Richmond’s National Recruiting Manager Matthew Clarke provides ‘Roar Vision’ with an overview of what he expects from the AFL’s 2018 national and rookie drafts to be held at Marvel Stadium over the next two days.

Do you expect a quality player to still be available at pick 17?

We do, there were will be a number of players there that we like. It’s 17 at the moment but we think it will probably push maybe 20 or 21 given other bids in there but depending on where we’ve got those other guys ranked from academy players inside, it won’t make a difference to the type of player that’s there. We think there will be a quality player there.

Looking at the predictions for the first round, a lot of the quality key position players will probably go early. Is it fair to say a dynamic midfielder or wingman might be what we’re looking towards at that pick?

We’ll probably still try to pick the best player but like you said a lot of those talls will go early, we did predict that last year, we’ve done a lot of work on the future draft. Francis Jackson does a power of work in that area, he predicted last year that those talls for this year would be really early and probably beyond our reach and that’s probably why our strategy last year with Coleman-Jones, Noah Balta and Ben Miller late was a good one for us. Looking at this year, we’ll look to pick the best player early, but more than likely it will be someone of that type.

Will you look to get the best player or recruit with needs in mind, or a combination of both?

It will depend on our rankings and where the players sit. If there’s a player ranked much higher than some of the others, we’ll probably go with that player. But we’re probably in a position now with our list where we can actually afford to address needs rather than just pick that best player available if there’s only a slight difference in the ratings. But like I said earlier, if there is a significant difference in our rankings we’ll still go best player. It’s very fluid this year with the ability to trade picks, so if we can move around and get some of the players we like from a positional point of view, we’ll do that.

Will you add four to the list at the primary list at the national draft?

That’s probably where it sits at the moment, we have the ability to take four in the national draft. We’ll have a look to see what’s falling late, but we have four spots available on the national draft at the moment.

The rookie draft – do you see it as a continuation of the national draft or are there some more project or mature players that you’ll look to add?

It’s probably is a little bit now with the continuation of the draft, with the ability of the rookies to continue to play so we’ll have a look to see what’s there. We’ve currently got Liam Baker staying on as a rookie, and obviously it’s been announced that Mav Weller will join us as a supplementary rookie draft player. We’ve got the ability to add four rookies but we’ll have a look to see what’s available after the national.

Looking at the activity we’ve done over the years, whether you get selected in the Jack Higgins slot, Jack Graham a bit later, or Liam Baker via the rookie list, if you come into the club and embrace and AFL program and VFL program and have the right attitude, the opportunity to play senior football is there.

Absolutely. It’s one thing that Damien has pushed really hard and our assistant coaches and the rest of the football department. It doesn’t matter where you’re picked, if you buy into the program, you’ve got the right profile and you work really hard, you’ll get the opportunity to play. Whether you’re a first round pick, last rookie pick or pre-season draft, if you do the hard work and you’ve got the right tools, he’ll give you the chance.

There’s been some changes to the drafting this year. You guys will be sitting in the corporate box away from prying ears and there is the ability to live trade picks – do you think it will have much of an impact or do you think clubs will be conservative?

It is difficult to tell. I think there will be some, but is there going to be a lot? I’m not sure. There’s been a lot of things thrown around from other clubs in terms of picks. It may come to fruition that a lot of things will happen, but then again it may not. We’ve done a lot of hard work, our team is really strong in the intel we’ve gathered. We’ve talked to a lot of different clubs about what we might be able to do, but we’ll just have to wait and see.