VAFA star Sam Sofronidis in action. Picture: VAFA

VAFA star Sam Sofronidis is set to audition for a spot on the rookie list at Collingwood when the pre-season supplemental selection period opens on Monday. 

Collingwood has also extended trial invitations to the club's VFL captain Campbell Hustwaite and delisted Port Adelaide ruckman Brynn Teakle, with ex-St Kilda midfielder Jack Bytel also set to train for a spot. 

Sofronidis underwent a medical at the AIA Centre on Friday and is expected to join the Magpies' first-to-fourth-year players when they report back for pre-season training next week. 

The 23-year-old attracted interest from several clubs across a dominant season in Victoria's amateurs, drawing recruiters from Geelong and Fremantle to games across the season with others doing homework on the defender. 

Collingwood recruiting boss Derek Hine was an interested onlooker when Sofronidis helped lead Collegians to a massive Grand Final win over St Kevin's at Elsternwick Park in September. 

The 194cm intercept defender was initially planning to live abroad in 2023 but changed his mind earlier in the year, returning to Collegians' line-up by round four after missing the first three games and the pre-season. Sofronidis earned Big V selection mid-season and was named in the VAFA team of the year, before winning Collegians' best and fairest.

Sam Sofronidis in action for Collegians. Picture: VAFA

Collingwood plucked Joe Richards out of the Ovens and Murray League in the 2022 AFL Draft and aren't the only club that has thought outside the box in the past 12 months.

Melbourne signed Kye Turner straight from Old Haileybury earlier this year after trialling the key defender during the pre-season supplemental selection period. 

Geelong produced the biggest surprise of this week's AFL and rookie drafts, plucking 21-year-old Oli Wiltshire out of the Bellarine Football League after a standout season with Barwon Heads. 

Sofronidis played for the Sandringham Dragons in 2017 and 2018, before joining the Sandringham Zebras in the VFL in 2019, prior to signing with Frankston in 2020, but the season was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Hustwaite is set to join the AFL program for the pre-Christmas training block after another impressive VFL campaign in black and white. Justin Leppitsch is understood to be a keen fan of the Victorian who led the Magpies' reserves for a third season in 2023.

The 23-year-old, who is the older brother of young Hawk Henry, won the Joseph Wren Trophy (VFL best and fairest) after averaging 20.9 disposals and 5.4 tackles across 18 appearances this season. 

Teakle is heading to Melbourne this weekend after training in Perth after being delisted by Port Adelaide in September, less than 18 months after earning a shot at Alberton.

Brynn Teakle celebrates a goal during the R9 match between Port Adelaide and North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena on May 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

The 204cm ruckman played six games for the Power after arriving at the club via the 2022 Mid-Season Rookie Draft, but has attracted attention from multiple clubs since then. 

Bytel is also set to press his case for an AFL lifeline after being cut by St Kilda after playing 22 games across five seasons at Moorabbin. 

Jack Bytel in action during the VFL R14 clash between Sandringham and Brisbane at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on June 24, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Collingwood has three spots open on the rookie list and can trial up to six players at one time this summer, with the club expected to fill two of them and leave one open for next year's Mid-Season Rookie Draft. 

Oscar Steene and Oleg Markov were both added to the rookie list during last year's window, with the former Gold Coast and Richmond half-back becoming a premiership player in September after being signed in February.

Collingwood will train away from Olympic Park across the first block of the pre-season due to resurfacing works, with the group set to start on Gosch's Paddock before spending most of the next month training at Victoria Park.