Ben Cunnington (Geelong Falcons/Vic Country) - Draft Profile

Height: 185cm

Weight: 84kg

Position: Midfield/Utility (any non key position)

Preferred foot: Right foot/Dual sided

Potential: 8-8.5/10

Style-like: Joel Selwood/Jimmy Bartel

Video Footage


> Extreme levels of hardness, intensity, competitiveness and work-rate in both directions – 100% team player that leaves no stone unturned on the field – attack on the ball and all-round defensive pressure (chasing, tackling, spoiling, shephearding for teammates etc.) are excellent

> Versatile – capable of playing on any line and both offensive and/or defensive roles

> Very good all-round ball winning ability and play reading ability (inc at stoppages) – contested ball winning machine that averaged 24.2dpg at 2009 TAC Cup level and 19.8dpg (9.8CPpg) at 2009 U18 championships

> Very strong OH for his height – great attack on the ball and vice like grip

> Very good all-round DM ability, including vision and awareness

> Clean and very reliable ball handling

> Effective and damaging user by hand – quick hands, very good vision and execution to open up the play from congestion

> Strong and effective tackler that rarely lets any past him

> Good goal sense and scoring ability as a midfielder/forward rotator – averaged – super accurate too with 1.7gpg (83%acc) at 2009 TAC Cup level and 1.2gpg (86%acc) at 2009 U18 championships level

> Very well balanced – rarely loses his feet and difficult to bring to ground

> Ultra consistent performer – I had him in the best for all 5 VC U18 Championships games (officially named for 4/5) and was officially named in the Geelong TAC Cup sides best 11/13 times this season!


No major concerns


> Seems to have OK pace – not line-breaking, but at the same time isn’t slow enough to call a weakness

> Decent ball user by foot over short to medium distances (I’m not sure why it gets called a weakness by some, but probably not quite a genuine strength) – typically weights his passes well with OK trajectory - overall range maxes out around 50m, which reduces his potential hurt factor by foot – more strength and getting more momentum regularly behind his kicks (seems to kick off one step quite a bit) should help him improve kicking penetration

> Outstanding character reports – quite a few reports have paid tribute to his commitment and dedication - Mick Turner (GF regional manager) believes he is the "the most professional player I have seen in 15 years of TAC Cup". – he doesn’t mind pumping his club’s players tyres though...

> Ready for AFL action next year

> 2009 AA U18 FP

> 2009 TAC Cup TOTY HBF and equal 2nd in the Morrish medal


2009 AFL U18 Championships Stats

2008 and 2009 TAC Cup Stats


Cunnington has produced the goods over the last 2 years at both TAC Cup and U18 championship level to become a leading inside midfield/utility prospect in this draft. He has a very well rounded footballing skillset along with incredible levels of desperation, intensity and work-ethic which make him a safe-bet, high quality AFL prospect - I’d be surprised if he isn’t consistently mentioned in the top 50 AFL footballers when he matures. I see his value as an early first round pick.


  1. Reckon he is a Bit like Sidebottom

  2. Would be interested to hear your thoughts re: Cunnington v Morabito.

    General consensus seems to have Fremantle taking Morabito at #4, but having read through a number of mocks and profiles, and watched his U18 footage, I'm starting to think Cunnington might be a better fit. Especially given the emphasis Mark Harvey has placed on hardness, tackling and winning the hard ball.

    Nice work on the site BTW - very impressive about of info you've been able to provide.

  3. Both have the ability to be high quality AFL players offering different skills and styles of play.

    I would go for Cunnington - I think he's a better fit with his playing style vs Fremantle's list needs, however you could argue that Morabito's style of play is a better fit with where Fremantle play the bulk of their footy (Subiaco Oval) and I wouldn't disagree.

    Overall, Morabito may have slightly more potential, but at this stage I would have more confidence in Cunnington to meet his potential.

    At the end of the day it all comes down to opinions - Fremantle's recruiters will have a much more informed opinion having seen much more of each of the two than me over a longer period, having greater knowledge/experience about assessing talent (what areas of each players game will translate to AFL, what won't, whether/how much particular areas of each player's game can be developed/improved or not etc.), as well as each player's individual characteristics and how they'll fit in with your playing group on and off-field etc.

    There does seem to be a very strong media/general consensus backing to Morabito at pick 4 and they may prove right, but IIRC the media/general consensus strongly backed Daniel Rich going at pick 3 last year right up until very late.