Tag: rookie me

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 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.

Preseason testing analysis: Which State is the fastest?

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 first look at the results from those days around the country, we take a look at the 20-metre sprint results and try to answer the question of ‘Which State is the fastest?’. 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.

TOP 10’s


New South Wales:

1. Riley Fitzroy (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.87 seconds
2. Jordan Endemann (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.9
3. Hugh Melville (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.91
4. Harrison Grintell (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 2.915
5. Ed Ogilvy (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.93
6. Matthew McKenzie (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.94
7. Braeden Campbell (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.95
8. Matthew McGrory (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 2.951
9. Austin Ball (Sydney Swans Academy) – 2.96
10. Thomas Sase (GWS GIANTS Academy) – 2.962

Top 10 Average: 2.928 seconds
State Average: 3.094 seconds

One of the top three quickest states at the top end was New South Wales, with Sydney Swans Academy members making up seven of an impressive top 10. Riley Fitzroy‘s 2.87-second time was the equal second-best across the nation, with Jordan Endemann‘s 2.9-flat effort also putting him among the final top 10. The biggest name among the NSW group is Braeden Campbell, who looks to be the Swans’ top 2020 draft prospect.

Queensland:

1. Jack Briskey (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 2.92 seconds
2. Riley Buckland (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 2.94
3. Darcy Prest (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 2.98
4. Tahj Abberley (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 3.02
5. Flynn Petersons (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 3.03
=6. Billy Evers (Gold Coast SUNS Academy) – 3.04
=6. Kirk McGrory (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 3.04
=6. Damon Eastwell (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 3.04
=6. Blake Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy) – 3.04
=10. 3.06 x4

Top 10 Average: 3.01 seconds
State Average: 3.142 seconds

The Queenslanders lagged a touch on testing day, albeit with a small sample size and some big names not testing, averaging a tick over three seconds with its top 10. Jack Briskey was clear at the top as one of six Brisbane Academy members in the best 10 efforts, while Riley Buckland claimed silver as the fastest Gold Coast Academy prospect. Briskey’s fellow Lions and Allies hub members Tahj Abberley and Blake Coleman also showcased their pace.

South Australia:

=1. Connor Willsmore (Sturt) – 2.93 seconds
=1. Daniel Fairbrother (Norwood) – 2.93
3. Willa Taylor (Sturt) – 2.94
=4. Morgan Ferres (Sturt) – 2.95
=4. Izach Zinndorf (West Adelaide) – 2.95
=6. Ryan Williams (Eagles) – 2.96
=6. Jacob Ferrari (Sturt) – 2.96
=6. Ben Ianniello (Norwood) – 2.96
=6. Tariek Newchurch (North Adelaide) – 2.96
=10. 2.97 x2

Top 10 Average: 2.951 seconds
State Average: 3.171 seconds

The South Australian top 10 managed to sneak just under three seconds with their average score, with each player managing no more than 2.97 seconds in their dash. Connor Willsmore shared first place with Daniel Fairbrother, and the former was one of an impressive four Sturt products at the pointy end. Tariek Newchurch, an Adelaide NGA prospect also featured, while Morgan Ferres, an impressive key forward at last year’s Under 16 carnival is right near the top, too.

Tasmania:

1. Isaac Chugg (Launceston) – 2.93 seconds
2. Darcy Gardner (Clarence) – 2.99
=3. Sam Banks (Clarence) – 3.02
=3. Sam Tilley (Lauderdale) – 3.02
=3. Jared Dakin (Lauceston) – 3.02
6. Noah Holmes (Clarence) – 3.04
=7. Sam Collins (North Hobart) – 3.05
=7. Ryan Whitney (North Launceston) – 3.05
=7. Kye Chilcott (Launceston) – 3.05
=7. Baynen Lowe (Devonport) – 3.05

Top 10 Average: 3.02 seconds
State Average: 3.139 seconds

Tasmania managed the unfortunate feat of laying claim to the slowest top 10 performers, with just two players managing to crack the three-second mark. Former athletics star Isaac Chugg was top of the tree with his 2.93-second sprint, joined by Darcy Gardner on the podium. Academy members Sam Banks and Sam Collins also earned their way onto the top list, while Baynen Lowe is another under-age jet to look out for.

