South Australian teenager Jason Horne is considered one of the best young talents along with father-son prospects Nick Daicos and Sam Darcy in this year’s National Draft.
The South Adelaide midfielder-forward is averaging 15.2 disposals, 4.2 tackles and 2.6 clearances per game in the SANFL this season and has also chipped in with eight goals.
South Australia’s under-19 coach Tony Bamford says Horne “oozes leadership” and has an “unbelievable work ethic” that will stand him in good stead when he enters the AFL system.
“He’s an impressive young man on and off the field,” Bamford told SEN SA Breakfast.
“He’s very, very self-driven, he knows exactly where he wants to get to and he’s mapped out a really good pathway.
“With the blessing of his family, he decided to leave school and get a job. He’s been working down at Fleurieu Milk, who are great sponsors of South Adelaide and also our state programs.
“He’s got an unbelievable work ethic, he oozes leadership, and he can play footy pretty well as well.
“He’s going to go into the AFL system in a really, really good position to impact early next year.”
Bamford likened Horne’s aggression to Geelong captain Joel Selwood and his aerial strength to Sydney forward Isaac Heeney.
“He (Horne) is exceptionally competitive,” he said.
“Plays with aggression, but it’s also well controlled aggression. He doesn’t go over the edge and give away silly free kicks, but he makes the players around him very, very nervous by how hard he goes for the footy.
“He wins his own ball inside. He goes forward and can really rip apart a back six with his aerial skills.
“If you were to look at some modern AFL footballers playing the game now, he’s got the combative and competitive nature of a Joel Selwood and he’s got some X-factor that you probably see in Isaac Heeney’s game.”
North Melbourne currently holds the No.1 pick in this year’s draft.