AFL tall forwards and ruckmen in demand - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL tall forwards and ruckmen in demand

By Sam Lienert 11/10/2008 11:30:44 AM Comments (0)

Tall forwards and ruckmen are likely to be at a premium in the upcoming AFL national and pre-season drafts, after several clubs failed in their attempts to trade for them this week.

Western Bulldogs football manager James Fantasia said his club had entered the trade period with an aim to pick up a tall forward, but would now have to go down a different path.

"We started the week out with the first priority of trying to secure a tall, there wasn't a lot on offer," Fantasia said.

"We tried to leverage our way around clubs but that didn't come to fruition.

"We tried to get Barry Hall (from Sydney) and Ashley Hansen (from West Coast) and a couple of other blokes too, but it didn't go our way."

However, he said that after trading away midfielder Farren Ray to St Kilda in return for national draft pick 31, it would enhance the club's opportunity to recruit a young key forward.

"We've got to take the responsibility to develop those type of players from the draft and with the pick we got for Farren gives us a genuine chance of doing that," he said.

"We said at the start of the week that Farren was worth a second round draft pick and we've ended up with a second round pick for him.

"... It opens it up for us to get two good talls or a good midfielder plus a tall so it puts us in a good place in this draft."

The `Dogs have already secured young ruckman Ayce Cordy with their first draft pick, under the father-son rule.

Saints coach Ross Lyon said his club had also been on the hunt for a tall forward, to slot in alongside Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke, but said "they're not easy to come by".

But they were happy to have added depth and pace to their midfield with the acquisition of Ray.

"He's a (former national draft) pick four, he's 22, he's played 72 games, he really adds to our run and spread through the midfield and improves the flexibility of the team," Lyon said.

"He can play halfback, so we can continue to release (Jason) Gram, (Brendon) Goddard, (Sam) Gilbert and Sam Fisher (from defence into the midfield), that was the plan.

"We're thrilled to have him, he's done his apprenticeship and he's ready to go."

While those two clubs are looking to add an extra tall forward, Richmond and Melbourne are both still seeking to add to their ruck stocks.

The Tigers failed to come to terms with West Coast over big man Mark Seaby, who was looking to leave the Eagles for greater opportunity.

The Demons had been in the hunt for Fremantle's young ruckman Robert Warnock, but the 21-year-old preferred Carlton and was able to get to the Blues through a trade.

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