THE AFL continues to evolve their draft/trade process with the newest addition a mid-season draft set to take place after Round 10. A pool of nominated players has been established as some cling on to the hope of keeping their AFL dreams alive, while clubs get the chance to strengthen their lists for the second half of the season. Unfortunately for some, Monday’s draft will come and go without hearing their names called, but these seven individuals can probably expect to be given an AFL lifeline.
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SINCE the beginning of the season a lot of media experts believe that Sam Lowson is the best player in the country currently not on an AFL list. The Coburg forward will likely be snapped up early on Monday with up to five clubs showing interest in the VFL small. Lowson has kicked 14 goals from five appearances thus far, with his tackling pressure another impressive string in his bow. I’d be surprised if teams let Lowson slip outside the top-5 of the draft.
INJURIES have held Hirst back from being drafted in recent seasons with the Eastern Rangers ball-winner set to add valuable depth to a team’s roster. Being one of the youngest candidates in the field means that Hirst may not possess an AFL-ready frame yet, but under the right tutelage, he could quite easily develop into a reliable player.
26-year old college basketballer turned ruckman Michael Knoll should be a coveted player on Monday with Essendon and Richmond the front-runners for his services. Knoll claimed the Foss Williams Medal in the SANFL’s seven-point win at Optus Stadium against WA a few weeks ago, signalling his rapid rise to relevance. While he isn’t a complete prospect at 26, he’s more developed than a lot of other potential draftees.
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IN the last week or so, Kyle Dunkley has shaped up as the favourite to be the first pick on Monday night. The Footscray midfielder is the younger brother of premiership Bulldog Josh Dunkley and Kyle’s rapid improvement has led to the belief that he’s the favourite to head to Carlton at pick No. 1. Some have even declared Dunkley as a top-30 draft prospect give his recent leaps in development and there’s no denying that he’ll help whichever AFL club chooses to draft him early.
WITH Carlton expected to take Dunkley first, North Melbourne is poised to snare lively small forward Adam Tipungwuti with the very next pick. With seven goals in six games for the NT Thunder this season, Tipungwuti garnered interest from multiple club’s during the draft, before ultimately being overlooked. Related to Bombers excitement machine Anthony, Adam is expected to add some life to the Roos’ lacklustre small forward talent, hopefully forging out a permanent spot on North’s list in year’s to come.
VFL defender Lochie Dickson is another hot name expected to find a new AFL home next week. After applying his craft in Melbourne’s suburban Eastern Football League for a few years, Dickson has been a solid contributor for Coburg’s back six in 2019, capable of defending both tall and small forwards with his versatile skill-set. I’d be shocked if Dockson wasn’t taken in the first round of the mid-season draft with Brisbane recently linked to the defender despite not currently holding a pick.
AFTER three years on North Melbourne’s list, leading to four AFL games, Mitchell Hibberd found himself delisted after the 2018 season. The versatile defender/midfielder has since joined Williamston and his VFL form could see a club give him a second chance in the big leagues. There’s a chance he misses out on selection, but with some AFL experience already on his resume, a team like Collingwood could just take another chance on Hibberd.
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