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AFL draft's international flavour

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The 2008 NAB AFL Draft was held today, with at least two players with international backgrounds being drafted at either end of the day.

Exciting Fijian-Australian Nick Naitanui went at number two to the West Coast Eagles, meaning he gets to stay in his home town of Perth. The athletic ruckman has already excited talent scouts to the extent that Fiji is now being explored for similar prospects.

Naitanui was picked after Victorian Jack Watts going to Melbourne, whilst third was Western Australian Stephen Hill going to Fremantle, and Hamish Hartlett of West Adelaide being picked up by Port Adelaide with pick four. In fact the first five picks all went to clubs in their home states.

At the other extreme was Irishman Colm Begley, de-listed by Brisbane a few weeks ago. With the very last selection of the draft that was exercised, St Kilda threw a lifeline to Begley, taking him with pick 83.

Port Adelaide and Carlton passed with the final two picks, 84 and 85 - no doubt breaking the hearts of 1000s of hopefuls. That would include Brownlow Medallist Ben Cousins, seeking to return after an AFL ban due to his admission of a drug addiction, and Irishman Aisake O'hAilpin, who was looking for a second chance after being de-listed by Carlton.

As is traditional there will now be a flood of media stories in which each club explains how pleased they are with their selections. The last chance for players to make a main AFL list is now the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft on December 16.

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AFL draft's international flavour | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
AFL draft's international flavour
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Sunday, November 30 2008 @ 08:32 am ACDT

I wonder if this makes it more likely that St Kilda will rookie list Irishman James Kielt?

AFL draft's international flavour
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, November 30 2008 @ 07:44 pm ACDT

Or you could argue less likely, as they now have an Irishman with the hard developmental yards already put into him. I guess it does show they're open to trying these guys.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

AFL draft's international flavour
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Monday, December 01 2008 @ 08:48 am ACDT

It just seems that clubs like to have 2 Irish players to try to stem the homesick factor. But a fair point.

Quick breakdown of the State (and Territory) origins in the draft

75 new players were added to AFL lists.
39 players are from Victoria (25 metro and 14 country)
16 from Western Australia
13 from South Australia
4 from Tasmania
2 from Queensland
1 from Northern Territory

AFL draft's international flavour
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Monday, December 01 2008 @ 12:28 pm ACDT

And, of course, outside of the draft numbers per state - - is the 'hidden draft', the NSW scholarship players, a number of whom have been/will be elevated to rookie lists, and the GC 17 signings - - -

roll on the next few years - there promise to be some exciting draft and trade periods.

I noticed that John James (PNG-Zillmere) was nominated - - I forgot to look for Scott Fleming or some of the other PNG lads. Any chance any of these guys, or Liam Ackland as well, getting on international rookie lists in the near future? Does anyone know of clubs seriously keeping tabs on these guys?

AFL draft's international flavour
Authored by: Brett Northey on Monday, December 01 2008 @ 02:06 pm ACDT

We've been told informally that clubs have had some serious interest in some of the PNG boys, but none have taken the final step to list them yet. Quite a few have played a few games with the Brisbane Lions reserves in the Queensland league. Getting closer and closer, without quite cracking it yet.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN