Ely Smith believes he’s done almost everything he possibly could to be drafted to an AFL club this week.
The Yarrawonga and Murray Bushrangers star is hoping to hear his name called out at this year’s national draft, which kicks-off with the first round at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.
Round two through to completion will take place on Friday afternoon, before rookie and pre-season selections are made later that night.
Smith’s superb season saw him win the Bushrangers’ best and fairest, as well as represent Victoria Country and play for Collingwood in the VFL.
He racked up 32 disposals in the clash against Western Australia to feature among the best players on the ground in the side’s final game at the national championships.
“I’m not feeling too bad at the moment, I’ll probably get a little bit more nervous when it gets closer to it,” Smith said.
“I’ve had a few chats with them (clubs).
“I had a slowish start to the year, but I got better and better as the year went on.
“I was able to get a bit more of the ball and work to my strengths.
“It kind of showed in the games later in the year, I thought I was able to do what I wanted to do with Vic Country in the last game and the combine.
“I was pretty happy with the year and I was pretty lucky in terms of injuries.”
Smith admitted playing at the highest level has been a lifelong ambition.
“Ever since I could walk, it’s been the ultimate dream of mine,” he said.
“I suppose it has come really quickly in the last year and it’s right here now.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming, but it’s really close.
“It doesn’t bother me, I’ll go to whoever will have me.”
The in-and-under midfielder believes he has plenty to offer at AFL level.
“My biggest strength is probably my contested work, stoppage work and inside grunt work,” Smith said.
“Probably my athleticism as well, I reckon I would bring dedication and hard work to a club.
“You know what you’re going to get.
“I made sure I had a huge pre-season to give me the best chance I could to have a good year.
“I thought my fitness was pretty good throughout the year.”
Smith will attend the first round on Thursday night.
“If my name doesn’t get called out, I’ll have to wait until Friday to see if I’m a chance then,” he said.
“I’m not sure how all that is going to work yet.”
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