WHEN Collingwood selected Williamstown's Charlie Dean with the second pick of the NAB AFL Rookie Draft, the Magpies ensured one of the most remarkable streaks in modern draft history remained intact.
Dean, 19, won the VFL's Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal earlier this season as the league's best young talent and became the 15th successive winner of the award to graduate to an AFL list.
BLOG RECAP All the picks from the NAB AFL Rookie Draft
The streak began with Jason Davenport in 2006, who moved from Geelong's VFL team to the club's AFL list. Since then, the likes of Michael Barlow (Fremantle/Gold Coast), Michael Hibberd (Essendon/Melbourne), Kane Lambert (Richmond) and Grand Final hero Bayley Fritsch (Melbourne) have made the leap from the state league to the big time.
In all, 22 winners of the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal have played VFL/AFL football since the award's inception in 1989.
>> SEE BELOW FOR THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Speaking at the VFL/VFLW Awards in October, Dean said he was honoured to join the list of previous winners, but it wasn't the most decorated AFL name that stood out for him.
"It's an honour to receive it – going into this year it was something I hadn't heard of, but I know the likes of Adam Marcon, who is a legend at our club, has won it and a few other pretty handy footballers, including someone who played pretty well in the Grand Final has won it, so it's nice to have those names behind it," he said.
Dean played for Sandringham in the 2019 NAB League, largely as a forward, but went undrafted.
His coach at Williamstown, Justin Plapp, switched him to the other end of the ground ahead of the 2021 VFL season and it proved an inspired move that now sees Dean finally realising his AFL dream.
2021: Charlie Dean (Williamstown)
2019: Jake Riccardi (Werribee)
2018: Josh Corbett (Werribee)
2017: Bayley Fritsch (Casey)
2016: Luke Ryan (Coburg)
2015: Adam Marcon (Williamstown)
2014: Nic Newman (Frankston)
2013: Kane Lambert (Northern Blues)
2012: Dean Towers (North Ballarat)
2011: Ahmed Saad (Northern Bullants)
2010: Michael Hibberd (Frankston)
2009: Michael Barlow (Werribee)
2008: Robin Nahas (Port Melbourne)
2007: Shane Valenti (Sandringham)
2006: Jason Davenport (Geelong)
2005: Jackson Barling (Williamstown)
2004: Adam Fisher (Sandringham)
2003: Aaron Davey (Port Melbourne)
2002: Michael Firrito (Box Hill Hawks)
2001: Kristian DePasquale (Coburg)
2000: Michael Swan (Port Melbourne)
1999: Mark Passador (Springvale)
1998: Andrew Shipp (Springvale)
1997: James Puli (Werribee)
1996: Paul Dooley (Williamstown)
1995: Mark Porter (Coburg)
1994: Bruce Cohen (Box Hill)
1993: Adam Williams (Sandringham)
1992: Julian Shanks (Williamstown)
1991: Ron De Iulio (Box Hill)
1990: Mathew Quirk (Oakleigh)
1989: Chris Owen (Preston)