THREE North Ballarat Rebels will embark on AFL careers after being selected in last night's national draft.Richmond picked David Astbury and Matt Dea, while reigning premier Geelong swooped on Josh Cowan.Astbury from Tatyoon near Ararat was picked with selection number 35.The Tigers secured Dea, of Mildura, at their next opportunity with pick 44.Cowan from Daylesford went to Geelong at 56.Rebels regional manager Phil Partington said having three youngsters recruited through the draft was an excellent outcome for the region. Partington attended the draft in Melbourne and spoke to Richmond and Geelong officials immediately after selections were completed."They're rapt," he said."Richmond was very keen on David Astbury. They thought he might have gone earlier."They had also shown real interest in Matt Dea for some time."There was always a big chance he'd go there (to Richmond)," Partington said.He said he was confident Cowan would be drafted, but it was difficult to know who would pick him.All three followed the draft at home with families - Astbury with father Craig, mother Kate, and sisters Claire, 20, and Zoe 13; Dea with father Geoff, mother Jillian and sister Rebecca, 14; and Cowan with father Steven, mother Jenny, sister Maddy, 16, and brother Joel, 12.Astbury said he was overwhelmed."I was in the kitchen when my name came up."I left the room in an ad break and it came back quicker than I thought."His mother broke the news.Astbury said Richmond had telephoned him yesterday to inform him of its intention to draft him.Astbury said getting the call was exciting, but he did not expect to be picked so early.He said it was taking a while to sink in.Dea said he was struggling to come to terms with it."I can't believe it. It's unreal," he said.Dea was focused on carving out a basketball career at the start of this year."It's a massive turn of events."He said he had been extremely nervous before being drafted."It was a real shock when my name came up."I thought I was a rookie at best - I still can't believe it."I just want to get to training," Dea said.Cowan, who listened to the draft on radio, said being drafted by Geelong was a big shock.He said Geelong had visited him at home in the lead up, but going to the Cats had still "come out of the blue"."I'm at a loss what to think. "I'm struggling to come to terms with it. I'm on cloud nine."Cowan said he was happy to going to a club so close to home.The Rebels' other draft hopefuls Andrew Hooper, Oliver Tate and Marcus Darmody will get another chance to join an AFL club in the rookie draft on Tuesday, December 15.