Mac Andrew is a member of the Melbourne Demons’ Next Generation Academy however, with the new draft rules this year with NGAs, the Demons are unable to match a bid for Andrew inside the top 20.
Andrew only needed six NAB League games to display his talent and soar up AFL club’s draft boards this year. His rise to form sees him as one of the top prospects in this year’s draft and is expected to go in the top 10 and potentially top five.
Born in Egypt to parents from what is now South Sudan, Andrew joined the Melbourne Demons’ Next Generation Academy at the age of 13, having attended the program when it first started. The 18-year-old said he would love to get to the Demons but isn’t fazed by the thought of going elsewhere.
“A little part of me wants to go to Melbourne [Demons] – being in the academy past three or four years they’ve done a lot for me. I wouldn’t be the player I am [today] without their help,” Andrew told media at Vic Country’s training session on Monday.
“At the end of the day I don’t care what happens, we’re all stuck in the same spot no matter where you go, what pick or club.
“I just want to get into a club, crackdown [and] get the respect from my teammates.”
Coming into the year, the athletic 201-centimetre ruckman had not been involved in the Vic Country program, but his spectacular form in the NAB League changed that. The rise was a shock to Andrew, admitting it ‘exceeded my expectations’.
“I guess I came into the year with a couple of goals to tick off, first was to make the squad [Vic Country] than play round one… [I] kind of shocked myself [seeing] how I went this year.”
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Andrew’s height, athletic traits, and skilful abilities allow the Dandenong Stingrays product to play in multiple positions on the football field. He can play key positions at both ends of the ground, but Andrew said he sees himself as a ruckman.
“[I] wouldn’t mind playing key back or key forward, I feel like I can play both those positions,” Andrew said.
“I guess in the long term I wouldn’t mind playing through the ruck, I feel like it’s where I play my best footy and show my best traits.”
The Egyptian-born South Sudanese player won’t feel overawed coming into the AFL, having watched other South Sudanese/Sudanese players such as Aliir Aliir and Majak Daw pave the way for the next generation to play and enter the AFL.
Andrew hopes one day he can have a similar impact as his role models.
“It’d be great having younger siblings as well, it would be pretty good to set the path for them,” Andrew said.
“I’ve looked up to guys like ‘CJ’ (Changkuoth Jiath), Majak [Daw] [and] Mabior Chol and seen the way they’ve played. They’re role models of mine so it would be amazing if I could be other kids role models as well.”
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