Draft Watcher ModernArtillery 2021 Draft Thread

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ModernArtillery

Senior List
Sep 19, 2018
203
613
AFL Club
Adelaide
I've been pretty slow out of the gates this year, still getting in lots of footy but slow to get all my notes together into something presentable.

I'll start by sharing some brief notes about some of the prospects that I like and hope to slowly build out my draft board from there. I'll keep it relatively brief, particularly for the well known prospects and try and share a bit more about the lesser known.

Jason Horne
For those who read some of my thoughts on Horne last year you'll know how much of a fan I am. I don't recall too many prospects as complete as him and whose games are suited so well to the modern-day AFL. He's a dual-position threat player who can have a significant impact on the game whether it be through the midfield or positioned deep in the forward line. It's the kind of call that can make you look real silly if things go wrong but I genuinely believe he's a Patrick Dangerfield level prospect. He's unquestionably the number 1 prospect for me and I personally don't think it's close.

Matthew Roberts
I saw a lot of Roberts as a bottom-ager and have caught him on a handful of occasions this year. As far as pure football talent goes, Roberts is pretty elite. He's a good ball winner both inside and outside, good ball-user by hand and foot and he can hit the scoreboard as a goal kicking mid. Despite this obvious talent, I have some pretty significant reservations about him from an athletic standpoint. Without seeing testing results, his agility appears to be sub-par and he lacks a level of explosiveness that I think could be exploited at AFL level. I have concerns that this will impact his ability to apply pressure in the forward half and be accountable at stoppage, particularly at centre bounce. Of course people can point to Scott Pendlebury who has overcome similar athletic limitations to be one of the greats but I'd say he's more the exception than the rule. At some point in the draft you just can't deny his talent but I'm not sure I could commit a top 10 pick to Roberts.

Lewis Rayson
I do tend to enjoy watching Rayson play footy. He appears to be quite laid back in his approach and then can be quite explosive when he has the footy. He has a great understanding of angles and running lanes which he uses to avoid opposition chasers, allowing him to quickly turn defence into attack. He continues to find the footy at SANFL U18 level but a greater proportion of this would be uncontested. He's very slightly built and this limits his roles at AFL level at this stage of his career. My view of the pathway for Rayson is a few years in the State League to allow his body to mature with an eye to being a more ready-made draft candidate as a 21-22 year old.

Blayne O'Loughlin
O'Loughlin has put up some pretty significant numbers in the SANFL U18's, although these are somewhat inflated given he takes most kick-outs for North Adelaide. He is a really good decision-maker and executes his kicks at a really high level in this role. He kicks a low, penetrating ball that is hard to intercept and rarely misses the target. Somewhat ironically, I think his pathway to the AFL is actually up the other end of the ground as a skillful small forward. O'Loughlin would need to improve his tackling, contested ball winning and pressure around the contest to succeed in this role but I think it's more likely to give him a chance to make it at the next level where I feel he will struggle to play on AFL level forwards. I'd say O'Loughlin would be an outside rookie chance at this point.

James Willis
Willis is one of my favourite South Australian prospects. He's a strong bodied, hard running midfielder that has the positional versatility to play wing, half forward and half back. He wins his fair share of contested footy but has shown he can also accumulate on the outside as well. He has a touch of forward craft too which has seen him hit the scoreboard on occasion. I think his competitiveness, physical/athletic ability and positional versatility should at least position him as a draft candidate. I hope he gets the opportunity to play at the U19 Champs as I'd love to see what he could do at that level.

Hugh Jackson
Another prospect out of North Adelaide. Jackson has also put up some pretty incredible numbers. He's another that wins his fair share of contested footy while also demonstrating the ability to win it on the outside. He's strong in the contest, hitting it hard and showing clean hands to extract the footy. He has a really good understanding of where the space is and often looks to lead his teammates into that space with his disposals by hand and foot. His kicking does need to improve if he is going to separate himself in this years draft crop. His kicking technique somewhat limits his consistency. He tends to whip the ball across his body which allows him to hit some really tough kicks and then get under the odd one and really miss-hit it. Tom Powell improved his kicking dramatically from the beginning of his draft year to the end and I do think Jackson can do the same, however poor technique could limit rapid improvement. He is primarily a midfielder at this stage but could also develop as a half back or highish half forward as he has looked promising on the lead in small periods inside 50. If his kicking can improve and he can start hitting the scoreboard then I think his draft stocks could follow a similar trajectory to Tom Powell last year.

Arlo Draper
Draper is certainly above the level at SANFL U18's and played a pretty solid game of SANFL reserves footy on the weekend as a pure mid. Physically he has all the tools and skills to have a career at AFL level, I just haven't seen him piece together consistent performances yet that would make me desperate to draft him. I feel he does everything well but clearly has growth in all areas which ultimately is pretty exciting if he can achieve that growth. I'd say he's a lock to be drafted but I don't think I'd have him inside my top 20 or so at this stage.

Cooper Beecken
Beecken burst onto the scene at the end of last year in the State Development Squad game where he was one of the best on ground playing in defence. Beecken has spent some time on the wing this year which I think has been really positive for his development. He's got really good speed and size for a winger, he's strong in the air and he's capable by hand and foot. At this stage I haven't really seen him demonstrate the offensive weapons you'd like to see from a winger but he's certainly an asset defensively with his ability to read the play and impact contests in the air. If he can add some attacking features to his play on the wing and improve his contested footy a bit more then I think he will certainly be in draft calculations.

Isaiah Dudley
I've been quite impressed with Dudley over the last few weeks and was excited to see him named in Central District's reserves side for this weekend. Dudley has AFL attributes as a classy small forward who is a strong tackler, capable of applying pressure inside F50. He's a threat at stoppage and does a really good job of finding the footy himself and getting involved in the chain of ball movement. Although he has shown some really positive signs through the midfield at U18 level, I think ultimately his role at AFL level is inside forward 50. I'm eager to see how he performs at SANFL reserves level and the U19 Champs where I'm confident he will feature for SA. I'd say he would be firmly on the Adelaide Crows draft board at this stage.

