Recent graduate Jye Caldwell was drafted by the GWS Giants with Pick 11 at this year's AFL Draft, held on Thursday 22 November in Melbourne. Jye, our 1st XVIII Football captain in 2018, will be one of nine Old Geelong Grammarians on AFL lists in 2019, and joins 2017 graduate Brent Daniels at the Giants. It was a frustrating year on the field for Jye, suffering multiple hamstring injuries as well straining a calf and sustaining a blow to his kidney from then North Melbourne ruckman Brayden Preuss. It was a relief then, on Thursday night, when Jye's years of hard work and exceptional play on the field was rewarded by being taken in the first round.

"I had no idea where I was going (in the draft) but thankfully GWS picked me up and I'm pretty grateful for it," Jye told Giants TV after his name was called. Adrian Caruso, GWS National Recruiting Manager, said that they didn't expect that Jye would still be available for them at Pick 11. “He’s a super competitor and has the athleticism most midfielders don’t have."

Jye came to Geelong Grammar School in Year 10 on a Sports Scholarship from Maiden Gully - a suburb of Bendigo - and boarded in Perry House. "It took me a couple of weeks at the start to grasp the vibe around the School," Jye told recently. "After a couple of weeks, it was just like (being back in) Bendigo." Jye grasped the vibe of Geelong Grammar School and departed last month as a House Prefect.

Jye on last day of class

Growing up in Maiden Gully, Jye excelled at a number of sports including football, basketball, cricket and boxing; he won an Under 13 state championship as a boxer, and played for the Bendigo Braves basketball team at underage level. By the time Jye arrived at GGS in Year 10, his focus had narrowed to cricket and football. Having played both sports at Under 18 level since the age of 14, the step-up to 1st-team level upon his arrival at Corio wasn't all that steep; Jye secured the S. A. J. Carlton award for best first year player in 2016 before stamping himself as a big game player with 35 touches against The Geelong College at home in 2017. While 1st XVIII coach Andy Allthorpe would have loved to have his captain available to play more regularly in 2018, he's quick to point out that Jye's direction and influence on his teammates, even from the sidelines, can't be overstated. 


"He was always there - training and game day - maintaining a positive belief that anything could be achieved," Andy said. "This was clearly evident in our first win against Melbourne Grammar, with Jye helping the coaches on the sidelines, giving constant feedback to all the boys as they rotated on and off the ground." 

"He is a great team man and made sure he got the most out of the players and people within the Geelong Grammar Footy Programme with his positivity and belief in them."

"Our team is better off for having Jye a part of it."