Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys
SNAPSHOT: “A hard running speedster who consistently put up strong numbers for Gippsland Power, playing in both defence and on a wing”
Cooper Vickery has enjoyed a consistent year at NAB League level for Gippsland Power, where he became a reliable ball user out of the defensive half and running down the ground. His transitional running from the back 50 and then rotating onto a wing allowed him to find plenty of the ball, and his metres gained were always high.
An outside-dominant player, Vickery is still only light at 72kg, and his traits suit that outside role. Often found coming out of half-back, Vickery is a player who will look for the one-two be it via hand or short kick, and that allowed him to set his side up in transition.
Though not the most damaging player with his disposal, he is neat and consistent, averaging the 17.3 disposals for the Power, and reaching double-figure disposals each week bar one. In Rounds 8-9, Vickery picked up back-to-back 25-disposal hauls and averaged eight rebound 50s in that time.
Earning his spot in the ‘Big V’ for Vic Country, Vickery averaged a similar 16.8 disposals, as well as 3.5 marks and 3.5 rebound 50s, with his kicking efficiency of 68.3 per cent quite high, but also only winning a third of his touches in a contested situation. Regardless, Vickery showed enough to earn a National Draft Combine invite, and has done all he could throughout season 2022 to put himself in a position to be drafted.
+ Consistency + Versatility + Rebounding + Speed + Transitional running
- Impact-per-possession - Strength - Contested work
Cooper Vickery's greatest strengths lie in his ball movement, and that is where he is able to impact games the most. He is able to consistently win the ball in the back half and drive it forward, either coming off half-back or from the wing, and is not afraid to take the game on. Sometimes he can give off the ball in a one-two quicker than he needed to, but he knows he can have that powerful burst to burn off opponents.
Vickery is a light-bodied player who could further build his strength which would enable him to have more of an influence in contested situations. His running capacity on the outside allows him to be the perfect player for that role, with his speed to burn off opponents critical in opening up opportunities for his teammates. His execution is reliable, albeit safe, with potential for greater scope there if he can hit the more dangerous targets and open up the game further with his speed his greatest asset.
If a team is in the market for an outside runner who has potential in terms of his impact, then Vickery could be the man. He is clean by hand and efficient by foot, and if he adds that contested side to his game, then he could develop into a balanced midfielder. Right now, his half-back and wing roles suit his style and he could continue to develop that at the top level. Though there are more damaging players in the draft crop, Vickery is more consistent than most in terms of his ball-winning and running.
One important aspect about Vickery's season was the Power defender's ability to stand up against high quality opponents at the National Championships. Vickery held his own and put out similar averages to at NAB League level, and that would have given clubs greater confidence to back him in. Strong draft combine results help, too.
DRAFT RANGE: 40-60
Cooper Vickery is a consistent ball-winner who plays his best footy on the outside, be it half-back or the wing, and he is able to distribute the ball while gaining plenty of meterage. Though the Gippsland Power defender/winger is more of a late to rookie chance, he has shown he has the athletic capacity to further improve his game at the top level. Tied to Hawthorn’s Next Generation Academy member, he will most likely attract interest just outside that top 40 buffer.
AFL U18 Championships