2017 AFL Draft review: Part 1, Adelaide Crows to GWS Giants

Maddy Friend Columnist

By Maddy Friend, Maddy Friend is a Roar Expert


96 Have your say

    With the national and rookie drafts now complete, AFL clubs have finalised their lists for season 2018. Over the next two days I’m going to look at every club’s draft haul – today, we’re talking Adelaide through GWS.

    Adelaide Crows

    National draft
    12: Darcy Fogarty
    40: Andrew McPherson

    Rookie draft
    17: Patrick Wilson
    31: Cam Ellis-Yolmen
    38: Lachlan Murphy
    41: Jackson Edwards

    The Crows have done well here. They have a knack of making the most of limited draft selections (think Rory Atkins at pick 85 a few years back), and have addressed a few needs here, with McPherson the intercepting defender who can replace Jake Lever.

    Fogarty could complement Tom Lynch as a third tall, but he was also genuinely the best player available at the club’s selection, so it was a no-brainer to take him.

    Adelaide would be absolutely rapt that Fogarty fell to pick 12. Had it not been for some injury issues, he was touted to be a top five selection.

    He’ll likely start his career as a bullocking half-forward, but once he develops his endurance he’ll become a valuable utility in the midfield. We could look back in a few years and mark him down as one of the best players in this draft class.

    Both players being South Australian is an added bonus, too, given the club’s recent retention issues. In the past, the Crows haven’t been afraid to select players from all over the country, but I wonder whether they’ve had a change of strategy. It will be interesting to see if this is the start of a new trend for them.

    There’s a chance both players may see some senior footy next year, although it is likely to be limited, given the strength of Adelaide’s team.

    Brisbane Lions

    National draft
    1: Cam Rayner
    15: Zac Bailey
    18: Brandon Starcevich
    41: Toby Wooller
    43: Connor Ballenden
    54: Jack Payne

    Rookie draft
    1: Claye Beams

    Along with a successful trade period, Brisbane used the draft to both add some good talent and address a few needs, so it’s a definite tick from me.

    Rayner was the right number one choice, as he is a genuine match-winner with freakish ability, something in short supply at Brisbane right now.

    He’ll be a handful in the forward line with Charlie Cameron. He needs to work on his endurance, but that will come with time and being in an elite environment.

    Bailey and Starcevich add more midfield depth to the team, with Bailey, crucially, also a noted goal-kicker.

    Taking Starcevich at pick 18 was a bit of a surprise, given most pundits had him ranked as a later selection, but his uncle Craig is the coach of the Lions’ AFLW team, and so the lure of returning to WA is likely to be reduced.

    Toby Wooller is a developing key forward who shapes as a good replacement for Josh Schache, so the Lions did well to find a replacement there, and would likely have been delighted that Wooller was available at pick 41.

    Ballenden and Payne are both key position Academy players. Look for Ballenden especially to have an impact next year.

    There was talk before the draft that the Lions might look to pair Rayner with Western Jets teammate Lachie Fogarty to help reduce the ‘go-home factor’, but that didn’t eventuate. However, Wooller and Rayner are both Vic Metro teammates, which should be an advantage.

    I like what the Lions are building up in Brisbane. We may look back in a few years on this and last year’s drafts as the seminal moments in the Lions once again becoming a successful team.

    Cam Rayner

    Carlton Blues

    National draft
    3: Paddy Dow
    10: Lochie O’Brien
    30: Tom De Koning
    70: Angus Schumacher
    78: Jarrod Garlett

    Rookie draft
    3: Matt Shaw

    A bit of a mixed bag for the Blues here. They obviously needed midfield depth, and they got some definite class with Dow and O’Brien, who should both be 200+ game players for the club.

    Schumacher also provides midfield depth, but I can’t help feeling that he doesn’t really add much that the club doesn’t already have on its list. I would have liked to have seen them take another forward here, although there wasn’t a stand-out one available at pick 70.

    De Konig went a lot earlier than most expected. He offers versatility in that he can play in the ruck and forward, but will need time to develop.

    This puts the Blues in an interesting position – they are trying to rebuild while also be competitive in games, so do they need players who can make an impact now, or in a few years?

    I’d argue that up forward they need players who can make an impact now, but the club will probably be hoping that Harry McKay keeps developing this year and can play that role.

    Garlett is another interesting one. At pick 78, the Blues can’t really lose with this selection – his best footy is freakish and would definitely put him in the club’s best 22. Hopefully Brendon Bolton can get the best out of him, because he would add class and pizzazz to the Blues’ workman-like midfield.

    Collingwood Magpies

    National draft
    6: Jaiydn Stephenson
    39: Nathan Murphy
    50: Tyler Brown

    Rookie draft
    6: Flynn Appleby
    22: Brody Mihocek
    33: Adam Oxley

    Let’s start with the positives. The Pies did very well to nab both Stephenson and Murphy with their two picks, with most clubs expecting Murphy to be gone somewhere in the 20s.

    With these two picks, the Pies get two exciting players with a lot of upside. Murphy, especially, is raw and will need time to develop, but he is athletic and does some exciting things.

    However, the glaring issue here is the lack of key position player. In a way, the club was in a difficult position with its picks – top ten picks should generally be used on the best available player, which Stephenson probably was.

    Aaron Naughton and Darcy Fogarty were the best of the key position players available at pick 6, and the Pies could have chosen one of them, but obviously didn’t rate them as highly as Stephenson.

    Pick 39 is where the club could have, and probably should have, addressed this need. Toby Wooller and medium forward Jordan Houlahan were two available at that selection who would have been good selections for the Pies.

    Obviously the club rated Murphy too highly to let him pass. It’s likely both he and Stephenson will be good players for the Pies, but in terms of team balance, I don’t think the club has done itself any favours here.

    The Pies took key defender Sam McClarty with their first pick last year, so will be hoping he continues to develop this season. They also picked up key defender Brody Mihocek from Port Melbourne as a rookie.

    Jaidyn Stephenson tall

    Essendon Bombers

    National draft
    49: Jordan Houlahan
    66: Brandon Zerk-Thatcher
    76: Matt Guelfi

    Rookie draft
    11: Trent Mynott

    After its trade period, Essendon could afford to recruit for the long-term, given the acquisition of the experienced Jake Stringer, Adam Saad and Devon Smith, who will likely all slot into the club’s round one team.

    After taking five picks last year, the Bombers were much quieter this year, entering the draft late in the piece. Clearly it’s difficult to judge these selections now, but they did well with what they had to work with.

    Houlahan is an exciting medium-forward, an area in need of redress on the club’s list, while Zerk-Thatcher adds to the club’s key defensive stocks (and has one of the best names in footy), and Guelfi adds to the midfield.

    It’s interesting the club took three interstate players here (Houlahan and Zerk-Thatcher from South Australia, Guelfi from Western Australia). Last year they recruited five Victorians, so they obviously back their system in to get the best out of these players.

    We saw that a few years ago when Cale Hooker was considering a move home to WA to play for West Coast, but decided to stay at the Bombers. They’re becoming a destination club, and with success looking likely over the next few years, the go-home factor shouldn’t be an issue.

    Fremantle Dockers

    National draft
    2: Andrew Brayshaw
    5: Adam Cerra
    44: Hugh Dixon
    59: Mitchell Crowden
    65: Tom North
    69: Lloyd Meek
    73: Sam Switkowski
    75: Scott Jones

    Rookie draft
    5: Bailey Banfield
    21: Stefan Giro

    Having eight selections, with six outside the top 40, was always going to be an interesting challenge for the Dockers, but they’ve done a decent job here.

    Picks 2 and 5 are nearly a certainty to net two good players, and it looks like they’ve got two beauties in Brayshaw, a future captain of the club, and Cerra, who looks a ready-made replacement for Lachie Weller.

    The rest of the picks were about addressing needs, which they did well. Jones and Meek add ruck depth, which is sorely needed after Jon Griffin and Zac Clarke departed at the end of the season.

    Dixon is a developing key forward, which is obviously another need for the club, while North and Crowden add more midfield depth.

    Jones, Meek and Dixon are likely to take time to develop, but the others all look capable of playing some senior footy next year.

    The club continued its recent trend of drafting VFL players (think Lee Spurr and Luke Ryan) by taking Box Hill forward Sam Switkowski. He has a definite knack for goals and could play early next year.

    Interestingly, Dixon was the only Tasmanian selected this year, and is moving the farthest across the country of any draftee.

    Given its recent trade acquisitions – Nathan Wilson and Brandon Matera this year; Cam McCarthy, Joel Hamling, Brad Hill and Shane Kersten last year – were all West Australians, its interesting that the club decided to take Victorians and South Australians in the draft.

    The club has in recent years shown itself to not be afraid to do this, but has this season, quite wisely, coupled North and Cerra from the Eastern Ranges, while Brayshaw has family in Western Australia.

    Poetically, his brother Hamish was drafted to the Eagles, and I wonder whether Fremantle would have selected Hamish at pick 69 had he still been there.

    Andrew Brayshaw Adam Cerra

    Geelong Cats

    National draft
    22: Lachlan Fogarty
    24: Tim Kelly
    36: Charlie Constable
    57: Gryan Miers

    Rookie draft
    16: Stewart Crameri
    30: Matthew Hayball

    I’ve been critical of the Cats’ drafting in the past few years, but I really like what they’ve done here. They’re clearly in the premiership window, and need to maximise that for the next few years while Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood are still around.

    The club’s drafting over the past few years reflects this – selections have mainly been mature-aged players who can come in and have an immediate impact, or speculative selections who need time for development, and won’t be a part of the current premiership tilt.

    This is in part due to the fact that the club has prioritised acquiring talent through the trade period, which has left it with only late selections in the draft.

