AFTER selecting three mature-age players in last year's NAB AFL Rookie Draft, Richmond changed its approach on Wednesday and added more youth to its list.
The Tigers' first two picks were used on players they felt were unlucky to miss selection at last week's National Draft – Northern Knights pair Jayden Short and Jason Castagna.
Their one mature-age selection was 23-year-old Williamstown midfielder Kane Lambert, who enjoyed an outstanding season in the VFL.
The club's final two selections had previously been committed to delisted Tiger Matt Arnot and category-B rookie Ivan Soldo, the cousin of ruckman Ivan Maric, who are training with the club in Townsville.
New additions Short, Castagna and Lambert wasted no time in joining their new teammates, taking a flight to northern Queensland, where they will join the Tigers on Wednesday night.
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson said the club prioritised available talent this year, rather than list needs, and targeted players with strong running ability.
"The way footy is going, you just need that running capacity to get up and down the ground," Jackson told AFL.com.au.
"So when we draft these kids, they're going to be playing in three to four years' time and those attributes will allow them to be the best players they can.
"We also looked at players we rated at the National Draft who were next on our list.
"We had two kids – Jayden Short and Jason Castagna – who we rated as potential draftable kids who didn't get picked on Thursday night."
Richmond's rookie selections
Selection No.11 – Jayden Short (Northern Knights)
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson says: "He's a really good mover and he averaged 21 possessions in 13 games playing onball with the Northern Knights. He has really good speed and endurance, so he brings plenty of run. We think he was really unlucky to miss out on Thursday night in the National Draft."
Selection No.29 – Jason Castagna (Northern Knights)
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson says: "Jason played for Vic Metro in the Under-18s Carnival and he will provide rebound from half-back. His ability to run and carry the footy in the Carnival was really good and he can make something happen with his speed and lateral movement."
Selection No.46 – Kane Lambert (Williamstown)
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson says: "Kane had a really strong finals series in the VFL, so when the standard steps up he was able to play his best footy. In Williamstown's first final he had 17 clearances and kicked four goals. He's worked hard for his opportunity and we're delighted that someone who’s been knocked back a couple of times dusts themselves off and perseveres."
Selection No.61 – Matt Arnot (Richmond)
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson says: "Matty's an ultimate competitor but last year he had a few hiccups, particularly in the pre-season, and he perhaps didn't progress as we might have hoped. He'll leave no stone unturned to be the best he can. He's come back in good condition and he'll be pushing for a senior game."
Selection No.68 – Ivan Soldo (non registered for three years)
Recruiting manager Francis Jackson says: "Ivan's worked really hard physically and for a kid who hasn't played footy, if you look at his kicking now, that's really improved along with his physical conditioning and running capacity. He's competitive and a big boy and his thirst for knowledge is a credit to him."