Leagues: Under 18s Championships, NAB League Boys
SNAPSHOT: “A powerfully built, hard-running wingman who sweeps back and drives forward on the outside.”
Yarrawonga product Caleb Mitchell carried on the momentum of a strong preseason to cement his spot on the wing this season, turning out 10 times for the Murray Bushrangers. There, he showcased the running capacity and strong frame which have him pegged as a potential draft prospect.
With the wing position proving increasingly pivotal to teams’ setups at the top level, Mitchell offers sound two-way coverage of the ground. His best outing this year was a 31-disposal, two-goal effort against minor premier, Gippsland Power, and he proved relatively consistent otherwise.
The 18-year-old impressed enough to earn a call-up to the Vic Country squad, playing all four National Championship games as a reliable runner on the outside. Back home, he managed a handful of games with Yarrawonga, including a grand final loss to Wangaratta where he booted a goal.
+ Ground coverage
+ Outside run
+ Overhead marking
+ Work rate
Mitchell is a unique type of wingman in the sense that he is built like an inside midfielder, but predominantly plies his trade on the outer. He quickly cemented his spot on the wing for Murray and Vic Country, leaning on a strong running capacity to help link in and out of either arc.
Standing at 187cm and with a solid build, Mitchell is powerful with his step and likes to take the game on. While combine testing showed he is not necessarily quick, when afforded time and space on-field he takes metres and can power away from opponents with side-steps. The other factor is, he works them over between the arcs.
Mitchell racks up most of his possessions uncontested and on the outside, playing to his usual role, but is not afraid to put his body on the line aerially. Living up to his frame, he rose to take some gutsy overhead marks this season and certainly has a few physical tools to become more inside-leaning.
Given the potential Mitchell has to pop up and drive the ball into dangerous areas, adding a touch of polish to his kicking will make him all the more effective. While clean in his handling, he can lose his shape a touch on the run but may easily rectify that over time.
DRAFT RANGE: Late/Rookie
The wing is certainly a role many clubs are looking to find specialists in, and Mitchell is a prospect who could prove a value candidate late in the draft. His running capacity suits the position and he isn’t afraid to set off both ways, though could be a touch more damaging with his end product. Nonetheless, he has a couple of nice tricks with his side-steps and knack for clunking overhead marks.
NAB League Boys
Under 18s Championships