17 Rookies You Can Build Your Team Around

Published by Damo on

As round 1 draws closer, the amount of rookies on our radar is continuing to narrow down, and we’re relying on a strong showing in the pre-season for them to be there come the start of the season.

We can’t read the minds of coaches, but these 17 rookies seem like a pretty strong chance to line-up in round 1.


Will Gould ($123,900)
We all wanted a debut in 2020 and never got one. In the end though, that’s been a good thing because it’s meant we’ve been able to select him dirt cheap this year. John Longmire has been impressed with his pre-season so far as well, pencilling him in for an intercepting role off half-back.

Heath Chapman ($148,800)
Just when we thought the Dockers had enough key position defenders, they draft this bloke, who has not wasted any time getting plaudits from teammates and coaches. His intercepting and one-on-one work a standout, his round 1 chances are very good.

Tom Highmore ($117,300)
Mature age players rarely get drafted to sit on a shelf, and with the likes of Dylan Roberton weighing up his future and Jarryn Geary injured, Highmore is one to keep an eye on.

Jacob Wehr ($117,300)
No Zac Williams and Lachie Whitfield is out with a bruised liver. The mature age South Australian must be in the forefront of Leon Cameron’s mind as a ready to go replacement. We know how GWS are with rookies though, so maybe you’re only confident in him as a bench option.

Lachie Young ($202,000 DEF/MID)
Not technically a rookie after a few seasons at the Western Bulldogs, but he’s still very cheap. Kangaroos traded for him with a rebounding & intercepting role off half back, and with dual position as well I’d be making room for him in my side.

Lachie Jones ($139,800)
There’s a quote from around October last year where Ken Hinkley said he wanted to pick Jones for the senior team just by how mature and ready he was for AFL footy, playing in the SANFL. Well, now Ken has his chance.


Will Phillips ($198,300)
Drafted at Pick 3, the Kangaroos have themselves a beauty. Expect Phillips to play as a main cog in the Kangaroos midfield rotation from the start. He’s almost 200k, but the price will be worth it for job security alone.

Braeden Campbell ($189,300 MID/FWD)
The Swans can’t stop talking about this kid, and likely for a good reason. We’ve all wanted Callum Mills to move into the midfield for a long time, and Campbell is the key to that it seems. Swans are talking about Campbell as a playmaker off half-back with stints in the midfield, all that and we can also select him as a forward. Tick, tick, tick.

Luke Valente ($123,900)
Aside from lockdowns and quarantine restrictions, Valente is impressing in his first uninterrupted pre-season since joining the Dockers. With a number of key players still recovering from post-season surgeries, Valente is a strong chance to line-up in round 1. He was handed the #29 guernsey by the club as well so he must be highly rated internally.

Errol Gulden ($117,300)
The Swans are in a transitional period to rejuvenate their list. Gulden was probably taken a little bit later in the draft than people expected but that has only meant he’s come in at basement price for us. He will likely start life as a small forward, but he’ll be the perfect bench player for our SuperCoach teams.

Tom Powell ($153,300)
The mature bodied South Australian is a noted ball winner, who dominates at stoppages with his quick hands to release the runners on the outside. Should debut in 2021 for North Melbourne, with round 1 a strong possibility.


Josh Treacy ($102,400 FWD/RUC)
Not so much a player who’ll line-up round 1, but a good chance to debut at some point in the season. Start him as your loop, and enjoy the cash injection when he makes his debut.


Jarman Impey ($212,800)
Okay, not a rookie, but he is damn cheap. A return to half back is on the cards for Impey where he averaged 89 in the 5 weeks before he succumbed to his long term knee injury.

Nakia Cockatoo ($123,900 FWD/MID)
We all know what Cockatoo can do, it’s about whether or not he can stay on the park. Hasn’t missed a beat all pre-season for Brisbane, and you’d be surprised if he wasn’t selected for round 1. Select him and stick him on your field with confidence.

Finlay Macrae ($126,300 FWD/MID)
Hard to believe, but this guy could be better than his brother was in his first year. Impressing Collingwood coaches in their match simulations so much so it would be a surprise to everyone if he wasn’t afforded a round 1 debut.

Will Kelly ($135,400)
Before getting injured against the Giants last season, Will Kelly was a man on a mission for the Magpies. Now fully recovered, and in the midst of a standout pre-season, Kelly is set to resume his spot in the Magpies 22, providing a target up forward for the Collingwood midfielders to kick to.

