With the NAB AFL Draft just four days away, we thought we would look at some of the other Queensland Academy contenders from 2015 that are all a chance to be picked up next Tuesday night, or in the rookie draft in December.
Buzza quickly took over the mantle as the key forward in this year’s Queensland team, as his confidence grew every time he pulled on the Q jumper. At 198cm, his height makes him a difficult match up for anyone, proven with a best on ground five-goal haul against the Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup earlier in the year. Could be a very strong option as a second tall down forward at most AFL clubs.
Nick Weller is an electric, medium sized midfielder, who can also be damaging at both ends of the ground. His first few steps break lines, proven with his 20-metre sprint time of 2.86 seconds at the State Combine, faster than anyone at the National Combine. Weller has a lot of X factor about him, but is more than just a flashy player; he is someone you can trust with the ball in hand.
Dyson Budarick is your classic in and under midfielder who loves the contested stuff. Wins his own footy, but then is very damaging when he takes off. Budarick was one of the first picked in the Queensland midfield this year, but also impressed for the SUNS at NEAFL level, and was a part of Labrador’s QAFL senior premiership. Will improve any AFL teams contested ball stats if picked.
Jesse Joyce is a very classy backman who sets the play by foot on either side. He was the catalyst to a lot of Queensland’s run this year from the half back line, their biggest strength throughout 2015. Joyce impressed this year playing with the SUNS at NEAFL level, and performed well at the state combine. You rarely see Jesse brought down in a tackle due to his fantastic core strength and evasive skills.
At 189cm, Spencer is able to hold a key defensive post, but still have a very big impact with ball in hand. He took the points in nearly all of his one-on-one battles this year throughout the TAC Cup and National Championships. For a guy his size, his skills below his knees are still top shelf. Spencer has the ability to take a key forward, but also lock down on the floating third tall that most AFL teams employ.
By Andrew Wiles