2017 AFL Draft review: Part 2, Hawthorn Hawks to Western Bulldogs

Maddy Friend Columnist

By Maddy Friend, Maddy Friend is a Roar Expert


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    With the national and rookie drafts now complete, AFL clubs have finalised their lists for season 2018. Yesterday we looked at the draft hauls of Adelaide through GWS – today, it’s Hawthorn through the Bulldogs.

    Hawthorn Hawks

    National draft
    45: James Worpel
    67: Dylan Moore
    71: Jackson Ross

    Rookie draft
    7: Harrison Jones
    23: David Mirra
    34: Dallas Willsmore

    The Hawks have a knack for making the most of late draft selections, and they’ve done well again here. They needed to bolster their inside midfield after Sam Mitchell’s departure, and Worpel certainly gives them that. He’ll be able to step in and play next year, but his kicking needs work.

    I was surprised Moore slipped to pick 67, as a pacy wingman/small forward, and Ross is a project forward.

    The Hawks also took Box Hill skipper David Mirra in the rookie draft, which is both a great story and a shrewd recruiting move, as he’ll be able to make an impact from Round 1 next year, and knows the club’s game plan well.

    Other than Mirra, it was another long-term looking draft for the club, which leaves its current list for Round 1 next year in an interesting position. I’m not sure the current list is good enough to seriously contend, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out next year.

    Melbourne Demons

    National draft
    29: Charlie Spargo
    31: Bailey Fritsch
    37: Harrison Petty
    48: Oskar Baker

    All in all, a good job from the Dees, who used their picks mainly to address needs. They drafted two speedy players in Spargo and Baker, took a medium forward in Fritsch, and a key defender in Petty.

    The club was crying out for some more small forwards, and in Spargo they’ve got a beauty. With Jack Watts departing, Fritsch was a good selection too.

    They definitely needed key defensive depth, so Petty was a good choice, while Baker is another player in the mould of Jayden Hunt, and should add more rebound and drive from defensive fifty.

    All four players will be good depth, and all could play at some stage next year.

    North Melbourne Kangaroos

    National draft
    4: Luke Davies-Uniacke
    23: Will Walker
    62: Kyron Hayden
    72: Tristan Xerri
    77: Billy Hartung

    Rookie draft
    4: Thomas Murphy
    20: Gordon Narrier

    A bit of a mixed bag here. Davies-Uniacke, or ‘LDU’ as he has now informally been christened, will be a super player for the club, and is exactly what its midfield has been crying out for. He’ll slot in from Round 1 next year and have a big impact.

    Hartung was also a good pick up – he’s ready to play next year, and hopefully is able to maximise his strengths, because his pace is exactly what the Roos need.

    The rest of the selections, however, were more speculative than I would have liked to have seen from them.

    They have a bit of a recent history of taking risks with later picks – Josh Williams last year is a good example of a talented, but very raw player, which is what North have done again this year.

    Walker is extremely talented, and would have been gone by pick 62, so they had to pick him, but he’s quite raw and will take time to develop.

    Similarly, Hayden is flashy and skilful, but raw, and Xerri is a developing ruckman. There’s a lot to work with here, but other than LDU I’m not sure any of the other new draftees will be long-term successes.

    Given its list is young and lacks real class, the Roos really need several of this draft class to develop into dependable players.

    Luke Davies-Uniacke tall

    (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

    Port Adelaide Power

    National draft
    47: Sam Hayes
    51: Kane Farrell
    58: Jake Patmore
    60: Joel Garner
    61: Dom Barry

    Rookie draft
    12: Lindsay Thomas

    Like Hawthorn, Port has made the most of its later selections. It addressed its need for a developing ruckman, and then bolstered its midfield and defence.

    Hayes was a good get at pick 47, and if his endurance improves he could be one of the steals of this draft. Being able to learn from Paddy Ryder will be a huge benefit for him.

    Any of Farrell, Patmore or Garner could play next year, and enhance the club’s depth, while Barry was an interesting selection. He showed some talent and promise when he was on Melbourne’s list, and if he can show that consistently at Port then he could be a very astute pick up.

    Given its trade period recruiting spree, Port have the luxury of giving these players time to develop, but have also done well to get some players who could play as early as next year.

    They also did well taking Lindsay Thomas as a rookie – he’ll add some class and nous to their forward line, and will be a welcome addition.

    Port’s selections are a mix of Victorians and West Australians (except Barry) – it’s interesting given Adelaide’s recent retention woes that the club opted not to take any South Australians, but Port has historically had a good retention record, and no qualms in selecting interstate players.

    Richmond Tigers

    National draft
    17: Jack Higgins
    20: Callum Coleman-Jones
    25: Noah Balta
    34: Patrick Naish
    63: Ben Miller

    Rookie draft
    18: Liam Baker

    The Tigers did well here to address needs, but I’m not quite raving about their selections as much as some of the footy world.

    Higgins was definitely a great selection – I don’t think they needed any more small forwards, and they probably didn’t go into the draft with the intention of selecting one, but at pick 17 he was far too good to pass up. He’ll likely overtake some of their current mosquito fleet in a few years, or will push into the midfield.

    Coleman-Jones and Balta were interesting selections. Both address ruck and key defensive shortages, but they’re both quite raw, and Balta in particular is one who I can see not developing as they’d like. He is super athletic and exciting to watch, but doesn’t yet have the consistency needed. Given the current state of their list, they have the luxury of giving him time to develop, but I was a bit surprised they didn’t go for another, more well-rounded prospect, like Oscar Clavarino, at pick 25.

    Selecting those two and Miller clearly indicates that the club is planning for the continual evolution of footy.

    The club’s premiership-winning game plan came about, in part, because of the lack of key position players on the list. That approach may continue to serve the team well next year, but footy is an ever-changing game, and odds are they won’t win another premiership the same way.

    Having some developing talls gives them more flexibility to adapt their game plan as the competition evolves.

    St Kilda Saints

    National draft
    7: Hunter Clark
    8: Nick Coffield
    35: Oscar Clavarino
    46: Ben Paton

    Rookie draft
    8: Doulton Langlands
    24: Lewis Pierce

    All in all, a good draft from the Saints. They perhaps didn’t get the absolute class they were desiring, but Clark and Coffield will be excellent players for the next decade.

    Clavarino addresses defensive depth, and should be a good replacement for Nathan Brown in a few years.

    The one thing the club didn’t need more of was rebounding half-backs, but the club sees Paton more as a wingman, which is something they do need more of. His precision kicking will also be an asset.

    It’s hard to go wrong with two top-10 picks, but I think the Saints took the two best available players at their selections.

    Before the draft, they were linked heavily with Aiden Bonar, which concerned me – Bonar will likely be a very good player, but this Saints list needed sure bets, players who will come in and have an immediate impact, as well as be very good players for the next 10 years. Clark and Coffield provide that, and leave the Saints in a much better position going forward.

    The Saints have a tendency to draft Vic Country players of good character, and did the same this year, with all except Coffield hailing from Dandenong Stingrays and Murray Bushrangers. The Saints also put a premium on good characters and leadership ability, and again, these players fit that mould.

    Nick Coffield Hunter Clark

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

    Sydney Swans

    National draft
    14: Matthew Ling
    33: Tom McCartin
    53: Ryley Stoddart

    Rookie draft
    14: Angus Styles
    28: Joel Amartey
    36: Alex Johnson

    Another Kinnear Beatson special here, folks. The club clearly needed to bring in more speed, and find a developing key forward, and managed to do both those things.

    Ling probably went earlier than many expected, but he’s a quick rebounding defender, and will slot in nicely next to Dane Rampe.

    Stoddart also brings pace off half-back, and will fast-track Callum Mills and Isaac Heeney’s moves into the midfield full-time.

    It was a bit surprising to see Stoddart fall to pick 53, and he could be another slider who we rate more highly in the coming years.

    Tom McCartin needs time to develop, and what better club to do that at than Sydney, where he can learn from Buddy Franklin.

    Sydney has always done well at balancing playing its mature and developing players, and this draft haul shows the club is thinking to the future.

    The only knock on this haul for me is that it would have been nice to see them add some more inside midfield talent to develop in the next few years alongside Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery.

    West Coast Eagles

    National draft
    13: Jarrod Brander
    21: Oscar Allen
    26: Liam Ryan
    32: Brayden Ainsworth
    38: Jack Petruccelle
    68: Hamish Brayshaw

    Rookie draft
    13: Ryan Burrows
    27: Tony Olango
    35: Callan England

    Let’s start with the positives. Brander is a massive talent, and they’d be rapt to have got him at pick 13. Likewise Allen at pick 21, who is a local kid. Liam Ryan is an excitement machine, and they addressed their need for speed by picking up Petrucelle.

