AFL Draft Wrap: Bergman's marking prowess has him on the rise

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 best-on-ground honours in St Bede's Herald Sun Shield Grand Final triumph against St Patrick's, Miles Bergman influenced the game with his powerful overhead marking.

Bergman was at his most dangerous when the ball was in the air, leaping up at the ball absorbed contact easily, maintaining body control. He was similarly difficult to stop on the lead, one-on-one, against two defenders and in pack situations, reading the drop of the ball better than any of his peers.

While strong overhead, Bergman is a capable ground-ball winner, possesses the strength to shrug tackles and demonstrates a high work rate.

Bergman is not only capable as a forward but also in defence and if his ball-winning capabilities continue to develop, potentially through the midfield.

In the mix to feature in the second round and possessing a game similar to North Melbourne's Mason Wood, the strong-marking forward will need to develop greater consistency by foot. Bergman demonstrates good vision and is a sound decision-maker, but his kick placement will need to improve, regularly missing his intended targets. Similarly, in front of goal, Bergman would benefit from developing greater consistency after missing several set shots he would be expected at the next level to convert.

Herald Sun Shield Grand Final

Of equal importance in St Bede's Grand Final triumph, likely draft choice Ryan Byrnes was the standout midfielder. His ball winning, quick distribution by hand, explosive run, composure, lowering of his eyes and kicking inside 50m was a highlight.



In less than favourable conditions, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan was dangerous around goal and showed why he is viewed as one of next season's most exciting prospects. Helping APS extend their win streak to nine years in the annual match between the premier Victorian private school competitions, Ugle-Hagan flew for everything and looked dangerous each time he elevated.

Sharing the load up front with Ugle-Hagan, key forward Charlie Dean read drop of ball superbly and converted from difficult angles.

Under-17s (2020 eligible prospects)

Vic Country vs. NSW/ACT

Vic Country

Leading the way through the midfield for Vic Country in their win against NSW/ACT, Sam Berry won first possession at stoppages and was damaging with his ball use. Berry lowered his eyes and hitting inside 50m targets frequently going forward. The classy midfielder secured 23 disposals, 12 contested possessions, six tackles, six clearances and one goal.

Arguably Vic Country's most influential, Zavier Maher impressed with his ball-winning capabilities and acceleration with ball in hand. Maher demonstrated a high work rate and was impressive with ball in hand, lowering his eyes and hitting inside 50m targets. The damaging midfielder managed 21 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, five clearances, seven inside 50s and two score assists.

Showing class, Clayton Gay was damaging with ball in hand. His vision, precision kicking to find targets in the corridor and inside 50m in addition to his speed and agility broke open the game. He was similarly impressive in one-on-one contests holding his own. The rebounding defender gathered 11 disposals, five marks (two contested) and two score assists.


Demonstrating class, composure, lowering his eyes and hitting targets by foot, Errol Gulden was NSW/ACT's most damaging. Adding to this, his agility and speed with ball in hand were further weapons Gulden utilised. The Sydney Academy midfielder posted 19 disposals.

Fellow Sydney Academy midfielder Braeden Campbell was important through the midfield winning the ball in the contest, driving the ball forward and taking two intercept marks. The prolific ball winner contributed 18 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles, five clearances, seven inside 50s and two goals.

Vic Metro vs. QLD

Vic Metro

Showing class through Vic Metro's midfield in their win against Queensland, Finlay Macrae, the younger brother of Jack, made a case for early draft selection next year. He moved smoothly with ball in hand, won his own ball, hit inside 50m targets and kicked a goal on the move. The smooth-moving midfielder amassed 35 disposals, 11 contested possessions, six marks, seven clearances, eight inside 50s, one goal and three score assists.

Collingwood Next-Generation Academy midfielder Reef McInnes impressed for Vic Metro. McInnes won the ball through the midfield, looked capable in defence and when pushing forward as a marking option. He demonstrated composure with ball in hand, agility, quick and clean hands, won the contested ball and was clean taking it off the bounce.

The 191cm ball-winner managed 24 disposals, 10 contested possessions, 10 tackles and six clearances.


Gold Coast Academy prospect Max Pescud impressed up forward both hitting inside 50m targets and presenting as one himself. Making the most of his opportunities in front of goal, the smart forward produced 17 disposals, six marks (one contested), six tackles and two goals.



Continuing his strong vein of form, Dylan Stephens impressed through the midfield for Norwood in their win against Sturt. The hard-working midfielder managed 24 disposals and six clearances. This is his second successive 20+ disposal game at League level for the likely first round choice.



Damaging outside runner Jeremy Sharp performed strongly for East Fremantle in eight-point win against East Perth with 17 disposals.


Continuing his push towards first round selection, athletic ruckman Luke Jackson was dominant for East Fremantle in their win against East Perth with 24 disposals, 27 hitouts and one goal.

Winning best-on-ground honours for Peel in their convincing win against South Fremantle, Tyrone Thorne was a class above. The dangerous small forward produced 25 disposals, seven tackles and five goals.


Gold Coast's top Academy prospect Connor Budarick gave a strong account for himself in Gold Coast's loss to Brisbane. The tackling machine managed 18 disposals, seven tackles and one goal.