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Thread: Hidden Gems

  1. #1
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    Hidden Gems

    Hidden Gems Players ranked from 26 to 50 by Matt Balmer

    Clubs are frantically doing their final preparation on draft prospects with less than three weeks until the 2019 national draft.

    Some clubs have tasty first-round selections, others have traded away their top picks, meaning they will be hunting the hidden gems in the latter stages of the draft pool.

    Foxfooty.com.au presents its draft board with players ranked 26 to 50, with players ranked 1 to 25 to be revealed in coming days.

    26. Harrison JONES

    Clubs: Calder Cannons/Vic Metro

    Position: Key Position Forward

    Size: 196cm, 78kg

    Bio: Unlike previous draft pools, there is a big shortage of key-position players in the 2019 crop. But Jones is one of the more mobile talls, keeping him in the conversation as a potential first-round selection. His craft inside 50 is good and his marking overhead is a strength, even though his numbers from the Under 18 Championships may have been underwhelming. Given his light 78kg frame, he will need some developing, but overall the athletic forward has plenty of scope to fill a role as a club’s key forward.

    27. Jackson MEAD

    Clubs: Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia

    Position: Balanced Midfielder

    Size: 183cm, 83kg

    Bio: Port Adelaide will have first dibs at securing Mead, whose father Darren played 122 AFL games for the club. The 18-year-old seems suited to an inside midfielder role in the future, given he averaged over 20 disposals at both SANFL Reserves and Under 18 Championships level. His stoppage work is good and he has a big powerful right foot kick. Port Adelaide will be hoping a bid comes in the latter half of the second round on draft night.

    28. Darcy CASSAR

    Clubs: Western Jets/Vic Metro

    Position: Outside Midfielder

    Size: 184cm, 82kg

    Bio: Cassar lifted his output from his 2018 season after playing in a variety of roles for Western Jets in the NAB League this year. He projects long-term as a high half-forward/wingman, using his speed and endurance to find the ball in the attacking half of the ground. He averaged 16 touches for Vic Metro, showing off his skills on the MCG against Vic Country. Cassar regularly disposes of the ball well and improved his ball winning output from 17.2 disposals in 2018 to 23.0 this season.

    29. Mitch O’NEILL

    Clubs: Tasmania/Allies

    Position: Balanced Midfielder

    Size: 176cm, 72kg

    Bio: O’Neill may be the only Tasmanian selected in the draft this year and remains as one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft pool. The 18-year-old isn’t a massive ball winner, given he averaged 20 touches in the NAB League and Under 18 Championships, but has shown his ability to win it in the contest despite his 176cm frame. He is agile at the stoppages and disposes of it well in the contest by hand. Clubs might look to develop his footy IQ as a small utility at either end of the ground.

    30. Jeremy SHARP

    Clubs: East Fremantle/Western Australia

    Position: Outside Midfielder

    Size: 189cm, 81kg

    Bio: The wingman has been one of Western Australia’s most consistent players over the last two years, winning bottom-age All-Australian honours. And while he didn’t make the grade in 2019 – despite averaging 21 disposals in the carnival – he showed his zip and run throughout WA’s title-winning series. Sharp featured in six matches at WAFL League level for East Fremantle, averaging 15.5 disposals and showing off his outside game.

    31. Jack MAHONY

    Clubs: Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

    Position: Small Forward/Inside Midfielder

    Size: 178cm, 72kg

    Bio: There are plenty of comparisons between Mahony and Richmond small forward Jack Higgins. The 17-year-old is smart around goal and can also push into the midfield and win the contested ball when required. He works hard to win the ball with his running patterns and has shown a tenacity to tackle hard when he doesn’t have the ball. Mahony averaged 18 disposals, 3.5 tackles and a goal during Vic Metro’s Under 18 Championships.

    32. Sam De KONING

    Clubs: Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

    Position: Key Position Defender

    Size: 201cm, 86kg

    Bio: De Koning is the younger brother of Carlton’s Tom, with the 201cm tall named as the full back in the All-Australian team following a strong carnival for Vic Country. His reading of the flight of the ball in the defensive half is a strong point, with his marking a clear strength. He doesn’t have a huge leap, but when he adds some muscle to his frame it will allow him to play on the opposition’s stronger forwards. An ankle injury kept him out late in the season, but he has shown his versatility at NAB League level for Dandenong Stingrays up forward and in the ruck.

    33. Kysaiah PICKETT

    Clubs: Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia

    Position: Small Forward

    Size: 171cm, 71kg

    Bio: The lively forward has earned an invite to the draft, indicating a club in the first round is seriously considering drafting the nephew of Port Adelaide premiership player Byron Pickett. He is a true small forward who creates spark around the ball and knows the craft inside 50. His speed and agility is outstanding, with Pickett screaming X-Factor. He averaged two goals a game in the SANFL Reserves, with a standout performance coming earlier in the season where he took a huge mark and booted six goals.

