Hawthorn Scholarship recipient and New Zealand Hawks player Kurt Heatherley has today been announced as one of ten International players to attend the NAB AFL Draft Combine.
The AFL today historically announced the seventh group of players, its International prospects, who will attend the NAB AFL Draft Combine to be held at Etihad Stadium from October 2-5, as part of its talent identification process in the lead up to the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.
AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan said this is an exciting time for the game with potential AFL talent from six countries outside of Australia attending our NAB AFL Draft Combine for the first time – including players from the USA, PNG, New Zealand, Ireland, Nauru and China.
“Over the last few years the AFL has been preparing for this with AFL International Combines being held in the USA, South Pacific, China and Europe, in search of potential talent.”
“It’s a glimpse in to the future of the AFL to see 10 internationals in amongst the best talent from around Australia,” said Mr. Sheehan.
The NAB AFL Draft Combines involve 115 players at National Level, with state Draft Combines to be held in Melbourne (October 6), Adelaide (October 13) and Perth (October 14).
In all, over 200 players have been invited to test at the NAB AFL Draft Combines with the last positioned group – the ruckmen – to be released next week.
International players invited to the 2012 NAB AFL National Draft Combine
|Bay of Plenty (New Zealand)||17||193 cm||95 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “Tall defender who is extremely quick, agile and competitive. Has adapted to the AFL code rapidly this year after relocating from New Zealand to Caulfield Grammar where he studies and continues to learn the finer points of the game. Was one of New Zealand’s eye catching players when it played the Australian Under 17 team in Wellington (NZ) in January this year. Has been impressive in defence for the Sandringham Dragons since debuting late in the year in the TAC Cup, after having a background in basketball, rugby and cricket in New Zealand. A current Hawthorn scholarship holder.”|
|Bougainville (PNG)||18||170 cm||62 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “Quick and agile small midfielder, who has played on a wing for Redland FC in the NEAFL this year. Courageous player, who attacks the ball aggressively, and works well defensively where his tackling is first class. Can push forward and play the small forward role, where he has good goal sense and a terrific defensive work rate. Played for the South Pacific in the 2011 NAB AFL Under-16 Championships, kicking five goals against Tasmania. Currently holds an International Scholarship with the Brisbane Lions.”|
|Mt Hagan (PNG)||17||172 cm||71 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “A strongly built small midfielder who has good speed and outstanding lateral movement in traffic. He has good awareness and decision making skills and is a neat right foot kick. Performed very strongly in the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships in 2011 before injury ended his campaign. A Richmond International Scholarship holder, he impressed all with his professionalism and diligence when spending two months with Richmond in the second half of this year playing matches with Coburg in the VFL.”|
Chen Shao Liang
|Guangdong Province, Chao Zhou (China)||20||184 cm||72 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “Medium defender type with brilliant leg power. His vertical jump is in the rare category. A standing jump of 86cm and a running jump of 99cm at the China Combine in July were reflective of his background in volleyball and basketball. An exciting athlete that has excelled at school in short distance track events and displays a real desire to learn the game and improve. Is the first player to be selected from the AFL China Academy program in Guangshou, Southern China.”|
|Boe District (Nauru)||18||183 cm||89 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “Strongly built medium forward from Nauru that possesses very strong hands and is a reliable set shot for goal. His marking ability overhead coupled with his rare vertical leap make him a very dangerous target in the air however he also has the ability to compete at ground level. A current GWS International Scholarship holder who thrives in the contest, he also looks to impose himself either on the lead or in a one-on-one marking dual. Has played at Campbelltown in Sydney during 2012.”|
|Derry (Ireland)||19||192 cm||83 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “A tall midfielder/forward from Watty Graham’s Glen in the province of Ulster, who displays a very good level of leadership, highlighted by him captaining his club to the Derry and Ulster Football Championships at minor level. An athletic type of player with the ability to win his own ball, Emmett can also use both sides of his body efficiently and does impact the scoreboard quite regularly. Impressed for the Under-18 European Legion youth team against the Australian Under-18 team in Surrey, England in April 2012.”|
|Kildare (Ireland)||20||195 cm||91 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “A tall midfielder/key position player from County Kildare in the Leinster Province. His endurance base, athleticism and overhead marking are real strengths. He is a pure competitor and has a genuine appetite for the one-on-one contest, whilst being a sound kick on his preferred right foot. This year he played football with Kildare in the All-Ireland Senior Championship. A very promising player with a desire to learn and impressed as a representative of the European Legion youth team vs the Australian Under-18 team in Surrey, England in April 2012.”|
|Idaho (USA)||22||195 cm||102 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “A very powerful and explosive athlete who comes from a basketball background at California-Riverside. Tested in the rare category for speed and agility at the USA Combine, producing a 2.92sec 20m Sprint, as well as an 8.08 second AFL Agility time. The type of athlete that could potentially play as a key forward or in defence, he reads the ball in flight very well and possesses an outstanding leap. A smart reader of the game of basketball who has shown the ability to transition those skills to AFL, he became the first player in his colleges history to record 40 or more blocked shots as well as 40 or more steals in the same season.”|
|Winston-Salem (USA)||24||197 cm||105 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “An extremely impressive athlete with a basketball background at Seattle University. His power is incredible, testing in the rare category for speed (2.93 secs) in the 20m Sprint at this year’s USA Combine as well as an excellent time of 8.15 secs in the AFL Agility Test. Once considered to be in the Top-100 High School basketball players, his appetite for the contest and competitiveness is first class. Has excellent strength in the contest and would be suited as a key forward/defender due to his impressive leap and willingness to impose himself. Was one of only two small forwards in US College basketball to average over 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 40 minutes.”|
|Stone Mountain (USA)||22||201 cm||98 kg|
|Kevin Sheehan says: “Tall forward with outstanding agility for his size. Very poised with his disposal by hand or foot and can play at either end of the ground or through the midfield. Has good game sense and natural pace. Is eligible for father/son to Collingwood, where father Craig played. Represented Vic Metro in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships with his best game vs TAS gaining 23 possessions including 15 contested and six marks. Graduate of the AIS-AFL Academy.”|