- May 18, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "Charlie Constable is one of the cleanest and smartest footballers in the 2017 draft pool. Put simply - he's a pure footballer."
Charlie Constable has had a strong year at all levels, playing at either end of the ground or in as an inside midfielder. Standing at 190cm, Constable is the modern prototype of midfielders – where he wins the contested ball and dishes it out to teammates by hand with ease. In games filled with fumbles and skill errors throughout the National AFL Under 18 Championships, Constable was a class above – with his clean disposal and smarts on full show. Whilst he might lack some speed and endurance that other of the top midfielders have, he is a pure midfielder who wins the football, gets to the right spots, disposes of the ball well and plays in a similar mould to Carlton’s Patrick Cripps.
- Footy IQ
- Contested ball winning
- Clearance work
- Marking inside 50
Constable’s footy IQ is through the roof. His smarts on the inside and across either arches allow him to read the play and know where to run to receive the ball. While he doesn’t have the athletic traits that others do from the stoppages, his smarts to find a teammate with ease under pressure is outstanding. His can collect the ball by a handball receive or pick it up off the ground – where he doesn’t fumble and gets it to a teammate, mostly by hand – but on occasions via his right foot.
While not a full-time inside midfielder just yet, Constable will mould into that type of player. His contested possession percentage of 50 per cent in the TAC Cup – where he played mostly in the centre suggest that he has the capabilities to win the one-on-one contests in the midfield battle. At 190cm, the contested ball winning will appeal to clubs inside the first round.
Constable showed his versatility in the National AFL Under 18 Championships, where he played across half-forward and through the midfield. Constable averaged 26 disposals, five marks, four tackles and three inside 50s in a different role. At school level for Haileybury College and at times for the Sandringham Dragons, Constable was often deployed across half back where he would read the play well and intercept the ball. In the final APS school round for the year, Constable collected 46 disposals in the midfield against Geelong Grammar – with plenty of AFL club recruiters watching on.
Constable’s clearance work has been very good for the Sandringham Dragons throughout the season, averaging 4.2 clearances per game. In the Dragons’ clash with the Bendigo Pioneers at Trevor Barker Oval during the school holidays, Constable was the clear best player on the ground with 29 disposals, 11 clearances and three goals. His clean skills and footy IQ make him a damaging player on the inside, winning the ball in the coalface to get the ball out to his teammates.
Constable has shown he can push forward and mark the ball well inside 50. In the same clash, Constable collected seven marks and booted multiple set shot goals from the north end of the ground. Constable has averaged over five marks in both the TAC Cup and the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships this season. The positive from this is that while he might not be right to start the season as a full-time midfielder at the next level, clubs can use Constable as a 190cm marking target up forward, or across half back where he is willing to intercept the ball.
Of the other midfielders set to feature in the first round on draft night, Constable’s 20m preseason sprint time of 3.052 seconds is one of the slower times set. On the inside at times you can notice that he doesn’t have the burst speed to break away from his opponents, however Constable plays within his limitations – preferring to dish the ball off by hand to his teammates that can break away from the stoppages on the outside.
Constable has battled a few injuries over the last two seasons, missing a large chunk of 2016 with injury and battling a groin injury in the latter part of the Sandringham Dragons’ finals campaign. This has affected his endurance at times, and while he has the ability to run out games – it possibly was a factor why Constable was left out of the Vic Metro trip to Western Australia, due to the bigger dimensions of Domain Stadium. In TAC Cup preseason testing, Constable ran a 12.9 beep test – a number that most other midfielders reach into the 13-14 mark.
While both Constable’s speed and endurance are lower than other midfielders – a perfect comparison is Carlton midfielder Patrick Cripps who ran a 3.23 second 20m sprint time and a 13.2 beep score at the 2013 National AFL Combine.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 7-20
Whilst Constable might lack the athletic traits, he’s a pure midfielder who gives his all with every game he plays. He has the football smarts and clean skills to get out of traffic and dispose of the ball under pressure, winning the clearances and the contested ball. Throughout the National AFL Under 18 Championships, he showed he could be versatile playing as a 6th forward or defender, but his best position long-term should be as an inside midfielder. If he can improve his tank and work hard during the preseason, there’s no reason that Constable couldn’t be running out during the early part of season 2018 for his new club.
NAB League Boys
Under 18s Championships