Kemp rockets onto radar of AFL clubs

FORWARD Josh Kemp looms as one of this year’s draft bolters after being invited to the state combine three games into his TAC Cup career.

The Aberfeldie junior made his debut for Calder Cannons on June 23, kicking four goals in an eye-catching display against Eastern Ranges.

The 18-year-old also booted two goals against Oakleigh Chargers in Round 12 and his marking ability and kicking have attracted interest from AFL clubs.

“He does some really classy things,” Cannons talent manager Ian Kyte said of Kemp, who is listed at 184cm.

“It’s interesting to see on limited exposure that people want to see more.

“I think that’s one of the main reasons he’s got to draft combine. He can take a fantastic mark, he kicks it well and his leading patterns are pretty good.”

Essendon father-son prospect Mason Fletcher, Calder co-captain Mitch Podhajski and half-back flanker Sam Graham were also invited to the state combine, which is on October 5.

Back problems have kept key defensive prospect Fletcher sidelined since Round 3 and he has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Josh Kemp has caught the eye of AFL clubs in three games with Calder Cannons.

“He’s been doing a bit of work with Essendon, an extra night with them in his rehab,” Kyte said.

“They have been handling his rehab and trying to get him to a point where he may be able to go onto an AFL list next year.

“But that’s going to be something I think medical opinion will decide in coming months.”

Podhajski attended the national combine last year and has increased his average from 15 possessions to 25 this season after being promoted to a midfield role.

“He made national combine last year and a lot of clubs would have spoken to him last year,” Kyte said.

“He’s had quite a few again this year. It just shows there’s still quite a lot of interest in him.”

Graham, a dashing defender from Gisborne listed at 185cm, has impressed with his “speed and depth of kicking”.

“He has been very good this year when he has played with us,” Kyte said.

Developing tall Daniel Hanna and forward Tye Browning will attend the Rookie Me screening.

Hanna is eligible to be drafted by Essendon as a member of its Next Generation Academy.


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