Tasmanian Jay Lockhart’s dream of cracking onto an AFL list have today come to fruition, with the 23-year-old signing on as a rookie at the Melbourne Football Club for 2019.
Signing on as a rookie as part of the AFL’s Supplementary Selection Period, Lockhart has been rewarded after impressing in both Tasmania and Victoria.
A two-time TSL premiership player with North Launceston, Lockhart also won the 2017 Lefroy Medal as Tasmania’s best player in that year’s representative match against the NEAFL.
— Bupa TSL (@TasStateLeague) June 10, 2017
Lockhart made the move to Melbourne at the end of the 2017 season, spending 2018 with Melbourne’s VFL affiliate Casey where he impressed enough to be named in the VFL Team of the Year.
General Manager of Football Operations at the Demons Josh Mahoney explained how the deal came to pass while talking to the Melbourne Football Club’s Melbourne Media.
“The AFL introduced a Supplementary Selection Period for the first time this year. This allowed teams to add players to their rookie list up until today’s date.
“By passing on our last pick in the rookie draft we had a spot available and today we have added Jay Lockhart to our rookie list for this season.”
“Jay had a terrific season at the Casey Demons last year and was unlucky not to get drafted at the time,” Mahoney said.
“To Jay’s credit, he took the disappointment of not getting drafted to fuel a really strong pre-season at Casey Demons.
“He came back in terrific condition and we are really happy that we have been able to reward his attitude with this spot.”
“When we were considering how to use this position on our list, it made sense to add a player who knew our system and had played under our coaches,” he said.
“Jay was a perfect candidate and we are sure he will make the most of this opportunity.”
Lockhart is the second Tasmanian to be selected under the Pre-Season Supplementary Selection Period, following Maverick Weller’s signing with Richmond.