Tag: Brad Scheer

Queensland weekly wrap: Curtain raisers and community camps

AN exciting month of Queensland football is coming up, with the announcement of the Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup fixture, a curtain raiser at Cazaly Stadium late next month and the junior umpiring program taking place once again.

Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup Fixture Announced:

AFL Queensland has announced the fixture for the upcoming Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup. The competition will begin on Saturday, March 10 at grounds across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup is a three-week knockout tournament involving QFA clubs. The competition grand finals are to be played at Leyshon Park, Yeronga on March 24.  Each Grand Final winner will receive an Alpha Sport Sports Taping Starter Pack, valued at $1250.

2018 Junior Football Umpiring Program Dates Released:

Last Friday saw the dates for the 2018 Junior Football Umpiring Program (JFUP) officially released. The JFUP is an exciting program that involves umpire training, education, support and ongoing development for Brisbane Junior club-based umpires officiating U8’s – U10’s. The JFUP provides a range of programs including initial and ongoing training throughout the year, training sessions located close to home to minimise travel requirements, and sessions catered to umpiring with modified junior rules. The dates for JFUP training across Brisbane, Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast can be found on their Facebook page.

Cazaly Stadium Curtain Raiser:

AFL Queensland announced an exciting curtain raiser for AFL players and supporters alike in North Queensland. On Saturday, March 24, AFL Cairns Premiers Port Douglas will square off against 2017 AFL Townsville Premiers Hermit Park in the North Queensland Challenge Cup. The game will play as a curtain raiser to the Round 1 AFL fixture between the Gold Coast Suns and North Melbourne. Much anticipation surrounds this game with many in the AFL Queensland community already regarding AFL Cairns as the strongest competition in regional Queensland. Spectators wishing to attend the curtain raiser will need to purchase tickets to the AFL fixture.

AFL Club Community Camps:

The Gold Coast Suns hosted their first community camp of the year on Tuesday, February 6. All 45 Suns players were scattered around the state – from Ormeau to Palm Beach – running various training programs throughout the day. The event was especially sentimental for Suns players Jesse Joyce, Brad Scheer, Max Spencer, Brayden Crossley and Jacob Dawson, who were welcomed back to their old school Palm Beach Currumbin SHS. The Suns will attend multiple camps over the coming months, as will the Brisbane Lions.

AFLW Round 2 | Brisbane Lions vs. Western Bulldogs:

On Sunday, February 11, the AFLW Brisbane Lions’ held their first home game against the Western Bulldogs at the South Pine Sports Complex. Both teams were coming off round one victories, with the Lions fielding an unchanged squad. The hot and windy conditions proved difficult for both sides, and that was highlighted by the low-scoring, scrappy first quarter which saw the Bulldogs take a one-point lead at the break.

The goal drought was broken by the AFLW’s number one draft pick Isabel Huntington, who kicked two goals in as many minutes for the Bulldogs after taking two strong contested marks. Unfortunately, moments later Huntington suffered an injury to her right knee and took no further part in the match. The one-way traffic continued in the second term with the Bulldogs adding two more goals while holding the Lions to just two behinds to lead 26-3 at the main break.

In the third quarter, the Lions struck back with the only goal of the quarter courtesy of Jess Wuetschner, with her lovely left foot snap cutting the margin to 16 points as the Bulldogs led at the final change. Kicking against the breeze in the last quarter, the Lions couldn’t capitalise on their chances until the final four minutes of the game. Ally Anderson popped through a goal to give the Lions a sniff, but Aisling Utri sealed the game for the Dogs with her first goal in the AFLW in her second career game with two and a half minutes remaining.

Wuetschner went on to snap her second goal from the centre bounce moments later but it was again too late for the Lions as the Bulldogs ran out nine-point winners 5.3 (33) to the Lions’ 3.6 (24). The win puts the Bulldogs into second on the ladder and the loss puts the Lions in fourth place. Next up, the Lions travel to Ikon Park to take on ladder leaders Carlton on Saturday February 17 at 7.40pm.

Matt Balmer’s 2016 Final AFL Draft Power Rankings Part 2

EVERY month since May, Matt Balmer has ranked his players from the 2016 AFL Draft pool. With less than two weeks until the November 25 National AFL Draft, he counts down the players ranked 50-1. You can find the players Matt has ranked 50-26 here

Well what a year it has been. Looking back at May’s rankings, it’s amazing how things can change after Sam Petrevski-Seton was #1 all those months ago. We have had injuries such as Jy Simpkin and Alex Witherden breaking their legs in separate school game incidents, while names have jumped up with strong performances throughout the season and in finals.

Having seen just under 100 games throughout the season, it is always hard to come to a final order and I have ranked the players how I would if I was an AFL club going into the draft come November, ticking names off the list as they are called out.

This list is purely how I rate the players and is not a mock draft. 

#25 Cedric Cox
Outside Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
19/08/1997 | 181.1cm | 78.6kg

Cedric Cox came from nowhere to find himself as one of the more exciting prospects in 2016. Cox hails from Halls Creek and after a steller interleague game in the Hampden FNL, Cox was added to the North Ballarat Rebels’ list. Whilst not a huge ball winner, his ability to rebound the ball at speed is his strength and he disposes of it well off either foot. Cox begun the All Stars match on fire, before fading badly. Pushed forward in the TAC Cup finals for the Rebels, but seems most at home playing across half back. Is the cousin of Sam Petrevski-Seton and has recently been visited by clubs in his home town in Halls Creek over the last few weeks. Might be a surprise first round selection.

#24 Jordan Ridley
General Defender (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 191.9cm | 79.7kg

Jordan Ridley is a tall rebounding defender who is composed with ball in hand. He talents were on show in the Chargers’ elimination final win over the Calder Cannons, where he floated across the Calder forwards marking the ball and rebounding it well. When he has the ball at half back, he is composed and makes good decisions to take the game forward. He has pushed further up onto a wing at times, as well as playing up forward as a key target. His composed nature means he likely plays half back in an AFL environment, but will need to add some size to his frame where is he built very strongly below his waist. Injured his shoulder in the TAC Cup Finals against North Ballarat.

#23 Josh Battle
General Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192.0cm | 88.5kg

Josh Battle has one of the best ‘Footy IQs’ in the 2016 draft pool. Battle reads the play superbly inside 50 and his endurance is another one of his major assets when he gets up the ground on long leads. Battle can kick quick bags of goals and his fluid set shot routine means he kicks more than he missing, where he kicks the ball well through whether he is 20m or 55m out from goal. A Year 11 boy at Haileybury College will likely see him stay in Victoria wherever he is drafted to complete his schooling, similar to how Patrick Dangerfield and Jack Watts have done in the past. An ok mark overhead, but at 192cm it is unlikely he can play as a number one tall in an AFL environment. Can just be a straight line runner and will need to work on his agility.

#22 Sam Powell-Pepper
Inside Midfielder (East Perth/Western Australia)
08/01/1998 | 186.5cm | 90.2kg

Sam Powell-Pepper can have some moments that make you go wow. Some of these moments want you to cross his name off your list, whereas others make you more and more intrigued the more you watch. His decision making needs work, with a passage against South Australia in the Under 18 championships one to forget – as does his kicking which was below 50 per cent in the WAFL League, AFL Academy games and the Under 18 Championships. To Powell-Pepper’s credit, his kicking and decision making improved towards the latter half of the season and was much better throughout the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game. The powerful midfielder can win the ball in the contest and burst away from opposition players. Plays not too similar to a Dustin Martin.

#21 Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 195.5cm | 90.9kg

Twelve months ago, if you didn’t have Harrison Macreadie written down as a top five prospects your ability to follow junior football would’ve been question. Whatever has led to him dropping down the rankings, i’m not too sure but after being moved schools by the Giants earlier this season his form in 2016 hasn’t been able to reach what it was in 2015. He finished the year better than he started in the NEAFL, but in the Under 18 championships he was below that expected from him. Is a good rebounder who can intercept mark the ball – but one-on-one work will need some work. May turn into a midfielder at the next level pushing onto a wing or across half back.

#20 Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185.2cm | 82.1kg

Daniel Venables is an aggressive midfielder who can break through opposition tackles at ease. He has had a few injury concerns with a foot injury seeing him in a moon boot for the latter part of the season as well as a bad concussion earlier in the season. Venables has a powerful burst from the stoppages and has the ability to hit the scoreboard. Later in the season he played across half back for PEGS, but his best footy is on the inside or playing up forward. Didn’t put a full game together in 2016, but his flashes were simply outstanding.

#19 Will Hayward
Medium forward (North Adelaide/South Australia)
26/10/1998 | 184.7cm | 76.6kg

Will Hayward is the medium forward who has played tall in the SANFL U18s. His marking is outstanding and is good in the one-one-one contests for his size. He kicked nine goals in a SANFL U18s final where he truly dominated. Is clean below his knees, but may need some work on his set shot routine and technique at the next level. Booted eight goals in the Under 18 championships for South Australia but didn’t get too much recognition. Has some midfield craft and did a few nice things there in the midfield through the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game at Punt Road on Grand Final Day Eve. Could be a top 10 smokey.

#18 Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 196.6cm | 85.9kg

Todd Marshall is an athletic tall with a strong pair of dukes. Still raw only returning to AFL full time in 2016, after spending two winters in the UK playing cricket. At times his set shot goal kicking routine can see him hook the ball across his leg. Played his best game of the season in the TAC Cup Preliminary Final, where he had seven marks imposing himself on the game – but then followed that up with two quiet games in the important TAC Cup Grand Final and NAB AFL U18 All Stars contest. His flashes can be very good, but is yet to put a full game together and the consistency side of things is what is stopping him being worthy of a top 10 selection.

#17 Jy Simpkin
Small Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
05/03/1998 | 181.7cm | 74.7kg

Jy Simpkin is a 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 midfielder at AFL level? Broke his leg at school football earlier in the season for Scotch College in their game against Caulfield Grammar. Was good to see him around the draftees after needing a second surgery after infection, helping move the magnets around in the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game. Didn’t test at the combine, but has begun to kick the football again. May stake a claim to be a top 15 selection.

