Chris ,could he play on the wing?Hayden Young (188cm, 82kg from Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
The best kick in the draft. In fact, he's the best kick to come through the draft in recent memory. And simplistically, that's about all you really need to know about Hayden Young. After the U18 Championships and the 2019 season came to an end, I doubt Fremantle would have had Young in their thinking. There was no way he should have been available at their first pick, not with his skills. Yet here we are, for some reason it looked like he could still be on the board.
The only reason I can think of why Young isn't a top 5 pick is because teams are factoring in needs, whether it's wanting a tall or wanting someone with breakaway speed. But their loss is Fremantle's gain. The only possible weakness is a lack of midfield game. Young played a bit in the middle to end the season for Dandenong and looked good, and maybe he eventually enters the midfield rotation. Who knows, but for now he's a half back. And as you would expect given his role, he doesn't get on the scoreboard himself...but his scoreboard impact is huge with how he uses the ball off half back.
As a half back, Young is everything you want in the modern game. I'll start with an underrated aspect of his game, and that's his defensive work. He made it a focus this year and it shows, he's not just an offensive weapon. He's also an excellent reader of the ball in the air, he can zone off and intercept with the best of them. But get the ball in his hand and just sit back and enjoy. His left foot is absolutely elite, but so is his vision and decision making. He can make kicks that other's wouldn't even attempt. He trusts his skills and isn't afraid to take a risk, and that's key against zone defenses. He's also a good athlete, winning the agility testing at the Combine and his personal best in the endurance testing would have featured in the top 10 too.
Looking purely at his stats, he's another who has improved his numbers in his draft year too, while losing nothing in terms of his kicking efficiency approaching 80%...
2018 - 15 disposals, 3 marks
2019 - 22 disposals, 5 marks
For me, there is absolutely no doubt that Young is a top 5 prospect and it's crazy to me that he would be available at Fremantle's first pick. I rate Nick Haynes from GWS as one of the best in his position, and I think Young could be even better.
Excuse me a moment.
Yeah I was nervous until Adelaide locked in the pick. Then i was happy because we got to choose from Young and one of Serong or Flanders. Now we just need to get the first pick in the second round for Devon.I was freaking out earlier when it was revealed that Carlton was acting like a woman scorned and trying to trade ahead of our picks to get Young. Absolutely thrilled that we got him. His elite kicking would've been wasted under Ross Lyon, but from what Longmuir was saying earlier today he will let Young play to his strengths.
I don't see how he doesn't play round 1 personally. His kicking is such a weapon we need it in the sideKicking is incredible. We'd have the best possible trifecta of kicks coming out of the backline.
Seems quite lightly framed. Others like Duursma have stepped straight in, so hopefully he can play a bit next year.
Agreed. I am getting more and more excited the more I think about this kids potential and value to the team. I am salivating at the thought of him cutting up that West Coast defense structure with a penetrating kick off HB to an open mid to bust the game open.I remember when Michael Johnson used to nail the risky kicks out of defence and completely open up the play. I always thought it was such an important part of our best years 2012-2015. It’s why Pavlich could always get a 1 on 1.
This kid looks like he will bring that element back and really suit our anticipated more aggressive game style.
The more I think about this pick up the happier I am getting.