Appleby only GWV Rebel selected in AFL rookie draft

Greater Western Victoria Rebels defender Flynn Appleby will pursue an AFL career with Collingwood.

The Magpies selected Appleby in the rookie draft on Monday.

They used pick six, the first of their three selections, to secure the 18-year-old from Cohuna.

AFL CAREER: Flynn Appleby will join Collingwood after impressing with the GWV Rebels.

AFL CAREER: Flynn Appleby will join Collingwood after impressing with the GWV Rebels.

Appleby had trained with Collingwood's VFL team for the past three weeks. 

He was the only 2017 Rebels player taken in the rookie draft.

Appleby joins GWV teammate Lloyd Meek, who was recruited by Fremantle in the national draft on Friday, on a AFL list for 2018.

Although Appleby did not attend either national or state combines leading up to the drafts, he impressed with his defensive efforts in TAC Cup under-18 games late in the season and was selected in an AFL “Young Guns” exhibition game.

He was a boarder at Ballarat Clarendon College when he first moved to Ballarat. 

Appleby lived with Meek and Rebels captain Callan Wellings this year, working at the Ballarat Yacht Club.

He represented the Rebels in the Vic Country under-16 carnival before graduating to the TAC Cup.

He progressed from Cohuna under-16s and then in Ballarat Football League under-18.5s was aligned with Ballarat Swans in 2015 and North Ballarat City in 2016.

Former Rebel Dallas Willsmore was redrafted by Hawthorn after being delisted at the end of last season.

He will enter his fourth season with the Hawks after being acquired with pick 34.

Originally from Walpeup-Underbool, Willsmore was selected as a rookie in 2014, but but had to wait until this to make his AFL debut. He has made two AFL appearances.

Appleby and Willsmore were among 36 players added to clubs' rookie lists via the rookie draft, which lasted just 10 minutes.

Under new rules rookies will be able to play in round one without needing to be elevated or wait for a teammate to be placed on the long-term injury list.