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Giants orchestrate bold trade to snare WA speedster

Ian Hill has been selected by GWS - AFL,Draft,GWS Giants
Ian Hill has been selected by GWS

GREATER Western Sydney has made a bold trade to pounce on West Australian Ian Hill after the talented small forward slipped outside the first round of the NAB AFL Draft.

West Coast had been considered strong possibilities to draft Hill, a second cousin of Fremantle duo Stephen and Bradley Hill, when he was overlooked on the opening night of the draft. 

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However, after the Eagles traded the opening pick of the draft's second day, No.23 overall to Gold Coast, the Giants sprung into action, entering into a deal with the Crows for their next pick, No.24.

GWS then traded pick No.28 and its future second-round pick to Adelaide in return for No.24 and a future fifth-round selection.

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The deal allowed the Giants to snare Hill, who had been widely tipped to be selected in the draft's first round with Fremantle, who held pick No.17, among those linked with the Perth Football Club product.

Giants recruiting manager Adrian Caruso said the club had hatched a plan to get Hill on Friday morning, unsuccessfully exploring a trade with West Coast for pick No.23 before clinching the Crows deal.

Caruso said Hill would help fill the one glaring hole on the Giants' list.

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"It's hard to find players with that sort of talent, just his speed and X-factor in the front half, we think that's the modern game," Caruso said.

"Cyril (Rioli), (Eddie) Betts and these types don't appear very often and we've always cried out for that type.

"It's something we've never had as a footy club and we thought that given what we picked last night and the mix of players we had coming in through the first round Ian's talent was too good to pass up."

Hill has elite speed and agility, making him very dangerous at ground level, while he is also capable in one-on-one aerial contests.

The 18-year-old's 2018 season was interrupted by a shoulder injury, but he shapes as an exciting addition to the Giants' forward line.

The Giants would also have been rapt to claim academy member Kieren Briggs at pick No.34, given pre-draft speculation the All-Australian under-18 ruckman could attract an opposition bid late in the first round.

West Coast was the unsuccessful bidder for Briggs, who should bring some youthful energy to a GWS ruck division likely to be headed in 2019 by veteran Dawson Simpson and comeback man Shane Mumford.

On the opening night of the draft, the Giants added some elite young talent to their midfield division, which in the Trade Reriod lost stars Dylan Shiel (Essendon) and Tom Scully (Hawthorn) along with 2016's No.5 draft pick Will Setterfield.

GWS used all three of their first-round selections on on-ballers, snaring Bendigo Pioneer Jye Caldwell at No.12, Central District's Jackson Hateley at No.14 and Western Jet Xavier O'Halloran at No.22.

Caldwell and O'Halloran captained Vic Country and Vic Metro respectively at this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, while Hateley was named in the 2018 All Australian team.