AFL Rookie Draft adds experience
BEFORE yesterday’s pre-season draft picks took place, Gold Coast Football Club was quick to secure further experience to add to its young list, with picks one to five in the AFL Rookie Draft in the morning.
Daniel Harris, Michael Coad, Sam Iles, Roland Ah Chee and Daniel Stanley all received two-year contracts and will be on the Gold Coast list when it enters the AFL competition in 2011.
GCFC football manager Marcus Ashcroft said the club elected to choose more seasoned players to supplement its talented but youthful squad.
“We believe this is the best strategy for the development of our young group, by being able to surround them with some bigger bodies for the next couple of years,” he said.
“That has always been our plan for the rookie draft.
“These blokes are a bit older and a bit bigger and can play straight away.”
Harris, a veteran of 149 games with the Kangaroos, is a tough and courageous midfielder, who is regarded as one of the best stoppage players in the competition.
Coad, 26, is a key position prospect who can play at either end of the ground. He was runner-up in Sturt Football Club’s best and fairest.
Iles spent three years with Collingwood in the AFL and played VFL with Williamstown and Collingwood before joining Box Hill in the VFL competition last year, where he won club best and fairest and was third in the JJ Liston Medal (VFL’s best and fairest).
Ah Chee played for Melbourne Grammar and Norwood FC in the SANFL, before returning to Northern Territory, where he was awarded the best and fairest player at the under-18 Northern Territory State Championships this year.
Stanley is a robust midfielder who can also play in defence. He made his Collingwood debut in 2007.