THE AFL on Thursday announced the final positional group of players that will attend the 2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne from October 2 to October 5.
The medium midfielders comprise of 24 players including captain of the Under-18 All-Australian squad Samuel Walsh and vice-captain Luke Valente. A further 30 Medium Midfielders will be tested at the State Draft Combines to be held in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on October 5, 13 and 14 respectively.
AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said: “Medium midfielders have been the most popular of the positional groups to have a player go with the first selection in the NAB AFL Draft with the likes of Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy, Tom Scully, David Swallow and Lachie Whitfield all taking the top spot in recent years.
“This year’s Medium Midfielders are very impressive with five All-Australians and eight graduates of the NAB AFL Academy amongst the 24 players at the national combine. AFL clubs will be looking at players who have that speed and endurance combination that not only helps ball winning but greatly assists the transition running needed in today’s game.
“The 20-meter sprint times, yo-yo results and 2km times become an important part of the analysis for the medium midfielders.”
2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine – National
Zac Butters Vic Metro/Western Jets/Darley
08/09/2000 Height: 181cm Weight: 70kg
Medium midfielder who is clever and creative using his footy smarts to set up the play. Quick and with good disposal skills, he impressed for Vic Metro despite carrying a shoulder injury which eventually ended his season at the end of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. His 19 disposals, five inside 50s and a goal against the Allies put him among Vic Metro’s best showcasing his potential.
Ely Smith Vic Country/Murray Bushrangers/Yarrawonga
13/09/2000 Height: 188cm Weight: 86kg
Medium midfielder who is a competitive type with speed and strong attack on the ball. A star in one-on-one contests and at stoppages and has excellent vision and clean hands. Burst onto the scene with an impressive game for Vic Country as a late inclusion in the final match of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships gathering 30 possessions against WA.
Bailey Smith Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Xavier College
07/12/2000 Height: 185cm Weight: 82kg
Hard running medium midfielder with elite endurance and is a prolific ball winner. Very good stoppage player and can also hit the scoreboard. Averaged 24.8 disposals (50 per cent contested) across the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, winning Vic Metro’s MVP award and NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian honours. Tough, competitive and powerful he’ll leave nothing in the tank to be successful. Member of the NAB AFL Academy.
Connor Rozee South Australia/North Adelaide
22/01/2000 Height: 185cm Weight: 71kg
Medium forward/midfielder who is strong overhead for his size and has quick hands and vision. Has speed and courage and tackles aggressively. Won the Division One best and fairest in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships in 2016 and was an important member of South Australia’s winning NAB AFL Under-18 Championship winning side. Has already debuted at senior level with North Adelaide, impressing in semi-final gaining 24 possessions across half back. Member of NAB AFL Academy.
Jackson Hately South Australia/Central District
21/10/2000 Height: 190cm Weight: 81kg
Medium midfielder who excels at stoppages and is extremely versatile. Strong contested ball winner and can impact the scoreboard. One of the stars for South Australia averaging 22.5 disposals (nine contested) and seven tackles across the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, winning Under-18 All-Australian honours. Already played very well for Central District at senior level this year. Has the running capacity to make repeat efforts and outnumber the contest as well as transition both ways. School captain at Trinity Grammar and a member of the NAB AFL Academy.
Samuel Walsh Vic Country/Geelong Falcons/St Joseph’s
02/07/2000 Height: 184cm Weight: 74kg
Smooth moving, classy medium midfielder who is a prolific ball winner and a good distributor of the ball by hand and foot. Strong and brave overhead, he had an outstanding NAB AFL Under-18 Championship series averaging 29.5 disposals and seven tackles, winning Vic Country’s MVP award and the Larke Medal for the Division One best and fairest player. Named captain of the Under-18 All-Australian team. Has a professional attitude, outstanding work ethic and was rewarded with the Ben Mitchell Medal for his on and off field performance for the NAB AFL Academy this year. Member of the NAB AFL Academy.
Tom McKenzie Vic Metro/Northern Knights/Fitzroy
23/06/2000 Height: 184cm Weight: 76kg
Medium midfielder/defender who sets up the play with his run and kicking. Uses his footy smarts to win and use the ball well and is a resilient and durable type. Was impressive for Vic Metro against Vic Country at the MCG gathering 23 possessions, 12 marks and four tackles in round three of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Composed player with good distribution by hand using his vision and awareness.
Jye Caldwell Vic Country/Bendigo Pioneers/Geelong Grammar
09/07/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 71kg
Competitive and tough medium midfielder who has been plagued by injury this year. Has a great work rate and is a good contested ball and clearance player who makes good decisions around the ball. Strong overhead and dangerous around the goals. Was named Vic Country’s MVP in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championship in 2016 and named co-captain for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships this year. Member of the NAB AFL Academy.
James Rowbottom Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Camberwell Sharks
19/09/2000 Height: 185cm Weight: 78kg
Medium midfielder who is good at stoppages using his clean hands and vision to set up the play. Tackles aggressively and is capable of playing a running role and winning the ball one-on-one. A strong and consistent performer for Vic Metro averaging 18.8 disposals across his four matches of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Riley Collier-Dawkins Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Waverley Blues
03/02/2000 Height: 193cm Weight: 88kg
Medium midfielder who uses his height and power on the inside and also can be line-breaking on the outside with his pace. An exciting type with clean hands, good vision and awareness who represented Vic Metro in three matches, averaging 12 disposals. Been impressive with the Chargers averaging 18 possessions (50 per cent contested) across the season.
Fraser Turner Tasmania/Allies/Clarence
26/12/2000 Height:186cm Weight: 75kg
Medium midfielder whose run up and down the ground on the wing was a real feature of both the Allies and Tasmania this year. A durable and competitive type with elite running capacity which allowed him to link up and carry the ball and hit the scoreboard. Huge improver this year averaging 23.8 disposals in four matches for the Allies in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
Angus Hanrahan Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons/St Kevin’s College
09/08/2000 Height: 182cm Weight: 68kg
Medium midfielder who can play half back or half forward. Clever and creative player, he has good speed and footy smarts. Represented Vic Metro in three NAB AFL Under-18 Championship matches averaging 16 disposals.
Daly Andrews Vic Metro/Western Jets/Werribee Districts
22/02/2000 Height: 183cm Weight: 76kg
Medium midfielder/forward who breaks lines with his pace and has a long penetrating kick. A resilient prospect whose elite athletic ability resulted in competing at national level in the 400m hurdles. Team orientated player who runs both ways, he represented Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships against the Allies gathering 19 disposals before injury curtailed his season.
Will Golds Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Xavier College
06/05/2000 Height: 181cm Weight: 68kg
Medium midfielder/defender with elite running ability, clean hands and neat disposals. Overcame an ACL injury in 2017 and is now displaying his potential at Xavier College and with the Oakleigh Chargers averaging 22.5 disposals in his six matches this year.
Liam Stocker Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
23/01/2000 Height: 183cm Weight: 83kg
Medium midfielder who capped off a great year at TAC Cup level winning the Morrish Medal after averaging 22.2 disposals, 5.6 clearances and 4.5 tackles across the season. Missed the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships due to injury but his burst from stoppages, his ability in one-on-one contests and competitive nature make him a real prospect. Has the ability to impact games with his goal sense.
Oscar Brownless Vic Country/Geelong Falcons/Geelong Amateurs
16/02/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 76kg
Medium midfielder/forward who excels in a high half forward role using his aerobic capacity to present as a target and support his team and outnumber opposition. Has good football brains and uses his vision and awareness to create opportunities by hand. Very smart around the goals, he was a consistent contributor for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 16.2 disposals and 4.8 tackles. Son of Billy Brownless and eligible as a Father-Son selection to Geelong
Xavier O’Halloran Vic Metro/Western Jets/St Bernard’s
11/07/2000 Height: 187cm Weight: 83kg
Medium midfielder/forward who captained Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Passionate leader who wins contested ball and has a team first attitude. Capable of kicking a long goal form a set shot, he averaged 13.2 disposals (seven contested) 3.8 tackles and 5.5 Inside 50m in the championships.
Matt McGannon Vic Country/Gippsland Power/Fish Creek
23/12/1999 Height: 184cm Weight: 73kg
Medium midfielder/forward who is quick, a good decision maker and uses the ball well by hand and foot. A strong tackler, he has had injuries interrupt his development, but he played two games for Vic Country this year as an over-aged player and has played consistently well for Gippsland Power averaging 21 disposals in 13 matches this season.
Rylee West Vic Metro/Calder Cannons/Strathmore/St Kevin’s
12/07/2000 Height: 180cm Weight: 80kg
Small midfielder/forward with a hard edge who wins his own ball averaging 22 disposals (50 per cent contested) five clearances and four tackles in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships earning him All-Australian honours. His competitive and aggressive approach together with his elite agility and power is a feature of his play which allows him to recover and get to multiple contests. Member of the NAB AFL Academy. Son of Western Bulldogs champion Scott West and eligible as a Father-Son selection.
Xavier O’Neill Oakleigh Chargers/Whitefriars College
03/08/2000 Height: 183cm Weight: 78kg
Medium midfielder/forward who wins a good balance of contested and uncontested ball. Has speed and agility which is prominent at stoppages and can push forward and use his goal sense to impact the scoreboard. Had a consistent year with the Chargers averaging 19.7 disposals, 3.9 marks and 3.7 tackles across the season.
