Draft Expert ModernArtillery 2022 Draft Thread

ModernArtillery

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A few notes from the Round 1 SANFL U18's match between West Adelaide and Norwood on the weekend - SANFL U18s MOTR: Round 1 - West Adelaide vs. Norwood

I thought I'd add also kick-start the year with some notes on a few players too. I'll leave the VIC/Allies kids out for now until I can put a bit more time into them.

Harry Lemmey (West Adelaide)
I'll start with Harry Lemmey, who I view as the top South Australian prospect and a genuine chance to be the number 1 pick in the draft. He's quick off the mark and is consistently able to get separation on the lead. He's capable as the deepest forward, although I think he will play his best footy at the next level as a high centre half forward. I see him as a key forward who can lead up through the middle of the ground to receive the footy but then turn his opponent and work into the space behind him. His athleticism and speed for his size will make him a really tough match up.

At senior level he occasionally gets caught with the ball in open play, but that's not surprising at all for a key position player his age. When he's able to push off the mark with time and space his ball use is pretty special for a kid his size. He can hit a low, penetrating ball and gets plenty of length on it when he decides to kick long. He generally looks pretty comfortable in front of goal too. If Lemmey's contested marking can go to another level this year then I think he's going to be hard not to pick with the first selection.

Kobe Ryan (West Adelaide)
Lemmey's West Adelaide teammate, I think Kobe Ryan has a few fans on this board. I love how balanced he is as a prospect as a genuine inside/outside midfielder. He can play as a genuine first possession winner at stoppage where he has a real understanding of where the ball is going to be and the ability to beat his opponent to it. He's got a nice step and the spacial awareness to be able to get a bit of separation inside the contest, despite not being overly explosive. He's a contributor defensively through the midfield too and is more than capable of laying a big tackle to lock the ball in.

What I think separates Kobe from other midfielders is his ability to also have an impact on the outside. He's a player who genuinely wants the ball in his hands and really demands it from his teammates. His overlap run, his work to link up in the chain and repeat efforts to present in space, allow him to accumulate at a high rate. His work rate is a real strength to his game as he gets to a lot of contests and really works over the opposition. From what I saw on the weekend, he looks to have already improved his kicking and if he can continue to see growth in that area, then I think his game will go to another level. Further physical development will also be important for Kobe, especially as he's likely to get some opportunities at senior level this year.

Elijah Hewett (Swan District)
I absolutely love Hewett as a prospect and probably have him inside my top 5 to start the season. I think he has all the tools to be an elite midfielder at AFL level. He's a really nice size and has impressive power and explosiveness. He's also a more than capable user of the footy too and has the ability to hit the scoreboard. He's a presence around the contest and whilst his advanced physical development is certainly an advantage over his peers, I think it will translate to the next level. I'd like to see him get some senior WAFL footy under his belt, just to see how he adjusts to some bigger bodies. If he can hang inside the contest at that level, it would further validate his position in this draft.

Isaac Keeler (North Adelaide)
I find Keeler is a bit of a tease as a prospect. He's another forward that does a really good job of getting separation on the lead. He's a good size and has the athletic attributes that would allow him to compete at AFL level. His kicking action is quite smooth and he looks comfortable in front of the goals, though the end result is probably not as consistent as he would like. His size and athleticism should also allow him to relieve through the ruck at the next level too. I'm not quite prepared to declare Keeler as a top end prospect until I see a harder, more physical edge to his game. An increased willingness to compete and physically impose himself on the contest would give me more confidence that he can have a career at AFL level. I think he's a true high ceiling, low floor prospect.

Adam D'Aloia (Woodville West-Torrens)
D'Aloia is an elite first possession winner and one of the best in the clinches. He's relentless at stoppage, clean below his knees and uses quick, sharp hands to distribute to teammates on the outside. He seamlessly adjusted to every rise in competition last year and lead from the front in big games. He's already quite physically developed but seems to have a frame that will be able to continue to add more size. What limits D'Aloia's ceiling at this stage is his use by foot and ability to create separation at the contest. If he can add those two things and improve his outside game, I think he'll find himself picked pretty early on draft night.

What you get with D'Aloia is a first-class kid who is going to really work to get better and improve his game. I think he projects as that third/fourth/fifth midfielder at AFL level but is one who will accept whichever role is handed to him.

