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COMMENT: Why the 'Gibbons rule' ticks every box

The AFL's latest player movement rule keeps players' dreams alive and gets the fans talking, writes Marc McGowan

6:07pm  Feb 17, 2019

The powerful ex-WAFL mid who could become a Hawk

Luke Meadows looms as a mature-age depth option to fill Tom Mitchell's place on Hawthorn's list

3:41pm  Feb 13, 2019

Top draft talent to be showcased against VFL Demons

The nation's best under-18 players will take on the Casey Demons at the MCG in April

3:06pm  Feb 13, 2019

Mid-season draft: When is it and how will it work?

Seven clubs currently have list spots available and will be able to take part in the draft

11:59pm  Feb 7, 2019

Academy prospects: Who's eligible for your club in 2019?

There are likely to be fewer top-end Academy picks in this year's draft, but there are still some decent prospects

2:57pm  Feb 7, 2019

2019 bloodline prospects: Who's eligible for your club?

Draft guru Callum Twomey looks at this year's contenders and hard-luck stories

3:21pm  Feb 6, 2019

AFLX mock draft: We help out Paddy, Jack, Nat and Eddie

Who would you pick if you could choose any AFL player for your team?

6:45am  Jan 30, 2019

Mature-age Saints speedster bolts into R1 calculations

Former Essendon VFL player stars on track and impresses coaches

6:06pm  Jan 24, 2019

High-end draft talent won't be gifted games at Suns: Dew

Gold Coast coach says players won't be played on the fear they would leave

5:23pm  Jan 24, 2019

Appy days as AFL looks to boost interest in draft

The AFL will launch a new app focused on the NAB AFL Draft

1:57pm  Jan 23, 2019

AFL Exchange meets RTTD: Your club’s Christmas wish list

Nat Edwards, Cal Twomey and Matt Thompson discuss what Santa should consider

3:54pm  Dec 18, 2018

Draft prospect to miss 2019 after cruel ACL blow

Flynn Perez is set to miss all of next season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at Vic Country training

11:58am  Dec 17, 2018

Inside the NAB AFL Draft Combine

Standing vertical jump

It's no surprise that players like Nic Naitanui stand near the top of the rankings in this one. A simple test of footy's spring-heeled, the vertical jump requires players to take off from two feet with no preliminary steps or shuffling. A Yardstick measuring device determines their leap, with the height reached subtracted from the players' standing reach height to give the relative jump result.

Top Combine performances (cm)
Jordan Gallucci 89 2016
Marvin Baynham 88 2014
Dean Towers 85 2012
Jesse Lonergan 83 2012
Spencer White 82 2012
Eric Wallace 80 2012
Kade Kolodjashnij 79 2013
Nic Naitanui 78 2008
Elliot Yeo 78 2011
Nathan Drummond 76 2014
Jarrod Garlett 76 2014
Esava Ratugolea 76 2016

 

Running vertical jump

We've all tried this one, taking a running leap and trying to go vertical, like a rocket. In this test, a player stands five metres to the side of the measuring apparatus (called a Vertec) and takes a straight-line approach, jumping vertically off his outside leg and reaching as high as possible with the inside hand. The action is similar to what a ruckman attempts to do at a bounce.

The player aims to tap the rotating 'fingers' of the Vertec to the side with his outstretched hand at the maximum height of the jump. He takes three jumps from each side: when he takes off using his left leg he uses his right hand, and vice-versa.

Top national Combine performances (cm)
Jared Brennan 102 2002
Nic Naitanui 102 2008
Evan Bruinsma 97 2014
Kade Kolodjashnij 97 2013
Lachlan Tiziani 97 2015
Andrew McGrath 96 2016
Marvin Baynham 95 2014
Shai Bolton 94 2016
Daniel McKenzie 94 2014
Gach Nyuon 94 2015

 

20-metre sprint

This one's all about speed. The player starts in the 'crouch' or ready position and sprints as fast as possible, making sure he doesn't decelerate before reaching the final gate. Each player is allowed three attempts (with at least two minutes' break between each) and his best times for the 5-, 10- and 20-metre sectors are recorded, regardless of which attempt they were from.

Top Combine performances (seconds)
Joel Wilkinson 2.75 2010
Jonathan Marsh 2.78 2013
Danyle Pearce 2.79 2004
Ashley Smith 2.80 2008
Marvin Baynham 2.81 2014
Nathan Freeman 2.82 2013
Jack Watts 2.82 2008

 

Agility test

Footy at the elite level requires all sorts of skills but agility is one of most important. In this test, the player starts from an upright position in line with the start gate. The idea is to weave in and out of the poles – without touching or knocking them over – and get to the end of the course as quickly as possible.

