The Last Word with Jason Horne-Francis

South Adelaide's Jason Horne-Francis next to his No.33 locker at Noarlunga for the last time ahead of the AFL Draft. Picture - Paula Brinkworth


South Adelaide’s Jason Horne-Francis is ready to embrace the hype which comes with being the No.1 pick in an AFL Draft.

Strongly-touted to be selected by North Melbourne with the opening pick on Wednesday night, Horne-Francis admitted it would be ”awesome” and a ”privilege” for this to eventuate, together with it being reward for all of his hard work.

Speaking to the media at Flinders University Stadium, the dynamic Panthers’ utility enjoyed a round of golf yesterday with the most recent South Australian No.1 Draft Pick – Bryce Gibbs.

One of five Croweaters to be ranked at the head of his AFL Draft class, in 2006, Gibbs has told Horne-Francis to keep himself busy in the lead up to Draft night, to keep his mind off what is set to unfold.

Horne-Francis hasn’t officially been told by the Kangaroos they will select him at No.1 but he did reveal the other 17 AFL clubs haven’t worried to contact him in the past month.

A product of the Panthers’ development programs after playing his junior football with the Christies Beach Saints, the 18-year-old paid tribute to all involved in his progression, including Tony Bamford, Julian Farkas, Mark Clayton and current League coach Jarrad Wright.

Horne-Francis noted that Wright played an integral role in him improving his inside 50m entries this year, after identifying they needed to be more accurate in hitting up leading targets.

Should he be selected first as expected, Horne-Francis will join fellow South Aussie No.1 picks in Gibbs, Adam Cooney (West Adelaide to Western Bulldogs in 2003), Clive Waterhouse (Port Adelaide to Fremantle in 1995), Richard Lounder (Central District to Richmond in 1987) and Martin Leslie (Port Adelaide to Brisbane in 1986).

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