EMERGING Mallee footballer Dallas Willsmore put his best foot forward during last week’s NAB AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne.
The Underbool teenager was put to the test against some of the nation’s top young footballers under the close attention of AFL scouts.
Willsmore said he was delighted with his results and labelled the beep test, where he finished with a top-10 score of 14.10, and three-kilometre time trial, 10:20, as his best events.
“I reached all my goals that I’ve been training for so all the hard work with Rebels strength and conditioning coach Chris Radford has paid off,” he said.
“It was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, but I’m glad it’s all over and done with.”
Willsmore said five AFL clubs had been in contact with him, but he wasn’t taking anything for granted.
“It’s going to be a long month, but I’ve got plenty to keep me busy,” he said.
“I’ll just be getting stuck into the books and hopefully a couple more interviews with AFL clubs will come.”
It has already been a top year for the 18-year-old, with a solid season as North Ballarat Rebels co-captain, a trip to Europe with the AIS-AFL Academy, a successful Herald Sun Shield campaign with Ballarat’s St Patrick’s College and four matches for Vic Country in the National Under-18s Championships.
Fate is now out of Willsmore’s hands in the lead-up to the NAB AFL National Draft on November 21.
If not selected, he has another chance to get picked up during the pre-season and rookie drafts on November 27.
Fellow Rebels Matt Crouch, Louis Herbert and Sam Bennett were also among the 98 draft hopefuls to attend the combine.