#16 Alex Witherden
Medium Defender (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
10/05/1998 | 186.2cm | 80.0kg

Alex Witherden is another talented prospect who missed a big chunk of 2016. Witherden suffered a broken leg playing school football for Geelong College against St Kevin’s College and missed the remainder of the season. A very good kid who has done all he can to ensure he’ll be ready to go when the preseason kicks off at his AFL club. His vision and kicking are two of his greatest strengths and these were on show early in the season for the Geelong Falcons. Witherden can play a role in multiple positions and will be able to fill a role where required. Is composed in traffic and is agile enough to get around opponents in close. Could be one of the steals of the draft.

#15 Oliver Florent
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 182.0cm | 74.4kg

Oliver Florent is an exciting half forward/outside midfielder. In his usual eye catching orange boots, Florent has plenty 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. Has pushed through a family loss and finished the season on a high with a TAC Cup Grand Final win and best afield in the NAB AFL U18 All Stars game where he had 27 disposals, seven clearances and seven inside 50s – despite coming off a five-day break on a hard Etihad Stadium surface.

#14 Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 183.2cm | 83.7kg

Brad Scheer is a 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 against Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, with a snap deep in the pocket (Video can be found here). A heel injury kept him out of the combine and the NAB AFL U18 All Stars selection. Good runner around the ground, who likely receives a late first round or second round bid for the Gold Coast academy member.

#13 Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 191.9cm | 77.4kg

Josh Rotham is a hybrid defender who has played both tall and small this season. Against VFL opposition was undersized playing key back for the AFL Academy, 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 kickers in this draft pool. Possesses elite speed but probably didn’t come on in 2016 as some would’ve hoped.

#12 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 191.0cm | 93.9kg

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 in the Under 18 championships and kicks the ball well off his left foot. Has the tendency to double grab the ball when he possesses it – but overall looks to be the best key position player in the draft pool. Could play from Round one and it’s believed the Swans have been keeping close tabs on him. His work in the 3km run to mow down Josh Battle was an outstanding bit of gut strength. Despite his height (191cm), Logue should be able to match it with strong opposition forwards.

#11 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 189.4cm | 79.7kg

Will Setterfield is a tall midfielder who is still finding his feet as to where he best plays his football. The GWS Giants academy member 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. Setterfield laid 16 tackles in a huge performance for the Sandringham Dragons in their elimination final against Eastern Ranges, before suffering an AC-joint injury in the preliminary final which saw the AFL Academy rule him out of the TAC Cup Grand Final and the NAB AFL U18 All Stars contest. His hands in close are very good and is firmly in the Bombers sights at Pick 1- But the million dollar question is will they bid on him at Pick 1?

#10 Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward/Inside Midfielder (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 178.0cm | 76.2kg

Ben Ainsworth is a 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. Booted four goals before being shut down by Andrew McGrath for Vic Country in the Under 18 championships, with one of his best games through the midfield being against South Australia. Did push through the midfield at TAC Cup level, but was against poor opposition including a junk time 15 disposals in the final term in the Power’s final TAC Cup outing. Damaging inside 50 but can be a bit goal hungry at stages. Ainsworth has declared his love to be drafted for the Brisbane Lions and seems likely to be heading interstate with a top five selection.

#9 Tim English
Ruckman (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
10/08/1997 | 204.7cm | 89.5kg

Tim English is a 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. Some think he may have the ability to play as a tall defender, such is his ability to read the play and kick the ball. Will need to add some size before he reaches the AFL, but is likely to be one of the few ruckman drafted in 2016.

#8 Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 183.9cm | 79.4kg

GWS academy member Harry Perryman is a good decision maker, reads the play well. He didn’t look out of place, where he was composed off the half back flank throughout the championships. Kicks on both feet and ideally will transition into the midfield. Does lack speed that some of the other midfielders have. Caught clubs eyes in 2015 when he booted goals for Collingullie-GP in 2015 when clubs flocked to see 2015 draftee Matthew Kennedy play. Was impressive in the trial game for NSW-ACT at the start of the season and won their MVP- as well as claiming the Allies’. Expect a bid in the teens on draft night.

#7 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193.1cm | 83.7kg

Sandringham Dragons’ Jack Scrimshaw is a hybrid defender that is better playing small than tall. Scrimshaw plays with plenty of X-Factor and is appealing to the eye across defence. He can dash in between packs, take some eye catching marks and pinpoint a left foot pass that looks impossible to the naked eye. His versatility is appealing to clubs as there is no position he couldn’t play, with teammate Andrew McGrath declaring he could even play in the ruck if required. Scrimshaw pushed onto a wing during the championships and in the TAC Cup he has floated forward on occasions, most notably in the TAC Cup Finals and particular the second half of the Grand Final. He does look most at home controlling the defence. Mutliple injuries have affected him over the last two seasons, but has been injury free since mid year. If Scrimshaw wants to become an inside midfielder, in the ‘Bontempelli’ category he will need to improve his competitiveness and contested ball winning abilities.

#6 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 179.7cm | 72.7kg

Sam Petrevski-Seton is an 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. Performed well in the WAFL Colts Grand Final- but I was disappointed we didn’t get a chance to see him push into the Reserves or League team. 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.

#5 Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 188.0cm | 82.4kg

Will Brodie is a strong inside midfielder and is 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. 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 and clubs have questioned his finish to the season and his ball winning ability. Wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him fall outside the top 10.

#4 Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 185.6cm | 84.1kg

Tim Taranto is an 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. Taranto 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 push into top five selection come draft night – the only question is whether Gold Coast will nab him at four or will Carlton collect him at five that is of course is the Giants overlooked him with Pick two. Had 29, 23 and 31 disposals in his final three games in the TAC Cup for the Dragons.

#3 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187.0cm | 77.7kg

Jack Bowes is a silky smooth midfielder who doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. He 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 and his first diposal in their Elimination Final loss just screamed elite. Is an absolute farce that a bid might not come on the talented Gold Coast teen until Pick 9. If not for McGrath’s huge TAC Cup Finals, Bowes would’ve been my number two on my rankings and he has been a great performer right from the opening AFL Academy game at the beginning of the season to the final NAB AFL U18 All Stars game at Punt Road.

#2 Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 177.4cm | 76.7kg

Andrew McGrath is an exciting rebounder from defence. The agile runner has an elite athletics background and is 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 as indicated by being Co-Captain of Vic Metro and school captain of Brighton Grammar School. Can play last line of defence and shut down an opponent as indicated by blanketing Ben Ainsworth & Jaidyn Stephenson. Has had a huge year, which included a steller interschool athletics carnival that saw him blitz the 100metres running a sub 11 second time. Racked up huge numbers in the TAC Cup Finals and his 38 disposal & eight clearance effort in the Grand Final saw him earn the TAC Medal for best on ground. Should be ready for action come Round One. I am expecting him to be a Bomber come next week.

#1 Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185.8cm | 75.9kg

Despite McGrath’s huge season, McCluggage remains as my Number One on my ‘Power Rankings’- which he has held since August. He 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. 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. Goal kicking midfielders don’t grow on trees, but all the mail as of late will be that Essendon may overlook the talented Rebel.

 

So that’s my players ranked 25-1, if you want to know more: Send me a Tweet @MattBalmer7 – Keep your eye out for our ‘early’ Phantom Draft online later this week.

Stars to shine bright at the National AFL Draft Combine

ben-jarman

FOR the draft crop of 2016, the National AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least five AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL. A total of 81 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.

Matt Balmer takes a look at who might be the standouts in the testing which runs from Friday to Sunday.


Thursday:

Players will begin to arrive at Etihad Stadium before a welcome will be held for all 81 players in attendence. Not all players will be able to test due to injuries, but they will sit in on interviews and medicals with clubs early in the combine.

Thursday also sees heights and weight taken, along with all the body sizing and measurements such as skin folds and tricept sizes. My spies have told me Ollie Florent will be a likely winner for the biggest hands at the combine.

The media will also be in attendance on Thursday afternoon with Kevin Sheehan speaking alongside Jonty Scharenberg, Jy Simpkin and Sam Powell-Pepper.

Friday:

More medicals and interviews for players when they arrive for another day. Friday night from 7pm-9.30pm will be the hand balling, kicking and goal kicking tests.

The Matthew Lloyd clean hands/handpassing test measures how well a player collects the football and is able to dispose of it using a handball. There are three targets set up on both the left and right side at distances of 6m, 8m and 10m. An official will roll out or throw a ball at the player and instruct them where to handball the ball to. This is done six times and a score from 1-5 is allocated to each handball depending on how good it is.

Who could win? Hugh McCluggage‘s hands in stoppages are outstanding, whilst Andrew McGrath has the highest TAC Cup handball efficiency with 93 per cent of his handballs hitting the target.

The Brad Johnson goal kicking test will measure a players accuracy kicking for goal. Four kicking points are designated with players taking five kicks in total; two set shots (35m out in either pocket), two snaps (20m out, one left foot and one right foot) and one kick on the run (40m out directly in front). The player has 70 seconds to complete the test. A score is then worked out from the amount of goals and behinds a player kicks.

Who could win? Vic Country forward Josh Battle has a superb kick on him from short or long range distances in front of goal. Again, Hugh McCluggage has shown he can push forward and hit the scoreboard throughout 2016.

The Nathan Buckley kicking test measures players kicking efficiency over six kicks. Six targets (three on each side) are set out at distances of 20m, 30m and 40m. An official will call out a target at random to the kick, who will then to proceed to hit the target. Each kick is given a score from one to five, with five being a perfect kick.

Who could win? West Australian Josh Rotham is one of the best kicks in the draft pool, his teammate tall ruckman Tim English is another who uses the ball well. Harry Morrison, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Alex Villis and Harry Perryman are others that should perform well in this test.

Saturday:

The biggest day of the carnival will see sprints, agility, jumps and the beep test held on the purpose built floor on Etihad.

Sprints will be held in the morning , whilst the afternoon will conclude with the beep test.

Who could win in the sprints? Exciting WA midfielder Shai Bolton will test extremely well in both the 20m sprint and the agility test. Back in 2014, Bolton ran a sub 3s 20m sprint and under 8s for the agility test, considered elite.

