Bryden Squire (Murray Bushrangers)
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 73 kg
Strengths: Speed, endurance (two way runner)
Player comparison: Nathan Fyfe
Squire is a prospect who few will have heard about but he has quietly put together an excellent season for the Murray Bushrangers and pressed his claims for a rookie list spot or as a late draft selection. Despite missing out on Vic Country selection, Squire has had a super second half of the year to put his name up there and he shapes as one of the few players who missed out on Champs selection who could be drafted.
Squire doesn’t appear to have too many weaknesses to his game. His kicking is clean, although he can be a little erratic when there is pressure on, he is creative by hand and he chases hard which leads to high tackle numbers (Squire averages 3.7 per game).
For his under-age season and most of this year Squire found himself lining up on the wing for the Bushrangers. But to change a perception that he is purely an outside runner, he was pushed into the centre square while regular midfielders Michael Gibbons and Nick Holman were playing in the Champs. It was a role which Squire excelled in and he averaged 25 disposals during a seven week purple patch and was named in the top three best players each week. He needed to step up in the absence of the Bushrangers’ better players and he proved himself to be a very capable midfielder.
Much like his teammate Gibbons, Squire has worked hard on his ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard over the second half of the season. Squire kicked 14 goals this season with 12 of them coming in the second half of the season. Against the Oakleigh Chargers, Squire had an exceptional game and kicked five goals from the midfield along with 26 possessions. He has kicked 14.16 this year so with more accurate finishing in front of goals he could develop into a very capable half forward at a higher level.
The standout features of Squire’s game are athletic attributes rather than skills. He possesses sublime speed which he uses to burn off his opponent and run down the wings. He backs himself to beat opposition players to the ball, or to run past them with the ball.
Another standout feature of his game is his endurance. Squire is a two way runner who really works hard to follow up his kicks but also gets back into defence to help out. He ran a 15+ beep test in the TAC Cup testing day this year in very hot conditions and can run all day. Combined with his pace (he ran a 2.97 at the testing day) he has a lot of helpful physical attributes that will help him at the next level.
One problem Squire has faced throughout the season has been his battle to be a consistent player. Some weeks he can have 30 touches and 10 handball receives while the next he can struggle to hit the 15 disposal mark. He can have all of the athleticism in the world but he still needs to find the footy so a question mark still hangs over this game.
Squire is the type of low risk player teams like to pick up late in the draft or with rookie selections. He won’t be a superstar but he could be a very solid contributor on a wing or across half forward for an AFL club when he fills out.