With The AFL Draft just around the corner (27-28 Nov) and the completion of the AFL combine this month where prospects took their last chance to impress here’s a break down of the top 10 prospects in the NAB AFL DRAFT.
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
September ranking: 1
The best player of the season and a deserving No.1 choice. Rowell’s season ended with another best-on-ground performance, this time an enormous 44-disposal display in Oakleigh’s NAB League Grand Final win over the Eastern Ranges. Rowell also booted two goals that day, including one from the center square. The determined 18-year-old didn’t need a game like that to cap his season, but he produced it anyway. He then went on to test well at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, rating in the top 10 for the endurance tests. A ready-to-play gun.
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
September ranking: 2
A tall, versatile midfielder who impacts games in a number of ways. At his core, Anderson is a ball-winner, hard runner and a game-changer. But what makes him even more valuable is his ability to go forward, and he averaged two goals a game in seven appearances for the Chargers this year. He’s a natural goalkicker who is good above his head, and at his height, Anderson should be able to match it with senior opposition next year. The son of former Hawthorn and St Kilda player Dean, Anderson’s running power was evident at the Combine, where he completed the 2km time trial in six minutes 17 seconds, and also recorded a three-second 20-meter sprint.
September ranking: 5
The thing with Green is that his performances stack up. As one recruiter said recently, if Green was playing in the NAB League and not tied to an Academy, he would have been spoken about more as a No.1 pick contender. His performances for the Allies, leading his side in the midfield against highly-rated stars each game, and his consistency for the GWS Academy team, adds weight to his efforts. A tall, big-bodied, strong and hard-headed midfielder who goes and wins the footy and gets it out. Likely to attract a very early bid for the Giants to match.
Vic Country/Gippsland Power
September ranking: 3
A powerful midfielder who digs in and fights for the ball, and does it over and over. Serong is robust and physical for his size, happy to take the whacks if it means he’ll deliver the ball to a teammate. Serong played most of his top-age year as a midfielder, but had shown last year as a 17-year-old he can also position himself across half-forward and be a dangerous goalkicking option. Serong doesn’t have the ultra-class of some other top-end players but he’s consistent, tough and reliable.
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays
September ranking: 4
You know what you’ll get from the sharp-kicking left-footer. There was minimal change in Young’s performances across the season as he set himself off half-back, intercepted forward forays and delivered the ball sweetly down the field. Young also moved into the midfield, and occasionally spent time closer to goal later in the year for the Dandenong Stingrays. Young took out the agility test at the Draft Combine, running 7.94 seconds.
Vic Country/Gippsland Power
September ranking: 6
Flanders was one of the stars of the Combine, capping what was an impressive end to the season for the explosive Gippsland prospect. Flanders finished in the top 10 for the standing vertical jump, the running vertical jump, the agility and Yo-Yo test, where he reached level 21.3 to be among the best aerobic runners. He also ran the 20-meter sprint in three seconds, showing a turn of speed that is evident in the way he plays. Flanders pushed himself into top-five contention with his efforts late in the year for the Power, when he was a standout in the finals series.
Vic Country/Murray Bushrangers
September ranking: 7
Everyone knows about Ash’s dash – watch him once and you’ll see his penchant for tucking the ball under his arm and going for it from half-back. Sometimes it’s on a whim and sometimes it’s more calculated, but it’s easy to see why Ash enjoys watching Essendon’s Adam Saad play. At the Combine, though, the 18-year-old showed he also has the endurance to match, recording a level 21.4 Yo-Yo test (putting him in the top 10). Ash enjoyed a strong under-18 championships for Vic Country and shapes as a top-10 selection.
Vic Country/Bendigo Pioneers
September ranking: 8
The knee reconstruction that ended Kemp’s season after the under-18 carnival hasn’t dented clubs’ enthusiasm for the talented utility. Kemp obviously sat out testing at the Combine, but is confident he will recover well from the surgery, particularly given no other ligaments were damaged in the incident. Kemp showed before the injury that he can play with presence, which he did for Vic Country all over the ground – including as a half-back, midfielder, and floating defender. Clubs will pick him knowing he is unlikely to be seen at senior level in 2020.
September ranking: 11
Robertson is among the large group of top-rated players to have finished their season on the sidelines, having had shoulder surgery after his starring role at the carnival for Western Australia. Robertson averaged 30 disposals and nearly five clearances during the championships to claim the Larke Medal as the best player in division one and was also named captain of the All Australian side. An in-and-under player who knows how to find the ball and has an uncompromising streak.
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
September ranking: 9
A foot stress fracture saw McAsey miss Sandringham’s finals and the Combine. But he had already done enough to prove his standing as one of the leading key position players in the pool. McAsey’s hands are his selling point. As a forward, he can crash packs and take contested marks, and he is just as adept in defence and swinging into a group of players and coming down with the ball. He is also a reliable kick out of defence, or in front of goal as a forward.
Whatever the outcomes of the draft we are looking at a really exciting upcoming season.