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Three Panthers Selected in AFL Rookie Draft

Three Panthers Selected in AFL Rookie Draft

29 November 2016

By MATT SAMPSON | Twitter @msamps23

A pair of Panthers will be heading to the Power while a talented young tall is now a Bomber after Brett Eddy, Emmanuel Irra and Sam Draper were selected in the AFL Rookie Draft.

High-flying Eddy was selected by Port Adelaide with the 26th pick of the 2017 Rookie Draft. The talented Panthers spearhead finally getting a well-deserved shot at the AFL after being overlooked after injuring his knee as a 21-year-old and again at the end of 2014.

Check out Brett Eddy's 2016 Ken Farmer Medal Highlights

"We are thrilled to see Brett get a chance at his AFL dream," said Panthers Chief Executive Officer, Neill Sharpe.

"Brett has been a fantastic player during his time at South Adelaide and has arguably been the best forward in the competition over the past couple seasons.

"There are not too many guys that get drafted at 27 years of age. For Brett, it is certainly a reward for effort over numerous years and we look forward to seeing him compete at the next level."

Check out some highlights from the "Excitement Machine"


Also heading to Alberton is Ugandan-born Irra, who will join the Power as a Category B Rookie (a special Rookie category designated for code-hoppers or international talents).

"Emmanuel has grown in leaps and bounds in his last few years at South Adelaide," said Sharpe.

"From a raw debutant in 2011, to Reserves Best and Fairest in 2014, League Most Improved Player in 2015 and selection in the initial SANFL State Squad in 2016, his development as a footballer is evident.

"He is an exciting player to watch and it is clear why he caught the eye of Port Adelaide. We wish him the best of luck with the Power."

Check out Sam's highlight reel below

Young Panther Sam Draper enjoyed a whirlwind start to his career at South Adelaide. A former soccer player, the 203cm ruckman became a Bomber (with the first pick of the Rookie Draft) after picking up a footy just nine months ago.
"Sam had a unique introduction to our talented player pathway, having joined us in March coming from a soccer background," said Panthers Talent Manager, Tony Bamford.

"He worked hard to gain the respect of his team mates and coaches in the first weeks. His transition to football was made easier by his thirst for knowledge and feedback, which made him very coachable.

"He started out playing as a tall defender to allow him an opportunity to see the game from behind the ball initially. He was always destined to end up in the ruck due to his size and mobility. His athleticism is great for his size, he has a sound skill base and is nice and competitive.

"He will learn a lot about ball movement styles, running patterns and defensive structures now he is in the AFL system.

"We wish him all the very best."

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