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  1. The 2021 AFL National Draft had something for everyone and predictably on the morning after, the media is talking about how each of the 18 clubs nailed it. Plenty of hidden gems picked up with late picks and lots of bargain basement acquisitions and steals that render their recruiters in the genius class. I liked the fact that after the predictability of the top 10 selections, the rest of the draft veered away into unexpected regions, a factor that added interest to an event that often drifts into boredom. The event was also spiced up with an array of side issues such as controversy about trading of draft picks present and future, some Covid19 diagnoses and even the news of one “draft hopeful” (who nobody seems to have heard of previously) allegedly getting busted for using a banned stimulant and thereby putting his playing future in doubt. The one thing for sure about any recruiting process is that despite all of the hype and sometimes misinformation, the fact that a player has been drafted is merely the start. Whether you’re Jason Horne-Francis, the first player selected on night one, or Taj Woewodin, the last name called out last night, you begin your AFL career on level pegging. It was noted earlier in the week that the average a drafted player lasts on an AFL list is three years. To gain credibility they have to work hard and gain credibility - usually after the first fifty games. The same can be said about players chosen with today’s third crack including the Preseason and Rookie Drafts. Actually, it’s a busy day today with an array of activities listed on the AFL’s calendar (see below). I will leave the evaluation to another time but the result to date of Melbourne’s post 2021 premiership recruiting (and doesn’t that sound great?) is the addition of Luke Dunstan, Jacob Van Rooyen, Blake Howes and Taj Woewodin. At around lunchtime today, we can expect to welcome another selection - Northern Territory NGA Andy Moniz-Wakefield as a Category B Rookie. After that, kick your heels up or relax because it’s almost over for another year. The club may or may not pick a rookie in mid afternoon or … it might wait until the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period in March next year. Today’s Calendar • 10.00am – AFL Club List Lodgement (3) • 12.00-12:30pm – Pre-Selected Rookies; NSW and Queensland Eligible Pre-Selected Rookie Player Nominations Lodged; Father-Son Pre-Selected Rookie Player Nominations Lodged; Academy Pre-Selected Rookie Player Nominations Lodged; NGA Pre-Selected Rookie Player Nominations Lodged (Note: These nominations remain confidential until announced between NAB AFL Pre-Season/Rookie Draft) • 3.00pm – NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft Selection Meeting • 3.15pm – Notification of Pre-Selected Rookies Nominated on Friday 26 November by 12.30pm if not selected in the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft • 3.20pm – NAB AFL Rookie Draft Selection Meeting
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