Three Territorians have been selected to attend the 2017 AFL Victorian Draft Combine in Melbourne on Sunday 8 October.
Francis Kinthari, Tony Olango and Kieren Parnell from the AFLNT State Academy will travel to Etihad Stadium for testing conducted by AFL High-Performance Manager Paul Sealy.
Kinthari and Olango have both played senior football for NT Thunder in the NEAFL this year and Olango is on the Hawthorn Football Club list as part of the Next Generation Academy program.
Parnell suffered a serious ACL injury playing in the NTFL Premier League for St Mary’s in the 2015/16 grand final and reinjured his knee in June when making a comeback for SANFL club North Adelaide’s under-18s team.
Kinthari hails from the remote community of Wadeye, 400kms southwest of Darwin, while Olango and Parnell are both from Darwin.
It is unlikely Parnell will have recovered in time to test come October but AFLNT High-Performance Manager Wally Gallio said it was a credit to his determination to have been selected at all.
“Kieren has great potential and won’t give up that easily so if he doesn’t get to test this year he will hopefully still meet clubs and take part. I am sure everyone around him will do the best they can to support him and make sure he is fit and ready to go when the time is right.
“It is a credit to Francis and Tony that they have put in strong performances at NTFL and NEAFL level to give themselves this opportunity,” Gallio said.
The state combine invites are in addition to the ones received by Zac Bailey and Adam Sambono who were selected to attend the National NAB AFL Draft Combine in October.