AFL NSW/ACT NAB AFL Draft Review
AFL NSW/ACT has produced a bumper haul at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, with eight players selected from across the region.
With the 5th pick of the 2020 NAB AFL National Draft, the Sydney Swans matched a bid from Hawthorn to secure QBE Sydney Swans Academy talent Braeden Campbell.
The 18-year-old midfielder is a deadly left-foot kick and will be joined at the Swans by his great mate and fellow QBE Sydney Swans Academy product Errol Gulden.
Gulden, a classy player whose agility, vision and competitiveness are highly rated, was selected with the 31st overall pick.
Sydney Swans Executive General Manager of Football Charlie Gardiner told sydneyswans.com.au the club is thrilled to welcome Logan, Braeden and Errol.
“We’re delighted to bring in three players of the calibre of Logan, Braeden and Errol, all three are elite talents and quality young men,” Gardiner said.
“Braeden and Errol are both products of our Academy and we’re excited to be able see them continue their AFL journey at the Swans.
“As part of this draft, we were also keen to add to our key position depth and Logan is an elite talent who we think will develop into a powerful key forward who fans will enjoy watching for years to come.”
Canberra’s Tom Highmore was rewarded for a brilliant season in the SANFL competition, acquired by St Kilda with the 45th overall selection, after the Saints traded pick 54 and a future fourth-rounder to Hawthorn.
Having played 66 games in the NEAFL competition for Eastlake, Canberra and the GIANTS, Highmore signed with the South Adelaide Panthers earlier this year and wasted no time making an impression in his first SANFL season.
The 194cm defender starred for the Panthers early this season, leading the competition for marks before badly injuring his ankle in Round 7.
The former GIANTS Academy and Allies squad member returned in time for South Adelaide’s finals campaign and will join fellow Canberra product Jack Steele at St Kilda in 2021.
Following the NAB AFL National Draft, five more AFL NSW/ACT products were added to club lists through the NAB AFL Pre-Season and Rookie Draft.
Leeton’s Jacob Townsend will join his fourth AFL club after the Gold Coast SUNS selected the 27-year-old with pick 5 in the 2020 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
Townsend joins the SUNS with 60 games of AFL experience after most recently playing 12 games for Essendon in 2020.
Prior to that he played 20 games for Richmond from 2016-19, including the Tigers’ 2017 premiership, after originally beginning his career with GWS in 2012.
Townsend told goldcoastfc.com.au he was thrilled to be given the opportunity to help the SUNS in 2021.
“I’m really looking forward to getting here and meeting all the boys and hopefully I’m here for a long time,” Townsend said.
“There’s a couple of boys up here which I already know which will make it a bit easier so I’m looking forward to that.
“This list is a pretty young list so I’m looking forward to coming in and trying to show them a few things which I’ve learnt over the years both on and off field.”
SUNS National Recruiting Manager Kall Burns said Townsend would bring valuable experience to the Gold Coast.
“We’re really happy to be able to secure a quality person like Jacob in the rookie draft and we know he will be a great addition to our group,” Burns said.
“Jacob has been in the AFL system for nine years, is a premiership player and has experience at the highest level which complements our list.”
– Kall Burns
From Sydney to Melbourne via Adelaide, defender Luke Parks will call Ikon Park home in 2021 after being selected by Carlton with pick No.8 in the 2021 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
A former member of the Sydney Swans Academy, Parks relocated to South Australia in 2020 with the hope of giving himself every opportunity to get his chance on an AFL list.
At 19 years of age, Parks starred for Glenelg in a defensive role, playing all 15 games for the season in a team which went on to play finals football.
Standing at 192 centimetres, Parks’ aerial prowess is his main attribute: he averaged over six marks per game in the state league competition, while taking 24 contested marks over the course of the year.
His relocation to Glenelg has clearly been one which has paid off, with Parks set to join fellow NSW product Matt Kennedy at Carlton.
The GIANTS have welcomed back Albury’s Zach Sproule while also added exciting half-back Will Shaw to there list in Thursday’s NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
Sproule returns to the club for his fifth season, where he has played one AFL game since being drafted out of the GIANTS Academy in 2016.
Prior to Thursday’s draft, the GIANTS listed Deniliquin’s Will Shaw, as a category B rookie for the 2021 season.
As a NSW zone player who nominated for the draft, the GIANTS can add him directly to their list after he was overlooked in Wednesday’s national draft.
The Deniliquin High School graduate played 14 of Bendigo’s 16 games in 2019, impressing coaches with his speed and endurance on the wing.
“Will played most of the 2019 season for Bendigo in the NAB League,” GIANTS National Recruiting Manager Adrian Caruso told gwsgiants.com.au.
“He was on our radar but wasn’t someone we considered last year, however given the circumstances this year we think he has some real upside given his speed/endurance combination and his ability to create off half-back.”
The Sydney Swans selected yet another QBE Sydney Swans Academy product in the Rookie Draft, acquiring Pennant Hills’ Marc Sheather as a Category B Rookie for the 2021 season.
Sheather is a true utility in the sense that he can play both small and tall up either end, while also developing as a midfielder.
The tall utility has also played senior football with Pennant Hills – the same club as fellow QBE Sydney Swans Academy recruit Braeden Campbell and former Sydney Swans captains Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh.
AFL NSW/ACT PRODUCTS SELECTED IN THE NAB AFL DRAFT:
2020 NAB AFL National Draft
Pick 5 Sydney Swans – Braeden Campbell (Pennant Hills /QBE Sydney Swans Academy)
Pick 31 Sydney Swans – Errol Gulden (UNSW Bulldogs/QBE Sydney Swans Academy)
Pick 45 Sydney Swans – Tom Highmore (Marist College Canberra/Canberra Demons/South Adelaide)
2020 NAB AFL Rookie Draft
Gold Coast SUNS – Jacob Townsend (Leeton/Essendon)
Carlton – Luke Parks (St Ives/QBE Sydney Swans Academy/Glenelg)
GWS GIANTS – Zach Sproule (Albury/GWS GIANTS)
2020 NAB AFL Rookie Draft (Category B Rookies)
GWS GIANTS – Will Shaw (Deniliquin/Bendigo Pioneers)
Sydney Swans – Marc Sheather (Pennant Hills/Sydney Swans Academy)