North Melbourne FC
Born: 11 February 1989
Junior Club: Aspley
Senior Club: Northern Eagles
Schools: Sandgate State High
Regional Selection: Northern Raiders
Queensland Selection: U18 (2006)
Draft Details: Selection #69 2006 National Draft
AFL Debut: North Melbourne v Essendon, Docklands, Rd 4, 2009, (19 April)
Jumper Number: 5
AT A GLANCE: Ben Warren waited 876 days from when he was drafted to the AFL to justify his selection. It was an agonising time for the blonde North Melbourne utility forward, but it was worth it. Coach Dean Laidley proudly declared at the time “we found a player tonight”. And from that point on Warren produced on the potential that saw him taken by the ‘Roos as a 17-year-old project selection late in the 2006 National Draft.
An Aspley junior, Warren had been a standout in the Queensland U16 side in 2005 and was earmarked for a spot in the star-studded 2006 side coached by Craig McRae that won the division two title undefeated and produced a plethora of AFL talent. But he missed the U18 campaign with a broken thumb and had to rely on a busy 10-week period at the end of the State League season with the Zillmere Eagles to press his draft claims. In 10 senior games he finished 6th in the Zillmere goal-kicking (20 goals) and 9th in the B&F. And in just seven games he did enough to win the reserves B&F.
A natural forward but with the capacity also to play in defence, he was equal 3rd in voting for the 2006 AFLQ Rising Star Award behind David Armitage, later drafted to St.Kilda at No.9, and Ricky Petterd, winner of the division two B&F medal at the U18 carnival and later drafted at No.30 by Melbourne. And he starred for the Allies in the annual U18 challenge match against Victoria played in Melbourne in AFL grand final week.