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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago


Just days after the national draft, the AFL held the rookie draft. It would also have the time for the preseaon draft, but all 18 clubs notified the league that they were not going to participate in the preseaon draft so there was none. Just as the draft, again it is club club with the selection number followed by the player's name, (club of origin), height, weight, position and a brief about the player. Some players have no selection number ahead of their names. Those players were prenominated by the clubs as Category B and/or Next Generation Academy nominations. The NGA is another program for junior players to progress and train, with the clubs aiming to draft those players. Clubs selecting Category B (international or unregistered) or NGA rookies do not have to use a selection on those players. 

17. Patrick Wilson, (Sturt, SANFL), 5'11", 193, midfield: an excellent kick, can play across half back or on a wing. Despite a shoulder reconstruction, had a brilliant season with Sturt and was a member of their premiership team

31. Cameron Ellis-Yeomen (Adelaide), 6', 206, midfield: played just 14 games since his 2014 debut, big-bodied, strong and has some speed, delisted but redrafted as a rookie

38. Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL development team), 5'8", 163, defender: rebounding defender who won the the Dean Bailey Award as the club’s best and most dedicated development player. Also ran fourth in the club's best and fairest as well as the SANFL’s Breakthrough Player award on debut in Round One. An effective kick, runs the ball out of defense well, is strong in the air despite his size and a real competitor

41. Jackson Edwards, (Glenelg, SANFL), 5'10", 165, midfield: composed ballwinner and uses it well, son of former Crow champion Tyson Edwards

1. Claye Beams, (Brisbane), 6'1", 182, midfield/defender: injuries have restricted him to 54 games since his debut in 2011, club is hoping he will have a change of luck. when fit, excellent rebounding defender with a long kick and excellent vision

Cian Hanley, 6'2", 174, signed as an international rookie in 2015, knee and groin injuries have prevented him from making progress. Has speed, agility endurance. Was granted special consideration by the AFL to extend his Category B rookie status to a fourth year. The brother of Pearce Hanley (traded to Gold Coast). Cian and his brother were granted compassionate leave to return to Ireland due to the death of their younger brother

3. Matt Shaw, (Gold Coast), 5'11", 189, half back/wing: the hard ruining Shaw played 102 games with the Suns but managed just 2 in 2017, can also play midfield

Cillian McDaid, Carlton - International (Ireland): a Category B rookie, the Blues have been following his progress throughout the year and he has studied the game over the past few years. According to list manager Steve Silvagni, McDaid already uses the ball well, a running defender but is versatile and the club is keen to see what else he can offer

6. Flynn Appleby, (GWS Victoria Rebels, TAC Cup), 5'11", 178, defender: reads the flight of the ball very well and can shut down tall and small forwards

22. Brody Mihocek (Port Melbourne, VFL), 6'1", 213, defender: Collingwood passed on the premiership defender last year. An excellent mark (catch of the ball) and decision maker. Was best on ground in the VFL semi-final against Footscray and third best in the losing VFL Grand Final, son of former Bomber Paul Mihocek

33. Adam Oxley, (Collingwood), 6'1", 187, defender: has played 31 games since his 2013 debut, showed great promise in 2016 in 12 games, but back and hip injuries kept him out for all of the 2017 season

11. Trent Mynott, (Eastern Ranges, TAC Cup), 5'10", 165: midfield: clean hands, good decision maker, improved his work at stoppages in 2017

26. Pass

Luke Lavender, three year non-registered, gave up cricket in South Australia for football. Has been training with Essendon for a month leading up to the rookie draft

5. Bailey Banfield, (Claremont, WAFL), 5'11", 189, midfield/defender: played senior football for Claremont in 2017, won Claremont's best and fairest in 2017, represented WA at the 2016 U-18 tournament and played in Claremont's colts (junior) premierships 2015-16, strong and powerful, a ballwinner, hard to stop at clearances, applies very good defensive pressure, a future leader

