What Marty Hore wanted most from his 2018 Peter Jackson VFL season at Collingwood was for it to turn out just like his 2017 season did.
The 22-year-old backman emerged as one the competition’s brightest prospects last year, winning the Magpies’ best-and-fairest award and VFL Team of the Year honours by combining an ability to intercept opposition attacks with precision foot skills rebounding from defence.
In the end, 189cm Hore arguably improved upon his 2017 campaign this season. He ranked first in the VFL for total rebound-50s (averaging six per game) and second for total marks (eight) as well as recording a team-high in total disposals (21 – at 81 per cent efficiency) across 18 matches, again being named Collingwood’s VFL club champion and selected in the VFL Team of the Year.
With 42 games for the VFL Magpies under his belt since graduating from the Bendigo Pioneers TAC Cup program in 2015, Hore’s consistency of performance across several seasons has him in the frame for selection at the NAB AFL Draft on November 22-23.
“I just wanted to basically replicate last year,” Hore said at the recent Victorian State Combine. “I knew another good season would hold me in good stead and they say you’ve got to have two good years of VFL footy to get a look-in.
“I knew I’d have a little bit more attention put on me and it might be a bit harder with teams trying to tag me, but I think I’ve done pretty well this year to back up 2017.
“I think this year I probably had more impact on games and the scoreline. I had some games when I played some really good footy across four quarters, whereas I probably didn’t do that as much last year.”
Hore also spent time this year working on another aspect of his game that AFL clubs had questions about, seeing a running coach once a week to improve his foot speed.
“I think my speed off the mark has really improved just from seeing them,” Hore said. “You don’t actually do a lot of running (in the sessions); it’s all quick movements and learning the right movements to make.
“I reckon it’s showing in my GPS numbers that I’ve picked up a yard or two (in pace) this year, but I think I can read the game and read the footy off the boot quicker than most and that probably makes up for my leg speed.
“I’ve put a lot of work in, so I think I deserve a crack at the next level. I just need a chance.”
THE AFL DRAFT WATCH ‘FAST FIVE’ with Marty Hore
Why should an AFL club draft you?
“I think my intercept ability, marking and left-foot kick stack up.”
What is the funniest or weirdest question you’ve been asked by an AFL club?
“I haven’t had too many weird ones. They have all been pretty straight-forward.”
Who is your football idol?
“Jeremy McGovern (West Coast). His intercept marking is a real weapon.”
Who is the best VFL prospect for joining an AFL list this year?
“Sam Collins (Werribee and now Gold Coast AFL). He has had a pretty consistent year.”
Which of your 2018 teammates should also be in draft consideration?
“Tom Jok had a pretty good back-end of the year, Callan Wellings and Lachie Tardrew.”