Breakout star 2018


Which young player/s do you think will take a big step forward in 2018.

My first thoughts are Daniel Rioli but with the broken foot and limited preseason I would have to skip him.

I think Shai Bolton will take a huge step forward and start playing alot more senior games around half forward and pocket and being very hard to control, I think Markov and Menadue will be another 2 who step up and start cementing spots, with Broad out for the first 3 rounds its theirs to lose so grab that spot and dont let him back in, especially Markov who also plays that spot. Menadue can play a few positions so if he can have a great preseason and find his spot i think he can be a cracker shortly.


I’m looking for improvement from Corey Ellis and Ben Griffiths (no surprise there) and I get that Ben would not be generally considered as young but for games played as a big man, he qualifies in my book :slight_smile:


Corey showed a fair bit the last few rounds and in the finals. The played him both in the Flossy role and midfield. Be interesting to see where he focuses next year.

Think Oleg and Connor may do alright as well. And agree that Shai might do well.

Hoping that Kane steps up another gear as well.


I think Jayden Short will get the first opportunity with Broad out & he will grab it with both hands. In my mind has more composure & uses the ball better than Markov. He has already been used for the kick ins & is terrific on both sides of the body. Lock him in. Bolton looks an obvious one but I expect he will be made to earn a spot. You don’t just get handed a place in a Premiership team. Jack Higgins is also very much in the picture. Wow we are in good shape.


I read a Short article week ago and hes training to be more of a wingman - onballer now


I’m hoping ‘my man’ has a great year, after 2 ACLs he certainly deserves it.


I think Bolton will be the one. Touted to be better than some of the mosquito fleet. Just improving the tank and he could jump up, literally and figuratively. :slight_smile:


Prestia - copped plenty of flak in the first half of the year , but had a good finals , do think he will have settled into the new team and got the body right and be loving playing in a winning side I do see a real chance he might show the biggest lift in Champion data points

Houli - something similar , despite being a senior he may have discovered “how to play” or “how to play now” and hopefully he can consolidate what he showed in the GF

Hampson - was noted for being poor at contested marking , the year off , the new baby, time in the VFL to find his feet … I note VFL watchers commented on his “one grab” marks late last year, with Nank looking so solid I could see Hampson throwing caution to the wind and playing in a very transformed way

Lloyd - how many possessions does one need to get ? His time in the mids in the VFL certainly changed his game , but with a stable side ahead of him sustained crazy stats couldn’t earn him a run in the top side if he gets a run this year I think we will see a different player , but will he be as effective ? only time and opportunities will tell

Bolton/Stengle , both have huge promise , either or both could just click

Conca - a forgotten man , he does find the ball in the 1’s , he can do good work with the ball , but he can butcher the ball too , and can be way too reckless when tackling , he was often referred to as " a level above" when playing in the VFL , he has been in the system a long time , if his body holds up I could see a hunger for success see him break out in 2018 and surprise a lot of the faithful

and of course we have our young guys but reckon those names will surprise a few and two or more will have their best ever season


Graham with his first full preseason should naturally improve.

You know it makes sense


Jacob Townsend. He put his best foot forward at precise moments in games and rewarded us for his composure under pressure with goals when we needed them. Played his role to split infinitives for the team in the matches he played. Won the VFL best player in the comp. Working exceptionally well, Jacob the dangerous…

Reece Conca. Showed up this year, great closing speed for someone with hammy issues. As near to a breakout year as anyone if he can string a few more than a few games together in succession. Has to get exposure at AFL level for us to see him at his best. Reece the hounds…

Shaun Grigg. Well if snagging a sausage and a half in the Grand final and standing up like a dead set champion in the midst of three Crow defenders, to get that handball over the top to Lambert in the third quarter of the GF was the goal when we were going to win for mine. Hard to see him having a breakout year, but he is a player at the peak of his consistency. Except he has no right foot. Honestly, how funny was his out on the full with his attempted right foot kick on the wing in the third qrtr in the GF? Grigg…Grigg…Legend…

Jason Castagna. Spanish surname, prounounced Cas-stag-na. So his papa told me once. Managed to play every match this year, and not fade out of games. Defensive pressure acts, Jason thrives in our team structure. I’d expect him to move up the ground at times next season. His pace is blistering, and although I like Butler as a player, he does make deer in the headlights decisions at times, Castagna’s quick off the mark, a rabbit. It’s a jungle out there in our forward line at the minute. Big rewards ahead for us fans if Jason can go to the next level and start holding onto to his pack marks a bit more. And move onto the left with ease and confidence too. Takes that speed he has to another level. He looks very balanced to me, ala another Jason- Akermanis.

Jayden Short: Plays on both sides of his body. With time up the ground he could develop into an Indispensable weapon. Looks like a computer programmer plays like a hardman. Needs more games first up. Deadly by foot. The Shortinator.

Kane Lambert. More and more I am beginning to think our recruiting became remarkably more sophisticated over the previous model. Kane is at the level of games where Hardwick, Hartley and co. targeted players from other clubs at the time, Grigg, Houli among them. 23 or 24 years old, 50-100 games. Kane’s a Premiership player with a whole lot of improvement ahead of him in a developing side. Stood up when it mattered during the final series. Expect a Brownlow before he retires. Lambert is like the bitcoin you bought into when it was cheap and nobody else wanted to hear about it, but three years he plays worth his weight in gold, and likes to spend late Septembers drinking champagne out of a Premiership cup. Lambo to the moon!

Jack Higgins. Confucious say, Rising star tell tales of future.

Jack Graham: To go to the next level of consistency when you’ve played 5 games kicked 6 goals, never lost, and won a premiership? We’ve got Jack to show us how it’s done. We’re a strong chance to go back to back, thanks to Jack. Rid Sloane out of the game in the second half of the GF. What upside! Finally an opportunity to enjoy watching a player’s development without expecting them to be overnight sensations. Graham already is, yet is still to cement his spot in the side.


I think it will be Callum Moore. He has real upside in that he is not slow has a prodigious leap and can play back and forward.

I like how he has progressed


Yeah Callum showed a bit late in the season. His kicking has improved out of sight.


Impossible to predict but think all the suggestions are plausible. What Jack Graham did in the GF was amazing, so he’s my pick. Just loving that we have so much potential and depth.




As long as he isnt a pyramid scheme Graeme.


I like the chances of Oleg and Connor getting some more regular games in the ones this year. Hard runners suit our style!


Is Jack Higgins the obvious choice for which draftee will have the biggest impact in 2018?


Probably from day one that’s a fair bet. I think long term it may be Noah Balta


Interesting Vossy. He’s the one that has me scratching my head. Can’t place where he fits in.


I think his size and athleticism reminds me of Rance. He is raw mouldable. It will be interesting to see if he becomes a mobile follower or kpp at either end.

Has attributes very much for the modern game but will have to be taught to cover weaknesses and utilise obvious strengths.

Could be a great project player