Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft July 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 (This update is conducted post the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships). 

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

The NAB AFL Under 18 Championships have come and gone with players pushing their names up boards – but disappointing there was probably more that pushed their name down with some average performances across the board. Players will now go back to their clubs and schools, applying their trade with clubs narrowing down their lists and focusing in on certain players. Finals are heavily scrutinised, as will be the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game at Punt Road Oval on Grand Final Eve.

I’ve extended the rankings out to 35 names and whilst the depth of the draft pool is expected to fall post Pick 30 – there will still be decent talent on the board in the first and second round.

#1 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 combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is 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: Rayner averaged 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances and booted 12 goals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for Vic Metro. Rayner’s bursts are outstanding and can clunk marks overhead inside 50 – often isolated deep from the Metro coaches. His game against South Australia was impressive, collecting 16 disposals, seven marks and booting an equal match-high 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 one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from Day 1 with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball.

Last month: Begun the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships with 34 disposals and 10 marks in a strong showing against the Allies. Returned to school footy and copped plenty of attention from the Carey midfielders who went hard at him whenever they could. Was on fire in the opening quarter and a bit in the ‘Vic derby’ with a superb centre clearance goal in the second quarter. Averaged 22 disposals for the carnival, but disappointingly left clubs questioning whether he is the contested bull some thought – averaging just 30% of his possessions in the contest.

#3 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 and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships after suffering a shoulder niggle in May.

Last month: Cerra’s pinpoint pass to Lachlan Fogarty in Vic Metro’s second game set the standard for a strong NAB AFL Under 18 Championships from the Wesley College lad. Cerra averaged 18 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s as an important player in the midfield. He starred in Vic Metro’s opening win against Western Australia with 24 disposals (14 contested), six clearances and five tackles.

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

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 football is probably the leading option and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him down at Sandringham Dragons training post the APS school season if football is his decision. Expect a decision soon.

Last month: Made his debut for Vic Metro against Vic Country and showed some promise inside 50. Whilst he didn’t have a standout performance, he showed his traits (such as his cleanness below his knees) and finished the carnival with five goals. Laid 10 tackles in his three games and showed off some aggression inside 50 getting in the face of opponents.

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

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. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Had an excellent carnival despite averaging under 20 disposals for Vic Country. Dow’s clearance work was superb, averaging five per game where he used his burst to get away from the contest and take the ball forward. Finally had a chance to see him live on multiple occasions and he’s certainly in the mix for a high selection.

#6 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 where he reads 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: Started the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships in defence but finished with the performance that everyone was waiting for with 16 disposals, nine marks and three goals up forward against Vic Metro in Round five. Averaged five marks per game and was a solid performer  earning himself All-Australian honours. One criticism however was that whilst his numbers were impressive, Brander was often manned by a Metro medium defender who wasn’t adapt to playing as a key position defender in the final game.

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

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender.

Last month: Had an outstanding NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 22 disposals and four marks. Was often charged with a role as a general defender and rebounded the ball well with efficient numbers on his right foot. Played more across half forward in the final game against the Allies and had a match-high 29 disposals.

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

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. 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 has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Was left out of Vic Metro’s opening game of the season and collected over 30 disposals against Carey Grammar playing in the midfield for Haileybury. Was called up for Metro’s game against Vic Country and was best-on-ground with 31 disposals and six inside 50s, in a role across half forward and through the midfield. Was a deserving All-Australian member and has pushed himself well into top 10 calcuations.

#9 Jaidyn Stephenson
?Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder (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 or play as a high half forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed.

Last month: Begun the carnival with two underhwhelming games across half forward and on the wing – but bounced back with an outstanding match against South Australia. Stephenson had 28 disposals and booted five goals, showing off his trademark dash. Only took 10 marks for the carnival, playing more as a flanker than as a third tall.

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

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 at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: The Vic Metro captain was one of the more consistent players throughout the carnival after an ok start to the season at school football level. Garner controlled the play across half back and rebounded it well on his left foot. His best game saw him collect 24 disposals (12 contested) and nine marks in a strong second half performance in the Vic derby.

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

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using 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 I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool.

