Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights)
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 66 kg
Strengths: Agility, decision-making, work rate
Player comparison: Nathan Hrovat
You probably won’t even notice him running out with his team mates given the size of Sam Switkowski, but it’s what he does on the field that sees him stand out above the pack.
Standing at just 177 centimetres, Switkowski was the smallest player alongside captain Touk Miller to be selected to represent Vic Metro in the National Championships.
He wasn’t selected in the initial Metro squad before the TAC Cup season began, but a strong showing in the opening few rounds saw Switkowski force his way into the side.
He didn’t have a couple of big games to put his hand up for selection: instead, it was the midfielder’s consistency that alerted those associated with the Metro side.
Switkowski is averaging 21.4 disposals a game in the TAC Cup so far this year through 11 games, collecting at least 15 disposals in each match.
Switkowski also runs at 71% efficiency throughout the competition, and averages 4.5 tackles and five marks a game, all of which are impressive numbers for a player of his build.
It’s not just in the midfield where Switkowski does most of his work. Throughout the Championships, coach David Flood used him behind the ball in a running half back role, which he took on quite well.
In Metro’s game against Vic Country at Simonds Stadium, Switkowski picked up most of his 23 touches in the back line, which happened to be his best game of the Championships.
Switkowski has also floated forward at times during the TAC Cup season, managing to kick seven goals for Northern. However, this could be an area in which the 17-year-old might want to improve on if he wants to be in the minds of recruiters on draft day.
Rarely does Switkowski give up on the ball, as he constantly puts in second efforts all game long, which would be a delight to see from a coaching and recruiting standpoint. His size may hamper him in other areas of the game, but it does allow him to make repeat efforts at stoppages.
His agility with and without the ball gives him that split second break on his opponents, allowing him enough room to find a team mate with the ball or make space for someone without it.
Switkowski has also spent time with the Knights playing behind the ball, and when given the opportunity can burst through the middle with his speed and try to set up an attack.
With his disposal being as clean as it is, if he can give himself a bit of space with his speed and agility, then there’s a good chance he’ll find someone inside 50 and create a goal scoring opportunity for his forwards.
His body size may well see him overlooked in the upcoming draft, but there’s no doubt he’s got the talent to make the jump onto an AFL list next season. If Switkowski does find himself a team late on in this draft, then he may be considered a steal in the years to come.