#60

Toby Conway

height: 204cm

weight: 90kg

D.O.B: 24-04-2003

Leagues: NAB League Boys

POSITION: Ruck

SNAPSHOT: "A strong and smart ruck, who has a high endurance base and work rate that helps him get around the ground into ball-winning positions, as well as being a dominant force at stoppages."

Toby Conway is the number one pure ruck choice in the 2021 AFL National Draft. The Geelong Falcons big man stands at 204cm and 90kg, and is hard to beat at stoppages with his sheer strength and ruck smarts. He can take a contested mark, and positions himself well around the ground to be an outlet option and target, though is still improving areas of his game such as his kicking and developing that forward craft. Not the most athletic of players, Conway plies his trade through strength and work rate which is evident in his game by wearing down opposing rucks.

STRENGTHS:

+ Ruck work
+ Work rate
+ Endurance
+ Contested marking
+ Positioning
+ Strength

IMPROVEMENTS:

- Athleticism
- Kicking
- Versatility

Conway is almost certain to be the first pure ruck chosen in the 2021 AFL National Draft, with Mac Andrew considered more of a ruck-forward. Conway has more of that readymade appeal than others, and is someone who with greater development, could step up and take the reins at centre bounces. He is strong overhead, works hard at ground level and around the ground thanks to his smarts, and has the strength to beat most opponents. His positioning at stoppages makes him hard to move, and he can cleanly get first hands to the ball and therefore his teammates.

Conway averaged 22.3 hitouts from 13.8 disposals in the 2021 NAB League Boys season, and did his draft chances no harm through his six games. Predominantly a handballer due to his kicking still being a bit untidy, Conway had double-digit disposals in every game he played. He only kicked the one goal though, which is why developing that forward role is another step he can make to improve, and therefore add an extra string to his bow. Since his bottom-age year where he injured his knee, Conway dropped four kilograms and grew three centimetres, and was in top condition to not only compete in the NAB League, but for the AFL Academy squad.

There, he gained great experience against senior opponents in Geelong's VFL side, then was the standout ruck in the Victorian Challenge Match against Vic Metro. He might not be the most athletic prospect, but Conway makes up for it with sheer work rate around the ground and ability to get to repeat contests. If he can continue to add extra aspects to his game, Conway can become a more varied player, and develop into a first-choice ruck at AFL level. He might not be ready to go year one, but Conway is still more readymade than others and will improve further in an elite system.

DRAFT RANGE: 20-40

SUMMARY:

Toby Conway is just a hard working ruck who wears down opponents. He is competitive in the air and at ground level, and is someone who can find the ball around the ground as much as at the stoppages. He can win his fair share of clearances, and given the chance in a good development program, Conway is someone who has the ability to grow further and establish himself as a strong ruck at the elite level.

NAB League Boys

SeasonTeamKHBDMCPUPTHOCLRI50R50GLGMKHDMHOTGDC
2019Geelong Falcons000000000000000000000
2021Geelong Falcons315283170013134087165.28.713.82.822.32.20.269
Total-315283170013134087165.28.713.82.822.32.20.269
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