Oakleigh Chargers product Matthew Jefferson firms as a prized key forward heading into the 2022 draft, as the tall target looms as a top-end talent with clubs sure to be circling for his services.
After a fracture in his leg was found at the conclusion of the NAB League, his road to recovery was fortunately short-lived, with Jefferson resuming in style playing a match-winning hand in Vic Metro's Championship-clinching win.
Converting in front of goal was a big tick this year for the Ashburton local, with scouts' concerns primarily surrounding his set shot ability laid to rest after ongoing troubles early on during the season.
The aerial prowess of the 18-year-old is a noted strength but the more intriguing nature of his potential may be the drawcard for teams with off-the-scale development observed in his formative years.
Jefferson can be thrown in the 'upside' category with his mobility in the air a threat for the opposition, with Western Australia copping the brunt of that with a seven-goal haul by Jefferson booted against them during one of his three Vic Metro games where he amassed a total of 12 majors.
As a raw and rangy top-10 hope, Jefferson showed his wares for the Chargers when available, where he became a focal point up forward, elevating his status in the draft class.
With Hawthorn in prime position to strike being armed with a low selection in this year's draft, it is a tempting trigger to pull with outgoing star Jack Gunston heading to Brisbane and their forward stocks needing to be bolstered.
State: Victoria Metro
State League Club: Oakleigh Chargers
Community Club: Ashburton JFC
Date of Birth: 8/03/04
Mid First Round
Potential Landing Spots
Hawks (Pick 6), Saints (Pick 9), Demons (Pick 13), Swans (Pick 14)
“A tall forward whose marking both on the lead and in a contested situation is his weapon. Averaged four marks and nine disposals to be the key deep target for the Victoria Metro 2022 NAB AFL National Championships-winning team, also claiming All-Australian honours.” - Kevin Sheehan