South AdelaideSouth AdelaideOutside Midfielder

#10

Isaac Birt

height: 182cm

weight: 71kg

D.O.B: 04-07-2003

Leagues: SANFL Reserves, SANFL Under 18s

Image Credit: Nick Hook Photography

POSITION: Outside Midfielder  

SNAPSHOT: “Birt is a clean-kicking wingman with some eye-catching traits who threw his name into draft calculations with a strong season at South Adelaide.” 

 

After playing a vital role in South Adelaide's success this season, Strathalbyn’s Isaac Birt has emerged as one of the state’s best outside-leaning midfielders. In 16 Under 18 matches, Birt averaged 20.6 disposals, 6.8 marks and 5.1 clearances per game, and his match-winning performance against Norwood in Round 10 earned him player of the round honours. Birt willed his team over the line away from home with a dominant final term, finishing the day with 31 disposals, two goals, 11 marks (three contested), five tackles, eight inside 50s and a nine-point victory. Birt’s season didn’t go unnoticed by the state selectors, who named him in the Under 19 side to take on Western Australia in the first match between the two states out west. The consistent wingman was also rewarded for his encouraging season at Noarlunga with a Reserves debut in Round 18, where he collected 11 disposals and took six marks. 

 

STRENGTHS: 

+ Speed
+ Endurance
+ Run and carry
+ Foot skills
+ Contested marking
+ Courage

 

IMPROVEMENTS: 

- Inside game
- Unproven versatility

 

Birt spent his 2021 season playing almost exclusively on the wing with South Adelaide, which enabled him to showcase some of his most damaging traits. The midfielder possesses both the initial acceleration and sustained speed required in the modern game, particularly from wingers. Birt was often the Panthers' number one outside outlet, with his teammates clearly looking to give him the ball to break open opposition lines with his burst of pace. His ability to run and carry the football up and down the wing was a hallmark of his game this season, and an attribute which is always in demand at AFL level. 

 

The Panthers draft hopeful compliments his speed with a high endurance base, enabling him to help out down in defence, and then participate in the subsequent rebound - often with ball in-hand. Birt has a high work rate and commonly finds separation from his direct opponent in general play. As a result, he accumulates a high number of uncontested marks – an important statistic for an outside-leaning midfielder who works best in space. 

 

In addition to his sound aerobic base and leg speed, Birt is a clean and effective user of the football. A left-footer, Birt has a stylish action and his kicks are often beautifully shaped. His kicks are typically well measured and find their intended target in best position. Birt has sound vision with ball in hand and makes informed decisions. Although the athleticism and skillset he showcases are vital components of a traditional wingman’s game, Birt’s contested marking and prowess in the air gives him a point of difference. Birt finished eighth in the Under 18 competition for contested marks and was the only non-key position player to feature in the top 10. He consistently displayed terrific courage, a clean set of hands above his head, and excellent positioning in one-on-one situations.   

 

At 182cm, Birt has the outside skills and athleticism, but clubs are yet to see whether these attributes can translate into a different position. Perhaps his overhead marking and strength in the air could be harnessed and further-developed down back. Recruiting staff would likely have been eager to see Birt spend some time in a couple of different positions throughout the year. The other area of Birt’s game which could be enhanced is his inside game. While he showed an ability to win clearances and spent some time, albeit limited, as an inside midfielder, Birt lacks exposure in this role. 

 

DRAFT PROJECTION: Late/Rookie 

 

SUMMARY:

Birt has displayed a range of exciting traits on the wing for South Adelaide this season. He has the capacity to impact games with his speed and clean kicking, particularly going inside 50. Capable of having a big say in the outcome of a game, as seen in his aforementioned efforts against Norwood, Birt is a terrific all-round runner who makes good decisions with ball in hand. He is courageous in the air and a strong overhead mark. Although he hasn’t proven himself in another role, Birt has the traits to find a spot at either end of the ground. The South Adelaide product will likely enter consideration in the latter stages of the national draft or as a rookie. Birt will take some time to develop, but would appeal to any club seeking an outside runner with speed and skill. 

FURTHER CONTENT:

>> SANFL Player Focus: Isaac Birt

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021South Adelaide921160000110019211600049
Total-921160000110019211600049

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021South Adelaide255753301090045023823061615.94.720.66.80.02.80.491.1
Total-255753301090045023823061615.94.720.66.80.02.80.491.1
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