TAC Under-18 competition proves the best pathway into AFL

WHILE new research reveals the average age of AFL draftees is on the rise with the recruitment of more mature-age players, the TAC Cup under-18 competition remains the most likely Victorian pathway to an AFL senior list.

Louis Herbert impressed in last year’s National AFL Under-18 Championships and was picked by the Gold Coast Suns in the rookie draft.

Louis Herbert impressed in last year’s National AFL Under-18 Championships and was picked by the Gold Coast Suns in the rookie draft.

In most cases this means via selection for Vic Country or Vic Metro.

There have been youngsters who have missed out on wearing the Big V and still managed to get drafted.

However, the best way to be noticed – if they haven’t already come to the attention of AFL club selectors – is through the national under-18 carnival.

Draft speculation has already begun, with the national championships set to begin on Sunday, when Vic Country and Vic Metro clash in a division one game at Princes Park, Carlton.

There is sure to be enormous interest from talent scouts in the opener as the state’s best under-18s go on show.

South Australia and Western Australia will compete the first round in division one in Adelaide on May 24.

There will be speculation from the outset as youngsters have their cards marked in all aspects of the game.

In some cases, it will make no difference what they do in the carnival, but there will be many who know their hopes of realising the dream of reaching the big time rests on what they do in championships.

Any sport is cut-throat at the top and these titles are no exception.

NATHAN Brown remains on the outer at Collingwood.

Brown, who hurt his shoulder in round two against the Sydney Swans, will miss out again after not being on the Magpies’ flight to Adelaide for their Thursday night clash with Adelaide Crows.

DANNY Frawley has resigned as AFL Coaches Association chief executive.

The former St Kilda captain and Richmond coach stepped down from the position on Wednesday amid a review of the association’s operations.

“I am proud of the many achievements of the AFL Coaches Association under my leadership and in particular the establishment of the many programs designed to assist with the professional development of coaches,” Frawley said in a statement.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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