    The club surrendered its first-round selection this year (pick 16) as part of a complex trade for Zach Tuohy last year, but acquiring an end-of-first-round selection for the departure of Steven Motlop put it in a good position heading into the draft.

    They were in a good position to see who fell to them, and they got a good one in Lachlan Fogarty – he’s a quick, skillful small forward who will eventually push into the midfield.

    Tim Kelly continues the trend of mature-aged players, but he will also be a genuine asset next year – his pace through the middle will complement the Cats’ inside grunt players nicely.

    Constable’s main weakness is his poor endurance, but he wins the ball as well as anyone, and if he can improve his running, he’ll be a definite asset for the Cats in the years to come.

    Gryan Miers rounds out their small forward depth, and was a nice pick that late in the piece.

    Taking Stewart Crameri as a rookie also seems like a good pick-up – he’s proven that he can kick 40 goals in a season; combine him and Gary Ablett in the forward 50 and you’ve got a potent smaller forward line next season.

    Overall, the Cats did well to address their needs as well as add some quality talent. The blend of ready-to-go players (Kelly and perhaps Fogarty), as well as players who will more than likely be successes in the future (Constable and Miers), will set the Cats up well for the future.

    Gold Coast Suns

    National draft
    19: Will Powell
    42: Charlie Ballard
    52: Brayden Crossley
    55: Connor Nutting

    Rookie draft
    2: Josh Jaska
    19: Nicholas Holman
    32: Mackenzie Willis

    This is the first year since the club’s inception that it didn’t have a top ten draft selection, so it was always going to be interesting to see what Gold Coast did here, given their lack of success in turning high draft picks into long-term talented players.

    On first glance, I’m not sold that they’ve done a good job here. Powell was an extremely speculative selection at pick 19 – he’s a talented player, but you could make the same argument for most players who get drafted.

    He’s a very slight wingman at the moment, and will take a fair bit of time to develop the size needed for AFL level. Gold Coast obviously see a lot in him, and there was interest in Powell from other clubs with picks in the 30s, so if they wanted him they had to take him here.

    Clubs usually go for best available rather than needs with their first picks, and that seems to be what Gold Coast has done here.

    Gold Coast will be glad Ballard slid to pick 42, as some had him going around pick 25-30. He’ll also take time to develop though, meaning that it’s likely all of the club’s draftees won’t feature next year.

    For a club that seemingly has no evident list strategy, Gold Coast could have chosen some players who were capable of making an impact next year. Someone like Lachlan Fogarty, who was still available at pick 19, could have made an immediate impact, something the club desperately needs.

    I hope for the Suns’ sake that Powell and Ballard do become good players, but it’s a few years away from happening yet.

    GWS Giants

    National draft
    11: Aiden Bonar
    27: Brent Daniels
    28: Sam Taylor
    56: Zac Giles Langdon
    64: Nick Shipley

    Rookie draft
    15: Dylan Buckley
    29: Sam J Reid

    Like Gold Coast, this is the first year GWS hasn’t had a top ten pick, but despite that it did very well with its selections, both addressing needs and bringing in some talented players.

    The club had targeted Bonar from a long way out, and he definitely adds something different to the club’s list. I can’t wait to see him in the same midfield as Dylan Shiel, Stephen Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield, Tim Taranto and Josh Kelly next year.

    Daniels addressed a hole in the club’s list in the small forward position, while Taylor adds key defensive depth, something else the club has been searching for.

    Langdon is a mature-aged player, which the Giants have shown a liking for in recent years, while Shipley is the club’s first Western Sydney born-and-bred academy player.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (96)

    • November 30th 2017 @ 8:22am
      The Original Buzz said | November 30th 2017 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Great article Maddy. I think the Blues have looked at both immediate impact and long term when you look at the players they have got. The forward line needs more work but the mid and back lines have been bolsteted sufficiently. Garlett should replace Docherty imo, it gives us more pace down back.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 10:14am
        Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

        Buzz – I think we have a good range of options to replace Docherty, they will be looking for Byrne to get an injury free run, the picked up Mullett as a DFA, took O’shea in the PSD and obviously got Garlett. I think they could also bring possibly MacReadie in and release Williamson to play Docherty’s role and use his great running ability and elite foot skills.

        • November 30th 2017 @ 10:27am
          The Original Buzz said | November 30th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          We have a good range of options, that’s for sure. Glad I am not the one picking the best 22, I can see about 30 players that could slot in for round one at this stage. Would like to see Macreadie get more of a run next year as well. Lobbe is the interesting pick for me, may be a third tall for back up if Phillips or Kruezer get injured. Not sure he would get a game otherwise. His experience would also help De Koning as well.

          A good run with injuries will definitely help with the wins, I can see them going as high as 12th but would expect to finish around 14th with around 8 – 10 wins.

          • November 30th 2017 @ 10:35am
            Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

            Buzz – if McKay can grab his spot then Lobbe will only come in if Kreuzer or Casboult go down, but I don’t have an issue with grabbing an experienced back up ruckman for nothing.