Last month: Had 67 hit outs for the carnival playing most of the carnival in the ruck, but was used as a forward in their final match against the Allies, where he showed off his good marking ability down low and booted two goals.

#12 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (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 at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage.

Last month: Had an underwhelming carnival averaging just the 11 disposals and three marks. Fogarty was deployed at all ends of the ground and his stints in the midfield didn’t suggest that it may be his role at the next level. His energy looked down and only showed off his strong tackling in bursts. Whilst he did have 16 disposals against Vic Country playing across half back, his defensive efforts weren’t to a standard expected of a player who some touted as a possible no.1 selection.

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

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 and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. 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: Was locked in to playing as a tall defender for Vic Metro and showed some moments enough to suggest it is worth persevering. Balta often pumped the ball out of defence on his right foot, but did rush a few kicks. His closing speed was good in the defensive 50, and I hope it’s a position Calder persevere with.

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

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, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Had some flashy moments that suggested if Ling can put it all together he is going to be a very good player on the outside. In the opening quarter of Country’s game against Western Australia, his agility was on show and included a run down tackle on the wing. His a neat left foot kick went at 100 per cent efficiency against Vic Metro in the ‘Vic derby’. Averaged 14 disposals and four marks throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

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

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball but isn’t overly damaging with a lot of lateral kicks that don’t hurt opposition teams. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is good and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Was the deserving Vic Metro MVP after being the leading disposal winner (109) for the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. 49 per cent of his possessions came in contested situations and he pushed forward and booted six goals. He averaged six tackles and six marks throughout the carnival and was close to winning the Larke Medal. His first half against Western Australia in Round two was super with 22 disposals, seven clearances and two goals.

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

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. His contested ball numbers are very good (over 50 per cent).

Last month: A quiet carnival mostly playing on the flanks due to Metro’s strong inside midfield brigade, averaging a touch under 10 disposals per game. Petruccelle missed the ‘Vic derby’ but went back to TAC Cup level to win 19 disposals and seven inside 50s. He went at 60 per cent by foot throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and he did make some poor executions in their final game against the Allies. Looked more comfortable in the contest, rather than on the outside.

#17 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressive inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as the first WA player selected.

Last month: Won the Larke Medal as the best player in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Allen averaged 15 disposals, six marks and booted 11 goals throughout the carnival. His marking was impressive and his work at ground level was good. Took a nice mark a few players deep tight on the goal line against Vic Country and slotted the goal. One to watch closely in the second half of the year as he pushes into first round contention.

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

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside 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: Missed the first NAB AFL Under 18 Championships round as a late withdrawal with a knee issue. Had just the two disposals in the first half against Vic Metro, but a strong second half showing saw him finish with 18 disposals. Struggled to win his own ball throughout the carnival, with just 15 per cent of his possessions in the contest. Used his voice well around the ground but had a down carnival on what was hoped.

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

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 but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: The Tigers father-son prospect averaged 21 disposals – but with just a contested possessions percentage of 20 throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Only five of his 14 kicks hit the target against the Allies, where he made some bad errors by foot in the defensive half of the ground. Has a long right foot kick and he did show off his dash coming from defence.

#20 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #10

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. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: Started up forward for the Allies with just eight disposals and three marks in their first game against Vic Country, but then played predominantly as a ruckman against South Australia in their second game. Balenden made a full move to defence in their third game and played the final two matches there. His intercept marking was good and with the ball in hand he was willing to roost it 50m on his right foot. Despite some good signs in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, I don’t think the backline is his position at the next level and I still like the idea of him coming out of the goalsquare.

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

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: Missed Vic Metro’s first game against Western Australia coming back from a groin injury but still managed to make the All-Australia team. Fogarty averaged 19 disposals and nine tackles playing across half forward and in the midfield. Has a decent burst of speed and is agile enough to get around his opponents.

#22 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times.

Last month: The Western Australia co-captain won All-Australian honours for his strong role in defence. Naughton averaged 15 disposals and four marks as a rock in defence. His usage on his left foot whilst it looks awkward, managed to hit the target on majority of occasions.

