Harry Dear (Sandringham Dragons)
Height: 198 cm
Weight: 97 kg
Position: Key forward/ruckman
Strengths: Contested marking, goal kicking, unselfish
Areas of Improvement: Needs to get up the ground more
Player Comparison: Jonathan Brown
Harry Dear is a strong key position prospect that isn’t talked about as much as some of the other Victorian talls. While he might not be top of his grade in any one area, he has a solid base across all the required categories to make it at AFL level.
In saying that, another reason he isn’t talked about as much is because Harry Dear will go to the Hawks as a father-son selection. He is in that second tier of key forwards alongside Kyle Langford, Reece McKenzie and Rory Sheridan-Ferrie and will be a very handy acquisition for the Hawks.
Dear is one of the strongest key forwards in this year’s crop. He is one of the best pack marks and rarely loses a contested marking situation. He averages 1.7 contested marks per game and nearly four marks per game. In comparison to other key forwards, he doesn’t seem to take that many marks. However, all of his marks are quality and inside the forward 50.
He seems to have a good tank, as he doesn’t tire quickly when playing in the ruck. His average of eight hitouts a game doesn’t seem like much. But he’s started playing more in there, and if you remove his first two games with one and two hitouts respectively, he averages a very respectable 11.3 hitouts.
Dear is a brilliant kick at goal. He averages 2.7 goals per game, but he makes the most of his opportunities. He’s kicked 16.3 for the year and many of those have been on awkward angles and from further than 30 metres out. He consistently kicks small bags too. He’s had one four goal game and three hauls of three.
His points of difference are what recruiters will appreciate as a rare bonus. Against the Knights, Dear dropped a difficult mark on the lead, but was able to crumb his own and snap a tight one despite being double teamed. Later in that game, he made an incredible second effort, as he tackled his opponent, stripped him of the ball, fed off the handball, ran hard to get it back and then sent an absolute dart to his team mate in space. He’s hard working, creative, unselfish and has elite vision. His skills are better than most key forwards and he just has a complete game for a ‘man mountain’.
Photo: Harry Dear posing for pre-season club photos
On talent alone, I believe he is easily worth a mid-first-round pick. Any other year and he’d be one of the top two or three key forwards. Hawthorn could probably snag him with their second rounder, but he will be an absolute steal. Keep an eye out for this young son of a gun.