Lions hit draft jackpot by getting Rich - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions hit draft jackpot by getting Rich

29/11/2008 06:10:44 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Lions football manager Graeme Allan said he was "shocked" to be able to snap up highly-fancied WA midfielder Daniel Rich with their first round selection in the AFL National Draft on Saturday.

The dual WAFL premiership winner had been considered a certain top three pick all year but whispers emerged this week that Fremantle would bypass the 18-year-old at No.3 and go with Perth midfielder Stephen Hill.

The mail was confirmed when the Dockers went with Hill on Saturday - but Allan still couldn't believe his luck when the Lions were able to grab Rich with pick No.7.

"We were shocked that Daniel Rich was still around for our first pick. We always thought he would go in the first couple of selections in the Draft and were ecstatic to get him with No.7," Allan said.

"Daniel has been playing with Subiaco over in West Australia and is ready-made to play senior football next year.

"He has a wonderful left-foot kick similar to Luke Hodge's and we believe he will be a big part of our club's future."

The Lions will be keeping their fingers crossed that Rich will follow in the footsteps of the two most recent No.7 picks - NAB Rising Star award winners Rhys Palmer of Fremantle and Geelong's Joel Selwood.

Rich will travel to Brisbane early next week.

"It's very exciting. To be at a club like the Brisbane Lions is amazing," Rich told Victoria's SEN radio on Saturday.

"It's a very proud and loyal club and I really want to get over there and earn the respect of the players and coaches."

Besides Australian under-18 rep Rich, the Lions also picked Glenelg midfielder Jack Redden (No.25), Swan Districts midfielder Todd Banfield (No.41), Tasmanian key forward Aaron Cornelius (No.57), Tassie Mariners ruckman Bart McCulloch (No.69) and 17 year-old East Fremantle midfielder Kieran King (No.81).

"We tried to balance our list up with more midfield resources and were very pleased with the way it eventually panned out," Allan said.

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