Josh Daicos didn't play in the TAC Cup last year, instead keeping his football commitments to school and local level. His plan to be drafted always centred on this year: on making the Oakleigh Chargers squad, and seeing how far he could progress.
Although still early in the year, 17-year-old Daicos, the son of Collingwood champion Peter, has shown some exciting signs. Last weekend in a practice game for the Chargers, the 178cm forward kicked a handful of goals and displayed his class in attack.
Collingwood has known about Daicos for a long time – he has been a member of its father-son academy since its inception (the academy is named after Peter), and he recently spent some time meeting more of the Magpies' staff.
He will carry extra attention in the lead-up to this year's NAB AFL Draft as the son of the famous 250-gamer, but his dad said there were no expectations on what could unfold.
"He's loving the structure of the Oakleigh program and he's really enjoying the coaching and the boys who are there. It's great," Peter told AFL Media.
"There's a long way to go, but the pre-season and the type of coaching he's getting is going to keep him in good stead."
Daicos won't be the only father-son candidate the Magpies will be watching throughout this season. Peter's 1990 premiership teammate Gavin Brown also has a son, Callum, coming through the TAC Cup system this year.
Brown played nine games for the Eastern Ranges last year as a bottom-ager, including their Grand Final defeat. The small and zippy forward kicked three goals from 17 disposals in the Ranges' preliminary final win in what was his best game at under-18 level so far.
Brown and Daicos, like their fathers, have also tasted premiership success together having been teammates at local level in Melbourne's north-east suburbs.
West Coast, too, will have two father-son prospects to track in 2016, with Jake Waterman (son of Chris) and Zane Sumich (son of Peter) eligible to join the club under the bidding rules.
At this stage Waterman has more runs on the board as a mobile, leading third tall forward and member of the NAB AFL Academy. He trained with the Eagles last year as part of the Academy's program and knows the club well, with his older brother Alec selected as a father-son choice in 2014.
Sumich, a 189cm utility, is a member of Western Australia's under-18 squad and played in the state's trial game last weekend.
If he's good enough, Ben Jarman will face a difficult and rare decision of choosing between two clubs who have rights on him as a father-son pick.
The son of Hawthorn and Adelaide premiership star Darren, the small midfielder was a standout for South Australia at the NAB AFL Under-16 Championships two years ago and will play for SANFL club North Adelaide this year.
He qualifies as Adelaide's first father-son in its history, but is also eligible for the Hawks, where Darren played more than 100 games including its 1991 flag, before crossing to star in the Crows' 1997-98 triumphs.
The 175cm 17-year-old has impressed with his ability to find the ball and win it in close, and he has also shown his natural instincts up forward, booting 20 goals from 16 games last year in North Adelaide's under-18 side.
Jesse Maxfield, the son of former Sydney Swans and Richmond midfielder Stuart, will play for the Sandringham Dragons this year and the Swans will monitor his progress across the year. Stuart played 204 games for the Swans between 1996-2005, but his 89 games for the Tigers will see him fall short of qualifying as a father-son option for Richmond.
The Western Bulldogs will be carefully watching the progress of Calder Cannons small forward Michael Romero, the son of former midfielder Jose, while Essendon has access to Murray Bushrangers defender Matthew Neagle, a son of late premiership star Merv.
The father-son prospects aren't the only familiar names to follow from this year's draft pool, with a number of present AFL players having brothers keen to join them in the top level.
Jonty Scharenberg might be one of the best midfielders available in the crop and has already played senior football for Glenelg as a 16-year-old.
When he was 15, he was on the Gold Coast as his brother Matt was drafted by Collingwood at pick No.6, and since then he's watched on as the talented half-back has endured two serious knee injuries.
Hamish Brayshaw is a hard-working midfielder from Sandringham Dragons cut from the same cloth as his brother, Melbourne midfielder Angus, while the Crows' Jake Lever has a younger brother, Tyson, who will line-up for the Calder Cannons.
Corey Lyons (brother of Adelaide's Jarryd), Dylan Clarke (brother of new Roo midfielder Ryan), Ed Greene (brother of GWS' Toby), and Zach Guthrie (brother of Geelong's Cameron) are also in TAC Cup squads heading into the home and away season, while Ben McGuinness (brother of Brisbane's Josh) will play for Lauderdale in Tasmania.
Jamie Hampton, whose older brother Curtly was traded from GWS to Adelaide last year, impressed at stages in last year's under-18 division two carnival for the Northern Territory and is draft eligible this year.
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