Rebels See Success In Gillette AFL Trade Period
The Gillette AFL Trade Period has delivered the AFL dream to two of the North Ballarat Rebels most exciting players in midfielder Dominic Barry and livewire small forward Jake Neade.
Barry, a left-footed, run-and-carry midfielder had a terrific TAC Cup season for North Ballarat, developing into just the type of player and person the Rebels hierarchy knew he could be from the moment he arrived at the Rebels.
Barry was rewarded for his efforts in the TAC Cup and NAB Under-18 Championships by being traded to AFL club, Melbourne, as part of a zone-selection deal with Greater Western Sydney, who had first dibs on the exciting speedster from the Northern Territory.
During the Rebels’ finals campaign, Barry saved his best performances for last, showing some spectacular flashes of brilliance in both games, including many long, bouncing runs from half-back to half-forward, which no doubt caught the eye of the AFL recruiters in attendance.
It is no secret that Barry possesses incredible pace and has a natural ability to simply glide across the turf when going on one of his trademark runs with the ball.
Barry also had a strong state championships series, averaging over 18 disposals and a goal a game for the Northern Territory across their five matches.
Teammate and close friend, Jake Neade, also benefitted during the trade period from Greater Western Sydney’s ability to trade NT zone selections, being traded to Port Adelaide to finally grant him his wish of playing AFL football.
Neade has had a slightly more high-profile junior career thus far, starring for the Northern Territory in the state championships. In fact, his performance was so impressive he took home the Harrison Medal this year for being the best player from Division Two in the Championships.
Over his five games for the Northern Territory he averaged over 18 disposals and three goals a game, making him a nightmare for opposition defences to curtail.
A livewire forward with defensive skills in the mould of Cyril Rioli, the pint-sized Neade had a knack for making the obscene seem routine in front of goal at North Ballarat. With his sixth sense of reading the ball off a pack and ability to snag a goal from seemingly nothing, Neade has been an important part of the Rebels’ line-up for the past two years.
Both Neade and Barry have also enjoyed success as part of St. Patrick’s College school football team, which has taken out the Herald Sun Shield for the past two years.
With Neade and Barry already off to AFL clubs, the door is open for many other Rebels players to realise their dreams of becoming AFL footballers in the upcoming National and Rookie Drafts to be held in November and December.
With the Rebels boasting more draft combine invitees than any other junior club in the country, the club is well placed to have its biggest draft year since the club’s inception, which would be a fantastic result for everyone involved with the club.