Brandan Parfitt and Cedric Cox are among others who has shown off their speed at times this season while Jordan Gallucci should perform well in the agility test. Vic Country teammates Ben Ainsworth (8.00 seconds) and Jarrod Berry (7.80 seconds) were superb in TAC Cup preseason testing, while Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish was just behind Berry running 7.81 seconds. Queenslander Josh Williams showed a remarkable dash of speed in a division two National Under 18s Championships game earlier in the season.

Murray Bushrangers tall Esava Ratugolea is another who tested well in the past (2.92s) as has South Australian excitement machine Kym Lebois.

The vertical leap test is always an interesting test with vertical jump and running vertical jump (left and right foot) measured.

Who could win in the jumps? South Australian tall utility Brennan Cox was superb in the preseason testing in the SANFL, recording over 90cm off either foot in the running vertical jump. Ruckman Tim English, Esava Ratugolea and Tony Olango could test well above their counterparts, but it was Stingrays defender Bailey Morrish who beat all comers in the TAC Cup preseason testing with a vertical leap of 81cm.

The shuttle run/beep test or multistage fitness test depending on where you’re from is another that is closely watched by clubs. Most are looking for kids to push out one last level on the test, rather than take the easy option and drop out early. Sometimes the dedication and commitment from players can lead to them ‘spewing’ up their lunch- but an effect that some clubs might put down as a big tick in their notebook.

Who could win in the beep test? Tim Taranto will be an early front runner, having run a 15.9 in the preseason. His Sandringham Dragons team mate Ollie Florent is another who might perform well. If Jack Graham tests, he could be South Australia’s best.

Sunday:

The final day of the combine will see the 3km time trial run in groups of 10-15. The 3km time trial is one of the most strutinised tests, players pushing themselves to the limit deserve a pat on the back- while those that cruse through without little effect might come under the eyes of recruiters when they pour over all their data.

The 3km time trial has gotten faster every season, with the record being broken for three years running.

Who could win the 3km time trial? Possible number one draft pick Andrew McGrath should run well, but will his heavy work load over the last few months affect him? Again Tim Taranto will be another who could perform well.


Invites:

Small Defenders/Midfielders/Forwards

Ben Ainsworth- Vic Country
Liam Baker- Western Australia
Shai Bolton- Western Australia
Callum Brown- Vic Metro
Cedric Cox- Vic Country
Joshua Daicos- Vic Metro
Zac Fisher- Western Australia
Ben Jarman- South Australia
Kym Lebois- South Australia
Andrew McGrath- Vic Metro
Brandan Parfitt- Northern Territory
Tyson Stengle- South Australia

Medium Defenders 

Jarrod Berry- Vic Country
Isaac Cumming- NSW/ACT
Taylin Duman- Vic Metro
Ben Long- NT
Bailey Morrish- Vic Country
Harry Morrison- Vic Country
Harry Perryman- NSW/ACT
Sam Walker- South Australia
Tom Williamson- Vic Country
Alex Witherden- Vic Country
Alex Villis- South Australia

Tall Defenders

Brennan Cox- South Australia
Ryan Garthwaite- NSW/ACT
Elliot Himmelberg- Queensland
Griffin Logue- Western Australia
Harrison Macreadie- NSW/ACT
Jack Maibaum- Vic Metro
Sam McLarty- Vic Metro
Jordan Ridley- Vic Metro
Joshua Rotham- Western Australia
Jack Scrimshaw- Vic Metro
Declan Watson- Queensland

Medium Midfielders

Jacob Allison- Queensland
Joseph Atley- Vic Country
Hamish Brayshaw- Vic Metro
Will Brodie- Vic Country
Jack Bowes- Queensland
Dylan Clarke- Vic Metro
Willem Drew- Vic Country
Judah Dundon- Vic Metro
Jordan Gallucci- Vic Metro
Jack Graham- South Australia
Matt Guelfi- Western Australia
Oscar Junker- Vic Metro
Hugh McCluggage- Vic Country
Kobe Mutch- NSW/ACT
Sam Petrevski-Seton- Western Australia
Myles Poholke- Vic Country
Sam Powell-Pepper- Western Australia
Luke Ryan- VFL
Jonty Scharenberg- South Australia
Will Setterfield- NSW/ACT
Daniel Venables- Vic Metro
Josh Williams- Queensland

Medium Forwards

Joshua Begley- Vic Metro
Benjamin Davis- NSW/ACT
Sam Fisher- NSW/ACT
Oliver Florent- Vic Metro
Will Hayward- South Australia
Mitchell Hinge- South Australia
Patrick Lipinski- Vic Metro
Quinton Narkle- Western Australia
Mark O’Connor- International
Brad Scheer- Queensland
Jy Simpkin- Vic Country
Tim Taranto- Vic Metro
Cameron Zurhaar- Western Australia

Tall Forwards/Rucks

Josh Battle- Vic Country
Sean Darcy- Vic Country
Timothy English- Western Australia
Jack Henry- Vic Country
Patrick Kerr- Vic Metro
Max Lynch- NSW/ACT
Todd Marshall- NSW/ACT
Mitchell McCarthy- Vic Country
Tony Olango- NT
Esava Ratugolea- Vic Country
Zachary Sproule- NSW/ACT
Jake Waterman- Western Australia

By the states:

International (1):
NSW/ACT (11):
Northern Territory (3):
Queensland (6):
South Australia (10):
Vic Country (18):
VFL (1):
Vic Metro (19):
Western Australia (12):

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.

U18 ALL STARS ULTIMATE REVIEW

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.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: JACK BOWES

#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.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: ALEX VILLIS

#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?

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: TODD MARSHALL

#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.

2016 AFL DRAFT PROFILE: WILL HAYWARD

#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.

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.

All-Stars picked for AFL Draft Central mock match

Allies - Todd Marshall

EVERY year as the AFL season comes to a close, potential future stars names are raised as to which players can help put clubs on the path to a premiership. But where do these players fit in a 22?

Yesterday, the AFL announced that the very best Under 18s talent will play off against each other at Punt Rd End on Grand Final Eve.

The two teams will be picked by the AFL and will be named after AFL legends Chris Judd and Michael O’Loughlin.

TOP TEENAGE TALENT ON SHOW FOR AFL’S BIGGEST WEEKEND

AFL Draft Central’s Matt Balmer & Peter Williams have taken the role as selectors and picked their very own teams.

Note: Only Under 18 players were considered, meaning that no 19-year-olds or mature agers feature in the pairs squad of 25 players.

Players such as Jy Simpkin & Alex Witherden were also not considered due to injury.

Selection order:

Pick 1: Peter Williams (PW)
Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg

While I do not think Marshall will go pick one in the National AFL Draft, when starting from scratch you always pick a big man over a small man, and Marshall is the best big man in the draft. A key forward who leaps at the ball taking big marks and kicking clutch goals, he is the man you want standing at full-forward in a best 22 competition.

Pick 2: Matt Balmer (MB)
Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185cm | 75kg

It’s hard to turn down arguably the best player in the draft pool with my first pick. McCluggage applies like Scott Pendlebury in traffic, making everything appear in slow motion. Also uses his quick hands or his right boot to clear the ball from contest ball situations. He’s a man I couldn’t turn down with my first pick and is right in the mix for pick one overall in the National AFL Draft.

Pick 3: MB
Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg

Jack Bowes is only narrowly behind McCluggage in my view as the best player in the draft pool. A silky smooth midfielder by trade, he moves well through traffic and doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. Also hitting the scoreboard recently for Gold Coast in the NEAFL.

Pick 4: PW
Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 75kg

I pride my team on two things: speed and footskills and Andrew McGrath has both. A talented midfielder who has primarily played as a half-back rebounding defender, McGrath is an excitement machine who just makes things happen. While he is sub-180cm, he makes up for it with his disposal and ability to burn opponents.

Pick 5; PW
Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg

If foot skills are a premium, Perryman is a player that delivers in spades. Not a huge ball winner compared to other top 10 picks, Perryman rarely wastes a disposal and just glides around, making the right decisions more often than not.

Pick 6: MB
Jack Scrimshaw
General Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm | 80kg

A hybrid defender who will fit in well across the half back flank. Nice long left boot and has the ability to push further up the ground on the wing. His disposal efficiency is great and makes good decisions, so far he appears to be over his injury issues which plagued him earlier in the season.

Pick 7: MB
Patrick Kerr
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
31/07/1998 | 194cm | 93kg

In my eyes, the second best key forward behind Todd Marshall. I’m a big fan of Kerr and when he’s on, he’s hard to stop. Kerr speaks extremely well and he’ll be leading the forward line for my side. His strong overhead mark and speed over 10 metres makes him hard to stop one-on-one.

Pick 8: PW
Will Brodie
Inside Midfielder (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
23/08/1998 | 189cm | 82kg

To pick up Will Brodie at pick eight is daylight robbery. Brodie is in contention for the number one pick and is the clear standout inside midfielder. At 189cm and 82kg, he is ready made to play round one if needed. An absolute bull, he is a steal here and is very welcome to be the leader in the midfield.

Pick 9: PW
Harrison Macreadie
Key Position Defender (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg

Harrison Macreadie has had a quieter back-half of the year and certainly in the National Championships, but he is all class. At 196cm, he is athletic, a strong mark and versatile around the ground. He could play on a wing if required, but he will line-up for my team at centre half-back making it a “delicious” half-back line filled with precise kickers.

Pick 10: MB
Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg

Touted as a possible number one draft pick earlier in the season, I’m extremely pleased to pick Petrevski-Seton here. He’s comfortable to turn on either sides of his body to dispose of the ball and has a touch of x-factor about him. Ball winning numbers have been strong since returning to the WAFL.

Pick 11: MB
Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 186cm | 82kg

The second St Kevin’s College lad in my side. Taranto hasn’t put a foot wrong in the last two months and continues to improve as the year goes on. He’s very good in traffic, aided from a basketball background and can hit the scoreboard when needed. A great overhead mark also helps him win one-on-one and he’s one player that I’m happy is in my side.

Pick 12: PW
Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 193cm | 92kg

There are not too many prime key defenders in this draft, and I have snared the top two. Logue is smaller than Macreadie, but good one-on-one and is more of that intercept mark, lockdown KPD rather than the creative Macreadie type. In saying that, he impressed at the National Championships and could be moulded into a number of different defensive roles at AFL level.

