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Hartung, Taylor lead invites for draft combine smalls

Callum Twomey  September 13, 2013 11:44 AM

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Billy Hartung is set to test at the draft combine in early October

VIC COUNTRY pair Billy Hartung and Lewis Taylor headline the group of small prospects invited to next month's NAB AFL Draft Combine.

Hartung and Taylor, both AIS-AFL Academy graduates, are projected as top-20 selections at November's draft.

Hartung put behind him a broken finger earlier this year to have an excellent NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, winning All Australian honours.

The Dandenong Stingrays wingman has exceptional speed and endurance, coupled with terrific foot skills.

Taylor also won a place in the All Australian side after a strong carnival. Although small, the Vic Country captain is powerful, quick, and a damaging midfielder.

He will not test at the combine after having surgery on a stress fracture in his foot at the end of last month, which ruled him out of the Geelong Falcons' TAC Cup finals campaign.

The duo is among 17 players of 180 centimetres in height or under who will attend the screening at Etihad Stadium from October 1-4.

Five players from South Australia's division-one winning championships team will test, including defender James Battersby, classy midfielder Orazio Fantasia, and forward Malcolm Karpany.

Another 16 players were handed state combine invitations.

2013 NAB AFL Draft Combine – National: Small Forwards/Midfielders/Defenders

Northern Territory

Daniel Cox

Club: Southern Districts
D.O.B.: 6.5.95
Height: 174cm
Weight: 67kg
Small midfielder with explosive leg speed and agility. Has the ability to break a game open with his run and carry on the outside. His clean hands at ground level allows him to exit the contest ahead of the opposition. Neat in his disposal by both hand and foot. Had 23 disposals against Vic Country at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Made his senior debut for the NT Thunder in the NEAFL collecting 16 possessions and seven marks against Southport in round 11.

South Australia

Zac Bates

Club: West Adelaide
D.O.B.: 30.4.95
Height: 173cm
Weight: 73kg
Small defender who takes the game on with his run and carry and counter attack. Has neat skills by hand and foot and can play a variety of roles for his team. Has a very good feel for the game, playing three matches for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 13.7 disposals (6.3 contested). In five games at Colts level for West Adelaide he is averaging 20.4 disposals at an impressive 77.5 per cent efficiency.

James Battersby
Club: Sturt
D.O.B.: 7.11.95
Height: 177cm
Weight: 78kg
Small defender/midfielder with excellent vision and use of the ball by hand and foot. Has already played in 10 senior games with Sturt with his composure and game sense. This is reflected in his 19.3 disposal average at an elite efficiency rate of 88.1 per cent. Prolific ball winner for South Australia in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 19.2 disposals and capped off an outstanding championships winning All-Australian honours.

Orazio Fantasia
Club: Norwood
D.O.B.: 14.9.95
Height: 176cm
Weight: 65kg
Small forward/midfielder with good speed, agility, endurance and goal sense. Lightly framed player but is courageous and reads the fall of the ball exceptionally well. Was a consistent performer for South Australia in the under-18s averaging 15.5 disposals and 1.5 goals in 2013. He has also played in three games for Norwood at senior level, his best came against Woodville West Torrens where he gathered 24 disposals, six marks and booted a goal.

Malcolm Karpany
Club: Woodville West Torrens
D.O.B.: 1.6.95
Height: 175cm
Weight: 71kg
Small midfielder/forward with penetrating left foot and elite recovery and agility which allows him to side step through traffic. Good mark for his size and has clean hands, rarely fumbling at ground level or in the air. Played four matches for South Australia in the under-18s averaging 13.2 disposals and three inside-50s as an important part of their midfield rotation. Also made his senior debut at Woodville West Torrens early in season 2013 playing in round four and five.

Dwayne Wilson
Club: Sturt
D.O.B.: 17.1.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 75kg
Small midfielder with explosive leg speed and agility. A prolific ball-winner with very clean hands and excellent disposal by hand or foot. Sums up the situation well and loves to take the opposition on. Also has the ability to step his way through traffic and applies very good defensive pressure when the opposition have the ball through his ability to chase opponents down. Averaged 16.4 disposals at 76.8 per cent efficiency in five games for South Australia at the 2013 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. An AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.
 
