THE AFL Draft brings the realisation of a lifelong dream for budding footballing prospects and for a second time, Leitchville’s Marty Hore has put his name in the hat.
Hore is looking to write the next chapter in his footballing journey that has taken him from the Leitchville-Gunbower Football Netball Club to Collingwood’s VFL side.
Hore’s 2017 was nothing short of superb. The 21-year-old defender won his side’s best and fairest award and made the VFL Team of the Year.
But after being overlooked in the 2015 draft, he said he wasn’t building his expectations too much ahead of Friday’s second chance.
‘‘I’m pretty relaxed about it. I’ve been through it before and I’m not getting my hopes up,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m just taking it day by day.’’
Hore played nine games with the Magpies in 2016 but impressed through the 2017 season with 15 in his award-winning season. The Pies shape as his most logical path to an AFL list.
‘‘I’m more of a rookie draft chance. Being a mature age player, not many of us go in the main draft. The rookie list is my best bet,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve had a few meetings with (Collingwood) and they’ve gone pretty well, but I’m not too sure what their plans are.’’
Hore played with Bendigo Pioneers in 2014 and 2015 after excelling with the Bombers. He said going through the draft process, including the draft combine, was easier the second time.
‘‘It was just physical testing and it wasn’t too hard,’’ he said.
‘‘It was my second time doing it and that helped me a bit. I’m definitely more relaxed about it this time and not thinking about it too much.
‘‘(Being drafted) would be a huge honour. I’ve worked pretty hard in the last few years to get there and it would justify the hard work.’’
Echuca’s Darby Henderson is also nominated for the draft, after winning the Bendigo Pioneers’ best and fairest this season.
The gun midfielder showed consistency was his number one asset, racking up 30 possessions a game in his second season of TAC Cup football.
He told The Riv last month he saw being drafted as only a small chance, and would look to find a home at the VFL level next season if it didn’t come to fruition.
Close to home, Kyabram’s Lachie Smith is also on the radar of clubs, linked with Geelong with a late draft pick or rookie selection.