FOR the draft crop of 2016, the AFL Draft Combine is the first sign that their AFL dreams are a step closer to fruition. An invitation to the AFL Draft Combine means that at least five AFL clubs have expressed interest in the player. The AFL Draft Combine is a way for clubs to determine the players’ physical strengths as well as getting one-on-one time through combine interviews.
Draftees take on each other in a series of tests that challenge their speed, endurance, reflexes and skills to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Combine results are taken into account by clubs when deciding between players and whether they believe they can take the next step into the AFL. A total of 80 players have been invited to the 2016 AFL Draft Combine.
Vic Metro lead the other Under 18 sides with 19 players selected to take part in October’s National Combine.
Metro went through the Division One carnival as the only side to go undefeated, winning their first title since 2012.
Their rivals Vic Country themselves weren’t far behind with 18 nominations despite a winless carnival, down on their 22 nominations from 2015.
Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues across Australia, with strong performances at VFL level averaging 21 disposals, seven marks and seven rebound 50s (to Round 15 of the VFL).
Father Son prospects Ben Jarman (Adelaide/Hawthorn), Callum Brown (Collingwood), Joshua Daicos (Collingwood) and Jake Waterman (West Coast) have all made the list and have caught recruiters eyes throughout the season.
Murray Bushranger tall Esava Ratugolea has made the cut and will be a name to keep an eye on throughout the Bushrangers final series.
Vic Country injured trio Alex Witherden, Jy Simpkin and Mitchell McCarthy have made the cut and will be hoping to take part in some form of testing at the combine.
North Ballarat Rebels excitement machine Cedric Cox has been nominated and will be one to keep an eye on in the second half of the season. Cox is the cousin of possible top five draft selection Sam Petrevski-Seton, while his older brother Daniel is currently on the Fox 8 TV Show ‘The Recruit.’
Eastern Ranges forward Joshua Begley continues to rise in season 2016. After missing the original cut for the Ranges squad, 187cm Begley forced his way into the side and has kicked 23 goals in 11 games this season.
NSW-ACT led the way for the division two teams with 11 player picked, with only Todd Marshall and Benjamin Davis not eligible for academy selection. Queensland have six players nominated, while Northern Territory have three prospects nominated. Tasmania had no players nominated for the national combine.
Coburg’s Luke Ryan is the sole representative from the state leagues.
Clubs will now again nominate players for the state combine, which is for players that have at least two but up to four clubs that are interested in them. Similar tests are conducted at the state combine.
The National Combine will begin on Thursday, October 6 and go through to Sunday, October 9 and will again be held at Etihad Stadium.
Northern Territory (3):
South Australia (10):
Vic Country (18):
Vic Metro (19):
Western Australia (12):