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Footyology’s draft rankings – No. 10: Hunter Clark


Hunter Clark bursts clear with the ball for Dandenong Stingrays against Calder Cannon’s in round five of this year’s TAC Cup. Photo: AFL MEDIA

Footyology’s draft rankings – No. 10: Hunter Clark

Bede Briscomb    

No. 10 – HUNTER CLARK
Victoria (Dandenong Stingrays)
Midfielder

Born: 26/3/1999
Height: 186cm
Weight: 79kg

TAC CUP STATS
Disposals: 24.7
Kicks: 13.9
Handballs: 10.8
Handball efficiency: 70%
Kicking efficiency: 58%
Marks: 2.8
Tackles: 6.2
Goals: 0.8
One elite attribute: Ground game. A slick ball-handler with good size who ticks every box required of a midfielder and can even mark it overhead.
Best-case comparison: Trent Cotchin

WHAT HE’S GOT

Ground game: Clark is excellent at securing the ball in crowded situations and dishing it off to an outside runner. Established himself as a genuine inside-outside midfielder this year.

Outside running: His running patterns are already advanced and he’s got great speed in open space. Averaged close to 10 handball receives a game.

Comfortable on both feet: Right footer is not Sam Mitchell by any stretch but he is clean on his non-preferred foot.

Overhead marking: Has got a decent leap and nice hands. Will probably have to wait until his upper body fills out until we see it consistently in the AFL.

WHAT HE LACKS

Foot skills: He’s fine on the outside but panics a little when he’s being tailed.

Size: Just needs to work hard at filling out his body and maximising his tank, which he’s more than capable of doing.

BEDE BRISCOMB CHATS WITH HUNTER CLARK

Hunter Clark gets his kick away for the Stingrays against Northern Knights. Photo: AFL MEDIA

The biggest thing I’d say you’ve demonstrated this year is that you’re a ball magnet. What specific things do you need to do to make that translate into the AFL?

Midfield. There’s just so much running and contests you’re required to be involved in.”

What AFL player do you look at now and say: “That’s the player I want to be at my absolute best”?

I want to be similar to [Nathan] Fyfe. I want to be able to take contested marks, and his attack on the footy is amazing in the contest.

What’s one thing you think you’re elite at?

Being clean with the footy below my knees.

Do you have a number in mind in terms of where you want to be drafted? If you slip below that number how will you react?

I don’t have a number. I will be extremely grateful if I get the opportunity to be picked up.

Would you prefer to be drafted by an AFL team which is a good chance to make finals or a team that is near the bottom where you might have a bit more opportunity?

I wouldn’t mind; either way you have to earn the respect and trust of all the playing group so I’d be happy at any club.

What’s the one criticism about your game that you personally don’t agree with?

My kicking can cop criticism, but I have confidence that I’m a good kick and will continue to work hard on that.

Say you have a bad game and you hear someone at the MCG saying something offensive about your game, or you get social media trolls berating you on Facebook or Twitter, how would you react to that?

I’d just try to block it out. I wouldn’t want to be getting caught up in that stuff. Just focus on footy.

Conversely, say you have a few seasons like Clayton Oliver just had and everyone in the media starts to say you’re worth a million dollars a year etc. How would you react to that?

I’d just keep looking for ways to improve my game because there are always things you can improve on and not let the media and things like that change the way I go about footy.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve had this year preparing for draft?

Just to embrace any opportunity that comes your way.

Do you think you could contribute in an AFL grand final as the player you are today?

I think so. I would try and play any role required and I’d sacrifice my game for the better of the team.

Who do you personally think is the best player in this year’s draft? (You’re allowed to say yourself.)

It’s hard not to say Luke Davies-Uniacke or Cam Rayner.

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