Tag: preseason testing

Q&A: Jase Burgoyne (WWT Eagles/South Australia)

PORT Adelaide fans will again have their eyes on a budding father-son prospect, with Woodville-West Torrens talent Jase Burgoyne (son of Peter) gunning for the big leagues in 2021. The versatile defender-midfielder enjoyed an exceptional bottom-age SANFL Under 18s season last year; proving a consistent, clean, and creative ball winner. He was included in this year’s AFL Academy intake and while his preseason has been interrupted by injury, Burgoyne is poised to climb the grades once fully fit.

Draft Central correspondent Tom Wyman chatted to Burgoyne at the recent South Australia preseason testing event for a question and answer (Q&A) special.

Q&A:

Q: You didn’t test today, what kind of niggle are you carrying?

A: “Last year in preseason I tore my meniscus. I trained with it for about two weeks but it was just nagging me and was pretty sore so I told the physios and they sent me in for an MRI. Turns out it was torn so I got surgery on the 23rd (of December) two days before Christmas, then I’ve been doing rehab ever since – just bike and upper body work.”

 

Can you tell us a bit about your footballing journey so far?

“I started off at Port Districts from about Under 8s and played there all the way up until I think Under 15s or 16s, then I moved over to SMOSH West Lakes for a year. In Under 13s I was in the Port Adelaide development squad for a year before they cancelled that stuff and then I went to Eagles from there and have been here ever since.”

 

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

“For my individual goals, I just want to be consistent, build on my draft stock and hopefully go as high as I can in the draft. Also, to play League, that’s my biggest goal so far and obviously to play Ressies too. But my biggest goal is League, I want to play with the big boys and see how I go there.”

 

How would you describe yourself as a player?

“I see myself as an attacking half-backman; rebounding, attacking, I like to set up the play like a playmaker. Just make good ball use off the backline to set play up and then also go into the midfield, get clearances and find the ball.”

 

Are your skills your greatest asset?

“Yeah, I think my ball use is pretty good. Clean hands too.”

 

Is there anyone you can compare yourself to in the AFL?

Lachie Whitfield. He can play off the backline, or the wing, up forward, and maybe a little bit in the midfield. He’s definitely my biggest person I look up to, just with the similarities in body type and gamestyle.”

 

How have your father Peter and brother Trent helped you along your journey?

“Ever since I was pretty young, dad’s always been there with my footy journey. Before every game I’d talk to him on the phone, after every game giving me feedback which can be constructive too – it’s not always good, it’s not always bad. They want to help me get better so before a game, he sits me down and tells me what I need to do to hopefully have a good game, get the team the win and after the game he’s always talking to me about what I did good, what I did bad, and what I can improve on, all that stuff.”

 

Does the link add some pressure in your draft year?

“I guess so, obviously I’ve got the last name Burgoyne and I can’t really help that. But I don’t try and think of that too much, I just go out there and try to do the best I can. I’m happy with how I’m going at the moment, I guess there is pressure there because Trent is also at Port at the moment but I try to just play my best footy.”

 

How do you balance your commitments between school and footy?

“When I do have some spare time on my hands, I just go hang out with my mates and chill a bit. With schoolwork, I just try to stay up to date and make sure that I’m at training on time and don’t fall behind or anything.”

 

How would you describe yourself as a person off the field?

“Pretty chilled and relaxed. I don’t really like to go out, I like to stay home instead – I’m a bit of an introvert but like to make my mates laugh too.”

Image Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

Q&A: Matty Roberts (South Adelaide/South Australia)

SOUTH Adelaide’s Matty Roberts is one of his state’s best draft prospects for 2021, and is ready to crack the Panthers’ League lineup having trained with the senior side during preseason. The AFL Academy member has been a key part of South’s Under 18 setup for a couple of years now and is also set to skipper the St Peter’s First XVIII. On-field, Roberts is a midfielder-forward who runs hard and makes good decisions with ball in hand, finds plenty of it, and can also hit the scoreboard.

Draft Central correspondent Tom Wyman chatted to Roberts at the recent South Australia preseason testing event for a question and answer (Q&A) special.

Q&A:

Q: How do you think you tested?

A: “I thought I tested not too bad. Obviously I could do better in some things but I thought it was pretty good.”

 

Tell us a bit about yourself off-field

“I grew up in the town of Strathalbyn. I have a younger brother, Tyson and my parents Brenton and Sally. I grew up on a farm just out of Strathalbyn, went to school in ‘Strath’ up until Year 9 and now I’m boarding at St Peter’s in Adelaide and going into Year 12 this year.”

 

What has your footy journey been like so far?

“I started at Langhorne Creek in the Under 10s when I was about five and then progressed through the Under 10s, 12s, and 15s and then through South Adelaide’s pathway. Now I’m in the 18s program and have started training with the League team this season.”

 

Do you think you have what it takes to match it at League level?

“I think I can, I played in an A-Grade premiership for Langhorne Creek when I was 14, just going on 15. So I have memories from that year to be able to hopefully step up into the League this year.”

 

Is making your League debut one of your goals this year?

“That’s my main goal this year, to be able to play as many League games as I can.”

 

Describe yourself as a player

“I feel like I’m smart with the ball, I’m pretty composed with ball in hand and use it well most of the time. And I can impact the scoreboard when I go forward.”

 

Do you see yourself as more of a midfielder or forward?

“Sort of a mixture between both I think. I have pretty strong scoreboard impact when I go forward but obviously I like to play through the mid.”

 

Are there any players you can compare your game to?

“I like to look at Marcus Bontempelli. He’s a left-footer, a good ball user through the mid and can also go forward and impact there.”

 

How has it been juggling school and SANFL commitments?

“School’s been pretty accommodating with my South Adelaide training this year and I’ve been trying to stay on top of school work. I’m captaining the St Peter’s First XVIII this year so they’ve been really good, just making sure that I’m showing face and then obviously going on with my South Adelaide commitments at the moment. But they’ve been really good, helping me juggle both.

Image Credit: Nick Hook/SANFL

AFL Draft Watch: Joel Western (Claremont/Western Australia)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central  takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at pre-season testing, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft watch is Claremont’s Joel Western, a member of the thriving Fremantle Next Generation Academy (NGA). The 172cm prospect is an excitement machine, catching the eye with his speed and agility away from the contest, combined with an innate ability to pull off improbably plays. While Western is more than capable of playing through the midfield at Under 18 level, roles off flanks at either end of the ground suit his physical makeup in terms of adjusting to the next level.

After his 23 disposals helped Claremont to Under 18 WAFL Colts grand final glory in 2019, the zippy Tiger became one of three players from his club to be included in the West Australian Academy hub. Western was a prime mover in his state’s 2018 Under 16 campaign, and was part of its 2019 Under 18 squad without playing a game. Having lit up preseason testing with top 10 results in each jumping category and the 20-metre sprint, Western is primed to break through this season as a key figure once again.

PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:

Standing Vertical Jump: 80cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L):
88cm/91cm
Speed (20m): 2.88 seconds
Agility: 8.47 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo):
21.5

>> Full Testing Results:
Jumps
20m Sprint
Agility
Yo-yo

PLAYER PAGE:

Joel Western

DOB: October 12, 2002

Height: 172.cm
Weight: 67kg
Position: Midfielder/small utility

Strengths: Athleticism, speed/endurance mix, versatility, x-factor, skill

KEY SCOUTING NOTES:

2019 Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Peter Williams

The West Australian was one of Team Dal Santo’s better players on the day, showing good composure at half-back under pressure. He did go forward at times but looked more rushed going inside 50 with the odd turnover from a quick snap. He had a shot on goal but the kick went out on the full, and spent the second half in the defensive half of the ground, being a reliable player who picked up a number of touches back there trying to settle his team down.

2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final vs. Peel Thunder

By: Lenny Fogliani

The bottom-aged Fremantle Next Generation Academy member showed why he is one of the leading prospects from Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft. He accumulated 23 possessions, and laid six tackles, often using his speed and skill to break Peel’s defensive zones.

Picture: The West Australian

>> Squad Prediction: 2020 WA U18s

>> Marquee Matchup: Denver Grainger-Barras vs. Kaine Baldwin

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll

Allies:
Tahj Abberley
Jackson Callow
Braeden Campbell
Oliver Davis

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Jack Ginnivan
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins

AFL Draft Watch: Jackson Callow (Tasmania Devils/Allies)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at the NAB League Preseason Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft Watch is Tasmania’s Jackson Callow, a powerful key forward who is not afraid to throw his weight around. The 193cm prospect was a mainstay in the Devils’ maiden full-time NAB League campaign, booting 24 goals in 14 games as his side’s focal point up forward. Callow also played a key role in North Launceston’s Tasmanian State League (TSL) premiership triumph, booting a game-high three goals in the decider.

After failing to break through for the 2019 National Championships, Callow seems a lock for the 2020 Allies Under 18 side and has fared well in his representative duties with Tasmania thus far. While he looks most comfortable inside forward 50, Callow can also pinch-hit in the ruck and was even tried in defence during the Under 17 All Stars showcase fixture. His physicality and unrivalled contested marking often draw multiple opponents, with the big-man hard to stop at full flight.

PLAYER PAGE:

Jackson Callow
North Launceston/Tasmania/Allies

DOB: June 11, 2002

Height: 193.6cm
Weight: 95.5kg

Position: Key Forward

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATS: 14 games | 13.6 disposals | 54% cont poss | 6 marks | 1.4 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 1.7 goals (24)

Strengths: Contested marking, aggression, strength, scoreboard impact
Improvements: Unknown versatility, goalkicking consistency

>> Marquee Matchup: Callow vs. Fleeton
>> Positional Analysis: Key Forwards

PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:

Standing Vertical Jump – 61cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L) – 63cm/64cm
Speed (20m) – 3.08 seconds
Agility – 9.00 seconds
Endurance – 20.5

>> FULL RESULTS:
Jumps
Speed
Agility
Endurance

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

2019 Under 17 Futures All Star Game

By: Ed Pascoe

The strong bodied key position forward had a solid game, showing he didn’t just rely on his size to take marks to kick his goals as he gathered a loose ball and kicked a lovely snap goal in the second quarter. He was moved to defence in the second half and looked better as the game went on taking a nice intercept mark in the last quarter, Callow looks to be the leading Tasmanian prospect for the 2020 draft.

2019 Allies Under 18 Trails vs. Vic Country/Metro

By: Peter Williams

The key forward presented nicely at the football and while he did not kick a major himself, pushed up the ground and was often the link between half-forward and deep forward, creating chances for teammates. He showed a nice field kick and a high work rate to hit-up a midfield teammate then pushed back to win it again, and put it out to Matt Conroy leading out in the square. Shared some of the ruck load while up forward as well.

2019 NAB League Round 12 vs. Eastern

By: Michael Alvaro

Callow looked like having a huge game after he booted three goals within the first half-hour, but was clamped well after the main break with Eastern ensuring he would compete against two or three markers in the air. He started off by winning a ground ball against his direct opponent deep inside 50 before snapping the first goal of the game, following up with a huge pack mark and set shot goal to highlight a scintillating opening. He also created Will Peppin’s goal after booting his third, marking deep in the pocket and kicking well inboard.

His physicality ensured that direct opponents were more occupied with holding him that getting to the ball, and Callow’s work off the deck was very good for a player of his size. He would go on to show as much by turning his opponent twice in the third term but missing the shot, eventually being restricted well.

2019 NAB League Round 4 vs. Calder

By: Scott Dougan

Callow was kept fairly quiet in the first term but was able to bounce back in the second. He took some nice marks on the lead in the forward half and due to his sticky hands, he was able to hold the majority of them. Callow’s third term was just unbelievable, with the bottom-aged big man taking four contested marks and booting three goals. In the end, Callow was the difference between the two sides and is definitely a very exciting prospect to keep a close eye on in his draft year.

2019 NAB League Round 3 vs. NT Thunder

By: Alex Gibson

Callow could have had a really, really big day. He dominated the Thunder’s defence all game and finished with five goals, however if he kicked straight could’ve easily had seven or eight to his name. Callow did not once get out-marked and either took the grab himself or brought the ball to ground, which his small forwards appreciated. Callow was the go-to man for the Devils and the well-built key forward’s work rate was impressive – often providing a target well up the ground.

>> MORE TASMANIA DEVILS CONTENT

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie
Reef McInnes
Archie Perkins

Vic Country:
Sam Berry
Jack Ginnivan
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield
Riley Thilthorpe

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll

Allies:
Braeden Campbell
Oliver Davis

Preseason testing analysis: The best performers across every test

THE current sporting hiatus serves as somewhat of an extended preseason for the nation’s brightest AFL Draft prospects, who will be itching to get back on the field. Aside from a few scratch matches on the eve of Round 1, much of the 2020 class has had little in the way of competition thus far.

But preseason testing always serves to get the competitive juices flowing, with players from each region and academy coming together to test where they rate athletically. Rookie Me hosted the preseason testing in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, while the AFL completed testing in Western Australia and NSW/ACT.

In our next analysis of the results from those days around the country, we take a look at the best performers across each test, highlighting the athletes who excelled in more than one area. There were many who featured across top 10s in their state, but it always takes a special kind to do so in the nationwide results.

