Here’s what the experts had to say about our pick 39, Harvey Gallagher – an exciting over-age utility from the Bendigo Pioneers.
Fox Footy (David Zita/Catherine Healy)
Third time could prove the charm for teen Harvey Gallagher after he was overlooked in both last year’s draft and this season’s Mid-Season draft. But a move to defence late this season has seen Gallagher’s draft hopes rise, as he dominated for the Pioneers. He had three 37+ disposal games and averaged 33.2 disposals in the last six games of the season in the backline. Gallagher had started the year as a small-forward/mid before the Round 12 move for Bendigo. The teen has been praised for his ability to work through traffic and hurt oppositions sides on the rebound.
ESPN AFL (Chris Doerre)
A versatile overager who plays his best football across half-back, Gallagher displays a burst of speed, good agility, and evasion, regularly takes on the game with his run and generates meaningful drive by foot. An impressive intercept mark for a small, Gallagher reads the play early to get into position for intercept marks.
Possibly the best of the State Draft Combine invites, Harvey Gallagher exploded late in 2022 with a move to defence ultimately putting him in the AFL Draft frame. A handy talent as a small forward/midfielder, Gallagher was thrown behind the ball from Round 12, which seemed a fascinating call given he had booted three goals in back-to-back games, albeit over the space of a month. Down back, the Pioneers skipper tore the competition apart, with his 24-disposal, seven rebound-50 match in Round 12 remarkably the lowest of his final six NAB League games. His numbers blew up the stats sheet with hauls of 24, 28, 37, 42 and 44 in that stint, earning him a Vic Country call-up in the final game. Unlike some who might just accumulate the ball, Gallagher generally uses it well and provides tons of run from the back half. His work rate is exceptional, and Gallagher even gets forward to boot goals.
Zero Hanger (Mitch Keating)
The 19-year-old was overlooked at last year's draft and again for the 2022 Mid-Season rookie intake, however Harvey Gallagher has reached new levels of stardom since missing out on a top-flight chance. A positional switch to defence, having mostly plied his trade as an attacking midfielder, saw Gallagher flourish in the NAB League for the Pioneers as a rebounding half-back threat. His final five games of the season would amass an average of 35 disposals per game, while the Sandhurst native also managed to continue to have an impact in the forward third of the ground. The outside run and carry he offers could also offer clubs an immediate injection to their defence, while Gallagher remains a more-than-formidable option for midfield and forward roles.