VAFA star Sam Sofronidis is on the radar of a handful of AFL clubs ahead of the Rookie Draft later this month and the pre-season supplemental selection period this summer.
The 23-year-old was a dominant force for Collegians in 2023 and helped the club win the premier division premiership in the powerful Victorian amateurs competition.
AFL.com.au understands Geelong, Collingwood, Sydney and Gold Coast have all done work on the unassuming intercept defender, expressing varying levels of interest.
The Cats have watched Sofronidis play live on multiple occasions this year with Collegians coached by former Melbourne and Geelong defender Jared Rivers, who played with Andrew Mackie at Kardinia Park and has maintained a close relationship with Geelong's GM of football.
The Magpies were interested onlookers when Sofronidis played an important role in the Grand Final win over St Kevin's at Elsternwick Park in September.
One club could make a move during the Rookie Draft on November 22, but clubs are believed to be interested in exploring a trial during the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP).
Sofronidis was named at half-back in the VAFA premier team of the year after earning Big V selection mid-season, before winning Collegians' best and fairest.
The 194cm mobile backman was planning to live overseas this year but chose to return to Melbourne and play again after missing the pre-season and first three games of the campaign.
The VAFA was stacked full of former AFL players in 2023, including Mitch Wallis, Marty Gleeson, Tom Cutler, Sam Grimley, Jackson Paine, David Mirra and Ayce Cordy, but Sofronidis was widely regarded as the best player in the competition.
Sofronidis played for the Sandringham Dragons in 2017 and 2018, alongside Max and Ben King, Bailey Smith, Andrew Brayshaw and Nathan Murphy, before joining the Sandringham Zebras in the VFL in 2019, prior to signing with Frankston in 2020, but the season was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Melbourne signed key defender Kye Turner straight from Old Haileybury earlier this year after trialling him during the SSP.
Expect Sofronidis to be the next VAFA star to get an opportunity to audition for a spot at an AFL club this summer, if a club doesn't make a move at the Rookie Draft.