Here’s a reminder of the overall top 10s from each test:

Standing Vertical Jump:

=1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 84cm
=1. Luke Gaudion (Eastern Ranges) – 84cm
3. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 82cm
=4. Joel Western (Claremont) – 80cm
=4. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 80cm
=6. Jack Briskey (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 77cm
=6. Zac Meloncelli (Perth) – 77cm
=7. 76cm x6

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Chayse Grabe-Paparone (Subiaco) – 100cm
2. Noah Farrow (West Perth) – 95cm
=3. Bailey Jenkin (Swan Districts) – 92cm
=3. Matthew Borlace (Central District) – 92cm
=3. Archie Perkins (Sandringham) – 92cm
=6. Zac Trigwell (Peel Thunder) – 91cm
=6. Zac Sanderson (Perth) – 91cm
=8. 89cm x4

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 99cm
=2. Brandon Walker (East Fremantle) – 94cm
=2. James Sullivan (Swan Districts) – 94cm
=4. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 93cm
=4. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh) – 93cm
=6. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 92cm
=6. Angus Fraser (South Fremantle) – 92cm
=8. Henry Read (Sturt) – 91cm
=8. Dominic Bedendo (Murray) – 91cm
=8. Joel Western (Claremont) – 91cm

Speed (20m):

1. Riley Colborne (South Fremantle) – 2.86 seconds
=2. Zac Meloncelli (Perth) – 2.87
=2. Riley Fitzroy (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.87
4. Jackson Cardillo (Calder Cannons) – 2.88
=5. Michael Lewis (Sandringham Dragons) – 2.89
=5. Flynn Maguire (Oakleigh Chargers) – 2.89
=5. Charlie Brauer (Geelong Falcons) – 2.89
=8. Kobi George (Dandenong Stingrays) – 2.9
=8. Lachlan Green (Western Jets) – 2.9
=8. Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.9

Agility:

1. Blake Reid (Geelong Falcons) – 7.76 seconds
2. Charlie Lazzaro (Geelong Falcons) –  7.79
3. Harrison White (Western Jets) – 7.83
4. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.84
=5. Darcy Prest (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
=5. Caleb Hammond (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
7. Oliver Wiltshire (Geelong Falcons) – 7.90
=8. Harvey Gallagher (Bendigo Pioneers) – 7.92
=8. Sam Butler (GWV Rebels) – 7.92
=8. Ty Sears (Swan Districts) – 7.92

Endurance (yo-yo test):

1. Harry Grant (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.8
2. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.3
=3. Harry Sullivan (Dandenong Stingrays) – 22.1
=3. Noah Gadsby (Geelong Falcons) – 22.1
=5. Alex Crowe (East Fremantle) – 22
=5. Teakle Bohan (East Fremantle) – 22
=7. 21.8 x10

Only a handful of athletes from around the nation were able to feature among the top 10s of multiple tests, with the efforts of GWS Academy Member Lachlan Squire, and Perth’s Zac Meloncelli particularly impressive. Both players rated highly in the standing vertical jump department (fourth and sixth respectively), with Squire placing in second spot for endurance while Meloncelli also snuck onto the podium for his 20m sprint time of 2.87 seconds. Squire also ranked in the top three in his state for all three jumping tests, showcasing his incredible power in that area of the game while also combining it with rare endurance.

Three players, all from Claremont’s Colts squad achieved the feat of ranking among the top 10s of two jumping tests. Fremantle Next Generation Academy hopeful Joel Western was joined by teammates Seth Roberts and Tristan Hurford in placing for the standing, and running vertical jumps, with Hurford impressively notching up the nationwide best scores of 84cm and 99cm in the tests respectively.

The Tigers clearly have some athletic talent on their hands in the aforementioned trio, but were outdone for numbers among the top 10s by the Geelong Falcons and Brisbane Lions Academy. For Geelong, Blake Reid and Charlie Lazzaro made up a 1-2 in the agility test, while Oliver Wiltshire came in seventh. Charlie Brauer‘s 2.89-second 20m sprint was recognised, as Noah Gadsby‘s endurance score of 22.1. Representing the Lions, Jack Briskey was equal-sixth in the standing vertical jump, joined by elite agility testers Tahj Abberley (fourth), Darcy Prest (equal-fifth), and Caleb Hammond (equal-fifth) as high-end finishers.

In terms of overall averages, athletes from the NSW/ACT testing day fared best having come out on top collectively against the other states in the 20m sprint and yo-yo test results. It seems the state has some talented runners, with its small fleet of prospects particularly impressive – especially with top product Braeden Campbell high on the charts in a number of tests at 180cm.

Western Australia boasted the most individual first place finishers, with Riley Colborne taking out the 20m sprint stakes, while Hurford and Chayse Grabe-Paparone combined to finish top in all three of the jumping tests. Victoria was not too far behind as Eastern Ranges’ Luke Gaudion joined Geelong’s Reid in achieving a gold placing. NSW/ACT was the only other state to have an athlete claim the same honour, through Harry Grant’s yo-yo test score of 22.8.

As mentioned, there were many athletes that dominated their own state-based testing days, but only five players in the overall talent pool were able to feature in multiple top 10s for the combined results. This is a statistic certain to change once draft combines come around, with a much smaller talent pool allowing the best athletes to shine even brighter.

>> CHECK OUT THE FULL RESULTS FROM EACH TEST

Jumps
Speed
Agility
Endurance

Picture: The West Australian

Preseason testing results: Which State has the best hops?

THE current sporting hiatus serves as somewhat of an extended preseason for the nation’s brightest AFL Draft prospects, who will be itching to get back on the field. Aside from a few scratch matches on the eve of Round 1, much of the 2020 class has had little in the way of competition thus far.

But preseason testing always serves to get the competitive juices flowing, with players from each region and academy coming together to test where they rate athletically. Rookie Me hosted the preseason testing in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, while the AFL completed testing in Western Australia and NSW/ACT.

In our next analysis of the results from those days around the country, we take a look at the standing and running vertical jump scores and try to answer the question of ‘Which State has the best hops?’. We have compiled the top 10 scores from each State, an overall top 10, and averages from around the nation to help answer the question.

>> SCROLL DOWN FOR THE OVERALL TOP 10’s

>> CATCH UP ON PREVIOUS RESULTS:

20m Sprint
Agility Test
Yo-yo test

STATE TOP 10’s

NEW SOUTH WALES

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 80cm
=2. Gaige Saunders (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 76cm
=2. Lenny Robin (Sydney Swans Academy) – 76cm
4. Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 69cm
=5. Macauley Smith (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 68cm
=5. Hamish Gilmore (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 68cm
=7. Jack Driscoll (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 67cm
=7. Alexander Kourakis (Sydney Swans Academy) – 67cm
=7. Marco Rossmann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 67cm
10. Noah Clarke (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 66cm

Top 10 Average: 70.4cm
State Average:
59.8cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Fraser Kelly (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 83cm
2. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 80cm
=3. Austin Ball (Sydney Swans Academy) – 79cm
=3. Jacob Bauer (Sydney Swans Academy) – 79cm
=5. Macauley Smith (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 78cm
=5. Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 78cm
7. Isaiah Olsen (Sydney Swans Academy) – 77cm
=8. Maximus Monaghan (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 75cm
=8. Kye Pfrengle (Sydney Swans Academy) – 75cm
=8. Thomas Longmire (Sydney Swans Academy) – 75cm

Top 10 Average: 77.9cm
State Average: 
66.2cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Eddie Marning (Sydney Swans Academy) – 89cm
2. Kye Pfrengle (Sydney Swans Academy) – 86cm
=3. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 85cm
=3. Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy) – 85cm
=5. Coopa Steele (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 83cm
=5. Hamish Gilmore (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 83cm
=7. Scott Brown (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 82cm
=7. Lenny Robin (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 82cm
9. Fraser Kelly (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 81cm
=10. 80cm x3

Top 10 Average: 83.6cm
State Average: 
71.5cm

QUEENSLAND

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. Jack Briskey (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 77cm
2. Ethan Kerr (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 73cm
3. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 72cm
4. Jayren Willie (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 71cm
=5. Damon Eastwell (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 69cm
=5. Caleb Hammond (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 69cm
=7. Jack Willis (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 68cm
=7. Nathan Davis (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 68cm
=9. Reed Maskell-Dobbin (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 67cm
=10. 66cm x2

Top 10 Average: 70cm
State Average:
60.1cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 85cm
=2. Shaye Walsh (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 83cm
=2. Jed Foggo (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 83cm
=4. Finn Brown (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 82cm
=4. Jack Willis (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 82cm
6. James Packer (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 80cm
7. Damon Eastwell (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 79cm
8. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 77cm
9. Charlie Bowes (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 76cm
10. Jayren Willie (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 75cm

Top 10 Average: 80.2cm
State Average: 68.4cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 93cm
2. Jack Briskey (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 90cm
3. Damon Eastwell (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 87cm
4. Lochlan Harrop (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 86cm
5. Kuot Thok (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 85cm
=6. Reed Maskell-Dobbin (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 82cm
=6. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 82cm
8. Jack Willis (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 81cm
=9. Bodhi Uwland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 80cm
=9. Nathan Davis (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 80cm

Top 10 Average: 84.6cm
State Average: 71.6cm

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. Harvey Bock (West Adelaide) – 75cm
=2. Jordan Kasianowicz (WWT) – 73cm
=2. Nick Tape (South Adelaide) – 73cm
=2. Henry Read (Sturt) – 73cm
=5. Liam Ueding (WWT) – 71cm
=5. Bailey Griffiths (West Adelaide) – 71cm
=5. Logan Mulady (North Adelaide) – 71cm
=5. Samuel Duke (Norwood) – 71cm
=5. Tom Powell (Sturt) – 71cm
=10. 70cm x3

Top 10 Average: 71.9cm
State Average:
58.5cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Matthew Borlace (Central District) – 92cm
=2. Jordan Kasianowicz (WWT) – 89cm
=2. Lachlan Jones (WWT) – 89cm
4. Tom Powell (Sturt) – 88cm
=5. Zabien Parker-Boers (Sturt) – 87cm
=5. Declan Hortle (Sturt) – 87cm
=7. Aston Woods (West Adelaide) – 86cm
=7. Lachlan Grubb (Central District) – 86cm
9. Henry Read (Sturt) – 84cm
=10. 81cm x2

Top 10 Average: 86.9cm
State Average:
66.1cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Henry Read (Sturt) – 91cm
=2. Kane Viska (Glenelg) – 90cm
=2. Lachlan Grubb (Central District) – 90cm
=4. Ned Walter (Sturt) – 89cm
=4. Tom Powell (Sturt) – 89cm
6. Elliott McNamara (North Adelaide) – 88cm
7. Zabien Parker-Boers (Sturt) – 87cm
=8. Jase Burgoyne (WWT) – 86cm
=8. Lachlan Jones (WWT) – 86cm
=8. Lewis Cowham (Central District) – 86cm

Top 10 Average: 88.2cm
State Average:
70.1cm

TASMANIA

Standing Vertical Jump:

=1. Sam Collins (North Hobart) – 68cm
=1. Darcy Gardner (Clarence) – 68cm
3. Isaac Chugg (Lauceston) – 67cm
=4. Will Peppin (North Hobart) – 63cm
=4. George McLeod (North Hobart) – 63cm
=4. Lachlan Blakemore (Penguin) – 63cm
7. Harry Ireland (North Hobart) – 62cm
=8. Jackson Callow (North Launceston) – 61cm
=8. Jared Dakin (Launceston) – 61cm
=10. 60cm x3

Top 10 Average: 63.6cm
State Average:
56.4cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Isaac Chugg (Launceston) – 82cm
2. Dominic White (North Hobart) – 80cm
3. Harry Ireland (North Hobart) – 79cm
=4. Will Peppin (North Hobart) – 75cm
=4. Patrick Walker (North Hobart) – 75cm
6. Sam Collins (North Hobart) – 74cm
7. Blade Sulzberger (Prospect) – 73cm
=8. Jared Dakin (Launceston) – 72cm
=8. Darcy Gardner (Clarence) – 72cm
10. Oliver Davis (Clarence) – 71cm

Top 10 Average: 75.3cm
State Average:
64.8cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Will Peppin (North Hobart) – 86cm
2. Darcy Gardner (Clarence) – 83cm
3. Sam Tilley (Lauderdale) – 79cm
4. Jayden Hinds (Launceston) – 78cm
5. Isaac Chugg (Launceston) – 76cm
6. Jake Steele (North Hobart) – 75cm
7. Sam Collins (North Hobart) – 74cm
8. Sam Banks (Clarence) – 73cm
9. Lachlan Blakemore (Penguin) – 72cm
=10. 71cm x4

Top 10 Average: 76.7cm
State Average:
68.9cm

VICTORIA

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. Luke Gaudion (Eastern) – 84cm
2. Aidan Hare (Bendigo) – 76cm
=3. Josh Goater (Calder) – 73cm
=3. Jonah Potter (Northern) – 73cm
=3. Lachlan Carrigan (Sandringham) – 73cm
=6. Jonty Patrick (Calder) – 72cm
=6. Michael Ktona (Calder) – 72cm
=6. Giorgio Varagiannis (Oakleigh) – 72cm
=9. 71cm x3

Top 10 Average: 73.7cm
State Average:
57.2cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Archie Perkins (Sandringham) – 92cm
2. Giorgio Varagiannis (Oakleigh) – 89cm
3. Luke Kelvie (Oakleigh) – 88cm
=4. Lachlan Bond (Bendigo) – 85cm
=4. Scott Bielby (Oakleigh) – 85cm
=4. Dominic Akuei (Northern) – 85cm
=4. Harrison Keeling (Eastern) – 85cm
=8. 84cm x4

Top 10 Average: 86.1cm
State Average:
67.3cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh) – 93cm
2. Dominic Bedendo (Murray) – 91cm
=3. Noah Walsh (Bendigo) – 90cm
=3. Giacomo Thomas (Calder) – 90cm
=3. Lachlan Godden (Oakleigh) – 90cm
=3. Luke Gaudion (Eastern) – 90cm
=7. Nash Reynolds (Western) – 89cm
=7. Sam Berry (Gippsland) – 89cm
=7. Joshua Gibcus (GWV) – 89cm
=7. Noah Gadsby (Geelong) – 89cm

Top 10 Average: 90cm
State Average:
72.2cm

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 84cm
2. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 82cm
3. Joel Western (Claremont) – 80cm
4. Zac Meloncelli (Perth) – 77cm
=5. Angus Fraser (South Fremantle) – 76cm
=5. Solomon James (South Fremantle) – 76cm
=5. Darcy Dixon (West Perth) – 76cm
=8. Aidan Hall (South Fremantle) – 75cm
=8. Caleb Stephens (South Fremantle) – 75cm
=8. Rohan Scurria (West Perth) – 75cm

Top 10 Average: 77.6cm
State Average:
58.3cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Chayse Grabe-Paparone (Subiaco) – 100cm
2. Noah Farrow (West Perth) – 95cm
3. Bailey Jenkin (Swan Districts) – 92cm
=4. Zac Trigwell (Peel Thunder) – 91cm
=4. Zac Sanderson (Perth) – 91cm
6. Rohan Scurria (West Perth) – 89cm
=7. Joel Western (Claremont) – 88cm
=7. Corey Warner (East Fremantle) – 88cm
9. Jordan Berry (West Perth) – 87cm
=10. 86cm x3

Top 10 Average: 90.7cm
State Average:
66.7cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 99cm
=2. Brandon Walker (East Fremantle) – 94cm
=2. James Sullivan (Swan Districts) – 94cm
=4.Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 92cm
=4. Angus Fraser (South Fremantle) – 92cm
6. Joel Western (Claremont) – 91cm
=7. 90cm x5

Top 10 Average: 92.2cm
State Average:
71.3cm

OVERALL TOP 10’s

Standing Vertical Jump:

=1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 84cm
=1. Luke Gaudion (Eastern Ranges) – 84cm
3. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 82cm
=4. Joel Western (Claremont) – 80cm
=4. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 80cm
=6. Jack Briskey (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 77cm
=6. Zac Meloncelli (Perth) – 77cm
=7. 76cm x6

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. Chayse Grabe-Paparone (Subiaco) – 100cm
2. Noah Farrow (West Perth) – 95cm
=3. Bailey Jenkin (Swan Districts) – 92cm
=3. Matthew Borlace (Central District) – 92cm
=3. Archie Perkins (Sandringham) – 92cm
=6. Zac Trigwell (Peel Thunder) – 91cm
=6. Zac Sanderson (Perth) – 91cm
=8. 89cm x4

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. Tristan Hurford (Claremont) – 99cm
=2. Brandon Walker (East Fremantle) – 94cm
=2. James Sullivan (Swan Districts) – 94cm
=4. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 93cm
=4. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh) – 93cm
=6. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 92cm
=6. Angus Fraser (South Fremantle) – 92cm
=8. Henry Read (Sturt) – 91cm
=8. Dominic Bedendo (Murray) – 91cm
=8. Joel Western (Claremont) – 91cm

STATE AGAINST STATE AVERAGES

Standing Vertical Jump:

1. QLD – 60.1cm
2. NSW – 59.8cm
3. SA – 58.5cm
4. WA – 58.3cm
5. VIC – 57.2cm
6. TAS – 56.4cm

Running Vertical Jump (R):

1. QLD – 68.4cm
2. VIC – 67.3cm
3. WA – 66.7cm
4. NSW – 66.2cm
5. SA – 66.1cm
6. TAS – 64.8cm

Running Vertical Jump (L):

1. VIC – 72.2cm
2. QLD – 71.6cm
3. NSW – 71.5cm
4. WA – 71.3cm
5. SA – 70.1cm
6. TAS – 68.9cm

AFL Draft Watch: Archie Perkins (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

IN the build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central takes a look at some of this year’s brightest names who have already represented their state at Under 17 or Under 18s level in 2019. While plenty can change between now and then, we will provide a bit of an insight into players, how they performed at the NAB League Preseason Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me, and some of our scouting notes on them from last year.

Next under the microscope in our AFL Draft Watch is Sandringham Dragons’ Archie Perkins, a powerful midfielder/forward who is one of his regions’ leading top-age prospects. The Brighton Grammar student featured six times in the NAB League last year between school football commitments, while also running out for Vic Metro’s Under 17s side, and in the Under-17 All-Star showcase game.

Perkins’ athletic profile is as good as anyone to have come through the elite talent pathways, boasting high-level scores across the jumps, speed, and agility tests. Having found a groove up forward in 2019, Perkins will be using those explosive traits through the engine room this year as he pushes to become one of Vic Metro’s prime movers. Of course, that is if competition resumes.

PLAYER PAGE:

Archie Perkins

Height: 186.3cm
Weight: 77.2kg
Position: Midfielder/forward

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATS: 6 games | 14.2 disposals | 4.2 marks | 1.8 tackles | 1.3 clearances | 3.2 inside 50s | 1.7 goals (10)

Strengths: Explosiveness, vertical leap, athleticism, impact/damage
Improvements: Accumulation

>> READ OUR Q&A WITH ARCHIE PERKINS

PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:

Vertical Jump: 70cm
Running Vertical Jump (R/L): 92cm/84cm
Speed (20m): 2.94 seconds
Agility: 8.24 seconds
Endurance (Yo-yo): 20.8

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

2019 Under 17 Futures All Star Game

By: Ed Pascoe

The talented Sandringham Dragons prospect had a quiet game but still showed some of his skill with a nice baulk deep in defence showing good composure in the first quarter when Team Brown was making a charge. Perkins has plenty of talent is a player to watch next year especially in the forward half.

2019 NAB League Round 17 vs. Oakleigh

By: Michael Alvaro

Just continually does eye-catching things up forward and through the midfield, using his power and confidence around opponents to burst through and get Sandringham going. Perkins started with a really strong mark against two opponents as he worked up the ground from half forward, but had his greatest impact with three important goals from his 11 disposals. His first goal came after finding space to mark close to the boundary just inside 50 and converting the shot, and his third came from a similar position but on the run – showing his improved finishing and ability to rise to the occasion against quality opposition.

2019 Under 17 Futures vs. Queensland

By: Michael Alvaro

Perkins was another to move through the midfield-forward rotation, catching the eye with some strong and agile bursts through traffic which he finished with smart kicks inside 50. The powerful Sandringham product went on to have an impact around the ball with more midfield time after the main break, slamming forward five clearances and standing up in tackles to dish the ball out from congestion. Sprayed a tough chance on goal on the move, with that area of his game one to work on as he gets in dangerous positions.

2019 NAB League Round 10 vs. Geelong

By: Michael Alvaro

The 23rd man was one of the most influential players, making a menace of himself in the forward half. While he arguably looked the Dragons’ most likely, inaccuracy in front of goal (0.5) told the story of his day, and he could have even had six or seven goals with better conversion. Still, Perkins had some great moments throughout – getting busy around the forward stoppages and finding space to wheel around and deliver inside 50. His willingness to take the game and opponents on proved a game-winner, with one of his five behinds putting the Dragons in front in the final minute of the game as he broke away from three opponents on the arc and let fly. Showed he is good in the air and in one-on-one duels too, with plenty to like about his game overall. As a bottom-ager, can sharpen up his kicking at times and go to ground less as he builds his frame.

>> CATCH UP ON OUR DRAFT WATCH SERIES

Vic Metro:
Jackson Cardillo
Nikolas Cox
Connor Downie

Vic Country:
Jack Ginnivan
Nick Stevens
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

South Australia:
Kaine Baldwin
Luke Edwards
Taj Schofield

Western Australia:
Denver Grainger-Barras
Logan McDonald
Nathan O’Driscoll

Preseason testing analysis: Which State is the most agile?

THE current sporting hiatus serves as somewhat of an extended preseason for the nation’s brightest AFL Draft prospects, who will be itching to get back on the field. Aside from a few scratch matches on the eve of Round 1, much of the 2020 class has had little in the way of competition thus far.

But preseason testing always serves to get the competitive juices flowing, with players from each region and academy coming together to test where they rate athletically. Rookie Me hosted the preseason testing in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, while the AFL completed testing in Western Australia and NSW/ACT.

In our next analysis of the results from those days around the country, we take a look at the agility test scores and try to answer the question of ‘Which State is the most agile?’. We have compiled the top 10 scores from each State, an overall top 10, and averages from around the nation to help answer the question. Stay tuned for results across each test in the near future.

>> SCROLL DOWN FOR THE OVERALL TOP 10

STATE TOP 10’s

New South Wales:

1. Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.23 seconds
=2. Cooper Wilson (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.26
=2. Oscar Davis (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.26
4. Harry Grant (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 8.306
5. Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.36
6. Fraser Kelly (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 8.367
7. Thomas Longmire (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.41
8. Harrison Grintell (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 8.414
9. Marco Rossmann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 8.43
10. Kai Watts (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 8.441

Top 10 Average: 8.347 seconds (6th)

The Swans Academy again makes up most of the NSW top 10, with six talents making up the list – including the entire top three. Jordan Endemann again showcased his athleticism with the quickest time, while top-aged academy standout Marco Rossmann also snuck into the rankings. Harry Grant was GWS’ niftiest mover, clocking up a 8.306-second effort, with 2019 Under-16 State MVP Kai Watts rounding out the list. NSW was one of just two states not to boast a time under eight seconds.

Queensland:

1. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.84 seconds
=2. Darcy Prest (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
=2. Caleb Hammond (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
4. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 7.97
5. Kirk McGrory (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 8.18
6. Billy Evers (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 8.19
7. Damon Eastwell (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 8.22
8. Will Tasker (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 8.23
9. Lochlan Harrop (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 8.24
10. Shaye Walsh (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 8.25

Top 10 Average: 8.084 seconds (2nd)

It was hardly a surprise to see Tahj Abberley again not only feature among the elite ranks for Queensland, but to also claim top spot for his scintillating 7.84-second run. A number of players also made their second and third features on top 10 lists with fantastic times, as the Lions’ academy made up for 70 per cent of the top 10, including the entire podium. The Queenslanders’ elites were the second-quickest on average.

South Australia:

1. Lachlan Grubb (Central District) – 7.94 seconds
2. Connor Willsmore (Sturt) – 8.05
3. James Willis (North Adelaide) – 8.06
4. Nasiah Wanganeen (Glenelg) – 8.11
=5. Jordan Kasianowicz (WWT Eagles) – 8.16
=5. Connor Blackwell (West Adelaide) – 8.16
7. Luke Mitton (South Adelaide) – 8.20
8. Jacob Godden (WWT Eagles) – 8.24
=9. Antonio Zappia (Norwood) – 8.25
=9. Riley Hughes (Central District) – 8.25

Top 10 Average: 8.142 seconds (4th)

SA Academy Hub gun Lachlan Grubb utilised every bit of his athletics background to notch his state’s best time as the sole athlete to clock in at under eight seconds. He, and fellow Bulldog Riley Hughes bookended the 10, while the likes of Connor Willsmore and Luke Mitton made yet another appearance among the top ranks. The Croweaters were once again middle of the road overall through, coming in fourth when compared to other states’ best figures.

Tasmania:

1. Isaac Chugg (Launceston) – 8.04 seconds
2. Jayden Hinds (Launceston) – 8.14
3. Will Peppin (North Hobart) – 8.17
4. Kye Chilcott (Launceston) – 8.26
5. Oliver Davis (Clarence) – 8.29
=6. Sam Tilley (Lauderdale) – 8.31
=6. Sam Foley (Launceston) – 8.31
8. Jack Rand (Devonport) – 8.32
9. Patrick Walker (North Hobart) – 8.34
10. Darcy Gardner (Clarence) – 8.38

Top 10 Average: 8.256 seconds (5th)

Former athletics ace Isaac Chugg was yet again the standout for Tasmania with his outstanding time of 8.04 seconds, though he could not quite become the only Tasmanian to sneak in under eight seconds. Allies Academy Hub members Oliver Davis and Patrick Walker put in solid showings with their times of around the 8.30-second mark, while former Academy member Will Peppin featured on the podium.

Victoria:

1. Blake Reid (Geelong Falcons) – 7.76 seconds
2. Charlie Lazzaro (Geelong Falcons) –  7.79
3. Harrison White (Western Jets) – 7.83
4. Oliver Wiltshire (Geelong Falcons) – 7.90
=5. Harvey Gallagher (Bendigo Pioneers) – 7.92
=5. Sam Butler (GWV Rebels) – 7.92
7. Bailey Laurie (Oakleigh Chargers) – 7.97
8. Harrison Keeling (Eastern Ranges) – 7.98
=9. 7.99 x3

Top 10 Average: 7.905 seconds (1st)

The quickest top 10 on average across the nation was Victoria, which was the sole state to have every time clock in at under eight seconds. Geelong Falcons products stood out among the massive talent pool, featuring thrice in the top four, with Blake Reid and Charlie Lazzaro managing the best two times. Oakleigh midfield/forward jet Bailey Laurie also ran well, coming in seventh as one of two National Academy members on the list.

Western Australia:

1. Ty Sears (Swan Districts) – 7.92 seconds
2. Jayden Peak (East Perth) – 8.02
=3. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 8.08
=3. Zac Sanderson (Perth) – 8.08
5. Bailey Jenkin (Swan Districts) – 8.14
6. Saverio Marafioti (West Perth) – 8.18
=7. Denver Grainger-Barras (Swan Districts) – 8.19
=7. Zach Fleiner (West Perth) – 8.19
=7. Rohan Scurria (West Perth) – 8.19
10. Lyle Sibasado (Swan Districts) – 8.22

Top 10 Average: 8.121 seconds (3rd)

One of the top states in terms of their elite runners was again Western Australia, despite only having one athlete run the test in less than eight seconds. Ty Sears was that player, topping the list as one of four Swan Districts products to feature. Top WA draft hopeful Denver Grainger-Barras was one of three players to manage a time of 8.19 seconds, impressive for a key defender.

OVERALL TOP 10

1. Blake Reid (Geelong Falcons) – 7.76 seconds
2. Charlie Lazzaro (Geelong Falcons) –  7.79
3. Harrison White (Western Jets) – 7.83
4. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.84
=5. Darcy Prest (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
=5. Caleb Hammond (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 7.86
7. Oliver Wiltshire (Geelong Falcons) – 7.90
=8. Harvey Gallagher (Bendigo Pioneers) – 7.92
=8. Sam Butler (GWV Rebels) – 7.92
=8. Ty Sears (Swan Districts) – 7.92

An absolutely rapid top 10 was dominated by Victorians, who made up for each podium place and over half of the list overall. Reid and Lazzaro were joined by Harrison White in the top three, with Queenslander Abberley the best non-Victorian runner, followed by two of his fellow Brisbane Academy teammates. Sears made it three states represented, sneaking into the 10 as the lone West Australian.

STATE AGAINST STATE:

1. Queensland – 8.55
2. Victoria – 8.56
3. Tasmania – 8.69
4. South Australia – 8.76
5. NSW/ACT – 8.82
6. Western Australia – 8.89

While Victoria may have dominated the top 10, having the largest talent pool brought its overall average down – albeit only to second place. Queensland proved the best state for sideways movement, edging into top spot while Tasmania filled out the podium. In a change from the yo-yo and 20m sprint results, Western Australia and NSW/ACT were the worst ranked states, even despite the former boasting a very good top 10.

Q&A: Darby Hipwell (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season where we sat down with a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Michael Alvaro chatted with Sandringham Dragons’ Darby Hipwell at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

The 181cm inside midfielder was one of the surprise omissions from this year’s Vic Metro Academy Hub, especially given he had already donned the Big V at both Under 16 and Under 17 level. But unlike others, Hipwell has been able to draw from the similar experiences of some of his former teammates, of whom have now ventured on to the elite level.

Currently a student at Brighton Grammar, Hipwell is set to mix his time between the NAB League and APS competitions should athletes be allowed to recommence their season. Having returned a solid result in the preseason yo-yo test (21.1) despite a humble assessment of his athletic base, Hipwell looks primed for a big top-age year with a point to prove.

MA: Darby, how’s the day been for you?

DH: “It’s been good. It’s good to test, it’s always a pretty nerve-wracking day to see how you go. But overall, it’s good to see all your teammates perform well.”

Do you feel like you’re performing well yourself, a few personal bests?

“Not quite, I’m not the best of athletes. But I just give it my best shot.”

More of a natural footballer then, are you looking forward to showcasing that once you get back on the park?

“I’d like to think so, I’m more of a traditional footballer I guess. I don’t really thrive on the combine testing days.”

Coming off a decent bottom-age year, what are the things you’re looking to develop?

“Just that inside midfield role, I just really want to cement my spot in the team this year. Hopefully I’ll play the first few rounds and just develop my disposal efficiency, my outside run and my kicking. They’re the main things.”

Will you be mixing your time between school football and NAB League as well?

“Yeah, I’m at Brighton Grammar in the APS. So I won’t play the whole season at Dragons, only a few games. But it’s really important to balance those two teams.”

Just missing out on the Metro Academy Hub, how have you dealt with that kind of setback?

“Obviously when the squad came out I was pretty disappointed but as soon as I saw it, I’ve just used it as motivation since. I’ve really tried to have a strong preseason, trained really hard and just used that setback as something that can hopefully push me forward.”

It would have been great last year having a bunch of mentors to feed off at the Dragons?

“Definitely. Last year I got to train in the midfield group with all of those boys – Finn Maginness, Ryan Byrnes, Jack Mahony. I just learned so much off them, watched all their little tricks and how they go about it. I think that’s really put me in good stead for the season coming up.”

Has that experience helped you set your own goals now, knowing the benchmark?

“Definitely. I’ve looked at their seasons and someone like Finn Maginness who missed out on the Metro (squad) at the first selection, I’ve really tried to model my game off him and the way he went about the first few rounds, and how he went through the preseason with his head up, training strong.”

What are some of those goals now that you’re looking to tick off?

“Just to have a good start to the season and a consistent season. I don’t really want to put too many benchmarks on what I want to make and what I don’t want to make. I just want to be satisfied with how I go and try and get the best out of myself. Train hard, and the rest will take care of itself if I’m playing good footy.”

Preseason testing analysis: Which State has the best endurance runners?

THE current sporting hiatus serves as somewhat of an extended preseason for the nation’s brightest AFL Draft prospects, who will be itching to get back on the field. Aside from a few scratch matches on the eve of Round 1, much of the 2020 class has had little in the way of competition thus far.

But preseason testing always serves to get the competitive juices flowing, with players from each region and academy coming together to test where they are at. Rookie Me hosted the preseason testing in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania, while the AFL completed testing in Western Australia and NSW/ACT.

In our second analysis of the results from those days around the country, we take a look at the yo-yo test scores and try to answer the question of ‘Which State has the best endurance runners?’. We have compiled the top 10 scores from each State, an overall top 10, and averages from around the nation to help answer the question. Stay tuned for results across each test in the near future.

