BRADY Rowles has become the fourth Bendigo Pioneer to find an AFL home this week after he was selected by the Sydney Swans in Friday's rookie draft.
The Swans used pick four to select the 18-year-old from Mildura.
Rowles joins Brodie Kemp (Carlton), Thomson Dow (Richmond) and Flynn Perez (North Melbourne) as AFL draftees this week.
EARLIER THIS WEEK:
Carlton, Richmond swoop on Pioneers stars in AFL National Draft
The Bendigo Pioneers have had six first round selections in three years after Brodie Kemp and Thomson Dow found AFL homes on Wednesday night.
Kemp is the fourth Bendigo Pioneer to be selected by Carlton in the AFL National Draft in the past three years, while Dow is on his way to the reigning premiers after Richmond used the final pick of the first round to select the classy midfielder.
Kemp, from Echuca, was selected by the Blues with pick 17 in Wednesday night's draft after the Blues traded pick 11 for Gold Coast's 17 and 22 selections.
Kemp follows 2017 draftees Paddy Dow, Lochie O'Brien and Angus Schumacher to Princes Park.
Originally expected to be a top-10 selection in the draft, Kemp slid down the draft board after suffering a season-ending knee injury in a school game for Geelong Grammar in July.
After undergoing a knee reconstruction, Kemp won't play much footy in 2020, but that mattered little to the Blues.
Fittingly, Kemp was presented with a Carlton jumper at the draft by Patrick Cripps and Sam Docherty.
Dow, the younger brother of Carlton midfielder Paddy Dow, was somewhat of a shock selection in the first round.
The ball magnet was expected to be selected in the second round of the draft on Thursday night, but the Tigers pounced.
Dow, from Swan Hill, is the first Pioneer to be drafted by Richmond since Dustin Martin with pick three in 2009.
Pioneers regional talent manager Steve Sharp said the club was proud of the way Kemp and Dow developed as people and footballers.
"As a player there's not too many players out there like Brodie, which is why he was so appealing to Carlton,'' Sharp said.
"He can play as a marking forward, or go down in defence and he has the capabilities of being a midfielder. He's a special player.
"Thomson just knows how to get the footy. He has some elite level skills, particularly with his hands. I'm elated to see him get a chance with the Tigers.
"Both Brodie and Thomson made really mature decisions as 17-year-olds to go away from home to school at Geelong Grammar. They're both really respectful young men and I'm sure the Blues and Tigers will be really happy to have them."
Join in the chorus - Perez drafted by North Melbourne
Growing up, Flynn Perez had two football passions - Richmond and Liverpool.
Now the former soccer star can swap Richmond for North Melbourne after the Roos selected him with pick 35 in Thursday night's AFL National Draft.
Perez became the first Bendigo Pioneer to be drafted to North Melbourne in 12 years.
The skillful midfielder/half-back missed all of 2019 after undergoing a knee reconstruction late in 2018.
His form as a 17-year-old with the Pioneers and the AFL Academy was enough for the Roos to jump at pick 35.
His poise with the footy and great kicking ability on either side of his body were the attributes that attracted the Roos to the Sandhurst Football Netball Club product.
"It's massive, it's been a big year for me, obviously not playing,'' Perez told Fox Footy.
"To see North Melbourne have the faith in me, I'm thrilled and just can't wait to get into it.''
Perez said the frustration of undergoing a knee reconstruction had improved him as a person.
"Character building, mental toughness and putting things into perspective and becoming a better person off the field. Really rapt and keen to get back on the field that's for sure,'' he said.
Pioneers regional talent manager Steve Sharp said Perez's story should be an inspiration to other young footballers.
"What's Flynn done shows that if you do the work you can still get through in the draft if you have injuries in your top-age year,'' Sharp said.
"He's impressed AFL clubs this year with his professionalism and personality and he deserves this chance.
"He's a good kid and we're very pleased for him."
Paul McMahon (1997), Daniel Harris (2000), Ash Watson (2001), Hugh Foott (2001) and Robbie Tarrant (2007) are the only other Pioneers to be selected by the Roos in the national draft.
Ironically, Perez's Pioneers' team-mate and close friend Thomson Dow - a mad North Melbourne supporter growing up - was selected by Richmond with the final pick in round one.