Tag: pocket podcast

Podcast Explainer | Elite readymade prospects

THE Final Siren Podcast team returned this for another pocket podcast edition, this time assessing the elite readymade prospects poised to feature heavily at the top end of this year’s draft. Chief Editor Peter Williams again took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro on some of the prime top 10 talents, and why they are likely to make quick inroads at the top level.

For the sake of this podcast, we defined readymade players as those with a combination of choice of; elite talent, mature physical attributes, and great reliability/consistency in their styles of play. The absolute best players have at least one or two of these traits, and the list of players mentioned throughout the podcast fit that criteria.

Below is an ordered rundown of each topic ticked off.

Podcast link: Click here!

PODCAST AGENDA

The traits that define a readymade player

Elite talent, mature physical attributes, reliability, consistency.

Who are the most readymade top 10 prospects, and why?

Nick Daicos – Starting from the top. Daicos is a player who provides exceptional talent at a remarkably consistent rate. His output each game is not only outstanding, but never drops and sees him finish nearly every outing as best afield. Collingwood fans’ excitement levels only rose when former coach Nathan Buckley remarked that Daicos could arguably have gotten a senior game as early as this year if eligible, so he will likely slot straight into the Magpies’ side. The only knock may be his durability, given he has been managed frequently throughout 2021, but he performs every time he takes the field.

Jason Horne-Francis – With a wealth of senior experience already under his belt, Horne-Francis is arguably a level above anyone else in the readymade category. As shown in his final SANFL League outing with South Adelaide, he already has all the ability required to play at the top level. In addition to that, his explosive physical make-up and aggressive style bode well for an immediate impact and sustained success amid the rigours of AFL competition. There is no doubt he will feature very early on in his debut season, barring unforeseen interruptions.

Ben Hobbs – Akin to Horne-Francis, Hobbs is exactly the kind of player you think of when compiling a list of readymade prospects. He is as competitive and hard at the contest as anyone in this year’s crop, able to prize his own ball and shut down the opposition’s prime movers with punishing tackles. He has the frame and bull-like style to suit senior football and has shown a terrific level of consistency when available this season. A high-level talent, kicking is arguably the area Hobbs will continue to work on most having also taken great strides in his outside influence.

Josh Ward – Reliability is the word which comes to mind when describing Ward, and he has been exactly that in 2021. His rise up draft boards has come on the back of that exact trait and the sheer consistency he has produced at such a high level of output. Ward has become a real asset on the inside across multiple squads and has the running capacity to find plenty of ball around the ground, with his clean skills and decision making capping off a well-rounded midfielder’s game. Should he get a shot in his maiden campaign, fans should endear quickly to his work-rate and effort.

Finn Callaghan – As classy as they come, Callaghan has made remarkable strides in his development to catapult himself into top five contention. He is already a good size and suits the modern day midfielder prototype, proving versatile and incredibly skilful. He moves with great poise and grace in traffic and when on the outer, can use his speed and penetrating kick to hurt the opposition. Having started out off half-back, before moving into midfield via the wing, Callaghan will likely do the same at AFL level and has the talent to learn on the go.

Trends

Talls taking longer to develop, a clichè? – Yes and no. We have seen talls like Riley Thilthorpe make an immediate impact, but others like Jamarra Ugle-Hagan take a little longer to hit their stride. Sam Darcy may be one at the top end who enters the elite level quickly, but should have time to hone his craft given the Western Bulldogs’ wealth of young talls. Mac Andrew is a very developmental type, while Josh Gibcus and Jye Amiss are others who have improved immensely in 2021 and should be given time to do that even more as senior footballers.

Given the amount of gametime lost in 2020/21, will players be less readymade? – The logical answer to this is yes, but last year’s draft class showed that the top-end talent will never really dissipate. Plenty of recent draftees made immediate impacts at the top level and while this year’s crop has essentially been interrupted throughout two years of maturation, we should see some achieve similar feats. The jump in levels may be profound, but the class of 2021 has already shown many marks of great improvement. It may be the depth of the draft that is effected most.

Pocket Podcast | Elite readymade prospects

THE Final Siren Podcast team returned this for another pocket podcast edition, this time assessing the elite readymade prospects poised to feature heavily at the top end of this year’s draft. Chief Editor Peter Williams again took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro on some of the prime top 10 talents, and why they are likely to make quick inroads at the top level.

For the sake of this podcast, we defined readymade players as those with a combination of choice of; elite talent, mature physical attributes, and great reliability/consistency in their styles of play. The absolute best players have at least one or two of these traits, and the list of players mentioned throughout the podcast fit that criteria.

Below is an ordered rundown of each topic ticked off.

Podcast link: Click here!

Podcast Agenda:

  • The traits that define a readymade player
  • Who are the most readymade top 10 prospects, and why?
    • Nick Daicos
    • Jason Horne-Francis
    • Ben Hobbs
    • Josh Ward
    • Finn Callaghan
  • Trends
    • Talls taking longer to develop – a clichè?
    • Given the amount of gametime lost in 2020/21, will players be less readymade?

Stay tuned to Draft Central, as tomorrow we’ll have an explainer piece to accompany your listen.

>> Top 30 Ranked: September Power Rankings

PODCAST EXPLAINER | Premium tall prospects

THE Final Siren Podcast team returned this week for another pocket podcast edition, this time assessing the key position players available in this year’s draft. Chief Editor Peter Williams again took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro on some of the prime talls options, and why some are poised to feature at the pointy end.

While the 2021 crop has been labelled a midfielder’s draft, there is again a strong core of tall options likely to feature within the first 15 picks; ranging from those who can play on every line, to specialist defenders and forwards. In the latest explainer, we highlight each player in said group, and run you through some of the key position depth attracting interest down the order.

Podcast link: Click here!

PODCAST AGENDA

The elites – top 10 candidates

Sam Darcy – A unanimous candidate for the title of being this year’s best tall prospect, Darcy is likely to be snapped up within the first three picks. Unfortunately for 17 other clubs, the versatile 204cm talent is tied to the Western Bulldogs through father-son eligibility and will inevitably see his bid matched incredibly quickly. Having initially caught the eye as an intercept marking defender who pinch-hit in the ruck, Darcy truly cemented his top status with a move forward while suiting up for Scotch College in the APS competition. He backed it up for Vic Metro and looms as another promising tall option for the Bulldogs to develop with terrific range, skill, and athleticism.

Josh Gibcus – The defender of this group, Gibcus’ strengths come aerially with his eye-catching intercept marking ability. The Greater Western Victoria talent boasts an elite vertical leap and uses that trait on-field to rise above the rest, clunking clean marks or chiming in with well timed spoils. He is steadily developing his ground level game and has shown signs of being a sound distributor by foot, with his overall rate of improvement this year a great sign of things to come. With a few clubs likely in for a key defender to develop, Gibcus seems destined to end up a top 10 selection.

Mac Andrew – The type of player you think of in the conversation of tall talents with upside, Andrew put in some seriously impressive performances this year to rocket into first round calculations. While he is tied to Melbourne as a Next Generation Academy (NGA) product, the 200cm ruck is almost certain to find another home within the first 20 picks. He remains quite light-on at 70kg and is raw overall, but Andrew boasts serious athleticism and is almost unlimited in terms of versatility. He leaps for high marks and has showcased an aptitude at either end of the ground, adding to his obvious ruck craft.

Jye Amiss – He may have been held goalless in his final two WAFL Colts outings, but that only came after a remarkable run of booting multiple goals in every other game this year. Amiss’ goalkicking record of 51.15 was something to marvel at across his 15 Colts games, showcasing incredible accuracy and reliability inside 50. While apt in the air and on the lead at 195cm, the West Australian has developed his ground level game to add more dynamic avenues to goal, while also gradually advancing further afield as a marking target. He may tempt clubs just within the top 10 and is one of the premier key forwards available.

Sam Darcy is the leading tall in this year’s crop

Western Australia’s strong spine

While Amiss established himself as the forward spearhead, Western Australia has no shortage of key position options to call upon. It should show at the draft too, with many in contention to find a home at the elite level. East Fremantle forward-ruck Jack Williams kicked 37 goals in 14 Colts games to become an early second round contender, with Jacob van Rooyen (30 goals in eight games) another highly touted forward who has also transferred his physical marking attributes to defence.

