AFL Draft Wrap: Speedy Tasmanian impresses in the midfield

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Each week, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Chris Doerre casts his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.

As well as attending live games, Doerre pores through match vision, analyses the stats and talks to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful draft analysis.

Aside from the weekly wraps, Doerre will also unveil his power rankings at the end of each month and as we get closer to November's national draft, Doerre will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft.

Player Focus

Elevating the Allies to a first-round win against Victoria Country in the Under-18 Championships, Tasmanian midfielder Chayce Jones amassed a team-high 28 disposals, 16 contested possessions, five marks, six tackles, five clearances, five inside 50s and two goals.

The 180cm, 74kg, midfielder, who was named the Allies' best, will be in the first-round mix at season's end.

On a wet, slippery field, Jones' clean hands and loose ball-winning were highlights.

Comparable to Melbourne's Alex Neal-Bullen, Jones is a high-volume accumulator who wins the contested ball, is always on the move and has pace. He is a capable goalkicking midfielder, kicking two against Vic Country on Saturday and two against the Allies in their trial match against Vic Country.

Jones does however need to improve his field kicking. Of his 22 kicks, only 10 were effective. He tended to hurriedly kick long for territory rather than taking his time and lowering his eyes to spot targets.

Under-18 Championships

Allies vs. Vic Country


Tasmanian underage midfielder Mitchell O'Neill tackled with intent and took a couple of impressive marks. The 181cm, 69kg, midfielder secured 26 disposals, 13 contested possessions and four inside 50s.

Running hard throughout the contest, 186cm, 75kg, Tasmanian midfielder Fraser Turner produced 25 disposals, 11 contested possessions, six marks, four clearances, five rebound 50s and one goal.

Greater Western Sydney Academy underage midfielder Thomas Green looks like the next Josh P. Kennedy and is likely to be an early draft choice in 2019. The 188cm, 85kg, midfielder amassed 24 disposals, 19 contested possessions, five tackles, six clearances and one goal. His first possession-winning at stoppages and tackling were highlights.

Gold Coast Academy and Geelong and North Melbourne father-son prospect Bailey Scott impressed with his contested ball-winning and his cleanness at ground level. The son of Robert posted 23 disposals, 11 contested possessions, five tackles, five clearances and two goals.

Brisbane Academy prospect Connor McFadyen was effective at stoppages winning first possession. McFadyen, who is also dangerous contested marking forward at 190cm, contributed 19 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five clearances, four inside 50s and two score assists.

North Melbourne Next Generation Academy (NGA) midfielder Tarryn Thomas was clean at ground level and his tackling was a highlight. The likely top-10 draft choice gathered 17 disposals, 11 contested possessions and six tackles.

GWS Academy ruckman Kieran Briggs provided a target forward of centre, took numerous intercept marks and read the ball in flight expertly. The 200cm, 98kg, ruckman secured 16 disposals, six marks, three contested possessions, 19 hitouts, four inside 50s and three goals.

Victoria Country

Likely top three draft choice Sam Walsh was Vic Country's best in the defeat. In wet conditions, Walsh was clean, won first possession at stoppages, used his pace and agility and lowered his eyes and hit most of his short targets. The talented midfielder amassed 31 disposals, 16 contested possessions, five marks (one contested), five tackles and six clearances.

Talented underage midfielder Caleb Serong won the ball in close and was damaging with his ball use. He collected 21 disposals, 12 contested possessions and five marks (one contested).

Overager Laitham Vandermeer ran around opponents like they were traffic cones with his pace and agility standing out. The speedy midfielder contributed 20 disposals and nine contested possessions.

Powerful midfielder Sam Fletcher's contested ball-winning and pressure on the ball carrier was outstanding. The potential first round choice posted 19 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 14 tackles, seven clearances and four inside 50s.

Geelong father-son prospect Oscar Brownless' pressure and tackling were highlights with his pressure on the ball carrier leading directly to several scoring opportunities. The son of Bill produced 18 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s and looms as a likely national draft choice.

