- April 1, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A really classy, balanced footballer who loves tackling and has eye-catching agility and speed."
Lachlan Fogarty is one of the most underrated players in the 2017 draft crop. At 179cm and limited exposure due to a few injuries this year, the pocket rocket from the Western Jets has not been mentioned in the same breath as some of the top liners despite having all the tools to succeed at the elite level. Fogarty has elite agility and his trademark sidestep is eye-catching, while he has that breakaway speed and a touch of class to go with his offensive game. He has no trouble finding the pill and even more impressively averaged eight tackles per game from seven matches in the TAC Cup, showing he has a strong defensive mindset as well. Fogarty has a really good all-round game and the two improvements that could be added to further enhance his game is consistency in his disposal and his one-on-one marking. As a whole it is expected Fogarty will feature somewhere in the top 30 on draft night.
Lachlan Fogarty has a number of athletic traits which would appeal to recruiters. His agility is as good as anyone’s and while he was unable to test himself at the National Combine due to illness, it is expected he would have been among the top finishers in the agility test. His speed is another attribute that assists him in gliding around the field. He wins his fair share of contested ball but he can breakaway from packs and move seamlessly through opponents transitioning the ball from midfield to the forward 50. In 2017 he averaged six inside 50s per game and 10 handball receives. While this points to more of an outside player, Fogarty won 44 per cent of his possessions at the coal face and averaged 16 kicks per game, meaning almost one in three of his kicks were penetrating the forward 50.
His other strengths include accumulation – he averaged 25 disposals – and tackling, where he laid eight tackles per game to be ranked number one of all National Combine invites, ahead of Murray Bushrangers’ Harry Jones and known tackling machines James Worpel and Hunter Clark. His defensive efforts speak of his leadership and ability to stand up when required. He has a great awareness out on the field and his offensive and defensive movements impact the match.
- Consistency in disposal
- One-on-one marking
Fogarty is the type of player who could honestly suit up for an AFL team in round one if required. If he was 10cm taller he’d certainly be in top 10 contention and had it not been for his injuries, he might well have been cracking that mark anyway. The two areas which could be improved are his consistency in disposal and his one-on-one marking. The consistency in disposal is mostly regarding when kicking at full speed he can sometimes rush his kick or kick too quickly for his teammate to react to the pass or change in kick projection. It is a reason why despite being a classy user, his efficiency was at 55 per cent. His kicking could probably be described as average, with some above average passes which standout. His class makes his skills look even better, but it is still an area to work on.
Secondly, his one-on-one marking could be improved. It is no surprise given he is on the smaller side that he can be out-bodied when one-on-one inside 50. He has the smarts and class to position himself well, but when in an arm wrestle his is often up against it. It is something that AFL clubs will overlook because frankly you do not look to 179cm players to be contested marking beasts, but nonetheless it’s an area that could be improved upon.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 15-30
Lachlan Fogarty is a classy footballer who has a great athletic base from which to build an AFL career. He has a fantastic sidestep, lays plenty of tackles and wins a truckload of the football. Rarely can players be so balanced both offensively and defensively, but Fogarty has a great mix of inside and outside prowess, as well as finding space and kicking inside 50, and getting down and providing tackles to aid his team. He is one of the great underrated players of the draft crop, and perhaps it is because of his size, or his injuries or if there is a question about his future as a full-time midfielder given his size, but whatever it is, he is a talent that could be a bargain in the late first round through to second round selection.
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