Nick of time

November 29, 2017

Second chance saloon: Former Kyabram and Murray Bushrangers star Nick Holman received an AFL lifeline yesterday, getting picked up by Gold Coast in the rookie draft, two years after being delisted by Carlton.

KYABRAM premiership player Nick Holman has been given a second chance at an AFL career.

Gold Coast selected the former Carlton midfielder in Monday’s rookie draft, with the Suns taking him at pick number 19.

Holman first joined an AFL club when the Blues selected him at number 51 in the 2013 National Draft.

He went on to play nine games with the Blues across the following two seasons, before being delisted at the end of 2015.

But heading to South Australian National Football League powerhouse Central Districts after the end of his first stint in the AFL would prove the catalyst to reignite Holman’s career.

He produced a stellar season this year to draw the attention of selectors, with the brilliant inside midfielder claiming the Bulldogs’ best-and-fairest award.

It built upon an impressive effort last year when Holman came third in the Norm Russell Medal count.

Not only was he the star for his own side this season, but Holman oozed class across the whole competition and was among the favourites to take out the Magarey Medal for the SANFL’s best player.

Holman finished seventh in the count won by Norwood midfielder and former Adelaide Crow Mitch Grigg.

His trademark tackling and ability to rack up disposals was on full show, with Holman averaging the most tackles across the league.

Before Carlton drafted Holman, his final game for Kyabram was spectacular, playing a pivotal role in the Bombers’ premiership win in 2013.

He snared three goals against Shepparton United and was among the best players on the field.

The victory came in the same year Holman was a Murray Bushranger with recent Hawthorn recruit Jarman Impey.

Holman joins a growing list of Goulburn Valley talent at Gold Coast, including Shepparton’s Will Brodie and Shepparton United export Michael Barlow.

But another Kyabram star in Lachie Smith did not have his name called out at either the National Draft on Friday or the Rookie Draft.

The champion defender, who has played a major role in the Bombers’ two undefeated seasons, was realistic about his chances of being redrafted into the AFL.

Collingwood rookie-listed Smith in 2012, but he only lasted one year at the club before being delisted.

But he will still step up into the VFL to join either Geelong or the Western Bulldogs next year.

Murray Bushrangers Jordon Butts (Shepparton), Laitham Vandermeer (Mooroopna) and Nathalia duo Tom Boyd and Nathan Oakes were also not selected in the rookie draft.

However, Hawthorn took Wodonga midfielder Harry Jones with pick seven and St Kilda drafted North Albury speedster Doulton Langlands with selection eight.

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