Tag: Jake Riccardi

2019 AFL Draft club review: GWS GIANTS

GIVEN the draft circumstances, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) GIANTS were able to make the most out of a hand they knew would be compromised with an elite talent coming into the club. Able to trade up to Pick 4 in order to avoid using their first pick on Northern Academy member Tom Green, the GIANTS instead nabbed the talented inside midfielder at Pick 10, and while they head into 2020 with a deficit, traded back into the 2019 National AFL Draft to snaffle up a couple of late selections. Like most sides that make a Grand Final, the GIANTS did not need to add too much, instead able to go best available, whilst adding some mature-age needs.

GWS GIANTS:

National Draft:
4. Lachlan Ash (Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country) | 187cm | 83kg | Medium Defender
10. Tom Green (GWS GIANTS Academy/Allies) | 190cm | 89kg | Inside Midfielder
51. Jake Riccardi (Werribee) | 194cm | 96kg | Key Forward
65. Thomas Hutchesson (Adelaide SANFL) | 177cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder

Rookie Draft:
15. Jake Stein (GWS Giants)
28. Tom Sheridan (GWS Giants)
36. Zachary Sproule (GWS Giants)

The GIANTS had already committed to redrafting their three players in Jake Stein, Tom Sheridan and Zach Sproule in the Rookie Draft, so the third day of action was nothing too exciting. Most of the GIANTS’ work was done on night one, with night two also featuring a couple of surprises. Knowing Green was all but safe from their first selection, the GIANTS would have been that bit more relieved when the Demons opted for Luke Jackson and not place a bid on the inside midfielder. It allowed the GIANTS to instead select Murray Bushrangers and Vic Country co-captain Lachlan Ash. He is a readymade talent with an elite right boot and great vision that can set up the play from half-back. By selecting Ash, GWS is able to hand Zac Williams more midfield minutes and continue the form he showed during the 2019 AFL Finals Series. Ash will rarely make too many mistakes by foot and takes the game on from half-back, able to slot straight into the GIANTS line-up.

When the bid for Green came in at Pick 10, the GIANTS did not need much time to think about it. In what could be akin to daylight robbery, the GIANTS picked up a genuine top five talent with a mid-first round selection. Like Ash, Green could slot in straight away if required, and even more so given he stands at 190cm and 89kg with deceptive athleticism. He is a hard man to bring down and bullocks his way around stoppages, allowing other midfielders to use their outside strengths. He has shown some signs he could also play as a leading forward if he was to rest there, and that would be another string to his bow and the team’s versatility.

With the final two picks in the AFL National Draft, the GIANTS scooped up a couple of mature agers, including Werribee’s key position forward Jake Riccardi after trading up to take him off Collingwood’s hands. While the Magpies were rumoured to be interested heading into the draft, the GIANTS were willing to pay up and took a punt on the forward to find a role in a strong front six that saw Jon Patton leave over the off-season. Along with Riccardi, the GIANTS liked what they saw with small but tough Adelaide midfielder, Thomas Hutchesson. The 177cm prospect is an outside player with neat skills, good decision making and most impressively, an eye for defensive pressure.

What the GIANTS achieved over the draft period was bringing in four talents of whom could all play in Round 1 if given the opportunity. Whilst there is no doubt that would be a tough feat given the strength of the side, it allows GWS to have extra depth at its disposal heading into a season where it has to be considered one of the premiership contenders.

2019 AFL Draft club review: Collingwood Magpies

ENTERING with an uninspiring hand and exiting with two steals of the National Draft, Collingwood supporters and staff alike should count themselves as one of the big winners out of the 2019 AFL Draft. Much of the talk around the Magpies coming in was that they would take a tall with their first pick, but with two sliders up for grabs and the high premium on key position players, they opted for a different and just as fruitful route.

National Draft:
40. Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) | 185cm | 83kg | Balanced Midfielder
45. Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) | 178cm | 73kg | Midfielder/Defender
55. Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Western Australia) 192cm | 75kg | Defender/Midfielder

Rookie Draft:
Nil.

A diverse group of draftees with enormous skill and upside combined, Jay Rantall (pick 40), Trent Bianco (45), and Trey Ruscoe (55) provide enormous value for the price payed. After Port Adelaide pulled arguably the shock of the first round in selecting Mitch Georgiades at pick 18, the Collingwood recruiting team would have hoped that the likes of Harrison Jones and Charlie Comben would sneak down to its next selection at 40. With that not to be and with some crazy talent still on the board, it seemed that the strategy shifted from targeting a tall, to nabbing the best available sliders – and boy did the Magpies do that. Rantall and Bianco proved too hard to ignore with picks in the 40s, and the aforementioned shift was confirmed as the Pies traded down with GWS to allow the GIANTS to select Jake Riccardi – another key forward linked to Collingwood’s first pick.