>>SCROLL DOWN FOR THE OVERALL TOP 10.

STATE TOP 10’s

New South Wales:

1. Harry Grant (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.8
2. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.3
=3. Hamish Gilmore (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.8
=3. Samuel Frost (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.8
=3. Noah Clarke (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.8
=3. Angus Crelley (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.8
=3. Luke Fellons (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.8
8. Marco Rossman (Sydney Swans Academy) – 21.7
=9. Joshua Fahey (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 21.6
=9. Harrison Parker (Sydney Swans Academy) – 21.6

Top 10 Average: 21.9

Boasting the greatest average across its top 10 yo-yo testers was New South Wales, the state to also lay claim to the top two scores across the nation. The GWS GIANTS Academy boys must have eaten their Weet-Bix that morning, returning some phenomenal results and making up eight of their state’s top 10 placings. Harry Grant and Lachlan Squire are top of the tree for 2020, a giant effort from them.

Queensland:

=1. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 21.1
=1. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 21.1
=3. Shaye Walsh (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 20.8
=3. Mason Gates (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 20.8
=5. Billy Evers (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 20.7
=5. Brinn Little (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) 20.7
=5. Max Nelson (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 20.7
=5. Kirk McGrory (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 20.7
=9. Joel Peters (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 20.6
=9. Reed Maskell-Dobbin (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 20.6

Top 10 Average: 20.8

The Queenslanders hold the unfortunate status of placing last in terms of their top 10 average, with just two athletes ticking onto the 21.1 stage. Though among the pair is Tahj Abberley, one of Queensland’s best prospects. It was a rather consistent showing up north though, with a good spread of scores and representation from either academy.

South Australia:

1. Benjamin Belperio (Norwood) – 21.5
2. Luke Mitton (South Adelaide) – 21.4
=3. Bailey Griffiths (West Adelaide) – 21.3
=3. Harvey Bock (West Adelaide) – 21.3
=5. Lewis Rayson (Glenelg) – 21.2
=5. Brody Stuart (North Adelaide) – 21.2
=5. Ethan Schwerdt (Norwood) – 21.2
=5. Jack Saunders (Norwood) – 21.2
=5. Morgan Ferres (Sturt) – 21.2
=5. Joshua Garrels (Sturt) – 21.2

Top 10 Average: 21.3

The South Australians were represented well during preseason testing, but were essentially the best of the rest in terms of averages across their top 10. Six clubs had players sneak into the 10, with Norwood’s Benjamin Belperio leading all-comers as one of three Redlegs to make the grade. Sturt was another well-represented side, much like in the 20m sprint times, and had bottom-age bigman Morgan Ferres feature. No scores below 21.2 in the 10, but none getting into the 22’s.

Tasmania:

1. Jake Steele (North Hobart) – 21.3
2. Alex Davies (Launceston) – 21.2
=3. Jared Dakin (Launceston) – 21.1
=3. Kye Chilcott (Launceston) – 21.1
=3. Jake Dixon (Wynyard) – 21.1
=3. Dominic White (North Hobart) – 21.1
=3. Angus Jeffries (North Launceston) – 21.1
8. Patrick Walker (North Hobart) – 20.7
=9. George McLeod (North Hobart) – 20.6
=9. Jacob Young (Clarence) – 20.6

Top 10 Average: 21.1

The small Tasmanian crop put in a solid showing for the endurance test, with a couple of standouts just breaking clear from the trailing pack. Over-age tall Jake Steele topped the sheet with 21.3, with Launceston’s Alex Davies not far behind, and five athletes managing 21.1. Just below them, Academy Hub member Patrick Walker also snuck into the rankings. Fifth place for the Tasmanians on top 10 average.

Victoria:

=1. Harry Sullivan (Dandenong Stingrays) – 22.1
=1. Noah Gadsby (Geelong Falcons) – 22.1
3. Oskar Faulkhead (Bendigo Pioneers) – 21.8
=4. Chance Doultree (Gippsland Power) – 21.7
=4. Sam Berry (Gippsland Power) – 21.7
=4. Liam Kolar (Northern Knights) – 21.7
=7. 21.6 x7

Top 10 Average: 21.8

The NAB Leaguers contribute among a massive talent pool, so it was no surprise to see some impressive scores put on the board. No score below 21.6 – higher than the top score of three other states – helped the Victorians secure equal-second, with Noah Gadsby and Harry Sullivan top as the only athletes to breach level 22. Gippsland’s Sam Berry features on the list, a promising midfield prospect who managed 21.7.

Western Australia:

1. Alex Crowe (East Fremantle) – 22
2. Teakle Bohan (East Fremantle) – 22
=3. Nathan O’Driscoll (Perth) – 21.8
=3. Zac Sanderson (Perth) – 21.8
=3. Corey Sellars (South Fremantle) – 21.8
=3. Cameron Dean (Subiaco) – 21.8
=7. Jayden Peak (East Perth) – 21.7
=7. James Ettia (Perth) – 21.7
=7. Jack Demarte (West Perth) – 21.7
=10. 21.6 x7

Top 10 Average: 21.8

Joining the Victorians in second place are the boys from out West, who also combined to have two athletes clock up level 22. Top midfield prospect Nathan O’Driscoll leads a quartet of four players who managed to notch 21.8, which ended up being the state’s average. With a number of high-level performers down the list, WA is sure to feature highly again in the overall averages.

OVERALL TOP 10

1. Harry Grant (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.8
2. Lachlan Squire (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 22.3
=3. Harry Sullivan (Dandenong Stingrays) – 22.1
=3. Noah Gadsby (Geelong Falcons) – 22.1
=5. Alex Crowe (East Fremantle) – 22
=5. Teakle Bohan (East Fremantle) – 22
=7. 21.8 x10

Grant and Squire lead the way, making it two GIANTS at the top, while a pair of East Fremantle products also make the top ranks. Geelong’s Gadsby is a big name among the podium placings, and there were a bunch of guns among the 10 athletes to clock 21.8. Only three states were represented at the top end; New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

STATE AGAINST STATE:

1. NSW/ACT – 20.7
2. Western Australia – 20.6
3. Victoria – 20.4
4. Tasmania – 20.3
=5. South Australia – 20.2
=5. Queensland – 20.2

In the question of which state is has the best endurance runners collectively? The answer is again NSW/ACT, with the GWS and Sydney academies notching an overall average score of 20.7 – backing up their triumph in the 20m sprint stakes. Western Australia again featured highly, just below the benchmark at 20.6, while Victoria and its wealth of athletes managed to sneak onto the podium. Tasmania, just clear of a joint-last spot, jumped South Australia from the top 10 averages.