Matt Balmer’s September Power Rankings

SD - Andy McGrath 2

In an AFL Draft Central feature, AFL Draft analyst Matt Balmer will update his Power Rankings on the first Monday of every month.

TAC Cup Finals kicked off over the weekend, with a plethora of top talent on show. Around the country, finals in WA & SA saw a few relatively unknown names put their hand up. The GWS Giants NEAFL team is flying and a few of their top academy talents are playing well at the pointy end of the season.

Last night, Hugh McCluggage took home the Morrish Medal for the best player in the 2016 TAC Cup season. McCluggage averaged 29 disposals and two goals and was a worthy winner of the medal.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s August edition of his Power Rankings here:


This list is purely how Matt rates the players at this current point of time and is not a mock draft. 

#1 Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185cm | 75kg
Previous Ranking: #1

Scouting notes: Appears like Scott Pendlebury in traffic, making everything appear in slow motion. Clears the ball with ease via quick hands or off his preferred right boot. A few people questioning his contested ball winning abilities, but averaged 20 disposals in the Under 18 Championships (43% contested). McCluggage’s contested numbers are similar at TAC Cup level and has been able to deal with the extra attention from opponents.

Last month: Collected over 25 disposals in each of the final two TAC Cup games of the regular season and was included in the best- Surprisingly though he didn’t poll a vote in those rounds in the Morrish Medal. Had 20 disposals and kicked two goals (including a goal of the day contender in the first term) on Saturday and was dealt with a lot of attention from the Geelong Falcons opposition. His first half was outstanding, but he struggled to get his hands on the footy when Geelong ran away with the game.

#2 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg
Previous Ranking: #2

Scouting notes: Silky smooth midfielder who doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. Moves well through traffic, willing to pump the ball long inside 50. Was a slow starter for the Allies but got better with each game in Division One. Gold Coast academy member. Didn’t look out of place playing in the NEAFL.

Last month: Bowes was a crucial figure throughout the last month for the Gold Coast Suns NEAFL side. He had 31 disposals, eight clearances and eight inside 50s, stamping his authority in the first few minutes with a superb centre bounce clearance in their elimination final. Played mostly forward of centre and his last month included a bag of three goals.

#3 Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #5

Scouting notes: Exciting rebounder from defence. Agile runner with an elite athletics background. Not afraid to take the game on- with that comes his kicking which can be shaky at stages when he tries to break the game open. Can win his own ball on the inside too. Depth of kicking over 50m a question mark, but McGrath gives you 10m in run and a 40m kick to your advantage. Excellent leadership skills. Can play last line of defence and shut down an opponent.

Last month: Struggled to get into the game against Oakleigh but finished off strongly. Made a meal of Bendigo with 40 disposals and nine clearances in a heavily one sided contest. Was arguably the best player on the ground in the first half in their elimination final yesterday against Eastern. McGrath broke through packs with the TAC Cup Radio commentators calling “oooo ahhh Andy McGrath” on multiple occasions. McGrath had nine clearances and again was forced to play on the last line of defence on dangerous bottom-ager Jaidyn Stephenson for most of the second half and kept him goalless.

#4 Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 189cm | 82kg
Previous ranking: #3

Scouting notes: Strong inside midfielder, one of the best clearance players in the draft. Goes in hard at the ball, can’t see him being anything less than a 200 game AFL footballer. Real professional, could step into an AFL team in Round One next season. Kicking has improved from earlier in the season.

Last month: Was superb in the Bushrangers one point loss against Dandenong, with 26 disposals and 10 clearances. He won the ball at will in the contest and dished it out well to a teammate. Had six disposals in as many minutes in the last quarter yesterday to ensure the Bushrangers will be going to a preliminary final. Kicking was a bit off at times yesterday but collected 19 disposals and 10 clearances.

#5 Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #4

Scouting notes: Good decision maker, reads the play well. Didn’t look out of place off the half back flank throughout the championships. Kicks on both feet, ideally will transition into the midfield. Lacks speed that some of the other midfielders have. GWS Academy member.

Last month: Has spent the whole last month back at Collingullie-GP in the Riverina Football League. Perryman has kicked 12 goals in the last four games and should find a bid in the top 20 on draft night.

#6 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg
Previous Ranking: #6

Scouting notes: Exciting midfielder who has the ability to use either side of his body. Looked a touch underdone in the championships returning from hamstring issues. Not a noted huge disposal winner, but does have x-factor about him. Isn’t a midfielder that hits the scoreboard with just one goal for Claremont this season.

Last month: Continues to dominate in the WAFL Colts- One must truly ask why he hasn’t played higher. The standard of the WAFL Colts is pretty weak which can make some of his stats questionable.

#7 Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #11

Scouting notes: Strong overhead mark and has the ability to change a game in 10 minutes. An interupted season with injury and suspension, but has had more midfield time in recent months. Damaging inside 50 but can be a bit goal hungry at stages. Does a small forward warrent a Top 10 pick?

Last month: Begun the month under lights in the VFL booting two goals, before returning back to Gippsland Power. Kicked 10 goals in the last three games, along with averaging 31 disposals. He did however, have two of these games against two of the weakest TAC Cup sides and filled his boots in the last term with 15 disposals against Bendigo. Has midfield potential but I’d like to see more time in the AFL U18 All Stars match.

#8 Tim English
Ruckman (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
10/08/1997 | 203cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: 10

Scouting notes: Tall ruckman who uses his strong leap in the ruck contests. Only averaged 13 disposals through the championships, but showed plenty with his ability to find and dispose of the ball well off his right boot. Could mount a case that his kicking is better than some of the midfielders in the draft. May warrant a Top five pick on draft night.

Last month: Keeps performing at WAFL reserves level for South Fremantle, including slotting in for a WAFL League game. Had 20 disposals and 29 hitouts on the weekend in their qualifying final.

#9 Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg
Previous ranking: 7

Scouting notes: Athletic tall that has a strong pair of dukes. Still a bit raw after only returning to AFL after two winters in the UK playing cricket. Set shot goalkicking routine needs some work to stop him hooking the ball across his leg.

Last month: Kicked three goals from within 20m of goal against Dandenong but relatively quiet since then. A few whispers that niggles and the large body of work this season has been hard on Marshall’s body. Just the five disposals yesterday but hopefully the week off can refresh Marshall.

#10 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm, 77kg
Previous ranking: 8

Scouting notes: Hybrid defender that is better playing small than tall. Nice long left boot, where he looks best at home across the half back flank. At stages has pushed onto a wing, which might be his finishing position thanks to a strong disposal efficiency. Has had multiple injuries in the last 18 months so will need to stay fit for the rest of the season to show clubs he’s over them. His ability to weave through traffic coming out of half back is elite.

Last month: A solid last month at TAC Cup level for Scrimshaw, but I worry a few may have overrated his kicking. Throughout the championships his numbers were superb, whilst at TAC Cup level he’s had multiple clangers from each game and has kicked at 42% in the last three games. There were times yesterday when he looked a million dollars weaving out of defence, but some brain fades such as him playing on from 15m (and missing the chance) left me wanting more.

#11 Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 192cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #13

Scouting notes: Hybrid defender who has played both tall and small this season. Against VFL opposition was undersized playing key back, but looked best in the championships further up the ground, wonder if he becomes a midfielder in the future? Strong mark who got better as the championships went on.

Last month: Rotham’s last month at WAFL Colts level has been superb. Numbers wise they have been great, appearing to get further up the ground and his final match saw him have 31 disposals.

#12 Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 186cm | 82kg
Previous ranking: 12

Scouting notes: Athletic forward that can play through the midfield. Very good in traffic, helped by his basketball background. Willing to give the ball off to teammates in better positions. Strong overhead mark means he has the ability to play deeper inside 50, where he has plenty of smarts and can hit the scoreboard.

Last month: Continues to do all the right thing and is someone who I feel could jump into the Top 10. Looked a bit goal hungry at stages against Bendigo when the Dragons were hunting for goals. His numbers have been good, but it’s his contested marking that continues to get better. Was a slow starter yesterday against Eastern, but it was the second half that saw him collect 17 disposals along with four centre bounce clearances for the game ensuring the Dragons got over the line.

#13 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #16

Scouting notes: Tall midfielder who is still finding his feet as to where he best plays his football. Was down on form in the championships, carrying a foot niggle. Can play in multiple positions, but looks best forward of centre. Needs some consistency as can float in and out of games.

Last month: Played his best game with 29 disposals against Bendigo Pioneers. Setterfield laid 16 tackles to go with his 19 disposals against Eastern on the weekend, but floated in and out of the game. You’d see him involved in a few passages of play before not being sighted for another 20 minutes. Collected most of his clearances around the ground at the stoppages.

#14 Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #15

Scouting notes: Tough inside midfielder who just gets the job done with plenty of clearances. His strong contested work is his strength and he won the Allies the match with a snap deep in the pocket (Video can be found here). Good runner around the ground, probably a late first round or second round bid for the Gold Coast academy member.

Last month: His form subsided earlier in the month at NEAFL level but it all came together with 18 disposals and six clearances in an improved effort in the NEAFL elimination final.

#15 Patrick Kerr
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
31/07/1998 | 194cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: 14

Scouting notes: Strong overhead mark, who has worked on his mobility at ground level. Speed over first 10 metres is one of the best out of all the key forwards and gets distance between himself and defenders. Speaks exceptionally well and will interview well. When he’s on, he’s hard to stop.

Last month: Kerr missed the opening match with a finger injury but slotted back in kicking a goal against Murray the following week. Kicked two against an underwhelming Calder side and was largely kept out of the game. Will be looking to bounce back this weekend against North Ballarat Rebels.

#16 Jy Simpkin
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
05/03/1998 | 182cm | 72kg
Previous ranking: #17

Scouting notes: Crafty small forward who burst onto the scene with seven goals in six Under 18 championship games in 2015. Knows where the goals are- but does he become a full time mid? Broke his leg at school football earlier in the season.

Last month: N/A- Recovering well from leg surgery from all reports. Hoping to be back for the National Combine in October.

#17 Alex Villis
Outside Midfielder (Norwood/South Australia)
20/08/1998 | 182cm | 70kg
Previous ranking: 18

Scouting notes: Clean kick on either sides of his body. Smart footballer who knows when to pull the kick short or go long. Decision making is elite and has held his own at SANFL senior level. A lot of his possessions are uncontested.

Last month: Suffered a knee injury a few months back and only returned yesterday for Norwood, collecting 24 disposals and 10 marks.

#18 Josh Battle
General Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #19

Scouting notes: Superb footy IQ and a great endurance base helps him get up the ground. Has the ability to change a game quickly with bursts of goals. Set shot routine is great and he’ll kick the ball through whether he’s 20m or 50m out. Solid mark overhead, but unlikely to play as the number one tall at AFL level. Year 11 boy too, so will need to complete school next year.

Last month: Suffered a calf injury early against Murray in August and was affected for the whole contest. Booted one goal against Geelong, but it was yesterday’s effort that had everyone talking. Battle flicked on the switch kicking six goals in three quarters moving well further up the ground, but it was unable to be enough to give the Stingrays the win.

#19 Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg
Previous Ranking: #9

Scouting notes: Tall Defender that has the ability to push further up the ground. Strong rebounder, intercept marks was his strengths in 2015- but have been scarce in 2016.

Last month: Macreadie’s numbers haven’t been superb at NEAFL level, but watching a fair few of their games he still does a lot of things right. Might be another defender suited to playing further up the ground than a shut down one-on-one defender.

#20 Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #20

Scouting notes: Aggressive midfielder who can break through opposition tackles. Powerful burst from a stoppage and can hit the scoreboard. Yet to see a full complete game from him, as he’ll flash in and out of games.

Last month: N/A- Has been injured in the past month and was sporting a moon boot at the Morrish Medal last night.

#21 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 193cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: 22

Scouting notes: Strong lockdown defender who doesn’t lose too many one-on-ones. Rowing background at school has helped his physic, with a strong upper body enabling to outmuscle his opponents. Pinch hit in the ruck in the final match for WA and kicks the ball well off his left foot.

Last month: Continues to fit in well against bigger bodies in the WAFL seniors and you could make a case that he’s nearly ready to go from Round One next year.

#22 Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward/Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 87kg
Previous ranking: #21

Scouting notes: Key Position Forward who can get up the ground on long leads thanks to a good endurance base. Agile inside 50, but more of your true leading centre half forward. Takes most of his marks outside 50, but kicked 13 goals in the Division One & Two carnivals combined. When playing back has looked ok one-on-one despite his light frame.

Last month: Looks to have been working on playing at both ends and kept Josh Battle to one goal in August. Floated between both ends yesterday but for me he looks more at home inside 50.

