Sport AFL Gold Coast Suns secure good mates as Carlton makes its mark in AFL draft with top-10 bids

Gold Coast Suns secure good mates as Carlton makes its mark in AFL draft with top-10 bids

Matt Rowell (centre) is presented with his Gold Coast jersey at the 2019 AFL Draft in Melbourne on Wednesday. Photo: AAP
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Carlton has made the first two moves in the AFL draft, making unsuccessful bids for highly-rated academy prospects Liam Henry and Tom Green.

After Fremantle matched Carlton’s bid at pick No.9 for Henry, Greater Western Sydney did the same to secure Green at No.10.

The deals meant an exchange of picks lower in the draft.

Henry was a next-generation academy nomination for Fremantle before the draft and Kelly was a nomination for the Giants from their academy.

There was speculation that Kelly could go as early as pick No.5.

Otherwise the top 10 on Wednesday night went as predicted, with Gold Coast picking long-time friends and teammates Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson with the first two selections.

Rowell was long expected to be the No.1 selection.

He and Anderson went to school together at Carey Grammar and also played for Oakleigh Chargers in Melbourne.

Melbourne also went as predicted at No.3, choosing Luke Jackson.

The top junior basketball prospect decided to concentrate on football last year and he is the top ruck prospect in this year’s draft.

No ruckman has gone so high in the draft since 2008, since West Coast picked Nic Naitanui at No.3

After Lachie Ash went to GWS at No.4, Sydney sprang the first surprise when it chose Norwood midfielder Dylan Stephens.

The first SA draft selection was expected to go in the opening round, but not this high.

There had been speculation that the Swans might make a bid for Kelly.

“We did have a lot of discussion about it,” said Swans recruiting boss Kinnear Beatson.

But he added they decided Stephens was the sort of midfielder they wanted.

Fischer McAsey was the first key-position player recruited in the draft, going to Adelaide at No.6.

Intercept defender Hayden Young and utility Caleb Serong joined Fremantle with the seventh and eighth picks.

Carlton’s bid on Henry meant the Dockers ended up with three-straight selections in the top 10.

-AAP

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