Elliot Yeo will join a long and decorated list of AFL footballers produced by East Fremantle when he makes his debut for Brisbane against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium tomorrow.
Described by Sharks coach Steve Malaxos as the latest product of the club’s “factory”, Yeo was the Lions’ third pick and No.30 overall at last year’s national draft.
The 18-year-old ended up at the Lions in a complicated trade deal which saw Justin Sherman leave Brisbane for the Western Bulldogs, Jarrod Harbrow leave the Bulldogs for Gold Coast and the Lions taking the Suns’ compensatory first-round pick for Harbrow.
Malaxos said he wasn’t surprised Yeo had joined a group of Sharks to line up in the AFL including Brownlow medallists Simon Black, Ben Cousins and Shane Woewodin.
Black, one of five players to have achieved the “triple crown” of Brownlow, premiership and Norm Smith medals, was a member of the Lions’ premiership teams in 2001, 2002 and 2003, winning the Norm Smith in 2003 and the Brownlow a year earlier.
Malaxos said Yeo had the tools to succeed at the elite level.
“Elliot’s a pretty good decision maker, he’s got good poise when he’s got the ball and he can use the ball off both sides of his body,” Malaxos said yesterday.
“We mainly saw him in the midfield and wing at East Fremantle but he played a bit of half-back in the State under-18s.
“He was a pretty good player in the colts last year. He started training with us in the pre-season and was looking pretty good so I wasn’t surprised when he was drafted.
“I believe he has got all the makings of a good AFL footballer.”
Hailing from the Attadale juniors, Yeo averaged 22 possessions and seven marks in 13 colts games for East Fremantle last year.
Lions national talent manager Rob Kerr said Yeo had plenty of potential.
“With a couple of years in the system he could develop into a good wing/half-forward/half-back, a bit Nathan Fyfe-like we think,” Kerr said.
AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan said Yeo’s outstanding draft combine and athletic ability would hold him in good stead.