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Scott Lucas says an AFL career is an “opportunity and a privilege”

Essendon champion Scott Lucas believes a career in the AFL is an “opportunity and a privilege” not just a given right to young boys and girls.

The 2000 Premiership player with the Bombers and now AFL player agent with Phoenix Management joined Matt Thompson & Jimmy Bartel on Macquarie Sports Radio the morning after the opening night of the 2018 NAB AFL Draft and believes the discussion around young boys telling interstate clubs not to draft them was more prevalent due to the amount of picks the interstate clubs held in the top 40.

“I think there’s always been an honesty from players around potentially not loving the thought of going interstate. That discussion has been around more this year than others because of the first 39 picks the Victorian clubs only held 12 of those picks. My belief is an AFL career is an opportunity and a privilege and if interstate is what it might be, then so be it” Lucas said on Macquarie Sports Radio.

There has been much discussion in the build up to this weeks draft that potential draftees have told interstate clubs they’re not willing to be drafted to their club leaving their home base in Victoria. A player who was drafted last night has told interstate clubs that he has medical documentation that says he couldn’t move interstate to pursue his career.

“What you have to differentiate between players saying I don’t want to go is also players that clubs may not fully believe will settle in or handle a move interstate as well as some others, so it works both ways. Young players are also expressing a real honesty in the interviews which works both ways because clubs can be very direct with players but I think at the heart of it I would like to see players embrace any opportunity that’s given to them”

Lucas himself played 270 games for Essendon and was taken at Pick 4 in the 1994 National Draft by Kevin Sheedy. He grew up in Country Victoria but completed his year 12 studies at St Bernard’s College in Essendon meaning a move away from his home came at the age of 16.

He understands what it’s like as a country boy pursuing an AFL career means a move away from home is inevitable “as soon as they got their head around the fact they were draftable, they knew they were moving. They get their head around it quite early.. We’ve also had clubs say that they won’t draft a player, not because he’s expressed a desire not to go but they just think he’ll settle in from the interview process, so it can work both ways” Lucas said.

Now, in his role as a player manager and using his personal experiences Scott will chat with each one of his potential draftees about the realities that come with nominating for the AFL draft. “Chatting to the boys, you do have to have the conversation, whilst you could talk about the desire or the preference to stay in Victoria. The reality is that the interstate club could pick you or be the club that likes you most or the ONLY club that might be interested is in an interstate club, so do you want to forego an opportunity at an AFL career in order to stay at home.”

On the opening night of the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, Scott Lucas’ company Phoenix Management saw Sam Walsh taken by Carlton with pick #1, Liam Stocker taken by Carlton at pick #19 and Eli Smith taken by Brisbane with pick #21.

Hear day 2 of the NAB AFL Draft on Macquarie Sports Radio with Matt Granland live from Marvel Stadium.