Category - 2012 – Planning For 2013
WA Swan Districts
If recruiters were picking on football talent alone, I have absolutely no doubt that Dayle Garlett would have his name called out in the first half a dozen of this year’s National Draft. On field, a combination of speed, silky skills and confidence make for a tantalising prospect. He’s the kid that will put bums on seats, capable of doing the absolute ridiculous. Unfortunately, an off field indiscretion saw Garlett dropped from the AIS academy earlier this year. Whether or not that hurts his draft stocks remain to be seen. Rumours of poor application have circled Garlett since, but going on what I’ve seen, and what I think he could bring to the table, I think it’ll take a brave man to pass him up.
Garlett strikes me as the type of kid just waiting for the big time. He knows he’s far more talented than most, and at junior level I think that’s something that could be holding him back. There are periods in a game where he’s everywhere, basically toying with the opposition. But then there are patches throughout a game where he goes barely cited. I think this is more mental than anything to do with his endurance levels, so it’ll be interesting to see his beep test result at the draft combine.
He’s a flashy type of player, most effective with the ball forward of centre where he can make his touches most damaging. He likes to run and carry, and is generally creative and effective with his disposal. Around the goal he shows real flair, but sometimes tries to do more than he should. He probably can get away with this while playing juniors, but it’s an area I think he will have to iron out at AFL level.
He shows decent ability in the air, but I fancy he’s more dangerous as a forward with the ball at ground level, rather than providing a marking target. He’s a front and square rover of the ball, hitting the drop zone at full speed, and very quick to get the ball to boot. Instinctively, I think he could be an excellent small forward at senior level, this being a role I think he’ll be used in early on at AFL level, perhaps rotating on a wing.
While I’ve given him a huge wrap so far, there’s no doubt his defensive game could improve. Garlett has a real tendency to run forward of the contest, and if the ball is turned over can get hurt going the other way. This is an area a lot of junior stars can struggle with, basically because it’s normally the opposition worrying about them, rather than the other way around. He’s shown willingness to chase and make a tackle, but I’d like to see some more attention put into his opponent.
Ideally he’d have some more body size, weighing only 75kg. So it’s hard to see him competing in the middle for a few years’ time. He’s predominately an outside player though regardless, and I rate his chances of playing early highly.
The team that drafts him will love watching him go about it. He’ll make opposition players look silly trying to tackle him, and he’ll kick some ripper goals. Perhaps the biggest X factor in the draft.
Early on I suggest he’ll be used as an impact player, perhaps an early candidate for the sub. But if he really impresses during the preseason, and looks like playing regular season football, I think he’ll feature in many fantasy teams. A lot will depend on how he’s received at draft camp. I’m a fan!
WAFL colts: 6 games @ 109.3 DT average
WAFL League: 7 games @ 77.4 DT average
NAB AFL under 18 champs: 5 games @79.2 DT average
We established last week that it’s not the year for everyone, so continuing on from where we left off last week, it’s young midfielder Oliver Wines’ turn for discussion. He’s one of my favourites from the approaching draft, and I suspect by early next year he’ll be the talking point of many AFL Dream Team & SuperCoach fantasy coaches.
In my opinion Wines sits right alongside Melbourne father/son prospect Jack Viney as arguably the most AFL ready player entering this year’s draft. But more importantly for us, as a fantasy prospect, I think his game will also translate as well as anyone’s.
Wines is a powerfully built midfielder with a physique that reminds me a lot of Patrick Dangerfield. Immediately you will notice his exceptional body size.
In terms of playing style, Wines is your blue collar, hardworking ball magnet. His attack at the contest is second to none, with his contested ball winning ability on par with anyone in this draft. But what separates Wines from other ball winners is a very mature football brain. His positioning around stoppages is outstanding. He routinely loses his opponent in congested areas, and more often than not will be the one that ends up in possession. He knows when to peel off and find space, showing a nice link up game that compliments his link up work. For a player that hits contests as hard as he does, Wines footy smarts are a stand out.
He’s particularly clever with his hands in close, and while he’s not an ‘elite’ kick, Wines is capable of hitting up targets. What I like is that he doesn’t try to do too much with his kicks, which is a common trait amongst juniors.
On the occasion he’s not the first one to win the ball, Wines is a very willing tackler, topping over 10 tackles twice in TAC Cup games this year, with a high of 13. His tackle counts showcases the kind of work rate that recruiters have come to love about Wines. He’s not explosive in the Judd/Swan/Ablett mould, but shares that endurance base that top quality midfielders are required to have.
I think Wines has the body size and fitness to get some midfield time as of next year. He’s likely to spend time on the ball whilst rotating as a forward option. He’s the type of player that will have an immediate impact, so expect his club to pump the games into him early. To cut it short, Oliver Wines is a beauty.
AFL Dream Team Averages
TAC Cup: 119.28
NAB AFL under 18 championships: 98.5
Let’s face it, fantasy football in 2012 hasn’t been kind. For a lot of us, it’s already looking like a year to forget. If that’s the case, then this time of the year can get a little depressing.
But rather than dwell on that, why not take the chance to look ahead to next year? And what better way to do that than explore the next batch of draftees ready to burst on to the scene…
As always, big names such as Lachie Whitfield and Joe Daniher have dominated the papers. But as we know, there’s a lot more than the 2-3 names we keep hearing about. I can’t help but think that unless you’re an Essendon supporter or your team is gunning for the wooden spoon, you’re probably sick of hearing about them. So with that said, over the next week weeks we’ll try to discuss as many names as possible. First up is South Australian youngster Ben Kennedy.
Ben Kennedy (Likely Fwd/Mid)
Height: 174cm, Weight: 76kg
There wasn’t much more for Ben Kennedy to prove leading in to 2012. He’d already graduated through the AIS academy, had already been rewarded All Australian selection at the National under 18 Championships, and had already played regular senior football in the SANFL. So it was hard for Kennedy to add much more to his resume. Well, maybe one thing; He’s now a two-time All Australian! But like Daniel Rich a couple of years back, prospects like Kennedy tend to fall out of favour. Not in the eyes of the recruiters, but in the media. In the media, he’s no longer that new kid on the block. So despite the list of credentials, he’s managed to keep a relatively low profile only months from the draft.
Kennedy is similar in stature to Giants recruit Devon Smith, and like Smith I expect that he’ll debut early. The club that selects Kennedy will likely introduce him as a small forward where his craftiness and goal kicking ability won’t be out of place. But long term I think there are more strings to his bow. Despite a small stature, Kennedy is more than capable of winning his own football. He’s clever around the stoppages, and has that initial acceleration to create space where there is none. He wins clearances at junior level, and while he’s short, he has a stocky build that will fill out nicely, so with added strength I can see that part of his game further developing at senior level.
Thinking short-term, expect to see Kennedy used in a very similar way to Dayne Zorko at Brisbane. He’s clever around goal but his best asset will be his speed to chase, tackle and harass the opposition. He looks an awesome fantasy option, and an even better get for the club that he lands at on draft day. Supporters will love this kid.