AFL draft joy for SPC

November 24, 2015

St Patrick’s College 1st XVIII coach Howard Clark has seen dozens of his former charges drafted to AFL clubs over the years, but few have given him as much satisfaction as seeing Yestin Eades’ named called out in the 2015 AFL National Draft.

Yestin was selected at pick number 64 by the Essendon Football Club, joining Jacob Hopper (Greater Western Sydney -“ pick 7) and Daniel Rioli (Richmond -“ pick 15) as the three new SPC players chosen to join primary AFL lists for next year.

Both Jacob and Daniel were seen as guaranteed high selections heading into the draft, but Yestin’s story is one of overcoming great odds and adversity and emerging as a true product of the St Patrick’s College program.

Yestin’s story began in the western Perth suburbs where he grew up with both parents having spent time in prison.

Fears were held that without the right support structures around him, Yestin would soon find himself in similar trouble and so the AFL, through national talent manager Kevin Sheehan, approached Howard Clark and St Patrick’s to ask if we could help.

The College’s ongoing partnerships with the North Ballarat Rebels, combined with our nationally recognised Indigenous Education, boarding and football programs, were seen as providing the perfect environment to guide Yestin on a path towards success.

On the day Yestin arrived in Ballarat he saw snow for the first time. However, Mr Clarke said that since that chilly reception, it has been all blue skies for the partnership between Yestin and the College.

-It’s fantastic for all three boys to realise their dream of making an AFL list, but I am so pleased for Yestin in particular,- Mr Clark said.

-His story encapsulates all that is great about our program here. We have been able to guide a talented young man, steer him away from challenging circumstances and surround him with good people, good influences and a good career path.

-To see his name called out on draft night provided so many people with so much joy and was really a credit to Yestin, to the AFL to Phil Partington and the North Ballarat Rebels and to all involved at St Patrick’s.-

Yestin will join fellow Old Collegian Martin Gleeson (SPC 2012) at Essendon while Jacob Hopper will align with Tom Downie (SPC 2010-11) at the Giants. Daniel Rioli will line up alongside two Old Collegians -“ Shaun Grigg (SPC 2001-06) and Daniel Butler (SPC 2009-14), when he dons the yellow and black with the Tigers.