Winners and Losers from the 2019 AFLX Draft

LAST night four of the AFL’s finest sat down to draft their teams for the upcoming AFLX showcase. Eddie Betts, Patrick Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe and Jack Riewoldt will captain the Bolts, Flyers, Rampage and Deadly’s respectively, each drafting 12 players to add to their squads. Regardless of where you stand on the AFL’s newest tournament, the night provided plenty of highlight’s, twists and laughs.

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Before I dive into some of the winners and losers from Draft night, here’s a complete breakdown of how each team looks and how we could see them lineup.

aflx teams

POTENTIAL STARTING LINEUPS

DEADLY
Defender: Joel Hamling
Defender: Jarrod Harbrow
Midfielder: Tim Kelly
Wing: Bradley Hill
Wing: Lewis Jetta
Ruck: Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
Forward: Chad Wingard
Forward: Steven May

BOLTS
Defender: Robbie Tarrant
Defender: Luke Hodge
Midfielder: Patrick Dangerfield
Wing: Andrew Gaff
Wing: Steele Sidebottom
Ruck: Mark Blicavs
Forward: Tom Hawkins
Forward: Robbie Gray

FLYERS
Defender: Rory Laird
Defender: Alex Rance
Midfielder: Josh Kennedy
Wing: Stephen Coniglio
Wing: Scott Pendlebury
Ruck: Marcus Bontempelli
Forward: Isaac Heeney
Forward: Jeremy Cameron

RAMPAGE
Defender: Phil Davis
Defender: Lachie Whitfield
Midfielder: Patrick Cripps
Wing: Dayne Zorko
Wing: Isaac Smith
Ruck: Tom McDonald
Forward: Jack Riewoldt
Forward: Luke Breust

WINNERS

Bradley Hill
I’M sure high up on everyone’s wish list this pre-season was to become the first pick in the AFLX Draft and the dubious honour went to Bradley Hill. Fremantle’s speedster became the first overall pick joining Eddie Betts’ all-Indigenous Deadly team and his ability to play multiple positions and impact the game with his feet will be an asset for sure.

Geelong
WITH each AFL club allowed a maximum of four representatives, it didn’t take long before Geelong’s night was over. It’s worth pointing out that Patrick Dangerfield, the captain of the Bolts, stuck with some familiar faces drafting club teammates Tom Hawkins (Pick 2) and Mark Blicavs (Pick 10), but Betts made it three Cats in the top-10 with his pick of Tim Kelly at No. 9. There were six other teams who had the maximum number of players selected, but none flew off the board quicker than Geelong.

The Draft/Banter
SOME people aren’t a fan of the AFX concept and everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. However, you can’t deny that the draft process was entertaining as all four captains provided plenty of entertainment and jokes throughout, with the steal cards introduced in the second half of the draft a great twist. The highlight of the night wasn’t a team or one draft pick, but rather one fact that Jack Riewoldt pointed out to poor Eddie Betts.

Nat Fyfe
WHILE you could make the case for any of the teams to be the one to beat it’s hard to go against Nat Fyfe’s Flyers right now. Bolstered by ‘a few trucks’ in the midfield you do wonder if Fyfe drafted a few too much tall timber, however, he hinted during the Draft that he might use Alex Rance in the ruck at times as well. With smart ball users like Scott Pendlebury, Marcus Bontempelli and Rory Laird it’s hard to deny that, on paper, his team shapes as the likely champions.

LOSERS

Also Nat Fyfe
WHILE Fyfe’s team is formidable, you do have to wonder what it could have looked like if steal cards weren’t part of the draft. He did swipe Lachie Hunter from Riewoldt and team Rampage, but the Flyers already boasted an impressive midfield group. Dangerfield and the Bolts were the ones who pounced on what could have been a crucial piece for the Flyers in the 10th round though, with Danger’s steal card used on Lions utility Daniel Rich. Fyfe settled on Micheal Hurley instead, yet, there’s no denying the Flyers could have complimented perfectly by Rich’s booming left boot.

Nat FyfeImage from afl.com.au

Lance Franklin
NOT only did Buddy miss out on being drafted he was somewhat thrown under the bus by Eddie Betts. The Crows small forward made it clear that he wanted to have Franklin on his team after trying to recruit him on camera and via text multiple times this offseason, with Betts getting no response. In Bud’s defense his focus is likely on the upcoming AFL season as he battles a groin issue, but Betts is still salty he can’t have the power forward in his lineup.

The 24th Pick
POOR Steven May. When Eddie Betts drafted him 24th overall last night, Jack Riewoldt was quick to point out that he kicked 10 goals on him last year. Betts tried to defend himself saying he planned to use him up forward too and when the four captains revealed their potential starting line-ups, sure enough, the stellar defender found himself in the attacking zone. Hopefully, he doesn’t become a fish out of water.

Carlton/Gold Coast
WHILE Patrick Cripps’ place among the AFL elite justified his vice-captain selection, Carlton had to wait until the 46th pick for another Blue to be selected. Joining his Carlton teammate on Rampage, Zac Fisher was technically the only player drafted from Carlton, with Jarrod Harbrow the sole Gold Coast Sun to take part in AFLX. If it’s any consolation, Harbrow was picked 8th overall, but it comes as no surprise to see hardly any Suns’ and Blues players given the troubles of the two clubs.

Cam Ellis-Yolmen
NO-ONE wants to be drafted last and while it’s better than missing out altogether, Cam Ellis-Yolmen had to wait until pick 48 to hear his name called. Further rubbing salt into the wounds, Betts revealed that his Crows teammate was going to be their likely starting ruckman. While he’s no slouch at 6′ 2″, he’ll have his work cut out for him against the big bodies of Tom McDonald, Alex Rance and Mark Blicavs.

Peace ✌

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