Leagues: AFL U18 Championships, Coates Talent League Boys
SNAPSHOT: “A former state volleyball representative, Vigo Visentini showed continued improvement as the season went on and ended the year as one of the most in-form rucks in the draft pool.”
With the luxury of rucking to an elite, premiership midfield in the Coates Talent League this season, Vigo Visentini is a player who started the year a little slowly, but came home with a wet sail after the National Championships to push himself as a genuine National Draft possibility.
The brother of Port Adelaide’s Dante, Vigo shares a few of the same traits as his brother – namely his aggression and physicality in the ruck contest. He mixed his time between Sandringham Dragons, Xavier College and Vic Metro in 2023, rucking in each side with stints up forward.
+ Rate of development
+ Ruck craft
+ Work rate
With such a strong midfield consistently surrounding him at stoppage, Visentini did his part through the season to give his rovers first use and the opportunity to take the ball on the run heading forward. His taps were often placed to advantage when he got a full hand on the ball from the ruck, and Visentini gradually improved his ability to follow up his ruck work as the season went on. Particularly after the National Championships, he became a genuine clearance threat once the ball hit the deck and looked more confident with ball in hand around the ground.
Visentini has played best this season when he hasn’t had to share a significant chunk of the ruck duties, playing what was arguably his best game of the year for Vic Metro against WA when fellow ruck Will Green was left out. He registered 34 hitouts for the game, with 12 of those to advantage, along with 15 disposals in what was a pretty complete performance for a ruckman.
A common theme for Visentini was his development throughout the year, and his improved ability to impact around the ground. Part of that was acting as a ‘one kick behind’ ruckman, sweeping up on hurried kicks from opposition teams. Visentini took 28 of his 36 marks in the Talent league this season in his final six games, whilst also increasing his hitout and disposal numbers significantly in the same time period.
Visentini’s impact at centre bounces was somewhat limited due to his timing of his leap and a lesser leap height than other rucks in the draft frame, but his work at stoppages around the ground makes up for it. His physicality and competitiveness stands out when he can get an arm on the opposition ruck, trying to force them away from the drop zone of the ball to give himself the best opportunity to serve his midfielders well with well placed taps.
At the next level, Visentini’s two main focus’ will be on improving his composure, to allow him to hurt opposition more when he takes a mark from a down the line kick, as well as developing in a secondary position to allow himself more opportunity to have a sustained impact across the entirety of the four quarters.
DRAFT RANGE: Late/Rookie
Visentini’s improvement and exposed form in the back-end of the year have put him firmly in the draft frame, as is evidenced by his National Combine invite. With a brother already in the AFL system, he’ll know what it takes to make the grade and his shared trait of competitiveness is an invaluable intangible amongst key position players. He’ll likely be in consideration towards the latter stages of the intake.
AFL U18 Championships