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Bartel recalls the day he was drafted

Draft memories: Jimmy Bartel Jimmy Bartel recalls being drafted by the Cats.
Jimmy Bartel of the Cats in action during the 2014 AFL Round 20 match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on August 09, 2014. (Photo: David Callow/AFL Media)
From eight picks, Jimmy Bartel was Geelong's pick number one in the 2001 draft.

Brownlow Medalist Jimmy Bartel takes us back to when his name was called out at number eight in the 2001 national draft.

Luckily for Bartel his nerves were partly settled ahead of the draft having received a house visit from Geelong’s recruiting and list manager only hours prior to the announcement.   

“The night before the draft Stephen Wells came over to my house and said ‘with our first pick we’ll take you’, so that sort of eased a lot of the pressure,” Bartel told Cats TV.

However, the excitement of knowing he was about to embark on an AFL career in his hometown still meant for a long and sleepless night. Bartel remembers being so exhausted by the time the day arrived that he actually missed hearing his own name. 

“I actually went up to the draft - it was one of the very few times where it wasn’t televised or on radio,” Bartel said. 

“So Mick Turner, the General Manager of the Falcons, drove myself and Luke Hodge up because we all knew that Luke Hodge was going to be the number one pick.

“After they called Luke Hodge’s name at pick one they just belted through the first 10 and I actually missed my name even being called out, so I looked up on the board and there was already 20 picks there.

“I had to scroll through it and I found I was lucky enough to be pick eight for the Cats.”

Geelong drafted eight players that year:

Jimmy Bartel - 8

James Kelly - 17

Charlie Gardiner - 23

Steve Johnson - 24

Gary Ablett jr – 40 (Father/Son)

Henry Playfair - 41

Matthew McCarthy - 69

David Johnson - 81

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs