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Draft: the medium defenders

Liam Duggan of Vic Metro poses during the 2014 Under 18 portrait session at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on July 01, 2014. (Photo: Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Liam Duggan, a highly-rated medium defender

Find out more about the medium defenders invited to the 2014 NAB AFL Draft Combine starting late this month.

The group comprises of 14 players including two players who have won All-Australian honours and one International from Ireland who starred earlier this year for the European Legion against the Australian Under-18 team in London.

The 2014 NAB AFL Draft Combine will be held in Melbourne at Etihad Stadium from Tuesday September 30 to Friday October 3.

State Combines will be held in Melbourne (October 4), Adelaide (October 11) and Perth (October 12).

National: Medium Defenders


Daniel Capiron                                  Vic C   Dandenong Stingrays

14.6.1996        Height: 189cm            Weight: 81kg

Medium Defender who is strong overhead and excels as third man up down back. Courageous player who distributes the ball well on both sides of the body and provides good rebound, his composure is key. Averaged 16.2 disposals at 81 per cent efficiency and five marks in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Member of NAB AFL Academy.

Jason Castagna                     Vic M  Northern Knights

12.7.1996        Height: 182cm            Weight: 76kg

Medium Defender who provides excellent rebound from defence.   His work ethic is exceptional as is his competitive will and endurance.   He can be a damaging and penetrating kick when delivering the football inside the forward half. Averaged 14 disposals in five matches during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships being a consistent contributor for Vic Metro.

Jordan De Goey                    Vic M  Oakleigh Chargers

15.3.1996        Height: 187cm            Weight: 82kg

Highly competitive and versatile Medium Defender/Midfielder that is both strong overhead and in one on one contests.  Good decision maker by hand and foot.  Had a terrific NAB AFL Under-18 Championships taking his game to the next level where he averaged 15.4 disposals (nine contested) in five matches.

Liam Duggan                         Vic M  Western Jets

11.12.1996      Height: 183cm            Weight: 75kg

Left footed Medium Defender/Midfielder with excellent decision making and delivery by hand and foot. Poised under pressure and also displaying excellent leadership, he averaged 15.2 disposals at 76 per cent efficiency, four tackles and four inside 50s in five matches during the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Winner of the NAB AFL Academy’s Ben Mitchell Medal.

Brayden Maynard                Vic M  Sandringham Dragons

20.9.1996        Height: 186cm            Weight: 88kg

Left footed Medium Defender/Midfielder with powerful kick, excellent evasive skills and rarely beaten one on one. Played three matches in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 15 disposals and five tackles.  His penetration and accuracy in his disposal makes him dangerous wherever he is on the ground.

Jackson Nelson                                              Vic C   Geelong Falcons

15.3.1996        Height: 187cm            Weight: 81kg

Medium Defender/Midfielder with excellent game sense, speed and use of the ball by hand and foot. Prolific kick of the footy that also shows balance and precision when executing by foot.  Averaged 12.2 disposals and 4.3 tackles across six NAB AFL Under-18 Championship matches. Member of NAB AFL Academy.

Dillon Viojo-Rainbow                       Vic M  Western Jets

8.2.1996          Height: 185cm            Weight: 80kg

Medium Defender/Midfielder with elite kicking ability on his preferred left foot.  Sees the game very well and makes smart decisions when in possession.  Can also push forward and impact the scoreboard from long range when playing through the midfield.  Clean and effective distributor of the footy by hand.  Averaged 12.6 disposals at 73 per cent efficiency and 5.2 marks in five games at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.


Liam Dawson                                    Qld      Aspley

23.1.1996        Height: 188cm            Weight: 81kg

Strong and versatile Defender/Midfielder that can lock down opponents or play a creative role for his team. Strong overhead and athletic, uses the ball effectively by hand and foot while making smart decisions. Won the Harrison Medal in AFL Under-18s in 2013. Injured in 2014 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. NAB AFL Academy member and a member of the Lions Academy.

South Australia

Josh Glenn                             SA       Central District

10.3.1994        Height: 180cm            Weight: 78kg

Medium Defender with a penetrating and accurate left foot kick.  His work ethic and level of consistency has risen over the past 12 months and been a significant factor in elevating his football to the next level.  Averaged 21.7 disposals and 5.9 marks throughout season 2014 playing league football for Central District.


Michael Mattingly                             NSW   Corowa-Rutherglen

25.6.1996        Height: 184cm            Weight: 78kg

Comes from an elite cricket background and possesses excellent leadership qualities.  Shows good penetration with his kicking and often finds his target.  Mops up well in defence and provides excellent drive when countering.  Averaged 17 disposals and 2.3 marks during three games at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Tom Faul                               ACT    Ainslie

24.1.1996        Height: 187cm            Weight: 86kg

Extremely powerful and explosive player with strong hands in the marking contest, particularly on the lead while also rarely fumbling at ground level.  Powerful and penetrating left foot kick that commits himself hard to the contest and quite often comes out on top.  Had minor throat surgery in March and missed two weeks. 


Josh McGuinness                  Tas       Lauderdale

20.9.1995        Height: 189cm            Weight: 72kg

Medium Defender that reads the game exceptionally well, has sure hands and uses the football neatly by hand or foot on the rebound. Had impressive NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 26 disposals and five marks winning All-Australian honours.  His ability to run and carry the ball through the midfield is his strongest attribute, often linking up on multiple occasions.

Western Australia

Francis Watson                                 WA     Claremont

29.9.1995        Height: 186cm            Weight: 76kg

Medium Defender with terrific agility, natural leap and smooth kicking technique on his preferred right foot.  Often plays as a rebounding half back that runs and carries the ball however he can also play a shutdown role on a dangerous forward.    Shows good overhead marking strength and had a consistent NAB AFL Under-18 Championships averaging 12.5 disposals and 3.5 marks over four matches.


Paddy Brophy                       IRELAND

22.2.1994        Height: 188cm            Weight: 81kg

Dashing Medium Defender who attacks the ball with aggression and certainty as well as being strong overhead. Impressed at European AFL Combine held in Dublin with his speed and agility as well as starring for the European Legion versus Australian Under-18s this year collecting 26 disposals and having five clearances in an exciting performance in London in April.

2014 NAB AFL Draft Combine – State

Medium Defenders

Brendon Abbott          Claremont WA

1.1.1995          Height: 186cm            Weight: 92kg

Sam Bennett   North Ballarat Rebels Vic C

22.1.1995        Height: 189cm            Weight: 79kg

Mac Bower     Norwood SA

27.1.1996        Height: 190cm            Weight: 77kg

Daniel Davie   Bendigo Pioneers Vic C

30.5.1996        Height: 190cm            Weight: 93kg

Adam Gulden             South Adelaide SA

30.7.1991        Height: 188cm            Weight: 85kg


Matt Jackson   Oakleigh Chargers Vic M

15.1.1996        Height: 191cm            Weight: 82kg

Michael Manteit          Sandringham Dragons Vic M

18.7.1996        Height: 186cm            Weight: 81kg

Garrett McDonagh      Northern Knights Vic M

19.6.1996        Height: 183cm            Weight: 75kg

Nick Newman             Frankston VFL

15.1.1993        Height: 187cm            Weight: 81kg

Dylan Winton             Peel Thunder WA

27.7.1996        Height: 191cm            Weight: 86kg

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs