VFL Produces Six AFL Rookies
The Peter Jackson VFL once again had plenty to boast about after the AFL Rookie Draft was completed. Another six VFL players were added to AFL lists, with Frankston taking their 2012 draftee total to three, with another two Dolphins selected in the rookie draft.
The Peter Jackson VFL had the most new talent selections of any league in Australia in the rookie draft, only rivalled by Victoria’s elite under 18 competition the TAC Cup, with five selections.
Frankston’s Leigh Osborne was the first selection in the rookie draft, selected by the club he had been training with since he missed selection in the NAB AFL Draft, the Gold Coast Suns, with their only pick they used in the rookie draft. Osborne made the most of his first season in the VFL, gaining state selection and a position on the half back line in the Team of the Year, and now finds himself on an AFL list.
VFL veteran Brett Goodes was the next rookie to come from the Victorian state league ranks, also selected by the AFL club he had been training at – the Western Bulldogs. The 28 year old dual premiership player with North Ballarat had spent the last two seasons at Williamstown, and impressed with state selection and spot in the VFL Team of the Year.
Kyle Martin from Frankston also made the most of his first year in the VFL, after winning best and fairests and a premiership with Noble Park in the Eastern Football League. Collingwood selected him in the rookie draft after he too made the state team, was selected in the VFL Team of the Year, and also took out the Frankston best and fairest award.
Kyle Hartigan was Adelaide’s first selection in the rookie draft, after a consistent two seasons with Werribee Tigers. The Tigers defender was a member of the AFL Victoria VFL Academy, and also was selected in the VFL state team. Hartigan moved straight from the TAC Cup with the Western Jets to the VFL, and has finally got his chance in the AFL.
Port Melbourne premiership player, and multiple VFL Team of the Year selection Sam Dwyer was the second VFL player chosen by Collingwood in the rookie draft. Dwyer returned from a broken leg late in the year to play in the Grand Final, and he also was a member of the Peter Jackson VFL’s victorious state representative team who defeated the Tasmanian State League in May.
Williamstown’s Jack Frost only needed four senior games to prove himself in defence this year for the Seagulls, and Collingwood must have liked what they saw. Frost was the Magpies third VFL rookie selection, and the former Western Jet showed he had recovered from his hip injury this season, being the second VFL Academy player selected in the rookie draft.
Well done to all nine Peter Jackson VFL players selected in this year’s AFL Drafts, including Dean Towers (North Ballarat to Sydney), Dylan Van Unen (Frankston to Essendon) and Matt Jones (Box Hill Hawks to Melbourne). We look forward to watching your progress in the AFL next season, and for all put three of those players, we might see you earning your AFL rookie promotion in the VFL in the early rounds, be it in different team colours than we saw you in 2012.