AFL Draft | Caught the Eye – Week 5

IT was another win for the talented Young Guns side this time against a relatively strong Vic Country Under 18s outfit, who kicked themselves out of the game with inaccuracy in front of goal. With two good wins, the mid-season draft talent pool, from Victoria at least, is strong with plenty of talent across the ground. But a couple of half-backs stood out.

>> SCOUTING NOTES: Young Guns vs. Vic Country

In particular, Western Jets small defender Massimo D’Ambrosio was a real weapon with his kicking in defence, playing a role similar to Bulldog Caleb Daniel, kicking long and accurately with some aggressive forays into the middle to break the game open on multiple occasions.

The other half-back to show some great signs was former Sandringham Dragon Lachlan Carrigan, who at 191cm played a more hybrid defender role – able to play taller his intercept ability, combined with skill by hand and foot to go with great composure which really stood out. Carrigan has a lovely kicking action which makes him very efficient coming out of defence, and coupled with his clean hands overhead and at ground level, he looks a likely type for a club looking for that style of player.

Other mid-season prospects to play well or show draftable traits included Bendigo utility Oskar Faulkhead, GWV Rebels wingman Jamieson Ballantyne, Oakleigh forward Jerome Lawence and Sandringham pair Hugo Hall-Kahan and Max Ramsden.

Vic Country didn’t have many winners on the day, but the standout was Geelong Falcons midfielder Jhye Clark. He was clinical in the midfield, winning plenty on the inside and outside with his ball use and composure also superb. Clark has been touted as a potential top 10 talent and it wasn’t hard to see why.

Other players to impress included Murray Bushranger Oliver Hollands, the younger brother of Gold Coast Sun, Elijah. He started the game in the midfield but was moved to defence, where he offered plenty of run and carry.

Tall timbers Aaron Cadman and Olivier Northam both offered something different in attack, with Cadman playing more of a lead up centre half-forward role, and Northam using his athletic traits deeper to provide a great target despite having hard matchups on the likes of Samuel Grant, Tyreece Leiu and Jed Rule.

There aren’t set to be many live picks in the mid-season draft, so competition for spots will be tight among the Young Guns crop, but all would be handy additions to the Metro and Country squads at the National Championships ahead of another draft chance in November.

With no more APS commitments, expect some of the stronger talents to shine from Victoria as the AFL Academy takes on Collingwood’s VFL side on the 21st of May.

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