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  1. So given lockdowns, a bit more exposure to other Football this year and the unknown about the potential inclusions of some NGA and Father Son prospects to the Demons title defence for next year, I have decided to do a Phantom Draft for the first time in about 7 or 8 years! Have waited until trade period is over, so that I know who has what pick and I'm also putting my Mathematician hat on and figuring out points and picks exchanged for bids etc. I have only done the first two rounds of the draft and also note there's the potential for trading of picks up until draft night. I will mention at the end the spot I see Melbourne has an opportunity to perhaps cash in as well regarding trading of picks. So without further delay, here it is. 2021 AFL NATIONAL PHANTOM DRAFT ROUND 1 Pick 1: North Melbourne JASON HORNE-FRANCIS Midfielder 183cm/77kg 21/6/03 South Adelaide/South Australia It was an epic finish to Horne-Francis' SANFL career last week when the star prospect had 24 disposals and booted 3.3 in a best-afield performance for South Adelaide in their preliminary final loss. It was a dynamic performance from the 18-year-old to end what has been an exciting campaign for him after his eye-catching senior displays last year. Horne-Francis is tough, aggressive, brilliant when the ball is up for grabs and is ready to play, with North Melbourne set to swoop on him. Pick 2: Bid on by GWS. Bid matched by Western Bulldogs who trade Picks 23, 43, 44, 45 & 52 to the AFL for Picks 2, 62 & three picks at the end of the draft. SAM DARCY Forward/defender 204cm/75kg 19/7/03 Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro If there's a silver lining for the Western Bulldogs after their Grand Final defeat it is that they will have first access to father-son prospect and potential top-three pick Sam Darcy at November's draft. The 204cm key forward in the mould of Max and Ben King is athletic, he marks well as a tall option and kicks goals, including six for Vic Metro in a clash with Vic Country. Darcy is quick on his feet for a player his size, hits contests well and also can play in the ruck, where his father, former Bulldogs big man Luke, played through his career. Pick 3: Bid on by GWS. Bid matched by Collingwood who trade Picks 27, 36, 43 & 45 to the AFL for Picks 3, 61 & two picks at the end of the draft. NICK DAICOS Midfielder 183cm/72kg 3/1/03 Oakleigh Chargers/Vic Metro Daicos is off to Collingwood on a four-year deal that was announced in August. The midfielder is clearly one of the best prospects to come through the draft in recent years: a prolific ball-winner (he averaged 36 disposals and two goals at NAB League level), perhaps his greatest strength is his capacity to make good decisions, execute his plans and impact games. Not only can he accumulate, he can hurt and he's fun to watch when he squeezes past opponents and pulls out tricks nobody can match. Is equally driven and determined as he is talented. Pick 4: GWS JOSH GIBCUS Key defender 195cm/84kg 4/4/03 Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country A leading key defender in this year's pool, Gibcus is an aerial threat who enjoys jumping in and chopping off marks. He doesn't get many goals kicked on him and is also capable of starting an offensive chain with his marking. Some clubs see him as a top-10 talent given the difficulty of finding tall defenders within this group. GWS may see him and Sam Taylor as a potential duo to hold down Full Back and Centre Half Back for the next decade. Pick 5: Gold Coast FINN CALLAGHAN Midfielder 189cm/82kg 26/4/03 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro Callaghan worked his way up the draft board from the very start of the season, with his line-breaking run and carry and sizzling left-foot kicking on show in a Sandringham practice game and catching the attention of scouts. Thereafter he continued to be a key player, mainly as a tall wingman but also in stints as an inside midfielder where he showed he could use his body and frame to make an impact. Callaghan shapes as a top-five pick and belongs in that company given his skillset. A very Gold Coast type pick here. Pick 6: Adelaide BEN HOBBS Midfielder 183cm/80kg 16/9/03 Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country A hard-headed inside midfield option who just kept on putting strong performances on the board. Hobbs overcame an ankle injury early in the year to then go on a ball-winning blitz that catapulted him into top-10 