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CHANGES 2017 by The Oracle

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PART TWO: INTO THE MIX

The 18 AFL club lists were lodged during the week, ending the post season trade and draft period for 2017.

For the Melbourne Football Club, it was a quiet ending to a spring season that opened in spectacular fashion when the club secured Adelaide defender Jake Lever in its early days, followed by the trading of Fremantle's Harley Balic for a low draft pick as a late exchange and the departure of Jack Watts to Port Adelaide. 

All that was now left for the club was to complete its set of changes with the selection of four draftees, mostly in the second round. The process was aptly described as a case of fine-tuning the list as the Demons prepare for what hopefully will be a long-awaited and successful return to finals football.

The four players picked were a nice mix and the pundits generally hailed the selections as promising. Here are their pen pictures from Inside Football's November edition:-

Oskar Baker DOB: 25-05-98 181.9cm, 75.6kg Apsley QLD

“Oskar was cut from the Lions academy in January and made his way to Apsley as a rookie, but due to a raft of injuries he got his opportunity early in the year and never looked back. His ability to take the game on is his strength - even against the AFL-aligned reserves he looked to tuck the ball under his arm and run. He has skill, is good overhead and is mentally strong. One of the better state league prospects.” -  Apsley football operations manager Mark Perkins 

Bayley Fritsch DOB: 06-12-96 186.9cm, 80.1kg Casey Demons 

“After two years tailed by injury, the left foot forward from Coldstream enjoyed a full season and was so impressive he elevated himself more into a draft certainty than a hopeful. Often spectacular in the air, deceptively quick, a penetrating kick, and crafty at ground level, the 20-year-old represented the VFL, topped Casey’s goalkicking with 44, made the VFL team of the year and received the Fothergill-Round Medal as the league’s best young player (always a reliable guide to a player’s AFL prospects). It won’t be a surprise to see him nabbed in the national draft.” -  VFL expert Paul Amy

Harrison Petty DOB: 12-11-99 195.3cm 82.0kg Norwood SA

"He was the big mover in our group over the pre-season and the start of 2017. Originally thought to be a forward, Harry moved to defence early in the season and didn't look back. Reads the game well and his intercept marking is elite. Kicking is better all the time. Hasn't missed a beat in our program. A boarder at Rostrevor College." - Norwood Talent Manager Rick Shrowder.

Charlie Spargo DOB: 25-11-99 171.6cm 70.2kg  Murray Bushrangers

"Charlie didn't play a game this year because of a shoulder injury after a handful of games last year. A really clever small forward, he would have developed in the midfield this year but because of the injury that didn’t happen. Certainly a draftable player and while the injury means he’ll slide I’m pretty sure he’ll get taken.” - Murray Bushrangers coach Leon Higgins.

With Joel Smith's promotion to the senior list and that of Corey Maynard to the status of Category A rookie, there were no vacancies allowing participation in the pre season or rookie drafts and the club did not name any Category B rookies. 

The Melbourne lists going into 2018 are therefore:-

PRIMARY LIST:

Oskar Baker Harley Balic Angus Brayshaw Tomas Bugg Bayley Fritsch Sam Frost Jeff Garlett Max Gawn 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 Christian 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 

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