SUNS AcademySUNS AcademyOutside Midfielder, Small Defender

#4

Austin Harris

height: 178cm

weight: 70kg

D.O.B: 30-04-2003

Leagues: NAB League Boys


POSITION: 
Small Defender/Outside Midfielder

SNAPSHOT: "A dashing outside player who adds a touch of flair with each possession and offers useful variety in his kicking."

Arguably the most well known prospect tied to Gold Coast's Academy this year, Austin Harris is an eye-catching type. He shot onto the scene during 2019's Under 16 National Championships, earning All Australian honours as Queensland's Most Valuable Player (MVP) in Division 2. Since then, the 178cm talent has played on all three lines across multiple competitions; plying his trade for the Suns Academy and VFL side, the AFL Academy, and Broadbeach in the QAFL Seniors and Reserves throughout an injury-interrupted 2021 campaign.

STRENGTHS:

+ Speed
+ Agility
+ Kicking
+ Rebounding
+ Flair

IMPROVEMENTS:

- Contested Work
- Consistency

Sub-180cm players are often required to have at least one or two elite traits to make it to the top level, and Harris is one who plays to his specific strengths. Arguably most comfortable off half-back or on the wing, he injects a bit of dash and flair to each passage with eye-catching bursts of play on the outer.

Harris is great at sweeping up at ground level or being the outside receiver, using his agility to weave into space before setting off with pace. When utilised in defence, Harris' spurts of speed give him an effective rebounding quality, as he sparks many a counter attack. On the wing or up forward, he uses those traits to get creative with ball in hand.

He also spreads forward aggressively on turnovers, and gets his legs pumping early before receiving the ball to allow more time in possession before deciding on where to go next. His quality attacking instincts and that positive style of play see him likened to recently retired Sun, Jarrod Harbrow.

At the end of Harris' running work is often a kick, with that his preferred and more damaging method of disposal. He is not shy of taking on the kick-in duties and is capable of pumping the ball over 50 metres, but is also quite effective in the short range. With punchy kicks and a good variety in his range, Harris' ability to set up play is further exemplified.

Harris has shown he is also quite versatile, playing mostly in defence or on a wing, but also seen kicking two goals on his VFL debut and rolling through midfield for Broadbeach. While usually able to compete and impact against his peers, Harris will likely take on very outside roles early in his career given his slight frame, attacking mindset, and effectiveness in space.

The 18-year-old can also look to add consistency to his game, as he sometimes struggles to find the ball against higher quality opposition. While exciting in short passages with his dare and athletic exploits, suffice to say Harris would be much more damaging if he could pull out his tricks more often across four quarters. Adding more defensive acts would also aid his cause as a small prospect, and boost his contested game.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Pre-Listed/Rookie

SUMMARY:

Gold Coast's draft and list concessions will carry on into this year's draft intake and gives a prospect like Harris a great chance of landing on the senior list at no cost. Given his experience as an AFL Academy member and state representative, he is arguably in the box seat to be pre-listed via the academy, but would also be a handy rookie addition should other clubs not show any real interest in his talents. In an elite environment, filling out his frame and becoming more consistent will allow his more flashy traits to shine.

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021SUNS Academy3111428005002121215.55.521.04.00.02.50.581
Total-3111428005002121215.55.521.04.00.02.50.581
Austin Harris Articles
View more