Louis Herbert (North Ballarat Rebels)
Height: 187 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Position: Utility player- rotates between wing, half-back
Player comparison: Kyle Hardingham
Strengths: Skills, versatility, marking
Weaknesses: Impact across four quarters
Being overlooked in last year’s national draft is an unfortunate experience, however for North Ballarat Rebels’ Louis Herbert, his head has remained in the game throughout the 2013 TAC Cup season in a bid to seek redemption. The incredibly self-aware, top-age player has recognized the importance of his own development and has sought to improve his game throughout the year.
The fiery redhead is well adapted to the modern game, where in the cutthroat world of AFL one needs to offer an array of skills and benefits to the team. Herbert’s versatility is a significant standout: once considered comfortable in the one position, his rotation to the wing this season has proven an advantageous strategic choice. Consequently, Herbert’s flexibility across both a forward and defensive position will be a handy addition to any club. Whilst he may not quite have the height to be considered a key tall player to the side, what he lacks in height he makes up for in skills.
His kicking is rarely inaccurate and has the strength behind it to be smoothly cleared from defence or added to the chain of scoring assists. As well, his quick hands are imperative to the speed of the game, helping Herbert in the endeavor to clear the ball and contribute to the flow. Solid marks are a common occurrence in his performance, another skill that has been fine-tuned over the course of his playing career and could edge him above the rest.
In contests, Herbert more often than not comes out on top despite his slim-built frame. Often given the task of closing down key players when in a defensive position, his ability to win the contested ball both- from the ground and in the air- and efficiently dispose of it reflects why he can be depended upon with confidence. Averaging around 25 touches a game throughout the TAC Cup season, it isn’t difficult to fathom his effect on the North Ballarat Rebels. His surprisingly quick pace is another of his handy assets and will be well suited to the big stage in whichever position he is best suited to.
His weaknesses lie in the fact that whilst he contributes to stellar passages of play in each game, he sometimes lapses in consistently making an impact across all four quarters. This is reminiscent of a few other potential draftees this year, thus they must all seek to overshadow this limitation in order to differentiate themselves from the rest. However, Herbert’s maturity combined with his hardworking and intelligent approach to the game and his own development means he has the capability of fixing this up if given the opportunity.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Herbert was selected by Collingwood with pick 48 to play a utility role similar to Tyson Goldsack and plug holes where ever required.
The bright, hardworking utility player faces an integral challenge up against the cream of the crop of this year’s players, yet his personal development thus far has demonstrated that he is more than capable. Whilst he may not be among the highest picks, it would be a shame to see his talents overlooked yet again.