Despite varied public opinion, Queensland has been beacon of talent when it comes to the AFL Draft and over the past 19 years, plenty have come through the talent pathway to go on and forge hall of fame calibre careers at the top level.
Perhaps most notably, Nick Riewoldt, the first overall pick in the 2000 AFL Draft, David Hale a three-time premiership player having been taken with pick 6 in the 2001 super draft and Dayne Beams, who has emerged as one of the modern game’s bets midfielders, have all hailed from the Sunshine State.
All of those names though, were taken inside the draft’s first round and the timeless adage suggests there is plenty of value to be found later in the piece.
So, as we count down to the 2019 NAB AFL Draft which takes place this week, AFL Queensland takes a look at the top 20 best draft bargains this side of Y2K.
Stay tuned across the week as we find out the number of bargain in the century!
CATCH UP ON THE COUNT DOWN SO FAR RIGHT HERE!
10. LEE SPURR – Pick 8 2012 Rookie Draft
Plucked from obscurity out of the SANFL with Central Districts following his relocation from Morningside. He was elevated from the rookie list in early 2013 and made his debut rather aptly back in Queensland when Gold Coats hosted Fremantle. A no-nonsense defender, Spurr was a quintessential role player throughout his 120-game tenure in the AFL and while he rarely received the accolades of some players on the list, there’s no denying his team-first mantra held him in good stead. Spurr retired from the AFL at the end of the 2018 season.
9. CHARLIE DIXON – Zone Selection 2009 Gold Coast
Still in the AFL, the Cairns-born Dixon has flourish at his two separate clubs while establishing himself as one of the top handful of power forwards in the competition. Dixon holds a special place in the history of the Gold Coast SUNS as both the first player signed to the team, while plying his trade for Redland in the AFL Queensland state league, and as the player who kicked the first ever goal for the SUNS in the AFL. Across both the SUNS and Port Adelaide, Dixon has booted 212 goals in his 135 games – a decent return for the former Queensland Under 18 representative.
8. KURT TIPPETT – Pick 32 2006 National Draft
Tippett, a product of Southport on the Gold Coast, turned down a promising junior basketball career to focus on football and made his way to West Lakes with Adelaide with pick 32 in the 2006 draft. His size and athleticism made him the ideal key forward for the Crows following his debut in 2008. Across his six seasons with the Crows, only once did Tippett not reach the 30-goal mark in a season, including his 2009 campaign which yielded a career-best 55 majors. Tippett joined Sydney in 2012 where he would go on to kick 137 in 74 games before retiring in 2017.
7. BEN HUDSON – Pick 58 2003 National Draft
Hudson, who was drafted to the AFL via VFL Werribee, played a considerable amount of his junior and youth career in Queensland’s south east with both Palm Beach Currumbin and University of Queensland. He first played for Adelaide in the mid-200s but became somewhat of a journeyman over his ten-year, 168-game career, also playing for the Western Bulldogs and then Collingwood and Brisbane. He retired three times throughout his career, before returning for his spells with the Magpies and Lions respectively. He retired following the 2014 season.
6. CHARLIE CAMERON – Pick 7 2013 Rookie Draft
In similar vein to both Hudson and Spurr, Cameron was drafted to the AFL system from another state and did so from Swan Districts in the WAFL. He joined Adelaide with pick 7 in the rookie draft and made his debut against Collingwood in Round 9 of the 2014 season. His breakout season came in 2014 where he played all 22 games and formed a lethal combination with Eddie Betts in the Crows’ forward set up. Cameron joined Brisbane ahead of the 2018 season where he developed into one of the most exciting players in the competition. The Mt Isa-born product earned his first All Australian jacket in 2019 in a 57-goal campaign.