Tasmanian footballers hampered in draft

THE reduction of rookie players on AFL lists will impact on the likelihood of more Tasmanians joining the competition in today's preseason and rookie drafts, says AFL Tasmania talent manager Mathew Armstrong.

Each club has two less places on its rookie list, further hampering a process that has historically seen clubs, particularly those outside of Victoria, pick players from their own state.

``That's where Tasmania is at a real disadvantage by not having its own AFL team,'' Armstrong said.

Clubs like West Coast and Fremantle always pick players from their own state, which obviously makes it difficult for our boys.

``But from what I've heard, there won't be too many rookies taken today,'' Armstrong said.

Armstrong said not too much should be read into the fact that no Tasmanians, apart from Derby's Jesse Crichton at Fremantle, had been invited to train with clubs in the lead-up to today's proceedings.

``I believe most clubs know who their rookies are going to be a couple of days after the national draft, so they don't really need to get them to train,'' he said.

Armstrong admitted he hadn't received any phone calls like he had before the national draft, which saw Jesse Lonergan, Jackson Thurlow and Sam Siggins drafted, but was hopeful that at least one Tasmanian would be snapped up.

 In the mix are Launceston's Josh Woolley, North Launceston trio Mitch Van Den Berg, Toby Nankervis and Mark Walsh, Glenorchy's Ben Brown and Jaye Bowden and Brady Jones, of Clarence.

It is believed Crichton will be redrafted by the Dockers.

This is likely to be the pattern of the rookie draft, with clubs seemingly using it to redraft players they had earlier dropped off their senior list.

Another Tasmanian who has nominated for the drafts is Burnie's former Essendon ruckman Jason Laycock.

The 28-year-old had been linked to his old coach Kevin Sheedy at Greater Western Sydney, but failed medical tests over the weekend, with his weight the major issue.

The Giants are likely to instead redraft Dean Brogan.

Today's drafts are also the last chance for the likes of Sam Lonergan and Sam Iles to find their way on to an AFL list for 2013.

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Mathew Armstrong

Mathew Armstrong


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