IN MOST games he played this year, Jordan De Goey was able to do something that caught the eye. It might have been a strong mark, a clever goal, a short pass and then a quick sprint to get the ball back, or even a tackle. But there was always something.
De Goey played four games for the Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup last season and showed good signs but stepped it up in 2014.
He broke his wrist over the pre-season and that set back his progress slightly, but he was still able to piece together a very solid campaign for the Chargers and Vic Metro between school commitments with St Kevin's College.
De Goey added a more aggressive streak to his game at under-16 level after some advice from his dad, Roger, and it has been a central reason for his rise as a likely first-round NAB AFL Draft pick.
De Goey plays at a high intensity, all of the time. He's spent this year being tossed around a few different spots, but seems best placed as a rotating medium forward and midfielder, where he can use his smarts and skills.
The best things about De Goey are his competitiveness and decision-making. He's happy to fight for the ball, push others out of the way and do anything to make it his. But when he has the ball he does the right thing with it, sometimes overlooking the obvious option to find another that works out better.
In the midfield De Goey's clean ball-handling and doggedness make him a tough match-up, and in attack he can play as a one-out forward, as a flanker or a crumber and find a way to hit the scoreboard.
Good things tend to happen when De Goey is around the ball, and he knows how to use his body and impact the play. He kicked 14 goals for the Chargers in nine games, including three in the TAC Cup Grand Final when he helped turn the game his team's way.
If he's to move more into the midfield, De Goey will need to pick up a few more disposals. For the Chargers and Vic Metro he only averaged 15 touches a game, and although he's a quality over quantity player at the moment, if he can push that number up a few notches he should be better placed to make an even bigger impact.
He's a bit like Geelong's Josh Caddy in his ability to play across half-forward and push into the midfield, but then wheel around and kick goals. At 187cm, De Goey is a touch taller than the young Cat, which helps his overhead marking (he averaged six marks a game in the TAC Cup), another strong part of his game.
His name sits on some clubs' draft boards inside the first seven or eight selections and he's a likely top-10 pick on Thursday night.
De Goey is a game-breaker who is go, go, go. He mixes a fierce desire with some class, he sees things unfold before others and makes the most of it, and likes being in the thick of the action – whatever role he's playing. Strong, hard-headed and confident, De Goey has a lot to offer.