#24

Luca Whitelum

height: 188cm

weight: 77kg

D.O.B: 16-06-2003

Leagues: SANFL Reserves, SANFL Under 18s

Image Credit: Mark Brake/AFL Photos

POSITION: Forward/Utility

SNAPSHOT: “Whitelum is a medium-tall forward with neat skills, an enticing aerial ability and a well-rounded athletic profile who performed well across several grades this season.” 

 

Tanunda product Luca Whitelum has enjoyed a strong season in the SANFL with Central District and at college level with Sacred Heart, showcasing his potential at many levels. Whitelum spent much of the year captaining a star-studded Sacred Heart side which also included the likes of Jaiden MagorJacob OwensKobe RyanWill Patton, Tyson Coe, Jakob Ryan and Angus Bradley. Under Whitelum’s leadership, the team went through the season undefeated to claim the Messenger Shield on top of victory in the All-Schools knockout Grand Final. Once the college season wrapped up, Whitelum made his SANFL Reserves debut with Centrals and held his spot as the Bulldogs made it through to this year's decider. Playing the final five Reserves matches, Whitelum looked comfortable at the level, booting three goals and averaging 14.4 disposals, 5.2 marks and three tackles. In the preliminary final, Whitelum starred, gathering 21 disposals, 10 marks, five inside 50s and booting two goals in the Bulldogs' four-point win. His efforts throughout the year saw him picked to represent the South Australian Under 19s in their final encounter with Western Australia on home soil.  

 

STRENGTHS: 

+ Foot skills
+ Overhead marking
+ Leadership
+ Athleticism
+ Versatility

IMPROVEMENTS: 

- Strength
- Consistency

 

The Barossa Valley teenager has played a number of roles throughout the season, but primarily on the wing and as a third-tall forward. It’s arguably in attack where he has looked at his most dangerous. Whitelum’s aerial ability is strong, boasting clean hands above his head and an ability to fly from just about anywhere in a pack. He is courageous in the air and at 188cm, is tall and athletic enough to really trouble a smaller defender, but often too agile for the bigger-bodied backs. Whitelum also has a clean set of skills, with goals from tight angles evidence of his class. In general play he is a clean ball-user, which has seen him utilised as a rangy wingman at times. 

 

Whitelum earned an invite to the South Australian draft combine, where his natural athleticism was on display. He finished fourth in the 20-metre sprint with a time of three seconds, and ran second in the 2km time trial (six minutes and 26 seconds) behind Central District teammate and fellow Tanunda draft hopeful Shay Linke. Whitelum’s speed, combined with his aerial prowess and running power make him a forwardline prospect with plenty of x-factor, playing a somewhat similar role to Melbourne’s Bayley Fritsch 

 

Alongside his exciting athleticism, effective skills and damaging aerial ability, the eye-catching forward is a natural leader who refuses to back down on the field. He lead by example throughout the season and was recognised for his hard work at state level. Whitelum is inconsistent in terms of production at times, as is often the case with medium-forwards, but has some very likeable traits. He will need to add some size to his lanky frame, but once he does expect Whitelum to showcase his talent on a more consistent basis.  

 

DRAFT PROJECTION: Late/Rookie 

 

SUMMARY: 

Luca Whitelum has snuck under the radar this season, spending much of the year playing school football but finishing his campaign solidly with Central District. He performed well in the Reserves and, if he isn’t drafted, will be expected to play League football next year. An impressive all-round athlete, Whitelum has some traits which will appeal to AFL recruiting staff. Considered a late option, expect Whitelum to generate some interest from a club seeking to add a developable and versatile talent to its list. 

SANFL Reserves

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Central District512172260015051443510.24.214.45.20.03.00.670.2
Total-512172260015051443510.24.214.45.20.03.00.670.2

SANFL Under 18s

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2021Central District502070170013051321412.55.017.54.30.03.30.374.8
Total-502070170013051321412.55.017.54.30.03.30.374.8
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