Many AFL recruiting managers and club staff personnel are rating this as 'a wait-and-see' draft, because of the stark contrasts in player ratings.
There is plenty of talent in the mix, but the varied opinion of players, makes it clearly the most difficult of any of The Phantom Drafts compiled since it began in 2000.
With the most information collated for this year's Phantom Draft, there are still a vast number of players that remain '50/50' chances of being selected.
And although a number of highly talented players are expected to be selected in this draft, many will be surprised at the quality that does miss out. But that will only strengthen the National Bank's AFL Rookie Draft in December.
Unfortunately, the reason that plenty of quality players will miss out, is simply because there are only 78 available selections this year, which is five less than last year.
At this stage, Richmond looks set to select Murray Bushrangers midfield dynamo Brett Deledio with the first selection in the draft.
Hawthorn is expected to take Southern Districts excitement machine Richard Tambling with the second pick, while outstanding South Adelaide midfielder Ryan Griffen looks likely to head to the Whitten Oval.
Gippsland Power's Jarryd Roughead and Perth's Lance Franklin are expected to round out the top five, but only time will tell.
Even the top 10 is not quite confirmed at this point, with a number of teams still waiting until the absolute deadline to make their key decision, while others will simply have to 'wait and see' what options fall their way.
It should be another intriguing meeting, with the permutations endless, right down to the very last selection at number 78.
THE 2004 PHANTOM DRAFT
1 - RICHMOND - Brett Deledio
(Murray Bushrangers), 18 April 1987, 188cm, 81kg
With Richmond in pole position for the first time since 1989, the Tigers are almost certain to call out - 'Player 110398, Brett Deledio, Murray Bushrangers' and pounce on brilliant young inside midfielder with the first selection in the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft. Hailing from Kyabram in country Victoria, Deledio, has been a standout player at junior level, having won the Kevin Sheehan Medal for the best player in the National Bank's AFL under-16 championships, while he graduated from the AIS/AFL Academy and was All-Australian at under-18 level in 2004, after he averaged 24 disposals during the carnival. He was later named in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year. Deledio also shone during the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, when he finished fourth overall in the 20-metre sprint with a time of 2.90 seconds, while his 92-centremetre running vertical jump was in the top bracket of players. Also a talented cricketer, Deledio is a super-competitive player, with his marking overhead and smartness around goal a feature of his game. Southern Districts dynamo Richard Tambling and outstanding South Adelaide midfielder Ryan Griffen are also in the mix for the number one title, but expect Deledio to be in the yellow and black after the meeting kicks off at 10am on Saturday morning. Deledio's father Wayne played one match for Carlton in 1975.
2 - HAWTHORN - Richard Tambling
(Southern Districts), 12 September 1986, 181cm, 74kg
With Deledio expected to be the first player claimed in the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft, expect Hawthorn to quickly snap up Tambling with the first of its three selections in the top seven. Tambling has been an elite performer at junior level, having been named the best player at both under-16 and under-18 level, which earned him the Alan McLean Medal and the Hunter Harrison Medal respectively. During his three matches at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, he notched up 61 disposals to cap off a stellar carnival. Tambling also captained The Allies during grand final week this year, when he led the side to victory in the inaugural National Bank's AFL under-18 Rising Stars Cup against Victoria. An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2002/03, Tambling shone at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, where he recorded a time of 2.87 seconds in the 20-metre sprint and a vertical leap of 93 centremetres, which were among the best tested this year. The dashing Northern Territorian goalkicking midfielder with the blistering pace and silky skills will be an excitement machine at Glenferrie.
3 - WESTERN BULLDOGS - Ryan Griffen
(South Adelaide), 27 July 1986, 187cm, 85kg
The Bulldogs will be rapt with Griffen at number three, despite the fact several good judges believe he is capable of being this year's number one draftee. The likely scenario is that Griffen will complete the trifecta in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, with Deledio and Tambling tipped to be first and second respectively. Griffen, who captained South Australia at this year's National Bank's under-18 championships, had a terrific carnival and he was duly rewarded with All-Australian selection. A medium-sized inside midfielder, Griffen has genuine football talent, is smart around goal and has good vision. He is rated by many as simply a 'natural onballer'. An AIS/AFL graduate, Griffen received the Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship in 2004, while he played for South Adelaide's senior team in the SANFL during 2004, despite the fact he was playing under duress with a knee injury.
4 - RICHMOND - Jarryd Roughead
(Gippsland Power), 23 March 1987, 193cm, 88kg
Likely to be the first 'tall' selected in the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft, Roughead is a left-footed key forward/defender from Leongatha in country Victoria. The Tigers are poised to select Roughead, just ahead of Perth key forward/defender Lance Franklin, with their second selection. The 'home grown' factor may play a part in the decision-making process, although Franklin, along with Geelong Falcons ruckman John Meesen, who has come into the equation recently, is also a chance to be selected by the Tigers at number four. Meesen can't be discounted. An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, Roughead represented Vic Country in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. This coincided with an outstanding year with the Gippsland Power, where he led the club's goalkicking with 46 majors, which included a six-goal haul against the Dandenong Stingrays in round 18 in the TAC Cup. Also a talented basketballer, Roughead gained selection in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year.
5 - HAWTHORN - Lance Franklin
(Perth), 30 January 1987, 196cm, 87kg
A tantalising player, 'Buddy' Franklin was rated as a potential number one draftee in some quarters earlier in the year and although that may have slipped a fraction, he is still regarded as a top-six selection. The athletic key forward/defender is agile for his size, while he is a booming kick and a good mark. An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, Franklin made his senior debut with Perth in the WAFL this year. He was also rewarded with the Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship in 2003. Franklin represented Western Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and kicked the winning goal in the dying seconds against Victoria Metropolitan to help give his side a two-point victory at Skilled Stadium. Franklin remains a genuine candidate for Richmond at number four, but with Roughead firming as a Tiger, the Hawks are likely to snap-up Franklin with their second pick, just ahead of Queenslander Tom Williams, who has stunned the football community with his ability, after switching from a rugby union background to Australian Rules in less than 12 months. He too has more than interested the brown and gold.
6 - WESTERN BULLDOGS - Tom Williams
(Morningside), 17 July 1986, 196cm, 87kg
There is no doubt Williams will be one of the most fascinating stories in this particular meeting. Along with his rugby union background, his all-round sporting ability includes swimming and basketball, but his athletic prowess is set to take him into the AFL. His rating has shot up considerably since the National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, where he finished second overall in the three-kilometre time-trial with a time of 10 minutes 36 seconds. The Bulldogs are set to pounce on Williams with their second selection, yet he will enter the thoughts of Hawthorn at number five, while Richmond is also not out of the question with its second selection. Williams was a member of the 'developing talls' group in the AIS/AFL Academy squad during 2003/04, while he represented Queensland in the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. It has been a remarkable year for a player who has played fewer than 15 matches since taking up the code a year ago. Also, not out of the ball-park at number six for the Bulldogs are West Adelaide ruckman Cameron Wood and Glenelg midfielder/forward Danny Meyer.
7 - HAWTHORN - John Meesen
(Geelong Falcons), 20 June 1986, 199cm, 89kg
One of the most sought after ruckmen in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, Meesen is a strong marking big man, who can also play up forward. A member of the Victoria Country team at under-18 level this year, he was also named as first ruck in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year. More recently, Meesen recorded a brilliant time in the three-kilometre time-trail at the National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, when he finished in the top 10 per cent, after he completed a run of 10 minutes 44 seconds. It was a terrific performance for a player of his size, particularly in the latter stages, when he pushed himself right to the finish. Meesen is right on Hawthorn's radar and should be snapped up at seven, but he is not without a chance of being taken earlier by Richmond at number four.
8 - ADELAIDE - Cameron Wood
(West Adelaide), 4 March 1987, 204cm, 89kg
This is where this year's National Bank's AFL Draft gets interesting and where The Phantom Draft could go pear-shaped. Adelaide faces the dilemma of going for a ruckman, a midfielder or a Victorian. The three players in the mix are Wood, Sturt midfielder Angus Monfries and Eastern Ranges' forward/defender Matthew Bate. All three players are under the microscope for the Crows and it is likely to come down to the two South Australians - Wood and Monfries. Both loom as irresistible prospects, but the fact that some astute judges have 'crystal-balled' Wood as potentially the best ruckman in the game, while looking several years down the track, is something the Crows will find hard to refuse. Although Monfries has been likened to Port Adelaide premiership player Kane Cornes, the fact that incumbent Adelaide ruckman Matthew Clarke is set to be gearing up for his final season in 2005, could sway the Crows in selecting Wood. He is mobile, has good disposal skills for his size and is quick with his hands. An AIS/AFL graduate, he also played seniors with West Adelaide in the SANFL this year, while he was named All-Australian after representing South Australia at the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. It is sure to be a fascinating pick. Wood is a former baseballer, who was in the Australian squad in 2003. He also had an offer to try out with the Atlanta Braves.
9 - CARLTON - Jordan Russell
(West Adelaide), 6 November 1986, 188cm, 78kg
Equally intriguing will be Carlton's first selection in the National Bank's AFL Draft, with two dashers in the mix - West Adelaide's Jordan Russell and Murray Bushrangers Chris Egan. Although Eastern Ranges' ruckman Fabian Deluca, the younger brother of Carlton's Adrian, can't be ruled out of contention either, although he may be in the picture at number 25, it's understood the Blues will be choosing Russell or Egan at number nine. But the situation could be complicated somewhat if Wood is overlooked in favour of Monfries by the Crows at number eight. The Blues are likely to opt for Russell, particularly with Collingwood and Port Adelaide right in the mix for the speedy South Australian. Both the Magpies and the Power have the number 10 and 11 picks. There is also a slim chance that Egan could also slip through to Carlton's second choice at number 25, but it is firmly believed that Russell won't last any longer than the top-15. A midfielder with genuine pace and fine skills, Russell spent most of the season in West Adelaide's senior side, while he also represented South Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. His pace shone through at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp when he finished in the top three per cent for speed testing over five, 10 and 20 metres. He also recorded a time of 2.89 seconds for the 20-metre dash.
10 - COLLINGWOOD - Matthew Bate
(Eastern Ranges), 24 May 1987, 191cm, 90kg
When Bate entered 2004 with the knowledge that he would be nominating for this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, it was only when the draft age was changed in March that it seemed he would be spending another year in the TAC Cup. But in September, several players that were affected by the change, including Bate, received permission by the AFL to nominate for this year's meeting. It brought the talented forward/defender right back into contention. He also enhanced his reputation by winning the 2004 Morrish Medal for the best player in the TAC Cup and now seems certain to be a first-round selection. A member of the TAC Cup team of the year, Bate is a penetrating left-foot kick, with good pace and agility. His agility skills were on show at the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft Camp when he recorded a time of 8.37 seconds and reached level 14.1 in the gruelling beep test. Although he is a genuine possibility for Adelaide at number eight, Bate looks set to be Collingwood's first selection, particularly if Russell is taken by Carlton with the previous pick. But if Russell is overlooked by the Blues, the Magpies are likely to swoop, which will put Bate in the picture for Port Adelaide, Richmond and Melbourne at 11, 12 and 13 respectively. Meyer is also another hot tip to be chosen with the Pies first choice.
11 - PORT ADELAIDE - Danny Meyer
(Glenelg), 3 August 1986, 183cm, 70kg
Having been likened to Port Adelaide great Gavin Wangeneen, Meyer has become a genuine target around the middle part of the first round in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. A talented, athletic midfielder/forward, Meyer possesses genuine pace and has an outstanding vertical jump, as shown at the National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, where he managed a leap of 87 centremetres. His jump was among the top ranked performances. Although he spent the majority of 2004 with Sacred Heart College, he still represented South Australia at the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. Meyer is strong overhead, smart around goals and has a sharp footy brain. Although he is right in the mix for Collingwood at number.10, he is strong contender for Port Adelaide's first selection, particularly if Wood, Russell and Bate are out of the equation, when the Power gets its first opportunity. Geelong Falcons midfielder Jordan Lewis is also a genuine chance to be taken by Port Adelaide at this point and it would come as no surprise if he was taken at number 11, instead of the Power's second selection at 19, which is another possible scenario.
12 - RICHMOND - Fabian Deluca
(Eastern Ranges), 27 January 1987, 203cm, 97kg
Deluca, the younger brother of Carlton's Adrian, was a member of the AIS/AFL Academy in 2003/04 and the Victoria Metropolitan side in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships in 2004. A developing, mobile ruckman, Deluca is one of the leading big men in this year's pool. Richmond will have its third selection at this point and with a ruckman on its shopping list, Deluca is right in the mix for the Tigers. If Wood was available, expect the yellow and black to favour the South Australian, but if Meyer or Bate were still up for grabs, they too would enter the picture. In fact the Tigers are likely to select Meyer, if he is available. Deluca could also be a possibility at number 16 or even at 20 for the Tigers. But another player in Richmond's sights is Norwood's Chad Gibson, who has risen up the pecking order in recent weeks. His rating continues to firm and it would not surprise if he was snapped up by the Tigers at 12. The number of permutations that could occur at this stage includes Deluca sliding down to Carlton's second selection at number 25, which is also a genuine possibility.
13 - MELBOURNE - Chris Egan
(Murray Bushrangers), 26 October 1986, 187cm, 78kg
A fascinating selection awaits the Demons, as Russell, Bate or Meyer will all be considered if one of them slips though at number 13, while Egan, Gibson, Lynden Dunn and Deluca will also be in their thoughts. But with Russell, Bate and Meyer likely to be out of the equation, expect Melbourne to secure the talent-laden Egan. A running forward/defender, Egan represented Victoria Country in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He also shone during a TAC Cup match in round 17 this season, when he won 37 disposals and kicked two goals from a half-back flank against the Dandenong Stingrays. Egan recorded a 94-centremete running vertical jump at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, while he also ran a time of 2.95 seconds in the 20-metre sprint. Both performances were in the top bracket at the camp. His pace, marking overhead and long kicking are features of his game. Interestingly, Egan has a Melbourne connection with his uncles Phil Egan and Les Bamblett, both spending part of their careers at the Demons.
14 - ESSENDON - Chad Gibson
(Norwood), 12 January 1987, 195cm, 93kg
Gibson's rating in the overall order has risen considerably in recent weeks, with a number of clubs jostling for his services. Richmond could take him with its third selection at 12, but Melbourne might get him at 13 or 15, if he is available. But expect Essendon to be right in the mix to snap-up the powerful ruckman turned key defender/forward. Gibson, who has been likened in some quarters to Brisbane Lions triple premiership player Jonathan Brown, is an impact player who had an outstanding National Bank's AFL Draft Camp. He came first in the standing vertical jump, with a leap of 73 centremetres, while he also recorded a time of 2.95 seconds for his run in the 20-metre sprint. A member of the AIS/AFL Academy in 2003/04, Gibson also represented South Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. St Kilda, Brisbane Lions, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs and Adelaide are just some of the other clubs with a more than keen interest in him. If Gibson was taken or bypassed and Egan was available, expect the Bombers to pounce. But Lewis, Sturt midfielder Adam Thomson and Northern Knights big man Ryan Willitts will also be in the mix.
15 - MELBOURNE - Lynden Dunn
(Calder Cannons), 14 May 1987, 192cm, 90kg
A tall forward/defender, Dunn lifted his rating even further during the TAC Cup finals when he played an important role in the victorious Calder Cannons campaign. And just days after playing in that premiership, Dunn ran a terrific beep test at the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, when he reached level 14.6. It was the best performance from a player of his size at the camp, while he finished fourth overall with only three midfielders ahead of him. It will be another interesting selection for the Demons, considering it is their second of just three selections this year. The Demons are likely to opt for a tall at pick 13 or 15 and Dunn will be right in their thinking. The dilemma for Melbourne is that he is unlikely to last until selection 43, which is the club's final pick in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. The Demons rate him highly and may take him at 15, as Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Geelong are believed to be closely monitoring his whereabouts. It could turn out that one of Egan or Thomson and one of Gibson or Dunn are taken with the Demons picks at 13 and 15.
16 - RICHMOND - Ryan Willitts
(Northern Knights), 23 January 1987, 197cm, 100kg
A strong mark and long kick, Willitts is a key forward/defender and ruckman who represented Victoria Metropolitan at the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He is regarded as a first-round selection in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft and is viewed as a top-20 selection by the Tigers. Richmond's eagerness to bolster their big man stocks is likely to continue with pick 16 and Willitts fits the bill. Port Adelaide is also showing interest, with Essendon other possible option. Lewis will also come into strong consideration for the Tigers at this stage.
17 - ST KILDA - Angus Monfries
(Sturt), 19 January 1987, 180cm, 70kg
Put simply, Monfries is an outstanding 'ball-magnet', who works tirelessly and accumulates disposals at will. He is one of the best available midfielders in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, while is also one of the most intriguing selection posers of the meeting. The huge tip is either Wood or Monfries at eight for Adelaide, but if Wood is the Crows' first selection, which could be the case - as he is a 204-centremetre ruckman with enormous potential - where does that leave Monfries? There is a school of thought that Adelaide could net him with their second selection at 24, but in reality, it's unlikely. St Kilda and Port Adelaide are just two of the clubs in the mix for Monfries, but with the Saints entering the selection process for the first time at 17, the red, white and black's philosophy of picking 'the best available player' may just be the case. Although an experienced ruckman is likely to enter the equation for the Saints further in the drafting jigsaw puzzle, midfielders will also be a target, when you consider Robert Harvey, Andrew Thompson and Justin Peckett and even Stephen Powell are closing in towards the end of their careers. Throw in the departure of Heath Black and the Saints all of a sudden need a further injection of run and ball-winning ability to complement the talents of Lenny Hayes, Luke Ball and Nick Dal Santo. An AIS/AFL graduate, who was prominent against Ireland this year at under-17 level, Monfries was also named All-Australian after some outstanding performances at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He is highly regarded highly by the Saints and is right in the mix with their first selection. Northern Knights forward/ruckman Adam Pattison and defender/forward Adam Hartlett will also be considered strongly for the Saints.
18 - BRISBANE LIONS - Nathan Van Berlo
(West Perth), 6 June 1986, 183cm, 73kg
An outstanding performance at the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft Camp further enhanced Van Berlo's standing in the draft pool. A standout athlete, with a good football brain, it could be argued that he was the most impressive performer at this year's camp. In achieving level 15.2 in the beep test and a time of 10 minutes 35 seconds in the three-kilometre time-trial, he finished on top in both categories. He also finished second to Sturt's Danyle Pearce with a time of 7.80 seconds in the agility test. Pearce beat him by the narrowest of margins, with a time of 7.79 seconds. A midfielder/defender, Van Berlo captained the West Perth Colts team in 2004, represented Western Australia in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and was named in the WAFL Colts team of the year. He has attracted strong interest from the Brisbane Lions at 18, but if he was overlooked he wouldn't last long, as Port Adelaide would be eager to claim him with its following selection at 19. Aside from any players that fall though, others in the mix for the Lions at 18 include Thomson, Western Magpies defender/forward Pat Garner, Claremont defender Alan Toovey and Clarence forward/midfielder Justin Sherman.
19 - PORT ADELAIDE - Jordan Lewis
(Geelong Falcons), 24 April 1986, 183cm, 73kg
Port Adelaide is firming for Lewis but the question is - will it be at the Power's first selection at number 11 or at its second pick at 19? It's an interesting situation, as both Meyer and Lewis are targets for the club. Lewis may just slide through to 19, although Richmond also remains a genuine possibility for him at 16. A left-footed midfielder, Lewis is a genuine footballer who is terrific overhead and good at the stoppages. He is also highly rated for his football nous. He was named All-Australian after an outstanding carnival in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he was named first rover in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year. He also finished runner-up in the 2004 Falcons best-and-fairest award. Port Adelaide would be rapt if it could claim both Meyer and Lewis, while Monfries, Van Berlo and Willitts would also be strong possibilities if either player was unattainable. If Port Adelaide acquires Lewis earlier, expect Gippsland Power midfielder Andrew McQualter to come right in the mix for selection 19. Calder Cannons' ruckman Ivan Maric may also figure at this stage.
20 - RICHMOND - Ruory Kirkby
(Bendigo Pioneers), 2 April 1986, 192cm, 80kg
Richmond is likely to continue targeting key talls early in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft and Kirkby will be right in the mix at pick 20. It will be Richmond's fifth selection at the meeting. The key defender/forward is terrific overhead and mobile for his size, while he capped off an outstanding carnival in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships when he claimed All-Australian honours. He was among Victoria Country's best against South Australia during the championships. Kirkby was also named in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year. He has attracted plenty of interest, with Hawthorn one club in particular closely monitoring his whereabouts around the selection 21 mark. He is widely regarded as a 15 to 30 draft choice. Maric is also in the mix for the Tigers.
21 - HAWTHORN - Adam Pattison
(Northern Knights), 5 March 1986, 198cm, 90kg
As the year progressed, so did Pattison, who is now right up there as a late first-round or early second round selection in the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft. An athletic key forward/ruckman, Pattison won the TAC Cup Coaches Award and the Northern Knights best-and-fairest award in 2004. He was also named at centre half-forward in this year's TAC Cup team of the year, while his continued rise during 2004 culminated in being named captain for Victoria in the inaugural National Bank's AFL under-18 Rising Stars Cup against The Allies, which was played during grand final week, at Optus Oval. A strong marker, Pattison also had a terrific National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, having recorded a level 14.2 in the beep test, while he ran the three-kilometre time-trial in 10 minutes 46 seconds. His rating has lifted considerably in recent times and the Hawks are genuinely interested in him, as are St Kilda, potentially at selection 17 and Carlton with its second choice at 25. Kirkby, Maric and McQualter will also be closely monitored at this stage.
22 - WESTERN BULLDOGS - Adam Thomson
(Sturt), 21 August 1986, 183cm, 74kg
Another talented midfielder from South Australia, Thomson has risen considerably in recent weeks and looms as a genuine top 25 selection. He is a genuine prospect to be selected by Melbourne with one of its two picks at 13 or 15, while he will seriously come into contention for Essendon at 14 and the Brisbane Lions at 18. But there is every possibility that he will be available for the Bulldogs, who would snap him up with their third selection at number 23. And if he was still in the pool at 25, expect Carlton to pounce with its second pick. A clean user of the ball and smart around goals, Thomson was a South Australian representative in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. Sherman and Oakleigh Chargers midfielder Ryan Bain are not without a chance of being taken by the Bulldogs at 22.
23 - COLLINGWOOD - Sean Rusling
(West Adelaide), 6 October 1986, 189cm, 84kg
Could he be this year's Andrew Mackie? At this stage, Rusling appears to be the 'smoky' of the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft. Although he attended the South Australian state-based screening, Rusling is somewhat of an unknown for several clubs, having played the majority of football with his school in 2004. He played just one match for West Adelaide at SANFL reserves level in 2004 to qualify for this year's meeting. But what is known is that he possesses outstanding athletic ability, outstanding pace and fine skills. He is highly rated by both Collingwood and Essendon and it is believed he could figure earlier rather than later. With Eastern Ranges key forward Travis Cloke already secured via the father/son rule at number 39, the Magpies must decide whether Rusling will be available at number 55 - the club's next 'live' pick. Essendon is back in the selection process at 30, but the Pies are likely to swoop ahead of their arch-rivals. It will be a fascinating choice for the Magpies. But there is also strong mail that other clubs are now sounding him out. Other players in the mix for the Pies include Garner, Toovey, Bain and Northern Knights utility Ryan Jackson.
24 - ADELAIDE - Mark Le Cras
(West Perth), 30 August 1986, 183cm, 74kg
Le Cras, the younger brother of Kangaroos defender Brent, is a forward/midfielder who won All-Australian honours in 2004 after some fine performances in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He was also named vice-captain of the 2004 WAFL Colts team of the year, while he impressed when he made his senior debut with West Perth. More recently, his efforts in the agility test at the National Bank's AFL Draft Camp placed him in the top seven per cent, after he ran a time of 8.18 seconds. Le Cras has attracted obvious interest from the Kangaroos, but realistically he won't be available when the Roos enter the draft with their first 'live' pick at 58. West Coast, Sydney and St Kilda will monitor him, but Adelaide has firmed in recent times and he is now in the Crows sights at 24 or 28.
25 - CARLTON - Ivan Maric
(Calder Cannons), 4 January 1986, 198cm, 96kg
Hailing from a basketball background, Maric is an athletic, developing ruckman/key forward who didn't play a lot of football as a 15 or 16-year-old, yet he has continued to improve and learn quickly since making the transition. A member of the Calder Cannons premiership team in 2004, Maric was also a member of the 'developing talls' group in the AIS/AFL Academy squad during 2003/04, while he was a Victoria Metropolitan representative in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. Along with Carlton, who are right in the mix to select Maric, he has attracted strong interest from Richmond, Port Adelaide and Hawthorn. But expect the Blues to hone in on Maric, unless Thomson is still available. Sturt's Danyle Pearce is also not out of the question. But the one that could trump them all if Deluca slips through to 25, which is now a genuine possibility. If that is the case, expect Carlton to snap him up without hesitation.
26 - HAWTHORN - Andrew McQualter
(Gippsland Power), 9 June 1986, 179cm, 79kg
A terrific, hard-at-it midfielder, McQualter has great skills, vision and reads the game beautifully. He possesses fine leadership qualities and was rewarded with the Victoria Country captaincy in the 2004 National Bank's under-18 championships. Unfortunately, he received a knock on the hip during Vic Country's opening match and he was unable to play in the remainder of the carnival. Although the majority of his 2004 season was spent at Caulfield Grammar, McQualter still managed to finish third in Gippsland Power's best-and-fairest, despite playing just nine matches. He was outstanding at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp when he reached level 15.1 in the beep test, while his agility testing of 8.00 seconds was among the best performed. An AIS/AFL Academy graduate, McQualter has attracted plenty of interest from Essendon, Richmond, Collingwood, West Coast and Sydney, while Port Adelaide is a strong possibility for McQualter at number 19. But the Hawks have him firmly in their minds with selections 21 or 26, unless Port Adelaide gets to him first? He is also unlikely to slip past Sydney at 31. McQualter's Gippsland Power teammate Dean Polo may also come into the equation at this point. This will probably be the Hawks final selection at this year's National AFL Draft, as they are likely to use their sixth and final selection, which is at number 53, in the December National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft. There, the Hawks will in a strong position to attract a player with AFL experience.
27 - BRISBANE LIONS - Pat Garner
(Western Magpies), 16 March 1987, 194cm, 75kg
Garner is a developing tall defender/forward who is quick for his size, good overhead and a fine kick. An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, he represented Queensland in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships in 2004. Being a local product, the Lions will be eager to retain him in Queensland and they are a genuine chance to secure him with either their first selection at 18 or with their second pick at 27. He is likely to sneak through to 27, but it will be interesting to see whether the Lions are prepared to risk him, as Collingwood and Geelong are also believed to be interested. Toovey and Sherman will also be closely monitored by the Lions.
28 - ADELAIDE - Heath Grundy
(Norwood), 2 June 1986, 192cm, 92kg
Regarded as a 'genuine footballer', Grundy is a strong marking, mobile key forward/defender who shone at this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, where he gained All-Australian honours. He showed he was good in one-on-one situations, while he kicked three goals and took 11 marks against Western Australia during the carnival. An AIS/AFL Academy graduate, Grundy impressed when he played senior football for Norwood in the SANFL in 2003/04. Adelaide has shown strong interest in him and it will be keen to snap him up at either selection 24 or 28, where he is likely to fit in the picture. Sydney may target him at selection 31, if he is overlooked by the Crows, while Sturt's Benet Copping will also be in Adelaide's thinking.
