A FREMANTLE Next Generation Academy prospect has emerged among Western Australia's stack of firing tall forwards.
Eric Benning had a dominant game for Claremont's colts side last weekend, booting four goals from 17 disposals in the best display of his campaign after featuring in Western Australia's recent under-19s trials.
The Dockers will have access to the 197cm Benning outside of the first 20 selections of the NAB AFL Draft, which are protected under NGA rules this season, with WA talent boss Adam Jones saying the Indigenous teenager's development had been impressive.
"He's certainly got a fair bit of upside and being able to acclimatise into Perth he's been really coachable so far. There's a lot of good signs and his position at the next level would be as that forward who is a back-up ruck with a nice leap," Jones said.
Benning's emergence has added to an already strong division of key forwards for the WA state side who, under the AFL's plan, will open the rescheduled NAB AFL Under-19 Championships on August 29 against South Australia in Perth.
East Fremantle forward Jye Amiss kicked six goals against Perth last weekend with one of his most dominant games of a commanding season. The 195cm goalkicker had a season-high 18 disposals and 11 marks as he took his tally to 47 goals and 11 behinds for the season, including 36.8 from set shots.
"He played a little bit higher up the ground and he had a really strong game and again showed his accuracy. He's in some good form and even in our trial game against Perth he was a bit quiet and still ended up having six shots on goal (3.3) so the ball gets attracted to him," Jones said.
"Clubs will be wanting to see him at championships level and if we get that opportunity and he shows what he can do there then he will really put his name up in the top-end of the draft."
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It didn't stop there, with Claremont youngster Jacob van Rooyen having one of the best games of his season with a six-goal haul from 22 disposals against Subiaco. Van Rooyen had been spending time in defence in recent weeks but the 194cm forward moved back to his regular position and showed his hard-working approach up and down the wings.
East Fremantle forward Jack Williams rounded out the run of goalkickers from Western Australia's leading key forward options at this year's draft, with the 195cm prospect showing his overhead marking strength and goalkicking accuracy with a five-goal haul against South Fremantle. He has now booted 29 goals for the colts season.
"In first our trial game we played van Rooyen, Amiss and Williams as forwards and Benning as ruck and they're very smart players and worked really well together," Jones said.
"The next games we moved van Rooyen back and played Benning forward and it's been a good mix for him as well."
Western Australia's run of tall talents will continue into next year, with ruckman Jackson Broadbent recently making his senior debut for Peel Thunder as a 16-year-old a year out from being eligible for the draft. Alex Condon, another standout 201cm prospect, also qualifies for the 2022 pool.