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Petracca, Brayshaw and Heeney lead medium midfielders

Christian Petracca of Vic Metro in action during the 2014 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship match between VIC Metro and Western Australia at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on June 27, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Christian Petracca is a chance to be taken at pick No.1 at this year's draft
POSSIBLE top-five selections Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw, and Sydney Swans academy gun Isaac Heeney, are among the star crop of medium midfielders attending the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

Petracca, who stamped his authority as a contender for the No.1 position with a standout NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, will be keen to impress over the four days of testing at Etihad Stadium from September 30-October 3.

Midfielders Lachie Weller, Jayden Laverde and Connor Blakey are also members of the group likely to feature in the first round of November's draft.

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The AFL has released the names of 23 budding medium midfielders nominated to attend the four-day testing held at Etihad stadium, the week after the Grand Final.

The Brisbane Lions have two father-son selections among the batch of medium midfielders in Josh Clayton, whose dad Scott played 160 games for Fitzroy and is currently list manager at the Gold Coast, and Tyler Roos, the son of Paul Roos.  

Another 27 draft hopefuls have been invited to test at the state combines.

NATIONAL NAB AFL DRAFT COMBINE – MEDIUM MIDFIELDERS
(Profiles supplied)


NSW/ACT
Isaac Heeney (Cardiff)
5.5.1996    Height: 185cm    Weight: 82kg

Hard-edged medium midfielder who excels in the one-on-one and contested situations. Very good clearance player averaging five per game together with 23.7 disposals at 73.2 per cent efficiency and 4.7 tackles. Won the Harrison Medal for best and fairest in division two of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was also rewarded with All Australian honours. Member of the NAB AFL Academy and in the Sydney Swans Academy.

Jack Hiscox        (Sydney Uni)
23.3.1995  Height: 184cm    Weight: 74kg

Very athletic player who continually runs hard through the midfield. A former national 800m champion who in January ran an elite time of 9.04 for a 3km time trial as well possessing elite leg speed. Is continuing to learn the game. He thrives in the defensive areas of the game where he is not afraid to put his head over the ball. Averaged 18 disposals in his two matches for NSW/ACT at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Tyler Roos          (Sandringham Dragons)
24.3.1996  Height: 185cm    Weight: 73kg

Medium midfielder whose athletic traits allow him to continually outwork his opposition. Uses the ball very well by foot and has good game sense. Averaged 19.3 disposals, at 69 per cent efficiency in three matches at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Plays for the Sandringham Dragons in the TAC Cup but was eligible under state of origin rules to play for NSW/ACT. Son of former Fitzroy and Sydney Swans star Paul Roos.

Jack Steele        (Belconnen)
13.12.1995                  Height: 186cm    Weight: 82kg

Strong and powerful midfielder/forward who can create something out of nothing. Shows excellent poise and balance when in possession and is a clever user by hand or foot. A very effective lead-up player that once going can be hard to stop. NSW/ACT's MVP in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 20.7 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, 5.7 marks and two goals on his way to winning All Australian under-18 honours.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Connor Blakely  (Swan Districts)
2.3.1996    Height: 186cm    Weight: 81kg

Medium midfielder who excels at stoppages and is a prolific ball winner. Runs all day using his impressive endurance base and has good speed. Averaged 21 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency, seven clearances and five tackles during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships and was rewarded with All Australian honours. Plays regular senior football for Swan Districts in the WAFL.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Peter Bampton   (Norwood)
15.4.1996  Height: 182cm    Weight: 83kg

Hard running, strong bodied medium midfielder with an appetite for the contest. Has played senior football over the past couple of seasons for Norwood before injuring his ankle and missing the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Has an excellent ability to extract the footy from the stoppage and run hard forward. Averaging 19 disposals and three clearances at senior SANFL level.

Dean Gore          (Sturt)
26.6.1996  Height: 183cm    Weight: 86kg

Medium midfielder who reads the game very well and is very strong in the contest. Has good bursts of speed and elite endurance and played a pivotal role in South Australia's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships winning team averaging 15.3 possessions (7.7 contested) and 6.5 tackles across all six matches. Has played senior football with Sturt.

Alex Neal-Bullen         (Glenelg)
9.1.1996    Height: 182cm    Weight: 77kg

Damaging medium midfielder particularly around stoppages uses his quick, clean hands to great effect. Key player in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 18.7 disposals (10.2 contested) and 4.2 tackles. Is a courageous footballer with elite endurance and has played senior football for Glenelg.

