AFL Rookie draft second-chance saloon

By Beth Newman

1.       Michael Osborne – Hawthorn – #11, 2001 Rookie Draft

It’s hard to go past Osborne as Queensland’s greatest rookie product. A 2008 Hawthorn premiership player, the utility carved out an 11 year career at the Hawks, retiring this season. Osborne played 168 games for Hawthorn, after being selected in the 2001 Rookie Draft from Labrador.

2. Mal Michael – Collingwood/Brisbane/Essendon – #6, 1997 Rookie Draft

Michael was the first player to be elevated from a rookie list into senior selection, by Collingwood in 1997, kicking off a stellar career. Michael went on to become a triple premiership player with the Brisbane Lions, and one of the most-feared fullbacks in the AFL. After a brief retirement in 2006, Michael moved to Essendon, spending two seasons at the Bombers.

3.       Josh Drummond – Brisbane – #47, 2004 Rookie Draft

The Northern Eagles product was plagued by injuries late in his career, but managed to leave a sizeable mark on the Lions in his 94-game career. With a booming left boot, Drummond became the general of the Lions backline through his career, teaming up with fellow Queenslander, Daniel Merrett. Since retiring in 2012, Drummond has been a development coach at North Melbourne.

4.       Robert Copeland – Brisbane – #66, 2001 Rookie Draft

After being recruited to Brisbane in the 2001 rookie draft, Copeland found immediate success, with a premiership in his first year at the club. The tagger played 143 games for Brisbane over eight seasons, including a second premiership in 2003.

5.       Cheynee Stiller – Brisbane – #49, 2006 Rookie Draft

Former Zillmere Eagle, Stiller played 100 games for the Brisbane Lions, before retiring in 2012. Stiller, a defensive midfielder, debuted in 2005 for the Lions, in his first of six seasons at the club. The 27 year-old is currently playing for the Aspley Hornets in the NEAFL.

6.       Jarrod Harbrow – Western Bulldogs/ Gold Coast – #27, 2007 Rookie Draft

After growing up in Cairns, Harbrow was recruited to the Bulldogs from TAC Cup side, the Murray Bushrangers. After 40 games with the Bulldogs, harbrow answered the call home, joining the Gold Coast SUNS in their foundation AFL season. He has since played 56 games for the SUNS


1.       Lee Spurr – Fremantle – #8, 2012 Rookie Draft

While Spurr might be older than the average rookie, he is only at the start of his AFL career. The 26 year-old was picked up by Fremantle after five years playing in the SANFL. Spurr came into his own during the 2013 finals series for Fremantle, one of the best in their qualifying final won over Geelong.

2.       Tom Bell – Carlton – #14, 2012 Rookie Draft

A former Morningside player, Tom Bell didn’t take long to make his mark at Carlton. Bell debuted on Round 17, 2012 and played the final seven games of that season, before winning the best first year award at the Blues. In 2013, he was elevated from the Blues’ Round Two clash with Collingwood, and played another eight games for the year, including the side’s two finals. Capping off a solid season, Bell was permanently elevated to the Blues senior list for 2014.

3.       Adam Oxley – Collingwood – #35, 2013 Rookie Draft

Selected by Collingwood in the 2013 Rookie Draft, Adam Oxley has already been giving a vote of confidence, with a senior contract for 2014. Oxley played two matches this season, debuting in the Magpies’ Queen’s Birthday clash against Melbourne. He was selected for the side’s following match against the Western Bulldogs, but hasn’t played another game. The former Redland player

4.       Claye Beams – Brisbane – #76, 2010 Rookie Draft

Following in the footsteps of older brother, Collingwood’s Dayne, Beams looks set to make a major impact at the Lions. After a standout 2012, including a best on ground performance in the 2012 NEAFL Conference Final with the Lions Reserves, Beams’ 2013 was ended before it even began, due to an ACL injury. On the road to recovery now, Beams will be hoping to get back to the 2012 form, which saw him receive a NAB AFL Rising Star Nomination.

5.       Sam Michael – Brisbane – #96, 2012 Rookie Draft

Michael was sent to the Lions in the 2012 rookie draft, and went about establishing himself at the club. Playing in the NEAFL in his first season, the former Redland player impressed with a solid 2012, including an Andrew Ireland medal-winning performance in the NEAFL. Michael also impressed in this year’s NEAFL representative match, with a best on ground performance against the SANFL.

Twitter: @bethknewman

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