Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft June Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s May edition of his Power Rankings here:

June is crunch time for AFL club recruiters. They will be analysing every move of the players in the National Under 18 Championships, and, as we have seen in past seasons, players who play well push their names up the order. But for those left out of various squads – the dream is not over with 17 players last year drafted out of the TAC Cup without playing in the National Under 18 Championships for example.

I’ve extended the rankings out to 30 names as well as a five names to keep an eye on during the National Under 18 Championships.

#1 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end. Can play well at either end, reading the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: Brander returned from a minor knee injury to boot five goals for Geelong Grammar in their loss to Brighton Grammar. Brander played school football instead of the Allies’ trial games but will line-up for the Allies in their first game of the Under 18 Championships. Turned it on with a strong third quarter in the ‘Geelong Derby’ between College and Grammar, marking and kicking well under pressure and was a class above finishing with five goals.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is the player most ready to go and could walk into AFL from Day 1 with ease. Is powerful and loves the contested situations. Davies-Uniacke is able to stand up when getting tackled and uses his strength to dispose of the ball.

Last month: Continuing to find a stack of the ball for Haileybury College with multiple 30 plus disposal games playing school football. Had 44 disposals against a weak Geelong College outfit and looks primed to star in the Under 18 Championships. Broke tackles with ease on Saturday against Scotch College and a pinpoint left foot kick to switch the ball into the centre corridor was a highlight.

#3 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 192cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender in the SANFL Under 18 trial and the AFL Academy games. He is probably more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage.

Last month: Fogarty has been playing League football for Glenelg. He has not found a large amount of football, averaging just eight disposals in his last three outings. As expected however, he is winning the ball in the contest, possessing a high contested possession percentage and laying tackles.


#4 Jaidyn Stephenson
?Medium Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 189cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Plays as a tall forward marking target inside 50 despite being medium size. Has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, but plays his best up forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really closing speed.

Last month: Has played predominantly in the midfield for the Ranges and was superb in their win over Bendigo Pioneers. Stephenson had 22 disposals and seven clearances (including four centre clearances) and showed another string to his bow. He laid 13 tackles against Dandenong Stingrays in Round 8 before collecting 26 disposals against Sandringham Dragons on Saturday.


#5 Will Sutherland
?Key Position Forward (Scotch College/Vic Metro)
27/10/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who is a strong overhead mark. Sutherland picks the ball up cleanly from ground level and is very good below his knees. Is smart inside 50 and is willing to block opponents to help his teammates. Has midfield craft and has attended multiple centre bounces at school level. Australian Under 19 cricket captain. Has a tough decision on his hand – think cricket is narrowly back in front compared to this time last month.

Last month: Has recently trained with the Vic Metro squad and has impressed at Scotch College, now selected in the Metro squad for the National Under 18 Championships. Against top-of-the-table Carey Grammar, Sutherland clunked nine marks (five contested) and booted three goals in a standout performance in the first half, before a niggle saw him ineffective and well shut down in the second half. He does have midfield potential – but attended just one centre bounce against Carey but spent a large part of the second half in their clash against Haileybury on Saturday through the midfield. His cleanness below his knees was outstanding on Saturday.

#6 Adam Cerra
?Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on Pick 1 and Pick 2 in 2016 – And Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside, with a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April.

Last month: Cerra has managed a shoulder complain throughout May. He played school football for Wesley against Brighton Grammar on Saturday on ‘managed time’ spending large periods deep forward. Cerra took multiple marks early in the game using his speed to get distance between himself and his opponent. His kicking at goal was poor, where he could have scored three goals before quarter time but didn’t manage to convert his chances.

#7 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray when up forward, his contested marking overhead is another one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup testing and it will be an area that needs to be addressed for him to move into the midfield long term.

Last month: Returned to form for PEGS in their big game against Mentone Grammar in AGSV school football. His contested marking was on show and he was one of the best players on the ground in the victory. Took a hanger for the Jets on Saturday at Oakleigh and was impressive overhead and at ground level.

#8 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro uses his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage is a forward first, ruck second prospect.

Last month: Booted four goals in a quarter for the Ranges – finishing the day with six goals against Gippsland Power. Had 21 hit outs against Dandenong Stingrays as well eight marks (five contested). Kicked the match-winning goal in a low scoring encounter against Sandringham Dragons on Saturday as one of his teams best.


#9 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo and Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst from the stoppages at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands.

Last month: Has been tagged out of a few school football games, but continues to be classy on the outside. Is one that has stalled perhaps a touch in recent weeks, but expect his class to come out when the National Under 18 Championships begin this weekend.


#10 Connor Ballenden
Key Position Forward (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses.

Last month: Finished his Under 18 Academy Series with a strong game against GWS marking well overhead and rucking well. Had a quiet game in the Brisbane Lions NEAFL against Redland – but showed some improve against the Giants with 12 disposals and a goal. He had a strong last quarter in the game in the Allies’ final hit out against Vic Metro, finishing with 19 hit outs to go with his 15 disposals.

#11 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 194cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player.

Last month: Averaged 17 hit outs in the last three games coming into this weekend, but was thrown back as a key defender for the Cannons on Sunday. Looked good before swinging forward to boot two final quarter goals to help Calder to victory. Had an impressive 21 disposal, 17 hit outs and six marks game against Geelong Falcons. Only had five disposals in the Vic Metro trial but his attacking mindset was obvious. Expect him to hold down a key defensive post for Vic Metro in the Under 18 Championships.


#12 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Flys under the radar – but continues to get the job done at all levels.

Last month: Fogarty is continuing to play solid football for St Kevin’s College having to step up with Rhylee West missing games through injury. Played great games against Brighton Grammar and Xavier College, and has been able to deal with copping extra attention.

#13 Jack Petruccelle
?Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 184cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. Wins the contested ball.

Last month: Petruccelle has been outstanding for Northern Knights with his contested ball numbers being very good. Was one of the best in the Knights tight win over Dandenong Stingrays with 20 disposals (17 contested) and four contested marks. Had 20 kicks against Geelong Falcons – but only eight hit the target. Booted five goals against Gippsland Power and was damaging with his elite speed.

#14 Joel Garner
?Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Speedy midfielder who plays well on both the outside and inside. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor. Does need to improve a bit on getting to the right positions to win the football.

Last month: Garner has been playing for okay Scotch College at school football. Surprisingly didn’t play any midfield minutes for Scotch in their game against Carey Grammar or Haileybury, playing the whole game across half forward using a long left foot effectively. Impressively won a two-on-one contest inside 50m against Haileybury, using his smarts to keep his feet and snapped home the goal from 20m out.

#15 Nicholas Coffield
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has all the time in the world with ball in hand. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts strong where he floats around the wins the ball at ease. Not a huge ball user but makes his disposals count.

Last month: Kicked the match winning goal for the Knights against the Dandenong Stingrays, but had two quiet games against Geelong Falcons and Gippsland Power. Won a lot of his disposals in defensive situations but showed his class against the Calder Cannons in the Knights’ loss on Sunday.


#16 Charlie Spargo
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone.

Last month: As one of the Melbourne Grammar best midfielders he continues to get tagged by opposition schools. Was well held against Brighton Grammar, but showed some good lateral movement in the final quarter. Will line up for the Allies this weekend.

#17 Oscar Clavarino
Key Position Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: The best key position defender in the draft pool. Reads the play exceptionally well in defence and held down the key post for Vic Country in the National Under 18 Championships last year as a bottom ager. Very good one-on-one, but was out of his depth and out muscled by the Northern Blues VFL team in the AFL Academy matches. Takes good intercept marks – but his kicking can be shaky under pressure resulting in turnovers in the defensive half of the ground.

Last month: Is playing more up the ground as a centre half back than as a full back for Haileybury College in school football. Disappointingly didn’t intercept the ball at all during the contest and took just three marks for the game – all of which came in the last quarter.


#18 Hunter Clark
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who played across half back for Vic Country in the National Under 18 Championships last year. Decision making and kicking needs work coming out of defence. If he can clean up his kick it will help his draft stocks, but he isn’t a big ball winner. Showed some good signs as an inside midfielder for the Dandenong Stingrays and hopefully has more opportunity there.

Last month: Has improved his ball winning ability moving into an inside midfielder role for the Stingrays. Had 34 disposals, 11 clearances, 10 inside 50s and seven tackles against Northern. Disappointingly the knock of his kicking continues, kicking at 37 per cent and 43 per cent against Oakleigh. His inside game was strong against the Chargers, with 27 disposals (15 contested) and eight clearances. Had 28 disposals in their big win over Eastern Ranges.


#19 Jack Powell
Balanced Midfielder (Ainslie/GWS Academy)
15/07/1999 | 181cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Works hard both ways as a good runner. Kicks it well off his right foot and just does all the right things. His clearance work is good and he is willing to lay tackles to win the ball back. Spreads well from a contest.

Last month: Had seven disposals in his second outing for the season in the Giants NEAFL team. Was solid collecting 16 disposals and three clearances for the Allies in their trial against Vic Metro.


#20 Charlie Constable
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across half back. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but smart and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Continues to be solid across half back and through the midfield for Haileybury College. Was a general in defence for them on Saturday and at times floated back to double-team Will Sutherland inside 50. Reads the play well and is playing good football at the moment. Reckon he could jump up with a good Under 18 Championships.