Swan Districts’ Rhett Bazzo is another potential swingman, but looks most comfortable taking intercept marks in defence and was terrific in the last Under 19 representative bout. Along with the aforementioned names, Fremantle NGA talent Eric Benning has risen steeply of late to earn a national combine invite, with his athleticism and upside as a ruck-forward hard to deny.

Speaking of, Josh Cripps – the brother of Carlton’s Patrick – has enjoyed an outstanding end to the year, while the likes of Subiaco’s Jake South and Peel Thunder’s Luke Polson have had solid seasons. The latter pair have both climbed the WAFL grades in 2021 and were among 30 players added to the draft combine list.

The top ruck option

While the likes of Darcy, Andrew and Williams can all ruck, they boast the kind of versatility that will likely see them spend plenty of time up forward or down back. Should a club purely be in for a tall whose primary craft lies in the ruck role, Toby Conway is their man. The 204cm Geelong Falcons product was the AFL Academy and Vic Country first ruck, gaining a good amount of confidence in the role and steadily adding different elements to it. He developed his follow-up game and on the back of a solid running capacity, has upped his influence around the ground with contested marking. He looms as the prime pure ruckman, around the 20-30 mark.

Toby Conway gets a kick away for Geelong Falcons

Mature-agers

Three names would have stood out to many among the 120 draft combine invitees, as they are older than the typical top age (19). Arguably the leader of the lot is Leek Alleer, an ultra-athletic key defender out of Central District. Having cut his teeth on the wing and up forward in last year’s Under 18s competition, Alleer cracked the Bulldogs’ League side and has impressed with his aerial ability. His upside has him looming around the second round mark.

Charlie Dean (Williamstown, VFL) and Noah Pegoraro (West Perth, WAFL) are others in the mix. Both have previously attended state combines and remain in contention having stood up at state league level. Dean, who played at both ends for Sandringham Dragons, seems to have settled down back and is a reliably hard worker. Pegoraro offers good versatility as a defender, and both players may now be ready to crack the bigtime.

Charlie Dean in action for Sandringham Dragons in 2019

Pocket Podcast | The Midfielder’s Draft

THE Final Siren Podcast team returned this week for another pocket podcast edition, this time breaking down why the upcoming AFL intake has been deemed a midfielder’s draft. Chief Editor Peter Williams again took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro on some of the prime midfielders available, and why they are likely to feature at the pointy end.

Among the group of likely first-rounders, the team broke prospects into three different categories to get a better understanding of how each of them play, and perhaps help fans narrow in on the exact type of ball winner they want their club to pursue. Below is an ordered run sheet for all the topics covered.

Podcast link: Click here!

Podcast Agenda:

  • The top end – first round prospects
    • The top two – Daicos and Horne-Francis
    • The safe/reliable picks – Hobbs, Ward, Erasmus, Roberts
    • The classy types – Callaghan, Sonsie, Johnson, Wanganeen-Milera
    • The versatile/hybrid types – Draper, Sinn, Rachele, Goater, Chesser
  • Depth – those also in contention

Stay tuned to Draft Central, as tomorrow we’ll have an explainer piece to accompany your listen.

>> Top 30 Ranked: September Power Rankings

PODCAST EXPLAINER | September Power Rankings update

THE Final Siren Podcast returned this week with another special edition Power Rankings breakdown, fielding your questions following Draft Central’s September update. With the list extended out to 30 names and including six previously unranked prospects, there was plenty to discuss this time around.

Chief Editor Peter Williams took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro about the current state of things, before passing on the queries sent through by you, via Instagram. In the latest podcast explainer, we run through the key points of the episode to provide some depth and context to your listen.

Podcast Link: Click here!

PODCAST AGENDA:

Extending the list to 30 players

As is the case towards the end of each year, this month we added five extra spots to fill and with such an even crop, it arguably made things even more difficult. Past the top 10 or so prospects, the rankings have been difficult to consolidate given the wealth of players vying for spots from around the 15-35 mark. With the final five selections, previously unranked players snuck in but there are plenty more who could easily have slotted in instead.

