Supercoach 2015 rookie watch list – MIDFIELDERS

Published by Barron Von Crow on

The middle! This is one of our highest priority areas this season.

Barron Von Crow - inner sanctumNot just because this is where you’ll likely get the bulk of your rookie priced points and cash generation, but because we now have 3 bench spots to fill in our midfield. Now lucky for us we’ve got more than a few tasty prospects in the fridge as leftovers from 2014 such as Nathan Freeman, as well as some very interesting players taken in the most recent draft. So let’s go and look at the midfield prospects for 2015. Click here for the updated version!


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



Rory Atkins – Adelaide – $123,900

Averaged 19 disposals and 6 marks in the SANFL for 2014. Adelaide Head Coach Phil Walsh says;

“I don’t like getting singular about it but Kyle Hartigan, Ricky Henderson, Rory Atkins and Josh Jenkins, some of the guys I didn’t know a lot about, I’ve seen some really good things from them.”

When asked which players were impressing him so far in pre-season training.

Nathan Freeman – Collingwood – $123,900

Has been pushing more senior players for the best times in the clubs internal time trials, Pies will likely look to play him early as they continue their rebuild. Read General Soreness analysis of Nathan Freeman here.

Blaine Boekhorst – Carlton – $132,300

Mature ager taken with Pick #19 this year. Mick Malthouse says;

“Then you look at Blaine and I look at that video and I know it’s only highlights, you never see lowlights, but it’s full of highlights and he’s the type of player we need. So these three lads (Boekhorst, Whiley and Jacksch) are going to be fantastic. I feel very excited about this group here and the No.1 thing I think we’ve got to look at is they’re our No.1 pick, not one player but three, a trilogy. I think they’re all capable of playing and have a fantastic opportunity to play a lot of senior football at this football club and I’m so excited about it.”

Isaac Heeney – Sydney Swans – $137,300

Rated as one of the best players in the draft, despite going to the Swans late in the first round. Heeney could slot straight in for the departing Nick Malckeski, with Sydney Head Coach John Longmire saying;

“Jeremy Laidler played 19 games for us in defence, he didn’t play in the last few games but he had a good season as well. There’s also some of the kids we will look at, like Isaac Heeney, who we can school up at half-back.”

Read Pieman’s analysis of Isaac Heeney here.

Jarrod Garlett – Gold Coast Suns – $152,300

Drafted by the Suns with pick #15, former Fremantle colts coach Arthur Maskos says;

“He played senior football for South Fremantle this year so I don’t see there would be any major problem (in playing AFL football in his first year)”

Nakia Cockatoo – Geelong – $177,300

Drafted with pick #10, Geelong Head Coach Chris Scott says;

“The four draftees that we’ve brought in have all played some form of senior footy and we’re optimistic that they could have an impact straight away” and when asked if it will be possible for Cockatoo to play Round 1, Chris Scott said “It is”

Patrick Cripps – Carlton – $211,400

Broke his leg in the VFL, but played the Blues last game of 2014. Signed 3 year extension in December, Cripps says;

“At the end of the season I sat down with all of the coaches to discuss where they think I’m at and what they want from me for next year. What they said was encouraging: I’ve just got to keep working on my fitness, get up that base up, stay injury-free and be ready to go round one and that’s what I’ll be striving to do.”

Read General Soreness analysis of Patrick Cripps here.

Dominic Sheed – West Coast Eagles – $214,500

Played 10 games last year and has continued to bulk up over the pre-season. Was heavily subbed last year which kept his price in a useable range. Read General Soreness analysis of Dominic Sheed here.

Benjamin Newton- Melbourne – $215,000

Couldn’t break into the Power side, but played consistently good football in the SANFL. Competition for spots in the Demons midfield, but 22 year old Newton could have a leg up on his less experienced competitors. Read General Soreness analysis of Benjamin Newton here.

Blake Acres – St. Kilda – $220,700

Signed a 3 year extension in September. Missed lots of time due to injuries last year, but if he’s healthy the rebuilding Saints shouldn’t have any hesitations in playing him early.



Declan Hamilton – Western Bulldogs

Drafted from the Port Adelaide Magpies with pick #39 by the Bulldogs, Bulldogs Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple says;

“He’s a half-forward/winger, outside, really good endurance, elite footy brain.”

Update 15/01 – Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach Steven King says “Declan Hamilton is going really well and Caleb Daniel, I think, is ready to go, he’s played senior SANFL footy.”

Touk Miller – Gold Coast Suns – $117,300

Will be tough to break into the Suns midfield, but Miller could get a shot as a small forward. Miller says;

“Making the round one team is the ultimate goal at the moment so fingers crossed I can work hard and get myself in the team”

Alex Neal-Bullen – Melbourne – $117,300

Dislocated his kneecap during training in mid-December, but didn’t suffer any major damage to his knee. Demons have more than a few new midfielders for Bullen to compete with.

Billy Stretch – Melbourne – $117,300

Father-Son pick for the Dees. Played senior football for Glenelg in the SANFL last year, his speed and outside skills may give him a leg up on debuting over his other draft mates.

Karl Amon – Port Adelaide – $123,900

Has been noted as impressing during the Power’s pre-season trip to Dubai. Had some good form in the SANFL and may be given a chance at some point during the year.

Trent Dumont – North Melbourne – $123,900

Strong VFL form in 2014, but off-season issues may mean his debut is pushed back. Don’t think North Melbourne will be in a rush to blood their kids as they look to make a charge towards a Top 4 birth.

Cam Ellis Yolmen – Adelaide – $123,900

Played 1 game as the starting sub in 2014. Came 4th in the Crows SANFL Best and Fairest award with 60 votes, 7 behind the winner Ian Callinan. Physically ready to play AFL football, but still has questions over his ball use, especially by foot. 4th year in the system, it’s now or never for CEY. Walsh says he’s been training with the midfield group.

Andrew Boston – Gold Coast Suns – $124,600

Played late in 2013, but missed most of 2014 with a leg injury.

Jed Anderson – Hawthorn – $141,400

Broke into the Hawks side in 2013, but missed the majority of 2014 with a shoulder injury. Will be in the mix with the Hartung/O’Rourke types you’d think.

Elliott Kavanagh  – Essendon – $145,100

3 games and a bunch as senior emergency in 2014. Came 2nd both times in Essendon’s most recent back-to-back 2km time trials behind Patrick Ambrose.

Darcy Lang – Geelong – $159,100

Debuted in Round 13 and ended the year as the senior emergency.

Liam Duggan – West Coast Eagles – $172,300

First round draft pick 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 Throttlefinger’s analysis of Liam Duggan here.

Billy Hartung – Hawthorn – $195,800

Debuted in Round 7 after being the senior emergency the week before, but was wearing the green vest quite a lot. Hawthorn GM of Football Chris Fagan says;

“He’s in the mold of Bradley Hill and Isaac Smith, he’s a running machine. We selected him as the sub a few times this year, which is what we did with ‘Hilly’ in his first year but to be honest, he was probably better than he (Hill) was in his first year given the amount of ball he was able to get. He’s not afraid to run and bounce and carry the lines – we think we’ve got some really great runners in our team and he’s going to really add to that arsenal and should emerge even more next year as his body gets stronger and his belief grows that he can play at the level.”

Alex Woodward – Hawthorn – $197,800

Missed all of 2013 with a knee reco and was brought in to the AFL side in Round 18 in 2014. GM of Football Chris Fagan says;

“He was able to make his debut after two knee recos – he has probably been the most unlucky player at our footy club over the last few years. He earned his debut against the Swans in Round 18 and won the Liston Trophy in the VFL as the fairest and best player so that will give him a lot of confidence. He’s an intense competitor and incredibly brave, so you’d expect that he’ll start to emerge next year and make even more of a contribution for us.”

Jordan De Goey – Collingwood – $202,300

#5 pick for the Pies in 2014. Guess it depends on how quickly the Pies want to blood players and how they go on the injury front. You’d think he’d be a shot early, but they might decide blooding Freeman is enough to begin the year.

Jono O’Rourke – Hawthorn – $206,300

Falls into the same category as Hartung, Anderson and Woodward for the Hawks. Talented, but there’s only 22 spots in a side. He’s a former #2 pick, but I get the impression he’ll be one who gets handed the green vest a few times throughout the year.

Shane Biggs – Western Bulldogs – $209,300

Traded in from Sydney, Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach Steven King says;

“Shane Biggs is ready to go. He’s a ready made player coming over from a good program.”

Angus Brayshaw – Melbourne – $212,300

#3 pick in the draft, Angus Brayshaw says;

“For me and all the players who have been drafted to the club, they’ve been really clear about not setting any expectations on us, but also not any limitations either. If we play games they’re not going to put a cap on how many we play. But I think for now the focus has been on getting fit, really learning the game plan and basically just improving because we started a couple of weeks after the main group. We’d all like to play round one, but there’s no expectations at the moment, so I’ll just train hard and work hard and see what happens.”

Aidan Riley – Melbourne – $221,600

9 games last year, but lots as sub. He’s very good at the things he’s good at, but guys like Brayshaw, Petracca and Salam are obviously going to overtake him as players. So the issue becomes will he still get time while they’re coming up, or will they overtake him immediately.



Bradley Walsh – $102,400

Connor Blakely – $117,300

Damien Cavka – $117,300

Liam Dawson – $117,300

Dean Gore – $117,300

Cory Gregson – $117,300

Jack Hiscox – $117,300

Connor Menadue – $117,300

Jacob Ballard – $123,900

Josh Cowan -$123,900

Taylor Garner- $123,900

Joshua Glenn – $126,400

Will Hams – $123,900

George Hewett – $123,900

Jayden Hunt – $123,900

Jarrad Jansen – $123,900

Harry Marsh – $123,900

Nick O’Brien – $123,900

Daniel Robinson – $123,900

Billy Evans – $132,400

Tim Golds – $134,400

Aaron Vandenberg – $136,400

Jack Sinclair – $138,400

Lachlan Weller- $162,300.

Kurt Aylett – $163,900

Corey Ellis – $167,300

Brant Colledge – $191,400.

That’s all for now – 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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The one we've all been waiting for! Midfielder Rookies! Cheers BVC! Lots of food for thought here! I'm nervous already!


Haha, don't be nervous Plowdogg, the Jock Reynolds Community will be here to help ease your fears!

Give It A Go

Thanks BVC, lots more homework to chew over, forgot Sheed and Acres from last, loving it!


Yea, I completely forgot about Acres too at the start. Will be an interesting prospect to watch for sure.


Thanks Baron! I just read that Phil Walsh reckons VB won't be tagging this year. Is he now one of the top "rookies"?


Certainly sounds like it Crowmagnon. If he isn't tagging then his potential jumps up bigtime.

I N Pieman

That was a very interesting article. Walsh said he wants him to find more of the footy. If that’s the case he’s very relevant. But people say a lot of things during the preseason. 78% of people know that.


Yea, pre-season talk is always full of hope, wonder and white fluffy clouds, but once the real stuff starts all bets are off.

It's the same reason I didn't put too much stock in the "Ablett is going to play as a forward this year" type talk. It's easy to say that now, but Ablett is still a massive cog in the Suns midfield and it's not just as easy as moving pieces around a chess board to replace what he brings to the table.


Very excited for the midfield rookies this year!

Especially Nathan Freeman, Patrick Cripps, Darcy Lang, Angus Brayshaw & Jarrad Jansen!


Yea, Freeman and Cripps both sound very promising.

General Soreness

BVC oh the joy of seeing the mids, the top watch currently form a significant part of my mids atm. salivating with some of these mid prospects, SC may be won or lost this year over these selections given we won’t have a two round run up this year rooks critical.


