Geelong Cats draft “X-Factor” NT Thunder player
Thursday, November 27 2014 @ 08:11 pm ACDT
Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Nakia Cockatoo has been snapped up by the Geelong Cats in tonight’s AFL Draft, held on the Gold Coast. The powerful midfielder, originally from NTFL club Southern Districts has been touted as a mid to late teens draft selection, but the Cats pounced early selecting Cockatoo with pick 10 in the draft.
Having lost young speedsters Travis Varcoe and Allen Christensen during the trade period in October, Geelong has grabbed the opportunity to snare the young Northern Territory talent. The following is an excerpt from the AFLNT review of tonight’s draft:
Making his debut for NT Thunder as a 16 year old in round 1 of the 2013 NEAFL season, Nakia is one of the youngest players ever to make is senior debut for the club. Starting on a Half Back Flank Nakia showed plenty of potential, despite only playing three games before shifting focus to the U18 National Championship campaign.
As a bottom age player, his performances at National level earned him selection in the AIS/AFL Academy as a Level 2 athlete which included development opportunities with the AIS and a tour of Europe with the Australian U18 team in April this year. Unfortunately, injury cut short his 2014 playing program after suffering a serious foot injury, however his commitment to his rehabilitation program placed him well, as the Territory young gun dazzled recruiters in the under-18 “Allied All-Stars” with a Best On Ground performance in the curtain-raiser game to this year’s AFL Grand Final at the MCG. Combined with his outstanding NAB Draft testing results in Melbourne the week after, his performances squashed any concerns of Nakia’s playing abilities AFL recruiters might have had.
Cockatoo’s explosiveness, power, speed and natural athleticism ticked all the boxes for the Cats, taking the dynamic, 186cm forward/midfield player at pick number 10 and the thirteenth draftee to date for NT Thunder.
A product of the NT Thunder talent pathway, Nakia first learnt his trade with NTFL Club Southern Districts through their junior program. Even at a young age Nakia wore the Territory colours with pride and passion stemming from the influence of his father Jason, both as a Southern Districts Premiership player and NT Representative.
On behalf of everyone at the Northern Territory Football Club we congratulate Nakia on achieving his dream and being drafted to Geelong, and would like to thank his player sponsor Territoria Civil for their support.
Left: Northern Territory junior, now Geelong player, Nakia Cockatoo (Picture: Fox Footy)