DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A prolific ball-winner who covers the ground exceptionally well and hits the scoreboard too."
Luke English is a midfield stoppage specialist who has a mature body and as such can play from round one next year. His draft prospects soared last year when he took out the Jack Clarke Medal, the WAFL Colts Coaches Award and his club’s Best and Fairest Award after a superb individual season in which he averaged 25 possessions, six tackles and booted 13 goals in 19 games. He followed up with a great season in 2018 with both Perth and the WA U18s State Academy. He is an accumulator who runs both ways and can hit the scoreboard which will attract recruiters to his game. While he is not the quickest off the mark through acceleration, or the most deadliest by foot, English ticks a lot of boxes as a real solid choice in November’s AFL Draft.
- Prolific ball-winner
- Goalkicking midfielder
- Two-way runner
An inside midfielder who plays similarly to Adelaide star Matt Crouch, Luke English has an innate ability to find the football. For the Perth Demons Colts in 2018, English averaged 28 possessions, while in his only game for Perth’s Reserves team, he accumulated 18 possessions. For Western Australia, he was the leading possession winner for the Black Ducks and ranked fourth overall with 92 total possessions at an average of 23 per game.
English has also shown an ability to be dangerous around goals. In 33 WAFL Colts games, he booted 23 goals and 14 behinds to be one of the most dangerous players inside attacking 50. For Western Australia he booted three goals in four games to finish sixth overall in their Leading Goalkicker Award. It is this area that can set him apart from other midfielders, because he can not only impact through the middle, but go forward and hurt opponents on the scoreboard.
Finally, he is not just a front-running midfielder. He has demonstrated a will to chase, and tackle or at least put on excellent defensive pressure to try and win the ball back for his team. In his 33-game WAFL Colts career, English has laid 160 tackles (an average of five per game), which is remarkable for someone his age. There is not much of him in terms of size, but he cracks in, and is a great team player who can win the ball in traffic, but also spread to the outside through hard running.
- Disposal Efficiency
Unlike some of the other midfielders in this year’s draft pool, English does not boast lightning pace to break away from stoppages. However, his endurance is very good and he uses it to his advantage. He instead burns his opponents into the ground over time, working hard with gut running to get to the outside of a contest and win the ball then send it forward. A full AFL pre-season behind him may very well help English improve his speed. Another area he could improve upon is his disposal efficiency, especially via foot. He has a neat kicking style but does not have a penetrating kick, and while he is able to hit targets, being able to increase the variety of kicks to hurt opposition teams will be an area in which he can continue to develop.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 50+
Overall Luke English is a solid midfield prospect, with his mature body, ball-winning acumen, two-way running and his ability to impact the scoreboard. He can play from round one next year if a team that selects him sees fit. English is a player who is hard to judge where he lands in the AFL National Draft, but it is seeming he is looking like a late third rounder onwards. He could be good value early in his career, making an impact across the ground, having already played against senior bodies at Reserves level for Perth.
Under 18s Championships