2017 AFL rookie draft: South Australian recruits

A number of South Australian players were picked up in the 2017 AFL rookie draft, held Monday, November 27, including former Mallee Park (Port Lincoln) player Lindsay Thomas.

The now 29-year-old former North Melbourne forward is going to Port Adelaide, after the Power selected him with pick 12.

Port Adelaide List Manager Jason Cripps explained Thomas continues Port Adelaide’s draft strategy of strengthening the club’s midfield and forward lines.

“In Lindsay we now have a proven goal-kicker who can add experience and depth to that part of the ground,” Cripps said.

Thomas played 205 games during 11 seasons with the Kangaroos, kicking 325 goals and winning the club’s goal-kicking award in 2010 and 2013.

In the traditional Port Adelaide jumper he played 38 SANFL underage games, 11 reserves match and six league games for the Port Adelaide Magpies before being selected by North Melbourne with pick 53 at the 2006 National Draft.

In a shock move Gold Coast Suns picked Central District mature aged midfielder 22-year-old Nick Holman with their second rookie selection.

The winner of the Norm Russell Medal, Holman is a 189cm strong-bodied midfielder.

“Nick is a super lad with a strong infectious personality,” long term Central District coach Roy Laird said.

“He’s really tough and deserved his opportunity.”

Other SA lads to get an opportunity included small man Stefan Giro from Norwood and Sturt premiership midfielder Patrick Wilson.

Giro, who has a strong work ethic, is moving west, rookie listed by the Dockers, while Double Blue Wilson is staying in Adelaide.

“They certainly recycled if a few players in the rookie draft,” SANFL talent manager Brenton Phillips explained.

“It was certainly intriguing what they went with.

“If you include (Northern Territory lad) Zac Bailey who played with Norwood, South Australia had 10 names called out in the main draft and another handful in the rookie.

It's exciting to see young men taken in the draft but on the flip side there are a number of dreams that were shattered during this period as well.

“For these guys it's about the strength of character now and their resilience moving forward.”

As expected Jackson Edwards was collected by the Crows under the father son-rule while the injury-ravaged Cameron Ellis-Yolmen got another chance on the rookie list.

Now 24, Ellis-Yolmen was first selected at number 64 in the 2011 national AFL draft.

Roxby Downs export Matthew Hayball from West Adelaide has another year as a Geelong Cat.

Another good news story is Lachlan Murphy, who came over to Adelaide to play in the SANFL state league competition and was collected by the Crows as a rookie.

A number of other prospects will now need to bide their time and impress in the SANFL, looking for more opportunities next year.

SA Players collected in the AFL Rookie Draft

Pick 12 - Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne) - Port Adelaide

Pick 17 - Patrick Wilson (Sturt) – Adelaide

Pick 19 - Nicholas Holman (Central District) - Gold Coast Suns

Pick 21 - Stefan Giro (Norwood) – Fremantle

Pick 30 - Matthew Hayball (West Adelaide) - Geelong Cats

Pick 31 - Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (Woodville West Torrens) – Adelaide

Pick 38 - Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL) – Adelaide

Pick 41 - Jackson Edwards (Glenelg) - Adelaide