Respect Your Elders – 2013 Mature Age Rookie Analysis

Published by Jock on

Mr Crimmins on Dane Swan in Supercoach 2013Will You Be Selecting Any Mature Age Recruits This Year?

Given my own mature age status, I feel we’ll equipped to pen an article outlining the finest AFL Mature Age selections for 2013.

You see, my mature age not only gets me a healthy discount on public transport, but it also enables me to secure a seat! This is exactly the same as the mature age recruit! Given that they are invariably drafted to improve a weak area on a club’s list, they too will, “get a seat on the bus” and do so cheaply.

We learn from our elders; Names such as Michael Barlow, James Podsiadly, Matthew Priddis ….. and more recently James Magner and Sam Gibson. These players were all drafted as mature age recruits and proved vital selections for Fantasy Coaches of yesteryear.

Anyway, I do love a bargain. Please enjoy the following list of some hardworking Mature Age gentleman that I expect to finally get their chance this year;

Kane Mitchell (POR) – MID
Price: SC $126,200/DT $119,300

The 22 year old midfielder out of Claremont was in demand this draft period, after accumulating a massive 58 votes in the 2012 Sandover Medal, the best and fairest for the WAFL. He had a short training stint with Fremantle throughout last season, and Collingwood were believed to be keen on the Sandover Medallist. However, his AFL dream was realised when the Power took him with pick 5 in the Rookie Draft. They’ve got themselves a gem. Kane averaged 25 disposals last season, along with 3 clearances and 4 tackles per game. Mitchell can also penetrate the scoreboard too, kicking 30 goals last season. Needs to be elevated off the rookie list, but should see plenty of footy as Port try to add some quality to the struggling side.

Tom Lee (STK) – FWD
Price: SC $115,900/DT $108,500

For young Thomas, this is his 2nd go at an AFL career. Originally drafted by Adelaide with pick 60 in the 2008 AFL Draft, Tom was delisted after 1 season, with lack of hard work being a key factor. He returned to the WAFL, where he began his road to redemption with Claremont. 2012 was the year he really showed his potential, kicking 60 goals for 21 games. Tom started the year in defence, but when moved forward in round 6, he became a nightmare for defences. He averaged 4 goals per game, and kicked 6 in the Foxtel Cup Grand Final. It seems now that Tom has finally fore filled his potential and with St Kilda shipping a 1st round pick to GWS for his services, he should see some early footy to relieve pressure off an ageing Riewoldt and Kosi.

Dylan Van Unen (ESS) – DEF
Price: SC $109,500/DT $102,700

A defender who may also play forward, Dylan’s breakout year at my local side -Frankston, saw him picked up by Essendon with pick 51. Van Unen finished in the top 5 of Frankston’s B & F and also won the most determined player award at the club. His big year saw him average 14 touches (effective disposal count around 77.9%), while ranking number 1 at Frankston for intercept possessions. Essendon don’t draft mature-age recruits with intention of adding depth to their Bendigo affiliate. Hibberd, Baguley and Dell’Ollio are examples of older recruits who have been given a game for the Bombers. Expect Van Unen to see senior footy at some stage this season.

Jarryd Cachia (CARL) – MID
Price: SC $118,200/DT $111,300

Carlton has almost done the reverse ‘Prodigal Son’ with Jarryd. After a 2 year stint on the Carlton Rookie List in 2010/11, Jarryd was delisted, and moved to Norwood in the SANFL. Following a big year in 2012, which saw him average 21 disposals, 4 tackles and 3 clearances, Carlton have snapped him back up on the Rookie List, and for good reason too. He racked up 20+ disposals in 12 of his 19 appearances, and accumulated an impressive 15 tackles in a single game. Won’t be a walk up start in that Carlton side, given Malthouse may be keen to send Gibbs into the midfield, but he does want to add some hardness to that side – something Cachia has. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Sam Dwyer (COLL) – MID/FOR
Price: SC $96,200/DT $89,300

Sam Dwyer has been slowly chipping away at a chance for an AFL career. He’s won a reserve grade best and fairest, a VFL reserves best and fairest, Port Melbourne best and fairest, a premiership in 2011 and has notched up state representation. On top of that, he was selected on a forward flank in the VFL Team of the Year 2012. In 2012, he played 16 games, averaging 22 touches (7 contested), 4 inside 50s, 2 clearances and over a goal a game. While he may have the game to play round 1, breaking into that jam-packed Collingwood midfield will be tough. Sam can be a quality pick up if he’s given a run.