            On De Koning I think having Kreuzer, Phillips and Lobbe around now makes it a very good time to grab a 18 year old ruckman, he has plenty of experience to learn from and plenty of time to develop.

            As for the best 22 – this is my very early crack

            B Plowman, Jones, Byrne
            HB Williamson Marchbank Weitering
            C Fisher Kennedy, SPS
            HF Wright C Curnow Pickett
            FF Silvagni Casboult McKay
            Foll Kreuzer, Cripps Murphy
            Int Dow E Curnow Cuningham Simpson

            • Roar Guru

              November 30th 2017 @ 11:49am
              Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

              On de Konig, if the clubs intent is just to park him in the VFL and let him develop for a couple years and as emergency depth, wouldn’t Hayes, who was still available and much higher rated in pretty much every single phantom draft I saw have been a better choice?

              • November 30th 2017 @ 11:56am
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                That will be definitely be a talking point in the future as their careers unfold but I am happy to back SOS’s decision on his track record.

                From this distance it is hard to say and it could have come down to something as simply as an answer to an interview question.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 12:07pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

                Cat – where id those phantom drafts have Constable going?

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 12:21pm
                Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

                Foxsports had him: Draft Range: 15-25
                Zerohanger had him: Draft range: 7-15
                Nightmare (ESPN) had him outside the top 20 in him latest phantom draft.
                Footyprophet had him: PICK RANGE: 5-15
                SEN had him being picked at 18 by Brisbane
                Footyology had him at 17
                Cal Twomey had him at 14

                That enough? Why do you ask?

              • November 30th 2017 @ 12:22pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                Just showing that Phantom drafts aren’t always correct.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 30th 2017 @ 5:57pm
                Murphster888 said | November 30th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report

                This quote might have something to do with it Cat.

                “As a 17-year-old bottom-ager last season, De Koning played one of the most dominant games in the TAC Cup, booting nine goals straight to lead the Stingrays to a 99-point victory.”
                Also I think clubs are really concerned with Hayes tank. Those are the only things I can think of as to why him and not Hayes.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 9:06pm
                Kane said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:06pm | ! Report

                There was also a bit of talk that Hayes might have got a bit ahead of himself during the year too in an attitude kind of way which makes a bit of sense as to why he slid so far down the order from where he was predicted at the start of the year. AFL’s a ruthless world and you can get spat out very quickly if you don’t adhere to the rules. In saying that he might end up being a star.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 9:08pm
                Darren said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

                Cat (only from what I’ve read) it would seem De Koning has great athleticism and skill but lacks desire. Hayes is a better ruckman but not a great athlete.
                If that is the case they obviously back themselves to be able to unlock De Koning’s motivation and he then has more upside.
                As Macca said time will tell. There was obviously something that pushed Hayes out so far beyond predictions.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 9:40pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                Who better to teach a young ruckman “desire” than Kreuzer!!

                Just goes to show there is so many unseen things beyond just talent and the line is very fine.

            • Roar Guru

              November 30th 2017 @ 1:20pm
              Col from Brissie said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

              Macca, I like your side but I am not willing to include Dow just yet. I will wait and see how he goes pre season before passing judgement. He is recovering from shoulder surgery so might be still a bit underdone before the JLT matches.

              What I am happy about is the depth that we are building which is going to make the competition for senior spots all the harder. I would probably go Lang before Dow at this stage. Waiting in the wings will be experienced players like Kerridge, Lamb, Polson, Graham, Thomas, Mullett, Garlett, O’Shea, Macreadie and A. Silvagni.

              Cat, picking up 18 year old rucks is always speculative and we can only think the recruiting staff saw more upside in De Koning than Hayes. At the moment he is more a fwd/ruck than a pure ruckman so it depends which way they want to develop him. I tend to see clubs hoping on picking up mature ruckmen these days moreso than putting in 3-4 years of development.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 1:30pm
                AdelaideDocker said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Can’t argue with your points about young ruck-men, Col.

                Freo got very lucky with Sean Darcy, but most of the time ruck-men do take a long while to develop.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 1:34pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

                Col – you might be right on Lang but I spect Dow and O’Brien will play plenty of football in 2018.

                Also agree on the depth, competition for spots is vital for success, we still have a long way to go but you can really see things starting to take shape.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 3:21pm
        Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

        Just saw the blues have once again significantly dropped their average age, from 23y 299d last year to 23y 77 days this year (second lowest above only the Suns) while the average games played has gone from 53 to 56 (again second last above just the lions)

        • Roar Guru

          November 30th 2017 @ 3:33pm
          Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          is there a full list out yet?

          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 3:53pm
            Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

            nm found it.

        • November 30th 2017 @ 6:11pm
          Peter the Scribe said | November 30th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

          But Macca, was that does that even mean? What is the use in pointing out you have the second youngest list? Does it guarantee longevity as a group or success? My question is you appear to highlight it as something of worth but what worth is it if the youth prove to not all be up to it?

