Posted in Featured News , People of the SMJFL

As the countdown continues to the November 22 NAB AFL Draft, SMJFL star Harley Balic looks increasingly likely to be picked up by an AFL club.

In fact some experts believe the former Mordi-Brae premiership player looms as a first-round draft choice.

A promising junior basketballer, Harley gave that away to focus on football after being picked up by Sandringham Dragons. His decision has certainly paid dividends, with the silky midfielder/forward putting in some standout performances with Vic Metro in this year’s Under 18 National Carnival to rocket into draft calculations.

His basketball background has served him well on the footy field, and his smooth moves have earned him comparisons with another junior basketball prodigy in Scott Pendlebury.

AFL Media’s resident Draft expert Callum Twomey (himself a former SMJFL player with the Caulfield Bears) has recently written an article on Harley and his draft prospects.

“Balic looks likely to be a first-round pick in three weeks when names are called at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Some clubs have him among their top dozen or so selections, while others view him around the 20-25 range in their rankings,” Twomey wrote.

“Balic is an exciting prospect who can influence games. He offers clubs a slightly unique set of skills in this year’s pool: he’s versatile and agile, dangerous and dynamic, and can have a say on a contest without needing to find heaps of the ball.

“Balic is able to play in three different parts of the ground – as a dangerous half-forward, a smooth midfielder and an attacking half-back. At certain stages this season he was moved into all of those roles and showed exciting promise.

“Generally, however, Balic is a half-forward who switches into the midfield. His versatility is an attribute, as is his capacity to mark well.

“Although Balic has left basketball, there are still elements of his game that look to have been carried over to footy. He’s agile in tight spaces, sees the game unfold really quick and makes things happen when he’s around the ball.”

Harley played 72 games for the Mustangs and was a member of their Under 16 Division 1 premiership side in 2013. He was also an SMJFL Under 14 Interleague representative in 2011 and runner-up in the Under 16 Division 1 league Best & Fairest in 2013.


Click here to read Callum Twomey’s full article and watch highlights of Harley in action.


Harley Balic

The 2013 Mordi-Brae Under 16 Division 1 premiership team featured draft hopeful Harley Balic.