James Leake

height: 187cm

weight: 77kg

D.O.B: 02-10-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “This year’s draft bolter, James Leake is arguably the most versatile player in the crop having impressed across all three lines through the season, acting as a ‘Mr. Fix It’ for Tasmania.”

A vital cog in the Tasmania and Allies sides this season, James Leake has proven his versatility at high levels. After receiving All Australian honours for his work in the Allies’ back line, he then returned to Tasmania’s Coates League side and registered 15 goals in his final five appearances for the season.

What’s more, he even got a run through the Devils’ engine room. In between his commitments for representative footy, Leake has also suited up for Launceston in the TSL, gaining valuable experience against mature bodies as he has done since he was 16-years-old. He was even a premiership player last year, but has truly come on as a top-ager having initially only just snuck into the Allies’ first 23.



+ Athleticism
+ Decision making
+ Marking
+ Skills
+ Versatility

- Four-quarter consistency
- Strength

When Leake is brought up in draft conversations, the first word that pops to mind is ‘versatile’, having cut his teeth in the first half of the season and at Nationals level as an impactful intercept defender, then ending the season as an undersized marking target up forward with stints through the midfield.

There’s truly no role that Leake hasn’t found himself deployed in throughout the season. With debate about where he plays his best footy, and where he’ll end up playing at AFL level, Leake’s ability to show his strengths regardless of position will have him high up most clubs' draft boards.

A consistently reliable part of the Allies' defensive unit, Leake wasn’t often under siege at the representative given his sides’ dominance, taking the opportunity to show his ability to contribute to offensive plays from behind the ball. He worked hard to present as a handball option out of congestion, or positioned himself aggressively to intercept high up the ground when the opposition rushed disposal out of the back line.

Leake’s combination of game sense, marking prowess and athleticism lends well to his versatility, looking natural at any role despite a lack of experience, due to his understanding of the game and ability to read the play.

All of the above make him a dangerous interceptor down back and a damaging forward 50 player who can hurt opposition on the lead and at ground level. Leake’s vice-like grip on the ball in the air is in effect regardless of if he’s in space alone or in a pack competing against four or five others, able to take grabs against taller and stronger opposition consistently, with his leap keeping him in contention even if he’s late to a contest.

Leake’s ball use and decision making are other strengths that make him such a well rounded prospect, with his ability to hurt opposition heading into the forward half particularly noteworthy, managing to balance this offensive approach well with safer and shorter disposal when the situation calls for it.

Currently, Leake can struggle to consistently impact games directly, perhaps due to endurance or inconsistency within his role, and will be looking to have a more sustained impact across four quarters at the next level given how damaging he can be when around the ball.

Along with this, Leake will look to add to his frame to have the same impact around the contest at the next level, with AFL opposition likely to move him off the ball quite easily currently.

DRAFT RANGE: First Round


Leake is a prospect whose upside is evident across a promising athletic profile and terrific versatility. AFL clubs will appreciate that they can mould the Tasmanian into no one particular archetype, instead having the flexibility to use him in whatever way is required. That aspect can work two ways, but given his talent and exposed form across the ground, he looms as a true first round bolter.

Decision making
Four-quarter consistency

AFL U18 Championships


Coates Talent League Boys

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