IN a new in-depth Player Analysis piece focusing on an AFL Women’s draft hopeful, we break down major areas of the game and assess the prospect on minute aspects. This analysis is done watching a large volume of games, in order to get the best possible analysis for the player. In this case, that analysis is on Oakleigh Chargers Girls midfielder Jasmine Fleming who only played the three games last season, but was outstanding in all three, and could well end up being the top Victorian prospect in 2022.
Note: The AFLW Draft Player Analysis is the opinion of the individual writer.
PLAYER PROFILE BREAKDOWN:
DISPOSAL BY FOOT:
+ Decision making
– Opposite foot
– Special kicks
Fleming has one of the most delightful kicking actions going around, able to hit targets at short, medium and long-ranges, and uses fantastic technique in doing so. Her consistency for the most part in being able to not only hit kicks in the right direction, but pinpoint teammates, is outstanding. At worst her kick goes to a danger zone and at best, it creates something forward of centre. When lining up for a set shot goal, she kicks through the ball, as evidenced by her 40m set shot which sailed home in the NAB League Girls Grand Final. The only big knock on her kicking is her opposite foot, because she is yet to use her left, and in fact will opt to handball over using her left. Her right is so deadly it means the left does not need to be pulled out of the trick bag, but at the top level, it might be exposed if opponents corral her correctly. Similarly, her fluent technique is a straight drop punt or flat kick, and she has not yet mastered the snap, with a couple of shots on goal from the pocket going well wide in separate matches.
DISPOSAL BY HAND:
+ Efficiency (not under pressure)
+ Effectiveness (not under pressure)
+ Lightning quick hands
– Efficiency (under pressure)
– Effectiveness (under pressure)
Whilst there are only three games of data to go off at NAB League Girls level, Fleming is one of those players who can be creative around the stoppages, but is much better by hand when she has a clear teammate to dispose the ball too. When under pressure, Fleming can tend to fall back on high looping handballs to an area, or trying to shovel the ball off under pressure to the first teammate she sees. This also tends to happen when she is corralled on her left side, forced to handball under pressure. When not under pressure, Fleming is able to create by hand, fire off one-twos, and even set up goal scoring opportunities by releasing the ball with lightning reflexes. Her quick hands are a standout, and it is about enhancing that composure when under pressure by hand.
+ Decision making (by foot)
+ Reading the play
– Decision making (by hand under pressure)
– Right-side dominant
– Can do too much sometimes
For a talent who has not played at the level as long as many of her peers, Fleming certainly caught the eye with plenty of footy smarts in her three games. Whilst her decision making under pressure by hand is the question mark, and the fact she is so right-side dominant, Fleming makes good decisions by foot, has that touch of class and has the vision and execution that combines well. She reads the play coming from a defensive point on the square, and will always try to charge away. At times this can end up in her being dispossessed, but it is an action of confidence fans like to see in young players.
+ Loose ball gets
+ Aerial accumulation
+ Handball receiving
– Hard ball gets
Fleming is a player who plays on-ball, but is one who will usually be a second possession player via a handball receive. She is adept at pouncing on a loose ball, but will often take it cleanly off the deck when there is space to run and weave through a stoppage. Otherwise when it comes to hard ball gets, whilst Fleming has been known to still go in, she is more favoured to waiting on the outside or running past for the handball receive to burst away and evade opponents to kick forward. Her possessions come from either handball receives or marks as a rules of thumb, though she gathers well from stoppages, particularly when punched into open space.
+ Clearances via loose ball gets
+ One-on-one contests aerial
+ Clearances via second possession
– Ground level contested possessions
– Clearances via first possession
Fleming is that outside player who can play inside, so the contested work is not her bread and butter. She can still win clearances, and attacks the contest hard – never afraid of taking contact, but primarily allows teammates to use their strengths at ground level so she can receive and run. When it comes to clearances, she is often winning the ball via a second possession, and when winning it via the first touch, often she has calculated she does not have the space to run, so will fire off a quick handball to a nearby teammate. Contested work is an area she can work on, but aerially she is able to read the ball well in flight, position her self well, get to the right spot and take the grab.
