Leagues: WAFL League, WAFL Colts, WAFL Reserves
Image Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos
POSITION: Inside Midfielder
SNAPSHOT: "A bull-like inside ball winner who loves the tough stuff, inflicting damage with his strength and tackling."
A full season of football has been a long time coming for Kade Dittmar, but that is exactly what he achieved this year. He represented Western Australia at Under 16 level and after spending his fair share of time on the sidelines, repeated the feat as an Under 19 in 2021. While arguably his best football was played at representative level, the 18-year-old also managed to crack the WAFL League and Reserves grades on the back of his bullocking Colts form, and impressed all season with his level of intensity in midfield.
+ Contested ball
Watch Dittmar once and you'll know what he's all about. With strength at the contest mixed with aggression to power through opponents and hand out fend-offs, the East Perth ball winner is a force on the inside. Clearances are his forte, and are earned through desire as Dittmar wills his way in and out of the fire.
While his aggression at the ball is eye-catching, Dittmar also translates that trait to his defensive work. Still at the contest, he is difficult to escape from once he has latched on and executes punishing tackles on opponents who have either just received the ball, or are looking to carry it to the outer.
With such an imposing inside game, Dittmar can work on his impact away from the contest but contributes nonetheless. He booted 11 goals in as many Colts outings this season - albeit with seven in the first two games - and has a knack for sneaking into good spots inside 50. An average of 18.5 disposals per game is still quite low for a full-time midfielder though, with a gap of 29-5 between his highest and lowest Colts disposal tallies.
Arguably the key area for improvement with Dittmar is his kicking. While able to gain good meterage, he tends to dump the ball long from stoppages and sacrifices efficiency for territory. He is a lot sharper in the short range and should he rely less on his strength to get to the outer, can perhaps find more time to make the right decisions going forward.
DRAFT PROJECTION: Late/Rookie
One of the most imposing inside ball winners out of Western Australia, Dittmar can look to add polish to his game and diversify his skillset. His physical approach and aggression around the ball bode well for immediate impact in senior grades, but ironing out his disposal and ability to consistently impact games will be a couple of steps in his development. His hardness may attract suitors late on, or within the rookie intake.