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Second USA Combine begins

Callum Twomey  April 15, 2013 10:22 AM

AFL 2013 Portraits - North Melbourne

North Melbourne rookie Eric Wallace was discovered at the USA International Combine

FRESH from promoting the code in Europe, the AFL's second USA International Combine has begun in Los Angeles.

Eighteen athletes from universities across America will attend the three-day talent search hoping to follow the path led by Eric Wallace, who tested at the first USA combine last year and went on to be signed as an international rookie by North Melbourne.

The AFL's national talent manager Kevin Sheehan, academies development manager Michael Ablett and international coordinator Tadhg Kennelly will also be at the event, having departed Copenhagen on Friday at the end of the AIS-AFL Academy's two-week tour of Europe.

A handful of AFL club recruiters will be there to observe the testing, which will include vertical jumping, a three-kilometre time trial, sprinting and kicking.

Two or three of the athletes, who mainly come from a basketball background, will be selected to travel to the NAB AFL Draft Combine in October.

The AFL's international development manager Tony Woods said the League had its eye on a specific type of athlete who could move into the AFL game.

"We are deliberately targeting taller, elite athletes who play as centres or power forwards in basketball. We feel these athletes have the best chance to transition into our game," Woods said.  

"We know that Australian football is a challenging and unique game, however if you can test equal to or better than Australian players, and you have the desire, you give yourself every chance of succeeding."

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.