MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 04: Luke Valente of South Australia kicks the ball during the U18 AFL Championship match between Vic Metro and South Australia at Etihad Stadium on July 4, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Name: Luke Valente
Position: Midfielder
Club: Norwood/South Australia
D.O.B: 8/5/00
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 80 kg
Draft Range: 15-25

Summary: Tough midfielder who uses the ball well

Strengths:

  • Leadership
  • Disposal efficiency
  • Clearance work
  • AFL-ready

Weaknesses:

  • Speed
  • Agility

Overview:

Valente is a natural leader, captaining South Australia to the Under-18 Championship title this year. He is a brilliant worker within the stoppages and is able to use the ball with both feet coming from the clearances.

Valente has been likened to Hawks legend Sam Mitchell, not renowned for his speed or athleticism, rather his football acumen and decision making with ball in hand.

SA coach Tony Bamford praised his ability to use the ball with both feet.

“He just doesn’t fumble, and can go left and right outside a stoppage and still find a target by foot,” he said.

“There is no-one else in this draft who can do that, no-one. Some of them can go on their left and hope to find a target but Luke (a natural right-footer) goes on his left and he knows he’s going to find a target.”

Highlights: