Draft Throwback – Who are AFL NSW ACT’s recent first round selections?

With Canberra’s Tom Green touted as a potential first round pick in today’s NAB AFL Draft, we take a look at the recent AFL NSW/ACT players that were drafted in the first round.

Isaac Heeney – Pick 18 (2014)

A highly rated junior, Heeney played his junior football for the Cardiff Hawks in the Black Diamond competition. He joined the Sydney Swans Academy at the age of 12, and was selected by Sydney in the 2014 AFL Draft. His selection was controversial in that Melbourne bid their first selection, 2nd overall, for Heeney but under drafting rules at the time, Sydney were able to match it with their first selection, which was pick 18.

Callum Mills – Pick 3 (2015)

In 2010, aged 13, Mills was approached by then Sydney Swans chairman Andrew Pridham to fill in for the Mosman Swans, impressing enough to earn a place in Sydney’s Academy program. In the 2015 AFL Draft he was selected by the Sydney Swans with their first selection, 3rd overall. Similar to Heeney, he was initially bid on by Melbourne, however Sydney matched the bid under the new live bidding rules implemented in the 2015 draft.

Matthew Kennedy – Pick 13 (2015)

A member of the GWS GIANTS Academy program, Kennedy was drafted by the GIANTS with the 13th selection in the 2015 AFL Draft, matching a bid from Richmond. A product of Collinguile, Kennedy played 19 games for the GIANTS before he was traded to Carlton in 2017, where he has played a further 22 games. 

Harry Himmelberg – Pick 16 (2015)

Originally from Wagga Wagga, Himmelberg relocated to Canberra at the age of 17 to further his development with Eastlake and the GIANTS Academy program. In the 2015 AFL Draft the GIANTS selected Himmelberg with their 3rd overall selection, pick 16, matching a bid from the Adelaide Crows.

Harry Perryman – Pick 14 (2016)

Raised in Collingullie alongside former GIANT Matthew Kennedy, Perryman joined the GWS Academy as a teenager, drafted by the GIANTS with their 3rd selection, 14th overall, in the 2016 AFL Draft.

Todd Marshall – Pick 16 (2016)

Marshall was raised in Deniliquin, NSW and despite a promising cricket career, made the decision to focus on football, playing in the TAC Cup with the Murray Bushrangers and the AFL Under 18 Championships with NSW/ACT. He was drafted by Port Adelaide with pick 16 in the 2016 AFL Draft.

Isaac Cumming – Pick 20 (2016)

Cumming played his junior football for North Broken Hill before joining the GIANTS Academy as a teenager. He was drafted by the GIANTS with pick 20 in the 2016 AFL Draft, playing 7 games since debuting in 2017.

Jarrod Brander – Pick 13 (2017)

Wentworth’s Jarrod Brander was the highest of the AFL NSW/ACT’s players to be selected in 2017, drafted by the West Coast Eagles with pick 13. The tall forward has played 3 games for the Eagles since debuting against Sydney in 2018.

Nick Blakey – Pick 10 (2018)

Son of former Fitzroy and North Melbourne dual AFL Premiership midfielder John Blakey, Nick Blakey had a choice of three possible clubs, North Melbourne and Brisbane Lions through the father-son rule, and the Sydney Swans s a member of the Swans’ Academy program. In early 2018 Blakey revealed his preference was to play for the Sydney Swans, and was drafted with the 10th overall pick at the 2018 AFL Draft after Sydney matched a bid from the GWS GIANTS.