Knightmare's AFL Draft Wrap: Hodge-like Thompson stars for Oakleigh

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

Playing a pivotal role in Oakleigh's convincing win against Bendigo, Charlie Thompson led the way both with his quality of play and on-field leadership.

Thompson on matchday is one of the most vocal players across the junior ranks nationally. Similar to Luke Hodge, when not in possession, Thompson plays the role of on-field coach. He is continually pointing out to teammates where they should be positioned at stoppages, where they should be running to and who to target when in possession.

The other element that makes Thompson stand out from his peers is his sheer work rate. Thompson regularly disposes of the ball and gains another possession or two in the forward chain, continuing to work forward after disposing of the ball. Thompson will also push ahead of the ball and into the forward 50m to provide a target.

Saturday's effort was Thompson's best so far with 43 disposals, 17 kicks of which 14 were effective, 14 contested possessions, four marks, five tackles, four clearances, eight inside 50s, five goals and two score assists.

The strongly built Thompson, 183cm, 80kg, impacts games both as a midfielder and a forward. He is viewed as a draft smokie who may provide draft day value.

TAC Cup:

Overage midfielder Callan Wellings was Greater Western Victoria's best in their loss to Calder with 40 disposals, 17 contested possessions, seven tackles, eight clearances, six inside 50s and one goal.

Calder captain Brad Bernacki was prolific through the midfield and pushing back with 40 disposals, nine marks and nine rebound 50s.

Underage midfielder Jack Bytel was also important for Calder with 36 disposals, six marks, four clearances, four inside 50s and one goal.

Noah Balta made the most of his opportunity to play primarily forward with 11 disposals, eight contested possessions, six tackles and three goals.

Underage midfielder Sam Walsh continues to stake claims as being one of 2018's best midfielders with 30 disposals, 12 contested possessions, five tackles and three goals in Geelong's convincing win against Eastern.

Playing his best game in recent weeks, Cassidy Parish played a key role through Geelong's midfield with 28 disposals, 15 contested possessions, seven clearances, four inside 50s and one goal.

Powerful midfielder James Worpel also impressed for Geelong with 24 disposals, nine contested possessions, seven clearances and eight inside 50s.

Potential top 10 pick Jaidyn Stephenson was Eastern's best with 25 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles, five clearances and seven inside 50s.

Named Western's best Lachlan Fogarty collected 22 disposals, eight contested possessions, 11 tackles, four clearances, one goal and two score assists.

Starting to come into his own down back, Jordan Butts, 195cm, 80kg, collected a season-high 30 disposals and 14 marks (two contested) for Murray.

Saving his best for the latter portion of the season, Alex Federico, in a powerful display, amassed 44 disposals, 29 contested possessions, five marks, seven tackles, 15 clearances (10 centre clearances), eight inside 50s, two goals and three score assists.

Jack Petruccelle, who has endured a few quiet months, played his best game since May. He collected 27 disposals, 15 contested possessions, five tackles, seven clearances, eight inside 50s, one goal and two score assists. The explosive midfielder has been invited to the draft combine and it is predicted he will be one of the athletic testing stars with his acceleration and leap among the best in this year's draft.

Adding class to Northern's midfield, Nick Coffield performed solidly with 26 disposals, 12 contested possessions, six clearances, four inside 50s and two goals.

Proving a matchwinner up forward and pushing up through the midfield, Richmond father-son prospect Patrick Naish gathered 25 disposals, nine contested possessions, six marks, three clearances, six inside 50s, three goals and three score assists.

Overage midfielder Jack Roughsedge was one of Oakleigh's driving forces through the midfield with 28 disposals, 11 contested possessions, nine tackles, six clearances and five inside 50s.

Underage forward Charlie Whitehead, 183cm, 75kg, had several exciting moments for Oakleigh, displaying no fear taking on the game with his run Whitehead collected 20 disposals, seven marks (one contested), five inside 50s and two goals.

Providing meaningful run from defence, Ed Richards was one of Oakleigh's most outstanding. Richards collected 17 disposals (including nine kicks) of which all 17 disposals were effective.

