Colby McKercher

height: 180cm

weight: 76kg

D.O.B: 12-04-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “A prolific accumulator with equal measures of speed and skill, Colby McKercher is a nailed on top five prospect.”

Few players are capable of racking up the numbers like Colby McKercher, who dominated his top-age campaign across every level. The star Tasmanian talent has long been touted as a player to watch out of the Apple Isle, progressing through the ranks alongside partner-in-crime Ryley Sanders – whom he finished second to in this year’s Larke Medal voting, and joined in this year’s National Academy.

McKercher was a prolific figure in the stacked Allies engine room which motored the side to a historic undefeated title run. He also helped Tasmania reach the Coates Talent League preliminary finals for a second year running, having done so with massive promise in 2022. His honours this year included All-Australian and Talent League Team of the Year selection to go with a tied Morrish Medal.

The only hiccup in the midfielder’s season was a foot injury (fracture and bone bruising) sustained in the Devils’ Round 16 win over Calder Cannons. He returned a month later, but couldn’t quite help his side complete a dream finals run on the back of its maiden minor premiership. Though he got back on the park, McKercher sat out the recent National Draft Combine.



+ Consistency
+ Clean hands
+ Decision making
+ Skills
+ Speed
+ Work rate


- Contested game
- Strength

McKercher is an exponent of the fabled speed-endurance mix which dominates the athletic profiles of modern day AFL prospects. One side of that equation catches the eye, while the other ensures it stays fixed as McKercher runs riot throughout four quarters. He's the type of player who's nearly impossible to lay a hand on or tie down, and would have opposition coaches pulling their hair out in attempts to stop him.

Though he began most games for the Allies out on the wing, everything for McKercher starts at stoppage. His combination of smarts and movement see him get to the fall of the ball every time, and such nous under the rucks often makes him a primary hit-to option. Once the ball comes his way, the Tasmanian has wickedly clean hands to collect it with one grab and turn on the jets to exit without a hitch.

Few can match McKercher's turn of speed, capable of slipping opponents with his first few steps or jinking around them effortlessly. He combines his athletic gifts with high level smarts and spatial awareness, rarely being caught in possession and often finding the best option by hand and foot. McKercher averaged over five clearances in Allies and Tasmanian colours this year, highlighting his stoppage nous.

Where McKercher can really carve up the opposition is on the outside, though. Once he breaks into space, he loves to snatch metres and is not shy of a baulk or running bounce. His overall running capacity is high-level too, leading to an uncontested possession average of 23.3 per each National Championships outing, making up 71.5 per cent of his total possessions. There, he can dart damaging passes on his favoured left foot.

That kind of proficiency on the outside is also what makes him such a consistent accumulator. McKercher put up outrageously good numbers across all competitions this year, including an average of 32.8 disposals for the Allies. He managed 29.4 per nine Talent League games, but his first six appearances yielded hauls of 31, 32, or 33 touches. Better yet, upon returning from Champs, he notched a personal-best of 41.

While waxing with teammates and combining in chains of possessions makes up much of McKercher's MO, he also makes his touches count. He averaged around eight score involvements for both the Devils and Allies, while also booting goals in each of his last six Talent League digs. That included a five-game run where McKercher bagged two goals in each, utterly dominating from the start to finish of scoring passages.

At 180cm, McKercher is on the smaller end of the scale but still capable of holding his own. He arguably won't be a Lachie Neale kind of stoppage specialist, but has the capacity to act like a quicker Zach Merrett with his ability to shift inside and out. It's highly possible that he'll start his career on the wing or rotating to a forward flank, until he fills out his frame and can better cope with the rigours of senior footy.

Another area he may look to enhance, and it's a matter of splitting hairs at this point, is his conversion. There's no doubting McKercher's field kicking proficiency and ability to impact the scoreboard, but he booted 12.16 for Tasmania this season and could have put away a few more chances. If he is to spend time up forward early in his career, he'll want to make good on every opportunity which comes his way.



The end of a phenomenal junior career will likely see McKercher in the frame to be a top five draft pick. Some clubs have considered him the second or third-best prospect in the country this year on the back of sheer weight of performances and undeniable talent. Many of McKercher’s traits will easily transfer to the top level and he has very few glaring weaknesses, if any. Don’t expect there to be too much trepidation when it comes to the ‘go home factor’ either, like most of the Tasmanians this year, despite the state’s impending AFL license.

Clean hands
Decision making
Work rate
Contested game

AFL U18 Championships


Coates Talent League Boys

2022Tasmania Devils14115429543005200631461310.811.822.
2023Tasmania Devils14112426544003400571612915.713.829.
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