Marcus Bontempelli (Eltham)
The No. 4 pick in the 2013 AFL Draft, Bontempelli has emerged as one of the competition’s star players.
In 2016 he claimed the Western Bulldogs best and fairest in the club’s drought-breaking premiership year and was named in the All Australian team.
Despite his side’s struggles during its premiership defence, Bontempelli was again exceptional in 2017 and claimed a second-consecutive best and fairest, before finishing third in 2018.
Bontempelli was runner-up to Lewis Taylor for the 2014 AFL Rising Star award.
AFL games: 104
AFL goals: 100
Josh Caddy (Eltham)
Caddy was selected by Gold Coast with pick No. 7 in the 2010 AFL Draft.
He played 24 games for the Suns over two seasons before moving to Geelong where he played 71 games in four seasons.
Caddy was traded to Richmond during the 2016 trade period.
He enjoyed a superb debut season with the Tigers, playing mostly as a forward during the club’s drought-breaking premiership campaign.
He backed it up with his best season at AFL level in 2018, booting 46 goals and averaging 17 disposals a game.
AFL games: 139
AFL goals: 143
Nick Coffield (Eltham)
Another product of the Eltham Football Club, Coffield was taken by St Kilda at pick No. 8 in the 2017 AFL Draft.
The 18-year-old captained the Knights throughout the 2017 TAC Cup season and finished second in the best and fairest, despite missing three games.
Coffield was dominant during the AFL Under-18 Championships and was selected at half-back in the All-Australian team after being named in Vic Metro’s best players in all four games.
He played 10 AFL matches in 2018 after making his debut in St Kilda’s Round 3 loss to Adelaide.
AFL games: 10
AFL goals: 1
Aidan Corr (Macleod)
Corr was recruited by the GWS Giants with pick number 12 in the 2012 AFL Draft.
He made his debut in Round 6, 2013 and has since gone on to play 75 matches.
Corr enjoyed a career-best campaign in 2017, playing 23 matches including all three of the Giants’ finals.
He backed it up by playing 16 games in 2018, before suffering a season-ending injury in Round 17.
The defender played his junior football at Macleod and played five senior matches with the Roos in from 2011 to 2012.
AFL games: 75
AFL goals: 2
Trent Cotchin (West Preston-Lakeside and Reservoir)
After being selected with pick No. 2 in the 2007 AFL Draft, Cotchin has gone on to become one of the AFL’s premier midfielders.
In November 2016 the Richmond skipper was retrospectively awarded the 2012 Brownlow Medal with Sam Mitchell after Jobe Watson handed back the medal as a result of Essendon’s supplements program.
His career reached its pinnacle in 2017 when he led the Tigers to their first flag since 1980.
Cotchin is a three-time winner of Richmond’s best and fairest, the Jack Dyer Medal, and also claimed the Leigh Matthews Trophy Winner in 2012 as the AFL Coaches Association Best Player.
AFL games: 220
AFL goals: 123
Nikolas Cox (Montmorency)
Essendon used its first selection in the 2020 AFL Draft to take Cox at pick 8.
A key position player from Montmorency Junior Football Club, Cox had long been earmarked as a top-10 prospect. He represented Vic Metro at the 2019 AFL Under-18 Championships, was a member of the NAB AFL Academy and was named co-captain of the Northern Knights in 2020, prior to the cancelled NAB League campaign.
Standing 200cm, Cox boasts remarkable athleticism and was one of the top performers at the Vic Metro Draft Combine – running the 20m sprint in 2.95 secs and the 2km time trial in 6:05 mins (the third-best result of all Draft Combines). An elite kick on both sides of his body, he has great hands both in the air and at ground level.
Cox is the son of former Fitzroy, Brisbane Lions and Melbourne utility Darryl Cox, who played 30 VFL games between 1980 and 1987.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Josh Eyre (Kilmore)
Eyre was selected by Essendon with pick 39 in the 2020 AFL Draft, after the Bombers matched a bid from Richmond for the talented key tall.
