The AFL draft is happening on Tuesday. Time to think about prospects who were running around in the WAFL this year.
Callum Ah Chee has had a pretty standard pathway to the AFL. However he does have the advantage of a bit of time at league level in the WAFL to go with his under age state representation and AFL elite junior opportunities. He’s skilful and exciting.
Marcus Adams won’t have to spend much extra time in the gym. The 22-year-old already has the AFL body… in fact it’s probably AFL+. A few years ago he was doing not much at Swan Districts known mainly as the younger brother of one-punch victim and one-time AFL prospect Luke Adams. A move to West Perth and a move to defence has turned him into quite a potent force. He’s fast and powerful and has a strong, long, low kick.
Aiden Tropiano had a remarkable season for bottom team Perth – so good he won the Sandover Medal. His ability to win the ball at centre clearances and incredible fitness must surely tick a few boxes on some of those scouting iPads.
He’s been on the rookie list at Hawthorn and Fremantle but a move to Subiaco in 2015 was the thing that got Sam Menegola going. After missing the first half of the season with injury he returned to footy a prototype modern big, strong, skilled, goal kicking midfielder. I think I heard someone at the Dockers say whoops at some stage this season. He was the Sandover Medal runner up and a star in the grand final for the Lions.
While Tropiano led the way at Perth this season Liam McKenna wasn’t far behind him. He’s a strong left footer who uses the ball well and runs and runs. He might be worth a punt as a rookie – you know he’ll put in.
Shane Yarran capped his season with five goals in the grand final for Subiaco that nudged him over 50 for the season. He has a way of being in the right place at the right time – teams who like goals might like him.
Francis Watson impressed me with his efforts for WA 18s in 2014 and at league level for Claremont in 2015. He’s a small defender with very good judgment and seems willing to put himself in the way when the pressure is on.
Others worth looking at include: Nathan Broad, a defender from Swan Districts who displays a certain coolness under pressure; Jordan Lockyer – outstanding in defence for Subiaco in the grand final and good all year; Marlon Pickett (South Fremantle) – shows a willingness to make things happen with incisive running and clever disposal; WA 18s captain Greg Clark made two league appearances for Subiaco this year and is the kind of big midfielder AFL clubs like and another big midfielder, Jacob Ballard, is interesting – he’s been dumped by the Dockers but won Peel’s fairest and best award after a very consistent season.