Nick Sadler (Sturt)
I really value Nick Sadler's game and love his skill-set. He hits the footy with pace, wins it cleanly below his knees and is a classy user by foot, even at top speed. He's another really well-balanced midfielder who is capable of winning the ball at stoppage and then getting to the outside of the contest to dispose of it. His defensive pressure around the contest is high quality and he consistently finishes tackles. His inside/outside ability creates opportunities for him to fill a number of different roles which will likely work in his favour at the next level. From a skill-set perspective, Sadler offers almost everything that you'd want from a junior prospect and he's one that I think will represent great value in the draft.

Harry Barnett (West Adelaide)
Barnett was West's lead ruck on the weekend and whilst that's probably his role moving forward, I also think he has the capacity to play at either end of the ground. As a ruck, he's influential at centre bounce, where he can get up and over his opponent and get first hand to the footy. His follow up is equally impressive as he can win it below his knees and just take off running. What's even more impressive is his ability to actually deliver the footy on the run for a player his size. He's not always consistent, but some of the kicks he executes on the run are pretty rare for a 200cm+ ruckman. He's a capable contested mark and that's where I think he has the scope to play as a genuine KPP. I think there will be opportunities at senior level for Barnett this year and it will be interesting to see how he develops against the bigger bodies, where his size and athleticism doesn't offer him the same advantage. He's a bit of a character too and someone who you can see is well liked by his teammates.

Max Michalanney (Norwood)
I didn't think I was that high on Michalanney but after seeing him on the weekend he alleviated a lot of the concerns that I had about him. He's not genuine key position height and I often worry about those in between, general defenders, but I think Michalanney's flexibility will be a weapon for him at the next level. I see him as someone who can lock down on the small/medium forwards and hang with the bigger forwards. I think I undervalued his offensive ability, as his willingness to run off his opponent and generate drive out of defence makes him really impactful.

A couple others that I'll keep tracking throughout this year:
Oscar Kregar (West Adelaide) caught my eye on the weekend as a tall winger, who moves really well and is a capable user. I haven't seen enough yet but I wonder if we could see a Brayden Cook type trajectory with him. Anthony Munkara (West Adelaide) is going to be a highlight package all year. He has genuine forward craft and is capable when engaged defensively. It's more just moments with him at this stage but it will be interesting to see how he develops as the season progresses. I really like Kane Bevan's (West Perth) size and aerial ability as a midfielder. I think he's got a well-rounded skill-set and expect him to elevate himself this year. I'm probably not as high on Jedd Busslinger (East Perth) as others and worry a little bit about how his speed/athleticism stacks up at AFL level. Jakob Ryan (Glenelg) is finding plenty of the footy across half back and has a nice blend of size and athleticism that makes him an interesting watch. I've always liked Jaiden Magor (South Adelaide) but I'm just waiting for him to get some time through the midfield and put it all together. Mattaes Phillipou (Woodville West Torrens) and Billy Dowling (North Adelaide) are two that have genuine upside as taller midfielders who can go forward and hit the scoreboard.
 

PMBangers

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Hello MA, big fan

Do you think D'Aloia needs to develop a clear second position this year to get drafted high?
 

ModernArtillery

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Hello MA, big fan

Do you think D'Aloia needs to develop a clear second position this year to get drafted high?
I don't think so. I think clubs would view him as a pure midfielder and I think they'd be more inclined to draft him higher if he showed growth in his midfield craft, rather than develop another position. He's a really talented first possession winner at stoppage but aside from that, I'm not sure there are enough other ways he impacts the game yet. So I think if he's to be drafted high this year it will be on the back of him adding some other strings to his bow through the midfield (ie burst from stoppage/class on the outside etc).
 

ModernArtillery

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A few of my notes from the weekend - SANFL U18 Round 3 South Adelaide vs North Adelaide.

I thought I'd share some early thoughts on some of the Vic kids.

George Wardlaw
None of this is ground-breaking stuff, but Wardlaw looks to me like a can't miss prospect already. He's pretty special inside the contest and has all the tools you want from an inside midfielder. He's a strong contested ball winner who hits the footy hard and then powers through the stoppage. He consistently gets his hands free and distributes cleanly to teammates on the outside. He's sneakily quicker than I think he looks, certainly quicker than I initially thought, though admittedly I've not seen him live and am only working from replay vision. His ball use looks to have improved, which I felt was a necessary step for him if he was going to elevate himself to the top of this years pool. He doesn't have to be super classy to be effective, but if he can be a sound decision maker and be able to execute relatively consistently, he'll be a worthy overall number 1 selection. I wouldn't necessarily describe Clayton Oliver as classy, but he's developed into a pretty effective user and I'd hold Wardlaw in a similar category. He's a pretty consensus top 1 or 2 in this years draft at this stage.

Elijah Tsatas
Tsatas is just a superb athlete and a pretty handy footballer too. I get major Josh Kelly vibes watching him, as an outside leaning midfielder with great speed and absolute class by foot. If Wardlaw is 1A, then Tsatas has to be 1B for me. They're pretty hard to split at this stage of the season, but clearly the top two prospects in my (and many others) view. I haven't seen a great deal of Tsatas on the inside but he's probably one of those rare prospects where I don't think I need to see it. I think he's far better utilised on the outside as a first or second receiver, as he just needs an ounce of space and he's gone, and likely hurting you with what he does. If he can prove that he can go when he needs to go and hold up in the contest, then that's all I'd need to see from him and he's not done anything yet to suggest he couldn't do that. Between Wardlaw and Tsatas, I'm going to enjoy watching Oakleigh all year.

Will Ashcroft
I'm not there yet on Ashcroft but I'm sure I'll come around eventually. He gives me flashbacks to a player who burned me from a previous draft, so there's a bit of scar tissue there! It's impossible to question what he does with the ball in hand. He's a good user by foot and really creative by hand. He's capable of cracking in when it's his turn to go but when watching him in isolation, it feels like he tends to hover around the stoppage a little and maybe doesn't have the proactiveness at the contest that I'm looking to see. That might be harsh though. I'm still trying to piece together what his game looks like at AFL level but it's only round 2 of the NAB League, so plenty of time to get there.

I realise I've just spent time on the three most well-known prospects in the country. I'll try and get some more detailed notes up for others over this Easter weekend but a few others that I just wanted to mention now.

I really enjoy the game of Paul Pascu. He's a nice size physically for a midfielder. He's got good strength and he's really capable on the inside but he covers the ground really well too, which allows him to accumulate and have an impact on the outside. He seems to use the ball pretty effectively by foot too. I'd like to see some more burst from stoppage from him. That may already be there, I just need to see more vision of him.

I'll rattle through a couple of Sandringham boys to finish up. I really like Cam Mackenzie. He's a nice size at 187cm (as per NAB League app) and has a bit of class and composure about him. I think he gets good value for his possessions and athletically he has the tools to have an impact on the outside. He's a pretty smooth mover and I like his run and carry. I expect Harry Sheezel to win me over and I think it's only a matter of time before he puts it all together. He's a good athlete and has a real crack in the air. He kicked a nice set shot goal on the weekend where the mechanics (from the replay vision) looked good. I'm not sold on the midfield craft yet, I think at times he looked a little lost and couldn't really work his way into the contest but the tools are there for him to put it together in the forward half. Hugo Hall-Kahan has elite speed, is a really nice size and has a bit of x-factor in the forward half. There's improvement to come in his finishing and defensive application, but another who I think has the tools. I liked the game of Charlie Clarke. He reads the game really well, has great composure with the ball in hand and executes by hand and foot really well. I think he's just a really smart user of the footy and reader of the play. Archie Roberts is a bottom-ager but one to keep an eye on. He's a pretty classy left footer and seems to have a real competitiveness about him that I think bodes really well for next year.
 

briztoon

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A few of my notes from the weekend - SANFL U18 Round 3 South Adelaide vs North Adelaide.

I thought I'd share some early thoughts on some of the Vic kids.

George Wardlaw
None of this is ground-breaking stuff, but Wardlaw looks to me like a can't miss prospect already. He's pretty special inside the contest and has all the tools you want from an inside midfielder. He's a strong contested ball winner who hits the footy hard and then powers through the stoppage. He consistently gets his hands free and distributes cleanly to teammates on the outside. He's sneakily quicker than I think he looks, certainly quicker than I initially thought, though admittedly I've not seen him live and am only working from replay vision. His ball use looks to have improved, which I felt was a necessary step for him if he was going to elevate himself to the top of this years pool. He doesn't have to be super classy to be effective, but if he can be a sound decision maker and be able to execute relatively consistently, he'll be a worthy overall number 1 selection. I wouldn't necessarily describe Clayton Oliver as classy, but he's developed into a pretty effective user and I'd hold Wardlaw in a similar category. He's a pretty consensus top 1 or 2 in this years draft at this stage.

