Supercoach 2015 rookie watch list – FORWARDS

Published by Barron Von Crow on

Decent rookie priced forwards were as rare as hens teeth last year


They had started out looking like a promising bunch of players. Well.. i’ll just come right out and say it. The rookie priced forward line options we had last year just ended up plain sucking. Jay Kennedy-Harris? You get the heck outta here, son. Gary Rohan? More like Gary Burnman.

But this year we’ve got a crop of players both young and old that look very promising indeed. We’ve got the experienced big and small options at the Cattery, the Demons next superstar in Hogan, as well as a few other options who have been in the system a few years, but haven’t played a ton of footy.

Click here for an updated watch list.


Note: All players are sorted by price (lowest to highest) and then alphabetically by last name.



Jesse Hogan – Melbourne – $130,400

Was always more of a Hollywood Hogan fan myself, but Jesse ain’t bad either. Missed most of 2014 with a back injury, but kicked 39 goals for the Casey Scorpions VFL side as an under-age player.

Mitch Clark – Geelong – $155,200

Joined the Cats after originally retiring from AFL football. Geelong Head Coach Chris Scott says;

“Yeah we do (think he will be ready to play Round 1). But I say it with some hesitation, but it’s so far away. NAB (Cup) is March 1. AFL Round 1 is April 6 for us so it’s a long way away, which is good for Mitch because he is coming from a long way back. He has had a number of issues he has needed to overcome but all of the indications are that Round 1 is a pretty good target for Mitch.”

Update 15/01 – Clark hurt his calf at training with Geelong Football Manager Steve Hocking saying “Mitch has been training incredibly well so far and whilst this injury is unfortunate we don’t believe it will be something that will hamper his build up to the start of the season.” Read Dexter’s analysis of Mitch Clark here. 

Sam Blease – Geelong – $177,400

Signed by the Cats as a delisted free agent, former football manager Neil Balme says;

“We see Sam as a player who can bring pace as well as a great ability in front of goal,” Balme told the club website. We hope Sam can find more consistency in his game and become a regular face in our side next year.”

Read Throttlefinger’s analysis of Sam Blease here.

Christian Salem – $185,000

Spent most of his AFL time being subbed, so he didn’t rise too much in price. Melbourne Midfield Coach Ben Matthews says;

“It does take time for them to gel, but there’s no doubt we want the likes of Dom Tyson, who had a great season in 2014, to keep improving. Jack Viney is another we’re looking to keep improving along with our draftees from the previous couple of years, like Christian Salem and Dean Kent.”

Read Pieman’s analysis of Christian Salem here.

Eli Templeton – $221,300

Fully recovered from his broken arm, Eli Templeton says about St Kilda Alan Richardson’s expectations on him;

“He wants to get me up the field a bit more where I have sort of been playing as a wingman, half-forward, but he wants me to play half-forward and pinch-hitting in the middle, which will be good so I can use my run on the outside.’’



Caleb Daniel – Western Bulldogs – $117,300

Has been compared to Boomer Harvey and Tony Liberatore due to his diminutive size. Is physically ready to play AFL football, but has questions over his size. Tony Liberatore says;

“I’ve seen Caleb play in a couple of matches and I was very, very impressed with the way he played. I love hearing little guys getting up there and I’m very excited for Caleb. I want to see more small players come back and play AFL footy again, it’s wonderful. I can see him being a cult hero actually. He should be a really exciting prospect.”

Update 15/01 – It has been reported that Caleb Daniel has been impressive during the Bulldogs match simulation training, with Bulldogs Assistant Coach Steven King stating “Declan Hamilton is going really well and Caleb Daniel, I think, is ready to go, he’s played senior SANFL footy.” Could he be in line for a bump to Priority Watchlist? Read Pieman’s analysis of Caleb Daniel here.

Tom Lamb – West Coast Eagles – $117,300

Pick #32 for the Eagles, West Coast Head Coach Adam Simpson says about new recruits Duggan and Lamb;

“I think they’ve all got the ability to play senior football this year, which is really pleasing. I think you can tell a lot within the first few weeks about how they go about it and their maturity and I’m pleased with all of them. What I’m seeing is the ability to handle situations already that perhaps first-year players don’t normally handle, but it is a longer-term approach so I won’t be throwing them in the deep end. But at the same time if they’re ready to play we’ll play them.”

Read Pieman’s analysis of Tom Lamb here.

Jack Steele – GWS – $117,300

Has a month head start on the rest of the AFL draftees on pre-season training due to being an academy selection. GWS have never been afraid to throw a kid into the deep end of the pool straight away. Read General Soreness analysis of Jack Steel here.

Riley Knight – Adelaide – $123,900

Elite endurance and work rate, Knight finished equal 2nd in the Crows SANFL Best & Fairest count. Named in the Crows best in 7 of 18 games.

Daniel Markworth – St. Kilda – $123,900

Has recorded a PB in the 2km time trial and came 6th overall at the club. St Kilda Head of Football Chris Pelchen says;

“Daniel’s versatility as a player provides real flexibility to the team’s structure and we look forward to him achieving his senior debut with the Saints/ Despite obvious setbacks with injury during his first three years at the Saints, Daniel has been extremely professional and persistent in his application to AFL football – impressing both his teammates and coaches alike.”

Liam McBean – Richmond – $123,900

Showed good form in the VFL again last year, but has yet to make his AFL debut. Richmond Tigers VFL head Coach Tim Clarke says;

“Liam is one of the most talked about players people bring up when you’re talking about Richmond and the VFL program. He’s a good kid, Liam.  He tries his hardest, but he didn’t have the year that was going to push him into senior level this year. We’re hoping that, over summer, he can do that, and if he can bring that expectation of that key forward to his game, he’s going to be pretty dangerous to match up on.”

Mason Shaw – Port Adelaide – $123,900

Was close to debuting last year, but obviously the recruitment of Paddy Ryder will put him back down the pecking order again. Could be competing with Butcher for a spot in the Powers forward line, but Butcher has been given his chances before.

James Sicily – Hawthorn – $123,900

Tough to break into the Hawks forward line, but he certainly looked impressive in the VFL Grand Final.

Jayden Laverde – Essendon – $127,300

Named as an Under-18 All-Australian. Touted as a potential Top-5 pick before the draft.

Patrick Karnezis – Collingwood – $133,500

Has had some injuries issues, mostly groin and hamstring problems. Kicked 31 goals at VFL level last year. Will need to have another big pre-season to be in the mix.

Kyle Langford – Essendon – $142,300

Drafted at pick #17 by the Bombers. Essendon Recruiting Manager  Adrian Dodoro says;

“We wanted to get running height into our midfield and we saw two guys who have got the potential to be, without giving them labels, we think Langford has a bit of Nat Fyfe in him. He can mark overhead, we can isolate him forward, play him onball.”

Max Duffy – Fremantle – $142,400

Missed about half of 2014 with a shoulder injury, but debuted in Round 20. Fremantle may bring in some more younger players this year, so he could get a chance again.

Spencer White – St Kilda – $146,200

Played the final 2 games of 2014 for the Saints. Late season form in the VFL was encouraging, but scoring potential could be iffy.

Brandon Jack – Sydney – $150,500

Hit with the green vest in 7 of his 8 games last year. No point picking him if that happens again. His price this year would show you that.

Ahmed Saad – St Kilda – $151,100

Back with the Saints after serving an 18 month suspension. Will likely be in the mix for Round 1, but might be given time in the VFL to get back to speed first.

Orazio Fantasia – Essendon – $168,400

Debuted late last year, but hit with the sub vest in all 3 of his games. Still pretty lightly framed and might not be ready to rock and roll just yet. Check to see if he’s put on some beef over the preseason.

Nick Kommer – Essendon – $168,800

Played a fair bit in 2013, but missed all of 2014 with a knee injury. Essendon GM of Performance Neil Craig says

“It’s been a long road for Nick, but in the last fortnight he’s made real progress in that he’s now running, which is significant progress for him. It means now that we can start to get some better conditioning into him because he’s missed a lot of footy and a lot of training. He’s still got a way to go but at least everything is in a positive direction at the moment, and having been out for so long, it’s good for him to be able to get out there and sweat and push himself and start to test himself at training.”

Tim Membrey – St Kilda – $172,000

Picked up by the Saints as a delisted free agent. Came for the opportunity that the Saints can provide, question is will he do enough to beat out some other competition.

Jonathan Freeman – Collingwood – $173,300

Played the last 4 games of 2014 and showed some ability as a goal kicker against Collingwood.