    34. Thomson DOW


    Clubs: Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country

    Position: Inside Midfielder

    Size: 184cm, 76kg

    Bio: There are a number of similarities between Dow and his younger brother Paddy, who was taken by Carlton with a top-five pick in 2017. Dow placed third in the agility test at the draft combine and impressed with his speed, as he capped off a strong season across all levels. His 21.6 disposal output for the Bendigo Pioneers was impressive, winning the ball in the contest and disposing of it effectively out of the stoppages. The 18-year-old should develop into a zippy midfield type at the next level.

    35. Hugo RALPHSMITH


    Clubs: Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro

    Position: Outside Midfielder/Medium Forward

    Size: 188cm, 75kg

    Bio: Ralphsmith might not have put together a complete game at all levels in 2019, but what he showed will make a number of clubs tempted to use an early selection on the 17-year-old. Ralphsmith was utilised deep forward by Haileybury College throughout 2019, but was pushed up the ground by Vic Metro and Sandringham Dragons. He has X-Factor and looked most at home playing across half-forward where he used his speed and class with aplomb. The Victorian could develop into one of the steals of the draft when looking back in a number of years.

    36. Jay RANTALL


    Clubs: GWV Rebels/Vic Country

    Position: Balanced Midfielder

    Size: 185cm, 83kg

    Bio: Rantall continues to rise up the draft boards following his rapid improvement in 2019. An underage basketball star, Rantall is focusing on football and uses his dual-sport capabilities on the football field. He is agile, quick footed in the stoppages and is one of the best endurance athletes in the draft pool. He averaged 24.9 disposals, with a near 50 per cent contested-uncontested possession split. Rantall is still very raw, but has traits that appeal to AFL clubs with second-round selections.

    37. Mitch GEORGIADES

    Clubs: Subiaco/Western Australia

    Position: General Forward

    Size: 192cm, 87kg

    Bio: Georgiades missed the entire 2019 campaign due to a serious quad injury suffered in last year’s Grand Final day curtain raiser. However he was able to impress at the draft combine where he came fourth in the 20m sprint and performed well in the Yo-Yo test. The raw forward has plenty of X-Factor and marks the ball well above his head, showing enough signs in 2018 to ensure the son of former Footscray player John is selected by a club.

    38. Harry SCHOENBERG

    Clubs: Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia

    Position: Inside Midfielder

    Size: 182cm, 83kg

    Bio: Twelve months ago, Schoenberg was a relatively unknown prospect, seemingly unlikely to be drafted. But fast forward to 2019, the midfielder put up a case in the Under 18 Championships to ensure his name is likely to be called out on draft night. The 18-year-old won the MVP award for South Australia after averaging 27 disposals and six clearances in the carnival. His numbers were also impressive at SANFL Reserves and U18s level for the Eagles. He is a strong clearance player and uses his strength at the stoppages to get the ball going forward.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  2. #2
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    Re: Hidden Gems

    39. Cooper SHARMAN

    Clubs: Oakleigh Chargers

    Position: General Forward

    Size: 192cm, 79kg

    Bio: When AFL clubs begun trekking out to Balwyn in the Eastern Football League, Sharman’s name was always going to arise as a potential draft bolter. The 192cm forward is one of the better set-shot kickers in the draft pool and is mobile around the ground. After being cut from the GWS Academy in the past, Sharman has continued to develop as a 19-year-old and impressed at NAB League level when given the opportunity.

    40. Flynn PEREZ

    Clubs: Bendigo Pioneers

    Position: Outside Midfielder

    Size: 188cm, 81kg

    Bio: Like a number of prospects, Perez’s draft year was cut short after rupturing his ACL during pre-season training for Vic Country. But his name firmly remains in consideration for AFL clubs, given his good underage season where he averaged 16.5 disposals for Bendigo in 2018. His speed and poise with ball in hand make him an appealing option for clubs on the outside.

    41. Nick BRYAN

    Clubs: Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro

    Position: Ruck

    Size: 202cm, 87kg

    Bio: A lack of consistency across 2019 will hold Bryan back from being a first-round selection, but the 202cm tall remains one of the premier rucks in this year’s draft pool. His ruck work and mobility around the ground makes him appeal to AFL clubs, with his speed and work at ground level meaning he can play up forward if needed. He is far from the finished product, with clubs hoping to develop Bryan over coming years.

    42. Noah CUMBERLAND

    Clubs: Brisbane Lions Academy/Allies

    Position: Medium Utility

    Size: 183cm, 79kg

    Bio: A Daniel Rich clone, the Brisbane Lions Academy member might be the first player from the Queensland state that receives a bid, with his dash across the ground catching the eye of club recruiters. He isn’t just a zippy player, with Cumberland able to impact the play in the contest and lay fierce tackles. Cumberland played a variety of roles across the year, but might be best on the wing where he can break the lines and boot the ball long inside 50.

    43. Jake RICCARDI

    Clubs: Werribee VFL

    Position: Key Forward

    Size: 194cm, 96kg

    Bio: After being overlooked for two years, Riccardi is firmly on the radar of AFL clubs after a starring season for Werribee in the VFL. The 20-year-old won the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the best young player in the VFL, with the past 13 winners all going on to be draft. Riccardi averaged five marks per game, booting 38 goals in 20 showings for the Tigers – including a bag of six against Coburg.

    44. Charlie COMBEN

    Clubs: Gippsland Power/Vic Country

    Position: Ruck

    Size: 199cm, 84kg

    Bio: Comben has continued to develop across 2019, improving as the season went on. The 18-year-old had a good showing at the Under 18 Championships as Vic Country’s No. 1 ruckman, while he also showed off his mobility closer to goal. Unlike other talls, he is good below his knees and possesses plenty of upside given his 84kg frame.

    45. Emerson JEKA

    Clubs: Western Jets/Vic Metro

    Position: Key Position Utility

    Size: 198cm, 91kg

    Bio: The key tall has had an indifferent season following a knee injury for Australia against Casey on the MCG. Jeka has been utilised at both ends in 2019, but has struggled for consistency. His clear strength is his marking overhead, where he is able to take countless contested marks. As an opposition player, if you give Jeka a run at the ball, you are almost no chance of stopping him marking the ball.

    46. Fraser PHILLIPS

    Clubs: Gippsland Power/Vic Country

    Position: Medium Forward

    Size: 187cm, 72kg

    Bio: The lively half-forward isn’t someone who needs to have a lot of touches to hurt opposition teams. The 18-year-old booted 28 goals from 15 games in the NAB League this season, using his smarts around goal to hurt opposition sides. Phillips has plenty of X-Factor and is still a raw prospect in terms of his development.

    47. Sam PHILP

    Clubs: Northern Knights

    Position: Inside Midfielder

    Size: 186cm, 79kg

    Bio: Philp was the real riser in the second-half of the season following his absence from the Vic Metro squad. The 186cm onballer has elite speed and dominated the NAB League for the Northern Knights, averaging 22.8 disposals, 5.8 tackles and 5.8 clearances. His athletic traits make him a player who will catch the eye. He has plenty of development left in terms of his football skills. Philp is one of the better breakaway quick midfielders, given his speed forward going forward.

    48. Brock SMITH

    Clubs: Gippsland Power/Vic Country

    Position: Medium Defender

    Size: 189cm, 82kg

    Bio: The rebounding defender had his best season to date as he became a crucial cog to Gippsland’s 2019 NAB League Grand Final push. Unfortunately the Power didn’t make it all the way, but Smith was one of their biggest contributors as he averaged 19.6 disposals and 5.4 marks during his 12 appearances. At times he had to play as a tall defender, but looked most at home mopping up in a Dylan Grimes role where he intercepted at will.

    49. Ned CAHILL

    Clubs: Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country

    Position: Small Forward

    Size: 179cm, 78kg

    Bio: The lively forward booted 17 goals for the Dandenong Stingrays in the NAB League this year, showcasing his X-Factor and high footy IQ. Inside 50, Cahill is one of the more tougher opponents and uses his speed and agility to outwork opposition players. For Vic Country, Cahill booted six goals and averaged 3.5 tackles.

    50. Darcy CHIRGWIN

    Clubs: Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country

    Position: Inside Midfielder

    Size: 191cm, 80kg

    Bio: A broken leg meant the first half of Chirgwin’s season was virtually a write-off. But he soon returned to the Sandringham Dragons, following a school football stint at Melbourne Grammar, averaging 24.7 disposals and 7.9 tackles in the final seven matches. His clearance work is good, with the athletic 191cm midfielder also showing his ability in his bottom age year to play on the outside. Chirgwin provides plenty of upside for a club who calls his name out.
    Tough times don't last, tough people do
    "He'll accumulate and be involved, but we're looking a qualitative sheen on his game that we need, and it is part of our scope to score"

  3. #3
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    Re: Hidden Gems

    Emerson Jeka would suit our current trend of recruiting contested marking beasts.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hidden Gems

    A huge amount of bias certainly clouds my vision on this one, but Jackson Mead at 27 would be highway robbery for Port if he is bid on that late. I would have thought he would be late first round and I would have loved to have bid at 18 and hope Port let him go.

    If that is the case, I hope teams are just as kind with JUH next year and let him push into the early teens rather than the likely top 4.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hidden Gems

    Ned Cahill tested very well for endurance which is not normally associated with small forwards. Will be interesting to see who we target with our second pick if we go tall (McAsey, Worrell) with our first pick.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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