St Kilda has selected exciting Northern Territory forward Ben Long with pick No. 25 in Friday night’s NAB AFL Draft at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.
The 19-year-old moved from Darwin to Melbourne in 2014 where he boarded at the prestigious Melbourne Grammar for the final three years of his schooling.
Long played for the NT Thunder in the division two under-18 national championships early in the season, before being selected to represent the Allies in the division one part of the competition.
At the conclusion of the national championships, Long was invited to play with Footscray in the VFL, where he played a starring role in the Bulldogs’ premiership campaign.
Highly rated for his clever ball use and polish by foot, Long produced a dominant preliminary final performance against Collingwood, kicking six goals to steer Footscray into the Grand Final, before finishing with two majors in the final game of the season.
St Kilda’s first pick in this year’s draft shuffled down two places after Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast matched bids on their academy products.
Earlier in the night, Essendon used their prized No. 1 pick to recruit Sandringham Dragons midfielder Andrew McGrath, before Greater Western Sydney drafted another Dragons premiership midfielder in the form of Tim Taranto at No. 2. North Ballarat Rebels midfielder Hugh McCluggage rounded out the top three after the Lions called his name out at No. 3.