Chris de Kretser & Daryl Timms in today's Herald Sun:
AFL rules bent to draft Jurrah
The persuasive power of former Collingwood player Rupert Betheras was instrumental in the AFL making an exception to its rules to enable Melbourne indigenous wizard Laim Jurrah to be drafted.
The revelation appears in a book on the Demon they call the Walpiri Warrior, which was launched by AFL chief Andrew Demetriou yesterday.
The Author Bruce Hearn Mackinnon, with whom Jurrah lived when he first came to the city and played four VFL games four Collingwood told how the AFL waived a couple of requirements for the 2009 pre-season draft.
Ignoring that Jurrah was taken in the 2008 pre-season draft - Jake Niall, March 19, 2009:
[Jurrah] returned to Melbourne, but the Magpies, clearly mindful of the vast cultural distance Jurrah had to travel (Industrial Magpies supporters group member and Jurrah friend Bruce Hearn Mackinnon says Jurrah had never been in the ocean until a Collingwood recovery session), chose not to pursue him, and he did not even nominate for the national draft. Other clubs took a similarly risk-averse view, although he trained briefly with North Melbourne.
Former Collingwood grand final player Rupert Betheras intervened, lobbied the AFL and saw to it that Jurrah was permitted to nominate for the pre-season draft. While national draft nomination is normally mandatory for those picked in the pre-season draft, the AFL ruled that Jurrah had "exceptional circumstances" and admitted him.