Witts Tops Class With 10/10

Jarrod Witts

When working as the Collingwood recruiting agent legendary Sydney Swans full-back Rod “Rocket” Carter saw a young 209 cm schoolboy named Jarrod Witts bend over and effortlessly scoop up the ball in the warm-up at a St Ives junior game on Sydney’s north shore he said to himself, “this kid can play AFL”.

Carter had been sent by the Pies to observe 3-4 other kids immediately called Collingwood head of recruiting Derek Hine, who came to Sydney the next day to sign the Barker College student.

He was “just outstanding, a stand-out”, according to “Rocket”, who scouted for Collingwood as part of the AFL Future Stars scholarship program in operation in Sydney at that time.

Witts further developed his ruck craft at Sydney University under former Richmond and Swans ruckman Tim Barling before making the move to Collingwood in 2012 where he played 40 games before being picked up by Gold Coast in 2017.

The Gold Coast co-captain polled the most votes possible from the AFL coaches in the Suns’ 14-point win over the Sydney Swans in their round eight clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground last Saturday.

Witts had 19 disposals consisting of 9 kicks and 10 handballs, 4 marks, and 37 hit-outs. He currently leads the AFL in total hit-outs and hit-outs per game.

The laconic Suns ruckman, now on 20 votes, is in second place behind Swans co-captain Callum Mills (31 votes) in the Carey Bunton medal for the best NSW player in the AFL this season. Meanwhile, Port Adelaide forward Todd Marshall has jumped into 3rd place after an outstanding performance in Port’s 17-point victory over the Western Bulldogs scoring 8 votes.

Geelong key forward Tom Hawkins still holds the lead for Mohr medal for the leading NSW goalkicker in the AFL this season. He booted two goals in the Cats’ win over the Giants at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

CAREY BUNTON MEDAL

Votes Round 8
31 Callum Mills (Mosman Swans) – Sydney Swans
20 Jarrad Witts (Sydney University) – Gold Coast (R8 – 10 votes v SYD)
19 Todd Marshall (Deniliquin Rams) – Port Adelaide (R8 – 8 votes v WB)
17 Isaac Heeney (Cardiff) – Sydney Swans
17 Taylor Walker (Norths – Broken Hill) – Adelaide
16 Lachie Schultz (Moama) – Fremantle
15 Tom Hawkins (Finley) – Geelong
10 Matt Kennedy (Collingullie) – Carlton (R8 – 2 votes v ADL)
10 Isaac Smith (Cootamundra) – Geelong
10 Elliott Himmelberg (Mangoplah CUE) – Adelaide
8 Isaac Cumming (Norths – Broken Hill) – GWS Giants
5 Jeremy Finlayson (Culcairn) – Port Adelaide) (R8 – 2 votes v WB)
2 Charlie Spargo (Albury Tigers) – Melbourne
2 Errol Gulden (UNSW-Eastern Suburbs) – Sydney Swans
1 Nick Blakey (UNSW-Eastern Suburbs) – Sydney Swans

MOHR MEDAL (leading NSW player in AFL Goalkicking)
Goals Round 8
23 Tom Hawkins (Finley) – Geelong (R8 – 1 goal v GWS)
18 Isaac Heeney (Cardiff) – Sydney Swans
15 Harry Himmelberg (MCUE) – GWS Giants (R8 – 1 goal v GEE)
14 Todd Marshall (Deniliquin) – Port Adelaide (R8 – 2 goals v WB)
14 Taylor Walker (Norths – Broken Hill) – (R8 – 2 goals v CAR)
13 Luke Breust (Temora) – Hawthorn (R8 – 1 goal v ESS)
12 Lachie Schultz (Moama) – Fremantle (R8 – 1 goal v NM)
11 Elliott Himmelberg (Mangoplah CUE) – Adelaide (R8 – 1 goal v CAR)

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