AFL draft hopeful undecided on cricket - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL draft hopeful undecided on cricket

Greg Buckle 04/07/2011 04:08:47 PM Comments (0)

Stephen Coniglio is one of the hottest prospects for the 2011 AFL draft, if he decides to stick with football rather than cricket.

The 17-year-old is captaining Western Australia in the national under-18 AFL championships this week in Victoria.

"I'm still deciding. I haven't made a decision on anything yet," the state under-17 cricket representative said on Monday.

"I'll wait until after the carnival to have a think about that.

"It's a fantastic opportunity with footy and there's opportunities in cricket to get the same.

"It will definitely be the opportunities and the one which I enjoy most, nothing like money or anything.

"IPL (the lucrative Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition) won't come into consideration.

"It will just be what I enjoy and what I can see myself being the best player at."

Coniglio said a newspaper report last month that he was considering staying out of the draft because of a desire to avoid playing for Greater Western Sydney (GWS) was wrong.

GWS join the AFL in 2012 and have nine of the first 15 picks in the November draft including the top three.

"No, I wouldn't have any concerns. It's a new club, it's exciting," the 182cm, 76kg midfielder said.

"I didn't really read into it much because I knew it (the report) was false."

Coniglio, who kicked four goals for Swan Districts in last year's WAFL grand final, was shaded for best-afield honours by Andrew Krakouer who's now with Collingwood.

Coniglio says he has heard only good things about GWS, who are coached by Kevin Sheedy.

The teenager has been surprised by the media exposure he has received.

"(But) if you're going to be a good player in the future, you have to deal with that," he said.

Melbourne's 2008 No.1 draft pick Jack Watts admitted last month the constant public scrutiny had weighed heavily on him early in his career.

AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan said Coniglio had been in great form in the under-18 championships.

"He has stood out through the midfield with his performances and you would have expected that," Sheehan said.

Brisbane captain Jonathan Brown is one of a long list of AFL players who chose Australian rules football over cricket but, in recent times, Victoria's Alex Keath and Western Australia's Mitchell Marsh have gone against the trend.

"With the rise of Twenty20, cricket has got a chance to seriously compete with the AFL," Australian Cricketers' Association chief Paul Marsh said on Monday.

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