The Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round of the AFL season is fast approaching this weekend.
Port Adelaide have seemingly cautioned Gold Coast against drafting top-five South Australian prospects Jack Lukosius or Izak Rankine.
Power list manager Jason Cripps said the club would likely attempt to poach the highly-rated pair should the Suns select them with pick two and three in the upcoming draft.
“If Lukosius and Rankine end up going to Gold Coast … we’re probably pretty happy to try to get them back in a few years’ time,” Cripps told AFL Trade Radio on Monday.
“It’s interesting because then it just becomes a two-horse race between us and the (Adelaide) Crows, as opposed to a Victorian kid that wants to come back home whose potentially got 10 options.
“That’s part of the discussion and strategy, but right at the minute we’re really comfortable with pick six.”
The apparent caution comes as Gold Coast faces another retention crisis with the loss of Tom Lynch (Richmond), Gary Ablett (Geelong), Jaeger O’Meara (Hawthorn) and Dion Prestia (Richmond) over the past three trade windows.
Lynch’s fellow co-captain Steven May could also depart the club this off-season after being linked with a move to Melbourne or Collingwood.
Given the likelihood neither Lukosius or Rankine will fall to pick six, Cripps said the Power would have no concern picking from Victorian Metro trio Max King, Bailey Smith and Ben King.
“We’re happy with any of the Victorian boys. We’re going to back ourselves in,” he said.
“It’s quite interesting at the moment because we’ve traditionally been really strong with retention, especially with Victorian guys.
“We’ve actually got a little bit of a challenge at the moment. We’re losing some South Australians in Jared Polec and Chad Wingard, which is a little bit unique.”
The first round of the AFL draft will be held on November 22 in Melbourne.