Matthew Clarke, then Richmond's national recruiting manager, seen during Gettable Draft Countdown on November 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

RICHMOND is preparing to select two players in next week's AFL Draft but remains open to using a future selection to either bolster its hand or move higher in the order, according to national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke. 

The Tigers enter the draft at pick No.29 after trading their 2023 first selection, which landed at No.7, to Greater Western Sydney last year as part of the deal to land midfielder Jacob Hopper.

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Clarke said it was unlikely the Tigers would be able to move up the order as they enter this year's draft with picks No.29, No.41, No.64 and No.66, but the option was not off the table.  

"Potentially. You're probably looking at giving up something in next year's draft to do that. We'll have a look at that on the night if we think there's something coming through that we might be able to do that with," Clarke told's Gettable Draft Countdown.

"You've got to keep all bases open and have a lot of contingencies around what could happen. We're obviously doing that at the moment and talking to a few people about what types of players might get through to us. 

"It (trading a future pick) probably looks unlikely I think, but you never know."

Clarke said the Tigers were optimistic about the talent that would be available later in the pool when they are selecting, as well as the options that will present through the Rookie Draft and Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP). 

"The plan is [to use] two picks at the moment. We're reasonably flexible with what we do at the back end and we will obviously go through the Rookie Draft on Wednesday as well and have a look there," Clarke said.  

"You always find talent all the way through the draft. Whether it's early picks, mid-range, Rookie Draft, mid-season picks, SSP, there's always talent there. You've just got to make sure you're doing the work on all of them. 

"Hopefully that's held us in good stead in recent years to find some talent late in the draft."

One of the Tigers' recruiting success stories is another pick No.29 in Shai Bolton, who landed at Punt Road when the club took a slim hand into the 2016 draft after trading for eventual premiership players Dion Prestia, Toby Nankervis and Josh Caddy. 

Shai Bolton celebrates a goal in Richmond's win over Essendon in round 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"One of our team members reminded us of that the other day. It'd be nice to find another Shai Bolton at pick No.29," Clarke said. 

While the Tigers enter the draft late, Clarke said the recruiting team had still done its work on the top prospects to make sure the club can reflect accurately on its assessments in the future. 

"The focus has always been for our recruiting team to make sure we have a good look at the whole pool," he said.  

"We still do a fair bit of work. We have a bit of a getaway and talk through the top ranked 10 who are that elite talent. For your processes moving forward you still need to do the work on those guys. 

"You want to be able to look back and reflect and say, 'Did we get that right? Did we not get that right? Why didn't we? Did we not have enough information? Or yep, we were spot on with those guys'. 

"You still need to make an assessment of that top pool so you can compare back against other drafts."