Cooper Murley
Murley is another that I saw a fair bit of last year in his bottom age year and I was super keen to see how he performed in the AFL Academy game against Geelong. Unfortunately injury prevented that from happening but he seems to be healthy now and was pretty solid on the weekend. Murley is explosive and has speed as he exits the stoppage. His speed does not prevent him from hitting kicks on the move as he is pretty classy by foot. I think his frame perhaps limits his scope as a midfielder at AFL level but I feel confident in projecting an Orazio Fantasia level career. His weapons and skill set in the right system should allow him to have an AFL career.

Jase Burgoyne
Burgoyne has looked comfortable at every level he's played at this year. He was consistently good last year in the U18's for Woodville West Torrens and has continued that form in the same competition this year, whilst also managing to squeeze in a number of SANFL League games for Port. He reminds me a touch of Luke Edwards last year who seemed relatively comfortable as he rose to each level in the SANFL, without having particularly dominant performances or demonstrating any obvious AFL attributes. Both were/are just really solid footballers with good skills and good game awareness. Burgoyne's frame is the biggest concern for me given he is so, so slight. I suspect he's a near lock to find his way onto Port's list, whether it be through the National or Rookie draft. He just desperately needs add size to his frame to be able to compete more in the contest. If he can achieve that physical development then I think he has a chance to play across half back at AFL level. Without it I think there is still a bright future as a really strong State League player.


I've still got some work to do on my notes for a few other SA prospects including Shaye Linke who I'm excited to see get his SANFL League debut this week. I'll share my notes from some of the interstate prospects over the next week or so as well. I've got a reasonable foundation but will hopefully be able to get in a little more footy to help build out my draft board.
 

Davo-27

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I've been pretty slow out of the gates this year, still getting in lots of footy but slow to get all my notes together into something presentable.

I'll start by sharing some brief notes about some of the prospects that I like and hope to slowly build out my draft board from there. I'll keep it relatively brief, particularly for the well known prospects and try and share a bit more about the lesser known.

Jason Horne
For those who read some of my thoughts on Horne last year you'll know how much of a fan I am. I don't recall too many prospects as complete as him and whose games are suited so well to the modern-day AFL. He's a dual-position threat player who can have a significant impact on the game whether it be through the midfield or positioned deep in the forward line. It's the kind of call that can make you look real silly if things go wrong but I genuinely believe he's a Patrick Dangerfield level prospect. He's unquestionably the number 1 prospect for me and I personally don't think it's close.

Matthew Roberts
I saw a lot of Roberts as a bottom-ager and have caught him on a handful of occasions this year. As far as pure football talent goes, Roberts is pretty elite. He's a good ball winner both inside and outside, good ball-user by hand and foot and he can hit the scoreboard as a goal kicking mid. Despite this obvious talent, I have some pretty significant reservations about him from an athletic standpoint. Without seeing testing results, his agility appears to be sub-par and he lacks a level of explosiveness that I think could be exploited at AFL level. I have concerns that this will impact his ability to apply pressure in the forward half and be accountable at stoppage, particularly at centre bounce. Of course people can point to Scott Pendlebury who has overcome similar athletic limitations to be one of the greats but I'd say he's more the exception than the rule. At some point in the draft you just can't deny his talent but I'm not sure I could commit a top 10 pick to Roberts.

Lewis Rayson
I do tend to enjoy watching Rayson play footy. He appears to be quite laid back in his approach and then can be quite explosive when he has the footy. He has a great understanding of angles and running lanes which he uses to avoid opposition chasers, allowing him to quickly turn defence into attack. He continues to find the footy at SANFL U18 level but a greater proportion of this would be uncontested. He's very slightly built and this limits his roles at AFL level at this stage of his career. My view of the pathway for Rayson is a few years in the State League to allow his body to mature with an eye to being a more ready-made draft candidate as a 21-22 year old.

Blayne O'Loughlin
O'Loughlin has put up some pretty significant numbers in the SANFL U18's, although these are somewhat inflated given he takes most kick-outs for North Adelaide. He is a really good decision-maker and executes his kicks at a really high level in this role. He kicks a low, penetrating ball that is hard to intercept and rarely misses the target. Somewhat ironically, I think his pathway to the AFL is actually up the other end of the ground as a skillful small forward. O'Loughlin would need to improve his tackling, contested ball winning and pressure around the contest to succeed in this role but I think it's more likely to give him a chance to make it at the next level where I feel he will struggle to play on AFL level forwards. I'd say O'Loughlin would be an outside rookie chance at this point.

James Willis
Willis is one of my favourite South Australian prospects. He's a strong bodied, hard running midfielder that has the positional versatility to play wing, half forward and half back. He wins his fair share of contested footy but has shown he can also accumulate on the outside as well. He has a touch of forward craft too which has seen him hit the scoreboard on occasion. I think his competitiveness, physical/athletic ability and positional versatility should at least position him as a draft candidate. I hope he gets the opportunity to play at the U19 Champs as I'd love to see what he could do at that level.

Hugh Jackson
Another prospect out of North Adelaide. Jackson has also put up some pretty incredible numbers. He's another that wins his fair share of contested footy while also demonstrating the ability to win it on the outside. He's strong in the contest, hitting it hard and showing clean hands to extract the footy. He has a really good understanding of where the space is and often looks to lead his teammates into that space with his disposals by hand and foot. His kicking does need to improve if he is going to separate himself in this years draft crop. His kicking technique somewhat limits his consistency. He tends to whip the ball across his body which allows him to hit some really tough kicks and then get under the odd one and really miss-hit it. Tom Powell improved his kicking dramatically from the beginning of his draft year to the end and I do think Jackson can do the same, however poor technique could limit rapid improvement. He is primarily a midfielder at this stage but could also develop as a half back or highish half forward as he has looked promising on the lead in small periods inside 50. If his kicking can improve and he can start hitting the scoreboard then I think his draft stocks could follow a similar trajectory to Tom Powell last year.

Arlo Draper
Draper is certainly above the level at SANFL U18's and played a pretty solid game of SANFL reserves footy on the weekend as a pure mid. Physically he has all the tools and skills to have a career at AFL level, I just haven't seen him piece together consistent performances yet that would make me desperate to draft him. I feel he does everything well but clearly has growth in all areas which ultimately is pretty exciting if he can achieve that growth. I'd say he's a lock to be drafted but I don't think I'd have him inside my top 20 or so at this stage.

Cooper Beecken
Beecken burst onto the scene at the end of last year in the State Development Squad game where he was one of the best on ground playing in defence. Beecken has spent some time on the wing this year which I think has been really positive for his development. He's got really good speed and size for a winger, he's strong in the air and he's capable by hand and foot. At this stage I haven't really seen him demonstrate the offensive weapons you'd like to see from a winger but he's certainly an asset defensively with his ability to read the play and impact contests in the air. If he can add some attacking features to his play on the wing and improve his contested footy a bit more then I think he will certainly be in draft calculations.

Isaiah Dudley
I've been quite impressed with Dudley over the last few weeks and was excited to see him named in Central District's reserves side for this weekend. Dudley has AFL attributes as a classy small forward who is a strong tackler, capable of applying pressure inside F50. He's a threat at stoppage and does a really good job of finding the footy himself and getting involved in the chain of ball movement. Although he has shown some really positive signs through the midfield at U18 level, I think ultimately his role at AFL level is inside forward 50. I'm eager to see how he performs at SANFL reserves level and the U19 Champs where I'm confident he will feature for SA. I'd say he would be firmly on the Adelaide Crows draft board at this stage.

Cooper Murley
Murley is another that I saw a fair bit of last year in his bottom age year and I was super keen to see how he performed in the AFL Academy game against Geelong. Unfortunately injury prevented that from happening but he seems to be healthy now and was pretty solid on the weekend. Murley is explosive and has speed as he exits the stoppage. His speed does not prevent him from hitting kicks on the move as he is pretty classy by foot. I think his frame perhaps limits his scope as a midfielder at AFL level but I feel confident in projecting an Orazio Fantasia level career. His weapons and skill set in the right system should allow him to have an AFL career.

Jase Burgoyne
Burgoyne has looked comfortable at every level he's played at this year. He was consistently good last year in the U18's for Woodville West Torrens and has continued that form in the same competition this year, whilst also managing to squeeze in a number of SANFL League games for Port. He reminds me a touch of Luke Edwards last year who seemed relatively comfortable as he rose to each level in the SANFL, without having particularly dominant performances or demonstrating any obvious AFL attributes. Both were/are just really solid footballers with good skills and good game awareness. Burgoyne's frame is the biggest concern for me given he is so, so slight. I suspect he's a near lock to find his way onto Port's list, whether it be through the National or Rookie draft. He just desperately needs add size to his frame to be able to compete more in the contest. If he can achieve that physical development then I think he has a chance to play across half back at AFL level. Without it I think there is still a bright future as a really strong State League player.


I've still got some work to do on my notes for a few other SA prospects including Shaye Linke who I'm excited to see get his SANFL League debut this week. I'll share my notes from some of the interstate prospects over the next week or so as well. I've got a reasonable foundation but will hopefully be able to get in a little more footy to help build out my draft board.
I liked the look of Cooper Beecken, Shay Linke and James Willis last year and there was very little about them, thanks for your write ups and I'm keen to hear your thoughts on Shay Linke.
 

ModernArtillery

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I liked the look of Cooper Beecken, Shay Linke and James Willis last year and there was very little about them, thanks for your write ups and I'm keen to hear your thoughts on Shay Linke.

I thought I'd do some Shay Linke stuff now after his League debut on the weekend. Admittedly I've only seen him once live so most of my notes are from digital pass replays. His size immediately stands out as he looks every bit of that 190cm. He's very slight but his body looks like it could add size. He's predominantly an outside accumulator at this stage and whilst that hasn't necessarily translated to Reserves and League footy yet you can see that it's not too far away as he still covers the ground quite well. Athletically he's not particularly explosive or fast and whilst he will tackle when it's his turn to go I don't think he imposes himself on the contest enough. I'd like to see him win more contested footy. His kick-mark game is pretty solid and when he does go back on his line and kick the footy he consistently hits targets and allows his team to maintain possession. I haven't seen a real stand-out AFL trait from Linke yet but feel that he has the tools to become a really consistent State League player.

Isaac Keeler
Keeler has all the physical tools to have an AFL career. He has good size for a key forward and possesses the athleticism required to compete at AFL level. He's technically gifted which allows him to execute by foot in front of goal and consistently hit targets when he wins the footy around the ground, something his athleticism allows him to do. He has good hands below his knees and has the agility to avoid tacklers when he wins the footy in a contest. The question marks for me are around his motor and his contest work. I would really like to see Keeler impose himself on contests more and become more comfortable with contact in both marking contests and ground balls. If Keeler can add that physical edge to his game then I think there's a really good chance for him to develop into an AFL player, however without it I think it will be really difficult for him to make at the level.

Harvey Harrison
I've really enjoyed watching North's U18's this year and I think Harvey Harrison might be my favourite of the lot. He just possesses everything you could ask for at this level. He's got speed and explosiveness which he often shows as he exits stoppage or when he breaks the line with his run and carry. He's a classy user by foot, consistently hitting targets around the ground, to his forwards inside 50 and has finished off some nice shots in front of goal. Even when he hits top pace exiting from stoppage or with run and carry he is still able to consistently execute by foot. His contest work at stoppage is high level and he's a really strong centre bounce player which is elevated even more by how damaging his disposal is. I really hope Harrison gets the opportunity to compete against the best at the National Champs because I'd love to see what he can do at that level.

Harry McInnes
McInnes has managed to kick 14.12 from his 5 games for Glenelg this year. At this level he has a physical advantage over most of his opponents and uses his strength and footy smarts to create plenty of opportunities for himself in front of goal. He's reads the play well and though not athletically gifted he still manages to create separation on the lead. He's somewhat undersized for a key forward and doesn't quite have the agility to apply a great deal of forward pressure once the ball hits the deck. I think ultimately his physical limitations will make it tough for him to get a look in at AFL level.

Cody Gilchrist
I've mostly seen Gilchrist up forward this year where he's been impressive on the lead and in contested marking situations, showing good athleticism and clean hands. He's the right height for an AFL level forward/ruck but will need to add some size and strength if he is to be able to compete at that level. His finishing in front of goal needs a lot of work which I think ultimately requires a complete breakdown of his set shot routine. I feel that the best key defenders across the country are a fair way ahead of him at this stage so it will be interesting to see how he goes at the U18 Champs.
 

