Daniel McStay (Eastern Ranges)
Height: 193 cm
Weight: 83 kg
Player comparison: Tyson Goldsack (Better disposal)
Strengths: Athleticism, Disposal, Versatility
Daniel McStay is a valuable prospect in the 2013 National Draft because unlike many players he has the ability to play as a key defender or a tall wingman, something very few others can do. While he’s mostly found his home in defence for Vic Metro, McStay was able to show off his midfield ability during a few games when he wasn’t required for a key role. Given Eastern Ranges have such a strong team with plenty of tall timber, McStay has the rare chance to use his athleticism and height to provide plenty of run to create plays up the field.
He’s often not talked about in the same breath as other key position players because while he has the height, he doesn’t have the strength of others like Darcy Gardiner or Michael Apeness. What McStay offers to a club is that ability to break the lines and move into the midfield which is rare for a 193cm player. He’s also a hard player to find a comparison with because very few eligible key defenders can move into the midfield. A few years ago Andy Otten showed glimpses of being able to play midfield before injury struck while others such as Tyson Goldsack have made moves onto the wing. I have decided on Goldsack in terms of style, but McStay has much better disposal efficiency. While Goldsack is far from a ball butcher, McStay is one of the better kicks in the TAC Cup.
Daniel McStay is in the top ten for disposal efficiency and also averages just under six marks a game and is top five in contested marks for the TAC Cup. Those ahead of him are Tom Boyd, Hugh Goddard, Michael Apeness and Patrick McCartin. All members of their respective Victorian sides, yet McStay has more than held his own. His ability to average over 15 disposals a game also ranks high for a key defender who pinch hits in the midfield.
McStay is one of those guys you want the ball in his hands. He has solid endurance and decent speed for a guy of his height and a nice solid kick to hit targets up the field. While he is only 83kg, McStay has the height of 193cm which should see him become a really solid key position defender for the future. The only fear with weight gain is whether he can maintain his athleticism. McStay could become a perfect match up for the Cloke’s and Riewoldt’s who just run their opponents into the ground. Obviously he would be monstered at first, but after a season in the gym, McStay could really develop into a strong defender and hold his own against the beast forwards.
With the new sub rules and impending interchange cap, clubs are ultra keen on discovering players that can play multiple positions. While McStay should settle into a key defensive post, it would be of great advantage for a club to send a player of McStay’s ilk into the midfield. Whether that would be to give a winger a breather or use his flexibility against teams with smaller forward lines where he would not be needed down back.
With his elite disposal efficiency and strong marking ability, McStay has all the characteristics to become a star player. Teams looking for flexible defenders such as Collingwood, Geelong, Hawthorn or Brisbane may take a look at McStay who is a dark horse in the draft as it sits. He could very well go anywhere from second round to fourth round depending on who needs his skill set, but one thing’s for sure, McStay has too many valuable qualities and characteristics for a club not to take a chance on him.
TAC Cup Statistics:
Games: 7Goals: 6
Disposal Efficiency: 79.12%
DT Points: 72.71