Knightmare's Draft Wrap: Gryan Miers' stock rises after TAC Cup GF

Gryan Miers (R) Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Each week, ESPN.com.au AFL draft expert Christopher Doerre - aka Knightmare - casts his eye over the country's best junior footballers to give readers an early insight into the next generation of AFL stars.

As well as attending live games, Doerre pores through match vision, analyses the stats and talks to industry sources to ensure he can offer the most insightful draft analysis.

Aside from the weekly wrap, Doerre will also unveil his power rankings at the end of each month.

And as we get closer to November's national draft, Doerre will also predict who goes where with his annual phantom draft.

Player Focus

In elevating Geelong Falcons to a two-point grand final win against Sandringham Dragons, it was Gryan Miers who proved the matchwinner with 16 disposals and seven goals. Four of his goals came in the third quarter where Geelong took over the game with a 50-0 run at Etihad Stadium. Miers, who elevated himself to the top of this season's TAC Cup goalkicking, kicked 50 goals from 17 TAC Cup games. With hair not dissimilar to that of a young Luke Dahlhaus, and an energy and style of game that is just as exciting to watch, the 177cm Miers kept attracting the ball inside 50m.

Miers is one touch at ground level, wins the ground ball cleanly on the move and is a natural crumber who will stay at ground level as packs form; he usually wins the ball if it goes to ground. He also plays with a slipperiness, spinning through tackles and using his agility to create enough space to get a clean snap on goal. While Miers registered no tackles on Sunday night, his pressure and tackling energy is typically a highlight and can be regarded as a strength. What can sometimes let Miers down is his kicking, both in front of goal and when hitting targets. Still, the crumbing forward's draft stocks have risen on the back of his grand final performance and Miers may now feature somewhere in the second or third round.


Underage midfielder, Sam Walsh was Geelong's most productive with 30 disposals, 11 contested possessions, five clearances, seven inside 50s and three score assists. With great acceleration, clean ball use and contested ball winning capabilities, Walsh appears set to be one of the first midfielders selected in 2018.

Cassidy Parish was again effective at the coalface with 28 disposals, 11 contested possessions, six clearances and four inside 50s. While Parish possesses no clear second position, the 190cm midfielder has been the competition's premier stoppage player in 2017 and may provide value if selected late or as a rookie. It is Parish's contested ball winning capabilities, often winning the ball on the move, and one-touch pickups below his knees, which suggests Parish has the capacity to become an AFL standard midfielder.

Underage midfield, Edward McHenry moved well through traffic and was particularly clean at ground level. McHenry gathered 21 disposals and four inside 50s.

Adam Garner, while not quick, agile or particularly adept at ground level, provided a strong marking target inside 50m. Garner gathered 17 disposals, five marks (four contested), one goal and five score assists.

Winning the ball in close and providing pressure around the ball, Jack Henderson contributed strongly through the midfield with 16 disposals, 10 contested possessions and four clearances.

Intercepting effectively in defence and providing some drive with his run, Cooper Stephens gathered 14 disposals and five tackles.

Playing with his usual edge, James Worpel barged through tacklers strongly, delivered powerful 'don't argues' and tackled with force. Worpel, despite appearing hobbled in the second half with a leg complaint was still impactful with 14 disposals, six tackles and one goal.

Proving complimentary to Miers up forward, Lachlan Noble at ground level was also very clean and showed his smarts up forward. Noble contributed 14 disposals and one goal.

Leaping to mark everything that came his way and chasing and pressuring hard, Mitchell Chafer was again lively for Geelong with 14 disposals and one goal.

Providing a marking target inside 50m, David Handley gathered 13 disposals, five tackles and one goal.

Underage defender and son of Geelong's Bill, Oscar Brownless, eligible as a father-son selection in 2018 intercepted, was effective off half-back and found damaging targets by foot. Brownless collected 12 disposals and four rebound 50s.

Winning the ball through the midfield and tackling strongly, Harry Benson played an important part through the Geelong midfield with 12 disposals and eight tackles.

Taking two important intercept marks and hurting the opposition with his run and kicking, Matthew Ling gathered 11 disposals and six marks (one contested).

Leading hard down the wings Tom McCartin collected seven disposals, five marks (two contested) and one goal.

Sandringham underage midfielder and defender, Bailey Smith, 183cm & 74kg, was the youngest on the field and their most productive. He used the ball efficiently with 11 of his 16 kicks effective and also showed strength taking a one-on-one intercept mark and breaking an opponent's tackle. Smith amassed 25 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles and two score assists.

Taking several intercept marks down back, Geordie Nagle was difficult to stop with 24 disposals, 10 marks and five rebound 50s.

Winning the ball in the contest, intercepting the ball in traffic and hurting the opposition with his long and precise kicking, Charlie Constable gathered 23 disposals, 12 contested possessions, six marks (two contested), four clearances and two goals.

Tackling strongly and working hard around the ground, likely first-round draft choice Andrew Brayshaw accumulated 21 disposals, eight contested possessions, six marks (one contested), 11 tackles and four inside 50s.

Gathering 20 disposals, 10 contested possessions and four inside 50s, Sebastian Williams worked hard at stoppages and demonstrated clean hands in close.

Winning clearances through the midfield and presenting as one of Sandringham's most damaging targets up forward, Will Walker was one touch over the ground ball and also led hard towards the football. Walker amassed 19 disposals, 11 contested possessions, six clearances and two goals.

Intercepting effectively down back, Howie Persson provided drive from defence for Sandringham with 18 disposals and five marks.

Overage midfielder and forward, Hamish Brayshaw was effective winning the contested ball through the midfield and providing a target up forward. Brayshaw collected 17 disposals, 10 contested possessions, seven tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and one goal.

Providing run and carry down the wings and evading opponents in traffic, Angus Styles gathered 16 disposals and seven tackles.

Alfie Jarnestrom led hard to the ball carrier and provided a strong marking target inside 50m. He contributed 13 disposals, one goal and two score assists.

Splitting his time between playing forward and through the ruck, Hayden McLean's overhead marking was a highlight including a one handed water-polo style intercept mark at full stretch. McLean collected 12 disposals, seven marks (two contested), 14 hitouts and one goal.

Leaping and taking a contested mark 15m out from goal, 15 seconds before the final siren, Joel Amartey created a chance from nothing to win the game for Sandringham. Taking the kick after the siren, Amartey missed the set shot that would have won the grand final. Amartey, despite the miss, was named Sandringham's best for his solid play through the ruck and up forward. Amartey gathered 12 disposals, 4 marks (two contested), six tackles, 27 hitouts and one goal in the heartbreaking defeat.

Making something happen with each touch, Aaron Trusler gets the ball moving when he has ball in hand, either playing on and running or quickly propelling the ball forward by foot. The exciting forward collected 10 disposals and kicked one goal. Kai Owens, 192cm, 81kg, played a key role up forward as a marking target. He gathered nine disposals, five marks (two contested) and kicked a team-high three goals.



Helping Sturt win the Grand Final against West Adelaide, exciting forward Jordan Houlahan played a key part with 10 disposals, seven tackles, five inside 50s and one goal. Houlahan is one of the more talented medium forwards in this draft class and is viewed as a possible second round choice. Powerful midfielder, Mitch Crowden also performed strongly for Sturt with 20 disposals, five tackles and five inside 50s.



Contributing to Subiaco's grand final victory against South Fremantle, Brayden Ainsworth played a part in the win with 12 disposals, eight tackles and one goal. Kyron Hayden was also effective for Subiaco with 15 disposals and eight tackles.

Colts Underage midfielder, Thomas Joyce was one of East Fremantle's best in a commanding grand final win against Claremont with 24 disposals and six marks.

Lewis Davis, 197cm, 82kg, was Claremont's best with his play through the ruck with 22 disposals, eight marks, six tackles, 19 hitouts and nine inside 50s.

Continuing his strong vein of form, Jake Patmore gathered 25 disposals, four marks, four tackles and four inside 50s.

Callan England was also productive through the midfield with 20 disposals and five inside 50s.