Draft prospects ready to shine in front of recruiters
Albany draft prospect Tyron Smallwood is confident he can impress AFL clubs at the national draft combine this week in a bid to bolster his chances of being selected in November’s national draft.
Smallwood will be joined at the draft combine today by Claremont teammate Jordan Clark, who also spent time living in Albany before pursuing his football in Perth.
The pair are part of a group of 85 players invited to test at Etihad Stadium in front of AFL clubs over the next four days.
Playing locally for Royals and Albany and also spending time with Boxwood Hill, Smallwood said he was looking forward to what could be a defining couple of months for his career.
“The next couple of months are very exciting times,” Smallwood said. “I’ll just take it as it comes and ride the wave of excitement.
“I’ve done a lot of training and practised the testing we will get thrown, I don’t think I can really prepare much more.”
Listed in the small forwards group at the combine, Smallwood averaged 23 disposals in six colts games and was named in a forward pocket in the WAFL Colts Team of the Year.
The 18-year-old was a stand-out in the latter part of the WAFL season, dominating in four reserves games where he kicked 10 goals and then made his league debut in the final round of the season and was part of the Tigers two league finals.
Since the season has finished Smallwood has continued training ahead of the combine, with the majority of testing done tomorrow and Thursday.
“The footy commission (WAFC) set up a training program for us,” he said.
“There has been about 20 of us training, three times a week.
“The body is feeling pretty good, I’ve everything I can to get up and be right.
“I’ve spoken to a few clubs but they don’t really give you much, I’ll know more after this week.”
Clark, who played colts for Railways, has been highly touted as a top 30 draft pick after a superb national under-18 championships.
The 182cm defender was named in the NAB AFL Under-18 All-Australian Team after averaging 19.5 disposals and 5.5 rebound 50s in the championships.
“I’ve been injury free and training three times a week,” Clark said.
“I’m not expecting to win anything over there but just want to get a few personal bests.
“Its been a great year, I’ve really surprised myself with how much my footy has grown and I can’t believe where I’m at.”
A Guilford Grammar student, Clark averaged 15 possessions in five league games with Claremont and was also named in the WAFL Colts Team of the Year.
A kicking assessment and then goal kicking assessment will be held tomorrow night before players face the standing vertical jump, running vertical jump, sprint, agility and yoyo testing on Thursday.
The final part of the testing will be a 2km time trial on Friday morning.
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