The likely No.1 draft pick and one of the most sought after 17-year-olds in the nation are set to go head-to-head in front of AFL recruiters tomorrow when WA and Vic Country face off in the under-18s national titles at Patersons Stadium.
Victorian Lachie Whitfield dominated last week's win over Queensland with 27 possessions, 10 marks and three goals.
Selected in the All-Australian team despite being too young to be drafted last year, Whitfield is expected to be the No.1 draft pick this season.
WA also have elite talent, including Claremont midfielder Jack Martin, who is being pursued by several AFL clubs. He is eligible for selection under the rule that saw Gold Coast hand GWS pick four in the national draft and then recruit Perth midfielder Jaeger O'Meara last year.
GWS have two draft picks they can trade which can then be used to recruit players born between January 1 and April 30 in 1995. Those players wouldn't normally be eligible for the draft until 2013.
Blessed with pace, a big leap and plenty of skill, Martin has dazzled while playing for the AFL Academy and WA in the past. He was impressive last weekend against NSW.
WA coach Michael Pratt said Whitfield wouldn't be allowed to just chase the ball tomorrow.
"Lachie is going to have his hands full chasing around Jack Martin as well," Pratt said.
"I don't think we'll go with a one-on-one lock-down. It's not in my nature to do that.
"We're certainly going to be quite keen to make him work defensively as well. We don't want him guarding grass. We want him playing on someone.
"I'm sure he'll watch the tapes and watch Dayle (Garlett), Shannon (Taylor) and Jack (Martin) having shots on goal. He's going to have to work pretty hard defensively at Subiaco to compete.
"Jack has been pretty good for us. His work rate inside the contest, willingness to hold position and put his head over the footy is really good.
"There's a perception that he's just an outside player. I think he's a lot better than that.
"His contested ball work is great and he almost took mark of the century in the last quarter (against NSW)."
Martin could secure his position as the hottest property in the GWS mini draft by performing well against Whitfield. He moved home to Geraldton earlier this season and will play limited colts games for Claremont, making it difficult for clubs to assess his 2012 form.
It is believed Fremantle, Gold Coast and Melbourne are among the clubs closely following Martin's performances.
Claremont key forward Jesse Hogan is also being assessed under the same rule. Hogan took nine marks, had 20 possessions and kicked 2.3 last week.
He also dominated against Peel during the colts super round when recruiters converged on Perth to watch the State's best teenagers.Already 193cm and 91kg, Hogan has shot up the draft rankings this season after regularly tearing teams apart.
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