Matt Balmer’s October Power Rankings

Friday's Under 18 All Stars match saw the best draftees go head-to-head at Punt Road Oval.
Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match saw the best draftees go head-to-head at Punt Road Oval.

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

Well, what a season it has been. Games are done and dusted for the season, with Friday’s Under 18 All Stars match showcasing some of the very best draft prospects for 2016. The AFL National Combine runs from Thursday to Sunday, with clubs casting their eye over the 2016 draft prospects.


You can read Matt Balmer‘s September 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 per cent 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: McCluggage had some great moments in the Rebels’ semi-final loss. McCluggage collected 25 disposals, but did lack some polish by foot. His game in the All Stars match was outstanding, with the goal kicking mid slotting four majors alongside having 17 disposals.

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

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 as indicated by blanketing Ben Ainsworth & Jaidyn Stephenson.

Last month: McGrath was a crucial figure for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup finals, which saw him rack up 27 disposals v Dandenong, 32 disposals v Geelong (including 14 in the final quarter) and a mammoth 38 disposal effect in their winning TAC Cup Grand Final. McGrath moved to the half back flank after half time and 28 second-half disposals saw him win best on ground honours. Still had 18 disposals in the All Stars game but was quieter, with a five day break off a hard Etihad Stadium surface looking to take its toll. Certainly been a big year.

#3 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. Did not look out of place playing in the NEAFL.

Last month: Bowes played just the one game in the All Stars match racking up 23 disposals. His silky smooth approach sees him work hard in the contested situations. If not for McGrath’s huge TAC Cup finals, Bowes would still be my #2. Gold Coast has a gem.


#4 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. Has plenty of shots on goal.

Last month: Taranto just capped off his steller finals series with best on ground honours for the All Stars match. Four goals from 19 disposals was outstanding and his ability to play inside, along with up forward sees him jump this high in my rankings. Had 29, 23 and 31 disposals in his final three games in the TAC Cup for the Dragons.

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

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: Brodie had a very quiet game with just the 12 disposals in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final for the Bushrangers. He collided with the umpire in the opening quarter of the TAC Cup Grand Final, leaving his nose bloodied. Finished the day with 22 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles, but I thought bar a patch in the third term his day was largely influential. Sat out the All Stars game through injury.

#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: Petrevski-Seton continued to find the football in Claremont’s final series in the WAFL Colts. I still would have liked him to have played higher WAFL up than he did. 21 disposals and six tackles in the Grand Final was a great effort. His All Stars match saw him collect 23 disposals, eight tackles and six clearances where he was outstanding. Is one of the midfielders in the draft that has plenty of pace to burn.

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

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: Kicking has been on the improve and is back to what it was in the National Under 18s Championships. Floated forward at stages in the TAC Cup finals, including the grand final when he moved from half back to half forward after half time. Continued to find the football since last month with his 27 disposal display against Dandenong one of his best for the year. His marking overhead has been good when floating back in defence.

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

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: Perryman took part in the All Stars game after spending the last few months playing for his local club. Did not find a huge amount of the ball, but I do like his composure across half-back. Certainly going to be interesting to see who/where he gets bid on come draft night.

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

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: Continued to find the football and have good hitout numbers in the WAFL with disposals and 18 hitouts in his final WAFL reserves match. Had one of his quiest games in the All Stars match. Clubs will need to be patient with him, but his leap at the ruck contest is outstanding.

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

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: Just the one game for the month, which was the Under 18 All Stars. Played up forward for most the game, without running through the midfield. Ainsworth finished with 15 disposals, six marks and a goal in an okay game.

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

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. GWS academy member.

Last month: Collected 22 disposals and laid nine tackles in the Dragons’ semi-final win over Dandenong, using the ball well and taking it forward. Unfortunately for Setterfield, he injured his shoulder in the TAC Cup preliminary final resulting in him missing the TAC Cup Grand Final and All Stars match.

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

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 and is one of the top handful of kicks in this draft pool.

Last month: Had just the 11 disposals playing in the back half in the All Stars. Did not get the opportunity to use his good kick very often, but I think he is going to be there abouts in the first round.

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

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: Gold Coast Suns NEAFL were knocked out in the elimination final and an injury kept him out of the Under 18 All Stars game.

#14 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. Looks likely to start his AFL career as a half forward and push onto a wing.

Last month: One of the big jumpers up the rankings with a big finals series and a best on ground performance in the All Stars match. His form in the TAC Cup previous was up and down with 20 disposals in both games in the lead up to his 24 disposal and five tackle effort in the TAC Cup Grand Final. Despite a five-day break, he put on the jets to have 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s (in a shortened 4×20 minute match).

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

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. It was good to see him kicking the ball around at Under 18 All Stars training on Thursday and was on the bench working the whiteboard at Friday’s game.

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

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: A quiet game in the SANFL reserves final with just 12 disposals, but he took eight marks around the grounds. Used his superb kick mostly well in the All Stars match and laid five tackles. That tackle figure is one of his biggest for the season and was a good sign for someone who mostly collects uncontested ball.


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

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. Has only shown patches so far in 2016.

Last month: Played the best game I have seen him play in the TAC Cup preliminary final against Oakleigh, where he took seven marks (three contested) and imposed himself on the game. Had just two kicks for two goals in the TAC Cup Grand Final after being well held by Ari Sakeson. Was again quiet in the All Stars game. His flashes can be really good, but will he make it and be able to put a full game together?


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

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: Disappointingly missed the All Stars match, as his form in the latter half of the year at WAFL level was very good from regular WAFL watchers.

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

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: An okay month for Kerr, but I thought when he got on the lead and marked the ball he looked very good like he did against North Ballarat in the TAC Cup Semi-Final. Started well bagging the first goal in the All Stars match and finished with eight disposals and four marks.

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

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: Was well held by Ari Sakeson in the Stingrays’ semi-final loss, kicking just two goals. Did not impact the game in the All Stars match, but showed he can nail a goal from long range. A good kick of the football and should fine a suitor in the second or third round.

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

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. His form in NEAFL has still be solid and I would be very very surprised if GWS academy member Macreadie was not at the Giants, after they had a part in him moving schools.

Last month: Was solid with 15 disposals, rebounding the ball well in the NEAFL Preliminary Final. He was quiet in their NEAFL Grand Final win and believe he was rested from the All Stars game.

#22 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 month. Believe he will not test at the combine.

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

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. Kicking efficiency of 49% through the Under 18 championships.

Last month: Could not have done much more to get Glenelg over the line in the SANFL reserves final. Despite having 27 disposals and five clearances, his contested possession numbers were down and the Tigers could not get the win. Played his one and only SANFL Under 18s game for Glenelg in the Grand Final, in their after the siren win over North Adelaide. Scharenberg had 34 disposals, 12 tackles and five clearances in a strong performance. Had 20 disposals in the All Stars game, but his kicking is a work in progress.

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

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: Started well in the first half in the All Stars game, but thought he was very quiet after that. Finished with nine disposals and three marks and it is certainly going to be interesting to see where he gets drafted come November.

#25 Shai Bolton
Outside midfielder (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
8/12/1998 | 177cm | 67kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Electric speed and an elite side step, the Flashy West Australian will end up with one of the best highlight packages in this years draft crop. Consistency is his biggest issue and with flash in and out of a contest. At times can just bang the ball on his boot without looking.

Last month: Ninteeen disposals and four goals in South Fremantle’s semi-final loss. Caught the eye of those who haven’t seen much of him in the All Stars game at Punt Road, where he had 16 disposals. Bolton had some eye catching moments on the wing and his agility is traffic is elite. Another who will test well for speed and agility at the combine.

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

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.

#27 Will Hayward
Medium forward (North Adelaide/South Australia)
26/10/1998 | 186cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Medium forward who plays tall. His marking is outstanding and good in one-on-one contests for his size. Booted nine in the SANFL Under 18s in the finals. Not a big ball winner, but leads well and marks the ball well overhead or down below his knees. Kicked eight goals in the Under 18 championships, but didn’t earn a lot of credit for his craft.

Last month: Kicked nine goals in North Adelaide’s preliminary final. Took 10 marks (including five on a lead) and was a clear best player for the Roosters. Started well in the Grand Final, finishing the day with four goals. Showed good signs in the All Stars game with 14 disposals and two goals.


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

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: Collected 22 disposals and was strong across half back for the Oakleigh Chargers against North Ballarat Rebels in the TAC Cup Semi-Final. It was a fast finishing final quarter, but unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury late in the game. Has not played since.

#29 Cedric Cox
Outside Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
19/08/1997 | 184cm | 70kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Scouting notes: Neat outside midfielder who can play at both ends of the ground. Looks best suited to half-back, where he can use his speed to burn off his opponents. Is a dual footed kicker and is willing to use both his left and right foot in any situation.

Last month: Played mostly forward for the Rebels in their semi-final loss. Some of his moments are great, but was reasonably quiet. Had four disposals in almost as many minutes to open the game in the Under 18 All Stars, but faded badly throughout the game. A lot to like about some of his flashes. Expect him to test well in speed and agility.

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

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: Seventeen disposals and a goal in the Under 18 All Stars for Clarke. Did not have a clearance for the game and he was mostly playing forward in a team that was chocker block with inside midfielders.

Our Draft Profiles are still being 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.


  1. Hi guys,

    Great article Matt, very insightful and excellent detail!
    I haven’t watched very much of Griffin Logue or Ben Davis this year. What would you say are their weaknesses?


    1. Cheers Tom.

      Logue is a very strong player, but I would have expected him to lay a few more tackles- especially in games he did play in WAFL Colts level through the midfield. SEN’s draft guru Brett Anderson has made note he ‘double grabs’ the ball occasionally. Brett’s seen most of his games this season, so I think that’s a good indication of a weakness.

      For Davis, I’m not really sure where he fits in at his height. Davis is a 19 yr old, but at 187cm- he played more of a role playing as a ‘tall forward’ in the U18 Div II champs. He struggled a bit in Div I champs as to where he really sat, playing a bit back and forward in games. Probably needs to improve his overhead marking a bit for me if he’s to play as a third tall in the mould of a Sicily or Gunston type at AFL level. Bit to work with for Davis, some good traits but will go later in the draft.

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