Rookie Review – 2021 AAMI Community Series

Written by Chillo on March 10 2021

It’s Supercoach’s very own version of Groundhog Day! From Christmas to Valentine’s Day, we all fret and whine and carp about the lack of rookies and wonder how the hell we are going to be able to select 30 players without lapsing into the madness of midpricers. Then the pre-season games roll around and suddenly it’s not a question of if there will be rookies, but which ones we should select! Lots and lots of promising performance in the truncated AAMI series – here’s a review of every single potential cash cow that we saw over last weekend….


Paddy Dow ($202 400, mid/fwd) was the red-hot Blue cow everyone wanted, and played the coveted role with 18 centre bounce attendances. He didn’t quite reap the rewards though, finishing with a middling 54 pts despite 17 pos at 76% efficiency with zero clangers. Still, he looks an excellent option if he keeps up that mid time.
Lochie O’Brien ($180 500 mid) played the second half on the wing and managed 11 touches in only 30% time on ground. Job security is a bit stinky and his scoring history is tenuous at best.
Paul Hunter ($102 400 ruc) returned from the footy wilderness, starting at ruck and giving a good account of himself with 77 pts from 13 possessions and 23 hitouts. He also managed a nice goal, but his chances are based almost entirely on the fitness of Paddy Ryder.
Tom Highmore ($117 300 def) has impressed throughout the off-season with his work ethic, and showed some nice touches in his 47 pts from 57% time on ground. The unfortunate injury to Chip Frawley can only aid his chances of a round 1 call-up, and he should be ‘high’ on your list of defensive cow prospects.

DNP: Carroll, Durdin


Oliver Henry ($135 300 fwd) has a bit of hype about him, but could only ghost his way to a measly 7 pts from 6 touches, including three clangers. The only way is up!
Trey Ruscoe ($206 800 fwd) wasn’t really Supercoach relevant last year. Still isn’t. 26 pts.
Will Kelly ($135 400 fwd) broke his collarbone. Sad face. 11 pts from 3 touches.
Trent Bianco ($123 900 def/mid) spent the entire game glued to the bench. Played well in the seconds game the following day though. Has a Supercoach-friendly game, just needs to convince the coach to give him a run.
Callum Coleman-Jones ($161 200 ruc/fwd) played forward for the Tigers, and was okay for his 59 pts (12 disposals) in 89% TOG. Serving a suspension for the first few rounds though.
Riley Collier-Dawkins ($123 900 mid) promises a lot but is still having trouble breaking into the the premier’s midfield. Played the second half but only managed 16 pts from 8 pos, with sloppy disposal hindering his scoring.
Will Martyn ($123 900 mid) played the last quarter and managed 26 pts from only 21% TOG. Still developing, but put him in the black book.

DNP: Macrae, Chugg, Rioli


Tom Powell ($153 300 mid) suffered from regular bouts of leather poisoning in junior footy, and continued on in a similar fashion in his first game in Roos colours. 57 pts from 16 possessions was extremely promising before he was benched in the final quarter. Lock him in, kids!
Lachie Young ($202 000 def/mid) played defence and scored 50, which seems to be about his normal output.
Tom Campbell ($154 700 ruc/fwd) got a run in the forward line and impressed as he usually does with 9 touches and a goal from 40% TOG. Still playing in the shadow of Goldy though.
Atu Bosenavulagi ($175 500 fwd) came across from the Pies in the off season. Scored 38 pts in a small defender role from 52% TOG which is nice, but there are better options at this price.
Phoenix Spicer ($117 300 mid/fwd) has the best moniker of this year’s rookie class. Played the 4th quarter for 4 disposals.
Charlie Lazzaro ($117 300 mid) has been talked up recently but only played the first half for his 21 pts. There still seems to be positive vibes around him though, maybe the coach has seen enough already? Shortlist him.
Will Phillips ($198 300 mid) was the highest drafted mid in 2020, but seems to be a step or two behind Powell and Lazzaro at this stage. Only played the fourth quarter, but gave a decent account of himself with 19 pts from 5 touches, all contested, at 100% efficiency.
Jacob Koschitzke ($123 900 def) is allegedly a defender, but looked pretty damn convincing as a key forward against the flimsy North defence. 130 pts from six goals is about as persuasive as you can get from one of these games, hopefully Clarko was watching!
Tyler Brockman ($117 300 mid/fwd) booted three majors in the opening term and was generally lively throughout, finishing with 80 pts. Not so sure about his chances of a Round 1 debut, but he couldn’t have done much more to earn one.
Connor Downie ($117 300 mid) has been a popular bench choice recently. He played on the wing and had a mixed afternoon, finishing with 40 pts from 17 touches. Four clangers held him back and he clearly has some things to work on, but might have showed enough.
Lachlan Bramble ($102 400 mid) played 85% game time and finished with 29 pts from 11 kicks.
Finn Maginness ($195 600 mid) did not leave the bench.

