Jack Graham has proven himself after just one game

Hamish Hutton Roar Rookie

By Hamish Hutton, Hamish Hutton is a Roar Rookie

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    On the 25th of November 2016, the latest instalment of the AFL Draft took place. As a supporter of the Adelaide Crows, there was one player who made more sense than any other to select: Jack Graham.

    He captained South Australia in the under-18 National Championships, where his impressive football knowledge and skills were on full display. Furthermore, the leadership tactics required to lead a team in a competition where all the players need to make individual impressions were impressive.

    Graham’s competition while playing for South Australia was admirable. His team finished as runners-up and he took home the Larke Medal for the best player in the competition.

    Unfortunately, neither the Crows nor Power saw fit to keep the local star in Adelaide. Now, I’m not opposing the decisions made by the Adelaide and Port Adelaide recruitment staff, as they both have had success in the past, but Richmond certainly got a steal at pick 53.

    Graham has only played the one game and it was an absolute shellacking of Fremantle, so I can understand if you’re not sold on him yet. But I am.

    Richmond’s coaches and development staff have described him as a ruthless competitor and a big bodied midfielder for someone who is 19, and boy didn’t he show it.

    His 11 tackles on debut were enough to equal the record for a debutant, which he holds with Collingwood youngster Rupert Willis. As well as his tackles, he had 13 touches including three clearances and four inside 50 entries.

    His impact is starting to stack up.

    Jack Graham runs out of a pack

    (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    Seven contested possessions and a composed 84.6 per cent disposal efficiency have the hallmarks of an instant contributor. The most impressive statistic is that he managed all this in his very first game with only 63 per cent of gametime on the field.

    Oh, and a goal just to top it off.

    While not overly tall, he fills out his frame nicely to be capable of winning the in and under football. He will potentially be high up in the running for the Rising Star award during the 2018 season.

    Graham’s style of play will allow him to have a similar impact to Sam Powell-Pepper for Port Adelaide. His two-way running capacity should see him win lots more of the football.

    Perhaps we could have seen more of Jack Graham this year had he not broken his ankle during pre-season, but if you’re a student of young talent in the VFL you were bound to know that he was coming, as his performances have been elite over the past few weeks which has all led up to this stunning debut.

    Another young star is rising and I’m sold on Jack Graham.

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • August 22nd 2017 @ 2:31pm
      truetigerfan said | August 22nd 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

      Great article, Hamish. At the time of the draft the Tigers couldn’t believe their luck when he was still available at pick 53! They certainly felt at the time he was a ready made AFL footballer. The broken ankle was unfortunate to say the least. I’ve been looking forward to him debuting all year and WOW! What an impression he made. Really excited to watch this boy develop! Cheers!

      • Roar Rookie

        August 22nd 2017 @ 3:20pm
        Hamish Hutton said | August 22nd 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

        That he did mate! A couple of my mates are tiger fans and they are rapt with him! Certainly hopes he goes on to become something special for your guys sake!

    • August 22nd 2017 @ 7:21pm
      obiwan said | August 22nd 2017 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

      Looks the goods this young boy. Hopefully has a long career ahead of him. Certainly has the attributes required to be successful. Will make the Tigers a better team long term.

    • August 23rd 2017 @ 10:23pm
      Philby said | August 23rd 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

      Would hate to jump to conclusions early, but Jack does look an AFL player.

      Tigers have done really well in recruiting good footy types as well as good personalities, and Jack Graham falls squarely in that bracket, along with Anthony Miles, Kane Lambert, Sam Lloyd, and Jacob Townsend, to name a few.

      He also has great leadership qualities, by all accounts, which is a real bonus.

      Let’s not put too much pressure on the kid, but early indications are positive. Let’s see how he goes when a game is really on the line.

      • August 23rd 2017 @ 11:03pm
        J.T. Delacroix said | August 23rd 2017 @ 11:03pm | ! Report

        Fair comment Philby, but it’s his first game after all. He’s only 19, although he looks older, build-wise. Seems like a solid prospect. A bit like Vlastuin perhaps. Very rare for Richmond to have such potential coming through.

    • August 25th 2017 @ 11:40am
      Linda D said | August 25th 2017 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      Watched Jack play in Tea Tree Gully Junior football and knew he would make the AFL when he was barely a teenager as he showed amazing skills back then. Was shattered when neither of the Adelaide teams picked him up as he is an absolute gun and sure he’ll be a big credit to Richmond. Congratulations Jack!

    • October 1st 2017 @ 12:53am
      krosb said | October 1st 2017 @ 12:53am | ! Report

      I wanted to research more about Jack Graham after his amazing performance at today’s Grand Final and came across this article.

      You called it Hamish, you absolute gun!

      Unbelievable performance in his 5th game – 3 goals and 16 disposals… In a GRAND FINAL!

      Love your work Hamish, keep it up.

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