Pick 13: PW
Josh Battle
Key Position Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg

There’s no secret I’m a Josh Battle fan and he just adds a point of difference to any forward line. While he will not become a number one forward at AFL level, he is strong overhead, a super high footy IQ and a reliable set shot. In my opinion the second best tall forward behind Marshall, handing my team the two best KPF and two best KPD.

Pick 14: MB
Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 179cm | 74kg

Every side needs a crafty small forward and that’s exactly what Ben Ainsworth can be. A great overhead mark for his size and can change the game in a blink of an eye. Also has the ability to push into the midfield, but will prove his most valuable inside 50 where he’s a tough match up for any opponent.

Pick 15: MB
Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 192cm | 79kg

Having missed out on arguably the two best tall defenders (Logue & Macreadie) we’ll take Josh Rotham in the back pocket. Rotham can play both tall and small, but looks most at home rebounding the ball out of defence. Did play as a tall in defence against VFL sides earlier in the year but will fit in well in defence.

Pick 16: PW
Alex Villis
Outside Midfielder (Norwood/South Australia)
20/08/1998 | 182cm | 70kg

Footskills and speed. I’ve said it earlier and I’ll say it again. Villis has both and is the best South Australian in the draft crop. With most of the other South Australian midfielders working on the inside, Villis finds space and chops teams up when going forward. Fantastic user of the ball and will be deadly on my wing.

Pick 17: PW
Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg

With so many talented inside midfielders in this draft, I deliberately left my second inside mid until now. Having committed daylight robbery with Brodie at pick eight, Setterfield is a very good pick up at 17. A big lad, Setterfield will win the hard ball and is a solid user of the footy too.

Pick 18: MB
Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/05/1998 | 197cm | 84kg

Happy to partner Pat Kerr with Zach Sproule inside 50. Sproule plays in the Nick Riewoldt mould getting up the ground on long leads and will test his opposite number as to whether they can go the distance around the ground. A large chunk of his marks are up the ground, but has enough tricks inside 50 to hit the scoreboard when he hasn’t worked up the ground.

Pick 19: MB
Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg

Strong hardnosed inside midfielder will slot into a midfield well that already boasts names such as McCluggage and Bowes. Scheer is a good clearance winner and shoud be able to help the ball move forward. His numbers of late in the NEAFL have been outstanding.

Pick 20: PW
Oliver Florent
Balanced Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
22/07/1998 | 183cm | 74kg

Arguably the last of the top 25 outside midfielders, Florent is another classy ball user who can win his own ball too. A medium midfielder, Florent does not win a ton of the ball like his teammates, but uses it well and makes the right decisions by hand or foot.

Pick 21: PW
Jordan Gallucci
Medium Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/05/1998 | 183cm | 75kg

Jordan Gallucci was probably my favourite player coming into this year to watch, but he has been below his standards albeit for a game or two. I’m tipping he will bounce back for the finals and hopefully find his deadly kicking game again, something that has unfortunately disappeared in his top-age year. A back pocket for my side.

Pick 22: MB
Sam Walker
Medium Defender (Glenelg/South Australia)
16/03/1998 | 187cm | 80kg

Rebounding defender who will join Scrimshaw as the second left footer off half back for my team. A good ball user, Walker hits targets at will. Could be the game where he really pushes his name up rankings.

Pick 23: MB
Jack Maibaum
Key Position Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
27/03/1998 | 193cm | 90kg

All-Australian defender slots in at Centre Half Back for my side. A true shut down defender who was a strong performer for Vic Metro in the Under 18 Championships. Solid in one-on-one contests and one that probably hasn’t got enough credits for his season.

Pick 24: PW
Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 186cm | 81kg

Daniel Venables is a tough inside midfielder who spends more time forward than most others in this crop. He hits the scoreboard consistently and is strong overhead. Had a few niggling injuries earlier in the year, but will rotate through the midfield in my team.

Pick 25: PW
Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 79kg

Kobe Mutch is a huge ball winner who has tasted a fair bit of NEAFL action lately and therefore missed out on games in the TAC Cup. A midfielder who can play inside or out, he will work well with the other midfielders on my team, primarily playing an inside role, shoveling it out to the silky outside players.

Pick 26: MB
Declan Watson
Key Position Defender (Aspley/Queensland)
17/09/1998 | 194cm | 80kg

Two Key Defenders in two picks. I’m looking for Watson to match up on Todd Marshall. A good kick for a player his size and was entrusted with the kick out duties for Queensland in the Division Two championships earlier in the season. My highest rated Brisbane Lions academy member, one to watch.

Pick 27: MB
Jonty Scharenberg
Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
28/08/1998 | 186cm | 80kg

Elite clearance player and an elite tackler according to Champion Data statistics. His clean hands is a real strength at the stoppages and can clear the ball well through those means. Not blessed with elite pace but will find the ball at Under 18 level.

Pick 28: PW
Jacob Allison
Utility (Aspley/Queensland)
16/04/1998 | 194cm | 79kg

It is hard to believe this bloke is a midfielder. At 194cm, he is taller than two of my key position players, but Jacob Allison is the new prototype midfielder. A big bodied mid who primarily plays outside similar to Marcus Bontempelli. Once he develops an inside game further he will be a beast.

Pick 29: PW
Jarrod Berry
Medium Defender (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
05/02/1998 | 191cm | 80kg

We are getting to the stage of the draft where it comes down to preferences and I do not mind Jarrod Berry. He could tighten up his foot skills a little, but he has strong leadership, good in the air and pretty mobile, there is plenty to work with in the 191cm medium defender. Can also play midfield or forward too which helps.

Pick 30: MB
Shai Bolton
Outside Midfielder (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
08/12/1998 | 177cm | 67kg

If you’re looking for some spark in your side, Shai Bolton is your man. Elite speed and agility means he can get around his opponents at will. Needs to work on his consistency, but he can flash in a game and change it with a snap of the fingers.

Pick 31: MB
Ryan Garthwaite
Key Position Defender (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
30/06/1998 | 192cm | 84kg

Another tall we’ve managed to slot into the backline. A few injuries have kept him sidelined at stages this year but his work one-on-one has been very good. Fits in as a back pocket, but might be best suited to play on the last line of defence.

Pick 32: PW
Sam Fowler
Small Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
02/11/1998 | 169cm | 66kg

As the only prospect in the draft that is smaller than me (quite a feat), it is hard not to pick him. A genuine crumber nicknamed “the Rat”, Fowler has been winning plenty of ball lately and developing his game further. Do not be put off by his height, he is a talented prospect.

Pick 33: PW
Josh Daicos
Small Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
26/11/1998 | 178cm | 69kg

While this pick is a little high to take Daicos, with the midfield filled and defence looking good, we are now drafting for holes required and Daicos fits the bill as a small forward. Classy and knows where the goals are, the son of the Macedonian Marvel has plenty of improvement for when he arrives at the Holden Centre.

Pick 34: MB
Max Lynch
Ruckman (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
12/09/1998 | 200cm | 96kg

The first ruckman taken and it’s NSW/ACT tall Max Lynch. I wasn’t a huge fan earlier in the season, but the ‘raw’ Lynch looks better with each game I see him. Lynch grew up playing soccer as a goalkeeper, but has slotted into the ruck for the Bushrangers throughout most of the season.

Pick 35: MB
Myles Poholke
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
10/07/1998 | 184cm | 84kg

Was very happy to nab Poholke here. A strong body around the contest who certainly knows where the goals are. Continues to play well for the Stingrays and someone I’d expect to grab 20 disposals and kick two goals in my side.

Pick 36: PW
Sean Darcy
Ruckman (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country)
12/06/1998 | 201cm | 113kg

Who needs to move when you have others that do it for you? That is my motto with this pick as quite simply I had to pick the best ruck available. A monster at 113kg, Darcy will smash any other player his age in the hitouts, but given his frame it is no surprise mobility is his biggest deficiency. A strong contested grab and solid kick for a big bloke, he is the best ruck available at this pick.

Pick 37: PW
Reece Piper
Small Defender (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
30/12/1998 | 177cm | 75kg

I have only seen Reece a few times, but like his style and is a unique pick for my first bench place. I enjoy versatility in my team and he would relieve Jordan Gallucci or Andy McGrath, enabling them to play forward of the ball or through the middle. Has a few tricks for a smaller player and you can rely on him kicking out of the defensive 50.

Pick 38: MB
Lachlan Murphy
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Country)
04/12/1998 | 173cm | 74kg

One of the few selected for our “All Stars” match who didn’t score a national combine invite. Alas- I’ve been a big fan of Murphy’s work in the last month and a bit, whether it be at school or TAC Cup level. A nice left foot, who makes the ball spin perfectly off his boot each time he kicks it. Despite his size, he has rolled through the inside midfield- But looks best at home across half back. Begins on the bench, but can play anywhere.

Lachlan Murphy representing the Northern Knights in 2016. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)
Lachlan Murphy representing the Northern Knights in 2016. (Photo by Rob Prezioso/AFL Media)

Pick 39: MB
Jack Graham
Inside Midfielder (North Adelaide/South Australia)
25/02/1998 | 183cm | 83kg

The Larke Medalist for the best player in the Under 18 champs, finds a spot in my team. You could question why he isn’t in the starting 22, but his kicking needs some work to avoid bombing it out of a contest. Graham is one of multiple inside midfielders in the draft and should rotate on the ball in our match.

Pick 40: PW
Josh Williams
Outside Midfielder (Surfers Paradise/Queensland)
12/06/1998 | 189cm | 69kg

Skill and speed. Always circling back to those two factors and Williams has both. While he might not be put in the same boat as McGrath or Perryman, he is lightning quick and disposes of the ball cleanly. A future Gold Coast midfielder with a top surname.

Pick 41: PW
Dylan Clarke
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
06/09/1998 | 187cm | 85kg

Brother of Ryan, Dylan Clarke is another bull who just attacks contests fearlessly. We have enough elite kicks of the footy, and Clarke will help us get it out to them. Buries himself under packs and will be an asset coming off the bench.

