The NYCAFL draft for 2011 saw 39 new players to the New York Magpies find homes in the 4 metro-league squads. Held at club sponsor, the Galway Hooker Pub, the draft has the potential to change the landscape of the NYCAFL competition which kicks off on Friday June 10th at Steven’s Institute in Hoboken.
After following a number of premiership seasons with a disappointing 3rd place finish in 2010 the Suburban Tollmen, better known as the Trash, were looking to replace departing guns James Polulach and Dave Whittmer with the number one pick. After many hours of study the Trash’s captain Ojas ‘Juice’ Desai landed on VictorianÂ Todd Smith as the first overall selection. Smith’s hardness at the ball, fitness and impeccable fashion sense bring a lot to the Trash who were decimated by departures in the offseason.
Despite the captain of theÂ Village Bohemian’s, Nick Walker being engaged in studious pursuits on the night of the draft he put his stamp on proceedings with a well thought out priority list provided to stand-in selector and reigning NYCAFL MVP and Golden Boot, Jimmy ‘Pistol’ McLoughlin. With the 2nd pick the Boho’s added some grit to their midfield in the form of Jack Taylor who, despite a leg infection picked up in Philadelphia on the weekend, expects to play in round 1.
Third pick was held by the Times Square Tourists after their heartbreaking loss in the 2010 NYCAFL grand final. With a long list of midfielders already on his team, club and Tourist captain Andy Brennan decided to go tall, selecting Queenslander Adam Overall. Unfortunately for Overall he chose the Yankees and the Red Sox over the Tourists on draft night, something Brennan is hoping won’t be repeated over the course of the NYCAFL season.
Ben Squires, captain of the reigning NYCAFL premiers the Hudson River Rats, has the luxury of most of his 2010 squad returning for the 2011 so he could afford to take a moderate risk in selecting Nick Stone with pick number four. While certainly not a risk skill wise given Stone’s playing experience, Stone’s thriving Friday night social life could limit his NYCAFL attendance and reduce the value of the pick. When queried about the risk Squires backed himself to get his full team on the park and make it back-to-back NYCAFL premierships.
The remainder ofÂ the rounds saw all nominating players (and a couple of players who will be surprised about their participation) selected to one of the four teams. OtherÂ notable selections were Brien ‘Kitten’ Blandford, who was the first American to be picked, by the Tourist’s and Tom Lydon, father of Boho player Hunter Lydon, by the Trash. Friday night’s game between the Trash and the Boho’s will now take on extra significance for the Lydon family.
With the draft complete all players will look forward to round 1 this Friday the 10th of June at Debaun Field, Steven’s Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Starting at 7pm the first round will feature a rematch of the 2010 Grand Final between the River Rats and the Tourists as well as the Trash taking on the Boho’s. The first round will also give players and teams a chance to work on their skills before former Sydney Swans premiership captain Brett Kirk experiences NYCAFL as part of round 2 on June 17th.