Rantall brings elite running ability to the table having broken the 2km time trial record at this year’s National Combine, giving him huge upside having transitioned from a junior Australian basketball career. The promising midfielder could spend some time on the outside as he develops, filling a gut-running role akin to Steele Sidebottom and Tom Phillips, but looked most damaging at Under-18 level when bursting through the middle and delivering forward. Bianco, a lifelong Magpies supporter is one of the best users by foot in this year’s crop, providing a mix of precision and penetration in his disposal. The 2019 Oakleigh Chargers’ premiership captain continues the longstanding partnership between the Chargers and Magpies, and is a terrific story having landed at the club he supports after training there during pre-season. Both Rantall and Bianco were names in the late-first round mix, so are nothing short of steals at this range.

West Australian Ruscoe is a versatile option who looks like being a new-age defender as he steps up to the next level. Filling more of a key defensive post for the Black Ducks this year, Ruscoe is the perfect size for that intercept/rebound defensive role which has been taken up by the likes of Matthew Scharenberg and Jeremy Howe of late. But with the size, ability, and endurance to roam through the midfield, Ruscoe could really be anything with time in the elite system and is a shrewd choice later in the draft.

Having passed on making rookie selections – including not re-listing Lynden Dunn – do not be surprised to see the Magpies top up their key position stocks with a mature-ager or improving 19-year-olds with supplementary picks or in next year’s mid-season draft. But with Darcy Cameron now in the fold and a settled side firmly in the premiership window, this was a well executed draft haul that points toward sustained success.

2019 National AFL Draft: Round 2-5 selections

WITH Round 1 selections done and dusted on Wednesday night, Thursday hosted the remainder of the 2019 AFL National Draft, as we look a the top Australian rules talent being picked up across Australia. Below is every pick from the beginning of Round 2 with plenty of analysis to come on Draft Central over the next week.

For picks 1-21, check out the Round 1 Selections.

ROUND 2

Pick 22 – Brisbane Lions – Deven Robertson (Perth/Western Australia) | 184cm | 81kg | Inside Midfielder
Pick 23 – Port Adelaide – Dylan Williams (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) | 186cm | 81kg | Medium Forward
Pick 24 – Adelaide Crows – Harry Schoenberg (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia) | 182cm | 83kg | Inside Midfielder
Pick 25 – Port Adelaide – Jackson Mead (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia) | 183cm | 83kg | Balanced Midfielder
Pick 26 – Sydney Swans – Will Gould (Glenelg/South Australia) | 192cm | 106kg | Tall Defender
Pick 27 – Gold Coast SUNS – Jeremy Sharp (East Fremantle/Western Australia) | 189cm | 81kg | Midfielder/Defender
Pick 28 – Adelaide Crows – Josh Worrell (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 195cm | 83kg | Key Position Utility
Pick 29 – Hawthorn – Finn Maginness (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 189cm | 82kg | Inside Midfielder
Pick 30 – Essendon- Harrison Jones (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro) | 196cm | 78kg | Key Position Utility
Pick 31 – North Melbourne – Charlie Comben (Gippsland Power/Vic Country) | 199cm | 84kg | Ruck
Pick 32 – Melbourne – Trent Rivers (East Fremantle/Western Australia) | 188cm | 83kg | Defender/Midfielder
Pick 33 – Brisbane Lions – Brock Smith (Gippsland Power/Vic Country) | 189cm | 82kg | Tall Defender
Pick 34 – North Melbourne – Jack Mahony (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 178cm | 72kg | Midfielder/Forward
Pick 35 – North Melbourne – Flynn Perez (Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country) | 188cm | 81kg | Outside Midfielder
Pick 36 – Sydney Swans – Elijah Taylor (Perth/Western Australia) | 188cm | 77kg | Medium Forward
Pick 37 – Brisbane Lions – Keidean Coleman (Brisbane Lions Academy/Allies) | 183cm | 75kg | Medium Defender
Pick 38 – Essendon – Nick Bryan (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) | 202cm | 87kg | Ruck
Pick 39 – Sydney Swans – Chad Warner (East Fremantle/Western Australia) | 183cm | 83kg | Inside Midfielder
Pick 40 – Collingwood – Jay Rantall (GWV Rebels/Vic Country) | 185cm | 83kg | Balanced Midfielder
Pick 41 – Geelong – Francis Evans (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro) | 182cm | 78kg | Medium Forward
Pick 42 – Adelaide Crows –  Ronin O’Connor (Claremont/Western Australia) | 192cm | 83kg | Inside Midfielder
Pick 43 – Richmond – Noah Cumberland (Brisbane Lions Academy/Queensland) | 183cm | 79kg | Medium Utility
Pick 44 – Richmond – Will Martyn (Brisbane Lions Academy/Queensland) | 185cm | 83kg | Outside Midfielder

