Adelaide has thrown Pick 3 on the table in a bold play to restock elite junior talent in just one national draft and rejuvenate its ageing list.
The Crows met with clubs late last week at Docklands café 90 Secondi as part of the annual prelude to October’s trade window. Discussions ranged from five minutes to half-an-hour.
Foxfooty.com.au understands Adelaide was crystal clear in its messaging regarding the draft pick obtained from Carlton last November.
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If the ladder remains as it is and the AFL does not afford Gold Coast a top-end priority pick, the Crows will head to the trade period with Picks 3, 21 and 28.
But their first round selection – plus later ones – have already been shopped around and will be sold for the right price.
Last year, St Kilda was willing to part with Pick 4 in exchange for two selections in the top eight, but nothing came to fruition.
Although rival clubs told foxfooty.com.au the Crows are open to any offers, it’s unlikely they will place a disproportionately high price on the valuable pick.
St Kilda is expected to follow a similar philosophy during the trade period and is said to be open to trading its first-round pick (currently No. 6) for two selections between approximately 10 and 18.
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The Crows’ manoeuvre could see the Giants consider a move up the draft order to grab an earlier selection.
Giants academy prospect Tom Green is touted as a top-five pick, with the 188cm inside midfielder likened to Patrick Cripps by recruiting experts.
Green won the Allies’ MVP in the Under 18 Championships and has been under GWS’ nose since he entered his teens.
The Giants currently hold Pick 12 and 13, gaining the first of those selections off Essendon in the 2018 trade period as part of the deal for midfielder Dylan Shiel.
Moving up to near the top of the draft would allow them to use that pick naturally, and then match a bid on Green with accrued points from a number of later picks.
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The Crows have been known to bid on other talented academy prospects, with national recruiting manager Hamish Ogilvie at the forefront of the club’s bid on Harrison Himmelberg in 2015. The Giants matched the bid, but the Crows demonstrated they were not pushovers when they made plays for Giant Harry Perryman and Kangaroo Tarryn Thomas in ensuing drafts.
Clubs used the informal catch-ups last week as an opportunity to get a preliminary handle on what each list management team is thinking two months out from the trade period.
Expected rookie elevations, retirements and trade opportunities were floated across the board, while clubs also forecast how many selections they will use in November’s national draft.
One club official said the process – which has continued this week among a few clubs – is a bit like “speed dating”.
Most clubs send two or more officials, such as a list manager, national recruiting manager and football boss. The format is used as a vehicle for clubs to get a “lay of the land”, said another official who was present for discussions.
Adelaide is expected to be one of the most active clubs in the trade period and had no hesitation in telling rivals of its openness to deal-making.
Of the Crows’ 10 players aged 29 or over at the start of next season, five are contracted beyond 2020.
Three of these – Richard Douglas, Bryce Gibbs and Sam Jacobs – have spent time in the SANFL this season, while Eddie Betts (2020) was dropped in late July.
Recruiters feel there is a clear gap between the top two prospects in the draft and the remainder of the first round, with Vic Metro pair Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson widely tipped to be the first two selections.
Vic Country trio Caleb Serong, Lachie Ash and Hayden Young are set to be top 10 selections, while Vic Metro tall Fischer McAsey looms as the first tall prospect in the 2019 national draft.