Respect Your Elders – 2013 Mature Age Rookie Analysis
Will 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?