MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 08: Tony Olango runs the repeat sprint test during the NAB AFL Draft Combine at Etihad Stadium on October 08, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Hawthorn have signed promising ruckman Tony Olango to their Darwin Next Generation academy.

The Kenyan-born prospect is the first player to do so since the AFL changed the rules surrounding players living in Darwin last month.

The Hawks are set to be the first beneficiaries of the rule change, which allowed Hawthorn, Geelong, Melbourne, Essendon and Collingwood to sign players from Darwin. It is understood Olango had the choice to sign with Hawthorn or Geelong.

The Next Generation academy system was introduced to allow clubs to sign indigenous and multicultural prospects overlooked in the national or rookie drafts.

Olango, 18, was undrafted last year but is considered a promising prospect due to the fact he had only played football for two seasons prior to the draft.

Born in a Kenyan refugee camp to South Sudanese parents, Olango moved to Darwin at the age of two.

He was a talented soccer player and even travelled to Scotland at the age of 14 to trial with Glasgow Rangers.

Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright said joining the academy will help Olango in developing his game.

“He’s an exciting prospect with his height and great athleticism,” said Wright.

“He has only played a handful of games, so we can expect to see plenty of development.

“Joining our academy will assist his understanding of the game, and help to fast track his growth.”

The 200cm prospect impressed at the 2016 draft combine, finishing top 10 in both the running vertical jump and 20m sprint tests.

He has spent the last two years playing with both St Mary’s Football Club and NT Thunder.