AFL draft set to recycle talent - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL draft set to recycle talent

By Adam Cooper 23/11/2009 06:30:46 PM Comments (0)

This year's national draft looms as the biggest recycler of AFL talent in a decade given the amount of players looking for new homes and the evenness of the draft pool.

A total of 52 players delisted by clubs since the end of the 2009 season have nominated for Thursday night's draft, where they will cross fingers and toes hoping to earn lifelines.

Former St Kilda captain Luke Ball, who has been linked with three clubs, heads a list which also comprises ex-teammate Matt Maguire and Luke Ablett, a member of Sydney's 2005 premiership side.

In a draft comprising what is considered an even depth of talent among the teenagers hoping to start AFL careers, experts believe there could be an increase in recycled players on previous years.

"We're guessing six or eight (selections) might be ex-AFL players, it might be more," said AFL talent manger Kevin Sheehan on Monday.

"You work your way through some of the names to see Maguire, Luke Ablett, Luke Ball, there'll be others there as well.

"It will reflect on the age and potential of some of these guys, they're young enough to still offer three or four years."

About 70 players are expected to be drafted, and if eight are from AFL clubs it would make this year's draft the biggest one for delisted players since 2000, when seven players found new clubs.

Ball, 25, wants to join Collingwood but might be thwarted by Melbourne or Essendon, who both have picks before the Magpies' first selection at No.30.

Collingwood defender Heath Shaw said Ball would bolster the Magpies' midfield, but admitted the Demons and Bombers, who have a combined seven selections before the Pies' first, were well-placed to snare the ex-Saint.

"It's out of our hands," Shaw said on Monday.

"He's obviously a quality player, he's been around the traps for a while and he's been the captain of his former club, so he would definitely bring a lot of experience to the club."

Of the other players looking to continue their AFL careers, Maguire has been training with Carlton and will be hopeful he can get a chance to play his 100th game after 99 in an injury-hit stint with the Saints.

Former Blue Jake Edwards has been training with the Western Bulldogs and could become a fourth-generation player at the club, ex-Brisbane goalsneak Rhan Hooper has been training with Richmond and former Adelaide player Aaron Kite has spent time with Carlton.

Fremantle could consider one of Matt Riggio (formerly of North) and Danny Stanley (ex-Collingwood), while another ex-Kangaroo, Jesse Smith, has been training with Hawthorn.

The Hawks are set to select one of five ruckmen delisted by rivals in Cameron Cloke (ex-Carlton), Chris Bryan (ex-Collingwood), Wayde Skipper (ex-Bulldogs), Adam Pattison (ex-Richmond) and John Meesen (ex-Melbourne) to bolster their division of big men.

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