Victoria:

1. Jackson Cardillo (Calder Cannons) – 2.88 seconds
=2. Michael Lewis (Sandringham Dragons) – 2.89
=2. Flynn Maguire (Oakleigh Chargers) – 2.89
=2. Charlie Brauer (Geelong Falcons) – 2.89
=5. Kobi George (Dandenong Stingrays) – 2.9
=5. Lachlan Green (Western Jets) – 2.9
=7. Lachlan Carrigan (Sandringham Dragons) – 2.91
=7. Jonah Potter (Northern Knights) – 2.91
=7. Ben Overman (Calder Cannons) – 2.91
=10. 2.93 x2

Top 10 Average: 2.901 seconds
State Average: 3.140 seconds

By far the biggest talent pool, Victoria produced plenty of names among the nationwide top 10, with Jackson Cardillo‘s 2.88-second effort the leading time. There was a good mix of club representation as Calder and Sandringham were the only regions to boast two players each among the top 10. Last year’s clubhouse leader, Jonah Potter was knocked off his perch, notching a 2.91-second time good enough for equal-seventh.

Western Australia:

1. Riley Colborne (South Fremantle) – 2.86 seconds
2. Zac Meloncelli (Perth) – 2.870
3. Joel Western (Claremont) – 2.88
=4. Jordan Berry (West Perth)  – 2.89
=4. Luke Michael (West Perth) – 2.89
6. Jayden Peak (East Perth) – 2.90
7. Seth Roberts (Claremont) – 2.91
=8. Lachlan Rewell (West Perth) – 2.92
=8. Tai Kirkpatrick (Subiaco) – 2.92
=10. 2.93 x6

Top 10 Average: 2.897 seconds
State Average: 3.130 seconds

Riley Colborne not only notched the quickest time in Western Australia, but also the best time across the nation with his 2.86-second burst. He was the lone South Fremantle product in the 10 though, with West Perth represented thrice and Claremont twice. Fremantle NGA prospect, Joel Western was among them. The West Australians also claim the honour of boasting the quickest top 10 sprinters of any state, averaging 2.897 seconds at the top end.

OVERALL TOP 10

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

The quickest half-dozen Victorian prospects make up much of the nationwide top 10, but the best NAB Leaguer, Jackson Cardillo‘s 2.88-second time was only good enough for fourth overall.

Western Australia fills two places on the podium, including the all-important number one spot on the back of Riley Colborne‘s scintillating 2.86-second effort.

The Swans’ Academy should have some pace to burn this year too, as the only club to boast two products on the elite leaderboard.

It was tight at the top, with just 0.3 of a second separating first from 10th. With such a competitive field, no athletes from Queensland, South Australia, or Tasmania made the final cut.

STATE AGAINST STATE:

1. NSW/ACT – 3.094 seconds
2. Western Australia – 3.130
3. Tasmania – 3.139
4. Victoria – 3.140
5. Queensland – 3.142
6. South Australia – 3.171

In the question of which state is the fastest as a collective? The answer is NSW/ACT with the Swans and GIANTS Academies recording an average of 3.094 seconds across the board to be the fastest as a whole. Western Australia and Tasmania fill out the podium, with South Australia the slowest of the six states.

Picture: AFL Photos

Marquee Matchups: Alex Davies vs. Reef McInnes

DESPITE remaining in the unknown of football’s temporary absence, Draft Central is set to ramp up its draft analysis with another new prospect-focussed series, Marquee Matchups. We take a look at some of the high-end head-to-head battles which look likely to take place should the class of 2020 take the field, comparing pairs of draft hopefuls to help preview who may come out on top.

A couple of academy hopefuls make up our next pair under review, with Cairns native Alex Davies tied to the Gold Coast SUNS, while Reef McInnes is the latest Oakleigh Charger connected to Collingwood’s Next Generation Academy (NGA). The two are virtually identical in size and have already played in opposing sides thrice across three different competitions, providing a decent data sample to this point. Neither player was able to participate in preseason testing due to injury niggles, but are raring to go should they be called upon.

Davies has long been one of Queensland’s hottest draft prospects, and is certainly now the SUNS’ most prominent academy member. The 191cm inside midfielder provides a big body at the stoppages, dominating the clearance stakes with his clean hands, strength, and poise in congestion. He has often been Queensland’s best player during representative duties to date, earning All Australian honours at Under 16 level and impressing last year in the Under 17 competition. Experience in the NAB League also bodes well for Davies, as he helped the SUNS take out the Academy Series in 2019.

