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Callum Twomey  January 16, 2013 4:42 PM


Potential draftee Tom Cutler has been training with Hawthorn

It just gives us another form of assessing the player because you're lining them up against the better players of the AFL
ALTHOUGH the NAB AFL Draft is more than 10 months away, this week is an important one for some of the best teenagers in the country.

Members of the level two AIS-AFL Academy squad are spending the week entrenched in clubs around the country, participating in training drills and learning the standards expected of elite players.

It is also a chance to make an impression. This time last year, Jake Stringer's approach to training was noted by the Western Bulldogs, who went on to select Stringer with pick five at last year's draft.

Clubs use the week as an opportunity to better know the players they will spend the season ranking and assessing.

"When they come into an AFL program, albeit just for a week, it gives you a bit of a snapshot of how they assimilate into the program, how quickly they pick up different things, and the way they interact within the playing group," Collingwood recruiting manager Derek Hine said.

"They're the main types of things we get out of it. Most clubs limit the amount of drills the boys can do for obvious reasons but it's a really good barometer in terms of those key points."

The Magpies are hosting key forward Tom Boyd, the most dominant key forward of this year's batch.   

The 17-year-old led the TAC Cup goalkicking last year as a bottom-aged player for the Eastern Ranges, and showed promise for Vic Metro at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

As well as overseeing Boyd, the Magpies will watch other Academy players train this week to get a gauge on their standing.

"It just gives us another form of assessing the player because you're lining them up against the better players of the AFL," Hine said.

"You can see if they don't look out of place in a drill and those sorts of things when they take part in game simulation drills."

Who's training at your club?
Trent Dumont, Darcy Hourigan
Brisbane Lions: Cain Tickner
Carlton: Christian Salem, Josh Kelly
Collingwood: Tom Boyd
Essendon: Matt Crouch, Marcus Bontempelli
Fremantle: Nick Robertson
Geelong: James Tsitas, Darcy Gardiner
Hawthorn: Tom Cutler, Kade Koladjashnij
Melbourne: Jack Billings, Lewis Taylor
North Melbourne: Isaiah Miller
Port Adelaide: Alex Spina, Luke Reynolds
Richmond: Nick Bourke, Ben Lennon
St Kilda: Errin Wasley-Black, Billy Hartung
Sydney Swans: Lloyd Perris
West Coast: Dominic Sheed
Western Bulldogs: Dallas Willsmore, Cameron Conlon

*James Aish, Luke Dunstan, Dwayne Wilson and Matt Scharenberg will complete their placements at another stage.

Follow Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.