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Demons couldn't resist huge NEAFL numbers

Pre-season and rookie draft analysis Draft experts Callum Twomey and Nat Edwards analyse the 2014 NAB AFL pre-season and rookie drafts
Mitchell White of the Stingrays marks the ball during the TAC Cup 2nd Semi Final match between the Geelong Falcons and Dandenong Stingrays at Visy Park, Melbourne on September 7, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Demons rookie Mitchell White in action for Dandenong last season
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WEIGHT of numbers helped earn mature-aged Ainslie midfielder Aaron Vandenberg a spot on Melbourne's rookie list for 2015.

So impressed were the Demons that they weren't deterred by a shoulder injury that will see him begin the pre-season in rehabilitation, with expectations high he will be ready to go by March.

The 22-year-old averaged 32 possessions for the Canberra club in the NEAFL, including a 56-touch performance against Eastlake, and won back-to-back best and fairests for the club.

His numbers stack up well when compared to Richmond revelation Anthony Miles who played in the NEAFL when at the Giants.

Always talented, Vandenberg had knuckled down in recent seasons and proved himself capable of playing at a higher level than NEAFL.

He was contemplating a move to the SANFL before his name was called out on Wednesday.

Melbourne recruiting manager Jason Taylor has watched Vandenberg's progress as an under age footballer and has been pleased with how he has matured as a footballer.

"We feel he is someone who can come in and have an impact," Taylor told

The raking left foot of White out of defence is likely to suit Demons coach Paul Roos. He has shown a liking for having more than one rebounding defender who can kick the ball and compete hard.

Tadhg Kennelly, Rhyce Shaw, Nick Malceski and Martin Mattner all made their name at the Swans playing in premierships as rebounding defenders.

Melbourne's rookie draft picks
Selection No.3:
Aaron Vandenberg (Ainslie)
Recruiting manager Jason Taylor says: "He is a high possession winner, wins plenty of ball inside, has good endurance and hits the scoreboard."

Selection No.20: Mitchell White (Dandenong Stingrays/Seaford)
Recruiting manager Jason Taylor says: "A rebounding defender who is a raking left foot kick, he won the Dandenong Stingrays best and fairest and played for Vic Country who can play on the smalls and lock down"