State Game Player Focus: Jacob Blight (WA)

DESPITE his side suffering a 63-point thumping at the hands of South Australia, mid-season draft prospect Jacob Blight showed out in Sunday’s edition of the annual State Game. The 22-year-old defender was one of Western Australia’s bright sparks in a dull defeat.

Blight has entered the radar of AFL clubs after a promising start to the season with Peel Thunder. The Claremont junior is in his fourth season of senior footy after debuting for the Tigers’ League side back in 2021, before making the move down to Mandurah two years later.

Lauded for his aerial ability at 196cm, Blight firms as a readymade mid-season option who has plied his trade alongside AFL-listed players at Peel over the last two seasons. We put his latest performance under the Player Focus microscope, breaking it down quarter-by-quarter.

Peel Thunder-logoPeel ThunderTall Defender

Jacob Blight

Height: 196cm

Weight: -

DOB: 14-12-2001

2024 SANFL vs. WAFL State Game
Western Australia 5.16 (46) def. by South Australia 16.13 (109)

#30 Jacob Blight (Western Australia)

WAFL averages: 6 games | 18.0 disposals (11.5 kicks, 6.5 handballs), 8.7 marks, 1.2 tackles
State Game: 17 disposals (13 kicks, 4 handballs), 13 marks (4 contested), 6 rebound 50s


With South Australia piling on the first six goals of the game, it’s fair to say Blight had his hands full in the early stages. He was immediately put to work with a settling intercept mark inside defensive 50, only to turn the kick over for Casey Voss to kick the opening score.

The first was Blight’s most prolific quarter of the game, yielding seven disposals, with many of them coming in slow play. He showed a tendency for moving the ball on quickly but often went back and across goal or to short options – which was indicative of WA’s inability to transition out of defence.

Still, the mature-ager got in plenty of good spots to intercept and didn’t take long to get going. He filled his boots during the first 28 minutes but there were plenty of more productive passages to come.


Blight remained an outlet behind the ball in term two and his first act was to help Western Australia complete a switch across defensive 50 by foot. The efficient user only had one more touch for the term, connecting with Cameron Eardley from the kick-in, but was more resolute defensively with several clean spoils over the back shoulder and a strong lock-up tackle.


While the first quarter was Blight’s most prolific, the third was arguably his best. He continued to shut down direct opponent Connor McFadyen – formerly of the Brisbane Lions – with strong one-on-one work before getting his intercept mark game going again.

Blight clunked three intercept grabs, with the third being his best. It was a gutsy effort going back with the flight of the ball in defensive 50, keeping his focus to take it on his chest in the face of oncoming contact. He hit four of his five kicks too, including a slick rebound pass as he mopped up on the last line.


Blight’s aerial game continued to shine as Western Australia wrestled back some late momentum to win the last quarter. He read the play nicely and adjusted well when attacking the footy to take two more intercept marks, while also displaying more positive intent with his ball use.

Having proven resolute all game with contest splits and wins, he was finally beaten in a one-on-one but had already done a mountain of work to win the ball back in tough spots. In that sense, Blight’s upside is clear to see as a modern day third tall defender who can dominate aerially and distribute the ball.


Blight certainly has the traits to slot into an AFL backline in 2024, offering sound reading of the play and a happy knack for intercepting. His aerial game is terrific at 196cm and with a solid frame to boot, the 22-year-old is truly a readymade proposition.

While he moves the ball quickly and is a neat field kick, Blight’s tendency to kick across goal can sometimes invite pressure. If he can add distance to his kicks and make more expansive decisions on the rebound, he can become a weapon moving down the field.

In a relatively shallow pool of mid-season draft prospects, it is easy to see why Blight is among the more prominent options. Having come through the Colts pathway, his rate of development as a mature-ager has been terrific and will only continue should he get a chance at the elite level.

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