Six Peter Jackson VFL players who have all developed over multiple seasons at their current club were rewarded with selection in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft on Friday.
Williamstown match-winner Ben Cavarra was the first VFL player picked, drafted onto the Western Bulldogs’ list before dangerous Seagulls teammates Lachlan Schultz and Brett Bewley were both later picked by Fremantle.
Meanwhile, Essendon VFL play-maker Nick Hind has found a home at St Kilda, decorated Collingwood VFL defender Marty Hore is off to Melbourne and Footscray on-baller Will Hayes joins Cavarra at the Bulldogs.
* Read more about each AFL Draft selection from the VFL below.
The six draftees follow three other VFL players onto AFL lists for 2019, after this year’s Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal winner Josh Corbett went to Gold Coast alongside Werribee teammate Sam Collins as concession selections and 2018 Casey Demons best-and-fairest winner Corey Wagner agreed to join Melbourne in the upcoming Supplemental Selection Period.
Along with the 42 players drafted from the TAC Cup, AFL Victoria’s talent competitions produced 48 selections at the AFL Draft (62 per cent of all players picked).
The 2018 AFL Rookie Draft will take place later on Friday.
BEN CAVARRA (Williamstown)
Pick no.45 to Western Bulldogs
175cm forward/midfielder Cavarra, 23, finally gained a spot on an AFL list after five decorated years in the VFL. The Eastern Ranges (TAC Cup) and Ferntree Gully Eagles (Eastern FL) product kicked 66 goals in 40 games at Williamstown in 2017-18, earning VFL Team of the Year selection in both seasons. He previously played 51 matches and booted 43 majors for Frankston from 2014-16, winning two club best-and-fairest awards and two Team of the Year guernseys in that time. In his draft year of 2013, Cavarra claimed the TAC Cup’s Morrish Medal, captained the Ranges to the TAC Cup premiership in a best-on-ground performance and won a second straight club champion award.
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NICK HIND (Essendon VFL)
Pick no.54 to St Kilda
24-year-old speedster Hind was rewarded for a scintillating finish to his 2018 season, in which he was named in the VFL Team of the Year, finished second in Essendon’s VFL best-and-fairest award and produced a match-winning play that saw the Bombers defeat Richmond in a semi final. The 180cm GWV Rebels (TAC Cup) and Clunes (Central Highlands FL) product played 37 VFL games after coming to Essendon mid-season in 2016. Since that time, he has transitioned from a rebounding half back to one of the competition’s most damaging running midfielders, ranking fourth in the VFL this year for total score assists and sixth for total inside-50s.
MARTY HORE (Collingwood VFL)
Pick no.56 to Melbourne
Consistency has paid off for 189cm rebounding defender Hore, 22, who has won Collingwood’s VFL best-and-fairest award and VFL Team of the Year selection in each of the last two seasons. The Bendigo Pioneers (TAC Cup) and Leitchville Gunbower (Heathcote District FL) product appeared in 42 VFL matches for the Magpies from 2016-18, reaching the peak of his powers this year by ranking first in the VFL for total effective kicks and rebound-50s as well as ranking second for total marks.
LACHLAN SCHULTZ (Williamstown)
Pick no.57 to Fremantle
20-year-old Schultz earned a berth at the elite level having demonstrated his game-breaking ability inside Williamstown’s forward 50 over the last three years. The 177cm Bendigo Pioneers (TAC Cup) and Moama (Murray FL) product booted 58 goals in 42 games for the Seagulls from 2016-18, forming a dangerous pairing at ground level alongside fellow draftee Ben Cavarra across the last two seasons.
BRETT BEWLEY (Williamstown)
Pick no.59 to Fremantle
Weight of numbers eventually worked in the favour of 185cm Bewley, 23, who has become one of the VFL’s most prolific and damaging midfielders in recent years. The Western Jets (TAC Cup) and Darley (Ballarat FL) product is renowned for his gut-running and raking disposal by foot, ranking first in the VFL for total long kicks and fifth for total inside-50s in a stellar 2018 campaign. He played 70 VFL games for Williamstown from 2014-18 and was named in the Team of the Year in each of the last two seasons.
WILL HAYES (Footscray)
Pick no.78 to Western Bulldogs
23-year-old Hayes completed the transition from dangerous forward to game-breaking midfielder in 2018, winning VFL Team of the Year honours and Footscray’s best-and-fairest award in his fifth season at the club. The 181cm Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup) and Euroa (Goulburn Valley FL) product kicked 53 majors in his 77 VFL appearances but illustrated his ability further up the ground this year by ranking second in the VFL for total uncontested possessions and third for total inside-50s.