The use of player physical and technical skill match activity profiles to predict position in the Australian Football League draft

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This study investigated the extent to which position in the Australian Football League (AFL) national draft is associated with individual game performance metrics. Physical/technical skill performance metrics were collated from all participants in the 2014 national under 18 (U18) championships (18 games) drafted into the AFL (n = 65; 17.8 ± 0.5 y); 232 observations. Players were subdivided into draft position (ranked 1–65) and then draft round (1–4). Here, earlier draft selection (i.e., closer to 1) reflects a more desirable player. Microtechnology and a commercial provider facilitated the quantification of individual game performance metrics (n = 16). Linear mixed models were fitted to data, modelling the extent to which draft position was associated with these metrics. Draft position in the first/second round was negatively associated with “contested possessions” and “contested marks”, respectively. Physical performance metrics were positively associated with draft position in these rounds. Correlations weakened for the third/fourth rounds. Contested possessions/marks were associated with an earlier draft selection. Physical performance metrics were associated with a later draft selection. Recruiters change the type of U18 player they draft as the selection pool reduces. juniors with contested skill appear prioritised.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 16.02.2017

    Research areas

  • notational analytics, performance analysis, predictive modelling, recruiting, Talent selection
  • Environmental planning