Blaine Johnson – Carlton – $176,300

Debuted in 2014 playing 5 games. Carlton Football Operations Manager Andrew McKay says

“Blaine is a diligent young man who trains hard and obviously got his opportunity through long-term injuries to other players. Now that he has had a taste of senior football we’re confident he will be hungry for more and will continue to press his case for senior selection.”

Ben Lennon – Richmond – $180,400

Was given a few chances in the middle and end of 2014, but was usually started as the sub. Potential for more game time is definitely there for him this year.

Michael Apeness – Fremantle – $189,200

With Pav’s time coming to an end you’d think they’d make it a priority to get some game time into Apeness.

Timmy Sumner – Gold Coast – $191,700

Continued to be given a few games, but was subbed often. Still needs to find some more consistency to his game if he wants to be a constant threat to the 22.

Paul Ahern – GWS – $192,300

GWS are never scared to play some of the kids, but they have so many of them will they be able to play them all?

Colin Sylvia – Fremantle – $206,000

Poor first year for Sylvia at Freo, but he’s a senior player who may have just taken some time to adjust to the standards that are required out West.

Update – 20/01/2015 – Sylvia still hasn’t returned to full-time training after off-season ankle surgery.  Fremantle general manager of football operations Chris Bond says;

“Colin has had an interrupted pre-season and has been training in the rehabilitation group. We expect Colin to be able to rejoin the main playing group in the not too distant future.”

Christian Petracca – $217,300

Drafted along with Angus Brayshaw, Melbourne GM of Football Operations Josh Mahoney says;

“To be able to bring in some experienced players takes a bit off pressure of the young players. It is good for the young guys not to have step straight in and play.”

Paddy McCartin – $222,300

The #1 pick in the draft, St Kilda Coach Alan Richardson says;

“Paddy is no certainty to play a lot of footy (in 2015). We will wait and see how he goes physically. If he trains well and performs strongly in the trial games he is a chance but if not that’s OK. He is here for the long term, not to win the Rising Star.”




Josh Clayton – $117,300

Jayden Foster – $117,300

Jack Lonie – $117,300

Mitchell McGovern – $117,300

Jaden McGrath – $117,300

Reece McKenzie – $117,300

Toby McLean – $117,300

Todd Elton – $123,900

Josh Hall – $123,900

Kieran Harper – $123,900

Mitch Harvey – $123,900

Louis Herbert – $123,900

Fraser McInnes – $123,900

Dallas Willsmore – $123,900

Simon Tunbridge – $131,700

Robbie Tarrant – $144,700

Liam Sumner – $155,900

Sam Grimley – $176,500

Peter Wright – $187,300

Brad Hartman – $188,100

Jack Hannath – $191,700

Jack Redpath – $204,300.

Tim O’Brien – $209,600


That’s all for now in terms of the forward rookies – I’ll update these rookie posts regularly throughout the preseason so keep the ear to the ground!

Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below

Barron Von Crow




More Barron Von Crow rookie watch articles:







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Jack Lonie not on the Potential Watchlist Barron??


Not yet, Wolf, but still plenty of time for him to make it.


Love your work Barron


Thanks, Leighroy!


What about Kane Lambert?


Still on my radar, Benjo, so we'll continue to monitor him.


Thoughts on Jeff Garlett?


He could be OK, but he was terrible last year and the Demons supply to their forward line was pretty bad last year. Will be dependent on him getting a run in the middle if he's worth it or not.


You little ripper Bazzlington! Great stuff mate


Cheers, Jock!


Spellbinding preview, Barron!

Was hoping for a little sunshine to shine on Krakouer…price and DPP puts him on the wish list now.


Still plenty of time to clear and the sun to come out, Throtts!


Very true, Barron. Hope it comes sooner rather than later. Dark, ominous clouds that have been hovering are becoming a wee annoying.


I appreciate your efforts Barron but have to laugh when you obviously put in a fair bit of time to compile a list with a few players that nobody has really mentioned so far but, forgot the two sub-110k mid/fwd's in almost every single v1 team. oops

Liking the look of Eli this year


I do as well. Could be that F6 who could average 80+.


Haven't forgotten 'em Wombats, just haven't included them yet because they're both on the rookie list and i'm not sure if they'll play yet. We'll keep this as a running update, so still plenty of time to include them.