Good point you make there GS, re no two week run up this year with rooks (for leagues).

On the back of that, the ol' 4 points are going to be invaluable in Week 1 of League Matches this year.


Spot on Rowdy. Never before has a solid supercoach preseason been so important and, it coincides with a certain media groups Sports Package for only $50 p/month. How lucky are we poor souls? This year we get live scores for free but, we have to commit to $50 p/month so we can watch NAB to have any chance of nailing the right cheapies to win the big prize.


I was able to watch full match replays of nab games last year for free? What service are you watching it on?


Foxtel do know how to time it to perfection, don't they? World Cup fast approaching too.

Worth every cent in my opinion. I couldn't live without Foxtel. If i had no Foxtel, i'd probably spend more than $50 p/month on eye drops to flush my eyes out every night after watching Free to Air Garb.

Yep, critical to nail those cheapies now. Went back over Biggs' numbers, i'm confident you're going to nail him mate. You were onto him early. Was also looking at the bottom few sides from last year. The in's and out's over the post season for them all….. Bulldogs are terrible, no doubt in my mind he gets a game. Dogs and St K will be fighting out the spoon in 2015 for mine.


Wonderful read.

Top work BVC!!


Thanks, TW.


Top write up Barron…..and also what about the Bombers – Langford & Laverde??


Cheers, mate. Both Langford and Laverde are covered off in the FWD's section.


My Team v 1.01
Burgoyne, Shaw, Thompson, Waters, Roberton, Rainbow (Goddard, Cordy)
Ablett, Barlow, Watson, Murphy, Dangerfield, Acres, van Berlo, Heeney (Laverde, Freeman, Smith)
Jacobs, Kreuzer (Cox)
Deledio, Goddard, Swan, Wingard, Salem, Clark (Hogan, Steele)


Think this is the best time to give this a warm-up before the season…

Bookmarked and will be heavily relied on to create NAB watchlist priorities. \

Hoping my boy Diamond Liam Duggan gets his changes to shine in half back. Shall see. Think Biggs is one that could make a move to the Priority List come preseason's end. Just lot o' opportunities in the Doggies midfield. Again, well done, my man!


Haha, I do hope that video gets a workout this year!


Those black, predator shark eyes, the maniacial joy…yes!…YESS!!..can only mean we are getting very close community!

Seaford Scouse

Bloody nailed the most critical area for us all Baron, hats off to ya mate!

Have you actually slept this week? Can’t believe you’ve been able to add commentary for each individual player in the watch list categories…legend!

Will be interesting to see who makes Jocks cheat sheet looking at some of these gems, it might need two mid lines, (and two spots for defence!) The triple bench midfield move couldn’t have been better timed either, think this might have caused the trouser arousal radar at JR HQ to omit more bleeps than a techno festival, roll on Nab!


Haha, I slept a little bit Seaford. Enough to keep me going at least!

Yes, I am quite looking forward to seeing who Jock puts on his cheat sheets, will be interesting to see if we have some differing opinions on some players!

Seaford Scouse

Wow, feeling prophetic after the cheat sheet release today…..hmm will be interesting to see what the lottery numbers are tomorrow night 🙂

I N Pieman

Love ya work Baron. Interesting Heeney being linked to the Malcheski role. But he’s not the only one. Most of Sydney has been. Names such as Mcveigh, Rampe, Johnson, Newman, Rohan & even Jacinta Campbell. I like Touk Miller. See if he can crack the Suns 22.


Touk Miller has gotta be massive chance of playing r1 for the following reasons:
– Similar recruit to Meatball Prestia who played 16 games in his first year
– Big bodied endurance player like Lonergan who is being spruiked for big things this year
– Gold Coast mids/runners generally lacking size i.e. Kolodjashnij, Martin, Bennell, Matera.
– With Ablett set to play a bit more forward, Mick Jaeger not fit r1, Rischa not in best 22 guys like Hallahan, Lonergan and Miller will be given opps

Oh did I mention elite runner and inside ball winner?


