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Cal Twomey's 2019 Phantom Form Guide: August update

AFL.com.au's draft guru ranks the best young footy talent in the land  - AFL,Draft,AFL Academy,Under-18s
AFL.com.au's draft guru ranks the best young footy talent in the land

AS THE end of the home and away season draws closer, so too does the NAB AFL Draft.

It means it is time to re-evaluate our assessment of this year's draft crop with the second instalment of the Phantom Form Guide for this season.

Given it is such an even group, we have extended the rankings to now include who we view as the best 30 players available around the country.

To be clear, this is AFL.com.au's ranking of the players and it is not a mock draft that is predicting where the players will get picked. That will come later in the year.  

The Form Guide will continue to be updated monthly in the lead-up to November's draft.

1/7/01
178cm/74kg
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Midfielder
July ranking: 1

Rowell remains at the top of the draft tree as he continues to piece together a brilliantly consistent season. There isn't a game the midfielder plays badly. He turns up every week and has an impact, he rarely fumbles and he makes good decisions by foot. He's also able to turn on the afterburners and break away from opponents at the stoppages. He kicked a crunch late goal playing for Carey Grammar on the weekend in his school's premiership win and will be playing regular senior footy next year.  


17/2/01
188cm/86kg
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Midfielder
July Ranking: 2

It's been a super year for Anderson. He captained Vic Metro at the under-18 championships, was named an All Australian after a strong campaign on the wing, and has barely put a foot wrong. The gap between him and his close mate Rowell is minimal. Anderson uses his height, strength and running power to influence games, and he's more than comfortable drifting forward and playing out of the goalsquare too. A natural ball-winner with a desire to always have it in his hands. 

9/2/01
179cm/82kg
Vic Country/Gippsland Power
Midfielder/forward
July ranking: 3

Serong has gone back to school football for Geelong Grammar since his brilliant national carnival for Vic Country, when he was a star in the midfield. The 18-year-old is a short but powerful prospect who impacts games regularly: he has a burst in tight spaces, he fights and contests for possessions, and when he's around goal he is crafty and strong above his head for his size. An AFL pre-season uninterrupted by cricket duties will help his fitness but he has some exciting traits. 

11/4/01
188cm/82kg
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays
Defender
July ranking: 4

Has enjoyed a strong patch of form following a very good under-18 carnival. Playing for the Dandenong Stingrays in the NAB League, Young has spent more time in the midfield and also shifted forward on occasion to be a threat there. He gathered 24 disposals and a goal against Sandringham, had another 26 and 1.2 against Gippsland the following week, and last week picked up 26 touches in their defeat to Eastern. A classy user on his left side and a prospect who can slot into a half-back flank at AFL level.

23/1/01
188cm/85kg
NSW-ACT/GWS Academy
Midfielder
July ranking: 6

A knee injury Green suffered late last month could end his 2019 campaign, with the setback likely to see him miss 4-6 weeks. Even if it means we don't see Green again this season, the midfielder has more than shown enough. Fitter, stronger and able to cover more ground this season, Green was a standout midfielder in the carnival, averaging 24 disposals (16 contested), eight clearances and four tackles for the Allies. A big-bodied midfielder who is tied to Greater Western Sydney's Academy but is widely seen as a top-10 selection.


21/6/01
186cm/80kg
Vic Country/Murray Bushrangers
Defender
July ranking: 5

The speedy half-back has spent some more time in the midfield of late, taking his genuine zip into the engine room. Ash plays well most times he runs onto a field, no matter his position. He stood up at the national carnival as co-captain of Vic Country, taking some of the big moments and making them his. He enjoys tucking the ball under his arm and backing himself to break the lines, and very few can catch Ash when he's darting through traffic. 


1/5/01
193cm/82kg
Vic Country/Bendigo Pioneers
Utility
July ranking: 7

It was a shattering blow for Kemp, who went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament playing for school side Geelong Grammar. The knee reconstruction will see him unavailable until late next year, meaning he will start his AFL career on the sidelines. It was especially disappointing given Kemp had just hit the best form of his season after a brilliant finish to the championships for Vic Country. Kemp had started to show his skills as a strong and tall midfielder with good reach above his head. The injury could shift his draft position slightly but he still looms as a first-round selection.

8/3/01
195cm/86kg
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Key defender/forward
July ranking: 8

Before this year, McAsey had spent most of his life playing as a tall forward. He switched into the backline for his draft year and has blossomed there, winning MVP honours for Vic Metro after a standout championships. But he's not lost his forward craft, and is comfortable playing around goal, where he is good at crashing packs, having strong hands under pressure and creating chances. A versatile option who shapes as the leading tall available.

30/6/01
182cm/80kg
Western Australia/Perth
Midfielder
July ranking: 14

Robertson's shoulder 'popped out' in Western Australia's final game of the championships, but he shrugged off the injury and was a key player in its title-winning effort. It highlighted Robertson's resilience and ability to impact games under duress, but the injury has had consequences, with the Larke medallist requiring a shoulder reconstruction to fix the problem. Robertson had little left to prove after a dominant championships that saw him average 30 disposals, captain his side and also be named skipper of the All Australian line-up. A dogged and consistent midfielder with great hands, with kicking an area he will be working to sharpen.

24/7/01
182cm/81kg
Vic Country/Gippsland Power
Forward/midfielder
July ranking: 10

With 28 disposals, six clearances and a goal against Tasmania two weeks ago, Flanders showed his ability as a pack-busting midfielder. The Gippsland Power product has a burst from the stoppages and has enjoyed a consistent season playing largely in the midfield, and occasionally shifting forward where he has created chances there too. With his size and strength he looks ready to play.

11/4/01
195cm/74kg
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Key defender/forward
July ranking: 11

Shoulder surgery shortly after Vic Metro's under-18 championships finished ended Worrell's season prematurely. It was hoped the intercepting key defender would only miss several weeks with the injury but it instead required a reconstruction, which means he is unlikely to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. Worrell had already shown enough as a marking backman who can cut off opposition forward forays, plus his own form when he's closer to goal, to still be a likely first-round pick.

28/8/01
180cm/67kg
Claremont
Forward
July ranking: 12

The Fremantle Next Generation Academy prospect is another likely early pick to go down with an injury recently, suffering a dislocated kneecap last week playing school football. He will likely miss the rest of the season with the concern. It shouldn't change his draft position, however. Henry has proved himself as the best small forward in the draft, capable of lifting his team with his speed and skill around goal. But he has also shown an ability to push into the midfield more as well.


8/1/01
183cm/70kg
South Australia/Norwood
Midfielder
July ranking: 9

Stephens saved his best game of the championships for last, when he performed well for South Australia against the Allies. He has done some nice things at senior level for Norwood, including a classy goal two weeks ago against North Adelaide that saw him zip away from the centre square, accelerate when under pressure and nail the running shot. Continues to show Andrew Gaff-like tendencies as a run and carry left-footer.


29/9/01
198cm/94kg
Western Australia/East Fremantle
Ruckman
July ranking: 21

It was a standout game for Jackson at colts level last week, with the ruckman getting 25 disposals and having 36 hitouts for East Fremantle. He's had a very strong season and elevated himself to be the premier ruck choice, particularly after a commanding under-18 carnival for Western Australia. Jackson has proved his ability at ground level to not only win his hitouts but follow that up around the ground to be a physical and intimidating presence. A number of clubs rate him as a top-10 pick.

14/1/01
191cm/98kg
South Australia/Glenelg
Defender
July ranking: 13

Has been playing at senior level throughout this season and has continued to show what he does well: rebound off half-back, kick the ball with penetration and match up on senior types. He has as good a CV as any of the draft hopefuls with his back-to-back All Australian jumpers and being a regular senior in the SANFL. Will be fascinating to see where clubs view Gould on draft night given his maturity as a prospect already.

15/1/01
177cm/73kg
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays
Forward
July ranking: 20

A forward dynamo who enjoys flying for marks, kicking goals and making things happen. Weightman has spent some time of late playing on the wing for his school Haileybury College, and has proven his adaptability there. Is best placed as a clever, feisty small forward who can make something from nothing and doesn't waste his chances. Is one of the best small goalkickers in the draft, having been picked as an All Australian following his Vic Country performances.


23/2/01
187cm/80kg
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Midfielder
July ranking: 17

The hard-working and big-bodied midfielder should land at Hawthorn as a father-son pick, following in the steps of his dad Scott, who won two flags for the Hawks. Maginness showed his ability as a clearance-winner and ball-getter in the final game for Vic Metro, having also been a standout earlier in the season for the Sandringham Dragons. Has size and good game sense, and has also shown at different levels he can push forward to hit the scoreboard.

30/9/01
184cm/83kg
South Australia/Woodville-West Torrens
Midfielder
July ranking: 18

The son of Port Adelaide original Darren Mead, the 17-year-old has pieced together a solid season, including winning a spot in the under-18 All Australian team. Mead has some versatility to his game, being used as a ball-winner through the midfield and also an option across half-forward, where his smarts come into play. Likely to attract a bid somewhere in the second round of the draft.

26/2/01
200cm/85kg
Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays
Defender
July ranking: 24

Clubs are very keen on De Koning, who has enjoyed a rise throughout this year as a tall defender. He won a spot in the All Australian backline for his performances for Vic Country while still being a little raw. De Koning is the younger brother of Carlton's Tom. Last weekend he hurt his ankle playing for the Dandenong Stingrays, having missed the previous Stingrays game through illness.

