WAFL Player Focus: Edward Allan (Claremont)
A PROSPECT who narrowly missed out on father-son eligibility, Edward Allan has made a splash upon returning from a long-term lower back injury. The Claremont utility needed just one Colts game to earn a state Under 18 call-up, and has shown great form in his two outings since.
At 194cm, Allan is a rangy type who has mostly cut his teeth on the wing, but has the capacity to rest forward or drop back to defence. On Saturday, he lead all comers with 27 disposals as an on-baller, helping keep the Tigers’ finals hopes alive with a 30-point win over Perth.
We put his performance under the Player Focus microscope.
SEASON SO FAR:
WAFL Colts averages: 3 games | 24.0 disposals (16.3 kicks, 7.7 handballs) | 5.0 marks | 3.7 tackles | 5.0 inside 50s | 0.7 goals (2 total)
Allan’s season has been short and sweet, with injury giving him little time to get settled before making a mark. He made his first Colts appearance for the year in Round 13, notching a solid 20 touches in his side’s tough loss to ladder leader, West Perth. After turning out for his state’s final National Championship game against South Australia, Allan has produced two big games back in Claremont colours, averaging 26 disposals, seven marks and a goal across a pair of important wins. That small sample size earned him an invite to October’s National Draft Combine.
2022 WAFL Colts Round 17
Perth 3.6 (24) def. by Claremont 7.12 (54)
Stats: 27 disposals (19 kicks, 8 handballs), 4 marks, 7 tackles, 5 inside 50s, 1 goal
Starting as he intended to go on, the first was Allan’s most prolific quarter on Saturday. He took on responsibility as a prime move in midfield and set Claremont on the front foot with several clearances, waxing well with Tigers ruck William Wolf.
Racking up a handful of touches within as many minutes, the knock on Allan’s early work was his tendency to rush and dump clearing kicks, though the game was quite scrappy throughout. Adding to his own ball winning feats, Allan also took a forward 50 ruck contest and won the hitout to advantage, sending Max Willson on his way.
Putting the cherry on top of his term was a miraculous goal from outside 50, which pitched beside the goalsquare and wrong-footed the final Perth defender to bounce through like a leg-spinner. He could have had two more majors, but was pressured on a couple of snaps which bounced out of bounds.
Having missed one of the three centre bounces in term one, Allan attended all four in the second quarter as he continued to find more ball than anyone afield. Although, he began to work into space around the ground, accumulating more uncontested possessions than in the first 25 minutes.
Allan showcased steady kicking skills on the move with kicks to leading teammates, who couldn’t quite hold onto them. His work by hand was even more slick, with a couple of late handballs showcasing his ground level dexterity.
Though he was still deployed among the inside group, Allan displayed more outside instincts as he held his width and peeled off to receive more often than he would hunt the contested ball. He ended up with 16 touches for the half, a terrific return.
With Perth dominating the territory battle for little reward, the third term was somewhat of a slog and Allan had to adjust. He leant on his running capacity to sweep into defensive 50, mop up, and deliver composed kicks to begin Claremont’s transitions.
He also notched a couple more marks floating across half-back, again taking on relatively safe options by foot. Another of Allan’s contributions was his holding the ball tackle in the corridor, though the spearing kick inside 50 ended up as a direct turnover.
Allan’s rotation meant he would attend just one of three centre bounces for the quarter, seen shifting forward for a short spurt before being called to the bench. He notched up another handful of kicks, making it three relatively productive terms.
Continuing his usual work in midfield, Allan ran out the game by working into both arcs and ensuring Claremont would be able to consolidate its victory. He notched a couple of early kicks with either foot and completed a late defensive 50 spoil, capping off a strong all-round performance.
The upside with Allan is obvious. At 194cm and with great ground coverage, he can play in several positions, though the verdict may be out on how he translates as a genuine on-baller. Able to find the ball naturally, he does not necessarily use his frame as others may, and looks a suitable wing or flank option late in the draft. His form has certainly done his chances no harm.