MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 21: Anthony Munkara of the NAB AFL Academy runs with the ball against Arlo Draper of Collingwood during the match between the AFL Academy and Collingwood Magpies at Skybus Stadium on May 21, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

While not seen as a likely first-round draft selection, Essendon Next Generation Academy prospect Anthony Munkara could be the most talented and tantalising player in his draft class.

The West Adelaide midfield-forward entered this year as an intriguing talent for AFL scouts, however none have had their sights on the teenager more than the Bombers.

A graduate of their NGA, Munkara is eligible to join Essendon through a matched bid should a rival club look to secure his services, but the Bombers' ability to claim Munkara will only come after Pick 40 in the National Draft unless they pull the trigger with a pick of their own.

Early into the year Munkara was firming as a potential top 10 selection, having dazzled for the AFL Academy in a hitout against Collingwood's VFL side, with Munkara one of the top performers in the match.

He had also impressed in his pair of outings for West Adelaide's Under-18s side in the SANFL, booting six goals and collecting 22 disposals across the two matches to further stamp himself as a top prospect in 2022.

Subsequent showings for the Allies weren't as prolific, but the powerful and pacey teenager was still showing signs of what is in store.

Munkara flew back to the Tiwi Islands following a series of family tragedies and saw his 2022 campaign heavily interrupted, leaving him with little chance for great exposure an impact.

The contrasting halves to his season have placed Munkara back in contention to slide past the opening 40 picks in the draft and potentially land at Tullamarine alongside fellow Northern Territory talents in father-son twins Alwyn and Jayden Davey.

The Bombers will have their fingers tightly crossed that this will be the case, while Fremantle (Pick 30), St Kilda (Pick 32), Port Adelaide (Pick 33) or Melbourne (Pick 37) could spoil their party.

While boasting the skills of a threatening small forward, Munkara's size is what separates him from the rest of the pack, using his long limbs to evade the opposition with power and agility.

State: Northern Territory/South Australia
State League Club: Northern Territory/West Adelaide
Community Club: Darwin
Date of Birth: 03/10/04
Height: 186cm
Weight: 77kg

Strengths

Agility
Power
Pace
Potential

Weaknesses

Consistency
Interrupted Draft Campaign
Ability Against Top-Level Talent

Draft Range

Late Second-Round To Early Third-Round

Potential Landing Spots

Essendon (Matched Bid), Fremantle (Pick 30), St Kilda (Pick 32), Port Adelaide (Pick 33), Melbourne (Pick 37)

AFL Comparisons

Charlie Cameron
Max Holmes
Errol Gulden

Expert Comments

“If you're talking about genuine AFL X-factor flair and talent, he's right up there." - West Adelaide talent manager Paul Streatfield (via News Corp)