Rayner the standout in unpredictable AFL draft


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    It was one of the most open AFL drafts in years but in the end top pick Cameron Rayner was a standout for Brisbane.

    The explosive Western Jets midfielder-forward became the newest No.1 draft pick at Friday night’s selection meeting in Sydney.

    In a top 10 dominated by Victorian midfielders from the TAC Cup competition, Rayner’s body of work this year set him apart.

    “He’s a powerful forward who can play in the midfield … his stoppage work and clearances are outstanding,” Lions football boss David Noble said.

    “He’s a great character and we know he’s going to work really hard.”

    The crown of being No.1 pick can weigh heavily on some but Noble is confident it won’t faze Rayner.

    “It can be tough but we’ll work through that with him,” he said. “I think he’ll embrace it.”

    After an at-times dramatic night, there will be three Brayshaw brothers playing in the AFL next year.

    Fremantle snapped up Sandringham Dragons midfielder Andrew with the second overall selection while another of Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw’s siblings, Hamish, was taken by West Coast at No.68.

    Carlton claimed Bendigo Pioneers onballer Paddy Dow with the third selection, while Dandenong Stingrays midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke went to North Melbourne fourth overall.

    The Dockers rounded out the top five with Eastern Ranges onballer Adam Cerra.

    Some clubs were unsure how a minor heart condition would affect Eastern Ranges forward-midfielder Jaidyn Stephenson at AFL level but Collingwood were confident enough to use pick six on him.

    “Our medical guys have been working on it pretty much non-stop for a good two weeks,” Magpies recruiting chief Derek Hine said.

    “It’s not a decision we take lightly. We’re really confident he’ll be a 10-year player.”

    It was a tough night for taller players, with most clubs stocking up on midfielders before turning their attention to key-position prospects.

    Richmond picked the first ruckman, 201cm Sturt tall Callum Coleman-Jones at No.20, and Carlton claimed an understudy to Matthew Kreuzer in Dandenong’s Tom De Koning (No.30).

    In father-son developments, Chris Naish’s boy Patrick found his way to Punt Road (No.34) and Tyler Brown, son of Gavin, joined brother Callum at Collingwood at pick 50.

    Jackson Edwards, whose dad is dual-premiership Adelaide champion Tyson, is still a chance to join the Crows via the rookie draft as no rival clubs selected him.

    Essendon were the last club to join the draft, claiming Sturt forward Jordan Houlahan at No.49.

    Former Melbourne midfielder Dom Barry (Port Adelaide at No.61), ex-Hawk Billy Hartung (North Melbourne, 77) and ex-Gold Coast player Jarrod Garlett (Carlton, 78) were former AFL players offered lifelines.

    TOP 10 PICKS OF 2017 DRAFT

    1. Brisbane – Cameron Rayner (midfielder, Western Jets)

    2. Fremantle – Andrew Brayshaw (midfielder, Sandringham Dragons)

    3. Carlton – Paddy Dow (midfidler, Bendigo Pioneers)

    4. North Melbourne – Luke Davies-Uniacke (midfielder, Dandenong Stingrays)

    5. Fremantle – Adam Cerra (midfielder, Eastern Ranges)

    6. Collingwood – Jaidyn Stephenson (midfielder, Eastern Ranges)

    7. St Kilda – Hunter Clark (midfielder, Dandeong Stingrays)

    8. St Kilda – Nicholas Coffield (defender, Northern Knights)

    9. Western Bulldogs – Aaron Naughton (defender, Peel Thunder)

    10. Carlton – Lochie O’Brien (midfielder, Bendigo Pioneers)

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • November 27th 2017 @ 3:36pm
      Larry1950 said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

      The Lions will probably lose him by 2020 but the fact that there is far less recognition & scrutiny of AFL players in Qld might help him through those first two seasons. Embrace the youth based approach by the lions & become a regular finals contestant by your twenties should be the message he takes away from his drafting by the lions.

    • November 27th 2017 @ 10:03pm
      The Finger said | November 27th 2017 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

      I think it’s tough for the interstate clubs to keep stars. However, I think that there are moves to stabilise cultures at many interstate clubs to arrest the problems with departures due to homesickness – and so it’s possible that Cam Rayner will be nurtured to stay on for longer. I reckon Fagan is building something very exciting at Brisbane – I’m not a Lions fan, but wish them well.

    • November 28th 2017 @ 2:02am
      rusty said | November 28th 2017 @ 2:02am | ! Report

      Everything in his body language said to me he will leave as soon as he can.

    • November 30th 2017 @ 9:33am
      The Original Buzz said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      The Clubs have people in place now to help interstate players fit in and acclimatise to the environments. In the next few years we will see less players wanting to return home due to homesickness. I think Rayner will be a long term player at the Lions and should have a stellar career.

    • December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm
      Jon boy said | December 11th 2017 @ 1:37pm | ! Report


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