- June 20, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "Classy ball user who has had multiple injury issues in his draft year "
AFL Academy member Andrew McPherson came into the year with high hopes, after performing well during the 2016 National Under 18 Championships as a bottom-ager for South Australia. However, the year didn’t pan out as expected – with McPherson missing chunks of the season due to multiple injuries, with a quad issue keeping him out of the Under 18 carnival and a hamstring injury affecting him leading in the National Combine. McPherson has shown he can play well across half back and could transition into an inside midfielders role in his brief appearances in 2017.
- Footy IQ
Despite missing a lot of the season, McPherson’s endurance base is very good. While he has spent numerous hours conditioning himself to get back to full fitness – his past testing results indicate that he has the ability to run hard all day and it may help him transition to a midfield role.
McPherson’s kicking is also very good. Coming off the half back flank he is able to impact a game by finding targets short or long down the ground. In the AFL Academy match against VFL side Northern Blues, he used the ball well – having no clangers by foot. His kicking can make him a weapon coming off the half back flank where he has shown he can use either foot, rather than just his preferred right boot.
McPherson possesses a very good footy IQ, running to the right positions and being able to impact a contest when required. This can help when he rebounds the ball out of the defensive 50, not looking flustered – especially in the 2016 National Under 18 Championships, where as a bottom-ager he was tasked with a lot of responsibility against often older opponents. His rebounding skills mean he is a player you want to have the ball in his hands in defensive 50, as he is able to find a target up the ground and get the ball moving towards goal.
- Inside game
McPherson has showed snippets playing through the midfield at SANFL level, and in the SANFL Under 18s Grand Final for Woodville-West Torrens he was sparingly used in the centre early in the second quarter. Having averaged 16 disposals as a bottom ager for South Australia, he has shown he can win the ball and in the long term it is likely he becomes a midfielder.
If McPherson can improve his athleticism and his injury durability, it may help him transition to an inside midfielder role. Having missed a lot of games due to a quad injury suffered early in the season, then a hamstring injury which kept him out of the National Combine – a clean bill of health over the preseason and in his first year on an AFL list will be vital for his development and to be able to improve his athleticism.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 25-45
McPherson showed enough signs as a bottom-ager in 2016 for South Australia that he could be one of their top five draftees in the 2017 National AFL Draft. If McPherson can get his body right and get out ‘on the park’ – he will be an important player at the next level. With a strong skill set of his kicking and his footy IQ, he is a player that should be able to thrive if given the opportunity.
SANFL Under 18s
Under 18s Championships