Dominic Sheed (Subiaco)
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 82 kg
Player comparison: Brad Ebert
Strengths: Ball winning ability, endurance, decision making
Weaknesses: Lack of speed, no right foot
There has been a great deal of speculation over where Dom Sheed will be picked up on draft day. The smooth moving midfielder put in a fantastic series of performances during the Under 18 Championships, culminating in him being awarded the Larke Medal for the best player in division one despite missing the final match against South Australia with a broken collarbone. While his form has been fantastic this year there are whispers that he will fall much lower than many phantom drafters have him projecting, due to a lack of speed and a tendency to be one paced. This isn’t a major problem as he rarely gets caught but he doesn’t have the explosiveness to break away from the contest.
To offset his lack of athleticism, Sheed is an elite endurance runner. Sheed seems to be everywhere and is always buzzing around the contest. Sheed is dominant at the centre bounces, winning clearances with ease, but he then follows the ball forward or pushes hard defensively to get in the hole in front of the forwards. Sheed pushes forward to great effect, and kicks goals from the midfield due to his high workrate around the ground. This is highlighted in his performance against Vic Country in the Under 18 Champs. Sheed had 29 disposals in a best on ground performance, controlling the midfield all day, but he pushed forward and kicked four goals including a super finish from just outside 50.
Sheed is a prolific ball winner, averaging 27.8 disposals throughout the Champs and 14.3 disposals in the seniors for his WAFL club Subiaco, however he is not particularly damaging by foot. Sheed tends to pick out the less risky option, often hitting up a short option rather than pulling the trigger and going long down the middle of the ground. He is also quite weak on his non preferred right foot. Sheed will often try to turn his man around so he can get onto his left side which can cause problems if the man doesn’t commit to him, usually causing a long and inaccurate kick down the line. When forward of the centre, Sheed tends to find the right option the majority of the time. He is an excellent decision maker and hits up the forwards with ease. There was a reason why he averaged five inside 50s during the Champs and that is because he used the ball the best going into the forward line.
Sheed excels around stoppages and is one of the better clearance winners in the draft this year. He uses his body well to protect the space around the ball drop and feasted off Western Australia’s dominant ruckman Darcy Cameron’s hitouts. He is classy with the ball in hand and doesn’t pick the ball up and blaze away with a quick kick. Sheed uses his excellent vision and is one of those players that seems to be untouchable because he seems to have all the time in the world to pick out a pass or handball from the stoppage.
There is a lot of room for improvement in Sheed’s defensive game. Sheed does many things right, like pushing back into the defensive 50 and putting blocks on around the contest but he has a tendency to hover around the outside of the packs, particularly in the WAFL where the bodies are much bigger. Sheed is not a big tackler and has had just five tackles in four WAFL games this year, and averaged four in the Championships. If he can increase his tackling numbers it will elevate him higher up the draft order, alongside the likes of dominant midfielders like James Aish and Josh Kelly.
Sheed has already played senior football for his club Subiaco, playing four games this year and three last season as a seventeen year old. This gives him an advantage that most others in the draft haven’t had, playing against bigger bodies each week which will help him adjust quicker next year and leaves him more equipped to step straight into AFL.
Sheed is the most complete midfielder in the draft this year. He is not as good on the inside as Matt Crouch, not as silky as James Aish and doesn’t have the kick and outside running ability of Josh Kelly. But what he does have is the ability to play both inside and outside and an elite tank that will help him run all day. You can expect Sheed to go in the first round on draft day and he could even go in the top three.