Suns look to lock away early picks
GOLD Coast are already talking to top AFL draft picks Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson about making longer-term commitments at the Suns.
As expected, Rowell went to Gold Coast with the No.1 draft pick on Wednesday night and his long-time friend Anderson joined him with the Suns’ No.2 selections.
Rowell later said the Suns visited him last Thursday night and confirmed he would be their top choice.
Suns list manager Craig Cameron also said that they started to speak with Rowell and Anderson about future contracts.
One of the biggest problems for the struggling expansion club has been the loss of key players.
The exodus has featured Suns captains Gary Ablett, Tom Lynch and Steven May.
But the Suns are confident they now have a better club culture.
Last year’s top draft picks Jack Lukosius, Ben King and Izak Rankine have all re-signed.
Apart from Rowell and Anderson, the Suns also traded picks with Carlton and that enabled them to recruit Sam Flanders.
“We have had some preliminary discussions, but only preliminary,” Cameron said of Rowell and Anderson.
“We wanted them to get through and enjoy tonight, more than anything else.
“They’ve known for a little while obviously where they were headed, so it gives them a chance to work through that.”
Cameron also said they were never interested in trading away their top two picks.
“There were clubs that were really keen, but there was nothing,” he said.
“We (want) to bring through a cohort of players around the same age and start to really take ownership of the footy club.”
Flanders was an unexpected bonus as a result of the live trading of pick swaps with the Blues.
“We weren’t planning to pick him up tonight,” Cameron said.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR IN THE AFL DRAFT
* The first 21 selections were made on Wednesday night, with the rest on Thursday evening at Marvel Stadium.
* The top picks went to script, with Gold Coast using the coveted No.1 pick to recruit Vic Metro midfielder Matt Rowell with good mate Noah Anderson joining him at the Suns second overall.
* Melbourne couldn’t resist East Fremantle tall Luke Jackson at No.3, the Demons the first club to select a ruckman in the top 10 since Brisbane recruited Billy Longer in 2011.
* Adelaide nabbed the first key-position player of the draft, the Crows selecting Sandringham Dragons tall defender Fischer McAsey sixth overall.
* After snaring Victorian pair Hayden Young and Caleb Serong with the seventh and eighth picks, Fremantle were forced to match Carlton’s bid for academy forward Liam Henry at No.9.
* The Blues made the second bid of the night at No.10, forcing GWS to match it in order to land academy midfielder Tom Green.
* Carlton then pulled of the first trade of the night, sending picks 11 and 62 to Gold Coast in return for 17 and 22. The Suns used the 11th selection on Gippsland Power forward Sam Flanders.
* Blues list chief Stephen Silvagni kept the moves coming, trading picks 22 and 55 to Port Adelaide for pick 20, which he used on Northern Knights speedster Sam Philp.
* Richmond made the 21st and final selection of the first round, picking up Thomson Dow, the brother of Carlton’s Paddy.
* Six clubs – Brisbane, Collingwood, Essendon, North Melbourne, St Kilda and West Coast – didn’t have a pick in the first round.
* The top-10 picks
1. Gold Coast: Matt Rowell (midfielder, Oakleigh Chargers)
2. Gold Coast: Noah Anderson (midfielder, Oakleigh Chargers)
3. Melbourne: Luke Jackson (ruckman, East Fremantle)
4. GWS: Lachlan Ash (defender, Murray Bushrangers)
5. Sydney: Dylan Stephens (midfielder, Norwood)
6. Adelaide: Fischer McAsey (key defender, Sandringham Dragons)
7. Fremantle: Hayden Young (defender, Dandenong Stingrays)
8. Fremantle: Caleb Serong (midfielder/forward, Gippsland Power)
9. Fremantle (matched bid): Liam Henry (forward, Claremont)
10. GWS (matched bid): Tom Green (midfielder, GWS academy).
© AAP 2019