Posted in Front Page News

By Brittany Shanahan

A plethora of young talent resides at the Sandringham Dragons and only time will tell whether seven former SMJFL players nominated in the 2013 National Draft will have their dreams come true.

The 2013 NAB AFL Draft will kick off on the Gold Coast on November 21 and Sandringham Dragons Talent Manager Ryan O’Connor shares his thoughts on the potential draftees and how they’ll fair in the draft:

Nathan Freeman

D.O.B: 16/6/1995

Height: 181cm

Weight: 85kg

Junior Club: Dingley

ROC says:  

“Excitement package! Nathan is a really good kid with a bubbly personality and he plays his footy a bit like that. He’s up and about, burst speed and takes the game on and I think he’s improved so much this season going from a draft pick to a potential top 10 draft pick. His work ethic and ability to improve has been taken to another level and he’s definitely on that upward curve. He’s prepared to do the work to make his mark. In the last year he has really developed a defensive side to his game, which has been the absolute upside to his game in the last 12 months.”


Josh Kelly 

D.O.B: 12/2/1995

Height: 182cm

Weight: 73kg 

Junior Club: East Brighton


“Josh has a very mature head on young shoulders. He has the ability to get things done and seems to make the right decision at the right time. His combination of really nice skills, good decision making and elite endurance will probably seem him poised to go at number two at this stage. Josh has got a real inner drive, quite personality but all about the team and not about himself.  I couldn’t be prouder of how he has gone about it and I think he has the right mentality to go into an AFL club and be part of the furniture for a number of years and do very well.”


Christian Salem

D.O.B: 15/7/1995

Height: 183cm

Weight: 82kg 

Junior Club: Hampton Rovers

ROC says: 

“Christien’s a player that could play forward, back and midfield. He’s exceptional above his head and there is a real physicality about his game and he doesn’t seem to need too many kicks to blow a game apart. He damages you when he gets the ball and I’m tipping he will be a top 10 selection.”


Karl Amon 

D.O.B: 19/8/95

Height: 180cm

Weight: 73kg 

Junior Club: East Sandringham & Hampton Rovers

ROC says: 

“He’s a fantastic speed and endurance athlete but probably needs a little bit more maturity and self-belief that he has got what it takes to be at that next level. I’m expecting him to be selected between pick 40 – 55.”


Alex Spencer 

D.O.B: 19/4/95

Height: 193cm

Weight: 83kg

Junior Club: East Brighton

ROC says: 

“Alex is a tall utility who has done really well to come back with his bottom age year wrecked by OP (osteitis pubis) and he’ll probably end up getting a home late in the draft or as a rookie but he has the ability to play at both ends of the ground which a number of clubs find quite appealing.”


Tom Langdon 

D.O.B: 19/4/95

Height: 189cm

Weight: 84g

Junior Club: Prahan 


ROC says:

“Tom’s added a few different strings to his game in terms of showing recruiters what he is able to do, with some of his midfield roles. He has had the determination to train hard again and put his nose to the grindstone and improve. He’s likely to go mid to late in this years draft.”


Lachlan Ritchie

D.O.B: 3/2/95

Height: 190cm

Weight: 80kg

Junior Club: St Peters & East Brighton


ROC says:

“There is some question marks on where he is going to slot in and play at AFL level because he is 191cm, not quite a key position defender but he isn’t a small either and really caught in-between. He really improved this season and caught everyone’s eye and I’m expecting Lachie to go as a late pick or rookie.”


Sandringham Dragons also have Cobden’s Zac Merrett nominated in this years draft and O’Connor believes he will be a top-20 draft pick. 

We’d like to wish our former SMJFL footballers all the best in Thursday night’s draft.