NAB AFL Draft Combine

About the Draft Combine and Records

Standing vertical jump

It's no surprise that players like Nic Naitanui stand near the top of the rankings in this one. A simple test of footy's spring-heeled, the vertical jump requires players to take off from two feet with no preliminary steps or shuffling. A Yardstick measuring device determines their leap, with the height reached subtracted from the players' standing reach height to give the relative jump result.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (CM)
Aiden Bonar 89 2017
Marvin Baynham 88 2014
Jordan Gallucci 87 2015
Dean Towers 85 2012
Jesse Lonergan 83 2012
Kyron Hayden 82 2017
Spencer White 82 2012
Ben Paton 80 2017
Eric Wallace 80 2012
Harrison Jones 79 2017
Kade Kolodjashnij 79 2013
Nic Naitanui 78 2008

Running vertical jump

We've all tried this one, taking a running leap and trying to go vertical, like a rocket. In this test, a player stands five metres to the side of the measuring apparatus (called a Vertec) and takes a straight-line approach, jumping vertically off his outside leg and reaching as high as possible with the inside hand. The action is similar to what a ruckman attempts to do at a bounce.

The player aims to tap the rotating 'fingers' of the Vertec to the side with his outstretched hand at the maximum height of the jump. He takes three jumps from each side: when he takes off using his left leg he uses his right hand, and vice-versa.

TOP NATIONAL COMBINE PERFORMANCES (CM)
Leek Alleer 107 2021
Kyron Hayden 103 2017
Jared Brennan 102 2002
Nic Naitanui 102 2008
Corey Warner 100 2021
Ben Paton 99 2017
Evan Bruinsma 97 2014
Kade Kolodjashnij 97 2013
Lachlan Tiziani 97 2015
Andrew McGrath 96 2016
Ryley Stoddart 96 2017
Marvin Baynham 95 2014

20-metre sprint

This one's all about speed. The player starts in the 'crouch' or ready position and sprints as fast as possible, making sure he doesn't decelerate before reaching the final gate. Each player is allowed three attempts (with at least two minutes' break between each) and his best times for the 5-, 10- and 20-metre sectors are recorded, regardless of which attempt they were from.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (SECONDS)
Joel Wilkinson 2.75 2010
Jonathan Marsh 2.78 2013
Danyle Pearce 2.79 2004
Ashley Smith 2.80 2008
Marvin Baynham 2.81 2014
Nathan Freeman 2.82 2013
Jack Watts 2.82 2008

Agility test

Footy at the elite level requires all sorts of skills but agility is one of most important. In this test, the player starts from an upright position in line with the start gate. The idea is to weave in and out of the poles – without touching or knocking them over – and get to the end of the course as quickly as possible.

A run will be stopped and restarted if the player touches or knocks over any pole. Players run the course three times at maximum effort (with 2-3 minutes recovery between tests). The best of the three times is recorded.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (SECONDS)
Stephen Hill 7.77 2008
Danyle Pearce 7.79 2004
Nathan van Berlo 7.80 2004
Elliot Yeo 7.80 2011
Ahmed Saad 7.86 2011
David Armitage 7.88 2006
Kieran Lovell 7.90 2015
Billie Smedts 7.90 2010
Aaron Joseph 7.91 2007

2km time trial

The 3000m was trimmed to 2000 metres in 2017 which is why the records below are all post that year. You can see the 3000m records below. Testing is generally limited to groups of 10-20, with judges around the track to give runners an indication of laps completed or remaining and elapsed time. *In 2021 due to COVID, some of the times were recorded on the running app Strava. They are denoted with an asterisk. 

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (MINUTES/SECONDS)
Harry Sharp 5:28 2020
Cooper Hamilton 5:48 2021
Jay Rentall 5:50 2019
Finn Maginness 5:51 2019
Fraser Rosman  5:52 2020
Josh Ward 5:57* 2021
Hamish Sinott 5:58 2021
Josh Fahey 5:59* 2021
Dylan Stephens 6:01 2019

Other tests formerly conducted in the NAB AFL Draft Combine

20-metre shuttle run (beep test)

Scrapped in 2017, it was one of the most challenging tests with players progressively eliminated. Only the very fittest reach the upper levels.

