Tag: victoria

2019 Victoria Podcast | Vic Country and Vic Metro reviews

IN a new Final Siren podcast series reviewing the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships side-by-side, we take a look at some of the top prospects who performed strongly across all three lines, as well interviews with key players within each individual state.

The fourth edition is the Victoria, and Final Siren podcast host Matthew Cocks, and Draft Central‘s Peter Williams discuss the players who caught the eye across the championships from both Vic Metro and Vic Country, looking ahead to the 2019 AFLW Draft as well as the 2020 AFLW Draft.

Below is full Victorian podcast.

You can also find the Final Siren podcast and listen to past or future episodes on the following platforms:

Anchor

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Breaker

Overcast

Pocket Casts

PodBean

RadioPublic

For all the AFLW U18s Championships news, head to our AFLW U18s Championships page and keep an eye out for our features which have started!

Victoria claims 16-point win over All Stars in AFLW Under 18 State of Origin

VICTORIA has emerged triumphant from a low-scoring thriller against the All Stars in an AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin exhibition match. The top players from Vic Metro and Vic Country combined to form Victoria, while those who had stood out from the rest of the nation donned the All Stars jumpers in a clash at Adelaide Oval last night.

Victoria led all game, booting the opening goal of the match and then extending its lead to by 12 points at the main break. Much like the first term, both sides had one scoring shot, but Victoria’s was a major compared to the All Stars’ behind. The All Stars had the best chance to clinch a come-from-behind victory in the final term with four scoring shots, while Victoria had the two. When McKenzie Dowrick, who had been one of the most prominent All Stars players all game, nailed a major at the five and a half minute mark, her side drew within 11 points. Alexia Hamilton and Jaimi Tabb both had a couple of chances in the final term but registered behinds to reduce the deficit to nine points with a few minutes to play. A Nina Morrison goal in the dying minutes put the game to rest and guaranteed a Victorian win.

The Victorian onball brigade proved too strong in the midfield despite Tyla Hanks sitting out the match and the strong Alyce Parker also missing from the action. Kitara Farrar and Denby Taylor were the other two talents who sat out on the night from the original 24-player squads that were named. Victoria dominated the clearances despite a clear advantage in the ruck to Lauren Bella, who amassed 25 hitouts to Rene Caris‘ 12, however Caris won the points around the ground with a midfielder-like effort of 13 disposals and three tackles, displaying the two different types of ruck talent in action

Madison Prespakis starred on the night, racking up game-high disposals (21) and clearances (five), while also laying three tackles and having four inside 50s and two rebounds. Fellow AFL Women’s Under 18 Most Valuable Player (MVP), Nina Morrison was equally as effective, racking up 19 disposals, three marks, four clearances, five inside 50s, three tackles, two rebounds and that final quarter goal. Mikala Cann was again ferocious with a massive 14 tackles – six more than any other player on the field – to go with her 15 touches, two marks, two clearances and two inside 50s. Olivia Purcell (17 disposals, seven tackles and four clearances) and Katie Lynch (15 disposals, two rebounds and one goal) were impressive, while Abbie McKay worked hard with three clearances and three inside 50s from 11 disposals and four tackles. Sophie Van De Heuvel had nine touches and laid five tackles, while the standout bottom-ager was Calder Cannons’ Georgia Patrikios who shone with 17 disposals, three clearances, two inside 50s and two rebounds. Exciting forward, Daisy Bateman was the only multiple goal kicker on the ground, finishing with two majors from five disposals, two marks and two tackles.

For the All Stars, Dowrick was the top ball winner, amassing 18 disposals along with three marks, three clearances, three tackles, one goal and a team-high four rebounds. Her West Australian teammates were also prominent across the ground, with Matilda Sergeant (15 disposals and three marks), Mikayla Bowen (13 disposals, six tackles and two inside 50s) and Sabreena Duffy (12 disposals and two rebounds) among the All Stars’ best. Kate Bartlett also booted a goal from eight disposals, five marks and three tackles, while bottom-age prospects, Queenslander Lily Postlethwaite and Tasmanian, Mia King were also very impressive. Postlethwaite finished with 12 disposals, two marks, six tackles, and equal team-high three clearances, and three inside 50s, while King had 10 disposals, two clearances and laid six tackles as well.

VICTORIA 1.0 | 3.2 | 4.3 | 5.4 (34)
ALL STARS 0.1 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 2.6 (18)

GOALS:

Victoria: Daisy Bateman 2, Nina Morrison, Mikala Cann, Katie Lynch.
All Stars: McKenzie Dowrick, Kate Bartlett.

BEST:

Victoria: Madison Prespakis, Nina Morrison, Georgia Patrikios, Mikala Cann, Olivia Purcell, Sophie Van De Heuvel.
All Stars: McKenzie Dowrick, Mikayla Bowen, Matilda Sergeant, Lily Postlethwaite, Mia King, Kate Bartlett.

AFL Women’s Under 18 State of Origin sides announced

VICTORIA’S top junior female footballers will take on the best young stars from around the country in the AFL Women’s Under-18 State of Origin match at Adelaide Oval tomorrow night. The 24-player Victorian team contains 12 Metro and 12 Country players, including five bottom-agers who are predicted to be crucial players for their respective teams in 2019. The All Stars side is even younger, with one third of the players not eligible to be drafted until next year.

Queensland has a remarkable talent base, with 10 players named in the 24-player squad, while Western Australia is the next highest represented in the All Stars side with six. New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (NSW-ACT) and South Australia have three representatives each, while Tasmania and Northern Territory have one player each in the final side.

Gates open at Adelaide Oval at 5.15pm, with the first bounce at 5.25pm. The game is a curtain raiser to the EJ Whitten Legends Game.

Victoria:

#1 Georgia Patrikios (Calder Cannons)***
#2 Emerson Woods (Eastern Ranges)
#3 Nina Morrison (Geelong Falcons)
#4 Sophie Van De Heuvel (GWV Rebels)
#5 Olivia Purcell (Geelong Falcons)
#6 Daisy Bateman (Oakleigh Chargers)
#7 Madison Prespakis (Calder Cannons)
#8 Eleanor Brown (Sandringham Dragons)
#9 Abbie McKay (Sandringham Dragons)
#10 Isabella Grant (Western Jets)***
#11 Jordyn Allen (Dandenong Stingrays)
#12 Courtney Jones (Dandenong Stingrys)
#13 Bec Webster (Murray Bushrangers)
#14 Georgia Clarke (GWV Rebels)
#15 Lucy McEvoy (Geelong Falcons)***
#16 Gabby Newton (Northern Knights)***
#17 Katie Lynch (Oakleigh Chargers)
#18 Hannah McLaren (Oakleigh Chrgers)
#19 Georgia Macpherson (Eastern Ranges)
#20 Mikala Cann (Eastern Ranges)
#21 Lucinda Cripps (Dandenong Stingrays)***
#22 Rene Caris (GWV Rebels)
#23 Tyla Hanks (Gippsland Power)
#24 Denby Taylor (Geelong Falcons)

All Stars:

#1 Mia King (Tasmania)***
#2 Mikayla Bowen (Western Australia)
#3 Janet Baird (Northern Territory)
#4 Alyce Parker (NSW-ACT)
#5 Lily Postlethwaite (Queensland)***
#6 Belle Dawes (Queensland)***
#7 Rikkiesha Carling (Western Australia)
#8 Tori Groves-Little (Queensland)
#9 Dee Heslop (Queensland)***
#10 Natalie Grider (Queensland)
#11 Nikki Gore (South Australia)
#12 Sabreena Duffy (Western Australia)
#13 Kitara Farrar (Queensland)***
#14 Katelyn Rosenzweig (South Australia)
#15 Alexia Hamilton (NSW-ACT)
#16 Charlotte Hammans (Queensland)***
#17 Serene Watson (Queensland)***
#18 Jacqueline Yorston (Queensland)
#19 McKenzie Dowrick (Western Australia)
#20 Matilda Sergeant (Western Australia)
#21 Kate Bartlett (Western Australia)
#22 Montana McKinnon (South Adelaide)***
#23 Lauren Bella (Queensland)
#24 Brianna McFarlane (NSW-ACT)

*** bottom-ager

 

Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft October Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings every month throughout 2017. 

You can read Matt Balmer‘s September edition of his Power Rankings here:

The season is just about over for the 2017 NAB AFL Draft prospects after a long year, with some players pushing themselves through just under 30 games for the season.

Last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine saw clubs get a final chance to interview and see 85 players tested, before they finalise their draft boards with under 50 days until the draft on November 24th.

With trade week beginning today, plenty of deals will affect the draft order & at the conclusion of the trade week – the staff at AFL Draft Central will release our first Phantom Draft for 2017.

This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 186.5cm | 87.2kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup preseason testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents. Can do things that others in the 2017 draft pool cannot.

Last month: Rayner has battled thumb and knee issues through 2017 and he missed the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day. Rayner faced the media and was put through various club interviews at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was unable to test.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187.2cm | 85.2kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: A strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag. Had a bit of a lull in the second half of the year, but pulled out his best form when it mattered in September.

Last month: It was “LDU’s” performance in the Dandenong Stingrays TAC Cup Elimination Final that kept his name in the contention for the Brisbane Lions’ number one pick. Davies-Uniacke had a game-high 33 disposals (21 contested), six clearances and five inside 50s – as he hunted the ball in the midfield and showed off his power getting the ball forward. In their preliminary final loss, LDU had 22 disposals (12 contested), six tackles and five clearances, often spending time up forward playing as a marking target. He finished the year with 23 disposals and four inside 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match as one of Team Harvey’s best. A toe/calf issue kept him out of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#3 Adam Cerra
Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186.3cm | 80.3kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on pick one and pick two in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside and possesses a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: A shoulder injury has kept Cerra out of action for most of the second half of the season and he missed the Eastern Ranges finals campaign – but it was good to see Cerra sitting in the coaches box on elimination final day, assisting the coaches throughout the afternoon. Was another player who didn’t test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 185.4cm | 78.2kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces early in the year. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Since the last update, Dow had surgery on his shoulder and was unable to play the final few games for the Bendigo Pioneers. Dow did not test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine but was involved in multiple interviews with AFL club recruiters.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190.8cm | 82.5kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender. Some think he will end up as an inside midfielder at the next level.

Last month: Coffield was by far the best Northern Knights player in their elimination final loss to the Oakleigh Chargers. His midfield work was super and he used his quick and clean hands to effectiveness. Coffield had 25 disposals, six clearances and three inside 50s in a performance that pushed his top 10 credentials. On Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, Coffield rebounded the ball well on five occasions finishing with 15 disposals and five marks. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, he showed off his elite speed with a 2.91s 20m sprint. He was also impressive in the kicking test scoring 27.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 191.0cm | 86.1kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence. Likely to end up as a Patrick Cripps type of midfielder.

