FORMER Kyneton coach Derrick Filo has no doubt Jack Redpath has the ability and size to make his mark on the AFL.
Redpath will get his first taste of AFL football tonight when he lines up for the Western Bulldogs in the NAB Cup against Essendon and Collingwood at Etihad Stadium.
The 22-year-old bucked the trend of being drafted from the TAC Cup or VFL when he was selected by the Western Bulldogs from Bendigo Football League club Kyneton with pick No.62 in the 2011 rookie draft.
The powerfully-built Redpath’s selection by the Bulldogs followed an impressive second half of the 2011 BFL season when he returned from his second knee reconstruction and kicked 29 goals from limited opportunities in Kyneton’s last nine games.
“It’s terrific he’s got this opportunity tomorrow night considering he’s gone through two knee reconstructions and a busted wrist,” Filo said yesterday.
“He was a kid who always had an enormous amount of potential, but it was just setback after setback with his injuries.
“As soon as he was starting to get ahead, he’d do some sort of injury, so he’s certainly worked hard to get this chance.
“I know it’s obviously a big step up from when he was playing with Kyneton two years ago, but some of the things he was able to do that year having basically not played for two seasons were incredible.
“He’s a huge unit, can take a good mark, is a magnificent kick of the footy, is strong and aggressive... he’s got a lot of attributes and I believe he can go to the next level, but that’s in his hands.”
Team-mate Luke Dahlhaus yesterday tipped Redpath – who also previously played with the Bendigo Bombers – as a player to watch for the Bulldogs this season.
“He is a big hulk... he’s a real big fella and he will be playing up forward,” Dahlhaus told the Western Bulldogs’ club website.
“Hopefully, he gets a few kicks (tomorrow night) and gets a nice goal.”
Redpath, who will wear No.43, kicked 13 goals in 12 games with the Bulldogs’ VFL affiliate Williamstown last year before suffering a broken wrist.