AFL Draft Weekly Wrap: 190cm midfielder enhances top 10 chances

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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

Forcing his way into top 10 contention for this year's draft, 190cm midfielder Finn Callaghan was brilliant for Sandringham in their 48-point win against Eastern. Displaying freakish evasion through traffic, Callaghan amassed 31 disposals, 10 contested possessions, seven inside 50s, and four score assists. What was striking with Callaghan was whenever he had ball in hand, there was an immediate sense he was going to make something happen.

He has the speed and agility to move easily around or through opposition numbers, a sharp change of direction, a spin in traffic to avoid tackles, and a timely raise of the arms with ball in hand to avoid a tackle. Callaghan is one of those rare players who not only is quicker than everyone else, but also has more time with ball in hand than others display which makes him so unique and desirable for a player of his height.

At stoppages, Callaghan is more a receiver than a ball-winner, often receiving then bursting for 10 to 15 metres at a time before hitting a target by hand or foot. While Callaghan does his best work in traffic, he is similarly capable on the outside, and his work rate is impressive. In one play, Callaghan received the ball in his defensive 50, disposed of the ball, and worked his way up onto a wing to provide offensive run-on support.

Playing a similar game to Jack Macrae at a similar age, Callaghan will need to continue developing the contested side of his game and as a tackler if he's to reach similar heights, as there were a couple of occasions when he needed to be more aggressive in his attack both on the ball and ball carrier.

Early pick watch

In an uncharacteristically quiet performance through the midfield, top-five contender Tyler Sonsie was unable to exert himself for Eastern with just 15 disposals and 11 contested possessions. Often Sonsie impacts games offensively, but this was not the case against Sandringham.

Continuing to create separation between himself and the rest of the draft pool, Nick Daicos was the standout for Oakleigh in their 42-point loss to Northern. The talented midfielder and Collingwood father-son prospect amassed 37 disposals, 15 contested possessions, five clearances and one goal.

Western Bulldogs father-son eligible prospect Sam Darcy enhanced his reputation as this year's premier key position player and ruckman. He secured 14 disposals, eight marks (three contested) and one goal for Oakleigh. Still light bodied and developing physically, Darcy is exciting because of his rapid rate of development and how much he has grown in recent years - historically positive signs of upside with talls.

Key stats

NAB League

Tyreece Leiu impressed in defence for Eastern with his contested marking, how he read the ball in flight, and his rebound. The strong bodied key defender managed 26 disposals, 13 contested possessions, nine marks (four contested) and nine rebound 50s.

First-round contender Ben Hobbs did his reputation no harm on return from injury in a dominant performance for Greater Western Victoria. The ball winning midfielder amassed 34 disposals, 15 contested possessions, nine tackles, eight clearances and two goals.

Leading the way for Northern through the midfield, Josh Ward played a pivotal role for Northern in their win against Oakleigh. The ball winning midfielder amassed 34 disposals, 17 contested possessions, six clearances and three score assists.

Last week's focus player Sam Frost continued his strong vein of form with a third successive week of team highs, including 30 disposals and 10 rebound 50s across half-back for Greater Western Sydney. Frost played a pivotal role in helping the Giants to a six-point win against Tasmania.

Doing it all through the midfield, overager Luis D'Angelo impressed for Gippsland in their 22-point loss to Geelong. The strong bodied midfielder showcased not only with his contested work, but also with his aggressive run and damaging ball use by both hand and foot. D'Angelo secured 27 disposals, 15 contested possessions, 11 clearances and two score assists.

Taking on the game with his run at every available opportunity, Mitchell Moschetti for Gippsland displayed good speed and was lively with ball in hand. The small midfielder collected 20 disposals, 10 contested possessions and six clearances.



In his SANFL League debut, Shay Linke enhancing his draft credentials with 12 disposals and a team high six tackles on debut for Central Districts in their 18-point win against West Adelaide.


Continuing his strong vein of form, Hugh Jackson was instrumental for North Adelaide in their 35-point win against West Adelaide. The classy midfielder amassed 32 disposals, seven clearances, seven inside 50s and a season high three goals.

Enhancing his first-round credentials, strong marking midfielder Arlo Draper impressed through the midfield with 30 disposals, nine clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal for South Adelaide in their 58-point win against Sturt.



In his second League game, overage defender Jack Avery was steady in defence, securing 18 disposals and seven marks for Perth in their 26-point loss to East Fremantle.


In his most dominant performance for the season so far, Josh Browne produced season highs of 38 disposals, five marks, three goals and three behinds for East Fremantle in their 91-point win against Perth. After only three goals in his first seven games, Browne who has been a consistent ball winner and accumulator will only increase his standing on draft boards if continues hitting the scoreboard.