PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Matthew Roberts of South Australia in action during the NAB AFL U19 Championships game between Western Australia and South Australia at Mineral Resources Park on August 28, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

South Adelaide's Matthew Roberts is one of a number of talented prospects coming out of South Australia in this year's draft class.

Roberts is a midfielder by trade, although has shown an ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard when required. The Panthers onballer dominated in the SANFL Colts competition in his three games, averaging 32 disposals and 1.7 goals per game.

During seven games in the SANFL Seniors, Roberts averaged 11.1 disposals and 0.9 goals per game when playing against bigger bodies. A syndesmosis injury whilst playing for his college side St. Peter's put a halt to Roberts' season for two months.

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In a draft that is not short on midfielders, Roberts could well fly under the radar of a few clubs and end up being a steal if he winds up in the right situation.

His nouse to find the ball, coupled with his work rate, provides solid foundations for a midfield-forward option at clubland.

Roberts' mature body should hold him in good stead when he finds a home at the National Draft, allowing him to potentially step into some senior footy in the early part of the 2022 season.

Team: South Adelaide
Position: Midfielder
Height: 184cm
Weight: 80kg

Strengths 

Contested ball
Work rate
Big body
Ability to hit scoreboard

Weaknesses 

Athleticism
Disposal efficiency

Draft Range 

18-30

Potential landing spots 

Fremantle (Pick 19), North Melbourne (Pick 20), Carlton (Pick 25), Richmond (Pick 27)

AFL Comparisons

Jack Redden
James Worpel
Luke Dunstan

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jack Redden of the Eagles celebrates a goal during the AFL Preliminary Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Demons on September 22, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Expert comments

“I think he (Roberts) was their best player for SA in the representative matches they played this year. He’s your safe bet, the left footer. He’s a bit like a Luke Dunstan, another boy from SA, strongly built, contested ball winner." - Kevin Sheehan

"Roberts has played in the midfield, on the wing and in attack at different stages this season and has been a consistent contributor for his side." - Callum Twomey