Leagues: WAFL Colts
Image Credit: Pixell Photography
POSITION: Key Forward/Ruck
SNAPSHOT: “A versatile tall prospect who thrives aerially and consistently kicks goals up forward, while also rotating through the ruck or even to defence.”
One of the many promising West Australian talls in this year's crop, Jack Williams is an aerially astute ruck-forward with great versatility. The East Fremantle product was included in this year's AFL Academy and turned out for the squad in April, before going on to notch 40 goals from 15 WAFL Colts games. As the spearhead of a Sharks side which ran deep into finals, it was almost inevitable that Williams also earned state Under 19 representative honours, translating his goalkicking prowess to the national stage. Having capped his campaign at the West Australian draft combine, the 195cm prospect has ticked off many a goal in 2021.
+ Overhead marking
+ Leading patterns
+ Work rate
While capable of playing on all three lines, Williams has predominately played the ruck-forward role in 2021 and seems a natural lead-up tall. His best weapons come aerially, where he uses his reach to advantage on the lead to pluck marks on the move. With his size and a handy enough leap, he can prove difficult to combat overhead.
The other aspect of Williams' presentation as a forward is his leading patterns. He has a good tank for a tall and works hard to offer repeat options to the kicker, finding enough space to work his opponent over on the lead and mark in front. As an astute learner, his forward craft is developing and utilising greater bodywork is another step he can make.
Once he has snaffled up the ball inside 50, Williams has proven his worth as a reliable goalkicker. His season tally from 15 Colts games in 2021 was 40.24, coming from 14.5 disposals and 5.9 marks per game. That kind of output and knack for adding multiples is terrific for a young key forward, especially one who also started games in the ruck.
There are still areas Williams can look to improve, and they are ones which may impact his draft projection. While well developed at 93kg, he is not the most aggressive contested marker and lacks a touch of mobility. His smarts make up for an absence of speed, but that may be found out by more athletic defenders at the next level.
The listing of consistency also comes three-fold for Williams. His production and goalkicking records were sound, but he could maximise his four-quarter damage, sharpen up his accuracy even further, and hold his marks one-grab more often. It's just the little things that will make him a more viable and well rounded key forward.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 25-50
While there are couple of knocks on his game overall, Williams is one of the more natural key position prospects available. He reads the ball well in flight and is a viable marking target, as well as a proven goalkicker. Having put in a body of work across a full season, including representative action, he should be in good stead to attract some interest onwards of the second round.