#21 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 183cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. He defending one-on-one is ok, but is a player who will make his 15-20 disposals hurt the opposition.

Last month: Fought hard for Yarra Valley against Ivanhoe Grammar, having to tag the dangerous Patrick Naish in the second half. Took an outstanding contested mark in the opening quarter, before slotting the goal. Looked great in the Vic Metro trial finishing with 14 disposals and three tackles.

#22 James Worpel
?Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks continue to be on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a first round selection.

Last month: Laid 13 tackles against Oakleigh in a quiet performance at Warrawee Park. 32 disposals, 11 clearances and nine tackles made him standout against Western Jets. He hurt his back against the Northern Knights and the injury has kept him out for a few weeks. Expected to line up for Vic Country this week against the Allies.


#23 Jack Higgins
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who will continuely be scrutinised for his defensive efforts. It was good to see him lay 15 tackles for the Chargers against Bendigo Pioneers and needs to keep this up. He is a big ball winner, but is not damaging with his disposals with a lot of lateral kicks  which do not hurt opposition teams (think Lewis Taylor). Will spent the full year at the Chargers and the midfielder has the ability to find the goals, but does lack some speed. Clearance work is good and he has goal smarts as a small forward. Defensive efforts improving.

Last month: Collected 28 disposals and had four score assists against GWV Rebels, but disappointingly kicked at 42 per cent. Had 20 disposals and booted four goals against Dandenong Stingrays in a predominantly forward game. Clunked seven marks, including two contested. Laid seven tackles and kicked three goals against Murray.


#24 Matthew Ling
?Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 182cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and may end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner. Another player I think could push for top 10 in coming months.

Last month: At times has juggling playing school football on Wednesday’s before backing up on weekend’s for Geelong Falcons. Had 27 disposals in a superb performance at Simonds Stadium against Northern Knights in round seven. Ended his Vic Country trial game with his calf iced – but it didn’t look too serious.

#25 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 194cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield.

Last month: Had a quiet game in his most recent South Australia trial but has returned to the South Adelaide Under 18 side kicking five goals in the last two weeks. Had 21 disposals, clunked nine marks, laid nine tackles and booted the ball inside 50 on nine occasions in a standout performance against Sturt. Laid seven tackles on Saturday in South Australia’s big win.


#26 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces. Is a player that could be pushing for top 10 this time next month – But I have not seen enough of him live to push him up there this early.

Last month: Been superb for Geelong Grammar in APS school football. This year he has booted bags of five and seven playing through the midfield and pushing forward using his speed. His bag of seven was pivotal in their three-point win over Wesley. Cracks in hard for his school giving his all.

#27 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot. Covers the ground well.

Last month: Was simply outstanding for Ivanhoe Grammar booting seven goals against Yarra Valley Grammar. He booted three in the opening quarter, attending a good chunk of centre bounces throughout the game. Ryley Stoddart did a gutsy job of tagging him in the second half. Booted a few goals against Mentone against a light tag – but it was not one of his better games.


#28 Andrew McPherson
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 186cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back with McPherson just keeps getting the job done. He showed promise in the National Under 18 Championships last year. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence.

Last month: Collected 15 disposals against Glenelg in the SANFL Reserves but suffered a quad injury and has not played since – missing the recent South Australia Under 18 trial. Should be fit for round one this weekend.

#29 Andrew Brayshaw
?Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus has started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out. He makes his disposals count and is effective.

Last month: Was one of Haileybury’s best in their win against Xavier, but will miss a few weeks with a quad strain. Showed off his leadership traits on Saturday despite being injured – firing up the ‘Bloods’ who were trailing at Half Time on Saturday against Scotch College.


#30 Toby Wooller
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
16/03/1999 | 193cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Strong forward who can play as a key position target, but seems destined as a third tall at the next level. Marks the ball well and is a solid set shot on his right foot. Has pushed up into the midfield and won a few clearances for the Chargers as of late. A player who has the ability to kick multiple goals in a short burst in a game.

Last month: Collected 21 disposals against the Rebels in round six, playing a good number of midfield minutes. Took eight marks against Dandenong Stingrays and was impressive. Laid seven tackles in a good game against Murray Bushrangers, where he booted three goals.


Oscar Allen
Medium Utility (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg

Scouting notes: Medium utility who can play at either end. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Reminds me a bit like Luke Ryan from Coburg last year when in defence. Likely to play Centre Half forward for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships. Good decision maker and impressive inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia. Think clubs see him as the only Western Australian that could break into the first round.

