On the rise - Jeremy Howe
Jeremy Howe takes the 2012 Mark of the Year
On the rise: Jeremy Howe
At a glance: Made his debut in round 11, 2011 after being recruited from Tasmania at the age of 20. The high-flier was a standout for the Demons in 2012, earning eight mark of the round nominations and winning Mark of the Year for his classic hanger over Heath Grundy at the SCG. He finished top 10 in the club best and fairest, becoming a key mover, despite his height, in the midfield. He was durable, playing every game and kept a positive attitude despite the team's performances throughout the season. He kicked 19 goals – with one blinder from the boundary against Essendon, getting the ball rolling on the way to an upset win – and 25 behinds (he admits he is looking to improve his set shot kicking from next season). A natural footballer and strong competitor, he is aiming to play forward in 2013. His first duty come training on Monday will be to explain to Melbourne's leaders his part at day one of the Boxing Day Test, where he ended up being evicted by security staff alongside teammates Lynden Dunn and James Frawley.
Plays like: He flies for marks like the late St Kilda star Trevor Barker, his impeccable timing and safe hands making him a dangerous prospect in any aerial contest. However, he is likely to develop into the classic utility in the mould of Collingwood's Dale Thomas, combining toughness with class.
Killer quality: Few young players have been better marks and his place in football history is already assured after he took one spectacular grab after another during the season. By the end of 2012, opponents were trying everything to interrupt his passage to the ball and it is hoped that he gets protection so he can continue to leap for the football on a regular basis.
Best performance: He was very good against Collingwood on Queen's Birthday, fighting against the odds. He kicked two goals and played almost every position except the ruck. His battle with Nick Maxwell in the second half was vigorous, with the Magpie skipper niggling Howe at every opportunity to make life hard for him. When Maxwell is trying to stop you, it's a sign you are playing well.
What they say: "Howe is one of those players that whenever a ball is in the air, their opponent is always really worried because he always seems to be able to take a mark from no matter what position he is in. Because he has got that leap on him and he can get himself so much higher than everyone else and get his hands up higher than everyone else, he is really hard to stop. I think he will attract a more attention [this year] however he will start to become a really strong one-on-one body on body mark as well. He is a great asset to have because he is a really good target up forward to complement Mitch Clark and Chris Dawes," Melbourne co-captain Jack Grimes.
Stats that matter:
Equal third in goals (19 goals 25 behinds)
First in contested marks (47 @ 2.13 per game)
Equal first in marks (122 @ 5.54 per game)
Third in total kicks (227 @ 10.3 per game)
Fifth for inside 50s (58 @ 2.67 per game)
AFL Fantasy: Expect Howe's value to climb towards the $350,000-400,000 mark