Sharks bite their way into the AFL system

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Beaumaris

With the recent AFL National Draft taking place, a number of VAFA clubs saw a sprinkling of their players drafted to AFL clubs. 

The VAFA would like to congratulate and recognise players who were recently drafted in this year’s National AFL Draft. 

A number of clubs saw former and current players drafted which included Beaumaris and Hampton Rovers

Beaumaris had three former players drafted with Cam Mackenzie, Liam Reidy and Will Edwards all drafted. 

Cam Mackenzie was picked up by Hawthorn with pick 7 and began his football career as a junior with the Sharks in the U/9’s. Mackenzie played 91 games with the Sharks as part of their junior program where he began in 2012. Mackenzie also played in a junior premiership with the club in his U/13 year playing in the midfield. 

The 188cm midfielder met with club great and current coach Sam Mitchell during the interview process, but hadn’t traded phone numbers until Monday night.

It meant after a few missed calls from an unknown number lobbed on the draftee’s phone on Monday night, Mackenzie’s new coach couldn’t resist a cheeky drive-by while the teenager was speaking to the media just moments after he’d been drafted.

“Any chance you can answer my calls?” Mitchell quipped while standing beside reporters and listening to Mackenzie answer a question about playing under the Brownlow Medallist.

The second draftee for Beaumaris was Liam Reidy who was selected by Fremantle at pick 13 in the rookie draft. Reidy played for the Sharks before he made the change from footy to basketball later in his teenage years. In his time at Beaumaris as a junior, Reidy played in a premiership in his U/13 year. 

Reidy’s father, Steve Reidy, also played at Beaumaris where he is remembered for his best on ground performance for the Sharks in their 1997 premiership win. When Reidy returned to footy he played with Frankston in the VFL in 2021 and 2022 as their no.1 ruckman. 

Will Edwards was the third former Shark snapped up in the draft. Edwards was preselected by the Sydney Swans via their academy. Edwards began his career with Beaumaris juniors in the U/9’s but later moved to Sydney with his family. Edwards is a tall defender and this year played four games in the VFL with the Swans reserves side. 

These three former Sharks will join the other ten former juniors already listed in the AFL and take the tally to thirteen while there are also three Beauy women in the AFLW, including Kate Hore who played in Melbourne’s AFLW Premiership team last weekend. We also had two retirees from AFL lists recently in Callum Sinclair (Sydney) & Tom Lynch (Nth Melb/Crows).

Other clubs to have players drafted were Hampton Rovers, and Ajax.

Hampton Rovers Olli Hotton was selected by St Kilda with pick 35 in the draft. 

Hotton had been with the Rovers since 2012 where he began his junior career. The 18-year-old played 113 games with Hampton including one game this year between his Sandringham Dragons commitments. Hotton received Vic Metro selection this year and impressed selectors with strong performances throughout the year. 

To find out more about Hotton and his journey to St Kilda, click here.

Meanwhile Harry Sheezel was taken at pick three by North Melbourne. Sheezel played junior footy at Ajax where his father also played over 150 games at the senior level. 

The VAFA congratulates all draftees their selections in both the National and Rookie Drafts and looks forward to following their careers.

Photo’s: Beaumaris Sharks, St Kilda FC & Hawthorn FC