A run will be stopped and restarted if the player touches or knocks over any pole. Players run the course three times at maximum effort (with 2-3 minutes recovery between tests). The best of the three times is recorded.

Top Combine performances (seconds)
Stephen Hill 7.77 2008
Danyle Pearce 7.79 2004
Nathan van Berlo 7.80 2004
Elliot Yeo 7.80 2011
Ahmed Saad 7.86 2011
David Armitage 7.88 2006
Kieran Lovell 7.90 2015
Billie Smedts 7.90 2010
Aaron Joseph 7.91 2007

 

6x30m repeat sprint

This test measures speed and endurance, two critical requirements for AFL players. It is usually conducted on a polished wooden floor or on a synthetic indoor track. The players' cumulative times for the six sprints are recorded.

Top Combine performances (seconds)
Joel Wilkinson 23.40 2010
Brad Harvey 23.46 2010
Shaun Atley 23.69 2010
Kieran Harper 23.84 2010
Jack Fitzpatrick 23.91 2009
Nakia Cockatoo 23.93 2014
Nathan Drummond 23.95 2014
Patrick Dangerfield 23.96 2007
Cyril Rioli 24.01 2007

 

20-metre shuttle run (beep test)

One of the most challenging of the tests, this one has an element of Charles Darwin's theory attached: players are progressively eliminated and only the very fittest reach the upper levels.

The test starts at Level 1, with the final speed known as Level 21 (not yet attained by an AFL prospect).

The idea is for the player to finish each 20-metre leg (running back and forth) before he hears a beep; the test progresses the time between beeps decreases. Judges watch to provide warnings and ultimately signal when players have failed to beat the beep.

Top Combine performances (level)
Billy Hartung 16.06 2013
Joshua Schoenfeld 16.02 2015
Caleb Daniel 16.01 2014
Bradley Hill 16.01 2011
Jack Hiscox 16.01 2014
Will Hoskin-Elliott 15.12 2011
Nathan Drummond 15.09 2014
Tom Sheridan 15.07 2010
Jake Barrett 15.06 2013
Jarrad McVeigh 15.06 2002

 

3km time trial

This one's simple: players get one shot at 3000 metres, usually run around a track (7.5 laps of a 400-metre track is ideal). Testing is generally limited to groups of 10-20, with judges around the track to give runners an indication of laps completed or remaining and elapsed time.

Top Combine performances (minutes/seconds)
Joshua Schoenfeld 9.15 2015
Jack Hiscox 9.17 2014
Josh Kelly 9.32 2013
Tim Houlihan 9.37 2006
Tom Lamb 9.45 2014
Jarrod Berry 9.46 2016
Nick Robertson 9.46 2013
Thomas Jok 9.47 2015
Tom Williamson 9.50 2016
Dylan Clarke 9.52 2016
Bradley Hill 9.52 2011
Will Hoskin-Elliott 9.53 2011
Alex Neal-Bullen 9.54 2014

 

Nathan Buckley kicking test

The test should be conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots.

Each player takes six kicks form various distances and angles. He receives the ball from a caller, who then randomly requests a specific kick (20 metres left or right, 30 metres left or right and 40 metres left or right) be made to a target judge.

The player has 25 seconds to complete the six kicks and is allocated between 1 (for a poor kick) and 5 (excellent) points for each kick.

Matthew Lloyd clean hands test

The test should be conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots. It requires six takes and six handballs and must be completed in a maximum of 35 seconds.

The player takes the ball and then receives a random instruction from a caller; he must then handball (6 metres left or right, 8 metres left or right and 10 metres left or right) to a target. The ball will be kicked to him three times and rolled at him three times. The player must jog back to the starting point after each handball. He is allocated between 1 (for a poor handball) and 5 (excellent) points for each handball.

Brad Johnson goalkicking test

The test should be conducted on an oval with players wearing football boots. Four 'man on the mark' apparatus and goalposts are required. The apparatus are set up at various distances from goal and on specific angles. The player is required to take five kicks for goal: two set shots, a right-foot snap, a left-foot snap and a kick on the run. He must complete the test in a maximum of 50 seconds.

Scoring is based on how many goals and behinds players kick; a goal is only awarded if the ball goes between the two posts and above a 2.5-metre height marker.