Demons sure on one-two, but not on Ball - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Demons sure on one-two, but not on Ball

By Adam Cooper 24/11/2009 08:00:07 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne have informed their two top picks who will get the prized No.1 selection in Thursday night's AFL national draft, but are still undecided on whether to recruit former St Kilda captain Luke Ball.

Ball is the highest-profile candidate in this year's pool and is hoping he can be overlooked long enough to end up with Collingwood, who enter the draft with pick No.30.

But the Demons and Essendon could thwart the Magpies' plans as they have a combined seven selections before the Pies and have stated they would be comfortable drafting Ball against his wishes.

Melbourne will on Wednesday continue assessing whether to pick the 25-year-old midfielder after Demons coach Dean Bailey and chief executive Cameron Schwab return home from overseas on Tuesday.

The Demons are best placed to recruit Ball with one of picks 11 or 18, but recruiting manager Barry Prendergast said Melbourne still had much to consider given their focus on youth and the hefty salary Ball - reported at $500,000 a season - would command.

"Anyone would be comfortable in recruiting Luke Ball because of the player he is and what he's been able to demonstrate in the AFL," Prendergast told AAP on Tuesday.

"We did express our interest in Luke Ball, especially in terms of the pre-season draft, but now he's nominated for the national draft.

"So we've got to weigh up those decisions because not only is there a price on his head financially but in terms of picks as well and that's the decision we've got to weigh up."

What is more certain at Melbourne is who they will choose with the first two picks.

The Demons won't say who they have settled on, but Victorian onballer Tom Scully and his South Australian counterpart Jack Trengove are expected to be the names called out at the top of the draft.

Prendergast confirmed Melbourne had informed their top picks of their selection order, but said the decision had nothing to do with which of the teenagers would best handle the public scrutiny and expectation.

"We're not too worried about who's able to handle the scrutiny of being No.1," he said.

"We've picked two guys at the front of the draft because we believe that's where they deserve to be.

"In terms of public scrutiny we wouldn't be concerned which one it is because their temperament as footballers and as people suggest they would be able to cope with that."

This year's draft will give Melbourne a great chance to rebuild after three dismal seasons, especially as the Gold Coast and Western Sydney franchises will be given generous concessions at the next two national drafts.

"This is our third year of low draft picks and our last opportunity given what's going to happen, so it's an extremely significant night in terms of rebuilding," Prendergast said.

"The opportunity we've got - four picks in the top 20 doesn't come along very often - so you can't understate the significance of the night for us."

Other players with AFL experience aiming to be recruited by new clubs include former Saint defender Matt Maguire, ex-Melbourne midfielder Simon Buckley and ruckmen Cameron Cloke (ex-Carlton), Chris Bryan (ex-Collingwood) and Adam Pattison (ex-Richmond).

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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