Dean Towers (SYD) – MID
Price: SC $114,500/DT $107,200

Dean was snapped up with Sydney’s 1st round pick in the 2012 AFL Draft. This was on the back of a very impressive outing at the draft combine, which included setting a new vertical leap record (Trent Croad’s 15 year old record). The 22 year old from North Ballarat averaged 15 touches (10 uncontested) and 3 inside-50s per game. He’s been compared to the likes of Isaac Smith in terms of making an impact. In 2012 he won the Forthergill-Round Medal for most promising young talent in the VFL, an award previously won by Michael Barlow, Michael Hibbard and Ahmed Saad. It’ll be mighty tough for Towers to be a walk up start in Premier’s best 22, so monitor him.

Dean Terlich (MELB) – DEF
Price: SC $109,500/DT $102,700

We here, at the community, speak highly of young Dean. That cigar-smoking thug Vince Gambino spoke about him in his rookie write-up, and with his inside sources, has suggested that Terlich could be a walk up start at Melbourne. His moved to defence last season from wing/HF saw an improvement in performance. He averaged 21 disposals, 6 marks and 5 rebound 50s per game.
Also showed he can be a big game player, winning the Jack Oately Medal for BOG in Norwood’s SANFL flag win – collecting 31 touches, 14 marks and 5 rebound 50s. He’ll slot beautifully into that Melbourne defence, and should push for early senior footy.

Matt Jones (MELB) – MID
Price: SC $ /DT $102,700

Neeld has turned the Dees’ list up-side down in the off-season and added some experienced bodies. Matt Jones is the oldest of the recruits taken in this year’s draft. At 25 years old, Matt was drafted to add an experienced body to that young Dees midfield. Matt played 17 games for Box Hill last season, averaging 20 disposals, 13 uncontested possessions 3 inside 50s, 3 tackles and 3 clearances per game. Jones also was ranked up there in the VFL for disposal efficiency amongst the big ball winners. Matt should see early game-time, but whether he lasts the season remains to be seen. For the love of God, let’s hope he’s not the second coming of Tom Couch!


I’m not known as a big shopper; as I believe you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have quality. Same theory can apply here. Why spend the big bucks on a rookie/mid-range player, when you can pay half, even a third of the price, on a player who will have the same output? There’s plenty of value to be had with the mature-age recruits, they’re ready to finally have to crack at senior football.

Are there any mature-aged recruits you’re keeping an eye on this pre-season?

Mr Crimmins

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good article, Mr.Crimmins, sir.

My buddy is a big Norwood supporter and thinks Terlich will be the goods. There's a few guys here i'm looking at, Terlich, Lee and Mitchell, will have to wait and see how they go in NAB before I lock them into my side.


Hey Jock

What do you think of an Ablett, Swan, Pendlebury, J Selwood, Shuey, K Stevens, K Mitchell, Crouch (Viney, O'Meara) midfield?
Pretty much a guns rookies structure. To top heavy?



There was a big thread on midfield structure yesterday –

The 4-1-5 structure seems the popular way to go.


Does look the goods at this stage… 3 rookies on field is a bloody lot though isnt it?


nope lock it in James. Very similar, Cotchin instead of Selwood and Jess Lonergan for Stevens.

Nice. Good work fella.



Thanks Jimbo,

But why Lonergan over Stevens? Stevens has had more experience in the AFL.
Would love your thoughts and Jocks thoughts on both of them.



Hey James.

As K Stevens, O'Mearer, viney and crouch are all locks as the rookie, jess lonergan is just a place marker (the amount I have available to spend on this last rookie). He seemed as good as any around that $140k mark.

dont have enough for stevens, would be on him if I could



Thanks Jimbo


Essendon is no longer aligned with Bendigo now with their on affiliate


Great article Mr Crimmins.
Would always offer you my seat.

I like what im reading about Kane Mitchell.
He's a lock in my side but virtualsports need to get the poor bugger a photo.


just wondering wines or mitchell??


I'd take Wines for myself, as there's talk Mitchell has been training as a run-with player. That said young Jimmy, you really can't go wrong with either – both will play senior footy


Looks like it's all systems go for the Mitchell lad.


