John Butcher (Gippsland Power/Vic Country) – Draft Profile

Height: 197cm

Weight: 87kg

Preferred foot: Right

Postion: FF/CHF

Potential: 7.5-8.5/10

Video Footage


> Very good vertical leap, agility and decent-good pace off the mark for his size

> Excellent mobility and clean hands at ground level for his size

> Elite contested and pack mark – clean hands, one grabber that reads the flight very well - still thin through the body but has the nous and positioning to out point his opponent through subtlety or getting best position first – averages close to 3 CM per game at TAC Cup level

> Has courage and is not afraid of heavy collision or going back with the flight

> Very good height for a KPF – height advantage on majority of key defenders at 197cm, however is at a couple of cm reach disadvantage for his height according to DC results


> Work-rate is inconsistent –has a fairly low possession rate at 12 per game at TAC Cup and averaged less than that at the U18 championships – defensively he can offer anywhere from very good to poor tackling pressure and efforts – doesn’t exert his physicality often enough (though he still has a slim, developing body) or go leading up the ground with great effect/go searching for the ball outside of the forward 50 often enough as you’d like of a key forward – TBF he was heavily outnumbered on a fairly consistent basis at U18 championships and very few young key forwards have to deal with this at an early stage in their careers (though at AFL the best KF do) – in a way it’s good he’s been exposed to that sort of attention so early

> Field kicking is unreliable


> Set shot kicking for goal has a tendency to be hot and cold, but overall is decent - he can achieve good depth, but his kicking action at times seems to be uncoordinated along with a tendency to drop the ball from a height on occasions, puts him at greater risk of making errors, add to that he doesn’t seem to have much confidence in his kicking - however his accuracy at TAC Cup has been 60-65% which is more than acceptable for AFL – he is a genuine tall with technical flaws in his kicking, which is a skill which requires very good co-ordination and many talls are still adjusting to their rapidly growing bodies, so I think it is something he is capable of improving (particularly as his technique doesn’t seem consistent)

> Physically he is still immature, but I think he should develop into a decent athletic build for a key forward

> AIS-AFL squad member

> Limited 2009 pre-season as a result of recovery from hip surgery in November 2008

>Developed injury issues including fractured hand and quad strain

> He is one player who I think the environment he ends up will be very important to his future success – he needs a balanced coach that will instil confidence in him, but at the same time push him to develop the weak aspects of his game

> Played 2 U18 Championships series (2008 and 2009) – 2nd leading goal kicker (11 goals from 4 games – 0 vs VM, 4 vs NSW/ACT, 2 vs SA, 5 vs Tas) in 2008 U18 Championships (despite missing one game) – =6th leading goal kicker (behind Matera, Darling, Panos, Silverlock and Emery – equal with Hicks) in the 2009 U18 championships (9 goals from 5 games – 3 vs VM, 0 vs SA, 2 vs NT, 2 vs Tas, 2 vs WA)

> From reports it sounds like he is a fairly quietly spoken, down to earth guy who if anything is lacking in confidence compared to most

> 2009 TAC Cup TOTY CHF


2008 and 2009 TAC Cup Stats


Butcher is the best credentialed key forward prospect in this draft with his height, athletic qualities and elite contested marking ability, however he struggled with a combination of injury issues and much increased attention from oppositions, as well as demonstrating disinterest and a poor work-rate on several occasions and as a result hasn’t kicked on from a very promising bottom age year in 2008 as many would’ve predicted. He is a risky selection - I think he has the potential to be a consistent 50+ goal per year key forward and a top 50-100 AFL player at his best, but there are a few very important areas of his game he will need to improve upon and add to reach the very top status of key forwards. He is worth a mid to late first round pick IMO.

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