Ollie Wines is tipped to be a top-10 draft pick at tomorrow's draft.By Zach Hubber
Tomorrow night’s AFL draft at the Gold Coast’s Convention and Exhibition Centre will determine the futures of aspiring footballers across Australia, most notably Echuca’s Ollie Wines.
The 18-year-old has been touted as a likely top-10 pick after an impressive showing at the AFL under 18 championships with Victoria Country, which saw him earn all-Australian selection in the midfield.
Greater Western Sydney holds the first three picks of the draft, followed by Melbourne with pick four, the Western Bulldogs with five and six, then Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Richmond.
The Demons have been backed in as favourite to recruit Wines where he would join good friend Jack Viney, whom Melbourne will take with its father-son selection at pick 27.
But if Melbourne pass Wines up, the Bulldogs would be likely to select the young midfielder, that is if GWS do not take him earlier.
Wines is not the only Echuca Football Club player throwing his hat in the ring, with defender Matt Farrelly and small forward Christian Burgess also contesting the draft.
Farrelly, who signed with VFL club Bendigo Gold last month, said he saw his chances as ‘‘very slim’’ and would be a better showing at the rookie draft on December 11.
‘‘My size and strength is a big issue with everyone,’’ he said.
‘‘If I get bigger there’s a bit more of a chance of getting drafted later down the track.
‘‘I’ve got the fitness there, I’ve just got to start getting a bit heavier.’’
Farrelly lodged his draft application a month ago, which will remain valid for three years.
Burgess is in a similar situation to his Echuca teammate, who also lodged his form last month.
‘‘I’m kind of looking at next year as a VFL option,’’ Burgess said.
‘‘But if I didn’t get drafted after the three years I’d probably stick to playing local footy.’’
The Moama resident represented NSW/ACT Rams at the AFL under 18 championships, as well as playing 13 games with the Bendigo Pioneers in 2012.
Burgess has been in contact with the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide, but after meeting with VFL clubs in Melbourne with his father, Scott, it seems an AFL call-up might be more realistic in 12 months’ time.
He said Rams coaches Brad Ottens and Luke Carroll recommended he played in the state competition where he would put on size and learn in a stronger league.
‘‘More and more mature-aged players are getting drafted,’’ Burgess said.
‘‘The draft is still pretty exciting, but there’s probably more of a chance at the rookie (draft).
‘‘If it doesn’t happen I won’t be too disappointed.’’
The draft will be televised on Fox Sports and aired on 1116 SEN at 7pm AEDT.
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