Josh Poulter’s Big Board – February Edition 11-17

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Updated: March 3, 2017

Josh Poulter is back with the next installment of his Big Board. Once you have taken a look through positions 11-17, you can remind yourself of positions 18-25 here.

Position: Midfider/Forward

Club: Dandenong Stingrays/Victoria Country

A balanced midfielder who has continued to steadily rise his draft stocks over the past two years. Clark is a no nonsense, “hard at it” midfielder. A very effective user of the football by hand and foot, on both sides of his body. He is also capable of playing off a flank either as a half-back or half-forward, showing he has the versatility to play just about anywhere. Clark’s run and carry is an equally promising  feature of his game which further compliments his ability to compete in the air as a medium sized player with above average marking capabilities. Clark can be categorized within a new breed of hybrid players who are the total package, he is tall, quick, clean, an effective ball user, can take a grab and isn’t afraid of the contest. We expect to see Hunter Clark rise up the board if he is to follow up on this ever promising potential.

Position: Midfielder/Forward

Club: Oakleigh Chargers/Victoria Metro

A small forward with a future in the midfield beckoning. Higgins is arguably the smartest footballer in this year’s draft class. He had one of the best bottom-age years of any of this year’s prospects during season 2016 as he continually found the football for both the Oakleigh Chargers and Victoria Metro. Higgins manages to kick goals for just about any team he represents and is a constant threat up forward. His kicking all-round is somewhat average and his high numbers flatter his rather ordinary skills by foot. Higgins tends to take the “safe” options and shorter kicks are usually his order of the day. Athletically he is an amazing runner (16.3 beep) who is consistently improving his strength. Higgins is a special prospect who could very well push into top 5 consideration should he improve on the inconsistencies that currently take away from an otherwise elite standard.

 

Position: Midfielder

Club: Glenelg/South Australia/Adelaide Father-Son

The son of former Adelaide Crows superstar Tyson Edwards, Jackson carries all the traits to suggest that he may one day build a legacy similar to that of his famous father. A prolific user with ball in hand, the Glenelg midfielder continued to accumulate disposals consistently at both Under 18s and Reserve level within the SANFL in 2016. A game-breaking left foot kick is a trademark Jackson Edwards special. His lethal kicking sees him amongst the top of the 2017 draft class at this point in time. An internal battle against Victorian prospect Patrick Naish (Richmond Tigers) is shaping up as an intriguing subplot to who is the best father-son prospect of 2017.

Position: Ruckman/Key Forward

Club: Southport/Queensland/Gold Coast Academy

A powerful ruckman/key forward with a strong frame. The able bodied Crossley has worked himself into the AFL Academy level two squad after initially missing out on level one intake. He provides a point of difference as a ruckman as he plays with an aggression and physicality which is unmatched by any prospective big-man in recent memory. A product of the Gold Coast Suns acadmey, Crossley bares a striking resemblance to star Greater Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford. Crossley may end up a prize on offer at the conclusion of a bidding war against rival clubs. The Suns have multiple acadmey prospects including Harry Simington, Jacob Dawson and Brodie Foster in addition to the dominant Crossley in their sights as we head towards the 2017 draft.

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Club: Northern Knights/Ivanhoe Grammar/Victoria Metro/Richmond Father-Son

The son of 1990s Tiger’s star Chris Naish, Patrick is one of the silkiest outside ball users of the 2017 draft crop. He was trialled off half-back for Northern Knights in 2016, although his most suited style looks set to be the run and carry type role. He is a prolific link man, setting up teammates with precision handballs both in traffic and on the go. Naish also uses the ball well by foot. His cunning football smarts allow him the time and space to position himself in the perfect spots to gather the ball and set up play for his team going forward. Naish will strive to become the best father-son prospect of this year’s draft crop, facing tough competition from South Australian Jackson Edwards in the process.

Position: Defender/Midfielder

Club: Bendigo Pioneers/Victoria Country

The half-back flanker will look to stake his claim as arguably the best kick of the 2017 draft class. His left foot had set up most of the play for the Bendigo Pioneers coming out of defense in 2016. Like most flankers, the next step in his development will be to push up into a potential midfield role. Either as a wingman or inside the centre square. A sound prospect who is somewhat underrated, Farrell will look to make his own mark for the Pioneers and the Victoria Country side as he lurks patiently in the shadows of his more renowned teammates in Jarrod Brander and Lochie O’Brien.

Position: Key Defender

Club: Woodville-West Torrens/ South Australia

A tall defender who continuously gets the job done. Schmusch generally takes on the oppositions best forward, week in and week out. His skills by foot are solid within his own capabilities which compliments his cool and calm nature of play. By observation, Schmusch possesses one of the most composed temperaments of any player this season. In a draft where South Australia is particularly low on key position defenders, the AFL academy prospect will look to establish his name as one of the leading defensive big men in his state.

Written by: Josh Poulter (@JoshPoulter04)

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*The opinions expressed in this article are that of the writer and not Over The Line Sports or AFL Draft Hub

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