ROUND 3

Pick 45 – Collingwood – Trent Bianco (Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro) | 178cm | 73kg | Midfielder/Defender
Pick 46 – Richmond – Hugo Ralphsmith (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 188cm | 75kg | Forward/Midfielder
Pick 47 – Carlton – Sam Ramsay (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro) | 180cm | 72kg | Balanced Midfielder
Pick 48 – Adelaide Crows – Lachlan Gollant (Calder Cannons/Vic Metro | 191cm | 72kg | Outside Midfielder
Pick 49 – West Coast Eagles – Callum Jamieson (Claremont/Western Australia) | 199cm | 84kg | Ruck
Pick 50 – Geelong – Cameron Taheny (Norwood/South Australia) | 185cm | 80kg | Medium Forward
Pick 51 – GWS GIANTS – Jake Riccardi (Werribee/VFL) | 194cm | 96kg | Key Forward
Pick 52 – St Kilda – Ryan Byrnes (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 182cm | 84kg | Balanced Midfielder
Pick 53 – Western Bulldogs – Louis Butler (Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro) | 185cm | 75kg | Medium Defender
Pick 54 – Richmond – Bigoa Nyuon (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country) | 195cm | 87kg | Key Position Utility

ROUND 4

Pick 55 – Collingwood – Trey Ruscoe (East Fremantle/Western Australia) | 192cm | 75kg | Defender/Midfielder
Pick 56 – Essendon – Ned Cahill (Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country) | 179cm | 78kg | Small Forward
Pick 57 – Hawthorn – Josh Morris (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia) | 186cm | 76kg | Medium Forward
Pick 58 – West Coast Eagles – Ben Johnson (West Perth/Western Australia) | 178cm | 68kg | Small Defender
Pick 59 – Brisbane Lions – Jaxon Prior (West Perth/Western Australia) | 189cm | 82kg | Tall Defender
Pick 60 – Gold Coast SUNS – Jy Farrar (Adelaide SANFL/South Australia) | 191cm | 79kg | Tall Utility
Pick 61 – Fremantle – Minairo Frederick (Woodville-West Torrens/South Australia) | 183cm | 71kg | Outside Midfielder
Pick 62 – Western Bulldogs – Riley Garcia (Swan Districts) | 177cm | 70kg | Balanced Midfielder

ROUND 5

Pick 63 – Essendon – Lachlan Johnson (Oakleigh Chargers) | 176cm | 74kg | Small Utility
Pick 64 – St Kilda – Leo Connolly (Gippsland Power) | 181cm | 74kg | Outside Midfielder
Pick 65 – GWS GIANTS – Tom Hutchesson (Adelaide SANFL/South Australia) | 177cm | 75kg | Outside Midfielder

AFL Draft whispers: 2019 edition

AS with every year, the build up to the AFL National Draft always sees late draft talk emerge as the finalising of lists takes place, particularly at the top-end. We recap what is happening in and around the AFL Draft space in the closing hours.

CROWS THE KEY TO FIRST ROUND

Adelaide looms as the club to shape the first round, with the Crows weighing up between Fischer McAsey and Dylan Stephens. While McAsey seems to be the choice for Adelaide, Stephens would also fill a need. More importantly, if McAsey remains on the board, clubs like Geelong and Gold Coast, or perhaps even Hawthorn will look to shuffle up a few picks and do a deal to secure the Sandringham Dragons tall.

FREMANTLE TO PACKAGE UP VIC COUNTRY DUO

Whilst it was one of a number of rumours coming out over the past 36 hours, the Dockers are all but expected to snap up Hayden Young and Caleb Serong regardless of how the early picks pan out. With Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson, Luke Jackson, Lachlan Ash and Sam Flanders expected to be the first five names called out, and Adelaide considering McAsey or Stephens, Fremantle will be safe knowing they can snap up the elite kicking Young and incredibly consistent Serong.

TALL TIMBER ASSEMBLE

With Jackson, McAsey and Josh Worrell assured in the top 20, and Harrison Jones and Sam De Koning also thereabouts, up to five players 194cm or taller could land at and AFL club in that range. It is also believed that Mitch Georgiades could attract a club like Geelong in the mid 20s, which would also give some others thoughts about how early they pull the trigger on the likes of Charlie Comben, Dyson Hilder, Karl Finlay and Jake Riccardi.

GOULD AND DAY TO REMAIN IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA?

Much has been talked about the South Australian Under-18 captain Will Gould sliding down the order out of the first round, with some believing he could end up in the 30s. However the man with the elite penetrating boot is believed to be in Adelaide’s thought with their back-to-back picks in the 20s. With Gold Coast also keeping a close eye on how the draft pans out, it is now believed he will be snapped up in those picks. Meanwhile, Will Day is expected to land at Port Adelaide with the Power’s first selection, but Hawthorn could play the role of spoiler with the selection right before.

BLUES CONSIDER TRADE OPTIONS

If McAsey remains on the board at Carlton’s selection, expect the above clubs to come knocking. While Carlton is believed to have settled on Stephens at the pick, the Blues might look to move back a few picks to secure a couple of needs rather than wait for the large gap between their first and second picks.

DEES AND DOGS TO EYE OFF SMALL FORWARDS

It is not so much a whisper as it has become public knowledge, but both Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs are keen on obtaining a small forward with their respective first round selections at Pick 10 and 13. The Demons have first crack and are tipped to be favouring Kysaiah Pickett, but Cody Weightman is still very much in the frame. The Dogs will likely pick the player that slips, though Miles Bergman is another consideration – not withstanding the fact that both Hawthorn and Port Adelaide make selections between the two clubs.

HAWKS TO OPEN UP FIRST ROUND

While many pundits seem to have the top 10 close to worked out, Hawthorn is the first club that has many experts scratching their heads. Brodie Kemp is a high possibility, with Day also a consideration. They could well look at the sliding Deven Robertson, or perhaps they look at one of the number of small forwards floating around. Worrell will still be on the board and might be someone the Hawks look to for height, but depending on the Hawks’ move, that will change the drafting landscape.

SWANS TARGET SPEED

Sydney is looking to add speed to its list with West Australian Elijah Taylor and Northern Knights speedster Sam Philp among those players the Swans are considering for their two picks in the second round. While it is believed Flanders will be the Swans’ first selection, Sydney will look to bolster its midfield and forward group with Philp and Taylor.

MAGPIES, BOMBERS TARGET TALLS

While Harrison Jones might be a target for Collingwood to replenish its key forward stocks, the Magpies will need to find a way back into the first round by giving up their 2020 first rounder. If they cannot move from their second round pick, Collingwood may look to Subiaco’s Georgiades – who is now believed to be possibly off the board – while also being heavily linked to Werribee’s Riccardi at the next selection. They have to be wary of Essendon who has two picks just ahead of the Magpies, and while one is believed to be used on an inside midfielder – such as South Australian MVP Harry Schoenberg who the club has been linked to – they will likely try and snap up a tall whether that is Riccardi, Emerson Jeka or Comben.

ROOS WELL POSITIONED FOR A FEW SLIDERS

North Melbourne has traded its way into having a successful draft hand so it now holds three picks in the second round within close succession of each other. They can address multiple needs with speed, skill and perhaps a tall all on the agenda. Yesterday there was suggestion South Australian tall Will Gould might be there and while it is a possibility, Adelaide is expected to pounce first. Philp or Schoenberg are a couple of others who may come into consideration to recruit ahead of their rival clubs.

‘RUNNING MAN’ TO GIVE TIGES SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels’ midfielder Jay Rantall, dubbed the ‘running man’ is in first round considerations with Richmond holding the final pick inside night one. While the Tigers are expected to select Cooper Stephens or West Australian Trent Rivers with the selection, Rantall is still in the mix. The talented clearance player and fierce tackler will likely land somewhere early in the second round between Gold Coast to Adelaide’s selections with the three clubs occupying the first four picks of night two.

LIONS’ GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE

Not often are clubs in such a good draft position that they might have to think about how to add Academy selections to the list without matching bids, but that could well be the case for Noah Cumberland, Keidean Coleman and Lachlan Johnson. The Lions have expressed interest in both Cumberland and Coleman, while Johnson has been nominated as a possible rookie. Add in the fact the likes of Will Martyn and Bruce Reville – members of the academy – have been nominated and they will have to manage their senior and rookie lists carefully.

EAGLES AND SAINTS PLAY THE WAITING GAME

Unfortunately for the two clubs that enter the draft last and with little impact in terms of picks, there is not a great deal happening. But both clubs were busy during trade week and therefore have been forced to move on many of their picks. The Eagles would look to pick up a surprise slider or a mature-age talent to continue their push for a flag, while the Saints will likely pick best available when they enter at Pick 51. Both might consider trading down for a couple of picks to ensure they can have a couple of top 70 players. St Kilda will have Bigoa ‘Biggy’ Nyuon to look forward to late in the draft or even as a free rookie selection.

2019 AFL Draft Preview: Western Bulldogs

WESTERN Bulldogs are coming off a much-needed finals series after a premiership three years ago where since that memorable day in 2016, the Dogs have not been able to maintain the rage. Showing some promising signs in the second half of 2019, the Western Bulldogs filled holes at either end of the ground by bringing in Alex Keath and Josh Bruce to fill key defensive posts, with perhaps one more needed in the defensive 50 to sure it up. They could also consider a small forward or outside player with some speed and skill to complement their exciting young list which is building towards something special.

CURRENT PICKS: 13, 53, 89, 107, 125.

NEXT GEN ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS – COMBINE INVITES: Nil.

LIST NEEDS:

Small forward with speed and skill
Tall Defender
Midfield depth

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:

The Dogs enter the draft at pick 13 which means there should still be plenty of talent on the board. They would consider Sandringham Dragons talls, Fischer McAsey and Josh Worrell, the latter of whom should at least be on the board then. Luke Jackson could have teamed up with fellow West Australian Tim English in the ruck over the next decade to be the most exciting ruck partnership but he will most certainly be gone by the time Pick 13 rolls around given Melbourne’s intent to take him. In terms of their smaller options, Cody Weightman might be a consideration, as would Miles Bergman and Kysaiah Pickett, two of whom should be there at Pick 13 – depending on what Melbourne does – or perhaps a bid on Liam Henry if one has not already been placed.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

Potentially they could trade down on draft night if the talls are gone and pick up a couple of players to fill needs. There are a few clubs who might be able to work something out, but Geelong with picks 17 and 24 will probably be the closest to what the Dogs would want, though the Cats are more keen to move further up using pick 14 packaged with 17. Realistically they will stay where they are, take a top talent with 13 and then see what is available at 53, or split that pick for a couple of picks marginally down the order.

REMAINING CROP:

By the time pick 53 rolls around it will be hard for anyone to predict what might be on the board. In terms of talls, Emerson Jeka is a possibility, as is Callum Jamieson, both of whom could be long-term key prospects. They might look at more mature-age talent like Williamstown’s Joel Ottavi or giving former Eagle, Luke Partington a lifeline. If Ned Cahill was still on the board – which is unlikely – the Dogs would pounce, or they might eye of the likes of Jai Jackson or Riley Baldi who can hit the scoreboard and apply pressure to the opposition. If the Bulldogs opt for slightly taller forward options, South Australian duo Callum Park and Josh Morris, Western Jets’ mid/forward Josh Honey and Dandenong Stingrays’ utility Lachlan Williams might be considerations. More mature-age prospects are Sam Lowson and Jake Riccardi for a medium and taller option respectively.

2019 AFL Draft Preview: West Coast Eagles

WEST Coast heads into 2020 as arguably the most balanced list across the competition, with depth across most positions and adding Tim Kelly to a side that was already a premiership contender signals what they might be capable of next year. However everything comes at a cost and grabbing yet another A-grade midfielder has cost them their seat at the draft for the vast majority, placed in the 2019 AFL Draft with picks 46, 91, 108 and 126 – the worst of any club in the competition. The big plus is them not needing a great deal, with only players to replace other ageing talents as the main goal.

CURRENT PICKS: 46, 91, 108, 126.

NEXT GEN ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS – COMBINE INVITES: Nil.

LIST NEEDS:

Overall depth

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:

Coming in at pick 46, it is difficult to determine who might be there by then, and what the Eagles might look at. They might try and add a mature-age prospect to further strengthen their list and bring an immediate player into the fold. Whether that could be a Cole Gerloff or a Frank Anderson to add something in multiple positions, or if they go taller for key utility Joel Ottavi or key forward Jake Riccardi, it is certainly a pick that could go either way. If the Eagles look to youth, the talls available might be Charlie Comben, Callum Jamieson or Nick Bryan who could fill a long-term role as forward-rucks, or going smaller, if Sam Philp is still there they might pounce, or look locally to the likes of Jake Pasini, Riley Garcia, Chad Warner or Trey Ruscoe to fill a need. If high-flying Mitch Georgiades was still on the board, West Coast would have to consider him as a long-term key forward replacement.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

There is not much the Eagles can do other than trade down to try and bridge the gap between their first and second picks. The Eagles could try and swing a deal with next year’s picks but might struggle given their draft placement, and will more likely head to the draft with one or two picks in the third or fourth rounds, which is the downside of being a strong side that has added more class and talent to its list over the off-season.

REMAINING CROP:

As mentioned, the Eagles could well trade down, but if predicting pick 46 was difficult, then 91 or any others the Eagles use are near on impossible. They will just have to assess which players are left by the time their pick rolls around, but be comfortable in knowing the evenness of the draft in the second half means they could get a fourth round value pick in the seventh round. They will have a chance to snap up some players before the rookie draft which is always a bonus, and may well pick up a slider from a player who due to injury or other circumstances might be floating around. Riley Garcia is a local player who while he should be off the board before then, would be one too hard to ignore, while Isaac Wareham is another who could add a long-term need to the team. Ben Sokol is a readymade forward who has been dominant in the WAFL this season, while a sliding injured tall like Jack Bell could potentially fall in their laps. It is difficult to calculate, but the Eagles will at least be able to find some diamonds in the rough despite the late picks.

*Picture credit: Michael Farnell – Sports Imagery Australia

2019 AFL Draft Preview: Essendon Bombers

ESSENDON heads into the 2019 AFL National Draft with a couple of solid picks in the second round, but nothing that will net the club an immediate solution. The Bombers have some flexibility when it comes to live trading both through the second and fourth rounds potentially, with two clumps of picks together for their selections. Despite having a couple of players potentially leaving the club over the off-season, those trades did not occur and they remain relatively intact from their finals season this year and will be hoping to finally break the winless finals drought in 2020.

CURRENT PICKS: 31, 33, 61, 64, 65

NOMINATED ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS: Nil.

LIST NEEDS:

Inside Midfielder with skill
Outside Midfielder
Key forward
Goal kicking pressure forwards

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:

The Bombers enter the draft at Pick 31, and will have two selections within three picks in order to likely pick up a couple of midfielders, or a midfielder and a forward. Ideally, an inside midfielder with some pace like Jay Rantall or Sam Philp if available would be perfect for the Bombers, or they might look to a Hugo Ralphsmith to add both the midfield and forward elements to their side. Thomson Dow is another name Bombers fans might want to keep in mind, while if any of Elijah Taylor or Cameron Taheny slide, you would expect Essendon would want to secure them into the forward line. Similar to Collingwood, Essendon is in a bit of no-man’s land for talls, with really Harrison Jones or Jake Riccardi the two possible selections, though Jones may be off the board.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

The Bombers could package up their two picks in the 30s for one in the 20s, whether that be North Melbourne’s 26 or 27, Sydney’s 25 or Geelong’s 24, or they could trade down their Pick 33 to try and grab a couple of Richmond’s three picks between 38 and 41. It does feel like they need to do something on the night to put themselves in contention with many of the names raised above a worry to be off the board.

REMAINING CROP:

Ideally Essendon fans would want to walk away from the draft with at least one tall, particularly forward. Charlie Comben can play both ruck or forward, but is rated in between the two clumps of picks, while Mitch Georgiades, Cooper Sharman and Liam Delahunty are others who have athletic talent in different ways. Emerson Jeka is another name the Bombers might consider, but like the others is likely to fill somewhere in between the clumps of picks which means they might opt to do some live trading. From the non-talls perspective, Ronin O’Connor, Jai Jackson and Darcy Chirgwin are others who provide great pressure in different areas of the ground, while Lachlan Stapleton or Josh D’Intinosante could be great late pick-ups that provide that forward pressure and ability to play through the midfield.

2019 AFL Draft Preview: Collingwood Magpies

COLLINGWOOD heads into the 2019 AFL National Draft with a less than inspiring draft hand which means the 2018 Grand Finalists and 2019 Preliminary Finalists will need to get creative with their picks. Luckily for the Magpies, they have been two kicks away from a flag and a second Grand Final, so the strength in the list is there, with just depth needed across the board. They need to address a lack of key position players, with both form and injuries taking a toll, particularly a lack of key position forwards, and perhaps another ruck – though they acquired Darcy Cameron in the off-season. Otherwise some speed and skill around the ground to replace the recently retired or ageing stars most of whom possessed pace with enough elite inside midfielders at the Magpies’ disposal.

CURRENT PICKS: 35, 62, 74

NOMINATED ACADEMY/FATHER-SONS: Nil

LIST NEEDS:

Key position depth – forward first priority
Ruck depth
Fast and skilful half-back or half-forward

FIRST PICK OPTIONS:

At Pick 35, the Magpies will either need to hope there is a slider or perhaps pluck out a surprise player at the selection. West Australian Mitch Georgiades could well slide into that range, which would be a risk given he missed all of his top-age year, but his athleticism and high flying marks would certainly provide the Magpies with something different from a tall. However he is not the traditional key forward height, so if Harrison Jones is available he might be the first choice, while Jake Riccardi might be considered here, though they could hope he slides to their next selection. A couple of left field choices could be Fraser Phillips or Karl Finlay, with the former providing some X-factor and skill inside 50, while the latter provides the rebounding key position depth in defence.

LIVE TRADE OPTIONS:

The Magpies need to do something as they seem to be stuck in the AFL Draft’s version of no-man’s land. They are just beyond the picks likely to secure a key position player they need, and ahead of the next batch which might be 10-20 picks below. This means Collingwood will need to either trade up – perhaps looking at Brisbane’s Pick 21 for a second rounder in 2020 along with their Pick 35, or one of North Melbourne’s Pick 26 or 27 to try and secure one of their key targets. Or perhaps the Magpies will trade down, offering up Pick 35 to perhaps Brisbane again who might want another pick before they need to match their Academy picks, which Picks 48, 52 and 55 are there, or more likely perhaps a Hawthorn with Pick 42 or 54.

REMAINING CROP:

With what the Magpies have left, they could hope Riccardi slides to Pick 62, or perhaps snatch up another available tall such as Charlie Comben, Nick Bryan or Callum Jamieson, or Cooper Sharman if the tall forward is on the board. Dyson Hilder down back could be a consideration if around, or Jake Pasini. If they go smaller, perhaps the Magpies pluck out a school footballer again with a Derek Hine special – picking up a Louis Butler or Kaden Schreiber. One player to keep an eye on is Angus Baker with the Canberra Demons’ half-back a terrific user of the ball and one that the Magpies would be keen to snap up as he fills an immediate role in the side. While their picks are not great, the Magpies can look to mature-agers and plug holes where required.

VFL weekly wrap: Top-of-the-table thriller at Punt Rd goes Richmond’s way

RICHMOND cemented their place at the top of the Victorian Football League (VFL) ladder following a three-point victory over the Bombers in Round 8, while Collingwood returned to the winners list for the first time since Round 1.

Collingwood 12.7 (79) defeated Box Hill 9.11 (65)

The Magpies overturned a one-point deficit at three-quarter-time to storm home to their second win of the season. In a tight match, Box Hill held the largest margin of three goals midway through the third term. With Collingwood’s senior list decimated due to injury, it was largely the VFL stars who turned the tide and lead the black and white to the win. Former Blue Andrew Gallucci, Sam Glover and Callan Wellings all kicked two goals each when the match was there to be won, while Lachie Howe stood out in the ruck with 38 hitouts, a goal, and 20 disposals. Josh Daicos had 34 disposals for the Pies, pushing his case for a senior recall. Box Hill’s Jackson Ross sits equal top of the Frosty Miller Medal standings after another four-goal display.

Geelong 20.11 (131) defeated Coburg 7.12 (54)

Geelong smashed Coburg at home to the tune of 77 points. The Cats lead all day but it was the second quarter where the majority of the damage was done, with Geelong booting seven goals to one. Coburg’s task wasn’t made any easier with an injury to small forward Sam Lowson, who still managed to kick two goals. It was a day to remember for Nathan Krueger as he slammed home six majors while Blake Schlensog, Jake Tarca, and Jackson McLachlan all contributed three each. The latter also had 25 disposals in an impressive display, with Cats VFL coach Shane O’Bree comparing him to Tom Atkins.

Richmond 10.10 (70) defeated Essendon 10.7 (67)

The match of the round took place as a curtain raiser to Dreamtime at the ‘G just 200m across Yarra Park at Punt Rd. Richmond led all day but almost fell over at the final hurdle as the Bombers mounted a last-quarter comeback, booting four goals to one. The Tigers managed to hold on however to remain the only undefeated side in the competition. Mabior Chol dominated with 22 touches, a goal and 22 hitouts, as Jack Graham and Jake Aarts each kicked two goals. Essendon’s Dylan Clarke had the most disposals on the ground with 26 while Irving Mosquito and Mark Baguley also had two goals each to their name.

Footscray 12.11 (83) defeated North Melbourne 9.10 (64)

The Bulldogs got the job done under the lights at the Whitten Oval on Saturday night. North started fast, high on confidence from their win prior to the bye, before the Dogs reeled them back in and did not let the lead go, eventually running out victors by 19 points. Aaron Hall racked up 28 disposals for the Kangaroos while former VFL Premiership Bulldog Tom Campbell had 22 touches and 52 hitouts against his old side. Lukas Webb had 24 disposals and Tory Dickson kicked three goals for the Dogs. The win moves Footscray to outright second on the VFL ladder.

Sandringham 12.8 (80) defeated Northern Blues 10.9 (69)

It was a tale of two halves at Marvel Stadium and the Zebras picked up their game in the second act to win by 11 points. The Blues led by 16 points at the main break before Sandy kicked 6 goals and left their opponents goalless in the third term to turn the game on its head. Brede Seccull had 30 disposals while David Armitage and Hunter Clark had 29 for Sandringham. Sam Fisher was best afield for the Blues with 26. Patrick Kerr and Sam Fox each kicked three goals for their respective sides.

Williamstown 11.11 (77) defeated Casey 9.7 (61)

Casey held the Seagulls scoreless in the first quarter but still couldn’t come home with the four points, as Williamstown ran over the top of the Demons at home. Willy kicked eight goals in the second half to Casey’s three, all of which were kicked in the last three minutes of the game, to record a 16-point victory. Mitchell Hibberd continued his fine form with 31 disposals while Jay Kennedy-Harris had 26 disposals and kicked a goal. Sam Weideman impressed for the Demons with three goals but Jordan Lewis doesn’t look like gaining a senior recall anytime soon, collecting only 23 touches. Christian Buykx-Smith and Jaylon Thorpe kicked three goals each for the Seagulls.

Frankston 4.11 (35) defeated Werribee 8.16 (64)

There is a feeling that the Dolphins are getting closer to a win despite going down by 29 points at home to Werribee on Sunday. Frankston held the Tigers goalless in the first term and led for most of the match, including at three-quarter time, before Werribee rolled over the top to pick up their fourth win of 2019. The Tigers slammed home four goals and eight behinds in the final term, holding the Dolphins scoreless to win by 29 points. Jake Riccardi kicked three goals for the away side, while Beau Bailey kicked 2 for Frankston. Tom Gribble collected 32 disposals and kicked two goals as teammate Matt Hanson collected 31. James Rendell impressed for Frankston with 30 hitouts.

Bye – Port Melbourne

Picture: VFL.com.au

Photo: VFL

VFL weekly wrap: Port returns home in style

GEELONG, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, and Coburg all won their first games of the season in Round 3 of the Victorian Football League (VFL), as Essendon claimed top spot despite having played a game less than half of the competition.

North Melbourne 5.10 (40) defeated by Essendon 20.14 (134)

The horror start to the season for North Melbourne continued as they were thrashed by the Bombers at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday. While the first term was relatively even, Essendon took full control in the second quarter and never looked back, kicking seven goals to two. Jayden Laverde slammed home six goals from 19 disposals in an encouraging performance, while Trent Mynott racked up 25 disposals and slotted two goals. Dan Robinson continued his good form for the Kangaroos with 29 disposals as Nathan Hrovat chimed in with 28 touches.

Werribee 12.9 (81) defeated by Geelong 12.12 (84)

The double header at Avalon Airport Oval continued with the battle of the west. Geelong managed to sneak home despite a last-quarter comeback by the Tigers, who nearly snatched the win after kicking five goals to one in the final term. Darcy Fort kicked three goals for the Cats while Jake Riccardi managed three for the home side. Werribee’s Tom Gribble notched up 31 disposals and James Parsons won the most footy for Geelong with 26 touches.

Collingwood 11.11 (77) defeated by Northern Blues 11.14 (80)

Josh Fraser again returned to Victoria Park as coach to haunt his old side as the Blues came from behind to defeat arch-rivals, Collingwood. The Magpies had a slight ascendency at every break, however, they couldn’t hold on in the final term as Patrick Kerr’s third goal of the day sealed the four points for the Blues. Matthew Kennedy put a bad week behind him to register 22 disposals, while Rupert Wills and Alex Woodward were on fire for the Pies, with 32 and 31 respectively. Tim Broomhead kicked three goals for the Pies while Daniel Wells managed two.

Port Melbourne 12.17 (89) defeated Box Hill 8.17 (65)

On their return to Adcon Stadium, the Borough stunned last years’ premiers Box Hill to hand the Hawks their first loss of the season. Port Melbourne flew out of the blocks, kicking five goals to one in the opening term, and never looked back. Dylan Conway and Tom O’Sullivan both kicked three goals for the home side, while Ben Jolley recorded 25 disposals and Teia Miles slotted two goals for the Hawks.

Sandringham 14.8 (92) defeated Williamstown 9.14 (68)

A dominant third quarter paved the way for Sandringham’s first win of the season as they defeated the Seagulls at Trevor Barker Beach Oval. The Zebras kicked away towards the end of the first half and continued that form into the second, restricting Williamstown to only one goal in the third term. Hunter Clark was dominant for the home side with 28 disposals and a goal while Durras Seccull, brother of captain Bede, kicked four goals on debut. Adam Marcon had 28 disposals for Williamstown while Nick Rodda and Jaylon Thorpe kicked three goals each.

Coburg 20.18 (138) defeated Frankston 9.9 (63)

What many were expecting to be match of the round turned into a fizzer, as Coburg trounced the Dolphins at Piranha Park. It was once again the third term that did the most damage to Frankston, as the Lions banged home nine goals to two. Peter McEvoy kicked six goals for Coburg while Sam Lowson chimed in with three. Marcus Lentini was the leading ball winner with 28 disposals as Josh Newman continued to lead the Dolphins with 25. Nathan Freeman appeared injured as he only managed the three touches and didn’t spend much time in the midfield.

Bye – Casey, Richmond, Footscray

Photo: VFL.com.au