By ZAC MILBANK
Sturt’s Loch Rawlinson and Norwood’s Will Rowlands have been handed opportunities at elite level after being selected in the 2023 AFL Rookie Draft on Wednesday.
After seven Croweaters had their name called across Monday and Tuesday evening in the AFL Draft, the speedy SANFL pair had realised their dream less than 24 hours later.
Rawlinson, who registered a blistering time of 2.894 seconds in the 20m sprint at the AFL State Combine, was the first player chosen in the AFL Rookie Draft, landing at West Coast with Pick No.1.
A crafty, medium-sized forward, Rawlinson has the ability to push up into the midfield and was a key driver behind the Double Blues’ push to the Torrens University SANFL U18 Grand Final this season.
Originally from Southern Districts in the Northern Territory Football League, Rowlands has been developing nicely since joining the Redlegs’ U16 team in 2020.
A member of the victorious Allies team at the 2023 AFL U18 National Championships, Rowlands also boasts nice pace while being able to hit the scoreboard with ease.
SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig
''I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of our SANFL Clubs, the SANFL Talent staff, volunteers and the families of these players in assisting with their development and helping them to realise their dream of playing football at a professional level.''
SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig congratulated the nine young SANFL players on being selected in the 2023 AFL Draft and Rookie Draft.
”I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of our SANFL Clubs, the SANFL Talent staff, volunteers and the families of these players in assisting with their development and helping them to realise their dream of playing football at a professional level,” Mr Duldig said.
“And importantly, for those talented young players who missed out on selection, they still have a great opportunity to play for their SANFL club and in the best State League competition, while continuing to develop and press for future AFL opportunities.”
Last month, Glenelg premiership defender Toby Pink earned a second AFL opportunity as a mature-age player when he was secured by North Melbourne as a Delisted Free Agent.
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