Richmond is well placed to capitalise on its strong hand in this year’s AFL national draft with the Club’s national recruiting manager Matthew Clarke upbeat about the depth of young talent to choose from.
The Tigers have two first-round selections (No. 7 and No. 16) and two second-round picks (No. 26 and No. 28), which is their best draft haul since 2004.
“I think it’s a pretty good group,” Clarke said on the AFL.com.au ‘Road to the Draft’ podcast.
“We thought going into the year that it was going to be pretty strong.
“There’s obviously some boys at the top end that we knew about . . . Nick Daicos, Jason Horne from SA. Then you have a big fellow like young (Sam) Darcy emerge the way he has. And a guy like (Finn) Callaghan emerge the way he has as well.
“There’s always those guys that may not have been on the radar completely who can really jump up, and I think a few of those have done that.
“Beyond those first four or so, I think it’s pretty even. And there’s a really good mix from all the states, too . . .
“I think having a couple of (first round) selections can give you a bit more flexibility in terms of the types you want to pick.
“However, with that first one, I still think you’re probably looking at best available on where we rank them, no matter what type they are.
“Generally, if they’re around that top 10, or 5-10 pick, they’re a high-quality selection.
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“I still think it’s worth putting our eggs in the basket of the best (available) player with that first one. And then maybe we can see what happens with the second.
“There’s a little bit of water to go under the bridge there.”
Clarke emphasised that it was important to have an open mind with regards to bolstering the Club’s playing list and not relying purely on a sole recruiting strategy.
“We did that in 2016 with our list management team, with Blair (Hartley) doing a power of work to be able to bring in those three guys – (Dion) Prestia (from Gold Coast), (Toby) Nankervis (from Sydney) and (Josh) Caddy (from Geelong) – which filled a lot of holes on the ground for us,” he said.
“I reckon we still need to look at that, too.”