A product of Kilmore Junior Football Club, Eyre played eight games for the Calder Cannons during the 2019 NAB League season and was a member of Essendon’s Next Generation Academy.
Standing 198cm, he was a standout at the Vic Country Combine last month, finishing second in both the 2km time trial and 20-metre sprint, as well as runner-up in the running and standing vertical jumps tests.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Brayden Fiorini (Research and Greensborough)
After an outstanding back half of the 2015 TAC Cup season, Fiorini was drafted by Gold Coast with pick No. 20 in the 2015 AFL Draft.
A ball magnet, he averaged more possessions per game than any player in the 2015 TAC Cup campaign.
Fiorini made his debut in Round 22, 2016 against Collingwood at Etihad Stadium, before racking up 26 disposals the next week in the Suns’ season-ending match against Port Adelaide.
Fiorini played 13 matches in 2017, before adding another 11 in 2018 after overcoming an ankle injury.
AFL games: 26
AFL goals: 11
Jade Gresham (South Morang)
Gresham made history when he was recruited to St Kilda with pick No. 18 in the 2015 AFL Draft.
He became the first South Morang player to be recruited to an AFL club since the draft’s inception in 1986.
Gresham played 18 games in his debut season for the Saints, finishing sixth in the AFL Rising Star voting.
He played every game in 2017, before backing-up the feat in a breakout 2018 campaign – where he booted 35 goals, which included a bag of six against reigning premier Richmond.
Gresham’s efforts earned him the Saints’ Best Emerging Player award and a fourth-place finish in the best and fairest.
AFL games: 62
AFL goals: 76
Dylan Grimes (Hurstbridge)
Grimes was selected by Richmond in the 2010 Pre-Season Draft.
Despite an injury-plagued start to his career, Grimes was elevated to the club’s leadership group in 2013.
He has played 101 of a possible 106 games over the past four seasons and has become a key part of the Tigers’ defence.
Grimes had a standout season in 2017, playing all 25 games – including the grand final – and finishing fifth in the best and fairest in the Tigers’ premiership campaign.
He was equally impressive in 2018 and was named in the 40-man All Australian squad.
AFL games: 127
AFL goals: 3
Marty Hore (Northcote Park)
Hore was taken by Melbourne with pick No.57 in the 2018 AFL Draft.
A smart intercept player, with a penetration left-foot kick, Hore has been one of the VFL’s best defenders in recent seasons and took out Collingwood’s VFL best and fairest in 2017 and 2018.
Considered unlucky not to have been selected in his 2015 draft season after featuring in the best players in nine of 15 TAC Cup matches for the Bendigo Pioneers, Hore linked up with the VFL Magpies in 2016 – where he played nine games in his first season.
He also played two senior matches for Northcote Park during the 2016 campaign, including the elimination final defeat to Bundoora.
Hore played the opening three games for the Cougars in 2017, before being recalled by the Magpies. He played only one more NFNL game, when best afield in the Round 10 win over Eltham at Bill Lawry Oval.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Michael Hurley (Macleod)
Selected by Essendon with pick No. 5 in the 2007 AFL Draft, Hurley has become one of the game’s premier big men.
He played his junior footy with Macleod and played four games with the senior side as a 16-year-old in 2006 – including the club’s Grand Final loss to Greensborough.
Hurley’s breakout season at AFL level was in 2015 when he was named in the All-Australian team and finished runner-up in the Bombers’ best and fairest.
He scored his second selection in the All-Australian team in 2017.
AFL games: 160
AFL goals: 108
Kane Lambert (West Preston-Lakeside)
A three-time premiership winner with Richmond, Lambert’s story is one of perseverance.
He went undrafted after an outstanding junior career, before a four-year stint at state-league level that included being named to the VFL’s team of the year and receiving the league’s most improved player award in 2013.
Lambert was drafted to Richmond in the 2015 rookie draft and made his debut for the club in round 1 of the 2015 season. He is a dual-premiership player with the club, having played in grand final wins in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
He played three matches with West Preston-Lakeside in 2011.