You've missed a big one Mr Crimmins, sir. Brett Goodes. Needs to be elevated, but what's the word?


Brett Goodes did slip under the radar of myself, but Vince Gambino does have sources who rate him very highly – take a look here:


Tear loch what a gun as I myself am a big Norwood supporter he looked very good when I saw him


for me…..the mature aged rookies on the radar are K Mitchell (I think he can go near Zorko), Terlich, Jones and Lee.



"It seems now that Tom has finally fore filled his potential and with St Kilda"

It's fulfilled you dunce!


Not to do with mature aged rookies, but help please: In the rucks alongside leuenberger, do I go with Gorringe and hartlett/chaplin in defence or goldstein and docherty/other DEF rookie?

Gorringe/Hartlett or Goldstein/Docherty?



which rookies should I start on my field i have wines,omeara, crouch, viney. Only need 2?? Or should I trade wines for mitchell and get some extra cash??


Would really appreciate help Jock and others. Thanks Jimmy


get mitchell in there mate.

K Mitchell. Yes from me.


big AZ

The only thing im worried about is the change to the rookie rules…._Got told players need to be on the LTI list for 8 weeks before you can upgrade or at rnd 11 bye is that true??? if so most rookies are useless


Believe so, but there can be advantages to this if a guy gets elevated mid-year. Gives you an ideal target to downgrade to to make some more cash.


even if truth I think there is another way.

(would love to have this confirmed or denied guys)

So clubs decided to go into the year 1 spot short to get a rookie. I am 90% sure this is what collingwood did to get Ben Hudson so he can go straight onto the list.



Hey Jock,
hows this midfield?
ablett, pendlebury, cotchin, shuey, lower, ball, whitfield, wines, t mitchell, viney?


Hey Samb.

I really love this side except lower. I love the unique selection but surely he has a lower (hey, play on words!) average and ceiling than Moloney or Ball.

or do you know something we dont?



i think lower will go very well this at a knew club he averaged 90 in a couple of games at freo and wb will give him a lot of run on the ball, i got rid of ball for b crouch to get some cash and also got cash to get gaff instead of lower but lower is still there.


Also backline: Goddard, Gibbs, Broughton, Yaz, Vlastuin, Docherty, subs: (j.lockyer and d. terlich)


Kyle Martin and Mark Hutchings. If they play, don't miss out.


Hutchings is one I'll be keeping a very close eye on. Fantastic season in the WAFL, could be a good cash cow


I'm going with 3 ultra prem's, Ablett, Pendles and Danger, next is Shuey, Hannebery and Moloney and then Whitfield, Goodes, Crouch and O'meara. I think you are better off having 3 premiums and then 2 mids with potential eg Pednle and a $130K rookie first 3rd ave will be 125 + ? wheras Hannebery and Moloney cost $802K comobined with a projected first 3rd ave of 150. I think there is more potential for them to go higher than that than there is Pendles or Swanny going 130+ and your rookies getting 30 or more?
Just a theory, could work out to be a big mistake….


I can understand your logic but if you aren't picking mid rookies that can average 60+ then you're picking the wrong rookies. Pendles and swan would probably average 120 and if you add the rookies average than that's 180.

Henry Prendergast

Hey Jock, First Draft of team;
all feedback appreciated…

Backs: Goddard, Scotland, Birchall, Broughton, Docherty, Terlich, (Van Unen, Colquhoun)

Midfeild: Ablett, Swan, Kennedy, Dangerfield, N. Lower, Crouch, O'Meara, Viney (Mayes, K. Mitchell)

ruck: Giles, Leuenberger (Witts, D. Currie)

Forwards: Franklin, Pavlich, Zorko, Martin, Kerridge, Lee (Daniher, Macaffer)


Scotland … Fireman 2 week absence
Not sure on some rookies …time will tell, particularly Kerridge
Gilles is an interesting pick, risky for his price but unique!
Would re-think PAV, LEE, …. LOWER?? Hmmm.
You need to minimise some of your risks young Henry.
Good first go however – welcome to the site


what about my side
B – Goddard, Gibbs, Hartlett, Goodes, Terlich, Colquhoun, staker

M – Pendlebury, Murphy, Cotchin, Andrew Swallow, O.Meara, Vlastuin, whitfield, Jordan Lewis,

F – Franklyn, Nick Nat, Bolton, Smedts, Thomas, Dwyer, Wellingham, J Kennedy