FIFTEEN young West Australians will realise their dreams of playing AFL football after their names were read out during Friday night’s draft.
Peel Thunder’s Aaron Naughton was the first local product to go when he was taken by the Western Bulldogs with pick 9, while East Perth’s Brandon Starcevich and Wil Powell were also selected in the opening round and will head to Brisbane (pick 18) and Gold Coast (pick 19) respectively.
West Perth product Oscar Allen won’t have to travel far after being taken by West Coast with pick 21, with the Eagles also snapping up Subiaco duo Liam Ryan with pick 26 and Brayden Ainsworth with pick 32.
Most WA draftees will head to Victoria, including Naughton, South Fremantle’s Tim Kelly (Geelong, pick 24) and Jarrod Garlett (Carlton, pick 78), Subiaco’s Kyron Hayden (North Melbourne, pick 62) and Ben Miller (Richmond, pick 63) and Claremont’s Matt Guelfi (Essendon, pick 76).
Swan Districts’ Sam Taylor (Greater Western Sydney, pick 28), Claremont’s Zac Langdon (Greater Western Sydney, pick 56) and Jake Patmore (Port Adelaide, pick 58) and East Perth’s Scott Jones (Fremantle, pick 75) have also realised their dreams.
Speaking to Community Newspapers on Monday, Kelly said hearing his name called out had been “unbelievable”.
“This is something I’ve worked towards my whole life and to have made it a reality, I can’t really put it into words,” he said.
“I plan on making something of myself at the next level so I know that the hard work has only just started.”
The Fremantle Dockers have bolstered their midfield stocks, taking two of the best young talents in the field with their opening picks.
After Brisbane predictably took Victorian Cameron Rayner with the first pick, Fremantle snapped up Andrew Brayshaw with pick 2 and Adam Cerra with pick 5.
As well as Brayshaw, Cerra and Jones, Fremantle also picked up forwards Hugh Dixon and Sam Switkowski, midfielders Mitchell Crowden and Tom North and ruckman Lloyd Meek.
Adding to their local trio of Allen, Ryan and Ainsworth, West Coast welcomed defenders Jarrod Brander and Jack Petruccelle, as well as midfielder Hamish Brayshaw, the brother of Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw.