Brayden Crossley

height: 198.1cm

weight: 101.0kg

D.O.B: 16-08-1999

DRAFT ANALYSIS: "The big Gold Coast Academy ruckman has been a big improver throughout 2017, pushing himself from a likely rookie to a possible late selection, after performing well in the Gold Coast NEAFL side and for the Allies."

Leagues: Neafl, Division 2, Trial Matches, AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys


Gold Coast Suns academy member Brayden Crossley had 60 hitouts in a NEAFL game back in August, the eighth most ever recorded in the NEAFL. Crossley was the youngest player ever to crack the half-century, in what was a dominant display of NEAFL rucking. (Stat courtesy of Champion Data's Ant Wingard). Crossley is a pure big-bodied ruckman, who provides physicality during his stints in the ruck and around the contest. His strength is his one-on-one work and he is a big hitout winner, with the Suns prospect earning NAB AFL Under 18 All-Australian honours after averaging 16 disposals and 27 hitouts in the National AFL Under 18 Championships during the year.


  • Physicallity in the ruck contests
  • Repeat efforts in at the stoppages
  • Winning the hitouts

His physicality around the ground, especially at the boundary throw ins - made him a tough opponent, winning battles often against more senior players. Averaging 20.4 hitouts throughout the NEAFL, Crossley was superb for the Gold Coast Suns (and in his one appearance for club team Southport). Crossley's physicality was also important in the contest, averaging 3.7 tackles in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and 3.1 tackles in the NEAFL.

His repeat efforts around the contest were impressive, often recorded a few clearances after tapping the ball down to the ground and picking it up - to dish out to his teammates. His big frame allowed him to get to the best position at the throw ins to win the taps, getting them to his teammates.

In the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, Crossley won All-Australian honours - as the only player to average more than 20 hitouts per game, finishing with 27.7 hitouts for the carnival on average. Crossley also recorded 4.7 clearances on average, with only Vic Country ruckman Lloyd Meek (6.0) higher. His ability to out muscle his opponents and use his strength meant that he was a monty to win the most hitouts, giving the Allies midfielders first ball use throughout the carnival.


  • Endurance
  • Leap
  • Agility
  • Forward work

Much had been made early in the season about Crossley's poor beep testing, running a 9.1 beep on the NAB AFL Academy trip to the United States earlier in the year. His tank has improved as the year has progressed, and while he didn't compete at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, signs have been good during the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and in the NEAFL that he was able to run out games to a decent level. Crossley will no doubt continue to work on his tank and may be able to progress into the AFL as the Suns' number one ruckman in the future.

Whilst Crossley does not lack strength, his leap is an area that could be improved. In the NEAFL Elimination Final, a slimmer and athletic ruckman in Tony Olango was able to jump over him at times & out ruck him during the contest. This is one area that Crossley has shown that he can be beaten by the athletic rucks, where he is unable to use his strength when they can out jump him at the centre bounces and around the ground.

Crossley's work up forward could also be improved, where at times his agility is lacking - picking the ball up from ground level. While he did average over a goal a game in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships and in the NEAFL this season, it is an area he can work on - with Crossley likely to be an 85 per cent ruck/15 per cent forward at the next level.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Late-Rookie (Bid matched)


Brayden Crossley has taken big steps in the second half of the season and after a superb NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, earning him All-Australian honours, Crossley may now find himself worthy of a late bid on draft night. The Gold Coast Suns academy member should end up having a bid matched, after a strong season in the NEAFL averaging 11 disposals and 20 hitouts.

AFL U18 Championships


Division 2

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Coates Talent League Boys


Trial Matches

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