COUNTRY Victorian footballers could feature heavily in this month's AFL draft, according to talent expert Kevin Sheehan.With less than three weeks until the November 22 draft, Sheehan, the AFL's national and international talent manager, yesterday released his Top 30 leading prospects for AFL club selection.
Eight of the 30 have their roots in VCFL footy, while a further two are from country clubs playing in a metropolitan league on Melbourne's outskirts.
The Top 30 includes Katamatite defender Tom Clurey, who Sheehan praised for "his ability to run all day'', after recording excellent results in the beep test and 3km run at the AFL Draft Combine.
"This separates him from other tall defenders,'' Sheehan said.
This year's TAC Cup Morrish medallist Nick Graham, a midfielder from Gippsland club Traralgon-Tyers United, also made Sheehan's prestigious list: "(Graham) excels at getting through the congestion, with his lateral movement and evasive skills a real feature of his play''.
Graham's Gippsland Power teammate Tim Membrey, a forward from Traralgon, was highlighted by Sheehan for his "pin-point accurate kicking, both at goal - even outside 50m - and his field kicking''.
Eaglehawk export Jake Stringer overcame a badly broken leg at the beginning of the 2011 season to figure in Sheehan's draft calculation.
Stringer, a versatile tall player, ranked equal first in the Brad Johnson goal kicking test and equal third in the Matthew Lloyd clean hands test at the Draft Combine.
Stringer's Bendigo Pioneers teammate Oliver Wines also made Sheehan's Top 30.
The midfielder was singled out by the talent expert for "his competitive nature and footy smarts (which) make him a consistent high-level ball winner and performer for his team''.
Nathan Wright, a defender from Berwick and Mason Wood, a versatile tall from Geelong Amateurs also made Sheehan's list, along with Mornington midfielder Lachie Whitfield, this year's likely number one draft pick.
Gisborne midfielder Jonathan O'Rourke and Macedon defender Lachie Plowman also made the cut for Sheehan's Top 30.
Both hail from the metro-run Riddell District Football League.