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Rookie draft wash-up: Who did your club get?

Staff writers  November 27, 2017 7:45 PM

Blues surprise with draft strategy Matt Thompson and Callum Twomey wrap up the NAB AFL pre-season and rookie drafts

Who they drafted: Patrick Wilson (Sturt), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (Adelaide), Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide SANFL), Jackson Edwards (Glenelg)

Summary: The Crows topped up their list with a mature-age SANFL premiership winner, a midfielder on the injury comeback trail, a talented small defender and a son of a gun. Sturt midfielder Wilson gave the game away just two years ago, but gets his chance at the age of 22. Wilson was outstanding for the Double Blues this season and was named in the SANFL Team of the Year. He can play on the inside and outside, has clean hands and is an accurate kick, while he's versatile enough to play across half-back and on the wing. Ellis-Yolmen, 24, will be out to make up for lost time after a knee reconstruction forced him to miss this season. Murphy, 18, gets rewarded for an impressive season for the SANFL Crows. He played as a small defender this year, but was a midfielder at the Northern Knights. Father-son draftee Edwards is a prolific ball-winning midfielder with a tremendous work ethic. If he's half as good as his dad – Crows great Tyson – then he's going to have an outstanding career. - Lee Gaskin

What the club says: "Patty is a lad we've followed for a long time, we actually nearly drafted him in his 18th year as a half-back from Sturt. We tracked him, and then he had some injury issues and he was probably the best performed midfielder in the SANFL for the first three-quarters of the season. He was a really prominent player for Sturt, so we thought he was close to the best state league midfielder in South Australia and he deserves his chance. As an 18-year-old in state league footy, we thought Lachlan performed as well as some of the AFL listed players around the country. We gave him a bit of a carrot, he worked really hard over the summer, came back in good condition and achieved most of the things we set out for him, so he becomes our first SANFL Crows player drafted. At Northern Knights and Ivanhoe Grammar, he played as a midfielder/forward, but filled a role for us in defence. Cam did a fantastic job with his rehab and he really showed us he wanted another chance. With Patty and Cam and Jackson, we've certainly got some real midfield depth." - Crows national recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie 

Who they drafted: Claye Beams (Brisbane Lions)

Summary: The Lions had committed to Beams from the moment he was delisted. Beams, the younger brother of club captain Dayne, has had a nightmare run with injury in his seven seasons, playing just 54 games. At his best, he is a good outside runner with a penetrating right boot. The Lions were also able to add Cian Hanley for a fourth season after the AFL gave him special consideration as a Category B rookie. Once Hanley was overlooked by the other clubs, the Lions were able to add him. The younger brother of Pearce, Hanley has overcome an ACL and a host of other problems to finally play his first ever game of Australian Rules in 2017. He progressed nicely in the NEAFL with his speed, agility and ever-improving skills. - Michael Whiting

What the club says: "Claye is a great role player for us in the team. He’s a terrific leader, a mentor and buys into the club. Multiple injuries have prevented Claye from stringing together consistent pre-seasons." - Lions football manager David Noble 

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Who they drafted: Cam O'Shea (Northern Blues), Matt Shaw (Gold Coast)

Summary: The Blues nabbed ex-Port Adelaide defender O'Shea with the sole pre-season draft selection to bolster their tall stocks down back. O'Shea spent this year playing with the club's VFL affiliate Northern Blues and won the best and fairest and was named in the VFL Team of the Year. The 25-year-old, who played 81 games for the Power and stands 193cm, should be in contention from round one, particularly with Sam Rowe recovering from a knee reconstruction. Suns discard Shaw arrives at Ikon Park after 102 matches in seven seasons and will provide dash and depth on the wing and at half-back. - Marc McGowan

What the club says: "Cam was really disciplined in his approach to the VFL team this year and has committed himself fully since having the opportunity to train with the senior side throughout the off-season. In the same vein, we know Matt will be very determined to make an impact amongst a young playing group." - List manager Stephen Silvagni 

Former Sun Matt Shaw has won a second chance at Carlton. Picture: AFL Photos

Who they drafted: Flynn Appleby (Greater Western Victoria), Brody Mihocek (Port Melbourne), Adam Oxley (Collingwood)

Summary: Appleby is a 187cm defender capable of playing on tall, medium or small forwards and he reminds the Magpies of Alan Toovey in the way he can take to a task and make sure he is successful. Aerobically strong, he can also play as a run-with midfielder and will add depth to the back half. Mihocek, 24, has been recognised as one of the VFL's standout key defenders and regularly took the points against AFL-listed forwards this year with Port Melbourne. The club had already committed to taking Oxley as a rookie, with the defender now clear of the injury troubles that have hampered him in recent seasons. It is a draft that strengthens the Magpies in 2018, with Mihocek and Oxley both hardened players capable of having an impact next year. - Nathan Schmook

