Tag: bidding

2020 AFL Draft Preview: St Kilda Saints

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are still subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is St Kilda, a side which returned to finals action in 2020 under much loved coach, Brett Ratten. The Saints were again busy during trade period, bringing in a strong raft of readymade players through the door; headlined by the free agency coup of Brad Crouch, trade for Jack Higgins, and surprise recruitment of formerly retired defender James Frawley. Having addressed immediate needs for contested midfield support and key defensive depth, the Saints are well poised to challenge the top four in 2021 and can add long-term depth at the draft. Having only entered the equation at Pick 52 last year, St Kilda managed to hold onto a first rounder this time around, albeit slightly down the order, though there remains a big gap to the Saints’ next pick (64).

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 21, 64, 67, 74, 93

2021 PICKS*: STK Rd 1 | STK Rd 3 | STK Rd 4, RIC Rd 4

* – denotes as of December 3

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands



>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls


Outside runners
Long-term key defensive depth

(Pick 21)

The Saints have an opportunity to continue their upward trend by selecting a readymade prospect in the first round to add to their strong competition for starting spots. Alternatively, a long-term developmental choice may be in the offing as St Kilda now has enough top-end mature talent to consistently contend with the top teams. Should the Saints look at bringing in some outside support, Nathan O’Driscoll would be a shrewd choice given his incredible work-rate and defensive acumen from midfield. He played senior WAFL football on the inside this season, but looks like spending his early development on a wing.

Bailey Laurie is a creative forward runner with silky skills who could also fit the bill, but would likely be a half-forward in the short term. Although, he may be off the board at that point given the mounting first round interest in him. Another West Australian in Jack Carroll could then be a viable option, with his class and agility on the inside balanced by athleticism and skill on the outer. At 188cm, he is a great size and would provide the efficiency St Kilda is looking for off half-back or the wing before again transitioning into midfield. Similarly, the Saints might look to pounce on Caleb Poulter slightly early, with his range of weapons as a versatile tall midfielder appealing to many clubs. Jake Bowey, the son of former Saint Brett Bowey, could also get a look-in. He is a crafty small with quick skills and the toughness of his old man.

Outside of those options, the Saints could realistically place a bid on other clubs’ academy talents with this pick, despite not laying claim to any of their own. Hawthorn NGA hopeful Connor Downie fits the bill as a run-and-gun half-back/wingman who loves to take the game on, while diminutive Swans Academy gun Errol Gulden could also be the hard-running type St Kilda is after. The bids would likely be matched though, potentially warding the Saints off that option.


While Frawley covers St Kilda’s need for key defensive depth in the short term, there are many options available in the first round which could fill that void in the long-term. The problem for the Saints is that they are all likely to be snapped up well before Pick 21. Thus, St Kilda may look to trade up closer to the top 10 and have some 2021 stock which could appeal. The Saints’ future first rounder holds high value given how stacked next year’s crop looks to be, so may give them flex to conjure a trade and get into a better position to snare the likes of Zach Reid, Nikolas Cox, or Heath Chapman. Much further down the line, St Kilda’s two picks in the 60s could be packaged to move up the order and cap off a handy little draft haul, should an appealing prospect remain on the board.


Will St Kilda look to trade up and snare a key defender?

Will St Kilda look to build its midfield depth, or key position stocks with Pick 21?

How many of St Kilda’s late picks will be used?

Can St Kilda package its late picks to obtain greater, singular value?

Featured Image: 2019 Saints draftee Ryan Byrnes on the ball | Credit: (Retrieved from) St Kilda FC

2020 AFL Draft Preview: Richmond Tigers

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are still subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is Richmond, the reigning premier and most dominant team of the last five years. As has largely been the case over that time, the Tigers do not have any glaring list needs which require attendance at the draft, but will rather look to replenish their squad depth with a steady turnover of more mature players. In recent intakes, Richmond has done well to snare a highly-fancied prospect in the first round while also taking on some smokies at the back-end and also being impartial to an academy bid. While they won’t be massive players in this pool, there should be some good value to be had for the premiers.