His adversary, McInnes has plenty of similar attributes as an inside midfielder, but was forced to play up forward for Oakleigh for much of 2019 given the Chargers’ phenomenal midfield crop. The 192cm mover managed to take full advantage of his limited time in the engine room though, showcasing his ability to find plenty of ball as he also does for Scotch College in school football. McInnes also possesses terrific athleticism for his size, allowing him to come away cleanly from stoppage situations and get his side moving forward. Having played in Oakleigh’s 2019 premiership side, he is also well versed in big games.

Without further ado, get up to speed with how the two match-up in terms of their form to date, strengths, improvements, and what has already been said about their performances in our scouting notes.

PLAYER PAGES

Alex Davies
Gold Coast/Allies
Gold Coast SUNS Academy

DOB: March 18, 2002

Height: 191.2cm
Weight: 84.6kg

Position: Inside midfielder

Reef McInnes
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro
Collingwood NGA

DOB: December 12, 2002

Height: 192.1cm
Weight: 83.8kg

Position: Inside midfielder/forward

ON-FIELD PROFILES

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATISTICS

Davies:

4 games
18 disposals (49.3% contested possessions)
2.8 marks
3.5 tackles
3.8 clearances
2.8 inside 50s
1.3 rebound 50s
0.3 goals (1)

McInnes:

12 games
14.7 disposals (36% contested possessions)
3.9 marks
3.1 tackles
1.6 clearances
1.6 inside 50s
1.6 rebound 50s
0.5 goals (6)

There is often only so much you can read into statistics, and this is somewhat the case with either player here. While Davies’ sample size in the NAB League is three-times smaller than McInnes’, his key stats arguably better reflect his overall game as an inside type. The Queenslander’s 49 per cent contested ball rate, 3.8 clearances, and 3.5 tackles are indicative of his stoppage dominance, while his average of 2.8 inside 50s come from long roosts out of congestion. Over half (9.8) of Davies’ disposals across the four games were handballs though, further reflecting his distributive role.

McInnes’ key stats over 12 games are products of his varying roles in the competition as a bottom-ager, having been pushed out to the flanks given Oakleigh’s stacked squad. Still, McInnes managed three games of over 23 disposals with a high of 29 when utilised through midfield, and made good of his chances in the side nonetheless. McInnes’ deceptive athleticism also comes through in his average 3.9 marks and low contested possession rate, as he showed he could gain separation from his direct opponent in the forward half, while also proving strong one-on-one inside 50. From midfield, McInnes’ accumulation on the spread has arguably proven superior.

BEST GAME

Davies:

NAB League Rd 4 vs. Oakleigh

16 disposals
5 marks
6 tackles
1 clearance
3 inside 50s
1 goal

McInnes:

NAB League Rd 13 vs. Geelong

29 disposals
5 marks
7 tackles
4 clearances
5 inside 50s
2 goals

Either players’ best games display similar upside in their efforts, with two-way work rate, the ability to find the ball, and scoreboard impact all evident across the two performances. Davies’ disposal count may be a touch low at 16, but his well-rounded outing against McInnes and Oakleigh in last year’s NAB League beat out his two 22-disposal efforts. He worked around the ground well to notch six marks, while using his physical presence to also have a say on the defensive side of the stoppages.

McInnes had a blinder against Geelong during the middle of the season, racking up big numbers throughout a rare midfield berth. A game-high 29 touches featured four clearances, five inside 50s, and two goals, with the Chargers’ defensive work also notable as he laid seven tackles. McInnes’ 28 disposals against Western in his next NAB League appearance was a close second, but his goals against Geelong showcase the versatility in his game. Again, the accumulation factor looks good for McInnes in these instances.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

2019 NAB League Rd 4
Gold Coast 14.11 (95) def. Oakleigh 3.6 (24) @ Southport

Davies:

16 disposals
5 marks
6 tackles
3 inside 50s
1 goal

McInnes:

13 disposals
3 marks
1 clearance
3 rebound 50s

2019 Under 17 Futures
Vic Metro 10.11 (71) def. Queensland 6.7 (43) @ Ikon Park

Davies:

15 disposals
3 marks
2 tackles
5 clearances
1 inside 50

McInnes:

24 disposals
3 marks
9 tackles
6 clearances
4 inside 50s
2 rebound 50s

The ledger after these two meetings looks reasonably square, with Davies having a greater say in their NAB League clash, while McInnes managed to get one back in their representative hitout. It is also worth noting that the pair also faced off in the Under 17s All Star fixture, with both prospects returning terrific performances.

