Knightmare's draft wrap: Nicholas Coffield the next 'Pendles'?

Each week, 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

Tall flanker/midfielder Nicholas Coffield impressed with 22 disposals (18 kicks, of which 14 were effective), five contested possessions, six marks (one contested), two goals and one score assist at the weekend.

Most impressive from the 190cm, 83kg utility was his composure and evasiveness. In a game where there was constant congestion around the ball, Coffield was the one player who looked a class above, often possessing more time and space than everyone else. He regularly took on opponents and found a way through traffic, displaying a combination of acceleration, evasion and precise timing and anticipation to go at his own pace with ball in hand without getting caught. He also displayed clean skills and cleanness at ground level.

Coffield spent the majority of the match playing off a half-back flank with some minutes in the front half late when the game was there to be won. Watching the mix of attributes Coffield demonstrated, if he can improve the contested side to his game, he has the scope to become a very damaging midfielder in the Scott Pendlebury mould.

Coffield, who is in the mix to feature inside the first two rounds of this year's AFL draft, also importantly lifted in the critical moment late in the game. With Northern down by three points at the 25-minute mark of the final quarter, Coffield, in traffic, received by hand 50m from goal, accelerated to avoid getting tackled, stopped and propped from 50m and slotted through the match-winning goal.


Top-ager Louis Cunningham, 182cm, 78kg, collected 24 disposals, 16 contested possessions, five marks (one contested), 10 tackles, 10 clearances, five inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Cunningham has built a reputation as a damaging ball user, with his decision-making under pressure and vision to find targets up the field particularly impressive. He has so far this season further developed his contested ball-winning which may see him again enter the draft mix this season.

Named Bendigo's best, Darby Henderson accumulated 35 disposals, 14 contested possessions, eight marks, five clearances and six rebound 50s.

Angus Schumacher, 189cm, 76kg, was impressive for Bendigo with 28 disposals, 13 contested possessions, eight marks (one contested), four clearances and two score assists.

Playing a consistent brand of football in the back half, Mitchell Podhajski, 190cm, 82kg, collected 24 disposals, nine marks and seven rebound 50s.

Winning his share of the ball through the midfield, Dylan Moore continued his impressive start to the season with 35 disposals, 22 contested possessions, 13 tackles and seven clearances.

Trent Mynott, 185cm, 73kg, featured prominently for Eastern through the midfield with 30 disposals, 17 contested possessions, seven tackles, 12 clearances, six inside 50s and two goals.

This year's top ruck prospect Sam Hayes spent much of the match up forward, while relieving through the ruck. He proved just as effective up forward, collecting eight disposals, four marks (one contested), 18 hitouts and six goals and was vital for Eastern in a narrow win.

Attacking the ball with reckless abandon, Callum Porter, 181cm, 73kg, played with AFL intensity, gathering 25 disposals, 18 contested possessions, 13 tackles, seven clearances, eight inside 50s and one score assist.

Jack Petruccelle, 184cm, 73kg, played a pivotal role in Northern's win. He contributed 20 disposals, 17 contested possessions, four contested marks, six tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s, one goal and one score assist. His explosiveness stood out, using acceleration with ball in hand to break the lines and also taking a couple of high marks where he attacked the ball in flight. With his athletic gifts and contested ball-winning, Petruccelle has the scope to push up draft boards and may be a first-round choice at season's end with continued improvement.

Bottom-ager Braedyn Gillard, 182cm, 75kg, is already building his resume and looking like a probable draft choice next year. He collected 23 disposals, 12 contested possessions, four marks, 10 tackles, six clearances, eight inside 50s, one goal. He generated significant drive by foot and also competed strongly around the ball.

Bottom-age ruck Bailey Williams, 198cm, 91kg, was one of the highlights. His nine disposals, five tackles and 19 hitouts may appear a mild contribution but his influence was significant. He appeared like he was going to take over the game every time he elevated, with his leap most noteworthy - he far outleapt the Northern ruckmen. In fact, it looked like he got higher than any other junior ruckman has at a ruck contest this year. While Williams doesn't yet have the hands overhead, he looked like Jeremy Howe elevating, even taking a Howe-like trademark intercept speccie.

If Williams can develop sticky hands overhead and take more marks inside the forward 50m, he could be anything.

Hunter Clark, 186cm, 79kg, was industrious at the coalface with 34 disposals, 20 contested possessions, four marks (one contested), seven tackles, 11 clearances, 10 inside 50s, one goal and one score assist. While his numbers appear impressive, his impact was less than expected, offering little run or meaningful drive by foot.

Standing up through the midfield, Nicholas Stuhldreier collected 34 disposals, 17 contested possessions, seven tackles, seven clearances and two score assists.

Bottom-ager Jaden Rice, 186cm, 82kg, had a breakout performance with 27 disposals, 19 contested possessions, 12 tackles, eight clearances and one goal.

Showed signs of promise, raw bottom-ager Buku Khamis, 188cm, 81kg, impressed with 16 disposals, seven marks (five contested), four tackles, two goals and two score assists.

Bottom-age midfielder Sam Walsh gathered 34 disposals, 18 contested possessions, six tackles, eight clearances and eight inside 50s. From his three TAC Cup games, he has not dropped below 28 disposals.

Dominating at stoppages, James Worpel played a pivotal role in Geelong's win with 32 disposals, 20 contested possessions, nine tackles, 11 clearances, eight inside 50s, two goals and four score assists.

Bayley Cockerill, 177cm, 77kg, was also highly impressive through the Geelong midfield with 30 disposals, 17 contested possessions, five tackles, 11 clearances, seven inside 50s, one goal and one score assist.



Top-age midfielder Jake Comitogianni contributed strongly through the Woodville West Torrens midfield with 26 disposals, four marks and four tackles.


Lachlan Pascoe continued his strong vein of form with 31 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound 50s.


Jake Weidemann (188cm, 73kg), the son of Wayne Weidemann, impressed with 30 disposals, five marks, six inside 50s, one goal.

Bottom-ager Jack Lukosius 193cm, 79kg, showed some signs of things to come with 15 disposals, seven marks, four tackles, nine hitouts, eight inside 50s and four goals.

After a successful stretch of matches in the Reverves, Isaac Hewson was dominant with 39 disposals, eight marks, seven tackles and seven inside 50s.

Through the ruck, James Siviour, 194cm, 84kg, impressed with 26 disposals, seven marks, 32 hitouts and one goal.

Exciting forward and midfielder, Jordan Houlahan, 184cm, 71kg, had his best game this season with 28 disposals, seven marks, eight tackles, five inside 50s and one goal.



Ex-Pie Jonathon Marsh continues to go from strength to strength through the midfield, gathering a season-high 34 disposals, along with seven marks, seven tackles and four inside 50s.


Arguably this year's top-rated key defender, Aaron Naughton impressed with 24 disposals, five marks and two goals.

Callan England again figured prominently through the midfield with 28 disposals and eight marks.

Oscar Allen, 193cm, 83kg, was named West Perth's best with 27 disposals and 11 marks. Allen has started the season strongly, showing promise both as a key defender and key forward.

Bottom-ager Luke English gathered 30 disposals, eight tackles and nine inside 50s. This follows 34 disposals the previous week.

Top-ager Brayden Ainsworth was again prolific with 27 disposals (24 kicks) and six marks but was wasteful in front of goal with three behinds.


GWS Academy big man Alexander Paech, 196cm, 95kg, held his own in the NEAFL with an impressive 27 disposals and six marks. The big man has the capabilities to play either as a key forward or key defender.