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AFL Draft Weekly Wrap: Highlight reel player from the NT emerges

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Each week, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Chris Doerre casts his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.

As well as attending live games, Doerre pores through match vision, analyses the stats and talks to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful draft analysis.

Aside from the weekly wraps, Doerre will also unveil his power rankings at the end of each month and as we get closer to November's national draft, Doerre will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft.


Player focus

Joining West Adelaide this year from Northern Territory, Ronald Fejo Jr has been a highlight reel in the Reserves. Taking part for the Allies (a team composed of talent from NSW/ACT, Queensland, Tasmanian and Northern Territory talent) in their clash with South Australia, Fejo wowed onlookers with his rare speed, agility and evasion.

On a depleted Allies team, the Allies enjoyed support from some of South Australia's best under-17 prospects, but were soundly beaten by 92-points. Despite the heavy defeat, Fejo revealed there is no player in this year's draft quite like him with ball in hand.

Two years older than his peers, Fejo, the nephew of Gold Coast's Joel Jeffrey, made his South Australian opponents look silly. He danced around them as if they were traffic cones, selling the dummy, then shooting off and leaving them in his wake, taking on the game with his run and speed. Fejo was clean, electric, and influential.

Still light and needing to get stronger and develop as a contested ball winner, Fejo plays something like this year's Aaron Hall equivalent with the offensive masterclass he puts on with ball in hand. With time and development, there is the scope to his play, as with Hall, to develop into a high frequency gamebreaker with his run and clean ball use. Securing 15 disposals, Fejo doesn't need to find a lot of the football to break games open, with most of his involvements impactful, but the more of the footy he can secure, the greater his offensive influence will be.

Under-18 championships

South Australia vs. Allies

Generating meaningful drive from defence, Alastair Lord was one of South Australia's most influential. Covering often 20 or 30 metres at a time before hitting targets by foot, Lord provided drive from defence, displaying elite speed with ball in hand. Recovering from a broken leg earlier in the year and coming off limited preparation, it's incredible seeing Lord playing this kind of football. Eligible for this year's draft, Lord looms as a potential value choice if he slides into the latter part of the draft.

After an uncharacteristically quiet first three quarters, mostly due to the lack of ball coming down his end of the field, Zac Becker came alight in the final term for South Australia. A strong-bodied defender with one of this draft's best kicks, it was impressive seeing Becker push forward. He took one-on-one marks inside 50m at will, looked dangerous whenever he was near the ball and kicked three final quarter goals.

Providing a strong marking option, Morgan Ferres was at his most dangerous leading up at the ball inside 50m. The 190cm South Australian forward kicked three goals and was also difficult to contain one-on-one.

A strong-bodied underage midfielder, Adam D'Aloia was South Australia's best. With 29 disposals, eight tackles and a goal, he won first possession at stoppages and hurt the opposition with his penetrating kicking. D'Aloia, with continued improvement, could be one of the first picked in next year's draft.

Being asked to play all over the field, first round contender Matthew Roberts worked hard for South Australia and covered a lot of ground working both ways. When utilised through the midfield he won his own ball and was difficult to stop. He was particularly sharp early with three intercept possessions in a matter of minutes in the first quarter.

Key stats

SANFL Reserves

In Glenelg's 50-point Grand Final triumph against Central Districts, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera showed his class and was damaging both by foot and with his run. He secured 19 disposals, seven tackles and kicked a goal. The recent whispers around Wanganeen-Milera have been that he may receive top-10 draft consideration.

WAFL Reserves

First round contender and classy, tall midfielder Matthew Johnson secured 15 disposals and laid 10 tackles for Subiaco in their six-point Grand Final loss. On the back of Johnson's last couple of months, particularly his two Under-19 Championships performances against South Australia, he has entered the top-10 draft mix and is viewed by some recruiters as Western Australia's best player.

WAFL Colts

Playing a key role in Claremont's early lead, Jacob Van Rooyen kicked three of his four goals in the first quarter, assisting on Claremont's other first term goal.

After quarter time, Swan Districts back Rhett Bazzo took the Van Rooyen matchup and was successful in limiting him. With just nine disposals, Bazzo didn't intercept as much as he can when his confidence builds, but he played a key part nonetheless in his side's eight-point Grand Final triumph over Claremont.

Battling on despite a bad corkie early in the second quarter and copping an unsportsmanlike knee to the ribs while down on all fours in the third quarter, the strong-bodied Angus Sheldrick competed courageously and did everything he could for Claremont through the midfield, leaving nothing in the tank. His ball-winning at stoppages and explosive burst were the impressive points to his game. Amassing 27 disposals, six inside 50s and two goals, Sheldrick only enhanced his draft stocks with the performance.

Fremantle Next-Generation Academy ruckman Eric Benning had a slow start for Claremont but worked his way into the game. His first moment of brilliance was a lively chase down tackle from behind. Not long after, Benning got up gingerly from a marking contest, walking off with a trainer. In the second half, Benning returned a new man. He displayed his athleticism and got on top through the ruck. Through the ruck he grabbed clean possession and followed up. Benning finished the game with 11 disposals, four tackles and 25 hitouts.