The rise of Collingwood Magpies participant Oliver Henry

Tom represented Australia in excessive soar at junior degree, whereas Jack positioned in a nationwide under-18s decathlon occasion, solely making the choice within the lead-up to 12 months 12 that he would pursue soccer.

The Cats secured Jack by way of the rookie draft of 2016, however when he turned a daily in 2018 – enjoying 22 of a doable 23 video games – Oliver, then 16, determined he would additionally chase the AFL dream.

Ollie Henry, playing for the Geelong Falcons.

Ollie Henry, enjoying for the Geelong Falcons.Credit score:Getty Photographs

“He obtained going as a 16-year-old, and he was fortunate in some respects as a result of in 2019 we had a reasonably peculiar aspect on the Falcons,” Turner stated.

“Our 19 and 18-year-olds weren’t that good, and doubtless two months out from the tip of the season, we had a extremely good 17-year-old group which included him, and I used to be very eager to get as many video games into these children as I might earlier than the following 12 months.

“He was a star for us as a 17-year-old. We performed him on the wing, half-back flank, ahead like he’s now, and he kicked plenty of targets, just about like he’s doing for Collingwood in the mean time.

“They have been fortunate, plenty of these children … in 2020, they didn’t play in any respect.”

Henry booted 18 targets in 15 video games that season – 12 coming in three consecutive video games – and that was regardless of enjoying at each ends of the bottom.

A trial recreation

2020 was imagined to be the season Henry showcased his wares to recruiters and made it clearer whether or not he warranted a first-round choice within the draft.


Selwood stated Henry “had his moments” as a 17-year-old, however was seen as “a little bit of an enigma”, a participant who might star in 10-to-15-minute bursts, then go lacking.

However a trial recreation at Deakin Uni for the Falcons, in opposition to the Western Jets, reminded recruiters of his potential.

“I nonetheless keep in mind it vividly, and he simply exploded,” Selwood stated. “To be sincere, he performed like a No.1 draft decide in that recreation.

“He completely tore the sport aside, and by chance sufficient for all recruiters, that trial recreation was filmed as a result of there wasn’t a lot different NAB League to be watching [that year].

“It simply reminded everyone what Henry, when he was on and it was beginning to come collectively, what he might be able to, which was a difference-maker and a game-breaker.

“It nonetheless sticks in everybody’s thoughts as to how dominant he was. It truly borderline ruined the sport as a result of he was going that nicely.”

One trial recreation later, the season was shut down resulting from COVID-19. Selwood believes that if Henry had performed a full season, he might have gone as excessive as decide 5.

Draft evening

A month out from draft evening, Geelong had picks 13, 15 and 20, and Henry regarded prone to find yourself on the Cats. However after the Giants performed hardball on the Jeremy Cameron commerce, the Cats went into the draft with no first-round decide.

So, the Cats devised a plan to get again into the draft by buying and selling their 2021 first-round choice.

“As that draft was enjoying out, the 2 [players] that we have been ready to do it for have been Ollie and Max Holmes, however we form of knew the one membership that have been prepared to commerce their first-round decide [17] for a future was Richmond,” Selwood stated.

Collingwood, in the meantime, had two first-round picks – decide 14, acquired from the Western Bulldogs as a part of the Treloar deal, and 16.

However because the evening went on, each Collingwood and Richmond’s picks have been pushed down the order. The Bulldogs matched a bid at decide one for Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Sydney matched Hawthorn’s bid at decide 5 for his or her academy participant Braeden Campbell, after which the Magpies bid on Lachie Jones at 16, which was matched by Port Adelaide.

Collingwood then took the Henry-Holmes choice out of the Cats’ fingers, taking Henry at 17, together with Finlay Macrae at 19, after which at decide 20, the Cats agreed to commerce their future first-round decide to Richmond to snare Holmes.

“We truly thought each children have been going to get drafted earlier than Richmond have been going to get on the clock, nevertheless it simply occurred Max was nonetheless there,” Selwood stated.

The Cats wanted one of Max Holmes (centre) or Oliver Henry (right).

The Cats needed one in every of Max Holmes (centre) or Oliver Henry (proper).Credit score:Getty Photographs

From draftee to rising star

“Uncooked” might be the phrase that greatest described Henry when he arrived at Collingwood, however his expertise was evident, a lot so Buckley picked him for spherical one final 12 months.

However he was dropped after spherical one, returned to the aspect for eight and 9, after which dropped once more.

“We might see the expertise and what he might do on the observe, and he’s been dropped this 12 months as nicely,” Buckley stated on SEN this week.

“That reveals the resilience of the child to say, ‘OK, come up – not on the degree. Come up – not on the degree.’

“Then he’s put two video games collectively, kicked seven targets in two video games, and he performed very nicely final week.”

However Turner stated there was by no means any doubt in his thoughts that Henry would make the grade.

Aerial threat: Oliver Henry marks strongly against Carlton.

Aerial risk: Oliver Henry marks strongly in opposition to Carlton.Credit score:Getty Photographs

“He’s beginning to do the issues we noticed him do as a 17-year-old on the Falcons,” Turner stated.

“He’s a level-headed child, and he’s an absolute star within the making, there’s little question about that. That mark he took in direction of the tip when he drifted throughout the entrance of the pack, that simply reveals the athleticism he’s obtained.”

His 2021 stats, because of Champion Information, inform the story. Inside 50, he’s No.1 on the Pies for common disposals (6.9) and marks (2.3). He’s second for inside-50 targets (4.9), third for targets (1.9) and scoreboard influence (15.8) and sixth for rating involvements (5).

“As he will get larger and stronger, he’s solely going to get higher,” Turner stated, including that the Pies might even play Henry in defence. “He was a unbelievable intercept mark and if he didn’t mark it, he had the athleticism to punch the ball away, after which we’d swing him ahead, and if I keep in mind appropriately, in a recreation in opposition to Dandenong he kicked 5 and will have kicked extra.

“He can play very very similar to Jeremy Howe. When Jeremy Howe retires, he might even return and try this.

“He’s obtained the velocity to seek out area, like he did [against Carlton], within the ahead line, and he’s additionally obtained the closing velocity within the again line.”

Maintain updated with the most effective AFL protection within the nation. Join the Actual Footy e-newsletter.

Supply by [author_name]

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.