Joshua Begley was unsuccessful in making this year’s Vic Metro squad, not representing Vic Metro during the AFL Under-18 Championships. He did however receive an invite to this year’s AFL Draft Combine, one of 80 to receive an invite.
Making a name for himself as a forward, kicking 16 goals from his first four games this season, Begley has since showed prowess playing primarily through the midfield. Begley has featured in the bests for Eastern in eight of a possible 12 games and has 23 goals to his name so far this season.
Against the Geelong Falcons, he had his lowest disposal total in any game in which he has not kicked a goal this season, with 16 touches, eight contested possessions, eight tackles, five clearances and one score assist for the game.
Playing through the midfield against Geelong, Begley lined up at stoppages against one of next year’s gun midfield prospects in James Worpel, overall breaking even, with Worpel like Begley not achieving his regular numbers through the midfield.
Begley at 187cm, 87kg is already very strongly developed physically and is someone who has a presence to him out on the field. He wins first possession at stoppages, tackles aggressively, marks strongly overhead and crashes packs.
Begley has proven to be an effective ball user this season. He is not only a good finisher around goal and from set shots but also hits his targets by foot over a variety of distances. At stoppages he also dishes out well by hand to teammates.
His most pressing deficiencies are a lack of pace, agility and endurance. Begley seems to have dropped some weight and covers the ground better than he did earlier in the season, but further work is still needed. He also often feels more influential earlier in games, which again comes back to his fitness base.
With a few pre-seasons into him, the hope would be that he develops an AFL body and improves his running ability while still retaining his power game that makes him an impactful player.
Begley at this stage is seen as someone who will come under consideration in this year’s draft from the third round onwards.