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AFL Draft Weekly Wrap: A star from the west who plays like Luke Parker

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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

Earning back-to-back selection across half-back in the 2019 and 2020 WAFL Team of the Year, Bailey Rogers has taken his game up a gear this season and transformed into one of the competition's premier midfielders who can push forward. A Sandover Medal contender as one of the WAFL's best this season, Rogers is an AFL ready, 24-year-old who has not only been finding and winning plenty of the football, but also heavily influencing games.

Through the midfield for Claremont in their one-point loss to South Fremantle, Rogers displayed his first possession winning capabilities, won ground balls off the bounce on the move and showed class with his ball use by hand and foot. While his acceleration is only average, he displayed good agility and a high work rate.

It was forward of centre where Rogers looked most dangerous. Rogers felt like he would hit the scoreboard any time the ball was in his area. He felt dangerous at stoppages around goal, on the lead, one-on-one and when the ball came to ground. While Rogers kicked two goals, if felt like he could have kicked six, missing two gettable opportunities, while another two shots on goal were smothered. It's not unusual for Rogers to hit the scoreboard heavily, kicking seven goals over his past three games.

While Rogers had his lowest output game in a while, with just 18 disposals, his first sub 25 disposal performance in his past eight games, his impact per possession was very high. With Haiden Schloithe and teammate Jye Bolton both playing in the same game and being the measuring sticks in the WAFL for midfield play outside the AFL, Rogers this season has joined them in that top tier of midfielders outside the AFL.

With a style of game baring some similarities to Sydney's Luke Parker, as a well-rounded midfielder who can push forward and provide a threat, Rogers is a plug and play component who would suit an AFL midfield requiring additional versatility and class.

Bookmark this name for 2022

Putting on a clinic for West Adelaide in the SANFL Under-18s, Harry Lemmey had a breakout performance with 20 disposals, 12 marks, three goals and two behinds for West Adelaide. On the lead, Lemmey displayed an insatiable appetite for the ball, working hard, marking everything, and generating meaningful separation. Reportedly 202cm, Lemmey will be earning comparisons over the next 12 months to fellow South Australian Riley Thilthorpe as a similarly freakishly athletic and talented key forward. While Lemmey did everything he could for West Adelaide, his brilliance was not enough with Woodville-West Torrens winning by 31-points.

Key performers

SANFL League

Performing strongly for South Adelaide in their 43-point win against North Adelaide, Jason Horne-Francis did his usual thing, applying manic pressure and playing an aggressive style of game. The pick one contender secured 15 disposals and laid seven tackles.

SANFL Reserves

Strong ball-winning midfielder, Mani Liddy was his side's most competitive midfielder. Securing 24 disposals, eight clearances, five inside 50s and one goal, his strong play wasn't enough with Sturt, losing by 35-points to Woodville-West Torrens.

Managing an equal team of high 19 disposals, tall midfielder and forward Shay Linke was wasteful in front of goal with four behinds for Central Districts in their 70-point win against West Adelaide.

Under-18s

Last week's player focus, Jordan Lukac, backed up his strong performance from the week prior. The athletic key forward delivered 12 disposals, five marks, seven hitouts, five goals and four behinds for Woodville-West Torrens. He was the focal point up forward, causing problems both on the lead and one-on-one. As so commonly has been the case with Lukac this season, he feels like he will make something happen and hit the scoreboard just about every time he gets near the ball forward of centre.

Strong contested marking key forward, Lukas Cooke, managed four contested marks for the second straight week for Woodville-West Torrens. The strong marking key forward has a case for being this year's most impressive contested mark, averaging four contested marks over his past five Under-18s matches. While Cooke has enjoyed a strong season up forward, including a seven-goal haul in an imposing display against South Adelaide early in the season, with the way he competes one-on-one, reads the high balls, attacks the ball in flight and clunks his marks, there is a sense that he could be even better with a shift to defence.

Looking dangerous, Woodville-West Torrens forward, William Pearce overhead, at ground level and one-on-one inside 50m felt like a threat to hit the scoreboard every time the ball was in his area. The talented forward and SANFL Under-18 leading goalkicking collected 12 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals.

WAFL Reserves

Going from strength to strength, first round contender Matthew Johnson is on a mission to close season 2021 on a positive note. He continued his recent strong play with 23 disposals, nine marks, five tackles and a goal, leading the way for Subiaco through the midfield in their 44-point win against West Perth.

WAFL Under-18s

Winning best on ground honours for Claremont in their 41-point win against East Perth, strong bodied midfielder Angus Sheldrick put on a dominant display around the ball. Securing 24 disposals, 12 tackles, five marks and one goal, Sheldrick has gone from strength to strength this season. His most notable performance was during Western Australia's win against South Australia. In that game, he shut down Jason Horne-Francis at stoppages, preventing the pick one contender from having a clear run at the ball and forcing him forward in an attempt to try to have an impact.

Maintaining his average of 33 disposals this season, Joshua Browne continued his strong vein of form with 32 disposals, six marks, six inside 50s and one goal for East Fremantle in their 29-point win against West Perth.