Draft picks up two CQ players
BEST mates Paul O'Shea and Gavin Urquhart are sharing a sporting dream.
O'Shea, 17, and Urquhart, 18, became the first players from Central Queensland to be drafted into the AFL at the weekend, with both rising stars bound for Melbourne.
Urquhart is off to the Kangaroos after he was drafted in the second round at pick No. 21 while O'Shea, who wasn't even going to play footy this season, was claimed by the Western Bulldogs at selection No.76 on Saturday.
The pair joined a record 11 Queensland players recruited in the national draft, led by former Mackay junior David Armitage who was recruited by St Kilda in the first round.
Sitting watching the draft via the internet in Brisbane with others from his AFLQ club Redland, O??Shea was struck by emotion when his name was called out by Bulldogs recruiting manager Scott Clayton.
Speaking to The Morning Bulletin from Brisbane yesterday, O'Shea was still in a state of shock after completing an extraordinary football fairytale, which began just four years ago playing for Brothers in Rockhampton.
"It's like a dream come true," said O'Shea, who received a text message from Urquhart on Saturday to congratulate him on his selection.
"I can't believe it. Istill can't believe it's happening. Twelve months ago I was going to give football away and now I'm in the AFL. It's incredible.''
This time last year, O'Shea was playing cricket in Rockhampton after a season of Aussie Rules and rugby league and contemplated giving football away to return to athletics.
"I was thinking about giving the footy away. I'm bloody glad I didn't,''said O'Shea, who yesterday paid credit to AFL Queensland Central Queensland area development manager Brett Fragiacomo for his rapid rise to the elite level.
O'Shea's first phone call after he was drafted was to his father, John, at Gracemere.
"He just said 'congratulations. Enjoy the day. I'm going to have a beer. I don't think he could believe it either.''
O'Shea's mum, Janet, said yesterday she was very proud of her youngest son's achievements while older brothers, Chris, 26, and Andrew, 23, were also "stoked".
One of three Queenslanders in this year's Under-18 All-Australian team, Urquhart was also riding a wave of emotion yesterday and leaves for Melbourne tomorrow to start training with his new club on Wednesday.
"It's unreal," the former Glenmore Bulls junior said.
"All the hard work has paid off."
Urquhart trained with his new club earlier this year and received an unexpected phone call from Kangaroos legend Glenn Archer following his selection on Saturday.
"He (Archer) gave me a call to congratulate me. I didn't know what to say," Urquhart said.
After coaching the next crop of youngsters at Rockhampton's Stenlake Park yesterday morning, Fragiacomo said the region's groundbreaking success at this year's national draft was fantastic news for the sport in Central Queensland. It really puts us on the map,he said.