SFC: AFL Hotspot

The Subiaco Football Club has become a hot-spot for ready made players with 12 mature aged recruits drafted into the AFL from the Lions since 2003. 

These players have since combined for 549 games and a Brownlow medal as the Subiaco Football Club continues to provide a viable talent pathway for mature aged players.

Matthew Priddis leads the list of ex-Subiaco footballers with 197 games for West Coast and the 2014 Brownlow Medal despite being over-looked by the AFL until he was 21.

Over the last decade eleven other Subiaco players have forged a similar story with Aidan Parker (20), Mark Nicoski (20), Brad Smith (25), Darren Rumble (22), Greg Broughton (22), Trent Dennis-Lane (21), Simon White (21), Kyal Horsley (24) and Callum Sinclair (23) drafted from the club as mature aged players. 

Shane Yarran (26) and Sam Menegola (23) joined the AFL ranks last week, lifting the number of current AFL listed Subiaco players to eight. (Daniel Rich BRI, Simon White CAR, Dominic Sheed WCE, Matt Priddis WCE, Callum Sinclair SYD, Joshua Deluca FRE, Shane Yarran FRE & Sam Menegola GEE)

Despite the priority of WAFL clubs continually set on youth development, Football Operations Manager Luke Sanders is pleased the Lions have been able to curate a culture that allows players of every age to succeed.

"A variety of things have contributed to our success rate with mature aged AFL recruits. It's a combination of environment, coaching, facilities, connections and opportunities, 

"I think we've unconsciously created a club culture where players of any age can excel and be drafted. You take a lot of pride in ensuring that your players get the best opportunities they can, so it's always incredibly pleasing to see a hard-working Subiaco player taken on draft day. 

Subiaco had six interstate players on their list in 2015 and Sanders emphasised that the integration goes beyond the football field. 

"A key target is to ensure the players are happy off the field. If they've relocated we try and find them full time employement in an area they want to work in so football can be about enjoyement for them. We like to monitor their off-field welfare as much as their on-field." said Sanders

West Coast Eagles champion Matt Priddis during his Subiaco days. 

Subiaco have been willing to provide playing opportunities and last week's AFL Draft was a testament to that.

The previously overlooked Shane Yarran was selected by Fremantle and Sam Menegola found his way to his third AFL club through Subi. Sanders credits head-coach Jarrad Schofield for creating playing opportunities for different player types. 

"Recent history has shown that a high proportion of players that have been drafted from our club have been mature aged and that can also come down to the specific needs of the club and the player,

"For example when we recruited Callum Sinclair (Sydney Swans) from Victoria he wanted to move to Perth to play on bigger fields and demonstrate his anaerobic capacity. It was a similar situation with Menegola who wanted to play on the ball. 

"The players are given the opportunity to display their skills in positions they favour and I definitely think that helps them showcase their game to AFL clubs." added Sanders 

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