DRAFT ANALYSIS: "A strong inside midfielder who is not too dissimilar to Sam Powell-Pepper in size and impressed with his combination of power and agility on the inside"
Kyron Hayden is a player who caught the eye of recruiters after a solid National Under 18 Championships with Western Australia. At 186cm and 87kg, Hayden is a strongly built inside midfielder who is ready-made for AFL football. He had injury concerns early in the year after a groin injury threatened to derail his top-age year, but the powerful midfielder returned stronger than ever and stood out, playing all four games at the Championships. His vertical leap, contested ball winning ability and combination of power and agility really impressed onlookers. He still has inconsistencies in his performance, mainly due to a delayed start to the season, and still needs to work on his endurance, but as a whole, Hayden has a good array of skills to apply at AFL level.
- Vertical leap
- Contested ball
Hayden has a number of strengths led by his strong vertical leap, scoring a whopping 103cm running vertical leap and 83cm standing vertical leap at the National Combine. These results really turned heads and showed what he was capable of in the air. To go with this, he recorded a 3.03 second 20m sprint and a 8.38 agility test both of which are very solid scores. What he could not test for was his power and contested ball winning ability which he showed off throughout the season.
In the WAFL he averaged 22 disposals playing for Subiaco Colts, with that number dropping to 14 going up to the reserves side. While he would have liked to have won more of the football against senior bodies, it will come with experience. He showed off his power and agility in both the WAFL and National Under 18 Championships and that rare combination gave recruiters something to seriously consider. After the success of Sam Powell-Pepper last season, Kyron Hayden might well be an inside bull that is considered.
The main area that separates the likes of Sam Powell-Pepper with Kyron Hayden is in the endurance stakes. Powell-Pepper was an endurance beast and Hayden needs to work on his tank, which was seriously affected by his groin injury and therefore missed time training ahead of the National Under 18 Championships. He did not test in the Yo-Yo test of 2km time trial due to injury so was unable to prove himself against other draftees.
Secondly, Hayden needs to work on his consistency after starting strongly in the WAFL, having a quiet patch mid-season before regaining form towards the end. It is no surprise with young players their consistency can waiver and through his high level of commitments for the club and state teams, he has had a busy year. Having a low endurance base certainly did not help and while his body is ready for the rigours of AFL football, he will spend time in the state leagues building up his endurance so he can put out more consistent performances.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late pick/rookie
Kyron Hayden is a late-to-rookie pick with a low endurance base but is a powerful mover. He has great agility and good speed and uses his strengths to make himself a dangerous prospect around the ground. His bigger frame is put to good use at the stoppages and he wins plenty of inside ball. Another West Australian set to impact early on in his career, Hayden just needs to build his tank and therefore his consistency to take his game to the next level. It will be interesting to see where he lands, as clubs will have varying opinions of him.
Under 18s Championships