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Clubs clamouring for kids

West Australian talent Jack Martin

THE BIDDING war for places in this year's 17-year-old 'mini-draft' looks set to be a hot one, with several clubs already making enquiries to Greater Western Sydney about potential deals.

As part of the list building concessions given to the Giants for their entry into the AFL, the new club can trade picks in the mini-draft to rival clubs, who can then select eligible 17-year-old players.

GWS was given four such picks, and traded two last year, at a high price.

Gold Coast parted with pick four in last year's NAB AFL Draft, plus a mid-first round compensation pick, to secure pick one in the 2011 mini-draft.

It used that pick on West Australian gun Jaeger O'Meara. 

Adelaide sent pick 10 and a first-round compensation pick to GWS in return for mini-draft pick two - used on North Ballarat youngster Brad Crouch - and the Giants' pre-listed Norwood defender Luke Brown.
 
Given the likely availability this year of exciting West Australian talents Jack Martin and Jesse Hogan, the cost of the remaining two mini-draft picks could be similarly high.

"The 17-year-olds that are available are very, very good players; there's some real quality there," Giants list manager Stephen Silvagni told AFL.com.au.

"We've had preliminary talks with a number of clubs, but really we're just waiting to get through the [NAB AFL under-18] championships and waiting for the kids to nominate.

"A lot depends on where clubs are going to finish, so nothing's going to happen until towards the end of the season."

Hogan is a 193cm key position prospect with outstanding athleticism and contested marking ability.

Martin is a quick goalkicking midfielder.

Others whose birthdates fall within the eligibility period of January 1 and April 30, 1995 and who may come into contention for a mini-draft selection include Vic Metro's Josh Kelly and Vic Country midfielder Matt Crouch (the younger brother of Brad).

The players have until August 1 to nominate for the mini-draft.

If selected, they could join their new club straight away, but wouldn't be allowed to play in the AFL until 2014.

If they choose not to nominate, they'll be eligible for the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.

Silvagni was noncommittal about what the Giants would seek from rivals in exchange for places in the mini-draft.

"We're open on whether it's players, whether it's draft picks," he said.

"It's a little bit early to say exactly what we want out of it.

"We'd be happy to get some older players, or some young, talented players that have played a couple of years of footy."

The expansion club isn't allowed to keep the 17-year-olds for itself.