While potential top-10 pick Jack Higgins collected just the 13 disposals, he made use of every touch up forward, capitalising on Oakleigh's midfield dominance with seven goals and three score assists.

Toby Wooller was Oakleigh's other damaging forward 50m target with 11 disposals, six marks (three contested), four goals and four behinds.

Brent Daniels was one of Bendigo's few highlights with 23 disposals, 12 contested possessions, six marks, six tackles, seven clearances, five inside 50s and one goal. Daniels regularly won first possession at stoppages and his acceleration out of the contest was notable.

Darby Henderson also performed strongly for Bendigo with 23 disposals, seven marks and six tackles. His clean kicking through the midfield was particularly impressive with 10 of his 11 kicks effective, featuring several low, piercing passes.

In a losing effort, Andrew Brayshaw did much of the grunt work for Sandringham through the midfield with 27 disposals, 13 contested possessions, six clearances and one goal.

Hunter Clark was Dandenong's best in their win against Sandringham with 29 disposals, 13 contested possessions, six marks (one contested), four clearances, seven inside 50s, two goals and two score assists.

Oscar Clavarino was also important for Dandenong with 19 disposals, 10 contested possessions and six marks (two contested) while also keeping Sandringham's key forwards goalless.



Continuing to enhance his 2018 draft stocks, underage forward Izak Rankine collected 16 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and two goals.

Overage midfielder Jonty Scharenberg continued his strong vein of form with 26 disposals and eight marks.


Underage key forward Jack Lukosius dominated up forward without making the most of his opportunities in front of goal. He finished with 19 disposals, 12 marks, five inside 50s, two goals and five behinds.

Underage midfielder Jackson Hately continues to stake his claims for 2018 with 25 disposals and seven marks.

Progressing strongly this year, key defender Harry Petty was gone from strength to strength. His latest outing including 26 disposals, 15 marks and one goal against Sturt only elevate his draft stocks.

Outside runner Stefan Giro continues to find the ball in bunches with 30 disposals, 12 marks and four inside 50s.

Nuggetty midfielder Mitch Crowden also continues to perform week in, week out, with 28 disposals, five tackles, five inside 50s and one goal.

Talented forward Jordan Houlahan impressed for Sturt against Norwood with 13 disposals and four goals.


Underage midfielder Connor Rozee, one of 2018's highly regarded talents, collected 27 disposals, eight tackles and five inside 50s.

Woodville-West Torrents midfielder Jake Weidemann was their best player with 28 disposals, 10 marks, and three goals.



Overage midfielder Bailey Banfield was again one of Claremont's best players with 28 disposals, five marks, five tackles and nine inside 50s.

In a breakout performance, Sam Taylor was named Swan Districts' best player. He gathered 27 disposals and eight marks. With an invite to the national combine, and playing league football for the past five weeks, Taylor's draft stocks are on the rise.

Liam Ryan may be this year's best mature age forward. The 20-year-old collected 16 disposals, six marks, four inside 50s and six goals and was named Subiaco's best in their win. He has kicked an impressive 68 goals from 20 games.


Explosive overage midfielder Brayden Ainsworth was again impressive with 23 disposals and one goal.


Callan England in Claremont's win accumulated 33 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s and one goal.

Putting forward an admirable effort in a heavy defeat, Larke Medallist Oscar Allen was West Perth's best, gathering 28 disposals, seven marks, 10 tackles and one goal.


Speedy overager Oskar Baker, 183cm, was one of Aspley's best in their elimination final loss to Sydney University. He gathered 17 disposals, 10 marks, four inside 50s and one goal. Baker with ball in hand looks to get the ball moving and regularly takes the game on with his pace and line-breaking power. Baker, who has received a state combine invite, is firming as a likely national draft selection on the back of his exciting season.

Continuing his rise up draft boards, Gold Coast Academy ruckman Brayden Crossley was one of best players in Gold Coast's elimination final win against NT Thunder. Crossley collected 10 disposals, five tackles, 43 hitouts and two goals.

Adam Sambono for NT Thunder did his draft chances no harm with 11 disposals, four marks, two inside 50s and three goals. The 20-year-old has had many exciting moments this season and from his 11 games has kicked 32 goals.