- October 7, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "Classy midfielder who glides well around the ground and may have been the No.1 pick if he had a full season of football"
Adam Cerra burst onto the scene as an Under 16 playing in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup Grand Final loss in 2015. Fast forward two years and Cerra has battled through numerous injury concerns but is all the talk as a possible top five selection in the 2017 National AFL Draft. Cerra is a smooth moving midfielder, who can play inside and outside in the midfield, win the contested ball and use it effectively. Cerra carried a few niggles during the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, before a shoulder injury saw him ruled out for the remainder of the season soon after the conclusion of the carnival, which required surgery. His character is superb and it was pleasing to see Cerra sitting alongside the Eastern Ranges coaches in the TAC Cup Elimination Final – no doubt having some input as such his footballing IQ.
- Contested ball
Cerra has a very good right foot kick and he is effective when spreading from a stoppage. Whilst his TAC Cup kicking efficiency of 50 per cent appears low – his clash against Northern Knights in the rain at Preston City Oval saw him kick at just 50 per cent, with three clangers, with a large chunk of his ineffective kicks being off his left foot.
Cerra’s contested ball numbers are very good, suggesting he will likley transition into an inside midfielders role in years to come. In his four TAC Cup games, Cerra had a greater than 50 per cent contested possession percentage – Cerra also had 32 contested possessions, while during the National AFL Under 18 Championships, where he was utilised in multiple roles, including across half back.
Cerra’s agility in the midfielder is noticeable, where he moves so well on his feet and is able to change direction and get around his opponents. Even under a large amount of pressure, he is able to get around and dish a ball out to another player.
Cerra’s upside is enormous – having had multiple injuries over the last two years. In 2016 if was a knee injury that kept him out for most of the season, playing just two games for the Ranges – while this year he carried a knee niggle early in the year and had to have shoulder surgery soon after the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. If Cerra can have a clean bill of health over the preseason and in his first season of AFL football – there’s no doubt he can push on as a footballer and show how much improvement he has in him.
- Injury durability
An area that could improve is his speed. Compared with some of the other inside midfielder in the draft pool – such as Paddy Dow, he is slightly slower over 20m. Cerra’s 20m sprint time in the 2017 TAC Cup Preseason testing was 3.051 seconds. A clean bill of heath might help Cerra really improve this in the preseason and during his first year on an AFL list.
The question marks will be on Cerra and his durability. His shoulder surgery has gone well from all reports and he will be fine for the preseason at AFL level – but he will need to stay injury free in the first 12 months to get a real good improvement out of his body and work towards an AFL debut.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 2-7
Overall Adam Cerra could have been the number one pick in the draft if injuries didn’t get in the way of his season – but he has all the traits that will make him appeal to clubs inside the top 10 – with a nice kick and the ability to win the ball in the clearances and get it moving forward efficiently and effectively.
Under 18s Championships