EIGHT Murray Bushrangers will attend the 2016 AFL Draft Combine later this year.
They will be the most well-represented club in the TAC Cup and nationally when Albury's Zach Sproule and Max Lynch, Corowa-Rutherglen's Ryan Garthwaite, Benalla's Harry Morrison, Cobram's Esava Ratugolea, Mooroopna's Jy Simpkin, Deniliquin's Todd Marshall and Shepparton's Will Brodie attend the testing event.
The Bushrangers’ talent manager Lee Fraser said the amount of attendees was a huge win for the club.
“It's the most we've had invited to the combine in recent memory,” he said.
“It's a good result, great numbers, it's a reflection on how hard the boys have worked to get to where they are now.
“I think it also reflects their performance not only at TAC Cup level, but for some their performance during the national carnivals as well.”
Brodie, Simpkin and Marshall have long been earmarked as potential first round draft picks, but Fraser said invitations for the likes of Lynch and Ratugolea was a sign the Bushrangers’ talent pathway was on the right track.
“Some of these guys were identified quite early on, others like Max Lynch have come on quite late,” he said.
“Lynch has a soccer background, Ratugolea only started playing footy when he was 14 or 15.
“You never stop looking for talented players.
“This really highlights the work of the development coaches, who have really brought these guys on since they arrived at the club.”
The invitation is an exciting moment, but Fraser said the club would ensure the players let their footy do the talking in the meantime.
“Between now and the combine, the boys have to put some of these distractions aside,” Fraser said.
“We'll spend a good amount of time with them, making sure they keep focusing on their schooling and the remainder of the season.
“The season really heats up at this point, most sides are fielding all their best players.
“It's going to be an exciting finish to the season.”
As well as the Bushrangers’ group of eight players, former Henty young gun Harrison Macreadie and Collingullie product Harry Perryman also been invited to the national combine.
The combine goes ahead at Etihad Stadium in October.
In other football news, Benalla product Caleb Marchbank's AFL season has been ended prematurely.
The 19-year-old GWS Giants defender requires a shoulder reconstruction after suffering an injury in the NEAFL.
He played two AFL games this season after being drafted in 2014.