Touted as one of the best small forwards in the draft pool, here’s how the experts rated our pick 24, Charlie Clarke.
AFL Media (Callum Twomey)
A hard-working half-forward who turned up and played at the same level throughout the year. He kicked 29 goals in 15 games for the Sandringham Dragons across their season, including 10 across the finals series, and showed his craft and tenacity inside 50. He plays with an intensity and dogged determination that will see clubs look at him late in the first round or through the second round of the draft.
AFL Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan
A small forward who shot to prominence in the NAB League when he kicked seven goals against the Tasmania Devils in just his fourth game in the competition earlier this year. Was able to win plenty of the ball, averaging 19 disposals, and finished with 29 goals in 15 matches for the Sandringham Dragons in their premiership year. Was rewarded with selection in the NAB League Team of the Year. He was also prominent for Victoria Metro as a pressure forward, kicking six goals in four matches in their Championship-winning team. His 6:26 seconds for the 2km time trial at the 2022 NAB AFL Draft Combine highlighted his endurance and work ethic.
Herald Sun (Chris Cavanagh)
The 182cm medium forward shot to prominence after a seven-goal game against Tasmania in round 4 of the NAB League. Clarke brings great energy around the ball, is an elite runner and can snap a goal from almost anywhere. While he has also spent time through the midfield with the Dragons, Clarke is viewed as a forward at the next level. He kicked six goals from four under-18 national championships games.
ESPN AFL (Chris Doerre)
A speedy small forward, Clarke is one of the better crumbing forwards in this draft. Clarke plays with an infectious energy, applies good forward pressure and is not just a freakish finisher who can hit the scoreboard in bunches - but is also effective setting up teammates for shots on goal.
Fox Footy (Ben Waterworth)
Renowned for his energy, competitiveness, goal sense and linking ability between the arcs, Clarke surged up draft boards as the year progressed after an ultra-consistent NAB League campaign and impressing at national championships level. He booted four goals in four games for Vic Metro and played a crucial role in the Dragons’ premiership success, kicking 29 goals for the season – including 10 from four finals – while averaging 18.6 disposals and 4.1 inside 50s per game.