Elijah Tsatas
Tsatas is just a superb athlete and a pretty handy footballer too. I get major Josh Kelly vibes watching him, as an outside leaning midfielder with great speed and absolute class by foot. If Wardlaw is 1A, then Tsatas has to be 1B for me. They're pretty hard to split at this stage of the season, but clearly the top two prospects in my (and many others) view. I haven't seen a great deal of Tsatas on the inside but he's probably one of those rare prospects where I don't think I need to see it. I think he's far better utilised on the outside as a first or second receiver, as he just needs an ounce of space and he's gone, and likely hurting you with what he does. If he can prove that he can go when he needs to go and hold up in the contest, then that's all I'd need to see from him and he's not done anything yet to suggest he couldn't do that. Between Wardlaw and Tsatas, I'm going to enjoy watching Oakleigh all year.

Will Ashcroft
I'm not there yet on Ashcroft but I'm sure I'll come around eventually. He gives me flashbacks to a player who burned me from a previous draft, so there's a bit of scar tissue there! It's impossible to question what he does with the ball in hand. He's a good user by foot and really creative by hand. He's capable of cracking in when it's his turn to go but when watching him in isolation, it feels like he tends to hover around the stoppage a little and maybe doesn't have the proactiveness at the contest that I'm looking to see. That might be harsh though. I'm still trying to piece together what his game looks like at AFL level but it's only round 2 of the NAB League, so plenty of time to get there.

I realise I've just spent time on the three most well-known prospects in the country. I'll try and get some more detailed notes up for others over this Easter weekend but a few others that I just wanted to mention now.

I really enjoy the game of Paul Pascu. He's a nice size physically for a midfielder. He's got good strength and he's really capable on the inside but he covers the ground really well too, which allows him to accumulate and have an impact on the outside. He seems to use the ball pretty effectively by foot too. I'd like to see some more burst from stoppage from him. That may already be there, I just need to see more vision of him.

I'll rattle through a couple of Sandringham boys to finish up. I really like Cam Mackenzie. He's a nice size at 187cm (as per NAB League app) and has a bit of class and composure about him. I think he gets good value for his possessions and athletically he has the tools to have an impact on the outside. He's a pretty smooth mover and I like his run and carry. I expect Harry Sheezel to win me over and I think it's only a matter of time before he puts it all together. He's a good athlete and has a real crack in the air. He kicked a nice set shot goal on the weekend where the mechanics (from the replay vision) looked good. I'm not sold on the midfield craft yet, I think at times he looked a little lost and couldn't really work his way into the contest but the tools are there for him to put it together in the forward half. Hugo Hall-Kahan has elite speed, is a really nice size and has a bit of x-factor in the forward half. There's improvement to come in his finishing and defensive application, but another who I think has the tools. I liked the game of Charlie Clarke. He reads the game really well, has great composure with the ball in hand and executes by hand and foot really well. I think he's just a really smart user of the footy and reader of the play. Archie Roberts is a bottom-ager but one to keep an eye on. He's a pretty classy left footer and seems to have a real competitiveness about him that I think bodes really well for next year.
Who’s the player that burned you from a previous draft?
 

ModernArtillery

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Who’s the player that burned you from a previous draft?
This will definitely come back to bite me. Dyl Stephens was the player. To be clear though, I'm not saying that Ashcroft is Dyl Stephens. I just wonder whether Ashcroft will have similar challenges to Stephens at AFL level.

I thought Stephens' speed and endurance would be far greater weapons for him at AFL level than they've proven to be.

I recall wondering about Stephens, how will his frame allow him to compete inside the contest at AFL level? Does he have the power/speed/strength to get separation at stoppage? How does he fit into a more outside leaning role at AFL level and does that take too much away from what he does well at junior level?

I don't think these are unfair questions to wonder of Will either.

I'm obviously not saying that he shouldn't be drafted or anything like that. I just don't have that clear view of what he looks like at AFL level that I feel I already do with Wardlaw, Tsatas and even Elijah Hewett. Very early days though and a lot can change.

This isn't a hit job on Stephens either. It's still early days in his career, I just didn't quite predict the significance of the challenges that he's had at AFL level and don't want to make the same mistakes with Ashcroft.
 

Davo-27

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This will definitely come back to bite me. Dyl Stephens was the player. To be clear though, I'm not saying that Ashcroft is Dyl Stephens. I just wonder whether Ashcroft will have similar challenges to Stephens at AFL level.

I thought Stephens' speed and endurance would be far greater weapons for him at AFL level than they've proven to be.

I recall wondering about Stephens, how will his frame allow him to compete inside the contest at AFL level? Does he have the power/speed/strength to get separation at stoppage? How does he fit into a more outside leaning role at AFL level and does that take too much away from what he does well at junior level?

I don't think these are unfair questions to wonder of Will either.

I'm obviously not saying that he shouldn't be drafted or anything like that. I just don't have that clear view of what he looks like at AFL level that I feel I already do with Wardlaw, Tsatas and even Elijah Hewett. Very early days though and a lot can change.

This isn't a hit job on Stephens either. It's still early days in his career, I just didn't quite predict the significance of the challenges that he's had at AFL level and don't want to make the same mistakes with Ashcroft.

i had reservations about Dylan Stephens as well, his champs he really struggled to have an impact even though he had a strong rep from playing SANFL seniors, he did eventually have a day out against a weak Allies team with 33 disposals, but i just wasnt sold on him, in 2019 i tended to listen to others a bit more than i should have and put him in my top 10 at the time, its one of the reasons i dont listen to others anymore and just put out my unique lists, if im going to be right or wrong i want it to be on my terms.
 

PMBangers

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Will Ashcroft
I'm not there yet on Ashcroft but I'm sure I'll come around eventually. He gives me flashbacks to a player who burned me from a previous draft, so there's a bit of scar tissue there! It's impossible to question what he does with the ball in hand. He's a good user by foot and really creative by hand. He's capable of cracking in when it's his turn to go but when watching him in isolation, it feels like he tends to hover around the stoppage a little and maybe doesn't have the proactiveness at the contest that I'm looking to see. That might be harsh though. I'm still trying to piece together what his game looks like at AFL level but it's only round 2 of the NAB League, so plenty of time to get there.
I've had similar concerns around Ashcroft, also question his defensive running too but that's an issue fir a few midfielder in this draft. I do think he's got a pretty clear path as a midfielder at the next level though, stylistically I think he's got a lot of Boak about him and wonder if he could have a similar path early days as a Forward that pinch hits
 

briztoon

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This will definitely come back to bite me. Dyl Stephens was the player. To be clear though, I'm not saying that Ashcroft is Dyl Stephens. I just wonder whether Ashcroft will have similar challenges to Stephens at AFL level.

I thought Stephens' speed and endurance would be far greater weapons for him at AFL level than they've proven to be.

I recall wondering about Stephens, how will his frame allow him to compete inside the contest at AFL level? Does he have the power/speed/strength to get separation at stoppage? How does he fit into a more outside leaning role at AFL level and does that take too much away from what he does well at junior level?

I don't think these are unfair questions to wonder of Will either.

I'm obviously not saying that he shouldn't be drafted or anything like that. I just don't have that clear view of what he looks like at AFL level that I feel I already do with Wardlaw, Tsatas and even Elijah Hewett. Very early days though and a lot can change.

This isn't a hit job on Stephens either. It's still early days in his career, I just didn't quite predict the significance of the challenges that he's had at AFL level and don't want to make the same mistakes with Ashcroft.
That’s fair, I don’t have a problem with such comments.
 

ModernArtillery

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I caught South Adelaide vs Sturt in the SANFL U18's on Friday afternoon. Luca Slade and Loch Rawlinson were late outs for Sturt which was a bit disappointing, but it was still great to see some of the South kids live again this year.

Angus Bradley
For those who are familiar with Kobe Ryan, Bradley shares a lot of similar attributes. I really rate his contest work. He reads the ball well at stoppage and is a consistent first possession winner. He loves the tough stuff, whether it's putting his head over the footy and riding the contact or laying a big tackle, he doesn't shy away from any of it. He probably doesn't move through traffic as well as Ryan, but he still has the ability to exit stoppage and have an impact on the outside. His work-rate is high class and he's another one of these midfielders that gets to repeat contests and then works hard into space, allowing him to accumulate the footy around the ground. I wouldn't describe him as a classy user but he's certainly more than competent and consistently executes by foot. Similarly to Ryan, he's not particularly explosive, but moves pretty smoothly around the ground and has solid top speed. Bradley spent some time across half forward and was still able to have an impact on the game. He's crafty around goal and his work-rate allows him to apply good forward pressure. I believe he's a late 2003 birthday, but one to watch nonetheless.

Jack Delean
Jack Delean would probably be close to the most entertaining junior footballer I've seen. He spent some time through the midfield on the weekend and can have an impact there, but it's his work inside 50 that is super elite. He hits the footy at full speed on the lead and tries to take everything in the hands. He's a strong leaper and an incredible contested mark for his size. He's got genuine goal sense and doesn't need many looks at it to takeover a game and can hit the scoreboard in bunches. He's a bit of an antagonist as well. He doesn't mind getting stuck into someone and he's more than capable of laying a big tackle. He's such an exciting prospect because of what he can do up forward, but he's got enough midfield craft to suggest he could be a pinch-hitter through the middle of the ground as well. He's one for next years draft but you'll be hearing a lot about Jack Delean, if you haven't already.

Jaiden Magor
I've been a Magor fan over the past few years but I still haven't quite seen the performances I've expected from his talent. He's a nice size for a midfielder and has genuine ball-winning ability on the inside. He's a capable accumulator and user, especially when given time and space. He's also proven to be able to have an impact as a leading, mid-sized forward. He's above average at drawing free kicks at SANFL U18 level, which he uses to great effect, particularly inside forward 50. It's the four quarter efforts that seem to be lacking from Magor at this stage and it's something that I'd really love to see from him. I'm not sure if that's fitness related or motor/effort/application, but it feels like a challenge that will be important for him to overcome if he's going to have a career at the next level. Physically, he's a nice size for a midfielder. He doesn't seem to have exceptional burst but his frame should offer more strength and power than he plays with. Speed/burst and consistency are probably the two question marks that I have on him at the moment. I know injuries have been a challenge for him over the last few years and perhaps they are contributors to those deficiencies at this stage.

Will Verrall
Verrall is a genuine impact player at stoppage with his ability through the ruck to get first hands to the footy and then follow up and clear the ball. His strength lies in the contest, where he can physically impose himself. He's spent a great deal of time up forward this year and though he's had some success there, it's through the ruck where Verrall's value lies at the next level. He's not much of an accumulator around the ground, so with Verrall you're primarily getting a ruckman that can impact at stoppage.
 

Mutineer

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I caught South Adelaide vs Sturt in the SANFL U18's on Friday afternoon. Luca Slade and Loch Rawlinson were late outs for Sturt which was a bit disappointing, but it was still great to see some of the South kids live again this year.

Angus Bradley
For those who are familiar with Kobe Ryan, Bradley shares a lot of similar attributes. I really rate his contest work. He reads the ball well at stoppage and is a consistent first possession winner. He loves the tough stuff, whether it's putting his head over the footy and riding the contact or laying a big tackle, he doesn't shy away from any of it. He probably doesn't move through traffic as well as Ryan, but he still has the ability to exit stoppage and have an impact on the outside. His work-rate is high class and he's another one of these midfielders that gets to repeat contests and then works hard into space, allowing him to accumulate the footy around the ground. I wouldn't describe him as a classy user but he's certainly more than competent and consistently executes by foot. Similarly to Ryan, he's not particularly explosive, but moves pretty smoothly around the ground and has solid top speed. Bradley spent some time across half forward and was still able to have an impact on the game. He's crafty around goal and his work-rate allows him to apply good forward pressure. I believe he's a late 2003 birthday, but one to watch nonetheless.

Jack Delean
Jack Delean would probably be close to the most entertaining junior footballer I've seen. He spent some time through the midfield on the weekend and can have an impact there, but it's his work inside 50 that is super elite. He hits the footy at full speed on the lead and tries to take everything in the hands. He's a strong leaper and an incredible contested mark for his size. He's got genuine goal sense and doesn't need many looks at it to takeover a game and can hit the scoreboard in bunches. He's a bit of an antagonist as well. He doesn't mind getting stuck into someone and he's more than capable of laying a big tackle. He's such an exciting prospect because of what he can do up forward, but he's got enough midfield craft to suggest he could be a pinch-hitter through the middle of the ground as well. He's one for next years draft but you'll be hearing a lot about Jack Delean, if you haven't already.

Jaiden Magor
I've been a Magor fan over the past few years but I still haven't quite seen the performances I've expected from his talent. He's a nice size for a midfielder and has genuine ball-winning ability on the inside. He's a capable accumulator and user, especially when given time and space. He's also proven to be able to have an impact as a leading, mid-sized forward. He's above average at drawing free kicks at SANFL U18 level, which he uses to great effect, particularly inside forward 50. It's the four quarter efforts that seem to be lacking from Magor at this stage and it's something that I'd really love to see from him. I'm not sure if that's fitness related or motor/effort/application, but it feels like a challenge that will be important for him to overcome if he's going to have a career at the next level. Physically, he's a nice size for a midfielder. He doesn't seem to have exceptional burst but his frame should offer more strength and power than he plays with. Speed/burst and consistency are probably the two question marks that I have on him at the moment. I know injuries have been a challenge for him over the last few years and perhaps they are contributors to those deficiencies at this stage.

Will Verrall
Verrall is a genuine impact player at stoppage with his ability through the ruck to get first hands to the footy and then follow up and clear the ball. His strength lies in the contest, where he can physically impose himself. He's spent a great deal of time up forward this year and though he's had some success there, it's through the ruck where Verrall's value lies at the next level. He's not much of an accumulator around the ground, so with Verrall you're primarily getting a ruckman that can impact at stoppage.
Had a squiz at Jakob Ryan?

