On November 24, the AFL Draft is set to occur in the Sydney Showgrounds precinct, where recruiters will be in full swing trying to bolster their clubs’ lists with some of the country’s best young talent.
Jonny Frampton, an up-and-coming ruckman would suit clubs looking to add a young ruck prospect, including Adelaide, Carlton, Essendon, Fremantle, GWS, North Melbourne, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs.
The talented youngster burst onto the scene in 2017, to enhance his draft reputation with strong performances for South Fremantle and the WA U18s State Academy.
“I think I’ve sort of come from nowhere, from where I started from last year when I only played one Colts game, to this year where I was starting ruckman for South Fremantle, and then playing some good footy to get into the State 18s. So I think I developed a lot and kept up my good form throughout the season, which I was pretty happy with. Overall, I think it was a pretty successful season, like development and where I got myself,” Frampton says.
With only one game for South Fremantle’s Colts in 2016, there wasn’t a great deal of expectation on Jonny to perform as strongly as he did in 2017, making his round one performance against Subiaco significant.
“My proudest game was probably my round one game against Subiaco. I only played one game the year before and then coming in, I think I had 22 disposals and the only game I played last year, I only had six. I was really proud of that, and how far I came,” he says.
“I was pretty proud he was watching me when I played that game”
He credits his older brother and current Port Adelaide player, Billy, for his guidance and insight into the AFL world.
“We talk about it a lot, because not a lot of blokes trying to get drafted have an idea of what it takes to make the AFL, and I’ve got my older brother on a list. He tells me all the ins-and-outs of what you need to do to be successful, and yeah I just feed off him, chat to him every day and he gives me as much information as he can,” he says.
In round nine against Subiaco, he produced a near best afield performance (26 possessions, 28 hit-outs and six marks), right in front of his brother’s eyes.
“Whenever he’s over, which is probably three-to-four times a year, he always comes down to watch and he had some pretty good games in the Colts as well, so I saw him watching and I think I did just as good as what he did when he was in the Colts. I was pretty proud he was watching me when I played that game,” he says.
He was the only South Fremantle representative in the WA U18s State Academy in 2017, an experience he describes as “amazing”.
“It meant the world really [making it into the Academy], because I’ve always been trying to make the State team, but I’ve always been cut from every state team I’ve tried out for – 15s to 16s. So only playing one game last year, I wouldn’t have had these expectations to make the State U18s, so it meant a lot to represent my state and I’ve still got my jumper at home,” he says.
In his time within the State squad, Frampton received tuition from the West Coast Eagles’ 2006 premiership ruckman Mark Seaby.
“He helped me a lot, because he was like an undersized ruck and he taught me all the stuff he did in his playing days, so I learnt a massive amount and I couldn’t thank him enough,” Frampton says.
He produced two strong performances for WA against both South Australia (15 possessions, 15 hit-outs and six marks) and Vic Metro (10 possessions, nine hit-outs, five marks and a goal), before succumbing to a hip flexor injury – an injury that kept him out for close to five weeks.
However, he had already produced dominant performances for South Fremantle earlier in the season that would have had recruiters impressed.
Any club that is wanting to develop a potential ruckman, need to look no further than Jonny Frampton. He has excellent ruck craft, and is athletic and agile.