TAC Cup draftees in JLT Series week 4
12 TAC Cup players selected in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft appeared for their new clubs in the final dress rehearsals before the AFL season kicks off on Thursday March 23.
In total, 30 of the 58 TAC Cup players selected in the 2016 AFL and Rookie Drafts or as pre-selected rookies played at least one game in the JLT Community Series.
* See which players appeared in the first three weeks of the JLT Community Series under ‘Related content’ at the bottom of the page.
With Sydney runners Isaac Heeney, Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh under injury clouds heading into the home-and-away season, former Sandringham Dragons mid-forward Oliver Florent (pictured - pick no.11 in the AFL Draft) is in the frame for an opening-round debut after making his third pre-season appearance for the Swans on Sunday. Florent recorded 16 disposals, 10 contested possessions, three clearances and three tackles in 59 per cent game time during Sydney’s three-point victory over St Kilda in Albury.
Fellow 2016 Dragons premiership player Tim Taranto (pick no.2) is another who looks set to debut early in the AFL season, impressing for a third consecutive match in GWS’ 38-point win against North Melbourne in Canberra on Friday night. The mid-forward had 17 disposals, eight contested possessions and five tackles in 79 per cent game time, and – with Giants recruit Brett Deledio likely to miss the opening rounds of the season through injury – could step straight into the premiership favourites’ line-up inside 50.
Ex-Murray Bushrangers forward Jy Simpkin (pick no.12) showed some spark for North Melbourne in the same game, his second of the JLT Series. Simpkin picked up 14 disposals and kicked a goal from 72 per cent game time in the loss, and could benefit from the Kangaroos’ likely turn towards youth in 2017 with early-season appearances at senior level.
Other TAC Cup AFL draftees to appear in week 4 of the JLT Community Series were:
- Ben Ainsworth (pick no.4 from the Gippsland Power): three disposals, four tackles and one goal in 60 per cent game time for Gold Coast;
- Will Brodie (no.9 from Murray): three disposals in 15 per cent game time for Gold Coast;
- Sean Darcy (no.38 from the Geelong Falcons): three disposals and seven hitouts in 33 per cent game time for Fremantle;
- Jordan Gallucci (no.15 from the Eastern Ranges): six disposals in 60 per cent game time for Adelaide;
- Cedric Cox (no.24 from the GWV Rebels): nine disposals and one goal in 50 per cent game time for Brisbane;
- Joe Atley (no.32 from the Bendigo Pioneers): 14 disposals and eight contested possessions in 53 per cent game time for Port Adelaide;
- Harry Morrison (no.74 from Murray): one disposal in 18 per cent game time for Hawthorn;
- Andrew McGrath (no.1 from Sandringham): seven disposals in 49 per cent game time for Essendon; and
- Josh Begley (no.31 from Eastern): nine disposals in 69 per cent game time for Essendon.