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 17, 36, 61, 79, 97

2021 PICKS*: RIC Rd 1 | RIC Rd 2, STK Rd 2 | RIC Rd 3, GCS Rd 3

* – denotes as of December 2

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands


Maurice Rioli Jnr (father-son)

>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls


Long-term squad depth

(Pick 17)

With no glaring needs and some decent long-term midfield depth, the Tigers have a great opportunity to snare a slider or a players they rate highly at that range. Midfielders tend to be Richmond’s main type of choice at this range and that may again be an area which is bolstered given how the tall talent in this year’s pool falls. South Australian Tom Powell is arguably the most consistent ball winner available in the first round and is fresh off a SANFL Under 18s season in which he averaged over 35 disposals. He could be off the board, but would prove a very Richmond pick. Brayden Cook and Nathan O’Driscoll loom as developable options who could also come into consideration, with the former bolting into first round contention and the latter one whose range has been hotly debated. Cook looks likely to develop as a forward who thrives close to goal but can also play on the wing, while O’Driscoll is a hard-working midfielder who can play both inside and out. O’Driscoll could also be a half-back option early on, as Richmond needs long-term, much like fellow West Australian Jack Carroll. Carroll has garnered comparisons to Trent Cotchin, but has also cut his teeth off half-back. Richmond fans may wish for their club to target a tall and cover long-term depth there, but pick 36 may be a better range for that to happen.


The Tigers’ claim to a current first rounder, one for next year, and a couple more 2021 second-rounders makes them a team able to trade up if need be. However, the most likely live trade action from Richmond could surround if and when a bid comes in for father-son gun, Maurice Rioli Jnr. The son of Maurice Rioli is a small forward with great goal sense and defensive pressure, suiting Richmond’s game to a tee. While he is expected to attract suitors beyond Richmond’s current pick 36, he could also come into consideration for sides around that mark. That would set Richmond into action, looking to squeeze a pick in before the bid.


Where will a bid for Maurice Rioli Jnr come in?

Will Richmond target a tall with its second round pick?

Is another midfielder in the offing with pick 17?

Featured Image: Richmond father-son hopeful Maurice Rioli Jnr in action for St Mary’s | Credit: Keri Megelus/News Corp Australia

2020 AFL Draft Preview: North Melbourne

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are still subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is North Melbourne, a side which got busy during trade period amid great overall change at the club. After finishing 17th, the Roos gained access to pick two and have plenty of options to consider in their efforts to maximise this year’s draft haul. As it stands, North lays claim to the fourth-highest total draft points value heading into this year’s intake and has a great opportunity to form the base of what looms as a long rebuild under incoming coach, David Noble – though, those at Arden Street have different ideas. As was hardly the case on-field in 2020, North Melbourne will be an important player in what goes down during the draft period.

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 2, 11, 30, 39, 71, 81

2021 PICKS*: NM Rd 1 | NM Rd 2 | NM Rd 3 | BRI Rd 4

* – denotes as of November 30

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands



>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls


Key forward
Midfield depth

(Pick 2)

It seems North Melbourne’s options have been whittled down to three or four avenues at the top end, including the chance that the Roos part with pick two altogether. Should the draft order remain as is, Elijah Hollands seems the most likely to land at Arden Street. The dynamic midfielder/forward would add some spark to North’s engine room while also potentially developing as a forward early on. He is coming off an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear suffered during preseason, but North showed little hesitation in selecting Jy Simpkin with its first pick in 2016 when he missed his top-age year off a badly broken leg. Will Phillips is another midfielder in contention, but North may look to favour Hollands’ upside and versatility.