Six fresh faces

Four completely new prospects entered the rankings in September, lead by South Australian wingman Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera. The classy ball user is a terrific decision maker and given his level of play against SANFL League and Under 19 championship competition, he simply had to enter the top 20.

While they lacked any real action in August, Victorians Zac Taylor and Mitch Knevitt were deserving of spots between the 25-30 mark, having produced outstanding levels of output before the NAB League’s latest hiatus. Fremantle NGA candidate Jesse Motlop (29) is the other new name, coming in with WAFL League experience and plenty of tricks as a small forward.

Among those returning to the rankings are Blake Howes (26) and Jacob van Rooyen (30), who featured among our top 25 earlier in the year. The former was beginning to find his feet as an athletic wingman in the NAB League, while the latter proved his worth as a key position swingman in representative colours and looks physically ready for senior football.

Risers and sliders

Along with the previously unranked Wanganeen-Milera catapulting into 18th, West Australian spearhead Jye Amiss proved his top 15 credentials with another outstanding month. The East Perth forward now boasts 51.14 in his 13 WAFL Colts games and kicked a couple in WA colours to stamp his mark as a top tall talent.

Going the other way are the likes of Matthew Roberts (15) and Matthew Johnson (19), who have previously been regarded as top 10 prospects. Both have tasted senior football and Roberts remains a safe and reliable midfield option, but a knock on his disposal under pressure and ability to play inside at senior level remains. For Johnson, others are simply rising around him and his output up the grades has been a touch inconsistent, despite his obvious class.

Other factors – National Championships, scrapped Victorian season, injuries

With South Australia and Western Australia facing off last month in an Under 19 clash, the risk of recency bias comes into play given those in the remaining states and territories have been afforded less opportunities to impress. While there are some clear risers, weighing up prospects against one-another is difficult when half of them aren’t currently playing. Injuries have also impacted the crop this year, with some unable to gain the continuity needed prove their top potential.

In the mix

West Australian accumulator Josh Browne was one of the unlucky ones to miss out this month, having featured among August’s allotment. East Fremantle teammate Corey Warner has also been pressing his case on the back of big performances at PSA, Colts, and League level, while intercept marking machine Rhett Bazzo came close after his outstanding championships performance.

Over in South Australia, Norwood midfielder-forward has been dreadfully unlucky with injury this year but has brilliant potential, while North Adelaide ball magnet Hugh Jackson looked primed for a top 25 push before a slight dip in form.

204cm Geelong Falcons prospect Toby Conway looks poised to be considered the best pure ruck in the pool, so should also be thereabouts. Meanwhile, the rise of St Kilda NGA and Sandringham Dragons pair Mitch Owens and Marcus Windhager has not gone unnoticed. Saints fans and recruiters will be sweating, but they should be safe for now.

Instagram Q&A

Your questions answered!

Pocket Podcast | September Power Rankings update

THE Final Siren Podcast returned this week with another special edition Power Rankings breakdown, fielding your questions following Draft Central’s September update. With the list extended out to 30 names and including six previously unranked prospects, there was plenty to discuss this time around.

Chief Editor Peter Williams took over the host chair to grill Draft Editor Michael Alvaro about the current state of things, before passing on the queries sent through by you, via Instagram. Below is the agenda which was run through – check out the podcast link below to see if your question was answered!

Podcast Agenda:

  • Extending the list to 30 – why, and did it make things any easier?
  • Six fresh faces revealed – what kind of players are they?
  • The sliders – why have they dropped?
  • The risers – which players have booster their stocks?
  • How did the National Championships game impact the rankings?
  • How has the scrapped Victorian season changed things?
  • Other players around the mark
  • Instagram Q&A – your questions answered

Podcast Link: Click here!

Stay tuned to Draft Central, as tomorrow we’ll have an explainer piece to accompany your listen.

PODCAST EXPLAINER | Western Australia vs. South Australia AFL U19s recap

THE Final Siren podcast team came together for a special pocket podcast edition this week, recapping all the action and fallout from Saturday’s AFL Under 19 National Championships clash between Western Australia and South Australia. Host Peter Williams and analyst Michael Alvaro dissected some of the key topics out of the one-off showcase, detailed in the agenda below.