Vic Country

Aaron Christensen

Club: Geelong Falcons
D.O.B.: 9.4.95
Height: 174cm
Weight: 66kg
Small forward with elite disposal by both hand and foot. A creative player who has an innate ability to put the game into slow motion when the ball is in his hands. His decision-making and ability to create something out of nothing is a real feature of his game.  His balance and ability to read the game allows him to always be a step ahead of his opponent. Has been limited to seven games for the Falcons due to injury however he has kicked multiple goals in three of them. Brother of Geelong's Allen.

Billy Hartung
Club: Dandenong Stingrays
D.O.B.: 24.1.95
Height: 177cm
Weight: 75kg
Small midfielder with elite endurance and a penetrating right foot. Loves to run and carry the ball, shows good composure and makes very good decisions by hand or foot. Has the ability to push forward and kick long goals on the run, too. Averaged 16.3 disposals and three tackles per game for Vic Country in four games at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships earning All-Australian honours. Has also been outstanding for the Dandenong Stingrays in season 2013 averaging 25.4 disposals across nine games. An AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.

Jarman Impey
Club: Murray Bushrangers
D.O.B.: 9.7.95
Height: 177cm
Weight: 78kg
Extremely quick and powerful small forward/midfielder who is agile and strong overhead for his size. Can be very dangerous around goals where he reads the ball well off hands. Has an excellent step through traffic and elite leg speed. Averaged 16 disposals and three tackles in five matches for Victoria Country at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships this year. His best game for the Murray Bushrangers came in round one gathering 26 possessions and booting four goals against North Ballarat. An AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.

Lewis Taylor
Club: Geelong Falcons
D.O.B.: 17.2.95
Height: 173cm
Weight: 73kg
Small midfielder/forward with excellent agility and disposal by foot on either side of his body. Has the ability to break the lines with his explosive leg speed and ability to take the game on. Can be very dangerous around goals due to his elusiveness and footy smarts. Super impressive for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships in 2013 averaging 24.7 disposals and five clearances in three games on his way to earning All-Australian honours.  An AIS-AFL Academy Graduate.

Vic Metro

Mitch Honeychurch
Club: Eastern Ranges
D.O.B.: 2.3.95
Height: 175cm
Weight: 67kg
Small midfielder with a ferocious attack on the ball and the opposition. A super competitive player with a real zest for the contested ball. Is very clean with his hands particularly around the stoppages and finds plenty of the ball. Has been impressive in his ability to push forward and impact the scoreboard kicking 12 goals in six games for the Eastern Ranges. Averaged 25 disposals and four clearances during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships for Vic Metro earning All-Australian honours.

Jay Kennedy-Harris
Club: Oakleigh Chargers
D.O.B.: 21.3.95
Height: 173cm
Weight: 68kg
Elusive small forward/midfielder with excellent foot skills and game sense. Has composure when the ball is in his hands and generally makes something happen. Extremely clean in his ball handling, possesses excellent lateral movement and applies enormous defensive pressure. Averaged 17 disposals during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships for Vic Metro while also having an outstanding year at the Oakleigh Chargers averaging 23.3 disposals and 5.2 tackles in 12 matches.

Zach Merrett
Club: Sandringham Dragons
D.O.B.: 3.10.95
Height: 179cm
Weight: 76kg
Left-footed small midfielder/forward with elite burst of speed and deadly delivery by hand and foot. Has excellent awareness and decision-making ability which can cause significant damage to opposition teams. Played consistently for Victoria Country in NAB AFL Under-18s averaging 18.4 disposals. His stand out game of the season came in round six against North Ballarat where he gathered 33 disposals. Brother Jackson is playing with Essendon.