          • December 1st 2017 @ 8:47am
            Macca said | December 1st 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

            Peter – the blues have brought in a large number of young players, the majority of them first rounders and on top of that a couple of the later picks have already shown to be “up to it” – not every one will work out but they have got the odds stacked in their favour.

            And every champion team is built around a core group of quality players around the same age – the blues are building that core.

            It also indicates it would be foolish to expect immediate results.

        • November 30th 2017 @ 6:51pm
          George said | November 30th 2017 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

          Where did you get the number from? Draftguru has Carlton 23.8 years average age (13th).

        • Roar Guru

          November 30th 2017 @ 6:57pm
          AdelaideDocker said | November 30th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

          Macca, Carlton is 14th (so fifth-last – 23yr 244days) on the age ladder, and equal fourth-last (56 average games) on the average game ladder.


          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 7:05pm
            Col from Brissie said | November 30th 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

            They have obviously amended it. When I read the article earlier today they had Carltons average age as 23y and 77 days.

            • November 30th 2017 @ 7:14pm
              Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

              Yeah the must have changed it, I must say when I read it the article said there were 4 teams below Richmond but the ladder only had 2 so they must have had some errors.

              Still, the average age dropped again

              • December 1st 2017 @ 11:16am
                Peter the Scribe said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

                Honestly Macca I’m still not getting why you think this is a good thing? I get your point that a group needs to develop as a core together but do you think the past twenty premiers didn’t do that? Every club who wins a flag will have a core group who have emerged together with some good trade ins, free agents and a couple of flukes maybe with rookies…You appear to have an equation that reads:

                X = Young player group
                Y = number of games played together
                Z = greater chance of success

                X x Y = Z

                I think that equation is completely flawed.

                For a start, players mature at different ages, sometimes years apart…I look at say the body maturity of a James Aish and place him at 22 with a body maturity around 19, Maynard at 21 as a body maturity around 24-25. Take a look at TAC games and there’s still boys playing men. Most of us involved in footy for a while have known the kid with a full beard in Under 16’s dominating the competition and then fading as other kids maturity catches up.

                Then, look at the most successful clubs this century. Most success? Brisbane – hard, big bodied bullies…had a young core but also brought in Mal Michael, Lynch, Pike…look at Hawthorn – big bodied bullies, the Cats and Swans the same.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 11:51am
                Macca said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                Peter – Look at those clubs you mentioned and you will see them same thing – a cluster of young talent all brought in at the same time and once the developed into hard bodies they had success.

                Collingwood and Carlton are in very similar postions as far as ladder positions go but Collingwood’s age profile resembles that of team like Geelong and Hawthorn who are at the end of their long reign were as Carlton’s is loaded up with young talent – I know which one is more likely to have sustained success in the future.

                The blues list isn’t complete and will need some top ups and some of the young players won’t work out but they have built the base, Collingwood don’t have that base. As I demonstrated on the other thread the blues simply have more players “ready to bloom”.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 1st 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

                Macca, in the latest average age list honestly the ages are so close now, one or two oldies can skew the averages. I’m not claiming you have no young talent. You have some really good young players. I am claiming you are still behind the Pies by a couple of years with your core group of young highly talented players. I’d be interested who you would rate against my top Pies 24 and under emerging group (let’s keep it at 6 to be realistic) of De Goey, Moore, Grundy, Maynard, Treloar and Adams.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 2:00pm
                Macca said | December 1st 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Peter – don’t look at the averages look at the age brackets.

                And It isn’t about what the best 24 look like now, neither teams best 24 is good enough – it is about what it will look like in 3 years time, as you say the number of players ready to bloom, the blues have more.

    • Roar Guru

      November 30th 2017 @ 9:15am
      AdelaideDocker said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      Thanks for the article, Maddy. Can’t argue with your observations on Freo. We did well with this year’s draft, and I genuinely believe we’ve set ourselves up well for 2018 and beyond.

      I know some had qualms about not drafting LDU, but I’m very happy to have drafted both Brayshaw and Cerra. Nifty move, drafting the duo and them being friends. Very interesting comments from you Maddy about Brayshaw being a potential captain; has he been a good leader at junior level or something? First commentator to suggest he’s captain material!

      On drafting interstate youngsters, we have a pretty good track record with South Australians particularly. Neale and Pavlich are the obvious two to mention, but it’s made me confident that our two SA lads this year – Crowden and rookie Giro – are going to be good pick ups. I hadn’t heard of him until the draft, but Crowden in particular seems to be a ready made player (a Neale protégé, perhaps), and some in our social media circles have him pushing for a round one spot.

      I’m also ecstatic with our rookie picks. Banfield seems like a very good player (he was the Sandover Medalist, from memory?) and Giro seems like another in the Neale mould (from the same South Australian club?).

      • November 30th 2017 @ 11:10am
        Russ said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Banfield won Claremonts Best and Fairest this year, not the Sandover.

        He’s a very intelligent young man who spoke very well during his introductory press conference at the club.