calculations. Hobbs is strongly built and plays with an intensity not matched by many midfielders in the top rungs of the draft. He was Vic Country's best player against Vic Metro when he had 25 disposals, seven clearances and 11 tackles and he averaged 30 disposals in his five completed NAB League games. Pick 7: Hawthorn JOSH WARD Midfielder 181cm/79kg 15/8/03 Northern Knights/Vic Metro Ward's relentless running, strong character and consistent performances have seen him rise as the year has gone on. The Northern Knights prospect starred for Vic Metro against Vic Country in the mid-year carnival game with 29 disposals, two goals and eight clearances and he showed his attacking streak as the season developed. Clubs view him as a potential future leader as well. Pick 8: Fremantle JYE AMISS Key forward 195cm/83kg 31/7/03 East Perth/Western Australia A knee injury in Western Australia's under-19 curtain-raiser against South Australia on Grand Final day meant Amiss' season ended the wrong way after a couple of quiet weeks in the colts. But the 18-year-old's impact across the season cannot be denied and has absolutely registered with clubs, with Amiss booting 53 goals in East Perth's colts season. He is smart inside-50, a crafty and efficient finisher and just knows how to hit the scoreboard. One who is definitely in the top-10 mix, especially with Fremantle searching for key forwards. Pick 9: Richmond JOSH RACHELLE Forward/midfielder 180cm/78kg 11/4/03 Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country Rachele is the best pure small forward in this year's draft, but has also proved he can go into the midfield and make things happen around him. The Murray Bushrangers prospect is an exciting attacking option who reads the ball well in the air, goes for his marks and also can stay on the ground and take the crumbs. He likes kicking goals and there's perhaps a bit of Western Bulldogs youngster Cody Weightman in the way he can do things usually not expected of the smaller types. He kicked six goals in a game for the Bushrangers this year in his best NAB League outing. Pick 10: Fremantle NEIL ERASMUS Midfielder/forward 188cm/80kg 2/12/03 Subiaco/Western Australia Erasmus was sidelined with a leg injury for the past month of his draft season after a corkie bled further than hoped. It meant the West Australian talent sat out both of his state's under-19 clashes with South Australia, a disappointment given club recruiters had been keen to see his dominance at that level. Nevertheless Erasmus' qualities have been on show enough: he's a tall, hard-working, bust-a-gut midfielder who can push forward and kick goals as well as rip the ball out of the centre. Pick 11: St Kilda MAC ANDREW Ruckman 200cm/70kg 12/4/03 Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country There is a reason for the hype around Andrew. Actually, there's a few reasons. He can jump, he competes, he's athletic, he kicks goals, he takes marks and he's versatile. Throw in the fact he does all of that at 200cm and it's an exciting package. Andrew is a member of Melbourne's Next Generation Academy but won't end up there as the Dees won't be able to match top-20 picks under the new Academy rules. The Egyptian-born South Sudanese prospect looks bound for the top 15. Pick 12: West Coast MATTHEW JOHNSON Midfielder 192cm/80kg 16/3/03 Subiaco/Western Australia Was named Western Australia's best in its win over South Australia in the under-19s curtain-raiser on Grand Final day. The tall midfielder had 20 disposals, five clearances and nine tackles and once again proved that he can do things other midfielders can't with his size, backing up his impressive first carnival game for WA a month earlier. A rising talent with many pieces to his game. Pick 13: Essendon NASIAH WANGANEEN-MILERA Midfielder 187cm/69kg 22/2/03 Glenelg/South Australia Wanganeen-Milera's dazzling foot skills have seen him rocket into top-10 contention late in the campaign. The nephew of Port Adelaide and Essendon champion Gavin was a standout in SA's first game against Western Australia with a poised showing and again had some strong moments in last week's curtain-raiser with 15 disposals and four inside-50s against WA. Clubs view him as the best kick in the draft and the wingman can certainly deliver it on a platter to his forwards. Pick 14: Port Adelaide ARLO DRAPER Midfielder/forward 185cm/71kg 20/1/03 South Adelaide/South Australia Draper's season ended in an unfortunate way, with the exciting and versatile South Australian