Last month: Constable’s centre clearance work in the TAC Cup elimination final was impressive, with four out of his six clearances coming in this fashion. Finishing the day with 23 disposals, four marks, four inside 50s and a goal – Constable showed off his top 10 traits. A back/groin issue sidelined him in the preliminary final and there was plenty of doubt whether he’d run out on Grand Final day, but the Dragons midfielder was able to push through pain and record 23 disposals & four clearances. A burst in the second quarter saw him boot two goals and he was one of the Dragons’ better players for the night. Injury kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars and NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#7Jaidyn Stephenson
Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 188.5cm | 75.4kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Started the season as a medium tall marking target inside 50 but has improved his running capacity and turned himself into an outside midfield in the final few months of 2017.  Up forward, he has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, where he moved well – holding a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. One area that could be cleaned up is his field kicking around the ground.

Last month: Has there been a better player in the second half of the year? I doubt it. Stephenson started TAC Cup finals with 30 disposals, 11 tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and a goal. While his kicking wasn’t the cleanest, after playing some time forward early he was able to win the ball on the outside and get it inside 50. He was best-on-ground in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day with 22 disposals, five tackles, four inside 50s and three goals. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, his speed of 2.97s in the 20m sprint and 6min 21s in the 2km time trial were strong. Stephenson also performed well in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and had some of the best skinfolds of the combine.

#8 Andrew Brayshaw
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183.9cm | 81.7kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts. Always one of the top ranked players on the stats sheets.

Last month: The Sandy Dragons midfielder just rolls up his sleeve and gets the job done and is always one of the better performers on the stats sheet. The TAC Cup elimination final saw him collect 20 disposals (10 contested), six tackles, five inside 50s and two goals. He was able to impact the contest using it efficiently going inside 50 and was able to hit the scoreboard. In the preliminary final, Brayshaw was best-on-ground with 25 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s, pushing his top five chances. In the TAC Cup Grand Final, Brayshaw had 21 disposals and four inside 50s and had a good showing. His midfield work in the NAB AFL Draft Combine was impressive with 16 disposals, five tackles and three inside 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Brayshaw was the endurance king – coming in first place in the Yo-Yo test with 22.4, four place with six minutes 14 seconds in the 2km time trial and was also placed top 10 in the agility test.

#9 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 194.6cm | 92.3kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed finals, but Brander did take part in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game playing as a key defender. Brander was able to intercept at times, finishing with 12 disposals and three rebounds. Brander tested well in the kicking test with a score of 27 at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. A score of 8.40 seconds was pretty good in the agility test.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 202.7cm | 92.6kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool. Running needs to be improved.

Last month: Was the premier ruckman in the TAC Cup competition and finished the season with 24 hitouts and 24 disposals for the Eastern Ranges in their elimination final loss. Hayes played predominantly forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars match, where he booted 1.2 from his four marks and 14 disposals. At last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, results showed that Hayes does need to improve his running – but a score of 24 in the kicking test was decent.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 177.8cm | 76.9kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Higgins missed the Oakleigh Chargers first TAC Cup final with an injury, but surprised some by coming back into the side for the second final. He picked up a groin injury that restricted him but up forward he was able to boot two goals from his 10 touches. Higgins didn’t play in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and would’ve been disappointed with his results at the NAB AFL Draft Combine – but there’s no doubt soreness played some part on what has been a big year for Higgins.

#12 Hunter Clark
Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186.1cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: The inside midfielder was enormous in getting the Stingrays back into the TAC Cup elimination final and they were able to get the win after trailing by 55 points at one stage. Clark finished with a round-high 16 tackles and also had 24 disposals (15 contested), nine clearances and five inside 50s in one of the best individual performances for the season. He impacted the second final, with 25 disposals (13 contested) and a whopping 10 inside 50s – finding an effective target on most occasions. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game he was also reasonable, with 19 disposals (10 contested), four inside 50s and three tackles. A knee problem kept him out of most of last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he was able to score 28 in the kicking test which was very good.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 195.0cm | 94.9kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick.

Last month: The Calder Cannons missed out on TAC Cup Finals, but Balta did have an impact – especially early, in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. Balta finished with 12 disposals and two marks and often took the kick outs for Team Enright. Showed off his leap at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and was a very good tester in the agility with 8.38 seconds. He sat out the yo-yo test with knee soreness, but was able to complete the 2km time trial the next day.

#14 Aiden Bonar
Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 188.6cm | 86.5kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two knee surgeries after his first ACL graft didn’t take, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Last month: Bonar had a superb month to finish 2017, and whilst his eight disposals, seven tackles and a goal performance does not scream outstanding – it was his presence up forward and through the midfield that was important, pressuring his opponents. He followed his tackling performance up the following week, with eight tackles from 14 disposals. While he played more up forward than in the midfield, some glimpses were mighty impressive. The Grand Final day performance was elite for the  NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars, where he had 20 disposals (11 contested) and five clearances – showing off his potential as an inside midfielder. His testing at the NAB AFL Draft Combine was super, equalling the all-time standing vertical jump record and was second place in the 20m sprint with a time of 2.9 seconds.

#15 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 191.9cm | 94.5kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Fogarty once again didn’t play this month, recovering from surgery on a small meniscus tear which meant that he was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194.0cm | 85.0kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and didn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Missed out on playing in the WAFL Grand Final with a knock and was not helped by Fremantle players coming back into the team to strengthen it. The knock kept him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but he was able to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, where he placed in equal third in the Yo-Yo test with 21.8 and was also in the top 10 for the agility test with a time of 8.22s.

#17 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188.3cm | 79.9kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: The Sandringham Dragons medium tall went down with a sprained ankle in the TAC Cup elimination final & missed the preliminary final – but returned for the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals, five marks and four tackles, but looked like he needed the run. Had some good glimpses in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, but was concussed and his day ended early. The former cricketer hadn’t done a lot of testing and it will be the first time clubs got a chance to look at Murphy’s athletic results. There’s no doubt they would’ve been impressed by his athletic capabilities in his 2km time trial (6min 31sec) and Yo-Yo score of 21.3.

#18 Matthew Ling
Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 183.1cm | 75.1kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Ling played one of his better games for the season, with 23 disposals and six tackles in the Geelong Falcons’ TAC Cup elimination final win. Ling showed off his good agility and rebounded the ball with speed, hardly missing a target on his left foot. Had 15 disposals and three inside 50s in the preliminary final, but was largely restricted in the TAC Cup Grand Final with 11 disposals and six marks. Ling’s 10 disposals were largely effective in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day. His sprint time of 3.03s and 8.30s in the agility was very good & he looms as a top 25 prospect come draft night.

#19 Joel Garner
Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 184.2cm | 82.6kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Balanced Midfielder who has struggled to find his feet at times thrown around in multiple positions around the ground at school, TAC Cup and Vic Metro level. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Started up forward in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup final loss, finishing the day with 17 disposals (12 contested), eight inside 50s, five clearances and five tackles in one of his better games in a while. He didn’t have a lot of impact in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with just 10 disposals and two clearances to his name. Garner’s NAB AFL Draft Combine last week was underwhelming, but there’s no doubting his leadership and his character will have shone through in the interviews.

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184.0cm | 77.4kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: The Bendigo Pioneers missed out on finals, but the classy outside midfielder was at his best in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game with a team-high 24 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal, in a game that saw him spend more time in the attacking half of the ground. His 2km time trial result of six minute 12 seconds was second best overall and he was just short of breaking the three-second barrier in the 20m sprint. Scored well in the kicking test with a score of 27.

#21 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 178.8cm | 75.0kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer and unfairly flies under the radar.

Last month: The Western Jets missed out on finals, but Fogarty managed an appearance in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, where he had 14 disposals, seven inside 50s and five tackles. In a game that lacked some defensive intensity, Fogarty showed his willingness to hunt the ball carrier and win the ball. Unfortunately for Fogarty, he was unable to show his testing capabilities at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine due to sickness.

#22 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180.6cm | 68.9kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Naish looked his best in the TAC Cup elimination final for the Northern Knights when he was in the attacking half of the ground, finishing the day with 21 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Not only did Naish get to see his Tigers win on Grand Final day, but he was the leading disposal winner for Team Enright with 21 disposals and three rebound 50s – using the ball well on his right foot. Back spasms saw Naish only complete the goal kicking and kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#23 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191.1cm | 82.4kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Has a good endurance base.

Last month: Allen didn’t feature in finals for West Perth and despite hardly training on the Thursday before the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, he was one of the better players in the opening half of the game – marking with ease overhead and hitting the scoreboard. Allen finished with 18 disposals, seven marks (four contested) and booted 2.3. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Allen showed off his running vertical jump on his left hand, with a score off 88 placing him in the top five.

#24 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 184.6cm | 73.7kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: Stoddart busted his backside off in the Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final, finishing with 18 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s, but was under enormous pretty with the ball coming quickly inside 50 late in the game. Was often matched up on the most dangerous Stingrays midfielder Davies-Uniacke or Clark when they went forward. Had 13 disposals and four inside 50s in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, and was able to get more up the ground in the third quarter. He completed the kicking tests at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but hamstring soreness kept him out of the rest of the testing other than the jumping tests which showed his outstanding leap.

#25 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 198.2cm | 95.6kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: With Josh Schache returning home, Ballenden was called up for the NEAFL Grand Final and was part of the Lions NEAFL premiership team. Ballenden finished the game with 12 disposals, four marks, three inside 50s and booted two goals. In the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, Ballenden begun as a tall defender – but struggled at times opposed to possible top 10 pick Sam Hayes. He moved forward in the second half and finished with eight disposals and two marks. In the kicking test, Ballenden scored a perfect 30/30 and ran a 3.05s 20m sprint at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Areas that Ballenden no doubt can improve on will be his endurance and bringing his skinfolds down.

Connor Ballenden in action for the Allies in their practice match against Vic Metro.

#26 Ed Richards
Medium Defender/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
03/07/1999 | 184.7cm | 78.1kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Speedy running defender who dominated in the APS school football competition for Carey. Is trusted with taking the kick outs and is a clean & effective kick on his left foot. Can play as an inside midfielder, where he uses his quick & clean hands to effectiveness.

Last month: Started with 11 disposals in the TAC Cup elimination final, but some of his moments were impressive and he was vital is finding targets from the kick out to get the Chargers moving forward. Had 16 disposals and three inside 50s against the Sandringham Dragons in the Chargers’ preliminary final loss, switching between half back and as an inside midfielder. Richards hardly missed a target in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game and showed his willingness to tackle hard. Had a reasonable NAB AFL Draft Combine, testing in at 3.01s in the 20m sprint.