#23 Jonty Scharenberg
Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
28/08/1998 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #24

Scouting notes: Inside midfielder who is the brother of Collingwood’s Matt. Scharenberg works hard at the stoppages, with his best asset his ability to free his arms when tackled to dish the ball off to a teammate. Champion Data rate Scharenberg as an elite clearance and tackling midfielder. Doesn’t have a great deal of speed, but often elects to pass the ball off to a teammate rather than trying to burst away from the stoppage.

Last month: Spent August in the SANFL League team including a big 28 disposals game against Eagles. Returned to Reserves level for the finals yesterday, collecting 18 disposals.

#24 Jordan Gallucci
Outside Midfielder/Medium Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/05/1998 | 182cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Explosive midfielder whose kicking can be hot and cold. Has plenty of zip at the contest, but just where does he play his best football? Is willing to use either foot to take the ball inside 50. Strong leadership skills as indicated by being selected as co-captain of the Vic Metro side.

Last month: Has had a solid last month and I think he’s going to provide some good value in the second round if that’s where he falls. Laid seven tackles against Gippsland and North Ballarat. Kicked 1.4 for Eastern on the weekend, but took the ball inside 50 on eight occasions as one of the Ranges’ best.

#25 Oliver Florent
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 183cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: 25

Scouting notes: Exciting half forward/outside midfielder. In his usual eye catching orange boots, Florent has playing of X-Factor around the ball inside 50. Liked his work last year for Sandringham and has continued that into this season. Outside midfielder who is a capable overhead mark. A good kick around the ground, but does have the ability to shank the odd kick on the run.

Last month: Continues to do some good things and when he gets into the game he’s great to watch. Can have some very exciting moments in the forward half of the ground. Laid eight tackles on Sunday but was mostly kept out of the game.

#26 Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #23

Scouting notes: A balanced midfielder who has improved his contested possession work this season. Mutch has gone from an outside midfielder, to one that has spent a lot more time on the inside. By the numbers his season has been superb, but he needs to work on his hurt factor with disposal. Kicks well on both feet. GWS Academy member

Last month: N/A- Missed the last month of football through injury. Is going to be very interesting to see where the bid comes in on draft night.

#27 Jarrod Berry
Medium Forward (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
05/02/1998 | 191cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Outstanding leader that can play in multiple roles. Kicking can be a bit off at times and I personally think he’s best suited to playing in the forward half of the ground.

Last month: Had a strong game in the cold up at Eureka Stadium against the Knights kicking three goals and collecting 18 disposals. Came off twice with the blood rule on Saturday in the Rebels’ final and I’m told he spent Sunday in hospital with a kidney injury. At odds to play this week.

#28 Alex Witherden
Medium Defender (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
10/09/1998 | 186cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is usually a reliable kick. According to AFL.com.au’s Cal Twomey, Witherden has grown and might be closer to 190cm.

Last month: N/A- Recovering well from leg surgery from all reports. Was out at the Falcons’ final on Saturday and was willing on his teammates. Hoping to be back for the National Combine in October.

Alex Witherden (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media).
Alex Witherden (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media).

#29 Dylan Clarke
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
06/09/1998 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Strong inside midfielder who crashed in hard and wins the clearances. Kicking technique needs some work and it has seen him kick at under 50% in the TAC Cup this season.

Last month: Was great for the Ranges against Gippsland and North Ballarat finding plenty of the ball and laying nine tackles in both games. Had 22 disposals and five clearances for the Ranges as one of their better players on Sunday.

#30 Jordan Ridley
General Defender (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 192cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Rebounding defender who is composed with the ball in hand. Can push up further onto a wing and is capable overhead. Build strongly below his waist, but should be able to build that physic in his upper body with a few preseasons under his belt.

Last month: I honestly had him further back coming into this weekend, rating him as a third rounder but I couldn’t ignore his outstanding match on Saturday despite weak opposition. Ridley had 28 disposals and 12 marks and went to the right places to find the ball. Was able to stop and think when he had the ball at half back and made good decisions with the footy.


Our Draft Profiles are beginning to be posted online, so keep on eye on the website where we take you through over 150 names eligible for the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

Remember to check out our YouTube account for vision on the draftees.

As always, if you have any questions or want to know more, send me a tweet @MattBalmer7.

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