Hill on the up after time trial
The 2011 NAB AFL Draft Combine finished up at Etihad Stadium on Friday with West Australian youngster Brad Hill providing another highlight with his win in the 3km time trial.
Hill, the younger brother of Fremantle’s Stephen, backed up his combine record score of 16.1 in the shuttle run on Thursday with a winning time of 9m52s in the gruelling test of endurance.
AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan was confident Hill’s performances had significantly boosted his chances of selection at November’s NAB AFL Draft.
“For a young guy to do that, there will be even more improvement in him in an AFL environment,” Sheehan said.
“Like all of these young men, he’s just developing as a player and getting the confidence that they can mix it among the best.
“Brad is following the pathway that Stephen showed when he just grew in confidence in his 18th year. They all mature at different rates as footballers, as athletes and as young men, so I think this will give Brad great confidence that he can follow his brother into the AFL.
“You can go back to someone like Chris Judd, who did a 15.2 as a young man coming through – he’s done what the elite AFL players do.”
Western Jets’ midfielder Will Hoskin-Elliott was second to Hill with a 15.12 beep test on Thursday and it was a similar scenario on the last day of the four-day testing event.
They ran in the same heat on the synthetic track around the stadium turf and were neck and neck in a thrilling final lap that saw Hoskin-Elliott beaten into second with a time of 9m53s.
The Calder Cannons’ Tom Sheridan also went under the 10-minute mark with a time of 9m57s.
This year’s event was the 18th since its inception and the first time it has been held at Etihad with 120 aspiring AFL players out to impress club recruiters.
The combine was held at the AIS in Canberra for the previous 12 years, but Sheehan was delighted with the new venue, which hosted several drills on a purpose-built athletic floor that was lowered onto the turf.
“The clubs are giving us the feedback that they’re rapt with the fact that we’ve now got this event in a stadium of this quality, to allow the players to show off their abilities,” he said.
“The longest job interview in Australian sport is over after four long days, but I think it has been a brilliant experience.”
3km Time Trial
1. Brad Hill 9.52
2. Will Hoskin-Elliott 9.53
3. Tom Sheridan 9.57
4. Nick O’Brien 10.01
4. Sam Kerridge 10.01
6. Jack Newnes 10.25
7. Brandon Ellis 10.32
7. Adam Tomlinson 10.32
9. Steve Rusca 10.44
10. Jimmy Webster 10.46