Belconnen junior Chris Jansen has been invited to the AFL Draft Combine on the back of his stellar form for Central District in the SANFL.
The 20-year-old has been labelled as one of the best new recruits of the season in South Australia, continuing a golden run of form that saw him take out Belconnen’s Best and Fairest in 2014.
Speaking earlier this season after driving home a major from the 50-metre arc to secure a draw after the siren, Jansen said he was enjoying his time in the SANFL, but still harboured dreams of going one step further.
“[I’m] loving playing at the Doggies,” said the former NSW/ACT Rams representative.
“AFL is still a dream on the horizon, but if that doesn’t happen, I’d love to be a 10-year player at Central District.”
Jansen made his first grade debut for Belconnen at the tender age of 16, but quickly found his feet in the backline, but a positional change has seen the former Magpie flying in the midfield.
“At Belconnen I spent all my playing time as a defender, mainly across half back, but Roy [Central’s coach Laird] moved me into the middle a bit more this season.
“SANFL football is a real step up in standard of game from the NEAFL, especially the pace.”
Jansen’s dream of playing top flight football is very close to becoming a reality, and Belconnen’s James Bennett believes the man affectionately known as “Dobby” will be up to the test.
“I’m sure he’ll go well at the combine,” Bennett said.
“He has gone and got himself fit and strong after a big SANFL pre-season and should perform well.
“He’s more of a smart footballer than an athlete, so hopefully he gets the opportunity to show that.”
Bennett himself enjoyed a successful stint with North Adelaide in the SANFL, and believes Jansen will be able to take the next step.
“He’s really shown himself to be able to handle the SANFL level and play very well. Very good SANFL players show they are ready for the next level.
“He’s a competitive guy and a mature player who will rise to the challenge.”
Jansen joins Ainslie’s Thomas Faul and Eastlake’s Brydon Hodgson as the three Canberra juniors who have been invited to AFL Draft Combine’s later this year.
A total of 123 players from competitions across the country have been invited to strut their stuff in front of esteemed recruiters.
(PHOTO: Central District FC)
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