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PMBangers

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I thought I'd do some Shay Linke stuff now after his League debut on the weekend. Admittedly I've only seen him once live so most of my notes are from digital pass replays. His size immediately stands out as he looks every bit of that 190cm. He's very slight but his body looks like it could add size. He's predominantly an outside accumulator at this stage and whilst that hasn't necessarily translated to Reserves and League footy yet you can see that it's not too far away as he still covers the ground quite well. Athletically he's not particularly explosive or fast and whilst he will tackle when it's his turn to go I don't think he imposes himself on the contest enough. I'd like to see him win more contested footy. His kick-mark game is pretty solid and when he does go back on his line and kick the footy he consistently hits targets and allows his team to maintain possession. I haven't seen a real stand-out AFL trait from Linke yet but feel that he has the tools to become a really consistent State League player.

Isaac Keeler
Keeler has all the physical tools to have an AFL career. He has good size for a key forward and possesses the athleticism required to compete at AFL level. He's technically gifted which allows him to execute by foot in front of goal and consistently hit targets when he wins the footy around the ground, something his athleticism allows him to do. He has good hands below his knees and has the agility to avoid tacklers when he wins the footy in a contest. The question marks for me are around his motor and his contest work. I would really like to see Keeler impose himself on contests more and become more comfortable with contact in both marking contests and ground balls. If Keeler can add that physical edge to his game then I think there's a really good chance for him to develop into an AFL player, however without it I think it will be really difficult for him to make at the level.

Harvey Harrison
I've really enjoyed watching North's U18's this year and I think Harvey Harrison might be my favourite of the lot. He just possesses everything you could ask for at this level. He's got speed and explosiveness which he often shows as he exits stoppage or when he breaks the line with his run and carry. He's a classy user by foot, consistently hitting targets around the ground, to his forwards inside 50 and has finished off some nice shots in front of goal. Even when he hits top pace exiting from stoppage or with run and carry he is still able to consistently execute by foot. His contest work at stoppage is high level and he's a really strong centre bounce player which is elevated even more by how damaging his disposal is. I really hope Harrison gets the opportunity to compete against the best at the National Champs because I'd love to see what he can do at that level.

Harry McInnes
McInnes has managed to kick 14.12 from his 5 games for Glenelg this year. At this level he has a physical advantage over most of his opponents and uses his strength and footy smarts to create plenty of opportunities for himself in front of goal. He's reads the play well and though not athletically gifted he still manages to create separation on the lead. He's somewhat undersized for a key forward and doesn't quite have the agility to apply a great deal of forward pressure once the ball hits the deck. I think ultimately his physical limitations will make it tough for him to get a look in at AFL level.

Cody Gilchrist
I've mostly seen Gilchrist up forward this year where he's been impressive on the lead and in contested marking situations, showing good athleticism and clean hands. He's the right height for an AFL level forward/ruck but will need to add some size and strength if he is to be able to compete at that level. His finishing in front of goal needs a lot of work which I think ultimately requires a complete breakdown of his set shot routine. I feel that the best key defenders across the country are a fair way ahead of him at this stage so it will be interesting to see how he goes at the U18 Champs.
I'm not sure if it's mostly because I agree with your observations strongly but your insight is very good and a very valuable contribution to the board. With Linke, and I'm yet to watch his senior game admittedly, I've liked some of his work around stoppages, not a massive clearance winner but I feel like he positions well in regards to his opposition to give himself the best chance of winning it, if he adds some bulk and gets a little more comfortable with the physical pressure when going for a contested ball I reckon he'll be a good role player at the next level, but it'll be a selection someone takes with development in their mind
 

ModernArtillery

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I'm not sure if it's mostly because I agree with your observations strongly but your insight is very good and a very valuable contribution to the board. With Linke, and I'm yet to watch his senior game admittedly, I've liked some of his work around stoppages, not a massive clearance winner but I feel like he positions well in regards to his opposition to give himself the best chance of winning it, if he adds some bulk and gets a little more comfortable with the physical pressure when going for a contested ball I reckon he'll be a good role player at the next level, but it'll be a selection someone takes with development in their mind

I think you're right, there's nothing necessarily wrong with his positioning or even his appetite for the contest. More reps and a bit more size might help him develop that contested side to his game, but that's definitely an area I'd like to see some growth.
 

ModernArtillery

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Leek Alleer
I should've also shared some thoughts on Alleer who played League footy again for Central on the weekend. He was super impressive and has clear scope to play as a second or third tall at AFL level. Given that he's already 19, he's a fair bit more physically developed than the other key position draft talent. He's strong and athletic and a really good size at about 196cm/84kg. Despite having played only four League games (and only five senior game in total I believe), his confidence to leave his man and impact contests in the air was super impressive. He was rarely beaten one on one, aggressively backing himself to out-mark his opponent and then spoil the contest when he wasn't positioned to compete for the mark. He has good hands, so he takes the marks pretty cleanly and he's a pretty safe user by foot which is all you'd ask from him at this stage. I'd say Alleer would be starting to generate some interest from AFL clubs and would be a really good chance to find himself on a list next year. If he continues to develop at this rate, within a few years in the AFL system I think he could find himself well established in a teams best 22.
 

Mutineer

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Leek Alleer
I should've also shared some thoughts on Alleer who played League footy again for Central on the weekend. He was super impressive and has clear scope to play as a second or third tall at AFL level. Given that he's already 19, he's a fair bit more physically developed than the other key position draft talent. He's strong and athletic and a really good size at about 196cm/84kg. Despite having played only four League games (and only five senior game in total I believe), his confidence to leave his man and impact contests in the air was super impressive. He was rarely beaten one on one, aggressively backing himself to out-mark his opponent and then spoil the contest when he wasn't positioned to compete for the mark. He has good hands, so he takes the marks pretty cleanly and he's a pretty safe user by foot which is all you'd ask from him at this stage. I'd say Alleer would be starting to generate some interest from AFL clubs and would be a really good chance to find himself on a list next year. If he continues to develop at this rate, within a few years in the AFL system I think he could find himself well established in a teams best 22.
He was an Adelaide NGA wasn't he?
 

Chris25

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I'd say Alleer would be starting to generate some interest from AFL clubs and would be a really good chance to find himself on a list next year. If he continues to develop at this rate, within a few years in the AFL system I think he could find himself well established in a teams best 22.

I wrote about Alleer a couple of times yesterday. Obviously a lot can happen over the remainder of the season, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't on an AFL list next year with his rate of development over the last month. Looks the perfect developmental tall and much more comfortable in the back line.
 

Hodgy

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Leek Alleer
I should've also shared some thoughts on Alleer who played League footy again for Central on the weekend. He was super impressive and has clear scope to play as a second or third tall at AFL level. Given that he's already 19, he's a fair bit more physically developed than the other key position draft talent. He's strong and athletic and a really good size at about 196cm/84kg. Despite having played only four League games (and only five senior game in total I believe), his confidence to leave his man and impact contests in the air was super impressive. He was rarely beaten one on one, aggressively backing himself to out-mark his opponent and then spoil the contest when he wasn't positioned to compete for the mark. He has good hands, so he takes the marks pretty cleanly and he's a pretty safe user by foot which is all you'd ask from him at this stage. I'd say Alleer would be starting to generate some interest from AFL clubs and would be a really good chance to find himself on a list next year. If he continues to develop at this rate, within a few years in the AFL system I think he could find himself well established in a teams best 22.
G’day mate, love your work as usual and glad to see you putting stuff up for this year. I was just wondering if you have seen much of Hugh Stagg? I keep hearing from people who have links to clubs in Melbourne that Adelaide are right into him.
he certainly has had a great start to the year statistically, but I had been wondering if it was largely to do with his physical development being so advanced at under 18 level, but he appears to have played well at reserves level since he was elevated so I am keen to get any insights that you might have. Cheers
 

ModernArtillery

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G’day mate, love your work as usual and glad to see you putting stuff up for this year. I was just wondering if you have seen much of Hugh Stagg? I keep hearing from people who have links to clubs in Melbourne that Adelaide are right into him.
he certainly has had a great start to the year statistically, but I had been wondering if it was largely to do with his physical development being so advanced at under 18 level, but he appears to have played well at reserves level since he was elevated so I am keen to get any insights that you might have. Cheers


That's interesting intel. The Crows seem to value his type given they drafted Pedlar and Berry last year who I feel Stagg shares some similarities with. This is good timing as I'm actually going to see Stagg play live tomorrow so I might reserve my comments for after that game as perhaps I might be able to offer a bit more insight given I've only seen Stagg a few times on the Digital Pass this year.
 

ModernArtillery

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Hugh Stagg
If you've watched a lot of Brad Crouch then I think you can see some similarities in their midfield craft. Stagg gets his hand on the footy a fair bit but a significant amount of his possessions are rushed kicks/snaps forward under pressure. He has moments where he explodes from stoppage but a lot of his disposals lack the hurt you'd like to see from a ball-winning midfielder. He has intensity in everything he does on the ground. He tackles aggressively and provides enough forward pressure to hold down a role there. He's also managed to hit the scoreboard in recent weeks but I've found these opportunities have come more from persistence and effort rather than genuine forward craft. I'd like to see Stagg be a bit more damaging with his disposal and if he can do that then he could potentially be in the conversation as a draft chance. Even without it he may get the opportunity but my perception is that Stagg is likely one of those gritty, relentless State League level midfielders that competes all day but just lacks the polish that would allow him to be a contributor at the next level.

he certainly has had a great start to the year statistically, but I had been wondering if it was largely to do with his physical development being so advanced at under 18 level, but he appears to have played well at reserves level since he was elevated so I am keen to get any insights that you might have. Cheers


His advanced physical development certainly does play a role in his ball-winning ability but I don't think it's the sole reason for his numbers. That size advantage combined with his intensity and work rate around the footy enable him to post big numbers and that's something that I could see continuing to be an asset for him as he rises through the ranks. I think his frame would still hold up against opponents who are more mature than those he has come up against in the U18's.
 
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Heath Dunby

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I thought I'd do some Shay Linke stuff now after his League debut on the weekend. Admittedly I've only seen him once live so most of my notes are from digital pass replays. His size immediately stands out as he looks every bit of that 190cm. He's very slight but his body looks like it could add size. He's predominantly an outside accumulator at this stage and whilst that hasn't necessarily translated to Reserves and League footy yet you can see that it's not too far away as he still covers the ground quite well. Athletically he's not particularly explosive or fast and whilst he will tackle when it's his turn to go I don't think he imposes himself on the contest enough. I'd like to see him win more contested footy. His kick-mark game is pretty solid and when he does go back on his line and kick the footy he consistently hits targets and allows his team to maintain possession. I haven't seen a real stand-out AFL trait from Linke yet but feel that he has the tools to become a really consistent State League player.

Isaac Keeler
Keeler has all the physical tools to have an AFL career. He has good size for a key forward and possesses the athleticism required to compete at AFL level. He's technically gifted which allows him to execute by foot in front of goal and consistently hit targets when he wins the footy around the ground, something his athleticism allows him to do. He has good hands below his knees and has the agility to avoid tacklers when he wins the footy in a contest. The question marks for me are around his motor and his contest work. I would really like to see Keeler impose himself on contests more and become more comfortable with contact in both marking contests and ground balls. If Keeler can add that physical edge to his game then I think there's a really good chance for him to develop into an AFL player, however without it I think it will be really difficult for him to make at the level.

Harvey Harrison
I've really enjoyed watching North's U18's this year and I think Harvey Harrison might be my favourite of the lot. He just possesses everything you could ask for at this level. He's got speed and explosiveness which he often shows as he exits stoppage or when he breaks the line with his run and carry. He's a classy user by foot, consistently hitting targets around the ground, to his forwards inside 50 and has finished off some nice shots in front of goal. Even when he hits top pace exiting from stoppage or with run and carry he is still able to consistently execute by foot. His contest work at stoppage is high level and he's a really strong centre bounce player which is elevated even more by how damaging his disposal is. I really hope Harrison gets the opportunity to compete against the best at the National Champs because I'd love to see what he can do at that level.

