KOLORA-Noorat draft prospect Nick Bourke has proved he has the speed and kicking skills to hold his own at AFL level.
Bourke, 18, was among four south-west Victorian footballers who took part in the four-day AFL draft combine at Etihad Stadium.
The highly-rated Geelong Falcons onballer was equal-fifth in the repeat sprints test, clocking 24.31 seconds for six 30-metre sprints.
He placed second in the Nathan Buckley kicking test, scoring 28 out of 30, one point behind the winner, his Falcons teammate James Tsitas.
Bourke, one of more than 100 footballers chasing their AFL dreams, was also just outside the top 10 in a host of other measures.
He recorded 14.4 for the beep test, 10 minutes, 40 seconds for the three-kilometre run and 8.6 seconds for the agility test.
Bourke said he was pleased with “a few handy-enough results” under the gaze of AFL development manager Kevin “Shifter” Sheehan and club scouts.
“We went into the week and Shifter said ‘it’s the last job interview for the year, you’ve put in all the hard work, it’s one last thing to tick off’,” he said.
“I did everything I could, you can’t do much more now. It’s a bit of relief.
‘‘Now you wait and see what comes in seven weeks’ time.”
Bourke also completed interviews with five AFL clubs, giving him the first indication of where he could find himself come December.
“I was a bit worried going into them. I talked a lot to blokes like Billie Smedts, who had been through it before,” he said.
“There have been instances where there were a few touch questions.
“But they wanted to get to know yourself, your family and schooling, what you do outside of football.”
Bourke said the experience would hold him in good stead, whether or not a club called his name out at either the national or rookie drafts.
“You’re always learning and you’re always taking that into your training and rehab,” he said.
Terang Mortlake onballer Lewis Taylor, South Warrnambool utility Louis Herbert and Cobden goal sneak Zach Merrett also took part in the combine.
Herbert excelled in a host of measures. He was eighth in the repeat sprints, recording 24.38.
His leap would also have caught the eye of scouts, recording top-10 results in the standing and vertical jump tests.
Taylor, who is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot, did not undertake physical testing but completed interviews with clubs and the media.