Three AFL Sydney stars nominated for National Draft Combine

Following recent TAC Cup success and an undefeated National Under-18 Championships campaign, a dozen NSW/ACT RAMS, including three AFL Sydney Stars have been rewarded in a big way.
 
12 of the 96 youngsters nominated for this year’s National Draft Combine in Melbourne are from New South Wales or the ACT, in a record return for the region, after just one player was nominated in 2012, followed by four last year.
 
Of the 12 from the state, in a big coup for the league, three are from the AFL Sydney competition including Abe Davis, Jeremy Finlayson and Jack Hiscox.
 
Additionally, Brisbane father-son prospect Tyler Roo's was part of the AFL Sydney competition in 2013 before moving to Melbourne at the end of last year.
 
The cohort will travel to Etihad Stadium in October for four days of testing, assessed on a range of key indicators; including vertical leap, sprinting speed, endurance over three kilometres, repeat sprinting efforts, and ball skills and decision making. 

A handful of talented youngsters from the region have been touted as genuine draft prospects, with Newcastle midfielder Isaac Heeney widely tipped to be a first round pick; an honour not afforded to a NSW or ACT player for more than a decade.

The majority of the chosen 12 players are products of the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney GIANTS Academies, with the two Harbour City clubs set to nominate the players they are considering drafting as academy prospects, with final-round nominations to come on the last day of the combine.  

The strong performances of the NSW/ACT RAMS side, which took out the Division Two National Under-18 Championships title last month, coupled with the reintroduction of the RAMS to the TAC Cup this year, are big factors contributing to the record number of draft nominations.

“Having 12 players nominated is a fantastic result, and a real testament to the quality of the GIANTS and Swans’ Academies, as well as the RAMS program,” said NSW/ACT RAMS coach Jason Saddington.

“2014 has been a stand out year in terms of the volume of talent coming through from the region, and the players picked have been rewarded for their consistency this year, in club football, TAC Cup, and the National Championships.”

The AFL has left space to upgrade four players if their performances at the end of the season warrant a spot - with Canberra’s Liam Griffiths among those hoping to push for late inclusion - and will this week organise invitations for state draft combines around the country.  

2014 NAB AFL DRAFT COMBINE LIST

NSW/ACT

Abe Davis - UNSW-Easts
Jeremy Finlayson - Hills Eagles
Jack Hiscox - Sydney Uni
Tyler Roos - Sandringham Dragons

Tom Faul - Ainslie
Nick Coughlan - Murray Bushrangers
Isaac Heeney - Cardiff
Logan Austin - Belconnen
Brydan Hodgson - Murray Bushrangers
Dougal Howard - Murray Bushrangers
Michael Mattingly - Corowa-Rutherglen
Jack Steele - Belconnen




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