Club Perth/Wesley College/South Perth JFC
Position Half-Back Flank
Draft Range Late/Rookie
AFL U18s CHAMPIONSHIPS
2017 PERTH LEAGUE
2017 PERTH RESERVES
2017 PERTH COLTS
- Mr Smooth: He is cool and calm under pressure
- Versatile: Can play back, forward and even in the ruck
- Skilful: Has an elite kick, and has excellent decision-making qualities
Zareth Roe first came into draft calculations in 2015, when he started playing for Perth’s WAFL Colts team. He made his debut against East Perth in round 17, and despite only gathering just seven possessions he kicked a goal and had another two score involvements. He played a further four games that season, with his standout performance coming against East Fremantle in round 19, when he accumulated 17 possessions, recorded four inside 50s and kicked a goal.
He further announced himself as a star of the future with a brilliant 2016 season in the WAFL Colts. In just 12 games, he averaged 13 possessions, two marks, two tackles, and finished just outside the top 10 in Perth’s Colts’ Best & Fairest. His notable performances came against West Perth in round 11 (14 possessions, three marks, two inside 50s and a goal), Claremont in round 15 (24 possessions, five marks and three tackles), Subiaco in round 16 (16 possessions, seven hit-outs, five marks, five tackles and three inside 50s), and Peel Thunder in round 18 (19 possessions, and five inside 50s).
Roe’s AFL prospects brightened considerably when he forced his way into Perth’s League team. He made his debut in round one against Swan Districts, and although not having a statistically high game (six possessions and two tackles), he displayed incredible maturity for such an inexperienced player. He played a further five games for Perth’s League team, including solid outings against Claremont (11 possessions, four marks, four inside 50s and three tackles), East Perth (12 possessions, four tackles and a goal) and West Perth (12 possessions, six hit-outs and a goal). In round eight, he returned to the Colts’ side and starred against South Fremantle with 24 possessions, five marks and five tackles.
Because of his early season form, he was rewarded with selection in the WA U18s State Academy as an over-ager along with fellow Demons Ian “Bobby” Hill, Gordon Narrier, Sydney Stack, and Joseph Ugle. Even though he only played two games, Roe showcased his enormous potential against both South Australia (13 possessions – eight contested – three tackles and three rebounding 50s) and Vic Metro (17 possessions, six marks, three tackles, two clearances and two rebounding 50s).
Returning from the State 18s Academy, Roe came back into the Colts team, against South Fremantle, and was exceptional with 15 possessions, nine tackles, seven hit-outs and five inside 50s.
He quickly progressed into Perth’s Reserves team and was a key catalyst in their finals push. In the final six home-and-away games, he booted five goals and averaged 13 possessions, three marks and three tackles, with his best games coming against West Perth (15 possessions, three inside 50s, three marks, two tackles and a goal) and East Perth (16 possessions, five inside 50s, four marks, four tackles and two goals).
In the Elimination Final against Swan Districts, Roe was clearly the most valuable player on the ground with 18 possessions, 17 hit-outs, eight tackles, seven inside 50s, three marks and a goal. However, it was to no avail, as the Demons lost by an agonising five points.
WHY PICK HIM?
Roe is an incredibly composed and skilful player, who is probably best suited off half-back. This is mainly because he has a strong defensive mindset, but also has plenty of rebounding ability – making him a dangerous player.
At 187cm, he has the ability to play on a range of players, and could even push into the midfield if desired. Such is his versatility, he can go forward and have an impact. His elite athleticism and leap thanks to his basketballing background has even seen him pinch hit in the ruck.
THE QUESTION MARKS?
It may take a few years to fully realise Roe’s potential and clubs will be wary of that. However, his scope for improvement is just too great to ignore.
Zareth Roe is a skilful playmaker who will take a few years to develop, but with very limited footy experience his potential is enormous. With a shallow draft, recruiters will put a lot of weight in ‘upside’, making Roe a player well worth monitoring at this year’s Draft.