The Draft process

The NAB AFL Draft is the key pathway for young players to enter the elite level of the game. Most players in the AFL come through the draft system, and it is the major list management tool for AFL clubs. To be eligible for the draft, players must be 18 years of age in the year that they are selected.

Before the official Draft, there are a number of stepping-stones players can complete including the Draft Combine, NAB AFL under 16 and under 18 Championships, NAB League, or NAB AFL Academy.

Number one Draft pick

Being selected as the number one draft pick means a young player is considered the best of the current crop of players entering the AFL.

To celebrate the achievement of being selected as the number one pick, we reward the player with a $10,000 cash prize and a 12-month ambassador agreement.

Past NAB AFL Draft number one pick

The 2021 NAB AFL Draft number one pick was Jason Horne-Francis, who was selected by North Melbourne.

See the past winners in the table below.

Year

Player

Club

2021 Jason Horne-Francis North Melbourne
2020 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan Western Bulldogs
2019 Matthew Rowell Gold Coast SUNS
2018 Sam Walsh Carlton
2017 Cameron Rayner Brisbane Lions
2016 Andrew McGrath Essendon
2015 Jacob Weitering Carlton
2014 Patrick McCartin St. Kilda
2013 Tom Boyd GWS Giants
2012 Lachie Whitfield GWS Giants
2011 Jonathon Patton GWS Giants
2010 David Swallow Gold Coast SUNS
2009 Tom Scully Melbourne
2008 Jack Watts Melbourne
2007 Matthew Kreuzer Carlton
2006 Bryce Gibbs Carlton
2005 Marc Murphy Carlton
2004 Brett Deledio Richmond
2003 Adam Cooney Western Bulldogs
2002 Brendan Goddard St Kilda

NAB AFL Draft Combine

Prior to the NAB AFL Draft, the NAB AFL Draft Combine puts draft prospects through a series of physical and mental tests. It’s an opportunity for AFL clubs to take an in-depth look at the players’ physical ability and readiness for a career in the AFL.

Traditionally, the NAB AFL Combine is a four-day event held in Victoria, however due to COVID the combine is now held as state-based events.

NAB AFL under 16 and under 18 Championships

The NAB AFL Under 16 and Under 18 Championships is a series of games played throughout the year. It gives players a taste of what playing football is like at the elite level against the best young players in Australia.

The Championships is the showcase event for players who want to put forward their case ahead of the NAB AFL Draft.

The competing teams in the Championship are:

  • Victoria Metro
  • Victoria Country
  • South Australia
  • Western Australia
  • Queensland
  • Allies (representing Northern Territory, Tasmania, New South Wales and ACT)
  • Woomeras (Indigenous representative team)
  • Medleys (Multicultural representative team)

An All-Australian team is selected to highlight the players who performed the best throughout the NAB AFL Championship series each year.

For more information including fixtures, you can visit the NAB AFL Draft Hub.

NAB AFL Academy

Each year, a group of talented young players are invited to join the NAB AFL Academy to participate in an elite program coached by Tarkyn Lockyer.

The players take part in an induction program at the start of the year, have opportunities to train with AFL clubs throughout the year and attend a high-performance camp mid-year. The group then play a match following the high-performance camp to compete against the best players in the country.

Players will have access to athlete management systems, expert coaches, high-performance and sports medical staff throughout their time in the NAB AFL Academy.

NAB League

NAB League is the elite under-18 competition based in Victoria and Tasmania. There are 12 Victorian teams and a Tasmanian team that compete in a 15 round (for males) or 9 round (for females) home-and-away season, and a three-round finals series format.

We’ve supported the league since 2019.

NAB League teams

  • Bendigo Pioneers
  • Calder Cannons
  • Dandenong Stingrays
  • Eastern Ranges
  • Geelong Falcons
  • Gippsland Power
  • Greater Western Victoria Rebels
  • Murray Bushrangers
  • Northern Knights
  • Oakleigh Chargers
  • Sandringham Dragons
  • Tasmania Devils
  • Western Jets

For more information about NAB League, you can visit the NAB League website .

Visit the AFL Draft Hub for more.

Important information

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

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