Four young Queenslanders have been picked up by AFL clubs in today’s AFL Rookie Draft while a further two local products have found new homes or been relisted by their 2013 club.
Isaac Conway was the first name called, picked up by the Brisbane Lions at pick number six.
An inside midfielder, Conway played for both Aspley and the Lions Reserves in the NEAFL where his football smarts and strong work ethic saw him hold his own against older seasoned bodies.
His strong character and natural leadership qualities were rewarded with captaincy of the Queensland Scorpions at the national Under 18 championships.
Conway will be joined at the Lions by Scorpions team mate and Mt Gravatt NEAFL player Archie Smith, an athletic ruckman who was named at pick 69.
The son of Brisbane Bullets NBL All-Star Andre Moore – Smith joined the Hyundai Brisbane Lions Academy after being identified through the Rookie Search program.
Although a number of US Colleges had expressed interest in signing Smith to a basketball scholarship, the talented 17 year-old chose to pursue an AFL career.
Smith’s supreme athleticism first caught the eye of Academy scouts during the U18 State Basketball Classics last year, and the Club acted quickly to provide him with a possible alternate pathway.
Broadbeach youngster Jarred Ellis won’t be straying too far from home after being listed with the Gold Coast SUNS as an Academy Selection at pick 63.
A medium midfielder who is extremely agile, Ellis takes the game on with his line-breaking ability.
He played for Queensland in the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships in 2012 but a shoulder reconstruction curtailed his development early in 2013.
The plucky 18-year-old fought back from injury, an impressive 21-disposal effort in round 22 against the Gold SUNS Coast in the NEAFL putting him firmly back in Draft contention.
Twenty-year-old mature age draftee Fraser Thurlow will finally achieve his AFL dream, receiving the nod from Essendon at pick nine.
Thurlow caught the eyes of recruiters with a stunning NEAFL season for Labrador this year, the 199cm, 100kg, ruckman a standout for the NEAFL Under 22 side in their match against the SANFL Under 20’s in May, winning his side’s best on ground with 20 disposals, 12 marks and two goals.
A mobile ruckman/key forward who is strong overhead and reads the game well, he has a strong work ethic and is extremely competitive by nature.
Former Southport Sharks player Joel Tippett will join Brother Kurt in the main game after North Melbourne Rookie listed him at pick 8.
Tippett played two games for the Gold Coast SUNS in 2011 before being delisted. He then moved to South Australia where he joined West Adelaide in the SANFL.
Rounding out the six Queenslanders named in today’s Draft is Brent Renouf who was relisted by Port Adelaide at selection 44.