Players to watch in the JLT Community Series: Adelaide – Fremantle

Patrick Moran Roar Rookie

By Patrick Moran, Patrick Moran is a Roar Rookie


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    The AFL season is fast approaching, and the next two weeks will give players a chance to push their case for Round 1 selection in the JLT Community Series.

    Despite being cut down to two games per club with the introduction of AFLX, the pre-season competition provides fans with an opportunity to inspect emerging talent.

    So whether it’s first year players, recycled talent, or players in new roles, all supporters have someone to watch at their club.

    So here are the players to look out for from Adelaide, Brisbane, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, and Fremantle.


    The Crows looked to bolster their midfield over the off-season, acquiring Bryce Gibbs and Sam Gibson from Carlton and North Melbourne respectively, providing fans with plenty to look forward to.

    A proven star, Gibbs can add to the midfield firepower of Rory Sloane, Matt Crouch, and Brad Crouch, creating a potentially formidable combination in the middle of the park.

    Gibson demonstrated durability at North Melbourne (130 consecutive games), and Adelaide fans will be hoping that he can strengthen the depth of their squad for a finals charge.

    Jake Lever is a significant loss for the Crows, and fans will be hoping to see potential replacements stake a claim in the next two weeks.

    Tom Doedee, and former cricketer Alex Keith may look to make the defensive position their own, whilst Andy Otten may spend more time in defence as well.

    Youngsters Myles Poholke and Darcy Fogarty have both been named for the Crows, giving fans a glimpse of the future.

    Bryce Gibbs Adelaide Crows AFL

    (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)


    Number one draft pick Cam Rayner will be the main talking point, as the Lions take on Sydney and Gold Coast.

    However, less spoken about draftees Zac Bailey and Brandon Starcevic may also interest fans, as the Lions look to build a list for the future.

    Rayner will add quality at half forward for Brisbane, whilst Starcevic and Bailey will both provide contested ball-winning ability.

    Fans will also look forward to watching Charlie Cameron, after the exciting forward was traded from the Crows last season, while former Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge may make his Lions debut, with the veteran expected to provide leadership at half-back.

    Former Rising Star winner and undisputed talent Daniel Rich may be utilised more in the middle of the park, following the departure of Tom Rockliff.


    Former number one draft pick Jacob Weitering remains an impressive prospect, and Blues fans will be eagerly anticipating his third season. Weitering has been used at both ends of the park for the Blues, and the JLT games may give some hint about where he lines up this season.

    Highly touted recruit Darcy Lang failed to cement a place in Geelong’s midfield, however the pick number 16 from 2013 has a chance to cement a spot at Carlton. Fans should keep a close eye on Lang, whose change of scenery could prove the making of him.

    Draftees Paddy Dow (pick 3) and Lochie O’Brien (pick 10) are both highly rated youngsters, and are certainly worth monitoring over the next fortnight.

    O’Brien is considered an elite ball user and runner, while Dow can run through the midfield and forward line. The former Bendigo Pioneers teammates should work well together, providing Blues fans with an impressive duo to follow.

    Paddy Dow Lochie O'Brien

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)


    Collingwood drew much criticism during the trade period for trading a future second round for Swans defender Sam Murray (along with Pick 70 and a future 3rd round pick). Pies fans will be hoping this investment pays off, and closely watching his JLT performances.

    Youngster Jaidyn Stephenson is highly rated by the Magpies, and despite some uncertainty about a heart condition, he was taken at Pick 6 in last year’s draft. With the ability to play forward or midfield, he’s certainly one to watch.

    Kayle Kirby impressed many with his VFL form last year (43 goals), earning two senior appearances, and the JLT Community Series may give him the opportunity to impress Pies fans.

    Father-son selection Tyler Brown, whose brother Callum also plays for the Magpies, is another hot prospect, who will be closely monitored by the Collingwood faithful.


    Essendon invested little in last year’s draft, and fans will therefore be more intrigued by the form of their recycled additions.

    Former Gold Coast speedster Adam Saad could be a vital addition for the Bombers, providing run and carry off half back, while Devon Smith has an opportunity to further his AFL career in new colours.

    The most anticipated addition for Bombers fans is Jake Stringer, with the former Bulldog set to spend significant time in the midfield in 2018. New colours may help Stringer put his off-field controversies behind him, and the JLT Community series is a perfect time to start.

    South Australians Jordan Houlahan and Sam Draper have both been named for the Bombers. Both encouraging future prospects, Houlahan is a mid-sized forward, whilst Draper is a towering 203cm ruckman.


    One of the talking points of the draft was Fremantle’s selection of Andrew Brayshaw with the second pick.

    The highly talented midfielder is the brother of Melbourne’s Angus, and West Coast’s Hamish, and will come up against the latter of the two in the second week of practice matches, should both brothers be selected.

    While not attracting the same media attention, the Dockers took Adam Cerra at pick 5, and fans will have high hopes for the youngster. The Eastern Ranges product is viewed as skilful on both sides of the body, and an elite ball winner.

    Fremantle also managed to acquire GWS half back Nathan Wilson, who can provide running ability in the back half.

    Fremantle fans have some very promising players to take note of.

    So fans of these six clubs have plenty to look forward to in the next fortnight, as exciting players look to cement a spot.

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • February 23rd 2018 @ 9:43am
      Macca said | February 23rd 2018 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      Pickett, Cuningham, McKay & Garlett are the players I am most interested in seeing for the blue sin the JLT – all players with bodies mature enough to make an impact (obviously the bigger McKay slightly less so) and all have spots in the best 22 waiting for them to take them.

      • Roar Rookie

        February 26th 2018 @ 5:03pm
        The Original Buzz said | February 26th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

        Pickett is the intriguing one, he shows glimpses and if he can go to that level, he will be a star. I hope he does.

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