29 - WEST COAST - Matt Rosa
(North Ballarat Rebels), 23 November 1986, 189cm, 74kg
At 189 centremetres, Rosa is at a terrific height for a midfielder, which is why he has attracted strong interest, particularly from West Coast, who will be rapt if it can acquire his services. The Eagles rate him well inside the top 30. He is strong overhead, a great runner and reads the game well. Rosa represented Victoria Country at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he finished second in the North Ballarat Rebels best-and-fairest award. Rosa was also named in the TAC Cup team of the year. He is generally regarded as a second round prospect.
30 - ESSENDON - Adam Hartlett
(West Adelaide), 22 April 1986, 195cm, 88kg
The whereabouts of Hartlett in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft will be a fascinating one. Last year there was strong mail the Bombers were set to name him, but after being given another year in the junior system, he will be right in the club's thoughts with its second selection in 2004. St Kilda is another club that is genuinely interested in him and it would not surprise if the Saints called out his name with their first selection at 17. The dilemma for St Kilda is that Essendon may pounce at 30, which is three picks before the Saints next choice at 33. It will be intriguing to see where he fits into the equation. A knee injury plagued him towards the end of the 2003 season and that continued into 2004, yet after representing South Australia in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, Hartlett returned to West Adelaide at under-19 level and booted 16 goals in three finals. This included five goals in a quarter in the first semi-final, while he also booted seven majors after half-time in the preliminary final. He can hold down a key post either up forward or in defence, is strong in the air and is a terrific kick.
31 - SYDNEY - Jarred Moore
(Dandenong Stingrays), 6 March 1986, 178cm, 84kg
Moore had an outstanding year in 2004, when he represented Victoria Metropolitan in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he capped off a fine carnival with All-Australian selection. His efforts against South Australia, when he notched up 26 disposals, eight inside 50s, five centre clearances and two important goals was widely regarded as a best-on-ground performance. By the end of the season, he had won the Stingrays best-and-fairest award and was named in the centre of the TAC Cup team of the year. Moore is strong over the ball, doesn't lack courage and has good disposal skills. Although Sydney has stated it will go after some taller players, it has also left the door open for the 'best available talent' and with the Swans rating him a second-round selection, it won't surprise if they act at selection number 31. If McQualter happened to last that long though, expect the Swans to snap him up. Tassie Mariner tall Andrew Lee could also enter the picture at this point.
32 - GEELONG - Andrew Lee
(Tassie Mariners), 7 January 1986, 194cm, 83kg
With Ben Graham retiring from Geelong and heading over to the United States to try his hand at the NFL, the Cats will be eager to bolster their tall forward stocks and Andrew Lee fits the bill. One of the best Tasmanian prospects in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, Lee is a real chance to be selected by the Cats. He can take a good contested mark, while he is a very good kick for goal. A former junior state basketballer and soccer goalkeeper, Lee represented Tasmania in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He also played for the Devils in the VFL this year. Lee shone at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp when he clocked a time of 8.04 seconds in the agility test, which was outstanding for a player of his size. Earlier in the year, he featured in Almost Football Legends on the The Footy Show, after he took a 'screamer' against Gippsland Power. Lee has attracted strong interest from Geelong, Sydney, Melbourne and the Kangaroos. Polo may also be a consideration for the Cats at this stage.
33 - ST KILDA - Dean Polo
(Gippsland Power), 5 August 1986, 187cm, 78kg
Polo had a terrific season in 2004, winning All-Australian selection after representing Victoria Country in the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He was also named on the wing in the TAC Cup team of the year, while he won Gippsland Power's best-and-fairest award. A hard-running, competitive and versatile performer, who can play midfield, up forward or down back, Polo will be a contender for the Saints with their second selection. He is also rated a top-30 selection by Richmond, while Hawthorn and Geelong have also shown interest.
34 - PORT ADELAIDE - Alan Toovey
(Claremont), 23 March 1987, 189cm, 78kg
A skilful left-footed defender who has terrific pace and is a strong tackler, Toovey won All-Australian honours this year after a fine carnival at the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He was particularly impressive in Western Australia's two-point win over Victoria Metropolitan at Skilled Stadium. An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, Toovey has attracted plenty of interest along the journey, with the Brisbane Lions, Collingwood, Essendon, West Coast and Sydney all in the mix. If he is there at selection number 34 for the Power, he is likely to be claimed.
35 - PORT ADELAIDE - Danyle Pearce
(Sturt), 7 April 1986, 177cm, 68kg
Pearce was an outstanding performer at the 2004 National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, as he won the 20-metre sprint with a time of 2.79 seconds, while he also topped the agility run in just 7.79 seconds. These results placed him first, athletically, at this year's camp. Along with his genuine pace, Pearce is a creative midfielder who represented South Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He also played for the Sturt senior team in the SANFL in 2004. Originally from a basketball background, Pearce is related to Port Adelaide's Burgoyne brothers, Peter and Shaun, while he is also a second cousin of Melbourne's Aaron Davey. Port Adelaide has shown a strong interest in Pearce, while Carlton will also be keen on his whereabouts. The Blues may look at him at 25, as he is unlikely to slide through to their next 'live' pick at 73.
36 - RICHMOND - Ryan Jackson
(Northern Knights), 4 April 1987, 188cm, 78kg
An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, Jackson, unfortunately broke his ankle before the start of the season and only played a handful of matches in the TAC Cup this year. He also missed out on the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships because of the injury. But he remains a highly-rated prospect and this was enhanced at the recent National Bank's AFL Draft Camp when he finished fourth in the three-kilometre time-trial, finishing with a run of 10 minutes 40 seconds. Collingwood, Hawthorn, West Coast, Geelong and Sydney have also shown interest, but Richmond is another interested party and he would be a fine addition at Punt Rd. He is a versatile mid-sized player, who can play midfield, down back or up forward. Polo will also be in the mix, if he is available.
37 - WEST COAST - Ryan Bain
(Oakleigh Chargers), 7 January 1986, 184cm, 81kg
Bain is a skilful midfielder with great speed, who consistently finds space and wins the football. He was impressive for Victoria Metropolitan at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and was also named in the 2004 TAC Cup team of the year. He will be closely watched by St Kilda and Richmond, but West Coast is genuinely keen on Bain, as many believe he would suit the wide open spaces of Subiaco. There is a possibility he may go early 20s, with the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood in the mix with picks 22 and 23 respectively.
38 - WESTERN BULLDOGS - Benet Copping
(Sturt), 7 October 1986, 193cm, 78kg
Copping represented South Australia at this year's National AFL under-18 championships and while he was an AIS/AFL Academy graduate in 2003/04. Known for his contested marking, Copping is a tall forward/defender, who has been a fine performer at junior level over the journey. His athleticism is a feature of his game and he has attracted plenty of interest from the Western Bulldogs, who would seriously consider him at selection number 38. It would not surprise if he was taken earlier in the meeting, with Adelaide a realistic chance at 28, while West Coast and Geelong are also in the mix. Copping is the nephew of 1983 Essendon grand final player Stephen.
