Bennell presses his draft claims in State colours

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany’s Michael Bennell celebrates a goal.
Camera IconAlbany’s Michael Bennell celebrates a goal. Credit: Gary Day

A superb first half from Albany product Michael Bennell which yielded three goals in a State debut, has reminded AFL clubs of his pure talent ahead of the AFL’s mid-season draft this month.

Bennell, a late inclusion into the WAFL State squad, made his first appearance for the sandgropers in their seven-point loss at the hands of South Australia at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

The livewire Perth Demons forward was outstanding in the opening half as he helped WA go into half-time with a four-point advantage.

Bennell kicked three impressive goals, had eight disposals and laid eight of his nine tackles for the match in the first two quarters.

Michael Bennell snaps a goal for WA.
Camera IconMichael Bennell snaps a goal for WA. Credit: Gary Day

However, he was unable to add to his electric start, not touching the ball in the second half or adding to his score of 3.2 as WA were overhauled by the visitors.

Bennell’s first-half heroics were in front of the several AFL recruiters and he appeared on track for a debut Simpson Medal as WA’s best player at the main break.

His freakish talent around goal is a major part of the reason Bennell looms as a target by AFL clubs in the mid-season draft on May 27.

Michael Bennell is a mid-season AFL draft prospect.
Camera IconMichael Bennell is a mid-season AFL draft prospect. Credit: Gary Day

Fellow Great Southern product Angus Litherland had nine disposals, four marks and three inside 50s in defence for WA while Claremont’s Declan Mountford missed out on making the final State team, named as an emergency.

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