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‘Gill was clean-shaven when this started’: AFL world, new draftees reacts to mammoth draft night

There were sliders and bolters in this year’s AFL Draft, but the biggest talking point for many centred around its length - even for the draftees themselves.
There were sliders and bolters in this year’s AFL Draft, but the biggest talking point for many centred around its length - even for the draftees themselves.

Despite a dearth of picks compared to years past, the 2020 edition of the draft went long into the night as clubs matched bids and traded a jaw-dropping number of picks to jostle for elite young talent.

So lengthy was the event that two late draftees, West Coast’s Isiah Winder and Greater Western Sydney’s Cam Fleeton, weren’t exactly waiting with bated breath to hear their names called out.

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Fleeton, taken with Pick 58, had been getting ready to wait for the Rookie Draft.

“I was pretty tired to start with, and I wasn’t expecting it to go for that long,” he told K Rock.

“After a few clubs started passing, I thought it was going to be over, and I was going to wait for the Rookie Draft.

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“(Manager) Scott Lucas called me, and I didn’t know what he was talking about. He said ‘congratulations’, and I was just going along with it. But then my phone blew up a bit more, and I had a few calls.”

For Winder, who was taken just one pick earlier with Pick 57, had also begun to get ready for bed, but he still kept his eyes open to realising his AFL dream.

Could be the AFL have unintentionally introduced a draft for 19 year olds by the time it's finished.

— peter ryan (@petryan) December 9, 2020

Gill was actually cleanshaven when the broadcast began

— Daniel Cherny
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