A local football club in Adelaide is believed to be close to securing the recruiting coup of the year after locating an American youngster with six white parents.
The Adelaide Anteaters attracted criticism last month when it was revealed they had sunk $4.8 million into a program aimed at attracting AFL converts in remote areas of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.
But three weeks on, their bold foray is already paying dividends, with the club reportedly close to securing the signature of fundamentalist Mormon left-footer Bill Jefferson - the son of local prophet Rulon Jefferson and his wives Hannah, Patricia, Lois, Laura and Margene.
Jefferson, 19, is yet to master the skills required to kick and handle a Sherrin, but has impressed the Anteaters' recruiting team with his work ethic, level head and large number of overwhelmingly Caucasian parents.
Anteaters' spokesman Bill Billson said the inspiration for the recruiting drive came from the exposure given earlier this year to comments suggesting that AFL recruiters might one day favour recruiting indigenous players with one white parent.
"That really got us thinking," said Billson. "Of course everyone denied that would ever happen, but we didn't get where we are – bottom of the third division – by thinking the same as everyone else. So we took the idea and ran with it a little – if that trend ever does happen then we think we'll be ahead of the curve.
"By tapping into these remote, sometimes underprivileged communities, we can secure access to a pool of fundamentalist Mormon families in which a potential AFL recruit can have as many as half a dozen parents – virtually all of them of pure Caucasian stock.
"It follows that such players are as many as six times more likely to succeed at the game's highest level than footballers with only one white parent."
Jefferson's insistence on wearing his magic underpants under his official team shorts is believed to be the only sticking point as the Anteaters aim to finalise the deal.