As preparations for this year's NAB AFL Draft heat up, clubs are shortlisting mature-age state league players who could step into the AFL system and have an immediate impact in 2014.
A recruiting trend that gathered momentum through the compromised drafts of 2010-2012, mature-age recruits look like becoming a permanent feature of the draft period.
The success this season of Collingwood's Sam Dwyer and the Sydney Swans' Dane Rampe has underlined the growing confidence clubs have in older first-time draftees.
"I don't think it'll blossom any further where you'll find 20 in a draft, but I think most years from now on there is going to be a few bob up," one AFL recruiter said.
"As a rule they're always more likely to go as rookies.
"That's the trend clubs will go with in the short term until they're really confident with mature-age players."
Nathan Gordon, 23, who was cut by the Sydney Swans at the end of their 2012 premiership season, remains the best mature-age player in the mix for this year's draft, according to a number of recruiters.
The North Adelaide midfielder moved to the SANFL to increase the likelihood of a second AFL chance, and he has starred with the Roosters, earning an invite to October's NAB AFL Draft Combine.
Central Districts medium defender Josh Glenn has also been invited to this year's Combine, but recruiters remain in the dark on whether he will nominate for the draft.
Elsewhere in the SANFL, which is considered the best breeding ground for mature-age recruits, midfielder Matt Suckling (Norwood) is considered a strong prospect with Nick Amato (North Adelaide) also a chance.
The most intriguing player in this year's mature-age crop is reformed bad boy Dayle Garlett, who has been interviewed by AFL clubs ahead of the Combine.
Clubs are keeping their cards close to their chest with the Swan Districts talent, but his ability is not in question, having last year been rated a top-10 prospect.
The 19-year-old's chances of being drafted hinge on convincing recruiters he has addressed lifestyle issues.
Former Port Adelaide forward Marlon Motlop, 23, has enjoyed a strong season in the WAFL with Peel Thunder and recruiters have noted he is working harder in games.
Former Hawthorn forward Mitch Thorp has also drawn attention this year as a consistent goalkicker in the Tasmanian State League.
Having matured and taken on the role of playing coach with South Launceston, the 24-year-old could be targeted by clubs in need of a ready-made key forward.
With AFL clubs increasingly reluctant to draft young ruckmen, Ben Brown (Werribee) could be ready to earn his chance after leaving Tasmania to play in the VFL this season.
Midfielder Chris Cain, meanwhile, has produced another consistent season with Port Melbourne and has hopes of following close friend Dwyer into the AFL system.
"The success rate of these mature-age players has been growing the last few years and the reality is there's now more teams and more selections in drafts," a recruiter said.
"I think clubs are going to continue to do it, and if they choose wisely then the success of them won't fall away."