Four NSW/ACT players rookie listed

UNSW/Easts’ Jordan Foote was pre-selected by the Sydney Swans as an Academy pick, taken at the end of the ninth round (pick 76), Ainslie’s Aaron Vandenberg (pictured) went to the Melbourne Demons at pick 2, Hawthorn rookie listed Lachlan Langford with number 53, and Ivan Soldo (pick 68) will head to the Richmond Tigers.

Foote, a ball magnet with elite running ability, will join NSW/ACT RAMS teammates Isaac Heeney, Abe Davis, and Jack Hiscox at the Swans, after the trio was selected through the Swans’ Academy system at last Thursday’s National Draft.

Mature-age recruit Vandenberg had a standout season with the Ainslie Tricolours in the NEAFL, winning his club’s best and fairest award, starring in two NEAFL representative matches, and finishing runner-up in the NEAFL MVP Award.

East Sydney junior Langford, an athletic utility who can play a range of positions, is the brother of Hawthorn premiership star Will and son of Hawks stalwart Chris, while 204cm ruckman Soldo will enter the AFL with the Tigers from a strong basketball background, having represented ACT at U16 and U18 state level.

The addition of another four players to the AFL on Wednesday underscores a stellar Draft haul for the NSW/ACT region, with eight players primary listed following last Thursday’s National Draft, for a total of 12 players who will enter the AFL system.

AFL NSW/ACT Talent and Coaching Manager Darren Denneman was pleased with the result.

“After Thursday’s eight selections the addition of another four players today is an outstanding outcome, and something everyone involved with football in NSW/ACT should be very excited about,” Denneman said.

“The result reflects very well on AFL NSW/ACT, with all players, except for Ivan Soldo as a Basket baller, having had a relationship with AFL NSW/ACT at some point in their career at some level.” 

AFL NSW/ACT General Manager Craig Bolton praised the NEAFL competition, and highlighted the magnitude of the result for the ACT.

“These Rookie listings add to the very positive results we saw at the National Draft, and Aaron Vandenberg’s selection underlines the way the elite second-tier NEAFL complements the junior NSW/ACT AFL pathways,” Bolton said.

“The fact the ACT secured four draftees – Jack Steele, Logan Austin, Vandenberg, and Ivan Soldo – shows the growing strength of AFL development in the region, which is hugely pleasing.”