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Draft Combine: Inside an AFL Club interview

2016 AFL Draft Combine We take a look at who's impressed at this year's AFL Draft Combine with Recruiting Manager, Stephen Conole.

Day Two of the AFL Draft Combine saw about 30 draft hopefuls walk through the Brisbane Lions’ interview suite at Etihad Stadium.

The interview led by Recruiting Manager Stephen Conole is aptly described as a 15-minute ‘speed dating’ scenario. The process is a key component to the four-day testing period as Club’s have their final opportunity to gauge how a potential recruit may fit into the Club’s environment.

Conole is joined in the interviews by List Manager Peter Schwab and his recruiting team along with new Senior Coach Chris Fagan and Football Manager David Noble.

One significant challenge the subject in question would have to overcome should he eventually be drafted to the Brisbane Lions is moving away from home to a new state – a question that is put to every interviewee.

Homesickness – as highlighted in recent times – has been an issue for the Club who are determined to ensure their potential draftees are capable of adapting to a new environment.

Given the interviewee is likely to head interstate regardless, his response is as expected.

“I’d look forward to making the move, I moved away from home when I was twelve for boarding school,” adding it was something he’d have to get used to but he was up for the challenge.

The draftees show an understandable amount of nerves however, were able to compose themselves and impress the panel in what would be the most important interview of their careers thus far.

No doubt they feel a bit like a broken record, having relayed the same information onto 17 other clubs, but are also given the opportunity to ask the panel a few questions.

Most are interested to see where they are looking to place in the upcoming National AFL Draft and where they would fit in the club’s current list.

Schwab throws a few questions in to understand their drives and desires to be a professional footballer while Conole questions them on their form throughout the year and what steps they are currently taking to improve.

Fagan lets the recruiting staff and Noble drive most of the discussion, but chimed in every now and then to help gauge the character of each interviewee that may or may not play a key role in the future success of his team.

It is a daunting experience for the 18-year-olds but is something they will hold with them as an important step in forming their careers.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs