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Demons draft rower, American footballer

MELBOURNE: Fitzroy emerged the clear winner while Melbourne unveiled the surprises from yesterday's first VFL internal

draft held at VFL House.

All 14 clubs had to make four selections in reverse order to the 1988 premiership table and Fitzroy snared four players from other clubs while most teams opted for younger players.

.Melbourne produced two of the surprises of the draft by naming former Collingwood defender Danny Seow as its first selection and Olympic rower James Tomkins as its


Seow last played for Collingwood two years ago before heading to the United States to pursue a career as a kicker in College football.

Tomkins was in the eight that won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1986 and came fifth at the Seoul Olympics but he is taking some time away from rowing be fore the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Melbourne coach John Northey says the six foot six (200cm) Tomkins, now 23 years-old, played football at leading Mel

bourne school Carey Grammar and has the raw potential to play VFL football.

Tomkins was part of a Hawthorn junior squad several years ago and Northey said he was already at the club along with the other

three selections.

"The four boys are at the club and have been training for a number of weeks so they've fitted right in," Northey said. . •

"James is very raw, but he's big, and he's showed us enough to say he could be able to go on with it so we picked him up."

Fitzroy did well out of the draft by sccu^ ing West Coast Eagle pair Wally Matera and Kevin Caton as well as Essendon rejects Peter Bourke and Dean Lupson.

The Lions are desperately short on run ning players and coach Rod Austin said the club would benefit greatly from rover Ma tera and wingman Caton after the pair left West Coast.

"We are very happy about our selections, because we lack rovers while Kevin is versa tile and we can swing him about," Austin said.

"They've both been training with the Ea

gles so their fitness is not a problem and we hope to have them playing in a trial against Footscray on the weekend.

"Obviously they will have to get to know their teammates, but they were the two play ers we wanted and it's good to get them."

Wooden spooner St Kilda nominated for mer Essendon defender Brian Winton as its

first pick to fill the gap left by the injured

Peter McConville who is out for the season with an achilles injury.

The Brisbane Bears named former West Coast Eagles' rover John Gastev after.he had a falling out with coach John Todd, while Geclong named 1987 All-Australian centre half-back Andrew Rogers as the sixth selection of the draft.

Rogers has returned to South Australia after he was sacked by Essendon but Gee long coach Malcolm Blight coached Rogers during his entire senior career in Adelaide. Team manager Gary Fletcher said the Cats were confident Blight could lure his former pupil to Geelong.

Of the players available who had previ ously played VFL football, Collingwood

opted for another former Eagle, ccntreman Murray Wrcnstcd.

The Sandover medallist had planned to play in the WAFL this year but Collingwood president Allan McAlister said Wrenstcd , would be coming to Victoria.

The Eagles also assisted Richmond when the Tigers chose two youngsters — Jeremy Crough and Matthew Richardson — who were drafted to the Eagles last November but did not make the senior list.

Richmond general manager Cameron Schwab said the Tigers were keen to secure the two young Victorian country footballers and they would be at the club within the next few days.

"It was very hard for them to go all the way to Perth from the country so .they arc pretty happy to join us and their mothers arc also pretty happy they're back in Victoria,"

Schwab said.

Footscray used its first pick for Carlton's Mark Williams, the Sydney Swans took ex Hawthorn youngster Robert Teal, and Es sendon selected Brian Hinkley.

The Eagles went for tradition by naming

Shane Cable, the son of former NorthMel bournc champion Barry Cable, while Carl-. ton chose promising VFA youngster, Simon


Of the 52 selections made,'former Swan Michael Lockman and ex-North Melbourne defender John Holt were both not drafted after the pair were the first two to nominate themselves for the draft. ! □STREAMLINING VFL Tribunal hear ings and taking the umpires' image upmar ket were just two topics to come under the microscope at a top-level meeting of foot-; ball bodies at VFL House. ;

The VFL presented a comprehensive re port on its current activities to the VFA and the country, metropolitan and amateur foot* ball associations. {

Apart from tribunals and umpires, the progress of a South Australian team joining the VFL, player contracts, the draft, laws of the game and drugs in football were also discussed. The standardisation of tribunal proceedings within the different football or: ganisations was also discusscd, but this may not go ahead. »

Digitisation generously supported by
Mr Ryan Stokes
Digitisation generously supported by
Mr Ryan Stokes