    Taken individually, these seem like decent selections. But when I consider them as a collective, I’m left scratching my head.

    This is a club crying out for more midfield depth, yet it took two forwards with its first two selections. Both will be good players, and the club does need to think of a long-term replacement for Josh Kennedy, but it’s a need that could have been addressed later in the draft.

    They may see Allen playing as a third tall at AFL level, and probably thought his talent was too good to pass up at pick 21. But at both of those selections, they could have taken a genuine midfielder, and the fact they didn’t is a little odd to me.

    Ryan definitely addresses a need and has talent – he could kick 40 goals next year, all going well. They do need a medium forward to replace Marc LeCras going forward, so this was probably a good selection at pick 26, although it’s likely he would have been available at pick 32.

    I’m glad they took Ainsworth and Brayshaw, who will improve their midfield depth, but I feel they missed a trick by not taking a really classy midfielder earlier in the piece.

    Petrucelle is the major query for me – he is definitely talented, but needs a lot of time to develop, and I have doubts about his consistency in the long run.

    If any club needed ‘sure bet’ players, it was West Coast, and I feel like they missed the mark there. They traded out of the first round in 2018 for four second-round selections this year, which indicated that they were looking for players who could make an impact next year and in 2019.

    They may get that from a few of these players, but that’s no guarantee. This shapes as an important draft for the club for its future development, and at this stage I’m really not sure that they’ve done well.

    Western Bulldogs

    National draft
    9: Aaron Naughton
    16: Ed Richards
    74: Callum Porter

    Rookie draft
    9: Billy Gowers
    25: Roarke Smith

    It’s a tick on both the best available and the addressing needs front here.

    I was a little surprised they didn’t take Fogarty at pick 9, as he would have really added to their forward line, but Naughton will be an excellent key defender for them, and could play next year.

    Likewise, Richards continues their penchant for running half-backs, while Porter adds midfield depth.

    Aaron Naughton tall

    (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

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    The Crowd Says (79)

    • December 1st 2017 @ 8:16am
      Bob said | December 1st 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Pretty much every player taken before west coasts pick was a mid, so do you take the 11th best mid or one of the best talls? The eagles have quite a few potential young mids on their list (including first rounder from last year Venables) plus Ah-Chee so anyone they drafted at 13 was probably not going to play much this year.

      • December 1st 2017 @ 9:34am
        Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        With the fact Allen is ear marked as a mid(expect him to be compared to fyfe and bont in years to come) and as you said Bob we have a healthy amount of young mid potential already listed( Venables, partinfton, duggan, ah chee, sheed, Nelson etc) this draft made perfect sense. Perteculle though a project is fast by all accounts and again addressed a need list wise.
        Wce drafted for the now instead of bottoming out which as a fan I back 100%. We could’ve undertaken a mystical rebuild but that is a slap in the face of the talented mid 20s group we have already.

        • Roar Guru

          December 1st 2017 @ 2:55pm
          Dalgety Carrington said | December 1st 2017 @ 2:55pm | ! Report

          Another “new-Fyfe” on WC’s books eh? You guys don’t waste time anointing, do you. 😀

          • December 1st 2017 @ 3:04pm
            Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

            Well fyfe came in as a project player to go mid and also caught recruiters eyes with a excellent under 18 carnival so yeah comparison is warranted 😉 difference will be Allen will nail His shots on gf day when he gets the chance something nat failed to do 😀

            • Roar Guru

              December 1st 2017 @ 4:14pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | December 1st 2017 @ 4:14pm | ! Report

              Not so sure on the equivalencies with Fyfe at the same stages. Fyfe was a skinny wing/hff when he was drafted. The big question was whether he was big enough and was taken on his innate footy ability as well as kicking a bundle of goals in the Claremont Colts GF. He has pretty much grown in leaps and bounds since. Allen seems to have gone through his major growth spurt already, with a 20 cm burst in the past year or two I read.

              Allen could more easily be the new Mitch Thorp. But perhaps more generously he could be the new-new-Fyfe (aka new-Yeo…how did he go in his GF?) and half-back flank might be more his go. 😉

    • December 1st 2017 @ 9:29am
      Davo said | December 1st 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      Of the above I think Richmond did really well in the draft…I don’t see them sliding like the Bulldogs. I also like Norths draft Will Walker had a great second half to year and looks like a star in the making and played as well as his team mate Brayshaw when I saw them play. St Kilda for me where a little to conservative with their picks. I would have picked with one of their top ten picks Fogarty or Bonar who have more upside. Also West Coasts picks confuse me when they are crying out for Midfielders. The rest did as good as they could with their picks.

    • Roar Guru

      December 1st 2017 @ 10:07am
      Cat said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      Surprised everyone seems to be okay with St Kildas draft. In Clark and Coffield they have the two least talked about top 10 picks I can recall. The best anyone seems to say about them is they will be good solid players. Saints don’t need solid players about as much as North Melbourne do. They need stars. They need players who can the the identity of the team and bring people through the gates. A very meh draft for a very meh team.

      • December 1st 2017 @ 10:17am
        Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Saints look to be in for a fee more years of obscurity imo, they are an example of a team bottoming out and then needing to make every post a winner thru draft and trade which they seemingly are not achieving. Expect Richardson will be 1st coach under pump next year.

        • Roar Guru

          December 1st 2017 @ 10:32am
          Cat said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Probably should be but he just signed a contract extension to 2020 in August. Saints seem to be a team happy to not excel.

          • Roar Guru

            December 1st 2017 @ 10:49am
            AdelaideDocker said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            As much as I quite like the Saints, mediocrity does seems to be their ambition. Every other team aims for greatness (not intending to borrow the Cats slogan!), but St Kilda just aims for … goodness? Being simply okay? It’s frustrating to watch, to be honest.

            • December 1st 2017 @ 11:07am
              Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

              Fact roo was still arguably the most important player last season doesn’t really reflect well on list development.

            • December 1st 2017 @ 12:20pm
              Peter the Scribe said | December 1st 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              It is interesting to look at the graph differences for the Cats, Saints and Pies post 2009-2011 when they were all deep into finals…..three separate paths…plenty of opportunities for the Cats since but for all three clubs post 2011….no silverware. The Pies trajectory as widely debated around the Buckley contract extension, was down, the Saints?

              St Kilda

              2009 GF
              2010 GF
              2011 6th
              2012 9th
              2013 16th
              2014 18th
              2015 14th
              2016 9th
              2017 11th

              What does one make of that? Is 2017 an anomaly and then the rise picks up again?

              • December 1st 2017 @ 11:38pm
                Matto said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

                I don’t get the doom and gloom being talked about the saints here.
                Roo wasnt even their most important forward.
                They have a better young forward line than a lot of teams. Bruce and membry are a couple that spring to mind.
                They were 1 win from 7th. So 2017 wasnt an anomoly it was continued improvement.
                I remember a thursday or friday night game were they spanked a heavily favoured richmond that might have woken the tigers up at the right time.
                They also performed very well in their 2 games in Perth.
                Saints are fine. And anyone is kidding themselves if they think such an established orginisation in the AFL is “ok” with being average.

              • Roar Guru

                December 3rd 2017 @ 12:35pm
                Cat said | December 3rd 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                Two head coaches and the 7th year of a 5 year rebuild and still not even making finals. Pretty simple to see why most aren’t very impressed with the Aints.

              • December 3rd 2017 @ 8:38pm
                Matto said | December 3rd 2017 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

                Yeah, sacking a coach mid way through a rebuild just screams being happy with being average.
                Reset the 5 yr deadline for the new coach and people stop being so silly?

              • Roar Guru

                December 3rd 2017 @ 9:07pm
                Cat said | December 3rd 2017 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

                27 wooden spoons, more than double the next highest and a single flag in 144 years doesn’t exactly point to a club that seeks excellence.

              • December 3rd 2017 @ 9:45pm
                Matto said | December 3rd 2017 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

                Why are you talking about the VFL?

              • Roar Guru

                December 4th 2017 @ 5:13am
                Cat said | December 4th 2017 @ 5:13am | ! Report

                0 flags, 2 spoons and a whole lot of mediocrity in the AFL era. Not much improvement.

              • December 4th 2017 @ 10:16am
                Matto said | December 4th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

                Lack of success does always mean a lack of wanting it.

                Guess geelong only went 15+ yrs without a flag because they were ok with being average during that time.

                I rate your info on geelong, but as far as looking with both eyes at other teams. This thread is a good example.

