Northern KnightsNorthern KnightsInside Midfielder


Ned Long

height: 192cm

weight: 88kg

D.O.B: 05-02-2003

Leagues: NAB League Boys

Inside Midfielder

SNAPSHOT: “A strong-bodied midfielder with great endurance who also loves a goal, Long was one of the most damaging players in the NAB League before injury cut his season short.” - Ed Pascoe

Ned Long is a tall and strong midfielder who uses his size to advantage in the midfield and up forward, while also proving hard to stop around the ground with his powerful running. Injury cut his year unfortunately short right before he could represent Vic Metro and help enhance his draft stocks like teammate Josh Ward was able to. Sharing comparisons to Josh Dunkley and Kyle Langford in terms of size and ability to play midfield and forward, it is that exact aptitude forward of centre that is his staking point compared to other taller midfielders Matthew Johnson and Mitch Knevitt.


+ Scoreboard Impact
+ Endurance
+ Bodywork
+ Tackling
+ Smarts


- Kicking
- Speed

Long has been on the draft radar since representing Victoria in the Under 15 School Sport competition along side Northern Knights teammate Josh Ward, who he has formed a great partnership with in midfield and at APS level with Melbourne Grammar. Both players had impressed early in 2021 until Long succumbed to injury and wasn’t able to play much more football at NAB League, APS or representative level. Long’s form at the start of the year was impressive and in his three games of NAB League, he averaged 22 disposals and over two goals per game - with two games of three goals each. His lesser game yielded 15 disposals, but Long managed nine tackles in a wet day at Preston City Oval. His season tackle averages were also solid, with almost six per game.

The one big point of difference for Long is his ability inside 50, but the manner of how he kicks his goals differs from the norm for 192cm forwards. Long’s three goals against Gippsland came from good bodywork and quick thinking, rather than from any contested marking or marking on the lead. His goals against Western were different again, with one coming from a strong contested mark and another where he moved around the player on the mark at 50m and kicked a lovely goal on the run in what was his best game for the year. His speed may be a concern as a leading forward target, considering he doesn’t take marks in that fashion, but his agility once the ball hits ground is surprisingly sound and could catch defenders out.

Long’s endurance is at a very high level, highlighted with his 2km time of 6:05 and a 21.6 Yo-Yo test score back in 2020. His endurance helps the 192cm and 88kg player get around the ground better than most players of his build, and he can be hard to go with when he pushes forward from stoppages. Long could use this running capacity more to spread defensively from the midfield and push up higher when he does play forward, where he often plays from the square but he does offer good pressure, tackling presence, and willingness to attack. Long’s midfield spread against Western Jets was promising. winning plenty of the ball on the outside which players of his size usually struggle to do. Endurance has become a big factor in modern football, so this should be a strong consideration in Long's draft hopes.

Despite moving fairly well for his size agility wise, able to escape would-be tacklers better than most at his size, Long's speed off the mark especially in a straight line for leads isn't great. If he is to play more forward at the next level, he will need to improve his speed and leading patterns to maximise his forward craft against elite defenders. Long’s kicking is also inconsistent and despite a fairly nice game kicking wise against Western Jets, his disposal lacked consistency against Sandringham and Gippsland. An over-reliance on his right foot can get him into trouble, though Long is solid by hand and often makes the right choice, but could be crisper to maximise his effectiveness at stoppages as a big body on the inside.

DRAFT RANGE: Late/Rookie


Long is a tough player to rate as he has plenty of AFL level traits with his endurance, size and smarts. His scope for development is slimmer and there are queries on his speed and kicking, along with the injury concern this year which could see him go later than his form would suggest. A team that needs more depth for taller midfielders could do with a player like Long and with his frame and endurance, he could still feature playing AFL games in 2022. A full year potentially playing Under 19s again or even a full-time VFL run could do his game wonders if he doesn’t get picked up.

NAB League Boys

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