Midfielder Oskar Faulkhead heads the Bendigo Pioneers' players in contention to find an AFL home on Wednesday via the mid-season draft.
Faulkhead, from Wentworth, caught the eye of AFL recruiters with a string of consistent performances at NAB League level with the Pioneers and some standout games at representative level with the Young Guns against Victoria Country and Victoria Metro.
The past two rounds he played for Geelong's VFL team and acquitted himself well.
"Oskar has had multiple clubs show interest and he's had interviews with a number of clubs,'' Pioneers' coach Danny O'Bree said.
"He's had two good VFL games with Geelong in the past two weeks, so he's done it at NAB League level, he's done it at representative level with the Young Guns and now he's done it at VFL level.
"He's done everything he can to earn a spot on an AFL list. Now it's a matter of a club selecting him on Wednesday."
O'Bree said in his opinion Faulkhead's improvement in 2022 came down to an underrated factor in all sports.
"From the start of the year he made it clear that NAB League was going to be his priority,'' O'Bree said.
"Last year he played some local footy, some APS footy and some NAB League footy, so he was torn.
"This year he has immersed himself in our program and he's taken his leadership to another level.
"The overriding factor for me as to why he's improved his footy is enjoyment.
"From the start of pre-season he's had a smile on his face. At quarter-time and half-time breaks in games I've been involved in he's had a smile on his face.
"It sounds pretty simple, but you'd be surprised how important enjoyment is. Oskar is really enjoying his footy this year and his performances have shown that."
Faulkhead has been the Pioneers' most consistent player this season.
"Probably the thing that attracts AFL recruiters the most is his versatility,'' O'Bree said.
"He's played in the midfield, he's played half-back and he's played at half-forward at NAB League level and he's been a valuable contributor in all areas.
"At Vic Country level and with the Young Guns he played wing and half-forward. In the VFL he played wing, half-forward and then went on the ball and the feedback was positive about how he could win his own footy."
O'Bree said Pioneers' skipper Harvey Gallagher and key defender Jed Brereton are the other two players from the region who have garnered interest.
Gallagher has had a wretched run with injuries this year, but a superb performance in the first Young Guns game turned heads in the recruiting landscape.
"Harvey had nine shots on goal in that Young Guns game and that was significant enough for clubs to look at him,'' O'Bree said.
"In the following game he got injured and then in his first VFL game he didn't get high possessions, but he had excuses.
"He's well within draft reach and I wouldn't be shocked to hear his name called."
At 200cm, Brereton has the athletic attributes that AFL clubs value.
"He's had some sensational moments in the first six games,'' O'Bree said of Brereton.
"He could catch the eye of a club that needs someone of his size. We saw in last year's mid-season draft that a number of 200cm-plus guys got drafted."
With a number of AFL clubs having a shortage of key defenders, Brereton could hear his name called on Wednesday night.
Players that are selected on Wednesday night are added to their club's rookie list.
AFL mid-season draft order:
1. West Coast
2. North Melbourne
7. Gold Coast
8. Port Adelaide
14. St Kilda
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.