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The Brisbane Lions' draft haul: recruiter's verdict

Meet James Aish Get up close and personal with Lions draftee James Aish
What the club says
"Our priority was to collect a couple of tall defenders that could fill some roles, and to add some pace and size to our midfield. We were trying to get some players that filled some areas of the guys that left (in the off-season). Yeoy (Elliot Yeo) leaving left a hole at half-back, but we've got (Tom) Cutler and (Nicholas) Robertson and (Daniel) McStay can all pay half-back and wing, so we think we've covered that well." Stephen Conole, recruiting manager

Click here to view the Lions' draft haul and watch highlights of every player on the 2013 draft tracker

Pick 7 - James Aish
"We're just ecstatic to get James. He's a two-time SANFL premiership player, he's a fantastic young boy and he'll be an enormous acquisition to the group. We've really liked James since we watched him in the under-16 nationals three years ago. He hasn't done anything to change our opinion over three years - he's just got better and better really." Stephen Conole

22 - Darcy Gardiner
"Darcy's just a really competitive kid. He has some terrific traits that we see he can bring to the club as a tall defender. He tapered off slightly in the second half of the year through injuries … but we see him as a player that can come in and play a strong, deep defensive role for us." Stephen Conole

25 - Daniel McStay
"Daniel's a hybrid defender who's had a considerable growth spurt over the past 12 to 18 months. He's had some experience playing through midfield as well as half-back and he's a lovely penetrating left-foot kick. I saw him play a couple of games at the back end of last season, and he showed some nice glimpses of being able to win his own ball. He's got a bit of work to do, Daniel would be the first to admit that, but we see him as a player with enormous upside." Stephen Conole

28 - Lewis Taylor
"He's an energetic little kid. We went away with him on the AIS squad and really took a liking to him. We didn't have him in our picture at 28 - we thought he'd be gone by then - but when he was still available we thought he was too good a player to overlook. We're really confident he'll play a strong role. He's got speed, great agility, he's tough, he can play forward, on-ball, he's been a fantastic contributor for the (Geelong) Falcons for two years." Stephen Conole

33 - Tom Cutler
"We saw him play as an under-17, played all roles, forward, back and mid for Oakleigh Chargers and Trinity Grammar. He had a few injuries this year and didn't have the year he liked. We identified him last year and think he's a player that if he was injury free and had a good run, would have went higher. At 190cm, he offers some speed and athleticism that we require on our list." Stephen Conole

34 - Nicholas Robertson
"He's another AIS boy that had a fantastic under-17 season, had a shoulder injury this year and missed a fair chunk of the season. He's a tall, aggressive mid, huge motor and runs really hard and we think that taller, big body in the midfield will hopefully add another dimension we don't have at the moment." Stephen Conole

Click here to read recruiters' verdicts for all AFL clubs at the 2013 draft hub

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