Rebel rising to top of draft boards

Aaron Cadman could be a history-making No. 1 draft pick for the GWV Rebels.
Aaron Cadman could be a history-making No. 1 draft pick for the GWV Rebels.

This time last year the Greater Western Victoria Rebels were flirting with the idea of three first-round draftees, now, the Rebels program is dealing with the possibility that 2022 graduate Aaron Cadman could be the first player selected in this year's draft.

Cadman has risen up draft boards this year after a break-out NAB League season with the Rebels, rocketing from talks of being a first-round selection into now being touted as one of the best players in the draft.

The towering key forward, who is still growing at 196 centimetres tall, spent the weekend at Marvel Stadium with fellow Rebels teammates Hugh Bond and James Van Es for the AFL Draft Combine, in which Cadman became the talk of the town after Greater Western Sydney publicly expressed its interest in the Darley junior.

The Giants hold three first-round selections and are eager to orchestrate a trade with North Melbourne, which boasts pick one, to secure Cadman, who has been likened to another Rebels graduate in Jeremy Cameron.

"It's a privilege to be compared to those guys but at the end of the day I'm my own player and I can always steal bits and parts of their game," Cadman said.


Former North Melbourne player David King told FOX Footy he would be "disappointed" if his former club traded away the possibility of taking Cadman.

"How hard is it to go and get a (Harry) McKay out of Carlton or (Charlie) Curnow out of Carlton? We've seen clubs like Fremantle wander around for years to try and land that Matthew Pavlich replacement. They're impossible to get," King said.

"If you've got that pick in your hand and you trade that pick out when this guy is sitting there and he becomes a hall of fame type centre-half forward, the feedback is enormous."

The 241-game North Melbourne legend said Cadman was exactly the sort of player the Kangaroos need after infamously drafting midfielder Will Phillips over key forward Logan McDonald in the 2020 AFL Draft.

"The centre half forward, it's a piece you can't find anywhere else," he said.

Cadman booted 34 goals in 12 NAB League games this year en route to winning the Rebels best-and-fairest, along with selection for Vic Country and the NAB League team-of-the-year, both which Cadman earned the role of vice-captain.

The 18-year-old thrived on the big stage throughout the National Championships, kicking 10 goals across Vic Country's four matches including three in the grand final against Vic Metro.