In mid-April, Collingwood signed a basketball player from Senegal. Bassirou Faye, 18, has committed to the Pies on an International Rookie Scholarship. Currently still in his homeland, he will relocate to Australia in late May. Faye, who stands 202 cm (6'5") has never played Australian Rules but had been training with the Oakleigh Chargers in the NAB league and looked impressive with his athleticism. He was forced to return to Senegal due to visa issues.
Faye originally arrived in Australia hoping for a career in basketball but switched to footy through former Tiger and Hawk Tyrone Vickery. Oakleigh's general manager put Faye through a two-month training program at the beginning of this year before Faye joined the Chargers for several sessions.
One of the players he trained with was Nick Daicos, the son of former Collingwood champion Peter and brother of current Magpie Josh. The younger Daicos is already being touted as a possible number one draft pick. Collingwood wasted no time in securing Faye's signature. Faye will return to Australia in late May but will be required to complete a two-week quarantine period before he resumes training.
Before he had to return home, he attended a NAB test day in March with other 2021 draft prospects. He ran a sub-three-second 20-meter (twenty-two yards) sprint and recorded an 84cm (2.68 feet) running vertical jump. Testers had to increase the height limit to accommodate his jump.
The Pies hold a strong link to the Chargers with eight current players previously calling Oakleigh home - Josh Daicos, Jordan De Goey, Isaac Quaynor, Trent Bianco, Will Kelly, Reef McInnes, Darcy Moore, and Finlay Macrae (who will debut in Round Six).
Collingwood is working on getting approval by the AFL for Fay to play for the Chargers this year. The International Rookie Scholarship player sits outside the club's maximum list of 44 players and acts in a comparable manner to an Academy program. For Faye to be eligible for AFL selection he would need to be upgraded to the AFL list at the end of the year or future years in the official player movement window.
The most recent example at a club was Papua New Guinean Hewago Paul Oea who was upgraded to the Suns' category B rookie list last November as an international scholarship holder.
Article last changed on Monday, April 19, 2021 - 8:12 PM EDT