Tag: west adelaide

SANFL Women’s 2020 team preview: West Adelaide

IN the next of our South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Women’s team preview, we take a look at West Adelaide, a side that came agonisingly close to a finals appearance, but was pipped at the post by an Ebony Marinoff-inspired Glenelg.

2019 BY THE NUMBERS:

Position: 5th
Wins: 6
Losses: 4
For: 298
Against: 347
Percentage: 85.9%

 

2020 CHANGES

(as per Zak Milbank’s article on the SANFL site)

IN: Rachael Killian (returned/NT Thunder), Zoe Greer (Norwood), Taylor Hand (Woodville-West Torrens), Hannah Scholar (Woodville-West Torrens), Kate Walsh (SMOSH West Lakes).
OUT: Madison Newman (Adelaide AFLW), Chelsea Biddell (Adelaide AFLW), Tayla Gordon (North Adelaide), Ali Evans (Woodville-West Torrens), Leah Swain (maternity leave/Melbourne).

 

FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH

Madison Newman / Chelsea Biddell

Similar to our South Adelaide preview, we have included both Newman and Biddell as ones to watch purely because though they departed the club for AFL Women’s, they did land at Adelaide which gives them a chance to still run out with the Bloods in the upcoming season. Newman finished top five in disposals last year and was a revelation in the back half, while Biddell was the club’s leading goalkicker. While it is hoped they can both make an impact at AFL Women’s level – especially given the Crows’ recent run with injuries – the club would love to have them back, even if it is only a few games towards the back-end of the season.

Abbie Ballard

The teenager is entering her draft year and the now top-ager will look to take over from Newman as the key talent through the midfield group with the more experienced, Rachelle Martin. Ballard showed a fierce tenacity to attack the contest and despite her size – 159cm – she won double-figure disposals on all bar one occasion to average 16.1 per game to go with her 4.1 clearances, 5.4 tackles and 2.1 inside 50s. Her final game of the season in the loss to South Adelaide saw Ballard rack up 24 touches, three marks, five tackles, six clearances and five rebounds in a superb effort leaving fans excited for what could come in 2020.

Rachael Killian

One of the bigger inclusions across the SANFL Women’s competition for 2020, the 174cm midfielder is still only 25-years-old but has premiership experience at the highest level, playing in the inaugural AFL Women’s premiership side with Adelaide. Last season she played three games with NT Thunder, where she averaged more than 10 touches per game. She should slot straight into the midfield and be that extra hand around the stoppages, not afraid to lay a tackle and then go forward and find the goals. A handy player to have running around for the Bloods.

Rachelle Martin

After an unbelievable 2018 SANFL Women’s season where she was one of the most dominant ball winners in the competition, Martin was restricted to just four games due to injury in 2020. She made them count, averaging 19.8 disposals, 6.8 tackles, three clearances, three marks and 2.3 inside 50s. She also managed to boot a goal in two of her games, and did play the last three of the season, Unfortunately it took her a few weeks to get back to her best and by then the season was over. Could stake a claim as one of the best ball-winning state players and is almost a new inclusion into last year’s side. If she stays fit will be an unbelievable talent in that on-ball brigade.

Melanie Elsegood

Finished second overall in the club goalkicking last season, slotting 10 goals in nine games for the Westies. With Biddell potentially no longer inside 50, Elsegood has free reign to be the dominant target for her club, and she has to stand up and deliver this year. Not a huge ball winner, Elsegood is someone reliable to hit the scoreboard, doing so in seven of her nine games, including a bag of three to open the season, and two goals to finish it. One who could benefit from the permanent inclusions of Martin and Killian.

FIXTURE

1 vs. Sturt
2 vs. Glenelg
3 vs. North Adelaide
4 vs. Norwood
5 vs. WWT Eagles
6 vs. Sturt
7 vs. South Adelaide
8 vs. Central District
9 vs. Norwood
10 vs. South Adelaide

West Adelaide could be one of the more unknown quantities in the competition. The Bloods came close to finals last year, and while they have lost a number of key players, have brought in quite a few talents at the same time. If they play to their potential, the Westies could sneak into the top four and play finals. They face a tough draw however, with double-ups against reigning premiers South Adelaide – both in the last four weeks – and Norwood, as well as Sturt. Realistically need to win quite a few early to make finals a possibility, but have faith because in patches they looked impressive last season.

Two years of footy enough for Rachelle Martin to blossom

HAILING from the Yorke Peninsula, which is about two hours from Adelaide, Rachelle Martin moved to the City of Churches for university.

Little did she know, she would start playing Australian Rules and begin what has been a successful career so far. Despite being a 19 year-old, Martin was selected to represent the Central Allies in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships. She said she really enjoyed the camaraderie in the side and felt honoured to be selected to represent her state for the first time.

“I didn’t think I would make state because it’s Under 18s and I’m 19 so to be selected, it was a good feeling,” Martin said. “We didn’t spend much time together before the games but especially that second game, I think we tidied a lot of stuff up and we were supporting each other way more so it was really fun even though we lost, it was good to be around the girls.”

The Central Allies combined the best Under 18 South Australian and Northern Territory (NT) talent, and Martin admits that while it was interesting to play with the NT girls, she was able to bond with them straight away.

“A few of the SA girls did NT before so they did the Allies before,” the 19 year-old said. “You could see there was that bond there and it was easier to make friends because you had those connections. “It was interesting but it was good getting to know the girls. “I’ve heard those names before and now getting to see them play was really cool and knowing the academy players.”

In terms of her personal game, Martin believes she improved as the tournament went on, and noted the strengths and weaknesses of her playing style.

“My first game wasn’t the best I thought, but the second game, I thought I did better so it was alright,” she said. “I think my inside game’s not too bad. “I think I need to work on my fitness. “It probably lets me down a bit but it’s something to work on.”

This is not a bad weakness considering Martin did not play competitive football during her childhood.

“I never did footy when I was younger so I did tennis and soccer,” she said. “I (also) did calisthenics, netball, basketball; yeah I did a fair few sports.”

Despite not playing any competitive football, Martin and her sister had to entertain her brother, who was the only boy in the family.

“My brother played footy when he was younger and he’s the only boy so me and my sister were always forced to kick the footy with him whenever he wanted,” she said.

She also tasted Australian Rules at school, but could not play in the Yorke Peninsula at the time.

“We did a few nine-a-side games at school and from there, I just wanted to play footy, so I had to wait until I moved to Adelaide,” Martin said.

Since she has moved to Adelaide, Martin has played in both the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Statewide Super Women’s League for West Adelaide and in the South Australian Women’s Football League (SAWFL) for Fitzroy.

During her time at West Adelaide, the 19 year-old played 10 games and was named in the best in each game. Her side finished fourth on the ladder. In her time at Fitzroy in the SAWFL, Martin played seven games, was named in the best twice and kicked six goals. She admits during this time, she found it hard to balance her studies with her football, but she managed it as best she could.

“I’m doing accounting (at university),” Martin said. “It was pretty difficult with SANFL and state as well. “Having more football, it was hard to balance that but I got through it.”

Now that she has experienced representing her state and playing in two elite state leagues, Martin admits she is thinking about her AFLW prospects.

“I wouldn’t mind AFLW,” she said. “I’m not sure if I get picked up this year. “I think in the future it would be a good opportunity. “I would strive for it.”

South Australia weekly wrap: Draft prospects shine in SANFL openers

WITH the opening round of the South Australian Football League (SANFL) starting, we review the performances of the potential draft prospects for 2018.

