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Tall defenders revealed for NAB AFL Draft Combine

The AFL today announced the fourth positional group of players that will attend the 2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne from October 2 to October 5.

The Tall Defenders comprise of 12 players including four members of the 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian team and international prospects Anton Tohill and Mark Keane from Ireland. A further 16 Tall Defenders will be tested at the State Draft Combines to be held in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth on October 5, 13 and 14 respectively. 

AFL Talent Ambassador Kevin Sheehan said: “In search of the next Alex Rance or Jeremy McGovern the tall defender group has many well credentialed and gifted prospects with varying attributes and backgrounds. The likes of Ben Silvagni, Will Kelly, Jacob Koschitzke and Riley Grundy have fathers, brothers and cousins that have gone before them making their surnames synonymous with our game already.  

“Buku Khamis and Connor Idun have their heritage in Africa and are the faces of the next generation of AFL stars who our making AFL their preferred code. Additionally, two prospects from Ireland in Mark Keane and Anton Tohill are part of this diverse talls group and aim to transition from Gaelic to Australian football as they join the Draft Combine.” 

2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine – National

Tall Defenders

Kyle Reid                               Vic Country/Gippsland Power
12/08/2000                              Height: 193cm Weight: 85kg
Tall defender who is strong overhead, mobile and composed under pressure. Strong in one-on-one contests and was a shining light for Vic Country averaging 12 disposals and containing the oppositions’ tall forwards throughout the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Won All-Australian honours.

Jacob Koschitzke                  Allies/Albury/Murray Bushrangers
11/07/2000                              Height: 196cm Weight: 94kg
Tall defender who can also go forward, he is an excellent contested mark and strong in one-on-one contests. Uses the ball well by foot and is very competitive. Had an excellent championships earning All-Australian honours. He nullifies opposition key forwards and showed composure under pressure. Cousin of St Kilda star Justin Koschitzke. 

Will Kelly                               Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Glen Iris
16/08/2000                              Height: 193cm Weight: 83kg
Tall athletic defender who has the ability to play one-on-one and defend his direct opponent. Grew in confidence playing for Vic Metro this year reading the angles well with his intercept marking. Son of Collingwood premiership player Craig Kelly and an eligible father-son selection for the Magpies. 

Ben King                                Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons/Haileybury College
07/07/2000                              Height: 202cm Weight: 83kg
Tall defender/forward who is strong overhead and both exceptionally quick and agile making him a difficult match up when forward. Averaged 9.5 disposals, 4.8 marks and three goals across the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships including five goals against Western Australia and four goals against South Australia earning him All-Australian honours. Also played key defence earlier in the year with the Australian Under-18 team against North Melbourne VFL winning MVP honours. An outstanding swingman prospect in the Draft along with his twin brother Max.

Ben Silvagni                           Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers/Greythorn
07/05/2000                              Height: 194cm Weight: 84kg
Very competitive tall defender who is strong in the contest and has an excellent natural leap and reach. Represented Vic Metro as a defender but has also been predominant forward for the Chargers. Brother of Jack and son of Stephen Silvagni and an eligible farther-son selection for Carlton.

Riley Grundy                         South Australia/Sturt
28/07/2000                              Height: 195cm Weight: 79kg
Developing tall defender who is strong in the one-on-one contests and fiercely competitive. Matched-up well on the oppositions’ most dangerous tall targets and held his own. Currently playing at Under-18 level in the SANFL and has big upside. Brother of Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy.   

Dirk Koenan                          Allies/Gold Coast Suns Academy/Palm Beach
01/01/2000                              Height: 194cm Weight: 84kg
Athletic tall defender who is agile and capable with his shape and size to match-up well at AFL level. Still developing and was at his best during the NAB AFL Academy Series with his work one-on-one impressive particularly against the GWS Giants and the Sydney Swans. Also represented the Allies in Division One of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Connor Idon                          Vic Country/Geelong Falcons/Drysdale
29/07/2000                              Height: 190cm Weight: 86kg
Tall defender who can also go forward and provide a mobile, competitive marking target for his team. Impressed for Vic Country as a mobile defender who is strong one-on-one. More recently been impressed for Vic Country as a mobile defender who is strong one-on-one and more recently up forward for the Falcons. Has Ghanaian heritage from West Africa.

