DRAFT ANALYSIS: “A hard-working medium-sized midfielder who thrives on the contested side of the game.”
THE Willetton Junior produced an outstanding season of football that has seen him rise up many draft boards. An inside midfielder similar to West Coast’s Jack Redden, Warner is hard-working, thrives on the contested side of the game, has good skills and is defensively sound. While he does not boast explosive speed, Warner has shown an ability to get from contest-to-contest, often throwing his body around like a battering-ram to win the hard ball for his team.
One of the many East Fremantle products to be in contention to be drafted, Warner produced an outstanding season for both the Sharks and the WA U18s State team. In nine games for East Fremantle’s Colts team, Warner averaged 27 possessions, seven tackles, three inside 50s, three marks and showed an ability to hit the scoreboard, booting eight goals. He was named in the best on seven occasions, and of these, the standout performances came against Claremont in round one (24 possessions, seven tackles, three inside 50s and a goal), Swan Districts in round 14 (31 possessions, 13 tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) and Peel Thunder in round 15 (26 possessions, eight tackles and three inside 50s).
Warner also produced a strong Championships campaign, that saw him average 19 possessions (nine contested), seven tackles, four inside 50s and three clearances across four games. His best performances came against Vic Metro (12 possessions and 11 tackles) and Vic Country (25 possessions – 10 contested – six inside 50s, five tackles and four clearances).
Throughout the year, Warner showed off his excellent contested work, often winning the hard ball before distributing it to his outside runners. As well as showing off an excellent offensive skill set, Warner demonstrated a desire to be an excellent two-way player, showing off a ferocious attack on the man with the ball to win it back for his team.
Despite being neat with ball in hand, Warner doesn’t have as much finesse by foot. However, once he is in an AFL environment, this aspect of his game should improve. He may not have the penetration in his kicking, but Warner has also shown an ability to be effective and damaging with his handball ability, often opening up the play for his team from stoppages.
Compared to some other midfielders in the draft pool, Warner does not boast the same explosive athleticism as some other midfield prospects. However, he did test well at the National Combine in the 2km time trial (6:29 minutes), the and yo-yo test (level 21.6),
What is evident is that Warner plays to his strengths; a handy skill to have in an AFL environment.
DRAFT RANGE: Third to Fourth Round
*Picture credit: Michael Farnell – Sports Imagery Australia
Under 18s Championships