AFL dream step closer

Jackson Lavell-LeeAugusta Margaret River Times
Kade Dittmar was an All-Australian at the State School football National Championship in 2018.
Camera IconKade Dittmar was an All-Australian at the State School football National Championship in 2018. Credit: Supplied/Busselton-Dunsborough Times, Supplied

Margaret River prodigy Kade Dittmar will travel to Perth next year to pursue his dream of being picked in the AFL draft by playing for the East Perth colts.

Dittmar, who is son of Port Adelaide SANFL premiership player Mark, was selected in the All Australian School Sport football team in 2018 and was an integral member of the WA State 16s academy.

Coaches at both East Perth and the WA 18s academy have pushed for Dittmar to move to Perth to fulfil his potential with both programs.

Dittmar played seven regular season games and two finals for East Perth in an injury-interrupted 2019.

Earlier this year, the 16-year old starred for WA against Vic Country in an inside midfield role he said was his most comfortable position.

“I enjoy tackling and the physical side to the game — getting in for the hard ball — I play best with contact around me and getting the ball out of the contest,” he said.

“I always take the biggest opponent but I need to work on my positioning and body work. When my confidence is up, I also take marks around the ground.”

Those traits have seen him compared to stoppage bulls and fellow WA-developed players Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps and Elliot Yeo.

Dittmar recently returned home from a WA 18s development camp, where he was a year younger than most selected and despite a minor back injury, he said the camp was the best he had experienced.

“I learnt a lot about structure and the AFL system,” he said.

The academy boys heard from Fremantle legend Matthew Pavlich and their progress was watched by several AFL list managers including representatives from the Dockers, West Coast, Richmond, Brisbane, Geelong, North Melbourne and Collingwood. Dittmar said his dream was to emulate his father, grandfather and uncles by playing at Port.

He said the challenge of moving to Perth to play full time for East Perth was the logical next step in his progression.

“Moving away from friends and family will be hard but it’s certainly going to be beneficial getting to know my teammates better and getting to more East Perth and State trainings,” he said.

The midfielder has played both forward and back, demonstrating his versatility, and is aiming to develop his cardio fitness and core strength before becoming eligible for the 2021 draft.

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