2021 NAB AFL Draft: Hawthorn

7. Joshua Ward 

Northern Knights, NAB League / Fitzroy FC / Melbourne Grammar

State: Victoria (Metro)

Height: 181cm

Weight: 74kg

Date of Birth: 17/08/03

Cal Twomey's Phantom Draft Prediction: 7

Left-foot small midfielder who showed all the traits this season of an emerging future star. Uses his elite endurance and footy smarts to win the ball, then shows poise and sharp vision to use it in an elite fashion by hand and foot. His natural leadership, running capacity and prolific ball-winning ability compare to Carlton's young superstar Sam Walsh. He imposed himself on five matches with the Northern Knights, averaging 30.2 disposals (11.6 contested), and had 29 disposals in the NAB AFL Challenge match for Victoria Metro against Victoria Country in July to be one of the best afield. Capped off his year being named captain of the NAB League's Team of the Year.


23. Sam Butler 

GWV Rebels, NAB League / Lake Wendoree FC / St. Pat's College

State: Victoria (Country)

Height: 184cm

Weight: 76kg

Date of Birth: 10/02/03

Cal Twomey's Phantom Draft Prediction: 15

Medium midfielder/forward with exciting pace both away from stoppage and giving him separation to allow shots at goal. Brother of St Kilda's Dan, with similar attributes and can be very effective as a pressure forward with goal sense as well. Had an excellent season with the GWV Rebels, averaging 17.6 disposals at 72 per cent efficiency in nine matches with an average of 4.8 tackles and 0.8 goals per game. Eye-catching at the NAB AFL Draft Combine in Bendigo with his 2.97 seconds for 20 metres on a slow track, which was equal top for the day, while his 2km time of 6 minutes 23 seconds confirmed his endurance.

26. Connor MacDonald 

Dandenong Stingrays, NAB League / Doveton FC / Haileybury College

State: Victoria (Country)

Height: 185cm

Weight: 83kg

Date of Birth: 13/01/03

Cal Twomey's Phantom Draft Prediction: 28

Medium midfielder with excellent all-round athleticism and game sense which allows him to get to multiple contests and become a prolific ball winner. His game style has been compared to St Kilda captain Jack Steele and he possesses natural leadership attributes as captain at Haileybury College. Found plenty of the ball with the Stingrays, averaging 29.8 disposals (14.2 contested) with 5.5 clearances and 4.8 tackles in four matches and backed that up with a solid performance for Victoria Country at Under-19s level in the AFL Challenge match with 25 disposals. His elite endurance was confirmed with his 6 minutes and 8 seconds for the 2km (Strava tested) as part of the Draft Combine in 2021.

Connor Macdonald during the Victorian draft training day at Trevor Barker Oval on November 15, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

53. Jai Serong

Gippsland Power, NAB League / Warragul FC / Geelong Grammar

State: Victoria (Country)

Height: 193cm

Weight: 82kg

Date of Birth: 16/02/03

Tall midfielder who can push forward to become a marking target, as well as play in defence. Very athletic type who displayed his physical attributes with his 86cm running vertical jump, along with his 3.05 seconds for 20 metres and 6 minutes 24 seconds for the 2km test, all in the top bracket for his size. Has sound fundamentals, being clean overhead and at ground level as well as displaying sharp vision and awareness with the ball in hand. Brother of Fremantle NAB AFL Rising Star winner Caleb, he also was a talented state-level underage cricketer, making a choice in his draft year to pursue AFL. Played seven matches with the Gippsland Power in the NAB League, averaging 16.7 disposals, as well as playing for Victoria Country in Under-19s AFL Challenge match in July.

Jai Serong at the NAB League testing day in Melbourne on March 6, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Rookie Draft 

5. Ned Long