#5 Aaron Cadman (Pick 1, 2022 National Draft)

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Giant Strides

Nov 23, 2015
AFL Club
Aaron Cadman.png

Position: Key Forward
Height: 195cm
Weight: 91kg
D.O.B: 03-03-2004
Victorian Country, Greater Western Victoria Rebels

SNAPSHOT: “The premier key position player in this year’s AFL Draft pool off the back of a consistent season for both GWV Rebels and Vic Country as a strong marking forward.”

  • Contested marking
  • Forward craft
  • Leading patterns
  • Mobility
  • Scoreboard impact
  • Strength
  • Set shot consistency
  • Ground balls
Cadman has developed into one of the top prospects in the 2022 AFL Draft, so it is no surprise that there are plenty of strengths to his game that have allowed him sustained and consistent success at elite junior level. His prime strength compared to his peers is his contested marking, with his sticky and safe hands the clear standout trait that has him in the elite category for that area.

What allows Cadman to take so many marks - averaging 5.5 per game at NAB League and 6.3 in the AFL Under 18 Championships - are his forward craft and his leading patterns. He knows when to lead and when to engage in a wrestle, and though his natural body strength is another area that works in his favour, Cadman is best known for finding the space inside 50, leading into the space and taking the ball cleanly.

More than capable of crashing packs, Cadman is more of a clean grab marker that enables him to more often than not pull down the contested grab. He took six of them - at 1.5 per game - for Vic Country and is hard to spoil when his arms are outstretched. Though taller players might have longer reach. Once the ball is in his hands, it is near-impossible to spill it from there.

Cadman plays a simple but effective game for a key forward. He works hard on the lead, picks the right time to go, and has the safest hands to be able to pull down the mark. His mobility - which while not an elite athlete like a Max King - is still an asset, with Cadman able to move reasonably well for a readymade forward who is well along the way to being fully developed. Unlike others who are better described as beanpoles, Cadman has the best of both worlds in being strong, but also mobile.

Once Cadman has done all the hard work of finding the space, leading and taking the mark, his set shot goalkicking can let him down. Though, it is not a case of him being a technically poor set shot for goal. In fact, sometimes Cadman can be nailing majors from anywhere within 60m of the big sticks, but it is more his consistency when it comes to set shots - as it showed when Vic Country fell short of Vic Metro, booting 3.3. Effectively, a confident Cadman is a match-winning dominant player, but he can have his woes in front of goal.

Another area of improvement which is not as crucial to his role as a key forward is his ground ball ability. Cadman is so good in the air, and mobile, that he also competes well at ground level. If he can be a touch cleaner below his knees, he can take his game to another level.

Aaron Cadman

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