Kaelan Bradtke at Richmond training in February, 2023. Picture: Richmond FC

RICHMOND has added country football star Kaelan Bradtke to the rookie list at Punt Road ahead of the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP) deadline on Wednesday.

The Tigers have chosen to sign the key forward from the Ovens and Murray Football League over former Geelong midfielder Quinton Narkle after trialling both players across the pre-season.

Bradtke and Narkle met with senior Richmond officials at the Swinburne Centre on Tuesday, where a decision was finalised before the SSP window closes.

Kaelan Bradtke playing for Corowa-Rutherglen. Picture: Corowa Rutherglen Football Netball Club Facebook

Both Bradtke and Narkle have trained with the Tigers since day one of the pre-season on December 5, completing almost all of the program since then, including time-trials and last Saturday's 60-minute internal practice match.

With Richmond's list stacked full of midfielders and running defenders, the Tigers have opted to add to their key forward depth rather than adding the West Australian.

Narkle was delisted after playing 41 games across six seasons at Geelong and attracted interest from several clubs ahead of the AFL and Rookie Drafts.

Kaelan Bradtke at Richmond training in February, 2023. Picture: Richmond FC

The Tigers are believed to have deliberated over the decision for some time given the way Narkle presented in the new year and his form across the match simulation block of the pre-season.

Following a dedicated training block during the Christmas break, the 25-year-old reported back for training eight kilograms lighter and finished third in the second heat of the Tigers' 2km time-trial, which is why the decision on Tuesday was so difficult for the club to make.

But after adding Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper from Greater Western Sydney during the trade period and having retained Jack Graham despite interest from Port Adelaide, Narkle doesn't fit a need on the list at Punt Road.

Quinton Narkle warms up ahead of the R11 clash between Geelong and Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium on May 28, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Bradtke's determination to secure an unlikely shot at the highest level has been evident in his application to training and his desire to train across the end of year break. He was spotted at the club on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The 21-year-old kicked 39 goals for the Corowa-Rutherglen Kangaroos last year, earning an opportunity to play for Sydney's VFL side twice during the season.

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The New South Wales product is raw and considered to have decent upside, with the signing set to provide depth behind the likes of reigning Jack Dyer Medallist Tom Lynch and triple Coleman Medallist Jack Riewoldt.

Narkle is expected to take some time to consider a number of state league offers from across the country before making a decision on his next move, with Richmond's VFL program one option he might consider.

Players signed during the SSP (Dec 5 to Feb 15)

Conor McKenna - Brisbane
Oskar Baker - Western Bulldogs
Liam Shiels - North Melbourne
Jed Anderson - Gold Coast
Tyler Brown - Adelaide
Liam Stocker - St Kilda
Mark Keane - Adelaide
Darragh Joyce - Brisbane
Brodie McLaughlin - Gold Coast
Oscar Steene - Collingwood
Oleg Markov - Collingwood
Hudson O'Keeffe - Carlton
Anthony Caminiti - St Kilda
Kaelan Bradtke - Richmond