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WAFL Stars in Mix for AFL Mid-Season DraftFriday, May 24, 2024 - 3:24 PM - by Chris Pike

JACOB Blight, Brynn Teakle, Jasper Scaife and Michael Sellwood all look to be right in the mix for this week's AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft with State Talent Manager Adam Jones seeing plenty of reasons they should be optimistic.

All four players have been important members of their WAFL teams so far this season with Blight rock solid at centre half-back for Peel Thunder while Teakle is leading the ruck at East Fremantle, Scaife impressive in attack for West Perth and Sellwood doing well in varied roles at Peel.

Blight is in his second season now at the Thunder after starting his career at Claremont. On the back of a breakout 2023 season that saw him named to the WAFL Team of the Year, he's gone up another level in 2024.

That included him taking 13 marks in last the KIA State Game a fortnight ago and should any AFL club have a need for a strong defender in next week's draft, then he would be top of the list.

Teakle has returned to East Fremantle this season after time with Port Adelaide in the AFL and has been outstanding leading the ruck for the Sharks with 16.3 possessions, 3.7 marks and 36.5 hit outs.

Scaife has burst onto the scene as a key forward target this season with the Falcons - the 20-year-old having kicked nine goals to date including a haul of four back in Round 2 against Perth where he also had 17 touches and nine marks.

Sellwood continues to cement himself as a key player in the Peel team on the back of last year's grand final appearance.

He is averaging 18 possessions a game 2024 playing largely in defence, but is athletic enough to play on the wing or run through the middle.

State Talent Manager Adam Jones believes these players have the potential to address the gaps that some AFL clubs have encountered during the first half of the AFL season

"There seems to be a significant number of injuries across the AFL which is testing the depth of some clubs in certain positions," Jones said.

"I’m hearing that this puts a few of the WA boys in a good position, particularly for ruck and key defenders, so Blight and Teakle obviously fit that bill with both having strong starts to the year.

"Jasper Scaife has always had the attributes to get drafted with speed off the mark, marking and his set shot kicking all at the high end of the spectrum for a key forward but it’s been his ability to display these traits at league level to start the year which puts him in a strong position for the mid-season draft."

It is a complicated affair with the Mid-Season Draft because it's exciting for the players to get an opportunity at AFL level they might have waited their whole life for, but it can also deny their WAFL club one of their more important players in the second half of the season.

Jones can see both sides and is part of the discussions to make sure WAFL clubs aren’t too impacted if they are to lose a key player.

"From a player’s perspective it is great to have another opportunity mid-year to be able get onto an AFL list but it certainly does make it challenging for WAFL clubs and their list management to be losing key players in the middle of a season," Jones said.

"The WAFC are currently in dialogue with the AFL about increasing the compensation for WAFL clubs who lose a player in the mid-season draft."