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Eagles and Dockers nail draft selections; Ablett

AFL draft expert Michael Ablett thinks the WA sides have done well out of the second night of the AFL Draft.

West Coast picked three players on the draft’s second night to go with two on the first, while Fremantle added four players to their list.

The Eagles grabbed ruckman Harry Barnett with the second selection of the night at pick 23, a South Australian who was named in the All-Australian team selected from the under 18’s national carnival.

“He was the best ruckman in the draft, can’t make that any clearer,” Ablett told Sports Breakfast.

“He’s a modern day ruckman, he’s got very, very good ability at ground level, he is dominant in the air, and I call him ‘the problem’ when he goes forward, I think he causes genuine issues for opposition teams at 202cm.

“They’ve got themselves a really athletic type and a guy who’s already experienced senior football in the SANFL with West Adelaide.”

Ablett is also a fan of Claremont intercept defender Hugh Davies, who the Dockers selected with their first choice in the draft at pick 33.

“He’s a really nice selection, 196cm, very smart user of the footy, more of a possession type player, but uses it well,” he said.

“He’ll play on your second or third tall forward, so he’s got some nice versatile traits.

“They went local, which was pleasing, I think both the West Australian clubs supported local talent very, very strongly.”

West Coast’s other picks on the night were adding explosive mid-forwards Coby Burgiel from the Gippsland Power at pick 29 and Noah Long from the Bendigo Pioneers at pick 58.

“Coby is absolute speed, I thought they addressed a need and one that clearly stood out as you become an ageing type midfield which they’ve got, Luke Shuey and the like don’t necessarily have the same type of speed as did when they were 18 or 19 years of age,” Ablett said.

“[Long] shows some of those Caleb Serong type traits, he’s got really nice lateral movement, got a tank you can build on, and he’s a very smart high half-forward kind of player.”

The former AFL talent pathways manager is a fan of Fremantle’s continuing strategy to get experienced players from the state leagues, coming in the form of Sturt forward Tom Emmett at pick 41 and Port Melbourne half-back Corey Wagner at pick 57 in this draft.

“I wasn’t surprised by this, I mentioned leading into the draft that they’ve lost some maturity and some depth, in terms of Darcy Tucker and Blake Acres and Griffin Logue and the like,” he said.

“We know they’ve got an absolute plethora of young talent, the Fremantle Dockers, and it’s good to see them add some maturity to the group, which will continue to help develop those young guys as well as bringing in some players that can step in and play AFL football straight away.”

IMAGE: The West Australian.


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