        Interestingly, a story was thrown out during his interview stating that he was either going to be drafted into the AFL or at some stage he’d be running it.

        He’s certainly one to keep an eye on.

        • Roar Guru

          November 30th 2017 @ 12:06pm
          AdelaideDocker said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          Oh yup, it was Claremonts B&F. I’ll blame early morning commenting for that one!

          I haven’t watched his intro press conference, but from all accounts he’s an excellent pick-up.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 11:30am
        johno said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        The draftees this year all look ready to play seniors.

        Banfield as the Tigers league B&F is a huge plus.

        Cerra and Brayshaw should get some game time and Meeks and Jones are excellent depth rucks, unfortunately that is what they seem so far.

        My only concern is Dixon. I think he will have a lot of work ahead of him to make it to AFL level, but he has a great pair of hands and kick which I guess is a start. The tank and desire for the contest is where he’ll need to grow

        • December 1st 2017 @ 11:47am
          Don Freo said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          What have you seen, Johno, that suggests he lacks those?

          I doubt many of these draftees will be required to play this season. The returned injured will add great great playing power.

          The new guys will, however leapfrog the Sutcliffe, Sheridan, Spurr, Brady Grey types. These guys along with Danyle Pearce will be helping them find their feet at Peel.

          Through the course of the season, 3 or 4 might be blooded for a game or two unless they actually kick the door down with Peel form.

          • December 4th 2017 @ 11:13am
            johno said | December 4th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            Hey Don – I know some people from his club in Hobart and this is the word on him. Great abilities, but has gotten through on natural talent so far, needs to learn about hard work. A professional environment will either find him out or make him a star

            • December 4th 2017 @ 11:18am
              Don Freo said | December 4th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

              Aaah. Thanks Johno.

              His highlights reel certainly shows he has the raw material. Rossie and the club environment will do the rest.

              Good to know the back up is there for Apeness and Tabs…hopefully he nails it and goes past them. Very exciting.

              Brad Lloyd has pulled out some beauties in recent years.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 11:46am
        13th Man said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        I agree with that AD, and Brayshaw was his high school captain I think (over LDU). yes I too at first was disappointed by going Brayshaw over LDU mainly because I’d been watching LDU highlights and didn’t even consider Brayshaw an option. In hindsight with Brayshaw having family in Perth, his brother being there and the fact that he seemed genuinely thrilled to be picked up by Freo make me think Brayshaw will be a very very good player for us.

        I do however still have concerns over the lack of Western Australians picked up. If you include our rookie picks only Jones and Banfield are West Australians, and it’s not like it was a bad year for WA draftees either. Although a lot of them did perhaps fall earlier in the draft than we would have liked. I just hope picking up all these Victorians and South Australians doesn’t come back to bite us.
        I think there isn’t as much of a risk with SA boys considering we’ve had success with Pavlich and Neale and the fact a lot of SA boys end up preferring Perth to Adelaide.

        I’d be setting up the likes of Brayshaw and Cerra with nice local girls so we don’t have a repeat of the Weller situation!

        • November 30th 2017 @ 1:00pm
          johno said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          Issue with the West Aussies was that Freo had pick 2 and 5 and then pick 44 and in between those picks Naugton, Starcevich, Powell, Allen, Kelly, Ryan and Ainsworth all went.

          Our next pick was 59 and Langdon, Haydon, and Patmore all went before that. Only 4 were taken after our 4th pick and we took 1 – Jones – as a needs based ruck given that Miller had gone before him.

          Issue was we had 2 very high picks and took the best players and then after that most of the quality West Aussies were gone by the time out third came around.

          We had needs and Dixon was deemed the best available KPP, although Sam Hayes may have been the better selection at that point.

          that Banfield was in the rookie draft was a bargain I think.

          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 1:27pm
            AdelaideDocker said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

            Yeah, very fair points johno.

            Besides, given how well we’ve been in trading in exclusively West Australians in the past two years, I have no qualms with the club striving to draft the best possible players, rather than aiming to draft West Australians.

            It’s not like they’ve actively gone out of their way to make sure they’ve avoided WA players all together: they’ve intelligently drafted Brayshaw and Cerra who are mates, and Brayshaw has connections in Perth.

            Good results by the club, I’d suggest.

            • Roar Guru

              November 30th 2017 @ 5:55pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | November 30th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

              The other thing is, as pointed out in the Maddy’s review, that Freo have brought in a heap of West Aussies over the past couple of years via trade. So Freo may as well take a punt on the elite interstate talent while they can. Even in the unlikely event they lose a majority of them, they’ve got a core of players not going anywhere and the likelihood of more to come swinging across roundabouts.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 5:59pm
                Paul D said | November 30th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

                I wouldn’t worry too much about your ruck depth. Once the Dogs have done all the hard work and sacrifice of a list spot for 3-4 years turning Tim English into an AFL player you can just pick him up whenever you so feel inclined.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 8:09pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | November 30th 2017 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

                Sometimes there’s a part of me that suspects they’re almost happy to pass up on those “upper-mid” WA players even if they’re a good fit, as they’ll be fairly obtainable down the track (e.g. not the highest paid, or not lavished with the most attention) when they’ve put in a few years.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 12:26pm
        Scorching said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        Banfield won the Claremont b&f in the WAFL this year

        Hayden Schloithe (former Freo rookie who was unlucky to miss out on being drafted again this year) won the Sandover this year (Tim Kelly who was taken by Geelong in the 20s was the runnerup)

        Edit: Sorry hadnt seen the other replies!

