This pick will cause some consternation on the Eagles Board, it already has. Was passed over last draft and has blitzed in the WAFL this year, he is plug in ready to go . He is a big bodied hard working inside outside midfielder with an hunger for the contest. Clubs that passed on him as a late pick last year are now monitoring him closely.
Some of the Victorian 19 year old kids who are passed over in a previous years draft get to play TAC again the following year. In WA they get to try and crack it in the League side. Banfield has played all 14 WAFL League games for Claremont and its fair to say that his production has been high and he has successfully handled the step up playing against bigger more mature WAFL bodies. Although that should not be a total surprise as Banfield is a pretty solid unit himself.
What is impressive is his consistency in his 14 games here are his possession counts:
I would suggest that for a 19 year old in his first full season in the seniors thats a pretty good start.
The left footer is hard at the contest and while he can play both inside and out , his best work is done in tight close to the coal face. He is a good extractor of the ball and he has the uncanny knack of being able to get his arms free when he is tackled to get a hand pass away.
He himself is a solid tackler and in his 14 league games he has laid 77 tackles.
The reality is that if he had been on either the Dockers or Eagles list this season the fans would be calling for him to be playing AFL as the sheer weight of his production is eye catching. He has outplayed and out performed many of the young kids from the last three drafts that he has played against at Peel ( Dockers alignment Club ) East Perth ( Eagle alignment Club) lists. Thats a good measure of his talent.
Sure there are some kids in the draft that have more potential and a possible higher ceiling but with Banfield you at least already know what you will get, playing against men , not boys, as he is already doing so.
As I stated in my Bio on O’Brien I had a strong emphasis this draft on improving and bolstering the West Coast midfield. O’Brien is an outside mid and I wanted to get an inside mid as a priority to compliment that pick and having just missed out on Brayshaw and Lachlan Fogerty , I was keen to land a inside mid capable of playing ASAP.
Was tempted by two other midfielders.
Dylan Moore and Charles Ballard who are impressive young talents but are at least two years away from being rolled out in the Seniors.
So rather than getting enamoured with the concept of the new 18 year must be the “ducks nuts” , when in reality many draftees fail because their game just doesn’t transition to the next level. I decided to take the more known option and therefore selected Banfield. Won’t please all, but never the less I am happy with the pick and believe Banfield is ready to play AFL next season.