Arguably the best game to look at is the Under 17 carnival clash, where McInnes’ Metro side trumped Davies’ Queenslanders on home turf. Reason being, both players were utilised in their natural inside midfield positions on that day and were easily in their sides’ best handful of players. Though he had nine less disposals, Davies nearly matched McInnes for clearances, but the Victorian was on a tear early with his impact around the ground.

Ironically, the game also worked to somewhat highlight their respective improvements to be made, which will be touched on further down the line.

STRENGTHS

Davies:

Contested ball
Clean hands
Distribution
Poise

McInnes:

Contested ball
Versatility
Strength
Agility

Given their similar position and ilk, the strengths of either player match up well. Both are fantastic in the contested ball stakes, able to use their size at the stoppages to burrow in and gain first use. But where Davies is superior with his clean hands and quick distribution, McInnes thrives with his repeated digs and ability to break away from congestion with either strength or agility.

Davies can be that clearance-first, or distributing midfielder – balancing his disposal by food and hand – while McInnes’ balance comes through in the sense that he can provide more of an outside presence to go with that ball-winning dominance.

IMPROVEMENTS

Davies:

Impact outside of the contest

McInnes:

Four-quarter consistency

As two high-end prospects with ideal athletic profiles and talent to boot, improvements are sometimes difficult to nail down. But there are a couple of areas to sharpen for either player, aimed at making them more complete midfielders.

Davies has said himself that getting to repeated contests and being on the move is an area he is improving on, with that impact outside of the contested situations theoretically allowing him to find more of the ball. While Davies is usually assured in possession, he can also blaze away at stoppages under pressure when a handball option does not present.

McInnes’ improvement comes from a desire to impact for four quarters, with his best football not always consistent throughout each game. Even in one of his best showings – against Queensland last year – McInnes started like a house on fire but faded towards the latter stages. Three NAB League outings of under 10 disposals also pertain to this point, and building a better tank through midfield could be a solution.

KEY SCOUTING NOTES

Davies:

Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Ed Pascoe

The Gold Coast academy prospect was one of Team Dal Santo’s better performers going through the midfield and winning plenty of the ball especially early.

He is a nice size as a modern day tall midfielder and he had no trouble winning first possession and dishing it out to his runners.

He kicked a lovely goal in the last quarter under pressure he was able to cleanly pickup and quickly kick a nice running goal.

McInnes:

2019 Under 17 All Stars

By: Michael Alvaro

Starting in midfield, McInnes proved he was more than an inside workhorse with his poise on the ball and sound decision making when hemmed in.

He has that surprising agility at times – much like GWS Academy product Tom Green and Carlton’s Patrick Cripps – which helps to get him out of trouble on top of his strength in the tackle.

The Collingwood NGA hopeful went on to become influential up forward, finding separation on the lead and almost pulling in some strong marks.

It proved a shrewd move, as McInnes booted two goals; the first coming from a 50m penalty, and the second shortly after with a classy snap from the tightest of angles.

ACCOLADES

Davies:

2018 Under 16 All Australian
2019 Queensland Under 17 representative
2019 Australian Under 17 representative
2019 Under 17 All Star

McInnes:

2018 Vic Metro Under 16 representative
2019 Vic Metro Under 17 representative
2019 NAB League premiership player
2019 Under 17 All Star

FINAL WORD

There is not much to separate these two, who present as some of the finest inside midfield candidates for the 2020 AFL Draft. Both should come at a decent cost to their respective aligned clubs, though that often also works to push them down the pecking order come draft night.

McInnes’ work somewhat out of position to this point has been a blessing in disguise, adding versatility and a greater ability to impact around the ground to his well-rounded midfield game.

Davies is one of this year’s best contested ball winners though, and is rarely beaten in those stakes. While he can always work on adding strings to his bow, specialists are often hard to come by and many have been impressed by his kicking on the outer nonetheless.

We can only hope these two are able to get on the park this year to battle it out once again, potentially as direct opponents during either the NAB League or National Championships.

Gold Coast and Collingwood fans, rejoice.

Features:

For more on these two draft prospects, follow the links below.

Get to know Alex Davies
Reef McInnes Q&A

 

Marquee Matchups:

For more Marquee Matchups, follow the links below.

