AFL Draft Watch: April Edition

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 7:38 AM

The start to the 2019 Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition has shown that there is an excellent pool of talent from Western Australia up for selection at this year’s NAB AFL Draft.

Below are the top five best performed players from the Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition in the month of April.

CODY RODGERS - EAST PERTH
The Augusta-Margaret River product has showcased why he is one of the more prominent defensive prospects for this year’s NAB AFL Draft. In three games for the Royals, Rodgers averaged 14 possessions, and six marks and produced a best afield performance against Subiaco in round one (19 possessions and seven marks). He also produced strong outings against Swan Districts (11 possessions and four marks) and Claremont (13 possessions, seven marks, three tackles and a goal). Similar to Melbourne star Jake Lever, Rodgers is mobile, competitive, tough and is a commanding leader from the defensive half.

 

LIAM HENRY - CLAREMONT
The Christ Church Grammar student is one of the most electrifying wingmen in this year’s AFL Draft Pool. Much like Fremantle’s 2017 Doig Medallist Bradley Hill, Henry is quick, skilful, agile, damaging forward of centre and is an excellent two-way runner. In three games for Claremont, Henry has averaged 22 possessions, six marks, five tackles, and three inside 50s, with a best-afield performance against East Perth (24 possessions and four goals) and dominant performances over East Fremantle (16 possessions, eight tackles, seven marks and a goal) and West Perth (26 possessions and five tackles). It would not be a surprise to see Henry in Claremont’s senior squad later in the year, such is his professionalism and ability. He is eligible for Fremantle as a Next-Generation Academy selection.

JEREMY SHARP - EAST FREMANTLE
The 2018 AFL U18s All-Australian representative has adapted well to senior football with a promising first month for East Fremantle’s League team. Against Claremont (14 possessions, four marks and four tackles) and Subiaco (14 possessions, six marks and a goal), Sharp showed that even against the bigger bodies, he is an elite line-breaking midfielder/half-back flanker not unlike Collingwood star Jack Crisp. He was also influential for the Australian National U18s team against the Casey Scorpions with 10 possessions, two clearances and two inside 50s. His combination of speed, endurance, composure, evasion and skills make him a potential top 10 pick.

TYRONE THORNE - PEEL THUNDER
The younger brother of Peel’s senior player Calvin, Tyrone has shown he is one of the best small forwards in this year’s Simply Energy WAFL Colts competition. In just two games for the Thunder, Thorne is equal-leading Peel’s goalkicking with five majors and is averaging 15 possessions, five tackles, five marks and two inside 50s. His best game came against East Fremantle in round three (13 possessions, eight tackles, six marks, and three goals), and he was solid against West Perth in round one (17 possessions and two goals). Not unlike Richmond premiership forward Dan Butler, Thorne is fast, skilful and loves to apply defensive pressure in the forward half. 

JAXON PRIOR – WEST PERTH
The son of former East Perth, Essendon and West Coast player Michael, Jaxon has been in superb form for the Falcons in their start to the 2019 season. After three games, Prior is leading the WAFL Colts Coaches Award with 14 votes after stunning performances against Peel Thunder (20 possessions and seven marks), Claremont (34 possessions and eight marks) and South Fremantle (28 possessions and two goals). The West Perth vice-captain has proven to be one of the best players in the competition with his elite skill, commanding leadership and great game-awareness, all telling features of his game.


OTHER U18s STANDOUTS
Regan Clarke – Perth
Jarrod Salmeri – South Fremantle
Tristan Hobley – Subiaco
Zane Trew – Swan Districts
Kade Wallrodt – Swan Districts