Peter Williams’ scouting notes:
#13 Thomas Jok – There are always eyes on over-agers to see how they’ve improved after an extra pre-season and I think Jok has done just that. His disposal is still a little iffy and times and can lack penetration, but he finds the ball a lot easier than last year and has plenty of tricks that clubs can work with as a base. He does occasionally fumble the ball and is not a one-touch player like some, but his evasion and ability to weave through traffic for a bigger midfielder, is quite impressive.
#17 Josh Battle – There’s not a lot many don’t know about Battle, who continues to firm as a first round prospect in my eyes. He is much more than a lead-up, mark and kick goal forward, although he is capable of kicking bags. His intelligence is what sets him apart from other tall forwards. In one example, Battle went to a contest, brought it to ground, recovered quicker than his opponent, but had a split second before being tackled and tapped it in advantage of a smaller forward streaming down. He sees plays before they happen and his intelligence is something that will really attract recruiters in a year that is low on tall forwards. The only knock on him from the weekend’s game was that a couple of times he rushed his set shot, so whether that is a run-up issue or something else, it was the only con from a comprehensive performance.
#52 Tom De Koning – Really liked De Koning as a back-up or partner in crime to Battle. He’s got a very skinny frame, but uses his body well despite the light frame. For a tall bloke he also has good pace and a good turning circle, and what’s more impressive is he’s a bottom-ager. Which means he’ll likely be the number one target up forward for the Stingrays next year and with a bit more bulk could really stand out. Right now at 195cm and 75kg, he has got a lot of body to grow into, but is showing promising signs.
#14 Harry Perryman – Perryman is just so clean with his hands and finds space. It was sometimes almost laughable how much space he put on an opponent and managed to get into the right positions. While he doesn’t find ridiculous amounts of the ball, he makes good decisions and has a high footy IQ. Another one that will be on radars at the end of the year.
#22 Jacob Turner – Before this game, I had not heard much about Turner, but could not have been more impressed with his performance. A 190cm, 95kg forward who moves well, can take marks on the lead or crumbing a pack, he might be one of those draft bolters if he continues his form. Turner continually found his way to the front of a contest and rarely dropped a mark. He also was not afraid to wheel around and play on, or take the game on when required. He’s strong enough to play on the bigger defenders, and quick enough to match it with the smaller ones. Even better, he has a solid set shot routine, which seems reliable and will hold him in good stead for the future. One that has jumped up in my draft calculations.
#26 Luke Robertson – Thought I’d also mention Robertson because he had a few impressive highlights, particularly through the middle quarters of the match. He played off half-back and wing, and was able to break through tackles and take the game on. He seems a line-breaker of sorts and reminded me a little of Connor Menadue. He was not quite as quick as Menadue, but stronger. He is a 189cm, 85kg prospect and another I will be keeping an eye on this year to see how he develops.
#27 Harrison Macreadie – GWS have got a gun on their hands here. He reminds me a little of Matt Scharenberg the way he plays that utlity role on half-back, half-forward or on the wing. He’s mobile for a bigger bloke and is just as strong in the air. He reads the contests well with the flight, similar to a Ben Reid or Alex Rance. But his midfield capability is also strong and he can take on the bigger forwards, play as a loose man, or go down the ground and kick a few goals. He was the stand-out for the Rams on the weekend and is likely to cost the Giants a pretty penny for his services through bidding.