Carlton Draft (Credit: Dan Soderstrom)

Former Melbourne captain Nathan Jones is set to pull on the red and blue once again after being taken with the first pick in the 2022 Carlton Draft.

The Carlton Draft has seen eight AFL champions recruited to local football clubs across Victoria in what is sure to be a boost for local sporting communities and leagues in the state.

Jarryd RougheadEddie BettsDale ThomasNathan JonesBrendon GoddardAlex RanceShaun Burgoyne and Cameron Mooney were up for grabs for eight local clubs on Wednesday night.

With the first selection in the draft, the Portarlington Demons landed the recently-retired 300-game midfielder in Jones, who was ecstatic to ply his trade for the Bellarine Football League club.

“I have worn the beloved red and blue since I was nine. I played my junior footy for the Dees, I played 300 plus games for Melbourne and to be drafted by the Portarlington Demons for my first game after retiring is something special," Jones said.

“There is a bit of pressure after being selected with the first pick and it was shock when my name was read out. I can’t wait to play and give the local community a much-needed boost."

Carlton Draft (Credit: Dan Soderstrom)

The second selection fell to Branxholme Wallacedale, who swooped on former Blues and Crows forward Eddie Betts.

Ex-Cat Cameron Mooney (Longwood), former Hawthorn pair Shaun Burgoyne (Dalyston) and Jarryd Roughead (Gormandale) fell in Picks 3-5, with the latter returning to Gippsland for his one-game showing.

Premiership Tiger Alex Rance (Campbells Creek) was taken with the sixth pick, before Brendon Goddard (North Wangaratta) and 'Daisy' Thomas (Nhill & District ) rounded out the count.

Carlton & United Breweries CEO Danny Celoni expressed his excitement in the benefits the draft could give to local clubs who have struggled to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After the challenges of the pandemic we wanted to help bring back the crowds and some extra passion to local Victorian footy, which forms the backbone of many communities across the state.

Carlton Draft (Credit: Dan Soderstrom)

“Carlton Draught, along with our Victorian bottle shop and pub partners, value our long-standing association with grassroots footy. That’s why Carlton Draught has supported it for generations and plans to keep doing so for many more.”

FINAL DRAFT ORDER:

  • Pick 1: Nathan Jones, Portarlington Football Club
  • Pick 2: Eddie Betts, Branxholme Wallacedale Football Club
  • Pick 3: Cameron Mooney, Longwood Football Netball Club
  • Pick 4: Shaun Burgoyne, Dalyston Football Netball Club
  • Pick 5: Jarryd Roughead, Gormandale Football Netball Club
  • Pick 6: Alex Rance, Campbells Creek Football Netball Club
  • Pick 7: Brendon Goddard, North Wangaratta Football Netball Club
  • Pick 8: Dale Thomas, Nhill & District Sporting Club