Tom Langdon (Sandringham Dragons)
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 84 kg
Position: Outside Midfielder/ Utility
Player Comparison: Leigh Montagna
Strengths: Accumulates the ball, good leader, AFL ready body
Weaknesses: Poor kick
Langdon has had a pretty solid year as a 19 year old. He’s played well in his time at the Dragons and has played four games with the Sandringham Zebras in the VFL. He was selected in the 22 for one of those games and performed well, racking up the ball and having an influence all around the ground.
After being passed up in the AFL draft last year, Langdon came back determined and he’s put in all the hard work. It’s paid off, as he’s certainly not having too many poor games. His biggest downfall is his kicking. It seems to let him down more often than not. He knows where to kick it, but his execution is so inconsistent. It’ll either be spot on or a costly clanger. At the halfway point of the year, Langdon was averaging 11.3 effective kicks, but 8.3 ineffective kicks per game. It’s a serious problem when his best asset is finding the ball on the outside or off the half back.
There is a bright side, he has the body to play as an inside player. He can still use his ball winning ability and he won’t be such a liability in offensive pushes. However, that’s not his natural game and it would take him a while to adjust. Recently he’s played off a half back flank. With short passing and running off the leash, he’s been effective. Players like him have been effective at AFL level. Leigh Montagna and Shaun Grigg are both excellent examples. They can win their own ball and they get plenty of it on the outside. They’re not the most damaging players, but never the less, they can find players who are damaging.
Langdon is a great leader, sharing the co-captaincy with Max Hayes. Dragons’ talent manager Ryan O’Connor chatted to Bound For Glory News writer Nick Ciantar earlier in the year about Langdon. O’Connor was surprised that Langdon didn’t get drafted last year and really rated his leadership.
The extra responsibility has helped him get over the disappointment of last year.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Langdon was selected with pick 50 by Fremantle. Given their recent success with mature-aged recruits such as Michael Barlow, Fremantle have shown they can utilise the talents of older players and transform them into really solid AFL players. While Langdon has his weaknesses, he also has a lot to work with which is what a number of teams should be able to see this time around in National Draft this year.
Whilst Langdon can be a poor kick, the rest of his game is very solid. With his size, he should be able to become a decent AFL player. Any good skills coach should be able to rectify his problem and ensure he isn’t a liability.