Welcome Welcome to Hawthorn: Connor MacDonald!! Pick 26, 2021 National Draft

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Hall of Famer
Mar 23, 2007
Where Premiership dreams are made...
AFL Club
Other Teams
Man U, Canucks and 49ers
McDonald will be an interesting watch.

Dosn't appear to have any elite physical tools ie. speed , size, elite endurance, cannon for a leg etc.

Making it at the top level is such a fine line for players like him.

The difference between a Jordan Lewis and a Ryan Bastinac comes down to execusion.

He will need to be an excellent decision maker and hit targets.

Looks a ball magnet and smart user. I am keen to see him strutt his stuff against men in the VFL.

Think he does...

SNAPSHOT: "An accumulating inside ball-winner who produced an outstanding season for the Stingrays, able to catch the eye with his stoppage work and athleticism, as well as defensive pressure."

Connor Macdonald is an inside midfielder with a speedy burst out of congestion and some nice all-round athleticism. With some terrific inside skills, as well as his decision making generally being on-point, it is more about ironing out Macdonald's kicking and finishing execution than anything else. With the Dandenong Stingrays this year he picked up no less than 24 disposals from his four games, including two matches of 30-plus disposals in what was an outstanding showing of consistency, catapulting himself into draft calculations.

+ Acceleration
+ Stoppage positioning
+ Accumulation
+ Inside game
+ Athleticism
+ Tackling

- Kicking consistency
- Finishing

Macdonald looms as a value pick for an inside midfielder from the second round onwards, given his traits and potential areas of improvement. At home around the stoppages, Macdonald is able to pick the right places to stand to win the ball, with his stoppage positioning among his key strengths. From winning the ball, Macdonald is most effective bursting away and firing off a long handball or flicking one to a teammate in a better position, with his decision making also sound. His burst makes him very hard to contain at the stoppages, and is a first possession player, but can think his way out of a stoppage.

A lot of Macdonald's ball is won in close, which automatically adds extra pressure to his disposal. When using it by hand, Macdonald is able to effectively open up the game, whilst by foot, he can hit targets, but at times blazes away and can overcook the kick. Within games Macdonald can look to be efficient by foot, and is best when having time and space to utilise his booming kick, but over a full game, the Stingrays midfielder still has strides to make in order to improve that area of his game. Similarly, his finishing when he sets his sights on goal could use some work, kicking 3.7 from his four games and having plenty of chances, but missing more or equal to his successful shots in each NAB League game.

From a defensive standpoint, Macdonald is a fierce tackler whose 12-tackle game against the Rebels perhaps bolstered his average considering he laid seven in the other three games combined. However, he had to go up against the fierce Rebels midfield in that match, whilst had more freedom in the other games. Switching from a defensive to an offensive standpoint, Macdonald has no trouble finding the ball and looking to drive it in transition, being a kick-first player and one who racks up the inside 50s with ease. If he irons out that kicking consistency going forward, he could be a really damaging player in the future.

Connor Macdonald is an accumulating inside midfielder who has a nice blend of offensive and defensive traits. At his best, Macdonald is a run and carry player who can pump the ball inside 50 and be a valuable option in transition. His kicking and finishing execution, or finesse if you like, could definitely be ironed out, but from a big picture perspective, the Stingrays midfielder has enough about him to suggest to clubs he can improve and be a potent threat on offence.

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