Some of Queensland’s top NEAFL talents were put through their paces at the first NEAFL combine.
While most of Queensland was sunning itself on a beach, 25 of the state’s top NEAFL players were put to the test at the inaugural NEAFL combine.
The footballers’ skills and fitness were tested, with a number of AFL recruiters watching on and the results to be sent to AFL clubs.
In typical Brisbane summer conditions, the players underwent a clean hands and kicking test, as well as the vertical leap, 20m sprint, agility and the beep test.
There were plenty of surprises throughout the day, with a number of the invitees impressing.
While a few of the players were a bit rusty having not picked up a footy since the season ended, Aspley’s James Ives shook off the cobwebs with ease in the kicking test, with a high score of 20, out of a possible 30, one ahead of Redland’s Steve Gaertner.
Southport’s John Macansh and Morningside’s Scott Clarke and Labrador’s Todd Grayson were the best in the clean hands test, with 29 from a possible 30 points.
Grayson was one of the top performers on the day, finishing top three in the beep test and among the best in the 20m sprint.
The 22 year-old shook off some past misconceptions off with his results, AFL Talent Academies Manager for QLD and NSW, Mark Browning, said.
“When he was at the SUNS in the TAC Cup and the VFL, probably people questioned his pace and his kicking,” he said.
“I think some of the recruiters might’ve gone, “Gee, he’s a good player but he hasn’t got a lot of leg speed,”
“Well, today proved he has got leg speed.
“So, even if he doesn’t get drafted this year, we’ll now have that information to give to recruiters in the future, which is invaluable.”
Redland’s Blake Grewar showed an incredible leap in the vertical jump tests.
At only 180.5cm, Grewar finished with a 79cm standing vertical jump, the highest of the group.
In the running vertical jump, the Bomber nabbed the best score off his right foot, with an 87cm relative leap, and picked up the second best on the left, with 91cm.
It was another medium-sized player who took out the left leg, with Morningside’s Jesse Wallin recording a 97cm relative jump.
Southport’s Eddie Mallan pulled a rabbit out of the hat, with a 2.87sec 20m-sprint time.
“I think that’s the best I’ve ever gone, “ he said.
“ I haven’t done it in a few years but I was hoping it would be my best test today.”
Mallan was one of five who ran sub-three seconds in the 20m sprint, along with Todd Grayson (2.96), Jesse Wallin (2.98), Regan Salter (2.98) and Gaertner (2.99).
Southport’s Salter was the best in the agility test, with a time of 7.73 seconds, ahead of Henry Joyce who ran 7.87.
In the beep test, the most-feared test of the lot, it was Adam Spackman who outlasted the rest of the group.
Spackman finished on 14.10, with Joyce one back on 14.9 and Mallan exiting at 14.6
Browning said the first NEAFL combine had gone well, and was a crucial first step in the league’s greater focus on developing talent and ultimately, getting players drafted.
“If we get one person rookie-listed or drafted (from this) that will be a bonus,” he said.
“I think there were a few (AFL) clubs that was terrific.
“One reason we did this was to get the information out there and get them exposed to the recruiters, but we also wanted to show the players that, with the revamped NEAFL, we’re fair dinkum about trying to lift the standard of everything we do.”
TOP PERFORMERS IN THE NEAFL COMBINE
Kicking efficiency Test
1. James Ives (Aspley) – 20
2. Steven Gaertner (Redland) – 19
3. John Macansh (Southport) – 17
4. Stephen Thynne (Southport) – 17
5. Declan Bevan (Aspley) – 16
6. Jesse Wallin (Morningside) – 16
Clean Hands Test
1. John Macansh ( Southport) – 29
2. Todd Grayson ( Labrador) – 29
3. Adam Clarke ( Labrador) – 29
4. Regan Salter (Southport) – 28
5. James Ives (Aspley) – 28
6. Henry Joyce (Morningside) – 28
Vertical Jump (Standing)
1. Blake Grewar (Redland) – 79cm
2. Jesse Wallin ( Morningside) – 78cm
3. John Macansh (Southport) – 73cm
4. Adam Eckermann (Mt Gravatt) – 72cm
5. Stephen Thynne ( Southport) – 72cm
6. Todd Grayson ( Labrador) – 72cm
Vertical Jump (Running) Left foot
1. Jesse Wallin (Morningside) – 97cm
2. Blake Grewar (Redland) – 91cm
3. Steven Gaertner (Redland) – 87cm
4. John Macansh (Southport) – 87cm
5. Todd Grayson ( Labrador) – 87cm
Vertical Jump (Running) Right foot
1. Blake Grewar ( Redland) – 87cm
2. Steve Gaertner (Redland) – 77cm
3. Stephen Thynne (Southport) – 77cm
4. Adam Eckermann ( Mt Gravatt) – 73cm
5. Henry Joyce (Morningside) – 72cm
1. Regan Salter (Southport) – 7.73 sec
2. Henry Joyce (Morningside) – 7.87 sec
3. John Macansh (Southport) – 7.91 sec
4. Scott Clarke (Morningside) – 8.04 sec
5. Adam Eckermann (Mt Gravatt) – 8.12 sec
1. Eddie Mallan ( Southport) – 2.87 sec
2. Todd Grayson (Labrador) – 2.96 sec
3. Jesse Wallin (Morningside) – 2.98 sec
4. Regan Salter (Southport) – 2.98 sec
5. Steven Gaertner (Redland) 2.99 sec
1. Adam Spackman (Morningside) – 14.10
2. Henry Joyce (Morningside) – 14.9
3. Eddie Mallan (Southport) – 14.6
4. Todd Grayson (Labrador) – 14.5
5. Josh Wagner (Aspley) – 14.3