WESTERN Australia looks set to have an excellent pool of possible draftees in 2019 and 2020, after the 28-man Western Australia AFL Academy squad was announced. Swan Districts have the most representatives with six, while East Fremantle and Perth have five apiece. The side will be coached by former West Coast spearhead Peter Sumich, and their first camp will be from December 10 – December 15. Below are the five notable players from Western Australia for the 2019 AFL Draft.
JACK BULLER – CLAREMONT
A competitive and aggressive ruckman who is excellent at ground level, Buller was WA’s main ruckman in 2018 and he handled the responsibility with aplomb. Despite only being 196cm, Buller competed hard in the ruck contests and once the ball hit the ground, he transformed into a big-bodied midfielder. In four games for WA, he averaged 14 possessions eight hitouts, four marks, and three tackles, while in five games for Claremont, he booted eight goals and averaged 10 possessions, four hit-outs, three marks and two tackles.
RHAI-ARN COX – EAST PERTH
A dynamic small forward with plenty of tricks, Cox made a name for himself with a goal after the siren to secure victory for WA over Vic Country in last year’s AFL National Under 16 Championships. He had a decent year with East Perth in 2018, averaging 13 possessions, four marks, three tackles and booted 15 goals from 11 games.
LUKE JACKSON – EAST FREMANTLE
The former Australian junior basketball sensation is an athletic ruckman with excellent follow-up work and has already drawn comparisons to West Coast star Nic Naitanui. In two games for WA, Jackson averaged 16 possessions, 13 hit-outs, four marks, four inside 50s, three clearances and three rebounding 50s. In four games for East Fremantle, he averaged 12 possessions, 20 hit-outs and four tackles.
DEVEN ROBERTSON – PERTH
The nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass, Robertson has made a name for himself as a bullocking inside midfielder. In just five games for Perth’s Colts team, the 2017 WA U16s MVP winner averaged 28 possessions, seven tackles and three marks to finish sixth in the Best & Fairest. He was also excellent for WA, averaging 14 possessions and seven tackles.
JEREMY SHARP – EAST FREMANTLE
The 2018 AFL Under 18s All-Australian is a composed and skilled outside midfielder, not too dissimilar to former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo. For Western Australia, he averaged 18 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and two rebounding 50s across four games, while in seven games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, he averaged 19 possessions and five marks.
WA’S STATE-BASED AFL ACADEMY SQUAD:
Jack Buller – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Anthony Davis – Claremont/Hale School/Borden FC
Liam Henry – Claremont/Christ Church Grammar School/Cottesloe JFC
Joel Western – Claremont/Western Tigers/Subiaco JFC
Luke Jackson – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trent Rivers – East Fremantle/Bullcreek-Leeming JFC
Trey Ruscoe – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Booragoon JFC
Jeremy Sharp – East Fremantle/Aquinas College/Attadale JFC
Brandon Walker – East Fremantle/Kardinya Kats JFC
Rhai-Arn Cox – East Perth/Mt Hawthorn JFC
Jack Sears – Peel Thunder/South Mandurah FC
Tyrone Thorne – Peel Thunder/Rockingham JFC
Deven Robertson – Perth/Aquinas College/Manning JFC
Elijah Taylor – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Bailey Smith – Perth/Thornlie JFC
Mitchell Georgiades- Subiaco/Hale School/Wembley Downs JFC
Nicholas Martin – Subiaco/Trinity College/Noranda JFC
Jermal Daly – Swan Districts/South Hedland
Riley Garcia – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Denver Grainger-Barras – Swan Districts/Kalamunda JFC
Jake Pasini – Swan Districts/Caversham JFC
Ty Sears – Swan Districts/South Bunbury FC
Zane Trew – Swan Districts/Hills Rangers FC
Ryan Hudson – West Perth/Scotch College/Kalannie FC
Michael Mallard – West Perth/Wanneroo JFC
Jaxon Prior – West Perth/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC
Logan McDonald – Perth/Aquinas College
Nathan O’Driscoll – Perth/Northam Saints