DNP: Grainger-Barras


Zach Guthrie ($180 500 def/mid) has made a habit of playing well in the pre-season. 47 pts from 50% TOG is nothing to sneeze at, but you should try to forget about him as quickly as possible!
Sam De Koning ($123 900 def) started in the ruck against Draper, and showed just how much developing he has to do. 34 pts from 51% TOG is a decent return, but Rhys Stanley will take his spot when the big show starts.
Francis Evans ($123 900 fwd) booted a nice major to ice the game for the Cats, finishing with 38 pts in 39% TOG.
Harrison Jones ($123 900 fwd) showed plenty in the opening quarter but quickly vanished. 43 pts from 75% TOG is probably not quite what we were looking for, but he should get games. Is that going to be enough to select him in your team?
Ned Cahill ($161 200 fwd) played on the wing and looked pretty good in compiling 52 pts at 90% efficiency. The slightly elevated price tag is a bit annoying, but his job security may make up for it?
Nikolas Cox ($175 800 def/fwd) cuts an imposing figure on the wing, but 32 pts from 80% TOG is not so impressive. Probably not?
Nick Bryan ($123 900 ruc) actually looked amazing in the last quarter, with his 29 pts including a couple of sparkling hitouts to advantage. Won’t play much this year, but watch out!
Archie Perkins ($171 300 mid/fwd) didn’t get much of a chance and didn’t do much.
Alec Waterman ($102 400 fwd) was the big budget hope after the Bombers snapped him up last week. He only played the last quarter though, and might have to wait a bit longer for that next step.

DNP: Cooper Stephens


Tanner Bruhn ($157 800 mid) was drafted as a midfielder, but played the pocket with aplomb for 4 majors and 62 pts. Did his chances no harm and the coach is already comparing him to Toby Greene. I think that’s a compliment?
Kieren Briggs ($123 900 def/fwd) is the forgotten Giants ruck rook, but his 81 pts and 22 hitouts would’ve caught quite a few eyes. Did that include Leon Cameron? Would be very handy to slot in at D8!
Nick Shipley ($123 900 mid) scored -2.
Braeden Campbell ($189 300 mid/fwd) is a top 5 pick who played off the halfback flank, utilising what is possibly the best kick in this year’s rookie class to earn 85 pts from 18 possessions. The Swans already seem to trust him to distribute from the back half, although the absence of Lloyd may have inflated his figures a bit. Should play, though.
Errol Gulden ($117 300 mid) was everywhere and finished with 77 pts from 81% TOG. Has really shot into calculations due to general attitude and willingness to run, and should earn a round 1 debut.
Logan McDonald ($193 800 fwd) presented as the lone tall option up forward for the Swans, and did enough to justify the hype. 61 pts from 9 touches, 5 marks and a booming goal in only 46% TOG. He’s expensive – maybe too expensive – but looks set to get a run with Buddy Franklin still missing in action.
Matthew Ling ($163 000 def) played the fourth quarter for 8 pts.
Chad Warner ($144 000 fwd) played on the ball and did a pretty fair job of it too, knocking up 89 pts from 19 possessions at 68% efficiency. There’s no faulting his endeavour, but has he done enough? If he plays, lock him in.

