into an AFL system, with his contested marking ability, strength and work around the ground among his best traits. He manages to find plenty of the ball despite not having a high endurance base, following up well for his size to average 4.9 clearances and 3.6 tackles among 15.9 disposals this season. It is no surprise though that a player of his size lacks athleticism across the board, with his effort making up for that gap. The 22-year-old continued his development in the SANFL Reserves this year across 19 games, taking out the Redlegs’ best and fairest at said level for his consistent season. His 18 disposals, seven clearances, six tackles and 47 hitouts against South Adelaide was the peak, and an insight into his potential to dominate. Overall, a mature-age ruck option for clubs with a few years under his belt and the confidence to impact games beyond the ruck battle.
STRENGTHS: Contested marking, strength, accumulation, ruck work
IMPROVEMENTS: Athleticism, endurance
"Henry is a great young man that will broaden our ruck depth and has the ability to play as a tall forward. He displays good athleticism and endurance for a man of his height," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.
 

Thunderstruck

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Was hoping he'd get picked up in the main draft or rookie draft and personally considered him stiff not to be. He's quite a surprising package, very strong and powerful overhead, has a good contested grab for a big man, can be dominant in ruck at times, not afraid to work around the ground and find it. Has a presence about him, never looks like he's dis-interested or anything and is in fantastic physical condition. Could add muscle and become a real big beast of a man so an AFL system might be the way to go.
 

eDPS

Devon Goods
Nov 4, 2010
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"Henry is a great young man that will broaden our ruck depth and has the ability to play as a tall forward. He displays good athleticism and endurance for a man of his height," Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro said.
Would be based of his testing results, they don’t always fully translate to game day. Wish I had his actual testing results on me.

Edit: His results where pretty poor across the board especially for speed and agility, 20.2 for the yo-yo test which is on the lower end for draftees.
 

Great8

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If it wasn't for the fact that Sam Baulderstone is so dominant, Crauford definitely would have played last year.
Except that we often played 2 rucks last year. Dawe was keeping Crauford out and Henry was thought to be not quite ready for League last year. The gulf is enormous between SANFL league and reserves. With Dawe leaving the club Crauford would have got a fair few games this year
 

TheGrizz

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Two days before it was announced Essendon were looking at him, I was posting about Crauford on the Fremantle board. We didn't have a list space available, but ruck depth was a concern of mine and he was my pick. My reasoning was pretty simple, pick him up now or pay a lot more come the end of the year.

Yes, he's only played reserves so far in the SANFL. But he's also only had the one season in the SANFL. If it wasn't for the fact that Sam Baulderstone is so dominant, Crauford definitely would have played last year. From all reports, Norwood were set to unleash both rucks this year with Crauford likely spending some time up forward too.

He's a good athlete for his size, reasonably mobile and has decent skills for a ruck. Strong mark. I doubt he factors into the AFL mix this year but I think he was the best ruck prospect outside of the AFL, and a full season in the SANFL would have shown exactly that. So I reckon it's a smart buy now, rather than spending a national draft pick come November.
Any idea of a (as best you can) comparable player?
 

grinderhodges

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Feb 29, 2016
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Henry was recruited by Norwood from my old club Mount Burr in country SA, I remember saying to a mate at 2018 grand final I think that for his size he's athletic can run all day and good below his knees and good enough to have a crack at AFL with more experience. Its bullshit some of the so called draft experts or whatever U call them saying he's not athletic etc maybe if they got away from the laptop and watched him and other's play live they would see it's different to the screen. He got best on ground too in that grand final win.
 

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