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

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: Returned from a quad injury against South Australia with 20 disposals off just 57 per cent game time. Had 22 disposals (12 contested) against the Allies and brought the ball inside 50 on five occasions – playing across half forward and in the midfield. Could see him pushing into the first round with a good second half of the season at school and TAC Cup level.

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

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Isn’t a big ball winner, but showed good promise on the inside for the Dandenong Stingrays. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can seperate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: I was disappointed to see him play mostly in defence as he had shown some good signs on the inside for Dandenong. Had a few errors by foot throughout the carnival but his kicking efficiency of 72.5 per cent was promising considering it has been well below that throughout the TAC Cup. Averaged 15 disposals in the carnival and hopefully will move back into the midfield for the Stingrays.

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

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 and isn’t a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off.

Last month: Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson, with Stoddart playing as a small defender in the Vic Metro squad. Averaged 12 disposals throughout the carnival and did a decent job in the final game of the carnival on Allies’ Adam Sambono when they were manned up – but unfortunately lost Jack Hardman at the last contest. Weaved through traffic well in the final game with his link up work by hand very good.

#26 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 196cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #25

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: Finally got his opportunity in Round four of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and was the shining light in South Australia’s loss to Vic Metro. Playing up forward, Kreuger had 16 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s and booted a goal. Didn’t play after half time in the final game, nursing a sore cheek after copping a knock in a tackle.

#27 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: One of the players stiff to miss out on winning their respective team MVPs, but did make the All-Australian team. Bailey averaged 17 disposals, four tackles and three clearances per game in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His burst from the centre bounce to win the final clearance in the last few minutes against Vic Metro – was a key reason for their unexpected victory.

#28 Jackson Edwards
Outside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
11/10/19999 | 185cm | 77kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: The son of Tyson is eligible for father-son to Adelaide at the end of the season. Possesses a nice clean left foot on the outside where he plays his best across half back or on the wing. At times he could be a bit more damaging with his disposals, rather than finding the safe target short.

Last month: Averaged 24 disposals (32 per cent contested) and four marks through the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Kicked at 60 per cent efficiency, but was let down by his poor game by foot against the Allies where just three of his 10 kicks were effective. Finished the carnival off well with 30 disposals, 19 handball receives and seven marks against Vic Country.

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

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: Won the Vic Country MVP, averaging just under 20 disposals for the carnival. Laid 33 tackles in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships – ranked number one. Also averaged four clearances and four inside 50s throughout the carnival and was an impressive player earning All-Australian honours. His kicking has been an area of concern early in the season, but at times he did seem to compose himself for a period and find a target. Worpel kicked at 62 per cent in the carnival and did on occasions ‘bomb’ the ball forward.

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

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. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Had 18 disposals and four marks in the Allies’ opening game of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Spargo suffered a shoulder injury in the clash and since then has had surgery which will put him out for the remainder of the season.

#31 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed.

Last month: Was one of Vic Metro’s more impressive players throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 23 disposals (11 contested), three clearances and three inside 50s. Moore made the All-Australian team and is a number of Eastern Ranges players in contention to be drafted.

#32 Harrison Petty
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 194cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead.

Last month: Petty was named in the All-Australia team after winning South Australia’s MVP. Petty averaged 12 disposals, four marks and three rebound 50s playing as a key defender. His best game came against Vic Metro where he had 18 disposals, seven marks and six rebound 50s.

#33 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Averaged 10 disposals (six contested), three tackles, three inside 50s and booted four goals for South Australia in the carnival. Was impressive with four goals from nine touches against the Allies and showed some promise to suggest he’s worth keeping an eye on in the second half of the year.

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

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the NAB AFL 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. The AFL Academy member has dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Last month: Was expected to play a role in the final two games of the of NAB AFL Under 18 Championships but was ruled out with his quad injury, not wanting to be risked by South Australian coach Brenton Phillips after pulling up sore after their final training session.

#35 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has booted 17 goals in the last four games after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years.

Last month: Booted two goals against Xavier College in Brighton Grammar’s loss, before making his TAC Cup debut with Sandringham Dragons. Murphy had 28 disposals, eight marks and six rebound 50s in a promising debut against Geelong Falcons playing as a medium defender. Had some good moments in the poor conditions at Casey Fields on Saturday against Gippsland Power.

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


Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *