Leagues: Coates Talent League Girls, AFLW U18 Championships, AFLW U17 Championships
Ava Jordan is a naturally gifted footballer who has pieced together a consistent junior career, developing from a midfielder in her bottom-age season to be a predominant forward this year. There are two major question marks on Jordan’s draft chances – her speed and her 145cm frame – though outside of those, she has enormous talent and her footy IQ is off the charts.
+ Footy IQ
+ Goal sense
+ Forward craft
+ Defensive pressure
Standing at 145cm, Jordan is always going to be up against it when it comes to being drafted. If selected, she would comfortably be the smallest AFLW player. In saying that, to get as far as she has in the elite junior pathway, there has to be an immense amount of talent, and the Northern Knights star has it in spades.
Without a doubt, Jordan's footy IQ is among the best going around. She reads the ball well off hands, gets into the right spots, and has been able to take up a role as a small forward this season. The Knights were well aware that at her size, Jordan would not be playing midfield at the elite level, so instead threw her a new challenge.
Jordan averaged 15 disposals per game and kicked nine majors in 10 matches. Though equalling out to a goal a game on average, all of her goals came within four games. She kicked a bag of four against Murray Bushrangers in Round 9, then kicked a couple of goals against Dandenong Stingrays and Sandringham Dragons in Rounds 15 and 17 respectively.
Though not consistently hitting the scoreboard, Jordan's value as a forward comes in a mix of her ability to pressure opponents, and more importantly, set up teammates with great looks at goal. The small forward will be the first to lower the eyes and nail a difficult inboard kick, or pop it up for a teammate to jump at. In any case, Jordan's value to both the Knights and Vic Metro transcends the pure number of individual goals.
Impressively, Jordan's numbers at the national carnival were spiked, with the small forward revelling off her taller teammates to be at their feet, kicking four goals from her three games and stepping up on the big stage. It gave the biggest indication that Jordan is able to match it against the best of the best.
However, Jordan does have a lack of leg speed which hurts any aspiring small. She recorded below average at prior testing events, and though she has the smarts to either draw free kicks or evade opponents, it will be another question mark when it comes to clubs considering her as a draft option.
Overall, whether or not a club decides to take a chance on Jordan will come down to the importance of speed and size, up against natural footballing ability. On pure traits, the Northern Knights young gun has the ability to play at the top level, it will just be whether or not a club pulls the trigger.
Ava Jordan is a later draft prospect in general, but could be value if a club sees her as an ideal role player in a particular lineup. If drafted, she would fit in well with a team that has contested marking forwards, as she could go to work at their feet. Though no guarantee, Jordan would leave no stone unturned in her pursuit to reach the top level.
Coates Talent League Girls
AFLW U18 Championships
AFLW U17 Championships
|2021||Vic Metro U17s||15||11||26||0||0||0||4||0||8||1||3||1||2||7.5||5.5||13.0||0.0||0.0||2.0||0.5||51|