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WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has played an instrumental role in the recruitment of former Hawthorn defender Jordan Kelly to the Whitten Oval.
The Dogs used pick No.23 in Wednesday's NAB AFL Rookie Draft to select Kelly, who was delisted by the Hawks in October without playing a senior game.
Beveridge was appointed to the Bulldogs' top job last month and had previously spent the past three years at Hawthorn as their backline coach, working closely with the medium-sized defender.
Kelly, 21, had been on the radar of the Bulldogs, but it was his relationship with Beveridge that sealed the deal.
"We knew that he was out of contract, so he was on the radar," Bulldogs recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple told
"No doubt with Luke's appointment that was probably highlighted a bit more. He had a really good knowledge of Jordan as a player and as a person and the style of footy he wants us to play.
"We thought that Jordan could really fit into that system really quickly so that was certainly a factor as well."
The Bulldogs once again moved to shore up their defensive stocks in the Rookie Draft recruiting Kelly as well as Roarke Smith from the Calder Cannons.
The club had already added the services of former Geelong defender Joel Hamling and father-son draftee Zaine Cordy to their backline.
While the Bulldogs were unable to fill the gap in their ruck stocks, Dalrymple said he was more than happy with the current playing list.
"Defence was one part of the ground that we wanted to address through this whole period," he said.
"We think with Cordy, Hamling, Roarke as well as Jordan Kelly we've got the depth now in that area.
"We did look far and wide for ruckmen but we weren't going to pick one for the sake of it, so that's something we think might need to be addressed in the future but certainly from a defensive side of things we are happy."
The club also rookie-listed injury-plagued small defender Daniel Pearce and veteran Brett Goodes, who were delisted by the Dogs in October.
Western Bulldogs rookie draft picks
Selection No.5 – Roarke Smith (Calder Cannons/Sunbury Kangaroos)
Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple says: "Roarke is a medium defender who can also run through the midfield. He's very athletic, and really came on this season after getting a game in round five. He is really task orientated, we see him as a defender that can play on a range of different players. Has a great vertical leap and a good mix of speed and endurance which could see him push through the midfield."
Selection No.23 – Jordan Kelly (Hawthorn/Edithvale Aspendale)
Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple says: "He's got good game sense and is a great kick on both sides of his body. He has the potential [to slot into the side straight away]. He was very close to getting a game at Hawthorn last season. We think after three very good development years at Hawthorn he could be ready to go given a good run with injury over the summer."
Selection No.40 – Daniel Pearce (Western Bulldogs/Bulleen Templestowe JFC)
Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple says: "His last year particularly was ravaged by injury so we just felt he deserved another opportunity. We were very much of the philosophy that the gap between state league and TAC Cup compared to AFL is every increasing and that players need time as long as they're displaying the right behaviors along the journey."
Selection No.57 – Brett Goodes (Western Bulldogs/Dimboola FC)
Recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple says: "We had quite a bit of experience leave the club in the last couple of months and we felt that Goodesy was too much of an important asset to lose, we still think he has something to add from a playing point of view as he was best on ground in the VFL Grand Final. We don't know how many AFL games he'll play but he's a unique person and we felt he still has an important role to play at our club. He as a positive impact on the environment of the club, his leadership skills are important and we see a future for him here in supporting indigenous players we might attract to the club later on but also in helping with the welfare of all our listed players."