There is a chance that Adelaide opts to select local key forward/ruck Riley Thilthorpe with pick one, leaving Logan McDonald to be snapped up by the Roos. The West Australian key forward would suit North’s needs perfectly with Ben Brown fresh out the door, looming as a readymade option after thriving at senior WAFL level in 2020. The Roos also have Nick Larkey and are high on Charlie Comben, but the chance to snare this level of key position player does not come around often. Speaking of key forwards, the Kangaroos may well be the ones to bid on Western Bulldogs NGA talent Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, who is the consensus best player in the draft pool. A bid would inevitably be matched, but they may as well get it out of the way before snapping up their own player.


A lot of the above discussion could be washed by North Melbourne’s potential to split pick two into a couple of top 10 picks. It is well known that Essendon is a club looking to move right up the order with eyes on McDonald and Hollands, making North a prime candidate to deal with. The Roos should be looking to maximise their hand at the top end given the state of their squad, so obtaining two of Essendon’s three-consecutive top-10’ers would be ideal. The Roos may have to give something back, perhaps pick 30 to make it a fair trade, but could extract some great value with a total of three first round selections. Should they opt against that play, the Roos might also look to package picks 30 and 39 to move up the order, or even to bolster their hand for next year’s intake.


Will North Melbourne part with pick two?

Will North Melbourne target key position stocks at the top end?

Will North Melbourne make the most selections of any club?

2020 AFL Draft Preview: Fremantle Dockers

WITH the 2020 trade period done and dusted, it is now time for clubs and fans alike to turn their attention to the draft. Between now and draft day (December 9), clubs will have the opportunity to exchange picks until the final order is formed a couple of days out. While the chaos ensues, Draft Central takes a look at how each club may approach the upcoming intake opportunities with the hand they formed at the close of trade period. Obviously they are subject to heavy change, so perhaps we can predict some of that movement here.

Next under the microscope is Fremantle, a team which has fared phenomenally well at the pointy end of recent drafts to build one of the most vibrant young midfield groups in the competition. With sustained success among their Next Generation Academy (NGA) ranks, the Dockers again look set to bring in even more homegrown talent along with another valuable first round selection. A relatively quiet trade period has set some suspense ahead of draft night, with work to do to ensure Fremantle can extract the best possible outcome from its current hand and continue to build for the future. After a 12th place finish in 2020, the Dockers are clearly on the up.

>> Power Rankings: November Update

CURRENT PICKS*: 12, 32, 55
* – denotes as of November 24

>> Podcast: The current best AFL Draft hands


Brandon Walker (NGA), Chris Walker (NGA), Joel Western (NGA)

>> Podcast: The best academy/father-son hauls


Dynamic forwards
Key position depth

(Pick 12)

The fate of Fremantle’s first pick lies in some part with other clubs given there are are range of deals to be made which will help shape the top 10 picks. Sitting just outside that range, the Dockers have the terrific opportunity to snare a slider, pick the best available player, or secure a prospect which truly suits their list needs. Plenty of Dockers fans have been vocal about wanting 200cm utility Nikolas Cox with this pick, and for good reason. While their club currently boasts somewhat of an embarrassment of riches in defence, Cox looms as a long-term and genuine key position option who may also develop into the dynamic tall forward they require. Zach Reid is a similar player and former teammate of 2020 Rising Star Caleb Serong, but will likely be off the board at that stage.

Should Fremantle go down the medium-forward route, Archie Perkins would likely be a prime target. But along the same lines as Reid, he is expected to be snapped up within the top 10 picks with Essendon a prime candidate there. Oliver Henry could then be the Dockers’ man, another swingman type who thrives aerially and has a bit of x-factor. He is the brother of Geelong Cats defender, Jack and rates highly for upside. Local talent Heath Chapman is another who falls perfectly in Fremantle’s range, though the Dockers’ aforementioned defensive depth may ward them off that selection. Still, Chapman’s attacking prowess and athleticism could see him develop into a wingman or midfielder over time. Nathan O’Driscoll‘s range has gotten plenty of people talking and while he could be a good fit for the Dockers, picking him just outside the top 10 may be a stretch.


