Will Brodie is looking forward to learning from fellow Shepparton product Michael Barlow when he starts training at the Gold Coast Suns.
Brodie was taken at pick nine in Friday night’s national draft and said he was thrilled to join Barlow, who crossed from Fremantle in this year’s trade period.
‘‘I’ve actually got his jersey on my wall still from when I was about 12 years old and I got him to sign it, he was one of the idols of mine and one of the reasons I barracked for Fremantle growing up, so I’m pretty excited to play and train with him next year,’’ Brodie told SUNS TV.
‘‘I love the way he goes about his ball-winning ability and his contested stuff and his clearance work, so hopefully I’ll be able to learn bits and pieces off him.’’
Brodie will make the move to Gold Coast with good friends Ben Ainsworth and Jack Scrimshaw, who were also taken in the top 10 of the draft.
The inside midfielder became friends with the pair from a host of high level commitments, including playing Vic Country with Ainsworth in the under-18 championships.
‘‘With Ben going before me and obviously ‘Scrim’ as well, I couldn’t be happier. They’ve been my best mates for a long time, so (I’m) absolutely rapt,’’ he said.
‘‘Making the move will be a lot easier with my best mates, but making the move to such a great place in Gold Coast and hopefully getting involved in the Gold Coast Suns environment and thriving in the football environment (will help the move).’’
While Brodie moves to Queensland, his Murray Bushrangers teammate Jy Simpkin said he was thrilled to begin his AFL career at North Melbourne.
‘‘It’s been crazy, it’s such a relief that the night finally came and my name was read out, it’s a childhood dream come true,’’ Simpkin told afl.com.au.
The small forward was snapped up by the Kangaroos with pick 12 and was thrilled to be staying in Victoria.
‘‘I think going into (Friday night) Mum (Chris) and Dad (Brian) were more nervous heading into it than I was. Mum had a little bit of a cry, but she’s pretty happy that I’m staying pretty close to her in Melbourne. They’re really excited,’’ he said.
Back into full training after breaking his leg in April, Simpkin said at times he worried about where he would be picked in the draft having not played since then.
‘‘It’s sort of on your mind every now and then, but at the end if you get drafted and you’re on a list the number doesn’t really matter, so I’m just stoked to be a part of North Melbourne,’’ he said.
‘‘(I’m) pretty much back to full training, running around and kicking the footy again finally, so it’s really good. Hopefully when I get to North the docs will give me the all clear and I’ll be right to go.’’