It has taken 14 years, but finally the Great Southern Football League has produced a footballer to be drafted to an AFL club.
Victor Harbor Football Club’s Nathan Kreuger has been selected by Geelong via Carlton - after the Cats traded Pick 42 for access to one of the Blues’ pre-draft compensation selections.
Kreuger is the first Great Southern Football League player selected since Goolwa’s Ryan Griffen was chosen in 2004 by the Western Bulldogs at pick number three. Ironically, Griffen has retired the year the GSFL has its next player selected after playing 257 games with the Western Bulldogs and GWS. The league has had players rookie listed during the past 14 years.
It is a phone call Kreuger will never forget and is “wrapped” with the opportunity.
“I finished work on Friday (October 5) and received a phone call from a recruiter from Geelong and said they wanted to draft me and fly me over,” Kreuger said.
“I was surprised, shocked, relieved and so happy they have chosen me.” Kreuger is looking forward to the chance to meet the big names of the AFL in Selwood, Dangerfield and Ablett.
“It is going to be so exciting to train with those guys and be in the same change rooms as them. It will be great to pick their brains and learn how they prepare and go about their football.”
However, it was South Adelaide that provided the pathway from Victor Harbor to the AFL, after the club presented Kreuger with his first League game in 2018.
“The South Adelaide Football Club is absolutely thrilled that Nathan’s talents and hard work have been recognised. Full credit goes to Kreugs for the way he has overcome the setback of being overlooked in last year’s draft,” SAFC football manager Warren Ploenges said.
“He re-set his goals and then diligently worked through those at Senior Level, becoming one of the bright lights in our League team’s performances this year.”
Kreuger thanked the Panthers and junior coaches at Victor Harbor and Victor Harbor High School for helping in his development.