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Impressive Matt finish

Pick 42: Matthew McDonough Watch Matthew McDonough highlights
Matthew McDonough of S.A. in action during the 2012 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship between Western Australia and South Austraila at Simonds Stadium, Geelong. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Matthew McDonough of S.A. in action during the 2012 NAB AFL Under 18 Championship between Western Australia and South Austraila at Simonds Stadium, Geelong. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Richmond’s fourth, and final, pick (No. 42 overall) in the 2012 AFL National Draft, Matt McDonough, has plenty going for him in his quest to make the grade at the game’s highest level.

The Tiger talent scouts liked what they saw of the strongly-built forward/inside midfielder over the past couple of years, while he was representing South Australia at the national under-18 championships, and playing under-age football with his SANFL club Woodville-West Torrens. 

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Coach of the SA under-18s, and SANFL high performance manager, Brenton Phillips, agreed with the Richmond recruiters’ assessment of McDonough’s ability.

“Matt is an elite kicker of the football and only needs a handful of possessions to end up with five goals,” Phillips said.

“He has an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time to find his possessions.”

McDonough was SA’s leading goalkicker during the under-18 carnival for two consecutive years, scoring 14 goals from five games in 2011 and 17 goals from five appearances in 2012.

He also impressed with stints in the midfield, racking up 38 possessions on two occasions for Woodville-West Torrens and 28 touches, plus four goals in the team’s under-18 grand final win this year.

 Phillips, a Magarey Medallist with SANFL club North Adelaide, who also played 71 games of league football for both Essendon and the Brisbane Bears, believes McDonough eventually will be capable of having an impact in the midfield at AFL level.

“He will be able to push through the midfield, as he develops into an outstanding competitor,” Phillips said.