Good things come in tall packages
In a tough pandemic year marked by adversity, disruption and uncertainty, Year 12 student Fraser Rosman could have given up on his AFL hopes – but he didn’t.
When Fraser Rosman was selected by the Melbourne Football Club at pick #34 in the AFL Draft, his first words to his former Sandringham Dragons Coach, Josh Bourke, were to thank him. As Bourke told the Bayside Leader, ‘I’m like, it’s not about us. It’s about reward for him, how he’s matured and where he’s got to as a young man. I could not be any more pleased for him or prouder of him.’
Selected off the back of his standout performances for Wesley in the Associated Public Schools Football competition and the Sandringham Dragons in the under-18 NAB League, the 194cm tall left-footer showed he has the versatility, endurance and speed – second fastest at 5:52 minutes in the two kilometre time trial and tenth in the 20-metre sprint in the 2020 National AFL Draft Combine – to play on the wing or as a key forward.
As Fraser told Melbourne Media, ‘I looked at the screen [during the AFL Draft] for a bit not thinking that it was real. I’ve been working for this for a long, long time, so for the work to finally pay off, it was huge. I’m honoured to be picked up…by Melbourne; I’m really grateful.’
Wesley’s Head Coach of Football and First XVIII Coach, and Senior VCE Physical Education teacher, Brent Thiele, said Fraser’s selection is just recognition. ‘He is one of the most accomplished footballers in the APS competition, which represents 30 per cent of the AFL Draft,’ he said.
‘Everyone involved in Wesley Football is incredibly proud of Fraser and to hear the joy in his voice on AFL Draft night was a wonderful way to end the 2020 season. Being drafted to Melbourne is a fitting recognition for Fraser, as all those involved in Wesley Football, his coaches and teammates who have been with him on this journey, well know.’
According to Bourke, Fraser combines talent with a strong work ethic. ‘He’s had to do the work and mature and get his game going, and being surrounded by good people certainly helped him. You can put his school, Wesley College, in that too,’ Bourke said.
Fraser isn’t the first Wesley student to join the Demons. Former Demons coach Gordon Rattray (OW1916), who made the list in Stephen Shortis’ top 100 VFL/AFL coaches, was recruited into the VFL in similarly uncertain times back in 1917 when he joined Fitzroy where he played in the seniors as an 18-year-old, before serving with the AIF in France in the First World War. Between 1917 and 1928, the versatile centre half-back and centre half-forward played 87 games and coached 88.
More than a century on, we’ll be following with interest as another versatile Wesley student pursues his career, wherever it takes him. In the words of Brent Thiele, ‘We look forward to seeing Fraser join other Wesley players, Toby Greene (OW2011) – Greater Western Sydney FC, Sam Frost (OW2011) – Hawthorn FC and Adam Cerra (OW2017) – Fremantle FC in the AFL in 2021 and beyond.’
Find our more about Wesley’s Sports program here.