Leagues: SANFL League
Image Credit: Morgan Sette/News Corp
POSITION: Tall Defender
SNAPSHOT: "An athletically gifted and versatile tall defender with plenty of development left, whose intercept marking ability catches the eye."
One of the rare over-age players among this year's National Combine list, 20-year-old Leek Alleer has shot right into draft contention on the back of a terrific 2021 campaign. Having played SANFL Under 18s as an over-ager last year, it took the athletic prospect one Reserves game before he earned a League berth for Central District in Round 7, this year. Credit to his rapid rate of improvement, Alleer found a home in defence and immediately caught the eye with highlight reel intercept marks and incredible athleticism, both of which have him pegged as a viable key defensive option in the 2021 AFL Draft.
+ Intercept Marking
+ Vertical Leap
With one of the more eye-catching highlight reels going around, Alleer is sure to excite many fans with his style of play. Intercept marking makes up most of his tape, with the defender's athleticism and vertical leap playing into his aerial feats. Having added some muscle to his body, Alleer is an explosive leaper who hits contests hard and shows great courage in doing so. Whether it be leaping from the back, standing up in a pack, or going back with the flight, Alleer gets his hands on the ball from all angles.
His aerial impact isn't limited to just marking either, with Alleer one to spoil or bring the ball to ground when necessary. As he continues to develop his craft with more gametime, his improved positioning and timing will allow for more sustained impact behind the ball. Alleer's mix of athleticism, raw ability and upside make for a profile similar to that of Carlton's Liam Jones, who became a prolific intercept player later in his career. Alleer has made that switch much earlier.
Across 11 League games this year, Alleer averaged a tick under nine disposals and just over four marks. Lift those numbers by around 50 per cent, and you have a seriously good defender on your hands. At the moment, Alleer is an impact sort of player who stands out when he gets it right, with half of his disposals coming from marks. Getting it right more often will be key to unlocking his high potential, and turning that highlight reel to a full tape.
The upside is clearly there with Alleer, who has come a long way since his Under 18 outings last year. A dynamic type, he was played up on the wing and as a marking forward, but has now taken his greatest strides down back. His decision making and disposal execution can do with some sharpening up and while often neat enough, sometimes sells his side into trouble in open play. Again, experience and exposure at high levels will aid that kind of learning.
DRAFT RANGE: Second-Third Round
With tall prospects at a premium in this year's crop, clubs may be in for Alleer earlier than expected. Those who have the squad depth and can back their development programs will likely look at the Central Districts man, who returned an impressive debut senior campaign. His extra year of development and exposure in the SANFL's top flight is a nice advantage over other prospects in the same range, and Alleer could be one who improves out of sight at the elite level. There is an element of crystal-balling to his selection though, with plenty to work on.