Saad El-Hawli, Ned Long and Max Hall. Pictures: AFL Photos

Six players from Smithy's VFL clubs were selected in the 2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.

Collingwood duo Jack Hutchinson and Ned Long, Box Hill Hawks midfielder Max Hall, North Melbourne youngster Cooper Lord, Northern Bullants speedster Saad El-Hawli and Essendon tall Campbell Gray were among the 19 players selected on Wednesday night.

The Mid-Season Draft haul means 19 VFL-listed players have been elevated to AFL lists since the conclusion of the 2023 AFL season.

Jack Hutchinson was picked by the West Coast Eagles with the third selection in the Draft. The exciting forward joined the Magpies from Wonthaggi this season and impressed during the pre-season and through the first half of the year.

Hutchinson’s physicality, marking ability and goal sense caught the eye of the recruiters, with the young forward booting nine goals in seven VFL matches and producing one of the highlights of the season when he hauled in a huge grab in the Magpies’ defeat to Coburg at Piranha Park.


21-year-old Max Hall becomes another graduate of the Box Hill Hawks to make his way onto an AFL list after being selected by St Kilda at pick four.

Hall played 30 VFL games for the Hawks across the past three seasons and took his game to another level in 2024, averaging 24 disposals and four tackles across seven appearances, while also kicking five goals.

Cooper Lord made an impact in seven matches for North Melbourne’s VFL side this year after last year featuring in the Sandringham Dragons’ Coates Talent League Boys premiership.

Lord’s clean hands and ball-winning ability were on show for the Roos, with Carlton swooping with selection nine in the draft.

Saad El-Hawli became the third player from the Northern Bullants to be drafted by an AFL club in the past 12 months after Essendon selected him with pick 13. He follows Brandon Ryan (Hawthorn, now Brisbane Lions) and Finnbar Maley (North Melbourne) in being picked from the Bullants.

The 23-year-old speedster, who played five games for Werribee in 2022 before adding 22 for the Bullants across the past two years, showed his versatility this season, moving from a predominantly forward role to playing across half back and at times through the midfield.

He averaged 26 disposals per game this year, which included a career-best performance last weekend when he collected 33 touches and booted two goals against the Sydney Swans at Tramway Oval.

Campell Gray burst onto the scene in his first season with Essendon’s VFL this year after joining from EDFL Premier Division powerhouse Keilor. He is now on an AFL list after being picked by Richmond with selection 16.

Gray enjoyed a particularly strong month prior to the Mid-Season Rookie Draft, moving forward and kicking nine goals in four matches, which included a three-goal effort in a close defeat to second-placed Williamstown at DSV Stadium in Round 7.


Ned Long was one of two former AFL players to get a second opportunity in the AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft after Collingwood elevated the 195cm midfielder from its VFL program with pick 19.

Long, who was delisted by Hawthorn at the end of the 2023 season, averaged 24 disposals, nine tackles and five clearances in six appearances for the Magpies this year.

He also represented the Smithy’s VFL State Team in its clash against the SANFL in April, picking up 20 disposals and seven tackles to feature among the VFL’s better players.

Continue below to see the list of VFL-listed players who have been added to AFL lists since the end of the 2023 AFL season.

2023 AFL National Draft
Shaun Mannagh
(Werribee to Geelong Cats)

2023 AFL Rookie Draft
Sam Clohesy (Werribee to Gold Coast Suns)
Finnbar Maley (Northern Bullants to North Melbourne)

Category B Rookie
Bruce Reville (Brisbane Lions to Brisbane Lions)
Nathan Wardius (GWS Giants to GWS Giants)

Delisted Free Agent
Oscar McDonald (Williamstown to Fremantle)
Sam Naismith (Port Melbourne to Richmond)

Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period
Josh Eyre (Collingwood to Collingwood)
Marty Hore (Williamstown to Melbourne)
Mykelti Lefau (Richmond to Richmond)
Ethan Phillips (Box Hill Hawks/Port Melbourne to Hawthorn)
Tyler Sellers (North Melbourne to North Melbourne)
Lachlan Sullivan (Footscray Bulldogs to Collingwood)

2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft
Campbell Gray
(Essendon to Richmond)
Max Hall (Box Hill Hawks to St Kilda)
Jack Hutchinson
(Collingwood to West Coast Eagles)
Ned Long (Collingwood to Collingwood)
Cooper Lord (North Melbourne to Carlton)
Saad El-Hawli (Northern Bullants to Essendon)