Sons prepare to follow in their fathers footsteps

AFTER a thin year for father-son selections last year with just five players selected in 2016, the next two seasons will provide plenty of interest as to whether a number of household names can follow in their father’s footsteps and play AFL football.

Josh Daicos and Callum Brown made their way to Collingwood last year, while Jake Waterman was picked up with the final pick of the AFL National Draft. Adelaide won the heart of Ben Jarman in the rookie draft, while Sam Simpson headed to Geelong.

2018 will be particularly of interest with as many as 15 eligible father-son selections, including a number of which are tied to various northern academies, making the nomination process that bit more interesting. In 2017 however, there are a number of familiar names, led by Patrick Naish and Jackson Edwards.

Naish is the son of Richmond forward Chris who represented the yellow and black on 143 occasions, booting 212 goals from 1990-1997. Chris also played 18 games for Port Adelaide over the next two seasons. His son has already impressed as a bottom-ager, patrolling the half-back line and showing signs he could become a quality player. He reads the ball well and positions himself accordingly. He is good overhead and is able to move well through traffic, which is what we hope to see more of in 2017. Naish played predominatly across half back for the Northern Knights, but it was at school football for Ivanhoe Grammar where Naish impressed in 2016 – showing his smarts inside 50 kicking goals and working through the inside of the midfield.

Edwards is the son of Adelaide stalwart Tyson, who nutted out a whopping 321 games, playing in the Crows’ two premierships in 1997-98. His son looks destined to pull on his dad’s former jumper at West Lakes. Edwards is a left footer with clean ball skills who has played most of his football for Glenelg on the outside or across half back. Edwards collected 19 disposals and kicked a goal in the Under 17 All-Stars game at Punt Road Oval on Grand Final day last year as one of Team O’Loughlin’s better players. In last weekend’s South Australian Under 18 trial, Edwards played more of a role on the inside of the midfield and pushing forward to take marks.

South Australian U18 Internal trial scouting notes

Lachlan Harris is another likely type, tied to Brisbane through father-son with dad Leon moving to the club as a part time scout following his time as Vic Country under 18s talent manager. Harris is on the Sandringham Dragons’ list and the small has the ability to play as either a small defender or a small forward. For his school Caulfield Grammar in 2016, Harris was mostly tasked with the role of kicking the ball out of defence. Harris has elite speed and was timed at 2.83s for the 20 metre sprint, coming in second place overall at TAC Cup testing in 2016. Harris has also spent time with the Lions over the summer.

Other eligible father-sons in 2017 include Josh Broderick who could join Naish at the Tigers and follow in dad Paul’s footsteps; Devlin Brereton is eligible to join Hawthorn with the Hawks the only one of three clubs father Dermott played enough games for during his famed career; Tyler Brown could join brother Callum at the Pies; and Liam Hickmott could forge a career in navy Blue should Carlton select the son of Adrian.

For Cats fans, 2018 could be a bumper draft with a record number of father-sons potentially available to the club. Oscar Brownless (Billy), Lochlan Hocking (Garry), Baxter Mensch (David) and Bailey Scott (Robert) could all don the dark blue and white hoops in 2019. However Scott might be more of a challenge to win over, with North Melbourne able to select him under father-son as well, while Scott is a member of the Gold Coast Academy too.

Speaking of North Melbourne, the Kangaroos could also be bolstered by a number of father-sons in 2018, with Nick Blakey (John) and Joel Crocker (Darren) both already looking like top-end prospects. Crocker will be only available to the Roos, but Blakey, like Scott has more than one potential home. Father John played enough games for Fitzroy and North to qualify for both the Kangaroos and the Lions while Blakey is a member of Sydney’s Academy.

If Brisbane can win over Blakey, then the Lions can match the Cats with four father-sons in 2018 given Jake Bradshaw (Daniel), James Rendell (Matt) and Casey Voss (Michael) are all eligible to head to Brisbane. Other father-sons include Mason Fletcher (Dustin, Essendon), Zac Hart (Adelaide, Ben), Will Hickmott (Adrian, Carlton), Will Kelly (Craig, Collingwood), Ben Silvagni (Stephen, Carlton) and possibly the top pick of the group along with Crocker, Rhylee West (Western Bulldogs, Scott).

2017 eligible:

Devlin Brereton (son of Dermott) Hawthorn

Josh Broderick (Paul) Richmond

Tyler Brown (Gavin) Collingwood

Jackson Edwards (Tyson) Adelaide

Lachlan Harris (Leon) Brisbane

Liam Hickmott (Adrian) Carlton

Connor McLeod (Andrew) Adelaide

Patrick Naish (Chris) Richmond

2018 eligible:

Nick Blakey (son of John) Brisbane/North/Sydney [2018]

Jake Bradshaw (Daniel) Brisbane [2018]

Oscar Brownless (Billy) Geelong [2018]

Joel Crocker (Darren) North [2018]

Mason Fletcher (Dustin) Essendon [2018]

Zac Hart (Ben) Adelaide [2018]

Will Hickmott (Adrian) Carlton [2018]

Lochlan Hocking (Garry) Geelong [2018]

Will Kelly (Craig) Collingwood [2018]

Oskar Manton (Glenn Carlton [2018]

Baxter Mensch (David) Geelong [2018]

James Rendell (Matt) Brisbane [2018]

Bailey Scott (Robert) North/Geelong/GC [2018]

Ben Silvagni (Stephen) Carlton [2018]

Casey Voss (Michael) Brisbane [2018]

Rhylee West (Scott) Western Bulldogs [2018]

Have we missed anyone? If we have – let us know @AFLDraftCentral

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