#27 Charlie Ballard
?Tall Utility/Outside Midfielder (Sturt/South Australia)
23/07/1999 | 195.5cm | 82.3kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Tall utility who has been utilised at either end for both school and at SANFL level. Ballard has also shown his ability to run well on the wing and is an effective kick on his right foot. Has plenty of scope for development and might fill out as a hybrid midfielder.

Last month: Ballard was lucky enough to win two premierships for the ‘Double Blues’ in two weeks, part of Sturt’s winning Under 18 and Reserves teams in the SANFL. In the Under 18 Grand Final, Ballard collected 21 disposals, three clearances and three inside 50s playing on the wing and was very efficient by foot. In the Reserves Grand Final, Ballard played up forward and finished the game with a goal from seven disposals. Had eight disposals and four rebound 50s on Grand Final day in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash. Ballard also tested well reasonably well at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and has plenty of development for whatever club drafts him.

#28 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 181.0cm | 81.1kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Bailey showed his ability to run both ways in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game on Grand Final day, with 18 disposals, four marks, three rebound 50s, two inside 50s and two clearances. Bailey used his burst in the midfield and spread well from the contests. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, Bailey’s elite speed was obvious, scoring 2.98s in the 20m sprint event.

#29 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185.7cm | 75.9kg
Previous ranking: #31

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Similar to Charlie Ballard, Houlahan also won two SANFL Premierships within a week. In the SANFL Under 18 Grand Final for Sturt, Houlahan played close to goal as a marking target – pealing off three contested marks and booted 4.2 from his 10 disposals. In the SANFL Reserves Grand Final, he played a bit further up the ground and had five inside 50s from his 10 disposals, also kicking a goal. Houlahan played a different role in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, as a rebounding defender where he had five disposals, three marks and three rebound 50s. At the NAB AFL Draft Combine, he was a dead-eye in front of goals with 30/30 in the goal kicking test and had a running vertical jump in the top three (95cm) – but he would’ve been disappointed with his endurance results and that will be an area for improvement at the next level.

#30 Jack Petruccelle
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 185.1cm | 77.7kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Had a quiet performance in the TAC Cup elimination final with eight disposals and four tackles. Was used across half back at times, finishing with 11 disposals in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game. Was the fastest player at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, running 2.87s in the 20m sprint. His endurance work has room for improvement, but was well above average in the jumps category.

#31 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175.8cm | 65.9kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Moore collected 24 disposals and laid eight tackles in the Eastern Ranges’ TAC Cup elimination final loss. Moore was impressive after half-time and was able to get the ball inside 50 on multiple occasions. His midfield work was good in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game, finishing the contest with 17 disposals, three inside 50s and a goal. Despite his size, his running vertical jump was above average at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and he starred in the endurance events. Moore finished in first place with a time of six minutes nine seconds in the 2km time trial and was second behind Andrew Brayshaw with 22.3 on the yo-yo test.

#32 Charlie Spargo
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 171.6cm | 70.2kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Spargo is still recovering from shoulder surgery early in the year and was unable to test at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#33 Jackson Ross
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192.5cm | 74.5kg
Previous ranking: #32

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and is a player with plenty of development left.

Last month: Ross did some good things in the Eastern Ranges TAC Cup elimination final loss, with 18 disposals and five clearances. Started slowly in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash on Grand Final day, but worked into the contest in the attacking half of the ground to finish with 12 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal. Ross won the goal kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine and scored 29/30 in the kicking test.

#34 Andrew McPherson
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 185.7cm | 79.4kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last year. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member has dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Last month: McPherson returned from injury and made an appearance in the Eagles’ SANFL Under 18 Grand Final loss to Sturt. McPherson was impressive in the opening quarter of the game, rebounding the ball well and was clean with his disposals – but he suffered an injury and went off the ground in the second quarter. The injury kept him from testing at last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine.

#35 Harrison Petty
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 195.3cm | 81.9kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead.

Last month: Petty played as a key defender in the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars clash, finishing the game with 12 disposals and three marks. The talented South Australian scored 27 in the kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but sprained his ankle and was ruled out for the remainder of the testing.

 


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Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft September Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s August edition of his Power Rankings here:

It’s finals time – one of the most crucial times in the recruiters diaries. Last night, Oakleigh Chargers’ Jack Higgins was crowned the Morrish Medalist for the best player in the 2017 TAC Cup season, while plenty of other players right across the country are hitting form at the right time.

This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents.

Last month: Despite battling a thumb injury, he had one of his better games of the TAC Cup season with 28 disposals (14 contested), seven inside 50s and six clearances against Northern Knights. With the game on the line in the final quarter, Rayner put the foot down ensuring the Jets would get the win. Continued his good form with 18 disposals (12 contested), five tackles and five inside 50s against Gippsland Power. Trained well during the week, but was not risked on the weekend with some knee soreness.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag.

Last month: In the cold at Mars Stadium he took some time to get going, but showed off his long right boot to finish with 18 disposals and four inside 50s (including a spear pass to Riley D’Arcy). Spent a lot of time up forward against the Sandringham Dragons in Round 17 – but showed some burst of speed from the stoppages, collecting 21 disposals and laying six tackles.

#3 Adam Cerra
?Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on Pick 1 and Pick 2 in 2016 – and Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside, with a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last month.

Last month: Shoulder surgery has seen Cerra ruled out for the remainder of the season. Was sporting a sling at the TAC Cup best and fairest last night.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Returned to the TAC Cup with a best-on-ground display against Gippsland Power, with 35 disposals (21 contested), seven inside 50s and six clearances. His highlights were very impressive and is hotly tipped by many to be the number one selection. Suffered a shoulder injury in the game and hasn’t played since, but believe he has avoided surgery for the time being.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender.

Last month: Had a good head-to-head battle with Cam Rayner at times, finishing with 20 disposals and seven rebound 50s rotating from defence to the midfield. His good ball use was on display against the Murray Bushrangers, where he had 26 disposals and six clearances. The Knights were well out played by the Sandringham Dragons on the weekend, with Coffield recording 15 disposals as one of their better accumulators in the contest.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Found the ball at ease out at RAMS Arena against Oakleigh, where he was able to win the ball and get into dangerous positions. Had 29 disposals, before a quieter game against Dandenong with 15 disposals and eight marks. Came back on the weekend and his work in the contest was very good, winning 22 disposals, six clearances and laying six tackles. Has shown his smarts on the inside and is a dangerous match up inside 50 as he can mark the ball at ground level or above his head.

#7Jaidyn Stephenson
?Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 189cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Plays as a tall forward marking target inside 50 despite being medium size. Has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, but plays his best up forward or play as a high half forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. Midfield craft is improving.

Last month: Has continued to show his midfield craft throughout the last month, with 25 disposals, six inside 50s and five clearances against Calder Cannons. In the cold conditions at Deakin University, Stephenson was his teams best ball winner – collecting seven more disposals than the next best Ranger, finishing the day with 25 disposals, seven inside 50s, seven tackles and five clearances. On Saturday he had a game-high 34 disposals, seven inside 50s and six clearances, able to win the ball on the outside.

#8 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: Marked well up forward for the Pioneers against Gippsland, finishing with two goals from his 21 disposals and nine mark outing. Was starved of opportunity against the Oakleigh Chargers, with the Pioneers only registering 42 inside 50s. Finished the season with three marks against GWV Rebels.

#9 Andrew Brayshaw
?Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts.

Last month: Was the Dragons’ best against Oakleigh, winning the ball at the stoppages and was damaging going forward, finishing with 28 disposals and seven clearances. Once again was good in close, continuing to register good contested possession numbers with 27 disposals and six clearances in their loss to the Dandenong Stingrays. Once again was brilliant alongside brother Hamish on Saturday, with the pair combing for 54 disposals (30 contested), 14 tackles, 11 clearances and eight inside 50s.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool.

Last month: 30,26, 27 hitouts in the last three weeks for the best ruckman in the draft pool. Hayes has shown that he can cover the ground when needed to, providing a target around the ground or inside 50. Had a good battle with a more athletic ruck in Noah Balta, but was able to use his strength to win the hitouts in Round 16.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Joel Garner
?Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Speedy midfielder who plays well on both the outside and inside. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Was uncharacteristically sent off on Saturday after a minor incident, but is a player that can really push himself higher with some big finals performances for the Ranges. Had 17 disposals (10 contested), eight tackles and six rebounds as one of his teams best in the cold against the Geelong Falcons, while he rebounded the ball well across half back in their Round 16 clash against Calder Cannons.

#12 Jack Higgins
Small Forward/?Inside Midfielder (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball and has now moved into a small forward role post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Capped off a very strong month winning the TAC Cup Best and Fairest (Morrish Medal) last night. Had a best-on-ground performance with seven goals against Bendigo Pioneers and also booted three goals from 21 disposals against Sandringham Dragons, showing his smarts in a very good last quarter when the game was on the line. Was again in the bests with 26 disposals, eight marks and 2.4 on Saturday.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 194cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot. Has a very long right foot kick.

Last month: Has spent most of the last month in the ruck, using his athletic traits and big leap to his advantage. Was the dominant ruck in St Bernard’s school Herald Sun Shield Grand Final, whilst days later he had 13 disposals, 13 hitouts and eight inside 50s against Eastern Ranges, where he used his long right foot kick on multiple occasions. Booted three goals against GWV Rebels, before finding plenty of the ball against the Western Jets playing as a centre half forward and in the ruck – with 19 disposals (12 contested), 14 hitouts and eight inside 50s. Could he end up a midfielder?

#14 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 192cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Fogarty has not played over the last month, after surgery on a small meniscus tear ruled him out for the season.

#15 Hunter Clark
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Ball winning capabilities are improving on the inside and he is able to pump the ball inside 50 to a teammate. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: The move to an inside midfielder is paying off with Clark playing two very good games in the last month. Begun as his sides biggest ball winner against GWV Rebels, with 22 disposals (14 contested), nine tackles and six clearances. Was best-on-ground by a country mile against Sandringham Dragons, finishing the day with 29 disposals, seven inside 50s and pushed forward to boot two goals. Didn’t play for Dandenong yesterday, but was running around pre-game and should slot back in for finals this weekend.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times, but mostly it gets where it needs to go. Made his League debut in the WAFL and hasn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Has continued to hold his spot in the WAFL League, and it’s seen many club recruiters from Victoria making the trip over to ‘see what the fuss is about’. Naughton collected six marks in both Round 21 and 22 for Peel Thunder, and showed he can intercept the ball in the air. Had just seven disposals and five marks in their Round 23 loss to South Fremantle, but held his spot in the return contest in the Qualifying Final on the weekend – recording 10 disposals.

#17 Matthew Ling
?Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 182cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Used his agility and his pinpoint left foot kick well in the opening term against the Dandenong Stingrays yesterday. He hasn’t found overly a large amount of the ball over the last month, but he can make his 10-15 disposals really hurt the opposition if he can get a chance on the outside. Hopefully lifts his tackling output come finals.

