Clem Smith (Perth)
Height: 177 cm
Weight: 77 kg
Player comparison: Byron Pickett
Strengths: Speed, versatility
Weaknesses: Disposal efficiency, composure
Although not the most polished kick in this year’s draft, Clem Smith is as exciting and electric as they come.
Smith has somewhat fallen down the order after an average national championships in 2014, having starred as a bottom-age prospect in last year’s equivalent.
Although small, Smith plays a range of roles and backs his speed to offer line-breaking runs whether that is through the midfield, off half back or up the ground.
Recruiters will love the fact he had a solid output in the WAFL this year for Perth off half back, averaging 16 disposals, two marks and 2.6 tackles per game.
His defensive game needs improvement, and although he averaged the highest amount of clangers per game (5.5) at the championships, there is plenty of upside in his development. Although his kicking needs to be refined, he does lack composure and is victim of attempting too much with the ball.
In terms of his development, the kinks in his kicking will be ironed out once he gets into an AFL environment. There is plenty to work with, as the comparisons with Byron Pickett are bang on.
He is an energetic small defender/midfielder who can break the game open with his ferocious attack on the ball and dash from the contest. The way he hunts the opposition defensively is a highlight. An All-Australian in 2013, he averaged 17 disposals (8.2 contested) in six matches at the under 18 championships.
Raff Guadagnino, WAFL: “On talent alone Clem would arguably be our best player. He’s hard and aggressive and he can change games. Once he gets into an AFL environment and is doing it every day, he’s going to come on really, really quickly.”