Mitch Grigg and the prospect of Mature Aged Recruits

Former Crows listed player Mitch Grigg has won his second consecutive Magarey Medal as the SANFL’s best player, and hence the question is again being raised as to whether he and other mature aged recruits are worth a punt by an AFL club. Grigg spent four years on the Adelaide Crows list playing just 20 matches, many thought he was underdone by the Crows, although he never really managed any real consistency at AFL level. Grigg was just another one of those players who was given a start but simply didn’t fit the bill for what the team needed and struggled to get a game in a relatively competitive team from 2013 to 2016 when he was listed there.

This year, Grigg provided a solid option in the midfield, consistently racking up possessions, but was always a good user of the ball too. Grigg was also more than handy in front of goal, kicking 29 goals from his 19 matches, and appearing 14 times in the best players column at the end of the game. Consistency has been the key for Grigg, polling votes in two thirds of the games he played and the three votes for best of ground seven times. His club, Norwood is also primed to play in yet another Grand Final on September 23rd, and he will again be crucial for another big game.

Grigg is one of three current multiple Magarey Medallists playing in the SANFL. South Adelaide’s Joel Cross (2012 and 2015) and Sturt’s Zane Kirkwood (2014 and 2016) also have two medals a piece, and the trio are arguably the league’s three best players. Cross and Kirkwood are now veterans but have been dominant for so long at state level, and I personally am surprised neither has been given a chance at the top level. This to me indicates that Grigg, now 25 will probably not be getting another go, especially since he’s been through the ringer once before.

As for what Mitch could offer a current club, he’s a competitive midfielder with a straight kick, and experience at the highest level. A club looking for ready-made players could certainly look his way, and personally I think Brisbane may be the best fit for him. The Lions are starting to make a charge up the ladder, many expect a lot of the young club in 2019, and a talented, experienced player who is still only in his mid-twenties is something they could seriously consider.

Although over the years some mature aged recruits haven’t been so successful, in recent times, Tim Kelly has become an immediate star at Geelong, and Grigg could do something similar. Grigg is efficient with the ball and can play a range of roles, as well as having good leadership qualities, and so perhaps it is time that another club gave him a real run. Clubs that need classy midfielders could certainly be on watch, and teams like the afore mentioned Brisbane, as well as the Gold Coast, Carlton and St. Kilda could all make use of his services, but it’s hard to see him breaking into the Crows midfield again, or another side with a stacked engine room such as Collingwood or GWS.

As we all know there is a big jump from state level football to the AFL, and many players have been proven to be too good for one, and maybe not good enough for the other. This barrier is something that clubs will consider around Grigg considering his first AFL stint, but nevertheless, be watching for this man’s name to come up a little more often, he’s certainly a shot at a second chance at the big time.


What do you think, should Grigg get another chance at the AFL? Are there any other state league players you think that AFL clubs should be keeping an eye on? Let us know in the comments below or like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to join the conversation on line.


 

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