Podcast Link: Click here!

>> Match Report: WA claims big win in champs opener

KEY PODCAST POINTS:

Themes of the game – where it was won + standout players

While much was made of South Australia’s top-end, consisting of first round candidates Jason Horne-Francis, Matthew Roberts, and Arlo Draper rolling through midfield, Western Australia’s arguably less-heralded mix of Matthew Johnson, Kade Dittmar, Josh Browne, James Tunstill, and Angus Sheldrick proved dominant at times – even without vice-captain Neil Erasmus.

Combine the engine room ascendancy with the aerial feats of their talls at either end, and the Black Ducks’ spine worked wonders. Up forward, Jye Amiss put his hand up for top 15 status as he waxed with Jack Williams, while Rhett Bazzo showed his intercept-marking class in defence alongside newfound swingman Jacob van Rooyen, and Jack Avery.

WA’s strength and depth across the ground was noticeable, and they clearly benefitted from experiencing multiple trial games together. SA had a few showcase their outside class, with wingman Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera a particular standout, while Jase Burgoyne, Cooper Beecken, Lewis Rayson, and Max Litster all worked hard to drive the ball forward.

>> Scouting Notes: Every player covered

– Potential Power Ranking risers

There were a few clear standouts from a draft sense in this game, five of which were highlighted in our earlier Rising Stocks piece. From a South Australian sense, Wanganeen-Milera was one who truly consolidated his status in the first round having shown plenty of class on the ball. He has a few athletic tricks which buy time and uses the ball wonderfully well, carving up the opposition by foot.

Joining him in the top 15 discussion was Amiss, who has been an undeniable talent this year. Having amassed an incredible goalkicking record of 49.12 in the WAFL Colts, the East Perth forward spearheaded WA’s attack with a number of leading forays and most importantly, two goals.

Amiss’ feats and form saw van Rooyen thrown into defence after snaring 11.5 in his last two Colts outings, and the move worked wonders. The physical Claremont prospect was dominant in the air and with his bodywork, waxing beautifully with fellow swingman Bazzo to serve a reminder of their second round credentials.

– Which team would win the championships?

Saturday’s national carnival taster certainly quenched a thirst for the format, but still leaves the lingering question of which region would have taken out this year’s championships if we were treated to a full competition.

Having shown ominous form on Saturday, Western Australia have to be considered in the top bracket – above South Australia despite either state boasting 18 Draft Combine invitees each. Vic Metro is the other team to be considered a contender, as they thumped Vic Country by 59 points in July’s challenge match.

The midfield battle between WA and Vic Metro is a mouthwatering proposition, with some of Saturday’s dominant Black Ducks poised against the likes of Nick Daicos, Finn Callaghan, and Josh Ward. South Australia and Vic Country would also prove an even battle, while the Allies are somewhat of an unknown quantity having not yet played together in 2021, but laying claim to some class.

Pocket Podcast | Western Australia vs. South Australia AFL U19s recap

THE return of the Under 19 National Championships on Saturday left plenty of talking points for the Final Siren podcast team to dissect, and that is exactly what host Peter Williams did alongside usual guest analyst Michael Alvaro in the latest pocket podcast, thanks to Draft Central.

>> Match Report: WA claims big win in champs opener

Join the team this week via the link below, as they cover a range of topics to come out of Western Australia’s 29-point win over the Croweaters – from the themes of the game, to the outstanding players from both sides, and potential risers ahead of September’s Power Rankings update, dropping Monday.

Below is a brief run-down of the podcast agenda. Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow (Thursday) for a more in-depth explainer on each topic covered.

>> Scouting Notes: Every player covered

Podcast Agenda:

  • Result – WA vs. SA U19s
  • Themes of the game – where was it won?
  • Standout players from both sides
  • Potential Power Ranking risers
  • Which team would win the champs?

Podcast Link: Click here!

