Suns smiling ahead of draft - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Suns smiling ahead of draft

Roger Vaughan 17/11/2010 06:01:52 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast's lucrative debut in the AFL national draft will be the gift that keeps on giving for the league's 17th team.

The Suns will dominate Thursday night's draft on the Gold Coast ahead of their AFL debut next year, with eight of the first 15 picks, including the top three.

But some intelligent work from Gold Coast in AFL trade week last month means they will continue to reap the rewards of their generous recruiting concessions for up to the next four years.

They have gained three compensation picks - initially given to clubs that lost players to the Suns - and these can be activated in any draft until 2014.

Rather than use them now, Gold Coast will warehouse those three picks so they draw out their initial recruiting benefits.

Suns chief executive Travis Auld praised the club's recruiting manager Scott Clayton for working the recruiting concessions to maximum benefit.

"Scott has turned one opportunity into a whole number of opportunities," Auld told AAP on Wednesday.

"What he's done is taken a one-year outlook and turned it into a three- to five-year outlook.

"From a pure recruiting point of view, you'd love to get as many picks as you can in this year - he hasn't taken that view.

"He's worked out how he can methodically build a list over a period of time that can be successful on a sustainable basis."

Of the nine compensation picks now in the system, only one will be activated on Thursday when North Melbourne have an extra selection.

The league awarded the compensation picks to clubs who lost uncontracted players to Gold Coast - another feature of the Suns' recruiting concessions.

The Suns then effectively "double dipped", targetting those compensation picks in trade talks with other clubs.

The entry of the Suns next season and Greater Western Sydney in 2012 will take the league to 18 teams and the AFL are determined that the two expansion teams will be competitive as quickly as possible.

David Swallow, who has been with Gold Coast for the last year and enjoyed an impressive season in the VFL, is set to be the No.1 selection, with fellow West Australian Harley Bennell and South Australian Sam Day rounding out the top three.

Swallow, 17, is the younger brother of North Melbourne star Andrew and is rated as an even better prospect.

Auld said the younger Swallow would have no trouble handling the limelight.

"David is a very grounded boy, he's come from a really grounded family, he's seen his brother go through the draft and now playing some great footy for North Melbourne," Auld said.

This week is a major milestone for the Suns, with the Gold Coast hosting the draft and the AFL industry conference.

It is only the second time that the draft has gone outside of Melbourne.

"Am I nervous? - all these moments are milestones for our footy club," Auld said.

"The beauty of building a club from the ground up is there are an enormous number of those anxious moments that are so rewarding when they come together."

Victorian Andrew Gaff is likely to be the first player chosen by a club other than the Suns, when 2010 wooden spooners West Coast make their opening selection at No.4.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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