Pick 42: MB
Zac Fisher
Inside Midfielder (Perth/Western Australia)
15/06/1998 | 175cm | 61kg

Inside midfielder who had a huge game against the Allies (In the video below). Performing well since the champs over in Western Australia, using his left boot well. If he had an extra 5-10cms, you could make a real case that he’d be talked about much more than he is currently.

Pick 43: MB
Peter Ladhams
Ruckman (Norwood/South Australia)
14/01/1998 | 202cm | 95kg

Could he be the second ‘two metre Peter’ in the AFL? Ladhams work is solid and his ability to find the football around the ground gives him the nod over other suitors. Should complement Max Lynch well.

Pick 44: PW
Callum Brown
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
27/04/1998 | 177cm | 69kg

Nuggety little midfielder who has developed his game massively since moving into the midfield from the forward pocket. Not the cleanest of skills, but you cannot fault his effort or intensity and when forward 50 tackles are ever so important, Brown provides them and four quarter intensity.

Pick 45: PW
Harry Morrison
Medium Defender (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
12/11/1998 | 182cm | 73kg

Harry Morrison is the forgotten man. After missing the bulk of the season through injury, he is likely to pick up and be a factor in the finals series for the Murray Bushrangers. A strong grab and rebounding defender, Morrison can play on a wing, adding to his versatility.

Harry Morrison in action for the Murray Bushrangers in the 2015 TAC Cup Finals. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/AFL Media/Getty Images).
Harry Morrison in action for the Murray Bushrangers in the 2015 TAC Cup Finals. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/AFL Media/Getty Images).

Pick 46: MB
Jordan Ridley
Tall Utility (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
20/10/1998 | 192cm | 79kg

A tall utility who has caught my eye last year playing forward for Oakleigh. This season he’s more filled in wherever the Chargers have required him and I think he could become a really good swingman. Usually a reliable kick on his right foot, he isn’t afraid to get up the ground further when needed.

Pick 47: MB
Esava Ratugolea
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country)
24/07/1998 | 194cm | 95kg

Exciting tall Ratugolea jumped into consideration after an eight-goal haul against Bendigo. Ratugolea will be off to the National Combine and it will be intriguing to see how he tests. Will play as a third tall forward and may pinch hit in the ruck when needed for my side.

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL

Pick 48: PW
Luke Bunker
Inside Midfielder (Northern Knights/Vic Metro)
12/06/1998 | 185cm | 78kg

Another inside midfielder of good size who is often underrated in this draft crop. Will work well with Clarke, Brodie and Setterfield through the midfield and is another versatile player to round out the team.

Pick 49: PW
Joshua Begley
Medium Forward/Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
03/07/1998 | 187cm | 87kg

Every team needs a bit of X-factor and the unknown and this kid certainly is that. From kicking bags to racking up the ball in the middle, Begley has gone from strength to strength this year. A very good size at 187cm and 87kg, and will take the last spot on my team.

Josh Begley in action for the Ranges v Knights. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media).
Josh Begley in action for the Ranges v Knights. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media).

Pick 50: MB
Brandan Parfitt
Inside Midfielder (Nightcliff/Northern Territory)
27/04/1998 | 179cm | 78kg

With the final pick in the draft, I’ll take Brandan Parfitt. He’s been reasonably quiet this year, but I thought he begun the season well against VFL opposition for the AFL Academy. Can play multiple roles which makes him appealing for the final player on the list of 25.

Full teams:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.50.02 PM

Last word: I am really pleased with my team as I feel I have the two best key position defenders, two best key position forwards, and a tantalising half-back line. With foot skills and speed a premium in my team, we would be able to move it at a frantic pace, get it forward and if our strong contested marking forwards don’t snare it, our crumbers will. A good mix of versatile players, many of whom will forge solid AFL careers.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.50.15 PM

Last word: I’m really pleased with the quality midfielders we’ve been able to score. I feel we’ve got enough depth with talls at both ends and two quality ruck combinations. A few left footed defenders coming out of defence might see us play a game plan similar to Hawthorn has in the past- Hopefully that is a sign of sure success for my side.


It should be noted too that there are many quality players not selected. For teams to remain balanced, we wanted to ensure that our sides were realistic and we weren’t left with 15 inside midfielders each. With a large contingent of inside midfielders in the 2016 draft pool, some unfortunately missed out on gaining selection.

Let us know you’re thoughts on who would win on Twitter, @AFLDraftCentral

Matt Balmer’s August Power Rankings

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

Clubs narrowed down their interests last week and the list of 80 players nominated to take part in the National Combine testing was announced Monday.

80 PLAYERS INVITED TO THE 2016 AFL DRAFT COMBINE

The combine invites give an idea as to clubs’ thoughts on where players stand- however it’s worth noting that 16 players were left undrafted despite being nominated for the National Combine last year.

Victorian school football concluded on the weekend & the recruiters dream Victorian schoolboy match takes place on Saturday out at Marcellin College.

August can be a make or break month for some players, with sides on the fringes of finals.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s July 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: #2

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). Been told his contested possession numbers are very similar at TAC Cup level. Another real positive is he can also hit the scoreboard, with 17 goals in the TAC Cup this season.

Last month: McCluggage is averaging 30 plus disposals in the last month for the North Ballarat Rebels. Has also been their best in the last three matches, capping it off with 37 disposals against the Pioneers yesterday.

#2 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg
Previous Ranking: #1

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.

Last month: Bowes has slotted in for three NEAFL games for the Suns. Bowes booted three goals, but only had 12 disposals on the weekend. Earlier in July, Bowes had 24 disposals and four clearances in their big 124-point loss to Sydney, following on from his 19 disposals and seven clearance game against Brisbane Lions. Just because he is not playing TAC Cup does not mean clubs will not have their eye on him, still a chance to warrant a top three bid.

#3 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: Suffered a shoulder injury for the Murray Bushrangers against North Ballarat Rebels finishing with 14 disposals. He played for his school Scotch College on the weekend and will be back for the Bushrangers in a fortnight against Dandenong.

#4 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: 10 disposals in his only appearance for GWS in the NEAFL this year in early July, before returning to local senior football for Collingullie-GP. Perryman booted two goals on the weekend.

#5 Andrew McGrath
Small Defender/Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #7

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.

Last month: Has returned to school football for Brighton Grammar, who won the APS school football premiership. McGrath was superb in the mud & rain against Haileybury, kicking two vital goals. Has pushed forward and been a tough match up for schools out of the goal square. Almost any position you couldn’t throw him.

#6 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg
Previous Ranking: #5

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: Has returned to WA Colts level and dominated averaging 28 disposals. Hoping he can push into the reserves or even the league team over the next few weeks.

#7 Todd Marshall
Key Position Forward (Murray Bushrangers/NSW-ACT)
08/10/1998 | 198cm | 87kg
Previous ranking: 6

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: Returned to the Murray Bushrangers after a solid Under 18s National Championships with the Allies. Was concussed in their game against North Ballarat, but booted three goals against both Western Jets and Sandringham Dragons.

#8 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm, 77kg
Previous ranking: 11

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.

Last month: Scrimshaw made his TAC Cup debut with 27 disposals and nine marks. Weaved through traffic but had a few bad clangers in the defensive half. Has been okay at school footy level for Haileybury, but struggle in the wet a few weeks ago.

#9 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: Returned to the GWS NEAFL team this month, averaging 13 disposals and four marks. His best game came against Sydney Swans reserves where he had 19 disposals and six months. Looks like he’s beginning to work back into his 2016 form.

#10 Tim English
Ruckman (South Fremantle/Western Australia)
10/08/1997 | 203cm | 86kg
Previous ranking: 14

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 bid on draft night.

Last month: Continues to find the football at Colts level with two huge games of 19 disposals & nine marks, as well as a 24 disposal and 11 mark game on the weekend. Also averaging 21 hit outs per Colts game. Snuck into South Fremantle’s reserves and did not look out of place with 16 disposals and 31 hitouts a fortnight ago.

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

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: Collected 18 disposals against Sandringham, playing off half back before being thrown forward in the last. Has had more than 20 disposals in both games the last fortnight, spending more time through the midfield.

#12 Tim Taranto
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
28/01/1998 | 186cm | 82kg
Previous ranking: 16

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: Was one of Sandringham’s best against Gippsland recently with 24 disposals and two goals. Taranto was everywhere that day and worked hard up and down the ground. Has been superb at school football for St Kevin’s with over 20 goals this season. He was outstanding on the weekend against the premiership winning team Brighton Grammar.

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

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. Strong mark who got better as the championships went on.

Last month: Two games in the West Perth reserves has seen him collect 29 disposals and seven marks. Appears Rotham has adapted well in his first two games not at Colts level.

#14 Patrick Kerr
Key Position Forward (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro)
31/07/1998 | 194cm | 93kg
Previous ranking: 21

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. When he’s on, he’s hard to stop.

Last month: Led up well to the ball kicking two goals against Dandenong. Ended as the leading goal kicker in APS School football with 37 goals. Played one of the best games I have seen from him on the weekend, taking plenty of marks and having the ability to read the play when dropping back in defence.

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

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: Has played three games at NEAFL level with Gold Coast with two big games against Brisbane and Sydney’s NEAFL teams. Scheer had 24 disposals against Brisbane before being one of the Suns’ best against Brisbane with 27 disposals and six tackles. Was quieter on the weekend with 18 disposals, but overall is playing well at NEAFL level.

#16 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #15

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.

Last month: Injuries have kept Setterfield out for the last month, but he should be good to go in the Sandringham Dragons’ game against Oakleigh Chargers in a fortnight’s time.

#17 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 from a second surgery on his leg due to an infection. Hoping to be back for the national combine in October.

#18 Alex Villis
Outside Midfielder (Norwood/South Australia)
20/08/1998 | 182cm | 70kg
Previous ranking: 19

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 outstanding and has held his own at SANFL senior level.

Last month: A superb 30 disposal & seven mark effort in the Norwood reserves earned him a call up to the Norwood seniors. Unfortunately, Villis suffered a leg injury in the opening half for Norwood and his day finished with four disposals. Should be back soon.

#19 Josh Battle
General Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #9

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: Kicked two goals against Oakleigh to start the month, but didn’t have the presence his opposite number Patrick Kerr did. Tough going in the wet for Haileybury a few weeks ago, but looked best in the ruck and around the contest.

#20 Daniel Venables
General Forward/Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #18

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: Looked to be sick against Eastern, where he had just seven disposals. Has played across half back for PEGS in the last two school football matches but looked his most damaging when he moved into the midfield in the last quarters. Would have been a miracle goal if he nailed on the run on the siren in the AGSV Grand Final.

#21 Zachary Sproule
Key Position Forward (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.

Last month: Slotted in for a game in the GWS Giants reserves, with six marks and a goal before returning to TAC Cup level. Sproule has had outstanding numbers the last two weeks, playing much further up the ground and finding more of the football but hasn’t hit the scoreboard.

#22 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 193cm | 92kg
Previous ranking: 24

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: Has played two games in the WAFL seniors for Swan Districts, averaging 12 disposals and five marks. Fits in well with his strong body against the bigger opponents.

#23 Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #20

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: Made his GWS Giants NEAFL debut in early July with 14 disposals and six marks. Mutch continued to find the football with 29 disposals against Oakleigh, but his kicking efficiency was down on his usual output with the poor weather playing a part. Mutch was a late out for the Pioneers on Sunday.

#24 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.

Last month: Begun July in the SANFL reserves, racking up 26 disposals and four clearances. Scharenberg was then promoted to the seniors getting better with each game, averaging 11 disposals per game.

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

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: Was exciting against Gippsland Power with 21 disposals and 12 marks. An okay game for Mentone Grammar in the middle before concluding the month with a solid match on the weekend against Murray Bushrangers.


With the season coming to a close, expect some big names to put their hand up.

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

Here are a few names to keep an eye on over the next month: 

Lachlan Murphy (Vic Metro), Zac Fisher (Western Australia), Callan Wellings (Vic Country), Harry Morrison (Vic Country) and Jake Pitman (South Australia).

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

80 players invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine

Oliver Florent- scored one of 19 Vic Metro national combine invites.
Oliver Florent- scored one of 19 Vic Metro national combine invites.

FOR the draft crop of 2016, the AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least five AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.

Draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL. A total of 80 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.

Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 19 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.

Metro went through the Division One carnival as the only side to go undefeated, winning their first title since 2012.

Their rivals Vic Country themselves weren’t far behind with 18 nominations despite a winless carnival, down on their 22 nominations from 2015.

Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues across Australia, with strong performances at VFL level averaging 21 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound 50s (to Round 15 of the VFL).

Father Son prospects Ben Jarman (Adelaide/Hawthorn), Callum Brown (Collingwood), Joshua Daicos (Collingwood) and Jake Waterman (West Coast) have all made the list and have caught recruiters eyes throughout the season.

Murray Bushranger tall Esava Ratugolea has made the cut and will be a name to keep an eye on throughout the Bushrangers final series.

ESAVA’S EIGHT PROMPTS VIC COUNTRY CALL

Vic Country injured trio Alex Witherden, Jy Simpkin and Mitchell McCarthy have made the cut and will be hoping to take part in some form of testing at the combine.

North Ballarat Rebels excitement machine Cedric Cox has been nominated and will be one to keep an eye on in the second half of the season. Cox is the cousin of possible top five draft selection Sam Petrevski-Seton, while his older brother Daniel is currently on the Fox 8 TV Show ‘The Recruit.’

Eastern Ranges forward Joshua Begley continues to rise in season 2016. After missing the original cut for the Ranges squad, 187cm Begley forced his way into the side and has kicked 23 goals in 11 games this season.

NSW-ACT led the way for the division two teams with 11 player picked, with only Todd Marshall and Benjamin Davis not eligible for academy selection. Queensland have six players nominated, while Northern Territory have three prospects nominated. Tasmania had no players nominated for the national combine.

Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues.

Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two but up to four clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.

The National Combine will begin on Thursday, October 6 and go through to Sunday, October 9 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.

Invites:

NSW/ACT (11):
Isaac Cumming
Benjamin Davis
Sam Fisher
Ryan Garthwaite
Max Lynch
Harrison Macreadie
Todd Marshall
Kobe Mutch
Harry Perryman
Will Setterfield
Zachary Sproule

Northern Territory (3):
Ben Long
Tony Olango
Brandan Parfitt

Queensland (6):
Jacob Allison
Jack Bowes
Elliot Himmelberg
Brad Scheer
Declan Watson
Josh Williams

South Australia (10):
Brennan Cox
Jack Graham
Will Hayward
Mitchell Hinge
Ben Jarman
Kym Lebois
Jonty Scharenberg
Tyson Stengle
Alex Villis
Sam Walker

Vic Country (18):
Ben Ainsworth
Joseph Atley
Josh Battle
Jarrod Berry
Will Brodie
Cedric Cox
Sean Darcy
Willem Drew
Jack Henry
Bailey Morrish
Harry Morrison
Hugh McCluggage
Mitchell McCarthy
Myles Poholke
Esava Ratugolea
Jy Simpkin
Tom Williamson
Alex Witherden

VFL (1):
Luke Ryan

Vic Metro (19):
Joshua Begley
Hamish Brayshaw
Callum Brown
Dylan Clarke
Joshua Daicos
Taylin Duman
Judah Dundon
Oliver Florent
Jordan Gallucci
Oscar Junker
Patrick Kerr
Patrick Lipinski
Andrew McGrath
Jack Maibaum
Sam McLarty
Jordan Ridley
Jack Scrimshaw
Tim Taranto
Daniel Venables

Western Australia (12):
Liam Baker
Shai Bolton
Timothy English
Zac Fisher
Matt Guelfi
Griffin Logue
Quinton Narkle
Sam Petrevski-Seton
Sam Powell-Pepper
Joshua Rotham
Jake Waterman
Cameron Zurhaar

Matt Balmer’s July Power Rankings

 

AINSWORTH

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

The National Under 18s Championships concluded on Wednesday with many players putting their hand up for selection in late November. Some have improved their draft stocks, while others have slid down the order with average carnivals.

You can read Matt Balmer‘s June 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 Jack Bowes
Balanced Midfielder (Cairns/Queensland)
26/01/1998 | 187cm | 78kg
Previous Ranking: #1

Despite a quiet division one carnival, Jack Bowes remains as my number one player on my rankings. A stellar division two carnival for Queensland saw him average 25 disposals, win the Queensland Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the Hunter Harrison Medal for the best player in Division two. The step up in standard saw that number reduce, but he got better in each game. Bowes’ big workload saw him rested for the final clash against Vic Country, but against eventual winners Vic Metro he finished with 20 disposals and seven inside 50s. Bowes was also named in the Under 18 All Australian team. The Gold Coast Suns academy member is smooth around the contest and doesn’t waste too many of his disposals. I’d be very surprised if the bid on draft night isn’t in the Top five.

#2 Hugh McCluggage
Balanced Midfielder (North Ballarat Rebels/Vic Country)
03/03/1998 | 185cm | 75kg
Previous Ranking: #3

Hugh McCluggage was the biggest challenger to Bowes for the number one spot and if it was not for a quiet performance in the final round, I dare say he would be number one. Looking at his size, you would first think he is an outside midfielder, but his work on the inside has been one of his strengths throughout the championships. He averaged 20 disposals with 43 per cent of them contested. McCluggage also pushed forward booting seven goals (including two bags of three). In traffic, McCluggage is similar to Scott Pendlebury able to make everything appear in slow motion, where he makes good decisions by hand or foot to clear the ball from the pack. McCluggage was also the Vic Country MVP in division one and won All Australian honours.

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

At this stage, in my view he’s the only other contender for the number one pick. Brodie should step into an AFL environment very quickly and I cannot see him having any issues stepping up at AFL level. His clearance work is superb on the inside and he hunts the ball back to try and win it. His good work at the stoppages allows him to find plenty of the football and was one of Vic Country’s best against Vic Metro in round two. Throughout the championships, Brodie averaged 21 disposals (10 contested) and five clearances throughout the championships. At stages Brodie can hack the ball out of a stoppage but his kicking was strong throughout the carnival.

#4 Harry Perryman
Outside Midfielder (Collingullie-GP/NSW-ACT)
19/12/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #6

Ever since the trial match in April I have been a big fan of Perryman. Perryman was one of the few from the Allies who performed well in both the division one and two carnivals. By numbers, Perryman averaged 20 disposals in division two and 16 disposals (55 per cent contested) in division one. Perryman does not have the speed of some of the other draftees, but reads the play well and makes good decisions. Perryman looked at his best across half back for the Allies, using his good kick on both feet to move the ball forward. As a member of the GWS academy, don’t expect GWS to overlook Perryman.

#5 Sam Petrevski-Seton
Balanced Midfielder (Claremont/Western Australia)
19/02/1998 | 181cm | 76kg
Previous Ranking: #2

The West Australian midfielder missed the opening two games of the Under 18 Championships before returning with a 19 disposal effort against the Allies. His output that day however was disappointing, going at under 50 per cent efficiency. Despite collecting 18 disposals in the final match, the agile midfielder still looked underdone with his speed and skills being down on what I expected. Petrevski-Seton does have the ability to kick on both feet which can help going forward, but he is not a huge disposal winner and needs to make his disposals count.

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

There is plenty to like about Todd Marshall and I think he will be one of the few key position players in the top 10. The NSW/ACT forward is in the open draft after earlier being tied to the GWS Academy. Marshall took some eye catching marks throughout the carnival with his best match coming against Western Australia where Marshall had four contested marks and two goals. Marshall finished with seven goals in both the division one and two carnivals. With a few clubs crying out for a tall target inside 50, Marshall is one clubs will keep an eye on. Marshall does need to work on his set shot goal kicking, where he takes a late side step before his kicks with can cause him to hook the ball in front of goal.

