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CHANGES 2016 - CHASING DOGS by The Oracle

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With a first selection in the AFL National Draft coming in the late 40s, it was always a possibility that Demons' draft guru Jason Taylor would look outside the square a little in dealing with the task ahead of him and his team. In the end, they opted to shadow this year's premiers by securing a Footscray VFL listed player and a Bulldogs academy member.

The club's first pick eventually came after a long wait at pick 46 when it selected VFL premiership player Mitch Hannan, described as follows in the Draft Edition of Inside Football:

Mitch Hannan 9/3/94 Ht: 189.0cm Wt: 83.0kg Footscray 

"The rangy forward played in Footscray's premiership team 12 months after having a best-on-ground hand in St Bernards' success in the A section Amateurs. The left-footer can pluck a high mark and intervene to help turn a match his team's way, as evidenced by a brilliant burst in the final quarter of the semi final against Essendon. One of the VFL's best draft hopes." - VFL expert Paul Amy

Strengths: athleticism, marking

NTI: endurance, versatility

Hannan is noted as left footer with a long kick who can take spectacular marks VFL players your club should chase and sounds a likely type. With his team on the ropes, Hannan's three final quarter goals against Essendon in the VFL Semi Final set it up for a premiership flag a fortnight later Mitch Hannan goes from VAFA grand final to AFL list in 12 months after being drafted by Melbourne.

The experience of a second premiership in different competitions now sets him up for further glory. A tweet from Mark Stevens suggests he isn't all that far from making it into the big time:-

"Mitch Hannan won't take long to break into Dees lineup. I'm tipping Round 1."

For those looking into omens, Melbourne's last premiership came in 64. It's last pick in the draft came at 64 as well. The Demons chose a young indigenous player who was captain of Scotch College this year and hails originally from North Warrnambool Eagles which made Dion Johnstone a Western Bulldogs academy prospect. That's now out of equation as he becomes a fully fledged Demon. 

Inside Football describes him as follows:-

Dion Johnstone 1/6/98 Ht: 179.4cm Wt: 73.4kg Oakleigh Chargers

"Dion is one we didn't see the best of until late in the season being a country boy, being a scholarship boy from Scotch, but he is an ultra-competitive beast. He just has that will to compete and probably plays on to a degree, but good players do that. In terms of the intensity and velocity of the game at the next level out of our group he is closest to what you would expect at AFL level - you know what you are going to get with him. Late in the season was able to really hit the scoreboard and he plays that pressure forward role really well and had the ability to kick bags." - Oakleigh Chargers talent manager Craig Notman

Strengths: competitiveness, goal sense, defensive pressure

NTI: ball winning

Johnstone stoked to join club

Melbourne also officially added 2016 rookie Josh Wagner to the primary list to join the other newcomers from the trades in Michael Hibberd, Jordan Lewis and Pat McKenna. The latter three have already commenced pre season training at the club. Hibberd and Lewis are well known in football circles while GWS recruit McKenna is a clean user of the ball with decision-making to a high standard.

The MFC playing list now looks like this:


Angus Brayshaw Tomas Bugg Sam Frost Colin Garland Jeff Garlett Max Gawn Mitch Hannan James Harmes Michael Hibberd Jesse Hogan Liam Hulett Jayden Hunt Neville Jetta Dion Johnstone Nathan Jones Ben Kennedy Jay Kennedy-Harris Dean Kent Mitch King Jordan Lewis Heritier Lumumba Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Pat McKenna Jake Melksham Alex Neal-Bullen Clayton Oliver Cameron Pedersen Christian Petracca Christian Salem Jake Spencer Billy Stretch Jack Trengove Dom Tyson Aaron vandenBerg Bernie Vince Jack Viney Josh Wagner Jack Watts Sam Weideman 


Mitch White 


Corey Maynard Joel Smith

What's next?

Well, there's Monday's rookie draft at which the club has already flagged that it will only make two selections. 

And there's the question of what will happen with Heritier Lumumba and his place on the list - a case of watch this space.

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