Top AFL draft hopefuls fire on big stage

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AFL: Ben Jarman has shown some exquisite skills for South Australia in their U18 National Championships match against Vic Country.

National under-18 championships matches at Etihad Stadium. Callum Brown in action for Metro. Picture: Mark Stewart

BEN Jarman boosted his AFL hopes with a clever performance for South Australia but the small forward is yet to ponder whether he would prefer to play for Adelaide or Hawthorn.

The son of Darren — eligible to both clubs under the father-son rule — kicked three first-half goals in South Australia’s 11-point win against Vic Country.

The Crows have never had a father-son while the Hawks last was Josh Kennedy (now at Sydney) in 2006.

But it was Country’s Hugh McCluggage who set tongues wagging — and he could be the man for Essendon should it keep the No. 1 draft pick.

In the most even draft in recent memory the 185cm midfielder glided around Etihad Stadium and slotted three goals from 17 classy disposals.

The versatile South Warrnambool kid nailed a set-shot from the pocket in the first term and weaved through traffic in a Scott Pendlebury manner.

McCluggage then ran hard to find space up forward in the final quarter but a fourth goal was denied when his kick slammed into the post.

Adelaide legend Andrew Macleod said inside midfielder Jonty Shcarenberg’s “loves the heavy work” with the brother of injury-prone Collingwood defender Matthew winning six clearances from 25 disposals.

Callum Brown in action for Metro. Picture: Mark Stewart

Callum Brown in action for Metro. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

The Crows legend and South Australia forward line coach praised Jarman for sparking his side to its fast start.

Jarman is a passionate Crows fan and attends most home games but his favourite player is silky Hawk Cyril Rioli.

Jarman is only 175cm and AFL recruiters believe he will come cheap as a late pick but like his goalsense and effort levels.

“His forward pressure was really good and his ability to finish is quite elite,” Macleod said.

“At times he was probably too unselfish where he could’ve taken a few more opportunities.”

Jarman, who kicked two goals from five possessions in the first term, said he models his game on Port Adelaide playmaker Robbie Gray.

“I’m a bit smaller than everyone else but I think I use the ball pretty well and I think my footy smarts help me,” he said.

“Dad and (uncle) Andrew were great players so they’re always giving me feedback on games.”

Country’s Ben Ainsworth (20 disposals) thrived with more midfield minutes while Dylan Clarke and Andy McGrath led Vic Metro to victory against the Allies.

Harry Perryman was the pick of the clutch of academy prospects bound for GWS and Gold Coast with the neat midfielder boasting deft skills on both sides.

Perryman is one of the best talents in the land but bound for the Giants while Todd Marshall continues to tease.

The AFL ruled the raw key forward ineligible for the Giants’ academy and as the best big man in a pool flush for smalls he is likely to go early.

About eight of this year’s best 25 players are off-limits and bound for northern clubs.

Bottom-ager Sam Hayes slotted three goals for Metro while GWS-bound midfielder Kobe Mutch had 16 first-half disposals.

Jonty Scharenberg is the younger brother of Collingwood’s Matt Scharenberg. Picture: Stephen Laffer

Jonty Scharenberg is the younger brother of Collingwood’s Matt Scharenberg. Picture: Stephen LafferSource:News Corp Australia

FAMILIAR NAMES

Jonty Scharenberg (Brother of Collingwood’s Matthew)

Won 25 disposals and six clearances for South Australia

Ben Jarman (Son of Darren)

Faded after halftime but excited early with three goals and a courageous mark. Eligible to Hawks and Crows under father-son rule

Dylan Clarke (Brother of North Melbourne’s Ryan)

Best-afield for Vic Metro with 26 disposals and five clearances

Corey Lyons (Brother of Adelaide’s Jarryd)

The Sandringham Dragon kicked one goal for 20 disposals in a standout performance for Vic Metro

Patrick Kerr (Grandson of Carlton champion Laurie)

The 194cm forward kicked two goals. Dad Peter did not play enough Blues games to qualify for father-son

Callum Brown (Son of Collingwood champion Gavin)

Snapped the matchwinner for Vic Metro out of a pack deep in the final term

Josh Daicos (Son of Collingwood superstar Peter)

Kicked a set-shot goal but has some mercurial talent like his old man

Joe Atley (Brother of North Melbourne’s Shaun)

Kicked a last-quarter Vic Country goal and tackled hard

YOUR CLUB’S CURRENT DRAFT POSITION

ADELAIDE 9

BRISBANE LIONS 2, 20, 25

CARLTON 8, 26

COLLINGWOOD 23

ESSENDON 1, 19

FREMANTLE 4

GEELONG 36

GOLD COAST 3, 9, 21, 22, 24, 28

GWS 5,12, 16, 29, 32

HAWTHORN 13, 33

MELBOURNE 27

NORTH MELBOURNE 14, 34

PORT ADELAIDE 10

RICHMOND 6

ST KILDA 7

SYDNEY 15, 35

WEST COAST 10, 30

WESTERN BULLDOGS 11, 31

*First two rounds. Order as of conclusion of Round 13.

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