Welcome Welcome to Hawthorn: Josh Ward! Pick 7, 2021 National Draft.

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theiaofseed

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Jun 17, 2019
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I was surprised to see that Walsh only ran a 6:06 in his draft year in the 2km. The thing is he just keeps going at top speed all day. I think Ward will be similar to Walsh in that gut forward and defensive running but not on his level yet. I don't see their similarities inside the contest. Walsh is like a more dynamic Trent cotchin. Ward is maybe like a Merret but nowhere near that level of polish by foot and no where near his speed, Merret is legit quick. Maybe a more grunt version of Merrett. You know, runs harder for longer, but isn't as quick and doesn't kick it as nicely.

No player comp is ever perfect.
Ward is the definition of polish by foot, changes the weight in penetration to suit the situation. I've seen enough of his kicking to make comparisons to Sam Mitchell by foot both have that unique touch.
 

2OLD 2SLOW

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A low risk, ready-to-go midfielder who is one of the very best and most complete players in this draft. His production and impact during the latter part of the NAB League campaign was up there with the play of Daicos.

Strengths:
Skills
Lowers his eyes and places kicks out in front of targets inside 50
Vision
Decision making under pressure
Composure
Go-to-guy around the ground
Contested ball winning
Inside/outside midfield balance
Works hard both ways
Endurance
Work rate
Run and carry with ball in hand
Agility
Acceleration
Rises to the big occasion
AFL ready-to-go game
Production
Consistency
One thing missing off that long, long list - speed of thought (maybe implied by 'Decision making under pressure').
This is a make-or-break trait for on-ballers, given the reduction in time and space at AFL level.
Judging by the metro/country game, Josh is very, very quick in the head - like Merrett and others he has been likened to.

Think he'll be a gun.
 

lyger

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Ward is the definition of polish by foot, changes the weight in penetration to suit the situation. I've seen enough of his kicking to make comparisons to Sam Mitchell by foot both have that unique touch.
I have read in Ward’s draft profiles that he is dual sided. Is his non-preferred kick as good as his preferred? (his highlights don’t show much of this). If it’s anywhere near as good as Sam was, it would be a real weapon. Thanks.
 

Pessimistic

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One thing missing off that long, long list - speed of thought (maybe implied by 'Decision making under pressure').
This is a make-or-break trait for on-ballers, given the reduction in time and space at AFL level.
Judging by the metro/country game, Josh is very, very quick in the head - like Merrett and others he has been likened to.

Think he'll be a gun.
S Mitchell meets J Lewis
 
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CHUBBSS

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Apr 6, 2010
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One thing missing off that long, long list - speed of thought (maybe implied by 'Decision making under pressure').
This is a make-or-break trait for on-ballers, given the reduction in time and space at AFL level.
Judging by the metro/country game, Josh is very, very quick in the head - like Merrett and others he has been likened to.

Think he'll be a gun.
It’s amazing how much better the players around the good decision makers look to, exciting times
 

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Lotus

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I have no idea why I shed tears when I saw his reactions on the draft night. But listening to that interview, watching another interviews, I'm so glad we pick him. What stand out for me is actually his leadership aura/charisma 😊.

Can't wait to follow and support his AFL journey 😊(hoping he can play from round 1 onwards 😬).
 

Blackhawk42

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Oooo idk, i think kicking is deadset so similar with Merrett and Ward, the style and all. Merrett is quicker but even then i feel since last year Ward has gotten quicker and will, he'll push that level on the outside truly believe that. His gut running is Walsh esque, so similar to Walsh as an overall player aswell.

His inside game isn't at the level of Walsh's now but it is similar to what he was in his first year. Better than Merrett there too.
I find Merrett to be more quick of mind than quick over the ground. Not to say he isn't quick, but you don't see him run and carry a lot.

Looking at Wards highlights it appears as though he loves a good run and bounce when he gets the chance. That's where I see the Sloane comparison. Doesn't look fast to the naked eye but he takes the space in front of him and gains a lot of ground once he releases the footy at pace.
 

toomanysquibs

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perfect inside/outside mix
That slick footballing mind and ability to hang outside might see him come into the side a lot sooner than most of us think.

He's clearly high end clever, and an outside role would ease him into AFL footy without needing him to be up to the crash and bash before he's ready.

Not to mention we could do with a super smart, endurance athlete running one of the wings (despite the emergence of Howe, steel of Phillips and likelihood that Bramble is due for a go there along with some of our rebounding defenders).

Definitely wanted other players before him pre-draft (most of whom were already gone), but then I'm on BF and not in the recruiting business.

Best of luck to him, he looks a quality person. That alone will take you far if you have any above AFL average attributes in your kit.
 

William Wonka

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Seems the opposite of what we need / where game is heading with mids with elite footy iq who are also athletic beasts + focus on impact not accumulation. We must think his footy iq is off charts.
The game has really changed very little in over a century.
Good footballers win footy games.
 

sohsam

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I have read in Ward’s draft profiles that he is dual sided. Is his non-preferred kick as good as his preferred? (his highlights don’t show much of this). If it’s anywhere near as good as Sam was, it would be a real weapon. Thanks.
I was not aware of that, I thought Taylor was dual sided, they must be so similar, yet drafted miles apart.
 

The hands of stone

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Rory Sloane
Zach Merrett
Luke Power
Sam Walsh

They're the names being thrown about as similar types. Real workhorses.
When I saw his highlights I couldnt put my finger on who he played similar too.
Someone mentioned Luke Power and I was yep thats it .

One piece of play where he got the ball in the guts fiened a handball wide then straightened back through the corridor , then hits a lead with a beautifully weighted kick .

Cant weight to see it at AFL level .
 

Dominic03

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I find Merrett to be more quick of mind than quick over the ground. Not to say he isn't quick, but you don't see him run and carry a lot.

Looking at Wards highlights it appears as though he loves a good run and bounce when he gets the chance. That's where I see the Sloane comparison. Doesn't look fast to the naked eye but he takes the space in front of him and gains a lot of ground once he releases the footy at pace.
It's why i feel that the 20m sprint Ward did last year unvalues his speed imo. Looks so much quicker than that this year, did he test this year?
 

lyger

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What I love is how quick and creative he is by hand and foot, even under pressure - really really like this pick
And what I also love is that he pushes on and stays involved in the play, and would do that constantly for the whole game.

I didn’t really appreciate his attributes leading up to the draft, but I think we have a gem.
 

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