A BACK injury sidelined Caleb Marchbank for most of 2013, but he made up for lost time with a promising draft season.
Marchbank played the first two games of the Murray Bushrangers' TAC Cup season last year and in the second encounter was kneed in the back. It left him with stress fractures, and kept him out of action for six months.
A long rehabilitation process meant Marchbank entered this season feeling confident in his body, and he was able to piece together an impressive block of form in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships for Vic Country.
He won All Australian honours, and was hoping to carry that form into the end of the TAC Cup season before a knee injury ruled him out of the end of the season.
He missed the national combine with the injury but is expected to be back running by the time of November's draft.
He's versatile. Marchbank played much of his junior career as a wingman, including the under-16 championships, but grew a bit and became a mobile defender.
That's where he played his best footy for Vic Country, although he did push forward at times to mark well on the lead and read the ball nicely in the air.
Because of his size (193cm/85kg) and ability to move across the ground, some clubs view him as a tall midfielder at the next level. With his ball handling, smarts and strong marking, you can't pigeonhole Marchbank into one spot.
His versatility and size can be looked upon in the opposite way, with some clubs wondering whether he will be tall enough to hold down a key defensive post.
He's also not overly quick off the mark, but counters that by being able to read the play well and get ahead, in front or around opponents.
The main issue, though, has nothing to do with his talent or size but more about exposed form. Over two years Marchbank hasn't played all that much footy.
Being able to switch to either end makes Marchbank a valuable prospect, and of a similar mould to Collingwood's Ben Reid.
Marchbank is likely to fit somewhere in the first 15 picks, and he has many suitors.
Despite his injuries and limited exposure over the last two seasons, Marchbank has strong appeal. He's a flexible, strong-marking player who can be used at both ends of the ground. There aren't too many prospects who can do it as well as him in this pool.