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Tomorrow's Heroes: Lukosius

It is a debut that has followed Jack Lukosius for 12 months.

Since the then 17-year-old played his first senior game for Woodville West Torrens in last year's SANFL preliminary final and booted four goals, he has been the buzz of South Australian football.

However, it's a pressure that hasn't troubled Lukosius. He spent all of this season in the Eagles' senior side and performed well without blitzing and then helped steer his state to the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships title.

Lukosius was named an All Australian forward after booting nine goals in four games and showing his class against players his own age.

Lukosius is an excellent athlete for a player his size (195cm, 83kg) and he showed that at the NAB AFL Draft Combine. He ran 2.98 seconds over the 20-metre sprint, and he also finished in the top 35 per cent for players who tested in the YoYo and 2km time trial.

But he's still more footballer than athlete. Lukosius is a natural player who reads the game well, and uses his burst of speed to get off the mark and away from opponents. He's one of the best kicks to come through the draft in recent years – in the field and with his goalkicking. He finished in the top-10 for the goalkicking and kicking tests at the Combine.

Some recruiters believe Lukosius could also start as a defender, where he played at times this year, because of his reading of the play and clean hands.

Lukosius will start his career as a half-forward rather than a key forward in the way that he plays, so if a club is looking for a strong marking, body-on-body tall forward then that's not the way Lukosius plays.

In 13 games he took five contested marks this year at senior level in the SANFL compared to 66 uncontested, so that highlights his preference to get away on the lead.

The 18-year-old models his game on Hawthorn star Jack Gunston, and it's a good comparison. Both use their running capacity to work up the ground and convert their chances around goal. 

Lukosius has been in the No.1 pick conversation for more than 12 months. If the Blues look elsewhere then the Suns could swoop. It's very hard to see him getting past the Power at No.5 if he got that far.

Lukosius is highly rated for a reason. He won't be a push-and-shove player but one who out-works opponents and then reaps the rewards of his effort in front of goal.