21. Stefan Giro, (Norwood,, SANFL), 5'7", 156, midfield: elite ballwinning skills and can run all day,
can sneak forward to kick goals, very competitive, tackles well and is very good at clearances. Won the SANFL MVP award in 2016. Attended the state Draft Combine and tested extremely well in the agility test

2. Joshua Jaska, (Geelong Falcons, TAC Cup), 6'1", 163, defender: lightly built, but gets the job done on the best forwards, can dominate games and is very good in the air and at spoiling

19. Nicholas Holman, (Central District, SANFL), 5'11", 185, midfield/defender: vigorous and a strong ballwinner, played nine games for Carlton but was delisted at the end of 2015, continued hs strong form in the SANFL for the past two seasons

32. Mackenzie Willis, (GC), 5'9", 180, midfield/defender: strong - bodied, spent much of his first season with the Suns developing in the NEAFL but did manage five games since his 2016 debut. The Suns always intended to redraft him as a rookie and he was training with the club ahead of the draft

39. Pass

Jacob Dawson, (GC Academy), midfield: good hands is good at stoppages, won a NEAFL Rising Star nomination after going head to head with senior Suns' player Jacob Hopper and had 24 possessions and 10 clearances, joined the Suns Academy as a 12 year old

Jacob Heron, (GC Academy), forward: athletic and quick, excellent defensive pressure and tackles well, accurate in front of goal

15. Dylan Buckley, (Carlton),5'8", 167, forward/defender: the son of three-time premiership player Jim, Dylan was a father-son selection in 2011, debuted in 2013 and played 39 games, but managed just one in 2017. Courageous, fast, a strong mark (catch of the ball) for his size and can kick long. Delisted at the end of 2017, he was actually looking at life after football before GWS picked him up. The first Carlton player to cross to GWS rather than the other way around with a number of former Giants on Carlton's list

29. Sam Reid, (GWS), 5'11", 187, forward: originally drafted by the Bulldogs in 2007, debuted in 2008 and played 10 games for the Dogs before joining the Giants as a rookie in 2012. Actually retired at the end of 2013. Remained with GWS in the NEAFL. Showed such great form, the Giants again added him their rookie list in 2016, delisted him again at the end of 2017 and he once ore finds himself on the rookie list

37, 40, 42 Pass

Jack Buckley, (GWS Giants NSW Zone), forward/defender: the son of North Melbourne chairman Ben, he was in the Sydney Swans Academy but drifted away from the game for awhile. Played basketball as a teen. Played in the NEAFL this year and was eligible for both the Swans and Giants. Athletic, has speed and is a good mark (catch of the ball)

7. Harrison Jones, (Murray Bushrangers, TAC Cup), 5'10", 187, midfield: strong runner and strong at the contest, tackles hard and is himself hard to tackle, excellent at clearances

23. David Mirra, (Box Hill Hawks, VFL), 5'11", 189, midfield: began with Box Hill at 19, showed great leadership skills, joined the leadership group after just two seasons and two years later was named captain, holding the role for the last four years and was a member of the 2013 VFL premiership side. Named in the VFL team of the year four times and named captain of that team in 2015

34. Dallas Willsmore, (Hawrthorn), 6', 187, wing: drafted as a rookie in 2014 and elevated to the senior list, clean hands and an accurate kick for goal, delisted the end of 2017 with the Hawks always intent on redrafting him as a rookie. Played three preseason games in four years and finally broke through in 2017 for two senior games during the season proper

Changkuoth Jiath, (Gippsland Power), 5'10", 163, midfield/defender: Ethiopian with Sudanese heritage, he is a Category B rookie with good speed and endurance, strong overhead. Can join the Hawks as a Next Generation Academy player as a member of Hawthorn's multicultural region

10. Pass

4. Thomas Murphy, (Dandenong Stingrays, TAC Cup), 5'11", 174, utility: can play midfield, forward and defense, reads the play well and can kick the ball clear to team's advantage, has mix of speed and endurance, capable of pushing in to the midfield and forward, needs work on his concentration