I have my theories on why Port took Krak, and it doesn't involve playing him in the AFL side, but perhaps i'm just being a bit of a Fox Mulder on it!


the oops was obviously a premonition oops on my own behalf


Haha, no problems Wombats. They're still obviously a chance and Kraker has the AFL experience, so i'm sure there's still a big chance they'll play. Let's hope they do.

Gold Rush

Barron, Who be this bloke? Thanks In Advance.

Jonathan Freeman – Collingwood – $173,300

Played the last 4 games of 2014 and showed some ability as a goal kicker against Collingwood.


Sorry, GR, that should have been Freeman plays for Brisbane, not Collingwood.

He had the one good game against the Pies, but did VERY little else around the ground if he wasn't kicking goals. He's a big lad though, so the Lions have a need for that up forward, but i'm not seeing a ton of value on him.

Gold Rush

Thanks Barron, Was a tad confused as I thought you may of been referring to Nathan Freeman. All is good, Good research and thank you for your effort as it makes things easier for us folks.

General Soreness

Bookmarked Barron for ease of future reference for those updates. Lovely work.


Great work Barron, thank you and the other reviewers for all the effort in making SC life easier and far more entertaining. One question though, aimed at some inside info from any Roo supporters. Why no noise on Kieran Harper?


Michael Manteit from Coll and Nic Newman from Syd are worth watching

General Soreness

Both rookie listed, yes worth a look, but require someone to go down long term and be upgraded

I N Pieman

Marvelous again Baron. I realise everyone wants to jump on Jesse Hogan. Rookie KPF has me scratching the noodle. Think I'd rather a rookie that can get some mid time or play a role that should see a bit of the ball. Can't see Hogan posting a great deal of possies. If he doesn't kick goals he probably won't score that much. Your thoughts.

General Soreness

INP I am currently dealing with this exact dilemma, NAB will determine not so much how he fares but the Melb game play if they have a significant weight of ball entering their forward line with good delivery, Melb has some guns, then I am likely to pick him as he is a very strong mark on lead and contested so he will get points mark I50, + scoreboard or better still, Contested Mark I50 + score.


I've had the same thoughts Pieman, I know he's talented, but Melbourne just seems like such a poor fit for a forward, let alone a rookie one.

Just reading through the AFL Prospectus today and their forward line is looking like a Supercoach dry zone

Last in Inside 50's per game
Last in Marks Inside 50 per game
Last for goals once inside 50
Last for goal accuracy

There's a whole section in there about scoring chains too (DEF 50 to FWD, DEF MID to FWD, Centre to FWD, ATT MID to FWD) and the Demons ranking in the bottom 2 in all these areas. Basically it means they move the ball so slowly forwards that the opposition has plenty of time to get back and fill any holes in the forward half. But that once again comes down to Roos "it's better to go backwards or sideways to retain possession, than go long and lose it" style he seems to have going at the moment.

I N Pieman

Reeks of a sucked in pick to me Baron. Those stats don’t help his cause. The going sideways business was rotten. As much to avoid massacres as learning to keep the ball. He’s going to get the main gorilla each week as well. A 3rd to 4th best defender or orrange boy can take care of Dawes. There is no way Roosy can turn all those stats around in 1 preseason & have him being hit lace out 5 times a game inside 50.

Give It A Go

Outstanding information Baron, completly forgot about Eli Templeton, showed a lot of promise from last season, avg 41, maybe a bit steep for a POD, will see how he fairs in the NAB comp. Lots of rookies up front to look over in the NAB, role on March.


Hmmm…Eli…hadn't considered….

Great writeup as per usual Baron

James Sykes

Eli is very much near the top of my fwd watch list…..but a little behind Mitch Clarke, Hogan, Steele and Lambert for the rookie spots for me. mainly because of price.


Wanting to pick two out of these lot keep changing everyday:

Van Berlo, Brayshaw, Briggs, Cripps, Newton and maybe Sheed.

I have Freeman, Boekhurst, Heeney and Anderson to go with them ATM.

Please give your best two as a reply.


At this stage i'd go VB and Cripps myself. I really like Newton, but still not sure how he'll fit into the Dees mids yet so I want to see how he goes in pre-season.

If Salem is anything to go by than I think Brayshaw might be wearing the green vest quite a bit.


what do you guys think about ben reid, will get games and averaged 80 a couple years back. maybe one under the radar. is he injured?


Barron, you sexy beast; Would you rather Krakouer or Daniel for F8?