39 - COLLINGWOOD - Travis Cloke
(Eastern Ranges), 5 March, 195cm, 85kg
Officially, Cloke will be the first of the five father/son selections to be called out in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. He joins older brothers Jason and Cameron at Collingwood, after their father David played 114 matches with Magpies from 1983-89. Travis, like his two brothers, also had the option of playing with the Tigers as David played 216 matches for Richmond from 1974-82 and 1990-91. A Victoria Metropolitan representative in the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, Cloke is an emerging key forward, with a raking left-foot, who is set to become a pivotal player for the Magpies in the future. Had he been available to every AFL club, it is believed that he would have been a first-round selection.
40 - ADELAIDE - Ben Eckermann
(Sturt), 12 March 1987, 178cm, 77kg
Eckermann had an outstanding year in 2004, particularly at the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, as he won All-Australian honours and was voted South Australia's most valuable player. He averaged 20 disposals in the three matches at the carnival and was impressive with his ability to break the lines, take on players and carry the ball. His whereabouts in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft is an interesting one, but Adelaide is showing genuine interest, along with Collingwood, who also rate the South Australian highly. But the Magpies may not get the opportunity to select him at number 55, which is their next choice.
41 - CARLTON - Luke Blackwell
(Swan Districts), 9 November 1986, 177cm, 70kg
Blackwell joins the Blues via the father/son rule where his father Wayne played 110 matches for Carlton from 1984-90. Luke represented Western Australia during this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. He shone in the second match against Victoria Metropolitan, when Western Australia won a thriller by two points. Blackwell also played senior football for Swan Districts late in the season, which included two finals, while he was widely regarded as best-on-ground in the Swan Districts' losing preliminary final side. A clean ball handler, with fine skills, the Blues were rapt with Blackwell's continued development throughout the 2004 season.
42 - KANGAROOS - Jesse W.Smith
(Calder Cannons), 29 September 1986, 187cm, 78kg
The Kangaroos are delighted to secure the son of Ross, who played 224 matches for the club from 1984-96, via the father/son rule. Jesse was widely regarded as a top-10 selection, before he was snapped up by the Roos. Smith had an outstanding season in 2004, winning the Michael Larke Medal for the best player in division one of the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He also gained All-Australian selection for his carnival, which included fine performances against Victoria Country and South Australia. Smith was also named on the half-back flank in the TAC Cup team of the year in 2004. He is a natural talent, possesses fine courage and a work ethic to match.
43 - MELBOURNE - Jayden Attard
(Dandenong Stingrays), 27 February 1986, 187cm, 81kg
Attard is a disciplined defender, who is quick for his size, while he has good acceleration and is a penetrating kick. He won All-Australian honours this year at the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships after producing some fine negating roles. Attard, along with Murray Bushrangers forward Michael Newton will be two players the Demons are likely to consider with their final selection at this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. Melbourne will also be closely monitoring the possibility of a player 'sliding through' at this choice.
44 - WEST COAST - Mitchell Morton
(Claremont), 28 January 1987, 184cm, 73kg
The Eagles are rapt to acquire Morton, the son of Claremont great Noel, via the father/son rule in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. Mitchell is another outstanding father/son selection, with many believing he would have been a top-10 selection in year's meeting. The winner of the Ron Barassi Medal, for the best Australian player in this year's under-17 International Rules series against Ireland, Morton also won All-Australian honours in 2004 after representing Western Australia in the National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He possesses clean hands, excellent disposals and is versatile. He will be another outstanding addition to an already talent-laden midfield at West Coast.
45 - BRISBANE LIONS - Justin Sherman
(Clarence), 26 January 1987, 183cm, 85kg
Sherman looms as a fascinating selection as he could be in the mix for the Lions first-round choice at number 18 or even with their second pick at 27. The Bulldogs have also shown interest in him, but there is a realistic chance he will be available with the Lions third pick. An AIS/AFL Academy graduate in 2003/04, Sherman was also named All-Australian after his performances in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He is powerfully built, has a penetrating kick and is smart around goal and is one of Tasmania's leading prospects in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. Sherman was also a promising cricketer, having represented Tasmania at under-17 level.
46 - ESSENDON - Ben Sharp
(Oakleigh Chargers), 10 July 1986, 187cm, 78kg
An AIS/AFL Academy member, Sharp is a hard-running midfielder who is a fine linkman in play. He represented Victoria Metropolitan in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and was rewarded for a fine carnival with All-Australian selection. During that carnival, Sharp kicked the winning goal against South Australia, in extra time which gave Vic Metro a stunning victory on the final day of the tournament. He is terrific aerobically and his qualities have attracted the likes of Essendon, who will also be looking to strengthen their midfield group. West Coast is another club in the mix for his services.
47 - SYDNEY - Thomas Murphy
(Sandringham Dragons), 19 March 1986, 189cm, 83kg
Murphy is a competitive, tall defender/forward who presents well as a key target. He is also a good runner for his size. A Victoria Metropolitan representative in this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, Murphy capped off a fine season by winning the 2004 Sandringham Dragons best-and-fairest award. He was also named at centre half-back in the TAC Cup team of the year. Murphy is regarded as a possible second-round draftee and with the Swans rating him in that mix, he looms as a genuine prospect, especially with the club looking to bolster its height division. It is also believed Richmond, Geelong and the Brisbane Lions have shown interest, while he has been likened to Geelong's Charlie Gardiner.
48 - GEELONG - Nathan Ablett
(Modewarre), 13 December 1985, 194cm, 94kg
Ablett is the final father/son selection in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft and a boom recruit for the club, particularly when it was thought he was more than content to play local football with Modewarre in the Geelong region. He is the son of Geelong great Gary, who played 242 matches with the Cats from 1984-96, while his older brother Gary Jnr continues to blossom into an outstanding footballer for the club. Nathan is a tall, athletic forward, who has plenty of natural talent and will be an exciting prospect for the club. Ablett, who has already been given the number 23 jumper, joins Matthew Scarlett, Tim Callan and Mark Blake as other Geelong players to be acquired via the father/son rule.
49 - ST KILDA - Mark McGough
(Collingwood), 22 June 1984, 188cm, 88kg
McGough was one of the few AFL players delisted when the second list lodgement was announced. It surprised many in the football community that the former Collingwood midfielder was dropped off the list, yet having now nominated for this particular meeting, it opens up his options up of finding a new home for 2005. Originally drafted by the Magpies at number 43 in the 2001 National Bank's AFL Draft, McGough played 37 matches, including 12 this year, from 2002-04. In just his second AFL match, he received the Anzac Day Medal for his best-on-ground performance against Essendon, while he also received a National AFL Rising Star nomination in 2002. He has attracted the interest of several clubs, yet St Kilda is looming as the favourite for the ball-winner midfielder and it would not surprise if he became a Saint to bolster their midfield strength.
50 - BRISBANE LIONS - Michael Newton
(Murray Bushrangers), 27 April 1987, 193cm, 88kg
It will be interesting to see where Newton fits into the overall mix, as he is a talented youngster with plenty of potential on his side. A key forward/defender, Newton can also pinch-hit in the ruck, while he is particularly dangerous around goal. He has good hands, while he also possesses a terrific high leap. It is understood the Brisbane Lions, West Coast and Melbourne are among the clubs interested in him.
