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Footyology’s draft rankings – No. 2: Luke Davies-Uniacke


Luke Davies-Uniacke: “I’m always aiming to get the right balance of contested possessions and uncontested possessions.” Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Footyology’s draft rankings – No. 2: Luke Davies-Uniacke

Bede Briscomb    

No. 2 – LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE
Victoria (Dandenong Stingrays)
Midfielder

Born: 08/06/1999
Height: 187cm
Weight: 85kg

TAC CUP STATS
Disposals: 24.2
Kicks: 13
Handballs: 11.2
Kicking efficiency: 71%
Handball efficiency: 74%
Marks: 4.3
Tackles: 3.5
Goals: 1
One elite attribute: Clearances. Big-bodied, fluid-moving midfielder with a propensity to hit the scoreboard.
Best-case comparison: Josh P. Kennedy

WHAT HE’S GOT

Good mover in close: Uses his strength and size to not only get the ball but also dish it off to his teammates in favourable positions.

Tank: Davies-Uniacke is readymade for professional football. He’s got a good engine and is already smart about his running patterns. Can see him averaging 20 touches next year.

Reliable user: Could progress into an elite kick. You can feel safe knowing he’ll make the right decision and execute. Never going to bite off more than he can chew.

Above average mark: Doesn’t have a huge leap, but will gobble up balls in the air against smaller sized mids.

WHAT HE LACKS

Leap: Is very handy up forward, but doesn’t have the springs to consistently take pack marks – more of a one-on-one jostler.

Speed: Doesn’t have the quick change of pace that some of the smaller midfielders in the AFL have.

BEDE BRISCOMB CHATS WITH LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE

What do like most about football?

Probably the competitiveness. Footy just brings out the best in people, and also the friendships you build along the way.

What do like least about football?

The injuries. I had a pretty bad year last year and didn’t play as many games.

What do you think is the hardest position to play in footy and why?

For myself, it’s on the wing. I tried playing wing before and I didn’t do too well. It’s just that position where you’re outside of the ball and you can’t have that impact on the inside and you’ve got to wait for the kick to come to you.

You played off half-back as a junior, is that a position you can see yourself playing in the AFL?

Yeah. I think I’m a pretty versatile player and I’d take any opportunity to play an AFL game so if the coach needs me down back that’s fine.

Luke Davies-Uniacke in action for Vic Country during the under 18 championships. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

How do you assess your own performance after a game? Do you look at the stat sheet and have a set amount of disposals and tackles you want to hit?

I’m always aiming to get the right balance of contested possessions and uncontested possessions. When I played against Eastern [Ranges] I had 33 touches and 21 contested so that’s what I love seeing – just that good balance. And also just having a good mix of tackles and clearances. I don’t look at my stats straight away after a game; I usually wait a bit to see them.

When I think of a comparison for you, Josh P. Kennedy comes to mind. Do you think you play like him and if not, who do you liken your game to?

I think I’ve modelled my game more after Nat Fyfe. I like to go up forward and jump at the ball. I know Josh Kennedy’s an awesome player, but he’s mainly in the midfield, I don’t see him up forward that much. I think I’m just that versatile kind of player.

You’re currently projected to be drafted in the top three. That means there is a chance you’re going to play in Queensland or Western Australia. Would you prefer to play in Victoria, where you’re from?

Nah, it doesn’t bother me. It is what it is and I’ll grab any chance of being on an AFL list.

What’s your career goal in the AFL?

Win a premiership and have a really long and successful career.

How does it affect you when you hear people say negative things about your game?

I’m a pretty laidback guy. I don’t really worry about it. Just let my footy do the talking.

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