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Blues set to take former Dockers midfielder with No.1 pick

Former Docker Josh Deluca in action against Richmond in 2017 - AFL,Carlton Blues,Joshua Deluca,Draft,Exclusive,Tag-Exclusive,Tag-Draft
Former Docker Josh Deluca in action against Richmond in 2017

CARLTON is set to swing a surprise at the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft on Monday night, with former Fremantle midfielder Josh Deluca firming as the likely first selection.

AFL.com.au understands the Blues have settled on Deluca, despite increasing speculation surrounding Footscray midfielder Kyle Dunkley’s chances of landing at Princes Park.

>> The 2019 NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft will be broadcast LIVE on AFL.com.au, the AFL Live Official App and Fox Footy from 6:30pm AEST on Monday, May 27

Carlton met with a host of draft prospects on Wednesday and is understood to have come to a decision on recruiting the diminutive West Australian late last week.

YOUR CLUB'S TARGETS Our experts analyse the Mid-Season Rookie Draft 

That’s despite Deluca, 23, sitting out Subiaco’s WAFL clash with Claremont on Saturday due to hamstring soreness.

Dunkley, the brother of Western Bulldogs premiership player Josh Dunkley, had long been considered the overwhelming favourite to be selected by Carlton with the first pick.

MID-SEASON ROOKIE DRAFT Former players, brothers of star on the list

Eastern Ranges youngster Cody Hirst and VFL duo Sam Lowson and Frank Anderson had also been in the mix to land at the Blues.

However, Carlton’s young midfield group and its lack of hardened bodies is believed to have led them to Deluca.

The 179cm midfielder returned to the radar of AFL clubs after starring in Subiaco’s premiership victory last season with 29 disposals and eight tackles in the Grand Final.

Find Road to the Draft on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

He’s since averaged 25.7 disposals and 5.3 tackles per game to start the current WAFL campaign.

His form comes after an indifferent three-year stint with the Dockers, where he played just four AFL games – all in his final season for the club in 2017.

 

North Melbourne’s upset victory over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday means Carlton is certain to take the first selection into Monday’s rookie draft.

Carlton is languishing in bottom spot on the AFL ladder after round 10, two games behind the 17th placed Gold Coast heading into Sunday’s clash with St Kilda.

The 2019 NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft will be broadcast LIVE on AFL.com.au, the AFL Live Official App and Fox Footy from 6.30pm AEST on Monday, May 27