51 - PORT ADELAIDE - Jesse D.Smith
(Calder Cannons), 20 February 1986, 183cm, 82kg
Jesse D.Smith is not to be confused with Jesse W.Smith, who has already been claimed as a father/son selection by the Kangaroos at number 42. Jesse D.Smith is another emerging talent, who played with Jesse W.Smith at the Calder Cannons. Jesse D.Smith is a midfielder who is regarded as a 'genuine footballer', as he uses the ball particularly well and is fierce in contests. He had a terrific season in 2004, representing Victoria Metropolitan at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he was a crucial member in Calder's premiership victory over the Eastern Ranges at the MCG on grand final day. His performance, which included 34 disposals, earned him best-on-ground honours. Smith also topped off his memorable year with the Cannons best-and-fairest award. With Port Adelaide likely to use its final selection in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, Smith will be strongly considered at this stage, as he is right in the mix for the Power. He is generally regarded to be taken in this draft.
52 - RICHMOND - Dean Limbach
(Calder Cannons), 25 October 1986, 192cm, 77kg
The Tigers will be lining up for their seventh selection at this year's National Bank's AFL Draft and youth will again be a likely priority at this stage, although they will also be looking to draft former Hawk Mark Graham, either with this pick or at number 65. Limbach will certainly be in the Tigers thinking as they rate him as a top-30 selection, yet his rating is a little difficult to gauge, due to the fact that his 2004 season was interrupted with injury, due to a broken arm and a calf problem. An athletic forward, Limbach kicked six goals for the Cannons in the opening round of the TAC Cup this year, before injury struck. But he returned to play in Calder's premiership team. He also impressed in the running vertical jump at this year's National Bank's AFL Draft Camp, when he leapt 90 centremetres.
53 - HAWTHORN - Pass
54 - WESTERN BULLDOGS - Stephen Tiller
(West Adelaide), 26 March 1987, 191cm, 73kg
Looming as a genuine smoky for this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, Tiller is a tall forward/defender, who is also smart around goals. He has attracted strong interest from the Western Bulldogs and will be right in the mix for their final pick at this meeting. At this stage, the Bulldogs are unlikely to participate in the National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft. Tiller played under-17 football for West Adelaide this year, but is regarded as a promising talent. His name will be one to keep an eye out for in this draft.
55 - COLLINGWOOD - Damien McCormack
(Dandenong Stingrays), 28 January 1987, 182cm, 73kg
Versatile type who can play midfield, up forward and down back, McCormack had a fine season for the Dandenong Stingrays, which resulted in a runner-up placing in the club's best-and-fairest award, despite an injury-interrupted start to the season. A beautiful kick and good overhead, McCormack is also a good reader of play. Aside from Collingwood, the Western Bulldogs and Richmond have also attracted keen interest.
56 - ADELAIDE - Pass
57 - WEST COAST - Beau Wilkes
(Claremont), 20 March 1986, 194cm, 91kg
Although in some respects West Coast is adopting 'the best available player' approach in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, there is no doubt that adding another key tall into the club's already enviable mix of big men will be tempting. Wilkes, a West Australian, has been touted as a possible late selection for the club and is likely to figure in the Eagles thoughts during this year's meeting. A strong marking forward, particularly in contested situations, Wilkes has a terrific work rate for a player of his size. He represented Western Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and was a fine performer in his side's final match against Victoria Country, when he claimed 22 disposals and 12 marks. He was also named captain of the WAFL Colts team of the year in 2004. His recent efforts at the National Bank's AFL Draft Camp also lifted his rating, as he finished with a time of 10 minutes 42 seconds, which was a good effort for big man.
58 - KANGAROOS - Brent Prismall
(Western Jets), 184cm, 83kg
A Victoria Metropolitan representative in 2004, Prismall capped off a fine season by finishing runner-up in the Western Jets best-and-fairest. A skilful and versatile performer who can play in the middle, down back and up forward, Prismall was named in the TAC Cup team of the year. A good decision-maker in the heat of play, he will genuinely come into the mix for the Kangaroos and Geelong in this area. It will be the Roos first 'live' selection in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, as they have already secured Jesse W.Smith in the third round.
59 - FREMANTLE - Ryan Nye
(Peel Thunder), 21 June 1986, 182cm, 80kg
A medium-sized defender, Nye is an athletic half-back, who provides plenty of dash from defence, while he can also play a close-checking style of play. Although he is rated higher by several clubs, including Port Adelaide, he could be available for Fremantle with its first pick at 59. The Dockers would certainly entertain using their first choice on the skilful West Australian, who represented his state at the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships. He was also rewarded with selection in the WAFL Colts team of the year in 2004.
60 - ESSENDON - Rowan Nayna
(Dandenong Stingrays), 3 May 1986, 181cm, 77kg
Nayna has attracted strong interest from the Bombers and he will be right in the mix for one of their selections in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. It would not surprise in the slightest if he was snapped up by the Dons earlier in the meeting. A quick, defender/midfielder, Nayna possesses a terrific vertical leap and runs the lines well. He represented Victoria Metropolitan at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he was also named in the TAC Cup team of the year. He continued to improve as the season progressed and he claimed a third placing in the Dandenong Stingrays best-and-fairest in 2004. He attended the recent Victorian state-based screening.
61 - SYDNEY - James Podsiadly
(Werribee), 10 September 1981, 192cm, 98kg
The key forward/defender from Werribee has attracted strong interest from Sydney and has already started pre-season training with the club in the hope of being selected in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. He is a genuine chance of being taken, particularly with the Swans looking to add some height to their list. A former Collingwood rookie and Essendon VFL player, Podsiadly had a fine season with Werribee in 2004. It was widely thought that if he was on the Western Bulldogs list this year, he would have played in the AFL. He kicked 10 goals and claimed 15 marks in one match against Springvale. The Swans will complete finish at the draft when they have secured a third player with selection number 61.
62 - GEELONG - Matt Little
(Calder Cannons), 187cm, 74kg
Little had an outstanding year at TAC Cup level and was the competition's leading goalkicker, while he was also named at full-forward in the TAC Cup team of the year. Little was also a Victoria Metropolitan representative in the 2004 National Bank's AFL under-18 championships and during the carnival he kicked five goals against South Australia. He is a terrific overhead mark, an accurate kick, while he possesses plenty of football smarts, but his whereabouts in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft will be a fascinating one. The Cats are genuinely looking to stock up their forward line with talent and Little is sure to be considered. Adelaide, Essendon and West Coast are also in the picture. He is the cousin of Essendon champion James Hird.
63 - ST KILDA - Cain Ackland
(Port Adelaide), 16 March 1982, 196cm, 96kg
Despite playing just 12 matches since making his AFL debut in 2001, the former Port Adelaide ruckman is right in the mix for the Saints with their final selection in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. The Saints have lost number one ruckman Trent Knobel, who has not nominated for this particular meeting and instead opted for the National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft, but St Kilda is considering an experienced ruckman in this draft. Ackland, who will turn 23 years old next season, has had an injury-riddled career with Port Adelaide, yet his age could be appealing to Saints, ahead of a seasoned ruckman such as 28-year-old former Blue and Roo Mark Porter, who is also not without a chance of being claimed by the red, white and black. Internally, the Saints are not overly worried about gaining another ruckman, which is why they may in fact pass on their final three selections at 63, 71 and 76 and the leave the door ajar for the December draft. Ackland has also been linked with Carlton, Essendon and Adelaide, making his future and this selection a fascinating one.
64 - BRISBANE LIONS - Tom Redden
(Glenelg), 18 June 1987, 191cm, 77kg
Along with playing school football for Sacred Heart College in 2004, Redden also played under 19s and reserves with Glenelg and impressed with his rugged style of play down back and up forward. He often wins 50-50 contests and is known for his competitive nature. He has attracted strong interest from several clubs including the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood. The Lions are set to use all five selections in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, with number 64 their final pick and Redden will be an option.
65 - RICHMOND - Mark Graham
(Hawthorn), 13 March 1973, 190cm, 90kg
Although he 'officially' retired from Hawthorn, the long-serving Hawk was moved on as the Alastair Clarkson era kicked off at Glenferrie. Graham played 223 AFL matches for Hawthorn, which included 19 appearances this season, while he missed just three rounds through injury in 2004. In an otherwise disappointing year for Hawthorn, Graham performed admirably in an undermanned defence. He also finished inside the top-10 vote getters in Hawthorn's best-and-fairest award. Graham, who finished second in Hawthorn's best-and-fairest award in 2001, has already been training at Tigerland and he is likely to be selected by the club with its final selection in this year's National AFL Draft. He will add experience and help strengthen the Richmond defence, as a new era also commences at Punt Rd under Terry Wallace. The Tigers are set to pass on their final selection, which is at number 72, as they have the first pick in the National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft. With Steven McKee already training at Richmond - and not nominating for the National Bank's AFL - he is likely to be strongly considered for the Tigers in December.
66 - COLLINGWOOD - Pass
67 - FREMANTLE - Andrew Swallow
(East Fremantle), 2 June 1987, 182cm, 75kg
An AIS/AFL Academy member in 2003/04, Swallow represented Western Australia at this year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he also showed promise for East Fremantle at senior level in the WAFL. Swallow is a talented midfielder, who is strong over the ball and cool in heavy traffic and he is now right in the mix to be selected by Fremantle or West Coast. Victorian-based clubs such as Essendon, Hawthorn and Melbourne are also not out of the question.
68 - KANGAROOS - Eddie Betts
(Calder Cannons), 26 November 1986, 173cm, 75kg
Betts has been an outstanding performer at junior level, having been named an All-Australian in last year's National Bank's AFL under-18 championships, while he again represented Victoria Metropolitan this year. He is also a dual premiership player with the Calder Cannons, having played in both the successive 2003/04 victories. A small, crumbing forward with terrific pace, Betts is likely to be taken in the year's National Bank's AFL Draft, but it will be hard to know exactly where. The Kangaroos have certainly got their eyes on him and he will be considered with their final selection in the meeting. The Roos are set to pass on their last pick at 74 and use it in the National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft. Former Hawk Lance Picioane, who is training with the Roos, did not nominate for the November draft and is a strong chance to end up at Arden St in December. Richmond, Port Adelaide and Melbourne will also consider the talented youngster.
69 - FREMANTLE - Brad Smith
(Subiaco), 11 May 1979, 193cm, 102kg
Smith was an instrumental part of Subiaco's premiership victory over Claremont in the 2004 WAFL grand final, kicking five goals. It capped off another outstanding year for Smith, who won his second consecutive Bernie Naylor Medal - the leading goalkicker in the WAFL. After booting 84 goals in 2003, Smith cracked the ton with 109 majors in 2004. This included 11 goals during the finals series. Although he will be 25 years old next year, he has attracted strong interest from the Western Australian clubs, but it is Fremantle who are firming to take on the full-forward. With the Dockers losing Troy Simmonds to Richmond during the October exchange period, he would be a more than handy addition. It is also believed that he has attracted strong interest from several Melbourne-based clubs.
70 - ESSENDON - Justin Blumfield
(Richmond), 24 November 1977, 188cm, 86kg
The Bombers have expressed their desire to have 2000 premiership players Blake Caracella and Justin Blumfield return to the club for 2005. But the Dons best bet of obtaining at least one of them will be Justin Blumfield in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft. Now that he has nominated for this meeting, Blumfield is open to all clubs, yet there is a strong possibility that he will be redrafted by the Bombers, as they were disappointed to let him go in the first place after salary cap restrictions forced a tightening of the belt at the end of the 2002 season. With Caracella virtually no chance of returning to Windy Hill - due to the Bombers drafting position in this year's National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft along with Collingwood honing in on him - Blumfield will be a priority. He is already training at the club and despite two injury and form riddled seasons at Punt Rd, a return to Essendon could be just the tonic to reignite his career. Blumfield, who has played 148 AFL matches since 1996, managed just 18 appearances in two seasons at Tigerland. This will be the Bombers final pick in this draft, which they are likely to use, considering they would be a fair way down the pecking order if they were to participate in the December draft.
71 - ST KILDA - Pass
72 - RICHMOND - Pass
73 - CARLTON - Nick Becker
(Calder Cannons), 7 July 1986, 186cm, 78kg
Although he could go much earlier in this year's National Bank's AFL Draft, Calder's Nick Becker could potentially be in the mix for the Blues with their first 'live' selection since number 25. Becker, who notched up 26 disposals in the Calder Cannons premiership win over the Eastern Ranges this year, possesses good pace, agility and a terrific work ethic. He is also a strong mark and a penetrating kick. He has attracted plenty of interest along the journey from the likes of Richmond and Sydney, but Carlton, who are also keen, would be delighted to secure the emerging midfielder with one of its late selections.
74 - KANGAROOS - Pass
75 - FREMANTLE - Pass
76 - ST KILDA - Pass
77 - CARLTON - David Spriggs
(Geelong), 25 January 1981, 175cm, 76kg
Geelong's talent-laden list was a driving force behind the delisting of Spriggs, yet he is likely to be redrafted, with Carlton and Sydney right in the mix. The Swans may look at him earlier, but with taller players in their thinking, he might fall to the Blues with their final pick in this year's National AFL Draft, before they pass on their final selection. Carlton is likely to save a pick for the December National Bank's AFL Pre-Season Draft to potentially secure former St Kilda ruckman Trent Knobel. Spriggs, who has been training with the club since its pre-season campaign began, made an immediate impression when he ran a three-kilometre time-trial in 10 minutes 21 seconds. He was also the first player across the line. Spriggs' endurance is up there with the best in the competition and with the Blues looking for quicker and athletic midfielders, he could prove to be a fine acquisition for the club - if he is not taken any earlier. Spriggs played 64 matches for Geelong from 2000-04, while he made five appearances this year, which included the Cats first qualifying final against Port Adelaide. He was originally selected at number 15, as a first-round pick for Geelong in the equivalent draft in 1999.
78 - CARLTON - Pass