By ZAC MILBANK
Five SANFL players have been selected in the 2019 AFL Mid-Season Draft held in Melbourne on Monday night.
Headed by South Adelaide ruckman Michael Knoll – who was chosen by Sydney with Pick No.4 – the local contingent also included two West Adelaide players having their names called in the first AFL Mid-Season Draft since 1993.
Bloods midfielders Will Snelling (Essendon at No.7) and John Noble (Collingwood at No.14) were surprise selections after athletic Glenelg forward Lachlan Hosie was snapped up by North Melbourne at No.5.
Port Adelaide’s SANFL captain Cam Sutcliffe, who played 104 AFL matches before being delisted by Fremantle last year, has been thrown another elite lifeline after being elevated by the Power at Pick No.9.
As many as six AFL clubs were in pursuit of Knoll, who loomed as the most likely SANFL player chosen after winning the Fos Williams Medal as best afield for the West End State Team against the WAFL earlier this month.
The 26-year-old former college basketballer was tipped to be snared by the Bombers but the Swans swooped on the ex-Box Hill bigman who played just seven League games for the Panthers.
Hosie, who made his League debut for the Tigers back in Round 7 of 2016, has sprung to life in the past two seasons with his eye-catching play around the goals.
The 22-year-old is SANFL’s leading goalkicker this season, booting 21 from eight matches while also winning the Round 7 nomination for Statewide Super Mark of the Year in the clip below.
Snelling and Noble were also key members of the victorious West End State Team this year, with former Power rookie Snelling getting another chance in the AFL.
Averaging 29.7 disposals this season, Snelling could get his opportunity in the red and black sooner than expected as they look to replace the injured Devon Smith, who is out for the rest of the season.
Noble’s ability to run and carry the ball at speed appeals to the Magpies, who view the 22-year-old as a medium to long-term development player on their list.
The versatility of Sutcliffe, who played mainly as a defender for the Dockers, was critical in his second AFL opportunity.
At 187cm, the Magpies skipper can also play as a big-bodied midfielder or even across half-forward as a difficult match-up for the opposition.
4 – Sydney – Michael Knoll (South Adelaide)
Community Club: Vermont FC (Victoria)
SANFL Games: 7
5 – North Melbourne – Lachlan Hosie (Glenelg)
Community Club: Henley FC
Position: Medium Forward
SANFL Games: 22
SANFL Goals: 46
7 – Essendon – Will Snelling (West Adelaide)
Community Club: Goodwood Saints FC
Position: Inside Midfielder
SANFL Games: 68
SANFL Goals: 19
9 – Port Adelaide – Cam Sutcliffe (Port Adelaide SANFL)
SANFL Games: 14
14 – Collingwood – John Noble (West Adelaide)
Community Club: Plympton FC
Position: Outside Midfielder
SANFL Games: 42
SANFL Goals: 24
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