Tag: james aish

Draft Central All-Star Team: Norwood Redlegs

NORWOOD Redlegs have a strong defensive side that would be hard to beat, with plenty of accountable players and those who will make life difficult for the opposition.

THE TEAM:

This Norwood side would be right up there amongst the best of the South Australian sides. The backline is brimming with strong, battle-hardened key defenders who would make life very difficult for opposition forwards. The midfield is similarly workmanlike and features some of the toughest on-ballers to grace the competition. The forward-line is certainly exciting on paper and would pose a genuine threat to even the most dour of backlines.

DEFENCE:

The Norwood backline is stacked with quality key defenders, including Geelong premiership skipper Tom Harley, who has been named at centre-half-back. He is joined by former Swans full-backman Heath Grundy, who is regarded as one of the best lockdown defenders of the modern era. Making his debut in 2006, Grundy played 256 games in the red and white, including Sydney’s 2012 premiership triumph. A rookie selection by Melbourne in 1996, Nathan Bassett went on to play 210 games with Adelaide, finishing his career in 2008 as one of the Crows’ best defenders. He later coached Norwood to back-to-back SANFL premierships in 2012 and 2013. Current Power skipper Tom Jonas has notched up 139 games at Alberton and may prove to be the best defender amongst the starting six by the end of his career. Reliable small defender Jared Crouch joins Swans teammate Grundy in the side. Martin Pike‘s resume of four premierships and 247 games stacks up with the very best, making him a regulation selection.

MIDFIELD:

Whilst the backline consists of modern day players, the Redlegs midfield is largely dominated by stars of yesteryear. Although perhaps better known for his flamboyant hairstyles and off-field allegations, no-one would question the obvious talent of 125-gamer Adam Heuskes, who provided energy and zip from the wing or half-back. He is joined on the opposing wing by Kangaroo Trent Dumont. In 82 AFL games, Dumont has quickly become one of North Melbourne’s most important on-ballers. The centre position belongs to tough midfielder Roger James, who was one of the Power’s best players throughout their successful 2004 campaign. He played 147 games with the Power, kicked 87 goals and is a member of the SANFL Hall of Fame.

Matthew Primus faced some tough opposition but ultimately earned selection as the starting ruckman. In 20 games with Fitzroy and 137 with Port Adelaide, Primus was a dual All-Australian and renowned as one of the competitions best ruckman. Collingwood duo Scott Burns and Tony Francis form a formidable midfield partnership. A club great, Burns captained the Magpies in 2008 and played a total of 265 AFL games in the black and white. He kicked 149 goals in a polished 14-season career and is now seen as one of the best assistant coaches. Francis is a great of South Australian football, who represented the state on five occasions and kicked 103 goals in 142 matches with the ‘Pies. Despite standing just 171cm, Francis was an aggressive tackler and an excellent crumber.

FORWARD:

Despite an abundance of talent down back and throughout the midfield, the Norwood forward line could be the most dangerous of them all. Opponents would be tearing their hair out attempting to shutdown pocket-rockets Orazio Fantasia and Paul Puopolo  – two of the deadliest small forwards of the modern era. Yet for all their razzle-dazzle in front of goal, the pair are both capable of applying genuine defensive pressure. Despite his battles with injury, Fantasia has kicked 110 goals in 75 games with Essendon, whilst Puopolo, a three-time premiership Hawk, has kicked 181 goals in 190 matches. A famous last name at The Parade, versatile Magpie James Aish fits in on the forward flank, having played 82 games at AFL level. Nic Fosdike joins his former Swans teammates in the side by slotting in across half-forward. He played 164 games with Sydney, including the 2005 premiership, and kicked 66 goals. Although often criticised at times throughout his career, versatile tall Ryan Schoenmakers joins Puopolo in the starting forward-line. The full-forward spot went to Crows big man Matthew Robran. A two-time premiership star, Robran was often compared to his great father, Barrie, but overcame several serious knee injures to kick 110 goals in 137 games.

DEPTH:

Current Crow Luke Brown could consider himself unlucky to miss out on a starting position. Brown could be relied upon to negate the oppositions best small forward. Two-time premiership Crow Brett James joins his brother in the side and Will Minson was selected to provide support for Primus in the ruck. The selections of David Pittman and Rodney Maynard take the tally of Crows players to six, whilst two-time Lions best and fairest winner Joel Patfull complements a backline already loaded with tall timber.

2019 AFL Draft Preview: Fremantle Dockers

HOLDING one of the strongest draft hands heading into the 2019 AFL Draft, Fremantle is in a terrific position to continue its build up the ladder to try and break back into the top eight. The Dockers were strong players in trade week, bringing in Blake Acres and James Aish, while Ed Langdon and Bradley Hill departed the club, all up leaving six spots open on the club’s list. With two top 10 picks and Pick 22 sure to name three quality stars – one of which will be Liam Henry – the Dockers are primed to add some quality talent back on its list. After a host of retirements and delistings as well as the departures, the Dockers could use the draft to pick up some speed and skill around the ground particularly through the middle. A ruck would not go astray with Aaron Sandilands and Scott Jones both departing, while some extra firepower up forward at the feet of the key position players would also be handy.

CURRENT PICKS: 7, 10, 22, 58, 69, 79, 83

NEXT GEN ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS PROSPECTS – COMBINE INVITES: Liam Henry, Isaiah Butters and Leno Thomas (all NGA)

LIST NEEDS:

Outside midfielder with speed and skills
Small/medium forward
Ruck

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:

It is an interesting scenario for Fremantle coming into the draft at Pick 7. It is expected the Dockers should be safe from having to match a bid on Henry at this selection, so they can pick safe in the knowledge he fills a need by himself when he heads there not too long after the selection. Western Australia (WA) Under-18 Championships winning captain and Larke Medallist Deven Robertson might come into the thinking, possessing the speed required but still being predominantly inside. Dylan Stephens fits a perfect need and would be a perfect choice for the Dockers to team up with Henry over a decade on either wing, while one would think Luke Jackson would at least be a fleeting glance with the speed and skill important, but the lack of ruck options in the draft might see the Dockers grab the WA ruck. With Pick 10 so close, it would be ideal if Fremantle can survive to that pick without a bid on Henry which is certainly possible, just not guaranteed.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

Fremantle is one of the favourites to get down and trade on draft night with the Henry bid certainly a talking point. With Tom Green the only likely player to be taken ahead of Henry in terms of Academy selections, and Finn Maginness not far behind, the Dockers might look to trade down from Pick to be able to match Henry while gaining an extra selection. If they know say Carlton at Pick 9 will bid on Henry, they could look to do a deal with the Blues, or potential leapfrog them and talk to Melbourne at Pick 8. Given the Demons’ next pick is 97, it will need to likely involve a selection from next year coming back the other way with the Dockers not going to give up Pick 22 and 10 for 8, while the Demons will not want to drop two places in the top 10 for the bonus of Pick 58. They could also look to package up 10 and 22 for for a couple of picks in the teens, such as Geelong’s 14 and 17, enabling them to match Henry, while upgrading their third selection.

REMAINING CROP:

After Fremantle has decided what to do with Pick 10, and likely have picked up a couple of top-end prospects as well as the incredibly talented Henry, the Dockers have a couple of selections to play with later in the draft. They might eye off local ruck, Callum Jamieson to fill the ruck void if Jackson was off the board by their selection early, or Charlie Comben or Nick Bryan if they have slipped to their Pick 58. Some outside speed and skill that might be available late is the likes of Ben Johnson, Josh Shute or even Isaac Wareham, while to fill roles up forward, Jai Jackson, Callum Park or Josh Morris might fancy them at those selections. Lachlan Williams is another interesting pick that could land somewhere in the back-end of the draft and he fills roles up both ends. They have some decisions to make, but it will be fascinating to watch them.

2013 Draft Profile: James Aish

James Aish (Norwood)
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 74 kg
Position: Midfield
Player comparison: Trent Cotchin
Strengths: Elite disposal, fantastic awareness, classy
Weaknesses: Strength, versatility

James Aish was one player who was considered to be the number one selection a fair way out from the National Draft. He’s got the whole package as a midfielder – elite disposal, fantastic awareness and good athleticism. While Greater Western Sydney may have cooled on the idea of selecting Aish should it hold onto the first pick, Aish is unlikely to slip outside the top five due to his unbelievable ball use and vision in traffic.

Despite missing most of the 2013 SANFL season following shoulder surgery, Aish is one player that came back in and barely missed a beat. While he wasn’t racking up the numbers at the Under 18s Championships like fellow top prospects Domenic Sheed, Josh Kelly or teammate Matt Scharenberg, Aish made his lethal boot do the talking, finishing with the highest disposal efficiency of any player.

Of the teams in the bottom five, Melbourne are the team most in need of his services. It is not surprising that he was selected at pick two in the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars draft because of his ability to change a game with less disposals. Aish has that Trent Cotchin look about him the way he rarely wastes a disposal and can hit up targets with so much class and poise.

While he is one of the more complete midfielders in the draft, Aish’s main worries include strength and versatility. Aish will no doubt spend a year in the gym bulking up his light frame so he won’t be pushed off the ball in contested situations. In terms of versatility, it isn’t to say Aish can’t play in other positions, more a case of he’s never had a chance to given his superb ball use in the middle. Unlike a Billy Hartung or Dominic Sheed who impact the scoreboard from the midfield, Aish is more about finding a target inside 50 which he does with class.

A member of the AIS Academy, Aish was considered a top prospect for a few years after a great season as a bottom-ager last year. Despite shoulder problems, Aish hasn’t lost any of his draft-able qualities and he will no doubt be a top five pick again. Aish’s consistency in the middle and his ability to run both ways as well as find his own ball helps his case significantly.

With so many talented teenagers in the South Australian midfield, Aish is the best of them and with his skills, awareness and class, he will become a star at AFL level. Melbourne would be very keen on gaining his services to add to an improving midfield where he can join fellow South Australian Jimmy Toumpas and hard nut Jack Viney to provide a talented midfield for years to come. If Melbourne can gain another outside classy runner with their next pick, they will begin to see results sooner rather than later.

James Aish could well still be the number one selection and head to Greater Western Sydney. But like Scharenberg, if the number one pick is traded, it is assumed that Tom Boyd will be selected and therefore Aish will be snaffled up by the Demons at pick two. If the mail is true and the hints by exiting GWS coach Kevin Sheedy are correct and Scharenberg is selected with pick one, then regardless of whether the pick is traded or not, Aish will be there at pick two.

It will be down to Melbourne whether they elect to pick Aish or go for a Victorian in Josh Kelly. Both have similar elite skills and class but Aish has been the more consistent one thus far. At this stage, Aish would be the pick to select for Melbourne with selection number two and become a fan favourite with his sublime skills and delivery to the likes of Mitch Clark and Jesse Hogan.