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Three win in mini-draft

Jack Martin in action at the NAB Draft Combine.

Jack Martin in action at the NAB Draft Combine. Photo: Ken Irwin


MELBOURNE supporters spent most of Monday rejoicing. After all the hype, all the debate and all the possibilities, father-son bidding was done and the Demons had landed Jack Viney with pick No. 26. For probably the hardest, toughest, angriest onballer in this year's draft, it was indeed a bargain.

Melbourne-bound: Jesse Hogan is a Demon after an involved deal.

Melbourne-bound: Jesse Hogan is a Demon after an involved deal. Photo: Ken Irwin

Yesterday, the tone changed. Had the Demons, it was wondered, coughed up too much for 17-year-old Jesse Hogan?

He was secured after sending selections three and 13 to Greater Western Sydney in exchange for pick 20, the rights to Hogan and a player, midfield runner Dom Barry, who was tied to the Giants as a Northern Territory zone selection.

Why, asked supporters, hadn't Melbourne insisted on trading pick four, and not three? It could be argued that Melbourne paid more for the second mini-draft pick than Gold Coast handed over for the first pick, and Jack Martin.

In reality, the three deals - for Viney, Martin and Hogan - are tied together. Gold Coast wanted Martin as a priority, because he is such a big talent and because, coming from the 2014 draft pool, he helps spread the age of their young list, albeit slightly.

There was a bit more in it for the Suns, too, because in addition to sending pick two to the Giants they arranged a switch of end-of-first-round compensation picks.

Doing this basically gave them an extra year in which to activate that pick, with the Giants' pick now expiring in 2014 and the Gold Coast able to use its pick up to 2015.

Melbourne wanted Hogan. GWS wanted to deal with the Demons, because they had the next best pick on offer - No. 3 - and could see an opportunity to go to the draft holding their first three choices. But they had no way of getting pick three if the Demons were forced to use it on Viney.

Promising Martin to the Gold Coast meant the Suns could not risk bidding for Viney and having Melbourne call their bluff. So, no one bids. Viney, an obvious top 10 prospect, makes it through to the second round and all three clubs get what they most wanted.

This is not to suggest that anything other than shrewd trading went on. If it looks dodgy it's more smart-dodgy than breaking-the-rules-dodgy.

Gold Coast was in no way obligated to bid for Viney, or do anything other than what best suited the club. It strongly considered bidding for Viney and was prepared to do that, and to snare him if Melbourne failed to match its bid. But what suited the Suns better was getting Martin, a player they - like everyone - thought the Bulldogs were favourites to get.

The Dogs were pushing hard, but told GWS on the weekend that they could not give up both picks five and six for him.

That done, the Suns' offer of pick two was snapped up and the Demons, with Viney safely tucked away, handed over the (slightly) better top five pick, No. 3, with the other additions evening out the deal out.

It's a decent one. They get Hogan, a hard-working, hard-running, tall forward from Claremont, who can spend next season at the club but not play senior footy until 2014.

Barry, a run-and-carry type onballer, might have been snapped up from the third round onwards in this year's draft.

Odds are the Demons will get the player they want at No. 4 anyway, whether they trade or keep it, while pick 20 keeps them in touch with the first group of kids.

To everyone else's frustration the Giants now hold picks one, two and three in the draft, and have five of the first 13 choices. This comes after they had 11 of the first 14 picks last year.

It's fair to say two things: one, that the mini-draft, added to GWS' concessions to urge clubs to trade senior players there, has not panned out in the anticipated spirit. And two, that the Giants have played it perfectly.

15 comments so far

  • Emma, is it too young to refer to young Viney as "Angry Jack"? As Coach Neeld said, Jack is the kind of player and person the demons need - tough, uncompromising and ruthless. Being angry helps. Here's hoping he's from the same mould as the great Joel Selwood.

    As for Hogan - he sounds impressive. If he can kick for goal, perhaps he'll be better than Travis Cloke (minus the idiot father/manager in toe?). He's certainly blessed with the physique - at 6'5" and 97kgs, he's a monster at 17. To think now that he'll get over 12 months in a structured strength and conditioning program means come March 2014, he'll be 100+kgs. I can imagine Ryan Schoenmakers already having interrupted sleep over the prospect. Put him in a forward line with the even bigger Mitch Clark, and that's a scary thought. It's becoming quite clear how Melbourne are building a side. Who will they pick at 4? I'd suggest an outsider midfielder with pace and good foot skills - a Ryan Griffen type. We've got plenty of inside players now, but need those with good skills are pace, that can run and carry.

    Colonel Kurtz
    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 8:16AM
    • "Here's hoping he's from the same mould as the great Joel Selwood."

      PeteB - He's from the same mould as Todd Viney.

      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 1:14PM
  • Allit proves is that GWS rorted what the mini-draft was for and shows how bad the decision to create it was by the AFL, but then again they'll never admit that either.

    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 8:18AM
    • PeteB - sour grapes, its not 'rorting' if it is within the rules

      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:10AM
    • Well, actually, looking at usage three rort would seem the perfect word to rxplain the situation.

      World English Dictionary
      rort (rɔːt)

      — n
      1. a rowdy party or celebration
      2. a dishonest scheme

      — vb
      3. to take unfair advantage of something

      [C20: back formation from rorty (in the sense: good, splendid)]


      — adj

      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:40AM
    • I agree Peter. One of the conditions of a 'rort' is that it is actually within the rules. That's how it becomes a rort.

      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:58AM
  • The AFL have to make sure GC and GWS work, so will give them concessions. They still give the Lions and Swans concessions even after they've won Grand Finals, so I can't see GC's and GWS's concessions stopping until maybe 2040?

    Date and time
    October 10, 2012, 9:35AM
    • A lot is made of the national draft each year, but in retrospect it always seems a bit hit and miss. There are always a few first rounders who do not become decent AFL standard players, many second rounders and plenty of third rounders onwards.

      Date and time
      October 10, 2012, 9:58AM
      • Yay Melbourne, what a coup. You got a young gun who will be an early pick next year by using a pick you could have used on getting an early pick this year?!?!

        You're more than likely to have pick 1 or 2 next year as well, only the Western Bulldogs list rivals yours as the worst in the league. Get Chris Dawes and it makes it clear cut.

        Date and time
        October 10, 2012, 10:14AM
        • Its sad to say and I hope that I am wrong but all these potential stars are doomed to failure. Just look at the Watts situation, infinite potential but destroyed in the machine that is the Melbourne Football Club. You Demon supporters cry in not picking Nic Nat or D Rich, but where will they have been without Cox and Black (respectively). They would be just as crap in the Demon's system.

          Date and time
          October 10, 2012, 10:58AM

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