DNP: Will Gould, Jacob Wehr, Matt Flynn


James Rowe ($117 300 fwd) is probably in your forward line, and the mature age recruit managed 63 pts and 16 possessions despite the Crows getting pasted. A rare bad day in front of the sticks held him back from an even better score, and he’s a safe pick.
Jordon Butts ($176 800 def) had plenty to do and mostly did it well, finishing with 71 pts from 13 possessions at 92% efficiency. Definitely not the worst, but he is a key defender so consider yourself warned.
Sam Berry ($117 300 mid) came in with whispers around of a round 1 debut, but was rarely sighted in scoring 13 pts from 42% TOG. A bit puzzling and now we just have to wait and see what the team sheets bring us.
Riley Thilthorpe ($202 800 ruc/fwd) came in and found the going a bit tougher this week, scoring 12 pts from 39% TOG. He’s going to be a gun in years to come – but probably not this year.
Lachlan Jones ($139 800 def) and his flying mullet played defence in the second half, scoring an eye-catching 43 pts from six possessions and 4 tackles. He’s a popular pick in the backline, but it’s still hard to see him getting a run at this stage. Hopefully I’m wrong?
Jackson Mead ($123 900 mid) managed a goal and showed a bit of dash in his 25 pts from 41% TOG.
Miles Bergman ($123 900 fwd) was the most impressive of the Power rookies, playing a roving role for 77 pts from 17 possessions, 8 marks and 4 tackles in 79% game time. Outstanding effort, albeit against somewhat dodgy opposition, but I’m still not quite sure it was enough to break into the powerful Power 22.

DNP: Luke Pedlar


Zane Trew ($102 400 mid) played the fourth quarter for his 22 pts. One for the future so remember that name.
Jamaine Jones ($182 400 fwd) played his familiar pocket role, and did okay for 54 pts in 79% TOG. There are better options at a cheaper price elsewhere, however.
Isiah Winder ($117 300 def/mid) played the second half and scored 11 pts.
Harry Edwards ($123 900 def) also played the second half for 16 pts. Sensing a pattern here?
Josh Treacy ($102 400 ruc/fwd) is everyone’s loophole special, but he got game time after Lobb unfortunately went down injured. He played mostly deep forward and scored 27 pts from 75% TOG. If he was in your team before, there’s still no reason to leave him out now.
Heath Chapman ($148 800 def) played the fourth quarter and has some exciting touches among his 5 possessions. Possible downgrade target at some stage during the year, so don’t forget about him completely.
Lloyd Meek ($123 900 ruc) started in the ruck and had to cover for Lobb. He gave an excellent account of himself in scoring 75 pts from 12 possessions and 18 hitouts, including winning 4 free kicks against the mighty NicNat. So impressive was he, that some coaches are now even thinking of starting him at R2!
Michael Frederick ($175 700 fwd) played midfield in the absence of Serong and Cerra, and reaped the rewards with 77 pts from 17 touches and 9 marks. He capped off a great day with a pair of goals and could be a great POD cash cow if he can maintain this sort of form.
Liam Henry ($184 500 fwd) played the second half in the forward pocket and finished with 34 pts from 34% TOG. Big wraps on this kid but he’s still very much in the developing stages of his career.

