James Thiessen played his early football in Brentwood/Glen Waverley in Victoria. After some impressive performances in the Richmond Reserves in 1992-93, the Tigers selected him in the 1993 mid-season draft. Thiessen was chosen at number two. In the same draft, Norwood’s Matthew Ahmat was selected by Sydney at number one, and future Redlegs skipper Anthony Harvey went from Frankston to St. Kilda at pick number three.
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