VFL Player Focus: Logan Smith (GWS)

GWS Giants Academy player and Allies State Squad member Logan Smith had his first hitout at senior level, applying his trade in the GWS VFL side in their 14-point win over Port Melbourne.

One of the highly touted ruck’s of the draft, Smith had no issue adapting to the physicality and was thrown in the deep end, featuring in 18 of 21 centre bounces.

We put the young ruck’s Round 12 showing under the Player Focus microscope, dissecting his game quarter-by-quarter.

Logan Smith

Height: 204cm

Weight: -

DOB: 24-09-2006


2024 VFL: Round 12
GWS 9.17 (71) def. by Port Melbourne 8.9 (57)

#70 Logan Smith (GWS)
Stats: 12 disposals, 23 hitouts, 4 clearances, 10 contested possessions
CBAs: 18/21 (match) Q1: 6/6 | 4/4  | 4/4 | 4/7


Smith’s energy was present right from the first contest, and coming up against an experienced senior ruck, Felix Flockart, he was able to apply a lot of forward pressure in his jumps.

He was able to provide impact at the drop of the ball, following up his ruck taps with second efforts, and quick to give a handball off to a running midfielder.

Early in the quarter Smith’s running capacity was tested, isolated one-on-one running to a kick into space. He was able to get their first, give off a handball which went a bit wayward with pressure, but still impact by holding his width outside the contest, able to get himself free and run off into space when he received the handball back. His kick forward was to the advantage of Lachlan Keeffe, which eventuated in a Max Gruzewski goal.

The knock of Smith’s ruckwork was his ability to win a tap to advantage, which is the next step in elevating his craft. He was quite light with his touch, and as a result, he never caused any direct turnovers from his ruck craft, and if it was to fall the way of Flockart, he swiftly followed up with a tackle to halt any momentum.

When Flockart moved Smith inside the Borough’s forward 50, Smith wasn’t able to maintain the same level of physicality and wasn’t able to get to the marking contest, which happened later in the fourth quarter.

Smith was quite reactive to his performance, and when little things went wrong, they were quite simple fixes, which he continued to improve on quarter-by-quarter.


The pressure Smith had started with in the first quarter directly translated to the first ruck contests of the second, applying pressure on Flockart when the ball was loose ahead of them, and on occasions providing some neat moments of his own, spinning around an opponent to keep the ball moving forward.

His commitment to the loose ball elevated his performance, although he lost a bit of effectiveness when he went to ground, although the intent was there.

The way the game flowed, the ruck battle seized to exist for a chunk of 10-15 minutes as the ball went side to side, heavy in turnovers.

When his involvement ramped up once again, he continued to play quite safe with his taps and was still physically dominant in his battles.

Smith capitalised on his footy smarts, waiting out to nominate for a ruck contest, getting to it a smidge late, and quickly laid a tackle on Flockart to allow more numbers to get to the contest inside defensive 50.


It was the lowest-scoring quarter of the game, and it impacted the involvement Smith had around the ground.

The fatigue was starting to set in for the young ruck, and his taps were a little less convincing with the physicality of the ruck battle neutralising the direction of his taps.

Whilst his run around the contest faded, there was still willing intent to provide some aggressiveness or secondhand help moving across the ground.

When he wasn’t able to get his hands on the footy, Smith was still proactive in his positioning around the ground and was able to find plenty of space and wait in good pockets if the opportunity presented itself.


Smith started the final quarter with a strong defensive effort, reading the flight of the ball well to take a tough intercept mark with defensive pressure applied.

It wasn’t long later before he was able to replicate the moment, this time creating separation from Flockart to create space and take an uncontested mark, which he quickly moved on by hand.

He was able to take the quickest and simplest option when he was involved around open play, which was a quick tweak of his game compared to when he was nearly caught holding the ball early in the second quarter.

Smith found himself in the defensive 50 in the back half of the quarter, moved out of the centre bounces when the margin narrowed, and was able to react quickly, blazing out a kick, which wasn’t accurate, but the right decision.

His ability to battle well for four quarters was impressive in his first hitout in senior level.


Smith’s first hitout at VFL level would have to be deemed successful for a young developing ruck.

He was able to match the physicality levels of a senior ruckman and was barely beaten comprehensively in his centre-bounce ruck battles.

Smith’s second efforts at the contest, pressure acts around a loose ball, and intent to use it proficiently by hand was impactful around the ground.

The next step in his performance is providing a stronger impact with his ruck taps to advantage. He certainly can win them, but they’re often safer taps that don’t necessarily advantage his midfielders.

He’ll be looking to impact yet again in the Allies final match of the National Championships against Vic Country on the 7th of July.

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