AFL Draft Wrap: South Australian midfielder flying up draft boards

Each week, ESPN.com.au 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

Making the statement that he is South Australia's best prospect, Harry Schoenberg is one of the midfielders on the rise in this year's AFL draft. With a game strikingly similar to St Kilda's Jack Steven, Schoenberg, on the back of his contested ball winning and explosive burst of acceleration out of stoppages, has become one of this year's most exciting midfielders and elevated himself on club draft boards.

Schoenberg wins first possession cleanly at speed, bursts out of stoppages, shrugs tackles and can lay aggressive tackles of his own. He combines this strength and power with class and composure. Schoenberg can also evade opponents, lower his eyes, hit meaningful targets by hand and foot and often provides an outside line-breaking option.

The talented midfielder amassed 29 disposals, 13 contested possessions, seven marks, seven tackles and eight clearances for South Australia, but it was not enough to help them get over the line in their 17-point loss to Vic Metro.

If Schoenberg starts to hit the scoreboard and continues his output and impact per possession from his first two games, he looks like a first-round choice.

Under-18 Championships

South Australia vs. Vic Metro

South Australia

Demonstrating agility, goal sense, composure, quick and clean hands and intercepting a couple of handballs in traffic, underager Luke Edwards was all class. The 2020 Adelaide father-son prospect and son of Tyson collected 18 disposals and one goal.

Providing run and taking on the game and the man on the mark when the opportunity presented, Dylan Stephens was one of the few for South Australia who got the ball moving on the outside. The potential first round choice posted 18 disposals and eight marks.

Vic Metro

Showing confidence in his own ability by taking on the game with his run, Noah Anderson was Vic Metro's best in their win against South Australia. He lowered his eyes and placed kicks perfectly into the space out in front of his teammates, moved the ball on quickly and played on when he could. Anderson was a goalkicking threat on the move and his distribution by hand was also important. The potential number choice amassed 27 disposals, seven inside 50s, two goals and two score assists.

Intercepting two handballs in general play, showing a burst of acceleration, providing direction to teammates and working hard in close, Matthew Rowell was important at stoppages. The pick one contender delivered 26 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven marks, four clearances and two score assists.

Hurting South Australia with a varied array of smart and precise kicks, skill execution use under pressure and evasion, Trent Bianco made the most of every touch, finishing with 25 disposals and five inside 50s.

Crumbing superbly, winning important ground balls, providing strong forward pressure, placing kicks out in front of leading targets and making sound decisions, Jack Mahony played a complete game up forward and through the midfield. The talented forward managed 22 disposals, 14 contested possessions, five clearances, eight inside 50s, one goal and three score assists.

Providing meaningful run and carry and laying some important tackles early, Lachlan Potter was among Vic Metro's most damaging. The line-breaking defender collected 11 disposals and four rebound 50s.

Western Australia vs. Allies

Western Australia

Impressing with his distribution by hand, ground ball winning and pace, Deven Robertson amassed 30 disposals, nine contested possessions and eight tackles. In all three of his games, Robertson has managed 30 or more disposals.

Imposing himself on the game with his overlap run, evasion and run and carry, Jeremy Sharp collected 22 disposals and one goal.

Possessing line breaking speed, agility, a sharp change of direction and evasive tricks, Cameron Anderson felt dangerous every time he had ball in hand. The speedy, impact player secured 13 disposals, five marks and two score assists.

Demonstrating goal sense, only needing a quick glance out of the corner of his eyes, Elijah Taylor led the way up forward for Western Australia with 11 disposals and three goals. His speed, agility, composure and awareness of when he could take on the man on the mark were all highlights.


Leading the way through the midfield as the Allies' most important at stoppages GWS Academy product, Tom Green won first possession on the move regularly and consistently won the ground balls at stoppages, as well as around the ground. He hunted the ball with greater desire than anyone else on the field. The powerful ball winning midfielder amassed 20 disposals, 13 contested possessions, six tackles, eight clearances and six inside 50s.

Playing taller than his height, Gold Coast Academy midfielder Connor Budarick took two strong contested marks -- including a flying mark from a couple of players behind with strong hands -- and also put on a tackling clinic. The pressure specialist managed 17 disposals, two contested marks and 11 tackles.

Showing class, Malcolm Rosas put on a special display. His gut-running, line-breaking speed over long distance with ball in hand, second and third efforts, agility, change of direction, evasion, ball fakes, one-touch pickups off the deck and goal sense were all special. Rosas demonstrated a genius football IQ picking the ball up inside 50m and executing a dribble kick to a teammate in the goal square to set his Allies teammate up for an easy goal. By doing this, Rosas avoided what otherwise would have been a certain smothered kick. The talented forward was his side's most influential producing 11 disposals, four inside 50s, one goal and three score assists.

After kicking four goals for Gold Coast in the NEAFL the previous week, Josh Gore established himself as the Allies' best avenue to goal with 13 disposals and two goals as his side's only multiple goalkicker. He showed capabilities on the lead and at ground level, he kept his feet, maintained a low centre of gravity and showcased his goal sense.