Casey Voss – “more than worthy” target

Submitted by Peter Blucher

Former Sydney Swans premiership player Martin Mattner has endorsed Casey Voss as a “more than worthy” target for the upcoming AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.

Mattner, coaching Voss at SANFL club Sturt, was speaking after the 21-year-old son of Michael Voss was best afield for South Australia in their four-point win over Western Australia in Perth last Sunday.

Voss, playing at half back, had 29 disposals, 15 marks and four rebound 50s in his senior interstate debut and the biggest match of his career.

It came after he won the Sturt Best & Fairest Award last year and was chosen in the SANFL Team of the Year, and justified his decision to stay in Adelaide and play again with Sturt despite the fact that the rest of his family moved to Melbourne after his first won the senior coaching role at Carlton.

Mattner, who pushed the Voss case ahead of last year’s National Draft, said his standout performance at the next level was confirmation that he is worth a punt in the Mid-Season Draft.

“He is one of the smartest players I have ever seen play the game of footy. That is AFL, SANFL, everything,” said Mattner.

“His vision with the ball in hand and his is ability to read the play, intercept mark and rebound out of defence or go inside 50m are fantastic. He just knows how to find the footy, he defends really well and he is a ripping kid.

“If he gets a chance I just know he’ll find a way to make. He’s got all the attributes and is a real competitor.”

The Mid-Season Rookie Draft, reintroduced to the AFL on 27 May 2019, will be held on 1 June this year.

Already there is overwhelming evidence of it’s worth, with Richmond’s Marlion Pickett, who debuted in the 2019 AFL grand final, and Collingwood’s John Noble, son of North Melbourne coach David Noble, among the first intake of 10 players. Pickett has now played 45 AFL games and Noble 53 games.

From the same crop, Ryan Gardner, thrown a lifeline after being delisted by Geelong without playing a game, has played 17 games with the Western Bulldogs, and Will Snelling, cut after one game by Port Adelaide, has now played 41 games at Essendon.

After the 2020 MSRD was cancelled when there was no second-tier football played due to Covid, the 2021 MSRD saw 21 players taken – eight who have played.

They are Hawthorn’s Jai Newcombe (16 games), Essendon’s Sam Durham (14), West Coast’s Connor Stone (11), St.Kilda’s Cooper Sharman (7), GWS’ James Peatling (6), Port’s Jed McEntee (4), Collingwood’s Aiden Begg (3) and Carlton’s Jordan Boyd (2).

To be eligible to participate a club must have a vacant spot on their active playing list.

Already Michael Voss has ruled out the Blues taking his son next month.

“I think on his body of work he deserves a chance but we won’t be taking him – it’s too much of a conflict and wouldn’t be fair on Casey,” he said.

Voss Snr could not watch Voss Jnr strut his stuff in the interstate game on Sunday because Carlton were playing at the same time, but was delighted to receive news of it immediately after.

In his second stint as an AFL coach, Voss has a rejuvenated Carlton sitting equal third on the ladder – fourth on percentages – with a 6-2 win/loss record.

It is the first time the Blues have been in the top four at Round 9 or later in a season since 2011.

Peter Blucher is a Consultant with Vivid Sport


Michael Voss of the Brisbane Lions celebrates with his son Casey after winning the 2001 AFL Grand Final between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2001.

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