Author Topic: Early 2015 draft analysis (afl site)  (Read 587 times)

Offline one-eyed

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Early 2015 draft analysis (afl site)
« on: January 21, 2015, 12:43:37 PM »
Early draft analysis

Callum Twomey 
afl.com.au
January 21, 2015


EVERY year the NAB AFL Academy group is something of a snapshot of the wider draft pool.

Usually most of the top 10 selections come from the academy squad, and the quality of each intake has proven to be a strong indicator of what the crop beyond the academy might be like.

This year's level two team has spent the past 10 days on a high performance camp in Florida, where they trained for a week at Bradenton's IMG Academy before travelling to Orlando for the last part of the trip.

It is still very early in the year, many things will evolve and games are a couple of months away from starting, but here are a few notes on this year's draft after being on tour with the squad.

How does this year's draft stack up against last?
This question is probably too soon to answer, because depth will emerge in the first month of the season around the country and more will come after that.

From some initial impressions, much of the group we expect to be around the mark as early picks are likely to be midfielders. Callum Mills and Rhys Mathieson compete and compete again, while Callum Ah Chee's class, Darcy Parish's skill and Darcy Tucker's run will appeal to clubs.

Tucker and Parish both spent time across half-back last year but seem ready to step into full-time midfield roles. Of the taller types, Jacob Weitering, Sam Weideman and Josh Schache should feature prominently.

It's obviously a different draft to last year, but there is a view that it's a pretty good draft that could be a pinch better than last at the same point of the year.

Who are the early contenders for pick No.1?
Of course, plenty can and will happen throughout the year to determine the first selection. And this time last year, Paddy McCartin and Christian Petracca, the two contenders for St Kilda's first pick last year, were no certainties to be that high.

Right now there are a few names worth keeping an eye on throughout the year as possible early selections.

Tucker is a strongly built, professional and dedicated player who was an All Australian last year, and Weitering's growth spurt he added 14kg in a year to now be 194cm and 94kg has seen him become a true key position prospect.

Schache, a 198cm key forward, could also come into calculations. Ah Chee's pace and skill will excite, Parish has some spark to him and Harley Balic can turn a game in the forward line. He's one to watch.

Where are the players going to come from?
Using the academy as a guide, country Victoria should produce plenty of draftees this year.

Of the 35-player academy group, 13 will be eligible for Vic Country's squad at the national under-18 championships. Vic Metro has generally combined with Vic Country to have half of the draft be picked from Victoria.

But Metro only has six players in the academy squad, indicating a shallower pool in metropolitan Melbourne this year.

Six have been picked from South Australia, four from Western Australia, three from NSW/ACT and two from Queensland.

Jake Sushames, a lightly framed but speedy forward, is the only Tasmanian in the squad and Northern Territory has no representatives.

Who are some father-son and academy players who could be off-limits?
Mills was a standout on tour, and would be the favourite for No.1 right now if not for already tied to the Sydney Swans as an academy prospect. The prolific midfielder is tough, hard, and willing to crash his way into a pack to find the ball.

He'll be a great addition to the Swans even if the academy bidding system changes and costs them more than just their first pick.

Competitive midfielder Jacob Hopper, with the GWS academy, also looks to have some elite qualities and would be in recruiters' thoughts as a top-10 pick in an open field.

Hard working on-baller Ben Keays and athletic tall Eric Hipwood would come under consideration for the Brisbane Lions as academy players, too.

As for the father-sons, the most interest will be in Josh Dunkley, who is eligible to join the Swans, where his dad Andrew played. Dunkley is going to wait until later in the year to make a decision on if he wants to nominate for the Swans or enter in the open draft.

Then there's the other question: if the system changed, what would the Swans need to give up to get two highly rated players? That remains to be seen.

http://www.afl.com.au/news/2015-01-21/early-draft-analysis

Offline Yeahright

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Re: Early 2015 draft analysis (afl site)
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 12:52:58 PM »

Who are some father-son and academy players who could be off-limits?
Mills was a standout on tour, and would be the favourite for No.1 right now if not for already tied to the Sydney Swans as an academy prospect. The prolific midfielder is tough, hard, and willing to crash his way into a pack to find the ball.


Twice in a row they'll get a steal (if he turns out to be as good as predicted)