What the club says: "We're really happy with the boys we've brought in and we think we've addressed most needs across the drafts. All these guys needed was an opportunity and I can put my head on the pillow tonight and know that they're going to give everything they possibly can to be AFL players. That's all you want from any player." - National recruiting manager Derek Hine 

Who they drafted: Trent Mynott (Eastern Ranges)

Summary: The Bombers bolstered their inside midfield division by selecting the 73kg Mynott. He thrives in the contest, reads the ball off hands well, is a serious competitor, has good game sense and will impress those at the club with his attitude. However, he needs to build up his upper body to take on onballers at AFL level. Mynott's pace is not an asset but his agility and aerobic running are a couple of his stronger traits. Cassidy Parish, the brother of Darcy, was another considered for the role but just missed out. - Dinny Navaratnam

What the club says: "We were looking to bolster our midfield, particularly inside. He (Mynott) demonstrated he can play that role. He's really developed this year under Darren Bewick at Eastern (Ranges). He's a young developing player and we think that in time, he can fill a bit of a breach for us." - Recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro

Who they drafted: Bailey Banfield (Claremont), Stefan Giro (Norwood)

Summary: The Dockers have added two players with senior state league experience. Banfield won Claremont's best and fairest in 2017 and shapes as a player who could force his way into the Dockers' line-up in 2018 with his size and strength as an inside midfielder. He wins clearances, finds the ball, tackles and is tough, but the Dockers were particularly attracted to his attitude. Giro is an endurance specialist who finished second in the Yo-Yo Test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine, behind fellow recruit Andrew Brayshaw. With a high work-rate and elite running ability, he should hold his own when he joins pre-season training. - Nathan Schmook

What the club says: "We wanted to bring in a couple of quality young players with good attitudes. We'd taken a fairly balanced group at the National Draft, so we wanted to keep working through our list, getting some quality footballers in. Bailey can really help us inside the contest and Stefan has got some strong AFL attributes in that running forward position." - List manager Brad Lloyd

Stefan Giro in action for South Australia. Picture: AFL Photos
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Who they drafted: Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Matthew Hayball (Geelong)

Summary: After weighing up a number of players, including delisted Cat Tom Ruggles, the Cats settled on former Bulldog and Bomber Crameri, and re-rookied Hayball after two years on Geelong's senior list. Crameri had toured the Cats' facilities in recent days leading to suggestions the move to Geelong was a fait accompli. However, Geelong had to ensure that Crameri's body was in good enough shape to endure another season with the veteran having played just two games in the past two seasons. The hard-running forward has largely been a better than reliable player across 99 career games and the Cats will be hoping he can return to somewhere near his best after being hampered by a hip injury last year. Hayball, yet to play a senior game, is still raw in his development and Geelong is hopeful he still has plenty of improvement in him. - Ben Guthrie

What the club says: "In the end we settled on Stewart because we decided that he's got some good footy ahead of him. Hopefully he can get back to his best as a running player and prove versatile and capable at AFL level." – Cats list manager Stephen Wells 

Who they drafted: Josh Jaska (Geelong Falcons), Nicholas Holman (Central Districts), Mackenzie Willis (Gold Coast)

Summary: Suns have gone for a bit of everything with their picks. Jaska impressed as a 19-year-old key defender for the Falcons last season and gives Gold Coast something to work with long-term in an area of the ground they're thin in. In Holman and Willis, they have two mature bodies they know can play the top level. Holman played nine games for Carlton over two seasons, and after being cut made a great fist of things in the SANFL in 2017, racking up the second-most number of disposals. Willis has been on the Suns' list for two years and has played as a half-back and small stints in the midfield. - Michael Whiting

What the club says: more to come

Who they drafted: Dylan Buckley (Carlton), Jack Buckley (UNSW-ES Bulldogs), Sam Reid (GWS)

Summary: Dylan Buckley and Reid give the Giants senior AFL experience to call on if needed, with Buckley's speed off half-back a handy addition following Nathan Wilson's departure to Fremantle. Reid was always going to be re-drafted and his versatility has seen him play some valuable roles, while Jack Buckley is an exciting forward prospect. - Adam Curley

