Aidan Franetic (Oakleigh Chargers)
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Player comparison: Paul Puopolo
Strengths: Skills, clean user, contested ball winner
Weaknesses: Consistency, decision making
Aidan Franetic is a solidly built Oakleigh midfielder who has flown under the radar this year due to Oakleigh under-performing and missing games due to APS and Vic Metro commitments. Franetic was impressive in the Chargers’ premiership win last year as a bottom-ager and many had high hopes for the midfielder/forward this year.
Despite not playing a lot of TAC Cup football, Franetic has impressed at times with his clean skills and ability to win the hard ball then use it well on the outside. His main concern is trying to maintain consistency throughout four quarters and then trying to string a few good performances together. If he can continue to shine the way he has in glimpses this year, he’ll go on to become a very handy ball winner.
Teammates aren’t afraid to hand Franetic the ball due to his neat skills and ability to take the game on. He does have a fair bit of speed and can out run a number of opponents. At times he can go overboard and rush his disposal making it look a bit iffy at times but it comes down to his decision making more than anything. When he has time on his side and weighs up his options, Franetic will find his target nine times out of ten and usually make something happen.
In many ways Franetic is similar to that of Hawthorn’s Paul Puopolo, although he does spend more time in the midfield. Usually Franetic will start on a half forward flank and then rotate through the middle a fair bit while impacting the scoreboard. He has a reasonable frame to win the contested ball and has shown why he was so highly rated by the Chargers coaching staff throughout the year and if he can continue to impress there is every chance Franetic will go somewhere in the third round or thereabouts.
In the Bound For Glory News Phantom Draft, Franetic was selected by Melbourne with pick 56, probably accurately depicting of his current value. This isn’t to say he has 55 players better than him, but in terms of needs, consistency and upside, others might slide in front of him. No doubt that Franetic will be putting everything into the last week given the Chargers have missed finals and try and impress recruiters before the draft.
Franetic has an interesting skill set that could come in very handy for a young developing club looking for that bigger body that won’t take as long to develop at AFL level. While he still might need to put on some weight, Franetic could easily play that small forward role without being out-bodied too often. He will have a number of clubs weighing up when to take him because he has drifted from high draft calculations given others’ performances but he will certainly find a home given his obvious talent.