Mon, 21 Aug. 2006
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Talented trio in scout sights


A TRIO of Sunshine Coast teenagers are well in the sights of AFL club recruitment scouts.

Former Caloundra juniors Daniel Dzufer and Chris Smith, both 18, will attend this year’s AFL draft camp, while 17-year-old Pomona junior Rhys Magin has been invited to undertake state screening.

The 16 AFL clubs all nominated 50 under-18 players they were interested in picking up in the next draft.

If a player receives five or more nominations, they are invited to attend the draft camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from October 3-6.

Any other player who is nominated by between one and five clubs is invited to attend state screening.

Players at the state screening go through the same tests as those at the draft camp, with results then forwarded on to all AFL clubs.

While AFL Queensland talent manager Mark Browning said no one was a “definite” draftee, the fact both Dzufer and Smith had more than five clubs showing interest was a good sign.

DZUFER went to the draft camp as a 17-year-old last year and was disappointed not to get picked up by any clubs in the draft for this season.

But with an extra year’s experience under his belt, Dzufer, who was named on a half forward flank for the All-Australian under-18 side this year, should be closely watched by a number of clubs.

“Daniel’s football form has been a lot better this year than it was last year,” Browning said. “I think last year people thought he was potentially a very good player but this year he has played a lot better.

“Hopefully that equates to clubs wanting to draft him.” Browning says the next month of football will be very important for Dzufer, who is playing in the AFLQ Division One competition for Zillmere this year.

“The finals series for Zillmere will be very important for Daniel,” he said.

Smith missed out on the draft camp last year.

But Browning also says that, like Dzufer, Smith has been in tremendous form.

“Chris has certainly shown this year that he is a very good player,” Browning said. “He had a fantastic under-18 national championship and his seven-goal second half against NSW really enhanced his reputation.

“Since then he has taken that good form back to his club side (Mt Gravatt in the AFLQ Division One).”

Magin narrowly missed out on a place in the Queensland under-18 side this year, but has put his name in front of recruitment staff with some eye-catching displays for the Suncoast Lions.

“Rhys just missed selection in Queensland’s final 25-man squad for the under-18 nationals, but the good thing for him is that he didn’t drop his bundle,” Browning said.

“He came back to the Lions and played some really good footy.

“The other good thing for Rhys is that he is only 17 and still has another year (where he is eligible for the draft camp).”

A record number of 13 Queenslanders were invited to attend this year’s draft camp. They represent 18% of the 72 camp invitees, proof Queensland is becoming a strong AFL breeding ground.


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