Greater Western Victoria Rebels talent Josh Gibcus is viewed by experts as the best young key defender in this year’s draft.
AFL Media draft guru Cal Twomey rates the 196cm backman as a top 10 draft prospect and is set to be in high demand due to the lack of key defenders in the top-end of the 2021 draft crop.
Gibcus models his game on two of the best intercept defenders in the AFL.
“I model my game on Jake Lever and Harris Andrews. Those two are where I see myself as a key defender,” he told Sportsday.
“Their ability to read the play, take those intercept marks when they need to and then lock down their opponents.
“I definitely model my game on them.”
Gibcus has been sponging information at the Rebels, particularly from coaches Howard Clark and David Loader, and has also been leaning on West Coast defender Liam Duggan for advice.
“I’ve learnt off two coaches this year: Howard Clark and David Loader at the GW Rebels,” Gibcus said.
“I’ve also kept in contact with Liam Duggan who’s at the West Coast Eagles now.
“He’s an old family friend and I’ve been talking to him quite a bit about what his experience has been like.”
Geelong great and Brownlow Medallist Jimmy Bartel expects the Vic Country defender to be snapped up inside the top seven picks on draft night.
“The obvious thing is where Gold Coast has its early pick and then Freo’s got an early pick as well,” Bartel said.
“He’s high quality. I’ll be surprised if he’s still there at pick 7. He’s extremely talented.
“The fact that (Jason) Horne-Francis and (Josh) Daicos are so good then you’ve got (Sam) Darcy and (Finn) Callaghan, there’s your top four.
“They all (clubs) think Gibcus is about pick 5.”
The opening night of the 2021 National Draft is slated for November 24.