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Swings and roundabouts for Roos with bidding system

Bailey Scott in action for the Allies during the U18 champs - AFL,Draft,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Tarryn Thomas
Bailey Scott in action for the Allies during the U18 champs

IF NORTH Melbourne paid a slightly inflated price for Tasmanian academy member Tarryn Thomas, the bidding system swung back in its favour when an unexpectedly late call for father-son recruit Bailey Scott allowed it to trade up the draft order and claim mercurial forward Curtis Taylor.

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Thomas had been widely tipped to be a first-round pick, but most were expecting him to fall later than pick No.8, the bid by Adelaide that the Kangaroos were forced to match on the opening night of the NAB AFL Draft. 

However, Scott, the son of 1996 premiership Kangaroo Robert Scott, slid to No.49 on Friday despite being widely tipped to attract a rival bid in the second round of the draft, perhaps even as soon as the early 30s.

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The rival bid came from Geelong, which also had father-son rights to Scott before the Gold Coast academy member nominated North as his preferred AFL club ahead of the Cats and Suns.

Scott is a medium forward/midfielder who averaged 23.8 possessions as captain of the Allies in the 2018 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships to win All Australian honours.

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Taylor, 187cm, is a strong overhead mark and has a rare knack for winning the ball in traffic, while he starred with eight marks and three goals for Vic Metro against Vic Country in the U18 championships.

 

North recruiting manager Mark Finnigan said the club did not hesitate to match Adelaide's early bid for Thomas, a 188cm forward who won this year's Harrison Medal playing for Tasmania in the NAB AFL Academy series.

"We just sit there and wait for a bid to come in. It only takes one club to like a player and when Adelaide bid at pick No.8 we were keen to match it because we had the points to do that," Finnigan said.

"There was no hesitation really. We rated Tarryn as a player and had the points for that, so were keen just to get it done straight away."

Finnigan admitted the late bid for Scott took the Roos by surprise and unexpectedly opened the door for them to pounce on Taylor.

"We rate Bailey really highly and were surprised where that bid came in, so to have the ability to trade out and get Curtis in was a great result for us," Finnigan said.

With their final selection, North selected another father-son prospect, Joel Crocker, taking the son of 1996 premiership player and club coaching director Darren Crocker with pick No.69.

Crocker's 2018 season was curtailed prematurely by an ankle injury, but the 188cm forward impressed early in the year with his composure, game sense and ball use.

"Joel has a lot of ability. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to get on the park very much over the past few years," Finnigan said.

"But he was an All Australian under-15 and once we get his body right we're confident he'll be a good player for us."