 

3/8/01
185cm/80kg
South Australia/Norwood
Forward
July ranking: 19

The talented forward kicked four goals for Norwood's senior side last month in a promising return to form after what had been a quieter championships for South Australia. Taheny has his mercurial moments, and real speed in attack that gives him a chance around goal. Has versatility but seems most likely to settle into a role in the front half of the ground.

1/5/01
185cm/75kg
Western Australia/Perth
Forward
July ranking: 15

Recruiters know Taylor is a serious talent, and we saw that throughout WA's carnival. He had some brilliantly eye-catching moments in attack, including strong marks, clever goals and also a willingness to push up the ground and use his pace and athleticism. Taylor hasn't found the consistency part yet, but his leap, game sense and creativity makes him a target for clubs. Will be spending some time training with Fremantle in coming weeks.


30/7/01
188cm/85kg
Western Australia/East Fremantle
Defender
July ranking: -

The West Australian medium defender has shown he can also play in the midfield at stages, where his size and shape is beneficial in winning the ball and getting it out. Rivers is a damaging player in that he can hustle opponents out of the contest, get the ball himself and then make things happen from half-back. Averaged 22 disposals at 77 per cent efficiency at the championships to be named an All Australian.

1/7/01
185cm/79kg
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Forward
July ranking: 16

A back issue forced Williams to miss last week's game for the Oakleigh Chargers, in what's been a frustrating season for the goalkicker. He was sore throughout the under-18 championships for Vic Metro, and hasn't really hit top gear for the Chargers since then either, apart from a five-goal effort against the Geelong Falcons last month. Williams has genuine ability and can turn games his side's way, but will be hoping for a bigger impact in Oakleigh's finals series. 

25/2/01
194cm/75kg
Vic Metro/Calder Cannons
Forward
July ranking: 23

An agile and athletic tall forward who has plenty of upside. At this stage he is lean, meaning Jones' best work is often done on the lead or in space, but he reads the play very well and has the height and temperament to develop into a nice option. In a draft that isn't overflowing with tall forwards, Jones is a promising option. He kicked two goals for the Calder Cannons a fortnight ago against the Bendigo Pioneers.

5/6/01
187cm/70kg
South Australia/West Adelaide
Defender
July ranking: 25

A smart and creative half-back who reads the play well and delivers the ball with class. Day knows the balance between rebounding and creating, and then shutting down his opponent and he backs himself to kickstart his team's ball movement. The cousin of Gold Coast key forward Sam Day comes from an elite baseball background.

20/1/01
178cm/67kg
Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Defender/midfielder
July ranking: -

After a slower start to the national carnival, Bianco lifted in the latter stages of Vic Metro's carnival, including impressing in its win over South Australia. The Oakleigh Charger has played in a number of roles across the season, but appears best placed as a user out of half-back, where his vision, game sense and foot skills come to the fore. Bianco missed last week's game for Oakleigh with a quad concern.

 

17/1/01
188cm/83kg
Vic Country/Geelong Falcons
Midfielder
July ranking: -

The Geelong Falcons prospect has been sidelined since April after breaking his leg. It was a blow for the inside midfielder, who missed playing for Vic Country at the under-18 championships, having represented them as a bottom-ager last season. He's hard and tough and brutish around the ball and some clubs viewed him as a first-rounder before the injury. They'll be scouring last year's vision to assess where he sits in this year's pool.

13/3/01
188cm/81kg
Vic Country/Gippsland Power
Defender
July ranking: -

There have been plenty of forwards this year who have battled when matched up against Smith. The Gippsland Power captain is a general in the backline: he can take on a range of differently sized forwards and lock down, plus he also provides direction from defence and some rebound. Smith might not have the flashy qualities of other players but he's tough, hard and uncompromising, and he hates his opponent getting a touch.

21/2/01
180cm/78kg
South Australia/Woodville West Torrens
Midfielder
July ranking: -

A midfielder who has risen up the ranks as the season has developed. Schoenberg started the year off the radar but with a strong pre-season run of form lifted himself into South Australia's squad for the under-18 carnival. He didn't let anyone down there, becoming probably its most consistent ball-getter at that level. A player who has a good balance of possessions and can be relied upon.

18/10/01
186cm/75kg
Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Midfielder/forward
July ranking: -

Bergman was one of the players to significantly lift his stocks throughout the mid-season carnival. He excited across his games with Vic Metro, playing as a wingman or forward and showing his ability in the air and at ground level. Has agility and a turn of pace, and played well this week at school level, continuing what has been a strong season for him. A big finish to the year for the Dragons could elevate Bergman further.