AFL draft dreams: South's McKenzie hopeful

SOUTH Launceston's John McKenzie has always enjoyed AFL draft night in the role of a football fan.

Tomorrow night he will experience it in a whole new way, as a teenager whose dreams could be realised in a matter of moments.

But the 17-year-old Scotch Oakburn student admitted he would go into tomorrow night with an open mind.

``I'm not going in with a lot of expectations, as I'm quite a standard player in terms of my height and my speed,'' the 178-centimetre, 77-kilogram midfielder said.

``But I'm excited, but also nervous as it's a big night that could determine the rest of my life.''

McKenzie, who admitted he had been told that the rookie draft could be his best chance of making his way on to an AFL list, said being selected tomorrow night would ``prove a

lot of people wrong''.

``It would mean a lot to me because I believe I'm good enough to go in this draft,'' McKenzie said.

``I've ticked a lot of boxes and it would be good to prove a lot of critics wrong, as people have labelled me too slow. It would give a lot of hope to small midfielders.''

McKenzie, who took out AFL Tasmania's Davidson Medal, the Hunter-Harrison Medal and gained All-Australian selection, said he'd had contact from Sydney and Hawthorn, but

there had been ``nothing serious'' in those discussions.

While he would be happy to go anywhere, the Hawks supporter would love to be in the brown and gold next season.

``That would be the dream result and to come and play in front of the home crowd (at Aurora Stadium),'' McKenzie said.

He said he would be watching tomorrow night's proceedings either ``on my own or just with dad'', but fellow South Launceston draft hopefuls Dylan Riley and Michael Musicka would

be on his mind.

``I'll be happy for them if they get drafted and it would be good for Tasmania to get as many as we can,'' McKenzie said.

``They are a couple of my best mates, so it would be good for them to go as well.''

North Hobart defender Henry Schade and Glenorchy midfielder Jimmy Webster are seen as Tasmania's best chances to be drafted tomorrow night, with North Hobart full-forward

Julian Dobosz, Burnie's All-Australian defender Brodie Mihocek and Glenorchy ruckman-forward Ben Brown also considered a chance.

Glenorchy midfielder Daniel Joseph and Hobart duo Larry Owen and Aaron Hall are others in the mix.

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