20. Gordon Narrier, (Perth, WAFL), 5'10", 171, elevated from the colts side to the seniors in 2017, skilled and fast, uses the ball well

Tom Jeffries, three year non-registered, 6'4": former rugby player who was also offered a towing scholarship in the USA, he will spend 2017 in the VFL learning the ruck craft

12. Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne), 5'9", 174, forward: after 205 games since 2007, Thomas and the Kangaroos decided to part ways so Thomas could seek other opportunities elsewhere. His last two years have been marred by poor form and several suspensions, including a five week VFL ban in 2017, which contributed to his paltry nine senior games for the year. Originally from SA,, he and his family return home

18. Liam Baker, (Subiaco, WAFL), 5'6", 150, forward: small forward who is dangerous in front of goal and can push up the ground to present a target, good defensive pressure

Derek Eggmolesse-Smith, (Richmond NGA), defender: Next Generation Academy added as a Category B rookie. He played five VFL games in 2017 and is Richmond's first NGA selection since the academy was established in 2016, is very quick

8. Doutlon Langlands, (Murray Bushrangers, TAC Cup), 5'11", 174, defender: can also play on a wing and knows where the goals are, a great mix of speed and power

24. Lewis Pierce, (St Kilda), 6'4", 222, forward/ruck: originally drafted in 2012, he has spent the bulk of the past five seasons developing and learning in the VFL. Played one senior game in 2017 and showed enough that the Saints are willing to persevere with him, especially with the departure of Jason Holmes
14. Angus Styles, (Sandringham Dragons, TAC Cup), 5'10", midfield/defender: good balance, endurance and speed, excellent vision and evasive skills, needs to fill out a bit

28. Joel Amartey, (Sandiringham), 6'2", 187, ruck/forward: comes from a soccer and basketball background so is very athletic with an excellent leap and follow-up around the ground

36. Alex Johnson, (Sydney), 6'1", 204, defender: got the all clear on a medial assessment. Both he and the Swans are hoping he can make a successful return to football after five knee reconstructions and a total of 12 surgeries since 2013, due to failures and complications from traditional and LARS surgeries. His last senior game was the 2012 Grand Final win over Hawthorn and his first game since the surgeries was June of this year in he NEAFL.

James Bell, (Sydney Academy), wing/forward: lightening fast indigenous player who links up well with teammates, has been with the academy for several years

Jake Brown, (Sydney Academy), midfield: has been with the academy since he was 12 (now 19), and debuted with the NEAFL Swans in 2015. Has battled a shoulder reconstruction and stress fractures in the past two years, but returned to the NEAFL team this year and was a Rising Star nominee

13. Ryan Burrows, (South Fremantle, WAFL), 5'11", 189, forward: knows how to hunt the ball and get into space, an excellent kick and has footy smarts

27. Tony Olango (NT Thunder, NEAFL), 6'3", 187,ruck: was in Hawthorn's Next Generation Academy, hails from a soccer background, has good skills, but will need time to develop his light frame

35. Callan England, (Clarremont, WAFL),5'9", 156, midfield/defender: speedy and loves to run and carry the ball out of defense,composed ball winner with an excellent workrate

9. Billy Gowers, (Footscray, VFL), 5'11", 189. defender/forward: originally drafted by Carlon as a rookie in 2015 but failed to play any senior games and was delisted at the end of 2016 and joined the VFL Bulldogs. Fleet-footed with good skills on both sides of his body and strong overhead.
Played forward for the VFL Bulldogs after spending two years in defense with the Blues

25. Roarke Smith, (Western Bulldogs), 5'9", 176, defender: athletic with a great vertical leap and endurance and has speed to take a turn in the midfield, has a fearless attack on ball, missed most of 2016 due to a knee reconstruction, playing just one senior game to double his tally. Originally drafted as a rookie and again joins the rookie list

Sources:, AFL Record Season Guides, AFL Grand Final Record,, Inside Football

Article last changed on Monday, June 11, 2018 - 5:32 PM EDT

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