1. He’s a dual-position player

While he’s listed as a midfielder by many draft experts, it was his work across half-back in the final three matches of the 2021 NAB League season which made Josh Goater a top prospect in this year’s draft. Goater averaged 30.5 disposals, 4.0 intercept marks and 8.5 intercept possessions in those matches, using his 190cm frame to be a presence in the air, and athleticism to break the lines. “When I’m not in the midfield I feel as though half-back is a really good position for me, because I can use my foot skills as well as my pace to break away from that congestion and I can also lock down on my opponent.” Goater told AFL.com.au. 

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Pick 22: Josh Goater in action (NAB AFL Draft, 2021)

North Melbourne has selected Josh Goater with pick 22. Enjoy some of his best work at the Calder Cannons here.

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2. He has experience at the next level

The 18-year-old also got experience at the other end of the ground in 2021 when training with Essendon’s VFL side. Goater spent time with the Bombers during the NAB League break earlier in 2021 for four weeks, playing one game against the Frankston Dolphins, in which he played as a half-forward and kicked a goal. “It was a really good experience to run out with those boys, there were a couple of AFL listed boys that were in there. I learned a lot from that experience.” he told SEN. 

3. He’s living the childhood dream

As a North Melbourne fan growing up, the 190cm versatile midfielder is now living out a childhood dream after being drafted by the Roos. Goater was born into the royal blue and white family given his father, David, hails from the town that produced North Melbourne legend Barry Cable. “I wouldn’t be living in the same house as my dad if I didn’t go for North Melbourne.” Goater told AFL.com.au. Playing up forward as a junior, Goater looked up to legendary Roos Drew Petrie and Brent Harvey. We suspect the draftee may be a bit starstruck throughout his first pre-season given he’ll be working closely with Harvey, who is a development coach at the club.

4. Talent runs in the family

While Goater is the first member of his family to make it onto an AFL list, he comes from a strong bloodline, with his father, David, playing for East Perth in the WAFL as a youngster.

David moved across to Victoria at the conclusion of his playing career.

5. It's footy first, school second

There’s no doubt Josh Goater’s parents would have told him that it’s school first, footy second quite a lot over the past 12 years - but tonight, it was footy that got the nod. Goater was a late arrival at his high school graduation, which was underway when his name was read out at pick 22. “I’m with my Mum, Dad and my brother at the moment,” he told Fox Footy. “Mates couldn’t come over because it’s graduation at the moment, so i’ll be rocking up late to graduation tonight. I was tossing up between going now and watching the draft at the table, but I made the decision to stay at home with the family and watch it."