NAB AFL State Draft Combine
On Saturday October 4, 34 TAC Cup players took part in the NAB AFL State Draft Combine, testing their skills in a variety of activities along with players from the Peter Jackson VFL and others from around Australia.
Those invited to State Combine were nominated by up to three AFL clubs to measure their athleticism and skills leading up to the NAB AFL Drafts in late November and early December.
With the National Combine running over four days and completed on the Friday, the State Combine motored through six testing areas – standing vertical jump, running vertical jump, 20 metre sprint, 30 metre repeat sprint agility test and the beep test – all on the one day, putting each of the players through their paces.
In the standing vertical jump, North Ballarat Rebel Tom Templeton was the standout, with a jump of 78cm, which placed him just outside the top five overall jumps in the history of the Combine. American Marvin Baynham set a new record for the standing jump earlier in the week of 88cm, beating North Ballarat VFL player Dean Towers’ previous record of 85cm.
In the running vertical jump, Nick Mellington (Murray Bushrangers) and Matt Jackson (Oakleigh Chargers) produced the best two jumps at 91cm and 90 cm respectively, placing them just behind Oakleigh’s Daniel McKenzie who had been the top TAC Cup performer at the National Combine with a jump of 94cm.
A number of players recorded times under three seconds in the 20 metre sprint, with Oakleigh Chargers Hugh Beasley saving his best till last with a run of 2.86 seconds. After opening with runs of 2.88 and 2.89, Beasley recorded the equal best time of the State Combine in his final run, joining former Calder Cannon now Coburg Lion Adam Saad with a 2.86 time. The time pipped Reece McKenzie’s (Northern Knights) mark set at the National Combine by a second, and was just five seconds off the best 2014 Combine time of 2.81 set by Marvin Baynham.
Other strong performers in the sprint included three players who all recorded sub three second times on all their runs, with Bailey Jordan (Northern Knights) 2.89, Harrison Kol (Geelong Falcons) with 2.92on his first attempt and Ben Allan (Calder Cannons) who also produced his best of 2.94 on his first run.
Backing up his 20 metre sprint performance, Harrison Kol (Geelong Falcons) recorded the best agility test time of the 2014 Combine with 8 seconds flat, ahead of Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights) 8.12 and Templeton (North Ballarat Rebels) 8.19.
Sandringham Dragon Will Fordham produced the best time in the beep test with a 15.3, just ahead of teammate Tom Wilkinson who produced a 14.12. Two interstate players in Caleb Daniel and Jack Hiscox both produced a 16.1 at the National Combine, with Tom Lamb the best of the TAC Cup players with 15.5.
In the final test of the State Combine, Fraser Pearce (Oakleigh Chargers) recorded a time of 24.52 in the 30 metre repeat sprint, with Templeton (North Ballarat Rebels) recording a time of 25.04 to go with his 20 metre sprint time of 2.95.
Speaking after the Combine, AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said the NAB AFL Draft Combine was an important part of the decision-making process for AFL recruiters, but was not the be all and end all.
“It (Combine) is only part of the analysis of how you play the game, which clubs have observed over quite a number of years.
“Keep it in perspective, it (testing) is the last 15% of the analysis.”
The performances on the field and testing results have now been recorded, and the wait is on now for these players till the AFL Drafts later next month.
- CLICK HERE for the results from the NAB AFL National Draft Combine
NAB AFL Draft: Thursday November 27
NAB AFL Preseason/Rookie Draft: Wednesday December 3