Clark rockets onto AFL draft radar

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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WA’s MVP and All-Australian defender Jordan Clark runs the ball into attack during the AFL Under-18 Championships at Etihad Stadium.
Camera IconWA’s MVP and All-Australian defender Jordan Clark runs the ball into attack during the AFL Under-18 Championships at Etihad Stadium. Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Former Great Southern footballer Jordan Clark has rocketed into draft calculations with a stunning performance at the national under-18 championships, which wrapped up last week in Melbourne.

Clark played colts for Railways before moving to Perth to attend Guildford Grammar but after moving back to his traditional role in defence, the talented 17-year-old excelled for WA as they won their final two games of the championship.

The Claremont product was superb in WA’s narrow seven-point win over the Allies at Etihad Stadium last Wednesday, collecting 29 possessions and 11 rebound 50s from half back to support a 23-disposal effort against Vic Country five days earlier.

His ability to read the play and clean skill with both hand and feet going forward stood out, earning him selection in the 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian Team.

Clark averaged 19.5 disposals and 5.5 rebound 50s across the four games in the championships and not only was he named All-Australian but also received WA’s Most Valuable Player Award.

WA’s Jordan Clark marks at Etihad Stadium.
Camera IconWA’s Jordan Clark marks at Etihad Stadium. Credit: Adam Trafford/AFL Media

The 182cm defender, who has also played underage cricket for Australia, said the accolades all came as a shock. “It’s been a pretty big few weeks,” Clark said.

“It was a shock to be honest, I didn’t expect any of it and I surprised myself a bit with how I went.

“In the first game I was playing a bit of a different role up on a wing but after an injury I went back and had three pretty good games off half back.

“I was just happy playing good footy with the boys but in the rooms after the game they read my name out so I was lucky enough to get the MVP award.”

Clark said his focus was now on finishing school football commitments with Guildford Grammar and then the remainder of the WAFL season and won’t be thinking much about the dream of being picked up in the AFL draft later in the year.

“I’m trying not to think about it,” he said. “If I can play good footy, the rest will take care of itself.

“I’ll go back and finish school footy and then try to have a good strong back end at Claremont but really I’m just happy playing footy.”

WA’s Tyron Smallwood gets his kick away against the Allies.
Camera IconWA’s Tyron Smallwood gets his kick away against the Allies. Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Clark said it was great playing alongside fellow Great Southern products Tyron Smallwood and Tom Baldwin in the championships.

Smallwood impressed in the final two games after coming back from a broken jaw while Baldwin missed the final match with a corked thigh.

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