If they say a week is a long time in football, then it must feel like a lifetime for two former Western Region Football League juniors.

Less than six days before the 2015 AFL National Draft, young-guns Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (Hoppers Crossing) and Connor Menadue (Spotswood) are on the verge of breaking into the elite level.

Having had breakout season with the Western Jets TAC Cup squad, many are predicting the pair will be selected in the top 20.

With former Spotswood player Spencer White (St.Kilda-Pick #25) and Williamstown Juniors player Lachie Hunter (Western Bulldogs- Pick #49) the last two WRFL juniors to be drafted to an AFL club (2012), there is a real hype surrounding this year’s draft.

Picking up the football for the first time with the Altona Juniors Football Club, Menadue made the switch to Spotswood FC in 2012 where a solid interleague carnival for the WRFL’s Under 16s squad saw him earn a spot with the Western Jets.

Playing 15 games with the Jets in his debut year, Menadue has gone from strength to strength, selected to play in the NAB National Under 18s Championships for Vic Metro early this year.  

Western Jets’ Football Operations Manager Jordan Doyle says that Menadue has had a very consistent year.
“Connor had a particularly strong start in the early games (this season) where his run off half back was pivotal for the side.

“Conor has moved up to the wing and has also played on ball recently and has had some big games numbers wise and has also hit the scoreboard.

“He was able to kick four goals against Northern and also had over 30 disposals and kicked the match winner against Eastern in two really big wins for our club.”

Fellow representative teammate Dillon Viojo-Rainbow has also risen to prominence this year after averaging 17 disposals for the Jets.

With a dangerous left foot assisting him in the midfield, it was a switch to half back midway through the year which saw him make his way into AFL recruiter’s notebooks.

 “Dillon started the year at half forward and on the wing but his move to half back around round 4 proved to be a great success where we could use his major asset which is his left foot to set up a lot of our attack from the defensive 50,” Doyle said.

“Dillon’s decision making and kicking efficiency down back is what really sets him apart from the rest.”
But the pair is not alone in the hunt for their first AFL break, with six other Western Jets teammates also up for contention.

Tall-man Jayden Laverde, Liam Duggan, Corey Ellis and Brenton Payne are all on the radar to be picked up while former Werribee Districts junior Brayden Monk and Jets captain Liam McMahon (Hoppers Crossing) may also make waves.

The 2015 AFL National Draft will kick off next Thursday, November 27.


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