Draft Combine: Tall Defenders
The AFL this week announced the fifth group of players, Tall Defenders, to be invited to the NAB AFL Draft Combines to be held in October 2012 as part of its talent identification process in the lead up to the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.
The NAB AFL Draft Combine, involving 120 players at National Level, will be held at Etihad Stadium from October 2-5, with state Draft Combines to be held in Melbourne (October 6), Adelaide (October 13) and Perth (October 14).
The Tall Defender group comprises 23 players who and play predominantly defensive roles and includes one All-Australian in Jackson Thurlow from the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and four players who are members or graduates of the AIS-AFL Academy.
“The Tall Defenders are extremely athletic with excellent rebounding skills and are strong spoilers with most also capable of playing roles up forward as well highlighting the versatility of this group,” said AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan.
In all, over 200 players have been invited to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combines with other positioned groups to be released as follows:
11 September – Tall Forwards
18 September – Ruckmen
25 September – International Players
2012 NAB AFL Draft Combine – National
Club: Murray Bushrangers
“A strong bodied tall defender that reads the play very well. Can shut down opposition key forwards whilst also providing good rebound from defence. Displays excellent leadership qualities, very good endurance and strong hands in the marking contest. Played all five games for Vic Country at the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, averaging 11.8 disposals and 3.8 Rebound 50’s.”
Club: Northern Knights
“Tall defender who is extremely competitive by nature and spoils aggressively. Has good speed and agility for a tall and uses the ball well by foot to advantage. Takes a strong mark and can go forward to good effect. Injured just prior to Round 4 and 5 of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and missed the final two matches. AIS-AFL Academy member.”
Club: Oakleigh Chargers
“Tall forward/defender who is extremely strong overhead, averaging 5.6 marks and 13 disposals for Vic Metro in NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Kicked six goals against Tasmania in an outstanding performance and uses the ball well by foot when in defence. Makes good decisions with the ball ,shows excellent vision and is a strong spoiler.”
Club: Sandringham Dragons
“Tall defender who is an excellent reader of the play across half back. Has the ability to win the ball back and make smart decisions with his disposal by either hand or foot. Played one game for Vic Metro against N.T at this year’s NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. In his 10 games at TAC Cup level he is averaging 18.5 disposals, five marks and four tackles per game.”
Club: Calder Cannons
“Tall defender with terrific ability to win the contested ball in the air and at ground level. Poised with the ball in his hands and makes smart decisions. Was in great form early in the year with the Australian Under 18 team and Calder before injury ruled him out of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships. Made a strong return in the last fortnight with Cannons and was among their best on the weekend with 17 disposals and six marks. AIS-AFL Academy member.”
Club: North Ballarat Rebels
“Tall defender who has good closing speed and reads the game extremely well coming into the opposition forward line. Makes good decisions on when to mark or spoil and provides good run from defence. Has shown ability to go forward and have an impact. Stood tall for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships this year matching up well on the opposition’s best forward. AIS-AFL Academy member.”
2012 NAB AFL Draft Combines – State
Club: Western Jets