DNP: Luke Valente, Mark Hutchings


Lachlan McNeil ($102 400 mid) came in with high hopes of being the budget M11 we needed, but he only quietly managed 8 touches and a late goal for 35 pts from a forward pocket.
Anthony Scott ($102 400 mid/fwd) on the other hand was terrific throughout, accumulating 14 possessions (7 contested) and two goals for 79 pts from 82% TOG. Comes with DPP status and fingers crossed for this guy – just beware the Bevo factor…
Dominic Bedendo ($117 300 fwd) had four possessions for 11 pts.
Buku Khamis ($123 900 def) did some good things in defence in the second half for 37 pts from 44% game time, but is a fair way off a debut just yet.
Neville Jetta ($186 300 def) is an experienced lockdown defender who scores like a lockdown defender. 43 pts from 5 touches and a team-high 7 tackles.
James Jordon ($123 900 mid) got his chance in the absence of more experienced folk, but struggled to make an impact with 37 pts in 79% TOG. Still, the coaching staff seem to like him and the Dees do need to develop their midfield, so….
Bailey Laurie ($117 300 def/fwd) rode the pine.
Jake Bowey ($117 300 mid/fwd) is from the Caleb Daniel school of footy – small in stature but elite disposal. 31 pts from 57% TOG is nothing to write home about, but keep an eye out for him later in the season.
Kade Chandler ($161 200 fwd) played the pocket and managed 59 pts from only 7 touches, running at 100% efficiency. He’s a break-glass option.
Toby Bedford ($137 000 fwd) played the last quarter and scored 9 pts from four disposals.

DNP: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan


Tom Fullarton ($128 900 ruc/fwd) played deep forward and occasional back-up ruck to the Big O, and he did alright too with 8 touches and two majors. Won’t be a big scorer, but he’s a warm body and can swing between ruck and forward. Decent option.
Harry Sharp ($117 300 def/mid) was actually terrific in the second half, running like a maniac and gathering 10 possessions and a goal in his 52 pts. At a lesser club he would be a great option, but the Lions midfield is so loaded right now it’s hard to see how he gets a game.
Connor Ballenden ($146 100 fwd) did not play.
James Madden ($123 900 def/fwd) did not play.

DNP: Nakia Cockatoo, Alex Davies, Ely Smith, Elijah Hollands, Deven Robertson


Phew, that’s a lot of new cattle! So what does it all mean? Based on potential output, vague assessment of job security, and good old-fashioned gut feel, here’s how I see the potential candidates on each line:


  1. Lachlan Jones
  2. Jacob Koschitzke
  3. Tom Highmore
  4. Nik Cox (fwd)
  5. Jordon Butts
  6. Harry Sharp (mid)
  7. Kieren Briggs (fwd)
  8. Nick Murray

As you’re probably aware by now backline defenders are tough, tough, tough this year. Jones is my top pick, but more than likely won’t play. The Crows boys might wind up with the best job security, but aren’t going to be big scorers. Like most, I think I’ll be loading up on premos in the backline this year and then filling in the gaps with whatever rookies are available when teams drop next weekend.


  1. Tom Powell
  2. Errol Gulden
  3. Connor Downie
  4. Tanner Bruhn
  5. James Jordon
  6. Charlie Lazzaro
  7. Lachlan McNeil
  8. Will Phillips

Powell and Gulden are locks at this stage. Downie should have done enough to keep his spot even when the likes of Titch and JOM return, while Bruhn is looking at a spot in the forward pocket. Phillips has been the disappointment of the rookie pre-season, but looks a capable scorer if he can get a gig.


  1. Tom Fullarton (fwd)
  2. Lloyd Meek
  3. Josh Treacy (fwd)
  4. Riley Thilthorpe (fwd)

Note that this does not include Matt Flynn ($123 900 ruc), who was injured last week but looks to be first in line for the ruck role at the Giants. Fullarton’s DPP status gets him the nod ahead of Meek, who may miss out if Sean Darcy is passed fit to play. Injury to Rory Lobb may help Treacy’s chances.