              • December 4th 2017 @ 1:01pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | December 4th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

                Matto, Geelong went 44 years without a flag!!! Talk about the Pot and the Kettle Cat!

              • December 4th 2017 @ 5:35pm
                Mattyb said | December 4th 2017 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

                I personally consider the amount of wooden spoons the saints have won in the VFL really significant. I think they’re a really failed club that has some real challengers moving forward in a national comp.
                Geelong certainly went 44 years without the ultimate success but they have always been very competitive as a football side. Geelong have always been a very entertaining side to watch. The cliff is approaching but I’m not writing the Cats off just yet and suspect they’ll only fall mid table when the cliff comes.
                Only two clubs have impressed me pre season,Geelong and WC,no surprise there really,strong and successful clubs historically.

      • December 12th 2017 @ 4:29am
        Paul Thompson said | December 12th 2017 @ 4:29am | ! Report

        In one of the supposed weakest Drafts in AFL History ,please tell me which players ,after the Saints picks of 7&8, will become Superstars.

    • Roar Guru

      December 1st 2017 @ 10:21am
      gameofmarks said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      How could anyone have doubts about Petruccelle’s consistency in the long run. The kid only just committed to AFL full-time in 2017 and look what he achieved on the back of his limited experience. If anything WCE supporters should be excited about his potential (consistency) in the long run. The kid is raw and has a lot to learn, but he is certainly a quick study for the game and will undoubtedly get better and better. I think he will turn into another Matera for the WCE.

      Brander was a no brainer at pick 13 when he was still available. He was being touted as the #1 draft pick for the 2017 draft in 2016. but he had an inconsistent year and slipped down the pecking order. Glad we picked him up because he can play at both ends and looks like he can make an impact in his first year.

      As for mid fielders, I think that we have enough stocks in that department. We will have Yeo and Venables fighting it out for the spot in the middle. Shuey, Redden, Duggan and Sheed to fill the other on ball places. I think there is enough talent there to more than fill the mid field roles. And, in any case, when you have a ruckman like Nic Nat, he is only going to make our mid field look fast compared to the opposition with his hit outs to advantage.

      • December 1st 2017 @ 10:48am
        Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Well put GoM, I also reckon the changes in the coaching dept will be positive. Van berlo and Mitch will bring a new set of eyes for the direction the team takes in the positional development of our players. New voices and eyes are always a positive especially as we are undergoing a generational change as such.

        • Roar Guru

          December 1st 2017 @ 11:21am
          Cat said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          It’s interesting that West Coast has the highest number of players yet to debut (16 and 3 more than the next highest). Going to be some large swings between the Eagles best and worst I believe. Players rarely begin to show consistency of performance until they reach at least 50 or more games.

          Not every kid makes the step up from state league level to AFL either. Happens at every club. How many kids will Simpson be prepared to give extended runs to? Eagles definitely need to find out what they have with a good chunk of these untried players this year.

          • December 1st 2017 @ 12:56pm
            Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

            A step back next season is inevitable but I don’t think it will be dramatic, but by 2020 we’ll be right back in the mix if teams pushing hard.

            • Roar Guru

              December 1st 2017 @ 1:07pm
              Cat said | December 1st 2017 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

              Much will depend on how many games Simpson is willing to play the kids. Correct me if I am wrong but hasn’t Simpson, so far, picked the same players over and over despite many calling for others to be given a chance?

              • December 1st 2017 @ 1:59pm
                Jon boy said | December 1st 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                100% right there Cat both coaches in the West are exactly the same,hopefully be like Sydney and slowly rotate youth regularly utilize the whole list, cats Menegola 3 years at Freo not one Game, this years Sandover medalist 2 years not one game. I could go on and on about both cubs. Surely it must change.

              • December 2nd 2017 @ 1:02am
                Don Freo said | December 2nd 2017 @ 1:02am | ! Report

                You could mention the 10 to15 players that have played between 10 and 50 games over the last 3 years. Forgot them?

                You mention two guys on the rookie list, not the main selection list. Get familiar with this club, JonBoy. You keep wanting to comment on them but draw on 2 blokes that haven’t been there for 3 years.

              • Roar Guru

                December 1st 2017 @ 2:53pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | December 1st 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

                Jon boy, you’ve been called out on that Menegola guff before. He was injured or in early stages of recovery for near totality of his time on Freo’s list.

