West AdelaideWest AdelaideMedium Defender


Mitch Duval

height: 187cm

weight: 81kg

D.O.B: 23-01-1997

Leagues: SANFL League

Image Credit: Keryn Stevens/The Advertiser

OSITION: Medium Defender

DRAFT ANALYSIS: “Duval is a late-blooming intercept defender who reads the play well and has a neat set of skills.” – Tom Wyman

West Adelaide defender Mitch Duval was almost unheard-of in draft circles prior to the 2020 season. However, following an impressive season at League level with the Bloods, the 23-year-old earned an invite to the national combine where he excelled in the agility test. Just last year, Duval was playing for the Unley Mercedes Jets in a division of Adelaide's amateur league. Following a best-and-fairest season with the Jets, he earned a spot on the West Adelaide list and has gone from strength-to-strength ever since, gaining recognition from AFL recruiters in the process.


  • Reading the play
  • Intercept marking
  • Rebounding
  • Foot skills
  • Defensive versatility
  • Agility


  • Accumulation
  • Speed

Standing at 188cm tall, Duval is just about the perfect size for an intercept marking defender. Largely due to his size, West Adelaide was able to deploy him in a range of roles across the backline, including as a shut-down medium defender and an intercept marker. Duval arguably looked most valuable when he was able to back his skillset and move off his opponent to impact a contest further afield, either taking an intercept mark or neutralising the contest. In 12 League games with the Bloods, Duval took 18 contested marks, highlighting his aerial strength. Although his intercept marking was a standout throughout the season, Duval also spent time guarding some of the SANFL's most damaging forwards - a credit to his shut-down abilities.

To complement his overhead marking capacity and ability to read the play, Duval also has a nice skillset, which allows him to generate rebound and set up the play from defence. He consistently hits his targets by foot over a range of distances and backs himself in to nail tough passes through the corridor. Although it was not always evident in his game throughout the season, Duval showed off his impressive agility at the draft combine, completing the course in a time of 7.98 seconds - placing him second behind Port Adelaide father-son prospect Taj Schofield.

Duval was hardly a super prolific ball-winner at SANFL League level, averaging 13 disposals per game at 83 percent efficiency. He accumulated over 15 disposals just twice, but largely played the type of defensive role which did not allow him to win an abundance of the ball. Duval is not the quickest player, but is able to make up for this by reading the play quicker than his opponents. Having only been in the SANFL system for one season, his rate of improvement will surely continue its upward trajectory with more time and experience in high-level environments.


Duval's playing style is not too dissimilar to that of Fremantle's Luke Ryan, who also happened to enter the AFL system as a mature-aged recruit. If selected, clubs might potentially look to utilise his size, agility and skills in a midfield role, however Duval looks most suited to the backline at this stage of his career, where he can intercept, rebound and lock-down. He is not an overly prolific ball-winner, but a strong mark overhead and one who recruiters will be hoping can continue his current trajectory. Clubs seeking a ready-made prospect who can play a range of roles across defence should strongly consider taking Duval in the latter stages of the national draft, or as a rookie.


National Combine top 10s: Agility test

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