ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 19: Mattaes Phillipou of SA celebrates his goal during the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys match between South Australia and the Allies at Thebarton Oval on June 19, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Mattaes Phillipou is one of the most interesting prospects in this year's draft pool. Shaping as the first South Australian to be taken in the draft, the 192cm midfielder/forward is a possible top-10 pick.

Phillipou starred in the Under-18s SANFL for Woodville-West Torrens, averaging 28 disposals and 1.5 goals per game. His ability to win the ground ball at his size is exceptional, and combines with an adept aerial game.

The South Australian's season was cut short by an ankle injury in August, after a strong showing at the National Championships. Phillipou played through some soreness in the tournament and made his best impact with a two-goal, 24-disposal showing against the Allies.

Yet to turn 18, Phillipou has a huge upside — likely to be the youngest player selected in the draft. If he were just days younger he'd be ineligible for the 2022 NAB AFL Draft.

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The 17-year-old played only three games for the Woodville-West Torrens Reserves this year, kicking four goals and averaging 14 possessions. With injury diminishing his opportunities, Phillipou hasn't been able to test his skillset against senior players often.

If teams are willing to gamble on Phillipou's upside, he could find a fit in the top 10 of the Draft. The left-footer's ability to play forward and kick goals would help him find an opportunity at AFL level next year.

State: South Australia
State League Club: Woodville-West Torrens Eagles
Community Club: PHOS/Henley High School
Date of Birth: 27/12/2004
Height: 192cm
Weight: 82kg

Strengths

Marking ability
Size
Athleticism
Versatility

Weaknesses

Kicking accuracy
Injury

Draft Range

7–15

Potential Landing Spots

St Kilda (Pick 9), Western Bulldogs (Pick 11), Melbourne (Pick 13)

AFL Comparisons

Marcus Bontempelli
Jarrod Berry
Isaac Heeney

Expert Comments

"A tall midfielder who has been in dominant form in SANFL under 18s for the Eagles this year, Phillipou has also had a taste of football at the reserves level to further his development." - Kevin Sheehan (via News Corp).