+ Ground level via stationary loose ball get
+ Disposal under pressure (kicking)
+ Hands (right side)
– Ground level via moving loose/hard ball get
– Ground level via contested ball
– Hands under pressure or left side
Fleming’s ability to pick up a stationary ball at full speed is sensational, and her knowledge already to turn and spin is another big tick for her short, but already eye-catching career. Her hands when able to get on her right side and her kicking as a whole under pressure is clean, whilst her aerial ability is undoubted, a real one-grab player. When the ball is moving at ground level, Fleming is not as clean, but she has the smarts and speed to try and keep it in front of her to utilise her athletic gifts to get away.
+ Tackling intent
+ Team defensive efforts
– Tackling technique
From limited showings, Fleming has shown a real fierce intent to lay some big tackles, or lay bumps or shepherds when required. At times she can be a little overzealous and give away from free kicks be it for over the shoulder, in the back or front-on contact, but the desire is there. She can really wrap up stronger opponents and bring them down, which will please the coaches going forward.
+ Change of direction
+ Speed consistency
– Excessive fend offs/baulks
This area along with her kicking technique is what sets Fleming apart from a lot of her contemporaries. She has terrific acceleration, evasion and power which she can all combine to make her hard to catch out of a stoppage. What makes her so damaging is the fact her change of direction is so swift. She can burst away with the first 10 steps, then sidestep laterally, burst again, sidestep or spin another way, and then have the composure to still pinpoint a target. The only nit-picking area of this part of the profile would be perhaps excessive fend offs or baulks which can lead to her getting caught trying to get past multiple opponents. This is not a bad thing as she is taking the game on, but more the one downside of all the upside.
+ Four quarter consistency
+ Starting on-baller from debut
Whilst like many of the other areas, endurance is a hard measure to look at over minimal matches, but playing in a couple of massive games, predominantly though the midfield, Fleming remained active throughout the four quarters, and was able to run alongside more experienced midfielders.
+ Aerial one-on-ones
+ Positioning in marking contests
+ Core strength to fend-off if required
– Ground level one-on-ones
Whilst not overly strong compared to other midfielders, Fleming has the smarts to be able to beat opponents with early contact to maintain positioning in marking contests. She reads the ball well, makes the body contact when required, and pulls down the mark, or she makes the contact before making her lead to take the uncontested grab. With ball-in-hand she is able to apply a fend-off if required, though at ground level she can be brought down or knocked about by stronger, bigger opponents.
+ Can play outside or at centre bounces
+ Capacity to play deep or high forward
+ Scoreboard impact
– Contested ball winning-ability
Fleming is a player who whilst she plays onball, is not an inside midfielder. It might be a role she develops over the next 12 months, but as it stands, she is a damaging outside midfielder/forward who contests most stoppages. The fact she can play multiple roles inside 50 and hit the scoreboard through set shots, is a plus as well.
+ Immediate impact
+ Elite traits
Fleming is a player who on pure traits alone is easily one of the most naturally gifted players in the AFLW Draft crop for 2022. She has some elite traits in her athleticism and kicking technique, and whilst she has had quite the impact in her first three games, it is still keeping in mind that it is just three games. So extended exposure will be something to watch for next season, with Fleming hopefully able to string more games together. She has the creativity and upside to suggest she could be something really special in the footballing world.
Jasmine Fleming is an incredibly gifted midfielder/forward who can hurt opposition teams with her outstanding right foot technique, and her ability to burn off opponents in multiple ways. With a deadly sidestep, powerful burst and knack for getting to the right spots and creating run-and-carry in transition then hitting the scoreboard, it seems the sky is the limit for the talented dual-sport athlete who is still combining her football with her cricket. She has the capacity to go far based on the limited viewings from the 2021 NAB League Girls season, and could be a top contender in the Victorian pool next season.