Draft D-Day has arrived. There are no more chances until next year after today’s rookie and pre-season drafts for TAC Cup under-18 club Murray Bushrangers’ budding AFL crop.By Marc McGowan
Draft D-Day has arrived. There are no more chances until next year after today’s rookie and pre-season drafts for TAC Cup under-18 club Murray Bushrangers’ budding AFL crop.
Katamatite defender Tom Clurey and Seymour on-baller Josh Prudden found new homes in last month’s AFL National Draft at Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs, respectively.
Other Bushrangers with a genuine chance of achieving their AFL dreams today are Cobram’s Cadeyn Williams, Shepparton United’s Matt Brett, Benalla’s Sam Martyn, Myrtleford’s Matt Taberner and Wangaratta Magpies’ Josh Porter.
Taberner trained with Fremantle in the lead-up to the drafts.
Brisbane Lions midfield star Tom Rockliff, from Benalla, did the same with Melbourne after missing out in the 2009 national draft.
Bushrangers talent manager Andrew Carson said there was not a lot more his players could do to push their claims.
‘‘The rookie draft goes a lot quicker than the national draft, because clubs are pretty much locked away and there are not as many surprises,’’ Carson said.
‘‘There is always one at the national draft who goes in the top 10 when he wasn’t meant to and one who’s (supposedly) a top 10 who slides out to 20.
‘‘You get a lot less of that at the rookie draft.’’
Carson said there would be about 25 live picks in the rookie draft, on top of predetermined selections, such as international players and retaining rookie-listed players.
‘‘They’ve seen their fitness-testing results, watched the tapes over and over, interviewed them, interviewed the parents — they’ve done it all,’’ he said.
‘‘So a lot of it now is just touching over and making sure the Is are dotted and so forth.’’
Carson said preparation had already taken place in case certain players missed the cut today.
Some players are eligible to return for an ‘‘overage’’ season and club officials can apply to have up to five of these players on their list.
Carson said Williams (broken collarbone), Brett (only one year in the system) and 197
‘‘We have to get approval from AFL Victoria and it’s still pretty broad,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s not just, ‘He’s a good kid and a good player and he deserves a second chance’.
‘‘Generally, you’re looking at guys who’ve had some form of long-term injury, have had limited access to a program because of school footy in Melbourne or have come across from another sport.’’
Euroa’s Jamie Elliot, now with Collingwood, is one recent Bushrangers success with the overage player rule.
Echuca pair Christian Burgess and Matt Farrelly, who has joined VFL club Bendigo Gold, are also outside chances of being picked in the rookie draft.
Carson thanked local clubs for their co-operation and role in players’ progress.
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Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
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