He continues to catch my eye, kicking looks next level from what I've seen.
 

ModernArtillery

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Had a squiz at Jakob Ryan?

He continues to catch my eye, kicking looks next level from what I've seen.
Yeah he's a good watch! As you said, he's a really nice kick. He's a good athlete too. Moves really well and can get up and take a grab as well. Super consistent performer and I mean that literally. 3 games so far this year and exactly 28 disposals in each of them!
 

philthy05

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How big is Ryan? He looked big, not just height, frame as well. Looked like he could be a fierce unit in a couple of years or was my perception just off?
 

ModernArtillery

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A few more thoughts on Jakob Ryan. I'm curious to see how he goes against a rise in competition, whether that be reserves level or at the Champs. His performance in the U17's last year against WA was solid but it'll be interesting to see what he can do under pressure with less time and space. He's really been able to roam around and do as he pleases at U18 level this year.

I'm a really big fan of Archie Lovelock. He's one that I would definitely draft with a later selection. I think his skill-set is just so well balanced that he'd just find a way to carve out a career at AFL level. He's really strong on the inside, tough, good tackler and a strong ball-winner. He also has a nice burst of speed and strength to break away from stoppage and he's a really consistent user of the footy. You could play him at either end or roll him through the midfield and I think his game would stand up just fine.

Harry Francis has shown a bit as a forward/second ruck. I prefer him in the forward half where I think his size and athleticism could be an advantage for him. He's a pretty smooth mover and I think there's scope for him to develop as a full forward or centre half forward.

Ashton Moir is pretty exciting to watch. I can't say I've seen too many players kick set shots off both feet the way Moir does. I had to rewind the footage to double check that's actually what happened. He's strong aerially and then competitive on the ground. He's a real nightmare match up for defenders at SANFL U18 level.

Tom Wheaton from South Adelaide is another one to watch for next year. He hasn't quite put together that complete performance yet but he keeps doing a handful of things each game that catches my eye. He's strongly built but moves pretty well. He's strong aerially and really capable of pulling in a contested mark. This makes him a dangerous target inside forward 50. He's good at stoppage and can be a midfielder who wins the footy in tight but uses his strength and power to get separation. He's quickly becoming one of my favourites.
 

PMBangers

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What have you made of Tom Scully to date MA?
 

ModernArtillery

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What have you made of Tom Scully to date MA?
Oh look, he couldn't really do much more at U18 level could he? The question we all probably have is, how much of his dominance can be put down to the fact that most weeks, he's playing on guys 20cm shorter?

When we interviewed him in the pre-season he comped himself to Rory Lobb and I think that's probably about where I view his ceiling. I have some questions over how he'll deal with the physicality of senior footy, as that's something we haven't really seen him deal with yet. I'm not entirely sure if that's due to lack of strength or if he's just not comfortable with the physical stuff (the two could be linked). As a leading, run and jump type key forward, there's certainly a career at AFL level waiting for him because at his size, he's going to be a problem for a lot of key defenders. If he can learn to really impose himself physically in the contest, then his ceiling goes much higher.
 
SA U18 State Team Prediction

ModernArtillery

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Given we've got some predictions of what the Vic teams might look like, I thought I'd offer my thoughts on the SA team.

FF Jack Delean Isaac Keeler Tom Scully

HF Ashton Moir Harry Lemmey Kelsey Rypstra

C Max Blacker Nick Sadler Charlie Duncan

HB Jakob Ryan Brodie Tuck Archie Lovelock

FB Max Michalanney Kyle Marshall Blake Hansen

1R Harry Barnett Kobe Ryan Adam D'Aloia

IC Mattaes Phillipou, Jaiden Magor, Will Patton, Jake Walker, Billy Dowling

Emergencies Will Verrall, Trent Tattoli, Tyson Walls, Shaun Bennier

That forward line is as talented as I've seen SA put out in a while. The thing to watch for me is how well Scully and Keeler compete against the best key position talent from other states. If they compete aerially and bring the likes of Delean, Moir and Rypstra into the game, then that forward line could be really dangerous. I'd expect Magor and Phillipou to spend some time in the forward half as well. Let's hope the midfield can give them enough looks.

The toughest position for me to fill was that second wing spot. I initially had Trent Tattoli in, but I've replaced him with Charlie Duncan, purely because Duncan is draft eligible this year and deserves to get some exposure at the level. There's every chance Rypstra, Lovelock, Hansen, Dowling or J Ryan end up filling that position.

