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Dockers hoodwink draft experts to spring pick two surprise

Marc McGowan  November 24, 2017 11:40 PM

Mates overjoyed to be paired up at Freo Good friends Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra will travel to the Dockers
AFL 2017 Media - NAB AFL Draft

Andrew Brayshaw meets Dockers coach Ross Lyon

ALL THE fuss was for nothing.

The whispers on draft eve suggested silken midfielder Adam Cerra, the bolter from Ferntree Gully, was Fremantle's new man at No.2.

Before that, it was Dandenong Stingray Luke Davies-Uniacke.

But the Dockers had everyone hoodwinked, because list manager Brad Lloyd says Andrew Brayshaw – brother of Demon Angus and new Eagle Hamish – was their man by mid-week.

• Hamish and Andy: Brayshaw bros become rivals

They gained the second pick after rising star Lachie Weller requested a shock move to Gold Coast during the NAB AFL Trade Period.

The talk about Cerra to Fremantle did have substance, with the Eastern Ranges star heading west with pick five in Friday night's NAB AFL Draft.

Brayshaw and Cerra, who attended Melbourne private schools Haileybury and Wesley, respectively, are considered captains-in-waiting.

Cerra's Ranges teammate and fellow onballer Tom North (No.65) will join him at the Dockers.

"It wasn't a late call, we were fairly organised," Lloyd told AFL.com.au.

"We had our final football subcommittee meeting on Tuesday or Wednesday this week … we were really comfortable with our order going in and it was a great top five, really.

"We felt the talent and quality in the draft was in the midfield and we wanted to get a good injection of midfielders into our team as well.

"We had gone fairly tall in recent years with Sean Darcy and Brennan Cox and Griffin Logue."

Fremantle made a League-high eight picks on the night, also bolstering a ruck department that severed ties with Zac Clarke and lost Jon Griffin to retirement.

Four-time All Australian Aaron Sandilands remains the club's No.1 big man, but is 34 years old, while Darcy showed in his debut campaign that he is a more-than-capable successor.

Lloyd said the Dockers' decision to add Greater Western Victoria Rebel Lloyd Meek (69) and East Perth mature-ager Scott Jones (75) was about creating more options.

"Sean played as an 18-year-old last year, so he needs support. You take a few ruckmen and give them all an opportunity to see who progresses," he said.

"Sean did an outstanding job last year and then with Lloyd and Scott, it's their chance to show us what they can do and grab the opportunity on an AFL list."

Key forward Hugh Dixon put Tasmania back on the map when he ended the state's barren draft run at No.44, while strong-bodied Sturt midfielder Mitch Crowden was next at 59.

Fremantle also gifted Box Hill VFL forward Sam Switkowski a belated AFL opportunity at No.73.

The Dockers had multiple top-10 picks for just the third time in their history and first since drafting Paul Hasleby, Matthew Pavlich and Leigh Brown in 1999.

Fre-New-Players-Draft-AFL.jpgVideos not available on mobile

Brad Lloyd on ...

Andrew Brayshaw: "We just loved his football character and the way he plays. He's a good ball user, an elite runner and a great person, so we just thought he was a really good fit for our club."

Adam Cerra: "He's a great size at 187cm, he's got good balance, uses the ball well and is good overhead, so he's got a lot of qualities going for him."

Hugh Dixon: "We wanted to get Hugh in … we think he can take a good contested mark and he's a nice kick as well, so we think there's plenty of development in him."

Mitch Crowden: "Mitch has a really strong body, he's powerful and he's quick."

Tom North: "Tom's a good friend of Adam Cerra's, so he'll fit in well, but he's a footy smart player and uses the ball well."

Lloyd Meek: "Lloyd's someone who could come in and might be able to play games at different stages, but we think he'll develop nicely – he's a good ruck prospect."

Sam Switkowski: "He's played really good VFL footy and that's normally a good gauge. He buzzes around forward and kicks goals and adds some real pressure as well."

Scott Jones: "Scott’s a ruckman who’s played some WAFL footy during the past few years at East Perth."

Read more

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