suffering an AC joint shoulder injury in the curtain-raiser state game against Western Australia. It will make for an interrupted preparation for Draper's first AFL pre-season but clubs were well aware of his talents. In one of his last games Draper was stationed across half-back as an attacking and creative option, a spot largely unfamiliar to him this season having played as a midfielder and half-forward. But he makes good decisions with the ball, delivers it well and brings some X-factor. Pick 15: GWS SAM BUTLER Midfielder/forward 184cm/73kg 10/2/03 Greater Western Victoria Rebels/Vic Country It would have been interesting to see how high Butler's stocks could have risen with a full year of football this season after an exciting first half of the year. The younger brother of St Kilda's Dan is a midfielder primarily who can zip forward too, he makes good decisions in tight, competes well for the ball at ground level and has a bit of spark to his game. A sternum injury mid-year ruled him out of games before his last appearance was a 27-disposal effort for the Rebels. Butler may find himself playing across half forward for GWS who as has been advertised are lacking small forward depth. Will get to play alongside his Rebels teammate Gibcus. Pick 16: Brisbane JOSH SINN Half-back/midfielder 186cm/73kg 7/1/03 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro Sinn's speed and line-breaking run was on show earlier this season for the Sandringham Dragons before a hamstring injury kept him out of action for two months. He returned to play in Vic Metro's carnival game against Vic Country but then hurt his ankle and didn't get to play again. The left-footer's pace is definitely a weapon and he can bound out of defence and quickly get the ball inside 50 for his side. A spot in the Brisbane team is there for the taking given the departures over recent seasons of Hodge, Witherton and Birchall, coupled with Brisbane’s lack of run. Pick 17: Richmond JOSH GOATER Midfielder 190cm/79kg 2/6/03 Calder Cannons/Vic Metro Recruiters look for athletic upside in players and Goater has plenty of that. The 190cm midfielder is agile, quick, can jump and uses his height to advantage around the ball and ground. His season finished with a 28-disposal, 11-mark and eight-rebound-50 game in early August while he also had 23 disposals and eight clearances for Vic Metro against Vic Country. It wouldn't shock to see Goater go a little higher on draft night. Pick 18: Sydney TYLER SONSIE Midfielder 181cm/77kg 27/1/03 Eastern Ranges/Vic Metro Because of the disruptions of this year's football again in Victoria, and Sonsie's knee injury that kept him out of action mid-year, the Eastern Ranges prospect will be an interesting watch at the draft. Clubs know his talent as a ball-getter and goalkicker through the midfield with some standout games with the Ranges as well as an excellent VFL game for the Box Hill Hawks. With some of Sydney’s ageing midfielders in Kennedy & Parker, Sonsie could be a good fit at this pick. Pick 19: Melbourne JACOB VAN ROOYEN Forward/defender 194cm/88kg 16/4/03 Claremont/Western Australia Van Rooyen kicked the winning goal for Western Australia against South Australia in the under-19s clash having drifted forward late after spending most of the game in defence. It is that versatility which has improved the Claremont product's stocks across the year. Van Rooyen played at senior level earlier this season whilst battling glandular fever but his past two months have impressed with his work ethic and capacity to play in key positions. With a raft of Melbourne talls 28 years and older, Van Rooyen could be a good fit for the Demons. Pick 20: Brisbane CAMPBELL CHESSER Midfielder/defender 186cm/83kg 27/4/03 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Country It has been a year of frustrations for all Victorian prospects given the COVID-19 shutdowns of football across the state, but Chesser has reason to feel a little extra aggrieved given the knee problems he had gotten past just as the NAB League was cancelled for this year. The attacking midfielder/half-back can get the ball moving his side's way in a flash and is a high quality character for clubs to take on. A move north with his Sandy Dragons teammate Sinn should hopefully see him settle. ROUND 2 Pick 21: Fremantle JACK WILLIAMS Key forward 195cm/91kg 1/12/03 East Fremantle/Western Australia Williams kicked 2.3 in East Fremantle's semi-final colts win in what was a very good showing in his side's win. The key forward is adept at finding the ball on the lead and getting away from his direct opponent to create a marking chance. He has been a goalkicker all year at colts level and shown recruiters his nous inside-50. The recruiting of Williams and Amiss earlier in the draft could finally give Fremantle the key targets they have been looking for. Pick 22: North Melbourne JESSE MOTLOP Forward 176cm/74kg 23/11/03 South Fremantle/Western Australia A smart small forward who can create something from nothing, Motlop has had good exposure this season playing with South Fremantle's league and reserves sides. The son of former Kangaroo and Power forward Daniel can hit the scoreboard, as seen with his two-goal debut in the WAFL earlier in the year. Motlop is a part of the Fremantle Next Generation Academy but the Dockers are only free to match a bid for him after pick 40 as he is a metropolitan Indigenous player. Being picked here would see Motlop an unofficial Father-Son selection for the Roos. Pick 23: Hawthorn MATTHEW ROBERTS Midfielder/forward 183cm/81kg 31/7/03 South Adelaide/South Australia This years draft slider IMO. Roberts kicked two goals from 10 disposals in South Adelaide's preliminary final loss in another solid senior performance. It has been a good run of form for Roberts since he returned from his syndesmosis ankle injury earlier this year. Roberts has played in the midfield, on the wing and in attack at different stages this season and has been a consistent contributor for his side. Along with Ward, will be a focal point of Hawthorns future midfield. Pick 24: Geelong TOM BROWN Defender 186cm/71kg 30/7/03 Murray Bushrangers/Vic Country Brown is a half-back suited to the modern game. He is competitive and can shut down but is best regarded for his attacking movement, speed and game smarts. An ankle injury in the first half of the year made for a disrupted campaign but he did return mid-season to show some of his traits at NAB League and Vic Country level. The son of former Cat Paul but Brown isn't eligible to join Geelong as a father-son, however I believe he’ll get there anyway. Pick 25: Hawthorn JUDSON CLARKE Forward/midfielder 179cm/69kg 17/10/03 Dandenong Stingrays/Vic Country Clarke is a zippy small forward/midfielder who can light up the game in a flash with his forward run, tricky agility, and eye for goal. While his exploits were on full show earlier in the year, Clarke stamped his credentials with a breakout performance in the Under 19 Victorian trials, bagging five goals in a starring display. While he can roll through the midfield, the 17 year old looks most damaging up forward. Pick 26: Bid on by Carlton. Bid matched by St Kilda trading Picks 55, 60 & 62 to AFL for Pick 26 & two later picks but go 107 points into deficit. MARCUS WINDHAGER Midfielder 183cm/82kg 16/5/03 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro A member of St Kilda's Next Generation Academy, Windhager's progress this season has caught more eyes than just those of the Saints. Powerful and flexible, Windhager can be used in midfield roles or at either end of the ground. He overcame a knee reconstruction last year to piece together a strong campaign in 2021 and will be on the verge of the top-20 – where the Saints would not be able to match a bid for him. Pick 27: Carlton BLAKE HOWES Forward/midfielder 190cm/79kg 7/4/03 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro It was Howes' block of form mid-year that reminded clubs of his talents. At his size and shape Howes has been used in a number of different spots but he appeared to get motoring mainly as a wingman in the middle stages of the Dragons' season. An athletic runner who also showed some really exciting signs in Sandringham's first game of the season against Oakleigh as a third tall forward, Howes had 20 disposals and two goals against the Rebels in round 15. Pick 28: Richmond DARCY WILMOT Defender 183cm/75kg 31/12/03 Northern Knights/Vic Metro A courageous half-back who throws himself into contests then gets up and does it again. Wilmot is aggressive in his physicality but also his ball movement – he enjoys bolting out of defence and thinking ahead. He captained Vic Metro in a trial game earlier this year and has plenty of upside in him as the youngest player in this year's draft, not turning 18 until December 31. Pick 29: Richmond RHETT BAZZO Key defender/forward 195cm/81kg Swan Districts/Western Australia 17/10/03 Nudged his way into the top-30 after his standout key defensive game earlier this month for Western Australia. Bazzo collected 18 disposals against South Australia and showed he can set up the play with the ball in his hands and his penetrating kicking. Bazzo was an All-Australian at under-16s level and has proven he can also swing into attack and make an impact too. Pick 30: West Coast COREY WARNER Midfielder 182cm/74kg East Fremantle/Western Australia 7/10/03 Warner is a hard running midfielder who can play both inside and out, breaking forward with intent and a penetrating left foot kick. The younger brother of Syndey’s Chad, Corey skippered Aquinas College this year and managed four league games for East Fremantle, plying his trade out on the wing. Warner returned a fantastic finals series with East Fremantle Colts, matching his season average of 24 disposals playing in the centre bounces. Pick 31: Geelong ZAC TAYLOR Midfielder 180cm/74kg 31/1/03 Calder Cannons/Vic Metro Taylor produced a really good draft year that will see him be in top-25 discussions. The classy smaller midfielder just finds the footy and knows what to do with it. He averaged 26 disposals in Calder's NAB League season and he also produced some big games, including a 37-disposal and 11-clearance outing. His kicking stands out: Taylor rarely misses a target and simply makes good decisions. Pick 32: Bid on by Sydney. Bid matched by St Kilda going a further 467 points into deficit, 574 points in total. MITCH OWENS Utility 190cm/85kg 2003 Sandringham Dragons/Vic Metro Growing around 15cm between the start of 2019 and the beginning of 2021, Owens is a late developer who only in the last month of the NAB League season entered first round contention. His performance as a late callup for Vic Metro in a trial match against Vic Country was the game that elevated his draft standing, securing 29 disposals, one goal and two score assists. He immediately backed this up with strong NAB League play for Sandringham. With his movement, overhead marking, ball winning capabilities and rapid rate of improvement, Owens is an upside choice who with continued rapid improvement could be one of this draft's very best. Had the season not been cut short, while there is an element of speculation in rating Owens this high, with the way he was developing, he may well have been rated even more highly. Pick 33: Bid on by Sydney, Bid matched by GWS by trading Pick 48 & Pick 65 to the AFL for Pick 33 & a later pick and going 58 points into deficit. JOSH FAHEY Defender 186cm/76kg GWS Academy/Western Allies 11/11/03 A hard run and gun rebounding defender who gives his all and boasts a raking left foot kick. Fahey is arguably this year’s leading Northern Academy talent. He has impressed scouts with his dash out of defence and penetrative kicking, both damaging weapons for a player of his position. Pick 34: Sydney LEEK ALLEER Key Defender 196cm/84kg Central Districts/South Australia 2001 Rapidly developing, Alleer has become an intercept marking force in the SANFL at League level. Although he is two years older than his peers, his scope to develop is enormous based on his rapid rate of development. His round 16 match against South Adelaide was the eye-opener with five contested marks, seeming to intercept every high ball that went near him. Alleer drops due to the rise of others but remains one of the top key defenders on this draft board. Pick 35: Geelong TOBY CONWAY Ruckman 204cm/90kg 24/4/03 Geelong Falcons/Vic Country The best young ruck in the draft who can start things for his midfielders at centre bounces and is also handy around the ground as a drop-back player or move-forward target. Conway, a cousin of Sydney's Tom McCartin and his brother and former Saints forward Paddy, performed well for the Geelong Falcons and Vic Country this season before the season was cut short. Pick 36: Adelaide HUGH JACKSON Midfielder 181cm/70kg 3/5/03 North Adelaide/South Australia Jackson has been the leading accumulator in the draft pool this season in what has been a stellar under-18 season with North Adelaide. The wingman has averaged 29 disposals and five clearances for the Roosters and continues to be a reliable ball-getter who can chop teams up with his hard running and precise ball use. Pick 37: Bid on by Geelong. Bid matched by Port Adelaide trading Picks 57, 66 & 67 to AFL for Pick 37 & two later picks and going 55 points into deficit. JASE BURGOYNE Outside Midfielder 185cm/70kg 15/7/03 Woodville West Torrens/South Australia He plays on ball with the Eagles Under 18s at the moment but he’ll probably play wing/half back at AFL