Version 2 – FORWARD ROOKIE WATCH
Decent rookie forwards were rare as hen’s teeth last year. Jay Kennedy Harris? Gary Rohan? BURN MEN.
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 now without playing a ton of AFL football.
For an updated watch list click here.
- Caleb Daniel upgraded to Priority Watchlist
- Kane Lambert upgraded to Potential Watchlist
- Nathan Krakouer upgraded to Potential Watchlist
- Riley Knight downgraded to Maybe Later On
- Colin Sylvia downgraded to Maybe Later On
- Updated information for Jesse Hogan
- Updated information for Mitch Clark
- Updated information for Christian Salem
- Updated information for Eli Templeton
- Updated information for Kane Lambert
- Updated information for Tom Lamb
- Updated information for Riley Knight
- Updated information for Liam McBean
- Updated information for Jayden Laverde
- Updated information for Kyle Langford
- Updated information for Spencer White
- Updated information for Ahmed Saad
- Updated information for Orazio Fantasia
- Updated information for Nick Kommer
- Updated information for Ben Lennon
- Updated information for Colin Sylvia
- Updated information for John Butcher
SUPERCOACH ROOKIE FORWARD PROSPECTS
Note: All players are sorted by price (lowest to highest) and then alphabetically by last name.
Caleb Daniel – WBD – $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.”
UPDATED 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.”
UPDATED 20/01 – Western Bulldogs Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple says “We felt that his (Daniel) uncontested possessions, his kicking efficiency, was something that was a priority. We see that even though he’s small he’s got that huge running capacity. He can win his own footy and makes really good decisions, and we think as a 16 beeper, that he can play that high half forward role, and can help us bring the ball out of defensive 50, inside forward 50 and hopefully score, because when he gets the ball, we retain the ball.”
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.
UPDATED – 19/01 – Asked about his back injury and how he is progressing in pre-season, Hogan said “I’m just trying to make sure I can do everything right with my body now and I’ve just got to keep ticking off weeks and then before you know it, the games will come. The body’s still feeling good … so I’m trying to get the best base possible and give myself maximum opportunity to play AFL football. I’ve been pretty monitored still, but I’m very excited because I did the whole ‘four quarter’ training [program last week]. I’ve been pretty monitored with my back and they’ve been cautious, but it’s going really well. I’ve run some good times and some PBs (personal bests), and I’m putting together back to back weeks and I haven’t been too restricted. Hopefully I can continue this into the season.”
UPDATED 04/02 – In a recent interview, new Melbourne Demons skipper Nathan Jones said about Hogan “He’s fit and healthy, which is the main thing. I’d love to say that he’s going to kick 60-80 goals and he’s going to dominate, but at this stage we’re trying to take the pressure off him, I guess. In all honesty, he’s only really young but he is one of the most exciting talents I’ve seen and the thing I really love about him — as I said, he’s super talented — but, he’s got the work rate and competitive hunger that goes with it. I know he’s going to carve out a really terrific career and all the media speculation will continue, it comes with Jesse, but for us, as long as he plays his role — which, I’m sure he will — he’s going to be a really exciting player for us. I really can’t wait to run out and have him beside me.”
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.”
UPDATED 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.”
UPDATED 04/02 – It has been reported that Clark will be missing 2 more weeks of training after suffering a minor calf tear. Geelong Football Manager Steve Hocking said ““Mitch Clark is a bit like Johnson but more advanced. He hadn’t missed any sessions up to January and then got that nick in his calf. He is back running and in the next two weeks will be in the main group.”
Sam Blease – Geelong – $177,400
Signed by the Cats as a de-listed 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.”
Christian Salem – Melbourne – $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.”
UPDATED 09/02 – In an interview with MelbourneFC.com.au, Salem says “It’s been awesome, the change is just ridiculous (He missed most of the 2014 pre-season and the NAB Cup with a thyroid issue) This time last year I was in rehab and now I’ve pretty much completed every main session, so I’m loving it. Hopefully I can finish off the last month and get cracking into games. For me, getting through pre-season was the biggest thing and I think if I get through this month, [I want to] just try and really crack into the team and try and cement a spot. I’ve been trying out a few different positions, so we’ll see where it takes us. To be honest I don’t mind [what position I play] at all … for me, the team comes first so wherever that leads me, I’m happy to play.”
Eli Templeton – St Kilda – $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.’’
UPDATED 10/02 – In a recent “Ask the Coach” on AFL.com.au, St Kilda head coach Alan Richardson said about Eli “Eli played predominantly as a small/negating forward in his six games last year, and was very impressive. Our plan is for Eli to play much more on the wing in 2015, going really well after what was a very bad broken arm.”
