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From the draft to the cup: Brandon Ellis

Draft Highlights: Ellis 2011 Under 18 highlights of Richmond's pick 15 in the 2011 AFL National Draft, Brandon Ellis.

In a special series leading up to the 2017 AFL national draft, takes a look back at the Tigers’ construction of their drought-breaking premiership team this year via the competition’s main talent acquisition pathway throughout the past decade. Today, we focus on Richmond’s recruitment of Brandon Ellis.


Although Richmond had finished 12th in season 2011, its first pick in the national draft later that year wasn’t until No. 15, because of Greater Western Sydney’s entry into the AFL competition for 2012.

It was very much a compromised draft, with a dozen talented 17-year-olds out of the draft pool and headed for GWS.

The Tigers ended up taking Brandon Ellis, a hard-running defender/midfielder from TAC Cup team Calder Cannons, who had been selected in the 2011 under-18 All Australian line-up, after excelling for Vic Metro at the national championships.

Here’s what Richmond Recruiting Manager Francis Jackson had to say about Ellis following the draft.

“We were very keen on Brandon. We felt that his physical attributes and his outstanding endurance would enable him to play some terrific footy,” Jackson said.

“Brandon had a really strong carnival (under-18 national championships in 2011). He played as a negating defender and I remember, in Perth, he played a fantastic game.

“It was a little bit of a different role for him, but he was very disciplined, very determined, and had a really strong concentration span.

“He also had a really strong finals series with the Cannons, playing off half-back.

“We felt that his weapons were that he was a brilliant endurance runner . . . not so quick off the mark, but his 5-20-metre speed is quite good and his kicking is also a weapon.

“He's one of the best kicks in the draft, which was a high priority for us, and he's a terrific contested-ball player.

“I love his competitiveness and the way he kicks the footy.

“Given the importance of that, we think he'll settle into our team very, very quickly.

“To complement that, he's got fantastic character.

“His interview was one the best I've ever done. It was terrific . . .

“Brandon was so sincere in the interview.

“I remember walking out and clearly thinking that I have absolutely no doubt this kid’s going to be as good as he can.”

In his own words pre-draft

“I'm a hard-working, selfless, committed, strong and passionate player, who will do anything for my teammates on the field while playing my role for the team.”


Brandon Ellis AFL fact file

Debut: Round 1, 2012 v Carlton, MCG

Games: 135

Goals: 46

Honours: Member of Richmond’s 2017 premiership team, runner-up in 2014 Jack Dyer Medal, winner of the Yiooken Award in 2015