Top AFL prospect admits to nerves

The AFL’s complicated new bidding system has left likely first-round pick Matthew Kennedy a bundle of nerves ahead of the draft.

The 18-year-old midfielder and half-forward will probably go to GWS in Tuesday night’s draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

But Kennedy says because of the uncertainty around the bidding process, no-one really knows.

Kennedy and Jacob Hopper are two players from the Giants’ academy who loom as first-round picks.

The new system means another club can bid for a player who comes from one of the northern teams’ academies or qualifies as a father-son selection.

It’s then up to the original club – in Kennedy’s case, the Giants – to match that bid.

Each draft pick is now worth a certain number of points, so if another club decides to pick Kennedy then GWS will have to give up later picks to meet that value and take him instead.

Not surprisingly, everyone is waiting to see how the system unfolds on the night.

“I’m not sure where I will be living for the next two years of my life playing footy but hoping just to get on a list,” Kennedy said.

“They (GWS) have obviously said they’re keen but they can’t give me any definite yes or no – Hopper is probably the same.

“I’m not too sure what to expect. I’m pretty nervous.

“It’s scary – good nerves and bad nerves, I guess.”

Kennedy has previously said he started looking at how the new bidding system works, then realised he should leave it be.

“I have no control and it depends what the Giants are after, where the bid comes on me and what they’re looking for,” he said.

“So I’m pretty scared to think I might be at 18 different clubs.

“But I’m looking forward to it, I’ve always wanted to play AFL footy.

“To be on any list, it doesn’t worry me.”

Even though Kennedy missed three months of this year with a knee injury, AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan said the Riverina native had made a big impact.

“He was unheard of 12 months ago – he’s come from the clouds,” Sheehan said.

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