AFL Draft Wrap: Deven Robertson pushes into top-10 calculations

Each week, 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

Winning the Larke Medal for the best player during the Under-18 Championships, Deven Robertson was the carnival's dominant midfielder and was central to Western Australia defeating Vic Country in the deciding match.

The midfielder plays a style of game not dissimilar to Adam Treloar as a prolific ball-winner with pace who moves the ball on quickly and aggressively. Robertson wins the ball off the bounce as well as any in the pool, distributes effectively by hand and tackles with aggression. He displays courage, putting his body on the line regularly with his play exemplifying a team-first attitude.

He amassed 28 disposals, 12 contested possessions, eight tackles, six clearances and six inside 50s against Vic Country and averaged 30 disposals over the four weeks.

His leadership traits beyond his actions on the field are promising. His maturity could be seen after the siren when Western Australia won the carnival when Robertson walked alongside injured teammate Riley Garcia -- who had been one of his side's best in four matches but was on crutches after sustaining a knee injury -- before celebrating with teammates.

If Robertson starts to hit the scoreboard more, use the ball more consistently under pressure and adds an extra position to his repertoire, he can feature inside the first-round if not push into the top-10 conversation.

AFL Under-18 Championships

Western Australia vs. Vic Country

Western Australia

As damaging as any in the decider, Liam Henry was dangerous overhead and ground level, took on the game and moved the ball on aggressively. The potential first-round prospect produced 25 disposals and six marks.

Confirming his status as the best ruckman in the Under-18 ranks, Luke Jackson continued his strong vein of form in a dominant display. He directed hitouts to the advantage of his teammates and followed up exceptionally well. The athletic basketball convert secured 19 disposals, 11 contested possessions and 37 hitouts.

Vic Country

With the responsibility of handling a large portion of the grunt work at stoppages, Sam Flanders was Vic Country's most prolific around the ball. Developing his midfield craft to a high level, Flanders posted 24 disposals, 10 contested possessions, six tackles and seven clearances.

Influencing the game heavily with his drive off half-back, Lachlan Ash consolidated his position as a likely top-10 choice. He would run the ball 40m before hitting meaningful targets by foot. The talented defender collected 22 disposals and eight rebound 50s.

Providing a powerful contested marking target forward of centre, Brodie Kemp was dangerous on the lead, leaping up at the ball and one-on-one. The play of Kemp would make it easy to believe he is this year's best key forward, but with his promise shown through the midfield, it was a game that enhanced the top-10 prospects surrounding the 192cm explosive utility. Kemp posted 17 disposals, 11 contested possessions, five marks and two goals.

In his best game yet, Sam De Koning, brother of Carlton's Tom, has shown improvement over the course of the carnival with his confidence rapidly growing. Arguably Vic Country's best, De Koning's intercept marking, contested marking, reading of the ball in flight and one-on-one defence was promising and suggest scope to develop. The 200cm key defender collected 16 disposals and five marks.

South Australia vs. Allies

South Australia

Enhancing his first-round credentials, Dylan Stephens worked hard throughout the match and displayed his speed and agility. The left-footer put together an impressive four-quarter performance for South Australia in their win over the Allies with 33 disposals, 14 contested possessions, six tackles and nine clearances.

Always on the move and showing his class with ball in hand, Harry Schoenberg played a complete game and shared the midfield load with Stephens. Winning South Australia's MVP award, Schoenberg posted 27 disposals, 10 contested possessions, five clearances and one goal.

Displaying competitiveness and making a statement with the way he threw his body around, Will Gould set the tone and was arguably his side's most influential. His precise and damaging kicking was on full display, but it was one sequence where Gould pushed himself to provide a second and then a third chase and tackle effort that stood out most. The powerful defender gathered 25 disposals, six marks, five tackles and 10 rebound 50s.

Looking lively every time the ball was in his vicinity, Kysaiah Pickett, the nephew of Byron, was dangerous both at ground level and leaping for marks overhead. He displayed football smarts and does unselfish things that don't show up on the stat sheet like a punch of the ball to a teammate in the goal square for a goal. The talented small forward contributed 22 disposals, 11 contested possessions and one goal.


Winning the Allies' MVP, GWS Academy midfielder Tom Green was industrious through the midfield with 23 disposals, 18 contested possessions and seven tackles. He led all participants during the Under-18 Championships in contested possessions (16 more than second placed Schoenberg) and clearances (nine more than second placed Schoenberg).

Working hard defensively, tackling and finishing naturally around goal, Gold Coast Academy prospect Connor Budarick won the Harrison Medal for the best player in the Academy series. Effective through the midfield and up forward, Budarick secured 21 disposals, 11 contested possessions, eight tackles and one goal.

Looking dangerous every time he got his hands on the ball, Brisbane Academy utility Noah Cumberland took on the game with his run and made things happen around goal when he had the ball inside 50m. The damaging line-breaker managed 18 disposals, nine contested possessions and two goals.

Combining speed and skill and picking the ball up one-touch at ground level, talented forward Malcolm Rosas Junior produced 15 disposals and two goals.