DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A mature-aged forward who has added extra strings to his bow to go with his natural footballing ability, and terrific athleticism."
Shane McAdam is bound for the AFL at age 23 after honing his trade in multiple states. Hailing from Halls Creek in remote Western Australia, McAdam spent time in the Western Australia Football League (WAFL) before moving interstate to take up a role with Sturt in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). His capabilities as an excitement machine have never been questioned. He is a high flyer with elite acceleration and fantastic agility. He has remarkable goal sense, and oozes X-factor, often making opponents look silly with the amount of different ways he can hurt defenders. In the past there have been question marks over his defensive pressure, which in times has improved, with McAdam averaging 2.5 tackles and using his acceleration and agility to run down opposing defenders and remain a threat without the ball. He still has areas he can build on such as endurance and his versatility to push up the ground when required, but he is so dangerous inside 50, he will become a terrific acquisition for the Adelaide Crows.
- Vertical leap
- Goal sense
A highly skilled and athletic medium/small forward, McAdam has ability to create goals for himself and those around him with a host of scoring assists all year and 31 goals from 17 League games this year. He averaged almost a scoring shot per game as well as almost two goals per game, making him have a high impact inside 50. He has that terrific ability to know how to use the ball, and then find the goals with ease. He is silky and packed with class inside 50 and his X-factor is clear for all to see. These natural footballing abilities go hand in hand with his sensational athletic traits. He has always had these abilities, but in 2018, McAdam has begun to show them on a regular basis.
McAdam has high-level athletic traits, with a massive vertical leap, elite acceleration and fantastic agility. In 2015 when McAdam was invited to the draft combine, the forward equalled Nic Naitanui’s running vertical jump, recording a whopping 102cm. His ability to fly high has been on show all year, coming agonisingly close to winning mark of the year for his effort against North Adelaide (see picture). Along with his vertical leap that enables McAdam to control the skies, the pacy forward can be equally as damaging at ground level. At the same draft combine, McAdam recorded 2.89 seconds in the 20m sprint, and 8.04 in the agility test, which would have won the sprint at the National Combine this year, and finished one hundredth of a second behind Izak Rankine in the agility. McAdam is a special talent in that way, and no doubt will cause plenty of headaches for opposition coaches in the future.
McAdam’s two main areas he can continue to develop, are his versatility and his endurance. As it stands, McAdam is that pidgeon-holed small to medium forward, who is great in the air and at ground level, but does not get many minutes up the ground. He might not need to at AFL level given he is that valuable forward option, but being able to pinch hit through the midfield would add another dimension at the elite level. By building his endurance further, McAdam would be capable of sustaining his impact for longer periods of time throughout the four quarters, and would add to an already highly impressive athletic base. It is no surprise given McAdam has made the rapid rise from amateur to SANFL League level in such a short period of time, and a pre-season at an AFL club would do him wonders. Furthermore, the other improvement McAdam could make is in his accumulation. He averages the 10 touches per game, which is quite little, but he has high impact per possession. However, improving that figure to say 15 touches per game, would make him even more damaging and also build his consistency to have an impact when things are not going his way.
McAdam has been around the country in his search to play at the elite level, and now it seems his dream to play on the biggest stages has come true. After plenty of promising signs in past years, McAdam now boasts consistency and defensive pressure to his repertoire which previously looked like a pure human highlight real. With the extra strings to his bow, the Sturt forward has had a breakout year in 2018, and now will make the transition into the AFL, where he can have an impact from day one, similar to a Liam Ryan did at West Coast.