Nick Holman (Murray Bushrangers)
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 79 kg
Player comparison: Jarryd Blair
Strengths: Speed, tackling, inside game
Nick Holman is an uncomprimising inside midfielder who has been impressive as captain of the Murray Bushrangers. While he doesn’t have the skills of teammate Jarman Impey, he complements the likes of Michael Gibbons in winning the contested ball and dishing off to teammates.
Holman is a medium midfielder who has shown he can play at either end as well, tralling off the half back and half forward flanks with some success. Primarily he will play that inside role and try and win clearances or get it out as quickly as possible to a teammate on the outside. One thing worth noting about Holman is he can also play that outside game where he can use his deceptive pace to run-and-carry. While he’s no line breaker, he isn’t your traditional plodding inside midfielder who has little to no pace.
One of the biggest advantages about Holman is his fierocious tackling which impresses fans with his fanatical nature and his ability to hold on and just not let go. He uses his pace to be able to chase down most players and with his ability to win his own football, he can beat most one-on-one in contested situations.
Holman’s biggest concern at this stage other than consistency is his disposal efficiency. While he can play the outside role, he often rushes his kicks or doesn’t think through his decision making, therefore leading to miskicks or disposals that don’t often advantage his teammates. While his disposal isn’t terrible, it is one aspect of his game Holman will want to improve to be successful at AFL level.
Holman has very similar characteristics to Jarryd Blair in the sense that he can win that inside ball but also drift forward, find space and apply scoreboard pressure. While he won’t play as much forward as Blair has in the past, he does have that flexibility to make an impact up the ground.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Nick Holman was selected by Richmond with pick 85. He adds a vital inside element that the Tigers are looking for and could become a very solid future option once Shane Tuck retires. He will also provide some crucial depth for the likes of Daniel Jackson and provide support to the outside skilled players in Trent Cotchin and Brett Deledio.
The other concern with Holman is his consistency which is what most young players struggle with on a regular basis. He has a reasonable Under 18s Championships showing that he belongs among the upper eschelon of midfielders in the 2013 draft crop, but some performances since have been underwhelming. A perfect example was against Eastern Ranges when Holman had barely any impact while Mitch Honeychurch tore the game to shreds. It was a tale of two inside users and the difference they had for their respective teams.
Despite his consistency concerns and disposal efficiency at times, Holman is a very neat package who has some real highlights such as defensive pressure and superb tackling which make him a very valuable prospect. Throw in leadership and his ability to drift forward and kick goals and he is a very enticing prospect that should see him land at an AFL club in November.