        • November 30th 2017 @ 12:34pm
          Russ said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

          Jump onto the Dockernow FB page and look at what Schloithe has said about the club. He’s very bitter towards Freo.

          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 12:38pm
            Paul D said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

            Or you could just post the quote, rather than making people join a closed group that requires approval….

            Maybe Schloithe and Shane Yarran could compare notes

            • Roar Guru

              November 30th 2017 @ 5:42pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | November 30th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

              Yeah, I know some of the comments he has been making about Freo and you could almost wonder whether Schloithe isn’t actually the one skulking around under the “anon” moniker.

              They would’ve had to drag him kicking and screaming back to Freo if they had cared to select him again.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 11:55am
                Don Freo said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Would explain why no other club had an interest either. The boy might need to take some ownership of how he used his opportunity.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 12:01pm
                Scorching said | December 1st 2017 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

                It probably isn’t the smartest tactic… You aren’t usually going to make yourself attractive to potential ’employers’ by sounding off about your past employers…..

            • December 1st 2017 @ 1:03pm
              Russ said | December 1st 2017 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

              I’ve got a screen shot of his tweet where he says : “I’m glad I got delisted, they are embarrassing”.

              It looks like I can’t load pictures.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 2:23pm
                Don Freo said | December 1st 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

                I wonder what the date was on that. It might be 3 years old. Before this draft he said he had the wrong attitude first time around. If he has gone feral again, I suspect he doesn’t have much to offer.

                From the WAFL, if I was to take someone who has been unlucky not to be drafted, it would be Shane Nelson from West Perth who is quite a bit better than Schloithe.

        • December 2nd 2017 @ 1:21am
          rusty said | December 2nd 2017 @ 1:21am | ! Report

          I think Freo have drafted well. Picks 2 and 5 were somewhat speculative to me. Brayshaw was taken too high from what I have seen of the stats but I am happy to defer to the wisdom of the recruiting department, who will have seen him actually play- unlike me. Cerra is no doubt a talent but it seems we played it safe with our first two picks. Time will tell. But I think we really nailed it after that because we picked guys that, statistically at least, are very good footballers. Check out the seasons that North, Crowden, Banfield and Dixon had. Even Switkowski. These guys can play footy and are physically developed.
          I still think we will be poor next season, possibly even the season after that, but Freo have gone all in on the rebuild and when it turns we will be right up there.

          • December 7th 2017 @ 5:27pm
            Jon boy said | December 7th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report


    • November 30th 2017 @ 9:49am
      Aransan said | November 30th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the Perth clubs had intended to draft Guelfi as a rookie, he could turn out to be the best of Essendon’s players drafted.

      I am sure Essendon and Bulldog supporters will be wishing Crameri all the best.

    • November 30th 2017 @ 10:26am
      Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      In the blues getting 2 high quality mids at 3 & 10 is exactly what the doctor ordered – the rest are speculative but I can see the logic – in 16 draft picks over the last 3 years they haven’t taken a ruckman so taking De Koning at 30 makes some sense, Schumacher has the running ability and kicking skills the blues are clearly chasing but comes witht the flaws you expect from pick 70 and Garlett looks too good to pas up at 78 – far from a guaranteed performer but the upside clearly outweighs the risk.

      I think the blues have got the balance right between experience and youth with the additions of Mullett, O’shea and Garlett all capable of having an immediate impact but the focused largely on the long term.

      As for the blues midfield being “workman-like” I think that could be a little harsh – I would expect SPS to spend far more time through there this year, hopefully David Cuningham gets a good run with injury and grabs his chance and then I expect we will see plenty of Dow and O’Brien – putting them around Cripps, Kennedy, E Curnow and Murphy should give us a good balance of clearance work, burst form the stoppage and outside run.

      Up forward the blues will be banking on McKay (and possibly Kerr) to develop as the extra marking target but just as importantly Pickett to build on the glimpses he showed late in the season to be that livewire small forward – if those 2 can grab their spot the should really compliment C Curnow, J Silvagni, Fisher, Wright and Casboult.

    • Roar Guru

      November 30th 2017 @ 11:04am
      Paul D said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

      I agree the Suns have no real list strategy at the moment, apart from trying to get a monopoly on every small forward and slight flanker in the AFL system, but it does seem to make sense with a new coach to draft long term, rather than short term. Let’s make no bones about it, the Suns are still junk and will be junk for another year or two yet. So long as they keep making progress and don’t regress further, the pace of progress shouldn’t be a concern, frankly, any forward progress is an improvement on what has gone.

      For their reincarnation to work Dew will need to dig in and stay for more than 3 years – hopefully he is as keen on trying to create a reputation and legacy for himself from scratch as the Suns are.

      Lions drafting – shrug, I can’t complain about any of it, they’re all easily explained and justified picks. Let’s see how many are still here at the end of 2020.

      • Roar Guru

        November 30th 2017 @ 11:10am
        Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        Suns did change list managers pretty late in the piece, so hopefully going forward they will have a clearer plan.

        • November 30th 2017 @ 11:13am
          Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

          Getting rid of Clayton is long overdue for mine.

          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 11:46am
            Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            100% agree. I just think it came a bit late this year, a lot of the Suns planning would have already had his fingerprints all over it.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 11:43am
        Mattician6x6 said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:43am | ! Report

        Paul d- absolutely agree in regards to suns, we need to start viewing them like this is their 1st year again and measure expectations accordingly. Both qld clubs seem to be making positive moves FWD but again that is the opinion of a bloke who has no investment in the success of either club.

        • Roar Guru

          November 30th 2017 @ 11:55am
          Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

          Between bad coaching choices, poor senior admin, poor captain and on field leadership and lack of proper facilities for the formative years it is probably the first year that they have all their ducks in a row.

          • Roar Guru

            November 30th 2017 @ 12:00pm
            Paul D said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

            “poor captain” – agreed, but it’s nice to see you admit it.

            are you regressing back to your “Gary’s a terrible over-the-hill dud at 34” persona that was doing the rounds when he was up for trade? Funny how he turned back into a 60 goal season elite AA winner after stepping off the plane at avalon

            • Roar Guru

              November 30th 2017 @ 12:10pm
              Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              I’ve never claimed he was a great captain. I have said and will continue to say he was not the best choice, especially given the Suns provided him with virtually no help on or off the field. It’s kind of an ironic coincidence that it was a shoulder that made him miss nearly two years of football, considering he spent years carrying the entire franchise on them all by himself.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 12:35pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                Yes Cat instantly changed his mind when GAJ was drafted. He has suddenly gone from an old wreck with hamstrings like frayed rope to a gun forward who is going to play 20 + games now?
                The harsh truth is most 34+ will have soft tissue injuries and my expectation is Geelong will get around 10 games from GAJ pretty much like Collywobbles with Wells.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 12:56pm
                Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                I’ve told you before, feel free to quote me where I said anything you claim. You never answer, its obvious why, you can’t.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 1:55pm
                Paul D said | November 30th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Cat said | October 9th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

                Some people are seriously overvaluing a 33 year old who hasn’t been able to get on the park much of late. Just how is a player averaging 14 games a year going to kick 60 goals?!?

                Cat said | October 20th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

                Ablett will also play forward a lot of time, when he is in the middle it will allow Danger to go forward more. Between them they are easily capable of kicking 80+. 100+ is very possible, I was trying to go with the minimum, no reason they can’t kick 40+ each

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                60 versus 40 … 30% difference there. Or you know somewhere around the difference between the first round pick PLUS players PLUS paying all of that players salary for next year to balance the front loading in Ablett’s contract versus what the club actually ended up paying for him.

                Pay attention to the context of the conversation that was happening at the time.

              • November 30th 2017 @ 2:41pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                Cat – Did you miss this bit of your quote “100+ is very possible” – not a lot of difference between 50+ and 60.

              • Roar Guru

                November 30th 2017 @ 8:31pm
                Cat said | November 30th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

                Where did I say Ablett would kick half? It’s 100 between two players. Considering Danger kicked 45 last year and many have mooted him to play forward more with Ablett arriving, is it that hard to figure he could add an extra 15 to that total?

              • November 30th 2017 @ 8:57pm
                Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

                So Cat 40 plus each and 100 plus combined is suddenly 40 max for Ablett and 100 max combined?

      • Roar Guru

        December 6th 2017 @ 1:54pm
        SportsFanGC said | December 6th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

        PaulD – I agree with much said above.

        I was also staggered that they would allow Scott Clayton to be part of the 2017 Draft if he is no longer part of the Club?

        They failed to address areas of need (inside midfielders and Key Position Players) and then added yet another crop of skinny flankers that are going to take at least 3 years to put on any size.

        Dew really needs to lock down who he wants on the list in the next 3 years and hopefully is given some further time after that considering where is starting from.

        If Tom Lynch leaves this Club in October 2018 (and no one could blame him) then forget finals footy with this generation.

    • November 30th 2017 @ 11:16am
      Mattician6x6 said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

      Good even write up again mate. A few ppl I’ve spoken to have really been impressed with Powell over here with comparisons to dean Kemp and Bob Murphy, I’m also of the opinion that taking a lad who might not have expected to be a higher draft pick is a good move as it can breed a sense of loyalty to those who took the punt.

      • November 30th 2017 @ 11:18am
        Macca said | November 30th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report