              • December 1st 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Mattician6x6 said | December 1st 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                I do believe wce after 2015 o verrated the list and went all in ( like freo, geel, port, adl), but identified this hence the trading into this years draft
                Also we have a strong tendency to wait till we view players are 100% ready to debut instead of throwing in at deepend, aswell as a lot of our recent draftees had a shocker year injury wise this season just gone so none where able to get consistent wafl form going.

              • December 4th 2017 @ 2:52pm
                Scorching said | December 4th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                Further to this WCE have just picked up 9-10 players in the draft who obviously havent had a chance to play yet

              • December 4th 2017 @ 7:49pm
                Mattician6x6 said | December 4th 2017 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

                Absolutely. This constant commentary that we lack midfield depth is a well worn line but when the list is broken down it becomes baseless. Yes we don’t have a danger, dusty, bont or fyfe but those blokes don’t grow on trees. Also our last great midfield took time from mid 90s to early 2000s to build, it isn’t overnight and takes some luck and risk taking along the way ( much like wce risk trading into this years draft)

          • December 2nd 2017 @ 1:52am
            Doctor Rotcod said | December 2nd 2017 @ 1:52am | ! Report

            There are a heap of retirees- sounds about right- so there are plenty of places to fill.
            I’m looking forward to Mitchell’s input in the midfield coaching role.
            Rioli and Ryan,Kennedy and Brander makes for a four or five goal a game pickup from 2017,especially with the fit Naitanui and Lycett roaming forward plus Petrucelle playing in a fully functional AFL team and not a TAC side

        • Roar Guru

          December 1st 2017 @ 4:04pm
          gameofmarks said | December 1st 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

          Yeh didn’t think much of Longmuir nor Cox for that matter. Their midfield strategy was too one dimensional. Forgot to include Ah Chee is the list of midfielders above. I reckon he is a real smoky. Love his handball.

      • December 1st 2017 @ 11:17am
        Davo said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

        I hope your right “gameof marks”. Venables best was exceptional before he was drafted. Just very inconsistent and was injury prone. I didn’t follow his progress last year, I have high hopes for him.

      • December 2nd 2017 @ 10:26pm
        Scott said | December 2nd 2017 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

        When I watched the draft I was originally furious of what we got. Now the dust has settled I’m seeing some good in this. I’m pretty sure west coast expected to get both Tim Kelly and Starcevich with 2 of their picks only to be sniped by Brisbane and Geelong. Oscar Allen was a bargain and I would’ve been happy had they used pick 13 on him. Kelly would’ve been the perfect bandaid for a sub-par midfield, but they’ll have to make do with what they’ve got now. Ah Chee I reckon was a steal. Coming into his 6th year and hasn’t been given a proper run in the midfield, mainly through port having perhaps the best group of inside midfielders. I see the long term potential in Brander now, but was absolutely furious they didn’t take Higgins. I still wish they had have. Brander has much more upside but Higgins is a guaranteed 250 game player imo. Looks like the kinda player that will win 5 or 6 b&fs and always be thereabouts on Brownlow night. Congrats Richmond. Willie Rioli or Ryan will step straight in, maybe both, giving West Coast one of the best forward lines. They have the best defence but we just gotta cross our fingers with this midfield. I still believe if Mitchell stayed one more season they would’ve given it a serious shake next year.

        • December 3rd 2017 @ 12:26pm
          Mattician6x6 said | December 3rd 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Afl site has a article up on who they consider best 22 at this point for round one ( a few could easily change) but it reads well imo, yeo going mid is still a what if atm as he has frustrated midfield before for his tendency to hold the ball to long or blaze away.

          • December 3rd 2017 @ 12:39pm
            Don Freo said | December 3rd 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

            The Freo side is a bit off. Tucker, Langdon and Hughes will all get gigs ahead of Spurr and Matera, as well as the 2 kids initially. Taberner or Apeness are likely to get a KP start rather than limit McCarthy there.

            • December 3rd 2017 @ 2:06pm
              Mattician6x6 said | December 3rd 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

              Agree don, I’ve viewed McCarthy as a Darling type with n riewoldts capacity to run up the ground, turn his opponent and run fast towards goal, he isn’t lmtd to key fwd imo.

