Armchair experts turn attention to junior footy as draft approaches
A group of young men huddle around a TV in the garage,in a constant state of whooping and nodding,almost salivating at the footage on-screen.
“Oh yeah this kid looks good.Looks reeeally good.”
This is just one of the many phrases repeated ad-nauseum,after draft enthusiast Harry Finnerty commandeered his group’s Saturday night drinks,turning it into an underage and non-league footy clips viewing session.
“Yeah I’d say I know a fair bit about the draft.I played against a whole bunch of these kids slated to get drafted,in under-10s,under-13s,interschool footy,at every level of junior footy you can think of.In many ways,I’ve had more first-hand experience than actual selectors and recruiters.Saw Rowell and Anderson tear it up in under-15s,would’ve put a contract in front of them right then and there if I was a recruiter”.
Harry minimises the window to get the next prospect ready.BigFooty,Knightmare phantom draft 2020 and AFL Draft Central are among the tabs open.
“Nikolas Cox.Absolutely jet,I’m telling you right now.He can do just about everything,future-“
Harry’s mum pops her head in,asking if they’d like her to heat up some party pies.The group politely accept.
“Future All-Australian captain.His vertical leap is insane,would probably top NicNat’s if there was a combine this year.Can kick the absolute leather off of the footy too.”
Cox takes a chest mark and dishes it off to an overlap runner,drawing a round of nods from the boys.
“My uncle gets his coffee at the same place as a Carlton recruiter.Reckons he’s going top 10 for certain.”chimes in one of the boys.
“Now this next guy’s a dark horse for the first round this year.Hard-bodied ball winner.Blew out his knee and hip towards the end of last year,but he’s rehabbed really well and I reckon he’s sneaking into the top 20.He’ll need to lay off the grog though,I reckon Hawthorn will be a good spot for him to land.Keep an eye out on draft night,I would definitely be trading down for him if I were the Hawks.”
I press the group on the accuracy of their previous predictions,which is met with a round of dismissive laughter.
“I called out Walsh going pick #1 three months out from the draft.But it’s not about outcome sometimes mate.You never know how these kids develop,it’s more about the vibe from watching clips and reading about them.”
“Phwoar,look at the size on this kid.He looks reallllly good.”