AFL Riverina talent miss out on Draft for first time in more than a decade

UNLUCKY: Brendan Myers at home in Wagga last week. Picture: Kieren L Tilly
UNLUCKY: Brendan Myers at home in Wagga last week. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

AFL Riverina talent has been overlooked at the draft table for the first time in more than a decade.

A disappointing AFL Draft on Friday night was made worse on Monday evening when the region’s brightest prospects were again overlooked, this time in the Rookie Draft.

It was a cruel blow for the AFL dreams of Wagga Tigers young gun Brendan Myers and talented Griffith ruckman Nathan Richards.

Both men had received strong interest from AFL clubs. The interest in Myers was highlighted by his invite to the AFL Combine last month, where he was interviewed by Greater Western Sydney, Hawthorn and Melbourne.

It is the first time in more than a decade that no products from AFL Riverina have been drafted and comes at a time when player development has never been higher with the Giants Academy.

Nathan Richards

Nathan Richards

Both Myers and Richards plan to play at state league level next year.

Myers sensationally won Wagga Tigers senior best and fairest last year, from just eight games in what was a premiership season.

He represented NSW-ACT and the Allies this year, while also winning a NEAFL Rising Star nomination while playing for the Giants.

Myers told The Daily Advertiser last week he was curious to learn his footballing fate.

“I’m probably more curious than anything else,” Myers said.

“I’m not going to get my hopes up. Fingers crossed, but I’m not really too sure.”

Richards moved to Sydney this season with the help of the Giants but struggled with injuries.

He told The Area News on the weekend that he hoped to find a home through the Rookie Draft.

“I had my fingers crossed on Friday, but I hadn’t played that many games this season so I wasn’t super confident… I hadn’t had much of a chance to impress the talent scouts,” he said. 

“I’m a lot more confident about being picked on Monday night.

““If it doesn’t work out on Monday, I have a Plan B… I'll look to play in the NEAFL”.