Small Forward


Phoenix Gothard

height: 178cm

weight: 72kg

D.O.B: 07-09-2005

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys

  • Snapshot
  • Analysis
  • Summary

SNAPSHOT: “One of the draft’s most athletically gifted players, Phoenix Gothard is a creative force up forward with his ability to get into space and put speed on the ball.”

Hailing from Albury, Gothard was able to show his wares for the Murray Bushrangers in the Coates Talent League, while also being linked to the Allies for the National Championships.

He played a key hand for the Bushies in the forward half, able to make the most of his opportunities inside 50, but also capable of pushing up the ground and showing off his disposal skill heading forward.

Gothard showed flashes of brilliance for the Allies, playing all four games in their title-winning run. He averaged 10 touches and a goal at representative level, while putting up 16 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal per his 10 Talent League outings.



+ Athleticism
+ Creativity
+ Forward craft
+ Ground balls
+ Tackling


- Strength
- Four-quarter consistency

One of a few players from NSW able to showcase their talents in the Coates Talent League, Gothard did well to press his case as one of the better small forwards available in all of his outings, most notably in Round 11 where he managed 20 disposals and a 2.4 scoreline. Whilst Gothard doesn’t always impact the scoreboard in a big way himself, his ability to play a positive role in scoring chains and spot out teammates inside 50 has made him a valuable contributor in the attacking phase of the game. generally pushing further up the field when his side is out of possession, where he utilizes his speed to get the ball forward quickly.

In the Championship-winning Allies side, Gothard was able to play inside 50 for larger chunks of games than in the Talent League, able to make the most of his opportunities when the ball hit the deck with his manic attack on it, and strong defensive application to lay tackles or apply pressure. Although his statline was not quite as eye catching as it was at Talent League level, Gothard adapted to the level seamlessly, playing his role well throughout.

Arguably Gothard's most appealing trait as a prospect is his athleticism, testing excellently for agility, speed and leap. His ability to utilise all three of these on field has improved throughout the season, as he gradually pushed further up the ground and backed himself to weave out of traffic, or take on opposition players one-on-one in foot races heading forward. Along with this improvement saw a more sustained impact on games, where teammates would often look for him out in space and give him the opportunity to run onto the ball, and better utilise his disposal skill free of pressure.

Gothard’s defensive game is another aspect that has evolved as the season has progressed, bringing opponents to ground more consistently the later into the season it got, and gradually building up his urgency to apply pressure or get to opposition in possession, almost working just as hard defensively as he does offensively.

At AFL Level, Gothard has some work to do in regards to his strength, particularly in the contest where he can be pushed off the footy, to give him a better opportunity to consistently win the ball and impact the game. Along with this, hitting the scoreboard more often, or converting some more of his ‘gettable’ goals, would round out his game nicely as a forward half player. In the way of consistency, enhancing his four-quarter impact and turning promising patches into long stints will allow him to have a greater impact - teams want the ball in his hands.



In a draft which lacks depth of talent, Gothard’s natural ability and room for improvement makes him an attractive prospect. He has the athleticism required of exciting modern-day smalls, and is clever enough with his possessions to suggest he can adjust to the speed of higher levels.

If he can impact the scoreboard more across four quarters and get his hands on the ball as much as possible, he’ll be a menace to AFL defences. At this stage, he’s a second round chance.

Forward craft
Ground balls
Four-quarter consistency

AFL U18 Championships


Coates Talent League Boys

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