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Draft: The fab 40s

November 22, 2017 12:10 PM

AFL 2017 Round 18 - Adelaide v Geelong

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: Rory Sloane of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 18 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Geelong Cats at the Adelaide Oval on July 21, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)

After entering the NAB AFL Draft at No.12, Adelaide’s next pick on Friday night isn’t until the third round.

The Club’s second selection currently sits at No.39 – a pick the Crows have never used before – but father-son and academy bids are likely to see that change slightly.

See the indicative draft order

It’s a similar situation to last year when the Crows locked in Jordan Gallucci at No.15, and then had to wait until pick No.44 to recruit his AFL Academy teammate Myles Poholke.

The Crows have experienced success in unearthing gems later in the draft.

Vice-captain Rory Sloane, who was eligible but overlooked by all clubs in 2007, was selected with pick No.44 in the 2008 National Draft. Sloane has since played 165 AFL games, been named All Australian vice-captain and won the Crows Club Champion award twice.

X-factor forward Mitch McGovern was recruited from Claremont with selection No.43 in 2014. McGovern has kicked 52 goals in 36 games and is an important element of the potent Adelaide attack.

In 2013, Clare and Woodville-West Torrens junior Riley Knight became a Crow with pick No.46. The hard-running wingman/half-forward has played 31 games, including 19 this year.

Life Member David Mackay has played 185 games since being chosen with pick No.48 in the 2006 National Draft.

Riley Knight, David Mackay and Mitch McGovern were all picked in the 40s

Ruckman Ivan Maric, who was pick No.40 in 2004, and forward Ian Perrie (No.49 in 1997) are a couple of former Crows to enjoy strong AFL careers after being snapped up in the 40s. 

Matthew Robran was recruited by Hawthorn at No.42. The goalkicker went on to play 137 games, including 130 for the Crows, where he won two premierships.

The 40s have produced some of the best players the game has ever seen.

In a remarkable third round of the 1995 National Draft, North Melbourne uncovered AFL games record holder Brent Harvey at No.47. A five-time best and fairest winner and four-time All Australian, Harvey retired at the end of last season after an incredible 432 games.

With the very next pick (No.48), Geelong selected All Australian and dual premiership player Darren Milburn. The Cats, who had back-to-back picks, followed up by calling the name of craft goalkicker Ronnie Burns at No.49. Burns went on to play 154 games for Geelong and then Adelaide.

Two more key components of Geelong’s premiership-winning backline were also secured in the 40s. Matthew Scarlett was a father-son selection at pick No.45 in 1997, while 300-gamer Corey Enright was an absolute bargain at No.47 in 1999.

Another of the AFL’s most decorated players slipped through to the 40s. Dual premiership player and Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes, who is the Indigenous games record holder, played 372 matches after being snapped up with pick No.43 in the 1997 National Draft. Another star Swan, Michael O’Loughlin, joined the club with pick No.40 three years prior.

Among the other 200-gamers to emerge from the 40s are two-time North Melbourne premiership player and All Australian David King (pick No.46 in 1993), St Kilda’s dual-All Australian Austinn Jones (No.48 in 1994), Carlton and Collingwood star Heath Scotland (pick No.44 in 1998) and Blues veteran Kade Simpson (No.45 in 2002).

Selected with pick No.43 were Kangaroos onballer Andrew Swallow (2005), former Western Bulldogs 200-gamer Lindsay Gilbee (1999), promising West Coast backman Tom Barrass (2013) and premiership skipper Easton Wood (2007).

The third round of Wood’s draft was a particularly good one, with triple-St Kilda best and fairest winner Jack Steven (No.42) also proving a steal.

Adelaide also currently has available 'live' picks at Nos.75 and 94 in Friday night's draft, which starts at 7pm (AEDT), but National Recruiting Manager Hamish Ogilvie has indicated the Club could only use its first two selections.