Jaiden Hunter drafted to Essendon FC

Hawks News: Jaiden Hunter drafted to Essendon FC

It’s been a dream come true for ex Junior AMPJFC player Jaiden Hunter being selected pick 9 by Essendon Football Club in the 2023 mid year draft at age 21. The road to this point has been anything but smooth for the young star, littered with set backs, struggles and hurdles. With interest early from a number of Clubs, Jaiden, known for his versatility and athleticism, spent his junior years up forward and as a ruck in season 2020 for the Perth Football Club Colts as a ruck standing an imposing 194cm tall. Jaiden was up for selection in the 2020 draft being invited to the draft combine held in East Perth for the West Aussie due to Covid restrictions and trialled in defence. After being overlooked in the 2020 draft and after the initial disappointment, Jaiden reassessed and set his goals, becoming more determined to improve in all areas of his football while playing League for the Perth Football Club, working harder in the gym and on his fitness, honing in on his skills and focussing on his health and diet. 

However another set back occurred half way through the 2021 season when he sustained a significant injury to his elbow, sidelining the young footballer for the remainder of the season. 2022 was a low point in Jaiden’s journey sustaining an ACL injury before the 2022 season kicked off. Jaiden moved home to Albany to recuperate and commence his own rehabilitation program with the support of his parents Toni and Paul.  He continued his rehabilitation with Perth Football Club who provided ongoing support and programs to bring Jaiden back to full fitness, bring him to the start of the 2023 season and finally getting clearance from the doctors to resume football in just March this year. At 197cm as a key forward, he’s gone on to kick 4 goals ,5-1 and 3-1 in the Reserves and finish with an impressive 4-3, 2-1 and 5-1 in his three League hit outs before selection. 

Jaiden’s WAFL highlights


The raw emotion shown by Jaiden after the phone call from Essendon, advising of his selection, demonstrated the extent of his passion, dedication and drive to overcome all these adversities and achieve success. 

Jaiden’s phone call from Essendon

We, here at AMPJFC, are immensely proud to have been a part of his junior football journey and look forward to following you football journey in the AFL.

Jaiden’s Past Player in Focus Blog from 2020


With less than 24 hours to pack backs and fly to Melbourne and straight out to the Hangar, it has been a whirlwind of an experience so far for Jaiden. While his feet haven’t had a chance to hit the ground, he has been selected to play the upcoming VFL v Kangaroos this Sunday, lining up with the likes of Tipungwuti, Wanganeen and Davey, Jaiden will be pinching himself for a while yet. It’s great to see the Applecross Junior football Club listed on his profile on their website!!

VFL Selection & the AMPJFC Hawks name up in lights!


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