James Rowe ($117,300)
The mature age small forward fills a much needed position at Adelaide. Kicked 47 goals for Woodville-West Torrens in the SANFL last season, and is ready to go. Averaged 96 points, too.

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David Grant



I have Chugg at D8 for his line flexibility and early pre-season efforts but I don’t expect to ever have him on field even if he does get named. The high number of collingwood supporters and their optimism for the coming season can often distort the true potential of rookies via multiple optimistic posts.
Remember how EVERY footy journalist in the country ripped into the pies for their rubbish efforts and results at the draft.
Well those universally recognised rubbish efforts/results are the rookies that were drafted by collingwood and are herewith presented as viable options for our SC teams.


Hang on. Is this to say that some of the most popular rookies aren’t as relevant as these guys? Everyone is all over DGB in defence, as well as Jones for Port. In the midfield theres definitely some more potential but it’s more speculative there.

Just confused – are the listed players your top selections in each position, ones you think will get games, or just a few that you are keen on? I only ask because i highly respect your opinions but see bit of a difference here as compared to the narratives elsewhere. Thanks


Another example, are you cold on powell now? If so I’d like some elaboration as most of the JRC were very keen a few weeks ago

The Ranger

It’s all just guess work at this stage eh Jess? On this website and any other one you wanna look at. I had all of the above on my list of rookies to keep an eye out for except Highmore, so I’ll take that.
All the rookies are interchangeable at the moment.


The crew were keen Jess because they thought he won something in SANFL last year but then somebody told them that it was sanfl u/18 NOT grownups footy. the enthusiasm dropped off a bit after that realisation


Thanks boys. Really are grateful for all the rookie research you do, when it is particularly hard to find that sort of info. Keep it up 🙂

Rick Grimes

I know Williams is all the rage, but wouldn’t the Doc be a better pick? Sure to improve on last year. If he gets back to best he’s a 110+ player.

Rick Grimes

Thanks Damo. While I have you there, what are your thoughts on Witherden now he’s at WC? Has high ceiling.


Doch will be better this year than last, tempting me but Williams role is so clearly ready for SUpercoach and cheaper too.

Doch will love playing with Saad

Inteliigent Design

Any spots available re cash leagues?

David C

Roberton hardly played last year and Geary spent time as a pressure forward. Neither of them out has any bearing on Highmore’s chances. That’s not to say he isn’t a chance for R1.


Yeah I don’t think we’ll see Roberton again, Geary’s old and got squeezed out of the backline last season, but he’s captain so he gets a spot when and if his leg heals….I think Steele should be captain now .
With Paton, Howard, Wilkie, Coffield, Carlisle, Clark, Long, Battle and now Frawley…Webster might make his way back at some point, not sure if Highmore gets a go early on.
I’d think Frawley would get the nod over Highmore otherwise why did they get him in at 32

Last edited 1 year ago by Russty_

I think Frawley is a break glass in case of emergency player for them


Hey community any leagues to join out there please haven’t seen any posted yet cheers.


Hi Shaun, where did you rank last year.


175 last year



Last edited 1 year ago by JohnDJ59

Cheers mate im in.


No worries.


Very happy looking at this list. I currently have Gould D5, Wehr D6, Highmore D7, Phillips M6, Campbell M7, Macrae M8, Valente M9, Rowe F6, with the potential to move Macrae to F5 if Smith isn’t picked round one. I will be bringing in Jones at D4 if he is there round one, currently have Williams at D4.


It will be similar to recent years, everyone will have the same starting rookies

Ahhhh, The good old days of the Suns, GWS, Port rebuild and Essendon drug suspension, gave us lots of choice with rookies

The Ranger

I’m hoping North will be playing a fair few rookies!

Shake n bake

Rozee 6 goals in a scratch match


And apparently he still has some kind of foot issue too, could be wrong but I’m not falling for the fool’s gold again.


Hmmm… I have 14 rookies in my V1 squad .. 12 are on your list … Durdin and Laurie are the odd two..


I have those two on my fwd bench.


Gr8 stuff.

See Fyfe as a fwd kicked 5 today in a praccy. Rozee 6.

Any news on how the golden one – rowell went in his first hit out with his new shoulder?

Last edited 1 year ago by TRIGGA HAPPY

Tracey (Freo) is a good chance to play round 1 if Darcy misses


Josh TREACY – correct spelling


Hey guys, just created a SuperCoachleague for the advanced players (Top 20,000) feel free to join 558826 Superflogs 2.

David C

I got a league not found message


Luke Foley ($127,900)


With Preuss out I had to get rid of Cunnington to get Gawn.
Thanks for this list of options.