MAY NOT PLAY ROUND 1, BUT MAY GET SOME EARLY GAMES
Kane Lambert – Richmond – $102,400
Mature age pick taken by Richmond in the Rookie Draft. Won the B&F for the Northern Blues in 2013 and also won the VFL’s Fothergill–Round Medal (Essentially the VFL’s version of the Rising Star award)
UPDATED 11/02 – Asked about Lambert potentially being brought off the rookie list, as Anthony Miles was in 2014, Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said “Kane Lambert is a similar story. He is a rookie so it’s going to be a challenging decision as a match committee as to who can be elevated. It was a really strong draft and we are pleased with the talent we brought in.”
Nathan Krakouer – Port Adelaide – $106,900
Needs to make amends at his old club after leaving them during tough times.. but we know he can play. Needs a rookie list elevation.
Tom Lamb – West Coast – $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.”
UPDATED 19/01 – It was reported on the West Coast Eagles site that Tom Lamb had been completing “light duties” recently in pre-season training.
UPDATED 07/02 – Like his teammate Liam Duggan, it is believed that Lamb will be lining up for West Coast against the indigenous All-Stars that will be happening on Feb 20th at Medibank Stadium in Leederville. Another West Coast player we’ll get an early preview of before the NAB Cup starts.
Jack Steele – GWS – $117,300
Has a month headstart 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.
UPDATED 30/01 – In a recent interview, GWS teammate Stephen Coniglio said “Steeley’s going really well. He’s training exceptionally at the moment in our game scenario stuff … he’s been great. He’s been playing in the midfield and up forward and he has done some exciting things at training that maybe a few of the boys hadn’t seen last year. He’s very much a player of the future … and definitely big things to come.”
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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.
UPDATED 20/01 – Adelaide Head Coach Phil Walsh indicated in a radio interview that the Round 1 side for the Crows would likely have a few players in the side. Could Riley Knight, a player who has a very good tank on him, take over VB’s role as the Crows designated “cooler”? Walsh has also said that Round 1 of the NAB Cup will have plenty of fresh faces in the side such as Reilly O’Brien and Keenan Ramsey, but the next 2 NAB Cup games will likely be their “strongest” team. If Knight is there in Round 2 of the NAB Cup, consider him a good chance for Round 1.
UPDATED 06/02 – After suffering damage to ligaments in his ankle during pre-season training, Knight has had ankle surgery and will now miss 3 months of football. Will certainly make it difficult for him to catch up to the rest of his teammates and make a debut in early 2015. Cross him off your list if you were considering him and look for him to be downgraded to the “Maybe Later On” category.
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.”
UPDATED 07/02 – Richmond Tigers coach Damian Hardwick has said “We certainly can [play together]. We’ve got some selection headaches down there with young Liam McBean training very well at the moment as well. Training and games are a different thing, so I’m really excited to see those guys when the pre-season trials come around and a few of the intra-clubs. it’s going to be great for the Tigers’ faithful to see some young key forwards hopefully showing what they’ve got.”
UPDATED 10/02 – Richmond Tigers coach Damian Hardwick has said we will likely see McBean in NAB Cup action, saying “But it’s an opportunity for us to see these young players we have been stockpiling like (Ben) Lennon, (Matt) McDonough, (Liam) McBean so it’s a great opportunity for our fans to see what they have got.”
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.
UPDATED 09/02 – Like a number of young Bombers, we could be seeing plenty of action from Laverde if the Bombers hold out players from playing the NAB Cup. As with Shaun Edwards, if this happens, it does make it a bit difficult to gauge where he’s sitting in the Best 22.
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.”
UPDATED 09/02 – Langford will find himself in the exact same situation as Laverde above.
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.
UPDATED 10/02 – In a recent “Ask the Coach” on AFL.com.au, St Kilda head coach Alan Richardson said about Spencer White “Tom and Spencer have had good pre-seasons. Tom in particular has finally had some luck with his body and barely missed a session, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how he performs in the NAB Challenge. Spencer still has another level to find with respect to his running capacity, but he also is heading in the right direction.”
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.
UPDATED 10/02 – In a recent “Ask the Coach” on AFL.com.au, St Kilda head coach Alan Richardson was asked about Saad playing Round 1 and said “Yes. Depending on their physical preparation, their form and their understanding of their role. There is a chance that our front half will have a significantly different look with those players, plus Membrey, possibly one of the rucks putting their hand up to play forward, Jack Lonie is another that has been impressive as a small, crumbing forward at this early stage.”
Orazio Fantasia – Essendon – $168,400
Debuted late last year, but hit with the sub vest in all 3 of his games.
UPDATED 09/02 – Fantastia will find himself in the exact same situation as Laverde above.
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.”
UPDATED 09/02 – Another young Bomber who could play plenty in the NAB Cup if senior players sit out.
