AFL draft: Bushies may need second chance

THE path well worn by many AFL stars could be the saving grace for several Murray Bushrangers.

While they will hope their names are read out in tomorrow’s night’s national draft on the Gold Coast, next month’s rookie draft may be a more realistic prospect to further their AFL dreams.

Katamatite’s Tom Clurey seems certain to be taken in the top 30 but the December 11 rookie draft looms for a host of his teammates, including Myrtleford’s Matt Taberner, Benalla’s Sam Martyn, Lavington’s Tom Hargreave and Shepparton United’s Matt Brett.

Myrtleford duo Jack Crisp and Frazer Dale were taken by Brisbane and Carlton as rookies last year.

Dean Cox (West Coast), James Podsiadly (Geelong) and Matt Sucking (Hawthorn) are all AFL stars who started their careers as rookies.

Murray Bushrangers region manager Andrew Carson said Martyn was the best draft chance after Clurey.

“Sam was our captain this year and played all five games for Vic Country at the under-18 nationals along with Tom Clurey,” Carson said yesterday.

“He’s a midfielder who wins heaps of the footy and he came third in our total disposals.

“He’s above average with his disposal and he’s got elite aerobic fitness.

“He’s an outstanding young man who won our best-and-fairest.”

While Hargreave didn’t attend last month’s draft combine at Etihad Stadium — Clurey and Brett were the only Bushies there — Carson believes the midfielder is a “sneaky chance” tomorrow night.

In what would only improve his chances, Hargreave played a VFL game for Collingwood this year.

“He played 10 games with us and then represented NSW at the nationals and then got injured,” Carson said.

“He’s another really good user of the footy and, along with Sam, he’s one of our top endurance athletes.

“He plays on the wing and accumulates a lot of the footy.”

The draft will be televised on Fox Footy between 7pm to 9pm tomorrow.

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