Josh Glenn         (Central District)
10.3.1994  Height: 180cm    Weight: 78kg

Mature age medium midfielder that has had a brilliant year with Central District averaging 20.5 disposals and 3.6 clearances per game at senior level. His consistency has become a genuine strength along with his disposal efficiency, particularly his ability to use the ball by foot on both sides of his body.

QUEENSLAND
Lachlan Weller  (Southport)
23.2.1996  Height: 181cm    Weight: 74kg

Medium midfielder with pace, poise and neat disposal by hand and foot. Always seems to have plenty of time when in possession. Averaged 18 disposals in three matches at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, going at 74 per cent efficiency while also laying an average of 4.3 tackles. Won the McLean Medal at the Under-16 Championships in 2012. A member of the NAB AFL Academy and brother of Maverick at St Kilda.

VICTORIA
Jackson Nelson  (Geelong Falcons)
15.3.1996  Height: 187cm    Weight: 81kg

Medium midfielder/defender with excellent game sense, speed and use of the ball by hand and foot. Prolific kick of the footy who also shows balance and precision when executing by foot. Averaged 12.2 disposals and 4.3 tackles across six games at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. A member of the NAB AFL Academy.

Angus Brayshaw         (Sandringham Dragons)
9.1.1996    Height: 187cm    Weight: 86kg

Medium midfielder who distributes the ball very effectively by either hand and on both feet. Clearance specialist who reads the game exceptionally well using is athleticism to get to and away from stoppages. His football nous is brilliant. Averaged 21.8 disposals, five inside 50s and four tackles during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. A member of the NAB AFL Academy.

Angus Brayshaw (below) is likely to be an early first round draft pick. Picture: AFL Media

Damien Cavka   (Calder Cannons)
3.6.1996    Height: 184cm    Weight: 79kg

Elite endurance player with the capacity run all day. Has shown the ability to play a variety of roles, including shutting down opponents through the midfield as well as rebounding from half back. Shows excellent football character and work ethic. Averaged 17.5 disposals and 6.5 tackles for Vic Metro at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Josh Clayton      (Sandringham Dragons)
17.1.1996  Height: 190cm    Weight: 80kg

Very athletic and versatile player who reads the game very well and makes smart decisions when in possession. His aerial skills coupled with his lateral movement often sees him step through traffic with ease. Currently averaging 21.9 disposals for the Sandringham Dragons at TAC Cup Level. Son of former Fitzroy Lion and Gold Coast list manager Scott Clayton.

Jordan Cunico    (Gippsland Power)
7.5.1996    Height: 184cm    Weight: 72kg

Medium midfielder with an exciting burst of speed and can run all day. Strong overhead for his size and consistent ball winner in championships where he read the play very well, particularly at stoppages. Averaged 15.6 disposals at 74 per cent efficiency playing for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Nathan Drummond     (Murray Bushrangers)
19.1.1995  Height: 181cm    Weight: 85kg

Tough, inside medium midfielder with elite speed/endurance combination. Has had excellent TAC Cup year after being injured in 2013. Playing as a 19-year-old, he averaged 15 disposals, four marks and six tackles for Vic Country in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Good leap and overhead mark for his size.

Corey Ellis          (Western Jets)
9.10.1996  Height: 185cm    Weight: 76kg

Left-footed medium midfielder who is a star at the clearances with his clean hands and courage. Uses the ball well by hand and foot and has good game sense. Provided a dangerous target up forward either in the air or at ground level. Averaged 13.6 disposals and 4.4 tackles in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Matthew Goodyear     (Calder Cannons)
20.7.1996  Height: 185cm    Weight: 77kg

Extremely athletic medium midfielder with elite speed and endurance. Prolific ball winner at the Cannons and had a taste of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships playing in three matches, averaging 13 disposals in limited game time. His drive and rebound from half-back as well as through the midfield often breaks the game open.

Billy Gowers      (Oakleigh Chargers)
10.6.1996  Height: 184cm    Weight: 81kg

A versatile and very well balanced medium midfielder who reads the play well. Possesses excellent foot skills on either side of the body while also showing the ability to mark strongly overhead for a player of his size. Averaging 15.1 disposals for the Oakleigh Chargers this year. Son of former Hawk Andy Gowers.

Jayden Laverde          (Western Jets)
DOB   12.4.1996        Height: 189cm                        Weight: 82kg

Smooth moving medium midfielder/forward with neat disposal skills. Can turn opponents inside out with his agility and is dangerous around goals. Strong overhead and a difficult match up with athletic attributes in forward half or in midfield. Averaged 16.8 disposals at 74 per cent efficiency and five marks during the NAB AFL U18 Championships, winning All Australian honours.

