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Suns to hold fire on compo picks

Callum Twomey  March 5, 2013 7:00 AM

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Geelong gave up a compensation pick for Josh Caddy during last year's trade period

GOLD Coast appears set to activate only one of its three compensation picks at this year's NAB AFL Draft, meaning the club could hold at least two first-round selections at the next three drafts.

The Suns, along with fellow fledgling club Greater Western Sydney, could again have a grip on the top end of the draft through activating banked picks.

The Suns have three compensation picks, including two end-of-round-one selections, and another first-round pick, which is tied to Geelong's finishing position.

Only one of their picks can be used in 2015, meaning the club is likely to stagger its picks and use one a year. This is in line with the club's philosophy of building a broader age profile while gradually trimming its list.

But with the AFL requiring notification by March 19 whether the clubs will be using the picks in 2013, the Suns face a difficult decision on which of their selections to activate.

The first-round pick linked with Geelong's finishing position means the Suns' selection will immediately follow the Cats' first draft choice in either of the next two drafts.  

This leaves the Suns in a position where they need to predict whether the Cats will finish lower on the ladder this season or in 2014.  

The Giants, too, are in a strong position to add to their wealth of talent, with one mid-round-one selection and one end-of-round-one pick at their disposal in the next two years.

However it is unclear if the Giants will activate any selections in 2013.

If the club believes next year's draft is stronger than this year, it could choose to hold both until the 2014 intake.

West Coast is the only other club with a compensation pick (a third-round selection) that can be used in 2013. It can also decide to hold onto the pick until next year.

The six remaining compensation picks were originally handed out to clubs who lost uncontracted players, like Gary Ablett and Rhys Palmer, to the expansion clubs.

However through astute trading the Giants and Suns have recouped several of the selections.

This happened last year, when Geelong handed one of its compensation selections to the Suns as part of the deal to win the services of homesick midfielder Josh Caddy.

The Cats' two compensation picks were awarded to them by the AFL for losing Ablett to the Suns at the end of 2010.

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.