Izak Rankine is among a bevy of young talent on offer at this year’s draft. Picture: Getty Images
Izak Rankine is among a bevy of young talent on offer at this year’s draft. Picture: Getty Images

Suns expect Crows, Port to come for picks

GOLD Coast list manager Craig Cameron says he is expecting his phone to run hot in the next month.

"We like those two picks (2 and 3) and we like the players that will be there,'' he said after the AFL exchange period closed on Wednesday night with the struggling Suns holding a host of major draft cards with selections 2, 3 and 6.

"But we'll listen to offers. I'm sure they (the Crows) will knock on our door and I'm sure the boys down the road at Port will too.''

 

Adelaide and Port Adelaide emerged from the trade period with their greatest draft hands, strategically acquiring top picks to position themselves to secure the high-end SA talent on offer.

The Crows have four picks inside the top 21 - No's 8, 13, 16 and 21.

The Power has three selections inside the first 15 - 5, 10 and 15.

Adding to the draft intrigue this year is that for the first time clubs will be able to trade picks until a week before the November 22 draft - and again on draft night - to move up for a higher selection to target the prospects they want.

It is uncharted territory in the AFL and has left Adelaide and Port with plenty to ponder in a year where Croweaters Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Connor Rozee are likely to go in the top seven picks and Jackson Hately just behind them.

Jack Lukosius in action for SA during this year’s AFL under-18 championships. Picture: Getty Images
Jack Lukosius in action for SA during this year’s AFL under-18 championships. Picture: Getty Images

"Our first pick is at 8 but we're open-minded about where we stand - you have to be open-minded about all those picks ahead of you,'' Adelaide list manager Justin Reid said.

"We are really well positioned because we have a really healthy draft hand, the best draft hand we've ever had, but we will look at all the opportunities and possibilities that come across our desk.

"We will continue to look at our list balance and what type of talent we want to bring in.

"There is still a lot to play out between now and the draft, a lot of water to go under the bridge.''

The Power also hasn't ruled out moving up the draft order in the next month to improve its position.

It already has jumped from 11 to 6 and then 5 in various trade moves which leaves it well placed to secure one of the gun South Australians.

List manager Jason Cripps even went a step further by warning Gold Coast that if it drafted Lukosius and Rankine, Port would come looking for them when their first contracts expire in two years.

"If Lukosius and Rankine end up going to Gold Coast, we're probably pretty happy to try to get them back in a few years' time," Cripps said.

"It's interesting because then it just becomes a two-horse race between us and the Crows, as opposed to a Victorian kid that wants to come back home whose potentially got 10 options.

"That's part of the discussion and strategy.''

Cripps later apologised for his comments after upsetting the Suns.

Carlton has not ruled out trading pick 1 but appears to have its heart set on using the selection on Victorian midfielder Sam Walsh.

St Kilda, which has pick 4 and is in the market for a tall such as Max or Ben King, could look to move down the order to get multiple first-round picks.

"There will be a lot of different scenarios that play out over the next few weeks,'' Reid said.



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