#18 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: Didn’t play in Round 16, missing the game with knee soreness – but came back to record 20 disposals and three inside 50s in their big win to the Oakleigh Chargers. Polled Morrish Medal votes on the weekend, with 26 disposals and six inside 50s. Has plenty of appealing traits and has carried a few niggles right throughout the season.

#19 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer and unfairly flies under the radar.

Last month: Was very very stiff to miss out on the three votes on Saturday, after being one of the clear standouts with 24 disposals, 15 tackles, seven inside 50s and six clearances. Also laid double figure tackle numbers in Rounds 16 and 17 and had over 20 disposals. Has worked his backside off since returning from school footy.

#20 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Had a fantastic game against Murray Bushrangers in Round 17, with 25 disposals, six inside 50s and three goals playing in the attacking half of the ground. Continued to link up and find the ball on the outside and had 17 disposals against Sandringham Dragons on Saturday.

#21 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Very good endurance base.

Last month: Played his second WAFL Seniors game for West Perth with a similar output to his first, with nine disposals and five marks. He then returned to the WAFL Colts, but showed he was far too good for that level – recording 28 disposals, 10 tackles and seven marks.

#22 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 183cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: Moved more up the ground at the start of the month and had 19 disposals, five inside 50s and booted two goals at RAMS Arena against the Calder Cannons. Had a quiet day in the cold at Deakin University against the Geelong Falcons, but switched back into his defensive role against Oakleigh Chargers on the weekend – recording 19 disposals and six rebound 50s, using the ball well and working hard when being matched up on the dangerous Jack Higgins.

#23 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: Has spent some time at either end of the ground when playing in the Brisbane Lions NEAFL side. Had the second most marks (seven) for the Lions against Gold Coast, finishing with 16 disposals, three rebound 50s and three inside 50s. Had seven disposals and three marks in their tight win over GWS Giants.

#24 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: Has been swung around the ground more times than James Anderson swings a new dukes ball. Started forward against Oakleigh Chargers, but was moved back to strengthen their defence. Got to good positions playing mostly in defence against Dandenong Stingrays, but played his best game for the month able to use his long right foot against Northern Knights on Saturday. Murphy had 25 disposals, nine marks, five inside 50s and four rebound 50s in a strong performance that may help him push his name into the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars squad (if he isn’t already).

#25 Jack Petruccelle
?Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 184cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Returned from a week off with 27 disposals (15 contested), eight inside 50s and seven clearances against Murray Bushrangers in a strong performance from the midfielder. Showed his good contested ball winning abilities and showed his ability to get the ball moving inside 50.

Jack Petruccelle in action for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

#26 Aiden Bonar
?Inside Midfielder/General Forward (Haileybury College/Dandenong Stingrays)
08/03/1999 | 190cm | 89kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Build like a brick sh!thouse. After recovering from two ACL surgeries on his knee, Bonar has presence about him around the ground, mostly playing up forward as a third tall – but has pushed into the midfield for longer periods with each game he plays. His pressure is very good and he can lay bone crunching tackles. Has a good burst of speed and is strong overhead. Suggestion is he’ll end up a full time midfielder. Possesses a big upside.

Last month: Was outstanding in the triple header at MARS Stadium, showing off his contested marking up forward. Bonar finished with 18 disposals, seven marks (four contested), five inside 50s and booted two goals. Laid five tackles against the Sandringham Dragons, setting up and early goal – while he spent a lot of time through the midfield against Geelong Falcons on Sunday with 20 disposals (12 contested), five inside 50s and four tackles.

#27 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Was one of PACs best through the midfield against Scotch in South Australian school boy football. In the 2017 South Australian State Championship game against Henley High, Bailey was able to break free at the stoppages and was damaging getting the ball forward. He won best-on-ground honours for his performance on the night.

#28 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Continues to find the footy with 30 disposals, eight inside 50s, six clearances and six tackles in a superb game against the Calder Cannons, showing off his good hands in close. Had 10 contested possessions from his 16 against Geelong Falcons, while he had 31 disposals, six marks and five inside 50s against Oakleigh Chargers on Saturday just getting to the right places to win the ball.

#29 Charlie Spargo
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #30

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Missed the entire month recovering from shoulder surgery. Was invited to the National Combine and will still interview with clubs there.

#30 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 196cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield but showed his strength up forward for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Had 11 disposals and booted a goal in South Adelaide’s draw with Woodville-West Torrens. Suffered a knee injury in their game the following round, but returned on the weekend in the South Adelaide Under 18s in their first final recording nine disposals, three marks (two contested) and laid three tackles.

#31 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Houlahan has booted 14 goals over the last four weeks in the SANFL Reserves, including a bag of four goals in Sturt’s final against North Adelaide to go with his 16 disposals and seven marks. His 16 disposal, five inside 50s and five goal game against Glenelg was very impressive in Round 16.

#32 Jackson Ross
Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward (Haileybury College/Eastern Ranges)
22/06/1999 | 192cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Booted 29 goals playing as a centre half forward and on the wing for Haileybury College in the APS school competition. Comes from an elite tennis background and is still quite raw in football terms. Has a long kick and is able to use it on either side of his body. Very athletic and has a National Combine invite.

Last month: Booted five goals against Calder Cannons in Round 16 in a very strong performance, and whilst was quiet in the game against Geelong Falcons the following week – he did some good things on Saturday with nine disposals and three tackles. There’s plenty to like about Ross and a big finals series could push him up clubs boards.

#33 James Worpel
?Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks are on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs but he did show in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships that he was able to stop and find a target without rushing. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a first round selection.

Last month: Was good at the contest with 23 disposals and nine tackles against Murray Bushrangers in the triple header at MARS Stadium. In the wet, he opted to bang the ball long against Eastern Ranges to get territory completing the day with 24 disposals, eight inside 50s and seven clearances. His hands in close were very good on Sunday against Dandenong stingrays, finishing with 10 contested possessions, seven tackles, five clearances and five inside 50s.

#34 Ed Newman
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Mentone Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
12/03/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Was one of the best player in the AGSV school boy competition for Mentone Grammar and was Australia’s 13th man on Boxing Day and Newman is a high level underage cricketer. Possesses a very clean left foot kick and is smart at the contest. Can play across half back and rebound the ball if required.

Last month: Made his TAC Cup debut with 10 disposals and three clearances against Oakleigh Chargers. Against the Dandenong Stingrays, he won the first centre clearance and propelled it long inside 50. He finished the day with four centre clearances to go with his 21 disposals and six marks. Didn’t play on the weekend due to sickness, but should be a certain starter in TAC Cup Finals.

#35 Oscar Clavarino
Key Position Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
22/05/1999 | 195cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key Position defender who should fill out in an AFL environment. His best can be very good and has held down the key post for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships over the last two years.  His intercept work is getting better and has become more sure of himself when dropping off his man. Kicking can be shaky under pressure – but is another element to his game that has improved throughout the season.

Last month: Played the best game I’ve seen him play with nine marks (three contested) and 17 disposals against Geelong Falcons on Sunday. Also moved up forward late. Also showed his intercept work against the Sandringham Dragons the week before.


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Draft dream not over for 2017 state combine nominees

THE draft dream is not over to the 2017 state combine nominees after the AFL today released the list of 96 players from around the country nominated by AFL clubs to attend the 2017 State Combine.

83 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2017 NATIONAL AFL DRAFT COMBINE

Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia will each run individual tests, with clubs sent the data to analyse before November’s draft. Recruiters will also get a chance to cast their eyes over a further 23 footballers at the ‘Rookie Me Combine,’ created due to number restrictions at Etihad Stadium. The Victorian State Combine will be held on Friday October 6th at Etihad Stadium, with the ‘Rookie Me Combine’ to run on Sunday October 8th at a venue yet to be decided.

Similar to the process for the national combine, each club nominated up to fifty players to nominate that they wanted to see test. To receive an invite to the AFL State Combine, players must receive at least three expressions of interest from AFL clubs, with players receiving 1-2 taking part in the Rookie Me Combine.

Possible Adelaide father-son Jackson Edwards headlines the list of nominees. The South Australia midfielder averaged 24 disposals and four marks throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and is one of 21 South Australian’s that will test in the state based combine.

Victorian Under 19 cricketer Ed Newman was Australia’s 13th man at the MCG on Boxing Day is one of the 11 Sandringham Dragons on the list. Newman has been a standout for Mentone Grammar in the AGSV School Football competition and made his Dragons debut on Sunday.

Former Melbourne player Dom Barry is on the verge of another AFL berth, scoring an invite to South Australia’s State Combine after being a strong performer for Glenelg this year.

The state leagues around the country have been well represented with a number of players invited to test out. The VFL has 10 players nominated to attend with Essendon VFL’s Alex Boyse looming as their best prospect. Boyse has booted 26 goals this season and the 191cm forward is one of four players nominated from Essendon’s VFL team.

Invites:

Victorian State Combine (55):

Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons)
Noah Answerth (Oakleigh Chargers)
Mark Baker (Northern Knights)
Oskar Baker (Aspley)
Harry Benson (Geelong Falcons)
Brett Bewley (Williamstown VFL)
James Bell (Sydney Swans Academy)
Tom Boyd (Murray Bushrangers)
Alex Boyse (Essendon VFL)

Sam Cameron (Sandringham Dragons)
Riley D’Arcy (Dandenong Stingrays)
Aaron Darling (Dandenong Stingrays)
Sam Davidson (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach)
Lewin Davis (Bendigo Pioneers)
Max Dreher (Northern Knights)
Alex Federico (Northern Knights)
Bayley Fritsch (Casey Scorpions VFL)
Bailey Griffiths (Marcellin College)
Harrison Gunther (Glenorchy)
Jackson Hille (Sandringham Dragons)
Nick Hind (Essendon VFL)
Jake Hinds (Tasmania)
Austin Hodge (Gippsland Power)
Dane Hollenkamp (Geelong Falcons)
Nick Hogan (Gippsland Power)
Josh Jaska (Geelong Falcons)
Daniel Johnston (Murray Bushrangers)
Riley Jones (Oakleigh Chargers)
Matthew King (Oakleigh Chargers)
Dylan Landt (Calder Cannons)
Jy Lane (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)
Doulton Langlands (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)

Quintin Montanaro (Sandringham Dragons)
Thomas Mundy (Burnie)
Tom Murphy (Dandenong Stingrays)
Geordie Nagle (Sandringham Dragons)
Joel Naylor (Northern Knights)
Ed Newman (Sandringham Dragons)
Harrison Nolan (Eastern Ranges)
Connor Nutting (Gold Coast Suns Academy)

Kai Owens (Sandringham Dragons)
Alex Paech (GWS Giants Academy/Murray Bushrangers)
Cassidy Parish (Geelong Falcons)
Ethan Phillips (Oakleigh Chargers)
Callum Porter (Gippsland Power)
Aiden Quigley (Gippsland Power)
Nathan Richards (GWS Giants Academy)
Harry Simmington (Gold Coast Suns Academy/Labrador)
Derrick Smith (Richmond VFL)
Cooper Stephens (Geelong Falcons)
Aidan Tilley (Calder Cannons)
Laitham Vandeermeer (Murray Bushrangers)
Callan Wellings (GWV Rebels)
Seb Williams (Sandringham Dragons)

Tristan Xerri (Western Jets)

South Australian State Combine (21): 

Cameron Ball (Norwood)
Dom Barry (Glenelg)
Brodie Carroll (Norwood)
Oscar Chapman (North Adelaide)
Lochie Charlton (Norwood)
Tobin Cox (Glenelg)
Mitch Crowden (Sturt)
Sam Davis (Glenelg)
Bryce Denham (North Adelaide)
Liam Denton (Glenelg)
Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)
Stefan Giro (Norwood)
Isaac Hewson (Norwood)
Curtis McCarthy (Glenelg)
Thomas Schmusch (Woodville-West Torrens)
Josh Smithson (West Adelaide)
Jordan Sweet (North Adelaide)
Jake Weidemann (Woodville-West Torrens)
Jordan West (Woodville-West Torrens)

Patrick Wilson (Sturt)
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Sturt)

West Australian State Combine (20):

Christian Ameduri (East Perth)
Liam Baker (Subiaco)
Jordan Boullineau (Peel Thunder)
Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle)
Damon Cramer (Peel Thunder)
Patrick Farrant  (Swan Districts)
Jonathon Frampton (South Fremantle)
Scott Jones (East Perth)
Zac Langdon (Claremont)
Tyrese Miller (West Perth)
Lachlan Mitchell (Peel Thunder)
Gordon Narrier (Perth)
Cody Nineytte (Perth)
Will Powell (Claremont)

Aaron Redhead (East Perth)
Zareth Roe (Perth)
Liam Ryan (Subiaco)
Haiden Schloithe (Subiaco)
Chris Scott (East Fremantle)
Taryce Stewart (Swan Districts) 

Rookie Me Combine (23):

Kwaby Boakye (Gold Coast Suns Academy)
Hamish Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Damien Burke (Gold Coast Suns Academy)
Jack Clayton (Brisbane Lions Academy)
James Ferry (Essendon VFL)
Tom Freeman (Dandenong Stingrays)
Joel Griffiths (Geelong Grammar)
Jack Hardman (Sydney Swans Academy)
Matthew Harman (Northern Knights)
Lachlan Harris (Sandringham Dragons)
Marty Hore (Collingwood VFL)
Cooper Jones (Bendigo Pioneers)
Daniel Joseph (Aspley)
Francis Kinthari (NT Thunder)
Jordan Lynch (Eastern Ranges)
Josh Newman (Williamstown VFL)
Tony Olango (NT Thunder)
Kieren Parnell (NT Thunder)
Julian Patterson (Gippsland Power)
Kieran Strachan (Essendon VFL)
Sam Switkowski (Box Hill VFL)
Charlie Thompson (Oakleigh Chargers)
Aaron Trusler (Sandringham Dragons)

Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft August Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s July edition of his Power Rankings here:

Victorian school football is done and dusted for another year and in a fortnight the TAC Cup will be at full strength. The National Combine invites have been released, with Victoria having a large stranglehold on the prospects that clubs will get a chance to see test and interview. In a blow to the draft pool, possible number one selection Will Sutherland has decided to accept a rookie contract with the Victorian Bushrangers cricket team and is not expected to nominate for the draft.

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup testing. Not afraid to throw out a ‘don’t argue’ to his opponents.

Last month: Picked up a bit of a knee issue which meant he wasn’t fully at 100 per cent. Had 14 disposals and three inside 50s against Geelong copping heavy attention at the stoppages. Took a screamer inside 50 for PEGS in the opening quarter in their loss to Marcellin in the AGSV semi-final. Played one of his best games for the season with 25 disposals, nine tackles and two goals in Western’s important win on Saturday.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from day one with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball. Has shown at school football that he can beat the tag.

Last month: Returned to the Stingrays collecting 21 disposals, four marks and booted two goals. Impressively he showed some forward craft spending time deep inside 50. Had 14 contested possessions and two contested marks. He continued to win the ball in the midfield for Haileybury.

#3 Adam Cerra
?Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on Pick 1 and Pick 2 in 2016 – And Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside, with a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last month.

Last month: Didn’t play for Wesley on the weekend, but was tagged heavily in their loss to Geelong College. Cerra did manage to break free at stages and was still one of his teams better players. His first half against Xavier was impressive, collecting 14 disposals and he finished off strongly with a very good last quarter as his teams best. Collected 24 disposals, 10 marks and booted three goals in Eastern’s big win over Gippsland.

#4 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Did not play for Bendigo against Sandringham as he was up in Queensland watching his brother play for Vic Country in the Under 16 Championships. His games at Geelong Grammar have been exceptional and he made it three Best & Fairest’s in a row from Year 10 to Year 12 on the weekend. His clearance work was very good against APS premiers Haileybury.

#5 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender.

Last month: Been a consistent performer back at Northern Knights level post the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Coffield had 24 disposals and three clearances in their loss to Dandenong and had 19 disposals, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s against Eastern. He was also one of the Knights’ best in their loss to Calder on the weekend.

#6 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Came out of the blocks with 12 disposals in the opening quarter against Bendigo Pioneers, with some scouts suggesting he was on track for 50 disposals. His clearance work was exceptional finishing with 11 clearances to go with his 29 disposals. He also took seven marks and pushed forward to boot three goals for the contest. Had a quieter game against St Kevins, but finished the APS school season with 46 disposals against Geelong Grammar and was Haileybury’s best for the season.

#7 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: Did not play for Bendigo Pioneers against Sandringham Dragons, but has been utilised as a swingman for Geelong Grammar. In the windy conditions in the last few Saturdays, Brander has spent his time at whatever end the wind was going. He intercepted in the air well against Carey and took a very nice mark over Oscar Clavarino on the weekend.

#8 Jaidyn Stephenson
?Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 189cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Plays as a tall forward marking target inside 50 despite being medium size. Has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, but plays his best up forward or play as a high half forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed. Midfield craft is improving.

Last month: Played more as a pure midfielder in Eastern Ranges’ win over Sandringham Dragons, finding the ball at ease around the ground finish with 39 disposals. Had 26 disposals and four inside 50s in their win over Gippsland, backing that up the following game wit 17 disposals and six tackles. His midfield minutes have increased and he appears to be getting better there.

#9 Joel Garner
?Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Speedy midfielder who plays well on both the outside and inside. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: Found the ball on the outside with 18 disposals and five rebound 50s in the Eastern Ranges’ game against Gippsland Power. Back at school football level he has played mostly across half back after the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships where he used his long left foot to effectiveness.

#10 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool.

Last month: Continuing to show he is the clear best ruckman in the draft pool. Found 21 disposals to go with his 20 hitouts against Gippsland Power and his marking work around the ground adds a point of difference to some other ‘tap’ ruckman in the draft pool. Had a game high 30 hitouts against Northern Knights, along with seven clearances and 17 disposals. Was good around the ground against Sandringham Dragons on the weekend, using his strength in the contest against their more athletic ruckmen.

Sam Hayes leaps high for Vic Metro at the centre bounce.

#11 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 194cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player. His vertical leap is exceptional and can do things that many other talls in the draft pool cannot.

Last month: Booted an 80-metre goal for Calder Cannons on the weekend, mixing his time in different positions around the ground. Had a season high 31 disposals (17 contested), 10 inside 50s, eight hitouts and seven marks against Murray Bushrangers in Round 13. Rucked well at the ball ups against Oakleigh, using his superior leap to jump over his opponent.

#12 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 192cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage. Ruled out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Last month: Had eight disposals and four inside 50s in Glenelg’s Reserves loss to Port Adelaide Magpies to start the month. Fogarty has since been ruled out requiring surgery on a small meniscus tear that will end his season.

#13 Andrew Brayshaw
?Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out and flies under the radar. He makes his disposals count and is effective, with good defensive efforts.

Last month: Was very good in the Sandringham Dragons’ win over Bendigo Pioneers with 25 disposals (16 contested), eight tackles, six clearances and six inside 50s. Booted two goals in Haileybury’s win against St Kevin’s and had the ball on a string with 42 disposals against Geelong Grammar on Saturday.

#14 Matthew Ling
?Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 182cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and likely will end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Was a strong performer with 23 disposals in Geelong Falcons’ win over Western Jets in Round 13 in the TAC Cup. His ball use was very good by hand and foot against the Jets and he backed that up with another clean game against GWV Rebels. Ling finished with 19 disposals (84 per cent efficiency), five tackles and four inside 50s.

#15 Jack Higgins
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball but at times isn’t overly damaging with a lot of lateral kicks that don’t hurt opposition teams. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is great and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Very good contested mark for a player sub 180cm. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Took a while to get going against GWV Rebels but a 14-disposal third term helped him finish with 30 disposals (20 contested), 11 clearances and seven tackles. Did not play in the Oakleigh Chargers’ game against Calder Cannons, but returned with 27 disposals and a goal in their surprise loss to the Western Jets.

#16 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times. Made his League debut in the WAFL and hasn’t looked out of place.

Last month: Pushed into the WAFL League team for Peel Thunder playing alongside Fremantle listed players. Naughton recorded 16 disposals and seven marks in Round 17 on WAFL League debut and has since backed it up with 17 disposals and 11 marks, as well as 23 disposals and 11 marks in their last two games.

#17 Hunter Clark
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Is not a big ball winner, but showed good promise on the inside for the Dandenong Stingrays. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can separate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: I have said for a while that I thought his best position was as an inside midfielder and he has delivered in the last few weeks playing there. Had 19 disposals and seven inside 50s against Northern Knights in Round 13. With Davies-Uniacke returning to school football, Clark has stepped up with 34 disposals (17 contested), 10 inside 50s, eight tackles and seven clearances against Gippsland Power at Frankston Oval, backing it up on the weekend with 32 disposals and five tackles in a best-on-ground display against Bendigo Pioneers.

#18 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressed inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as one of the first WA players selected. Very good endurance base.

Last month: Has worked into the West Perth reserves team averaging 13 disposals, 10 hitouts, six marks and five tackles in his two outings. Made his WAFL League debut on the weekend, with eight disposals and five marks against East Perth.

#19 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Has a good spring that allows his to leap over some of his smaller opponents. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: Had 19 disposals and four clearances against Dandenong Stingrays at Shepley Oval. He also pushed forward and kicked two goals. Played well in Ivanhoe’s AGSV Semi Final and booted three goals in the Grand Final, looking his best when he was pushed forward after starting across half back and on the outside.

