AFL Sydney Stars taken in the AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft

On the evening of 2 June more than 600 amateur Australian rules players held their breath, hoping to be selected in the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.

Twenty-four players from NSW and the ACT nominated for a berth at an AFL club and the chance to follow their dream.

Fifteen AFL clubs selected players in the mid-season draft, with 22 talented draftees swapping their local club colours for elite designs. Of these 22, two were from AFL Sydney Clubs;

James Peatling (Pick 8) is off to the GIANTS from Pennant Hills Demons Senior Club (Westbrook Junior Club) and the GIANTS’ VFL side. Peatling is also a GIANTS Academy graduate.

Lachlan McAndrew (Pick 12) will head to Sydney after impressive season at the Manly-Warringah Wolves. McAndrew is a product of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy .


James Peatling

Having been overlooked in two drafts, Peatling’s VFL performances for the GIANTS has seen the Pennant Hills product added to the GIANTS’ senior list for the rest of the 2021 season.

From Toongabbie, Peatling has played all five VFL games as a midfielder and half back this season, averaging 22 possessions.

GIANTS General Manager Football Jason McCartney said it’s another significant signing for the growth of the game in western Sydney:  “He’s a great story having come through our Western Sydney Academy and performing well at representative level over a number of years.

“He’s a line-breaking half back with speed and agility and we love how hard he is at the contest.”

Peatling is the latest Sydney local to join the GIANTS with Kieren Briggs (Pennant Hills), Nick Shipley (Campbelltown), Jake Stein (Penrith) and UNSW / ES’s Jack Buckley already on the list.


Lachlan McAndrew

McAndrew was drafted by the Swans as a long-term ruck prospect and will be given time to develop his ruck craft and football knowledge.

The 210-centimetre ruck from the Northern Beaches only started playing AFL late in 2019 after playing rugby union. He was an ISS rep while attending St Augustine’s College.

McAndrew will have the opportunity to work with Dean Cox as well Swans senior ruckmen Tom Hickey, Callum Sinclair and Sam Naismith.

These experienced ruckmen will add to his always impressive list of mentors which includes former Swans player Steve Taubert and Swans Academy coach Jared Crouch who, with Sydney Swans Assistant Coach, Dean Cox, have all praised his ability to be coached.


AFL Sydney wish both James and Lachlan all the best as they commence their AFL journeys at the GIANTS and Swans.