Weller heads west in AFL draft

Thirteen is unlucky for some but it was all good for Southport’s Lachie Weller, picked up by Fremantle at tonight’s draft.

In an incredibly even draft, Weller wasn’t sure where he would end up until the Dockers pounced on the classy mid.

Weller faces one of the biggest trips of any of the 2014 draftees, but having relocated from Tasmania to Queensland as a 15 year-old, Weller said he would be ready for the cross-crountry move.

“I knew I was going to pack my bags, but I had no clue I was going to Fremantle,”he said.

“It’s a great spot over there and I can’t wait.

Weller won’t have much time to smell the roses after his selection, heading to WA on Sunday, to start training on Monday.

The midfielder will have plenty of big names to learn off, including Nat Fyfe and Matthew Pavlich, but it could be the lessons from Ryan Crowley that could be most enlightening.

The controversial tagger will be a handy friend to have at the Dockers, for Weller, who was heavily tagged in the U18 championships this season.

“Maybe, I’ll learn a bit (off him),”he said.

“The senior boys are all stars of the game and elite players,”he said.

“I just want to gain as much information as I can and learn as much as I can from those boys.

After the pressure of being a much talked-about draft prospect, Weller said he was just glad it was all over now.

“I’m just excited about being at an AFL Club, finally being in a club uniform and being a Docker,”he aid.

“It’s exciting to have it over and done with.

“I’m ready to start the next chapter.”

Weller played senior football with Broadbeach in the NEAFL in 2012 and 2013.

In the restructured NEAFL this season, Weller became a regular member of the Southport senior team, when not playing for Queensland or the AIS-AFL Academy.

After an inconsistent season, where the Gold Coaster had to encounter numerous heavy tags, he took centre stage on Grand Final day, in the Allies vs AFL Academy match.

With 20 disposals and two goals, the Gold Coast SUNS Academy member reminded recruiters of his star power.

The Dockers called him out with their first-round pick, meaning the teenager will be heading cross-country in 2015.

Weller was one of three Queenslanders picked in the 2014 draft, along with Academy pre-selections, Liam Dawson and Harris Andrews.

Dawson was selected with the Lions’ third round pick, no. 44.

Dawson is one of the more versatile Queenslanders in the draft this season.

In 2013, the Aspley player won the Harrison Medal as best Division Two player at the U18 Nationals, playing at full back.

This season, he continued to play predominantly in defence for Aspley, but pushed into the midfield and forward line in state football.

A broken scapula ended his nationals campaign prematurely but he finished off with two strong TAC Cup matches.

Richmond bid for Dawson at last month’s Academy meeting but the Lions matched their bid, locking him away for what is now pick 44.

Andrews, picked at no. 61, jumped into draft contention in 2014, after only one season in the Lions Academy.

After winning the NEAFL U18 leading goal kicking in 2013, the Aspley junior started the season as a key forward but it was his defensive efforts as the season progressed, which caught the eye of recruiters.

 Andrews is a strong contested mark and has added strength to his build this season.

Brisbane Lions pounced on the vastly improved youngster, locking him in a month ago at the Academy bid meeting.

Three other Queenslanders were upgraded from the rookie list to the senior list, selectiosn that aren’t called out on the night.

Josh Hall (Gold Coast), Andrew Boston ( Gold Coast), Joel Tippett (North Melbourne) were all placed on their club’s senior list for 2015.

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