 

#7 Andrew McGrath
Outside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
02/06/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #11

Last month I posed whether McGrath could be the first Vic Metro player picked on draft night and at this stage it looks very likely. The athletic running half-back was Metro’s MVP for the carnival averaging 24 disposals and taking the most running bounces for the carnival. McGrath also had a disposal efficiency of 81 per cent and gained 284 metres on average in the carnival. McGrath was pivotal in Vic Metro’s win over Vic Country with daring moves from the backline late in the quarter. He was not just all attacking; he also moved onto Country’s dangerous small forward Ben Ainsworth and kept him to two handballs late in the contest. McGrath also has the ability to win his own ball on the inside, with 23 disposals (12 contested) and six clearances against the Allies. He also had a huge 44 disposals, 19 tackles and 14 clearances against Gippsland Power in the TAC Cup in May. Expect McGrath to find a home in the top 10 come November.

 

#8 Harrison Macreadie
Tall utility (Henty/NSW-ACT)
11/04/1998 | 196cm | 89kg
Previous Ranking: #4

The GWS academy member was one of the most disappointing players in the championships. However, Macreadie showed signs he was slowly coming back to what many saw in 2015, in the Allies’ final three games. Macreadie rebounds well out of defence and is one of the few defenders that can play tall and small. His best game came against Western Australia, where he had 15 disposals and four marks. By foot, Macreadie is solid and a real strength of his is his overhead marking. Some might have Macreadie outside the Top 10-15, but I think he showed in glimpses what he is capable and I still expect a bid to come for him within the first round.

#9 Josh Battle
Key Position Forward (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country)
01/09/1998 | 192cm | 90kg
Previous ranking: #7

Josh Battle had two moments of brilliance in the Under 18 championships for Vic Country. Battle bookended the championships well, with four goals in six minutes in the opening game and a four goal haul in final game against the Allies. At 192cm, he is not going to be the number one forward at AFL level but his football IQ and endurance base gives him the ability to roam further up the ground. Battle also showed a good burst of speed with a quick chase down off half forward gaining a holding the ball against the Allies. The one thing that Battle does very well is his set shot routine, Battle will kick the ball hard whether he’s 20m or 50m out and continues to show great promise inside 50. His marking too has been solid overhead and the leading goal kicker of the championships won All Australian honours.

#10 Ben Ainsworth
Small Forward (Gippsland Power/Vic Country)
10/02/1998 | 179cm | 74kg
Previous ranking: #13

I find it hard to rank Ainsworth, on ability wise he could just be one of the best with his four goal haul in the third term against Vic Metro showing how damaging he can be. However, the season has seen Ainsworth miss games through injury and suspension earlier in the season. Ainsworth’s overhead marking is a strength, but I was disappointed in his final two games where I saw him miss multiple marks that he was normally capable of marking. The positive was to see him spend more midfield time against South Australia collecting 20 disposals and I’m hoping he does that more in his return to TAC Cup football this weekend against Sandringham. If McGrath once again gets the match up on him, it will be interesting to see if he has learnt from their last match up together.

#11 Jack Scrimshaw
Medium Defender (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro)
04/09/1998 | 193cm, 77kg
Previous ranking: 25

A great carnival from Jack Scrimshaw sees him jump into the first round of the rankings. Playing across half back for Vic Metro, Scrimshaw averaged 16 disposals and provided plenty of rebound with his good left boot. His efficiency for the carnival didn’t drop below 80 per cent and was an important figure for the title winners. Scrimshaw has the capabilities of playing tall as a key position defender or on the outside across half back or on the wing. Personally, I think the hybrid defender is best suited to play off half back where he can use his good left boot and football smarts to good use. The key for Scrimshaw over the next few months is staying fit, which is a must if he is to go first round and possibly push into the top 10 on draft night.

#12 Josh Rotham
Medium Defender (West Perth/Western Australia)
25/02/1998 | 192cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #16

Rotham’s last two games confirmed to me that he’s one of the better defenders in the draft pool. Despite spending the AFL Academy games at full back against VFL opposition, for Western Australia in the championships he was able to push more up the ground and collect more of the ball. Similar to Jack Scrimshaw, he is another who I think plays better rebounding the ball. His numbers in the final two games were great with 15 disposals in each, playing well in the backline. Rotham is one to watch and I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to rise over the next few months.

#13 Brad Scheer
Inside Midfielder (Palm Beach/Queensland)
31/08/1998 | 184cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #12

Brad Scheer continues to get the job done and was one of the more consistent players for the Allies. Scheer works hard in the contested situations and his numbers in division two were superb. For Queensland, he averaged 24 disposals, seven clearances and seven tackles per game. Throughout division one he was solid, finishing with 21 disposals (14 contested), six tackles and a match winning goal against Vic Country. Scheer snapped from deep in the pocket to give the Allies the victory by two points (Video can be found here). At this stage, I think Scheer ends up a late first if not early second round bid as one of the few inside midfielders early in my rankings.

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

SEN 1116 Inside Football draft analyst Brett Anderson went early on Tim English putting him into the spotlight in his Big Board in May. Since then, English has well and truly stamped his name as the first ruckman picked come November and could be the first picked in the first round since Brodie Grundy in 2012. At 203cm, English has a great leap giving him the advantage at the ruck contests. English did not have huge hitout numbers on the account of Western Australia using him in combination with Jeremy Goddard. What English does well is his kicking. Despite his height, English has one of the best kicks I have seen for a player over 195cm and uses it well to hit up teammates ahead. English’s kicking is better than many of the midfielders in the draft pool and you could make a case that English has the ability to play in more positions than just ruck. If not for registration issues last season (Read more here), English would likely already be on a clubs list this season and there will be plenty of interest for English when he returns to South Fremantle level in the WAFL.

#15 Will Setterfield
Inside Midfielder (Sandringham Dragons/NSW-ACT)
05/02/1998 | 190cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #8

There was plenty of promise after a solid NSW/ACT carnival for Will Setterfield. However, Setterfield didn’t reach great heights in division one and has such slipped down my rankings. Carrying a foot niggle through school football in June, before looking a touch off the pace in his games for the Allies saw him rested from the final match at Geelong. Setterfield averaged just the 12 disposals and will be looking to get a good run at the second half of the year battling injuries throughout the season. Setterfield should play an important role on the inside for Sandringham Dragons in their pursuit of a TAC Cup flag.

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

There isn’t much more the All Australian forward Tim Taranto could have done in June. A superb carnival saw him average 19 disposals and kick four goals. A basketballer background helps him move in traffic and has plenty of smarts inside 50. Taranto’s best position is across half forward where he can impact the contest and hit the scoreboard. Taranto also had the most score involvements for the carnival with 38 and is one that could rise into the top 10 with a good TAC Cup finals series.

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

Smart small forward Jy Simpkin booted seven goals in six games in the 2015 Under 18 Championships. He also booted the match winner against Vic Metro goaling after the siren down at Simonds Stadium. Unfortunately for Simpkin, he suffered a nasty broken leg in the opening round of school football for Scotch College and will miss the season. A secondary surgery was required a few weeks ago due to infection. Simpkin showed enough signs in 2015 to get him drafted where he played predominantly as a small forward. In his only TAC Cup game for the year, Simpkin had 18 disposals and four goals.

#18 Daniel Venables
Inside Midfielder (Western Jets/Vic Metro)
19/11/1998 | 185cm | 76kg
Previous ranking: #26

Aggressive midfielder Daniel Venables was a crucial figure in Vic Metro’s opening two wins with crucial passages in the final quarters. Venables is powerful at the contested and bashes through packs in an attempt to get the ball forward. He had a carnival that yielded an average of 13 disposals, six tackles and booted six goals in four games. Venables also made the All Australian team setting him up for a big second half of the season. Venables singlehandedly got the Western Jets over the line from the goal square nursing a knee injury in the opening TAC Cup round kicking three goals. The knee injury has hampered him during the early stages of the season but he looks in full swing and should be a key figure for the Western Jets in the last few rounds as they attempt to grab a spot in the TAC Cup finals.

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

Alex Villis is my highest ranked South Australian and was awarded All Australian honours. Villis played off half back and the wing averaging 15 disposals. His decision making is superb and has a good kick off both feet where you wouldn’t be able to tell which is his preferred. Villis has even slotted in to Norwood’s senior team in the SANFL and held his own. Villis is definitely one to keep an eye on as we move into the second half of the year.

#20 Kobe Mutch
Balanced Midfielder (Bendigo Pioneers/NSW-ACT)
18/03/1998 | 184cm | 75kg
Previous ranking: #14

Kobe Mutch was very much so an outside midfielder in 2015 but has transitioned more inside this season. Mutch kicks well on both feet and his numbers at TAC Cup level averaging 36 disposals and seven marks are excellent. Mutch was also very close to winning NSW/ACT MVP in the division two carnival and was also superb for the Allies averaging 22 disposals. I’m not sure however where the GWS academy member fits in and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants overlook Mutch as I cannot see him breaking into their stellar Best 22. I am looking forward to seeing if Mutch can continue his dominance at TAC Cup level for the Pioneers and finish the season off well.

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

I have been a big fan of Patrick Kerr’s since his great form in the second half of 2015. Kerr kicked 12 goals last year in the TAC Cup and showed plenty of promise. Kerr has been kicking bags for St Kevin’s at school football and earned All Australian honours at U18 level. Knocks on Kerr coming into the season were his athleticism and agility inside 50 but Kerr looks to have rectified these knocks over the last few months, collecting the ball better at ground level and showing he is not just a straight line runner. Kerr kicked 4.4 and 3.3 in two of the championships games and there is no doubt he could of kicked more if he’d brought his kicking boots with all the shots convertible. Kerr marks strongly on the lead and he can get space between him and his opponent. If Kerr can continue his good foundations from the championships there is no reason he cannot put himself into first round contention.

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

Zach Sproule is one of the better movers out of the key forward group. Sproule has a really good endurance base and it allows him to move further up the ground. Sproule played as a lead-up centre half forward for both NSW/ACT and the Allies. Sproule is agile inside 50 and has enough pace to get a solid distance between himself and opponents. Sproule kicked seven goals in the division two championships and six in the division one carnival. His marking was good for the Allies, averaging three per game with most of them coming further up the ground.

