Four stars win a start in AFL rookie draft
Territory players took four big marks in yesterday’s AFL rookie draft.
Darwin Buffalo Jordan Wilson and Federal utility Gibson Turner are joining Fremantle and Richmond.
Former Western Bulldog and Tiwi islander Malcolm Lynch heads to North Melbourne at pick No. 43 and Anthony Long (ex-St Marys) gets a second chance at Essendon after the Bombers targeted him at pick No. 85.
Richmond got Turner at pick No. 60 in the draft, while Fremantle went for Wilson at No. 61.
Wilson was elevated to the elite level after starring with Territory Thunder under-18s at the national championships. He flies to Perth today to start pre-season training under first year Dockers coach Ross Lyon.
“I’m happy to get a crack at the AFL,” he said. “My manager rang me all freaked out, yelling out ’61’, so I knew something had happened.”
Gibson’s best-on-ground performance for Thunder in an U18 game against Western Australia in Darwin gave him the kickstart he needed.
“I’m really pleased for both boys to get an opportunity to play football at the highest level,” NT Institute of Sport AFL head coach Brenton Toy said. “They’re both quality kids who are good people off the field and very good players on it. Fremantle recruiting staff rang us two weeks ago wanting to know a bit about Jordan as a player and, more importantly, what he was like as a person and his own family support.
“Gibbo’s a ripper kid. If he walks into a room he’s one of those blokes who can liven it up and we expect him to do really well at Richmond.
“He kicked four goals against WA, can take a contested mark and is really good at ground level.
“Jordan was awesome throughout the carnival as a running, creative defender off half back who can read the game and provide a series of attacking options.”