MURRAY Bushranger Ely Smith has been rewarded for his fine season by being selected to play for Collingwood’s VFL side against Frankston on Sunday.
Smith’s strong form in the second-half of the home and away series has attracted the attention of AFL talent scouts with coach Leon Higgins saying he had given himself every chance of being drafted.
He is the second Bushranger to play VFL this season after Jordan Butts at Werribee.
Mooroopna’s Laitham Vandermeer was set to play before being injured.
“Ely’s footy has got better as the year has gone on,” Higgins said.
“He’s grabbed the attention of several AFL clubs which is great for him.”
The Bushrangers have made seven changes for Saturday’s clash against second-placed Gippsland Power at Ballarat.
Jacob Koschitzke (foot), Kyle Clarke (knee) and Tom Boyd (NEAFL) are among the omissions.
“Gippsland is a good, disciplined side,” Higgins said.
Clarke, Butts, Hudson Garoni and Finn O’Dwyer have been invited to the Victorian draft combine while Riley Bice, Nick Murray and Matt Walker will take part in the NSW combine.
Koschitzke, Smith, Vandermeer and Zane Barzen have already been invited to the national combine.
The Bushrangers team is:
B, Adams, Fiore, Paradzayi; hb, Boyer, Murray, Warner; c, Frauenfelder, Smith, Wilson; hf, Chandler, Butts, Barzen; f, Chalcraft, Garoni, Bice; foll, Bollinghaus, Walker, Ash; inter, Ellis, Harrington, Amery, Mack.