League:

Central Districts tall mid Jackson Hately turned in a great debut for the League team with 22 disposals, including six inside 50s and one goal in his teams’ 61-point victory over North Adelaide. AFL Academy member, Hately was composed and looked completely at home exerting his influence around the ground, particularly up forward. Key forward Hugo Munn played in Sturt’s 12-point win over Norwood and impacted with inside 50s and forward pressure tackles. Top prospect Jack Lukosius was again dominant up forward for the Eagles, taking six marks booting three goals, as well as giving off another two. Izak Rankine from Westies did not play due to suspension from the last trial game.

Reserves:

In Sturt’s four point win over Norwood, strongly built mid Tom Lewis had 16 possessions, 11 of which were contested, along with six tackles. Smooth mover Mihail Lochowiak ended up with 11 possessions. For North Adelaide, Frankie Szekely impacted the game with some speed and a four-bounce run through the midfield to obtain 12 possessions including four inside 50’s and two rebound 50’s on top of a nice goal in his teams four point victory over Centrals. Centrals’ Jez McLennan had 15 possessions including four tackles to show some real poise across half-back. Glenelg defeated South Adelaide by 35 points with 2017 National combine attendee Alex Martini collecting 23 disposals working both ways through the midfield as well as eight tackles. Souths’ Nathan Kreuger, also a Combine invitee in 2017, had 12 possessions and kicked two goals.

U18s:

The Eagles demolished Westies by 77 points, with Kai Pudney racking up 35 disposals, 11 marks and eight inside/rebound 50s. Elusive underager Kysaiah Picket had 29 possessions to be in the bests as well. For West, ruckman Angus Rana was best with 27 hit outs and four inside 50’s. South defeated Glenelg by 22 points with Tate Coleman best with 28 possessions, eight marks and a goal. Bottom-ager Daniel Sladojevic clunked nine marks and kicked six goals. For Glenelg underager Will Gould was best with 22 disposals including seven marks and an incredible 12 rebound 50s playing in the back half and South Australian Academy member Finn Betterman was strong and effective all game.

Centrals defeated North by 10 points led by mid Aaron Nietschke with 38 disposals (20 of which were contested), six tackles and nine clearances. Underager Jordan O’Brien was also in the bests with 22 disposals and nine clearances, and was good on both sides. For the Roosters, Boyd Woodcock had 30 disposals, six clearances and six inside/rebound 50s to be his side’s best. Underage ruck/forward Dyson Hilder was also effective with 16 hitouts, 11 possessions and one goal. Norwood defeated last years premiers Sturt by 46 points with AFL Academy member Luke Valente dominant with 39 possessions including eight marks, 11 clearances and five inside 50s to go with his one goal. Hard running Kade Chandler was also good with 25 disposals, 10 marks, eight clearances and a goal. Sturt’s Hamish Wallace was named his teams best leading with seven tackles.

South Australian Under 18s preview

THE 2018 Season for South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Under 18 sides looks set to shape up as one full of local talent destined for the national stage. It will be a challenge for some clubs to balance how their talented youngsters are managed with SANFL League teams wanting to play their top end talent yet balancing club and player needs for the Under 18 competition. In addition to the School/College football commitments, Under 18 football is a tipsters nightmare as player movement is high.

Under 18s football in South Australia (SA) will certainly draw greater national attention this year, with recruiters and media outlets alike looking at the progress of elite SA youngsters who look set to shape the competition. Along with a new SA Under 18 coach in Tony Bamford, all the pieces look like they are ready for SA to make a charge in 2018.

Looking at each SANFL club in turn we focus on the key talent as well as some players who may be a late bolter and come into 2018 draft consideration.

 

Central Districts

AFL Academy standout Jackson Hately headlines the Bulldogs talent. Having already made his SANFL League debut, it will be interesting to watch his progress. Hately is certainly on the draft radar for 2018, but he may struggle to play much U18 footy with League football demands. Centrals season should be solid as other talent to watch include Malachai Ahmatt-Lovett and Aaron Nietschke who will provide good depth. Other players on watch are Llwellyn Milera and midfielder Jordan O’Brien.