The test starts at Level 1, with the final speed known as Level 21 (not attained by an AFL prospect).

The idea is for the player to finish each 20-metre leg (running back and forth) before he hears a beep; the test progresses the time between beeps decreases. Judges watch to provide warnings and ultimately signal when players have failed to beat the beep.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (LEVEL)
Billy Hartung 16.06 2013
Joshua Schoenfeld 16.02 2015
Caleb Daniel 16.01 2014
Bradley Hill 16.01 2011
Jack Hiscox 16.01 2014
Will Hoskin-Elliott 15.12 2011
Nathan Drummond 15.09 2014
Tom Sheridan 15.07 2010
Jake Barrett 15.06 2013
Jarrad McVeigh 15.06 2002

3km time trial

The 3000 metres was trimmed to a 2km event in 2017. Typically run on 400m track, it was 7.5 laps of that track. Testing was generally limited to groups of 10-20.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (MINUTES/SECONDS)
Joshua Schoenfeld 9.15 2015
Jack Hiscox 9.17 2014
Josh Kelly 9.32 2013
Tim Houlihan 9.37 2006
Tom Lamb 9.45 2014
Jarrod Berry 9.46 2016
Nick Robertson 9.46 2013
Thomas Jok 9.47 2015
Tom Williamson 9.50 2016
Dylan Clarke 9.52 2016
Bradley Hill 9.52 2011
Will Hoskin-Elliott 9.53 2011
Alex Neal-Bullen 9.54 2014

 

Yo- Yo Test

In 2017 the Yo-Yo test replaced the beep test, after the latter was found to be not the best indicator of fitness for team sports. 

The Yo-Yo has similarities to the gruelling beep test in that players will need to run between cones that are 20m apart at timed intervals. Participants have a 10-second recovery period between the 20m sprints where they are required to jog to another cone and then back to the starting point before the next shuttle begins.

A prospect's score in the Yo-Yo test can be presented in total distance run, the level achieved or his maximum rate of oxygen consumption. The Yo-Yo is shown to be a reliable indicator of high-intensity aerobic capacity in athletes.

TOP COMBINE PERFORMANCES (SHUTTLES)
Andrew Brayshaw   22.4  2017
Dylan Moore   22.3  2017
Edward McHenry   22.2  2018
Sam Walsh  22.1  2018
Luke English  22.1  2018

 

 

Nathan Buckley kicking test

The test was conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots.

Each player took six kicks form various distances and angles. The player received the ball from a caller, who then randomly requested a specific kick (20 metres left or right, 30 metres left or right and 40 metres left or right) to be made to a target judge.

The player had 25 seconds to complete the six kicks and was allocated between 1 (for a poor kick) and 5 (excellent) points for each kick.

Matthew Lloyd clean hands test

This test was also scrapped during the 2017 overhaul. It was conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots. It required six takes and six handballs and had to be completed in a maximum of 35 seconds.

The player took the ball and then received a random instruction from a caller; the player would then handball (6 metres left or right, 8 metres left or right and 10 metres left or right) to a target. The ball would be kicked to the player three times and rolled out three times. The player had to jog back to the starting point after each handball. Points were awarded between 1-5 on the quality of the handball: one for a poor handball and five for excellent.

Brad Johnson goalkicking test

The test was conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots. Four 'man on the mark' apparatus and goalposts are required. The apparatus was set up at various distances from goal and on specific angles. The player was required to take five kicks for goal: two set shots, a right-foot snap, a left-foot snap and a kick on the run. The player had to complete the test in a maximum of 50 seconds.

Scoring was based on how many goals and behinds a player kicked; a goal was only awarded if the ball went between the two posts and above a 2.5-metre height marker.