Thunder young guns heading to AFL combines
FOUR Peel Thunder players have been selected for AFL combines later this year.
Former Rockingham Rams product Aaron Naughton (18), who has been in outstanding form for Peel Thunder’s league side, was one of 10 WAFL footballers chosen for the national combine at Docklands Stadium from October 3 to 6.
Naughton, expected to be one of the first West Australians taken at this year’s national draft, has impressed in each of his four WAFL games.
His former Rams teammate Damon Cramer (19), who also plays in the league side, was selected for the State AFL draft combine on October 15, along with exBaldivis players Jordan Boullineau (18) and Lachlan Mitchell (18), who play for Peel Thunder colts.
The four are having sensational years after being part of the WA under-18s side that won three of its four matches at the AFL Under-18 Championships, despite entering the carnival as underdogs.
The combines boost the players’ chances of being drafted by AFL clubs at the end of the year.
Peel player development manager John Deitz said Naughton was nominated by three clubs, while the other three were nominated by two clubs.
“They will do a battery of physical tests and some interviews,” he said.
Deitz said the combine gives AFL clubs a good look at the players and tests them physically.
“They can see how they perform under pressure,” he said.
The club has recruited strength and conditioning coach Dave Norton to help prepare the players for the combines.
“Dave helped Josh Schoenfeld (drafted by Gold Coast) prepare for the combine in 2015 and he is really keen to help the boys out,” Deitz said.
The Mandurah Coastal Times will publish profiles on the players from next week.
Lachlan Mitchell, Damon Cramer, Aaron Naughton and Jordan Boullineau at training earlier this week.