Knightmare's AFL Draft Wrap: SA Captain the driving force

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

South Australia captain Callum Coleman-Jones, 199cm, 98kg, was one of the driving forces behind his team's 61-point win against the Allies. In 25-minute flat quarters, Coleman-Jones was outstanding through the ruck while his work around the ground was remarkable with 28 disposals and five marks (two contested).

Contested marking is a substantial strength to Coleman-Jones' game, with 10 of his 14 marks through last year's Under-18 Championships contested marks. He possesses a powerful physical presence in contested situations but is also clean at ground level, mobile for his height, covers the ground well, and has the discipline to push back into defence and take intercept marks. While Coleman-Jones played as a permanent ruckman against the Allies, he is equally capable when used as a key forward where his size and contested marking is a weapon.

The relative weak point in his game as a ruckman is his leap. He gets very little lift at centre bounces, which results in low hitout numbers; he lost the hitout battle against the Allies with only 15 hitouts. There have also been some questions about his kicking action even though his kicking generally hits the target -- with his vision on a couple of kicks against the Allies a feature. Possessing a style of game not dissimilar to Richmond's Toby Nankervis, Callum Coleman-Jones, with the performances he has on the board over the past two seasons, is likely to feature somewhere in the first half of this year's national draft.

APS Football

Haileybury v Carey

Bottom age key forward, Max King, 201cm, 82kg, proved an unstoppable force up forward, kicking five goals. He took front position in each marking contest and his height overwhelmed the Carey defenders. King consistently took front position in marking contests, and took each mark cleanly overhead. He also kicked the first goal from a ground-ball pickup near the boundary, wheeling around at speed and kicking an impressive goal from 35 metres. It is the mix of overhead marking, cleanness at ground level and mobility that make him such a desirable 2018 draft prospect.

Potential No. 1 selection coming off a dominant 34-disposal effort during the first round of the Under-18 Championships, Luke Davies-Uniacke was a key figure in Haileybury's win over Carey even though he was tagged for much of the game. His 10-metre burst from stoppages, clean skills and a couple of his marks, including a pack mark and an aerial intercept mark, were impressive.

Showing considerable class by foot, Charlie Constable, 190cm, 83kg, was particularly impressive hitting targets over medium and long distance. Constable has been hyped as a potential first- or second-round choice, and the Sandringham Dragons player looked it with ball in hand.

AFL U18 Championships

South Australia v Allies

South Australia

Looking like the next Nick Riewoldt and an early favourite for next year's No. 1 overall selection next season, bottom ager Jack Lukosius, 193cm, 79kg displayed a phenomenal work rate, working high up the wings, reading the flight of the ball early, and taking his marks on the lead. He gathered 15 disposals, eight marks, five inside 50s, and kicked three goals. Lukosius was so dominant and difficult to contain that this year's top-ranked key position player Jarrod Brander, who played on him at the beginning of the game, had to find a new matchup as he was unable to contain Lukosius' influence. Lukosius' running is of a standard that most key defenders at AFL level in the future will need to remain back behind the centre square, and let Lukosius lead up onto the wings and get his marks, to ensure that he doesn't run them off their legs and take marks inside 50m when he pushes forward.

Connor Rozee, 181cm, 66kg, was another bottom ager to have an extraordinary impact. Rozee collected 11 disposals, seven tackles and one goal. His commitment to pressuring the ball carrier and laying tackles in the front half was first rate. What he did with ball in hand was arguably even more impressive. Rozee, while capable overhead, is freakish at ground level with his pickups, acceleration and change of direction. His skills are also top class with his execution by foot, vision and finishing around goal as good as any running around the junior ranks nationally. Rozee appears a likely first-round selection for 2018 and possesses enormous upside.

Izak Rankine, 175cm, 62kg, was the third of the bottom agers to star for South Australia, looking to be another potential first-round choice in 2018 as he gathered 15 disposals, four marks and two goals. As a forward, Rankine plays with swagger, with his game resembling that of Chad Wingard. Rankine possesses arguably the best evasiveness in the junior ranks, avoiding tackles and manoeuvring around players simply. He has all the time in the world with ball in hand and possesses special agility, acceleration, change of direction and anticipation. Finishing around goal from anywhere seems easy, and he will wheel around simply or run around opponents like he is playing in the backyard. He's also a capable mark overhead, and it feels only a matter of time until he takes a hanger.

James Rowe, 171cm, 67kg, was one of South Australia's most impressive, accumulating 22 disposals, a team-high seven clearances, one goal, and drawing several free-kicks by rolling the shoulders in a style not unlike Joel Selwood. Rowe is very much an in-and-under style onballer who wins the contested ball and dishes out by hand to teammates.

Top-rated South Australian prospect Darcy Fogarty showed some glimpses with 14 disposals, four marks and two goals, but did not put forward the complete performance onlookers had hoped to see. He played with aggression and possesses excellent strength. He did not display eye-catching acceleration, but nonetheless took on the game several times with his run -- looking more in control than quick for the most part. He also had a couple of exciting, high-leap attempts at marks, though dropped both in summing up what felt like an almost game from Fogarty.

Coming back from a shoulder reconstruction one month ago, Jordan Houlahan, 184cm, 71kg, proved yet again to be one of this year's premier forwards with nine disposals and four goals. Houlahan did not waste a disposal, displaying clean skills. He also possesses a striking vertical leap and strong hands overhead.


From the Northern Territory, Zac Bailey, 180cm, 68kg, again put forward an eye-catching display with 22 disposals, six tackles, four clearances and five inside 50s. He's a genuine ball winner with evasive tricks in traffic and notable acceleration which he uses to burst away from stoppages.

Gold Coast Academy prospect, Sam Davidson, 180cm, 70kg, managed 14 disposals, five marks and one goal. He was another to aggressively take on the game with his pace. He showed real courage, tracking back with the flight of the ball for an intercept mark and getting crunched. He also after an intercept mark spun in traffic, delivered a "don't argue" and ran to 45 metres and kicked the goal in a play that had recruiters promptly placing a tick next to his name.

Victoria Metro v Western Australia

Vic Metro

Playing an integral part in Victoria Metro's win through the midfield, Jack Higgins gathered 30 disposals, 13 contested possessions, nine marks, seven clearances, two goals and one score assist.

Dylan Moore also impressed with 30 disposals, 17 contested possessions, five clearances, six inside 50s, one goal and two score assists.

Big-bodied midfielder Adam Cerra collected 24 disposals, 14 contested possessions, six tackles, five clearances, one goal and two score assists.

Impactful as ever, Cameron Rayner impressed with 23 disposals, 15 contested possessions, two contested marks, six clearances, four inside 50s, one goal and one score assist.

Western Australia

Again, prominent up forward, Oscar Allen had 16 disposals, seven marks (three contested), six inside 50s and three goals.

Aaron Naughton contributed well down back with 15 disposals, three marks (one contested) and one score assist.

Through the midfield, Brayden Ainsworth was again Western Australia's most impactful with 17 disposals, 10 contested possessions and five clearances.

Bottom ager Tom Joyce, 179cm, 67kg, backed up his excellent performance of the previous week with another strong effort. He accumulated 23 disposals, 13 contested possessions, five marks, five tackles and one score assist.


James Worpel was at his most dominant through the Geelong Falcons midfield with 43 disposals, 16 contested possessions, eight marks (one contested), seven tackles, seven clearances, 12 inside 50s, two goals and two score assists.

Through Sandringham's midfield, Lucas Barrett, 178cm, 73kg, was a difference maker with 32 disposals, 15 contested possessions, seven marks, 10 clearances, seven inside 50s and three score assists.

Medium forward Riley D'Arcy proved a tower of strength up forward with 16 disposals, seven contested possessions, five marks (two contested), six goals and one score assist.

Only enhancing his reputation in recent weeks, Callum Porter continued to dominate at stoppages with 31 disposals, 19 contested possessions, six marks (one contested), eight tackles, 11 clearances, nine inside 50s and two goals.