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He’s on AFL radar, no Butts about it

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July 28, 2017

Murray Bushrangers coach Leon Higgins.

Jordon Butts is the Goulburn Valley’s sole invitee to this year’s AFL draft combine.

The Shepparton swingman is one of four Murray Bushrangers who will go through the rigorous testing from October 3 to 6.

Harrison Jones (Wodonga Bulldogs) and Ben Paton (North Albury) will join Butts at the combine along with highly touted Charlie Spargo (Albury Tigers), despite being out for the rest of the TAC Cup season with a shoulder injury.

While Butts was one of the Bushrangers’ most consistent defenders to start the season, he was used as a forward for Victoria Country in the under-18 National Championships.

Murray coach Leon Higgins said it was likely the 195cm teenager would spend more time in attack, giving AFL scouts increased time to see him in both positions.

‘‘We like to showcase him at both ends of the ground, he’s been marking really effectively at both ends, so we’ll give him a couple of weeks as a forward,’’ Higgins said.

‘‘He’s a laid-back, quiet sort of person, but certainly in a game he applies himself.’’

During the Bushies’ most recent game at Deakin Reserve, Butts put on show his versatility in front of a home crowd, swinging forward to kick the final goal of the game.

Butts will take part in a reformed version of the combine, which has scrapped the beep test and the 3km time trial from its list of testing methods.

The endurance run will be 2km and 20m shuttle runs that include a 10-second break in between will replace the beep test.

Higgins said the focus for the players would remain on the TAC Cup season before they prepared the players for the October testing.

‘‘It’s kind of a reward for them, but at this stage we’ll put it in the back pocket and once the season’s finished we’ll make sure the boys are well trained,’’ he said.

Butts is among the 25 Victorian Country players invited to the event and one of the overall 83 potential AFL players who will showcase their speed and agility at the combine.

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