It was great news for Northern Territory footy when Zac Bailey was called at pick number 15 by the Brisbane Lions and NT Thunder premiership player, Dom Barry went to Port Adelaide with pick number 61 at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.
Eighteen-year-old Bailey was relatively unknown to recruiters 12 months ago, before he starred for the NT Academy U18s and was selected for the Allies at the NAB AFL U18 Championships earlier this year.
Bailey, who attends boarding school in South Australia, also earned himself U18 All-Australian honours and his value increased.
Brisbane Lions National Recruitment Manager Stephen Conole said the Lions had been watching Bailey for a few months.
“He’s had a huge year, he’s had to balance his school footy, his SANFL footy with Norwood, he’s played for NT and he’s played for the Allies. He’s got genuine pace. His ability to get in and out of traffic is elite. I’m sure he’ll become a solid midfielder in the AFL,” Conole said.
AFLNT High Performance Manager Wally Gallio said he wasn't surprised that Bailey was taken at number 15.
"He talked to all 18 clubs so we knew he was going to go somewhere between one and 30, so to go at 15 to Brisbane is a credit to him, the way he went about his football this year and the way he produced results on the field and the way he managed himself off the field," Gallio said.
A little further down the order on the night there was a delight when Dom Barry had his name called by Port Adelaide.
Twenty-three-year-old Barry is a mature rookie who played five games for the Melbourne Football Club in 2014.
A Federals player from Alice Springs and with 15 NT Thunder games to his name, including the 2015 NEAFL premiership, Barry caught the attention of Port Adelaide recruiters playing with Glenelg in the SANFL in 2017.
Port Adelaide National Recruiting Manager Geoff Parker said Barry would add pace to the team.
"“He brings genuine speed on the outside, he’s a consistent ball-winner who carries the ball and delivers it long inside 50," Parker said.
On Barry, Gallio said it was great news for Barry to have earned another opportunity.
"Dom has shown he can play inside and outside the contest and there's no doubting his kicking on his left side is elite," Gallio said.
As for the other NT prospects, Gallio said there was still the NAB AFL Rookie Draft to come on Monday and anything could happen.