- October 15, 1999
DRAFT ANALYSIS: "Running defender who has a classy left foot kick and is agile in traffic."
Little known Ryley Stoddart was one of the few eyecatchers in Round 1 of the 2017 TAC Cup. Playing under lights at RAMS Arena, the number six on the wing did some good things to suggest he was a player worth tracking throughout the year. With every game he played, Stoddart looked more and more impressive, using his nice left foot kick and being composed with ball in hand. Stoddart also showed in the latter half of the year he could push forward – even booting a bag of goals for Yarra Valley in the AGSV school boy season. Stoddart played mostly as a back pocket for Vic Metro, but showed he had the capabilities to push higher up the ground and should transform into an outside midfielder in years to come.
- Composure under pressure
Whilst he didn’t test at the National AFL Draft Combine due to a sore hamstring after the kicking tests, Stoddart’s elite agility is on show when he plays. Dashing out of defence, he can often find himself under pressure with multiple players coming towards him – but with his agility, he can change direction and dish the ball off to a teammate in a better position by hand and foot. Stoddart has a beautiful left foot kick, kicking at an efficiency of 72 per cent in the Under 18 Championships and in the TAC Cup. At times he was charged with the kick outs, but he is at his best rebounding the ball from defensive 50. Stoddart mostly plays it safe finding a target short, but has the capabilities to kick it long & when he pushed up the ground returning from Vic Metro commitments, Stoddart was able to propel the ball long inside 50 and hit the targets even under pressure
- One-one-one defending
An area that Stoddart can improve on is his defensive work. Stoddart is more of an attack first, defend second player – laying 15 tackles for the TAC Cup season. While it is not a number that will cause too many headaches for clubs looking to select him, with the way the game is played now – tackling and pressuring the opposition is crucial for opposition defenders and midfielders. Another area that can be improved is Stoddart’s one-on-one defending. Stoddart was often matched up on his opponents most damaging small throughout the National Under 18 Championships. He did a decent job on Allies’ small forward Adam Sambono – until Stoddart lost him late in the game where he was able to rove the pack and snap a goal. In the 2017 TAC Cup elimination final, Stoddart was often playing on the likes of Luke Davies-Uniacke or Hunter Clark. While they were not able to out mark him, Stoddart was at times under sized but his good wingspan allows for him to reach out and spoil the ball if need be. With added strength and a full preseason – there’s no doubt he can fill this requirement in no time.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 20-40
SUMMARY Throughout the second half of the season Stoddart has been able to address some concerns who thought he was a one-trick pony just as a defender, and should be able to transition into a flanker at either end or a wingman at the next level. When he uses his great agility and footskills rebounding out of defensive 50, he can be a damaging player and one who no doubt once he adds some size to his frame can develop into a 100-game plus AFL footballer.
NAB League Boys
Under 18s Championships