Rory Atkins. Photo: Ken Irwin
HAMISH Ogilvie, the new recruiting manager at Adelaide after six years at the side of Matt Rendell, could be forgiven for feeling he'd been dealt a dud hand at this year's draft.
With his club ceding its first and second-round picks as a ''gesture of good faith'' - a transparent attempt to mitigate any further punishment the AFL may yet deal the Crows over the Kurt Tippett affair - Ogilvie was reduced to the best available picks remaining at No. 62 and No. 81. But there was no bitterness, with Ogilvie saying the club had been watching its two choices - defender Sam Siggins and flanker/midfielder Rory Atkins, both South Australians - for some time.
He denied his club had to rethink its strategy. ''We planned for all these scenarios weeks ago,'' he said.
Ogilvie was warm in his praise for Siggins and Atkins. ''Two bargains,'' he said. ''You can't go past talent.''
"We even had a plan if we started at 101. You keep it simple, pick blokes with good character that can play footy. As long as they compete well, you're a chance aren't you?"
"I was a bit unhappy and disappointed yesterday, but you calm down and think about what's going to happen. Now something good's come out of it and you move on, you can't dwell on it.
"Sam Siggins is 195cm key defender who understands how to play defence, [and] we need to top up our defence a bit. Ben Rutten is not getting any younger, but it'll be great to have Sam there to learn from Ben and Daniel Talia, who’s the ultimate professional."
Atkins was the wild card, a talented left-footer who’d slipped below his ranking on ability. "Rory Atkins is an AIS Academy [student], he's been ranked as one of the top 30 kids in Australia in his year and we've picked him up in the 80s," Ogilvie said. "He's a bubbly kid, enthusiastic, got a bit of cheek. He'll enjoy our club."
Again, character reared its head. "He’s starting to learn what's required at the professional level of sport," Ogilvie said. "But [he’s a] super talent, and a left footer, which we don't have many of. We need a left footer [with] a bit of class and outside run, which is hard to address that low in the draft, but maybe we've done that.
"These boys aren't going to play AFL round one. They might surprise us, but I don't think so. A 195cm defender is going to take a bit of time, but Rory will fit in at training. I'm really buoyed, very pleased."