What the club says:  "We think (Dylan Buckley) can add to our depth predominantly as a small pressure forward but he also has the ability to play down back. He is competitive and will have a crack, and will add to the competition for spots in our AFL side." GWS national recruiting manager Adrian Caruso

Who they drafted: Harrison Jones (Murray Bushrangers), Dallas Willsmore (Hawthorn), David Mirra (Box Hill), Changkuoth Jiath (Gippsland Power)

Summary: The Hawks bolstered their inside midfield stocks with Jones, who excels in one-on-one contests and at stoppages. As forecast, rangy outside midfielder Willsmore gets another chance after two games at AFL level in 2017, while Jiath is the club's Category B rookie and the Hawks are excited about his prospects as a medium flanker with pace and skill. The popular pick is 26-year-old Box Hill stalwart Mirra, that club's 2013 premiership captain and a four-time member of the VFL Team of the Year. He adds to Hawthorn’s defensive depth and this could be another sign that Ryan Burton and Jack Gunston will play further up the ground in 2018. - Ashley Browne

What the club says: "David has been an outstanding player at VFL level for a long period of time so we are rapt to have him on our list for 2018. He is proof that hard work and determination really pays off and that it is never too late to realise your dream of playing at AFL level. He has a great understanding of our structures and game play through our affiliation with Box Hill so this will be a great asset he can bring to the club." - List manager Graham Wright

David Mirra in action for the Box Hill Hawks. Picture: AFL Photos
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Who they drafted: Did not participate

Summary: Melbourne did not take a player in the rookie draft having already filled its 2018 list. The Demons picked four players – Charlie Spargo, Bayley Fritsch, Harrison Petty and Oskar Baker – in Friday's NAB AFL Draft, bringing the number of players on Melbourne's list to 44 and the maximum allotment. The Demons have retained Lachlan Filipovic, Declan Keilty, Corey Maynard and Tim Smith as rookies for 2018. Corey Maynard has been elevated from a category 'B' rookie to a category 'A' rookie. Having signed a two-year deal in April, defender Joel Smith has been permanently upgraded to the senior list. - Ben Guthrie

What the club says: "We'd filled all of the spots on our list after taking four players in Friday's NAB AFL Draft. As a result we passed on all of our picks in today's Rookie Draft." - recruiting manager Jason Taylor

Who they drafted: Tom Murphy (Dandenong Stingrays), Gordon Narrier (Perth)

Summary: The Roos clearly felt they had a need for speed going into this draft period. They picked up a series of quick players on Friday night and rookie additions Murphy and Narrier bring more of the same. Three of North's best midfielders – Ben Cunnington, Trent Dumont and Jack Ziebell – do their best work on the inside and aren't overly blessed with pace, so Shaun Higgins needs more support in that regard. Whether Murphy and Narrier become part of that solution remains to be seen, with them likely to start down back and in attack, respectively, before threatening the midfield rotation. - Marc McGowan

What the club says: "(Tom)'s a good rebounding defender with a penetrating kick that can also go through the midfield and push forward. Gordon represented WA at the nationals as a 19-year-old and has excellent speed and ground coverage. He comes to us with senior footy experience and will bring some more x-factor to our list." - National recruiting manager Mark Finnigan

Who they drafted: Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne)

Summary: The Power didn't surprise anyone when they selected Thomas with their one and only pick in the rookie draft. The 29-year-old's arrival at Alberton continues the Power's off-season theme of adding experienced players that can make an impact right now. Thomas played 205 games across 11 seasons for the Kangaroos, booting 325 goals and winning the club's goal-kicking award in 2010 and 2013. However, his form waned this year and he was dropped to the VFL. Whether he's in the Power's best 22 remains to be seen, but he's definitely another valuable weapon at coach Ken Hinkley's disposal. - Lee Gaskin

What the club says: "We picked four young mid/forwards at Friday night’s draft. In Lindsay, we now have a proven goal-kicker who can add experience and depth to that part of the ground." - List manager Jason Cripps 

Who they drafted: Liam Baker (Subiaco)

Summary: Small forwards helped Richmond win the flag and the club has doubled down on that tactic, adding the 173cm Baker to the list. He played 13 games for Subiaco in the WAFL this year so has competed against mature bodies, but needs to bulk up a little. In time, Baker has the potential to move into the midfield, with his competitiveness sure to help him win his own ball. However, he will be competing with Daniel Rioli, Dan Butler, Jason Castagna, Shai Bolton, Tyson Stengle and Jack Higgins for a spot. Baker's footy smarts, pressuring, superb crumbing and balance should see him well-suited to the Tigers' forward line, but he also could one day develop into an onballer. - Dinny Navaratnam

What the club says: "Liam's a small midfielder/forward. He played in the national carnival for WA last year and was a bit unlucky, I thought, to not get drafted. We just thought that as much as our list is reasonably full of small forward/midfielders … Liam's talent was too good to ignore. His talent, his competitiveness and his workrate was just such high quality that we were happy to add him to our list." - Recruiting manager Matthew Clarke 

Who they drafted: Doulton Langlands (Murray Bushrangers), Lewis Pierce (St Kilda)

Summary: The Saints made it a focus to add midfield run and elite kicking to its list this year and achieved that by picking up Langlands, who stands at 187cm. Meanwhile, Pierce has struggled recently and faces a challenge to add to his one career game after being relegated to the rookie list for the final year of his contract. There are plenty of big men competing for ruck time at the club, stretching down to Sandringham, making it tough for Pierce to thrive. Delisted Eagle Tom Lamb and former Fremantle defender Sam Collins missed out on being picked up after training with St Kilda, with the club only having room for one player, having previously committed to re-drafting Pierce. - Dinny Navaratnam

What the club says: "(Langlands') got speed, he's got good endurance, can kick right or left foot. He started at half-back flank for the Bushrangers and then went into the midfield later in the season, in the last five weeks or so, and played his best patch of football. Last year, we were probably hamstrung a little bit with time in the ruck. We probably disadvantaged a few of them, we recognised that, so we need to improve that and really give him the opportunity to play more ruck. That's probably the thing that's going to help him the most." - Recruiting manager Tony Elshaug 

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Who they drafted: Joel Amartey (Sandringham Dragons), James Bell (Sydney academy), Jake Brown (Sydney academy), Alex Johnson (Sydney), Angus Styles (Sandringham Dragons)

Summary: Styles adds another outside midfielder to the list to give more run, while Amartey is a good-sized forward to develop under senior stars Lance Franklin and Sam Reid. Bell and Brown have been rewarded for consistency after both coming through the Swans academy, and Johnson's positive steps have also seen him re-drafted despite not playing a senior game since the 2012 Grand Final. - Adam Curley

What the club says: "One of our priorities right from the start was to try and add to our midfield depth and we've done that through the recruitment of Angus Styles, James Bell and Jake Brown. We were also able to address our key position stocks, especially our forwards, by recruiting Joel Amartey, who’s a ruckman/forward. We think we’ve been able to add to two areas we were a little bit deficient in, so we’re pleased." Swans recruiting manager Kinnear Beatson 

Alex Johnson's last game at senior level was the 2012 premiership triumph. Picture: AFL Photos

Who they drafted: Ryan Burrows (South Fremantle), Tony Olango (NT Thunder), Callan England (Claremont)

Summary: A couple of West Australians were recruited, along with a Kenyan-born ruckman who was an accomplished soccer player. Burrows, a left-footer, did not play for South Fremantle until round 10 in its Colts' side this year but looked good across all three lines. Olango has impressive speed and a huge leap but has struggled with several lower body injuries. However, the Eagles believe those can be remedied when he becomes stronger, and he is the development ruck the club was looking for. England has won gold medals in WA junior athletic competitions over 100m, 200m and 400m, has a big tank and uses the football well. - Dinny Navaratnam

What the club says: "(Burrows) is speedy, he's a reasonable size and he kicks it pretty well. Tony's one that we've been watching for two years. We did consider him last year as an 18-year-old. Things just didn't quite fall his way at the end of the year when it came to our selections. He's played some pretty solid NEAFL footy throughout the year and played a couple of academy games for the NT in the under-18 championships. We see some traits that we think we can work with. Some of (England's) spread and ability to get out of stoppages, especially in the second half of the year, we thought really stood out in under-18s." - List manager Brady Rawlings 

Who they drafted: Billy Gowers (Footscray), Roarke Smith (Western Bulldogs)

Summary: With Jake Stringer and Stewart Crameri no longer at the club, Gowers comes in as a medium forward option after averaging 16 possessions in 16 games for the Dogs' VFL side this year. Gowers also spent one year on Carlton's rookie list - in 2016 - but never managed a senior game. Smith should be ready to play at the start of next season after having a second knee reconstruction earlier this year, and adds depth to the back half after the retirements of Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd. - Adam Curley

What the club says: "Billy's a 21-year-old medium forward with very good speed and endurance. He is strong overhead and very lively in front goal." - Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple on Gowers

Billy Gowers' strong VFL form has earned him a rookie chance. Picture: AFL Photos