Leagues: WAFL Colts, AFL U18 Championships
SNAPSHOT: “A dangerous medium forward with a bag of tricks, Harry Cole is a classy operator who showed glimpses of his talent in state colours to emerge as a bona fide draft prospect”
A crafty mid-sized forward with a genuine eye for goal, Harry Cole is another Western Australian product who has come from a fair way back to emerge as an intriguing option in the draft. Coming into the season, Cole was somewhat of an unknown quantity, having never featured in any Western Australian state squads and having only appeared in a handful of games for Claremont in his under-age year.
An outstanding start to the year at both school and colts level saw Cole added as a late selection into the West Australian state squad for the National Championships. He took full advantage of his inclusion, putting together one of the best individual cameos in the carnival to dominate the second term against Vic Metro and put his name up as a potential draftee. If drafted, he will join a production line of talent out of Hale School, with Cole wining the best and fairest for his school as captain in between running out for the Tigers in the Colts.
- Forward craft
- Aerial ability
It does not take an extensive viewing of Cole to see he has some genuine AFL level talent that would draw the attention of recruiters. He is a smooth-moving player with neat skills and a frame that will see him develop into a good size once he fills out after a few pre-seasons. At school and Colts level early in the season, Cole played predominantly in the midfield and showed his ability to accumulate the ball in the engine room to get the late call-up for WA. But it was the role he played for the Black Ducks as a hybrid forward that provided a glimpse into where he could play at the next level.
With defensive structures as stringent as ever in the modern game, forwards need to be able to hit the scoreboard in a variety of ways and Cole has shown that he has multiple avenues to find the big sticks.
He is a smart player who is good at finding space, timing his leads and hitting up at the ball carrier. He has also shown himself to be dangerous at ground level, particularly at forward stoppages where he has shown the ability to drift through the pack and manufacture a shot on goal in heavy traffic. In front of goal, he is a relatively reliable converter, with a technically sound set shot technique and kicking style helping him kick truly more often than not.
Cole is also good aerially for his size and can pluck a contested mark. He illustrated this in that second quarter burst against Vic Metro, where he soared above his opponent to bring down an excellent grab. This mark, among other pieces of play in his junior career, have shown his ability to create something from nothing in a mercurial fashion.
Physically, Cole is still quite raw and would likely require some development at a second tier level before he is ready to attack senior football. He also plays a role where it can be difficult to produce consistent output and as a result, some of Cole’s statistics may not jump off the page compared to other prospects.
DRAFT RANGE: Late
While not the finished product, Harry Cole has a number of quality traits that sees him present as an appetising option for clubs. While midfielders are a dime a dozen, Cole presents a unique option for clubs looking to add a classy youngster with good upside to to their forward line mix.
AFL U18 Championships