In a huge year for Tanunda footballer Jez McLennan, he was among 13 SANFL footballers at the 2018 AFL Draft Combine held last week at Marvel Stadium (Etihad Stadium) in Melbourne.
Now in 33rd year, the Combine, along with having a medical assessment of each player, test the very elite footballers from across Australia who are candidates in the 2018 AFL Draft – November 22 and 23.
This year is regarded as a super-draft this year because they breadth and depth of talent in the pool.
The combine was an important part of the process in these young football talents dreams of being added to AFL lists.
A 183cm – the medium defender, who turned 18 on September 7 – is noted for his strong intercept marking and ability distributed the ball by hand and foot.
Also acknowledged for his courage, McLennan can play on a range of opponents both tall and small and had a superb Under 18 National Championships, playing a significant role in the title victory and winning All-Australian honours.
He also played senior football four Central Districts debuting in the round 15 game against Adelaide and playing five SANFL league games.
During the combine, the player, after medical assessments, players had both a goal kicking and field kicking tests on Wednesday evening at the stadium. On Thursday there were agility, standing and running vertical leap tests in the morning, along with the 20 metre sprints.
That afternoon the players completed the taxing Yo-Yo test, which has taken over from the infamous endurance “Beep” test. The testing culminated with a two-kilometre time trial on Friday.
McLennan had a top 10 placing in the Yo-Yo test, with a 21.4 time and ran a six minute, 18 second 2km time trial.
“I previously run a 22.1 and 21.8 in the Yo-Yo test, so I was aiming pretty high,” McLennan told the Barossa Herald.
“I still have plenty to go and the early mistake maybe cost me a little. In the 2km time trial my 6.18 was a personal best as my previous highest result was 6.23.
“It a pretty exciting race and got pretty competitive near the end.
“I was reasonably satisfied with my field kicking test although there were some issues with the surface. We won’t talk about the goal kicking as I’ve only actually kick two goals in the last two years of footy
McLennan confirmed that he had spoken to 15 clubs so far and had 12 interviews across course of the Combine. He has two weeks of Year 12 studies at Nuriootpa High to complete and a Physical Education exam, and will be looking to rest physically over the next month before the national draft.
Central District team mate Jackson Hately, from Trinity College, also participated in the draft combine while Eudunda-Robertstown lad Aaron Nietschke will be at the SA state screening this Saturday to be held at PAC Red Centre.