Welcome Welcome Paul Tsapatolis as Cat B rookie

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goyoucatters

Premiership Player
Jan 31, 2008
4,378
10,391
Brisbane
AFL Club
Geelong
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Good to see 'Frank' climb aboard the good ship GFC. Massive long shot to make it, I know. But any sort of potential as a long-term ruck prospect is very welcome when you consider where our list is at.

Just three words, Frankie...

Hit. The. Gym.
 

Turbocat

Hall of Famer
Dec 10, 2003
47,220
48,860
Newtown
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Geelong
If he is a high end potential player , put the best inputs we can into him for a couple of years , let see what he have got by the time his contract is up for renewal
 

CatsDoItBetter

Premiership Player
Apr 9, 2015
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Great to have a young ruck prospect on the list. Will this mean we don’t draft Walsh or another ruck at the draft? The ruck prospects by all reports are not great in this years draft anyway. And if he’s going to develop he will need to be able to play games in the ruck.
 

BlakeyNoFlakey

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 7, 2009
11,097
16,810
On the Buses
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He looks like a tall skinny kid from the few photos I've seen of him so I wouldn't expect too much in his first few years. The kids going to have to bulk up and get strong if he has any hopes of competing against the best rucks in the comp. Just being tall is not enough.
 

catscollector

Club Legend
Jun 30, 2018
2,582
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About time we finally had another Greek on the list.

Follows in the footsteps of other Mediterranean's such as Paul Koulouriotis and the Malakellis brothers.
 

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Footy Smarts

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 19, 2006
7,275
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I'll go out on a limb (like I did with O'Connor early) and say this is an absolutely massive signing. Most basketballers being taken as category B rookies don't represent Australia. For example Bradtke played some underage rep basketball for Victoria but wasn't close to Australian selection as far as I can see. This guy was a starter for Australia at the under 17 Oceania championships.

The last guy to start for Australia's under 17s in an international championship was Luke Jackson. He decided on footy 12 months before the draft, came from the clouds and was taken pick 3. He looked every bit a high end talent this year before injury ended his season. Tsapatolis will take longer to develop his body and game with no recent footy but there's every reason to think we've just brought in a guy with the sort of athleticism and coordination you only find in top 10 draftees. It doesn't mean he'll make it but he must have some serious ability to have played basketball at the level he did.
 

MelbCat

All Australian
Sep 21, 2015
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I'll go out on a limb (like I did with O'Connor early) and say this is an absolutely massive signing. Most basketballers being taken as category B rookies don't represent Australia. For example Bradtke played some underage rep basketball for Victoria but wasn't close to Australian selection as far as I can see. This guy was a starter for Australia at the under 17 Oceania championships.

The last guy to start for Australia's under 17s in an international championship was Luke Jackson. He decided on footy 12 months before the draft, came from the clouds and was taken pick 3. He looked every bit a high end talent this year before injury ended his season. Tsapatolis will take longer to develop his body and game with no recent footy but there's every reason to think we've just brought in a guy with the sort of athleticism and coordination you only find in top 10 draftees. It doesn't mean he'll make it but he must have some serious ability to have played basketball at the level he did.
Has a footy background playing for Yarraville Seddon so not totally foreign to the game. Could be a Blitz MKII......
 

catscollector

Club Legend
Jun 30, 2018
2,582
3,062
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Could be a Blitz MKII......
Or, he could follow the same path as what Ryan Bathie, Michael Luxford and Padraig Lucey did which is highly likely when you switch from basketball to football at such a late age.
 

ShaunWDT

Club Legend
Nov 18, 2013
2,603
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He looks like a tall skinny kid from the few photos I've seen of him so I wouldn't expect too much in his first few years. The kids going to have to bulk up and get strong if he has any hopes of competing against the best rucks in the comp. Just being tall is not enough.
He was listed at 100kg in a Basketball Scouting Report so he's not exactly skinny, probably just needs to add size in certain areas to be AFL Ready. From the eye he looks similar to Fort, solid build but arms are weak as piss.
 