AFL games: 110
AFL goals: 67
Bailey Laurie (Diamond Creek)
Laurie began his football journey with Diamond Creek Junior Football Club, before moving to Beverley Hills Junior Football Club and progressing through to the Oakleigh Chargers.
The classy small forward has been praised for his outstanding game sense and clean skills. He also possesses great leg speed and can also play on a wing.
He represented Vic Metro at the AFL Under-16 Championships in 2018 and impressed as a first-year player in seven NAB League matches for the Chargers last year.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Mitchell Lewis (Wallan and Whittlesea)
Mitchell Lewis was one of the most talked-about picks in the 2016 Draft, when selected by Hawthorn at No. 76.
Ironically, he was taken by the Hawks just one month after the club traded out premiership heroes Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.
Lewis started his junior football career with Wallan, before spending the 2013 season with Whittlesea’s under-15 side.
He made his AFL debut in Round 9, 2018 and had 10 disposals in Hawthorn’s upset loss to Brisbane at the Gabba.
Lewis finished second on the VFL goal kicking table with 39 goals in 2018 and was a member of the Box Hill Hawks premiership team.
AFL games: 2
AFL goals: 0
Patrick Lipinski (Eltham and Montmorency)
Lipinski was drafted by the Western Bulldogs with pick No. 28 in the 2016 AFL Draft.
He began his football career with Montmorency, before moving to Eltham in 2012.
Lipinski featured among the Northern Knights’ best players in nine of his 12 TAC Cup matches in 2016.
He made his AFL debut in Round 22, 2017 and racked up 18 disposals in the Bulldogs’ loss to Hawthorn.
The midfielder-forward featured in 17 matches in 2018 and booted 12 goals.
AFL games: 18
AFL goals: 12
Darcy Macpherson (Diamond Creek)
The son of former Footscray player Steve Macpherson, Darcy was selected by the Gold Coast Suns with pick No.21 in the 2015 Rookie Draft.
He was promoted to the Suns senior list early in the 2016 season and made his debut against Melbourne in Round 7.
After impressing at senior level, a knee injury sustained in Round 9 sidelined Macpherson for much of his debut season.
Macpherson played eight AFL games in 2017 and also claimed the Suns’ NEAFL Player of the Year award.
He added another five matches in 2018, however his season was interrupted by a broken leg sustained early in the season.
AFL games: 17
AFL goals: 9
Justin McInerney (Banyule and Macleod)
McInerney was a bolter in the 2018 AFL draft, with Sydney using its third selection to secure him at pick No. 44
A tall wingman, McInereney was considered one of the best kicks in the 2018 draft crop and is also a talented overhead mark.
The Banyule and former Macleod junior played 10 TAC Cup games for the Northern Knights in 2018 and was named among the best players six times.
He also played one game for Banyule’s under-19 during the year, when he featured in the Round 11 win over Mernda.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Lachlan Murphy (Diamond Creek)
Murphy was selected by Adelaide with pick No. 38 in the 2017 AFL Rookie Draft.
A star junior footballer at Diamond Creek, Murphy represented the league at under-13, under-14 and under-15 level.
He was overlooked in the 2016 draft despite a standout season in the TAC Cup for the Northern Knights, where he claimed the club’s best and fairest.
He put the disappointment aside and made the move to Adelaide in the hunt of keeping his AFL dream alive.
The decision paid off, with Murphy rewarded after an impressive year for the Crows – where he played 18 SANFL and won the Dean Bailey Award as the club’s most dedicated development player.
Murphy played 11 AFL matches in 2018 and proved handy near goal, finishing with 12 majors, which included a three-goal haul in the Round 17 win over Geelong.
AFL games: 11
AFL goals: 12
Jack Petruccelle (Epping)
Petruccelle was snapped up by West Coast at pick No.38 in the 2017 AFL Draft.
After juggling football and basketball commitments throughout his junior career, Petruccelle burst into draft contention with an eye-catching campaign for the Northern Knights.
His 2.87 seconds in the 20m sprint was the fastest of any player at the 2017 AFL Draft Combine.
Petruccelle managed three games during his debut season with the 2018 premiers, with his debut coming in the Western Derby against Fremantle in Round 6.
AFL games: 3
AFL goals: 2
Dion Prestia (West Lalor)
Initially hailing from West Lalor, Prestia was taken by the Gold Coast Suns with pick 9 in the 2010 AFL Draft.
He had a breakout season in 2013, finishing runner-up in the club’s best and fairest award after averaging 25 possessions across his 20 games.
He served as vice-captain of the Suns from 2014 to 2016.
After two injury-plagued years Prestia was granted a trade to Richmond at the conclusion of the 2016 season.
He made an immediate impact with the Tigers and was an integral part of the club’s premiership side – averaging 27 disposals per game during the 2017 finals series.
He played only 13 games in an injury-affected 2018 campaign, but averaged 25 disposals in Richmond’s two finals appearances.
AFL games: 130
AFL goals: 44
Heath Shaw (Diamond Creek)
Shaw debuted in 2006 and played 173 games for Collingwood, including the 2010 grand final win over St Kilda.
He won the Michael Tuck medal in 2011 as best afield in Collingwood’s NAB Cup grand final win over Essendon.
At the conclusion of the 2013 season Shaw was traded to Greater Western Sydney and has continued to flourish.
One of the game’s best rebounding defenders, Shaw won the Giants best and fairest in 2015 and was named in the All-Australian team in both 2015 and 2016.
AFL games: 282
AFL goals: 39
Jayden Short (Mill Park and Bundoora)
Short was selected by Richmond with selection 11 in the 2014 Rookie Draft.
He was promoted to the senior list in March 2016 and made his debut in Round 2, where he impressed with three majors against Collingwood at the MCG.
Short went on to play 16 matches in his debut season before being upgraded to Richmond’s senior list.
He played 16 of Richmond’s first 18 games in 2017, before losing his place in the senior team ahead of the club’s successful finals series.
Short responded with a breakout season in 2018, playing all 24 matches and averaging 20 disposals per game as a rebounding defender.
AFL games: 56
AFL goals: 17
Brayden Sier (Banyule)
Sier proved to be the surprise of the 2015 AFL Draft when he was selected by Collingwood with pick No. 32.
He was the youngest player selected in the 2015 draft – having played just two TAC Cup games for the Northern Knights and did not attend the national or state draft combines.
Instead, Sier spent the majority of his draft season dividing his commitments between school side Marcellin and NFNL club Banyule.
Injuries restricted Sier to just 18 VFL games in his first two seasons with the Magpies.
He proved a revelation at AFL level in 2018, playing 12 games, including the grand final – where he had 21 disposals and was one of the best players on the ground in the first half.
AFL games: 12
AFL goals: 2
Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (Fitzroy Stars)
Eggmolesse-Smith was added to Richmond’s list as a Category B rookie, with the Tigers using their first-ever selection in the Next Generation Academy Program.
Eggmolesse-Smithjoined the club’s Next Generation Academy Program in 2016 after two seasons with the Bendigo Pioneers in the TAC Cup.
He went on to play five VFL games for Richmond in 2017, as well as making two appearances for the Fitzroy Stars late in the season.
A shin injury grounded Eggmolesse-Smithfor the majority of 2018, with his first VFL appearance not coming until August.
AFL games: 0
AFL goals: 0
Sam Switkowski (Research and Panton Hill)
Switkowski was selected by Fremantle with No. 73 in the 2017 AFL Draft.
The Research junior, who also played senior football with Panton Hill, won the Northern Knights best and fairest in 2014.
He enjoyed an impressive Under-18 Championships for Vic Metro that season, but was overlooked in his initial draft year.
He went on to play 27 VFL games for the Box Hill Hawks and a further 20 games in the development league before being drafted.
Switkowski played two games in his first season with the Dockers, which included an impressive 17-disposal and one goal performance against Collingwood in Round 23.
AFL games: 2
AFL goals: 1
Nick Vlastuin (Eltham)
Vlastuin was picked up by Richmond with pick No. 9 in the 2012 AFL Draft.
He debuted in Round 5 and played 18 games in his debut season, finishing sixth in the AFL Rising Star award.
Vlastuin has since become a dependable and hard-nosed half-back flanker.
He overcame injury midway through the 2017 season to play a vital role in Richmond’s premiership campaign, which included a starring role in the qualifying final win over Geelong.
He averaged a career-best 17 disposals a game in 2018.
AFL games: 117
AFL goals: 25
David Zaharakis (Eltham)
Zaharakis made his debut for Essendon in Round 2, 2009.
He instantly made a name for himself by booting the winning goal on ANZAC Day with the last kick of the game.
In 2011 he became the youngest player in 30 years to win the Bombers’ best and fairest.
He won the ANZAC Day medal in 2013 and was elevated to Essendon’s leadership group in 2015.
Zaharakis accumulated his most disposals in a season in 2017, amassing 590 disposals in 23 matches.
AFL games: 187
AFL goals: 119
Sophie Abbatangelo (Diamond Creek Women’s)
A product of Diamond Creek Women’s, Abbatangelo played two games in the inaugural NFNL season, before being elevated to the Creekers’ VFLW side.
A standout 2018 VFLW season with Melbourne University saw her selected by North Melbourne for the club’s inaugural year in the AFLW.
A clever player with x-factor, Abbatangelo is a threat with her offensive and defensive pressure.
Deanna Berry (Mernda, Epping and Montmorency)
A product of the Mernda Football Club, Berry was a standout coming through the junior ranks.
After playing against the boys until the under-14s, she made the move to Epping to play in the NFNL’s Youth Girls competition, before returning to Mernda to start up the Demons’ under-18 girls side.
As a 17-year-old she led the Victorian Women’s Football League Division 2 goal kicking in 2015, with 43 majors for Montmorency.
Berry then joined Melbourne Uni in the VFL Women’s in 2016 before being selected by Melbourne at pick No. 9 in the inaugural AFL Women’s draft.
She received the Round 7 Rising Star nomination in 2017 after finishing with 11 disposals, two goals and three marks in the Demons’ 54-point win over Fremantle.
Berry was traded to the Western Bulldogs at the conclusion of the 2017 AFLW season and was a member of the side’s 2018 AFLW premiership side.
Brittany Bonnici (Wallan)
Bonnici began her football career with Wallan Junior Football Club.
She spent four seasons with the Magpies between 2008 to 2011 before transferring to St Albans.
She was selected by Collingwood with pick No. 27 in the 2016 AFL Women’s draft.
She won a Rising Star nomination in 2017 after collecting a match-high 18 disposals in the Magpies’ six-goal win over GWS in Round 6. She also laid five tackles.
Madeline Brancatisano (Montmorency and Laurimar)
Brancatisano was selected by Melbourne Football Club with pick No.15 in the 2018 AFLW Draft.
She played her junior football with Montmorency Junior Football Club and Laurimar Football Club and in 2018 captained the Northern Knights in their TAC Cup Girls grand final campaign.
Brancatisano represented Vic Metro during the 2018 NAB AFLW Under-18 Championships and also played six games for Carlton during the 2018 VFL Women’s campaign.
Jessica Dal Pos (Darebin)
Dal Pos was one of three priority players selected by Greater Western Sydney before the 2016 AFL Women’s draft.
She won the Giants’ best and fairest in the inaugural season of the AFLW and was named in the AFLW All Australian side.
A product of the Darebin Women’s Football Club, Dal Pos represented the NFNL at the AFL Victoria Junior Metro Championships.
She has won NFNL junior premierships as both a player and coach of the Falcons.
Kerryn Harrington (Bendigo Women’s)
Harrington joined Carlton a rookie in May 2017.
She was a star for Bendigo during the 2017 NFNL Women’s Division 1 season, finishing third in the competition best and fairest count.
Harrington was also fifth on the goal kicking table and starred in the Thunder’s grand final win over Diamond Creek Women’s.
Ironically, she also featured for the Creekers’ VFLW side – playing seven matches during the 2017 season.
