Ryley Sanders during the U18 National Championships double header on July 9, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GUN DRAFT prospect Ryley Sanders has been officially approved as a member of North Melbourne's Next Generation Academy by the AFL.

But the move is not linked to whether the Roos will get any priority access to him in the early stages of the draft.

The AFL on Thursday sent an updated list of Next Generation Academy prospects to all clubs, with Sanders for the first time added to the Roos' list. He is the only player approved for the North Academy.

It comes after a long process, with Sanders, who has an Indigenous background, being approved due to being from North's Tasmanian zone. The Roos have been waiting to see if it will be approved for a lengthy period.

However, it remains to be decided by the AFL Commission whether North's hopes of getting priority access to him under any assistance package are validated next week when the Commission meets on Brownlow Medal day.

The Kangaroos, as part of their pitch for assistance, had hoped to get priority call over him, potentially even having access to match a bid at any stage of the draft despite NGA rules permitting clubs to only match bids after pick 40.


However, clubs are now of the belief that is more unlikely to occur.

Sanders has been perhaps the most consistent player in this year's draft pool, with the rugged, tough and effective midfielder dominating for the Allies, where he was named the Larke Medal winner as the best player of the championships.

He has also dominated for the Sandringham Dragons, where he will spearhead their Grand Final appearance this Sunday in the Coates Talent League. He plays for Sandringham as he is boarding at Melbourne Grammar.