#23 Jonty Scharenberg
Inside Midfielder (Glenelg/South Australia)
28/08/1998 | 185cm | 78kg
Previous ranking: #18

A solid carnival from inside midfielder Jonty Scharenberg. Scharenberg averaged 24 disposals (10 contested) and five clearances in the carnival and was named on the interchange bench in the All Australian side. Scharenberg uses his clean hands around the stoppages to free the ball by lifting his arms around the tackle and getting them free to dish the ball out to a teammate. Champion Data rank Scharenberg as an elite clearance and tackling midfielder as well as an above average disposal and contested possession player. Scharenberg does not have a great deal of speed but does make good decision by hands. Scharenberg is also the brother of current Collingwood defender Matthew.

#24 Griffin Logue
Key Position Defender (Swan Districts/Western Australia)
13/04/1998 | 188cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: N/A

Another new addition my rankings is West Australian Griffin Logue. Logue jumped onto the scene with a superb championships playing as a key position defender. Logue has a rowing background from his school and has a strong upper body winning a large chunk of one-on-ones. He kicks on his left foot and was one of the few who was stiff to miss the All-Australian team. Logue also pushed through the ruck in the final match for Western Australia and was impressive throughout June.

#25 Jack Graham
Inside Midfielder (North Adelaide/South Australia)
25/02/1998 | 183cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: N/A

South Australian captain Jack Graham had an exceptional carnival averaging 25 (11 contested) disposals and five clearances. The inside midfielder won All Australian honours as well as the Larke Medal for the best player in the division one championships. The hard at it midfielder was too strong for his opposition and his body as already developed. Graham’s disposal by foot is shaky, where he can often just hack it out of a pack without looking for a target. At stages he will also tuck it under his arm and run 10-15m before shanking the kick ahead. Graham is not the most agile of footballers but you cannot fault much of his clearance work on the inside.

#26 Dylan Clarke
Inside Midfielder (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
06/09/1998 | 187cm | 85kg
Previous ranking: #24

You cannot question Dylan Clarke’s ball winning capacity. At TAC Cup level, he is averaging 28 disposals and four tackles per match while for Vic Metro he averaged 24 disposals (13 contested) earning him All Australian honours. What you can question is his kicking skills. Clarke’s kicking in the championships was poor and is the one skill that will likely see Clarke drop down the draft order. Clarke does have a good endurance base to play on the outside but is predominantly an inside midfielder with his good clearance work. Clarke needs to clean up his kicking a lot more to ensure he finds his way up the order. Clarke is also the brother of 2015 North Melbourne recruit Ryan.

#27 Jordan Gallucci
Medium Defender (Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro)
04/05/1998 | 182cm | 73kg
Previous ranking: #20

An okay carnival for Jordan Gallucci. Gallucci played in multiple positions through the midfield but looked his best across half back in the final match against Western Australia. In the final match, Gallucci had 15 disposals transitioning the ball out of the defence. Coming into the championships I thought his kicking was a strength, but it was disappointing to see his carnival kicking well below average. Gallucci is explosive and does have good pace to out run his opponent. Vic Metro’s co-captain also won All Australian honours, averaging 15 disposals and 422 metres gained (ranked second) in the carnival.

#28 Sam Powell-Pepper
Inside Midfielder (East Perth/Western Australia)
08/01/1998 | 188cm | 83kg
Previous ranking: #10

The biggest drop from my rankings is powerful midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper. Powell-Pepper is good around the clearances and tackles hard but his decision making and kicking is poor. At stages, he often just hacked it forward not looking for a teammate and he is probably going to be another who slides due to their poor kicking. Powell-Pepper had his best game in the opening round with 15 disposals and three goals against Vic Country. He did play across half-back last season for WA, but I see him as a half forward who will push into the midfield at stages but needs to clean up his kicking efficiency to play further up the ground.

#29 Declan Watson
Key Position Defender (Aspley/Queensland)
17/09/1998 | 194cm | 80kg
Previous ranking: N/A

At this stage, I have Declan Watson as my highest ranked Brisbane Lions academy member. The Key Position Defender kicks well for a tall and there were plenty of positives from both division one and two. Watson slotted in to the NEAFL team a fortnight ago and will likely see more NEAFL action in the next few months. Throughout the championships Watson averaged 15 disposals and won multiple one-on-one contests. Another positive of Watson is that he is a good ball user from defensive 50, kicking well on his right boot. In the division two carnival, Queensland often had Watson kicking out from full back.

#30 Jacob Allison
Outside Midfielder (Aspley/Queensland)
16/04/1998 | 194cm | 79kg
Previous ranking: #15

A below par last two months sees Allison go from #6 to #30. I had hoped at his height he would move inside, but it doesn’t seem likely to be his role. Allison looked to play his best role as a leading half forward and can then used his long kick to bring the ball deep inside 50. His numbers were okay, but the bottom age All-Australian looked a touch off the pace and thus has moved down the rankings. Like Watson, he is another that will likely see some NEAFL action over the next few months.


 

Plenty of changes from the championships and so many more I would have liked to sneak in. Remember to check out our YouTube account for vision on the draftees. Here are five names to keep an eye on until next time.

Luke Bunker– Inside Midfielder (Vic Metro)

Matt Guelfi– Inside Midfielder (Western Australia)

Sam Walker– Medium Defender (South Australia)

Jack Maibaum– Key Position Defender (Vic Metro)

Reece Piper– Small Defender (Vic Country)

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

Taranto torments WA as Metro win the Under 18 championships

Under 18 Championship winners Vic Metro (Photo TAC Cup/AFL Photos)
Under 18 Championship winners Vic Metro (Photo TAC Cup/AFL Photos)

Vic Metro claimed the Under 18 championships for the first time since 2012, with a 23-point win over Western Australia at Simonds Stadium today.

Metro led from start to finish and were just too strong for the travelling team.

Tim Taranto starred with 24 disposals and a goal, making it the second game down at Simonds Stadium in the championships where he has stood out.

The Sandringham Dragons half forward has thrown his name into first round calculations and will be one to watch in the second half of the TAC Cup season.

Fellow St Kevin’s College teammate Patrick Kerr kicked 3.3 for Vic Metro in another game where Kerr could have had a bag of five or more, if he brought his kicking boots. Kerr also kicked a remarkable goal snapping on his non-preferred left boot in the third term.

Inside midfielders Luke Bunker (25 disposals, six clearances) and Dylan Clarke (23 disposals, five tackles) worked hard for the Vics in the centre of the ground.

Across half back, Vic Metro co-captain Andrew McGrath finished with 24 disposals and was a worthy winner of Metro’s MVP for a carnival which has seen him average 24 disposals having the most running bounces for the carnival.

Callum Brown begun the match on fire with 12 disposals, but fizzled out disappointly ending with just 18 disposals after his great start to the match.

For WA, Quinton Narkle was their best with 17 disposals, five marks and two goals using his pace forward of centre.

Possible No.1 draft pick Sam Petrevski-Seton had 18 disposals, five inside 50s and kicked a goal but still looked a touch off pace.

Wingman Shai Bolton showed plenty of flare with a superb goal in the final quarter and used his elite agility to get past his Metro opposition.

Tim English shone in the ruck for WA and has all the qualities to be the first ruckman picked come November. English used his good leap to get above the Metro ruckman, whilst was also able to cover the ground and hit targets with his footskills that are better than some of the midfielders running around.

VIC METRO                         1.4      5.6      7.8      12.9 (81)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA     0.3      3.6      4.7      8.10 (58)                           

GOALS
VIC METRO:
 Kerr 3, Venables 2, Hayes 2, Gallucci 2, Taranto, Daicos, Lyons, 
WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
 Narkle 2, Fisher, Petevski-Seton, Strnadica, Clarke, Logue, Bolton,

Matt Balmer’s BEST
VIC METRO:
 Taranto, Bunker, Kerr, McGrath, Gallucci, Brown
WESTERN AUSTRALIA:
 Narkle, Petrevski-Seton, English, Rotham, Bolton, Logue


In the second game, the Allies came from behind the pinch their first and only win of the carnival defeating Vic Country by four points.

In the absence of Jack Bowes (rested) and Will Setterfield (foot), the Allies snatched the victory in the dying minutes of the game.

Gold Coast Suns academy prospect Brad Scheer had 21 disposals and six tackles, booting the final goal with a snap that Brian “BT” Taylor could only dream of calling with a big ‘banana’ off his right boot that sailed through.

The Allies held on despite an incident in the final few seconds where Country midfielder Lochie O’Brien ducked into the tackle and was collected high- only for the umpire to call “play on” before the siren sounded.

Kobe Mutch had plenty of the ball in his bright boots for the Allies, finishing with 28 disposals.

Like Mutch, fellow GWS Academy member Harry Perryman was the worthy winner of the Allies MVP, backing up from winning the NSW/ACT MVP in the division two championships.

Jamie Hampton showed dash off half back, showing off his speed at stages running through the centre of the ground finishing the game with 20 disposals and seven rebound 50s.

Ben Long did a superb job on Country forward Ben Ainsworth– keeping him to five disposals and a goal but an incident will be looked at where he cleaned up Country forward Myles Poholke in a contest in the second quarter.

Inside 50, NSW/ACT tall forward Todd Marshall kicked 3.2 and looms likely as the first key position player picked.

For Country, Will Brodie continued his good form in the carnival with a team-high 21 disposals and seven clearances. Brodie’s name will come into consideration for the teams down the bottom of the ladder and will likely be a top five pick come November.

Dandenong Stingrays forward Josh Battle booted four goals and will be one of the few key forwards picked early in the draft.

Bottom agers Luke Davies-Uniacke and James Worpel also showed promise in the centre of the ground and will be two names to look out for next year.

Hugh McCluggage spent most of the game inside 50 and was down on his recent output from the rest of the championships.

VIC COUNTRY          3.1      4.3      10.5    10.6 (66)  
ALLIES                      3.2      4.7      6.8      10.10 (70)                            
                    

GOALS
VIC COUNTRY:
 Battle 4, Brodie, Piper, O’Brien, McCluggage, Fowler, Ainsworth 
ALLIES:
 Marshall 3, Maguire 2, Williams, Olango, Sproule

Matt Balmer’s BEST
VIC COUNTRY:
 Brodie, Battle, Worpel, Fowler, Atley, Drew
ALLIES:
 Mutch, Long, Hampton, Scheer, Marshall, Maguire