Nine AFLPA Mike Fitzpatrick scholarship selected in AFL draft

27 Nov 2006 - Jason Murnane

The link between holding an AFL Players' Association Mike Fitzpatrick scholarship and being drafted by an AFL club continued this year with nine scholarship holders being selected by clubs at the weekends 2006 AFL Draft.

The Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarships are awarded by the AFLPA to assist young footballers aged between 15 & 17 in their education & training whilst they are aspiring to an AFL career.

The nine AFLPA Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship holders to be drafted in the 2006 National Draft include;

 Lachlan Hansen *  Kangaroos  3
 Travis Boak ^  Port Adelaide  5
 Mitchell Thorp *  Hawthorn  6
 Joel Selwood *  Geelong  7
 James Sellar *  Adelaide  14
 Leroy Jetta ^  Essendon  18
 Albert Proud *  Brisbane Lions  22
 Bachar Houli ^  Essendon  42
 Matthew Tyler ^  Brisbane Lions  54

(*2006 AFLPA Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship)      (^2005 AFLPA Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship)

The selection of Travis Boak, Leroy Jetta, Bachar Houli and Matthew Tyler in the 2006 AFL Draft brings to nine (out of a total of twelve) 2005 AFLPA Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship holders to have gone on to be drafted by an AFL club. 
Since the Mike Fitzpatrick scholarships inception in 2001, 65% (37 out of 57) of recipients have subsequently been drafted to AFL clubs Australia wide.

AFLPA GM - Player Development Steve Alessio said "The Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship underlines a key aim of the AFLPA to reinforce the value of a balanced life on and off the field."

"The scholarships are a way of encouraging young players to complete their schooling while giving them every chance of succeeding in football," Alessio said.

Named after Carlton premiership Captain & businessman Mike Fitzpatrick, the scholarships recognise Mike's outstanding efforts in combining football & academic excellence.  They aim to make financial considerations less of a concern for recipients and their family whilst the young player strives to achieve excellence in both the education and football fields.

The scholarship program has been developed in conjunction with the AFLPA Player Development Program, reinforcing the association's commitment to future AFL player education and welfare.

Now an AFL Commissioner, Mike Fitzpatrick took leave from professional football in 1975 to pursue further study at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.  Upon completion of his studies, Mike resumed his career with Carlton, captaining the club from 1980 to 1983, including the club's back to back 1981 and 1982 premiership sides, playing 150 games for the Blues between 1975-76 & 1978-1983.  A former Managing Director & founder of Hastings Funds Management Limited, Mike is a former Carlton director and Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission.   He is also a former vice-president of the VFL Players' Association.

The 12 month scholarships are available Australian wide.  Application forms are distributed throughout the State Leagues and during the Under 16 Championships each year and are also available via the AFLPA's website.  AFL Club or State League Club must nominate the applicant. 

Previous Mike Fitzpatrick scholarship recipients include;
Richard Cole (Collingwood); Xavier Clarke (St Kilda); Jimmy Bartel (Geelong); Raph Clarke (St Kilda); Luke Brennan (Hawthorn); Byron Schammer (Fremantle); Sam Butler (West Coast); Ryley Dunn (Fremantle); Beau Waters (West Coast); Ryan Griffin (Western Bulldogs); Cameron Wood (Brisbane); Toby Stribling (Fremantle); Lance Franklin (Hawthorn), Paddy Ryder (Essendon), Marcus Drum (Fremantle) amongst others.

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Helping young footballers achieve their dream

Mike Fitzpatrick presents Joel Selwood with his 2006 Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship

houli family

2005 Scholarship recipient Bachar Houli (at left) with family

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