Prediction – mid to high table, finals

 

Eagles

The great thing for the Eagles this year is their potential number one draft pick Jack Lukosius, but it will be hard to keep him out of the Eagles League side all year. His impact and resume is building very quickly, but the Under 18 side at Woodville is blessed with depth. Other key players Kai Pudney, Martin Frederick, along with great family talent of Jackson Mead, Kysaiah Pickett and Trent Burgoyne the signs are strong for another U18 Grand Final appearance.  

Prediction – top end of table – potential Grand Finalist

 

 Glenelg

The Under 18 squad for Glenelg will be solid as always, but once again in 2018 the impact of school and college football may determine their position this season. Key player and leader Finn Betterman is showing early signs of a exciting year, while other SA Academy members Oscar Lovelock, Brad Potter will be key parts of the midfield. At the younger end Glenelg has some real talent for 2019 with father-son Luke Edwards and Prince Alfred College (PAC) student Will Gould adding strength.

Prediction – mid table – will sneak into make finals

 

Norwood

The Redlegs are always around the mark, and early wins will be key for them. AFL Academy player Luke Valente is pivotal for the Redlegs as is 2019 prospect Cameron Taheny. Taheny is developing nicely along with fellow youngster Dylan Stephens who may both find themselves in SA’s Under 18 final side. PAC’s Kade Chandler is another midfield runner but the impact of college players may affect their season

Prediction – mid table, may sneak into finals

 

North Adelaide

North’s challenge in 2018 will be getting their best side on the park. Top-end draft potential Conor Rozee will most likely play some League footy in 2018 which will affect his side. Exciting talent Frank Szekely is also in the seniors mix. Strong midfielder Boyd Woodcock will be integral along with key forward James Langley and under-age prospect Dyson Hilder. It is very hard to predict where the Roosters will finish.

Prediction – mid to low table, likely to miss finals

 

South Adelaide

South must be really excited for season 2018. Across all levels they look strong. At Under 18  their squad has some quality. PAC lad Tom Sparrow will be key, along with impressive forwards and State squad members Job Colwell and Darnell Tucker. Father-son Hayden Sampson and Sam Whitbread have both shown their class in past years.  The Panthers will be around the mark again, but their best side may just be off the mark at the pointy end of the year

Prediction – mid-high end of table, finals

 

Sturt

A clean sweep in all grades in 2017 will be difficult for the Double Blues to repeat in 2018, but they may just be off the mark with their Under 18s this year. Whilst at the top end AFL prospect Hugo Munn has made his League debut already he may float between the u18 side but he will be crucial. St Peter’s standout Tom Lewis is crucial as well but once again he along with talented Mihail Lochowiak may be pushed to Reserves and college impact will affect their chances too. Some family names in the mix as well are young Casey Voss (son of Michael) and Riley Grundy (brother of Brody) who will both get opportunities.

Prediction – mid- bottom table, unlikely to make finals

 

West Adelaide

West Adelaide, like other clubs will struggle for access to their best players, with top-end draft standout Izak Rankine most likely to play 2018 in the League side.  The Bloods have an even side and Angus Rana and William Gutschke will be pivotal along with midfielders Ethan Moore, Sam May and Beau Nunan.  Underage talent Jye Sinderberry will get opportunities, and country lad Conor Blackwell may sneak a game. 

Prediction – mid-bottom table – unlikely to make finals

 

It would be fantastic to see all clubs play their true Under 18 talent all year, but League and Reserves football will beckon for the talented players as AFL recruiters suggest clubs showcase potential draftees at the highest level.  All clubs will have a high turnover of players throughout their teams, and the predictions are based on the most settled lineups.

 

Ladder Prediction 2018

1 South Adelaide

2 Eagles

3 Centrals

4 Glenelg

5 Norwood

6 West Adelaide

7 Sturt

8 North Adelaide

South Australia weekly wrap: Prospects shine and Panthers prevail in SANFL Fast Footy

LAST weekend saw the inaugural SANFL Fast Footy competition played at Norwood Oval. Fast Footy is a modified version of the game, played with 12 per-side across 3 zones and Supergoals able to be scored from outside 50m. Introduced a week before AFLX, this footy format is geared towards fast paced high scoring games.

