Franklin. Wells. Jetta. Stokes. Motlop.
The All-Indigenous squad to take on Ireland in next week’s International Rules series will feature many of the game’s biggest names, but it’s safe to say Cameron Ellis-Yolmen isn’t one of them.
If you haven’t yet heard of him, you’re not alone. The 20-year-old is yet to debut for Adelaide, but will soon be representing Australia.
— COYS SA (@adelaideYid_AUS) October 15, 2013
Given his anonymity, it’s hard to predict exactly how Ellis-Yolmen might perform,but he seems perfectly suited to the hybrid game of International Rules. He played as a midfielder for Woodville-West Torrens during 2011 (the year he was drafted) but had previously played “at centre-half back, centre-half forward or the ruck” as a junior.
“I like being in the middle. Being the tallest besides the ruckmen is good because I’ve got the size, which allows me to get the ball out or break free (of opponents),” Ellis-Yolmen told The Advertiser in 2011, shortly before he was drafted by the Crows.
Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson has likened Ellis-Yolmen to a young Adam Goodes, because of his “great athleticism”, tipping the young utility to become “a cult figure for [Adelaide] fans at some point.”
They’re big raps for a player yet to make his debut, but the International Rules series might prove to be the perfect launching pad for Ellis-Yolmen’s career.
Kevin Sheedy famously selected little-known Bulldog Dale Morris in the 2005 Australian Rules team. While Morris had played just 17 games of AFL at that point, he was picked as an All-Australian defender just three years later.
His versatility – an ability to play against both tall and small forwards – proved a valuable asset in the hybrid game initially, but became just as useful in the AFL a year or two later. Morris is 190cm tall and weighs 93kgs; not too dissimilar to Ellis-Yolmen who stands at roughly 188cm – accounts of his height vary greatly – and weighs 89kgs.
Though we haven’t yet seen him strut his stuff on the big stage, there’s a sense Ellis-Yolmen might have a few more tricks than Morris, if his form in the SANFL is anything to go by.
For many supporters, the NAB Cup is an opportunity to get a glimpse of a club’s lesser-known players before the real stuff gets underway. But in mid-October, the pre-season seems a lifetime away.
The International Rules series mightn’t quite be AFL, but it’s certainly the best alternative on offer for the next few months. For Crows fans, it’s the first real chance to get a glimpse of Ellis-Yolmen. His coach says he’ll become a cult hero at some point – it might all start on Saturday.
Australia will play against Ireland in Cavan on October 19 and in Dublin on October 26. Both matches will be televised on 7Mate.