Leagues: WAFL League, WAFL Colts
Image Credit: Shazza J Photography
POSITION: Medium Utility
SNAPSHOT: "A versatile prospect who makes poised decisions with ball in hand, Hough is one of this year's biggest draft bolters."
Brady Hough has come a long way in the space of a year, rapidly rising to become Peel Thunder's top prospect and a surprise bolter among the West Australian hopefuls. Having shown promising form at Colts level, the 18-year-old earned state Under 19 selection and even cracked the League grade in his final WAFL outing for the year, taking to the level like a duck to water with 22 disposals, nine marks and a goal. With all he has achieved, it is easy to forget that 2021 marked Hough's maiden Colts campaign, for which he took out Peel's best first year player award. With the versatility to play on flanks at both ends of the ground or on either side of midfield, Hough catches the eye with his class on the ball and work rate off it.
+ Work rate
- Midfield craft
One who was been employed on each line in 2021, Hough has done all he can to prove his worth no matter the task. His running capacity makes him a viable option on the wing, but he has the size and poise to play inside, while also showing great signs in roles at either end of the ground. That kind of versatility and the ability to adapt quickly to each situation is a real strength for Hough, and one which will play to his advantage not only at the draft table, but also in terms of selection.
Hough does a lot of his best work moving forward, showcasing great decision making and execution of his skills. By foot, he can hurt the opposition with carving kicks inside 50 and often hits his intended targets. His ability to create from further afield is somewhat credit to his composure, which can also be viewed in how he navigates tight spots. Hough is poised and moves well laterally for a player of his size (189cm), working his way to space and bustling through tackles if need be. In an added bonus, he also hits the scoreboard himself.
With the combination of sound decision making, movement, and solid running capacity, Hough is an effective outside player. He spent a good amount of time rotating through the centre bounces for Peel, but can continue to work on his inside craft to make full use of his clean handling and tall frame around the contest upon hitting the next level. Hough has all the tools to become a really effective utility in time, and his rate of development points to high upside.
Speaking of, Hough's improvement over the course of a year has been even more outstanding given his lack of exposure to such high levels. Hailing from the south-west of WA, Hough's first year of Colts footy was a massive one and rightly earned him a League dig. He fared well in his lone outing, and was also impactful at state Under 19s level, so continued exposure against the best competition possible is clearly serving him well, advancing his game at a good tick.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 35-60
One of the big improvers among his draft class, Hough has shot right into draft contention and has plenty of desirable traits which recruiters love. His exposed form over a full season of football and exposure to higher levels of competition should work in his favour, as well as his versatility as a developable type of talent. He looks most likely to attract interest in the third round, but could sneak a little higher up the order given his range of pros.