JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Good, but not quite a 'super draft'

Date

Emma Quayle

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Will resurgent Roos hop all over the Eagles?

Rohan Connolly delivers his tips for round 15 from North Melbourne's training grounds at Arden Street Oval.

PT0M0S 620 349

PUT it down, perhaps, to new-team fatigue. It was about this time last year that a starved bunch of recruiters began to get very excited about what would be there for them once Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney had stopped hogging the best part of the draft.

They knew they would have some decent picks again. Many of the players who caught eyes at last year's under-18 championships were ineligible until this year and those things prompted much optimism. But 12 months on, it's time to pour a bit of cold water on the supposed ''super draft.''

The feeling among recruiters now is that the coming draft hovers somewhere between ''normal'' and ''pretty good,' but that it is not one with the potential to solve everyone's problem in one hit. One club has a list of 20 players it would happily choose. Another has closer to 30, and that's about standard for this time of year.

Nicholas Graham (VIC) wrestles for ball. Click for more photos

Under 18 : AFL Championships

Some of the countries best young footballers were under the spotlight as the AFL Under 18 Championships continued at Etihad stadium. Photographer Joe Armao covered the matches Victoria Country v South Australia & West Australia v Victoria Metro. Photo: Joe Armao

But the other thing that has become clear is that things won't be entirely back to normal. Four clubs have activated five first-round compensation picks, and three of those picks (Melbourne two, and the Western Bulldogs one) are attached to sides near the bottom of the ladder. The Giants' first-round compensation pick, received via a trade, is attached to where Adelaide finishes.

Already, that means the best clubs still won't be picking until about the mid-20s. It could be later, if extra picks are handed out for players who leave their clubs via free agency. It means there isn't relief there for everyone, just yet.

Who do they pick? This is shaping up as a midfielders' draft. Lachie Whitfield looms as the best, most complete prospect, and after him there's a bit of a gap, with the likes of classy, creative Jimmy Toumpas, the hard-at-it Ollie Wines, and Daniel Menzel's younger brother, Troy, all well placed to push up into the next group.

In training: Lachie Whitfield.

In training: Lachie Whitfield. Photo: Paul Rovere

Wines and Jack Viney loom as the best inside-midfielders in the group, which makes the speculation that Melbourne may not take Viney - if forced to use pick three on him in father-son bidding - hard to fathom. He's exactly what it needs, and an exceptional kid to boot.

Nick Vlastuin, Jono O'Rourke, Dayle Garlett and Jake Stringer are among the other onballers who'll be considered with high picks. Josh Simpson has huge talent and the likes of Jackson Macrae and Nathan Hrovat have had solid carnivals. South Australian pair Sam Mayes and Ben Kennedy should go reasonably high, and another few - Jason Pongracic, Nathan Wright, Jesse Lonergan - have only recently returned from injury and will be watched closely from here.

Many of these midfielders come with question marks, though. Toumpas is about to have surgery on his hip. Menzel's missed the past few weeks with groin problems, but the thing everyone really wonders about is the LARS surgery he had two years ago. Is Mayes a forward or onballer? The same goes for Kennedy but, wherever they end up, both will bring brilliant skill.

Stringer's in the middle of a bumpy year, coming back from a badly broken leg.

Then there's Garlett. He has top-10 talent - speed, and skill - but has had problems with discipline. He's been working hard, he said this week, to change people's perceptions of him. Most recruiters are still wary, so he has some convincing still to do.

The talls aren't quite so easy to see, past Joe Daniher, of course, who grabbed 11 marks to help Metro defend its title yesterday. At this stage, Brodie Grundy is the best of them: the aggressive, enigmatic, deep thinking ruckman has backed up an excellent 2011 championships, and was a major reason the South Australians beat Vic Country yesterday.

Kristian Jaksch has played some good footy throughout the championships, Laine Wilkins found some form against Vic Metro, Mason Shaw is in the mix, and then it gets harder.

That's the last point worth making, though. There's almost half a season to go and plenty of players have done enough to demand a bit of post-championships attention. Some more depth will surely emerge, but one thing is for sure: the top group is as good as any in recent memory, and those with compensation picks have a genuine shot at getting some.

4 comments

  • Thatd be Lachie Whitfield in the pic wouldnt it?

    Commenter
    cammo6556
    Date and time
    July 05, 2012, 9:20AM
    • Right you are, cammo6556 - caption fixed.

      - Ed

      Commenter
      Ed
      Date and time
      July 05, 2012, 10:28AM
  • How many clubs are going to put aside recruiting more "running robots" from the U18 system and look at actual footballers currently playing in other competitions?

    The sooner the AFL goes to 2 Interchange and 2 Substitutes then more real footballers will come into favour rather than the athletic midfield clones that clog lists these days.

    Commenter
    DC
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 05, 2012, 6:11PM
    • Just to throw a few names in there that you have overlooked:

      Sam Colquhuon was as good as any one else at this carnival and has top 20 written all over him. Never wastes it, poised, beautiful kick and awareness.

      Tim McKay missed the carnival thru injury but is up there with Kennedy in class as a small forward.

      McDonough and Murdoch are also certainties to be drafted.

      Lachlan Plowman missed the carnival thru injury and is also a certainty.

      Membrey and Close had injury interrupted carnivals and are also draft certainties.

      McBean, Haynes, Paparone, Lowrie, Thurlow, Ballard, Lynch & Stewart are also in top 30 calculations.

      Thats another 15 to add to the list, which brings it pretty close to 40 I'd say. Thats a very good draft, not super, but very good. Something for everyone up till the middle of the second round I reckon. From there: I.E Pick 40. The recruiters start earning their keep.

      Commenter
      Procrustes
      Location
      bendigo
      Date and time
      July 05, 2012, 6:32PM
      Comments are now closed

      Related Coverage

      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
      WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
      BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
      GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
      WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
      GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
      STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
      PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
      BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
      WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
      GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
      GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
      ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
      CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
      NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
      ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
      GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE ($2.05)vs WCE ($1.80) 13:10Adelaide Oval
      STK ($4.50)vs SYD ($1.22) 15:20ES
      FRE ($1.08)vs MEL ($8.50) 16:40Domain Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC vs NTH 19:50ES
      Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE ($2.00)vs ADE ($1.75) 13:05SS
      BRI ($4.60)vs WBU ($1.18) 13:45G
      PTA ($1.75)vs FRE ($2.00) 15:50Adelaide Oval
      HAW ($1.01)vs CAR ($15.00) 16:40MCG
      SYD ($1.07)vs GCF ($7.50) 19:20SCG
      WCE ($1.11)vs STK ($6.25) 19:40Domain Stadium
      Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      MEL vs GWS 13:10ES
      COL vs ESS 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 20 16 4 0 122.19 64
      West Coast Eagles 20 15 4 1 150.85 62
      Hawthorn 21 15 6 0 156.77 60
      Richmond 21 14 7 0 121.39 56
      Sydney Swans 20 14 6 0 118.16 56
      Western Bulldogs 21 14 7 0 116.76 56
      North Melbourne 21 13 8 0 109.08 52
      Adelaide Crows 19 12 7 0 116.41 50
      View all
       

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers