Former Diamond Creek junior Lachlan Murphy and Fitzroy Stars half-back Derek Smith have both made their way onto AFL lists ahead of Wednesday’s final club list lodgement deadline.
Murphy was selected by Adelaide with pick No. 38 in Monday’s rookie draft after an impressive debut season with the Crows’ SANFL team.
A star junior footballer at Diamond Creek, Murphy represented the league at under-13, under-14 and under-15 level.
He was overlooked in last year’s draft despite a standout season in the TAC Cup for the Northern Knights, where he claimed the club’s best and fairest.
Murphy 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 games to finish fourth in the best and fairest award. He also won the Dean Bailey Award as the club’s most dedicated development player.
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) November 27, 2017
Playing across half-back, Murphy ranked second for effective kicks and rebound 50s at the club, and finished third for marks and disposals. Despite standing at 178cm, he also impressed with his strong overhead marking.
Adelaide recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie said Murphy deserved to be the first-ever player drafted from the club’s SANFL team.
“We sold Lachie a little carrot (and said) there was a small percentage chance that we might pick him as a rookie,” Ogilvie told AFC.com.au.
“We set him a few goals to go away with over the break. To his credit, he pretty much achieved those and showed he was dead keen to give it a crack.
“(Senior coach Don Pyke) was a really big rap for him, and keen to bring him in and give him a go.”
Derek Smith was added to Richmond’s list as a Category B rookie, with the premier using its first-ever selection in the Next Generation Academy Program.
— Richmond FC ?? (@Richmond_FC) November 27, 2017
Smith joined the Tigers’ 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 this year, as well as making two appearances for the Fitzroy Stars late in the season.
Smith impressed across half-back in his five VFL appearances, with his field kicking one of his key strengths.
“Derek is a talented Indigenous footballer who has gone from strength to strength since he became engaged in our NGA and VFL programs,” Richmond general manager – football talent Dan Richardson told the club website.
The Northern Football Netball League congratulates both Lachlan and Derek on being selected and wishes them well on their AFL journey.