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CHANGES 2018 by The Oracle

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CHANGES 2018 by The Oracle

PART 1 - UPHEAVAL AND CHANGE

Every year, as soon as the grand final siren sounds, the 18 AFL clubs enter into a new season that lasts for two months and ends in the drafts. This is the time of transition and sometimes upheaval for the clubs as their lists change in the hope for each of them that they can regenerate their lists to the point where they can challenge for a premiership flag. The official proceedings start today with the opening of the restricted free agency offer and unrestricted free agency period starts and on Monday, the NAB AFL Trade Period kicks off.

The coming off season of change is looming large at the Melbourne Football Club in comparison with last year when the club farewelled only six senior list players (including one, Heritier Lumumba, who had retired before that season even began) and one rookie. Their replacements came via trades and the draft, leaving the 2018 Melbourne Football Club player list (with new players in italics) as follows -

PRIMARY LIST:

Oskar Baker Harley Balic Angus Brayshaw Tomas Bugg Bayley Fritsch Sam Frost Jeff Garlett Max G awn Mitch Hannan James Harmes Michael Hibberd Jesse Hogan Jayden Hunt Neville Jetta Dion Johnstone Nathan Jones Jay Kennedy Harris Dean Kent Mitch King Jake Lever Jordan Lewis Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Pat McKenna Jake Melksham Alex Neal-Bullen Clayton Oliver Cameron Pedersen Christian Petracca Harrison Petty Chr istian Salem Charlie Spargo Joel Smith Billy Stretch Dom Tyson Aaron vandenBerg Bernie Vince Jack Viney Josh Wagner Sam Weideman 

ROOKIE LIST: CATEGORY A

Lachlan Filipovic Declan Keilty Corey Maynard Tim Smith 

As in the past, the process has been going on for months and even longer in the case of the assessment of younger talent. The 18 clubs have all been working feverishly looking for potential trades and for which some players on their lists are moved on.

The Demons have already added two Category B rookies who will shortly commence their apprenticeships at the club.

The changes were being foreshadowed even before season’s end when two Demons - Harley Balic and Bernie Vince - had also announced their retirements. 

The floodgates were opened almost as soon as the final siren sounded at Optus Stadium on Preliminary Final day. The first delistings included Tom Bugg, Mitch King, Pat McKenna and Cam Pedersen, who announced his retirement, and rookie Lachie Filipovic. Yesterday, Dion Johnstone was added to that group.

Then there are those being mentioned in despatches as being on the trade table from Dean Kent who almost has his foot in the door at St Kilda, to Jesse Hogan, seemingly bound for Fremantle delisted) and others such as Dom Tyson and Aaron vandenBerg said to be exploring options for various reasons. This means a potential of a dozen new faces including names such as May, Kolodjashnij, Preuss and many more in the club’s new period of upheaval and change ...

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Yes potentially up to a dozen new faces likely.  Some good opportunities to access new talent. 

Still hoping Hogan stays but seems more and more unlikely.

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The high number of potential changes suggests that we might have a couple of delisted free agents in mind?

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23 hours ago, Whispering_Jack said:

The high number of potential changes suggests that we might have a couple of delisted free agents in mind?

The one delisting that surprised me was Hugh Goddard at St Kilda. He’s a key defender and was outstanding for Sandringham against Casey on 11 August in VFL Round 19 when he was clearly the Zebras’ best in a game where they challenged the Demons until well into the final quarter.

That was the day that Bernie Vince injured his shoulder early on and Dean Kent was the hero with 3 goals 3 behinds. Thinking back, this must have been the day that Kent  impressed the St Kilda people as his was a dynamic performance and it also got him back into the MFC team.

Goddard’s performance in a losing team was outstanding but two things stand against him being picked as a delisted free agent - he has had a history of injuries and plays key defence where the club will be well served with Jake Lever’s return and the possible recruitment of Steven May.

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I had a look at the delisted players to date and there aren’t many there who I would go for. Not all clubs have announced their delistings but unless some more names crop up, I wouldn’t be salivating over the prospects available ATM.

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CHANGES 2018 by The Oracle

PART 2 - ¾ 

As things stand, the Melbourne Football Club has retained ¾ of the list that took it to fourth place in the recently concluded AFL season. Eleven players have either retired or been delisted or traded with three new names on the lockers at AAMI Park. 

The newcomers are Steven May and Kade Kolodjashnij who were second and third in the Gold Coast Best & Fairest count in 2015 and Braydon Preuss from North Melbourne.

The 26-year-old May had been at Gold Coast since its inception in 2011 and served as its co-captain in the past two seasons. A strong bodied key defender with 123 games under his belt, the 193 cm, 102 kg May is an excellent intercept mark and will add grunt, pace and skill to the lineup with his precise left-foot kicking. 

Tasmanian Kolodjashnij was picked up by the Suns at number 5 in the 2013 AFL Draft and has played 73 games at AFL level but after an outstanding start to his career, which included a AFL/NAB Rising Star in 2014 and a podium best and fairest finish a year later, the 190cm, 85kg running defender’s career has been hampered by concussion injuries which are now under control.

There’s no secret as to Preuss’ drafting. The Demons were bereft of a quality back up ruckman and the 206cm, 109kg was just what the doctor ordered for the club. A late starter with only 8 games in 4 seasons with the Kangaroos (none in 2018), the 23-year-old Preuss is expected to share the ruck duties with Melbourne’s All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn.

The club has also elevated midfielder Corey Maynard off the rookie list to leave a primary list of 34 players with a further 2 on the rookie list, leaving a total of eight vacancies. There is every possibility, depending on what happens between now and during the draft meetings later this month, that the club might go with a primary list of 38 and take 6 rookies. 

There seems to be very little mail around at present suggesting that the club has the appetite to take a delisted free agent so the focus could well be on the two day AFL National Draft Meeting later this month. 

The first part of that meeting on 22 November won’t involve the Demons because it covers the first round picks from 1 to 20.

It will be interesting however, at that point to contemplate where the club sit in terms of the rest of the draft pool.

At that point in time, if you add potential father son and academy bids, then as many as 24 players might be selected on day one then and we will have a fair idea of who is still available and gettable on the second day given that the Demons currently holds picks # 23 and # 28. There are later picks down the track, one or two of which are likely to be used to bid for young Dandenong Stingrays speedster Toby Bedford who was a member of that club’s TAC Cup premiership winning team and is also on Melbourne’s New Generation Academy. 

The Demons’ player cake will finally be complete and come out of the oven later on the second day of the draft with the NAB AFL Pre-Season and NAB AFL Rookie Draft but for the time being, the lists read like this:-

PRIMARY LIST:

Oskar Baker Angus Brayshaw Bayley Fritsch Sam Frost Jeff Garlett Max Gawn Mitch Hannan James Harmes Michael Hibberd Jayden Hunt Neville Jetta Nathan Jones Jay Kennedy Harris Kade Kolodjiashnij Jake Lever Jordan Lewis Oscar McDonald Tom McDonald Steven May Corey Maynard Jake Melksham Alex Neal-Bullen Clayton Oliver Christian Petracca Harrison Petty Braydon Preuss Christian Salem Charlie Spargo Joel Smith Billy Stretch Aaron vandenBerg Jack Viney Josh Wagner Sam Weideman 

ROOKIE LIST: CATEGORY A

Declan Keilty Tim Smith 

ROOKIE LIST: CATEGORY B

Austin Bradtke Guy Walker 

CB53D45D-ED90-4808-86BA-D7D71292F560.jpeg

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On 11/5/2018 at 7:25 AM, Demonland said:

The first part of that meeting on 22 November won’t involve the Demons because it covers the first round picks from 1 to 20.

The AFL is trying to milk out as much coverage as possible but unless some picks are traded between now and the draft night (or on the night), only 5 out of 20 picks are going to the Victorian clubs. 

Theres going to be very little to interest supporters of many of the traditional clubs other than the academic.

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