IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.
Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Swan Districts defender Denver Grainger-Barras, who made his WAFL League debut last year after two impressive performances at the Under 18 National Championships for Western Australia. While his style of play is sometimes that of a defender’s defender, the 195cm prospect is incredibly athletic for his size, and possesses a sound intercept marking game.
Poised to challenge for number one draft pick honours this year, Grainger-Barras burst onto the scene with a solid Under-16 carnival in 2018, but had his outstanding run of achievements cut slightly short last year as a long-term shoulder injury kept him out of action until the 2020 pre-season. Now raring to get back into things, the 18-year-old is set to play a key role in each side he suits up for should he get on the park.
PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:
Speed: 3.08 seconds (Above Average)
Agility: 8.190 seconds (Elite)
Running Vertical Jump: 78cm (Above Average)
Position: Key Defender
2019 WAFL COLTS STATS: 7 games | 10.1 disposals | 3.7 marks | 2.1 tackles
2019 UNDER 18 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS STATS: 2 games | 12 disposals | 7 marks | 2 tackles | 2.5 rebound 50s
Strengths: Reading the play, intercept marking, athleticism, defensive versatility, composure
Improvements: Endurance, offensive output
By: Lenny Fogliani
The bottom-ager was excellent in defence for the Sandgropers, often thwarting many of Vic Country’s attacking forays. Stationed at centre half-back and often opposed to Elijah Hollands, Grainger-Barras accumulated 13 possessions and took eight marks, while Hollands gathered 14 possessions but failed to kick a goal.
By: Peter Williams
Another bottom-age tall who will hold the West Australian side in good stead for next year, he has some neat defensive and offensive attributes. He killed a contest at half-back with a great spoil across the line, and proceeded to be an intercepting defender throughout the game, saving a number of dangerous forward entries by dropping into the hole. Most importantly, he remained composed under pressure and looks like a promising prospect.
By: Michael Alvaro
The Black Ducks key man put in a tough shift in his defensive 50 post, marking or intercepting almost everything that came his way. His hands overhead were exceptional, and he showed a willingness to take the game on with quick exits out of defensive 50. A defender’s defender, the best way to describe his game was solid – as a rock.