TALENTED country kids were snapped up by expert recruiters at last night's AFL Draft.And the 10 players from country football clubs hand-picked by AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan in his annual list of the Top 30 leading draft prospects all made the grade.
Eight of the 10 players had their roots in VCFL footy, while the remaining two were from country clubs playing in a metropolitan league.
Those two players - Gisborne midfielder Jonathan O'Rourke and Macedon defender Lachie Plowman - had only a short wait to learn their futures last night, taken at Pick 2 and 3 respectively.
The pair, who played together at TAC Cup team Calder Cannons, will remain teammates at Greater Western Sydney.
They will be joined at the Giants by another player from the outer reaches of Melbourne, midfielder Lachie Whitfield, who was taken at Pick 1.
Whitfield listed VCFL junior club Mount Martha as his home club.
Bendigo Pioneers players filled Pick 5 and 7, with Eaglehawk Junior Football Club export Jake Stringer headed to the Western Bulldogs, and Echuca midfielder Oliver Wines packing his bags for Port Adelaide.
Sheehan's other top country draftees were:
- Tom Clurey, Katamatite, Pick 29 to Port Adelaide
- Nick Graham, Traralgon-Tyers United, Pick 54 to Carlton
- Tim Membrey, Tedas Junior Football Club (Traralgon), Pick 46 to Sydney Swans
- Nathan Wright, Berwick, Pick 24 to St Kilda
- Mason Wood, Geelong Amateur, Pick 41 to North Melbourne
But the list of country draftees didn't end with Sheehan's selections.
Former Otway Districts senior player Dean Towers is headed to the Sydney Swans, after having his named called at Pick 22.
Towers, 22, has spent the past two seasons at VFL club North Ballarat.
Two Horsham and District league exports found homes at interstate AFL clubs.
Michael Close, from Harrow-Balmoral, will join the Brisbane Lions after having his name called at Pick 32, while Kalkee's Tanner Smith was taken at Pick 36 by Fremantle.
Seymour midfielder Josh Prudden was selected by the Western Bulldogs at Pick 50, while Geelong Amateur's Josh Saunders was St Kilda's choice with Pick 43.
Koroit young gun Martin Gleeson went to Essendon with Pick 53 and Lewis Pierce from Mt Eliza Junior Football Club has joined St Kilda with Pick 75.
Another Macedon player Matthew Dick was selected by the Sydney Swans at Pick 64.
West Gambier premiership ruckman Tim O'Brien realised his AFL dream when he was selected by Hawthorn at Pick 28.