Five Queensland State Academy players have been invited to take part in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft Combine.
Following stellar performances in the TAC Cup and National Championships this year, Ben Keays, Eric Hipwood, Mabior Chol, Corey Wagner, and Reuben William will all take part in the combine at Etihad stadium from October 8-11.
The Draft Combine includes testing of athleticism and football skills, as well as assessing each player’s personality and character – all essential elements clubs need to consider in the drafting process.
In total, 76 players from every state and territory have been invited. To attend players must be nominated by at least four AFL clubs.
Queensland Academy and High Performance Coach, Adrian Fletcher, said to have five players invited shows the strength of the Queensland talent pathway.
“This result is a great reward for effort from these boys, and proves the strength in the program,” Fletcher said.
“After all the hard work these kids have put in over the summer and through the program, it has given them a great opportunity to live their dreams.
“Opportunity is clearly tighter this year with only 76 kids invited, and with Queensland having five, that’s a fantastic result.”
When Queensland’s amount of selections are broken down against that of the TAC Cup teams, a similar player per capita ratio, only one team, the Dandenong Stingrays, had more a greater amount of selections.
“It shows that Queensland has a great pathway for kids that want to excel in AFL football,” Fletcher said.
“It takes hard work, and requires time and effort, but the pathway provides the opportunity for people who want to take it.”
A further 100 player will be tested in State Combines, which Queensland are hoping to have another five to six players invited to.
By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles