Thursday, 17 July, 2008

Sunshine Coaster Rhys Magin has taken the next step towards a possible AFL career, winning elevation to the senior playing list at Essendon.

The first-year rookie was promoted to open company late today, replacing long-term casualty Jason Winderlich, and was immediately named as an emergency for the Bombers’ round 15 game against arch-rivals Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.

Ironically, he was listed among the emergencies next to ex-Brisbane Lions triple premiership ace Mal Michael, who has been out of favor with the selectors in recent weeks but has been cleared to return from injury in the VFL.

The surprise recognition from the Essendon brainstrust yesterday took Magin back to the start of the season, when he played at senior level through to the semi-final of the NAB Cup.

He impressed Bombers coach Matthew Knights in his NAB Cup debut against the Brisbane Lions at Carrara in February, when the first-year Bombers boss described the young Queenslander as “a natural footballer”

Magin, a Bomber for less than two months at the time, collected 15 possessions in a sparkling performance.

"Rhys has only been at the club a short time but he is a pure footballer. We know he has to work on his strength and his fitness but he did a couple of nice things tonight that suggest he might play a role in the future," coach Knights said at the time.

Magin, 19, a Queensland U18 representative in 2006-07, narrowly missed selection in the 2007 AFL National Draft after a standout performance with the Zillmere Eagles in the AFLQ reserves finals.

He was rookie-listed by Essendon following a week of training at Windy Hill ahead of the Pre-Season and Rookie Draft last December alongside his 2007 Queensland U18 captain Dayne Zorko, a star with Broadbeach this year, and Rohan Bail, a 2007 Mt.Gravatt grand final star who won State Open selection this year and has elevated his performance to a new level with the Vultures.

Magin, a slightly-built but enormously skilful wingman/on-baller, has has been a solid contributor throughout the year with the Bendigo Bombers in the VFL.



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