With all 10 of his kicks effective, overager Matthew McGannon was impressive in defence. McGannon took several intercept marks and demonstrated that he can sidestep and accelerate past opposition forwards. The classy defender managed 15 disposals and six marks.

Impacting the game with his speed, agility and tackling, Ned McHenry had numerous positive moments. The 176cm, 71kg, midfielder posted 14 disposals and nine tackles.

Vic Metro vs. Western Australia

Victoria Metro

Likely top-10 draft choice Bailey Smith was prolific for Vic Metro in their win against Western Australia. The classy ball-winner amassed 28 disposals, 14 contested possessions, 10 tackles, five clearances and four inside 50s.

Western Bulldogs father-son prospect Rhylee West was arguably Vic Metro's most important midfielder. The son of Scott dominated at stoppages and enhanced his first-round claims posting 25 disposals, 21 contested possessions, six marks (one contested), nine tackles, nine clearances and one goal.

First round contender James Rowbottom produced 22 disposals, 15 contested possessions, seven tackles and two score assists.

Powerful Collingwood NGA defender Isaac Quaynor contributed 20 disposals and seven rebound 50s.

Oakleigh underage prospect Noah Anderson staked his claim to be one of the first chosen in 2019. The 190cm, midfielder and forward secured 20 disposals, five inside 50s, four goals and four score assists. Noah, the son of Hawthorn premiership player Dean, is not eligible as a father-son choice.

Western midfielder Xavier O'Halloran was prolific at stoppages and damaging with his ball use. The powerful ball winning midfielder contributed 18 disposals, nine contested possessions, five tackles, four clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal.

Oakleigh's potential first round choice -- explosive, ball-winning midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins -- was impactful with 15 disposals and 11 contested possessions.

Likely top-five draft pick Ben King was difficult to contain up forward for Vic Metro as their go-to target. The 202cm key position prospect posted 15 disposals, five marks (one contested) and five goals.

Western Australia

Underage midfielder Jeremy Sharp was named Western Australia's best. The 185cm, 72kg, midfielder securing 26 disposals and one goal.

Speedster Sydney Stack was lively for Western Australia through the midfield posting 23 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four clearances and two score assists.

With eight of his nine kicks effective, South Fremantle defender Regan Spooner impressed with his ball use. The 189cm, 80kg, defender gathered 20 disposals.

Garnering attention from recruiters for his production and scoreboard impact during his first four matches, Luke Foley is a player to watch. The 187cm, 75kg, ball winning midfielder contributed 17 disposals, nine contested possessions, five tackles, six clearances and one goal and was one of Western Australia's bests.

Stoppage specialist Brad Oldfield competed strongly for Western Australia through the midfield. The 182cm, 74kg, midfielder collected 17 disposals, eight contested possessions, six tackles, four inside 50s and two goals.

Western Australia's best key forward prospect, Dillon O'Reilly provided a strong marking target forward of centre. The 194cm, 89kg, forward posted 13 disposals, five marks (thee contested possessions), five inside 50s and three goals.

Potential first round choice Ian Hill showed promise in glimpses with 11 disposals, eight contested possessions, six tackles and two goals.


Oakleigh forward Matthew Day was prolific in their win against Murray. The 189cm, 83kg, overager produced 19 disposals, six marks (two contested), seven goals and two score assists.


In his fourth VFL opportunity, overager Mitch Podhajski had a breakout performance for Coburg in their heavy loss to Essendon. The 190cm midfielder was among Coburg's best players and enhanced his growing draft stocks with 19 disposals, six marks and two goals.



For West Adelaide in their one-point loss to Norwood, Izak Rankine took his tally up to 10 goals from four league matches. The damaging forward produced 13 disposals, three goals and three behinds in another scintillating performance.



One of the best stories in the WAFL in recent seasons has been the emergence of Marlion Pickett. Possessing damaging skills and line-breaking speed, the 26-year-old backman has been tracked by recruiters in recent seasons. The ready-to-go prospect over his past five matches has added to his resume, averaging 29 disposals since receiving greater midfield opportunity, including a team-high 27 disposals in South Fremantle's one goal loss to Perth.