OvensMurrayFNl22 | Joe Richards' impressive season for Wangaratta has seen him attract plenty of interest from AFL clubs

Joe RIchard's had never spoken to an AFL club until a few months ago, but now the schoolteacher from Wangaratta looms as the biggest bolter heading into next week's NAB AFL Draft, five years after being overlooked by all 18 clubs in his draft year.

It has been a dramatic turn of events for the country football star, who turns 23 on Wednesday.

Richards has never played a minute of state league football, but established himself as one of the best players in the Ovens and Murray Football League this year, winning a third best and fairest and second premiership for the Wangaratta Magpies, after a best-on-ground performance in an interleague game.

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