Bushrangers on the radar

August 10, 2017

Murray Bushrangers talent Laitham Vandermeer (pictured) and teammates Daniel Johnston and Tom Boyd have been selected to attend the AFL state draft combines.

Laitham Vandermeer, Daniel Johnston and Tom Boyd will form part of the 96 players to attend AFL state draft combines in October.

The Murray Bushrangers trio will join teammates Jy Lane, Doulton Langlands and Alex Paech in taking part in the physical and mental testing.

Northern Territory Thunder star Francis Kinthari, who started this season at Euroa, will attend as part of the Rookie Me combine.

In its innagural year, 23 players will form a part of the additional combine that includes VFL players that have still shown interest from AFL clubs.

Due to too many numbers taking part in the state comnbine at Etihad stadium, the additional testing will be at another venue.

The Victorians will head to Etihad Stadium on October 6 and 7 for the event, that incorporates the final day of the National AFL combine where Shepparton’s Jordon Butts has already been invited to attend.

Murray coach Leon Higgins said it was great news for the club.

‘‘I think it’s a really positive thing for all the boys and shows that numerous AFL clubs have seen something for the boys and wanted to see them at the state combine,’’ he said.

Vandermeer has been busy focusing on school football at Xavier College, with talent scouts heading to the APS matches and viewing the Mooroopna talent.

‘‘Laitham’s played more school footy than with us, but we’ve had discussions with AFL recruiters and they like what they see, he’s a good kick that has good run and carry skills,’’ Higgins said.

While Johnston has been on the eyes of recruiters across the season, he has only enhanced his chances of being drafted with a string of superb performances in the second half of the TAC Cup season.

The Barooga tall has kicked 18 goals across the past three rounds as he tops the competition’s goalkicking tally.

‘‘Daniel formed part of the Allies during nationals and although he didn’t play a game, he was on the radar and certainly the last two or three games have helped,’’ Higgins said.

Boyd has shown his versatility this season with the swingman transferring from Picola United to Nathalia this season.

Mansfield’s James Cousins has debuted for Hawthorn this year with Albury’s Lachie Tiziani on Greater Western Sydney’s list having been two of Murray Bushrangers representatives at last year’s state combines.

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