Willem Drew is in the mix as a top pick

North Ballarat Rebels midfielder Willem Drew is a no-nonsense footballer.

As one of the TAC Cup’s premier inside midfielders, Drew made a habit out of racking up big numbers across the season.

CONTESTED BALL: Willem Drew pounces on the loose ball in the Rebels clash with Geelong Falcons and is expected to be drafted on Friday.

CONTESTED BALL: Willem Drew pounces on the loose ball in the Rebels clash with Geelong Falcons and is expected to be drafted on Friday.

Drew’s numbers underline his reputation. 22.7 disposals, 13 of which were contested, 6.9 clearances and 7.4 tackles a game saw Drew named in the Rebels best in all bar one of his 15 TAC Cup matches.

The 18-year-old said he was not sure what to expect at the start of the season, but a strong summer ensured he hit the ground running and produced a stellar season, including selection for Vic Country in the under-18 national championships, which has him in contention as a top 30 pick.

“At the start of the season I wasn’t sure what to expect from myself or the season. I put in a pretty big preseason and worked on my fitness base and skills and it held me in good stead for the season,” Drew said.

“If I was to get the opportunity (to play AFL), hopefully the inside midfield would be where I’d be aiming to go – but anywhere in the midfield really.”

Drew did not take part in all the national combine tests due to a niggling injury, but impressed in the 3km time trial. He said the combine was a great experience to chat to clubs and get an insight into the AFL scene.

Drew will watch Friday’s AFL national draft at home with his family and admits the nerves have been gaining momentum in the lead-up.

“I’m definitely nervous, but excited at the same time, there’s mixed feelings, but I’ll have to wait and see what happens on the night.”