Lukle jarrad article from Adelaide now

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Lukle jarrad article from Adelaide now

Post by Mickyj on Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:45 pm

LUKE Jarrad is not holding his breath.

In an era of mature-age players being thrown unexpected AFL lifelines, the Woodville-West Torrens flying machine is one of the unlucky ones.

Three times he has been close to being drafted - including by Adelaide last year - only for his name not to be called. Now, at 28, he thinks his time has passed.

``You never say never but I think my window of opportunity might have closed,'' said the ultra-consistent Jarrad, who has finished in the top five of the Eagles' best and fairest in all six years at the club.

``When you get to my age I think you need to be a key position player or a nippy goalkicker, rather than a midfielder, to be drafted.

``But an opportunity nearly opened up for me last year, so who knows?''

Dashing wingman/half-back Jarrad revealed Crows recruiting manager Matt Rendell interviewed him, along with Central District rover/forward Ian Callinan, for its one mature-age rookie spot last year.

Callinan got the nod (at age 28) but had his year derailed by injury, playing only three AFL games.

``I thought an AFL career had passed me by but then the Crows thing popped up, so you just never know,'' Victorian Jarrad said two days out from the 2011 national draft.

``I thought `gee, when is this AFL thing going to stop' because you think that part of your footy career is closed and then a small window opens up again.

``I did my best to get that (Crows) spot but in the end they went for Callinan, which is understandable because he's a freak.''

Jarrad had previously trained with Collingwood and Port Adelaide.

He had been interviewed by St Kilda and Melbourne.

Now the dual Eagles premiership player - who joined from Williamstown in 2006 - looks like being one of football's hard luck stories.

``Luke's one of those guys who has slipped through the (AFL) system,'' Woodville-West Torrens premiership coach Mick Godden said.

``He's an elite runner, he's got a beautiful left-foot kick and his games week-in, week-out in the SANFL have been fantastic,'' Godden said.

``He's likely to be one of those unlucky ones to have missed out on an AFL career but unfortunately they don't all get through (to be drafted).''

Godden said he is ``absolutely in no doubt'' that Jarrad could have had a strong AFL career if the cards had fallen his way. Still could, he says.

He noted there were plenty of other players running around in the AFL who don't have Jarrad's combination of pace, skill and footy nous.

``He's deserved an opportunity like a few other players have in the SANFL,'' he said.

``I reckon each club has one or two players who deserve consideration to be taken as mature-age players in this year's national draft but in reality only two or three of them will be selected.''

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