Goetz gets his chance

Updated: November 27, 2015
Luke Goetz in action for Altona. Picture: ALTONA FOOTBALL CLUB
Luke Goetz in action for Altona. Picture: ALTONA FOOTBALL CLUB

Luke Goetz in action for Altona. Picture: ALTONA FOOTBALL CLUB

SOMEWHERE in an internet café in Cambodia, Western Jets big man Luke Goetz was checking the AFL website to see if his name had been called out in today’s rookie draft.

When he refreshed the page after pick 29, Goetz – who is on a school camp – found out that he was heading just up the road from his Altona home to start the next chapter of his football life at the Western Bulldogs.

The Dogs picked up the 202cm and 94kg ruckman with their second pick in the rookie draft.

Jets coach Torin Baker said he was delighted to see Goetz get an opportunity at the Whitten Oval and compared him to mobile Geelong bigman Mark Blicavs, the Cats’ best and fairest winner this season.

“Luke’s got elite running ability and also great athletic ability,” Baker said.

“I think he can play in a few positions.

“The Dogs have been really brave to punt on him because he’s still really raw but they can see there’s some exciting parts to his game. He’s a long-term investment.”

Goetz wasn’t even on the Jets list at the start of the year. But after impressing for Altona’s under-18 side in the Western Region Football League, he was invited down to the Jets and played the rest of the year in the TAC Cup.

He still finished runner-up in the Vikings’ best and fairest award after playing the last nine games of the season for the Jets.

Goetz, who turns 18 next week, is the only Jets player taken in this year’s national and rookie drafts after the club produced six draftees in 2014.

Surprisingly, no Geelong Falcons were taken in the rookie draft and regional manager Michael Turner said key forward Brett Blair along with Lockie McCartney and Ben McCarthy will return and play with the team as 19-year-olds in 2016.

Baden Remmos will also return to play as a 19-year-old when he recovers from a knee reconstruction.

Midfielders Harrison Kol and Will Sexton are likely to play in the VFL next year.

“Blairy hasn’t played a lot of games the last couple of years and had injuries this year but still some good stuff and he’ll give AFL clubs plenty of chances to see what he can do next season,” Turner said.

“It was still a very good draft for us. We had three taken in the first round (of the national draft) on Tuesday night and (Rhys) Mathieson will play senior footy next year.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley

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