Jayden Laverde (below) is a dangerous midfielder who can also hit the scoreboard. Picture: AFL Media



Daniel McKenzie         (Oakleigh Chargers)
17.5.1996  Height: 183cm    Weight: 77kg

Midfielder with superb athletic traits across all areas - speed, endurance and agility.    His excellent vertical leap also gives him the versatility to not only play on opponents his size but also those that are taller. Shows very good game sense and awareness. Averaging 14 disposals and three tackles for Oakleigh at TAC Cup level.

Connor Menadue         (Western Jets)
19.9.1996  Height: 188cm    Weight: 69kg

Excellent athlete who uses his pace and running capacity to run and carry the footy and often breaks the lines. A quiet kid by nature, he has the ability to play on a range of opponents regardless of size. Currently averaging 19.6 disposals per game in his 14 matches for the Western Jets. Consistency is his greatest strength.

Christian Petracca      (Eastern Ranges)
4.1.1996    Height: 186cm    Weight: 92kg

Powerful inside midfielder/forward who is strong overhead and is a clearance star. Breaks tackles with his elite agility and tackles strongly. Vic Metro MVP and Larke medallist of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. His kicking has become a real asset. Averaged 25 disposals, 5.4 marks and five clearances on his way to winning All Australian under-18 honours.


STATE NAB AFL DRAFT COMBINE – MEDIUM MIDFIELDERS

Haiden Schloithe  
     
South Fremantle/WA
16.6.1993  Height: 183cm    Weight: 74kg

Robert Blood             
Southport/QLD
21.1.1996  Height: 183cm    Weight: 75kg

Blaine Boekhorst       
Swan Districts/WA
2.9.1993    Height: 184cm    Weight: 69kg

Daniel Coghlan          
Essendon VFL/VIC M
8.1.1991    Height: 186cm    Weight: 86kg

Brad Coulson        
     
Port Adelaide/SA
16.11.1996                  Height: 183cm    Weight:78kg

Nick Dixon
Geelong Falcons/VIC C
8.10.1996  Height: 180cm    Weight: 74kg

Billy Evans                 
Bendigo Pioneers/VIC C
19.10.1996         Height: 187cm    Weight: 82kg

Campbell Floyd         
Geelong Falcons/VIC C
12.7.1996  Height: 184cm    Weight: 68kg

Jordan Foote              
UNSW-Easts/NSW
1.2.1996    Height: 182cm    Weight:74kg

Will Fordham             
Sandringham Dragons/VIC M
14.3.1996  Height: 188cm    Weight: 78kg

Taylor Grace              
Sandringham Dragons/VIC M
17.4.1995  Height: 184cm    Weight: 77kg

Liam Griffiths            
Ainslie/ACT
12.1.1996  Height: 182cm    Weight: 79kg

Caleb Hislop
Burnie/TAS
13.5.1996  Height: 184cm    Weight: 74kg

Jack Johnstone
Williamstown/VIC M
4.8.1993    Height: 185cm    Weight: 85kg

Tim Jones
Western Storm/TAS
10.11.1996                  Height: 181cm    Weight: 78kg

Harrison Kol              
Geelong Falcons/VIC C
15.5.1996  Height: 180cm    Weight: 69kg

Ryan Lim
Claremont/WA
20.3.1996  Height: 185cm    Weight: 75kg

Adam Marcon            
Williamstown/VIC M
28.7.1992  Height: 180cm    Weight: 80kg

Nick Mellington         
Murray Bushrangers/VIC C
22.5.1996  Height: 187cm    Weight: 88kg

David Mennen
Murray Bushrangers/VIC C
16.12.1996         Height: 185cm    Weight: 77kg

Billy Myers
Western Jets/VIC M
5.5.1996    Height: 187cm    Weight: 84kg

Dylan Nelson             
Swan Districts/WA
24.8.1996  Height: 181cm    Weight: 74kg

Fraser Pearce
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic M
29.7.1996  Height: 186cm    Weight: 76kg

Zac Richards              
Norwood/SA
5.8.1996    Height: 184cm    Weight: 73kg

Tom Templeton          
North Ballarat Rebels/VIC C
11.4.1996  Height: 182cm    Weight: 83kg

Brett Turner               
West Adelaide/SA
11.1.1996  Height: 183cm    Weight:79kg

Alec Waterman          
Claremont/WA
19.8.1996 Height: 183cm    Weight: 89kg

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs