2018 Driscoll Medal Preview

Ahead of the 2018 Driscoll Medal on Friday Night (5/10), Andrew Jackson caught up with NEAFL Media Manager Jess Webster and got her predictions for the award.

Craig Bird

Season snapshot:

  • First season at Sydney University
  • Broke NEAFL clearance record in Round 20 versus Canberra
  • Played 14 games
  • 10 times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“He has a lot of AFL experience. His contested ball-taking ability was really elite and if he didn’t miss so many games, he would have had a serious shot at the NEAFL MVP. He put in several match-winning performances and averaged the most clearances in the NEAFL and was really high up in the other key performance indicators. He broke a record one game for clearances and even though he didn’t play many games this year, the games did he did play he absolutely dominated.”

 

Ryan Hebron

Season snapshot:

  • Averaged eight marks per game
  • 31 disposals
  • 13 marks
  • Played 20 games
  • 11 times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“I’ve watched Ryan’s development over the last couple of years in particular and he’s really gone from being that young kid with potential to a bona fide star. He is a super player, he led the NEAFL in marks this year and has a great work ethic. He’s obviously added a lot to his game in terms of fitness and conditioning. You can really see he’s stepped up in those areas – he’s covering more ground and reading the play really well. He made the NEAFL team of the year for the second year in a row and he has a very bright future. He’s my favourite for the Timothy Driscoll medal.”

 

Tom Young

Season snapshot:

  • 24 goals this season
  • 34 disposals
  • Two-time winner of the Timothy Driscoll medal
  • Played 17 games
  • Four times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“Obviously, he has to be a smokie, he made the NEAFL team of the year. For me, he’s a true match-winner. He always plays to a high standard, I’ve rarely seen him have a bad game – he’s incredibly smart and so hard to beat in one-on-one situations. For me he’s a triple-rounder.”

 

Jack Hiscox

Season snapshot:

  • Averaged four marks per game
  • 30 disposals
  • 10 inside 50s
  • Played 18 games
  • Four times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“I don’t think another player in the NEAFL can match him when he gets out into space and grabs the footy and takes you off – it’s almost ‘see you later’. He’s such a good finisher on the run so if he has a shot on goal, nine times out of ten he’s going to nail it. He plays a really important role at Sydney University and provides so many runs and carries.”

 

Jake Bartholomaeus

Season snapshot:

  • NEAFL Rising Star nomination (Round 14)
  • Debuted in Round 2
  • 27 disposals
  • Played 18 games
  • Six times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“He’s had a really fantastic breakout season. I don’t think he started out with many people outside of Sydney University predicting how far he would come. He was a NEAFL rising star nominee and averages a high number of possessions per game. He has a great work ethic and is very determined. He had a couple of years coming through the Sydney Swans academy – and he has obviously picked up important skills about how to apply himself at a professional level. I think he’s definitely got a bright future and Sydney Uni has definitely found a gem in him.”

 

Sam Tagliabue

Season snapshot:

  • Averaged 38 hit outs
  • Captained his first game for the club this season
  • Best game – Round 16 versus Southport
  • Played 19 games
  • Two times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“He’s been a really consistent ruckman in the NEAFL for a couple of years. He flies under the radar a bit in terms of how important he is to the Sydney University structure. He’s obviously a big body and can match it with the best in the competition. He’s really important to the squad and was key to their success in 2018.”

 

Adam Gulden

Season snapshot:

  • Averaged 80 AFL fantasy points.
  • First season at SUANFC
  • 30 disposals
  • Played 17 games
  • Seven times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

 “Adam was one of the recruits of the year. He thoroughly deserved his NEAFL team of the year selection. He really stood out among the other backs, obviously has experience and that really showed. He’s a really consistent player, really silky with great skill, can cover the ground with his footwork and for me will be near the top of the votes.”

 

Austin Lucy

Season snapshot:

  • 18 disposals
  • Three goals
  • Best game – Round 15 versus Brisbane
  • Played 19 games
  • Four times named in best players

Jess Webster’s view:

“He’s Mr fix-it. He can push up forward through the midfield and just keeps going. He’s been in the NEAFL since its inception and is a 100-game player. He just knows how to find a kick, is really experienced and adds a lot to the Sydney university group.”