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Draft's bounty of sons, brothers, cousins

Captain Nat, Paddy's lesson, Schache attack Nat Edwards with all the latest news

HIS DAD was a left-handed opening batsman for Australia who made three Test centuries and steered his country to an Ashes win, but draft hopeful Sam Elliott has set his sights on an AFL career.

The 201cm prospect is the son of Matthew Elliott, who played 21 Tests for Australia between 1996-2004, including his 199-run effort against England in 1997 at Lord's. He was also a record-setter at domestic level for Victoria and South Australia.

But after suffering some stress fractures in his back in recent years linked to his own cricket, Sam, a tall forward, is now focusing on his football, with aspirations of being drafted at the end of this year.  

He has already shown exciting signs, and will line up for the Oakleigh Chargers in the TAC Cup this season as well as school side Carey Grammar.

Elliott is one of many familiar names in a draft pool stacked with potential father-son picks and players who have fathers, brothers or uncles who have experienced the top level.

The Chargers are home to many of them. The powerful club has five father-son prospects in its ranks: Will Kelly (the son of Collingwood's Craig), Zac Hart (son of Adelaide's Ben), Ben Silvagni (son of Carlton's Stephen), Kyle Dunkley (son of Sydney's Andrew and brother of Western Bulldog Josh), and Kye Barlow (son of Hawthorn's Kris).

Barlow is also the cousin of Ryley Stoddart, a clever half-back who was drafted by the Swans last November.

Silvagni is one of a handful of possible Carlton father-son choices, alongside Will Hickmott (son of Adrian), who will play for Western Australia, and Oskar Manton, the son of former Blues defender Glenn.

Geelong has access to wiry midfielder Oscar Brownless this year, with the son of former forward Bill to co-captain the reigning TAC Cup premiers.

Baxter Mensch is also eligible to join the Cats after his father David's 158-game career there, while Zac Knights, the son of former Richmond captain and now Cats assistant Matthew, has been playing in the Falcons' practice games and as a late developer will be watched by the Tigers.

Dustin Fletcher's son Mason – described as a near clone of the champion Essendon defender – has trained with the Bombers over the pre-season and will be available to the club at this year's draft.

Mason Fletcher flies for a hanger at The Hangar. Picture: AFL Photos

Rhylee West, Scott's son, could continue the Western Bulldogs' recent good run of father-son selections, while the Brisbane Lions will have access to Jake Bradshaw, whose father Daniel played in two of the Lions' premierships.

Jake has trained with the club in recent months, but will play for the Murray Bushrangers in the TAC Cup this season.

The Lions will also have first call on James Rendell, the son of former Fitzroy player Matt, who is now a recruiter with Collingwood.

North Melbourne has a bit to consider on the father-son front. They can take Joel Crocker, the son of premiership player and assistant coach Darren, but will have to win the battle for Nick Blakey and Bailey Scott.

Blakey, whose father John played for the Roos and Brisbane, can join both of his dad's former clubs, but is also eligible to join Sydney as an academy pick. John is a long-time assistant at the Swans.

Nick Blakey is likely to have three clubs bidding for his services. Picture: AFL Photos

Similarly, Scott will have the choice of three clubs: Geelong and North where his dad Robert played, and Gold Coast, where he's now a member of its academy.

Port Adelaide will be monitoring Mitch Mead, the son of original Power backman Darren, closely across the season. Mead has swapped SANFL clubs – from Woodville-West Torrens to the Magpies – so will be under their eye as the small forward presses his claims.

Then there are the prospects whose fathers played, but did not reach the 100-game qualification mark.

Among them is Dylan O'Reilly, the son of former Geelong, Fremantle and Carlton defender Stephen O'Reilly. O'Reilly played 98 games for the Dockers, and his son shapes as one of the leading West Australian prospects as an athletic tall.

Elliott Lamb (son of former Saint and Cat Jamie), Lachlan Sholl (son of ex-Blue Brett), Will Chandler (son of former Roo Jeff) and Jordan Butts (son of Carlton three-gamer Gerald) are other players vying for spots on AFL lists this year who have football pedigree.

Former Magpie Jason Wild has two sons –  Mitch and Cameron – coming through the Northern Knights' program, with Mitch eligible to be picked this year.

Wild played 70 games for Collingwood so the pair do not meet eligibility as father-sons. However, through their indigenous background, they are members of Carlton's Next Generation Academy.   

Beyond the fathers there are more links. At the Greater Western Victoria Rebels Tom Berry is trying to follow his older brother, Brisbane's Jarrod, into the AFL, while Swan Jake Lloyd's younger brother Matthew is also draft eligible this year.

Possible top-10 pick Ian Hill is a cousin of Freo pair Stephen and Bradley and also related to Carlton's Jarrod Pickett. His WA teammate Jarrod Cameron saw his brother Charlie cross from Adelaide to Brisbane last season.

Cameron is considered a big talent, but West Coast will have priority access over him as a member of its Next Generation Academy.

Ruck prospect Bailey Griffiths' uncle is Port premiership player Dean Brogan. Murray Bushranger Eli Smith is the nephew of former Saint and Hawk Joel, while his Bushrangers teammate Jacob Koschitzke is a cousin of ex-St Kilda big man Justin.

At the Bendigo Pioneers, Jacob Atley is aiming to be the third member of his family to reach the AFL – following Shaun at North Melbourne and Port Adelaide's Joe – while Zach Denahy is a cousin of Richmond superstar Dustin Martin.