Matthew Boag (Geelong Falcons)
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 90 kg
Player comparison: Danny Stanley/Ben McGlynn
Strengths: Strength, marking, versatility
Matthew Boag is another one of those hidden talents down the highway at the Geelong Falcons who has gone about his business without the fan fare that some of the other Falcons players receive. He has played a variety of positions across the midfield and up forward with much success although his consistency is the main focus for Boag over the next month as he pushes to try and get drafted.
At the start of the 2013 TAC Cup season, Boag played predominantly as a midfielder who pinch hit forward. This was explained by kicking only two goals yet having 57 disposals, 39 of which were deemed effective. As the AIS boys in James Tsitas and Lewis Taylor returned to the midfield, Boag was pushed to a forward flank in his first game playing off a flank. He booted five goals against the Northern Knights and still managed 23 disposals and nine marks in a best on ground performance.
His following two games yielded a couple of goals and a total of 15 marks as he was becoming a smaller leading target up forward and presenting well. He is one of those players that could become a danger in the TAC Cup finals and sneak under the radar of teams given the amount of talked about talent in the Falcons lineup. If he can work on his consistency to ensure his goal kicking and performance is mirrored each week with the Knights performance as the bench mark, then he’ll become a very good player.
While his performances have probably mirrored Geelong’s to an extent, knowing that top spot is signed, sealed and delivered, Boag is no doubt preparing to attack finals with the same ferocity that he did in the early part of the TAC Cup season. He’s the kind of guy that if the Falcons can get 15-20 disposals and a couple of goals out of, then he’s done his job. His defensive pressure is also an important aspect given he is quick and can run down guys in impressive bursts of speed.
While he’s no Lewis Jetta, Boag is quicker than your average midfielder and he’d look to beat most players in a foot race if it came down to it. One aspect about Boag that stands out is his overhead marking. For a medium forward, he’s quite strong overhead and is very underrated in this way but isn’t miles off Jack Billings and Ben Lennon which is a huge compliment. When a player has speed, is strong overhead and can kick goals, you know he’s one to watch. You can tell by just looking at the figures that there aren’t too many other midfielders in the draft crop that are 90 kg and could impact at senior level already.
He’s one of the toughest guys to try and compare to a current AFL player. In the end, Danny Stanley is similar in build and strengths however Boag is much quicker and plays predominantly forward rather than back. In many ways he is also like Ben McGlynn who kicks more goals than you’d expect but can also run through the midfield and wreak havoc for opposition midfields.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Matthew Boag was selected with pick 70 by Essendon. He adds that extra element to the forward line and his ability to run off the wings and contribute a couple of goals will no doubt see a few clubs keen on recruiting him. It may well come down to how much exposure he has had to recruiters given his form was primarily in the first half of the TAC Cup season.
Matthew Boag is one of those players that could go anywhere from the third round to undrafted. He has some really good characteristics that a club could develop and enhance so he becomes a very solid player at AFL level. He moves well, can take a mark overhead and also kick goals whether he is playing forward or off the wing. While he may not become a star, Boag at the very least should become a valuable contributor to an AFL club should he be drafted.