Yea, I think they've said they'll try everyone and their mother down at the Swans to replace Malceski, which makes it quite hard to pick those guys at the moment.

Quite the fan of Miller also, hope he does make it into the 22 at some point.


Feedback is appreciated

Brodie Smith, Michael Hibberd, Heath Shaw, Beau Waters, Darcy Moore, Dillon Viojo-Rainbow, Hugh Goddard, Nicholas Newman

Gary Ablett, Nat Fyfe, Rory Sloane, Joel Selwood, Scott Pendlebury, Nathan van Berlo, Patrick Cripps, Jack Steele, Issac Heeney, Nathan Freeman, Kane Lambert

Tom Bellchambers, Matthew Leuenberger, Mason Cox

Brett Delidio, Dane Swan, Robbie Gray, Harley Bennell, Mitch Clark, Jesse Hogan, Jayden Laverde, Nathan Krakouer



Your backs and mids do look solid, a part from the fact Moore probably wont play round 1, and question marks over Viojo and where he fits in (but rookies can can and will be changed before round 1 anyway!)
Big question marks over your ruck line, not much money spent here but both rucks have injury history and may not be the smartest move as only one bench exists in this line.
Forwards look good, although i am wary about harley bennel, will he be in the top 6 forwards come seasons end? i hope you prove me wrong because i love the kid.
All the best tom


Re Viojo, Dillon: His 'slot' will open up through half back if Kade Simpson plays a bit higher up the ground through the wing. Also Walker could be direct competition for that spot if Uncle Mick uses him in that role and not higher up the ground. BIG NAB watch on Blues gameplan for this one…
Re Bennel, Harley: I love the kid too mate. We all do. He could be ANYTHING. If he looks up and about pre-season, picking him could be a masterstroke!

James Sykes

hey guys.

My rookie mids at this stage could be the foursome of cripps, vanderberg, freeman and NVB. With K Lambert on the watchlist withd Jack (the animal) steele.

And I'll just put it out there, I think this year we will see the lowest number of first year players in starting teams since Noah was drafted from the Mount Ararat Pirates!

Hair downstairs more important this year than ever.


Agree with you James, I seem to be looking more towards the Cripps, Salem types, guys who've had at least a year in the system already over the rookies this year. Blaine Boekhorst as well since he's got plenty of the hair down stairs and was obviously recruited with the intentions of him playing from the get-go.


Brilliant Baron, briiliant.
I really like Nakia Cockatoo as a smokey. Has the game -outside run AND contested ball + goalkicking ability – to fill a very real need in Geelongs midfield with the departure of Bundy and Varcoe.


Should we be locking in Shane Biggs? It seems he is already in the best 22 for the Bulldogs…


Definitely Watto! The community is all over Biggsy. Big NAB watch alert before locking (obviously)!


Looks like rookies who aren't in their first year are the way to go, might be him or Rich for me, because they should both play off half back



great work – loving the list – lots more homework to do now !!

just a note on Declan Hamilton – the last part of King’s statement “.. I think, is ready to go, he’s played senior SANFL footy.” is referring to Caleb Daniel not Declan Hamilton.

I can report though that Declan is starting to impress on the training track (source: mates who have been watching many training sessions). He is quite light so I was expecting him to spend most of his first year in the magoos.

He does come well dosed with Jarman blood so he could surprise.

Shane Biggs, by all reports I have been getting, is a very good chance to slot straight in. Currently in my team and probably staying there.


Cheers, Brett, i'll make sure that's updated for the next version!

And that Jarman blood certainly is powerful stuff.


Carlton's Dennis Armfield (MID/FWD) for $181,400. He's not close to an A grade player but that's rookie price for a 100+ game player. I know he only played 8 games last year due to injury but at the end of 2013 he was sitting at about $300k. Am I missing something here? Out of sorts with Mick?