Harry McInnes
McInnes has managed to kick 14.12 from his 5 games for Glenelg this year. At this level he has a physical advantage over most of his opponents and uses his strength and footy smarts to create plenty of opportunities for himself in front of goal. He's reads the play well and though not athletically gifted he still manages to create separation on the lead. He's somewhat undersized for a key forward and doesn't quite have the agility to apply a great deal of forward pressure once the ball hits the deck. I think ultimately his physical limitations will make it tough for him to get a look in at AFL level.

Cody Gilchrist
I've mostly seen Gilchrist up forward this year where he's been impressive on the lead and in contested marking situations, showing good athleticism and clean hands. He's the right height for an AFL level forward/ruck but will need to add some size and strength if he is to be able to compete at that level. His finishing in front of goal needs a lot of work which I think ultimately requires a complete breakdown of his set shot routine. I feel that the best key defenders across the country are a fair way ahead of him at this stage so it will be interesting to see how he goes at the U18 Champs.

Thank you for the contributions, much appreciated to know a bit more about these prospects. Imagine if McInnes could kick straight, any word on how he has been fairing at school level?
 

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ModernArtillery

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Thank you for the contributions, much appreciated to know a bit more about these prospects. Imagine if McInnes could kick straight, any word on how he has been fairing at school level?

Unfortunately I haven't been able to get to any school footy yet this year so not too sure what his form has been like in that competition. I can only really speak to what he's done out at Glenelg where I've been lucky enough to see him a few more times than I expected this year.
 

Heath Dunby

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Unfortunately I haven't been able to get to any school footy yet this year so not too sure what his form has been like in that competition. I can only really speak to what he's done out at Glenelg where I've been lucky enough to see him a few more times than I expected this year.
Any particualry eye-catching moments? or just a consistent player? Spoke to a person from WWTFC few days ago and he seems to think that he has a knack for goals. Hoping to see him play at some stage.
 

ModernArtillery

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Any particualry eye-catching moments? or just a consistent player? Spoke to a person from WWTFC few days ago and he seems to think that he has a knack for goals. Hoping to see him play at some stage.

He definitely has a knack for goals at U18 level. He seems to understand where the space is inside forward 50 and consistently creates separation from his opponent on the lead, so he gets a lot of scoring opportunities from set shots. He's had moments where he's read the ball well in general play and created scoring opportunities from that, but I wouldn't describe that as a strength, nor would I say it's a weakness. He can be a match winner up forward at U18 level but I still see him being limited physically as he comes up against more physically developed and experienced opposition.
 
July 8 Draft Board

ModernArtillery

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I've just finished watching some WA vision over the past few nights and I thought I was due to share some thoughts around my draft board. I'll update and add to this as the season progresses. I suspect there will be some pretty significant changes during and post champs (assuming they go ahead) but I thought I'd provide a bit of a lay of the land before the Champs do get underway.

1. Jason Horne
I love Horne and he's still far and away my number 1 pick. I've shared my thoughts a number of times on him so I won't go into any detail here.

2. Nick Daicos
Daicos couldn't possibly have done anything more at NAB League level. He's accumulated at a high level, his disposal by foot is elite and he's proven to be able to hit the scoreboard consistently. If there was an ever so slight question mark I had it might be over his ability to consistently win contested footy at AFL level against bigger, stronger bodies but I think if that's not there day 1 it will be something he'll be able to develop pretty quickly.

3. Neil Erasmus
I'm really optimistic about what Erasmus can do at the next level. He's got the physical profile and skill set to be a super damaging mid/forward at AFL level. He's got great goal sense and creates scoring opportunities for himself and others with ease inside forward 50. He's great in the air and clean when the ball hits the deck. I love the balance that he has between his contested footy and his accumulation on the outside and think he's about as complete a prospect as there is in the draft. I'm confident that his game is tailor-made for the brand of footy that is played at AFL level today.

4. Tyler Sonsie
As a fan on Sonsie it's been a bit of a roller-coaster this year. His performance in the Academy game against Geelong was incredibly poor and for the most part he's just been a moments player in his NAB League games and VFL hit out. Putting the inconsistencies aside, I just really rate Sonsie's talent. His ball use is elite and his ability to read the space and put the footy to the advantage of teammates is up there with Daicos in this years draft. He can win the contested footy, he's got pace and explosiveness from stoppage and he's got forward craft and class in front of goal. Essentially, he has all the tools to become an elite AFL footballer and if he puts it altogether I think he has top 5 value in this draft.

5. Connor MacDonald
MacDonald is a pretty relentless midfielder who just keeps coming at you from all facets, whether that be cracking in on the inside and winning the contested footy or accumulating on the outside around the ground, he just keeps on going. His work at stoppage is high quality where he does a really good job of reading where the footy will be, getting himself to that spot, winning it and then exiting the contest. He's competent by foot and more than capable of hitting targets, though it's not a weapon of his. I'm confident that MacDonald will work his way into an AFL midfield relatively quickly.

6. Ben Hobbs
Hobbs has a lot of similar traits to MacDonald and it was pretty hard to split the two with MacDonald only really getting the nod because I've had more exposure to him. Hobbs is another really strong contested ball winner that also has the ability to accumulate on the outside. He's strong in the air and has a bit of goal sense inside forward 50. His stoppage craft is high quality and whilst he's not super explosive he still gets in and out of stoppage efficiently. Hobbs is another who is competent by foot but not overly damaging. That will be a key area of growth for him as he gets to the next level.

7. Sam Darcy
Some of my early notes this year came from the Round 4 NAB League clash where Darcy played in defence for Oakleigh. He's just gone from strength to strength since then and seems consensus top 5 at this point. His marking is an asset whether forward or back as he has the timing, length and athleticism to take contested grabs. He's strong in the air but I haven't really seen much physicality from him once the ball hits the deck, although that may come as he adds some size in the gym. His use by foot is consistently pretty good and whilst it seems like he's projecting as a forward at this point, if he was shifted back at the next level I have every confidence he'll be a handy user out of defence. He certainly has the tools to be an effective interceptor and offensive weapon from defensive 50. Inside forward 50 he's pretty good below his knees and has the goal sense and finishing ability to hit the scoreboard from opportunities that are not exclusively set shots. The key position talent can be pretty difficult to project and I always hesitate to put them super high on my board but Darcy's talent is obvious and if his body fills out a bit (which I'm confident it will) he'll be a high quality AFL player.

8. Josh Goater
Goater is a tall, strong midfielder who wins a lot of contested footy, primarily extracting and distributing by hand to outside movers. Despite being primarily a distributor by hand to this point he's a capable user by foot and is comfortable hitting targets around the ground. Goater is strong in the air and whilst I haven't seen him push forward too much to kick goals his skill set suggests this is something he could develop. His contest work and his stoppage craft look AFL standard and I think they will be his biggest weapons at the next level.

9. Matthew Johnson
Johnson shares some similar traits to Goater and the two are probably interchangeable on my board. Johnson is another who is prominent at stoppage, winning the contested footy and delivering it by hand to outside runners. He's really clean below his knees and he fires out sharp handballs that consistently hit targets despite being under significant pressure. He's a capable user by foot but is another whose kicking isn't a real weapon for him. I'd like to see his production continue to increase and see him accumulate a bit more of the footy. Johnson is really capable in the air and can take a strong contested grab, something I'd like to see him do a bit more of as he drifts forward. If he starts to show that he can consistently win the footy, exit and explode from stoppage and then deliver by foot, he really starts to enter the conversation with the mids I have ranked higher.

10. Finn Callaghan
Callaghan is the ultimate high ceiling, low basement prospect where you can see shades of Bontempelli in his game and then moments reminiscent of Karl Amon post-breakout in the same quarter. What I really like is his combination of size, speed and his execution by foot. He has a great understanding of angles and running lanes and uses this to evade tacklers and create space to execute his disposals. He does have moments where he seems clumsy in the contest and misses targets by hand. He could be cleaner below his knees and I'd like to see the contested side to his game improve. I think it will take a few years in the system for Callaghan to pick up the pace of the game and really develop his ball-winning craft but if he does adjust to the level he has the tools to be a real weapon through the middle of the ground.

11. Jacob Van Rooyen
Van Rooyen is a super competitive kid who I feel plays his best football as that high leading centre half forward. He's good on the lead and really strong below his knees where his follow up work, tackling and clean hands are high level for a key forward. His hands are particularly outstanding where he dishes out hand passes to teammates cleanly and effectively on a consistent basis. He has a bit of growth to come aerially, where he often gets out-bodied and out-positioned by bigger, stronger defenders which is a problem when the midfield delivery is sub-par. This has been evident during moments at WAFL level this year. In an age where forward pressure is key to any high-functioning forward line, Van Rooyen's ability to offer that as a tall can be really valuable at the next level.

12. Josh Rachele
Rachele is a skillful small forward with good goal sense and a knack for making things happen inside forward 50. He's a strong tackler that can apply defensive pressure, something that I think we will see him do more consistently at AFL level once he settles into a role there. He'll start as a forward at AFL level but I think he has scope to pinch hit in the midfield where he can have an impact at stoppage. He's really crafty and dynamic and when he is in and around the ball I always anticipate a scoring opportunity will come. The repeat forward half pressure acts will be key to Rachele getting the opportunity early at AFL level and if he can deliver those consistently it will complement his natural skill level and allow his class to show.

I'll leave my board at 12 for now as there are still guys that I haven't seen enough of yet, namely Campbell Chesser, Josh Browne and Ned Long. To give an idea of who I have in this next group at this stage it probably includes those guys + Matthew Roberts, Josh Sinn, Paul Curtis, Josh Gibcus and Harvey Harrison.
 

Snuffaluphagus

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Great reading MA.

I'm really high on Erasmus as well, though I hope the recruiters dont have him as high as you do. If Cerra leaves, I'd want to take him with the pick we get from Richmond.

What really sells me on him is that he seems to step up every time he's in a big game. Colts grand final last year, academy game this year. I think he'll unfortunately have a massive Champs and be out of our reach, even if we lose Cerra.
 

ModernArtillery

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Great reading MA.

I'm really high on Erasmus as well, though I hope the recruiters dont have him as high as you do. If Cerra leaves, I'd want to take him with the pick we get from Richmond.

What really sells me on him is that he seems to step up every time he's in a big game. Colts grand final last year, academy game this year. I think he'll unfortunately have a massive Champs and be out of our reach, even if we lose Cerra.

I think Erasmus would be a really complementary piece to Fremantle's young nucleus, even if they do hold onto Cerra. I completely agree that so far he's stepped up in each of the big games he's played in and that is something I've admired as well. I like that his physical attributes allow him to impose himself on games and then his skill set allows him to be really damaging when he gets his hands on the footy. I think it all translates to him being a big game player at the next level as well. If the Crows miss out on Horne, which at this stage is unlikely but not impossible, I'd love for them to add Erasmus with their first selection.
 
July 23 Draft Board

ModernArtillery

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***Slight changes to move Jackson up the rankings.

I've caught a fair bit of footy lately, most of it game film, so I thought I was due to update and add to my draft board.

1. Jason Horne
2. Nick Daicos
3. Neil Erasmus
4. Tyler Sonsie
5. Ben Hobbs ^
6. Josh Goater ^
7. Sam Darcy
8. Connor MacDonald
9. Matthew Johnson
10. Finn Callaghan
11. Jacob Van Rooyen
12. Josh Rachele

13. Josh Ward
Ward is a tough inside midfielder that wins his fair share of contested footy. He's clean below his knees and extracts it quickly and accurately by hand, but also has the awareness and patience in traffic to find the right target if it doesn't immediately present itself. He's evasive and does a really good job of buying himself time and creating space to execute his disposals. His work rate on the spread allows him to accumulate outside ball too and his production in almost every game has been at a really high level. His midfield craft is a standout and I think he'll develop into a solid AFL midfielder.

14. Darcy Wilmot
Wilmot is a really nice balance of toughness and class. He's a good decision maker under pressure, he can break lines with his speed and he consistently executes by foot when rebounding from D50. Defensively he seems to have the perfect balance between intercepting and nullifying his opponent and has the skill to do both at a really high level. There isn't really too much that Wilmot doesn't have and I even think there is some midfield scope there too which might be something an AFL club explores after a few years in the system. I have a lot of confidence in Wilmot's ability to transition to the level and think he is one that could have an impact at the right AFL club pretty early.

