Everyone wants to know… Who are the Rookie Defenders to Watch in 2014?
Who is this year’s Brett Goodes, Dean Terlich and Nick Vlastiun going to be? Who should we be watching through the NAB cup? Pick these guys, watch them carefully, hope for no injuries, and hope they are named in their respective teams for Round 1.
KADE KOLODJASHNIJ – GoldCoast
Real DreamTeam $192,800
A silky defender often described as a ‘Grant Birchall’ type, with a long raking left foot and an unrivalled vertical leap. He dominated for Tasmania in the under 18’s Championships – averaging 27 disposals and 6 marks per game. He was the #5 draft pick for this year and therefore comes with a bit of a pricetag. But check these stats… he averaged 106 DT points through the under 18’s champs, and 93 pts in his 2 games in the TAC Cup. Should certainly get game time for GC, so you should be watching him with priority. Caution: Not to be mixed up with his brother Jake at Geelong.
LUKE MCDONALD – Kangaroos
Real DreamTeam $177,800
Father-son pickup for the Kangaroos, has already spent a full season at VFL level, after the Kangas approached the AFL for special permission to do so. He averaged 71 DT pts in the Under 18’s Champs, with an elite 83% efficiency for his avg of 20 disposals. He also averaged 63 DT pts from 16 disposals off halfback at VFL level, showing that he certainly has something to offer. Most importantly it is his likelihood of debuting in Round 1 that keeps us licking our lips. A lock if he gets a game.
MATT SCHARENBERG – Collingwood
Real DreamTeam $187,800
Just look at the picture above. He looks ready for the AFL. Regularly drawing comparisons to Brendan Goddard, Scharenberg is a utility who reads the play well, can play in any position and dominated back to back years of the Under 18’s Champs, averaging 21 disposals and over 6 marks a game in both years! He was the #1 intercept marker and rebounding defender of this years rookies. He averaged 83 DT pts in the under 18’s and he has played 8 games at SANFL level. What’s the catch? He slipped in the draft down to pick #6 to Collingwood due to foot injuries which he is still dealing with through the preseason. The Pies could use him as a Heath Shaw replacement… or a rebounding defender now Harry has moved onto the wing? Whatever their plan… when he is fit, he is the biggest rookie lock of the year.
MATT FULLER – Bulldogs
Real DreamTeam $112,800
Recipe for success – mature age running halfback, 57 games over 4 years at SANFL level, averages 15 disposals and 66 DT pts, high kick to handball ratio, plays a similar role to Dean Terlich, and could follow in Brett Goodes path slotting into some games in the Bulldogs defense. Watch whether he is likely to get some games first.
OTHER ROOKIE DEFENDERS TO LOOK OUT FOR…
Jake Kolodjashnij, plays more of a tall defensive roll, picked up by Geelong #41 and while he might get a game or two, he may not score heavily like his brother Kade.
Darcy Gardiner #22, Tom Cutler #33 and Daniel McStay #25, all at the Brisbane Lions and one of them could sneak games in a rebuilding team.
ROOKIE DEFENDER CHEATSHEET
Wanna see where we think the following rookies will fit into our team this year? Click the blank defense below to see where we fit them in.
(Click above for rookie defender cheatsheet)
Of course the NAB cup will change all that no doubt, but at least you have a good starting point.
: Login now at http://afldreamteam.virtualsports.com.au to start your DreamTeam planning like we have.
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