Draftees living the dream

By Beth Newman

The Claw is close to the scariest ride on the Gold Coast, but for potential top-10 draftees, Matt Scharenberg and Christian Salem, it was the least of their worries.

Scharenberg has been earmarked as the Brisbane Lions’ first round draft pick, and the Glenelg product looked right at home in the Queensland sun today.

“I‘ve been up here for the past few days with the family and that’s been really good and I’ve been relaxing,” he said.

 “It’s been good to keep busy and keep my mind off things.”

The teenager, who played most of the season at half-back, has been tipped for a move to Queensland on draft night, depending on how the rest of the top picks fall.

Scharenberg said he was prepared to move interstate, an increasing reality for AFL draftees.

“I’m sure everyone will get used to it and I’m pretty confident everything will be fine,” he said.

“Has to happen first so wait and see.”

Scharenberg’s draft lead-in has been clouded by a foot injury, which saw him miss the NAB AFL Draft Combine, but he doesn’t believe it will impact tomorrow night’s outcome.

“I think at the same time, injury’s part of football and I’m no different to anyone else who’s injured.”

Salem may not have to move far at all, if he heads to his likely destination of Melbourne.

While the silkily skilled midfielder said he was in the dark about his final destination, the prospect of playing under Demons coach, Paul Roos, was a tantalising one.

“It would be extremely exciting,” Salem said.

“Just to have that knowledge of the game is just amazing,”

A member of this year’s AIS-AFL group, Salem spent a week training with Carlton, and said he couldn’t believe he could be doing that professionally in less than a week.

“I just finished exams and next week, I’ll be training at an AFL club hopefully, so it’s a bit daunting,” he said.

“It’s one step at a time. My first goal is to get drafted. Wherever that may be, I’ll just reassess them.”

The NAB AFL National Draft is tomorrow night at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Click here for FREE tickets.

Twitter: @bethknewman

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