Connor Menadue (Western Jets)
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 69 kg
Strengths: Explosiveness, match winner, clearance specialist, clean user
Areas of Improvement: Winning the inside ball, gaining muscle
Player Comparison: Ryan Griffen
Connor Menadue has been hidden behind the likes of Jayden Laverde, Corey Ellis and Liam Duggan this season, but don’t for a second think about looking over him because of a lack of publicity. His 18.5 disposal average doesn’t reflect how high quality he is.
Menadue’s first four weeks were phenomenal, as he averaged 24.3 disposals at 65 per cent efficiency, as well as having 9.5 handball receives, five marks and four tackles per game. His first two games were clear best on ground performances.
His form after that dipped for a few weeks, but then came the game against the Eastern Ranges. The game was close going in to quarter time, but Duom Dawam and Mark Orr tapped the ball perfectly from the first four centre clearances straight to Menadue. In the exact same fashion everytime, Menadue read it perfectly in the air and broke away on a 20 metre sprint and found a target deep in the 50 staight away. Through that domination, the Jets kicked four unanswered goals in rapid succession. Brandon Coletta ended up with five goals and three of those were the direct result of Menadue’s assists in that five minute period.
Menadue is a Ryan Griffen clone. His ability to cut the game open with his run is astounding, and his disposal is first class. He is a long kick and he backs himself to take on the game. He has a bunch of evasive tricks and can avoid tackles with ease. His use by hand is particularly noteworthy, as his elite vision in contested situations allows him to dart off a handball to an outside runner who most other players wouldn’t spot. Menadue’s football IQ is upper echelon.
Before this past month, Menadue hadn’t kicked a goal in 20 TAC Cup games. His 188 cm frame makes him the prototypical tall midfielder, and he has begun to work on his offensive game. Since the start of May, he’s averaged two goals a game, with the highlight being a bag of four against the Northern Knights.
The most important part is that he can stand up when the game is on the line. He completely set up the Jets second quarter lead of 29 points. The Eastern Ranges pegged it back to three goals and started to look threatening, then Menadue stepped up and kicked a crucial goal in the third quarter. In the dying moments, the Eastern Ranges had a one-point lead, but Menadue kicked the match winner to get the Jets across the line by four points.
The disappointing thing was that as Vic Metro played that weekend, squads were depleted, and there were not many recruiters to watch the game. Menadue has the potential to be a second round pick, but his small frame should allow him to slide. If he is taken after pick 40, then he will be a steal so keep an eye on this talented Jets player.