Hill No.2 bolts into view
West Perth wingman Bradley Hill says he’d love to join Fremantle at next week’s draft and play alongside his brother Stephen, but would also relish the opportunity to go head-to-head as an opponent.
Hill is one of the draft’s biggest bolters after testing brilliantly at the AFL Draft Combine. The 18-year-old broke the beep test record, then ran the second fastest time ever for the 3km time trial.
Those efforts came after he’d already placed fifth for the 20m sprint and 10th in the 30m repeat sprints. The athletic brilliance prompted AFL Talent Manager Kevin Sheehan to elevate Hill into his top 30 draft prospects.
Fremantle have three picks inside 30 – 16, 20 and 29, then don’t re-enter the draft until number 58. Hill is unlikely to still be available by then.
Many clubs have expressed interest in the wingman but West Coast and Gold Coast are the only clubs to have interviewed Hill twice. The Eagles have picks 23 and 28 while Gold Coast have 25.
While he is likely to be selected between 30 and 50, Hill said the Dockers, Eagles and Suns were his preferred destinations.
“It would be good playing with Stephen. But if not, I’d like to go to the Eagles,” Hill said.
“The Gold Coast would be the third place I’d like to go. It looks nice up there.
“We’re pretty close and I’d like to play with him, but we’d fight a bit. It’d be good to play against him too.”
The Hill brothers are similar players. They are blessed with speed and endurance, love to run with the ball, developed strongly in their draft year and are slight of build.
But the pair are poles apart off the field. While Stephen is quiet, Bradley never stops talking.
He drove his teachers mad at school and somehow talked with Victorian Will Hoskin-Elliott as they raced around Etihad Stadium throughout the AFL Draft Combine’s 3km time trial.
“I don’t mind a chat,” Bradley said. “(Stephen’s) a bit quiet and I’m a bit loud. I always have been.
“I like to have a laugh and make people laugh. I talk a bit.”
Family ties are important to Hill. The fourth of seven children, he has a one-year-old brother, Corey, and is an uncle to two-year-olds Jaidon and Shariah.
Essendon ruckman Paddy Ryder is a distant relative, so he’d be happy having him close by if he moved to Victoria.
Hill said he’d always wanted to play in the AFL.
“I’m pretty competitive,” he said. “I don’t get caught much on the field. I wasn’t tackled much this year.
“Stephen’s told me to keep going hard so I can make it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
“I got a bit more confidence because I was one of the older players in the team.
“I got a lot better with my kicking and being one touch too because I practised a lot.”
The AFL yesterday released the final draft order.
There will be 96 picks, although 19 of them have already been committed on father-son, promoted rookie, NSW scholarship or Local Talent selections.