2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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BenDoolan
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2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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BEN HOBBS
IF CLUBS still need an indication of the work ethic that has put Ben Hobbs front of mind when it comes to this year's draft class, all they have to do is make the trek out to the Horsham Golf Club.

In January last year, Hobbs had barely picked up a driver in his life. By the time Victoria was heading into its first COVID-19 enforced lockdown just a couple of months later, he was playing off a handicap under 15 and improving by the day.

To most who know the talented GWV Rebels and Vic Country prospect, such a rapid rise with the sticks would be of no surprise. Such is Hobbs' competitiveness, he has a fierce determination to be the best at whatever he puts his mind to.

"If I try something, I want to be really good at it," Hobbs told AFL.com.au. "I grinded for a fair bit of that, but I really put a lot of effort into it. I started in the January and I was playing about three times a week."

That mentality easily translates to the footy field. The tough 181cm midfielder has emerged as one of the best prospects in this year's NAB AFL Draft crop, averaging 28.5 disposals, 5.8 clearances and 5.5 tackles from his four full NAB League games.

Such form has been backed up at nationals level, with Hobbs winning 37 disposals and kicking two goals in a standout display for Vic Country in its opening trial game against Vic Metro in June.

In a draft full of players dividing opinion among club recruiters, the majority are sold when it comes to Hobbs. A growing list of them rate the brave accumulator as the best pure inside midfielder in the pool.

"From a football aspect, he's such a strong competitor. He's got all the attributes for being a strong contested player. He naturally finds the footy as a midfielder," Vic Country coach Paul Corrigan told AFL.com.au.

"But what I liked about him during a trial game … I pushed him forward and had a conversation with him. I told him it was really good to have that flexibility, moving forward into an AFL career.

"He went forward, still attracted the footy and was able to hit the scoreboard as well. Not only has he become renowned as a strong midfielder, but he's also got the adaptation to go forward at times. That's really invaluable for any side that takes him."

Having set himself a goal to make Vic Country's starting team as a bottom-age prospect last season, before the cancellation of the NAB AFL Under-18s Championships, Hobbs has since gone one better in his top-age campaign.
Named co-captain of the Vic Country group earlier this year, the decision to appoint the naturally mature and grounded Hobbs as one of its skippers was a no-brainer for the coaching staff.

"He's just one of those players that, from an individual point of view, he always wants to improve himself. That's a real attraction among a group environment," Corrigan said.
"He sets the example of what needs to be done to lead. That's not just as a footballer, it's off the field as well. From a leadership point of view, out on the ground, he's a very good talker. He does a lot of it with his actions as well."

Recruiters see Joel Selwood in Hobbs' game. It's why he has shot into top-10 calculations leading into the conclusion of the season. But it's former Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak who he models his performances around.

Hobbs frequently watches clips of Boak's clearance work, takes learnings from the veteran's scoreboard impact, and notes the versatility that has allowed him to play at the highest level for 15 years and counting.

He's got all the attributes for being a strong contested player. He naturally finds the footy as a midfielder.

Clubs think Hobbs will follow a similar path. According to one scout, he has "250-game player written all over him". A fortnight spent training with Collingwood last summer has only steeled his resolve to make that ambition come to life.

"The main learning from that was just that even if you get drafted, that's not the end. That's when the hard work begins," Hobbs said.

"Just observing Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams and players like that, players that work on their game from the morning right until everyone leaves … they're normally the last ones to leave the club.

"You know all about the hard work that comes into it once you are in an AFL environment."

An ankle injury sustained in April had threatened to frustrate the motivated youngster, who spent close to six weeks on the sidelines. It coincided with yet more Victorian lockdowns and concerns over whether he would return to the field at all this year.

Ben Hobbs, with his foot in a moon boot, looks on during a NAB AFL Academy training session in April 2021.

But if there were doubts that lingered throughout that period, the way he attacked his rehab didn't show it. His return in June was celebrated with 34 disposals, nine tackles and two goals against the Murray Bushrangers.

"Coming back from his injury earlier this year, the way he recovered … he just looks at all of the finer details of his game and does them really well," Corrigan said.

