Noah Balta was the sole Calder Cannons player to be selected in the AFL National Draft on Friday night.

Seen as one of the x-factors in the draft, Balta was taken by Richmond at pick 25, the Tigers third pick.

Balta, who sees himself as a key defender, can also play in the ruck and up forward.

He was part of the Vic Metro team at the under-18 championships and was named in the TAC Cup team of the year.

Cannons’ region manager Ian Kyte said they were thrilled for Balta to get selected.

Many people compare Balta’s game to that of star Tigers defender Alex Rance.

“It’ll be a big job for him going to Richmond,” Kyte said.

“It’s a pretty exciting time for the family and I think they’ll be happy that he’s staying in Melbourne. That’s always a bonus.

“He’ll have a good role model [in Alex].”

Balta was the only Cannons player that was expected to be selected in the national draft.

Kyte said they had been hopeful that Mitchell Podhajski would have been a late pick, but that didn’t eventuate.

He said they still believed he was a good chance to be picked in the rookie draft.

Aidan Tilley, Dylan Landt and Brad Bernacki are other Cannons players seen as chances of being selected in the rookie draft on Monday night.

“There are still quite a few guys not taken tonight that we thought would have gone.”