Five Bushies an AFL chance

PROMISING Myrtleford forward Matt Taberner is hoping a breakthrough season will land him at an AFL club in the November 22 national draft.

Taberner is one of several Murray Bushrangers players who will nominate for the draft.

Bushrangers region manager Andrew Carson said the likes of Tom Clurey, Sam Martyn, Jydon Neagle, Tom Hargreaves and Matt Brett would also come under strong consideration from AFL clubs.

“Hopefully there will be a few guys who get opportunities,” Carson said yesterday.

“We’ve got no control over it, unfortunately.

“I hope there’s opportunities for four or five guys. I think that would be a good effort.”

Taberner’s draft prospects skyrocketed this season after a starring performance for the VCFL under-19 team, where he kicked three goals from centre half- forward in an eye-catching display against Victorian Amateurs.

Then, in an effort to boost his draft hopes, Taberner played four games for the Bushrangers in the second half of the season, booting nine goals, including two bags of four.

He also played 14 senior games for Myrtleford, booting 21 goals to finish fourth in the Saints’ best-and-fairest award behind winner Lee Dale.

Carson said Taberner, who had played 16 TAC Cup games over three years, was a genuine chance to be picked up by an AFL club.

“He had the last two years with us and then came back as a 19-year-old at the back end of this year,” Carson said.

“Playing senior footy at Myrtleford has really helped him this year.”

Players that miss out on the draft can turn their attention to the December 11 rookie draft.

Myrtleford duo Jack Crisp and Frazer Dale were taken, by Brisbane and Carlton, respectively, in the 2011 rookie draft.

The Bushrangers start training on November 18 at Norm Minns Oval.