#20 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands. If he can win a bit more contested ball he should be able to mould into a damaging wingman/half back.

Last month: Did not play for Bendigo Pioneers against Sandringham Dragons but his ball use for Geelong Grammar has been very good despite being the player that most schools have employed a tagger to. In their big loss to Scotch College, O’Brien was Geelong’s best player.

Lochie O’Brien marks against Western Australia at Etihad Stadium.

#21 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: Showed some promise for the Brisbane Lions in the NEAFL playing up forward. He kicked four goals against Canberra a fortnight ago and on the weekend had 12 disposals, seven marks and booted two goals against the Sydney Swans Reserves.

#22 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Has smarts and knows where the goals are. Is a consistent performer.

Last month: Played a very strong game for the Western Jets in their loss to Geelong Falcons, finishing the day with a team-high 27 disposals (16 contested), 10 inside 50s and five tackles. Was a decent performer in St Kevin’s last two games against Carey and Haileybury playing through the midfield.

#23 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 183cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. His defending one-on-one is okay and is not a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off. Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson.

Last month: A lack of ball winning has been a knock from some but was arguably best-on-ground with 29 disposals and 11 marks against the Sandringham Dragons on Sunday. He also pushed forward in the third term and added another string to his bow. Started with a quiet game against Gippsland Power in Round 13 but was efficient with 15 disposals and six marks against Northern Knights.

#24 Jack Petruccelle
?Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 184cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good.

Last month: Had 11 disposals and five inside 50s in the Knights’ loss to Dandenong Stingrays, using his speed at stages. Collected 16 disposals (10 contested) against Eastern Ranges and laid some impressive tackles on the weekend against Calder Cannons.

#25 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 196cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield but showed his strength up forward for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Played some midfield minutes in the SANFL Under 18s in Round 14, finishing with 12 disposals and four clearances. Laid six tackles alongside his 16 disposals and two goals in Round 15, before making his South Adelaide reserves debut with seven disposals and three marks on the weekend.

#26 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: Was sent off in a school football match earlier in the month, but returned to Norwood as one of their best players finding 23 disposals and eight clearances in their win over Sturt.

#27 James Worpel
?Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks are on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs but he did show in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships that he was able to stop and find a target without rushing. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a first round selection.

Last month: His contested work was on show with 34 disposals, six tackles, six inside 50s and four clearances in Geelong Falcons’ win over the Western Jets in Round 13 of the TAC Cup. Had 17 disposals and eight tackles in the cold up in Ballarat against GWV Rebels. Had a quieter output with 18 disposals and five tackles, but his defensive work is very good.

#28 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg
Previous ranking: #31

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed. Is a smart footer and just gets to the right position to win the ball. Clearance work is super.

Last month: Found the ball at ease with 27 disposals, five tackles and five clearances in Eastern’s win over Gippsland Power. Absolutely dominated for Caulfield Grammar against Melbourne Grammar, booting six goals (five in the second half) to go with 36 disposals. Copped a hard tag against Brighton Grammar, but had a very good burst of 20 minutes in the third quarter where he was able to get off the chain and boot three goals. Didn’t bring his goal kicking boots to Wesley College on Saturday, but his hands in close and clearance work when it counted was exceptional and alongside Jackson Hille was one of the reasons that Caulfield Grammar came from behind to win.

#29 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #35

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has over 20 goals after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College in Round 2. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut. The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years. Often has a tendency to mark the ball behind his head and Murphy has a very large wingspan.

Last month: Went forward and looked more at home against Bendigo Pioneers finishing the day with 17 disposals, seven marks, six inside 50s and three goals. Took a very good contested mark that day and was far too strong for his opponent. He had 21 disposals, 10 marks and three goals in Brighton’s win against Geelong College, while it was a dominant display with the wind booting six goals straight in their win against Caulfield. Took some spectacular marks in the final quarter in their final outing against Scotch on Saturday.

#30 Charlie Spargo
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #30

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Missed the entire month recovering from shoulder surgery. Was invited to the National Combine and will still interview with clubs there.


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Matt Balmer’s 2017 AFL Draft July Power Rankings

IN an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will rank and update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month (This update is conducted post the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships). 

You can read Matt Balmer‘s June edition of his Power Rankings here:

The NAB AFL Under 18 Championships have come and gone with players pushing their names up boards – but disappointing there was probably more that pushed their name down with some average performances across the board. Players will now go back to their clubs and schools, applying their trade with clubs narrowing down their lists and focusing in on certain players. Finals are heavily scrutinised, as will be the NAB AFL Under 18 All Stars game at Punt Road Oval on Grand Final Eve.

I’ve extended the rankings out to 35 names and whilst the depth of the draft pool is expected to fall post Pick 30 – there will still be decent talent on the board in the first and second round.

#1 Cameron Rayner
?General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
21/10/1999 | 187cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #7

Scouting notes: Powerful and explosive midfielder who makes you excited when you watch him. A similar mould to Robbie Gray combined with Christian Petracca and when up forward his contested marking overhead is one of his strengths. For the moment he is a forward first, midfielder second with his endurance being a work in progress – running an 11.10 beep test at TAC Cup testing and it will be an area that needs to be addressed for him to move into the midfield long term.

Last month: Rayner averaged 18 disposals (11 contested), four clearances and booted 12 goals throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships for Vic Metro. Rayner’s bursts are outstanding and can clunk marks overhead inside 50 – often isolated deep from the Metro coaches. His game against South Australia was impressive, collecting 16 disposals, seven marks and booting an equal match-high five goals.

#2 Luke Davies-Uniacke
Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
08/06/1999 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Strong bodied inside midfielder who tackles hard and wins the clearances. Has had a fair share of injuries over the last few seasons but appears to be over them. Is one of the players most ready to go and could walk into AFL from Day 1 with ease. Is powerful in the contested situations and is able to stand up when getting tackled, using his strength to dispose of the ball.

Last month: Begun the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships with 34 disposals and 10 marks in a strong showing against the Allies. Returned to school footy and copped plenty of attention from the Carey midfielders who went hard at him whenever they could. Was on fire in the opening quarter and a bit in the ‘Vic derby’ with a superb centre clearance goal in the second quarter. Averaged 22 disposals for the carnival, but disappointingly left clubs questioning whether he is the contested bull some thought – averaging just 30% of his possessions in the contest.

#3 Adam Cerra
?Balanced Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
07/10/1999 | 186cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #6

Scouting notes: The forgotten man of the 2017 draft pool after missing 2016 with a meniscus injury to his knee. The AFL Academy missed out on Pick 1 and Pick 2 in 2016 – And Cerra could be another to join that list of high draft picks. He wins the ball on the inside, with a clean kick on his right foot. He contested work and clearance winning are superb and he covers the ground well. Was one of the standouts in the Vic Metro trials in April and continued his form in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships after suffering a shoulder niggle in May.

Last month: Cerra’s pinpoint pass to Lachlan Fogarty in Vic Metro’s second game set the standard for a strong NAB AFL Under 18 Championships from the Wesley College lad. Cerra averaged 18 disposals, five tackles, four clearances and four inside 50s as an important player in the midfield. He starred in Vic Metro’s opening win against Western Australia with 24 disposals (14 contested), six clearances and five tackles.

#4 Will Sutherland
?Key Position Forward (Scotch College/Vic Metro)
27/10/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who is a strong overhead mark. Sutherland picks the ball up cleanly from ground level and is very good below his knees. Is smart inside 50 and is willing to block opponents to help his teammates. Has midfield craft and has attended multiple centre bounces at school level. Australian Under 19 cricket captain. Has a tough decision on his hand – think football is probably the leading option and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him down at Sandringham Dragons training post the APS school season if football is his decision. Expect a decision soon.

Last month: Made his debut for Vic Metro against Vic Country and showed some promise inside 50. Whilst he didn’t have a standout performance, he showed his traits (such as his cleanness below his knees) and finished the carnival with five goals. Laid 10 tackles in his three games and showed off some aggression inside 50 getting in the face of opponents.

#5 Paddy Dow
Inside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
16/10/1999 | 184cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #26

Scouting notes: Speedy inside midfielder who can push forward and hit the scoreboard. Right footed midfielder who was superb for the AFL Academy in their game against the Northern Blues – not looking out of place at the centre bounces. Runs a sub three second 20m sprint and has very good agility. Not afraid to take on opposition midfielders in the contest, attempting to speed out of the stoppages.

Last month: Had an excellent carnival despite averaging under 20 disposals for Vic Country. Dow’s clearance work was superb, averaging five per game where he used his burst to get away from the contest and take the ball forward. Finally had a chance to see him live on multiple occasions and he’s certainly in the mix for a high selection.

#6 Jarrod Brander
Key Position Forward/Defender (Bendigo Pioneers/Allies)
11/02/1999 | 195cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Key Position tall that can play at either end where he reads the flight of the ball well. Is mobile up forward which allows him to make multiple leads. Missed most of 2016 through knee injury, but jumped on the scene booting over 20 goals for Geelong Grammar in the 1st XVIII competition as a Year 10 in 2015. Doesn’t look out of place in defence after playing there for the AFL Academy – as well as collecting 26 disposals in defence in the APS v AGSV school boy game last year. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Best swingman in the draft – with healthy debate which end he best plays his football.

Last month: Started the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships in defence but finished with the performance that everyone was waiting for with 16 disposals, nine marks and three goals up forward against Vic Metro in Round five. Averaged five marks per game and was a solid performer  earning himself All-Australian honours. One criticism however was that whilst his numbers were impressive, Brander was often manned by a Metro medium defender who wasn’t adapt to playing as a key position defender in the final game.

#7 Nicholas Coffield
General Defender/Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Composed midfielder who is very good under pressure. Reminds me of Hugh McCluggage where he has plenty of time with ball in hand in the contest. Clean user on his right foot and his defensive efforts are strong where he floats around and wins the ball at ease. Has a burst of speed which he often will utilise in defensive 50 when playing the role of a general defender.

Last month: Had an outstanding NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 22 disposals and four marks. Was often charged with a role as a general defender and rebounded the ball well with efficient numbers on his right foot. Played more across half forward in the final game against the Allies and had a match-high 29 disposals.

#8 Charlie Constable
General Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
18/05/1999 | 190cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who can play on the inside and across either arches. He begun the year for the Dragons in the midfield, but moved to half back with the return of Hamish Brayshaw. Missed a large chunk of 2016 with an injury, but is over those concerns. A good team player who gets to the right positions around the ground. Not super quick, but has a ‘footy brain’ and makes good decisions by foot rebounding out of defence.

Last month: Was left out of Vic Metro’s opening game of the season and collected over 30 disposals against Carey Grammar playing in the midfield for Haileybury. Was called up for Metro’s game against Vic Country and was best-on-ground with 31 disposals and six inside 50s, in a role across half forward and through the midfield. Was a deserving All-Australian member and has pushed himself well into top 10 calcuations.

