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Draft 2013 - a night of quirks and twists

2013 draft: The top 10 revealed Announcement and reaction to the top ten picks

Giants have a Kat in the ranks

New GWS recruit Simon Katich has been employed to mentor the Giants' young players and leaders, and was there first-hand to meet their newest recruits, including No.1 pick Tom Boyd and No.2 Josh Kelly. While it's great to see Katich's involvement in Australian football, many Australians might have preferred him 70km up the highway at the Gabba helping his former Aussie cricket teammates as they stumbled in the Ashes.

What's in a name?

If the Brisbane Lions were looking for good omens after a disastrous off-season in which five young players quit the club, they've got their man. As noted by at least one wag on Twitter, Victorian key defender Daniel McStay was an obvious starting point for club recruiters searching for the players least likely to head back to their home states citing homesickness.

Meanwhile, new Sydney Swans draftee Aliir Aliir should be a footy trivia buff's dream, the first player in AFL history with the same first and surname. And technically, he is. But Hawthorn's Stuart Stewart also needs to come into the discussion.
 
Stewart was a key position player from Ararat, who featured for the Mayblooms, as they were then known, in 130 games and kicked 34 goals between 1926 and 1935. Harry Harrison played five games for Essendon and the Western Bulldogs between 1923 and 1925.
 
The AFL database also lists a William Williams, who was born in 1966, but who never played a senior game. It doesn’t even list the club he played for. The same for a Chris Christopher who was born in 1983.

Brotherly love

Maybe there is room for romance in footy after all, with Adelaide selected Matt Crouch to join brother Brad at West Lakes and Essendon taking Zach Merrett to join his brother Jackson at the Bombers. There wasn't so much luck for Tasmania's Kolodjashnij twins, though. Kade, as expected, went to Gold Coast at pick No.5, and Jake headed to Geelong with pick 41, leaving them to pursue their AFL careers at a distance of roughly 1800km.

Next year, it could be you

It wasn't just the draftees and their families looking on at the Gold Coast Convention Centre; the next crop of stars was also on hand. The AIS-AFL squad members that will make up the bulk of the next two drafts are on the Coast for a camp this weekend and were among the keenest onlookers in the crowd.

There's no surf in Homebush

He's going to Greater Western Sydney, but No.1 pick Tom Boyd looked right at home on the Coast on draft day, being spotted with a surfboard just hours before the main event. Doubtless big Tom is aware it's just a lazy 22km - or about three hours up Parramatta Road on a sunny Sydney Saturday - from the Giants' home ground to Bondi beach.

Can we race them?

Hawthorn's drafting of midfielder Billy Hartung at pick 24 means the 2013 premier now boasts the two best performers in the history of NAB AFL Combine beep test history. Hartung ran an incredible 16.6 in the dreaded test of endurance and mental strength this year, beating fellow Hawk Bradley Hill's record of 16.1, set in 2011.

Demons draft one from the dark side

Melbourne draftee Jayden Hunt – taken by the Dees with pick 57 - comes from good footy stock. The 18-year-old is a descendent of five-time Collingwood premiership player Harold Rumney, who was part of the famous Magpies' outfit that won four successive flags from 1927-1930.

Aish stands out from the crowd

When the top 10 draft picks were paraded on stage together, South Australian James Aish stood out. While the other nine draftees all wore their new club guernseys without a number on the back, No.7 pick Aish modelled his new Brisbane Lions guernsey sporting the number 25.


Justin Leppitsch couldn't contain his delight at landing James Aish with pick No. 7

Cats use up a couple of lives

For most of the first two rounds, teams whizzed through selections when called upon by CEO Andrew Demetriou - until Geelong was called on at pick 36. After the Swans took North Launceston's Toby Nankervis with the previous pick, the Cats seemed to be thrown and asked for additional time. They eventually went with East Fremantle's Jarrad Jansen, a big-bodied midfielder. Given Stephen Wells' illustrious history on draft night, odds are the extra moments were worth it.

Batty hangs up the boots (or the pen)

Finally, on the day that launched the career of many young players, it spelt the end for a great servant of the game. After 27 years of service in administration, AFL Queensland's Bob Batty called it quits.