Sam Berry vs. Zavier Maher
Jackson Callow vs. Cameron Fleeton
Nikolas Cox vs. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Q&A: Anjelani Kibombo (USQ Cougars/Queensland)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last week, we head back to the preseason a month earlier where we chatted to a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Taylah Melki chatted with Queensland’s Anjelani Kibombo at the state testing day hosted by Rookie Me.

Q&A

TM: How did you get into footy?

AK: “It started back when I came in 2013 in Australia. “My sports teacher kept on encouraging me to try out this sport, and said it’s amazing, since you’re kind of good at running, you love being active. “I don’t know I just loved it.”

What is it that you love about footy?

“I don’t know, the people are so friendly. “You have a lot of friends, everyone’s always there to support you, your family, it’s really nice.”

You have been playing footy since 2013, what has made you stay for seven years?

“I don’t know all my coaches are just so supportive. “They’re always saying that there’s space for people to improve. “You know sometimes there are ups and downs, but you still have to push hard and work hard. “You know I’ve made it into a lot of teams and that’s encouraged me to lift my spirits and work harder.”

What are you hoping to improve on this season?

“I would hope that this test we are doing right now, I hope it takes me somewhere and that I actually do it with everything I’ve got. “Hopefully, I don’t know, I make it to pro one day, I’d love to, if I guess that happens.”

Is there an area you feel you are really strong at?

“I feel like I’m really good being forward and midfield. “That’s the two spots that I really enjoy.”

Why do you enjoy those positions the most?

“I don’t know I guess, I’m kind of good at running. “My endurance is really good and I just love it, I’m more comfortable there.”

Is endurance something you’ve been working on?

“Yeah I’ve been doing a lot of training with my coaches and everyone. “I’ve really been working on my running which is really good.”

Did you play a different sport before you played footy?

“I played touch, cricket, tennis, I played all sorts of sports but I really just enjoy AFL the most.”

Did you have a particular sporting icon that you looked up to?

“There’s loads, I mean Tayla Harris, I love her so much, Sabrina (Frederick), Katie (Brennan) I just love all the AFL girls. “I just love them I really do.”

You listed three forwards, what is it that you love about them?

“I guess just the way they handle things, I feel like I can relate to them because I actually do it too which is really good.”

What is it like being in the Brisbane Lions Academy?

“It’s so good, you always have to work hard, the more you work hard the more you get to improve your skills and everything you need to improve on. “It’s just really good.”

How are you finding the balance between footy and extra curricula?

“I actually live in Toowoomba so it’s far away from here but I’m starting university this year. “I guess one of the things that actually motivates me to keep on going and working hard is just that I’ve been doing this for so long and I really think this might take me somewhere. Yeah it’s really hard to balance school and academy but it is what it is.”

Q&A: Joshua Eyre (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season a month earlier 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 Calder Cannons’ Joshua Eyre at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

The raw 197cm prospect featured up either end and even on a wing for Calder throughout eight NAB League outings in 2019, but is looking to cement his spot across centre half-forward this season having impressed with his leap and clean hands. Eyre is also part of the Essendon Next Generation Academy (NGA) alongside his younger brother, with both players looking to have a consistent, injury-free run in 2020. The 17-year-old would have been ready to go come Round 1 or 2, but will now have to wait for his chance to impress.

Q&A

 

MA: How’s the day been so far?

JE: “It’s been unreal, loving it. “I haven’t really done it before so it’s a good experience.”


Being part of the Essendon NGA with Cody Brand, what’s that been like?

“Yeah, good. “I’ve only had the one session there so far but I’ve been loving it. Very lucky.”


And being around the Vic Metro Hub, how’s that aiding your development?

“It’ll be really good. “Hopefully I’m lucky enough to get a game but yeah, it’s good.”


Juggling a few teams this year, who are you looking forward to playing alongside?

“I’m looking forward to Calder, just playing alongside Jackson Cardillo and Cody Brand. “We should have a good year, we’re looking good.”


You’ve played a little bit of everywhere, are you looking to nail down a particular position?

“I’m hoping to play centre half-forward this year. “I feel like that suits me well but I’m open to play anywhere, whether I go back or maybe even a wing.”


What are some of the things you’re looking to work on this season?

“Probably just making sure I stay involved in the game, just to make sure my work rate’s up and just getting a lot of the footy.”


Have you set up a few goals for the year?

“I want to obviously play the Metro games and be lucky enough to get drafted at the end of the year. “But I just want to put together a good season.”


Your brother’s part of the Essendon NGA as well, are you passing on a few tips?

“He’s probably a bit better than I was when I was that age but he’s going through the same injuries that I had through that period which is a but unlucky, but at least it means he’s going to grow which is good for him. He’s going well.”


Have you managed a good bill of health now heading into Round 1?

“Hopefully. I’ve just come off a hamstring – the bone on my hamstring has flared up a bit. “But I’m working back into that so hopefully in Round 1 or 2 I should be back.”

AFL Draft Watch: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Country)

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 highly-touted Oakleigh Chargers key forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, who is a prime candidate to be taken first off the board come draft time after a stellar bottom-aged season. The Warrnambool native represents Vic Country despite his current zoning in Oakleigh’s system via boarding at Scotch College, and will be well sought after despite his ties to the Western Bulldogs as a Next Generation Academy (NGA) product. The 194cm prospect returned elite numbers at the pre-season testing day, showing off an elite vertical leap off both feet while also registering under the three-second mark over 20 metres and over 21 in the yo-yo test. A star athlete across the board, Ugle-Hagan has the raw potential to be anything at the next level.


NAB LEAGUE PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:

Speed: Elite (#14)
Vertical Jump: Above Average (#15)
Running Vertical Jump: Elite (#1)
Endurance: Above Average (#25)

Ugle-Hagan on testing day:

“It’s actually been a really good experience with all the other clubs, you can just see your competition which is pretty good.”

Talent Manager Jy Bond said in the preseason:

“Jamarra’s just Jamarra, he’s a fantastic leader and obviously works really hard. “There’s a lot going on this year, obviously these boys are NGA eligible, they’re training with their AFL clubs, they’re training in their respective hubs and they’ve both got school for Scotch (College) and they’ve got the Chargers program. “We’re just monitoring their workloads and their wellbeing and we’ll know that they’ll play great footy for us and we’re really excited that they’re in our program”

FULL INTERVIEW WITH JAMARRA UGLE-HAGAN:

PLAYER PAGE:

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

Height: 194.3cm
Weight: 83.9kg
Position: Key Forward

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATS: 9 games | 10 disposals (50 per cent contested) | 5.2 marks | 1.4 tackles | 1.7 inside 50s | 24 goals

Strengths: Athleticism, overhead marking, acceleration on lead, game-breaker
Improvements: Field kicking

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

Under 17 Futures All Stars

By: Michael Alvaro

It was a promising display from the Bulldogs NGA product, played out of position for the most part at centre half-back. He started off on his usual leads up forward but soon slotted in behind the ball and did well to leap at whatever came his way. He was terrific at the drop of the ball in the third term with his athleticism, and would have been a really effective player had he stuck more of his kicks on the run.

Grand Final vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Peter Williams

Worked hard throughout the game on his way to three behinds from 10 disposals and eight marks and worked up the ground to present and produce six inside 50s as well… Ugle-Hagan took a towering mark early and gave spectators a reason to see why he is so highly rated for next year.

Preliminary Final vs. Sandringham

By: Ed Pascoe

Another dominant outing from the 2020 draft prospect who is tied to the Western Bulldogs’ NGA. The talented athlete was again the clear standout key forward with his speed off the lead and marking power too much for Sandringham to handle. Ugle-Hagan had a great start taking two great lead up marks an converting both set shots but his best goal came in the third quarter marking deep in the pocket and kicking a sensational goal right on the siren.

Qualifying Final vs. Gippsland

By: Ed Pascoe

His lead up marking was superb with every one sticking and he kicked two nice goals and even passed another off unselfishly. He would show again he was not just a lead up and mark player with a great chase down tackle in the last quarter, converting the set shot to reward his effort. The bottom age talent could have had an even bigger day if he had kicked straight, going on to collect 13 disposals, six marks and kicking 3.3 with a few kicks going out on the full as well.

Round 10 vs. Calder Cannons

By: Taylah Melki

Had an impressive game, contested the ball hard and was good at ground level. Nailed an impressive goal off a couple of steps and working his way through traffic, showcasing his clever goal sense and long booming kick. That goal was closely followed by another major credit to his hard running, clever lead and strong hands to take a good mark in the forward 50 and convert… ended the game with five goals and proved to be a real dangerous prospect in the forward 50.

Q&A: Joshua Clarke (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last few weeks, we head back to the pre-season a month earlier 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 Eastern Ranges’ Joshua Clarke at the NAB League Fitness Testing Day hosted by Rookie Me.

The speedy half-back flanker already boasts an impressive NAB League resume having featured across 18 games in Eastern’s 2019 minor premiership-winning side, and is one of five Ranges currently attached to the Vic Metro Academy Hub. Clarke’s speed and line-breaking ability going forward helped him stand out as a bottom-ager, while his penetrating left boot became an asset throughout 2019. Looking to continue a similar role in 2020, the 181cm prospect would have been raring to go come Round 1 despite a pre-season groin niggle.

Q&A:

MA: Josh, you’re sitting out the testing today – what’ve you picked up?

JC: “I’ve got a little bit of a sore groin, it’s not 100% at the moment so I thought I’d just take a rest out.”

Are you going to be ready for Round 1?

“Yeah I’ll be ready for Round 1, definitely.”

What about the rest of the preseason to date, have you had a solid one?

“I’ve had a fairly solid preseason. “Probably been out for maybe two or three weeks but the boys are going along really well and we get along as a great bunch.”

Playing off half-back in a really good team last year, how’d you rate your bottom-age season?

“I was pretty happy to even just play one game as a bottom-ager but was lucky enough to play the whole year so I was very happy with my performance as a bottom-ager. But I’ve just got to step up this year and be a leader.”

What’s it like for the team having the grand final experience from last year, will it put you in good stead?

“Obviously last year we didn’t have any drafted which showed that we are a team and it’s the same this year. “I think we’ve got the same character, the same mottos we go by so again, I think that us as a team will do pretty well this year.”

Are you looking to move up the ground a little bit, or will you lock down that half-back role again?

“I don’t really mind. “I’d love to have a half-back role, I feel like I can play my best footy there. “On a wing is another place I’m pretty good at so yeah, I like to move forward and kick goals.”

Being around the traps at the Vic Metro Hub, how’s that been for your development?

“It’s been a lot of help, surrounded by players that are better than me and a lot of good leaders and people setting the standard. It’s been really good to learn off them.”

Who are some of the players you’re looking forward to playing alongside this year for Metro?

Eddie Ford, a pretty exciting character. “And definitely Bailey Laurie, he’s a very quick sort of player that I want to (emulate).”

In terms of your game on-field, what are some of the things you’re looking to iron out heading into your top-age year?

“Obviously playing half-back, to nail being a defensive player because that’s my role at the start of the day. “So becoming tighter on my defending, more aware but when I can impact and run off, that’s when I’ll do that.”

Are there any landmarks that you’re looking to hit or goals you’re setting at the moment?

“For me it’s just to set the standard at Eastern. “There’s a lot of boys there that haven’t had the experience, were lucky enough to play last year or been through the system. “So to sort of guide them through that, and we have a great captain in Connor Downie to put us under the wing – he’s very good.”

Q&A: Tahlia Mead (Maroochydore/Queensland)

AS the postponement of all seasons commenced over the last week, we head back to the preseason a month earlier where we chatted to a number of athletes across the country. In a special Question and Answer (Q&A) feature, Draft Central‘s Taylah Melki chatted with Queensland’s Tahlia Mead at the state testing day hosted by Rookie Me.

Q&A:


MELKI: How did you get into footy, Tahlia?

MEAD: “It was kind of an accident to be honest. I wanted to go to a high school and the only way I could get in was through a scholarship or through an academy and it was either dancing or AFL. So I thought ‘Oh, AFL is close to touch football’ – I come from a touch footy background so I tried it, was the only girl in the class and yeah, just picked it up from there and just loved it.”

How have you found the transition from touch to Australian rules football?

“It was good, it was hard because obviously they’re two different sports. “But I used my speed from touch and transitioned to AFL so it was good, I liked it.”

What is it that you love about footy?

“Just the atmosphere. “It’s so unpredictable and you’ve got to adapt to everything and you just never know what’s going to happen.”

How’s the pre-season been?

“I mean, it’s always hard to try and get into fitness and running again but it’s been good. “You definitely have to work hard for it.

Is there a particular area that you feel you’re really strong in?

“Probably speed, running around.”

Is there an area you’re hoping to improve on?

“Yeah, there’s always room for improvement in everything but I feel like skills, I need to start to perfect (them) and everything needs to be sharp.”

And what are you hoping to get out of the season?

“I’m hoping to make the state team.”

What would it mean for you to make the state team?

“It would mean a lot. “It would be an ultimate goal.”

Have you had any particular footballing inspiration or are there any athletes you aspire to?

Tayla Harris. “I think she’s a big influencer, “I’d like to be like her and move up there.”

Is there a particular position you’d like to play?

“Midfield, I’d like to be around the ball.”

AFL Draft Watch: Jackson Cardillo (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)

IN a build up to football eventually returning, Draft Central will take 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.

Our first AFL Draft watch focuses on Calder Cannons’ Jackson Cardillo who lit up the track at the NAB League Preseason Testing Day, recording the best 20m sprint at the event clocking up a sizzling 2.88 seconds. While it was clear from watching the speedster burst out of the stoppages in his bottom-age year, Cardillo put that on-field ability on display at Maribyrnong College in March, where he was also above average in the vertical jump, running vertical jump and agility test. While his endurance is an area he could improve, his agility (8.15 seconds) and running vertical jump (82cm) were particularly impressive.

NAB LEAGUE PRESEASON TESTING HIGHLIGHTS:

Speed: Elite (#1)
Vertical Jump: Above Average (#29)
Running Vertical Jump: Above Average (#38)
Agility: Above Average (#39)

Jackson Cardillo said on how he felt he fared:

“Not too bad, I pride myself on my sprinting so that’s the one I target, I think I did alright. “The rest of them, I think i did alright (too).”

Talent Manager Tom Lonergan said in the preseason:

“Cardillo obviously can play forward and midfield, so we’d like to think all those guys (Vic Metro hub members) can play in multiple positions.”

PLAYER PAGE:

Jackson Cardillo

Height: 185.5cm
Weight: 77.5kg
Position: Inside Midfielder/Forward

2019 NAB LEAGUE STATS: 18 games | 13.2 disposals (54 per cent contested) | 2.1 marks | 2.6 clearances | 3.8 tackles | 2.6 inside 50s | 11 goals

Strengths: Explosive speed, kick penetration, stoppage presence
Improvements: Disposal consistency

2019 SCOUTING NOTES:

Wildcard Round vs. Tasmania Devils

By: Taylah Melki

Worked hard across the ground to provide an option and use his assets to his advantage. Cardillo showed good pace out of the middle to run through corridor and spear the ball forward. Displayed good tackling pressure to win a holding the ball call and ran hard throughout the match. He used his quick hands to keep the ball moving and stepped up in the last term winning his fair share of the ball.

Round 17 vs. Eastern Ranges

By: Michael Alvaro

Started brightly with a goal in the first term and found a lot of his possessions going forward, proving dangerous when in full flight. While he can sure up his short-range kicking at times, Cardillo made a couple of neat plays in-tight when keeping his hands free and shifting to release around opponents, while also getting good penetration with longer kicks going inside 50. Clunked a really strong mark from behind in the third term and came off worse for wear, but that kind of attack is just part of his game.

Under 17 Futures Game vs. Queensland

By: Michael Alvaro

Having shown his aggression and ball winning ability on the inside in his NAB League outings, Cardillo spent most of his time on the wing and at half forward in this game. His forward running proved effective, hitting up Reef McInnes inside 50 in the first term and moving up towards attacking 50 with intent. After lacking oomph on a snap attempt in the second term, Cardillo made amends with a nice set shot finish after the half time siren for his only goal of the game. He would go on to miss another chance on the run when he had a touch more time to find the intended target, and attended the centre bounces late on.

Round 15 vs. GWV Rebels

By: Michael Alvaro

He might only be a bottom-ager, but Cardillo keeps on providing good grunt in the engine room, battling hard to break tackles and applying his own with force throughout the day. He was a little down on some of his recent numbers but still popped up with a few nice touches around the ground – marking strongly on forward wing in the fourth quarter and later faking a set shot to find Sam Ramsay a little further inside attacking 50.

Round 14 vs. Bendigo Pioneers

By: Michael Alvaro

The bottom-ager was tenacious in the contest, accumulating throughout the day and stringing together clearing kicks. His tackling intent was shown in the second term, giving away an overzealous high free kick but following it up with a holding the ball tackle as Bendigo played on. Cardillo also fared well when used up forward, finding space inside 50 on the back of a turnover to mark and goal, while also improvising a kick to assist a Jake Sutton goal as he gathered on the move. Really rate his aggression and willingness to break tackles.