FOR Jack Viney, a very long wait ended in just a few seconds. The 18-year-old was in class at Carey Grammar when, almost two years after agreeing to play for Melbourne, he actually became a Demon.
There was never really a question that he would play for any other club. The query was: What pick would it take to get him - No 3 or No. 26? As it turned out, the Demons landed a major bargain for a tough kid who thrives on physical contact. There was plenty of intrigue in the lead-up though.
Greater Western Sydney was never going to bid the No. 1 choice for Viney, but the Gold Coast Suns' decision was more complicated. They were always going to do what worked to their best advantage and had no interest in doing any other clubs a favour by forcing the Demons to use No. 3.
Until late on Sunday, they were leaning towards nominating Viney because they're also after a kid who thrives on physical contact, particularly given Josh Caddy's impending departure.
Their priority, though, was landing the first of the two remaining choices in this year's mini-draft and using it to pick Jack Martin, a play-making onballer from Broome.
They thought he'd be the second-best player in this year's draft had he been a year older, and that getting him would help spread the age of their list slightly. Like last year (when Jaeger O'Meara joined Gold Coast and Brad Crouch the Crows), GWS had two ''picks'' to trade to the clubs that made the best offer, with the picks to be used on 17-year-old players.
It also became clear early that despite Melbourne's interest in Caddy - for whom they would possibly have given pick four - the 19-year-old wasn't returning the love. Such a deal, as legitimately as it could have been done, would almost certainly have raised the eyebrows of AFL investigator Ken Wood had Viney been overlooked.
Until the weekend, most clubs considered the Western Bulldogs, who had done a mountain of work on Martin, to be at the front of the queue. The Giants weren't interested in a deal floated by Richmond that would have involved their young midfielder, Dom Tyson, joining the Tigers, GWS getting the Dogs' first two picks - five and six - and the Dogs landing Martin, pick nine and possibly another player. GWS still wanted both the Dogs' picks and were happy to give them one back (No. 12, on its way from St Kilda) but that wasn't high enough for the Bulldogs. They'll go to the draft instead.
That brought the Suns back into the frame, and their decision not to nominate Viney was based on having a deal ready for Martin and they could not jeopardise it. It happened within minutes, Gold Coast receiving the first mini-draft pick for the No. 2 and No. 63 picks and an exchange of compensation picks. The picks are both end-of-first-round picks, however the Suns' new pick now expires in 2015, not 2014, which gives them more flexibility.
That done, and Viney through to the second round, the Demons set about a deal for the second mini-draft choice, to be used on WA forward Jesse Hogan. That deal needs tinkering but it is expected the Demons will give GWS picks three and 13 in exchange for Hogan, pick 20 and a Northern Territory zone player, believed to be onballer Dom Barry.
Viney wasn't the only player whose future was, finally, determined. Joe Daniher joined Essendon as the No. 10 pick after Port Adelaide bid No. 7 for him while the Dogs will use their third-round choice, No. 46, on Lachie Hunter, son of Mark, after North bid No. 35.