The Dockers currently rank 11th for total draft points value and may need to get busy at the live trade desk depending on how highly other clubs value their NGA products. Their current pick 32 will slide down to something more in the 35-38 range after earlier academy bids, which puts Fremantle at risk of not being able to get a selection in before others bid on both Brandon Walker and Joel Western. Pick 32 may be one to split in order to stay away from another case of points deficit, and future picks may also come into the fold. The Dockers currently hold their 2021 selections in each round so have some flexibility. There was also talk that Fremantle would look to rocket up the order and secure Perth key forward Logan McDonald, but juggling such a move looks highly unlikely.


What kind of player will Fremantle look for with pick 12?

Will Fremantle take any NGA players outside of Walker and Western?

Will Fremantle hold onto its current pick 32?

Could Fremantle be forced to take just one NGA player?

Will Fremantle table its 2021 selections?

Featured Image: Dockers NGA prospect Brandon Walker in action for the AFL Australian Under 17s | Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

AFL Draft Whispers: 2020 Edition

WITH this year’s AFL Draft less than a month away, the rumour mill has been in full swing as supporters turn their attention from trade period, to draft period. There is some early general consensus already, mostly pertaining to where prospects are ranked, but not necessarily where they may end up come draft time. In our November 2020 edition of AFL Draft Whispers, Draft Central takes a look at some of the key factors which may shape the top 10, as well as some of the queries pertaining to academy and father-son bids among the most compromised intake in history.

With pick one, Adelaide has selected…

Starting at the top, it is thought by many that the race for pick one honours has been narrowed down to two players. Given Adelaide boasts the first selection, local talent Riley Thilthorpe has been put forward as a safe choice, though Logan McDonald is marginally considered the better talent. Both are key forwards with senior state league experience this year who the Crows will be able to form their rebuild around. The ‘go home factor’ is a slight some Crows fans may have against McDonald, who is from Western Australia, though a local bias has hardly presented at the Crows previously and the 18-year-old seems to have no qualms about shifting interstate.

The other factor in this discussion is Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, the consensus best prospect in this year’s pool who is tied to the Western Bulldogs. Adelaide could keep the Dogs accountable by bidding with pick one, but may seek to market their ties to the top selection by simply taking a player they can actually access. Elijah Hollands is another in contention, a midfielder with plenty of x-factor who is coming off a long-term knee injury and actually supports the Crows.

‘The fantastic five’

It is well known that along with McDonald and Thilthorpe, three other top-end prospects have formed a breakaway group which clubs are jostling to gain access to. Aside from Ugle-Hagan, who will find his way to the Western Bulldogs regardless of where a bid is placed, Hollands, Will Phillips, and Denver Grainger-Barras are the players who join the two aforementioned key forwards in this exclusive group.

Hollands, who suffered a serious knee injury during preseason, was touted as a potential challenger to the number one spot, and looks likely to be North Melbourne’s favoured pick. He is a tall midfielder/forward with serious game-winning attributes which include athleticism and scoreboard impact. Sydney’s top five pick is likely to come down to one of Phillips or Grainger-Barras, with interest in an inside midfielder growing, rather than the taller options. That of course brings Phillips to the fore, a 180cm ball winner who cut his teeth alongside Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson in Oakleigh’s 2019 premiership side.

What will Gold Coast look for with pick five?

The Suns were one of the big improvers in 2020, thanks in no small part to their top-end draftees who managed to make an immediate impact at senior level. With pick five, they have the chance to bring in another talent who may do the same next year. It seems the Queensland-based outfit will look to prioritise another midfielder, and Phillips would be the obvious choice as arguably the best pure ball winner available. Though, with growing talk that he may already be taken by the time Gold Coast gets on the clock, Geelong Falcons product Tanner Bruhn could be their man. He was Vic Country’s Under 16 MVP in 2018 and despite repeat injury setbacks, has shown his class through midfield when fully fit. Gold Coast is also able to pre-list Academy member Alex Davies, a tall clearance winner, but may look towards balance in acquiring the hard-running, 183cm Bruhn.

