Marquee Matchups: Olli Hotton vs. Jacob Konstanty

THIS year’s National Championships have been the first full instalment since 2019, meaning the nation’s best Under 18 draft hopefuls have finally been able to test their mettle against each other once again. With that comes a number of mouthwatering contests between players vying for similar spots on draft boards, as their top-age campaigns turns for home.

In the return of our Marquee Matchups series, we highlight a pair of prospects who in one way or another, will continue to compete in 2022; comparing their vitals, stats, strengths, and improvement areas. Next up is a battle between two lively forward/midfielders – Olli Hotton and Jacob Konstanty.

>> TOP 25 RANKED: August Power Rankings update

Midfielder, Forward

Olli Hotton

Height: 182cm

Weight: 80kg

DOB: 06-09-2004

Small Forward

Jacob Konstanty

Height: 176cm

Weight: 70kg

DOB: 09-11-2004



June: NR | July: NR | August: #22


June: NR | July: NR | August: #23




5 games | 16.4 disposals | 7.8 kicks | 8.6 handballs | 4.4 marks | 2.0 tackles | 3.8 inside 50s | 0.8 goals (4 total)


12 games | 14.5 disposals | 9.7 kicks | 4.8 handballs | 2.2 marks | 5.8 tackles | 2.8 inside 50s | 1.3 goals (16 total)



2022 AFL Under 18 National Championships
Vic Metro 16.15 (111) def. South Australia 5.8 (38)

Our scouts said…

“The breakout star from the game, Hotton truly put his name up in lights with an impressive display across all four quarters. Hotton played the first half mainly in the midfield and on the wings, with his hard running and one-touch pickups at speed seeing him play a key part in transition for his side. His cleanliness at ground level can not be overstated, in greasy conditions where others were more often opting to kick off the ground, Hotton’s confidence to bend down and get the fingernails dirty stood out. He was moved into a more permanent forward role in the second half to great effect, ending the day 3.2, but with a handful of assists to go along with it.” – Declan Reeve


2022 AFL Under 18 National Championships
Vic Country 10.15 (75) def. Allies 5.12 (42)

Our scouts said…

“The ever dangerous Konstanty missed last week due to illness and certainly played like someone who was keen to finally go out there and strut their stuff on the big stage. He certainly delivered, finishing as Country’s leading goal scorer with three goals. His first was the most impressive, coming from a nice trap at ground level and spinning around to snap a classy goal. His other two majors came from set shots after impressive marks on the lead, a feature which completes his forward game. Looking equally damaging overhead as he is at ground level, Konstanty is arguably the best pure small forward in this year’s draft crop and he certainly showed it against the Allies, not only in his impact with the ball, but also without it through pressure acts inside 50.” – Peter Williams


These two are finally set to go head-to-head in September, as Konstanty’s Vic Country takes on Hotton’s Vic Metro in the Under 18 National Championship decider. They managed to miss each other during the NAB League season, with neither player featuring in Gippsland’s five-point defeat of Sandringham in Round 11. There may well yet be a NAB League finals clash between them, should their respective regions advance past the week one.



+ Speed
+ Vertical leap
+ Clean hands
+ Stoppage craft
+ Scoreboard impact

Hotton’s athleticism is one of the more exciting sides of his game, but he remains a wonderfully natural footballer at his core. The midseason bolter shone at preseason testing; ranking in the NAB League top 10s for speed (20m sprint) and vertical leap. He uses both on-field, with his jumping in particular proving an important attribute as he marks well above his size. In terms of fundamentals and footy IQ, Hotton ranks just as highly. He is one-touch at stoppages and knows where to be at the fall of the ball, with his distribution by hand a real asset. Not to be forgotten, he can also roll forward and hit the scoreboard, making him one of those valuably versatile mid-forward options.


+ Defensive pressure
+ Goal sense
+ Creativity
+ Footy IQ
+ Agility

It should come as no surprise that Konstanty draws inspiration from the likes of Cody Weightman and Kysaiah Pickett. The all-action small forward can do a bit of everything; mark overhead, apply panic-inducing defensive pressure, and perhaps most importantly, kick goals from all angles. He may be low production at times, but has a high hurt factor in the sense he only needs a small window of opportunity to make the opposition pay. His creativity and eye for goal make for plenty of scoring chances, and he has the smarts to craft them both in the air or at ground level. Add to that his developing midfield game, and there is plenty to like about Konstanty.



– Size
– Forward craft

Size is perhaps a cheap area of improvement to throw in there, but remains relevant given the way Hotton plays in midfield. His quality comes at the coalface where he can get to the drop of the ball, collect cleanly, and feed others by hand. At 181cm, doing so against some of the elite level’s monster mids will be tough early on – though he’ll surely manage. Continuing to develop his forward craft will be important in those early stages, as he will likely rotate heavily into attack and be expected to hit the scoreboard. His smarts should serve him well there, and it will give him time to rebuild some of the endurance base he may have lost during an interrupted start to this season.


– Endurance
– Consistency

As is the case for many pure small forwards, the factors of production and consistency are key areas for improvement with Konstanty. He had eyes on spending much more time in midfield for Gippsland this year, and has certainly done so, but his highest NAB League disposal tally was 23. That was in Round 5, and he has not cracked 20 touches since. The crafty mover is good in bursts, but has also sought to build his endurance base to make the positional move and get to more contests around the ground. That has translated well to his defensive work rate as a forward, with Konstanty laying six tackles per NAB League game. It will also help him to feature more consistently throughout games.


Much like our marquee matchup between Mattaes Phillipou and Harry Sheezel, this is a battle between one player who is predominantly a mid that can roll forward (Hotton), and a small forward who can potentially pinch hit in midfield (Konstanty). Both are so pure in their natural craft across either position, and certainly have the means to defy their size. They leap high and can mark overhead, but have the athleticism and smarts at ground level to navigate seas of opponents. With specialist small forwards and midfielders with points of difference at a premium, these two look likely to feature in a similar draft range – around the 20-25 mark.

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