There are always plenty of good news stories from the draft. Especially with players who are about to embark on their AFL careers.
But it is also good to see those delisted players with previous AFL experience get another opportunity to keep playing at the top level.
One such player who got a lifeline last Friday night was former Hawk Billy Hartung. With North Melbourne picking up the midfielder with pick 77.
Time at the Hawks
The delisting of Hartung at the end of this season was somewhat of a surprise. With the 22 year-old playing 18 games in 2017 and averaging a career-high 22.1 disposals per match.
The midfielder departed the Hawks after playing 63 games in total since his debut in 2014 after he was drafted with pick 24 in the 2013 draft.
Defensive work rate has been one knock on the speedster. The arrival of Jarman Impey may have been a contributing factor in Hawthorn deciding not to offer Billy Hartung a new contract.
The Victorian was talked up as a possibility as a delisted free agent given his age and good foot skills. However, nothing came to fruition.
Billy Hartung the new Roo
Now with a lifeline from North and a contract until the end of 2019, the 22 year-old has a chance to repay the faith from the Kangaroos.
North Melbourne general manager Cam Joyce is certainly excited by the new arrival.
“We need some outside run, ability to carry the ball, someone that can play the wing like we want it to be played. Someone like Billy fits the bill.”
While Billy Hartung may not be a superstar, he certainly has shown more than glimpses at AFL level. At low cost the Kangaroos may very well have picked up a bargain.