Angus Brayshaw (Sandringham Dragons)
Height: 187 cm
Weight: 86 kg
Strengths: Strong around the contest, finding the ball, offensive and defensive balance
Areas of improvement: Break away speed
Player comparison: Luke Hodge
Touted as a very high draft prospect, Angus Brayshaw is a very exciting talent heading into the AFL. Having a strong body with good speed and endurance, Brayshaw can potentially have a seamless transition junior footy to the big stage. His knowledge of the game, combined with his natural talent, is a class above many, giving him an edge both physically and mentally when on the field.
An aspect of his game that is unquestioned is his attack at the football and his courage and toughness, a very similar trait to what Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge has. While he is able to beat his opponent on the inside, his outside work and spread from the contest is also just as terrific, something only top end players have – again like Hodge. While he isn’t outrageously fast, Brayshaw has a strong core that allows him to burst out of stoppages and leave opposition reaching.
With limited opportunity at TAC Cup level due to AIS and Vic Metro commitments, Brayshaw has collected just over 24 disposals a game in seven outings for the Sandringham Dragons. Along with that he averaged 6.7 marks and 6.1 tackles per game. This shows his ability to tick multiple boxes, both offensively and defensively. Having that balance puts Brayshaw higher than other prospects, as he can have a big impact on the game offensively, but also show his grit work and effort defensively.
Brayshaw’s Metro carnival proved to be a solid campaign, starting off with a game high 32 disposals, nine inside 50s and four tackles against a very strong Vic Country side. Brayshaw seemed to work off this performance with more quality performances against South Australia, racking up another 25 disposals and a goal. His other games weren’t as impressive, but his carnival overall was a success, proving to recruiters that he is worthy of being a top 10 pick, and possibly going top five.
Brayshaw’s size and athleticism allows him to play all over the ground. His preferred position is in the midfield, yet he has the ability to create off half back, as well as be a presence up forward if needed. He can also play relatively tall, as he has a good vertical jump and enough strength to compete one-on-one in the air.
Two aspects of Brayshaw’s game that could be worked on are his outfield speed and his consistency. While he is explosive, he lacks that break away speed that a lot of half back flankers and wingers in the AFL possess. He will definitely need to work on his extended sprints to transition into that kind of player, if he wants. Brayshaw’s consistency can also be an area to improve, especially in his disposal efficiency, where some games he can be very accurate and some where he is in a 60-68 per cent effective zone that isn’t as ideal. For someone of Brayshaw’s skill and talent, a consistent zone of 72-85 per cent would make him a very dangerous weapon at AFL level.