Shadow89

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 20, 2018
6,454
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Just read this article on him, great read and I'm even more excited after reading it!:


"One of Australia’s rising basketball stars Paul Tsapatolis is turning his back on the sport with his eyes firmly on an AFL career.

Despite offers to head to America for college or play professionally in Greece in front of his family, Tsapatolis is set to be on an AFL list before the year is out.

He last played football with Yarraville Seddon Eagles in under-13s, meaning AFL clubs can take him as a category B rookie without going through the draft.

Tsapatolis said the past two years he had started to think about football a lot more despite representing Australia in recent years at underage level in basketball.

”From a very young age when I was playing under-13s footy, I always loved footy and I wish I never gave it up,” he said.

“Basketball was always trying to push you towards playing one sport. It was a no brainer for me at the time, but if I had the mindset I have now back then, I would have stuck with footy.

“When I first started with the footy, mum and dad were like you look so happy and look relaxed and like you’re enjoying yourself.

“Basketball I enjoyed, but nothing compared to what I do with footy.”

The Point Cook resident has spent the COVID-19 lockdown period working on his skills and getting in plenty of strength and fitness work.

He said his skills were terrible a couple of years ago when he picked up the football again, but they had improved out of sight.

“With basketball, you have to be at a court, while with footy you can go and kick the footy at the park or an oval.


“I’ve been kicking pretty much every day.”

AFL clubs have shown interest in Tsapatolis the past 12 months, with Adelaide and Sydney both flying him over to train with them.

“When I was in Adelaide and up in Sydney, the environment of the team is so team-orientated.

“Even though basketball is a team sport, everyone gets around each other in footy, that’s what I really miss in footy.

“When I was training with Adelaide, it was a great experience. I truly figured out what the clubs were like, how the boys reacted in normal day life as I stayed with Reilly O’Brien and Jake Kelly.

“I got the true feel of what the day in the of life in a footballer is and it blew my mind.”

The AFL website recently reported that Adelaide and Geelong are both interested in taking him as a rookie.

Tsapatolis said both those clubs and a couple of others had shown interest. A final decision will be made once list sizes and the salary cap are released.

He said hearing that club’s were interested in him had started o make the dream feel a bit more real.

Tsapatolis said he will treasure the basketball memories including making the All-star five team as Australia claimed gold at the Oceania championships.

He has been told that he will always be welcomed back at Keilor Thunder, should he ever change his mind.

But at this stage, he’s just focused on football.

“Footy is what I want to do and I knew I wouldn’t regret it and not once have I looked back to say… I should stay with basketball.”

The bolded parts are what has really shown me that he's taken this seriously. Apparently skills and strength work have considerably improved, so he's probably going to be bigger than he looks in photos/videos from last year/the year before.

Could see him improve very quickly I reckon. One to keep an eye on in 2021!
 

crocsta

All Australian
Oct 11, 2010
733
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I get so excited for category B rookies. As a team with limited first draft picks these Cat Bs always seem to have incredible upside at bargain prices. I’m more excited than picking up Higgins and Smith.

looking forward the commentators to mention how he played Basketball as a junior every time he touches like they do with Pendles. I’m expecting every good tap they will talk about his good positioning as a basketball centre when fighting for a rebound.

Did you guys know that Blitz was tried out for the olympics steeple chase? Haha


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

catswhiskers

Premiership Player
Mar 13, 2006
4,027
6,172
Far North East
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Or, he could follow the same path as what Ryan Bathie, Michael Luxford and Padraig Lucey did which is highly likely when you switch from basketball to football at such a late age.
i am with MelbCat. Having played as a junior and no doubt following the game as closely his basketball duties would allow is a big start over even the Irish. Just a start though.

He has to add the physicality and learn the finer skills. I am sure he has the determination looking at his background.
 

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