Where will next Podsiadly come from?
VFL trailblazer James Podsiadly has paid tribute to AFL clubs for their left-field recruiting of mature-age talent as they prepare to plunder Australia's state-league talent this week.
Podsiadly's recruitment at 28 sent shockwaves through the conservative recruiting fraternity but he went on to play 104 games with Geelong and Adelaide.
A decade on from his recruitment in the 2009 rookie draft, the AFL's 18 clubs have caught on as they recruited dozens of state-league players in the past 12 months.
In the VFL alone there were 19 players recruited through the 2018 national draft, the rookie draft, the mid-season draft, and the summer rookie draft.
Podsiadly is reluctant to be the pin-up boy for mature-age recruitment but said he was thrilled so many kids were getting a chance so long after they were first eligible to be drafted.
"I think everyone just matures and grows at different rates and my story is an extreme example but in the last couple of years, the Tim Kellys of the world who need a few more years to mature are out there and I think they will continue to be out there," he said.
"The AFL have done a pretty good job in opening up different avenues for players to be selected in the last 12 months. There is the mid-season draft but you can sign players from state leagues and delisted players until the start of the season.
"So to have some more flexibility makes clubs think a little bit differently and think outside the box. That is what the AFL needs, because back in the day if you didn't get drafted when you were 18 you either missed out forever or had to wait another 12 months to prove yourself so I think it's great."
Then state-league players Josh Corbett, Chris Burgess and Sam Collins went to the Suns as part of a new allowance, while the Blues traded state-league players Nathan Kreuger to the Cats and Shane McAdam to the Crows.
Both clubs had discretion to secure state-league players as part of their submission for AFL help.
The likes of St Kilda's Callum Wilkie and Robbie Young made their debuts, with former Collingwood rookie Podsiadly excited with the potential of new Pie John Noble.
"You can see there are kids getting drafted out of state leagues. John Noble from Collingwood is a great example," he said.
"He wasn't on the radar coming out of the Under-18s, but he's had a good stint at SANFL level, he can run, he's got a good kick on him, and he plays in a prelim.
It's another great story and they will continue. The AFL have opened up those capabilities for clubs to do that and clubs recruiting departments are also growing so the amount of eyes on these games, there is nothing that is missed any more."