JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Angus Brayshaw happy to wait for draft opportunity

Angus Brayshaw playing for the AIS-AFL Academy against the European Legion.

Angus Brayshaw playing for the AIS-AFL Academy against the European Legion. Photo: Emma Quayle

This time last year, Angus Brayshaw had a broken arm. When that got better someone kneed him in the back. Next he walked into his bathroom door, sliced open a thumb and needed four stitches.

Had Brayshaw been born nine days before he was - at the end of December in 1995, not the start of the January - he wouldn't have been considered one of the most pickable players in the 2014 draft. He would have been up for grabs last year.

The 18-year-old did well in the few games he did play, and would like to think he did enough for someone to have called his name out. But he can't be sure where he would have fitted in and had other priorities: he was so busy last year that he would sit up until 2am after training some nights, getting his Year 12 homework done.

Angus Brayshaw trains with the AIS-AFL Academy in London

Angus Brayshaw trains with the AIS-AFL Academy in London Photo: Emma Quayle

Brayshaw could have been at an AFL club this minute, and could even be playing senior football. But he's not unhappy with his timing.

"It's actually turned out well. Because of all the injuries, but also because of school. It was hard enough managing everything last year, and obviously a lot of guys do that in their draft year, but I can't imagine how you can do both things as well as you'd like to do them," he said.

"There's a lot of pressure, playing football at this age, and school's so important for the rest of your life. I struggled with it, and that was without the thought of being drafted."

That will happen this year, and Brayshaw feels much more ready for it. He is in the first year of a double degree in commerce and engineering and likes being at university, where "no-one cares if you're late, and no-one cares if you fail. It's all up to you, which is so different to school."

He was able to spend all summer getting ready for this season and feeling more independent, arriving home from a pre-season camp to find his mother had booked him in for a driving test "and was touching every piece of wood in the house to make sure I passed. She's driven four boys around for years, so I think she's earnt her rest."

That wasn't the only thing that helped. Brayshaw's father, Mark, is a North Melbourne director who played 32 games for the club, before working for Fremantle and Port Adelaide in their formative years and becoming Richmond's chief executive.

Angus has never wanted to rely on his father's friends and former teammates to help him get things other kids can't access. But when he trained at Melbourne earlier this year, as part of the AIS-AFL Academy program, assistant coach Brett Allison kept an eye on him. And when he wanted to start strengthening his core and doing some injury prevention work during the pre-season, he had another handy contact in Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson.

This year, Brayshaw wants to avoid injuries, play every week and play as well as possible. Having that information, and using it, has helped him make a good start.

"I did a bit of stuff with Clarko and one of Hawthorn's fitness guys, and it was all really good. It's the sort of stuff I think anyone could seek out if they really wanted it, I think, but it's all been pretty useful. Even just knowing what AFL players actually do has helped," he said. 

"It's helped me get fit and strong and healthy, which is what I wanted. We'll see what happens from here, but I wanted to give myself the best chance to stay injury free and be out there and be able to play more than I did last year. That, and play well. That's a pretty big one too."

"There's a lot of pressure playing football at this age, and school's so important for your life. It's really hard to do both. I noticed that a lot last year,   and that was without the thought of being drafted."

Brayshaw could have been at an AFL club now. He only started school early because his parents thought they might one day move from Melbourne back to Perth, and wanted their four boys to fit into the right grade. But he's not unhappy with his timing.

"It's actually turned out well. Because of all the injuries,but also because of school. It was hard enough managing that last year and obviously a lot of guys have to do that in their draft year, but I can't imagine how you could do both things as well as you'd like to," Brayshaw said.

"I can definitely see why people would think it's a good idea to raise the draft age, to make sure everyone's had the chance to get through school. I think that's how it probably should be.

"There's a lot of pressure playing football at this age, and school's so important for your life. It's really hard to do both. I noticed that a lot last year,   and that was without the thought of being drafted."

Comments

Be the first to comment.

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Featured advertisers