2013 Draft Profile: Zac Webster

Zac Webster (Glenorchy)

Height: 180 cm
Weight: 71 kg
Position: Midfield
Player comparison: Dale Thomas
Strengths: Speed, Skills, X-Factor
Weaknesses: Consistency

Zac Webster is a very unique prospect who has a lot of characteristics of his game to work with. He has the speed, the skills and the X-factor that will have plenty of AFL clubs licking their lips. The main concern over Webster is whether he is able to utilise his strengths at AFL level against the bigger bodies because his Under 18s Championships weren’t as impressive as many had hoped.

While Webster was solid against the Western Jets at Highgate Recreation Reserve, he didn’t have the impact at the Championships that was expected of him. He is smaller than his brother who was drafted to St Kilda, but he also is a bit quicker. One bonus about Webster is he isn’t afraid to go into the contest and dig out his own ball which is a rare quality in a midfielder who’s strengths rely on his outside game.

But like athletic ruckman who need to work on their “big man” attributes, Webster needs to work on his outside game to progress forward. When one sits down to watch Webster in action, he’ll do a few things every game for people to go “wow this kid could go first round” but then he could disappear for a quarter or a half and you’ll forget he’s playing. It’s this kind of consistency that Webster needs to find in order to become a top line AFL player.

In many ways, Webster has already shown he can do the harder things such as win his own football, go into a contest, weave out of traffic and use well by foot. If he plays off half back which would be an ideal start for him at AFL level, he will use his run to move the ball efficiently down the wings. He is solid one on one, but could improve his footy smarts. If he is beaten one-on-one it won’t necessarily be from ability or strength, but more the mental aspect.

AFL clubs would look at Webster and know exactly what he needs to go to the next level. Running drills such as positioning, how to use his body more effectively, how to impact a contest consistently, and where to run on the outside of a stoppage to find the ball and burst away from opponents. These are all aspects which Webster could improve and he’ll no doubt be keen to work on them.

It’s also pretty hard to miss Webster with his wavy mop standing out a mile away much like Tasmanian teammate Eli Templeton. He isn’t too dissimilar to Dale Thomas who used the same characteristics to become a really good player at AFL level. The difference between the two was that Thomas was that step ahead in his outside game and was more ready made for the AFL. Webster wouldn’t be too far off with 2015 being the ideal debut season for him.

In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Webster was selected with pick 74 by Melbourne because he adds that extra skill on the outside and isn’t afraid to win it on the inside. He has the X-factor about him that will have fans salivating over his debut and should impress at VFL level to have a number of fans start a cult hero following.

Zac Webster is a highly talented prospect with plenty of run-and-carry that he best uses off a half back flank. He moves into the middle and wins the hardball  but just needs to develop his outside game so he can consistently impact a contest. Luckily for him, it won’t be too hard to teach and Webster could definitely become a late diamond in the rough out of this draft crop.

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