  1. James Rowe
  2. Paddy Dow (mid)
  3. Braeden Campbell (mid)
  4. Anthony Scott (mid)
  5. Chad Warner
  6. Michael Frederick
  7. Tyler Brockman (mid)
  8. Harrison Jones
  9. Miles Bergman
  10. Ned Cahill
  11. Logan McDonald

Rowe gets the nod for job security, but I expect Dow to improve on his efforts from last weekend. Scott could be a decent cow or he could be the next Ben Cavarra – but at his basement price tag the risk here is low. Bergman looked terrific, but in a dominant side he will battle to make the 22.


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21 thoughts on “Rookie Review – 2021 AAMI Community Series”

  1. This is a good read, but I can add just a little to some players in games I managed to watch.

    Jordon Butts had a player land on the outside of his ankle and was off the field with an injury. However, they strapped it up and returned to the field. As a defender for a team like Adelaide, he should see a lot of the ball down back, so he’s not the worst lockdown defender.

    James Jordon seems to be unlucky with his score as he seemed better that what he received. 14 disposals at 79% efficiency doesn’t seem to bad, but 12 disposals were uncontested. He had 49 AF but 37 SC. If he can flip that around he’d seem better. Plus playing that stacked Bulldogs midfield potentially restricted the amount of ball the Dees got and no Oliver, Viney or Brayshaw. If they were included, that could mean more possessions, so remember to look at more than just the score itself


  2. Great summary, can’t believe this site is free! Although I’m optimistic about SC 2021, the pessimist in me has set in with 8 days to go.

    James Rowe. Beware small forwards in under-performing teams. See Lachlan Murphy circa 2018, av 49.

    Dow. Has bulked up over pre-season. So at least he’ll look good as he averages 55.

    Jones & Bergman. The Port rookie-fest of 2019 is over, the new crew will have a harder time finding a spot.

    If only we had more ruck spots for Flynn, Briggs, Meek, Treacy, Hunter for FD’s rule #14.


    1. Briggs isn’t available as a Ruck, only listed as Fwd/Def. With Keefe injured (ankle) that gives him another reason to be named as a tall defender as well as a back up ruck for the young Flynn.


  3. Paddy Ryder taking personal leave from the club indefinitely… Paul Hunter is now looking very tasty at R3


  4. Awesome stuff Chillo! So gratefully appreciates mate – and not only for this article but all the other info you produce as well!!


  5. Would there be anyone out there contemplating taking Flynn, Hunter and Meek as the 3 rucks and loading up elsewhere…..


    1. My AFL Fantasy team has this. With Treacy, Fullerton and Briggs as well. So pretty much all in on the rookies. I think it’s ok for Fantasy because of the extra trades. For SC, I think you need them for 6-8 weeks.
      For Meek, if Darcy is only a couple of weeks away, then I can’t see him lasting long enough to make money.
      For Hunter, I think either of Ryder or Marshall coming into the team will see him out. I think McKernan keeps that support role. So, again I see him not lasting long enough to make money.
      I think Treacy is taking Lobb’s spot. So maybe gets 6-8 weeks. Possibly ahead of Meek for that role, but don’t quote me! DPP is a plus.
      I see Fullerton taking McStay’s role, or even Darcy Gardiner (Brisbane fans help me out here!). Either way , I think he’s got 6-7 weeks, which will help him make money.
      So, I am keeping Flynn at R3, Fullerton at F5 and Treacy at F8. Briggs as an outside chance at D8, but if Kosi and Highmore are selected, I would prefer them on my Def bench


    2. Coincidently, those three rookie rucks are Gawn’s first three opponents, which should tell you everything you need to know.


    1. Yep, congrats to him. Still not sure about his Supercoach relevance with Marshall due back within the month, but happy for the man. 28yo on debut, never ever give up


    2. Also note that Ryders return is unknown, but it is due to him not seeing his family for over 15 months. So it could be just 2 weeks for all we know


  6. Brilliant stuff Chillo Hunter is my concern with the others coming back soon maybe just not enough time to fatten Don’t know yet DD


    1. Excellent Chillo I am wondering why I put all that effort into pre season research on Rookies, when all I had to do was read this.



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