A West Australian town home to a tick over 3000 people has landed its seventh player on an AFL list.
Halls Creek – a remote town 500km inland of Broome – watched on as high-flying forward Ash Johnson was taken by Collingwood at pick No.3 in Wednesday night's NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft.
It caps an incredible journey for the 23-year-old who has this year dazzled recruiters while playing for Sturt in the SANFL, just two years after playing second-grade amateur football in Adelaide.
He joins brother and housemate Shane McAdam (Adelaide), cousins Sam Petrevski-Seton (Carlton) and Jy Farrar (Gold Coast) on AFL lists.
Essendon's Irving Mosquito, Melbourne's Toby Bedford and Demons AFLW youngster Krstel Petrevski also call Halls Creek home.
Johnson has this year been working as a cabinet maker fitting out drawers in 4WD's while pulling down spectacular marks in the SANFL.
The 193cm explosive forward has kicked 13 goals from six games – including four against Adelaide's reserves in round five and has impressed recruiters with his new-found level of maturity.
It was enough to draw interest from Gold Coast, however the Suns never got the chance to read his name as Collingwood swooped with their first selection and third overall.
Johnson will head to Victoria over the weekend and will be eligible to play immediately. Pies recruiters are even bullish on his potential to feature this season in what would provide an x-factor to a side that ranks 17th for scoring.
Johnson originally moved from Halls Creek to Perth and played 15 games for Claremont's colts in 2014-15.
He returned home to play for the Halls Creek Hawks in 2016 before lobbing at North Wangaratta in country Victoria in 2017.
Following in McAdam's footsteps and with the assistance of mentor and former Essendon player Shane Radbone, Johnson arrived at Scotch Old Collegians in Adelaide in 2018.
Brothers ??— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) June 2, 2021
Kit suits you, Ash. pic.twitter.com/kdNVzjpEf8
He kicked 41 goals in 15 games and broke his arm in the club's third-grade premiership victory.
Johnson was selected as a Crows' SANFL top-up player in 2019 but never played before landing at Sturt in 2020 and made his debut in June.
Just 11 matches later, Johnson walks into one of Australia's biggest sporting organisations.