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Recruiting Files: Sloane

Katrina Gill  November 14, 2014 8:30 AM

AFL 2014 Rd 09 - Adelaide v Collingwood

Rory Sloane of the Crows tackled by Lachlan Keeffe and Tom Langdon of the Magpies during the 2014 AFL Round 09 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Collingwood Magpies at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide on May 15, 2014. (Photo: AFL Media)

Matty Rendell and I couldn’t even stand together when we watched Rory play in his top-age year (2008) because every time Rory got the ball we just shook our heads and started laughing, wondering what on earth we’d done in not picking him the year before.

We delve into the Recruiting Files, as National Recruiting Manager Hamish Ogilvie recalls the story of how Rory Sloane came to be a Crow – the second time around …

“We were going to take Rory as a 17-year-old with our last pick in the 2007 National Draft, but we’d already taken four midfielders in Patty Dangerfield, Andy Otten, Myke Cook and Tony Armstrong. The Club wanted to balance it up, so we took a tall at pick No.71 instead of Rory.

“In hindsight, we should’ve taken Rory and we realised it pretty quickly. (Former National Recruiting Manager) Matty Rendell and I couldn’t even stand together when we watched Rory play in his top-age year (2008) because every time Rory got the ball we just shook our heads and started laughing, wondering what on earth we’d done in not picking him the year before.

“At the Draft Combine in ‘08’, (Coach) Neil Craig said to me, ‘can you get me someone with a bit of personality to interview?’ It just so happened that I bumped into Rory out the front of the indoor soccer field at the AIS. I thought this will make Neil’s day a bit brighter, so I walked in with Sloaney. Sloaney opened with ‘G’Day everyone, I’m Rory’. After that, there was never any doubt we were going to pick him. All we needed was a bit of luck …

“We actually wanted to take Rory earlier than No.44 in ‘07’, but because it was such a ripping draft for talls and there didn’t appear to be many talls coming through in the next two years, we thought we had to take advantage and grab a couple of big guys.

“We took Phil Davis and Shaun McKernan with our first two picks (Nos.10 and 28) and we were just hoping Rory would still be there at our third pick (No.44). Fortunately, he was and it was a massive relief after not picking him the year prior.

Read why Sloaney believes it was a good thing the Crows overlooked him in 2007

“We could understand clubs not taking Rory as a 17-year-old. There were some question marks over his kicking, but we just thought he had too many other things going for him. I just loved the way he played.

“He’s so influential. He doesn’t need many touches to have an impact on a game and he’s also as tough as the day as long. He never tested quick, but he's just a smart player and reads it well.

“I remember our first interview with Rory back in ‘07’. When he came into the room it was as if he’d known everyone for 20 years. He was everyone’s mate. He had a bubbly personality and I knew he’d fit in at our club – he’d fit in anywhere.

“The clincher for us was in one of the Under-18 championship games. He played full-back on Chris Yarran, who was lightning quick playing at full forward. Vic Metro didn't have anyone to play on him, so they put Sloaney to full-back. Sloaney had never played full-back before, but he still beat him.

“Sloaney's turned out exactly like we thought he would and he's got a fair bit of improvement still to come.”