>> Rising Stocks: WA vs. SA U19s

EXPLAINER | Pocket Podcast: Club AFL Draft previews (Part 3)

OVER the past few weeks, Draft Central launched its brand new series of pocket podcasts, a collection of short-form discussions which narrow in on a range of topics heading into the 2020 AFL Draft. In the next edition, special guest Tom Cheesman joined Chief Editor Peter Williams and AFL Draft Editor Michael Alvaro to breakdown how this year’s draft may pan out for each club.

The clubs featured in part three are Collingwood, Hawthorn, North Melbourne and Sydney, all of whom have key decisions to make at the pointy end. The Magpies, Hawks, and Swans all have high-level academy products who look set to yield bids in tricky spots, putting their recruiting staff under the pump.

A bid for Collingwood’s Reef McInnes could come as early as with Essendon’s top 10 picks but the Pies will be sweating on him falling past their first selection (currently 14). Hawthorn is in a similar boat with Connor Downie, who will tempt clubs around the Hawks’ second pick (currently 24), especially given it is set to slide down the order on the back of other academy bids. Then there is Sydney, who is preparing to match a bid for Braeden Campbell within the top 10 and will be sweating on Errol Gulden‘s value in round two. North also looms as a key player given its rights to picks two and 11, which will undoubtedly yield a pair of elite talents. Either way, these will be some of the busier list management and recruiting teams come draft time and they each have some tough calls to make.

Below are the picks held by each club, as of December 1.

Collingwood: 14, 16, 65, 70, 75, 92
Hawthorn: 4, 24, 45, 46, 49, 72
North Melbourne: 2, 11, 30, 39, 71, 81
Sydney: 3, 34, 37, 43, 48, 60, 82

To listen to the discussion in full, click here.

>> AFL Draft Whispers: 2020
>> Power Rankings: November Update

Past Episodes:

Club-by-club previews…
Club AFL Draft previews (Part 1)
Club AFL Draft previews (Part 2)

The best…
AFL Draft hands
Best academy and father-son hauls
Non-aligned midfielders
Readymade prospects
Players under 175cm
Midfielders over 190cm

Player comparisons…
Logan McDonald vs. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
Denver Grainger-Barras vs. Heath Chapman
Brayden Cook vs. Conor Stone
Key defenders kicking comparison

Further analysis…
Potential cult heroes
An early top 10 look
Offence from defence

EXPLAINER | Pocket Podcast: Club AFL Draft previews (Part 1)

OVER the past few weeks, Draft Central launched its brand new series of pocket podcasts, a collection of short-form discussions which narrow in on a range of topics heading into the 2020 AFL Draft. In the next edition, Special guest Tom Cheesman joined Chief Editor Peter Williams and AFL Draft Editor Michael Alvaro to breakdown how the this year’s draft may pan out for each club.

The clubs featured in part one are Carlton, Gold Coast, Geelong, Richmond, West Coast and Western Bulldogs – all teams which may not feature too heavily among action at the pointy end as it stands. The Tigers, Eagles, and Cats would consider themselves well within the premiership window and thus may not have any pressing list needs to cover at the draft, making them muted players this year. Geelong and West Coast will hope to find a gem with their respective picks 51 and 62.

The Bulldogs’ picks may be wiped off the board if Academy gun Jamarra Ugle-Hagan yields a bid with pick one, leaving little for their recruiters to work with down the line. Meanwhile, Carlton has only just gained another pick in the second round and may only make two selections overall. Gold Coast is again set to be called up in the top five, but it could prove the Suns’ only pick given Academy members Alex Davies and Joel Jeffrey will be automatically placed on their senior list.

Nonetheless, there could be some interesting plays to unfold and some exciting prospects taken with later picks by these clubs, much of which formed the basis of their previews. To listen to the discussion in full, click here.

>> AFL Draft Whispers: 2020
>> Power Rankings: November Update

Past Episodes:

Potential cult heroes
An early top 10 look
The best AFL Draft hands
Best readymade prospects
Best players under 175cm
Best midfielders over 190cm
Logan McDonald vs. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan
Best academy and father-son hauls
Brayden Cook vs. Conor Stone
Key defenders kicking comparison
Offence from defence
Denver Grainger-Barras vs. Heath Chapman
The top non-aligned midfielders