Leagues: WAFL Colts
Image Credit: Mark Brake/AFL Photos
POSITION: Inside Midfielder
SNAPSHOT: "A strong inside bull who bustles through congestion, and provides consistent ball winning output through sheer will and determination."
Over a two-year period where so many draft prospects have lacked the opportunity, some have taken each of theirs remarkably well. One such AFL hopeful is Angus Sheldrick, who has played himself into top 30 contention on the back of a remarkably consistent body of work. The Claremont product and Christ Church Grammar skipper had an early finish to his 2020 campaign, but has shown marked resilience and a strong rate of development in 2021 through his desire to work and improve. He is a player who hardly has a bad outing and can be turned to in the trenches, producing game-winning efforts by making the best of what he has. From a fringe state Under 19s squad member to squad barometer, Sheldrick's top-age season has proven a memorable one.
+ Contested ball
+ Work rate
+ Scoreboard impact
- Kick consistency
Sheldrick is the type of player who loves to compete. While standing at a modest 179cm, his 88kg frame and sheer hunger for the contest make for imposing traits. As is particularly evident against his peers, the 17-year-old is strongly built and proves dominant at stoppages, burrowing in before forcing a way out with his pumping legs and upper-body braun. Much of his work is done by force, putting his side on the front foot in whatever way possible.
While he is one who thrives in the thick of things, that is also where a couple of Sheldrick's improvement areas come into play. Given his inside-leaning game, he tends to rush his clearing kicks and is not always effective by foot, despite glimpses of polished ball use. On the athletic side, Sheldrick best showcases his turn of speed when breaking into attack. His work rate and ability to hit the scoreboard when spreading forward make for a handy balance, but Sheldrick can still work on his running capacity having clocked a 7:01 2km time trial at the West Australian draft combine.
Speaking of work rate and scoreboard impact, those are two factors which amplify Sheldrick's impact on games. Not only is he relentless at the contest, but he finds the ball in all parts of the ground and kicked goals in five of his nine WAFL Colts appearances this season - making for a perfect average of one per game. In addition to that, his disposal output was wonderfully consistent, notching between 23-31 touches in eight of his nine games. He just rarely has a bad day.
Part of his consistency is that aforementioned work rate, but also his durability and toughness. Sheldrick had one of his biggest games for the season in a losing WAFL Colts Grand Final, finishing as arguably best afield with 27 disposals and two team-lifting goals. In said match, Sheldrick sported a heavily strapped quad but played through the pain as he had done at times throughout the season. That kind of toughness allowed him to maximise his opportunities on the big stage.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 25-40
There is much to be said about a player who consistently gets the job done and can be relied upon in tough spots. Sheldrick is one such prospect and has proven reliable across multiple levels this season to greatly boost his draft stocks. Having forced his way into Western Australia's starting midfield, Sheldrick made every post a winner in 2021 and his attitude was top notch along the way. Clubs will love his readymade traits and work ethic, with enough still to develop. He will likely find a home in the second round, perhaps even within the top 30 picks.