Leagues: NAB League Boys
SNAPSHOT: "A tall 19th-year wingman with clean hands overhead, neat short kicking skills, and strong running capacity."
After losing out on a top-age season, Karl Worner made the most of his 19th-year campaign with the Oakleigh Chargers in 2021. Also tied to Richmond's VFL squad, the hard running wingman impressed with his ability to rack up possessions and impact on the outside. He managed a handful of NAB League appearances and was outstanding in the Victorian trial games, leading to Metro selection and a draft combine invite as his state's season was cut short. With nice size and footballing traits, Worner is a 2002-born prospect to watch.
+ Outside run
+ Overhead marking
+ Short kicking
- Expansive kicking
Able to plug into roles on all three lines, Worner looks most comfortable running off the wing or half-back where his greatest assets come to the fore. The 19-year-old's ability to link play from behind the ball or outside a stoppage is handy, as Worner puts in repeat running efforts to give-and-go or get away neat kicks under pressure.
He is the type of player who can help set his side up going forward. Worner offers great efficiency and composure with his short-range kicking, picking targets well and then following up his initial disposal to earn another. When looking to be more expansive over long distances, he sometimes lacks the same effectiveness and can enhance that side of his game.
To go with his positive outside running, Worner also brings solid size and clean hands to the contest. While not the quickest, most line-breaking wingman, he gets in good positions to receive and can stand up in tackles to release others and keep the play moving. His vision and execution by hand are often sharp, complimenting his kicking well.
Another useful strength for Worner is his overhead marking nous. At 188cm, he provides aerial presence when required and is not afraid to contest against taller opponents. His hands are strong in those instances and along with his sound kicking skills, bodes well for a role off half-back where he can combine the two traits more often.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late/Rookie
There aren't many 19-year-old talents with draft combine invites this year but Worner is one of them, having done all he could to put his name into contention throughout 2021. His key traits are effective over multiple roles and while not overly flashy, he provides good balance on a wing and the ability to chain play on the attack with clean use in the short range. Clubs which look to exploit that kind of style may look at Worner with a late or rookie pick, especially with that added year of experience under his belt.
NAB League Boys