Former Essendon captain Tim Watson has named his greatest AFL players to have come off the rookie list.
It comes following the retirement of Sydney premiership defender Heath Grundy after a stellar 256-game career – the most by a Swans rookie.
Grundy was selected with pick No.42 in the 2005 rookie draft from SANFL club Norwood after being overlooked in the National Draft, despite being an Under 18 All-Australian in 2004.
Watson paid tribute to the retired Swan before reeling off some of the game’s greatest rookie-listed players.
“There’s been some mighty fine rookie players over a long period of time,” Watson told SEN Breakfast.
“He (Grundy) is a guy who came into the game as a forward and was then turned into a defender.
“Teddy Richards went up there as a forward and they looked at him straight away and said: ‘No, we have identified you to play as a defensive player’ … they did exactly the same with Heath Grundy.
“You talk about the great rookie players over time: Dean Cox, Stephen Milne, Brett Kirk, Matthew Boyd, Brad Sewell, Aaron Sandilands, Dale Morris, Matt Priddis, Shane Mumford.
“There’s been a lot of great successes as a result of players being rookied over a long period of time.”
Listen to Thursday morning’s edition of SEN Breakfast with Garry Lyon and Tim Watson in the player below