Isaac Conway (Sandgate/Queensland)
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 85 kg
Player comparison: Daniel Cross
Strengths: Endurance, ball winning, strength
Weaknesses: Speed, kicking efficiency
Isaac Conway is one player who looks set to join Brisbane through the zone selection bidding system. It is estimated Conway will be taken with either a second or third round pick with Brisbane not going to use their first rounder on him. In saying that, it is highly unlikely a top ten club will bid for Conway as while he looks like a talented players, doesn’t quite stack up against the better midfielders in the draft.
Conway is one of those honest gut runners who won’t break the lines and hurt you with their kicking, but what they do offer is great strength around the clearances and a good ball winning ability that will help get the pill to teammates who can use it better. In many ways you can think of Conway as a Daniel Cross/Brad Sewell/Brock McLean type player who will bury themselves under a pack and usually opt to give a handball to a teammate rather than try and kick it long.
Conway’s kicks will primarily be to clear the danger area and can be haphazard at times. He works incredibly hard and knows how to find the football which is a great start. If a club such as Brisbane can work on his foot skills a little bit more then they should have a very handy player.
If you were to compare Conway with other inside midfielders in this draft, you could compare him to Matt Crouch with Crouch having the better vision and Conway having the better endurance. Both players aren’t overly dangerous by foot but can make an impact in contested situations.
Conway’s body size of 85 kg already has him at what could be considered AFL playing weight unlike so many other Under 18s who need to build up an extra 15 kg or so before they can play at the elite level. This means Conway is able to step up into the already talented Brisbane midfield and provide that hardened body when Simon Black retires. By being able to play that inside role, it allows the other Brisbane midfielders to play that outside game and effectively hurt teams on the inside and outside.
Conway is one of many players who could be taken by Brisbane with a zone selection and probably the highest rated alongside Cain Tickner. He doesn’t have the greatest offensive attributes in the world, but what Conway does offer is his ability to get down and dirty, not afraid to put his body on the line and become a real fan favourite with his constant effort that never dulls.
If Conway is to be chosen by Brisbane as expected, he will no doubt be a leading star in the time trials and impress the coaching staff over the pre-season to really push for a round one debut. It should be noted that if he doesn’t play straight away that won’t be too surprising either given Brisbane’s abundance of talented young midfielders, but Conway should get at least a few games during the year to give him a taste at AFL level.