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Blues look to rebuild spine at AFL draft

All smiles for McKay twins Brothers Harry and Ben McKay are off to Carlton and North Melbourne
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 24: Number 10 draft pick for the Blues Harry McKay poses during the NAB AFL Draft at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia on November 24, 2015. (Photo by Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Powerful forward Harry McKay joined the Blues at pick No.10

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• Why Jacob Weitering went No.1
• 2015 NAB AFL Draft tracker: Profiles, pics and video highlights of every draftee

CARLTON has used all but one of its picks in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft to rebuild a spine that had been decimated by the departures of star talls Jarrad Waite and Lachie Henderson over the past two years.

The Blues surprised no one when they took Jacob Weitering with the No.1 selection, with the Dandenong Stingrays centre half-back long linked to the 2015 wooden-spooners.

List manager Stephen Silvagni went tall with his next two picks too, taking Gippsland Power forward Harry McKay at pick No.10 and Charlie Curnow – brother of Blues midfielder Ed – at No.12.

'I've let a lot of people down', says new Blue Curnow

Silvagni told it had been satisfying to land top-end key-position talent in his first draft at Carlton.

"It's nice to get some key-position players through the door. In a way, the replacement for Henderson really was Harry McKay, so we were able to replace a key with a key, which was nice," Silvagni said.

"So now we can look to the future, whether it's through trading or drafting, and we'll know what types we need or the types we haven't got on our list."

The Blues' only non-key-position selection was speedy Oakleigh Chargers midfielder David Cuningham, who they took at pick No.23.

Carlton then had no hesitation matching arch-rival Essendon's bid for father-son nominee Jack Silvagni at pick No.53.

Jack is a raw key forward who continues a proud family tradition at Ikon that saw his father Stephen play 312 games and win two premierships and grandfather Serge play 239 games and win two flags.

After taking over as Blues list manager ahead of the 2015 season, Stephen Silvagni was at pains to distance himself from list management discussions concerning Jack.

Carlton is confident that with time, Jack can add to the Silvagni legacy.

The Blues can now eye the future with far more confidence about their spine.

Weitering is widely thought to be capable of slotting into defence early next year to support Michael Jamison and Sam Rowe.

It might take McKay and Curnow longer to earn a berth in attack, but Levi Casboult can rest easy that quality help is finally on its way.

Jacob Weitering is the centrepiece of the Carlton rebuild. Picture: AFL Media

Selection No.1 – Jacob Weitering
Stephen Silvagni says: "It was not a hard decision. He's a key-position player who is really level-headed, a smart boy who makes good decisions and who really reads the game well. Like any of the boys we've selected, there will be no expectations on him to play AFL footy next year, but if he or the others do it's a big win for the club." - List manager Stephen Silvagni

Selection No.10 – Harry McKay
"A forward/ruck who's very exciting. He's really young – he doesn't turn 18 until late December – and he only came into the system this year so he's got some upside." Stephen Silvagni

Selection No.12 – Charlie Curnow
"He's a powerful forward, who can possibly go through the midfield. He didn't play a lot of footy this year and if you look at him as a forward he's a bit different to the other boys we brought in – he's different to Harry (McKay) and he's different to Jack in some ways as well. So there's a good mix." - Stephen Silvagni

Selection No.23 – David Cuningham
"He's got some speed, is a smooth mover and a really intelligent boy. We've added a midfielder that we really need." - Stephen Silvagni

Selection No.53 – Jack Silvagni
"For him it's great, as a dad it's great, he gets the chance to live a dream, but it's hard work from here. He's another one who's come into the junior system late and doesn't turn 18 until December, so he's still got a lot of development in him. We hope that in him we've found another forward and possibly another backman as well." - Stephen Silvagni


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs