Nervous times for eager Smallwood

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
AFL draft hopeful Tyron Smallwood relaxes at home ahead of the national draft.
Camera IconAFL draft hopeful Tyron Smallwood relaxes at home ahead of the national draft. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany-bred small forward Tyron Smallwood is hoping a whirlwind 12 months can be topped with his name being read out in the AFL national draft tomorrow night.

The national draft begins tonight and is split in two with close mate and fellow local product Jordan Clark looming as a first-round selection.

After the first round has been decided the draft will break until tomorrow afternoon when it re-starts at Marvel Stadium and that’s when Smallwood will sit nervously with family and close friends at his Albany home awaiting the news that he’s so eagerly been chasing.

The tenacious small forward is a superb goal kicker and high-pressure tackler, and is desperate to join a long list of players from the Great Southern who have been in the AFL system.

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The 18-year-old’s season was interrupted by a broken jaw but he recovered to play a part in the under-18 national championships with WA and also make his senior debut with Claremont.

After attending the national draft combine, clubs have kept in regular contact with him but Smallwood said that was not a certainty he will be picked up.

Albany-raised footballer Tyron Smallwood.
Camera IconAlbany-raised footballer Tyron Smallwood. Credit: Albany Advertiser

“It’s just a waiting game,” he said.

“There is no guarantee my name will be called out. This has been my dream since I was a little boy.

“I wouldn’t care where I go, I just want an opportunity.”

Smallwood would not speculate on clubs that had showed interest in selecting him.

“It’s hard to tell, there has been a little bit of interest,” he said.

“I might be able to stay in WA.

“I’ve spoken to most clubs at least twice but they don’t tell you that much so it’s pretty tough.”

Locally, Smallwood played for Albany and then Boxwood Hill before a stint with Royals that included winning the Alan Barnett Medal as best afield in a losing league grand final.

Other Great Southern chances in the draft are Tom Baldwin, Corey Hitchcock and Michael Bennell.

The national draft will be broadcast live on Fox Footy.

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