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AFL: Worth a look? WAFL

July 12, 2017 9:55 AM

The football future of mercurial Subiaco forward Liam Ryan is likely to dominate discussion among WAFL circles in the lead-up to this year's AFL drafts.

The 20-year-old was tipped to be hot property last year after he burst onto the scene and booted 40 goals from 16 games in a sensational debut season.

But despite having plenty of interviews with interested AFL clubs, Ryan was overlooked by recruiters.

However, the Geraldton product's form has been irresistible this season. Ryan leads the WAFL's goalkicking with 45 majors from 14 games, and boasts an incredible highlight reel of spectacular marks. 

Many were disappointed when Ryan pulled out of WA's historic win over a VFL state team in Melbourne due to soreness, but the star Lion's body of work in his home state can't be denied. 

A blend of former AFL players and other mature-age prospects headline the talent who could come under consideration in this year's drafts.

Reigning Sandover medallist Jye Bolton continues to impress at Claremont and the 25-year-old ball magnet is desperate for another shot at the top level after spending 2011 on Collingwood's rookie list. 

Jonathon Marsh, Blaine Johnson and Haiden Schloithe have also been dominant after AFL stints, while South Fremantle's stoppage specialist Tim Kelly will surely be on recruiters' radars.

Jye Bolton (Claremont)
Swept all before him in a stunning debut WAFL season last year, which included taking out the Sandover Medal, Simpson Medal as WA's best in the state game and Tigers' club champion award. The tireless 187cm onballer has been in the midst of a purple patch over the past month, averaging 32.5 possessions. 

Blaine Johnson (South Fremantle)
Has stamped himself as one of the WAFL's most damaging forwards after returning from Carlton at the end of 2015. Currently sits second on the goalkicking chart with 39 majors – including a haul of nine against Perth. Applies strong tackling pressure in attack and has a knack for producing memorable moments. Turns 22 later this month. 

Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Put his name up in lights with a dazzling seven-goal, 35-disposal midfield performance against arch-rivals East Fremantle last month and has the tools to make it at the elite level. Kelly is a clearance king who has the explosive power to burst clear from stoppages and, obviously, he can also hit the scoreboard. Averaging 28 touches and a goal per game this year. 

Jonathon Marsh (East Fremantle)
Had a taste of the big time playing 15 games as a defender for Collingwood before returning to WA for personal reasons last year. A good size at 190cm and still only 21 years old, Marsh could have currency for AFL clubs – particularly the two local sides. Has shown versatility playing as a big-bodied midfielder for the Sharks this year, averaging 28 touches in a struggling outfit.

Luke Meadows (West Perth)
Was on the radar of AFL clubs after a breakout 2016 campaign as an attacking half-back who was tough to beat in one-on-one contests. The 22-year-old has moved into midfield where he can use his kicking skills to damaging effect. Averages nearly 26 disposals and has booted 11 majors from 14 appearances. 

Liam Ryan (Subiaco)
The WAFL's brightest star is capable of just about anything on the field and, on talent alone, should be on an AFL list. Ryan's highlights reel is astounding and his screamer against Peel in round four was a grab for the ages. The spring-heeled 20-year-old from Geraldton leads the WAFL goalkicking with 45 majors in 14 games and has to be back in recruiters' sights after being overlooked last year.  

Haiden Schloithe (South Fremantle)
Hampered by injuries in the past two seasons, the ex-Dockers rookie has bounced back this year and is coming-off a career-best five-goal haul from 27 touches at the weekend against Claremont. The 24-year-old is averaging more than 30 disposals this season and has also booted 22 majors.