By Jake Benoiton
With the season coming towards the business end, we start to look forward to next year just a little bit.
For us at the South Metro Junior Football League that means looking forward to where some of our current stars will be playing their football next season.
Three names that have stood out this year as potential AFL recruits are Andrew McGrath, Tim Taranto & Jack Scrimshaw.
These three young men have had terrific seasons respectively and were featured in an article on the AFL’s website as players to watch at this years draft.
Scrimshaw is a Beauy Shark at heart; he has a rough trot through injury of late but bounced back well in the State Championships to help his draft prospects. Seen as the current stereotype of an AFL player the tall midfielder is big enough to hold down a key position post, but his best work is done when following the footy. He’s reported with good foot skills could be what rockets Scrimshaw up the order at this years draft.
Playing his whole junior career at Beaumaris JFC, the SMJFL has seen a lot of Scrimshaw. His talent was apparent as he was selected to represent the league as a South Metro Star in both Under 14 and Under 15 Division 1 squads, in 2012 & 2013 repspectively.
Taranto was a Mordialloc-Braeside JFC product before moving to Parkdale Vultures in Premier B of the Victorian Amateur Football Association. Another Sandringham Dragon, Taranto is a good size and very strong for his age. He has good pace and endurance and is known to have some tricks in the bag.
As his skills developed from through his junior career with the Mustangs, his talent was recognised with selection in the SMJFL interleague Under 14 squad of 2012. Playing the entire championships in the division 1 team.
McGrath was an elite athletics participant and uses that running ability to excellent efficiency. The former high and long jumper is known for his terrific leaping ability. He is very capable at escaping tight situations with supreme agility. He will have no problem adapting to the pace of the AFL if he is lucky enough to be drafted.
He began his junior career with the East Brighton Vampires JFC, where his developing skills were nurtured. Similar to his peers, his football soon extended beyond just club football into representative sides as he was named in the Under 14 and Under 15 Interleague squads, in the years of 2012 and 2013.
Both last year, and this year he has been playing with the Sandringham Dragons TAC Cup team. McGrath has recently been named in an Under 18 All-Australian team, you can read more about his selection here.