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#34

Max Gruzewski

height: 193cm

weight: 84kg

D.O.B: 21-07-2004

Leagues: Under 18s Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “ A versatile tall who has shown some promising signs at both ends of the ground and shapes as a possible first round bolter” 

A fair few Oakleigh players have had some troubles this year and Gruzewski shares a very similar story to Elijah Tsatas as a player who started the year strong only to get injured in the middle of the year. That resulted in the athletic tall missing the bulk of the national championships, only to come back later in the year and really catch the eye and finish the year strongly.

Gruzewski’s greatest feat and strongest impression on recruiters however may have come off the field, with his fantastic show of sportsmanship helping Lewis Hayes cross the finish line in the 2km when his legs gave way and just could not go on. It is safe to say recruiters would have been more happy to see that act rather than a few less seconds off his 2km time. 

Gruzewski has grown slightly from 192cm to 193cm, and is just a smidge short to play on some of the 200cm-plus key forwards, but with his impressive leap he could still potentially hold his own. Gruzewski’s athletic profile and play style are not unlike recent top 10 pick Josh Gibcus and it is likely that added height which helped garner that high pick and why Gruzewski could go lower than his talent may suggest. 

Gruzewski played six of his seven games as a key defender for Oakleigh which lead to an average of 13.7 possessions and five marks per game which is certainly solid for a tall key defender with his one game up forward only scoring one goal he still looked like a threat whenever the ball came inside 50. Gruzewski would play forward in his only outing for Vic Metro kicking two goals and taking a brilliant leaping mark showcasing his impressive leap and marking which was used on plenty of occasions at APS level as well for Caulfield where he spent time forward, back and also in the ruck. 

STRENGTHS: 

+ Vertical Leap
+ Versatility
+ Composure
+ Skills
+ Upside
+ Marking 

IMPROVEMENTS: 

- Agility
- Forward craft 

The big thing you notice about Max Gruzewski straight away when watching him is his leap. He uses his athletic leap in every overhead contest he is apart of, whether that is coming from behind for a timely spoil, or from the side to take a strong pack mark from the side down back and when forward he is also a strong pack mark but can also get separation on the lead.

Although not super quick Gruzewski has good enough closing speed to make a lot of spoils and seems to have a good understanding of when to zone off and when to follow his direct opponent and having to shoulder the grunt of the work as the main tall down back for Oakleigh he could really shine as more of a third tall at the next level and given reigns to run off more and potentially play more like a James Sicily or Jeremy Howe.

Gruzewski is a safe user of the ball and rarely makes a mistake and often takes the kicking option over the handball option and has even taken a few lockouts and done a solid job. He is not one to bite off more than he can chew but if he is to become more of a rebound option rather than a stopper he may want to try and nail those more risky kicks to become a more damaging player.

Gruzewski has plenty of upside as he is not fully developed yet but with some slight growth over the year he may become a proper key position height in a few years. However even if he does not, his athletic traits and versatility will certainly give clubs a player who they can mould. With a lower endurance base and some injury concerns, it is unlikely Gruzewski will play at the highest level in his first year and the choice of his preferred position will likely come down to the club that picks him up.

Gruzewski has had some promising games up forward showing some exciting signs, but his consistency over four quarters in that position is an area to improve and his overall forward craft is not at a level that will see him influence the next level anytime soon. However with his attitude he could be a quick learner once in the elite system. Having no standout position can be a blessing and a curse for some players and seeing how he embraces the likely swapping of positions will be key.

DRAFT RANGE: 20-50 

SUMMARY: 

One of the most versatile players in the draft, Gruzewski’s size and athleticism will certainly attract clubs and his act of sportsmanship at the draft combine will only further impress the clubs who could look at him even as early as the late first round but with his height not quite at a key position level he could hold good value somewhere in the second round or third round. There is a lot of upside with Gruzewski and although he has shone an ability at either end of the ground it would seem down back will be his best spot long-term. 

Strengths
Composure
Upside
Versatility
Vertical leap
Marking
Skills
Improvements
Agility
Forward craft

Coates Talent League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2022Oakleigh Chargers75219635005103231710.73.013.75.00.10.70.158
Total-75219635005103231710.73.013.75.00.10.70.158

Under 18s Championships

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2022Vic Metro41542310010214.01.05.04.00.01.02.040
Total-41542310010214.01.05.04.00.01.02.040
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