Version 2 – MIDFIELD ROOKIE WATCH
The middle! This is one of our highest priority areas this season. Not 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. 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!
- Updated information for Rory Atkins
- Updated information for Nathan Freeman
- Updated information for Isaac Heeney
- Updated information for Jarrod Garlett
- Updated information for Patrick Cripps
- Updated information for Nathan Van Berlo
- Updated information for Alex Neal-Bullen
- Updated information for Karl Amon
- Updated information for Trent Dumont
- Updated information for Liam Duggan
- Updated information for Jono O’Rourke
SUPERCOACH ROOKIE MIDFIELD PROSPECTS
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.
UPDATED 20/01 – Adelaide Head Coach Phil Walsh has 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 Atkins is there in Round 2 of the NAB Cup, consider him a good chance for Round 1.
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.
UPDATED 23/01 – Collingwood teammate Travis Varcoe says about Freeman’s pre-season training efforts “He’s sort of been glossed over because he’s so fit and strong, but he’s one of those players, alongside Steele (Sidebottom, who are) pretty consistent, they’re always putting in their work. He’s probably going just as well as he was before Christmas, if not better.”
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 – $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.”
UPDATED 08/02 – John Longmire has said that Heeney is back to full training after missing some time with knee tendinitis and will be in line for a Round 1 NAB Cup spot.
Jarrod Garlett – Gold Coast – $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)”
UPDATED 04/02 – With Jesse Lonergan rolling his ankle in pre-season training and potentially missing at least a month, Garlett may find his chances for a Round 1 birth improved.
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.”
UPDATED 28/01 – It has been reported that Cripps rolled his ankle playing volleyball and will likely miss a few weeks. He should be ready for the NAB Cup games, so it shouldn’t diminish his chances to play in Round 1.
UPDATED 07/02 – Carlton Midfield coach Dean Laidley says “”He is slowly building his tank and he is getting there. All of his running times are much improved. His body is now allowing him to do his work on the inside and run and spread from the inside out, which is tough to do, and get some uncontested footy. Working with him in the midfield this pre-season, I have been really pleased with his development and his growth as a player and a person. We can’t expect super big things from him, but I think he will have an impact.”
Dominic Sheed – West Coast – $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.
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.
Nathan Van Berlo – Adelaide – $215,600
Missed all of 2014 with a ruptured Achilles, but was close to returning last year, so getting through an entire pre-season as well will be a big boost. Adelaide Head Coach Phil Walsh recently indicated in a radio interview with 5AA that Van Berlo would be relieved of his “cooler” (tagging) duties and instead be freed up to go hunt the football. Prior to his average year in 2013 he had averages between 77 and 85 the 5 previous seasons.
UPDATED 23/01 – Asked about returning to football after missing all of the 2014 season, Van Berlo said “It’s a big year for myself and I’m going to have to make sure I get the full pre-season under my belt, which so far has been so good for me. Having missed 12 months of footy I’ve still got some ground to make up. I can’t wait to get out there again with my teammates in the NAB [Challenge].”
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.
MAY NOT PLAY ROUND 1, BUT MAY GET SOME EARLY GAMES
Declan Hamilton – Western Bulldogs – $117,300
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.”
UPDATED 15/01 – Asked about pre-season performances, Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach Steven King says “Declan Hamilton is going really well ”
Touk Miller – Gold Coast – $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.
UPDATED 27/01 – Once again Neal-Bullen has suffered a knee injury, with Melbourne Football Manager Josh Mahoney saying “Alex had an incident at the end of training yesterday where he dislocated his patella . It’s the same knee that he dislocated pre-Christmas in a wrestling session. This is only a minor dislocation and we’d expect him to recover quite quickly.”
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.
UPDATED 23/01 – After impressing senior players such as Kane Cornes, Brad Ebert and Travis Boak during his pre-season training in Dubai, Director of Coaching Shaun Hart says Amon will “play some quality senior football” in 2015.
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.
UPDATED 04/02 – In a recent Q&A session, North Melbourne Coach Brad Scott was asked “Which players without much Senior experience do you see taking the step this season” and replied “Trent Dumont has had a great preperation, and is one of the few players to have no made his senior AFL debut as yet”
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 – $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 – $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.”
UPDATED 07/02 – Liam Duggan will be playing for West Coast against the indigenous All-Stars that will be happening on Feb 20th at Medibank Stadium in Leederville. So we’ll get an early preview of what Duggan looks like before the NAB Cup games start the week after.
Anthony Morabito – Fremantle – $191,700
Had a knee scare in late September, but was only a 2-4 week injury. Still on a tailored pre-season training schedule, but a Round 1 chance if the injuries stay away.
UPDATED – 20/01 – More knee surgery for Morabito, going under the knife to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. It’s expected he’ll be out for another month. This may put his Round 1 chances on ice for now.
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.
UPDATED 11/02 – Hawks general manager of football operations Chris Fagan says “He’s going to have to force his way in because we’re strong in the midfield, but this is his first full pre-season and he hasn’t put a foot wrong. He’s a good learner and has a great attitude.”
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.”
UPDATE 16/02 – Unfortunate season ending injury to Christian Petracca could see his stocks rise
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.
UPDATE 16/02 – Unfortunate season ending injury to Christian Petracca could see his stocks rise
MAYBE LATER ON
UNLIKELY TO PLAY ROUND 1, MAY GET GAMES LATER IN SEASON
Bradley Walsh – Carlton – $102,400
Connor Blakely – Fremantle – $117,300
Damien Cavka – West Coast – $117,300
Liam Dawson – Brisbane – $117,300
Dean Gore – Geelong – $117,300
Cory Gregson – Geelong – $117,300
Jack Hiscox – Sydney – $117,300
Connor Menadue – Richmond – $117,300
Jacob Ballard – Fremantle – $123,900
Josh Cowan -Geelong – $123,900
Joshua Glenn – Gold Coast – $126,400
Will Hams – Essendon – $123,900
George Hewett – Sydney – $123,900
Jayden Hunt – Melbourne – $123,900
Jarrad Jansen – Geelong – $123,900
Harry Marsh – Sydney – $123,900
Nick O’Brien – Essendon – $123,900
Daniel Robinson – Sydney – $123,900
Billy Evans – Brisbane – $127,900
Jack Sinclair – St Kilda – $129,400
Tim Golds – GWS – $134,400
Aaron Vandenberg – Melbourne – $136,400
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