It was a new concept for players and coaches and most clubs opted for a focus on youth in selecting their sides, giving young players opportunities at a high level with unlimited player rotations. All SANFL clubs, apart from Central Districts, participated in the competition which was held over 2 days with each team playing 2 games, and the top 4 teams playing finals games.

Only two top-age players eligible for the 2018 National AFL Draft took the field over the tournament – those being potential top 10 pick Izak Rankine and his fellow Level 2 AFL Academy member Luke Valente.

Rankine continued to add to his highlight reel, bagging two goals and celebrating one of the with a backflip. Players from all teams were encouraged to celebrate their goals in style. It finishes off a big few weeks for Rankine who recently took first place in the local 100m sprint meet, Camden Classic. 

South Adelaide prevailed as the winner of the 10-game tournament with a victory over Woodville-West Torrens by five points in the final and taking the $10,000 prize-money. For the Panthers, former AFL listed player Keegan Brooksby lead the way with solid performances in all games. Other players from Panthers to shine were Matt Raitt, booting 10 goals across the games and youngster Liam Fitt impressing.

Eagles youngsters Cooper Gaffney and James Rowe showed class and a nose for goal respectively in all games, along with former-Magpie Tom Gray, who was their most consistent player.

Port Magpies fielded a young side, seeing Chinese Recruit Chen Shaoliang take to the field for the first time.  

Glenelg, under new coach former AFL assistant Mark Stone, showed promising signs for 2018 with Ian Milera and Darcy Bailey being most dangerous around goal.

Sturt lost both their matches, but continued blooding youngsters across their games, with Blake Kennedy hitting the score board.

West Adelaide players Tom Keough (ex-Gold Coast) was a standout, and new recruit Nick Jaensch impressed around goal.

At North, players of interest Keenan Ramsay along with Matt McDonough were solid.

Adelaide fielded a mixture of players currently training with their Academy squad, and Josh Vandermeer was the most consistent.

From Norwood, youngsters like Luke Valente got opportunities, with the under-18 prospect looking like he is in for a good year. Others to contribute were ex-AFL listed players Luke Surman and Declan Hamilton.

SANFL Round 18 Draft Prospects update part 1

AFL Draft Central South Australian correspondent David Chapman cast his eyes over the top young prospects coming up through the SANFL, Reserves, Under 18s and local school football competitions. On the weekend, round 18 of the SANFL took place with school football also continuing. We look at the top performances from the weekend:

League:

In Glenelg’s loss to West Adelaide, Alex Martini was named in the best, led by a game high 12 tackles to go with his 13 disposals. Teammate Jackson Edwards also collected 16 disposals. Westies Underager Izak Rankine was again exciting, finishing with 16 disposals and two goals.

Reserves:

In Sturt’s 58-point win over Norwood, Mitch Crowden again won best-on-ground honours with 28 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal. Crowden’s work on the inside was impressive, where he had eight clearances. Adam Trenorden was again in the bests with 20 disposals, while Jordan Houlahan booted four goals from his 13 disposals. For Norwood, Stefan Giro was among it – with 30 disposals and 12 marks. Brodie Carroll was also in the best, with 29 disposals and 13 marks. South Australian Under 18 MVP Harrison Petty was superb on his return from school footy, with 26 disposals and a whopping 15 marks.

In Central District’s demolition of Woodville-West Torrens, bottom-ager Jackson Hately returned from a week off, with 25 disposals through the midfield. Cooper Dahms (15 disposals) and Ryan Falkenberg (13 disposals) were also impressive. For the Eagles, possible 2018 no.1 draft pick Jack Lukosius was named second best, with 19 disposals, 12 marks and 2.5 – in a dangerous game up forward. Cooper Gaffney was also strong with 21 disposals.

