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Potential first-round pick sheds kilos, Allies unveil U18 squad

Tom Green in action for the NAB AFL Academy side against VFL team Casey Demons - AFL,Tag-Draft,Draft,Under-18s
Tom Green in action for the NAB AFL Academy side against VFL team Casey Demons

SHEDDING eight kilograms in the off-season has been an important change for midfielder Tom Green, who shapes as a possible first-round pick at this year's NAB AFL Draft.

Green, who is tied to Greater Western Sydney's Academy, has enjoyed a strong start to his draft season and will next month line up for the Allies in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

Their full squad of 50 prospects from Queensland, NSW-ACT, Tasmania and the Northern Territory was released on Thursday, with it to be trimmed ahead of their first game on Saturday, June 9. 

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Green, 18, played for the Allies last year but will hit this year's carnival looking a different player after improving his fitness over summer.

"I dropped about seven or eight kilos and dropped my skinfolds a lot and that was mainly down to portion size and hard running that you do over pre-season," he said.

"I was eating the right stuff, but probably just a bit too much of it so cutting down those portion sizes and getting a lot smarter with my eating has helped me a lot.

"I'm not the easiest of runners so anything I can do to improve my running I needed to do it. Being a bit leaner has helped me run a lot better, and so far I've been able to get to more contests this season."

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Green spent more than three weeks of his pivotal pre-season training with the Giants. During that stint before and after Christmas he stayed with players Harry Perryman and Isaac Cumming, both previous graduates of the club's Academy.

GWS will have first access to the 189cm prospect, who is best at the clearances where he uses his bigger frame to bust past opponents. Green is one of the leading contested midfielders in the pool but said he wasn't focusing only on heading to the Giants. 

"I would love to go there. Getting to know those players and the coaching staff would certainly help me if I was to go there and you could see yourself fitting in quite easily," he said.

"But I'm not in a position to be picky or choosey. I'm just trying to play good football and end up on a list."

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Green's stint at the Giants isn't his first insight into the top level. His grandfather Michael played in four premierships for Richmond and is in its team of the century.

"He played with Richmond legends Royce Hart, Kevin Bartlett and Kevin Sheedy, so you want to hear stories about them as much as you can," Green said.

"The game's changed a lot since he played but there's universal truths that carry over from when he played to now.

"You get drafted for what you can do, not what you can't, so the biggest thing for me is to keep playing to my strengths."

Connor Budarick, Mitch O'Neill, Liam Delahunty and Hewago Paul Oea are among the other talents who will line up for the Allies this year.

2019 Allies squad

Errol Gulden (Sydney)
Hewago Paul-Oea (Gold Coast)
Connor Budarick (Gold Coast)
Malcolm Rosas Jnr (Darwin)
Braedon Campbell (Sydney)
Jared Dakin (Launceston)
Oliver Davis (Clarence)
Tom Griffiths (Brisbane)
Mitch O'Neill (North Hobart)
Will Peppin (North Hobart)
Charlie Byrne (Murray Bushrangers)
Ashton Crossley (Gold Coast)
Jackson Barling (Sydney)
Will Chandler (Murray Bushrangers)
Will Martyn (Brisbane)
Ben Jungfer (Woodville-West Torrens)
Bruce Reville (Brisbane)
Saxon Crozier (Brisbane)
Sam Collins (North Hobart)
Matt McGrory (GWS)
Luke Parks (Sydney)
Tom Green (GWS)
Alex Davies (Gold Coast)
Joel Jeffrey (Wanderers)
Jack Johnston (Gold Coast)
Liam Delahunty (GWS)
Josh Rayner (Sydney)
Jackson Callow (North Launceston)
Matt Conroy (Gold Coast)
Samson Ryan (Brisbane)
Hamish Ellem (Sydney)
Kobe Tozer (Brisbane)
Beau O'Connell (Wanderers)
Sam Thorne (Sydney)
Joshua Gore (Gold Coast)
Logan Fitzgerald (Bendigo Pioneers)
Will Shaw (Bendigo Pioneers)
Jake Dick-O'Flaherty (Bendigo)
Max Geddes (Sydney)
James Peatling (GWS)
Noah Cumberland (Brisbane)
Jeromy Lucas (GWS)
Ky McGrath (Sydney)
Nicholas Murray (GWS)
Matt McGuinness (Lauderdale)
Samuel Gaden (Sydney)
Dirk Koenen (Gold Coast)
Nickolas Haberer (Brisbane)
Ben Kelly (Murray Bushrangers)
Hamish Allan (North Hobart)