SANFL has produced a bumper haul in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, with five players selected in the opening round and almost a quarter of Draftees from South Australia.
With 14 players selected from the 59 Draft picks last night, SANFL’s percentage of draftees (24%) is the highest since 2012.
It has also been 10 years since SA produced as many as five Draftees selected in the first round.
The exceptional result was enhanced in today’s AFL Rookie Draft when a further seven SANFL players were chosen, bringing the total number of SANFL players added to AFL Club lists to 21.
West Adelaide forward Riley Thilthorpe led the charge for South Australia, selected at pick No. 2 by Adelaide.
SANFL Chief Executive Officer Darren Chandler said having 14 players drafted out of a pool of 59 was evidence of SANFL’s continuing growth and development of talent identification and elite pathways in SA.
“In such a challenging year for football, we’re extremely proud of our continued reputation for developing many elite and resilient young footballers through our under 16 and under 18 Torrens University Cup competitions and the high standards we’re setting in our talent development programs here in SA,” Mr Chandler said.
“It’s also testimony to the efforts of each of our SANFL Clubs, their coaching staff and volunteers who assist with the development of these young players and help them to realise their dream of playing football at a professional level.”
Mr Chandler said SA’s success in the AFL Draft also reinforced the reputation of the SANFL Statewide Super League as the best State League competition in the nation.
“As evidenced by the likes of draftees James Rowe, Jacob Wehr and Lachie McNeil of the Eagles, South Adelaide’s Beau McCreery and Tom Highmore and Glenelg’s Luke Parks, the SANFL Statewide Super League competition is providing a real pathway for players to achieve their dream of getting onto an AFL list,” he said.
“This underpins the strength of our League and the pool of both local and interstate talent aspiring to play football at the highest level in SA.
“Our State League competition is highly valued by AFL Clubs and recruiters and those already in the AFL system, but also by those who aspire to get to that level.”
The last time SANFL had five players selected in the first round was when Sam Day, Jared Polec, Daniel Gorringe, Seb Tape and Brodie Smith were taken in 2010 while it had almost 26 per cent of the AFL Draft pool in 2012.
SANFL players selected in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft
No. 2 Riley Thilthorpe (West Adelaide) Adelaide
No. 11 Luke Pedlar (Glenelg) Adelaide
No. 13 Tom Powell (Sturt) North Melbourne
No. 16 Lachlan Jones (Woodville-West Torrens) Port Adelaide
No. 25 Brayden Cook (South Adelaide) Adelaide
No. 30 Caleb Poulter (Woodville-West Torrens) Collingwood
No. 37 Corey Durdin (Central District) Carlton
No. 38 James Rowe (Woodville-West Torrens) Adelaide
No. 42 Phoenix Spicer (South Adelaide) North Melbourne
No. 44 Beau McCreery (South Adelaide) Collingwood
No. 45 Tom Highmore (South Adelaide) St Kilda
No. 48 Henry Smith (Woodville-West Torrens) Brisbane Lions
No. 52 Luke Edwards (Glenelg) West Coast Eagles
No. 59 Jacob Wehr (Woodville-West Torrens) Greater Western Sydney
SANFL players selected in the 2020 NAB AFL Rookie Draft
No. 3 Malachy Carruthers (Sturt) Sydney
No. 4 Jack Saunders (Norwood) Hawthorn
No. 8 Luke Parks (Glenelg) Carlton
No.11 Lachlan McNeil (Woodville-West Torrens) Western Bulldogs
No.37 Taj Schofield (Woodville-West Torrens) Port Adelaide
Category B James Borlase (Sturt) Adelaide
Category B Tariek Newchurch (North Adelaide) Adelaide