U18s:

South Adelaide snuffed out North Adelaide’s finals chances, with a big 71-point victory. Bottom-ager Heath Sampson was best-on-ground with 25 disposals and three goals. Luke Bogle was another who stood out on the inside, with 17 disposals, 14 tackles and eight clearances. For North, Connor Rozee (27 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) and Boyd Woodcock (24 disposals and nine clearances) found plenty of the ball, aided by Ben Oborn winning 45 hit outs throughout the game.

Centrals defeated the Eagles with Llwellyn Milera starring. Milera collected 23 disposals, six inside 50s and booted two goals, while bottom-ager Jordan O’Brien was also strong with 21 disposals (15 contested) and booted a bag of five goals. For the Eagles, Jake Weidemann was best with 28 disposals, including 10 marks and three goals. Tom Schmusch also did some good things, with 17 disposals and two goals.

Tall Hugo Munn was named in the best in Sturt’s 48-point win over Norwood. Munn had 16 disposals, 16 hitouts and nine marks (six contested). Teammate Ryan Weidenhofer led the stats sheet with 27 disposals, six clearances and six rebound 50s. Despite the loss, Norwood dominated the stats for most of the day due to their high possession style game plan. Jacob Kennerley was their best with 23 disposals.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQz5IYfpvCY[/embedyt]

In the battle for finals, Westies demolished Glenelg by 114-points. Patrick Fairlie dominated in the midfield, and was best with 43 disposals, 14 clearances and 11 marks – winning the Torrens Uni Cup MVP nomination for the round. Josh Smithson was also excellent with 27 disposals, nine marks, seven clearances and four goals. For Glenelg, Ruben Flinn was their best with 20 hitouts and 11 disposals.

School Footy:

Our report on school football will be online tomorrow afternoon, including a report on the 2017 SA State Championships game, that saw Prince Alfred College defeat Henley High by five points.

 

2014 Draft Profile: Sam Durdin

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Sam Durdin (West Adelaide)

Height: 197 cm
Weight: 87 kg
Position: Key position utility
Strengths: Versatility, field kicking, marking, athleticism
Areas of improvement: Imposing himself on a game, football smarts
Player comparison: Jake Carlisle

Sam Durdin is a player you pick up not on what he is right now but what he has the potential to be. Durdin excels in many different areas of football and possesses natural talent most players couldn’t dream of having but unfortunately the parts just haven’t come together yet. He had a lacklustre championships, averaging 10 disposals at 63 per cent efficiency, three marks, two inside 50s, one clearance and one tackle a game. Despite spending considerable time forward he only managed four scoring shots across the six games.

When he played in the ruck during the champs he competed well at the tap but lacked effort following up and didn’t impact the game around the ground. When forward he was leading to the wrong places at the wrong times and at ground level didn’t follow up or have a presence. Down back he was impressive, always keeping his opponent honest however offensively his production was still down. Since the championships, Durdin has been okay in the SANFL reserves averaging nine touches a game while also being defensively sound.

Despite his below par performances this year Durdin is still a top prospect. He’s very slender and raw at only 87 kilograms. Compared to other prospects he’s still got a lot of development to come and that’s what excites. He’s very clean below the knees. Athletically he excels – his agility and turning circle are that of a player four inches smaller and he’s able to create separation offensively and close down leads defensively due to superior acceleration and speed. He’s got a very good wingspan with his ability to read the ball in flight and take the ball at the highest point as good as any while also being able to reach around and spoil when he looks out of the contest.

He’s also an incredibly natural contested mark. With a great vertical leap he’s able to just jump across or through contests and clunk the ball cleanly and effortlessly. His technique is excellent along with his read of the ball in flight and it’s something that will definitely translate to AFL level especially when he puts on some more weight and physically imposes himself.

