The UNSW/ES Bulldogs continue to build their AFL selection pathways with young guns Jack Buckley and James Bell preselected as category B rookies by the GWS Giants and Sydney Swans respectively.
They join former Bulldogs Dane Rampe, Jordan Foote, Abe Davis and Ben Davis who have been drafted to AFL clubs over the past five years, underpinning the club’s mandate to develop pathways and opportunities for our elite men and women.
Club President, Stephen Dunkley, is delighted by the selection of the two teenagers who played Premier Division for the red, white and blue in 2017.
“These two boys are all class, and have excelled at both NEAFL and Premier Division level this season”, said Dunkley.
“Their selection is not only a testament to their ability, but also to the increased focus on developing talent in NSW by AFL NSW/ACT. It’s exciting to see this home grown talent continue to push for AFL honours, and we’re committed to opening up these pathways time and time again in the future.”
Premier Division coach, Steven Pollock, credited the boys’ work ethic and off field commitment as their drivers for success.
“Bell has a great ability to cut lines, carry the ball and bring his teammates into the game”, said Pollock.
“What impresses me most, however, is his drive. After a midseason injury, he remained positive and worked hard off the field to give himself the best chance to be drafted. That’s testament to his character, and will set him up well in the future”
“Buckley is another who grew from boy to a man in 2017, continually setting the example at training with his competitiveness and intensity. Known for his strong marking and stoic nature, he played as a key forward this season and continually outworked and outsmarted his opponents.”
“His maturity will hold him in good stead as he embarks on the next stage of his AFL career”
The club congratulates both players on their selection, and looks forward to seeing them both grow and succeed in the years to come.
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Photos courtesy of Leigh Gazzard – https://www.flickr.com/photos/sportsprofile/albums/