A SECOND Murray Bushranger has joined Culcairn’s Sam Schulz as a signing at new AFL franchise Greater Western Sydney.
Finley’s Mark Whiley was yesterday announced as one of three GWS signings, along with Schulz and Curtly Hampton from the Northern Territory.
The trio, all 17, have each signed three-year deals with GWS through the zoned access afforded to the club under the AFL’s list of concessions awarded last year.
Schulz, an explosive midfielder and Whiley, a rebounding defender, have both progressed through the AFL (NSW/ACT) Talented Player Pathway and inaugural GWS coach Kevin Sheedy said he was looking forward to working with his recruits.
“This is a crucial milestone for us — these boys will be very important to our future,” Sheedy said.
“It’s just great to get the first three signed ... this is just the beginning.
“It’s going to be a great couple of years as we work with the best talent we can find.”
The athletic Schulz, who had received interest from at least two rival AFL clubs after shining with the Bushrangers in the TAC Cup, said he was excited by the prospect of joining GWS, which will enter the AFL in 2012.
“I just can’t wait to get up there to be honest,” the St Paul’s College student said.
“I made the decision because I think being a part of the first group at a new AFL club was just too good an opportunity.
“All I ever wanted to do was play AFL footy, so this is really just too good to be true.”
Whiley said he decided to put pen to paper after visiting the club recently.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest but ... in the end I made the decision pretty easily,” he said.
“I went up there with Mum and Dad and we were really impressed with everyone we met and the club’s set-up — I was pretty keen to get on board.”
The trio will focus on finishing their final year of school before moving to Sydney in November.