Collingwood, Geelong among four AFL clubs linked to local football star – AFL News

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Collingwood and Geelong are reportedly among a quartet of AFL clubs to have a VAFA defender on their radar this season, with Collegian talent Sam Sofronidis said to be a living prospect to get a shot at the elite level.

Sofronidis, 23, won the best and fairest for his local side in a premiership-winning season this year and would also earn selection in the VAFA premiership Team of the Year, as well as a call-up to the Big V representative team.

The Collegians were led this year by former Geelong and Melbourne defender Jared Rivers, who coached the Lions to the flag before leaving on a high note.

River’s links with the Cats could see Sofronidis potentially find his way onto an AFL roster in the coming months, with Josh Gabelich reports that Geelong is one of four clubs showing interest in the local footballer.

The report suggests Rivers has a close relationship with Geelong football boss and ex-list manager Andrew Mackie, while Collingwood has also seen Sofronidis in action for the Collegians.

Local footballer Sam Sofronidis (pictured right) will represent the Big V team in 2023 (Image via Collegians FC, Instagram)

The potential older recruit could become eligible for the Rookie Draft later this month, and if overlooked for intake could be a viable target for the additional pre-season selection period as a train-on option.

In addition to Geelong and Collingwood, Sydney and Gold Coast are also said to have some interest in Sofronidis, who could be the latest player from the local league to make the jump to the AFL.

Both Richmond and Melbourne selected local talent through this year’s SSP window in Kaelan Bradtke and Kye Turner respectively, while Collingwood selected Joe Richards with the 48th pick in last year’s National Draft from Ovens & Murray League club Wangaratta.

Turner was recruited from Old Haileybury and listed with Frankston’s VFL side, while Bradtke, who is on Sydney’s reserve list, impressed for the Tigers after a strong year with Corowa-Rutherglen, who also compete in the O&MFNL.

Previously listed with the Sandringham Zebras, Sofronidis also made 17 appearances for Talent League club the Sandringham Dragons in 2017-18, with the likes of Bailey Smith, Max and Ben King, with Andrew Brayshaw also part of the Dragons during that period -team.

The 2023 Rookie Draft is scheduled for Wednesday, November 22, while the SSP will open closer to the new year ahead of the likely signing deadline before the end of the summer.

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