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Tomorrow's Heroes: Ian Hill

Tomorrow's Heroes: Ian Hill The West Australian playmaker has a touch of class.

Ian Hill's season started with him recovering from shoulder surgery and ended with another shoulder operation, meaning clubs didn't ever really see the West Australian's best in 2018.

The lightning-quick small forward, who is a second cousin to Fremantle brothers Stephen and Bradley Hill, showed his potential as a 17-year-old last year, when he put in an exciting display for his state against Vic Country at Docklands.

Hill missed the final round of this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships after being suspended for a dangerous tackle during the carnival, but he played for Perth’s reserves side in the back end of the season before succumbing to the second shoulder issue that required an operation.

It meant he was unable to test at the Combine.

Hill is creative, classy and cool under pressure. He runs the 20m sprint in 2.82 seconds so has genuine pace that separates him from the rest. He can jump high and take spectacular grabs and he has a very good goal sense.

Hill’s skills are tight: he goes for kicks that others wouldn't try to hit and makes them, and isn't afraid to try things. When he's near the ball stuff happens, and that's why Hill will appeal to clubs searching for a skilful crumber who can also impact in the air. 

At Colts level this season Hill averaged 20 disposals in seven games, including a starring performance of 25 disposals and three goals against East Fremantle late in the season before he was upgraded to the reserves competition.

Hill’s size means that there aren’t many positions that he can play. There’s no getting around the fact the speedster is small – he measured in at 175cm and 64kg at the Combine – so he could take some time to be ready for the AFL.

His injury issues mean he hasn’t been able to spend as much time in the gym to build his body and strength.

He doesn't have the same tenacious approach to tackling as Daniel Rioli, but Hill can generate activity in the front half given his speed and agility a little like the Richmond forward has in his three seasons at AFL level.

Hill started the year viewed as a potential top-five selection, but now seems more likely to be drafted later in the first round or early in the second round.

Hill has a highlights package that plenty of other players would yearn for. He's an eye-catcher who plays with a cheeky take-them-on attitude.