            • December 4th 2017 @ 3:23pm
              dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | December 4th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

              I think Braiden Quartermaine’s potential Rd 1 line up in the Sunday Times yesterday is closer to the mark, but interesting that he left out Logue:


              I just don’t see Cerra and Bradshaw debuting in Rd1. And I’m not certain about Pearce going straight into the seniors. He may need a few games at Peel after such a long absence. I’m imagining those three replaced by Logue and Ballantyne and one other: not sure whether Hughes, Grey or Darcy.

              • Roar Guru

                December 4th 2017 @ 4:10pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | December 4th 2017 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

                Hopefully Pearce is able to get a few scratchies and preseason games as a lead in to round 1 and show/build some form. Same with Cerra and Brayshaw who, while it might be a stretch to take them to Adelaide, have the potential to make the leap up to AFL level fairly quickly.

              • December 4th 2017 @ 4:29pm
                Jon boy said | December 4th 2017 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

                Good call,Logue and Hughes have done little wrong ,should play before Johnno,fitter.faster,Future not going to improve playing WAFL. Crowden could easily play before Brayshaw and Cerra

              • Roar Guru

                December 4th 2017 @ 4:40pm
                AdelaideDocker said | December 4th 2017 @ 4:40pm | ! Report

                I’m with Dalgety. Would love to see Pearce (as well as our two top draftees) in a few pre-season games to build some form.

              • December 4th 2017 @ 5:44pm
                Mattyb said | December 4th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                AD or Dal,where do we see Pearce excelling next year? I’d still like to see him making the grade as a half forward?
                The Dockers certainly have the potential to improve more than any club in the league based on what’s there opposed to improvment offered by this years draft selections.
                Call me crazy but I think the Dockers should make the eight,if they don’t I’d be upping the pressure on Lyon and calling Anon as insightful.

        • December 4th 2017 @ 6:21pm
          Bungalow Bill said | December 4th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

          Yep, the fact is we finished 2017 needing to boost our midfield for 2018, everyone knew this, we needed pace and grunt. We didn’t address directly this for various reasons mentioned above. Post-draft everyone saying we have lots of midfield depth.. All the same names we had last season? – so who are our immediate walk-up starters – AhChee and Venables, presuming he stays fit and adapts to AFL quickly.
          Otherwise all newcomers are behind the mids we had last season, the ones that are supposed to be improving this season.
          A lot of ifs and maybes, but I do think Van Berlo+Mitchell will make a difference and Simmo has heralded a new look team with regards to being accused of playing the same old-same old.
          If AhChee+Venables come good quickly. If (maybe) YEo plays mid.
          If Sheed, Duggan and Redden improve.
          If either Brayshaw or Ainsworth come on quickly.
          If we get to use Petruccelles speed to good effect sooner than later – and arguably better than Jetta, who is another diamond waiting to shine, together with NicNat and Lycett, we might do okay and hang around the eight. But thats a lot of ‘Ifs’ to hang your hat on…

    • December 1st 2017 @ 11:25am
      David Apps said | December 1st 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

      Geeze guys, how sbout some alacrity for the Saints?

      • December 1st 2017 @ 2:33pm
        Jon boy said | December 1st 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

        Agree David i do not find St Kilda any more frustrating than my team,and i am sure they are searching for greatness,like mine. I think they are heading in the right direction.

    • December 1st 2017 @ 3:12pm
      Mattyb said | December 1st 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

      A really uninspiring list of names across multiple clubs,I’d suggest most of this years crop won’t see much AFL success but a few naturally might.
      For the dogs the selections point to where the club might feel they are headed in the next couple of seasons. I suspect the dogs plan to continue with a very defensive game plan and hope to evolve as a negative styled side.
      It looks like they might also have concerns with a few currently on the list. Collins looked slightly better towards the end of the season but the club must have massive concerns with his style of play in the modern game,Roberts inability to get a game would be a concern as would Adams ongoing injury problems as well as the possibility of him returning to Perth,this would explain Naughtons recruitment.
      With the rookie selections Smith was a no brainer although I would have liked to see him elevated to the main list while despite Gowers questionable skills,his hard work and attack on the ball make him worth a try. I would have liked the dogs to look at a mature aged player like Jamiason or Hayes,or even a left field choice of Braun from the Mornington League but you can only throw a lifeline to so many players.

      On the Dockers,my initial thoughts are they came out of the draft pretty poorly considering how they went in,but I’d put most clubs in that boat considering the talent to choose from,time will obviously tell in that regard.