Will Essendon trade into the top two?

Though the Bombers have done well to secure the services of Peter Wright at little cost, the key forward slot remains an area which depth is desperately needed. Essendon currently holds picks 7-9 and could become the first team since the expansion era to utilise three top 10 picks in one draft. It would make for a hell of a story, though Adrian Dodoro will inevitably look to squeeze even greater value out of that significant hand.

With a wealth of high-level talls available at the pointy end of the draft, the Bombers may look to package a combination of their current top 10 picks to move up the order and gain access to one of those elite key position forwards. For example, North Melbourne may be a team of interest as they are in need of as much fresh talent as possible. Thus, the Roos could send pick two to Essendon in exchange for two of those top 10’ers in order to maximise their hand. It will unlikely be that simple, but that kind of thinking is perhaps what Essendon will have to do to obtain the likes of McDonald or Thilthorpe, who could become pillar key forwards in future.

Will Thilthorpe slide to Adelaide’s pick nine?

Plenty of talk has surrounded the proposed two-horse race pertaining Adelaide’s pick one (see above), but what happens to Thilthorpe should the Crows favour McDonald? Depending on the final order of the top 10, the South Australian may end up as this year’s slider despite being considered a top five or six talent. Essendon could be a potential suitor, though are said to have eyes on a certain other prospect in moving up the board, while the likes of North Melbourne, Sydney, and Gold Coast may look towards the midfielders available. Thus, Thilthorpe could slowly slip back to the Crows at pick nine, which would be a massive result for last year’s bottom side. A long shot, yes, but possible.

Will clubs take all of their Academy/father-son talents available?

In short, no. With cuts to list sizes, it just is not feasible for many clubs with rich academy cohorts to take every talent available to them this year. We saw with Brisbane in 2019 that if another club is interested in their homegrown products and the price is too high, they simply will not match the bid.

That may be the case for Brisbane once again, while Adelaide is another team of interest this year. The Crows have access to Tariek Newchurch and James Borlase through the NGA system, while Luke Edwards is a potential father-son choice. The latter is said to be weighing up whether to nominate for the open draft, and Adelaide’s current top-ended draft hand suggests it is only considering taking two of the three players.

Fremantle will look to secure NGA talents Joel Western and Brandon Walker. After the Dockers’ pick 12, they only have picks 32, 55, and a couple in triple figures to match any potential bids, so might get a little busy before their picks are locked in. Otherwise, they may prioritise one over the other. Collingwood is in a tricky spot too, with Reef McInnes attracting some added attention after his draft combine exploits. The bid will have to be fair on the Magpies’ end, and ideally after their current picks 14 and 16.

The new bidding system: Implications for the 2015 draft

The system explained:

With the new system that has been announced this year, there’s been some confusion from fans over the implications it will have on their academy and father/son talents. The first part of this article aims to explain the system in an easy to understand manner, while the second will look at cases from the upcoming draft such as Jacob Hopper and Jack Silvagni.

To simplify a complicated system, if the player is bid on within the first round, you’ll either give the same or more for them than you would have under the old system. Whether you give the same or more is decided by how close your next selection is to the bid.

If it’s close, that selection alone will be enough to match – like under the old system.

If it’s not, then you will have to give more than just that selection. If you’ve got any questions or there’s something you’re not sure about with this new system, I’ll happily respond in the comments or you can ask me on twitter for a quicker reply.

Let’s look at 2012 for some examples, starting with Joe Daniher. With Daniher, Essendon held pick 10 and Port bid pickseven.

Each pick is assigned a points value – in this case, pick seven was worth 1,644 points. If Essendon wished to match that bid, they had to come up with a package that matched pick seven’s value minus the 20% discount, which ends up being 1,316 points.

As Essendon’s pick 10 was worth 1,395 points, 79 points more than the number they were required to match, they are able to use pick 10 to secure Daniher, like they did under the old system.

However Jack Viney from the same draft is a different story – under the old system Melbourne got a better deal for Viney than Essendon did Daniher.

The new system aims to ‘equalise’ the deal each club gets. Port also bid pick seven (1,644 points) for Viney, so Melbourne would need to match that.

Their selections following pick seven were 26, 48, 52 and 68 and with them they needed to match pick seven minus the 20% discount (1,316 points).

Pick 26 is only worth 729 points so it slides back to the end of the draft, leaving 587 points left.

Pick 48 (302) and pick 52 (246) are also given up , leaving 39 points left to match, which they can do by downgrading a selection. In this case, downgrading pick 68 (59 points) to pick 72 (19 points), yielding 40 points, enough to match the 39 required.

The result of this is that Melbourne would need to give up selections 26, 48, 52 and 68 for Viney and pick 72 (as well as three ‘end of draft’ selections), as opposed to the flat pick 26 of the past.

For picks outside the top 18, the 20% discount ceases to exist in favour of a flat 197 point discount – which is the discount for pick 18.

This essentially means that for every pick after 18, the discount becomes more and more generous relative to the bid – and towards the third round and beyond clubs will actually pay less for the player in question than they would before – which is fantastic news for Carlton fans.

With this structure, the discount steadily increases – hitting over 50% for pick 43 and at pick 56 it becomes 100%. Essentially, if a player is bid on at 56 or later, the club need only use their last selection on them.

For example, in 2012 North Melbourne bid pick 35 (522 points) on Lachie Hunter. The Bulldogs needed to match those 522 points, minus the 197 point discount – so the price to pay was 325 points.

Their pick 49 was worth 287 points, leaving a shortage of 38 points which could be matched by downgrading pick 50 (273 points) to pick 53 (233 points) – a downgrading yielding 40 points, more than the 38 required.

The final package would have been picks 49 and 50 for Hunter, a player originally bid on with pick 35, and pick 53.

An example of a club being better off under this system is the Dogs with Zaine Cordy in 2014. Fremantle bid pick 52 on Cordy (246 points) meaning the Bulldogs needed to match pick 52 minus the 197 point discount, equaling 49 points.

They could do this by simply downgrading pick 62 (123 points) to pick 67 (69 points), a downgrade of 54 points, above the 49 points required. The Bulldogs would essentially be giving up pick 62 for Cordy and pick 67 under this system whereas before they’d have given up pick 62 and received nothing with Cordy in return.


Implications for 2015:

Let’s look at Jack Silvagni first. If picks remain as they are, Carlton currently hold picks three, 22, 40, 58 and 76 so let’s assume they still do on draft day. If the bid on Silvagni is after 56, Carlton need only use their last selection for him.

But what if Silvagni has an excellent finish to the season and pushes for first round contention? If the bid is between picks 17 and 21, Carlton can directly match that with their second round pick, 22. If the bid is between picks eight and 16, they’ll need to give up 22 as well as downgrade pick 40.

But that is an unlikely scenario, as while Silvagni has shown some real potential, he’s not considered a first round talent yet, so let’s look at something more likely – that a club bids for Silvagni around pick 35.

Under the old system, Carlton would need to use 40 to match that. Under the new system, they’d be better off. They need to match pick 35 (522 points) minus their 197 point discount, making the price 325 points. Instead of giving up pick 40, worth 429 points, they can downgrade it to pick 64 (101 points).

As the downgrade yields 328 points, above the 325 required – it is acceptable and the final package would be Pick 40 for Silvagni (originally bid on at pick 35) and pick 64 – only a 24 pick downgrade for him.

If the bid for Silvagni falls after Carlton’s pick 40, the price they’d need to pay for him is progressively smaller, and the downgrade in selection needed will be less.

Bailey Rice is another who’s being widely discussed. As the Carlton fans have had their fun with Silvagni we’re going to assume he nominates St Kilda, who currently possess picks five, 24, 42, 60 and 78. Rice is considered an outside chance of being a first round prospect but more likely a second round type.

On the off chance a bid is placed on him around 15 (1,112 points), St Kilda would need to match that bid minus 20%, so the asking price would be 890 points. As pick 24 is only worth 785 points, there is a shortage of 105 points and St Kilda will need to make that up by downgrading their next selection, 42 (395 points) by 105 points – taking it down to pick 50 (273 points). The final package would be picks 24 and 42 for Rice (originally bid on at pick 15) and pick 50.

If, and this seems more likely, the bid on Rice is in the second round – say around pick 28, St Kilda will need to match pick 28 (677 points) minus the 197 point discount, making the price 480 points. St Kilda would have to give up pick 42 (395 points) and make up the remaining 85 points by downgrading pick 60 to 68, making the package Picks 42 and 60 for Rice (originally bid on at pick 28) and pick 68.

However, if that bid was pick 34 (542 points), the price would be 345 points, less than the value of St Kilda’s pick 42. Therefore St Kilda would not have to give it up flat, instead downgrading that pick 42 (worth 395 points) by 345 points to pick 69 (49 points). Thus the final package would be pick 42 for Rice (originally bid on at pick 34) and pick 69.

Now comes the more complicated case – and one that will effect GWS and potentially Sydney if Josh Dunkley nominates. Let’s look at GWS with Jacob Hopper and Matthew Kennedy though. Right now, GWS hold picks 12, 31, 49, 67 and 85. Hopper right now looks to be considered behind the top three, but in that batch between picks four to seven along with Callum Mills. Kennedy is much harder to judge, but from reports seems to be in the batch after Hopper between 8-12, depending on who you ask.

If the bid on Hopper is pick five, GWS will need to match pick five (1,878 points) minus 20%, so 1503 points. As pick 12 is only worth 1,268 points, there is a 233 point shortage that will need to be matched by downgrading pick 31 (606 points) to pick 44 (362 points).

GWS would then enter the bidding for Kennedy with only picks 44, 49, 67 and 85. If the bid for Kennedy is pick 12 (1,268 points), GWS will need to match that minus the 20% discount, so 1,015 points. As their current picks are 44 (362 points), 49 (287 points) and 67 (69 points) which only add up to 718 points, 297 points short of the target, GWS would not have enough to match the bid for Kennedy and to secure him would need to carryover that points debt to 2016 – which comes with some more strings attached and is not recommended!

If the bids on Hopper and Kennedy ended up being fiveand 12, GWS would need to finish 10th or lower to be able to match them with their base set of picks. When you consider that they aren’t the only two GWS academy players likely to attract bids, there becomes a compelling case for GWS to actively seek to bring in picks over trade week to ensure they can match any bid placed.

Given that GWS would need to finish 10th or lower to match bids of picks five and 12 without trading, Sydney are in a world of bother with Callum Mills and Josh Dunkley. If Dunkley doesn’t nominate, Sydney should be able to match for Mills alone, however if Dunkley does – and doesn’t slide towards draft day, they simply won’t be able to come up with the picks required without trading as their base set of picks will carry much less worth than those of GWS. Sydney will need to go into debt for 2016 or actively trade to be able to secure both – there really is not another alternative.

Brisbane are lucky that Ben Keays seems to be sitting just outside the top 10 for now, which means that they may get away with their second round pick and a 10 or so pick downgrade on their third round pick. That would cause some trouble regarding matching for Eric Hipwood and potentially Corey Wagner, Reuben William and Nate Dennis, however at this stage it looks like there’s a chance all three may be low enough for Brisbane to use their last pick or only a minor downgrade on a late pick for. That said, trading in a mid second rounder would likely alleviate all worry regarding matching for both Keays and Hipwood with picks outside the top 20, as with Jacob Allison eligible next year and likely a first round talent they are not going to want to go into debt.