The Calder Cannons are hoping that at least four, if not more of its players are taken in the AFL drafts this week.

While the Cannons didn’t have the best year in the win-loss column, a number of players have put themselves on the radar of AFL clubs.

The national draft will be held over Thursday night and Friday, before the rookie draft later on Friday.

Cannons’ coach Ross Smith said they would be happy to get four players chosen and ecstatic if a couple of others found their way onto AFL lists.

Midfielder Rhylee West seems the most likely to be selected.

The likely frontrunner appears to be the Western Bulldogs, who can take him under the father-son rule. Rhylee’s father, Bulldogs’ legend Scott West, played more than 300 games for the club.

Smith said West was in the Jack Viney mould of player.

Curtis Taylor appears to be the next on the list, with the Keilor product thriving at both TAC Cup and Metro level.

“Curtis has had a good year,” Smith said.

“Whether it’s in the midfield or forward he’s equally as good and you can say the same about Rhylee for his size.

“I’d say Curtis is in the [Mark] LeCras type of player.”

Rhylee West. Pic SImon Schluter (The Age)

Smith said the Cannons were still hopeful that co-captain Jack Bytel would get selected despite a back injury derailing his year.

Smith said without the injury, Bytel would have likely been a high pick.

“He can play back, mid and forward,” Smith said. “He was really good this year. He was always at training and in the coaches box with me on the weekend.

“There are some concerns with his back. He was seen as a first round pick, but will slip further down.”

Bytel’s good mate and co-captain Mitch Podhajski is the other the Cannons believe is a good chance of being selected.

Podhajski missed out on being drafted last year and put his head down this season, taking out the Cannons’ best and fairest award.

He also played several VFL matches for Coburg.

“I don’t think I’ve seen a better leader at his age take control of a group,” Smith said. “He was instrumental in the development of our group.

“He played off half-back last year and as a forward and mid this year. I find it hard to believe he played as a back, as he played so well as a forward and mid. “He’s really smart and in the mould of a modern day midfielder.”

Lachlan Sholl, Sam Graham, Tye Browning, Daniel Hanna and Jake Riccardi are the other players who could be drafted or rookie listed. Possible Essendon father-son Mason Fletcher decided not to nominate for the drafts, after missing most of season through injury.

In other Cannons news, Chris Johnson has taken on the role of interim talent manager after Ian Kyte stood down from the role.


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