HOW HAVE Collingwood and West Coast gotten here?

Building a list that reaches the Grand Final takes time, preparation, skill, execution and an element of luck. has taken a look at how each side lined up in their respective preliminary finals last week and how they've been put together.

The Eagles have more first-round picks – seven – in their 22 compared to the Pies' five, with the Magpies having had more success later in the draft and with their rookies.

IN THE MIX West Coast v Collingwood

Collingwood's side had six players who were picked in the fourth round of the draft or later, while West Coast had one, albeit a good one in Jeremy McGovern.

The clubs' ascent to the premiership decider also highlighted how as much as developing your own is a good philosophy in list management, it is also crucial to be able to attract players from rivals.

West Coast's status as the biggest club in Western Australia, and Collingwood's as the biggest in the competition, has clearly helped as they have landed some big names crucial to their hopes this weekend.

West Coast

First-round picks
Chris Masten (No.3)
Dom Sheed (No.11)
Liam Duggan (No.11)
Shannon Hurn (No.13)
Daniel Venables (No.13)
Luke Shuey (No.18)
Jack Darling (No.26)

The Eagles probably don't have the same star factor in their first-round picks who will run out on Saturday as compared to their opponents. However, Hurn this year became an All Australian and has been captain of the Eagles since 2015, while Darling has proven himself as a match-winner. West Coast was rapt to land the key forward when he slipped out of the early picks in his draft season in 2010. Shuey, too, has been a consistent performer over nearly a decade since heading to Perth. The club has high hopes for Venables and Duggan, while Sheed has made his way back into the team since Andrew Gaff's suspension.

Shannon Hurn has turned into an excellent leader. Picture: AFL Photos

Second-round picks
Liam Ryan (No.26)
Scott Lycett (No.29)
Tom Cole (No.36)

Ryan deserved his chance at AFL level after kicking 73 goals last season in the WAFL. He has been a livewire and has helped transform the way the Eagles play this season. Lycett could bid the club farewell with a flag, with the ruckman appearing likely to head to Port Adelaide as a free agent. He will go at a bad time given the likely absence of Nic Naitanui for most of next year with a knee injury, while Cole has provided some run and carry.

Third-round picks
Mark LeCras (No.37)
Tom Barrass (No.43)
Will Schofield (No.50)
Willie Rioli (No.52)
Mark Hutchings (No.60)

Rioli is the latest in a run of mid-draft successes for the Eagles who have helped power them into the Grand Final. The small forward took several years to get his chance and get into shape, but he has kicked 27 goals this season and played all bar one game. Barrass and Schofield look set for important defensive roles, while Hutchings has also become an important run-with player having started his career at St Kilda before being delisted and heading back to the WAFL. He played well under the Eagles' scouts noses and won a second chance in 2012, and he's taken it.

Fourth-round or later/rookie
Jeremy McGovern (rookie, No.44)

McGovern will go down as one of the Eagles' great draft picks. The Eagles' recruiters clearly saw the talent possessed by McGovern before they took him as a rookie in 2010. That ability needed to be harnessed and he has become one of the best key defenders in the game, winning All Australian honours the previous three seasons. Dean Cox and Matt Priddis are two of the Eagles champions to have risen from the rookie list to stardom, and McGovern sits alongside them.

Trade/free agency
Jack Redden (trade from Brisbane)
Jamie Cripps (trade from St Kilda)
Josh Kennedy (trade from Carlton)
Elliot Yeo (trade from Brisbane)
Lewis Jetta (trade from Sydney)
Nathan Vardy (trade from Geelong)

The Eagles' strategy in luring West Australians back to their home state is clear when looking at their trading. Yeo has become a star since leaving the Lions, Cripps has been an excellent addition after starting his career at St Kilda, and the fact Kennedy is still a spearhead of the competition means the Eagles did very well out of the Chris Judd deal in 2007. All three, plus Jetta, are WA boys, while Vardy was an astute, basement pick-up to help in the ruck, particularly with Naitanui injured.  


First-round picks
Scott Pendlebury (No.5)
Jordan De Goey (No.5)
Jaidyn Stephenson (No.6)
Steele Sidebottom (No.11)
Brodie Grundy (No.18)

It is no surprise the Pies' stars come from early in the draft. Pendlebury has long been a champion of the game and looks likely to play on several more years, while Sidebottom's famous 10-goal haul in the TAC Cup Grand Final catapulted him up draft boards. He continues to show how that finals performance on the biggest stage was no fluke. Grundy fell into Collingwood's lap in 2012 when it had three top-20 choices and snared the big man after others passed, but De Goey and Stephenson had risk attached to their selections. De Goey hadn't been a big ball-winner at underage level and was drafted a little more on scope, while Stephenson's heart condition scared off some clubs. They have both vindicated the Pies' faith this year. 

Brayden Maynard (No.30)
Brayden Sier (No.32)

Maynard's selection gave the Pies some brawn: he is rough, tough and likes to be physical. His performance in stopping fellow agitator Toby Greene in the semi-final was terrific. Sier was more left field. A few clubs were onto him in the lead-up to the draft, but others didn't have him on their boards at all. He had played only two TAC Cup games and been mainly running out for school side Marcellin College. It looks a masterstroke pick given the dependence on ball-winners. 


Fouth-round or later/rookie
Tom Langdon (No.65)
Tom Phillips (No.58)
Brody Mihocek (Rookie, No.22)
Josh Thomas (No.75)
Tyson Goldsack (No.63)
Mason Cox (international rookie)

Every premiership team has its success stories who have done it the harder way and Collingwood will be in the same boat should it salute on Saturday. Langdon and Phillips were both overlooked by every club in their draft year and forced to go back to the TAC Cup and dominate as over-agers before winning their chance. Mihocek had been overlooked for seven years, while Thomas and Goldsack were late picks who had caught the eye. Collingwood won a four-club battle for Cox's signature and it paid dividends last week with his match-turning performance.

Brody Mihocek has been a successful latecomer to the AFL scene. Picture: AFL Photos

Trade/free agency
Jack Crisp (trade from Brisbane)
Taylor Adams (trade from GWS)
Levi Greenwood (trade from North Melbourne)
Adam Treloar (trade from GWS)
Travis Varcoe (trade from Geelong)
James Aish (trade from Brisbane)
Will Hoskin-Elliott (trade from GWS)
Jeremy Howe (trade from Melbourne)
Chris Mayne (free agency from Fremantle)

Carlton has become known as the second home for Greater Western Sydney players, but the Magpies are the genuine raiders of the Giants. The club secured Adams in a straight swap for Heath Shaw, gave up two first-round picks for Treloar and chased Hoskin-Elliott after he had managed just two senior games in his final season in western Sydney. All are huge ticks, as is Howe who has become a star of the competition at the Pies. Crisp came as part of the Dayne Beams deal, while Greenwood has played his role well at Collingwood in the midfield. A year ago, questions were being raised about Mayne's recruitment and Aish hadn't bedded down his spot, but both have enjoyed much stronger seasons.