THE CHALLENGES of this season means many draftees are viewed evenly in this year's group. So much so, that when we released this week's latest update of the Phantom Form Guide, there were several players unlucky not to feature in the top 25.
So for the first time, we're doing a Form Guide extra. This is 15 of the next best players in this year's NAB AFL Draft pool. They are not ranked but listed alphabetically, with several in contention of breaking into the next Phantom Form Guide update.
PHANTOM FORM GUIDE Cal Twomey ranks the top 25 draft prospects
Gippsland Power/Vic Country
Berry put plenty into his under-17s year and came out of it with a reputation as a hard-working, tough, competitive inside midfielder. The Gippsland prospect played 10 games with the Power and averaged 18 disposals and seven tackles. He's a powerful teenager who enjoys fighting for contested disposals.
Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro
Bowey's weapon is his kicking. The light-bodied midfielder is an elite user by foot, spotting up targets with precision and able to bring teammates into the game with his kicking to space. He played 16 games for the Dragons last year and averaged 16 disposals, and he carries speed and an ability to evade traffic and get past opponents. The son of former St Kilda rover Brett Bowey doesn't qualify for father-son status at the club.
Calder Cannons/Vic Metro
A member of Essendon's Next Generation Academy who grew up idolising Dustin Fletcher, Brand is a tall defender who can shut down opponents and also make an impact in the air. Brand showed some good signs last year as a developing key position prospect and can head to the Bombers under Academy rules.
Coleman finished his year on a high, helping Morningside win the senior QAFL Grand Final with a stellar showing that had him as one of the best players on the ground. The young forward gave a glimpse of his talents with speed and excitement in attack. The younger brother of Brisbane's Keidean Coleman can also join the Lions as an Academy pick.
South Adelaide/Western Australia
Dumesny is a versatile player, able to swing into a range of roles and fulfil them well. He is good above his head and marks well, and given his height he can be used across half-back and the wing. He has played at senior level this season for South Adelaide and can deliver the ball well from the back half.
Central District/South Australia
Some injury concerns limited him at stages this season, but in between Durdin highlighted his capabilities as a small forward/midfielder. He played at senior level for Centrals and provided some buzz with his handy goal sense and good skills in attack, and rarely fumbles at ground level.
The son of Crows premiership star Tyson had a solid season in the SANFL, playing a mix of senior, reserves and under-18 level footy. He is a midfielder who had good exposure last season as a bottom-ager, where he played in South Australia's under-18 championships and averaged 19 disposals. Has also played across half-back. Is eligible to join Adelaide as a father-son but is weighing up nominating or not.
South Fremantle/Western Australia
Neale is one of the premier ruck/forward options in this year's draft group. He had a solid season for South Fremantle's colts side, including in the second last round of the season when he had 32 hitouts and 13 disposals. Lean and athletic, Neale uses the ball well and can get around the ground, evidenced by his 6:35 minute run in the 2km time trial in the WA Combine (fifth overall).
North Adelaide/South Australia
Newchurch is very exciting when he's at his best, which we saw late in the year on a couple of occasions. His three-goal effort against Glenelg was full of highlights, while he finished his season with a four-goal bag against South Adelaide. Likely to fit into the draft after the pick 30 range, Newchurch can join the Crows as a Next Generation Academy pick.
The big-bodied midfielder tested well at the recent WA NAB AFL Draft Combine, finishing second in the 20 metre sprint (2.931 seconds) and 2km time trial (6:23 minutes) and winning the agility test (8.13 seconds). He worked into the season with Perth, finishing the year in the senior side, including a standout game against Subiaco when he picked up 20 disposals.
Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia
Poulter started the season in flying form for the Eagles and has continued at a good level, with his penetrating left-foot kicking making him a damaging player in the middle and when he floats forward. The 17-year-old had 20 disposals in the Eagles' semi-final win last week.
Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro
Stone made an immediate impression at NAB League level last year, booting five goals in his debut for the Chargers against the Murray Bushrangers. The medium and powerful forward remained a part of the Chargers' line-up from then on, including kicking two goals in their preliminary final against Sandringham and featuring in their Grand Final win a week later. Stone is a natural footballer who could have shot up the ranks this year.
East Fremantle/Western Australia
The Fremantle Next Generation Academy has had an impressive run of form in the back end of the season that could see him attract a second-round bid at the draft. Walker is a classy mover who carries the ball, doesn't waste his disposals and can set up a game from half-back.
Geelong Falcons/Vic Country
An aggressive, competitive big man who enjoys to follow up at ground level after the ruck contests. Walsh led Vic Country's midfield in the ruck last season as a bottom-ager and has added strength and size to his frame this year. The younger brother of Carlton's No.1 pick Sam.
Western's season finished last week as Claremont lost the under-18s Grand Final to Subiaco. Western was one of his side's best players, gathering 25 disposals to end his impressive campaign on a high. Western averaged 22 disposals from seven games this year in an interrupted season but showed his dash and is eligible to join Fremantle under the Next Generation Academy rules.