The same drive that has fuelled Hobbs' success both on the golf course, and on the footy field, won't dissipate any time soon. If anything, it will only grow even further as this year's draft edges closer.

"I just want to show that I've come back from the injury and I've played some good footy. I obviously just want to keep improving. I want to keep trying to build my game and not be satisfied with anything," Hobbs said.

"That's the main thing I'm thinking about. I definitely had this expectation on myself to come back and play good footy. I've still got a lot of improvement to go, but I'm really happy with how things are going at the moment."
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!
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Windy_Hill
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.
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Windy_Hill
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.

So much depends on how well Jones, Baldwin, Waterman and Wright develop over the next 12 months. We need a 50-70 goal a season Key Fwd to make a Top 4 challenge
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BenDoolan
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:17 am
Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.

So much depends on how well Jones, Baldwin, Waterman and Wright develop over the next 12 months. We need a 50-70 goal a season Key Fwd to make a Top 4 challenge
Jones.

Dunno what it is in my vibe-ometer, but he sets it off.

Reckon he’s gonna be an absolute cracker of a player.

We need others around him to be very good too.
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.
Too true.For Fremantle,for starters are making Claims on an AFL Flag for Men AND Women within the next 4 years!

Laughable?Maybe,but it’s a Claim more Credible than Any Claim,our current Prime Minister doesn’t LIE!

Pressure’s on boys! :wink:
nudder12
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
But there's a few top 10 "rated" draftees that weren't drafted in the top 10, so ratings don't necessarily mean much.
I'm not "sold" on him meeting our "needs".
What does he bring that Parish, Caldwell, Merrett, Stringer, Langford don't already provide?

I'm actually more interested in his ability as a forward.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

Post by nudder12 »

BenDoolan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:28 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:17 am
Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.

So much depends on how well Jones, Baldwin, Waterman and Wright develop over the next 12 months. We need a 50-70 goal a season Key Fwd to make a Top 4 challenge
Jones.

Dunno what it is in my vibe-ometer, but he sets it off.

Reckon he’s gonna be an absolute cracker of a player.

We need others around him to be very good too.
I have worries about Jones.
Lacks size to be a key forward.
Could be a "floater" 3rd forward maybe, but that depends massively on - as you say - others around him being very good.
I think he could actually turn into a great winger - in the mould of Tom Lynch from Adelaide.
Mobile, a workhorse, and capable of taking a contested mark as a "get out" option from the backline.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:17 am
Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.

So much depends on how well Jones, Baldwin, Waterman and Wright develop over the next 12 months. We need a 50-70 goal a season Key Fwd to make a Top 4 challenge
Baldwin is the key. If he fires, it changes the whole structure.
Jones isn't a key forward.
Waterman has very little development left.
Wright has had years to prove his potential but not delivered consistently.

I think our forward line needs someone in between what we already have.
We have a few tall forwards.
And we have a few small crumbing/pressure types.

But we don't have an agile, smooth-moving, lead-up type forward. Someone that is an option when you don't want to just kick it long and high and hope someone will mark it or crumb it. A "smarter" forward.
Maybe not "it" but as soon as I wrote "smarter" forward, I thought of Fritch from Melbourne.
He is an enigma - plays such a simple, traditional, half-forward role, but is very much under-rated.
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s'dreams
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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We selected a midfielder? WTF?
I am in shock.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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s'dreams wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:22 pm We selected a midfielder? WTF?
I am in shock.
Yeah very surprised. Praying for Jye Amiss or any other leading tall forward with a pedigree.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:04 pm
s'dreams wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:22 pm We selected a midfielder? WTF?
I am in shock.
Yeah very surprised. Praying for Jye Amiss or any other leading tall forward with a pedigree.
I thought we were short of half-back flankers /s
dices ad adepto futui (tell them to f*** off)
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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nudder12 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:42 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
But there's a few top 10 "rated" draftees that weren't drafted in the top 10, so ratings don't necessarily mean much.
I'm not "sold" on him meeting our "needs".
What does he bring that Parish, Caldwell, Merrett, Stringer, Langford don't already provide?

