Leagues: NAB League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships
A 176cm tall forward with the dexterity to play either ruck or on-ball, Amelie Smith has plenty of potential to unlock. The 2021 Oakleigh Chargers premiership player has endured injury setbacks across both of her two NAB League Girls campaigns, but showed enough to earn a draft combine invite this year, and was trusted to impact in a variety of roles.
Modern day football requires players to be flexible enough to play a variety of roles, or be an utter expert in one, and Amelie Smith certainly fits the former description. The Oakleigh Chargers prospect has a unique offering of traits at 176cm, which sees her predominantly play as a tall forward, but also as a makeshift ruck or powerful on-baller.
The 18-year-old is a high-impact type, able to make the most of her relatively low possession numbers to either hit the scoreboard or produce something eye-catching. Her aerial ability is a major strength, with Smith happy to play anywhere she can use her leap to advantage. As a bottom-ager, that was as a dynamic forward who rotated through the ruck.
As a top-ager, Smith again used that key forward post as a default, but was also given the opportunity to pinch hit as a midfielder. Attending her share of centre bounces for Oakleigh, she provided short bursts of power, with her size and strength on the inside leading to some handy clearance wins. Her Round 1 outing was a good example of that.
Smith has hovered around the goal-per-game mark across the last two seasons, and that was aided by the fact she found the big sticks in all bar one NAB League appearance this year. She has a habit of starting strongly too, having booted three opportunistic goals on debut last year, and booted two in her first game as a top-ager.
In terms of improvements, lifting that output by getting to more contests is something Smith can look to do. Albeit with injuries to contend with over the last two years, she averaged around eight touches and a mark over her NAB League career. She competes and can use her athleticism to impact both ways - laying over three tackles per game - but needs the ball in her hands more often to showcase just how damaging she can be.
With all pieces of the puzzle put together more consistently, Smith has the potential to be a highly effective footballer. She is still a touch raw, but with a clean run at it and the perks of an elite environment, may be a player who improves rapidly at senior level. She looms as a fabled high-upside kind of selection.
During this year’s Under 18 National Championships, Smith finished with the equal-highest contested possession rate for Vic Metro, going at a tick under 73 per cent to also feature among the top 10 overall.
NAB League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
|2022||Vic Metro Girls||4||6||10||0||0||0||5||0||0||1||0||2||3||1.3||2.0||3.3||0.0||0.0||1.7||0.7||13|