level. He finds the ball a lot, he’s got clean hands and uses the ball well. He’s a different type of player to Trent Burgoyne (already on Ports list), who is probably more explosive. Jase accumulates more of the ball and he will need to improve his work rate to play at league level so it’ll be good to see if he can do that. Pick 38: Bid on by Geelong. Bid matched by Melbourne using Pick 40. ANDY MONIZ-WAKEFIELD Midfielder 180cm/73kg 26/10/03 NT Thunder/Allies A wingman or outside midfielder, Moniz-Wakefield is a smooth mover and uses the ball well. He was one of the standouts for NT Thunder in the two NAB League games they played this year, after making his senior NTFL debut for Nightcliff as a 16-year-old in the 2020-21 season. Moniz-Wakefield possesses breakaway speed, good agility and uses the ball well. He is clever around stoppage situations and works hard to find space. Moniz-Wakefield is a member of Melbourne’s Next Generation Academy. Pick 39: Geelong MITCH KNEVITT Midfielder/forward 194cm/83kg 8/1/03 Geelong Falcons/Vic Country A tall, strong bodied midfielder, Knevitt was one of Vic Country's stars in their challenge match against Vic Metro. His second half to the NAB League season was also excellent and elevated his position on draft boards. In re-assessing his rate of improvement there is a good deal of scope for his game to translate to AFL level if his midfield craft and ball winning capabilities continues to improve. Pick 40: West Coast (bid not matched by Gold Coast) BODHI UWLAND Midfielder 185cm/84kg 2003 Gold Coast Academy One of the lesser-known prospects, Uwland is as aggressive and competitive as any in this draft. Uwland is not just a strong ball winner, but a powerful athlete who shrugs tackles at will and has a penetrating and damaging kick. So there you have it. Unfortunately I have Geelong bidding on Moniz-Wakefield just before our 2nd round pick, however this is also where I see us being able to take advantage of the situation. As you can see from above, I have a few clubs going into points deficit for next year. Both Port and GWS I have going about 50 points into deficit each, which is unlikely to significantly impact their draft positioning for next year. However St Kilda I have going into a massive 574 points deficit, which could impact them quite significantly! After the bids for Daicos, Darcy etc and Picks moving a round, I have Melbourne's next Picks in the 3rd Round being Picks 47 & 53, moe then enough points to match a bid for Moniz-Wakefield, should it come where I've predicted of Pick 38. In my opinion, Melbourne should off our 2nd Round Pick (currently 36, likely to drift after F/S & NGA bids) to St Kilda in exchange for St Kilda's future 2nd Round Pick. Pick 36 (currently) is worth 502 points, so would go a long way to helping St Kilda going into deficit of any significant amount. Happy to hear people's thoughts and if there's any shocking omissions that I may have left off? ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Text for player descriptions from Cal Twomey, ESPN & AFL Draft Central
  2. Perhaps this is a little premature, but what are your early wishes for the 2017 fixture? Mine would have to be: 1. St.Kilda at the MCG (so we can beat that hoodoo) 2. Geelong at the MCG (haven't played them there since 2014) 3. West Coast at the MCG (last time was round 2 2014) 4. Richmond twice 5. Essendon round 1 Friday night (saw that Essendon was proposing this. I think it'd be an awesome way to start 2017 with a win at the G on a Friday night)
  3. I remember watching last years Fox Footy season predictions and Melbourne was predicted a couple times, possibly more, as wooden spooners. Was great scrolling through the list and seeing nothing but Bummers, Carlscum and Lions as finishing on the bottom. Until I saw this...
  4. After doing the first half the year (link below) and having only 3 posters get it right, I thought we should do it again. http://demonland.com/forums/index.php?/topic/29451-the-first-half-draw/page__p__528006__hl__wins#entry528006
  5. There was some dicscussion on this in the match thread, it's time to do this. We we will be at the half way point of the season? Brisbane at the G WCE in Perth Tigers at the G Bulldogs at the G Saints at the G Geelong in Mordor Hawthorn at the G Sydney in Sydney Carlton at the G Essendon at the G Collingwood at the G Who will we beat? And how many will delete their vote and change their prediction in the next few weeks?
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