Horne-Francis is first South Adelaide player to be taken with pick 1 in AFL Draft

NUMBER ONES: South Adelaide's Jason Horne-Francis, who is the club's first player to be taken with the number one AFL draft pick, and Bryce Gibbs, who was also an AFL number one draft pick and now plays for South. Photo: Twitter/SANFL.

NUMBER ONES: South Adelaide's Jason Horne-Francis, who is the club's first player to be taken with the number one AFL draft pick, and Bryce Gibbs, who was also an AFL number one draft pick and now plays for South. Photo: Twitter/SANFL.

As expected, South Adelaide footballer Jason Horne-Francis was taken with pick 1 in the AFL Draft, with round one of the draft being held on Wednesday night, November 24.

The crafty utility from Port Willunga is the first Panther to ever be taken with the first pick, and will join North Melbourne in 2022.

North Melbourne hall of famer Malcolm Blight was on hand to present Horne-Francis with his guernsey on Wednesday night - he will wear number six.

The 18-year-old is the first SANFL player to be the first selection in 15 years, the next-most recent being Bryce Gibbs in 2006.

He is also the first non-Victorian to be selected with pick 1 since Gold Coast took West Australian David Swallow in 2010.

After his selection, Horne-Francis told media he felt "a lot of excitement" when his name was called out.

"It's a really special moment that I got to share with some great people," he said.

He "can't wait to get into things" with the Kangaroos, he said.

"I think North are (heading in) the right direction and they've got a lot of young talent, young midfielders, and I think I can learn a lot off a lot of the players at the club, so it's going to be really exciting," he said.

"I think it's a dream for a lot of players to come and make their debut in round one, and hopefully that's the case for me.

"I feel like I'm pretty well prepared and pretty ready for it."

His drafting means his time working at Fleurieu Milk Company at Myponga alongside Adelaide Crows greats Tony Modra, Kym Koster, and Clay Sampson will come to an end.

Horne-Francis was one of three SANFL players selected in the first round, with Glenelg's Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera snapped up by St Kilda at pick 11 and Central Districts' Leek Aleer taken by GWS at pick 15.

Two Great Southern Football League (GSFL) players have a strong chance to be taken in the rest of the AFL Draft on Thursday night, November 25.

Hailing from the Willunga Football Club is Arlo Draper, a high-flying midfielder and forward who impressed in his debut SANFL league season for South Adelaide this year.

Fellow midfielder/forward Matthew Roberts is also on multiple clubs' radars, having performed well for South Adelaide this season and winning a GSFL A grade premiership with Langhorne Creek at just 15 years of age.

A third GSFL player has also nominated for the draft; Isaac Birt, a midfielder from Strathalbyn Football Club, could go late in the draft after a consistent year with the South Adelaide under 18s side.

This story Horne-Francis is first South Adelaide player to be taken with pick 1 in AFL Draft first appeared on The Times.

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