Western Australia

Richard Bourne

Club: East Fremantle
D.O.B.: 4.5.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 61kg
Very quick and agile small forward that possesses the ability to work up through the midfield on occasions due to his excellent speed/endurance combination. Can dispose of the football very effectively on either side of his body whilst his ability to take the ball either from a team mate or off the ground at full speed and finish accurately in front of goal is a real feature of his game. Played in three games for Western Australia at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 12 disposals.

Charlie Cameron
Club: Swan Districts
D.O.B.: 5.7.94
Height: 178cm
Weight: 69kg
Small forward who plays a physical brand of football and displays an appetite for the contest. His ability to apply enormous defensive pressure to the opposition is a feature of his game. Has very clean hands and leg speed. Averaged 13 disposals and five tackles during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Has a background in rugby and this is clearly evident in his ability to lay strong tackles. Played 15 games for Swan Districts at senior level in season 2013.

Steven Edwards
Club: Claremont
D.O.B.: 6.7.95
Height: 182cm
Weight: 73kg
Counter-attacking defender with excellent lateral movement and evasiveness. His ability to come off his opponent at the right time and win the ball back is exciting. Uses the footy well on either side of his body and finds his targets on most occasions. Possesses excellent leg speed and enjoys breaking the game open. Averaged 11.5 disposals in four games for Western Australia at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and also made his senior debut for Claremont in round 19 against Subiaco.

NSW/ACT

Michael Gibbons

Club: Murray Bushrangers
D.O.B.: 15.5.95
Height: 175cm
Weight: 71kg
Small midfielder with prolific ball winning ability. His thirst for the contest and defensive pressure is relentless. Displays clean hands around the stoppages while also providing excellent run and carry. Is a smart user of the ball on his preferred right foot. Averaged 26 disposals and seven tackles during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships while also playing a pivotal role in the success of the Murray Bushrangers where he averaged 27.5 disposals and 6.1 clearances in 11 games.

State combine invitees

Meyrick Buchanan

Club: Geelong Falcons (Vic)
D.O.B.: 15.9.93
Height: 177cm
Weight: 76kg

Ben Cavarra
Club: Eastern Ranges (Vic)
D.O.B.: 20.12.95
Height: 174cm
Weight: 70kg

Campbell Combe
Club: North Adelaide (SA)
D.O.B.: 15.9.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 82kg

Nick Evans
Club: Eastern Ranges (Vic)
D.O.B.: 1.6.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 71kg

Tom Gray
Club: Port Adelaide Magpies (SA)
D.O.B.: 13.12.95
Height: 179cm
Weight: 72kg

Sam Heavyside
Club: Bendigo Pioneers (Vic)
D.O.B.: 9.7.94
Height: 177cm
Weight: 73kg

Lachlan Hickey
Club: Western Jets (Vic)
D.O.B.: 31.10.95
Height: 180cm
Weight:76 kg

Kaine Lambert
Club: Northern Blues (Vic)
D.O.B.: 26.11.91
Height: 178cm
Weight: 78kg

Clayton McCartney
Club: Dandenong Stingrays (Vic)
D.O.B.: 31.10.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 74kg

Baydon Ngalkin
Club: NT Thunder (NT)
D.O.B.: 22.10.89
Height: 172cm
Weight: 70kg

Willy Rioli
Club: South Fremantle (WA)
D.O.B.: 4.6.95
Height: 175cm
Weight: 88kg

Alex Saunders
Club: Gippsland Power (Vic)
D.O.B.: 10.7.95
Height: 180cm
Weight: 70kg

Scott Sherlock
Club: Werribee (Vic)
D.O.B.: 25.2.90
Height: 173cm
Weight: 76kg

Byron Sumner
Club: Woodville West Torrens (SA)
D.O.B.: 31.10.91
Height: 178cm
Weight: 75kg

Jesse Tardio
Club: Northern Knights (Vic)
D.O.B.: 7.1.95
Height: 179cm
Weight: 73kg

Robert Young
Club: Port Adelaide Magpies (SA)
D.O.B.: 2.3.95
Height: 178cm
Weight: 63kg

Twitter: @AFL_CalTwomey