DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A medium-sized midfielder who can push forward and impact the scoreboard."
Luke Foley went from unknown talent to a bonafide draft prospect after an incredible 2018 campaign. In just nine games for Subiaco’s Colts team, Foley finished fourth in the best and fairest, and tenth in the Jack Clarke Medal, averaging 25 possessions, seven tackles, five inside 50s, four marks and booting nine goals. While for the Western Australia U18s State Academy, he averaged 17 possessions, seven tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s, three marks and kicked two goals from three games.
- Clean hands
- Scoreboard impact
- Big game performer
As a midfielder, Foley shares similar traits to GWS star Stephen Coniglio due to his ball-winning ability, two-way running, class on the outside and his ability to impact the scoreboard. For Subiaco’s Colts’ team, Foley ranked eleventh for total possessions (225) and third for possessions per game (25) such was his ball-winning ability. Foley accumulated 22 or more possessions in seven games, including a dominant 36 possessions against Claremont in Round 4.
When Foley has possession he does not let it go to waste, as he will more often than not lace out his targets with his penetrating kicks. Or, if he is winning the ball out of congestion he will produce a quick-fire handball to a teammate in open space. Another reason why he is so good with his skill execution is because of his clean hands. Foley rarely fumbles the ball and as such his ability to find targets either by hand or foot is exceptional.
He is also an excellent two-way runner, ranking seventh for tackles at Subiaco and third for the WA U18s State Academy. But also his ability to chase, and worry his opponents is excellent. Such is his work-rate, Foley has also demonstrated an ability to drift forward and impact the scoreboard with a combined 11 goals from 12 games between Subiaco and WA. His nous inside the forward 50 worries defenders as he sets up teammates, and can slot goals himself.
Finally, he has demonstrated an ability to play well in big games. In the second Semi-Final against Swan Districts, Foley finished with 22 possessions, five marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and two goals to be one of Subiaco’s best. He was also very close to securing the Mel Whinnen Medal (WAFL Colts’ Grand Final Best on Ground Medal) after a dominant performance in the Grand Final with 22 possessions, seven marks, six tackles and six inside 50s.
- Acceleration from a stoppage
Despite having a host of excellent athletic traits, Foley does not boast the blistering acceleration out of a stoppage that some other midfielders have. However, his endurance and ability to cover the ground should hold him in good stead. He also missed a large chunk of the season due to injury, and as such AFL clubs will want to monitor his situation closely. However, with the right medical team, the AFL club that picks him up should be able to have him durable quickly enough. It is not a massive thing, but Foley will need to put on some muscle if he is to start in the midfield for the AFL club that selects him. He is more ready-made than other midfielders, but can always increase his strength and become even more effective on the inside.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 15-30
One of the premium midfield prospects for this year’s draft, Foley is a hard-working, skilful and damaging midfielder. With a full AFL pre-season behind him, expect Foley to play a few games in his first season of AFL football. He is an over-age prospect and showed at the National Under 18 Championships, that he is capable of using the ball well and making good decisions. He can play forward, back or through the middle, with his work at the stoppage very impressive. He is predicted to go somewhere in the late-first round to mid-second round, and would be a valuable addition to any side that will be looking for a versatile midfielder with good upside.
Under 18s Championships