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Thursday, November 22, 2018

AFL Draft 2018: WA under-18 coach Peter Sumich urges clubs to pick Sydney Stack

WA under-18 coach Peter Sumich has labelled Sydney Stack the State’s brightest talent in this year’s draft crop, saying he will be astonished if the Perth midfielder is denied his AFL dream.
And Sumich also declared that any club which secured the mercurial Ian Hill outside the top 15 would have pulled off a draft steal.
He regards Hill capable of winning games off his own boot and enjoying an AFL career extending beyond 150 games.
The first round of the national draft will be staged at Marvel Stadium tonight, with the remainder of the lottery and the pre-season and rookie drafts to take place tomorrow.
Jordan Clark and Hill are in Melbourne and expected to be taken in the opening round, but doubt remains over whether Stack will be selected during the two-day event because of off-field concerns.
But the 18-year-old received glowing endorsement from West Coast legend Sumich, who rated Stack as tough as any indigenous player he had seen.
“We talk about Jordy Clark and Ian Hill and I’ll go out on a limb ... I think this kid is the best of what I’ve seen in our batch of 18s talent-wise and ability to play the game at a capacity of AFL level, which is hard and fast and tough — this kid has got it all,” Sumich said.
“Unfortunately, a little bit of off-field stuff comes into play and that’s why you see him drift a little bit here and there in calculations.
“I had him in the top 10 prior to the under-18 carnival and I still did even after that because I don’t think he was fully fit and he still played a really good role in his three games.
“I would be dumbfounded if he didn’t go in the draft. You are talking about 70 or 80 picks. I’d be shocked.”
Sumich left Stack out of WA’s first game of the national championships for disciplinary reasons, but he bounced back to be an All-Australian and impress in three league games for Perth.
“Hopefully he learnt something by it,” Sumich said.
“I stuck by my guns to leave him out and then he played the last three and I thought he played really well with a great attitude.”
Hill, a second cousin of Fremantle stars Stephen and Bradley Hill, has been a slider in 2018 after entering the year rated among the top five pros-pects in the country.
“If he gets out past 15 I think it’s a steal,” Sumich said.
“He came in at 16 and dominated and then they expect it again plus plus.
“Sometimes the kids plateau a bit, but he hasn’t lost his skill or ability. He is top notch.
“Things haven’t probably worked out for him the last 12 months or so with injury and a few other things.
“Recruiters can sometimes forget how good he can be.”