Brodie Tuck probably doesn't make the side as a key forward because of the depth there, but gets his opportunity in defence. J Ryan, Michalanney and Marshall I'd say are pretty much locks. I'm probably the biggest Archie Lovelock fan going around, so I was always going to find a spot for him. He could play anywhere, but gets a spot in defence. Blake Hansen slots into the back 50 to take the kick-ins.

Barnett leads the ruck, with Keeler the likely reliever. I feel K Ryan, D'Aloia and Sadler complement each other quite nicely as the midfielder core, while there's some bigger inside midfielders on the bench that will get their opportunity too.

Phillipou and Magor will rotate through the midfield and up forward. Bottom-ager Will Patton will be part of the defensive group and can take a few different assignments. Walker has won me over as an inside midfielder, but might have to find another role to make this team. It might even come down to one of him and Dowling. In that case, I'd lean Walker despite Dowling's numbers.

Verrall is incredibly stiff and only misses because of the incredible depth in the ruck/forward department. I wouldn't be opposed to shifting Barnett to CHB and playing Verrall as the lead ruck, but that's probably unlikely at this stage. Walls is another with great numbers but probably just misses for me. Tattoli could easily take up one of the wing positions, particularly if Duncan gets the first opportunity and isn't up to the level, while Bennier offers depth as a KPD.
 

PocketRocket08

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Given we've got some predictions of what the Vic teams might look like, I thought I'd offer my thoughts on the SA team.

FF Jack Delean Isaac Keeler Tom Scully

HF Ashton Moir Harry Lemmey Kelsey Rypstra

C Max Blacker Nick Sadler Charlie Duncan

HB Jakob Ryan Brodie Tuck Archie Lovelock

FB Max Michalanney Kyle Marshall Blake Hansen

1R Harry Barnett Kobe Ryan Adam D'Aloia

IC Mattaes Phillipou, Jaiden Magor, Will Patton, Jake Walker, Billy Dowling

Emergencies Will Verrall, Trent Tattoli, Tyson Walls, Shaun Bennier

That forward line is as talented as I've seen SA put out in a while. The thing to watch for me is how well Scully and Keeler compete against the best key position talent from other states. If they compete aerially and bring the likes of Delean, Moir and Rypstra into the game, then that forward line could be really dangerous. I'd expect Magor and Phillipou to spend some time in the forward half as well. Let's hope the midfield can give them enough looks.

The toughest position for me to fill was that second wing spot. I initially had Trent Tattoli in, but I've replaced him with Charlie Duncan, purely because Duncan is draft eligible this year and deserves to get some exposure at the level. There's every chance Rypstra, Lovelock, Hansen, Dowling or J Ryan end up filling that position.

Brodie Tuck probably doesn't make the side as a key forward because of the depth there, but gets his opportunity in defence. J Ryan, Michalanney and Marshall I'd say are pretty much locks. I'm probably the biggest Archie Lovelock fan going around, so I was always going to find a spot for him. He could play anywhere, but gets a spot in defence. Blake Hansen slots into the back 50 to take the kick-ins.

Barnett leads the ruck, with Keeler the likely reliever. I feel K Ryan, D'Aloia and Sadler complement each other quite nicely as the midfielder core, while there's some bigger inside midfielders on the bench that will get their opportunity too.

Phillipou and Magor will rotate through the midfield and up forward. Bottom-ager Will Patton will be part of the defensive group and can take a few different assignments. Walker has won me over as an inside midfielder, but might have to find another role to make this team. It might even come down to one of him and Dowling. In that case, I'd lean Walker despite Dowling's numbers.

Verrall is incredibly stiff and only misses because of the incredible depth in the ruck/forward department. I wouldn't be opposed to shifting Barnett to CHB and playing Verrall as the lead ruck, but that's probably unlikely at this stage. Walls is another with great numbers but probably just misses for me. Tattoli could easily take up one of the wing positions, particularly if Duncan gets the first opportunity and isn't up to the level, while Bennier offers depth as a KPD.
Have a crack at other states teams also. I agree that Fwd on paper looks very talented. Not sure how they will fair against better and taller defenders.
 

ModernArtillery

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Have a crack at other states teams also. I agree that Fwd on paper looks very talented. Not sure how they will fair against better and taller defenders.
I should probably stay in my lane with regards to the other states. I haven't quite done the work yet to comment with any confidence. I'll defer to the other guys on the board for now but will start to share some thoughts in the coming weeks.