Leagues: Under 18s Championships, WAFL League
SNAPSHOT: “A versatile prospect who can fill roles in midfield and defence, Ginbey firms as a potential first-rounder after an excellent season which saw him claim state MVP honours”.
A name that may not have been on many draft boards at the start of the season, Reuben Ginbey has put together a superb campaign, stepping up at every level he has played to leapfrog many of his state colleagues and emerge as one of Western Australia’s best prospects for the 2022 draft.
Hailing from Dunsborough in the state’s south-west region, Ginbey has juggled his time this year between captaining Wesley College at PSA level and playing League football at East Perth, having been an regular selection at senior level for the Royals whenever he was available throughout the year.
Having played most of the year as a defender prior to the the state championships, Ginbey was thrown into the midfield to add some impetus for the Black Ducks and took his game to a new level, winning Western Australia’s MVP for the carnival after averaging over 21 disposals and locking horns with some of the best midfielders in the country.
+ Clean hands
+ Contested work
Ginbey possesses many of the traits that recruiters would be looking for in the modern game. He is a big, powerful athlete with a readymade frame ready to attack the rigours of senior football. At 189cm, he has the size to really impose himself physically against his peers and as a result, Ginbey is able to win a lot of contested ball at the coalface. He also has a good level of breakaway speed from stoppage, akin to that of Jack Crisp from Collingwood, and covers the ground well on the spread to demonstrate he is not a one-paced midfielder despite his size.
Perhaps the biggest strength of Ginbey’s game is his ability to play across multiple roles. In his bottom-age year, he plied his trade as a lockdown defender for school and club and impressed with his capacity to curtail dangerous opponents, both tall and small. This ability to be accountable and disciplined held him in good stead and allowed him to play a role in East Perth’s League side this year, where he played down back and performed steadily, often taking care of his direct opponent with minimal fuss. This is a trait that distinguishes him from other highly touted prospects who are perhaps not as defensively sound at this stage of their career.
But then even more impressively, Ginbey showed he could add another string to his bow when thrown into the midfield for Western Australia. His streak of games in the state championships really saw him catch the eye of recruiters, where he showed he could go into the engine room and have an impact. At the carnival, Ginbey displayed his clean hands at ground level, and combining that with his booming left-foot kick makes him a very effective player at clearance. He also has considerable core strength for a player of his age and a good ability to stand strong in tackles to distribute the ball while withstanding pressure.
Ginbey’s kicking under pressure remains an area he could look to tidy up. He has a tendency to bomb the ball when he receives it out of a stoppage and while this can be effective in gaining meterage for his side, there are times where he can be more composed when going by foot. While his kicking from a static situation is certainly competent, it is another factor he could enhance to elevate himself to an elite level. While as much as a compliment as it is a critique, Ginbey is your typical ‘meat and potatoes’ footballer who is reliable and consistent, but perhaps does not have the mercurial match-winning ability that some others at the pointy end of the draft have.
In terms of character, Ginbey appears to fit the bill and his ability to play multiple roles and be open to playing anywhere on the ground is a testament to his coachabillity as a young player. He also captained Wesley College at PSA level this season and leads from the front with his vigorous attack on the football in every game he plays.
DRAFT RANGE: 10-20
Despite not being the most hyped player coming into his draft year, Ginbey has done everything he can to impress recruiters and looks to fall somewhere within the first round mix. With the modern game trending into a direction that suits players who possess power and size around the ball, Ginbey is an impressive package and certainly looks a player who can make an impact at the top level, potentially as early as next season.
Under 18s Championships