Lachlan Sholl Vic Metro/Calder Cannons/St Bernard’s
07/03/2000 Height: 185cm Weight: 77kg
Medium forward/defender who uses his elite running ability and skills to set up the play. Has good footy smarts in reading the play and making good decisions for his team. Consistent contributor for Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 16.7 disposals and 70 per cent efficiency in his three matches. Son of former Carlton player Brett Sholl but not eligible for the club under Father-Son selection rules.
Luke Valente South Australia/Norwood
06/05/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 80kg
Medium midfielder who captained the winning South Australia team to the NAB AFL Under-18 Championship win setting the standard with his contested ball winning ability, particularly at stoppages, and his composure with both his left and right side. Winner of South Australia’s MVP award, he averaged 22.8 disposals at 83.5 per cent efficiency and five tackles. Named vice-captain of the NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian team. Member of the NAB AFL Academy.
Jack Bytel Vic Metro/Calder Cannons/Aberfeldie
14/03/2000 Height: 189cm Weight: 80kg
Medium midfielder who is a contested ball winner and a star around stoppages. Has a good touch and clean hands and is composed in congestion. Has had an interrupted season with injury but starred as a bottom aged player last year winning best on ground honours in the NAB All-Stars Futures game in Grand Final week. Winner of Vic Metro’s MVP award at Under-16 level in 2016. Member of the NAB AFL Academy.
Jacob Kennerley South Australia/Norwood/Rostrevor College
16/06/2000 Height: 184cm Weight: 76kg
Smooth moving wingman/half back with the ability to link up by hand and foot. Has very good speed and endurance and was prominent player for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 17.8 disposals. Also a prolific ball winner for Norwood Under-18s averaging 24 disposals in 12 matches.
2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine – State
Finn Betterman Glenelg
09/05/2000 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
Brett Bewley Williamstown
14/04/1995 Height: 185cm Weight: 87kg
Jason Carter Peel Thunder
11/01/2000 Height: 182cm Weight: 75kg
Kyle Dunkley Oakleigh Chargers
20/06/2000 Height: 184cm Weight: 81kg
Sam Fletcher Dandenong Stingrays
27/01/2000 Height: 187cm Weight: 79kg
Xavier Fry Eastern Ranges
08/08/2000 Height: 183cm Weight: 68kg
Sam Graham Calder Cannons
24/06/2000 Height: 185cm Weight: 76kg
Matthew Green NT Thunder
05/05/2000 Height: 189cm Weight: 73kg
Ethan Hansen Perth
25/06/2000 Height: 182cm Weight: 72cm
Will Hayes Footscray VFL
05/06/1995 Height: 181cm Weight: 79kg
Ryan Hebron Sydney University
03/05/1997 Height: 186cm Weight: 82kg
Will Hickmott Subiaco
11/12/2000 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
Corey Hitchcock Claremont
08/06/1999 Height: 180cm Weight: 75kg
Zane Keighran Bendigo Pioneers
19/10/2000 Height: 182cm Weight: 79kg
Lachlan McDonnell Dandenong Stingrays
22/05/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 80kg
Justin McInerney Northern Knights
18/08/2000 Height: 18cm Weight: 72kg
Rylie Morgan Claremont
24/03/2000 Height: 182cm Weight: 81kg
Aaron Nietschke Central District
26/05/2000 Height: 184cm Weight: 77kg
Matthew Nunn Norwood
18/04/1997 Height: 181cm Weight: 78kg
Tyson Powell Peel Thunder
07/04/2000 Height: 187cm Weight: 80kg
Kai Pudney Woodville West Torrens
09/01/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 78kg
Harry Reynolds Sandringham Dragons
11/10/2000 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
Alistair Richards Sandringham Dragons
09/05/2000 Height: 187cm Weight: 78kg
Mitch Riordan Dandenong Stingrays
25/01/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 79kg
Jack Ross Oakleigh Chargers
03/09/2000 Height: 186cm Weight: 85kg
James Sturrock Peel Thunder
17/02/2000 Height: 183cm Weight: 76kg
Jai Taylor Dandenong Stingrays
03/02/2000 Height: 187cm Weight: 71kg
Charlie Thompson Richmond VFL
15/03/1999 Height: 183cm Weight: 80kg
Adam Tipungwuti Western Magpies
04/06/1996 Height: 176 Weight: 72kg
Charlie Wilson GWV Rebels
25/03/2000 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg
The NAB AFL Draft Combine is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfill their dream of playing in the AFL. The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program comprises the following elements:
- NAB AFL Rising Star
- NAB AFL Draft
- NAB AFL Draft Combine
- NAB AFL Under-18 Championships
- NAB AFL Academy
- NAB AFL Under-16 Championships
NAB has supported the footy community for over a decade, providing boys and girls with a clear pathway from NAB AFL Auskick through the NAB AFL Rising Stars program all the way to the big time.