THERE was a moment over summer when Dillon Viojo-Rainbow wasn't sure how much football his under-18 season would hold.
After some soreness in his back, Viojo-Rainbow had scans that revealed a spinal defect. It was found he is missing bits of bone in his back, an abnormality he was encouraged to overcome with more pilates sessions, rehabilitation and management.
The attacking half-back not only worked diligently overcome the concern, but also put his name forward for this year's NAB AFL Draft with a season full of promise.
The rebounding left-footer played 12 games for the Western Jets in the TAC Cup and averaged 17 disposals, and also featured prominently in Vic Metro's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.
An energetic, positive character, Viojo-Rainbow has taken his chance to show recruiters his attributes.
The recurring image of Viojo-Rainbow's season is the 18-year-old busting out of the back half, taking a bounce or two, and then hitting a leading target on his left side.
Viojo-Rainbow makes good decisions when in possession, and can also shift forward and use his damaging skills closer to goal.
He ranked highly for his endurance at last month's NAB AFL Draft Combine, running 11:04 for the 3km time trial and reaching level 14.4 in the beep test.
But there is no doubt it is Viojo-Rainbow's ball use – by hand and foot – which sits as his No.1 trait and he's a nice size (185cm, 80kg) for his position.
A few inconsistent spots punctuated Viojo-Rainbow's season. There are times in games where he doesn't have an impact, and he's hard to notice. Invariably a spearing kick or dashing run breaks those passages, but it's still something to work on so he can produce stronger all-round games.
His run, drive and piercing left foot draws comparisons to Essendon defender Michael Hibberd. Viojo-Rainbow's ability to push up to the wing and get involved there is also important and he can mark the ball overhead or jump in for a spoil.
It's likely he sits somewhere in the 20-40 bracket of selections, a pretty even part of this year's draft.
Give Viojo-Rainbow some room and he'll make the most of it. He loves to swing on to his left foot and make the play. He's a lively prospect who wants to be involved in the game as much he can, and enjoys streaming forward with the ball.