#38 Sam Draper


Pretty sure they had their own rucks tag him

As soon as ruck contest over just followed him everywhere as opposed to trying to make the play themselves (still did at times)

Given Cox only played limited time in ruck, it was just Grundy vs Lycett/Vardy combo


worked unbeleivably well. i forgot Grundy was playing…


Grundy beat them by a lot for hitouts, but the strategy worked insofar as around the ground is concerned. A single ruck like TBell might have difficulty with that strategy due to age and relative mobility.
When we played Collingwood 2nd time, Grundy 34 HO 24D, 16CP TBell 28HO, 15D 7CP and on Anzac Day Grundy 32 HO, 22D 14CP, TBell 20 HO, 13D 4 CP.

In the GF with WC Vardy and Lycett stats combined, Grundy 49HO to 29, Disposals 10 to 23 CP 10 to 16,

A 2 ruck strategy against Grundy might help us in 2019, because I can’t see TBell improvin on those figures, he has to CONTEST the ball more at stoppages. I suspect his role is to get out of the way of our mids, whereas Grundy is given the role to fully go for the ball after the hitout is complete.


A question for anyone who has seen him train/play VFL - does he bring some of his soccer upbringing into his game? Specifically, does he run into space for a second receive handball/short kick after he’s dished off… the old ‘wall pass’? The guys I know who played both growing up were always good runners, always looking to lay off a short pass or tap, then to get it back again.


Someone else may have seen it but I haven’t noticed it particularly


One thing for sure is his volleyball background there. His timing for jumps to tap the ball is superb


The problem for most clubs will be what to do with the second ruck when they’re not on Grundy. WCE had two guys who could contribute up forward, that’s reasonably rare. We would actually be in not a terrible position to do it, as Belly is pretty good up forward, but you’d have to change our structures a lot to do it.


Any chance we play two rucks this year?
I’m thinking that Smack and then Stewart are the incumbents for the Key-Forward-with-a-little-rucktime spot - but with Belcho and to a lesser degree Zlarcke being pretty useful as a forward target, maybe this is a possibility if we go with mobile options otherwise?
Okay, admittedly I really want to see Draper play and I’m spinning things to see how that might happen…




No, in answer to your specific question.
Although I believe he was a centre back - less interested in the ticcy taccy and more of a traditional CB - win the ball and make sure that the showboating forward feels the follow through.
That aspect does show through.
He’s always looking to stay involved, with bumps, blocks, tackles etc until the ball has definitely left the area.
He might have some soccer based lateral vision too, but at present his foot skills aren’t up to the creative but dangerous cross field give. Has turned it over horribly a couple of times trying this.


Actually sitting pretty well with Tommy c main, smack/zclarke as reliefs and Draper as a fallback.

Not the best in the league but far from the worst. We’re sitting pretty well for kpf’s/mids and rucks, window is slightly open this year


Thanks for the reply. Have always been interested in what the guys from other sports can bring. Love the lateral vision and kicking from Irish when he backs himself.


23/1/2019 Fox footy say Essendons most likely debutant 2019:

ESSENDON — Sam Draper

The uncapped 203cm ruckman is coming off the back of an impressive 2018 VFL campaign and looks ready for his first taste of senior footy. Strong and aggressive, Draper has worked to improve his forward craft and, with some good pre-season form, could edge ahead of new recruit Zac Clarke in the pecking order. Should Tom Bellchambers miss with injury, don’t be surprised to see the 20-year-old get the call-up.


I see they’ve been reading Blitz again…


You’d be making the assumption they can actually read


Interested to see the balance of him in the ruck with Z. Clarke this year. He’s probably behind Clarke in the pecking order, so maybe he gets less ruck time, so he’ll really need to develop as a forward.

Appears to be progressing really well as a forward. Three goals in match practice yesterday will be great for his confidence. Appears to be moving better in terms of reading the play and marking well as a forward, still needs to work on set shots.


Watching the video highlights of training over the weekend and was really impressed by how Sam is working on his all round football skills.
I’m not talking about the three goals, but the equally important modern AFL skill of post goal celebration.
I know it was just an intra club game, and Sammy is clearly celebrating within himself, but all the signs are there.
I reckon there’s a top 5 goal celebration just around the corner.
Can’t wait to see him bust a few celebratory moves in front of a full house at Docklands, or 80,000 at the ‘G.
Love to know which coaches or players have been helping his development.
There’s elements of the Devon Smith high stepping, a touch of the Cale Hooker fist pump, and maybe something from Sammy’s soccer background as well.


Went down and watched Billy Slater coaching St Kilda I think.


The “this guy is good at marking a ball because of volleyball” or “this guy has lateral vision because of gaelic” is just confirmation bias.


Lateral vision, haha. Hearing people don’t have “lateral vision”. I’ll never forget the moment I saw the West Coast players training blindfolded on news years ago when Woosha was the coach. One of the players fell over the fence. It was a stupid drill, footy is a visual activity, not an audible one, and this is why the question “But how can deaf people play if they can’t hear?” is stupid.