Buku Khamis                        Vic Metro/Western Jets/St Albans
24/03/2000                              Height: 190cm Weight: 81kg
Sudanese-born tall defender who provided consistent rebound for his team the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 14.8 disposals at an impressive 79 per cent efficiency and winning All-Australian honours. Reads the play well with his intercept marking a feature of his game. Also had an outstanding year for the Western Jets as he has grown in confidence. Good decision-maker and user of the ball on his preferred left foot. Eligible for the Western Bulldogs as a Next Generation Academy player. 

James Blanck                        Vic Metro/Eastern Ranges/Park Orchards
20/11/2000                              Height: 195cm Weight: 80kg
Developing tall defender who is an excellent intercept mark, quick and strong one-on-one. Impressed for Vic Metro particularly against Vic Country at the MCG this year taking six marks and providing good rebound for defence.  

Mark Keane                          Ireland – County Cork
17/03/2000                              Height: 194cm Weight: 96kg
Potential tall defender who impressed at the European Combine with his strength overhead, speed and disposal skills. Joined the NAB AFL Academy in the USA in January and has progressed to Country Under-20 level with Cork this year. 

Anton Tohill                          Ireland – Country Derry
14/12/1999                              Height: 198cm Weight: 86kg
Tall defender/midfielder/forward from Derry in Northern Ireland who is the son of former GAA and International Rules star Anthony Tohill who spent time at the Melbourne Football Club in the 1990s. Athletic 18-year-old with excellent foot skills and agility. Also joined the NAB AFL Academy in the USA earlier this year and was impressive.

2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine – State

Tall Defenders

Jacob Atley                    Bendigo Pioneers
04/07/2000                      Height: 191cm  Weight: 74kg 

Chris Burgess                West Adelaide
26/11/1995                      Height: 193cm  Weight: 84kg 

Jordan Butts                  Murray Bushrangers
31/15/1999                      Height: 197cm  Weight: 80kg 

Sam Collins                   Werribee
15/06/1994                      Height: 194cm  Weight: 97kg 

Stephen Cumming        Dandenong Stingrays
22/07/2000                      Height: 199cm  Weight: 104kg 

Mason Fletcher             Calder Cannons
08/04/2000                      Height: 199cm  Weight: 80kg 

Caleb Graham               Gold Coast Suns Academy
12/09/2000                      Height: 194cm  Weight: 84kg 

Austin Hodge                 Gippsland Power
02/04/1999                      Height: 190cm  Weight: 83kg 

Nathan Kreuger            South Adelaide
25/06/1999                      Height: 196cm  Weight: 86kg 

Matthew McGuinness  Lauderdale
13/07/2000                      Height: 192cm  Weight: 75kg 

Nick Murray                 Murray Bushrangers/GWS Giants Academy
18/12/2000                      Height: 193cm  Weight: 89kg 

Ethan Phillips                Port Melbourne
17/04/1999                      Height: 195cm  Weight: 83kg 

Mitchell Podhajski       Calder Cannons
04/01/1999                      Height: 191cm  Weight: 87kg 

Stefan Radovanovic     Western Jets
07/09/2000                      Height: 192cm  Weight: 85kg 

Callum Wilkie               North Adelaide
10/03/1996                      Height: 191cm  Weight: 87kg 

Lachlan Young              Dandenong Stingrays
06/04/1999                      Height: 190cm  Weight: 78kg 

The NAB AFL Draft Combine is part of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, which supports grassroots players and football communities and helps young Australians fulfill their dream of playing in the AFL. The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program comprises the following elements:

  • NAB AFL Rising Star
  • NAB AFL Draft
  • NAB AFL Draft Combine
  • NAB AFL Under-18 Championships
  • NAB AFL Academy
  • NAB AFL Under-16 Championships 

NAB has supported the footy community for over a decade, providing boys and girls with a clear pathway from NAB AFL Auskick through the NAB AFL Rising Stars program all the way to the big time.