The code-hopper excelled as a basketballer, spending the majority of her sporting career playing for Bendigo Spirit in the Women’s National Basketball League. She also represented Australia at the 2009 and 2011 under-19 junior World Championships.
Tanya Hetherington (Diamond Creek Women’s)
Hetherington headed north for the 2018 AFLW season after being chosen by GWS Giants at pick 17 in the 2017 AFLW Draft.
The former Creekers VFLW co-captain returned to football in 2017 after a long injury layoff and helped lead her club to the VFLW grand final.
She also made one appearance in the NFNL Women’s Division 1 competition in 2017.
Bailey Hunt (Montmorency)
Hunt was selected by the Western Bulldogs with pick No. 60 in the 2016 AFL Women’s draft.
She spent three seasons with Montmorency, two of which she played in the NFNL’s Under-18 and Under-19 girls competitions.
She joined Melbourne Uni in 2016 and played 15 matches in the VFL Women’s competition.
Hunt was selected as one of two Round 1 nominees for the inaugural AFL Women’s Rising Star award.
She was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2018 AFLW premiership side.
Kirsty Lamb (Yarrambat and Diamond Creek Women’s)
Lamb was selected by the Western Bulldogs with pick No. 138 in the 2016 AFL Women’s draft.
She was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2018 AFLW grand final-winning side, finishing inside the top-five of the club’s best and fairest during the premiership year.
Lamb began her football career with Yarrambat before switching to Diamond Creek Women’s in 2009.
She represented the NFNL at the AFL Victoria Junior Metro Championships in 2009 and has since gone one to play in the VFL Women’s competition with Diamond Creek Women’s.
Lamb is also a star cricketer and has represented the Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash League.
Chloe Molloy (Whittlesea and Diamond Creek Women’s)
Molloy was selected by Collingwood with pick 3 in the 2017 AFLW Draft after a standout 2017 season, where she starred for Diamond Creek Women’s in the VFLW and the Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup Girls.
In her draft year she was the joint winner of the TAC Cup Girls best-and-fairest and was also the competition’s leading goal kicker, before also winning the VFLW goal kicking and Rising Star awards.
She continued her dominance at AFL level, winning the 2018 AFLW Rising Star Award, with a perfect total of 50 votes after receiving maximum votes from all 10 judges.
She also took out Collingwood’s best and fairest award in her debut season.
Molloy booted nine goals as an 18-year-old in Diamond Creek Women’s NFNL Women’s Division 1 opening round win over La Trobe University in 2017, before spending the remainder of the season in the Creekers’ VFLW team.
She played her junior football at Whittlesea, before switching codes to basketball and only returning to football 12 months ago before being drafted.
Madison Prespakis (Melbourne University)
Prespakis arrived at Carlton as pick No.3 in the 2018 AFLW draft, as one of the most highly-touted youngsters in the country.
A no-nonsense, combative midfielder, Prespakis has won awards wherever she’s played — including All-Australian selection and best-and-fairest honours in a premiership year.
She made one appearance in the NFNL in 2017, when she featured in Melbourne University’s Round 3 victory over Darebin.
Ashleigh Riddell (Eltham and Diamond Creek Women’s)
Riddell played junior football with Eltham and attended primary school with fellow AFL player Marcus Bontempelli.
She joined Diamond Creek Women’s for the 2017 VFLW season, and also made one appearance in the Creekers’ NFNL campaign.
Riddell joined Melbourne Uni for the 2018 VFLW season and assumed the club’s captaincy at just 22 years of age.
She was added to North Melbourne’s list as an open-age signing for the Kanagroos’ inaugural AFLW season.
Louise Stephenson (St Damian’s)
Stephenson was one of three priority players selected by Greater Western Sydney before the 2016 AFL Women’s draft.
Injury sidelined her for much of the inaugural AFLW season, before playing in the Giants’ final three matches.
Stephenson began her football career with St Damian’s and played in the Northern Football Netball League in 2011.
She finished equal-second in the Youth Girls best and fairest count and represented the league in the AFL Victoria Junior Metro Championships in her sole season in the NFL.
Stephenson has since played senior football with Melbourne University.