Another point of difference for Durdin is his foot skills. He’s able to execute high degree of difficulty passes that no 197 cm player should be able to do. Instead of taking the high percentage option like many key defenders do, Durdin is able to act as a genuine rebound option due to his athleticism and incredible skill by foot.

With his footskills, athleticism and marking already excellent Durdin will enter the AFL with a foundation very few players have. He excels in areas that are incredibly difficult to learn hence his draft stocks being so high. The next step for Durdin is to improve his football IQ. Too often he’s in the wrong position to effectively contribute to a passage of play and while forward his leading patterns and positioning render him ineffective.

With his athleticism and cleanness at ground level he’s also got the scope to win more hard ball at ground level however right now he often chooses not to contest at ground level. It will be interesting to see whether Durdin is developed forward or back at AFL level as he’s got the foundation to go either way. What is certain is that Durdin is very much a project; he’s not someone who’s going to impact at AFL level in his first few seasons and  needs time to develop both physically and mentally.

2013 Draft Profile: Nick Favretto

Nick Favretto (West Adelaide)

Height: 188cm
Weight: 88kg
Player comparison: Brent Stanton
Strengths: Ball winning ability, speed, ready-made body
Weaknesses: Lacks X-factor

Nick Favretto is another of the quiet achievers from South Australia. Not many people are talking about him yet he consistently racks up 25 possessions in the SANFL reserves against older and bigger bodies. Perhaps his lack of appearances for the strong South Australian team in the Championships have hurt him but there are other ways to get recruiters attention and Favretto is surely doing that.

There is a perception that Favretto is a very outside player and that is not 100 per cent true. Favretto gathers the majority of his possessions on the outside, using his speed to break clear to loose balls and is a neat kick so his teammates like to give him the ball. However he has a strong body, at 188 cm and 88 kg, and he can win his own ball in contested situations. His tackling has improved and he is adding more tackles to his stat sheet which is going to help him shake the outside tag.

Unlike so many others, Favretto actually has a hardened body that could cope with the rigours of AFL football and dominates in the Under 18s which is why he’s played some matches against the men. Unfortunately Favretto is still waiting to consistently play senior football so clubs can get a taste about how he competes against the more talented senior guys. He is however doing everything he can to stand out at Under 18s level in South Australia and his stats reflect that.

Favretto finds the ball with ease but at times doesn’t have the most dangerous disposal. He uses it reasonably well but won’t punish you as much as some of the other South Australian midfielders such as James Aish or Dwayne Wilson. He does have that honest approach about him that should see him rack up solid numbers at AFL level without being considered a huge star.

Favretto is very similar to Brent Stanton whom a few years ago was at the cross roads in his career. He was still racking up touches but wasn’t having a great deal of influence on the contest. Since James Hird in particular has been installed as coach, Stanton has increased his work rate and in the first half of last season, fans began to see the potential he has. While he hasn’t been able to constantly replicate that form through injury and other circumstances, Stanton has kept his place in the team when fit. This is the kind of player Favretto should look towards and aim to increase his work rate in the belief that his disposal will become more damaging.

One huge benefit he has is the breakaway speed from the contest, something that could be very useful to clubs who are seeking that outside runner to get it forward to the key targets. He might not have the greatest disposal, but it’s good enough that players can rely on him to hit targets more often than not. He’ll particularly be used to hit up that 30 metre target out of a contest to a teammate who has found space on a flank or wing.

In the Bound For Glory News Phantom Draft, Favretto was taken by the Western Bulldogs with pick 58. He could be considered the outside version of Matthew Boyd who has been a fantastic servant for the club. Given he has had limited opportunities at senior level as well at  state level, Favretto is a bit of an unknown when it comes to predicting draft range. One might suggest a third to fourth round pick is about right however a club could pounce early in the second round or he may slip to the rookie draft.

Favretto has enough talent to suggest he’ll find a home in the AFL next season and he has plenty to like about him. If he can finish off the season in style, one could expect to hear Nick Favretto’s name read out on draft day.