SA Academy Internal Trial Wrap Up – AFL Draft Hub

Updated: February 13, 2017
In what was a tough day due to conditions, the South Australian Academy team went head to head at Football Park on Saturday morning. Due to the heat, the second half of the game was shortened, but there were still a number of stand outs on the day.

Izak Rankine – Team Red – West Adelaide

Making his SANFL league debut in 2016, Rakine is one of the most talented bottom agers in the nation. The dynamic small forward kicked 2 goals and applied consistent defensive pressure throughout the match. His speed and agility were on show as the electric NAB AFL Academy Level 1 member capped an eye catching performance that would arguably have him as team “red’s” best on ground.

Alex Martini – Team Red – Glenelg

We dubbed him the “dark horse” of South Australia earlier last week and Alex Martini did not disappoint. The 2016 Sacred Heart college skipper stood out with a dominant second quarter which consisted of a sublime kicking display. Martini also showcased his ability to win the ball on the inside and further highlighted his tenacious nature as he tackled aggressively. In a demonstration of taking his game to another level, Martini was evidently winning more of the football on the outside, a clear indication that he has identified and worked on this facet of his game over the summer.

Jackson Edwards – Team Red – Glenelg

The Adelaide Crows father son prospect continues to build hype, not due to his name, but for his ability to perform time and time again. Edwards worked tirelessly and ran hard through the midfield. His defensive pressures were on point which showed he has versatility in his game. He was thrown into an unusual role playing on the ball when moved into the midfield. Having played most of his past midfield minutes on the wings, the change did not affect his ability to impact the play whatsoever. Edward’s use of the ball was a particular highlight throughout the game.

Thomas Schmusch – Team Red  – Woodville West-Torrens

Schmusch was used up forward, and the move from the coaches worked as he was a regular contributor on the scoreboard. The Level 2 NAB AFL Academy Key Defender demonstrated his versatility in a performance which poses the potential for Schmusch to play a potential swingman role for South Australia in the national championships.

James Rowe – Team Blue – Woodville West-Torrens

The son of former Norwood and Adelaide Crows player Stephen Rowe opened accounts with the first goal of the match. The midfielder worked hard both in the inside and outside of the contest, putting together plenty of possessions in the process. The question marks on his height did not seem to be relevant as he seemed to have the football brain to use his small frame to great effect. Rowe’s smart link up play through the midfield was a particular highlight.

Stefan Giro – Team Blue – Norwood

The natural ball winner had a rather quiet game compared to his lofty standards. Playing on a wing, Giro demonstrated his natural speed, while his agility and aerobic capacity was also on show as per usual. However Giro’s kicking game lacked consistency. His kicking under pressure was questionable and no doubt something that he’ll look to address as his representative campaign commences. He looks far more competent in his preferred on ball position as opposed to the outside midfield role he was played as.

Isaac Hewson – Team Blue  – Norwood

ADH is making a brave and bold statement, “Isaac Hewson is the best kick of the 2017 draft class”. Hewson tallied up plenty of the ball throughout the game and displayed that elite kicking which will see him push up many individual draft boards. We believe Isaac Hewson is currently the best non NAB AFL Aademy affiliated prospect in the nation.

Mitch Crowden – Team Blue – Sturt

There was plenty of debate in terms of his rather lowly placement in ADH’s preseason Power Rankings and Mitch Crowden came out and made a statement. Crowden did what he does best, linking teammates up with handballs in  general play. He showed the nitty gritty side to his game with terrier like aggression inside the contest. The one lingering question remains his height and Crowden doesn’t seem to play any taller than the 174cm’s he’s listed as. Nonetheless, he was no doubt one of the best performed for team blue.

Darcy Fogarty – Team Blue – Glenelg

In a testament to state coach Brenton Philip’s interview earlier on this week, Fogarty showcased his class as a centre half back in what was a massive tick in his ability to dominate playing multiple roles. The opposition were no match for Fogarty’s classy output, he continually beat his opponent’s one on one before delivering the football with precision on the rebound showcasing his elite foot skills. Rarely missing a target, the powerful unit was at his scintillating best with ball in hand. The Fogarty hype is building, and with good reason too! He can play just about anywhere on the ground and manage to have a serious impact on the game. The big calls of Fogarty going as a potential number 1 draft pick, are no doubt starting to gain some serious traction, at this moment in time he’d no doubt be right in the mix.

Nathan Krueger – Team Blue – South Adelaide

He played at both ends of the ground to great effect, however this game was played in the midfield which made it difficult to evaluate Krueger’s performance. It was somewhat disappointing that he wasn’t played in the midfield as he has proven himself a very effective onballer. His height advantage, to go with his smooth moving mobility makes him a player that should warrant plenty of interest as representative football gets underway. Krueger can play just about anywhere a team may need him to play.

Ryan Falkenberg – Team Red – Central Districts

This game was not one suited for the big men. The midfielders ran the ball and linked up play among each other, which in turn made it particularly difficult for the elite South Australian big men to have a noticeable impact. Falkenberg however showed the classy traits that suggest he’s the best key defender from South Australia. His use of the football was particularly eye catching, and at times we did see his intercept marking ability.


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