DRAFT ANALYSIS: “Jackson is a big-bodied inside midfielder who has the capability to push forward where he can be a threat.”
ORIGINALLY from the Chapman Valley Football Club in Geraldton, Jackson is a big-bodied inside midfielder who can also be a threat when stationed in the forward line, similar to how Richmond’s Josh Caddy plays. He is a bull in the midfield often throwing his body around to win the contested possession for his team. However due to his crash-and-bash style, Jackson does not boast the same finesse by foot, but he has the capability of being a solid player at the next level.
As a bottom-ager last season, Jackson showed a heap of promise as a budding midfield-forward player. In nine games for East Fremantle, Jackson booted six goals and averaged 18 possessions, seven tackles and three marks with his best performances coming against West Perth (16 possessions, nine marks and two goals) and Swan Districts (23 possessions, six tackles, five marks and a goal). His performances during the season earned him selection in the inaugural Western Australia state-based AFL Academy. In 2019, he showed he belonged at the elite level. In 10 games for the Sharks, Jackson booted six goals and averaged 20 possessions, six tackles, three marks and two inside 50s with his notable performances coming against Peel Thunder in round three (23 possessions, 12 tackles and a goal), West Perth in round 17 (29 possessions and a goal) and Perth in round 19 (19 possessions, five marks, four tackles and two goals). He was also solid for the Sandgropers at this year’s AFL U18s Championships. In three games with them, Jackson kicked three goals and averaged 14 possessions (seven contested), five tackles and three marks with his most notable performance coming against the Allies (15 possessions – nine contested – five tackles, three clearances and a goal).
When playing as a midfielder, Jackson loves to throw his weight around at the stoppages to win the clearance for his team. His core strength allows him to stand up in a tackle before handballing out to a team-mate in a better position. Over the past two seasons, Jackson has demonstrated a desire to work two-ways and his intent to tackle with vigour does inspire his team-mates. When stationed up forward, Jackson has a good burst of pace which allows him to break away from his opponent on the lead. He is also capable overhead making him a difficult match-up for opposition defenders. The major queries about Jackson relate to his skill execution and his decision making. Sometimes he can be a bit too “handball friendly” even when a kick is the better option. However, once he is in an AFL environment, Jackson will quickly improve this aspect of his game. While there is still plenty to develop on that offensive trait front, Jackson has some strong defensive traits and willingness to improve, which will hold him good stead for the future.
DRAFT RANGE: 50+
*Picture credit: Michael Farnell – Sports Imagery Australia
Under 18s Championships