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Big draft coming for Melbourne private school

Andrew Brayshaw is shaping as a top-five pick - AFL,Draft,Aiden Bonar,Luke Davies-Uniacke,Andrew Brayshaw,Charlie Constable
Andrew Brayshaw is shaping as a top-five pick

HAILEYBURY College – under AFL great Matthew Lloyd's tutelage – will confirm its status as the new king of private school football on Friday night, when six students graduate to AFL ranks.

Blue-chip midfielders Luke Davies-Uniacke and Andrew Brayshaw are set to be snapped up in the first six selections, while powerful utility Aiden Bonar may join them in the top 10.

Haileybury's best and fairest winner Charlie Constable, a 191cm hybrid version of ex-Hawk and Eagle Sam Mitchell and Carlton's Patrick Cripps, could also go in the NAB AFL Draft's first round.

Key defender Oscar Clavarino and forward Jackson Ross, who was once ranked top-10 nationally in his age group in tennis, round out the magenta-and-black's gilt-edged draft crop.

Haileybury, coached by David Lappage and specialist mentor Lloyd, rampaged through the APS season undefeated in claiming its first football title since a three-peat between 2004 and 2006.

The retired Essendon champion and 2000 premiership forward rated his sixth campaign with the school "one of the most enjoyable years I've ever had in football".

"We're pretty proud of the program we run at Haileybury," Lloyd told AFL.com.au.

"I haven't been part of many teams where you're just so united and the culture's great … and that was what these six boys that will be drafted really drove.

"They bought into Haileybury football, where often a lot of kids have just got their eyes on AFL."

 

Melbourne's private school system is emerging as a major part of the AFL pathway, with 17 of last year's 77 picks, including half of the top 10, playing APS football.

APS Sport executive officer Luke Soulos told AFL.com.au that all indications suggested the 2017 tally would be higher again.

Geelong Grammar is also set to be a big player, with Paddy Dow, Jarrod Brander, Lochie O'Brien and Brent Daniels all tipped to find an AFL home.

Former AFL player and coach Robert Shaw helped take the private school game to another level with his high-achieving Brighton Grammar program, which produced Rising Star winner Andy McGrath.

Lloyd's Haileybury job enables him to indulge his coaching passion without having to give up his extensive media commitments.

He worked with the NAB AFL Academy from 2010 to 2013, while a part-time role with the Bombers' forwards in 2015 proved too much of a conflict with his media work.

Lloyd instead settled into being Haileybury's assistant coach, spending about 10 hours a week at the school's Keysborough campus and attending all matches for the first time this year.

The triple Coleman medallist has revelled in developing the AFL's future stars, and counts one Davies-Uniacke performance among the best solo displays he has witnessed.

Davies-Uniacke put Haileybury on his back that day in gathering 38 disposals and kicking six goals to spearhead a victory over Brighton, something that had never happened in Lloyd's time.

"Some will say, 'Well, you had six top-end boys', but we had five year 10s who played every game, and the way those year 12s brought along those year 10s was fantastic," Lloyd said.

"I'll look back and say they were one of the most phenomenal groups of six boys."

Haileybury's AFL alumni includes Tom Scully, Jack Gunston, Tom Lynch, Stefan Martin and Stewart Loewe, while Nathan Burke worked with the team's leadership group in 2017.

HAILEYBURY DRAFTEES IN LLOYD'S TIME

2012: Lewis Pierce (St Kilda)
2013: Nathan Freeman (Collingwood/St Kilda) and Karl Amon (Port Adelaide)
2014: Angus Brayshaw (Melbourne) and Sean McLaren (Sydney)*
2015: Kieran Collins (Western Bulldogs)
2016: Jack Scrimshaw (Gold Coast), Josh Battle (St Kilda) and Cameron Polson (Carlton)

* Rookie draft