Knightmare's AFL draft wrap: Joel Amartey impressing up forward

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Each week, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Christopher Doerre - aka Knightmare - 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 wrap, 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: Joel Amartey

Joel Amartey, 195cm, 85kg, continues to show glimpses of his supreme talent. The aerial threat took a spectacular mark with his arms fully extended in round one and followed up with another hanger in round two where he soared even higher. As well as his marking prowess, Amartey has proven to be a handy lead-up player and capable relieving ruckman.

On the weekend, Amartey collected 11 disposals, seven contested possessions, three marks, nine hitouts, one goal and one score assist and demonstrated several different attributes which may see him enter the mix for selection in this year's AFL draft.

At ground level Amartey has been impressive. He frequently collects bouncing balls on the move, displays clean hands, moves the ball effectively and shrugs off opposition tacklers with ease. The pressure he applied was also promising even though on a couple of occasions free kicks were paid against him for some over enthusiastic tackling efforts. His tap work when used through the ruck was also excellent, often tapping the ball to the advantage of teammates and holding his own in contests.

While Amartey's averages of 10 disposals, three marks and one goal over his first three games may seem mild, his impact has been notable. Amartey pops up several times each game, taking a mark, tapping the ball down to advantage at ruck contests, winning the contested ball, pressuring the ball carried or kicking a goal. His impact each time he is near the ball is felt, something that will impress recruiters.

To maximise his draft chances, Amartey will need to improve his numbers, with production a key indicator in the likely success of key forwards at AFL level.

TAC CUP:

Finishing in the bests in eight of his 18 matches in 2016, Darby Henderson, a 176cm, 72kg midfielder had 35 disposals, 19 contested possessions, seven clearances and one score assist. Henderson has always been a major ball winner and accumulator of the footy, however does need to work on his kicking which is not always reliable.

Explosive ball winning midfielder, Nick Hogan, 175cm, 78kg, was once again excellent for Gippsland through the midfield with 32 disposals, 16 contested possessions, nine clearances (seven centre clearances), six inside 50s, one score assist.

Rebounding effectively from defence, Will Donaghey, 191cm, 77kg, impressed with 28 disposals, seven contested possessions, six marks, eight rebound 50s and two score assists.

Cassidy Parish, 190cm, 84kg, has continued his strong vein of form through the midfield with 29 disposals, 17 contested possessions and nine clearances. The younger brother of Essendon's Darcy is one of this year's better tall midfielders in a draft class lacking many top-end midfielders.

Top ager, Callan Wellings, 181cm, 71kg, was once again named Greater Western Victoria's best player, tallying 30 disposals, 18 contested possessions, five tackles, 10 clearances and two score assists.

Exerting himself physically and influencing the contest, Ethan Penrith, 179cm, 76kg, featured among Northern's best players. He collected 17 disposals, nine contested possessions, 13 tackles, four clearances, five inside 50s and kicked a goal.

Athletic forward and midfielder, Jack Petruccelle, 184cm, 73kg, has been a real excitement machine over the first three rounds. For Northern, Petruccelle contributed 19 disposals, 14 contested possessions, five tackles, six inside 50s and one score assist. Petruccelle can run 20m in 2.82 seconds, testing the fastest of anyone in the TAC Cup so far this season.

Kicking more than half of Northern's goals in a winning performance, Joel Naylor, 190cm, 84kg provided a strong target up forward with 12 disposals, five marks (three contested), six goals and three behinds.

Continuing his impressive form through the midfield, Adam Cerra, 186cm, 85kg, put up an admirable resistance for Eastern with 29 disposals (28 kicks), 18 contested possessions, six marks (two contested), five tackles, nine clearances, eight inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Possessing explosive run and the endurance to run all day, Dylan Moore, 175cm, 66kg, collected 24 disposals, 18 contested possessions, six tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s and two goals.

Charlie Thompson has started the season strongly, not dipping below 26 disposals in any of his three matches so far. Thompson played an integral part in Oakleigh's win against Calder with 29 disposals, 17 contested possessions, 10 tackles, six clearances and nine inside 50s. The 183cm, 80kg, midfielder is an elite endurance runner who is among the hardest workers defensively in this draft. He also plays with a considerable physical edge but does lack pace and a consistent kick.

Impressive with his work at ground level and setting up opportunities for teammates to score, Toby Wooller, 193cm, 90kg, collected 22 disposals, 11 contested possessions, nine tackles, three goals and three score assists.

Named Calder's best, Ben Caluzzi, 187cm, 89kg, stood up through the midfield with 28 disposals, 12 contested possessions, 12 tackles, seven clearances, six inside 50s, one goal and one score assist. Caluzzi has worked hard on his fitness over the offseason, dropping from 93kg last season.

Nicholas Stuhldreier was named Western's best with 22 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles, eight clearances and five inside 50s. The 184cm, 79kg midfielder did much of the grunt work at stoppages, winning the ball and tackling ferociously. He also demonstrated prowess intercept marking a kick behind the ball on a couple of occasions.

Providing zip and working hard for Western up forward in his first game this season was 182cm, 79kg, Jack Noonan. He picked up 15 disposals, 10 contested possessions, four marks (two contested) and two goals. Noonan's work at ground level was particularly impressive, always picking the ball up cleanly and where possible accelerating. Some of his kicks left something to be desired, but otherwise enough attributes were shown to suggest he is a player worth tracking.

Bottom age midfielder, Connor Thar, 174cm, 65kg, impressed with 18 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five tackles and four clearances. Thar had arguably the play of the day when he faked one way, then aggressively accelerated the other, causing two would-be tackles to overrun him. Immediately after this explosive movement, another would-be tackler came at Thar, who again faked around. Thar then proceeded to kick inside 50m, finding a teammate.

Younger brother of Angus Brayshaw, Andrew Brayshaw, 183cm, 80kg, collected 26 disposals, 13 contested possessions, 11 tackles, 10 clearances seven inside 50s, one goal and one score assist. Brayshaw was involved in everything inside the contest. He also moved well through traffic and used the ball efficiently with 23 of his 26 disposals effective. Brayshaw is a consistent contributor through the midfield and has not dropped below 25 disposals yet this season.

Son of Dermott Brereton, Devlin Brereton, 183cm, 73kg, staked his claim as a possible father-son selection for Hawthorn with 13 disposals, six contested possessions, six marks (two contested) and two goals. Devlin possesses acceleration, evasiveness, cleanness at ground level and is a capable mark overhead, reading the flight of the ball particularly well. Lots of improvement is required to ensure selection, averaging just 10 disposals and one goal through his first three games.

Isaac Morrisby, 192cm, 95kg, was commanding up forward with 13 disposals, eight marks, four goals and one score assist. While Morrisby lead up to the ball strongly and played with a presence in the forward line, it was his cleanness at ground level, quick reflexes, composure with ball in hand and evasiveness in traffic that was most impressive.

One of this year's outstanding endurance runners, Quintin Montanaro, 187cm, 72kg, showed promise with 22 disposals (14 kicks of which only two were inefficient), 10 marks and one score assist. He only had the two contested possessions, playing a very outside game. His kicking was sensational, not only using the ball efficiently but hitting targets lace out over long distance.

Also using the ball impressively, Matthew Lohan, 180cm, 74kg, contributed 19 disposals and four rebound 50s. He provided some run-and-carry, but it was his vision and long kicking to targets that was most impressive with eight of his 10 kicks efficient and several of those kicks setting up meaningful offensive drives.

Outside runner, Kai Owens, 192cm, 81kg was named Sandringham's best with 18 disposals, six contested possessions, five marks (one contested), three clearances, four inside 50s and two score assists. He used the ball cleanly and went on multiple runs where he took one or two bounces.

SANFL:

SANFL League

Overlooked in last year's draft, ball winning midfielder, Jonty Scharenberg, 186cm, 80kg, the younger brother of Collingwood's Matthew contributed solidly with 20 disposals and seven tackles for Glenelg.

Impressing in a South Australian Under-18 trial match during the preseason with his precise ball use and ball winning, Mitch Crowden, a 174cm, 82kg, midfielder on league debut for Sturt had 10 disposals and 12 tackles.

SANFL Reserves

Powerful Norwood rebounding defender, Lachlan Pascoe, 190cm, 89kg, collected 20 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five rebound 50s.

Teammate Isaac Hewson, 180cm, 75kg, also contributed well through the midfield with 16 disposals, four marks, three tackles and one goal.

SANFL Under-18s

Sturt midfielder, Adam Trenorden, 175cm, 66kg, put forward a commanding first up performance with 31 disposals, 13 marks, 10 tackles, four inside 50s and four rebound 50s.

WAFL:

WAFL League

Achieving career high numbers, ex-Collingwood defender, Jonathon Marsh secured 33 disposals, four tackles, five inside 50s and one goal through the midfield for East Fremantle. Marsh has kicked one goal in each of his three matches so far and was named East Fremantle's best.

WAFL Colts

Another 20 and 20 game for the mobile, 199cm, 87kg ruckman, John Frampton, with 22 disposals, 21 hitouts, seven marks and five inside 50s.

NEAFL:

Jordan Keras, a 181cm, 23-year-old clearance machine put forward a ridiculous performance for Southport with 38 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, 17 clearances and five inside 50s. This follows 36 disposals, 12 tackles and 13 clearances in the first round. With continued midfield dominance Keras may enter the draft mix at seasons end as one of this year's most ready to play midfielders.

AFL Academy MCG Curtain Raiser:

Earning best on ground honours, Cameron Rayner enhanced his draft stocks with 23 disposals and three goals. The powerful forward playing for Western Jets in the TAC Cup stands at 187cm, 88kg. Rayner wins a high percentage of the ball in the contest. If he improves his endurance, he could become one of the premier midfielders in the AFL with his dominant contested ball winning and impact forward of centre a formula that often translates to great AFL success.