James Bell
Outside Midfielder (Sydney Swans Academy/Allies)
10/02/1999 | 183cm | 75kg

Scouting notes: Lively half forward who can push onto a wing. Was impressive in the Allies trial game against Vic Metro collecting 19 disposals . Right footer who showed some good snippets in the Under 18 Academy Series.

Mitch Crowden
Outside Midfielder/Small Defender
28/04/1999 | 174cm | 82kg

Scouting notes: Has been playing consistently at League level in the SANFL. Distributes the ball well on his left foot coming out of defence and should perform well in the Under 18 Championships for South Australia. Is strongly build despite his size and hasn’t looked out of place at League level.

Gryan Miers
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
30/03/1999 | 177cm | 73kg

Scouting notes: Small inside midfielder who can play forward and through the inside midfield. Has clean hands which helps him clear the ball. Is a smart footballer and his good agility helps him weave through the packs. Kicking technique does need a few minor tweaks. Looks not too similar to Luke Dahlhaus in appearance.

Thomas North
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
14/02/1999 | 186cm | 87kg

Scouting notes: Wins the ball on the inside and spreads well from the contest. Finds plenty of the football and uses his good agility to get around them in the stoppages. A nice clean kick that could rise into the top 20 as the season progresses.

GOT a question for Matt? Or want to know more? Send him a Tweet @MattBalmer7 or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


  1. what about Callum Coleman Jones? he was top 15 at the start of the year. no where to be seen now? what’s happening there ?

    1. I’ve never had him in consideration for my top 15 at all this season or late last year when forecasting ahead. For me kicking needs some work. Good contested mark, but was quiet in the AFL Academy games. Disadvantaged some what being a South Australian – but if he shows good form at the U18 Champs he’ll jump in there.

  2. Hi Matt,
    I see Ryley Stoddart played a different positional role for Yarra Valley Grammar on the weekend against Camberwell. He played the majority of the game across half forward and finished the game with 7 goals 2 behinds.
    Possibly another versatile string to his bow?
    Good to see him rising up the rankings.

    1. Camberwell are arguably the weakest in the AGSV – Struggling to fill their side with competitive players. Stoddart is a player I’ve got plenty of time for and am a big wrap. Plays like Kade Simpson across half back or on the wing with his really good left foot kick. Watched him fight hard and tag Naish early in May and was impressed with his work rate. Impressive showing booting seven goals.

    1. For me kicking needs some work ‘Jake’. Good contested mark, but was quiet in the AFL Academy games. Disadvantaged some what being a South Australian – but if he shows good form at the U18 Champs he’ll jump in there.

    1. Always tough for those 19-yr-olds who come back and play. It was unlikely he would get drafted last year and I think it is the same this year. Just doesn’t have ‘elite’ traits that clubs are looking for. Not sure how many games he will play for Vic Metro – but I think it’s likely he’s overlooked again.

    1. Harry’s played some good games for the Falcons lately. Hopefully gets a chance for Country. Think he would be worth a late pick- but it’s very early days and a lot can change.

    1. Has been good up forward – like him more of a forward than a ruck. But don’t expect him to be a ‘high’ pick at this stage. There’s a good statistic that forwards not drafted in the top 25 generally don’t make it at AFL level, so you see most teams either take them early or they go in the rookie draft.

    1. Tom Boyd was impressive in the Vic Country trial, showing good signs. Oakes I haven’t noticed much in the games i’ve seen of Murray.

  3. I have heard LDU is a Clayton Oliver clone, except he has more mature afl ready body than Oliver. People who have watched him consistently at hailbury say he could have same impact as Oliver. I know u hate player comparisons matt, would u agree with what I have stated and heard d?

    1. Yep I think that’s a solid comparison. Oliver was always going to need a preseason to ‘trim’ down – but I reckon Davies-Uniacke could walk in from Round 1 and a few clubs have said that to me that they would expect him from Round 1. Genuinely good chance for Pick 1.

  4. Just interested on your thoughts on Louis Cunningham from the chargers. Watched him play in the vfl on Saturday, and looks as if he has enough traits to get picked, even though he is a top Ager.

    1. I really liked him last year and had him rated inside my top 50 but he was overlooked. Nice left foot and rebounds it well out of defensive 50. Haven’t had a chance to watch his VFL game yet but sounded positive. Hasn’t been great at the TAC Cup this year – so happy for him with a solid game on Saturday.

    1. I wouldn’t expect so – more likely a 2nd rounder at this stage. The top 5 next year arguably will be all talls at the moment with names such as Max King, Ben King, Jack Lukosius just some who should make up that Top 5-10 players. Will watch Scott closely in the Under 18 Champs – as did some good things in the Allies’ trial game a few weeks back.

    1. Had a knee complaint so didn’t play – should be right to play in Round 3 (as Country have a bye in Round 2).

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