Sydney Swans want to see more of Birregurra defender

Birregurra footballer Lewis Melican

Birregurra footballer Lewis Melican

YOUNG Birregurra footballer Lewis Melican has received an invitation to test himself in front of Sydney Swans recruiters.

The AFL’s national and state combines are on this week, giving aspiring young footballers an opportunity to test themselves and meet AFL officials.

And while Melican, 17, fell below the criteria to receive an invitation, the Sydney Swans have requested to see more of the talented Geelong Falcons footballer.

Falcons regional manager Michael Turner, regarded as one of the best judges of junior talent in football, was full of praise for the 192-centimetre key-position player.

“I actually tried hard to get him to the state screening because I rate him as a fantastic prospect – he’s big and tall and he’s getting stronger every week,” Turner said.

“Unfortunately you need interest from at least two AFL clubs to get to the state screening, but there has been a special request from the Sydney Swans to see more of Lewie,” he said.

Melican was consistent in the early part of the TAC Cup season with the Geelong Falcons.

He hit his straps towards the end, ranking among the team’s best players in four of his final five games, including the team’s two finals.

Turner said Melican made the most of his opportunities as the season progressed, after battling teammates for the team’s key roles earlier in the year.

“You’ve got to remember we’ve got a lot of good defenders, guys like Hugh Goddard and Zaine Cordy, who will get drafted, were holding down those key roles and Lewie didn’t have those opportunities at the start,” he said.

“But when they were playing school footy or state footy, Lewie got his opportunity and really made the most of it.

“He played on, and beat, some really good players.

“He played on Jed Lamb from Dandenong, who’s expected to get drafted, and kept him quiet twice.”

Melican averaged 5.2 kicks and 3.5 handballs a game, at 65-per-cent efficiency, in his first full season with the Falcons, playing 19 games.

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