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 – Brisbane – $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.
UPDATED 01/02 – Richmond coach Damien Hardwick says about Lennon “He’s probably one of those guys who’s capable of playing forward and back, depending on where we see a need at this stage – whether it’s back or forward, he’ll play there. He’s got some things we really like in his game that can help us and make us better. He was an important player for us last year; he’s incredibly talented and we’ve just got to make sure we transfer that to on-field. He’s a player we think has got a big future in the game. He’s just got to continue to work hard and he’ll get his opportunity come NAB Challenge. Hopefully there’s a position there for him come round one. He’s a great kick, he’s a beautiful mark, he’s working very hard on some facets of his game he knows he has to improve and if he continues to do that, he’ll certainly put his hand up to solidify a position in the side.”
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 never shy away from playing youngsters, but they have so many of them will they be able to play them all?
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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.
UPDATED 20/01- 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.”
UPDATED 06/02 – Colin Sylvia has been “banished” to the Peel Thunder after repeatedly failing to reach the fitness standards set by the Dockers with Dockers coach Ross Lyon saying “”All I can do is coach action and behaviour. I don’t assume anything. But there’s some actions and behaviour you’ve got to deliver on consistently to be a good AFL player. Over a long period of time, Col hasn’t been able to deliver on those. From the first day Col arrived at the club, he arrived in poor condition. He couldn’t complete a three-kilometre time trial, and it’s continued on pretty much in the same vein on and off till this point. There’s been an enormous amount of resources, time and support and guidance [for Sylvia]. No-one goes out our door wondering why they’ve been delisted or why they’re training at Peel. This has been a 14-month build.”
Jarrod Pickett – GWS – $207,300
Same as Ahern.
John Butcher – Port Adelaide – $209,300
Has had a few chances at AFL level and while he is a good mark his kicking can be downright deplorable at times.
UPDATED 09/02 – In a recent interview, Brad Ebert said about Butcher ““Johnny’s looking good, he’s been training really well. He’s as fit as I’ve seen him, he’s moving freely and has been able to pluck a few grabs and take a few speccies at training. His fitness is the big thing for him because he’s always had those niggly little injuries which have held him back. This season he’s been able to train for the majority of the pre-season, he’s looking really fit and he’s improving. It’s a good forward line to break into but I think there’s a spot for him. He just needs to believe in himself and go for it. It’s tough for me to say exactly where he’ll play but Butch might just be the in-form forward over the pre-season and be able to slide straight in.’’
Cameron McCarthy – GWS – $210,700
Will be in the mix with guys like Adam Tomlinson and James Stewart to take over from Patton and Boyd.
James Stewart – GWS – $216,800
See Cameron McCarthy
Christian Petracca – Melbourne – $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 – St Kilda – $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.”
UPDATED 10/02 – In a recent “Ask the Coach” on AFL.com.au, St Kilda head coach Alan Richardson said about Paddy playing Round 1 and said “Yes. Depending on their physical preparation, their form and their understanding of their role. There is a chance that our front half will have a significantly different look with those players, plus Membrey, possibly one of the rucks putting their hand up to play forward, Jack Lonie is another that has been impressive as a small, crumbing forward at this early stage.”
Looking like there might be potential for an upgrade to the Priority Watchlist
MAYBE LATER ON
UNLIKELY TO PLAY ROUND 1, MAY GET GAMES LATER IN SEASON
Josh Clayton – Brisbane – $117,300
Jayden Foster – Carlton – $117,300
Jack Lonie – St Kilda – $117,300
Mitchell McGovern – Adelaide – $117,300
Jaden McGrath – Brisbane – $117,300
Reece McKenzie – Richmond – $117,300
Toby McLean – Western Bulldogs – $117,300
Todd Elton – Richmond – $123,900
Taylor Garner- North Melbourne – $123,900
Josh Hall – Gold Coast – $123,900
Kieran Harper – North Melbourne – $123,900
Mitch Harvey – Port Adelaide – $123,900
Louis Herbert – Gold Coast – $123,900
Fraser McInnes – West Coast – $123,900
Dallas Willsmore – Hawthorn – $123,900
Simon Tunbridge – West Coast – $131,700
Robbie Tarrant – North Melbourne – $144,700
Liam Sumner – GWS – $155,900
Sam Grimley – Hawthorn – $176,500
Peter Wright – Gold Coast – $187,300
Brad Hartman – Geelong – $188,100
Jack Hannath – Fremantle – $191,700
Jack Redpath – Western Bulldogs – $204,300
Tim O’Brien – Hawthorn – $209,600
As always, if you see any names you think should be added or removed or have any news or information you’d think the community should know about, please let us know in the comments below.
Barron Von Crow