#9 Jaidyn Stephenson
?Medium Forward/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 189cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Plays as a tall forward marking target inside 50 despite being medium size. Has a big wingspan which sees him pluck the ball from above his opponents reach. He converts his set-shot chances more than not, after bursting onto the scene with a terrific finals series for Eastern Ranges as an Under 16 back in 2015. Stephenson has pushed up onto the wing at times, but plays his best up forward or play as a high half forward. He moves well and holds a great endurance base to go with a really good burst of speed.

Last month: Begun the carnival with two underhwhelming games across half forward and on the wing – but bounced back with an outstanding match against South Australia. Stephenson had 28 disposals and booted five goals, showing off his trademark dash. Only took 10 marks for the carnival, playing more as a flanker than as a third tall.

#10 Joel Garner
?Balanced Midfielder/General Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
21/05/1999 | 183cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: #14

Scouting notes: Speedy midfielder who plays well on both the outside and inside. He uses the ball well off his left foot, hitting targets on the run or standing still. His handballing in close is another strength and he is able to clear the ball from a stoppage with ease. Screams X-Factor at times and may have found his best position across half back. Is an outstanding leader.

Last month: The Vic Metro captain was one of the more consistent players throughout the carnival after an ok start to the season at school football level. Garner controlled the play across half back and rebounded it well on his left foot. His best game saw him collect 24 disposals (12 contested) and nine marks in a strong second half performance in the Vic derby.

#11 Sam Hayes
Key Position Forward/Ruckman (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
09/06/1999 | 203cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: #8

Scouting notes: Showed his forward craft in the Under 18 Championships last year for Vic Metro using his height to mark the ball. He is a adequate kick for goal and rucks well around the ground and at the centre bounces. Leading patterns could improve – but he is still learning his game as a tall. At this stage I’d pencil him as a forward first, ruck second prospect – but still would consider him as the best ruck in the draft pool.

Last month: Had 67 hit outs for the carnival playing most of the carnival in the ruck, but was used as a forward in their final match against the Allies, where he showed off his good marking ability down low and booted two goals.

#12 Darcy Fogarty
General Forward (Glenelg/South Australia)
05/09/1999 | 192cm | 88kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: Strongly built forward that can push into the midfield. Played up forward for South Australia in last year’s Under 18 Championships booting seven goals. Fogarty played a strong game in the midfield for Glenelg in their finals last year and has been tried as a third tall defender at stages throughout 2017. Has the ability to kick off either foot and can lay bone-crunching tackles. He is more of a third tall than an inside midfielder at this stage.

Last month: Had an underwhelming carnival averaging just the 11 disposals and three marks. Fogarty was deployed at all ends of the ground and his stints in the midfield didn’t suggest that it may be his role at the next level. His energy looked down and only showed off his strong tackling in bursts. Whilst he did have 16 disposals against Vic Country playing across half back, his defensive efforts weren’t to a standard expected of a player who some touted as a possible no.1 selection.

#13 Noah Balta
Tall Utility (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro)
23/10/1999 | 194cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Athletic tall who has one of the biggest upsides of the draft pool. Balta has played predominately as a ruckman or a key forward for the Calder Cannons – but showed great signs as a defender in the Vic Metro trial and played there in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. He is a good mark, but his running patterns up forward do need some work. He possesses a rare combo of elite speed and agility for a tall player.

Last month: Was locked in to playing as a tall defender for Vic Metro and showed some moments enough to suggest it is worth persevering. Balta often pumped the ball out of defence on his right foot, but did rush a few kicks. His closing speed was good in the defensive 50, and I hope it’s a position Calder persevere with.

#14 Matthew Ling
?Outside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
21/04/1999 | 182cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: Left footer who is a good ball user on the outside. Has flown under the radar and may end up as the first Geelong Falcon drafted. Is a smart footballer and makes good decisions. Not a big ball winner, but has elite agility that allows him to step opponents around the ground.

Last month: Had some flashy moments that suggested if Ling can put it all together he is going to be a very good player on the outside. In the opening quarter of Country’s game against Western Australia, his agility was on show and included a run down tackle on the wing. His a neat left foot kick went at 100 per cent efficiency against Vic Metro in the ‘Vic derby’. Averaged 14 disposals and four marks throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

#15 Jack Higgins
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
19/03/1999 | 178cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who wins a lot of the ball but isn’t overly damaging with a lot of lateral kicks that don’t hurt opposition teams. His defensive efforts are getting better and the midfielder has the ability to push forward and hit the scoreboard. His clearance work is good and he has goal smarts as a small forward, but he does lack a touch of speed compared to other small forwards. Should be ready to go in 2018, but his full on focus on AFL in 2017, might mean he has a limited upside compared with other first rounders.

Last month: Was the deserving Vic Metro MVP after being the leading disposal winner (109) for the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. 49 per cent of his possessions came in contested situations and he pushed forward and booted six goals. He averaged six tackles and six marks throughout the carnival and was close to winning the Larke Medal. His first half against Western Australia in Round two was super with 22 disposals, seven clearances and two goals.

#16 Jack Petruccelle
?Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/04/1999 | 184cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: The fastest player in the TAC Cup with a 20m sprint time of 2.82s. He is willing to take oppoisition players on and burn them off along the wing. Also possesses a very good leap. His kicking on the run is a work-in-progress and needs work, but his eye catching displays are continuing to get better and more consistent. Comes from an elite basketball background. His contested ball numbers are very good (over 50 per cent).

Last month: A quiet carnival mostly playing on the flanks due to Metro’s strong inside midfield brigade, averaging a touch under 10 disposals per game. Petruccelle missed the ‘Vic derby’ but went back to TAC Cup level to win 19 disposals and seven inside 50s. He went at 60 per cent by foot throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and he did make some poor executions in their final game against the Allies. Looked more comfortable in the contest, rather than on the outside.

#17 Oscar Allen
Key Position Forward (West Perth/Western Australia)
19/03/1999 | 191cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Tall Utility who can play at either end but mostly looks likely to settle forward. Marks well overhead and moves well for a player over 190cm. Good decision maker and impressive inside 50 in the WA trials. Named co-captain for Western Australia in the Under 18 Championships and was the Larke Medalist judged the best player in the carnival. Looms as the first WA player selected.

Last month: Won the Larke Medal as the best player in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Allen averaged 15 disposals, six marks and booted 11 goals throughout the carnival. His marking was impressive and his work at ground level was good. Took a nice mark a few players deep tight on the goal line against Vic Country and slotted the goal. One to watch closely in the second half of the year as he pushes into first round contention.

#18 Lochie O’Brien
Outside Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country)
18/09/1999 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Classy outside midfielder who is likened to former Roo & Saint Nick Dal Santo. Uses the ball well on his left foot and possesses elite speed which can help him burst away on the outside at speed. Impressed last year for Vic Country as a bottom-ager playing on the wing, a position that allows for him to be a receiever on the outside where he can clear the ball via a pinpoint pass. A good decision maker and is someone you want to have the ball in their hands.

Last month: Missed the first NAB AFL Under 18 Championships round as a late withdrawal with a knee issue. Had just the two disposals in the first half against Vic Metro, but a strong second half showing saw him finish with 18 disposals. Struggled to win his own ball throughout the carnival, with just 15 per cent of his possessions in the contest. Used his voice well around the ground but had a down carnival on what was hoped.

#19 Patrick Naish
Outside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
15/01/1999 | 180cm | 69kg
Previous ranking: #27

Scouting notes: Smart and lively inside 50. Working on his contested ball winning ability, but looks suited to start as a forward at AFL level. Can play across half back, ball usage is reasonable by foot but can often go for the miracle kick rather than a simpler options. Covers the ground well. Father-son eligible for Richmond.

Last month: The Tigers father-son prospect averaged 21 disposals – but with just a contested possessions percentage of 20 throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Only five of his 14 kicks hit the target against the Allies, where he made some bad errors by foot in the defensive half of the ground. Has a long right foot kick and he did show off his dash coming from defence.

#20 Connor Ballenden
Tall Utility (Uni of QLD/Brisbane Lions Academy)
29/03/1999 | 199cm | 96kg
Previous ranking: #10

Scouting notes: Strong contested marking forward who will fit well into the Lions forward structure. Has played through the ruck and as a key position defender to start 2017 – but his best position is coming out of the goal square. Possesses a very good set shot routine, kicking more goals than he misses. Has a long kick and reads the play well.

Last month: Started up forward for the Allies with just eight disposals and three marks in their first game against Vic Country, but then played predominantly as a ruckman against South Australia in their second game. Balenden made a full move to defence in their third game and played the final two matches there. His intercept marking was good and with the ball in hand he was willing to roost it 50m on his right foot. Despite some good signs in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, I don’t think the backline is his position at the next level and I still like the idea of him coming out of the goalsquare.

#21 Lachlan Fogarty
Balanced Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
01/04/1999 | 179cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #12

Scouting notes: Clean and polished midfielder who wins the ball in both contested and uncontested situations. A good decision maker by hand or foot, who tackles hard to win the ball back. Flys under the radar – but continues to get the job done at all levels.

Last month: Missed Vic Metro’s first game against Western Australia coming back from a groin injury but still managed to make the All-Australia team. Fogarty averaged 19 disposals and nine tackles playing across half forward and in the midfield. Has a decent burst of speed and is agile enough to get around his opponents.

#22 Aaron Naughton
Key Position Defender (Peel/Western Australia)
30/11/19999 | 194cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Played as a bottom-ager in two of Western Australia’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championship games in 2016, and was named as a co-captain for the 2017 carnival where he impressed in defence. He marks well overhead and is a good reader of the play. Has an awkward ball drop which can affect his left foot kicking efficiency at times.

Last month: The Western Australia co-captain won All-Australian honours for his strong role in defence. Naughton averaged 15 disposals and four marks as a rock in defence. His usage on his left foot whilst it looks awkward, managed to hit the target on majority of occasions.

#23 Andrew Brayshaw
?Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
08/11/1999 | 183cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: #29

Scouting notes: The brother of Melbourne’s Angus has started the year on fire for the Sandringham Dragons. He finds the football with a good contested possession percentage. Brayshaw is more of a handball first, kick second player in the contest but just gets the job done without standing out. He makes his disposals count and is effective.

Last month: Returned from a quad injury against South Australia with 20 disposals off just 57 per cent game time. Had 22 disposals (12 contested) against the Allies and brought the ball inside 50 on five occasions – playing across half forward and in the midfield. Could see him pushing into the first round with a good second half of the season at school and TAC Cup level.

#24 Hunter Clark
?Inside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
26/03/1999 | 186cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #18

Scouting notes: Has transitioned from a rebounding outside defender to a contested ball winning midfielder over the last 12 months. Coming out of defence his decision making and kicking could be better – and if he cleans this up it will help his draft stocks. Isn’t a big ball winner, but showed good promise on the inside for the Dandenong Stingrays. Possesses quick hands – a trait that can seperate him from others in this draft pool.

Last month: I was disappointed to see him play mostly in defence as he had shown some good signs on the inside for Dandenong. Had a few errors by foot throughout the carnival but his kicking efficiency of 72.5 per cent was promising considering it has been well below that throughout the TAC Cup. Averaged 15 disposals in the carnival and hopefully will move back into the midfield for the Stingrays.

#25 Ryley Stoddart
Medium Defender/Outside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
15/10/1999 | 183cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is what you want in a half back flank. Kicks it well on his left foot, makes very good decisions and will get to the right positions. He defending one-on-one is ok and isn’t a big disposal winner, but is a player who will make his 15-20 touches hurt the opposition when he drops off.

Last month: Dubbed as a Kade Simpson clone by SEN 1116 Draft Analyst Brett Anderson, with Stoddart playing as a small defender in the Vic Metro squad. Averaged 12 disposals throughout the carnival and did a decent job in the final game of the carnival on Allies’ Adam Sambono when they were manned up – but unfortunately lost Jack Hardman at the last contest. Weaved through traffic well in the final game with his link up work by hand very good.

#26 Nathan Kreuger
Tall Utility (South Adelaide/South Australia)
25/06/1999 | 196cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: #25

Scouting notes: A raw talent who has had some incredible moments over the last 12 months. His work in the South Australian trials were good last year and early this year. Can play as a tall at either end, but most excitingly moves well athletically enough to play as a flanker. Uses the ball well off his left foot and there are some moments that get you really excited about this kid. Can play through the midfield.

Last month: Finally got his opportunity in Round four of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and was the shining light in South Australia’s loss to Vic Metro. Playing up forward, Kreuger had 16 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s and booted a goal. Didn’t play after half time in the final game, nursing a sore cheek after copping a knock in a tackle.

#27 Zac Bailey
Inside Midfielder (Southern Districts/Allies)
23/09/1999 | 180cm | 68kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Has a great burst of speed and he isn’t afraid to collect the ball and burst out of a stoppage getting distance on himself from his opponents. The right footer is usually a clean kick but can have the odd poor game by foot. Wins the contested ball and tackles well.

Last month: One of the players stiff to miss out on winning their respective team MVPs, but did make the All-Australian team. Bailey averaged 17 disposals, four tackles and three clearances per game in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. His burst from the centre bounce to win the final clearance in the last few minutes against Vic Metro – was a key reason for their unexpected victory.

#28 Jackson Edwards
Outside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
11/10/19999 | 185cm | 77kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: The son of Tyson is eligible for father-son to Adelaide at the end of the season. Possesses a nice clean left foot on the outside where he plays his best across half back or on the wing. At times he could be a bit more damaging with his disposals, rather than finding the safe target short.

Last month: Averaged 24 disposals (32 per cent contested) and four marks through the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Kicked at 60 per cent efficiency, but was let down by his poor game by foot against the Allies where just three of his 10 kicks were effective. Finished the carnival off well with 30 disposals, 19 handball receives and seven marks against Vic Country.

#29 James Worpel
?Inside Midfielder (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
24/01/1999 | 185cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: #22

Scouting notes: Cracks in hard winning the ball in the contest and is one of the best clearance players in the 2017 draft pool. Question marks continue to be on his kicking, where at times he will just bomb it out of the packs. Tackles well but has areas to address to be a first round selection.

Last month: Won the Vic Country MVP, averaging just under 20 disposals for the carnival. Laid 33 tackles in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships – ranked number one. Also averaged four clearances and four inside 50s throughout the carnival and was an impressive player earning All-Australian honours. His kicking has been an area of concern early in the season, but at times he did seem to compose himself for a period and find a target. Worpel kicked at 62 per cent in the carnival and did on occasions ‘bomb’ the ball forward.

#30 Charlie Spargo
?Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
25/11/1999 | 175cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Small bite-sized midfielder who cracks in hard. Despite his size he wins the ball in the contest and tackles hard. Is one of the few midfielders who has a good goal sense and is a hard match-up when deep inside 50. Was originally zoned to GWS but it is now ineligible for GWS to select him under changes to their Academy zone. Has had shoulder surgery which will rule him out for the season.

Last month: Had 18 disposals and four marks in the Allies’ opening game of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Spargo suffered a shoulder injury in the clash and since then has had surgery which will put him out for the remainder of the season.

#31 Dylan Moore
Inside Midfielder/Small Forward (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/08/1999 | 175cm | 66kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Small midfielder who isn’t afraid of winning the contested ball. His ground ball numbers are very good and is a big ball winning midfielder. Moore can also push forward and hit the scoreboard. Has a decent jump for a small midfielder which he can show off up forward. Has a very good endurance base but is one of the few players sub 180cm who don’t possess elite speed.

Last month: Was one of Vic Metro’s more impressive players throughout the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 23 disposals (11 contested), three clearances and three inside 50s. Moore made the All-Australian team and is a number of Eastern Ranges players in contention to be drafted.

#32 Harrison Petty
Key Position Defender (Norwood/South Australia)
12/11/1999 | 194cm | 81kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Key positioned player who reads the play well and positions himself well behind the ball. Is composed with ball in hand and is usually clean to dispose of the ball off his right foot. Petty is also confident with when to intercept the ball overhead.

Last month: Petty was named in the All-Australia team after winning South Australia’s MVP. Petty averaged 12 disposals, four marks and three rebound 50s playing as a key defender. His best game came against Vic Metro where he had 18 disposals, seven marks and six rebound 50s.

#33 Jordan Houlahan
Medium Forward (Sturt/South Australia)
19/02/1999 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who possess a very good leap and is a straight kick in front of goal. The AFL Academy member will likely adjust to AFL life in a similar role to Sydney Swans 2016 draftee Will Hayward. Has come back from a shoulder reconstruction and was a solid performance up forward in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

Last month: Averaged 10 disposals (six contested), three tackles, three inside 50s and booted four goals for South Australia in the carnival. Was impressive with four goals from nine touches against the Allies and showed some promise to suggest he’s worth keeping an eye on in the second half of the year.

#34 Andrew McPherson
Medium Defender (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia)
20/06/1999 | 186cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #28

Scouting notes: A good ball user across half back where McPherson just gets the job done. He showed promise in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships last year. McPherson rebounds it well and can play across the wing. Reads the play well and has a good mix of attack & defence. The AFL Academy member has dealt with a quad injury throughout the first half of the 2017 season.

Last month: Was expected to play a role in the final two games of the of NAB AFL Under 18 Championships but was ruled out with his quad injury, not wanting to be risked by South Australian coach Brenton Phillips after pulling up sore after their final training session.

#35 Nathan Murphy
Medium Utility (Brighton Grammar/Sandringham Dragons)
15/12/1999 | 188cm | 84kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: The Victorian Under 19 cricketer has been one of the better forwards in the APS Victorian school football season. Murphy has booted 17 goals in the last four games after moving forward post a concussion suffered against Haileybury College. Was a late addition to the Sandringham Dragons program for 2017 and was strong as a third tall in defence on debut The tall utility can play at either end and has a big booming right foot kick. Goalkicking accuracy is one area which can be cleaned up but Murphy’s focus has largely been cricket over the last few years.

Last month: Booted two goals against Xavier College in Brighton Grammar’s loss, before making his TAC Cup debut with Sandringham Dragons. Murphy had 28 disposals, eight marks and six rebound 50s in a promising debut against Geelong Falcons playing as a medium defender. Had some good moments in the poor conditions at Casey Fields on Saturday against Gippsland Power.


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Scouting notes: Vic Country vs. South Australia

SOUTH AUSTRALIA ran out comfortable winners against Vic Country in the final game of the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.

VIC COUNTRY VS. SOUTH AUSTRALIA MATCH REPORT

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

Vic Country:

#2 Sam Walsh – The bottom-ager used the ball well off either foot playing in the midfield. His hands in close were very good and he spreads well around the ground. Wins the footy and has a high work rate. One of the better midfielders in the 2018 draft.

#9 Luke Davies-Uniacke – Spent a fair bit of time across half forward than as a pure inside midfielder. Kicked a superb checkside goal in the 2nd quarter. Had a very nice centre clearance in the opening quarter and he showed off his long right foot. Has a strong core and can stay standing in tackles, but it wasn’t an impactful game (only had four contested possessions) that was expected from a possible no.1 pick.

#15 Paddy Dow – Another standout performance from Dow in the midfield. He finds targets on his right foot, winning the ball in the contested situations. Gets to the right positions and at one stage beat three SA players to win the ball. Pushed forward and can get to the right positions to mark the ball. Laid a great tackle on Brad McCarthy in the first quarter – Dow also booted a goal.

#28 James Worpel – Had a couple of ‘bombs’ kicking the ball forward, but finished with eight inside 50s where he was able to get the ball going forward. Often looked for the high contact free by lifting his arm up but got only one a single free for the day. Kicked a great long goal in the second quarter and finished with 22 disposals.

#32 Cassidy Parish – Used the ball better than he has done in the past by foot and was conscious to look for the best option to clear the ball by hand. Is a very good contested ball winner and won multiple clearances. Missed a simple shot on goal early in the game but had a solid outing.

South Australia:

#2 Izak Rankine – The bottom-ager is going to be a special player and just makes things happen. Was clean by foot and had three score assists. Kept his feet in the contest and was willing to use his elite side-step to get around the Country players. At one point it took two Country players to bring him to ground. Also kicked a magnificent goal in the last quarter.

#13 Jackson Edwards – Was the leading disposal winner with 30 – but 26 of his possessions were uncontested. In contested situations, he can often just bang it forward and he looks far better when used on the outside when he can use his clean left foot. Is very left sided, but had very good follow up around the ground.

#15 Jordan Houlahan – Showed off his leap from the get-go with a nice mark on the wing in the first quarter. Houlahan is an exciting player up forward and has a clean pick up – to go with this he used his vision well to find a target by hand close to the boundary bringing it back into the corridor. Did often leap and grab the ball on his chest rather than out in front of him. Houlahan also booted a goal in the third quarter.

#37 Charlie Ballard – One of the more impressive players for SA throughout the carnival. The 195cm wingman has a long right foot kick. His pick up from ground level was good and he laid a very good tackle on CJ in the third quarter. Brought the ball inside 50 on seven occasions and clunked nine marks around the ground. Kicked a goal in the third quarter, but missed one that he could’ve kicked in the second quarter.

#38 Harrison Petty – South Australia’s MVP for the carnival. The key defender reads the play well in defence and remains composed with ball in hand. Kept his feet and his positioning was good.

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