Tom De Koning

height: 200.3cm

weight: 89.7kg

D.O.B: 16-07-1999

DRAFT ANALYSIS: "De Koning is an athletic ruck who can play forward and just needs to find an aggressive edge to go to the next level."

Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys


Tom De Koning’s efforts in the ruck for Dandenong this year have been far from unnoticed. Standing at over two metres tall, De Koning dominates his opposition in the air. He makes for an excellent option through the centre passage and in the forward line. Though with Riley D’Arcy dominating Dandenong’s forward, De Koning’s skillset is often utilised more freely throughout the ground. You will find him working more as an outside midfielder as he is usually the best player to hit up to get the ball moving. Due to his height and athleticism, he is often looked at with great interest due to the inherent value of ruckmen and tall forwards, but he has a number of improvements he still has to continue working on such as his overhead marking and aggression.


  • Athleticism
  • Versatility
  • Goal kicking

Like previously stated, De Koning is a good ruckman. He has the athleticism and the timing which puts him ahead of his opponent and well positioned for his team. A little work might be required to sharpen his game, but this is definitely something that puts him ahead of the curb. He is tall and agile, which is a dangerous mix for those pitted against him, and qualities noted when scanning the list of potential draftees. His ability to fly through the air is the key to his game and is much of what makes him important as a player, it is just clunking the marks that he needs to improve.

Like most tall players, his skill set is focused on that physical advantage, but he sets himself apart through sheer athleticism. He is a decent kick at goal, bagging himself a few when he gets on a roll, including a haul of eight goals last season as a bottom-ager which threw him into the spotlight. As a tall forward, De Koning could be drafted by a developing team, such as Carlton, North Melbourne or Gold Coast.


  • Aggression
  • Contested marking

One thing I noticed through the season is that De Koning lacks a certain level of aggression or resolve when in the game. He gets in there when he can but it always appeared that he could attack the contest a bit fiercer. It is an area De Koning has been working on dilligently, but there are moments where he just needs to attack the football with more vigour. He is an excellent player in certain lights, but in others, he needs to adjust or evolve. As we have seen with the AFL today, being a simple tall forward isn’t enough anymore. Joe Daniher, Buddy Franklin and Josh Kennedy are all brilliant forwards due to their ability to make quick, careful decisions and their intense attack on the football. It isn’t enough for a forward to simply mark and kick anymore, and I believe that’s where De Koning loses his edge. He needs to look at evolving his football if he wants to take it to the next level. Furthermore, while athletic and agile in the ruck, De Koning could improve in his hitouts to advantage, but this could also depend on team structures and the opposition, which will be a huge part of playing at the elite level.


A career in the AFL is definitely a possibility for De Koning in the coming years, but I think he still has a lot of work ahead of him. He plays his role well, but doesn’t seem to possess much of an ability to improvise and adapt during a game. He needs to be much more aggressive on the ball and prove that he can do more than just mark and kick. He is tall and incredibly athletic but has more to prove if he’s to play in the AFL as there’s more than enough tall players going around already. With the proper training and guidance, De Koning could become a dangerous forward or ruckman, but the game has changed and he will have to catch up if he’s going to compete. He is physically and technically gifted, but he lacks a much-needed intensity and football intelligence to take his game to the next level.

AFL U18 Championships

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2017Vic Country132841141726959480243.

Coates Talent League Boys

2016Dandenong Stingrays421557240012910001794.
2017Dandenong Stingrays6538103275750261361313117106.53.810.32.713.62.61.766
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