15. Matthew Roberts
I've shared a fair bit about Roberts so I'll keep this brief. I think his talent is elite but worry that his speed and agility limits his ceiling. At this point though it's hard to go past the talent.

16. Mitch Owens
Owens was a late in to the Victorian Challenge game but made the most of his opportunity. He's got good size and athleticism which allows him to be a real threat aerially. He really attacks it in the air and can intercept and pull down some contested marks. What also impresses me is his ability to follow up and impact the contest when the ball goes to ground. He's pretty fearless in his attack on the footy and is willing to put his head over it and fight for the contested ball. He's a pretty safe user by foot and can be a pretty craft finisher around goals. Owens has some really appealing tools.

17. Hugh Jackson
Jackson is another that does alot of things really well. I've shared some thoughts on him previously but one thing that I feel like I've noticed more recently as I've watched more film is his defensive effort around the contest. He's more than willing to lay a tackle but the extra efforts to smother handballs and kicks have been equally impressive and he'll put in the effort to chase someone down too, proving he's more than just a ball winner and accumulator. I'd still like to see him hit the scoreboard more and have a bit more impact with his kicks but Jackson has done a fair bit right so far this year.

18. Paul Curtis
Curtis is one of my favourites in the pool and one that I think will provide really good value in the second half of the draft. He's a really crafty small forward that can impact the game in a few different ways. He's strong on the lead whether it be deep forward or pushing up to half forward and he's strong in the air for his size so he gives himself opportunities to hit the scoreboard from set shots. He makes high IQ footy plays, showing an ability to read the drop of the ball and get his hands on it and also the smarts to understand where the space is and lead the forward to that space with his use inside forward 50. He can lay a tackle and apply a little bit of pressure too so he really does have a few ways that he can impact the game. I think he's one whose game translates to AFL footy nicely and in the right team could get a look in reasonably early.

19. James Willis
Another one of my favourites, Willis is another who just does a lot of things at a really high level and offers positional versatility, being able to play half forward, half back, wing and through the middle as an inside mid. He's got a really strong body that allows him to create separation at stoppage and he possesses the speed to exit at pace once he wins the footy. He's explosive and dynamic and is a pretty solid user by foot. I like him as a half forward/midfielder at the next level and see his skill set as really desirable in AFL footy.

20. Josh Sinn
The lack of consistency due to injury that Sinn has battled this year has hurt and I think he is one whose development has been most impacted by the lack of footy over the past two years. His blend of medium size and speed are certainly assets for him but he just has some inconsistencies by foot that he lets himself down with at times. His run and carry is high class though and he can really break the lines with that burst of speed. If Sinn could add a touch of poise and more consistency by foot his impact per possession will rise and that will help him take his game to the next level.

21. Mitch Knevitt
I really like Knevitt's size as he's starting to push KPP height as a midfielder. This height serves him well as he pulls in marks around the ground over smaller midfielders. He's a careful kick but not an elite kick although when he kicks through the footy he can get some serious penetration. His best work though is done at the stoppage where he reads the ball well off the ruck and shows clean hands to win it and extract it to outside midfielders. Knevitt is one that I feel really needs to fall into the right place and right situation where the opportunities are going to be there for him to develop as that stoppage/clearance winning midfielder.

22. Charlie Molan
Molan is another medium-sized midfielder with good speed. He's a hard runner who will break the lines and carry the ball from defensive 50 to the forward 50. He covers the ground really well and is a pretty smooth mover. He doesn't mind mixing it up a bit in the contest and is prepared to tackle when it's his turn to go. His disposal is pretty solid by foot, he has really clean hands and it feels like he makes a lot of good decisions. Molan has a lot of qualities that make me think he's got a really strong chance of being a good AFL footballer.

WA are drastically under-represented here and most of that is due to limited access to WAFL games but that should change in the second half of the year. I'm looking forward to catching more of the WA talent and I suspect a few will feature on my board. I'm still yet to see enough of Chesser, Long and a few others that I feel like probably fit somewhere in this group too so there's still some work to be done to fill out my board.
 
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Mutineer

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Surprised Zac Becker hasn't come under your notice given your interest in the SA boys with the form he's displayed at SANFL U18's/Reserves and school footy?
 

ModernArtillery

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Surprised Zac Becker hasn't come under your notice given your interest in the SA boys with the form he's displayed at SANFL U18's/Reserves and school footy?

I did some Zac Becker stuff last year I believe and then have done a little bit in another thread this year. I've quoted my thoughts on his performance in the recent U19 SA Trial game which I think sums up my position on him nicely.

Zac Becker had some moments I thought. He's got an accurate, penetrating kick out of defence but also showed he could lower the eyes and hit a shorter kick too. I really liked the touch of class he showed coming off his man to impact a contest, win it and then to lower the eyes and hit Spain in the middle of the ground. I guess the question mark over him will be whether he can play on mediums at the next level.

He's a really strong interceptor and has power and accuracy by foot that makes him a super efficient rebounder who turns defence into offence really quickly.
 

Mutineer

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I did some Zac Becker stuff last year I believe and then have done a little bit in another thread this year. I've quoted my thoughts on his performance in the recent U19 SA Trial game which I think sums up my position on him nicely.



He's a really strong interceptor and has power and accuracy by foot that makes him a super efficient rebounder who turns defence into offence really quickly.
Perhaps I could have worded it better, "more under your notice"?

For mine he's pretty much got all bases covered athletically, size and skills wise and I'm surprised he's not higher on a lot of draft boards is all.
 

ModernArtillery

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For mine he's pretty much got all bases covered athletically, size and skills wise and I'm surprised he's not higher on a lot of draft boards is all.

Do you have any concerns about how his height translates at AFL level? Do you think he'll be able to play on second and third talls? Or mediums?
 

Mutineer

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Do you have any concerns about how his height translates at AFL level? Do you think he'll be able to play on second and third talls? Or mediums?
Both IMO and I think he has the scope to be much more than an intercepting defender IMO, wouldn't think he'd have any problem playing on 3rd talls, very strong and pretty mobile?
 

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