I'm actually more interested in his ability as a forward.

This may not be a popular call, but if Hobbs proves to be the player we hope he will be, it allows us the luxury of sending McGrath back into defense wher I believe he is far better suited based on his straight line running preference. For that reason alone he fills a need
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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nudder12 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:42 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
But there's a few top 10 "rated" draftees that weren't drafted in the top 10, so ratings don't necessarily mean much.
I'm not "sold" on him meeting our "needs".
What does he bring that Parish, Caldwell, Merrett, Stringer, Langford don't already provide?

I'm actually more interested in his ability as a forward.
He's a pure inside mid which Stringer and Langford aren't. Caldwell is made of paper and Merrett's much better as the bloke on the end of the handball from a pack than anyone else in our team.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

Post by BenDoolan »

The interesting thing about the above discussions is that…

No-one has mentioned Dylan Shiel.

Just shows you how insignificant he actually is.
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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BenDoolan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:46 pm The interesting thing about the above discussions is that…

No-one has mentioned Dylan Shiel.

Just shows you how insignificant he actually is.
Putting aside how much he cost, the fact is, if Dylan Shiel is your 5th or 6th most important midfielder, you’re in a pretty good place.

I am hoping Dyl will bounce back after the injury affected year this year and play some really good footy in perhaps a slightly different role
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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Windy_Hill wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 12:02 am
BenDoolan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:46 pm The interesting thing about the above discussions is that…

No-one has mentioned Dylan Shiel.

Just shows you how insignificant he actually is.
Putting aside how much he cost, the fact is, if Dylan Shiel is your 5th or 6th most important midfielder, you’re in a pretty good place.

I am hoping Dyl will bounce back after the injury affected year this year and play some really good footy in perhaps a slightly different role
Also he's 29. Hobbs is his long term replacement for mine.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

Post by nudder12 »

BenDoolan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:46 pm The interesting thing about the above discussions is that…

No-one has mentioned Dylan Shiel.

Just shows you how insignificant he actually is.
Only reason I didn't mention him is because he's not an "inside" mid - so didn't seem relevant to the discussion.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

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s'dreams wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:11 pm
Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:04 pm
s'dreams wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:22 pm We selected a midfielder? WTF?
I am in shock.
Yeah very surprised. Praying for Jye Amiss or any other leading tall forward with a pedigree.
I thought we were short of half-back flankers /s
We are - but McDonagh, Voss & to a lesser extent Kelly & Lord could help fill that need.
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Re: 2021 AFL Draft Pick #13

Post by BenDoolan »

nudder12 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:49 am
BenDoolan wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:28 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:17 am
Rover99 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:56 am
Windy_Hill wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:00 am Can’t quite believe we got a Top 6 Rated draftee with pick 13.

Not to mention he fits the bill in terms of need….hard nosed inside beast.


Welcome young man. Can’t wait to see where this young brigade of talent will take us. Draper, Jones, Perkins, Cox, Reid, Hobbs, Durham, Caldwell etc
Yeah, on paper looking at our team, we can barely find one weak player link going into 2022. But that still doesn't say we have all the positions and strengths covered yet. The pressure now will be squarely on the coaching group to make up any deficiencies.

So much depends on how well Jones, Baldwin, Waterman and Wright develop over the next 12 months. We need a 50-70 goal a season Key Fwd to make a Top 4 challenge
Jones.

Dunno what it is in my vibe-ometer, but he sets it off.

Reckon he’s gonna be an absolute cracker of a player.

We need others around him to be very good too.
I have worries about Jones.
Lacks size to be a key forward.
Could be a "floater" 3rd forward maybe, but that depends massively on - as you say - others around him being very good.
I think he could actually turn into a great winger - in the mould of Tom Lynch from Adelaide.
Mobile, a workhorse, and capable of taking a contested mark as a "get out" option from the backline.
I’m not trying to categorise him. I just think he’s going to be a great player - wherever he plays or whatever he does.

He’s basically kicking a goal every 6 disposals. That’s a damn good strike rate for someone playing less than 20 games.
Unfortunately, you can't drown a witch!
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