Nick Robertson (Perth)
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 83 kg
Player comparison: Brendon Goddard (less hurt factor than BG)
Strengths: Endurance, contested situations, versatility
Nick Robertson is an interesting prospect who, due to injury, has slipped from a lot of people’s minds. He was considered a first round prospect earlier in the year, but after missing the Under 18s Championships, Robertson enters the 2013 National Draft as somewhat unknown quantity.
Robertson can play a mixture of in the midfield or down back with great flexibility. Before his injury he had been played in defence to iron out a couple of question marks but defensively he is quite sound. He isn’t overly quick, but has elite endurance that will see him constantly run all day long.
Given his relative body size compared to his opponents, Robertson will usually beat most of his opponents one-on-one in the air, but once the ball hits the ground he may not be nimble. This isn’t to say he moves like Dean Brogan or Aaron Sandilands but in terms of medium sized players he isn’t someone likely to break the lines with his pace.
If a club can try and alter his running style a little bit and increase his pace, then Robertson can become a very interesting prospect given his strength overhead and good positioning in defence. His ability to be able to push up into the midfield and become a danger will also be on his side as clubs are constantly looking for gut runners who can play in multiple positions.
If Robertson could spend some time up forward, he could also be impressive given his marking capabilities and being able to read the ball in flight. While his future may well lie as a midfielder or half back, Robertson could add that string to his bow and become a fully fledged utility.
In many ways Robertson is not too dissimilar to Brendon Goddard but probably that tad slower. While Goddard isn’t overly quick either, he does have a bit more line breaking pace than Robertson. The other difference between Goddard and Robertson is that Goddard has a lot more hurt factor with his disposal and while Robertson isn’t too bad, Goddard is in the elite category. Goddard’s versatility, positioning and strength one-on-one draws the comparison with Robertson.
Robertson was drafted at pick 41 in the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Draft by the Gold Coast Suns to provide that extra versatility down back and through the midfield similar to Danny Stanley. Stanley also went forward at times so Robertson could provide that “Mr. Fix it” approach and plug holes where required.
While Robertson obviously still has a few deficiencies, he has plenty of characteristics that could see him become a solid player at AFL level across the ground and he should find a home somewhere in the second or third rounds.