AFL NSW-ACT boss Sam Graham has tipped Southern NSW, and the state as a whole, to bounce back strongly at next year's draft.
It was a disappointing result for the region in last week's draft with no Riverina players being selected by AFL clubs.
Canberra teenager Tom Green was NSW-ACT's only draftee when he was picked up by Greater Western Sydney (GWS) with selection number 10.
Graham, who was in Wagga on Monday touring the new AFL office, expects this year's result will prove to be a one-off.
"I'd certainly say that, that's its a blip," Graham said.
"The last four years have been really, really strong.
"You look at next year, we've got a really strong crop of talent coming through the system.
"Having Tom Green at pick number 10 to the Giants is a great result. I think there are a number of boys who are quite unlucky not be drafted, who had really good years but I guess, but I guess, like you see with Michael Gibbons at Carlton, if you don't get drafted in your open age year then there are lots of opportunities if you keep working hard and can improve and get better and work so that you can be drafted in years in the future."
AFL NSW-ACT had six players added to lists last year and seven the previous season. AFL Riverina, in particular, has gone cold in recent times after a hot period in 2015 and 2016 that saw Jacob Hopper, Matt Kennedy, Harry Himmelberg, Matt Flynn, Jock Cornell, Harry Perryman and Elliott Himmelberg all picked up.
No player from AFL Riverina has been picked up since Perryman and Himmelberg at the end of 2016.
This year Coolamon's Liam Delahunty, Leeton's Cooper Sharman and Henty's Nick Murray had all built strong cases to be given a chance at an AFL club but unfortunatly weren't picked up on the night.
Graham has full faith in the systems in place.
"I think the Giants Academy, Swans Academy pathway programs are industry-leading," he said.
"Whilst it was light this year, we see lots of positives and full confidence in Darren Denneman and the team, Cam Bernasconi, they're doing an incredible job and we look forward to future draft talent coming from this region."
Graham pointed to next year's AFL pre-season game in Wagga as a reminder of the local talent on AFL lists.
Richmond will play GWS in a grand final rematch at Robertson Oval on March 8. Giants footballers Zac Williams, Harry Himmelberg, Jacob Hopper, Harry Perryman and Matt Flynn all hail from AFL Riverina clubs.
"Locals can look forward to seeing their local talent on display at Robertson Oval in March," Graham said.
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